Chapters 28-29 Summary

The spirits of Foster and Digby argue over the direction Mike Smith is taking. They watch as Patty tries to lead them into Fosterism. Foster is impressed with his protégé, Patty, though he notices that she is getting older. He is disturbed by her belief in the Man from Mars as the Archangel Michael in human form. He is not sure whether he is or not, but he chides Digby for being preoccupied with him, especially since Mike gave him the slip during his visit to Digby’s church during the latter’s lifetime. Foster sends Digby on a mission as a Guardian-in-Training.

As Patty leaves, Jill and Mike talk about the symbolism of tattoos. Mike announces that they are ready to leave, but Jill wishes that they could take Patty with them. Mike asks Jill to marry him, but Jill says that it would not change anything; moreover, it might shut out the other women in Mike’s life. She does ask him to call her pet names.

They go to Las Vegas, where Jill works as a show girl, and Mike plays the games. When he wins money at each of the casinos, he goes to work as a croupier and studies people, trying to “grok” why they like to gamble. Jill explains homosexuality to Mike, but he does not understand it. Jill tells him how to handle passes from men, knowing that with his androgynous beauty he would attract such. She thinks that Mike would feel a “wrongness” about homosexuals if he ever came across them. As a show girl, Jill enjoys being looked at by men and tries to understand this. Mike asks her if she would have sex with Duke as a water brother. She thinks about this, since Mike has sex with women whom he considers water brothers. Mike believes in free love among water brothers, and so has no jealousy. During a show, Mike gives her visions of how each man in the audience responds to her. They go to other shows together, and Jill sees women through Mike’s eyes.

Mike and Jill move to San Francisco, where Mike reads voraciously in the flat they have rented. He focuses on religious texts and tells Jill that on Mars there is no faith, only certainty. Mike wonders why there are no Old Ones on Earth, since they were the source of spiritual knowledge on Mars. They visit the zoo and notice the humanness of all the animals. Mike bursts into uncontrollable laughter, finally “grokking” people.