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 Post subject: DUNNETT: PiF: Chapter 24: The House of Jubrael Pasha
PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2017 12:00 am 
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Clan Fraser
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Pawn in Frankincense
by Dorothy Dunnett

© 1966 - © 1994


Chapter 24: Constantinople: The House of Jubrael Pasha

" 'I've taken the leet oath, Archie,' said Philippa, her voice shaking slightly. 'Ye shall be buxom and obedient to all justices in all things that they shall lawfully command of you. Archie, I'll always be buxom to you' " (p. 401 Vintage pb).


The players are in place – Lymond as the Meddáh, Jerott, Mikál, and Archie – as they receive the simple command: “Proceed.” The plan is in motion as the healing Gaultier awaits the return of Marthe, and Giles transcribes his coveted notes. Four days have passed since Marthe entered the Seraglio, but no blame can be placed on Lymond in this instance for he knew nothing of Jerott’s plan to have her relate a message to Philippa. Yet, Jerott makes it clear that Marthe and the treasure are both dispensable. The next day word is received from the Seraglio that someone is to escort Marthe home for she has had a slight breakdown in health. Jerott is ready to collect her with Oz in tow as Onophrion has offered his services just in case the young woman needs attention. Before darkness falls, Philippa and the two children should be out of Constantinople, unless Marthe has betrayed them all.

Meanwhile, another plot is underway in the house of Názik, the nightingale merchant. A new carpet dealer has arrived to pick up a carpet he had bought from Názik earlier. The transaction is hard to resist for the dealer is offering him a large sum of money for the threadbare prayer rug. Názik is distracted when the cage maker also appears with the two cages he has been waiting to purchase. Before the negotiations for the cages are completed, Názik is informed that Khaireddin is missing and a search ensues for the carpet dealer’s cart. The tracks lead to the empty cart and the carpet in question, which conceals Khaireddin’s small cap. Mikál visits the House of the Nightingales to ensure no one follows the cage maker’s mule.

Philippa is carrying out her part and takes Kuzum to see the elephants, where Archie is waiting to take a sleeping Kuzum into the cage that will be transported to a cart. Philippa appears to take the young boy back to his room and is able to go to Khourem’s rooms for everyone is away celebrating a religious holiday. “Supple and strong” Philippa picks the door lock and makes her way back to Archie. She even endures the stench of elephant muck in order to make a clean escape.

Lymond takes advantage of the festival and makes way for the house of Jubrael Pasha as soon as he receives confirmation from Mikál that Philippa and the two boys are safe. Mikál has been looking after Lymond and makes one last attempt at gaining his heart. Lymond tells him “You have a tongue, have you not, which breaks backs? I have madness in many forms, but that which springs from the passions of the heart is not my nature. That is all. We are fashioned differently” (p 404 Vintage pb). Mikál informs him they are all alike and asks for a lock of Lymond’s hair, to which Lymond agrees.

Gabriel’s palace is located on high ground overlooking the Hippodrome and the Sea of Marmara, and is easily accessed by Lymond who notices the luxurious surroundings and an almond tree near the balcony from which he can enter his enemy’s room. He senses a woman’s scent and finds a single earring under the couch. It is a trinket in the form of a tassel of seed pearls, its knot studded in rubies. A search of the room turns up nothing of importance. While Lymond waits for his victim, he ponders the worst that could happen to him is to be deprived of the opium his body needs. Before long Lymond has company, is discovered in the room, and is leaping out the window as he makes his way to the covered bazaar and the rooftops. The game of cat and mouse begins. Just when the reader thinks Lymond had returned to safe territory, we find Gabriel waiting for Lymond with Mikál.

Lymond has been betrayed by the pilgrim of love and is distraught to find all his efforts undone. Philippa and Kuzum are brought into the room and she quickly learns about Lymond’s addiction. Gabriel relieves him of the items he had stolen from his apartment, including a tespi, a prayer string of pearls. Gabriel tempts him with opium and is seeking to denigrate Lymond. Philippa has no choice but to drop a tired Kuzum in order to allow Lymond a moment to push the opium onto the floor. She has granted him the diversion needed to diffuse the situation. Lymond is finally struck down and taken to the Seraglio with Philippa and Kuzum. Everyone is then separated -- Philippa is taken to a strange room where she waits for dawn.

Such well-laid plans came to naught by the end of the chapter. It really did seem Lymond, Philippa, and the children were home-free. So close, yet so far!


There are some dramatic antics in this chapter as Lymond makes his escape through the bazaar and nearby rooftops, similar to the rooftop-jumping he enjoyed in Queen’s Play.

