Three. This is the number of your fate.
Welcome to A Read of the Dark Tower series. Join me each week as I, Constant Reader, tackle the magnum opus of Stephen King’s career for the first time. If you want to discuss in general terms or talk about these first sections, join me by commenting here.
When we last saw Roland at the end of the chapter called “Bitter Medicine,” he had been horrified by the connections between his new “host,” Jack Mort — whom he at first thought was the Man in Black — as he made plans to kill the boy Jake. Mort also recalled pushing the brick that hit the five-year-old Odetta Holmes and pushing the twenty-something Odetta off the train platform that ultimately cost her legs. This week, we’ll read “The Honeypot,” the second chapter of the section called “The Pusher.”
The Drawing of the Three — The Honeypot, Section 1
We’re back on the beach with Detta Walker (remember, last week Roland looked back from his vantage point in Jack Mort’s body and saw her shadow near the doorway). Looks like we’re picking up shortly after Roland went through the door. Detta’s up in the hills, watching Eddie wander around calling for Odetta.
At first, Detta thinks she’ll wait until Eddie falls asleep, then will kill him and drag his body into the hills. She can then shoot Roland’s (aka Really Bad Man’s) body. She realizes, however, that if she kills Roland she has no way to get back to her own world, and in order to manipulate Ro she needs Eddie alive.
What Constant Reader Learns: We get a reminder of how young Eddie is as Detta observes “you might have taken him for a growed man except for the three or four times he passed close to her…and you saw he wasn’t nothing but a kid still.” Age, of course, is relative in this world, and we knew Odetta is older than Eddie, but I wonder if, in her mind, Detta is older than Odetta? Oh well, guess it doesn’t matter…I think Roland’s about 250 in “world-has-moved-on” years, which is sort of like dog years, only not.
The Drawing of the Three — The Honeypot, Section 2
We’re told by a bit of authorial intrusion that Detta is deeply sly (duh, who’d have guessed) but also deeply insecure, which leads her to think anyone smarter than her is also deeply sly. This is the explanation for her instinctive distrust of Roland. She’d watched Ro’s ammo demonstration with Eddie and realized it was meant to send a message to her; that Eddie was armed with live ammo.
She wonders if Roland purposely loaded the gun she took from Eddie with bad shells, just to trick her into showing herself when she inevitably took advantage of Eddie. “Nice try, honky,” she thinks.
What Constant Reader Learns: I’m kind of tired of wandering around in Detta’s head, frankly, but Stephen King does a good job of presenting a paranoid rationale here, and I’m anxious to see what horrors Detta plans to visit on poor Eddie.
The Drawing of the Three — The Honeypot, Section 3
Two hours pass while Eddie continues to call for “Odetta” (and “how [Detta] hated the sound of that name”). Finally, though, Eddie goes back to the beach and sits by the wheelchair. As he touches the wheel and sighs for his lost love Odetta (okay, I’m snarkily embellishing a bit), Detta feels a sharp pain in her head and seems to hear a voice demanding or calling. She squelches it down.
Eddie fights sleep, but keeps nodding off. Finally, he falls over on the sand and falls asleep. She waits twenty minutes to make sure Eddie’s soundly sleeping, then pulls herself down to the beach using her arms. Along the way, she picks up a jagged chunk of rock.
What Constant Reader Learns: Ooh, love the image of Odetta fighting to “come forward,” as Roland would say, and Detta stomping her down. “Not now,” Detta tells her, “maybe not ever again.”
Later, after Eddie falls asleep, Detta is “surprised, disgusted, and frightened to feel a sudden stab of pity for the white boy down there.” Then, when she reminds herself that Eddie and the Really Bad Man had tried to poison her, a question occurred to her: if they needed her, why did they try to poison her? That question scares her too, so it’s interesting that Odetta is asserting herself. Maybe that was the whole point of the silly Odetta-Eddie love story — Odetta needs a strong-enough reason to fight Detta, and maybe saving Eddie becomes her reason. Of course maybe I’m also grasping at sand-covered straws.
