Carnivale
Lincoln Highway

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Birds Of A Feather

Ruthie is fast asleep. And then she isn't, exactly. She sits up and opens her eyes, which are glazed over à la Lodz again. Ruthie walks over to her dressing table, picks up a tube of lipstick, and begins to write on her mirror. I hope she writes, "Let's rock."

Jonesy is also asleep. And snoring a little. Libby is tossing and turning next to him. She sees the shadow of someone running past the tent. "Who's out there?" she asks. She gets out of bed and snaps, "Quit your foolin' --" and that's when someone grabs her from behind. Jonesy wakes up and gets as far as "Lib--" before he gets socked in the jaw. Another man pulls Jonesy's arms back, and it sounds like they're preparing to handcuff him.

And then we're somewhere else. Next to a campfire, Libby is crying. A man explains, "You don't know me, do you, carny trash? Your man killed my wife on that goddamned ferris wheel." I think that he's talking to Libby, and referring to Jonesy. It's hard to tell, since we can't see whom he's looking at when he speaks. Jonesy, bound and lying on the ground, says that it was an accident, and gets punched for his trouble. Someone asks if Libby gets "the treatment," too. The widower says, "No! I want her to see." And then he rips Jonesy's shirt off. "Look in horror upon his nipples!" the widower shrieks. "Can ye doubt that there is no God?" And then they pack up and leave, because the saying is, "An eye for an eye, and a shirt for a wife." Well, all right, it turns out that they're just preparing the canvas, as it were. The widower says that he wants Libby to tell all her carny pals "what happens when [they] come in and wreck decent folk." He dips a brush into a bucket of tar heating by the fire. Jonesy yells at them to leave Libby alone. And then he just yells, period, as the widower smears the tar across his chest. Don't worry, though: Jonesy's skin is protected by a thick layer of sweat and dirt. He'll be fine! He sure does scream impressively, though. The man holding Libby grabs her head and tells her that she has to watch, or she'll get something worse. The widower agrees, as he loads up his brush again. Jonesy tells them again to let Libby go. The widower says that Jonesy's got a big mouth, and shoves the tar-coated brush into Jonesy's face. Jonesy, you didn't really have to open your mouth so obligingly there. Also? Ack, ack, ack. Libby has opened her eyes just in time to see what's going on, and screams even louder. Jonesy twitches as the's coated with tar. Someone else rips open a pillow. That's got to be the loser job among the vengeance-crazed. "Steve, you hold back the sobbing wife, Jim and I will torture the husband, and Ralph...um, you can carry the pillow." Maybe he's an intern.

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Carnivale

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