Study Guide

The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking #1) Chapter 8

By Patrick Ness

Chapter 8

The Choices of a Knife

  • Todd is suddenly pinned to a tree by a horribly maimed Aaron, who has somehow escaped from the crocodiles. This guy just doesn't quit, now does he?
  • Todd is being held so tightly that he feels like he's dying, until Manchee cuts in just in time, sinking his teeth into Aaron's leg.
  • Once they've broken apart, Aaron panics and asks about the "sign," which is another thing that Todd doesn't understand. And then they both realize that the girl is gone.
  • The girl must be the sign, then, and she also must be the real reason that the town is freaking out—not just from the hold in the Noise.
  • Todd does some quick thinking: Maybe the town can get ahold of the girl and leave him and his family alone. Yeah, it's not exactly a heroic thought process.
  • Fortunately, though, Todd changes his mind quickly when he hears a piercing scream and realizes that Aaron has caught the girl. He hears Aaron's noise in snippets about a "holy saint" and "sacrifice" and realizes dude's going to kill her.
  • Todd gets his knife to kill Aaron, though he really doesn't want to have to do so. He starts bracing himself, but Aaron gets to him first, pushing him underwater.
  • Todd breaks free, and after bashing Aaron's head with a rock, the girl hands him the knife.
  • Todd tries to work up the courage to use the knife and kill Aaron… but he can't do it. He has a revelation: The knife is a choice. He can decide to kill Aaron with it, but the decision means a lot of responsibility. He knows that Aaron doesn't have long left to live, and he doesn't have to become a killer.
  • So instead, Todd turns to Manchee and the girl and tells them that they have to move on.