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From: "Robert Borski" <rborski@charter.net>
Subject: (whorl) Who is Patera Grig?
Date: Mon, 26 Mar 2001 14:05:25 

Here's another little scene from the Short Sun troika I'm puzzling over.

Horn has transported himself, Fava, and a number of Soldese from a snowy
hillside on Blue to a prison cell on Green. (Chap 13, IGJ) Having had his
wooden staff previously confiscated upon the orders of Captain Sfido, Horn
offers to tell the disconcerted Soldese how they may get back to Blue if
they'll return the staff to him. Horn misses Oreb, you see, and believes
that repossessing the staff may prompt the bird, who likes to perch on it,
to come back (the soldiers having chased him off earlier).

Fava soon notes the return of Sfido, but remarks that he doesn't have the
staff. Whereupon Horn says cryptically:

"Once in a while," I whispered, "when I'm nearly awake..." (p.203)


Question # 1: how might the whispering Horn have finished this sentence?
When he's nearly awake (as opposed to nearly asleep), what??? It seems to
pertain to Sfido, but how so?

Horn subsequently segues into how Sfido sounds: "At times Sfido had an oily,
almost feminine way of speaking that reminded me of one of the augurs at our
schola"; and then seems to fall into a sort of trance, wherein he pictures
Oreb soaring above Lake Limna.

Meanwhile, Fava is still attempting to relocate Horn's staff, which
originally has been confiscated by one Private Gevaar:

Fava asked someone, "Where did he put it? and Patera Grig replied, "What
difference does that make?"

But there is no Patera Grig in the Soldese party. So is Horn, tranced out,
confusing Captain Sfido with the aforementioned (but unnamed) augur? The
next sentence after the above mentions "a rougher voice," so I believe this
is plausible. But why doesn't Horn correct this when he details the scene in
his manuscript--since by then he must know there's no Patera Grig present.
What also, we're given to wonder, is the relationship of "grig"--which can
mean, variously, grasshopper, cricket, young eel, short-legged hen, or
dwarf--to Sfido, and does it somehow connect to Horn's unfinished sentence?
And just whose schola is Horn talking about, anyway? The one of his Vironese
childhood? There's no mention of a Patera Grig in LONG SUN (or at least none
that memory recalls or mantis's Characters in the Long Sun pamphlet lists).
So perhaps he means the schola in New Viron, or possibly even this is the
Silk remnant of PassilkHorn recalling a P. Grig from either his pre-or-post
EXODUS days.

Either way, it's an odd mention, but I've learned to be very wary of Wolfe's
one-off references because they usually connect up somewhere.

Unfortunately, with this one, I remain clueless.

Robert Borski

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