Study Guide

Ship Breaker Chapter 19

By Paolo Bacigalupi

Chapter 19

  • Nailer meets the rest of the crew as two half-men collect them from bars around Orleans.
  • Once the crew assembles, Nailer takes them to the house where they were staying. Although Nita is gone, Tool appears and tells Nailer that Richard has her now, and then he passes out.
  • Back at the ship, Captain Candless is surprised that Tool didn't fight for Nita, though Tool explains repeatedly that he has no patron. Tool tells Nailer that his father wants revenge. (Gee, you think?)
  • They try to figure out which ship has taken Nita, and Nailer remembers that the ship Pole Star chased Nita into the storm.
  • The captain and his crew know this is bad news, but tell Nailer not to concern himself with it.
  • From the ensuing conversation, it seems that the captain and his crew are trying to figure out whom to trust because there is, as the captain says, "a bit of contested leadership right now in the shipping clan" (19.57).
  • Tool decides he's going to literally and figuratively jump ship, and cautions Nailer to do the same: Just walk away. Tool explains that his debt to Sadna is repaid and that the people protecting Nita are fanatics.
  • Nailer decides to stay, though. Tool warns him to stay away from his father, then gives one more piece of advice to Nailer and departs.
  • The ship sets sail, and while Nailer feels alone without Tool, the captain takes him to his cabin to find out more about him. The two talk, and the captain wants to know why Nailer didn't just betray Nita to Pyce. Nailer explains that his dad isn't family; the captain thinks that Nailer's fallen for Nita, but that's not what Nailer's about.
  • The captain tells Nailer that he'll get cleaned up and start training with a gun because getting Nita back will be dangerous.

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