Chapter Six, TTTDOJ: The Birth of Julian Scaller

Chapter Six is possibly self’s favorite chapter so far. Alix E. Harrow, what a clever writer you are.

SPOILER ALERT!

It turns out that January’s father, whose name in his own world (“the world of the Written”) was Yule Ian Scholar, became the employee of a rich American businessman named Locke who, in addition to keeping January under lock and key, changed the father’s name to Julian Scaller. Oh! (Self snarls at Locke)

So many Will Parry/ His Dark Materials FEELZ! Will Parry and his endless search for his explorer father, only to hear whispers of a mysterious entity named Jonpari, a wild man, a hermit, an explorer who’s lost his way, who turns out to be the very much alive JOHN PARRY (in The Subtle Knife, one of self’s favorite novels of all time)

There is also an Italian grocer-boy who brings on the Will Parry feelz, because he is January’s devoted friend and helps to rescue her from a sanatorium.

Before self ends up spilling the plot of the whole book (which would not be very nice), let her just say that in Chapter Six, Julian Scaller begins to doubt the wisdom of leaving his daughter all these years in the care of the American businessman Locke.

He tries to come up with a plan: Option A, Option B, Option C and so forth.

Option D:

Run away, take refuge in another world. I could find a door and go through it, taking January with me, and build a new life for the two of us in some safer, brighter world. In favor: ultimate safety from pursuers. Against: see above. And I am far from certain that all worlds connect to one another — were we to flee to another world, could I ever find the Written again? And if Ade should claw her way back home, would she ever find us?

There was no E. Continue on precisely as before, but this is the course I ultimately chose. Life has a kind of momentum to it, I’ve found, an accumulated weight of decisions which become impossible to shift.

Beautiful Dreamer, TTTDOJ

But I’m running out of time. Your face is my hourglass: each time I return to Locke House it’s as if I’ve been gone for decades rather than weeks. Entire lifetimes have bloomed and faded for you, months of secret trials and triumphs that have suddenly molded your features into someone I hardly recognize. You’ve grown tall and silent, with the mistrustful stillness of a doe just before she bolts.

Sometimes — when I’m either too tired or too drunk to steer my thoughts away from dangerous places — I wonder what your mother would think if she could see you. Your features so plainly and painfully her own, but your spirit tightly laced beneath good manners and the invisible burden of unbelonging. She had dreamed for you a different life, one profoundly and perilously free, unbounded, every door standing open before you.

— Yul Scaller, father of January, The Ten Thousand Doors of January

The pain, dear blog readers! The pain of a lost love! And the hatred for Mr. Locke, he of the all-too-convenient lock and key! Who sends Yul’s daughter to the — sanatorium!

What has Alix E. Harrow done to self. What has Ms. Harrow done, done, done to self.

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