Mark Reads ‘The Fifth Elephant’: Part 4

In the fourth part of The Fifth Elephant, everything gets MORE MYSTERIOUS. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Discworld

Journey to Uberwald

Things are still coming together in this story, and more than ever before, I feel like Pratchett is heaping a whole bunch into the introduction of a book. So many plots! So many mysteries! So much intrigue! I’m not complaining about any of this, though, because I’m just as eager to see how he’ll converge so many different parts.

So! Let’s start with Vimes, who does a bit more research on his way to Uberwald. There’s another appearance of the Fifth Elephant myth, which I fully believe is not a myth at all. It’s not! It happened! How that’s going to play into the story… well, I believe this section is a clue:

A note was clipped to the next page. He read: “The Fifth Elephant as a metaphor also appears in the Uberwald languages. Depending on context it can mean ‘a thing which does not exist’ (as we would say ‘Klatchian mist’) ‘a thing which is other than it seems’ and ‘a thing which, while unseen, controls events’ (in the same way that we would use the term eminence gris).”

IT’S A HINT, ISN’T IT? Oh god, that last one could be a reference to Vetinari, or maybe some of the aristocratic families in Uberwald? Oh, I can’t wait to find out.

Constable Shoe

So many familiar faces are in this book! I was pleased with the return of Reg Shoe, who is tasked with investigating the shocking death of Mister Sonky. More than many of the other detectives/coppers, he’s so dutifully straightforward about what he does, and I admired how easily he was able to concentrate and pick up on a ton of important details. His patience makes him good for this job! (And I also like to imagine that Vimes saw this potential in him, even though Vimes probably wouldn’t admit that out loud.) It’s because of Shoe’s clever questioning that we learn two important facts:

1) That Mr. Sonky had not been doing well and had hidden in his office frequently.

2) That something required a “special job” that would boost business at Sonky’s.

My mind goes to Uberwald, but I can’t make a connection. Why would Sonky’s suddenly be in high demand???

Also: cheese-and-onion Sonky’s makes me want to EXPIRE FOREVER.

The Message

Okay, I realize I made a simple error, an assumption, that I need to correct here: We have no confirmation that Angua herself sent the letter that Carrot got. Wilhelmina, “one of Sergeant Angua’s pigeons,” delivered a message. WHAT IF IT WAS NOT ACTUALLY FROM HER?

Regardless, Carrot reads a message. It is so upsetting or concerning that he immediately walks over to the Patrician’s office and resigns. No, he doesn’t ask for a vacation or time off or a leave or anything of the sort. (Despite that Lord Vetinari is more or less treating it as such.) WHAT THE FUCK WOULD MAKE HIM QUIT HIS JOB AS CAPTAIN?!?!?! Can we also acknowledge that this is now the second time in this book that Vetinari was surprised by something??? He also seemed rather pleased by the development, too. WHAT IS HE THINKING?

Plese HelP This LiTTle doGGie

HELP ME, I WAS NOT READY FOR THE GLORIOUS RETURN OF GASPODE. Look, I’ll always have a soft spot for this character after Moving Pictures, which is still one of my favorites in this series. Oh, Gaspode! So cynical and yet still so certain that there can be some goodness in this world. He’s going to accompany Carrot to Uberwald and track down Angua! I CAN’T WAIT FOR HIS SARCASM AND NEGATIVITY and I am probably going to cry at one point, aren’t I?

He’s got the best nose, too, which leads us to another clue: Angua specifically took the way out of Ankh-Morpork that would be masked best by other scents. So, at the very least, we can guess that she doesn’t want to be followed. I’m not sure that I buy Vimes’s theory, that she just needed to get away for a while. She’s done that before! This feels way more serious, and given that her family and Uberwald are part of the story, it’s got to be something bigger. Right???

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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