John Windle, aka the Conjure Man — Character

What Edit

Human, quirky street dweller

Books and Stories this Character Appears In Edit

Defining Description or Bio Edit

The ageless John Windle tools around the downtown area on his red, old-fashioned bicycle with fat tires and only one, fixed gear. He has a wicker basket on the front of his bike, which is where a small mongrel dog, Ginger sits. Jilly Coppercorn believes that he is an anima. John Windle himself states that he used to be a giant when the world was young, but because conjuring takes a lot out of you, he has become worn out and has since shrunk.


The last friend Windle had was the Tree of Tales outside the G. Smithers Memorial Library, before the head librarian had her cut down. As a result he tells Wendy St. James about the tree and encourages her to plant a new one. 

Talent / Ability Edit

He's called the Conjure Man because he does hangs like pulling flowers out of peoples ears and other stage tricks.

Other DetailsEdit

  • Seemingly ageless
  • John confured a holographic image of a sapling growing into a full tree for Wendy.
  • Feathers in his hat:
    • one white — from a swan
    • one black — from a crow
    • one brown — from an owl

Physical DecriptionEdit

"He was more stout than slim, with a long grizzled beard and a halo of frizzy grey hair that protruded from under his tall black hat like ivy tangled under an eave. Nestling in the hatband were a posy of dried wildflowers and three feathers: one white, from a swan; one black, from a crow; one brown, from an owl." Dressed in sky blue, grass green, leather and plaid patched brown pants, and bright yellow boots. ~ The Cauldron

Connections (characters, places) Edit

Name What Connection About
Wendy St. James Poet helps him after bullies cause him to fall he takes her to the

considers Jilly soul sisters;

Ginger mostly terrier dog his dog he seems like any of the city's familiar if quirky street dwellers
Tree of Tales 400 year old oak tree teaches Wendy about it cut down; "held all the stories the wind brought her, with each tale she grew. Her death is a symbol that the world has no more time for stories."
Butler University University Tree of Tales John took Wendy there;

To expand the table, right-press on a row of the table or (Control-press on a Mac)—choose add

Events in the Series (spoilery area) Edit

Dreams Underfoot — "The Conjure Man": Her personal acquaintance with the inexplicable Mr. Windle begins when she witnesses young bullies causing him to take a sudden, hard fall from his bike and rushes to help him. His nonsensical observations are peppered with insights both intelligent and profound. One minute he is calmly explaining that the spice ginger actually comes from gingerbread dogs like his own grey canine and the next he has taken her poetry journal out of her hands and begins critiquing it like a "renegade English professor." He smiles as he returns her work saying, "...that's the hope of our future, isn't it? That the imagination reaches beyond the present to glimpse not so much a sense of meaning in what lies all around us, but to let us simply see it in the first place?"

He then convinces her to come see something that he thinks only she may "if not understand, then at least appreciate." Hidden away on the Butler University commons is a once semi-wild spot she remembers. They have cut down the rare, 400 year old oak tree that once thrived in this quiet nook of the city. Ah, but is anything really as we believe it to be?

John tells a different tale of this oak then one would expect. "She was a Tree of Tales," he says, "She held all the stories the wind brought her...and with each tale she grew. Her death is a symbol that the world has no more time for stories." Wendy tries to argue with him, her rational mind whispering its sound advice to her, but still John manages to touch her with the truths he speaks of both magic and faith.

As he's peddling away, she sees a hologram like image of a sapling growing into a full blown giant tree like the one cut down. when she touches it, it vanishes.

Jilly, now one of Newford's leading experts on truth listens patiently to her friend's tale and offers her support. Together they find a single acorn from the last Tree of Tales, but Jilly tells her only she can plant it since both John and the tree itself chose her. With wonder and growing faith this is just what Wendy does, caring for the young sapling all winter long with water, sun and poetry. We must all remember that as long as someone cares and believes in the beauty of life, the importance of imagination, it will never perish. After all, who knows when you may be chosen to nurture our last spark of hope? You might ask another burgeoning authority about this, Sophie Etoile who very much fears that. ~ The Cauldron


Notes / CommentsEdit

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