Friday, December 29, 2006

Against the Blog: 2-19

I am going to keep this up if it kills me. Although then I'd have to stop. So hopefully after rather than before.

Frank is kicking around Mexico, not really accomplishing much of anything. He meets a guy named Ewball Oust, from a monied family, who is a metallurgist of some kind. They talk about methods of refining silver and shit. They also talk about the whole argentaurum/Iceland spar thing. Then, the two of them wander around some more. Doing what, is not exactly clear to me. Frank has vivid dreams of Deuce Kindred. Then, suddenly, they're taken into custody for reasons they don't understand. OH NOES! They get put in a prison camp for political dissidents. There, they meet a guy named Dwayne Provecho, who narrates apocalyptic visions to them. Ewball, mysteriously, has money, so the prison experience isn't that bad. There's a whole sprawling community there. Remember when the annoying hero in Cormac McCarthy's annoying novel All the Pretty Horses gets put in a prison camp/community place in Mexico? Fuck that was annoying. God I hate McCarthy. Anyway, this isn't much like that, but I thought I'd mention it for no good reason.

Dwayne thinks Frank is the Kieselguhr Kid. He had apparently spoken to Ellmore Disco, who also believed this. So did Bob Meldrum. Frank alleges otherwise.

So anyway, they eventually decide to go ahead and escape, because why not. They pass a bunch of corpses hanging up, but actually getting out is weirdly easy.

I don't understand the next series of events one hundred percent, so I'm just going to try to get through it. Apparently, although maybe not, Dwayne captures Frank and Ewball for some anarchist group led by some individual identified only as "El √Ďato." Although it seems to be a weirdly non-binding sort of captivity. I guess they want Frank's explosive skills. There's some plan afoot to blow up a mint and steal silver but, Frank points out, the logistics of bringing along enough mules to carry enough silver to make such a venture worthwhile are really impractical.

From an overhead vantage point, they witness some Indians being chased into a cave by...people who want to kill them. Look, just GO with me here, okay? Ewball suggests that everyone else go on, and he and Frank will catch up later. Ewball is a crack shot, as it turns out, and, with a few non-fatal shots, is able to scare the assailants off. The two of them part ways. Frank goes down to check on the Indians, who are grateful and stuff. The man is some sort of shaman; one of the women is his wife; the other, her younger sister. Her name is Estrella, which is the same as the real name of Reef's erstwhile lover, Stray. For some reason, Frank is really, really struck by this.

In a mountain cavern, there is a large crystal. Look in, the shaman (called "El Espinero) suggests. Frank does, and sees a vision of Sloat Fresno. And this shows him exactly where Sloat must be. No Deuce, however.

El Espinero gives Frank a hallucinogenic cactus to eat of. It makes him violently ill, and then he has a vision of flying around, with an Estrella who is both Estrellas as his guide. In a cave where it is raining, she explains: the desert is dry to punish people who got greedy and misused all the water. So instead, it all goes in this cave.

They part ways. Frank goes north. In a small town, he enters a bar, and there's Sloat Fresno. With no delay, and in an emotionless, dispassionate way, he shoots him several times, and leaves him dead.

I'm sorry that this summary sucked even more than usual, but this chapter just never fucking ended; it wound around all fucking over the place, and it made me crazy. Things should be a little more normal now, other than the fact that I'm trying to work my way through a rather sizable backlog, so things aren't as crystal-clear in my mind as they ought to be.



Blogger Stevens Amidon pontificated to the effect that...

Strange--we're both blogging this book, and both at about the same spot! My site is!

7:58 PM  

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