Chapters 5-8 Summary
Jill cannot fathom the fact that Valentine Michael Smith is the sole owner of Mars. Ben Caxton gives her a recording device to attach to the wall outside of Smith’s room. She does so and manages to record a couple of days’ worth of conversations. She returns it to Ben, who silently lets her know that his apartment might be bugged. He hands her his newspaper article, which accuses the government of holding Smith as a political prisoner. He also gives her the transcript of the recorded conversations, which are between Smith and the Secretary General. When the Secretary General tried to get Smith to sign away his rights to Mars, Smith went into one of his coma-like withdrawals. Going for a taxi ride, Ben and Jill discuss the possible ways that the government might get Smith’s vast fortune.
Ben takes Jill to a secluded restaurant with a table that has not been bugged. As they are eating, a news broadcast comes on showing Smith in a wheelchair. He is interviewed, but Jill says that it is not the real Smith. Ben eventually agrees with her, stating that the man in the interview the day before could not have made such an about-face; he would have gone into one of his withdrawals again. Ben plans to get in to see the real Smith with the help of a lawyer friend, Jubal Harshaw.
Ben manages to get in to see Smith, accompanied by a lawyer named Frisby and a Fair Witness called Cavendish. The doctors are reluctant to let Ben in, but they finally allow him to see the patient. The Man from Mars seems to answer Ben’s questions honestly, but when Ben asks him where he has seen girls (in response to the interview question about his opinion of Earth females), Smith goes into withdrawal. Ben leaves the hospital, taking a cab. The cab is evidently a plant of the government, because it takes Ben to a secluded courtyard, and he finds himself losing consciousness.
Jill begins to panic when she receives no word from Ben. She decides to get Smith out of the hospital. When she checks his room, the doctor asks her to sit with the old woman now there while he leaves for a few minutes. She finds that it is Smith who is hiding in the sitting room, not transferred out as the report had said. She dresses him in a nurse’s uniform and sneaks him out. They go to Ben’s apartment, where Jill cleans Smith up and dresses him in his own clothes. Two policemen arrive and break in, intending to arrest Jill. When he sees his “water brother” attacked, Smith makes the two men simply disappear. At Jill’s horror, Smith goes into withdrawal. Jill manages to get him into a large suitcase and wheels him out of the building.