Barking Up The Wrong Tree PDF Free Download

  1. Download Barking Up the Wrong Tree by Eric Barker PDF book free online -Much of the advice we’ve been told about achievement is logical, earnestand downright wrong. In Barking Up the Wrong Tree, Eric Barker reveals the extraordinary science behind what actually determines success and most importantly, how anyone can achieve it.
  2. Barking Up the Wrong Tree is a continuation of Barker's successful blog, where he examines research and interviews experts about what makes a successful life. The book is structured into six chapters, each with its own set of lessons for readers looking to understand how to cultivate their own success.
  3. 3 Barking Up the Wrong Tree, Understanding Why a Child May Resist Visitation Susan Boyan, LMFT 2012 Professionals have begun to recognize that there are situations that may fall into more than one category. Consider the possible combinations of these terms. Alignment +/or Enmeshment Alignment + Parental Alienation.

A Wrinkle in Time -- Madeleine L'Engle(Version 1.0 -- 01/04/2002)Chapter 1 -- Mrs. WhatsitIT was a dark and stormy night.In her attic bedroom Margaret Murry, wrapped in an oldpatchwork quilt, sat on the foot of her bed and watched thetrees tossing in the frenzied lashing of the wind. Behind thetrees clouds scudded frantically across the sky. Every fewmoments the moon ripped through them, creating wraith-like shadows that raced along the ground.The house shook.Wrapped in her quilt, Meg shook.She wasn't usually afraid of weather. —It's not just theweather, she thought. —It's the weather on top of everything else. On top of me. On top of Meg Murry doingeverything wrong.School. School was all wrong. She'd been dropped downto the lowest section in her grade. That morning one of herteachers had said crossly, 'Really, Meg, I don't understandhow a child with parents as brilliant as yours are supposedto be can be such a poor student. If you don't manage to doa little better you'll have to stay back next year.'During lunch she'd rough-housed a little to try to makeherself feel better, and one of the girls said scornfully, 'Afterall, Meg, we aren't grammar-school kids any more. Why doyou always act like such a baby?'And on the way home from school, walking up the roadwith her arms full of books, one of the boys had said something about her 'dumb baby brother.' At this she'dthrowndie books on the side of the road and tackled him with everyounce of strength she had, and arrived home with her blousetorn and a big bruise under one eye.Sandy and Dennys, her ten-year-old twin brothers, whogot home from school an hour earlier than she did, were disgusted. 'Let us do the fighting when it'snecessary,' theytold her. 1
—A delinquent, that's what I am, she thought grimly. —That's what they'll be saying next. Not Mother. ButThem.Everybody Else. I wish Father—But it was still not possible to think about her father without the danger of tears. Only her mother couldtalk abouthim in a natural way, saying, 'When your father getsback—'Gets back from where? And when? Surely her mothermust know what people were saying, must be aware of thesmugly vicious gossip. Surely it must hurt her as it did Meg.But if it did she gave no outward sign. Nothing ruffled theserenity other expression.—Why can't I hide it, too? Meg thought. Why do I alwayshave to show everything?The window rattled madly in the wind, and she pulledthe quilt dose about her. Curled up on one of her pillowsa gray fluff of kitten yawned, showing its pink tongue,tucked its head under again, and went back to sleep.Everybody was asleep. Everybody except Meg. EvenCharles Wallace, the 'dumb baby brother,' who had anuncanny way of knowing when she was awake and unhappy, and who would come, so many nights, tiptoeingup the attic stairs to her—even Charles Wallace was asleep.How could they sleep? All day on the radio there hadbeen hurricane warnings. How could they leave her up inthe attic in the rickety brass bed, knowing that the roofmight be blown right off the house, and she tossed out intothe wild night sky to land who knows where?Her shivering grew uncontrollable.—You asked to have the attic bedroom, she told herselfsavagely. —Mother let you have it because you're the oldest.Ifs a privilege, not a punishment.'Not during a hurricane, it isn't a privilege,' she saidaloud. She tossed the quilt down on the foot of the bed, andstood up. The kitten stretched luxuriously, and looked upat her with huge, innocent eyes.'Go back to sleep,' Meg said. 'Just be glad you're akitten and not a monster like me.' She looked at herself 2
in the wardrobe mirror and made a horrible face, baringa mouthful of teeth covered with braces. Automatically shepushed her glasses into position, ran her fingers throughher mouse-brown hair, so that it stood wildly on end, andlet out a sigh almost as noisy as the wind.The wide wooden floorboards were cold against her feet.Wind blew in the crevices about the window frame, inspite of the protection the storm sash was supposed tooffer. She could hear wind howling in the chimneys. Fromall the way downstairs she could hear Fortinbras, the bigblack dog, starting to bark. He must be frightened, too.What was he barking at? Fortinbras never barked withoutreason.Suddenly she remembered that when she had gone tothe post office to pick up the mail she'd heard about atramp who was supposed to have stolen twelve sheets fromMrs. Buncombe, the constable's wife. They hadn't caughthim, and maybe he was heading for the Murry's house rightnow, isolated on a back road as it was; and this time maybehe'd be after more than sheets. Meg hadn't paid much attention to the talk about the tramp at the time,because thepostmistress, with a sugary smile, had asked if she'd heardfrom her father lately.She left her little room and made her way through theshadows of the main attic, bumping against the ping-pongtable. —Now I'll have a bruise on my hip on top of everything else, she thought.Next she walked into her old dolls' house, Charles Wallace's rocking horse, the twins' electric trains. 'Whymusteverything happen to me?' She demanded of a large teddybear.At the foot of the attic stairs she stood still and listened.Not a sound from Charles Wallace's room on the right. Onthe left, in her parents' room, not a rustle from her mothersleeping alone in the great double bed. She tiptoed downthe hall and into the twins' room, pushing again at herglasses as though they could help her to see better in thedark. Dennys was snoring. Sandy murmured somethingabout baseball and subsided. The twins didn't have anyproblems. They weren't great students, but they weren'tbad ones, either. They were perfectly content with a succession of B's and an occasional A or C. They werestrong and 3
fast runners and good at games, and when cracks were madeabout anybody in the Murry family, they weren't madeabout Sandy and Dennys.She left the twins' room and went on downstairs, avoiding the creaking seventh step. Fortinbras had stoppedbarking. It wasn't the tramp this time, then. Fort would goOn barking if anybody was around.—But suppose the tramp does come? Suppose he has aknife? Nobody lives near enough to hear if we screamedand screamed and screamed. Nobody'd care, anyhow.—I'll make myself some cocoa, she decided. —That'llcheer me up, and if the roof blows off at least I won't go offwith it.In the kitchen a light was already on, and Charles Wallace was sitting at the table drinking milk and eatingbread and jam. He looked very small and vulnerable sittingthere alone in the big old-fashioned kitchen, a blond littleboy in faded blue Dr. Dentons, his feet swinging a goodsix inches above the floor.'Hi,' he said cheerfully. 'I've been waiting for you.'From under the table where he was lying at CharlesWallace's feet, hoping for a crumb or two, Fortinbras raisedhis slender dark head in greeting to Meg, and his tailthumped against the floor. Fortinbras had arrived on theirdoorstep, a half-grown puppy, scrawny and abandoned,one winter night. He was, Meg's father had decided, partLlewellyn setter and part greyhound, and he had a slenderdark beauty that was all his own.'Why didn't you come up to the attic?' Meg askedher brother, speaking as though he were at least her ownage. 'I've been scared stiff.'Too windy up in that attic of yours,' the little boy said.'I knew you'd be down. I put some milk on the stove foryou. It ought to be hot by now.'How did Charles Wallace always know about her? Howcould he always tell? He never knew — or seemed to care —what Dennys or Sandy were thinking. It was his mother'smind, and Meg's, that he probed with frightening accuracy.Was it because people were a little afraid of him thatthey whispered about the Murry's youngest child, whowas rumored to be not quite bright? 'I've heard that clever 4
people often have subnormal children,' Meg had onceoverheard. 'The two boys seem to be nice, regular children, but that unattractive girl and the baby boycertainlyaren't all there.'It was true that Charles Wallace seldom spoke whenanybody was around, so that many people thought he'dnever learned to talk. And it was true that he hadn't talkedat all until he was almost four. Meg would turn white withfury when people looked at him and clucked, shaking theirheads sadly.'Don't worry about Charles Wallace, Meg.' her fatherhad once told her. Meg remembered it very clearly because it was shortly before he went away. 'There'snothingthe matter with his mind. He just does things in his ownway and in his own time.'I don't want him to grow up to be dumb like me,' Meghad said.'Oh, my darling, you're not dumb,' her father answered. 'You're like Charles Wallace. Your developmenthas to go at its own pace. It just doesn't happen to be theusual pace.'How do you knowF^ Meg had demanded. 'How doyou know I'm not dumb? Isn't it just because you loveme?'I love you, but that's not what tells me. Mother and I'vegiven you a number of tests, you know.'Yes, that was true. Meg had realized that some of the'games' her parents played with her were tests of somekind, and that there had been more for her and CharlesWallace than for the twins. 'IQ tests, you mean?'Yes, some of them.'Is my IQ okay?'More than okay.'What is it?'That I'm not going to tell you. But it assures me thatboth you and Charles Wallace will be able to do pretty 5
much whatever you like when you grow up to yourselves.You just wait till Charles Wallace starts to talk. You'll see.'How right he had been about that, though he himselfhad left before Charles Wallace began to speak, suddenly,with none of the usual baby preliminaries, using entiresentences. How proud he would have been!'You'd better check the milk,' Charles Wallace said toMeg now, his diction clearer and cleaner than that of mostfive-year-olds. 'You know you don't like it when it gets askin on top.'You put in more than twice enough milk.' Meg peeredinto the saucepan.Charles Wallace nodded serenely. 'I thought Mothermight like some.'I might like what?' a voice said, and there was theirmother standing in the doorway.'Cocoa,' Charles Wallace said. 'Would you like a liverwurst-and-cream-cheese sandwich? I'll be happy to makeyou one.'That would be lovely,' Mrs. Murry said, 'but I canmake it myself if you're busy.'No trouble at all.' Charles Wallace slid down fromhis chair and trotted over to the refrigerator, his pajamaedfeet padding softly as a kitten's. 'How about you, Meg?' heasked. 'Sandwich?'Yes, please,' she said. 'But not liverwurst. Do we haveany tomatoes?'Charles Wallace peered into the crisper. 'One. All rightif I use it on Meg, Mother?'To what better use could it be put?' Mrs Murry smiled.'But not so loud, please, Charles. That is, unless you wantthe twins downstairs, too.'Let's be exclusive,' Charles Wallace said. 'That's mynew word for the day. Impressive, isn't it?'Prodigious,' Mrs. Murry said. 'Meg, come let me lookat that bruise.' 6
