(urth) Short Story 8: Volksweapon

Marc Aramini marcaramini at gmail.com
Thu Jul 3 14:45:43 PDT 2014

I need to look at the story again, but a few quick things

On Wed, Jul 2, 2014 at 6:53 PM, Robert Pirkola <rpirkola at hotmail.com> wrote:

> Smythe is aware of a storm that will come after the murder.  "A puff of
> warm night wind touched the game warden's cheek, somehow hinting of a
> summer thunder storm to come."  (pg. 45).  Smythe doesn't want the two
> hunters staying at the crime scene because he says "the police wouldn't
> want anybody rooting around after more evidence before they got there."
>  (pg. 48).  These two lines together seem to indicate that Smythe has some
> motive for keeping the crime scene's evidence from the police.  If he
> allows the crime scene to be exposed to the rain before the police are
> there, fewer clues will be available for them to come up with a solution
> different from the one provided them by Smythe himself.  In addition, it is
> rather curious that a seemingly upstanding enforcer of the law (as Game
> Warden Smythe appears to be) would offer to destroy evidence of a crime.
>  He promises the old hunter to drop the derringer in the lake next time he
> is out that way.  (pg. 49).

I don't necessarily agree with the connotation of the details above - the
two hunters there might cause more damage than brewing rain - it's just a
hint of a storm, and that's a big assumption on Smythe's part to rely on
that to tamper with evidence.

 However, the "I wish I could have given it to her" at the end I always
thought was both ambiguous and a bit suggestive, though the surface
meaning, an easy weapon to use to save herself, works with that statement
as well.

 As far as Borski claiming unnamed characters can be named ... well, ...
no.  His associations are occasionally correct and often, such as the
embedded names, simply beyond the pale of credulity.  The golden hue he
asseverates as indicating relationship to Severian, for example, is fairly
devoid of textual support.

Murders in Wolfe, such as by Weer, are often accompanied with a pretty
heavy handed symbol (apples apples everywhere for the fall of man in Peace)
or are narrated outright, as by Skip ("I shot the leader in the head"), but
Smythe does seem to have some sly survival skills - either an effective
hero or villain for the wilderness setting.

I will write more later.
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