By Boom Corrie Ten
By Boom Corrie Ten
Corrie ten Boom was born in 1892 in Holland. She lived in Holland in an old house called Beje for most of her life, and she never married, as she suffered an experience which made her doubt love early on in her life. She decided it was God’s will for her to be alone when she became a minister of His word, after her experience in Nazi concentration camps during the Holocaust; she spent one year in Ravensbruck which was a camp responsible for the deaths of 95,000 women. She used her experiences during this time to write her immensely well-known autobiography “The Hiding Place”. The autobiography has been ranked with “The Diary of Anne Frank” and Elie Wiesel’s “Night” as one of the most influential pieces of Holocaust literature.
Following publication of her story, Boom traveled around telling her story to people who were interested in her time in the concentration camp. Boom’s sister, on her death bed, told Boom to get out and tell the world her remarkable story of survival. The reason Holocaust literature is so popular is because the story told from the point of view of a person who was there is all truth, whereas a person who was not there can only tell a story based on rumors and hearsay. Boom suffered several strokes in her later life and ended up dying, surrounded by friends, on her 91st birthday.
The Ten Boom family lives in Haarlem, Holland where they own and run a watch shop. Mr. Casper Ten Boom is a bit famous in town and is highly respected, as are his children. When the Nazi regime moves through the European countries, Corrie’s brother Willem involves himself in helping Jews to hide out and inspires Corrie to do the same. Corrie and her family become members of the Holland underground, determined to keep Jewish citizens and young men of working age who would be recruited to the Nazis safe from their fate. Over the years, Corrie becomes seriously involved in the underground; she has a secret room built at her home, Beje, where Jews can hide if the home is raided. She even holds drills to practice lying under any circumstances.
Eventually Beje is raided, and Corrie and her religious sister Betsie are beaten for information though they keep quiet. They are first imprisoned where they are kept from one another, as well as their other family members. After six months of being imprisoned, much of which Corrie spent in solitary confinement, she and Betsie were brought to another camp, though they learned their father had died and their other relatives had been released. Eventually the women ended up at the Ravensbruck concentration camp for women where they found appalling conditions including lice, incinerator ashes, and fleas. Betsie falls ill and dies only weeks before Corrie is released. Upon returning home, Corrie makes it her mission to tell her story and to make Betsie’s dreams, of building rehabilitation centers for concentration camp survivors, come true.
Racism is at the heart of this story because without it Corrie never would have been subjected to her experience. As the Nazi regime moved through Europe during the early-mid 1900s the people of Haarlem, Holland began to live under extremely strict rules, and Jews went into hiding. Corrie and her family became a part of the underground which was formed to keep the Jews safe from the Nazis. It was in helping to fight racism that Corrie was imprisoned, along with her family, and eventually forced to live in at the Ravensbruck concentration camp.
All of the people involved in fighting against the Nazi regime were exceptionally brave because, at any moment, they could be imprisoned and taken into concentration camps, as the Ten Booms were. Corrie, her family, and the other people involved in the underground sacrificed themselves and their own safety for the sake of keeping others from harm and the wrath of Adolph Hitler and his followers. They all stood tall and lied in the face of those in charge knowing that they could be beaten or killed at any moment if they gave the wrong answer.
Casper Ten Boom and his family are well-respected members of the Haarlem community, which leads to them being trusted in terms of the underground movement. The reason they are so well respected is because they are respectful of others and respectful of their faith, especially Betsie. When Betsie and Corrie are at Ravensbruck concentration camp, there is a lot of tension between many of the women but everyone seems to respect and get along with Betsie because of her positive attitude and faith.
Religion is a negative as well as a positive within this story. First of all, Hitler and the Nazis are coming after all of the Jewish people throughout Europe; in this case, religious background and beliefs are a negative because an entire religious group of people is being discriminated against. From the other side, Betsie’s religious views helped her, Corrie, and many other women get through the horrific experience of being imprisoned and placed in concentration camps. She thanks God for everything, even the negative, knowing that she will be rewarded when she finally gets to Him.
Thanks to the Ten Boom family the Jews who come to them stay safe and do not have to suffer at the hands of the Nazis; it is the Ten Boom family who ends up suffering in the place of those they are helping. Casper, Willem, Corrie, and Betsie all fall ill at some point; Casper does not even make it out of prison and Betsie dies just before she would be released from Ravensbruck. The conditions are horrendous; there is not enough food, there is ash everywhere, and people are infested with lice and fleas. Even when people are ill they rarely see a doctor; the conditions are atrocious.
Death is ever-present for those fighting against the Nazis because there is always the possibility of nothing making it through the war alive. The Jews are in constant fear of being captured and those who are protecting the Jews, such as the Ten Boom family, are sacrificing their own lives by being involved. Once imprisoned death is everywhere; Casper only lasts ten days before he dies. At Ravensbruck, there are dead bodies everywhere and older people are incinerated when they are deemed useless.
Forgiveness is Corrie’s biggest obstacle after she is released from Ravensbruck. She wants to do good in the world, and make Betsie’s dreams of building rehabilitation centers come true, but she cannot escape her past. When Corrie is unable to shake the hand of a Christian man who was once a concentration camp guard, she realizes that her inability to forgive is hindering her life. She wants to tell people “Betsie’s story” to educate them but cannot be as effective as she wishes if she remains bitter and unforgiving.
The greatest example of unconditional love is Betsie’s love for God. She remains faithful to Him and continues to pray and thank Him every single night, regardless of her circumstances. Corrie is amazed at Betsie’s persistence and her ability to thank God even for the fleas that they become infested with; she determines that the fleas keep out guards and make Bible study possible, so they must be a marvellous thing. She continues to love God even when she is suffering, knowing that if she remains faithful and loving she will be rewarded when she meets Him.
Racism is taken to an entirely different level here, one that is teemed with hatred. Hitler’s persecution of the Jews stems from pure hatred inside of him and his followers. At the camps, both Jews and their protectors are forced to live in squalor and are often burned alive for their “crimes”. Betsie often prays for forgiveness for the guards and the hatred that lives inside of them. She wants to start a rehabilitation center someday for the Nazis who want to be forgiven for their hating ways. The people who have a right to hate are the ones who show the most love.
The Ten Boom family shows their loyalty in several situations. They remain loyal to their neighbors and those in need by housing them, hiding them, lying for them, and going to prison for them. They remain loyal to one another; Corrie fails her fitness test on purpose so she does not have to leave with her brigade and instead can stay with Betsie, who is ill. After Betsie’s death, Corrie keeps her spirit and dream alive by spreading their story and opening rehabilitation facilities for survivors of the camps as well as former Nazis. Also, they remain loyal to God despite the suffering they face.
Corrie is the narrator. Corrie is in her late-20s, and is working as a watchmaker, when she decides to join the Holland underground to help Jews escape the Nazis during World War II. Corrie tells her story of growing up, of joining the underground movement, of paranoia and sacrifices she and her family members made, also of her time in prison and the Ravensbruck concentration camp. Corrie has strong faith in God and is intensely loyal to Him as well as members of her family, especially her sister Betsie. Corrie keeps Betsie’s memory alive by sharing her story and making her dreams come true.
Betsie is the older sister of Corrie. Betsie is the oldest daughter of the Ten Boom family, and she steps in as a mother figure when their own mother dies. Betsie is not of perfect health and often works too hard, especially when she is sick. While imprisoned and held in the concentration camp, Betsie uses all of her strength to spread her faith to the other prisoners and to keep the others in excellent spirits. Betsie spreads a feeling of peace to all she comes into contact with and is a pleasant and appreciated the presence for the other women. She is a symbol of all that is good and true.
Casper Ten Boom is the patriarch of the Ten Boom family. He is the owner of Beje and the watch shop and has worked as a watchmaker for many years. Casper has always been a positive, wise, and kind influence on his children and has always offered them sage advice that Corrie, especially, appreciated. He went along with his children’s desire to help the Jews and was happy to contribute in any way he could, even if it meant risking his own life. Casper fell ill just before Beje was raided, and he died only ten days into his imprisonment.
