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From: Brownes3@aol.com
Subject: (whorl) Talus, Urus and Bufes
Date: Sat, 13 Jun 1998 11:15:53 EDT

I've been re-reading Calde. It's amazing how much that was obscure and blew
past me on the first reading is clear now that I've read Exodus. For example,
I and came to the scene where Urus and his fellow pit-mates attack Auk and
Chenille. Now I can answer my own question  :) as to why Mint considered Urus
pure evil:  Urus is a cannibal. ("Then you kill 'em right off and eat 'em
while they're still fat?" "Not all the time.... We wouldn't of et you [Auk],

As to the "gods", which Hammerstone says is "dog spelled backwards, because
they aren't really dogs", Urus calls them "bufes". Then Auk says, "He called
'em bufes, but a bufe's a watchdog, and Hammerstones right. These ain't real
dogs at all."

But to Urus, the bufes are watchdogs because they prevent him from escaping
the tunnels.

When describing the perils of the tunnels, Urus says, "There's big machines,
sometimes, too. Some's tall asses, only not all."

I think the distinction Urus makes is that if the guard robot is a tank like
Blood's or the one Chenille gets with the bazooka, then its properly called a
talus. If it doesn't have treads IMO, then it isn't a true talus. It guards
the tunnels, the same as the talus, but the act of guarding isn't enough to
warrant the name tall ass.

A question regarding the other inhumi in the Whorl:

In Wolfe's interview in the archives he says there are other inhumi in the
Whorl. The reaction of the others in this newgroup was that they couldn't find
a reference to them. Is it possible that the snakes that appear on Maytera
Marble as she attacks Musk and that Silk (who's often mistaken) attributes to
Echidna, were really friends of Quetzal? He reveals himself to be the old man
at the end of the scene. Quetzal also knew the old woman was possessed by

I can read the snakes appearance either way:  a "real" manifestation of
Echidna's kine, as called for my Marble, or Quetzal's pals. 

In favor of the inhumi reading:

Echidna ended her theophany when Mint and company went to attack the
Alambreara. Why did she come back? Marble didn't entreat Echidna until after
she looked like she was possessed. 

The snakes only struck Villus, the little boy. Inhumi seem to prefer children.

Silk describes the "entrance" of the snakes thusly:

"To Silk, [again the unreliable Silk] ... those screams seemed the creakings
of the wings of death, of the black wings of High Hierax as he flapped down
the Whorl from Mainframe."

Sounds like the entrance of vampire bats, too.

Perhaps Quetzal and Mucor were playing one-upmanship:

Mucor possess Marble (who Wolfe __twice__ describes as very bio-looking now
that she's scavenged old Rose parts) and starts the attack on Musk.

Quetzal, who Mucor might have tried to possess him and then realized he wasn't
there (as she says in Exodus) then ups the stakes and calls in his buddies,
perhpas to take over Marble.

The inhumi spot Villus and deicde to snack.

Mucor is confused by Marble's sight "what are these numbers?" and jumps to the
old woman and attacks Silk with the needler Villus dropped.

Quetzal knocks the needler out of Mucor's hand and introduces himself.

Thus the whole attack had nothing to do with Echidna.

On the other hand, the scene reads smoothly if its Echnida at the controls.
But knowing Wolfe, wouldn't the inhumi reading be just like him?

Any thoughts?

*More Wolfe info & archive of this list at http://www.moonmilk.com/whorl/

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