Jonnie makes it to the heliport and is grumpy when there's a plane waiting for him with its passenger door open. He wants to fly, even if he can only do it with his left hand (and left foot), the safety of his passengers be damned!
With his multicultural crew of Russian and Scottish guards and a Swedish copilot, Jonnie takes off. He admires the mountains, spots a bear "on some important errand no doubt," notices a South American llanero riding below herding cattle, and rolls down the plane's window to wave.
While flying. One-handed.
On their final approach to the minesite the descending plane is mobbed by people, but Jonnie ignores them and whistles for Windsplitter. He checks his horse's healing leg, mounts up, and with an escort of horsed Russians and Robert the Fox tries to push past the throng of worshipers. But they're stopped by Bittie MacLeod. Dunneldeen apparently assured the boy that he could be Jonnie's page. Suddenly I admire 'deen's cunning.
Bittie's sad puppy face is too powerful for Jonnie to say no to. By now a llanero has joined the commotion and thirty Tibetans on a "pilgrimage" disembark from a plane to join in. Jonnie ends up entering the compound at the head of a procession of three hundred, all screaming his name, pushing their hands his way, giving him gifts of flowers for Chrissie, going absolutely nuts when he waves for them...
Jonnie, of course, is humble and uncomfortable with the attention.
And then he notices a caged and collared Terl "capering and leaping about." Jonnie finally has a reaction to his old foe, "vague unease."
To be fair, he is recovering from a serious head injury that can only have compounded his preexisting mental and emotional shortcomings. Also note that this chapter is four pages long and nothing really happens in it.
Back to Chapter Two