Tuesday, October 19, 2010

"The Halloween Tree" Chapter 7

With the mission of constructing a kite, Mr. Moundshroud makes use of the fading old circus posters and rips them from the side of the barn.  The boys help of course.
They blinked.  They ran.  They scratched with fingernails.  They plucked with hands.  They seized off strips and patches and huge rolls of animal flesh, of fang, and piercing eye, of wounded flank, of blood-red claw, of tail, of bound and leap and cry.  The whole side of the barn was an ancient parade stopped dead.  They tore it asunder.
As the boys collect the paper for the kite, Mr. Moundshroud gets two wooden fence posts to create the cross.  As each boy brings him a strip, he lays it in place and somehow fuses it with another and another and another.
All, all mingled beautifully into a single thing, a wild jigsaw puzzle jungle zoo billowed and trapped, pasted and tied, growing, growing, taking color and sound and pattern in the light of the ascending moon.
He was pleased, the boys were pleased.
It's decided that the kite resembles a pterodactyl, and that it will fly them to where they need to go.  But first, it needs some kite string, and the boys discover an old clothesline that will do the trick.

The kite rises a little, but is jerky and unsteady.  It won't rise any higher.  But Tom, who's very bright, realizes that all it needs is a tail.  He jumps up and grabs hold of the kite.  It rises a little higher.  Each boy catches on to what must be done, and one by one they grab hold of each other's ankles.  They are a human tail.

Mr. Moundshroud runs after them and leaps into the air to grab ahold, but instead his cape catches the wind and he soars along on his own, as if he has wings.

The chapter ends here.  Pretty exciting stuff, huh?  They've taken flight and are soaring to God knows where.  It's getting harder and harder for me to put the book down after each chapter and wait a day.  I want to know what happens next!

Oh, on a somewhat random note, the chapter names the rest of the boys, except for two.  There's Ralph Bengstrum the Mummy, Fred Fryer the Beggar, George Smith the Ghost, and Wally Babb the Gargoyle.  The Apeman and the boy dressed as Death are still unnamed.  Personally, I'm not sure why any of them have names.  I don't think they are important at all, except for Tom and Pipkin.  And if he wanted to include their real names (I mean, we've never even seen their real faces... they're all in masks) why didn't he introduce them all at once?

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