Wizard and Glass
by Stephen King
Roland of Gilead is The Gunslinger. The Tower is his
obsession. By reaching the Dark Tower Roland hopes to stop the destruction
of mid-world, maybe even reverse the destruction.
Ka-tet – one made of many
The ka-tet was on Blaine the Train. They had left the city of Lud behind with its population now dead from the nerve gas Blain had deployed.
Roland, Eddie, Susannah, Jake and Oy were now speeding through the Wasteland at speeds in excess of 800 mph.
Blaine now wanted to riddle even though he planned to kill them in his suicide run. Roland proposed a riddle fest where if they could not stump Blaine they would die with him. If they could present a riddle he could not answer Blaine would let them off the train in Topeka Kansas.
They tested Blaine’s riddling skills. At Susannah’s first and easy riddle, “What has four wheels and flies?” Blaine clicked and protested that it was a silly question. He told them he hoped for more challenging riddles but answered anyway, “A garbage wagon.” They proceeded to riddle and then Roland took over completely. Jake studied riddles in his book and Eddie became overwhelmed by a haunting memory of Jake striking flint to start a fire and Roland criticizing Eddie for telling a silly and ridiculous riddle. Eddie was thinking about his brother Henry and letting his mind run free with thoughts as Roland continued to riddle. Finally Roland said he had no more riddles. Jake then read the last ten riddles from his book. These were also the hardest riddles in the book. Blaine answered each immediately as he had done with all of Roland’s riddles. No hesitation. Jake was so scared he thought they were going to die. Then Jake saw Eddie was trying not to laugh. Eddie had discovered Blaine’s weakness. Blaine did not, could not deal with silly riddles. When Susannah asked him the first riddle he had clicked and hesitated but subsequently he never even paused before he responded. Eddie told Blaine he had some riddles. As Eddie riddled his silly riddles, Blaine became uncontrollable. He started clicking and said he wouldn’t answer such silly riddles. Roland said that was fine but then he had to let them off in Topeka. So Blaine answered the juvenile riddles. As he did so he lost control and made crazy noises, flashed lights, slowed his speed and finally they crashed. They had slowed down so much they were only thrown around a bit. When the train came to a stop, they were all unhurt.
They climbed out of the train and discovered they had passed from Roland’s world into June of 1986. But all they found were dead bodies everywhere. A newspaper story explained a super flu was wiping out the population. It was known on the west coast as Captain Trips.
They realized since Eddie was from 1987 this was not the world Eddie came from. This was a different world. They found a light-weight, very durable wheel chair in one of the parked cars. As they were walking through Topeka they discovered Charlie the Choo-Choo in a public park. The sight of it made them freeze. Only Jake saw it light up. They concluded the author must have lived here or visited this park and then wrote the story.
They noticed they had lost the Path of the Beam and concluded as they left Roland’s world they had left it behind. They decided to continue in the same direction southeast. On I-70 east out of Topeka the roads were jammed with cars and dead bodies. After they were out of town there were fewer cars and it appeared someone had cleared a path in the road.
Along the road they found markings and signs. “Watch for the Walkin’ Dude.” And “All hail the Crimson King.” There were symbols resembling an open eye everywhere.
The group entered the Thinny. Once out of the city the Thinny looked life flat water to Eddie. There was a terrible humming sound making them feel like vomiting. Roland put his wet bullets in his ears and it reduced the terrible noise to a faint level. He gave bullets to everyone and they all felt much better.
They camped that night and built a fire. They saw something down the road, a building maybe. Roland told them they would be able to see it better when they were closer to it.
Eddie and Susannah asked Roland to tell them about Susan. Roland requested they wait until tomorrow night so he could think about it more. They fell asleep and Eddie dreamed. It was a nightmare where the perpetrator turned out to be Roland. When Eddie woke he asked Roland if he would ever betray them. Roland said he had betrayed before to his same but that now they were ka-tet. To betray them would be like betraying himself.
Roland told Eddie the rose Eddie saw in his dream might be the Tower.
The next day they traveled east on I-70 and the building became closer. They didn’t know how close they were to it but they could tell it was made of glass. That evening Roland told them about Susan.
After Roland won his rights as a gunslinger, he went to a tavern and lost his virginity. The following morning a man entered the room where Roland was with a prostitute. His father was enraged because Roland had let Marten provoke Roland into an early test for his title of gunslinger. Roland told his father of Marten and his mother. Roland’s father said he had known for two years. Roland’s father Steven Deschain told him he had to leave Gilead otherwise Marten would kill him. They hugged each other fiercely and Steven gave Roland his full-sized guns. His father also gave Roland an objective.
