68 pages 2 hours read

Robert Cormier

After The First Death

Fiction | Novel | YA | Published in 1979

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Part 10

Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Pages 199-207 Summary

Part 10 picks up with Ben already in the van. He has been strip searched and is terrified. Miro is fascinated by Ben’s fear. Artkin questions Ben, telling Miro to keep a watch for anything telling, but all Miro sees when he looks at Ben is a “trembling, timid teen-ager” (202).

Artkin questions Ben, employing painful torture. Ben reveals there will be an attack at 9:30 and that he doesn’t know anything else. To be sure, Artkin employs the torture again, and Miro listens to the screams “loud and long and lingering” (207). Ben looks at Miro with a doomed shame in his eyes. Though he’s seen many people be tortured, Miro has to look away.

Pages 208-222 Summary

The attack comes at 8:35, not 9:30. In a haze of chemical fog, helicopters and soldiers on foot storm the bridge. Miro grabs Kate as a hostage and leaves the bus. Outside, gunfire erupts. In the following commotion, Artkin is shot, but he manages to shoot Ben before he dies. Miro can’t believe Artkin is dead. He expected to die himself, but “He had never counted on Artkin dying” (213).

The helicopter crashes into the van, sending Miro and Kate flying.