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Sunday, September 23, 2012

Does Anyone Know the Name of this Book?


Around twenty years ago, on my last night living in Banff, Alberta, I came across a book that had been opened to the near the middle, the pages lacquered, and the entire book bolted to a metal plate that was then put through a short utility pole with a huge bolt. The utility pole was on Tunnel Mountain's hidden ridge, where I lived and on a path that I walked nearly every day. The book hadn't been then a few days earlier. Whoever had drilled the hole and bolted it through the pole had wanted it to stay there. You could see where  the book had been turned around in attempts to unbolt it by the marks in the pole.

I took the below picture that night. The words are English and say that a gentleman's word is his bond and his handshake is as good as his word. The left page had a diagram of a set of full-plate armour, or a knight in armour. As you can see the right page is a diagram of a handshake, maybe a secret one. All the pages were gold-edged, and I managed to pry open a tiny bit of the back section. It looked like a dictionary or glossary or words that appeared to me as Arabic or a similar language. The writing was in the roman alphabet, but the words used lots of apostrophes and Zs. I don't remember if the definitions were in English, I just remember a word something like "Al'zher" at the top right-hand corner.

I left the next day for the east coast and didn't make it back to the spot until 5 years later. The pole and book were gone.

If anyone has an ideas what this book was or who bolted it to a pole on top of the hidden ridge of Tunnel Mountain, I'd love to hear them.