I.O - the only member of the Snopes family in this story - appears almost as often as Flem in Faulkner's first ten Yokanatawpha fictions (Flem is in five, I.O. in four). Flem's character is well-defined from the start, but both I.O.'s character and his biography are full of inconsistencies. Flags in the Dust mentions that Flem brings him into Jefferson to run the restaurant; his face is described as "talkative" (235). In Faulkner's next novel, The Sound and the Fury, he is in the telegraph office, speculating in cotton, when he speaks his first laconic words - "I've picked hit [cotton]; taint no more than fair fer hit to pick me once in a while" (218). In "Spotted Horses" he's the clerk in the Frenchman's Bend store; although along with the rest of the hamlet he's fleeced by his cousin, he "cackles" like a hen in his amusement at Flem's unscrupulousness (183). In this story, however, he's been a mule dealer in Jefferson and Memphis for at least ten years; he holds grudges and is repeatedly described as "harried" (252). I.O.'s later appearances in the Snopes trilogy just make it harder to get him into focus. There his defining characteristic is his absurd logorrhea. The second of these books, The Town, identifies him a known bigamist in both the Bend and Jefferson. There is no sign of either wife, however, or his loquacious speech, in "Mule in the Yard." As a Snopes, he is predictably dishonest and scheming, but there's no clear reason why Faulkner wanted to keep returning to him only to keep remaking his character. If it is often hard to figure out how the various Snopeses are related to each other, it is not always easy to see how a given Snopes is related to the version of his character that appears in another fiction.

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I.O. Snopes - "Mule in the Yard"