by: Sinclair Lewis

Chapters 13–15


Chapter 13

Gottlieb goes to the Hunziker Company in Pittsburgh and asks for a job. He says he will work for them part-time if he will be allowed free time for his own laboratory research. The Hunziker Company produces antitoxins and the like and was reputable, but Gottlieb had called its product, in the past, doubtful. Nevertheless, in desperation, he writes to the company, and the company informs him that they will be happy to give him a space in their laboratories without his having to work for them, with all of the materials he needed, provided that if he stumbles upon something they will be able to manufacture it. The company then puts out advertisements that Max Gottlieb is now working for them, and the word spreads. Martin is disappointed when he hears the news.

Gottlieb is well received and is given much space but after six months at the company he realizes that he was right about their doubtful product and remains cynical about it. Nevertheless, during his time there he stumbles upon an important scientific discovery (the production of antitoxin in a test tube). He reveals this discovery at a Hunziker dinner and is applauded. However, Dawson Hunziker, the head of the company, applies pressure on Gottlieb for a patent of his product. Gottlieb says that he needs more time to make sure that he is right in his discovery and that he also thinks the process should be available to all labs. Still, the pressure mounts unbearably.

Meanwhile, Gottlieb has trouble with his son, Robert, who seems the professor's antithesis, and Gottlieb's wife dies. It is at this point that Dr. A Dewitt Tubbs, the director of the McGurk Institute, upon having heard about his discovery, asks Gottlieb to join the Institute and work freely on his research within it. Gottlieb agrees since he has no contract with the Hunziker Company.

Chapter 14

Leora and Martin find themselves in Dakota under the strict hand of Leora's family and the stifling commands of Leora's brother, Bert, and her father. After having promised to financially help Martin begin his practice, the Tozers tell him they think Martin should set up his practice in their barn. Martin is appalled, and Leora threatens to leave. She tells her father that they are to be given one thousand dollars to do with what they will (and which they will repay), or they will leave. Leora wins the battle, and Martin begins to look for an office space.

Mr. Tozer has heard that the Norbloms are thinking of moving from their home above the general store, which is a prime location. Tozer, therefore, goes and asks about the place for his son-in-law. The Norbloms are uncertain and say they will give him an answer soon. Martin becomes impatient with the Norbloms and decides to look for another place and finds that Wise the Polack, is leaving town and will rent out his shack to him for fifteen dollars a month. Martin rents the shack, against the will and suggestions of Leora's family, given that they believe he owes a certain degree of loyalty and patience to the indecisive Norbloms.

Chapter 15

Now that Martin has his own practice, he begins to prepare it and orders furniture from Dr. Roscoe Geake's New Idea Instrument and Furniture and Company. At first, the doctor is not very popular given that he is new and has not yet earned, in the eyes of the community, the trust of the people. And, in fact, Martin has built a few enemies: the Norbloms, for example, as well as Pete Yeska, the local pharmacist at whom Martin yelled at because of his mishaps with prescriptions. Martin is forced to use another town's pharmacist.

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