Chapter 31

September 3rd, 2010

Nuggets & Ore

I left for The Cabin right after work on Saturday, around 16:30hrs (4:30pm), and found that the tree cutters had taken down all of the spray-painted trees I wanted, sawed the wood into 18" and 3ft logs, and neatly piled what I wanted – only 4 trees worth; they kept the rest as payment – in the Firewood Storage Shed in the Backyard, behind The Cabin. Next project: get the local excavator to come in a remove the stumps and backfill the holes with farm soil. The I would drive up 25-30 "Princeton" American Elms to re-populate those areas and the driveway.


The massive right-side deck & picnic table sorely needed some shade now, so that was the first priority.

I disarmed the building and carried-in my duffel bag and long rifles. Jenny was happy to see me. I refilled her wet, dry and water bowls and she feasted. I unpacked everything into the dresser in the Master Bedroom, checked the pantry, larder and 'fridge. After doing a small load of laundry, I decided to drive into Adam's Junction and have dinner at one of the 3 Family Restaurants, and try their "home cooking".

I stopped at Roy's Shell Gas & Service Station, Bed & Breakfast Motel to gas-up the Jeep, and asked his son Randy, who plowed snow for me last Winter, which restaurant was the best, in his opinion. He said that Nell's Kitchen Restaurant & Drive-In was his favorite, so I decided to try it first. For 18:00hrs (6pm) on a Saturday night, it was packed and there was a 15-20 minute waiting line. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Brian Bunce, the Chief Sheriff, his 5 deputies, Corporal Clay Atler, the Chief's son-in-law and Matt Smith, the Mayor, sitting at the largest table in the restaurant. They waved me over to join them, with just one seat left. Nice.

After shaking their hands, and thanking them for the courtesy, I sat down. They had just been seated and hadn't yet ordered. The Sheriff also said that this was the "best home cooking in town"; the next one being Uncle Ray's Rib Joint, and the third best was Sarah's Place, on the north side of town. They quickly got a menu for me, and we all ordered. The food was beyond delicious and the portions were enormous. Finished-off with a tall glass of sun-brewed, sweetened iced tea, I knew I'd be coming back here again many times, even if it was just to sit alone at the counter. I made mental notes of Uncle Ray's and Sarah's, as I wanted to sample their bill-o'-fares, too. When the waitress came by with the check, I gently took it from her, and handed her my VISA CC, amidst the protestations of all the others. I tipped her 25%, as I always do, and the waitress was stunned.

We sat for 10-15 minutes talking about my latest "project" at The Cabin with the felling of the trees, and why the Holtzapple crowd was so against me even being there. Seems the creek running through my 43-acres was successfully-mined for gold 50+ years ago, and they think there's still a motherlode there, yet unfound. I said that I'd never heard that before, and the reason I bought the place when it came on the market, was that it was exactly the quality inside and out, that I was looking for. I made a mental note to investigate this gold thing early Sunday morning, taking my Kimber® 1911 "Eclipse Target II" .45cal ACP, with a Premium 8-round Wilson Combat Magazine, a Galco® Paddle FED Holster for the 5" Kimber, and a Galco® Paddle Dual 8-Round Mag Carrier for 2 extra Premium 8-round Wilson Combat Magazines, sidearm and Remy® 11-87 Semi-Automatic 12ga Shotgun with devastating Federal® 12ga .00 Buck (9 pellets) "FliteControl®" Shells, and EoTech® Red Dot Scope, along, just in case. I would also take the Beowulf® .50cal with an EoTech® Red Dot Scope, and 10 extra 11-round mags of .50cal 335gr .50cal rounds (causing massive damage to whatever it hits inside of 200yds), along. We then decided to vacate the table, to let the people waiting in line have seats, and went out into the parking lot. It was a cool 73F in the mountains, and we lit-up cigs and cigars since Nell's didn't allow smoking anymore. I invited them over to The Cabin for some 50-year old Cognac and Cuban Cigars (don't ask), but all the police had to go back to their shifts, vowing to take me up on it, soon. Matt Smith, the mayor, took me up on the offer and followed me to The Cabin.

