Monty Python and the Holy GrailSparrow’s verbal stumbling here is one of those “exaggerated for the benefit of readers/for Rule of Funny” situations. Not something that’s as glaringly-obvious to Rosen in-universe.

This chapter has answered a bunch of reader theories, but this page in particular kicked off a flurry of new ones:

  • so Cohen is keeping it secret because he feels guilty? which is also why he hasn’t gone looking for Patrick
  • or it’s a carefully-planned cover story to keep other Being researchers from following him down the same path
  • or maybe Cohen was so drunk that, when he sobered up with patchy memories, he actually believed he had turned Patrick into a pile of dirt?
  • or could it be that he did, and “our” Patrick has been an imposter all along??

Dr. Rosen: Mr. Cohen is . . . ambitious! Sometimes he finds it is backfiring upon him.

This is a sigil that we have been reconstructing from archaeological remains for several years now. We believe it is intended to make a golem transcend its contract. To develop free will.

Sparrow: Whoa. Sounds like the Holy Grail of Being research.

Rosen: Not the analogy I would have used . . .

Sparrow: Look, I grew up in a majority-Christian culture. And on Monty Python. So sue me.

Rosen: It is . . . important, yes. Such a thing could change the existence of the golems forever. Have you noticed that Mr. Cohen’s own golem, the Dog, has not been seen for several months?

Sparrow: What? Noticed? Why would I have noticed? That sure is not suspicious or anything.

Rosen: The reason is . . .

. . . that Mr. Cohen tried to improve its Contract . . . and failed. It lost its definition, and deteriorated into a heap of inanimate soil.

Sparrow: Oh, is THAT how he’s explaining it? — I mean — THAT explains it!