The Shield Bug was happy. It had an enemy. It had a sword. Soon the sword would meet the enemy. Life was simple when you were a Shield Bug.
Sarah visited the boys every day, and although at first she was worried about them being out on their own in the Forest, she was impressed by the network of igloos they built and noticed that some of the younger Wendron Witches had taken to dropping by with small offerings of food and drink. Soon it became rare for Sarah to find her boys without at least two or three young witches helping them cook a meal or just sitting around the campfire laughing and telling jokes. It surprised Sarah just how much fending for themselves had changed the boys—they all suddenly seemed so grown up, even the youngest, Jo-Jo, who was still only thirteen. After a while Sarah began to feel a bit of an interloper in their camp, but she persisted in visiting them every day, partly to keep an eye on them and partly because she had developed quite a taste for roast squirrel.
DomDaniel had been an arrogant and unpleasant ExtraOrdinary Wizard, completely uninterested in the Castle and the people there who needed his help, pursuing only his desire for extreme power and eternal youth. Or rather, since DomDaniel had taken a while to work it out, eternal middle age.
Aunt Zelda’s suppers usually took people’s minds off their problems. She was a hospitable cook who liked to have as many people around her table as she could, and although her guests always enjoyed the conversation, the food could be more of a challenge. The most frequent description was “interesting,” as in, “That bread and cabbage bake was very…interesting, Zelda. I never would have thought of that myself,” or, “Well, I must say that strawberry jam is such an…interesting sauce for sliced eel.”
Maxie paid very little attention to Marcia. He didn’t bother to get out of her way or take any notice of what she said because, in his wolfhound way of looking at the world, Silas was Top Dog and Marcia was right at the bottom of the pile. Happily for Marcia, these finer points of Maxie’s inner life had passed her by…