THE LAUGHING BONE‎ > ‎WORD‎ > ‎PROSE‎ > ‎THE JONESIAD‎ > ‎

Book One Chapter One




I am an old man now and as self-divided as ever. And I struggle each day to forget these things that I discuss overmuch with myself. But Bonesy Jones has been dead now for over a dozen years. Perhaps now I can begin to talk about him and what happened in the Chama Canyon. I amuse myself. For so long, I could not think about it. But it was a terrible thing in my mind, like a hornet trapped inside my skull, stinging me constantly. I hoped for nothing more than to forget about it all. I tried to drink it away and lose my mind in drugs and mindlessness. Then like a beaten dog, the thoughts disappeared. At first I was overjoyed. Finally, I was free. Or so I thought. For then it was on those long nights of the soul, I would wonder where those memories had run off to. And it go so that before I set myself down to sleep each night, I would stand on the front porch of memory and watch the road there luminous under that interior pale reflected light. 

Old solitary men cultivate strange rituals over time. There’s a particular way to pour the tequila. The knife has to always be cleaned immediately after use and never left dirty in the sink. Shoes have to sit together, left and right. There’s a curious rhyme that’s said before getting out of the shower. And after you wash your face three times in the morning, you say good morning to your dead mother. So it was that I got in the habit of leaving a shallow bowl full of my blood out on the front porch of my memory. The cutting was surgical and painless after a few weeks. And soon enough I found myself looking forward to the ritual. The pain was reminding me. After a couple of months, i did think much anymore about why I did it. I wasn’t hoping for anything. And like that, it became just another ritual. Three shots of tequila a night, each pored up to porpoises’ tail on the shot glass. Take off my shoes an set them right. I’d wash my face and say goodnight to my dead mother. And I’d remove the bandage and surgical gauze from the old wound on the top of my left forearm, three deep cuts. Like the I-Ching Trigram. Three slashes in my skin. The knife was clean. I’d cut again and bleed into the bowl. And I could hear myself saying his name again, like a summons: Jones. Bonesy Jones. Where are now? Are you swimming? Swimming with angels?

They say the easiest way to start a difficult story when you don’t know exactly where to begin is to start with the saddest thing you know. Sound about right. The saddest thing I know is that I watched the closest thing I ever had to a father or a teacher or a best friend, I sat there in the desert and watched him die. Cause he had asked me to. Then also cause he asked me to, in fact he made me promise that I would, I burned his body on a fire and cut all the flesh away from his bones. 

I’ve never been able to talk about it much before now. It scarred my deep. And I didn’t much care about my life for many years just after. I crawled into that hole and I fought my way all the way down to rock bottom. Then I tried to dig down even deeper. Watching Jones die was hard enough. Cutting the meat from his bones loosened the nuts and screw in my mind. I’ve never been then same since. But, as I said, I’m better now. And before it’s too late, I need to tell this story of the beautiful life and terrible death of Charles Bonesy Jones. 

Of course, he’s gone for good. I know that. I ain’t so stupid to hope like that. But it’s strange. For the last few weeks, whenever I go to pick up that bowl full of my blood on the porch, something or someone has been at it. Cause that bowl is licked clean. At first, I though it might be another sad creature starving in the night. I sat up drinking and watching the blood shimmer black in the bowl. But as long as I watched, nothing ever came sneaking up on the porch. Yet in the morning, the blood was gone and the bowl was clean as a whistle. 

I’m gonna keep opening the wounds up. Keep leaving the bowl out. Cause I can feel his presence again. Sitting there across the table from me. Watching like he did. Telling me to keep the pen to the paper, to tell it how it really happened, to tell it right. Finally. 


Source and Narrative

Recording of Jones

Anecdotal

Footnotes like burrs on the page

Notes in back for each chapter

Smooth narrative

Sarah Miller lived in cottage after Charles Stonecipher died

My own daemon while writing this as I wandered like a ghost trying to remember his life - another life wander through these haunted lands

Meeting and discussions with the Jones family

Hulen Jones believed - and not merely as superstition - that more was captured in the photograph than the image, some ineffable aspect of the soul - minute as it may me - was also captured, and thereby diminished the one being photographed. He bequeathed this to his children - all of whom were notoriously camera shy.

Before you judge and question how any intelligent person could believe such nonsense, consider the current state of our world full of endless selfies and reproductions of self-image. What is the state of our souls in this age where every moment of our lives is captured and reproduced through social media?

Consider also the first of the Ten Commandments: to make no image of the god. The image decays, fades, decomposes and is eventually lost. To imagine god as a thing is to limit god.

Consider also the Native American first reaction to being photographed [RESEARCH]




General Observations

From an early age - arete, self-reliance, higher laws - Jones has the ability to turn the bad into the good, negativity to postive, traumatic to therapeutic, horrible to beautiful. This gift never failed him. In this way, he was a Quixote figure.

And I was Sancho Panza.

***

His nature was to take everything down to the root. Radical. To find the seed. The Center. To break the complex down into the simple, to atomize the strange, the beautiful and the mystical.

***

Dorian Grey

For the longest time it seemed as if he had the capacity to never age. But then whatever forces kept his own private picture of Dorian Gray that they no longer had as much effect.




A NOTE ON BIOGRAPHY


The difficulties of a biography of Charles B. Jones are manifold from the beginning.

Due to the legal restrictions places upon me by Nora Boney, the sister of Charles Jones. While I have a great respect for Mrs. Boney and have maintained a considerate relationship with she and her husband, I also wish to honor her brother's dying request that I memorialize him in the written word. Consequently, this biography- if it can even be called such - lacks the rigor and much of the research of what is typically required of the genre.

None of the Boney family has been willing to submit to any interview. Nor have I been I granted access to family records or photographs.

Mrs. Boney informally requested and has taken legal action to ensure that I am not to quote from any of Charles Jones' unpublished physical manuscripts, journals, diaries, letters or notes.

So out of what fragments am I to conjure a biography of Charles Jones? Of course, there are the few published pieces. And there is the digital archive which Jones gave me as bequest before he died - essentially, what was on the hard drive of his computer. Finally, and most importantly, there is my recollection of our conversations and experiences. So what you are now reading is, by necessity, a memoir. It is an extraordinary memoir about and extraordinary man. But it is the truth as I experienced it. And in so far as it is biography, it is the account of the life and death of Charles B. Jones as he told it to me and according to the best of my recollection. 

***

The Jones Boney family still maintains a powerful presence in East Texas. Many people I spoke with were reluctant to go on record. Nora Boney had put the word out to all relatives and friends to not “betray” the family by speaking to me about her brother or any other member of the Jones family - living or dead.

Hulen’s memory, in particular, was guarded and maintained with great vigilance. In many libraries and archives, it was clear to me that the records had either been “ sanitized” or destroyed.

The other significant event which was difficult to obtain comment on was the brutal abdication of Charles on July 4th, 19555, when he was 10 years old.



Ancestors



Hulen Melville Jones -

Lawyer - killed a man - child molester - self defense - exonerated but disbarred - meets Charles Stonecipher - buffalo bone business - train cars - Burlington Northern - J J Thompson - empty cars coming back from west - filled with buffalo bones - bone black - used to refine sugar - settled first in Louisiana- sugar cane plantation - speculating in sugar futures - made millionaire - married Stonecipher’s daughter, Maggie, moved to little hope, builds a mansion, opens a general store, small lending library - meets Peter Goddstream - helps to form the Lake.

***


This rudimentary genealogy was mostly compiled from recording and notes made in the late 1970's by Baldridge Jones of his mother, Sarah Hamnet Miller.

