The Keeping Place – Chapter 21 – Part Two

Chapter Twenty-One – Part Two

Stuck in the crowds trying to get in Sawlney for the moonfair, Elspeth sits back and thinks about Cassy and her latest dream. Clearly wherever Cassy was staying, is the place where the Misfits from the Reichler Clinic are being kept and experimented on. Elspeth also makes the assumption that the person the Agyllian wants Cassy to go and find, must be Hannah Seraphim. The Tecknoguild know that the Clinic knew where the Misfits were kept, so maybe Cassy did end up finding Hannah. Elspeth wonders whether Cassy worked out her telepathy and talked to the Misfits or did Petr allow her to see the Agyllian again. Or maybe Cassy just went back to the testing clinic and asked the right questions to get Hannah to look for her. They know that Hannah’s interest in the Govamen organisation deepened from just trying to save their friends, to figuring out what they were doing.

Again there is a lot of speculation, but usually these things are too off the mark. Elspeth suspects that Hannah might know about a conflict of interest between the developers of the sentinel program and the weapon makers, but she wonders why they developed a sentinel program in the first place. She can’t figure out why weapon makers would want a sentinel program since they aren’t supposed to attack, otherwise BOT retaliates, meaning everyone would just stockpile weapons. Sometimes I wonder if governments are working with weapon companies, why else would they prolong wars so much?

Elspeth was so deep in thought that she did not notice a wagon rolling towards her, and when Gahltha moved to avoid it, she nearly fell off. Embarrassed, Elspeth decided that she might as well walk, as the crowd was virtually motionless. Gahltha suggests they go off the road and walk through the trees on the side of the road, to avoid the congestion, and Elspeth agrees. It was tiresome, but a lot faster than the road, and yet it still took an hour to reach the outskirts of the town. Elspeth sought out Gevan’s mind, and it took her a while, as he was on the other side of the town, in an area Elspeth could only assume was for Gypsies. They worked their way to the other side of the town, and then found a path surrounded by forest which Elspeth sensed would lead to the magi.

At the end of the path, the scene opened out to the endless ocean, a stunning sight. Elspeth finds Gevan, and says is a spot for the towns performers then? But even though the townsfolk enjoy the performances and give coin, they still see the half-breed Gypsies, as exactly that. Kella, Domick and Freya had to change plans, since the large crowds would be suspicious of three landfolk getting off a Gypsy wagon, they had to be brought to this spot, and then allowed to leave from there. So they were kept from reaching Sutrium. The magi have performed for the Councilman’s guests, and were well received. But the coin they make only covers the inflated prices for supplies. Other Councilmen were guests, Noviny (the only good man) was pleased (and Gevan asks how Vos, the rebel, can possibly find rebels in Saithwood with such a kind councilman, good question), but Caleb sneered and said that there could have been better entertainment from Sutrium.

The Councilman Alud (of Sawlney)’s son, Jude is a terrible evil man, who beats his children and wife. His horses are actually kept better, because they can be worth money, and are under constant watch because of horse thieves (who in fact don’t exist, and the horses are escaping by themselves to Obernewtyn). Elspeth wonders if Jude’s wife would be a possible source of coercion when they want to work against gelding, but the poor dear, can’t do anything independently, now too fearful because of her terrible husband. The Faction that oversaw the event, distastefully tolerated the magi performing, and Jude is working in close alliance with them. It’s very confusing to keep track of all these random people, I guess that is why there is a character list.

Elspeth asks Gevan if he has seen carvings or monuments/statues on his travels, but he says no. In Arandelft, crafts are almost non existent, and there is a new fanatical Herder cloister (that Wila will need to add to her records), and only by chance were most of the Herders down in Sutrium for a meeting. Maybe too convenient? Merret suggests the West Coast to look for carvings.Near Murmroth is a place where stonemasons used to be trained to carve, these days it is about cutting stones for the Council facades. There is a display of their works there, so Elspeth might have to check it out.

Elspeth decides to stretch her legs, really to avoid any further questions, and she looks out at the ocean. It is interesting that Elspeth now has grown to fear the moon, just like Maruman. I wonder why he fears it, and what caused it? Elspeth thinks about the Agyllians, and how it seems as if they have doctored beast legend to fit Elspeth in as Innle, for her safety, and I really do wonder if she is Innle or if the Agyllians have just made it look that way to protect her. And I am glad that Elspeth dismisses these thoughts, and accepts that Gahltha and Maruman want to protect her and look after her, and why they began is not important, plus she has other issues to deal with at the moment.

Elspeth was about to go back to the magi when she saw another troupe of Gypsies. It was clear that they were Half-breed given their basic wagon, but Elspeth could draw parallels between them and the magi, with their singing and joyful mood. And we learn that when away, sometimes the Misfits have had to blend in with the Gypsies to celebrate, which would have been a nervous time, trying to hope they are not found out, but it is clear that their disguises are sufficient. I couldn’t help but wonder if Iriny or even Swallow were apart of the other troupe, and when we hear that there is a footfall behind Elspeth, I immediately thought of Swallow. Why couldn’t it be him? I guess we’ll have to wait and find out.

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