Chapters 24-25 Summary
On the way home from the Fosterite service, Jubal asks Smith what Bishop Digby said. Smith tells him he wants to think about it before he responds. Jubal can see that Smith is truly disturbed by what he experienced. He and Jill talk about religion in general, and how it would be seen from a Martian’s point of view. Jubal criticizes organized religion in general. He points out how many “righteous” men in the Old Testament did horrible things but were still considered righteous. The Koran as well has been used as validation for human discrimination. Dr. Mahmoud is concerned over their letting Smith be alone with Digby, but Jubal justifies the choice that Smith has to face life on Earth and decide how to deal with it.
Smith goes to his room and withdraws to meditate over his experience. He knows Jill does not like him to do this in public and during the day, but he feels that this is necessary in order to make sense of all of this. He wakes up at midnight feeling relieved. He decides to look for companionship and runs into Jill. He kisses her and she guides him into making love.
On Mars, the humans are building pressurized domes with the help of the Martians. They are figuring out a way to release oxygen trapped in the Martian sands to make the planet more habitable for humans in the future. On Earth, plants are becoming an obsession. The Fosterite church announces that Bishop Digby will be translated up to heaven and be made an archangel “equal-but-after” Foster. Digby is not happy about this, blaming the Man from Mars. When Digby disappears, Jubal also blames the Man from Mars, but for a different reason stemming from Smith’s unsettled mood when he came back from the Fosterite service.
Jubal notices that Smith now seems to be more self-confident, almost cocky. It seems that the Man from Mars has decided to join the human race, Jubal feels. From the beginning, Jubal had told Smith that he should go out and see the world once he felt able. One morning at breakfast, Smith announces that he is leaving. He tells Jubal that he must decide who will go with him. Jubal knows that the choice has already been made, so he tells Smith that Jill may go with him. Smith agrees, and he and Jill leave almost at once.