Chapter 47 Summary
Ida, Victor, Hornet, Riccio, Mosca, and Bo spend the whole day searching for Prosper. They are all horribly worried, especially when they recall how upset Prosper felt at losing Bo. Bo will neither speak nor let go of Victor’s hand. The gang splits up to check over all the places they can imagine Prosper might have gone, but they cannot find him anywhere.
In the afternoon, Ida and Hornet come home and meet Victor; he is carrying Bo, who is asleep. When they enter Ida’s house, they hear voices coming from inside. Hornet offers to go find out who is there, but Victor says he is the one who should do dangerous jobs like that. Ida insists on coming along because the house belongs to her, and they enter her kitchen together. There they find Prosper sitting and sipping port with a tiny redheaded boy and a young man. Prosper and the young man look guilty and try to hide their port glasses. Victor and Ida’s feelings waver between relief and exasperation—plus a little fear of the young man—and demand to know what is going on. The little redhead drunkenly announces that he is Barbarossa, a respected man, and demands to be treated as such.
Prosper apologizes and says that he and his two friends cannot reveal the secret of what has happened to them. Before Victor and Ida can respond, Hornet rushes in and shouts at Prosper. She tells him all about how worried everyone has been. When she says that Bo has been crying his eyes out, Prosper interrupts; he is shocked that Bo even knows he was gone. Victor explains that Bo refused to cooperate with Esther Hartlieb, and she wants nothing more to do with him. Ida takes Prosper into the hall, where they have left the sleeping boy in a chair.
Prosper can hardly believe his eyes. He kneels and looks at his sleeping brother. Behind him, Ida whispers that Bo saved himself while his big brother ran off to the Isola Segreta. Prosper looks around guiltily and says he has promised not tell the story of what went on there. Ida does not argue, but she has figured out enough of it for herself. She says she is glad that Prosper did not ride the merry-go-round, and he confesses that he never can. It is broken forever.