Study Guide

The Monstrumologist Chapter 4

By Rick Yancey

Chapter 4

"The Hour Grows Late"

  • Will Henry takes a shower and contemplates the meaning of life as he washes off bits of Erasmus Gray.
  • The Doctor is "reconsidering his initial hypothesis" about the number of creatures. Uh, yeah… no kidding.
  • He's also obsessed with discovering how exactly the Anthropophagi got to New Jerusalem.
  • Will Henry is making this face as he wonders why they're wasting time drawing on maps to figure out how they got there when they should be calling in the National Guard, or the Ghostbusters, or even the Avengers to come kill these things.
  • The doctor is insistent that no action needs to be taken right away because all the literature says that after they eat they sleep for quite some time.
  • Will Henry can't understand Dr. Warthrop's motives, and when he asks him to clarify they get into a morality debate.
  • We learn a little bit more about Will Henry's parents' death: Apparently it was Dr. Warthrop's fault, somehow.
  • Dr. Warthrop makes Will Henry thank him for saving his life.
  • He starts to peruse his impressive newspaper collection, tracking mysterious deaths and tracing a crude map of what could be the Anthropophagi's migration.
  • The doc has Will Henry take down a letter to John Kearns beseeching him to come at once, all expenses paid.
  • In his research, the doc comes across the town of Dedham and can't remember why that sounds familiar to him. (Neither do we?)
  • He has Will Henry go down to the basement (which fills him with dread) to retrieve an old steamer trunk.
  • Opening the trunk, Dr. Warthrop pulls out a shrunken head and bundles of letters and papers. He's hoping to ascertain the root cause of such a remarkable coincidence that Anthropophagi would appear in the same town as the only practicing monstrumologist within five hundred miles. (He doubts it's actually a coincidence).
  • As he's pawing through the trunk's contents, he hands Will Henry a set of six divining bones that were his father's from New Guinea. In his declining years his father developed a fascination for the occult practices of shamanistic tribes. If you roll six face-up skulls it means imminent death or "some such nonsense." (Oh, we smell foreshadowing…)
  • Dr. Warthrop finds what he was looking for—a journal entry of his father's discussing Motley Hill in Dedham. He visited someone named "V" there, who was desperate for his corroboration, and was now suffering from the guilt of not being able to do so.
  • The doc explains to Will Henry that his father experienced quite the mental decline in his later years, becoming a doddering religious zealot consumed with guilt, shame, and madness.
  • The doc hypothesizes that they have a few days before the Anthropophagi will need to eat again. Until then, they are taking a trip to Dedham. Oh goodie…

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