Study Guide

Mortal Engines Chapter 6

By Philip Reeve

Chapter 6

Speedwell

  • As he treks toward London, Hester has to search for food. She complains, "I bet you wish you hadn't lost my pack […] I had some good dried dog meat in my pack" (6.3).
  • After scrounging up dinner, they settle in to sleep, and Hester tells Tom her story.
  • Hester didn't live in one of the great Traction cities. She lived on the bare earth. Her mom was friends with Valentine.
  • One day, Valentine came over for a little visit. He didn't want tea and crumpets, though. He wanted MEDUSA.
  • When Hester's mother, Pandora, failed to give it to him, Valentine killed her. Then he slashed Hester in the face and left her for dead.
  • Hester came to and found both her dad and all the dogs dead. (Guess that's how she made that tasty jerky.)
  • Swayed by Hester's story, Tom vows to help her—not to kill Valentine, but just to find some justice.
  • In the morning, Hester's leg is worse. She had been shot by a crossbow bolt during the pursuit, and the wound is infected.
  • But Hester and Tom are in luck. A small city called Speedwell trundles by and its mayor, Orme Wreyland, brings them aboard.
  • The mayor and his wife feed Hester and Brian a generous meal... and... the room starts to spin... what did they feed them? Poison? Takeout from Red Lobster?