Dunnett provides a few clues and new questions in this chapter. Lymond discovers a pearl earring with rubies and a tespi inside Gabriel’s apartment. Do we know for certain to whom they belong?

Did Mikál betray Lymond due to unrequited love or are others controlling Mikál’s actions?

All of Lymond’s allies have been taken to the Seraglio and are fair game. The odds are not in his favor and he has risked everyone’s safety.

Philippa is once again very brave and even cheeky when she quotes her oath to Archie. She is indeed strong and supple and will hopefully not need rescuing.

Please share your thoughts about this chapter.

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 Post subject: Re: DUNNETT: PiF: Chapter 24: The House of Jubrael Pasha
PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2017 8:39 am 
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Excellent summary, Lady Jayne. :bow: Although the plot grows more and more dangerous, :worry: and the humiliation Francis suffers at the hands of JP is difficult to swallow. I wanted to throw the book at the wall with this chapter. :x

Lady Jayne wrote:
Dunnett provides a few clues and new questions in this chapter. Lymond discovers a pearl earring with rubies and a tespiinside Gabriel’s apartment. Do we know for certain to whom they belong?

Did Mikál betray Lymond due to unrequited love or are others controlling Mikál’s actions?


I believe KK wore the same earring in Djerba, during the AG's horse exhibition. There is also a lingering woman's scent in the room. I'd say KK is maneuvering much behind the curtains.

Mikál is an interesting character, he does display some jealous tendencies, but I'm certain a higher power is also handling his actions. We should remember KK has desired Francis's support for her own exploits since Djerba (and possibly before that). My guess is there are layers upon layers, of moves and countermoves, betrayals upon betrayals. We'll get a better idea who is the master manipulator by the end of the book.

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But the wine had been too strong for her, as it had for the others; and like the others she had stepped from the safe shores of friendship. She stood now in another country, whose sun burned and whose air was too rare for her breathing. Checkmate


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 Post subject: Re: DUNNETT: PiF: Chapter 24: The House of Jubrael Pasha
PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2017 9:10 am 
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Lady Jayne, excellent summary! Thank you. :clap: :clap: :clap:

I love your insight about the comparison to the roof race in QP. There was also the race in Algiers with Jerott. Only this time Lymond is terribly alone.

Let me see if I have all this plotting straight.

- Lymond told Jerott to get someone into the seraglio to tell Philippa the escape plan, but it was Jerott's idea to use Marthe, and Lymond knew nothing of this until after the fact.

- They still don't know what happened to Marthe and whether or not she has betrayed them. We know she is in the hands of the mutes, but they do not.

- Lymond, Archie, and Philippa know of Mikal's perfidy, but Jerott (and presumably Marthe) do not.

- Archie, Philippa, Kuzum, and Khaireddin were to slip out of the city and head for France.

- Lymond and Jerott stayed behind to finish their primary mission of killing Gabriel.

As with Lymond, Jerott never planned to leave with Archie and the "children," did he? I assume, although there is nothing explicit to indicate this, that Jerott is the "backup plan" should Lymond fail to kill GRM.

Why on earth would Mikal betray Archie, Philippa, Marthe, and the children? Why not just betray Lymond and Jerott to Gabriel? Mikal's actions seem extraordinarily wicked.

This chapter is infuriating! :x

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 Post subject: Re: DUNNETT: PiF: Chapter 24: The House of Jubrael Pasha
PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2017 10:49 am 
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Thanks for the summary Lady Jayne. I agree with Clewless that this chapter is infuriating, in fact, I had a sleepless night because of it. Every time I woke, I was tormented with images of Lymond, Philippa and Kuzum facing GRM, and of Mikkal's betrayal. Clewless, you ask a good question:
Clewless wrote:
Why on earth would Mikal betray Archie, Philippa, Marthe, and the children? Why not just betray Lymond and Jerott to Gabriel? Mikal's actions seem extraordinarily wicked. Was it just from unrequited love?

If Lymond had known that giving Mikkal what he craved would have saved them all (remember the Aga Morat),, then he would have given himself. I wonder why Mikkal did not try blackmail, but then, I suppose he wanted a willing Lymond, which Lymond could not give.

The escape plan was elaborate, with the number of people involved - I take it that all the people who delayed the Janissaries were doing so deliberately, but on whose orders?

A-C, I knew we had seen that earring before; thanks for reminding us of where.

This is all so sad :cry: Who is left to rescue our heroes? Gaultier? Gilles? Oz? The ichneumon?

As I was reading the chapter, I kept thinking of the writers' expression of the hero's journey, where the plot of a book should resemble a series of mountain peaks, with a setback each time you think the prize is in grasp. Wow - DD sure knew how to plot this journey!

