Something Wicked This Way Comes | Study Guide

Ray Bradbury

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Something Wicked This Way Comes | Part 2, Chapters 41–42 : Pursuits | Summary



Part 2, Chapter 41

Mr. Dark finds Charles Halloway in the library, and asks him where the boys are. Mr. Halloway denies knowing their whereabouts. Mr. Dark has brought along the Dust Witch (who can cause a heart to stop) and assorted carnival freaks. He tempts Mr. Halloway with the prospect of being made young again, but he resists. As Mr. Dark goes to search for the boys, Halloway feels his heart clench.

Part 2, Chapter 42

Will Halloway and Jim Nightshade hear Mr. Dark calling them as they hide in the library. Mr. Dark offers Jim "rewards" if he comes out. He tells Will they put his mother on the carousel and then let her go into the Mirror Maze—this later proves to be a lie. Will begins to sob audibly, allowing Mr. Dark to find them.


Mr. Dark offers something to each of the protagonists. To Mr. Halloway, he offers to take a few years off using the carousel—to make him a strong young man again. He adds a little pressure to this temptation: the fear of death. This demonstrates the truth of Mr. Halloway's assessment of the carnival's mode of operations from the previous chapters. It inspires the fear of death, then tempts you with a way to avoid it. To Jim, he offers not only his own ride on the carousel, but also the one that was promised for Will: the chance to gain more years—perhaps enough to get all the way to twenty. This demonstrates how the carnival operates by isolating people from one another—separating friend from friend. To Will, who is not easily tempted, he has to find something to leverage. He says Will's mother is in terrible danger and implies he will let Will go to find and save her.

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