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Something Wicked This Way Comes

Something Wicked This Way Comes


by Ray Bradbury

Something Wicked This Way Comes Chapter 35 Summary

  • Charles Halloway is at Ned's Night Spot drinking his second coffee. He is about to leave when he senses a disturbance outside. He turns back to the counter.
  • A right hand comes down on the counter. It stares at him. An eye is tattooed on the back of each finger.
  • The five-year-old boy points down at the grille.
  • The Dwarf walks past and stops in front of the five-year-old. Will and Jim try to make themselves as small as possible.
  • The Dwarf looks down. Will laments the loss of Mr. Fury as the Dwarf's face becomes a camera. His eyes focus on the grille and take rapid-fire pictures that will be developed later.
  • Finally the Dwarf leaves.
  • Jim and Will squeeze each others' hands.
  • In the coffee shop, Charles Halloway turns away from his third coffee and looks at Mr. Dark.
  • Mr. Dark refuses coffee and tells Charles that he is looking for two boys.
  • Charles leaves.
  • The coffee shop proprietor begins answering Mr. Dark's question.
  • Mr. Dark does not listen. He is watching Charles Halloway.
  • Charles moves to the library, moves toward the courthouse, and then turns to the United Cigar Store.
  • Jim asks Will to call his dad from their hiding spot under the grille.
  • Will refuses. Staring up at his father, he sees him as a small boy. They need a general, Will thinks, not a small boy.
  • Dad orders a cigar from Mr. Tetley. He unwraps it slowly, confused as to why he came here.
  • He scans the crowd. He drops the cigar band and it falls into the grille. He almost chokes when he spots his son down there with Jim. He asks them softly what's going on.
  • One hundred feet away, Mr. Dark comes out of the coffee shop.
  • Mr. Halloway tells the boys to come out of the grille.
  • Will refuses and asks his dad not to look down, lest he signal to Mr. Dark where they are hiding.
  • Mr. Dark approaches. Finally Will convinces his dad to stare aimlessly at the courthouse clock.
  • Mr. Dark arrives and engages Charles Halloway in conversation over the top of the grille.
  • Mr. Dark says that two local boys have been selected as honorary guests of the carnival. Mr. Halloway asks which local boys he means.
  • Mr. Dark thrusts out his hands. On Mr. Dark's right palm, Will's face is tattooed in bright blue ink. On the left palm is Jim's face.
  • Mr. Dark knows these boys only by their faces; he wants Mr. Halloway to give him their names. Charles hems and haws as Mr. Dark eagerly pressures him. Finally, Mr. Halloway lies blatantly, much to Will's relief.
  • But Mr. Dark calls him on the lie. He says they discovered the names ten minutes ago: Jim and Will.
  • Under the grille, the two boys writhe in fear.
  • Charles Halloway maintains a straight face. He notes that Will and Jim are pretty common names.
  • Will wonders from where Mr. Dark got his information.
  • It becomes clear that Mr. Dark does not know the boys' last names; Mr. Halloway calls him on this.
  • Enraged, Mr. Dark squeezes his hands very hard. A drop of blood falls from each palm into the grille below.
  • Will's father fake-apologizes.
  • The Dust Witch rounds the corner, very much alive. She is entertaining the crowd.
  • Jim and Will try to hide.
  • The Dust Witch says she senses Mr. Dark and an old man.
  • Will silently protests that his father is not old.
  • The Dust Witch sniffs the air. She senses something. In his mind, Will begs his father to do something.
  • Charles Halloway begins lauding Mr. Tetley's cigars. He re-lights the one he has in his hand and blows giant plumes of smoke. The Dust Witch's senses are disturbed.
  • As Charles blows more smoke, the Witch sneezes and staggers away. Mr. Dark follows her in defeat.
  • Mr. Halloway delivers a parting good-bye.
  • Then Mr. Dark returns and this time asks for Charles's name.
  • Will hopes his dad will lie, but Mr. Halloway tells him the truth and invites him to the library.
  • Mr. Dark leaves.
  • In the silence, Mr. Halloway worries that the two boys have died of fright.
  • Staring up from the grille, Will gazes up at his father and marvels that his father is, in fact, very tall.
  • Charles Halloway continues to look at the courthouse clock while issuing instructions to the boys.
  • He asks them to hide for the rest of the day and then come to the library at seven. Meanwhile, he will do research into carnivals in the hopes of having a plan. He blesses them and leaves.
  • His cigar falls into the grille.

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