Study Guide

Nation Chapter 15

By Terry Pratchett

Chapter 15

The World Turned Upside Down

  • In the aftermath of the duel, the Raiders flee, their hostages are freed, and it turns out the parrot isn't dead. Squawwakak! (That's parrot-talk for "hallelujah!")
  • Daphne and Mau do some reflecting. The past few weeks have been tough, sure, but neither would change anything—they're better today for all of it.
  • Interrupting that happy moment, yet another ship arrives. Hey, look! It's Daphne's father!
  • Of course, His Excellency thinks that Daphne has been at the mercy of savages, but she assures him that she's fine. That blood on her? Oh, that's just a splash from when she had to amputate a leg.
  • She leads her father to the cave of the gods. It takes a lot of persuasive talk, but she convinces him not to just take everything and cart it back to England.
  • Instead, he should set up a Royal Society on the island. They should come here because the island is the important place, the birthplace of humanity.
  • Over the next couple of weeks, His Excellency and his men explore the island and play games like cricket with the islanders. (The islanders kick their butts.)
  • This happy moment is interrupted by even another ship: the Cutty Wren, carrying the Gentlemen of Last Resort and Daphne's Grandmother, who is like the Dowager Countess from Downton Abbey but without the warmth and tact.
  • (The Dowager Countess doesn't have any warmth and tact.)
  • The Gentlemen inform His Excellency that he's now King, even though his mother still makes him feel like a useless twit.
  • Bolstered by this news, His Excellency manages to tell her off in a most hilarious fashion.
  • Daphne is thrilled to learn that Cookie, the cook from the Sweet Judy, is still alive, rescued by the men of the Cutty Wren.
  • Mau arrives (with Pilu to translate) to bargain with the king. In exchange for the cave's Golden Door, Mau wants a few items of scientific interest: a big telescope, a giant boat, timber, metals, books, and, oh yeah, a doctor.
  • Using the figurehead from the Sweet Judy, the carpenters build a new door to the cave.
  • A week later, Mau and Daphne say their goodbyes: "We both walk away, without regrets, and when we meet again, it will be as old friends" (15.345).
  • The ship sails away with Daphne on it, and Mau goes fishing. Of course.