- Summaries (2)
1848, Orry plucks run-away slave Priam from the train Madelin suggested to flee on, George uses their friendship to let him escape. Three weeks later, Orry is best man when George weds Constance in Lehigh Station, Pennsylvania. His mother decides to give George equal share in Hazard Iron as his elder brother, Stanley, to his wife's fury. Virgilia tricks Orry into attending one of her blatant abolitionist meetings with the family, where she attracts Congressman Sam Greene's romantic attentions. Scolded by Justin for failing to give him an heir, Madeline refuses to divorce him for Orry. After an explosion due to Stanley's stinging, George is given the power of purse. After Orry's father Tillet Main dies, he fires Salem Jones. Orry permits lawyer-politician James Huntoon to court his equally ambitious sister Ashton. He scolds orphaned cousin Charles for getting dragged into a fistfight with Salem Jones's gang, but seconds and trains him for a duel with Whitney Smith whose fiancée cheated with him, winning respect and Orry's support to prepare for West Point. During the Mains' summer visit at the Hazard estate, Charles befriends fellow future cadet Billy, who is seduced by Ashton. George and Orry plan a joint-venture - a slave-free cotton mill in South Carolina, despite the political animosity. Madeline catches Justin with a slave, gets a whiplash and is afterwards comforted by Orry.
Now both out of the army, George and Orry's friendship is severely tested when one of the Main's slaves, Priam, escapes. Orry still travels to Pennsylvania for George and Constance's wedding but when he attends a speech given by Virgilia Hazard at an abolitionist rally, he realizes the breadth and depth of the divide between them. George's mother decides that he should play a greater role at the iron works, much to his older brother Stanley's dismay. After an explosion, George's mother puts him effective control. Back home in South Carolina meanwhile, Orry's father dies making him head of the family. His first act is fire Mount Royal's cruel overseer, Salem Jones. Orry's cousin Charles finds himself challenged to a duel and Orry acts as his second. Orry's sisters are also growing up and the eldest, Ashton, is something of a flirt, currently being pursued by lawyer James Huntoon. The Mains visit the Hazards in Pennsylvania for the summer where Charles and George's younger brother Billy Hazard, who are both West Point bound, become close friends. Brett Main has taken an interest in Billy but he seems to prefer Ashton. Madeline's marriage to Justin continues to decline after he beats and whips her.
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