The Chemistry Sets
The chemistry set
s had a variety of magical (and usually uncomfortable) results:
- Animal Spirits - gives life to inaminate objects including toffee bars, construction set toys, Gwinny's people, pencils, dustballs, and the Ogre's pipe
- Dens. Drac. - caused Greek Hell's Angels to sprout from the ground like mushrooms when it was thrown on the ground
- Irid. Colour - causes Malcolm to turn from one strange colour to another when it splashed into his eye
- Misc. Pulv. - causes Malcolm and Caspar to swap bodies when they eat it
- Noct. Vest - causes things to go invisible when heated then cooled, including Gwinny's poison cake, Johnny, and the tip of Caspar's finger. Being invisible is not very healthy for the mind.
- Parv. Pulv. - causes Malcolm to shrink
- Petr. Philos. - Philosopher's Stone, turns things into gold when it is rubbed on base metal. It was unknowingly used by Gwinny to turn small candlesticks for her people and a hairgrip "pretty". The family turns all manner of ugly things into gold at the end to auction off, allowing them to move to a larger house.
- Vol. Pulv. - flying powder, can be used straight or when mixed with water, initially causes Gwinny to get stuck on her ceiling
The Greek Hell's Angels
Near the end of the the book, the boys accidentally sow [dragon's teeth]?
, which result in Hell's Angels (rough-looking motorcyclists) sprouting from the ground. Their speech is rendered in Greek letters, but if you transliterate them, it turns out that they're speaking very colloquial English which might be Cockney-accented.
Here's a recap of the scene again, with their speech translated.
As the Hell's Angels are coming out of the ground, all the boys can see are these large white bulges that remind them of crash helmets. Douglas raps one of them with a broom handle. It shakes angrily, and grows into a face, which shakes its chin free from the gravel and says: "'It me on the lid again an' see wot you get!"
More men are forming, pulling themselves free from the ground, filling the lane between the boys and the car. The man they'd rapped on the helmet continues: "Think kin hit fellows on the head, do you?"
He looks at the other motorcyclists and says angrily: "These kids tried to thump me, fellows!"
They all give the boys unpleasant looks and come closer. "Okay, let's take both of 'em apart a bit." And another says, "Let me attem."
The boys arm themselves with mop and broom handles and dustbin lids. The motorcyclists only jeer and one says sarcastically, "Full o' spirit aren't they?" And the first one says, "Let's go, fellows." They attack the boys, who call for help.
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