Study Guide

Stranger in a Strange Land Chapter 17

By Robert A. Heinlein

Chapter 17

  • While they wait for Douglas to get on the line, Jubal recites a story to Miriam. That's just how he rolls.
  • A new bunch of S.S. cops show up. Jubal tells Jill to watch over Mike and tells Mike not to remove any more people from reality.
  • Finally, Douglas picks up the phone, and he and Jubal begin negotiations. Let the battle of the lawyers begin!
  • The cops break into the house, but Douglas gets them to leave so the negotiations don't break down. He also cancels the warrants.
  • Booya.
  • Jubal and Douglas both agree to enter public negotiations between Mars and Earth. Mike will represent Mars with Jubal as his lawyer. Jubal gives Douglas's administration an out for the false Man from Mars they've been toting about.
  • But Jubal says they cannot proceed because one of Mike's desired delegates, Ben Caxton, is unaccounted for. After much wrangling between the two men, Douglas agrees, reluctantly, to help locate Ben—unharmed even.
  • Jill is overjoyed to hear that Ben will be safe. She tries to kiss Jubal but he says it would be better if she kisses Mike. Hmmm.
  • She goes for it, and then, for scientific purposes mind you, so do Anne, Dorcas, and Miriam. Apparently, kissing is one aspect of being human that Mike needs no tutoring on.
  • Jubal calls Mackenzie back to thank him with an exclusive interview with the Man from Mars.
  • As the girls and Mike prepare dinner, Duke returns. Apparently, he's been in town thinking and guess what—he wants to become Mike's water brother. 
  • Reporters arrive from all over, and Jubal decides to have a little party, partly because he wants to unwind and partly to keep the reporters from being too snoopy. Jubal tries to get Mike drunk and discovers it's impossible. 
  • Add to his powers the ability to not have hangovers.
  • Ben arrives. Douglas's official story is that they found Ben in Mexico on a week-long bender. At Ben's homecoming, the group feeds, washes, and clothes him. He doesn't remember anything from the previous week, and he says they kept him doped up the whole time. 
  • Not to worry, he's brought up to speed and sent to bed.

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