Study Guide

The Lightning Thief Chapter 10 Summary

By Rick Riordan

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"I Ruin a Perfectly Good Bus"

It didn't take me long to pack I decided to leave the Minotaur horn in my cabin, which left me only an extra change of clothes and a toothbrush to stuff in a backpack Grover had found for me.


  • Between loans from the camp store and gifts from Chiron, Percy is outfitted with all of the things he needs to survive his quest: change of clothes, mortal money, drachmas (god money), ambrosia, nectar.
  • Annabeth packs her magic Yankees cap that her mom (Athena) gave her. It makes her invisible when she wears it. She also brings a bronze knife and a book to read on Ancient Greek architecture.
  • Grover brings his reed pipes (he's a big fan of Mozart and Hilary Duff songs), his rasta-style green cap, and lots of apples and scrap metal to munch on.
  • The three meet their ride up on Thalia's hill (where Percy fought the Minotaur).
  • There, Argus, the head of camp security is waiting to chauffeur them to the nearest bus depot in Manhattan. Argus has eyeballs all over his body so that he can keep watch in every direction at all times.
  • Before they leave, Luke gives Percy a pair of magic sneakers with wings: flying sneakers! He wishes Percy well.
  • Percy is totally touched by this gesture of kindness, especially coming from such a cool, older dude. But, when Luke leaves, Percy gives his magic shoes to Grover. Percy can't be caught flying around – that's Zeus's territory remember?
  • Chiron gives Percy a super important present: Anaklusmos, a.k.a. Riptide! Riptide is Percy's new sword. When it is sheathed, it looks like a ballpoint pen. When it is unsheathed, it is "a shimmering bronze sword with a double-edged blade, a leather-wrapped grip, and a flat hilt riveted with gold studs" (10.44). It is a gift for Percy from Poseidon. If Percy should ever lose it or drop it, all he has to do is wait a few seconds, and the sword (masked as a ballpoint pen) will reappear in his pocket. Like magic.
  • Chiron gives Percy a last-minute history lesson after Percy asks if there was a time before the gods:

    "four ages before them, actually. The Time of the Titans was the Fourth Age, sometimes called the Golden Age, which is definitely a misnomer. This, the time of Western civilization and the rule of Zeus, is the Fifth Age." (10.66)
  • Percy asks Chiron what it was like before the gods:

    "Even I am not old enough to remember that, child, but I know it was a time of darkness and savagery for mortals. Kronos, the lord of the Titans, called his reign the Golden Age because men lived innocent and free of all knowledge. But that was mere propaganda. The Titan king cared nothing for your kind except as appetizers or a source of cheap entertainment." (10.68)
  • Chiron goes on to say that it wasn't until the invention of fire (via Prometheus) and the rule of Zeus that humans advanced at all.
  • Chiron says that the Titans are still around, locked in torture chambers in Hades.
  • Chiron tells Percy to take a chill pill: "All we can do, child, is follow our destiny" (10.70).
  • Percy and Annabeth get into a bit of a tiff in the car ride to the bus station. Annabeth tells Percy that Athena and Poseidon don't get along. This could put a damper on the quest.
  • Argus drops them off at a Greyhound station.
  • Percy gets sad thinking about his mom, and Grover tells him that she married Smelly Gabe out of love for Percy. Smelly Gabe's stench was so strong, it masked Percy's smell from monsters.
  • After waiting awhile, the three board a Greyhound bus.
  • Who should appear? None other than Mrs. Dobbs and two other ladies who look exactly alike. They are dressed like grandmothers, but they glare at Percy and company viciously.
  • Annabeth recognizes them right away.
  • As the bus begins to zoom out of NYC, the grandmothers announce to the bus that they have to use the restroom.
  • Annabeth gives Percy her magic Yankees cap and he disappears down the aisle, just as the grandmothers are coming after him and his friends.
  • They attack Annabeth and Grover.
  • Invisible Percy tries to stop them by messing with the wheel of the bus. The bus driver is very confused.
  • Not soon after the bus has departed the station, Invisible Percy manages to grab the emergency break. The bus crashes into trees and spins around.
  • Everyone evacuates the bus except for Percy, Annabeth, Grover, Mrs. Dobbs, and her friends.
  • Mrs. Dobbs and her friends are Furies, monster-ladies sent from Hades.
  • After an epic swordfight, Percy and company manage to get rid of the furies using Riptide and some skillful whip-tying action.
  • The bus explodes right after Percy, Annabeth, and Grover get out of there.
  • A tourist snaps a picture of Percy.
  • The three decide they better set off into the woods fast. Mrs. Dobbs will send for more monsters from Hades, so they need to run away pronto. Remember, monsters can be killed, but they can never die.

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