Additional material pertaining to the Jones Family was provided by the Wood County Historical Society, the Mineola Quilting Society, Texas State Archives in Austin and the Austin American Statesman.

Material regarding the Stonecipher Family was mostly provided by the Sarah Hamnet Miller Tapes with genealogical notes made by Charles Foster Stonecipher. Incidental material provided by the Louisiana State Archives, The Bitter History of the Louisiana Sugar Industry by Robert Cox and Buffalo Bone Days by M. I. McCreight.

***

There are two striking observations about this Jones-Stonecipher genealogy - and my primary motive for including it here: the families had known each other for three generations, from the early 1880s, and their business was in bones.

Additionally, in my research, I uncovered two great "family secrets" - each of which I doubt even Charles B. Jones knew about, but whose dark gravitates undoubtedly influenced his childhood and education.

The tragic and unnecessary suicide of Clarence Hawthorne Jones in 1929.

The murder - in self-defense - of Nicholas DeMoss by Hulen Melville Jones in 1930. A murder for which he was exonerated but disbarred. Hulen was one of those rare sorts who knew from an early age what he wanted to be: a lawyer. He believed in justice. And he became a defense lawyer because he believed in the idea that a man is innocent until proven guilty. He trusted in the legal process to convict his client, DeMoss. But it was his own over abundant talent, his charisma and way with words, that subverted the natural process of the law and failed to find DeMoss guilty. On the night before the trail, DeMoss had, after inquiring about attorney-client privilege- described in gruesome and revolting detail his lust and desire for the young Deanna McDougal, how her struggle had enflamed his passion and how must enjoyment he had derived from killing her. [ where does this information come from? The subsequent trail of Hulen Jones for the murder of Nicholas DeMoss. ]

After the trail, something shattered in Hulen. He was not allowed to practice the one profession for which he believed he was place on earth to practice. In many ways, this accounts for his towering expectations for his young son and the zeal with which he took to his education. It also explains his dissatisfaction with humanity and his withdrawal from the world and into his own private realm at LIttle Hope. Independently wealthy, he had not need or desire to participate in the squalid and hypocritical machinations of the social world. His world was his family and his books.

[REWRITE: DeMoss sets up Hulen. The ribbon with blonde hair. DeMoss found crucified, barely alive. Bloody hammer and case of railroad spikes found in Hulen’s car.

***

Can it ever be said there is a certain inevitability to a particular person’s being created into this world? I suppose if Charles B. Jones hadn’t been created into this world, someone would have had to invent him.

***

Two great ribbons of blood, reaching back over three generations, weave together in the person of Charles B. Jones.

Jones' great-grandfather, Isaac Milton Jones (1821-1896), was in a business with Ezekiel Daniel Stonecipher (1840-1919), the great-grandfather of Jones' mother, Margaret "Mattie" Nancy Stonecipher (1916-1965).

Curiously enough, their business had to do with bones.

Isaac married a much younger woman, Mary Jane Angel (1838-1901), in 1858. He was 37 and she was 20. They had five children.

Charles Hawthorne Jones was born in Arkansas in 1872. His father was 51 and his mother was 33. He was the youngest child in a family of five.

Isaac Jones fought in the Civil War as a Confederate. At the end of the War, he was 44 years old, he and his family moved to Yellville, Arkansas.

While on a trip to North Texas, he first encountered the buffalo herds. He had never seen anything like it. Vast herds over twenty miles wide and a hundred miles long, packed together flank to flank. He told of how he would sit upon the cliffs and watch the herds pass by on the range below for over a week - the constant bellow, stamp and stuff becoming as familiar to them as the sound of their own breathing.

When the workers laying the railroad track were forced to stop, waiting on the enormous herd to pass by, Isaac saw the bosses arrive and survey with astonishment the massive spectacle. And he could guess what was going to happen next.

The Buffalo Hunters came - not hunters actually, more just sharpshooters, fresh from the battlefield, still hot to kill. He declined to join them, even though it was - as they said - easy money.

The shooters would gather upon a cliff or hill above the riverring herds and start shooting. Fish in a barrel. You couldn't miss. As the buffalo ran, the shooters would sight the lead animal, typically a large cow, shoot her and the rest of the herd around her would come to a standstill, as if waiting to be killed. The shooters saw it as a game and worked to kill more of these great beasts than their fellows - some killing as many as 250 buffalo as day.

After they were shot, the Buffalo Skinners came down and skinned the animals of their hides, hoofs and noses. All of these had a market in which they could be sold back east. The rest of the buffalo was left to rot, food for maggots, culture, wolf, coyote and bear.

The Indians used every part of the animal. And now this colossal waste.

The Great Plains were cut with track and trains that changed the nature of time. Miles and miles of fence marked territory that no one could ever own. And great piles of whitening bones and skulls, stretching for miles in some places were all that remained of the Buffalo. That was when he met the Bone Collectors.

In long mule drawn wagon trains, they came. Collecting the bones, heaping their wagons as high as they could. Entire families, women and children, all covered in white dust. When Isaac asked what for, he was told they gave money for bones. Took a lot of bones to make good money, but there were more bones than any one man could collect in a lifetime.

A week later, Isaac was in a saloon and struck up a conversation with a man named J. J. Thompson, who worked for the Burlington Northern. He told Isaac about how the train cars went out west loaded with supplies and came back east empty. Seems a shame, said J. J., that there ain't something we can pick up in the west and fill those empty cars with to bring back east. Isaac marked this information.

A few months later, he was in Jefferson City, Texas. One afternoon in a barber shop, he happened to overhear a conversation. The man in the chair was complaining about the price of sugar. He told the barber he ought to buy as much sugar as he could right now because the price was getting ready to go up.

How's that? Asked Isaac.

Bone Black, said the man. Those rapacious processors of bone black in Chicago had raised the price of Bone Black. Why everyone knows there's more buffalo bone out there on the Plains than anyone knows what to do with. All it'd take would be...

And that was how Isaac Jones met Ezekial Stonecipher. Isaac told Zeke, as he was called, about his conversation with J. J. Thompson of the Burlington Northern Railroads, about how they could ship buffalo bones directly back to Texas for next to nothing. Zeke, who owned a series of sugarcane plantations in Louisiana and central Texas, said he knew a man in Navasota, Texas that could process the bones.

What is Bone Black? Asked Isaac.

Within a year, the operation was set up. Isaac, along with J. J. Thompson and Zeke Stonecipher formed the Central Texas Bone Transport Company (later to become the Central Cartage Company run by J. J. Thompson). Isaac also invested in Stonesipher's Empire Refined Sugar Co.

Isaac Jones died in 1896 at the age of 75. His wife, Mary Jane Angel, died in 1901 at the age of 63.

Clarence Hawthorne Jones was only 24 when his father died. He worked for Central Texas Transport under J. J. Thompson. He married Sarah Hamnet Miller. They had four children, all boys.

Hulen Milton Jones was born in Mineola, Texas in 1904. His father Clarence was 31 and his mother Sarah was 23.

Hulen attended the University of Texas at Austin, graduating in 1924. He went to UT Law school and graduated with a law degree in 1927. He began practicing law as a defense attorney in Austin. Brothers remembered him practicing in the mirror as if he was Clarence Darrow or Stephen Douglas. Hulen loved the law and the prospect of being a lawyer.

What follows are two long held family secrets...

