Odd Language #244: Dispatching

This story by L. E. Modesitt, Jr. has the sentence in paragraph 2: “Is there a glow from the single lamp, illumining the high-backed reading chair last occupied by his wife before he dispatched her with their children, and all others within and without the City, to the highlands west of the Ramparts of the Sky?”

The issue: “dispatched” could mean sent or killed. Until the “… to the highlands …”, it is uncertain, and I first thought it was the latter which is considerably darker.

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