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From: "Robert Borski" <rborski@coredcs.com>
Subject: (urth) The Tin Man
Date: Tue, 2 Jun 1998 08:45:34 

For those of you into etymology (and many Wolfeans are), 'mantis' means
'prophet.' And since there is an ancient art known as haruspicy practiced
by fortune-tellers and sages, I issued this challenge to our own mantis.

"Do an organ reading for me, brother prophet (this being what haruspicy is,
as I'm sure we all remember from LONG SUN), tell me from the blackness of
the bile and the glisten of the liver and the bloodcharge on the heart what
the following divines:

Among the things the adult Number Five finds above the door lintel, besides
David's dessicated trumpet-vine flutes, "there is a 'broken' puzzle made of
the bronzed viscera of some small animal." Besides the grisly nature of
this (I mean what the HELL kind of plaything is this? Guts-for-tots, a
learning toy for junior vet wannabes?), what relevance does it play in

Unfortunately, mantis ran out of doves to sacrifice and is already out on
bail for rustling free-range chickens, so he's turned the matter back to

So then...I see... entrails. Bronzed entrails. Metal-coated organs.

They're Mr. Million's.

We know this because he put them above the lintel himself, with the
confiscated flutes.

What do they represent?

Symbolically, several things.

The Wolfe clan's lost connection to the organic, the surrendering of their
souls. I.e., they've become so obsessed with their quest (read the
cloning-as-immortality-trope for not just its hubristic elements, but its
Faustian) and used such dire means to achieve their ends, they've forfeited
their humanity. And so like some families did in the old days, to help
preserve and remind them of where they've been, but can't return--the
"things lost" motif--they've bronzed their much more organic equivalent of
baby booties.

And why does Mr. Million put the bronzed viscera above the door?

Because he's the Tin Man from Oz. But unlike Baum's robotic woodsman, whose
goal in life is to secure for himself a heart, Mr. Million--easily the most
humane character in all of 5H--already has one, and so he can afford to let
his broken backup model collect dust above the lintel for all the rest of

Robert Borski (who still has Oz-induced nightmares about tornadoes)

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

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