Study Guide

Dune Book II, Chapter 24

By Frank Herbert

Book II, Chapter 24

  • Hawat and his men have escaped the massacre and find themselves in the presence of a Fremen.
  • Hawat thinks back on the invasion. Being a Mentat, he considers it in terms of data: how many ships, how many legions of enemies, where they attacked, and when. It's a lot of information to take in. The gist: they got whooped and badly.
  • Hawat swears vengeance on the traitor, promising to do whatever it takes to make her pay. Wait, her? Yep, Hawat still believes Jessica to be the turncoat.
  • The Fremen informs Hawat that Gurney Halleck safely hid with some smugglers, so you can bet we'll be seeing him again later.
  • Now there's the matter of what to do with Hawat's and his men.
  • The Fremen suggests they travel the sand sink at night, and without shields, to prevent attracting worms. Hawat notices the man was going to use another word before settling on worm. Wonder what that could mean?
  • Next comes the question of the wounded. The Fremen keeps suggesting that Hawat see to "the water need of your tribe" (24.49). Although Hawat is a Mentat, a person of supposedly super-logical powers, he surprisingly can't grasp the Fremen's meaning.
  • Hawat pushes on, asking what became of Leto and Paul. Although Leto's fate is known, Paul's remains a mystery even to the Fremen.
  • Now it's the Fremen's turn to play twenty questions. He wants to know what information Hawat has on the artillery. Why? Oh, no biggie. The Fremen just captured the weapon while killing something like 100 Harkonnen men, including Sardaukar.
  • Hawat and his men are astounded by the casual way the Fremen talks about fighting the Sardaukar. They're even more flabbergasted to learn that the Fremen captured three of them. As far as the Fremen is concerned, this is walk-in-the-park type stuff.
  • A man yells to Hawat that Arkie has just died, and the Fremen sees it as a sign. He joins Hawat and his tribe through the bond of water.
  • Before you could ask who, what, or where, four Fremen appear and whisk the dead guy away. Hawat and his men finally figure out that the Fremen will render the body down for water. Took you guys long enough.
  • Hawat's men are a little miffed and a touch angry, but Hawat orders them to stand down, knowing the Fremen will respect the dead. The Fremen remains too naïve of their culture to see the problem.
  • Aircraft fly overhead, and the Fremen hides Hawat and his men amongst the rocks. He removes a bat—flying mammal, not Louisville Slugger—from his cloak and sends it to deliver some form of message.
  • Five Fremen stand in the open, seemingly indifferent to the enemies flying toward them.
  • They wait silently as the ornithopter lands and five Sardaukar exit the vehicle. The Sardaukar wander toward the obvious bait when suddenly more Fremen sprout from the sand. They kill the five Sardaukar and even manage to take the ornithopter.
  • The ornithopter takes off. Hawat is amazed at the Fremen's fighting prowess and proficiency.
  • More enemies come. This time it's a troop carrier, a big one.
  • The troop carrier lands at the sight of the dead Sardaukar. Before any troops can exit, the stolen ornithopter smashes into it, the pilot sacrificing himself to kill every Sardaukar aboard the carrier.
  • The Fremen with Hawat says the exchange is "reasonable" (24.197).
  • Before they can make plans to move, though, a rain of blue uniforms comes over the cliffs. The Fremen's throat is slit. Hawat can barely draw his own knife before he's knocked unconscious.