Matt called his wife Beverly, on his cellphone and said he'd be a "little late", so I invited her over and she gladly accepted. We all met in the circle drive about the same time, just as dusk was settling-in. I disarmed the building, entered and took hold of Jenny's collar, letting gently sniff her new guests, and all was well. I pulled up two more comfy chairs to the fireplace, lit a medium fire, and Jenny curled herself up on the just-vacuumed Kodiak Bearskin and went to sleep. Both were lifelong resident of Adam's Junction, and well-remember hearing about the bloody "gold wars" of 50+ years ago on my property between the Holtzapples and Andersons. I felt the hair on the back of my neck rising; I didn't know about all this "history" and bad blood spilled over a shiny mineral (AU) called gold.

The outside spotlights went on at 7:30pm, front and back, while the inside lights were already manually turned-on by me. Just as I was standing by the front 8ft x 10ft window, overlooking the massive deck and picnic table, a shot rang out and embedded itself in The Cabin walls, just inches from the glass and me. I dropped the empty glass, and yelled at Matt & Bev to get down,

while I grabbed my Beowulf .50cal with scope, 3 x 11-round magazines and dialed-up 911 for some quick Police help. I went out the back door and around the left side of The Cabin, "doped the scope" to 100 yds, and saw another muzzle flash from behind a tree. It hit the front door, also embedding itself. Good police evidence. I scampered to the west side of the meadow, where I could get a clean shot – wishing I had my Full-Auto, Class III AR-10® .308cal (7.62 x 51mm NATO), with the new 15½" Barska® 10-36x Zoom w/ 100mm Lens Sniper Scope with Green Mil-Dots, and .308cal (7.62 x 51mm NATO) ammo in the new 20-round magazines, with me. I took aim at 60yds, 3 quick breaths, and shot him dead, blowing most of his chest apart with a .335gr hollow-point. By then, Police Cruisers were all over the driveway and front field, officers with the Town-issued semi-auto AR-15s drawn to protect the Mayor and his wife. What about me, guys? Their answer was that you were 3rd Special Forces/ Green Berets in The Nam, and could probably whip all our butts, but our first duty was to the Mayor and his family. I agreed, since he never had a bodyguard in his life. Until I came to Adam's Junction, there was never this kind or level of violence. I had a sickening feeling that it was going to get worse if I found any gold in that creek on my property.

All 13 of us went back into The Cabin, with 4 deputies keeping guard on the massive front deck and behind squad cards for other snipers, to "sort things out", and get the facts correct for the reports, which had to be written. The Coroner had arrived, and ID'd the shooter as another Holtzapple; this one being Bert, aged 23, who wasn't in on the original attack on me, months ago. The Sheriff declared this an "assassination attempt on the Mayor and his wife", interrupted by my quick-thinking and sharpshooting. Doubtful that DA Stan Robbins would press any charges, but would argue self-defense, as he had before with Dewey, but I'd still have to come to the Grand Jury Hearings, be deposed and give testimony. Shit.

The Deputies and forensic lab techs dug-out the two 30.06 slugs from my Cabin wall and front door, to match to the weapon. Sheriff Bunce left 1 deputy to stay at The Cabin, for protection for the night. I invited him in to use to use the 2nd Bedroom, but he declined; he was ordered to stay awake all night and watch the outside. I reloaded Remy 11-87 12ga Auto-Loader, and re-checked my Kimber 1911 .45cal ACP, which I kept in the Master BR, on the nightstand next to my Bed. I armed The Cabin, called Jenny to my bed, and went to sleep. I'd had enough for one day.

Up early on Sunday morning, I noticed that the deputy was still there, no windows were shattered from bullet shots and I had a call on my cellphone from Sheriff Bunce, asking to me to come down to Police Station & Town Hall and, file another statement. He'd impounded my Beowulf .50 cal as evidence for the shooting, and wanted to return it to me. DA Stan Robbins was waiting and needed a statement from me, to match the Mayor's and his wife's "assassination report". I showered, shaved, dressed and sped down, with Police escort, to City Hall within 15mins, to meet with Chief Bunch and DA Stan Robbins, to give them what they wanted. After 1hr, we had it locked-down enough for The Grand Jury, and I probably wouldn't have to show-up for the session. I was appreciative of that fact, though I would have gladly done so, if required.