Willem is the oldest of the Ten Boom children. Willem received a scholarship to seminary and subsequently became an assistant clergyman. When Willem receives his own placement his entire family visits to hear his first sermon. Willem is the first of the Ten Boom family to get involved in hiding the Jews, and he inspires the rest of his family to do so as well, but to find their own means of doing so because of the strain. Willem falls ill early into imprisonment, and he is never able to recover; he dies soon after Corrie returns home.
Nollie is the second sister of the Ten Boom family. She is happy to help the Jews just as the rest of her family though she refuses to tell a lie in the process, feeling as though honesty is the best and most faithful policy. Corrie does not agree with Nollie’s refusal to lie though it does prove to work for her on more than one occasion. When Nollie is released from prison she sends Corrie and Betsie a bright blue sweater, a red blanket, and a Bible to lift their spirits.
Pickwick, whose real name is Herman Sluring, is one of the wealthy customers of the watch shop. The girls belief that Pickwick’s appearance makes him seem frightening, though he proves to be quite helpful in the underground. He helps Corrie to set up Beje as a hideout, by installing an alarm and getting the telephone working; he also orchestrates the building of the hidden room where the Jews manage to stay safe. When Corrie gets out of Ravensbruck, it is Pickwick that helps her get back to Beje, though it is illegal to enter Haarlem at that time.
Toos is one of the employees of the watch shop. She is an elderly woman who Casper employed to help keep the books; before working for Casper, Toos had been unable to keep a job because she was so disagreeable. Toos can develop a gentler demeanor after being around Casper, and she becomes a more pleasant person. When Corrie returns from Ravensbruck she finds that Toos had kept the watch shop running the entire time the family was gone.
Otto is a young man who is German and proud to admit that he is a part of the Hitler Youth. Casper hires him at the watch shop to give him a chance though he is frequently disrespectful of the Ten Booms and the Jews for their reading of the Old Testament. He is fired from the shop after he becomes particularly disrespectful toward an old man named Christoffels. Later, when Beje is operating as a hideout for the Jews, Otto interrogates Corrie and Betsie.
Christoffels is an elderly man who Casper employees at the watch shop as a clock repairman. At first the rest of the family is skeptical of Casper’s judgment because Christoffels appears to be poor and quite ragged, though he soon proves himself as supremely talented. Christoffels never seems to spend any of the money he earns at the shop until he shows up for the anniversary celebration in new clothing. Just before Beje is raided, during a particularly nasty winter, Christoffels dies in his bed.
Peter is Nollie’s son who proves himself to be a musical prodigy at a remarkably young age. His talent was discovered when he pointed out a wrong piano note while listening to the radio, and he was then encouraged to begin playing. Once when the family goes to see him play the piano he plays the Dutch national anthem which by that point had been outlawed by the Germans. Peter is taken to prison after playing the anthem though he only remains there for a short time before being released.
Mr. Smit is the codename for everyone involved in the underground; if no one knows the real names of those involved then they do not have to worry about lying when questioned. Corrie realizes how thankful she is for not knowing anyone’s real names when she is questioned in prison, and she finds that she truly has no answers for the questions being asked of her. Casper has a hard time with the many Mr. Smits because he does not yet seem to understand the sound logic behind the name.
Karel was a friend of Willem’s when he was a teenager; Corrie was in love with him. Karel asked Corrie if he could write her and Corrie enthusiastically agreed, throwing herself entirely into the mostly on-sided relationship via correspondence. Willem cautioned Corrie that Karel’s parents would never consent for him to marry someone of a lower class like Corrie, but she did not heed the caution. When Corrie was introduced to Karel’s fiancé, she was heartbroken. She finally forgave Karel and was happy for him, though she never mentioned loving another man after him.
Tante Jans is one of Corrie’s aunts who lives at Beje. She is an exceptionally strong presence and commands respect and attention from all she encounters; this is probably why she had more personal space at Beje than anyone else. She is truly devout in her practicing of an outdated religion which she single-handedly tries to spread throughout Haarlem with the pamphlets she makes. Tante Jans is preoccupied with death, feeling as though she will die before she can accomplish everything that she wants to in life; when she does die of diabetes she is accepting of her fate.
Rolf van Vliet is a policeman in Haarlem, Holland. He is a friend of the Ten Boom family, and he issues warnings of coming raids to Corrie and her family members. He risks his life in giving the warnings because the Germans have begun to take over law enforcement. When the Ten Boom family is first arrested and brought to prison, Rolf tells them to shred any incriminating documents they may have on them and flush them down the toilets at the police station.
Lieutenant Rehms is the man Corrie must see for her hearing after she is arrested. He is particularly interested in hearing about Corrie’s faith because he feels as though he is surrounded by darkness in his life and could use some light. Despite being interested in what Corrie tells him that he does not accept her offer to change his life. He is also the man who reads Casper’s will to the Ten Boom children; he mostly arranged the meeting so that Corrie and Betsie can see one another.
Though this is the story of Corrie Ten Boom, it is written by John and Elizabeth Sherrill. They had been writing a book called “God’s Smuggler” and kept coming across Corrie Ten Boom’s name, so they decided they would add her to their book. She was given an honorable title in Vietnamese and was known from behind the Iron Curtain; when they heard of all of her missionary work they decided that they must know more about her. Little did the Sherrills know that Corrie ten Boom would prove worthy of having her own book. The writers attended a church service in Germany where they heard two speakers talk about their time in Nazi concentration camps; one of the speakers was Corrie ten Boom. They were so enthralled with her story and her persona that they decided they must stay behind to speak with her.
Boom had made her life’s mission to spread comfort, love, and counsel worldwide. Her journey began in a concentration camp where she found “a hiding place from the wind, a covert from the tempest” just as Isaiah had promised. The authors stuck by Boom, and learned about her by following her to the places that held much meaning in her life. They thought that by learning Boom’s story they were adventuring in the past, but they soon found that she was teaching them things to bring to their future. In hearing about Boom’s experiences and the people who had been involved in her life, the authors realized that they wanted to know these people, and thought the rest of the world would want to know them, too. It was with this realization that the Sherrills decided they must record Corrie ten Boom’s story to share with the masses.
It is Holland in 1937 and the people of Haarlem are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the local watch shop. Corrie ten Boom, the narrator, was forty-five years old and had never been married. She complained about gaining weight as she got older though her sister Betsy, seven years older than she, could still turn heads. Corrie’s house was called Beje and it had a peculiar shape; it was three stories high, two rooms long, and one room wide. Everyone in town showed up for the party, even the delivery boy who brought her flowers. The party was to celebrate the shop opened by Corrie’s grandfather but also to celebrate Corrie’s father, Casper, who was loved by everyone in Haarlem.
Corrie describes the dining area of the house and the family members who were no longer able to be there physically, but would always be there in spirit. It is obvious from her description that her family was truly loving and truly appreciative of the time they spent together. As Corrie and her sister, Betsie, reminisced about family and fun times, they could not have possibly known the horror that would soon enter their lives; they could not imagine their father being dumped into a grave nameless, or that conservative Betsie would be naked in a room of strange men.
Betsie sent Corrie to their sister Nollie’s house to get some cups because guests were arriving rapidly. Corrie rode her bike to her sister’s home and stopped out front; in retrospect, Corrie remembers that she would soon stop her bike in front of Nollie’s home again, though on this next occasion she would not go inside for fear of what she may find. Corrie waits for the cups and tells the reader about the man people who came together that day and would soon come together again, though under not so celebratory and light-hearted circumstances. Her brother Willem had experienced a horrific contempt for human life while completing his doctorate in Germany in 1927 though no one had believed his story; however, now as businesses owned by Jews are being shut down people are starting to listen. Willem opened a home for elderly Jews and younger Jewish refugees who had come from Germany. Corrie recalls that the shadow of the war fell on them that day, but no one believed or imagined how terrible and all-encompassing it would soon become.
