As I previously warned, these posts will contain spoilers, and will give away plot points. Please do not read without being aware of this. This process is intended to enable me to better understand Mistborn as I re-read it, so I'm not going to shy away from spoilers.
In light of that, I am going to put all of the details in these posts after a page break. Sorry for the inconvenience, but I don't want anyone to stumble onto spoilers by accident!
Vin doesn't die. (I know, I know, this is a tremendous surprise).
This is the part of the book where Sanderson takes the opportunity to establish that The Final Empire is irretrievably broken and utterly immoral. Vin has been accepted into noble society, and briefly begins to delude herself that, perhaps, the nobles aren't as bad as Kelsier says that are - they, really, they probably don't know how terrible it is for skaa. Or, maybe, they're not all bad.
And then we have a moment of shockingly gratuitous violence, casual, nearly an afterthought, when a skaa child is slaughtered just beyond where the nobles are getting into their carriages because he is loud, and is disturbing them.
In the mists, beyond the eyesight of regular people, the soldier drew out a dagger and slit the boy’s throat. Vin jumped, shocked, as the sounds of the boy’s struggling tapered off. The guard dropped the body, then grabbed it by a leg and began to drag it away. Vin stood, stunned, as her carriage pulled up. “Mistress,” Sazed prompted, but she simply stood there. They killed him, she thought. Right here, just a few paces away from where noblemen wait for their carriages. As if…the death were nothing out of the ordinary. Just another skaa, slaughtered. Like an animal.Or less than an animal. Nobody would slaughter pigs in a keep courtyard. The guard’s posture as he’d performed the murder indicated that he’d simply been too annoyed with the struggling boy to wait for a more appropriate location. If any of the other nobility around Vin had noticed the event, they paid it no heed, continuing their chatting as they waited. Actually, they seemed a little more chatty, now that the screams had stopped.