Thursday, December 26, 2013

Coy - Part Seventeen - "Nice"


Part Seventeen


            Snappish from the half cup of coffee and ‘half cocked’ conversation at Janet’s meeting (?), I went away (from my antiquarian trade) for the of the day.
            It snowed that night.  Six inches of light and dry snow.  The snow was light and dry because it was very cold out.  After the snow stopped, during the night, it became even colder.  It was six degrees when I went outside to ‘see’ at first light.  What I saw was what I had hoped to ‘see’.  The snow ‘broomed’ off the truck easily.  The snow plowed easily.  Of greater note, one did not have to plow to ‘get somewhere’.  The deep cold and light snow were... “Perfect.” I said to myself.  I would be able to easily drive to Jed Somersby barn; “the ‘old barn’... ACROSS THE STREET”.
            This barn, please recall (Part Sixteen [B]), was my current ‘clean out’ in progress and I had interrupted my work there to ...visit... Janet’s coffee table.  I was nearing the end of the clean out so was ‘free’ of the bulk of the contents AND the crew that I hired to remove that bulk.  I was down to the ‘only need my truck’... and ME... ‘in there’ TODAY... job status.

            ‘TODAY’ was originally intended to have been YESTERDAY but, snappish, I had correctly delayed and... bet on the cold and snow.  I won the bet.  I CAN get to the barn and ‘WORK’.  BETTER... is that NO ONE will ‘bother me’ ...because of the snow and cold... for ANY ‘they’... including the Somersby heirs... will ‘figure’ ‘no one’ ‘will be there’ ‘TODAY’.  This... job status... is especially sought by I... on each and every ‘clean out’; the LEFT... ALONE... ‘IN THERE’... job status.  It is a harder to get ‘job status’ than one might configure.  Should one ever be ‘cleaning out’ an ‘old barn’... one will VERY QUICKLY discover that one of the features of doing that ...JOB... is that... “EVERYONE” is constantly “COMING AROUND”... “to see” (to bug) YOU ...about... “EVERYTHING”.  So here, on this February morning ‘dawn’... AFTER a ‘snow storm’ AND with it ‘being freezing out’ (“wicked cold”) I had... ‘broken into the clear’ and ‘slipped them off my tail’.  At least ‘for the morning’.  It takes adroit skills to do this.           
            AND why do this; ‘be alone’... in an old barn... in the middle of February... in the middle of MAINE WINTER?  For antiquarian hunter’s success... is why.  The actual physical clean out of an old barn is a ‘large’ operation because ... it is a LARGE ...OLD... space that must be ‘clean out’.  To fully clean it out...; to remove... EVERY ...THING... including every tiny slip of paper... that has been... put INTO the barn over... in this case ‘built 1832’ ‘the centuries’ by MANY, many people coming and going... putting in and taking out AND...NOT TAKING OUT... and ... ‘leaving’ ‘in there’... UNTIL I FIND IT and ‘take it away’.  I... rummage (?), ransack (?), LOOT(?), pillage (?)... EVERY ...THING ‘out’ of ...THIS ‘old barn’. 
Because... these ‘things’ are NOT ...distributed in an orderly manor WITHIN the old barn’s space... one (I) has to learn to concentrate VERY HARD and CAREFULLY... to be sure that one ‘finds everything’... before, in this case, the heirs ‘lock me out’ saying ‘time up’, ‘game over’, ‘your done’ and ... “GO AWAY”.  NO HARSHER punishment be there for an antiquarian barn creep like I than ‘driving by’ an old barn I ‘creeped’ to ‘glance over’ and ‘know’ “I didn’t finish in there” (did not fully compete the clean out up to antiques seeking barn creep hunter’s ... self code of “DONE”).

