Good as Gold

Finding the treasure in them thar hills isn’t the point; looking for it is.

The last really obsessed treasure hunter in our area died two or three years ago at a reasonably advanced age, never having found any of what he was looking for as far as I have heard but having apparently enjoyed the quest all the way. I hardly knew him, for I’m not a native and obsessed people are hard to approach from outside the framework that produced them. He came around once, alighting from a lopsided old black pickup and announcing without much preamble that the Spanish had dug long galleries in a soft stratum of my hills across the creek and after filling them with silver bullion had plugged the entries and gone away never to return.

I said, “I didn’t think there were ever many Spanish around here, this is far north. The Comanches…”

“Hell, yes, the Comanches,” he said. “That’s why they left, them Spaniards. Couldn’t stick around here, and later on they couldn’t come back. Hit weren’t only the Indians but the Meskin Revolution too.”

“Well, how did you find out about it?”

Small dark eyes gone darker with secrecy: “I know lots of things they don’t nobody else know.”

I, with diplomacy that seemed to be needed: “I bet you do.”

“Crap, I know where they’s a great big old slab of rock, weighs maybe two ton, never been moved. And on the bottom side, they’s stuff carved in that rock. They’s an owl, and they’s a wolf, and they’s a woman. And she’s blonde and she’s got square titties.”

“If it’s never been

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