SUBMITTED OCTOBER 1st, 2019
In September of 2019 I visited Forrest and was at his home when Penelope and Mike arrived for their meeting. They are from Voice of America and were there to record an interview with Forrest for a story about the treasure.
Penelope is the reporter and Mike is the cameraman. I asked, and received permission to audio record their interview with Forrest for the blog while they were taping.
That entire audio interview will be posted later.
This particular snippet occurred after the formal interview was over. Mike had stopped his video recording, Penelope and Forrest fell into a casual conversation and I stopped my recording. I got up to stretch my legs and had taken only a few steps away from my recorder when I heard Penelope ask Forrest, “What does tarry scant mean?”.
I did not think much of the question because Forrest always seems to answer those direct questions about the poem with one of two typical responses.
Either, “I don’t want to give out any more hints.”
“I’m not going to answer that right now.”
But to my amazement he started in with an actual answer. I swiveled around and leaped for my recorder and microphone, turning it on and pointing the mic at him as he was repeating what he had just said. I barely caught his response…
This is only a 20 second clip so you can play it over again until you are satisfied you heard it correctly. The noise is from me trying to get the mic pointed at Forrest.
Here is a transcription of the actual words spoken by Forrest and Penelope:
F: …hang around
P: (interrupting) Don’t hang around.
F: Take the chest and get the hell out of here.
F: Tarry means wait around
F: And scant means…
P: (interrupting) Okay
F: …for a second or two.
P: uh huh, uh huh
F: I don’t have the slightest idea what I’m talking about.
P: I don’t know. I got the sense of urgency….
P: …when you say that. That there’s some urgency there.
Later that day after Mike and Penelope had left I mentioned to Forrest that I was surprised that he had answered her question about tarry scant. Forrest said “Why? What else could it mean?”
I responded that searchers had been talking about what those words meant from the very beginning of the search.
Forrest just shook his head and said, “It’s not complicated.”
There are two posts with two different versions of the edited story on the VOA website: