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Hobblantern Yet, if only they knew what was truly awakening, deep within the medieval forests...
This article has been distinguished as part of the real world and thus should not be taken as part of the fictional universe of the Deptford Mice books.

How could I not write an account of the early adventures of the midshipmouse? In the original trilogy, he was always keeping some dark secret back until we finally learn that somehow he was responsible for the death of his best friend, Woodget. With that in mind I set about compiling his history and writing his memoirs.
Robin Jarvis


Thomas is the third book in The Deptford Histories trilogy by Robin Jarvis. It is the backstory of Thomas Triton, revealing the dark secret of his past.

Official description[]

It is four years since the fall of Jupiter, but upon the Cutty Sark all is far from well. Thomas Triton, midshipmouse, is tormented by horrific visions of the past; of stormlashed seas, ferocious battles, lost cities and terrifying heathen gods. But now the time has come to confront the most chilling memory of his youth and a dark, dreadful secret...

Summary[]

Four years after the events of The Final Reckoning, midshipmouse Thomas Triton is troubled by memories of a traumatic incident in his youth that resulted in the death of his best friend. His wife Gwen suggests that it would make him feel better if he wrote down what was bothering him.

Many years prior, Thomas is taken in by a kindly community of field mice after being caught in a snowstorm. There he meets Woodget Pipple, a little field mouse who becomes his close friend, and a beautiful maiden named Bess Sandibrook. Thomas falls deeply in love with Bess, but is unaware that Woodget has similar feelings for her. Stating that she loves Woodget, Bess gently rejects Thomas, only for them both to realise that Woodget has run away after mistakenly thinking he's getting in the way of their romance. Thomas vows to find Woodget, and catches up with him at a dock as a ship called the Calliope is getting ready to set sail.

Thomas and Woodget meet a tough Irish mouse named Mulligan, who invites them to have a drink with him on the ship before he leaves. But they stay too long and to their dismay are stuck on the ship. The two become suspicious of Mulligan, who is evasive and will not let anyone see the contents of a satchel he always carries with him. The Calliope eventually crashes in a violent storm, killing most of its passengers.

Mulligan washes ashore in Crete with Dimlon, a simple-minded young mouse Thomas and Woodget befriended during the voyage. Dimlon reveals himself to Mulligan as Dahrem Ruhar, an adept of the Scale, an evil cult that worships a reptile god called Suruth Scarophion. It is revealed that Mulligan has been carrying a piece of a jade egg sacred to the Scale, trying to prevent them from obtaining it and joining it with the other pieces, which would create a vessel into which Scarophion can be reborn. Thomas and Woodget survived the storm as well, and come onto the island in time to see a dying Mulligan, poisoned by the blades of Dahrem. He has carried the egg fragment with him and pushes it into the horrified Woodget's paws, telling him to take it to a place called Hara.

Thomas and Woodget are discovered by an army of Indian mongooses who demand to know where they got the egg fragment from. After they explain the situation, the mongooses offer to take the two mice to Hara, their home city in India so they can speak to the sadhu and ask his advice. Dahrem, once again in the guise of Dimlon, comes along with them. Upon their arrival in Hara, Thomas, Woodget and mongoose Captain Chattan Giri go to see the Holy One, who also possesses a piece of the jade egg of Scarophion. In the night, the Scale arrive and launch a vicious attack on the city of Hara to steal the fragment. To everyone's shock, it is the sadhu himself who opens the gates for the Scale to enter. Dahrem attacks Woodget in the sadhu's chamber, demanding that he hand over the egg fragment Mulligan gave him. Thomas and the mongoose warrior Chattan hear the field mouse's screams and come to his rescue. Chattan engages in battle with Dahrem. The adept is killed, but not before poisoning Chattan with his blades.

