琥珀中的九個王子:可疑的燈塔住宿


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因此,在羅傑·澤拉茲尼(Roger Zelazny)的《琥珀九王子》中,當柯文(Corwin)在地牢中時,他試圖弄清楚要消失多久,否則他會失踪。

[There was an] odor of decaying flesh. I wondered, if I were to die, how long would it be before someone took notice? How many chunks of bread and bowls of slop would go uneaten before the guard thought to check within after my continued existence? ... The death odor was around for a long while. I tried to think in terms of time again, and it seemed that it persisted for over a week.

他最終通過德沃金(Dworkin)提供的魔術畫,逃離了卡布拉燈塔(Cabra Lighthouse)。請注意,除了描述他的目的地外,它還很神奇:

I turned quickly and considered the Lighthouse of Cabra before the match failed. Yes, the power was there. I could feel it.

他一步步走過魔術圖,最後到達燈塔...並在那里呆了三個月?!?

I stayed with him for three months, as I recovered my strength.

這似乎是不可能的愚蠢-他知道他的缺席將在大約一個星期內被發現,他是地牢中最重要的囚犯,他在牢房裡留下了一張魔術圖,既描繪了他的目的地,又提供了那裡的即時交通服務,他只是在另一端閒逛?!?不僅如此,它有效!沒人能弄清楚,在夜晚沒有任何士兵包圍著燈塔!是我缺少了一些細節,還是有一些註釋使之有意義,還是表面上令人難以置信?

(此外,我當然希望燈塔管理員可以說服Eric,他不知道那是Corwin,否則就是RIP燈塔管理員。)

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His escape was discovered, but not the way of it

No one thought that Corwin managed to escape via the painting. Why?

  • Only Dworkin knows how to create Trumps. No one has seen him for quite a while and he is considered dead. And even if he was alive, what would he do in the Corwnin's cell?
  • The Trumps are made as cards and each is a little masterpiece. The drawings on the walls are crude in comparison, made using spoon on the wall. Yes, Dworkin has signed them with his name, but that doesn't mean anything - it is like if someone would create a spray painted graffiti on the wall and sign it "Rembrandt"
  • Corwin has been blinded and everyone (him included) believe that it was a permanent disability. While the drawings might suggest otherwise, there are blind painters and sculptors, so the existence of those etchings doesn't prove that he has regained his sight. Why is that important? Because blind people cannot travel through Shadows!

So whoever found the empty cell (probably indeed about week later) came to the conclusion that Corwin had outside help (there is even proof in the form of burned matches), that he left via the door and that he is hiding somewhere in Shadows. No one thought that he escaped via the Trump on the wall and that he would be still in Amber.

Even later, Corwin doesn't admit to the way he'd escaped:

"And of your escape?" he [Benedict] asked. "How did you manage that?"
"I had help, of course," I admitted, "in getting out of the cell. Once out -- Well, there are still a few passages of which Eric is unaware."
[...]
"I like to think so," he said. Then, "I understand you left the partly whittled cell door locked behind you, had set fire to your bedding, and had drawn pictures on the wall."
"Yes," I said. "Prolonged confinement does something to a man's mind. At least, it did to mine. There are long periods during which I know I was irrational.

Also, it seems that they gave up the search after a while, believing that Corwin is dead:

We looked for you. Did you know that, Corwin?" he asked. "Brand searched for you in many shadows, as did Gerard. You guessed correctly as to what Eric said after your disappearance that day. We were inclined to look farther than his word, however. We tried your Trump repeatedly, but there was no response. It must be that brain damage can block it. That is interesting. Your failure to respond to the Trump led us to believe you had died