The novel opens with Pluto Swint arriving at the Walden farm to announce that he is running for sheriff. Pluto mentions that an albino will be able to dowse for gold, and tells Ty Ty that an albino was spotted in the southern part of the county. Ty Ty, Buck, and Shaw drive off to kidnap the albino. Pluto and Darling Jill drive to the Thompson house in Scottsville, and spend the night there. The next morning, Will makes love to Darling Jill while Rosamund sleeps in the same bed next to them. Rosamund wakes, beats Darling Jill with a hair brush, and attempts to shoot Will. Will flees the house. Rosamund and Darling Jill reconcile; they both realize that Will (who is sexually promiscuous) will never love either of them, yet they cannot stop loving him.