There is a heavy report; blood and brains splatter the cage. For a moment the barking ceases. The man fires twice more. One dog, shot through the chest, dies at once; another, with a gaping throat-wound, sits down heavily, flattens its ears, following with its gaze the movements of this being who does not even bother to administer a coup de grâce.
A hush falls. The remaining three dogs, with nowhere to hide, retreat to the back of the pen, milling about, whining softly. Taking his time between shots, the man picks them off. (11.91-92)
The execution of the dogs is one of the most graphically violent scenes of the book. One aspect that makes it especially upsetting is the slow, deliberate, and emotionless way that it takes place. Coup de grâce is French for "blow of mercy," something that the tall man doesn't bother to give to the dog who is bleeding to death in front of him. Instead, he slowly "picks off" the others, a nonchalant-sounding way of phrasing that emphasizes his casual, thoughtless way of slaughtering some innocent animals.