            So... parking my truck in the fresh snow with its ‘mine only’ NO OTHER fresh track in the snow... THREE FEET from the “I HAVE THE KEY” barn door and I... did broom away a little before the doors (includes my truck driver’s door) space to ‘stand’ and ‘maneuver in’... IS WHY I WAS DELIGHTED... as the cold sun rose over my shoulder to SHINE on that barn door... to ‘be here’ “ALONE”.  I can “NOW” fully concentrate... ALONE... in this WONDERFUL OLD BARN that NO ONE has ever ‘creeped’ or even THOUGHT ABOUT creeping like the way I am ... about to CREEP IT.
            OFF I went and... ‘IT ISN’T COLD’.  I did a couple of possible spots that had bugged me; built in stall sets that ‘covered up’ earlier ‘spaces’.  AND I started finding the soon constant dribble of “THINGS” that ‘had been missed’.  Those, as soon as an arm load clutch formed, I ‘took to the truck’ and ‘hid’ the ‘better things.  NONE of these things were knock out antiques discoveries; just ‘good’ and ‘neat’ little left over and missed THINGS that ...are exactly what I expect to, want to and DO find.  I was happy.  I was having fun.  I wasn’t cold.  I was applying skills that I had perfected from years of doing this and...
            It was freezing cold ‘colder than OUTSIDE’ in there.  It was dark.  The ice wind hit the barn and made it creak.  That ‘noises’ were the ONLY NOISES.  Except my foot steps.  My crouching.  My pulling.  My prying.  My... ‘get in there’ imperative.  MY... OBSERVATION.
            This last is a deductive study of the space beginning from the minute I start the clean out and enter the barn with it ending only when the entrance door is ‘locked me out’.  I look at all the physical structure and ‘build’ the barn and ‘build’ the barn’s history.  In this barn... I study... The Enigma.

             As one ages, one confronts a new enigma.  ‘Setting’... ‘there’ ‘so it will not get lost’ (‘damaged, dropped, squished, scratched, hidden, forgotten’... et al) turns to enigma for one ...aging... as...:  “Does ‘it’ ever become something OTHER than a ‘never getting it... again’?”.  Old barns... especially the very old barns... are the repositories of this enigma’s ‘turned out to be’.  They are ...wholly... a keeping ground of that enigma; the ‘setting there’ and the ...never getting it again.  The scathing real of this enigma only becomes to one with self experience... as one, oneself, finds oneself... the ‘setting there’ and ‘...never getting it again’ of one’s own life.  The old New England barn is the keeper of this ...generation after generation... embraced and expressed... enigma.  I unlocked the barn’s door and went in.
            I collected... here and there pitiful pilfers of petite set there... fell there... tossed there... broke there... hung there... abandonment’s... now curious ...ornaments of CENTURIES of...
            And more of...
            I took them all to my truck.
            I loved each doing this.

            EACH CENTURY of SONG they EACH sung to me; my eye, my fingertips.  NO curiosity was dissatisfied by a ‘not known’ to me; a ‘what is THIS’.  No... I knew them all; old friends of mine so ‘found in barns’.  I, barn creeping, became RIP VAN WINKLE drinking timeless old New England barn BRINE.  Gurgling the icy cold clear crisp ...dusty dirty... darkness hiding... NECTURE.  MY HAT FELL OFF!  My footsteps steady.  MY KNEES HURT.  Bending drunk with COLD FINGERTIPS REACHING OUT... OUT... out... ‘to that’:  “A SPOON?  A SILVER SPOON?  HERE?  HOW?  Set down too... so it will not... get lost.
            It did not.
            Get lost.
            I am the one
            ‘Getting it again’.

            Trying again and again to tether; to tie myself up ... to this inside the old barn; to try to assure that I was breathing.  HOT air out.  Hoar frost on my hair.  Heart beating.  “IS IT BEATING?”.  Or am I... dead.  So cold dead moving alone in dirty dark pile after pile after pile of LONG AGES AGO ‘set down’.  “NOW, NOW, now it is only THE COLD getting to you.  NO IT IS NOT COLD.  Getting you.  CRAZY in here ALL ALONE with the very DEVIL HIMSELF that is YOU creeping in this ...GOD FORSAKEN old BARN”.  Maelstrom.  Ship wreck.  Creaking roof top wind blown AWAY all senses of you are... just a ghost TOO of “Now wait:  I see that; missed that HOW COULD I” but... I PLUNDER it.  “TO THE TRUCK again.”  And back.  Up.  Second floor?  No... third floor.  Feel it; colder even here... up here... way up here.  Looking down over the floor lip.  Once hay filled this NOW old ‘set there’ fills this SET DOWN to NEVER GET AGAIN until only I.  That I am dreaming that I am walking in this... SO COLD alone wanderer in this barn full of PAST.  “GO BACK THERE” and SEE more... in a box on an old ‘is that a’ board TO WHAT?  “WHY DID THEY NAIL THOSE THERE?”  “Answer.”  “YOU CAN NOT ANSWER CAN YOU!  WHY?  BECAUSE IT IS I... INSIDE I... IN HERE TAKING IT ALL... away.  This is not madness and I am not mad.  I am not crazy.  THIS IS NOT NICE.  THIS IS CRAZY COLD IN HERE.  AND I AM A CRAZY MAN ALONE ‘never getting again?”  I am tethered to the barn.  I am crazy.