Susan had to go see Rhea, a weird and nasty witch who lived on Coos. Susan had to be inspected by Rhea to verify her purity; to make sure she was a virgin.
The witch has a sphere she kept under her bed. It emitted a pink glow and when Rhea looked at it she changed from an old ugly witch to a young girl. Susan saw this transformation and kept it secret.
When Rhea inspected Susan she abused her medical observations and molested Susan. Rhea gave Susan her certification and told here not to have sex with Thorin, the Mayor of Hambry, until fall. Susan’s Aunt Cordelia had sold Susan to Thorin for a time until Susan gave him a baby. Aunt Cordelia received cash, land and horses in trade for Susan.
Before Rhea let Susan leave she hypnotized her and told here to do something in regard to Thorin.
On the way home Susan came upon Roland. He was fifteen and traveled under the name of Will Dearborn. Roland fell in love with Susan that night.
Roland was traveling with Cuthbert and Alain. They were under assumed names and told people they were sent here for the Affiliation to count horses, oil wells, machinery, fishing nets, boats and such.
Roland attended a ball and there he found out about Susan’s arrangement with Thorin. Roland was very angry and was rude to Susan.
Later, Roland met Susan and apologized. He also told here a secret. There was something wrong in the town of Hambry. The officials told Roland there were few healthy horses. They told him that the majority of the horses born were mutants. Subsequently, Roland discovered there were many healthy horses. Susan kissed Roland with intensity and then she left asking him to leave her alone until she had fulfilled her arrangement to Thorin, the old Mayor of Hambry.
Roland Deschain’s assumed name was William Dearborn of Hemphill. Alain’s assumed name was Richard Stockworth of Pennilton. Cuthbert’s assumed name was Arthur Heath of Gilead.
Eldred Jonas, Clay Reynolds and Roy Depape got into a real bar fight with Cuthbert and Alain. Soon Roland appeared in the bar. Jonas decided he did not want to have any killing. Sheriff Herk Avery told them all to forget it. He wanted them to stand up, face each other, shake hands and cry each other’s pardon. Otherwise he wanted them all to ride west. Jonas stood up and extended his hand to Roland. They all cried each other’s pardon. Jonas, Reynolds and Depape had coffins tattooed on the back of their hands and the three were called the Big Coffin Guys.
When Jonas, Depape and Reynolds left the bar, Jonas told the other two those boys acted like gunslingers. He sent Roy to back trail the boys and see what he could find out about them. Jonas does not want to cause any trouble in the area because “Latigo and the folks” they have been waiting for will be moving toward them very soon. Until then, Jonas said it was in their best interest to keep the peace. Jonas also swore to them that Cuthbert, who put a knife to Jonas’s back, would not live.
Roland, Cuthbert and Alain knew Jonas wanted to kill al three of them.
Depape back trailed the boys over 400 miles west of Mejis to a town called Ritzy. Here Depape found an old man who recognized Roland as one of the three boys who came through Ritzy. This old man also knew Roland was the son of Steven Deschain, a gunslinger. Depape killed the old man as payment for his information and rode back to Mejis as fast as possible to tell Jonas and the Sheriff the identity of the three boys.
Roland, Cuthbert and Alain rode out to the canyon that was occupied by the Thinny. Roland immediately identified a narrow pass to climb out of the canyon. As a gunslinger, he always identified ways to escape. The sound of the Thinny made them very uncomfortable. They witnessed a monster jump out of the Thinny and take a large bird in flight.
Susan’s Aunt Cordelia was very suspicious of Susan’s activities and did not trust her. Cordelia believed Susan was seeing Will Dearborn.
Susan Delgado got a note from Will wanting her to meet him at Citgo. Susan sent him a note to meet her the following night at moonrise in an orange grove.
Rhea has the pink glass ball and through its magic she saw many things happening in the local area. She had become addicted to watching things people did. Susan felt the old woman watching and Susan told her to stop watching. Susan and Roland went to Citgo and they saw evidence someone was using the oil and transporting it to old machines located somewhere else.
As Susan and Roland kissed, Susan knew Rhea was watching. Susan told Rhea to be gone and Rhea lost her image of them in her pink glass. Rhea was very disappointed because she did not get to witness her hypnotic suggestion she had given Susan. After Roland and Susan made love, Roland fell asleep. The, in a trance, Susan went to the river, found a sharp rock and began to cut off her long golden hair. Roland awoke and found her before she had cut very much and stopped her.
“If you love me, then love me.” Susan had told Roland and he remembered those words as he rode back to the ranch house. Then he heard a horse rider and hid. It was Depape returning with news of the boys’ identity.
