aving locked Madeline in her room and nearly starving her to death, Justin convinces the doctor that her condition is self-inflicted. The doctor prescribes his own tonic and a daily dose of laudanum which, despite its addictive qualities, will serve to calm her nerves. Madeline is soon a very different woman: submissive and with few words to say, she has little memory of her love affair with Orry and their decision to run off together. Orry and Brett travel to Philadelphia where he wants to give his good friend George Hazard his share of the profits from their cotton mill. Unfortunately, Virgilia is also visiting leading to a confrontation with Orry over slavery. Orry and Brett leave and it will be some time before before he and George see one another. On the train trip home, they are stopped by a group led by abolitionist John Brown. Ashton, now married to James Hontoon, spends a good deal of her time in bed with lovers while her political activist husband is away promoting secession. That movement is gaining ground and war is seen as inevitable should Abraham Lincoln win the forthcoming elections.

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