Study Guide

Timescape Chapter 24

By Gregory Benford

Chapter 24

  • Markham spills some of his wine while discussing equations with Cathy Wickham. To himself, Markham thinking about how Renfrew threw this unofficial bon voyage party for him and how much Renfrew is depending on the equipment from Brookhaven.
  • On the periphery of the group, Marjorie hovers, unable to get in on the science conversation.
  • Jan shows up to the party and is introduced to Ian Peterson.
  • Peterson and Wickham begin throwing verbal barbs at each other until Renfrew eventually steps up and tells them that they'll be civil to each other in his house, thank you very much.
  • Cathy and Jan both agree that Peterson's ego is out of control and that he sees women as inferior. Markham, though, just doesn't see it.
  • The rain stops and the party moves to the patio. Markham tells Marjorie to forget the scene between Cathy and Peterson, saying they are all edgy.
  • Marjorie comments that she always thought scientists were supposed to be less emotional, but Markham says that's simply not true.
  • The party moves back inside and Markham spies people rummaging around in the Renfrews' garage. Renfrew notices they are squatters come to steal from them and tells Marjorie to call the police; Markham grabs the fire poker from the hearth and goes after them.
  • Renfrew joins him and they have a row with the squatters, but the squatters get away.
  • When they hear the sirens coming up the street, Peterson decides to leave to avoid answering questions for the rest of the night.
  • Markham realizes he automatically thought the people in the garage had to be thieves, whereas twenty years ago he might not have jumped to that conclusion.