Study Guide

Revenge of the Witch (The Last Apprentice)

Revenge of the Witch (The Last Apprentice) Summary

Forced to leave his family farm to make a career for himself, our narrator Tom Ward becomes the apprentice of a witch- and ghast-fightin' madman, the Spook. The Spook tests Tom right away, forcing him to spend the night inside a haunted mansion... and we don't mean the Disney attraction. Tom survives the night and lives to travel to the Spook's home in Chipenden.

The Spook gives Tom a tour of his property. Like, here's the kitchen where an invisible boggart cooks meals. And oh, here's the garden where evil witches are buried alive. Real estate agents would attempt to sell this place as "full of old-world charm," but we think it's downright spooky.

Then the Spook assigns Tom one of his first glamorous apprenticeship duties: grocery shopping. While hauling groceries back from town, Tom meets a witchy-looking girl in pointy shoes. Alice is her name, and deceit is her game. She scares away some boys who are harassing Tom in exchange for a favor, to be redeemed whenever she pleases.

When the Spook leaves on an errand, Alice calls Tom with the Spook's bell. She wants to cash in her favor: Tom needs to deliver three cakes to Mother Malkin, one of the live witches on the Spook's property.

Tom gives Mother Malkin two cakes before he realizes that they're giving her the strength to break free. What would Mother Malkin do for a Klondike Bar—er, a cake that turns out to be made of human flesh and blood? She would break out of her prison and try to eat children. That's what. They won't be showing that in a commercial any time soon.

In a feat of great courage, Tom manages to kill Mother Malkin. Unfortunately, the Spook returns and tells Tom that Mother Malkin is still dangerous dead. Now her spirit can possess someone.

Next, Tom is almost killed by Alice's aunt, Bony Lizzie. Allegedly, it was Bony who was behind the whole Mother Malkin Resurrection Plan. She's one of several witches trying to get revenge, as the book's title suggests. But the Spook traps Bony, and sends Tom back home to take Alice to see Tom's mam.

Alice and Tom's mam really hit it off. Unfortunately, when Mam leaves to deliver a neighbor's baby, Mother Malkin 2.0 seizes the opportunity to strike. She possesses the pig butcher and tries to kill Tom. With Alice's help, Tom drives the spirit from the butcher's body, and Mother Malkin's sludgy form is devoured by pigs. Gross.

The Spook is still afraid that Alice is in cahoots with the evil witches, but he leaves it up to Tom to decide. Since Tom feels like he and Alice are BFFs now, he decides to let her live. Guess we'll have to wait until the sequel to discover Alice's true intentions. Dun dun dun…

  • Chapter 1

    A Seventh Son

    • The Spook is talking to a lad's dad. We'll learn more about the Spook and the lad, like his name, later on. Just stick with us.
    • It seems that the lad is almost thirteen, and he's scared about becoming the Spook's apprentice. But since The Spook's Apprentice is the title of the book in the U.K, we don't think he'll back out.
    • The Spook agrees to take the lad on for a month trial. If he doesn't pass the trial, the Spook will return him and take "another guinea for [his] trouble" (1.24). That's right: The Spook charges a restocking fee.
    • That night, the lad, whose name is Tom, talks to his oldest brother, Jack, and his wife, Ellie. They tease him about being afraid of the dark and about how he'll never have friends if he's a Spook. But Ellie assures him that he'll always have his family.
    • After dinner, Tom has a talk with his Mam, who tells him that he has a gift and it's going to be his job to protect the County. Looks like his fate has been set in motion.
  • Chapter 2

