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Welcome to the Mysterious Capers and Other Sneaky Stuff board!
Board: Mysterious Capers and Sneaky Stuff
Jun 13, 2007 9:26pm
This board is dedicated to Mysteries, Capers, Codebreakng, and Assorted Sneaky Stuff. PLEASE do NOT post Spoilers here - the purpose is to foster discussions, NOT to give away answers. Where would be the fun in that?
Re: The Store of Good Manners: An I.F. Bacon Mystery
Board: Mysterious Capers and Sneaky Stuff
Reply to: #99890 by System
Jun 13, 2007 11:15pm
Response to An Urgent Plea, by Investigator Francis Bacon

To Letterboxers Everywhere,

As you are aware I have been hired by Emily Post to
investigate what she thinks is a crime. I have to
agree with her, The Store of Good Manners is missing.
I believe that there just might be a goodly number of
letterboxers involved in a crime of this magnitude.
Have no doubt, I will find the guilty parties!

Der Mad Stamper, are you reading? You might have been
able to pull off your innocence in the PZKut caper,
but were you really innocent? While under the
influence of tequila you let slip a secret that is now
making sense to me. You were awfully quick to blame
others. Did another letterboxer get the short end of
the stick? Just what is your involvement in this
latest crime, I ask? You can make this easy: speak up
now and save us all a lot of time, not to mention the
fee that I will be charging Emily Post. Or you can
hide behind a plea of innocence that will eventually
be broken. Don’t go for the not at home bit; I know
you are out there.


Investigator Francis Bacon
Re: The Store of Good Manners: An I.F. Bacon Mystery
Board: Mysterious Capers and Sneaky Stuff
Reply to: #99892 by Investigator FrancisBacon
Jun 13, 2007 11:18pm
Re: Response to An Urgent Plea, by Der Mad Stamper

My dear Investigator Bacon,

My, how soon you have turned on me now that you are no longer on my
payroll! But by pointing a finger at me, you've only hurt your own
reputation as a crime solver. Anyone with any brains at all will see
that your charges are unfounded and completely ridiculous.

For starters, everyone knows that no matter how much tequila you give
me, there isn't a chance that anything could slip from my lips that
would make any sense to you or anyone else! Can you honestly think of
even 1 single occasion where such an event has transpired? I think

And you can inform that Post Toastie client of yours that I am the
living embodiment of good manners. Have you already forgotten how
willing I was to share the worm with you from the bottom of that
expensive bottle of Mescal on the morning after my precious PZ Kut
was stolen?

In fact, just today, I found your slanderous message on my computer
after returning from my neighbor lady's house where I performed an
act of pure civility and grace. I very politely returned a pair of
her shoes (bright red pumps with 3-inch spike heels and spaghetti
straps! ...drool) that had recently gone missing by sliding them
through an open window. I was even thoughtful enough to make sure
that they were completely dry before returning them!

Have you even determined exactly when the Store of Good Manners went
missing? I'm certain I can procure a strong alibi. But, it seems to
me it may have been missing for a long time. For instance, when I've
gone letterboxing, I have been finding various litter along the trail
for quite some time now. Candy wrappers, cigarette butts, tissues…
sometimes even items that were carelessly not replaced in the

But you won't find me committing such atrocities! I am a refined and
enlightened soul. In fact, I make a habit of carrying out more from
the trail than I take in with me. I often bring a large garbage bag
along just for that purpose. I will go out of my way to pick up
anything I find lying around on the main trail, side trails, and any
nearby vacant lots, back yards, and unlocked living rooms.

Before you go around suggesting that a gentleman such as myself would
perpetrate any such offense, I suggest that you do your job and
investigate a little bit first. Ask the people who know me. They will
stick up for my impeccable character. Ask my dear friend and
colleague Stealthboxxer. I'm sure he will tell you that there's no
way I could be involved in this horrible crime!

--Der Mad Stamper
Re: The Store of Good Manners: An I.F. Bacon Mystery
Board: Mysterious Capers and Sneaky Stuff
Reply to: #99893 by Der Mad Stamper
Jun 13, 2007 11:19pm
Re: Response to An Urgent Plea, by Enigma Stealthboxxer, P.I.

Hmmph! An attack on my good friend and co-conspirator Der Mad
Stamper's reputation must be answered!

Etiquette, schmetiquette, I say. In my experience in knowing him, Der
Mad One is one of the most courteous, kind, forgiving, gentle,
peaceful, warm, human, grateful, thoughtful, trustful, childlike,
witty, happy, wise, tasteless, rude, offensive, obsequious, purple,
and clairvoyant... wait, strike those last few.... people I have ever
met. He would never do anything in poor taste or without proper
etiquette. Now eating and drinking things that taste poor, that's
another story.

In fact, that reminds me of a story about him that I can share. You
see, I used to follow DMS around before he knew me to see if he could
lead me to any secret word of mouth letterboxes. He never knew that I
was tailing him so I got to witness some of his most candid behavior
on the letterboxing trail. One day, I was following him around in
Forest Park while he was chasing down a particularly perplexing series
of boxes. (I never did figure out those clues but, boy, I am sure
proud of those stamps in my log book) He was a ways ahead of me on the
trail and I saw him turn the corner and go out of sight. I ran up to
the bend in the trail just in time to see him emerge from the brush
zipping up the fly of his jeans. Then he looked up the trail and then
turned to look back so I ducked behind a tree. This particular tree
had a really nice hole that went all the way through and I could look
through and see him clearly. He apparently did not see me because he
then reached into his multi-pocketed vest and removed 2 bottles of
beer and a bottle opener. He had both bottles opened in less than
three seconds and had drunk down both bottles in less than half a
minute. That's not so unusual for him, most folks know about his
penchant for alcoholic refreshments and certainly a long hike on such
a challenging clue set can work up a good thirst. But what is truly
noteworthy is what he did next. He very carefully placed both bottles
into a deep stump on the side of the trail and expertly covered them
up with moss, duff, and sticks in formal letterboxer style. No one on
that trail would ever suspect that there were beer bottles hidden in
that stump...that is unless they had well trained letterboxer's eyes.

You see, there were probably some 196 odd hikers on that same trail
that early 5am morning and Der Mad Stamper made sure that none of them
would see any unsightly beer bottles lying along the trail. What is
that but etiquette excellence?

Mr. Bacon, I am truly offended by your rash attack on such an
upstanding letterboxing citizen and a close personal friend at that! I
am henceforth removing you from my e-newsletter list and I am sending
a recommendation to the Association of Letterboxing Private
Investigators (ALPI) that you be forthright banned from the group and
your annual dues be withheld for lack of niceness.


Enigma Stealthboxxer, P.I.
Re: The Store of Good Manners: An I.F. Bacon Mystery
Board: Mysterious Capers and Sneaky Stuff
Reply to: #99896 by System
Jun 13, 2007 11:23pm
A Life of Crime?, by Investigator Francis Bacon

To Letterboxers Everywhere,

The broad, er I mean lady, has a point there. Mark
Pepe - a name worth considering. By they way, Stealthy
I noticed the broad retained this investigator, not

Just what do you have to say for yourself, Mr. Pepe?
Did Der Mad Stamper lay a bum rap on you, or were you
guilty as charged? If you would stoop so low as to
steal another man's PZKut, would you go on to bigger
and better things? Is the Store of Good Manners now
hidden in rural Vermont?

Word on the street has it that you’ve headed in the
wrong direction more than once. Are you now headed
down the road of crime?

Just where are your ethics? Are you a letterboxer, or
are those green bands nothing more than decorations?


Investigator Francis Bacon
Re: The Store of Good Manners: An I.F. Bacon Mystery
Board: Mysterious Capers and Sneaky Stuff
Reply to: #99898 by Investigator FrancisBacon
Jun 13, 2007 11:24pm
Re: A Life of Crime?, by Mark Pepe

Inspector Bacon:

It seems you have sizzled too long on the investigating fire!

Sure, I was guilty of the PZ Kut Caper but DMS was flaunting that
beautiful white carving media – how could I have resisted – DMS
bought all of the existing inventory and I had stamps to carve! Now,
gladly, that crime is part of my past.

The past year, in an effort to improve myself, I have spent up to 3
hours per day coaching, helping the newbies on our Newboxers Talk
List. We have nurtured and instructed the newbies in a variety of
methods to become better letterboxers. We've taught them our history
so they will know from where we've come. Doesn't this account for

One of our greatest accomplishments was to run a patch contest,
purchased and sold some Newboxers patches which have helped their
identity as newbies and has furthered their efforts to feel part of
the greater letterboxing community. While sales were brisk; we still
have 19 left. Maybe you would like to purchase one?