Later, I made the 2½ mile trek down to the creek on the southern end of my property, where I'd never been before, and noticed sluice boxes in varying states of rot and decay, a couple of wooden gold "pans" in the same state, various shovels, rakes, picks and other implements I couldn't determine. The creek ran east to west on the 43 acres, so I started on the eastern end and walked along it to the western end; all total, about 7 miles. I shot 5 copperheads sunning themselves on the large rocks. I hate poisonous snakes.

I had my 12" LLBean® "Maine Insulated Hunting Boots" on, so I ventured into the shallower parts of the creek, kicking-up some mud and sand, and seeing small gold nuggets. When I kicked-over a larger rock, a nugget the size of a golf ball appeared, and I grabbed it. 2-3oz, I'd guess. This must be coming from upstream, I'd imagine. So I turned around and walked back to the eastern end of the creek. I shot another 2 copperhead snakes along the way, sunning on the rocks. At the eastern end, I found "it": a vein of gold ore 3-4" wide, being washed downstream in varying sizes. I pocketed the 2-3oz nugget and went back to The Cabin, to think about it all.

I laid the nugget at on the oak Dining Room Table, unsuited, checked for ticks, took a long shower, and changed into some clean clothes. Afterward, I stared at the nugget, full-well knowing if I had it assayed in Adam's Junction, there would provoke a "gold rush" on my property and all kinds of trouble would ensue. Trouble which Adam's Junction, the Sheriff and his deputies didn't really need. I calculated thousands in gold nuggets, but what do I know? Assaying is the only way to be sure, and I'd get it done when I got back to York (PA), rather than in Adam's Junction, where it would definitely cause problems. I put the nugget into my duffel bag and planned to have it evaluated this next week.

My Sciatic Nerve in my right butt cheek was acting-up badly, so I limped around the kitchen, making Chicken Cordon Bleu, some Roasted, Sea-Salted & Buttered Brussel Sprouts, Oven-Roasted Russet Potatoes (with skin-on) cut in 1" pieces, drizzled w/ EVOO & Kosher Sea Salt, and fresh watermelon slices for dinner, took my BP pills, and went to sleep at 19:00hrs (7pm), with a cold-pak, wrapped in a towel, on my butt. I had to be to back at work in Winterstown (PA), by 07:00hrs (7am). Jenny quickly followed me to bed.

I was feeling even worse on Monday morning at 05:00hrs (5am), so I called Alan, my LSCP Foreman, and Lee, my Greenhouse & Nursery Assistant, to tell them I'd be a couple hours late. I refilled all of Jenny's bowls, made the bed, quickly packed-up, armed The Cabin and left for work. I made it in by 10:30hrs (10:30am), with my heating pad, and condo's mail.

I drove up to The Cabin on Tuesday afternoon, after my doctors appointment, thinking that there had to be a better way than surgery to alleviate back pain. Aspirin, cold-paks and heating pads do help, but they're only temporary. Pills (opiates) aren't the answer, either; I found that out "the hard way", a couple of years ago.

I drove-up the 1,000ft gravel drive to The Cabin into the circle-turnaround at the right-side of The Cabin, large deck & picnic table, disarmed the building and took my gear & guns inside. Jenny was happy to see me, as always. I quickly refilled her wet/dry food and water bowls, and she snacked. I put my gear into the dresser in the Master BR, since I was staying for the night. I suited-up in my 18" English Wellington® Rubber Boots instead of my 12" waterproof 12" LLBean® "Maine Insulated Hunting Boots", just for snakebite protection and any deeper potholes in the creek, which I didn't immediately see. I took along some extra dry socks, just in case I'd stepped into one, as well as a snakebite kit, my cellphone, and the Beowulf® .50cal with an EoTech® Red Dot Scope, and 10 extra 11-round mags of .50cal 335gr .50cal rounds (causing massive damage to whatever it hits inside of 200yds). Of course, I had my Kimber® 1911 "Eclipse Target II" .45cal ACP, with a Premium 8-round Wilson Combat Magazine, a Galco® Paddle FED Holster for the 5" Kimber, and a Galco® Paddle Dual 8-Round Mag Carrier for 2 extra Premium 8-round Wilson Combat Magazines, sidearm along, as always, since it's my daily carry-piece (CCW PA-1990).

