Study Guide

The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking #1) Chapter 40

By Patrick Ness

Chapter 40

The Sacrifice

  • With his new missing nose, Aaron looks more monstrous than usual. He has a gun, so Viola and Todd start running as fast as they can, but unfortunately, the current is bringing Aaron toward them more quickly.
  • The gun starts firing as they run. After a couple tries, Viola falls to the ground and starts rolling down a hill. Todd runs after her and rolls her over; luckily she hasn't been hit, and only fell.
  • They frantically search for a place to hide, but there aren't any trees. Finally, they spy a road that disappears over the cliff—there must be a ledge right below the drop.
  • They make a run for it and jump onto the ledge. Aaron's voice suddenly sounds far away, and there's a road that takes them away, behind the waterfall.
  • They start climbing down the cliff, finding that there's a staircase hewn into the rock. After climbing they find themselves in a church—a huge stone church built into the waterfall.
  • The church is clearly abandoned and was probably built by the first settlers. Looking ahead, they see that it ends in a huge drop to whatever is below; they'll have to wait until daytime.
  • They hear Aaron's voice calling for Todd—it's far away, but then it gets closer and closer. They think about the sacrifice that Aaron's talked about and Viola thinks that it might not be her after all.
  • Todd grips his knife and realizes that she isn't the sacrifice he wants (which, judging from the fact that he keeps calling Todd's name, makes sense).
  • He tells Viola to hide, and knife in hand, turns to face the entrance of the church. With all is might he returns Aaron's greeting, like a man, shouting out his name: "AARON!!" (40.276)