Study Guide

Revenge of the Witch (The Last Apprentice) Chapter 4

By Joseph Delaney

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.