Nothing really happens this chapter – but then, if you’re looking for a story where “stuff happens,” you’re looking in the wrong place. Most of the chapter is spent with Lucy as she slowly discovers the world of the Sea People (from the safety of the ship).
When Drinian finds out about it, though, he tells Lucy not to speak to the crew about it.
“It’ll never do for the sailors to see all that,” said Drinian. “We’ll have men falling in love with a sea-woman, or falling in love with the under-sea country itself, and jumping overboard. I’ve heard of that sort of thing happening before in strange seas. It’s always unlucky to see these people.”
Then Reepicheep jumps overboard, only to discover that the water is “sweet”. Caspian decides to try the water first.
“Yes,” he said, “it is sweet. That’s real water, that. I’m not sure that it isn’t going to kill me. But it is the death I would have chosen – if I had known about it till now.”
Here, at the world’s end, they discover the Living Water – the Drinkable Light. And speaking of the world’s end:
“Yes, yes,” cried Reepicheep, clapping his paws together. “That’s how I’ve always imagined it – the World like a great round table and the waters of all the oceans endlessly pouring over the edge. The ship will tip up – stand on her head – for one moment we shall see over the edge – and then, down, down, the rush, the speed –“
“And what do you think will be waiting for us at the bottom, eh?” said Drinian.
“Aslan’s country, perhaps,” said the Mouse, its eyes shining. “Or perhaps there isn’t any bottom. Perhaps it goes down for ever and ever. But whatever it is, won’t it be worth anything just to have looked for one moment beyond the edge of the world.”
It just occurred to me why Aslan shows up so rarely in this book: Because it’s Aslan that they’re seeking (although they don’t always remember it).
And then we get another gem from Caspian (which actually raises a fair question about worlds).
“Do you mean to say,” asked Caspian, “that you three come from a round world (round like a ball) and you’ve never told me! It’s really too bad of you. Because we have fairy-tales in which there are round worlds and I always loved them. I never believed there were any real ones. But I’ve always wished there were and I’ve always longed to live in one. Oh, I’d give anything – I wonder why you can get into our world and we never get into yours? If only I had the chance! It must be exciting to live on a thing like a ball. Have you ever been to the parts where people walk around upside-down?”
And now I remember that Caspian has always been a huge fan of fairy tales, so of course he would use one to hit on a girl.
Next time: The end…