    On the Road

    • The morning Tom is set to go off with the Spook, Tom's dad gives him his prized possession: a tinderbox. It's not a credit card, but it has sentimental value.
    • Tom meets the Spook at the fence, and off they go.
    • It only takes about a page before they run into some sort of trouble: hundreds of ghosts hanging from the tree on Hangman's Hill. Um, it's called Hangman's Hill. What did Tom expect, a rainbow and pot of gold?
    • To help Tom get over his fear, the Spook tells him to "concentrate on [the dead soldier] rather than yourself. How must he have felt?" (2.19) We've heard of "Sympathy for the Devil", but sympathy for a ghost? Now that's a new one.
    • Tom stops feeling scared. Instead, he starts feeling sad for the poor soldier who had to die this way and never saw his family again.
    • They continue on their journey. The Spook gives Tom more gems of wisdom, like the fact that he'll be dealing with a lot of ghosts, he should always have good boots, he should het used to being hungry, and he should "never trust a man who's dizzy" (2.43).
    • Good advice, but can you trust a dizzy woman?
  • Chapter 3

    Number Thirteen Watery Lane

    • Tom and the Spook arrive in a little ramshackle town called Horshaw. They pull up at—where else?—13 Watery Lane. According to Tom, "thirteen [is] the worst and unluckiest of all numbers" (3.7). We're not so sure. Isn't 1313 even worse?
    • The Spook gives Tom his mission, and he kind of has to accept it: spend the night in 13 Watery Lane.
    • His goals are as follows. First, go down into the cellar at midnight. Then, don't open the front door. And don't let the candle go out. Easy as one, two, three, right?
    • Wrong. The Spook leaves Tom alone in the creepy house, and the first thing Tom does is try to open the cellar door.
    • But it doesn't open, and it feels like "somebody [is] holding it closed on the other side" (3.23). Creeptastic.
    • Things get even spookier after Tom tries to go to sleep, and it sounds like someone is digging a hole in the basement. We're sure they're just, um, planting flowers or something. Right?
    • After the digging is done, whoever was doing the digging starts thumping up the stairs and opens the door. Eep.
    • Tom calls out, but no one answers. He can't even see what's going on. Unlike Haley Joel Osment, Tom can't see this dead guy... if that's even what's going on.
    • The invisible stomper soon disappears and Tom calms down. Until someone starts knocking on the door.
    • He hears his Mam's voice, panicked and pleading for him to open the door.
    • Tom considers opening it, despite what the Spook told him. However, common sense takes over, and he realizes that there's no way his Mam could be outside. Especially when whatever it is starts crying. Tom knows his Mam is a big girl and doesn't cry.
    • At 11:30, the invisible thing from the basement tromps back upstairs again. Instead of just lurking around and being all invisible, it grabs Tom and drags him down the stairs. Tom worries he's going to be buried alive.
    • The thing drops Tom and he gets away to see that one of the three rules has been broken: the candle has gone out.
    • He uses his dad's prized tinderbox to relight the candle, and heads down into the cellar at midnight.
    • The cellar is filled with boxes and rags and, oh, look at that, a giant scary shape in the corner.
    • When Tom goes near it—much braver than we could ever be—it stands up and says, "What kept you? […] You're nearly five minutes late!" (3.82) It's just the Spook, but at this point we don't know what's scarier: the Spook or the invisible gravedigger.
  • Chapter 4

    The Letter

    • The Spook reveals a few secrets about this haunted house:
      • The Spook used to live there
      • So did a miner (as in, a man who worked in a mine, not a "minor," as in, a person who cannot buy cigarettes or alcohol or get into R-rated movies) who killed his wife
      • This miner actually buried his wife alive
      • And then the miner killed himself
    • His ghast is still there, and, needless to say, it's a bit troubled.
    • The Spook got over his fear of the basement when his dad threw him in there and nailed the door shut behind him. Um, this is like teaching your kid to swim by throwing him in a river... filled with piranhas.
    • The moral of this story is, we guess, face your fear so that fear will not be a factor‎ for you.
    • Anyway, the Spook tells Tom that Tom's mother sent him a letter thirteen years ago, announcing Tom's birth. In that letter, she said that "he'll be the best apprentice [the Spook] ever had, and he'll also be [the] last" (4.24). So, that explains part of the title. Kind of.
    • Ol' Spooky then tells Tom that he doesn't believe in fate, and he doesn't put much stock in family either. His only two living relatives are his brothers, and one of them hates the Spook's guts.
    • When they leave the house, Tom notices a symbol on the door. It looks like a Y with an X under it. And there's the Spook's name, Gregory. The Spook tells him it's a sign to mark the ghast inside. The Roman numeral ten means he's pretty weak. If that was weak, we'd hate to see what a strong one could do.
    • On the way out of a town, Tom and the Spook find themselves on the receiving end of an angry gesture from a priest, of all people. Not just any priest either. The Spook says, "that's my other brother" (4.38). Oh boy.
  • Chapter 5

