Chapter 5 Summary

Madoc is filled with joy at the sight of the brother he thought was dead. Gwydyr, however, seems cold and distant. When Madoc explains that he believed Gwydyr to have been killed by a serpent, Gwydyr responds that it was his wish that his brother think so. He explains that there is room for only one king. Madoc pleads with him that they leave Gwynedd in search of peace. Gwydyr says that he has come to claim Zyll for his own. Zyll tells him that it is too late, that she and Madoc have been made one. Gwydyr’s response is that his laws are stronger than the laws of the People of the Wind, and the warriors in the boats reveal their spears hidden in their paddles. Reschal (the Old Man) reveals that he had heard the drums the previous evening and had prepared the people, who are shown to have weapons of their own. Madoc begs his brother not to start a war, but instead for the two of them to fight one-on-one. Gwydyr chooses fire as the weapon. Madoc chants Patrick’s Rune. Gwydyr knocks over Reschal. When Madoc helps the Old Man up, he sees a vision in a puddle of water: a baby is born and told by his mother that the world is his, to keep or destroy. The baby grows into a man and chooses to destroy. Another vision appears in which the baby, called El Zarco (“Little Blue Eyes”) chooses to save the earth in peace. Madoc and Gwydyr fight, wrestling each other into the lake. Madoc holds his brother under the lake almost to the point of drowning. He lets Gwydyr get up and throws him into his boat, ordering the People from Across the Lake to leave.

Charles Wallace wonders if he has destroyed a Might-Have-Been by unconsciously giving Madoc Patrick’s Rune, centuries before St. Patrick and Ireland. He tries to remember the book about Madoc and his brother coming from Wales to America, but he feels something is blocking him. Gaudior explains the Gwydyr left the People Across the Lake in shame and went to South America, in the region where Vespugia now lies.

Meg feels that Charles Wallace wants her to find something out for him. Knowing that her brothers are not asleep because of the storm, she goes to their bedroom and asks what they know about Vespugia. Sandy explains that it was settled by Spaniards, a few English, and a group from Wales in 1865, which was also the year that Matthew Maddox wrote his book, The Horn of Joy, which had a strong anti-war theme. Meg goes back to her room to kythe this information to Charles Wallace.