Chapter Six opens with Bernard at the door of the Director's room. Like a trip to the principal's office, he's afraid of being reprimanded.
In this particular case, he's afraid of being reprimanded for requesting a permit to visit the New Mexico Reservation.
The Director signs his initials on the permit and then reminisces about the time, some twenty-five years ago, when he visited the Reservation himself.
This, of course, is a big mistake, since in this world you're not supposed to talk about the past. Ever.
But Bernard, curious, says nothing about the error and allows the Director to continue.
Continue he does: the Director visited the Reservation with a young Beta girl. Then she got lost, and he had to return home to England without her.
Now, the Director sounds pretty upset about this whole thing, but when Bernard expresses his sympathy, he sternly responds that he had no sort of emotional attachment to the lost girl whatsoever.
Now that he's all crabby, he goes on to reprimand Bernard. Alphas, he says, don't have to be infantile (because they have the intelligence not to), but it is their duty to choose to be infantile.
He adds that if he ever hears another report of Bernard not acting like an infant, he'll send him to Iceland. SO THERE.
Except this little threat doesn't exactly have the intended effect. Bernard leaves absolutely elated because he has established his individuality, become a rebel, fought authority.
Anyway, Bernard is all "I can fight giants!" and, besides he knows Iceland was just an empty threat.
That night, he narrates the whole encounter to his BFF Helmholtz, embellishing a little bit with his claim that he told the Director to "Go to the Bottomless Past."
Helmholtz is less than enthusiastic. He likes that Bernard is someone he can talk to, but he hates that the man is prone to such boasting and such self-pity. So he just stares at the floor and doesn't say anything.