The Sorcerer's House -- House Ownership

How exactly did Bax get control of the Black House? Bax would have us believe that he just happened to be at the right place at the right time, and the house just happened to be left to him in a will, and that he is completely clueless about this. Even Bax considers his story to be hard to believe. He believes George will dismiss his story as a "pack of lies". (letter 2)

In letter 3, in relation to the house, Bax tells Shell that "I seem to own [the house] (I have the deed) and I am living in it." When Bax visits Doris, Doris indicates that Martha is already expecting Bax, and also makes no reference to the deed. Martha gives Bax the deed at the end of letter 2. HOWEVER, Bax switches hands shortly before Martha gives him the deed.

It is thought that some of the letters have been modified at a later date, possibly to fill in logical gaps and cover up lies. While Bax is ambidextrous, it is VERY unlikely that he would have the same handwriting when writing with his other hand.

So if this account of Bax receiving the deed is fictitious, when was Bax given the deed to the house? (letter 2)

It is possible he could have found the deed inside the house itself, but unlikely. Bax indicates the house has no furniture in letters 2 and 4, and that a pile of newspapers were used as bedding by a previous occupant. Bax *could* have found the deed inside those papers, but how could it have helped him? If the deed truly was already made out to him, he would have no reason to pretend to George that he discovered that he owned the house when he talked with Martha Murray. If the deed was not in Bax's name, Bax probably wouldn't have been able to forge it. The deed is almost certainly typed and not handwritten, and Bax wouldn't have a printer, or a digital copy to modify. He also can't forge his own deed by hand, as either Doris or Martha would no doubt have a copy of it.

This leaves us with one of two possibilities. Either Martha gave Bax the deed and Bax fabricated his entire conversation with her, or Doris gave Bax the deed, and Bax fabricated his conversation with her. It's impossible to tell which situation happened, but there are some strong hints.

During the conversation with Doris, Bax mentions that "She gave me her card - Doris Rose Griffin, R.E.C. - and expressed her entire willingness to assist me in any matter concerning houses, properties, or undeveloped land, and shook my hand heartily."

Let's break this down. An R.E.C., Real Estate Consultant, works with clients to research, plan and strategize real estate investment to maximize financial efficiency. R.E.C.s don't typically meet with people who are looking to buy houses, they are focused on acquiring, developing and selling land and estates commercially. This means that Doris is an expert at navigating the housing market.

Over the course of the book, Bax somehow gains control of multiple properties and the Skotos strip, which is undeveloped land. Throughout the book, Doris is involved and working with Bax to acquire the Skotos strip. In light of this, Doris's "entire willingness" is a rather strong statement, and the handshake could indicate that a deal was struck.

Doris has the resources and information needed to access the deed and strategize a plan for Bax to take control of the house. Bax has the forging skills. The two of them together could have forged the deed in Bax's name, as well as other documents, in order to fool Martha Murray.

What about the other case, in which Martha gives Bax the deed? Based on letter 2, Martha has been maintaining the house, but there is nothing in the text to indicate that she is an expert when it comes to housing or land. The conversation with Martha is focused on utilities and house maintenance. If Martha gave Bax the deed, she likely would have given him a deed that was already made out to Bax.

This suggests that if acquiring the house was a supernatural phenomena, Bax probably got the deed from Martha. If acquiring the house was a criminal phenomena, Bax probably formed an alliance with Doris and worked with her to forge the deed.

back to The Sorcerer's House main page