Summary: Teabing’s jet begins its descent. Teabing plans to bribe the private airport’s customs official to avoid a search of the plane. He will have Rémy stay aboard with the still bound Silas. The airport contacts the pilot, asking him to bring the plane, not to its hanger, but directly to the terminal. Skeptical that Fache has arranged their arrest, Teabing hurriedly concocts another plan.
Analysis: Related as it is from Teabing’s point of view, this chapter echoes the previous one in that it shows us an individual’s great ambition. “I am returning to England victorious,” Teabing thinks. “The keystone has been found” (p. 354). Neither of these statements, of course, is, at this moment, entirely factual. Although he, Langdon and Sophie do possess the Priory keystone, the discovery of the second cryptex means that they have not yet fully unlocked its secrets. And whether Teabing is “victorious,” therefore, is yet to be determined. Still, in Teabing’s mind, the quest is all but accomplished. Here, then, we as readers are given another glimpse of his hubris, his pride—e.g., “he was already tasting the glory” (p. 355)—and cannot help but wonder whether it will prove to be his downfall, as it so often does in literature. Perhaps the literal descent of the plane is meant to mirror the moral descent of Sir Teabing!