The Fountainhead Part 4, Chapter 7
Keating has known for a long time that his firm was going under; the March of the Centuries was a failure, and although most of the other architects involved in it were not affected, Keaton & Dumont was losing money quickly, especially because of the Depression. Toohey was mentioning only Gus Webb in his column favorably - he had called Keating "old-fashioned." His mother comes to live with him again, and suggests that he marry Catherine Halsey; he brushes the comment aside. Several times a month he goes to a shack in the mountains to paint, without telling anyone where he is going. Dumont suggests that the building trade is going to the government and that they should get in on it by building post offices and other government buildings, like Gordon Prescott. There is a housing project, Cortlandt Homes, for which the architect is unofficially being chosen by Toohey; Keating agrees to see Toohey and ask him for the commission.
Keating finds Toohey relaxing in pajamas. Toohey tells him that he has gotten fatter; Keating hints that he hasn't changed since he made the Cosmo-Slotnik building. Toohey guesses that Peter is there to discuss Cortlandt Homes, and turns the discussion to Stoneridge and Wynand. This prompts Peter to ask why Toohey has dropped him from his column. Toohey explains that he promoted Keating for the purpose of leaving the profession free for the future Gus Webbs; he wanted to keep it out of the hands of people, like Howard Roark, who would become irreplaceable. Peter points out that Roark is successful, and Toohey tells him that he has missed the point, that he does not deal with specific people, only principles. He says that you can spend your time picking out every single weed, or you can cultivate soil that will be beneficial for certain plants and deadly for weeds or whatever other plants you wish to eliminate. Keating asks Ellsworth to give him the Cortlandt commission because he needs it so badly; Ellsworth replies that if he can build homes that are economical enough, then the job is his.
Keating works throughout the next day and night on the Cortlandt project, and failing to do what he needs to do, he calls Roark. Although he hopes that Roark will not see him, he is given an appointment for the next afternoon.