(urth) Borrowed Man writeup

Robert Pirkola rpirkola at hotmail.com
Tue Oct 2 08:49:46 PDT 2018

On October 1, 2018, Marc Aramini wrote:

>And those sandwiches are part of the swan-n-sweetheart spiking of the
>chocolate which may or may not have greased the slippery slope to hell

The Swan-N-Sweetheart is interesting for reasons you already pointed out in the write-up.  That is to say, we need to pay attention
to its obvious reference to Cob and his fiance.  I think this is very important to the story because of things that Greg Kurzawa pointed out
when we were talking about this shortly after the book's release.  Back on December 14, 2015, he wrote:

>When EAS2 escapes from
>Fish and Payne he heads for the bus station with the intent of rescuing
>Colette from her kidnapper(s). He writes: "... I was the cat ... Now it
>was Puss in Boots time, and Colette was the Marquis of Carabas."
>In the Puss in Boots story, the Marquis of Carabas was a low-born fraud.
>Puss, using deceit and trickery, gets him married to the son of a king.
>To me, this is a dead giveaway that Colette is not who she says she is.
>The girl we know as Colette is a low-born fraud. We know that Conrad
>Coldbrook Jr. ("Cob") had a fiancee, but we're not told anything about
>her. Could this fiancee be the girl pretending to be Colette throughout
>the entire book? She's included in the family painting in the sunroom,
>but who's to say this isn't Cob and his fiancee, rather than Cob and his
>sister? They are holding hands, after all. And Conrad Sr. has one hand
>on his wife's shoulder, and another on his son's, almost as if to
>declare, 'these are mine. The girl ... not so much.'

I have always found this hard to argue with.  The question really is, as Greg says just after the quoted material, who is the fiance really?
To that end, I think it is helpful to remember this odd bit.  Ern asks himself whether Swan-N-Sweetheart is "brandy or whiskey" (pg. 100).
I think I mentioned this years ago, but I'll do it again.  E&J Brandy is a very popular brand.  So is Canadian Club for the whiskey side.  Canadian Club
is a CC, just like Collette.  This might help bolster Greg's contention that the fiance is playing at being Collette.  But the E&J is interesting too, if not
for the same reasons.  Ern is an "E" name.  Joanne (Collette's mother) is a "J".  Does this suggest that they were involved somehow?  Perhaps years ago when Ern
was a living human?

Notice that Collette's mother's name is Joanne *Rebecca* Carole Coldbrook.  There are suggestions that she was suicidal.  I think it is helpful to recall the plot points of the famous novel/film *Rebecca* in this light. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rebecca_(1940_film)#Plot.  See what I mean?  Supposed to be suicidal but really murdered.  There is an extramarital pregnancy as well just to complicate things.  But that might tie in with the E&J stuff I mentioned before.  If Conrad Sr. killed Joanne because of an extramarital affair a la *Rebecca* and she was carrying Ern's baby at the time, that would be provide him a significant motive for murdering Conrad Sr.  This ties back to
Ern's name meaning, as I have point out earlier, "the true striker (killer)".

A final note as well on the Puss in Boots bit.  Marc, you've pointed out several times the cat motif that goes through the story.  Puss in Boots adds to that.  Perhaps following the cat references can point us towards the fiance.

Rebecca (1940 film) - Wikipedia<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rebecca_(1940_film)#Plot>
Rebecca is a 1940 American romantic psychological thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock.It was Hitchcock's first American project, and his first film under contract with producer David O. Selznick.The screenplay by Robert E. Sherwood and Joan Harrison, and adaptation by Philip MacDonald and Michael Hogan, were based on the 1938 novel of the same name by Daphne du Maurier.

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