Study Guide

Stranger in a Strange Land Chapter 10

By Robert A. Heinlein

Chapter 10

  • Jubal Harshaw is resting by the pool, watching his three beautiful secretaries splash about in the water. 
  • He calls Anne out of the water and dictates to her a story about a lost kitten in a church. He decides to publish it under one of his many pseudonyms. We'd like to make a joke about it, but the lost kitten story is just too good on its own. You absolutely have to go back and read it in Heinlein's own words.
  • Larry calls Jubal to let him know that a woman is at the gate and that, bonus, she has a corpse with her. Jubal asks if she is pretty, and when Larry affirms that she is, Jubal says to let her and the corpse in. Well, then.
  • The woman turns out to be Jill, the corpse Mike. 
  • Mike is still in his comatose state. Jubal is ready to give him some stimulants, but Jill succeeds in calling Mike out of his trance through their water brother bond. How cute.
  • While Jill and Mike sleep, Jubal has Larry get rid of their rental car and all the evidence. Jubal, it seems, is quite adept at "cleaning" evidence.
  • Jill wakes up and has dinner with Jubal and his patchwork family. During the dinnertime conversation, Jubal's irritable nature forces his three secretaries to throw him into the pool. 
  • Jubal takes the punishment in stride—apparently he's an old hand at this treatment for being so crotchety.
  • Jill finds comfort in the organized chaos of the household and drifts to sleep afterward. Actually, Jubal's cocktail might have had something to do with it. The combined ingredients could be used to flush out a radiator (10.64). In other words, it's a pretty strong cocktail.
  • Jubal stays up late and thinks about how to proceed with Mike. He decides that "[t]here comes a time in every man's life when he has to stop being sensible" (10.123). And he does just that.
  • He wakes his secretaries and breaks out the stereovision (Heinlein's future, sci-fi version of TV). All night long, Jubal sets up his plan for what he'll do when the Powers That Be come to take Mike from them.