Describe the Republican sniper's ruse to kill the other sniper.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Despite stupidly taking the risk of exposing his concealed rooftop position by smoking a cigarette, the Republican sniper shows readers that he is quite intelligent and can think creatively in a very stressful situation.

Placing a cigarette between his lips, he struck a match, inhaled the smoke hurriedly and put out the light. Almost immediately, a bullet flattened itself against the parapet of the roof.

The sniper begins taking enemy fire immediately after lighting up his cigarette, yet he is confident enough in his position to still take aim and kill several other enemies before being wounded himself. His wound isn't fatal, but it does put him into a life-threatening situation. The sniper was shot in the arm, and that prevents him from being able lift and aim his rifle.

Suddenly from the opposite roof a shot rang out and the sniper dropped his rifle with a curse. The rifle clattered to the roof. The sniper thought the noise would wake the dead. He stooped to pick the rifle up. He couldn’t lift it. His forearm was dead. “I’m hit,” he muttered.

The sniper then applies a field dressing to his wound and sits back to assess his situation. He knows that he can't stay on the rooftop. The enemy knows his location, and he can't leave. The other sniper has the exit route covered.

The enemy on the opposite roof covered his escape. He must kill that enemy and he could not use his rifle. He had only a revolver to do it. Then he thought of a plan.

The Republican sniper needs to eliminate his enemy using the revolver. The weapon is not very accurate, so he needs his enemy to show a fairly large target. The sniper has to get his enemy to stand up and expose himself, so the Republican sniper fakes a kill shot. He holds his hat up on the tip of the rifle, and the enemy sniper shoots the hat. The Republican sniper then lets his arm dangle over the roof edge and drops the rifle. This convinces the enemy that the Republican sniper is dead.

Taking off his cap, he placed it over the muzzle of his rifle. Then he pushed the rifle slowly upward over the parapet, until the cap was visible from the opposite side of the street. Almost immediately there was a report, and a bullet pierced the centre of the cap.

Convinced that his target is dead, the enemy shooter stands up and fully exposes himself, and the Republican sniper kills him with the revolver from a distance of fifty yards.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In an effort to outsmart the enemy Free Stater sniper, who is positioned directly on the opposite rooftop, the Republican sniper takes off his helmet and places it over the muzzle of his rifle. He then lifts the rifle until the helmet is slightly above the parapet and can attract the attention of the enemy sniper. The enemy sniper immediately shoots the helmet as the Republican sniper catches his rifle before he lets his left arm hang lifelessly over the roof. After a few moments, the Republican sniper drops his rifle to the street as he sinks to the roof, dragging his left arm with him. The Republican sniper's ruse works and the enemy sniper believes that he has hit and killed his target. The Republican sniper then peaks his head above the edge of the parapet and sees the Free Stater sniper confidently standing before a row of chimneys. The Republican sniper then takes out his revolver and ends up shooting the enemy sniper, who is standing unprotected on the opposite rooftop.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial