Chapter 1

Milo Harvin rumbled down Flintlock Road toward his property. He had the deed to the twenty acres of land in the valley at the end of Flintlock Road for $70,000.00 free and clear. The ancient 1986 Komfort motorhome he had purchased for $2,000.00 would serve as his home until he could build the log cabin he had always wanted to build. He would get the logs from his own land to build the barn, but the cabin would be a kit.

He had a twenty foot long trailer with his 1944 V8 military Jeep. He also had every tool he would need to put together his new home. He had an electric meter put on the light pole at the end of the driveway. He had the electricity turned on so he would not have to use the generator on the motorhome. He had already dug a septic tank. All he needed was to connect the motorhome up.

The well was $3,500.00 including the permit and the pump. He was surprised it was only 200 feet deep, and he had plenty of water. It would take a while to make back the money he had spent on the property and the motorhome.

Milo had all ways wanted to be a private detective. He had a website set up for a business of detective work using wireless cameras. It still was only bringing in about $2,500.00 a month.

He did not know where it would lead, but he had always had a fascination with cameras. He took courses on how to place them where they could not be noticed. He would be able to work full time now on his business since he did not need the truck-driving job in Buffalo, New York to pay the bills. He could live off what he had coming in from the website business.

By the time he got the electricity plugged in, septic line inserted, and the dish set up for the television, it was dark. He would stabilize it with the jacks tomorrow. He fell asleep on his bed watching the travel channel on touring the USA in a motorhome, and started dreaming about it.

Milo was only 5 feet 7 inches tall but was a prime example that dynamite came in small packages. He had been picked on in high school because he was so small. When he turned sixteen and got his first job, he started taking marshal arts classes. Now twelve years later, the last thing you wanted to do was pick on him.

Milo was rejected by the Marines because he was too short. He bought a pair of cowboy boots and the Navy took him. He spent his time on an aircraft carrier. It was fun for the four years but when his four years was up, he could not get out fast enough. He liked the men he worked with who were making it a career. They were a special breed apart from the rest. Most of the rest of America could care less about them.

Milo woke up the next morning when the sunlight blinded his eyes even with his lids closed. "Wow! No smog! I don't know how long it has been since I saw the sun that bright," Milo smiled to himself, getting out of bed.

He looked at the clock on the wall and could not believe he had slept nine hours. He started his coffee and then microwaved the two Jeno's sausage and biscuit sandwiches. He turned on the satellite radio to 114 Fox News. He listened when the little bombshell weather reporter said it was going to be up to sixty.

He clipped his holster on his belt and grabbed his 9mm. He walked outside. It was going to be a perfect day to explore his twenty acres. He walked down the hill about thirty yards to the gulley that looked, at one time in the past, like it could have been a creek. Milo assumed it had been fed by a spring that dried up. It was about eight to ten feet deep.

Milo followed it toward the back of his property. He was about two lengths of a football field along the bank of the gulley away from his motorhome. He stepped over a log from a fallen dead tree. The ground gave way and he fell through the ground into a big hole that was about eight feet deep. He was not hurt but a little shook up. It was dark because he only made a hole the size of his body.

Milo reached into his pocket and pulled out his halogen pocket light. When he turned it on, he was amazed at what he was looking at. In the corner of the eight by eight room was a cast iron safe. It was about three feet cubed. Milo had read all the tales about Dutch Schultz and his lost Catskills treasure when he researched about his property. Could this be it? He tried to move it. It would not budge. It must weigh a ton!

There was no other answer that went through his mind. He shined the light up and could make out the old wooden railroad cross ties over his head. Four were running crossways and rotten two by eight planks across the top formed a complete cover. He jumped and grabbed the cross tie and pulled himself out.

He looked around. Was someone watching? He saw no one. He ran back to the home site and backed the Jeep off the trailer. It had a wench on the front. He unloaded everything from the trailer except three ten foot steel four inch I-beam's to make a tripod he had planned on using to build the barn with and a turn buckle for the wench on his Jeep.

He locked the hubs and put it into four-wheel drive and drove back to the safe. He used the wench to pull the fallen tree out of the way. It broke apart in several pieces. When one of the pieces rolled over, he saw the old S carved into the trunk. He chuckled to himself. All the people who were searching for this safe were looking for a mark on a tree that was standing. The oak tree was rotten enough that it had to have been laying there for many years.

He sat up the tripod and ran the cable through the turn buckle. Before long he had an opening large enough to pull up the safe. The wench would not lift the safe. Milo said out loud to himself, "This wench is rated at 2,000 pounds, how heavy is that thing?"

After a few spins with the Jeep, he pulled up the safe until it was about four feet off the ground and put on the emergency brake. He put it in reverse. The railroad ties were still strong enough to hold the trailer and safe. He pushed the trailer by hand underneath the safe making sure to stay on the railroad ties. He got back into the Jeep and eased it onto the trailer with the door facing up.

By noon, he was grinding off the hinges with the hand grinder. When he raised the door up, he became dizzy and almost fainted. It was full of one ounce gold double eagles, diamonds, and $100.00 gold certificates.

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Story tagged with:
High Fantasy /