    Boggarts and Witches

    • Tom and the Spook head toward the Spook's house on the outskirts of Chipenden.
    • When they arrive, the front gate opens all by itself, and there's a huge spread of hot, delicious food waiting for them in the kitchen.
    • The Spook sends Tom to bed after they eat. Since this is the Spook we're talking about, of course he has a warning: "You'll hear a bell ring when breakfast's ready. […] Don't come down too early either" (5.39).
    • Tom thinks his bedroom is pretty nice, although he's not sure what to make of the big Wall o' Names on one side of the room. It seems like the Spook has had more apprentices (apprentii?) than Donald Trump.
    • The last name on the wall is Billy Bradley. Before drifting off to sleep, Tom wonders what could have happened to Billy Bradley...
    • In the morning, Tom isn't sure if he's heard the breakfast bell or not, so he heads down anyway.
    • Uh oh. The bell hasn't rung yet, and something invisible wallops him on the back of the head. The Spook comes downstairs and tells Tom that he needs to learn an important lesson: "the difference between waking and dreaming" (5.59).
    • After breakfast, the Spook shows Tom around the grounds. He sees lovely sights, like the garden and the witch graves.
    • Wait. Witch graves? That's right, the Spook has a handful of witches buried around the property. One's dead and one's still alive, buried head down so she can't get out.
    • The upside-down, live witch's name is Mother Malkin. And she's "just about as evil as you can get" (5.80).
    • In the Southern Garden, the Spook shows Tom a grade one boggart that has been artificially bound to a rock. While we're not sure exactly what that means, we do know this: stay away from that rock.
    • The Spook also reveals that "one of [his] apprentices got into serious trouble trying to bind a boggart" (5.91). Hm. Sounds like foreshadowing to us.
  • Chapter 6

    A Girl with Pointy Shoes

    • The next day, the Spook tells Tom that a boggart cooks their meals. Then he gives Tom a crash course in boggarts and witches. Shouldn't this have happened in the last chapter, which was titled boggarts and witches?
    • Oh well. The Spook gives Tom a little journal to take notes in, telling him to write down anything that has to do with boggarts, witches, or village girls with pointy shoes. There goes that fashion trend. Sorry, Sarah Jessica Parker.
    • After these lessons, Spooky sends Tom to town to pick up groceries.
    • The shopping trip goes better than your average trip to Wal-Mart, but Tom encounters some trouble from a group of boys on the way back. They want his apples, but Tom refuses to give them any.
    • A girl appears and threatens the boys, telling them that Bony Lizzie is back. The gang runs away so fast they practically kick up dust.
    • Tom doesn't run, but he's a little wary of the girl and her pointy shoes, whose name is Alice.
    • She wants something in exchange for helping him, and he agrees to help her out if she ever needs it. Maybe she'll just need a ride to buy up the latest fall fashions.
    • Back at the Spook's house, Tom tells the Spook about the boys and the apples. He leaves out the part with the girl. "That was my second serious [mistake]—not telling the Spook the whole truth. The first, even more serious one, was making the promise to Alice" (6.103 – 6.104). This foreshadowing is so dark, it's practically an eclipse.
  • Chapter 7

