Poor old achy Sophie. Although I think she might also be a bit optimistic about Martha (or rather, she might be thinking about what they might do through the lens of what *she'd* do... or even what she THINKS she'd do/what she thinks would be sensible). Would someone who seems as strong-minded as Martha immediately say "oh, this is a powerful wizard with unsubstantiated rumors flying around about him, I guess I'll just dump him!"? Although I do like the addition of "perhaps to threaten him with aunts." Although we soon find out that it's a moot point, at least as far as Martha is concerned...
Oh yes Howl, you think your hair looks rather good that color. I'm SO glad. Drama queen. Sheesh.
I guess at first, reading about a living scarecrow doesn't seem all that scary (maybe because I watched the Wizard of Oz too much as a kid), but... actually thinking about it, yeah, yeah, it'd be pretty scary, even knowing that magic is possible in that world and all. Not knowing its intentions or what it's capable of or anything... yeah.
And yeah, the bit with Sophie's heart... not good. Really not good, with our own modern knowledge! Although luckily it seems to have passed fairly quickly.
And now we get a bit more info about the whole romance angle, which honestly starts to seem rather contrived. So Sophie ends up living working in a castle, where one of the human inhabitants is involved with one sister, while the other human inhabitant is wooing the OTHER sister. Okay then!
I do like how Sophie tries to twist the truth a bit here... calling Martha/Lettie her sister's granddaughter, and paving the way for Michael to not be surprised when she changes appearance over time... well, as well as she can. it's also interesting to get Michael's age (15) and some idea of Martha's (just slightly younger). It's also rather sweet of him to get the cake for Sophie, now that he's warming up to her. Aww.
It seems a bit late for Howl to be all worried about Calcifer, after HE almost put him out himself the previous day, just because of a tantrum!
And geez, what, Michael and Calcifer thought maybe that Sophie made up the story about a scarecrow for no utter reason?
Howl also looks a bit better in this chapter finally, being obviously worried about both Calcifer, and then Sophie when her heart goes bad again.
And Howl fixing the heart or not, Sophie gallivanting across the countryside like she does can't be good for it! So much for resting... And it seems a bit convenient that she'd manage to go EXACTLY in the right direction, the right distance, with her boot. But then again, it's that kind of story, I guess. :p No use in making things too difficult... and it's still funny to "watch" Sophie keep missing the mark. Well, except for (on the first read-through at least) worrying about her health while she does it...
And we also find out incidentally that Sophie is 17 normally, and around 90ish in her current form, unless she's exaggerating in her thoughts. Or not good at judging. Then again, Calcifer mentioned her losing about 60 years of her lifespan, so maybe she's closer to about 80. Or somewhere in between, splitting the difference.
It's also neat to learn a bit more of Howl's past... including the fact he was going around with black hair back as a student wizard. :p
On Monday, it'll be Chapters 9 and 10 (since I don't feel like finding and linking the schedule url again). :p