Chapter 5 Summary
Dennys wakes up to hear the sound of someone moving about the tent. It is Yalith’s father, Noah; the name sounds vaguely familiar to Dennys. He asks Noah how Sandy is doing. Noah says Sandy is almost well, as is Dennys himself. Dennys wants to go to see his brother but Noah tells him he must be completely well before he travels to the other tent.
Noah answers Dennys’s questions about seraphim as well as he can. They are sons of El, but no one knows where they came from or why they are here. Dennys suddenly remembers where he heard the name Noah. He had paid only scant attention in Sunday School, but he remembers the story of Noah and the flood. He remembers only the names of the men, however, and not those of the women. He wonders at the strangeness of this pre-flood world in which there are seraphim, nephilim, mammoths, manticores, and unicorns. Noah says it is rumored that the nephilim are falling stars of some sort.
Noah tells Dennys that El has told him these are the end times for all humanity. He suspects that there will be a great earthquake that will destroy them all. He assures Dennys that El is good and merciful, yet just. The reason for the destruction is that the people have turned to wickedness. Dennys points out that Yalith and Oholibamah are not wicked. He asks Noah why he does not go to the tent of his father, Lamech, but Noah explains that Lamech is stubborn. Yalith arrives with a pelican that turns out to be the seraph Alarid. They bring the nightlight and some more herbs for Dennys’s burnt skin. Alarid questions Dennys and learns that Sandy’s full name is Alexander, like the future world conqueror. Alarid explains that his vision of time tends to fold backward and forward, so he has some idea of the future. He knows that the twentieth century in which the twins live is full of pollution and trouble. He wonders how Dennys knows the Old Language, which was the language of the Garden of Eden that was broken at the Tower of Babel. He speculates that the boys were sent here for some purpose.
In Lamech’s tent, Sandy has trouble sleeping. Later, Yalith takes him outside to see the stars. Yalith and Oholibamah go to town to get ointments from Anah. They encounter Mahlah, who has yet to become betrothed to the nephilim Ugiel. Mahlah urges Yalith to accept the proposal of the nephilim Eblis, but Yalith has eyes only for the twins. At home, Yalith’s mother, Matred, believes Mahlah has yet to grow up. But Yalith had noticed that Mahlah was already pregnant by the nephilim.