Saturday, 22 February 2014

Death And The Knight

Poul Anderson, Time Patrol (New York, 2006), pp. 741-755.

Twenty five pages, four chapters:

PARIS, TUESDAY, 10 OCTOBER 1307: problem
SAN FRANCISCO, THURSDAY, 8 MARCH 1990: Everard agrees to help
HARFLEUR, WEDNESDAY, 11 OCTOBER 1307: preparation
PARIS, WEDNESDAY, 11 OCTOBER 1307: solution

The first page is a detailed Andersonian descriptive passage: clouds, wind, dust, stenches (listed), sounds and noises (listed), people (housewife, artisan, priest, mountebank, beggar, merchant, apprentices, man-at-arms, student, foreigner, carter).

On the second page, Hugues Marot towers over most men. Having read the Time Patrol series this far, we might recognize his height as a clue that he is a time traveler from the future. We learn that he has accurately predicted some future events: another clue. When, at the end of the first chapter, he is arrested and detained by his fellow Templars, he grasps a crucifix which is a "...symbol and source of help from beyond this world." (p. 746)

A source of help indeed - it conceals his Time Patrol communicator.

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