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CHAPTER SUMMARIES WITH NOTES
CHAPTERS 51 - 55
Hearing about the three other murders, Langdon’s belief that he is dealing with the Priory and the Holy Grail is affirmed. He believes the brotherhood has been infiltrated. As Langdon tears off the truck’s bumper, which had begun to fall off after their hasty escape, he decides they need professional help in solving this mystery. Langdon tells Sophie that he thinks they should visit his friend, Sir Lee Teabing. Teabing is an eccentric, crippled old man and a prominent religious historian. Teabing knows more about the Holy Grail than anyone outside the brotherhood. Sophie agrees to talk with him. When they arrive at Teabing’s estate, Sophie and Langdon wake his grumpy manservant, Rémy. After answering some odd questions, Teabing grants them access to his home.
Vernet calls the bank, telling the manager to activate the LoJack on the truck Sophie and Langdon are driving.
Sophie and Langdon decide to hide the cryptex inside Teabing’s home until they can decide how much they want to tell him. Langdon asks Teabing to tell Sophie about the Holy Grail and the Priory of Sion. Teabing offers Sophie an eclectic history lesson, which encompasses the Bible, Leonardo da Vinci’s art, the historical Jesus, and the Roman Empire. Teabing’s essential message is that the church revised the life of Jesus Christ for its own purposes and that the Holy Grail is not a cup, but a person.
As with most suspense novels, people are not always who they seem to be. Lee Teabing is an excellent example of this type of character. Teabing is a crippled, old man to whom Sophie and Langdon go for assistance and safety; however he is also the powerful Teacher who is working against Sophie and Langdon. In hindsight, Teabing makes many ironic comments. He frequently says how he is underestimated or how he is an excellent actor. These comments are ironic because they mean something different to Teabing than they do to the audience.
This section is a very important part of the novel because it relays a large amount of information about the Grail and the history of the Catholic Church. Many of these ideas will probably be unfamiliar, thus adding to the shock-factor of this novel. However, it is important to remember, in a novel filled with so much factual information, that some information is also based on conjecture and not proven. However, because this is a work of fiction, Brown is granted the authority to present anything as fact.