Martin telephones Joyce and asks if he may go over to see her. He begins to share quite a bit of time there and there arises a rivalry between Latham Ireland and Martin because both of them vie for Joyce's attention. Her lifestyle is very rich, and, when Martin is invited to her country house, he finds himself unhappy and out of place. Nevertheless he likes her and is attracted to her the way any man his age would feel for a young, beautiful woman, as the narration claims.
After the country stint, Martin goes to Terry Wickett's house in the woods of Vermont, which is very different from Joyce's abode. Terry's home is rugged and rustic.
Martin eventually proposes to Joyce and, on their honeymoon, they vacation across Europe. He believes he is becoming accustomed to her lifestyle.
Martin's lifestyle has changed drastically since it is, for example, that he now goes to work in a limo and entertains the likes of Angus Duer and his wife.
Meanwhile at work, Holabird asks Martin to spend less time on his phage experiments and to begin to work on influenza since they must keep up with their competitors at the Rockefeller Institute. This upsets Martin, of course but fears losing his job and so does what he is told. He then tells Holabird that Rockefeller has found the cause for influenza and while Holabird thinks up another plan for him, Martin is left to do as he pleases, for a little while. His own work begins to take off on the organic nature of phage and, yet, Martin leaves his opportunity for fame behind and follows Terry into a project concerning quinine derivatives. They work together in Birdie's Nest, Terry's Vermont house and they decide that they need monkeys for their experiment.
They ask Holabird for it, as well as the request that Terry be moved to Martin's department and Holabird gives them what they need, which Terry is skeptical about. Holabird leaves them to their work until he finds out they are onto something and, characteristically, pressures them to publish. Terry refuses, insults Holabird and quits. Martin wants to follow Terry to Vermont, where Terry will be working but he does not resign from the institute because Joyce is opposed to it, since it is that Joyce is pregnant. She does not want him to be away and she wants him to keep his "solid" position at McGurk. She says she will think about buying a house near Terry's, upon Martin's suggestion, but she never does and Martin remains at the institute.