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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