Sam

The Spy

 

June 28, 1914, London

 

Mr. Hobbins is sitting in a cafe on Lancaster Avenue in London talking to himself.  He has just came back from Africa and is hungry for entertainment. He opens the Daily Mirror and reads: “Tensions rise in the Balkans”.  He smiles.

Across the street, a man runs as fast as he can into his hotel room where there is a gun in the dresser. He is being chased by two men in black suits. The man hears the black-suited men and runs towards Mr. Hobbins’ room. Hobbins opens his hotel room door and the man comes rushing in with a gun. The man’s name is James. James tells Hobbins that he is in great danger and in need of help.

As they eat breakfast, James tells Hobbins about an assassination that could result in a world war. Hobbins is riveted and presses James for details. Before James can reveal any details about the assassination, two men dressed as butlers came rushing into the room and put a bullet in his head. A policeman comes charging into the room right after the shooting. The policeman sees Hobbins at the scene of the crime and accuses him of the murder of James. Hobbins starts running.

In a flash, Hobbins jumps out of the window and climbs onto the fire escape. The policeman quickly takes out his revolver and shoots at him as he climbs to the roof of the hotel.  Hobbins is looking for an escape route. Then five policemen come rushing up from the fire escape. They yell and say, “put your hands up!”

Hobbins says ”Yes of course.” He puts his hands in the air but then jumps into the chimney and slides all the way down to the main floor. His arm starts to bleed, and yells up the chimney, “oh come on boys what wrong? Age catching up with you”.

He slips out of the hotel into the crowded streets of London. He hides in the shadows of the crowd, while loads of cops frantically search for him.  Hobbins smiles and searches for a telephone. He must get word to the Serbs that the mission is still a go.  

Tim O’brien’s Storytelling.

This is a very different way of approaching a storytelling, the way Tim O’Brien tells the different experiences from soldiers, to show the horrors of war and its effect on people. For example, Jimmy Cross felt guilty for the death of Ted lavender because he was daydreamer of his high school sweetheart. “Nothing else. It was a bright morning in mid-April. Lieutenant Cross felt the pain. He blamed himself. They stripped off Lavender’s canteens and ammo, all the heavy things, and Rat Kiley said the obvious, the guy’s dead, and Mitchell Sanders used his radio to report one U.S. KIA” (18) This shows how he changes, from a kid to a crush leader that will not allow another death and you see his dynamic change through the writing.

Tim shows us different stories, in his eyes and is conveniently gaping his travels in Vietnam to him writing the book. The story had already ended in the first five chapters we know where the story is going, where Tim O’Brien and Jimmy Cross meet in Massachusetts. “Many years after the war Jimmy Cross came to visit me at my home in Massachusetts, and for a full day we drank coffee and smoked cigarettes” (50) We are no longer reading to see how the story ends we are seeing the different experiences that have shaped these men to the people they become.

When Tim O’Brien shot the boy and was horrified off what he had done. It wasn’t to further along the story but to see this experience and see how this affected him in the future. “His jaw was in his throat, his upper lip and teeth were gone, his one eye was shut, his other eye was a star-shaped hole, his eyebrows were thin and arched like a woman’s, his nose was undamaged, there was a slight tear in the lobe of one ear, his clean black hair was swept upward into a cowlick at the rear of the skull, his forehead was lightly freckled, his fingernails were clean, the skin on his left cheek was peeled back in three ragged strips, his right cheek was smooth and hairless, there was a butterfly on his chin, his neck was open to the spinal cord and the blood there was thick and shiny and it was this wound that had killed him”. (192) These are just horrific experiences that show, “the things they carried” it’s about the emotional burden’s that alpha company carries.  

The book shows the horrific experiences, that different people from Alpha company have come to face. The book does a great job to make us feel for the characters and shows us what we are capable off when we are in that situation. It is very interesting to see how people react to different situations and interesting to read. It’s very different reading experience to see all these different stories from individuals that come together, to form the story of different soldiers.  

The character of Nick Buckley in “Peril at End House”.

