“Seeing the elephant” (or “I’ve seen the elephant”) means “now I’ve seen everything” or “now I’ve seen it all.” Civil War soldiers used the term to mean they had been in a battle. Maggie and her family have seen the elephant, too. Scarred from their experience in Gettysburg, they finally return to the safety of Blaineton, New Jersey only to face a new elephant - their hometown is not the same. An insane asylum has opened on a hill north of town and Maggie’s daughter Frankie finds employment there, much to her mother's trepidation. To Blaineton’s south, a woolen mill and army uniform factory are doing a booming business. And then there’s Josiah Norton, a wealthy industrialist out to change the face and tenor of their little town. His activities raise the curiosity of Eli Smith, the new Editor-in-Chief of the Blaineton Register. Looks like trouble is afoot once again.