Study Guide

Foundation Part IV, Chapter 2

By Isaac Asimov

Part IV, Chapter 2

  • Two weeks pass, and Ponyets's goods sit in his cargo hold not helping him meet his quota. Thankfully, he finally has arranged a meeting with Askone's Grand Master, who we are assuming is the head honcho of Askone (what with the grand in his name and all).
  • Turns out he's only grand in name. He's small, bald, and wrinkly. Go figure.
  • Ponyets tries to convince the Grand Master that it is not policy for traders to go where they are not wanted, but hey, mistakes happen. The Grand Master isn't so sure mistake is the proper term.
  • The Grand Master also seems to think that death would be a fitting punishment for the injustice. When Ponyets suggests a less permanent solution, the Grand Master says he's heard the Foundation is rich.
  • Ponyets points out that Askone refuses to trade, so how does their richness change the subject? Well, the Grand Master believes trading in technology is a sin against their religion.
  • Ponyets asks what the Grand Master wants, but the man isn't willing to discuss the matter further. Seems Gorov's fate will be death by gas.
  • But no man should die without spiritual council, or so suggest Ponyets. The Grand Master agrees and grants the trader permission to see his friend, so he may pass from this life with a clean spirit.