Thursday, 29 September 2016
Indications Of Time Travel
"...to read a dozen papers a day for the indications of time travel he had been taught to spot, and hold himself ready for a call." (Time Patrol, p. 17) (See here.)
Presumably "papers" means "newspapers"? What indications of time travel? Why would they be more discernible to a reader with Patrol training than to anyone else? Would there be so much unauthorized time travel in the twentieth century that the Patrol would need to monitor the newspapers for "indications"? Or is this job a blind because the Patrol knows that Everard will make his own first job by finding an "indication" not in the newspapers but in "...a famous piece of literature..." and will then rapidly progress to Unattached status after further training?
The "indication" spotted by Everard is a reference to "...the singular contents of an ancient British barrow." (p. 18) That does sound very suggestive and we should be grateful to Anderson for spotting it. Everard, unlike us, is able to find a report of the case in back files of the London Times, June 25, 1894, so a newspaper does play a part in his investigation after all. Everard sends a memorandum to the London office, 1890-1910, in a message shuttle, which sounds like the Time Traveler's model Time Machine, and receives a reply from Mainwethering in 1894. Everard's memorandum had arrived before two others, from 1923 and 1960. Since the indication is in a famous piece of literature, Mainwethering expects to receive many more memoranda about it. If Everard's memorandum had not arrived first, then his first job would have been something else but he would soon have been promoted to Unattached status because that is best for his type of personality. (p. 53)