By Tahauwus and Gilbert
How sad is this? This is what the North Woods has come to? This story about the Adirondack Club with its rich people, a pretty girl, a German with a monocle, a valuable diamond and the woodsmen portrayed as a bunch of ruffians. This concept is as far from reality as possible.
Did the Adirondacks really deserve this? I think not.
On the other hand it may possibly scare all these tourists away. That would be a good result.
I have heard that you cannot tell a book by its cover. That is surely the case here. The cover is so dark and brooding. Do you think that is what they were aiming for? Possibly. But let’s look at the inside.
My heart was broken when I found this book. At my advanced age and state of health I should not care one way or another; but I did. The book was setting on top of a beam in a lean-to near Little Moose Lake. I was surprised that someone had left it behind. It had just been published the previous year, 1907. Possibly the owner was hiking and will be back to pick it up. Or maybe it was a rich Adirondack Club member who had more money than care.
But look here, right in the front of the book. This looks like a picture from New York City, not the North Woods.
Poor Grannis Meade is getting denounced!
Is that how they do it at the Adirondack Club? No oaths nor flying fists?
But this is “PINE COURT”, not Pine Lodge or Pine Camp – – – Ahem, pardon me and all that.
Ah yes, Grannis Meade appears immediately!
And we have the tracks of the Adirondack and Montreal Railroad.
Also we have a woodsman, Porter, pressed into service as a pejorative coachman. Porter is normally one of the Adirondack Clubs “game-keepers” as is his friend Veeder. As Porter drives along Veeder is creeping about the woods for some reason or another. Veeder, also, is silently enjoying one of the club member’s ineptness at Woodcock hunting.
Who is this stagecoach bringing to our North Woods? Unbelievably, a German by the name of Chenberger-Vogel. And he is a savant no less.
So the stage is set. The unbelievable cast of characters that have invaded our Adirondacks are collected in one point; “Pine Court” which rests within “The Adirondack Club” or “Adirondack League” if you prefer airs.
But where is the pretty girl, the diamond and the monocle? They are pressed between the nearly 400 pages that make up the “Affair.”
What is the Adirondack Club without its class warfare? The woodsmen can surely not be allowed to maintain their dignity and self-made ways. They need to be shown as the ignorant back-woods people that they are; far below the stature of the club members.
There we have it. The woodsmen are coveting. The woodsmen come from “Prince’s Shanties” and “Harrison’s Ford.” For some reason or another the author didn’t give these places the nice ring that “Pine Court” has.
What are these woodsmen doing? Blasting their shotguns at Pine Court. Windows are shattering at the court. The brave club members fire back. Other brave club members surprise the woodsmen from the flank. The woodsmen break and run. Several are shot, almost dead, writhing on the forest floor. But what is to happen next?
Yes, Yes! The dying woodsmen are calling out the names of their loved ones as their blood covers the leaves.
The brave men of Pine Court feel exuberant in their “sudden partnership with death.”
Now these “sharpshooters”, who were previously “sports”, take aim and clean up the “remnants” of wounded woodsmen with a few more shots.
The club members bravely ignore their own wounds in order to finish the battle. The skirmish is complete. The “goodness” of the Adirondack League wins out over the “evil” of the woodsmen.
But does a skirmish do enough to show the superiority of the members of the League?
No. The author has a few loose thoughts that need to be stated.
And there you have it. A rich lady who met a poor uneducated girl on a steamship ride apparently gave her something of worth. The diamond, the girl, the monocle that inspected the diamond; they were all squeezed in between these pages.
But now the well-to-do League members take pity on the poor girl. How was she to know how to act or play the game of high-society? “These experiments always end up wrong” says one of the League members.
Oh yes, the League members have completed their experiment with the locals. The League, of course, has won.
I believe this newly released book was meant as a reprieve for the upper-handed ways that the League acts these days.
It changes nothing. It will only reinforce what the locals think.
On the other hand, will the locals ever read a copy of this new book “Affair at Pine Court?”
I am guilty of adding to the lack of readers for the “Affair.”
I took it from the ceiling beam in the lean-to and slipped it in my pocket.