Jack|Zack Houston

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Jack|Zack Houston
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Houston, Jack|Zack
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Houston has no first name when he makes his first appearance, as one of the Bundrens' neighbors who attend Addie's funeral. Nor is his first name given when he - or at least his absence and his corpse - become far more important in "The Hound," where he is shot and killed by another Frenchman's Bend farmer. In the Snopes trilogy he has two different first names. As Jack in The Hamlet his biography is given in some detail, and includes a Negro mistress, a thirteen-year period of wandering around the U.S. in pursuit of "that fetterless immobility called freedom" (228), a return and brief marriage to his childhood sweetheart, and "four years mourning" her accidental death with a "black, savage, indomitable fidelity" (227). It is perhaps the most eventful life story of any of the farmers of Frenchman's Bend, though it is still Houston's murder that determines his main role in the plot; that is even more the case when he appears as Zack in The Town and The Mansion. He becomes increasingly well-off and more aggressive over the trilogy's three narratives, though even in "The Hound" he is called "overbearing" by both his killer and the Sheriff who arrests that killer (157).