Clues in the Gondola Cypher
Posted by ralphmerridew, 11:29am, 21 Apr, 2008
How much do we know about Esmerelda? In 8-17, I think Vedalia says she wouldn't allow a demon to live in the town, but story 3 puts Esmerelda in SC at 1941, while Vedalia was demon hunter.
Posted by Mr. Blue, 5:50am, 4 Nov, 2008
I think this is probably the most puzzling story ever. I mean every clue even the code just brings up more question rather than an answer.
We know that it was Elkwood who died in the gondola (identified by the Sheriff), but how did he die? According to Annabelle he didn't die from the fall so was he killed and placed in the gondola later? Since the rope of the gondola snap and no one knew he was aboard, questions like why did he return in the gondola and did he happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time (when the gondola rope snaps)? appears. If it was murder, who wants him dead and why? If it was an accident, how did it (rope snaps) happen?
Next, came the code. First the fireplace code, then the gondola's. Who, when and why was the code return? Could it be Elkwood? If it was Elkwood, that means he has come back alive and have recently asked the respondent of the code to burn the books. If it wasn't Elkwood, then why was it written on the gondola? Is it for someone living in the forest? Is the code essential in solving the mystery? Another important question is Why is it burned and not written? It is so that the message would not disappear easily with time or some other possible reasons? or Was it just for fun? Who was the message written for? According to the third message about the love potion, we can say that the respondent of the message should be for Alex. Does this mean that Alex actually knows the code? He could have avoided being poisoned by Anabella by reading the message. If not, then for who? This message also shows that, it was probably written by Alex's mom as she was (I think so) the only one who knows about the love potion. Lastly, how is the code related to the death of Elkwood other than being carved on the gondola?
Speaking of love potion. The love potion has something to do with the plot of the story. It first came as a harmless plot where Crystal and Annabelle was trying to make a love potion. Then, other clues were added such as the Katherine-Elkwood situation. The question is Is is related to the case or just another sub-plot?
Another character was introduced that is Hachetpaws a serial killer about 50 years ago who said to have died in the Forest. What has Hachetpaws have to do with the death of Elkwood. If it does have something to do, we're talking about the return of the serial killer or it could be Hachetpaws Jr.(lol)? And is this character involved in the falling of the bridge (cutting down the rope)? But what does this have to do with the codes? Who is he writing to and what for? If he is writing the codes, shouldn't he be carving the codes rather than burning them as he is 'hatchetpaws'? And why would he warn Alex about the love potion in the pie? This shows a possibility of another writer. Is Hachetpaws just being framed to direct attention away from the real cuplrit? How could the axe appear at the mirror in just 10 minutes without Barlow, Crystal or Annabelle noticing?
Who is the old woman in the forest and how is she connected to the Sheriff? Who are the skeletons in the opposite terminal of the gondola and how did they died? How did the blood stain and Elkwood's body (skeleton) appeared in Barlow's bedroom? Why must Hachetpaws not be told to Ellen? Has it something to do with her child that was kidnapped by a demon? If so is it the demon that Vedalia fought on the day of the tragic accident? How did the demon actually got into Spider Cliff? Who let it entered? What does the blood stain mean when the Oracle says it symbolizes betrayal? Who will betray who and how? Where does the weather vane points? It is to the rock, Eliza or some unknown demons in the forest? Could the rock actually be a demon turned into stone? This is possibly the reason the weather vane is pointing at it. How are the trash thrown into the forest disappearing?
Is are probably some of the questions I have find that make the whole story really complex.
Until this point of the story (Chapter 25)
We can say that Barlow and Crystal couldn't have done it.
Unfortunately, I couldn't find any motif for Rebecca. Her role in the plot is more about the love potion. Probably she could have written the third message to Alex.
Probably, the Sheriff's motif is to keep everything is balanced. He tries to scare away all those who tries to restore the gondola. He moves around the town easily pretending to be investigating the crime. He meets an old woman in the forest, but I currently do not know who it is.
Alex is actually more of preserving the gondola rather than actually repairing it. He is actually more connected to the love potion plot rather than the gondola plot except for the third message which may point to him knowing about the Sprawling Code
She is also more connected to the love potion plot. She has been seen talking to Elkwood's skeleton and believes the mesaage holds the recipe for her love potion. She could have written the message while talking to Elkwood and lie to Crystal about it but I don't really see any motif to her writing the codes and burning the manuals
Probably 100% chance she's not involved in any way to the mystery.
He was said to steal a miniature acetylene torch to burn the message. Probably his motif is that he wants to stop the gondola repairs. He has been acting very suspiciously during the whole story since the Sprawling code was found.
According to the list that I made, not many of the citizens of Spider Cliff have a solid motif especially with little or no alibi at all. My list also does not explain the dead bodies at the other terminal and also the death of Elkwood. There is maybe a chance that the love potion plot is actually connected to the gondola plot but I'm not sure. I hope someone will come up with a better theory.
This message was last edited on 5 Nov 2008.
Posted by FFWF, 4:43am, 7 Nov, 2008
Psst. In this context, it's "motive." Motif is a sort of recurring image or musical note.
Every time I read up on this case, I get spooked. Some of the atmosphere is just so creepy. Let me dig up my conclusions again. Hmm... I'm sure there's a new character involved. The existing characters just don't seem sufficient. That and I'm pretty sure jason told us a new character would be joining the heroes in this mystery. And the suggestions I made on the past couple pages still seem pretty solid - well, it's not like the facts have changed since then.
It looks like we were just reaching the turning point when Spider Cliff went on holiday. Maybe with just one more chapter, it'd be possible to strike out some false solutions and come up with a convincing guess to submit.
Posted by ralphmerridew, 12:24pm, 7 Nov, 2008
I don't think the fireplace code has any connection to the rest of the case; Barlow had known about it for years and was only just getting around to working on it.
If Rebecca wrote the most recent message, why go to all that trouble? Why not write it in English, or just tell him?
Posted by Barlow&Crystal, 10:27pm, 26 Jun, 2010
You know. Chances are Rebecca's completely right about the potion being deadly when made correctly. I would have to guess, it's quite entirely a possibility that Elkwood died from poisoning by way of the Mandrake Love Potion. He probably got really sick on the Gondola, and was sent back for medical assistance. Then the Gondola crashed and he probably died seconds after from the love potion.
Posted by FFWF, 11:56am, 3 Jul, 2010
Good thinking. I should really replay this sometime and reacquaint myself with the facts.