In 1930 less than a year after his father had committed suicide, he defended a man, Nicholas DeMoss, accused of raping and killing a 10 years old girl. He knew the man was guilty and he placed his faith in the Law. He lost the case. While drinking afterwards in a local bar, DeMoss found and approached Hulen, taunting him with a knowing smile. According to witnesses, Hulen stood up and said loudly, "Swing First, you Son of a Bitch." The man did, hitting Hulen squarely in the nose, breaking it. Hulen reeled back from the blow, but kept his feet, his shirt now covered in blood. Then he said, "This is in self-defense and for the memory of Mary Jane Willows." He then hit Nicholas DeMoss so violently that fragments of his shattered nose splintered into his brain, killing him instantly. In the trail afterwords, he was acquitted as having acted in self-defense but also that he provoked the man - as a manner of entrapment. He was let go but disbarred and no longer allowed the practice law.

It is thought this experience embittered Hulen and set him against the world in many way. Combined with his father's useless death, Hulen withdrew from the world and devoted himself to his business concerns.

Clarence Jones died in 1929. He committed suicide after losing everything in the Stock Market crash. Hulen was 25 years old. The tragic irony of his father's death was that Hulen, on the advice of his father's childhood friend and his Godfather, Charles Foster Stonecipher, he had shorted the market, buying up short options on sugar futures. Hulen took ownership of three of the largest sugar cane plantations in Louisiana and Texas. He also purchased huge tracts of real estate in East Texas. All of which were rich in oil. By 1941, when the United States entered the war, Hulen was a wealthy man.

Hulen had known Mattie Stonecipher all of his life.

He reluctantly agreed to attend a Christmas Dance.

But until he happened to dance with her at the Adolphus Hotel in Dallas at the Christmas Ball in 1941, he had never thought of her in a romantic way. Hulen said his eyes were suddenly opened and he fell in love at first dance. He was 37. She was 25.

Evidently, there was some concern over their age difference. His mother, Sarah Hamnet Miller (1881-1984) was 60 at the time and who would live another remarkable 43 years. Sarah Miller was a matriarch of the family and initially disapproved.

Hulen and Mattie were married in December of 1944, on the anniversary of the dance where they "first saw each other new." Significantly, nine months later, Charles B. Jones was born.

Hulen had purchased 10 acres of wooded land near Little Hope, Texas in 1940 and in January of 1941 construction began on the large two-storied house that would become known as Inwood. The construction of the house was detailed and intricate, with a great many architectural anomalies insisted on by Hulen. It took almost two years to complete construction on Inwood. Hulen and Mattie moved in January of 1944.

Peter Guddstream lived just down the road from Little Hope in a small cottage with his daughter, Delia. His wife had died giving birth. Guddstream operated a Mill nearby on Soggol Creek, offered his services to plane timber and handcarve many of the ornate wooden adornments of Inwood. He and Hulen became good friends.


In 1945, a small house was built on the property for Mattie's aging father, Charles Foster Stonecipher, who was 65 and a widower. His wife, Liza Avery Bates (born in 1881) died in 1930, at the age of 49. This broke her father's heart.

Charles B. Jones was born at the Inwood House on 6 August 1945. His father, Hulen, was 41. His mother, Mattie, was 28.

In 1948, Lenora "Nora" Shannon Jones was born on April 11th - also at the Inwood House.

In the summer of 1950, Hulen and Guddstream, along with a dozen prominent businessmen from Dallas, M.E. Moses (Moses 5 & 10 Store), Jack Sharp (Sharp's Hardware, Earl Wyatt (Wyatt's Cafeteria), Philip Kroeger (Kroeger's Grocery Store), Tom "Skinny" Eliot (Eliot's Books and Stationary), Roy Cowan (Cowan's Gallery), Roy O'Connor (O'Connor's Sporting Goods) and others formed a corporation, Guddstream Hunting and Fishing Club. They purchased Peter Guddstream's 20 acres and another 1000 acres surrounding his land - most of the land was uninhabited old-growth impenetrable forest. They constructed a dam west of Guddstream's Mill pond where the land naturally sloped down through a narrow gulley. And another smaller dam above the mill. There were dozens of natural springs in the area. The dams were completed in the fall of 1951 and over the next few months, the Guddstream Lakes were formed. The Big Lake spreading out over 250 acres and the Little Lake kept to just over 50 acres. Cabins and a guesthouse were built with native pine. Soft asphalt road were laid down. A boathouse was built with a bait house and mechanics shopAn Ice House and large BBQ pit. A large kitchen and dining hall. On New Year's Eve all celebrated the success of the Guddstream Lake and Hunting Club, drinking and playing cards until dawn, crawling back to their cabins.

Sarah Hamnet Miller is the source for much of this genealogy and stories about Charles Jones' early life.

Story of Sarah Hamnet Miller. Jones visited her often in Grapevine when he was older. 

Sarah had four children, all boys, and one of them, Baldrige, had the foresight to interview her in the late 1970's. These tapes were among the possessions Jones' bequeathed to me at this death.




Birth and First Memory

There is little verifiable information about Jones' early years. His father was a guarded and private man who had a healthy suspicion with regard to public documents and information. Indeed, one of the principal reasons for his moving to LIttle Hope was to establish and raise his family in the isolated and remote country where the best neighbors were those who knew when to mind their own business. There has been some speculation that Hulen Jones was hiding or running away from a criminal history. But there is no evidence of this. He was simply that sort of man who wished to live alone and according to his own dictates, to ask little or nothing from the government and the community around him - except for privacy. This is not to say the Jones' we're not sociable. They were well known and well respected in the surrounding towns of East Texas, in the businesses they frequented. And while there was talk - because there is always talk in East Texas - as long as they caused no trouble, people mostly let them be.

***

Charles B. Jones was born at 10:13 a.m. on 6 August 1945 in LIttle Hope Texas. This was about two hours after the bomb had been dropped on Hiroshima. Jones calculated at least 75,000 vaporized while he was emerging into this world. And over 200,000 souls were screaming in excruciating pain as he cried upside down in the doctor’s hands.

His mother was Margaret "Maggie" Nancy Stonecipher (1916 to 1965). She was 28 years old when she gave birth to her first child, Charles.

His father was Hulen Melville Jones (1904 to 1967). He was 41 years old when Charles was born.

It was his father who named the child and filled out the birth certificate, who added the enigmatic "B." in the space provided for a middle name. When asked in later years what this B. stood for, he would become tight-lipped - as if amused by his own private joke - and say, "It stands for B." Once when Charles was older and teasingly asked again about the letter, he father told him: "Go ask B. Travel what his B. stood for."

At the library in Quitman the next day Charles discovered B. Traven was the pseudonym of a mysterious German author who lived in Mexico, known best for having written The Deathship and, most famously, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. There was no indication of the what the B. stood for in his name either. And the mystery - if it could be said to be a mystery - remained so.

It is worth noting the tendency of men in the Jones family to be given names of well-known literary figures. HIs father's middle name was Melviell. His father had two brothers: Terrence Irving Jones - after Washington Irving - and Mitchell Longfellow Jones - after Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. His grandfather was named Clarence Hawthorne Jones. His great grandfather was Isaac Milton Jones. So while the singular initial is strange, it is not unusual if it is indeed referring to the author B. Traven.

Jones was born at home in the great Georgian style plantation house that everyone called, Inwood. According to his grandfather, Charles Foster Stonecipher, his namesake and who was present at the birth, Jones had a twin - of sorts. All that had formed of this unfortunate twin was a sort skeleton bound together by strands of translucent plasma - as if the web of flesh had been unable to fully form. When Charles emerged from his mother's womb, he was inter-tangled in a clutching embrace with this skeleton twin. Neither the Doctor, actually a veterinarian named Homer Callaway, not the mid-wife, Miss Donnie, had ever seen or heard of anything like it.

