Chapter 12 Summary

Meg, Sandy, Dennys, and Mrs. O’Keefe run across the lawn toward the star-watching rock. Meg has to pull her mother-in-law over the wall and down the path. They find Charles Wallace there, his eyes closed and his skin as white as death. Meg cries to Mrs. O’Keefe, calling her by her childhood name of Beezie, and tells her to recite Patrick’s Rune. Mrs. O’Keefe breathlessly begins, joining herself to her grandmother and Chuck. Dennys bends over Charles Wallace and feels that he has no pulse. Meg joins with Mrs. O’Keefe in chanting the rune.

Charles Wallace sees the light returning slowly and the pain disappearing. He is on the star-watching rock with Gaudior bending over him. The unicorn explains that Charles Wallace barely escaped from Matthew before he died. Charles Wallace stands up, noting how strange it feels to be able to use his legs again after being so long in the crippled Matthew. Charles Wallace climbs on Gaudior’s back and they travel back through the galaxies, each person whom Charles Wallace had gone with seemingly traveling with them.

As Gaudior and Charles Wallace return to the present, Meg, the twins, and Mrs. O’Keefe see a flash of light. Meg hears Charles Wallace saying good-bye to someone called “Gaudior,” but she is unable to remember who that is. Sandy asks if anyone else saw the lightning, but Dennys says that it is too cold for lightning. He is amazed to see Charles Wallace standing up, after having felt his dead wrist without a pulse. They return to the house to warm up.

Meg remembers some things, but finds it ridiculous that she seemed to be remembering a unicorn. She asks her mother to show Charles Wallace the letter that Mrs. O’Keefe had brought. It is from Bran to Gwen and Rich, who are married with a daughter named Zillah. Rich has taken over the store after Mr. Maddox’s death. Zillah and Bran are married with a boy named Matthew, who is called by the local natives “Branzillo.” The Murrys think it is odd that Mrs. O’Keefe should be related to Mad Dog Branzillo. Charles Wallace asks Mrs. O’Keefe what happened to Chuck. She says that he died in the institution. The baby that her mother bore to Duthbert grew up and landed in the penitentiary. The phone rings, and it is the President. Mr. Murry says that El Zarco (the Blue-eyed One) is setting up a Congress to develop peace plans. Meg is confused, asking about Branzillo’s threat of war. Mr. Murry says that El Zarco has always been a man of peace. Meg and Charles Wallace realize that the Might-Have-Been has been effectively changed. Mrs. O’Keefe goes home, but Mr. Murry tells Meg that her heart is giving out and she will soon die. Charles Wallace tells Meg that it was Mrs. O’Keefe, not he, who placed herself between them and the powers of darkness.