He can still inspire repentance in his audiences, even if he's only doing it to get rich. Therefore, he suggests they draw lots to see who runs back to town for bread and wine while the other two guard the treasure.
After he leaves, the other two buddies decide kill him when he gets back. The Pardoner criticizes the swearing of false oaths, saying that cursing and perjury are wretched. He argues that it so offends God that he forbade swearing in the Second Commandment—placing it higher up on the list than homicide.
Something did indeed go wrong with the rioters' plans. So the Pardoner invites the pilgrims to step up and buy his relics or purchase a pardon or two to use along the way.
One night while getting drunk and playing dice in a tavern, the three men glance outside to see a group of men carrying a corpse to its burial. And as such it speaks volumes about the church that such a man would be associated with it.
They learn that the body is that of a friend, and that he's just been killed by the same person who's taken many lives all over the countryside that year, a mysterious stranger named Death.
Will some other mysterious force intervene, twisting the plot in a way we weren't expecting? The youths run down the crooked path to the tree, where they find not Death but eight bushels of gold.
Suspense Stage Identification: Two of the Rioters plan to kill the other upon his return so that they only have to split the gold two ways.
Dosing two of the wine bottles with the poison, he returns to the grove intending to kill his friends.