Monday, March 19, 2007

Titus Groan - post VI

There was a real temptation to try to finish this book today and had the train journey lasted about another half an hour it might just have been possible. But still it will accompany me on my way to work tomorrow morning.

After slowly building things up to the library burning things start to move quite quickly and not all of them are directly caused by Steerpike, although the suspicion of him is growing.

Bullet points between 272 – 342

* With the doctor having restored the Earl at least to some sort or normality there is an altercation between Steerpike and Flay and after the young upstart has tried to open the old retainer’s eyes Flay throws a cat at him but is seen by the Countess and barred from the castle

* But Flay will not leave until after the breakfast for Titus, celebrating his first birthday, and hidden under the table Steerpike wastes his time discovering very little of use but the reader is given an insight into the growing suspicion of him emanating from the Countess and the Doctor:

“…Steerpike remains who is an enigma to me and of whom I have doubts very definitely and in whose presence I find less and less amusement and more and more a sense of evil…”pg286

* Flay senses at the breakfast that Swelter is going to try to kill him within the week and although he has been barred from the castle he goes each night to watch for him armed with a sword with the intention of killing him

* The night comes and as they fight it out in the room of spiders the fat chef finally is beaten not so much by Flay but by the elements as he falls into the water collected on the roof and is stabbed and left to die

* But the Earl, who sleep walked past them at the start of the confrontation, appears and asks Flay to take the body to the Tower of Flints as an offering and that is the last that is seen of both the Earl and the chef and Flay heads into exile in the hills

The day’s reading ends with the twin sisters letting it slip that they had burnt their brother and the preparations starting for Titus’s Earldom. Will Steerpike slip up? Will Flay return and what next for the depleted family of Groan? More tomorrow…

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