(urth) TSH: Ted, rings, ghosts

Mr Thalassocrat thalassocrat08 at gmail.com
Sat May 15 01:45:49 PDT 2010

On Sat, May 15, 2010 at 4:57 AM, Roy C. Lackey <rclackey at stic.net> wrote:

> By the time Bax was beaten by Ieuan, he had both the opal ring from the
> fish
> and Ted's ring. At that point he knew nothing at all about any hypothetical
> previous owner of the opal ring, and only what little Doris had told him
> about Ted. He didn't know then what Ted looked like. When writing about it,
> Bax decided that the big man who came between him and Ieuan must have been
> the boy's father, but that is not what he thought at the time of the
> beating: "At the time, because of his ring, I thought him something else; .
> . ." (50)
> That "something else" must have been a ghost. It must have been that the
> big
> man was wearing a ring identical to the one on Bax's finger, the ring Doris
> had given him that had belonged to her dead husband.
That's certainly the way I understood it.

> Bax, at least, did not believe that a ghost could leave behind real,
> tangible objects. In talking to Doris, who had asked if he had seen any
> ghosts, he mentioned his first encounter with Emlyn. "I didn't make it up,
> and he wasn't a ghost. I know he wasn't because he dropped things. Real
> things. I still have them." (36) He meant, of course, the triannulus and
> "longlight".

Note how the ring gets introduced in this first conversation with Doris. She
wants to hear any ghost stories Bax might have; he tells her about his
encounter with Emlyn and Emlyn's dropping stuff; she asks whether Bax's opal
ring was one of those things; just after this, she gives Bax Ted's ring,
after ascertaINING that he's not married.

I think Doris knows some "stuff" and she is actively fishing for information
here. She's really interested in that opal ring; hence my little theory
about why she gave Ted's ring to Bax: she wants Bax to give her the other
one (I guess a wedding ring).

Recall also that on the scary ride to the same restaurant later on, she says
that of everybody she can think, she wishes Ted was with them - because, I
think, she knows that Ted was involved with this "stuff" and would know how
to handle it.

As to what the wet initialled object might have been at the end: perhaps
Ted's shroud? Would that be monogrammed?

> Now a digression to an earlier topic. The text makes clear that Ted was a
> big man, taller and heavier than average Bax, and Black/Skotos was a small
> man, shorter than Bax. However, in later conversation with Emlyn, the boy
> asked Bax if he might be his father in disguise. Bax said no and asked if
> his father could disguise himself that well, and the boy said yes (161).
> And that brings me back to Doris's bedroom and her visit by Ted. According
> to her, Ted's apparition had left behind an unspecified tangible object,
> with his initials in a corner of it. I think someone wondered earlier if
> the
> object might have been the triannulus. It seems doubtful, yet I can't rule
> it out. And if Zwart could really have disguised himself to look like Bax,
> then he might as easily have disguised himself to look like anyone, even
> Ted. And that opens up a whole can of worms.
> Doris might not have said what the wet item was because she didn't know
> what it was. And the Ted she saw might not have been a ghost. Winkle/Winker
> and old Nick seemed to come and go as if by magic, as well as other figures
> from faerie.
> Neither does any of this preclude Ted from somehow being Goldwurm.
> If it seems as though I am pointing in different directions at the same
> time, it is because I am. I'm just trying to make sense of what there is to
> deal with.
> -Roy
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