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Howl's Moving Castle
by Diana Wynne Jones
Howl's Moving Castle Chapter 16 Summary
In Which There Is a Great Deal of Witchcraft Howl suddenly appears at the door to tell Calcifer that the Witch of the Waste has found him. Howl and the Witch start fighting magically out at sea, in the harbor of Porthaven. Calcifer is whipping around in his fireplace, lending his magic. Sophie and Michael both throw on disguise cloaks (Sophie = red-bearded guy; Michael = horse) and walk out into Porthaven to watch the fireworks. The dog who is occasionally a red-headed man comes with them. The fight disturbs the mermaids in the harbor—which means that one out of the three remaining impossible things from the curse has come true. Gulp. There's a huge action scene here: Howl looks like he's bobbing around in a tiny, sinking boat, and the Witch turns into a bird and dives straight at him. But the boat is actually an illusion, and she plunges into the sea. (Well played, Howl.) The two keep trading illusions, and Sophie and Michael have totally lost track of who is who. Finally, in the distance, they see a huge ball of fire that gradually turns to smoke. The fight ends, and the onlookers think that Howl and the Witch have just killed each other. But when Sophie, Michael, and the dog-man get home, they find a stray cat—it's Howl in disguise. Howl and Calcifer both seem absolutely exhausted. And even Howl can't tell who has won. Calcifer says that the Witch's fire demon is old and wily—tougher than Calcifer expected. They've got no choice now: Calcifer has to move to the fireplace in the new house Howl just bought in Market Chipping. Calcifer is clearly terrified at the idea of being physically moved.
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