The Quest of Lost Estotiland:
On the Trail of Templar Mysteries in Nova Scotia
And Beyond


by N A Reiter

Thusly Are Quests Formed:

It happens around January of each year, that my spouse and such kids as remain in kid-dom clamor for bidding rights as to the location of the upcoming summer vacation road trip. This year, a hankering for lighthouses and whale watches seemed to prevail, and a general agreement came to exist early on, even by Twelfth Night, that we needed to head into the Atlantic northeast, perhaps to Maine. As it so happened, I myself had been in the vague early phases of a growing interest in the topic of the Knights Templar, the Sinclair Voyage, Oak Island, and the possibility that a Templar presence had existed in Eastern North America. By April, I had devoured Grail Knights of North America by Michael Bradley. In a fashion befitting Malory's Round Table miracles I gained a luminous epiphany. Why stop at Maine, when an extra day's travel would land us in beautiful Nova Scotia? Yes! So it would be! Thusly was a Quest formed. Spouse and progeny could tag along as they pleased, with whale watches and lobster in abundance. I however, felt like assuming the guise of one of my Arthurian heroes and began rigorously preparing myself in ways metaphysical and practical for a well-engineered tour of “Estotiland.” (This is what Nova Scotia was claimed to have been called in the infamous Zeno Manuscript, wherein is claimed the heroic voyage of Prince Henry Sinclair in 1398)

Integral to the success of this sightseeing and investigative quest into Templar mystery was the establishing of a correspondence with Nova Scotia researcher John Coleman, of Halifax. By early spring, I had established an e-mail rapport with John, and began to probe his knowledge about the legends and bona fide mystery sites of the province. Please pay a visit to John's absolutely essential web-site:

http://www.newworldmysteries.com/johncoleman/

For a number of years, Mr. Coleman, outdoorsman, surveyor and computer technologist has investigated and catalogued mysterious ruins, standing stones, and geomantic alignments in Nova Scotia- always with an eye toward broadening our understanding of the potential role of the Knights Templar in the New World. From John's site, I selected a number of devilishly interesting locations I desired to visit. In correspondence, John indicated that he would be happy to meet with me upon my arrival in the province, and while time was precious due to his personal schedule, he was willing to show me at least one stellar location near Halifax.

On the fourth of July we set out and headed by land eastward, with stopovers in upstate New York, Vermont and New Brunswick along the way. On the early afternoon of the 7th, we crossed into to Estotiland the Fair, home of ten thousand pipers, Alexander Keith's lager, and hoary mysteries of stone, sea, and piney grove. In Amherst, near the New Brunswick border, we pulled in at a small grocery store to replenish our cooler. After returning to the car, I looked up and became startled by the freakishly bizarre A-frame building across the street, painted brown with a blue triangle pointing upward and four blue pillars. It was the local Masonic hall… The Grail had begun to spill its wine of mystery onto my lap. Nevertheless, we meandered and picnicked a bit, enraptured by the sheer charm of the Nova Scotia countryside, before heading to our motel to the north of Halifax. That evening, I spoke with John Coleman by phone, and we made plans to meet the next day over his lunch hour from work.

Fig1.

Questing knights should be ever vigilant for signs and omens and minor miracles involving floating cups and swords being lifted out of lakes by samite clad arms. Beginning in the cool Adirondacks of New York, I had been astounded by the abundance of roadside crows. The nighted harbingers had appeared singly (for sorrow, as the old jingle goes) or in threes (a wedding to come!?). What did they bode, if anything, for my stay in the New World Templar domain? Ones and threes seemed contradictory. Sorrow ahead, yet a wedding?

The Bayers Lake Wall Complex:

The next day, I met John Coleman outside our motel, and hopped into his truck for a short ride to the current primary site of his investigative efforts - coincidentally only a few short miles away in a wooded area near Bayers Lake. I liked John immediately - he is a latter day knight himself - a big grinning bear-like fellow with a hearty laugh and a penchant for ale and adventure. Yet no knave, he! We fell about talking on matters of metaphysics, geomancy, geometry and geology all within minutes.

The Bayers Lake structure smote me when I broke through the dense woods into the clearing where part of it lies. It is on private property, and was until recently in danger of being destroyed by development. However, by the efforts of John and others, it has been declared an “archaeologically interesting site” by the province, and is thus for now safe. However, the downside is that until the province makes a formal move, no digging or disturbing of the site - even by schools or professionals - can begin.

The visible portion of the structure consists of a tumbled wall area, resembling a foundation of a long gone building, with “rooms” being apparent, along with breaks or doorways in the wall. A second section consists of a straight wall running down a hillside about 20 meters away. John claims that other sections which appear to be connected may lie buried or semi-buried on many nearby properties. Some of the small circle of investigators who have looked into it feel that the wall complex may extend for kilometers

Locally, there seem to be no parties coming up with firm conventional explanations, or at least consensus. The wall height ranges from ground level to about one meter high. It is composed of native rock, typically a dark, iron rich, gray quartzite with some granite mixed in. The stones of the wall are stacked, with no apparent mortar, and in places may have been roughly dressed. The gray quartzite lends itself easily to splitting and stacking, and many walls and fences in the area are still built this way.

Fig 2 and Fig3

John believes that these walls may date to the Templar era (12th to 14th century) and may indicate a mining operation or monastic colony.

I tried dowsing at places, but got too much swinging of the rods. The Hall Effect magnetometer showed about 10 to 20% distortions of geomagnetic ambient at several of the "breaks" or doorway gaps in the walls. Why there? Momentary thoughts of threshold guardians needed to be shaken off.

Subjectively, there is a sense of peaceful power there among those stones. John himself is geomantically sensitive, and agreed it is a potent place of subtle energy. It had a sacred feel to it, even beyond the sanctity that the Green Man always preserves in any wooded glen or glade.

Speculations on the Templar Quest:

John’s time was unfortunately short, and his home schedule did not allow us to meet face to face again. However as we stood admiring the unknown handiwork of the wall, and in our driving to and from the location, John shared a variety of thoughts on the objectives of the Templar Order, related to their possible activities in the New World. Much of it I found to be uncannily parallel to my own suspicions, but some was novel, and formed a springboard for future speculations.

John’s hunch is that the much-debated Sinclair expedition did likely occur; however, it was not in and of itself a Templar exploration mission. (1398 was ninety one years after the great purging of the Order, on October 13th 1307.) Rather, it may have been an attempt by the exiled remnants of the Order in Scotland to seek out and re-establish contact with an earlier established Templar New World colony! During their halcyon era, the Templar fleet was the master of all the world’s waters. It is not beyond possibility that well over a century of “Top Secret” Templar activity may have transpired in the New World. Perhaps it was this Western demesne that the final load of sacred artifacts, documents, and treasure may have been bound for, on the eve before the great purge in 1307.

However, during the time that the Order may have sailed and explored the globe in secret, what were they searching for? The Sangraal bloodline was accounted for, and any sacred artifacts, such as the Ark, the Lapis Exillis, or arcane Solomonic goodies were hidden or guarded. What more did the Order seek? Trade? Riches? Living space?

John speculated that the Templars had in their early history obtained the wisdom of geomancy and power points on a world grid. This knowledge in the Old World had been passed down from unimaginably ancient sources, to Greece and Egypt and the Orient. It is likely that this same knowledge had been passed down in different forms among peoples living in the Americas as well… possibly from the same primal source. At any rate, the Templars may have navigated the globe, by astronomy, world grid geomancy, and sacred mathematics - seeking power points or grid nodes, and marking them in subtle yet recognizable ways. The questions become more focused, until all that remains is… “why?”

John’s theory, based on his own experiences, is that a deep spiritual connection with power points exists. When at these locations, “something” - be it God, World Spirit, the Akashic Record, invisible realms, the metaphysical Grail, etc., may be communed with in ways impossible in other locations. Like tie points to the invisible world, the power points do truly offer power… in the form of communion with wisdom: Gnosis. To my thinking, something else remained yet, that John did not vocalize. In Foucalt's Pendulum, Umberto Eco played with the notion that the Templars sought the “navel” of the world - the one power point on the globe where all other activity in our world could be controlled from, given some hidden technique or fantastic machine.

Later in my stay among the hills and rocks of Estotiland, a singular notion occurred to me. What if the Knights Templar were seeking the “One Place”, the spot where all of the informational fields that pattern our world enter in from …from somewhere else? At this spot, hidden, guarded, forbidden, could an actual entry into or exit from our world be achieved? Think Stargate, or the sipapuni of the Hopi… Did the Templars search for the way out of this diorama/zoo/experiment called Earth? The door to home? Or is it something like the little trap door in the back, where the animal food appears daily, thanks to the zookeepers.

I am thinking of “Information Theory” of a different sort. What if every particle in our world is connected by a string to “somewhere.” The strings of a molecule bunch together with the strings of others, and are further bunched as cells and organisms and groups of organisms, as well as the land and water, grouping in bunches. When these bunches of informational strings converge with other bunches, we have nodes where the patterning information of reality may be intercepted and possibly altered. Small bunches feed together and become regional, then continental, then global bunches, like roots of a tree converging at the trunk base. Finally - somewhere - is the primary conduit, the tree trunk, the Axis Mundi. There would be the place where maybe one could achieve all knowledge of every particle in the world. And maybe walk out.

The Masonic Connection Begins - The Old Burial Ground:

John Coleman provided me with several “field trips” in Nova Scotia to help me continue my questing. It’s the kind of sacred hermit he can be, the type we all can be sometimes.

Later on the same day that John and I looked at the Bayers Lake complex, Deb and I packed up the kids and drove down into Halifax. Halifax is a delight, a city with a maritime crustiness but a West Coast mellow feel. We toured the Citadel, of course, and then headed into the old downtown region to seek out The Old Burial Ground. In the OBG are to be found some of the oldest gravestones in the province. John Coleman and others have speculated that some of the oldest may indeed mark the bones of some of the final descendents of the Templar colonies. How can this be? The stones are from the 1600s and 1700s earliest.

Yet another possible explanation for the final fate of the Templars and their descendant families in North America is that they never did die out or vanish. They were simply here - maybe living a little on the native side - when the first “historical European” pioneers showed up. When the first boatloads arrived from England, France, and Spain, the K-T descendants simply acted like they were more of the same, having arrived on a different boat a year earlier. Hiding in plain sight - what a concept!

I could see John's point, although I myself would suspect the Templar colonists in the northeast may have diffused into the Iroquois Nation and Algonquin people by marriage. On the other hand, there were some pretty uncanny stones in the Old Burial Ground. The Masonic element enters here, with all the accompanying mystery and Hermetic symbolism.

This cemetery is the coolest place I have ever seen. The stones are primordial, in tones of soot black and old bone brown. It is Goth beyond Goth. See a couple of examples below:

Fig 4 and Fig. 5

In one quarter of the cemetery, a number of stones had bona fide Masonic symbolism on them, but were accompanied by a curious sigil - a skull and crossbones with the bones above the skull. What does this imply?

I dowsed some of these stones, and found a Masonic Ray extending eastward.

Also in the same bone-yard is a much newer (late 1800s) polished granite memorial to the first Masonic Lodge in Nova Scotia. This monument is a sacred cube, atop a three-stepped pyramid. I dowsed this monument, and oddly found a ray extending perpendicular from the center of each of the four face lines or the pyramidal base. See below:

Fig. 6

The Uniacke Enigma:

On his website, John Coleman shows how meaningful alignments may be traced from the positions of old monuments, standing stones, and enigmatic archaeological specimens across Nova Scotia and the Maritimes. In his most thorough mapping, John and colleagues have traced both pentagons and hexagons across the landscape. In my early digging through John's data, I found that the central hexagon alignment was most dramatic. According to John, the centroid of this hexagon (derived by bisecting the hexagon three ways) lay on an old property, now a historical museum, near Mount Uniacke (rhymes with “Univac”). On this property is erected a small stone monument of a most curious form. Presumably it was erected by someone who knew the geometry of the large hexagon and thus were likewise skilled in geomancy.

It was on our third day in NS that we swung up past Mount Uniacke and found the museum property in question, the restored summer home of early Nova Scotia merchant and founding father, Richard Uniacke. The grounds of the museum are magnificent, and the home rivals those of Jefferson, Washington, Adams, et al. Though I was feverishly anxious to get to the monument, I felt it appropriate that we tour the museum and get more of the Uniacke story. It was a wise move.

The museum ladies were sweet, and obliged my non-standard questions as best they could. The home had been built in 1815, although the property had been owned by Uniacke - an Irishman by birth - since the late 1700s. The Uniacke home is said to be haunted mainly by the ghost of Martha, one of Uniacke's daughters. I inquired about the monument I was so anxious to see. As it turns out, the most prevalent theory is that someone had set the monument in place before the house was built - probably in the late 1700s. It is not a gravestone. It is said the monument had been carved in Italy before being erected by Uniacke, or whoever did the deed. The monument was said by local Anglican Church officials to represent the triumph of Christianity over Paganism. As you will see, this is bogus:

Fig. 7 and Fig. 8

The monument sent a chill down my back, though it is certainly not a grand thing. It sits about 60 feet away to the east of the house, pleasantly gracing the large neat lawn. We strolled from the house, and I paid my homage to the site, taking a GPS reading for future reference.

John Coleman believes that the monument has been moved from its proper geomantic location, belonging more correctly about 200 yards away, up a wooded hillside. I would agree. The monument is spooky, but it seems “out of place.” It is about four feet tall, a dark gray stone design resting on a cement pad that no doubt had been poured in a more recent era. Dowsing around it was anticlimactic, as I found only a single ray connecting the monument to the Uniacke house.

A plump central column is circled by a viciously grinning serpent or snake. The creature is coiled three and one half times around the column - perfectly matching the three and a half turns of kundalini, as well as those of the Aescalpus staff or the Caduceus of Hermes. It also carries the form of the primal Orphic Egg, given the plumpness of the center column: Hermetic tradition embodied in stone - flawlessly. On top of the flattened cap of the column is a stone cross, with a single iron bolt fastening it to the lower assembly. To me, the cross looked like an afterthought. It does not appear to be made of the same stone as the main monument. It is also pretty plain and paltry if indeed the theme of the piece is the Church’s victory over Paganism. The serpent is most impressive, and even has a little bit of Quetzalcoatl in its toothy grinning face. If I wanted to razz the heathens, I would have opted for a stern Christ stepping flat on the pagan snake's head or something. Somebody put that cross there as an afterthought to keep the local pious and churchly folk at bay.

I asked one of museum employees, Martina, whether Mr. Uniacke had ever been known to be affiliated with any secret or fraternal society. She was quick to reply: “Oh yes, he was one of the first Masonic Grand Masters of Nova Scotia!” Indeed, isn’t that to be expected? Fascinating. Martina pointed out that Uniacke had also incorporated Masonic geometry and symbolism throughout the house, and that high-ranking Masonic visitors to the museum recognized this instantly. The large semicircular third story window facing east is of curious and probably Masonic influence. It contains a curved grid design, like a representation of a northern hemisphere.

This was too darned fine. A mysterious stone monument, embodying a primary Hermetic tradition, is located on a property that corresponds precisely to the centroid of a province-wide hexagonal alignment of standing and mystery stones. This property belonged to one of the first Masonic Grand Masters of Nova Scotia, and still attracts commentary from other visiting high-ranking Masons.

Oak Island:

Oak Island went onto the questing list from the start. The tales of the mysterious “Money Pit” and speculations about the originators of the Oak Island treasure are well known, spanning the spectrum from errant Mayan seafarers to 17th century pirates. This includes, of course, the possibility that the whole affair was tied to the Knights Templar. Was this the last resting place of the Ark, or some physical “Holy Grail?”

Good Sir John Coleman has come to suspect that Oak Island may certainly be a geomantic power point, but that it is likely it was built as a ruse, or that nothing is really there: perhaps something resembling an initiation grounds for some order or organization, to my thinking. On the other hand, it does appear that the peripheral engraved stones found around the money pit area, and snippets of characters on parchment supposedly dredged up from the pit itself, are essentially Hermetic, or relate to proto-Masonic/Templar symbolism and form. At least one source claims that the engraved characters found near Smith's Cove are Coptic. In his book Oak Island Secrets, author Mark Finnan also reveals that all of the owners of Oak Island since its discovery have been high ranking Masons. Go figure. What better way to keep a “secret” secret than to keep an unbroken chain of owners all belonging to the same secret society.

We swung past the Oak Island causeway on our way to Lunenburg, on the southern coast. The causeway itself was in disrepair, though homes and vehicles were visible on the far shore. It was also chained off, with numerous warning signs. Local word has it that the Island is once again up for sale.

Fig. 9

New Ross and Forties:

As we headed back toward Halifax from Lunenburg, I stole the moment once again, and directed the family car northward to the village of New Ross, claimed by some authors to be the location of ruins of a stone castle. The Coleman opinion was that this was unlikely. However, there was a curious standing stone on the hilltop northwest of the main crossroads of the village. It appeared to be a power point, and was part of one of the primary provincial geomantic alignments.

There was a quiet heaviness in the air on the afternoon we arrived. On the northwest corner of the crossroads was a small Anglican church. John had confided to me the day before that many of the geomantic power points in Nova Scotia and elsewhere end up drawing in those who seek to build holy places - even if no conscious knowledge of geomancy is present. Thus for some reason, old Anglican churches and even Masonic halls are found over these nodes in the land’s grid. I snapped a picture of the Anglican church at new Ross. To the left side of the door was a large black number “4” that did not appear to be related to its road address.

Fig. 10

To the northwest of New Ross about eight miles is a town that I had to check out because of its name. The village is called “Forties.” This snagged me, and I speculated obsessively on just what the origin of this town's name was. Having undergone months of numerical synchronicity with my questing friends, often involving sequences of twos and fours, I couldn’t let it go. We stopped at yet another Anglican church in Forties. To the west of the church was a farm field that intrigued me with its many oddly-sized boulders. As I was prone to do, I pulled out the GPS and took a reading. Surprise! The riddle was solved. The latitude of the town of Forties is just that… 44 degrees 44 minutes North! Ah, the sweet smell of pure Jungian numerical repeating digit synchronicity.

This Humble Knight doth drink from a most Parfait Chalice:

The remaining “field trip” pointed out to me by John Coleman was a stopover on the way up to Cape Breton Island, an enigmatic monastery east of Antigonish. It was shown on the provincial map as - what else – “Monastery, Nova Scotia.” John had been there a couple of times, though he had never seen any of the monks at work or about. He felt that the monastery site was one of the more primary power points on the local grid. For me, what would a quest be without a stop at a monastery or hermitage, for a miracle, or for guidance, or for dream interpretation?

Antigonish was in the midst of their annual Highland Games, and we had just learned that one of the lads in the super heavyweight class had lost his kilt in either a hammer throw or caber toss. Aye. What sorrow ta' throw Wee Ma'Gregor to the cruel wind! About 10 miles beyond Antigonish, we pulled off and found a neat small sign pointing down a gravel road. The sign read “Our Lady of Grace Monastery, Order of St. Maron.” Maronites? Here in Nova Scotia? Now I was fascinated. We followed the road past tidy meadows, some hay, and munching cattle. No monks in sight, though.

The monastery itself is a sprawling newish-looking building of stained wood and red brick. Scattered around the grounds were barns, tool sheds, a forge, and gardens. But again… no monks. It was about 11:30 in the morning. At lunch or prayer? No vehicles besides ours were there.

At the far end of the parking lot was a sign pointing further down a gravel road which read, simply, “Shrine.” Fair enough, what shrine lyeth this way in yonder glen? I followed the drive a bit further to a second gravel parking lot. From the lot, a path led into a cool and verdant woods, following a natural valley and small creek. Over the trail’s head was a quaintly painted wooden gate and sign:

Fig. 11

Ah, a Sacred Spring! How fitting. What enticement to witness holy waters!

I shouldered my pack and camera, and indicated my intention to visit the spring. The boys remained ensconced in the car with their headphones and Walk-men. Ah, blessed youth, to not require the services of any hermits besides Metallica and Rammstein at high volume. Deb however, said she wanted to see it also. What cur would I be to prohibit any from joining me who would do so?

Beyond the gate, the trail passed the stations of the cross, and dipped into a deeper wooded area. There ahead it was. Nearby, a small chapel dedicated to Saint Anne watched silently. A small stone shrine was embedded into the hillside, with many photos and petitions from pilgrims filling it. However, the beauty was deadly to those not of pure heart or thick skin. Deb began swatting at the near opaque blanket of mosquitoes that began to drain her of blood. She yelped and bolted back up the trail to the car. I wore my skeeters like a hair shirt, and endured the devil’s stings. Reverently, I wrote out a petition and left it at the shrine, and then turned down the hill to the Sacred Spring.

The spring is a cheerful and vigorous artesian well, shooting up from under a rock overhang to form the tiny creek that follows the shrine trail. A wooden kneeling board allows pilgrims to kneel and pray at the water, and to facilitate drinking from this holy spot was a suitable chalice. The cup in question was a pure kitsch 1970s yellow plastic smiley face coffee mug. How wonderful! I knelt and said my silent prayers as I scooped a cupful of the pure cold goodness, and quaffed it. It was delightful and sweet. I replaced the cup on the stones at the side of the spring. Before leaving I dipped my hands into the icy pool and asked that they be sanctified to serve the Grail. I also took from my pack my little dragon handled dagger, and washed it in the water. I had plans ahead for it.

I stood, and saw that among the many wildflowers growing in that wet cool little corner of heaven were clumps of my own flower totem: the Forget-Me-Not. How inspiring, the Blue Flower of my long Avalon Quest, here to greet me! It had first appeared to me in far away Ontario, and now again in this land of stone, sea, and power. I plucked a tiny spray of them, and tucked them into my notebook, as I whispered a final prayer of thanks to the Spirit of that place: to the Grail.

As I left the trail and re-entered the parking lot, I looked up and read the gate sign from the opposite side: “Living Water.” Yes, I like that.

Fig. 12 and Fig12a.

John had been right. There was power here, and a communion with Spirit. Mosquitoes, sure, but I hardly paid them any heed. This was a holy place. And I left a little holier for it.

As I sit now at my scribe’s desk, I ponder yet another synchronicity of the Monastery. It had puzzled me as to how and why Maronites had come to this place to set up their spiritual home. In further reading about the Maronite order, I have found some suggestion that the middle-eastern origins of Saint Maron were connected with the Copts as well. The Copts? And what of the claim of Coptic characters at Oak Island?

Maybe only the sacred Blue Flowers and laughing living water know the truth.

Prince Henry and a Pilgrim's Oath:

After leaving Monastery, we headed into the southern regions of Cape Breton and puttered about for a spell. The time was running out, and there was no way we could make the Highlands I so desperately wanted to see. Alas, for the next quest.

We headed back along the coast road for a bit, and ended up at Boyleston Provincial Park and the monument for Prince Henry Sinclair. Overall, in the shadow of my visit to Monastery, the boat-prow-shaped memorial seemed a little anti-climactic, yet it was another stop on the way, a station of the Cross for the pilgrim within.

Fig. 13

We drove down the lane to the highway, and I pulled over abruptly, near a ledge overlooking the shallow Chedbucto bay. Was this where the hopeful feet of Prince Henry stepped forth, eager to find the Brothers of Lost Estotiland? I excused myself for a moment, and left the family in the car while I scrambled down the bank to the brown lapping waters.

This was a good place. I opened my pack, and pulled out my dragon dagger, procured years before at a dark and dingy witch's shop. I had blessed this blade in the waters of the sacred spring. It was now time to offer it up to a power and an urge that I had felt growing within me for some months. Even in my pathetic mundane life, I had heard the call of the Grail, and once the call to Quest is heeded, none may turn back save at their peril. I had devoted my heart to women and banners and ideals for far too long, even in my disguised “cover life” as an average Joe. I quested now for something more. Was my soul pure enough, my heart and mind clean enough? Who can say until their moment of trial arrives and passes? It took Percivale a couple of tries…

I whispered to the blade. “To Avalon, and for the Great Cup of All, do I devote my heart. Take this blade as a covenant for this moment, and let me serve as the Grail bids!” I wound up, and threw the dagger as far as I could across the water. No white hand reached to grab it. But it went home to the Lady of the Lake nonetheless. Thusly are promises made.

Return; and The Knight of Westford:

We left Nova Scotia the next day. Even though two days were yet to transpire ere I walked in my home door, I knew deep within that certain affairs would never be the same in my life again. Something new had been born, and something old was dying, and had indeed - as I later found out - died while I was away. The crows had been honest, and only the weeks ahead could explain. But that is another adventure.

We made our way through New Brunswick and Maine, and finally Massachusetts. The town of Westford is one of those endless villages in the New England tradition, where you never can quite tell where the town begins and the country ends. It is all leaves and fences, and pleasant gables, and the smell of old wood. Lovecraft’s beloved homeland.

The story of the Westford knight is, of course, tied with the tale of Prince Henry’s expedition. Skeptics would say that the Knight was carved by some local boys in the late 1800s. It is hard to say, because sadly, the image of the knight with sword and shield is almost gone. It wasn’t what I had expected, I guess. The image was a punch hole carving on a nearly horizontal exposed stone face of a larger buried boulder. It is not even quite life-sized. A small plaque sits beside the chained-off stone face, and explains that the image is thought to be that of a member of the Gunn family, allies and friends of the Sinclairs. The carving is said to mark the grave or commemorate the death of one of the members of Henry's southern inland expedition who belonged to Clan Gunn - or so it is said by Clan Gunn, who sprung for the plaque.

I snapped a couple of photos, knelt momentarily and crossed myself, then turned and went back to the ever-patient family waiting down the block.

Fig. 14

In my mind, I repeated the ancient line of the Templar trail… “Et in Arcadia Ego.”

In Adagio:

I finish now this account of my quest. It will be neither my last nor best. But it was an adventure on many levels. I found mysteries, and came away a wiser man, perhaps able to better endure some of the personal events that would pass in the following weeks. Nearly a month has passed, and in some ways I can scarcely remember who I would have been before I went to Nova Scotia's shores.

I went looking for an unknown treasure, but I found something greater. I found magic and meaning, new friends and ideas. Strength and serenity. Birth and death. Purpose. Great Work. Canadian beer. And hope.

But as you might guess, it was only the beginning.


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