An Analysis of Postman

Translated with permission from lore analyser Ma Yi Jia (https://meici674.lofter.com/post/1ea10181_1c93d3f18) with notable mention to Teddy Bear (https://bearhugkxl.lofter.com)

* A very interesting thing about Postman’s deduction is that the characters in his story are slightly complicated, and there are misleading timelines when compared with his PV. This textual research will be segmented into a few areas (View > Show document outline): 

  1. A broad outline of Postman’s deduction story

  2. Analysis of Postman’s appearance

  3. Hertfordshire and mail

  4. Smuggling, mafia, gangsters, crimes in Britain’s 19th century

  5. A brief cultural history on British postmen

  6. Deduction 1, 2: Victor as a "messenger"

  7. Deduction 3, 4, 5: “Pops” (“Big Daddy”), "Poet" friend, and Wick

  8. Deduction 6, 7, 8: Conflicts within the collusion between the gang and the police

  9. Deduction 9: The death of the "poet"

  10. Deduction 10: Victor and "Pops"

  11. Deduction 11 and PV: Escape and follow-up

  12. The alluded stories behind Postman’s skins

  13. Speculation of Victor motivations and personality

  14. Summary

* Victor's story can be seen more as a boy’s developmental process, accompanied by sadness and departure

The Fall by Adonis/Adunis

I live between the plague and the fire

with my language,

with these speechless worlds.

I live in heaven and gardens of apples,

in the first ecstasy and despair,

between the hands of Eve –

Lord of that accursed Tree,

and lord of the fruits.

I live between the clouds and sparks,

in a stone that grows and grows,

in a book that teaches

the secrets and the Fall.

  1. A broad outline of Postman’s deduction story

The story happened in the context of Hertfordshire, England between 1862 and 1896. With the completion of the Aylesbury railway station and its reliance on the pulp and paper industry, Hertfordshire has become an excellent spot for London’s gangs and smugglers to trade goods and deliver letters. 

The local policemen also turned a blind eye to such illegal and criminal behaviour, and had even colluded with the gangs, secretly selling illegal goods to earn extra money. "Pops (“Big Daddy") was one such policeman. Through the postmen, he was able to send letters and parcels in order to profit from trading with these gangs and smugglers. At the same time, he possessed evidence for their lawbreaking behaviour. 

Under this context, Victor Granz became a new postman at the local post office. Because of his ability to hold secrets, as well as his conscientious and responsible work attitude, “Pops” had also started entrusting Victor to deliver the mails and letters concerning trades with the gang members. Victor also believed that this was a sign of trust, continuing to work as conscientiously and responsibly as before, never leaking any information he saw or heard. 

Yet such days were no longer possible after an external policeman from another area arrived. Perhaps Scotland Yard had decided to crack down on smuggling, and dispatched a policeman with a special status to Hertfordshire. He brought along a dog called “Wick”, and started to investigate the gang members in this area. 

On one hand, “Pops” wanted to cooperate with his superiors; on the other, he wanted to profit more from the gang. He let Victor send the “information” obtained from investigating the gang to the policeman, aiding him to investigate and collect evidence. Through prolonged contact, Victor and the policeman became friends. Victor was influenced to develop a unique liking for words, and also obtained a harmonica from the policeman. 

(This policeman is the “poet friend” mentioned by Victor’s accessory. For easier reference, we will be calling him “poet” from now on)

The “poet” knew very clearly that his investigation was extremely dangerous. Thus he assured Victor that if an accident had happened to him, then Wick would deliver mails to him, containing the information the “poet” had obtained in his investigations. On the other hand, “Pops” had sent “anonymous letters” to the gang, revealing the investigations of the “poet”, putting pressure on the gang for his own benefit. The gang had become wary and asked Victor for relevant information regarding Pops, but received no intel whatsoever. 

The “poet” had noticed this situation. Due to coincidence, the “poet”  witnessed a hooligan pestering Victor, and in a fit of rage, the “poet” beat up the hooligan, revealing his identity. After realizing the situation had evolved beyond his control, Pops wanted him to stop intervening in Victor’s issues, at the same time he no longer left Victor in charge of delivering mails to the “poet”. Due to this, Victor became sad and disappointed, realizing that be it the gang or Pops, he was only a tool for delivering information. 

Although he no longer helped Pops to send mails to the “poet”, he continued to help Pops to trade goods with the gang members. The existence of the “poet” made the gang members unhappy, and both parties began to have conflicts. Victor had heard information that the gang had intended to give Pops a “lesson”: They found out about the poet, and had prepared to commit murder and arson. 

On the day of the arson, Victor went into the fire out of concern for the “poet”, but found out that the “poet” had died before he had arrived, with only the little dog Wick remaining alive. After risking his life and rescuing Wick, Victor who had just lost his friend adopted Wick. At the same time, he was threatened by the gang due to his involvement in their elimination of the enemy. 

The plan of Pops to contain and threaten the gang members was destroyed due to the death of the “poet”, yet he was still discontented. Although he was warned, he still planned to use the evidence the poet had collected to threaten the gang members, to obtain more money for himself. He was unknowingly the gang’s next target of elimination. 

As the postman who knew everything, Victor knew he could warn Pops about the gangsters’ plans. On one hand, he knew that if he had revealed such information, not only will they no longer trust him, his life would be endangered; on the other hand, Pops deserved what he got. And if he died, then Wick would pass on the evidence left by the “poet” to his hands – no one would pay attention to the mail-sending postman. As long as he brought these mails to another place, he may even be able to escape his current life. 

