GW Recaps–The Hanged Man, Chapters Four, Five, Six

Posted by on Jul 2, 2015 in Gabriel's World Extras

 Gabriel’s World Home>Gabriel’s World Recaps

Previous: Chapters One, Two, Three
Next: Chapters Seven, Eight, Nine

Chapter Four, The Nine of Swords

Gabriel takes note of what has happened to Raymond, and the state of the scene where his body is, before calling the police. Once the police arrive Gabriel is questioned, and eventually taken into the station and interrogated. However, although the cops threaten him with arrest, a superior officer tells them to let him go. Gabriel is suspicious of that, but his lawyer friend Jim advises he forget about it.

Chapter Five, The Ace of Wands

Gabriel returns home after dealing with authorities regarding Raymond’s death. He feels sad and guilty. While the police no longer bother him, he’s bothered by the media exploiting the ‘kinky’ nature of Raymond’s supposed accidental suicide, and giving Gabriel bad press as well. Gabriel’s own research on autoerotic asphyxiation confirms his feelings that Raymond was in fact murdered.

Gabriel attends Raymond’s funeral. Toni is medicated and miserable. Gabriel meets Toni’s mother and her son, and also Raymond’s law partner Allen Cheng. Gabriel also observes the director of the Foundation, Ethan Nelson, watching Gabriel. While Gabriel views Raymond’s body and tries to invoke some spirituality, Raymond’s boyfriend John Harrison confronts him quietly, believing that Raymond was cheating with Gabriel.

Gabriel is about ready to leave when he’s approached by a journalist from one of the premier NYC newspapers, the Herald-Standard. This is Alex Shenoy Barclay, English by birth. He’s very attractive, and although Gabriel is done with the media, he can’t help but acknowledge this attraction. Alex attempts to connect with him, and let him know he doesn’t believe the official story either. Alex leaves with Gabriel’s number, in an official and perhaps not so official sense.

Then Allen Cheng talks to Gabriel, and is intrigued by Gabriel wanting to know more about the people involved in the Foundation.

Chapter Six, The Page of Wands

Gabriel, still at Raymond’s funeral, explains to Allen Cheng his unhappiness with the official verdict. Cheng invites Gabriel to discuss this with him at Cheng’s office, and warns him about being too close to Toni. He also points out the other Foundation board members for Gabriel’s benefit. Toni approaches Gabriel for support, and is pleased to see Gabriel still cares about the case.

Gabriel briefly talks to Eleanor Whitford. He lets her know he is the person Raymond had hired for her problem. Ethan Nelson, the director, approaches him in a friendly manner. Toni interrupts that conversation, getting more emotional and erratic. Getting her back to her mother, Gabriel figures it’s time to leave. Some random reporters are scornful of him.

Later, researching things online, Alex Barclay calls him and lets him know that the detective on Raymond’s case never saw the video from the coffee shop.

Between the Pages:

  • Gabriel is brooding. Also, cynical–suspecting there’s more to the investigation being dropped than what he’s told–which is very little. Go back to Chapter One, where Raymond mentions that a story takes on the narrative of whoever tells it. While Gabriel is trying to get attention for the story on the cafe videotape, the police have a different narrative. And the narrative presented by Raymond’s death scene is not the story that Gabriel sees. Then, Gabriel is hassled regarding his possible involvement with Raymond’s death. And finally, Gabriel has a strong sense that something is wrong by his being let go. The police just don’t do that.
  • Gabriel knows the word is often not a right place, and this invokes Raymond’s comment about narratives. A story is created by whoever tells it. As Churchill said, history is written by the winners, and alternative histories are considered trouble-making. In this case, both Raymond and Gabriel are being misconstrued in the press. Gabriel accepts it as typical injustice, but at the same time he can’t let the case go. This is a fundamental part of his being–not to let something drop when it involves injustice.
  • And as Gabriel is a person who needs to be doing something, he observes those attending the funeral, while confirming his tentative bond with Toni. At the same time he’s under observation–by the curious Ethan Nelson, the angry John Harrison, the intrigued Allen Cheng, and the intriguing Alex Barclay.
  • Gabriel’s not exactly disgraced, but local reporters are having fun being scornful of him, symbolizing the crash and burn the case took. Gabriel’s flipping them off is symbolic of his deep cynicism regarding “the system,” including law enforcement and the media.
  • Gabriel mentions his former boyfriend, Joel, who used to be an escort. Gabriel also gives us info on the semiotics of dangerous BDSM practices. Let’s hear it for research, people!
  • If a person is arrested, the person should ask for an attorney. Gabriel actually talks to the cops more that he needs to. Every decent defense attorney would agree–don’t talk. Do not listen to promises of what the police can do for you. They are allowed to lie, and they do so. It’s their job to get a confession. Don’t let cop shows like Law & Order (which I love) give you the impression that it’s wrong to lawyer up. Like Chris Rock said, better to hire Johnny Cochran and look guilty…

Beyond the Pages: 

  • Brent Turvey is a profiler whose book is very good. He worked on the case of the West Memphis Three in AK. A side note: the young men convicted of the child murders were eventually freed–freed by an Alford plea agreement, but if the state believed that these men killed children they would not have been let out of prison and death row.
  • Gabriel calls the two detectives the Glimmer Twins: Mick Jagger and Keith Richards used to be referred to by this moniker, a million and one years ago.
  • The Tombs is as described. It is an awful place, and that is one reason why making bail is so important for a criminal defendant. One, to disrupt life as little as possible, and two, to give the person a better chance at a defense. Unfortunately, bail is another way to economically divide the populace, and as Matt Taibbi writes, even $500 in bail might as well be a million for low income persons. This doesn’t apply to Gabriel (although it will in The Book of Joel) but it is one of my rants. See Taibbi’s article here, and his book, The Divide.
  • “My cell phone is on the table in front of me next to my Camels and the lighter. The detectives couldn’t open it, and I wasn’t going to unlock it for them, since then they would be able to search it legally.” The issue of searching cell phones without a warrant has since been addressed by SCOTUS. If they don’t have warrant, and you don’t unlock it and give it to them, they can’t search it. If it’s unlocked, plain view might apply, plus the police might take the phone, prevent it from being locked, and just wait for a warrant.
  • Alex and Gabriel:

“It’s both. I’m not hard to find.”
“And yet you’re the proverbial good man.”

A vague allusion to Flannery O’Connor’s classic, disturbing short story. The story reflects not understanding what ‘good’ really is–a surface understanding based on mores. Who is the good man in this story? Can you tell by looking?

Questions for Readers:

Let’s keep on with the question of good. How do you define what a good person is? What backdrop of ethics and morals do you use? Where do these come from? Are they yours, or are they given to you?


Matchbox Twenty, Unwell. Not just because John Harrison alludes to Gabriel’s vague resemblance to Rob Thomas, but also this song sums up the disruptive, cynical, the whole world thinks I’m crazy kind of feeling that Gabriel has at the moment.

I can hear them whisper
And it makes me think there must be something wrong with me
Out of all the hours thinking
Somehow I’ve lost my mind


Massive Attack, Inertia Creeps. It’s a rather dark sinuous song. The title is key. Gabriel can’t stand inertia, he has to be doing something–even if that something gets him smacked around.

Hold on to me tightly I’m a sliding scale
Can’t endure then you can’t inhale


Copyright 2012-2016 Alex Fiano

Page updated 7/26/2017