Sunday, June 27, 2010

Gold Mine Part One

Helena, Montana; Part One

PREFACE : What you are about to read is the second story in a series of short stories told by a story teller around a campfire. It’s important that you visualize this wise old man dressed in a western outfit reminiscing about his past experiences. Appreciate that fact that he’s not a writer he’s a teller of stories created by a vivid imagination. The first story in this series was about his adventures in Ragtown, Nevada and each new story is a continuation from the previous story. Ragtown was threatened by a gang of notorious bandits who raped the women, stole anything of value and killed anyone who tried to stop them. The story ended when the main character Big Daddy Cash, with the help of his friends, cleaned up the town and made it a safe place to live. Now I know what you are thinking, if this wise old man that loves to tell stories around the camp fire is not a writer, why are his stories written down for the listener to read? It’s simply his way of recording his stories so he won’t have to tell the same story over and over again. He assumes that you’ve heard the previous stories but if you haven’t it’s all recorded in his written word. The names and places never change so new introductions are not necessary a quick review of his written word is all that’s required. Give the wise old man a break and listen to his stories with this in mind. Now it’s time for some horse shit and gun smoke.
Headed for Dry Gulch
After seeing what Johnny had to show me I was satisfied that Poncho was dead. Carnival people have a code of justice that differs from anyone else, I remember Johnny once saying; “On the plains of hesitation lie bleached bones within the grasp of victory just sitting waiting and waiting they died." He further said; "I urge you to take a moment to reflect on whether you hesitate when you should charge forward?” I was always confused when Johnny came up with these strange innuendoes, always out of thin air. I told myself it was only his nature and the way carnival people thought. Now that it’s over I can see what he meant.
Forgive me as I continue with this thought; if you are not where you want to be in life, then you have to ask yourself...why not? The answer does not lie in blaming others, blaming circumstances or just plain whining. No matter how bad things get, or what’s done to you, face the worse circumstances and overcome them and move on. Do not shy away from any problem, instead, grab life by the horns and go for the ride of your life. I think this explains Johnny’s way of thinking.
I’ll be moving on in the morning, the people of Ragtown have been ridden of the threat of death, Doug will have a chance to rebuild his ranch and the people from Hey Rube can peacefully go back where they came from. My only regret is that I never had the chance to get to know Tamara which is probably a good thing because you can’t change a range riding drifter like me. I’ve always done things my way. If Tamara was part of my life I’d have to do things her way. Doug was right it wouldn’t take much for her to hog tie me.
I forgot all about my letters, I think I’ll get them and read them now. One is a personal letter from Great Falls, Montana; the other is from the State of Nevada. The State of Nevada couldn’t be good news so I’ll read the one from Great Falls first.
Hello Cash,
I’m writing you from a mental institution, I have hallucinations and they say I’m crazy. I don’t think I am but I’m told that I’m locked up for my own good. I see things that others don’t see and parts of your life have vividly been revealed to me. There’s a man who hates you and wants to kill you and I see him as clearly as if he were sitting right next to me. We have never met so I don’t expect you to believe what I say but for the sake of my sanity I have to warn you. Your name and your where a bouts came to me in a dream that’s how I knew where to send this message. I also know that you’ll pick up my letter at the same time you pick up your fathers will and for some reason you won’t open them immediately and when you do you'll read my letter first. How would I know this if what I say isn’t true? The man who want’s you dead will claim to be your friend, he’s six foot tall, has piercing blue eyes, wears horn rim glasses is blond and going bald. He must be rich because he wears very expensive clothes and wears real shiny boots. This is no delusion or fantasy hallucination as my doctors would say, it’s real, now I have freed my obligation by sending you this warning. Wendy B
I’m expected to believe this hogwash, I’m not to smart but I’m no dummy.
Let’s see what Nevada has to say;
Well, I'll be damned! It really is my dads Last Will and Testament.
It seems my dad passed away six months ago and left me,
A Gold Mine!!
I’ve had dreams about a strange lady trying to read my mind. I’ve shrugged them off as nonsense but the things she brings up in my dreams actually happen. Up until now I’ve thought it was all a coincident but now I’m starting to wonder. Is there really a dimension beyond human comprehension?
As it turns out dads gold mine is in Dry Gulch, Montana just on the out skirts of Helena, Montana, so that’s where I’ll be headed in the morning. Great Falls is only a two day ride from my destination so you can bet your life I'll pay a visit to this Wendy B.
Attempt to Avoid Goodbyes
I got up way before sun up got Thunder out of the barn, fed him some oats and gave him a good brush down. I think he knew we were getting ready to travel. Doug thinks I’m loony because I talk to my horse but to be honest thunder understands me on my own intellectual level, Ha, Ha, at least that‘s what I tell Doug;
“Thunder you’re my best friend so let‘s have a little chit chat. You and I are going to be on the road for a long trip so please be prepared my friend to listen to me a lot. Some days I just may talk your ears off cause it’s easier to talk to you then most the people I know, let’s get you saddled and will soon be on our way.”
I left notes for every one of my friends with the deskman at the hotel and told him to make sure that they were all delivered and tipped him a five dollar gold piece. I hate saying goodbye so I figured if I left early enough in the morning I’d be well on my way before anyone was out of bed. However when I stepped outside, much to my surprise, I found Tamara standing at the hitching post along side Thunder.
“Hi, Tamara my dear, what gets you up so early in the morning?”
“I heard you were leaving Cash, and I came to say goodbye.”
“Now just what makes you think I’m going anywhere?”
Tamara’s eyes were filled with tears.
“Last night I went to the carnival especially to see the gypsy fortune teller. I was told that she could see into my future just by looking at the palm of my hand. I told her there was a man I cared for and asked her if she could see him in my future. She looked at my palm and said you might be disappointed if I tell you the truth. I told her that I came to see her for the truth. She placed her crystal ball on the table in front of both of us and gazed into it for what seemed like hours, then she looked at me and said your friend will be leaving town early in the morning. I didn’t know whether to believe her or not but I didn’t want to take that chance, so here I am.”
The tears were pouring down her cheeks, I told her please not to cry and handed her my hankie and told her to wipe the tears from her eyes. Before I could stop her she threw her arms around me and started to hug and kiss me. I hungered for her touch so I responded but then I realized that this wasn’t right and gently pushed her away.
“Tamara you are the most beautiful and exciting woman that I know and it makes me happy and lustful when ever I’m near you but there is no way that we can be anything more then friends, first of all I’m old enough to be your father, second I’m a born and bred drifting cowboy and a loner.”
“I don’t care how old you are, you are everything in a man I’ve ever wanted and I‘d go with you to the ends of the earth.”
“You say that now but the time will come when a young man will come into your life and make me look like a worn out old cowboy boot.”
“I can’t help the way I feel, I‘m in love with you.”
“Tam your not in love with me, you’re just smitten, longing to love and be loved.
Yes you can help the way you feel! I’m leaving now and I’m not going to look back. I’ll always remember you as that beautiful red headed lady, flashing the biggest brightest smile in the State of Nevada. God bless you Tamara,” and I got on Thunder and rode out of town.
Damn it my heart told me I loved her and everything in me wanted to stay but common sense told me I’d end up making her hate me. I’d rather have her remember me as a friend then hate me as a partner or loving companion.
“Come on Thunder let’s put some distance between us and the improbable dream. “
This time of year travel through Idaho and Montana is miserable, heavy snow and below freezing temperatures can lead to all kinds of trouble so I have been thinking about taking the coal train out of Price, Utah, if we can hitch a ride on a box car we can ride all the way to Butte, Montana then it’s only a day or two ride to Helena.
Coal trains usually have fifty or sixty coal cars and six to ten box cars. It’s pretty easy to hitch a ride because the conductor is happy to have an extra gun aboard.
Price is a little out of our way but the train will save us the discomfort of riding trail in stormy weather. Not counting Utah I estimate its two hundred miles across Idaho and about three hundred miles into Montana. The trip would be six days by train and save us two months or more on the trail.
From Hell to Helena
For the next three days we rode long and hard out of Nevada into the southern mountains of Utah we arrived in Price early on a Sunday afternoon and found out the railroad yards were in Helper a railroad town seven miles north of Price.
While lunching in Price I met this fellow who gave me directions and told me if I wanted to hitch ride in one of the box cars I’d have to get an okay from Bill Harper the president of the coal miners union. It seems like the rail workers and the coalminers all belong to the same union. He also told me to watch my step in Helper it was the wildest town in Utah he said; “When the workers are off duty their favorite pass time is a visit to the whore houses then drinken and fighten was their game.” I thanked him for the information, finished my lunch and headed for helper.
The first thing I noticed as I rode into Helper was the cobblestone streets and boardwalk sidewalks. Which is something seldom seen, usually the streets are dirt and there are no sidewalks. Every other building was a bar and there was a whore house on every corner. I grinned and thought to myself, oh well never mind what I thought. I had to find Bill Harper. I spotted the union hall adjacent to the rail yard went in and was approached by a man who said;
