Study Guide

Revenge of the Witch (The Last Apprentice) Chapter 13

By Joseph Delaney

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).