Chapter 31 – Lessons
Lessons in and out of the schoolroom. Lessons for the characters in the plot, lessons for the plot-masters and -mistresses themselves and lessons for the readers. One wonders sometimes who are the puppets and who the puppeteers in this highly complex interaction of narration and narration-receipt (complex without being difficult even to the least experienced of readers, I guess).
The reader follows the quick-fire pecking-order of other interactions -- father and daughter, mother and daughter at a distance of separation, slave and person, person and person, slave and slave, teacher and student, time and punishment, female and male, Goddess and Goddess icon, jewel thief and ‘loose cannon’, love and submission.
Some passages in this chapter:
It was in line with her insistence that it was my inner being that enslaved me, rather than the presence or absence of a harness.
Lisa-Louise’s voice sank too low for me to catch the words, Barguin giggled. Dedicating the image to Our Lady of the Lamp as I worked, absorbed me into prayer. Naturally, the first requests I had for she embodied in the new image concerned Tuerquelle. Feeling the goodness of the goddess surround me, I felt that my alarm for my daughter’s safety was ill-founded – the alarm echoed by the menacing dreams of the night before.
(I didn’t fully follow the sense of the bit I’ve put in bold).
“Father,” I began, “you remember mother’s jewel boxes? You were kind enough to send them to me.”
“Of course I remember them, girl. It was only yesterday. I know you’re just a female, without a man’s capacity for abstract thought, but there’s no need to ask quite such stupid questions.”
My return to Surrey was an increasingly urgent issue. The images of Tuerquelle and my mistress called me – neither of them long absent from my thoughts. The ache where my daughter should have been had not lessened, and was not likely to ameliorate until our reunion. At the same time, all but demonic figures rendered staying in Lundin intolerable – my father, Miss Miles, the as yet vague outline of a future husband.
Wasn’t ‘Fetcha’ (mentioned in this chapter) called ‘Fech’ before?
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