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Mallow rests in his house's sunroom with a fellow named Ankor Jael.
Jael suggests Mallow might be overworked, and Mallow agrees, but he's still going to nab himself a council seat, and Jael is going to help him do it.
Jael reminds Mallow that he is a Smyrnian, and there's the whole prejudice thing to deal with. Not to mention Sutt will be his adversary, and he's a smart political cookie.
About the only thing Mallow has going for him is money. Well, in politics that's a lot to have going for you.
Ding-dong. Who's at the door? Why, who else but Jorane Sutt himself?
Sutt wants to get right down to business: what's Mallow's game? Where did he come by all his money? Why is he building factories in such a hurry? What did he really find at Korell all those months ago?
All good questions, but Mallow doesn't feel like showing his hand just yet. All he'll say is that his money is legit per the laws of free trade, so no point trying to catch him there.
Sutt tries to catch Mallow in the complication that he didn't spread the religion of science with the trade agreements, but Mallow points out that this is a custom not a law.
So, political snap, we suppose.
Sutt teaches Mallow a small lesson on why they trade religion and commerce simultaneously—for the Foundation's protection and the completion of Seldon's Plan. If Mallow doesn't follow the rules, then the system that has worked for over one hundred years may fall apart.
All the better, thinks Mallow. It's an outdated system. The system that worked so well with the Four Kingdoms has now made other planets wary of such trade (as we've seen in this story and "The Traders").
Mallow believes that mutual trade is more valuable than religious overlordship. Especially if they have nuclear weapons because you never know when they'll get fed up enough with an overlord to use them.
But how about these two get to the point? Sutt asks what Mallow wants.
A larger percentage of all sales? Nope.
A council seat? Mallow says he'll get that anyway.
How about a trial for the murder of a Foundation missionary on Korell? It's not a bluff. All Sutt has to do is sign the papers and the trial of the century begins.
Mallows seems to think those terms are hunky-dory. In summary, bring it on.
When Sutt leaves, Mallow asks Jael's thoughts about what has just happened.
Jael believes Sutt knows that the religious policy is on its way out. But it's still an idea firmly in place in the mindset of the Foundation and its public.
Then he asks what this whole throwing a priest to the wolves thing is. Mallow tells him and says his opposition will have the proof it needs because Twer was Sutt's man from the beginning.
Hm, that might be bad. Even if Mallow can prove he was in the right of law, the custom of the Foundation's religion might be enough to destroy him—especially if the people of the Foundation want blood for sending a priest to his death. Even if he doesn't go to jail, he'll never get voted into a council seat, and Sutt will stand unopposed.
You get all that? Because the trial is about to start.