Study Guide

A Canticle for Leibowitz Chapter 3

By Walter M. Miller, Jr.

Chapter 3

  • Francis makes his confession to Father Cheroki, who's more than a little miffed at Francis's verbose style. There really is an art to the confession, and Francis hasn't quite mastered it yet.
  • The novice brings up the Fallout Shelter and something about Leibowitz, and Father Cheroki believes the young man's gone daft with heat and hunger. He commands Francis to return to the abbey.
  • Francis grows upset on his way down the road. He wishes he could have shown Father Cheroki the Fallout Shelter but couldn't since the man was carrying the Eucharist.
  • En route, he bumps into Brother Fingo.
  • Fingo's an ugly but cheerful monk hailing from Minnesota territory. He works in the kitchen, and is making the rounds with food and water for the Lenten novices.
  • Fingo asks Brother Francis what's wrong, and Brother Francis says he's being sent back for being touched in the head. The novice then shows Fingo the contents of the box, but Fingo doesn't know what to make of them.
  • Francis asks his brother to double-check and make sure the cave is really there. Brother Fingo rides on and waves back that, yep, there's definitely a cave. Guess Francis isn't totally bonkers after all.
  • Later, Father Cheroki heads back to the abbey and encounters an unconscious Francis on the side of the road.
  • Reviving the novice, he notices Francis was carrying a box. At least he helped Francis come to before paying attention to what the poor guy was carrying.