Meg knelt at her mother's feet. The warmth and light ofthe kitchen had relaxed her so that her attic fears weregone. The cocoa steamed fragrantly in the saucepan;geraniums bloomed on the window sills and there was abouquet of tiny yellow chrysanthemums in the center ofthe table. The curtains, red, with a blue and green geometrical pattern, were drawn, and seemed to reflecttheircheerfulness throughout the room. The furnace purredlike a great, sleepy animal; the lights glowed with steadyradiance; outside, alone in the dark, the wind still batteredagainst the house, but the angry power that had frightenedMeg while she was alone in the attic was subdued by thefamiliar comfort of the kitchen. Underneath Mrs. Murry'schair Fortinbras let out a contented sigh.Mrs. Murry gently touched Meg's bruised cheek. Meglooked up at her mother, half in loving admiration, half insullen resentment. It was not an advantage to have a motherwho was a scientist and a beauty as well. Mrs. Murry'sflaming red hair, creamy skin, and violet eyes with longdark lashes, seemed even more spectacular in comparisonwith Meg's outrageous plainness. Meg's hair had beenpassable as long as she wore it tidily in braids. When shewent into high school it was cut, and now she and hermother struggled with putting it up, but one side wouldcome out curly and the other straight, so that she lookedeven plainer than before.'You don't know the meaning of moderation, do you, mydarling?' Mrs. Murry asked. 'A happy medium is something I wonder if you'll ever learn. That's a nastybruise theHenderson boy gave you. By the way, shortly after you'dgone to bed his mother called up to complain about howbadly you'd hurt him. I told her that since he's a year olderand at least twenty-five pounds heavier than you are, Ithought I was the one who ought to be doing the complaining. But she seemed to think it was all your fault.'I suppose that depends on how you look at it,' Meg said.'Usually no matter what happens people think it's myfault, even if I have nothing to do with it at all. But I'msorry I tried to fight him. It's just been an awful week. AndI'm full of bad feeling.'Mrs. Murry stroked Meg's shaggy head. 'Do you knowwhy?' 7
'I hate being an oddball,' Meg said. 'It's hard on Sandyand Dennys, too. I don't know if they're really like everybody else, or if they're just able to pretend theyare. I tryto pretend, but it isn't any help.'You're much too straightforward to be able to pretend tobe what you aren't,' Mrs. Murry said. 'I'm sorry, Meglet.Maybe if Father were here he could help you, but I don'tthink I can do anything till you've managed to plow throughsome more time. Then things will be easier for you. But thatisn't much help right now, is it?'Maybe if I weren't so repulsive-looking — maybe if Iwere pretty like you—'Mother's not a bit pretty; she's beautiful,' Charles Wallace announced, slicing liverwurst. 'Therefore Ibet she wasawful at your age.'How right you are,' Mrs. Murry said. 'Just give yourself time, Meg.' ^'Lettuce on your sandwich. Mother?' Charles Wallaceasked.'No. thanks.'He cut the sandwich into sections, put it on a plate, andset it in front of his mother. 'Yoursll be along in just aminute, Meg. I think I'll talk to Mrs. Whatsit about you.'Who's Mrs. Whatsit?' Meg asked.'I think I want to be exclusive about her for a while,'Charles Wallace said, 'Onion salt?'Yes, please.'What's Mrs. Whatsit stand for?' Mrs. Murry asked.'That's her name,' Charles Wallace answered. 'You knowthe old shingled house back in the woods that the kidswon't go near because they say it's haunted? That's wherethey live.'They?'Mrs. Whatsit and her two friends.. I was out with Fortinbras a couple of days ago—you and the twins were at 8
school, Meg. We like to walk in the woods, and suddenlyhe took off after a squirrel and I took off after him and weended up by the haunted house, so I met them by accident,as you might say.'But nobody lives there,' Meg said.'Mrs. Whatsit and her friends do. They've very enjoyable.'Why didn't you tell me about it before?' Mrs. Murryasked. 'And you know you're not supposed to go off ourproperty without permission, Charles.'I know,' Charles said. 'That's one reason I didn't tellyou. I Just rushed off after Fortinbras without thinking. -And then I decided, well, I'd better save them for anemergency, anyhow.'A fresh gust of wind took the house and shook it, andsuddenly the rain began to lash against the windows.'I don't think I like this wind,' Meg said nervously.'Well lose some shingles off the roof, that's certain,' Mrs.Murry said. 'But this house has stood for almost two hundred years and I think it will last a little longer,Meg.There's been many a high wind up on this hill.'But this is a hurricane!' Meg wailed. 'The radio keptsaying it was a hurricane!'It's October,' Mrs. Murry told her. 'There've beenstorms in October before.'As Charles Wallace gave Meg her sandwich Fortinbrascame out from under the table. He gave a long, low growl,and they could see the dark fur slowly rising on his back.Meg felt her own skin prickle.'What's wrong?' she asked anxiously.Fortinbras stared at the door that opened into Mrs.Murry's laboratory which was in the old stone dairy rightoff the kitchen. Beyond the lab a pantry led outdoors,though Mrs. Murry had done her best to train the familyto come into the house through the garage door or thefront door and not through her lab. But it was the lab doorand not the garage door toward which Fortinbras was 9
growling.'You didn't leave' any nasty-smelling chemicals cookingover a Bunsen burner, did you, Mother?' Charles Wallaceasked.Mrs. Murray stood up. 'No. But I think I'd better go seewhat's upsetting Fort, anyhow.'It's the tramp, I'm sure it's the tramp,' Meg said nervously.'What tramp?' Charles Wallace asked.'They were saying at the post office this afternoon thata tramp stole all Mrs. Buncombe's sheets.'We'd better sit on the pillow cases, then,' Mrs. Murrysaid lightly. 'I don't think even a tramp would be out ona night like this, Meg.'But that's probably why he is out,' Meg wailed, 'tryingto find a place not to be out.'In which case I'll offer him the barn till morning.' Mrs.Murry went briskly to the door.'I'll go with you.' Meg's voice was shrill.'No, Meg, you stay with Charles and eat your sandwich.'Eat!' Meg exclaimed as Mrs. Murry went out throughthe lab. 'How does she expect me to eat?'Mother can take care of herself,' Charles said. 'Physically, that is.' But he sat in his father's chair atthe table andhis legs kicked at the rungs; and Charles Wallace, unlikemost small children, had the ability to sit still.After a few moments that seemed like forever to Meg,Mrs. Murry came back in, holding the door open for—wasit the tramp? It seemed small for Meg's idea of a tramp.The age or sex was impossible to tell, for it was completelybundled up in clothes. Several scarves of assorted colorswere tied about the head, and a man's felt hat perched atop.A shocking pink stole was knotted about a rough overcoat,and black rubber boots covered the feet.'Mrs. Whatsit,' Charles said suspiciously, 'what are you 10
doing here? And at this time of night, too?'Now don't you be worried, my honey.' A voice emergedfrom among turned-up coat collar, stole, scarves, and hat,a voice like an unoiled gate, but somehow not unpleasant.'Mrs. — uh — Whatsit — says she lost her way,' Mrs.Murry said. 'Would you care for some hot chocolate, Mrs.Whatsit?'Charmed, I'm sure,' Mrs. Whatsit answered, taking offthe hat and die stole. 'It isn't so much that I lost my wayas that I got blown off course. And when I realized that Iwas at little Charles Wallace's house I thought I'd justcome in and rest a bit before proceeding on my way.'How did you know this was Charles Wallace's house?'Meg asked.'By the smell.' Mrs. Whatsit untied a blue and greenpaisley scarf, a red and yellow flowered print, a gold Liberty print, a red and black bandanna. Under allthis asparse quantity of grayish hair was tied in a small but tidyknot on top of her head. Her eyes were bright, her nose around, soft blob, her mouth puckered like an autumnapple. 'My, but it's lovely and warm in here,' she said.'Do sit down.' Mrs. Murry indicated a chair. 'Wouldyou like a sandwich, Mrs. Whatsit? I've had liverwurst andcream cheese; Charles has had bread and jam; and Meg,lettuce and tomato.'Now, let me see,' Mrs. Whatsit pondered. 'I'm passionately fond of Russian caviar.'You peeked!' Charles cried indignantly. 'We're saving that for Mother's birthday and you can't have any!'Mrs. Whatsit gave a deep and pathetic sigh.'No,' Charles said. 'Now, you mustn't give in to her,Mother, or I shall be very angry. How about tuna-fishsalad?'All right,' Mrs. Whatsit said meekly.'I'll fix it,' Meg offered, going to the pantry for a canof tuna fish.—For crying out loud, she thought, —this old woman 11
comes barging in on us in the middle of the night andMother takes it as though there weren't anything pecuharabout it at all. I'll bet she is the tramp. I'll bet she did stealthose sheets. And she's certainly no one Charles Wallaceought to be friends with, especially when he won't even talkto ordinary people.'I've only been in the neighborhood a short time,' Mrs.Whatsit was saying as Meg switched off the pantry lightand came back into the kitchen with the tuna fish, 'and Ididn't think I was going to like the neighbors at all untildear little Charles came over with his dog.'Mrs. Whatsit,' Charles Wallace demanded severely,'why did you take Mrs. Buncombe's sheets?'Well, I needed them, Charles dear.'You must return them at once.'But Charles, dear, I can't. I've used them.'It was very wrong of you,' Charles Wallace scolded.'If you needed sheets that badly you should have askedme.Mrs. Whatsit shook her head and clucked. 'You can'tspare any sheets. Mrs. Buncombe can.'Meg cut up some celery and mixed it in with the tuna.After a moment's hesitation she opened the refrigeratordoor and brought out a jar of little sweet pickles. —Thoughwhy I'm doing it for her I don't know, she thought, as shecut them up. —I don't trust her one bit.'Tell your sister I'm all right,' Mrs. Whatsit said toCharles. 'Tell her my intentions are good.'The road to hell is paved with good intentions,' Charlesintoned.'My, but isn't he cunning.' Mrs. Whatsit beamed at himfondly. 'It's lucky he has someone to understand him.'But I'm afraid he doesn't,' Mrs. Murry said. 'None ofus is quite up to Charles.'But at least you aren't trying to squash him down.' Mrs.Whatsit nodded her head vigorously. 'You're letting him 12
be himself.'Here's your sandwich,' Meg said, bringing it to Mrs.Whatsit.'Do you mind if I take off my boots before I eat?' Mrs.Whatsit asked, picking up the sandwich nevertheless.'Listen.' She moved her feet up and down in her boots,and they could hear water squelching. 'My toes are ever sodamp. The trouble is that these boots are a mite too tightfor me, and I never can take them off by myself.'I'll help you,' Charles offered.'Not you. You're not strong enough.'I'll help.' Mrs. Murry squatted at Mrs. Whatsit's feet,yanking on one slick boot. When the boot came off it camesuddenly. Mrs. Murry sat down with a thump. Mrs. Whatsitwent tumbling backward with the chair onto the floor,sandwich held high in one old claw. Water poured out ofthe boot and ran over the floor and the big braided rug.'Oh, dearie me,' Mrs. Whatsit said, lying on her back inthe overturned chair, her feet in the air, one in a red andwhite striped sock, the other still booted.Mrs. Murry got to her feet. 'Are you all right, Mrs.Whatsit?'If you have some liniment I'll put it on my dignity,'Mrs. Whatsit said, still supine. 'I think it's sprained. Alittle oil of cloves mixed well with garlic is rather good.'And she took a large bite of sandwich.'Do please get up,' Charles said. 'I don't like to see youlying there that way. You're carrying things too far.'Have you ever tried to get to your feet with a spraineddignity?' But Mrs. Whatsit scrambled up, righted the chair,and then sat back down on the floor, the booted foot stuckout in front of her, and took another bite. She moved withgreat agility for such an old woman. At least Meg was reasonably sure that she was an old woman, and a veryoldwoman at that.Mrs. Whatsit, her mouth full, ordered Mrs. Murry, 'Nowpull while I'm already down.' 13
Quite calmly, as though this old woman and her bootswere nothing out of the ordinary, Mrs. Murry pulled untilthe second boot relinquished the foot. This foot was covered with a blue and gray Argyle sock, and Mrs.Whatsitsat there, wriggling her toes, contentedly finishing hersandwich before scrambling to her feet. 'Ah,' she said,'that's ever so much better,' and took both boots and shookthem out over the sink. 'My stomach is full and I'm warminside and out and it's time I went home.'Don't you think you'd better stay till morning?' Mrs.Murry asked.'Oh, thank you, dearie, but there's so much to do I justcan't waste time sitting around frivoling.'It's much too wild a night to travel in.'Wild nights are my glory,' Mrs. Whatsit said. 'I just gotcaught in a down draft and blown off course.'Well, at least till your socks are dry—'Wet socks don't bother me. I just didn't like the watersquishing around in my boots. Now don't worry about me,lamb.' (Lamb was not a word one would ordinarily thinkof calling Mrs. Murry.) 'I shall just sit down for a momentand pop on my boots and then I'll be on my way. Speakingof ways, pet, by the way. there is such a thing as a tesseract.'Mrs. Murry went very white and with one hand reachedbackward and clutched at a chair for support. Her voicetrembled. 'What did you say?'Mrs. Whatsit tugged at her second boot. 'I said,' shegrunted, shoving her foot down in, 'that there is' — shove— 'such a thing' — shove — 'as a tesseract.' Her foot wentdown into the boot, and grabbing shawls, scarves, and hat,she hustled out the door. Mrs. Murry stayed very still, making no move to help the old woman. As the dooropened,Fortinbras streaked in, panting, wet and shiny as a seal.He looked at Mrs. Murry and whined.The door slammed.'Mother, what's the matter!' Meg cried- 'What did she 14
