Study Guide

Dragonwings Chapter 12

By Laurence Yep

Chapter 12

Dragonwings (September, 1909-June, 1910)

  • Moon Shadow wakes up before Father does. There's a knock at the door.
  • Hand Clap stands at the door, with the rest of the Company and the wagon behind him.
  • Moon Shadow is so happy to see them, he hugs Uncle.
  • Uncle tells how the Company heard of the Lees' trouble and showed up to help with the flight of Dragonwings. They are determined that they can do it, with Red Rabbit and their one wagon.
  • Windrider wakes up with a start. Uncle insists that he let the Company loan him rent money. In fact, the Company has already dropped off the money on the way to the barn.
  • Windrider gives the Company a tour and run-down of Dragonwings while they eat meat dumplings.
  • The group tie themselves with rope to Dragonwings, and prepare to pull the airplane up the steep hill. The walk up the hill gives them a hard time. Moon Shadow has thoughts of hating Dragonwings for being so d--n heavy. But then Uncle begins a chant that the Tang men did while building the railroad. The Company joins in on this chant and makes it to the top.
  • Miss Whitlaw and Robin catch up to them, glad to have made it in time. Apparently, Miss Whitlaw contacted Uncle through the grapevine and found out that the first flight of Dragonwings was still on. Father is stunned that Uncle used a telephone.
  • Robin presents the gift of wine and they all take a sip.
  • Robin positions herself at the left propeller, and Moon Shadow mans the right. Windrider sits his belly down in the flying contraption.
  • Windrider and Dragonwings take flight. Father is able to bank the airplane and go in circles above the Company. They are all ecstatic and cheering.
  • Moon Shadow runs down the hill alongside Dragonwings, so proud that Father is actually flying.
  • Everyone's super-excited until part of the airplane's frame breaks, sending the propeller flying. Dragonwings crashes and Windrider is hurled out of it.
  • Uncle inspects Windrider and can tell that he will survive, but has a broken leg and ribs. Robin runs for a doctor.
  • Everyone else cleans up the wreckage. They get Windrider onto a wagon. He is conked out, and the doctor fixes him up.
  • Windrider wakes up. He says that, in the air, he realized that his family means more to him than flying. "There's more to being a dragon than just flying," he says (12.131).
  • Uncle and the rest of the Company ask Windrider to be a partner in the Company. Uncle says that he never thought he'd see a man flying, and maybe he was wrong about disapproving of bringing Mother over. Lefty explains that he is also already a partner. Uncle convinces Windrider to let him lend the one thousand dollars to buy into the partnership, no interest. Windrider accepts.
  • Time passes and Black Dog is found in an alley with his throat slit and wallet stolen.
  • Uncle is very upset, as you'd expect. Moon Shadow reflects that Uncle sees Windrider as a "spiritual son" (12.150). The two of them only got in tiffs because Uncle was upset when Windrider disobeyed him.
  • Windrider and Moon Shadow move into the Company's new building. Windrider heals.
  • The Lees continue contact with the Whitlaws, visiting every Sunday.
  • Windrider goes to the Middle Kingdom to bring back Mother.
  • Moon Shadow goes visit the Whitlaws in Oakland and sits on a swing with Robin.
  • Moon Shadow and Robin reflect on how lucky they are. They both race to get Miss Whitlaw's fresh-baked cookies. Robin wins.