It's a slow news day at the Tribune, with no real good stories for the front page. During the editors' meeting a tremor shakes the building. Lou is slightly disturbed by this, the other go on with their business as if nothing happened. Still, Lou sends Rossi to Palmdale, the epicenter of the tremor.
The events of the day take a complete turn when Lou is told that Duncan Aldridge, one of the Trib's veteran reporters, died of a heart attack in a hotel. As he can't contact Mrs Aldridge, Lou goes to the hotel. There he meets Duncan's mistress, who was with Duncan as he died. Lou tries to get her out before Gloria Aldridge arrives, but he fails. The two women see each other, though Lou claims the strange woman is the coroner. He drives Mrs Aldridge home and gets another unpleasant task: Mrs Aldridge asks him to inform their fifteen-year old son Roger about his father's death.
In Palmdale Rossi meets Dr Tamura who claims that his cockroaches can sense impending earthquakes. He can even prove that he predicted the recent tremor: he sent himself and newspapers a registered letter. He gives a clear date for the next aftershock.
In Los Angeles finds himself organizing Duncan's funeral and clearing out the reporter's desk. Gloria asks him to speak at the funeral, which turns into a bit of a disaster as he keeps accidentally referring to Duncan's affair. Luckily, the embarrassing speech is interrupted by the aftershock Dr Tamura predicted. The press returns to Palmdale to interview the scientist who now predicts a big shock (6.7 on the Richter Scale) on November 30 at 5pm.
Lou's life is getting seriously complicated as Gloria keeps asking him to fix things for her. When Roger runs away from home (after hearing about his father's affair) it's Lou who has to get him back from the bus station. Gloria then announces that she wants to return to work at the Tribune, where she met her husband all those years ago. Lou's not very enthusiastic about that prospect.
On November 30, at 5pm, nothing happens. No earthquake. Dr Tamura is so disappointed with his cockroaches that he destroys them: he steps on them. Mrs. Pynchon has a talk with Lou about Gloria. She tells him that she did something similar after her husband's death, and suggests that Lou would just speak his mind. The next time Gloria drops by, Lou asks her to stop depending so much on him.