Monday, 10 October 2016

Ammon And Flandry

(The image shows the three novels that have been collected as The Imperial Stars and as Young Flandry.)

For references, see here.

Leon Ammon's cigar and brandy are prime quality. He knows of Flandry's role on Starkad. This alone tells Flandry that Naval Intelligence is in serious decline although he does not say so but another remark causes Ammon to commend his sharpness, then, exploringly, his good looks. Flandry draws a clear line. He has come on only one item of business. Ammon says that he can put a good profit his way.

Ammon's eyes and voice smolder and his body shakes with intensity when he says that he wants "' become big...'" (p. 209) If Flandry, by detouring slightly on a routine scouting expedition, can confirm a possible source of wealth, then Ammon hopes, several years hence, to start paying taxes, move to Terra, maybe buy his way into the nobility, maybe go into politics, but, in any case, be big. Flandry understands all too well. Ammon thinks that he might even be a big friend for Dominic? Inwardly, Flandry thinks only associate at most.

So here we have the character and motivation of Ammon and, yes, it is a great pity that, decades later, Admiral Flandry did not meet Sir Leon or Earl Ammon.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Yes, I remember the shock Flandry felt on discovering that a minor gang boss on an obscure planet afar off in the marches of the Empire had been able to obtain VERY highly classified information on Flandry's role in the Starkad affair. It BADLY shook him, in fact, because of showing how far the rot had spread.

Indeed, Flandry certainly understood Ammon's longing to become "big." After all, he too had his own ambitions, altho he would prefer somewhat more respectable means of advancing them.

I too regret how Poul Anderson did not show us Admiral Flandry again meeting, decades later, Leon Ammon, Earl of Wayland (that would be a most appropriate title for a peerage held by Ammon!).