All of the proceeds were turned over to a special fund whose purpose
is to build a letterboxing museum in CT – the undisputed center of
the letterboxing universe. Architects are now drawing up plans as I
write. Archimedes Screw will be the curator. We have turned over the
proceeds of the profits to her for safekeeping.

So, dear Inspector, our year has been one of self improvement;
helping those new to the game and all profits have been submitted. If
you don't believe me; ask Archimedes Screw.

OK – Screw – tell him how good I've been this past year and dispel
any suspicions that he might have against me! Finally – I wish my
name to be cleared and my rehabilitation recognized.

Your ever improving servant.

Mark Pepe
Re: The Store of Good Manners: An I.F. Bacon Mystery
Board: Mysterious Capers and Sneaky Stuff
Reply to: #99899 by markandsuepepe
Jun 13, 2007 11:27pm
A Life of Crime? No!, by Archimedes Screw

Oh, my esteemed Mr. Pepe, I can surely vouch for your good deeds. Was
it only 1 year ago that your behavior shocked the letterboxing world?
Just look how far you have come from that dirty deed.

Even though I lobbied for my own Cape Cod as a location for the
Pinecone Museum of Splendid Stamped Creations, I gladly supported Mr.
Pepe in his endeavor to bring it to Connecticut. He has very
graciously handed over a percentage of the money he has collected from
this patch. With this we have been able to procure a stamp from some
mysterious and elusive letterboxers and a compass believed to have
been used to seek out the earliest letterboxes in the United States
for our displays. We even have a hitchhiker that has been found by
Wanda and Pete 11 times and a cootie that went unfound in the depths
of a backpack for many years before being unearthed. How wouldn't
travel far and wide to see these remarkable items? None of this could
have been done without the valiant efforts of Mr. Mark Pepe.

Not only has Mr. Pepe started this remarkable undertaking, I have
personally witnessed that he also never fails to contact the box
owners with pleasant and grateful notes about boxes. He always lets
them know when there is any problem with a box and makes sure to say
something positive and supportive to the letterboxer. I have even
seen him do this when he could not find the box and when it contained
the dreaded store bought stamp. How could such a model letterboxer
even be suspected in this crime of the highest order? Yes, he stole
some PZ Kut, but he would never go after the Store of Good Manners.

Surely my word is good enough to exonerate the formerly wayward Mark
Pepe. He has changed his unruly PZ Kut stealing ways and is in no way
responsible for the missing Store of Good Manners.
Re: The Store of Good Manners: An I.F. Bacon Mystery
Board: Mysterious Capers and Sneaky Stuff
Reply to: #99902 by System
Jun 13, 2007 11:30pm
A Lady, by Investigator Francis Bacon

You want a lady? Now here is a real lady for you,
Mountain Scorpia. She claims to be a lady all right;
that is if you don’t get her undies in a bunch. Can
you really trust a lady that has "Scorpia" in her
name? Come on now! Not to mention a dog that will take
off a naked man's gonads.

She can fool you all right. There was that heckling
issue, way back when. Something about etiquette,
wasn’t it?

Hear she care takes Max Patch now. Although I will be
the first to admit that this is a good deed, I am a
bit worried that she might not remember to put the
stamp back in the box. Is that the problem, Mountain
Scorpia? Did you forget where you hid the Store of
Good Manners?

Maybe you can get that dog to track it down for you.
Do we know this lady for what she really is?


Investigator Francis Bacon
Re: The Store of Good Manners: An I.F. Bacon Mystery
Board: Mysterious Capers and Sneaky Stuff
Reply to: #99905 by Investigator FrancisBacon
Jun 13, 2007 11:31pm
Re: A Lady, by Mountain Scorpia

Mr. Bacon,

(I beg your pardon, but prefacing your name with “Dear,” even if that is the proper salutation for a business letter, seems to me a bit premature, especially since you are not only premature in your judgment of my character, but also presumptuous and un- or mis-informed.)

Your implication, and other posts like it, are the reason I rarely read the LbNA talklist anymore. Just my luck, the one day I decide to read instead of delete, this is what I get….the usual drivel and/or flaming, this time disguised as legitimate boxing business.

Times must really be slow at the ALPI for you to stoop so low as to start picking on little old ladies.

But I digress. First of all, I have never claimed to be a lady. Please reveal your source of that bit of nonsense, if you can! The word is best used when couched in the middle of a particularly randy yet well-versed and highbrow joke. I find the term not only antiquated – not that that is a bad thing, considering my advanced years – but often demeaning, especially when used by a certain type of male found trolling the dating sites on the Internet and the personal classifieds for a woman who is stupid enough to think that his use of the term means he will surely treat her with the same respect and consideration whether they are out on the town or she is looking at yet another pair of dirty socks tossed on the recliner like a modern-day antimacassar while his contribution to housework is keeping the buttons on the television remote well polished. Oh my….as my estrogen levels drop, so do my inhibitions. Enough of that; where was I?

Ah yes, the attacks on my character. If it weren’t for the smarmy tone of your post, Mr. Bacon, I would be flattered that anyone would think I was in possession of the Store of Good Manners, since it appears there are so few of us still willing to use them in the face of so much obstreperousness and dead-horse-beating on this talklist.

You may recall, Mr. Bacon, my extreme good judgment – and practicing what I preach – the last time I tried to defend on this list one of the few carved-in-stone tenets of letterboxing….the caveat that one must not disturb the Earth. Yes, when I gently reminded a talklister that digging is possibly the Number One Boxing No-No. Perhaps she was actually one of your “ladies,” because she protested that she was merely “scooping,” something perhaps “ladies” call it instead of “digging,” which is what it is regardless of what she chose to call it. If I may quote from my Webster’s New International Unabridged Dictionary, a lovely volume with marbled page edges and those marvelous finger ‘scoops’ (tee hee) for each letter of the alphabet:

scoop, v; [other definitions omitted to save space]
2b to make hollow, as a scoop or dish; to excavate; to dig out (emphasis mine)

I rest my case.

Addressing another point of contention, to my knowledge I have only forgotten to replace a stamp one time – in Montana – and I immediately walked 4 miles out of my way to find a library with internet access so I could contact the placer and mail it to him.

Last but not least, there is the incident of the dog. You refer of course to Baguette La Coquette, who accompanied me on many volksmarches and boxing adventures. She was only doing what she knew best – alerting me to hazards ahead on the trail. This particular time, it was a naked man whose business, apparently, was to hide just far enough inside the scrub of the Ocala National Forest’s St. Francis Loop to accommodate thrill-seekers who prefer mating amongst ticks, chiggers, and snakes, yet elude the scrutiny of the Forest Service rangers or the Volusia County Sheriff.

Mr. Bacon, I forgive you for your faux pas, as you could not know, but this wonderful canine companion has crossed the Rainbow Bridge. And she would likewise forgive me, I am sure, for using this opportunity to plug my June event, the Southern Highlands Gathering. Your recollection of the origin of the Nekkid Redneck box (long flooded away, by now) brought tears to my eyes, but also inspired me to add to my Songcatcher Box Series: My Dear Companion (“Oh have you seen my dear companion, for she was all this world to me….”) Perhaps I may call upon KnitWit to play it on her mountain dulcimer at the musicale following the day’s boxing.

Speaking of calling upon supportive friends, I must do so now, at grave risk to his own reputation. You see, Gallant Rogue and I – both happy in our respective domestic relationships – have been carrying on a bit off-list. I must say that he is true to his name: although he takes his clever flirtations to the very edge of propriety (as a rogue must), he has remained gallant in respect to his monogamous nature, thus preserving marital harmony. GR, please show this gentleman and his rapt audience how very wrong he is about me. I rely on your usual brilliant combination of discretion and frankness.

Re: The Store of Good Manners: An I.F. Bacon Mystery
Board: Mysterious Capers and Sneaky Stuff
Reply to: #99907 by MountainScorpia
Jun 13, 2007 11:32pm
Re: A Lady, by Gallant Rogue

Madam Scorpia… I am honored to come to your aid! I apologize for
taking so long to respond as I was accompanying several others fair
maidens on
a Castle Quest… Lady Judith of Judith & Sparky, Lady Irene of Hikers
& Hounds and Queen Judy of Sewsowbizzy. We were having a merry time
in Fairfax. Of course we replaced all the stamps and tread lightly
upon Mother Nature.

