Study Guide

Nation Chapter 7

By Terry Pratchett

Chapter 7

Diving for Gods

  • Three more canoes arrive in the dark, bringing over twenty more people.
  • Mau starts to worry about rumors of the Raiders, a cannibalistic tribe who roams the seas and attacks whomever they please.
  • But right now, there are more immediate issues at hand, like retrieving the anchor of the god of Water. Mau dives to the bottom of the lagoon, but can't budge it. Plus, it's unexpectedly surrounded by coral.
  • Using the hammer and chisel salvaged from the Sweet Judy, Mau tries again with Milo, Pilu, and Ataba's help.
  • They discover another stone behind the one they're trying to retrieve. This stone has a carving of calipers on it, a tool the people of the Nation had never heard of before. 
  • Weird. Could this possibly mean that there's another god?
  • Ataba, obviously, wants to destroy this stone and almost kills himself using the hammer to try and destroy the caliper stone.
  • Mau cuts himself on the coral trying to save Ataba. Cue the Jaws theme as a shark scents the blood in the water.
  • Remember the shark word that Granddad Nawi taught Mau? Mau does. He uses it and the shark turns tail and runs.
  • Mau hopes no one noticed that he peed himself when facing down multiple rows of razor-sharp teeth headed straight for his face. Don't worry, Mau; your secret's safe with us.
  • Back on the canoe, Mau, Milo, and Pilu try to figure out why Ataba tried to smash the stone. Maybe, Mau says, because "He thinks they aren't really holy" (7.151).
  • Mau demands Ataba pay him back for saving his life. He wants one MILLION DOLLARS.
  • No, he doesn't. He just wants the truth about the gods.
  • This prompts another fight between the two about gods, demons, and the dangers of the truth.
  • Before the end of the chapter, we get another glimpse of the Cutty Wren and its crew, still searching for the new king.