J1P5: PARTY

This is page 5 of Journey 1

Note: We have already devoted one full page to discuss the rabbit’s card found in this chapter, and the associated Castanada/Boone solution. Please refer to this page for general discussion on the topic.

This was the status of the grid of letters at the end of chapter 6 (FISH).

She was determined to dream in a different direction. This time it would be her own.

This is a reference to a « different direction ». It may refer to the fact that the last thing considered in chapter 6 (FISH) was directions given in RULES. Now we are back to the grid of letters.

In her second dream, she knew she must talk to the rabbit. It was a clear moonlit nigth. The rabbit’s shadow moved across the window of a Victorian house on a hill.

The first thing to realize is that the shadow in the window in not that of a rabbit. It is a horse facing us!

Even in the movie, the so-called rabbit moves in front of the window by shifting sideways, permitting only a face view. A side view would make it easy to distinguish a rabbit from a horse.

Note: one avenue that was not pursued for this clue involves moving the five diagonals going through HORSE in the last row of the grid, until HORSE is at the HOUSE position. This would have made what follows impossible.

The « moonlit night » indicates that the horse is a KNIGHT. The window panes remind us of the L movement of the knight in chess. The reference to a « Victorian house » gives us the first movement of the knight on the grid of letters. Vicrorian for the period, the starting position. HOUSE for the first destination (to the letter S).

Knight’s move 1

The next sentence provides the second and third move.

The house, she knew, had burned to the ground many years before.

« Ground » refer to LAND (on letter A), and « years » to YEARS (on letter R).

Knight’s moves 2 and 3

The next sentence provides the fourth move.

Why was it still standing, here, tonight?

This refers to HORSE (letter H). This clever clue plays on the fact that the knight, a horse, is standing on the word HORSE.

Knight’s move 4

Now things get a little more complicated.

From inside came the sounds of a party.

This is a very clear reference to PARTY. But the « sound » of the PARTY is the note A, which is now two spaces above its original location in PARTY. The word PARTY is no longer on the grid. We have the following situation.

Knight move 5-6

She tiptoed up the front steps…

The front steps (steps 1 to 5) revealed the letters SARHP, which is an anagram for SHARP. When we get the the final A, we have SHARP A (or A# in musical notation). So we must move A up one notch, to B. (NOTE: in some European musical systems A# is actually called B). 

A to B

She had no choice; to see inside she must open the front door.

This is the last sentence of this big paragraph starting with the shadow in the window, and culminating with the change from A to B. Perhaps it refers to the word BUS now formed in the diagonal. Or it refers to the first letter of a row (see = C), most likely the one containing HOUSE.

Inside the house, lit in eerie colors, were a bizarre costume ball. And the rooms were full of ghosts.

This appears to confirm the row of interest. It contains HOUSE and GHOST.

They were dressed as pirates and policemen and ladies of the court. It is as if they were still alive, for they all wore masks that concealed their blank and staring eyes.

This row is hiding something. It is masked somehow. The rabbit says of the clue card: « but I will mask it ». Could the clue card be involved in unmasking this row? After all, the row has 16 letters. But there are other clues here.

« Pirates » suggest that part of it is deception, something bad. « Policemen » suggests that some of it has to do with protection. And « ladies of the court » brings us back to Queen and possibly the RULES warning. Note that « but I will mask it » is a warning of some sort. And this is a WARNER book!!

It was in this very house that they had been consumed. Caught up in the midst of revelry a century ago, they had ignored the smoke and fire. In flames they had been lost, and only on this night could they return to relive their end.

This is difficult to interpret. Smoke and fire obviously consumed the MAP. A possible explanation is that this row contains information about text that ignored the destruction of the fire. The reference to « century » is significant, as it points to 100. We know that there are 100 spaces around the MAP.

All this may add up to the following theory. The letters in this row are not in order. We can use the clue card to help us recover the correct text. This text is therefore made up of 4 things. This text will contain some bad information, some information related to protection, and some information that will allow us to select 100 letters from the RULES warning to add on the MAP.

