Airborn - Chapter 3: Kate Summary & Analysis

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Chapter 3: Kate Summary

As Matt prepares a trolley of food for the Topkapi stateroom, chief steward Mr. Lisbon tells him the Captain wants to see him. Matt takes a breath, calming himself before knocking, and enters. The Captain tells him to sit, and Matt knows he will not be getting good news. He tells him that although he'd given his promise that the next promotion was his, he unfortunately has no choice in the matter, and must take on as junior sailmaker Otto Lunardi's (the owner's) son. The Captain offers to transfer Matt to another vessel if he can find one with an opening, but Matt declines, preferring to stay on the ship where his father had worked. The Captain promises Matt he will not break his word a second time. The ship's tour is due to go and Matt arrives to find only Kate de Vries waiting. When no others show interest, they begin. Kate shows true interest in the ship and how she works and the more appreciative she is about the vessel, the more Matt likes her. He shows her everything, and when she sees the ladder to the crow's nest, she asks if they can go up, but Matt tells her it is a 'crew only' location. In conversation, he reveals that he was born in the sky, on an airship as they make their way slowly back, neither in a hurry for the tour to end. She asks a great deal of questions most passengers are not interested in. Finally, she asks if he was on board when the balloon was found a year earlier. She is surprised when he admits that not only was he the first to see it, but was also the person who went across on a davit to help get the gondola on board. He describes the circumstances and she admits that the man in the balloon had been her grandfather. She asks if he spoke to her, and Matt tells her about the strange conversation they'd had about something he'd seen in the sky. He tells her that he had said 'Kate would have loved this' and immediately realizes that she is the Kate he referred to. She thanks him for telling her, looking drained. They get back to B-Deck and Matt asks her if she knew what her grandfather was referring to. She admits she does and that in fact is the reason she has come aboard. She hopes to see what her grandfather saw.

Chapter 3: Kate Analysis

He is readying a tray for Kate and her chaperone when the chief steward comes over to tell him the Captain want to see him. Knowing there is no way that this could involve disciplinary matters, he smiles and straightens Matt's tie before sending him on. Matt feels for the compass in his pocket that was a gift from his father on his tenth birthday. The inscription reads 'From one sailmaker to another' and he always carries it. It is the moment that Matt has been waiting for - his promotion to assistant sailmaker, and he hopes he doesn't forget anything important should an impromptu quiz be given. He remembers the first time he met the Captain. He was only six at the time. Now, the Captain tells him to sit, and he looks for any sign of good news on his face. He breaks the news that Matt will not get the promotion to junior sailmaker as promised, and in fact they will be taking on Otto Lunardi's son in that position. Matt recognizes the name of the owner of the Aurora, as well as about forty other airships, and knows the position the Captain is in. The son of the owner is apparently unfit to manage the business empire his father controls and as such is facing exile aboard the Aurora. Matt doesn't let his feelings show and leaves with a feeling of loathing for the Lunardi boy he doesn't even know. Matt wonders if he'll ever attain his dream of becoming a pilot of the Aurora - a position he coveted above all others. He returns in time to conduct the ship's tour, but only Kate de Vries is waiting. He takes her throughout the ship he loves, and when she sees the ladder to the crow's nest, she asks if she can go up. He tells her that it is an area only crew is allowed, and her disappointment endears her to Matt even further. Her interest in the vessel is so intense that it is almost disconcerting and she continues to ask pointed questions about their route, height of travel, speed, pressure, and more. Their conversation takes an interesting turn when she brings up the incident a year earlier involving the hot air balloon. When Matt reveals he was the one who sighted and then helped to bring the balloon on board the Aurora, she is surprised, and follows it with a surprise of her own. She is the Kate he referred to, and he was her grandfather. Matt is a bit embarrassed that he told the tale with such excitement and relish, but Kate is still asking questions, having ignored that. She asks if he spoke, and Matt reveals the strange conversation they'd had. Tears form and threaten, but she is under control again almost immediately. As they return to B-Deck, he asks if she knew what her grandfather was talking about. She did, and in fact hoped to see them herself. It was the reason for her trip, and the many questions she'd asked.

This section contains 935 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
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