The birth was otherwise uncomplicated. But when Dr. Callaway attempted to cut the infant Charles apart from his skeletal twin, he began to convulse and cry to such an alarming extent that Miss Donnie intervened and suggested they wait a while before separating the two of them.

His mother Maggie laid Charles and the skeleton upon her breast, side by side, and couldn't help but cry as Charles drank deeply from his mother's milk.

Thus for the first day of his existence, Jones was left embracing a proclaiming skeleton twin. It is remarkable - considering the paths he later took in his life - how from the very first, he was in an intimate relationship with the bone and death.

The next day, Dr. Callaway returned to discover Charles had extricated himself from the skeletal matrix of this unformed creature which now lay abandoned in the crib, resembling nothing so much as a pile of pale twigs and spider's webbing.

Maggie asked the doctor, if he could, to purchase a small pine box to place the remains in. The doctor assured her he would. He asked her, awkwardly, if there was any name she would like to have inscribed upon the box. She told him to write the name, Nicodemos.

On his first birthday, on a quiet Sunday morning, Hulen drove Mattie and baby Charles over to the Old Indian Graveyard near Peter Gudstream’s Mill. There he dug a shallow grave, uncovering a few fragments of ancient bone in the process. He placed the box holding the skeletal remains of Nicodemus, said a few words, and covered it over with the sandy dirt. He took three fragments of broken bone and arranged then to form the letter N on the grave. It was perhaps an unnecessary gesture but he knew it was important to his wife. Mattie set the baby down next to the grave. Charles crawled to the bone fragments and scattered then playfully. So be it, said Hulen. He lifted his son up and cradled him in one string arm, reached for his wife’s hand and they walked together over the pine needles and oak leaves back to the truck.

From under a nearby holly bush, six-year old Delia Gudstream saw everything. She waited until she was sure the people had left the woods, listening for the cough and rumble of their truck drive off. Then she dug up the box, looked inside, laughed happily, closed the box, covered the grave and took it back with her to the Mill.


***

For the rest of this life, Jones claimed this as the first thing he could remember. [REWORK]

But he wasn’t certain. Because every year his mother told again the story of his birth and his embrace with his skeletal twin. Perhaps she told this as means of talking it away, as if it were not that unusual snd strange and after telling it for years, it might become an amusing family anecdote. But this never seemed to happen and her nervousness and anxiety increased every year with her compulsive need to tell it again. Like a ghost that has to always tell the story of its dearth.

When he was five years old, precocious as ever, he asked his mother why she kept the skeleton twin’s remains - he never used the name Nicodemus. She said she had developed a superstition about after the birth - encouraged and amplified by Donnie May - that there was a spiritual bond, an ethereal connection between Nicodemus and him. She worried that if she were to bury the remains before the first year, that he might start wasting away from some unknown and incurable is malady. After the first year, seeing how healthy and what a brilliant mind he had, she dismissed her doubts and superstitious. And asked Hulen to find a sacred and quiet place in the woods to bury it.

He asked his father for his thoughts on the twin. Hulen didn’t directly answer. He became quiet, studying his hand as if it were a new development on his arm. Before we buried your brother, there were nights when I was overcome with an uncanny urge to take the box down from the bookshelf where I kept it. I’d pour myself a drink to steady my nerves. Then I’d open up the box. What was strange was how those tiny bones and little skull seemed to have undergone some petrification. I’d gently lift one of the little leg bones and it felt as if I held a piece of stone or carved ivory. There was a shine to those bones. And that little skull - resembling nothing so much as that of a little monkey - was like an opaque jewel, heavy and with a luminosity at its depth. And I swear to you son, as time passed on, those bones and that skull only seemed to become denser and more luminous. It was remarkable and frightening. Many mornings I laughed at my fears and doubts from the night before only to find them more substantial in the sober light of day.

I was relieved to finally bury that box, to be done with it and move on with our lives. I like to think you got all of what was good and beautiful and your twin had all of what was bad and ugly. Such divisions are often noted in twins.

Charles looked at him oddly, said: “you said, bad, but did not say evil.”

Hulen nodded. “I wouldn’t like to imagine your mother and I could bring something evil into this world, son. And now that I consider it, I wouldn’t say bad even. More odd. What Freud called, uncanny.”

Charles repeated the word slowly, the tender etymological tendrils of his intellect taking it apart. “Un-can-ny.”

Then, he said, “Freud?”

“Sigmund Freud. Viennese writer and father of psychoanalysis.”

Charles took this in. “Will you show me the book where he remarks upon the uncanny?”

***

Delilah kept the Nicodemus Box under her bed, enthralled by their forbidden mystery.

One day Charles tells her the story. Wants to dig around in the Indian Graveyard to see if they could find the box.

You don’t have to, replied Delilah. And she told him of how she watched the burial ceremony and dig up the box.

Charles eyes were wide as full moons.

You have it?

She nodded shyly, worried about his reaction. She removed the box from underneath her bed and slid it over to him.

He opened it. His face seemed underlit by the faint blue glow of the bones. He reached into caress them, lifting the tiny dense skull up and holding it close to his face, peering into its empty sockets, Charles was crying. Then he was laughing. He placed the skull back in the box and for the first time - but not the last - he said to her: Delilah Gudstream, I love you.

Delilah turned a shade of hot pink and grabbed his head and kissed him deeply on the mouth. It was his first I love you to a girl and his first kiss.

For the rest of his life, Jones kept the skull close by. He has few permanent possessions, but the skull was always one of them.

He lost it in his first trip to the Monastery. Said a man tricked him and took it out of his pack. The man’s name was Demos.



Inwood


Description

Buffalo skulls and bones around the outside. Legacy




EARLY EDUCATION


When Charles Jones was just over three years old, his father began to read the Iliad to him. When Mattie complained, Hulen exclaimed, You're never to young to listen to Homer.

Then, adopting his most eloquent and lawyerly voice, he would recite:

Rage rage rage. Listen son, the very first word in the very first book of Western LIterature. Everything else follows from this word, Rage. Goddess, sing sing sing the rage rage rage of Achilles, Peleus' son, murderous, doomed, fate haunted, hunted, harrowed Achilles, bringing down the House of Death upon so many souls, O this Rage that transformed great warriors into food for maggots and raptors, dogs and wolves and worms.

Hulen! interrupted Mattie. What is that horrible translation you are reading?

Sheepish, Hulen answered, it is my own, my love, for my own sweet child, that he might see through the blinds of the words and translations, back through into the bloody battlefield itself, Achilles breathing rage.

Hulen, my god, the child is barely three years on this earth.

Never too soon for Homer, replied Hulen again, never too young for the Iliad.

He later marked his intellectual development as such

Iliad - Self-excellence Idea of arete - Achilles 

Walden - solitude and higher laws

Varieties of Religious Experience- pain threshold

Began at an early age to practice austerities. Asceticism verging on masochism.

His father modeled his son’s education on the Great Books program recently adopted by of St Johns College in Annapolis. (1937)

His father spared no expense, bringing in professors from Universities around the region to teach his son. They’d live in the Kane cottage once built for Mattie’s father, Charles Foster. While a particular scholar was in residence, the educational curriculum would center around his specialties.

He was could read Ancient Greek and Latin by age 5. He read The Iliad and The Odyssey in the original bu age 6.

His father believed in the Loom of Language, putting into practice the linguistic theories of Emile B. De Sauzé.

