LOCATION: New England
Sometimes we live no particular way but our own
And sometimes we visit your country and live in your home
Sometimes we ride on your horses, sometimes we walk alone
Sometimes the songs that we hear are just songs of our own
Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world ... -- Grateful
Sir Braemor, or so he called himself, was an odd chap, dark skinned
with white hair, and it seemed like he'd been around these parts
since the time of the Founding Fathers. Though he never took a
job, he seemed never to be want of money, and no one seemed to
know where he lived. When he was around, which was rarely, he
was usually seen hanging at Rosslyn's Pub, sharing a pitcher
and his stories of adventure, legend, treasure hunts, and other
Along with claimed Mi'kmaq ancestry, McBrae, as everyone else called
him, spun tales of illustrious European personages in his bloodline,
and one day he offered to take me to the grave of his distant
grandfather in Massachusetts, which, he claimed, was the first
European grave in North America. I'm not the type to be taken in
by fanciful claims and crystal crowd myth, and when I did find myself
chatting with him on occasion, he always left me in a muddle of
Gungywamp Swamp, cubits, ratios and patterns of the stone walls,
Greeks, the Golden Mean, far off chapels, and other nonsense. So
I pretty much decided that today was a day to kick back with a cold
one and watch the Sox do in those damn Yankees. We were in a
pennant race, after all.
But it was his modest, unassuming bearing, and the way he told his
tales, that hooked me, and the Sox would no doubt blow another one,
so I found myself cruising into the Bay State in his blue '87
Ford pickup. The site itself was unimpressive, in the middle of
what I would call a suburban development, but as usual, my
companion gently reminded me that I was missing the big picture.
As we headed back, picking up the Sox game in extra innings on the
radio, a somber look came over McBrae's face.
"I have seen many things, been many places, and solved many
riddles", he said out of the blue, "I think They know about me."
"Nevermind. I just needed to be alone with you before I go. I
have some stuff for you. They won't be watching you -- you must
do what I cannot."
"Have you ever seen The Fisher King?", he asked.
"Sure, by one of my favorite directors, Monty Python's Terry Gilliam".
"Forget about the producer and the cast. Besides, the best work
he ever did was as some alien living in Boulder. I've figured
out where the real McCoy is -- its nestled in a cubbyhole beneath
a big rock leaning against a pine, right on the water, not in a pit
like some idiots have suggested. First you'll have to find the big
pine on the north hill, then head northeast about 15 steps or so
to another tree, just as big, but dead, then head down about 7 steps
in a north, northwesterly direction."
"Huh? Gilliam was the director, not the star."
"You're missing the big picture again", he said, as we pulled into the
parking lot of a Shaw's market. "I've gotta go, but it'll all
become clear to you once you piece together the map. See, I found
that as well (in the oddest place, but that is another tale), but
They know my footprints, so I had to tear it up and scatter it to the
winds -- leaving bits and pieces of it in the various places I've
visited over the years."
"And what does this have to do with me?"
"Under the spare tire is a secret compartment. You'll find my
travel log, a passport,
airline tickets, and about fifty grand in cash.
The airport is about 40 miles away, so you'd better hurry."
"Umm ...", I stammered.
"And one more thing", he said as he strode into the store. "My phone
number is written on the map, but you shouldn't need it unless you
are really stumped, and I suspect the line will be dead anyway. Where
I'm bound for, there ain't no phone company ..."
And with that, he was gone. As Joe Kerrigan was running thru
the standard cliches with the post-game announcer -- "we just
have to concentrate", "stay focused", and "not get caught up in
all the distractions", I wheeled the truck out of the parking
lot and headed east.