The Honest Man

At the beginning of the chapter, the speaker is talking about the last and first time he saw Mason City. The last time he saw Mason City, he “went up there in the Big Cadillac with Boss and the gang, and we burned up that new concrete slab.” The first time he went to Mason City, he went up there with his Model-T, “hanging onto the steering post to stay in the saddle.”

We learn that Jim Madison, the managing editor of the Chronicle, is not a fan of Willie Talos. He tells Jack to go to Mason City and see who “that fellow Talos is.” In my opinion, he kind of sounds jealous of Willie, in a way.

Later on, Lucy loses her job as a school teacher. She says that she doesn’t care. “I don’t care a bit if they wont let me teach any more. I taught six years, counting the term I was out and having little Tommie, and nobody ever said I wasn’t all right. But now they write me a letter and say they’re complaints about my work and I don’t show a spirit of co-oporation.” She then continues to say she does not care. “I don’t want to teach in a school house they build just so somebody can steal money. And Willie don’t want to be Treasurer either, if he has to associate with those dishonest people.”

After Lucy’s monologue about not caring, Willie announces that he is going to run for office, and he did. “Well, he did run when the time came, and he got more than one vote, but not many more, and Mr. Dolph Pillsbury and his pals won that round.” From the mention of Dolph, I’ve had a bad feeling about him….even though I really don’t know too much about him yet.

“Willie was out of a job.” He started working on Pappy’s farm doing chores, and working from door to door to make a little extra cash. Especially since Lucy was also out of a job.

On page 89, we see a small turn of hope for Willie. It says that he was “lucky to have the Sheriff and Dolph Pillsbury, for they were doing him a favor and not knowing it. He didn’t seem to know it either at the time, that they were his luck.” This got me really excited bc I got overly curious and just wanted to know why and how he got lucky!

Alright, there’s like a whole page and a half on how Willie got lucky, so I’m going to try to break this down into a short version! 🙂

Three years after the school was build, there was a fire drill. JUST a drill. “All the kids on the top floors started using the fire escapes.” The little kids came down first because they were unable to use get down the steps very fast. Then the bigger kids. “Because the little kids held up the traffic, the iron platform at the top got packed with kids. Worse comes to worse and the brickwork gave causing the bars and bolts to become loose and break. Three kids were killed immediately. Over a dozen were injured, and several of those were never really got better.

They held a triple funeral for the kids who died. Willie attended and stood modestly in the background, but one of the kids dads noticed him. He said, “Oh God, I am punished for accepting inequity and voting against an honest man!” Everyone started loving Willie. “He had Mason County in the palm of his hand.”

This is a pretty good stopping point! The chapter kind of goes downhill from here, so bare with me. The rest of chapter 2 will be posted either Friday Jan 18 or Saturday Jan 19 !! XO-Ash

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