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From: Michael Andre-Driussi <mantis@sirius.com>
Subject: Re: (urth) PEACE: ben Yahya and the Marid
Date: Mon, 23 Oct 2000 20:30:21 

>> The
>> marid beat him for losing the sherbet, but promised to give him the maiden
>> and his freedom if he served silently for thirty years.
>Silently?  I don't see where in the story the marid makes this

"`For all the days until thy time be done, I will have thee serve me as the
windlass serves the well or the oar the ship . . . '"

I suppose "selflessly" would be better than "silently" . . .

>> Okay, so if we sense that Den was the coldhouse prankster (some will refuse
>> this initial condition), then it becomes a clear case: Den, working for
>> uncle Julius, causes a terrible accident; after this, he works silently
>> (Julius hasn't spoken to him in 25 years) for 30 years.
>But Den says that Julius hasn't spoken to him since the Olivia's funeral
>(169 in the first edition), which you (below) date two years after the
>accident.  Of course, maybe Den was already in Coventry, and Julius had
>to speak to him for form's sake.  Or maybe Julius just didn't have any
>occasion to speak to Den, and hadn't been taken with him enough to seek
>him out.

Gosh, Adam, why not just complain that 25 years doesn't equal 30 years?

>> Den assumed that he would marry Margaret, but suddenly in high school the
>> relationship broke off.
>What is the reference for their breaking up suddenly in high school?  I
>must have missed that.


>> a worker died in the
>> coldhouse (when Den was 18 or 23)
>Surely not 18; we're told that the accident happened when Den was "a
>young engineer--two years out of school" (250), and surely even in those
>days high school dropouts were'nt hired as engineers, even if they were
>the boss's step-nephew.

This has to do with the thorny nature of establishing a timeline for the
20th century portion of PEACE.  If you believe Den is telling the absolute
truth, which is easiest if you think he wasn't personally involved with the
coldhouse prank, then all is easy, as you say, for this particular instance
(things get tricky later, maybe).

If you think Den is likely to lie, to make himself seem older and thus
nowhere near the coldhouse at the time, well then, you have to toss out
that date. (Bill S. thought that the date was ten years off, and the
incident happened in 1928.)

Plus, if you find an artifact that only existed in 1924, linked to Den at
age four, then you construct a timeline that makes Den eighteen years old
in 1938--just like the young fellow who died.  Alas, that artifact might be
the only red herring in the entire collection of historical pointers!

My enthusiasm wanes.


*More Wolfe info & archive of this list at http://www.urth.net/urth/

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