Magdala “Nick” Buckley, to this writer, has to be one of the main characters,  if not the main character in the novel. This is because of the events that transpired from Nick Buckley’s character and personality. As we see in the book, the writer’s interpretation of Nick is a lying dishonest and greedy person trying to maintain End House. The book “The Peril at End House” written by Agatha Christie is a mystery crime story that takes place in a small village of St Loo. There are three specific qualities that are important to the development of Nick as a character: physical description, and what others say and think about her.  These are important because of the effect she has on the plot as the protagonist and on the other characters in the novel.

In the novel, retired Detective Poirot goes to St. loo for a vacation. As he is walking in the garden of the hotel, he sees Nick Buckley and then proceeds to fall over a tree branch. This is an important moment in the book because Poirot was stunned by Nick and seemingly fell in love with her: “girl came into sight hurrying up towards us. I had just registered the impression that she was a decidedly pretty girl when my attention was drawn to Poirot who, not looking where he was going, had stumbled over a root and fallen heavily.”(78) . On the outside, Buckley is sweet and is a very nice looking girl who is rich. She is seemingly rich and wears expensive clothes.

However, even though she makes herself look like a nice, sweet girl, it has been established that Nick Buckley is a good liar. We pick up this information from her best friend Frederica “Freddie” Rice:   “Oh! well—I’m glad to hear Nick didn’t invent the whole thing. She’s the most heaven-sent little liar that ever existed, you know.”(103).  This is important to the story because later we find out that she had orchestrated the whole crime and had lied to Poirot. This act was to try and gain the wealth of her cousin’s fiance, Michael Seton. Many people have different opinions of her. For example, George Challenger is in love with Buckley, as shown in many instances.  All of her friends are fond of her and want to help when she needs it most. She made up specific “murder attempts” to make her look innocent: “ I’ve had three escapes from sudden death in as many days, so I must bear a charmed life.”(27). She is the main antagonist for Poirot. She used his attraction for her against him.

At the end of the novel, when it is revealed that Magdala “Nick” Buckley had murdered her cousin Maggie Buckley, she had also revealed her real personality and psyche. Only at the end of the novel, when it is revealed that Magdala “Nick” Buckley had murdered her cousin Maggie Buckley, is her true nature revealed.  She is a master deceiver and manipulator).  Poirot reveals how much she hated her friends and her desire to kill Maggie Buckley to gain the wealth to pay off the mortgage of End House.

“Voilà!’he said. ‘The person K.! It was Mademoiselle Nick who shot her cousin, Maggie Buckley.’(176)

‘Are you mad?’ cried Nick. ‘Why should I kill Maggie?’

‘In order to inherit the money left to her by Michael Seton! Her name too was Magdala Buckley—and it was to her he was engaged—not you  ‘You—you—”. From these events we see her true psyche and her real character and why she is so important to the story as a whole.

The writer had created a character with a sweet and good look, but with a deceiving personality. Magdala “Nick” Buckley tried to lie her way to the wealth of Michael Seton this character is extremely important to the book because she is, at the same timethe main character of the book and also the protagonist. This shows that looks can be deceiving.  

The Fields الحقول

 

By Sam Van der Mescht &  Noah Edmunds

In the fields lie one of the most important resources known to man, oil. Oil flows deep beneath the dunes of Iraq, and such a simple liquid can overwhelm one man’s intellect. For as long as there is oil here, there will never be peace.

We landed in Iraq in 0800hrs this place was a shell of its former self. I and the rest of the troops head to the campsite and set up. The Americans had already taken care of the major threat to the area: Saddam Hussein. After his death, the country fell apart, and now it’s our job to clean it up. We set up camp here, on a small hill about 150 feet away from the village. Overhead lie fields.