            “What is THAT (sound)!  It’s a.... TRUCK!  Whose truck?  Just pulled in.  Turned it off.
            “HERE!  Someone is HERE.
            “Saw me; the truck... of course.  STOPPING.
            “Who...:  FAMILY (one of the heirs).  Probably.  Checking.  Saw my truck.”
            The door ...way off below... opens with the light spill of that door’s opening light glowing off up front and down below my third floor perch like a FLARE ignited.  Thumping boots enter followed with “HELLO IN THERE!”... (and MY NAME) YELLED.  “TURN ON THE HEAT why don’t you.  TURN ON A LIGHT.”
            “There ARE NO LIGHTS.” I yell back into the dark space that is ‘that direction’.  My mind is screaming ‘WHO IS THAT?” “I DON’T KNOW.”
            “BACK.  Center BACK.” I yell back.  “WHO IS THAT?” again from my mind and I curl myself and roll to my knees to ...face the lip edge of the third floor and ...crawl on all fours to that edge to ‘see down’.  Down there... to the first floor... coming back down that floor’s center... a man is walking with his... ball cap on... fleece jacket... on... Bean boots... breath showing... and looking up to... I eye to eye see him; the “who?” tthat is coming from below... is ‘Crap Pile’...
            “IS HERE in MY BARN?”

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Coy - Part Sixteen - "Touch My Lips" - (C)


Part Sixteen 

"Touch My Lips"


            The word ‘Me’; its verbal deployment by I... its verbal toss by I, was just that; a TOSS, consciously done... by I.  I did NOT drive a spike home with that word and did not want to.  I had a problem with these two gentlemen... but I was also... an invited guest at Janet’s coffee table.  I did ...not... want to behave myself.  I needed to... by scruff of neck... DROWN the dumpy gentleman before he could FURTHER protract in his own capital-self-gain with a... ‘I capture YOUR flag’ initiative.  I sensed too... with the business-is-business crass-with-cash conversational ...speed deployment of EACH of our armies ‘before the other’ aligned... WE had ...lost Janet along the way.  She stood guard at her coffee tables...with the glass dish of ‘I made them’... untouched.

            I moved.  I picked up the fork again and... touched it to my lips.  This was in the seconds following my word said; ‘Me’.  Janet followed that touch my lips.  I held the fork in mid air with my left arm, rolled the fork over in my hand, then... with distant and theatrical gesture... looked at the back again and... looked at Janet.  She, intently watching this gesture theater on my part ...forgot (?) about the hostile military style business verbiage spoken ...just before.  “It’s sterling.” I said and then... pretended to poke... in a jabbing gesture... one of her ‘I made’... in the glass dish.  Contorting, her arms recoiled from the air space above the coffee table and she, looking at my eyes... smiled at me.  “I am not done PESTERING this man!” I said to her.  This notice to her I self-complicated, in this setting, by carrying with it... for I... the bother of ...I... noticing... the not-noted-before... that Crap Pile... was ‘still wearing’ his ... scrunched, dirty, faded and ALWAYS ON whenever and where ever I see him... ‘ball cap’... AT THIS ‘invited guest’ HE TOO... Janet’s coffee table.  Low rent begets low rent I micro-mulled as I ... ‘that cap’ and ‘that (1950’s glass serving) dish’... cancel each other out?  Tedious this theatre of unwashed self aggrandizement?  Canceling each other remain ‘of their muck’?
            I skipped this inner-me notice, set the fork back down, raised my eyes to Mr. Dump’s eyes and... he too had sensed my ‘light break’ to our and ...he too... saw me ready to continue so that ...he too... set his stance and ...allowed I to ‘fire at will’.

            “MY view of MY business should be clearly understood by you for we must VERY MUCH be the same.  I KNOW you are aware... that VENTURE CAPITAL is moving away from hedge funds and into private equity...”  Pause.  “I am quite SURE that you, LIKE I, have easily identified that THERE WE... find ourselves; each of us having our own FIRM of private equity that WE may turn our sight WITH our own self created HEDGE FUND... WITH, here, your hedge fund’s MANAGER; your ‘SCOUT’.  Right?   YOU fund one from the other and YOU OWN BOTH.  IN their entirety.  Just like I DO with my own... firms.  RIGHT?  And our venture capital quest; our hunt... is in the traditional jargon of the financial service spheres titled... WHAT?  Yes we BOTH KNOW that they title OUR venture capital speculations... ‘alternative asset allocation’ (of funds)... with the HEDGE FUND being the FIRM that allocates the venture funds into and ...out of ...the alternative assets... commonly called ‘buying and selling by, well... I ...and you too?  He” ...I continued gesturing toward Crap Pile... “IS THIS manager?  NO... I believe not; he be just what... you say he is; a scout.  AND YOU are too, like I, the hedge fund manager TOO.  TWO FIRMS EACH in this venture of... alternative asset ...allocations... of capital WE EACH CONTROL in the highly volatile... unregulated... fully UNSECURED markets...I commonly call ‘antiques and rare books’.  You are only ‘IN’ the latter... with your... private equity and ...hedge fund FIRMS.  RIGHT?  And, LIKE I... you not only ‘understand’ ‘risk’; THE RISK, the risks, the UNSECURED.  The volatile.  RISK.  RIGHT?  BUT YOU REALISH the superior sense of self that YOU DO KNOW this risk fully... and with ...BUT YOUR WITS... only... enter this FRAY.  Other tame and mere 401K mortals stand by and WATCH?  YOU?  SO... now I must serve you notice... I... am OF THAT TOO.  Our swords hit each other’s sword in the ...unregulated speculation of alternative asset allocation FUNDS management that we... WE... find ourselves together on the field of assets... I call... ‘rare books’.  WELCOME and I PROMISE ...I do NOT want to buy your firm.  I mean that too.”  Mr. Dump eyes were fixed on my face.  His face was a little more puffy ...and a little more read.  “TWO more bits:  I... am not for sale.  I am sure you now understand this.  And... if he’s managing your hedge fund... SIR:  You need a bigger tank.”  I reached down and retrieved the fork without breaking eye contact with Mr. Dump.  I raised the fork and touched my lips.  Then held it between us and said “I can TASTE the silver’.
            “You can NOT.” said Janet.

            Crap Pile said nothing and did not move.  To me, he looked like he wanted to take his hands out of his fleece parka’s pockets and ...see if he could figure out what had just been said on his fingers’. Mr. Dump... rebutted... and he did a ...very good job of that.  He ignored and made no comment about anything I had said and...:
            “JANET told me... that YOU are WORKING in the SAVAGE family estate.  That estate is of interest to me.  The family, as you know is very old...”
            “Not THAT old”. I said.
            “WELL certainly OLD enough IN their mansion.”
            “Right... so you are working in there I understand.”
            “Yes... of sorts... I suppose it is work... or will be work.  I suppose.  I have BEEN inside with the heiress”
            “Ms. Roth.  I plan to contact her.  Actually.  I’ve already tried and have not heard back from her directly.  She has an attorney.  THAT’S who I’ve gone through.
            “Yes.  That is a route.”
            “But you’ve actually been THROUGH the estate I understand.”
            “Through... is a word... I guess.”
            “WELL... DID you SEE MUCH?”
            “See much?”
            “A library?”
            “OH; see much... OLD PAPER?  Of course there’s... old paper.”
            “Well I know there are considerable BOXES of LETTERS.  I’m told”
            “I have seen those”.
            “So... THOSE ARE?”
            “I’ve seen them from a safe distance.”
            “Safe distance?”
            “Yes.  Now TWO people have spoken to me about LETTERS.  But I haven’t touched them.”
            “You looked at them?”
            “No... but she has.”
            “Ms. Roth?  What is she doing with them?”
            “Reading them.  I believe.”
            “Oh... of course.”  Dump shifted his footing.  “HAVE you SEEN very much?”
            “Old paper?”
            “Yes.  Is there very much?”
            “I am sure... we will ALL see ALL of it in good time.”
            “We plan to SPEAK with her about her family’s archive.”
            “Have YOU spoken to her about her archive?”
            “AT this point no.  Not specifically.”
            “She still holds it?”
            “Most certainly.”
            “I would WORK with you on this.”
            “I am sure that WE could work WELL together.”
            “It’s not even there yet.”
            “Really?  I doubt that from what I know of you.”
            “She has extra features in play.”
            “Features in play?  What does that mean?”
            “She’s crazier than a shit house rat.”
            Mr. Dump looked hard at me.
            “HELEN ALWAYS says THAT” said Janet and ...giggled.

            May I say ‘V formation’ (Part Sixteen [B]) again?  For as FAR as I can ‘see’?  I, of this tale, has dragged the WE of this tale... from Herman Melville’s garret (Part Six [C]) to the ‘Angel of Hadley’ (Part Nine [A]) to the ...old salt in my pants pocket THROUGH the ...trees of the forest to the forest of the trees... of old New England homes... up side down, right side up... on to noticing the crass-grab-cash dark cloud (Parts Seven and Eight) by cell phone and ‘interested party’... TO THIS; Mr. Dump and his henchman Crap Pile.  I WANT THAT SILVER FORK ... for having to ...EMBRACE this current ‘this’.
            I can’t have it; it belongs to Janet.  Innocent of all this... is Janet?  NO.  Even SHE cannot be trusted EVEN IF she is innocent of the calibrated calculations ...that I have strung on string to include that EVEN HELEN IS SUSPECT (Part Eight).  Can’t... trust... her... because, AS I SENSE HERE, she ‘can be manipulated’ by a ‘by someone’.  To get to me.  “Great.” I say to myself.
            This couplet; Mr. Dump and his henchman and... their couplet of ... luring me to Janet’s to ... pretty obvious their ‘game plan’ ...that I have foiled?  I doubt that considering Mr. Dump’s MANAGED response to my ‘two commercial vessels in the same market pass at sea’ at night so IN THE DARK.  The sound of a tree falling in the forest?  WHY EVEN BOTHER to ... STEP IN THAT PILE of... dog crap?  BECAUSE THIS IS A VERY REAL ‘New England turned up side down’ that, as here shown is NOT ONLY HERE NOW in old New England but is... IS... in attack mode AT old New England... AND ME.  Remember... I CARE (Part Fourteen [B]).  As we see here... therefore... I am, at the least ‘in their way’.  Way to what?  TO PITCH the Savage family ‘old paper’ archive into the TRUNK OF THEIR CAR and away with ALL OF IT ALL OF IT ALL OF IT.

            See me?  Touch me?  Years ago... before this tale started... I... ‘read a paper’ before the THOSE of archival seek; research libraries, ABOUT boxes and garbage bags of  ‘old paper’ from... old New England homes.  This paper-read-before is actually long posted by its true title in full as “MICE, I HATE MICE” within the ...boweling... of this blog.  Yeah... it really is and it really is about... getting every tiny piece of paper in old New England homes into ...garbage bags and those bags... into the back of MY TRUCK and... the great wide world of archival collection ‘development’ and ‘management’.  This paper came to be read from... a book I wrote and circulated in the UPPER BOWELS of the rare book trade and the major libraries who ‘are players’... ABOUT THIS SUBJECT... in the context of ‘old paper’ related to ‘western (United) States development’.  THAT book is called IN A GIVEN AREA.  Good luck finding a copy of that RARE BOOK and NO I DO NOT HAVE ANY COPIES... because I do not need one because I LIVE THIS and that ‘old book’ is ... about ME LIVING THIS.  But it is a very real book that stands as a classic TO THIS DAY.  That’s right and... it is splendid profile of my ‘Go to Hell’ HISS... about... and within... THIS TALE... bringing us back to THESE TWO crap piles... setting their sights on the Savage estate’s ‘old paper’.  I mean... I WROTE the damn book ‘about this’; LOOTING old paper from old New England estates before THESE GUYS EVEN KNEW they could ‘do this’ and ‘form’ their ‘business partnership’ (read make me puke).  THEY DON’T STAND A CHANCE against me because of this AND... AND... (and they don’t even know one can be this)... I CARE.
            But they... like all of their ilk... do not...  will not... won’t not... THINK NOT and “DEATH TO YOU... and US NOT...:  WILL NOT go away.  They want to drown me in a bowl of moist dog food.

