Last Updated on March 16, 2020, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 1224
Carl Ebling is disappointed to see nothing in the news about the bomb scare. There is far more coverage about a party thrown for Salvador Dalí. The premier Dalí dealer in the world, Longman Harkoo, is the host of the party. Harkoo happens to be a friend of George Deasey’s.
As George travels downton in a cab with Sammy and Joe, he complains about Harkoo and his obsession with Olmec Heads. They arrive at Harkoo’s house, and Joe feels odd about the fact that they are attending a party with George. The boys are both worried that they are behind on their work, but George tells them all they need is a drink.
George introduces Joe and Sammy to Harkoo, whose real name is Siegfried Saks. Harkoo is very flamboyantly dressed; he apologizes for the noise of Dalí’s breathing apparatus. Harkoo asks Joe to photograph him, something which he asks thousands of people to do as a project of his own. He then takes the artists around the party, introducing them to the many other artists assembled. One woman, Loren MacIver, is a fan of The Escapist. As the boys are circulating through the party, they spot a very pretty young woman at the end of the hall. When she turns to meet Joe’s eyes, he realizes that it is Rosa Saks.
Rosa asks Joe whether they have met before. Joe denies it, saying he would certainly remember her if so. Rosa smiles, flattered, and Harkoo suggests that he and Sammy should leave Rosa and Joe alone.
Joe offers Rosa a drink. He tells her that he is a Czech Jew and has been in the US for a year, while his family remains at home. Rosa tells him not to despair, and that the Americans will enter the war.
Then a woman screams, and a man calls out, “He’s drowning!”
Dalí is on his back on the floor of the ballroom, unable to escape the “diving suit” of his breathing apparatus. He clearly cannot breathe. Harkoo pushes through the crowd and tries to unfasten the helmet but cannot. Joe then tries, using the screwdriver blade of his knife, and succeeds.
Dalí, in French, tells Joe he has saved a life of great value. Harkoo is delighted, and Joe is hugged and applauded as a hero. Rosa Saks is very impressed but tells Joe she now remembers who he is. She asks him if he’d like to see her paintings upstairs in her studio. Joe wants to but hesitates when he hears someone at the party speaking German. He forces himself to ignore it, and he tells Rosa he would love to see her work.
The studio is also Rosa’s bedroom. She puts on a Schubert record and notices that Joe’s finger has come out of joint. Telling him she once wanted to be a nurse in the Spanish Civil War, she resets the joint. She says she was both disappointed and relieved to be unable to go to war.
Rosa shows him one of her “dreambooks,” which depicts a dream she once had about the end of the world. It is full of pictures, pasted-in cuttings, and marginalia. She says she has made multiple dreambooks and asks what Joe does, allowing him the opportunity to describe his process.
Rosa eventually kisses Joe, and shortly thereafter Sammy enters. He apologises for interrupting but says he wants to leave. He has witnessed two men kissing in the kitchen and is confused by it. He leaves Joe in the bedroom with Rosa,...
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both glad for him and jealous. He rummages for his coat and leaves but then changes his mind and returns to the house.
Rosa asks Joe whether Sammy is “a fairy.” Joe doesn’t know the answer. He kisses Rosa again, but Rosa tells him she is worried about Sammy and that Joe should go after him. She gives him her number as well as her work number at the Transatlantic Rescue Agency (TRA). Joe asks if he might visit her there the next day.
Hermann Hoffman at the TRA tells Joe he has only one ship, the Ark of Miriam, and that arranging passage is expensive. Rosa tells him that Joe has money, but Hoffmann points out that a child would need to give up his place for Thomas.
Joe suggests he might pay for several children alongside his brother. He explains that he works at Empire Comics and that he studied with Kornblum. Hoffmann is intrigued and asks Joe to perform a magic trick, which he does.
Hoffmann then agrees to try to arrange passage for Thomas if Joe will finance two other children’s passages and also perform at Hoffmann’s son’s bar mitzvah.
Joe leaves in a good mood, having secured a date with Rosa and possible passage for Thomas. He passes a group of people admiring a luna moth and thinks it signifies hope.
Judy Dark, a librarian, is the last to leave the Empire City Public Library, where she guards the mystical Book of Lo. Officer O’Hara is supposed to provide security, but tonight he has been knocked out by three thieves who remove the book from its case and put it in a sack. Miss Dark manages to wrestle it back from them. She tries to shoot at them, but the bullet ricochets back and strikes her. They leave her for dead, but she has summoned a strange magic: she now grows moth’s wings, and the Cimmerian moth goddess, Lo, possesses her, explaining that she needs a new Mistress of the Night. Now Judy will only have to imagine things to make them happen.
Judy turns the first thief into a mouse and incinerates the second. The third flees.
George objects to Judy Dark's “Luna Moth” costume, which he declares “pornography.” He also thinks calling her “Mistress of the Night” is a poor idea, but Joe and Sammy convince George that it will sell. He calls in Anapol.
They ask Anapol to agree that this character will be half theirs, and they ask for raises. Anapol has been worrying about cutting Sammy out of the radio money, although his wife argued that Sammy is not entitled to it. Now, he tells Sammy that they will receive payments for any radio productions of The Escapist, but he argues that Sammy and Joe cannot have 50% of Luna Moth, as they made her up on his payroll. He offers five percent between them, alongside the radio royalty and a raise, provided there are no more Nazis in the storylines. Joe and Sammy say they cannot agree to this condition. Joe wants the money but believes he cannot stop fighting now.
However, before they go back to tell Anapol this, George shows them a cease-and-desist letter that he and Anapol have received claiming that their comics are copyright infringements of Superman. He says that Sammy may be deposed as a witness. Sammy says he will perjure himself by concealing the fact that Anapol asked for a Superman of his own.