The Drawing of the Three — The Honeypot, Section 4
Detta’s plan, we’re told, is to kill Eddie with the rock, take his gun, and wait for Roland to return — at which time she’ll give him a choice — take her back to her world or die. She figures with Roland sick and missing some fingers, she can take him even if he refuses or the gun doesn’t fire.
As she approaches Eddie, though, that other voice in her head asks: What if the Really Bad Man knows the second she kills Eddie? It is enough to plant a seed of doubt that if she kills Eddie and ruins Roland’s quest for his tower, Ro might do anything, with nothing to lose.
Detta spots the rope they’d used to tie her in the wheelchair and comes up with another plan. She crawls toward Roland’s man-purse and looks through the door, seeing a frightened druggist in a drugstore and a gun pointing straight at his face. Detta knows Roland’s busy, and she’s got to move.
Detta begins working with the ropes, and we don’t see what she’s doing until she loops the noose around Eddie’s neck and pulls it taut.
What Constant Reader Learns: Wish Detta had time to go through Roland’s man-purse in more depth. I’d like to see what’s in there myself. I did think this was a clever way of showing us what Roland’s up to…I’d been wondering how he planned to get his drugs.
Eddie’s lying on his side on the beach, snoring, so I’m not sure how “Detta threw the noose around his neck” but who am I to question such things?
Eddie, my man, you are so screwed.
The Drawing of the Three — The Honeypot, Section 5
Eddie has a rude awakening as he feels himself being dragged backward by his neck. Detta tells him if he’ll quit struggling she’ll let up on the rope. He realizes she’s taken the gun.
She tells him to put his hands behind him and slip them through another loop. He tries to threaten her with the Wrath of Roland, but she’s not buying.
What Constant Reader Learns: LOL. Roland hears Eddie’s voice in his head: “This is what romance gets you — a noose around your neck and a crazy woman with two guns somewhere behind you.” This might be my favorite line in a long time.
When Eddie calls her “Odetta,” Detta almost chokes him for sure. I’m not sure even she understands why she reacts to that name so violently. Not yet anyway.
We get a glimpse of Detta through Eddie’s eyes, and she could use that shower and shopping trip to Macy’s herself: She’d used Roland’s knife to slash her dress to make “holsters” for the guns, and the rest of the dress was “filthy and torn.”
The Drawing of the Three — The Honeypot, Section 6
With growing horror, Eddie realizes Detta’s plan for him. Once she has his hands in the second loop behind his back, she pushes him on his side and tells him to raise his heels to his butt. He balks, but she has the gun against his temple and he’s afraid to risk it. So he does as she orders, and finds himself trussed up like a turkey. If he relaxes his legs, he’ll choke himself.
She drags him down the beach well below the high tide line, and he realizes she’s making him a “honeypot,” a term he’d learned from his brother Henry. She figures Roland will come back and try to save Eddie, and she’ll be able to get the jump on him and force him to send her back to her own world.
Eddie knows it’s not the high tide he has to worry about…it’s only a few hours before the lobstrosities come out, and he’ll be dinner.
What Constant Reader Learns: Okay, I know Detta would have great upper body strength because of her wheelchair, and Eddie’s run-down and exhausted (although Detta hasn’t been eating at all). So I’m having to suspend a lot of disbelief that she’s able to haul Eddie up and down the beach so easily holding a rope in her teeth while also propelling herself with her arms. Never mind how she learned to tie such complex knots…and how freaking LONG is that rope? Okay, got that out of my system.
Holy crap, Eddie. I swear I’d have made her shoot me before I put my feet in that noose. You are in such trouble.
The Drawing of the Three — The Honeypot, Section 7
Eddie is in misery, wondering which will come first — being eaten by the lobstrosities, or choking himself because his legs are cramping and in agony from having to hold them tightly against his body.
What Constant Reader Learns: Wait, what? You can’t leave us hanging there!
That’s it for this week! Next week — same time, same place (well, next Monday before noon, really) — we’ll read “Roland Takes His Medicine,” the third chapter of the section entitled “The Pusher.”