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S reencounters Pfeifer after years of believing that he was dead. But not only is Pfeifer alive, he is the Governor of The Territory and works for Vévoda himself.

Between pp356-367, S has a lengthy conversation with Pfeifer. And several things that Pfeifer says are outright lies…

  • S calls Pfeifer by his original name, but Pfeifer corrects him and insists that his name is Nemec.
  • Pfeifer insists that there is no Château – that it is a fiction – but this itself is a fiction, of course.
  • On p360, Pfeifer insists that the guard by the road is old and shaky and has very little sense left. And on p365, Pfeifer explains that the executions that take place at 4pm are only for those involved directly in an attempted revolt – and those who failed to stop them. Yet we see later (p366) that the guard by the road stands, his hip cocked, perfectly steady as he fires three shots that manage to kill Anca, Waqar, and the baby from a great distance. And on p369 as S passes the Old Village he sees that it is entirely ablaze. This indicates that Pfeifer lied both about the guard and about who was being killed – every Old Villager was (apparently) killed.

So if Pfeifer obviously lied about these things, what else did he lie about? And what else can we conclude about Pfeifer?

  • Is Pfeifer telling the truth about being married? Having four kids? About Molybdenum and her sisters? About what he knows about S’s ship (p361). And the substance?
  • If Vevoda is leaving pages from The Archer’s Tales with the dead bodies of members of the S, how did he find out about S’s interest in that book at all? In fact, how did Vevoda know that S’s name was S? Vevoda referred to him as Agent X in Chapter 4. Only after Pfeifer survived the cave incident do we see Vevoda referring to him as S and using pages from The Archer’s Tales to intimidate him. The only way this could happen, it appears, is if Pfeifer told Vevoda about S.
  • Is it possible that Vevoda’s “ancient pistol” (454) is the same ancient pistol that Stenfalk gave to Corbeau who gave it to Pfeifer to defend himself in the caves (192)?
  • Is it possible that Pfeifer was a member of Vevoda’s team all along? Is he the reason that Vevoda’s men knew to track the fugitives through the hills? Was Pfeifer’s injury in the cave feigned in order to make enough noise for the hunters to find them?

Pfeifer is a liar. Is there anything else about Pfeifer that you see worth noting?