Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Chapter-by-Chapter: The Hostile Hospital, Chapter 12

We're so close to the end of this book now. This is the final post this side of Christmas. I'll be finishing up the book on Boxing Day. I'm also hoping that having a nice five day weekend will give me time to get a crack on with the next book... which I've not even taken off of the bookcase yet so can't remember what it's called!

What Happens?

The Baudelaires are completely trapped and Esme intends to kill two of them, while keeping the third to get the Baudelaire fortune, when Klaus manages to wheel the gurney out of the operating theatre towards freedom. They're almost stopped by Hal, one of Olaf's associates and the volunteers, eventully reaching a dead end in one of the wards. Violet finally comes around from the anaesthetic and they all take cover in a supply closet, where Violet begins to formulate an invention.

Thoughts as I read:

This chapter's picture kind of goes across two pages. Sort of. If you can count the little face mask which I'm guessing Sunny has dropped on page 212 as part of the main picture. The main picture is on page 213 and shows Violet on her gurney, still unconscious, while Sunny rides along and Klaus pushes his sisters. They're moving along at quite a speed so I'm guessing that's how they're going to make their getaway.

We get a little bit more info about Snicket here. As usual none of it really enlightens us. He used to be happy, successful and in love, but now he's alone (apart from the tattoo on his left ankle) and typewriterless. It's a cruel twist of fate that led him to this situation and a cruel twist of fate is exactly what the Baudelaires are experiencing right now, as Mattathias's voice comes from the intercom. The one good thing about this is that it helps to bring Violet round a little more.

Mattathias/Olaf announces that not only have the Baudelaires started a fire in the Library of Records, that fire has now spread through 'the Sore Throat Ward, the Stubbed Toe Ward, and the Accidentally Swallowed Something You Shouldn't Have Ward'. I can't help but wonder which ward you would end up in if you swallowed something you shouldn't have and it gave you a sore throat... After telling everyone to catch the Baudelaires, Olaf does have the decently to suggest that they might like to rescue some of the trapped patients. Could it be that he's not all bad? Or is it just that I'm picturing him as Jim Carrey and we're watching the end of The Grinch Who Stole Christmas as I read this.

At the moment the Baudelaires are looking pretty trapped at the moment. Klaus has also realised that all the evidence seems to be against them at the moment. The audience is calling for the Baudelaires to be arrested, but Esme speaks just loud enough for Klaus to hear to let him know that she's going to capture one of the Baudelaires. She intends to use her super sharp stiletto heels to kill two of the children, allowing them to keep the third to get the Baudelaire fortune.

This gives Klaus the chance to utter this brilliant line:

"You'll never get your hands on our fortune," Klaus said, "or your shoes on our throats."

Esme has a pretty good go anyway, in front of an entire room full of people. And even though Klaus points out exactly what she's doing, no one believes that she's trying to kill them. Hal doesn't believe them because they're still wearing their fake doctor outfits, and the fact Klaus still holds a rusty knife isn't helping much either.

Mattathias/Olaf has told his flunkies that whoever captures the Baudelaires will get to pick where they go for dinner. This motivates them all to make a grab for the Baudelaires and poor Klaus is stuck in the middle of it with a baby and an unconscious sister. He's still got the knife but as he's one of the good guys in this book there's no way he's going to be able to use it.

But they don't know that. So he brandishes the rusty knife and gets into a debate with the hook-handed man about whether he has the courage to use it:

"It doesn't take courage to kill someone," Klaus said. "It takes a severe lack of moral stamina."

Oh Klaus is getting all the best lines in this chapter!

He then just gets even more awesome by throwing the knife onto the floor and pushing the gurney in the direction of the door. They get past Olaf's associates but they can't get past Hal, who grabs the gurney and stops them from going any further. Sunny takes care of that though and bites Hal's hand. To be fair she does say 'Sorry' as she does it, but I don't think that's going to help their reputation any.

Hal lets go and soon the Baudelaires are rolling on down the corridor as Violet starts to open her eyes. At this point Mattathias breaks in with another announcement ordering everyone to catch the Baudelaires and also to consider evacuating the building as it's kinda on fire. Sunny says 'Norzi!' to this, which from Klaus's reaction I think means 'faster!'

Violet is slowly coming round, but it takes time to come round from anaesthetic which I'm guessing isn't helped by being pushed at speed through a burning hospital. Sunny yells 'Door!' as they head towards the exit from the Surgical Ward, which is still being guarded bythe person who looks like neither a man nor a woman and there's a bunch of volunteers here too. Everyone joins in the chase as Klaus pleads with Violet to wake up.

It's all very exciting. Sunny spots some 'Stairs!' which Klaus steers towards and they bump on down them, pausing to consult a map on the way. 'Dleen!' Sunny says which means 'We can't continue down the staircase - look!' because if they keep on going down they're going to run straight into the fire. Unfortunately they can't go back up the stairs because there's a whole host of people after them up there, which Sunny sums up succinctly with 'No up'. This leaves them with no choice but to go through the Ward for People with Nasty Rashes, demonstrating his sense of humour, Snicket describes this as a 'rash decision', hehe.

The latest announcement from Mattathias is for everyone except his associates to leave the building, the plan being that either the children will get out and be caught outside, or won't and will die in the fire. So the kids hurry into the Ward for People with Nasty Rashes, only to find that they're trapped. There's a fire ahead of them and a crowd of angry people behind them. The only option is to hide. Sunny asks 'Where?' Their choices are somewhat limited right now.

There is a handily positioned Supply Closet nearby and Sunny asks 'Glaynop?' which isn't translated but we can work out what she means. They don't have anywhere else to hide but it might buy them a few more minutes. The last time they had to hide in a supply closet it did give Klaus and Sunny the means to find Violet, so perhaps they shouldn't write it off too soon.

And lo and behold, once they get inside the cupboard Violet starts to look a little bit more like her old self, looks around the room and clearly begins to formulate the plan for an invention.

So perhaps they'll make it out of the building alive yet... we'll find out after Christmas!

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