Struggling for release from hands

“Queer”, pp. 122. “Elmer Cowley danced with fury beside the groaning train in the darkness on the station platform. Lights leaped into the air and bobbed up and down before his eyes. Taking the two ten-dollar bills from his pocket he thrust them into George Willard’s hand. ‘Take them,’ he cried. ‘I don’t want them. Give them to father. I stole them.’ With a snarl of rage he turned and his long arms began to flay the air. Like one struggling for release from hands that held him he struck out, hitting George Willard blow after blow on the breast, the neck, the mouth. The young reporter rolled over on the platform half unconscious, stunned by the terrific force of the blows. Springing aboard the passing train and running over the tops of cars, Elmer sprang down to a flat car and lying on his face looked back, trying to see the fallen man in the darkness. Pride surged up in him. ‘I showed him,’ he cried. ‘I guess I showed him. I ain’t so queer. I guess I showed him I ain’t so queer.'”


Mook the half wit says Elmer is going to hurt someone (120) — also suggested by the brandishing of the firearm — and he does ultimately at least try to hurt George Willard.

The reason given that Ed Handby doesn’t beat George Willard in the preceding chapter is (114): “The bartender did not want to beat the boy, who he thought had tried to take his woman away. He knew that beating was unnecessary, that he had power within himself to accomplish his purpose without using his fists.”

In the chapter before that is Kate Swift striking Willard’s face and, in the one before that, Kate Swift striking a pillow (either imagining it is Goerge Willard, our out of a frustration involving him.) (Do we know, incidentally, where the events described in An Awakening occur with respect to the events described in “Queer”?

%d bloggers like this: