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The House of Dies Drear
by Virginia Hamilton
The House of Dies Drear Chapter 6 Summary
First, Thomas walks all around the veranda, trying to find a loose board that might trigger another opening. He finds nothing. He notices that there are window boxes outside the windows. They have fresh soil in them and have been seeded. Thomas wishes he'd had that job instead of Mr. Pluto, and wonders if there might be poison in the soil. He thinks Mr. Pluto wants to get rid of him so Mr. Pluto can "be king" (6.8). Next, he walks all around the house, noticing that there are five ways to enter the house. He thinks there is something funny about the back entrance. He starts to move away from the house, and decides he wants to see it from up high, from in one of those big trees. Checking out their sharp pine needles, he decides these trees aren't exactly climbable. Still from up here on the hill he has a pretty good view. He sits down on the grass and feels himself relax; he's pretty tired from the day. Suddenly, Thomas wakes up. He must have fallen asleep staring at the house. It's dark, and he can see lights on in his house. Then he hears that same weird noise again. The noise he heard when he was under the house: "Ahhh, ahhh, ahh" (6.22). Thomas is super scared. He remembers that it's his birthday. Used to walking in the woods, he moves through the trees toward his new house. Thomas walks on his toes, one foot, then the next, like an Indian scout, ready to run if necessary. Follows the strange sound, going over to the other side of the hill (away from his home), Thomas doesn't look behind him. The noise gets louder, and he hears another sound, too, like someone (or something!) walking on dried leaves. Pushing away his fear, he walks on until he's not walking on cushiony pine needles anymore, but instead, wood boards. The board move under his feet and he slides, realizing he's standing on a platform. He hunches down. Now it's quiet and he sees orange and red lights coming from near the platform. He smells smoke. Underneath him, two doors open on the base of the platform and he sees fire. From the fire something with a really big head rises up. He hears a harsh voice asking who is up there. The voice says, "What demon walks on Pluto's house!" (6.44). Thomas sees and angry face with bright green eyes. Thomas screams, "Devvvvil!" (6.45) and then runs. He thinks the "devil" is awaiting him in the trees and he plans to run so fast and hard that he will hit it with his body if he gets close to it. But Thomas was too slow. Whatever or whoever it was grabs Thomas from behind. Thomas knows that the old man Pluto couldn't be strong enough to catch him that way. He is totally terrified. Whoever (or whatever) has Thomas tells him he's too late to scare him away, and too late to find some mystery thing. The being tells Thomas that he (or it) has already found the mystery thing. (We call it a mystery thing because the being doesn't say what it is.) Thomas elbows the being and then is free again. He runs hard, smashes through the door, and then hits the table, making dishes fall on the ground and break. When Mr. Small comes down to investigate, he can't believe what he's seeing: muddy Thomas, on the floor surrounded by broken dishes. The door lock had been pulled out and would never work again. Mr. Small doesn't know why he had locked the door. Now Mrs. Small comes down. They ask Thomas if he's OK, and what happened. Thomas is totally terrified and can't give them a proper answer. Just then, there is a knock on the door, and the door opens. It is the huge black man with a beard – some people call him….Pluto.
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