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Barron's Booknotes-All The King's Men by Robert Penn Warren-Free Summary
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SECTION THREE: THE ANSWER

From Adam, Jack learns that the Judge needed money in 1913 or 1914. The information gives him the direction he needs to break open the "Case of the Upright Judge."

Back in the capital, Jack finds Tiny Duffy pondering the Boss's decision to allocate $6 million for a hospital. Tiny wants the Boss to give the building contract to Gummy Larson, who is one of MacMurfee's friends, but who could easily be bought. Tiny figures that by tying Willie up with Larson, Larson will substantially reward Tiny.

Then Jack gets a call from Anne. She has discovered that the Judge solved his financial problems by marrying a wealthy woman. Anne and Jack are both happy about her discovery. He really wants to prove that the Judge is a scandal-free man. But to prove it, he must follow up on all clues.

His wheels start spinning. If the Judge was broke, then he had to borrow money. To borrow money takes collateral. As collateral the Judge could use his home in Burden's Landing and a plantation he owned up river. If he needed a lot of money, he could mortgage the plantation.

Jack goes to the courthouse in the county where the plantation is located. He discovers that the plantation had indeed been mortgaged and that foreclosure proceedings had been started. But in 1914 the mortgage was paid in full. Of course, the rich wife could have paid it. But was she really wealthy?

Jack travels to Savannah to check into the background of the woman whom the Judge had married. From all indications she had been very rich. Unfortunately, she had spent all her money before Judge Irwin married her.


Jack's dogged research finally proves successful. He discovers that when Judge Irwin was state attorney general under Governor Stanton, he had accepted a bribe for dismissing a suit against an oil company that owed the state over $150,000 in back royalties.

After accepting the bribe, the Judge resigned as attorney general and took a job with a company that had interests in the oil company. A man named Littlepaugh had been fired to make room for the Judge. When Littlepaugh went to Governor Stanton about the matter, Stanton refused to listen, Finally, Littlepaugh wrote a letter to his sister about the situation and then jumped off his fifth-floor balcony. Thus, not only was Judge Irwin indirectly responsible for Littlepaugh's death, but so was Governor Stanton.

Jack ends this segment of the "Case of the Upright Judge" by saying that "all times are one time, and all those dead in the past never lived before our definitions gave them life." Thus, a conviction that has been lying dormant in Jack since the Cass Mastern case has come to light: The present defines the past.

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Barron's Booknotes-All The King's Men by Robert Penn Warren-Free Summary
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