In 1989, Corrie is six years old and, she is living at Beje with her parents, her Aunt Jans, and her siblings; Betsie is the eldest sister, and she is already suffering from anemia. Aunt Jans is devoutly religious and frowns upon the new fashions, expecting the girls to do the same; Nollie disregards her wishes and wears a new hat to school. Corrie does not want to start going to school and tries to stay home, but her father gently forces her out of the house. Corrie has fond memories of the time she spent with her father; she recalls accompanying him to the Naval Observatory in Amsterdam where he would get the official time from the clock there. He would also speak to Jewish businessmen and argue with them about religion. Corrie would often talk to her father about things as well; one time she asked him about sex and he told her that she was too young to be concerned with such things and she let it go.
When Corrie was young she used to like listening to music outside of the cathedral or the concert hall. Her family would often help needy families in their neighborhood, whenever they were able to. One day, they brought some food to a woman whose baby had just died, and it was the first time that Corrie had ever seen a dead body. She becomes nervous about the safety of her own family after this experience, but her father calms her down with his wise words, just as always. In the Ten Boom family, the aunts would often impart their old-fashioned beliefs and values onto the young girls, with love. Mrs. Ten Boom would always encourage the family to help those in need, even if it would be an inconvenience to their own family. Mr. Casper Ten Boom proves himself to be a truly spiritual man who imparts spiritual values on his children and is also quite disciplined. Mr. Ten Boom is always willing to answer questions honestly and, he and Corrie have a truly open relationship.
Willem, Corrie’s oldest brother, is leaving for college. Corrie is in love with Karel, one of Willem’s friends, but she admits that she falls in love with boys often. She does not have enough confidence to talk to boys, like Nollie does, so when she and Nollie visit Willem and Karel at school, Corrie becomes tongue-tied. Back at home Mrs. Ten Boom and Aunt Bep have both become ill; the doctor brings over a new invention called a blood pressure cuff. Aunt Jans finds out that she has diabetes, and Corrie learns how to test Aunt Jans’ blood sugar; one day, the test does not come out right, and Aunt Jans learns that she only has a few weeks left to live. Despite having been infatuated with death for a long time, Aunt Jans takes her prognosis calmly.
When Willem graduates from seminary and gets married the family decides to go hear him give his first sermon, despite Mrs. Ten Boom’s failing health. Corrie is excited to see Karel and when she does he tells her that he would like to write to her. Willem pulls Corrie aside and tells her that Karel’s parents would not approve of a relationship between them because they want a high-class marriage for their son, but Corrie decides to write to him anyway. At first they write each other daily but Karel’s letters begin to trickle off; Karel soon comes to Beje to introduce his new fiancé to Corrie. Corrie is heartbroken, but her father gives her words of wisdom as always. Corrie recalls many situations throughout her life that have helped her cope with difficult situations and death, much of which helped her when she was living in the concentration camp. Toward the end of the chapter, the reader learns of Corrie and Betsie’s practical views on living the single life; Corrie’s love for Karel and her reaction to that situation help the reader relate to her.
It is 1918, and World War I has just come to an end. Mrs. Ten Boom has been in a coma for the past two months as she suffered a cerebral hemorrhage. The family prays for her recovery, but it is all that they can do; she wakes, but when she does she cannot speak. As Nollie prepares to marry, Aunt Anna must give Nollie the “sex talk”. Betsie has decided not to marry because she has become barren due to her health problems and Corrie, who is twenty-seven, is perfectly OK with being single as well. At the wedding, Mrs. Ten Boom sings a hymn aloud; she dies only four weeks later. Betsie falls ill again as well, so Corrie has to take over the bookkeeping duties of the shop. Corrie finds that she likes the job terribly much, and Betsie admits that she likes her new role as keeper of the household, which she has taken on since the passing of their mother. Corrie begins to learn the inner workings of the watch shop and becomes the first female licensed to make watches in Holland.
Casper Ten Boom fosters ten children after his wife dies, and the family is also visited by ten grandchildren, thanks to Nollie and Willem’s marriages. The people of the town all chip in to buy Casper a radio, which he listens to often, and he begins to set all of his clocks by the chiming of Big Ben, which he hears over the radio. Most of the people in Haarlem are in denial about the true nature of the Germans and what they are doing. Casper even hires a young man named Otto who is German and who is proud to admit he is part of the Hitler Youth. He often criticizes the Ten Boom family, as well as the Jews, for their reading of the Old Testament. Casper tries to be tolerant of the boy and to lead by example, but eventually he has to fire Otto because of his mistreatment of another employee—an old man named Christoffels.
One night the family listens to the Prime Minister address Holland over the radio; he says that Holland is going to remain a neutral party. Casper does not think that Holland will be able to remain neutral; he thinks that there will be a war. That night everyone is woken by an air raid and Betsie and Corrie pray for Holland; Betsie also prays that the Germans will be able to see the error of their ways. The occupation moves through Holland, though the everyday life is not affected too seriously at first; everyone is forced to carry identification with them everywhere they go and ration cards are required. Radios are taken away, and the only news that reaches the people of Holland is the news that the Germans have decided can be shared. Corrie hides the family’s larger radio under a stairwell and only turns in their smaller one; she is surprised that she was able to lie so easily.
One night when Corrie is having trouble sleeping, she gets up and has a cup of rationed tea with Betsie; when she returns to her bed she finds that there is a piece of shrapnel in it. Soon there are Nazis everywhere, and the Dutch are being recruited. The Jews in Holland are forced to wear stars on their clothing at all times. The Jews slowly at first, and then quickly, begin to disappear; some have gone into hiding and others have been taken by the Germans. Casper is less than impressed with the Germans and pities them for being so hateful. When everyone begins to understand that the Jews who have fled are searching for hiding places, Corrie learns that Willem has taken a role in helping the Jews find safe places to stay. Friends and neighbors of Corrie and her family have been raided, and some have hidden Jews, or their belongings. On Corrie’s street Kik Ten Boom hides a Jewish businessman who resembles his bulldogs; he had poisoned the dogs for fear that they would suffer at the hands of the Germans. Corrie sees that many people need help, and she decides to go along with the rest of her family in doing whatever she can to provide assistance.
For people who live in Haarlem, life is becoming increasingly difficult. For instance, the national anthem has been banned, and anyone found singing or playing it has been sent to prison. The Ten Booms go to a concert at the local cathedral to see Peter, Nollie’s son, play the organ and to their horror he plays the national anthem. While many people are proud of his resistance, Corrie and her family are worried for his safety after the defiance. Nollie has hidden two Jews for Willem to keep them safe, but she is unable to keep Peter safe; he is arrested for illegally playing the national anthem.
Jews come to Beje for help in hiding and Corrie asks Willem to help them, but he tells her that she must find her own way to help. Corrie gets help from a man who works in the rations office and who steals rations cards, which he renews weekly; this is the only way to support the stowaways. Soon after Corrie begins to help the Jews, Kik tells her about the sophisticated operation that is running through the Holland underground to keep the Jews safe; Corrie finds out that Pickwick, a longtime customer, runs most of it, but he goes by the name Mr. Smit, as does everyone else involved. Pickwick tells Corrie that Peter will not be in prison for long. He sends some people over to Beje to build a secret room where they can hide Jews; the room is going to be in Corrie’s bedroom. Bricks are smuggled into the house, just a couple at a time, and soon a brick wall is built that looks like it is just as old as the rest of the house; the builder tells Corrie that drills should be completed daily to practice hiding in the room. Jews regularly come to the Ten Booms for help and the family sees helping the Jews as a job sent to them by God.
