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The Strange White man Part 3

The search for the gold

He rode into town that evening astride a magnificent black stallion and tied him up in front of the Silver Fox saloon and entered. He headed straight to the bar and the bartender remembered this man in black and walked up with a smile to greet him.

"Evening, Mister Carpenter."

"Good Evening, Sam."

"What can I do you for?"

"Whiskey and a cigar, and have one for yourself."

The liquor was poured and consumed, then the cigars were lit. After about a minute or so later the man called Carpenter, dropped a gold piece on the bar and asked Sam where he could locate a man named Curly Sharpton.

"He's right in the back room, but don't put too much stock in that old rummy."

Carpenter asked for two more beers and shots then headed to the back room. It was another poker room, but quieter than the front. Everyone talked in subdued tones which suited Carpenter just fine. He found Curly Sharpton sitting in the corner, he was in his eighty's. He dressed the same as those around him with the exception of an eye patch over his left eye.

Curly had been a miner when he first came West and made his fortune. When he talked about the history of the territory and the changes he saw, he was interesting, but when he started prattling on about lost gold mines he lost listeners. A few that had listened to him and purchased a map for the price of a beer came back to town broke. So he word got out to ignore the tales of lost gold mines.

So Curly spent his days doing odd jobs to keep active and his nights drinking in the saloon and gambling. He would sit and tell stories of his younger days to anyone that would listen. If he had no listeners he would tell these stories to himself and that earned him the crazy-in-the-head title, so most folks ignored him. That's what Carpenter wanted.

He took a seat opposite him and slid him a beer and a shot.

"Thank ye kindly, stranger."

Carpenter than dropped a gold piece in front of Curly.

"What's this fer?"

"Tell me about the old mine on the Henderson property?"

Curly squinted and focused his good eye on this stranger and then smiled.

"You be the young feller that bought it?"

"Yes, you may call me Carpenter".

"Well Carpenter if I was you I'd forget about that mine."

"Why, has it been tapped out?"

"Hell no, it ain't give up any of what it has."

"So why avoid it?"

"The entrance is on the Indian burial grounds and if-in they catch ya they will surly kill ya. Ya see this bad eye? I got it trying to work it late at night. They shot arrows at me as I exited and one went through my arm and into my eye, been blind as a bat in it ever since."

"You did bring out some gold."

"Hell yes, I purchased a house and some livestock with it."

"So where is the gold at?"

Curly began to tell him of the narrow passages and the markers he left on the walls. He also said that the Lakota's would not enter the burial grounds unless the medicine man was with them.

"You can bet yer boots they would be waiting for him when ya get out."

Mr Carpenter thanked him and slid the other beer and shot in his direction.

It was around one o'clock in the Morning that the man called Carpenter exited his house and headed in the direction of the old mine. He carried no lantern or torch, he didn't need them. He jumped the fence that ran around his property and crossed the very end of the burial grounds to reach the mines entrance. Following the directions that Curly had provided he found a very large vein of gold and began to chip away at it. The extracted gold was placed in some bags tucked in his belt.

After he filled a few he exited and an arrow struck him the center of his chest..

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