Highlight of the Lonesome Night: October 15th

[For the October 14th highlight, click here.]


October 15th

Jack and Snuff head into town to procure “a few last-minute items on the shopping list” (an excursion that involves murderous mayhem). It appears to be a wild night all around, as Snuff summarizes: “Crazy Jill swooshed by at one point, turning a few heads; through the opened door of a gin mill I saw Rastov seated at a table, alone, save for a bottle of vodka and a glass (I wondered what happened to Quicklime on these occasions, if he’s gone internal); a rat resembling Bubo scurried by, a finger in his mouth; Owen went staggering past with a pair of fellows, faces streaked with coal dust, singing something incomprehensible in Welsh; I saw Morris, bewigged, dressed like a woman, heavily rouged, hanging onto MacCab’s arm.” The masquerade extends to the Great Detective, who disguises himself (although Snuff recognizes his scent) as an “eyepatched man with shaggy hair, a terrible limp, and a withered hand, […] selling pencils from a tin cup.” The detective is doing investigative work, but the rest of Zelazny’s cast appear more intent on revelry: “‘Party time,’ Jack observes, ‘before things start to get serious.'” This carnivalesque burst takes the crown as the highlight of the novel‘s October 15th chapter.


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