During all this time, Jack re ects on Willie's sexual conquests--he has begun a long-term afiair with Sadie Burke, who is fiercely jealous of his other mistresses, but Lucy seems to know nothing about it. Lucy does eventually leave Willie, spending time in St. Augustine and then at her sister's poultry farm, but they keep up the appearance of marriage. Jack speculates that Lucy does not sever all her ties with Willie for Tommy's sake, though teen-aged Tommy has become an arrogant football star with a string of sexual exploits of his own.
Chapter 4 Summary
Returning to the night in 1936 when he, Willie, and Sugar-Boy drove away from Judge Irwin's house, Jack re ects that his inquiry into Judge Irwin's past was really his second major historical study. He recalls his first, as a graduate student at the State University, studying for his Ph.D. in American History. Jack lived in a slovenly apartment with a pair of slovenly roommates, and blew all the money his mother sent him on drinking binges. He was writing his dissertation on the papers of Cass Mastern, his father's uncle.
As a student at Translyvania College in the 1850s, Cass Mastern had had an afiair with Annabelle Trice, the wife of his friend Duncan Trice. When Duncan discovered the afiair, he took off his wedding ring and shot himself, a suicide that was chalked up to accident. But Phebe, one of the Trices' slaves, had found the ring, and taken it to Annabelle Trice. Annabelle had been unable to bear the knowledge that Phebe knew about her sin, and so she sold her. Appalled to learn that Annabelle had sold Phebe instead of setting her free--and appalled to learn that she had separated the slave from her husband--Cass set out to find and free Phebe; but he failed, wounded in a fight with a man who insinuated that he had sexual designs on Phebe.
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.
Реферат опубликован: 31/07/2007