[For the October 5th highlight, click here.]
At the start of the chapter, the Things in the Mirror briefly break free, but Jack uses his “mundane wand” to transfer them to a new mirror. Snuff, meanwhile, busies himself with an early attempt at an occult diagramming of Players’ positions throughout the area; the center of this pattern will serve as the arena for the Game when it climaxes at month’s end. At chapter’s end, Zelazny returns to the running gag in which the Thing in the Circle shapeshifts into canine form and tries lure Snuff into setting it free. Taking on the appearance of a Pekingese, the Thing calls out falsely., “You like little girls? Come and get it, big fella.” But it still smells “of Thing rather than dog,” so Snuff is nowhere near fooled by the ruse. The humor of the absurd situation is only accented by Snuff’s deadpan narration: “The Peke gave me the paw as I departed, and it’s hard to turn your leg that way.” This ongoing banter between the Thing in the Circle and Snuff never grows old, and easily seduces me into choosing it as the highlight of the October 6th night.