Mark Reads ‘The Fifth Elephant’: Part 6

In the sixth part of The Fifth Elephant, Gaspode and Carrot get closer; Colon gets worse; Vimes is right. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Discworld.

Tracking Angua (Continued)

Okay, so we’ve gotten closer to understanding some of what might be happening to Angua. We know she’s traveling with another werewolf, one who is… very masculine? I don’t know how to word this, IT’S NOT MY FAULT. He is VERY MUCH a DUDEWOLF. There you go. Dudewolf. You’re welcome.

Anyway, I found it endlessly charming that Angua pays for every chicken that she eats, that this is just a policy she has in order to do right by the world. She is, by all appearances, the most considerate werewolf on the Disc, though I also imagine she has to be, if she’s going to live in Ankh-Morpork and be in the Watch. Indeed, she does whatever she can to make it so that she’s not noticed, at least not in a negative sense.

So why risk a trip home? I’m still running on the assumpting that she’s heading to Uberwald; it still makes sense that she’s with a member of her family, too. But something compelled her to leave, to travel across the countryside and risk getting caught, and I’m guessing it has to be a huge thing or else she wouldn’t do it. Right? That feels like a good theory, but y’all, I’ve been wrong a lot while reading these books.

OH WELL. I was also relieved that the captured wolf was not Angua because that could have gone terribly wrong. Instead, Gaspode and Carrot rely heavily on uncomfortable social dynamics to con the townspeople into letting Gaspode “fight” the wolf they caught. I respected that they freed the wolf, despite that they could have gotten information from it and then just went on their way. Plus, I’m always tickled when Gaspode talks but humans just refuse to accept it. ALWAYS AMUSING.

Colon Captains

One thing that strikes me about Colon’s characterization since being made Captain is that he’s self-aware. Initially, I thought his ego got the best of him and he let the power go straight to his head. However, his morning meeting with Lord Vetinari in this part of The Fifth Elephant demonstrates that he knows very well that he’s in too deep. He’s terrified during this conversation, well aware of how much power Vetinari has and how quickly he can strip Colon of his promotion. Thus, that makes me think he’s simply overcompensating with his peers. He wants to stay captain, and the only way to do that is… well, to be a jerk. To enforce the rules in a manner that’s even more literal than Carrot. To follow protocol.

Seriously, look at the way he talks to Vetinari, dropping that “Sah!” at the end of every sentence. That’s what he thinks works! Even when Vetinari outright insults or criticizes him, he doesn’t budge. He remains committed to not supporting “unnatural” things, to giving boots to buildings, and to being one of the worst Watch members we’ve seen in a long time! Does he really believe he can sustain this for the entire time Vimes is gone? It honestly looks like he might.

Vimes’s Message

So, the replica Scone of Stone was found, but someone made a copy of it? A copy of a replica? Yeah, of every single detail in the mystery that is The Fifth Elephant, this is the one that baffles me the most. Why a copy of a copy? What possible value could that have?

Actually, this might be more confusing, but only because Pratchett refuses to tell me what he’s referring to:

“Your other… surmise was correct.”

Vimes glanced at the paper.

“Hah. Thanks, Cheery. We’ll be down shortly.”

“You’re humming, Sam,” said Sybil, after a while. “That means that something awful is going to happen to somebody.”

WHAT DID HE GUESS? This has to do with someone not catching an orange, right? ARGGGGH, WHY CAN’T I FIGURE THIS OUT?

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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