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Bella Poldark (Poldark, #12)
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Bella Poldark - #12 > Fiery hallucination--SPOILER (of course)

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message 1: by Tanya, Moderator/Hostess (last edited Nov 25, 2015 01:36PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Tanya | 640 comments Mod
Book 4.Chapter 7
In this passage, Ross is in the hall. This must be how his foot was burned.

"He staggered back into the hall and a burning lath fell at his feet. He tried to stamp it out, but one of his riding boots began to blister.
'Valentine!' he shouted, and choked. There was something that sounded like an answering cry. He turned in its direction, took a few steps, stumbled over a chair and fell, brining some curtains down on top of him and breaking the fall."

In this passage, Ross at least THINKS he is in the big parlour.

"Voices near; hands on his ankles, hauling him back, hands under his shoulders, Valentine was kneeling beside him. They were back in the big parlour. 'Father!' he said. 'Father, you should not have followed me. I came out the other way. I found Butto. He's dead.'
Then a hail of plaster rained down on them, followed by one of the supporting beams, then half the ceiling collapsed as they were being dragged out."

Book 4.Chapter 8
In this passage, Ross learns that Valentine died in the fire and his body was found in the dining room.

"...'Ross you were lucky. They say you went back in again to rescue Valentine.'
'Is he injured?'
'I'm afraid he's dead.'
'He was found in the dining room. The big ape was lying beside him.'
'How can that be?' Ross said harshly. 'I went back into the room where we had been meeting. Through the window, of course. Valentine had gone in but five minutes before, looking for Butto. When I got in I heard--or thought I heard--a cry from the hall. I opened the door. The hall was almost impossible--but I went in to see if I could find him--I looked in three rooms and then gave up. On my way back through the hall something fell on me--I was dragged out. Valentine was beside me. He said he had come out through another door. He told me Butto was dead.'"

Geoffrey Charles explains the account of finding the bodies, as told by Sam who was there.

"'Sam? Our Sam?'
'Yes. His forge is not so far away, you know, and he heard of the fire from some tinker who was passing. It was he, I gather, with two of the miners, who first got into the dining room and found the bodies.'
'The last thing I remember,' Ross whispered, 'before the beam knocked me out--was Valentine kneeling beside me and telling me that Butto was dead, but that he had got out by a side door.'"

Book 4. Chapter 9
Ross accepts his Valentine vision to be a hallucination and that Valentine was probably already dead at that point.

"The other great mystery to Ross was his own hallucination--for that was all it could be. When he had fallen in the blazing smoke-filled debris of the hall he had seen Valentine beside him, and Valentine had said, 'I came out the other way. I found Butto. He is dead.' And twice he had called him 'Father.' Twice. In actual fact Valentine by then was apparently already dead, clutching to Butto's hand, as he had been found by Sam and the others when the fire died down.
Some sort of thought transference in the moment of death? A communication, mind to mind? If he, Ross, had not been dragged out by David Lake and others it would have been his last living thought."

Perhaps Ross was dragged through the parlour as they pulled him out. He might have overheard someone saying Butto was dead (or probably dead) and incorporated that into his vision of Valentine talking to him. I suppose hallucination Valentine saying he'd gotten out by another door could have been something Ross's mind made up to comfort him.

Book 4.Chapter 10

"As if his thoughts had not been interrupted, Ross said: 'There's a lot now that will never be known about Valentine.'
'Do you think he...'
'Well--took his own life?'
Ross shook his head. 'He wasn't the kind...But under pressure people do the strangest things--God, I don't know. The knowledge of the complete mess he'd got himself into--the conviction that there was no acceptable way out, it may have made him more obstinately determined to avoid it, so that on impluse he took a risk--an extra risk--for the sake of his beloved ape--a risk that he would not otherwise have taken...'"

What do you think? Do you think it was completely a hallucination? Do we know for sure which room Ross was pulled from (the hall where he first fell)? Is it possible that Valentine WAS there and then left to be with Butto as help was arriving?

message 2: by Mara (new) - added it

Mara | 111 comments When it actually happened I thought it was strange that Valentine called him "Father". Under such stress it would have been more natural to call him what he usually called him, which I think was "Uncle Ross". So later, when we find out that it didn't really happen it all made more sense.

Possibly the hallucination was born from Ross' deeply buried desire of wanting to claim Valentine as his son. A desire buried so deep because his protectiveness of Demelza's feelings wouldn't allow it to surface, much less face. Only on the day of Valentine's funeral does he say to himself that he lost a son. Oh, it's all so sad.

message 3: by Tanya, Moderator/Hostess (new) - rated it 4 stars

Tanya | 640 comments Mod
That's a reasonable explanation, Mara. The "Father" seemed awkward to me too, but they had all but stated it to each other at that point. I thought Ross wanted as much to accept Valentine as a son as Valentine wanted to be accepted. So if Valentine WERE there, he might have called Ross "Father" at that moment.

message 4: by Mara (new) - added it

Mara | 111 comments So are there actually 3 possibilities?

1 - Valentine was there just as Ross experienced it.

2 - Ross hallucinated the entire thing. And....

3 - Something supernatural occurred at the point of Valentine's death??????

message 5: by Tanya, Moderator/Hostess (new) - rated it 4 stars

Tanya | 640 comments Mod
Mara wrote: "So are there actually 3 possibilities?"

How about 4 possibilities? 4 - Ross hallucinated part of it and experienced part of it. :-)

message 6: by Mara (new) - added it

Mara | 111 comments Now you're just blowing my mind. LOL!

So what would that look like? What's your theory?

message 7: by Tanya, Moderator/Hostess (new) - rated it 4 stars

Tanya | 640 comments Mod
Mara wrote: "What would that look like? What's your theory?"

I don't think I have a theory--I just want Valentine and Ross to have had a real tender moment before Valentine died. In skimming through the book again, did you notice that when Valentine unexpectedly shows up at Geoffrey Charles' party, he introduces Ross as his godfather?

Book 2, Chapter 7

"'Great gathering this. May I?' He took the vacant chair oppposite Paul Kellow and waved David Lake to another. 'My father, Sir George, my godfather, Sir Ross, this is Lieutenant Lake of the Fifty-something Oxfordshires.'"

message 8: by Mara (new) - added it

Mara | 111 comments No-o. That's interesting. And so like Valentine to fuel the speculations about Ross being his father.

I also would like them to have had a tender moment. As I read the fire scene I felt so glad that Valentine knew Ross had gone in after him, and then being let down that it seems it didn't happen that way.

One consolation is that we know Ross will continue to have an interest for Georgie. Although that can't please Demelza too much.

message 9: by Victoria (new)

Victoria Smiser | 121 comments MARA - I like your comment and this is the slant that I personally have subscribed to. I want Valentine to know that Ross went after him. The scene between Ross and Valentine when Ross said he did not know if he was Valentine's father, and only Elizabeth knew was pretty telling. When Ross said it was never to be mentioned or TWO people would kill him, Valentine was not convinced but agreed that it would not be mentioned. Demelza (whose math was better than Ross') of course knew Ross was Valentine's father. She will support Ross' interest in Georgie, but will never mention the reason.

QNPoohBear | 21 comments I don't really know what to think. I'm traumatized. Is Ross sure that was Valentine's voice he thinks he heard? I feel sorry for Valentine. He just wanted to be loved unconditionally and only Butto gave him that.

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