In which Priscilla’s sister offers her a gift.
This chapter heading offers a couple of puzzles.
In the first place, it’s now the following day and yet also still the day of the ambassadorial reception — but I think I have that figured out: though the previous chapter begins on Tripday 147, it’s not unlikely that Mr dea’Gauss found enough work to keep him busy through several shifts, so that the final scene of the chapter (“much later, after the inspectors had left for the night”) is actually early on Tripday 148. And it’s in the final scene that Shan says that the reception will be later the same day.
The other puzzle, which I have no such satisfying solution for, is that it says both “Fourth Shift” and “17.00 hours”, which doesn’t work in either my favourite or my less-favoured models of the Passage‘s shift system. In fact, I believe there is no way of dividing the day into four equal shifts that would place 17.00 hours in the fourth shift.
Unless, for some reason, the shift times are offset so that the change from one day to the next occurs not at shift change but during a shift. A 24-hour day divided into 6-hour shifts fits the available data — if the first shift begins with the last hour of the previous day. Second shift from 5.00 to 11.00, third shift from 11.00 to 17.00, fourth shift from 17.00 to 23.00, first shift from 23.00 to 5.00. It even accommodates chapther 10 without any need of fudging.
(But at this point I won’t be surprised if another chapter later on fails to fit this model, too.)