Martin is back to working with phage but does the worst work of his life and without the counter balance of Terry's friendship he has become board with Joyce's rich acquaintances.

One day at the laboratory, Clif Clawson calls on Martin. He proposes an idea to Martin involving the selling of phage tablets at a questionable Sanitarium in Long Island, which Martin, in good conscience refuses. Nevertheless Clif invites himself to dinner—a dinner that proves to be the end of their friendship. Joyce and Clif dislike each other though they are "polite." Joyce retreats early to bed and when she is gone Clif criticizes both her and Gottlieb, which enrages Martin. Clif leaves and Martin never sees him again. Martin is glad but hurt at the same time.

Joyce and Martin have a baby boy. Martin is at work quite a bit, having been successful of late in his research. Joyce, however, complains that he is working too late and builds a lab for Martin on their property. The lab and Martin, however, become a showcase for Joyce's friends.

Martin goes to see Terry in Vermont and they have a fight when Terry says he should be researching with him. Martin walks out but returns because he cannot bear losing Terry. They make up and Martin says he will find a way to join him in the lab he has built at Birdie's Nest.

Holabird offers Martin the position of Assistant Director of McGurk, which Joyce wants him to take. Martin, however, refuses and decides to resign in order to join Terry and attain his freedom.

Martin leaves Joyce behind and goes to Vermont where he is happy in his work. Joyce writes to him and says it is he that will have to apologize, when Martin does not she comes to visit. When she offers to buy a house nearby he tells her that his work is serious and that he cannot have her and her friends interrupting it, after which she turns and goes.