After Roland and Susan had made love, Roland hypnotized her and discovered Rhea possession of the pink glass ball and that Rhea had told Susan to cut here beautiful hair after she had lost her virginity. Roland let Susan remember everything she had told him.
Jonas walked Cordelia home from the store. Cordelia was smitten with Jonas and Jonas saw that knowing Cordelia might prove to be a good source of information.
Roland and Susan continued to set up discreet dates as much as possible. They were in love and it was like a drug. Cuthbert was jealous that Roland’s attention was on Susan. He was also angry because he felt Roland was not doing his job.
Rhea continued to peer into the pink globe and watch the activities of everyone. She was obsessed by the pink glass and she never left it. Roland came to her house and warned her not to tell Jonas, the Sheriff or Susan’s Aunt Cordelia about him and Susan. This was Rhea’s first and only warning. Rhea set he snake Ermont to attach Roland. Roland shot the snake dead. Rhea stitched the dead snake together and tied it around her neck. The snake rotted. Rhea kept looking into the glass. She no longer ate and never let it.
Roland was concerned because they had counted everything and the only thing left to count were the horses on the Drop. They did not want to do it because they knew they would discover a far larger number of horses than Jonas and the Sheriff had told them there would be. The three came up with a plan. Cuthbert and Roland rode into the Sheriff’s office. They asked the Sheriff where they should go to on the drop to count the horses as they did not want to disturb the ranchers. Sheriff Avery was very happy with the boys’ notification because, he told everyone, it would give them time to move the herds of horses and oxen.
Roland had discovered the presence of oxen in Mejis because of the huge equipment that was being moved at Citgo.
Coral Thorin, Hartwell Thorin’s sister, went in the bar. She did not want people to know she was an alcoholic but she had to have something to drink. Sheb was playing his piano and Coral drank. She got hooked up with Jonas.
Roland continued to see Susan. Initially they used a mentally disabled boy named Sheemie to carry notes and messages but soon they stopped using him because they feared for his life if he were discovered helping them.
Susan had to put up with Hartwell Thorin’s molestation of her. Whenever the horny toad could he would play with her breast and cum on her dress. She knew she would would never live up to the bargain and be his mistress come Reaping Day. She no longer cared about helping her Aunt Cordelia get more land, money and horses. Susan now saw he Aunt more realistically as mean, manipulative and greedy.
Jonas broke into the boy’s ranch house at the Bar K. He killed the pigeons and destroyed their few possessions.
Susan, Roland, Cuthbert and Alain met and planned. They were going to take out the oil refinery and all the large machines Fannin was going to use against the Affiliation. They discussed how Rhea had known about Roland and Susan and they came up with the idea that Rhea’s pink globe was the Wizard’s Rainbow. Alain hypnotized Susan and she remembering about seeing the pink globe.
Roland approached Jonas and he identified Jonas as a failed gunslinger. Roland told Jonas that Jonas belonged in the west and that Jonas would never find rest in the east. This bothered Jonas more than he wanted to admit to himself.
Cuthbert and Alain buried bags of gun powder at the entrance to Eyebolt Canyon where the Thinny was located.
Roland discovered that Susan’s father Pat Delgado was not killed in an accident. He was murdered because he discovered the existence of too many horses and questioned Jonas’s and the Sheriff’s action. Pat Delgado’s sister Cordelia was involved in his death as well. This knowledge released Susan from all debts she felt she owed to her Aunt Cordelia.
Roland told Susan if their plan went badly she and Sheemie were to take their guns and go to Gilead and tell his father what had happened.
The morning of the day before Reaping Depape killed Hartwell Thorin by slicing his throat. Depape set Cuthbert’s bird scull on top of Thorin’s lap. Then Depape drew an eyeball on the wall in Thorin’s blood. The eyeball was the Good Man’s sigual.
That morning the Big Coffin Men captured Roland, Cuthbert and Alain and put them in jail for the murder of Mayor Thorin. Jonas went inside the bunkhouse to get their hidden guns and only found Cuthbert’s and Alain’s. Roland’s guns were gone.
Susan was initially hysterical with the news of the boy’s arrest. As she rode past her house her Aunt Cordelia threw ashes on her and caster Susan out. Susan got ashes and marked her Aunt’s face telling her Aunt she should be shamed for the part she played in killing her brother and Susan’s father. Susan calmed and devised a plan. She enlisted Sheemie’s help. She stole ponchos and hats from the bar. Sheemie was set up with fireworks. Susan used her father’s gun. She dressed in a poncho and hat and entered the jail. She killed Dave, a deputy, and Sheriff Avery and got all three of the boys out of jail. Sheemie set off the fire works to cover up the gun shots. Everyone rode out to Citgo.
