Why does Candy send Snookum to deliever messages and gather people to Mathu's house in A Gathering of Old Men?

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Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Candy tells Snookum to go gather old men to come to Math's house because there has been a murder of a white man named Beau. According to Candy, all the white's will be looking for revenge for Beau's murder. Candy insists that she murdered Beau, but all the old men who are already there also claim to have been the one have killed Beau. Candy wants Snookum and others to gather as many old men who will claim to have killed Beau as possible. The old men are all scared to do it, but they grab their rifles with empty shells in them so they can claim to have killed Beau. Candy believes that Mathu really killed Beau and so does everyone else. Reverend Jameson tells Mathu to confess and tries to send all the other men away. Mathu does confess but so do all the other old men and each one has a reason to hive killed Beau. Candy's idea about gathering all the old men was to create a "smoke screen" to hide the truth from the whites so that maybe the killer, whom Candy believes to be Mathu, will escape detection and go unpunished.

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A Gathering of Old Men

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