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I just re-read Dragonsinger for the umpteenth time yesterday (on Anne McCaffrey's birthday, natch). Something that I've often wondered about, but never pursued before now, is why does Sebell ask Menolly to teach him how to act like a seaholder? This is really a two-part question:

(1) Why does he need to know this?
(2) Why ask Menolly, rather than spending a day at some random seahold somewhere?

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  1. Sebell was spying on the Old-timers and had to blend in so they wouldn't be suspicious.
  2. By having Menolly tutor him, fewer people on the outside would know about what he was doing, reducing the chance of his deceit being revealed. Also, it could be seen as a sign that he was already attracted to her, and looking for opportunities to spend time with her.
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    The Oldtimers hadn't been exiled yet at this point, though, had they?
    – Martha
    Apr 2, 2019 at 18:49
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    According to this timeline the Oldtimers were exiled around the same time that Menolly left home. Apr 2, 2019 at 20:25

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