John interviewed Jack, the proprietor of Jack's Hobby Shop. Like Martin, he believed that the gangsters involved with the car theft ring in Florida murdered Frank. He showed John an amazingly detailed model city that Frank built. Tears came to Jack's eyes as he expressed anger and grief that anyone could have murdered someone who created such a masterpiece.
While John was visiting Ilium, he allowed Sherman Krebbs, a destitute poet, to live in his apartment in New York. When he returned, he discovered that Krebbs had incurred hundreds of dollars in long distance phone calls, destroyed his apartment, and killed his cat. John believes that Krebbs was what Bokononism termed a wrang-wrang, someone who forces another person to recognize that a particular line of reasoning is completely absurd. John credits Krebbs with pushing him away from a philosophy of nihilism.
Later, John found a tourism advertisement in the Sunday Times for San Lorenzo, a small island republic. The ad depicted Mona Aamons Monzano, the beautiful adopted daughter of the San Lorenzo's dictator, "Papa" Monzano. John instantly fell in love with Mona. Next to "Papa" Monzano's photo was a picture of San Lorenzo's Minister of Science and Progress, Major General Franklin Hoenikker.
An essay in the advertisement, which John assumed was ghostwritten for Frank, told of Frank's lone voyage on a luxury craft from Cuba. He was starving when he found beautiful San Lorenzo. He disembarked from the craft, only to be jailed when it was discovered that he had no passport. "Papa" Monzano visited him in jail to find out if he was the son of Felix Hoenikker. When Frank revealed that he was, he was welcomed with open arms.
John took a job to write an article about Julian Castle, an American millionaire who founded a charity hospital, the House of Hope and Mercy, for San Lorenzo's destitute citizens. By the time Castle was forty, he had achieved a reputation as an alcoholic womanizer with a penchant for driving too fast and spending millions frivolously. Although he went through five wives, his only child was Philip Castle, the proprietor of the Casa Mona, the hotel where John planned to stay in San Lorenzo. John fantasized that Mona would fall in love with him during his stay there.
Horlick Minton, the new American ambassador to San Lorenzo, and his wife, Claire, sat next to John on the plane. John believes they were a duprass, a karass consisting of only two people, because they were completely enamored of one another. They had no interest in John at all despite his attempts to make small talk. Therefore, John visited the airplane's bar where he met H. Lowe Crosby, and his wife, Hazel. Crosby was fed up with the United States' tight labor regulations; he was moving his bicycle manufacturing business to San Lorenzo.