Atlas Shrugged Part 1, Chapter 9 Summary

Ayn Rand

Part 1, Chapter 9 Summary

Dagny and Rearden wake up in bed together after a night of violent sex. Rearden tells Dagny he has nothing but contempt for her for what they have done. He does not love her, but he needs her and that repels him. Dagny is at first shocked and then bursts out laughing. She tells him that she is more depraved than he is and is willing to be the object of his lust. She considers her greatest achievement is to have made love to Hank Rearden.

James Taggart accepts the praise of the Board of Directors, claiming credit for the success of the John Galt Line. On his way home he encounters a store clerk, Cherryl Brooks, who recognizes him from the morning newspapers. She gushes about how the papers say James was the guiding force behind the John Galt Line but kept it secret. James accepts this and invites Cherryl to go home with him. James expresses his contempt for Rearden, though Cherryl has an equally high opinion of that man. James thinks about taking Cherryl to bed but decides against it and walks her home. She tells him that any other man would have tried to seduce her. When James asks if she would have succumbed if he had tried, she gets embarrassed and leaves.

When Dagny and Rearden return to New York, they escape all the sudden publicity to Dagny’s apartment, where they make love. Rearden asks her what other men she has slept with. She refuses to answer other than to say there was only one, and she did indeed enjoy making love to him.

The John Galt Line is reabsorbed into Taggart Transcontinental. Dagny and Rearden talk of building a transcontinental rail line of Rearden Metal. Rearden asks Dagny if she still has the bracelet of Rearden Metal for which she traded a diamond bracelet with his wife. She still does have it, but she says it will rouse suspicion if she wears it. He asks her to wear it.

They go on vacation together and eventually wind up in Wisconsin. The countryside is destitute; the residents live in poverty. They visit an abandoned Twentieth Century Motor Company factory and discover a model of a motor that is designed to run off static electricity it draws from the air. Rearden and Dagny see this as a means to revolutionize all of industry. They take the model, intent on finding the inventor and putting it to work.