Summary of Chapters 29-32
Will wakes up and realizes the lightning rod is missing from Jim’s roof. He feels the carnival will be seeking them out. Suddenly, he hears a giant balloon in the air as he had seen in the Freak Tent. Jim looks out and sees it too. The Dust Witch is in it looking for them. She sniffs out souls. She leaves an iridescent trail of slime on Jim’s roof. Will gets the hose and washes it off.
Will is feeling confident and hopes the Witch will come back so he can send an arrow into her balloon. He feels the Witch respond to him and then decides to lead her away from his home. He goes to the roof of a deserted house. The shadow of the balloon strikes him down, but Will takes an arrow and tears the balloon with it. He falls into a tree.
It begins to rain at dawn, and Miss Foley, hearing the calliope, leaves her house. Jim and Will go out in raincoats and Jim tells his dream of a funeral with a forty-foot coffin. In it was a giant balloon. The boys pass a tree where a little girl underneath is crying. She asks them to help her; she knows them. She wants them to bring her back. Will thinks it is Miss Foley who must have taken a ride on the carousel. Just then the carnival band comes to town marching down the street. They hide and after it passes, the little girl is gone.
Commentary on Chapters 29-32
Will becomes a hero, deciding he will fight evil single-handedly. When he wins by killing the balloon, he thinks he has made a decisive victory. Then, when he sees what happened to Miss Foley, he is afraid. The carnival does not seem to stop its attack. The boys are shocked that the carnival can march right into town. Will thinks there must be weapons against this evil, but he does not know what they are. The fact that Jim has a dream about the death of the balloon shows his connection to Will, as though he is Will’s unconscious mind.