My four observations about this chapter:
1) We meet Miss Bonnie for the first time. She’s sassy – throws a dude over the railing, yells at Gunther for shooting his gun inside the joint, and offers to help Slade when no one else will.
2) I never intended it but there’s an ongoing theme of “employee/employer” loyalty. Being a good employee means sticking by your boss even when you think a different course of action is warranted.
(Obviously, I don’t advocate taking that to a ridiculous level – i.e. if your boss orders you to do something super evil, you should walk away).
Thus, Gunther gives a rousing speech in an attempt to find some volunteers to help Slade fend off the Buchanans. He does this even though in the first chapter, he tried to talk Slade out of the whole thing.
So if your idea is rejected, still do your best with the idea the boss is angling for.
(We’ll see this concept later with Blythe and his dealings with the Legion Corporation Board of Directors. Although in that case, there is much evil happening.)
3) Gunther is a bit of an homage to Festus on Gunsmoke. Every episode, Festus would tell his boss, Matt Dillon, that his idea was the dumbest idea he ever heard, sure to get everyone killed, and then after his protests fail, he’d be the first to have Dillon’s back.
4) Scenes like this also happen in westerns. The hero and the townsfolk would often be at odds as to what to do about the bad guys. Townsfolk would often pressure the hero to just let the bad guys do what they want lest the bad guys engage in even more evildoing.
Thus, Blake and Townsend sort of become like those old man muppets in the Muppet Theater, constantly heckling Kermit the Frog and telling him how much he sucks without offering an idea of their own.
The Bonnie Lass. It was named for its owner and proprietor, one Miss Bonnie Lassiter, declared by the populace to be the most beautiful woman in all of Highwater. A wood carved outline of her sultry shape adorned the sign hanging above the swinging set of double doors to her saloon.
Gunther strolled on in.
Drinking. Gambling. Wine, women, and song. Women especially. Ladies of the evening, even though it was daytime.
A fight over a fixed card game was in full swing. Grown men punched one another and slammed their opponents in the back with wooden chairs that conveniently splintered and cracked into pieces upon impact. There was even a fair amount of glass bottles being cracked over heads with reckless abandon.
The ladies were quite bored with it all. They milled about the bar, clad in fancy, frilly lace dresses, their hair done up perfectly, faces painted like…
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