Last Updated on July 29, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 584
The group has arrived at the monastery. After several days, they still have not seen Father Jonus, who is reportedly unwell. Wistan and Edwin chop firewood to occupy themselves, and Axl recalls Wistan's conversation with Gawain while they were digging the grave of the gray-haired man. Axl has another memory...
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The group has arrived at the monastery. After several days, they still have not seen Father Jonus, who is reportedly unwell. Wistan and Edwin chop firewood to occupy themselves, and Axl recalls Wistan's conversation with Gawain while they were digging the grave of the gray-haired man. Axl has another memory of an old companion named Harvey, followed by thoughts of the gray-haired soldier. Then he has a memory of Beatrice; it is an early memory of one of their first meetings.
Axl and Wistan speak, and Wistan claims the monastery is dangerous. The two discuss memory, justice, and vengeance, and they realize that their worldviews are different. Axl is optimistic that the barbarous past is gone forever. Wistan suggests that injustices will never be forgotten.
Edwin leads Axl and Wistan to a cart bearing chains and a blackened iron mask within a mounted cage. Wistan notes that the device is meant to expose the chained person to the elements but protect the eyes. They speculate on what the device is used for and notice a monk watching them. The monk, Father Ninian, has taken a vow of silence and leads them to Father Jonus, with whom Beatrice is waiting.
Jonus and Wistan argue about faith, but Wistan allows Jonus to examine Edwin's wound. Beatrice then asks Jonus about the cause of the amnesia-inducing mist. Wistan reveals that the dragon Querig's breath is the cause of the mist and that the monks protect knowledge of her location. Father Jonus affirms Wistan's account. Axl remains silent for much of the encounter, troubled by learning the truth of the mist. Father Jonus examines Beatrice and questions her about her desire to recover her memories. Beatrice asserts that she and Axl have nothing to fear because of the love that they share.
That evening, Father Brian wakes Axl and Beatrice and informs them that soldiers have entered the monastery and cornered Wistan. He takes them and Edwin to safety. They enter a secret passageway, and Father Brian closes the trap door on top of them.
In the dark tunnel, they meet Gawain, who reveals that the monks use the tunnel to dispose of people and that they have all been tricked. Gawain claims that a beast lives in the tunnels and vows to lead the group to safety. Edwin acts strangely and sings to himself, almost as if ensorcelled. They enter a large underground clearing and are confronted by the beast. It runs to attack Edwin, and Gawain decapitates it.
They exit the tunnel, and Edwin runs back in the direction of the monastery. After seeing Gawain fight, Axl asks him if they were once comrades. Gawain is evasive and does not directly answer. Gawain advises Axl and Beatrice to take the river to their son's village before taking his leave.
Edwin returns to the monastery to help Wistan and chides himself for escaping. He thought his mother had been calling him in the tunnel, but he realizes he was mistaken. Father Ninian meets Edwin and takes him to Father Jonus, who tells him that Wistan has escaped and that he can find him in a cottage not far away. Edwin recalls Wistan's defense plan, and he learns from his guide that Wistan retreated into the tower and that many of the soldiers who went in after him perished in a fire.
As he arrives at the cottage, Edwin resolves to tell Wistan the truth of how his mother called to him and made him forget his duty.