The number one (1) thing that comes to my mind is how you (Mountain
Scorpia) attempted a friendly mentoring in best environmental
practices… for which you got slightly flame broiled by those who
didn't appreciate your admirable ethics. Yes we have been
corresponding since that incident. You ever so politely and "lady
like" gently advocated a very reasonable "leave no trace
( )… respect the environment" policy when hiding
a letterbox., Wouldn't you think respect for the environment to be
universally accepted by all letterboxers? I was somewhat shocked and
saddened to see you of all people flamed! I have tried to remain
silent in such goings ons hereabouts but I'm slightly ashamed I
didn't gallantly speak up at the time… but I won't stand by and see
you flamed again without aiding your defense …. Mr. Bacon… I
recently conducted a survey… 154 letterboxers agreed… Good hiding
spots are found not made. Altering a site is not necessary.….
Mountain Scorpia is a conscientious letterboxer who has made valuable
contribution to the community by building awareness, appreciation and
respect for our forests.

Now I must go remove yet another pair of dirty socks tossed on the
recliner and settle down to a cold English Ale while keeping the
buttons on the television remote well polished.

I remain your humble servant!

Gallant Rogue
Re: The Store of Good Manners: An I.F. Bacon Mystery
Board: Mysterious Capers and Sneaky Stuff
Reply to: #99909 by System
Jun 13, 2007 11:35pm
Dogs, by Investigator Francis Bacon

Wow, lady, you really know how to hurt a guy. Speaking
out in a public forum in regards to our payment
arrangement is not what I would consider very kosher.
What do you have to say about yourself on this one?

Just for your information, dogs can be of much benefit
here. Ever hear of Dude the Wonder Dog and his
sidekick Hikers & Hounds? Bet the Dude could find
anything! Word has it that he finds the letterboxes,
not the H&H. She is too busy trying to set the world,
or at least New Jersey, on fire.

On second thought, this shady pair could very well be
responsible for a crime of this magnitude. Hikers &
Hounds, the diabolical duo! If this is the case, I am
afraid the Store might be up in smoke. The Dude, well,
he would cover his own tracks in this matter. Perhaps
I can get him to howl out a few words. How much do
doggie treats cost these days? Here doggie doggie,
dessert is ready.


Investigator Francis Bacon
Re: The Store of Good Manners: An I.F. Bacon Mystery
Board: Mysterious Capers and Sneaky Stuff
Reply to: #99917 by System
Jun 13, 2007 11:46pm
Re: A Chastisement, by Safari Man

Yikes, Hikers and Hounds, I had no idea you had accomplished all
those activities that you mentioned. I should have met you in my
college days and we could have had one great go around. But back to
the present accusations. You must have changed your ways since then
because I have seen nothing but virtue spilling over from you. And I
can not believe what Dude is now saying about you. From our many,
many activities together I can not think of one wrong doing I have
seen from the 2 of you and in fact, I can think of probably 59 or
more reasons why I would trust you to the end of ........ well, I
would trust you a lot and there is no way you could have done the
dastardly deed you are accused of. I'll take a lie detector test on
that one. Bring forth the accusers and let them do this face to
face, if they wish to lose face....or a face.
Never fear, Safari Man is here.
Re: The Store of Good Manners: An I.F. Bacon Mystery
Board: Mysterious Capers and Sneaky Stuff
Reply to: #99920 by System
Jun 13, 2007 11:49pm
Shady, by Investigator Francis Bacon

Footwork? Of course, I have done my footwork. Do you
have any idea how slippery some of these letterboxers
are? What do you think the real purpose behind all
those strange names are? Shady - I am telling you they
are all shady characters!

And speaking of fancy footwork, there is one that has
a barefoot thing going on. Ya, talking about you
Barefoot Lucy. What are the bare feet really for? Is
it easier to sneak around that way?

Would a person who wraps Christmas presents in duct
tape really care about manners? In her own words, this
Barefoot Lucy has admitted that her home, as well as
her manners, are a hopeless cause.

Then there was that whole Martha Stewart mess up.
Trying to take over the neighbor’s house on the
pretext of jet lag. Perhaps a little too much wine is
more like it! How did that court case turn out anyway?

Should I go on to mention trying to lose the kids in
the woods? Just what kind of home education are you


Investigator Francis Bacon
Re: The Store of Good Manners: An I.F. Bacon Mystery
Board: Mysterious Capers and Sneaky Stuff
Reply to: #99921 by Investigator FrancisBacon
Jun 13, 2007 11:52pm
Re: Shady, by Barefoot Lucy


I must first say – my patience with you wears thin. I mind my own business and keep to myself – sort of – and yet I again find myself on the wrong end
of your long, skinny, pointy finger. I seriously question your abilities
if your sleuthwork again lands you at MY doorstep! In fact, I find it interesting that as you cast around looking for the possessor of the Store of Good Manners, you repeatedly land on someone who doesn't possess the store, but who each demonstrate the character of one who has visited it
often. I have to think you might be so confused about your mission that it
is possible YOU hold the Store yourself and don't even realize it.

And speaking of the Store of Good Manners, I notice that you haven't yet answered Der Mad Stamper's question regarding when the Store went missing.
I have another question for you still – WHERE was it last seen? I find it
very difficult to defend myself without knowing when I shouldn't have been where it was, and I'm sure the other fine folk you have fingered firmly follow suit in that feeling.

Anyway, I'm just a country girl from Texas, not a thief and certainly not a
thief of something as noble as the Store of Good Manners. When I breathe
the sweet clean air of East Texas, I breathe in manners and civility at the same time and you know the saying – what goes in must come out. That anyone would suppose that a good Texan would dare to steal the Store of Good Manners is silly and I am embarrassed that I have been asked to defend
myself. I may not have the pickled brain it would take to share worms and
wear red high-heeled pumps and I may not creep around in the woods following
beer-swilling bottle hiders around, but I am not a thief. And I may not
hide behind anything as high-brow as educating the uninitiated or curating a museum, but I respect the property of others. And I may not be able to use big words like antimassacre and ostricheperousness or gallantly escort
ladies about, but I recognize and applaud social niceties. And I may not
have a suspicious dog with a story or a friend who doesn't "remember" a lot of things that I've done, but I still have good manners!

You cite my barefootedness as a point of uncivil behavior – but would YOU wear red high-heeled shoes that mysteriously disappeared and then reappeared
wreaking of sweaty man feet? You might, but I wouldn't!

And you mention as evidence that I wrap Christmas presents in duct tape? Well did you KNOW that I have a cousin who is a rep for the duct tape company and
he gladly provides me with free duct tape in festive yule designs? I doubt
you knew that, and that point only indicates my frugalness. Is frugality impolite? I answer with a resounding NO!

It is true, and you are right that I have admitted, that my manners are in disarray, but when I admitted to messy manners I was referring to the sort of manners that indicate where the butter knife goes and what wine to serve with which type of meat (and for that matter, anyone who attended the third Annual Texas Gathering and visited the Maydelle Winery knows that any wine
goes with anything – as long as it is fruity and sweet). It's true, I
don't know how long I have to write thank you notes after receiving a gift, but I do always offer a hearty thank you at some point. So please, don't confuse Ms. Post type etiquette with a lack of down home good manners that
many of my fellow Texans share with me. I may not know what to do with all
5 forks in my place setting, but I DO know better than to stab my neighbor with any of them!

Well my home is another matter. It is truly a mess, but it was oh so freeing to admit that fact openly and to find that I share that plight with many other letterboxing women, and to find that I am not alone in thinking
that there are things more important than a clean home. Clearly, we who
have messy homes find it much more important to just get out there and box – and in so doing, we find boxes that help us answer those infernally frequent TOTW questions by Mr. "I-teach-newbies" Pepe.

And yet your accusations go on – Yes, I did take over a neighbor's house, but they weren't using it at the time, and they would've never known if they
hadn't found the bottles DMS hid in their potted palm tree. And I fully
intended on leaving it better than I had found it, and in my opinion I did just that, complete with flamingos in the front yard and little dangly palm
tree lights around the barbeque deck. And I painted their house besides,
and again demonstrated my frugality in that matter by buying the lovely magenta paint that Sherwin Williams had on half price, and then I used my Marvy Markers to add some artistic embellishments that any home owner could
love. Can I help it if my neighbor envisions herself to be Ms. Post

And I am getting a little tired of defending my educational techniques with
respect to my kids. Texas kids have to be tough. They have to be able to
wrangle rattlesnakes and wrestle gators, but they have to be exposed to them first. I can think of no better way to help them understand what they are up against than to leave them in the woods where those critters live and let
them fend for themselves. SJZ managed to find her way home most days, and
only a couple of times did I have to call the sheriff to help me find her. Don't think I went easy on her though – if she didn't make it home by dinnertime
and bringing the meat for dinner, she got nothing to eat. With Lightning
I've eased up a bit and I give him until dark to get home. And an added benefit is that they have learned superb navigational skills which have
served them well as letterboxers. Can you please point to the downside of
losing them in the woods once or twice a week?

I suppose mere words, however heartfelt, will not convince you that I am not
the holder of the Store of Good Manners. May I point to my personal use of
good manners in letterboxing by mentioning that I am diligent about keeping my boxes maintained and my clues updated? Far be it from me to cause some poor letterboxer to unproductively search for one of my boxes because I had
failed to accurately state the status of one of my boxes. And I would
certainly hate for someone to come up on a broken container and have to replace it on my behalf, so I check all 84 of my boxes once a week each to make sure they are equipped well.

And since I am sure you are not yet convinced of my innocence, I suppose I am going to have to embarrass myself further and ask my letterboxing mentor
to speak on my behalf. Certainly if you can't believe me when I say I am
innocent, you will believe Silver Eagle – a true gentleman of letterboxing and an example to us all and the one who, along with his brother Baby Bear,
has taught me everything I know about genteel letterboxing. I apologize,
Silver Eagle, for putting you in this position, but this relentless Inspector Gadget will not believe that I hold dear good letterboxing manners unless someone of your caliber speaks on my behalf.



"It's not about footwear, it's about not having stinky feet"
Re: The Store of Good Manners: An I.F. Bacon Mystery
Board: Mysterious Capers and Sneaky Stuff
Reply to: #99922 by BarefootLucy
Jun 13, 2007 11:54pm
Re: Shady - BL Defense, by Silver Eagle

It is with a heavy heart that I find myself involved in yet another
imbroglio on this List. However, as a fellow Texan and letterboxing
friend of Barefoot Lucy, I am duty bound to defend her. Let it never
be said that chivalry is dead!

First of all Inspector Bacon, I must say that I have not been
impressed by your shotgun approach to solving this crime. Casting
blame without facts is beneath you and indicates a lack of
information resulting in desperation. Your great, great, great,
great, great, great, great, great, great grandfather, Sir Francis
Bacon, who was a proponent of a planned procedure of investigating
called the Scientific Method, must be turning over in his grave.
Your father, the Honorable Macon Bacon, must feel ashamed at your ham-
handed approach to this situation. And speaking of ham, I'm sure
your distant relative, the esteemed letterboxer Funhog, is trying
desperately to increase her distance from you and this entire pig sty
you have created.

In response to your accusation that BL is responsible for the theft
of the Store of Good Manners, I say "In a pig's eye"! She is one of
the most beloved and respected members of the letterboxing community,
and the thought of her even being considered as a suspect in this
crime is repugnant. Her heart is as big as Texas and her compassion
for fellow boxers, along with countless hours helping scouts, has
earned her the nickname "The Barefoot Den Mother of Texas". She even
has a letterbox dedicated to her.

Now it is true she is a little rough around the edges, but what self-
respecting country girl wouldn't be? In the early days, Texas women
had to be tough to survive, and that trait continues as a badge of
honor. However, it is a mistake to equate toughness with
impropriety. There is not a dishonest bone in her body, except maybe
her feet when it comes to shoes, but that is to help her be stealthy
when hunting boxes, not to steal them.

As to her letterboxing manners, I must say that she exhibits
exemplary behavior there, too. She respects nature and is a strong
proponent of "Leave No Trace", especially when it comes to leaving a
letterbox better hidden than when she found it. On most of my clues
I end with a plea to "Please re-cover well", and she takes this
literally. On at least 2 occasions that I know of, she has gone out
of her way to re-cover a well that was near a box, possibly saving
many boxers from drowning! I also concur with her statement that she
is diligent about keeping her boxes maintained and clues updated. So
far I have found 28 of her boxes, and not one of them was missing or
out of place. I submit that she has no motive for stealing Good
Manners since she already possesses them.

In conclusion, I reiterate that Barefoot Lucy is innocent of all
charges and I sincerely hope my testimony has shown that she is
incapable of any crime, let alone this one. So, Bacon Boy, unless
you want to join the ranks of your lesser brethren and become known
as Turkey Bacon, I suggest you apologize to BL and aim your shotgun
elsewhere. Just remember, as the University Of TX alma mater
says, "The eyes of Texas are upon you"!

Silver Eagle
Re: The Store of Good Manners: An I.F. Bacon Mystery
Board: Mysterious Capers and Sneaky Stuff
Reply to: #99925 by System
Jun 13, 2007 11:58pm
Rules, by Investigator Francis Bacon

What carving? That was not a carving, that was a name
engraved with a penknife. Send the bill to Don & Gwen.
They should be pleased to know that their names are
immortalized in one of New York’s hotspots. Better
than being in the Groover Hall of Infamy. We all know
that Don is full of sh*t on that one. What else is he
full of?

Do you have anything to say for yourself, Don? Let me
help you along. What ever did happen to Silent Doug’s
Key? How did it manage to disappear from a securely
locked car in your driveway? While I am quite certain
you will claim innocence in any wrong doing, the
answer seems to be quite obvious. You were the guilty

Keys and ewes go missing in your presence. What else
are you guilty of? A missing Store of Good Manners?
Time to step up and confess the error of your ways.

By your own admission, you are glad there are no rules
in letterboxing. No rules? No rules, now I ask? For a
guy who advocates being nice to newbies, you sure go
on a lot of letterboxing/shooting jaunts. Just what is
it that you are shooting? In your book, are rules made
to be broken? Are there any unbreakable rules?


Investigator Francis Bacon
Re: The Store of Good Manners: An I.F. Bacon Mystery
Board: Mysterious Capers and Sneaky Stuff
Reply to: #99926 by Investigator FrancisBacon
Jun 14, 2007 12:00am
Re: Rules, by Don

Dear Investigator Bacon

Your approach is totally wrong as well as YOUR manners. Coming from
someone that knows, being obnoxious will get you nothing. Bringing a
fellow investigator into this goes against all ethical standards. Now
HAD I absconded with a Store of Good Manners then you would have no
clue. Your ineptness is quite apparent, and I wonder if you could
track an elephant in the snow.

Years of sneakiness and stealth ness acquired by being a Private
Investigator and the stealth practices used in letterboxing have
honed my skills way past your abilities.

Most hardcore letterboxers know the value of being stealthy, whether
it is their number 1 letterbox or their 67th. Only a dufus walks
right up to a planted box without being stealthy as it puts that box
at risk.
The word "stealth" is derived from the word steal, and while most of
us understand the common definition of `steal', there is one that is
seldom used; "to move silently or secretly". While I have used the
term stealth on many occasions on this and other chatlists, I would
not steal (common definition) anyones' Store of Good Manners.
Good Manners are too hard to come by, and too easily dismissed.

I will not confess to something that I did not do. I did not steal
the Store of Good Manners.
Evidence of my innocence can be found by my being able to contain my
manners on the Newboxer chatlist.

Now regarding my being full of sh*t, that is a comment that is
familiar and all too often mentioned, and while it may be true in
some cases, in the "Great Groover Caper" that entire story is true.
The length of the story precludes it from presentation in this note
plus the story is best told in person. Suffice to say that the Thief
and the Cops both thought the ending was pretty crappy, and anyone
that wishes a first hand rendition just has to ask. The thief's
future is surely questionable to say the least, since stealing a full
Groover (aka porta potty) from the back end of a pickup truck
certainly would not qualify him for Mensa.

Likewise the story of Silent Doug's Key was indeed fact. The key
wasn't missing, SD left it in the rental car, engine running, and
locked the door of the car sitting in our driveway all in his
excitement of finally meeting someone that has put up with me for so
many years …Gwen.

Sure I tend to exaggerate a bit, but never steal.

I didn't steal the EWE. I was helping the Basque herdsmen trying to
locate that little ewe.
It just took me a while to understand that they weren't trying to
chase me off when they kept saying "You be gone!"

Now we are ready to embark on our summer time letterboxing/clay-
shooting jaunt, so please realize that you are way off base in
bringing me/us into this investigation. Your time can be better spent
by sticking to any clue that points toward someone that would benefit
from having an absence of Good Manners.

