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Free Study Guide-The Once and Future King-T.H. White-Free Book Summary
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CHAPTER SUMMARIES AND NOTES

BOOK ONE: THE SWORD IN THE STONE

Chapter 4

Summary and Notes

Wart and Merlyn return to Sir Ector’s castle with Cully in tow. Wart explains to Hob that Merlyn helped him catch Cully. The residents of the castle are all relieved and glad to see Wart alive and well. Wart is particularly proud of himself not only for retrieving Cully but also for completing the Quest to find a tutor, and he brags about his accomplishments to Kay and Ector.


Ector is understandably suspicious of Merlyn’s magic and asks for proof of Merlyn’s abilities. Merlyn acquiesces and produces, in turn, written testimonials of his abilities, a giant mulberry tree, and a snowstorm. Ector does not want to concede, but grudgingly allows Merlyn to be Wart’s tutor.

Kay expresses disbelief at Wart’s success and Merlyn reprimands Kay sharply. Kay feels bad, and Merlyn appeases him with a gift of a new hunting knife.

In this chapter, Wart has established himself as having some heroic characteristics: he has spent all night in the forest and has completed a Quest by finding Merlyn. Also, the tension between Wart and Kay is further described, and the reader understands that Merlyn is Wart’s defender when he lashes out at Kay.

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