Racing ahead of the storm, like Tom Fury, Ray Bradbury's traveling lightning-rod salesman.
"The seller of lightning-rods arrived just ahead of the storm. He came along the street of GreenTown, Illinois, in the late cloudy October day, sneaking glances over his shoulder. Somewhere not so far back, vast lightnings stomped the earth. Somewhere, a storm like a great beast with terrible teeth could not be denied. So the salesman jangled and clanged his huge leather kit in which oversized puzzles of ironmongery
lay unseen ... "
Except he had no lightning-rods (as such) to sell. Instead he bore a bundle of (even) more sinister wares to peddle. No, not guns. Swords. (Start at about 7:04 on the video's clock counter.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Twur4jSsQu8
' Tom Fury, the friendly lightning-rod salesman, succumbs to his desire to gaze upon the Most Beautiful Woman in the World
, and re-emerges in the novel as the carnival's squashed Dwarf. As such, he is one of the carnival's early victims. He is easily the target of reader sympathy since we see him first as a normal man and then later as a freak
of the carnival. His character is a reminder that all the freaks of the carnival used to be normal people
, which complicates the otherwise simple "good vs. evil" paradigm.
It's also interesting to note that the salesman had an inkling of what was coming – his claim that a storm was brewing can be read a veiled reference to the carnival – but was defenseless against it anyway
.'http://www.shmoop.com/something-wicked- ... -fury.html
' "Sahib," said the sword-dealer, "this blade, which came from far Singapore, has not its equal for sharpness in all Delhi."
He handed me the blade for inspection. It was a long krise, or Malay knife, with a curious boat-shaped hilt, and, as he had said, was very keen.' http://www.eldritchdark.com/writings/short-stories/123/