Part 1, Chapters 9–13 Summary and Analysis

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Last Updated on April 28, 2021, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 1324

Chapter 9

Makepeace continued for ten days in this fashion, killing a moose for sustenance after a week. A week or so later, she reached Esperanza, which was much like the town she had come from and seemed unlikely to be the source of the airplane. She kept going, struggling to keep the horses well fed, until eventually she came across some men sawing wood in a clearing.

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One of them approached and demanded to know her business. When Makepeace said she was a constable from Evangeline, the men said they thought nobody in Evangeline was left alive. They said they were from Horeb, a place of which Makepeace had never heard. They believed her to be a man.

As she walked with the men to their camp to water the horses, one asked why she was going to New Judea, the place's old name. To Makepeace, it was only the Far North.

Horeb turned out to be an enclosed town where the group was met by a man in a long robe and a woman. The man embraced Makepeace, and then the group began to pray. Makepeace was asked to surrender her guns while her horses were stabled and was then invited to dinner in a meeting house. The robed man, Boathwaite, explained that the town had lost much of what it once had, but their religion had strengthened. Makepeace explained that Evangeline had become overrun by starving people from the south.

Makepeace was given a bed in a shack owned by a woman called Violet, who offered her own bed while she slept with her mother. All night, the old woman cried out, "I'm dying!"

Chapter 10

Makepeace didn't want to linger in Horeb, but her horses became colicky, and so she had to stay a few days. The food at Horeb was very scarce, and Boathwaite preached three times a day. On the second day, Makepeace avoided the service and spotted some wild caribou. Entering the meeting house, she asked Boathwaite if she could have one of her guns to shoot a caribou and provide food for the townsfolk. Boathwaite, however, said that the appetite of the townsfolk was more for religion than for "carnal" things.

After this incident, Boathwaite did not speak to Makepeace for two days. Makepeace was still living with Violet, who said that Boathwaite preached about the dangers of false prophets.

When the horses' health improved, Makepeace went to see the reverend at home, where he had his own food. She asked for her guns back and offered to hunt before she left to repay the people of Horeb. Boathwaite agreed, then asked what had happened to Makepeace's own religion. She said that it had always seemed a "scam" to her.

Boathwaite pointed out that his town had been kept together by religion, while Evangeline had died out.

The next day, Boathwaite gave Makepeace her guns back, and she rode off into the forest.

Chapter 11

Makepeace has always needed to move and cannot stand still, so at school she suffered. At constabulary school, it was less difficult: she was older, and also there was a sense of disobedience in obeying, because Makepeace's parents were against violence. Many other Quakers were moving away from the town, and many of those who were left spat at the new constables.

The second day out of Horeb, Makepeace found some caribou, roped six of them, and took them back to Horeb. When she went through the gate, however, a number of people attacked her, and her arm was broken before she was pushed into a stockade. She was then tied up and put on trial in the meeting house. Boathwaite said there were several charges against her, one of which was spying and another of which was passing herself off as a man. They also presented a notebook written in cipher, but Makepeace had never seen it before.

For two weeks, Makepeace was kept in a cellar and questioned repeatedly about various books, as well as where she was from. Eventually she was presented to Jacob Vetch, who had been worked over by the group and had lost a thumb. A gallows was erected, and Makepeace and three others were marched out to it. Vetch went first. However, after Makepeace jumped, she was told that her sentence had been commuted to servitude because of her sex, and she was cut down.

Makepeace remembered that when she was a child, her mother had secretly shown her a "memory stone," which displayed images of her friends from before she was married. Makepeace still thinks about the girls she saw in the stone.

Chapter 12

By the time Makepeace was fourteen, her city had doubled in size and was increasingly filled with starving people who had traveled in search of food and help. At first, they were welcomed. They wanted to work. But later, deserters and people with guns appeared. One night, some Russian arrivals were in a barn when it caught fire, and eight boys were killed. This resulted in the suggestion that the fire had been deliberate. Some newcomers frightened a farmer, Tumilty, so that he had a heart attack. This caused dissent in the city.

Makepeace's father called a meeting in the meeting house and preached compassion and support. But Tumilty's family argued that they had not been ungenerous—rather, the intruders were dangerous and quick-tempered. People expressed the fear of being evicted from their own homes.

Unlike her father, Makepeace cannot believe in peace and self-reliance; she does not trust people.

The year she was fourteen, Tumilty's family, along with a man called Michael Callard, put a militia together, even though the other settlers opposed this. Slowly, people began to turn toward Callard and away from Makepeace's father. One night, when both her parents were away hunting, some men arrived and attacked Makepeace's face with lye. Distressed, Makepeace's father cut his own throat.

After this incident, Makepeace's face was disfigured. She cut her hair short and joined the militia when the city fathers agreed to it, but disorder continued to increase.

Chapter 13

At Horeb, Makepeace was kept in the dark hole for two weeks. Eventually they sent in a man with a set of manacles, and he chained Makepeace at the wrist and ankle. Makepeace wondered where the steel for the manacles had come from.

Two days later, she was told it was time to leave. She was dragged onward by guards into the woods. Her muscles were weakened, but she staggered on. Eventually, the group reached a crowd of people camped on the highway. Makepeace was padlocked to the last man in the group, and then the caravan of people began to walk along with the guards.

Analysis

This section underscores the relevance of Makepeace's having been unable to communicate properly with Ping. Earlier, she has encountered a band of traveling slaves, chained together as we now find Makepeace chained to others at the end of this part of the book. When she saw that gang of slaves, she wondered where they had come from, and it was heavily implied that Ping had been a member of that group. However, Ping had been unable to tell Makepeace much about her past or how she came to be enslaved. Now, Makepeace is discovering herself that this sort of enslavement is apparently common in the Far North, as she has been enslaved herself. Ping, when alive, was not only forced into slavery, but also effectively silenced: the slavers are able to continue because their slaves cannot spread the word of how they found themselves in captivity.

In this part of the book, Makepeace also reveals a considerable amount about her own past, with technological elements such as the memory stone suggesting that, indeed, the setting of this book is several hundred years in our future. The world she left behind was "old," and this new world has forgotten the old world’s advanced technology.

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Part 1, Chapters 5–8 Summary and Analysis

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Part 2, Chapters 1–4 Summary and Analysis

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