Chapter 4

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  • (Berning and wording; Lorna's tel; new connexion man)
  • Eulogies for Brooder Walker, and Lorna's summary of the magical significance of recent events. Riddley prepares to become the new connexion man. As we will see, the connexion man's duties are not quite the same as those of the tel woman.
  • (22:12) "sarvering gallack seas and flaming nebyul eye"

A reference to space travel (sovereign galaxies, flaming nebulae).

  • (22:24) "Thine the han what shapit the black" .... "We all thinet hands"

"Thine" in the second sense seems to mean clasp or entwine; so the song is both speaking to the Creator (whose hand shaped the black) and suggesting that we hold that hand.

Since the word doesn't occur elsewhere in the book, it's hard to say how it acquired this double meaning, though it does sound a bit like "twine". But this may be an example of the kind of folk etymology that happens when a word stops being used except in one specific context. In this case, Riddley's people do not know that "thine" meant "yours"; if they have only ever heard the word in this one phrase, "thine the hand", they may have just assumed it was a verb and made up a reasonable meaning.

  • (24:22) "Aunty come for him. Stoan boans and iron tits and teef be twean her legs ... she come down on top of him"

This is the first reference to just how the angel of death claims her victims. Stone and iron are two of the main building materials of Riddley's world; note that nothing on Aunty is made out of wood.

AP points out several possible associations with the iconic figure of La Lupa, the she-wolf who suckles Romulus and Remus, as "general themes of wolves and the rise and fall of civilizations would fit". The original Etruscan statue is blackened bronze (a stone copy is prominently displayed in Rome), and the wolf with her pointed dugs hovering over the children is a strikingly fierce maternal image. A wolf, two children, and a river also feature in the Eusa Story, with Folleree or Folleroo standing in for the wolf.
  • (25:23) "his front legs wer like out stretcht arms it took me strange to see that"

We will see a particular image of outstretched arms a bit later in Chapter 6.