Study Guide

Stranger in a Strange Land Chapter 9

By Robert A. Heinlein

Chapter 9

  • We've made it to Part Two: "His Preposterous Heritage."
  • Secretary-General Joe Douglas starts his morning reading the news. Keep an eye out for a mentioning of the Fosterites and Supreme Bishop Digby. They'll be back.
  • He discusses his missing-Man-from-Mars problem with Agnes, his wife (and the person really in charge). She isn't too impressed with Mr. Douglas's way of handling the situation. She tells him to sit tight and do nothing until she can get an astrological reading telling them how to proceed. Natch.
  • Agnes calls up her astrologer, Madame Vesant, and asks for a reading on Michael Smith, her husband, and herself.
  • Two hours later, Vesant performs the reading—it took her longer since Smith isn't Earth-born, so he doesn't fall under traditional astrological formulas.
  • Vesant warns Agnes not to act too rashly and to guide her husband throughout the challenging circumstances with her womanly wisdom. 
  • After the phone call, Vesant uses "divine" knowledge to buy stocks in Lunar Enterprises. (Remember, Smith's heritage is linked to this company.) Curious.
  • Agnes is relieved by the reading. She decides to have Douglas's staff discredit Berquist, whom she doesn't trust anyway (unaware of his whole nonexistence predicament).
  • She also has the staff relay the news that the Man from Mars is taking a trip to the Andes to further his convalescence, buying her and her husband's administration some time.