dorinda: James West and Artemus Gordon (Wild Wild West) gazing at each other. (jim&artie)
[personal profile] dorinda posting in [community profile] milk_and_orchids
The Rubber Band, I think, is where many of the tropes of the Wolfe corpus start to settle down into their familiar patterns. Plus, it has a few of my fannishly-favorite passages!



THE BEGINNING

It starts with Archie being all BORED NAO POKE POKE (as in League), with a lot of badgering. The badgering in this book in general feels much more robust and zingy, with less of the youthful-hero-worship of Fer de Lance. They have many vigorous (and bantery) back-and-forths, and the power dynamic seems more even--as, for instance, later on when Archie starts a sally with an unapologetic "Don't be so damn snooty."

The dart game at the beginning also gives us a nice glimpse into things like 1) Archie The Unreliable Narrator and 2) Physically-Skillful Wolfe. For instance:
What I mean to convey is, it would have been a swell game for a little girls' kindergarten class; no self-respecting boy over six months of age would have wasted much time with it. [...] Over a period of two months Nero Wolfe nicked me for a little worse than eighty-five bucks, playing draw with the Joker and deuces wild, at two bits a go. There was no chance of getting any real accuracy with it, it was mostly luck.

Archie showers the game with scorn, as if it is too sissy and he too much the Red-Blooded American Man to care about it...and at the same time, in this game that's "mostly luck," Wolfe has been consistently stripping Archie of his pocket money for months. Archie's no slouch at darts, either--we see him landing accurate shots into the picture of Clivers. It's just that Wolfe is better (at his STUPID DUMB-LUCK BABY GAME HMF). So if you're ever wondering whether Archie is the kind who might Protest Too Much...yep. :D

THIS IS MY ARCHIE, HE IS AWESOME

One of my favorite tropes that's solidified in this book is the call-and-response bit where a client who wants to tell Wolfe something sensitive/secret will eye Archie suspiciously or even ask that he be sent away, and Wolfe makes an unhesitating and unqualified statement of praise for/trust in Archie. Here it goes like this:
"Is, as I say, confidential." Perry cleared his throat, glancing at me as I opened up my notebook. "I suppose Mr. ..."

"Goodwin." Wolfe poured a glass of beer. "Mr. Goodwin's discretion reaches to infinity. Anything too confidential for him would find me deaf."

Keep an eye out for those. The variations are mighty sweet, and always a pleasure. (Fer de Lance does have a wonderful moment of 'Wolfe highly praising Archie to the client in front of Archie,' when he says to Sarah Barstow, "Mr. Goodwin is a man of discretion, common decency, and immeasurable valor"--but it wasn't yet refined into the two-step version.)

A PENCHANT FOR COWBOYS

The Rubber Band is the first book with a touch of the American (Old) West about it:

-- For one thing, we have Harlan Scovil, a sample of a certain kind of masculinity--subtype, Rural American West--that Archie seems to really like (we see more of this in later stories and books). They don't meet for long, but Scovil's unpretentiousness and rough-hewn down-to-earth nature seem to get high marks. Not to mention his physicality. When he heads for a chair, according to Archie, "He panthered for it."

-- Also, the plot is founded on an event with a very Old West flavor that happened in 1897--which, as [personal profile] liviapenn remarked in the Fer de Lance post, feels weird, especially after reading books at the very end of the series. 1897, and that whole event with the lynch mob and the daring escape on horseback, is well within living memory of many of the characters. (Not to mention WWI--even Clara Fox, the ingenue, was past the age of reason by then.)

A FEW RECURRING CHARACTERS AND THEIR NATURES:

SAUL
In this book, Saul seems finally to be in the place he'll occupy for the rest of the corpus: stealth superhero. We get Archie's very high opinion of him, but also Wolfe's:

-- Archie re-introduces him to us with "He can't push over buildings because he simply hasn't got the size, but there's no other kind of a job he wouldn't earn his money on," and mentions Saul's dazzling photographic memory for faces.

-- Wolfe, in his turn, says "Miss Lindquist, this is Mr. Saul Panzer. I would trust him further than might be thought credible." Plus, later, it's dinnertime and he sends Johnny Keems home while keeping Saul (Saul's presence at the dinner table is not mentioned, but it's not ruled out, either).

We don't yet have the palling-around and cameraderie of Saul & Archie's regular card games, nor yet an onstage glimpse of Saul's personal friendship with Wolfe, but those are only a matter of time.

KEEMS
Johnny Keems still has that combination of attractiveness, vanity, and a presumed desire for Archie's job that is all later given to Orrie. Archie harps a couple times on how handsome Johnny is, and how he's angling for Archie's chair,
Which doesn't bother me a bit, because I know Wolfe would never be able to stand him. He puts slick stuff on his hair and he wears spats, and he would never get the knack of keeping Wolfe on the job by bawling him out properly. I know what I get paid high wages for, though I've never been able to decide whether Wolfe knows that I know.

(Doesn't bother you a BIT, honey, I'm sure. That's why you keep bringing it up, along with how good looking he is. *pat pat*)

(Also, there's that distilled focus on Archie's job partly being goading and gadflying. So this is the answer to [personal profile] liviapenn's question in the Fer de Lance post, about when Archie first mentioned it.)

CRAMER
Actually lights and smokes his cigar! (Though he chews them as well.)

ROWCLIFF & HOMBERT
Now we get a couple of recurring antagonists. There's Lieutenant Rowcliff, who gets off on the worst of wrong feet with Wolfe and Archie by invading the Browstone with a search warrant. His relationship with them never recovers.

Police Commissioner Hombert spends his onstage time huffing and puffing and threatening and goggling his eyes. He's sort of delightful in a relentless and totally wrongheaded way.

ETHELBERT (!) HITCHCOCK
Wolfe's counterpart in England, who comes in handy in the next book as well.

HENRY H. BARBER
Their lawyer at this point--no Nathaniel Parker yet.

WOLFE AND WOMEN

You know, here Wolfe doesn't appear as disturbed by women, it seems to me, as he does later. In this book, he has that Lewis-Carroll-style list of things for which women are best-adapted ("chicanery, sophistry, self-adornment, cajolery, mystification and incubation") which seems more like disdain than perturbation, a much cooler and more distant frame of mind--and more importantly, this disdain doesn't actually have any material effects.

