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From: mary whalen <marewhalen@yahoo.com>
Subject: (urth) Re: David as Maitre 2
Date: Mon, 20 Jul 1998 21:56:35 

This is Sean Whalen (prion).

---Robert Borski wrote:
> Sean/prion:
> It's kinda neat--your idea of David being Maitre #2, the junior
officer who
> reviews VRT's case. I'm not sure I buy it--David's a wee bit on the
> side if you ask me, and does not seem so much interested in power as
> does glitter and celebrity and the spoils of being rich. Witness,
how in
> regards to killing Maitre and locating his treasure trove, "David
> about hunting in the grand style, and the political power money
could buy."

Yes, but why did David go to the capital?  In the capital there would
be the possibility of a government position, such as an intelligence
officer.  He has the education and intellect for such a position.

He is dreaming about how to spend the money he would get if Maitre
died, but since he receives none when this occurs, he has to find
another way to gain money, through the political power he dreams of
rather than the other way around (I also remember one other point in
the book when he's remarked to want political power or influence or

> It also seems odd that he wouldn't remark upon or notice that the male
> slave looks exactly like his father and brother. (Unless
> this is why he helps him escape the silk-mite factory...). 

It isn't certain that he looks exactly like them, he may not be a
simple clone.  He could be Maitre's natural child or the child of one
of an earlier version's clone, or any number of things.  He may also
just be older and more worn, sickly, thin, etc.

Remember also that David and No. 5 don't notice that Mr. Million has
the same face as Maitre but at a different.  The slave No. 5 meets at
the market also doesn't notice that No. 5 resembles him so.  Remember
that everyone on Ste. Croix looks very similar, the probable result of
the Gene Wolfe line's genealogical influence.  There's no reason for
him to really notice this or remark on it, and if he did it would be
when he first met him, which scene is not seen in the book.

>Nor does he show
> any unusual reaction when he reads in the interviews how VRT deduces
> has been murdered. Also, if VRT is initially arrested on the
suspicion of
> having murdered Maitre, is it likely even a corrupt French military
> tribunal would allow Maitre's own son to determine the alleged
> fate (especially since Marsch is thought to be Terran) and never
have David
> mention the irony once?

We never see what he is thinking until the final part at all, so this
reaction would not be mentioned.  There's also no reason for him to
react.  He has already known for a long time at this point that his
father was murdered, and that No. 5 did it.  Seeing that someone else
charged with the same crime and arrested whom he knows deduces this
shouldn't cause any startling.  He also shows no outward reaction to
much stranger or shocking parts of his reading either, even when he
becomes sure that VRT replaced Marsch and may be an abo.

David doesn't mention the irony or anything else as he reads it.  We
hardly learn any of the thoughts that he has during the novella at
all.  It's not significant that this would be excluded when everything
else is as well.

Remember, too, that the authorities could find no evidence that David
was indeed Maitre's son and thus give him no inheritance.  As far as
the government is concerned in their records, he has no connection to
him at all.  The officer who sends him the case may not even know that
David was raised by Maitre.  This matters less now that they know that
he didn't murder Maitre, and that he isn't really from Earth at all
(they apparently figure that much out, at least, before sending the

> I'm also not sure the time element would allow
> David to rise in the ranks this fast, especially if he's bedridden
with a
> major leg injury at the time of Maitre's murder.

It wouldn't take very much time at all for the leg to heal after the
time of the murder.  He appears to leave for the capital almost
immediately after it is found that Maitre left no money that Jeannine
could find.  VRT is imprisoned for a significant amount of time at the
time of his last writing (that we see).  It's unknown how much time
passed after that and when the case was photocopied and assembled. 
When it was finished, it was a year before the junior officr receives
it (who knows what has been done with it in the meantime).  This gives
him at least around three years to obtain this position, and he is
only a junior officer in an uncooled building who has to review long
assignments overnight just to get ahead.  David appears smart enough
and educated enough to get this job, especially since when he first
arrived he had at least some money.  Who knows what connections Aunt
Jeannine told him about that he could use to get to this position? 
Many people visit brothels.

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