Winston's parents were among the first in Great Britain to be Marked. As a reward for their loyalty, Chancellor Cylis provided them with an isolated mansion in the American Union and all of the luxuries that money could buy. Mr. and Mrs. Rathbone felt some guilt about their decisions, however, and became lifesavers on the Unmarked River, offering food and shelter to Markless travelers. One night, however, a traveler that the Rathbones had been sheltering cut off Mr. Rathbone's right wrist and hand, assumedly to use his Mark for a purchase of some kind. Mr. Rathbone healed physically, but he and Winston's mother never forgave the Markless for his maiming.
The Rathbones bypassed DOME and, through their connection to Cylis, were able to directly contact the IMPS whenever a Rivergoer stopped at their home. Then IMPS Moderators would secretly come to arrest them. Initially, the Rathbones felt some guilt, and they forced Winston to listen while the Moderators read through the alleged crimes of the arrested Markless. Their guilt faded over time, but they still wanted to hear the crimes read aloud, with Winston required to sit with them. Winston hated his parents' deceit in trapping Rivergoers, and he resented being forced to participate.
“Winston—I can’t drive.”When the Rathbones deceptively welcome the Dust to their home, Winston greets them with obvious unease. As time progresses, he retreats into a smirking rudeness calculated to undermine his parents' attempts to make the guests feel at ease. Winston eventually decides to take matters into his own hands. He offers to take one of the Dust on a drive. Eddie volunteers, and Winston takes him out in the Rathbones' car. Taking advantage of his parents' absence, Winston explains that the Dust are in serious danger. He teaches Eddie to drive and leaves Eddie with the keys to the car. Winston returned to the house with Eddie, hoping that his parents have not yet called the IMPS. He finds, however, that the Rathbones have already trapped the Dust in the cellar. Winston tackles his father so that Eddie can escape. Although Winston is eventually overpowered by his parents, he manages to stall them long enough for Eddie to break the cellar lock, load the Dust into the Rathbones' car, and drive off to safety.
“Haven’t you been paying attention? I’ve been teaching you this whole time.”
—Eddie and Winston
Winston is essentially an honest person placed in a very difficult position. Although he remained silent when his parents began trapping Rivergoers, he found that silence progressively difficult to maintain. He ultimately chose to risk his own safety rather than to allow the deception to continue.
Family and RelationshipsEdit
Winston and his parents were once presumably close. When his parents turned against the Markless, however, Winston began to resent them. By the time Winston meets the Dust, he and his parents have rather cold relationship with one another.