Hints and Reveals
6 Page Copy of Charter
- The whole charter provides context for daily life in Oasis, but several articles are important to know regarding Beatrice's death.
Article V Sec. 501
- "The only way to rise to the Elder Caste, the prerequisite for election into the Elder Council, is to meet the requirements set forth here. The person in question must be... a member of the Sacred Bloodline of John Barry Osiris Walker."
Article V Sec. 502
- "The only method to integrate into the Sacred Bloodline of John Barry Osiris Walker is through the rite of marriage. Candidates for marriage in this instance must already have a connection to the Sacred Bloodline through an established union of a biological relative."
Article VI Sec. 602 (B)
- "The marriage pair selection shall be made in the best interest of Osiris and... to maintain the integrity of the Sacred Bloodline."
- In order for Ben to become Chief Elder, he must first become a member of the Sacred Bloodline. In order to do that, he must marry into it. While Ben is not a direct descendant of John Barry Osiris Walker, his connection through his relation as a cousin through marriage qualifies him enough to marry Beatrice.
Article VI Sec. 604
- "Banishment is a penalty of the total severance of an individual from the life-giving solace and peace of Oasis. An individual may be banished if... they prove incapable of assisting in the growth of Oasis."
- Matthew is secretly in love with Ben. Walter, who needs to feel control and is growing his family of Oasis, would be able to use the language above to banish Matthew if he felt so inclined.
Book The Prince
Found in Ben's Things
- The fact that Ben read this book often is not only because he enjoyed the content, but because it was also a medium for him to communicate secretly with Walter, who chose the book as it suits his beliefs.
Copy of Handwritten Numbers
- These numbers are not random. They are a conversation between Ben and Walter written in code. The first number of each triad references a page in The Prince and the second number references a line on that page, while the third number refers to the word in that line, in order. When there are hyphenated words in a line, each word in the hyphenation is counted individually. When any chapter headings are on a page, each line of a heading is counted as a line on the page. When the code is deciphered, the entire dialog is revealed (additional notations in brackets):
- [Ben:] She [Beatrice] does not seem happy about the marriage. Are you certain she is the right one?
- [Walter:] Certain. This is for the greatness of our community. The crime to betray friends hazards death.
- [Ben:] Understood. I will obey. Be cautious of the young one with wings [Matthew, child of Helen, the eagle].
- [Walter:] I have seen him. He has grown to care for you over the years. Do not let him ruin this [plan for marriage].
- [Ben:] He has a secret I can exploit if necessary [Matthew is in love with Ben]. He has a possession I need first [the venom].
- [Walter:] Do we not all have a secret?
- The coyote was the totem of Dorothy's parents. It was tucked away and forgotten when Dorothy could no longer get inside the jewelry box.
Crayon Note with the Number "3"
- This provides the key for the coded messages in the jewelry box. The real message is three letters away, preceding if red, following if blue.
- The Walker family tree. Ben and Matthew are the only eligible bachelors in the family tree to marry in the Sacred Bloodline. The charter states in Article V Sec. 502:
- The only method to integrate into the Sacred Bloodline of John Barry Osiris Walker is through the rite of marriage. Candidates for marriage in this instance must already have a connection to the Sacred Bloodline through an established union of a biological relative.
- Matthew is eligible because his mother is a Walker.
- Ben is eligible because his aunt has "an established union" to Timothy Walker.
- Hobart is ineligible because his biological relatives only extend to Mary Samuelson, his aunt on his father's side, who married a Baker, not a Walker.
- Helen wanted control of Oasis. She believed that Walter was at least partly responsible for Beatrice's death and that she could better guide the community to a prosperous future. Eventually, she would oust Walter as Chief Elder.
- Walter was desperate for control, and he intended to maintain it through fear of the outside world and manipulation of the charter.
- The feather came from Aunt Helen. She did not generally display her totem, so this would not have been lost during daily wear, but given. Because Beatrice envied birds, Helen gave this to her as a gift, before she died, as she cared for the girl's happiness. Dorothy then inherited it.
Handwritten Note - Coded
- The coded message can be solved using the date as the key. First, convert the dates to a MM/DD/YY format, so the date becomes 052368. Each group of six letters will be shifted backward by the corresponding number. For example, in the first group, B is not shifted, J shifts back to N, M shifts back to J, G shifts back to A, U shifts back to M. The final message is:
- "Benjamin, Thank you for giving me the courage to be myself. Happy thirty fourth. L, Matthew."
- This note was given to Ben by Matthew before he left Oasis, on May 23, 1968. The note mentions Ben is 34 years old. If Ben is 34 in 1968, he was born in 1934. 2 years before the picture of his parents was taken, which includes all of "Our Family" in the frame. Ben, of course, is notably absent, indicating he was not a member of the family at that point in time.
- The dropper was used to transmit a toxin derived from snake venom into a drink to envenom Beatrice. Normally, venom does not harm an individual if ingested. However, any small cuts, abrasions, or open wounds in the mouth or throat, like from a recent pulled tooth, would allow the venom entry into the blood stream. Beatrice would not have died right away, but after dinner, once the venom took hold.
- This note indicates that Benjamin took over as Chief Elder after the events of 1968 and carried on in that role until his death. It also notes that Ben was the community's dentist practitioner from the beginning.
Nursery Rhyme Clipping
- This little nursery rhyme is sentimental and nostalgic for Dorothy. It reminds her of time spent with her sister and Hobart. They were just like the "three fools" mentioned in the tub.
Ode and Elegy to Beatrice
- Hobart was in love with Beatrice. He wanted to marry her, but it was not an option in Oasis. He mentions that Beatrice envied birds; their ability to fly could take Beatrice away to anywhere she would want.