            SO:  Fork to fork... I got out of there; away from Janet’s coffee table power broker ‘options market’.  Sniffling over having to surrender Janet’s fork back to her... I did first put it in my shirt-under-my-jacket pocket with this ...provoking a  “HEY GIVE ME THAT!”
            “Yeah... ok.” SULK from I who... I really feel I EARNED the damn fork... AND, of course... I, with the fork...touch my lips... ONCE AGAIN in physical fact AND touch IT ‘knowledge-hard-earned GIVE AWAY...TOO:  “For yours to know... should you turn up a sterling (silver) spoon short at the end of an evening’s entertaining... that is NOT as bad as turning up a FORK short.  A spoon means an amateur stole it.  A fork gone means it is a professional who purloined.  Why?  FORKS are the heaviest of sterling silver services’ flatware; they have the most actual silver so are worth the most as ‘scrap’.  A spoon is much lighter.  I know the difference so would steal THIS lone fork from you and leave the spoons... for your lesser guests.”
            “I love the way you always KNOW SO MUCH about THINGS.” said Janet as I excused myself.  I see Janet all the time... and always mention the fork:  “WHY DO YOU KEEP DOING THAT?”
            “Because it’s the only fork you’ve got and your too cheap to buy any real silver.”
            “That’s not a very nice thing to say.”
            “It’s not about nice.”

Friday, December 20, 2013

Coy - Part Sixteen - "Touch My Lips" - (B)


Part Sixteen

"Touch My Lips"


I need to ...parallel park... us... on about to be busy... antiquarian BUSINESS street right now; a review and touch base on the time line of this tale WITH a ‘what’s all this about’ going on here with the sterling fork and... how all that gets ‘tied in’ with the Helen Savage Roth estate and... to warn ahead that the tale tells itself in rather blunt language... here.
            The time line is, again, fifteen years ago from when I am NOW writing this tale out.  Today’s 2013 was back then the coffee-with-silver fork... ‘touches my lips’... moment, late 1990’s.  This dating is especially important for the technological ‘improvements’ since then leave the peak-in-the-past ‘coffee moment’ ‘dated’.  Cell phones did not text me nor text photographs to major New York auction firms “NOW”.  Computers were primary as ‘on a’ ‘desk top’.  “ON LINE” antiquarian and RARE BOOK ‘trade’ and ‘commerce’ was “BOOMING” in the sense of ...just exactly where the tech curve was... THEN.  Today, it is ‘different’... right?  So... at that date... ‘things’ in the antiquarian trade (BUSINESS) were ‘changing’ due to IN COMING tech innovation happening NOW (back then).  I knew this THEN but, like so many professional antiquarians, generally proceeded in the OLD WAYS of the trade... that meaning... I crawled around in barns and attics with a flashlight and... ‘went from there’... AFTER I ‘got’ the ‘antiques’.

            AT this ‘touch my lips’ moment... and with that moment being a Maine mid-February morning moment (with it being six degrees out and a ‘going to snow’ ‘tonight’ forecast) about six months after I had left Helen’s; the Savage Estate, on my second and second room visit, with my plunder stuffed in my pant’s pockets and... an understanding I believed... that I was ‘coming right back’... that never happened and I had had NO further contact with Helen or the estate:  NOTHING (Part Fifteen).... with that, in follow thru summation, INCLUDING this February morning encounter, the ‘people’ and their actions-they-take in this encounter and... this encounter’s prompt follow-up... encounter.  This means that what is happening at this time and place of ‘touches my lips’ ...leaves me ...still... at NOTHING when, brutally, it’s ‘over’.

            What this is (the touch my lips... I titled... “meeting” but I do call ‘encounter’) was a telephone message to me from Janet Hennings; a buzzy-bee and well positioned, well intentioned, well respected and “well... well, well”... “inviting me tomorrow morning to PLEASE stop by I KNOW YOUR BUSY BUT IT’S GOING TO SNOW SO I HOPE YOU WILL COME... I have two men who I want you to meet who are HELPING US with the PROJECT so I really feel you ...well... THEY should MEET YOU.  I TOLD THEM ABOUT YOU and what YOU DO FOR US.  OK?  DON’T CALL ME JUST COME.  OK?  We’re MEETING ANYWAY.  BUT PLEASE COME”.
            I didn’t come.  I went.  I mean... it was FREEZING out and ‘going to snow’.  TOO.  I was nearing the end of cleaning out the Jed Somersby barn; the ‘old barn’ “ACROSS THE STREET”.  It was ‘mostly done’.  I was ‘down to working alone’ ‘in there’.  It was freezing in there.  It was ‘going to snow’.  “IT” (the barn cleanout)... well... ‘could wait’... mainly because “it’s FREEZING IN THERE”.  I went Janet’s, arriving a ‘little late’.
            Janet invited me in.  The ... “there are TWO men here I WANT YOU TO MEET” were ...positioned, standing, at the coffee table WITH the coffee ‘just being served’.  Trouble began there.

