Cambin plans, Maelstrom says. Y’got t’viz the Lady now.
“Sola?” S. asks, perhaps too quickly.
Maelstrom snorts. Dunt y’wish. Move y’self. Time’s scortin.
On p266 (266 = 19*14), S. descends to the main deck of the ship and has a curious encounter with the pouting sailor – a female. She appears to be trying to teach the monkey to swab the deck, but it isn’t working. The monkey doesn’t seem to understand, and in fact ends up leaving a puddle of urine on the deck.
We already have several indications in “S.” that the monkey and S. are connected in some fashion. Both S. and the monkey are simultaneously being pursued/captured in Chapter 1 as S. says Run, monkey, run. Eric’s pencilled marginalia on p54 calls the monkey another iteration of S. On p401, S. comments to Sola that he thinks the monkey is following him. With an implied smile, Sola responds, “Or you’re following it.”
Back to the story on the deck between the woman and the monkey on p266 – if the monkey represents S., who does the woman represent? And what is she trying to teach S.?
Just 19 pages later, on p285 (285=19*15), S. meets The Lady on Obsidian Island. In the pages that follow, we see that The Lady has pinprick scars around her lips and an obsidian piece around her neck (p287) – indicating that she was once a sailor on a ship, if not the ship. In addition, she tells S that she doesn’t live on the island and that the hunters have found us on the waters (p288). Found us. That means she is part of S’s ship.
The Lady also bears the scars from a terrible burn accident. On p372, we see S. witness the remains of his ship after an attack by Vevoda’s warplanes. Every sailor on board is dead – including a reference to the body of the pouting sailor, floating face-down. As S. takes in this scene, all around him is the smell of burned flesh.
On p286, Eric writes in pencil that The Lady looks like Floris of Bruges. Back on p266, FXC comments that one of the candidates that served as a model for the pouting sailor is Floris of Bruges.
Is the female pouting sailor on S.’s ship also The Lady on Obsidian Island? And, if so, why her?
And if she is, how are The Lady’s interactions with S. to be compared with the pouting sailor’s attempts to teach the monkey to swab the deck?
Follow the monkey…