Posted by Ed Kiser on August 22, 2007 at 15:00:40 from 220.127.116.11 user Kisered.
In Reply to: Re: Beckfoot-facing which way? posted by Prue Eckett on August 22, 2007 at 02:50:34:
The best evidence that shows the trellis/study side of the house is facing North-East is in the illustration of Dick climbing into the study window by the light of the rising full moon which is causing the sundial to cast a shadow. The direction of the shadow is away from the rising moon. With the moon rising rather near to the East (a bit just north of East), that shadow would be pointing roughly to the West, at moon-rise time. Dick however had waited for the moon to get up full and bright before starting out, so it is beyond the "just rising" point in its path through the sky. In those northern lattitudes, the arc of the path of the moon will not climb very high in the sky, even at its highest point, (which at this season of the year - August 8th - the high point is about half way between the southern horizon and directly overhead), so its path is really a low slope up from the east. To get high enough to provide the light Dick wanted, the moon had to be up for quite a while, since that low slope to the path prevents the moon from getting truly "high" but eventually high enough. So the shadow comes from a moon that is not actually in the east, but more in the south-east, which means that shadow of the sundial is pointing more to the north-west. By having to wait until the moon got high enough to provide proper lighting, the moon will not be long in passing the long axis of the house, thus putting that trellis/study side of the house in shadow, which was quite helpful when Dick was making his getaway, allowing him to slip along close to the wall and stay in the shadow.
I compare this path of the moon to what I observed when living in South Florida, which of course is considerably nearer the Equator than the Lake District of Northern England, as that far south, the path of the moon (and sun) especially in the Summer would cross the sky almost directly overhead. Now that I am further north in Kentucky (still no where at far north as Beckfoot) I can see the much lower path in the sky than what I had become used to seeing.
As for the Aug 8th date mentioned above as being the date of the burglary, this date was selected according to the following evidence:
Day Seven is the day of the burglary, counting Day One as the day
the D's arrived by train. Day Eleven the GA departed Beckfoot.
A line from the letter from the GA says:
You tell me your mother returns on the thirteenth. On that
day I am expecting a friend whose visit I cannot defer.
Not sure of this, but assuming that the GA arrives back in her
home the day before the expected friend, then her return date was
Day of the month Day of the visit
13 GA is with the friend at Harrogate
12 11 Ga leaves to go to the train
11 10 free for the day, to High Topps
10 9 back to houseboat, more stinks
9 8 to houseboat with loot, do stinks
8 7 burglary
7 6 rain, cooked rabbit, Nancy soaked
6 5 Got Scarab
5 4 Jacky shows, NO GO, guddling
4 3 Postman & Timothy scare, make harbour
3 2 They move to DOGS' HOME
2 1 D's arrive, spend night in Beckfoot
My observations regarding the moon's path come from looking at a neat computer program that charts the heavens for any given location and time, so the positional conclusions are what those displays demonstrate.
Incidentally, if anyone happens to be interested in this great star gazing tool, send me personal email, and I will REPLY to that email with the ZIP of this program attached. Shows planets, constellations.
The defense rests...
Ed Kiser, Kentucky
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