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GhostMiner

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  1. May 18 1937 The old wooden chest was half filled with small gold bars and gold and silver jewelry. There were no markings. My hands were trembling as I lifted one of the bars out and into the sunlight. We started taking everything out and counted the bars as we placed them on the surface. It took us some time and we counted out 200 bars. The jewelry added up to 90 pieces, some with multiple jewels and gold and silver pieces. At the bottom of the box there was an old map and drawing. The drawing showed several men being stuck with swords by men in some kind of armor. John and I just looked at each other dumbstruck. The map seemed to give more directions to another hiding place to the north of the rocks. There were several markers along the way to an X in a circle. There was no indication of distance. The treasure spot was indicated to be along the creek near large rocks once again. There were five rocks drawn in a rough line on the west side of the creek near the bottom of the mountain. We immediately called a meeting of the entire crew including Sarge and Ben. We needed to protect our treasure and make a plan to continue the hunt. I told everyone that any man who wanted to leave would be given a share of the gold and there would be no questions asked. Not one man wanted to leave even though we were all in danger. We decided to stay the course here at the rocks until we felt everything possible had been dug. John and I would handle the digging while Will and Hudson continued to heal. We would trust our lives to Sarge and Ben. I told them they were equal partners in the treasure as well. Sarge laughed and said he was about to ask me about that. We covered the treasure with a blanket and went back to work. TO BE CONTINUED ......................
  2. May 17 1937 John and I did more digging yesterday but turned up nothing which actually was a relief to me. We still want to know what is left of this treasure though and will continue to dig. Last night none of us got much sleep. There was yelling and gunfire way up on the mountain. Then it would move to another location. I have no idea who they were but they shot off guns until nearly daybreak. I fixed up breakfast and John and I went back to digging for treasure. We had gotten down pretty deep on the north side with nothing more found so we moved counterclockwise to the west side of the rocks and got up a head of steam. The sooner we finished up here the better is the way we all were looking at it. Down about nine feet we hit wood. This had a real heavy sound to it and we carefully scraped the dirt off the top. It was another chest but this one was larger than the others. When we had the top cleared off it was about four feet in length and about three feet in width. We slowly worked the dirt away from the sides and it appeared to be three feet or so in depth. When we tried to lift it out of the hole we couldn’t do it. It was too heavy and the wood was slightly rotted. John shot off the lock and we slowly opened the lid. When we saw the contents John let out a curse and a whoop. I just stood there shaking. I could not believe my eyes. I asked myself what the hell were we discovering here. Could this really be happening to us? TO BE CONTINUED .....................
  3. May 16 1937 What I have to say here this day continues to haunt me. Yesterday we dug up a skeleton and under the skeleton was more treasure. This time a small box about 18 inches in length and filled with jewels. To know the value I would need to have them looked at by an expert but they were of gold, silver, and gemstones. Most likely they are of great value. We sat around camp at breakfast and tried to understand what was happening here. We had only come to mine for gold but now were sitting on buried treasure that seems to have no end. We also have a gold mine at the eastern drift that shows us huge potential. I am sure we are still being watched and expect to be attacked again at some point. Sometimes I feel like a walking dead man. Will and Hudson are somewhat better and to tell the truth I would like to send them home when they are fit to travel. I haven’t talked with them about this but I fear for their safety. I am wondering if John will stick this out as well. He has never flinched and neither has any of the crew. I am thinking that if we stay we may not get out alive. TO BE CONTINUED ................
  4. May 15 1937 Last night John and I drank whisky until 2:00 in the morning. Hudson and Will got a restful sleep and this morning broke clear and cold. I stoked the morning cooking fire and made hash and eggs for the crew. We washed it down with coffee and whisky and talked about what we were going to do. It was clear to me that Will and Hidson needed time to heal and we needed to keep a close watch on their wounds. John wanted to get back to digging for buried treasure and I felt up to working some as well. So with Sarge and Ben on guard duty John and I went back to digging around the rocks. We were not far from Hudson and Will so we could go over and check on them frequently. We were getting deeper down on the northern side of the rocks and I let out a curse as a cold chill washed over my body. There was another skeleton lying in the freshly dug gravel. John and I carefully dug it out and set the bones on the surface. I started to think about what the shaman had told us. I took a long swig from the whisky bottle I kept close but it didn’t help me shake the cold wind that descended over us. Suddenly the clear sky turned dark and an ice cold rain poured down. John just gave me a look like what the hell is happening here. TO BE CONTINUED .....................
