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the bargain

‘Tomorrow,’ he said, ‘meet me at 41 On Lan Street in Central and I’ll have what you need to lay your story to rest.’

This was the the message from PJ. He’s from the northern Chinese border and had flown down to meet me in Hong Kong after hearing of my quest for a copy of the Rubaiyat: a special copy, one that was published by the same company in the same year as the one found in the back of the little blue Hillman Minx.

PJ wanted to deal. When was the last time you met an oriental who ever wanted to give anything away?

He laid the book on the table of the little noodle bar and flipped it over to reveal the back cover, and there they were, five lines of capital letters, but these were different.

PJ had decrypted them. He had the message. He knew the secret.

He wanted money. US dollars.

‘How much?’ I asked.

‘Put it this way,’ he replied, ‘if my left trouser pocket wants the one dollar in my right trouser pocket it will have to pay one dollar fifty.’

PJ kept the book, I’m hanging out to see what Dave has found, he’s giving it away.



37 Comments Post a comment
  1. … and a big hello to New Zealand.

    June 11, 2016
  2. Xlamb #

    In S.A. Advertiser they have a little section called ‘what’s you problem’

    This enquiry comes from J.P.(Seaton) who had lost her poems from the Edward Fitz-Gerald / Persian poet Omar Khayyam. Now she’s wanting to buy another.
    In response it’s suggested “O’Connell’s Bookshop. / Adelaide”. It states they have many copies and prices range between $10 and $1,000 for a special edition.

    How much did you figure this ROK was going to cost, and do you regret being such a tight%% and not purchasing it?

    June 11, 2016
  3. Maybe I should offer Dave’s gran a few quid for hers … but I think the forest pygmies have struck again. First they tried GC, then me before striking gold with the same bloke they sold the letters scenario.
    There’s a mug born every minute, sometimes in multiple instances.

    June 12, 2016
  4. Posted full set of images just now. Interesting 🙂

    June 12, 2016
  5. Dave #

    I’m not giving anything away and nothing is for sale. My family has never been to Hong Kong and we are not from the Forest. I was sent an email and advised to stay away from your blog and warned of your behaviour. All I am doing is coming forward with an old book that people have been searching high and low for decades. It’s the right thing to do. Decent human beings do this kind of thing. I have also been trying to respond to my last post but a spam filter kicks in. Cheers

    June 12, 2016
  6. Xlamb #

    Pete…If Dave’s & his Gran are NZ folk that would explain the flurry of interest from all their friends & relies and Gran may have her Nursing home companions following on-line as well. There could be a logical explanation. I just don’t get all the intrigue. What’s so great about this particular book and in what connection to SM. Should nursing home records be examined for past residence names for the book’s owner. It’s a mystery for sure Pete. If it’s a ‘one of’ what would such a book be worth (comes with mug). GF’s email address is easy to find so why ask.

    June 12, 2016
  7. Beats me what the fuss is all about. Grannies ROK is a hardcover, which means not a lot in the scheme of things.

    June 12, 2016
  8. Chloe #


    June 12, 2016
  9. I think that the pages in grannies book are scanned copies possibly from the JW version. They may have come from another light coloured edition from the courage & friendship series.
    I was sent a link to an abebooks page showing a copy of the ROK. No inner pages shown so I emailed the seller who had a .MX email address. Coincidentally so does Dave.

    June 12, 2016
  10. BINGO !!!!!!!!!
    The pygmies emerge ….

    June 12, 2016
  11. Dave, mate, I have to ask … if you were warned to stay away, why are you here?

    June 12, 2016
  12. davidyoungsnz #

    Hi xlamb: Nothing special about the books at all. My gran was a refugee from Poland on the war and the books were given to the refugees when the boat arrived in New Zealand. Spoke with gran today and showed her a picture of nurse jestyn. She has never seen her before. But she does recognise the Somerton man. Somerton man was on the boat. She also remembers him from Persia. He got his copy when he arrived too I would imagine.

    June 12, 2016
  13. davidyoungsnz #

    I’m here to defend myself from stupid stories and tittle tackle Pete. I’ve never seen so much commotion and paranoid behaviour over a poetry book. I was advised to stay away from you Pete by some students from Adelaide university. But I’ve worked out their agenda already.

    June 13, 2016
  14. Fabulous news, really .. Good old gran had it on her bedside table all along.
    …. and here you are chatting with GF. Just like old mates. Looks like the great mystery is about to become unravelled.
    I’m having a hard time keeping still, the tension is almost unbearable. Only one hundred and five names to work through.
    Seriously, you make my job very easy. Please carry on.

    June 13, 2016
  15. Dave … I mean carry on elsewhere, you are done here.

    June 13, 2016
  16. davidyoungsnz #

    I will pete. But I’ll be watching closely. And if I see one bit of tittle tattle that isn’t true that defames me character I’ll consult a lawyer. All the best pete

    June 13, 2016
  17. Xlamb #

    Well Pete, GC… that was disappointing. Unless Gran can remember the name of the chap she recognizes as SM, he remains unidentified. If every refugee received a ROK on arrival, this particular edition must be one of many handed out. Not sure which came first though. Was it questions re- Grans ROK or Gran recognizing SM. Is it the chicken or the egg. I’m confused.

    There might be a passenger list (naming Gran & SM), and old photo’s that could be helpful. If Gran doesn’t have photos, others might. You only need to find a photo match, then a name. The NZ University and Historical Societies might help Dave.

    June 13, 2016
  18. No need to be confused, Xlamb, Dave has been here before under a few different names. His writing style is very distinctive. As far as bullshitting is concerned, he is a novice.
    Pelling is welcome to him, another novice in the ways of the Internet.

