Newspaper magnate Gail Wynand is contemplating a new real estate venture called Stoneridge. Toohey recommends Keating as the architect for Stoneridge. When Wynand is skeptical, Toohey tells Wynand he should meet Dominique Keating before deciding. Toohey also tells Wynand he has a present that will convince Wynand. Later that evening, Wynand digs into his past to find a memory that will convince him to live.
Wynand grew up in the gang-infested Hell’s Kitchen section of Manhattan. He had no use for the neighborhood schools and began working as a boy at a local paper called the Gazette. When the Gazette tried to frame an honest man, Wynand turned to one of his journalistic idols for help. When his idol refused to help, Wynand began to feel contempt for men of integrity. A few years later, Wynand seized control of a local paper from a political gang. He renamed the paper the Banner. In its first big campaign, the paper tried to solicit money from its readers on behalf of two people: a brilliant young scientist and the pregnant girlfriend of an executed murderer. The donations for the pregnant girl overwhelmed the donations for the scientist, which indicated to Wynand what the paper should cover if he wanted it to be popular. At the age of thirty-five, Wynand owned papers across the United States.
Wynand now keeps a secret art gallery filled with masterpieces. After his meeting with Toohey, Wynand finds a large crate waiting for him. He opens it and finds Mallory’s statue of Dominique inside. Wynand calls Toohey and agrees to meet Dominique.
One evening, Keating and Dominique talk. Keating observes that there is no real Dominique anymore and wonders aloud what has hap-pened to her soul. Dominique replies by asking about Keating’s soul, observing that Keating himself has no opinions of his own. Keating is about to agree when a phone call from Toohey interrupts him. Toohey says Wynand wishes to meet with Dominique to discuss Stoneridge.
When they meet, Dominique and Wynand connect instantly. Dominique, who is just as beautiful as her statue, impresses Wynand. She offers to sleep with Wynand if he will give the Stoneridge contract to Keating, but Wynand correctly guesses that Dominique only makes this offer because the thought of sleeping with him repulses her. Wynand’s insight surprises Dominique. Later, Wynand meets Keating and Dominique at an elegant restaurant. Wynand tells Keating that he will give him Stoneridge in exchange for Dominique. A week later, Wynand takes Dominique to see his art collection.
Wynand and Dominique go for a long cruise on Wynand’s yacht, the I Do. Wynand tells Dominique that when he was a child people had always told him he didn’t run things, and the yacht’s name is meant to contradict those people. The cruise is peaceful and comfortable. Wynand tells Dominique he is in love with her and asks her to marry him. His proposal shocks Dominique. She begins to question all of her assumptions about Wynand. When Dominique remembers the Stoddard Temple and the Banner’s campaign against Roark, she agrees to marry Wynand.