Study Guide

The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking #1) Chapter 29

By Patrick Ness

Chapter 29

Aaron in a Thousand Ways

  • Manchee soon finds the scent and they're back on their way. They travel up a steep hill as the sun comes up; Todd realizes that his fever isn't cured and he should have kept the rag.
  • They get to the top of the hill. Todd asks Manchee if Aaron planned this slow and painful death for him.
  • And guess what? Aaron comes out from behind a tree, affirming Todd's question with a "yes." Because of course Aaron is here.
  • Before Todd can react, though, Aaron is gone. Todd blinks, trying to figure out what's going on; he starts sweating and shivering.
  • He then sees Aaron again and hears his voice all around him, saying "killer."
  • Fortunately, though, this time Aaron is just the byproduct of Todd's fever—he's not actually there. Todd starts to eat.
  • He sees Aaron with a pre-crocodile face, reciting his sermons from Prentisstown.
  • Todd and Manchee continue, and Todd ignores the Aarons that he sees wherever he goes.
  • After walking and following the scent, Todd walks into a destroyed settlement, burnt to the ground. And Aaron is standing in the rubble. He smiles with what's left of his face as Todd threatens to kill him.
  • Aaron tells him that killing a Spackle doesn't count—he's still not a killer because he hasn't killed a man.
  • Todd's not giving in this time, though, and as Manchee barks, he raises his knife and stabs it into… wait, what? Viola?
  • She looks up at him confused and sad and says "Killer" (29.100).
  • Todd collapses to the ground and his world spins; he can't kill Aaron. He passes out.
  • He wakes up to Manchee licking his face, and when he stands up, he sees Aarons and Violas all over the place.
  • Okay, so we know that he's still hallucinating: Viola's not dead, and Aaron's not there.
  • Still, though, all the Violas and Aarons are calling him a coward.
  • Then, amid a swirl of Noise, Manchee leads Todd out of the settlement.
  • As they run, Todd sees (what could possibly be the real Aaron and Viola) knelt in prayer across the river.