    June 13, 2016
  19. davidyoungsnz #



    Dear Mr. Bowes:

    You are hereby directed to


    You are engaging in defamation of my character and reputation. Defamation consists of

    (1) a statement that tends to injure reputation;
    (2) communicated to another; and
    (3) that the speaker knew or should have known was false.


    David Youngs

    June 13, 2016
    • This is terrific so I’ll let it run to see how long it takes this bloke (?) to realise what a goose he’s making of himself. That, of course, is after I contact the appropriate international authorities and inform them of the magnitude of the hoax he is perpetrating against innocent and gullible parties on the Internet (Pelling).
      And a big hello to your granny, Dave, she’s probably a lovely woman who has no idea of the rubbish you are putting forward.

      June 13, 2016
  20. Sad to say the NZ based bookseller on abebooks responded to my email requesting a PIC of the pages responded and told me it had been sold. Sad.

    June 13, 2016
  21. Robert Nowak #

    Hi Pete, Gordon, Clive. Well done, Pete. Dave. His grandmother remembers SM from a camp in Persia, does she? Strewth! She must be in good nick. Does she remember Xerxes, too?. Someone will turn up with his underpants and false teeth soon. SM’s, I mean. And good old Chloe! How many of these people are there? They come and go like the minions of Blofeld and Drax.They take everything to the level of a George Lazenby Bond fillum.

    June 14, 2016
  22. Looks like it’s all over, GC. I’ll give the pygmies another month or two to come up with another plan. So far we have dumped on the Great Letters Hoax and Granny’s ROK, that’s two out of two.

    June 14, 2016
  23. Chloe is a honey, Rob, entirely cured of her permanent affliction and fully capable of using adult words. The Jackass showed up earlier and suggested she needed a bitch-slapping but I thought that sentiment might be a little too much for her and scrubbed it.
    He is a schoolgirl after all.

    June 14, 2016
  24. Good team work PB!

    June 14, 2016
  25. The jugular, Gordon, we go where the blood spurts.

    June 14, 2016
  26. That we do 🙂

    June 14, 2016
  27. Clive #

    Hi Robert, Perhaps iRAN all the way?

    June 14, 2016
  28. Robert Nowak #

    I’d add lib ya, Clive if I could think of something clever.

    My grandfather was Keith Magnossen. My grandma met the Somerton Man.

    Pete I agree entirely about the prose. The modus operandus is similar, too. The revelation, too good to be true evidence, prissy self-righteousness, addiction to going to the police (or claiming to have done so so). I saw posts by this person on Cipher Mysteries first and thought it was fishy. To me ‘Dave’ seems likely to be female. I must say I miss The Jackass’s superbaddy style. Maybe this is not a horde but one of them multiple personality thingies.

    June 15, 2016
  29. Jazz, Jacinta, Lucas, Jackass, Chloe, Dave, JOEL, Florin ….. trolls grow a lot of heads in NZ, not to mention ace CNN reporter Jennifer the Dip and various multi-named functionaries who come and go.
    I’m still reading through Cipher’s ‘Best Etiquette for Bloggers,’ the laughing doesn’t help, that bloke is Abbott and Costello combined.

    June 15, 2016
  30. Dave, mate … enough of the comments. You won’t get published here because the committee has judged you to be a bit of a wank. I know it’s brutal, son, but perhaps you should concentrate your efforts on the Englishman, he’s proved to be open to any old rubbish.
    All the best and goodbye, again.

    June 17, 2016
  31. Goose #

    “I’ll let it run to see how long it takes this bloke (?) to realise what a goose he’s making of himself”.

    On behalf of the Anserini tribe (Anatidae family, Anseriformes order), I would like to formally state that “Dave” has no affiliation whatsoever with us geese.

    If anything, my guess is he’s a Cuckoo (Cuculidae, Cuculiformes) or perhaps a Loon (Gaviidae, Gaviiformes).
    They sure seem to be flocking to Somerton Man blogs lately.

    June 17, 2016
  32. What beats me is that all the interest is in the ROK’s that Dave is hawking around and none in his claim that Grannny was shipboard mates with the Somerton Man when they both sailed from Poland in 1945.

    June 18, 2016
  33. Xlamb #

    From my memory the sequence of discoveries were…that Gran had an ROK, but Dave’s uncertain where it’s come from or even if it’s hers, and perfectly understandable in a nursing home environment where residents might leave possessions / a book after they’ve ‘passed’. Gran later confirms that it’s her book and how she came to have it. She also reveals that she recognizes SM (but not Jestyn) from photos Dave shows her. I’d have expected passenger records to be hunted high and low for names by now. All that’s needed is Gran’s name and names of all males that accompanied the group to NZ. At very least Gran’s name would be a good start.
    I see that the similarity re- a brown suitcase has been raised by Nick in connection since, and the picture of the case posted to show Gran, for any likeness perhaps.

    Looking at the suitcase photo can anyone confirm what’s in the background. Looks to me like a fluorescent light fitting, and is that ‘the scarf’ draped behind it.

    June 18, 2016
  34. Robert Nowak #

    Or maybe Dicrurus Bracteatus, Goose? ROK and hawk, Pete!

    June 20, 2016
  35. Grannie would have been 10 at the time I think. So nice of the kiwis to give a racy, metaphor laden poetry book to a young girl who quite probably spoke little if any English. Big hearted bunch those kiwis.

    June 20, 2016
  36. Not to mention the man-sized brown leather suitcase the kiddies were given … Polish orphans were known to be overloaded with clothes during WW 2 – who am I to argue with the Great Speculator?

    June 20, 2016

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