    Someone Has to Do It

    • It's time for some hands-on experience with binding boggarts.
    • The Spook has Tom dig a hole six feet long, six feet deep, and three feet wide. Tom, if you need help calculating volume, we've got you covered.
    • Then Tom has to make a mixture of salt, iron filings, and glue made from bones. Um, we don't have a video for that... yet.
    • These items are needed because, "used together, salt and iron form a barrier that a boggart can't cross" (7.16).
    • Tom has to do a thorough job coating the entire pit because "a boggart can escape through a hole no bigger than a pinhead" (7.18).
    • When the month is up, the Spook is satisfied with Tom's training. But it's ultimately Tom's decision whether or not he wants to continue. The Spook lets Tom go home to see his family while he decides. Tom doesn't plan on returning.
    • However, by the time the next paragraph rolls around, Tom's been walking for two days and he decides that farm life would be too boring for him. We understand. Farm life sure isn't as exciting since that farmer dating show‎ got canceled.
    • At home, Jack's a real jerk to Tom. He says that Tom only thinks about himself. But Tom's Mam is more supportive.
    • When Tom confesses that he's lonely, Mam convinces him that he has himself and that he has work to do. She tells him, "You're the last hope. Someone has to do it. Someone has to stand against the dark. And you're the only one who can" (7.61). That's either the best pep talk ever or the mother of all guilt trips, we're not sure which.
    • Tom returns to the Spook's house after three days, but the Spook isn't there. He's left Tom a note, saying he's gone to take care of witch trouble. Which witch, we ask? Also, Tom still needs to do the grocery run, even while the Spook is away.
    • This grocery run goes about the same as the last, except this time Tom gives the boys some apples.
    • When Alice shows up, she has a favor to ask of Tom. "Come to me when you hear Old Gregory's bell" (7.104).
    • Alice rings the big bell that the townspeople use to summon the Spook. Tom trots down there, and Alice gives him food for a change.
    • The food in the basket isn't meant for Tom, though. The basket contains cakes for old Mother Malkin. Remember her? The upside-down witch? Tom is supposed to give her one a night for the next three nights.
    • We know what happens if you give a mouse a cookie, but what if you give a witch a cake?
  • Chapter 8

    Old Mother Malkin

    • Even though Tom thinks this whole cake thing is a bad idea, he goes through with it anyway.
    • On the first night, nothing happens. But after dropping the second cake down the hole, Tom notices something: the bars that criss-cross the top of the hole have been bent.
    • Fearing that the cakes are making Mother Malkin stronger, Tom decides to give the last cake back to Alice.
    • Tom asks the lads in town where Alice lives, and they point him to Bony Lizzie's cabin. Oh, they also mention that a ton of babies have gone missing recently. Hm. Could it be that all these missing babies have something to do with Mother Malkin?
    • Alice meets Tom outside Bony Lizzie's cabin, and Tom gets mad at her for tricking him.
    • She tells him that Bony Lizzie made her do it. Not only that, but she tricked Old Gregory too. That witch business the Spook mentioned is a trap. "By now he's probably already dead" (8.70), Alice says.
    • Tom stomps away and chucks the basket of cakes into the river.
    • Knowing he has to stop Mother Malkin somehow, he asks the kitchen boggart to unlock the library. He says he'll give him every Sunday off. It works.
    • In the books, Tom finds an entry on Mother Malkin, who eats babies and has a giant scary son with tusks who they call Tusk.
    • Tom wonders if the cakes Alice gave him, which were all gooey and meaty, could have been made from the missing children. That's right: he could have been carrying around babycakes.
    • Tom realizes that Mother Malkin was buried alive because the Spook "believe it was too dangerous to kill her: once slain, she had the power to return and would be even stronger and more dangerous than before" (8.101). Who knew a few babycakes would cause so much trouble?
  • Chapter 9

