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The Second intrusion of the First Earth took some time to occur. It happened months later, at a motel owned by a Canadian in the area of Vanderwacker Mountain.

Hemingway and I were returning from Newcomb. The Boreas River had flooded and we were obliged to endure the proprietor’s under-developed hospitality. He provided us with some canvas cots in a large cabin cluttered with mice and indescribable odors. We went to bed; but were kept from sleeping until dawn by the inebriated ravings of a neighbor who intermingled complicated insults with snatches of back-woods earthiness. As might be supposed, we attributed this continuoust uproar to the motel owner’s inhospitality.

At daybreak we found the inebriate dead under a tamarack tree. The voice, we had been subject to all night, deceived us; it belonged to a native Abenaki Indian. In his delirium a few .222 rifle shells had fallen from his ammunition bag along with a few pieces of bright metal, the size of a silver dollar but thinner. In vain, Hemingway tried to pick up the metal discs. He was scarcely able to raise them from the ground. He held one in his hand for a few minutes. Its weight was so unendurable that after it was dropped Hemingway said that a feeling of oppressiveness remained. I also remember the exact circle it pressed into his palm. Ernest was amazed that the sensation of this very thin and extremely heavy object could produce the unpleasant feeling of disgust mixed with fear.

One of the local men suggested we throw it into the swollen Boreas River. No one knew anything about the dead Abenaki, except that “he came from the north.” These thin, very heavy discs (made from a metal which is not of this world) were identified by the locals as images of a divinity in certain regions of The Adirondack Mountains.

 

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