Study Guide

Midwinterblood Part 1, Chapter 3

By Marcus Sedgwick

Part 1, Chapter 3

  • Later, Eric is sitting with Tor and the others folks from the welcoming party—two women and a man—at Tor's house. But no Merle. Bummer.
  • Tor wants to know where Eric would like to stay. There are no hotels on Blessed Island. They don't get many visitors, remember? So Tor offers to get a house situated for him, which is nice, though the guy still seems a little weird to Eric.
  • But everyone on the island seems to know Tor. As they walked up to his house, Eric noticed that everyone waved and smiled as Tor passed—he's obviously the most popular guy in town. He also has the biggest house, which is right in the center of the island.
  • Tor offers Eric a mug of hot tea and introduces him to the other folks he's with. The women are Maya and Jane and the man is Henrik. It's tough to tell how old they are, though all three look younger than Tor, but older than Merle.
  • Eric wonders if it is true: Maybe these guys are living forever; maybe Tor is like one hundred and twenty years old or something like that. Weird.
  • Henrik offers to help Eric with his article if he needs it, then he lets slip that the four of them are the wards of Blessed Island.
  • He corrects himself after a quick look from Tor, though, saying actually Tor is the Ward of Blessed Island. But hey, being one of the wards is still pretty cool, right?
  • Eric's thoughts drift to Merle again. Sure, she's pretty, but that's not the thing that's catching his eye—it's like he knows her from somewhere, like he just spotted an old friend again.
  • Suddenly, Eric wants some fresh air. He takes a short walk and surveys the island and thinks more about what he's seen.
  • Why did Tor ask him about his parents? And why does that guy bug him so much? Tor's been nothing but super nice and helpful since Eric got off the steamboat, but something about the dude just makes him feel wary.
  • And why does he feel like he recognizes Merle? This isn't possible. Eric takes out his OneDegree just to be sure, though—maybe he'll get a connection with her. Wouldn't that be nice?
  • But there's no reception. His device is useless here… yet weirdly enough, he kind of feels like he's come home. So strange.
  • Suddenly Merle appears behind him. She explains that the device doesn't work because they don't use them here. They also don't have cars. They get by just fine walking or riding bikes—it's a small, weird island, after all.
  • She shows him the pink flower moon and they talk for a while. Eric is mesmerized by her, but also really tired, so Merle shows him to his house and lets him know that the tea will help him sleep even though it's still light outside.
  • As he drifts off to sleep, Eric has one final, creepy thought—he hasn't seen any children since he arrived at Blessed Island. Yeah. Super creepy.

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