Jonas and his boys went to Rhea’s to get the pink ball. Rhea threatened to break the ball so Jonas set her in a cart and they hauled her and the ball to town. Once they were at their destination they forced Rhea to turn over the Wizard’s Glass and made her leave.
Rhea drove the cart to Cordelia’s house and told Cordelia she knew what Susan had done.
Roland, Cuthbert, Alain, Susan and Sheemie rode out to Citgo. There they set the oil refinery on fire. There were many explosions.
Jonas was with Coral and he thought the explosion he heard was part of their sex.
Jonas was informed of Sheriff Avery’s death and the jail break. At first rattle, he settled down and formulated a plan. He ordered a band of armed men to be ready to travel with him. Jonas now had the Wizard’s Glass and he believed he could do anything. Jonas and his armed men headed for Roland, Cuthbert and Alain.
Roland had Susan and Sheemie leave them. Susan and Sheemie rested at a hut and slept. While Sheemie went outside to answer Mother Nature, Reynolds captured Susan. Reynolds tied her hands and put her on a horse and took here back to the bad grass and joined Jonas’s group. Sheemie quietly followed. Once with Jonas’s group, Susan was accused of killing the Sheriff and helping the boys escape from jail. Lengyll, head of the horsemen’s Association was there and Susan accused him of killing her father.
Jonas told Clay Reynolds to take Coral Thorin to Ritzy. Susan’s face was swollen due to the beatings.
Rhea pleaded with Cordelia for help. She told Cordelia she knew where Susan was and what she had done. Cordelia helped Rhea in her house. Rhea pulled out a shiny coin and hypnotized Cordelia. Cordelia was to go to Coral Thorin’s and kill Susan.
Rhea was emaciated. Almost bald and she couldn’t walk. Rhea had Cordelia cut her stomach and Rhea drank he blood.
Coral Thorin placed Susan in the cold storage room at Seafront, Hartwell Thorin’s place. Sheemie made it into the house and Thorin’s wife found him. She told Sheemie she would help him get Susan.
Rhea and Cordelia came into the bar and Rhea incited the folks to go get Susan at Seafront and burn her for helping the three boys escape. Cordelia stood with Rhea holding her stomach and in a daze.
Roland realizes he is not seeing into the glass he is in the glass. He is in the pink storm. First he is taken to Mayor Thorin’s house then he is whisked to the Drop then up into cold air. He knows he is following the Path of the Beam. He sees a wheelchair and thinks “The Lady of Shadows.” Roland is taken in the pink storm over mountains, river valleys and deltas. Roland heard singing and saw Sheemie’s mule and Rhea on a broom.
Then Roland is falling in darkness. He sees dead fields and death in villages everywhere. This is the edge of End-World. The voice in Roland’s head identifies this place as Thunderclap. Roland sees a tree with an impaled billy-bumbler who cries out, “Oy!” Roland won’t remember this for years.
The voice instructs Roland to look ahead at his destiny. Roland recognizes the voice as that of the Turtle.
Roland comes out of the darkness and sees red blood. Through the eyes of a fourteen-year old that had killed many for the first time, it looked like blood. Knowing Eddie’s dream of red roses, he know knows it was not blood outside the dark Thunderclap but red roses.
Roland was instructed to look and there he saw a dusty gray-black pillar on the horizon. It was the Dark Tower where all Beams and all lines of force converge. Roland sees blue fire from its windows and hears the screams from within. He senses the strength and wrongness of the Tower. Roland knows the Tower is softening the divisions between the worlds. Disease weakens its truth and coherence. The Tower is the world’s great mystery and last awful riddle. As Roland was taken toward the Tower hew swears, “I will enter you. Me and my friends will enter you and we will conquer the wrongness within you.” Then Roland heard the Turtle say, “You will kill everything and everyone you love and still the Tower will be pent shut against you.” The gunslinger gathers his breath and roars, “NO! I WILL COME HERE IN MY BODY. IT WILL NOT STAND! I SWEAR ON MY FATHER’S NAME, IT WILL NOT STAND!”
The turtle tells Roland, “Then die.” Roland is then being hurled at the Tower when Alain seeing something wrong with Roland and the Wizard’s Glass punched Roland in the right temple and knocked Roland out cold.
Olive Thorin helped Susan and Sheemie escape the Mayor’s house. Olive set the house on fire. She took Susan north to hide in the coastal caves. Olive told Sheemie to wait for them at an intersection west of town the next day.
