Hightower sits by the window of his study as afternoon light begins to fade.
Hightower contemplates his life, focusing first on his grandfather. His grandfather was a lawyer who owned slaves, and didn't agree with Hightower's abolitionist views. Hightower was an outcast even in his own family.
Hightower's father was in the Civil War but he never fired his weapon; he trained himself to be a doctor instead.
Hightower's grandfather was killed in Jefferson while trying to steal chickens. Hightower remembers being obsessed with his grandfather's Confederate uniform.
Hightower describes himself as being surrounded by phantoms – the ghosts of his father, his grandfather, and one of his grandfather's female slaves.
Hightower remembers his marriage, and takes responsibility for ignoring his wife and for being a selfish minister and a selfish husband.
Hightower sees a wheel of faces containing all the townspeople of Jefferson. He also hears trumpets and the hooves of horses belonging to his grandfather's cavalry.