While we are gone I have asked my Nephew Wassamatta_u to come to our
Now I'm sure "That" news is a mind blower for many, maybe even for
Wassamatta_u, but we have a relative that was a home delivery
milkman, but that is another story, for another time. This was
discovered recently by one of my genealogy searches.
Hopefully further accusations won't be forth coming, but if they are
then they will be dispensed with quite effectively no matter how
twisted and inaccurate they may be.
Wassamatta_u is very erudite and even makes old news interesting in
his blogs on AQ.

All bills forwarded in this direction will be properly ignored
particularly from some fancy New York restaurant.

Re: The Store of Good Manners: An I.F. Bacon Mystery
Board: Mysterious Capers and Sneaky Stuff
Reply to: #99927 by Don and Gwen
Jun 14, 2007 12:02am
Re: Rules, by wassamatta_u

Investigator Bacon,

You accuse Don of stealing the Store of Good Manners, and use as evidence his failure at stealth.

I can only surmise that you are familiar with the good works of the man for whom you are ostensibly named. No, I do NOT mean Francis Thomas Bacon, the English engineer who developed the first practical hydrogen-oxygen fuel cell. Nor do I mean Francis Bacon the painter, whose art was so well known for its bold, austere, and often grotesque imagery. Rather, I mean Sir Francis Bacon, the English philosopher, essayist, and scientist. As you must undoubtedly know, Bacon pioneered “The Scientific Method” in which the CAUSE of a phenomenon can be isolated by gathering observable, empirical, measurable evidence, and subjecting them to specific principles of reasoning.

I submit to you, sir (though not Sir), that you are completely failing to adhere to the tenets of The Scientific Method in your dealings with my Uncle Don. More about that in a bit, but first…

UNCLE DON?!?!?!!!??!!!

(deep, calming breath… must… maintain… composure…)

Growing up in the backwoods of Kernville (how’s THAT for redundant?), Uncle Don and I spent many an hour on the back porch of the cabin shooting the breeze (and anything else that moved). But the thing is, even though I CALLED him “Uncle Don”, I never actually figured we were related. I mean, let’s face it, mom introduced me to a different “Uncle” pretty much every week, so I never really gave it much thought. When I was in Grade 2 (along with the rest of the Kernville teens), that year alone I had 66 “Uncles”! So the fact that Don really IS my uncle, well, that ALONE shows you just how stealthy he is!

So, genealogical surprises aside, let us take a closer look at your accusation of my dear, dear blood-relative, Uncle Don. The first step in The Scientific Method requires us to “gather observable evidence.” I ask you, have you ever actually OBSERVED Uncle Don being stealthy? NO! Of course not! In order to observe him being stealthy, he would have to be unstealthy, in which case you would be observing unstealthiness instead of his natural stealthitudity (hold on a minute here while I disable my spell-checker). So, we can conclude Scientifically that because you have NOT observed him being stealthy, he must therefore BE stealthy!

The second point in the Scientific Method involves Gathering Empirical data. I ask you, have you EVER met anyone MORE Imperious than Uncle Don at a Gathering? I think not. (And Uncle Don, if you’re reading this, I mean that in the most loving and respectful way possible...) According to The Random House Unabridged Dictionary, “stealth” means “Secret, Clandestine”. Now, a “Gathering” is neither Secret, nor Clandestine – if it was, it would be a “Soloing”. And since Uncle Don is, as referenced earlier, the most imperious person at a Gathering (in this case, “Imperious” meaning “Regal”), he is therefore the King of the Gathering. Uncle Don King, so to speak. And as we were taught in the Arthurian legend “L’morte de Arthur”, the King IS the Country. In this case, then, Uncle Don IS the Gathering. Therefore, by applying the Transitive property (that’s MATH, not cross-dressing): If Uncle Don=Gathering, and Gathering=Non-Stealth, then logically we get Uncle Don=… wait a sec… uh, ummm, never mind… Oh look! A shiny object! No, wait… that’s just Uncle Don’s head.

And finally (as if this hasn’t gone on long enough), we come to the Scientific Requirement for “Measurable Evidence.” I remember once when I was a kid, Uncle Don and I were going to go out fishing, me with my cane-pole and bent safety-pin hook, Uncle Don with his Red Ryder Carbine-action Range Model Shotgun with the compass in the stock. Somebody asked Uncle Don “Which way is North?” Now, MOST people would make use of the fact that there was a compass in the stock, and provide the inquirer with proper directions. But not Uncle Don. Nope. Uncle Don simply pointed the shotgun straight up in the air, and pulled the trigger. Aunt Gwen was not really thrilled by this, seeing as we were in their trailer at the time, but the incident DOES go to the point that Uncle Don refused to use an instrument of measurement. In fact, Uncle Don to this day never uses measurements of any kind! Ask him how good he is at Shooting Clays (he never WAS an American Idol fan), he will reply “immeasurable.” Ask him how good his carvings are, he will reply “immeasurable.” Ask him how much he loves and respects Aunt Gwen, and he will reply “immeasurable.” (< -- blatant sucking up here; Christmas is just around the corner, and they owe their Nephew several decades worth of back-presents…) So I ask you, Investigator Bacon, how do you propose to gather “Measurable Evidence” from a man for whom nothing is measurable! You CAN’T! Face it, based on the Scientific Principle, you haven’t a leg to stand on (especially if you happen to ask Uncle Don “Which way is South?”).

And so, Investigator Bacon, I will leave you to form new and (hopefully) improved theories, as my response has made the need for this painfully clear (or at least, painful to read). And Uncle Don, if you’re reading this… NO MORE UNDIES for Christmas! I got Boxers and Briefs coming out my ears!


Re: The Store of Good Manners: An I.F. Bacon Mystery
Board: Mysterious Capers and Sneaky Stuff
Reply to: #99929 by System
Jun 14, 2007 12:05am
Outdoors, by Investigator Francis Bacon

Wisconsin Hiker, now there is a woman who doesn't like
the indoors. Her style is outdoors; long hikes for
this one. Just where do you go on those hikes,
Wisconsin Hiker? Some pretty remote places from what I
hear. What are you hiding in those mountains besides

By your own admission you are addicted to
letterboxing. Wasn't it you who said there was no one
to force you back to the real world tasks you should
be doing? Is it true you demand that your poor
husband drive home at lunch to retrieve the supplies
necessary to your addiction?

How about the business with the cell phone? Keeping it
in an office drawer, not telling anybody you own one.
Pretty suspicious behavior if you ask me. Oh wait, you
did say you don't want to be reached. Is there a
reason for this? Didn't want to be interrupted in your
night of crime, I say!

So tell me, did you find dragging the Store of Good
Manners up that mountain trail as difficult as just
walking on the street?


Investigator Francis Bacon
Re: The Store of Good Manners: An I.F. Bacon Mystery
Board: Mysterious Capers and Sneaky Stuff
Reply to: #99930 by Investigator FrancisBacon
Jun 14, 2007 12:08am
Re: Outdoors, by Wisconsin Hiker

Wait a minute! How did I get involved in this case?? One day we get a recent suspect joining our regional talklist and the very next day I’M getting accused?!! Your list of suspects is growing faster than thumbprints in a cootie log… Your random accusations are an exhibition of ill-breeding which proves you to be unsuitable to represent the dignity of investigators.

I’ll begin my defense in this matter with an apt quote. As Emily Post noted herself decades ago, "There are fixed rules for the playing of every game - and for proper conduct in every sport. The details of these rules must be studied in the "books of the game," learned from instructors, or acquired by experience." When I first learned of letterboxing, I diligently read everything I could find at the time, including all the FAQs, the articles on and many posts on this national board. I tried to learn the "proper conduct" for the sport of letterboxing and believe I have not only mastered the technique but also the etiquette.

I do freely admit that we have no children or pets to attend to, allowing us to indulge in the harmless pastime of letterboxing whenever the whim strikes - however this is no crime! I enjoy the long rambles, particularly in the mountains, and truly appreciate the other letterboxers that place boxes on interesting hikes for intrepid trekkers. We are always on the lookout for areas with the alluring combination of lengthy walks and charming letterboxes. If, in the course of your investigation, you come across these, I would be pleased to receive any correspondence and recommendations you or your suspects could provide.

I also concur in your observations about my aversion to cell phones. I consider them to be the epitome of rudeness on almost all occasions. I realize that they are a safety device for many, but sadly I most often see, or rather HEAR, them being used to broadcast the most inane minutiae to anyone within shouting distance.

