Chapter Fourteen was a fun chapter to write. Between he and his mother, they piece together some of he mysterious happenings in the "past several days." The reader gets a better understanding of some of the activity of Charlie's father and grandfather and why he moved his family to the Otherworld. Margaret finds the small tin box that has was hidden in the basement of their cottage. We have talked about the letter that Mathew wrote. Margaret now presents Charlie with the key and the compass, both of which will play a role in the unfolding story. It becomes quite evident that the "something" has happened that signals Charlie's departure from his home in Port Thomas. Remember now, this is the "call to adventure" in the hero's journey. In some of the retelling down through the ages, this is accomplished quite simply, I take several chapters to set this up.
Charlie then talks about the tree riders that he spotted up on the ridge line on his way home from the Greenbriar Inn. What is significant in this chapter, of course, is that moment the key and the compass are exposed, Dromian the Crackle spy knows about it. (The reader will remember that Dromian is the spy that Nibel hired to help track the where a bouts of Charlie.)
So Charlie takes a look at the key and the compass and it is now evident that he must leave the Otherworld as soon as possible. His destination will be Courageous Lake, a long way from Port Thomas. But it is late and there is a storm outside and Charlie's mom insists he waits until morning.
Shortly after the key and the compass are out from their little bag, the three riders burst into the cottage. The readers gets a better look and description of the three men and it is "not a pretty site." They all have some facial scaring and all have animal like skin on their chests and torsos. (The reader finds out that water acts like acid on their skin and causes pain and deformities.) Remember now, these are my interpretations of the Ring Wraiths' in Lord of the Rings.
So one of the three acts as a spokesman for the others and demands that Charlie hand over the compass and the key. Now is more than a bit surprising to Charlie and his mom because Charlie was just presented with both of them.
The paragraph I have selected is Charlie's thoughts to himself after he hears the demand from the spokesman. In the statement by the one rider, however, is mention of Charlie's name. That, quiet naturally, is one of the mysterious for our young hero. Here's the paragraph.
"As disturbing as the threat of physical harm might have sounded, it was the speaking of his name that was most unsettling. A terrible uneasy feeling suddenly swept over Charlie. He quickly glanced at his mother. By the look on her face, she too could scarcely believe her ears. Charlie's mind suddenly became flooded with questions. How did the man know his name? How did they know about the key and the compass? He just barely took them out of the leather pouch. And how did they know where he lived? Charlie struggled with what to say. When he was slow to respond, the man who had done the talking again spoke up."