[For the October 4th highlight, click here.]
The first murder in Zelazny’s novel has occurred: a man’s body is found “torn apart, as by a particularly vicious dog” (Werewolf of London again?). Graymalk received this information from the owl Nightwind, with whom she and Snuff spend most of the chapter comparing notes. Their discussion leads them to a graveyard-raiding hunchback who, according to Nightwind, “bore his gleanings to a large farmhouse south of here–a place with many lightning rods, above which a perpetual storm rages. Then he delivered them to a tall, straight man he addressed as the ‘Good Doctor.'” Hard to miss such clues: the reader knows where matters are headed even before the three familiars scope out the farmhouse and detect the smell of ozone and the roar of “wild laughter” within. This so-called Good Doctor is a Frankenstein in everything but specified surname. Zelazny’s continued mining of screen gems from Universal horror movies forms October 5th’s most striking element.