Jack's second piece of research is based on finding out about Judge Irwin's past. Jack realises he will have to talk to his father, the Scholarly Attorney, as the two men used to be friends. His father has George, 'the unfortunate', staying: George used to work in a circus and now makes angels out of chewed up bread. Jack's father will not reveal anything about the past, however, as he sees it as 'foulness'. Jack is left thinking there is something to discover about the Judge and is clearly jealous of the relationship his father and George have.
The narrative shifts momentarily to Jack and Willie watching Willie's son, Tom, playing football. Tom's popularity with young women is referred to and Jack's scorn for him is exposed in his references to Tom as 'All American' and 'Daddy's Darling'.
Jack then goes to see Anne and Adam whilst they are visiting their home at Burden's Landing. Jack asks Anne if Judge Irwin was ever 'bad broke' as he believes if the Judge had ever committed a crime or even behaved badly, money would be the cause. Anne does not answer, but tells him she had lunch with Governor Stark last week. When Adam arrives, Jack also asks him about the Judge's financial affairs. Adam recalls that he had money problems in 1913 and 1914.
Two days later Anne rings to tell Jack that Judge Irwin married money because he was broke. By telling him this, she believes she is showing that the Judge solved his problems with marriage rather than in a criminal way. The Judge's second wife, Mabel Carruthers, was rich and Jack discovers he paid his mortgage off after marrying her in 1914. He also finds out, though, that Mabel was not wealthy when she married the Judge - she was having financial problems in 1911.
Jack's research reveals that in 1914 the Judge had been Attorney General. He obtained shares for the American Electrical Power Company and sold them. Jack then finds out about the suicide of Mortimer L. Littlepaugh who had been a lawyer for the American Electric Power Company. After visiting his sister, Jack discovers that Littlepaugh knew that Judge Irwin took a bribe to 'let up on the suit against the Southern Belle Fuel people'. The Judge was also given Littlepaugh's job with a much higher salary. Both Littlepaugh and his sister talked to Governor Stanton (father of Anne and Adam) about this bribery and corruption, but the Governor would not listen.
This chapter is mainly concerned with the search of the past for the truth, as this is the motive Jack gives for discovering the hidden past of Judge Irwin. By looking into his history, Jack also unearths a sordid aspect to Anne and Adam's father. Because of the findings that imply both the Judge and Governor Stanton were involved in a bribery scandal, this is a significant chapter in the outcome of the plot. Their crimes trigger a collapse in idealism in Adam and Jack in later chapters.