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The City of Ember

The City of Ember


by Jeanne DuPrau

The City of Ember Chapter 12 Summary

A Dreadful Discovery

  • The next week, Doon finishes fixing a leak in the Pipeworks and decides to go to the secret tunnel again to look for clues.
  • When he comes to the locked door, he's shocked to find a key in it. Not so locked anymore, huh? Doon quietly opens the door, peers in, and sees a brightly lit room packed with things: jars, boxes, packages, clothes.
  • There's a table set with all kinds of food, and a person dozing in a chair. Doon gets a glimpse of the person's bulky body and chin before he ducks out.
  • Lina, in the meantime, is carrying a ton of messages that day. Most of them are short and have to do with people canceling commitments, preferring to stay home instead—maybe because of all the weird stuff going down in Ember?
  • As she's heading home, Doon finds her and tells her that he saw inside the locked room. He describes it, and then comes the big reveal: the guy snoozing in the chair? That was the mayor. They realize that when he was telling the people of Ember that he had a solution, he meant a solution for himself, the jerk.
  • The kids go to a bench to talk, noticing a bunch of Believers singing sappy, annoying songs. But there are also a few people carrying signs to protest the mayor's lack of solutions.
  • Lina tells Doon about Lizzie and Looper stealing food from the storerooms, and together they figure out that Looper is the one stealing stuff to supply the mayor's room.
  • That makes sense—the first time they'd been near the forbidden room in Tunnel 351, they'd heard a scraping sound, which must've been Looper coming down from a hatch that connects to the storerooms.
  • They decide to tell the guards about the mayor's stealing, and so they leave a note to one of the assistant guards, who seems eager to help.
  • Lina also tells Doon that her grandmother died, and he's really sympathetic. 
  • But he thinks that the Builders' instructions may not be worth anything after all, which bums Lina out.

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