Persis Lapham is soon reconciled to the building of the new home, and they visit the construction again. This time they are visited by Tom Corey, who has just returned from Texas. Lapham takes a liking to him, although he later says that he doesn't approve of a young man living off his parents. "I like to see a man act like a man. I don't like to see him being taken care of like a young lady."
Tom Corey's visit to the house brings him into the picture. He has returned from Texas, as Silas did, and eventually he will be part of the paint business. Silas' comment on the need for Tom to find something to do is a prediction of the position he will give him with the paint company.