Humans, the narrator explains, are caught in a net of good and evil. The quality of a person's life can be measured by the reaction of the people left behind.
Adam buys Dessie Hamilton's house and moves the family to Salinas, and Lee finally fulfills his dream of owning a bookstore. But he returns shortly and gladly begins life anew at home in Salinas.
The twins fit in their new school. Aron is smitten with Abra. They pretend to be married and Abra comforts him by laying his head in her lap. Overwhelmed by the maternal affection, he bursts into tears. They share a kiss.
In 1915, Lee buys an icebox which fascinates Adam. He invests most of his fortune in a disastrous refrigeration venture to bring lettuce stored on ice across the country during winter. The neighbors ridicule him mercilessly. Abra and Aron spin a private cocoon and exclude everyone causing Cal to feel jealous. Rumors about Kate spread around the town and after Abra overhears one advises Aron to inquire into his mother's past. Aron resists her suggestion.
The lives of Aron and Cal predominate now, with Will Hamilton as a peripheral character. The Cain and Abel legend unfolds once more with Cal continuing the role of dark Cain and golden-haired Aron as Abel. Cal, however, becomes a far more well-rounded character. He experiences jealousy over the relationship Abra shares with his brother.