Artists, poets and writers were invited to Inwood at Little Hope as a six week retreat in exchange for speaking conversationally with young Charles in their native language. If any person was ever caught “talking down” to Charies, they were given a warming. If it was repeated, they were dismissed.

It was different for many of these eminent thinkers and avant- garden artists to believe a 6 year old child was capable of comprehending their work, their ideas and theories. But capable he was..

Examples...

***

There was a great explosion of influence and intellectual capacity that happened to Charles at age 7.

He had been given a copy of Moby-Dick by his uncle, Woodrow. He immediately dove deep in. When he got this passage in Chapter 36, The Quarter-deck:

“Hark ye yet again, - the little lower layer. All visible objects, man, are but as pasteboard masks. But in each event - in the living act, the undoubted deed - there, some unknown but still reasoning thing puts forth the mouldings of its features from behind the unreasoning mask. If man will strike, strike through the mask! How can the prisoner reach outside except by thrusting through the wall? To me, the white whale is that wall, shoved near to me. Sometimes I think there's naught beyond.”

Jones told me it was if a secret voice were suddenly speaking directly to him. Narrating the novel and commenting in a mysterious pre-linguistic mode. He marked this as his having become aware of his daemon. The Other. And from that moment, the daemon never left him. It took habitation within him, helping to shape his nascent identity and guide his thought. He was no more the passive sponge soaking up any thought or work he was placed within. Now he had an intention, now it was a matter of willful exploration. Strike through the mask indeed!

***

Fish Kin - Invented Language

***

The Daemon / Nick

Mattie’s questions

Socrates

After incident Daemon goes quiet

Throughout Steiner College years

Wakes up in Oxford... causes problems

Tells Jones to go to Monastery in New Mexico



 Book of Nicodemus

What part of the Jonesiad is this?

After biography?

At the end?

Mystery of fugitive gods

Why?

As ants are to us, we are to these creatures

Imagine a lifespan of thousands of years

Shaw’s back to methuselah

The “morality” of one who lived so long is analogous to the James pain threshold question- it IS the question



Gudstream


Peter Guddstream lived just down the road from Little Hope in a small cottage with his daughter, Delia. His wife, Trudy (Gertrude), had died giving birth in 1940. Guddstream operated a Mill nearby on Soggol Creek, offered his services to plane timber and handcarve many of the ornate wooden adornments of Inwood. He and Hulen became good friends.

Sogol Creek - So Gol

In the summer of 1950, Hulen and Guddstream, along with a dozen prominent businessmen from Dallas, M.E. Moses (Moses 5 & 10 Store), Jack Sharp (Sharp's Hardware, Earl Wyatt (Wyatt's Cafeteria), Philip Kroeger (Kroeger's Grocery Store), Tom "Skinny" Eliot (Eliot's Books and Stationary), Roy Cowan (Cowan's Gallery), Roy O'Connor (O'Connor's Sporting Goods) [ dr pepper] and others formed a corporation, Guddstream Hunting and Fishing Club. They purchased Peter Guddstream's 20 acres and another 1000 acres surrounding his land - most of the land was uninhabited old-growth impenetrable forest. They constructed a dam west of Guddstream's Mill pond where the land naturally sloped down through a narrow gulley. And another smaller dam above the mill. There were dozens of natural springs in the area. The dams were completed in the fall of 1951 and over the next few months, the Guddstream Lakes were formed. The Big Lake spreading out over 250 acres and the Little Lake kept to just over 50 acres. Cabins and a guesthouse were built with native pine. Soft asphalt road were laid down. A boathouse was built with a bait house and mechanics shopAn Ice House and large BBQ pit. A large kitchen and dining hall. On New Year's Eve of 1951 all celebrated the success of the Guddstream Lake and Hunting Club, drinking and playing cards until dawn, crawling back to their cabins.

Peter Guddstream (b. 1899) died on New Years Day of 1955. His daughter, Delilah (b. 1940) - the Miller's Daughter - continued to live in the Mill until 1962, when she committed suicide. Rumor was she had always been in love with Jones. It was after he told her he was going to take the Scholarship to attend Oxford that she killed herself. The Mill is still there - though in ruins. Rumor is that is it haunted - although that it's probably the more to keep the curious from entering and getting hurt.

The Millstone.

The Guddstreams are all buried at the lake - just off the point of land before you enter into the Mill Pond. Local legend has it that when Guddstream first settled the land, he discovered the ruins of an old Indian cemetery there and designated it to be the burial place for he and his wife - of course never imagining his daughter would end up there also. This three gravestones, white against the brown carpet of pine needles, can still be seen. If you walk around the lake - the path is long overgrown - around the graves you can find dozens of arrowheads and stone trinkets - giving credence to the history of this place as an old Indian burial ground.

***

Training with the rod and reel
Charles showed him how to fish with a pole and sinker.
Shakespeare rod and reel
Shakespeare’s book of fishing
Everything I know about fishing equals a book with blank pages.

***

Learning to fish

Hulen - Shakespeare - rod and reel - how to fish book

Charles Carver - Bassho - pole, line, floater, sinker, hook



Delilah Gudstream

Shirley Temple with Bowie Knife.

In a white dress, translucent from the water, curls dripping, her child’s body on the cusp of womanhood, she was casually holding a full-sized Bowie knife dripping with bright red blood in her right hand, the knife like a sword against her, and the graceful S- shaped curve of a severed swan’s head in her left hand. When she was introduced to Jones, she made a flamboyant curtsy. She raised the Swans head towards him and said, Well this mother fucker ain’t gone eat no more swam babies in this life.

Her father had long since abandoned hope of controlling her in any way but gave a half-hearted, Delilah.

Hulen looked away and shook his head, noted the his son couldn’t take his eyes off her, thought uh, oh. This one’s gonna hurt you, son.

Little did he know it would be the other way around.

Jones had never seen anything like Delilah Gudstream and he was overwhelmed into silence. He didn’t know what she was and he didn’t care, all he knew was he wanted to know her better. He was five years old. She was ten.

Spending time at the Lake with Delilah

Early memory on a barge - catching a turtle - delilah delighted - thinking its a big fish - hulen cuts off its head - hindu cosmology - turtles all the way down - streamers of blood billowing in the fractionated light of the lake water 



Mystery of the Mill

The Miller’s Daughter

Hulen teases Charles

Your grandfather married a millers daughter

The millstone

Language

Breaking apart the husk
The seed
The chaff

Flour mill

Sugar mill

Saw mill




 Lenora “Nora” Shannon Jones

Born 11 April 1948. Jones was three. If there was ever any doubt about the goodness and beauty of the progeny of Hulen and Mattie, it was immediately snd undoubtedly dispelled by the birth of Nora. She was a beautiful, angelic child.

Donnie May said probably ever say she looked down on Nora in the crib, that child is the very picture of a beautiful baby. I’ve never seen a more beautiful child. Why her face is the face of an angel. When I look at her, I think if heaven.

Jones adored his sister. And took it upon himself to look out after her to the point of distraction.



Sex

He and Delilah started having sex before Jones could even ejaculate - which delighted Delilah because they could fuck and not worry about her getting pregnant. And the fucked like bunnies.

She showed him everything. She was curious about his orgasms since nothing came out.

He told her about the friend of mr Wyatt’s who had filled up a row of crystal glasses on New Year’s Eve with different levels of water, then using his finger, he caressed the rim of the glasses to make them sing. He played a mournful auld Lang syne. After jones went up and asked how he made the glasses sing. The man took Jones finger, dipped it in water, and told him to trace the rim of the glass slowly and lightly. Jones did as instructed and was surprised at the resonant time that rose out of the crystal. It reminded him of what it was like when Delilah made him cum: It was beautiful and filled his body, as if his bones were being caressed and made to sing.