The sun rises overhead, bringing a new day, new meaning. Our job here has no meaning or no end. We head out for a patrol much like the rooster patrols the boundaries of his hens. The colonel has displayed much interest in the fields, he watches them every day, close, patiently. I approach him “what do you see out there?”, “Profit” he returns back. “For what they are doing here must be of some interest out here in the plains of silence”. “It’s nothing but just sugar cane,  I say “No, there is more”

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The long way to Fortune

 

June 16th, 1919

In France a loud cheer raced across the country, the war was over. The world was a paradise again with all the parties, peace, women and drinks. My story starts at a party hosted by my boss, Joey Gambini. I was at the party with my friend John. It was alive, crazy and in full swing. John and I had never been to a party of this size or seen anything so spectacular. A man approached us saying, “the boss wants to see you.”  We both rushed upstairs to go and see Mr. Gambini.  We knew he always got what he wanted.

 

“Hello boys how is it going?” he said.

“Good,” we answered.

“Well here’s the situation.  I’m losing money fast and I need to do something about it”.

“Well, what do you propose we do boss?” I said.

“One of my colleagues told me you two worked for the French army and know a little something about stealing things.  Is that true? he asked.

“We might know a little something about that,” said John.

“A little something is all we’ll need. I’ve got a job for you two.”

We looked on nervously as the light from his cigar made his eyes shine in the dark.

“I want you two to hit a small bank on Robson street. Little security and a few civilians, just be careful. Oh, one more thing, hide the money in your safe house on Kings street. A few of my boys will meet you there”.

When we both walked out of that room, my palms were sweating. John had a strange look on his face and was shaking like a leaf in a cold December wind. I said to John, “are you ready for this?” He turned to me and smiled.  “I’ve never been more ready in my life ”.

John and I headed down to Robson street at 12:50 pm.  It went exactly as Mr. Gambini planned. We did quick work on the bank, the vault was hard to crack but John made quick work of it. Once we got into the vault, there was a stash of five million dollars. We shouted as loud as we could, YES!!!! As we got the cash and looked at each other, I realized why John was smiling earlier. We grabbed the money as fast as we could. We both agreed to get out of the country, this money was never going to get to Kings street. It was our ticket out of this stink hole of a country.  

When we got to the airport we headed to the one place we knew Mr. Gambini would never find us, Switzerland. Later we landed in Switzerland and left our old lives behind us. We checked into a deluxe hotel called Paradise. We rented out the penthouse and started our new lives of luxury, pleasure, women and wine.

A couple of months later, there was a knock at the door. John goes to open it and I heard the spit of muffled gunshots and John’s head snapped back as he crumpled onto the floor in a heap. Two people come into the room as I dive to get the gun in the drawer. I shoot one of them in the leg, but as I run out of ammo, the other guy shoots me in the stomach. I lie on the floor, my eyes opening and closing and hear one of the men say, “compliments of Mr. Gambini.”

As I lay bleeding to death on the floor of Paradise, I say to the men, “tell Gambini I’ll see him in hell soon.”  Everything went black.

The Prince and the Dragon

There was once a Prince in a kingdom of cruelty. The young Prince was a curious young lad and loved to go on adventures. But his father, the King, restricted his adventures and thought they were a waste of time. So he would remind the Prince, no silly adventures, but the boy did not listen, for he was about to experience the best adventure of his life. While the Prince was sleeping, he heard a crash from the woods. The Prince then jumped out of his bed in excitement to see what had happened outside. He rushed out of the castle, into the forest to see what all the commotion was about.

The Prince was looking around frantically to see what had happened. All of a sudden the very ground was shaking, The Prince looked up in absolute fear, and saw a red dragon! The Prince ran away and hid behind a tree. He thought his life was going to end, he then started to cry in fear. The Prince had seen that the dragon had not noticed him, for he was in incredible pain. As the young Prince looked back at the dragon, the dragon was screaming . The Prince saw that an arrow had pierced the dragon’s wing. The Prince swallowed his fear and tried to help the dragon. He slowly walked up to the dragon and started to pull out the cursed arrow, the Prince pulled with all his might, and in one moment the arrow was removed from the dragon’s wing. The dragon screamed in agonizing pain, but the screaming quickly stopped. The dragon then stood up tall and licked the fair Prince on the forehead. The Prince then laughed out loud in excitement. This is when the Prince had befriended the dragon.

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