The first time “S” meets Corbeau in person (p89), she looks S up and down before shaking his hand and saying, “I know enough.” The marginalia discusses how people like Filomela and Durand must be able to intuitively read whether or not someone is interested in a relationship, much like an archaeologist must draw conclusions from what he finds.

Later, as S and Corbeau leave Zapadi’s house in hopes of escaping B__ unnoticed (pp129-132), S is struggling to grasp something hidden in the design of the shutters. Corbeau clutches his hand, and S turns back to look at the house and finally sees it – two S symbols, one a mirror of the other, etched into the scrollwork of the shutters. Immediately underneath the symbols in the text of Ship of Theseus, Corbeau tightens her grip on S’s hand. She says, “Relax. Pretend we belong together.” In the margins, Jen says, “That’s sweet.” There is an insert in the book showing an S symbol inside a cave. S and Corbeau discuss the S symbol. Shortly after, they discuss connections.

Finally, as Corbeau and S are trapped by the detectives at the mouth of the cave high above the sea (pp194-197), she interlaces the fingers of her good hand with his. They have just walked through an S-shaped curve in the cave. One of the detectives bullies, “That’s so sweet.”  The paragraph that follows, according to Jen, has its own isolated page in the original manuscript. Corbeau then says, “Push off hard. Jump out as far as you can.” And then, they leap together, hand-in-hand. As they do, S has a memory of corks (sobreiro) flying on a New Year’s Eve. S has a sense of himself as someone. And then we have the mysterious clue from VMS: They way out was down. Is down.

Does anyone see a pattern to when (and why) they hold hands, what happens, and what they say?