Chapters 1, 2 and 3
* The novel begins with a group of elderly African Americans, led by Reverend A.Z. Hickman, visiting Washington, D.C.
* The group is there to see Senator Adam Sunraider, who is Hickman's white adopted son. The senator, however, has become a vile racist who has denied his past and the group is not allowed to meet with him.
* Instead, the group goes to see the senator give a speech in the senate. While watching his speech, the group also witnesses the senator being mortally wounded by a gunman in the Visitor's Gallery.
* The group is taken in for questioning by the Justice Department. During questioning, however, word comes from the hospital that the senator is asking to see the reverend. Reverend Hickman leaves immediately for the hospital.
* The senator fights for his life in his hospital bed as he sees the vague outline of Reverend...
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