Book 2, Chapter 22


The group sets out in Theo’s car after he and Rolf bicker over who will drive. Theo privately wonders whether there has ever been a mission of such importance taken on by such an inadequate and ill-prepared group. Rolf accuses Theo of thinking he is superior to everyone and angrily tells him that the group only keeps him around because his connection to the Warden might prove useful. Theo retorts that even if they don’t trust him, they should have trusted Gascoigne with the news of Julian’s pregnancy. He says Gascoigne’s blood is on their hands. Miriam intervenes before the conflict can escalate further. They all know that they must soon switch cars because Theo’s car number is known to the SSP. Theo suggests they stop at Jasper’s house for provisions. He plans to trade the use of a room in his house for Jasper’s car, which the group could use to drive to Wales, where there is slightly less support for the Warden. When they arrive at Jasper’s house, Theo and Miriam go inside and quickly realize that something is amiss. They find Jasper’s body in an armchair; he has shot himself in the head. Jasper has left a note with a quote in Latin and a short apology for the mess. Despite Jasper’s suicide, the house is meticulously clean and organized; Jasper even rolled up the rugs, perhaps so that the cleanup from his suicide would be easier. Theo speculates as to why Jasper killed himself, wondering whether regret and loneliness after his wife’s death at the Quietus led him to do it. Theo and Miriam quickly search the house, grabbing things that will be essential for the birth. Theo takes Jasper’s gun, which has one bullet left inside. On their way out, Miriam warns Theo not to let Rolf or Julian know that he has a gun.

(The entire section is 607 words.)