"And he told her. It didn’t take long, four or five minutes at most, and she sat very still through it all, watching him with a kind of dazed horror as he went further and further away from her with each word." (PG. 2) After his long day at work, Mr. Maloney tells her six month pregnant wife, Mary, he wants to leave her. The conflict of Lamb to the Slaughter is Mary Maloney's husband is going to leave her.
Mary is six months pregnant and she doesn't know how to react to her husbands' horrible news. This was a huge surprise for her. Mary thought that it would be like any other day, with no problems. How could she last three more months being pregnant? How could she raise a baby by herself? How could Mr. Maloney leave when he knows he'll never see his child? These questions rattled through Mary's head after what her husband had told her. She drew a blank thinking about what to do. She stood up, went to go make dinner, and ignored Mr. Maloney's demmand for her to sit back down. He had not the slightest idea of what was comming for him.
Not only did Mr. Maloney say he wanted to leave, but the reason must have been extrememly disturbing to Mary. Although the book did not state why he wanted to leave, a movie made from the book of Lamb to the Slaughter says that he was in love with someone else. Mary was going to cook a hole leg of lamb for dinner that night. When she went to retrieve the lamb leg from the freezer she just realized the reality of what was going on. She was furious. The lamb was frozen solid, like a rock. Mr. Maloney was in the living room facing the opposite way towards the window so he coldn't see Mary. Mrs. Maloney came up with an idea. With no hesitation, she walked up behind her husband and hit him over the head as hard as she could with the frozen solid leg of lamb. Mr. Maloney is dead.