Young men are hesitant to be seen in public because of the razzia, which is the search for young men who are of working age. The razzia goes through Nollie’s neighborhood when Corrie and Betsie are visiting one day, and Nollie decides to be truthful to them no matter what; Corrie disagrees with Nollie’s faith in honesty at this moment, but she does not say so. Places that were once safe for the Jews are slowly losing their safety as homes become overcrowded and hideouts discovered. A woman named Mrs. DeBoer has taken in eighteen Jews and also agrees to take in the Bulldog, as well as his wife. The community even begins to look different as many trees are being chopped down for firewood. The winter is frightfully cold, and firewood becomes hard to find; Christoffels comes down with an illness from the cold, and he dies. At Mrs. DeBoer’s house the younger Jews begin to get restless and claustrophobic so they decide to make a break for it; unfortunately the commotion attracts attention and Mrs. DeBoer’s home is raided, taking in everyone except for Bulldog’s wife who is not Jewish.
Many people in Haarlem sympathize with the movement, including policemen. At the urging of one of the policemen, Corrie takes in the son of a cleaning lady. Many boys who are not Jewish are hiding out because of the razzia; some of them will even dress as girls if they have to leave the house. When Corrie or others take in the non-Jewish boys, they will charge a fee for ration cards. Corrie calls her network God’s underground, and she finds that she needs many resources to support everyone. Corrie has exceptionally low resources and is forced to turn away a woman and her baby when the preacher will not help her support them; the farm she sends them to is raided and she never learns what happened to them. Pickwick manages to get the phone system working again, and Corrie develops a code to speak in that makes everything sound like a watch repair question or solution. As many people begin living at Beje they hold practice drills to improve the amount of time it takes to hide all the Jews in the secret room; they eventually can erase any sign of a visitor within seventy seconds.
It has now been one and a half years since Corrie and her family have been involved in the underground. Corrie lives in fear that someone is going to make a mistake and they will be discovered. Nollie’s home is raided and she is arrested for keeping a Jewish woman as her maid; as Nollie does not lie to the authorities because she feels God will save her for always telling the truth. The Jewish maid manages to escape, and Mietje, a cleaning woman who Corrie helped, manages to get messages between Corrie and Nollie. Corrie finds out that the doctor who treats the prisoners tends to be a sympathizer, so she visits him, compliments him and his dogs, and begs for Nollie to be freed for the sake of her six children; though she does not tell the doctor that Nollie’s children are grown. When she leaves she is not sure what the doctor thought of her plea and she continues to live in fear of being caught.
One night when the family is all eating dinner Corrie spots a window washer outside. He tells her that he must have come to the wrong story, but she is still worried that he is spying, so she extends the drills to include sleep interrogations; Corrie would have people question her while she was sleeping so she could practice covering her knowledge of the underground when her defenses were down. The group became even more at risk when they took in an asthmatic 91-year-old woman named Mary Itallia. Otto visits unexpectedly to interrogate the Ten Boom family, and they do well, until he questions how they are able to drink real tea when it has not been available for quite some time. Corrie insinuates that she is having an affair with a German officer and Otto leaves, seemingly satisfied with torturing his former employers.
It is 1943 and Christmas is approaching quickly; Corrie says that every single family in Haarlem has a family member who is in hiding or has been imprisoned. The prison doctor releases Nollie and the people of Beje celebrate Christmas and Hannukah. When the chief of police summons Corrie she brings a large bag with her in case she is sent to prison. The chief surprises Corrie by telling her that he is supportive of the underground, and he needs a German spy killed. Corrie does not know anyone who can help him, but she offers to pray; she also realizes her underground network is not particularly well hidden. When Corrie learns one of the hideouts is to be raided, she sends Jop with a warning, but he is captured and everyone worries that he will not be able to stay quiet.
Beje is officially raided on February 28, 1944. Corrie has been in bed for two days, sick with the flu, and she has to leave without the bag that she had packed for the inevitable time when Beje would be raided, because it is in front of the entrance to the hidden room where there are currently four Jews hiding. Corrie is taken to the kitchen where her entire family is being questioned; she is surprised to find that the hiding place for their valuables was found immediately. Corrie and Betsie are beaten for information about the underground though neither of them reveals anything; Betsie does tell Corrie that she feels sorry that the soldiers are full of such hate. The family is taken to a facility where they prepare for prison; Rolf tells them to stash any incriminating evidence in the bathrooms. Corrie is taken out of town with her siblings and father, and she realizes the vision she had when she first joined the underground is coming to fruition; she and her family are being hauled out of town.
The prisoners are taken to The Hague, and Casper Ten Boom is offered release if he promises to stay out of trouble because he is old, but he says he will continue to help the people of Haarlem any way he can so they lock him up with his siblings. Eventually, men and women are separated, and when they are put into cells no two people from the same town can be in the same cell. Corrie, still sick, finds herself in a cell with four other women passing their time playing cards made from their daily toilet paper rations. Corrie is sent to the hospital when her condition does not approve, and at the hospital, she begs a nurse for a Bible and a needle and thread. When she is released and sent back to prison, she receives a package from the nurse containing soap, small gospel books, and safety pins. As Corrie’s condition worsens, she is placed in solitary confinement where a young man has to come to give her medicine and feed her because she is so weak; she asks the young man for news of her father but he says giving her such information would be troublesome for both of them. Corrie rejoices in the fact that she has a window to look out and she spends her time reading parts of the Bible.
By April 15, Corrie’s birthday, she is still in solitary confinement, but she is no longer sick. She is taken to a shower room where the women are showering for the first time since they arrived at the prison. That week the guards celebrate Hitler’s birthday and in their absence the women pass messages to one another. Corrie learns that she and Betsie are the only ones from Beje still imprisoned, and she has heard no news of Casper. Nollie sends Corrie a package, as she has been released, and manages to include a secret message that the Jews who were in the hidden room all remained safe. A German officer visits Corrie to ask her about the underground but thankfully, as everyone went by the name Mr. Smit, she cannot confirm nor deny any of the names they have. She receives word from Nollie that Casper Ten Boom died ten days after they were all imprisoned. Corrie is beside herself with grief and is given a sedative, though no one shows her any sympathy.
After spending three weeks in prison Corrie is taken to meet with Lieutenant Rehms for her hearing; she finds the man uncommonly kind and pleasant but is wary that his kindness may be a means of manipulation. Corrie tells Rehms about her faith, and later he asks to see her again to find out more about her religion, because he craves a way to escape all of the darkness and hatred that is central to his life. Corrie wants to see Betsie, and Rehms tells her he does not have that power, but he does arrange for Corrie to see Betsie when she is taken back to her cell. The entire family gets together in front of Lieutenant Rehms some weeks later to learn the contents of Casper’s will; he left everything including Beje to Corrie and Betsie. Corrie finds out that Willem has become seriously ill since being imprisoned and his son was captured as well. Nollie gets a Bible to Corrie and before the siblings all part ways Willem says a prayer for Lieutenant Rehms whose kindness is appreciated by the Ten Booms.
Not long after the Ten Booms’ met with Lieutenant Rehms evacuation orders are given. The prisoners are taken out of The Hague and to a location in the more southern part of Holland. Corrie and Betsie find one another and stay close together while they are transferred to a prison called Vught. After two weeks, Betsie and Corrie both receive pink slips, which they are told means they will be released. They are so excited that they split up what meager possessions they have amongst their fellow prisoners. They go through a day of processing, are given back their valuables, and they are taken to another compound where their valuables are once again taken from them. Betsie decides that her new mission will be to spread religion around the prison. The women are frustrated to still be in custody but find joy in little things, like receiving new clothes for the first time since they have been imprisoned. Betsie makes uniforms and Corrie makes radios though her supervisor picks on her often, possibly for being too good on the job. Betsie holds daily prayer meetings and Corrie helps; many of the women know men on the other side of camp and are devastated when they receive news of executions from the men’s side.
Corrie finds out that six months is the typical period of imprisonment for their crime, so she figured she should be released at the beginning of September; she has been keeping track of the date while she has been locked up. When the date draws near explosions are heard all around and the women are hopeful that help is coming; however Corrie’s supervisor thinks that the explosions mean the Germans are blowing up bridges and roadways. On a day past the time when Corrie expected to leave, all of the men are executed. The women are all herded onto freight trains where many of them faint or fall ill because of the cramped conditions; Betsie falls ill too.
