Conrad's Fate

minnow at belfry.org.uk minnow at belfry.org.uk
Mon May 16 16:19:30 EDT 2005


Jennifer wrote:

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>I realised the uncle was up to something fishy- I've never heard of having
>karma that you have to kill someone!

I think it's quite fair for *us* to notice, because we can go and find out
about karma, but Conrad hasn't got our resources available, and he has only
had his elder sister's rather casual and uninformative remarks about it to
set against his uncle being very certain, and he didn't really understand
her explanation anyway.  And that was when he was eight, four years
earlier, since when he's been having the badness of his karma rubbed into
him all the time and nobody at all to give him another view on the matter.

>And the way the whole magic group are suddenly "Ooooh, what terrible
>karma!" when they've never mentioned it before as he's brought the port
>for their meetings.

I think he hasn't actually been there when they are.  He takes the port up
there, but at one point his uncle says "They don't know you, I haven't told
them about you" and he doesn't comment that this isn't correct, which does
rather imply that he hasn't been in the room with them before.  He probably
just helps to set things up, and then gets sent off to do the housework or
his prep for school or something.  And when he does end up in the same room
as them he says "I knew most of [them] at least by sight", which also gives
me the impression that until that day he hasn't actually been in the room
during one of the meetings.  So from his point of view, a lot of
respectable people from the town, the local bigwigs, are suddenly noticing
his terrible black aura because it's the first time they have seen him.

Then every last one of them says the same as his uncle, one way or another.
I wonder whether I would have been brash enough at the age of twelve to
contradict such a weight of evidence...  Nope, on the whole I think
probably not.  Christopher Chant might possibly have done (though I don't
think he did question what he was told by his parents, at that age, did
he?) but it's not something an ordinary person of twelve would manage,
especially if he thought the grown-ups were trying to help him to cope with
a truly dreadful (if unspecified) Fate.

Minnow


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