Last week, we began Wizard and Glass by defeating Blaine the Mono and ending up in some when's Topeka, Kansas. This week, we begin Roland's backstory in Mejis and meet the beautiful Susan Delgado.
Thank you for joining me on a journey of Stephen King’s Wizard and Glass (1997), the 4th book in The Dark Tower series. When we left Roland, Jake, Susannah, Eddie, and Oy the billy-bumbler, they were trapped on the psychotic locomotive, Blaine the Mono, crossing through the feared waste lands. Our ka-tet had narrowly escaped the destruction of Lud that Blaine had decimated with gas—but for what? To become prisoners aboard a train bulleting into a desolate hell populated by fierce beasts, with a guide that’s clearly mad. Yeah, it looks like we are bound to have a helluva lot of fun as we continue our journey to the Dark Tower.
*Remember: While this is a reread, please avoid spoilers in the comments. The point is to get there together!
We're back to wacky Stephen King chapters, so the plan is to read a section a week (about 100 pages) and meet here at our usual time (Tuesday at 12 p.m. ET) to discuss major themes, motifs, and reactions. Make sure to bookmark the HQ page for the schedule and links to all of the chapter discussions as they go live! This week, we begin Roland's backstory in Mejis and finally meet the beautiful Susan Delgado. Join us in the comments for a discussion of Part II of Wizard and Glass: Susan: Chapter 1 “Beneath the Kissing Moon” – Chapter 4 “Long After Moonset”!
Part II Susan: Chapter 1 “Beneath the Kissing Moon” – Chapter 4 “Long After Moonset”
A witch, Rhea of the Coos, has possession of a mystical Wizard’s Glass—a pink-colored crystal ball that can see the future with clarity. It’s hidden under her bed when Susan Delgado comes calling. (Finally, Roland’s Susan that we have heard about! We’re immediately invested in the sixteen-year-old that has left such an impression in the gunslinger’s life.) She is bringing gold from the mayor, Hart Thorin, in exchange for Rhea’s services, which amounts to the old hag performing a thorough cavity search on Susan for a quality assurance inspection by the mayor’s stipulation.
Susan is being primed to become a gilly/mistress and, more importantly, bear his child. In return, her family will finally be able to own the land they live on, plus three horses. A “check her honesty” is what Rhea calls it as she prods.
Cold fingers parted the downy hair below her navel; there was a pause, and then two cold fingers slipped inside her. There was pain, but only a moment of it, and not bad; she’d hurt herself worse stubbing her toe or barking her shin on the way to the privy in the middle of the night. The humiliation was the bad part, and the revulsion of Rhea’s ancient touch.
Having proved that Susan is indeed a virgin, Rhea tells her to pass a message along to the mayor that she is not to be touched for three months until the Demon Moon rises full in the sky—which comes as a relief to Susan, who doesn’t want anything to do with Thorin and only entered into the arrangement after much coaxing and guilt from her Aunt Cord. In a clandestine move, Rhea plants the equivalent of a subconscious Easter Egg while Susan is under her spell. Something she is to do immediately after her virginity is taken by Thorin. Any guesses as to what that could be?
On the long road back home, Susan meets a young man named Will Dearborn, who offers her a ride on his horse Rusher. He’s her age, handsome, courteous, and actually Roland using an alias. She’s instantly smitten, and when he begins whistling her favorite song, “Endless Love,” she knows that it is ka. Turns out that Roland will be meeting with Mayor Thorin, and Susan requests that he act as if they have never met.
She looked at Will Dearborn, who stood in the road, shuffling his dusty boots and gazing at her unhappily. The hard look was gone from his face, now; he looked her age again, or younger. “We were well met, weren’t we?” he asked.
She stepped forward, and before she could let herself think about what she was doing, she put her hands on his shoulders, stood on her toes, and kissed him on the mouth.
On the journey with Roland are his close friends Cuthbert Allgood and Alain Johns, all shepherded off by Roland’s father to protect him from Marten. Wise decision, dad! Still, evil lurks nearby with The Big Coffin Hunters—Eldred Jonas, Clay Reynolds, Roy Depape—biding their time at Coral Thorin’s (the mayor’s sister) Traveller’s Rest saloon. They work for John Farson, aka The Good Man, and it was Jonas that convinced his boss to hide the crystal ball with the witch where a gunslinger would be hard pressed to locate it. In an interesting twist, Jonas used to be a student of Cort, Roland’s teacher, but Cort had broken the wannabe gunslinger’s leg and sent him west into exile. Yeah, so there should be a good amount of resentment festering inside him against any gunslinger.
I like seeing Roland in his prime with his original ka-tet and at the beginning of his relationship with Susan. The witch is grossly entertaining, and The Big Coffin Hunters are being established as worthy opponents to our heroic trio. What did you think of these passages?
What do you think of the first part of Roland's backstory in Mejis? Head to the comments and start/join the conversation!
*Remember: Be careful with your comments—NO SPOILERS! We will be moderating the comments and deleting anything we feel is a spoiler, so pause before you post and make sure you're not ruining it for someone else.
|The Dark Tower Reread Navagation|
|Wizard and Glass Part I||| Index |||Wizard and Glass Part III|
To order a copy and follow along, visit:
David Cranmer is the publisher and editor of BEAT to a PULP. Latest books from this indie powerhouse include the alternate history novella Leviathan and sci-fi adventure Pale Mars. David lives in New York with his wife and daughter.