Study Guide

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH Chapter 10

By Robert C. O'Brien

Chapter 10


  • The rat guarding the entrance orders Mrs. Frisby to stop and asks her how she got in.
  • Mrs. Frisby is scared, but asks if he is Justin. He's all, nope—I'm Brutus (a name that doesn't exactly settle her stomach). He wants to know if she knows Justin. 
  • Mrs. Frisby stammers out that she doesn't exactly know Justin…
  • Brutus explains that he is filling in for Justin, who is at a meeting. Rats at a meeting? Yup.
  • Mrs. Frisby says she will wait for him to be done with his meeting, but Brutus says she has to scram. And when Brutus says scram, you'd better scram as fast as your four tiny legs can carry you.
  • She starts to leave and as she goes, she wonders if Justin would be more welcoming. She has a feeling he would be.
  • At this point, she starts to wonder if the Owl has, in fact, sent her on a wild goose chase. Her best bet, she decides, is to just wait a minute, quietly.
  • Thinking she is gone, Brutus leaves.
  • Yikes! Mr. Ages suddenly comes down the tunnel and now Mrs. Frisby is doubly confused. Is he a double agent?
  • She notices that he's a broken leg, but before she can ask what happened, he asks her what she is doing there and is very shocked to see her.
  • Mrs. Frisby explains about Jeremy and the Owl and the advice to "go see the rats."
  • Mr. Ages, like the Owl, is impressed with her bravery and sorry that he didn't think of issues with Moving Day himself, when he gave Mrs. Frisby the medicine for Timothy. 
  • He also thinks that the rats will be able to help and he invites Mrs. Frisby inside with him.
  • Brutus returns and is annoyed to see Mrs. Frisby still hanging around. But Mr. Ages says that she is "Mrs. Jonathan Frisby," very meaningfully.
  • Brutus is immediately impressed and lets slip something about Dragon and Mr. Frisby, which Mr. Ages shushes quickly. We like to think of his eyes getting all wide with admiration. 
  • Changing his tune, Brutus bows to Mrs. Frisby and tells her he is honored to meet her. That's right: he bows.
  • Mr. Ages tells Brutus that Mrs. Frisby needs to see Nicodemus, and while he does that, Justin comes out and announces that the meeting has been paused so that they can talk to Mrs. Frisby.
  • At this point, Mrs. Frisby is very, very confused about why her last name has so much influence.
  • As they walk towards Nicodemus, she wonders "Who am I, then?" That's the million dollar question, Mrs. F. We're wondering the same thing.