[DWJ] Crown of Dalemark question

estairm at yahoo.com estairm at yahoo.com
Thu Jul 19 06:00:42 EDT 2007


--- Paul Andinach wrote:

> On Sun, 8 Jul 2007 estairm at yahoo.com wrote:
> 
> > Okay, then, I have a question to get things going.
> > I just re-read The Crown of Dalemark.  SPOILER
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> > In the scene where Alk uses the truth-verifying
> > Cup to eliminate suspects in Noreth's death -- how
> > did he eliminate Maewen? He DOES include her in
the
> > suspects at the beginning.
> >
> > I think he asks Moril, Mitt, and Navis directly if
> > they did the deed, they answer, and are
> > vindicated.
> > But Maewen just verifies her identity and then
> > gives a true and then a false statement without
any
> > bearing on Noreth's death.
> >
> > Am I missing something?
> 
> What I think is that he doesn't ask Maewen whether
> she did it because by the time she's handed the cup
> he already knows she didn't. And I think that what 
> convinces him is her reaction to the news of       
> Noreth's death. A really clever murderer might have
> tried pretending to be upset like that, but Alk the
> lawman would be able to tell the difference.
> 
> 
> Paul
>
> "Hold fast to the one noble thing."
 
Paul, thanks for looking at this and responding. 
Summer vacation is taking its toll of my time, so I'm
not getting back to you as soon as I would like.  Even
though, I, like Melissa, use electronic babysitting
and ignore housework like the best. 

Anyway, I like your explanation.  I think it is the
best one possible given the facts at our disposal.
But, but, and again... but!  

Alk is a lawman, as you say.  He rides in and "Mitt
had never seen him so glum and grim".  And "He was
terrifyingly grim about it".  And "His eyes wandered
over all four of them, bleak as stones.  Mitt
shivered.  He had never seen Alk like this".  

And then Alk says that the suspects are narrowed down
to everyone who went off on Mid-summer morning.  "I
suspect you all, plus" -- his eyes traveled to Maewen
-- "you."

Then, among other things, Maewen cries. As you say,
she is genuinely upset about Noreth's murder, and
maybe Alk can tell. 

But he is no softie and he is married to the Countess.
 He won't have any illusions about the female sex and
what it is capable of.  He might well think that
Maewen is crying out of fear she'll be caught.  He
says himself, "This gets us nowhere" "I came for
justice, not playacting." 

Does it seem likely that Alk, the hardened, competent
lawman, would accept Maewen's tears in lieu of
evidence?  Wouldn't he demand the same evidence he
demands for the others, including Mitt, whom he knows
and likes. I just can't see it.

Without good evidence for Maewen, how does (in Chapter
21) Alk say, "The others who might have killed her are
proved clear." ??

Could a couple of lines be left out in the
cup-lie-detector scene?

(By the way, there are not many writers I give the
compliment of such close reading.  :-) ) 

Anyway, Paul, thanks for helping me out here.  Yours
is the fallback position.  :-)

Esther


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