Study Guide

Foundation Part IV, Chapter 1

By Isaac Asimov

Part IV, Chapter 1

  • The story opens with a dude named Limmar Ponyets taking a nice hot shower—when the phone rings.
  • (If this happens even in future space, it must be a law of nature.)
  • A second trade ship calls for permission to dock, and three hours later, Les Grom hands Ponyets a message sphere. A super-confidential message sphere. Fancy.
  • The message sphere contains instructions from the Traders Guild. Ponyets is to go to Askone, a planet refusing trade with the Foundation. That's too bad, because Ponyets is way behind on his quota.
  • Grom asks if he can help, but Ponyets says he's in the hands of the Galactic Spirit now.
  • Seems like Ponyets has had religious training from the Foundation. He claims he was too much for them, so he got the boot and went into trading instead.
  • So, what did that message sphere say? Well, a guy named Eskel Gorov has been imprisoned on Askone, and Ponyets has to barter for the jailbird's freedom.
  • The mission is especially important because Gorov isn't just any trader; he's also an agent for the Foundation. Gasp!
  • Actually, that's not too surprising. Par for the course at this point in the novel really.