From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
All the King's Men
by Robert Penn Warren
All the King's Men Chapter 10 Summary
After Willie's funeral Jack goes to Burden's Landing because he can't take it in the city, and because he wants to see Anne. Jack and Anne hang out for some time. It's late fall. They don't talk at all, but sometimes Jack reads to Anne. Somehow, it seems almost like that long ago summer when they were in love. Still, a question haunts Jack. At first it didn't seem important, but now he can't stop wondering who it was that called Adam that day and told him what he told him. He asks Anne and she says she doesn't know. The next day Jack leaves Burden's Landing to try to find the answer. When he gets back he calls the Capitol and asks for Sadie. He learns she's at a place called Millet Sanatorium. When he goes out to visit her, he learns she checked herself in to get some "rest." He asks her if she knew who called Adam. She says it was Tiny Duffy. Jack asks her how she knows. She's mad at him for making her tell – but she does. Apparently she told Tiny to do it. Jack accuses her of murder. She agrees with him. Jack is quiet, and then Sadie says she's glad she was able to get it off her chest. But Jack doesn't really see Sadie as the killer. He puts the blame on Tiny, who, as Willie's Lieutenant Governor is now Governor. Sadie tells him how happy Duffy was when Adam and Willie were shot. Jack decides he wants to make Duffy pay. Sadie tells him to go for it. As Jack is pondering the best way to go about it, he gets a message that Duffy wants to see him. He goes. Duffy tries to hire Jack, with a hefty raise. Jack is surprised by how sure Duffy is that he'll take the job. Instead Jack tells Tiny he would never work for him and that he thinks Tiny is the "stinkingest louse God ever let live." Jack tells him he knows how he killed the Boss because he talked to Sadie. Tiny says he'll kill Sadie if she tries to mess with him. Jack says he won't kill anybody because he's too big of a coward. After their meeting Jack feels great. Several days later he gets a letter from Sadie. In it she gives Jack the address of an aunt, in case he ever needs to reach her. She tells him that she's willing to go up against Duffy in whatever way necessary. Still, she advises Jack to let it drop. With the letter she has sent a signed and witnessed statement implicating Tiny, and herself in the two killings. But Jack decides he doesn't want to pursue things any further. He realizes that he and Duffy are like twins, eternally joined. His condemnation of Duffy would be a condemnation of himself. (See "Foil: Jack and Tiny" in our "Character Roles" section for more) So Jack bums around town for a while. He gets a letter from Anne but doesn't open it. One day in February he sees Sugar-Boy in the library. They talk and Jack asks Sugar-Boy what he would do if he knew that somebody had put Adam up to killing Willie. Sugar-Boy says he would kill that person. Jack tells him he'd be hanged for murder. But Sugar-Boy says he doesn't care. The Boss was everything to him. He presses Jack for the name, but Jack says he was just kidding. Hurt, Sugar-Boy tells Jack not to play with him that way. They talk for a bit longer and then part. Jack continues in his fog until May. Then he goes out to visit Lucy at her sister's farm. She feeds him devil's food cake and iced-tea. They are quiet for some time, and then she asks Jack if he knows that Tom died. He says he knows. Tom had died of pneumonia (just as Adam predicted) in February. Tom's death was in the papers, and Jack had read about it. But couldn't stomach another funeral, and couldn't think of the right words to put in a letter to Lucy. Lucy tells Jack that she didn't think she could live with all the grief, but that God gave her something to make the pain bearable. Jack feels uncomfortable and is about to make a getaway but Lucy asks him to follow her. She shows him a baby in a crib – "Tom's baby," she says. Jack thinks it's a cute, good looking baby boy, and he hold it. Lucy says she's going to name it Willie Stark, "because Willie was a great man." She says she has to believe it. Jack takes off, and he too comes to believe that Willie was great. He too has to believe it. That summer Jack goes back to Burden's Landing because his mother asks him to see her. She tells Jack she's leaving the "Young Executive." When Jack expresses surprise, she says she had hoped he would understand that she's doing it because she loved the Judge. She breaks down, saying that "everything has always been a mess." The next day Jack drives his mother to the train station so she can go to Reno. She's letting the Young Executive have the house because he loves it, and because she feels bad for him. He didn't do anything to deserve all this pain. She says she doesn't have much money left, but enough to be comfortable on, and she isn't worried about Jack, because he has Irwin's house. Before she gets on the train she asks Jack if he had anything to do with the Judge's killing himself. He says he didn't, claiming that when he last saw the Judge, the Judge expressed worries over his poor health. When asked if this is true, Jack swears to God. This seems to relieve her. Jack feels like he's given his mother this "lie" as a "present." He gave his mother the gift of a lie, and she gave him a gift of the truth. Now that he knows who his real father is, and now that he knows his mother loved his real father, he isn't ashamed of his past anymore. That night he moves in to Judge Irwin's house, his house now. Then he goes to visit Anne, who opens the door and lets him in. He tells her about Judge Irwin and his mother, and then goes home. Jack tells us that the story of Willie is over now. He also says he's given you, the reader, the Great Twitch. He tells us that he and Anne are married now, and that the "Scholarly Attorney" lives with them, but is ill and fading fast. He plans to spend time writing a book on Cass Mastern and then to leave Burden's Landing with Anne, perhaps to return later.
People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...