Herman and his friend make the journey back to Herman’s camp a week after the first disturbance. During the seven hour trek of driving up 95, four-wheeling narrow logging roads, and hiking the final two miles, Herman and his friend speculate endlessly about what threw the boulder at their canoe.
“A hermit,” Herman says.
“A bear,” his friend replies.
“But we heard voices,” Herman insists.
“Then what — ”
“Bigfoot?” Herman finally says.
Before Europeans showed up in North America with their pasty skin, diseases, and guns, Native Americans had legends of a man-like beast in Northern Maine. They called it Pomoola. More recent names for the Maine Yeti are Ridge Monster and Meddybumps Howler. There have been reported Ridge Monster sightings as recently 1988.
Maine’s relationship with Bigfoot is intimate.
Ok, I know what you’re thinking. You’re telling a bigfoot story? What’s wrong with you? Well, reader, there’s a lot wrong with me. But remember, this story is true. And Herman, our protagonist, is by all accounts a level-headed man.
I’m intrigued by stories. Even stories about encounters with mythological monsters. Or, especially stories about encounters with mythological monsters.
Now back to Herman.
Herman and his friend wake up early the next morning. They load their canoe with fly rods and tackle. They decide to fish until they hear sounds like they heard last week.
All morning there’s nothing. The men cast without speaking. Herman holds his breath from time to time to listen better — a trick he learned from his yellow lab.
At one point a bull moose bounds out of the woods into the pond. The men jump. The canoe nearly tips. They laugh nervously.
Around one, Herman reels in his line. “Let’s eat,” he says.
His friend nods and retrieves his line.
That’s when they hear it. The garbled human voices sound from the far edge of the pond. The rocky cliff where something threw a boulder at their canoe shimmers in the afternoon sun.
The men share a look. Herman smiles. His friend wipes sweat from his forehead.
They each grab a paddle and silently work their way towards the edge of the pond.
The voices go quiet. The men stop paddling.
Herman squints, looking into the canopy of forest at the pond’s edge. There’s a shriek from the trees. The voices, two, maybe more, sound urgently. This could be humans, Herman thinks. It could be something else.
Herman’s friend grips his paddle to leave. Herman’s not leaving. This is his family’s camp. This is his pond. He’s not leaving.
In the woods there’s the same clanging as the first time. Something’s knocking a piece of wood against a tree.
They listen without moving.
“We should go,” his friend urges.
His friend yells again, but Herman doesn’t hear him. Three quarters of the way up the rock cliff, he sees it.
The pounding noise echoes out across the water, bringing Herman back to the canoe.
The two men paddle to the middle of the pond. The pounding stops.
“I saw it,” Herman says.
“A cave. That must be where whatever that is lives. Next time I come back, I’m bringing guns, and we’re going into that cave.”
…This coming weekend, Herman and his friends are going to the cave. You’ll get Part III of this story as soon as I find out what happens in that cave in Frenchville, Maine.