However, my thoughts keep returning to the details of the prophecy as noted from Kynes' POV, especially in these passages:
"My Lord, the Duke, and I have other plans for our conservatory," Jessica said. She smiled at Leto. "We intend to keep it, certainly, but only to hold it in trust for the people of Arrakis. It is our dream that someday the climate of Arrakis may be changed sufficiently to grow such plants anywhere in the open."
Bless her! Leto thought. Let our water-shipper chew on that.
"Your interest in water and weather control is obvious," the Duke said. "I'd advise you to diversify your holdings. One day, water will not be a precious commodity on Arrakis."
And he thought: Hawat must redouble his efforts at infiltrating this Bewt's organization. And we must start on stand-by water facilities at once. No man is going to hold a club over my head!
Bewt nodded, the smile still on his face. "A commendable dream, my Lord." He withdrew a pace.
Leto's attention was caught by the expression on Kynes' face. The man was staring at Jessica. He appeared transfigured--like a man in love . . . or caught in a religious trance.
Kynes' thoughts were overwhelmed at last by the words of prophecy: "And they shall share your most precious dream. "He spoke directly to Jessica: "Do you bring the shortening of the way?"
"Ah, Dr. Kynes," the water-shipper said. "You've come in from tramping around with your mobs of Fremen. How gracious of you."
Kynes passed an unreadable glance across Bewt, said: "It is said in the desert that possession of water in great amount can inflict a man with fatal carelessness."
"They have many strange sayings in the desert," Bewt said, but his voice betrayed uneasiness.
Jessica crossed to Leto, slipped her hand under his arm to gain a moment in which to calm herself. Kynes had said: " . . . the shortening of the way." In the old tongue, the phrase translated as "Kwisatz Haderach." The planetologist's odd question seemed to have gone unnoticed by the others, and now Kynes was bending over one of the consort women, listening to a low-voiced coquetry.
Kwisatz Haderach, Jessica thought. Did our Missionaria Protectiva plant that legend here, too? The thought fanned her secret hope for Paul. He could be the Kwisatz Haderach. He could be.
"We are indebted to you, Dr. Kynes," Leto said. "These suits and the consideration for our welfare will be remembered."
On impulse, Paul called to mind a quotation from the O.C. Bible, said: " 'The gift is the blessing of the river.' "
The words rang out overloud in the still air. The Fremen escort Kynes had left in the shade of the administration building leaped up from their squatting repose, muttering in open agitation. One cried out: "Lisan al-Gaib!"
Kynes whirled, gave a curt, chopping signal with a hand, waved the guard away. They fell back, grumbling among themselves, trailed away around the building.
"Most interesting," Leto said.
Kynes passed a hard glare over the Duke and Paul, said: "Most of the desert natives here are a superstitious lot. Pay no attention to them. They mean no harm." But he thought of the words of the legend: "They will greet you with Holy Words and your gifts will be a blessing."
Leto's assessment of Kynes--based partly on Hawat's brief verbal report (guarded and full of suspicions)--suddenly crystallized: the man was Fremen. Kynes had come with a Fremen escort, which could mean simply that the Fremen were testing their new freedom to enter urban areas--but it had seemed an honor guard. And by his manner, Kynes was a proud man, accustomed to freedom, his tongue and his manner guarded only by his own suspicions. Paul's question had been direct and pertinent.
Kynes had gone native.
"Shouldn't we be going, Sire?" Halleck asked.
The Duke nodded. "I'll fly my own 'thopter. Kynes can sit up front with me to direct me. You and Paul take the rear seats."
"One moment, please," Kynes said. "With your permission, Sire, I must check the security of your suits."
The Duke started to speak, but Kynes pressed on: "I have concern for my own flesh as well as yours . . . my Lord. I'm well aware of whose throat would be slit should harm befall you two while you're in my care."
The Duke frowned, thinking: How delicate this moment! If I refuse, it may offend him. And this could be a man whose value to me is beyond measure. Yet . . . to let him inside my shield, touching my person when I know so little about him?
The thoughts flicked through his mind with decision hard on their heels. "We're in your hands," the Duke said. He stepped forward, opening his robe, saw Halleck come up on the balls of his feet, poised and alert, but remaining where he was. "And, if you'd be so kind," the Duke said, "I'd appreciate an explanation of the suit from one who lives so intimately with it."
"Certainly," Kynes said. He felt up under the robe for the shoulder seals, speaking as he examined the suit. "It's basically a micro-sandwich--a high-efficiency filter and heat-exchange system." He adjusted the shoulder seals. "The skin-contact layer's porous. Perspiration passes through it, having cooled the body . . . near-normal evaporation process. The next two layers . . . " Kynes tightened the chest fit. ". . . include heat exchange filaments and salt precipitators. Salt's reclaimed."
The Duke lifted his arms at a gesture, said: "Most interesting."
"Breathe deeply," Kynes said.
The Duke obeyed.
Kynes studied the underarm seals, adjusted one. "Motions of the body, especially breathing," he said, "and some osmotic action provide the pumping force." He loosened the chest fit slightly. "Reclaimed water circulates to catchpockets from which you draw it through this tube in the clip at your neck."
The Duke twisted his chin in and down to look at the end of the tube. "Efficient and convenient," he said. "Good engineering."
Kynes knelt, examined the leg seals. "Urine and feces are processed in the thigh pads," he said, and stood up, felt the neck fitting, lifted a sectioned flap there. "In the open desert, you wear this filter across your face, this tube in the nostrils with these plugs to insure a tight fit. Breathe in through the mouth filter, out through the nose tube. With a Fremen suit in good working order, you won't lose more than a thimbleful of moisture a day--even if you're caught in the Great Erg."
"A thimbleful a day," the Duke said.
Kynes pressed a finger against the suit's forehead pad, said: "This may rub a little. It if irritates you, please tell me. I could slit-patch it a bit tighter."
"My thanks," the Duke said. He moved his shoulders in the suit as Kynes stepped back, realizing that it did feel better now--tighter and less irritating.
Kynes turned to Paul. "Now, let's have a look at you, lad."
A good man but he'll have to learn to address us properly, the Duke thought.
Paul stood passively as Kynes inspected the suit. It had been an odd sensation putting on the crinkling, slick-surfaced garment. In his foreconsciousness had been the absolute knowledge that he had never before worn a stillsuit. Yet, each motion of adjusting the adhesion tabs under Gurney's inexpert guidance had seemed natural, instinctive. When he had tightened the chest to gain maximum pumping action from the motion of breathing, he had known what he did and why. When he had fitted the neck and forehead tabs tightly, he had known it was to prevent friction blisters.
Kynes straightened, stepped back with a puzzled expression. "You've worn a stillsuit before?" he asked.
"This is the first time."
"Then someone adjusted it for you?"
"Your desert boots are fitted slip-fashion at the ankles. Who told you to do that?"
"It . . . seemed the right way."
"That it most certainly is."
And Kynes rubbed his cheek, thinking of the legend: "He shall know your ways as though born to them."
In all of these passages there's this uncanny feeling of something extraordinary going on. We can suppose that Paul's actions were unconsciously guided by his prescient abilities, but this does not explain why his, and Jessica's, actions fit into the prophesy. Now, I'm not sure if this wasn't discussed before (forgive me if it was), but all of a sudden I had the idea that maybe the person who formulated the prophecy was prescient as well? Have you guys discussed this possibility? What do you think of it? (Or is it something rather obvious and it's just that I had failed to grasp that idea? )