Study Guide

Dune Book I, Chapter 21

By Frank Herbert

Book I, Chapter 21

  • The Baron Harkonnen arrives on Arrakis. Hearing the sounds of war in the background, he thinks it a pity as to lose such good fighting men as Leto's.
  • Yueh is brought before the Baron. He demands the Baron live up to his side of the bargain.
  • The Baron feigns ignorance, and Yueh reminds him the deal was for the Baron to release Wanna from her agony. Wait, that was the deal? Come on, Yueh, the wording alone guarantees a double-cross.
  • The Baron says Yueh may join his wife, and Piter kills the doctor. Told you.
  • Leto is brought in. He is still heavily drugged and can barely register what's happening around him.
  • The Baron asks about Jessica and Paul's fate, and Piter informs him that men they sent have been killed. Piter believes an accident might have occurred.
  • Piter also informs the Baron that a missing ornithopter was taken, probably by one of Leto's men, though they do not know which one. For a Mentat, Piter sure has a hard time putting two and two together.
  • The Baron erupts at Piter, ordering him to deal with the situation until all possibilities are null and void.
  • Leto hears the exchange through a drugged haze but manages to understand that Paul and Jessica got away.
  • Leto also recalls the tooth.
  • The Baron questions Leto as to the whereabouts of Jessica and Paul. If he tells, his death will be quick. Well… quicker, anyway. If not, then Piter will have to improvise a devilish torture. Something creative like hot candle tallow on the back of the eyes perhaps.
  • For that extra bit of dread, Leto can hear the screams of one of his men in the background.
  • The Baron is positively giddy over how empty Leto is in the face of his defeat.
  • In contrast, Leto meditates on his life with Paul and Jessica. In short, it wasn't too shabby. Actually, it was pretty darn good.
  • Just when the Baron thinks about how much Leto fears him, Leto bites on the tooth and releases the poisonous gas.
  • He kills everyone in the room… well, everyone except the Baron. Oops.
  • When the shock wears off, the Baron analyzes the situation. Lucky for him, his suspensors made for a quick getaway, and the shield he had activated prevented the poison molecules from reaching him.
  • Iakin Nefud informs the Baron he's had the halls vented. The Baron promotes him to new captain of the guard. Considering the last captain of the guard lies dead on the floor, it's not exactly an auspicious promotion.
  • A Sardaukar enters, demanding to see Leto's body. The Emperor has sent him to see that Leto died cleanly and agony-free.
  • The Baron permits the Sardaukar to look and internally curses. He knows the Emperor will recognize Leto's trickery as a weakness on the Baron's part.
  • The Baron considers how his plans have altered with Piter's death, deciding he'll have to put his nephew Rabban in charge.
  • As he leaves the room, the Baron orders food and a young sex slave, the one who looks like Paul Atreides, sent to him.