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From: m.driussi@genie.com
Subject: (urth) 5HC--le notebook
Date: Tue,  2 Jun 98 04:07:00 GMT

I'm supposed to make some stab at the notebook mystery outlined in
CAVE CANEM: that is, regarding the missing first three pages of
Marsch's notebook, cut with a very sharp knife.

The material at the front must be a journal of the first few days of
Marsch on Sainte Anne: from splashdown in the ocean to Roncevaux,
since the journal after the cut talks about Marsch being already in
the next town, Frenchman's Landing.

Who cut them, with what, and why?

I don't know!

But I'll start with V.R.T. himself.

What would V.R.T. want to cut out from the front?  Maybe something
which he had memorized as a false memory, something that he didn't
want others to have as a script--maybe an Earthman's impressions of
the town of Roncevaux, the train ride to Frenchman's Landing, etc.
That is, the words V.R.T. rattles off when they question him later.

This seems somewhat weak.  Maybe there was an interview which
revealed too much about V.R.T.--could Marsch have accidentally
interviewed Mrs. T?  That seems a stretch.

Then again, things were lost in the outback.  A lot of tape
recordings, only some of which had been transcribed (presumably by
Marsch himself before his death).

As for the cutting tool, I nominate the razor in the shaving kit
listed in the supplies.

Next, what if Marsch cut it?

That would mean that there was something there he didn't want V.R.T.
to see. Unless we think that he thought he was going to die and
didn't want some secret, like "I am a spy" written across the first
three pages, to be discovered after his death. <g>

No, I don't think Marsch cut it.  Even if he was a spy, especially if
he was a spy, he wouldn't have written anything revealing in those
pages.  Unless he was an unwitting agent and had been approached by
someone in Roncevaux and had agreed to take a package to x or
whatever.  But even then he wouldn't have cut it out--Robert Borski
is right, it is probably the agent in Laon.

Note: the name Roncevaux is associated with the death of a major hero
(Roland), just as "Nessus" is associated with the death of a major
hero (Herakles).

So, as Robert Borski asks, what happened at Roncevaux?  Even though
the original has been destroyed, we have a copy in the form of V.R.T.
himself--at the very least he read and internalized the material
before it was cut.  It seems likely that he has alluded to events in
Roncevaux, either during the interviews, or in his own writings, or
in "A Story."

Who is the agent at Laon?  We know Marsch/V.R.T. sold his equipment,
bought some clothes, got his beard trimmed, and radiogrammed a message
to R. Trenchard in Frenchman's Landing (about the "death" of his son
V.R.T. in the back of beyond) at Laon.  That sounds like four possible
agents right there.  In order to recognize the bearded V.R.T., the agent
must have seen Marsch before.  Could it be that another Culot, son of
the Culot interviewed by Marsch in Frenchman's Landing, runs a similar
clothing store at Laon (which is a coastal city to the south of
Frenchman's Landing)?

Well, whoever cut the beard (if anyone really did--Marsch/V.R.T.
makes this claim and we have reason to believe he just wills the
beard to whatever length) would have sharp razors to cut things out.
But if the =agent= cut stuff out then said agent would appear to be a
double agent!

So, according to this thought, whoever cut the pages didn't want them
to fall into the hands of the Laon agent and thence into the hands of
Sainte Croix.

Adam was asking about "A Story."  We read it first as the
anthropological fiction "reconstruction of a lost world" it purports
to be, then we learn that it is the fantasy of a criminal in solitary
confinement and questionable sanity.  And dubious anthropology.  But
knowing that, if we go back into "A Story" and ignore the anthro and
read it as the dreamy confessional autobiography of a murderer, we
may find some more pieces to the espionage thriller of "V.R.T."

I don't know.

Time for a detailed timeline of Marsch and Marsch/V.R.T.


P.S. 2-15-2, "Fifth of September," the supressed political faction on
Sainte Croix.  This sounds to me like Russian revolution stuff, or
early Japanese coup attempt stuff--both used the dates as their
names, I think (the Japanese I'm sure of).  In Proust terms, the
relevant item is "the Dreyfus Affair" which was a heady combination
of spying charges (info to the Germans, I believe) and anti-Semitism
that shook France pretty hard.  Dreyfus himself was out at Devil's

For "anti-Semitism" we could easily substitute "anti-abo"?  Or


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

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