Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Is there an emerald buried in Locust Grove, GA?

Posted By on Wed, May 26, 2010 at 6:59 PM


Earlier this year, Creative Loafing received a mysterious package from San Francisco. It contained a large, oddly shaped book called The Clock Without a Face and a small handwritten note from Eli Horowitz, managing editor and publisher of McSweeney's, that read, "There is currently a real emerald buried within a day's drive of where you now sit. The people of Atlanta deserve to know!"

The Clock Without a Face is an illustrated mystery book by "Gus Twintig," a pseudonym for the combined efforts of Eli Horowitz, Mac Barnett, and illustrator Scott Teplin. The mystery concerns a robbery of jewel-encrusted numbers from a clock on the 13th floor of an apartment building. The real joy of the story is in Teplin's distinctive, intricate drawings that, ever so subtly, betray clues to the mystery. Each section of the story corresponds to a different floor of the building, often occupied by a tenant with an interest in eccentric interior design.

The mystery, though, isn't just contained to the pages of the book. Actual jewel-encrusted numbers have been hidden around the country for adept readers to find, each corresponding to clues from a specific floor. The number "11," for example, was recently found hidden near I-5 in California based on clues from the third floor.

click to enlarge This number was found in the Pacific Northwest.
  • This number was found in the Pacific Northwest.

The book's readers have been sharing theories about the location of the jewels online, with one theory contending that the tenth floor clues lead to Locust Grove, GA. That could be right, Locust Grove is within a day's drive of Atlanta (as Eli Horowitz's mysterious note suggested). Even if that theory is right, though, it still leaves a lot left to figure out. Is it buried at the Noah's Ark Rehab Center or is it hidden at a mile-marked rest stop that corresponds to a number in the book? Where do you start digging when you get there?

Whoever finds this buried treasure gets to keep it, so this might truly be a book that's "worth" the read. If you've got a theory about where it might be buried or intend to organize a treasure hunt, let us know in the comments. We'd like to tag along.

The Clock Without A Face by Gus Twintig. McSweeney's. $19.95. 34 pp.

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