Thursday, October 8, 2020

Something About Spy Pond

Spy Pond

A most ponderous thing!


A few years ago we went through the Johnny Dixon series and cobbled together a list of names we assumed were connected to Haverhill. For example, Emerson Street really exists yet Fillmore Street does not. Bellairs and Strickland mention Round Pond a number of times, too (The Revenge of the Wizard's Ghost, p.37; The Eyes of the Killer Robot; p. 164; The Hand of the Necromancer, p. 23; etc.). Bellairs's first reference notes the following:
In the middle of January...as soon as Round Pond was solidly frozen over Fergie taught Johnny to skate (Revenge, 37). One Saturday afternoon in early April, Johnny and Fergie took a hike around the chain of ponds at the eastern end of Duston Heights. Around six in the evening, when the sun was setting, Johnny and Fergie stopped at the top of a hill to stare at the view. The reddish sunlight stained the ripply water of Spy Pond below them (Revenge, 40).
Bellairs mentions Spy Pond as if it’s just one of the many ponds in the area. And Haverhill has a lot of ponds – or lakes – except none are called Spy. In fact, the only notable pond I could find was southwest in Arlington. Any thoughts outside artistic license why Bellairs tossed in the name of this pond after discussing Round Pond on the same page? Granted, Spy does have a nice sinister sound to it.

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