I have a question. After GRM removes everything from Lymond's satchel, he asks, "Must you repair your own fortunes by robbing another?"
"I wish I'd thought of it," said Lymond briefly. The accessibility of Gabriel's costly belongings was thus simply explained."

What does this last part mean about the accessibility of GRM's costliest belongings?


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 Post subject: Re: DUNNETT: PiF: Chapter 24: The House of Jubrael Pasha
PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2017 10:58 am 
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DLT, you asked:
Quote:
I have a question. After GRM removes everything from Lymond's satchel, he asks, "Must you repair your own fortunes by robbing another?"
"I wish I'd thought of it," said Lymond briefly. The accessibility of Gabriel's costly belongings was thus simply explained."
What does this last part mean about the accessibility of GRM's costliest belongings?

When Lymond was in GRM's house, he noticed some expensive things lying around ready for the taking. It might have struck him as odd at the time, but now that GRM has him in his clutches and has had someone plant the "costly belongings" in Lymond's bag, he realizes why these expensive items were easily accessible. GRM was setting him up to be a thief as well as an attempted murderer. But that begs the question of why bother? Isn't it over the top to add theft to Lymond's long list of crimes? I'm sure Gabriel has his rotten reasons. He always seems to be one step ahead of FC.

As you point out, our hero is in a very deep valley right now.

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 Post subject: Re: DUNNETT: PiF: Chapter 24: The House of Jubrael Pasha
PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2017 2:02 pm 
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Great summary, Lady Jayne!

A large percentage of this chapter was written from Lymond's POV... I found that fascinating, to be inside his mind for a change. It's so seldom we get any direct insight into what he's thinking or feeling.

DLT wrote:
The escape plan was elaborate, with the number of people involved - I take it that all the people who delayed the Janissaries were doing so deliberately, but on whose orders?


I don't think they were there for the purpose of delaying the Janissaries, because I don't think Lymond even cared about escape -- his only goal was to kill GRM. I think Lymond was just as quick as ever to instantly observe details surrounding him and put them to use.

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“...I prize freedom of the mind above freedom of the body. I claim the right to make my own mistakes and keep quiet about them. ... My life is at your disposal, but not my thoughts.”
Francis Crawford, in Dorothy Dunnett's Game of Kings


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 Post subject: Re: DUNNETT: PiF: Chapter 24: The House of Jubrael Pasha
PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2017 2:05 pm 
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I have two comment and two questions.

The debate between Mikál and Lymond about love continues, Mikál accuses FC of having a rock for a soul, thus his reason to betray him. I wonder, why would DD pursue this angle? :thinking:

Notice the punctuation:

Page 409: "Why, Mikál?" FC asks after the betrayal to JP. Mild reaction.

Page 410: Mikál! When Philippa and Kuzum are brought in. Stark surprise. Big difference between the two. This could be significant.

What was Philippa searching for in Khourrém's rooms? Any ideas?

In case anyone is interested Väinämöinen is a Finnish mythology hero and Vipunen is an underground giant, possessor of magic and powerful spells. This page relates the "anvil" story referenced in PiF. Antero-Vipunen

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But the wine had been too strong for her, as it had for the others; and like the others she had stepped from the safe shores of friendship. She stood now in another country, whose sun burned and whose air was too rare for her breathing. Checkmate


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 Post subject: Re: DUNNETT: PiF: Chapter 24: The House of Jubrael Pasha
PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2017 2:40 pm 
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Lady Jayne, great summary: each of the chapters gets harder to take. :cry:


Good point A-C, clearly Lymond has different feeling for each instance which begs the question is this a double-double cross? Still... Mikal :( :( :(

GRM gets more nauseating each time we see him. How painful that they were so close to escaping and yet once again, GRM seems to have the upper hand.

I assume the tespi was not the diamond one that FC had sent to the Sultana? I would guess Lymond used that to fund the rescue.


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 Post subject: Re: DUNNETT: PiF: Chapter 24: The House of Jubrael Pasha
PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2017 3:14 pm 
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LynnL wrote:
I assume the tespi was not the diamond one that FC had sent to the Sultana?


Apparently not. In GRM's room, Lymond sees: "In the corner stood a statue of Venus in white marble, signed by Praxiteles, a jade Mohammedan tespi slung round its neck."

But when GRM searches Lymond's satchel, he finds: "There were other things in the satchel too: a box in gold leaf and some uncut stones, and a tespi, a prayer string of pearls itself worth all of three thousand pounds." Not the same things Lymond saw earlier -- GRM must have brought them along to frame Lymond. The only thing that he's stated to have taken was the seed pearl earring he found under the bed.

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“...I prize freedom of the mind above freedom of the body. I claim the right to make my own mistakes and keep quiet about them. ... My life is at your disposal, but not my thoughts.”
Francis Crawford, in Dorothy Dunnett's Game of Kings


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 Post subject: Re: DUNNETT: PiF: Chapter 24: The House of Jubrael Pasha
PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2017 6:22 pm 
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Thank you for this wonderful summary, Lady Jayne. :bow: These chapters are getting grimmer.
Thanks for all the comments.

I was aghast at the betrayal. Nauseated.

I suppose Lymond recognized the earring as well, that's why he took it. Perhaps he even recognized KK's scent.

A-C, I think the punctuation is important as well. Lymond knows there's more at play, I suspect, now that the others have been captured as well. Lymond rarely shows any shock, but he is surprised.

I hate seeing Lymond like this. :cry:

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 Post subject: Re: DUNNETT: PiF: Chapter 24: The House of Jubrael Pasha
PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2017 10:53 pm 
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:cry: This was just awful. I am so angry at Mikal for betraying Lymond, Philippa (again! I was mad when he abandoned her earlier too), and the boys.

It seems like GRM has all the cards and is always ahead, so it's hard right now to see how our heroes can get themselves out of this mess.

I kind of love that Archie's work with animals was a big part of the escape plan.


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 Post subject: Re: DUNNETT: PiF: Chapter 24: The House of Jubrael Pasha
PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2017 11:03 pm 
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Joy unmitigated - a keyboard to type on. Unfortunately, a very grim chapter. Although this isn't my first time read, GRM's appearance still took me by surprise. He truly has the upper hand - all of Lymond's plotting with cobwebs and sand - and money - has come to nothing.

I loved the opening descriptions of the Meddah in the Hippodrome - I hadn't realised that was where the bronze horses on display at St Mark's in Venice had come from, so at least I got one happy moment from this chapter because they are one of my favourite pieces of art in the world, ever.
Anam-Charaid wrote:
I believe KK wore the same earring in Djerba, during the AG's horse exhibition. There is also a lingering woman's scent in the room. I'd say KK is maneuvering much behind the curtains.
I'd say she's manouevering much in GRMs bed, myself. We know that KK is often associated with pearls - any chance that the tespi planted in Lymond's satchel at the end of the chapter is also hers?

DLT wrote:
Who is left to rescue our heroes? Gaultier? Gilles? Oz? The ichneumon?
Two thoughts - Gaultier seems a lot more focussed on rescuing the treasures of St Sophia than he does his niece. Marthe's predicament is referenced quickly later on in Mikal's POV - there is no rescue planned for her. 'They hadn't known then that the girl would be detained, nor had they made plans to free her. The Embassy, perhaps, would take care of that.' Reference back to the last chapter and she is bitter, but life has dealt her a challenging hand. Only Jerott is interested in saving Marthe. And did anybody notice Jerott petting the ichneumon? :D
pagali wrote:
A large percentage of this chapter was written from Lymond's POV... I found that fascinating, to be inside his mind for a change. It's so seldom we get any direct insight into what he's thinking or feeling.
I don't think they (the people in and around the bazaar) were there for the purpose of delaying the Janissaries, because I don't think Lymond even cared about escape -- his only goal was to kill GRM. I think Lymond was just as quick as ever to instantly observe details surrounding him and put them to use.
Pagali, I couldn't agree more. I cannot think of any other chapter where we spend such a long time in Lymond's POV. We get four in this chapter, I think - Jerott, Mikal and then Lymond's, followed by Philippa. And I agree that Lymond didn't care about escaping, evidenced by this comment in his POV - 'A public degredation of body and spirit under Gabriel's eye would be less than inviting. But there was a simple way out of that.' He just wanted to get everyone safely away, and then kill GRM and had no concerns about preserving his own life, dying in the fight or by an overdose, presumably. The chase through the bazaar is interesting - it almost feels like a moment of 'barbarous hilarity' and is a little bit out of place. I imagine it's designed to show the highs - and later lows - of the opium addiction.

AC, I'd completely missed the punctuation around 'Why, Mikal'. Absolutely brilliant catch. Why, indeed? As to what Philippa was searching for, I think she's there because Roxelana's rooms are above the smaller animal enclosure, which has enabled Archie to put up the rope that Philippa escapes via.

This comment of Lymond's to Mikal feels familiar, but I can't find it with a quick search. Echoes of Thady Boy's language, I thought. 'You have a tongue, have you not, which breaks backs?'

I'm (fortunately, I think) having trouble imagining the cage that Khairredan is eventually spirited away in. It must be large enough to have him stand in, presumably to show him off to prospective customers, but small enough to strap onto the mule. Revolting.

Anyone else catch this reference? '..the little boy in his Turkish jacket and slippers was as sweet as a peach;' More fruit references for Kuzum. Here's the clue that really caught my attention though -
Quote:
'Lymond was no longer vulnerable to the violent changes in mood and in temper which had make him a tormenting companion ever since Malta.'
I'm guessing it's the trip to Malta after the battle in Zuara (Ch. 14), rather than a reference back to TDK, and it's telling us when someone started feeding Lymond the opium.


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 Post subject: Re: DUNNETT: PiF: Chapter 24: The House of Jubrael Pasha
PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 6:05 am 
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Lady Jayne...thank you. This is one of the chapters where I am almost afraid to keep reading even though it is just the latest of many reads...so many strands on a knife edge. Grim is a good word for it!!! I get more anxious as the book continues. I think you know the feeling everyone!

Quote:
Quote:
'Lymond was no longer vulnerable to the violent changes in mood and in temper which had make him a tormenting companion ever since Malta.'

I had never noticed that piece of information before.
And the conversations with Mikal and his behaviour...well....I do want to slap him. Being beautiful is no excuse for bad behaviour and yet I cannot see him as being malicious. I am not able to see what is driving him except Mikal's desires and 'whims'. I hate his betrayal of everybody!

I think the reference to a tongue that breaks backs is biblical…. (my failed religious upbringing)
Proverbs 25:15. "By long forbearing is a prince persuaded, and a soft tongue breaketh the bone."

I knew that bloody tasselled pearl earring would show up again! And even in FC's first examination of GRM/JP's room he remarks to himself (in that so rare POV) that "Why not in your Treasury, I wonder?".

I thank you all for the comments. I also hate seeing GRM's overweening complacency. He is so
very evil in all his golden manipulative glory. It makes me cringe...and brave little Phillippa... with her ringed eyes and greeny pale face....what an absolute trouper she is. Heather


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 Post subject: Re: DUNNETT: PiF: Chapter 24: The House of Jubrael Pasha
PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 2:39 pm 
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Hello you all! thank you Lady Jayne for the summary and everyone for comments and explanations.

I, for one, was sure while reading the first time that the earring was Guzel's, but I don't remember now why? where did we see it?

I loved the Janissary's chase, just because I absolutely adore these scenes that DD creates (such as the rooftops race, an all times favorite), full of speed, colour, senses, and people at the end engaging in the chase as participants, maybe recognizing the persecuted's geniuos, and maybe resenting the Jannisaries. One could say that this maybe is showing us Lymond's senses under opium effects, as I think kiwijo pointed out, but I think that the other chases that we've seen up to now, feel quite this way, as someone high on adrenalin and hilarity (and infecting with it to people around him).

I have this doubt regarding our friend OZ, friend or foe? haven't we reached the conclusion some chapter before that he must be the traitor in camp? feeding opium to Lymond? working with Gabriel? why, then hasn't Lymond shared this knowledge with Jerott? why would jerott accept OZ help to go get Marthe from the Seraglio? Isn't it dangeorous? or is it playing on his game to let him go unsuspected? could he think to be unsuspected?

Mikal's betrayal was a punch in my stomach, because I've had a little crush on him all along. However, I didn't notice before the different reactions from Lymond to it that AC pointed out.... so, why would that be? who's betraying who, I wonder....

And one last thing that caught my attention: while we are into Lymond's head... we see, we hear, we plan with him, but we don't feel. Aren't we privy to his feelings? or he just doesn't feel while he's pursuing something and works as a machine?

Although frustrating and angsty, I loved reading this chapter....

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 Post subject: Re: DUNNETT: PiF: Chapter 24: The House of Jubrael Pasha
PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 2:46 pm 
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lormza wrote:
And one last thing that caught my attention: while we are into Lymond's head... we see, we hear, we plan with him, but we don't feel. Aren't we privy to his feelings? or he just doesn't feel while he's pursuing something and works as a machine?
Although he does have a very strong ability to mask his feelings or ignore them, we do get a couple of hints. For instance when he's about to search GRM's clothing: "His robes and his furs were magnificent: after the briefest of hesitations, the flexible hands slipped among them and searched inside them, probing. Nothing again: nothing of consequence."

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“...I prize freedom of the mind above freedom of the body. I claim the right to make my own mistakes and keep quiet about them. ... My life is at your disposal, but not my thoughts.”
Francis Crawford, in Dorothy Dunnett's Game of Kings


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