Basta fetches Meggie in the morning, because Mortola wants to see her (for a trial run of the evening's reading). He also teases Meggie about how her dad tried to come see her last night but was shot at in the process. Stay classy, Basta.
So Meggie's worried about her dad when she's brought to Mortola. Mortola shows her a chest with snakes curled up inside—that's where the only copy of Inkheart is kept.
Meggie lets it slip that she knows Mortola is Capricorn's mother, and Mortola threatens to poison her if she tells anyone. Uptight much?
Meggie pretends to look over the passage she's supposed to read that evening, but she can't focus on anything until Mortola tells her that her father was not, in fact, shot. Okay—phew.
Feeling better, Meggie tells Mortola to let her see Dustfinger once more before the execution. If Mortola refuses, Meggie threatens to bite her tongue so badly that she can't read, so Mortola humors Meggie and says yeah, she can see Dustfinger.