External Photo Clues:
Most people thought him crazy or just dismissed him completely but my brother and I could see a glimmer of truth in old man Dalton’s eyes as he rambled. A clever man, disillusioned by the many tales he told – so much so that the lines blurred between fantasy and reality. Then again, where better to hide the truth than amongst several tall tales, protecting it from the distracted masses where only the most passionate seekers would glimpse it and take hold.
Having been heaved forth from deep within the earth millions of years ago the mere existence of the ancient mountain range beckoned, “Come find me.” The diverse ecology of the Wichita Mountains provided ample places in which to conceal secrets and fertile ground to inspire treasure stories. The rocky crags even bore his initials. Was he “him”? Did he fake his death? Was the Mexican loot there, the bounty bank right under our noses? Oh it was there, every bit of it – and probably more! We could hear it calling to us, taunting us in a game of hide and seek.
I mean why else would Frank keep a home near it and visit so often? A farm that cultivated nothing but late night rides at break-neck speed? Was he searching for something or wanting to be near a supposedly dead brother?
The Good Book says that a wise man keeps his own counsel and that’s exactly what we did. An occasional influx of people, mostly curiosity seekers, would cause us to momentarily halt our efforts so as not to arouse suspicions or draw them near us. Those were the times we found most frustrating, not the endless days of searching bramble, wandering deer trails and moving rubble.
The talk increased and spread so far it caught the government’s attention, which all but crippled our efforts. They obviously found merit in the yarns because establishing an artillery practice area and a wild life refuge in the same vicinity seemed a bit contradictory and created their own conspiracy theories, thus adding life and validity to the account.
Determination and dreams forge us ahead though. Indian arrowheads abound as does the occasional artifact and trinket, down payments on the promise. Only time will tell but, we’re close…oh, so close. I can feel it in my bones, taste it. Tomorrow. Yes, tomorrow.
About The Author:
Tammy Mullins is a published children’s author has been a contributing author and editor of several text books for legal support staff. She is active in her local church community, the Tulsa Orchid Society, and the Pride of Owasso Marching Band. Tammy resides in Owasso/Collinsville, OK, with her husband and four children.
About The Imaginary Family Project:
The 2011 Imaginary Family Project is a year-long collective art endeavor coordinated by occasional amateur artist Quentin Bomgardner and co-sponsored by The Red Dirt Chronicles. This project is based around “lost” vintage photographs, which have been acquired at flea markets, garage sales, estate sales, and eBay – heirloom collections, with no heir. Every week a different author will “find” one photograph by creating an imagined history around one of its subjects. At the end of the year, the collection will be compiled and presented as a group.