"In the closing months of World War Two the fighting, far from the serenity of Waltons Mountain, was beginning to wind down. On the home front however, my father found himself in the vanguard of the battle for equality and freedom that was so long overdue in America".
John traces Harley Foster's original defence lawyer, now retired, and Harley's heroic war record comes to light. Eventually John manages to get to see President Roosevelt himself, who's last act before his death was to sign Harley's pardon.
"The train bearing the body of Franklin Delanor Roosevelt moved slowly from Warm Springs Georgia toward the nation's capital. Wherever it went the people who loved him gathered to mark its passing, remembering the man who led a nation out of its most crippling depression and toward victory in its greatest war, planting seeds of brotherhood along the way. When it passed through Charlottesville my family was there to pay their last respects".
"By the Spring of 1945 there were no young men left on Waltons Mountain, though with the Allied forces close to victory in Europe, hope grew that soon they'd be returning home. The cost of defending our freedoms ran high, and in our patriotic fervor we sometimes failed to realise that those freedoms were too often not evenly distributed".
John-Boy and Jason are both in France, Ben is in the Pacific, Jim Bob is in the airforce somewhere. At home, Verdie's husband Harley Foster, is accused of being an escaped prisoner who has killed a man. John discovers that Harley is indeed a runaway prisoner, 9 years ago, but was jailed by a biassed trial. He had killed in self-defense. However, the Sheriff's duty is to arrest him and send him back to jail.
John-Boy, working for "The Stars And Stripes" in Paris, comes across Jason's girl-friend Toni Hazelton and they both try to find out where Jason is in France.
Ike Godsey feels Corabeth is too much of a business woman and not enough of a wife, and tells her so. After reflecting on this, Corabeth "resigns" from the store and concentrates on looking after Ike, but after a time he yearns for things as they were, and they become "partners" in business again.
Drew hardly sees anything of Elizabeth as she's become pre-occupied with her horse Molly, until it bolts, falls and breaks its leg badly and has to be put down. Elizabeth and Drew together begin to raise Molly's colt.