To continue King's "Judge:Devil" metaphor established today: "bats came from some nether part of the world to stand on leather wings like dark satanic hummingbirds."After that the judge raised his hand and the bats flare in confusion. I think it's just because he is rustling the bushes, but at first glance it seemed like the judge had some connection with the satanic creatures. Like he's the devil, controlling his minions. And hummingbirds aren't usually satanic. Google image search offers no results for "satanic hummingbird." However they did have a few images for "happy bat," which I figured was the equivalent of a satanic hummingbird.
They were so close to using the title in the chapter. The judge said "meridian," which accounts for approximately one-half of the title, excluding the second much more boring title. "His meridian is at once his darkening and the evening of his day." So, is he saying a man's high point in life is found in his pursuit of evil? And I'm not at all sure about the "evening of his day" part. I wouldn't think he means it literally, even though nighttime is usually the best part of the day. And I don't think he means the end of his life either, because that just sucks. I think the "evening of the day" just continues the "darkening," since it gets dark at evening times. It does. Look it up.
I got almost nothing from the judge's story. I guess it means something (well, obviously something), but instead of making up some bull-plop about the message I got, I will quote Marcus Webster on page 141 by saying "[The judge] is a formidable riddler and I'll not match words with [him]."
Alright, here's something cool. I mentioned the brief changes in verb tense some time ago. It happens again in this chapter for just two or three lines. If I may, "He is a draftsman as he is other things, well sufficient to the task. He looks up from time to time at the fire of at his companions in arms or at the night beyond." The tense changes to greater describe the judge's movements and how he works on his art. There's no really large scale action here; just one man going about a very minute and easily overlooked task. The change in tense brings the reader in to the story. Recall the first lines of the book. Same business. By the brief switch to present tense, the finer actions can be more precisely described.
Dr. Judge's line "A false book is no book at all," is... not right. Maybe that's his view of things or maybe it's meant to be a lot deeper than the literal conviction (which is my guess) but I have no idea what it means. And I think I'll stop here, because any further bloggage-eering would be nothing more than "I don't understand it. Is it taken literally? What?" So that's it.