The Spider Cliff Mysteries

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Clues in the Gondola Cypher

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Posted by FFWF, 4:20am, 11 Jan, 2008

The demon-human pact reference: If I recall correctly, Vedalia said that the child-stealing demon that tried to destroy Spider Cliff on the day of the gondola disaster couldn't have gotten in without help. Hatchet-paws, Turnip thinks, was already dead by then.

Posted by ralphmerridew, 1:37pm, 11 Jan, 2008

One of my hypotheses:

- Ellen's son wasn't killed by Hatchetpaws. Katherine was hatefully jealous of her sister-in-law over that son, and murdered him over it, framing Hatchetpaws. Maybe HP was evil and she imitated his style, or perhaps he was totally innocent and that was the only "Hatchetpaws" killing. (Recall the comment that it was difficult to separate truth from myth, and there was very little documentation in the newspapers.)

Posted by smjjames, 2:56pm, 11 Jan, 2008

yea, we need more of a timeframe on just when Hatchetpaws was doing the killings and when the paper mammals finally pushed him into the woods where he died, according to Turnip. Since there are at least two generations (paper mammals have about the same lifespan as humans I think) between him and when hatchetpaws lived, some details could have gotten exaggerated. Especially since he became SC's version of Jack the Ripper and became a sort of urban legend.

Still, there are many hints of somebody, or something making some kind of pact here.

One idea is that the demon made a pact with whoever helped her and in exchange for something, the demon distracted vedalia so that she wouldn't be able to stop whatever was going to happen with the gondola. However, I think the pact may have involved the demon destroying the town (I'm sure whoever made it knew that the demon was most likely going to be killed and so didn't really want to destroy the town). Like any demon pact, something went wrong, maybe right before her death, she realized she was betrayed and did some kind of curse which caused the cable to break.

Still, this is all speculation without more evidence to prove or disprove facts.
This message was last edited on 11 Jan 2008.

Posted by ralphmerridew, 5:00pm, 11 Jan, 2008

If the last demon was involved in the pact, I'd almost say it's more likely that the human wanted it to destroy Spider Cliff. (It was mentioned as a child-stealer, acting out of character.)

Posted by ralphmerridew, 5:21pm, 11 Jan, 2008

Also, I don't think there is an actual wood nymph; whoever the Sheriff (and possibly Alex) have been seeing, it's an ordinary person. (Crystal called it an "old woman", and the Sheriff made a "not for good reason" comment.)

Posted by smjjames, 6:45pm, 11 Jan, 2008

if that old woman IS Katherine, then she would have to be over 90 years old, possibly 100 years old. However didn't someone say that Vedalia had seen her be put in the grave some time before Vedalia herself died? I'm not sure where this bit of information is in the chapters though.

edit: ok, I think I got myself confused between what ralph said on page two about barlow saying that vedalia had buried the coffin five years ago and thought he was talking about Katherine's coffin. and between the fact that Alex said that Katherine had been in the gondola car. So, correct me if I'm wrong, you meant that vedalia was buried about 5 years ago?

So, we are left with the fact that Katherine's body is nowhere to be found (it is plausible that she could have been thrown out of the car). I can easily see a scenario where she wasn't satisfied with just knowing the love potion and since she knew magic did exist, over the years she developed her magic powers to some point. I think I know why she wanted Vedalia distracted, so that she couldn't see or maybe sense some kind of magic happening.

I know I'm giving all kinds of theories that people could end up using in thier solution, but I'm not trying to collect a million mammon.
This message was last edited on 11 Jan 2008.

Posted by ralphmerridew, 7:22pm, 11 Jan, 2008

Until Annabelle developed that picture, everyone thought Katherine had left on the gondola.

Posted by smjjames, 7:37pm, 11 Jan, 2008

My thought is that an ordinary person might be able to survive in the foggy woods for a short time, but for extended periods of time they would either have to be very experienced or resourceful. However, IF this is Katherine, she would likely have had to use magic to survive for 50 years. Who knows, maybe she doesn't have that much magic and had instead stumbled on some kind of 'fountain of youth' or immortality elixr. After all, almost everything in the foggy woods is poisonus or otherwise inedible to humans.

As for what happened to Elkwood and the other people at the station, it is complete speculation. Perhaps Elkwood had stayed in the gondola for a couple minutes to talk to the other gondola station, then he heard or saw something wrong, or he saw Katherine attacking the others with magical blasts or something, or maybe something happened to remove the love potion's effects, whatever it was, he tried to come back. However Katherine had somehow caught up with him in the gondola, killed him, and then did something to cut the cable and bring down the gondola. Either that or the reverse, she cut the cable and caught up to Elkwood before he recovered from the sudden fall and killed him.

There is one major problem though, why didn't Katherine come back to Spidercliff? All she had to do was follow the cable or just ride it (I'm sure the machines could handle an extra 150 pounds or so on top of the tons that the cable had to weigh) back as it was bieng reeled in.

Posted by ralphmerridew, 9:33pm, 11 Jan, 2008

Maybe Katherine's pact with ???? forbade her from ever setting foot in Spider Cliff again?

Posted by ralphmerridew, 9:43pm, 11 Jan, 2008

My mention of that coffin had no connection to this story, just that I was trying to work out how long Vedalia had been dead.

Story 6 (Mrs. Macguffin's Corpse) begins with Barlow digging coffins with his books. One of them (the demon) had been buried by Vedalia five years previous. No human was contained within.

Posted by ralphmerridew, 9:51pm, 11 Jan, 2008

Other possibility: Perhaps the "old woman" was Ellen. (Ellen was a Sluggmosse, possibly the Sheriff's aunt or great aunt.)

the woods

Posted by legoboy123, 3:39pm, 27 Jan, 2008

it my be just me but hope that jason tells us ( if he ever comes back ) whats in the woods you now? it seems very important.

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