“Can I help you stranger?”
“Yes, I’m looking for Bill Harper.”
“I’m Bill Harper, What can I do for you.”
“I’m headed for Butte, Montana and my horse and I need a ride on your train.”
“It’s not my train but for fifty bucks I can fix you up with a box car.”
“Great, what time does the train leave?”
“They're warming the engines as we talk it should pull out of the yard in just a few minutes. Grab your horse and I’ll take you down and get you all loaded up.”
The next seven days was like riding in an icebox. Thunder and I had to wrap ourselves in blankets and cuddle up together relying on the warmth of our bodies to keep from freezing to death. The coal yards were twenty miles north of Butte which was better then I figured because it put us that much closer to our destination.
As we rode the long crooked trail along the Last Chance Stream we reached Last Chance Gulch the main street through Montana’s gold capital, Helena. I couldn’t help but notice how all the streets of Helena wound and twisted so that you couldn’t stand in one place an see more then fifteen or twenty yards in any one direction. I heard the reason for this was to prevent innocent people from getting hit by stray bullets, the result of gun fights over silver and gold.
The largest vein of placer gold in the Western United States ran all along the Last Chance Stream. Gold mines and claims were scattered along the stream as far as the eye could see, hundreds of miners were scurrying back and forth like armies of ants searching for their quarry, an unbelievable sight to behold.
In the envelope that contained Dads will was a letter from Dad with instructions not to open until we were on Last Chance Gulch. He said the content would only confuse me if I couldn’t see with my own eyes what he was talking about. Well, I guess it’s time to see what’s in the letter.
Dear Son,
I kicked you out of my house twenty six years ago and I have always regretted my actions. There hasn’t been a day gone by that I haven’t wanted to hug you, tell you how much I love you and welcome you back with open arms. I’m sorry but it’s too late now my heart has quit working and I’ll be dead when you receive this letter. I’m leaving you all my worldly possessions which monetarily number in the millions. You’re a rich man son I hope you use your inheritance wisely.
Your mine is registered as Gold Horseshoe Mining, the manager of the mine is an Irishman named James McShane, he’s hardworking and honest so it would be to your advantage to keep him on, of course that’s up to you. If you have followed my instructions you should be looking up and down Last Chance Stream at this very moment. Look as far north as your eyes can see and you’ll see the burn off fire of an oil well, that’s yours and the entrance to your mine.
James and his family live in a large log house on the property. He knows all the details you'll need to know and he'll introduce you to Chris Smith my lawyer, he's the best there is in Helena, so get everything filed nice and legal.
One more thing you should know, your mother and brother were killed five years ago by Poncho Gonzales the Mexican bandit and his cut throat gang. They killed everybody in Hell that they could find and burned the whole town down.
Good luck son, I’ll be watching you from where ever my maker sends me.
“Hang in there Thunder; we’re almost at our destination. A few hundred yards and we can chow down and get a good nights rest.” I took Thunders reins and started to walk the short distance to the mine.
All of a sudden several bullets whistled all around me one hit its mark right through the middle of my Stetson giving my hair a brand new part and knocking me totally unconscious.
When I came too I was behind bars in Helena’s Grey Bar Hotel. My head felt like someone had taken an ax to it and my face and shirt were covered with dry blood. I couldn’t remember what the hell had happened; my thoughts were a mixture of mass confusion. Flashes of my past would come and go like a foggy dream. Why was I in jail? What was my name?
“Hey you, get your ass up off that bunk, the sheriff wants you right now.” It was the jailer, a tough guy who liked to show his authority. He grabbed me and threw me ass over sputnik out in the corridor. Then kicked me in the groin, then my ribs, repeatedly over and over again until I passed out.
When I came too, this time I was in the sheriff’s office with my hands cuffed behind a chair. The sheriff was sitting behind his desk with his feet propped up on his desk and the jailer was leaning against the doorway with shit eaten grin on his ugly face.
“My name is John Bailey, I’m the law in Helena and all of the Last Chance territory and you’ve met Tom my deputy and right hand man.”
“I don’t understand, Sheriff Bailey, why in the hell I’m I here.”
“You and your horse fit the description of a thief and a killer who has been terrorizing the miners all up and down Last Chance Stream.”
“My mind has been foggy from the wound on my head but my memory is slowly returning. Before I was shot I remember reading a letter from my deceased father. Do you have that letter Mr. Bailey?”
“I have the letter and other personal belongings of a cowboy named William Cash Neve. I firmly believe you stole his identity.”
“Don’t be ridiculous sheriff.”
“The man that I’m after has seven aliases that I’m aware of, one is Cash and another is Big Daddy.”
