Study Guide

The White Darkness Chapter 18

By Geraldine McCaughrean

Chapter 18

"If You Want to Please Me Very Much, You Will Fall Down When I Shoot You." –Oates

  • Sigurd and Sym are planning the perfect murder. The victim? Victor, natch.
  • Sigurd tells Victor that he and Sym are going to go to the back of the vehicle for a little hanky panky. Sym worries quietly about whether or not this is part of the ruse.
  • Sym and Sigurd are making out and they're about to have sex, but they encounter a problem after Sym removes about twenty layers of Antarctic gear: She has a deep cut in her leg, and it's bleeding.
  • When Sigurd fetches the first aid box, they find Victor's teabags. They're not sure which ones are poisonous, though, so they can't use them to murder Victor. Drat.
  • After some discussion, the pair settles on killing Victor with an ice axe. Yeesh.
  • They wait for Victor to fall asleep. In a dream, Sym checks in with Titus for some ice axe murder tips. (Poor Titus had to kill his pony with one.)
  • Sym wakes. She's no longer in the mood for murder. Nor is Sigurd. Oh well.
  • Sym and Sigurd are walking in front of the vehicle again. They're slipping in the snow quite a bit, and they're frightened.
  • Sigurd starts calling out into the wilderness, which creates an echo. He says he loves Sym, and she seems pleased, though she doesn't say it back.
  • A shot rings out. At first the couple thinks it's Manfred Bruch, but of course it isn't—the ice is cracking.
  • After a pit stop for lunch, Sigurd says he needs to use the bathroom and walks off into the wilderness for some privacy.
  • Victor shares some of his plans with Sym: He wants Sym and Sigurd to settle down in Symmes's Hole and raise their babies among the alien race that lives there. The usual.
  • After a long while, Sym and Victor hear Sigurd call out. He's found Symmes's Hole—hurrah.
  • Update: Sigurd did not find Symmes's Hole. He just tricked Sym and Victor out of the vehicle so he could steal it.

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