Friday, 14 August 2015
"'Cut out that shimmy...'" (Time Patrol, p. 65)
Having googled this word, I am still not sure what he meant by it.
The proverbially rich Croesus tells Everard that Cyrus' life was threatened in infancy but that he was hidden and grew up as a herdsman until he could come forth, attested by signs. After hearing this:
"Everard lay quiet on the couch for a while. He heard autumn leaves rustle dryly in the garden, under a cold wind." (p. 73)
The cold autumn wind underlines the mystery of what he has heard. He must ask:
"'This is true, and no fanciful gossip?'" (ibid.)
Yes, it is confirmed by Cyrus and by others who were involved, all of them Persians fanatical about truthfulness.
"...yet Everard had heard nothing so fantastic in all his Patrol career." (ibid.)
It is the hero myth told by Herodotus of Cyrus but also told of many others. Everard/Anderson lists three but we can think of more, including the central figure of Matthew's Gospel. That cold wind sounds as if blows from the same source as such legendary stories.
When Everard finds a slave girl waiting in his room, he tells us one of the lessons learned by time travelers:
"A man had to take whatever the gods offered him, and they were a miserly lot." (p. 74)