Deacon King Kong


James McBride

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Deacon King Kong: Chapter 18: Investigation Summary & Analysis

Shortly after the shootings at the pier, the Cause residents find themselves waiting in line for their monthly cheese ration. Usually, Hot Sausage hands out the cheese, but because he is nowhere to be found, Sister Gee takes over the operation. All of the residents know about the shooting, but no one seems to know the details. Similar to the first time Deems got shot, many rumors circulate, though no one knows what to think of the incident.
Despite the violence that surrounds them, the Cause residents still continue to participate in their regular traditions. Once again, all anyone can do is speculate, because the only people present for this shooting are injured, in hiding, or on the run.
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While working, Sister Gee spots Potts, who shows up with a number of other officers who have come to gather information about the shooting. Potts tells Sister Gee he warned her that something like this might happen. He also informs her of what he knows so far. Right now, it looks as though Deems’s bodyguard was killed, but Deems and Sportcoat are still alive and in the hospital. However, Hot Sausage is nowhere to be found and is presumed to be dead.
Whether Potts could have prevented the shootings is up for debate. On the one hand, the situation in the Cause seems worse than ever. On the other, there is nothing to say that police interference couldn’t have made matters even worse.
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Sister Gee listens to the story but feels that something is amiss. She recalls the mix-up regarding the ID that Hot Sausage told her about previously and wonders if the police have once again confused Hot Sausage for Sportcoat. However, she doesn’t say anything about this to Potts. Additionally, Potts asks Sister Gee if he can speak to Hot Sausage’s girlfriend because he keeps talking about her in his sleep and implying that she who shot him. Sister Gee promises Potts that that is not the case, but he insists on speaking to her anyway. Sister Gee tells him where the woman lives, which is on the other side of the cause, even though she knows the woman was just inside getting her cheese ration.
Again, the police make a fundamental mistake—one that Sister Gee is sure to keep to herself. If it is true that the police think Hot Sausage is Sportcoat, then it is possible that Sportcoat is dead. However, the reader knows that Sportcoat was alive and well at the end of the last chapter, meaning that there is likely something else going on that neither the police nor Sister Gee has figured out.
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