***

Hulen Converned.

Charies is nine years old. 1954.

As Delilah drew Charles deeper into the world of desire, his interest in his studies began to decline.

One night, after dinner, Hulen asked him into his office. After some uncomfortable small talk, he recounted the story of Adam and Eve as a cautionary tale directed at the negative influence Delilah was having upon his son.

Charies was smiling throughout and finally could hold it back no longer: he laughed in Hulen’s face. Hulen became enraged.

Charles said he had always been encouraged to think for himself and to not access outright any philosophy or morality based on the criteria of the herd. Just because everyone around him believed something to be true did not necessarily make it true. You taught me this when I was six. And now when you have come up against a force you do not understand, you trot out this ancient moral fable of the herd to chastise me?

The beauty of innocent pure and unconditional sex was that it was beyond good and evil. Here was Charies understanding of what Nietzsche actually meant with his ideas if master and suave and will to power. Morality was the futile attempt to limit the will to power, to tame the over abundance, to catch the lightning in a jar.

Hulen, for all of his progressive ideas and intellectual openness, was remarkably conservative in his views regarding sexuality. His nature was that of the Hermit or the Monk. Sex had never been a dominant force in his life. His understanding of it was shallow.

This marked the first occasion Charies discovered his father wasn’t all knowing and possessed faults of his own. This is not to say Delilah wasn’t using sex as a weapon in order to control Charles.

But she had always used sex as a tool to get what she wanted. There was no shame to sex for her. If anything, she and Chatles were in a pre-Edenic state of sexual grace. Charies was aware Delilah has sex with other boys and men. For her, it was like exercise, a healthy celebration of the body’s capacities for pleasure, the pursuit of ecstasy. There was no possession to it, no ownership, no jealousy. There was plenty. She loved this word and would often whisper it in Charies’ ear when he was desperate to reach orgasm, rushing or hurrying the pleasure. Slow easy, she would whisper to him, licking his ear, her tongue licking the pink pleasure centers of his brain, there’s plenty, drawing out the word: plenty. And, indeed, there was.

If there was any snake in their world, it was Hulen, who was trying to make them feel shame.

But there were other snakes also. Delilah’s promiscuity was notorious. And some of the boys and men wanted her exclusively, became angry and hurt that Delilah rejected their pledges of love and offers of marriage. Not only rejected, but laughed at their foolishness. At how they would storm off rejected, but soon returned with more than a tail between their legs.

There was also the narrow, small town judgement of the community. She was known as a whore, although she never took a dime or any gift. Some said she was sick, a nymphomaniac. Others claimed her ways were against god. Delilah knew what they said and thought behind her back. She didn’t care. As long as she had her unconditional father’s love, the mystery of the mill and Charles Jones, she was happy.

When Peter Gudstream died unexpectedly in New Years Day of 1955, this balanced equation of Edenic innocence no longer functioned. Delilah had lost that unconditional strength of her father. After, she became as a ship without anchor. Sex became a hunger that never satisfied, never fulfilled. Where’s before it was a celebration of ecstasy, a holy thing, aligned with the fiery poetry of William Blake, now it became desperate and parasitical, an addiction, a hunger that had to be satisfied. But it was trying to catch the dragon, now plenty was never enough and the hunger hollowed her out of everything, of humor and laughter and simple daily joys, delight in the lotus and the mystery of the mill, the hunger displaced all of these, turned then all black in service of its raw need. A need never satisfied, a need only enflamed by plenty.

***

Hulen suspected one of Delilah’s jealous suitors was responsible for abducting Charles. But the horror of the act in full went so far beyond even the most extreme jealousy. It was of a different order of evil.


***

Before the incident, Charies didn’t ejaculate with orgasm. After, he did.

Delilah loved to suck his cock. While he was recovering - still silent and not speaking? - she thought to cheer him up by giving him a blow job. To her surprise, he came in her mouth. She drank it down and then kissed him, letting the remainder flow into his mouth. It was Charies’ first taste of cum. And it made him laugh and hungry for more.

Her fingertip circling the crystal rim of his mind... the glass singing, filling up with cum, something from nothing. Mystery.

It was the finale marker of the end of innocent sex between the two.



Pain Threshold


“Recent psychology has found great use for the word “threshold” as a symbolic designation for the point at which one state of mind passes into another. Thus we speak of the threshold of a man’s consciousness in general, to indicate the amount of noise, pressure, or other outer stimulus which it takes to arouse his attention at all. One with a high threshold will doze through an amount of racket by which one with a low threshold would be immediately waked. Similarly, when one is sensitive to small differences in any order of sensation, we say he has a low “difference — threshold”— his mind easily steps over it into the consciousness of the differences in question. And just so we might speak of a “pain-threshold,” a “fear-threshold,” a “misery-threshold,” and find it quickly overpassed by the consciousness of some individuals, but lying too high in others to be often reached by their consciousness. The sanguine and healthy-minded live habitually on the sunny side of their misery-line, the depressed and melancholy live beyond it, in darkness and apprehension. There are men who seem to have started in life with a bottle or two of champagne inscribed to their credit; whilst others seem to have been born close to the pain-threshold, which the slightest irritants fatally send them over.

“Does it not appear as if one who lived more habitually on one side of the pain-threshold might need a different sort of religion from one who habitually lived on the other? This question, of the relativity of different types of religion to different types of need, arises naturally at this point, and will became a serious problem ere we have done. But before we confront it in general terms, we must address ourselves to the unpleasant task of hearing what the sick souls, as we may call them in contrast to the healthy-minded, have to say of the secrets of their prison-house, their own peculiar form of consciousness. Let us then resolutely turn our backs on the once-born and their sky-blue optimistic gospel; let us not simply cry out, in spite of all appearances, “Hurrah for the Universe! — God’s in his Heaven, all’s right with the world.” Let us see rather whether pity, pain, and fear, and the sentiment of human helplessness may not open a profounder view and put into our hands a more complicated key to the meaning of the situation.” Varieties of Religious Experience, Lecture 6, The Sick Soul

Wasps

Antbed

Had Delilah torture him.
The paradox: you knew it would end

Chinese Water Torture.

Their innocent sexuality became laced with extremes of pleasure and pain. Not just physical, but psychological and emotional.

Developed the zen ambush where they would prank each other in terrible ways.

Ramakrishna - weakness into strength

Stoicism

Cynicism

Watching yourself from afar

Jones developed capacity to recontextualize horror into beauty. Born out of his early exposure to James, Seneca and stoic and Hindu Buddhist teaching - dhammapada, Upanishad, Gita

Deep into this in 1955 just before incident



The Woman Skinned Alive



She was covered in the salve

Later same mysterious salve covering Charies


Sometime after the first if the year 1955, Jones read The Varieties of Religious Experience by William Janes. He has recently expressed interest in religion and theology and his father had given it to him as a Christmas gift.

Jones was taken with the chapter on The Sick Soul and the idea of The Pain Threshold.

Along the Varieties, he was was also given Heese’s Siddhartha, The Way of the Pilgrim, the Upanishads, The Gita, The Dhammapada.... more here

He began practicing austerities, sleeping on the bare floor, denying himself food and water. He wanted to emulate the Buddha and devote himself to an ascetic life.

Humor here. Salinger.

Hulen brought in Benedictine Monks, Buddhist and Tibetan Monks, Eastern Orthodox Priests, Hindu Saddhus and so on. Each spent many hours in conversation, walking, meditating, contemplating, etc with Jones.

