Friday, October 15, 2010

Chapter 55: In Which the Mob Stumbles Around in the Dark Because It's Funny, I Guess

So this week's Wednesday post is on Friday. Don't judge me.

Previously in Varney the Vampire, the mob watch Varney's house burn and presume (or, perhaps, hope) that he's dead. In Chapter 55 (Chapter LV. THE RETURN OF THE MOB AND MILITARY TO THE TOWN. -- THE MADNESS OF THE MOB. -- THE GROCER'S REVENGE.) is, I suppose, a coda to the overly-long episode of the mob attacking Varney.

The mob leaves the house after the fire burns out (excuse me, after "the termination of the conflagration," because it has more syllables). They go back to the village and, since burning down Varney's house was clearly not enough excitement for one night, decide that they're still bored and play practical jokes on each other.

It occurred to me as I finished this chapter that it was full of accidental suspense. For example, some guys decide it would be great fun to see who can jump over a muddy ditch. Some of them jump in and turn into ginormous drama queens about how now they're wet and muddy and are clearly going to die. Having seen a few horror movies, my first thought was that Varney must have been hiding in the mud at the bottom of the ditch and they were going to discover them/he was going to attack them.

Same thing in the middle of the scene where some guy decides to get revenge on some other guy by throwing pitch at him. As he's trying to figure out how to scrape pitch off some pickets, he reaches down and "found he had inserted his hand into something soft." Surely this must be something to draw us back to the main plot, right? But no, it's just a pail of pitch, and there are some more unfunny antics to finish up the irrelevant chapter.

Chapter 56: In Which the Bannerworths Finally Leave

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