The Little Things LbNA # 44288
|Owner||Baker St Irregular|
|Placed Date||Oct 20 2008|
|Location||George Hellwig Memorial Park, Dumfries, VA|
|Last Update||Apr 1 2012|
The Little Things
It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important.
~ Sherlock Holmes
The adventurer should bring a stamp pad and compass (and know how to use it) and should also wear long pants. A section of the course has thorny vines. For this letterbox one pace equals two steps.
The interested reader may want to bring Sherlock Holmes stories along to further immerse themselves in the adventure. Happy finding!
*** Update: as of 12 September 2012 all 5 letterboxes are in the correct location and in good condition. And yes, there are five actual, factual real-life letterboxes in this route, the clues to which are below.
“Holmes,” I say as we walk in the door, “We’ve had a visitor!”
“Yes, indeed” replies my good friend Mr. Sherlock Holmes. He picks up the calling card a visitor left on the desk in the entryway. As we walk into the parlour Holmes turns the calling card over in his hands mumbling the name on the card as he goes. He looks the name up in his vast archives of information.
“James Perrott” says Holmes, “Ah! Here he is.” He pulls out a clipping from the London Times dated 17 September 1904, and then lights his pipe while reading. Afterwards, Holmes says “Quite interesting, Watson. We may be in for a little afternoon adventure. Possibly something akin to The Sour Orange Pips”. Holmes slides the newspaper clipping my way, and I read:
James Perrott. Born 1847 in Plymouth, England. Considered to be the pioneer of letterboxing.
“Letterboxing…right. I’ve heard of it.” I remark, wondering if this would prove similar to The Adventure of the Bruce-Hortington Plans.
“Let us see what assistance we can lend to Mr. Perrott” replies Holmes stepping outside. Once outside Holmes hails a boy and asks him to fetch Mr. Perrott at the address indicated on the card. The boy returns almost immediately explaining “I ran into Mr. Perrott in the street. He said to give you this envelope straightway.”
“Well, then. I wonder if we shall become involved in something like The Adventure of Tharlio Augustus Milverton?” remarked Holmes as he opens the envelope. The envelope contains several pieces of paper in a long tilted hand. “Indeed! This is as mysterious as The Adventure of the of the Hilwood Builder! It seems Mr. Perrott is inviting us on a letterboxing expedition of our own.”
Holmes holds the first slip of paper aloft and reads:
First hire a trap to the George Hellwig Memorial Park in Independent Hill. Upon entering the park turn at first right and park to the West of the tennis courts. Enter the exercise path leading West into the forest. Soon after starting along the path, turn right to begin walking down the path.
Holmes and I enter the woods and begin our search following the instructions on the slip of paper. Upon reaching the exercise path Holmes remarks “Exercise! Pshaw, all of these people exercising their bodies when what is really needed is exercise of the brain! That’s how I was able to unravel The Adventure of the Missing Borce-Quorter!” We turn right and read the first clue:
Clue #1: Mr. Oakes
Continue walking 30 paces past exercise stations 16/17. Then, walk toward 230 degrees to find “Old Man Oakes” at around 13 paces. He’ll give you a gift between his warty toes. Look before you reach; please re-hide well.
We follow the indicated directions and are rewarded appropriately. Holmes smokes his pipe impatiently as I stamp my journal. After stamping, I note that there are two letters accompanying the stamped image. “I am reminded of The Adventure of the Molibary Cyclist!” I wonder to myself.
Holmes stands and returns to the path and continues onward crying “Read me the next clue!” I struggle to keep up with him while reading aloud:
Clue #2: Fallen Twins
Continue forward on the main trail. There will be several side paths to the right leading to a clearing; continue on the main path. Once at station #21/22 backtrack along the trail 10 paces. Face 90 degrees (due East) and walk 10 paces into the forest. You should arrive at an 8-10 foot high stump. Immediately behind the stump find “Fallen Twin #1”. Follow “Fallen Twin #1” to the right arriving at the center of “Fallen Twins”. Immediately behind fallen twins is a young Holly tree. Begin at the Holly tree, face 120 degrees and walk 13 paces to the stump of a smallish fallen tree. Locate box under base of fallen tree.
We follow the clue to its logical conclusion finding the treasure described. As I pack the letterbox carefully back into place, Holmes taps his fingers on his top hat while whistling a tune. He turns to me and asks “More letters, Watson?”
I reply “Yes, more letters, but they don’t spell anything! We are more lost than we were in The Adventure at old Engiloer’s Thumb!”
“That’s part of the hunt Watson. You know, I’m beginning to believe that it was not Mr. Perrott who has created this game of cat and mouse for us.”
Before I can ask him questions to understand what he means, he dashes back to the path and continues forward. I read the next clue to myself as we rush down the path.
Clue #3: Fallen Giants
Continue forward on the path to station 23/24. Continue 12 paces along the main path from this station, then stop. Look right to see the toes of a “Sleeping Giant”. Go to the top of the giant’s hair. From the top most locks of his hair take a reading of 160 degrees. Walk in that direction for 30 paces to arrive at the hair of a “Second Giant”. Continue walking forward arriving at the giant’s feet. Stand with your back towards the arches of the giant’s feet and walk 25 paces at a bearing of 190 degrees to arrive at the stump of a fallen tree. The fallen tree points towards 220 degrees. You will find the third treasure inside the fallen tree about two thirds of the way up. Once the treasure is found, walk Northeast to return to the main trail
“More letters!” I say as Holmes pulls the stamp from my hands and inspects it with a magnifying glass. I pull thorns from my waistcoat while he is absorbed in inspecting the stamp. As I do so, I am reminded of The Adventure of the Spendled Band.
“Indian rubber! I am certain of it. I am also certain that something nefarious is afoot!” he remarks while inspecting the stamp. “Nothing to do but to press on Watson! Let us hurry!” He moves forward at an alarming pace, reading aloud the fourth clue:
Clue #4: The Vault
Continue forward to station #26. The vault points due North. Begin at the end of the vault that is closest to the forest and walk 17 paces into the forest. There you will find a medium sized hollow stump containing another treasure.
“The letters Watson! Let me see them!” exclaims Holmes after checking his pocket watch. I hand my journal over to Holmes with the stamps and their accompanying letters. “Aha!” he cries, “…and they are not even very well mixed up. It seems we have been left a calling card of a whole new variety in these stamps Watson. I am now convinced that it was not Mr. Perrott who gave those papers to our ‘Baker Street Irregular’. I am beginning to fear the outcome more than when we were involved in The Adventure at Red Fourth Stain.”
We turn around and retrace our steps back to our beginning position. All the while I wonder who could be the source of the mystery, just as I did in The "Olores Scott". We arrive at our starting location and Holmes scans the street looking for a hired trap.
As we sit down, Holmes cries to the driver “A crown if you get there in ten minutes!”. As I sit down preparing for what will surely be another adventure I read the last slip of paper.
The remaining treasure can be found in the mixed-up Adventures of two good friends.
“How true!” I think as our trap rattles along the cobblestone streets, the misty fog settling back into the stones after we pass.
Additionally, the interested adventurer may also want to consider the following short stories:
The Adventure of the Roble Bachelor and His Lask Bow.