When Will Henry wakes, he notices that Malachi isn't in his room. He finds him in the lab, contemplating the Anthropophagus corpse.
Malachi proposes that he and Will Henry run away together after they kill the Anthropophagi. Will Henry says that his place is with the doc, but Malachi reminds him that he might not survive the hunt.
As they're talking, Will Henry rediscovers the divining bones in his pocket. Malachi throws them and all six land face-up (that's a really bad thing).
Just as Will Henry coaxes Malachi upstairs to eat some breakfast the doc comes barreling in from outside, yelling that there's no time to eat, everyone's already waiting for them. They eat anyways, though, at Kearns's insistence.
Kearns asks Malachi how it felt when he tried to kill Warthrop. He seems to think that if you have the will to do such a thing it's actually invigorating. Dude's got issues.
He does bring up an interesting point, though: If Dr. Warthrop had warned the Stinnets about the Anthropophagi, would they have listened? Or would they have tried to lock him up for being a loon?
They pack up Kearns's crates and his mysterious fragile box and set off with O'Brien and the constable toward the church (yes, the one where we first met Malachi) where the rest of their team are assembled.
After Kearns inspects the carnage at the Stinnet home, he goes into the church and delivers a speech about how scary the creatures are, so if anyone's afraid they can go home now. No one accepts.
He helpfully describes the Anthropophagi as extremely territorial, protective of their young, violent, and cranky. They're like a seven-foot tall toddler defending their favorite toy. Sounds fun.
The work begins. First they build two platforms that will be hoisted ten feet up and attached to the trees at the edge of the forest surrounding the western edge of the cemetery.
The constable protests the boy's involvement, and even Warthrop begins to admit they shouldn't be there—but Kearns insists they stay.
They bring the platforms to the field between Eliza Bunton's grave and the trees (Eliza's the dead girl from the beginning). On a map that he's sketched, Kearns labeled this area "The Slaughter Ring." Nice.
They erect the platforms in the trees making as little sound as possible since they don't watch to draw the creatures' attentions too soon.
Kearns reveals what is in his crates—grenades. But what's in the box?
Then he gets some fancy stake out and starts hammering it into the ground with a length of rope attached to it. Warthrop is catching on: Kearns is going to use it to secure the bait.
Apparently the Maori tribe are the people who developed this method of killing Anthropophagi. You put a stake down in the center of the "ring of slaughter." Just outside the circumference created by the length of rope attached to the stake, you dig a trench and fill it with kerosene and crude oil. In the center you place the bait, which in this case is a sedated prostitute. So that's what was in the box.
It gets worse: Now that they're all ready, Kearns goes to the woman and opens her abdomen with his bowie knife, then runs back to join the men on the platform.
The woman manages to crawl the length of her tether and now kneels, imploring the men to save her. Everyone is horrified, except for Kearns.
A "scout" Anthropophagus appears, and when it enters the ring Kearns finally takes his shot. He doesn't kill it, though, he just wounds it so that it's cries will bring more of them.
Dr. Warthrop can't stand it anymore. He beckons to Will Henry and together they rescue the woman by cutting her rope and carrying her to the base of the tree holding one of the platforms.
She can't be carried up to it, though, and the doc asks Will Henry if he's capable of staying with her. Will Henry agrees, and then Malachi is there, and he will stay with Will Henry, too. Will Henry only has a pistol, and Malachi has a rifle.
About two dozen Anthropophagi respond to their fallen comrade. The minute they're all in the ring Kearns orders the trench to be lit on fire.
The men open fire, and Kearns delightedly compares it to shooting fish in a barrel. The man is twisted.
A young Anthropophagus emerges from the woods behind the boys. Malachi shoots him between the eyes, but that just slows him down. Malachi rams his gun into its mouth, and it's jaws slam shut.
Will Henry saves Malachi by shooting it in the arm, but then it's attention turns to him. Will Henry manages to stab it in the eye with his knife, and then he stabs the other eye when it continues to flail. Then, because he was paying attention during the necropsy of the one in the doc's basement, Will Henry stabs it right in the brain, killing it instantly.
The bloodbath is over in less than ten minutes. The doc climbs down and is shocked that Will Henry has killed a creature on his own, but then goes off to make arrangements to get the woman to the hospital.
Kearns, Dr. Warthrop, and Will Henry go into the circle to count bodies. They count twenty-nine (including the one Will Henry killed), and guess there are a few juveniles hidden somewhere safe. Along with the matriarch. Well, darn.
Now that the carnage seems to be at an end, Morgan tries to arrest Kearns for attempted homicide. When he realizes it's not over, though, and they still have to go find the babies, he concedes.
They pile the bodies up and set them afire.
The sight of Malachi's face watching the bodies on fire causes Will Henry to recall the death of his parents:
His father was in bed with a terrible fever, and on the third day his body was covered with red half-dollar-size spots. Then all his hair fell out, and the spots turned into extremely painful dime-size boils with milky white centers. When they summoned Dr. Warthrop, he said he needed to run some tests, but that scalding hot compresses should help temporarily. The spots began to itch.
Then one night Will Henry found his father in the kitchen by the fire. He said that it burned, and "they won't leave me in peace." He then scratched open a boil and colorless worms gushed from the wound. He started to cry and his tears were laced with blood and worms. (Ew.)
His father grabbed a piece of wood out of the fire and held it to his arm. As the fire consumed his flesh the boils all burst open and the worms seeped out. Will Henry called for his mother, who upon arriving tried to put out the fire on his father. She yelled at Will Henry to run and he obeyed; the last he saw of his parents was his father lunging for his mother.
Will Henry ran to save himself, just like Malachi.