Perhaps thinking about the “poet”, Victor eventually chose to stay mum. Not long after, Pops was killed by the gang members, and the letters arrived onto his hands. The gang sent Victor a note warning him not to say anything. Victor also never said much, and took a train to depart Hertfordshire with the letter. He went to another city to become an ordinary postman. (Whether he obtained protection by sending the mails to a specified police station remains a point of speculation)

The culmination of these events led Victor to no longer believe in the world, only believing in the words written on the letters, becoming fond of observing the genuine reactions displayed by the recipients in the split second they receive the letters. While reminiscing about his friendship with the poet, he longed for someone who could “display genuine emotion” to him (i.e., by writing him a letter). As if responding to his expectations, a long time after the event, a letter from the manor was addressed to him…

  1. Analysis of Postman’s appearance

Before we officially begin, let’s look at Victor’s appearance and at some details.

(Victor’s costume is basically the same as its original with some amendments made, so we can still infer the rough era he was in)

Firstly, through his uniform and hat, we can make a simple inference of the era he was in. In 1840, after Britain introduced postal services for convenience, the British Royal Mail had made London-centric standardized uniforms, which gradually decentralized to surrounding counties. 

In early days, the postmen from rural communities did not have (like Victor) standardized uniforms, usually only wearing the most simple and common local apparels, and used satchels to transport mails. 

It was only until 1834 that the postmen in the main counties were given uniforms. In 1837, London’s official postmen were given uniforms of blue coat with red collar, a blue vest, and a beaver hat. The postmen affiliated with Britain’s Royal Mail (mainly concentrated in large cities such as London) would wear the same red-black uniform to signify their role: usually a black top hat with red tailcoat

In 1855, the postmen’s signature scarlet frock coat replaced the old tailcoat. Different postmen had different identification numbers, which were worn on their collars. The beaver hat was replaced by an imitated hard felt hat worn by Parisian postmen. The uniform also came with a waterproof cape to protect the easily soiled coat. Most importantly, the outfit now included grey trousers, facilitating the postmen’s long journeys. 

Victor’s uniform, apart from his hat, may have been the products of this era. 

The reason why he is speculated to belong to a place other than London is because the British postal uniform experienced yet another wave of adjustments. After 1861, the postal uniforms in large cities such as London were changed into blue with red collars, and the hats became black. 

Postmen of smaller counties continued to use the red uniform. This may explain why Victor’s uniform is torn and tattered

Until 1862, the single peak shako hat was introduced into the postal uniform, replacing all other hats as the standard model. Victor’s hat only appeared in the postal uniform at this time.  

(Something like the hat in this image)

The usage of this hat continued until 1896. Afterwards, the British postal system (may have convoluted standards of aesthetics) introduced the double peaked shako hat to replace the single peak shako hat. 

So based on the costume, it is inferred that Victor was a postman situated outside of large cities such as London, within smaller cities or counties, between the time period 1862-1896. 

Next, the letters that Victor carries on him.  

Because glue was not popular back then, until the end of the 19th century, envelopes were commonly sealed with red wax. 

The writing paper used by people who were not from the upper class was the unrefined yellow writing paper. Bleaching techniques were not as common as today, thus many papers back then were slightly yellow. They were also expensive, so a form of cross-writing or cross-hatching emerged to save pieces of paper. 

A single piece of paper can contain 4 times more information, worth it.jpg

Lastly, the small dog Wick. 

The species should not be contentious. Wick probably belongs to the bulldogs. However, judging from its physical ability to send mails across long distances and its accompanying details, the actual species may be the Old English Bulldog, one that is currently extinct. 

(The Olde English Bulldogge in 20th century America are recreated, and are not the original Old English Bulldog)

(1863 photograph of an Old English Bulldog)

Different from its current ornamental bulldog counterparts, the Old English Bulldog had muscles, was very nimble and agile, and had less wrinkles on its face and body. This species had a special feature which is that its lower jaw protrudes from its upper jaw. This allowed its firm and sharp teeth to securely tear prey apart. In addition, it was faster than regular bulldogs, with an average speed of 7 miles/hr (11km/hr). This makes it possible for Wick to travel far and wide to send mail. 

The ancestors of this bulldog were the various British dogs in warfare. The bulldog was mainly used to contain the bull or as bait to lure the bull, or for dog fighting. After the Cruelty to Animals Act 1835 passed, its commercial value became nonexistent. Except for the more professional breeding hobbyists, there were few individuals in Britain who raised the Old English Bulldog. 

(The original workplace of the bulldog)

After establishing the Bulldog Club (England) in 1878, the Old English Bulldog crossbred with the English White Terrier to give birth to the modern day bulldog. The new form of bulldog accelerated people’s indifference towards the Old English Bulldog. The last records of the Old English Bulldog were in 1890, after which it went completely extinct. 

Combined with this point, if Wick existed after 1862, his original owner may not be an ordinary person. 

Lastly we discuss why the story occured in Hertfordshire based on Victor’s name.

Victor’s name originates from the very commonplace English male name victor (meaning winner). His surname Granz may have originated from the German surname Gr?nz. After they had migrated to an English country, the original surname Gr?nz morphed into Granz. According to current records, individuals holding the surname Granz in 1891 Britain were not a lot. They were mainly concentrated in Lancashire and Hertfordshire. 

