Howl's Moving Castle
by Diana Wynne Jones
Howl's Moving Castle Chapter 6 Summary
In Which Howl Expresses His Feelings With Green Slime
- Sophie continues to make herself busy mending and cleaning things in Howl's house—without something to do, she feels depressed and useless.
- The King's messenger stops by again to ask Howl to come up with another spell.
- Howl worries that now that the Wizard Suliman is lost, he's going to become the King's new wizard.
- When Michael goes to deliver a spell to the King and Howl leaves the house with his guitar, Sophie jumps at her chance.
- Remember how we mentioned that the door to the outside of the castle has a dial on it with four colors—green, red, blue, and black?
- Green = Market Chipping, Red = Kingsbury, and Blue = Porthaven. But what about black?
- Sophie turns the knob to black and opens the back door.
- It opens out onto a blank space that not even Calcifer recognizes.
- Howl has also locked his bedroom door, so Sophie can't snoop in there.
- Michael comes back and sees that Howl's guitar is gone.
- He knows what that means: Howl is still trying to win this girl who keeps refusing him.
- Sophie is outraged: how can they be so relaxed about the fact that Howl eats girls' hearts and steals their souls?
- Michael and Calcifer both protest—Howl doesn't literally eat their hearts; he's just really fickle and unfaithful.
- Sophie is a little embarrassed that she believed Howl is literally a heart-eater, and she talks to the gray-and-red suit that she is mending for Howl to relieve her feelings.
- Howl comes home in a bad mood and immediately goes into the bathroom to dye his hair.
- When he comes out, he is wailing with misery and rage.
- With all her cleaning, Sophie ruined Howl's hair dye—and now his hair is red instead of blond.
- Howl's magic starts to send out loud moans of despair.
- Michael drags Sophie out to Porthaven, where the whole town is echoing with Howl's sobs over his bad dye-job. (This guy defines the term "drama queen.")
- They wait for the sobs to die down.
- When Michael and Sophie creep back into Howl's castle, they find him covered in green slime.
- Howl is annoyed because his current girl just won't give him the time of day.
- In fact, the girl has told him that there is someone else.
- Howl is feeling sentimental about "lovely Lettie Hatter" (6.99).
- Abruptly, Sophie's sympathy for him drops to zero: Howl is making the moves on her baby sister Martha.
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