Chapter 2 Summary

Meg sleeps in her old bed in her childhood bedroom in the attic. She misses Fortinbras, the family dog, for the security he used to give. A kitten jumps on her bed, giving her what comfort it can. Meg hears Charles Wallace coming up the steps and entering her bedroom. He is troubled by the rune that Mrs. O’Keefe gave him and is not sure how it can be used to stop Branzillo. He asks Meg what Mrs. O’Keefe’s maiden name is, thinking it will be important. Meg cannot think of it and Charles Wallace tells her to relax so that they can “kythe,” an intense form of mental communication. He draws the knowledge out of her, and she says that the name is Maddox, and her middle name begins with a “Z.” Maddox sounds familiar to Charles Wallace; he remembers something connected to an old British poem about two brothers fighting. He says that he must go out to the star-watching rock, the special place where the members of the family seek solitude and where many of their adventures began. Meg wants to go with him, but Charles Wallace tells her that she must stay behind so that he can kythe with her here. Besides, he needs to be alone, since something is blocking his understanding. He warns her that he may be going somewhere for an indeterminate amount of time.

As Charles Wallace leaves, Meg lies down to sleep but sits back up when she hears a dog barking. She goes downstairs to find Charles Wallace and her parents with a dog in the kitchen. Mrs. Murry tells Meg that their new dog has found them. Meg feeds her, and Charles Wallace says that her name is Ananda, which is Sanskrit for “that joy in existence without which the universe will fall apart and collapse.” Meg asks her mother if Mrs. O’Keefe’s name is Branwen and Mrs. Murry says that the Maddox family used to be prominent in the area. Mr. Murry says he would like to research the history of the village but never has the time.

With his parents’ reluctant permission, Charles Wallace goes out to the star-watching rock and begins to chant Patrick’s rune. Immediately the stars increase in brightness and a beam of light flows down to Charles Wallace, solidifying into a unicorn. Charles Wallace is able to mentally communicate with the unicorn, who says his name is Gaudior, which is Latin for the same joy as  Ananda is in Sanskrit. Gaudior is to take Charles Wallace where he can perform his mission. He warns the boy to beware of Echtroi, enemy spirits who are set on destruction. Gaudior begins to gallop and then takes off, riding up onto the wind and over the stars.