(urth) Drunken Jahlee

Roy C. Lackey rclackey at stic.net
Sat Aug 6 23:58:26 PDT 2005

Crush wrote:
>The Rajan is approached by a drunk woman from behind. He hears her
>voice and thinks it is Chenille.
>"They're y'are."
>I looked around at the swaying woman behind me and said, "Chenille?"
>"Tha' lady on Green? No, 's me." Jahlee dropped onto Auk's stool and leaned
>across the table on her hands. "Guesh my faish's not sho good, huh?"
>"Don't smile," I told here.
>"I won'. I'sh jush show hungry. I foun' thish woman in a alley."
>"Not so loud, please."
>"drank 'n drank, 'n I fell down 'n I knew I better shtop."
>~ RTTW pg 155
>This is about as straightforward as you get for this kind of thing from
>Wolfe -- Jahlee's mother fed on Chenille. Chenille's soul is in Jahlee. She
>was drunk, she sounded just like Chenille when *she* was drunk.

Iirc, Chenille was drunk only once in the seven volumes. That was when she
and Silk went to Lake Limna. They had separated, with Silk going out to the
shrine. It was Auk who later found her drunk. Afaik, Silk never saw or heard
her drunk.

Nevertheless, you are right about something of the essence of Chenille being
in Jahlee's "soul". I don't know how it got there, but it's there. The brief
conversation Silkhorn had with Silk-in-Pig (RTTW, 174) contains an otherwise
pointless discussion about voice and spirit, and even mentions Chenille.

Also, after Silkhorn dug her up and her feet first touched stone after
feeding on that cow, the inhuma that was Jahlee looked to him like a woman,
"an emaciated woman with burning eyes whose hairless skull somehow conveyed
the impression of lank reddish hair." (OBW, 314) This was before Silkhorn
knew anything at all about Jahlee, who had been buried for an unknown number
of years.

This complicates Silk's theoretical relationship to his sister-in-a-sense
Chenille and his "daughter"-in-a-sense Jahlee.


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