Sunday, April 10, 2011

Fact or fiction?

I received a story from one of our readers who, for reasons that will become obvious, requested to remain anonymous. This is his story.

If you have the time, I have a tale I can give you that actually happened. This is not a “made up” story manufactured out of thin air. This happened in my past. Actually this one happened about thirty five years ago, when I was younger and much more active in treasure hunting.

Our local newspaper used to have a section called “News From the Past” which was tidbits taken from the historical archives of the paper. Items were dated 25 years ago, 50 years ago and 100 years ago. One of the stories from the 50 years ago part told about the death of a local gentleman by the hand of someone unknown. Our hero was found lying in his living room apparently several days after someone blew a very large hole in his chest area. The home had obviously been looted because everything was strewn out onto the floor. The story went on to tell that the deceased seemed to have no relatives and was famous for lending money to people who needed it. Until three years before his demise, he had lived on a farm about five miles from town, had no apparent income but always had cash to loan to his acquaintances. The recipients of this favor always came to his house after dark and told him of their needs. The man would tell them to sit down for a while and he would leave out of the back door. After about fifteen minutes or so, he would return with greenbacks or gold coins. These always smelled “musty” and it was assumed that our hero had to dig the cash up somewhere in the back of the house. When a debt was repaid, the borrower was told to take a seat and wait. After about fifteen minutes, the loaner would return through the back door and brew up a pot of coffee for the two of them. (Believe it or not, this was really in the newspaper.)

While I didn’t think that there would still be any cash left at the farm site, I thought it may be a good idea to check it out. The property was now owned by a large agricultural aggregate so I sought permission to go onto the site with a detector and “Look for coins where the house used to be”. They didn’t know that a “two-box” detector wasn’t exactly a coin hunting machine. No problem gaining access but as I had imagined, no luck at all.

Next came the problem of hunting the house in town. He had lived there for three years and I figured that even though the murderer had thoroughly searched the house, if he buried it while on the farm he would also bury it in town. Naturally, there was a family living in the home but they didn’t know of the story. It didn’t take long to learn that no one was going on the property “To look for lost pennies and old toys”, even if a 50/50 split was offered. How to get onto the property proved to be a perplexing problem. Would posing as a water department worker for the city work???? That would gain someone access to all of the back yard.

I’ll leave it to you to decide the answer to this perplexing question. If I told you that it didn’t, you would think that I’m just an old windbag, spouting stories. If I told you that it did, the IRS might think that I needed to be audited. It’s your call.

Oh yeah, as far as I know the murderer was never caught.

I will add that I have known this treasure hunter for a few years now so I have no problem believing the story. I am also leaning towards the fact that the water department employee ruse was a good one and worked well but as he said, "it's your call".

This should serve as a reminder about how to find clues to lost treasure. They are everywhere, you just have to be paying attention.

I would especially like to thank this reader for sharing this with our readers. We all need that little extra incentive sometimes to keep us going.

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