From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
The two boys duck into the bushes outside the library at seven-forty-five.
Will pauses. He is afraid to go in. The library is old, like his dad, and he is afraid for a moment that the carnival may have altered him too.
Jim jumps up and hammers at the library door.
They speak in whispers and tell Charles their whole story – the lightning rod salesman, the meadow, the calliope, Mr. Cooger, the carousel, the parade, the hiding.
There is along pause. Will's father tells them he believes all of it.
He shows them newspaper ads from 1910, 1888, 1860, and 1846. The ads are all the same; they are advertisements for a carnival presented by Mr. Cooger and Mr. Dark. Their appearances in town are always in October.
Mr. Halloway is reminded of an old religious tract by Pastor Newgate Phillips, which says to beware the autumn people. They are, essentially, very wicked.
Will asks if that makes him and Jim summer people.
Sort of, answers Charles. They are sometimes autumn people and sometimes summer people.
Charles asks if Will really knows his old man. He tells them he "floundered in lots of places, arriving here late" (38.50). He then married Will's mom when he was 39.
Why is he here now?, he asks. He answers – to help them.