(The top left is Lancashire, the bottom right is Hertfordshire) 

Lancashire is situated further from large cities, so its postal services were incomplete; Hertfordshire was situated near London, thus its postal services were highly developed, and crime rates were also high, which is more fitting to the situation described in the deductions. 

  1. Hertfordshire and mail

Next we provide a detailed introduction of the situation in Hertfordshire. 

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Hertfordshire was founded in the Norse-Saxon wars of the 9th century. At the beginning of its establishment, its development depended upon trading and manufacturing with London. London was the biggest city in Western Europe at that time, so its day-to-day operations required a large amount of supply. Hertfordshire’s transhipment of goods for commercial purposes became highly profitable: at least 3 of the Roman roads passed by this city, canals and other waterways flow through it, bolstering the development of the transportation industry.

These characteristics also brought certain influences to Hertfordshire. Historically, it is the place associated with the greatest number of rebellions against the English royal family. This not only included the First Barons' War, large amounts of Peasants’ Revolt, the Wars of the Roses, and the English Civil War. After the Black Death ravaged Hertfordshire in 1349, many of the big families and older nobles left the place, creating more chaos within the social classes and the environment. 

What connected this area to the modern postal industry was the development of the paper and transportation industry locally after the 19th century. 

In 1809, John Dickinson bought the paper mill named Apsley Mills in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire. He then invented and patented the cylinder-mould paper making machine. In 1825, the paper mill in Hemel Hempstead had started using steam power to produce a large amount of ‘silk thread’ paper (actually cotton threads), envelopes, letter sheets, and stamps for sale

After 1840, the Uniform Penny Post was established in Hertfordshire. The letters and stamps created by Dickinson were sold in conjunction with the postal system, and John Dickinson & Co. Limited was established in March 1886. 

The prerequisites for a postal system not only included the pulp and paper industry, but also the development of the local transportation industry. 

The first branch railway line in England was the Aylesbury railway station, which opened in 1839. It had a station at Marston Gate, Hertfordshire. Another rail line grew out from London towards Cambridge. The line was extended to Harlow in 1841. After 1843, it was possible to reach most counties around London by train. In 1887, Londoners could take the underground railway to arrive at Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire

(The Berkhamsted railway station in Hertfordshire, 1838)

Such a convenient transport system not only accelerated the development of postal services, but also led to serious gang crimes

  1. Smuggling, mafia, gangsters, crimes in 19th century Britain

Rhyme of the 1823 Radlett murder

They cut his throat from ear to ear,

His head they battered in.

His name was Mr William Weare,

He lived in Lyons Inn.

The term smuggling is defined in modern British law as the clandestine movement of goods with the intention to evade custom duties, import or export restrictions, bans on drug trafficking, and other similar regulations. 

In modern history, beginning from the 18th century, the British government had started carrying out policies of high tariffs on imported goods. However, because of an imperfect customs administration, bureaucratic corruption, and shortage of goods such as cigarettes, spirits, tea leaves, and silk, smuggling was highly profitable. As a result, from the English coast to London, many smuggling rings utilized bribery or violence to smuggle goods at a high price, obtaining profits in return. 

Over time, these smuggling rings congregated together, formed specialized gangs and smugglers, became the cancer of British society, and publicly challenged the government. In the mid-18th century, within the archives of British law records, the most famous was Hawkhurst Gang in Kent, Goudhurst: the smugglers threatened to burn the entire town and kill its residents. They clearly attempted to do this. The town was fortunately protected by a militia composed of local squires. 

These situations persisted until William Pitt the Younger's reforms in 1880. William Pitt the Younger (1759-1806) was England’s 14th prime minister. While he was in office, Britain experienced rapid industrialization. William Pitt the Younger believed in Adam Smith’s economic liberalism, opposed mercantilism, and advocated for free markets. He was the first British politician that firmly believed in the theory of free trade. In his tenure, he officiated tariff reforms: reducing tariffs, introducing new taxes, and preparing plans to reform customs administration. Many of his policies effectively hit the nail on the head. They were pragmatic and achieved spectacular results. 

With the accession of Queen Victoria and the opening of semicolonial markets, the popularity of free trade started creating losses for smugglers. Merchants could profit through normal means of selling tea leaves, wool, and spirits, and thus no longer required gangs to smuggle goods for them. 

Yet this did not mean that the gangs disappeared: London was the centre most rampant with smuggling. Over the years, these gangs had established a complete underground organization and network. From illegal gambling, selling poisons, usury/loan sharks, human trafficking, and even contract killings, nothing was impossible. 

All of these were exposed to the public by the 1823 Radlett, Hertfordshire murder. 

(Portrait of the killer and his associates)

The victim William Weare was a solicitor of Lyon’s Inn and a gambler. His killer was John Thurtell, a former Royal Marine officer and a son of the Mayor of Norwich. Thurtell owed Weare a gambling debt of £300, an immense sum at the time (equivalent to £24,500 in 2015). Thurtell believed Weare had cheated him of the money. 

