Shasta finds himself in Narnia, so he takes the opportunity to send word to Cair Paravel about the attack on Anvard.
“I see,” said Shasta to himself. “Those are the big mountains between Archenland and Narnia. I was on the other side of them yesterday. I must have come through the pass in the night. What luck that I hit it! – at least it wasn’t luck at all really, it was Him. And now I’m in Narnia.”
He turned and unsaddled his horse and took off its bridle – “Though you are a perfectly horrid horse,” he said. It took no notice of this remark and immediately began eating grass. That horse had a very low opinion of Shasta.
He heads off (primarily in search of food) and runs into some woodland creatures who are sadly unhelpful.
For the truth was that in that golden age when the Witch and the Winter had gone and Peter the High King ruled at Cair Paravel, the smaller woodland people of Narnia were so safe and happy that they were getting a little careless.
Eventually a Dwarf comes around who thinks to send a messenger (a Stag), because apparently he’s the only one who remembers that Queen Lucy’s still at home even if King Peter’s away, and she’s perfectly capable of doing something to help Anvard. And he’s also the first person to realize that Shasta’s in desperate need of food. Whatever else you might say about Dwarfs, there’s no denying they’re at least sensible.
“Why, neighbors, we ought all to be ashamed of ourselves! You come with me, lad. Breakfast! Better than talking.”
After he gets a proper meal, Shasta sleeps for a day and a night (more or less), and wakes up to find the Narnian army has arrived, including Lucy, Edmund, and Corin (evidently Lucy is an archer). I must admit, though, the idea of Edmund being the frazzled grown-up trying to handle Corin is kind of adorable.
“By the Lion’s Mane, prince, this is too much! Will your Highness never be better? You are more of a heart’s-scald than our whole army together! I’d as lief have a regiment of hornets in my command as you.”
This was Edmund’s response to Corin knocking down a Dwarf he had assigned to babysit him during the battle. Then Lucy mentions that she hadn’t brought her healing cordial because Peter didn’t want her using it all up (clearly Lewis had gotten questions about how a little bottle of cordial could last well over a decade).
“See what your Highness has done,” said King Edmund. “Deprived us of a proved warrior on the very edge of battle.”
“I’ll take his place, Sire,” said Corin.
“Pshaw,” said Edmund. “No one doubts your courage. But a boy in battle is a danger only to his own side.”
Corin naturally draws Shasta into his scheme of going to the fight, and poor Shasta just gets dragged along for the ride. It’s easier to see Shasta’s personality when he’s hanging out with Corin (probably because he’s the only person Shasta’s met who actually treats him as an equal). He’s a little shy, self-conscious, and generally eager to please (in contrast to Corin, who’s a troublemaker through and through).
And so the chapter ends with everyone riding off to battle in Anvard.
Until next time…