Study Guide

Here Be Monsters! An Adventure Involving Magic, Trolls, and Other Creatures; The Ratbridge Chronicles Volume 1 Chapter 5

By Alan Snow

Chapter 5

Here Be Monsters!

  • It's so dark that Arthur can't see a thing. He's safe from Snatcher—but is he in worse trouble now?
  • Light enters the room, and Arthur can see a smiling boxtroll. He's seen them before, underground, and they tend to be shy, friendly critters (if a little kleptomaniac).
  • This boxtroll continues to smile, and leads him to another room, where he sees an old man, two more boxtrolls, and a little guy with a cabbage tied to the top of his head.
  • Introductions are made: the old man is Willbury Nibble, a retired lawyer; the boxtroll who'd found Arthur is named Fish; the other two boxtrolls are Shoe and Egg; and the cabbagehead is Titus.
  • Arthur has heard of but never met a cabbagehead; according to Grandfather, they live underground where they worship cabbages. They're also pretty shy.
  • Willbury explains that he lives with these underlings (the term for underground critters like boxtrolls and cabbageheads) because they're friends.
  • The boxtrolls use his house (which is actually an abandoned pet shop) as a staging area for their obsession with mechanical items, which they use to maintain the waterworks of the Underworld. And Titus is researching human gardening techniques to bring home with him.
  • Willbury then asks Arthur what his situation is, and if he can help.
  • Arthur explains that he's lived underground since he was a baby. He was abandoned there, and Grandfather found him and raised him. Arthur has never been clear on why they have to live underground, but apparently Grandfather will tell him someday.
  • Then Arthur tells Willbury about Snatcher stealing his wings and blocking his route home.
  • When Willbury hears about the doll-communicator, he suggests that Arthur contact Grandfather because he's probably worried.
  • So they get in touch, and Grandfather's relieved to hear from Arthur. For his part, Willbury introduces himself to Grandfather and says he'll take care of Arthur until they can find a way to get him home.
  • Titus brings buns for everyone to dip into a giant bucket of hot cocoa. Arthur fills them in on the rest of his story, and then Willbury finds Arthur a place to sleep.