As I Remember, Chapter 33

This entry is part 33 of 39 in the series Ted Bio


      I was now at the tender age of 63. I signed up to draw my Social Security. I hooked on to my trailer and headed for the mountains. It was early in the summer and the fishing should be good up there. I finally ended up in Donnelly. I caught a lot of fish an also worked in the club. I was the day bartender, also the fry cook. For the next several years, I spent the summers there. I was also spending my winters in Southern Arizona. Mostly at Yuma.

      Now that I had a lot of time on my hands, I decided to do some more writing. I bought me a typewriter and began to practice. No need to take lessons at this age, I decided. I would use the Hunt and Peck system. The next story I wrote, was a full length novel. It was based on that ton of gold that was supposed to be floating around in Idaho years ago. The one that Dell was always looking for. The title; A Piece of the Pie. It was pure fiction. But the places in the story were all real. Most of the yarn takes place in the mountains around Cascade Idaho.

      I believe the next one I wrote was; When the Honeymoon is Over. Again pure fiction. It is a story about a young man and his girlfriend. He is a native of Emmett Valley. He has been living in Southern California. He gets word that his father is dying. He brings his sweetheart with him and returns home. The old man, knowing that he is dying, has sold everything and turned it into cash. He puts this, divided equally in four envelopes and locks it in the safe. He tells his four sons, who are all there but one. “I have sold everything and the money is equally divided and in the safe. I figured this would save a lot of lawyer’s fees. After I am gone, it is all yours.” That night, the old man died. The next morning they open the safe. The money is all gone. Someone has gotten away with it. Who? Maybe what inspired me to write this one was remembering how a will can disappear or be changed. Anyhow I think it is an interesting story.

      The next one, I believe, was The Judge of Quilali. Later I rewrote it and changed the name to; Beyond the Bend in the River. Again mostly fiction. But it is a story that could be true. It is a story about a young man from Arizona that goes deep into the jungles of Nicaragua in search of some long lost relatives. He gets himself into trouble with the law. He is accused of releasing a killer that has been sentenced to death. His passport and his money is taken away form him. The Judge tells him. “You turned the man loose, go after him. When you bring him back, I will return your money and your passport. You will be a free man.”

      This is primitive country back there. It was here that I spent a lot of time searching for gold. On the Hiroco and Coco Rivers. Beyond every bend in the river, something happens in this story. It is a real thriller.

      Then I wrote a few short stories. Snore Senior is one of them. I have always had a horror of people that just lay there and snore. Some of this story is fiction, but most of it is true.

      Then I wrote a story about the old Yuma prison. The title, Diamonds in Hell. Most of it is true. I didn’t find the diamonds, but I think I know where they are at. However, in that cell where the diamonds were stashed, or supposed to be, I did find a beautiful bracelet. On a fine gold chain was three of the most beautiful stones I have ever seen. Three Jelly Opals. Over thirty three carats each. A hundred in all. I have shown these stones to many jewelers. There is a wide range of opinions about them. They have been appraised from everywhere from a few dollars each to priceless. I finally took them to one of the best geologists in the west. A guy that was supposed to really know his business. And he did come up with some answers. This is what he said. “That is the most beautiful opal I have ever seen. But it is not exactly what it appears to be.” “Please explain.” We went back to his lab. He poked the side of the stone in some putty, then put it under a powerful glass. “Take a look.” I did. The thing was a mass of rainbows. “Now,” he said. “Look closely along the bottom of the stone. There you will see a thin layer of what appears to be rose quartz. That is a hard substance and rose colored. It has been fitted and ground to fit the stone. Then glued on tight.” “But why?” I asked. “It acts like a mirror.” he said. “It turns the whole stone a dark pink. Here, I will show you what I mean.” He picked up the stone and placed it on a small piece of black velvet cloth. I stared in amazement. Now we had a black opal. “A lot of opals have a some sort of backing put on them. Usually, a thin piece of felt. It brings out the beauty in them.” “Does this make the opals worthless?” I asked. He shook his head. “Whoever did this job, sure knew what he was doing. I would say it makes this stone a lot more valuable.” “I have been thinking about having this put in a ring.” I told him. The girl up front showed me a beauty. Just fits my ring finger. What would you charge me to mount it for me.” The girl had showed him the mount. It was a beauty and cost about two hundred dollars. He slowly shook his head. “I will sell you the ring.” he said. “But I will not mount it. You can take it elsewhere.” “But why?” I was puzzled. “Because,” he said. “There is a chance that I might break the damn thing. And if I did, where in hell would I get one to replace it. If it were a diamond, I could get another.” “Then you must consider it quite valuable. How much is it worth?” I will never forget his answer. “About any damn thing you want to ask for it!” I just remembered. His name was Garland.

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