Like, here it's Wolfe's idea that Clara Fox stay the night; there are later books in which Archie has to push fiercely for that sort of thing and doesn't always succeed. And in any case, Wolfe actually seems to approve of her from the beginning, the way he smiles at her levelheadedness and recites poetry and hums to her a bit over dinner.

Not to mention that, when she's going hysterical after Walsh gets killed, "Wolfe stepped to her and put his hand on her shoulder." !!! In later books, when a woman is revving up to cry or otherwise display uncontrolled emotions, Wolfe becomes visibly uncomfortable or even fearful, demanding/begging that Archie do something, make her stop. We see no sign of that here, nor of Archie's later awareness of Wolfe's aversion to hysterics (and thus the way he'll later work hard to keep female clients/witnesses from breaking down, or worry privately over their composure, fearing a disruption of the investigation when Wolfe flips out).

ARCHIE AND WOMEN

Here we have one of Archie's motivational "don't make me leave you for a woman" moments:
"If you take the case on we'll at least get expenses, and if you don't take it on Clara Fox may get five years for grand larceny and I'll have to move to Ossining so as to be near her and take her tidbits on visiting day. Balance the mud-shoveling against the loss of my services--but that sounds like visitors. I'll finish my appeal later."

He doesn't really keep on with this idea, though--certainly not like he does in some of the other stories and books. Not even much to himself, really, even before Horrocks is on the scene. And in re: Horrocks--the dynamic of "young levelheaded ingenue pursued by a sort of dopey, easily-led young man" reminds me of a similar relationship coming up in The Red Box.

...SPEAKING OF WOMEN, HERE'S THE ERSATZ MARRIAGE

Clara Fox is the one bringing it to the fore this time:
"You know, Mr. Goodwin, this house represents the most insolent denial of female rights the mind of man has ever conceived. No woman in it from top to bottom, but the routine is faultless, the food is perfect, and the sweeping and dusting are impeccable. I have never been a housewife, but I can't overlook this challenge. I'm going to marry Mr. Wolfe, and I know a girl that will be just the thing for you, and of course our friends will be in and out a good deal. This place needs some upsetting."

...but of course Archie puts the kibosh on that homewrecking tout de suite.

PAST CASES

An interesting mixture here, of 'past cases' we've never seen, and a past case that's actually recent enough for us to be in on it:
Cramer, chewing his cigar, looked at him. "You know something, Wolfe? Someday you're going to fall off and get hurt."
"You said those very words to me, in this room, eight years ago."

and
It was Morley who would have lost his job, and maybe something more, but for Wolfe pulling him out of a hole in the Banister-Schurman business about three years before.

versus Archie yelling at Cramer:
"How about that cripple Paul Chapin and that bird Bowen? Did he obstruct justice that time?"

And Wolfe to Cramer:
"As you know, I leave my house rarely, and only when impelled by exigent personal considerations. The last time I left it was in the taxicab driven by Dora Chapin, for the purpose of saving the life of my assistant, Mr. Goodwin."

...which is interesting, because if we aren't coming to the novels chronologically, those lines might potentially spoil us, at least vaguely, for parts of League. But in any case, the reference slips right in among all the other past cases, painting a backdrop of history and cases all woven together.

THE MYSTERIOUS TALE OF THE SILK PAJAMAS

There is something going on here behind the scenes with Archie's pajamas! Clara Fox has been invited to sleep there, and Wolfe says:
"Mr. Goodwin owns some handsome silk pajamas which his sister sent him on his birthday, from Ohio. They are hideous, but handsome. I'm sure he won't mind. I presume, Fritz, you'll find them in the chest of drawers near the window. Unless... would you prefer to get them for Miss Fox yourself, Archie?"

I could have thrown my desk at him. He knew damn well what I thought of those pajamas. I was so sore I suppose it showed in my cheeks, because I saw Fritz pull in his lower lip with his teeth. I was slower on the come-back than usual, and I never did get to make one, for at that instant the doorbell rang, which was a piece of luck for Nero Wolfe."

Archie goes to the door and is nearly bowled over by two cops, and he blames The Pajama Issue:
the cause of my taking something for granted when I shouldn't, since that's always a bad thing to do in our business, was that my mind was still engaged with Wolfe's vulgar attempt to be funny.

My question is...what is going on with Wolfe, Archie, and the pajamas?

-- How should we parse "hideous, but handsome"?

-- What does Wolfe know damn well that Archie thinks of the pajamas?

-- Archie! Why so touchy?! I mean, he's distracted from his actual job, he sounds shockingly stiffnecked about the "vulgar" joking--this, given the sorts of things Archie says to Wolfe without a qualm--and even more, his reaction, from the imaginary thrown desk to his reaction actually showing in his face so that Fritz reacts to it (is it the red flushing of anger? Is it a blush?)...it just doesn't seem like anything he can take in his stride, which is surprising.

AND SPEAKING OF PAJAMAS

...in a related note, we find out that Wolfe gave Archie a dressing gown for Christmas four years ago. And--of course!--it is yellow. The color Wolfe wears next to his skin, the color Wolfe sleeps in. The intimacies revolving around Wolfe's involvement with Archie's nightwear in this book are manifold. ♥

POWERS OF DISSIMULATION

There seems to be more emphasis in this book than in the preceding books on Wolfe's efforts to keep Archie out of certain things, and Archie's disgruntlement over it (it becomes very common, of course, throughout the corpus). Archie claims not to feel too tetchy, though, despite at one point kicking over his wastebasket:
My powers of dissimulation were being saved from strain again. But that kind of thing didn't really get me sore, for I knew perfectly well why Wolfe didn't always point out to me the hole he was getting ready to crawl through: he knew that half the time I'd be back at him with damn good proof that it couldn't he done, which would only have been a nuisance, since he intended to do it anyway.

As more of them mount up through the series--those claims (at least, via Archie's translation of Wolfe's reason for keeping secrets from him) that Archie's powers of dissimulation mustn't be overworked--I'd love to discuss it further. Because...how are his powers? Is he really truly lacking in the lying department? Does Wolfe believe that? Does Archie? (And after all, in this book we do have Archie's sudden anger apparently showing in his cheeks...) Or is the secrecy really for some other reason(s), as Archie claims above?

(I know that on a Doylist level, it's to keep us as readers out of parts of the loop so we can be surprised. *g* But I'm talking Watsonian/within-the-narrative, here.)

THAT INTIMATE PSYCHIC CONNECTION

This book actually has one of my favorite passages of all time! I've quoted it to other fannish friends when introducing them to Wolfe and Archie. It's Archie rhapsodizing a bit about his ability to read Wolfe through their ineffable connection:
Wolfe was drinking beer and I was watching him out of the corner of my eye. I was keyed up, and I knew why I was, it was something about him. A hundred times I tried to decide just what it was that made it so plain to me when he had the feeling that was he closing in and was about ready for the blow-up. Once I would think that it was only that he sat differently in his chair, a little further forward, and another time I would guess that it was the way he made movements, not quicker exactly but closer together, and still another time I would light on something else. I doubt if it was any of those. Maybe it was electric. There was more of a current turned on inside of him, and somehow I felt it.

MAN THAT'S GOOD STUFF. *whew* The intimacy of it, the acknowledgement of Archie's constant close scrutiny and fixation on Wolfe, the idea that it might just be AN ELECTRIC CURRENT BETWEEN THEM. I mean, cue the violins. I need a cigarette.

ATTACK AND AFTERMATH

As in Fer de Lance, we have Wolfe in sudden mortal danger, and Archie's heightened reactions. However, now we also have the final piece of the tableau: Archie's smart-ass remark once he knows all is well.

As a reflex, Archie shoots Perry just as Perry is shooting Wolfe--and then:
I dived around the desk for Wolfe, who was sitting there looking surprised for once in his life, feeling with his right hand at his upper left arm.

Him protesting, I pulled his coat open and the sleeve off, and the spot of blood on the outside of the arm of the canary-yellow shirt looked better to me than any orchid. I stuck my finger in the hole the bullet had made and ripped the sleeve and took a look, and then grinned into the fat devil's face. "Just the meat, and not much of that. You don't use that arm much anyhow."

The diving! The manhandling! The sheer relief, and the comparison of Wolfe's mostly-unwounded arm, Wolfe's safety, to something we know Archie finds beautiful. Ripping Wolfe's sleeve right open like he's Captain Kirk or something. Grinning at him, and smoothing over those moments of jagged emotion with a bit of snark (which surely must be as reassuring to Wolfe as it is to Archie). How much do I love it, let me count the ways!

ASSORTED ADORABLENESS

-- Wolfe winks at Archie in this book. Once, it's more of a signal not to bring Clivers in as a surprise for Muir. But once, it seems to have no function other than being ADORBS:
Having sent Orrie home and Saul to the kitchen, he was ready for me, and he disclosed the nature of my mission with Mike Walsh. It wasn't precisely what I had expected, but I pretended it was by keeping nonchalant and casual. He drank beer and wiped his lips and told me, "I'm sorry, Archie, if this bores you."

I said, "Oh, I expect it. Just a matter of routine."

He winked at me, and I turned and picked up my milk to keep from grinning back at him, and the telephone rang.
...OH, BOYS.

-- Archie physically blocks and forces two cops out of the house at once as they try to get past him. Horatius at the bridge!

-- Some of my favorite exclamatory lines from Wolfe:

* "Great hounds and Cerberus!"

* "Confound all of you! You marquises that need protection, you hyenas of finance, you upholders of the power to persecute and defame!"

(...and in the same speech...)
* "If you want to protect your precious marquis, for God's sake do so! Surround him with a ring of iron and steel, or immerse him in antiseptic jelly! But don't annoy me when I'm trying to work!"

-- It's made clear that Wolfe is a man of appetites, but not greedy withal: when there will be an unexpected group for dinner, Wolfe shares around the choicest food even though that means he will go without some. Fritz offers to serve the guests lower-quality fare, and Wolfe categorically refuses. "If there are to be hardships, I must share them." Awww.

-- Archie offers to dress up in one of these for Rowcliff and Cramer. Come clean, Archie, did you reeeeeeally win it in a raffle?

-- Archie says to Clara Fox, "Nero Wolfe is probably even better than I think he is, and that's a mouthful." I...just can't help feeling innuendoish about that.

-- We have the Man! Of! Action! again, from Wolfe:
"Pleasant afternoon, Archie?"
"No, sir. Putrid. I went around to Perry's office."
"Indeed. A man of action must expect such vexations. Tell me about it."

It's almost like this is one of Wolfe's pet phrases for Archie or something, given that each time we've heard it it's come from Wolfe first. ♥

-- In this book, Wolfe's and Archie's bedrooms are still mentioned on the same floor: "where he had lived for over twenty years, and I had slept on the same floor with him for eight"--boy, that phrasing is so intimate, it's no wonder the books shortly move Archie up a floor. :D

Thoughts? Comments?

...oh, yes, the book also has a plot. *g* I read a review on Amazon that complained about piles of coincidence, but I admit, I don't see it. I mean, it seems super-coincidental at first, and that's why the two cases (and Perry/Coleman as the nexus) need a genius to unravel them and knit them back up. But I think by the end it's pretty clear--Perry first found Clara Fox because he saw her ad seeking the others in the Rubber Band, and he kept her close, and then tried to frame her once she was making too much progress. Perry had already hired Wolfe before, as Archie mentions...and unfortunately for Perry, his high opinion of Wolfe on that case influenced Clara to seek Wolfe out for her own problem. Cue the super-genius and the knitting. I suppose the biggest actual coincidences are either largely-immaterial (Archie talking about Clivers at the beginning because he read about him in the paper) or highlighted as such in the book (Clivers being found over Walsh's body). At least, that's how it seems to me.


How about y'all?

(ETA: I'm having tag trouble...I can't seem to make the tag 'books: the rubber band' stick. Is there a permission I need to be granted, or can a mod do it?)

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-24 01:09 pm (UTC)
jest: (Default)
From: [personal profile] jest
...oh, yes, the book also has a plot.

Does anybody read these books for the plot? Or would that be a bit like reading Playboy for the articles? *g*

My copy of Rubber Band is in Canada so I didn't get to do a reread, but your post made me squeee a lot.


Because...how are his powers? Is he really truly lacking in the lying department? Does Wolfe believe that? Does Archie?

My theory is that Wolfe watches Archie just as closely as Archie watches Wolfe, and that this has made Wolfe very adept at picking up every single emotional nuance that Archie has. It's not that Archie can't lie or conceal his emotions, it's that he can't conceal them from Wolfe. I think once Wolfe got tuned into the Archie channel, it became hard for him to assess how much of that broadcast other people are able to pick up. Kinda like, it's difficult to trust that other people won't notice something if you yourself hear it loud and clear.

GOD, the PAJAMAS! Seriously, Rex Stout, what the hell are you trying to say?

The Man-of-Action thing... Yeah, it does seem to be a pet phrase that Wolfe has for Archie, but there's almost a teasing element to it. As if Man-of-Action is role that Archie likes to play, and Wolfe chides him a bit because he knows that there is a more to Archie than that.

P.S. Tag problem is sorted. All members can now create new tags.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-24 02:46 pm (UTC)
soupytwist: stephen fry peering round a wall (Default)
From: [personal profile] soupytwist
Wolfe totally does read Archie like a book, a lot of the time, and I hadn't connected that to the lying in quite that way!

I also kind of feel like Wolfe is sort of protective of Archie about lying - that it's not that Archie couldn't, necessarily, but that lying is bad for your health and happiness, and Wolfe doesn't want to inflict that on Archie too much if he can help it. Wolfe is a man who values honesty even though he's quite fine being selectively truthful, and the way it's put is always about lying as a strain, a weight and a burden. I don't know whether it's just my slash goggles making it seem like the emphasis is on that rather than on any perceived lack of Archie's, but it always made sense to me. (Not even necessarily in a slashy way - though, um, yeah - but also just because Wolfe's past, or what we know of it, seems to make these things more directly apparent for him.)

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-24 03:27 pm (UTC)
jest: (Default)
From: [personal profile] jest
Good point! I think you are well supported by canon, though it didn't stand out so much for me. The fact that Wolfe will send Archie out to break into people's apartments (and other such dodgy activities) without batting an eye obscured just how often he does balk at outright lying.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-24 02:35 pm (UTC)
soupytwist: stephen fry peering round a wall (Default)
From: [personal profile] soupytwist
The pyjamas incident is another of those WHAT. THE. WHAT?! moments! Like, there are potential theories, but they don't make sense! I think Stout probably meant that either they are Archie's faaavourite pyjamas (in which case: hahaha Wolfe knows which Archie's favourite pjs are, but why would Archie be that upset about lending them? annoyed maybe, sure, but not that much?) or that maybe they are Archie's only pyjamas and he doesn't like sleeping naked (which, no way does Archie mind sleeping naked - unless he sleepwalks, which I think I read in a fic about Why They Bought The Gong Alarm and loved as an idea, but seems unlikely as a point in canon). The theories that are more logically coherent aren't ones that seem likely for Stout to have meant: Archie thinks he looks hot in the pjs and Wolfe knows it and is making fun of him for it! Archie thinks the pjs don't look good on him and Wolfe is making fun of him for that by implying they'll look better on Clara!

I love that even Archie thinks "Ethelbert Hitchcock" is a terrible name. Hee.

I mean, cue the violins. I need a cigarette. - dude, seriously. I put a post-it in my copy at that point and it just reads !!!!!!!!!!! Cause wow, in Archie's universe, Wolfe really is the sun. Aww.

(Also on the opposite page in mine is Archie telling Clara to keep her feminine wiles away from Wolfe because he's got "three wives and nineteen children in Turkey" lololol oh honey.)

"Man of action" is totally both how Archie wants to think of himself and how Wolfe puts it to be probably both sliiightly mocking and adorable. :D (I also love the "Tell me about it." - it's just so spouse-after-other-spouse-has-had-a-bad-day. Aww.)

Other stuff:

Archie directs "a Bronx cheer" at the gumshoe at the bottom of the steps, and I looked it up and that means blowing a raspberry. I.e. ARCHIE IS MAYBE TWELVE. AT MOST. AHAHAHA.

I think this is the first instance of Archie "shaking down his trouser leg" or similar, which crops up several times later, and, um: what the hell? Does he just mean that when he sits down his trousers ride up above his shoes and then he shakes them over again, or what?

He meant that he had drawn his sword in defence of Clara Fox because I had told him she was the ideal of my dreams. made me aw, even though the next line is I suppose it was me that sat and recited Hungarian poetry to her., which is classic I'm Not At All Jealous! What? Archie. :)

Archie yelling "If this keeps up another ten minutes I'll get Weltschmerz!" is also really cute, especially with Wolfe then going o_O and Archie throwing his hands up like the giant drama queen he can sometimes be. *g* I love the moments where Wolfe is like "Archie, what dictionaries have you been reading?" and it really seems like Archie collects and stores up his more unlikely words just to release them at the right time to get a reaction. *g*

I love the bit where Archie accidentally solves the mystery and Wolfe is like, ARCHIE DID YOU DO THAT DELIBERATELY? and he didn't. Aww. Although the bit that immediately comes next - Archie saying to Saul "If he requests anything grotesque, consult me." - is also kind of weird. I mean, what the hell does he think Wolfe might be requesting?! HAhaha.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-24 03:15 pm (UTC)
jest: (orchid)
From: [personal profile] jest
Archie directs "a Bronx cheer" at the gumshoe at the bottom of the steps, and I looked it up and that means blowing a raspberry. I.e. ARCHIE IS MAYBE TWELVE. AT MOST. AHAHAHA.

NOW I AM DYING! DYING! For some inexplicable reason I assumed "Bronx Cheer" referred to the gesture you get when you fling up a fist with your right arm while slapping your bicep with the palm of your left hand. A Raspberry is so much less dignified. Now I have to reset that entire scene in my head.

I suspect the Shaking Down Trouser legs thing has to do with how mens clothes used to be cut. If you watch old episodes of Man from UNCLE (circa 1960s) they have to shake their trouser legs down when they stand up because, when seated, the hem climbs halfway to the knee. This shows up especially when a man sits with his right ankle on his left knee - I think Archie might mention sitting this way once or twice when he has to balance his notebook on his leg for notetaking. Guh. It makes me a bit sad that I never see men sitting like that except on old tv shows. It's actually rather graceful and sexy.

Archie reading the dictionary and saving up all the big words to use on Wolfe! I'd put money on the dictionary reading, but he comes right out and admits that he saves up new words to try out on Wolfe in Too Many Cooks!

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-24 03:25 pm (UTC)
soupytwist: stephen fry peering round a wall (Default)
From: [personal profile] soupytwist
I KNOW. I JUST. Archie Goodwin: Dignity. Always Dignity. Ahahaha. Love it.

I have never seen Man from UNCLE - though I obviously know you love it! - but I know just what you mean (my grandmother also wears trousers that do that, heh), and I guess I hadn't thought that the riding-up effect would require actual shaking down! Makes sense though. :)

OMG I've read Too Many Cooks and don't remember that: does he really just plain old admit to it? Hahah, awesome!

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-24 03:32 pm (UTC)
jest: (orchid)
From: [personal profile] jest
If were talking 1930s, men's socks were held up by garters, which the trousers would catch on and thus need to be shaken down.

In Too Many Cooks Archie learns some word that means "Chief" and confeses that he can't wait to use it on Wolfe because he knows Wolfe won't know it. It is SO CUTE!

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-24 07:15 pm (UTC)
liviapenn: miss piggy bends jail bars (remains sexy while doing so) (Default)
From: [personal profile] liviapenn

I think Stout probably meant that either they are Archie's faaavourite pyjamas (in which case: hahaha Wolfe knows which Archie's favourite pjs are, but why would Archie be that upset about lending them? annoyed maybe, sure, but not that much?) or that maybe they are Archie's only pyjamas and he doesn't like sleeping naked

I would think that, but then later on, after Archie sweeps the two cops out of the house: Fritz giggled and handed me the gun, and went to the kitchen. I strolled into the office. Clara Fox was gone, and I was reflecting that she might be looking at herself in the mirror with my silk pajamas on. I had tried them on once, but had never worn them.

I presume he means "never worn them to sleep in." So I think maybe it's kind of the reverse of the first thing you said-- maybe Archie HATES the pajamas (maybe he thinks he's too tough and manly for pajamas, especially silk ones?) But he can't just throw them out because they *were* a present from his sister.

Although I have to say I KIND OF doubt the whole "sister" story. What kind of sister sends her brother fancy, expensive (I assume "hideous but handsome" means "fancy and expensive") silk pajamas for his birthday??? Has Archie's sister ever *met* him? Unless she works at a pajama factory or something and gets a discount, it just sounds so unlikely. *I* think you could easily argue that Wolfe gave them to Archie, just like the silk robe in "Fer-de-Lance" which he ALSO just keeps in his closet forever and never ever wears, and Wolfe decides to elide over that and say it was Archie's sister, maybe because he too is trying to impress Clara Fox and doesn't want to give the impression of being the rich old guy who gives silk pjs to his live-in secretary!

Anyway, whoever gave them to him-- I think Archie gets mad when Wolfe suggests bringing them out because he doesn't want Clara Fox to think he's the kind of delicate flower who sleeps in silk pjs. *g*

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-24 07:52 pm (UTC)
soupytwist: stephen fry peering round a wall (Default)
From: [personal profile] soupytwist
I assumed the "never wore them" could be taken in two ways: either he hates them and doesn't want to wear them, or he has only just recently received them and hasn't worn them yet even though he does like them. (Maybe saving them for best, haha. Aww.) And that's why it's so weird - if he hates them, why does he care about Clara wearing them? Although the objection that he is not a silk pyjama kind of man does make sense and also makes me laugh. Hee.

My tinhat and I are entirely on board with your idea that Archie's "sister" is actually Wolfe. LOLOL. (I am picturing Wolfe trying to explain to Archie that he needs to change his manuscript before he sends it to the publisher because it's making him look like too much of an old perv, hahahaha.) It does make way more sense, especially since - um, as far as I know - Archie doesn't mention having living family around any other time, does he?

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-25 09:49 am (UTC)
liviapenn: baby steph brown in a superman t-shirt yelling "I'm superman! Lookit me I'm superman!" (dc: steph's a fangirl)
From: [personal profile] liviapenn
And that's why it's so weird - if he hates them, why does he care about Clara wearing them?

Because it's embarrassing! :D

Archie doesn't mention having living family around any other time, does he?

I kind of feel like he does mention a sister in another book than this, but I don't remember exactly where. In another book he actually mentions his mom coming to visit him and Wolfe, but I'm skeptical of that. (Also in this book Archie makes another reference to Wolfe's mom in Budapest! I thought the earlier mention was the only one.)

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-25 12:11 pm (UTC)
soupytwist: stephen fry peering round a wall (Default)
From: [personal profile] soupytwist
Maybe they sparkle. :D

I kind of feel like he does mention a sister in another book than this, but I don't remember exactly where. In another book he actually mentions his mom coming to visit him and Wolfe, but I'm skeptical of that. (Also in this book Archie makes another reference to Wolfe's mom in Budapest! I thought the earlier mention was the only one.)

I find the mentions of Wolfe's family so much less weird than Archie's, though! I suspect it's probably just because Wolfe isn't the narrator, and also actually has people in his life who knew him then, like Marko Vukcic, but I can completely believe him having at least some relations back in Europe. Whereas Archie seems so completely cut off from Chillicothe and everything to do with it; he doesn't mention family or even friends in any of his random anecdotes, so the - two? - times he does it comes over to me as kind of unlikely and strange. Not that the whole series is about Archie Goodwin's Chillicothe Adventures or something, but someone who talks as much as Archie does mentioning a sister twice in a forty-year career?

(And his MOM? I thought he specifically said he was an orphan, at least once?)

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-25 06:37 pm (UTC)
liviapenn: a man is surprised by a robot shark (reaction: omgwtfrobotshark)
From: [personal profile] liviapenn
He does! He says "my parents both died when I was a kid" in Fer-de-Lance.

But, later on in one of the books, and now I forget which one, they're trying to convince some client to go against the wishes of a parent, and Archie tells this long inspirational story, like, "Yeah, I hated my mom, she was so mean and bossy, and when I turned eighteen I just told her to go to hell and lived my own life! And we never spoke to each other again, but I did what I thought was right!" and the client is like "YEAH! Right on!" and is manipulated into doing what Wolfe and Archie want.

And then after the guy leaves Wolfe is like ".....that's interesting because when your mom came to visit that one time you seemed very close. How is your mom?" and Archie is like "Mom is fine... oh, she says hi by the way."

So there's a couple ways to interpret that--

1) it's true, Archie's mom is alive, and Archie was lying in "Fer-de-Lance," possibly in an attempt to protect his mom from unwanted publicity.

2) Archie's parents both died as a kid and when Wolfe says Archie's "mother" came to visit he means an aunt or someone who took him in after his folks died, who Archie maybe *calls* "mom", and she really is a nice lady who visits him sometimes and says "tell Wolfe hi!" in her letters.

