Study Guide

Nation Chapter 11

By Terry Pratchett

Chapter 11

Crime and Punishment

  • The chapter begins with a tense standoff between Foxlip and Polegrave and Daphne, who's determined to save the lives of the island people.
    She leads the two back to the Women's Place, promising to keep them save from the island's "horrible" "savages."
  • In the hut, she serves them each a cup of beer. They of course think she's trying to poison them, but she promises to drink from the same batch they do.
  • Before drinking, she spits in it and sings the beer song. She tells them to do the same.
  • "I'm not singing no pagan mumbo jumbo!" (11.94) says Foxlip (11.94), who slurps the beer and promptly dies, teaching us you should always graciously observe the customs of your host.
  • Polegrave tries to shoot her, but Daphne cracks him in the face with her bowl and steals his gun.
  • She cocks it and threatens to shoot him, so Polegrave does what any smart man (or even a stupid mutineer) would do: he runs.
  • Daphne immediately feels bad for murdering Foxlip, even if it was really his fault.
  • They bury Foxlip and Ataba at sea.
  • The next morning, Daphne demands a trial, a concept the islanders have never heard of before. To clarify: a trial for herself. She feels she deserves some sort of punishment for murdering Foxlip.
  • At the trial, she tells the impromptu jury about Mr. Cox, the leader of the mutiny, and how he shot dolphins and butterflies and helpless people in canoes.
  • Mau also testifies on Daphne's behalf, telling everyone what a generous person she was to him. (He leaves out the part where she tried to shoot him.)
  • The jury decides that Foxlip was a bad man and pretty much deserved it: "It must have been an evil demon haunting the shell of a man, they say. The ghost girl could not have killed him, because he was already dead" (11.244).