  5. May 14 1937 We had no further problems with the gang yesterday but had a very strange visitor to our camp. He had come up the creek alone towards dusk and was very lucky he wasn’t shot. None of us were in any mood for visitors or strangers near our mine. I had just cracked open a bottle of whiskey and was trying to calm what was left of my nerves. He was a Mountain Maidu shaman and looked to be as old as time itself. He told the crew he knew of us from the stories being told in town and also out in the mountains. He said we were big medicine but wanted to warn us of something. I told him to have a seat in camp. He looked around and said we had been in a fight and had killed some bad men. He knew this from a vision he had seen last night. He told us we were brave men and had become a powerful force in the spirit's eyes. But the reason he came to talk to us was what he had been told by the spirits. They had shown him much blood and death around us both in the past and yet to come. We were now as a lightning strike in a storm. But our time would come to die. The spirits would call us back soon. He said there was the smell of death all around us and we were doomed men. There was not much anyone could do to change this according to this Indian. We sat and listened to what he said. I didn’t know what to say except to tell him that we will take care of each other. As he got up to leave he turned to me and smiled. He said we were a band of brave warriors ready for eternity. Then he walked off into the night. We all had a drink of whisky from my bottle and I stoked the night fire. TO BE CONTINUED ...................
  6. May 13 1937 It is well past dawn and our battle has ended. We took out half the gang of thugs. Where the other half went is unknown at this time. We took stock of our situation. Hudson and Will have wounds but we don’t think they are life threatening. John is ok as are Ben and Sarge. I had a bullet pass through the calf of my leg. John has headed into town with Sarge’s truck to get medical supplies for the wounded. No one wants to go to a doctor and be questioned by the law. We will deal with this situation on our own unless someone is severely wounded. We are all exhausted. Eventually John got back to camp with supplies and we dressed our wounds the best we could. Hudson and Will are in no shape to work or even move around camp and we have decided to fortify our cover and post Ben and Sarge at strategic locations where they could open fire on any attackers. There is a medium duty machine gun set up under cover at John’s post. I am tending to Hudson and Will and we are planning to sit tight at camp for the entire day. If what’s left of the gang returns we are ready for them. I am hopeful that they have had enough of us. TO BE CONTINUED ...................
  7. Of course it would probably be all shot up by bullets if the mining crew had it.
  8. I will get back to the journal tomorrow. Been a busy weekend. Bought a 36 ft Forest River 5th wheel RV and have been out playing with it LOL. If only the old timers had places like that to sleep.
  9. May 12 1937 The three of us had a quick talk and came up with a plan. Daylight was nearing quickly. When we found the camp it was as expected, the old camp from last year that we had destroyed. We snuck in from the south and spotted a sentry. It looked like the rest of the gang was tending to wounded and eating. Some were reloading guns. I stayed in a position at the south and kept an eye on the sentry. Sarge headed left to the west of the camp while Ben took the east side. They would also position themselves to see anyone who tried to escape out the back or north. Sarge told me that if the sentry became aware of our presence I was to drop him. He said to sit tight until I heard the BAR open up and then take out the sentry and don’t miss. Then move up quickly towards the camp from the south. He would move in from the west and Ben was positioned to shoot anyone that moved east or north. We would leave no survivors. About three minutes passed and I heard the low rumble of the BAR. Then the Thompson. I had dead aim on the sentry and squeezed off a shot. I saw him drop to the ground and he didn’t move. I charged in from the south. TO BE CONTINUED ............
