Cuthbert Allgood is a fictional character from Stephen King's The Dark Tower series. He is Roland Deschain's childhood friend and a member of his original ka-tet. Cuthbert, often called Bert, is first featured in The Gunslinger, but he does not play a major role in the series until Wizard and Glass, the fourth volume in the series. Cuthbert's role in Roland's ka-tet is often that of a "constant joker", leading Roland to make frequent comparisons between Cuthbert and Eddie Dean throughout the Dark Tower series. As with Alain, Cuthbert's ancestry goes back to the days of Arthur Eld.
Throughout the series, Cuthbert's character is mostly recalled through flashback, as Roland recounts the memories of his childhood in Gilead and his days as a young gunslinger. Cuthbert is a part of Roland's first ka-tet, along with Alain Johns, Jamie De Curry and Thomas Whitman, fellow gunslinger apprentices. In The Gunslinger, we learn that Cuthbert was Roland's closest friend and that the two were nearly inseparable as children, and they had played together since they were in diapers.
Throughout the story, Cuthbert is portrayed as using humor as a way of dealing with situations - a trait that angers Roland on more than one occasion. Though many people mistake Cuthbert's humorous demeanor for childishness, Cuthbert is in fact the bravest, most loyal and most intelligent member of the ka-tet.
Cuthbert and Roland undergo gunslinger training together, and on one occasion when Bert is beaten badly by their instructor, Cort, he is sent away without dinner or breakfast. The two friends sneak into the kitchen and overhear the cook, Hax, planning an act of treason. Hax is hanged soon after, and the boys are sent by their fathers to watch the execution. The boys attend, but they are both afraid to look and join hands as the box is pulled from under Hax's feet. The memory strikes a chord in Roland; even centuries later, he remembers it vividly.
Wizard and Glass
When Roland's father, Steven, tells him to leave Gilead, he recommends that Roland take along some friends, but not "that laughing boy", Cuthbert. Roland takes Bert anyway, along with Alain Johns, and the three boys travel to the town of Hambry, in the Barony of Mejis. There, Roland meets Susan Delgado and begins an affair with her. This seemingly puts the quest at risk, but in actuality they could not have survived without Susan's help. Bert does not see this, clouded as his judgment is by jealousy. At the height of his anger he hits Roland, and makes Roland doubt himself. It is partially Cuthbert's careless attitude that eventually costs Susan her life, and almost cost the ka-tet theirs, but he does not see this.
Cuthbert's anger with Roland seems to be caused by jealousy; it is mentioned a few times that Cuthbert is also attracted to Susan. He also seems annoyed with the way everyone cites ka as a reason for everything, Cuthbert calls ka "everybody's favorite whipping boy".
While in Hambry, Cuthbert uses the alias Arthur Heath.
Cuthbert meets a boy in the town of Hambry named Sheemie Ruiz, who is mentally handicapped, but gifted with The Touch, a kind of extra-sensory perception. Cuthbert saves Sheemie from The Big Coffin Hunters, and for that, he earns Sheemie's loyalty and gratitude. Sheemie befriends all of Roland's tet but maintains a special fondness for Bert, who he knows as Sai Heath. Later, Cuthbert is able to confide his real name to Sheemie, who sounds it out as 'Key-youth-bert', and declares it a funny name for a funny man.
Cuthbert is possessed of a rook's skull which he refers to as "The Lookout". He seems to have an attachment to it, though it is unknown where he picked it up and what it could mean to him. It amuses him a great deal to put the rook's skull on the pommel of his saddle, and later, to wear it around his neck by stringing it through the eye sockets. Cuthbert often speaks to The Lookout and asks it questions, or 'translates' the skull's thoughts and opinions for his friends. While he is in Mejis, people come to recognize him by the rook's skull about his neck. When he accidentally loses the rook's skull, he is upset and regards it as a foul omen, which proves true as it is eventually used as a piece of planted evidence against the ka-tet, placed at the scene of the mayor's murder.
While in Mejis, Cuthbert carries a gun described as a huge, antique 'beer-barrel' revolver, but is more partial to using a slingshot that he made himself. Roland claims that Bert can take a bird on the wing at sixty yards with his slingshot.
Cuthbert's horse is named Glue Boy, likely a joke referencing the use of a horse's connective tissue for glue production. Roland expresses frustration that he "can't even name his horse like a normal person".
When Roland, Cuthbert and Alain are leading Latigo's men into the thinny in Eyebolt Canyon, Bert begs Roland to let him ignite the brush pile that will seal the trap, stating that he is a "firebug at heart", a statement which appears to mean he is subject to whims of pyromania.
Cuthbert is depicted as being very social, witty and humorous throughout Wizard and Glass. He is occasionally admonished by both Roland and Alain for talking endlessly, and often, Roland has little patience for his continual jokes. Roland calls Cuthbert ka-mai, a phrase meaning "ka's fool" that he later ascribes to Eddie Dean. In fact, Roland states many times throughout the series that Cuthbert and Eddie are very alike, both in personality and appearance. It is possible that Cuthbert Allgood and Eddie Dean are "twinners", a concept in many of Stephen King's books relating to The Dark Tower (most specifically found in The Talisman). In fact, in Song of Susannah, a fictionalized version of Stephen King states under hypnosis that Eddie and Cuthbert are "twim" being as they are the same person through Ka separated by time and worlds. Both Eddie and Cuthbert are killed in a similar fashion. Cuthbert is shot through the eye with an arrow at the battle of Jericho hill, while Eddie is shot above the eye with a bullet.
In the battle of Jericho Hill, Cuthbert is killed while fighting the remnants of Farson's armies. He is shot through the eye by Roland's arch nemesis Randall Flagg, operating under the alias Rudin Filaro. He fights a long time through many wounds, and Roland holds him up until he died. True to form, he is laughing to the end. Cuthbert maintains possession of Roland's horn throughout the battle, attempting to blow it, even as he is mortally wounded. After the battle, Roland neglects to retrieve the artifact from his friend and it is mentioned at points inexplicable somehow having it would have made things better. However, upon Roland's next quest to the Tower, he has the horn with him suggesting that, perhaps, Roland will someday be free of the Tower's cycle.
Cuthbert is described as being tall, thin, and good-looking, with dark eyes and dark hair. However, in the Browning poem, Cuthbert has curly blonde hair. At one point in the series, Roland implies that Cuthbert and Eddie Dean have similar features. In the final book of the series, upon reading the poem left for them in Dandelo's bathroom by Stephen King, Roland states that the curly blonde hair is that of Susan Delgado, and that stanza speaks of how his relationship with her broke the boys' fellowship.
Cuthbert has appeared in every issue of the Gunslinger comics, in which he is depicted as having shoulder-length black hair and dark eyes.