Study Guide

The Monstrumologist Chapter 2

By Rick Yancey

Chapter 2

"His Services Are Indispensable to Me"

  • Doc Warthrop and Will Henry work through the night separating the corpses and performing a detailed necropsy. As they carve it up, the doc lectures Will Henry about the creature.
  • Things we learn about Anthropophagi:
    • When the fetus reaches full term it consumes its host, down to sucking out the nutrient-rich marrow.
    • It has barbed claws ("like a whaling hook") that are two inches long, sharp as a hypodermic needle, and hard as diamonds.
    • Their arms are longer than a grown man's by about a foot and a half.
    • They prefer to eat their prey while it's still alive.
    • They can leap up to forty feet.
    • They are nocturnal, hairless, and pale as Casper.
    • They are pack hunters.
    • They have the mental capacity of a two year old, and communicate through mostly grunts and gestures.
  • Even though Will Henry is exhausted, at dawn the doc is still going full steam ahead. Apparently this is how he tends to function—weeks of manic determination where he works without sleep, food, or hygiene, and then, when his energy finally runs out, he enters a deep depression where he can barely get out of bed. Sounds healthy.
  • By noon Will Henry is ready to pass out on the cellar stairs. The doc neatens the poor girl's corpse and returns her necklace to what's left of her neck before they wrap her in bed sheets.
  • Will Henry finally succumbs to exhaustion and the doc carries him upstairs to his bed in the loft. When Will Henry sees his little hat hanging on a peg—it's all he has left from his life before he came to live with Pellinore Warthrop—he bursts into tears. In a moment of rare compassion the doc admits he misses Will Henry's parents, too. His father was the doc's invaluable assistant and his mother was his housekeeper.
  • Will Henry reflects on what it was like when his parents were alive. His father showed an unusually strong sense of loyalty and obligation towards Dr. Warthrop—to the extent that he often neglected his wife and only child. It was the cause of his parent's most vehement arguments.
  • Will Henry can hear the boys with whom he used to go to school playing stickball outside his window; he falls asleep dreaming that he can still play with them.
  • The doctor rudely awakes him again that night to resume his services. The Anthropophagus carcass is now hanging by a hook in the basement laboratory; the doctor is draining it to prepare for shipment to the Society.
  • The doctor is relieved because he has come to the conclusion that despite his fear of an entire breeding population existing in New Jerusalem, there can only be two or three more Anthropophagi due to the utter lack of victims. How pleasant.
  • The doctor is now obsessed with discovering how the creatures could have immigrated to America.
  • Will Henry assembles gear from a list the doc gave him—stuff like a bowie knife, torches, and specimen bags—and places it by the back door. This expedition sounds fun… not.
  • Just as he finishes up, Erasmus Gray arrives at their door. The doctor has summoned him to assist them on their mission.
  • The three of them (plus the girl's corpse) set off in Erasmus's creaking cart toward the graveyard.

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