Chapter 8 Summary
Gaudior and Charles Wallace find themselves on a beach, injured from their fall and the tightness of the rope. Charles Wallace is unable to untie the knots but finds a plant with strong, serrated edges that allows him to cut through them and release him. Gaudior sees that it will take weeks to heal, so he decides to take Charles Wallace back to his home where the Echthroi cannot reach him. On arrival, Charles Wallace sees eggs and realizes that the unicorns hatch from these eggs. He watches as one hatches. At first, the young unicorn prances around Gaudior but runs away when he catches sight of Charles Wallace. Now that they have healed, Gaudior suggests that they let the wind take them where they need to go instead of planning on a certain time.
They arrive at the star-watching rock, and Charles Wallace sees a young girl and boy wearing T-shirts and jeans, so he knows it is close to his own time. The boy’s name is Chuck and the girl is called Beezie, though her real name is Branwen Zillah Maddox. Charles Wallace realizes that the girl is Mrs. O’Keefe and the boy is her brother, which explains why she called him Chuck. The children are with their grandmother, blowing the fuzz off of dandelions. The older woman explains that this is the place where their ancestors lived, one of whom was Zyll, the Indian princess. She tells them of another princess ancestor, Branwen of Britain. She had married an Irish king, who took her back to Ireland and treated her as a servant, sending her to tend the pigs. She called on her brother in Britain to come help her, using Patrick’s Rune. The men from Britain come and rescue her from the evil Irish king.
Chuck's sense of smell allows him to really see the hidden things about people. His father, who was a storekeeper, had wanted to be a writer, but had to return to tend to the store upon his own father’s death. He explains that Matthew Maddox, his ancestor, had written a bestseller about two brothers from Wales who came to America. There was also a time-traveling unicorn in the story, which has led many literary historians to name it one of the first true science fiction books.
One day, out by the star-watching rocks, Beezie tells Chuck about Paddy O’Keefe, a boy at school who is attracted to her. Beezie finds him repulsive, however. Just then, Chuck feels a mighty jolt and tells his sister they must return home. Their father has had a burst appendix and has been taken to the hospital. He dies the next day.