The women arrive in Germany after two days of traveling and are barely able to move because of hunger and thirst. They are forced to march to Ravensbruck, a women’s concentration camp. In camp, they see the incinerator, which instills a feeling of dread, and they are not allowed to get a drink of water. When they arrive at a tent, they lay in beds of straw, which are filled with lice; Betsie and Corrie cut one another’s hair off while they weep. It is three nights in these conditions before they are processed. The women are taken to crowded rooms where they are given gowns and Corrie manages to smuggle in a blue sweater from Nollie and the Bible. They are sent to their barracks where five women sleep in each flea-infested bunk; Corrie and Betsie read the Bible together and Betsie continues to pray and give thanks for everything, even the fleas.
At Ravensbruck, the women are stripped and inspected once a week, and they are only addressed by their numbers. Each sleeping quarter is built for 400 people, but holds 1400, and the food runs out quickly. Tensions begin to run high as most of the women do not speak the same language though everyone appreciates Betsie and her constantly sweet spirit. Corrie and Betsie are put to work unloading handcarts, and they enjoy the work because it allows them to go for walks outside. In the barracks, they have Bible meetings because there is limited supervision; they take turns reading passages in Dutch and translating to German and the other women who can translate them into their own languages. The vitamin drops that Betsie must take for her illness last a long time, and when they run out, a prisoner who works at the infirmary brings Betsie vitamin pills. When winter comes, Betsie’s fever reaches 104 degrees, and she is taken to the infirmary.
Corrie is told how to get into the hospital to see Betsie by Mien, the woman who smuggled them the vitamin pills. Corrie enters the bathroom at the back of the hospital and finds that it is full of dead bodies. She sees Betsie and leaves quickly; five days later Betsie comes back to the barracks never having seen a doctor. She is placed on knitting duty with the old women, which takes place in the barracks. She remains optimistic and devout in her religious beliefs. She decides that she would like to open a home for survivors of the concentration camps and would also like to rehabilitate the guards. Corrie continues to work outdoors, but when her brigade is to be moved to a different location, she fails the fitness test purposely so she can stay with Betsie; she ends up working in the knitting brigade. Betsie remains in excellent spirits, though Corrie suspects that depression creeps up, and Corrie deals with feelings of selfishness and other things that she feels are unchristian of her. As December comes many of the women die during roll call and Betsie’s illness comes back, leaving her paralyzed. Betsie dies just before Christmas and Corrie thinks that she looks younger than she has in a long time. The blue sweater has to be burned with Betsie’s body, so her disease does not spread.
Shortly after Betsie’s death, Corrie learns that she is to be released. She is forced to sign a release saying that she was treated fairly and the conditions were excellent at Ravensbruck; then they give her meal vouchers, her valuables, and put her on a train to Berlin. Corrie has a hard time functioning after being institutionalized and learns that her money cannot be used in Berlin. She finally gets to Holland, where she stays in a hospital in Groningen until she can travel further into the country; she enjoys having hot baths and clean sheets for a few days. When she is finally able to hitch a ride to Willem’s house, she finds that he is still seriously ill, and no one has received word about his son Kik.
When Corrie is finally able to return to Beje she finds that Toos has been running the shop while she has been gone. Nollie and her daughters come to see Corrie and the reunion is highly emotional. Corrie feels as though she is of little use back at home, so she rejoins the underground, though her instincts and reactions are not what they used to be. A woman named Mrs. Bierens wants to help Corrie to open the rehabilitation home that was Betsie’s dream and offers her home to use. In May 1945, Holland is liberated, and in June a woman named Mrs. Kan is the first resident of the home. Corrie finds that she has a hard time forgiving her own neighbors for betraying their friends and also cannot forgive the guards from the camps. She opens Beje to members of the Nazi party who no longer want to be involved with it. When she begins doing speaking engagements she meets a former guard and is unable to shake his hand even after telling her that he is Christian; she realizes her lack of forgiveness makes life hard to live. As Corrie continues traveling she spreads the story, as Betsie’s story, and helps to make her sister’s dreams come true.
Travis is so sad about Old Yeller that he cannot eat, sleep, or cry and feels empty inside. Travis spends a lot of time thinking about how Old Yeller helped his family and Mama tries to talk with Travis about it to make him feel better, but it does not work. Lisbeth reminds Travis that the puppy is part of Old Yeller, but Travis only thinks that the puppy has not helped to keep his family alive like Old Yeller did; he feels bad for shooting his dog when he did not even do anything to deserve it. Soon the rain comes, and the hydrophobic plague is washed away from the land. Papa comes home in the morning, thinner than he was when he left but happy to have money and a horse for Travis. Travis appreciates the horse, but Papa can tell something is wrong with him. Papa gets the story from Mama, and after dinner, he walks down to the creek with Travis and tells him that he knows about Old Yeller. He tells Travis that he did exactly the right thing, just as a grown man would do, and he is proud of him. Papa tells Travis to think about the good parts of each situation because if he dwells on the bad then all of life will be bad. Travis understands what his father is saying, but he is still sad. A week later, Travis hears Mama yelling at the puppy for stealing cornbread, Little Arliss crying because Mama hit the puppy, and Papa laughing at the whole situation; Travis feels a little better. When Travis returns from riding his horse he sees Little Arliss playing naked in the water with the puppy and Travis starts laughing uncontrollably. He decides that he will bring Little Arliss and the puppy squirrel hunting because if the puppy is going to act like Old Yeller he may as well be of use.
Vin is in her room, piles of paper all around her on the floor. She continues to sort through the pages, rearranging them as she rereads different parts. She even starts to take notes of some quotes that she wants to remember. OreSeur watches her, commenting that she should use the desk instead of the floor. Elend walks in, and he is amazed that she is researching. He is also impressed with her penmanship, based on the pretty letters in her notes. Elend takes Vin with him to meet the messenger that has come from his father’s army. Vin is shocked to find that this messenger is also the man that was following her, the watcher. The messenger’s name is Zane, and he acts like an ambassador. Later, Vin and OreSeur wait outside for Zane. The two Mistborn spar, jumping from one rooftop to another. Zane says that Vin is different from the rest. She shouldn’t allow herself to be used by them. Vin doesn’t know what he means. When Zane leaves, Vin is sure she wants to spar with him more.
Zane comes back to his camp, or his father’s camp. He has a guard summon is father to the strategy tent. While waiting, he gives one of the soldiers strategic positions of the forces in Luthadel. Straff comes in and Zane tells him about the day’s activities, including what was said between Zane and Elend. They talk over a cup of tea. Straff, being a tineye, burns tin and smells poison in the tea he’s drinking. He knows Zane is always trying to poison him. He defiantly drinks the tea anyway and dismisses Zane. After, Straff summons one of his mistresses, a woman named Amaranta, who prepares a concoction of medicines in a special tea for Straff. He drinks the new tea, hoping he’ll live again this time.
Sazed has traveled six weeks worth of distance in six days, using his metalminds from time to time. Whenever a metalmind runs out, he leaves it on the ground, trying to lessen the amount of weight he has to carry. He notices several pillars of smoke ahead, sure sign that there is an army or camp of some kind. He is surprised to see that the army camp is made up of koloss, a dark blue kind of monster barbarian, once controlled by the Lord Ruler. Sazed is found by a koloss patrol. They force him to come down from the tree he was hiding in and follow them into the camp. Sazed is surprised once again to see that the man controlling these koloss is Jastes Lekal, a one-time friend of Elend Venture. Jastes says that he plans to conquer Luthadel as his own. He ends up letting Sazed go, under the condition that Sazed tell Elend about what he has seen. Sazed leaves, feeling even more urgency about getting to Luthadel.
Elends meets with his advisors–Ham, Breeze, Dockson, and Vin. Tindwyl is there, too. They try to talk Elend out of this plan he has to go into his father’s camp and trick him into fighting Cett. They don’t think Elend can con someone like that, but Elend is insistent that he can manipulate his father any time he wants. Plus, Elend argues, he’ll have Vin with him, in case Straff tries to take his own son hostage. Vin, listening in to the conversation, discovers through bronze that Breeze is soothing Elend to make him more confident. After the meeting, Tindwyl chastises Elend for not acting more like a king. Kings cannot doubt themselves. They must always feel that they are the right man for the job and convince others of the same through sheer confidence. The discussion is interrupted when Elend gets word that Cett’s daughter has arrived in Luthadel, looking for Breeze.