However I must take issue with one of your statements. I have never "demanded" that my husband drive home from the office to get our supplies/stash. All I have done is casually mention in a strategically timed email message or phone call that "there is a new box in our area….". He has often graciously offered to spend his lunch hour traveling to our abode to obtain our well-appointed pack while I print out the clues. We are then prepared to make another delightful foray into the woods after the drudgery of the office, or in some instances we have even rendezvoused during our lunch hour to search out another treasure that someone has planted in our area.

In all of our outdoorsy jaunts, we have been diligent in attending to the fine points of the game, especially in covering our tracks and the box after stamping in. We take care to make an artful arrangement of natural objects, including the now traditional "blessing of the box" - scattering leaves, pine needles or other nearby light covering on top of a good base of stone, wood or bark. This is similar to the art of napkin folding or flower arrangements that Ms. Emily might promote as the sign of good manners in entertaining. Not only have we mastered this technique ourselves, but we have made sure to pass it along to our young nieces and nephews. When the twins were only 9 or 10, they became quite skilled in rehiding a box and their younger brother always took the time to examine the spot from several different angles to make sure it was "invisible" to any casual passerbys. They are sometimes appalled when we find a box that has not been hidden with the same vigilance. The care that we take in letterboxing and our dedication to teaching future generations should be strong evidence that I certainly did NOT steal the "Store of Good Manners". For additional confirmation of my innocence, I ask you to speak with Lnd-Crz. He shares our values and is known throughout the Midwest for his promotion of proper "re-hideation".

Wisconsin Hiker

P.S. Why is Emily so concerned about a "Store"? It seems she commands an entire Institute! Perhaps she just misplaced the URL? If so, here it is: Or perhaps she is a bit piqued that what was once a source of funds has been made publicly available? The Project Gutenberg EBook of Etiquette, by Emily Post is an eBook for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. All those looking to improve their manners, or learn what a butler should wear or what the duties of a parlor maid are, are encouraged to examine this tome.
Re: The Store of Good Manners: An I.F. Bacon Mystery
Board: Mysterious Capers and Sneaky Stuff
Reply to: #99931 by Wisconsin Hiker
Jun 14, 2007 12:09am
Re: Outdoors, by Lnd_Crzr

Inspector Bacon, do you intend to run about lambasting accusations
willy-nilly on everyone who has ever dared poke their heads out onto
the public forum?

Simply because Wisconsin Hiker has the time and the chauffer, er…I
mean husband who enables her addic…I mean, supports her passion, is
no cause for blameworthiness. And I'm certain that those long hikes
into the mountains are no more than spiritual retreats where she
meditates on how to make the world a better place through

Why it reminds me of the time I was on a quest of my own to find a
desperately hard spot for a box deserving of no less a locale. On
a weeklong excursion into the Ozark Highlands of Southeast Missouri,
I found myself a good distance over rough terrain from my trailhead
just as dusk began to creep over the rolling hills. Donning my
headlamp I loaded my pack and determined to make the trek out rather
than spend the night where I was. Through the hot summer night I
marched over rocky terrain as night took me. Well into my jaunt I
found myself half asleep as I trod along and a vision came to me.
It was a small figure, near waist high, made of twigs and moss
walking beside me. His eyebrows were two lines of light colored
pebbles and his eyes black smooth stones. He said to me `Any box is
a good box. Only through practice of proper re-hideation can you
achieve true boxing fulfillment'. He reached out with both hands
as if to give me something. Into my left hand dropped 5 buckeyes
and into my right 57 small, but nearly round stones smooth from the
travels of a million years. With that he was gone and I found
myself again trudging along the trail with the moon high above.

Only on long hikes does our mind release the business of life and
the stimulation of the modern world. I applaud Wisconsin Hiker on
her willingness, even eagerness to undertake such treks. And the
box blessings? Why that is a sure sign of one who has truly crafted
their re-hideation skills into an art form. Highly evolved I say!
The Store of Good Manners would be safer hidden with Wisconsin Hiker
on one of her forays for enlightenment than it would be on the

Re: The Store of Good Manners: An I.F. Bacon Mystery
Board: Mysterious Capers and Sneaky Stuff
Reply to: #99934 by System
Jun 14, 2007 12:11am
On the Edge, by Investigator Francis Bacon

Lady - and I use the term in the highest esteem - why
not learn to live life on the edge? For your
information I have a good compass and know in what
direction I am headed.

How about you, Y-Nought? Bought a good compass yet?
Want to borrow mine for the Silver Bullet? Better yet,
buy your own. Don’t want mine to end up in the same
place as other missing items.

Where did you hide the Store, Y-Nought? Blanding, Utah

Obscure dress (a kilt, for Petes sake), obscure
locations (Blanding, Utah; come on now), obscure clues
(ever heard of straight and narrow)? Was there an
obscure Store you wanted to add to your collection?
Are your wedding invitations obscure as well?


Investigator Francis Bacon
Re: The Store of Good Manners: An I.F. Bacon Mystery
Board: Mysterious Capers and Sneaky Stuff
Reply to: #99935 by Investigator FrancisBacon
Jun 14, 2007 12:12am
Re: On the Edge, by Y-Nought

My dear Mr. Bacon,

How do you know so much about my wedding...or Blanding....or the
Bullet? Now I know who has been going through my garbage at night!
Perhaps my ways seem obscure only because of the shady ways you are
finding out about them. Well let me clear a few things up for you,
Mr. Paparazzi Private Eye.

Etiquette to me is not spoiling the fun. As the song goes:

While at a soiree in Connecticut
Ms. Manners invented the etiquette
But to the dismay
Of poets today
It is still a rhyme short of a Limerick

Whatever THAT means is unclear, but what I want to say is that a
letterbox is a wonderful mysterious treasure. It's sweet to find one
at all. But how much sweeter to find one that not many people have
been able to figure out, or hike to, or even drive to. And then to
open it and see who has stamped. And then to finally see the secret
stamp that only these finders have seen. To me THAT is fun and it
spoils it for me if I already know what the stamp looks like because
I saw it in the newspaper.

That's why I stocked up on etiquette when I went to the Store. And
that's why I keep my logbook hidden under my kilt at gatherings.
Granted, I have only logged 5 exchanges, ( it takes a
dedicated 'boxer to stamp "under the tartan") but I would just hate
to hand them my book with all those stamps in plain sight. And forget
about asking me about mystery boxes. I have never ever found a
mystery box or a WOM. But if I did, I would be as informative as my
17-year old son after a school dance. (When I asked him who he went
with, he said, "rosebud" {?!}).

So you see, Frank, it only appears that I have the Store because I
stocked up on Manners last time I was there. You can say the same
about any of us here in the Mountain West. We stock up on everything
because it might be a while before we get back to the Store. If you
need more clarification on this, talk to my good friend DragonRider.
He's up in Idaho and has stored up enough manners there to last the
longest winter.

Re: The Store of Good Manners: An I.F. Bacon Mystery
Board: Mysterious Capers and Sneaky Stuff
Reply to: #99936 by y nought
Jun 14, 2007 12:13am
Re: On the Edge, by Dragonrider

well hello there mr.bacon bits,
boy you sure are making a name for yourself. and not a
very popular name at that..

so where to start.
if you are looking for missing manners, you have come
to the wrong place. here in the mountain west we are
abundant in manners. we say, yes ma'am and no sir..
thank you and your welcome. yes please and no thanx.

as for letterboxers in the mountain west, you couldnt
find a more mannered bunch.
like my esteemed letterboxing pal, y-nought. he keeps
his logbook tucked away in places we dont like to talk
about. i have never seen him just hand out his logbook
for all the letterboxing public to see.and for the
mystery letterboxes in the mountain west. there is 1
mapsurfer box here and i can tell you y-nought has
never even attempted to give away any hints or help
for letterboxers seeking these lovely treasures.
you can ask any letterboxer you come across that
y-nought is the epitome of stealth and manners.
i once got the chance to find some letterboxes that
y-nought had stamped into before me. a series of 3
boxes in the canyonlands of utah. the boxes were so
well hidden that i searched and searched for hours to
find these little gems. he re-hid them so well, i dont
think a ground squirrel could have found them. and the
stamp and notes he left were well placed in the
logbooks so as not to use up too much room.

so what do you have to say about that, mr bacon bits?
you better be for looking elsewhere for this missing
"store of good manners".
it is not here in the mountain west. better get that
compass to working a little better. try holding it
away from your body. it might point in the right
direction then.

all the best in your search.

Re: The Store of Good Manners: An I.F. Bacon Mystery
Board: Mysterious Capers and Sneaky Stuff
Reply to: #99938 by System
Jun 14, 2007 12:15am
Knitting, by Investigator Francis Bacon

Well, I think my grandmother would vouch for my tender
spot. Just yesterday I finished knitting a sweater for
her poodle. While it is true that she did not
appreciate the built-in bark zapper, she did
compliment me on the yarn color.

I should have asked Knit Wit how to camouflage the
zapper. Heard she is pretty evil with a pair of
knitting needles. Speaking of evil, she even admitted
once that she contemplates dealing out mayhem to those
that take her parking spot. Dare I ask just what the
knitting needles are for?

But, then what would you expect from a woman whose
favorite creepy crawly is the flying cockroach? Should
I mention the cooties? Newbies, beware; this is a
dangerous woman!

I ask you, is this a woman concerned with manners? I
think not! What other forms of chaos might this Knit
Wit enjoy creating? The answer is obvious; do not let
her innocent guise fool you.

Knit Wit, admit the folly of your ways. Return the
Store, along with a few general remarks of apology,
and all will be forgiven.


Investigator Francis Bacon
Re: The Store of Good Manners: An I.F. Bacon Mystery
Board: Mysterious Capers and Sneaky Stuff
Reply to: #99939 by Investigator FrancisBacon
Jun 14, 2007 12:15am
Re: Knitting, by Knit-Wit

My dear sir,

My feelings of dismay at having my letterboxing reputation dragged
through the mud overwhelm me. I fear your reputed incisive logic has
more in common with an out-of-control weed-eater than a precision X-
acto knife.

You knit, sir? I stand amazed! Given the impetuous nature of your
accusations heretofore, I would think you might lack the patience.
As far as camouflaging the bark zapper… Use larger cables in your
pattern next time.

As to your so-called "proof" of my perfidy, I will address each
accusation individually, 1 at a time, and you will see that they
actually prove nothing except my belief that good manners and
etiquette do not stop at letterboxing.

So I contemplate dealing out mayhem to parking space stealers, do I?
And you have never felt the injustice of sitting in a parking lot
with the turn signal flashing, waiting for a car to back out of a
space, only for a car to come in the other direction and zip into
the space before you could? Who among us would not contemplate some
well-deserved retribution? The proof of my good manners, sir, is
that I have never dealt out the retribution such scandalous actions

You mention that my favorite insect (I find the term "creepy crawly"
offensive) is the flying cockroach. In fact, sir, these are more
properly called "palmetto bugs" and they can be extremely effective
for clearing a room, as well as clearing the area around a
letterbox, much more politely than walking up and telling people to
leave. I usually carry at least 2 with me for just such an occasion.

Finally, what is wrong with planting a few cooties on new boxers? As
I'm sure you know, I frequent the Newboxers list and help out as I
may, but all the e-mail in the world will only present theory to the
newbies. The theory must be backed up with practical experience.
Therefore, I plant a few cooties on the newbies I meet to teach them
what I consider the most important point of etiquette in
letterboxing--how to contact the placer.

That's right. They are given the opportunity to contact me and tell
me how it felt to be "cootied". They need to learn that it is not
enough to merely send a Found report. A good note to a placer
includes details about the weather, trail condition, wildflowers
seen, room left in the logbook, anything that will help the planter
gain knowledge about the condition of their box. A good note will
also allow the planter to vicariously relive your experience and
share a bit of your own joy in that sprained ankle that sent you
face first into the mud.

I digress. I would never steal the Store. The Store should be
available for all to visit since good etiquette is essential to
successful letterboxing. As far as my integrity and innocence in
this matter, I am sure that Eidolon will be able to reassure you
that I am not the one you seek.

Instead of throwing accusations around willy-nilly, I really feel
you need to concentrate and focus on the clues before making any
more accusations. I grew up in the South, Inspector Bacon; good
manners and fair dealing are as vital to a Southerner as air and

Bless your heart, dear sir, but you aren't from around here, are you?

Knit Wit
Re: The Store of Good Manners: An I.F. Bacon Mystery
Board: Mysterious Capers and Sneaky Stuff
Reply to: #99940 by knit wit
Jun 14, 2007 12:17am
Re: Knitting, by Eidolon

Feint, Parry, Retreat.

I can't decide if you are the most inept sleuth ever, are using a
random name generator for your "suspect list" or are just a
professional politician changes opinions with the wind but I swear
there are fewer changes of direction in a ping pong match than in
your investigation. Granted, my own perverse curiosity has forced me
to keep watching your train wreck; this is better than the OJ trial,
The Jerry Springer Show and The Gong Show all rolled into one but
when it comes to investigating, you are no Jacques Clouseau, you are
not even Inspector Gadget; in all honesty your skill is probably even
surpassed by the esteemed Rosco P. Coltrane. And yet I keep reading.
But you crossed the line when your blindly thrown dart hit Knit Wit's
name (who were you aiming for, King Kong?) and you tried to drag her
name through the ever-growing pile of
sh.................oddy "research" that is accumulating at your feet,
though it is probably up to your knees by now.

So now Knit Wit is your thief? For today at least, she is your #1
suspect? You actually think she stole the Store of Good Manners? That
is about as ridiculous as David Hasselhoff's singing career. All you
have done is baselessly blame people all over the country. You
accuse, learn how completely poor a judge of character you are, then
take another stab, hoping to get lucky. Just how much time and money
have you spent on your obviously arbitrary pursuit of suspects so
far? Who will be next; Ms. Post herself?

Let me tell you a little story. It was a hot day in July at Stone
Mountain Park, the site of the LBSE Annual Event and also the first
letterboxing event I ever attended. I was armed with an ink pad and a
notebook and a list of names. I did at least have markers at that
point so had enough experience to know colors are much less boring.
Wow, I can barely remember that, I actually had new Marvy Brush
Markers back then, not the beat up ones I have today (which probably
are the exact same markers in all likelihood). That was before I
bought the Crayola ones for their carrying case and just gave all
those markers to the neighbor kids since they are too wet (the
markers, not the kids). Anyway, to try and get a jump on things, I
arrived at the park when it opened first thing in the morning and
started boxing while it was still dark. Boxing in the dark, my that
has become quite a pattern in the time since then for me. Any box can
be made into a night box with enough effort though these days it
tends to be the end of the day where I run into that problem, not the
beginning… Anyway, I nabbed a few boxes and tried to avoid the other
weirdos I saw on the trails in those predawn hours since I at least
knew enough not to be muggled. Man some of those people were scary!
Why would people be out climbing over rocks to hide behind them and
having hushed conversations in the woods when it is still dark
anyway? Eventually I made my way over to the gathering area and was
quite surprised to see all those strange people I was avoiding
earlier start strolling in as well. Obviously I just smiled and tried
to wash the entire bizarre memory from my mind… until now… thanks
Instigator Bacon, I will send the therapy bill to you. Please email
me your address off list.

Where was I? Oh yeah, the gathering. There was activity everywhere:
adults, kids, dogs, food, plus a nice mix of sweltering Atlanta heat,
bugs, coffee cups with stamps (I am still mad I missed one that was
specifically pointed out to me by She Who Plants; it was the one in
the purple cup) and funny colored fingers. Yet one of the most
memorable things about this event was when I heard a lady asking
everyone "are you Eidolon?" until she eventually came to me. Well, I
was not sure what I had done so of course said "no, I am Green
Tortuga" but apparently she did not believe me. It turns out the
stalker lady was actually Knit Wit and she had tracked me down
because she specifically wanted to meet me. Why anyone would want to
subject themselves to meeting me is beyond my comprehension but
people do the craziest things sometimes… umm, yeah, we are talking
about Knit Wit, sorry. She was extremely welcoming and really made me
feel at home. Well, not really "at home" since that would probably
have involved air conditioning and cold drink of some sort, but you
know what I mean; she made me feel as comfortable as one can be
sitting on a concrete picnic table in the middle of summer in

But again, I digress. Knit Wit told me she knew I had been boxing for
a little while but she also knew I did not ever join the newboxers
list so she had taken it upon herself to find me at this event and
make sure I had some of the finer points of boxing etiquette
explained to me. As we sat there talking, it was amazing the things I
learned from her, not only about boxing etiquette but about life in
general. One topic she kept coming back to was the importance of
taking the time to contact the placer. I told her I always logged my
boxes as `found' but she said that is not enough. What should happen
in a polite community such as letterboxing is that the finder
attempts to let the placer relive the thrill of the hunt vicariously
through the comments made on their box. Simply saying "found", while
nice and at least useful, is not the proper way to go about things.
She actually recommended a book to me to help me understand what she
was talking about and to reinforce the point she was trying to make;
Amy Vanderbilt's New Complete Book of Etiquette: The Guide to
Gracious Living (Garden City: Doubleday, '67). When she said the
title I of course laughed, thinking "what do I need with some *burp*
outdated *scratch* book on how to *spit* be polite?" but she
persisted and I must say, while it is not vital that a letterboxer
know which fork is which, reading the Correspondence section from
this publication is invaluable and I just wish there was a way to get
all other boxers to read it as well.

So no, Sleuthful Swine, Knit Wit cannot possibly be the party who
stole the Store of Good Manners. In fact, she actively PROMOTES
proper letterboxing etiquette as well as inspires others to go to the
store and buy a book on good manners for themselves, not steal one.
If this does not completely exonerate her then I am at a loss to know
what other proof you might require. Please, feel free to point your
not-exactly-a-bloodhound nose in a different direction and just move
on to your next "suspect" but leave Knit Wit out of your inane search.

Re: The Store of Good Manners: An I.F. Bacon Mystery
Board: Mysterious Capers and Sneaky Stuff
Reply to: #99942 by System
Jun 14, 2007 12:19am
Spreading Chaos, by Investigator Francis Bacon

SpringChick! I tell you it is SpringChick! She put it
all together, you see. It is obvious to anyone who
does his research. She is into this big togetherness
thing: co-operation, being nice, sending little
mementos across the country. It is all a ruse! It is a
known fact that she hikes alone. Alone, that is the
key word here. Would a person who hikes alone really
want hordes of letterboxers on the trail? What better
way to spread chaos in the letterboxing world than to
remove the Store of Good Manners? What better way to
accomplish this than to gain the trust and
co-operation of letterboxers across the country and
have them commit the actual crime?

Never has it been said that I, Investigator Bacon,
skirt the issues at hand, nor do I fail to acknowledge
credit where credit is due. Barefoot Lucy, your
apology has been noted and does indeed show good
manners. It does make me wonder, however, if one is to
point out her own good manners, are they sincere?
Although you are free to leave the country, I would
not suggest it. Given the evidence at hand, you and
the rest of this bandy crew could very well be under
the influence of this notorious SpringChick. For this
very reason, "Uncle Don" cannot be used to aid in this
investigation. Wisconsin Hiker, do not try to muddy
the waters. You know full well what Ms. Emily Post is
looking for, having stated it quite eloquently in her
first letter.

As this investigation draws near its conclusion, I can
only hope that the letterboxing community at large
finds the guilty party, restores the missing Store of
Good Manners to its rightful location and learns to
protect it from the hands of a negligent society.

What do you say SpringChick? Maybe you should change
the signature stamp you use to a devil with a halo!


Investigator Francis Bacon
Re: The Store of Good Manners: An I.F. Bacon Mystery
Board: Mysterious Capers and Sneaky Stuff
Reply to: #99943 by Investigator FrancisBacon
Jun 14, 2007 12:20am
Re: Spreading Chaos, by SpringChick

My Dear Investigator Bacon,

Your investigative techniques in this case bewilder me with their
lack of direction and logic. When all else fails, put the chick on
a spit, add a can of beer and turn up the heat -- not that you are
the first to have resorted to such fowl methods of desperation. Why
it was not that long ago that photos were passed around of the chick
on the rotisserie, along with a tasty roasting recipe.

While it is true that I have engineered and participated in a number
of joint letterboxing schemes employing the efforts of letterboxing
friends from across the country, I wouldn't dream of taking
advantage of my trusted cohorts -- er, comrades, to pull them into a
scheme such as the theft of the Store of Good Manners. It is simply
unreasonable and illogical that I or my usual allies, many of whom
have themselves been held suspect in this atrocious crime, would
wish harm upon an institution which promotes many of the same
philosophies that we do.

Furthermore, I find your logic regarding the fact that I often hike
alone, to be faulty. All the more, I would hope that my fellow
letterboxers would have taken the time to browse through the Store
of Good Manners and have taken to heart what they have found there.
There is nothing more disheartening to a letterboxer than to hike 8
miles to a coveted box only to find that it was not properly closed
by the previous finder and is now full of muddy debris. As a lone
letterboxer this is especially frustrating as there is nobody else
to reach into the slimy mess to rescue the stamp and logbook!

While the good inspector has the discernment to see that my
intentions are generally well-meaning, unfortunately there are those
who would not agree. I am forever having to endure claims of elitism
and criticism from my critics in regards to mystery letterboxes --
both my affinity for them and my staunch refusal to share clues that
I have so diligently deciphered. It seems that there are those
among us who do not consider it a breech of etiquette to share
solutions and location information to mystery letterboxes! As one
with the utmost respect for the likes of Mapsurfer, Legerdemaine and
the previously accused Der Mad Stamper, and as one who immensely
enjoys finding and planting mystery boxes, I am appalled at such
indiscretion and disrespect!

Furthermore, I find it disheartening that mystery boxes, which at
one time were coveted by letterboxers across the country, now
languish in their hiding places with nary a visitor a year, simply
because a little brainwork is involved in finding them. Why, I
recently pulled one of my mystery boxes, planted along the historic
Route 66, which had been in place for several years and had seen
only a handful of visitors. What is at the root of this deplorable
phenomenon? That mystery boxes, once the dessert on the
letterboxing buffet, command so little interest? Is it a fear of
the unknown or just plain letterboxing laziness (no offense of
course, to the Lazy Letterboxer, who has herself deciphered and
found several of these coveted gems)? So intent am I that
letterboxers enjoy these treasures and unravel mystery clues on
their own, I have conducted a workshop designed to provide insight
and tools for solving ciphers, codes, cryptograms, logic puzzles and
other clue craftiness. Give a letterboxer a mystery box solution
and he obtains a coveted stamp, but teach him how to decipher clues
and he scores mystery boxes for a lifetime (or something like that).

Just the other day my dear friend and fellow Great Lakes
Letterboxer, Speedsquare, and I found ourselves in discussion about
this atrocity of loose-lipped letterboxers, among other things
related to the course letterboxing has taken in recent years. I am
sure she would be willing to vouch for me and my letterboxing ethics.

In a resent post the esteemed Ms. Emily Post chided you for ruffling
feathers, well, you have ruffled mine indeed, but I assure you that
you are roasting the wrong chick. I await your apology at such

Re: The Store of Good Manners: An I.F. Bacon Mystery
Board: Mysterious Capers and Sneaky Stuff
Reply to: #99944 by SpringChick
Jun 14, 2007 12:21am
Re: Spreading Chaos, by speedsquare

Instigator Bacon:

Have all your arteries been so clogged with cholesterol that fresh blood to your brain is

I have been keeping an eye on you since you entered our great little group surrounding
the Great Lakes. You are our newest member and we welcome you no differently than we
welcome others. Our fearless leader and #1 Letterboxing mentor will not be with us every
day this summer; she promised to check in from time to time. Her absence should not be
interpreted as suspicious mystery; she notified us that she had other pressing

Spring Chick is far from being suspect in this heinous crime, the theft of the Store of Good
Manners. The numerous files, links and databases at LbGLK will attest to the integrity and
leadership of Spring Chick.

I have to agree with Spring Chick in her estimation of your logic in solving this mystery.
You can't just throw out some gorilla glue and expect it to stick on the perpetrator of this
crime. You'll have to dig deeper and hone those puzzle-solving techniques if you are to
play in the big time. How long have you been solving mysteries? How many hours, days,
weeks did the first one take you to crack? I enjoy a good mystery, too. When I can't get
outdoors to a letterbox, I get my fix watching a good TV crime story. I can get those
solved fairly easily in 38 minutes. The rest of the hour is just a bunch of blah, blah, blah

Surely, Mr. Bacon, you do not expect to discover the answer to this mystery by badgering a
puzzlemaster? It is my belief Spring Chick would rather be drawn and quartered and
marinated than divulge a beloved mystery. But the Store of Good Manners is not a
mystery; the only mystery is where they have been hiding.

Let me share a personal example. Some time ago, I needed a good place to hide a WOM
(word of mouth, if you need clarification) clue to a personal traveler of mine. I needed an
accessible and discreet location. I sneakily put the clue in one of SpringChick's hidden
clues files. Do you think she broadcasted that to the group? Absolutely not. Do you think
anyone else found this little gem in the folder? If they did, they didn't approach me to
receive their reward for sleuthing. And now that little (green or purple) monster is retired.
Is that not a perfect example of SpringChick's ethics?

Are there any summer openings in Sleuthing 101?