As if in a trance, Amanda moved through the crowded room. Indeed, it seemed that she was the ghost, and they were the ones alive. Even worse…

The « trance » indicates a transposition, that is a modification of the letter’s order. But the second sentence is a transposition in itself. The bad becomes good, and the good becomes bad. So EVEN is not worse, it is what we are looking for. ODD would be what we don’t want. This will apply to the 4 things that we will discover.

The next four sentences are clues to the four lettered things. We will show in the first row the letters available (i.e. letters taken from the row in the grid). The second row shows the words that we form, using the shapes on the clue card to determine the lenghth of the words (represented with colors below). This second row correspond to the first row of the clue card.

First clue – (word 1)

… the Man with Black Gloves had been here first and told them bad things about her.

The clue here is that it starts with MAN (i.e. « here first »). The answer in MANHOLE. Note that manholes are very prominent in the chapter 3 (image on page 17-18 – KITES). This is word #1, an odd position. So it may not be relevant. There may be not need to decipher the MANHOLE covers in KITES. This may just be a pirate.

Second clue – (word 3)

Naturally, she wasn’t welcome.

The answer is FUNGUS. Thre are no direct reference to fungus in the book, but MUSHROOM (a fungus) is mentioned a couple of times (WILDERNESS and FOREST). This is word #3, an odd position. So it may not be relevant. This may be another pirate.

Third clue – (word 4)

A tuxed-clad man twirled an umbrella full of nonsense in her face.

The answer is TI, the chemical symbol for Titanium. Titanium is used to protect (to clad) metal from water, like an umbrella. The nonsense may refer to IT, or may be just emphasizing that what is written on the umbrella in the image is irrelevant. This is word #4, an even position. It is relevant. And it is the policeman, there to protect.

Fourth clue – (word 2)

The others watched with dangerous smiles, and no one offered help.

Obviously, the answer is C, the only letter left. There is no need to offer help. But in fact « to watch » is « to see » (or to C). This is word (or letter) #2, an even position. This is relevant. And it should be our « lady of the court », the Queen, possibly referencing the warning in RULES. Come to think of it « no one » may be a clue to 0 and 1. The letter C may be roman numeral for 100.

What does it all mean?

At this point, we seem to be pursuing many different things, all at the same time. Let us look at a few of these things.

The grid of letters

It appears that we have put the problematic row in the correct order. We would normally move on with this new order in the grid.

However, the solution found for this row seems to open up other avenues of investigation. It is even possible that the whole point of the grid of letters was to provide us with the letters required to solve the clue card. But this seems unlikely, since we modified a letter (A to B) that is not related to the row in question.

Meaning of the 4 things

The four things may have been required only to reorder the row. But according to the the solution presented above, possibly only C and TI are the relevant clues, with TI protecting C.

I can see two possible avenues, dending if C simply means what we have to see, or if it also mean 100.

  • There are 6 letters « protected » by TI in the first row of the grid of letters. Interestingly, eliminating these 6 columns would leave us with 100 letters. Conversly, we may want to keep only the 60 letters of these columns.
  • The warning in the RULES has a section of text with 100 letters protected by TI.

Note that I have chosen to use IT as the closing TI, as this seems more appropriate for something cladding from both sides, like the two stone lions guarding the house of fortune.

Since this warning text is associated with the Queen, and written on parchment in FISH, these 100 letters may be the ones that we have to write on the map. If, so, where is the starting point?

We must of course keep in mind that MANHOLE and FUNGUS may after all be important. The manhole covers in KITES offer something to be deciphered (something I did not do). FUNGUS, interpreted as MUSHROOMS, seem associated with climbing to a high point, both in FOREST and in WILDERNESS.

The rest of the chapter

Let us have a look at the rest of the chapter, following the four clues. Most of it remains a bit mysterious.

But where is the rabbit? She had to find the rabbit. Perhaps behind the locked door.

She touched the door, which unlocked at once and revealed a dining room.

I don’t know what this means, but to find something behind a locked door, we need a key! Could it be the text enclosed in TI (6 or 100 letters?).

