Study Guide

The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking #1) Part 2 / Chapter 7

By Patrick Ness

Part 2 / Chapter 7

If There Was

  • Todd and Manchee are still standing in front of the frightened girl, motionless; Todd continues to grip his knife. Manchee starts to growl and Todd starts commanding him like a, well, normal dog, which is different from their usual interactions. Todd's starting to feel like his world no longer makes sense, which seems reasonable given the day he's been having.
  • Todd examines the girl and compares her to what he was taught that a girl was. But she's different—not as small, not as dainty, plus she has short hair.
  • He knows she's not a Spackle because of her clothes. Spackles wear moss for clothing, covering their bodies, but she's wearing a kind of jumpsuit.
  • Despite this, though, Todd just knows instinctively that she's a girl.
  • After a long silence he asks her who she is, and kind of chokes up (he's not afraid to admit it)—his world is just so rocked.
  • She doesn't speak, which makes the Silence even more intense. Even worse, since she doesn't have a Noise, he can't hear what she's thinking. He asks himself: Can she even be human without a Noise?
  • He gives up on talking to her and orders Manchee to watch her while he opens up his mom's journal. Inside he finds a map, which shows that there is actually a place to go past the world that he knows. Color us intrigued.
  • Todd is interrupted by the girl whacking him on the head—Manchee apparently abandoned his post.
  • He tries to make the girl understand that he won't hurt her if she won't hit him, but she still doesn't respond. She's also bleeding from the stick she hit him with.
  • He pulls a first aid kit out of his satchel and tries to fix her cut.
  • The silence (and possibly being around a female) has a funny effect on him that he describes as "my heart breaking all over the place" (7.83).
  • Finally, Todd seems to finally be getting a smile out of her when the Noise starts rushing at them. He pulls her with him and they run away.