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From: "Robert Borski" 
Subject: Re: RE: (urth) Crush's Page and Quetzal
Date: Sat, 31 Aug 2002 15:43:34 -0500

Crush responding:

>I'm curious about your "Lime" theory. I don't find it
> explained in the Urth archives. In the archives I DID see you make a
> reference to a snide comment by Wolfe regarding Hyacinth's mother in a "LS
> question list" - what is this?

Almost certain I posted this somewhere, but couldn't find it myself, so let
me attempt a brief reprise.

In the process of describing their visit to Mainframe, where a number of
dead ancestors are encountered, Horn (the author of LS) records the
following dialogue:

"Hyacinth's mother visited her, too."
Nettle looked surprised. "I didn't think her mother was dead, Caldé."
"Neither did Hyacinth."

Now to me--and perhaps only to me and my imagination plus--Nettle's
surprised look implies that (1) she possibly knows Hyacinth's mother, and
(2) the last time she saw her she was alive. But when Wolfe was asked in the
aforesaid LS question list about this ("Who was Hyacinth's mother? It seems
we should know her."), he responded: "I don't know how to answer that. She
was not a character you have known in some other connection, if that's what
you mean. She was the wife of Hyacinth's father, and the mother of her
sisters and brothers."

So why then is Nettle surprised? Are we to assume that Nettle and Hy are
close enough they've having sisterly chats about their mothers and their
current states-of-health? Nonplussed, I set the idea aside for a while.

But then on a reread of EXODUS, I came across the following passage, where
Hyacinth is talking about when she first left the family nest. Says she:
"Know what I had when I left h-home? Two gowns M-Mother made and her
umbrella. She didn't have a-anything else to give me, so she gave me that. A
big green umbrella. I kept it for years and I don't know what happened to

Could, however, the color and emotional value of this precious umbrella be a
hint here? [Again, is it likely that chems need and keep umbrellas?]  Green,
of course, made me immediately think of Lime, who is described as "a lank
woman of forty, with ginger-colored hair that Maytera Mint had decided was
probably dyed." [Would a chem dye her hair?] When last seen alive, even
though she wants to fight, she's told by Mint that "Your women are no longer
fighters unless they've got needlers or slug guns. We need people to get our
wounded out of the fight and take care of them." Lime takes off, but then
later, *in the presence of Nettle*, Teasel is told by Mint to "find Lime.
Tell her where I am, and that I want to see her just as soon as she can get
away." But we're never told if Teasel finds her--there is a civil war going
on, and she may, in fact, be the dead woman on Silver Street that Silk sees
in his first enlightenment--and she's never encountered in the narrative
again--unless she really is the Mainframe manifestation that Hyacinth
identifies with her mother.

Bonus gratuity: although I don't belief this is true, in order to make your
theory work, you might try arguing that "Lime" is short for "Limestone."

But what about Hy's father? As you declaim:

> I sure her father is
> NOT Newt. Newt is a commissioner at the Juzgado in charge of the Guard
> finances. Hyacinth's father is a "head clerk" of the Fisc. Silk also met
> with an "officer" of the Fisc while he was there. Clearly her father is
> down the chain of command.

Only initially by my read. For as we've been told by Chenille in LAKE, "Her
father's a head clerk in the Juzgado." Later then, in response to the
following question about new councillor Newt, "Where is it they find you?"
she responds, "In the Juzgado. Councillor Newt was a commissioner there, the
one who bought supplies for the Caldé's Guard, made out the payrole, and so
forth." These types of duties are prefectly consistent with being a head
clerk with a commission--one he received for a specific reason. Or as
Chenille relates:

"...One of the commissioners saw [Hyacinth] when she was maybe fourteen, and
said, 'Listen, I need a maid. Send her up and she can live at my
house'--they had eight or nine sprats, I guess--'and she can make a little
money, too, and *you'll get a nice promotion.*' Hy's father was just a
*regular* clerk then, probably."

[Again, how likely is it that a pair of destitute chems are going to build
eight or nine sprats? Olive's parents seem to have a great deal of
difficulty bringing her into the world.]

Also, as you note, Silk has met with Hy's father, saying "I knew Hyacinth's
father was a head clerk...I located him, and while we were talking about
reforming the Fisc he said that the devil is in the details." But this takes
place before we learn that Newt has been elevated to commissioner and he may
have been trying to impress Caldé Silk, hoping to trade not so much on
daughter Hyacinth's sexual indenturement for another promotion, but his own
managerial skills.

No way I can wrangle a name chemish for Newt, but as you know at least one
of the other Councillor's is a chem.

Robert Borski


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