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From: "Roy C. Lackey" 
Subject: Re: (urth) Doris
Date: Sat, 3 Aug 2002 03:46:33 -0500

mantis wrote:

>This might be something, because it would mean that Weer loses Olivia,
>chases after Lois-as-Olivia, sees the photo of Doris-as-Olivia, and then,
>in the end of the book, finally hears Olivia's voice again (bringing
>closure to this thread).

Not to nit-pick, and I know we covered this before, but there was no photo
of Doris. As I read it, the two sepia photos depict a total of three people.
One is the girlie picture of Candy, alone, that Charlie mentioned in the
letter. She is the "tramp" Miss Hadow refers to, who looks like Carole
Lombard and has an old-fashioned hairdo. The other photo is of two men; one
of them very tall (who is probably Tom Lavine), and a much shorter man
(possibly J. T. Smart).

Robert B. quoted me and wrote:

>> The visits of Bill Batton, Charlie Turner, and Eleanor Bold Porter all
>> happened on the same day.
>I don't agree with this. They may _seem_ to take place on the same day, but
>also on that same day we see Den's secretary, Miss Birkhead, being healthy
>enough to report to work at one stage, sick enough a short time later so
>has to leave and be replaced by Miss Hadow (neither secretary apparently
>communicating this to the man they work for), then still later on the same
>day a notice is posted that Helen Birkhead Tyler has died

The day of the three visitors and the day Miss Birkhead died are two
different days at least ten years apart. As I noted before, the visit by
Bill Batton occurred early in Weer's presidency. Various comments he made
indicate that it was his first visit to the plant: "Nice office you have
here." (135); "'That's your founder, isn't it?' Batton was looking at the
picture above the bar at one side of the room. 'Formulated the original
product and thought up the name? Good Brand name, by the way.'" (136);
""Call me Bill. You know I'd expected I'd be drinking your juice when I was
at your plant." (168).

Miss Birkhead brought in coffee for both Weer and Batton, at which point she
also informed Weer that the hairy man was waiting to see him (168). It is
Batton who ties the other two visitors to them all being present in Weer's
office on that particular day. "Bill Batton has been scratching his head,
crossing and uncrossing his legs as he sits on the red leather couch beside
the bar in my office. 'What was that all about?' 'Mrs. Porter? You heard
her--she wants to plant a tree on my grave when I'm gone.' [ . . .] 'And
you're going to have dinner with the hairy man?'" (193). Weer is close to
fifty years old at this time. (Margaret is also about fifty, as you pointed
out, and she and Weer are the same age.)

Miss Birkhead died on the same day that Dan French took the reporter on a
tour of the plant, the same day he told Weer the Sidhe story (243). Weer was
over sixty years old on that day, as he told Dan French: "'Haven't you ever
noticed how many corporate presidents are in their sixties and seventies?'
He nodded. 'Those are men who couldn't possibly continue to work at any job
requiring concentration or endurance. I should know--I'm one of them
myself.'" (233) (Page numbers are for the Berkley paperback.)

>and we learn that
>she is neither single nor childless, and moreover that she has been A. D.
>Weer's "long-time secretary." According to information presented in the
>Peace Indexicon, however, Miss Birkhead was originally Julius Smart's

Correct. She had been Weer's secretary from the time he took over the plant
to the day she died, something in excess of ten years.

In my reading, it just isn't possible for Doris to be the child of Weer and
Sherry; neither, to answer mantis's question, do I think Sherry = Doris. I'm
inclined to agree with Adam that Doris doesn't exist.



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