Chapter 3 Summary

The summer Bod is six years old, Silas goes away for a while. He leaves a woman named Miss Lupescu to care for Bod, who dislikes her. He already receives schooling from two of the ghosts, so he does not understand why he has to memorize the lists Miss Lupescu teaches him. First she teaches him all the kinds of people:

There are the living and the dead, there are day-folk and night-folk, there are ghouls and mist-walkers, there are the high hunters and the Hounds of God. Also, there are solitary types.

She says that Silas is a solitary type, but she does not say what she is. Next she makes Bod memorize how to call for help in every language in the world.

Bod dislikes the food Miss Lupescu gives him, and her prissy insistence on memorization as well. He wanders off to feel sorry for himself, and he meets three small figures “like full-size people who had shrunk in the sun.” These creatures call themselves the Duke of Westminster, the Honorable Archibald Fitzhugh, and the Bishop of Bath and Wells. Bod, who has never left the graveyard, asks if he can travel with them. The ghouls toss him down a grave and take him into a strange country. There he learns that they are ghouls, ghastly creatures who eat dead, rotten bodies. They tell Bod he will soon be one of them.

Bod no longer wants to go with the ghouls, but they give him no choice. They claim that they are ultra-powerful and afraid of “nuffink,” but they begin acting nervous when flying creatures called night-gaunts come near. Bod, remembering a lesson with Miss Lupescu, calls for help in the night-gaunts’ language.

Over the next several hours, a few ghouls disappear, and those that remain act increasingly nervous. A big grey dog begins to chase them. When the dog catches Bod, he thinks it will eat him, but it turns out to be Miss Lupescu. She is a Hound of God—a creature known to the living as a werewolf—and as such she is bound to “pursue an evildoer to the very gates of hell.” She returns Bod to his home with Mr. and Mrs. Owens with no injury worse than a sprained ankle.

After their adventure, Bod and Miss Lupescu get along better. When Silas returns at the end of a month, Bod says he has “learned a lot.” Miss Lupescu suggests that she return next summer to teach Bod a bit more, and Bod says he wants her to come.