say? What is it?'The tesseract—' Mrs. Murry whispered. 'What did shemean? How could she have known?'Chapter 2 -- Mrs. WhoWHEN Meg woke to the jangling of her alarm clock the windwas still blowing but the sun was shining; the worst of thestorm was over. She sat up in bed, shaking her head to clearit.It must have been a dream. She'd been frightened bythe storm and worried about the tramp so she'd justdreamed about going down to the kitchen and seeing Mrs,Whatsit and having her mother get all frightened and upset by that word—what was it? Tess—tess something.She dressed hurriedly, picked up the kitten still curledup on the bed, and dumped it unceremoniously on thefloor. The kitten yawned, stretched, gave a piteous miaow,trotted out of the attic and down the stairs. Meg made herbed and hurried after it. In the kitchen her mother wasmaking French toast and the twins were already at thetable. The kitten was lapping milk out of a saucer.'Where's Charles?' Meg asked.'Still asleep. We had rather an interrupted night, if youremember.'I hoped it was a dream,' Meg said.Her mother carefully turned over four slices of Frenchtoast, then said in a steady voice, 'No, Meg. Don't hope itwas a dream. I don't understand it any more than you do,but one thing I've learned is that you don't have to understand things for them to be. I'm sorry I showedyou I wasupset. Your father and I used to have a joke about tesseract.'What is a tesseract?' Meg asked.'It's a concept.' Mrs. Murry handed the twins the syrup.'I'll try to explain it to you later. There isn't time beforeschool.'I don't see why you didn't wake us up,' Dermys said.'It's a gyp we missed out on all the fun.' 15
'You'll be a lot more awake in school today than I will.'Meg took her French toast to the table.'Who cares,' Sandy said. 'If you're going to let oldtramps come into the house in the middle of the night,Mother, you ought to have Den and me around to protect you.'After all. Father would expect us to,' Deimys added.'We know you have a great mind and all. Mother,'Sandy said, 'but you don't have much sense. And certainlyMeg and Charles don't.'I know. We're morons.' Meg was bitter.'I wish you wouldn't be such a dope, Meg. Syrup, please.'Sandy reached across the table. 'You don't have to takeeverything so personally. Use a happy medium, for heaven'ssake. You just goof around in school and look out the window and don't pay any attention.'You just make things harder for yourself,' Dennys said.'And Charles Wallace is going to have an awful time nextyear when he starts school. We know he's bright, but he'sso funny when he's around other people, and they're soused to thinking he's dumb, I don't know what's going tohappen to him. Sandy and I'll sock anybody who picks onhim, but that's about all we can do.'Let's not worry about next year till we get through thisone,' Mrs. Murry said. 'More French toast, boys?'***At school Meg was tired and her eyelids sagged and hermind wandered. In social studies she was asked to namethe principal imports and exports of Nicaragua, and thoughslie had looked them up dutifully the evening before, nowshe could remember none of them. The teacher was sarcastic, the rest of the class laughed, and she flungherselfdown in her seat in a fury. 'Who cares about the importsand exports of Nicaragua, anyhow?' she muttered.'If you're going to be rude, Margaret, you may leave theroom,' the teacher said.'Okay, I will.' Meg flounced out. 16
During study hall the principal sent for her. 'What seemsto be the problem now, Meg?' he asked, pleasantly enough.Meg looked sulkily down at the floor. 'Nothing, Mr.Jenkins.'Miss Porter tells me you were inexcusably rude.'Meg shrugged.'Don't you realize that you just make everything harderfor yourself by your attitude?' the principal asked. 'Now,Meg, I'm convinced that you can do the work and keep upwith your grade if you will apply yourself, but some of yourteachers are not. You're going to have to do somethingabout yourself. Nobody can do it tor you.' Meg was silent.'Well? What about it, Meg?'I don't know what to do,' Meg said.'You could do your homework, for one thing. Wouldn'tyour mother help you?'If I asked her to.'Meg, is something troubling you? Are you unhappyat home?' Mr. Jenkins asked.At last Meg looked at him, pushing at her glasses in acharacteristic gesture. 'Everything's fine at home.'I'm glad to hear it. But I know it must be hard on youto have your father away.'Meg eyed the principal warily, and ran her tongue overthe barbed line of her braces.'Have you had any news from him lately?'Meg was sure it was not only imagination that made herfeel that behind Mr. Jenkins' surface concern was a gleamof avid curiosity. Wouldn't he like to know! she thought.And if I knew anything he's the last person I'd tell. Well,one of the lastThe postmistress must know that it was almost a yearnow since the last letter, and heaven knows how many people she'd told, or what unkind guesses she'd madeabout the 17
reason for the long silence.Mr. Jenkins waited for an answer, but Meg onlyshrugged.'Just what was your father's line of business?' Mr. Jenkins asked. 'Some kind of scientist, wasn't he?'He is a physicist.' Meg bared her teeth to reveal thetwo ferocious lines of braces.'Meg, don't you think you'd make a better adjustmentto life if you faced facts?'I do face facts,' Meg said. 'They're lots easier to facethan people, I can tell you.'Then why don't you face facts about your father?'You leave my father out of it!' Meg shouted.'Stop bellowing.' Mr. Jenkins said sharply. 'Do youwant the entire school to hear you?'So what?' Meg demanded. 'I'm not ashamed of anything I'm saying. Are you?'Mr. Jenkins sighed. 'Do you enjoy being the most belligerent, uncooperative child in school?'Meg ignored this. She leaned over the desk toward theprincipal. 'Mr. Jenkins, you've met my mother, haven'tyou? You can't accuse her of not facing facts, can you? She'sa scientist. She has doctors' degrees in both biology and bacteriology. Her business is facts. When shetells me that myfather isn't coming home, I'll believe it. As long as she saysFather is coming home, then I'll believe that.'Mr. Jenkins sighed again. 'No doubt your mother wantsto believe that your father is coming home, Meg. Very well,I can't do anything else with you. Go on back to study hall.Try to be a little less antagonistic. Maybe your work wouldimprove if your general attitude were more tractable.'When Meg got home from school her mother was in thelab, the twins were at Little League, and Charles Wallace,the kitten, and Fortinbras were waiting tor her. Fortinbrasjumped up, put his front paws on her shoulders, and gaveher a kiss, and the kitten rushed to his empty, saucer andmewed loudly. 18
'Come on,' Charles Wallace said. 'Let's go.'Where?' Meg asked. 'I'm hungry, Charles. I don'twant to go anywhere till I've had something to eat' Shewas still sore from the interview with Mr. Jenkins, and hervoice sounded cross. Charles Wallace looked at herthoughtfully as she went to the refrigerator and gave thekitten some milk, then drank a mugful herself.He handed her a paper bag. 'Here's a sandwich andsome cookies and an apple. I thought we'd better go seeMrs.Whatsit.'Oh, golly,' Meg said. 'Why, Charles?'You're still uneasy about her, aren't you?' Charlesasked.'Well, yes.'Don't be. She's all right. I promise you. She's on ourside.'How do you know?'Meg,' he said impatiently. 'I know.'But why should we go see her now?'I want to find out more about that tesseract thing.Didn't you see how it upset Mother? You know whenMother can't control the way she feels, when she lets us seeshe's upset, then it's something big.'Meg thought for a moment. 'Okay, let's go. But let'stake Fortinbras with us.'Well, of course. He needs the exercise.'They set off, Fortinbras rushing ahead, then doublingback to the two children, then leaping off again. TheMurrys lived about four miles out of the village. Behindthe house was a pine woods and it was through this thatCharles Wallace took Meg.'Charles, you know she's going to get in awful trouble—Mrs. Whatsit, I mean—if they find out she's broken intothe haunted house. And taking Mrs. Buncombe's sheetsand everything. They could send her to jail.' 19
'One of the reasons I want to go over this afternoon is towarn them.'Them?'I told you she was there with her two friends. I'm noteven sure it was Mrs. Whatsit herself who took the sheets,though I wouldn't put it past her.'But what would she want all those sheets for?'I intend to ask her,' Charles Wallace said, 'and to tellthem they'd better be more careful. I don't really thinkthey'll let anybody find them, but I just thought we oughtto mention the possibility. Sometimes during vacationssome of the boys go out there looking for thrills, but I don'tthink anybody's apt to right now, what with basketball andeverything.'They walked in silence for a moment through die fragrant woods, the rusty pine needles gentle under theirfeet.Up above them the wind made music in the branches.Charles Wallace slipped his hand confidingly in Meg's, and{he sweet, little-boy gesture warmed her so that she feltthe tense knot inside her begin to loosen. Gfiarles loves meat any rate, she thought.'School awful again today?' he asked after a while.'Yes. I got sent to Mr. Jenkins. He made snide remarksabout Father.'Charles Wallace nodded sagely. 'I know.'How do you know?'Charles Wallace shook his head. 'I can't quite explain.You tell me, that's all.'But I never say anything. You just seem to know.'Everything about you tells me,' Charles said.'How about the twins?' Meg asked. 'Do you knowabout them, too?'I suppose I could if I wanted to. If they needed me.But it's sort of tiring, so I just concentrate on you and 20
Mother.'You mean you read our minds?'Charles Wallace looked troubled. 'I don't think it's that.It's being able to understand a sort of language, like sometimes if I concentrate very hard I can understandthe windtalking with the trees. You tell me, you see, sort of inad—inadvertently. That's a good word, isn't it? I got Mother tolook it up in the dictionary for me this morning. I reallymust learn to reado except I'm afraid it will make it awfullyhard for me in school next year if I already know things. Ithink it will be better if people go on thinking I'm not verybright. They won't hate me quite so much.'Ahead of them Fortinbras started barking loudly, thewarning bay that usually told them that a car was comingup the road or that someone was at the door.'Somebody's here,' Charles Wallace said sharply. 'Somebody's hanging around the house. Come on.' He startedto run, his short legs straining. At the edge of the woodsFortinbras stood in front of a boy, barking furiously.As they came panting up the boy said, 'For crying outloud, call off your dog.'Who is he?' Charles Wallace asked Meg,'Calvin 0'Keefe. He's in Regional, but he's older than Iam. He's a big bug.'It's all right, fella. I'm not going to hurt you,' the boysaid to Fortinbras.'Sit, Fort,' Charles Wallace commanded, and Fortinbras dropped to his haunches in front of the boy, a lowgrowl still pulsing in his dark throat.'Okay.' Charles Wallace put his hands on his hips. 'Nowtell us what you're doing here.'I might ask the same of you,' the boy said with someindignation. 'Aren't you two of the Murry kids? This isn'tyour property, is it?' He started to move, but Fortinbras'growl grew louder and he stopped.'Tell me about him, Meg,' Charles Wallace demanded.'What would I know about him?' Meg asked. 'He's a 21
couple of grades above me, and he's on the basketballteam.'Just because I'm tall.' Calvin sounded a little embarrassed. Tall he certainly was, and skinny. His bonywrists stuck out of the sleeves of his blue sweater; his worncorduroy trousers were three inches too short. He hadorange hair that needed cutting and the appropriatefreckles to go with it. His eyes were an oddly bright blue.'Tell us what you're doing here,' Charles Wallace said.'What is this? The third degree? Aren't you the onewho's supposed to be the moron?'Meg flushed with rage, but Charles Wallace answeredplacidly, 'That's right. If you want me to call my dog offyou'd better give.'Most peculiar moron I've ever met,' Calvin said. 'I justcame to get away from my family.'Charles Wallace nodded. 'What kind of family?'They all have runny noses. I'm third from the top ofeleven kids. I'm a sport'At that Charles Wallace grinned widely, 'So 'm I.'I don't mean like in baseball,' Calvin said.'Neither do I.'I mean like in biology,' Calvin said suspiciously.'A change in gene,' Charles Wallace quoted, 'resultingin the appearance in the offspring of a character which isnot present in the parents but which is potentially transmissible to its offspring.'What gives around here?' Calvin asked. 'I was told youcouldn't talk.'Thinking I'm a moron gives people something to feelsmug about,' Charles Wallace said. 'Why should I disillusion them? How old are you, Cal?'Fourteen.'What grade?'Junior. Eleventh. I'm bright. Listen, did anybody ask 22
