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Evaristus Sloane was a New England inventor and wizard that created a robotic baseball-pitching machine in the shape of a humanoid (The Eyes of the Killer Robot, 9-12). Described as a tall old man with a mop of white hair who had a wart the size of a pea at the end of his long, pointed nose, Evaristus was a blacksmith by trade who had invented items such as a "eight-man tandem bicycle and coffins equipped with whistled and bells that you could use if you got buried alive" (Eyes 9).

Background

Evaristus lived in a house near Stark Corners, New Hampshire, first coming to Duston Heights in the summer of 1901 to sell his pitching machine to the Duston Heights Spiders but was voted down by their star pitcher, Henry "Cyclone Dixon, Johnny's grandfather. Words were exchanged and Sloane swore he'd get back at Dixon for ruining him. Evaristus married a woman named Amelia in his thirties, before his first robot began its killing spree, resulting in their leaving the country: Evaristus fleeing to England (hence his trace accent in later years) and Amelia heading elsewhere, communicating only by letters. While on the lamb, Evaristus dreamt up plans for a better robot and Amelia became an optometrist.

As human eyes powered Evaristus's robot, magically taking on the shape of the deceased victim, Amelia setup an office in Duston Heights to help her husband find a new victim for his project when the two returned to the United States years later. Taking the name Amelia Pimlico, she is described in her later years as being a burly, bossy-looking woman with bunchy gray hair and steel-rimmed spectacles (Eyes 128-129, 145-146, 165).

The Eyes of the Killer Robot

Close to half a century later, Evaristus has found away to enact his revenge: the planned kidnapping of Johnny and decision to use him - rather his eyes - in the creation of another demonic robot. Thought long dead by Professor Childermass and the Dixons, Sloane's advances are not immediately recognized until Johnny disappears.

The Sloanes - nicknamed the Gruesome Twosome by Childermass (Eyes 152) - own an old, blue Ford with dented right fender and missing hubcap that the use to drive around Duston Heights while preying on Johnny. Also, to avoid suspicion, Evaristus goes by the pseudonym Emmett Oglesby, owning a gas station near his home in New Hampshire. Entering their first robot into a pitching contest, Evaristus eventually dies of a stress-induced heart attack; Amelia survives but is arrested on federal kidnapping charges.

Inspiration

Evaristus is another in a long list of strange-sounding words that Bellairs probably collected from his readings (see Remigius Baart), though the fifth pope, Saint Evaristus, was probably the source of the name. Bellairs reveals in the text the source of the names Sloane and Pimlico: London Underground stations Sloane Square and Pimlico (Eyes 134-5).

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