    On the Riverbank

    • Borrowing the Spook's staff and cloak, Tom heads out to the garden.
    • It's a good thing he doesn't have a plan, because it wouldn't have worked anyway. It turns out that Mother Malkin has already escaped.
    • Lucky for Tom, she's left a little slimy trail, just like a slug. He follows her to the riverbank, where she's slithering around and "snorting and snuffling" (9.18) like the pigs back on the farm. What's with all the noise? She's eating a raw rat. Maybe she's just trying to get on Survivor.
    • With her scary red eyes, Mother Malkin lunges toward Tom. He clocks her on the head with the Spook's staff, and down she goes.
    • She tumbles into the water, but starts to drag herself out pretty quickly. Tom jabs her over and over with the staff until she gets swept away downstream.
    • Tom doesn't want her to get away, so he wanders the riverbank looking for her. He doesn't have to look too long. Soon, she finds him.
    • Her super-strong hand grabs his ankle and he falls, the staff tumbling out of his grip.
    • Luckily, Tom manages to get the staff back. He thrusts it at Mother Malkin.
    • She grabs the end of the staff in defense. Big mistake, Ms. Malkin. The witch screams and dies.
  • Chapter 10

    Poor Billy

    • With Mother Malkin dead, what's Tom going to do now? Well, he's not going to Disney World. He still has to save the missing child, whom he suspects is at Bony Lizzie's house.
    • Alice answers the door, and Tom demands to see the child, who is crying inside.
    • Tom pushes his way in and grabs the child, Tommy. He leaves. Alice taunts him as he goes. "You're a fool. […] They'll come after you. You'll never get away" (10.24).
    • Unfortunately, she's right. Bony Lizzie and Tusk chase Tom and Tommy. Tom picks up Tommy and hauls butt for the Spook's property line.
    • They make it, and the ground vibrates. An angry cry "filled with death" (10.39) pieces the air.
    • It's the boggart, standing up for Tom, and scaring Bony Lizzie and Tusk away.
    • The next day, Tom carries Tommy down to the village, and notices that the village people (no, not those Village People) are burning Bony Lizzie's house.
    • Even better, the Spook is back, and safe. He took care of whatever witch problem was going down, even though he's a little worse for wear.
    • Tom tells him everything. The Spook tells him he was brave, and saved a child, but he should never have killed the witch.
    • Now that she's dead, Mother Malkin can possess another person. In that way, she can come back to life and run amuck.
    • There are only two ways to really kill a witch: burn her or eat her heart, raw. Throwing water on her doesn't work, we guess?
    • Now that Tom has squared off against a witch and lived to tell the tale, the Spook decides to tell Tom what happened to Billy, his last apprentice.
    • Billy cut corners when binding a boggart. So the boggart chewed all his fingers off and sucked out his blood. Not a nice way to go.
    • Then the Spook tells Tom, "We need courage and patience, but above all, we never rush" (10.100).
    • We could have told him that fools rush in. Dead fools, that is.
  • Chapter 11

