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Atlas Shrugged

Atlas Shrugged

by Ayn Rand

Atlas Shrugged Volume 3, Chapter 6 Summary

The Concerto of Deliverance

  • It's October and the Union of Rearden Steel workers has demanded a raise in wages.
  • Trouble is brewing at the mills now.
  • Hank gets a notice that his assets are frozen because of some income tax discrepancy three years ago. Hank's attorney is furious, but Hank says to not do anything.
  • Then he gets a call from Washington apologizing about the mix-up but saying it will take a few days to clear it up. Seems like they are sending him a warning.
  • Then Hank is called to a meeting in Washington by a guy named Tinky Holloway. We're hoping that's a nickname because...really.
  • Tinky hangs up and talks with Claude Slagenhop. They're worried Hank won't go along with their latest scheme. We learn that Philip Rearden is working with them.
  • It's November 4. Hank's mom begs him to come to the house – it's an emergency.
  • Hank shows up to find his mom, Philip, and Lillian there. Just like old times.
  • The emergency is that the family has no money, since their assets are still frozen.
  • All of them beg Hank to show them some compassion. Finally Mama Rearden lets it slip that they're worried Hank will up and disappear like the other industrialists and leave them up a creek without a paddle.
  • Hank says that if they really cared about him they would tell him to run for it rather than have him stay and risk getting tossed in jail or something by the looters.
  • Lillian then loses it and rants at Hank about how horrible he is and tells him that she slept with James Taggart before the divorce. Hank doesn't really care.
  • Lillian seems to deflate and Hank leaves for Washington.
  • Ferris, Lawson, James, Tinky Holloway, and Mouch are all there. This is even worse than Dagny's dinner party.
  • The looters do their usual song and dance routine, and Hank tells them to get to the point already.
  • Here's the deal: they want to pass a Steel Unification Plan. Sounds like a winner. They explain it all, and since Hank can actually do math, he tells them that under this plan he'll produce twice as much steel as Orren Boyle but will get paid less for what he produces, since some of his earnings will go to keep Orren afloat.
  • Hank then speechifies about how the looters are illogical and how their values are destructive.
  • Hank realizes that they won't do anything like shoot him because his fellow victims are all on strike and they really need him right now.
  • He realizes then that these idiots think he's a miracle worker and can somehow save them and spare them having to actually do anything for themselves or rethink their ideals.
  • So Hank walks out.
  • He sees a fire when he nears the mills, but before he gets there, he swerves off the road to avoid hitting a person lying there.
  • It's the Wet Nurse and he's been shot. There's a riot at the mills, staged by Washington as a way to get the Steel Unification Plan passed. The Wet Nurse saw what was going on and tried to warn Hank, but some goons at the mills shot him and tossed him in a ditch.
  • Hank calls the Wet Nurse by his name for the first time: Tony.
  • He tells Tony he did great and to hang on while they get him some help.
  • But Tony dies soon after.
  • Hank is furious on Tony's behalf and hates society for churning out kids who haven't been taught to think, who are only given meaningless phrases and ideology instead of good tools to live by.
  • When Hank gets to the mills he's attacked and is hit in the head.
  • The next thing he knows, he's in his office with a bandage on his head. A doctor says he'll be OK.
  • Hank's superintendent tells him it's all under control and that the new foreman shot the thugs and saved Hank.
  • Hank asks to see the foreman. Francisco walks in.
  • They have a bonding moment, and Hank apologizes to Francisco. Francisco says there's no need and asks if Hank's ready to hear the rest of what he's wanted to tell him.
  • Hank says yes and they talk in his office as the sun comes up.

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