you to come here this afternoon?'Charles Wallace, holding Fort by the collar, looked atCalvin suspiciously. 'What do you mean, asked?'Calvin shrugged. 'You still don't trust me, do you?'I don't distrust you,' Charles Wallace said.'Do you want to tell me why you're here, then?'Fort and Meg and I decided to go for a walk. We oftendo in the afternoon.'Calvin dug his hands down in his pockets. 'You're holding out on me.'So 're you,' Charles Wallace said.'Okay, old sport,' Calvin said, 'I'll tell you this much.Sometimes I get a feeling about things. You might call ita compulsion. Do you know what compulsion means?'Constraint. Obligation. Because one is compelled. Nota very good definition, but it's the Concise Oxford.'Okay, okay,' Calvin sighed. 'I must remember I'm preconditioned in my concept of your mentality.'Meg sat down on die coarse grass at the edge of thewoods. Fort gently twisted his collar out of Charles Wallace's hands and came over to Meg, lying down besideherand putting his head in her lap.Calvin tried now politely to direct his words towardMeg as well as Charles Wallace, 'When I get this feeling,this compulsion, I always do what it tells me. I can't explain where it comes from or how I get it, and itdoesn'thappen very often. But I obey it. And this afternoon I hada feeling that I must come over to the haunted house. That'sall I know, kid. I'm not holding anything back. Maybe it'sbecause I'm supposed to meet you. You tell me.'Charles Wallace looked at Calvin probingly for a moment; then an almost glazed look came into his eyes, andhe seemed to be thinking at him. Calvin stood very still,and waited.At last Charles Wallace said. 'Okay. I believe you. ButI can't tell you. I think I'd like to trust you. Maybe you'd 23
better come home with us and have dinner.'Well, sure, but—what would your mother say to that?'Calvin asked.'She'd be delighted. Mother's all right. She's not one ofus. But she's all right.'What about Meg?'Meg has it tough,' Charles Wallace said. 'She's notreally one thing or the other.'What do you mean, one of us?' Meg demanded. 'Whatdo you mean I'm not one thing or the other?'Not now. Meg,' Charles Wallace said. 'Slowly. I'll tellyou about it later.' He looked at Calvin, then seemedto make a quick decision. 'Okay, let's take him to meetMrs. Whatsit. If he's not okay shell know.' He started offon his short legs toward the dilapidated old house.The haunted house was half in the shadows of the clumpof elms in which it stood. The elms were almost bare, now,and die ground around the house was yellow with dampleaves. The late afternoon light had a greenish cast whichthe blank windows reflected in a sinister way. An unhingedshutter thumped. Something else creaked. Meg did notwonder that the house had a reputation for being haunted.A board was nailed across the front door, but CharlesWallace led the way around to the back. The door there appeared to be nailed shut, too, but Charles Wallaceknocked,and the door swung slowly outward, creaking on rustyhinges. Up in one of the elms an old black crow gave itsraucous cry, and a woodpecker went into a wild ratatattat. A large gray rat scuttled around the comer of thehouseand Meg let out a stifled shriek.'They get a lot of fun out of using all the typical props,'Charles Wallace said in a reassuring voice. 'Come on.Follow me.'Calvin put a strong hand to Meg's elbow, and Fortpressed against her leg. Happiness at their concern was sostrong in her that her panic fled, and she followed CharlesWallace into the dark recesses of the house without fear. 24
They entered into a sort of kitchen. There was a hugefireplace with a big black pot hanging over a merry fire.Why had there been no smoke visible from the chimney?Something in the pot was bubbling, and it smelled morelike one of Mrs. Murry's chemical messes than somethingto eat. In a dilapidated Boston rocker sat a plump littlewoman. She wasn't Mrs. Whatsit, so she must, Meg decided, be one of Mrs. Whatsit's two friends. She woreenormous spectacles, twice as thick and twice as large asMeg's, and she was sewing busily, with rapid jabbingstitches, on a sheet. Several other sheets lay on the dustyfloor.Charles Wallace went up to her. 'I really don't think youought to have taken Mrs. Buncombe's sheets without consulting me,' he said, as cross and bossy as only avery smallboy can be. 'What on earth do you want them for?'The plump little woman beamed at him. 'Why, Charlsie,my pet! Le coew a ses raisons que la raison ne connaitpoint. French. Pascal. The heart has its reasons, whereofreason knows nothing.'But that's not appropriate at all,' Charles said crossly.'Your mother would find it so.' A smile seemed to gleamthrough the roundness of spectacles.'I'm not talking about my mother's feelings about myfather,' Charles Wallace scolded. 'I'm talking about Mrs.Buncombe's sheets.'The little woman sighed. The enormous glasses caughtthe light again and shone like an owl's eyes. 'In case weneed ghosts, of course,' she said. 'I should think you'd haveguessed. If we have to frighten anybody away Whatsitthought we ought to do it appropriately. That's why it's somuch fun to stay in a haunted house. But we really didn'tmean you to know about the sheets. Auf frischer Tatertappt. German. In .flagrante delicto. Latin. Caught inthe act. English. As I was saying—'But Charles Wallace held up his hand in a peremptorygesture. 'Mrs. Who, do you know this boy?'Calvin bowed. 'Good afternoon, Ma'am. I didn't quitecatch your name.' 25
'Mrs. Who will do,' the woman said. 'He wasn't my idea,Charlsie, but I think he's a good one.'Where's Mrs. WTiatsit?' Charles asked.'She's busy. It's getting near time, Charlsie, getting neartime. Ab honesto virum bonum nihil deterret. Seneca.Nothing deters a good man from doing what is honorable.And he's a very good man, Charlsie, darling, but rightnow he needs our help.'Who?' Meg demanded.'And little Megsie! Lovely to meet you, sweetheart. Yourfather, of course. Now go home, loves. The time is not yetripe. Don't worry, we won't go without you. Get plenty offood and rest. Feed Calvin up. Now, off with you! Justitiaesoror fides. Latin again, of course. Faith is the sister of justice. Trust in us! Now, shool' And shefluttered up from herchair and pushed them out the door with surprising power.'Charles,' Meg said. 'I don't understand.'Charles took her by the hand and dragged her away fromthe house. Fortinbras ran on ahead, and Calvin was closebehind them. 'No,' he said, 'I don't either, yet. Not quite.I'll tell you what I know as soon as I can. But you saw Fort,didn't you? Not a growl. Not a quiver. Just as though thereweren't anything strange about it. So you know it's okay.Look, do me a favor, both of you. Let's not talk about ittill we've had something to eat. I need fuel so I can sortthings out and assimilate them properly.'Lead on, moron,' Calvin cried gaily. 'I've never evenseen your house, and I have the funniest feeling that forthe first time in my life I'm going home!'Chapter 3 -- Mrs. WhichIN the forest evening was already beginning to fall, andthey walked in silence. Charles and Fortinbras gamboled onahead. Calvin walked with Meg, his fingers barely touchingher arm in a protective gesture.This has been the most impossible, the most confusingafternoon of my life, she thought, yet I don't feel confusedor upset anymore; I only feel happy. Why? 26
'Maybe we weren't meant to meet before this,' Calvinsaid. 'I mean, I knew who you were in school and everything, but I didn't know you. But I'm glad we've metnow,Meg. We're going to be friends, you know.'I'm glad, too,' Meg whispered, and they were silentagain.When they got back to the house Mrs. Murry was still inthe lab. She was watching a pale blue fluid move slowlythrough a tube from a beaker to a retort. Over a Bunsenburner bubbled a big, earthenware dish of stew. 'Don'ttell Sandy and Dennys I'm cooking out here,' she said.'They're always suspicious that a few chemicals may get inwith the meat, but I had an experiment I wanted to staywith.'This is Calvin 0'Keefe, Mother,' Meg said. 'Is thereenough for him, too? It smells super.'Hello, Calvin.' Mrs. Murry shook hands with him. 'Niceto meet you. We aren't having anything but stew tonight,but it's a good thick one.'Sounds wonderful to me,' Calvin said. 'May I use yourphone so my motherll know where I am?'Of course. Show him where it is, will you, please, Meg?I won't ask you to use the one out here, if you don't mind.I'd like to finish up this experiment.'Meg led the way into the house. Charles Wallace andFortinbras had gone off. Outdoors she could hear Sandyand Dennys hammering at the fort they were building up inone of the maples. 'This way.' Meg went through thekitchen and into the living room.'I don't know why I call her when I don't come home,'Calvin said, his voice bitter. 'She wouldn't notice.' Hesighed and dialed. 'Ma?' he said. 'Oh, Hinky. Tell Ma Iwon't be home till late. Now don't forget. I don't want to belocked out again.' He hung up, looked at Meg. 'Do youknow how lucky you are?'She smiled rather wryly. 'Not most of the time.' 27
'A mother like that! A house like this! Gee, your mother'sgorgeous! You should see my mother. She had all her upperteeth out and Pop got her a plate but she won't wear it,and most days she doesn't even comb her hair. Not that itmakes much difference when she does.' He clenched hisfists. 'But I love her. That's the funny part of it. I love themall, and they don't give a hoot about me. Maybe that's whyI call when I'm not going to be home. Because I care. Nobody else does. You don't know how lucky you are tobeloved.'Meg said in a startled way, 'I guess I never thought ofthat. I guess I just took it for granted.'Calvin looked somber; then his enormous smile lit uphis face again. 'Things are going to happen, Meg! Goodthings! I feel it!' He began wandering, still slowly, aroundthe pleasant, if shabby, living room. He stopped before apicture on the piano of a small group of men standing together on a beach. 'Who's this?'Oh, a bunch of scientists.'Where?'Meg went over to the picture. 'Cape Canaveral. Thisone's Father.'Which?'Here.'The one with glasses?'Yup. The one who needs a haircut.' Meg giggled, forgetting her worries in her pleasure at showing Calvin thepicture. 'His hair's sort of the same color as mine, and hekeeps forgetting to have it cut. Mother usually ends updoing it for him—she bought clippers and stuff—because hewon't take the time to go to the barber.'Calvin studied the picture. 'I like him,' he announcedjudiciously. 'Looks kind of like Charles Wallace, doesn'the?'Meg laughed again. 'When Charles was a baby helooked exactly like Father. It was really funny.'Calvin continued to look at the picture. 'He's not handsome or anything. But I like him.' 28
Meg was indignant. 'He is too handsome.'Calvin shook his head. 'Nah. He's tall and skinny likeme.'Well, I think you're handsome,' Meg said. 'Father's eyesare kind of like yours, too. You know. Really blue. Onlyyou don't notice his as much because of the glasses.'Where is he now?'Meg stiffened. But she didn't have to answer because thedoor from lab to kitchen slammed, and Mrs. Murry camein, carrying a dish of stew. 'Now,' she called, 'I'llfinish this up properly on the stove. Have you done yourhomework, Meg?'Not quite,' Meg said, going back into the kitchen.'Then I'm sure Calvin won't mind if you finish beforedinner.'Sure, go ahead.' Calvin fished in his pocket and pulledout a wad of folded paper. 'As a matter of fact I have somejunk of mine to finish up. Math. That's one thing I have ahard time keeping up in. I'm okay on anything to do withwords, but I don't do as well with numbers.'Mrs. Murry smiled. 'Why don't you get Meg to helpyou?'But, see, I'm several grades above Meg.'Try asking her to help you with your math, anyhow,'Mrs. Murry suggested.'Well, sure,' Calvin said. 'Here. But it's pretty complicated.'Meg smoothed out the paper and studied it. 'Do theycare how you do it?' she asked. 'I mean, can you work itout your own way?'Well, sure, as long as I understand and get the answersright.'Well, we have to do it their way. Now look, Calvin, don'tyou see how much easier it would be if you did it this way?'Her pencil flew over the paper. 29
