Chapter 34 - Trial
Schoolroom genealogy followed by the *hilarious* tale of the Pollygoggers’ jury trial, muchly goodly narrated by the author and the author’s cohorts (Tuerqui, Jennifer Petrie...) – except they are not really cohorts but I feel competing narrators within the Collective Unconscious of the novel. Tuerqui’s bashful need to keep her skirt as low as possible (while being duplicitously enticing, too?) and her expressly saying that to escape punishment is ‘good’ (when she evidently enjoys punishment?) – coupled with her father’s use of the word ‘Pah’ and his rather more repressed view of what women can view etc... makes me ponder and ponder. There is more to this novel than meets the eye. Some exemplifying passages:
She flexed her cane meaningfully, but – to my surprise – didn’t use it. In fact, I survived the entire morning, and the schoolroom lunch, without punishment. It seemed too good to be true. Mary and Phoebe hadn’t been quite so lucky
(typo: full-stop after ‘lucky’ needed).
Perhaps, I dared hope, the Duck’s Ford ruby had finished with me. A worse possibility remained as a worry – that it had reached through the dream world to ensnare Tuerquelle or Lady Isobel. Was such a thing possible? Briefly, I wondered whether to ask Miss Miles – who seemed to know something of cursed stones – but decided not chance my luck by doing so.
“About half an hour – plenty long enough for them to prepare. Prepare their case – pah! Prepare for the slave trimmer’s knife, more like!”
Such thoughts brought me to my responsibility for the arrest, trial and punishment of Daniel and Carp-Eye. Thoroughly regretting the business now, it was far too late for me to prevent it. Lisa-Louise was right – my revenge was the work of a slave wrenched from her mistress’ authority and consequently gone mad. The dominance that the elfin girl had exerted upon me was to be thanked for the clarity with which I could now view matters.
A nice simile:
as soft as scrumper’s shit
And a premonition of ‘zero tolerance’:
...it seems to me that I have been too lax, far too lax. That being so, for today at least, I will not ignore the slightest error. Every mistake will mean a spanking or the cane...
Elfin Lisa-Louise remains inscrutable and seems to be role-playing role-playing...?
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