Treasure trails of the Southwest by Marc Simmons

By Marc Simmons

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Outside again, he thankfully took in the daylight and fresh air. Ben Brown displayed a colonial mining tool and a Spanish coin that had been uncovered earlier. "Yes sir, Page 14 Organ Mountains, burying place of El Chato's treasure, according to some of the early legends.  no. 106905. Page 15 there's treasure down there," he proclaimed. But after his unnerving experience, Dr. Campa decided he wanted no more of that cave. He kept up with his friend over the years, but so far as he learned, Ben Brown never did bring up El Chato's treasure.

He assembled a squad of mounted troops and sent them hurrying off with the beguiling Frenchman. The gold seekers had been gone three days when Bernardo de Castro reached Santa Fe and first heard the story. Going directly to the governor, he asked and received permission to pursue the expedition and join it. By fast riding, he caught up with the party as it was entering the broad expanse of the Llano Estacado, the Staked Plains. Later, the sly Frenchman sneaked away from camp and disappeared. The Spaniards had been Page 20 tricked!

What are you hiding there," demanded Miguel. But he didn't have to ask, for he had already caught sight of the yellow metal. "I'll have that bit of treasure from heaven for myself. " Instead of complying, Quito bounded up the mountain like a deer. But long-legged Miguel was in hot pursuit. Finally, the boy was cornered by walls of rock that hemmed in an open shaft, abandoned long before by prospectors. " But before he could say more, his foot slipped and he tumbled backward into the dark mouth of the shaft.

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