Meanwhile, a car arrives among a multitude of identical towncars and limousines outside the van der Bilt country estate. Within, however, is precious and unusual cargo: Nathaniel Archibald, the awkwardly exiting Vanessa, and for some reason Daniel Humphrey, preceded by the jutting teeth of a Brooklyn rube. "Whaaat?" Dan expostulates, as usual driven so insecure and strange by prosperity that he loses all composure. "Nate, you said it was a mansion, not a country club!" Trip approaches, relieved beyond reason to see his cousin, and Dan modulates his voice hysterically downward in order to greet Trip in a properly gruff manner. A helicopter flies low overhead, leading Daniel to assume that it's a medical conveyance winging hospitalward, and Trip manages just barely to absent his voice of any condescension: "It's not a Medevac, it's, uh, Grandfather's ride." Daniel and Vanessa gape predictably.
Trip, caught up in the excitement -- and his true goal, which should even now be apparent -- gushes to his cousin that their grandfather will be overjoyed to see him. It is quickly discovered that, though Grandfather William will in fact he happy to see his grandson, it was not precisely his idea to invite Nate here today. Nate turns to run -- "I came to give him a chance, and he didn't even want one?" -- and Vanessa hauls him back, away from the car. The dutiful reader, as well as Nate himself, will of course note that his life of Continu'd Variety, which has made of him Twelve Times a Whore, Several Times a Virtual Wife, Robbed Often by Thieves, and Once Transported By a Felon -- though he's always Liv'd Honest-- means he's never entered a scene and not left it sold, body and soul; and will of course take care to consider exactly who will be doing the selling in this episode, and why. Such is Nate's fate: To be led, by his greatest impulses and immaculate good nature, time and again to the slaughter.
Nate stares at the helicopter sadly as it lands, and as he finally steps toward it, Trip relaxes in clear relief. Grandfather William calls out his name and then -- under the held breath and watchful eyes of the family tree -- embraces him excitedly. The family, and not for the last time, bursts into applause at this gesture; Trip pats his cousin's back in gratitude, feeling for the first time in a long time a corresponding lessening of his own familial burden. As Vanessa and Dan watch the van der Bilts herd themselves into the mansion around them, dividing like a flood, even Gossip Girl alludes to this sacrificial lamb: "Looks like V is leading a lost lamb back to the flock..."