[For the October 24th highlight, click here.]
Last night’s Halloween-style prank is given another wicked twist when the burnt body of Owen is discovered the next day in a basket right alongside the charred remains of the vanquished Things. The October 25th section of Zelazny’s novel focuses on the aftermath of the murder–on Snuff and Graymalk’s efforts to assist Owen’s surviving familiar Cheeter. According to the talking squirrel, his master “made me smarter. He gave me special things I can do, too, like that glide [down from a tree]. But I lost something for it. I want to trade all this in and go back to being what I was–a happy nut-chaser who doesn’t care about opening and closing.” What Cheeter has lost is his own shadow, magically separated from his body by Owen and bound to an occult diagram on the wall by seven silver nails (Snuff and Graymalk work diligently to liberate the shadow and restore it to its former caster). The revelation that the narrative’s familiars are not necessarily demonic entities in beastly disguise but rather magically-boosted animals from nature forms the highlight of this late October night.