            ONE of the men I’d never seen before and he was short, dumpy, mustached, tweed jacketed, pipe in pocket, white shirt with tie.  THE OTHER man I ...a ‘sort of know’... KNEW as... a local hanger-on ‘at the flea market’... “DEALER” who... is NOT a full time antiques dealer and HAS A REGULAR ‘paid professional’ SOMETHING of a ‘real job’ ...WITH ‘all’ including medical insurance.... dental insurance... ‘my office’, my... ‘business card’.  Never seemed to let ME have one of your ...pretty... little... business cards DO YOU.  So he’s standing there... in ‘MAINE FASHION’; Woolrich, Carhartt, “Patty” fleece... Bean boots and... recognizes ME recognizing HIM... and his... smirk.
            The “I know this guy” is a reason-to-be moment.  HE’S a... ‘weekender’; sniffs around the local flea markets... seeking ‘historical material’; photographs, autographs, pictures, papers, letters, ‘postal history’, bookies,  old bookies, HISTORY bookies, history ‘everything’ qualified by JUST WHAT DOES THIS whacker LIKE HUH (AMERICAN history)
            And he’s “really cheap”
            And he’s “SELLS on the NEW INTERNET AUCTION SITES”.
            I ran a few commercial tests on the guy:  Zero; didn’t buy a thing and didn’t seem to even ‘know what he was looking at’.
            I ran some info-for-me banter by him.  “Pretty tame; doesn’t know what he’s doing” came out of that.  One other thing; “I REALLY like MEDALS..., tokens, old coin like things.”  He said.
            “Do you ever find any?”  He said.
            That’s as far as we ever got... until today.

            Janet Hennings; the hostess, comes to this February morning through  her “INTEREST” “IN LOCAL GENEALOGY”.  This self spearhead is ...fully... manifest in her ‘the project’.  THAT is a loose conjuring of like local fellows who’s ‘local genealogy interest’ has banded them into a ‘quasi’ (meaning ‘no money’) group that ‘SEEKS’ my language...; ‘historical archives related to ...local genealogy’.  That is how her and I know each other; from her group ‘seeking’.  I... am a source of ...supplying what they ‘seek’?
            “WHEN EVER YOU FIND SOMETHING LOCAL JUST LET ME KNOW AND I’LL SEE WHAT I CAN DO.”  Qualified by ‘no money’...:  That train has never left the station and ...arrived in my wallet.  But Janet is... “so nice”.

            And she is a ‘buzzy-bee’. This cold, pre-snow storm, meeting is a typical ‘so her’... promotion of ‘the project’.  My arrival and the first ‘impression’ was ... ‘V formation’... with this being a ‘coming from’... my once old... and now dead... neighbor’s tag-along-with-me “IF YOUR GOING IN THERE I HAVEN’T SEEN (who ever it is I’m suppose to ‘see’ that day) THEM IN SO LONG SO LET ME COME ALONG TOO”... classic at the front door...utterance... one morning... to his old friend “Cleo” (Clarence)’s wife of ... while looking away from the door out across the side yard... at.. “WHOSE BEEN DOING ALL THE BOWELING?” ...he said... of the expanding V formation (the doorway being the bottom of the V) of crap... piles... on top of the crusted snow... extending ...out across that side yard far as one... could see.
            HERE; at Janet’s coffee table... I ...took hold of my dead neighbor’s query to acknowledge the ...two gentlemen... before me; “Who’s been doing all the boweling?”... I said to MYSELF for... I can’t say that to Janet... because... ‘she’s so nice’.  Even ‘trapped’ I know professional antiquarian (in this case antiquarian rare books) DOG CRAP PILES... ‘when I see it’.  So that’s how I very promptly went to playing ‘capture the flag’ with Janet’s fork (Part Sixteen [A])... while ...the two gentlemen... JUST STOOD THERE.  HOW does this have anything to do with the Savage estate?  Touch my lips?  I was about to find out.

