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From: "Dave Lebling" <dlebling@shore.net>
Subject: (whorl) A Bite of Night Chough, er, Crow (with spoilers du jour)
Date: Tue, 13 Feb 2001 21:13:36 

<<From: "Robert Borski" <rborski@charter.net>
To Adam Stephanides and vizcacha: are you now still going to argue that Silk
has suffered a failure of nerve and cut himself not only on the arms, but
his hands, his face and his neck too?>>

Ok, I concede on the details. However, I still think Silk was passively
committing suicide and his spirit was broken. Hyacinth was dead. Silk was
unable to prevent this. He is injured, bleeding to death. Devoted husband
and general good-guy that he is, he places Hyacinth on her bier and settles
down to die himself. In the nick of time Horn's spirit infuses his brain,
suppressing his depression and defeatism, his wish for death. Horn is a
can-do kind of guy, he won't let himself bleed to death for no reason.

So, to discuss the implications...

The unnamed farmer and his wife appear to know of Hyacinth living at the
manse: "Some woman's there now. Came out from the city, I guess." Note there
is no mention of Silk here. Did Silk and Hyacinth live apart? "Said she was
sick." "She looked sick, too." So, this seems to at least suggest Hyacinth
died of natural causes. No injuries to her are mentioned. Someone,
presumably Silk, laid her on the bier.

So, how was Silk injured? Possibilities:

1) He did it himself.

In favor: Occam's Razor.
Against: clumsy suicide attempt for a guy who was a "butcher."

2) The manse was attacked.

For: eliminates clumsy suicide objection. Various candidates: Pig,
opposition political groups in Viron, actual godling, Hari Mau & Co. Also
farmer's attitude is suspicious (see below).
Against: timing is very coincidental as compared with both Hy's death and
Horn's on Green. One of these is bad enough, two is awful, but three? I try
not to swallow too many coincidences before breakfast. Also, a lack of
_plausible_ candidates.

3) Candidates for an attack.

a) Pig.
For: farmer's comment about fighting off a small godling. Pig is clearly
Against: Pig has changed his ways since being possessed (but maybe not

b) opposition party
For: Mint was attacked, Bison is scared that Silk will come back and resume
the exodus, nutcases abound.
Against: No hint or evidence that I can see.

c) actual godling
For: there's one in the vicinity.
Against: he shows no interest in hurting Silk later on.

d) Hari Mau & Co.
For: opportunity. They went out to the manse.
Against: no motive, they want him alive.

Let's look at Pig as suspect again, though as I said, I find it an
unattractive scenario.

Later in the story, at the ruins of Blood's mansion, Pig is a serious danger
to Hound and Horn/Silk when he is mourning Hyacinth in a room she once
occupied. It is not hard to imagine a scenario where Pig happens upon (or is
directed to) Silk's manse (Hyacinth's cottage?). There he finds Hyacinth,
dead, and goes into an even more dangerous mourning fugue than we see later
at Blood's. (How does he know it's Hyacinth? He's blind. Her scent?) Silk
comes in (Where was he? Why did the farmers only know Hyacinth?) Pig attacks
Silk and does some damage, but flees. (Why? Does he recognize that he's
attacking himself? Is Silk winning? If there was a fight, why doesn't Pig
appear injured not much later? Why is Pig so friendly to Horn/Silk when he
meets him just one day later?)

Some other loose ends. The farmers clearly recognized Silk as Silk:

  "Do either of you know Patera Silk? Calde Silk of Viron?"
  Neither spoke. They edged closer together, regarding him through slitted

Then a few pages later the farmer tries to drive Silk off with his stick. Is
he afraid of Silk because the farmer knew of an attack on the manse and
thinks Silk knows he was complicit in it, if only by silence? He denies even
knowing Silk lived in the neighborhood, and casually mentions that he has a
slug gun.

I don't know what to conclude. In honor of Pig's native culture, the jury
returns "Not Proven." The colophon of the Urth list seems very appropriate

   Dave Lebling
   aka vizcacha

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