After the murder of the policemen, which was supposed to be a message for the local British government (Dublin Castle figuratively), the overreaction of the public authorities is, according to the narrator, considered as best ally the terrorists can count on. These reactions are part of the so called Defence of the Realm Act (DORA), which allows restrictions of civil rights in order to keep the control in government’s territories during World War I.
Henry stores bootlegged rifles in the house of his grandmother, who briefs him about Alfie Gandon, who indents his father for contract killing. Henry also finds out that Gandon is the landlord of the rebels and that he supports the movement.
The death of Thomas Ashe, an Easter Rising veteran, who died of force-feeding, because the authorities want to prevent the birth of a martyr, died after a hunger strike, is celebrated with an in staged, patriotic funeral. The IRB uses the event to spread propaganda: the funeral is filmed and ready to be shown in the cinemas all around the country.
Henry and Collins provoke a policeman, who does not believe in Collins' identity, because he looks very young after he shaved his moustache.
As the Royal Irish Constabulary creates a special division (G Division), who is able to install a network of spies in order to gain back the control over the country, Collins invents secret cells called circles. A circle consists of not more than ten members at a certain time. These cells gather information about the agents and the spies. For this purpose they arrange marriages between women, who eavesdrop their future husbands about the status of the enemy.
After this, Collins introduces a group of men on bicycles on the way all over the country. Of course, Henry is one of them. He steals the bike he will be using for more than three years. (Henry often names his bike or even shorter). His first aim is Greville Arms Hotel. The people of Greville Arms were Sinn Féin supporters since 1916. Michael Collins is waiting for him there. Henry recognizes that the complete exhausting journey is nothing more than a test of loyalty and fitness. Both, Collins and Smart, have a fight, but Michael knocks out Henry.
Henry awakes as guest of a friendly old woman, who calls herself O’Shea. Although her soup is nearly uneatable, Mrs. O’Shea is very friendly. Henry notices the extreme likeness of her with Ms. O’Shea, so that he supposes Miss O’Shea to be her daughter.
After his recovery Henry starts some affairs with the women of the country folk.