[For the October 3rd highlight, click here.]
The Game’s afoot, and the brief fourth chapter of Zelazny’s novel concerns itself primarily with extending the cast of prospective players. Snuff spots a sickle-wielding, mistletoe-harvesting old man and his squirrel familiar Cheeter. Passing (yet tantalizing) mention is made of “the great detective and his rotund companion.” The most intriguing figure of all, though, is the one who has left a large paw print outside Jack and Snuff’s residence. Later that night, Jack stands at the center of the city and uses his wand to “trap a certain beam of starlight in a crystal vial while the clocks chimed twelve. Immediately, the liquid in the container began to glow with a reddish light; and somewhere in the distance a howling rose up.” Snuff doubts that this uncanny, hackles-raising howl emanates from an ordinary dog, which leads the reader to speculate about the presence of a classic monster. Aaoooooo! The narrative’s early hints at a late-night-prowling Werewolf of London constitute the highlight of the October 4th segment.