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Howl's Moving Castle

Howl's Moving Castle

by Diana Wynne Jones

Howl's Moving Castle Chapter 10 Summary

In Which Calcifer Promises Sophie a Hint

  • Howl teases Sophie: why has she been running around in seven-league boots?
  • He spotted her "long nose" (10.6) behind a door as he was hitting on Lettie yesterday.
  • In fact, he's not going to see Lettie today—he's off to see the King.
  • Michael goes to the pastry shop to see Martha.
  • Sophie gets a visitor in Porthaven asking for a spell to keep his horse from losing it shoes; she quietly freaks out and asks Calcifer what she should do.
  • Calcifer suggests that she hand the guy a powder that she swears will work—belief is the key to magic.
  • (So if we truly believe it, will we be able to turn bricks into gold? Okay, that's our new goal.)
  • Then a short guy comes by looking for help with a duel.
  • Sophie gives him some cayenne pepper, and as she hands it over, she whispers to it "to make it a fair fight […] A fair fight. Understand?" (10.22).
  • When Howl comes home, he brings presents: expensive clothes for Sophie and Michael… a.k.a. the outfits he wants them to wear when they go to blacken his name to the King.
  • Howl wants Sophie to pose as his mother and tell the King that he's good for transport spells but bad for big jobs against the Witch of the Waste; Howl also wants Sophie to meet his old tutor, Mrs. Pentstemmon, so that she can get used to grand people before she meets the King.
  • Michael shows Howl the spell he's having so much trouble with.
  • Howl is confused: this isn't the spell that Howl left for Michael.
  • Remember in Chapter Six, when Sophie tried to turn the door to the black knob? And when she opened the door, there was nothing but an empty space?
  • Howl guesses that when Sophie opened that door, this thing came through.
  • Michael says that he tried to catch a falling star, but that it died, and Howl really flips out at this news: thank God that Michael didn't succeed.
  • Howl makes Michael promise that he will never try to catch another falling star.
  • Howl wants to look up the second verse to this not-spell.
  • He decides that it's time for Michael and Sophie to see what's really on the other side of the door when the knob is set to black.