Chapter 23

This entry is part 24 of 44 in the series Smile

Chapter Twenty-Three — The Plan

Dr. Swartz came to see me next day. He had talked to Don Francisco and Francisco had agreed to sell us the gold.

I told him that my brother Bill would fly down with the money, and when he arrived we would make the deal.

“We have one problem,” said the doctor. “The Señora; she must not be there when we dig up the treasure. She would claim it and that would spoil the deal.”

“We won’t take her with us.”

“The treasure,” he said, “is buried under the patio. When Francisco built his home we dug a very deep hole, put the treasure in and laid the patio on top. We know which stone the treasure is beneath but it will take many hours to dig it up.”

“The Señora can speak English,” he said, “and when there are men around, especially men from the United States, it will be very difficult to get rid of her. She likes the American men and falls in love with about every one she meets.”

I told him not to worry because my brother Bill would figure out something. A little problem like this would be nothing for him to solve.

The yellow and black plane arrived, and with Bill was Orren Child. Orren was a good flyer and had wanted to come so Bill brought him along. “I don’t like to fly alone down here,” Bill said, “and besides, Orren is good company.”

That evening Dr. Swartz came back, and after introductions were over, we got down to business. The main problem was to get rid of the Señora while we were digging up the gold.

“We could take her out and shoot her.” Chuck said.

We all laughed and I suggested that maybe if I cracked open a bottle or so of Old Hickory we might think of a way. As I sat there looking at Chuck, an idea came to me. He was a big guy with baby-blue eyes, and he would even be handsome if he were dressed up.

“Look fellows, I believe I’ve got it! Old Chuck here is quite a handsome guy, correct?”

Everyone agreed.

“Do you have a good suit of clothes with you? I asked him. He shook his head.

“Bill, how is your wardrobe?”

“Fine. I brought plenty of clothes.”

“You and Chuck are about the same size. We’ll dress him up fit to kill and present him as a big shot from the U. S. He will make love to the lady, take her away for a few days and. . . .”

“Wait a minute! You haven’t asked me yet,” Chuck complained.

“Ask you, hell! You’re working for the company, drawing wages and what have you done in the last few days? Nothing. Nothing but eat. Now we ask you to do a little job and you balk!” I hoped I had shamed him.

Bill started grinning. “I thought you were joking Joe, but I believe you have the answer.”

“Does the Señora like to fly,” I asked Dr. Swartz.

“Oh yes, she loves to fly to Mexico City.”

“That’s it,” said Bill. “Chuck, you are now the owner of the Palace. You own a big yellow and black airplane with your own pilot, and plenty of money to spend. It won’t be bad. I hear she’s quite a looker.”

Chuck began to grin. “Okay, count me in. I’ll sacrifice myself.” Chuck would represent himself as a wealthy cattle man down here looking around. He might buy a ranch here and the rest of us were working for him.

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