'Hey!' Calvin said. 'Hey! I think I get it. Show me oncemore on another one.'Again Meg's pencil was busy. 'All you have to rememberis that every ordinary fraction can be converted into an infinite periodic decimal fraction. See? So 3/7 is0.428571.'This is the craziest family.' Calvin grinned at her. 'Isuppose I should stop being surprised by now, but you'resupposed to be dumb in school, always being called up onthe carpet.'Oh, I am.'The trouble with Meg and math,' Mrs. Murry saidbriskly, 'is that Meg and her father used to play with numbers and Meg learned far too many short cuts. Sowhenthey want her to do problems the long way around at schoolshe gets sullen and stubborn and sets up a fine mental blockfor herself.'Are there any more morons like Meg and Charlesaround?' Calvin asked. 'If so, I should meet more of them.'It might also help if Meg's handwriting were legible,'Mrs. Murry said. 'With a good deal of difficulty I canusually decipher it, but I doubt very much if her teacherscan, or are willing to take the time. I'm planning on givingher a typewriter for Christmas. That may be a help.'If I get anything right nobody'll believe it's me,' Megsaid.'What's a megaparsec?' Calvin asked.'One of Father's nicknames for me,' Meg said. 'It's also3.26 million light years.'What's E=mc2?'Einstein's equation.'What's E stand for?'Energy.'m?' 30
'Mass.'c2?'The square of the velocity of light in centimeters persecond.'By what countries is Peru bounded?'I haven't the faintest idea. I think it's in South Americasomewhere.'What's the capital of New York?'Well, New York City, of course!'Who wrote Boswell's Life of Johnson?'Oh, Calvin, I'm not any good at English.'Calvin groaned and turned to Mrs. Murry. 'I see whatyou mean. Her I wouldn't want to teach.'She's a little one-sided, I grant you,' Mrs. Murry said.'though I blame her father and myself for that. She stillenjoys playing with her dolls' house, though.'Mother!' Meg shrieked in agony.'Oh, darling, I'm sorry,' Mrs. Murry said swiftly. 'ButI'm sure Calvin understands what I mean.'With a sudden enthusiastic gesture Calvin flung his armsout wide, as though he were embracing Meg and hermother, the whole house. 'How did all this happen? Isn't itwonderful? I feel as though I were just being born! I'm notalone any more! Do you realize what that means to me?'But you're good at basketball and things,' Meg protested. 'You're good in school. Everybody likes you.'For all the most unimportant reasons,' Calvin said.'There hasn't been anybody, anybody in the world I couldtalk to. Sure, I can function on the same level as everybodyelse, lean hold myself down, but it isn't me.'Meg took a batch of forks from the drawer and turnedthem over and over, looking at them. 'I'm all confusedagain.' 31
'0h, so 'm I,' Calvin said gaily. 'But now at least I knowwe're going somewhere.'Meg was pleased and a little surprised when the twinswere excited at having Calvin for supper. They knew moreabout his athletic record and were far more impressed byit than she. Calvin ate five bowls of stew, three saucers ofJello, and a dozen cookies, and then Charles Wallace insisted that Calvin take him up to bed and read to him.Thetwins, who had finished their homework, were allowed towatch half an hour of TV. Meg helped her mother with thedishes and then sat at the table and struggled with herhomework. But she could not concentrate.'Mother, are you upset?' she asked suddenly.Mrs. Murry looked up from a copy of an English scientificmagazine through which she was leafing. For a moment shedid not speak. Then, 'Yes.'Why?'Again Mrs. Murry paused. She held her hands out andlooked at them. They were long and strong and beautiful.She touched with the fingers of her right hand the broadgold band on the third finger of her left hand. 'I'm stillquite a young woman, you know,' she said finally, 'thoughI realize that that's difficult for you children to conceive.And I'm still very much in love with your father. I miss himquite dreadfully.'And you think all this has something to do with Father?'I think it must have.'But what?'That I don't know. But it seems the only explanation.'Do you think things always have an explanation?'Yes. I believe that they do. But I think that with ourhuman limitations we're not always able to understand theexplanations. But you see, Meg, just because we don'tunderstand doesn't mean that the explanation doesn't exist.'I like to understand things,' Meg said.'We all do. But it isn't always possible.' 32
'Charles Wallace understands more than the rest of us,doesn't he?'Yes.'Why?'I suppose because he's—well, because he's different,Meg.'Different how?'I'm not quite sure. You know yourself he's not like anybody else.'No, And I wouldn't want him to be,' Meg said defensively.'Wanting doesn't have anything to do with it. CharlesWallace is what he is. Different. New.'New?'Yes. That's what your father and I feel.'Meg twisted her pencil so hard that it broke. She laughed.'I'm sorry. I'm really not being destructive. I'm just tryingto get things straight.'I know.'But Charles Wallace doesn't look different from anybody else.'No, Meg, but people are more than just the way theylook. Charles Wallace's difference isn't physical. It's in essence.'Meg sighed heavily, took off her glasses and twirledthem, put them back on again. 'Well, I know Charles Wallace is different, and I know he's something more. IguessI'll just have to accept it without understanding it.'Mrs. Murry smiled at her. 'Maybe that's really the pointI was trying to put across.'Yah,' Meg said dubiously.Her mother smiled again. 'Maybe that's why our visitorlast night didn't surprise me. Maybe that's why I'm able tohave a—a willing suspension of disl^elief. Because of 33
Charles Wallace.'Are you like Charles?' Meg asked.'I? Heavens no. I'm blessed with more brains and opportunities than many people, but there's nothing aboutme that breaks out of the ordinary mold.'Your looks do,' Meg said.Mrs. Murry laughed. 'You just haven't had enough basisfor comparison, Meg. I'm very ordinary, really.'Calvin O'Keefe, coming in then, said, 'Ha ha.'Charles all settled?' Mrs. Murry asked.'Yes.'What did you read to him?'Genesis, His choice. By the way, what kind of an experiment were you working on this afternoon, Mrs. Murry?'Oh, something my husband and I were cooking up together. I don't want to be too far behind him when he getsback.'Mother,' Meg pursued. ^Charles says I'm not one thingor the other, not flesh nor fowl nor good red herring.'Oh, for crying out loud,' Calvin said, 'you're Meg,aren't you? Come on and let's go for awalk.'But Meg was still not satisfied. 'And what do you makeof Calvin?' she demanded of her mother.Mrs. Muny laughed. 'I don't want to make anything ofCalvin. I like him very much, and I'm delighted he's foundhis way here.'Mother, you were going to tell me about a tesserae!'Yes.' A troubled look came into Mrs. Murry's eyes. 'Butnot now, Meg. Not now. Go on out for that walk with Calvin. I'm going up to kiss Charles and then I have toseethat the twins get to bed.'Outdoors the grass was wet with dew. The moon washalfway up and dimmed the stars for a great arc. Calvinreached out and took Meg's hand with a gesture as simpleand friendly as Charles Wallace's. 'Were you upsetting 34
your mother?' he asked gently.'I don't think J was. But she's upset'What about?'Father.'Calvin led Meg across the lawn. The shadows of thetrees were long and twisted and there was a heavy, sweet,autumnal smell to the air. Meg stumbled as the land slopedsuddenly downhill, but Calvin's strong hand steadied her.They walked carefully across the twins' vegetable garden,picking their way through rows of cabbages, beets, broccoli, pumpkins. Looming on their left were the tallstalks ofcorn. Ahead of them was a small apple orchard boundedby a stone wall, and beyond this the woods through whichthey had walked that afternoon. Calvin led the way to thewall, and then sat there, his red hair shining silver in themoonlight, his body dappled with patterns from the tangleof branches. He reached up, pulled an apple off a gnarledlimb, and handed it to Meg, then picked one for himself.'Tell me about your father,'He's a physicist.'Sure, we all know that. And he's supposed to have leftyour mother and gone off with some dame.' •Meg jerked up from the stone on which she was perched,but Calvin grabbed her by the wrist and pulled her backdown. 'Hold it, kid. I didn't say anything you hadn't heardalready, did I?'No,' Meg said, but continued to pull away. 'Let me go.'Come on, calm down. You know it isn't true, I know itisn't true. And how anybody after one look at your mothercould believe any man would leave her for another womanjust shows how far jealousy will make people go. Right?'I guess so,' Meg said, but her happiness had fled andshe was back in a morass of anger and resentment.'Look, dope.' Calvin shook her gently. 'I just want toget things straight, sort of sort out the fact from fiction.Your father's a physicist. That's a fact, yes?' 35
'Yes.'He's a Ph.D. several times over.'Yes.'Most of the time he works alone but some of the timehe was at the Institute for Higher Learning in Princeton.Correct?'Yes.'Then he did some work for the government, didn't he?'Tes.'You take it from there. That's all I know.'That's about all I know, too,' Meg said. 'Maybe Motherknows more. I don't know. What he did was—well, it waswhat they call Classified.'Top Secret, you mean?'That's right.'And you don't even have any idea what it was about?'Meg shook her head. 'No. Not really. Just an idea because of where he was.'Well, where?'Out in New Mexico for a while; we were with him there;and then he was in Florida at Cape Canaveral, and wewere with him there, too. And then he was going to betraveling a lot, so we came here.'You'd always had this house?'Yes. But we used to live in it just in the summer.'And you don't know where your father was sent?'No. At first we got lots of letters. Mother and Fatheralways wrote each other every day. I think Mother stillwrites him every night. Every once in a while the postmistress makes some kind of a crack about all herletters.' 36
'I suppose they think she's pursuing him or something,'Calvin said, rather bitterly. 'They can't understand plain,ordinary love when they see it. Well, go on. What happened next?'Nothing happened,' Meg said. 'That's the trouble.'Well, what about your father's letters?'They just stopped coming.'You haven't heard anything at all?'No,' Meg said. 'Nothing.' Her voice was heavy withmisery.Silence fell between them, as tangible as the dark treeshadows that fell across their laps and that now seemed torest upon them as heavily as though they possessed ameasurable weight of their own.At last Calvin spoke in a dry, unemotional voice, notlooking at Meg. 'Do you think he could be dead?'Again Meg leaped up, and again Calvin pulled her down.'No! They'd have told us if he were dead! There's always atelegram or something. They always tell you!'What do they tell you?'Meg choked down a sob, managed to speak over it. 'Oh,Calvin, Mother's tried and tried to find out. She's beendown to Washington and everything. And all they'll say isthat he's on a secret and dangerous mission, and she can bevery proud of him, but he won't be able to — to communicate with us for a while. And they'll give us news assoon as they have it.'Meg, don't get mad, but do you think maybe theydon't know?'A slow tear trickled down Meg's cheek. 'That's what I'mafraid of.'Why don't you cry?' Calvin asked gently. 'You re justcrazy about your father, aren't you? Go ahead and cry.It'll do you good.'Meg's voice came out trembling over tears. 'I cry muchtoo much. I should be like Mother. I should be able to control myself.' 37
'Your mother's a completely different person and she's alot older than you are.'I wish I were a different person,' Meg said shakily. 'Ihate myself.'Calvin reached over and took off her glasses. Then hepulled a handkerchief out of his pocket and wiped her tears.This gesture of tenderness undid her completely, and sheput her head down on her knees and sobbed. Calvin satquietly beside her, every once in a while patting her head.'I'm sorry,' she sobbed finally. 'I'm terribly sorry. Nowyou'll hate me.'Oh, Meg, you are a moron,' Calvin said. 'Don't youknow you're the nicest thing that's happened to me in a longtime?'Meg raised her head, and moonlight shone on her tearstained face; without the glasses her eyes wereunexpectedly beautiful. 'If Charles Wallace is a sport, I think I'm abiological mistake.' Moonlight flashed against her bracesas she spoke.Now she was waiting to be contradicted. But Calvinsaid, 'Do you know that this is the first time I've seen youwithout your glasses?'I'm blind as a bat without them. I'm near-sighted, likeFather.'Well, you know what, you've got dream-boat eyes,'Calvin said. 'Listen, you go right on wearing your glasses.I don't think I want anybody else to see what gorgeouseyes you have.'Meg smiled with pleasure. She could feel herself blushing and she wondered if the blush would be visible inthemoonlight.'Okay, hold it, you two,' came a voice out of the shadows.Charles Wallace stepped into the moonlight. 'I wasn'tspying on you,' he said quickly, 'and I hate to break thingsup, but this is it, kids, this is iti' His voice quivered withexcitement.'This is what?' Calvin asked. 38
