Study Guide

The Ocean at the End of the Lane Chapter 6

By Neil Gaiman

Chapter 6

VI

  • The next morning his foot seems to be beginning to heal, and his mom announces that she's gotten a new job as an optometrist. She's going to be gone four days a week, so their new boarder Ursula Monkton will watch him and his sister while she and his father are working.
  • He hopes she's better than Gertruda, who used to short-sheet their beds until they harassed her enough to make her go back to Sweden.
  • When he goes inside to eat lunch later on, Ursula is sitting at their table, and when he sees her he feels a sudden pain in his heart. That can't be good.
  • His sister already worships pretty Ursula, but he has a really bad feeling about her—she's wearing pink and gray, just like the weird living circus tent creature was.
  • He leaves the house, still hungry.
  • His sister comes outside to show him that Ursula has given her a purse with a half-crown in it. This Ursula is starting to seem suspicious, don't you think?
  • She brings sandwiches out to the garden, and tells the kids that while she's watching them they can't leave the property for any reason.
  • He goes to the kitchen to grab an armful of fruit and goes to stash it in his "laboratory" (a shed where he keeps his chemistry set).
  • He decides to escape the property by going down to the lane through bushes and under trees, but when he gets there Ursula is waiting for him. Creepy.
  • She insists that its time for his nap even though he's too old for naps. He sheepishly agrees, and before he gets locked in his bedroom she tells him that she's been inside him, so if he tells anyone about her she will know about it.
  • He decides to try and call the Hempstocks, but Ursula is ahead of him and threatens him on the other end of the phone.
  • After a few hours of reading books and trying to keep his mind off the creature who runs his life now, Ursula lets him come downstairs.
  • His mother gets home, but when he tries to tell her that he doesn't like Ursula she just dismisses him.
  • At dinner he still refuses to eat, and his dad is oddly interested in making Ursula laugh.
  • That night his dad and Ursula are watching television together while his mom is gone, and they're being flirtatious. Yuck.