No one gave us any lucid reason for the many deserted buildings in West Ellis. All we got were ramblings about the general unsoundness of the structures.
Round about this time, True was getting so exasperated by the evasive answers we received, he decided that we should just go in those houses and get some information on our own. Hives bubbled on my arms at the prospect.
After reaching his decision, True didn’t talk about the empty houses for a day or two. I hoped he’d forgotten about the plan or maybe had been talking big for my benefit. Should have known him better.
One Saturday, we planned to bike up Notch Road to Pancake Rock. John Mister told True how to find the rock and he wanted to sketch it for his ever-growing collection of small town drawings. The rocky ledge was supposed to be round, flat and resting on an outcrop of smaller rocks like a stack of pancakes. John Mister’d said we could climb to the top and see a good bit of West Ellis from up there.
Sure enough we found the strange rock formation in an old cow pasture at the top of Notch Road. I wandered around it looking for a way up as True sketched. Circling the huge rock, I noticed a stunted birch growing up and over the backside of the rock. It made perfect handholds for easy climbing. In five minutes I was on the top shouting down at True. Later, when he showed me his sketch, I noticed that he had penciled me in on the top of the giant flat rock. Both of my thin arms stretched toward the glowering sky.
Continued in the next post
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