Cetts daughter, Allrianne, has left her father’s camp and come to Luthadel to see Breeze, whom she affectionately calls Breezy. Breeze is completely embarrassed by this, but the rest of the group gets a good laugh at his expense. Allrianne says she hated staying in her father’s camp; she needs comforts only a city can bring, like fresh water and a bed. After Allrianne leaves to freshen up, the group decides it may be beneficial to keep her. It may prevent her father from attacking too soon.
Vin, hides, suspended in the mists, just above Keep Venture. She spies on Ham as he walks across a courtyard. As she follows him, as a predetermined time, OreSeur jumps from behind some boxes and howls, scaring Ham. Ham reacts by flaring pewter. This confirms to Vin that he is not the kandra imposter. Vin admits to Ham that she is out of atium, meaning she’ll die the next time she fights a Mistborn with atium. She wonders is there is a secret to killing someone with atium. Ham doesn’t think so, although there have been some theories about how to do so. It may be possible, for example, to surprise them somehow. After that, Vin has a heart-to-heart with OreSeur. They talk about the way kandra are often treated, beaten by their own masters. They spot someone approaching the keep’s walls. It turns out to be Sazed, who has returned with, as he puts it, “problems and troubles.
Sazed is telling the group in the kitchens late at night, what he saw in the Koloss camp. They are not happy to know that a third army is on its way to Luthadel. Sazed does not know how Lekal is controlling the creatures, but the group does know that 20,000 koloss could beat an army of at least four times that many humans, meaning there is nothing stopping them from reaching and taking Luthadel. Finally, Sazed also share his fear regarding the mist killing people. He thinks something was released when the Lord Ruler was killed, although he never personally saw the mist kill anyone. Cett’s daughter comes walking in, half disheveled, asking what’s going on. They dismiss her and the group breaks apart, everyone either going to bed or to some corner to thin. Vin takes OreSeur outside to patrol. Back in his room, Sazed meets Tindwyl, an old friend of his. She criticizes him for returning and having strange theories about the mist.
Vin is outside, thinking about the beating she hears to the north, just like the writer of the log book, the supposed Hero of Ages. Zane finds her, and again he tries to convince her to leave Elend and Luthadel, claiming that she is being used by them and that she can do much better on her own, free to do as she pleases. Vin insists that she is very happy doing what she is doing and that no one is forcing her to do anything.
Vin is woken by a quiet bark of warning from OreSeur. She reacts by jumping out of bed, reaching for a dagger, and downing a vile of metals. She does all this before she realizes that the person that was “sneaking up on her” is actually Tindwyl the Terriswoman. Tindwyl obligates her to go shopping with herself and Allrianne, something Vin knows she will detest. They take a carriage to the market, the three women and OreSeur, who everything still assumes is just an ordinary wolfhound, along with Spook, who is forced to go to carry the girls’ bags. Vin manages to find a dress that she likes, and Tindwyl arranges for the dress to be made special for a Mistborn. Meanwhile, a someone has identifies Vin and a large crowd has gathered outside the storefront. Vin reluctantly goes outside to talk to them. They obviously worship her, calling her the Heir to the Survivor–Kelsier. She tries to say something that will inspire hope, but she feels that she is really just lying to them. Meanwhile, Elend is at the wall when Straff’s men attack. The guards and archers on the wall are in a total panic, and they barely kill a few of the invading wave before it retreats to the Venture camp. This was a test, just to try out Luthadel’s defenses, it is explained to Elend. Straff is sending a message, just before Elend is supposed to go out to the camp and talk to his father.
Vin opens the box sent from the dress maker, happy to find that the new dress is very well designed for a Mistborn, allowing her to move and fight freely. It even has secret hiding places for her daggers and some vials of metal. OreSeur does not think going is a good idea, since Vin and Elend would be alone in Straff’s army camp. Vin knows she must go anyway. Elend and Vin ride into the camp. Over the meal, Elend tries to manipulate Straff, but the man seems to catch on too quickly. Then he sends Vin out of the tent, so they can talk alone, father and son.
Straff and Elend talk inside, and things don’t seem to be going very well for Elend. Straff says he’ll just have Elend killed and demand Luthadel to open the gates to him. Elend says that if he is killed, Vin will kill Straff. Vin is outside, listening. She begins to manipulate Straff’s emotions, making him feel afraid. Finally, she smoothes away everything–every emotion he has, leaving him feeling empty and dead inside. The trick works, and Elend and Vin get out of the camp safe. Meanwhile, Zane has a little chat with Vin outside the tent, telling her that she is nothing but a knife to Elend. After they are gone, Straff commands Zane to kill Vin. Back in Luthadel, Elend learns that the assembly has voted to remove him as king.
The group meets together to see what they’re going to do about the assembly’s vote. They try to figure out if the assembly already has someone else in mind to put on the thrown, or if they simple want to send a warning to Elend because he has been ignoring them of late. The discussion leads to an argument between Breeze and Ham, as always, and Vin gets a taste of kandra humor when OreSeur whispers that he could always eat one of them and solve the argument. Later, Elend gets another lesson from Tindwyl about how a proper kind should act.
At night, Vin and OreSeur have a talk. OreSeur doesn’t think it’s healthy for Vin to keep herself awake for long periods of time, burning pewter to stay strong. He also doesn’t like the way Vin treats Zane, who should be her enemy. In the middle of the conversation, Vin realizes that she’s figured out what the Deepness is.
Sazed is in his room, studying and transcribing the rubbings he found. He knows that these few pages of transcribed text could keep him busy for months or even years. Vin enters through his window and wants to talk to him about the deepness. Sazed talks about if the deepness is even real or if it’s just a made-up story, some propaganda spun by the Lord Ruler. Vin says she thinks it’s real and tells Sazed that she thinks it’s actually the mist itself. The log book and the rubbings don’t say the mist actually killed people but that people died because of the mist. That could be because a permenant mist that covered the ground would kill crops and live stalk, leaving people to die of starvation. Vin also tells Sazed about the mist spirit that has been following her.
The assembly gathers, and Elend gets an opportunity to explain what he has done with his father. He uses twenty minutes to tell of the situation with the two armies and how his meeting with Straff went. He tells them that he used Vin’s power to threaten Straff, a move that may protect the city for some time yet. Meanwhile, Vin tries to pay attention to Elend’s meeting. She sees Zane in the crowd, and he smiles at her. They then have nominations for who should run for king. Elend and Lord Penrod are nominated, and, lastly, Cett is nominated. The man reveals himself to be in the crowd.
Vin sits in her room, studying the stacks of papers she has there. OreSeur is there with her, and they talk about the religious beliefs of the kandra. They practically worship the Contract above all else, the agreement they have with their human masters. Meanwhile, Elend discovers that some of the wells in Luthadel are being poisoned by someone, probably one of the armies outside. Vin talks to Dockson, and in the conversation, she determines that he can’t be the spy. She and OreSeur turn their attentions toward a new option: Demoux, a captain of the guard.
Elend works to find a way to convince the assembly to name him king again, while Vin wants to tell him her theory about Demoux. Tindwyle gets upset with Sazed when she finds out that he helped write part of the laws Elend put into place a year ago. Vin leaves the group and finds Zane, who immediately attacks her. She thinks he wants to spar, like before, but the fight becomes aggressive and Vin must fight him to survive. Zane tells her that he was ordered to kill her and that this attack was a warning. There are also many refugees coming from the koloss army, on their way to seek refuge in Luthadel. After giving his two warnings, Zane leaves.
