Chapter 7 Summary
Rupert Boyce is throwing a house party at his home in the midst of the African jungle. George and Jean, along with about thirty guests, arrive at the Boyce home in air cars. Jean thinks that Rupert’s house is ugly, but George points out that the view from the ground may be better. They are greeted by a holographic projection of Rupert, who takes their orders for drinks and urges them to hurry and join the party inside. Jean and George speculate on the holographic device and how Rupert was able to obtain Overlord machinery.
They are greeted by Maia, the current Mrs. Boyce. She is stunningly beautiful mixed race woman, to whom George is immediately attracted. Irritated by George’s infatuation with Maia, Jean drags him away, telling him she would like to explore the house. They find their way to the library, where Rupert has a huge collect of books on magic, psychic phenomena, and paraphysics. They are startled to see one of the alien Overlords sitting on the floor, absorbed in a book. He introduces himself as Rashaverak. He is fascinated by the human psychology that he finds in the volumes that make up Rupert’s personal library. The three of them rejoin the party, with Rashaverak towering over everyone. When he finally sits, the room seems to be less claustrophobic.
Rupert explains that his new job is as a "superveterinarian." With the aid of the holographic device, he is able to travel over the jungle and treat the large animals, such as lions and elephants, without having to journey from his home. Rupert stuns George and Jean by referring to Rashaverak by the informal name of “Rashy.” They wonder how long Rupert’s new wife will stick around. Benny Shoenberger, one of George’s oldest friends, explains that he introduced her to Rupert. He says that she is a very nice person and so will probably be good for Rupert. They discuss how Rupert made the acquaintance of an Overlord, since they do not usually interact with ordinary citizens. George wants to talk to Rupert alone, but the crowd prevents it. He decides to go up on the roof for some fresh air. There is a young man there, who introduces himself as Maia’s brother, Jan Rodricks. After some casual conversation, George gets the impression that Jan would like to be alone, so he retreats back downstairs. When George leaves, Jan feels very much alone, which is what he wants. He also feels very frustrated, which he does not.