Violette is forced to face an undeniable truth. Mark finds relief from the rigors of respectability. To spur his business, Mark returns to the one man who respects him least.
Deep in an Amazon, an unknown explorer is led by a young native through a rain forest. The explorer is brought to the base of a unique tree with a mysterious white sap seeping from it’s trunk. They marvel at the sight.
In NYC, while the Riley Baker murder trial holds the attention of most, Amelia helps Violette come to terms with her husband’s affair and his true sexual orientation. Violette does her best to maintain the image of a perfect marriage. She believes in duty.
In Elders, Mark’s business is stagnant. With the growth of the auto industry, car tires blow out with merciless regularity and he finds himself changing tires for motorists more than he’d like. He’s well aware of the rubber led fortunes being made in nearby Akron and knows he needs a gimmick, something special to spur his own profits.
While volunteering his time to coach a local baseball team further improves his reputation, he still requires some relief from the rigors of total respectability, which he finds on clandestine trips to Cleveland where he becomes a regular customer of Stella Ryan’s, the town’s leading brothel.
Violette entertains her social circle with a high class musical soiree they will never forget. Sydney’s a no-show at his own party leaving Violette to handle the task. She balances her music performance, hosting and social duties with all the poise she can summon. But it comes crashing down mid-performance when a bumbling drunk appears. It’s Sydney. Singing and stumbling in mud splattered clothes, he brings the room to a silent attention. With his lover Richard watching from the wings, Sydney leaves the room in shock. He denounces his guests in a verbal fit, aiming his vitriol especially at Violette.
As Sydney weaves an embarrassing exit, Violette finally accepts, the demon has won.
Mark has his own moment of clarity. A motorist watching Mark sweat while changing a tire makes a casual, somewhat irritable, observation: “Why don’t they change the damned rims instead of the tires?” To which Mark simply stares with the look of a man being offered the keys to the mint.
Mark immediately returns to a familiar house, stands before a familiar face, and makes a bold request. “Mr. Rothman, I need a hundred thousand dollars."