3) Archie's parents both died as a kid and his story about being raised by a mean, controlling person is true, and he *did* tell that person to go to hell and take off, but then when he's writing down the report of that case he throws in the "....but not really, I love my mom" epilogue in order to not give the wrong idea to impressionable young people who in most cases really shouldn't tell their parents to go to hell.

4) *Both* sides of the story are bunk, there was no "Go to hell, caregiver!" scene in Archie's past and there was no nice lady who came to visit them, the whole thing was just made up to persuade the client, etc. Archie was raised by coyotes in the Chillicothe prairie!

Etc., etc., etc. In short I don't take any one thing as particularly definitive. *G*
Edited Date: 2010-04-25 06:46 pm (UTC)

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-26 06:15 am (UTC)
liviapenn: miss piggy bends jail bars (remains sexy while doing so) (Default)
From: [personal profile] liviapenn

See, I think they are probably perfectly fine for the kind of guy who *enjoys* wearing fancy silk pajamas. Have you seen the A&E series? There are a couple of episodes where we get to see Wolfe's famous yellow silk pajamas and I always liked that he clearly has *several different* types of pajamas, there's one that is pinstripe-y and one that has sort of a speckly shiny pattern, and anyway, it always just struck me as very Wolfe. But imagining Archie in a similar pair of pjs.... he would just look RIDICULOUS. They're just not his type of thing.

Why some deserving man in the breadline wasn't gifted with the pajamas thirty seconds after their unwrapping will forever be a mystery.

Oh, I don't know, I think even if they *were* from his sister (say hypothetically, she married some rich guy and went off to live in Paris years ago and occasionally sends him weird random expensive presents) he'd still keep them, just like he keeps Wolfe's presents.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-26 07:59 pm (UTC)
soupytwist: stephen fry peering round a wall (Default)
From: [personal profile] soupytwist
.very spousal, very casually inhabiting that role of the closest-of-the-close, "Hey, if he gets weird, doublecheck with me first." And Saul doesn't bat an eye at it.

This is entirely and completely true. :D Whatever sex is or is not happening on West 35th Street, Wolfe and Archie are just really, really, really married.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-25 08:36 am (UTC)
liviapenn: miss piggy bends jail bars (remains sexy while doing so) (Default)
From: [personal profile] liviapenn

THE BEGINNING

The badgering in this book in general feels much more robust and zingy, with less of the youthful-hero-worship of Fer de Lance.

Archie seems a little high-energy in "Rubber Band" to me. Like a little yappy dog! I think the pendulum swung too far away from "smartass thug" over towards "Damon Runyon/O.Henry-type silver-tongued devil." I mean, "Does she frolic with the gee-gees," Archie, REALLY? I'm just glad he glosses over most of it during the *entire chapter* of him making fun of Rowcliff (while he's searching the house).

the power dynamic seems more even

Yeah, Wolfe is sometimes really mean in earlier books-- "Bring any articles which to you seem unimportant" or other little digs at Archie's intelligence, especially when he's cranky. In this book snarking at each other is more of a game that they both play, most of the time (esp. in that bit you quoted where Wolfe winks at Archie and Archie can't even LOOK at him without BEAMING-- oh, boys.)

CRAMER

Actually lights and smokes his cigar! (Though he chews them as well.)

Also he's still calling Archie "son." Plus, can I just mention, Wolfe/Cramer-y canon moments are kinda rare, but here is a good one-- right after Wolfe gives his giant paragraph-long speech to Cramer, Hombert and Skinner that basically boils down to "YOU ARE IDIOTS PLEASE SIT DOWN" -- Cramer said to Hombert, "Didn't I tell you he was a nut? Let me handle him."

Wolfe nodded solemnly. "That's an idea, Mr. Cramer. You handle me."
...

...........*COUGH*

.... And then at the end of the chapter when Wolfe starts getting DRAMATIC at everyone: "Daylight will serve us better. No more tonight, short of the rack and the thumbscrew. You will hear from me."

Cramer got up too, saying to Hombert, "He's always like this. You might as well stick pins in a rhinoceros."


"He's always like this" n'aaaawwww. :D

Also in regard to the ensemble coming together, there's no Lon Cohen yet, just "Harry Foster of the Gazette." (In McAleer's biography of Stout, iirc, I think he mentions that the introduction of Lon Cohen as a character was a response to a reader's criticism that his ensemble so far was not as diverse as it could be considering its setting, which is true, esp. since Saul isn't as prominent as he would be in later books & kind of gets lost among the crowd of Orrie, Johnny, Fred, Bill, etc.)

WOLFE AND WOMEN

In this book, he has that Lewis-Carroll-style list of things for which women are best-adapted ("chicanery, sophistry, self-adornment, cajolery, mystification and incubation") which seems more like disdain than perturbation,

And, can I just say? POT, KETTLE, BLACK, buddy! Seriously, in terms of being well-suited to a vocation, Wolfe EMBODIES chicanery, sophistry, cajolery and mystification. We certainly know he's not above self-adornment. And if you count the orchids, he's even got "incubation" covered. *g*

Not to mention that, when she's going hysterical after Walsh gets killed, "Wolfe stepped to her and put his hand on her shoulder." !!!

Not only that! At the beginning of Chapter 5, Archie is having breakfast in the kitchen as usual, and Clara Fox has breakfast with Wolfe, IN HIS ROOM. ....!!! Is there any other time in canon when a woman is in WOLFE'S ROOM?

Plus he is really pretty nice to her (in his "tough love" kind of way) when he tells her she's not responsible for Mike Walsh's death. (More on that later.)

ARCHIE AND WOMEN

Okay, so Archie is totally a sexist in a lot of big ways, but there's something really nice about the way he tends to describe women. (On Clara Fox: She had brown hair, neither long nor boyish bob, just a swell lot of careless hair, and her eyes were brown too and you could see at a glance that they would never tell you anything except what she wanted them to.) He clearly thinks Clara Fox is gorgeous, but he doesn't start going on about her *body* in a creepy, ogling way, the way a lot of male mystery authors make their protagonists view & describe women. "Her generous breasts heaved welcomingly at me" blah blah-- and in a *series* character this tends to get even more off-putting with repetition just *because* it's so generic and reductive: there's only so many ways you can say "She was a woman! I stared at her breasts for an entire paragraph! It was awesome!") But instead of observing generic attributes, Archie immediately notices something key about Clara's *personality*, her spirit-- and although he probably *also* notices her body (especially later when she's wearing his dressing gown) he clearly doesn't feel like that's the most important thing to describe about *a person* the first time he sees her. Which is nice.

