The Sniper Questions and Answers
by Liam O’Flaherty

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What risk does the sniper decide to take?

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Although the Republican sniper knows it is a risk because the flash of his match might be seen in the darkness, he decides to have a cigarette anyway. It is a poor decision. He is young, and perhaps this is why he makes the error in judgment. Though he lights the cigarette as quickly as he can and blows out the flame, the sniper on the rooftop opposite his own sees the flash and quickly fires at him. He takes one more drag on his cigarette and then puts it out. He crawls away to the left because he has given away his exact position to his enemy. When next he peeks over the edge of the rooftop, another bullet whizzes over his head.

Just then, an armored car comes down the street, and a little old woman comes out to speak to the man in it. She points at the sniper's location on the rooftop; by lighting his cigarette, he really put himself in danger. It was a terrible risk to take for something so small and useless, and the sniper has actually endangered his life as a result. The sniper fires at the man in the car, and then at the old woman, but he is shot by the other sniper in the process.

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