While looking at the night sky, Henry Smart´s mother Melody shows her son his brother's star, having (according to her) the same name as her son. Thus she creates the reference to the title of the novel.

The narrator, who is considered to be the protagonist, describes his mother as old and exhausted. Besides her, there is the always reading Grandmother. Not for the last time the narrator describes his antipathy to Grandmother Nash.

After this short introduction the story of Henrys parents’ first meeting is being told. Melody (Nash) collides with Henry Smart, so that he falls to ground.  Henry is wearing a lower lid prosthesis made of wood and the narrator insists that Melody instantly falls in love with his ruined but strong look. And as Henry realizes her name, he also falls in love immediately.

The couple marries in the Jesuits’ church on Gardaner street. After the wedding service some old ladies tell Melody their horror stories about getting babies and sexually transmitted diseases.

They move into in an exceedingly modest apartment, a room in 57, Silver Alley.  The inventory consists of a stool, a chair, a mattress, two tea chests (one for coal, one serves as table) and a statue of Mary placed on the mantlepiece.

Mr. Costello, an unlikable, dubious police officer, who also illegally collects the rent weekly, is bothering Melody every friday and jibes at Henry's job as bouncer in a brothel. He, however, does not know that Henry works also as a contract killer (a hit man) — or as the narrator's calls it: Henry Smart delivers special messages.

At the end of the chapter Mr. Costello is also receiving a message transmitted by Henry Smart.

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