Thurtell invited Weare to join him and his two friends (Joseph Hunt and William Probert) for a weekend of gambling at Oaks Close, Hertfordshire. On 24 October 1823, they journeyed from London in Thurtell's horse-drawn gig, and killed Weare in a dark lane just short of their destination. Thurtell shot Weare in the face with a flintlock muff pistol, but this failed to kill him. Weare escaped from the carriage but did not get far before Thurtell caught him. As Weare lay injured, Thurtell slit his throat with a knife before driving the pistol into his head with such force that his brains were dashed over the ground. 

Assisted by Hunt and Probert, Thurtell robbed Weare’s belongings and hid the corpse in a pond in Elstree. The stolen goods were later gifted to others, or sold to others.

The trio were sentenced to death and exiled. On the court, apart from admitting his guilt, John Thurtell also revealed William Weare’s role as a lender and a gangster, argued that he himself felt helpless, and exposed the seedy London underworld of gambling to a public ignorant of it. John’s description may or may not be true, but the newspapers widely published his claims, spreading a wave of fear, panic, and demands for a thorough investigation. 

In reality, because of the widening gap in wealth and classes, the new slums in London appeared to have organized crimes in an underground economy. For one, reports of juvenile delinquency were commonly seen in newspapers. The activities of so-called ‘lads-men’ were regularly reported. These were criminal bosses who supposedly trained young boys to steal and then later sold on the stolen goods they received from them. Thomas Duggin for example was an infamous ‘thief-trainer’ who worked in London’s notorious St Giles slum in 1817. Charles King, a man who ran a gang of professional pick-pockets, was also reported in The Times newspaper in 1855. 

(A print on juvenile theft)

Compared to such minor crimes, high-traffic locations such as Hertfordshire were prone to smuggling of contraband goods, territorial gang conflicts, gambling, and loan sharks (there were dozens of underground casinos within the county at that time). Being further away from London, there were weaker law enforcements, leaving gangs rampant in the city and creating more problems within the county. 

  1. A brief cultural history on British postmen

After discussing the gangsters, we discuss why Victor’s background story includes the plot of “rescuing from the scene of fire”. This is related to the traditional British culture of postmen. 

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(Postmen in earlier periods would ride on horses to send goods)

The earliest manifestations of the modern postal industry originated from universities: University students from Cambridge, Oxford, etc. were more or less high-born. They had greater demands for fashion accessories and entertainments, but the area surrounding the universities did not contain well-developed matching facilities. The students continuously requested clothes, books, and other necessities. This encouraged the universities to hire a “regular corps of active messengers” to satisfy students’ demands. 

These demands expanded continuously as cities were established, and around 1635, this resulted in the establishment of a British postal service. For about 150 years afterwards, mail carriers traveling on horseback between “posts” delivered letters to postmasters, who removed local letters, and added new mail to be carried off to distant places by the next rider.

Of course, such a mail system was inefficient, and it took a long time for the delivery of a letter. There was also another problem: “Exposed to all accidents of weather, stoppages by swollen rivers, delays through the roads being cut up … straying from the beaten track during fogs, and to all other chances of the road, including attacks by footpads or highwaymen.” As a result, receiving a mail or letter became something that many people anticipated for months or even years. The postmen’s image was therefore imbued with feelings of expectations – be it good or bad news, the postman’s knock is more or less a long-awaited response for a family.

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(Postmen back in the days reminded residents to obtain mails by shaking the bronze bell)

These sentiments were gradually diluted in the 19th century, where transportation infrastructure became well-developed. However, people’s good impressions of postmen remained – “nought stops him; he walks, and walks, and forever walks, knocking and dealing forth his many missives, in fair weather and in tempest, in scorching sun and nipping frost.”

The postman's job is seen as both difficult and full of unparalleled responsibility: If the recipient’s expectations are left undelivered, the postman may be criticized for it. In addition, when bad news arrives, some postmen also experience sadness along with the recipients; When good news comes, they also experience joy with the recipients. 

Furthermore, because they often met unexpected situations on their long journeys, “heroic postmen” also came into existence. 

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W. T. Reily was one of the most representative heroic postmen at that time. In July 1866, while on his way home, he rescued a woman who had fallen into the River Thames. Four months later during his work, he rescued another boy who had been trapped underneath a horse carriage. 

During those times, there were multiple newspaper reports on such heroic acts. Thus, on top of the accompanying anticipations towards their traditional role of delivering messages, attributes such as “kind”, “brave”, “honest”, and “tight lipped” were also imbued onto postmen. Various literary works further gave rise to the good impression that the British today hold towards postmen. 

(It isn’t hard to realize that Victor’s early settings and story prototype were inherited from these “cultural” impressions. Thus, in addition to understanding his background story, we can also discover interesting things regarding the character’s cultural context)

  1. Deduction 1, 2: Victor as a "messenger"

After giving a huge recap, we officially look at the deductions: 

This is the first part of the story.

Victor Granz became a new local postman, mainly responsible for the delivery of various mails and parcels. Due to the uniqueness of this job and the chaotic situation in the area, he more or less came into contact with the gangsters and the police. He met “Pops”, one of the policemen. 

“Pops” was searching for someone who was tightlipped, who could help him act as a messenger for sending goods and messages with the gangsters. Through dealing with the gangsters, he gains self-interest, and also secretly collects relevant incriminating evidence. If such information were to be revealed, he would definitely become a target of elimination. “Pops” chose Victor to work as a messenger for him due to his good reviews and his ability to keep secrets. 

The title mentions a “bronze bell”, a tool used by postmen to send messages. 

