Thursday, 22 January 2015

Chapter-by-Chapter: The Carnivorous Carnival, Chapter 9

Thankfully this chapter is relatively short so it didn't take too long to read and review. I've got lots of photos to organise from my trip to Wales, not to mention all the blog posts to write.

No rest for the wicked!

What Happens?

The children rise early and head to the rollercoaster to get to work on repairing the carts. Together they make good progress before heading towards the fortune telling tent to get the last piece they need to get it running. Just as they get there Olaf comes out and announces that he has had his fortune told and it was exactly what he wanted to hear.

Thoughts as I read:

This chapter opens with a sketch of three lions. They're just lolling around and don't look particularly happy. In fact the one at the front looks pretty starved, you can see all his rib cage. He seems to have one eye open, so I'm guessing that we're going to see them up close in this chapter. They must just be waking up ready for a meal... any guesses what (or who) that is going to consist of?

Snicket's opening bit for this chapter is about how if you try to 'go to bed on something' then the chances are you won't actually be able to go to sleep at all, you'll end up lying awake thinking of nothing else.

Just last night, I was troubled by a decision involving an eyedropper, a greedy night watchman, and a tray of individual custards, and this morning I am so tired that I can scarcely type these worfs.

Hehe, nicely demonstrated Snicket.

Obviously the Baudelaires are planning not to be at all involved with Olaf or any of his murderous schemes, they're hoping to be riding into the sunset in a converted rollercoaster cart. We're told that Violet's been worrying about how she will adapt the mirror gadget into a fan belt for the car, Klaus has been worrying about finding the way to the V.F.D. headquarters, and Sunny is worrying about how they'll all eat while they're on the road. Plus there's all the other things they were already worrying about to continue worrying about. I'm surprised they haven't exploded with anxiety!

Hugo, Colette and Kevin are perfectly happy to join Olaf and the gang so they're sleeping perfectly well when the Baudelaires get up to set the plan (and hopefully the rollercoaster cart) in motion. We get a brief view of the lions down at the bottom of the pit. They need a visit from the RSPCA as they're covered in marks from where Olaf was whipping them, and they're half-starved. Even the children feel sorry for them.

They actually go on to speculate how alike them the lions are, wondering if they are orphans and if they have a surviving parent. I don't think that lions care about their children in quite the same way as humans do. 'Edasure' says Sunny, meaning 'Maybe someday we can rescue these lions.' I was just about to mention that they should really focus on rescuing themselves, when Violet does it for me. Thanks Vi.

At the rollercoaster they set to work getting the ivy off the carts. Sunny says 'Easy' and gets to work with her teeth. While they work they run through all the other risky plans they've had in the past. Thus far they've all served them quite well, even Sunny adds 'Whaque' meaning ' Or pretending to be surgeons' which was perhaps the riskiest of all. They're getting riskier and riskier and everything comes together in the end, so we should be fairly optimistic about this one really.

Even Violet is feeling optimistic, and it tends to take a lot to make her feel optimistic. She then establishes that the axles are fine and then gazes off into the distance where they can just make out the Mortmain Mountains. Turning her attention back to the carts she establishes that the pistons are rusted away but she can make a substitute with latches from the sides of the cart, but they're going to need something to join the two carts together.

Sunny comes to the rescue with 'Ivy?' and is set to work taking the leaves off, while Klaus and Violet get to work replacing the pistons. Violet's feeling a lot less optimistic as she wonders if Esme will throw someone else in the pit when they all escape. Klaus doesn't even have to think about it before he answers; of course she will.

And soon they're speculating why people actually want to work for Count Olaf, deciding that perhaps it's because they look weird, or can't get work elsewhere and Olaf doesn't laugh at them but instead treats them like one of his gang. Klaus is less philosophical and suggests that it's just because they like to commit crimes. I'd say that's more likely, certainly in the case of Esme.

When Sunny's asked how she's doing, her reply is 'Lesoint' which means 'I'm nearly done.' Just as well because the sun is rising and it won't be long before Olaf is off to ask Madame Lulu his next question. Obviously Lulu/Olivia isn't able to give the children what they want, which is to know if one of their parents is still alive, and if going to look for them is the right thing to do as they might be looking for their children someplace different, so will miss one another. Like that bit of An American Tail where Fivel and his family pass so close to one another but don't see them.

This has happened to the Baudelaires before and Klaus and Violet, because they obviously have time to spare at this point, stop to reminisce for a moment. Sunny says 'Esoobac?' meaning 'I don't remember' because she wasn't actually born at the time when they got separated at a train station and had to enlist the help of 'the local shoemaker, blacksmith, chimney sweep, and computer technician' to find their parents. This taught the children that they were to just stay put if they got separated.

But this isn't an option any more. If they stay put they're likely to be accused of being murderers again or grabbed by Count Olaf and bumped off or something. It's much safer by far to keep on moving!

Snicket goes for a mental wander and in his own special way, after about a page and a half, tells us that Caligari Carnival is no more; all that now remains is burnt and twisted and covered in ash. Interesting how that seems to happen to places the Baudelaires have been. When we rejoin the story Sunny is saying 'Worf' which echoes my sentiments exactly, meaning 'I don't think we should stay put. I think we should leave right now.'

But that's not an option just now, they need to finish their getaway vehicle, but they can't do that until they've got the bit of the fortune-telling machine they need to make a fan belt. The lions are starting to wake up now as well and Sunny says 'Aklec' meaning 'Let's move out' so they all head back in the direction of Madame Lulu's tent.

Already there's a crowd gathering, looking forward to seeing who will be eaten later on, after all violence and sloppy eating is the highlight of any social gathering.

There's a break in the text here in the form of a full page picture. It shows Count Olaf in the fortune teller's tent. Madame Lulu is in full fortune telling gear, complete with turban and hoopy earrings. She's staring into the crystal ball. It's a shame she's a fake otherwise she might see that there's something very bad coming up in her future.

The children walk straight into one of the audience members from the previous day, who takes this time to berate them for not looking like other people and the children are asked when the show will start. This is Olaf's cue. It's right now!

He's just heard his fortune and he's heard exactly what he wanted, so it's time to get the show underway.

Just what that fortune is, we'll have to wait to find out though, it's time to head to the lion pit.

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