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Story by Theodore Dreiser
Cowperwood moves to Chicago with his new wife Aileen. He decides to take over the street-railway system. He bankrupts several opponents with the help of John J. McKenty and other political allies. Meanwhile, Chicago society finds out about his past in Philadelphia and the couple are no longer invited to dinner parties; after a while, the press turns on him too. Cowperwood is unfaithful many times. Aileen finds out about a certain Rita and beats her up. She gives up on him and has an affair with Polk Lynde, a man of privilege; she eventually loses faith in him. Meanwhile, Cowperwood meets young Berenice Fleming; by the end of the novel, he tells her he loves her and she accepts to live with him. However, the ending is bittersweet as Cowperwood has not managed to obtain the fifty-year franchise for his railway schemes that he wanted.