The next day, the Cold Storage tower starts smoking. Twenty firemen climb with a hose to a balcony at the top of the tower, creating a deadly trap. Burning debris falls between the inner smokestack and wooden housing, quickly igniting a fire inside the whole tower. The building below the men explodes. Two firemen catch the hose and slide down, but the remaining men know they will die and begin hugging and shaking hands. Some voluntarily jump into the flames.

A coroner’s inquest leads a jury to convict Burnham, Fire Marshal Murphy, and two construction officers with criminal negligence. However, they pay bail and the sheriff does not arrest them. Burnham’s charge surprises everyone and his construction superintendent, Dion Geraldine, backs him up. Nobody told Burnham about the first fire or the misconstruction of the tower.

Exposition directors order a Retrenchment Committee. Burnham worries this will ultimately cripple the Fair because they must approve every new expense, and they may not understand why some expenses are vital.

Summary: Chapter 41: Love

A large party of St. Louis schoolteachers wins a trip to the Fair, accompanied by reporter Theodore Dreiser. He develops romantic interest in the conservative and reserved Sara Osborne White. While unsuccessful at seducing her, the Fair entrances him. Long after they leave, Sara agrees to Dreiser’s marriage proposal. Dreiser’s friend warns him they are not a good match, but they marry anyway.

The Ferris wheel becomes a romantic attraction. The golden hour, between five and six in the evening, becomes the most popular.

Holmes meets Georgiana Yoke, a young woman with large blue eyes, at a department store. She feels sad for Holmes’ lack of family and admires his sophistication. He courts her with gifts and trips to the Fair. They get engaged on the condition that she call him Henry Howard, “after his uncle.”