“Dam it Bailey, my friends call me Big Daddy Cash, all this horse shit is a crazy coincident.”
“What I see here is a con man trying to con his way into a rich gold mine.
When you tried to escape and Tom had to use extreme force to stop you, you created a brand new problem… Prisoners don’t escape from my jail and if they try it’s an automatic six months sentence. Your attempt just proves to me that you’re guilty so be prepared to be my guest for a very long time.”
“First of all Mr. John Bailey, I didn’t have the opportunity to try an escape, your right hand man Tom grabbed me when I just regained consciousness and gave me a senseless beating then drug me into your office and told you I tried to escape. Your deputy is a God Damn liar.”
“Okay, that does it, Tom, take this asshole back to his cell, shackle him and handcuff him to the bed.”
The sheriff decided to check out the Gold Horseshoe Mine and left me alone with Tom in the jailhouse. I knew damn well I was in for another beating maybe this time he’d kill me and I sure as hell wasn’t going to let that happen.
I was still handcuffed with my hands behind the chair when Tom grabbed my arm and tried to lift me to my feet.
“Damn it Tom, unless you want to carry me chair and all you’re gonna have the un-cuff me to get me out of this chair.”
“Shut up ass hole, I know what I gotta do.”
He poked his gun in the back of my head and removed the cuffs.
“Don’t move a muscle or I’ll kill you right where you sit.”
He reached in the cabinet behind the sheriffs desk and grabbed the heavy chain shackles and swung them at me just missing my head, he swung them again only this time I grabbed them and pulled him off balance. He staggered back against the wall and I jerked the chains from his hand and swung them at his head striking him across the forehead. That’s all it took he was out cold. I put the shackles on him and chained him to the bars on the window using the handcuffs to lock the chain links together.
I found my guns and my belongings slipped out the backdoor and went looking for Thunder. I was surprised to find him still saddled and tied to the hitching post in front of the jailhouse.
“Come on Thunder, you and I have to go in hiding for awhile. I just broke out of jail so we’ll be posted on the sheriffs most wanted list, probably with a with a big reward. We’re going to ride back up the trail towards Great Falls. As soon as we are far enough out of town I’ll get your saddle off and give you a rub down and feed you a nice bag of oats. Come on fellow let‘s giddy up go.”
My Hideout Becomes My Home
About fifteen miles down the trail from Great Falls I found a perfect place to hide out for a few days. Just about two hundred yards off the beaten trail completely hidden behind large oak trees and ground hugging bushes. There was even the remains of a small cabin which wouldn’t be hard to fix up for comfortable shelter. So this is where I set up camp, God knows I need a few days to tune up this battered old body. What I heard about Montana was right this is really a beautiful country.
It has been a little over a month since my escape from the Grey Bar Hotel in Helena. In this period of time I have become the number one wanted outlaw in the state of Montana. It so happens that after I left the jailhouse in Helena somebody went in and shot Tom and he was found dead chained to the window. Witnesses seen the killer flee north up Dry Gulch on a white horse, so I was mistakenly identified as the killer. John Bailey formed a posse and they trailed this guy all the way to Canada before they lost him. In the meantime I was headed south to Great Falls Montana.
Within a week posters with an artist sketch of me could be found all up and down the Last Chance Territory, I was wanted dead or alive and the reward was ten thousand dollars. Thank God the artist’s sketch of me was only a vague likeness so I could change my appearance so there was no likeness at all. There is only one person in Montana that can truly identify me, so I’d just have to avoid him.
I changed my name, my looks, bought another horse and passed myself off as real estate investor; the first property I bought was my secret hide-a-way. Of course this is all temporary until I can find the outlaw that’s supposed to be me. In the interim I want to rebuild the cabin on my property and build Thunder a nice large corral to share with the new member of our family, Blackie. At least now I got a place I can call home.
Because of the circumstances my progress has been limited until I can assure that my new identity is solid I have to approach everything with care. The first thing I want to do is visit the state mental hospital and meet with Wendy B. the lady who keeps visiting me in my dreams. I know it’s illogical and inconceivable but I no longer can rule out her visions most of them have all come to past.
The Montana State Mental Institution
“Good morning, I’m here to visit with Wendy.”
The front desk receptionist answered;
“Sir, we have two patients named Wendy, Mrs. Monroe and Miss Brady.”
“Forgive me I meant to say Miss Brady.”
“I’m sorry Sir, Miss Brady is in isolation she is not allowed any visitors.”
“Could I speak to her doctor?”
“Doctor Jason Starr is attending a medical convention and won’t be back until day after tomorrow.”
“How about her nurse?”
“Wait just a moment; I’ll see if I can find her.”
