Welcome to Week 3 of the Online Book Club discussion of News of the World.
Did you enjoy reading this section this week? There was so much action in this section. I didn't want to stop reading once I started. And, I really liked learning more about the characters and seeing their relationship develop.
At the beginning of this section, Captain Kidd leaves Johanna with Mrs. Gannet, so he can go read the news. Johanna had a very hard time sleeping indoors, which I thought was interesting. It makes sense that she would be unsettled inside since she had spent so much time sleeping outside or in a tipi. I researched about Kiowa living structures after reading that chapter and found out that Kiowa lived in tipis. A couple of years ago, a Kiowa tipi was actually rediscovered in Oklahoma--if you'd like to read about the discovery and see a picture of the tipi, check out this article.
A lot of the action in this section centered on that creepy man, Almay. Wasn't your heart in your throat the whole time you were reading the chapters about him? I was glad that Captain Kidd was attempting to escape from Almay and his band of men, but I just knew that Almay was going to catch up to Captain Kidd and Johanna. How shocked were you when Johanna ended up being the one to save the day? I had never heard of using dimes to make a shotgun shell shoot farther. Had you heard of that before? I wonder how she learned that skill? She mentions that this is not her first gunfight, but still, I wonder how the people she lived with knew to do something like that? That was wild, and it was definitely effective. I tried to find some information about people putting dimes in shotgun shells, but everything I was finding didn't give me any definitive answers. Let me know in the comments section if you have any resources to prove the validity of this scene!
If you're curious, check out the way this scene plays out in the movie version.
I think one of my favorite parts of this section was when Johanna was ready to go scalp Almay after the battle was done and Kidd said to her, "No scalping...it is considered very impolite" (118). She was such an effective warrior, so it's no surprise that she wanted to do what she was taught and scalp her enemy after he was vanquished. I just really liked how Kidd had such a low key reaction--it was just a juxtaposition to what she was about to do.
I was really nervous when Captain Kidd and Johanna showed up at the next town and had to pay to get in. I just can't believe how much danger they keep encountering. It's all so scary. They never know what's going to be waiting for them just around the bend.
Weren't you sad for Johanna when she was yelled at for trying to bathe and cool off in the river? She was treated so meanly and unfairly. I was glad that the woman eventually relented and felt bad for the way she had treated Johanna. I just hate when people's first reactions are ones of anger instead of understanding of what another person is going through. Johanna wasn't trying to hurt anyone or cause a problem.
By the end of the section. Kidd and Johanna have a definite connection with each other. She's calling him Kontah (grandfather), and Kidd wonders if he should kiss her at the end of the section. Do you think Kidd will have a hard time letting go once he gets Johanna to her family? Do you think she'll be able to leave him, especially since she has already encountered so much loss in her short life? Do you have any guesses about the end of the book?
I hope you enjoyed this section! I can't wait to hear your thoughts in the comments. Enjoy reading the end of the book for next week!