Table of Contents | Message Board | Downloadable/Printable Version
CHAPTER SUMMARY AND NOTES
The boys march in a soundless parade toward the carnival. A few dogs join them, and Will, resisting the drugged state he’s in, hopes the dogs will bark and get the police. The dogs, however, only follow noiselessly along. Will again dares to hope for relief when he sees Mr. Tetley, but Dark is controlling the boys, so they can only turn and smile at him, saying they get a free ride at the carnival. After passing Tetley, Dark speaks quietly to both boys, saying they’ll ride on the carousel. If Cooger doesn’t survive, Jim can be Dark’s new partner. Dark intends to make Will a baby so he cannot tell any of what he knows. Will internally screams, and only the dogs can hear him, for they go yipping off in terror. A policeman comes around the corner, and Will dares to hope, but he is sent further into his drugged state by the Dust Witch, and Dark forces both of the boys to say hello.
Jim takes better to the drugged state than Will does. Will fights Dark at every turn. Dark, however, is far stronger than Will, as evidenced by the fact that they run into two adults who could save them, but don’t because neither boy can convey the trouble they’re in. Dark’s hideous plan now becomes apparent. It is important to note that it is still highly likely that Jim would follow the plan, as he still wants what Dark has to offer.
They finally reach the carnival. The Dust Witch straggles behind, and shortly behind her is Charles. The last crowd of the night is still at the midway. Will and Jim see themselves reflected in the mirror maze, but they feel powerless to help themselves. Dark places them with the wax figures. The boys fit right in, and the spectators fail to notice that Jim and Will are real. Dark announces to the crowd that the last free event of the evening is about the take place: the bullet trick. The Witch hurries to the platform, and Dark announces her as the bullet catcher. Dark calls for a volunteer to fire the rifle, and under his breath, asks if Charles is dead. The Witch says he is not, and begs Dark to stop the act. Dark, angry, will not, and calls again for a volunteer. Finally, Charles comes forward as the necessary volunteer.
The fact that the spectators do not realize Jim and Will are real demonstrates the lack of attentiveness most people have. The Dust Witch is afraid of the bullet trick because the encounter with Charles made her realize that he alone is different. No one has been able to stop her evil powers before, and if he can stop her one way, she is not invulnerable. Charles volunteering is a clear declaration of war.