The next chapter, “Dutiful,” opens with another selection from Badgerlock’s Old Blood Tales before moving into Fitz waking slowly and in discomfort from a half-remembered dream; he realizes that the prisoner has escaped, and the Fool notes that Laurel is also gone, arriving at the conjecture that she took him and fled. The two confer, the Fool noting his fear for Fitz, and they set out in pursuit once again.
The trail is clear enough, and Fitz opines that they will face resistance, including some likely from Dutiful. Nighteyes gives off of the chase with the clear trail, acknowledging an inability to keep pace. The Fool presses Fitz about his dream-sharing, and Fitz sights their quarry, assessing the situation glumly. The approach to the target is made, and melee ensues. Fitz reaches Dutiful, disoriented by the similarities between himself and the Prince–though he knows the reason. With difficulty, Fitz extricates Dutiful from the fracas, and he and the Fool make their flight.
It had to happen, of course, that Fitz would encounter Dutiful, and it had to happen that the physical similarities between the two would be remarked upon. Even had Dutiful not been conceived as he was, he would still be close kin–a first cousin–to Fitz, so that some similarity in appearance would be likely. But he was conceived as he was, and as someone who is similar enough to his own father to be mistaken for his (younger) brother, I know well that a son can favor his father’s appearance to an uncanny degree. (Seriously, even the patterns of the veins on the backs of our hands is the same, let alone our faces and frames.) That said, I’ve had a lifetime to be accustomed to the idea of my similarity to my father; he’s had my lifetime to be similarly accustomed. Fitz has not, and I can well understand his shock at seeing his own younger face, a face that might have been his own in other circumstances, looking back at him. So, yes, I again read affectively, but not without reason, I think.
But then, I would think that.