What-the-Dickens continued on being his troublesome, question asking self. By sheer luck, he manages to encounter another Skibberee, Pepper by name; fireball tooth-fairy on a mission with no time to deal with What-the-Dickens. But deal she does. She has to retrieve a tooth, leave the money, and get back to command center before sun-up. If she fails, she will not become an Agent of Change (AKA a Tooth Fairy).
She gets back at sun-up, with What-the-Dickens in tow. No one is happy to see this rogue Skibberee, so Pepper has one more chance to complete her mission, on time, with instructions to leave What-the-Dickens somewhere out there. He has been instructed to never come back.
With task at hand, Pepper and What-the-Dickens go to their location, the home of none other than Gage, then a 12 year old boy, lonely and bored with parents who had no time for him. Oh. Yeah. Gage is also the owner of McCavity. McCavity gets ahold of Pepper’s wing, and damages her enough that she is captured by Gage. She tells What-the-Dickens to finish her task, so at least her name will be remembered after her death.
Yep. You’re thinking what I was thinking, huh? “How does “What-the-Dickens” mess this up? But that’s just it. He doesn’t. Not this time. It seems he really is useful, and has his own talent; he can communicate with animals, and no other Skibberee can do that.
He completes the mission for Pepper, and returns to the command stump where all the skibberee in that district live. He turns over the teeth, and tells them about Pepper’s fate.
No one seems to care. It is what it is. But What-the-Dickens cares. And when Gage returns her to the stump, What-the-Dickens does everything he can to revive her. He succeeds, and announces that he and Pepper are leaving forever; they can live out in the world on their own.
The adult Gage will not tell his cousins if the story is true or if it isn’t, but he gives the challenge to Dinah to determine how she thinks their story would continue. And ideas abound in her mind of how What-the-Dickens and Pepper would have adventures out in the world.
What do you think they are up to?
this was a great story, not exceptionally long to read, and definitely holds your interest. I certainly wish Mr. Maguire would twist up some other fables and fairy tales, to see what he comes up with next!