As it turned out it was Chapter Eight she wanted, a report of the author’s own encounter with the Trystero brigands. Diocletian Blobb had chosen to travers a stretch of desolate mountain country in a mail coach belonging to the »Torre and Tassis« system, wich Oedipa figured must be Italian for Thurn and taxis. Without warning, by the shores of what Blobb called »Lake of Piety«, they were engaged them in a fierce, silent struggle in the icy wind blowing in from the lake. The marauders used cudgels, harquebuses, swords, stilettos, at the end silk kerchiefs to sispatch those still breathing. All except for Dr Blobb and his servant, who had dissociated themselves from the hassle at the very outset, proclaimed in loud voices that they were British subjects, and even from time to time »ventured to sing certain of the more improving of our Church hymns«. Their escape surprised Oedipa, in view of what seemed to be Trystero’s passion for security.
The leader of the brigands, after collecting the mail sacks, hat pulled Blobb from the coach and addressed him in perfect English: »Messer, you have wittnessed the wrath of Trystero. Know that we are not without mercy. Tell your king and Parliament what we have done. Tell them that we prevail. That neither tempest nor strife, nor fierce beasts, nor the loneliness of the desert, nor yet the illegimate usurpers of our rightful estate, can deter our couriers.« And leaving them and their purses intact, the highwaymen, in a cracking of cloaks like black sails, vanished back into their twilit mountains.
Blobb inquired around about the Trystero organization, running into zipped mouths nearly every way he turned.