Their discussions revolve around their similar intellectual interests, including books, political theories, and music, and with each meeting they draw more closely together.Such sharing gradually softens Mr. Duffy’s hard character. However, during one of their meetings, Mrs. Sinico takes Mr. Duffy’s hand and places it on her cheek, which deeply bothers Mr. Duffy. He feels Mrs. Sinico has misinterpreted his acts of companionship as sexual advances. In response, he cuts off the relationship, first by stopping his visits and then by arranging a final meeting at a cake shop in Dublin, deliberately not at Mrs. Sinico’s home. They agree to end the relationship, but Mrs. Sinico’s emotional presence at this meeting suggests she is less willing to say goodbye than is Mr. Duffy. Four years pass. One evening, during his usual dinner in town, Mr. Duffy reads a newspaper article that surprises him enough to halt his eating and hurry home. There, he reads the article, entitled “A Painful Case,” once more. The article recounts the death of Mrs. Sinico, who was hit by a train at a station in Dublin the previous evening. Witness accounts and the coroner’s inquest deem that the death was caused by shock or heart failure, and not injuries from the train itself. The article also explains that Mrs. Sinico was a drinker and had become increasingly detached from her husband over the past two years. The article concludes with the statement that no one is responsible for her death.