First, I took Jenny along on a short leash; she'd be an invaluable scout and watchkeeper for me on this trek. She was glad to get outdoors after being cooped-up for weeks in The Cabin, although she is a virtual dog. I'd cleaned her litter boxes out and aired-out the 2nd large BR. I'd changed the linens in there, as well.

We walked the 3½ miles to the creek, and then turned east to its entry point onto my 43-acre property, to examine the 3-4" vein of gold ore protruding from the small cliffs and boulders. It was impressive. Ore requires smelting to separate it from the rock

it is chemically-bonded-to, but that's easily done at around 3,000°F, by a competent smelter, and for a hefty fee. I reckoned I could do it myself, with the right equipment and some study. The bits and pieces broke loose like rock candy, once I applied the small pick-axe I'd brought along in the "Jack Bauer" Satchel Bag, full of tools. Jenny was tied to a tree, keep watch for me.

Downstream, there were all kinds of chunks of ore and pure gold nuggets glistening in the water. I wasted no time in picking-up every one I could see, and threw them into a heavy burlap satchel. Soon, I wouldn't be able to lift it, and would have to go back for the Jeep, to carry the load. I unleased Jenny, grabbed the Beowulf .50cal and we walked back to The Cabin to get the vehicle. Driving through some of the dense underbrush was a breeze for the 2002 Grand Cherokee 'Laredo', as I macheted-down most of it on my way to the creek, last time I was here. Next time, I'd use Round-up® Herbicide to clear the path completely, in a 5-gal backpack sprayer.

We got back to where I'd been working, and the satchel was gone, as were all of my tools. I kept Jenny in the Jeep, took out my Kimber .45cal ACP and had no more opened the door when I took 3 rounds tore trough the driver's side door, just missing my left thigh. I got the cellphone out and called Sheriff Bunce, told him what happened and he said he had several Deputies not far from there, and they'd be right over. I gave them an exact point from my GPS, and they dialed it in. Another 5 shots rang out and shattered by driverside back window. Now I was pissed-off. And I could see the blue smoke coming from a rock formation 40-50yds away. I put the Kimber away, and grabbed the Beowulf .50 and all 8 11-round mags, and exited the Jeep on the passenger's side, on my stomach.

My 3rd US Army Special Forces/ Green Berets Sniper Training LRP (Long Range Recon, in 'Nam) kicked-in and I crawled in a circle around behind the rock formation, just wishing I had a grenade or three. I could make-out

2 men, replete with my satchel & tools at their feet. They were using two 30:06cal Winchester's – 8 in the tube and 1 in the chamber – to fire at me. I took careful aim at the larger of the two, and shot him in the ass with a .335-gr hollowpoint. I didn't even want to think about what his front side genitals looked like after a hit like that; he bled-out and died. The second shot went into the small man's right thigh, and he let out a mighty howl. I knew the femur was splintered into a hundred pieces, and as he turned toward me to fire, I shot him "center mass", killing him instantly. By now, I heard sirens and saw flashing lights on 4 squad cars, plus Sheriff Bunce's Cruiser. I laid down my guns, laced my fingers behind my head, and stood still.

3 ambulances and DA Stan Robbins showed-up within 10-15 minutes, medics tending to the wounded shooter and "tagging & bagging the dead men", with Sheriff Bunce & DA Robbins wanting Situation/Incident Statements. Three CSI (crime scene investigators) guys were all over the place, taking pics and measurements, collecting shell casings and other evidence. They were amazed that I could do so much damage with just 3 shots.

These two unfortunates were Elmer and Randy Grove, cousins of the Holztapples Crowd. Now, I had even more enemies.

Sheriff Bunce and DA Robbins told me to relax, gave me back my Kimber, impounded the Beowulf .50cal as evidence, again, assuring me that I'd get it back in a self-defense situation, and walked me over to the DA's car: a 2010 Black Lincoln Town Car; nice. I gave them both statements, to their apparent satisfaction, and DA Robbins said be'd convene a Grand Jury to review the evidence, but at "first blush", he saw nothing but self-defense. His only comment that "you could have waited until we got here and got things under control". To which I said, "Sir, I was taking multiple rounds, was almost hit three times, and that was enough for me to defend myself and my dog". He agreed and so noted it.