  10. May 11 1937 Part Eight We took cover in camp. Sarge and Ben got down to his truck which was parked in a little ravine to the south. The hooligans hadn’t found it. He opened up his gun safe that was built into the bed. He grabbed two machine guns and ammo. One was a light duty and the other a medium duty. They set them up at camp and showed us how to use them. It was getting towards dawn and there was a little bit of daylight just starting to break. Sarge said he and Ben were going to check out the ridge and told John to stay and protect camp. John wanted to go with him and so did I. John agreed to stay. I told Sarge I could keep up ok and my leg had stopped bleeding. So the three of us headed up on the mountain. There were spent casings everywhere. We walked north along the trail and soon came across the dead body of one of the outlaws. He was riddled with Sarge’s rounds. It wasn’t too far until we came across another. He was still alive but barely. We questioned him and told him we’d help him if he told us where the outlaw camp was. Sarge stuck the barrel of the BAR in his face and said to start talking and he did. They were camped just a little north of here. The location sounded like the old camp the hooligans were in last year. Ben said to go on ahead and he’d catch up. As we got down the trail we heard the Thompson firing. I reckon Ben finished the outlaw off. Ben caught up to us and we headed for their camp. I promised myself I would kill all of them or die trying. TO BE CONTINUED ..................
  11. There's a time to fight and a time to die. There's some of both going on here tonight.
  12. May 11 1937 Part Seven Hudson was passed out and bleeding. Will was barely conscious. They had taken bullets and from what little I could see the camp had been riddled with bullets as well. We were in a war and losing. I tried my best to dress Hudson's wounds with cloth I ripped from his shirt. I did the same for Will. I told them I’d stay with them and fight like hell to protect my partners. Up on the ridge all I heard was endless gunfire. The BAR and the Thompson and all kinds of rifle fire. Then I saw someone crawling in towards camp. I grabbed a flashlight and it was one of the hooligans. It looked like he had been shot. I figured this was the guy Sarge had hit before he went up on the mountain to fight. He was in bad shape and bleeding badly. He asked me for help. I took his gun and told him that if he wanted to live he needed to talk or I would shoot him. I asked him who they were and why they were shooting at us. He told me they were from Nevada and had heard about our operation and had been watching us. They had seen us digging up a box and figured it was gold. I asked him how many there were. He told me ten heavily armed men. He begged me to help him and said he didn’t want to die. I told him to keep talking and tell me about these men. He said they were a bad bunch of murderers and robbers. I’d heard enough. I tied his hands behind his back and dragged him out of camp and left him to die. I returned to help protect the camp and my partners as best I could. I looked at my pocket watch. It was just after 5:00 AM and light would be coming soon. We just needed to hold on until daylight. Eventually the gunfire slowed and I heard men coming towards camp. They hollered out. It was Ben, Sarge, and John. John was wounded in the leg and limped into camp and collapsed. Sarge and Ben looked to be ok but exhausted. Ben was fired up. He said he had shot a few of them. How bad he couldn’t tell. Sarge said he killed one for sure and thought he hit several others. I told them about the guy just outside of camp and what I had learned. Ben asked me where he was and I pointed in the direction of where I had left him. Ben crawled over to that area and I heard the burst from his Thompson. Then he came back. I didn’t say anything to him or ask him any questions. We were still not out of this mess. TO BE CONTINUED ...................
  13. May 11 1937 Part Six I eventually made it up to the ridge. I took my knife and cut off one of my shirt sleeves and bandaged my leg. It felt like it was on fire. It was dark and quiet except for an occasional flash from gunfire. Then I heard Sarge open up again with the BAR and I went in that direction. I hollered out to him and he answered me. I told him I was coming over. He had taken cover behind the base of a big pine. I asked Sarge how many hooligans he thought were here on the mine. He said he couldn’t tell for sure but he figured they were spread out in groups. He said he knew he had shot one of them on the lower ground but wasn’t sure if he’d hit any of them up here. We could hear the Thompson way off on the ridge. Ben was firing short bursts occasionally and we could hear lots of return fire. We both figured John was up here with Ben or somewhere between Ben & us. We also heard gunfire down at camp now. I was real worried about Will and Hudson. This was a real mess we were in. Sarge said whoever these guys were they were smart and well armed. He said that one of us should try to get back to camp and try to get the truck down to the road and get help from the law. This wasn’t something I expected to hear from him and flew in the face of everything we stood for. However, this was a desperate situation and we were in big trouble. I told him I would try to get down there and do it. I could hobble down hill and it wasn’t too far. Sarge wished me luck. When I got down there I saw that Will and Hudson had shot it out with the goons. The truck was riddled with bullets and the tires were flat. I crawled on my belly into camp. Hudson and Will were lying still on the ground. TO BE CONTINUED ................