She left Wendy Brady’s file sitting on the countertop and went to find the nurse. This was just the break I was looking for; it only took a few seconds to find out what I needed to know. She was on the isolation ward locked up in room #213.
The receptionist returned and told me the nurse was busy with a patient and couldn’t be disturbed.
“Thank you, I just wanted to be sure Miss Brady was safe.”
“She’s safe alright, we have guards here from eight in the morning until midnight and there is always somebody here at the desk.”
“Miss, I was sent here by her family to find out what I could about this facility, that’s why so many questions. I hope you’ll forgive me but it’s my job and I’m just doing what I’ve been told. I have one more request if you don’t mind?”
“I don’t mind mister, (smiles) I’m just doing my job too.”
I winked at her and said; “Then you won’t mind giving me a tour of your facility.”
She winked back and said; “Believe me, it will be my pleasure.”
Blackie and I returned to our new home to finish my refurbishing job and make plans to meet Wendy Brady. I gave Blackie a good rub down and turned him loose to romp with thunder then I put the finishing touches on my new rock fireplace. All the time I was thinking about the Brady situation.
If I was going to meet Wendy I’d have to break in the nut house and somehow get in her room. I figured after midnight tonight would be the best time, the doctor was away and the layout of the place was fresh in my mind. While touring the place I noticed two windows slightly open for air circulation and a broken lock on one of the entry doors, so getting in shouldn’t be much of a problem. Once in I simply had to pick the locks on room 213.
Wendy Brady
I’ve tried to visualize this strange lady that keeps trespassing in my dreams. All I get is a vague picture of a crazy little old lady with an extraordinary gift. Well, if all goes well tonight I’ll finally know.
I picked the locks on her door and knocked quietly, whispering;
Wendy are you decent, it’s Big Daddy Cash.
“I’ve been expecting you Bill Jenson, come on in.”
I couldn’t believe my eyes, she was a vision of loveliness. I know it was my imagination but she actually glowed inside a gleaming aura. I had to shake my head to return to my senses.
“You called me Bill Jenson, how did you know?”
“Ha, ha, I seen it in a dream, I also dreamed that you are going to get me out of this place and I’m all ready to go.”
“I didn’t come here to take you away; I came here to talk to you.”
“I know, but you’ve got to take me, they’ve scheduled me for electric shock treatments and if that happens I know I will die.”
“God Wendy, I’m not a doctor, as far as I know you might be as crazy as a coo-coo bird.”
“I’m not and I think you know I’m not.”
“How would I know?”
“Trust me, you know because I say it’s so.”
“Oh shit, so much has happened to me, what the hell’s another problem. Get your things and let’s get the hell out of here.”
Wendy Escapes
Before we left the nut house I had Wendy write a note saying she had carefully planned her escape because she was afraid to undergo shock treatment;
“Tell them you are on your way back to Chicago where you can get help to prove your sanity. Tell them you’ll make sure that they’ll get paid if they don’t try to find you then sign it with your full name. As we leave will make it look like you escaped on your own. It’s important that nobody knows that I helped you so here’s what I want you to do. I’ll slip out through the back door and you lock it behind me. I’ve left all the doors leading to the front desk ajar so that I could get out the same way I got in this will be your escape route. I lightly drugged the receptionist so make sure she’s awake so she sees you run out the front door. The receptionist won’t be able to catch you because she’ll be euphoric from the drug I gave her so I’ll pick you up when you’re far enough away so she can’t see me. After you’re free I'll figure out what I’m going to do with you. Come on Wendy, let’s get this show on the road.”
“Okay Mister Jensen, I’ll do as you say. It sounds like more fun then a barrel full of monkeys.”
“Don’t call me Jenson, I’m Big Daddy Cash to you.”
Fifteen Miles North of Great Falls
We rode the fifteen miles to my home neither one of us speaking a single word. Wendy had her arms wrapped around me so tightly that I could feel every luscious curve of her body. I could feel the rise and fall of her breasts with each breath she took, I could feel her hot breath on the back of my neck. I couldn’t believe this was the same woman that had been invading my dreams. She was at least twenty years younger and a hundred times more beautiful then the woman I visualized in my dreams. Damn it, I gotta quit thinking this way there’s no room in my life for romance.
“Wendy, this is my home, it will be yours until I can figure out what to do. The cabin has only one room that will be yours, tomorrow I’m going to start to enlarge the horses stall and make room for two horses and a horses ass. Yes, I’m the horses ass and I’ll be right at home with my horses.
Wendy I have an appointment in town so I’m going to leave you to settle in by yourself. There’s plenty food in the cabinets and fresh water in the fifty gallon drum. I’ll be late so I’ll stay at the Great Falls hotel tonight. Don’t worry you’ll be safe here.”
“Cash please don't leave yet, I haven’t had a chance to thank you.”
“No thanks needed Wendy, I’ll see you tomorrow, I’ve got to go I’m going to be late.”


Putting the Bits and Pieces Together

It seems like everyday circumstances are always challenging my decisions. Yesterday all I wanted to do was talk to the lady that was having visions that affected my life. As it turns out I went a step further and she became an unexpected part of my family. Not long ago I was on my way to claim ownership to the Golden Horseshoe Mine and ended up the most wanted outlaw in the state of Montana. Then I changed my identity and became a successful real estate investor by the name of Bill Jenson. All of these dramatic changes took place in just over a month and I haven’t even begun what I started out to do. Nothing that happens surprises me because my life has always been a confusion delusion. Hardly a day goes bye that my existence isn’t challenged.
I remember all the women that I’ve had deep feelings for and the times when I was so lonely I felt like crying. Back in Ragtown there was Tamara, the cute little red head with the radiant smile, she took a big piece of my heart. I remember the beautiful Cindy Hampton the first lovely lady I went to bed with, I was only seventeen but sometimes she appears in my mind like it was only yesterday, she also took a big piece of my heart. There have been others that have planted an adrenalin roll that has left me with a physical as well as an emotional explosion. Whether I’ve felt lust and or a strong viral attraction the desire for the comfort and love of a beautiful woman companion has always been there. I’d like to feel emotional wholeness by opening my heart but I know my lifestyle would only bring heartbreak to any woman willing to unleash her heart.

When I entered room 213 at the nut farm and laid eyes upon Wendy there was an immediate physical and emotional attraction. Whether it was lust or love I had to show a strong self restraint, however, my resistance was low and I let the feelings linger on for a few precious moments. After I knew that Wendy was safe I had to make excuses and leave before my emotions were completely out of control. So I spent the night riding up and down the trail deep in thought and horny as hell.

“Good morning Wendy, how was your night?”
“It was nice to be out of that prison they call a hospital.”
“You’ll be safe here if you follow a few simple rules.”
“Cash, you don’t have to tell me, I know. Now come in and have some breakfast I’ve made some delicious gravy and home made biscuits.”
“Mmm, smells so go-oo-od I hope you got plenty my belly has been crying for biscuits and gravy.”
After breakfast Wendy and I had a real good talk. She told me about her visions and how things came to her in her dreams. I learned more about the man who was trying to kill me. Wendy even knew about the way I was framed for killing Tom in the Helena jail. We talked about my problems and how I planned to take care of them, she even gave me some pretty cool advice. After spending several hours talking about me and my problems I asked Wendy to tell me about her;
“That’s enough about me my dear lady, I want to know all about you?”
“Okay, my dear man (Smiles). It’s such a beautiful day lets take a walk down by the river we can talk as we walk.”
“Wendy, I want you to look as far west as you can see, gaze all the way to the right the back to the left, take in the magnificence of the raging river, the twin water falls, the giant oak trees, the wild flowers and the vast spread of dark green flowing meadows. This land is my land. I call it Paradise Valley. It’s kin to the place where I’ve always felt close to God, the Devils Hole near Ragtown, Nevada. I view both places the most beautiful places on earth. You’re are looking at a hundred and twenty five acres of the purest gold, the earths most fertile land and by God it‘s mine.”
“It does make you feel close to God Cash, It’s a serene, wonderful peaceful feeling.”
“Now Wendy it’s time I knew all about the lady that likes to slip into my dreams.”
“There’s really not too much to tell that you don’t already know.”
“Tell me about your likes and dislikes.”
“I love to write poetry, sometimes I can write non stop for days on end.”
“I don’t know much about poetry but I’d like to read some of your stuff.”
“You probably won’t believe this Cash but most of my poetry is written by divine communication with God. It’s a gift just like the gifts I have that you know about.”
“That’s something I’ll only believe when I see the proof.”
“I hope that the day will come when you believe everything I say, because honestly Cash I never lie.”
“Well, as far as I know you’ve never lied to me and I think I trust you more then anybody I know, is there more about you that you’d like to share with me.”
“I like animals, especially horses and dogs.”
“Good, I’ve been thinking about getting you a dog for protection as well as affection.”
“Would you Cash, that would really be wonderful.”
We walked and we talked most of the day. Although I had a lot to do the time we spent to get to know each other was time well spent. I’m learning to know just how special Wendy really is.
“Wendy, we’ve walked for miles and we’ve got a long trek back, let’s call it a day and head on back. I’ll fix you an epicurean delight that will knock your socks off.”
“Ha, ha, ha, that’s funny, I don’t where socks.”
ThingsTo Do List
One of the most important parts of my plans was my new identity. I had to be able to move around freely without putting people on guard. So making Bill Jenson well known and trusted was top priority on my things to do list. To pass myself off as a successful real estate investor was the best way I could think of to make myself known and respected by a lot of people in a short period of time. Passing out lots of business cards and posting posters works wonders especially in a town that is enjoying an economic boom. The gold rush is making Montana one of the richest states in America and buying and selling properties is as popular as mining for gold.
Anyway I’m satisfied that this part of my plan has worked because everywhere I go people wave and greet me as Bill. Now it’s time to execute the second priority on my things to do list. I only have one obstacle I need to avoid, Sheriff John Bailey.
I’m on my way to the Gold Horseshoe Mine I want to meet with James McShane and Chris Smith and see if I can trust them like my dad said I could.


