The fourth clue: The Blaze Apr 16, 2019 11:00:19 GMT -5
Post by ralph on Apr 16, 2019 11:00:19 GMT -5
The fourth clue is the heart of the poem in more ways than one.
Hidden in the center of the poem, it provides a critical piece of information regarding the location of the chest, and perhaps most importantly, it is the clue that, for the first time, reflects Forrest’s emotional bond with the spot.
Forrest has said and written much over the years about where he hid the chest, but several consistent features seem to recur:
It is a beautiful place with a wonderful view.
There is a secluded area quite nearby.
It would appeal to someone who likes to go fishing.
While the identity of this place is indeed hidden in the poem, a separate set of hints can be found elsewhere in the book as well as on the cover of Too Far to Walk.
Get out your book and go to page 33. Let’s start with this portion of the text:
It was hot inside the stoves, so a giant fan would blow the aroma of fried pineapple pies right out there on the sidewalk in front of me. I remember the beautiful, old, gray-haired lady who did the cooking. The price of a pineapple pie was a nickel, or two for a nickel if they were broken. Well, when I’d open the back door to that place during the lunch break and walk in, that sweet old lady would see me coming. She knew I didn’t have any money so she’d break two pies.
Now look at the image.
There is a circle.
There are three boys on the left and one on the right for a total of four. 3 +1 = 4.
There are similarly three marbles on the left and one on the right (in the shooter’s hand).
Now think about the title of the book and its customary abbreviation TTOTC.
Written backwards it is CTOTT.
C TO TT can be read out as See two pi.
All of this seems to be reminding us that one half of a unit circle equals pi, two give you a full circle, and presumably this is all important if we hope to find the chest.
Next, three of the five words in the title start with a TH, which in the Greek alphabet corresponds to a theta. A theta is a circle with a line drawn through it. If you look at the cover of TFTW, you may be struck by how the linear shapes come together at various angles, and of course the shadow is likely to be that of an avid angler. Theta is the common symbol for an angle in trigonometry.
Putting all of this together, it seems we should be looking for a circle with a line through the middle.
Finally, look at page 34 (right after the pineapple pie story). We see peaceful Hebgen Lake with a large floating log stretching under the kids.
What if there was an idyllic, circular lake off the beaten path with a log through the middle of it, a giant theta that also happened to satisfy all of Forrest’s criteria?
If you use Google Earth and look down on Hanging Lake (which is home to rainbow trout), you will find one.
This is interesting, but we still need to find this clue in the poem, and ideally in the third stanza.
From there it’s no place for the meek.
The end is ever drawing nigh
There’ll be no paddle up your creek.
Just heavy loads and water high.
This clue placement is subtler and more involved than what we have encountered so far. This is to be expected given its importance.
In short, there are two cleaving steps rather than the usual one.
As a reminder, the key is the instruction: The end is ever >>> The end I sever.
The first step is to do some cleaving in the first two lines.
…lace for the meek
… awing nigh
The second step is the now familiar collection of letters fore and aft:
la + ek
a + ng + nigh
>>> Hanging Lake
A second approach would simply be to equate hanging with one’s end drawing nigh.
The Blaze is the large natural theta seen when one looks down on Hanging Lake.
By the time you are done with third stanza, if you’ve been wise, you will have found it.
The first clue is Glenwood Springs
The second clue is Route 70.
The third clue is Dead Horse Creek.
The fourth clue is Hanging Lake.
Around now you should start collecting the first letters of each clue. When you have all nine in the right order you will discover that they spell out the spirit of the poem and the book in two different ways.