    The Pit

    • Grocery day is a very dangerous day. What kind of trouble will Tom get into this time?
    • Well, it doesn't take us too long to find out. Tom runs into Alice, and while he's talking to her, someone sneaks up behind him and puts him in a sack.
    • It turns out to be Bony Lizzie and Tusk who have dragged Tom away, and it's time for him to be buried alive. For real this time.
    • Bony Lizzie pours a concoction down Tom's throat saying, "That'll keep your eyes wide open, boy" (11.36). Then they shove him to the bottom of a seven-foot pit.
    • Before they leave, they toss a couple of human thumb bones into the pit and tell Tom that Dead Billy will be around to claim them soon. Do you think he has a claim ticket for those thumb bones like you need to get your clothes from the dry cleaners?
    • A long, plump maggot crawls into the pit through the sides of the grave, and Tom identifies it as a coffin worm, "something white that had never seen the light of day" (11.49).
    • Following the coffin worm come two bony hands digging a hole. Through the hole, a fleshless human skull emerges. Here's Dead Billy, who has either been dead a long time or decomposes super fast.
    • Suddenly, Tom feels another presence in the pit. Why didn't we get an invitation to this party?
    • It's the ghost of Billy Bradley, and Tom thinks he seems pretty darn peaceful.
    • So Tom realizes that Mother Malkin slipped him some sort of hallucinogen, and the skeleton isn't actually there at all.
    • It gets cold and rains for a few hours before Alice shows up. Tom convinces her to help him out of the pit, so they can run away from Bony Lizzie together.
    • After some debate, she agrees, and they run like heck. Once again, Tom finds himself pursued by Bony Lizzie and Tusk. But this time, the Spook is waiting for them.
    • The Spook zaps Tusk with his staff, killing him, and cracks a silver chain around Bony Lizzie.
    • With them taken care of, now the Spook has to figure out what to do with Alice. He wants to see her teeth.
    • He decides that her breath smells good enough to trust her. Apparently, people who practice evil witchery eat blood and raw meat and stuff, so their breath smells really bad. We're not sure what would be worse: bone witch breath or Mountain Dew and Doritos breath.
    • The Spook decides that Tom should take Alice home and let his Mam decide what to do with her.
  • Chapter 12

    The Desperate and the Dizzy

    • As Tom and Alice approach the farm, "somewhere far off a dog barked twice" (12.1). Every novel has to include a barking dog. It's a rule.
    • Tom introduces Alice to his Mam. And he meets Jack and Ellie's new baby, who was born the night Mother Malkin died. Hm.
    • Mam and Alice really hit it off. They get along better than Jack and Tom do. Jack is furious that Tom brought the relative of a witch into the house.
    • During the night, Tom worries that Mother Malkin's spirit might have possessed Ellie's baby, so he goes and tells his Mam about it.
    • Her idea is to drop the baby into the water. "If she floats, the witch is inside her. […] If she sinks, she's innocent" (12.61). Well, it's either that or weigh her with a duck.
    • Mam is joking, of course. She tells Tom that she knows evil when she sees it, and this baby isn't evil. Okay?
    • Tom mentions a book the Spook gave him on possession, but it's in Latin. Mam suggests Tom go ask Alice about it. Mam has to go to another house and deliver a baby, and says she might not return for a day or two.
    • Tom gives Alice the book, and she says to come back the next night. He does, and Alice tells him about the book. It's called Possession, The Damned, the Dizzy, and the Desperate. Alice explains the 3 Ds:
      • Damned: "people who do things differently. […] People who are left-handed" (12.111).
      • Dizzy: "a body that's newly possessed has poor balance" (12.112).
      • Desperate: "a witch who once had a healthy human body is desperate to get another one" (12.113).
    • They hypothesize over who the possessed could be, and settle on Jack. It won't be the baby, because Mother Malkin would have to wait for it grow up. And Ellie's not very strong. But Jack would be strong enough to fight Tom.
    • Tom goes to bed to fret. He notices Mother Malkin's creepy silver slug trail in the yard. Too bad she isn't a slug, or a clever maze of salt would get rid of her for good.
    • She oozes her way into the cellar, so Tom goes to Alice's room.
    • Alice seems to be talking to someone. Maybe she's just rehearsing her Jeff Dunham‎ ventriloquist routine.
    • Tom bursts into Alice's room and sees her talking to the mirror. But it's not her reflection; it's Mother Malkin's.
    • Acting fast, Tom busts the mirror. How? It was Tom, in Alice's room, with a candlestick.
    • The noise wakes up Jack and Ellie, and Jack is furious because that mirror was one of their father's family's last possessions.
    • Everyone calms down, although Ellie almost falls over, saying she feels light-headed. Could she be... dizzy? Tom tries to tell her to take the baby and leave, but she refuses to do that.
    • Tom realizes that he can't wait for his Mam to come back. He has to do something himself.
    • That night, he runs. Okay, that wasn't the something we were expecting. Seems a little cowardly just to run away like that, doesn't it?
  • Chapter 13