All this shit, injury and loss of life over gold ore and nuggets of pure gold; just damn. Had I known about this beforehand, I would have passed on the 43-acres, and looked elsewhere, It all "seemed so bucolic and peaceful", that I had no idea of the violent and bloody history behind it, which continues even today. I apologized to the Sheriff, the DA, Deputies, ambulance and CSI workers, for allowing this to happen. Collectively, they said, "It isn't your fault; this shit's been going on for 50+ years, and until the vein is played-out, it'll continue. You're just lucky that you have the training and background to fight it and stay alive." Many other of the owners didn't, apparently, or bailed-out before it came to that point in their frightened lives.

After finishing with the LEO's (Law Enforcement Officers, DA, and CSI folks), I lugged the heavy gold-ore and nuggets satchel back into the 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee "Laredo", loaded-in Jenny, and drove back to The Cabin. The "secret" was now out, and I'd be plagued by "gold hunters",

whom I'd have to "keep off my property", by lethal force, most likely. I didn't like "that option", at all.

Two options: harvest all the reachable gold right now, or blow it all into oblivion, so no one could get it, except what's left in the creek, by laborious panning. Decisions, decisions.

I sat in Living Room, in front of the Hearth, lit a large roaring fire, poured a 50-yr cognac, lit a Cuban Cigar (don't ask) and began to contemplate my next move. I estimated that I had around $550,000 in the satchel, right now, and I another $3-10 milion in the untapped vein. For tonite, I'll just "sleep on it"; tomorrow's another day to think about it all. I armed the building, made sure the dusk-to-dawn spotlight arrays were lit, and kept the old Nokia 6060 "Clamshell" cellphone and my Kimber® 1911 "Eclipse Target II" .45cal ACP, with a Premium 8-round Wilson Combat Magazine on the nightstand, next to the queen-sized bed. Jenny soon joined me at the foot of the bed. S-l-e-e-p, now.

I slept-in until 12:30hrs (12:30pm), made brunch, showered, shaved and fed/watered Jenny. Then I remembered "my problem": the vein of gold ore and gold in the creek. I called Corporal Clay Atler, the Chief's son-in-law, and asked if he'd be able to stop by for a chat with me today, as I had to leave tonite to be back at work on Thursday. He said his rounds brought him by my property at around 15:00hrs (3pm); would that be okay? I said that it would be fine.

Clay arrived at 15:05hrs (3:05pm) and I invited him inside. It was 92°F outside and he was glad to get into an air conditioned building. From the other night, he knew my predicament and situation, and offered this suggestion: hire a reputable mining company, let them extract the gold ore and nuggets for a percentage – usually 7–10% – have it assayed and converted into cash. Then keep what I wanted, and distribute the rest to the 19,756 residents of Adam's Junction, especially the hardship cases, who were out of work and having trouble making ends meet. Once the gold vein was completely gone, any and all harassment would stop and many thousands would be grateful to me. The distribution of cash could be done through local Churches or a reputable attorney. He could put a short list together of 2-3 reputable mining companies, who have their built-in security contractors, for me to peruse. I agreed to that. The churches and attorney would come later, after a final tally of the gold was done. I also agreed to that. Somehow, I trusted Clay more than anyone else in town, perhaps because he was former USMC and a military brother-in-arms, though from a differnt war era.

After Clay left, I called my personal and corporate attorney of 18 years, in York (PA), on my cellphone and went through everything that had happened for the past 2-3 months in Adam's

Junction. He said he'd followed the shootings, but not much else, since DA Stan Robbins had called him for a reference about me, and that I wasn't prone to violence, despite having a very nice arsenal and way, way too much ammo. The whole gold ore/nuggets situation took him by surprise. He suggested a sit-down meeting to review all this data and paperwork I had, which he also had copies of, courtesy of the DA. I told him that as soon as I returned tonight, and got my schedule up on the office computer screen, I'd call him on Monday morning to set a date the following week to meet with him to meet with him and lay it all out.

So much had happened since I first bought The Cabin, to first and foremost get away, relax and read, that my piles of books were getting dusty. I needed to get back to them, soon.

It was already 18:25 (6:25pm) and I was exhausted; Jenny was too. I packed-up, lowered the AC, checked all the doors and windows, checked the spotlight array timer, armed the building, and left for York. The Jeep was riding a "little lower" than usual, from all those gold nuggets and gold ore, in the back cargo bay.

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