Adam insisted that everyone should go and meet Aaron's train despite the fact that Lee and Cal thought that Aaron would want to be alone with Abra. Adam, however, could not wait to see his son and discover the changes that occurred in him during his stay at Stanford. When they got home, everyone had coffee together. Adam questioned Aaron and praised the benefits of a college education. When Aaron walked Abra home, she told him she could not invite him in, for her father was going through a stage in which he disapproved of Aaron.
Back at home in his bedroom, Aaron felt let down and helpless. He did not think he would ever be able to escape his father's ambitions for him. He decided to find Cal and discuss his feelings with him. Cal was wrapping a present, which he explained was for Adam. Aaron told Cal he wanted to quit college and take over the ranch. He said he did not want to make a lot of money, just enough to get along. Cal told Aaron he would have to return to college for Adam's sake. When Aaron insisted that he did not want to go back, Cal felt a surge of love and understanding for his brother.
After Aaron left, Cal counted the money one more time; there were fifteen crisp banknotes equaling fifteen thousand dollars. When the money was wrapped as a present, Cal went outside to take a walk, for he was feeling nervous. When he came back, he found Lee stuffing the Thanksgiving turkey. When Cal said he was anxious, Lee said that he understood. He knew it was hard to give people gifts, for one never knew what the reaction would be.
Cal wanted the day to belong to him, but he knew his father would turn his attention on Aaron. Cal felt jealous, even though he did not want to be. The jealousy made him think he was a bad person, and he fought against it. He found Aaron and suggested his brother buy champagne to honor the occasion of the Thanksgiving dinner. He offered to pay for it.
Cal spent the day torturing himself with anticipation. He tried to convince himself that his father would appreciate the money; after all, his father had told him he trusted him. Cal found Adam and Aaron in the living room arguing over college. He tried to gain Adam's attention by asking him about the ice company and offering his ideas on how to make it more profitable. Adam said he did not want to discuss business.
The dinner took place without event. After it was over, Cal laid his gift in front of his father. When Adam opened it and found the money, Cal explained that he had made it to make up for his father's loss on the lettuce. Adam wanted to know how Cal had made the money. When Cal told him of the bean operation, he realized something calamitous was happening. Adam told him to give the money back to the farmers he had robbed, for he could not possibly accept a gift that had been made as a profit off the war. Adam added that Cal should make something of himself, like Aaron.
As Cal rushed out of the room, Adam called to him, "Don't be angry, son!"
Cal went to his room feeling sick with hatred. He was sitting at his desk when Lee came in. He told Cal he could control his hatred and jealousy if he wanted to. He further explained that Adam could not help his reaction because he was just being himself. He added that Cal could choose his reaction. Cal pulled himself together and went to see his father. He told Adam he was sorry, took the money from the mantel, and said he would figure out what to do with it. When he walked out of the house, he headed toward Abra's house. On the way, he met his brother coming home. Cal told Aaron he had something surprising and interesting to show him. It is clear that he planned to take Aaron and show him Kate's house of prostitution.
The next morning, the Sergeant of the recruitment office saw a handsome young man waiting to sign up for the military. Disgusted with the truth and disillusioned with his father, Aaron wants to go to war and die.
This chapter unfolds as expected. Cal waits with anticipation to give his father the gift of fifteen thousand dollars, which Adam cannot accept because of his principles. He will not allow himself to take money that was made as a profit from the war. Adam's rejection hurts Cal greatly. He goes to his room with thoughts of hatred for his father. Lee, once again, saves the day. He comes to Cal and explains that his father was not trying to be cruel; instead he was only being himself, reacting in goodness. Because of Lee's pep talk, Cal is able to calm himself down. He goes and apologizes to his father, taking the money from him. He still wants to strike out at Aaron, for Adam has made it clear that he thinks more highly of him. When Cal finds Aaron coming home from Abra's house, he says he has a surprise for him. He then takes Aaron to see their mother's house of prostitution. Aaron reacts to the truth by joining the military and being sent to fight in the war.
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