your husband was the sort who got a bit too free with his fists

Stephen Schmidt

Senior Member
Arabic
Hi everyone,
From the Mist by Stephen King:
Stump-water would take off bruises if your husband was the sort who got a bit too free
with his fists after three drinks.
Q: Does the bold mean that the husband beats his wife with his fists when he is drunk? If not, please, correct me.

Thanks.
 
  • Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    Yes, that is what it means.
    "Got a bit too free with his fists" is an understated form of "used his fists freely (to hit his wife)".
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    The bold part does not say who he attacks. It does not imply "his wife".

    In many countries, men usually drink at a bar(pub), among other drinking men. Fights between the men happen several times each night, right there where they are drinking. So the bold may be saying the husband often comes home (after drinking) with bruises.

    But there may be other parts of the story (not the part in bold) that imply he beats his wife. Someone is recommending stump-water to the wife, to heal bruises. Are those bruises on her, or bruises on her husband?
     
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