Study Guide

The Monstrumologist Chapter 13

By Rick Yancey

Chapter 13

"You Bear His Burden"

  • A month goes by.
  • Will Henry and the doc share some witty repartee over the doc's morning hygiene routine and regarding the lack of raspberry scones.
  • It is revealed that Dr. Kearns murdered Dr. Starr (of the Motley Hill Sanatorium), but the police don't seem to care. Eh, good riddance to bad rubbish, right?
  • Here's how it went down:
  • Three days after the Anthropophagi slaughter they brought Kearns to the sanatorium to verify Warthrop's revised theory of the case.
  • They met with the ailing Dr. Starr (and in a nice touch of whimsy, Dr. Kearns introduced himself as Dr. John J. J. Schmidt. Ha.)
  • They interrogated Starr about Slidell and Mason (the mysterious, supposedly confederate agents who met with Warthrop Sr.). It turns out they were actually fanatical eugenicists. They were helping Dr. Warthrop Sr. in an experiment in which they were trying to merge Anthropophagi with humans. Oh wow.
  • Slidell and Mason wanted to create a killing machine, but Warthrop Sr. wanted to "give a soul to the soulless, mercy to the merciless, humanity to the inhuman."
  • After much bribery the rest of the truth came out: Slidell and Mason funded the renovations to the Warthrop mausoleum, but Starr provided the "meals" of human victims.
  • Starr justified his actions by calling the mentally ill he supposedly cared for "the dregs of society." He is some kind of special, ain't he?
  • Starr even continued to send "food" to the creatures after Warthrop Sr.'s death because Alistair had foreseen the calamity that would ensue if they stopped and had set up a fund for Starr to continue. So once a month at the stroke of midnight he would send his man, Peterson, with "food" to the cemetery.
  • So why did the Anthropophagi resort to desperate measures? The money finally ran out in December of that year. After the last feeding Peterson dynamited the access tunnel in the hopes that the creatures would die of starvation and end the whole ordeal.
  • This explains why Warthrop's father degraded emotionally the way he did: The guilt of his failed experiment was weighing heavily on his mind. Even after he had given up on the initial experiment he still thought he could tame them, but to no avail.
  • Warthrop asked Starr why he didn't just send Varner as a meal instead of locking him up for so many years. He protested that he was not completely corrupt.
  • Kearns started agreeing with Starr, telling him he was indeed a humanitarian, a man of the new age without morality… and then snapped his neck with his bare hands. He told Warthrop "he won't be missed" (in a nod to what Starr said about his patient-victims), and then just casually walked out of the room.
  • Warthrop was stunned and a wee bit miffed. After all, Kearns just committed murder right in front of him and his young assistant.
  • That night, Warthrop was pretty sure that Kearns also "took care of" Peterson, Starr's accomplice, although he wouldn't admit as much.
  • Having officially overstayed his welcome, Kearns took his leave.
  • (In an intriguing aside, Will Henry remarks that in the fall of that year Whitechapel was in the grips of terror of Jack the Ripper… and Warthrop suspects it is Kearns.)
  • Back to the morning a month after the big hunt; it is time for Will Henry's bimonthly checkup.
  • Dr. Warthrop draws his blood and they both inspect it under the microscope, where they can clearly see the larvae of B. arawakus. Yup, the same thing that killed his father. However, in Will Henry the population is stable, maintaining perfect symbiosis with it's host. It will most likely grant him unnaturally long life.
  • Those are the two scenarios B. arawakus follows: Either they like you and make you live for a really long time, or they kill you in their search for a new host.
  • The means of infection is still unknown, but Warthrop assumes partial responsibility for Will Henry's father's death, as he obviously contracted arawakus in his service.
  • Now Dr. Warthrop is consumed once more, but by a different case. He has received an anonymous letter forwarded by a concerned colleague who thinks their esteemed profession is at risk of fading into oblivion. A Dr. Abram von Helrung (the president of their Monstrumologist Society) has proposed something dangerous that Warthrop considers himself uniquely positioned to thwart.
  • Will Henry is about to head into town to buy more raspberry scones when he notices a brand new hat, one that finally fits him, with his initials stitched in the brim.
  • When he goes down to question the doc about it, Dr. Warthrop is in the process of burning everything from his father's trunk. Will Henry adds his old hat to the flames as well.

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