The Sniper Questions and Answers
by Liam O’Flaherty

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Describe the sniper's ruse or plan for deceiving the opposite sniper in the short story, "The Sniper"   

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In the process of shooting the man in the armored car and the woman on the street, the sniper has been shot and has given his location to the shooter on the other roof.  He knows that he must kill the other shooter if he is going to survive.  

“Morning must not find him wounded on the roof.  The enemy on the opposite roof covered his escape.  He must kill that enemy….” (pg 2)

The fact that he has been shot creates another problem for the sniper.  He cannot use his rifle any longer.  It is too heavy for him.  The only weapon available to him is his revolver.  He needs to pinpoint the exact location of the other shooter and get him to reveal himself.  If the other shooter thinks the sniper is dead, then he will probably get careless and stand up.  So, the sniper creates a ruse to make the other shooter think he is dead.  

Taking off his cap, he places it on the muzzle of his gun.  Then he lifts the muzzle over the parapet of the building.  The cap is visible from the other side of the street.  The enemy, thinking it is the sniper’s head, shoots, piercing the center of the cap.  The sniper moves the muzzle of the gun a little forward, allowing the cap to fall into the street.  He then takes the rifle in his good hand, holds the hand lifelessly over the parapet, and drops the rifle into the street.  He then sinks back onto the roof.

The enemy shooter now thinks the sniper is dead. 

“He was now standing before a row of chimney pots, looking across, with his head clearly silhouetted against the western sky.” (pg 2)

The sniper shot, and the man, his enemy, fell onto the street below.