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Bjornstam marries Bea Sorenson. Though Carol persuades all her friends to attend Bjornstam 's wedding none of them do it. Though Jackson Elder promises Bjornstam that he will attend the wedding he does not do so. The Kennicotts, Guy Pollock, and the Perry's are the only people who attend the wedding. Bjornstam takes up a job as an engineer in the planning mill. His ambition is to see Bea acquire status equal to that of Carol and Mrs. Elder. Juanita and the others laugh at Carol for letting such a good maid like Bea to go away. But Carol manages to get another maid called Oscarina, who loves Carol as her own daughter.
Ole Jenson, who is the mayor, appoints Carol as a member of the library board. Dr. Westlake, Lym Cass, Julius Flickerbaugh and Guy Pollock are the other members. Carol who goes to the first meeting to educate them feels humble when she discovers how learned they are. Lym Cass has read historians like Gibbon, and Hume, and has through knowledge. Dr. Westlake quotes from Paradiso, Donquixote, Wilhelm Meister and the Koran. Carol feels quite diffident in their presence. But after a few meetings she realizes that they had no idea about how to make the library more useful to the whole town. The library did not have enough books. Nor did it have enough funds. She makes a list of twenty books and submits it to the board along with the proposal that each member should contribute fifteen dollars to buy the books. The members reject the proposal on the grounds that it would set bad precedent. They grill Miss. Villets about the shortage of the seventeen cents in the account. Carol gives up all hopes of improving the library.
The war starts in Europe but the people of Gopher Prairie do not take it seriously. Kennicott finds it boring to discuss the war though Carol wants to discuss it. Only Bjornstam agrees with Carol that the Germans should not be allowed to advance. He feels sad that none of the matrons called on Bea. But their life is quite comfortable and they are very happy.