She expected to find a banquet spread. Instead, the table was covered with masks.

This may simply indicate that the clue card shapes (mask?) have to be developed as a table. We have shown in a previous page (Rabbit’s card) that it produces a 16 x 10 table.

I have also experimented with grilles. You can make 4 different ones by cutting the squares represented by one or another of the shapes in the table. This would explain the people wearing masks (i.e. with holes to see).

The ghosts had put them there for her to find. They wanted her to join them. But she was stronger now. She would do only what she wanted.

Is this a way to say that the masks (i.e. the shapes) are not relevant when you expand the table. The ghosts were letters in our row. Are these irrelevant also for the purpose of expanding the table?

The rabbit appeared in the hallway, fascinated by the motion of a harem girl.

The rabbit of course reminds us of RAW BITS, which may be related to FISH. The woman, dressed in a red kimono (i.e. MONOKEY), painted a giant Q. Is Q the raw bit. Is it the key?

Then there is the hallway, where the rabbit is said to appear. The most complete description of a hallway is found in chapter 13 (LODGE). The following three quotes come from LODGE.

Once she dreamt she was looking through a crack between a door and its frame and saw a hallway she had never seen before. At its end stood Treasure.

But the only sign of the stallion was a plain iron horseshoe nailed to a door.

She had found a different kind of door, and with it this rule: The way to move forward is sometimes to go back.

A crack between a door and its frame at the beginning of a hallway and, going backward, Treasure at the end of that hallway. This hallway corresponds to line 3 of the warning in RULES. CONSTRUCTION deals with frame, doors and nails. It is cracked as only CON- appears at the end of the line. Going backward on that line you get TREASURE at the other end! By the way, this line appears in our 100 characters.

So, is the rabbit somewhere in that line? Note that the line does contain the letter Q, which appears only once in the whole warning text.

The rabbit is fascinated by the dance of the harem girl. This is likely belly dancing. And in chapter 2 (TMWBG), the key is hidden in the belly of the horse. Again, it seems that a key is involved with the rabbit.

He would have followed the dancer away had not Amanda urgently tugged at his shoulder and refused to let him go. He was very large, and she had to stand on tiptoe to whisper in his ear.

« Where is my horse? » she asked.

« Here is a clue », the rabbit answered, « but I will mask it ».


Here, dancer is prononced « d » « ancer » (i.e. THE ANSWER). Amanda is telling the rabbit not to focus on the answer. The important part is the question! The text establishes that the rabbit is called or named « He ». Therefore, the question becomes « she asked he » (him?). And this means ASCII.

I hesitated a long time before going that road as I am trying to avoid complicated stuff not found in the book, like an ASCII table. But with rabbit pointing to RAW BITS, and the FISH chapter offering bits and bites (BYTES) to eat, I guess this possibility must be considered.

The mask could be a series of 0 and 1. Such masks are common in computer science. A good canditate is the single letter Q (capital letter, since it is a « giant letter »). The ASCII value for Q is 81 in decimal (the RULES page number!). Here is the binary value:

01010001

If it is to be used on the first row of the clue card, we have to repeat it twice (2 x 8 bits):

01010001 01010001

If we then apply the transformation to form a 16 x 10 table, we get the following (color is used to represent the value 1; the rest is 0):

The Q-mask

Since there are 6 bits set to 1 per row, value 1 covers 60 squares, and value 0 covers 100 squares. Going back to FISH, note that on the main image we have 6 men sitting in front of 16 squares (8 x 2).

« but I will mask it » may indicate, taking I as meaning 1, that what appears at a 1 location will be masked. An obvious candidate to apply the mask to is our grid of letters, masking 60 letters, bringing the total from 160 to 100. We will see later if there are clues pointing to this approach.

This completes this chapter. Unfortunately, we are left with several questions and things to consider besides our simple grid of letters. We are now moving to the next step in our path: Chapter 2 (THE MAN WITH BLACK GLOVES). As you might expect, things will not get easier.

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