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--Prior to some of the Expedition members fleeing down the Arkansas River to Petit Jean Mountain and to Mississippi River Arkansas Post, followed by flight to French connections in Illinois and Canada, and return to France.
Elsewhere in this Web Site I feature my sketch of the full-sized monumental stone.
He designated the eight runes presented him as "Gothic Runes."He suggested that the 2nd from left rune appears most likely to be "i" or "J." He showed the eighth from left Rune as either "L" or "T."If the right side ending is DAL, that is proper Scandinavian spelling for what we would translate as, "Dale" or "Valley," but he also recognized potential for DAT, without recognition of peripheral engravings --which I later picture and discuss-- that could signify an ending on that right side of, "Date" or "Dates."Since I have identified --after years of study-- the Rune Engraver as La Salle Expedition member James or Jimmy (French, Gemme) Hiens, in 1687, one could think that Hiens may have been saying, "Gjome's (Jim's or Jimmy's) Valley (or, Date)." I believe he did intend that as to a portion of his message; however, he especially intended something else, involved with numerical value for first rune on the left, as I later discuss.
As a matter of fact, "Jimmy Hiens" of La Salle's 1687 tragic expedition was the Rune Engraver, as I evidence in multiple ways in my books, including picturing his initials within his own engravings.--Being of academic inclinations and heritage, in 1983-1985 I consulted numerous previous assessments of the runic script and possible translations.
At that time, even though located only about 2 miles from downtown of little city of Heavener, the Runestone rested in boulder-strewn, brush and tree and briar surrounded, rattlesnake infested wilderness.
This picture was from about 1984-1985, With Christine Houser, Jennifer Woodard, Melissa Woodard, and Mary Kay Woodard.La Salle reached Heavener and beyond, as Marching toward hoped for help from French of Illinois and Canada);(4) Recognition that French History Professor, Dr. Gum (of Oklahoma French-Indian heritage)--Via testimony of acclaimed Stephen F. Archie Mc Donald-- also interpreted death location for La Salle as near Heavener (Dr.Gum thought it was probably in region of nearby Cameron OK, which also --significantly, as later discussed--is near unto what is known as the James' Fork of Poteau River);remains of La Salle Expedition drowning victim, young French Noble, "Petit Jean" (Some would say, Petite Jeanne) De Marne (or, Marle); I have thus identified the actual history from which came the old Arkansas oral legends about "Petit Jean;"Those books vitally involve the last years and murder of Rene Robert Cavelier de La Salle and at least six others of his 1687 expedition, which tragedy-filled expedition certainly reached beyond Texas and into Eastern Oklahoma and Western Arkansas.S." pinpointed what has alwaysbeen a substantial interpretation problem: The second and eighth (as they had been presented) runes --from left to right-- are from a different runic alphabet. S.should have been presented with nine runes, but C. Kemmerer, like many to follow him, overlooked the short stroke perpendicular runic "S" that is next to right hand side of the runic "M," as I later picture, illustrate, and dsicuss.I believe that the Rune Writer made that short stroke "S" to enable more than one message within the inscription.
One problem is that there were varieties of runic alphabets that changed over the centuries and within various geographical locales.