Study Guide

Revenge of the Witch (The Last Apprentice) Chapter 11

By Joseph Delaney

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.