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The postmen wore a top hat and a red coat. When people heard the sound of the small bronze bell, they would hurriedly take their mails and postages to the postman.

Back then, postal delivery systems were not as well-developed as today. Postmen usually collected mails on the road, and distributed them on their journey. The bronze bell in Victor’s deduction refers to this small tool.

In addition, deduction 2 contains interesting details:

Firstly, “Pops” did not give Victor a name, only calling him “Postman”. This corresponds to the latter half of the story, where it was revealed that he only saw Victor as a tool. It also shows that he was afraid of revealing his true identity at work.

Secondly, Victor is different from other survivors and hunters. He does not write a diary, instead only writing letters for himself. His PV mentions “receiving a letter addressed to him”, and a wish to “hold his own secrets”, perhaps it had already taken root at this point. 

  1. Deduction 3, 4, 5: “Pops”, "Poet" friend, and Wick

Next is the categorization of slightly complicated character relationships. 

These 3 deductions correspond to 3 different relationships. 

(What the “poet” friend said to Victor)

(Victor’s impression of the relationship between “pops” and the “poet”)

(The gangsters being wary of “pops”, and the poet’s investigation of the gangsters)

In a chronological order: 

A policeman from another area brought the small dog Wick to Hertfordshire, with aims of investigating the gang situation. “Pops”, himself a police, was naturally aware of this. He utilized Victor to send the policeman the information he had gathered, in order to assist him with the gang investigation. After understanding the situation, the policeman made preparations knowing his life may be endangered. He told Victor that if he was murdered, Wick would transfer the mails to him to relay the information. 

At this point, the gang had received from Victor an anonymous letter from “Pops”. The letter contained the poet’s location in the form of an address, and a stack of money. After realizing something was amiss, the gang asked Victor about the real identity of “Pops”. (Pops probably hid his identity to trade with the gangsters, who only knew he was from the police). Yet Victor stayed mum. He did not provide them with any information, and was threatened as a result. The external policeman who came to investigate the gang situation was aware that postmen like Victor would experience difficult situations such as this. But he never thought that he would witness Victor being threatened by the hooligans. 

First to resolve an issue: Why do I believe that this policeman is the poet?

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The harmonica which the poet friend gifted Victor is the 10-hole harmonica. The harmonica evolved from the musical instrument Sheng, which came into Europe in the 18th century. It was first produced by musical instrument maker Friedrich Buschmann from Berlin, Germany. Its initial prototype was the 10-hole harmonica. In 1857, clock maker Matthias Hohner began crafting the 10-hole harmonicas, and started supplying them to the United States in 1868. 

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(The internal structure of a harmonica)

Although it was mass-produced, a custom made harmonica fashioned with gold such as Victor’s accessory was considered a luxury good that was only purchasable by the upper class. Not only were decorations on its surface, the harmonica was also engraved with a signature, suggesting that the “poet” came from a well-off family and had a good educational background.

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(The upper left corner shows an engraved signature)

Even though it is possible that Victor had made other friends in times that we are unaware of, at least before he went to the manor, Victor clearly stated in the PV that: “After all, my only friend Wick is just a small dog.”

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In other words, at least in the PV, Victor had always been alone, and did not make any other friends, except for Wick who remained at his side. In the entire deduction, Wick’s owner is the immolated policeman. 

It was also previously mentioned that at that time period, individuals that would raise an Old English Bulldog such as Wick, were people that understood the dog’s breed. Their social class was not low. The Old English Bulldog also had another attribute. It is not particularly close to others, except for those that its owner trusts or is close friends with.

Victor inherited Wick from the policeman, and indeed became close friends with Wick. This sort of close relationship may have been built from the foundation of Victor’s friendship with Wick’s former owner. When we combine the deduction, the PV, and the background story, Victor’s only closest human friend was this policeman.

From his present of a harmonica to Victor and his later actions, this policeman may have been a romantic idealist. It is also not surprising for him to demonstrate high literary achievement through his choice of words. And clearly, the police investigation was done in secret, without revealing his true identity.


Under such circumstances, just like the nickname of “Postman” and “Pops”, calling him a “Poet” is not surprising.

Subsequently, Victor’s ability to literally read between the lines and deduce people’s genuine reactions may be due to the poet’s influence, as he gained a certain ability to examine literature.

The bigger question here is, who was the “anonymous letter” written by and for?

The envelope only contained money and an address. In later stories, the letters contain money only when “Pops” trades with the gang. At the same time, the only corresponding address was the police station where the “poet” was immolated. “Pops” did not have the need to conceal his identity when sending information with the “poet”, and the “poet” also stated that Wick would send these letters to Victor, so there was no special need to write down where the gang-relevant information was located.

Considering all of the above, “Pops” had sent this letter to the gang. This is the most plausible explanation: His purpose from the start was not to let the “poet” thoroughly investigate this situation, but to use the existence of the “poet” and his investigation results as a bargaining chip. This would allow “Pops” to coerce the gangsters in his transactions to work for his self-interest. Yet for this coercion to work, the gang has to know about the poet’s existence.

It is also easy to understand why the letter contains money: Victor would not reveal who let him send this letter. The only one who could make long-term money transactions with the gangsters is “Pops”. This money not only declares his own identity (and avoids the poet from discovering that “Pops” had betrayed him), it will also lure the gang to head to the address, where they will then learn about the existence of the poet.

