Study Guide

The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing: Traitor to the Nation, Volume I: The Pox Party Part 1, Chapter 4

By M.T. Anderson

Part 1, Chapter 4

  • If you like dogs, prepare yourself—this isn't going to be fun.
  • Octavian remembers being five or six years old and taking some food Mr. 03-01 prepared for his dog.
  • He was all happy about spending some quality time with his pup, a stray named Cloud, but when he got to the shed, Cloud didn't move.
  • Why?
  • Yep—dead. Poisoned, in fact.
  • Octavian can't remember feeling anything when he found Cloud dead, but he does remember crying all the way back to Mr. 03-01.
  • It wasn't until years later that Octavian figures out (from one of Mr. 03-01's articles) that Cloud died from a mixture of mercury and food that Mr. 03-01 was giving him.
  • You see, Mr. 03-01 wanted to know if a mercury compound would kill mammals (we're guessing Mr. 03-01 wouldn't be against animal testing if alive today).
  • Anyway, Octavian also recalls that—at that time—Mr. 03-01 asked him why he felt sorrow.
  • Octavian couldn't really answer, but Mr. 03-01 pressed on, asking him if he felt Cloud passed on to a better place.
  • Octavian nodded and described doggy heaven — all while Mr. 03-01 listened and took notes on Octavian for a future article.

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