Vin tries on another custom-made dress. Tindwyl tells her that Elend has nearly learned as much as he can from her; he’ll now have to learn to be a good leader through experience. Elend prepares his armored escort and carriage to go and see Cett. Breeze decides not to go, since he and Cett have history, which would only make the situation worse. When Elend and Vin actually enter the keep Cett is staying in and talk to the man, they discover just how sincere he is. He doesn’t want his daughter back, trusting that Elend will take good care of her. Cett wants Elend to step down from the election for king, and in return he won’t have Elend killed when he is made king. They also talk about the fact that no atium was found in all of Luthadel. Finally, Cett dismisses the two.
Sazed wanders through warehouse full of refugees from the koloss attacks, trying to help and health where he can. Tindwyl comes in and talks to him. She wants to see what he’s found–the rubbings he’s been transcribing. Meanwhile, Breeze has been listening in on the conversation, soothing both people in a way that would make them more friendly to each other. He walks among the refugees, trying to sooth away bad emotions and make them feel better. Elend and Ham come in, and Elend wants to make sure all the people have the clothes they need. Later, Breeze goes into the keep and has a secret meeting with Clubs. Though they always seem to hate each other, they drink together and talk; they’ve struck up a strange companionship. Allrianne walks in and tries to steal Breeze away. Vin, watching from outside, discovers that Allrianne is a rioter, since she was rioting Breeze’s emotions. She and OreSeur then go to find Demoux, still certain that he is the kandra spy. They find him in a little meeting of the church of the Survivor. He can’t be a spy, Vin decides. Then who is?
Sazed and Tindwyl sit together in the study, pouring over the rubbings, searching their metalminds for any references to the deepness or Hero of Ages. It’s morning, meaning they’ve been at it all night long. Tindwyl knows the course of actions Sazed takes is different from what the keepers want, but she is willing to stay with him and study these things further. Meanwhile, Elend and Ham walk along the wall. Ham comments that Elend looks more kingly than ever. As they walk, Elend announces that he has an idea to help Luthadel’s situation.
Vin, Elend, and the rest of the crew arrive early for the day of the election for king. Before the voting begins, Vin, trying to figure out what Elend has up his sleeve, discovers that he has joined the church of the Savior, in an effort to curry votes from the skaa members of the assembly. Suddenly, a groups of allomancers attack Elend and Cett. Vin manages to fight off the men, getting badly hurt in the process. After the fighting, the vote is moved to a more secure location, and the assembly members each announce their vote. Surprisingly, Penrod, a nobleman from the assembly is chosen the new king. Elend hands over his crown and leaves.
Straff Venture is angry that Zane sent a group of his allomancers to their deaths while Vin still lives. Zane promises that he has a plan to take care of her. Meanwhile, Straff meets with Penrod, the new king of Luthadel. Penrod is planning to give Luthadel to Straff, opening the gates to him and handing over the kingship. Straff, on the other hand, doesn’t want to enter the city while Vin still lives. Later, Zane tells Straff that he has been poisoned again. Zane leaves, and Straff is forced to ride hard back into the camp so his mistress can make him another antidote tea.
Vin awakes to see that Elend is with her. He tells her that he is not king, and he reports that OreSeur, who was badly hurt in the fight, is currently digesting a new set of bones. Vin feels that Elend is now scared of her somehow because of the way she fought those allomancers. Vin goes back to sleep, and awakes to find Zane there. He accuses her, saying that she could have killed those attackers easily had she not been so distracted with protecting Elend and other innocents. Later, OreSeur visits Vin, in another dog’s body. They talk more about the Contract that binds all kandra. Vin uses brass and duralumin to push strongly on OreSeur’s emotions. Even though he at first does not react at all, with enough force, Vin hurts him very badly, and she felt like she were controlling him for a moment. She apologizes for hurting OreSeur, and he leaves to get some rest. Vin promise to never tell anyone what she’s discovered about kandra.
Sazed and Tindwyl continue to talk about the things they are learning. Something doesn’t make sense about the rubbings, written by Kwaan. It seems that Kwaan did not trust Alendi, but he also knew Alendi was a good man. But if Kwaan knew Alendi was good, why did he have his nephew, Rashek, to mislead or even kill Alendi? Elend comes in and asks for advice. After a discussion, he decides that being king isn’t about a title, but about doing something to help others. He returns to his closet and retrieves the white suite, the one made for a king.
Elend is hard at work, helping the people. He’s sending men out to dismantle the wooden parts of keeps and houses to use as firewood. The many refugees are cold and hungry, and he wants to help them. Someone comes with news that one of the gates under the river has been broken. That is how someone has been getting into the city and poisoning the wells. Also, other reports say that an Inquisitor is lurking about the city. Elend decides to go out and talk to Jastes, with the koloss army, himself. He rides out and meets Jastes, unable to make any kind of deal. On the way out, Elend manages to fight and kill one smaller koloss, earning the sword and pouch as his own. He looks into the pouch and discovers how Jastes is controlling the koloss. He’s paying them.
Vin sees Elend, now returned from his meet with the koloss army, inured and resting. Zanes comes and says that Cett was the one that planed the attack at the voting ceremony. Vin gets angry and decides to attack Cett. Zane and Vin attack the keep that Cett has been staying at in Luthadel. Together, they kill guards and hazekillers. Fueled by rage, Vin kills quickly, working her way to Cett’s room. She realizes that Zane is using atium, while she has none, and yet she’s killing just as easily as he is. They finally get to Cett’s room, where he is with his son. Vin fights them at first, but when she discovers that neither of them is an allomancer and that Cett doesn’t have a single allomancer with him, she leaves them behind, injured and scared.
The crew sees that Cett’s army is now leaving, a result of Vin’s attack on his keep the night before. Elend does not know why Vin attacked Cett like that. Some in the crew think she’s crazy, but Elend just sees her as determined. They also discover that the “coins” Jastes has been using to control the koloss are fake, wooden coins painted gold. Elend goes to find Vin, who is hiding in the city. He finds her with OreSeur’s help. She says she must leave Luthadel and go north, to Terris. Elend says he trust her to do the right thing. They have one large bead of atium, and Vin gives it to OreSeur to hold for her.
Sazed and Tindwyl compare notes, studying the rubbing and other references they’ve managed to find. Tindwyl admits that she doesn’t believe in these prophecies, her interest in them being purely academic. Sazed, on the other hand, thinks Vin might actually be the next Hero of the Ages. While they talk, they discover that someone–or something–has torn a piece from one of the transcription pages. Vin comes in, while they try to figure out at what point were they both gone or occupied to not have seen an intruder going through their things. Vin asks Sazed how she can know if she’s in love. They talk about trust. After Vin leaves, Elend comes in and starts asking similar questions. Elend thinks he and Vin are too different to make a couple, but Sazed says that, to him, they are more alike than they think. After Elend leaves, Sazed realizes that Luthadel is going to fall soon; he needs to get both Elend and Vin out of the city before that happens.
Sazed calls a meeting with the members of the crew: Dockson, Breeze, Ham, and Clubs. He doesn’t invite Elend, Vin, or Spook. They talk about how the city is sure to fall. Straff apparently is in no hurry to take Luthadel. Instead, he’ll back off and let the koloss attack the city first. The koloss will win and enter the city, pillaging as they go. Then, with the koloss weakened and tired from the fight, Venture will ride in like a hero and save the city, defeating the koloss and taking Luthadel for himself. Sazed says that Elend and Vin need to get out of the city before these things happen. He wants Spook and Tindwyl to go with them. The rest of the group will have to stay and fight and die. Meanwhile, Vin feels she must follow the drumming she hears all the time. In Straff’s camp, Zane is attacked by his father’s men. He defeats them, but spares his father. He leaves, saying that tonight he will take Vin with him and leave Luthadel. He tells Straff that he should wait for the koloss to attack and then take the city.