'We're going.'Going? Where?' Meg reached out and instinctivelygrabbed for Calvin's hand.'I don't know exactly,' Charles Wallace said. 'But Ithink it's to find Father.'Suddenly two eyes seemed to spring at them out of thedarkness; it was the moonlight striking on Mrs. Who'sglasses. She was standing next to Charles Wallace, and howshe had managed to appear where a moment ago there hadbeen nothing but flickering shadows in the moonlight Meghad no idea. She heard a sound behind her and turnedaround. There was Mrs. Whatsit scrambling over the wall.'My, but I wish there were no wind,' Mrs. Whatsit saidplaintively. 'It's so difficult with all these clothes.' She woreher outfit of the night before, rubber boots and all, with theaddition of one of Mrs. Buncombe's sheets which she haddraped over her. As she slid off the wall the sheet caught ina low branch and came off. The felt hat slipped over botheyes, and another branch plucked at the pink stole- 'Oh,dear,' she sighed. 'I shall never learn to manage.'Mrs. Who wafted over to her, tiny feet scarcely seemingto touch the ground, the lenses of her glasses glittering.'Come t'e picciol fallo amaro morso! Dante. What grievous pain a little fault doth give theef With a clawlikehand she pushed the hat up on Mrs. Whatsit's forehead, untangled the stole from the tree, and with a deftgesturetook the sheet and folded it.'Oh, thank you,' Mrs. Whatsit said. 'You're so clever!'Un asno viejo sabe mds quo un potro. A. Perez. An oldass knows more than a young colt'Just because you're a paltry few billion years—' Mrs.Whatsit was starting indignantly, when a sharp, strangevoice cut in.'Alll rrightt, girrllss. Thiss iss nno ttime forr bbickkerring.'It's Mrs. Which,' Charles Wallace said.There was a faint gust of wind, the leaves shivered in it,the patterns of moonlight shifted, and in a circle of silversomething shimmered, quivered, and the voice said, 'I ddo 39
nott thinkk I willl matterrialize commpletely. I ffindd ittverry ttirinngg, andd wee hhave mmuch ttoo ddoo.'###Chapter 4 -- The Black ThingTHE trees were lashed into a violent frenzy. Meg screamedand clutched at Calvin, and Mrs. Which's authoritativevoice called out, 'Qquiett, chilidd!'Did a shadow fall across the moon or did the moonsimply go out, extinguished as abruptly and completely asa candle? There was still the sound of leaves, a terrified, terrifying rushing. All light was gone. Darknesswas complete.Suddenly the wind was gone, and all sound. Meg felt thatCalvin was being torn from her. When she reached for himher fingers touched nothing.She screamed out, 'Charles!' and whether it was to helphim or for him to help her, she did not know. The word wasflung back down her throat and she choked on it.She was completely alone.She had lost the protection of Calvin's hand. Charles wasnowhere, either to save or to turn to. She was alone in afragment of nothingness. No light, no sound, no feeling.Where was her body? She tried to move in her panic, butthere was nothing to move. Just as light and sound hadvanished, she was gone, too. The corporeal Meg simply wasnot.Then she felt her limbs again. Her legs and arms weretingling faintly, as though they had been asleep. Sheblinked her eyes rapidly, but though she herself was somehow back, nothing else was. It was not as simple asdarkness, or absence of light. Darkness has a tangible quality;it can be moved through and felt; in darkness you can barkyour shins; the world of things still exists around you. Shewas lost in a horrifying void.It was the same way with the silence. This was more thansilence. A deaf person can feel vibrations. Here there wasnothing to feel. 40
Suddenly she was aware of her heart beating rapidlywithin the cage of her ribs. Had it stopped before? Whathad made it start again? The tingling in her arms and legsgrew stronger, and suddenly she felt movement. This movement, she felt, must be the turning of the earth,rotating on'its axis, traveling its elliptic course about the sun. Andthis feeling of moving with the earth was somewhat likethe feeling of being in the ocean, out in the ocean beyondthis rising and falling of the breakers, lying on the movingwater, pulsing gently with the swells, and feeling the gentle,inexorable tug of the moon.I am asleep; I am dreaming, she thought. I'm having anightmare. I want to wake up. Let me wake up.'Well!' Charles Wallace's voice said. 'That was quite atrip! I do think you might have warned us.'Light began to pulse and quiver. Meg blinked andshoved shakily at her glasses and there was Charles Wallace standing indignantly in front of her, his handson hiships. 'Meg!' he shouted. 'Calvin! Where are you?'She saw Charles, she heard him, but she could not go tohim. She could not shove through the strange, tremblinglight to meet him.Calvin's voice came as though it were pushing through acloud. 'Well, just give me time, will you? I'm older thanyou are.'Meg gasped. It wasn't that Calvin wasn't there and thenthat he was. It wasn't that part of him came first and thenthe rest of him followed, like a hand and then an arm, aneye and then a nose. It was a sort of shimmering, a lookingat Calvin through water, through smoke, through fire, andthen there he was, solid and reassuring.'Meg!' Charles Wallace's voice came. 'Meg! Calvin,where's Meg?'I'm right here,' she tried to say, but her voice seemedto be caught at its source.'Meg!' Calvin cried, and he turned around, looking aboutwildly. 41
'Mrs. Which, you haven't left Meg behind, have you?'Charles Wallace shouted.'If you've hurt Meg, any of you—' Calvin started, butsuddenly Meg felt a violent push and a shattering as thoughshe had been thrust through a wall of glass.'Oh, there you are!' Charles Wallace said, and rushedover to her and hugged her.'But where am I?' Meg asked breathlessly, relieved tohear that her voice was now coming out of her in more orless a normal way.She looked around rather wildly. They were standing ina sunlit field, and the air about them was moving withthe delicious fragrance that comes only on'the rarest ofspring days when the sun's touch is gentle and the appleblossoms are just beginning to unfold. She pushed herglasses up on her nose to reassure herself that what she wasseeing was real.They had left the silver glint of a biting autumn evening;and now around them everything was golden with light.The grasses of the field were a tender new green, and scattered about were tiny, multicolored flowers. Megturnedslowly to face a mountain reaching so high into the skythat its peak was lost in a crown of puffy white clouds.From the trees at the base of the mountain came a suddensinging of birds. There was an air of such ineffable peaceand joy all around her that her heart's wild thumpingslowed.'When shall we three meet again,In thunder, lightning, or in rain,'came Mrs. Who's voice. Suddenly the three of them werethere, Mrs, Whatsit with her pink stole askew; Mrs. Whowith her spectacles gleaming; and Mrs. Which still littlemore than a shimmer. Delicate, multicolored butterflieswere fluttering about them, as though in greeting.Mrs. Whatsit and Mrs. Who began to giggle, and theygiggled until it seemed that, whatever their private jokewas, they would fall down with the wild fun of it. The shimmer seemed to be laughing, too. It became vaguelydarker 42
and more solid; and then there appeared a figure in a blackrobe and a black peaked hat, beady eyes, a beaked nose, andlong gray hair; one bony claw clutched a broomstick.'Wwell, jusstt ttoo kkeepp yyou girrlls happpy,' thestrange voice said. and Mrs. Whatsit and Mrs. Who fellinto each other's arms in gales of laughter.'If you ladies have had your fun I think you should tellCalvin and Meg a little more about all this,' Charles Wallace said coldly. 'You scared Meg half out of herwits,whisking her off this way without any warning.'Finxerunt animi, faro et perpauca loquentis,' Mrs. Whointoned. 'Horace. To action little, less to words inclined.'Mrs. Who, I wish you'd stop quoting!' Charles Wallacesounded very annoyed.Mrs. Whatsit adjusted her stole. 'But she finds it so difficult to verbalize, Charles dear. It helps her ifshe can quoteinstead of working out words of her own.'Anndd wee mussttn'tt looose oun- sensses of hummorr,'Mrs. Which said. 'Thee onnlly wway ttoo ccope withhssometthingg ddeadly sseriouss iss ttoo ttry ttoo trreatt itta llittlle lligghtly.'But that's going to be hard for Meg,' Mrs. Whatsit said.'It's going to be hard for her to realize that we are serious.'What about me?' Calvin asked.'The life of your father isn't at stake,' Mrs. Whatsittold him.'What about Charles Wallace, then?'Mrs. Whatsit's unoiled-door-hinge voice was warm withaffection and pride. 'Charles Wallace knows. Charles Wallace knows that it's far more than just the life ofhis father.Charles Wallace knows what's at stake.'But remember,' Mrs. Who said, 'Aeiproft ovSev, iravra 8cfJvl^civ wcwT. Euripides. Nothing is hopeless; we must hopefor everything.' 43
'Where are we now, and how did we get here?' Calvinasked.'Uriel, the third planet of the star Malak in the spiralnebula Messier 101.'This I'm supposed to believe?' Calvin asked indignantly.'Aas yyou llike,' Mrs. Which said coldly.For some reason Meg felt that Mrs. Which, despite herlooks and ephemeral broomstick, was someone in whomone could put complete trust. 'It doesn't seem any morepeculiar than anything else that's happened.'Well, then, someone just tell me how we got here!'Calvin's voice was still angry and his freckles seemed tostand out on his face. 'Even traveling at the speed of lightit would take us years and years to get here.'Oh, we don't travel at the speed of anything,' MrsWhatsit explained earnestly. 'We tesser. Or you might say,we wrinkle.'Clear as mud,' Calvin said.Tesser, Meg thought. Could that have anything to dowith Mother's tesseract?She was about to ask when Mrs. Which started to speak,and one did not interrupt when Mrs. Which was speaking.'Mrs. Whatsit iss yyoungg andd nnaive,'She keeps thinking she can explain things in words,'Mrs. Who said. 'Qui plus salt, plus se tait. French, you know.The more a man knows, the less he talks.'But she has to use words for Meg and Calvin,' Charlesreminded Mrs. Who. 'If you brought them along, they havea right to know what's going on.'Meg went up to Mrs, Which. In the intensity of herquestion she had forgotten all about the tesseract. 'Ismy father here?'Mrs. Which shook her head. 'Nnott heeere, Megg. LlettMrs, Whatsitt expllainn. Shee isss yyoungg annd thee llanguage of worrds iss eeasierr fforr hherr thann ittiss fforr 44
Mrs. Whoo andd mee.'We stopped here,' Mrs. Whatsit explained, 'more or lessto catch our breaths. And to give you a chance to know whatyou're up against.'But what about Father?' Meg asked. 'Is he all right?'For the moment, love, yes. He's one of the reasons we'rehere. But you see, he's only one.'Well, where is he? Please take me to himi'We can't, not yet,' Charles said. 'You have to be patient,Meg.'But I'm not patient!' Meg cried passionately. 'I'venever been patient!'Mrs. Who's glasses shone at her gently. 'If you want tohelp your father then you must leam patience. Vitam impendere vero. To stake one's life for the truth. Thatis whatwe must do.'That is what your father is doing.' Mrs. Whatsit nodded,her voice, like Mrs. Who's, very serious, very solemn. Thenshe smiled her radiant smile. 'Now! Why don't you threechildren wander around and Charles can explain things alittle. You're perfectly safe on Uriel. That's why we stoppedhere to rest.'But aren't you coming with us?' Meg asked fearfully.There was silence for a moment. Then Mrs. Which raisedher authoritative hand. 'Sshoww themm,' she said to Mrs.Whatsit, and at something in her voice Meg felt prickles ofapprehension.'Now?' Mrs. Whatsit asked, her creaky voice rising to asqueak. Whatever it was Mrs. Which wanted them to see,it was something that made Mrs. Whatsit uncomfortable,too.'Nnoww,' Mrs. Which said. 'Tthey mmay aas welllknoww.'Should—should I change?' Mrs. Whatsit asked. 45
