Equality 7-2521 tells us that he hasn't written for thirty days, because he hasn't been in the tunnel for 30 days. He was caught.
It happened the very night he wrote last, when he had produced the light.
It's time for another flashback sequence…
That night, Equality 7-2521 notices that he's forgotten to keep track of the time (he's been using an hour glass). Three hours have already passed.
Equality 7-2521 he runs back to the Theatre, only to find it empty.
He returns to the Home of the Street Sweepers. The Council of Home quickly demands to know where he's been. Equality 7-2521 refuses to tell them.
Equality 7-2521 is taken to the Palace of Corrective Detention to encourage him to cooperate by whipping him.
Equality 7-2521 is stripped and then lashed for what seems like ages, but he doesn't say a word. He doesn't even cry out.
The beating continues until Equality 7-2521 goes practically unconscious. When he's asked repeatedly where he's been, all he can say is "The light…the light!".
Equality 7-2521 then falls unconscious.
When he wakes up, Equality 7-2521 finds himself in a cell. He lies there for many days.
Regularly, Judges come to his cell to ask if he's ready to speak. He shakes his head each time.
Equality 7-2521 counts the days as they pass until he realizes one night that the next day is the World Council of Scholars. He's got to escape.
Fortunately, this is not very hard. The locks are old and there are no guards around, so all it takes is a lunge at the door. Apparently Equality 7-2521 was lucky enough to be placed in the most worthless jail ever devised by the hand of man.
So Equality 7-2521 heads back to his tunnel, and writes what we've just been reading. Tomorrow, he announces, he will tell the Scholars the truth, and present them with his great gift.