The Dreadful Secrets of Candlewick
Groundskeeper and Master of Hounds
NOTEWORTHY STATS: Hands 4; Guts 4.
BACKGROUND: Grew Up in the Woods.
VOCATION: Groundskeeper and Houndsmaster.
PASSION: A Soppy Romantic at Heart.
QUOTE: “That one’s not poisonous, see? Ain’t got the little striping on its legs. Now this one, oh, he’s a killer. Catch!”
POV : I look after the grounds, and when we had hounds I saw to them as well. Now, with all these kids about, I have to keep the lawns clipped pretty close for their ballgames and running about and such. Not that I mind, no. It’s better than it was before Master Candlewick started the orphanage. The house is warmer now. The chill after she died has passed a bit. And they’re such an odd lot of children too. I never knew kids who were so keen on bugs and snakes and crawling down holes in the ground. Fine, that, though sometimes they need a bit of a scare for their own good.
ROLE: Groundskeeper Grooner is the gnarled old bat who keeps up the grounds around Candlewick House—the bits which haven’t gone totally to weed and ruin, anyhow. He seems scary, distant and antisocial (he is all three), but he’s really very fond of the orphans and intensely loyal to the House and the Candlewick family. He knows all about animals and bugs, and before the last elderly hound died he looked after the family’s dogs, and he knows how to keep and care for animals. He might be an ideal candidate to help a sick monster, should the occasion arise.
DESCRIPTION: Grooner is a scarecrow of a man, all knobby joints and patched clothes. He smells of the woods, except when he mucks out storm drains, and then he smells of muck. He walks with a big gnarled stick, carries a worn jackknife, and chews tobacco constantly. He hates having to come inside the house, because he can’t spit his ’backie anywhere. His left eye is white and dead, but it moves around like it’s looking at things only it can see. If he’s in delicate company, he’ll wear a patch. If he’s grubbing in the dirt with some orphans, he’ll leave it off.