Thursday, January 11, 2007

Against the Blog: 3-4

Right. Against the Blog. So! Lake and Deuce, wandering about. They end up in a town where Deuce's sister, Hope, and her husband, Levi, live. In some vague way, Deuce finds himself seeking Lake's forgiveness--what with the whole "killing her father" business. What he doesn't know is that at this point, she's sort of let go of the whole thing, and he cares about it a lot more than she does. Deuce is afraid of ghosts, and worries about Webb's coming after him. "Maybe," he thinks, "I could go out and kill a whole lot of other folks? and then I wouldn't feel nearly as bad about just the one..." (476)

They end up in the quaintly-named town of Wall o' Death, Missouri, where Deuce more or less accidentally falls into a deputy's job, when the townspeople are expecting a guy who never shows up to take it, and he shows up instead.

One fateful day, news come in of Sloat Fresno's death. Somewhat unexpectedly, this fills Deuce with rage: he didn't even do the deed! This wouldn't have happened but for me! Lake is sympathetic but ultimately more or less indifferent, and he storms out, enraged, god knows where, to look for whoever did this--he assumes, rightly, that it was one of her brothers.

He returns after a week, week and a half, having, unsurprisingly, been unsuccessful in his quest. Naturally, Sloat's spirit starts harassing him.

Lake is friends with a sheriff's wife named Tace Boilster. She muses--to Tace's consistent skepticism--that maybe Deuce can change; he can get better; she can sort of redeem him. She feels locked into this marriage, as if it's part of some unspoken agreement.

Deuce gets more and more desperate for forgiveness, trying to justify himself, I didn't know, they told me he was totally evil, what was I gonna do...but she remains outwardly indifferent to his suffering. They have been trying to have children--what a fantastic idea that is!--but it isn't working. Deuce at one point suggests that they "owe" it to Webb to have a child; that this would somehow make up for his murder. WTF, sez Lake, as well she might. He tells her that in Webb's last hours, all he talked about was her. This sets her off, and she bashes him in the head with a frying pan. He gets up, looking like he might try to retaliate, so she beats him with a shovel--though not fatally, as it turns out. Lake later points this out to Tace as some sort of redeeming factor, but she is of the opinion that he only survived because she wussed out. She suggests that Lake and Deuce are locked in a symbiotic relationship--"...that you've both been all along in some unholy cahoots, your own job being to do what you have to to clean up after him and see he gets and stays clear of anybody's payback, incluing your own brothers" (488).



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