Roland woke up and told Cuthbert and Alain he had seen much in the glass. He told them they were returning to Gilead but not for long. Then they were heading West in search of the Dark Tower if they survive today. Now they must go take the tankers.
The tankers were kept at Hanging Rock. It was guarded by one of Farson’s men. Cuthbert gave the Good Man’s sigul and they were given entry. Once inside they rode down on Hanging Rock. Roland pulled his guns yelling, “Gilead! Hile! Gilead!”
Reynolds was at a bend in the road and Susan and Olive were caught. Olive tried to pull a gun but Reynolds shot her. Rhea pulled up in her cart. She had Reynolds bind Susan’s hands and stand her up in Rhea’s cart.
At Hanging Rock Roland, Cuthbert and Alain fought as gunslingers. Farson’s men had lined the tankers up next to each other. All the boys had to do was light one and each one exploded in succession. Next the three rode to the Eyebolt Canyon where the Thinny was located. They let their horses run free before entering the Canyon. Once inside the neck of the canyon they lit the gun powder and then escaped up the side of the Canyon’s wall.
Latigo was so angered at the boys who ruined his tankers; he could only think of retribution. He knew he would have to account to Farson and maybe even Walter but now he only wanted to kill the boys responsible for his loss.
Latigo and what men he hand left rode toward the three gunslingers and followed them into the canyon. Once they ere inside the canon all of them were overcome by smoke because Roland had set the brush on fire preventing Latigo and his men’s escape. Once inside the Canyon all the men were taken by the Thinny. Some were trampled by their horses. Some men simply resigned to the call of the Thinny and walked into it.
Roland, Cuthbert and Alain watched the demise of Latigo and his men. Then Roland became aware of a hidden message in the Wizard’s Glass. Now Roland believed Susan was not ok but in terrible danger.
Susan was taken to the bonfire.
Roland had the Wizard’s Glass and saw everything that happened to his love. Roland saw Susan’s Aunt Cordelia raise her torch and scream at Susan, “Life for the crops, death for you.” Cordelia set Susan on fire. In Susan’s last breath she shouted, “Roland, I love thee!” He heard her and watched her die.
Cuthbert and Alain tried to take the ball away from Roland but they did not need to because the ball went dark. Roland fell unconscious and remained so for several days. After he woke up he was in a disassociated state. He did not talk. It was like he was not there.
Back in Kansas, Roland had finished his story. Roland said he felt better having told the tale to his new ka-tet. Roland explained to everyone that the reason he could tell the story of Susan in such great detail and from so many people’s perspective was because the ball had shown him everything, every detail the night before he reached. Gilead.
Three days after Roland was home in Gilead he re-entered the Glass. This time he saw the Tower again, the fall of Gilead and the success of the Good Man. Roland understood that the fall of Gilead had been postponed twenty months as a result of the tanker’s destruction. Roland saw the foretelling of his father’s assignation. Roland was able to prevent his father’s death because of the glass ball. Then Roland said he saw falling shoes.
Roland, Eddie, Susannah, Jake and Oy resumed their trek on I-70 East. Soon they saw something in the road and when they got closer they discovered red shoes for everyone including Oy. Susannah, Eddie and Jake recognized the shoes from the Wizard of Oz. The concluded they had to put the shoes on and click three times. After they incorporated Oy they found themselves in the glass tower. Here they were greeted by a loud voice that sounded like Blaine. Oy pulled a curtain and exposed the man creating the loud booming Wizard of Oz voice and setting off the green and red light show. The man was Andrew the Tick Tock Man. Eddie and Susannah drew and killed Tick Tock. Anther man, rather part man, appeared and Roland recognized him as Marten. The man identified himself as Flagg. Roland knew his guns would not, could not harm Marten in this Kansas but he drew Jake’s gun and Flagg escaped in a cloud of smoke. Roland missed his shot and wondered if this man thing was ever really there.
Roland saw the Wizard’s Glass and picked it up. He knew the only way for them to get back to the Path of the Beam was to tell the end of his story. No. He realized he must let them go into the Wizard’s Glass. All of them were taken to Gilead and there they witnessed Roland kill who he thinks is Rhea of the Coos but it was a spell. He really innocently killed his mother Gabrielle Deschain. Then everyone whirled through a pink storm. When they woke up they were no longer in Kansas and were back on the Path of the Beam.
They could see the Path easily. It was a line of clouds in the sky and a path in the prairie grasses. Roland, Susannah, Eddie and Jake joined hands. Oy was in the lead. They all affirmed, “We are ka-tet. We are one from many.” Eddie thought, “Bird and bear and hare and fish.” And they followed the Path.