09 January 2011

Yesterday's bloodbath in Tucson was prefigured, as so much else has been, in the work of Cormac Mccarthy. Here's some of what happened in Tucson in his novel Blood Meridian:

Captain, we're going to have to take whoever's responsible for the death of Mr Owens into custody.
Glanton looked up. Who's Mr Owens? he said.
Mr Owens is the gentleman who ran the eatinghouse down here. He's been shot to death.
Sorry to hear it, said Glanton. Set down.
Couts ignored the invitation. Captain, you dont aim to deny that one of your men shot him do you?
I aim exactly that, said Glanton.
Captain, it wont hold water.
The judge emerged from the darkness. Evening, Lieutenant, he said. Are these men the witnesses?
Couts looked at his corporal. No, he said. They aint witnesses. Hell, Captain. You all were seen to enter the premises and seen to leave after the shot was fired. Are you going to deny that you and your men took your dinner there?
Deny ever goddamned word of it, said Glanton.
Well by god I believe I can prove that you ate there.
Kindly address your remarks to me, Lieutenant, said the judge. I represent Captain Glanton in all legal matters. I think you should know first of all that the captain does not propose to be called a liar and I would think twice before I involved myself with him in an affair of honor. Secondly I have been with him all day and I can assure you that neither he nor any of his men have ever set foot in the premises to which you allude.
The lieutenant seemed stunned at the baldness of these disclaimers. He looked from the judge to Glanton and back again. I will be damned, he said. Then he turned and pushed past the men and quit the place.

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