    Hairy Pigs

    • As it turns out, Tom is running for the Spook. Aha. On the way, he sees a cart approach the farm.
    • Thinking it might be his Mam, he stops. But it's not; it's Snout the pig butcher.
    • Before Tom can get going again, Alice catches up to him. He gets mad at her for bringing Mother Malkin into the house, but she insists she was just trying to find her so they could stop her.
    • Tom and Alice form a truce for now, and Tom remembers that salt and iron should work against a person possessed.
    • While the pigs are being slaughtered—and squealing like that guy from Deliverance—Tom files some iron and gathers salt.
    • At sunset, the horror show begins. Tom hears a scream. "A scream filled with terror. The scream of a woman facing the very worst thing that could possibly happen to her" (13.44).
    • What's up? Snout the pig butcher has been possessed, and he is holding Ellie's baby in one hand and a knife in the other. At his feet, Jack is unconscious and covered in blood.
    • Mother Malkin paralyzes Tom with some sort of spell, and Tom is rooted to the spot as Snout approaches him.
    • Alice runs out of the house and kicks Snout with her pointy-toed shoe, right in the stomach. He drops Ellie's baby, and Alice catches it like a golden eagle.
    • Free from the spell, Tom chucks a handful of salt and iron at Snout.
    • Mother Malkin oozes out of his nostrils like a big old booger. Yuck.
    • Alice grabs a piece of wood from a fire and rushes forward to burn Mother Malkin to death. Tom tries to stop her, making Alice furious. "Get harder or you won't survive!" (12.72) she yells at him.
    • They don't have to worry about that, though, because Mother Malkin oozes off toward the pigpen. And then she becomes dinner for the pigs. Do you think she tastes like bacon to the pigs?
    • Even though the witch is dead, Ellie is frightened by Tom. And Tom's brother might be dead. Tom "suddenly felt more alone than [he] ever had before" (12.82).
  • Chapter 14

    The Spook's Advice

    • First, the good news: Jack isn't dead. He was just covered in pig's blood. Like Carrie, but without the subsequent telepathic slaughter.
    • Mam returns and the Spook arrives. He confirms that Mother Malkin is gone for real, because when the pigs ate her, that's just as good as eating her heart.
    • However, the Spook wants to put Alice in Mother Malkin's vacant pit.
    • Tom tries to defend her, saying that she saved Ellie's baby and really meant well when she used the mirror.
    • So they decide to ask Mam about it, and Mam says the choice is up to Tom.
    • She sits him down with the Latin book. She tells Tom that the priest who wrote it was the Spook, who used to be a priest.
    • They talk about witches, and how there are different types. Mam suggest that Alice might be benign. "She might end up somewhere in between. […] That girl could be the bane of your life, a blight, a poison on everything you do. Or she might turn out to be the best and strongest friend you'll ever have" (14.69).
    • So, yeah, tough decision. We don't envy Tom at all.
    • Tom asks Alice about the baby cakes... were they made with real baby?
    • She says they weren't, but Tom wants to know where the blood came from. Alice rolls up her sleeves and reveals some pretty gruesome scars.
    • This proves something of her loyalty to Tom. He decides to let Alice live. He takes her to stay with her aunt in the town of Staumin. That has to be better than being stuck in a hole head first, right?
    • On the way to her Aunt's house, Alice and Tom get to know each other a bit better. They even say they'll miss each other when they part.
  • Epilogue

    In the short epilogue, Tom talks directly to us, saying that he's written most of this book from memory. And the Spook is pleased with his progress. He tells us, "I'm going to try just as hard as I possibly can because I want [Mam] to be really proud of me. Now I'm just an apprentice, but one day I'll be the Spook" (Epilogue.5-6).