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From: "James Wynn" 
Subject: RE: (urth) Long Sun puzzles
Date: Thu, 24 Oct 2002 16:46:44 -0500

Roy triumphed:
I found the definitive answer, and the friend _is_ Auk. It's in chapter 5 of
LAKE (111, paper), right after Auk met Silk and Chenille in the arbor at Sun

"Auk was seated next to Chenille. Silk said, 'You know each other, clearly.'
    "Chenille dimpled, and suddenly seemed no older than the nineteen years
she claimed. 'Remember day before yesterday, Patera? When I said there was
somebody? Somebody younger than Crane? And I said I thought he might help me
. . . us? With Crane?'"

Crush responds:
That's it. Excellent work. On the other hand, this seems to make the
narrative more problematic since not only does she *not* mention this
"friend" at Orchids, she doesn't mention getting money out of Crane til
after Orpine's funeral. And even then she doesn't offer her "friend" as a
possible help in that.

Roy added:
Musk didn't give her the dagger; Crane did. Crane just said he would ask
Musk for advice about finding a good one.

Well, Crane *does* give Chenille the dagger, but it was originally owned by
Musk. Poppy was flat out lying when she said there was a guy named Cat who
she and sometimes Orpine serviced. Note that the only person who can
contradict this story is dead. This is why Musk becomes so agitated when
Silk carefully studies the knife. Everyone is looking for the owner of the
knife as if he is responsible:

"'May I see that, please?' Deftly, Silk took the dagger from Musk [and
examines the blade]...'Nearly new,' he muttered. 'Not terribly expensive,
but not cheap either.'"
Musk said, Any fool can see that,' and took back the dagger."

For the rest of the exorcism Musk gives Silk the stink-eye.

The "cat" on the handle is a "civet" (or so I read it). "Civet" is a type of
feline but it is also a musky yellowish fluid taken from glands in the anal
pouch of the civet used as a perfume. So civet is a type of musk. Silk when
studying the picture ponders the drop of blood and considers its possible
association with Blood the person. So the picture is of a "civet with

Furthermore, Silk considers the mouse in the cat's mouth. He decides it is a
"badge" of some sort. Well whose badge is the mouse? Apollo's - denoting his
patronage of medicine. Another connection between Silk and Apollo. Secondly,
Musk owns Silk's mantaeon, so he has Silk in his power just as the cat has
the mouse in his mouth.

Finally, Musk plays "cat and mouse" with Silk, having Blood demand from Silk
many many times more for the property than he paid, and then having him
shorten the payment period to a week to get Silk to come back and beg for
more. In case anybody misses this, after the exorcism Musk strikes Silk with
his knife but "velvets his paw" by turning the blade inward with his knife -
exactly what a cat does when playing with a mouse.

Roy explains Chenille's reason for not mentioning Auk thus:
Chenille didn't know that Silk knew Auk when she mentioned that "friend"
(the mention that didn't get into the text) when they spoke together at
Orchid's. She knew Auk was a criminal, and was afraid Auk would be mad at
her if she let a goody-two-shoes augur know about him.

Crush relents:
Hmmm. Maybe. I can't imagine what Auk was supposed to have done for her.

-- Crush


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