Study Guide

Blood Red Road Chapter 3

By Moira Young

Chapter 3


  • Saba and Emmi have finally reached Crosscreek, and boy, does it look the part. There's a fresh breeze blowing across a splatter of inviting streams carrying the smell of home cooking.
  • For a moment, Saba gets ticked that a place so idyllic was so close to them the whole time, but she relaxes while taking a quick nap in a shallow section of a stream.
  • Saba wakes up to a woman and "hairy dog" looking down on her (3.35). That's...atypical. This, obviously, is Mercy, and the dog's name is Tracker. Pleased to make y'all's acquaintance.
  • After some much needed grub, Saba explains the sitch to Mercy and asks for her to watch over Emmi. Mercy hesitantly agrees.
  • We learn that Ma, Pa, and Mercy used to live in a place called Hopetown before moving to the country, but Mercy and Pa had a big falling out after he got obsessed with the stars.
  • That night, after Emmi falls asleep, Saba gives Mercy a detailed account of the men who kidnapped Lugh. Mercy tells her that these guys sound like "the Tonton" (3.141).
  • And who are the Tonton, besides that Hoth creature from The Empire Strikes Back? 'Round these parts, the Tonton are a sort of paramilitary force from Hopetown.
  • Hopetown, despite its name, seems like a nasty place. There are all sorts of robbers and thieves there, and the Tonton retain their dominance by controlling the chaal trade.
  • After Saba explains the whole Procter John deal, Mercy says that someone else was present at their birth: a traveler named Trask. Maybe he told the Tonton. But that doesn't explain why.
  • Saba gets ready to leave at dawn. Before she goes, Mercy hands her a heartstone necklace that supposedly belonged to Ma. Apparently, heartstones grow warm whenever their wearer gets close to their "heart's desire" (3.211).