Chapter 39 Summary
Crispin runs until he is exhausted. In a narrow alley, two men catch up and corner him. One is armed with a stick, the other with a knife. Crispin draws Bear’s dagger and, remembering his fighting lessons, holds it at the ready.
The sight of the dagger makes Crispin’s pursuers hesitate. He takes the offensive, darting at the man with the stick. The man dodges and knocks Bear's dagger from Crispin’s hand. The other man grabs Crispin from behind, but he does not give up. He kicks and butts until he gets free. Then he charges the man with the stick, knocking him briefly off-balance.
Seizing this short moment of advantage, Crispin flees again. This time he gets away. He keeps running until he cannot run anymore. When he finally stops to rest, he begins to worry. If John Aycliffe is in Great Wexly, then Crispin has come to exactly the wrong place. Not only that, but he has disobeyed Bear and possibly destroyed their friendship forever. Is it even worth going back to the Green Man?
Crispin decides that his best bet is to get out of town. He tries to find the gate he and Bear used to enter the city this afternoon, but he does not know where it is. He wanders at random until he remembers that the city wall is a circle. This means that he should be able to follow the wall and eventually arrive at the gate.
Crispin is not sure where the wall is, but he reasons that he will reach it eventually if he walks in just one direction. This is not easy to do among the winding streets, and he keeps getting confused about which way he is going. The sun begins to set, and people go inside. As the streets empty, Crispin finds a major street that parallels the wall.
Happier now, Crispin jogs along the wall and eventually spots a gate in the distance. Just as he approaches, a bell begins to ring, and a group of soldiers slams the gate shut. Crispin stops, staring in shock. A soldier notices and explains that the gates always close at night. Crispin will have to wait until morning to leave the city. Turning, Crispin stumbles away. He spots more soldiers marching in the street. One of them shouts that everyone must go indoors for curfew.
It begins to rain, and Crispin walks up and down the streets, looking for the Green Man. His only option left is to face Bear’s anger, but he has no idea where to go. As his fear and exhaustion grow, he hears a voice call his name.