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Bargain

Essay by   •  March 10, 2015  •  Essay  •  540 Words (3 Pages)  •  6,113 Views

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"Bargain"

The murderous short story "Bargain" by A.B. Guthrie Jr., provides a classical example of how one person can only take so much abuse before retaliating against the abuser. This particular story, which took place in Moondance, Montana during the late 1800's, depicts how a Dutch entrepreneur, Mr. Baumer, sought out vengeance against Slade, a freighter that is known to be illiterate, aggressive, and a drunk. The seed of revenge was only planted in the being of Mr. Baumer because of strife over unpaid bills. But this thirst for vengeance ultimately leads to the creation of a plan that would internally cause Slades's extremely mysterious death. Now the obvious question is posed, can Mr. Baumer's murderous act be justified, or was this a clear case of brutal poisoning?

In the beginning of this tale, the initial interaction between the two characters of Slade and Mr. Baumer is made on the bases of Slade's unpaid bills. The outcome of this confrontation was Slade refusing to pay such bills, and publically humiliating Mr. Baumer by twisting his nose. After such events took place Mr. Baumer expresses his direct thought about thee obvious rivalry he has with Slade, "It is not twenty vun dollars and fifty cents now, Al. It is not that anymore" (7-8). Mr. Baumer had expressed the idea that his disagreement with Slade was no longer based on the matter of money, but ta matter of pride and dignity. He had interpreted the abuse he had suffered as not only as a physical impact, but also an impact of his principles. This ides is only further embedded into Mr. Baumer's mentality by the beating Slade gives him later into the plot of the story. These brutal acts of violence gave Mr. Baumer a motive to act out on the idea of murdering Slade.

Now armed with a crystal clear motive, Mr. Baumer sought out to create a malicious plan to murder Slade in a way that would draw no suspicion to him. By taking advantage of the well-known fact that Slade was illiterate and a drunk, Mr. Baumer hired Slade to haul a freight that contained a barrel of poisonous wood grain alcohol. Knowing that all freighters stole from the barrels, Mr. Baumer had insured that Slade would drink from the barrel; this would consequentially cause his death. Mr. Baumer had even planned Slade's death to seem as if though it was caused by the harsh winter conditions of that time. Now all

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