Dark, truly dark.jpg

And so Victor had personally, and unknowingly, sold out his first friend. 

  1. Deduction 6, 7, 8: Conflicts within the collusion between the gang and the police

After writing a report on the postmen’s terrible situation in the area, the poet coincidentally witnessed Victor being threatened and blackmailed by gangsters. Out of friendship and concern for Victor, he made the rash decision of beating up the hooligans to help Victor escape danger, but at the cost of almost revealing his identity. 

Victor may have been a minor at that time (the job of a postman has a low age requirement, and gangsters are not as skeptical of children), so involving him in such a conflict was considered too dangerous. On one hand, the poet may have considered this and asked “Pops” to no longer let Victor send mails for him; on the other hand, “Pops” may have realized the friendship between Victor and the poet may lead to disclosure of confidential information, which would ruin his own plans. 

After weighing his options, Pops made the sole decision for Victor to no longer send mails to the poet. The rescue from the hooligan was the last meeting of Victor and the poet. But Pops did not entirely stop using Victor, he continued to let Victor help him send parcels to the gangsters. 

Victor wanted to see the “poet” again but was rejected. He did not want to involve himself in a dangerous situation again but he was continued to be used by “Pops”. This discrepancy made Victor realize that he was just a tool for sending messages for the gangsters and for “Pops”. He may be killed for refusing to do his job, yet his safety was also not guaranteed as he continued to send mails and learn about too many secrets. He started to desire the possession of his own “secret”, to have an opportunity to escape his current situation. 

The gangsters investigated the situation with the “poet” while performing transactions with “Pops”, but they never expected Pops to push his luck. The parcels Pops sent them got smaller, but he increasingly extorted more money from them. Victor, who was responsible for sending Pops’ parcels to the gangsters, became their punching bag, was rejected, and was even requested to be replaced. There was no longer balance in transactions, the gangs could no longer tolerate “Pops”, and decided to deter him by making an example out of someone. 

  1. Deduction 9: The death of the "poet"

Perhaps uneasy due to the current situation, Victor may have, in the process of sending mails, overheard the gangsters plans to make a move on the poet. 

The job of the “postman” is to “keep his mouth shut”, pretending he does not know any secrets he has heard, so Victor did not hold any secrets. However, the poet was his first friend, and the only person who really cared about him in his deductions. After thinking it through, Victor risked being targeted by the gangsters and headed to the poet’s house, to remind him to be careful of the gangsters. 

Yet, Victor was too late. 

After rescuing Victor from the hooligans, perhaps realizing he could no longer involve Victor in this situation, the “poet” gave the harmonica with his abbreviated real name to Victor as a souvenir (Before that, they perhaps did not know each others’ names, and only addressed each other through nicknames).  

Yet both Victor and the “poet” may not have expected that was their last meeting. Victor had indirectly and unknowingly killed his friend when he sent Pops’ anonymous letter to the gangsters. 

Only a burnt corpse remained in the house of raging fire. Perhaps after the gangsters killed the “poet”, they arsoned the place to destroy all of the evidence. Trapped in the sea of fire beside his dead master was the small dog Wick. An old friend died, and nothing remained. Unsure of how he felt about this situation, Victor joined in the rescue and prevented the spread of the fire. He also rescued and adopted the small dog Wick from the fire.

The local newspapers recorded his “heroic act”, but only Victor knew the truth behind the story – now, he finally holds his own “secret”, though the price of this secret may be too much to bear. 

  1. Deduction 10: Victor and "Pops"

After the death of the poet, the mail containing all of the confidential information was not transferred from Wick to Victor. They were instead held by Pops as a bargaining chip. 

“Pops” became a lot more restrained after the poet’s death, but he still continued performing business transactions with the gangsters through Victor. At the same time, he searched for other ways for the withheld information to work as a bargaining chip for threatening the gangsters. This not only acts as self-protection, but also serves in his self-interest. But the gangsters no longer trusted them. Through Victor and the “poet”, they discovered the real identity of “Pops”, and sent people to monitor them – If Victor said something undesirable about them, or if “Pops” attempted to push his luck again by saying too much, then both of them would be killed. 

Victor clearly understood this, so he decided to stay mum, not saying a word. Pops continued with his pipe dream, successfully becoming the gangs’ next target of elimination. Victor knew that he could always remind Pops to be careful, but on one hand it would put himself in the way of danger, and on the other hand, Pops would not necessarily believe him.

Furthermore, if “Pops” died, then the leftover mail from the “poet” would be transferred over to him. 

Understanding he is only a tool to Pops, Victor thought about the poet, thought about the other “postmen” before him, and thought about how the mail could change his future. He held a “secret”, and desired to hold another “secret”. After all, although Victor is young, he is not incapable of discerning right from wrong, or incapable of understanding the consequences of his choice. 

Out of multiple considerations, he chose to “stay mum” about Pops. 

Pops was indeed killed later on, and the letter transferred over to Victor. 

  1. Deduction 11 and PV: Escape and follow-up

After Pops was murdered, Victor received a warning from the gang, telling him not to say anything. Victor knew that he had become a suspected target in their eyes. He had lost their trust. As he had expected, Wick also handed over the poet’s letter to him. He no longer had a purpose for remaining in the city.  

Perhaps using the delivery of a letter as an excuse, or perhaps requesting the post office to work elsewhere, Victor brought the letter along as he departed from Hertfordshire, and continued working as a postman in the cities. 

