INTERLUDE: The Convocation


In the Washington Room of a hotel, a group of men from all around the world sit around a dinner table eating dessert while a speaker gives a talk. A silver-haired man named Mr. Dandy discusses with Jack his failure to kill the child (Bod) years ago and stresses the importance of finishing the job. Jack claims he has leads to follow, and thinks everything is connected to unspecified trouble they faced in San Francisco.


In this short section the narrative changes from Bod’s point of view to Jack’s point of view. This departure is necessary to the storytelling for several reasons. It shows that Bod is unaware of the meeting of the Jacks of All Trades. It reveals that Jack’s malice against Bod is not personal, but part of a large, well-organized plan with many players involved. And it once again challenges conventional notions of good and evil by presenting the Jack of All Trades as polished and refined, traits that are often associated with “good” people in society, although the Jacks have malicious motivations. The organization’s charitable activities are a front as the organization ultimately expects that Jack kill Bod. Mister Dandy’s revelation that the entire group is in on the plot underscores their nefarious intent. The Jacks, as villains, stand in contrast to the dead and undead inhabitants of the graveyard, who represent good. The shift in point of view increases the overall suspense of the novel and drives the plot forward as Bod remains unaware of the danger posed to him by the Jacks.