Golding’s second chapter begins with a second, nightly meeting following the return of Ralph and the others from their trip around the island. Aside from a few exceptions, everyone respects the conch as the symbol of authority and it’s soon established that anyone speaking with it in his hands must be listened to.
First Ralph tells the assembly that indeed they are on a deserted island. He doesn’t seem particularly upset at the idea that they are on their own, in fact he relishes the notion, confident in his own leadership abilities. Many routine things are established, such as the rule about speaking with the conch and respecting authority. Soon, Jack insists that the boys create an army of hunters, which he will lead to find food for the boys. Piggy, seemingly uninterested in this, takes the conch and addresses the crowd through his thick glasses, warning them that this is no game, that no one knows where they are so a signal fire is of crucial importance. Ralph quickly agrees, bolstering Piggy’s opinion.
Now that all the major players have had their chance to speak, many of the littluns (slang for little ones) push a small boy with a mulberry-colored birthmark forward to tell Ralph and the others about the "beastie" which he and the other littluns are having nightmares about. After he admits his fears about the snake-like beast, there’s an uproar of laughter and Ralph and the other older kids quickly dispel the rumor, saying it’s just in their imaginations.
Finally the boys decide to build the fire, placing it on the top of the mountain. Although there’s plenty of tinder and help carrying branches, the boys soon realize that they have no way to light it. Luckily, Piggy comes to the rescue, and the boys use his specs to start the signal fire.
Soon there is more strife on the island, leading to a confrontation on the mountain between Jack and Piggy which Ralph quickly diffuses. It seems Jack and his hunters don’t give Piggy any respect, making fun of his looks and his obsession with the conch as a tool of his own authority.
Quickly fire spreads outside of the fire-pit, leading to the burning of quite a sizable piece of the mountain. Piggy criticizes the others for this, calling them "little kids." He continues, "How can you expect to be rescued if you don’t put first things first and act proper?"
Ominously, the littlun with the birthmark vanishes, leaving Piggy and the others worried. Unfortunately the real terror is yet to come for the boys on the island.