Study Guide

Mortal Engines Chapter 15

By Philip Reeve

Chapter 15

The Rustwater Marshes 

  • Hiking the thousand-some-odd miles to London is taking its toll on Tom and Hester.
  • To make matters worse, Hester's empty balloon ploy only bought them a few hours. Grike soon catches up.
  • Before Grike can make good on his promise to kill Tom and Hester, a town barrels out of nowhere and smashes him flat. Who wants Grike-flavored pancakes for breakfast?
  • Hester and Tom evade the first town, but soon another town shows up in hot pursuit.
  • Seeing an opportunity to escape, Hester and Tom leap aboard the second town.
  • The town of Tunbridge Wheels is strangely empty... until dozens of pirates pop out of the woodwork and surround Tom and Hester. Arr.
  • Meanwhile, Grike has survived the steamrolling. He "throws back his head and bellows his hunting cry at the empty marshes" (15.76). We're not sure what this war cry is, but we hope it's more intimidating than Darth Vader's.