Airborn - Chapter 5: The Log Of The Endurance Summary & Analysis

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Chapter 5: The Log Of The Endurance Summary

Benjamin Molloy's journal is cracked and rain swollen, held together with a hair ribbon. Matt carefully unties it and begins to journey with Molloy as he read the pages from the beginning. Molloy left from Cape Town, using the jet stream to travel over the Indian Ocean until he reached Australia. Then the winds took him northeast. He kept careful notes describing the places and creatures he saw. In the small hours of the early morning, Matt reaches the section Kate had marked as her grandfather's first encounter with the creatures, beginning with his sighting of the island on September 2nd. He describes the creatures he first thought were albatross, and sketches them many times throughout the following pages. Across two of the pages, he'd drawn first a human skeleton, then a bat skeleton, and finally, what he believed would be the appearance of the creature's skeleton. Within a few days, he has counted twenty-six of them in the flock, and wishes Kate could see them. Days later, he sees his first birthing in air. The baby plummeted from the great height his mother had flown to before giving birth. After a few moments, the baby opened her wings and began to fly. Molloy watches more females give birth until the sixth birth, which doesn't go well. The baby's left wing doesn't unfurl, and it plummets to the island below, it's frantic mother unable to help it. Out of the fourteen births, this is the only loss. The next day they feed with a frenzy, and then leave, flying an estimated eighty knots with tailwinds. From there, the handwriting blurs, as though he is caught in a tropical storm. Matt recalls that they had found him on the thirteenth of September, just five days after the creatures departed. His last entry mentions an airship in the distance that he plans to signal for help. Matt sleeps for a short time, and wakes feeling as though he hadn't. He manages to return the journal at lunch time and they talk briefly, but long enough for Kate to realize that Matt is less than convinced. She reminds him that the amount of actual sky he has traversed is minimal. She is convinced that millions of miles of sky and sea remain unexplored. As such, she asks if they are passing anywhere close to the coordinates her grandfather mentions, and Matt agrees to check and tell her the point at which they are closest. She hopes that her grandfather was right, and this is a stop of migration for the creatures.

Chapter 5: The Log Of The Endurance Analysis

Matt lies in bed and read Benjamin Molloy's journal, beginning in Cape Town, sailing with the wind to Australia and then following the wind as it changed course, heading northeast. The days that pass are marked with Molloy's observations, repairs and drawings, but they held none of the discomfort that Matt felt even just reading about the perilous adventure. Without power of any kind, Molloy is at the mercy of the winds and yet regardless of his continuing eastward journey aloft, he is stout of heart and mind. Matt begins to understand the man in the balloon, learning about him through his writing. Molloy enjoyed Shakespeare, loved Kate immensely, and with the same depth of feeling, hated the baked beans he had provisioned himself with (though he ate them anyway, knowing the nutritional value in them) and he, like Matt, enjoyed watching the weather approaching. When Matt reaches the section where Molloy finds the island, and sees the creatures, he is amazed. Molloy's descriptions are detailed, as are the drawings he has done. The winds allow him to remain in the area as he watches them, and learns about them, charting it all in his journal. When they left, his writing changes, and Matt gets the distinct impression that he is depressed by their departure. After that, he writes little. It appears as though he was caught in a storm, and his ship damaged. His last entry is his sighting of the Aurora in the distance. Matt is disappointed when the reading is finished but not as disappointed as Kate is when he returns it to her, and tells her that her grandfather may have hallucinated the entire even, ill as he was. Kate says he is just like the others. Even the Zoological Society refused to believe Molloy wasn't in a state of delirium when he saw them, calling the incident 'deficiencies of observation'. She convinces Matt that he might not know as much of the sky as he thinks he does, having stayed primarily in their designated shipping route. He reluctantly agrees, and promises to check to see how close they will pass to the island, and let her know when they are at their nearest point.

This section contains 819 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
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