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From: "Robert Borski" <rborski@charter.net>
Subject: (whorl) Colonel Terzo
Date: Thu, 1 Mar 2001 22:08:09 

Lots of little mysteries in the SHORT SUN books.

For instance: who is Colonel Terzo and why can he alone, of all the people
that Horn encounters, hear Seawrack's distant singing?

We learn, of course, that he can perceive the siren during his second
encounter with Incanto, when he attempts to warn our hero about an imminent
attack. In the midst of this, however, Terzo falls silent and asks Incanto,
"Can you hear something I don't?" Oreb subsequently says, "Sing song," and
Incanto immediately breaks out singing, not only rendering one of Seawrack's
little ditties in Neighborese, but translating it back into the Common
Tongue. Incanto, in between one and the other, is then heard to remark: "He
heard the music, I know; he stared at me wtih bulging eyes." But after
translating the final line Terzo takes off running; if Icanto's been singing
the song that caused him to rape Seawrack, small wonder.

Later, after Terzo is captured along with General Morello and the Duko, the
latter tells Horn, "Terzo's terrified of you. He's in agony of every time
you speak to him."  (More fear of the song's consequences?) And still later,
when Mora and Jahlee are present, he interrupts Incanto, exclaiming, "She's

"I know," Horn tells him. "I've been trying to speak in spite of it." Later,
when Jahlee asks who's singing, Incanto replies, "Somone only I and Colonel
Terzo can hear. It doesn't really concern him, and it certainly doesn't
concern the rest of you."

And then finally one last time, when Hide asks his reminiscing father who
Seawrack is, Horn replies: "The woman that Colonel Terzo and I can hear."

So what's the deal here? Why can Colonel Terzo hear Seawrack singing? Is it
merely the power of suggestion? Are we to assume he may also have
encountered Seawrack sometime earlier in his life? If so, there seems a
curious dearth of evidence.

And what are we to make of his rather startling claims of friendship? During
their first encounter, Terzo tells Incanto--who's just let on that he has
two friends more knowledgeable than he about the rules of war--"You have
three [friends]. I am the third, and you need all of us more than you
think." This may explain why Wolfe names him Terzo, since terzo is Italian
for three.

The Colonel also tells Horn that "Someday you and I will speak of this
afternoon over a bottle of wine," and later, when he comes to warn Horn
about the aforementioned imminent attack, explains that "The Duko didn't
send me out here. Neither did General Morello. I came out of friendship for

Are we simply meant to assume that Terzo's amity is merely part of the
gamesmanship of war? That by pretending to be a solicitous friend looking
out for the welfare of the other he might encourage at least the idea of

Possibly. But of course I have another idea.

Namely: what if Colonel Terzo is an inhumu? It seems likely that Wolfe would
have a few secret inhumi attempting to pass as humans in SS, just as there
are more allegedly than Quetzal in the LS series. (Remind me some day to
post my thoughts about Hossaan.)

Having Terzo imbibe Horn's memories of Seawrack and her haunting sirenic
abilities would also explain why he alone of all others can hear her, just
as the shared blood helps to explain the friendship bond. And perhaps
"Terzo" is merely meant to mean that Terzo is the third passing inhumu in
IGJ, along with Fava and Jahlee.

We never see him attempting to ride any animals, and he comes to his first
two encounters with Incanto on foot. Oreb does not seem particularly
disturbed by him, but perhaps his alien otherness has been somewhat
mollified by the sanguine presence of Horn/Silk. No physical description of
him is provided by Wolfe, so that's no help.

Still and all, is there any evidence that Horn/Incanto has indeed been
bitten by an inhumu?

Well, yes.

Because shortly after Incanto takes up residence in the same little
farmhouse where he re-encounters Jahlee, Horn notes the following:

"I have been ill. Perhaps I can begin there. A strange sort of sickness--no
pain, just very tired. We brought the fourgoat back to camp, Hide going
ahead to make sure no one fired. It was very welcome and was skinned and was
eaten at once. I ate some of the meat. Much less than the others, but they
were not sick.

"No matter. I was ill, I feel quite certain, before we reached the fire."
(IGJ, 296)

Horn, who recognizes the symptoms, immediately suspects Jahlee:

"I asked whether she had been feeding from my veins. She denied it, but
conceded that another might have, and examined me for the punctures of
fangs, finding none.

"Or so she said.

"'We don't bring all sickness. Besides, you have a fever. We don't do

But wouldn't a tired, run-down individual be just the sort of victim an
opportunistic virus would most likely infect? And Colonel Terzo, with or
without Jahlee's cooperation, might easily have access to Horn in the
formerly abandoned farmhouse.

So could he be an inhumu? And if so, is there any chance he's also Juganu?

Robert Borski

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