© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Howl's Moving Castle

Howl's Moving Castle

by Diana Wynne Jones

Howl's Moving Castle Chapter 19 Summary

In Which Sophie Expresses Her Feelings With Weed-Killer

  • Sophie is in a truly bad mood by this point.
  • Howl tries to ask her what's wrong, but Sophie is too furious to explain (even to herself, maybe).
  • Howl finally notices that the dog-man keeps changing dog breeds—somehow he had managed to miss that the dog-man is under a curse.
  • And then Howl gets furious that Sophie never mentioned it.
  • He drags the dog-man in front of Calcifer, even though (weirdly) the dog-man doesn't seem to want Howl's help.
  • The curse has a lot of layers: Calcifer and Howl peel off the dog disguise first, so the red-headed man is standing in front of them.
  • The poor guy has no memory of who he is.
  • Calcifer has to tell the former dog-man that he most recently answered to the name of Percival and that the Witch apparently kept his head on a shelf for a while.
  • He's also got the parts of some other guy mixed in.
  • Sophie takes a bucket of really amazingly efficient weedkiller that she made by accident, thanks to her terrible mood, and she and Percival go to the mansion entrance—which nobody has paid attention to up until now—with this intense weedkiller.
  • She uses it to start cleaning up the driveway.
  • Apparently the Witch wanted Percival to tell her everything he knows about Howl, but Percival can't remember what he might have known then (before his head got removed, we guess).
  • Percival does recall finding his way to Lettie's after the Witch transformed him into a dog, and he also remembers the Wizard Howl hanging around Lettie—asking about Sophie.
  • Percival agreed to come to the moving castle to keep an eye on Sophie as a favor to Lettie.
  • Rather than making Sophie happy that her sister is concerned about her, this news makes Sophie even angrier.
  • She starts throwing the weedkiller around like there's no tomorrow—the whole driveway is practically smoking.
  • Sophie seems upset at the idea that she's fallen for Howl, or that Howl might be interested in her.
  • The scarecrow suddenly appears at the mansion, but Sophie repeats, we're not here, we're not here, and the scarecrow moves away.
  • As she's looking back at the mansion, Sophie sees a curtain twitch—she realizes that Howl is there, watching (and possibly hearing).
  • She storms into the moving castle, where Michael, Howl, and Calcifer have all obviously been listening in on every embarrassing thing she has just been saying to Percival.
  • It turns out that everyone has been telling Howl about Sophie's curse—he's talked it over with Michael, Lettie, Calcifer, Mrs. Fairfax, and Mrs. Pentstemmon—and he now believes that Sophie has to be keeping the curse on by herself.
  • Sophie throws the weedkiller at Howl in rage.
  • It's Midsummer's Day tomorrow, which means whatever is going to happen with the Witch is going to happen soon.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement