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Pitfall Harry's "Mystery of the Map" Video Game Contest



INTRODUCTION:

Congratulations! You have discovered Pitfall Harry's Lost Video Game Contest. Here is your chance to win a very hard to find Activision Explorer's Club Patch! All you have to do to win it is be the first to solve the "Mystery of The Map."

What is the Mystery of the Map?

The Mystery consists of three Pitfall! trivia questions, which are carefully hidden in the Pitfall! Game Map. Be the first to find and correctly answer all three questions and you will win the Activision Explorer's Club Patch. But be warned: you are permitted to enter the contest only once and to submit your answers to the three trivia questions only one time. All contest answers submitted subsequent to your first received will not be considered. So, make sure you are right before you submit your answers.

PRIZES

FIRST PRIZE: The first contestant to submit the correct answers to all three Pitfall! trivia questions hidden in the Pitfall Game Map will win First Prize, a Pitfall! Explorer's Club Patch. This is the embroidered patch which Activision originally awarded to Atari 2600 gamers who scored 20,000 pts or more on Pitfall! and sent in photographic proof of their accomplishment. Long unavailable from Activision, now is your chance to actually get one of these highly collectible high score patches in mint condition for free!

UPDATE 5/10/2002:

BONUS!!! In addition to the Explorers Club patch, the First Prize winner will also receive their choice of either very rare Atari 2600 game: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre or Crazy Climber. Your choice! The games to be awarded can be seen here.

SECOND PRIZE: Don't be discouraged if a First Prize winner is announced before you have completed solving the Mystery of the Map. If you submit the correct answers to all three Pitfall! trivia questions before the contest ends, your name will be entered into a random drawing with all other contestants who answered all three questions correctly, with the exception of the FIRST PRIZE winner who is ineligible . If your name is then selected in the random drawing, you too shall be a winner of an Activision Explorer's Club Patch. That's right! Two Activision Explorer's Club Patches will be awarded (See Table 1 below).

UPDATE 5/10/2002:

BONUS!!! In addition to the Explorers Club patch, the Second Prize winner will also receive a very rare Atari 2600 game: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre or Crazy Climber. Which one you will receive as Second prize winner depends on which one of the two games that is NOT chosen by the First prize winner. The games to be awarded can be seen here.

THIRD PRIZE: All contestants who correctly answer at least one of the three Pitfall! trivia questions -- excluding the First and Second prize winners -- will be entered into a random drawing to win an original Pitfall! video game for the Atari 2600. The game is complete in the box with original instructions. Unlike the Second Prize random drawing, your name will be entered into the Third Prize random drawing as many times as the number of questions you answered correctly. The more questions you get right, the better your chances of winning (See Table 1 below).

Table 1: Chances to win random drawings vs. Number of correct answers

 
Chances to win...
NUMBER OF CORRECT ANSWERS
3 2 1 0
...2nd Prize 1 0 0 0
...3rd Prize 3 2 1 0


REGISTER AS A CONTESTANT FOR STILL MORE CHANCES TO WIN!

As soon as you discover the Mystery of the Map contest, please send me an email me at benandvicky@earthlink.net with subject line, "Mystery of the Map Contestant" and include your name in the body of the email. Registration is entirely optional. Failure to register will not prevent you from winning any of the prizes. However, by registering as an official contestant BEFORE the First Prize winner is announced you will increase your chances of winning one of the other two prizes by earning the "Registration Bonus." Contestants who earn the Registration Bonus will have their names entered into each of the random drawings for which they qualify twice as many times as those contestants who do not earn the Registration Bonus. (See Table 2 below). If you do not register as a contestant or if you register AFTER a First Prize winner is declared, then you will not receive the Registration Bonus.

Table 2: Chances to win random drawings vs. Number of correct answers for contestants with Registration Bonus

 
Chances to win...
NUMBER OF CORRECT ANSWERS
3 2 1 0
...2nd Prize 2 0 0 0
...3rd Prize 6 4 2 0


ALTERNATIVE PRIZES:

If either the First or Second prize winner prefers the complete Atari 2600 video game over the Pitfall Explorer's Club Patch, then the boxed game will be awarded instead. In such an event, the unawarded Explorer's Club patch will be made available as a prize alternative to the winner of the Third Prize drawing.

ENTERING THE CONTEST:

To enter Pitfall Harry's "Mystery of the Map" contest, simply email benandvicky@earthlink.net your answers to the Pitfall! trivia questions, using the subject line, "Mystery of the Map Answers." You may submit only one email contest entry. All submittals subsequent to your first will not be considered. If you find one question, answer it and are then overwhelmed with the urge to brag to me about it, you may send me an email to tell me about it without ending your chances to continue and answer the other questions. Simply email me with a subject line different from "Mystery of the Map." Be advised, however, that I will not tell you whether your answers are wrong or right until after the contest officially ends..

OFFICIAL MYSTERY OF THE MAP CONTEST PAGE:

You may have been led to this page from a clue you found on a web page containing a copy of the Pitfall! Map. Be advised that there is only one official Mystery of the Map contest page, and it is located RIGHT HERE!

WINNERS ANNOUNCED:

The First Prize Winner will be announced as soon as the first contest entry email is received which correctly answers all three Pitfall! trivia questions. The winner's name will be posted on Pitfall Harry's Lost Video Game Cavern Website. Second and Third prize winners will be posted within 3 days after the official end of the contest. All prize winners must agree to have their name posted as a condition of winning. Anyone refusing to do so will be disqualified and their winnings will be forfeit.

END OF CONTEST

The contest ends 30 days after a First Prize winner is officially announced. If no one qualifies for First Prize by 23:59:59 PST on December 31, 2002 then the contest officially ends on that date and at that time. In that event, First Prize will be awarded by random drawing in a manner identical to the random drawing for Second Prize, and only those contestants who registered as a contestant ON or BEFORE December 1, 2002 would be eligible for the Registration Bonus.

ADDITIONAL RULES:

1. There is No age limit required to enter, register or win prizes.
2. Only one submittal of contest answers is permitted per contestant.
3. No contestant is eligible to win more than one prize.
4. Contest answer submittals will not be accepted after the contest officially ends.
5. Those who register as a contestant AFTER a First Prize winner has been declared or after December 1,2002 will be ineligible for the Registration Bonus applied to the random drawings for prizes.
6. All prize winners must agree to have their names posted on Pitfall Harry's Lost Videogame Cavern website as a condition of winning. Failure to do is grounds for disqualification.
7. As author of this contest, I, Ben Valdes, reserve the right to post contest hints to a public web page of my choosing which is equally accessible to all contestants, and to do so at whim's desire as the contest progresses. All announcements of hints and where to find them, if any, will be appended to this page as well. So it may behoove you to revisit from time to time as the contest progresses.
8. The correctness of all contestant answers shall be determined solely by me, Ben Valdes. My judgments are final and are not subject to appeal. I will post all of the questions and their answers shortly after the game ends. If you disagree with any of the posted answers, then so be it.
9. All contestants who do not have fun will be disqualified.
10. Good luck everyone!

DISCLAIMER:

Pitfall Harry's Lost Video Game Cavern, the sponsor of Pitfall Harry's "Mystery of the Map" contest, is a non-profit fan website. It exists solely to promote classic video gaming in general and to extol the greatness of David Crane's masterpieces, Pitfall! and Pitfall II, in particular. It is not affiliated with Atari, Activision, Inc. or David Crane in any way. Should any of the aforementioned parties object to this contest and request in writing that it be terminated prior to its scheduled end date, then such a request will be honored. In that event, my apologies will be forwarded to all who participated. What more can I do?










Addendum: More Clues

The Pitfall! Game Map contains hidden clues to help you find and interpret the three contest trivia questions hidden in the map. Those clues, by design, should be all you need. However, I will be posting additional clues to the Atari 2600 forum of the AtariAge message boards to help speed your quest. Look for the clues in messages posted by Pitfall Harry in the http://www.atariage.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=16&t=003888 topic thread, where they shall first appear. For your convenience, I am also posting those clues here...


posted 05-14-2002 09:54 AM CDT
-------------------------------------
Mystic: Have you read the Scorpion's Tail?

Journeyman: I thought it was the Scorpion's Tale?

Mystic: It doesn't matter.


posted 05-15-2002 04:13 PM CDT
-------------------------------------
Mystic: How goes the journey?

Journeyman: Not so good. I see many things now... things that were once hidden. Yet I see nothing but mysteries leading to more mysteries.

Mystic: Perhaps. But remember also that every solution leads to another solution. Such is the nature of logic. You must look harder to discover the hidden order of things.

Journeyman: I have found order. And I've squinted at it down to the atoms, but still all I see is chaos.

Mystic: No! In all things there is order. But order is not always readily apparent to a disorderly mind, especially when order itself has been ordered.

Do not be misled by the limitations of the eye. Even the apes can see the fruit in the trees. They eat it and then it is gone. A man may struggle mightily before at last he grasps a fruit. The wisest is he who understands the lessons of the seeds.

Journeyman: Did you help write the tax codes for the IRS?

Mystic: No.


posted 05-16-2002 05:41 PM CDT
-------------------------------------
Due to an error on my part, the clue which appears in an archived version of the Map page was deleted from the current Map page until now. I have recently edited the current Map page to re-instate the META TAG clue which some of you had found earlier. This is the only change I have made and will make to the contest page(s). My apologies to those who had previously dismissed this clue as being completely worthless.

posted 05-17-2002 11:45 AM CDT
-------------------------------------
"I heard the elder chat today.
A three clad riddle he did say.
Then returning to his red chalet,
He wrote it down in ink of grey."


- A mystic


posted 05-18-2002 09:51 AM CDT
-------------------------------------
How would you write a ? using Braille dots?


posted 05-18-2002 11:15 AM CDT
-------------------------------------
Journeyman: I have given it much thought, and I have come to one inescapable conclusion.

Mystic: And what might that be, Avatar?

Journeyman: You are no great seer.

Mystic: I see.

Journeyman: You speak in riddles. Every answer opens a mystery darker than the one before.

Mystic: The answer lies south of the border. The journey starts somewhere within.

Journeyman: Now, that's exactly what I mean! If you know so much, why is it you can you never say anything in black and white? Why must your every word be cradled in shades of grey? I think you are a fraud...the blind leading the blind.

Mystic: What kind of mystic would I be if I gave you everything in black and white? Would you rather your quest be as easy as twisting open a jar? Complexity is what makes life worth living. It is in struggling through its greatest challenges where we find its most satisfying rewards.

Journeyman: Thanks for the advice, O Knowledegable One. I get better tips from Pitfall Harry.

Mystic: You have learned so much, Avatar. Surely, my work here is done.


posted 05-19-2002 08:29 PM CDT
-------------------------------------
A message from Pitfall Harry, the elder...



- A mystic


posted 05-20-2002 02:31 PM CDT
-------------------------------------
Journeyman: I think I am finally on to something. Can you tell me...what is a prism?

Mystic: It is a glass shaped like a pyramid. Hold it to the sun and heed its teachings well. Light is like logic. There is more to it than meets the eye.

Journeyman: Do you know where I may find this...prism?

Mystic: You seek an audience with Mrs. Graham.

Journeyman: Who?

Mystic: The proprietor of Ra's Glassworks. She lives up on the summit.

Journeyman: Oh, you mean Anna.

Mystic: Yes, that is she. While you are there, you may want to show her your message from your father. She may help you see it in a different light.

Journeyman: Nah. I already have that much figured out. Thanks anyway.

Mystic: Something you said tells me that is not entirely so.


posted 05-20-2002 08:33 PM CDT
-------------------------------------
Anna: Hello. Did you come to see me?

Journeyman: I came to see a hangar man.

Anna: I am a hangar man.

Journeyman: Well, I guess that proves it. Wow, you are good!

Anna: What can I do for you...ummm?

Journeyman: Oh, forgive me. I'm Pitfall Harry Jr. It's a pleasure to meet you, Anna. The mystic delivered a message to me from my father. Dad's off on another wild adventure, somewhere deep in the recesses of a forbidden jungle. I think he may be in trouble. Wait a minute...here it is. See the blue and red dots in the grey ink? That's his message.

Anna: You're Pitfall Harry's son! No, no. The pleasure is all mine. Please come in. Grey ink, huh?

Harry Jr.: Yeah, I know. That must be part of it, I think. But the dots are a message, too. I think I have the dots figured out, but the mystic thinks I may be missing something important. He advised me to get your opinion and to teach me about prisms.

Pitfall Harry Jr. explains to Anna the message written in the dots.

Anna: Of course! Now that you show me how... I can see that it is Braille, too. Sort of. But one of the characters is out of place a little, isn't it?

Harry Jr.: I know. And it does puzzle me. Father is meticulous to obsession. An out of place character in a message of his? It's just not like him. Still, it is but a single character. I've figured out the rest of the message, and I don't think one slightly out of place character can be all that important.

Anna studies Harry's Braille chart for a moment, then she glances back at the message written in the grey sheet. All at once a smile spreads across her face and her eyes light up.

Anna: You'd better think again. There's no mistake in this message. Your father's resourcefulness is absolutely legendary, and now I can see why. That "out of place" character makes all the difference in the world!


posted 05-21-2002 01:32 PM CDT
-------------------------------------
Harry Jr.: That's amazing! I would never have seen it in a million years. Yet there it was, staring me right in the face. Anna, you truly have a gift.

Anna: That's funny. You never would have seen the red and blue light either, had I not shown you my prism. Sunlight, too, stares you right in the face, but the colors are concealed.

Harry Jr.: Light is like logic.

Anna: Huh?

Harry Jr.: Oh, nothing. Maybe. What you just said reminded me of something the mystic told me.

Anna: Ah, yes. The mystic sees many things. His words hold powerful truths. But his truths often are cradled in shades of grey.

Harry Jr. gazed numbly down at the grey sheet of paper with the red and blue dots. His thoughts drifted back to another conversation he had with the mystic, days before...

Journeyman: Now, that's exactly what I mean! If you know so much, why is it you can you never say anything in black and white? Why must your every word be cradled in shades of grey? I think you are a fraud...the blind leading the blind.

...Harry Jr. came out of it a few seconds later, snapping his fingers.

Harry Jr.: Of course! It all makes sense to me now. How could I have been so blind!

Anna: Sure. Once you straighten out the last charachter. But the message doesn't tell you much. It doesn't say where they are.

Harry Jr.: Oh, yes it does!

Reaching into his pockets, Harry Jr. extracts the envelope in which the message from the elder Pitfall Harry came.

Harry Jr.: Father annotates every message he sends home so he can file it into his master diary later. Anna, look! Look at the annotation written on the envelope!!!


posted 05-22-2002 11:14 AM CDT
-------------------------------------
Mystic: Did you go see Anna Graham?

Harry Jr.: Yes.

Mystic: And did she notice the slightly out of place character in the message from your father?

Harry Jr.: Do you mean the message with the blue and red dots on a grey field... the one you handed to me in an envelope annotated with the same elderchat.png filename you used when you later posted it on the AtariAge message board?

Mystic: Yes. That's the one.

Harry Jr.: Yes, she did. She reasoned that the final character in the message was purposely shifted out of place by my father to create a positional ambiguity which might confuse potential interceptors of the message. It turned out not to be a punctuation mark afterall, but rather a single letter of the alphabet. Once she realized that, her powers of anagam recognition enabled her to instantly unscramble the true meaning of the message.

Mystic: Geepers, she's really smart.

Harry Jr.: Yeah.


posted 05-25-2002 10:53 PM CDT
-------------------------------------
Mystic: Where are you going in such great haste, Journeyman?

Harry Jr.: I have reason to believe Father is in grave trouble. I'm off to the jungle. He may need my help. Ms. Graham is coming with me.

Mystic: That is wise. Anna sees things others would surely miss.

Harry Jr.: Yes. Well, I must be going now.

Mystic: I must warn you... there are many pitfalls in the jungle. How well can you swim?

Harry Jr.: Father taught me everything I know. I am an excellent swimmer. But Anna, I am afraid, is not.

Mystic: That is most unfortunate. When you are in the jungle, survival depends on the ability to see everything. Even when you are underwater.

Harry Jr.: What are you getting at, Mystic?

Mystic: I have a swimming lesson for you. Behold.



Harry Jr.: Your chart says SWIMS WATER SWIMS. So what?

Mystic: Now take this looking glass. What do you see now?

Harry Jr.: It's from Ra's Glassworks.

Mystic: Yes. Now hold the chart at arm's length and the glass midway from chart to eye. Look through the glass. When it comes into focus, tell me what you see.

Harry Jr: I see something impossible! How can a glass alter one word but not another?

Mystic: That is your lesson. Good luck.

Harry Jr.: I HATE you!


posted 05-28-2002 05:21 PM CDT
-------------------------------------
Harry and Anna were deep within a network of subterranean caverns when Anna looked down. She plucked a bundle of tattered rubber scraps that bobbed at the bank of the river.

Harry Jr.: I recognize those scraps. They're from Father's hot air balloon! We must be close.

Anna unwrapped the bundle carefully. Inside there was a note. She read it aloud...

Dear Harry,

I trust it is you who followed the trail of clues I left, which led you to what may be the final message I'll ever write. Please forgive my use of coded messages. But as you know, my quest was one of finding valuable lost treasures, and indeed I have found them! I could not allow just anyone to discover my whereabouts and steal priceless treasures away from me. I also fear for my own life. Rhonda and I have been captured by jungle natives. We had the misfortune of drifting overhead in our hot air balloon, blotting out the sun, just as the natives were making their sacred offerings to the sun god, Ra. Mistaking us for demon gods, they shot us out of the sky with blowgun darts and imprisoned us in the red chalet which sits high atop a sheer-faced cliff, deep within this subterranean cavern. They intend to kill us ceremonially at year's end unless we can prove ourselves to be "Gods of the Sun" by showing them some kind of miracle.

Oddly enough, the natives permit Quickclaw free rein. They have adorned him with collars of gold, allow him to feast to his heart's content on fresh eel meat (a delicacy), and fall reverently to their knees every time he crosses their paths. Go figure.

My thoughts: They are a primitive people. If someone were to come along and extract a rainbow from the colorless rays of the sun... to them, that would be a miracle. And the person who performed such a feat, along with his friends, would be hailed as true Gods of the Sun.

But how to reach us? The only means of reaching the cliff plateau, of course, is via hot air balloon. Our balloon was torn to shreds by the natives, but ever-resourceful Rhonda discovered an emergency backup a long time ago. Her specimen bags may be fashioned into ballons by filling them with steam that rises from an underground geyser located at the base of the cliff. Rhonda keeps a cache of specimen bags onboard Native Sojourns, our little dingy which was left anchored in the middle of the underground river near the base of the cliff. Belowdecks, you will find a music box in Rhonda's cabin. Her specimen bags are kept inside.

I trust that you have Ms. Graham along with you. I have nothing but respect for your abilities to unravel the clues I have left for you. But I know that Ms. Graham will be an enormous help to you. She may see something you may miss... something VERY, VERY VALUABLE to you... regarding Rhonda's specimen bags as you rise over the waves.

Please hurry, and good luck!

- Pitfall Harry

Anna: Let's hurry! There's no time to lose!


posted 06-05-2002 00:01 AM CDT
-------------------------------------
As they raced past the second healing cross the underground river roared in their ears. Soon the path came to an end, and they could see the river rushing out from beneath their feet. Harry Jr. squinted his eyes to the horizon. Through the greying mist, he could just make out the outline of a small boat.

Anna: What now?

Harry Jr.: Now we swim.

Anna: But there are electric eels in the river!

Harry Jr: Anna, we have no choice. The jungle natives could decide to kill my father at any time! Come on, now. Swims water swims.

Anna: Yeah, yeah.

Soggy and nearing exhaustion, Harry and Anna climb onboard Pitfall Harry's little boat, Native Sojourns. Belowdecks, they find two cozy cabins. In Harry's cabin is a large oak desk. It is stuffed with charts, maps and letters, thousands of letters from fans all over the world. Here and there are letters from home, from David Crane and from Activision.

Harry Jr.: There's too much to go through here, and not enough time. Let's see what we can find in Rhonda's cabin.

In the middle of Rhonda's cabin they find a cradle. It's painted grey with green trim.

Harry Jr.: That's funny. Rhonda never mentioned a boyfriend. I think I may be about to become an uncle.

Anna: Let's hope her child develops a better taste for colors than her mother.

Harry Jr.: Wait! There's something inside the cradle.

Anna: Boy, the apple sure doesn't fall far from the tree! No blankets, no mattress, no pillows no nothing except for a two-gallon pickel jar sitting dead-center inside the crib. Good eye, Harry.

Harry gave Anna a scornful look but decided to let it go. They'd both been through hell, and he understood there would be more to come. He bit his toungue and saved his breath.

The diamond-shaped label on the jar simply read, "Notes."

Anna: I wonder what could be in the jar.

Harry Jr.: Crib notes?

Anna: Ah, ha ha. You never meta clue you didn't like. Open it.

Harry Jr. turns the lid of the jar to open it. Inside is a note from Pitfall Harry. The note is titled, "NOTES TO HARRY."

Anna: Well? What does it say?

Harry reads the note...

At sojourn's end, a ring of clues.
Which of them holds the key?
Always count on your father's words:
The best tips come straight from me.


Taped to the bottom of the note is a key. The number 82 is stamped on it.


posted 06-06-2002 11:59 PM CDT
-------------------------------------
Harry moved over to Rhonda's dresser and lifted the lid to the wooden music box he found there. As he glanced inside, a familiar tune began to play. It was a circus tune, a melody his father hummed to himself whenever he was in one of his lighter moods. For all Harry knew, his father had been humming that tune from the time he was still in the cradle. Harry stared numbly down at the specimen bags, lost in thought.

Harry Jr.: I know that song like I know my own name! But I'll be darned if I can tell you what it is. Anna... any ideas?

Anna: I've heard it before, too. From an old movie, I think. I'm not really sure. But Harry, we have a bigger problem on our hands right now.

Harry Jr.: Oh, really?

Anna: Look at these specimen bags. They're ancient! There's only two of them here, and both are badly deteriorated.

Harry Jr.: It gets worse, Anna. One of the bags has a big hole in it. Looks like only one of us is going to make it up to the plateau unless we can find another bag somewhere.

Anna: Or something to patch that hole. Let's take another look in your father's cabin.

Harry and Anna hurry back to Pitfall Harry's cabin. They find nothing, except for the large oak desk overflowing with letters. One by one, Harry and Anna look inside each envelope, hoping one of them might contain a serviceable specimen bag or perhaps a patch.

Anna: Harry, Look! I think I found something.

Harry hurries over to Anna and reads over her shoulder. The scrap of paper she holds in front of her has only two words written on it, "RETURN JAR."

Harry Jr.: That must be the pickle jar we found in the crib. I wonder who's expecting it back?

Anna: Harry, I'm looking at this, and to me it says, "RAJ TURNER" or "RETURN RAJ." Do you think that could mean anything?

Harry Jr.: Hmmm... I remember Father saying something a long time ago about finding a Raj's priceless diamond ring on one of his expeditions. Yet I don't recall that he ever showed it to me. I thought he may have just been bragging.

Anna:Your father's much too self-confident to brag.

Harry Jr.: True...

Harry stood silent once again, deep in thought.

Harry Jr.: Anna, I've got it! The raj... I mean the jar... the label is shaped like...

Anna & Harry (in unison): ... like a DIAMOND!

Anna: Yes! And the label says "Notes." Notes, Stone. Diamond dealers call them stones. Why didn't I see that before?

Harry Jr.: Maybe you were too busy patting yourself on the back for taking cheap shots at me to think clearly. Well, I just unravelled this little mystery one step ahead of A Hangar Man. How do you like them apples?

While Anna fumed to herself, Harry doubled back to Rhonda's cabin. Raising the heavy jar from the crib, Harry threw it forcefully onto the deck. The jar exploded into a pile of splinters.

Harry Jr.: I don't get it. Where's the ring? There isn't anything here.

Anna: Did you check under the lining of the lid, Apple Boy?

Harry paused to grimmace theatrically back at Anna before reaching into the cradle to retreive the lid. It was an odd blend of anticipation and reluctance coursing through him as he slowly peeled back the inner lining. When the edge of what proved to be a small stack of cards was first exposed, Harry's wince of agony was impossible to suppress. Once again, Anna had been right.

Anna: Well... what is it?

Harry Jr.: No ring. It's just four playing cards.

ThreeClad.png ElderChat.png ReadTheCL.png RedChalet.png

Anna: And no diamond.

---------------------------------
Next Clue to be posted 48 hours from the time of this post, unless a First Prize winner is announced.


posted 06-08-2002 11:59 PM CDT
-------------------------------------
Anna: Hmmm. If J, O, K, E and R are all wild letters, that must mean the Joker itself is wild.

Harry Jr.: Right. But everyone knows Jokers are wild.

Anna: Why would your father feel the need to spell it out like that, letter by letter?

Harry Jr.: He wouldn't, unless...

Anna: Unless it was meant as a deception?

Harry Jr.: Exactly! Anna, I think we can safely ignore all five of the Joker's letters.

Anna: Maybe. Or maybe the joker means the J-Jack and the K-King are wild.

Harry Jr.: Then we've been dealt four queens. Interesting. But what could it mean? And what about the three suit letters?

Anna: I don't know. That part of it makes no sense at all. You'd think the Spade, Club and Heart letters would be S, C and H. But K, Q and J are what they point to.

Harry Jr.: Maybe that part of it means nothing. More deception, perhaps.

Anna: Maybe. But for some reason I have a feeling the missing suit, the Diamond, is not missing by accident. And I believe, somehow, the Queen holds the answer.

Harry Jr.: You keep trying to wrap your head around this, Anna. I'm going back to Father's cabin to search the mess in there. Maybe one of those letters will reveal something this crazy set of cards doesn't.

Anna: No, wait. I'll go with you.

Back again in his father's cabin, Harry Jr. digs methodically through the heap of letters on his father's desk. Meanwhile, Anna makes a discovery on the opposite side of the cabin.

Anna: Harry, look at this basket. I found it under your father's bed. Inside, there's a golden rope!

Harry Jr.: That's charming, Anna. But can we stop playing Treasure Hunt for just a minute and help me look for something to patch Rhonda's specimen bags with?

Anna: Alright, alright. I don't suppose you care about this flute I found in there either?

Harry didn't answer. He was distracted now with a discovery of his own.

Harry Jr.: Anna, I think I found what we've been looking for. Inside this letter from Activision... Patches!

Anna: They're clothing patches, Harry. Do you really think they'll adhere to specimen bag rubber?

Harry Jr.: There's only one way to find out.

They were standing topside now, on the deck of Native Sojourns. Anna nodded to Harry. She had to hand it to him. Ironing the patches onto the bags, sealing them by vulcanization, was a stroke of genius. It made her think maybe Harry Jr. was his father's son afterall.

When the bags were fully inflated, Harry made a final check to ensure they were fastened securely to the basket. It was the basket that Anna had found earlier in Harry's cabin, and it was just large enough to accommodate both of them if they remained standing throughout the flight.

The little boat pitched violently in the rushing river current. Anna and Harry clambered quickly into the basket. When they were safely inside, Harry untied the golden rope which tethered them to the deck. The makeshift balloon took to the air as Harry watched the rope fall into a golden coil onto the deck below.

It was at just that moment Anna had a small surprise for Harry. Withdrawing the flute she'd found earlier, she played a lighthearted melody. Harry laughed out loud when he heard it. Anna smiled as she played. It was the same tune the music box played when they found Rhonda's specimen bags, the tune Harry knew so well but could not name to save his life. Now, it was the music that lifted their spirits as twin balloons lifted them off Native Sojourns and up over the waves.

Anna: Harry, look out! Bats! They're attacking the balloons!!!

Harry Jr: I know. Keep playing, Anna. The music scrambles their internal echo location mechanism. As long as you keep playing that tune, the bats will be flying blind. We should be able to dodge them easily enough by shifting our weight.

Anna played on. As their balloon craft continued to climb, so too did her respect for the younger Harry's ingenuity.

Harry Jr.: We're almost there, Anna. I can see the cliff plateau. And there's the Red Chalet.

Upon hearing the phrase, "Red Chalet," Anna's flute fell silent. Her mind whipped through thousands of letter combinations at unimaginable speed. Elder Chat, The Cradle, Three Clad... each phrase paraded before her eyes in a fraction of a second. Harry had mentioned all of them before. Suddenly, a fourth re-ordering occurred to her, something neither of them had considered. But it involved a two-letter abbreviation. LC or CL. Maybe it was nothing. She was about to tell Harry about it when a loud pop! startled her from her reverie. In the silence of her thoughts, a bat had homed in on their balloon and exploded it. Luckily, they had just cleared the cliff plateau when it happened, and they fell harmlessly a mere two feet to the ground below. The balloon was beyond all hope of repair, but at least they'd made it! Harry and Anna scrambled out of the basket and ran toward the Red Chalet as fast as their legs could carry them.

---------------------------------
Next Clue to be posted 48 hours from the time of this post, unless a First Prize winner is announced.


posted 06-11-2002 04:56 AM CDT
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Harry and Anna rush into the Red Chalet. But neither Pitfall Harry nor Rhonda is to be found. They leave the building, bewildered. Soon, they are standing at the end of a road before a small brick building. Around them is a forest. A small stream flows out of the building and down a gully.

They go south.

Anna and Harry are now in a valley in the forest beside a stream tumbling along a rocky bed.

They look down.

Through the rippling waves of the stream they see an old videogame console. Beside it are some game cartridges.

They look at the games.

CL.png




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