The Great Lyra Heist: Chapters 11 and 12 of The Amber Spyglass
In Lyra’s world, Ama and her daemon Kulang play a game among the rock shelves on their way to deliver food to Mrs. Coulter. Rounding the top of a waterfall, Ama is startled to find a bear and a boy peering at her from over the edge. The pair explain that they are looking for a cave with a sleeping girl inside. Surprised by this, Ama reveals that she knows this cave and has special herbs to wake up Lyra. She leads Will to Mrs. Coulter’s cave and they plan for Ama to return with the medicine when she delivers the evening meal. Will watches Mrs. Coulter from afar, but is discovered by the golden monkey. Shortly after, Will meets Mrs. Coulter for the first time. She explains that she keeps Lyra asleep in the cave because she wants to protect Lyra from the forces of the Church. Will knows that Mrs. Coulter is lying; he leaves the cave but remains captivated by her. Meanwhile, aboard the zeppelin of the Consistorial Court, two Gallivespian spies hatch their special dragonflies. Through a device called the lodestone resonator, they receive a message from their chief, who tells them to cooperate with Will. Lord Asriel’s troops and the Consistorial Court are almost at Mrs. Coulter’s doorstep while high above, the Gallivespians take shelter in the trees and keep watch. Will plans to cut a hole from another world to enter the cave and rescue Lyra. When he does, Mrs. Coulter springs awake and grabs at him, struggling for the knife. As they skirmish, Will looks at Mrs. Coulter and thinks of his mother’s face; his heart fills with sorrow and the knife lodges in the air, breaking into pieces. Ama gives Lyra the medicine and she awakens. Will gathers the broken pieces of the subtle knife and stores them in its sheath. Outside the cave, the zeppelins are closing in and Will calls for Balthamos to help him. Before he can answer, Mrs. Coulter yells in pain and drops her weapon. As Will grabs for the pistol, he finds Mrs. Coulter in a strange stalemate, for the Golden Monkey holds the tiny Lady Salmakia hostage while the Chevalier Tialys digs his poison spur into Mrs. Coulter’s neck.