He began to experiment with extreme forms of pain and pleasure.

Delilah....



On April 2 of 1955, Betty Lou Mandell was reported missing.

Betty Lou was a much admired English Teacher at Mineola High School. A tall statuesque blonde, she was said to have been the most beautiful woman in East Texas. A lifetime of fending off the advances of fawning admirers and ape like louts had sharpened a cutting intelligence and cultivated a fierce independence. She suffered no fools and was more than capable of taking care of herself.

The 1st was a Friday and she didn’t show up for her classes. The students joked it was an April Fool’s prank. But after calling her on the phone a getting no answer, Philip Quist, the principal, and Coleen Reynolds, a fellow teacher, drove over to her apartment to check on her.

The door to the apartment was open. There were no signs of struggle. Two lamps were turned on, as was the light in the bathroom m. Miss Reynolds discovered that the oven was on and an unbaked casserole sat room temperature on the counter.

Mr. Quist called the police. After hearing Quist and Reynolds concerns and discoveries, searching thoroughly through the apartment, finding Betty Lou’s purse with her wallet containing $43 dollars, Sheriff William Lawrence concluded she had been abducted.

Over weekend, the sheriff and two deputies interviewed and investigated almost everyone in town. It was the lead story on the local news snd was a headline in all the papers, including the Dallas Times Herald and the Morning News. They all ran the same photograph of Betty Lou which emphasized her physical assists. There was an unmistakable salacious undertone to much of the coverage.

Search parties combed through the nearby woods and fields. Several local businesses offered a $500 reward for any information.

On April 10, Easter Sunday, she was discovered by a priest in the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception in Tyler. She was alive, completely naked, on her knees, shaking and crying beneath the crucifix to the right of the altar. She would not remove her gaze from Christ’s face looking down on her from the cross. It was as if she were in a religious ecstasy. She was unresponsive to any questions, refusing to make eye contact, holding her eyes on the Christ. And most troubling, she was laughing. Indeed her tears seemed more from joy than from pain.

When they tried to over her up with a blanket, she shook it angrily off. Tears fell continuously from her eyes. When they tried to lay her on a stretcher to take her to the hospital, she fought, biting and scratching anyone who came near her. But with laughter like a child fending off the harmless aggressions of a brother.

There were wounds and sutures stretching across her body, running down her legs and arms, circling her face, her eyes and mouth, around her breasts and down her spine. Tight black stitches zippered along all the cuts and she was coated in a greasy salve that smelled of myrrh, frankincense and aloe.

It was only after a doctor sedated her, that they could remove her to the hospital.

As they lay her on the stretcher, the Doctor, Peter Wells, examined her cuts and sutures, took a sample of the pungent ointment that covered her. He noted the slackness of the skin around the wrists and ankles.

Sheriff Lawrence asked him what he thought had happened.

The Doctor said, as much as I don’t want to believe it, It appears this woman’s skin was removed entirely, then replaced and stitched back upon her.

***

Mrs Mandell has come out to Inwood to tutor Charles in grammar. She had been told he was a home schooled, highly intelligent nine-year old boy who needed assistance with some issues relating to grammars. She knew the Joneses by local reputation and prepared herself for a spoiled little brat.

Instead, she found a quiet and courteous child with an intellect far beyond his years. He was already familiar with the elements of grammar, outstripping her knowledge in some areas. But it wasn’t the fundamentals of grammar that he wished to discuss with her.

He had been reading Nietzsche and came across his statement that “he feared as long as we still have grammar, we still have god.” Charies wanted to know her thoughts on this matter.

They spent an entirely pleasant afternoon deep in lively discussion concerning this idea. She and Charles hit it off, each enjoying the other’s intellect immensely. She returned the following week to continue the discussion after each had a few more days to collect their thoughts and reflect on points already made.

On that second weekend in March, they conversation veered off topic, Charles asked her what she thought about the William James quote. Then he said that via Heidegger, he had recently discovered the poetry of Georg Trakl. Read it in German, impossible to render into English.

Asked her what she thought of the line, pain has turned the threshold to stone.

The discussion took them both deep and down to touch bottom. Mattie invited Miss Mandell to dinner.

Wonderful dinner and conversation. She felt as if she had known Charles and the Jones family for years.

***

Charles witnessed the skinning of Betty Lou Mandell.

Walking in woods, heard laughter, hid behind tree. Watched as a man beckoned Betty Joe, naked, to him.

Charles felt himself get hard.

Then she begged the man to remove her skin... pure sex.. expertly cutting her skin away as she experienced wave after wave of orgasmic ecstasy

The man did. She stood there flayed

The man fucked her. He was huge.

Betty Jo’s eyes rolling locked in his. She saw him, licked her lipless teeth...

Charles spontaneously ejaculated. A little sigh. He looked down as the first semen he had ever made oozed out

When he looked up, the man was staring at him, still fucking Betty Jo.

Charles ran.

He told no one. Not even Delilah.

***

It was three days before she could or would talk. Sheriff and townspeople were fearful and riled up to catch the monster.
When once again questioned by the Sheriff, the first words she spoke was, angel.

Angel? Asked the sheriff. A man named angel?

No it was an angel, a dark angel.

A black man?

Not a man.

More here

***

Writing on the inside of her skin.
Tattoos
Inside
Showing up as deepbruises scares outside
Another language
Some sort of prayer
Rectum and bowrls full of a semen like substance...
Vaginal and rectal tearing consistent with repeated rape and penetration with a large object

Hulen did what he could to keep these graphic details from the media, but they were soon public knowledge.

Suspicion fell upon every unmarried black man in East Texas and many poor white trash workers. Vigilante groups swore to find and torture ten times over the son of a bitch who committed these atrocities upon such a beautiful white woman. The dark serpent in the East Texas psyche reared its ugly head. Venomous.

***

Charles came to visit. She took his hand. He wanted to apologize, to beg forgiveness.

She smiled, tears falling. Held his hand.

It’s all right. I’m a better person. It was all for you.

You need to watch out.

I will.

It’s ok, Charles.

I know.

Charles got up to leave.

Charles, she said, his name is Demos.

Charles held her gaze. Nodded. Left.

***

Reporters, journalists, tv crews and curiosity seekers, creeps and freaks descend upon Mineola. All wanting photos of the gruesome injuries to the voluptuous teacher.

Sheriff Lawrence and Hulen secreted Betty Jo out of town to a sanitarium in Tyler.

Betty Jo given an annual income for the rest of her life by Hulen and other businessmen.

Hulen also opened the fours for her to obtain a teaching position at the newly opened Steiner College in Palestine. She took in a pseudonym ( not reveled to protect her privacy- she spoke with me - see sources)

She initially taught English. But took German taught be Jewish scholars and became completely fluent. She began translating, another pseudonym, German poets such as Rilke and Trakl. Her translations and critical essays showed a penetrating insight into these poets, especially Trakl and are bestsellers.

She underwent a difficult and dangerous sex change / gender reassignment surgery in 1971.

Radical mastectomy, complete hysterectomy. She took hormones and began to lift weights. She and Jones enjoyed going to gym. But she soon surpassed him, competing in a fed amateur bodybuilding competitions.

Jones and her / him remained close friends and saw each other at least once a month.


Bone Carver


July 4th, 1955

Jones is nine years old.

At Gudstream Lake.

Nora and Delilah off playing together. What?

Hulen and Peter up at Little Lake

Jones left under the watch of the caretaker, a black man, Charies Carver.

