Study Guide

The Golden Compass Chapter 6

By Philip Pullman

Chapter 6

The Throwing Nets

  • Lyra and Pan walk through the streets of London, with Pan in the shape of a wildcat.
  • They stop at a coffee stall for coffee and a ham sandwich. A mildly creepy though well-dressed old man pays for it and asks why Lyra is out and about. Hehe.
  • In true Lyra fashion, she tells him that her father is a murderer and that she's off to meet him.
  • From there, Lyra and Pan unsuccessfully look for a doorway to sleep in. Eventually they make their way to the canal area, where there are barges.
  • Lyra sees a tiny wooden hut. Just as she is about to ask the man inside to let her in, she and Pan are attacked by two men.
  • The men chase Lyra, throw some nets over her, and snare her. Pan is caught by a fox daemon.
  • Just in the nick of time, Lyra is saved. One of the men drops dead, then the other. They've been rescued, apparently. But by whom? Gyptians!
  • It's Tony Costa and some other gyptians, who are apparently in London. He takes Lyra to his family barge, where Lyra again meets with Ma Costa.
  • Lyra is a little afraid that Ma Costa will remember the time she and Roger stole the Costa boat, but it looks like Ma Costa has forgotten. Phew!
  • Ma Costa doesn't answer Lyra's questions; she just gives her hot milk and puts her to bed in Billy's crib.
  • Lyra wakes in the narrow bed and dresses herself. Ma Costa makes her breakfast and cautions her to stay below deck. There's trouble above.
  • Tony appears below and there's a bit of a Q&A. Lyra tells the Costas everything that's happened to her up until that point – except the bit about the alethiometer.
  • Tony tells Lyra what they know about the North – about the Tartars who eat children, the headless Nalkainens ghost, the floating Windsuckers, and whatnot.
  • Lyra's never heard of any of this until Tony gets to the panserbjørne. She tells Tony she knows about the armored bears, and the conversation turns to Lord Asriel, who is being guarded by them.
  • Tony says the panserbjørne are "vicious killers," but they always keep their word if you make a bargain with them (6.107). (Foreshadowing, perhaps?)
  • Tony tells Lyra the gyptians have caught some of the Gobblers and know that they take the children to the North.
  • All of the gyptians are headed up for a "big muster" (some kind of meeting) in the fens (a boggy area) to decide what to do (6.111). They'll be meeting with John Faa, the King of the gyptians.
  • Lyra wants to go too, to rescue Roger – and Lord Asriel (though she doesn't mention him).