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From: "Roy C. Lackey" 
Subject: (urth) FLF: Quadrumvirate
Date: Fri, 29 Nov 2002 00:22:39 -0600

There is a great deal of humor in FLF, as in CASTLEVIEW, but what is to be
made of the last line of the book? That line is particularly disconcerting,
given its antecedent in chapter 17. Sandy Duck had asked Serpentina to make
a prediction: "what event of great importance to America do you foresee
within the next ten years?" After the ritual with the mirror, the witch said
she "summoned the spirits of the unborn to reveal the future", which was:

    "The greatest event of the coming decade will be the quadrumvirate. Four
leaders, unknown today, shall unite to take political, financial, artistic,
and judicial power. They shall create a revolution of thought. Many who are
now rulers shall be imprisoned or exiled. Many who are now powerless shall
rise to places of great authority. The rich shall be made poor, and the poor
rich. Old crimes, long concealed, shall be made public, and their
perpetrators given to the people as to a pride of lions. The four shall be
hated and idolized, but their rule will not end within the period specified
by my prediction. That is all I was told."

After Barnes and his son enter the kitchen to see the transformed Stubb and
Candy, the witch, unseen, announces his arrival from the parlor and says:
"The quadrumvirate is complete."

That choice of word can hardly be coincidental in the book's last line. The
four boarders and four powers. With a time machine.



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