Study Guide

Alas, Babylon Chapter 10

By Pat Frank

Chapter 10

  • Randy is dreaming about a pre-Day world. He's on Miami Beach and a waitress is bringing him coffee. Nice.
  • Lib wakes him and to his surprise the coffee is real. He had hidden some in his secret pack of "iron rations" (20.5). What a genius bit of foresight.
  • Dan's still not feeling great considering what happened, but he's in a lot better shape than yesterday.
  • The previous day, Dan had been helping out the Sunbury family. They've been coming down with an odd case of radiation sickness.
  • On his way back, he stopped for a woman in distress on the side of the road. That was his mistake.
  • As soon as he got out of the car, he was surrounded by three goons. The leader wielded a "submachine gun," and another was a kid Dan recognizes from before The Day (10.43).
  • To make a long story short, they beat the living daylights out of him, stole his car and medical supplies, and smashed his glasses for good measure.
  • And Dan's only backup glasses were in the car. D'oh.
  • After hearing the whole horrible tale, Randy decides on his course of action: revenge. He visits Admiral Hazzard and asks his advice.
  • Hazzard suggests driving a car around to entice the highwaymen, only to surprise the baddies with their own sneak attack. But how can they do that? They hardly have any gas—and no car.
  • You know who has plenty of gasoline? Rita.
  • On the way to her house, Randy posts bulletins in town. The first announces that Randy is assembling National Guard reservists, the second warns of a new case of typhoid, and the third describes the brutal attack on Dan, who serves as doctor for the entire city.
  • Rita has already heard about Dan's attack by the time that Randy arrives, and she quickly offers help. She gives him a truck and fifteen gallons of gas. That was easier than expected.
  • After returning with his new ride, Randy takes a walk with Lib. There's the typical back-and-forth flirtation, and Randy wishes aloud that they were married.
  • Wait a sec, says Lib. Randy runs the town now. He can make it legal for them to get hitched.
  • Randy agrees and it's set: they'll be married on Easter Sunday. Talk about a short engagement.

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