Study Guide

Dragonwings Chapter 5

By Laurence Yep

Chapter 5

Windrider's Claws (February, 1904-May, 1905)

  • Uncle Bright Star tries to figure out how he'll pay back the money Black Dog stole. He claims that Whiskey Devil, the head of the Justices, owes him a favor from a while back, so he won't have to pay him that much.
  • The Company all vote to share the cost with Uncle Bright Star, despite his grumbling. Windrider says that the Company is their family, too.
  • It's not long before Black Dog's sourness and drug use returns. One month after Moon Shadow and Windrider bring him back, he returns to the Company stinking of opium.
  • Since Moon Shadow is now the double digits of ten years old in demon time, he is assigned the role of collecting overdue bills in the Tang village.
  • One day, while making rounds, he sees Black Dog. They have a short and sweet heart to heart, which involves Black Dog telling Moon Shadow the love story behind opium use (5.23-26). Black Dog resents having to work hard for other people's benefit overseas. Moon Shadow has hope that things will be better in next lives.
  • Black Dog jerks Moon Shadow's queue and kicks at him with his boots. Black Dog steals Moon Shadow's money for collecting bills.
  • Moon Shadow wakes up in the Company home with Windrider hovering over him.
  • Moon Shadow hesitates before confirming Uncle's suspicion that Black Dog was the bully.
  • Windrider is determined to avenge his son and hound Black Dog (no pun intended).
  • The rest of the Company think Windrider is bonkers, suggesting instead that they should leave the demon police or the Sleepers handle it. Windrider surprises them all with his conviction when he says that he's sick of dealing with "men who live off the misery of their brothers and sisters" (5.58). He seems to be saying that working within the Man of the police and the Sleepers is really also participating within corrupt wheelings and dealings.
  • Uncle urges him to reconsider, saying that Tang people should take care of themselves rather than running to the demon authorities.
  • Windrider decides to go after Black Dog and the Sleepers himself, saying that dragons "protect their own brood" (5.65). Uncle tells him he's a fool.
  • It gets let out that Windrider was once a member of the Sleepers (5.72). The Company leaves Moon Shadow and Windrider alone in their room.
  • Lefty guards their room outside with a club, ensuring that Windrider stays within its walls.
  • Windrider orders Moon Shadow to go to sleep. Then he busts out his hidden hatchet, or sword, if you will.
  • Windrider quickly opens the door and K.O.s Lefty. When Moon Shadow hears his dad leaving, of course he runs after him.
  • Moon Shadow follows his dad to Dupont Street, where Windrider goes to a door and asks for Water Fairy, a.k.a. Tiger General, the head of the Sleepers.
  • The Tiger General obviously has a history with Windrider that we don't know about. The two of them exchange some words before Black Dog is brought out and challenged by Windrider to fight. Someone tosses Black Dog a sword so he's not unarmed.
  • Black Dog fakes a hurt back and calls for a hidden guy to shoot Windrider. Moon Shadow quickly throws himself onto the man with the gun, saving his dad's life.
  • Windrider and Black Dog have a sword duel. Windrider obviously kicks Black Dog's booty.
  • Moon Shadow is busy with his own fight and is nearly killed before Windrider hatchets the almost-killer in his back.
  • The Tiger General apologizes for the hidden fighters, insisting that the duel was to be between Windrider and Black Dog only. He dumps Black Dog on the street. The Tiger General advises Windrider to leave town for a while, especially since he's killed a man.
  • When Moon Shadow awakes the next morning, Windrider has been out of the house. He has decided to leave the Tang people's area of town. He has gotten a job as a mechanic for Mr. Alger's apartments. Windrider and Moon Shadow will live with a "demoness" or American lady.
  • Uncle Bright Star warns Windrider of the dangers of leaving the Tang people's town, saying that Melon Head was blinded in one eye the other day.
  • The next day Moon Shadow and Windrider load up the wagon to go to their new home.
  • The Company gathers to bid the two farewell and to offer gifts. White Deer gives a statue of the Buddha-to-be, Lefty gives them a poem that he wrote before he cut off his right hand, and Hand Clap gives them each a necklace with a special charm (5.131).
  • Uncle Bright Star enters last in his finest garments. He gives the father and son pair a porcelain cup with a bit of soil from China.
  • Windrider does the strange and bold thing of shaking hands with each of the Company men. Shaking hands, instead of bowing, is a demon greeting that seems to mark a new standard of behavior.
  • Windrider and Moon Shadow board the wagon with Hand Clap and are on their way.