Monday, February 19, 2007

Reader's Diary #233- Dillon Wallace: Lure of the Labrador Wild (FINISHED)

With the premiere of Amazing Race 11 last night and children's ear infections tonight, I was starting to think I might never blog again. But now that the night is drawing to a close, I need to unwind. So damn the pigsty that is the kitchen, I'm not going to write just one post, I'm going to make it a two-poster night!

First, let me just say, the following comments are hypothetical (lest any descendants of Wallace stumble upon this blog).

It occurred to me as I neared the end of the book that the whole thing could have been a ruse. Maybe, just maybe, I thought, in those days before C.S.I. Goose Bay first aired, Wallace could have offed Hubbard himself. Who knows? As the book version goes, Hubbard is starving to death so Wallace and George leave him in a last ditch effort to get help. As they came across some mouldy flour they had cached earlier, Wallace tries to take it back to Hubbard while George continues on. In the end, their efforts were in vain. Wallace never found Hubbard. Instead, rescuers (sent back by George) found Wallace and later tracked down the body of Hubbard.

But...it's entirely possible that as George went off to get help, Wallace found Hubbard rather quickly and smothered him, then moved on and pretended never to have found him at all. Why, what motive? Let's see... Maybe to put him out of his misery. Maybe reciprocated love (okay, that one is really unsubstantiated!). Maybe to get the book deal himself. I really don't have anything to base any of this on except for the praise Wallace heaped on Wallace posthumously. It seemed a bit much, almost forced, as someone might do who is feeling guilty and/or trying to avoid suspicion. Besides, I just wanted to throw the scenario out there to comment on how far we've come in terms of criminal investigations. I say smothered, by the way, because the discoverers surely would have noticed had Wallace shot, bludgeoned, or stabbed Hubbard to death, but I doubt they would have had the expertise to recognize smothering and in the end, they quickly jumped to the most logical conclusion. As far as I know, the matter has never been questioned. Inquiry! Inquiry, I say!

Asides from that, the only additional comment I'd like to make is on the character of George. As I mentioned before, this book is (or was) taught in high schools all across Newfoundland and Labrador. Because I dodged that experience under mysterious circumstances, I don't know how teachers approach this task. However, if they don't do character comparisons, I'd be very surprised. I found myself doing this quite often. Unintentionally (this is nonfiction after all), George provided much needed comic relief and grounding. As Hubbard and Wallace quoted Kipling and philosophized about loneliness, George shook his head and killed grouse. Discuss the theme of practicality versus romanticism as it is represented through Hubbard, Wallace, and George (10 pts)...

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