Chapter Twelve – Part Two
Continuing where we left off, Elspeth and Rushton are alone, in Louis Larkin’s hut, sheltering from the rain. They’ve just found some clothes to change into, and Elspeth seeing Rushton shirtless for the first time, and seeing his scarred back, makes her feel sick because of what Ariel did to him, but also makes her remember this morning, and their affectionate embrace. Elspeth only then realises how intimate they are right now, and what this could actually lead to. The knowledge that nobody knew where they were, and nobody was expecting them, was thrilling.
Right now though, Rushton isn’t thinking about what Elspeth is, he is remembering his time with Louis, wondering why his mother sent him to Obernewtyn. His first night at Obernewtyn was in Louis’s hut, he had entered by the farm gate, since that’s what the Gypsies told him to do when looking for work and weren’t invited. Louis saw him first, and told him if he wanted work, he could get it here, but he wasn’t sure whether it was what he wanted, since he wasn’t even sure why he was here. Louis seemed to know from the outset who he was, or at least had a good hunch he was a Seraphim. Of course what is interesting is that Rushton had once travelled with Gypsies, though I have a feeling we already knew this. We didn’t know how he came to join them, apparently the troupe leader noticed a bracelet Rushton was wearing, which came from his great-great-grandmother who got it off a Gypsy. The troupe leader offered him a lift up to Guanette, and that was when he became involved with Henry Druid. Sometimes I forget just how young Rushton is, he’s only in his twenties, and sometimes I think he’s late thirties or something. And Elspeth too, she is early twenties as well!
Rushton finds a piece of cloth that was once Selmar’s, and it seems to really trouble Rushton. Selmar hasn’t been mentioned in ages (seriously every character ever is getting a roll call), but Rushton, I think never forgot her, and never forgot that she died trying to escape. Elspeth suggests that he loved her, but he just found comfort in her contagious, happy spirit, in a place where it was very bleak. Selmar was the first person to reveal her talents to Rushton, and the rest followed because of her, and it was because of her that they eventually began working together to stop Alexi and Madam Vega and make Obernewtyn a place for Misfits and ‘outsiders’. Everyone adored Selmar, which makes it a greater tragedy that she was ‘destroyed’ by Ariel. Rushton didn’t love her though, something he only knew after loving Elspeth.
Now things get slightly awkward, Rushton wasn’t intending on meeting Gruffyd, he was intending to come here and have sex with Elspeth. Even though Elspeth said she was ready, she was teetering on the edge of not really wanting it, but that’s all gone looking at Rushton. I honestly wasn’t expecting them to have sex, or for us to witness it at the very least, Isobelle Carmody just didn’t seem like the person to include this. It’s not that there is anything wrong with it, but it’s just slightly unexpected. But as Elspeth and Rushton get physical and come together, they also come together mentally. I honestly did not understand what this would entail, but it seems like they are literally sharing every single experience they have ever had. I have to wonder if other couples do the same when they have Misfit Talents. Elspeth sees his mother, Obernewtyn, even herself, through his eyes, and what an interesting experience that is. This is actually a genius way of recounting all the events of the previous books, clearly that tends to happen in the ‘finale’ of books, just think of Harry Potter, he reminisces of things as he empties out his trunk, it’s just a thing that authors do. I guess it’s because they like to recount what has happened and to make sure we relive some of these times that we have all been apart of. But doing it through the eyes of a different character? That’s brilliant!
What is most interesting is that we can see that Rushton (and probably others) have always known there was something more about her, something she was destined to do, but couldn’t reveal. He could tell by her miraculous healing (which Roland and he wondered if it was another Talent that she possessed), what the futuretellers always said, and the fact that all beasts call her Innle. Then we witness, for the first time really, the torment Rushton was put through in the hands of Ariel. And Elspeth sees from a different perspective, the battle inside Rushton’s head as Elspeth enters it, going deeper and deeper.
But of course, this is not a one sided experience, Rushton has just done the same thing. And incredibly, she didn’t filter things out, he now knows everything about her quest, including the fact Jik’s dog is going to arrive and signal the time for the quest. Which is interesting, is that still going to happen, is Darga coming to Obernewtyn, or is Darga going to arrive somewhere else? This is very strange, Elspeth has now told two people about her quest, and Rushton knows everything. Is this dangerous? I don’t know, I hope not. Rushton is now convinced that Hannah Seraphim is his ancestor, and that she was once called Moonwatcher, a friend to the Gypsies, longing to return to Jacob, but unable to do so. I wonder if she foresaw that she needed to have children, so that Rushton could come into the picture, so that meant she couldn’t try to go to Obernewtyn, until her job was done.
I didn’t quite realise Elspeth’s plan about hiding her quest inside the deepest part of Rushton’s mind. I thought she was going to plant it there, and let it release once it was all over. But instead, she has revealed it all to him now, and she is then going to remove all this knowledge. But this is a much better way, Rushton gets to understand, and Elspeth gets to share her quest with him, and get the encouragement she might need from him. I also didn’t realise how Elspeth would do this, she has to go into her spirit form, and she can see a gold cord, running between her and Rushton, symbolising their love, just like Miky and Angina’s spirit bond, because of their own relationship. Which has made Elspeth wonder if the Black Sword is going to be used to severe the spirit-bond between the twins, which I think is unthinkable, but Angina wants to save his sister. I’m also glad Elspeth thinks about the sword she was given, but dismisses it as not the Black Sword. This talk of spirit-bonds makes Elspeth wonder if Miryum and Straaka are bonded, so much so that Straaka cannot join the Mindstream because of it.
Now on the dreamtrails, Elspeth will be able to go and try to find Atthis, but first she really must make sure the knowledge of her quest is kept secret, but I have no idea why she needs to be in this form to do so. Because, she didn’t do this in Norseland, did she? Anyway, entering his deepest mind, the location of his Talent. In here is a pool of his memories, and next to it, is the bear. Somehow Elspeth is now holding a bowl full of his memories, and she hands it to the bear, who then proceeds to drink it. I did not anticipate this was the way to keeping the memories secret, but it makes sense.
Now, I eagerly await the next stage of Elspeth’s dreamtrails journey, as we get to see Atthis, or at least I hope we will!