Study Guide

Inkheart Chapter 17

By Cornelia Funke

Chapter 17

The Betrayer Betrayed

  • At daylight, two of Capricorn's men come for them: a guy with a strangely flattened face called Flatnose, and a guy with a goatee and a limp called Cockerell. As they walk around the village, Meggie notices how Capricorn's men (whom she nicknames Black Jackets, because that's what they all wear) are scattered around, with boys following them.
  • The men lead them inside the church, which has been painted red; a statue of Capricorn has been erected inside, and Capricorn himself has a throne in the center of the church.
  • Dustfinger is there, and Basta tells him to light a fire. Basta also threatens to carve some new patterns on Dustfinger's already-scarred face.
  • Mo asks Capricorn to release Elinor and Meggie, saying he'll read anything Capricorn wants, at which point Capricorn produces Inkheart, saying he never wants to be stuck in its stupid, boring world ever again.
  • One of the men brings a large cardboard box filled with copies of Inkheart, and Capricorn begins to throw them into the braziers of the church. Dustfinger is supposed to light a fire, but doesn't—instead he accuses Capricorn of lying to him since Capricorn said he'd send Dustfinger home if Dustfinger helped him.
  • Mo begs Capricorn to leave just one copy, but Capricorn says nope—he doesn't want Mo to read him back into the book. Mo argues that that's not how it works, but Capricorn lights up the pile anyway.
  • Dustfinger makes a grab at the books, but they're already on fire, so he only ends up burning his hands. Capricorn sends him away to get them bandaged.
  • Capricorn then says he'll need a demonstration of Mo's powers. His current reader has been messing things up, so that Flatnose came through with a flattened face, and stuff like that.
  • A thin, hunched-over man with glasses is shown in, and introduced as Darius, the other reader—he's selected some books for Mo to read from, because Capricorn wants gold.
  • Mo, once again, says that he's not actually a magician. Capricorn doesn't believe him, and he says that Basta will hang out with Meggie to "protect" her—which actually means Basta will be constantly threatening Meggie if Mo doesn't perform.
  • Capricorn tells Mo to read from one book in particular: Treasure Island. Because that seems like a fabulous idea.

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