Gris apparently spends the rest of the night watching his foes settle "the boy" in at the farm, then reports that the next morning's paper shouted about how the Whiz Kid had joined the "WASP Purity League" and given up his criminal ways. The reader will probably be able to identify this as a set-up so the later revelation that the Whiz Kid is living in sin will be all the more shocking. All Gris can say is that "I was not quite sure which direction this was going to go. But I knew Madison by now. He was on the trail of something hot."
So he goes back to watching the viewscreens in hopes that Krak or Heller will pick up the newspaper and be like what the eff, I wasn't in Kansas, and then they'd dismiss everything else they heard in the media since it was obviously fake. Excuse me, pick up the newspaper and be stopped in their tracks! Or... what's the objective again?
We went from hiring a hitman to kill the Countess Krak, to swearing a "deadly oath" to "terminate that awful woman," to spreading bad publicity about the Whiz Kid. For one glorious sentence it looked like Gris was considering taking matters into his own hands, but immediately afterward he went back to trying to get others to do everything for him while he sat and watched. And it's unclear what exactly this has to do with killing Krak in the first place. It seems more like he's gone back to his "make Krak insane with jealousy so she murders Heller" plan.
Krak and Heller get driven home in their wonderful new car and wonderful British chauffeur, and then the cat goes bonkers when they step back into the apartment, running around in circles and yowling until it calms down long enough for them to pet him. I think the author might have confused cats with dogs here.
Izzy comes in and has a similar excited reaction, only he's waving documents around instead of running around in circles. He explains that our friend Mamie Boomp sold Atlantic City to the Crown Prince of "Saudi Yemen," who has long coveted the Miss Americas and now will be able to "have his pick of them, year after year." ...Yay? The line about American beauty pageant contestants ending up as part of a presumed harem is immediately followed by Izzy saying "Oh, what a businesswoman Mamie Boomp turned out to be!" I guess if the characters aren't bothered, we shouldn't be either.
Boomp has stayed on as president and the staff contracts have been honored blah blah blah the important thing, and what Izzy takes Krak and Heller to tour, is that some of the properties Boomp got in exchange include "eight posh apartment houses in Manhattan" overlooking Central Park. And Izzy always said "Miss Joy" was too beautiful to live in an office.
Could it be? Dare I hope?
Before them spread a pillared interior. The columns were light tan and around them coiled designs in glittering stones, edged and banded in gold. The floor was colored marble squares. The furniture was scrolled and curving. A very posh place. Like a palace!
"Fifteen rooms!" said Izzy. "Surrounded by so much roof garden it takes three gardeners to keep it up. And the whole next floor below for servants and storage. Do you like it?"
"Beautiful!" said the Countess Krak.
"It's your home," said Izzy.
And there you have it, one of the great lessons of Mission Earth. No matter how life treats you, no matter how down you're feeling, no matter how worthless you consider your existence, there is one thing you must always remember: Jettero Heller will always have a luxurious home to live in, on Earth, in space, or back home on Voltar.
Back to Chapter Four