Question #22 ~ Tom Darling

by Joseph Gangemi

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DeppInTheHeartOfTexas
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Question #22 ~ Tom Darling

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Wed Feb 22, 2006 9:33 am

pgs. 305-306 & pgs. 315-316
McLaughlin brings another player into the circle, Captain Darling, who claims that he had been war buddies with Walter Stenson. After the séance Darling claims, “That :censored: I heard tonight wasn’t him!” and yet Finch believes Darling’s motives were suspect. Years later, Finch travels to meet Darling at the car dealership where he works in order to find out why Darling was so certain the voice he heard at the séance was not Walter. Darling’s response was, “Because I never would’ve been best pals with no queer.”

Why was Finch suspicious of Darling? Does this throw suspicion on what Mina said she knew about her brother? What are we supposed to learn from Tom Darling?
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Unread postby Gilbert's Girl » Wed Feb 22, 2006 10:06 am

I got the impression he was more jealous of Tom Darling rather than anything else having superceeded him in his position.I thought it sort of confirmed my feeling that it was Mina and her possible multiple personality making Walter more, well his language was often too specifically aimed at Finch in an intimate way. Not sure if I'm saying what I mean here.But he probably came over as not very macho becuase it was Mina.

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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Wed Feb 22, 2006 11:01 am

I think I know what you are saying, GG and that thought crossed my mind too. It wasn't really Walter because Tom didn't recognize his voice. But, as we are discovering with each theory there is another side, maybe Finch was suspicious that Darling didn't want to be associated with Walter because he didn't want his masculinity thrown into question so he said it wasn't really Walter's voice. :eyebrow:
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Unread postby Liz » Wed Feb 22, 2006 11:15 am

I think he was still bothered by being taken off the panel, and I think Finch questioned Tom Darling's credibility as a witness. And I'm wondering if Darling just never knew that Walter was gay. Maybe Walter hid the fact from everyone during his time in the service--including Tom. I think it is possible for friends and family not to pick up on the signals or clues in this area. And Tom continued to deny it.
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Unread postby suec » Wed Feb 22, 2006 1:01 pm

I think it is about people people believing what they want to believe. Darling didn't want to face up to the fact that that he may have been so close to someone who was gay. He felt threatened by it so he didn't accept the possibility. He was lying to himself. So for me, he is another character in a long line, whose motives are suspect.
I believe that Finch was jealous of Darling, but that he also had some nagging doubts and wanted to know the truth about Mina and Walter. Ah those unanswered questions. I know just how he feels. But he couldn't put the case to rest and had to try to find out the truth.
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Unread postby Liz » Wed Feb 22, 2006 1:03 pm

suec wrote:
I believe that Finch was jealous of Darling, but that he also had some nagging doubts and wanted to know the truth about Mina and Walter. Ah those unanswered questions. I know just how he feels. But he couldn't put the case to rest and had to try to find out the truth.


I agree, Suec. He was just too involved in the case to let it go. He wanted to know the truth.
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Unread postby Bix » Wed Feb 22, 2006 1:35 pm

Liz wrote:I think he was still bothered by being taken off the panel, and I think Finch questioned Tom Darling's credibility as a witness. And I'm wondering if Darling just never knew that Walter was gay. Maybe Walter hid the fact from everyone during his time in the service--including Tom. I think it is possible for friends and family not to pick up on the signals or clues in this area. And Tom continued to deny it.

suec wrote:I think it is about people people believing what they want to believe. Darling didn't want to face up to the fact that that he may have been so close to someone who was gay. He felt threatened by it so he didn't accept the possibility. He was lying to himself.

I have to agree with you here, Liz and suec. That was my first impression of Tom Darling's reactions, both on the night of the seance and years later at his car lot.

I think Finch was very upset at being off the panel, but I don't think he was jealous of Darling because he could see the relationship to Prof. McLaughlin was not the same as his own had been. I think he was suspicious of Darling because he hadn't seen him around the graduate dept at Harvard and he says he had an "outdoorsman's winter tan" which probably not many grad students sported. And I think perhaps his lingering interest was fueled by the emotion in Darling's declaration on the night of the seance: "That s.o.b. I heard tonight wasn't him!" He didn't just say, "No, that doesn't sound like the Walter I served with." or "I can't be sure, but I don't think that is him." There was betrayal or anger or at least very stong emotion in his declaration.
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Unread postby Liz » Wed Feb 22, 2006 1:41 pm

Bix wrote: I think he was suspicious of Darling because he hadn't seen him around the graduate dept at Harvard and he says he had an "outdoorsman's winter tan" which probably not many grad students sported. And I think perhaps his lingering interest was fueled by the emotion in Darling's declaration on the night of the seance: "That s.o.b. I heard tonight wasn't him!" He didn't just say, "No, that doesn't sound like the Walter I served with." or "I can't be sure, but I don't think that is him." There was betrayal or anger or at least very stong emotion in his declaration.