Vin is in her room with OreSeur when Zane visits. He wants her to come with him, but she says she can’t because she doesn’t want to leave Elend. When Zane sees that she won’t go, he attacks her. They fight. When Zane starts to burn atium, Vin asks OreSeur for the large bead, a bead Zan had given her before. OreSeur doesn’t respond to her command. Vin discovers that OreSeur is not OreSeur. He is TenSoon, Zane’s kandra. Of course! There was no other spy. The bones they found were TenSoon’s and he had killed OreSeur! Zane corners Vin, but Vin uses a massive soothing to take control of OreSeur/TenSoon and attack Zane from behind. She then cuts the bead of atium fro TenSoon. But this is another trick. The bead is lead, with only a thin layer of atium. Soon, Vin is left helpless against a Mistborn killer with atium. Vin decides that Zane can see what she’s about to do, or, rather, what she plans on doing. If she attacks without thinking, though, she can, see in Zane’s reaction what she is going to do, only to change it at the last possible second. The trick works, and Vin defeats Zane. After Zane dies, she thanks OreSeur/TenSoon for helping her win. His contract is void, and he must return to his people. Vin goes to find Elend.
Elend is in his study when Vin comes in, bloody from her fight with Zane. She tells him that she killed him. He calls for Sazed, who comes to help with the wounds. While she is there, on the ground, she asks Sazed if he knows any wedding ceremonies. Of course, he knows hundreds. Vin asks which one is the shortest, and Sazed recalls one that only requires a declaration of love between the bride and groom before an ordained witness. Vin and Elend both say that they love each other, and Sazed declares them married. The wounds are clean, and Sazed sends Vin to get some rest. He also gives them a fake map to find the Well of Ascension. If the couple follows the map, they’ll be gone from Luthadel for a long time.
Elend and Vin prepare to ride out of the city. Tindwyl decides to stay in Luthadel. Spooks gets ready to go, and Allrianne will ride out, at Breeze’s insistence. So the four of them ride out, Vin quickly having to fight pursuers from Straff’s army. Once they are free, Allrianne breaks off to find her father’s army. Meanwhile, some of the crew watch as the escape, now sure of their own coming doom. Straff Venture hears of the escapes, but he has problems of his own now. He’s getting sick, which he knows is the result of poisoning from his son, Zane. He sends for his mistress, Amaranta, to fix him an antidote, but he discovers that she isn’t preparing what she normally does. She is actually killing, as she has for a long time. There never was any poison. Zane never tried to kill his father. But Amaranta, in her constant fixing of teas for Straff, has been causing him to become addicted to a rare drug. Without that drug, Straff will die. Straff, in a rage, kills Amaranta and then swallows as much powder from her medicine cabnet as he can, hoping to accidentally swallow some of the drug he needs before he loses consciousness.
Allrianne has made her way to her father’s camp, with the help of some bandits she’s tamed with her rioting. Her father, Cett, is not happy to see her. She convinces him to go back and join the winning party in the battle that is to come, although Cett promises that will likely be Straff. Meanwhile, Elend wakes up on the third morning out of Luthadel. He and Vin share a tent now, and he finds himself surprisingly comfortable on the hard ground, with Vin next to him. They get up and prepare the fire. It’s just the three of them: Elend, Vin, and Spook. Meanwhile Straff wakes up in bed. His men have taken care of him, and they’ve isolated the plant he needs to stay alive. When he hears that Vin and Elend have left the city, the men ask if they should attack now. Straff says no; they should pull back and wait for the koloss. Sazed meets with the others to plan a strategy for when the koloss attack. They plan to have a group of men at each gate. Saze and Tindwyl get a little time together, but then the warning drums begin to beat.
Vin is thinking about how the mist is staying later and later every day, instead of just disappearing with dawn, when she feels the pulsing of the mist spirit coming from Elend’s tent. She runs in, just in time to see the outline of that spirit lift some kind of knife to attack Elend, who is sleeping on the ground. She attacks the spirit and it disappears. Elend wakes up and never knows what was happening. She leaves Elend to sleep a little more and goes out to speak with Spook. He thinks someone is following them. Meanwhile, Sazed and the crew get ready, since it looks like the Koloss are about to attack. Men are at each gate, with one crewmember there to help. Straff sees that the koloss are attacking, but he tells his men to wait. Vin and Elend attack the camp of people that have been following them. It turns out to be Jastes. He’s lost control of the koloss, so he just left them. Elend kills Jastes because of his crimes against Luthadel. Vin discovers that the drumming sounds are getting softer, meaning the well is to the south, in Luthadel, and not in the Terris mountains.
Breeze works at his assigned gate, soothing soldiers by the dozen, helping them to be brave and fight well. The koloss pound at the door, while men atop the wall rain arrows down on the attackers. The koloss throw rocks up in return, smashing archers. Meanwhile, Vin runs towards Luthadel, burning pewter. She knows she will run out of pewter long before reaching Luthadel, and she wonders if the effect will kill her. But still she keeps running. Breeze and Clubs talk while the koloss continue to beat the gate. They blame themselves for being stupid enough to be in this mess, and they blame Kelsier for getting them into such responsibilities. Just then, the gates burst open. Meanwhile, Sazed gets word that Breeze’s gate had fallen. He doesn’t think he can really help. He notices that there is a crowd of skaa standing behind the defense force. When Sazed confronts them, telling them that they should flee to safety inside the city, the skaa answer that they are there to witness the fall of the koloss at the hands of Vin, who they are sure will return and make her appearance at Sazed’s gate. Then the gate breaks. Sazed musters his stored strength, growing in size, and faces the lead koloss, shouting for the men to fight. Vin, half collapsing and out of pewter, reaching a small village. At first she thinks to ask for pewter, but then she remembers how she used to travel with Kelsier on a path of metal bars in the ground. She asks for horseshoes, using them to “walk” by leaping, placing horseshoes ahead of her and pulling the ones behind to place further. In this way, she uses the horseshoes like stilts to help her travel in the air.
Outside Luthadel, Straff Venture sees that the koloss have now broken into the city gates. His men are ready to attack the koloss from the rear, but Straff decides to wait longer. Sazed, fighting the koloss, realizes that they need to get the gate closed again in order to survive. Using strength and weight, he manages to fight off the koloss and get the gate closed again. While getting a little break, a messenger comes and says that Tindwyl’s gate fell over an hour ago. Meanwhile, Clubs and Breeze are attacked and forced to run. Clubs is killed, while Breeze hides in a building. Dockson contemplates the root of their failure. He attacks a koloss, only to be cut down. Straff decides not to swoop in a save the city while the koloss are weak. Instead, he’d rather wait for the koloss to kill everyone and burn the city. Then Straff will move in. Meanwhile, Sazed fights on, wondering what happened to Tindwyl. He feels he is going to die, but then Vin arrives and starts killing koloss. Breeze is found by Ham and some others. They want to try to escape.
Vin continues killing koloss, several at a time. Sazed, outside Lord Penrod’s keep, begs the newly appointed king to go with them as they try to escape. Penrod insists on staying inside his keep. Vin continues to fight the koloss, but now she is almost completely out of pewter, steel, and almost every other metal. In desperation, to save some skaa from certain death, she super-soothes them, like she’d done to TenSoon, controlling the koloss with her mind. Sazed is standing outside Penrod’s keep when Vin walks up with koloss in tow. She orders Penrod to gather his men and put out the fires in Luthadel. Vin will take care of the koloss throughout the city. Later, Sazed finds Tindwyl’s dead body among the slain soldiers. He feels that all the faith, all the religions, he has always treasured is now useless. His life, he believes, has been a sham.
Straff wakes up and takes a sample of the drug he needs to stay alive. He gathers his men, expecting to be able to take the city now. But the koloss come out with the remaining soldiers of Luthadel. Vin jumps from among the koloss, sailing through the sky with a giant sword, cleaving Straff and his horse in half on impact. Allrianne watches these events from her father’s camp. She charges after them to help Luthadel’s army, forcing her father and his men to ride after her. Straff’s army surrenders, and Janarle, Straff’s general, is named the new Lord of the Venture army. Janarle, Penrod, and Cett all swear loyalty to Elend as their Emperor. Vin, needing rest, leaves Sazed in charge of the Empire until Elend can return to Luthadel.