Remembering their previous "water-sharing," Smith is delighted to see Jill. She tells him not to tell anyone that he has seen her and leaves. Later, she returns and gives Smith nurse's clothes in which to disguise himself. They sneak out of the hospital. In the cab together they have an awkward conversation, wherein Smith tries to communicate Martian concepts that translate imperfectly. Realizing that people will look for her now, Jill decides to route the cab to Ben's apartment.

Jill encourages Smith to wiggle his toes in the carpet of real grass in Ben's living room. Smith hesitates to walk on a living thing, but he senses that it is the grasses' proper purpose to be walked upon. Jill draws a bath for Smith, who, believing water to be sacred, is stunned at the notion of submerging his whole body within it. He delights in the experience, and, curious, tries to grab at Jill's breast as she bathes him.

Berquist breaks into the apartment with a police officer. Jill jumps at the officer, who slaps her. Frightened by this treatment of his "water-brother," Smith instinctively reaches toward the officer and makes him disappear. Berquist pulls out a gun. Smith "groks" (a Martian word roughly equivalent to "understands") that Berquist intends harm, and Smith makes Berquist disappear as well. Jill screams. Fearing he has done wrong, Smith goes into a contemplative trance. Jill cannot rouse him, but knows that they must leave immediately, so she packs him into a large bag and leaves the apartment with him.

Analysis

These chapters progress in a fairly typical adventure story manner, stacking the odds against our heroes and building suspense. Ben knows that the Douglas administration may have reason to kill Smith and their use of an actor to portray Smith implies that they may very well be planning to kill the real man, but Ben has no proof for his theories, and only he and Jill seem to know the truth. Although we do not see Douglas's true motives or intentions, the actions of the police imply that Ben's most paranoid fears are correct: they kidnap Ben and try to kidnap Smith and Jill as well. With Ben missing, it does not seem as if there is anything Jill will be able to do to protect Smith from the overwhelming power of the police.

The novel is filled with offhanded references to various artifacts of future technology and culture. There are flying automated cars, the "Federation" that governs Earth, and Chapter VII introduces one of the most idiosyncratic concepts of Heinlein's future society, the "Fair Witness." The concept of a person legally recognized to be impartial in all situations would seem almost more in line with an imagined past than an imagined future, as it involves no technology more complicated than the ceremonial robe the Fair Witness wears. The oddity of this creative legal fantasy within the science fiction narrative is a testament to the breadth of Heinlein's vision. His ideas about a future society are not limited to speculating at scientific advances.

Although previous chapters have explained preciously little about the Martian race or their society, we begin to see glimpses of Valentine Michael Smith's mentality in these chapters. We see in his conversation with Jill that many of his Martian concepts do not maintain their meaning when translated into the English language and Earthling custom. On Mars, water is rare and water-sharing a rite of deep understanding between individuals, but Jill thinks nothing of sharing a glass of water with Smith. Water is no more sacred to her than taking a bath, another notion that is utterly foreign to Smith. However, implicitly trusting Jill because of their water-brotherhood, Smith consistently takes pleasure in the things that she instructs him to do.

PLUS

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