Hallie O'Donovan hallieod at
Fri May 19 12:52:31 EDT 2000

Mary Ann wrote:

>Leroy made himself vulnerable by violating Laurel's rules about Tom's
>status-- thus he was no longer absolutely a holy sacrificial goat. Here, I
>agree with Hallie.
>Laurel's a nasty twister, so she sets up a contest whose result will not,
>she trusts, be agreeable for Tom and Polly, regardless of its outcome. (I
>think she's also exhibiting jealousy, actually.) Leroy and Tom will have a
>contest of which Tom and Polly, at any rate, won't quite understand the
>rules. Leroy protests his lack of strength, and Laurel states not only that
>each may use anything truly theirs, but that each may use the exact
>equivalent of what the other has. (Pardon-- my copy is not available, so I
>can't quote.)
>Leroy's strength and power have always come through Laurel, who feeds him a
>strong young man periodically. So what is truly his is really Laurel. With
>her on his side, he cannot lose. Tom's merely human strengths are by
>comparion nothing.

Gosh!  That's so close to what I was thinking, and yet ends up very
different!  I guess my thought was that  - well, let me quote this part.
(All our DWJ books are on a shelf right beside the computer, if you
couldn't have guessed!)  "Tom can use anything which is truly his.  You can
use the exact equivalent."  Which I took to mean that as Leroy had
_nothing_ which was truly his, the contest was set up so that he would win.

>Polly eventually realizes the meaning of the equivalency clause. If she
>deprives Tom of herself (and he was always so sure of her), then Leroy is
>deprived of Laurel. This is a sacrifice that means a great deal to her--
>Laurel, on the other hand, will now simply coopt Sebastian. She does not
>love, but she's a great fancier of property rights. Particularly hers.

Certainly agree whole-heartedly with the last two lines!

>Because Polly *does* love Tom, she gives him up entirely so that he won't be
>defeated and killed. When she does so, Leroy instantly loses Laurel's
>support. Then Tom's wild strength overwhelms him, and Tom is saved.

Again, I agree totally with the first line, but probably not with the next.

>Now I'll start agreeing entirely with Hallie again. :D  After the storm, Tom
>and Polly of course want to try being together. But can they do so without
>violating Laurel's rules, and thus falling into her power once more? The
>answer is yes and no. Because of Laurel's gift to Tom and his involving
>Polly in it, they have two worlds-- the normalish empirical world and their
>own world, Nowhere. Can they be together nowhere? Then they can be together
>in their own world. And if they can't be together nowhere, then they can be
>together somewhere.
>I don't know whether their partnership will work, but I think Polly's
>reasonable in thinking it's worth a try. Tom certainly took advantage of her
>to use her as an anchor to save himself. But he *acknowledges* it. Your true
>leech always accuses one of lack of love/generosity/whatever when its
>leechly extractions are addressed, and thus passive-aggressively whines for
>more. Tom didn't do that, and he also made considerable efforts to *keep*
>Polly from attaching herself to him so firmly she'd have a hard time
>withdrawing. He used her as little as he could, and he really liked her.
>That's my take, anyway.

Back with you 100% here.
>What I don't understand to my satisfaction is why gaining possession of
>Polly will save Sebastian. It seems to me to go beyond simply keeping close
>tabs on her. My speculations involve Polly's equivalence to Laurel. Or
>perhaps just her having acquired some Laurel-powers collaterally through the
>curse on Tom and her theft of the pictures? Surely it's not simply that
>Sebastian is sure that in possessing her he'll keep her from Tom?
>Ideas, anyone?

I'd always thought it was merely keeping her away from Tom.  Or rather,
keeping her under the binding laid on her to forget Tom.  All the efforts
taken by Seb and Leroy to keep Polly from retrieving her memories indicate
just how important it was to them that she _not_ try to claim Tom.
Possibly because of her success over all those years in holding on to him.

>Is agreement Necessary,or can you enjoy a cascade of readings? :D

Don't know about Sharyn, but I certainly can.  :-)

One thing I've never been clear on is exactly who Seb's mother was.
Trivial point, but I always mean to read carefully looking out for details
like that, and always end up being swept in and forget to.  Is this totally
obvious to everyone else?

hallieod at

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