'Bbetter.'I hope it won't upset the children too much,' Mrs.Whatsit murmured, as though to herself.'Should I change, too?' Mrs. Who asked. 'Oh, but I'vehad fun in these clothes. But I'll have to admit Mrs. Whatsitis the best at it. DOS Work lobt den Meister. German. Thework proves the craftsman. Shall I transform now, too?'Mrs. Which shook her head. 'Nnott yett. Nnott heere.Yyou mmay wwaitt.'Now, don't be frightened, loves,' Mrs. Whatsit said.Her plump little body began to shimmer, to quiver, to shift.The wild colors of her clothes became muted, whitened. Thepudding-bag shape stretched, lengthened, merged. Andsuddenly before the children was a creature more beautifulthan any Meg had even imagined, and the beauty lay in farmore than the outward description. Outwardly Mrs. Whatsit was surely no longer a Mrs. Whatsit. She was amarblewhite body with powerful flanks, something like a horsebut at the same time completely unlike a horse, for from themagnificently modeled back sprang a nobly formed torso,arms, and a head resembling a man's, but a man with aperfection of dignity and virtue, an exaltation of joy such asMeg had never before seen. No, she thought, it's not likea Greek centaur. Not in the least.From the shoulders slowly a pair of wings unfolded,wings made of rainbows, of light upon water, of poetry.Calvin fell to his knees.'No,' Mrs. Whatsit said, though her voice was not Mrs.Whatsit's voice. 'Not to me, Calvin. Never to me. Stand up.'Ccarrry themm,' Mrs. Which commanded.With a gesture both delicate and strong Mrs. Whatsitknelt in front of the children, stretching her wings wide andholding them steady, but quivering. 'Onto my back, now,'the new voice said.The children took hesitant steps toward the beautifulcreature.'But what do we call you now?' Calvin asked. 46
'Oh, my dears,' came the new voice, a rich voice withthe warmth of a woodwind, the clarity of a trumpet, themystery of an English horn. 'You can't go on changing myname each time I metamorphose. And I've had such pleasure being Mrs. Whatsit I think you'd better keep tothat.'She? he? it? smiled at them, and the radiance of the smilewas as tangible as a soft breeze, as directly warming asthe rays of the sun.'Come.' Charles Wallace clambered up.Meg and Calvin followed him, Meg sitting between thetwo boys. A tremor went through the great wings and thenMrs. Whatsit lifted and they were moving through the air.Meg soon found that there was no need to cling to CharlesWallace or Calvin. The great creature's flight was serenelysmooth. The boys were eagerly looking around the landscape.'Look.' Charles Wallace pointed. 'The mountains are sotall that you can't see where they end.'Meg looked upwards and indeed the mountains seemedto be reaching into infinity.They left the fertile fields an(l flew across a great plateauof granite-like rock shaped into enormous monoliths. Thesehad a definite, rhythmic form, but they were not statues;they were like nothing Meg had ever seen before, and shewondered if they had been made by wind and weather, bythe formation of this earth, or if they were a creation ofbeings like the one on which she rode.They left the great granite plain and flew over a gardeneven more beautiful than anything in a dream. In it weregathered many of the creatures like the one Mrs. Whatsithad become, some lying among the flowers, some swimmingin a broad, crystal river that flowed through the garden,some flying in what Meg was sure must be a kind of dance,moving in and out above the trees. They were makingmusic, music that came not only from their throats but fromthe movement of their great wings as well.'What are they singing?' Meg asked excitedly.Mrs. Whatsit shook her beautiful head. 'It won't go intoyour words. I can't possibly transfer it to your words. Are 47
you getting any of it, Charles?'Charles Wallace sat very still on the broad back, on hisface an intently listening look, the look he had when hedelved into Meg or his mother. 'A little. Just a very little.But I think I could get more in time.'Yes. You could leam it, Charles. But there isn't time,We can only stay here long enough to rest up and make afew preparations.'Meg hardly listened to her. 'I want to know what they'resaying! I want to know what it means.'Try, Charles,' Mrs. Whatsit urged. 'Try to translate.You can let yourself go, now. You don't have to hold back.'But I can't!' Charles Wallace cried in an anguishedvoice. 'I don't know enough! Not yet!'Then try to work with me and I'll see if I can't verbalizeit a little for them.'Charles Wallace got his look of probing, of listening.-I know that look! Meg thought suddenly. Now I thinkI know what it means! Because I've had it myself, sometimes, doing math with Father, when a problem is justabout to come clear—Mrs. Whatsit seemed to be listening to Charles's thoughts.'Well, yes, that's an idea. I can try. Too bad you don't reallyknow it so you can give it to me direct, Charles. It's so muchmore work this way.'Don't be lazy,' Charles said.Mrs. Whatsit did not take offense. She explained, 'Oh,it's my favorite kind of work, Charles. That's why they choseme to go along, even though I'm so much younger. It's myone real talent. But it takes a tremendous amount ofenergy, and we're going to need every ounce of energy forwhat's ahead of us. But I'll try. For Calvin and Meg I'll try.'She was silent; the great wings almost stopped moving;only a delicate stirring seemed to keep them aloft. 'Listen,then,' Mrs. Whatsit said. The resonant voice rose and thewords seemed to be all around them so that Meg felt thatshe could almost reach out and touch them: 'Sing unto theLord a new song, and his praise from the end of the earth, ye 48
that go down to the sea, and all that is therein; the isles,and the inhabitants thereof. Let the wilderness and thecities thereof lift their voice; let the inhabitants of the rocksing, let them shout from the top of the mountains. Let themgive glory unto the Lord!'Throughout her entire body Meg felt a pulse of joy suchas she had never known before. Calvin's hand reached out;he did not clasp her hand in his; he moved his fingers so thatthey were barely touching hers, but joy flowed throughthem, back and forth between them, around them and aboutthem and inside them.When Mrs. Whatsit sighed it seemed completely incomprehensible that through this bliss could come thefaintest whisper of doubt.'We must go now, children.' Mrs. Whatsit's voice wasdeep with sadness, and Meg could not understand. Raisingher head, Mrs. Whatsit gave a call that seemed to be acommand, and one of the creatures flying above the treesnearest them raised its head to listen, and then flew offand picked three flowers from a tree growing near the riverand brought them over. 'Each of you take one,' Mrs.Whatsit said. 'I'll tell you how to use them later.'As Meg took her flower she realized that it was not asingle blossom, but hundreds of tiny flowerets forming akind of hollow bell.'Where are we going?' Calvin asked.'Up.'The wings moved steadily, swiftly. The garden was left68The Black Thingbehind, the stretch of granite, the mighty shapes, and thenMrs. Whatsit was flying upward, climbing steadily up, up,Below them the trees of the mountain dwindled, becamesparse, were replaced by bushes and then small, dry grasses,and then vegetation ceased entirely and there were onlyrocks, points and peaks of rock, sharp and dangerous. 'Holdon tight,' Mrs. Whatsit said. 'Don't slip.'Meg felt Calvin's arm circle her waist in a secure hold. 49
Still they moved upward.Now they were in clouds. They could see nothing butdrifting whiteness, and the moisture clung to them and condensed in icy droplets. As Meg shivered, Calvin'sgriptightened. In front of her Charles Wallace sat quietly. Oncehe turned Just long enough to give her a swift glance oftenderness and concern. But Meg felt as each momentpassed that he was growing farther and farther away, thathe was becoming less and less her adored baby brother andmore and more one with whatever kind of being Mrs.Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which in actuality were.Abruptly they burst out of the clouds into a shaft oflight. Below them there were still rocks; above them therocks continued to reach up into the sky, but now, thoughit seemed miles upward, Meg could see where the mountainat last came to an end.Mrs. Whatsit continued to climb, her wings straining alittle. Meg felt her heart racing; cold sweat began to gatheron her face and her lips felt as though they were turningblue. She began to gasp.'All right, children, use your flowers now,' Mrs. Whatsit69A Wrinkle in Timesaid. 'The atmosphere will continue to get thinner fromnow on. Hold the flowers up to your face and breathethrough them and they will give you enough oxygen. Itwon't be as much as you're used to, but it will be enough.'Meg had almost forgotten the flowers, and was gratefulto realize that she was still clasping them, that she hadn'tlet them fall from her fingers. She pressed her face into theblossoms and breathed deeply.Calvin still held her with one arm, but he, too, held dieflowers to his face.Charles Wallace moved the hand with the flowers slowly,almost as though he were in a dream.Mrs. Whatsit's wings strained against the thinness ofthe atmosphere. The summit was only a little way above 50

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And, (please let me stick with this metaphor one more sentence),
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On Friday, four days before the US presidential election, the United States recorded 100,000 new cases of Covid-19. This figure recorded the highest increase in cases of corona virus in a day worldwide.
In total, the United States has suffered 9 million cases of Covid-19 as of Friday, or nearly 3% of the population with nearly 229,000 deaths since the pandemic outbreak earlier this year, according to a Reuters report, October 31, 1996.

US health authorities on Friday confirmed that 100,233 people have tested positive for Covid-19 over the past 24 hours.
Friday’s tally set the highest daily Covid-19 record in the US for the fifth time in 10 days, surpassing the previous day’s highest daily spike of 91,248 new cases.
The report also represents the world’s highest national daily casualty toll during the pandemic, surpassing India’s record 24-hour spike in daily cases of 97,894 recorded in September.
On Friday dozens of states individually reported a record number of new daily cases.
Serious cases of Covid-19 are also on the rise, as hospitals in six states report having the most patients with the disease since the pandemic began. The number of Covid-19 patients hospitalized has increased by more than 50% in October to 46,000, the highest since mid-August.
Among the states hardest hit were the states most contested in the campaign between Republican President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden, namely Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
More than 1,000 people died from the virus on Thursday, the third time the daily death toll has exceeded that this month, and the death rate is expected to continue rising. Covid-19 claimed at least 926 more deaths as of Friday.
The University of Washington’s latest prediction model projects the death toll, which had held at a monthly pace of more than 22,000 for most of October, will start climbing next month towards a new record of more than 72,000 in January.
The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation’s January projection would surpass the nearly 61,000 deaths in April when the pandemic first exploded in the United States and flooded New York City hospitals.
Joe Biden and his Democrats in Congress have criticized President Trump for handling his health crisis.
In the US House of Representatives, Democrats released a report on Friday condemning the Trump administration’s pandemic response as “one of the worst leadership failures in American history”.
“At least 6 million Americans have fallen into poverty and millions more are unemployed,” the report said.
The 71-page interim report by Democrat staff from the House Election Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis also said investigators identified more than 60 instances in which Trump administration officials rejected or overruled top scientist advice to advance the president’s political interests.
“The government’s response to this economic crisis has benefited large corporations and wealthy Americans, while leaving behind many disadvantaged communities and struggling small businesses,” the report said.
After being hospitalized for Covid-19 in early October, Trump continued a massive campaign that drew thousands of supporters who gathered and many were not wearing masks. The Trump campaign says rallies are safe and that masks and social distancing are respected.
