Study Guide

Nation Chapter 14

By Terry Pratchett

Chapter 14


  • Here are the rules of the duel (which really has no rules): both combatants lay their weapons in the sand ten feet away. The duel begins when the first weapon is picked up.
  • Oh, and the fight is to the death.
  • Mau flings sand in Cox's eyes and runs—that's his weapon: "He didn't have to say he'd chosen the sand itself. It was a good weapon, too" (14.11).
  • To be safe from Cox's revolver, Mau dives underwater. Cox fires, but the bullets either ricochet off the water's surface or screech to a halt underwater and bounce harmlessly off Mau's skin.
  • Um, really? Guess we are in a parallel universe after all.
  • Mau realizes that in order to win, he has to think like Cox.
  • While he's counting the number of shots and the clicks as Cox reloads his pistol, Mau swims beside the tree that he last saw on the Boys' Island, before the wave uprooted it and carried it away.
  • In the wood is the axe, right where he left it.
  • Mau hurls the axe out of the water and right into Cox's chest. He falls backwards into the water, where the sharks are already circling. Cue Jaws theme (again).