Jones is drawn back that bend on Sogol Creek, where he saw the man, Demos, remove Betty Jo Mandell’s skin.

He tells Charles Carver he is going to walk around the lake to the Mill Pond to see what Nora and Delilah are doing.

Carver offers to drive him in the pickup. Jones says he’d like to walk. It helps him sort his thoughts.

Above the Mill Pond, Jones follows Sogol Creek to the Little Lake. He can see his father’s truck parked next to the boathouse. He imagined Hulen and Peter are inside.

He continues north along a deer path that follows the shore. There is a marshy area and a duck blind. He skirts the swampy marsh and finds the creek again. There is a worn path that runs alongside the creek then cuts up the back into the woods. The creek has a lazy bend here, cutting a ten four cliff out of the earth. There are two large elms with exposed root cages. From behind the first elm, he saw down to the stony bank where Betty Jo and the Man did their bone dance.

Jones sits still. Waiting for what he knew not. 

Then, he heard a whistling from deeper in the woods, further down the creek.

[Crazy Leg Johnson house.

Bone Carver - Demos Later more ]

He told the police he was searching for Nora and Delilah.

About what happened to him over the next 10 days, he would not speak.

[it was only as he was dying that he told me the truth,,, ]

He was found..

***

For two years he refused to leave Inwood.

Then his daemon, Nicholas, returned.

I was reading Plato, phaedrus, and I heard this familiar voice in my head. And I knew I was back.

***

Begins Count of Monte Cristo novel - unfinished

The count is imprisoned by another part of his mind - Frankenstein’s Castle - right brain left brain - count is right brain seeking to enact revenge on the left

***

Early one morning, Skinny Eliot takes boat out to fish. Before sun-up. Set a trot line the night before.

Fog rising off the water. As he’s crossing the lake, running a trolling motor so as not to disturb any sleepers, he sees something floating in the middle of the lake.

It appears to me a raft. As he gets closer, what he is actually looking at resolves out of the fog. It is the missing Jones boy. He’s hanging from a cruciform mast rising up from a raft of bones. There is an enormous hook protruding from his chest, upon which his limp body depends, hangs like bait raised out of the water.

Skinny Eliot cuts the trolling motor. He grabs hold of the raft, noting it is composed entirely of large white bones. He tries to not think about this. He studies the impaled figure of the nine years old Charles Jones. He almost hopes the boy is dead rather than suffer such pain.

The raft of bones bumps against his boat. Skinny calls out quietly, Charles. And the boy opens his weary eyes and smiles a beautiful smile.

Hold on, boy, hold on. We’re gonna get you off of this. I’m gonna tow you back to the boathouse.

Skinny Eliot tied his anchor rope to the large raft, now seeing the skulls, animal and human.

He pulled the rope of his big motor. Always finicky about starting, it caught on the second pull.

He towed Charles slowly back to the boathouse, yelling as loud as he could. In a strange moment of reflection, he heard his strained and high voice and thought he sounded very much like a loon crying out for its mate.

He saw lights come on in the cabins. Georgia Cowan was standing out on the pier in her bathrobe.

My god, Skinny, what the hell is wrong with you. Then she saw the boy and the raft pull out of the fog. Her face showed horror and shock.

It’s the boy, said Skinny.

O my Lord, is he alive?

He’s alive, said Skinny.

Run call the hospital police, Georgia. He’s in a bad way. Call the doctor, Georgia! Go on.

As the boat drew closer, Georgia saw the bones and skulls, saw the heavy black barb rising from out of Jones’ chest.

She wanted to scream. O my lord! O my lord! 

Go on and get help, Georgia. Now! Hurry!’

Georgia turned and ran up the hill to the clubhouse.

By this time, others were waking.

Earl Wyatt...

Skinny Eliot ran his boat up onto the grassy bank, jumped out into the shallow water and pulled the raft to shore.

Earl Wyatt came up, tufts of uncombed white hair wild on his head.

I need your help Earl.

What in Hell is that, started Earl, but he saw soon enough.

The two men pulled the raft up to the water’s edge.

It took an hour for the ambulance to arrive.

They had stood there studying the boy hung on the hook, talking to him, comforting him, retelling him over and over help was on the way and then asking where in the goddamn was that ambulance.

Of course, no one knew what to do.

They kept calling to him. Trying to reassure themselves he was alive- because by all that was right in the world, he should’nt he.

Charles raised his head three times and same as he did out on the lake when Skinny Eliot first found him, lifted his head and smiled. Each time the crowd of people, all family friends who dearly loved him, relieved as they were to see a sign of life were each and every one chilled to their core. It was the most horrible sight any of them had ever seen.

When the ambulance arrived, the two young emts just stood there looking at the boy hanging from the hook, stunned, with no idea what to do. The sheriff came up, got over his initial shock and galvanized action.

Let’s get him down from there.

I’m afraid if we move him, that hook will kill him. It’s coming up right under his heart.

And quieter, i don’t even know how he’s alive.

Well we can’t leave him there on the raft hanging from a hook.

It was Charles Carver who acted. He came up carrying a hack saw. He told the ambulance boys to hold the raft steady, stepped onto the raft and put his face close to the boys. No one could hear what he said. There were tears streaming down his face as he sawed the sharp barbed end of the hook off. The boy didn’t lift his head but seemed to have that same disconcerting beatific smile.

It was tough going. The massive hook was made of good metal. As he sawed, Charies Carver wondered what kind of fish this hook was made to catch. It fell with a loud crack onto the bones below.

Charles Carver asked the sheriff and the two ambulance drivers to help him, told other men, his bosses in otherwise daily life, told them to steady the raft. He again put his face close to the boys and said gentle words. Then he embraced the boy with his strong arms and motioning with his head for the sheriff to grab the boy’s arms, he gently slowly lifted Charles Jones off the hook.

The boy was naked and covered in the same pungent salve as Betty Jo Mandell. He skin was likewise cut all over and expertly sutured up with black thread.

***

Cut open, muscles pulled apart, words carved onto the boy’s living bones.

Also two areas of his skull removed, trepanning. X-rays show a small object, an unusual alloy, bone shaped? Tibetan shaped? Placed in his frontal lobe.





Steiner College


Jewish Faculty

Mr Williams

In Palestine, Texas

Scholem

Henry Corvin

French Lycee

Intense memorization

Mnemonic of God’s name

Quabbalah

Sephirot

Creation of memory cathedral

Where I lived for 6 years?

Sonnets

Fugitive Gods - The crime of the Fugitive Gods was first the invention of language in early human beings; second was writing - both of them have to do with memory - these are ideas that first dawned upon jones when he was at Steiner College - following Heidegger and Holderlin - why did the gods leave? - consider the intermarriage of the gods with mortals - the birth of heroes and kings - the gods left europe and come to the americas - why? - central american gods of olmecs, toltecs, maya and aztecs - the gods of the native americans - brought with them the Great Serpent - Python - Glycon - animal gods - dwelled beneath the earth in place - inside of the Mesa de las viejas in New Mexico - under pyramids and temples - sacred places - one of the gods of gods - jehovah - chose to disincorpoarte hollowed out a tomb under the mesa - bones and skull - what was needed, as far as Jones was concerned was to find the traces of the fugitive gods - to find the Godskull - 

From a very early age, Jones is obsessed with language with the roots of words, etymological truths, 

The prohibition upon making an image of a thing - of the jones' aversion to photographs - of the Judaic commandment of not create any image of god - even though god has died - his presence remains - bones - in the language - sunset and sense of humor, heartbreak - not as a living presence - as a haunting presence - but even these bones are just another image - reification of the ineffable -