A CNN investigation found that 14 of the 17 states surveyed showed an increase in the rate of Covid-19 cases only one month after hosting a Donald Trump campaign event.


Barking Up the Wrong Tree: The Surprising Science Behind Why Everything You Know About Success Is (Mostly) Wrong BY Eric Barker

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Eric Barker

- listen to ebook The Maidens mp3
Icame to Medium out of frustration. I had read an article in an online “prosumer” magazine that has the air of a serious scientific journal, but which fails to encompass the heart of science — the debate — by disallowing any comments or unsolicited rebuttals/responses to their articles.
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Do you want to publish a book on Medium?
Unfortunately, I had already manifested, through my furiously dancing fingertips, a 2,700 word essay pointing out the ignorance I felt strongly present in the magazine article, only to find there was no way to share it — cue
I was impressed with the response to the article on Medium, which was my first — 26K views, 7K reads, 611 fans, and 500 euros in my pocket to date. And I was even more impressed by the tools that Medium provides an author.
While the interface is as simple as paper, knowing what passages a reader highlights, how many views turn into full reads, how many people follow you after reading something that you write, what their interests are — so that you can see how people coming from different backgrounds engage with your writing — and of course, being able to have detailed responses to your work, are just nothing short of a godsend for an author. And this led me to try publishing a book on Medium.
The book is a big one, nearly 800 pages in paperback format. It’s that big because it is a collection of related writings: a set of meditation practices which are fairly simple, but which require detailed instructions since they are being communicated via text and not one-on-one guidance. However, the practices use an unusual support in place of the breath — which is the more common, but deficient in particular ways, support today. This then necessitates an explanation of the support’s uniqueness, part of which entails detailed quotations from current and ancient writings and related explanations, on this particular meditation support. But these all come from various spiritual traditions, and none of them are framed within our modern mechanistic materialism, thus there is a necessity to explain how things differ from how they are understood today, in order that the reader understand exactly what they are using. So it’s part philosophy, part science, part practice, and part historical documentation.
Why Publish a Book on Medium
You might think this is totally inappropriate for Medium, and there are some shortcomings, but for me the biggest reason to attempt publishing this book here is the potential audience, and the availability that Medium affords me as a writer.
While there are still many physical book readers — myself among them — the option to have a book on a mobile device is just such a no-brainer. And while Ebooks are good for large publishers who can (and do) command a nice bit of change for their product, for a small writer, ebooks don’t offer much of any benefit over what Medium provides. And in fact, the tools that Medium provides, which I mentioned above, are absent from ebooks.
And of course, having an ebook still leaves you searching for an audience.
So the biggest reason for launching a book on Medium has two aspects: availability and readers. Minor writers such as myself just don’t have the ability to make their work available to a very significant audience. My first book, which was self-published, was limited to Amazon’s various country web-stores. Although it enjoyed some limited success — especially for a philosophical work, it was difficult to find outside of Amazon’s universe. With Medium it is different. Anyone can access from anywhere on Earth, so my work is widely available — and that was my biggest checkbox. And of course, the potential audience on Medium is not limited to merely members and current readers of Medium, but can be garnered via social media, word of mouth, and friends, all of whom can be directed to the Medium site, with little effort.
There is also the cost and hassle savings of not hosting your own blog, which was another alternative I considered. I still buy the domain names and setup email addresses as appropriate, but I no longer see any reason to host a website.
For many years I have maintained a Wordpress site, and that is a chore I don’t have time for. Such small websites have the same security and hacking worries as the biggest names, and it is all on your shoulders. I never realized just how much of a problem it is until I subscribed to a service available to Wordpress sites via a plugin called Wordfence, which not only scanned my server for hacks on a daily basis, but also monitored all traffic in and out. Once that was installed I could sit and watch the dozens of daily automated login attempts by hackers around the world trying to break into my site in order to hijack it into their botnets. If you have a personal website it is very likely part of a botnet, or even part of a crypto-currency mining operation. Sheesh. For a small writer it makes little sense anymore.
How to Publish a Structured Book on MediumAs for the nuts and bolts of doing it, there are three main issues you have to deal with: Medium is structured to publish “stories” of a limited length, so your work has to be forced into that format; Medium does not provide the kind of navigational tools that are available in an ebook; and readers on Medium don’t expect an article to be part of a larger work.
I’m going to take them in reverse order. It has been my experience, so far, that many Medium users don’t notice that the “story” they are reading is actually part of a larger work, even though it is in a “publication” on medium. I frequently receive responses to a carved-out “story” that is part of a larger section of the book where my reader explains to me all the things I should have said, which I have already said in the preceding and successive “stories” to that one in the book publication. This is a bit frustrating — for both the reader and myself, but hey!, Medium rocks at bringing me readers.
A related problem is that readers will see a “story” featured in one section of Medium and jump into it, while a subsequent part of the same section of the book will not be featured at all, or in some other section of Medium. Thus for the audience, continuity is fragmented.
So it is useful that Medium provides the “follow” mechanism for a publication, but it makes it incumbent upon the writer to release material in a sequential order so that the followers, who still might not realize it is a book — especially if they haven’t read the “About” introduction to it — will follow the text in somewhat of a logical order.
And of course, that workaround is only useful as you are publishing the book. Later, when the whole book is available in Medium, the sequential releasing is no longer in effect.
Given this problem, I have started to make use of the “hidden” story attribute that you can set on and off as needed in order to make sequences of articles only accessible in order, by only allowing the first part of a book section to be publicly announced, for example. The other parts are hyperlinked to the earlier ones.
The downside to that is that such unlisted stories are unavailable for generating income through the Members program of Medium.
Medium does provide a publication header on each story, that a reader can tap to get to the homepage of the publication, but I found it useful to add a standard footer image to each article as well, that provides the same function, as it is more useful — in my opinion — for the reader, after reading an article that they enjoyed, to be able to jump up to the homepage of the publication, rather than having to scroll up to the header.
When I find that I have to break a section of the book down into smaller “stories,” I add a notification below the main image so that the reader knows the “story” is part of a “sequence” of stories. I use the word “sequence” because “series” is a Medium term for a different kind of open-ended series, and “collection” does not have the same ordered sense.
I was not happy though that the only way to add this notification was either as a title/subtitle or as standard text — even with bolding and italicization available. I wanted something that was clearly setoff from my text in a different typeface, but not overshadowing it in any way either. I realized that what I wanted was a font size and style much like that of the attribution found underneath images on Medium.
My solution was to do exactly that, only with a non-visible and diminutive image. I found a 1-pixel transparent gif and I place that where I want the notification to appear. Then I place the hyperlinked text of the notification, usually linking back to the table of contents (I’ll explain shortly) for that sequence of articles, in the attribution area of the image. Voila!
The line “Do you want to publish a book on Medium?” at the top of this story, under the main image, is an example of what it looks like, although I didn’t place a link on it.
Navigation was another problem. Each publication has a navigation bar that appears just below the header of the publication’s homepage — and only there — and this is limited to a single level of story or featured stories pages.
Thus, your menu structure is normally restricted to just a top-level list of sections or groupings, each of which can only have a single story, or a list of stories without any deeper structure — you can only have a collection of stories that share a tag, a single story, or a page of featured stories. That wasn’t going to work for me, and for a while I was stymied about how to have the kind of complex hierarchy that I needed.
The first thing I did was to reproduce the publication’s navigation bar near the top of every story page in the book. I place it just above the start of the text, underneath the title. I did this because my book has a structural flow, and not just a collection of articles. Being able to move back-and-forth between sections makes sense for the kind of book I am publishing, where the reader may want to refer to another part of the text for needed information.
As an added bonus, the navigation bar I created adds a degree of empty space between the title and the body of text which in my opinion looks nicer.
I place the navigation bar in the same way I discussed above, by placing a 1 pixel transparent gif image at the location, and adding my hyperlinked top-level menu sections in the image’s attribution line. This is what the secondary navigation menu for my book looks like.ABOUT PROEM PRELIMINARIES PRACTICES INSIGHTS APHORISMS BACK MATTER
The one problem I was confronted with was that the long urls of each story do not always work in the apps. (I know not why) Instead, you have to use a short url, consisting of only the unique identifier of each article, if you want to create a “table of contents” to directly link to stories. Here is how I do this:
I create a story without tags and no images that will serve as a table of contents for a subsection of the book. The title is the section name, or name of the sequence of “stories” that I have cut a long section of text into. The subtitle is just “Table of Contents.” You can then add hyperlinked titles and optional short descriptions to construct your table of contents.
Note that this “story” should be unlisted so that it doesn’t appear as a story on your profile, and untagged so that it doesn’t show up in any kind of search, in case you decide to have it listed. Of course, your needs will dictate how you decide to do this. There is nothing wrong with having a TOC discoverable in a search, and available for payment under the Medium Partner program.
For example, the “About” story of Tranquillity’s Secret is accessible with this url:
To find the identifier for a story, you look at its url in a browser and copy the identifier, which is a sequence of 12 numbers and letters (a hexadecimal number). When I do this in Safari on my laptop, the url for the “About” story looks like this:
Note the bolded identifier at the end of the url — this is the number you want to append on the short form url, as I did in my example.
A story’s url can take on different forms, so it is not always structured as in the previous example. This is what a friend’s link to the About story looks like:
Note that the story identifier appears just before the question mark “?” appearing in the link. I’ve put it in bold again in the example above. The other longer string of numbers and letters at the end of the url is the bypass token for Medium’s paywall. As an aside, I had to make the About eligible for payment under the Partners program in order for a “friend’s link” to be created.
When you are editing a story, even before publishing it, there is a slightly different url, which looks like this:
Note again that the unique identifier is there just before the “/edit.” Note also, that you can just copy this initial url and truncate that suffix off of it to obtain the short url form directly.
However, you can’t link an unlisted story into the main Navigation bar of a publication, so you first have to create the TOC story, setting it as unlisted, and publish it. This way neither your followers, nor anyone else on Medium will receive a notification/email about its publication, then list it again and tie it into the Navigation bar. Once you’ve done that you can — and probably should — unlist it a final time. It will still be accessible when clicked on the navigation bar.
The final piece of the navigation puzzle is to use another hyperlinked attribution line (as in the above examples) to the next article in sequence within the book at the end of the article. I do this before any footnotes, above the footer for the publication. Here is what it looks like:
Continue on to What is Meditation? ?The end result of applying these methods is a good usability case for publishing a book on Medium.
In the apps, tapping on any one of these hyperlinks results in a quick overwrite of the present page. Returning to the previous page, in effect, backtracking through your browsing history, is built-in to the Medium apps. Simply tap on the left angle bracket in the top left corner of your display. This will return you to the page you came from. Continuing to tap on this icon will continue to backtrack to previous pages.
In the browser, the effect of clicking on one of the hyperlinks is different — a new browser page for each story opens. It’s not as friction-free as the mobile apps are, but I haven’t found a solution for this yet. You can set the browsers default behavior to opening a new tab, instead of a new window, but you still end up with a lot of tabs or windows, without the ability to retrace your progress through the book in an automated way. Instead, you have to click on the tab or window for the previous story or menu.
Finally, the medium apps allow readers to bookmark a story, and even archive it for later use, both of which are useful in reading your publication as a book.
Closing Thoughts
So far the results of this have been beyond anything I thought would happen. The publication has garnered 50 followers very quickly, and a significantly higher number of visitors each day. It is, in fact, now taking off, as more readers run across it.
But this brings up the last issue with publishing a book such as this on Medium: you are limited to only a certain number of stories published each day. If you exceed that limit — which I did one day trying to gain momentum in the process of publishing the book — you get an error message that your account is locked. Presumably, Medium has that as a protection for spamming.
The only solution to this is to use the scheduling function for publishing your books “stories,” so that the stories are published in an orderly fashion without exceeding the Medium imposed limit.
That’s It so far. If you have any questions, feel free to ask!.