Study Guide

Stardust Chapter 6

By Neil Gaiman

Chapter 6

What the Tree Said

  • Tristran dreams that the moon is talking to him. It whispers a plea that he look out for her daughter, since there are those who mean her harm.
  • When Tristran wakes up, a woman is talking to him. He looks around, and figures out that she is the tree he's sleeping under. She proceeds to tell him about her life (she'd been a nymph, and was transformed into a tree to help her escape from a prince who wasn't going to respect her boundaries).
  • The tree says that she dreamt of Pan, who owns the forest and told her to help Tristran. So Tristran tells her his story. The tree says that since he unchained the star of his own free will, she will help him.
  • The tree tells Tristran two things: The star is in danger, so he must find her and protect her, and he also must catch the carriage that is about to pass by. Finally, the tree gives him a copper-colored leaf, which will reveal something to him later when he needs it most.
  • Tristran misses the coach as it hurtles by, but then it's stopped by a fallen tree branch. He offers to help the driver lift the branch in order to unbar the road, and then asks if he can tag along.
  • The driver (who looks an awful lot like Primus) says he doesn't normally take passengers, but after doing a little rune consulting, he agrees to let Tristran ride with him.
  • So. There's this mountain range running north to south through Faerie. According to stories, it used to be a giant who got tired and decided to lie down, so the four great mountain peaks are named after his body parts (Mount Head, Mount Shoulder, Mount Belly, and Mount Knees).
  • The witch-queen waits at the pass of Mount Belly, and she enchants her chariot to become an inn, with one goat turned into an innkeeper, and the other goat into her and the innkeeper's daughter.
  • Doing this much magic ages the witch-queen a bit, but soon she'll have the star, and she'll be young again.
  • Tristran and the driver get to talking, and Tristran shares that he's offended a lady and wishes to make amends. The driver eventually introduces himself as Lord Primus, and warns Tristran to watch out for his brother Septimus; Tristran feels comfortable introducing himself to Primus using his real name.
  • A storm descends on them, making them wish they'd come across an inn. And just like that, there's an inn at the pass. They go for it.