Monday, March 31, 2014

Paksenarrion--chapter 23

The Duke marches the company up to yet another castle. Paks observes everything and Elizabeth Moon showcases amazing self restraint by not describing the arrow slits above the gate "murder holes". The owner of this castle is old enough to get to call the Duke "Young Phelan" without getting his clock cleaned for it; the Duke is very respectful of this person. The only time he tells the guy off is when he first asks if the women need separate housing, and then implies that maybe having that many women in combat is immoral. The Duke very quickly states that his women are his soldiers, same as the men. Paks' cohort is lead to their barracks. Everybody gets to enjoy watching the count's rather sexist staff stumble over the fact that there's lots of women in the Company.

(Speaking of which, an interesting etamology re: Woman. "Man" means human. Not the gender, necessarily. It's the "wo" that gets tacked onto it that designates a different gender. Basically sticking that "wo" in there means "Something other than human". So yeah, the word "Woman" is intensely sexist.)

Anyhoo, Paks also brings up that Count Sexist also isn't calling the Duke by his title. One of the other soldiers explains that the guy isn't disputing the Duke's title, mostly because the Duke hasn't asked him to acknowledge it. Somehow this is respect on the Duke's part, and it makes me wonder what this Count guy has accomplished that everybody around him is being very, very tolerant of the fact that he's an utter fecking moron.

The next day they march out and work on defending this place from the Honeycat. The Duke most notably does not allow any looting of the random villages they wander into. This continues from town to town until they get word that a large chunk of the Honeycat's army has surrendered to the Golden Company, and told them that the Honeycat is most likely in his own cities. It's time to go squish them.

They get so enthusiastic that several people fall into a fairly basic trap--stake pit hidden behind a barricade--before Stammal can warn them off. Most of them are newbies, though a couple of the injured are vets. The enemy gets away while Paks and her fellows deal with the stake pit. The chapter ends with Paks eyeing the first city this chapter that doesn't belong to Count Sexist Aristocrat. I do not think this city will be standing too much longer.

1 comment:

  1. In Old English 'man' was a general term for humanity. 'Wif-man', later shortened to woman, was the term for a female person. 'Wer-man' was the specific term for a male person (And yes, that's the same 'wer' as in werewolf - Manwolf). The fact that the wer- prefix dropped out of use centuries ago tells you pretty clearly which gender dominated public life, and eventually came to be seen as the generic face of humanity.