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From: "Robert Borski" <rborski@coredcs.com>
Subject: (urth) Trenchard, Abo: Part II
Date: Thu, 4 Jun 1998 22:37:29 

Lawyer Dupont, for the defense, your honor. According to state prosecutor, 
the Honorable Tony Ellis:

>You asterisk several lines in VRT's rowboat memory, but not this one:
>"My mother...had been buttoned into her yellow dress by him." Buttoned
>in because the Annese can't handle buttons any more than they can handle
>tools or writing. How can Trenchard do that if he's Annese too?

You ever see any old style frontier dress buttons or even a pea coat?
They're not at all like our current miniatures and some are quite large.
Ditto for the button holes (or they might involve hooking, the same way a
net is woven). Possibly the boat incident incurred while he was still in
possession of his human digits.

>For someone who grew up in a marsh, doesn't RT read rather well? Yet his
>wife remained illiterate.

RT can read rather well? Did I miss something? The so-called library
mentioned in the narrative is clearly stated to be Victor's. Victor also
has the intelligence to go on and impersonate a doctoral candidate, so
obviously he got his wiley smarts from someone. Why not Pop?

>If RT is an abo, why does his son have to keep correcting all his bogus
>information about the abos? 

RT's life and continued well-being may depend on his never being taken
seriously. It's part of his passing schtick. Witness what the community
thinks of him. Recall especially RT's story about Dupont and the farm
contestment. If RT appears too authentic, he could suffer the same load of
buckshot as the abo in Dupont's narrative. The more authentic on the other
hand Victor appears, the more likely Marsch will hire them.

>We're shown that VRT lacks the manual dexterity to have made the fake
>flint tools RT shows Marsch. That leaves RT. How did he make them, if
>he's an abo too?

Victor comes right out and says such tools are made with one's teeth (p,
143). Marsch later adds such tools require little manual dexterity to chink

>You're also saying that the Running
>Blood test took place a mere 15 years ago, but Dr Hagsmith tells us this
>is a test that the French applied, which puts it about a century back.
>He even says that the French were "supposed" to have applied it -
>wouldn't he be a little more certain if it had only happened 15 years

The 15 year figure is given on p. 147 by Mr. D. If you chose to contest
this, what does the 15 years refer to? Especially since the only other
seemingly close dates in the narrative concern Victor's age. It's not
chaff; it's a clue.

The French are also not going to go around whispering, hey, we lynched a
few abos last night, don't put too much starch in my white sheets.
Hagsmith, remember, is English: the French are his sworn enemy.

>If RT was a shape-shifting abo, why would grafted human limbs even
>accept his alien tissue in the first place? And if they did, why would
>this give him the ability to use tools, when the organ that has
>"atrophied" is in his brain?

Right. The abo tissue would reject the human transplant, but reproduction
between human and abo is possible? Because this is what you're saying.
You're also not reading Dollo correctly with your atrophied-brain
supposition. Believe me, I have the bona fides in biology and can cite you
the appropriate scientific literature if you like. (Evolutionary theory is
a discipline of mine, but I refuse to bring up Scopes.)

Also reread Hagsmith's tale. Specifically note how the abo half of the
second cattle-drover's wife would steal something, but the human half would
put it back.  

>In any event, there is no evidence that the Free People can grow new

Wait a minute. You can change your shape into a dead tree or a carabou,
with the attendant wild morphing of form, but you can't recast the distal
portion of a limb into the form of a hand or retransmogrify yourself
altogether? If antlers, why not hands? If tree branches, why not fingers?
Also keep in mind there are several different varieties of abo--check out
my abo taxonomy post for details. Some are wildly pleiomorphic, others less

At any rate, my honorable opponent, how about some questions for you then?

What do you make of the name End of Days, when Annese names are all pretty
much descriptive? Simple abo calendar reform? All of the other good names
were taken? And the fact that the shovel test took place here and that one
of its other names is Running Blood, what, this indicates nothing of

Why does RT yell at Victor for waving at the government military craft and
what possible purpose to the story does our not hearing his entire
admonition serve? With Wolfe, what you don't hear is unusually important.
Just as what appears to be simple casual asides are also important. Also
beware when a Wolfe character who is guessing the nature of something says,
"this probably meant...or was probably used for..." Because it's standard
Wolfe misdirection.

What does Victor mean when he says "I knew everything that I was to learn
later." What is "everything"? What does he learn later? Simply that Dad's a
bum and Mom's a slut? What happens to Dad's hands? Arthritis? Gasp. The
horror, the horror.

What is the purpose of Dr. Hagsmith's abo fable? Is it totally nonrelevant
to the narrative, just a little bit of shared folklore that has nothing to
do with the novel? Remember it is in Victor's parody of Dr. Hagsmith's tale
that we first hear the name Three Faces. How are both tales, since one is
parodic, linked? Or don't you think Victor mother's name is Eve/Three
Faces, because Victor never says "Her name was Eve when we lived in
Roncevaux, but Three Faces when we were in the back of beyond." By this
sort of reverse induction the woman in the cell next to VRT in the citadel
is simply a crazy thief of no importance to FIFTH HEAD because nobody tells
us otherwise? [Still your best work, Tony: be proud.]

What function does Cinderella bring to the tale in your version? More
Wolfeish noodling wordplay? Gene the punster lives on?

Also, if you're skeptical about the abos even possessing shape-changing
abilities, how is it you used the opposite line of reasoning when you made
your Don't You Think These Little French Girls Could Be Abos presentation a
few days ago--not that they couldn't be detected by their bad handwriting,
because as VRT reminds us, there must always be one student in a class who
has the worst handwriting, but it is *never* a girl.

Let me sum up the case for my defendent with two notions, your honor, after
first thanking our opponent once more for voicing his objections. In my
heart of hearts I believe both men simply seek the truth.

Now Mr. Borski will be first to admit he took some liberties with his
theory. But while he may have used a few odd-sized bricks to fill the
interstices in his wall, he believes the mortar is sound. Simply stated he
believes his conjectures more easily explain the birth of Victor Roy
Trenchard than the
lide approach.

He would also like to quote Roy Trenchard from the testimony of Dr. Marsch.
"It's all falsity. Everything is false, Dr. Marsch." 

Obviously, no truth here, right?

Defense rests.

(Dupont goes back to table, slides in next to client. Whereupon defendant
lean over, whispers, "Don't get too comfortable, Duport. I haven't posted
my revelvations about Jeannine Wolfe yet."

(Large audible moan from Dupont). 

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

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