Thursday, 18 December 2014

Chapter-by-Chapter: The Hostile Hospital, Chapter 9

I said that these chapters were getting longer. I've scanned ahead in this one and I think it's been bulked out a bit by some lists, I don't think it'll take too long to get through. Whether or not Klaus and Sunny find Violet before she loses her head is another question!

What Happens?

Thoughts as I read:

I like the chapter picture for this one. It's a can of the alphabet soup which Sunny has opened. The letters inside are a bit jumbled up but they spell out the words 'CHAPTER NINE'.

We're jumping right back into the action where it ended last chapter. Sunny's puzzled that Klaus wants to think of food at a time like this, asking 'Recazier?' which means 'Klaus, why in the world do you want to eat alphabet soup at a time like this?' Klaus replies that they're just going to pour it down the sink to which Sunny responds 'Pietrisycamollaviadelrechiotemexity' because she's not got a clue what he's going on about.

Klaus starts talking about the note with 'Ana Gram' written on it not being a name after all but a sort of a code. Sunny's reply? 'Still pietrisycamollaviadelrechiotemexity'.

So Klaus has to give Sunny a brief lesson in anagrams, using Al Funcoot as an example. Sunny says 'Yuck' meaning 'Don't remind me.' Klaus continues to explain at which point Sunny then replies 'Phromein' which means 'I think I understand, but it's difficult for someone as young as myself.' Aww, I love Sunny.

The gist of the plan is that Count Olaf has used anagrams to conceal information in the past, so it's highly likely that he's done it again here. Therefore they can use the alphabet soup to help unscramble some of the names on the list. Sunny manages a who question in actual proper English: 'But how?' so Klaus explains how useful it will be to have letters that they can play around with to make new names.

Satisfied that she understands the plan, Sunny gets to work on the tin of soup, remembering all the while the time when the Baudelaire family, minus Mrs Baudelaire, made a cake for their mother's birthday. The tin opener broke and they had to use Sunny to open the condensed milk. It was also the day she spoke her first word, 'bite'.

After moment she announces that she's done and they dig out noodles from the soup that spell out Violet Baudelaire. They're successful in that they get all the letters, bar an E so they have to use a bit of carrot for that instead. Ironic considering E is the most common letter in the English language, apparently it isn't the most common letter in a tin of soup.

They look at the list of names in the Surgical Ward to see if anyone there could be Violet:


That's quite the list to work through and I bet that if you played with some of them they would be anagrams of other things. It's that sort of a series of books.

Luckily Sunny figures out that they should look for names with a V in them because not all of them have one and that'll mean they can cross out a bunch without playing rearrange the noodles. After rooting around in one of the surgical coats Sunny found a surgical mask, rubber gloves, and a pen. So they're able to reduce the list down to just four possibilities.

While they're eliminating the first two from the list another announcement sounds over the intercom. Mattathias/Olaf announces that no one is allowed in or out of the Surgical Ward until after the operation is complete and the patient is dead. Sunny yells 'Velocity!' in order to get Klaus to hurry up, like he didn't already know that speed was of the essence in this situation.

When the O noodle breaks Klaus comes to a realisation, the only name left on the list with an O in is is Laura V. Bleediotie. That must be Violet. Sunny has him 'Check!' just to be on the safe side. Klaus is right. Sunny tells him 'Asklu' which means 'We never would have found her if you hadn't figured out that Olaf was using anagrams'. Perhaps if they'd figured that out a little earlier they might have saved themselves some time.

Actually, the Quagmires figured it out. But they don't have time to celebrate, they've got to find Violet before she gets her head chopped off. Sunny points out 'Gwito' which means 'But Mattathias closed the Surgical Ward' which is going to make rescuing her somewhat tricky now.

So they have to find another disguise. They're in a room containing white coats and surgical masks, which should do the trick, though Sunny's not so sure as she says 'Quagmire' meaning 'When the Quagmires used disguises, they didn't fool Olaf'. In fact, the children soon realise that the only time disguises have ever worked, since that day on the beach, have been when Olaf has been wearing them. And even then, they've seen right through them, it's everyone else who's failed to see what's really there.

But they just have to fool all the adults and the adults don't seem too hot at looking beyond the immediate surface, so hopefully they'll get away with it. That said, their disguises aren't too good. They look like a boy and a baby wearing large white surgical coats. Sunny asks 'Douth?' meaning 'But how are we going to find the Surgical Ward, when the maps of this hospital are confusing?', Klaus's suggestion that they'll just follow someone who seems to be heading there is not very helpful. Sunny says as much with 'Silata' which means 'But there are so many people here.'

And there's a lot of people wandering around the corridors. Snick describes some of them, including the stuff they carry with them, like stethoscopes and x-rays, depending on which department they're heading to or from. But none of them look like surgeons and Sunny can't see any either ('Peipix'). That is, until a person comes hurrying down the corridor announcing that she is bringing Dr. Flacutono's equipment. The person just happens to be carrying an eye shaped bag and wearing very sharp stiletto heels. Looks like Esme is back on the scene. Again.

So Klaus and Sunny follow along after her, she's definitely heading for the Surgical Ward if the large rusty knife she is carrying is any clue.

Really not looking so good for Violet right now.

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