This is page 6 of Journey 1.

We start this chapter with several possible avenues to follow:

  • A grid of letter
  • The letter Q, possibly in ASCII binary form and in a table, to used as a mask
  • C between TI, interpreted as either 100 letters in RULES or 6 letters in the grid.

Here is the grid of letters at the end of the last chapter:

And here is the possible Q-mask binary table (value 1 in yellow).

We have to keep in mind that the stoty appears to constantly warn us about the Man with Black Gloves trying to trick us.

The main image appears to be some sort of rebus. Here are some elements of this image.

  • The mirror. It has a frame and this frame can be flipped. Looking at it sideways, taking into account the visible wooden leg, its shape may also be construed as approximating the letter Q. Or it may represent a 0.
  • The opening in the wall. It is shaped like the symbol ⋂. This is the intersection symbol of Set Theory, used to select elements that are common to sets appearing on each side of the symbol. It is related to the AND logic symbol.
  • The black monolith of 2001: A Space Odyssey, hovering above the floor. The shape may represent a 1.
  • Four columns and a horse to the left.
  • The elephant in the room. The clouds in the monolith image are shaped like an elephant’s head, trunk high in the sky, mouth open, seemingly eating a bird. There is what appears to be an elephant leg in the opening in the middle of the room. And the big hand in the foreground could be construed as a trunk. Elephants do use their trunk like a hand.
  • The floor is prominent and shows a vertical arrangement. We seem again to point to columns.

There are so many ways to interpret this image that it is hard to determine what should be presented here as possibilities. Here are a few thoughts.

The monolith image

The image may represent TRUNK ATE (i.e. TRUNCATE) or TRUNCATE FALCON. Note that the belly of the horse is the « trunk » of the horse. Mr.MAPS also has a trunk. Perhaps it just means truncate our letter grid (by applying the mask?)

The monolith image – Chess opening

An intriguing possibility has to do with chess. The image may mean SOKOLSKY. In slavic languages, SOKOL means falcon. The image is a SOKOL in the SKY. The monolith is placed before an OPENING in the wall. So we have SOKOLSKY OPENING, a chess opening also known as the POLISH OPENING (« polished her gift »), or ORANGOUTAN OPENING. The movie version clearly shows a toy orangoutan in the room. The opening involves moving a pawn from B2 to B4, skipping a row. Interestingly, a page is skipped at this point in the book. Although the page number is not shown, the single image page appears to cover pages 13-14.

The monolith – 2001: A Space Odyssey

The black monolith represent the film 2001: A Space Odyssey. We will recall that our grid of letters previously had the word FILM in the column with the period. We have since reordered the row containg the letter L. It now shows a C. Perhaps we should not have reordered the letters? Or perhaps the whole thing (coupled with the four columns on the left) means « Select the column truncated with a space » (i.e. containing the period).

Then there is the possibility that « A Space Odyssey » means that we have to move « space(s) ». Or remove space(s), perhaps after masking some letters. We would be truncating the spaces left by the masked letters being removed. This is interesting. If we were to mask 60 of our 160 letters, we would not want to keep the 60 spaces in the table that were associated with the masked letters. We would instead want to work with a new string of 100 letters. By the way, the three main elements of the image (monolith, opening in wall, mirror) look very much like a big 100.

The mirror – frame shift

As I said above the mirror border and leg may represent the letter Q, and therefore our binary Q-mask. A mirror would reverse right and left. This mirror is mounted on hinges and can be flipped top to bottom. This is a frame shift.

The mirror may also just represent the border of our table(s).

The image shows the gold horse being taken… or being found! This chapter is the last in our current path of four chapters (4-6-19-2 = 31). Either the Treasure is found here (and we are ourselves The Man With Black Gloves!), or we have to do a frame shift and continue the quest on another frame. In this case, is it the next one (9-11-3-7), the previous one (20-1-14-18), or perhaps we must skip a frame (like skipping a page) to 14-16-8-12 or 15-17-9-13?

The intersection – ⋂

A simple interpretation would be the intersection of a column, possibly the one truncated with the period, with the frame of the grid of letter. Top intersection is R, bottom is O. We have again RO or OR. In fact, both the R and the O also form OR and RO in their respective rows. The bottom intersects with the word HORSE, the top is in the group of 6 letters enclosed by TI.

Another interpretation, more in line with what we have been discussing, is that we must intersect the grid of letters with the Q-mask, eliminate the masked letters, and truncate the spaces left.

But before applying the mask, we should ask if the two tables (grid of letters and Q-mask) are properly aligned. An interesting observation is that there is only one place in the Q-mask that has 5 consecutive positions masked (in the third row). Perhaps these 5 positions should be matched with the word HORSE on the grid of letters, representing the horse disappearing, hidden by the mask. To do this requires a « space odyssey », that is the simultaneous movement of all the squares in the table. This is like « pulling the quilt over his sleeping daughter ».

A simpler interpretation is that we have to truncate the frame of our letter grid. This would transform our 16×10 grid into a 14×8 grid.

Back to the chapter text

In her bed that night Amanda waited for her father to come and put out the light. She did not want to go to sleep until he had kissed her good-night. I’ll just close my eyes for a moment, she thought, and drifted off to sleep.

Putting out the light refers to applying the mask. We must wait as there are some movements required (drift).

I am unable to provide a sentence by sentence explanation of what is happening next. This is a summary, but Amanda dreams of being carried by Treasure, everywhere, higher and higher.

Then comes a key paragraph:

All the while, beneath Amanda’s room, her father sat by the hearth and polished her gift. It was a special gift that held a secret within. For in the belly of the horse, through a cleverly hinged door, her father had slipped a key. And in her sleep the young girl frowed and wondered, What does the key unlock?

What is that key? Our Q-mask in ASCII (i.e. ask key)? the 100 letters from RULES? I even looked at « sat beside the hearth », where hearth means EARTH. By the Earth in MR.MAPS we have a piece of map.

The cleverly hinged doors could be the folds in the paper, which would mean that X is the key. That is 01011000 in binary ASCII (like the Q, it has 3 bits set to 1, so it would mask 60 positions if developed as a 16 x 10 table). But without more information this just multiplies the possibilities. Yet, X in on the map, X is on the card in Fortune, etc. It may be important. Perhaps a shift cipher. This key is hidden in the gold horse. It is perhaps the last step in deciphering some text. After all, the map is the key…

Her father came into the room and pulled the quilt over his sleeping daughter.

This is the « space odyssey ».

Gently he pressed his lips to her forehead, then doused the light and left the room.

The light is off. We are now ready to proceed.

On the table by her bed stood the beautiful golden horse, gleaming in the moonlight.

Here we have direct mention of a table. The golden horse (and the containing key) was placed on a table.

The next paragraph contains several sentences about The Man With Black Gloves entering the room. There is also a reference to warning:

The trees groaned, and Treasure neighed a warning in the night.

Then the golden horse disappears.

His darkness closed around the golden horse, and in that moment Treasure vanished from her sight. « No! No! » she cried, but thunder drowened her out. The black gloves turned into a great black bird that flapped its wings once, then flew away with the storm.

The morning sun shone clear and bright outside her window. But Amanda senses something was wrong.

Clear and bright. Have we found the golden horse? Note that Amanda then starts looking for her father and for her Treasure. But she does not know anything about the golden horse.

There is obviously more work to be done in order to fully understand exactly what is going on in this chapter and how the various pieces fit together.

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