Yet, Victor clearly knew he had lost the bronze bell, he had lost people’s “trust”; 

The gangsters and “Pops” had lost trust in him, no longer believing he can keep secrets or be a good “postman”;

The “poet” trusted him as a friend, to the extent of even sacrificing himself for him. Yet he was immolated in a raging fire, and Victor permanently lost this precious piece of trust;

Other people believed in newspaper reports on Victor, believing he was a good postman, a hero that contained the fire. But only Victor knew what an unspeakable, concealed secret is like; 

He himself understood through this incident that human nature is heartbreaking: “Pops” betrayed the “poet” for self-interest, and he himself “betrayed” Pops for a letter, for a chance to escape this place – Victor had also lost his trust for others. Except for the words written on paper and the emotions displayed in the split second of reading such words, he does not believe in what other people say. 

Holding such beliefs, he did not experience a comfortable life in the new city. His only friend was the small dog Wick which he inherited from the poet. 

“I am not good at interacting with others, and don’t enjoy doing so. However, I’m mesmerized by the various emotions displayed by the recipients when they receive the letters […] Face-to-face conversations are the most superficial […] Whereas the hidden feelings between the lines are instead the most genuine. Perhaps no one will believe me when I say these things, because nobody has ever sent me a letter. After all, my only friend Wick is just a small dog.” – Victor’s PV

In the end, he continued craving for genuine interactions and gaining understanding from others. After achieving a new life and obtaining his own secret, Victor’s biggest wish became “receiving a letter addressed to himself”. Perhaps deep in his heart, if the “poet” were still alive, they would be communicating with each other through letters. 

Akin to hearing his wishes, a letter with contents yet unknown was sent to him one day.

“However, when I first received this letter addressed to myself, I have never been more convinced that words carry endless sincerity.” – Victor’s PV

This letter made Victor believe that the writer had expressed genuine emotions between the lines, and convinced him to take a trip to the location written on it: Eurydice Manor. 

  1. The alluded stories behind Postman’s skins

After reading all of Postman’s deductions, we recap on his skins. We can find that they provide a lot of hints regarding Victor’s story. In a chronological order from his gold skin (and accompanying blue skin), his purple skin, and later his green skins, we will look in detail at these alluded stories. 

Although Victor’s appearance and voice give people the first impression that he is a little boy, his skins so far have basically been inauspicious images such as “vampire” and “demon.” Such a choice is not merely coincidental. Linked with his deductions, although Victor is an innocent entangled in a difficult situation, whatever he does further contributes to crime, and he himself continues doing so all while knowing this.  

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The origin of the Bloodline is untraceable. The details regarding the Tome written by the Embrace continues to spread within the community behind-the-scenes. After the castle banquet, the Bloodline covenant collapsed along with the unstable Tome. After the original owner appeared, the ability to rewrite fate will no longer fall by the wayside. 

The gold skin “The Embrace” indeed characterizes this sort of ideology – or in other words, what Victor would become in an extreme case.

The story of the Embrace has been discussed in detail in the Halloween Bloodline Story. Because it is overly complicated, it will not be repeated. The associated blue skin Herald was the previous identity of the Embrace. 

In the story, the Herald was heading to Northern Europe when he witnessed a cult performing sacrificial activities, resulting in himself becoming a sacrificial offering and turning into the first vampire, the Embrace. Based on the Embrace’s personality, because of his personal experiences, he harbors resentment towards human relations and the hypocrisy of human civilization. Because of this, he created the Tome, with the goals of imbuing chaos in the world. 

Although Victor’s own personality is not so extreme, gold skins usually resemble the deepest desires of every character – the poet friend’s death created a blow in Victor, making him lose trust in the emotions that humans displayed, only believing in letters and the real emotions expressed when they receive those letters. From this perspective, Victor and the Embrace share the same core values – “not believing in humans”. 

More extreme than Victor, the Embrace held the ability to create his own secrets, to narrate his life, and even the fate of others. He was able to distinguish between people’s truth and lies, and derive joy from observing them. These are all Victor’s (evil) desires, those that he could not achieve in his actual story. 

In contrast to the Embrace, Keyboard is a lot more mellow. 

Keyboard is a demon that escaped from hell in search of freedom in the human world. He disliked the strict environment in hell and the unequal treatment of social classes. He was eventually captured by a trap set in the bar by Bone Flute, and was entangled in a battle that would cost him his faith. 

(In reality, because of the forceful intervention by Antonio’s gold skin, it became a musical battle of a piano conference. I feel that Bone Flute was holding back from cursing internally in this essence story.)

Keyboard is similar to Victor in the PV, who had left his original residence to the city, but eventually went to the manor after receiving the letter. He left the city (or hell to him), gained freedom and happiness from delivering letters. Yet in reality, and in the essence story, Victor continues to be attracted by familiar words and music, re-entering another form of “hell.”

Victor had a wake up call in his deduction story; under the guidance of the poet, he longed for the sincere emotions and trust in human interactions. However, Victor’s innate character showed that he perceived very blurred lines between good and evil. Under his friend’s guidance, he is inclined to goodness; however, in situations where he is forced to indulge in evil, or remain ignorant about indulging in evil, he will not reject it – so innately, he is also highly similar to a “demon” or a “vampire.”

