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Chapters 22–24

Summary Chapters 22–24

Martin appoints Dr. Rufus Ockford, who is recommended by Dean Silva, as his assistant when he becomes Acting Director of Public Health. Soon after he begins his work, Martin realizes that he has much more free time and that Pickerbaugh must have spent mos t of his time on his tours and trying to inspire others through his speeches and verses. Furthermore, because of their free time, Martin appoints Dr. Ockford to the city's free clinic, which the doctors in the town (i.e. Irving Watters) are opposed to bec ause this attention to the free clinic is taking patients away from them.

Nevertheless, Martin finds that he has more time for the laboratory and makes a considerable discovery regarding hemolysin and strep. He stays at the lab during all hours of the lab, and Leora accompanies him. Meanwhile, he is criticized for spending too much time in his research and not enough time as director. He is about to give in to F.X Jordan (a contractor and politician in Nautilus) and his words of advice when he hears of Gottlieb's latest developments in "in vitro" studies.

Martin's popularity continues to dwindle after he expresses his desire to eliminate one of Mrs. McCandless's putrid tenements. Martin takes the case to court and wins, but because he feels his opponents will appeal the decision he and his assistant go dir ectly to the buildings to tear them down and set them afire. Aside from this instance, Martin has an incident with Clay Tredgold. Tredgold had appeared at his lab one day with drinks and the intention to lure him into some merriment but Martin would not b e lured and had yelled at Tredgold to leave him to work in peace. This simply added to Martin's opposition throughout the city. The people began to call him a tyrant and nicknamed him the "schoolboy Czar." Martin feels himself a failure and does not know what to do.

An opportunity presents itself when Martin goes to Chicago to present his paper on strep, which he has finally finished, to the Journal of Infectious Diseases. After the Journal has accepted his paper, he goes to see Angus Duer at the Rouncefie ld Clinic who offers him a job as a pathologist at the Clinic.

When Martin returns to Nautilus he is confronted with a war against him. The mayor had appointed someone above him and together with his new appointment, Dr. Bissex, they forced Martin to resign by lowering his income until he could no longer survive on i t. Martin, therefore, resigns and accepts the job in Chicago at the Rouncefield Clinic.


Of utmost importance in these chapters is Lewis's attention to Martin's character and personality. Martin is constantly tempted, even when Orchid leaves by forces such as power, pressure to fit in, and money. Still, it becomes evident that Martin is not m eant to fully give in to these forces because he is finally being pulled out of them—it is as if there were something else in store for Martin, something else he was meant to do. For example: Martin is about to give up his lab work because th e pressure he is receiving from the town and because of the advice F.X. Jordan has given him, when suddenly he hears about Gottlieb's newest discovery. Martin's remembrance of Gottlieb and what he stands for is what constantly draws him out of a temptatio n to fall into the complacency of a steady job and income and having to give up his research.