Chapters 26-27 Summary
Mike Smith and Jill join a carnival company, presenting themselves as a magician and his assistant. Smith now can use his powers to make things disappear on objects without his having sensed their “wrongness.” Among the company is Patty Paiwonski, the tattooed lady who is also a Fosterite. Mike and Jill are eventually let go, however, because Mike does not have showmanship.
Mike and Jill leave Jubal’s and are hounded when people recognize them. Eventually, Mike manages to change his physical appearance slightly by giving himself a more mature look. He has matured, not only in appearance but in his understanding of Earth and his place in it. They work in a diner for a while, where Mike washes dishes in his own unique way. He discoveres libraries and immerses himself in books, thinking that Jubal had owned a copy of all the books that ever existed. Mike and Jill talk about returning to Jubal’s for a visit, which they do occasionally.
Patty comes to say good-bye to Mike and Jill. She wants to convert them to the Fosterite service. Her tattoos show the entire life of Foster, so Mike and Jill invite her to strip down to show them. Foster had come out of the Christian tradition, stating that Jesus’ words were Truth but had been twisted during the Middle Ages. He has turned the faith back to “primitive Christianity,” adding a free response to sex that had been inhibited during early American religious life. Within the Foster church was an inner circle, where the eternally saved were hand-picked by Foster himself. Patty shows Mike and Jill a tattoo of a kiss that Foster’s lips had personally touched. She offers to tattoo lips on Mike and Jill if they ever decide to join the church. Patty is accepted as a water brother by Mike and Jill, and she makes love to Mike as a natural expression of their new relationship. Jill tells Patty that she and Mike will have to remain just seekers without joining the church. Mike shows his true powers to Patty, making her clothes disappear and levitating her. She sees him as a holy man, the personification of the Archangel Michael. She spends all night talking to Mike, with Jill’s full approval. She leaves the next morning, upset that they will now be separated, but Jill promises her that they will keep in touch with her, adding that Mike is rich if she ever needs money.