This is page 7 of Journey 1.
With J1P6 (The Man With Black Gloves) still unresolved, it is difficult to attach this new chapter to our path. We have moved to the next « frame », as indicated in J1P2 (ROAD). This frame includes chapters 9-11-3-7. A problem with this frame is that chapter 7 is ROAD, a chapter that we already used to get our path. Perhaps chapter 3 is the last one, which would be nice since it contains « Find my Treasure ». Given all these uncertainties, we can only offer possible paths to follow.
It appears that this chapter may be related to the 100 letters extracted from the WARNING in RULES:
The town at the edge of the desert, like an oasis, had grown around springs of water that bubbled from the hearth of the earth. Here groves of plants and trees flourished.
What grows around water is the LAWN. Plants and trees may refer to the rest of the sentence (GARDEN OR TREES). The town at the edge of the desert may be LA.
The innkeeper’s wife told Amanda about him. He lived in a tiny house behind a grove of bamboo and far fom the main road.
The innkeeper’s wife and a reference to bamboo point to FISH, where we first encountered the « giant black letters ». We are « far from the main road » because we are not dealing here with our now familiar grid of letters. We are not even in the main story of the book, since we are in the RULES.
Amanda was hesitant to ask the man for help, but she had come this far. She could go a little farther. In fact, the door cracked open before she could even knock. A wizened old man, who did not come up to her chin, stared at her with extraordinary blue eyes.
It appears that the text identified in red is insufficient, too short. We must go a little farther.
The door opened wide and she saw an amazing collection of maps.
A collection of maps is an ATLAS. The mythological figure is often depicted as supporting the terrestrial globe and holding the celestial heavens. The globe shown on page 42 is itself a collection of maps.
ATLAS is also a star and a crater on the moon. Note « Crater Lake » at the forefront of the globe.
At this point, we may realize that by extending our red characters to the left, we get:
We can spell the word ATLAS over 21 letters. This would make each of the 21 letters the maps making up the atlas. Given that there are 21 chapters (and 21 letters in THE MAN WITH BLACK GLOVES), this may be significant.
« You gotta have a map. » He admired his collection with obvious satisfaction. « Any place you want to go, gotta have one. ‘Course the thing is » he turned and whispered in a low voice reserved for secrets, « you got to know where you’re going. »
Choosing the right map for the places you are going is the secret. Are different maps (i.e. letters) to be somehow applied to different chapters?
But lying in the trunk on a pile of maps was a black falcon. Amanda couldn’t tell whether it was alive or just a statue.
Here we have a direct reference to the word STATUE. The trunk and the black falcon remind us of the image in THE MAN WITH BLACK GLOVE, that we have interpreted earlier as meaning TRUNCATE. Is this just a confirmation that the word STATUE is to be truncated, as we just did? Or does it mean that we have to apply whatever operation is described in TMWBG to the 21 letters? Or do we have to remove more letters from the four letters kept in STATUE?
« Yes, ma’am, can’t have too many maps. »
Clearly, we do have too many letters and we must remove some.
He hopped around trying to distract her as he hastily covered the dingus with even more maps and slammed shut the trunk.
Again, does this just mean that we must focus on these 21 letters rather than on the whole 100 letters, or do we remove another letter. Obviously, the truncation must occur in STATUE. If another letter must be removed, I would go for the letter U, because the falcon (the covered dingus) is BLACK and because when Amanda leaves, she looks « one last time at his enormous BLUE eyes ». In both cases, HUE (i.e. the letter U) is left behind. An alternative would be to remove the T, as it is the second letter of 21 and therefore may correspond to TMWBG.
Removing a letter would leave us with 20 letters. We don’t know what to do with these letters. If they have to be turned into 8-bits ASCII, we would get 160 bits, which could be used as a mask with our grid of letters! (NOTE: Any place you want to go, gotta have one may be a hint to only consider letters where the mask has a one).
But if the whole exercise was to remove one letter from the 100 letters, then we are left with 99 letters.
« I got all these degrees and meridians…south of east…north of west…any direction you want to go. »
This may be an indication to arrange the letters into a table, creating a 2-dimensional grid, and therefore giving some meaning to the four directions. For 99 letters, this would likely be 9 x 11 or 11 x 9.
A 11 x 9 table appears more likely, for reasons that follow. Note that I have removed the letter U from STATUE in this version.
She and Mr. maps turned into a globe, revolving like a planet lost forever among the star.
« Take these maps, » he said. « Trust me. You’ll find what you’re lookin’ for. »
Before Mr. Maps could say « Good luck, » three maps darted through his doorway and escaped into the night.
It seems that Amanda leaves with a number of maps. We also have three maps escaping. Note that three maps are shown on pages 41-42: the globe and 2 pieces of « The Map ».
The mention of « Good luck » may be a clue to « Goldilocks and the three bears ». In astrobiology, the Goldilocks zone has to do with the optimal distance a planet is from its star so that it can sustain life. It is linked to the possible presence of water. Water sustaining life is the subject of the first paragraph in Mr. Maps.
But the Goldilocks principle applies to other circumstances. It generally means that given 3 possibilities over a given range, the one toward the middle of the range is the desirable one. This would indicate that the middle piece of map is the one to focus on. Indeed, the globe, shaped like an « enormous blue eye », is looking at this piece of map.
I have always believed that this piece is the most important of all pieces of maps. The triangle is a symbol for a mountain. The slanted line next to it is a symbol for division, and the folds are showing the letter X. I am not sure about the other line. This is significant because the memorial (the other line?) at Tennessee Pass (where Treasure was buried) honors the 10th Mountain Division of the US Army.
But could this piece also have a different use in the puzzle? The chapter title MR. MAPS is different from the others because it contains a period, and periods are used to divide text into sentences. Here is the tenth sentence (i.e. tenth division) of the chapter MOUNTAIN.
It had bent over the green trees with heavy, hanging ice.
It turns out that this is represented in the above 11 x 9 table. Note that the letters separating ICE from TREES spell the word TOWING.