Study Guide

The English Patient Scene 21

Scene 21

Scene 21

  • After Caravaggio accuses Almásy of being a spy, Almásy has a flashback.
  • Madox says goodbye to Almásy as he is planning to leave Cairo.
  • Before he leaves, he tells Almásy that the hollow at the base of the neck is a "supersternal notch."
  • Back in the present, Caravaggio asks Almásy if he killed the Cliftons.
  • Almásy denies that too.
  • Then he says, "Maybe I did."
  • Here's another flashback to explain what he means.
  • Almásy is packing up base camp at the Cave of the Swimmers.
  • Clifton flies his little yellow plane to pick him up…
  • Except he's not picking him up. He dive bombs Almásy who dives out of the way at the last moment.
  • The plane shatters into pieces and careens across the desert.
  • Almásy races for the plane. Clifton is dead.
  • And Katharine is in the passenger seat.
  • She's alive, but injured.
  • Katharine says that Geoffrey knew about the affair. He wanted to kill all of them.
  • Almásy extracts Katharine from the wreckage and carries her across the cliff face.
  • Wrapped in a white parachute billowing in the wind, she's the most gorgeous plane crash victim ever.
  • As Almásy is carrying her, she tells him, "I always loved you," and he cries as he carries her.
  • He stores her in the Cave of the Swimmers, covering her with a blanket and making a fire.
  • Almásy says he'll walk to town and get help.
  • Katharine asks him to promise. "I don't want to die in the desert," she says.
  • He promises he'll come back for her.
  • He leaves her with a flashlight, water, his book of Caravaggio, and dinner of champions: cans of meat. When you're stuck in a cave, you can't go wrong with Spam.

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