            Foremost for I ... I had ‘captured’ Janet’s ‘flag’; her sterling fork.  She knew it.  I knew it.  I held it captive physically on my coffee wet paper napkin.  I held it captive intellectually because... I found it.  Janet, very adept at playing capture the flag herself, did not like looking over at the wet napkin and seeing I ...held her fork captive.  We exchanged smiles.  Her smile said ‘give me that back’.  My smile said... ‘no way’.  Especially if I’m going to have to clean up the piles of DOG CRAP at your... front parlor... coffee table.
            “MR. (forget his name so):  The Short Dumpy One (‘Dump’) AND his PARTNER MR. (CRAP PILE) are BRINGING NEW FAMILY MATERIALS they’ve FOUND FOR ME this MORNING.  The LOCAL Bogg family.  And RICHARD Henderson’s WIFE; HER family.  They’ve made COPIES (photocopies) of old family records they OWN for US (‘the project’).  I want them to MEET you so THANK YOU for coming by”
            “Well THANK YOU”. I said with command.  “I believe I HAVE met YOU (gesturing to Crap Pile).” I continued.  “YOU... I have not.” I say AND extend my hand across the coffee table to ...shake hands with the ENEMY.  We shake... hands.  “You OWN... OR is it SELL... these family archives?
            “We own them but are donating copies to Janet’s group” said Dump.
            “Oh.  Good for you.” I say.
            “Yes.  We specialize in family documentation; family archives.”
            “Oh...  Nice.  You... buy them?  COLLECT them?”
            “Historical archives.  We buy them.  We’ve formed a firm that brokers... trades in if you like... historical archives.”
            “Firm... company?  A rare book firm like?”

            “Yes.  Like that but a little more up to date in its services”
            “Yes.  We offer to fully MANAGE historic archives.  We broker them but we prefer to buy them outright.”
            “Naturally.” I say.
            “Groups of family papers; the archives of whole families, we especially seek those.”
            “And this is ‘WE’ I say gesturing, again, toward Crap Pile.
            “Ricky manages the FIELD work; he SCOUTS for material.”
            “I’ve seen him scouting quite a bit”.
            “That’s a little behind him now.  He’s working for me.  I’m looking for bigger lots.  Whole family archives.  Libraries.  Family collections.  ALL family history.”
            “All paper.  Right?”
            “That’s what I do.  Too.  Part of what I do anyway.  I’m object sensitive too.  Do you do that?
            “Ah... no.”
            “No paintings?”
            “Only if their historical”.
            “So I cast a wider net than you; what I handle”.
            “Well yes.  You do.  That’s what interests me about you.  We share like interests.  I understand.  Your well known.”
            “For that; old paper?”
            “That... but... really... your estate work.  That’s where I think we can do business”.
            “Yes.  You FIND a great many archives; lots of family papers, I understand.  And we BUY those; the whole lots.  We have the capacity to do that.”
            “To purchase a whole lot”.
            “Like I do?”
            “Well... I believe... much LARGER lots.  And MORE of them.”
            “Oh.  Than me; what I BUY”.
            “Yes.  We’re interested in buying what you find.”
            “Oh... OK; I get it.  Let’s see.... well... How fast do you pay?  What’s the turn around?”
            “Turn around?”
            “Yes; I find it (an archive lot), it’s for sale.  It costs this much.  How FAST do you take to say yes or no and PAY ME?”
            “That would depend on the archive.  The consideration.”
            “Ok.  Time is very important to me.  As a consideration.  So is getting paid.  Let say I have an archive lot intact; whole... for thirty-five thousand... dollars.  I see that in it for me.  How fast do I get the money?”
            “Well... we’d want to SEE the lot; look it over.  Then.  We’d VALUE what we saw and...:  We’d configure our costs; costs to us.  Then get a price to you.”
            “Not just the thirty-five K?  You’d come up with your own price?  How long does that take?”
            “Well... it would depend on our access to the archive.”
            “I’d have to take you to it?”
            “We prefer to examine an archive ourselves.  Not that you would be a bad judge.  But it is OUR money.  So we’d want to see it.”
            “Who’s we?”
            “The two of us.”
            “Oh.  And the time.  It’s like a week or something?”
            “Yes.  It could be.  Especially if it’s a large dollar lot like you mention.”
            “Large dollar?”
            “Most of what we’ve bought is.... well... USUSALLY... say... five or six thousand”.
            “Oh... Ok.  Five or six.  I mean... I do that all the time.”
            “But you could partner with us on the larger lots.  We have the money for that.
            “Money for that?  I have the money for that.  Already.  I have a partner who does this already.”
            “A partner?
            “He’s wicked fast too; works super fast and pays super fast too.”
            “Who is he?”