Chapters 9-10 Summary

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Last Updated on October 26, 2018, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 684

Summoned by the Mighty Ones

It looks for awhile as if Halloween is going to be a complete waste, because the parents are not about to allow their children to go trick-or-treating late at night in the wake of the recent tragedy. Fortunately, a couple of mothers arrange for their...

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Summoned by the Mighty Ones

It looks for awhile as if Halloween is going to be a complete waste, because the parents are not about to allow their children to go trick-or-treating late at night in the wake of the recent tragedy. Fortunately, a couple of mothers arrange for their husbands to take the kids in the neighborhood out in groups, so all is not lost. At least twenty-five children are expected to be in the group from the Casa Rosada and the rest of the block, which April notes will be a lot for just two chaperones to keep track of. She calculates that if the Egypt gang stays together, they just might be able to slip away to make a brief visit to Egypt.

Melanie, who at first is enthusiastic about April's idea, begins to have second thoughts in the days leading up the the big event. One thing leads to another, however, and she never does voice her objections. It is decided that Melanie, Marshall, and Elizabeth will meet at April's apartment on Halloween night to get ready, and when they arrive, they are amazed to see how really great April looks in her costume. Mrs. Hall has cut her granddaughter's hair into a very becoming "Cleopatra bob," and has helped her with her make-up. Melanie notices that, for the first time, April actually speaks kindly of and smiles at her grandmother, and it also occurs to her that, with her hair cut short, her friend will no longer be able to wear the affected up-sweep which is central to her "Hollywood" act.

With the Egyptians gathered together, April falls into character, closing her eyes and whispering dramatically, "We are summoned by the mighty ones, the mighty ones of Egypt." The others follow suit, chanting the words after her and falling to their knees. April produces a single shiny feather which she has found on her windowsill. Although Marshall observes that it is "nothing but an old pigeon feather," April insists that it is a sign from the gods that the children are being called back to Egypt.

The children get dressed and are rushing out to join the group out on the street, when Marshall suddenly howls "STOP!" and refuses to go any further. Melanie knows what the problem is and runs back to get his stuffed octopus, Security. The four children then proceed on their way to a night of adventure.

The Return to Egypt

As April had predicted, the "milling mob of devils, witches, tramps and monsters" that comprise their block's trick-or-treat group overwhelms the chaperones, and the Egypt gang has no trouble dropping to the rear of the "sprawly column" of revelers, where they will not be noticed. As they start up the front walk of the last house on Elm Street, the four Egyptians bump into "the two most disgusting boys in the sixth grade," Ken Kamata and Toby Alvillar. Ken is dressed up as a monster, in an old overcoat over a "pillow-padded hunchback," and Toby, whose father is a conceptual artist, is costumed originally as a "walking pile of boxes." The boys make fun of the "whole herd of Egyptians," and sarcastic verbal barbs are exchanged between them and April and Melanie. 

April, Melanie, Marshall, and Elizabeth fall farther and farther behind the other trick-or-treaters, until finally, they discover that they have lost their group completely. As they pause for a minute, wondering briefly what to do next, a shooting star appears overhead. April immediately identifies it as a secret omen, reiterating their summons to return to Egypt.

Scurrying quickly down the streets, the children duck into the alley leading to the Professor's storage yard. In the semidarkness, the exotic land that they have created is even more fascinating than it is in the daytime. April passes through the opening in the fence first, and lights the incense and candles they have left before the altars of Set and Isis. When she is finished with the preparations, the other children enter, and "The Great Ceremony of the Celebration of the Return to Egypt" begins.

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