Part 2, Chapter 2 Summary
As the story continues, Christiana, Mercy, and the four boys approach the Wicket Gate and knock on the door. They hear the fierce barking of a dog and leave off knocking, not certain what to do. They do not dare go back and offend the Keeper of the Gate, so they knock louder until the door is opened.
Christiana and the boys are welcomed in, but Mercy is left outside. She is fearful that she will not be admitted because she received no invitation from the King, as Christiana did, but came only at the request of Christiana herself. Nevertheless, she knocks loudly, startling Christiana inside. The door is opened again, but Mercy has fainted. She is taken inside and revived by the Keeper. He assures her that she is welcome, as is anyone who seeks entrance.
Christiana inquires about the barking dog. The Keeper tells her that it belongs to the person who lives near the Gate. The dog is to frighten off all who wish to become pilgrims. Hanging over the wall are the branches of fruit trees, and Christiana’s sons eat some of the fruit, even though she tells them that it belongs to the enemy.
Christiana, her boys, and Mercy go on their way. They are assaulted by two Ill-favored Ones, who threaten them body and soul. Christiana cries out, and a Reliever comes from the Gatehouse. The Ill-favored Ones are driven away, and Christiana remembers her dream in which such beings talk of how to prevent her salvation.
The Reliever asks why they did not ask for a Conductor who would go with them and protect them. They did not know that such a one was available, but the Conductor assures them that at each place along the journey they will find someone who will protect them.
The pilgrims arrive at the Interpreter’s home, where they are welcomed joyfully. News of their setting out on pilgrimage had reached the Interpreter earlier and so he was waiting for them. He shows them several rooms in his house, each with some kind of warning or instruction. Christiana and Mercy tell him of their decisions to set out for the Celestial City.
The next morning, Christiana, Mercy, and the boys are washed, sealed, and clothed in white garments. A man called Great-Heart is to be their Conductor on the way.
They come to the place where Christian’s burden fell off, and Great-Heart explains about the righteousness of God. Continuing on their way, the travels pass three men—Simple, Sloth, and Presumption—who are hanging by chains. Great-Heart tells the pilgrims about them and bids them leaving the three hanging there because they have caused many to depart from the path.