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Henry Smart and his wife Melody are having a baby.
Granny Nash is busy putting newspapers on the mattress in the room in Summerhill where Melody is about to give birth to their child. Melody gives birth to the child with the assistance of the good-willing Missis Drake.
Henry is waiting outside below the window walking his wooden leg off, because he is so nervous.
He thinks about his job as a bouncer, about all the victims, all the cruelty. He thinks that it is God's revenge that his earlier children (little Henry and little Lil) died, because of his acts of murdering. A killer turns into a father.
Both, he and his wife, are very happy having a son.
In the first week after the birth many people come to visit the baby, because it is so healthy.
Henry and Melody are described as very tender and overwhelmed parents.
Afterwards, however, they have a heated argument about the child's name. The boy has been baptized without a real name.
At first the mother was against naming her son „Henry“ like her husband’s name. Her reluctance is caused by the tragic fact, that there has already been a first Henry who died and whose death she does not want to admit.
The protagonist of the story is not the first child of the Smarts, but no other baby has survived any longer than a few days or weeks.
According to the narrator, Melody gets depressions and constantly avoids calling her son by his name.
This lasts until the day she tells him the story of his companion star already mentioned in the first chapter.