Next came ‘a twist and a turn’. Actually it was a turn and a twist. The turn I heard coming. And heard it took place. The turn was that “the desk” was put in the back of an SUV and “taken out of state”. I heard. I did not ‘see’ or ‘know’ ‘this’. I did not hear about this from the H&W trio. For I… it was as if the desk became a pea that… when placed in the SUV… became ‘a pea under a walnut shell’ …among other walnut shells… with no pea under them. “Out of state” (first New Hampshire, then Massachusetts, then back to New Hampshire… I heard) assured that I lost sight of both the pea AND its walnut shell. I lost contact with the trio… too… for the ‘sale’ at the house stopped… and the ‘clean out’ stopped too. The home was locked back up. Its was ‘the Holidays’. I had lost the desk?
Again I remind that the time frame is short for all of this; November to pre Christmas in December 2012. Not weeks, not days but often just hours separated the actual actions taken. For example, the desk could visit three or four ‘out of state’ auctioneers in… one day. But I was outside of any loop. When I took the Roger’s group to the truck that day, that was the “last thing I did” “in” ‘all of this’. I was resting on my laurels?
Hardly. I had a ‘dawned on me’. Not much of one, but ENOUGH of one to absorb my thoughts, to time-travel in those thoughts, to think about taking action on those absorbed and traveled thoughts and… to do that; take action. So a few mornings later I found myself driving to the Historical Society to inquire IF ‘anyone’ ‘knew’ IF it was TRUE …what I thought I remembered… from when I was eight years old… in 1962.
I thought I remembered that ‘the original furniture in the front rooms’ of the Captain Merritt Kimball estate were sold WITH the estate BY the Kimball brothers TO the first set of ‘Summer People’ purchasers to ‘keep it (those rooms therefore the whole estate) the way it originally was’ (Part Six). DID I remember? Or did I… hear a ghost whisper that SAID “I remember”. DID I… fit a piece into the puzzle of the ‘ponder’ of this the ‘has “schooled me” in the very subtle trademark traditions of this whole… Maine… romance’? (Part One) Or did I conjecture a ponder too far?
IF I carried the Roger’s group out because I ‘bought it’... because… it was IN the Charles’ workshop shed room and I felt (FEEL) that it was in that room because Charles brought it from the Kimball estate’s lady’s parlor WITH the desk… chair… lamp …and rug BUT that I FEEL this Roger’s group sat on a table ‘now lost’ BUT IF that table be… re-pondered …could it BE that the table BE STILL THERE; in the front rooms OF THE ESTATE with only the Charles and I ‘carrying off’ its Roger’s group? COULD THAT BE?
Sophia, the mother. was taken away. HER desk assembly was attempted to be ‘taken away’ ‘with her’ too. THAT fell back and in its rejection all came to Charles’ shed. The fall back was settled by …the conversion… of the lady’s parlor to a television ‘den’. COULD the original setting of the Roger’s group ON the table… have survived in the room and in its original place… THROUGH the Mother Sophia move AND the television den conversion AND… ‘stayed there’ until the …estate sold and the new owners-to-be; the summer people said “WE WANT THAT TABLE TOO” for the front rooms… here presuming that the table be, as the front room furnishings were (ARE).. ‘marble topped’ ,Victorian, walnut something’s, sort of and… “but we DON’T want THAT” (the Roger’s group). The TABLE is moved up to the front rooms by Charles who also… “get rid of it” the Roger’s group by… taking ‘it’ ‘home’ to the shed room “TOO” where it rested until I… “CARRYING SOMETHING OUT OF A HOUSE TOO”.
Reminding that one’s eight year old thoughts and their ‘remembered’ are very firm for us all, OF COURSE THAT IS WHAT HAPPENED and I… be on my way to the Historical Society to affirm those thoughts WITH their further confirmation of this all by having… ‘pictures’ of the ‘original front room furnishings’ of ‘The Captain Merritt Kimball Estate’. Right? Chipper and gleefully I drove to the Historical Society, parked and… stepped carefully down from the truck to avoid bumping the door of the …out of state plates “from New York” ‘sports car’ parked next to me that ‘has’ a large gilt gold framed bevel glass mirror in the back seat… that… I say “didn’t I just see one like that huh” to myself as I closed and locked the truck door and:
The TWIST began.
I start up the walk to the Historical Society’s offices as that door opens and DOWN the walk starts walking ‘Jenny’.
Aside from proper ‘no escape’ sensations, the reader TOO remembers ‘Jenny’? She’s Mr. Simon’s granddaughter who was getting to the ‘about to’ sell Mr. Simon’s summer place when …I went there to… purloin antiques and did. (Parts Twenty-A,B,C and D). She looked the same except that it wasn’t summer so she… had a jacket and pants on below… the ‘her hair’ with the… sunglasses stuck in that ‘her hair’. And SHE… did not as quick as I to her …remember me. Today I was NOT jacketed and tied as I had been at my commercial visit. I was ‘a local’. In fact I probably could have pulled off a brush-by. But. I ‘just assumed’ ‘she’d remember’ me. As if I needed that.
