Dorothy Dunnett Book Club discussion

Niccolo Rising > Chapter 19

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)


message 2: by Giki (new)

Giki | 272 comments Katelina is still getting ready in her parents house. Tonight she will have to choose between suitors (already carefully vetted by her mum), they will be in disguise but will present her with a scroll with their name on before she makes her choice. She will spend the evening with her chosen one at the carnival and then invite him back to her empty house. In the morning arrangements will be made for a wedding. How could anything possibly go wrong?
Candidate no 1: Guildolf de Gruuthuse, has arrived with liveried servants. If she turns him down everyone will know it was him. He wears a magnificent leopard head
Candidate no 2: taller and better built with no servants and a mask of feathers
she approaches no 2 first. He presents a scroll identifying him as the suitor from Courtrai. Which Katelina thinks is odd because she knows him to be a short man. He whispers insults about candidate no.1, a clear breach of the rules. No. 1 plays by the rules. We knew all along she was going to chose no 2, even though it is clear that he is not who he says he is. Who does she hope it might be?
Her chosen companion behaves impeccably all night, dancing and plying her with booze. She asks to see his face before deciding whether to invite him back. Her refuses and she invites him in anyway.
Bad Idea. As soon as he gets inside he becomes very forward, she tries to repel him but he just gets more sleazy and creepy. It turns out that it is not Claes, like we suspected, but sleazy Simon's sleazy dad. Classic DD misdirection – I should have known. Katelina is not going to stand for this, she pretends to play along then scarpers out into the street leaving a half undressed Vicomte de Riberac unable to follow.

She spots her sister Gelis down the street and runs towards her. Gelis is distraught – she has just seen two men attack and carry off Claes.

Claes wakes up sealed inside a barrel and rapidly running out of air. He finds a hole but it is covered by another barrel. He is at the bottom of a heap of barrels. With the last of his strength he manages to move the barrel and dislodge the heap. Barrels are dropping and crashing all around him. This barrel splinters and he can breath again. He can also see through the gap – yellow flames! He is on a burning bofire barge in the middle of the canal. He manages to stick his legs out the barrel as it falls into the canal. Still stuck in the barrel he swims to the bank. Katelina and Gelis find him and protect him by pretending that he is Poppe, the seller of stale gingerbread, still in his 'punishment barrel'. They help him escape and Katelina takes him back to her still empty house. She draws him a warm bath in the kitchen and he falls asleep in it

message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

You are on a roll! 😂 I am far behind.

message 4: by Giki (new)

Giki | 272 comments I thought I would post it now so I could move on without forgetting

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