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There is only one window in S’s apartment
(The opening line of Chapter 9 on p375)

There is only one footnote in Chapter 9. There is only one window in S’s apartment. And there is only one window in another aparment where our one footnote is born. S hears the voices of two people – one of them most likely the infamous Archimedes de Sorbreiro – just prior to Sobreiro falling nine stories from that window to his death.

Is this a clue to our missing Chapter 9 cipher – one window, one footnote? The footnote refers to Straka’s struggle with two lines in the book and which voice, male or female, should utter which line. The first sentence of Filomela’s footnote implies that both lines in the original manuscript contain numerous strikethroughs and handwritten corrections, and yet her second sentence says that she reproduced the line (singular) as it was originally typed. There is only one line reproduced. Is this an intentional mistake, as FXC so often includes, to lead us to a cipher?

Another thought. On pp386-387, S stands beneath the ninth story apartment window, looking up at it from the sidewalk. As he does, he kicks one foot against the ground, trying to chase away the numbing cold. As he does, he breaks through a layer of ice and discovers the corner of a brass plaque set into the sidewalk. He kicks more until the entire plaque is revealed.


Given the manner in which S discovered the plaque, is this a foot note? And what significance might we find in the use of five perfect squares represented?

  • 1 (January)
  • 2 (4 S symbols)
  • 3 (9)
  • 4 (16 in 1625)
  • 5 (25 in 1625)