- This postcard came from Matthew and was meant for Dorothy, yet Ben had it and according to Dorothy in her letter, she had not seen it. Ben was intercepting messages for Dorothy and kept her in the dark regarding Matthew and, by extension, the outside world.
- Uncle Walter's ring, prominently displaying his totem, the snake. You can just see Walter wearing the ring in Picture 16, during the ceremony.
- The scrapbook was the best way Beatrice had for collecting her items and stowing them away in a small space. Dorothy found some things hidden in Ben's old cigar box after he passed. This section of the scrapbook is labeled with a title page to designate those items. The cigar box was discarded. The things that Ben had hidden he did not want Dorothy, or anyone else, to discover.
- Little Beatrice and Dorothy taking a bath in their old house.
- Young Beatrice and Dorothy enjoying some time together in a field, picture taken by Timothy.
- Dorothy and Beatrice's parents, Timothy and Samantha.
- The cabin where Dorothy and Beatrice lived, no other cabins in sight.
- The sisters spending time in the woods. Hobart captured them a few times in their favorite spot. Dorothy was less camera shy than her sister. In one photo, it's clear that Hobart is focused on Beatrice.
"Before the rehearsal dinner, so lovely. Impossible to tell Beatrice just had a tooth pulled."
- Beatrice is getting ready for the rehearsal dinner. Dorothy looked up to her sister and would never have harmed her. The fact that Beatrice had a tooth pulled prior to her wedding is worth noting. According to Ben's funeral card, he was the residential dentist, so he would have pulled his bride's tooth. Wounds in the mouth take time to heal, and Beatrice, having it "just pulled" still had quite a ways to go before the hole in her mouth closed up.
- Walter avoiding "petty work". For being the leader, Walter has a habit of avoiding getting his hands dirty.
- Another photo at the rehearsal dinner clearly shows the connection between Beatrice and Hobart. Dorothy even framed Ben out of the picture, and Uncle Walter looks on disapprovingly.
- In the group prayer picture at the rehearsal, the friction between Helen and Walter is on display, as is Hobart's sadness at the prospect of seeing Beatrice married to someone else. Beatrice is nervous and afraid, and Ben is cold, lacking in almost any emotion on the event of his wedding.
- The snakeskin, left on Beatrice's grave by Walter. It is not customary to decorate the graves of family members, or to even visit them. Article VI Sec. 603: "The resulting ceremonial site will be sacred and private, free from intrusion and visitation."
- Aunt Helen and Uncle Walter argued often after Beatrice's death. Dorothy caught them arguing at the gravesite. Helen is quite angry, and Walter seems frustrated.
- Uncle Walter left something on Beatrice's grave, the only one to do so. He broke his own rule in the charter because he felt remorse for Beatrice.
- Walter blessing the elixir of snake blood and wine. He gives the wedding of Dorothy and Ben his blessing in doing so.
- Dorothy looks on during the ceremony with less joy than Ben. She is standing where her sister should have been. Ben, however, knows he has gotten away with something dubious.
- Uncle Walter praying during Dorothy and Ben's ceremony.
- At the end of the ceremony, Ben is now a part of the Walker family, and privileged to all the rights and stations pertaining to his new status. His path to Chief Elder is firmly under his feet.
- Helen is distracted by something off-camera. No doubt Walter is up to something. Helen is watchful for danger, which she believed would come from Walter.
- Hobart and Dorothy are not thrilled with the union. It is not a joyous occasion. The only one who smiles in the series of wedding photographs is Ben.
- Helen was snooping around the archives because she believed there was confidential information that she was not privy to. As the senior member of the Elder Council, she should have been able to access that information, but Walter kept everyone else out.
- Picture of Ben's parents, John and Mary Baker, with a note. This is their "happy family" in 1936. Baby Ben is noticeably absent from the photograph, when he should have been two years old, yet he is not even mentioned in the note.
Found in Ben's Things
- Picture of Matthew suggests a close relationship between Ben and Matthew, indicating that Ben would have easy access to Matthew and his skills as a snake-handler to procure enough venom to create a lethal toxin. In fact, Matthew was in love with Ben, which is one reason Ben would want to hide that picture. It would also provide evidence with which he might be able to coerce Matthew.
- The snakeskin is part of the ceremony and part of Walter's plan to ensure that his totem is highly visible and meaningful, increasing his influence on Oasis.
Small Latched Box
- Inside the jewelry box are several notes that Dorothy received from Beatrice and has kept over the years. Using the key found in the beginning of the scrapbook to read the messages, they can be decoded.
- I luv u.
- Another says I know who likes you.
- One says Find Me.
- The last says Ben is not a baker.
Ben murdered Beatrice to keep his adoption a secret, so he could become part of the Sacred Bloodline and gain power, all in accordance with his plan to become Chief Elder.
Beatrice discovered that Ben was adopted and not truly part of the Baker family, as evidenced by her note to Dorothy. If she told Walter, he could have dissolved the union, but because of the laws written into the Charter she would still not be able to marry Hobart. She tried to reach out to Dorothy, but Dorothy misunderstood the meaning of her message and so the sisters never got to discuss what to do, which would have to be done in secret and away from the commune to avoid notice.
By envenomating Beatrice at the rehearsal dinner, Ben was able to keep his adoption a secret. He knew that by developing a good relationship with Walter he would be the first man to be married into the Walker family at Oasis. If it wouldn't happen with Beatrice, he knew his place by Walter's side would ensure a marriage with Dorothy, and the right to eventually become a part of the Elder Council and, eventually, Chief Elder. As it turned out, that's exactly what happened.