Study Guide

The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing: Traitor to the Nation, Volume I: The Pox Party Part 2, Chapter 18

By M.T. Anderson

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Part 2, Chapter 18

  • What got Mr. Sharpe and Mr. Gitney to give Bono away?
  • Octavian doesn't know exactly, but he does know that the War plus the closure of the Port has made all funding dry up for the College.
  • And you know what no money means to Mr. Gitney: anxiety and desperation.
  • Mr. Sharpe too. In fact, both men are in total grovel-mode with the investors, to the point that they give Bono away to some gentleman in the Virginia Colony.
  • Bono and Octavian sit in the garden and talk.
  • Octavian's trying to lift Bono's spirits—after all, Bono's going to be a gentleman's valet. Plus, who knows? They may not be slaves for too long.
  • But Bono sees the writing on the wall, and he doesn't like it—he sees the West Indies in his future, where slaves die because no one cares to feed them.
  • Cue: prayer time.
  • Octavian prays to God that Bono not be sent to the West Indies.
  • He also tells Bono that Bono's been like a… but he can't figure out whether he wants to say brother or father.
  • Bono tells him to stop speaking.
  • He says that he's not going anywhere he doesn't want to go, and then he takes Octavian to look out at the pastures.
  • There's a rock at their feet; Bono pushes Octavian down to the rock and tells him to memorize this "magic rock."
  • Octavian doesn't get why, but Bono tells him that when he really needs to pray in the future, he should go to this rock and hold it to his belly.
  • According to Bono, the rock will give him everything he wants; Octavian agrees.
  • Bono tells him that the first week Bono got to the College, the scholars were lighting some kind of gas on fire and that he thought these guys were gods, that he'd made it to heaven.
  • They look out at the apple trees against the winter sky.
  • Then Bono says he's going to go in and put a bow in his hair—you know, to show himself off as a gift.

The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing: Traitor to the Nation, Volume I: The Pox Party Part 2, Chapter 18 Study Group

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