Janie takes a train to Jacksonville to meet Tea Cake, and he immediately takes her to the preacher's house and they're married. The next day they just walk around, seeing sights. Tea Cake pays for everything out of his own money, so Janie never tells him about the two hundred dollars she has pinned inside her shirt. Even though she didn't say so to Pheoby, she wants to be careful.
The next morning, Tea Cake gets up earlier than Janie, and so she asks him to go get some fish for breakfast. Much later, she finally wakes up and Tea Cake has still not returned. By noon, she finally decides to get dressed, and that's when she realizes her money is gone. She's devastated and she doesn't know what to do. She goes over in her head what happened to Mrs. Tyler, a woman who also lived in Eatonville. Mrs. Tyler was old and unattractive; she was always running after younger men, who always left when they had milked her of all they could. One time she ran off with a young man named Who Flung, who promised to marry her but stole all her money and left her destitute. She had to depend on charity to get herself back to Eatonville.
The rest of the day Janie see-saws between emotions; she's furious Tea Cake's gone off, but she hopes he's not hurt. Finally, way after sunset, she hears him playing a guitar in the hallway; he asks for her to let him in. When he comes in, he sees she had doubts about him. He says he doesn't blame her; he says he'll tell her what happened if she lets him eat first. He says he saw the money in the morning when he was getting dressed and the amount excited him - he'd never had so much money before. So he went out and spent it all - he bought dinner for all his friends and got a dance together. He got into a fight with a man, he bought a guitar but finally the party was worn out, and he returned to Janie. Janie is relieved he's back; but why didn't he come get her, she asks? He says he was worried she wouldn't approve, since she's not used to being around those kinds of people. She tells him he better not go out and leave her at home ever again, because she wants to be where he is, wherever that might be. Tea Cake agrees. He also tells her he's going to make all her money back, because he's a really good gambler.
All week he practices with his dice, then goes out to play. Late that night he comes back, all cut up. He had gotten into some fights because he was winning; and in fact, they count his money, and he has two hundred and twenty dollars. He makes her take back her two hundred; he also tells her that from now on, they will live only on the money he makes. They were going to "the muck," he informed her, down to the Everglades where they did all sorts of farming, and there's a lot of money to be had. As Tea Cake fell asleep "Janie looked down on him and felt a self-crushing love. So her soul crawled out from its hiding place."
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