Chapter III — Part VI

February 19, 2016

Getting, one supposes, to the bottom of things, Ms. Rand brings us back to Eddie Willers. Like Dagny, he prefers those places and things that feel like they are part of the railroad to any kind of executive trappings. As such, you can find him taking his dinner in the basement cafeteria; a place that shines in white light, glass and chromium…a poetic inverse to the dingy penthouse bar where Jim took his liquored lunch.

Eddie has a friend there, of sorts, though he knows neither his name nor what he actually does at the railroad other than ask questions about Dagny. Eddie likes his face and his interest in the company. This is enough for Eddie to make him his most trusted confidant.

Eddie talks about Dagny, her greatness, and how it’s impossible to get in earlier than she does even if Eddie does sometimes manage to stay later…how she’ll save the company by prioritizing repair of the Rio Norte line. Eddie, he’s a simply guy who reckons he’ll just go down with the rail…not that he can really fathom the company ever actually going under. They talk about the unreported number of accidents, including a head-on collision, as well as how they’ve been waiting more than two years for new locomotives.

Motive power – you can’t imagine how important that is. That’s the heart of everything…What are you smiling at?”

Eddie reveals to this man the name of the one competent contractor left, McNamara, who finished the San Sebastian and who will lay the Rio Norte tracks. He also shares that all Dagny does at night is listen to Richard Halley records; that they are the only thing she loves, other than the train…

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