My LibriVox recordings & my reading journal (solo Litblog).

The Gates notes; chapters 16 to 17

The Gates

Chapter 16; In Which We Visit the Abernathy House, and Decide That We Wouldn’t Want to Live There
I’d decided on that a while back.

This chapter has a touch of Enid Blyton to it. Only instead of The Famous Five, they number only four. That includes little Boswell.
Tom thinks Samuel is a bit loony but is willing to follow him to the Abernathy’s ’cause they’re mates and mates do that for other mates, you understand. While Maria is intrigued – being a scientific minded person – and knows Samuel wouldn’t lie to her. I guess this above the need to practice some cricket, while they’re waiting for dusk, proves that children are always more inclined to believe other children. No matter how daft or illogical the idea might be. (Random-ish thought; I wonder if puberty has anything to do with becoming cynical)

At the Abernathys’, Maria proves herself to be very scientific and may have saved Tom from something nasty.
I do like the demonic equivalent of a home security system, it’s very Star Trek with it’s blue forcefield.
With Boswell tied to the fence (a bad idea and that’s just bite poor Boswell) the three pals peek into the house and now I know why the author chose the title he used.
Tom’s perfectly right though, things have long tongues with spikes, an exception might be made for a few lizards or frogs, but people have very boring and usually pink tongues. But no spikes.
So I’ve gotta hand it to Tom, no flies on him, although there was one on not-Mr. Abernathy.

Uh-oh, I knew it wasn’t good to tie Boswell to the fence. “She’s” seen him. Not-Mrs. Abernathy. Of course she recognises who the Dachshund belongs to, knows Samuel is nearby. Luckily she doesn’t know about Tom or Maria and I’m hoping they’ll be able to use that to their advantage.
Still, three against one is not exactly good odds when the “one” has tentacles hidden under her clothes and has access to demonic power.

Chapter 17; In Which Mrs. Abernathy Changes Her Plans

Tom ran back to where Samuel and Maria were waiting beneath the window.
“We’re in trouble,” he said. “There’s a woman in the garden with tentacles sticking out of her back.”

Um, *gulp*. She’s gonna get ’em – No!
Sorry, but isn’t that what you’re supposed to say when the bad guy is close to getting at the good guy(s)?
In any case, not-Mrs. Abernathy has twelve tentacles for pitys sake, dripping with who-knows-what, and why do tentacles need to have pincers as well? Overkill on her part but I suppose she can get away with it, being demonic and all.
I’m sorry Mr. Connelly (author), but you really mustn’t eat strong savouries (e.g. cheese) before bedtime. I have it on rather good authority that it’s not good for one’s mental well-being.

I digress – Tom has a flash of awe for Samuel, until he quickly remembers that if Samuel were to sacrifice himself, Tom would be one friend less and a good bowler down.

Samuel swallowed hard. “She doesn’t know you and Maria are with me. I could distract her so you two can get away.”
Tom looked at Samuel with something approaching admiration, then hit him hard on the arm.
“Ow!” said Samuel. “What was that for?”
“For being stupid,” said Tom. “We’re not going to leave you here alone.”

I’m sure the cricket team wouldn’t like to lose such a vital player either. In fact, it would be a travesty (fakes a gasp and presses a hand to one’s chest in mock pain).

And so the three youngsters go about their escape, which is quite well executed thanks in no small part to the aforementioned bowling skills of Samuel and Maria’s quick thinking. But, their escape also means that the portal is still active, so I guess they’re not attempting to stop not-Mrs. Abernathy just yet.
A sensible manoeuvre, fools rush in and all that.
They need more information from and to regroup with the boys & girls at CERN.
Unfortunately, not-Mrs. Abernathy is all in favour of an early start to the “invasion”.

Flee! Flee while you can, but there will be no escape, not from me.
And not from my master.


Author: raven

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