Study Guide

Ella Enchanted Chapter 26

By Gail Carson Levine

Chapter 26

  • Lucinda is surprised to see Ella. Ella is surprised to see Lucinda—because she looks really different from the last time, all old and wrinkled.
  • Then Lucinda says that Ella looks familiar, and wonders whether she's one of her former victims.
  • Ella fills Lucinda in on how the obedience spell has royally messed up her life, and Lucinda is really sad for her.
  • But not sad enough to remove the spell. See, she's given up big magic, although she'd be glad to help Ella with small magic.
  • Great, fine time to give up big magic, right?
  • Major bummer. Someone like Char—sensitive, clever, well-mannered, considerate, passionate, charming, as kind as he's handsome, and heir to a throne—will find someone else to marry. Sigh. If Ella ever sees him again, it'll be from a distance and he won't recognize her in her rags.
  • She spends the next two weeks furious because she can't be with Char or go to the ball.
  • Light bulb moment! She can go to the ball, since it's a masked ball. She just won't unmask.
  • Mandy doesn't approve but helps her anyway. Ella packs up her gowns and daydreams about Char.
  • She also checks her fairy book for stuff about Char, but instead it shows her Areida's journal entry.
    (Gee, it's a good thing all these people keep journals.)
  • So, it turns out that Char had stayed at her family's place in Ayortha, and Areida had asked him whether he knew Ella and whether she was safe. Cue long, awkward silence. Char asked how well she'd known Ella, and Areida's answers about Ella's personality didn't fit with Char's most recent experience with her. More awkward silence ensued.
  • Time for the first ball. Ella spends the entire day helping Hattie get ready: lacing her corset, fetching her pearls, styling her wig.
  • Mandy helps Ella get ready, soaking away a year's worth of dirt and grime. Bet that felt good!
  • Ella wears a pretty green gown, even though she doesn't have any jewelry to wear with it. She also puts on the glass slippers, figuring they'll be hidden under her gown.
  • And just like that, it starts raining. How's she going to get to the ball now?
  • Ella summons Lucinda and asks for help. Lucinda conjures up a necklace and a tiara, and then declares that she'll make a coach for Ella. Mandy grumbles that this is big magic, but Lucinda reassures her that she'll shape everything out of existing things and not thin air.
  • The carriage is made from a giant's pumpkin (since it's already huge) and the horses and footmen from mice and lizards.
  • Hm, this is starting to sound familiar.
  • Again, Mandy complains that anything could happen to Ella, so Lucinda agrees to make it safer by putting a time limit on the spell:
  • Ella has to be back by midnight. At that time, everything will return to its original form and the jewelry will vanish.
  • Speaking of vanishing, there goes Lucinda. But Mandy makes Ella wait till she fetches an old umbrella. You know, just in case.