Study Guide

Atlas Shrugged Volume 3, Chapter 10

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Volume 3, Chapter 10

In the Name of the Best Within Us

  • This chapter title is a reference way back to the first chapter, when Eddie recalls a childhood scene with Dagny. He'll say this line again later in the chapter.
  • Dagny waltzes up to Project F's door and demands to be let in.
  • The guard is like, go away crazy lady.
  • Dagny says she's there on Mr. Thompson's order.
  • The guard still says no.
  • Dagny pulls out a gun.
  • The guard says, I'm listening. Actually, the guard panics and says he has orders from Dr. Ferris, who is scary. But Dagny has a gun and is also scary. It's a dilemma.
  • Dagny tells him to make a choice now.
  • He says he can't.
  • Dagny counts to three. Still no choosing. So she shoots him.
  • She picks the keys off the body and opens the door.
  • Francisco, Ragnar, and Hank pop out and follow her inside. Talk about the A Team in action.
  • Francisco gets some people to show him where the other guards are and to give him the necessary keys.
  • Ragnar, Hank, and Dagny come in to tie everyone up. The guards are freaked out, by Dagny especially. One of them hilariously wonders what a lady is doing with this highway gang.
  • Hank goes up to the main lab where everyone else is and tells them to let him see the prisoner.
  • Then Francisco, Ragnar, and Dagny dramatically appear in all the other doorways and everyone panics.
  • One of the guards shoots and hits Hank in the arm. He's fine, though, nothing life-threatening.
  • The group quickly subdues everyone.
  • The rescuers then burst in to the cellar to free John.
  • He's shaky but OK.
  • Everyone's happy to be reunited and Ragnar destroys the generator before they leave.
  • They get John his clothes and the group heads out to Francisco's plane.
  • They all take off.
  • Galt learns that practically everyone in Atlantis came out to serve as a second-wave rescue mission in case the first one didn't work.
  • As they are flying back to Atlantis, New York City blacks out.
  • The three longtime friends share a moment – their quest is over.
  • Dagny and John have a little moment too.
  • Then Galt gets on the radio and talks to a relieved Dr. Akston.
  • Scene cut.
  • Eddie Willers is riding back east on the Comet. He managed to get the trains moving out of California after a horrible couple of days in the middle of a war zone.
  • But then the Comet stops.
  • No one can figure out what's wrong.
  • Eddie panics and feels a desperate need to keep the train moving.
  • They call for help but no one answers and they are stranded in the middle of nowhere.
  • Then a covered wagon train pulls up. It's the Oregon Trail!
  • Actually it's scary: these people are refugees from California and they're taking the only means of transportation available in search of a new place to live.
  • They tell everyone what happened to the Taggart bridge and Eddie realizes that he'll never get back home to New York now. He's devastated.
  • The wagon train people offer to give the shocked Comet passengers a ride, and some of them climb on board.
  • Eddie refuses to leave, though. He stays alone and tries to fix the Comet, but it's hopeless.
  • Eddie realizes now what the railroad always meant to Dagny and that their world was the "best within them" – it's what he was searching for in his youth.
  • Eddie falls to the ground, sobbing in the dark next to the train.
  • Scene cut.
  • Back in Atlantis everyone is spending a peaceful night, making plans for their return to the real world.
  • Halley is playing the piano. Mulligan is making plans for new banks. Kay and Ragnar are chilling at home quietly; Ragnar is reading Aristotle. Judge Narragansett is editing the U.S. Constitution to include free trade rights. Hank, Ellis, and Francisco are at Francisco's house making business plans. Francisco laughs in glee when they mention what Dagny will be working on, since he's so happy she's with them. And Dagny and John are standing outside watching the stars together.
  • Galt traces a dollar sign in the sky.
  • The end.

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