Obernewtyn – Chapter 17

Chapter Seventeen

The next morning, Matthew and Elspeth were able to talk privately in the kitchen, before most people had gotten up. They talked about Selmar, and whether she escaped, and where Ariel is if he isn’t trying to find Selmar. Matthew also told Elspeth that most Misfits (why is this capitalised?) went to see the Doctor at least once, so she shouldn’t be too concerned. I think Matthew needs to find some control of his emotions because he seems to fire up really quickly, maybe he should learn from Dameon, and it would make Dameon’s life easier not having a flood of emotion from Matthew all the time. But all their talk was stopped by the arrival of a Misfit and some ‘new man’. According to the man, he is a visitor who fixes things and goes wherever there is work. Andra (the cook) perks up at this and asks him to fix her metal pots and pans, Elspeth believes his face is familiar, but just can’t place it.

It sounds as if Elspeth had nothing to do all morning except wait in the kitchen to be summoned to Madam Vega’s room, which happened just before lunch (do I have to call it midmeal, because they are the same thing right?). The way was lit by odd green candles that ‘hissed’ as they passed, what in the world would those candles be made out of? The place is a maze with so many doors and passages, it would be easy to get lost, but why design or build such a complicated place?

The moment arrived for her meeting, and she entered a hot room, with a blazing fire that was surprisingly pleasant compared to the rest of Obernewtyn. The room had an amazing view of the mountain through a large window. Madam Vega came over to greet Elspeth and her ‘look’ had changed since last time they met, now she was ‘cold and calculating’. Madam Vega sounded almost ‘angry’ and regretful that she chose Elspeth as a Misfit because she had come into contact with tainted water, instead of being a ‘natural Misfit’. Madam Vega asks Elspeth if she would become an informant and keep an eye out for her, which Elspeth rejects vehemently. But she does not give in, and asks Elspeth that there are some Misfits that are hiding their true extent of their ‘condition’ and that she wants to “help” them. She gives her one last message, that any thoughts of escape are daft, as the dangers surrounding Obernewtyn are great and varied.

But before Elspeth can really leave, she changes topic to talk about Cameo. Elspeth gives few details away to her that Madam Vega would not already know. But she is still taken to see the Doctor before she can go anywhere. The Doctor’s room adjoined the current one through a little passageway. The Doctor’s room also had a massive fireplace, but also had shelves and shelves of books, including many that were from the Beforetime (that is the same as Oldtime isn’t it?). The Doctor was an unusual man, I almost assume that he is ‘defective’ in some way as well, a notion shared by Elspeth. It seems that Elspeth’s story about the tainted water is what brought her to the attention of the Doctor, and he wants to ‘study’ her in the future.

Elspeth sees a large portrait in the room, which the Doctor reveals is of his grandmother, Marisa, and Elspeth felt repelled by her face. It occurs to Elspeth that this must be the ‘yellow-eyed bitch’ that Larkin mentioned. The Doctor believes that with treatment a Misfit’s true demons are revealed, which is utter nonsense as it is the treatments that cause them to go insane. He mentions Selmar, and a ‘new Misfit’ (which must be Cameo) who he is treating, but is interrupted by a man. The man is known as Alexi, who the Doctor introduces as ‘his assistant’. But it really seems that he is in control, and has a little outburst as he doesn’t want to treat another Dreamer. But because Madam Vega seems to have vanished, he will take a look at her, to see if she is ‘of any use’. That sounds so degrading, I don’t think he wants to treat the Misfits, just ‘play’ with them and see how much damage he can really do.

Alexi asks Elspeth questions about her and any possible powers she may possess, and this frightens Elspeth because she has to lie to him, which isn’t an easy thing to do when the other person is so intimidating. But she seems to have fooled him enough, and doesn’t want anything more to do with her. Madam Vega reappears and tells Alexi that ‘the one they want’ could be smart and lie (I don’t know why he was so trusting of people in the first place) to them and that he needs to be more thorough unless he wants to make a mistake. Before Elspeth can leave, Madam Vega gives her a threatening warning that she should not talk about her visit otherwise she will be ‘most regretful’. At least we now know why no one talks about their meetings.

We have learnt a lot now about Obernewtyn, and found that Doctor Seraphim is ‘defective’, so who is the real Master of Obernewtyn. Obviously both Alexi and Madam Vega have the most power, but is there someone else calling the shots that we have not met, or are these two at the top? There is still so much to learn about what is going on!

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