Thursday, 13 November 2014

Chapter-by-Chapter: The Vile Village, Chapter 9

I’m just wrapping up my day’s writing and I’ve nearly finished all of my Chapter-by-Chapter posts for the week. So far, so good! Tomorrow I’m not having a double post because I’m posting the next part of my write up of the Edinburgh trip, this time it’s my actual graduation!

What Happens?

Jacques has been mysteriously murdered and Officer Luciana has called in the talents of Detective Dupin, who is very familiar to the Baudelaires, and immediately pins the murder on Sunny with Klaus and Violet as accomplices. Murder is obviously against the rules so they are locked up ready to be burnt at the stake the following day. Then Olaf reveals that he still has a plan for one of them to ensure he doesn't miss out on their fortune.

Thoughts as I read:

This chapter opens with a picture of a dapper looking person. I want to say it’s a man, but I’m not entirely sure, it might be a woman. They’re wearing a big pendant and have kind of a frilly top on but we can’t see their head. I’m wondering if it might be Olaf because I can see spindly fingers and I think that’s one of Olaf’s trademarks. We’ll have to read on to find out exactly who this is.

We jump straight in where we left off yesterday. Mrs Morrow happily tells the children that ‘Count Omar’ was mysteriously murdered. Violet corrects this to Olaf and Mrs Morrow believes that this means Violet had accepted who the corpse really was. Luciana then fills in the rest of the townspeople with the news, she’s the only one with a key to the jail therefore the whole thing is a mystery. Or she was the one who killed him, y’know, one or the other.

Everyone in the village seems very excited at the prospect of a mystery in their little town. Sunny points out “Shoart!” meaning “A dead man is not a thrill!” Luckily there is someone coming to investigate the situation: Detective Dupin. Apparently he’s famous but no one has ever heard of him so chances are he’s going to be one of Olaf’s cohorts.

The children have a bunch of questions about what has happened but Luciana refuses to discuss it in front of the children, instead ordering Hector to take the children away. At that moment they head a voice, one that is instantly recognisable and which almost certainly belongs to Olaf. I’m going to guess that the fancy outfit a couple of pages back is Olaf in his Detective Dupin costume. That pendant thing is a detective’s badge, glad we cleared that up.

The children aren’t allowed to leave the crime scene as he’s decided that they are suspects. One of the Elders points out that they’re just children but Olaf/Dupin doesn’t like anyone to disagree with him. Klaus chooses this particular moment to point out that the person claiming to be a detective is in fact Count Olaf while Violet points out all the items of clothing that are hiding his distinguishing features.

Oh and you know how all of Olaf’s characters have a little verbal tick, like saying ‘please’ at the end of every sentence, well the Dupin character keeps on talking about things not being cool. He does go on to explain some things that are cool, like his plastic shoes and sunglasses. If you say so mate.
He goes on to tell the gathered crowd that the Baudelaires are responsible for killing ‘Count Olaf’. Oh dear, this is going to get messy isn’t it? Suddenly everyone is against them because they didn’t do a good enough job on their chores, obviously not trimming hedges correctly is a key trigger in future murderous tendencies.

Of course Dupin/Olaf does have some evidence, in the shape of a hair ribbon covered in plastic flowers. It’s definitely not the sort of thing that Violet would wear, but even when she produces her own hair ribbon no one really believes her. Then Dupin/Olaf holds up the lens from a pair of glasses, which proves that Klaus was there, despite the fact that the lenses in his glasses are intact. Then Dupin/Olaf reveals that they’re not strictly speaking murderers, they’re accomplices. Sunny is the actual murderer since she bit Not-Olaf to death.

The children call on Hector to defend them, after all, he’s their only hope of an alibi. But this is unlikely to work since Hector is so nervous around the other townspeople so can’t say anything in their defence. Owing to the fact that no one knows about the secret library or workshop they don’t believe Violet when she tries to tell them what they were actually up to all night. This also makes it look like they’re trying to pin other crimes on Hector. As the children are clearly lying murderous little people the village decides to disown them, which may actually be the best thing the villagers have done for the children since they arrived.

They have to wait too long for Mr Poe to come and collect them though, so someone suggests that they get burnt at the stake instead. Obviously the Baudelaires are none too pleased with this suggestion. For a moment it looks like they’re going to get away with it when one of the Elders says “We can’t simply burn people at the stake whenever we want!” except they don’t mean that they shouldn’t ever burn the Baudelaires, just that they shouldn’t burn them right now because that Elder has other stuff to be doing. So this prompts a discussion about a date and time which works for everyone in the town. Because the townspeople are crazy.

With tomorrow afternoon being agreed upon as the best date for the children’s demise Sunny yells “Glaji!” which I’m guessing means ‘help!’ or ‘don’t kill us’ or something. Dupin/Olaf reassures them that they’re not all murderers, just Sunny, the other two are just accomplices. Not that this changes their ultimate fate. And then they’re escorted off to jail.

Violet points out that if they are burned at the stake Olaf will never get the Baudelaire fortune. And believe it or not, Olaf has some good news for them. One of them will get to make an escape, after all, he only needs one of them to inherit the fortune. He even gives them the choice of which one gets away while the other two are burnt at the stake.

And then he leaves them to make that decision, promising he’ll be back at lunch time to see what they’ve decided. He’s nice like that.

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