Meeting of Minds at The Horseshoe Mine
You have to play your cards the way their dealt, know when to hold and know when to fold. You might say I play the game of life the way I play the game of poker. The cards haven’t always been dealt in my favor but I’m not a loser so I’ve learned to bluff if that’s what it takes to win. Let’s face it a cowboy has to gamble if he expects to survive.
I don’t know where I heard that but when I think about it, it pretty well sums things up.
Well, here I am, where I should have been two months ago, knocking on the door that can set or redirect my future.
“Hello, I’m looking for James?”
“Holy mother of God, if it isn’t Cash Neve, I’m James.”
“How in the hell did you know it was me?”
“Hold on a second, I’ll be right back.”
When he came back he handed me a picture and said;
“I can’t believe it but this looks more like you then your dad.”
“Ha, ha, looks like I disguised my self to look just like my dad, has anyone else seen this picture?”
“Only Chris Smith and my family.”
I was sixteen years old when I left home over twenty six years ago. I scarcely remember what my dad looked like. The last time I seen him he had a full head of hair and a handlebar mustache. This pictured showed him almost bald and clean shaven with glasses. When John Bailey picked me up I had long hair and a mustache. I disguised myself by cutting my hair real short, removed my mustache and started wearing reading glasses.
“Well, I gotta admit it, James; my dad sure was a handsome man.” (Smiles) “Let’s talk.”
James brought out a bottle of scotch and a liter of soda and invited me to sit with him at the kitchen table.
“James this is one hell of a mess I’ve stumbled into here in Montana, I know you’ve heard all kinds of crap about me but I want you to hear my side of the story. You‘re going to find what I have to tell you unbelievable but it‘s damn important that you believe me.”
I started from the time I opened the letter from Wendy and continued until I escaped from jail. All the time I was talking I watched James reactions; if his concern was real I’d know. James paid close attention to everything I had to say and waited until I was through before he responded;
“Cash, you’ve been blamed for every unsolved crime all along Last Chance Stream at least twenty mines have been hit and a half of dozen miners have been murdered, people are saying that you’ve gone completely off your rocker and they’ve nick named you Crazy Killer Cashman. Sheriff Bailey has a small army out looking for you right now; his orders are to shoot you on sight… The reward on you has been raised from ten thousand to fifty thousand and that’s dead or alive only mostly they want you dead. There is no conceivable way that you can come back now and lay claim to your mine. I’m not sure that there’s any possible way to prove that you are innocent.”
“I need to talk to dad’s lawyer, can I trust him?”
“Your dad was a very smart man he chose friends and employees that would be loyal to both him and his family he treated Chris and me like we were his sons so that makes you like a brother to us. At the moment we are probably the only ones around here that you can trust. Chris Smith is your lawyer now, I’ve got an appointment with him in the morning at eight o’clock, and you can talk to him then.”
James brought out another bottle of scotch and we talked and drank scotch all night. The more we talked the more impossible my situation appeared.
At seven o’clock in the morning I met the rest of the McShane family, his son Randy and his wife Elena. Their live in housekeeper and cook Sara, served us all breakfast on the veranda.
Chris Smith came through the front door at exactly eight o’clock and he also recognized me at first glance;
“Well if you aren’t a sight for sore eyes, I’ve been looking forward to our meeting it’s to bad the circumstances couldn’t be better. By the way James destroy all the pictures you have of Cashes dad we don’t want anyone else to see them. Hey Sara, do you mind fixing me a plate and please bring me a cup of hot coffee?”
“Morning Chris, James said you’d be here this morning so I have been anxiously waiting to meet you.”
“Finish your breakfast Cash and then will talk.”
Sara set a large breakfast in front of Chris and I ordered a couple more eggs and another pancake.
After we all had our fill James suggested we continue our conversation at the kitchen table. Chris was anxious to get a load off his chest so he took the lead;
“I want you to accept the fact that I’m your lawyer and I’m here to help you regardless of the situation. Your father was intellectually way ahead of the times; he often changed his mind so that his wishes had a good foundation to build on. Let’s take his Will and Last Testament for example, he made several amendments to make his wishes air tight. Just before he died he added an addendum stipulating certain conditions to protect his beneficiaries, namely you, James and I. That’s right; James and I are recipients as a part of the conditions found in the addendum. First of all James is to inherit this home and twenty five percent of the mine, the condition being that he remains manager for as long as he lives. Second I am to inherit my home (built by your father as an incentive) and twenty five percent of the mine, the condition being that I remain your lawyer for as long as I live. These two conditions render any and all services. Third you inherit fifty percent of the mine unconditionally. The Golden Horseshoe is the richest mine in America with an estimated value of over five hundred and fifty million dollars. Additional holdings are silver, oil and uranium an estimated value of approximately one hundred million dollars. This gives all three of us a power to be reckoned with. Your father has positioned us among the richest men in the world. I hope that explains the will and its contents.”
“God, I’m stunned, all I can say is what James said when he opened the front door to greet me, Holy Mother of God!! Believe me that is not intended to be funny.” We all had a good laugh anyway.
James added, with a half smile and a half frown;
“Now that we all know where we stand let’s put our minds together and see what we can do to resolve Cashes present situation.”
Chris; “I have a friend in Salt Lake City that can put the papers together to change your identity Cash. Which I think would be the wisest thing to do to keep you from being incarcerated.”
Cash; “ I’ve already started to establish a new identity Chris, However it would make it a whole lot easier if I had the papers to prove who I say I am.”
Chris; “Just let me know what you need and consider it done.”
James; “Chris, Cash is known as Bill Jenson in Great Falls and the surrounding areas. He set himself up as a real estate investor.”
Chris; “That’s a great cover. We can tie up all the loose ends and give him a history in Salt Lake.”