  14. May 11 1937 Part Five Suddenly it felt like a branding iron was being held against my right calf. I looked down but couldn’t see anything but felt something warm running down my leg. I struck a match. My lower pants were soaked in blood. I’d been hit by a bullet. I layed out on the ground and hollered out to Sarge that I was shot in the leg. Sarge crawled over and said to stay put. He was heading up the mountain. He disappeared into the dark and I heard his BAR barking. I couldn’t walk so I layed there staring into the blackness with my rifle at the ready. Our crew had been drawn into a trap and were scattered all over the mountain. I told myself I won’t die here without putting up a fight. I crawled on all fours up the mountain looking for someone to shoot. TO BE CONTINUED .................
  15. May 11 1937 Part Four Eventually Sarge came back to camp. He said he thought he had hit at least one of them but it was so dark he couldn’t tell for sure. Then I realized that John was gone. Sarge said that he was probably up on the ridge helping Ben. Sarge hollered that we needed to be careful about shooting blindly at rifle fire on the ridge as we had two men up there. They were on their own until we could support them. I told Sarge that I wasn’t going to stay here near camp and take gunfire until I was hit. I asked for a volunteer to charge the ridge. Sarge said he would move up in that direction and give support fire from the Bar and I could go with him. Will would stay at camp with Hudson. Sarge opened up covering fire and we moved out into the darkness. All hell was raining down on us. I could hear the bullets thudding into trees and ricocheting off of rocks. I realized that I might die here on this mountain. TO BE CONTINUED .....................
  16. May 11 1937 Part Three I could hear the whine of bullets striking all around me. I couldn’t believe this was happening again. We were in a bad position but I was counting on our war veterans Sarge and Ben to deal with this. I heard Sarge holler out over the gunfire. He said to hold our positions and don’t break cover. There was a muzzle flash to the east and Sarge opened up with the BAR again. Then it was quiet for a minute. I could hear Ben firing the Thompson up on the ridge. Then I heard a lot of cursing and hollering from up there and more gunfire. It sounded like Ben was pretty busy. Then I heard the explosion of a hand grenade up on the mountain. Ben must have tossed it. Sarge hollered over to us. He said he was moving to the south in the direction of the gunfire down there. After a few minutes I could hear the BAR barking and some returning rifle fire. It was a war on the mountain and the last thing I wanted. Hudson cried out that he was hit. I crawled on my belly to his location. He was bleeding from his left arm. I tied off the wound. He told me he could still fight. I was as mad as I have ever been in my life. I wanted to kill them but had nothing to shoot at. TO BE CONTINUED ...............
  17. May 11 1937 Part Two Sarge yelled out a sharp halt and told someone to come out with his hands in the air. The reply was a rifle shot. Then I heard Sarge open up with a thunderous burst from his BAR. There was no mistaking the sound of that weapon. Then it was quiet again. Sarge hollered that they may be trying to surround our position. Then I heard the Thompson firing up on the mountain. All hell was now breaking loose. I hollered out to the crew to stay under cover and keep an eye out. I could not see a thing in the dark. Suddenly, I saw the muzzle flashes from several rifles. Two were on the mountain above us and one was from the south. Then there was another from the north. I heard Ben’s Thompson rattling off short bursts. Then it got quiet again. Sarge hollered out for us to stay in our positions. As soon as this statement came out a volley of rifle fire began to rain down on us from all directions. All we could do was return fire at the flashes of light from their rifles. We were pinned down. TO BE CONTINUED ...............
  18. There is nothing as good as hunting for & finding buried treasure. More to come on that.
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