The Gate That Locks the Tree – Act 6, Scene 2

In the shadow of the Tree

In which the number of Vertu’s passengers increases again.

“Salmo’s Fire” is St. Elmo’s Fire, a weather phenomenon related to lightning; Yulie’s description of what it is and how it happens covers the basics. He doesn’t mention, since it’s outside his experience, but on Earth it’s particularly associated with the masts of ships, which is why it’s named after the patron saint of sailors.

This, however, the greenish glow enveloping Vertu’s taxi — this is not St. Elmo’s Fire. You don’t get St. Elmo’s fire enveloping an entire vessel; as Yulie says, it happens at the tips and points of things, and that’s a necessary condition of its formation. Also, real St. Elmo’s Fire is never green. Given the green, I suspect the Tree of being up to something. Perhaps it’s offering the kittens what welcome and protection it can at the remaining distance.

2 thoughts on “The Gate That Locks the Tree – Act 6, Scene 2

  1. Ed8r

    Paul: Perhaps it’s offering the kittens what welcome and protection it can at the remaining distance.

    Yes, that’s what I thought it must be, since from Vertu’s PoV we’re told that the kittens were one by one, petted and soothed by the action.

    Paul, what did you think Yulie is thinking of, or applying it to, when he says “‘splains those pods right good. Darn thing’s got eyes can see all the way to town and more, don’t it?”.

    So . . . I don’t disagree about the Tree being capable of “seeing” all the way to town and more, but I’m not understanding the connection to the pods, and why Yulie says it [the overall experience? the vision of the Tree?] explains them?

  2. Paul A. Post author

    I don’t think I have any particular conclusions on that point. Knowing that the Tree can see (or See) well beyond its physical limits does make it easier to understand how it is able to craft useful pods, but I don’t know why Yulie says it as if it’s a complete explanation in itself.

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