A Door Knock
“I’m going to look UPSTAIRS.” I said/
“Upstairs? Oh. Go ahead.” Said Nathan still holding the bottle and cell phone.
I do… “go ahead”. I SCAMPER. Up the front stairs and… “one two three four” count four doorways to four bedrooms while noting the trash clutter and empty cardboard boxes on the floor of the upper hallway. DOWN to the front right room and PAUSE IN THE DOORWAY with my quick scan discovering a …large “three quarter” (size) “cannon ball” bed FRAGMENT …with its old bedding fumbled up on the mattress AND another center-of-room pile of trash and: I stop. “This is not the old woman’s room” I say to myself. “Parent’s room probably?” comes next. Nothing in sight. Nothing at this site. Nathan clears the top of the stairs and starts coming down the hall way. I step into the room from the doorway. He stops at the doorway.
“They didn’t WANT that.” He says. “You want it? That’s my worse thing. Gotta MOVE THAT.”
“It’s cut off.” I say automatically.
“Cut off?” He says.
“Yeah the posts have been sawed off. Probably nice cannon ball BED once. Now its just firewood. Unless you found the posts.”
“Sawed off the posts?”
“Yeah.” I say and step to the bed. “Would have been about this tall. With big wooden balls at the top.” I say raising my hand to just above my head.
Nathan’s looking at me but doesn’t know what I’m talking about. Then he looks to my left to the wall between the two windows. “Maybe they sawed the BALLS off and put them on that desk.” He says.
“Desk?” I say and look at a blank space between the two windows where he’s looking.
“YEAH right THERE is where the DESK was that they all WANTED. Old, old desk there that EVERYONE ALWAYS wanted. Probably PUT the BALLS on it to RAISED IT UP.”
I look a Nathan. I look back at the space. “What is he talking about?” is conveyed internally to my mental self JUST as I: “SHE SAID SOMETHING ABOUT ANOTHER DESK!!!!” … IS also mental self conveyed. This causes me to glance at Nathan and step to the BLANK SPOT. Looking down I see a light rectangle in dusty outline on the floor “huh”. “There was a DESK here? Like the one downstairs?”
“No BETTER they ALL want THIS DESK.”
“Here? It was here? I never saw it. I was never up here. She SAID she had another desk though.”
“Yeah this was the OLD one and it had these big wood balls for FEET so they must have cut the bed to MAKE THEM right? RAISE IT UP; the old desk. The BALLS came off when the auctioneer MOVED it”.
“Balls? Feet came OFF?” I said and looked down hard at the floor and …sure enough there in each corner of the dust rectangle was an outline of a round circle in the dust. I stared down while my mind raced through the “do you think that is the ONLY desk I have?” utterance from the old woman while I said “ball feet?” to myself and escalated that to “EARLY FAMILY DESK?”. I turned to Nathan and say “what KIND of desk was it?”
“Just an old desk to me but very old I guess. It was black and was always right there.”
“With ball feet?”
“The wooden balls were stuck on the bottom.”
“And the shelves at the top.”
“Shelves? At the TOP? A cupboard top?”
I was developing a mental image CREATION in my mind.
“Yeah had these old DOORS on the TOP”.
“HOW OLD did you say it was?” I said.
“THEY SAID 1700. The auctioneer said that could be right maybe.”
“Maybe? But he took it; TOOK the desk for AUCTION”.
“Oh yeah that was what he wanted most.”
My mental image creation was fuzzy complete. “And wooden KNOBS on the drawers?”
“No these little brass drips. And he SAID how many were there; that that was GOOD!”
“Brass DRIPS GOOD” I said as I fainted internally at the sight of my own mental image creation. What was the image? I was seeing a very early “William and Mary” “PERIOD” (of the period; made during the actual time period) ball footed desk with a cupboard top; an early if not earliest ‘secretary’… with its original… black paint on pine (?) wood surface, original hardware (the brass drips) and original (ball) “feet”. I only see pictures of those in books; advanced colonial New England furniture reference books. That’s all ANYONE is going to see to for to find one is “very rare” if not “impossible”. I, still mental image glazed over, looked up and back at Nathan. I was still in the cloud of my mental view.
And… that was that… for that desk. I certainly DID trace THAT desk to a THAT auctioneer who… didn’t go to a lot of descriptive or promotional trouble for it (including a skimpy number of photographs that showed the desk without its feet on – they put them in a drawer and never said a word about them) at his rather quiet North Shore “sale” where the “old black desk” was quickly “knocked down” “to a bidder in the hall” and …vanished.