ARCHIE AND DISSIMULATION

Archie claims not to feel too tetchy, though, despite at one point kicking over his wastebasket

I love it when Archie kicks over his wastebasket. It's just so childish and pointless, especially because we know and *he* knows he's just going to have to pick it back up again; no one's going to do it for him. But sometimes you just have to kick something, and if you're going to, it might as well be something that's going to make a nice satisfying loud noise and fall over, as opposed to kicking, say, the desk and just hurting your toes. I can just *see* Archie standing there, stock still, fuming oh so quietly, and then, POW. "Stupid wastebasket!"

THAT INTIMATE PSYCHIC CONNECTION

MAN THAT'S GOOD STUFF. *whew*

*fanning myself*

My favorite Wolfe/Archie moment is when Archie goes up to bug Wolfe during Orchid Time: ...whenever I interrupted him in the plant rooms he pretended he was Joe Louis in his training camp and I was a boy peeking through the fence. N'AAWWW. I love how in this analogy, even though Archie is telling us about it as if it's something Wolfe does that's ANNOYING (he treats me like a little kid!!) he still can't resist framing the analogy with Wolfe as the champion of the world, and HIMSELF as the adoring little fanboy yearning desperately for just a glimpse of his hero! <3

ASSORTED ADORABLENESS

-- Some of my favorite exclamatory lines from Wolfe:

My personal favorite: "Will you take a message for me to Mr. Cramer? Tell him that Nero Wolfe pronounces him to be a prince of witlings and an unspeakable ass! Pfui!"

* "Great hounds and Cerberus!"

I love it when Wolfe gets dramatic and mythological. To Clara Fox: "And don't be conceited enough to imagine yourself responsible for the death of Michael Walsh. Your meddlings have not entitled you to usurp the fatal dignity of Atropos; don't batter yourself."

It's almost like this is one of Wolfe's pet phrases for Archie or something, given that each time we've heard it it's come from Wolfe first. ♥

It really does have the ring of an in-joke. The thing about Wolfe and Archie and the "past cases" they solve-- it's not just the "past cases" that give a solid sense of these being people with pasts, it's the little interpersonal stuff like that too. The things Archie says, like, "You have forbidden me to use the word louse, so I would say that Muir is an insect..." or, I think it's in "League" when he says "You instructed me never again to tell you to go to hell, so I'll just say... this sucks," or whatever he says. Little stuff like that, past references to previous conversations, etc. I don't know, I feel like these days in a mystery series, all this stuff would be so tightly nailed down-- you'd never get a reference like this unless it was to an *actual conversation* in a previous book, for fear of confusing or frustrating readers.

In this book, Wolfe's and Archie's bedrooms are still mentioned on the same floor: "where he had lived for over twenty years, and I had slept on the same floor with him for eight"--boy, that phrasing is so intimate, it's no wonder the books shortly move Archie up a floor. :D

See also, Archie commenting on Wolfe not liking women: " .... Though I suppose you've changed your mind, now that there's a woman sleeping in your bed--"

"Nonsense. My bed--"

"You own all the beds in this house except mine, don't you? Certainly it's your bed. ...."


AHAHAHAHAAAA. Archie, seriously, you're twelve. "But it's YOUR BED! Your bed that you OWN and she's IN it, therefore, she's a woman and she's IN YOUR BED BRB LOL-ING FOREVER." Also can I just beam helplessly at Archie's traditional BTW, NOT A KEPT MAN!!! interjection, where, no matter how awkwardly he has to jam it into a sentence, he makes sure to remind us that he owns his own furniture, dammit! Archie's Rules of Being Your Own Man-- okay, this is not news to anyone here, but they are so WEIRD. It's totally okay to live in a guy's house and eat his food and drive his car on your personal vacations and errands and cherish his heartfelt and expensive gifts to your bosom-- all that is fine, as long as you make sure to pay for your own furniture!! And Archie did! SO THERE, NOT A KEPT MAN.

I suppose the biggest actual coincidences are either largely-immaterial (Archie talking about Clivers at the beginning because he read about him in the paper) or highlighted as such in the book (Clivers being found over Walsh's body). At least, that's how it seems to me.

Yeah, to me the A and B plot tie together pretty well, and it's explained very reasonably how Coleman-aka-Perry was the cause of both of Clara Fox's seemingly unrelated problems. But the "Marquis found over Mike Walsh's body" thing is just SHAMELESS, especially because it was a reporter from the Gazette who JUST HAPPENED to sneak in and witness everything and get back and write the story and file it for the evening edition and have it printed and distributed *that same night*, within a few hours!! So that Johnny Keems can grab the paper and take it to Wolfe and Archie and that can get the Expository Newspaper Article Flashback and find out what they missed, because otherwise they would never find out. (I guess pre-internet, pre-cellphone journalism was more responsive to current events than I would have assumed, but it's still a pretty massive coincidence.)

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-26 06:22 am (UTC)
liviapenn: the shade, in shadow, looking smirky over a cup of coffee (dc: the shade is smirky)
From: [personal profile] liviapenn
Soooo, all of those listed qualities, plus romanticism and extremely sensitive feelings... Don't they say that the things that we react the most to in other people are the things we recognize in ourselves?

Yes! I was going to point out that we get reminded of that tendency of Wolfe twice over The Rubber Band-- when he's offering to hide everyone from the police, he says "Confound it, I was born romantic and I shall never recover from it" and also later Archie tells him, "I remember you told me once that there is no moment in any man's life too empty to be dramatized."

