I physically returned to Helen and the Savage estate three weeks after my first visit. BEFORE I returned I received telephone calls from Helen’s lawyer, Helen’s bank and... Helen herself... in that order and ALL firming, confirming and reaffirming my... second visit. BEFORE receiving those three telephone calls I received a ‘first call’, considered by I to be a FOURTH call... from the director in charge of collections at the ...moderately prominent and well regarded... historical society ‘near’ Helen and the Savage estate.
BEFORE I report upon my attendance at the second visit AND the threesome telephone calls following the ‘new player’ first telephone call... I have to travel back to the first visit and a specific verbal moment in that visit where Helen says... to me: (Part Two)
“YOU HUNT DEER don’t YOU.”
“DO. MEN HUNT DEER.”
“NOW... I’m a DEER being HUNTED by that IDIOT BANK. I’m not a stupid deer. I can SEE the HUNTERS COMING. They see me here off in the distance. They can’t REALLY SEE ME because all they can see is some PAPERS with my BALANCE on it and MY BIRTH DATE. They think I’m gonna DIE. They look at those papers. They sit down there in BOSTON smacking their lips and rubbing their hands together. THEY WOULDN’T EVEN be SITTING THERE if it weren’t for my great, great, GREATER GREAT GRANDFATHER. GET AWAY FROM ME I say; I’m NOT GONNA DIE. YET.”
There are two... boundary markings... found here in Helen’s declaration. First, and easy to understand, Helen carries on Susannah’s ‘Go to Hell’ hiss heard when one lifted the bark door to her birthing hut... on Knapp Brook ‘above’ ‘Number Four”... when she (Susannah) was ‘beyond’ and ‘on her own’. Helen and her estate are, she feels, as she suggests through her “I’m a deer being hunted”... ‘beyond’ and ... she is... ‘on her own’. This is easy to discern now that WE ‘understand these things’ (Part Six [D]).
Then she says “I can SEE the HUNTERS COMING”. Deer hunters? She sees coming? What she actually says she ‘sees coming’ are ...the lawyer, the bank in Boston, the Savage estate relative to her “gonna DIE” not “YET” and... me. There is also the ‘new player’ she herself called in... but right now I haven’t ‘gone there’ “YET”.
I live on an old farm in Maine. It has ‘land’. Acres and acres of ‘land’. “Woodland”, ‘forest’, “WOODS” and ...prime deer hunting ‘property’. There are four ‘deer stands’ “IN” the “WOODS” this morning as I write. A ‘deer stand’ is the modern made sporting goods ‘store’ purchased ‘assemble yourself’ metal ladder with-a-chair (“seat”) at-the-top that is “HITCHED” to “ A TREE” by the ...deer stand placing (note that last word and my former usage of it in this tale) hunter who... very consciously to their ‘best ability’ (a subject one does not define out loud of one’s ‘fellow hunters’) choose ‘their spot’ and ... once ‘placed’, goes up to the top and ‘sits’ in the chair (“on the seat”) and waits... for a deer (preferably a ‘large ten point buck’) to happen by for ‘him’ “TO SHOOT”. Simple enough and my woods is constantly full of men in trees sitting on their “seat” (in more ways than one) even in the... rain and/or snow.
It takes us no stretch to understand that Helen’s “I’m a deer” means that her hunters... in their deer stands... ARE... the lawyer, the bank, the Savage estate, the... soon to arrive... historical society... and ...me.
“YOU HUNT DEER don’t YOU.”
I guess I do... if one means as a professional antiquarian I am HUNTING TO KILL... old Maine sea captain’s mansions of ... attics full of the... untouched, undisturbed ... “profuse litter of indescribable old rubbish” “like that of the Evil One, dimly revealed through the cobwebs” (Melville in Part Six [C]).
I have always felt that a deer hunter sitting on his seat up in a tree in his deer stand... in the rain... looked like a ‘dumb ass’ so... to find my self person accurately deduced by Helen to BE one of those deer stand seated ‘dumb ass’ “I can SEE the HUNTERS COMING” wasn’t really the best direction for my (self person) image to be... WHAT?
Well... not much has really happened to ME at this ‘estate call’. I mean... I’ve got about three hours into this... sat in one room talking sort of about some antiques sort of... about those in sight... after (and back home again) driving through scenic and ‘right side up’ Maine (New England) and... only NOW have been cell phone telephoned by the OTHER ‘dumb ass’ ‘seated’ in THEIR DEER STANDS ...perfectly contentedly... the lawyer, the bank... the historical society... ‘she’s a ten point buck’ “if you know what I mean”.
Each telephone call from each other ‘in stand’ hunter drew THAT picture... ‘if you know what I mean’. And THAT PICTURE was the same as what Helen had said: “They sit down there in BOSTON smacking their lips and rubbing their hands together”. In their deer stands. And me too?
Pretty quick it became ME TOO: “WE”.
“Want you to, boy... go back to the TRUCK and get the pry bar and come back here and pry these OLD GRAVESTONES out; just pitch them OFF toward the SEA... so we can GET OUR LAWN TRACTOR IN HERE.” (Part Six [D])
“Oh....me in there (the Savage estate)... in there to what?”
“Clean it out”.
“Trophy buck. You understand?”
“Just let us know what you find”.
Was I suddenly finding myself ‘beyond’? ‘On my own’?
Was Helen and the Savage estate being ‘turned up side down’?
But the front steps were still right there... with the top step and it’s old rusted wrought iron curl decorated boot scrappers (Part One)... still... right there. No one had ...turned them up side down and pitched them to the side (Part Six [A]).
I hadn’t even SEEN the attic.
I hadn’t even been out of ONE ROOM.
Nothing had been rummaged... ransacked... looted or carried off.
No one was ‘in there’ or even ‘not know of this’.
The Savage estate was ‘forgotten’.
Except by four deer hunters sitting in their carefully placed deer stands.
Five hunters... if I count myself.
If... I do that.
To DO that... I would have to... place... a deer stand... consciously, by myself... and climb up into it... myself.
But Susannah ‘placed’ her “Indian Stones” her self... as a MEMORIAL ...to herself. (Part Six [B]).
There still there... right?
After the four telephone calls I realized that in the Savage estate... I was ‘beyond’, ‘on my own’ and ... “better think about this.”