Content note: Rape accusations, lying about rape.
Last time, Carmen was “confessing” an “affair” with Hank to his wife, Mary. Apparently, when he exorcised her and she fled, she broke the doorjamb on the way out. Superhuman strength as a sign of possession I guess?
Carmen’s also left welts on Hank’s skin with her teeth, and his shirt is destroyed. While he’s changing, the cops ring his doorbell. They take one look at his injuries and torn shirt and cuff him.
The charge? “Suspected rape”.
“Busche has fallen,” said Tal. “Only Hogan remains.”
I’m just… I don’t really have more to say on this than I did last week. I’m just sad and sick. In this one town we’ve had more false rape allegations than should reasonably exist, all as part of some terrible “liberal” conspiracy… “False” rape allegation allegations are a major problem, used to shame victims and shut them up.
Let’s get back to Marshall. Just to recap from last time:
Susan might have gotten away and might be going to meet Kevin someplace, and if so, someone somewhere has a recording of the phone call setting this up, because his phone was probably bugged, and that someone is probably Brummel because he fired his secretary Sara, and he had his filing cabinets moved to make room for equipment so that must be the monitoring system, so they just have to break in and get the records and they have him for illegal wiretapping and probably murder!
Sara is preparing to leave the state, so she gives them the keys to Brummel’s office for $100 cash to help her on her way. Bernice and Marshall head to unlawfully enter:
“Sheesh!” said Marshall. “The last time I did something like this was when we kids stole the neighbor’s corn.”
…wasn’t he from the big city? Whatever. It’s now 1:25am. The recording equipment is, in fact, in place, and there’s a catalog of recordings from an astonishing number of tapped phones. How does wiretapping work, exactly? Could you actually tap half the city with one machine hidden inside the lower half of a cabinet in an office?
They find the call between Susan and Kevin. Susan tells him…. to bring Bernice to a meeting spot at 8pm the next day. Well. That’s already known to Bernice, so that’s hardly useful. As they’re heading out in defeat, Carmen enters, ready to go through the most recent tape. Marshall finally realizes she’s a spy! When confronted, she starts…. sobbing uncontrollably, begging for help.
“Don’t you understand? Don’t you have any heart? I came here for help! I just had a terrible experience!” She built up the strength to say it, and then burst out in a fit of tears, “I’ve been raped!”
I get the feeling this author really doesn’t like women. Women are devious creatures, using their womenly wiles and their wommanish emotions to deceive and trap men, then accusing them of rape to punish them when they get tired of them, amirite? >.>
Marshall is arrested as Brummel and Langstrat show up. Bernice manages to escape. End of chapter 31.
Chapter 32: they interrogate/rough-up Marshall, smirking and gloating about how they’ll find Bernice and how Susan is dead and how they’re totally going to win forever.
Bernice, meanwhile, is in a rough spot:
She could not distinguish her physical pain and sickness from her emotional exhaustion and despair.
She makes it back to her apartment and gets her prescription sunglasses from her car, so she can at least see again.
Hank is in jail:
[H]e had lain down, identifying with Paul and Silas and Peter and James and every other Christian who had ever spent time in a forlorn prison, even though innocent.
Today, you don’t even have to be arrested to do that. All you have to do is be forced to pay for employee’s health insurance. Or insist on forcing people to pray in public and get backlash for it. Or listen to Rush Limbaugh.
The guard was opening his cell door. Now Hank would have to share his cell with. . . a drunk, a mugger, a real rapist? He pretended he was still asleep, but he opened one eye just a little to have a look. Oh brother! This hoodlum was big and grim looking, and from the bandage and bruise on his head it looked like he had been in a brawl. He was muttering something about having to be stuck in a cell with a rapist. Hank started praying for the Lord’s protection. This big character had to weight twice as much as he did, and he looked violent.
I’m sure that’s Marshall, but…
Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
In the supernatural realm, Rafar double-crosses Lucius. I’d almost forgotten about Lucius, but if I’d been paying more attention to the tiny little bits and gleams of demon politics, I’d have expected that.
Is this book almost over yet? >.>