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Why make you wait? Episode 37
Fri Nov 10, 2017 17:31

Professor Chapter 37 -
upload on Saturday Nov 10th

"Karl I'd like to ask, if I may, how you ended up in Cornwall and what led you to discover about making those devices you showed me?" Tolbert enquired because, after all, that was the most important aspect of the encounter especially as it seemed that Karl not Ronnie might have been the one who invented them.

"Let me deal with the last part of your question first Tolbert. Despite my naval duties most of which were ashore, we need not go into the reasons why, I had plenty of free moments and leave opportunities to further my desire to get to the bottom of things. One such leave I spent in the Black Forest talking to toymakers and wood carvers reasoning that such rural folk were the source of most stories about the forgotten peoples of the forest.

There are many clues for those with the eyes to see them and the longer the time one spends studying such things, the more one is made aware of the signs. Strange runes that show up as part of a decoration, little grotesques as included in church roof beam supports, never obvious but always to be found by those who know where to look for them. No one knows who was responsible, just that stone masons and wood carvers seemed to use them as their signature, a harmless vanity nothing more. At least so it was thought, had the Church authorities known the real meaning such men would have been accused of witch craft."

Karl stood to reach a bookshelf and pulled down a large volume which was his own journal, as he explained whilst showing me the relevant pages.
"I liked to make sketches of such things as caught my eye amongst which were those carvings in wood and stone. Now here is a map that I made of my various places visited"

It was beautifully drawn with little villages, churches, castles drawn in something like isometric projection and beautifully tinted in water colour with the most elaborately decorated border which Karl pointed out was "including these decorations I drew along the edges there to depict the runes and hidden symbology such as those forgotten races liked to embellish their armour and adornments with. Such craftsmanship they had and obtained with what simple tools?

On one such weekend exploration I met a wise woman as she was called by the villagers who sought her advice with ailments and especially the various troubles experienced by those who keep animals. It was a goat herder that told me of her skills and how he had seen her using a forked branch to search for special roots to make a cure. She was happy to explain how they were made and used and pleased at how easily I picked up the knack of it.

We spoke for a long time and I visited her several more times and on one such visit I told her about my experience that had caused so much trouble and how I had tried to bury these notions without success believing that going to sea would cut me off from disturbing influences. Oh how she laughed at this, sounding just like one might imagine a cackling old witch would until tears ran down her face. 'You cannot run away from what you are, you silly boy' she said. Of course that brought to mind the final words of the people of the wild hunt.

I asked her what should I do and she told me to continue with my life as it was and that in due course matters would resolve themselves as they were meant to, which brings me to the first part of your question. When war was declared I was put in command of a U-boat and at first I was proud to be able to attack Royal Navy warships but when the Kaiser told us in 1917 to sink anything we encountered I knew that I could not attack unarmed merchant vessels, this is dishonourable conduct.

Refusing orders would mean the firing squad but in a submarine only the one in command or the lookout if on the surface, can see anything. It is not like a surface ship where several may see a target and note if you failed to attack it. Once or twice I had to fire a torpedo to miss if someone other than myself was on the periscope but I attacked enough times to allay any suspicions of cowardice or dereliction of duty becoming quite expert at torpedoing buoys, mines, rocks and damaging and sinking Royal Navy ships enough to prove my competence.

A submarine is a close knit community of men who will endeavour to get rid of anyone that doesn't fit, one way or another and any potential trouble makers were soon transferred. My men must have guessed what my game was but I never spoke of it even to my closest officers because it would put them in an impossible position. Then one fateful day I was close to this area and recharging my batteries when I saw a small coaster in trouble. We managed to get the men off in the nick of time and I was taking them to the closest safe harbour when a Navy ship saw us and opened fire.

We were first brought to the hotel as the nearest place convenient for them to ask questions and keep us under guard until we were to be taken elsewhere to be interned for the rest of the war. I can barely recall any of the proceedings which occurred after we first stepped ashore because it felt, Tolbert you must believe this, almost as if I had an electric current flowing into me.

This shock was from a feeling of being where I should always have been, as if I had come home. Its impossible to describe properly one has to experience it. I had never left German soil but I belonged here, it was overwhelming, my officers and crew thought I was in a state of shock at being captured. Instead my biggest worry was being sent away back to Germany and now, of course, nothing would persuade me to return.

The war ended and I returned here with no idea what to do just the compulsion to do so. I was fortunate to encounter Ronnie and he was a great help to me in finding somewhere to stay and eventually I was accepted by the RNLI which is where you, Tolbert have found me."

"That's a fascinating history Karl. Thank you for explaining it." I couldn't think what else to say apart from the observation that what was far more interesting would be if he spoke about a fraction of what he was obviously concealing. Was I expected to assume that all his cats cradles were made for decorative purposes, surely not, should I press him for more information about his subsequent encounters with the forgotten people?Or should I wait patiently for matters to unfold at their own pace?

"Wouldn't it be wonderful if there was some way to record these sightings in such a way as to be able to show them like a cinema film?" I said quietly as if musing to myself "but that might be considered intrusive, they might leave never to return. Perhaps the equipment itself would prevent them appearing, why is it necessary to demonstrate something to people who are ordinarily oblivious to such phenomena? Who is to say our worlds are existing at the same rate, maybe we are impinging upon another world in such a way that they can see our future?"

"You must come back here again Tolbert" said Karl "not that I can provide any answers but I would very much like to discuss these speculations further."

"Percolations you mean" said Ronnie and they both laughed "Yes, we must be going too or Tolbert will miss this evenings culinary disaster - sorry, I mean delight, of course."

To my surprise he burst into song
"There was butter, butter, the scrapings of the gutter in the stores in the stores
There was butter, butter, the scrapings of the gutter in the quartermasters stores
(and Karl joined in as they both chanted)
My eyes are dim I cannot see, I have not got my specs with me
I have not got my specs with me." they concluded, laughing.

"Still serving Army field rations then Ronnie?" joked Karl

"Yes but we've moved up to the Boer War supplies now and you can actually tell what it's supposed to be" said Ronnie.

"I think they were still using up Wellingtons leftovers when I was there" Karl remarked "but it was better than Reichsmarine hard tack and sausage that was known as roof tiles and truncheons. I'm glad you came over Ronnie and I'm glad to have met you Tolbert, I hope we shall meet again" he concluded as we shook hands and left.

    • I haven't hears that... - Sarge, Fri Nov 10 20:35 in decades! Oh there's duck, duck, duck, That makes me want a ...sandwich In the Store, in the Store! Oh there's duck, duck, duck, That makes me want a sandwich In the Quartermaster's store.... more
      • I learned it in Scouts - mike, Fri Nov 10 22:05
        We also sang that 'we took the Flying Fortress up to forty thousand feet' one and several of the cleaner wartime songs around campfire.
        • My dad... - sarge, Sat Nov 11 07:19
          ...was a Scoutmaster in the states and taught the eager young lads that song, "The Quartermaster's Store", so it made it here in a limited yet enthusiastic way. "Kiss me Goodnight", I had to go back... more
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