Carnivale
Ingram, TX

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Strega: C | Grade It Now!
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Snake Harming

Varlyn is singing! "Me and My Shadow," in fact, which makes me think of Time Bandits, which, in turn, makes me happy. He strides up to a monument and reads a plaque that says, "In loving memory of the 121 fathers, brothers and sons who perished in the Babylon Mine cave-in, 1921." Varlyn pulls out a book of some sort, and I note that his vest does not fit properly. Which might mean he took it off the body of someone a little smaller than he is. Or I might be overdoing it again. He looks at the names on the monument, and crosses off something in his book.

Time passes. Varlyn works his way around the monument, checking the names against those in his book. Which turns out to be a schedule or something from the Babylon Mining Company. So he's trying to find out who survived the cave-in, apparently. By now, the only name left is....surprise! Henry Scudder. Off Varlyn goes, singing again. Um. Did we learn anything there? He was sent off to find Scudder. I don't understand what he's accomplishing with this. But props to the eagle-eyed posters for noticing that some of the guys on the monument are previous owners of The Book of Matthias. Which is nice, but I still don't see what, if anything, that signifies. I guess we can assume that Buttridge was a Mason, too, and that Scudder's reason for killing him is connected to that. Maybe. The problem I'm having is that once you bring Masons into it, you can connect anything to anything else. They're like the Kevin Bacon of history.

Brother Justin is singing "Me and My Shadow," too, as he wheels Balthus around the new Casa de Creepy. He moves Balthus to a table on the wide porch, and prepares to serve Balthus some Gerber's applesauce. As he feeds Balthus, he reminisces about sitting on Balthus's knee as a child, and how the first word he read was "garden," in Balthus's Bible. Justin abruptly says, "It's going to glisten, Norman. The radio tower alone will be over 200 feet tall." Oh, so that's what he saw in his vision. Norman's eyes flicker out of nowheresville and into focus, and he suddenly spits a mouthful of applesauce all over Justin. Justin wipes his face and blithely continues, "In a single coast-to-coast broadcast, I will speak to more souls than our Lord did in his entire lifetime." Norman does not seem to be cheered by that as Justin concludes, "It's going to be breathtaking."

Ben drives up Old Cherry Blossom Road until the way is blocked by a fallen tree branch. He gets out of the truck and peers up the overgrown road.

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Carnivale

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