His green skin Grace Pink appears to describe Victor’s status at work everyday – ignoring his personal circumstances, and just speaking from an occupational point of view, Victor is indeed a conscientious postman. You could definitely rest assured when entrusting him to send mails for you. 

(The following skins did not come out before Ma Yi Jia had analysed Postman on 11th May, so I will be personally contributing my 2 cents)

His green skin Grave Blue similarly supports his conscientious work attitude. (Although Wick does not seem to always succeed to deliver letters to players within the game)

Peace may be what he craves for in his day-to-day work. Postmen often meet emergency situations on their long journey, so a brief moment of respite is very much cherished. The ability to travel long distances as a postman is also associated with youthfulness. Work may also be the most important part in Victor’s “youth” (as previously mentioned, the job of a postman has a low age requirement, so he may have joined the postal services at a very young age). “Prosperity and abundance” may refer to the city he was working in, Hertfordshire. Although it is plagued with crimes, the city is not riddled with poverty, and people generally live within their means.

  1. Speculation of Victor motivations and personality

This section is a summary based on the deduction analysis above (tons of bs). These are thoughts and opinions that are heavily and personally biased, so it only serves as a reference. If the content in this section will create disturbance for your creative work or role plays of the character, I suggest skipping over this section. I hope everyone holds more of their own thoughts and opinions about Victor. 

Because the job of a postman in that era had a low age requirement, Victor may possibly have started sending letters for “Pops” at a very young age: His ability to stay mum may be due to his inability to distinguish good from evil, and not knowing that helping “Pops” would bring about certain consequences.  

So in some sense, Victor was initially naive and sincere, with blurred concepts between good and evil. He believed that people sent him letters out of sincerity and trust. He did not care even if his recipients were gangsters. Because of his ability to “stay mum”, he was entrusted with an important position, which made Victor believe he had value. To him at that time, the achievement of self-worth was more important than social mores. 

This sort of “silence” can also imply his lack of ability to communicate with others, yet he desires them – Victor’s longing to receive a letter did not occur after the poet, but from the start (deduction 2) – he innately desires a friend that could understand him and open their heart to him. Writing letters is the emotion that he finds most sincere, so when he writes letters to himself, he attempts to satisfy such wishes (somewhat akin to children playing with themselves as a coping mechanism).

Something cruel about fate is that it indeed told Victor that such sincere emotions do exist

The appearance of the “poet” let Victor realize, for the first time in his life, that selfless and sincere compassion exists in the human world. The poet did not need Victor to send letters for him, and in contrast to Pops, did not choose to use his ability to keep secrets. The “poet” treated Victor more as a child and as a friend, and in this process, taught Victor about ideologies and arts that people in his social class would otherwise never get in touch with. The interaction with the poet permanently changed Victor, giving him a blurred concept of good-or-evil, right-or-wrong. This ideology was made clearer when the “poet” stood up for him. It allowed Victor’s heart and spirit to both mature and awaken. 

Lamentably, shortly after being endowed with growth, their meeting became their last. The poet’s death and Pops’ attitude made Victor realize that the gangsters and other people were insincere to him, and understood what was it exactly that the “poet” made him realize. 

Sadly, in such an environment, what Victor needed for self-protection was not the kindness he was endowed with, but the evil of selective silence. Victor indirectly used this “evil” to kill “Pops”, and escaped from this environment. Yet afterwards, the death of his friend, his forced choice of evil after understanding right from wrong, and the pain of not being able to reveal the truth, made him feel repulsed by human interactions. This ultimately culminated in the Victor we saw in the PV: diligent and conscientious, yet innately holding suspicion against the emotions people made in their interactions. He only believed in the genuine emotions displayed within the letters. 

He indeed matured and achieved redemption. Yet this was also excruciatingly painful for Victor. 

Victor’s ability to help gangsters deliver letters for so long and not get killed, suggests that he may actually be a child with a high emotional quotient and an intelligent mind. Regrettably, the limitations of his environment and his simple nature did not let him notice the situation around him. After he had realized everything around him, he quickly fell into a state of living hell. He was forced to assume responsibility for a parting too painful for a child and made to experience loneliness for far too long. After growing up, Victor was once again trapped in his preoccupation that contributed to his growth in the first place, which ultimately morphed into his current personality.

In multiple senses, it is truly a tragic story.

  1. Summary

An NPC that chases after their own benefit, plays with fire and gets burnt √

An NPC that is desirable but unattainable √

An environment that is seedy and troublesome √

A young man who could live a good life but deviated from the normal path √

NetEase’s murderous intentions to destroy people’s hearts √√√√…..

Following Luchino’s deductions, which appears to be a joyful story but may possibly contribute to multiple risks in his future life, Victor’s deduction story really destroys people through multiple senses and through multiple angles. It does not seem suitable to evaluate this character through black-or-white, right-or-wrong. Victor appears to me as a teenager whose personality has yet to be fixed and who still has opportunities to grow further. The manor game may be a trap that would embroil him in further conflicts, or act as an opportunity for him to grow into a new life. 

In conclusion, it is hoped that the harmonica the poet had given him can continue to be played till the day he truly grows, matures, and makes many good friends. 

Thank you for reading till here ?( ′???` )

Ma Yi Jia’s preview: Bloody Queen’s analysis may be the most angsty of the three… do make mental preparations. (Yet she did not finish it after 2 months)

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