Chapter 1 – Part II

January 21, 2016

We then meet the “Dear Sister” – Dagny Taggert. She has sexy legs and a mousy, boyish rest of her. She also has a tight facial structure unlike, apparently, every other fool whose “loose muscles evade the responsibility of a shape“…Every other fool, it seems, except for this kid conductor who is whistling a new symphony from a composer who no longer writes. It is such a Godsend to Dagny that she can hear the entire orchestration in her head as she dreams. The conductor tells her it’s Hally’s Fifth Symphony. Once he realizes that she knows who the musician is and that she’s aware that he only ever wrote four symphonies, he clams up. All of a sudden he knows nothing…

Dagny ain’t sleeping. She hasn’t slept in two nights and is going for the third, as well as another cigarette…soon…She then passes out.

And then the train stops…..

It’s all due to a bum light that’s been stuck on “Stop” for 90 minutes. No one’s doing squat. They’re just waiting. The Comet’s never been late before, though. Won’t someone make a decision? Let’s assume, given that the book was published in 1957, that there’s limited communication capability. They’re erring on the side of doing nothing…

Dagny appears on the scene and says, “Go.” Was that a wise decision? Do you suppose anyone checked the schedule? This train itself was supposed to pass through 2 hours ago…

But anyway, they go. In this fictional land, it’s the winning decision of the hero who then goes back to her humble passenger car. All involved are left to look warmly after their lone ranger.

Unlike her brother, she’s the kind of leader who cares not for the pomp of a special car when duty calls. She won’t even wait for a sleeper car. Passenger rail is fine. She needs to get home and fix that Rio Norte line…

To heck with Jim’s warnings not to even mention Rearden Steel. Dagny’s already ordered the damn line. The Rio Norte’s getting fixed, priority by priority. She intends to work her company out of this hole.

Dagny lays out her assessment and plan, while Eddie takes relieved notes. Jim remains noncommittal. Understanding his character is apparently more about what he doesn’t say than what he ever does. This trait is echoed in his apparent crony, Orren Boyle who, when asked about the rail he was supposed to deliver, “Talked for a half hour and said nothing.” Jim whines a bit and Dagny almost dares to suspect that he resents Rearden’s competence. He doesn’t cancel the line shipment.

Now…no one seems to like that new metal, but Dagny says she’s got an engineering degree and that the stuff’s legit. Who’s saying it sucks? Is her education sufficient to judge? Shouldn’t there be some expert she can trust? Not in this story…

Apparently, she’s our Rock Star…

But she’s challenged because she seems to stand alone. She tried to hire Owen Kellogg…one of the few worth-a-penny folks she’s seen in a while. She thinks he needs to ripen more, but he’s all the talent she can find. Unfortunately, he tells her he’s out. No good reason. He’s just gone…

Who is John Galt?



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