I spent the day a the Golden Horseshoe touring the property and all of the facilities. James was good he explained everything in detail. It didn’t take me long to realize what an immense operation my dad had left me. There was a completely staffed office building, financial departments, legal, book keeping and accounting departments, employment offices and even a human resource department. This was not just a mine it was a giant corporation. Chris was in control of the clerical operations and James was the boss over the mining operations.

This was not my kind of a world to own and operate such a vast conglomeration even with the help of two dedicated people like James and Chris just isn’t my style. I’m a rambling drifter with only one desire and that’s to be free. Now all of a sudden the whole damn world is closing in on me and I’m caught in trap that seems to be inescapable.

James encouraged me to spend a couple more days so that the three of us wealthy mine owners could put our minds together and find a solution to my present dilemma. Oh God, this is one hell of a mess. It looks like Bill Jenson is going to be around for awhile.

Well, the Will has been read and I have accepted my inheritance. I’m told that I am the big boss so just for the hell of it I’m going to test Chris and James and see if they’ll follow my orders without hesitation. This is not truly what I want but I want to observe their reactions, so I interrupted the conversation the three of us were having.

“I wish you guys would quit talking around me as if I weren’t part of this conversation. Okay, here’s what I want you to do for me, since I’m a rich man and you are my loyal employees (forgive me gents, I just had to throw that in.) I want you to start spending my money, Chris I want you to go to Salt Lake and get the papers I need to prove that my name is Bill Jenson. You’ll go with him James and I want both of you to start buying properties. Pay market value plus fifteen percent. I want you to set the pace for the staff of investors you’re going to hire to run the Jenson Investor Club. I don’t give a damn what it costs what I want is evidence that I am a successful seasoned real estate investor. When you get this all done I want you to return to Great Falls and do the same thing. You’ll have to spend what ever it takes to make it appear as though I’ve been in business for years. I want to buy a small office building in Great Falls and call it The Jenson Investor Club. Hire a staff that will be loyal, pay them a decent salary with a commission on every transaction they complete. With the gold rush here in Montana property values are going to sky rocket so who knows we might even make some money. I want all of this done as of yesterday.”

Observing their wide open mouths and stunned faces I got the reaction I expected. I laughed and said; “That’s better, now I’ve got your attention let’s explore a few possibilities?

continued; be sure to read on the excitement is just beginning.

1 comment:

  1. BigDaddyCash, I am enjoying your story 'Gold Mine' "part one." I also enjoyed the part where you put me into it. Will I ever come back into your life or will you leave me to never fall in love again? Is Wendy going to be the woman in your life? This is a delightful and interesting story, or could it be a novel? That is your choice on how long you want to make it. It was fun to read and lose myself in your life of hard ships and inheiritance. I love Western stories probably because we have owned twenty-horses in the last twenty-five years. I am a Cowgirl at heart and love to ride and play cowboy and indians in the woods at Carriage Hill Farm with seven of our riding buddies. Richard and I are always the indians, riding ahead and letting them trot on past up when all of a sudden we start galluping after them with me yelling like a true indian "Yi-yi-yi!" Some of the horses get scared and run like the dickens but that is all in fun and our friends are experienced riders. I have lived a life time of love, fun and adventure for the last twenty-five years with Richard. Keep on writing your story so that I can read what happens next.