Volume 6, Issue 2, page 4

wooden fence enclosed the deep lot on
each side almost to the office building,
where barbed wire was used, as it was in
the rear. A priest in robes wouldn't try
to climb such a fence, he mused. But
there was no sign of him.

Going back to his desk, Bill picked up
the sketch—his only evidence of the
padre's visit. "Could I have fallen
asleep and imagined all this -- dreamed it
and drew this sketch?" he asked. He
looked again at the sketch, the wall
clock, at the report he'd been writing.
All seemed normal -- and the memory of the
black-clad priest with his Spanish accent
was too strong to be wiped out as a
dream. But where had he gone? How had he
come? Should he even bother to carry out
his appointment at 7:30 the next morning
when he wasn't sure he even had made one?
Shrugging, he turned back to his desk,
deciding to let events and his spiritual
Guide handle the matter. And in a short
time, came the mental message, strong and
clear: "You are not imagining things.
Keep the appointment. The padre will be
there." Assured, Bill phoned successfully
and cancelled the previous appointment.

The padre was waiting. And it was with
difficulty that Bill refrained from asking, during the long drive eastward, where
and how his visitor had disappeared so
fast the day before. Instead, he studied
his passenger more closely, and watched
for evidences of other strangeness. He
found none. When they stopped to eat, the
padre ate -- tho only soups, crackers, and
milk. The man seemed as normal as anyone,
even going into rest rooms when they
stopped for gasoline.

On the trip, the padre explained that
his information was from an old manuscript
and sketch in the Jesuit library in Mexico
City. The mines were for gold and silver,
worked by the Indians some 300 years ago,
and were so old that stone steps had been
cut into the side of the mountain up to
the peak where the secret and only present entrance existed. The smelted claypots of gold and silver from the extensive mine workings all over this range of
mountains had been taken up to the peak
and lowered into this solid vault cut into the rock; then sealed.

The padre did not drive a car, of
course. Bill would drive until sleepy,
then stop half an hour or so and sleep,
and go on. It was next morning when they
arrived at the crossroads "town" of a few
stores, ate, and got supplies. Then they
headed north on the dirt road, later
changed to the Jeep, and finally, left
that to hike. They found the mountains
and the peak -- with the stairway leading
up its steep side. The padre was certain
this was the right place.

It was very hot and they were tired.
As rapidly as possible, they returned to
the town, arriving in the late afternoon. "I'm going in the general store,
and have two cold beers pronto!" said
Bill. "How about you? Are you returning
to L. A. with me?"
"No, I want to go east. Before going
in for a glass of cold water, I'll go to
the depot and check on trains east. I'll
be with you in a moment, but let me tell
you now how grateful I am for your time
and assistance. He held up his hand in a
waving gesture and walked toward the dilapidated depot along the tracks, perhaps
half a block east of the corner filling
station where Bill had pulled in for gas
while having refreshments.

The store combined a lunch counter
along one side of the front, with merchandise along both walls, and a postoffice in the rear. As Bill sat drinking
one of.his two beers, he asked when the
next train came thru going east.
"Day after tomorrow," he was told. "We
have a train each way oncea week nowadays
for freight. This isn't a main line, you
"What about buses?" Bill asked.
"That bus is a nuisance; pulls in here
about midnight so we have to stay open
until it leaves. The one going west gets
in in the morning about ten."
Bill dashed outside, and started looking for the padre. He was not to be seen.
Nor had he been seen by anyone other than
the men at the filling station, who had
noticed him heading for the freight depot. "And there ain't been a car thru
here since you stopped, either direction."
When Bill ended the story he was telling me, l breathed once more -- consciously,
that is—and stood up, stretched, and
walked to the screen door. The rain that
had caused us to be sitting in the office
most of the day still pelted down hard.
Staring at it and without turning, I
asked: "So what happened after? Did the
good padre show up later here?"
"Hope. Never saw hide nor hair of him
A long pause, then I asked: "Been out
there again ?"
"Nope, not yet. Aim to some day when
the time's ripe. Hoped he might come back
some day. Been sitting tight until he
"But he won't! Obviously, he's an oldtimer 'Upstairs' and just materialized to
show you where the treasure is so you'd
get it out and put it to some good and
proper use for the benefit of your fellowman. Why don't you?"
"Have you any idea how much money it
would take, how many pack-horses and
trucks it would need, how many men with
machine guns to guard the peak, the trail
to the highway, the hundreds of miles to
the mint or the baggage cars to haul the
stuff there? Where would YOU find the dependable, honest men to handle all this,
even if you had the money?"
So there it stands, even yet.