Freakzilla wrote:Georgie, I'd like a reference to where the mumbling was a secret code from the text please.
The first clue is this:
"The pressure's on," the Count hummed to his lady in their secret language. "The Baron is just beginning to see the price he really paid to rid himself of
the Duke Leto."
You may note that in that passage there's no hint of the mumbling that we see elsewhere in Fenring's speech. Arguably we might suppose this is because either he intentionally mumbles around others but that it doesn't mean anything, OR that this text that we see written clearly *is* the mumbling, which FH is calling "hummed". You may also note that the "mumbling" consists of sounds such as "ummm" and "ahhh" but also "hmmm" and that latter would certainly be a 'humming sound'. But the others could be humming sounds as well as long as you define humming as 'creating music without words'.
And then there's this little clue, from an exchange that's always made me chuckle:
"White for poison, black for purity," the Lady Fenring said. "A curious custom, isn't it, my love?"
"Um-m-m-m," the Count said.
It would be seem odd for the author to write "the Count said" after he had merely mumbled and not said anything. My conclusion is that the "Um-m-m-m" was indeed him saying something, in their code.
At the end of the scene of Giedi Prime we again have:
Count Fenring faced his lady, spoke again in their personal humming-code tongue: "You saw it, of course?"
Again we see that resuming the humming code results in a lack of apparent ums and hms in the conversation that follows, because what we're seeing is the translation of that code into English.
Hopefully that was convincing to you. The final point regarding this was made above, which is that at the very end Fenring dispenses with the mumbling and speaks plainly. It's never written out in plain black and white that this is what's happening but I'm pretty sure this is what the author meant.