Tuesday, October 15, 2013

October 15: A Night in the Lonesome October-fest

When I lived near Philadelphia, I always liked driving near sites of buildings under construction. I liked the see how the building changed a little bit every day. These chapter remind me of the slow progress, a little more added every time I look at it.

Snuff continues to make progress with the body. I admire his work ethic. He talks with Needle and Graymalk about current events. The Great Detective and his wounded sidekick are snooping about.

Evening. Jack wanted to go out again. When it gets to this point in the game there are always a few last-minute items on the shopping list. This time the place was swarming with patrolmen, some of them walking in pairs. Crazy Jill swooshed by at one point, turning a few heads; through the opened door of a gin mill I saw Rastov seated at a table, alone, save for a bottle of vodka and a glass (I wondered what happened to Quicklime on these occasions, if he's gone internal); a rat resembling Bubo scurried by, a finger in his mouth; Owen went staggering past with a pair of fellows, faces streaked with coal dust, singing something incomprehensible in Welsh; I saw Morris, bewigged, dressed like a woman, heavily rouged, hanging onto MacCab's arm.

"Party time," Jack observed, "before things start to get serious."

An eyepatched man with shaggy hair, a terrible limp, and a withered hand staggered by, selling pencils from a tin cup. I went on point even before he emerged from the fog, recognizing from the scent that it was the Great Detective in disguise. Jack bought a pencil from him and paid him handsomely for it.

He muttered a "Bless you, guv'nor" and limped off.

A couple comments. I don't know what the deal is with Quicklime is living in Rastov's belly. In his excellent and comprehensive analysis of the characters, Dr. Kovacs has a suggestion as to why a Rasputin-analogue would have a snake for a familiar, but it's really anyone's guess why Quicklime lives in his stomach, which does not seem to be a place where snakes generally are found, outside of certain urban legends. 

Also: Owen went staggering past with a pair of fellows, faces streaked with coal dust, singing something incomprehensible in Welsh;

Is there anything in Welsh that's not incomprehensible? The language doesn't have any darn vowels.

Because the area is so heavily patrolled, Jack has to take some risks. He and Snuff up being pursued by some patrolmen, but Larry happens to be there, as he had anticipated that he might be needed.

I can't say enough how much I love this book,  how each chapter tells its own story, but contributes to the greater whole.

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