Chapter 49 Summary
Barbarossa feels he is too important to sleep alongside the other children, so he stays on Ida’s couch for the night. Ida is afraid to let him run around her house unsupervised, so she locks him in. Luckily he does not hear her doing it. Ida sends the other children upstairs and sees Victor out; then she goes to bed, too.
Scipio is gone. He left after dinner and refused to say where he was going. This felt familiar to the other children, none of whom can stop thinking about the life they enjoyed in the Star-Palace, with its mattresses and its curtain. Ida’s attic is much different, although Ida has hung up the piece of curtain Victor brought from the theater.
The children are all tired, but they cannot sleep. They sit up into the night and discuss what they will do and where they will go. Riccio suggests checking out a poor neighborhood called the Castello, where there are many empty houses the gang could use for a new hideout. Bo protests. He does not want a hideout; he wants to live with Ida. He says his kittens like playing with Ida’s dogs, and he likes going for ice cream with Ida and Victor. As far as he is concerned, Ida’s house is already home.
Prosper and Hornet shush Bo. Neither of them seems to think they have the option to stay with Ida for the long term, but Hornet admits that she would love to stay if she could. She says, “This is much better than I ever imagined.” Prosper refuses to say what he wants to do. However, it seems clear that he would also stay with Ida if he thought it were possible.
Unlike their friends, Riccio and Mosca have no interest in living with adults. Riccio advises the others against staying. As far as he is concerned, anyone who wants to live with an adult is “nuts.” He says Ida will just make them go to school, tell them what to do, and make them wash and clean their fingernails. He says he is too used to being on his own. He cannot stand to follow someone else’s orders again.
As the children crawl under their blankets, they all turn their thoughts back to Scipio. None of them knows what the Thief Lord is doing, but Prosper has a few guesses. He thinks Scipio might be wandering the streets and watching his reflections in the windows. He will probably do something only adults can do, like sit down in a bar late at night. Maybe he will check into a hotel and try shaving his face for the first time. Bo asks if Scipio is okay, and Prosper says, “Yes, I’m sure he’s fine.”