Short summary - I'm the King of the Castle
Warings is the Hooper family home. Edmund’s great-grandfather bought it, there was not much money in the family, the land had to be sold over time, but the house remained. Now the grandfather who lived in Warings has died, and Edmund and his father are moving there.
Edmund's father, Joseph, was widowed a few years ago. The marriage was unlucky. "When the son, spilled with Elin, was leaving to study, Joseph for a long time could not remember her face." Now Joseph is looking for a housekeeper to look after the household and Edmund.
Edmund awaits Mrs. Helina Kinshaw and her son Charles, in disgust at Warings, «I didn’t want to go here, here’s another house where everything isn’t ours,» Charles Kinshaw thinks when he approaches the house. At this time, Edmund Hooper throws a note out of the window: «I did not want you to come.»
Mrs. Kinshaw and Mr. Hooper are very pleased to meet you. Mrs. Kinshaw is a widow, a decent woman, you can rely on her. And it’s just wonderful that the boys are the same age, they will definitely make friends. But the boys do not want to become friends at all. Hooper does not like at all that someone is intruding on his domain. Moreover, Kinshaw does not want to admit that he, Hooper, is in charge here.
And Kinshaw is so hard to be in a strange house again, where everyone is not their mother, where the owners are not them. But Hooper then chases him, then, on the contrary, watches his every move.
The first week of Kinshaw's stay in Warings passes. And he goes for a walk. One. No matter where, if only away from Hooper. What did it fly almost over your head? Do not be afraid, this is just a crow. But why, why is she following him? I have to run. How difficult it is to run across a plowed field. And this terrible bird, it flies after him, croaks, is about to attack. Charles falls on the field near the house. He lies, unable to rise, and the crow pecks him in the back. He screams at the top of his voice, and in the end the crow flies away. Kinshaw hardly reaches the house and notices Hooper watching him in the window of his room.
The next night, Hooper pulls a stuffed crow out of the attic and puts him in Kinshaw's room. Kinshaw wakes up, turns on the light and sees a terrible bird on the edge of his own bed. He understands that this is just a scarecrow, but he still scared. But the main thing is not to cry, because Hooper probably stands at the door and eavesdrops. And Kinshaw does not move until the morning, unable even to push the scarecrow out of bed.
War is declared. So, there is only one thing left - to run. Escape from Warings and, most importantly, from Hooper. There is already a cache, some supplies have been collected. But Hooper finds a cache and understands what Kinshaw is about to do. «And I'm with you,» he says.
No, Kinshaw will run away alone. Today it’s early in the morning, all the more so as there isn’t a better day to come up - mom and Mr. Hooper leave for London and they will not be home all day. So, they will only grab him in the evening.
Early morning. Kinshaw passes the field, enters the steep bowl. Yes, it is a big forest and unfamiliar. But ... It's good that the morning is so sunny. Kinshaw closes his eyes and enters the forest. Nothing wrong. How good and peaceful it is! Just ... what is that sound? Kinshaw turns around and sees Hooper a few meters away. You can’t get anywhere from him!
When they go so far that it becomes clear that they are lost, Kinshaw is not afraid, Hooper is afraid. And then another thunderstorm. Hooper just can't stand the storm. And the first to be afraid to go through the woods. But Kinshaw - no. They go to the river. Kinshaw goes on reconnaissance. He comes back and sees: Hooper lies face down in the water, and there is blood on his head. Kinshaw pulls him out, drags him ashore, tries to make artificial respiration, makes a fire. If only Hooper did not die! Hooper vomits; he clears his throat; he seems alive. Shivering him at night, Kinshaw gives him his sweater, and Hooper whimpers, is naughty. Perhaps Kinshaw could have hit him now. But - why, he is still stronger than Hooper. And no need to run away anymore, Kinshaw is no longer afraid of Hooper. He believed in himself.
Find them early in the morning. And Hooper shouts, «This is all Kinshaw! He pushed me into the water! »
And adults do not seem to notice what is happening. And the mother tells Charles that one cannot be so ungrateful that Mr. Hooper wants to take care of him as his own son, and therefore he will send Charles to the same school where Edmund is studying. Where to escape from this damned Hooper? Kinshaw finds a barn away from home, but even there Hooper finds him. Finds and locks. And unlocks only in the afternoon, when he learns that adults are going to go somewhere with them in a car.
Lydell Castle, huge, dilapidated, on the lake. And Kinshaw climbs the wall to the very top. «Chur, I'm the king in the castle!» Hooper does not stand up and crawls after him. But he cannot go down - he is afraid of heights. And then Kinshaw realizes that he can do anything - he can push Hooper down, he can just scare him, and he will break loose. «I'm the king in the castle. What I want, I’ll do it with him. » But he himself understands that he will not do anything to him, but, on the contrary, he will reach out to him, grab him from behind and help him stay. He reaches for Hooper, but he recoils in horror and flies down.
Kinshaw thinks Hooper is dead. But no, he just crashed. He is in the hospital, Kinshaw’s mother visits him every day. And Kinshaw is finally left to his own devices. And he even finds a friend - Fielding's farm son. He shows him calves, turkeys, a hamster. And Kinshaw tells him about Hooper, admits that he is afraid of him. Fielding is a reasonable guy. What is Hooper afraid of, because Hooper Kinshaw cannot do anything wrong. Only scary, that's all. Has Kinshaw finally made his own friend?
But Hooper returns, and he does not intend to give the descent of Kinshaw. Especially since Mr. Hooper proposed to Mrs. Kinshaw. «Now you will not turn away. You will listen to my pal. And me". Surely it was Hooper who thought Mrs. Kinshaw to invite Fielding to tea. And Hooper can be a normal guy when necessary. And Fielding is completely unaware why Kinshaw does not want to play the three of them, does not want to go to the farm with him and Hooper to see the new tractor.
Kinshaw goes to Hooper's room. Here it is, the battle map that Hooper so lovingly traced. He takes it with him and burns it in a clearing by the grove. Let it be. But Hooper pretends like nothing happened. Not roaring, not complaining to adults. The next day, everyone is in trouble, in training camp - tomorrow the boys go to school. Everything is almost ready, in Kinshaw’s room there are only suitcases, mom comes to kiss him for the night and sits with him for a long, long time. And when he leaves, Hooper throws a note under his door: "You will wait, Kinshaw."
the morning is gray and clear, it’s cold outside. Kinshaw leaves the house, walks through the field, goes into the grove. Joy filled him in the forest. He repeats several times to himself: "Everything is good, everything is good." I found that very clearing where they made a fire. He undressed, folded his things in a pile and entered the water, went to the depths, dipped his face in water and took a deep breath.
Hooper found him, immediately guessed where Kinshaw could go. When he saw Kinshaw's body spread out on the water, he suddenly thought: it was because of me, I did it, it was because of me - and froze, full of triumph.