By Diana Wynne Jones
While Mig and Chris visit stick with nice Aunt Maria within the claustrophobic city of Cranberry-on-Sea, Chris falls so foul of his nice aunt that he is become a wolf, and Mig has unforeseen assist in her dramatic bid to avoid wasting him. The author's different books contain "Archer's Goon".
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Extra resources for Black Maria
Elaine put her head over the garden wall at that moment. That cat heaved out of Mum’s arms and hid in the gooseberry bushes. Elaine didn’t see it. She was staring at Chris with a pair of the Baghdads on his head, uttering her most dock-striking laugh. ’ she said. ’ Chris went a little pale at that and stared rather. But Elaine looked at Mum then. ‘You shouldn’t do any washing,’ she said. ’ ‘Oh that’s all right,’ Mum said. ’ Meaning, she is not going to let Elaine do her any favours. ‘Be sure to give me the next lot then,’ Elaine commanded.
She smuggled the grey cat up to our bedroom. It wasn’t hard to do. For one thing, the cat seemed to be expecting it. When I opened the front door to put the milk bottles out, the cat was sitting on the doorstep like a hassock escaped from church. It simply strolled indoors, tail up, cool as if it owned the place. Mum called to Chris to turn the electricity off, snatched the cat up and raced upstairs so fast that her candle went out. She was feverishly fumbling about trying to light the candle again when I came in with my candle.
Until Chris caught me up and I suddenly ran out of breath. ’ he said. He was disgusted. We were beside an iron fence just outside the station car park, with dew hanging off it and glittering on all the cars in the orange light. A train was just coming rattling into the station. I had a stitch and I could hardly breathe. I lifted first one foot then the other into the light. They were both giant-sized with earth and smelt of cabbage. We looked at them and we laughed. Chris leant on the fence and squealed with laughter.