After that, he set to farming a plantation he had obtained with the help of his wealthy brother Gilbert. But he freed his slaves and became a devout abolitionist. Even so, when the war started, he enlisted as a private in the Confederate Army. Complicating matters further, though a Confederate soldier he vowed not to kill a single enemy soldier, since he believed himself already responsible for the death of his friend. He was killed in a battle outside Atlanta in 1864. After leaving to find Phebe, he had never set eyes on Annabelle Trice again.
One day Jack simply gave up working on his dissertation. He could not understand why Cass Mastern acted the way he did, and he walked away from the apartment without even boxing up the papers. A landlady sent them to him, but they remained unopened as he endured a long stretch of the Great Sleep. The papers remained in their unopened box throughout the time he spent with his beautiful wife Lois; after he left her, they remained unopened. The brown paper parcel yellowed, and the name "Jack Burden,"written on top, slowly faded.
Chapter 5 Summary
In 1936, Jack mulls over the problem of finding dirt on Judge Irwin. He thinks the judge would have been motivated by ambition, love, fear, or money, and settles on money as the most likely reason he might have been driven over the line. He goes to visit his father, but the Scholarly Attorney is preoccupied taking care of an "unfortunate" named George, and refuses to answer his "foul" questions. He visits Anne and Adam Stanton at their father's musty old mansion, and learns from Adam that the judge was once broke, back in 1913. But Anne tells him that the judge got out of his financial problems by marrying a rich woman.
At some time during this period, Jack goes to one of Tommy's football games with Willie. Tommy wins the game, and Willie says that he will be an All- American. Tommy receives the adulation of Willie and all his cohorts, and lives an arrogant life full of women and alcohol. Also during this time, Jack learns from Tiny Dufiy that Willie is spending six million dollars on the new hospital. Soon after, Anne tells Jack that she herself had lunch with Willie, in a successful attempt to get state funding for one of her charities.
Jack decides to investigate the judge's financial past further. Delving into court documents and old newspapers, he discovers that the judge had not married into money, but had taken out a mortgage on his plantation, which he was nearly unable to pay. A sudden windfall enabled him to stop foreclosure proceedings toward the end of his term as Attorney General under Governor Stanton. Also, after his term he had been given a lucrative job at American Electric Power Company. After some further digging, Jack extracts a letter from a strange old spiritual medium named Lily Mae Littlepaugh, from her brother George Littlepaugh, whom Judge Irwin replaced at the power company. The letter, a suicide note, reveals that the judge received a great deal of stock and the lucrative position at the power company as a bribe for dismissing a court case brought against the Southern Belle Fuel Company, which had the same parent company as American Electric Power.
Littlepaugh says that he visited Governor Stanton to try to convince him to bring the matter to light, but Stanton chose to protect his friend the judge; when Miss Littlepaugh visited the governor after her brother's suicide, he again protected the judge, and threatened Miss Littlepaugh with prosecution for insurance fraud. After seven months of digging, Jack has his proof.
Chapter 6 Summary
During the time Jack is investigating Judge Irwin's background, Tommy Stark, drunk, wraps his car around a tree, severely injuring the young girl riding with him. Her father, a trucker, raises a tremendous noise about the accident, but he is quieted when he is reminded that truckers drive on state highways and many truckers have state contracts. Lucy is livid about Tommy's crash, even though Tommy is unhurt; she insists that Willie make him stop playing football and living his rambunctious life, but Willie says that he won't see his son turn into a sissy, and that he wants Tommy to have fun.
Willie is, during this time, completely committed to his six-million-dollar hospital project, and he insists, to Jack's bemusement, that it will be completed without any illicit wheeling and dealing. Willie is furious when Tiny Dufiy tries to convince him to give the contract to Gummy Larson, a Mac-Murfee supporter who would throw his support to Willie if he received the building contract. (He would also throw a substantial sum of money to Tiny himself.) But Willie insists that the project will be completely clean, and seems to think of it as his legacy--he even says that he does not care whether it wins him any votes. He insists as well that Jack convince Adam Stanton to run it.
