Study Guide

Dune Book I, Chapter 7

By Frank Herbert

Book I, Chapter 7

  • It's moving day. Surrounding Jessica are the moving boxes in her new Arrakis home.
  • Jessica is unsure where to begin. Does she hang the bull's head here, or in the dining room? An interruption from Leto puts the decision-making on hold.
  • Leto and Jessica discuss their new home, and Leto admires how beautiful Jessica is.
  • Leto also tells Jessica about the head housekeeper: Shadout Mapes. Mapes is a Fremen who specifically asked to serve the Lady Jessica.
  • Leto and Jessica talk a bit more about the work that must be done around the house, and then Leto leaves to greet the reserves arriving on the landing field.
  • Jessica curses the painting of Leto's father. Rather, she gets mad at Leto's father.
  • Jessica is interrupted by an old woman's voice. It's the head housekeeper, Mapes.
  • Jessica mentions that she knows the title Shadout. Mapes sees Jessica's knowledge of the ancient ways as part of the Fremen legend regarding their messiah.
  • Jessica decides to play the mother-of-the-messiah role, pushing Mapes to reveal why she has a weapon hidden in her bodice.
  • The weapon Mapes removes is a gift for Jessica should she prove to be Neo, er, the One. It's a dagger with a black hilt and a white blade. Jessica recognizes it as a crysknife.
  • Jessica thinks about how the Bene Gesserit planted the legend into the Fremen culture centuries ago, and how she'll now play the role to her advantage.
  • When Mapes sheathes the blade without drawing blood, Jessica calls her out on it. Apparently, that's a big no-no in the Fremen society.
  • Mapes demands that Jessica draw "the water of her life" (7.118). Instead of killing Mapes, Jessica merely scratches her chest with the blade. Waste not, want not, we guess.
  • Mapes is now sure Jessica is the one who will bring balance to the Force. Wait, no, just the One. Sorry. There's just too many "the Ones" for us to keep track of.
  • Jessica and Mapes get down to the business of unpacking. Mapes reaffirms to herself that Jessica is Jet Li's The One (okay, fine, we'll stop). Then the old woman feels remorse for her.