Study Guide

Revenge of the Witch (The Last Apprentice) Chapter 9

By Joseph Delaney

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.