I really do think that's a major part of Wolfe's problem with women, is that he has serious issues with unrestrained emotions, and being exposed to other people's unrestrained emotions. "Recover from it" is an especially telling bit of phrasing, like it's a sickness and he's constantly suffering from flare-ups, and could be re-infected if he lets himself get exposed again...
Edited Date: 2010-04-26 06:23 am (UTC)

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-26 08:05 pm (UTC)
soupytwist: stephen fry peering round a wall (Default)
From: [personal profile] soupytwist
And all that goes with the way that people crying in his office seem to affect Wolfe - at least once he's actually settled as a character - as if they were physically painful. And I think it's pretty clear that one of the big things he appreciates about Archie is that Archie is someone who cares, both about cases and people, but who doesn't generally let that be overwhelming. He has lots of feelings and expresses them, but he's very, very rarely incapacitated by them. Archie sort of functions as How A Regular, At Least Vaguely Healthy Person Would Act example - not that Wolfe wants to change, but that he appreciates having that balance there, in the same way he appreciates the occasional kick up the ass to get some work done. *g*

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-26 02:47 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] jetparasol
I've been lurking along with this and the previous discussions, including the marriage implications bit, but somehow not until reading this post did I remember that Stout was the author of the infamous 'Watson was a Woman' theory and crack the heck up. You guys!

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-27 08:38 pm (UTC)
liviapenn: "I'll stop writing slash when they stop doing that" (atlantis: seriously john quit doing that)
From: [personal profile] liviapenn

I did that too! I had read the "Watson was a woman" essay on the H/W "Sacrilege!" site, ages, ago, and then was reading the Wolfe novels, and only after reading several of the books did I realize "omg wait SAME GUY."

Actually, I was just commenting about that essay to someone the other day, and how brilliant it is, because the logic basically goes like this:

1) here is some typical Holmes/Watson interaction

2) OMG SO MARRIED. SERIOUSLY UNDENIABLY MARRIED.

3) Therefore, Watson was a woman!

.... and of course since 1941 we've streamlined the process so that we can leave out step 3.

What gets me about it is that he wrote that essay *after* he had written several Wolfe/Archie novels (and the early ones really are the most exuberantly slashy and "married.") *g*

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-27 09:56 pm (UTC)
soupytwist: Jeremy Brett playing Sherlock Holmes, as he should (221b baker street)
From: [personal profile] soupytwist
Okay, forgive my inner Holmes fangirl coming out here, but:

OMG OMG SERIOUSLY SERIOUSLY. "Exuberant" is entirely the right word and it really does seem to be in large part his inner Holmes/Watson slasher coming out. Er, as it were. *g* Like, he clearly loved the Holmes/Watson relationship, but he also saw a bunch of stuff there that he seems to not quite know what to make of (well, we could rectify that for him, but in the thirties that might have been a bit shocking *g*) and so he wrote what is very much Holmes/Watson except his own version, with a reason - Wolfe's refusal to go anywhere - for the necessity and closeness of his Watson character. His own new-and-improved versions, as it were: Holmes, but his Watson admits to finding him annoying sometimes! Watson, who is a proper detective all by himself and given credit for it! Wolfe's mental health issues are parallel to Holmes' habit of retreating into drugs and sitting around for days or weeks at a time, hell even a bunch of the cases are - not ripoffs, but clearly analogous.

And he seems to enjoy that so much, it makes me happy. :D

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-25 08:58 am (UTC)
liviapenn: batgirl rides on supergirl's shoulders as she flies (dc: i'll stop writing femslash when)
From: [personal profile] liviapenn

SUBTEXT PATROL!

And now it's time for... Things That Do Not Read The Same Today As (I Assume) They Did In 1936!

CLARA: She went to the other woman and put her hands on her shoulders and kissed her on the mouth. "Good night, Hilda. ...."

ARCHIE (describing Horrocks): .... Horrocks looked sturdy and wholesome in a sack suit that hung like a dream, and I got so interested looking at it that I almost forgot it was him inside of it. ..... You don't say! *raises eyebrow at Archie*

WOLFE (inviting Clara to stay): ".... I may add that I am foolishly fond of good form, good color, and fine texture, and I have good taste in those matters. It is a pleasure to look at you. You have unusual beauty. I say that to inform you that while the idea of a woman sleeping in my house is theoretically insupportable, in this case I am willing to put up with it.... "

...I just don't even know what to SAY about this. If you gave that speech to a character in 2010 it would be a completely unsubtle giant neon sign flashing "I'M COMPLETELY GAY!" People would be like "Wow. That was subtle. Are you trying to say this character's gay? Because I get the faintest hint that he might be!"

It is so hard for me to believe that didn't even carry a hint of such a meaning! Even in the thirties! I like to think that it's Wolfe subtly putting Clara at ease about staying with him, considering the gross "let me be your sugar daddy" stalking she'd had to put up with recently from Muir. "Don't worry, Miss Fox, I'm not going to do anything creepy while you're under my roof. As a gorgeous woman, you're a great addition to my INTERIOR DECORATING SCHEME."

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-28 12:15 am (UTC)
liviapenn: miss piggy bends jail bars (remains sexy while doing so) (Default)
From: [personal profile] liviapenn

Coming in again to leave two of my Favorite Archie Bits from "The Rubber Band"...

Frustrated and going for a drive in the roadster to cheer up: I doubt if anything could ever get me so low that it wouldn't perk me up to get out and enjoy nature, anywhere between the two rivers from the Battery to 110th Street, but preferably below 59th.

<3 <3 <3 I love reading fiction with a good, solid setting, and protagonists who are really *rooted* in a particular place, like Archie is. The over-specific clarification of the exact location of "nature" is meant to be funny, of course, but it's also something very true and telling about Archie.

Also, why he hadn't assumed the Marquis of Clivers was the killer: Because like most other people, and maybe especially Americans, there was a sneaky feeling in me that men with noble titles didn't do things like that. Besides, this bird had just been to Washington and had lunch at the White House .... As a matter of fact, I suspect that noblemen and people who eat lunch at the White House commit more than their share of murders compared to their numerical strength in the total population.

<3 Sometimes Archie reminds me of a Mark Twain character, simultaneously sort of deeply cynical about human nature but very humanist and hopeful as well, very egalitarian... This totally reads to me like it could be a missing paragraph from "Connecticut Yankee."

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-28 11:19 am (UTC)
liviapenn: miss piggy bends jail bars (remains sexy while doing so) (Default)
From: [personal profile] liviapenn

Oh yeah, I think I was going to say something about that but forgot!

Yeah, I think that's Archie's POV, because then later on, remember, Archie tells about the conversation he and Clara have where he's like "That guy is a sap!" and she accuses him of saying that because Horrocks is English, and Archie explains that he's not anti-English, he's anti-guys that are saps, so there! But, the point is, since Clara Fox is already on the defensive about Horrocks, I doubt that editorial POV is hers, so it must be Archie's.

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