Boy Charles is an unusual resident of Brundage House, even by the standards of that institution. He is an 11-year-old boy and has been one for a decade. His father was a Coreunean physician interested in psychic phenomena, who had both studied mesmerism and lived on the island of Acera. When his cherished son died of a fever, he undertook a perilous experiment, using all his mesmeric powers to summon the boy back to life. Now, though the father is dead, his will still animates the son's corpse, without actually giving it life. Boy Charles almost never speaks and doesn't play, though he will perform any task set to him, including play, solemnly and without pleasure. His presence makes animals nervous. Safekeeper has thought of asking Dr. Fanshaw, who brought him to Brundage House, to take him away again.