Study Guide

The Martian Chronicles The Third Expedition

By Ray Bradbury

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The Third Expedition

  • Captain John Black comes to Mars with his expedition of 17 men. (Well, 16, since one guy died on the way.)
  • But, what's this? Instead of weird Martian cities, they find a nice little Midwestern town, just like the ones that they all grew up in.
  • Black is suspicious, so he investigates the town with David Lustig and Sam Hinkston. 
  • Instead, they find David Lustig's dead grandparents, who tell him that they showed up on Mars after they died.
  • Unsurprisingly, this doesn't exactly calm Black's fears. It gets worse when his men abandon the ship because their dead loved ones show up to take them home. 
  • But then, when Black finds his dead brother and parents, he runs off to play with them (and collect his allowance).
  • Everything is great, until that night. Surprise, surprise: the dead relatives are really telepathic Martians who plan to kill them.
  • The next day, the Martians hold a funeral for all the Earth Men, who tragically died. When the Martians killed them.

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