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Niccolo Rising > Chapter 12

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message 2: by SamuraiKitty (last edited Sep 21, 2018 10:04AM) (new)

SamuraiKitty | 155 comments Chapter 12 starts with a reference to Hannibal's crossing of the Alps during the 2nd Punic War, and what an amazing feat it was then as it was now. Astorre's only concession to the difficulty/danger of the journey was to reload all the merchandise onto pack horses and mules, and to muffle the 4 gift horses in blankets. He also gave a blanket to Loppe, who looked very unhappy. Astorre assigned Claus to the roping and packing because Claus turned out to be instinctively expert at it. Astorre reckoned it would take 4 days from Geneva to reach St. Bernard's hospice at the top of Mt. Jove. It's at this point that we are given a look at the politics between the different nations and leaders of said nations, and to this is added the bits of gossip that are learned as the group stops at various inns along the journey. We also learn that Tobie is keeping an eye/watching Claes, while Astorre is watching/keeping an eye on Tobie. Also that Claes is starting to earn the respect of the soldiers. Per Astorre, Claes needs to learn fast to protect himself: No one can do that for him.
As the journey progresses Astorre begins to like/respect Tobie. He realizes that the company is becoming organised. (Is this Claes's doing?)And we get a window into what made a good fighting company, and also what Astorre's ambitions for the future are. At this point, Brother Giles falls off his horse, (not Claes this time - he's getting better at horse back riding), and Brother Giles is stuck in the snow. The Lancastrian party was seen to be closer to the monk, and Astorre is hopeful that they will help Brother Giles. They can see that the Lancastrian party carries Worcester's banner. (Why/or is this important?). And then with Claes encouragement, Brother Giles starts yelling, and causes a serious Alpine avalanche... and Tobie knows that Claes intentionally had Brother Giles start the avalanche through sheer mischief without a thought to the consequences- and Tobie is furious. The Lancastrians, Brother Giles, Tobie, and Claes now have to out ride the avalanche. Claes suggests a hollow under an overhang, because he thinks the avalanche will not go there, and the party moves to it, even though they are skeptical. But Claes calculation had been correct and they were safe. Astorre and the soldiers meet up with the group and Claes wisely stays out of Astorre's way.

A conversation between Julius and Tobie:
"Of course I saw Claes," said Tobie. "He was right in front of my nose. If you want my interpretation, he was hoping for a nice little avalanche, and he got a big one. And a fright to go with it. He was as white as snow for a bit, was our little friend Claes."
Julius was looking at him (Tobie). Julius said, "I've seen him get more than he bargained for. I've seen him frightened. But I tell you something. Underneath all the fright, the bastard enjoys it. Or he'd stop. Wouldn't he?" .....but under it there ran a thread of something almost like wistfulness.

What might be the significance of this conversation between Tobie and Julius?

message 3: by Giki (new)

Giki | 272 comments great Chapter Summary, thanks SK. Intesting point about Tobie and Julius, perhaps they wish that they could be a bit more Claes at times. There paths are set, they have reputations to uphold, Claes can pretty much do what he wants, make of himself whatever he wishes.

message 4: by Renee (new)

Renee M | 346 comments Mod
This is one of the scenes that stayed vividly in my memory. I’d forgotten most of the book, but the vision of Claes putting his hand up to his ear happens in slow-motion every time I think of it.

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