Page Seventeen III: Trinity

She did have one admirer: her uncle Horace, the husband of her aunt Nina, her mother’s wayward older sister. When the teen-aged Nina had taken to romping with farmhands in the hayloft, George Smith had packed her off to a San Francisco boarding school noted for its Carmelite discipline. On the train she met Horace Robinson, and after a brief tete-a-tete they eloped several stops before San Francisco. Months later they actually were married — or so they told George Smith.

The obsession, found in twins, with dualities–as complimentary and conflicting at once–has been termed twinning by Dr. George Engel (“The drive is always to be two, yet unique from all others.”) This “twinning” motif found expression in a number of Phil’s stories and novels, notably Dr. Bloodmoney (1965), Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said (1974), A Scanner Darkly (1977), Valis (1981) and The Divine Invasion (1981).

So we followed him, as behind us the second man–George, apparently–busily transferred all the luggage from the plane to a rough wooden cart. The first man led us to the cliff, and then around a bit to the right, and there was an elevator. Or not exactly an elevator, but a kind of cable car on tracks, a large square room with railroad-type wheels on the outside of its slanted rear wall. When we were all aboard, with the windowed doors shut, the man pushed a lever and we were winched slowly and smoothly up the steeply angled side of the cliff.

They stepped through the door into the main hangar, George pointed to the object in the center, bathed in floodlights planted in a fenced off circle. The ship was not a saucer at all; it was spherical, all gray in color, and about sixty feet in diameter.

There were four of us to six of them, like I have already indicated, but poor old Dim, for all his dimness, was worth three of the others in sheer madness and dirty fighting. Dim had a real horrorshow length of oozy or chain round his waist, twice wound round, and he unwound this and began to swing it beautiful in the eyes or glazzies. Pete and Georgie had real sharp nozhes, but I for my part had a fine starry horrorshow cut-throat britva which, at that time, I could flash and shine artistic. So there we were dratsing away in the dark, the old Luna with men on it just coming up, the stars stabbing away as it might be knives anxious to join in the dratsing. With my britva I managed to slice right down the front of one of Billyboy’s droogs platties, very very neat and not even touching the plott under the cloth. Then in the dratsing this droog of Billyboy’s suddenly found himself all opened up like a peapod, with his bare belly and his poor old yarbles showing, and then he got very razdraz, waving and screaming and losing his guard and letting in old Dim with his chain snaking whisssssshhhhhhhhh, so that old Dim chained him right in the glazzies, and this droog of Billyboy’s went tottering off and howling his heart out. We were doing very horrorshow, and soon we had Billyboy’s number one down underfoot, blinded with old Dim’s chain and crawling and howling about like an animal, but with one fair boot on the gulliver he was out and out and out.

‘I took the opportunity to call upon the Rector, after I had questioned Mr. George Jarnock, who required to my queries in place of Sir Alfred Jarnock, for the older man was in a nervous and shaken condition as a result of the happening, and his son wished him to avoid dwelling upon the scene as much as possible.’

“You mean that you don’t know, George?” Marne gave a low whistle of astonishment. “You have not realised that our time is running out? Haven’t you heard of the Cass River Scheme? Well, for your information, it is being prepared by your own ministry and if the project goes through quickly we may never have a chance of opening the Railstone tomb, because Caswell Hall will be at the bottom of a reservoir. The odds are that Brownjohn will have been enthroned long before that, of course, but we are not out of the wood yet. In fact the trees are closing in on us. I would study the details of the Cass scheme, if I were you. To the best of my memory the reference contains the initials K.V.I.” There was a click and the line went dead.

Seven chaps called George in seven paragraphs from seven page seventeens from seven books distributed around my bookshelves. Why George? He just started turning up a lot.

Anita Loos: A Biography by Gary Carey; Divine Invasions: A Life of Philip K. Dick by Lawrence Sutin; What I Tell You Three Times is False by Donald E. Westlake, writing as Samuel Holt; The Gift of the Gods by Raymond F. Jones from Things, edited by Ivan Howard; A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess; The Thing Invisible from The Casebook of Carnacki the Ghost Finder by W.H. Hodgson; Bury Him Darkly by John Blackburn.

4 Responses to “Page Seventeen III: Trinity”

  1. “Which way did he go, George?”

  2. “George is my friend.”

  3. David Ehrenstein Says:

  4. David Ehrenstein Says:

    WESTLAKE / GODARD / MARIANNE

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