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In the ninth chapter of Ship of Theseus, S is summoned to a ninth-story apartment building. At the base of the building he sees that Arquimedes de Sobreiro died here on January 9th, 1625. S climbs nine flights of stairs and, for the first time in his life, connects with Sola face-to-face. They touch. S gets his valise back. S learns that Sobreiro actually lived – and died – in/from this apartment. S appears to actually hear the voices of Sobreiro and a woman, followed by a fading scream that might be someone plummeting nine stories to his death (p388). Sola tells S she has found Vevoda’s chateau, and that they can face him nine months from now in land time (p391).

It is also apparent that S spends the entire nine full months writing the ending of the story while in the orlop – all but the direct confrontation with Vevoda in the wine cellars (p412).

So many nines encircling the culmination of connections between Sola, S, Sobreiro, and the valise.

Other occurrences of the number nine…

  • S hears “nine sharp reports” as three boys throw rocks at the streetlights in the Old Quarter (p11).
  • Nine of the Agents S appears to be assigned with assassinating are women.
  • The sum of the numbers of the Agents (4, 34, 26, 47, 8, 9, 41) that we see S killing is 171, or 9 * 19.
  • FXC spent the better part of a year trying to translate the first nine chapters of Ship of Theseus. She went to Havana, Cuba for the 10th.
  • The symbol for #9 on the cave wall looks like the symbol S (p184)

Do you see other appearances of Nine in “S”?

Do you think Nine is some sort of clue? If so, what?