SHE didn’t… but… because I did an on-the-walkway footstep stammer; a Maine man form of subconscious expression of uncomfortable-situation-here-we-go that is wicked hard to prevent or control… I ‘the jig-is-up’ totally and STOP when I …could have just… brushed-by into eternity and… she still didn’t know who I was though a hard looking she did at me with the appropriate ‘this guy is falling down?’ pause combining with the hand rising to the sunglasses and
I TWISTED off of the walk sideways with my front side facing in and spread eagle arms saying “SORRY” and …I was by her… with her NOT turning to look or look back at me as I… gathered (collected) my flopping feet to accomplish myself my OWN pace away…too.
I was fumbled. I was stammered. I lost my place of thought. I forgot my mission. I. By the time those had flashed by I was at the Historical Society office door reaching out and turning the knob while re-purposing myself with “I AM HERE TO...” gathering thought strengths and... opening the door… step in to… see before me at the reception desk the secretary seated and the director standing… with both looking at me like they were expecting someone AND something else. I know both well. They know me well. This ‘know well’, WITH the grip of my mission returned... ENDED my expression of trepidation and... THEIR expressions of trepidation. Too.
After a swift not-anything greeting I …saying at the forest fire of them already knowing that I was here on business …of some local historical note… that was of “NO PROBLEM EVER” …for I was always ‘stopping by’ and ‘doing that’ with this ALWAYS on a NOT THE WEEKEND and NOT during a ‘special event’ and, again, always a “NO PROBLEM EVER” so…we were all zeroed right then and there at the not-anything greeting and I said “ANY CHANCE you KNOW IF the ORIGINAL FURNISHINGS in the Captain Merritt Kimball house are still there?” That got a heads-raised-looking-at-I attentive response with no utterance so I continued “OR happen to have any PHOTOGRAPHS of the INTERIOR?”.
The director seized the substance of my double query for it WAS SUBSTANCE; a walk in the door historical society visitor asking a specialized query about local history that HE COULD KNOW and-OR answer. “FLOP” like a life preserver tossed in the sea I flung and HE GRASPED and…
He says “I DO… well I DON’T KNOW if that they are STILL there BUT WE DO… I believe have SOMETHING. Pictures I think. OF… well… let’s SEE IN HERE.” And he turns and steps into the computer workstation dominated ‘archive room’ off to the right of the reception center desk. I follow. He bends over the first computer and starts a ‘looking up’. I stand saying nothing.
The twist continues.
The front door opens and in comes, WITH awkward fumbling, bumping, scrapping sounds and a sudden rise of the secretary from her desk... ‘Jenny’ ...carrying the ... heavy large rectangular gilt gold framed bevel glass mirror... I’d seen in the back seat of, I now affirmed to myself... ‘her car’.
I turned into a ghost? A shadow? Either-both-ANY? Fine with me. The director left the computer and left the room. I... denoting the opened space at the computer stepped TO THAT and ...intensely began peering at the screen with my back turned to EVERYTHING. I pushed a scroll-down button. More listed iota popped up on the screen. All had little postage stamp size pictures to the left of each listed... iota. I WAS OCCUPIED... therefore.
OUT in the main room and before the reception desk ALL HELL BROKE LOOSE... from my perspective. SHE (‘Jenny’), wielding the mirror with both arms began an ...obviously already broached query... of the rapid fire sort of ... “WHAT IS IT HOW OLD IS IT IS IT VALUABLE ISN’T IT WONDERFUL I BOUGHT IT AT THAT YARD SALE LAST WEEKEND FOR ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS DON’T YOU THINK IT’S MORE VALUABLE THAN THAT I’M GOING TO TAKE IT TO MY HOUSE IN NEW YORK HAVE YOU EVER SEEN ONE LIKE IT I CAN’T BELIEVE WHAT PERFECT CONDITION ITS IN DO YOU KNOW WHERE IT WAS MADE DID IT COME FROM THIS TOWN I THINK IT MUST HAVE BECAUSE THE HOUSE HAVING THE SALE WAS VERY OLD.”
The director was now holding the ...mirror. “ The house IS very old.” he said.
“But the MIRROR is TOO.”
“Well it’s not as old as the house is.”
“Oh well how old?”
“Eighteen eighties I’d SAY.”
“OH well I THOUGHT IT MUST BE older BUT in PERFECT CONDITION”.
“OH well I THOUGHT IT MUST BE older BUT in PERFECT CONDITION”.
“Yes it is perfect; JUST BEAUTIFUL. No chipping on the FRAME and the glass is PERFET.”
“So OLDER TOO I’d say then.”
“It IS ‘VICTORIAN’.”
“They’d kept it IN the LIVING ROOM. HAD HUNG THERE forever THEY SAID.”
By this time I’d researched the ENTIRE archive of the historical society on the computer screen and was still hiding down at the bottom of the sea with my back turned and holding my breath and... had the forced epiphany of ‘remembering’ ‘where’ I ‘saw that’ mirror; at the H&W trio’s Charles’ house ... ‘sale’.
“YOU KNOW THEY HAVE A DESK THEY’RE SELLING FOR FIFTEEN THOUSAND DOLLARS”.
“I didn’t know that.” the director said.
“THEY SHOWED IT TO ME.”
“I didn’t see a desk in there.”
“YOU WENT TO THE SALE?”
“Ah... yes. BEFORE the sale. I previewed it FOR the HISTORICAL SOCIETY”.
“OH. OF COURSE. It was a WONDERFUL sale. SO MANY OLD THINGS from their FAMILY.”
I turned to watch. Her hand was rising to the sunglasses. The director still held the mirror. I turned away. “I’m gonna die.” I said to myself.