We return to find Elspeth attempting to get to the Doctor’s chamber to steal the maps. There have been a few locks on the way that are older and more complex than she has ever seen, but they have not kept her out for long. Which makes me wonder how tiring this all is for her? I mean moving a physical object with your mind could not be easy, even if it a small tumbler in a lock. Luckily Elspeth can also sense when someone is approaching so she can quickly hide, so I think she is well suited to pulling off heists! She eventually found her way to Madam Vega’s room and used her powers to check that no one was inside before going in herself. She then had to find the door to the connecting walkway to the Doctor’s room, which she did easily. She checked on ahead to see if anyone was inside the Doctor’s room, which makes me wonder where Madam Vega and Alexi, and the Doctor himself are if they aren’t in their rooms, or do they sleep elsewhere? Also we learn that if someone is asleep it is harder to detect them, unless you knew them, which is quite interesting. I like the fact that these new little insights to how Elspeth works and how her powers can be used and the limits of them, are sporadic and timely, it isn’t like we are getting a massive info dump to explain everything about her powers but just when we need to understand something we are told of it.
The lock to the Doctor’s room was the hardest she had encountered and took her some time before she was able to unlock it. Only once she was inside did she realise that she had no idea where to start looking, because there was simply so much stuff around that what she wants could be anywhere. She got distracted by both the painting of Marisa Seraphim and the vast amount of illegal Oldtime books (I mean who could resist the urge to look at old books?). But I laugh at her comment about how thin the pages where and how perfect the scribing was, because she wonders how long it took the priests to perfect that style (when of course we use printers). I really wonder though which books where there, and whether any of our ‘classics’ or ‘popular books’ are there, or is this way into the future and all the books we know and love weren’t around any more?
The books Elspeth looked at made no sense to her, as some related to computing (which they have none), all had words she did not know the meanings of and there were diagrams of things she had never seen before. But she found in a few of the books that someone had made notes in the margins as if trying to figure out and understand what the book was about. So Elspeth was quite disappointed at the old books she found, as they were not the same as she experienced as a child, with Oldtime stories. The more ‘modern’ books on the other hand contained spells and incantations (are these from the Herders, or are these still restricted?). Elspeth found the maps that she had seen on her previous visit, but they were all Oldtime maps, which are unuseful for them.
It suddenly dawns on her that maybe Madam Vega and Alexi are planning something to do with the Oldtime, either finding a Oldtime place, or something contained within it. But what are they searching for, that is worth so much to them if they are risking death if anyone found out? Quite randomly Elspeth remembers where she saw the stranger who came to fix things before, it was the man with Daffyd, the boy back in the Councilcourt, which is an odd coincidence. Frankly it is quite odd that Elspeth happened to remember right now, of all times to do it, which Elspeth soon realises too, and returns to finding the maps and arrowcase.
Picking up one of the books Elspeth notices that it is dedicated to Marisa, as in someone had given it to Marisa as a gift, so all the books had belonged to Marisa, who was probably the first person to try to explore the Oldtime and find whatever they are looking for. Elspeth finds a locked cupboard and opens it with her mental powers, and finds a bunch of letters and old papers. One of the letters was written by a past Master of Obernewtyn and speaks of an arranged marriage to a woman that does not love him, forced upon by his mother and were to his lover. But there is not enough information to know what they are really on about, just enough to get us thinking! But before Elspeth can start to really go through all the letters she hears that someone is approaching, and she has still not found a map or arrowcase!
Luckily for Elspeth the sounds were not approaching the Doctor’s room, but were probably in Madam Vega’s room. It was still a close call, and somehow she gets back to her room without a hassle and is just hoping that no one noticed her gone. Which thankfully for her no one had done, and the next day Elspeth was so tired and she had no chance to tell Matthew and Dameon what had happened. But Matthew still had a chance to tell her about the new Misfit, well actually Elspeth already knows the new Misfit. It is Rosamunde, and when she saw Elspeth, she looked as if she was prepared to murder her. It was not a pleasant look, but I wonder why she is here, she wasn’t a Misfit, so what happened? Will we ever find out, or with she hate Elspeth so much we will not know?