Jack knows that Adam hates the entire Stark administration, but he visits his friend's apartment to make the offer nevertheless. Adam is outraged, but he seems tempted when Jack points out how much good he would be able to do as director of the hospital. Eventually, after Anne becomes involved, Adam agrees to take the job. He has a conversation with Willie during which Willie espouses his moral theory--that the only thing for a man to do is create goodness out of badness, because everything is bad, and the only reason something becomes good is because a person thinks it makes things better. Adam is wary of Willie, but he still takes the job--after he receives Willie's promise not to interfere in the running of the hospital.
During this time Jack learns that Anne has found out that Adam received the offer to run the hospital. She visits Jack, and says that she desperately wants Adam to take it. In a moment of bitterness, Jack tells her about how her father illegally protected Judge Irwin after he took the bribe. Anne is crushed; but she visits Adam with the information, and that is what prompts Adam to compromise his ideals and take the directorship. Anne, Adam, and Jack attend a speech Willie gives, during which he announces his intention to give the citizens of the state free medical care and free educations. Anne asks urgently if Willie really means it, and Jack replies, "How the hell should I know?"
But something nags the back of Jack's mind: he is unable to figure out how Anne learned that Adam had been offered the directorship of the hospital. Adam didn't tell her, and Willie says that he didn't tell her, and Jack didn't tell her. He finds out that Sadie Burke told her, in a jealous ragefor Sadie says that Anne is Willie's new slut, that she has become his mistress. Jack is shocked, but when he visits Anne, she gives him a wordless nod that confirms Sadie's accusation.
Chapter 7 Summary
After learning about Anne's afiair with Willie Stark, Jack ees westward. He spends several days driving to California, then, after he arrives, three days in Long Beach. On the way, he remembers his past with Anne Stanton, and tries to understand what happened that led her to Willie. When they were children, Jack spent most of his time with Adam Stanton, and Anne simply tagged along. But the summer after his junior year at the State University, when he was twenty-one and Anne was seventeen, Jack fell in love with Anne, and spent the summer with her. They played tennis together, and swam together at night, and pursued an increasingly intense physical relationship-- Jack remembers that Anne was not prudish, that she seemed to regard her body as something they both possessed, and that they had to explore together. Two nights before Anne was scheduled to leave for her boarding school, they found themselves alone in Jack's house during a thunderstorm, and nearly made love for the first time--but Jack hesitated, and then his mother came home early, ending their chance. The next day Jack tried to convince Anne to marry him, but she demurred, saying that she loved him, but seemed to feel that something in his unambitious character was an impediment to her giving in to her love. After Anne left for school, they continued to write every day, but their feelings dwindled, and the next few times they saw each other, things were difierent between them. Over Christmas, Anne wouldn't let Jack make love to her, and they had a fight about it. Eventually the letters stopped, and Jack got thrown out of law school, and began to study history, and then eventually he was married to Lois, a beautiful sexpot whose friends he despised and who did not interest him as a person. Toward the end of their marriage, he entered into a phase of the Great Sleep, and then left her altogether.
After two years at a very refined women's college in Virginia, Anne returned to Burden's Landing to care for her ailing father. She was engaged several times but never married, and after her father died, she became an old maid, though she kept her looks and her charm. She devoted herself to her work at the orphanage and her other charities. Jack feels as though she could never marry him because of some essential confidence he lacked, and that she was drawn to Willie Stark because he possessed that confidence. Jack also feels that because he revealed to Anne the truth of her father's duplicity in protecting Judge Irwin after he accepted the bribe, he is responsible for Anne's afiair with Willie. But he tries to convince himself that the only human motivation is a certain kind of biological compulsion, a kind of itch in the blood, and that therefore, he is not responsible for Anne's behavior.
He says this attitude was a "dream" that made his trip