Friday, 5 December 2014

Chapter-by-Chapter: The Hostile Hospital, Chapter 2

I'm hoping to get these posts back to a normal schedule next week, with the next one posting either on Monday or Tuesday (depending on just how organised I am). It helps that these first couple of chapters are relative short, so they don't take too long to actually read and write up.

What Happens?

While the children are waiting for Mr Poe to reply to their telegram a deliveryman shows up with a massive stack of newspapers. The front page news is that there are three murderers on the loose. The shopkeeper and deliveryman quickly realise that the Baudelaires are the wanted murderers so the children make a quick getaway. Luckily there's a van right outside the door, one with V.F.D. printed on the side.

Thoughts as I read:

Chapter two opens with a picture, this time of a stack of papers with the Baudelaires on the front cover with the words 'Baudelaire Butchers'. I'm going to guess that this means that the children will not be able to hang out at Last Chance General Store too much longer.

The opening paragraph is a discussion of how the phrase 'no news is good news' is completely ridiculous since just because you don't hear anything from someone doesn't mean that everything is going well for them. Snicket gives the example that a person might not respond because they are tied up, which is a fair point to make, so a better saying would be 'No news is no news' though I'm not sure it will catch on in the same way.

Mr Poe does not get in contact with them though and they wait and wait and wait. The shopkeeper does bring them some food, deciding that since they are sending a telegram for an emergency situation and because there are three murderers on the loose they can't be going without their breakfast. Then we learn that the shopkeeper is called Milt, which is good to know since I didn't really want to keep on calling him the shopkeeper all the way through the chapter, because Lou has shown up with the papers.

This leaves the children with a bit of a quandry; they've been waiting for Mr Poe to get in touch with them all night and if they leave now they might never hear his response, on the other hand, they've been waiting all night and he still hasn't sent them a message. Sunny points this out with 'Gykree!' meaning 'He's had all night to contact us, and we haven't heard from him.'

Lou and Milt are trying to find their way to one another through all the shop stock. Lou reveals that the murderers are children and that there's a picture of them on the front cover of the paper, oh and the police are getting closer. I would say that this would be a good time to run for it. Especially as Lou has found Milt and shown him the paper, and Milt's realised the so-called murderers are in the shop with them.

So the kids start to make a break for it, but they don't actually have anywhere to go and the police are getting closer. Sunny says 'Mulick!' meaning 'Let's discuss that at a later time!' so they end up running around the shop dodging Milt and Lou. Violet, still trying to be vaguely optimistic, tries to tell them that they're not actually murderers but Milt explains that if it's in the paper it can't be wrong. Lou also points out that if they're not really murderers then they have no reason to run around and hide; this is also a valid point.

It seems that no matter where they run to hide, Lou and Milt announce that this is where they will go to look for them. This continues for some time until the Baudelaires finally spot the exit. They've not really got much choice but to head for the door and hope for the best, even though once they're outside anyone could spot them for miles around.

It's at this moment that Klaus spots a van with V.F.D. on the side. They briefly debate the merits of getting into the van and whether it will take them to safety or into even more danger. They've still got the mystery of V.F.D. and Jacques to solve, and 'Blusin' Sunny adds meaning 'We don't have much choice' and so she takes the lead once again. And that's how they make the decision to get in the van.

The older Baudelaires worry about how they'll explain their presence to the people inside the van, but Sunny tells them they'll improvise: 'Impro' meaning 'We'll think of something'. That's not necessary, since a man in the van just invites them in, well that saves a bit of effort on their parts coming up with another story. Better still, they've not actually read the papers so they have no idea who the Baudelaires are, instead thinking that they're new volunteers.

This is good enough for the Baudelaires. After considering their options for a moment they realise that they don't really have any and get in. Snicket does take a moment to point out that it's not usually a good idea to get into a big van with someone you don't know. Stranger Danger kids!

So the children 'hop in', though they aren't particularly happy about it but at least they're being carried well away from from the Last Chance General Store... even if it's unlikely that their prospects are going to improve any time soon.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Let me know what you think. :-)