Faced with nowhere else to go, Thomas and Woodget decide to head to Singapore, where it is said that the jerboa prophet Simoon has journeyed. In a seedy bar called the Lotus Parlour, Thomas accidentally lets it slip to the bar's owner, Mother Lotus, that he and Woodget have the final egg fragment. Simoon is present and scolds the two mice for having walked directly into Scale territory. The bar is full of members of the cult (including Mother Lotus, the high priestess) who capture Thomas, Woodget, and Simoon and take them to their temple. The high priest joins the egg fragments together, and it appears Suruth Scarophion will be reborn. But as the reptilian form writhes within the newly created egg, it suddenly shrivels and dies. Simoon reveals that it was the plan all along to let the Scale obtain all the pieces of the egg, as he and other members of the Green Council like the sadhu knew it would ultimately be useless. The fragment held by Mulligan was periodically moved to different Green shrines, and thus gradually became a holy object. Cast from the egg, Scarophion's spirit enters a nearby statue in his image. Riding on its back, the enraged high priest chases Thomas, Woodget, and Simoon. The statue is destroyed when it crashes on a crag of rock, and Woodget kills the high priest to save Thomas's life.

At the end of the journey, Thomas and Woodget are at a dock in Singapore waiting for a ship to take them back to England. An old beggar approaches them, but soon they discover that it is Mother Lotus, former high priestess of the Scale. She puts Thomas into a trance, during which he picks up Woodget and casts him into the water. Despite the field mouse's pleas, Thomas lets him presumably drown. Hours later, Thomas emerges from the trance and to his horror, remembers what he has done. He screams in anguish.

In present day Hara, Chattan's sister Sobhan is taking her grandson to see the sadhu. She tries to help the latter remember his former identity, but he responds that Zenna, the siren who rescued him from the sea, wiped his memory completely and he is content that way. The final line reveals that this new sadhu is none other than Woodget.

Plot[]

Prologue: Old Wounds[]

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Chapter 1: A Bowl of Berrybrew[]

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Chapter 2: Mulligan[]

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Chapter 3: Aboard the Calliope[]

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Chapter 4: Steeped in Venom[]

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Chapter 5: Simoon[]

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Chapter 6: Siren Songs[]

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Chapter 7: Into the Raging Squall[]

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Chapter 8: At the Shrine of Virbius[]

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Chapter 9: The Passing of the Burden[]

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Chapter 10: The Legacy of Mulligan[]

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Chapter 11: The City of Hara[]

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Chapter 12: The Holy One[]

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Chapter 13: The Betrayal of Hara[]

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Chapter 14: The Adept of Sarpedon[]

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Chapter 15: The Lotus Parlour[]

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Chapter 16: The Black Temple[]

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Chapter 17: Journey's End[]

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Epilogue: Sadhu[]

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Character listing[]

  • Thomas Stubbs: A brash young mouse with a weakness for berrybrew and who will one day become Thomas Triton.
  • Woodget Pipple: A fieldmouse from Betony Bank and Thomas' best friend. A great doom lies before him.
  • Mulligan: An Irish, one legged seafarer who bears a terrible burden which must not fall into the wrong claws.
  • Zenna: A daughter of the sea.
  • Mother Lotus/Ma Skillet: Ugly fat rat who owns a foul drinking den in Singapore called the Lotus Parlour.
  • Dimlon/Dimmy: A simple brained mouse befriended by Thomas and Woodget.
  • Captain Chattan Giri: Mongoose Captain from the fabled Indian city of Hara.
  • Neltemi: One of the twelve mouse maidens who tended the Shrine of Virbius.
  • Gorscarrigern/Sarpedon/Scarophion/The Dark Despoiler: The evil serpent God whose corporeal form was vanquished many years ago but whose dreadful spirit is ever waiting to return.
  • The Holy One: An ancient Lorus, one of the wisest of all creatures. He dwells in the city of Hara.

Editions[]

Illustration gallery[]

Gallery

Trivia[]

  • When Thomas and Woodget ask Simoon to tell a story in Chapter 5, he at first mentions Ysabelle and the war between the bats and squirrels from the book directly preceding this one in publication order, The Oaken Throne.
Acorntransparent The smallest acorn may become the tallest oak.
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Robin Jarvis' Deptford Mice books
The Deptford Mice:
The Dark Portal | The Crystal Prison | The Final Reckoning
The Deptford Histories:
The Alchymist's Cat | The Oaken Throne | Thomas
The Deptford Mouselets:
Fleabee's Fortune | Whortle's Hope | Ogmund's Gift (unreleased) | Twit's Progress (unreleased)
The Deptford Mice Almanack
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