Study Guide

Revenge of the Witch (The Last Apprentice) Chapter 8

By Joseph Delaney

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?