Study Guide

Here Be Monsters! An Adventure Involving Magic, Trolls, and Other Creatures; The Ratbridge Chronicles Volume 1 Chapter 14

By Alan Snow

Chapter 14

The Patent Hall

  • As they walk up to the Patent Hall, Willbury says he's never even heard of miniature boxtrolls and sea-cows, so something must be up.
  • Willbury fills Arthur in on who Marjorie is, too: She used to be his clerk, and then she left law for inventing. She knows everyone in the biz, so she might be helpful in tracking down Arthur's stolen wings.
  • They also talk about various routes that might get Arthur home—a major priority is staying clear of trotting badgers, which are pretty nasty. Another possibility is looking for rabbit women, who live in enclaves with the rabbits they shepherd.
  • When they reach the Hall, Willbury points out the loads of hopeful inventors holding their inventions for the demonstration to prove their originality. There are also failed patent acquisition officers who prey on the unwary, and Willbury really hates them.
  • They finally find Marjorie, who's camped out in a tent. She's unable to leave her place in line, because one of the clerks took her invention to check for originality, but never returned it.
  • Willbury offers to have a word with one of the clerks he knows, but it turns out that both the disappearing clerk and the clerk he knows have the last name Trout, so they were probably in cahoots to steal Marjorie's invention.
  • Arthur and Marjorie share some of the pies while Willbury goes to look into things.
  • Willbury returns with bad news: The head patent officer, Louis Trout, has retired and gone off to start a business with his son, Edward Trout (who's the one who disappeared with Marjorie's machine). D'oh.
  • So they convince Marjorie to come back to the shop in order to come up with a new plan. But then things get worse…