Good catch, Bix. I didn't pick up on the "outdoorsman's winter tan". I also agree that the emotion he displayed indicated that he felt threatened or betrayed somehow. And I remember it bothering me as I read it. It just didn't ring true.
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Unread postby Betty Sue » Wed Feb 22, 2006 2:36 pm

I don't think Finch was jealous of him either. McLaughlin made it clear that he wasn't really an assistant but a witness, and the stenographer didn't give him exactly a glowing review. She said he smelled and made crude advances. I agree that Darling's vociferous "I never would have been best pals with no queer" made him suspicious to Finch. So no suspicion is cast on Mina's take on her brother. I think Darling's character was used to put a big question mark on the seance being genuine, to end the investigation. But, of course, Finch needed to pursue it further and feels that he got his answer: Darling's testimony should have been discounted. And he feels that McLaughlin knew this, too.
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Wed Feb 22, 2006 3:29 pm

It's another piece of the puzzle that is dangled in front of our nose and then almost withdrawn. Gangemi has a way of taking us down a path but then throwing just enough suspicion on that path to make us doubt its worth. Back to the couch...
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -

Wow! What a ride!

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Unread postby bluebird » Wed Feb 22, 2006 11:03 pm

Liz wrote:
Bix wrote: I think he was suspicious of Darling because he hadn't seen him around the graduate dept at Harvard and he says he had an "outdoorsman's winter tan" which probably not many grad students sported. And I think perhaps his lingering interest was fueled by the emotion in Darling's declaration on the night of the seance: "That s.o.b. I heard tonight wasn't him!" He didn't just say, "No, that doesn't sound like the Walter I served with." or "I can't be sure, but I don't think that is him." There was betrayal or anger or at least very stong emotion in his declaration.


Good catch, Bix. I didn't pick up on the "outdoorsman's winter tan". I also agree that the emotion he displayed indicated that he felt threatened or betrayed somehow. And I remember it bothering me as I read it. It just didn't ring true.


Me, too, Liz. I remember when I read Darling's response, I thought "why is he so angry, so scared????" It made his character suspect immediately and I never did fully believe him or believe in him after that.

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Unread postby Theresa » Wed Feb 22, 2006 11:15 pm

DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:It's another piece of the puzzle that is dangled in front of our nose and then almost withdrawn. Gangemi has a way of taking us down a path but then throwing just enough suspicion on that path to make us doubt its worth. Back to the couch...

That's it exactly, DITHOT. Just about the time I had made up my mind about Mina and Walter, he would toss in something else that made me doubt everything I had just decided.

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Unread postby bluebird » Wed Feb 22, 2006 11:23 pm

theresa wrote:
DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:It's another piece of the puzzle that is dangled in front of our nose and then almost withdrawn. Gangemi has a way of taking us down a path but then throwing just enough suspicion on that path to make us doubt its worth. Back to the couch...

That's it exactly, DITHOT. Just about the time I had made up my mind about Mina and Walter, he would toss in something else that made me doubt everything I had just decided.


Since Gangemi is going to answer our questions about this book, he must know about the Zone, right? Does anyone else wonder if he's monitoring this discussion and is sitting back, giggling?!
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Unread postby Liz » Wed Feb 22, 2006 11:40 pm

bluebird wrote:
theresa wrote:
DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:It's another piece of the puzzle that is dangled in front of our nose and then almost withdrawn. Gangemi has a way of taking us down a path but then throwing just enough suspicion on that path to make us doubt its worth. Back to the couch...

That's it exactly, DITHOT. Just about the time I had made up my mind about Mina and Walter, he would toss in something else that made me doubt everything I had just decided.


Since Gangemi is going to answer our questions about this book, he must know about the Zone, right? Does anyone else wonder if he's monitoring this discussion and is sitting back, giggling?!


Of course he is. :lol: You're a stinker, Joe. :grin:
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Unread postby SamIam » Thu Feb 23, 2006 1:04 pm

suec wrote:I think it is about people people believing what they want to believe. Darling didn't want to face up to the fact that that he may have been so close to someone who was gay. He felt threatened by it so he didn't accept the possibility. He was lying to himself. So for me, he is another character in a long line, whose motives are suspect.
I believe that Finch was jealous of Darling, but that he also had some nagging doubts and wanted to know the truth about Mina and Walter. Ah those unanswered questions. I know just how he feels. But he couldn't put the case to rest and had to try to find out the truth.


I agree. I think he couldn't bring himself to even ponder the thought of it. He didn't want to believe that he had befriended someone who was gay but maybe the real reason is that it is Mina who was talking and it was part of her multiple personality disorder.
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