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From: "Roy C. Lackey" 
Subject: (urth) Tussah's children
Date: Wed, 9 Oct 2002 21:29:42 -0500

Crush wrote:

>So the list of characters and places should not be viewed as decisive.
>of textual evidence? I can't at this point name the page, but at one
>Silk's remembers seeing a picture (or image?) of Calde Tussah and he's
>wearing makeup. We know men don't wear makeup in Viron because Quetzal
>to justify his use of it due to a "skin condition". What reason would
>have for wearing makeup if he were not an inhume? If he's an inhume, then
>can't have a natural human daughter.

I think you should read that passage again. It's in the last chapter of
CALDE (pp. 335-36 of the paperback), at the point where Silk is being
brought up from the cellar of Blood's house by Potto. Silk is sick,
wounded, sleepless, and exhausted; he's not thinking clearly. He is
mentally comparing himself to Sand, which leads to thoughts of his
"mother's" desire for him to enter politics, then to thoughts of the old
calde. He spends a paragraph on the calde's bust his mother had shown him,
which concludes with, "The calde's carved countenance rose again before
his mind's eye, and it seemed to him that he had seen it someplace else
only a day or two before."

And he _had_ seen it, on Chenille's face. He continues:

"Streaming sunlight, and cheeks that were not smooth wood but blotched and
lightly pocked. Was it possible he had once seen the calde in person,
perhaps as an infant?
[. . .]
". . . had seen the calde outside, because even without his lost glasses
he had noticed the powder on the cheeks and the flaws that the powder
tried to cover--had seen him, in that case, under the auspices of the
Outsider, in a sense."

Note the lost glasses, which he didn't have as an infant, or need to see a
divine vision. The powder was on the imperfect face of Chenille. Men
tended to look at her tits, not her face, which wasn't really pretty. She
probably had acne scars. Silk finally makes the correct connection a few
pages later (340).

    "'You're sunburned!' Inwardly, Silk reproached his own stupidity.
'I've been looking at you--gaping actually, I suppose. I hope you'll
excuse it, but I couldn't imagine how your face had gotten so red, so
close to the red-brown color of a wood-carving my mother used to have.'
    "'She wore _nothing_ on the boat,' Incus interposed. 'Then my robe.
Maytera _forced_ them to give her that gown'
    "Loris snapped, 'Is this germane?'
    "'Perhaps not,' Silk admitted. 'It's just that Chenille has reminded
me of a childhood incident, Councillor.'"

>Also, Chenille exhibits stunning visual acuity and manual dexterity when
>(while talking to Remora in LS2) she was able pull a knife from the wall,
>throw it from across the room and stick it exactly in the slot she from
>which she pulled it. I realize that she was possessed by Kypris at the
>But there is no reason to believe possession grants the possessee with
>powers he would not have while unpossessed - any more than Mario Andretti
>could win the Indy 500 in an '85 Toyota Sentra. Anyway, proficiency with
>knives is a province of Kypris. That trick required physical powers
>humans could not perform after any amount of practice.

I think the knife-throwing bit was all due to Kypris. Recall that when
Scylla possessed Chenille at the lake, Chenille had been exhausted. After
possession, Chenille dove off the cliff into the lake "a hundred cubits or
more" below (LS2, p259, paper). And, later "A moment later Auk saw her
leap--flying in a way that he knew would have been impossible had she not
been possessed--to land with a roll upon the deck of the fishing boat."
(263) And "she had an alarming habit of remaining immobile in attitudes no
mere human being could have maintained for than a few seconds" (LS3, p15,
paper). So, possession does grant extraordinary abilities.

>Remora himself knew this to be true. He told Gulo that she was the
>biologically engineered heir of Tussah ("son not my son" this is another
>hint of why Chenille's name is sexually ambivalent although I have not
>unraveled the puzzle yet). Remora was a "whorlly-wise" political
>knowledgeable about, and usually involved with all occult (in the old
>activity in Viron. His deductions should not be casually dispensed with.

Remora did not say that to Gulo. He may have suggested it, and certainly
Gulo jumped to that conclusion, but he was wrong. Pages 268-71 (LS4,
hardback) establish Chenille's parentage about as clearly as Wolfe ever
makes anything. In that section Silk says, "Chenille's mother had recently
given birth to the calde's child, or if she had not, she was carrying that
child--and it was her child, too. She must have guessed, or known, that the
calde had been murdered. At that time the Ayuntamiento was searching
everywhere for the adopted son mentioned in the calde's will; and she would
have supposed, as I believe most people did, that it would kill him if it
found him. She needn't have been an educated woman, or an imaginative one,
to guess what would happen to another child of the calde's, if it learned
that she existed."

That section makes clear that 1) Tussah was not an inhumi; he was a man who
preferred big, amazon-like women, such as his mistress, Chenille's mother.
Loris called her a "virago", and it was from her that Chenille inherited her
physique. Also, as on p. 270, the inhumu, Quetzal, is often described as
"lipless", while the bust of Tussah has a "generous mouth"; 2) the "son not
my son" you mention must be the "Though he is not the son of my body, my son
will succeed me." from the calde's will. That seems straightforward enough
to me. The expensive, enhanced, frozen embryo (and Remora mentioned only the
one to Gulo) Tussah bought was implanted in the woman Silk calls his mother.
That embryo was Silk, who had been born about three years before Chenille.
Thus Silk is biologically unrelated to either his "mother" or adoptive
father, Tussah. Which, of course, is why Silk saw two sets of parents when
he "died" and went to Mainframe. And, of course, he and Chenille are
unrelated, biologically



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