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From: David_Lebling@avid.com
Subject: (whorl) Another victim; The dinner party; Who's the spy?; Moly
Date: Mon, 20 Jan 97 09:15:55 

[Posted from Whorl, the mailing list for Gene Wolfe's Book of the Long Sun]

Finished my second reading of _Exodus_ this weekend.  Here are some
things that I noted.

Towards the end of Exodus, we learn of another victim of the inhumi; a
boy called Villus, who reports having been attacked by an
extraordinarily large snake.  The second victim, of course, was Mattak,
Colonel Oosik's son.  The first was Teasel.  Any others?  What was the
business about the sores on the convict's legs, anyway?  Mint dismissed
them, which is usually a good bet there was something more to it...

There's another interesting event at the dinner party in the Calde's
palace.  Clams are one of the dishes, and Silk encourages Oreb to eat as
many as he wants, but Oreb (in spite of a fondness for clams), won't
move from his perch until Chenille takes the platter and serves him. Why
is this?  Well, Wolfe goes to great trouble to tell us the exact seating
arrangement at the meal.  Silk is at one end of the table, with Siyuf
next to him and Quetzal next to her.  The plate of clams is too close to
Quetzal for the bird's comfort!  Note also in this scene that Mattak
remarks on how much better he feels when Quetzal leaves.

Next, we come to spies. When the soldiers are meeting with Siyuf (after
Silk's parley with the Ayuntamiento where he "surrenders"), they are
doing a little verbal sparring.  The soldiers reveal that Silk has
surrendered.  Siyuf is unimpressed.  She says she already knew, because
Colonel Abanja has a spy in Silk's household.  Now, the obvious thought
is that this spy is Willet/Hossaan, but he wasn't there during the peace
parley; he bursts in at the end with some goons and goonettes to try to
capture everyone.  So, who is the spy?  Given all the suspicions
expressed in this group toward Hyacinth, it's most interesting that she
is one of the attendees.  Who else "in Silk's household" would be a

Finally, as yet another spur to reading the Dramatis Personae, I urge
you to check out the entries for Marble and Moly.  In fact, I need do no
more than note that there are two entries...  I can't say that her
deception fooled me (maybe it wasn't intended to), but this would have
confirmed it.  In fact, another minor mystery:  Marble/Maggie says she
was abandoned by her husband.  I didn't see anything else about that
(did I miss something?).  Did Hammerstone twig that she was lying?  What
happened to their daughter?

     Dave Lebling

Questions or problems to whorl-owner@lists.best.com

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