RSSAll Entries in the "Reflections on Disorder" Category


(Montrose) The Oliver Cromwell Fish and Chips chain has reportedly purchased the San Juan Horseshoe for an estimated $1800 according to a copyright story in The Pea Green Peeper The Liverpool chain, which operates outlets throughout the former British Empire, is worth a estimated 45 billion dollars, without chips and balsamic vinegar.

O.C.’s, as the company is known from Rangoon to Thunder Bay, does not plan to publish the popular newspaper after December 15. The purchase was made strictly to acquire dead file/back issues which are said to number some 4 to 5 million. They are reportedly stored in a secret passageway underneath the town of Parlin, Colorado.

According to one reporter, who has worked at the Horseshoe since its inception in 1977, the publishers have had a lot of trouble keeping delivery personnel and the number of undelivered copies “just kind of got away from us”.

The Cromwell people feel that wrapping their fish and chips in old Horseshoe issues will go over well in former colonies since the inhabitants there speak English and are often fascinated by the American West.

-Nemo Strong Rod


(Denver) The National Forests will be free of leftover, forgotten Astroturf by winter according to the official word from the Department of the Interior. In a long-awaited announcement a spokesman, at the regional office here, confirmed that the removal of the dangerous material would begin as early as next week.

Before the agency can actually tear out the synthetic grass replacement, it must shoulder the task of removing snow. Although the white stuff has been sparse so far this fall it is still a monumental task at best. Already gov’ment agents have combed the public houses in search of a labor force. Over 500 snowplows are expected by the weekend, many dropped from helicopters or acquisitioned from local peasants.

According to an official document the USFS says it has condemned forest floors in San Juan, Uncompahgre, Gunnison, Mesa and White River National Forests. Isolation of elusive Astroturf colonies in the other forests will follow.

“We wanted to begin the demolition in areas far away from the major population centers in case we foul up the works,” said Maggie Pye, a forest service officer who admittedly has not been in the woods since 1984. “I can’t get away from my desk but I get to wear the official uniform and all,” she quipped. “I even get to carry a gun to lunch.”

The action appears to be a result of a gov’ment study on the health of animals currently residing on the federal land. Since the installation of the Astroturf, knee injuries among the elk population have doubled while the lighter deer have been almost injury free under normal conditions. When it rains or snows that changes drastically.

“We’ve had more mule deer in rehab since 1985, when that carpet was added to the woodland ecology, than we had since we started counting the animals,” said Pye. “The majority of the moose suffer from knee injuries too.”

Other smaller animals, and even a black bear or two, have suffered career-ending damage as a result of the Astroturf that does not release at impact.

“Just the other morning several of us watched as a snowshoe rabbit planted his paw in an attempt to elude a mountain lion, continued the source. “Then we heard a snap…it was his little knee and the rabbit was lunch. After a few years’ exposure to the elements, the Astroturf turns to a slippery clay-like substance when it gets wet. We’ve no choice but to pull the stuff up or build a dome over the forest.”

“Sure it’s virtually maintenance free and looks great from above but it’s only a small step up from asphalt. In addition it’s inedible and the larger mammals have trouble sleeping on it. I blame the engineering department for the whole mess.”

The original expense incurred when the Astroturf was first laid came in at about $620,000. The cleanup is projected at slightly higher.

“But that takes into account inflation over the past 15 years,” said Pye. “Either way, we think it’s a good deal for the taxpayer. I just can’t wait to see the look of the bears’ faces when they wake up to real grass in the spring.”

The Astroturf tailings will be stored at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal near Golden until it goes away.

– Kashmir Horseshoe

Red Mountain Enchanting as Winter Awaits its Chilly Window

Red Mountain Enchanting as Winter Awaits its Chilly Window

Red Mountain Pass is still in autumn attire waiting for winter. Moisture is expected next week.

Ping Pong Ball Industry Faces More Lay-offs

(Denver) The already hard-pressed ping-pong ball industry has announced further lay-offs due in part to lagging sales. Experts within the multi-million dollar trade say the slow-down is a result of consumer fears.

“Every time some writer or politician mentions the word recession we lose another sale,” said Pauline Paddled of the International Brotherhood of Ping Pong Ball Workers. “I wish they’d just shut the hell up!”

Leading financiers agree that an economy based on mindless production of worthless goods can do just as well in bad times as in good times. They add that fiscal strengths and weaknesses are all relative to what the consumer believes that he has been fed. Meanwhile the gov’ment continues to urge people to buy things they don’t need just to prop up the invisible economy.

The ping pong people say that they will have to cut jobs through 2025 unless the public decides to play ball.

The Uninvited Wedding Guests

The day started as most summer days high in the Elk Mountains. The early hours featured bright, blazing sun, then sparse clouds arrived for lunch. Today was the day that Rudy Triglavic would marry Irene Sulek. Relatives from Baldwin, Pittsburgh, Elkton and parents from Croatia and Slovenia were in town. The night before was filled with merry making and the following morning everyone was moving slow.

At 1 pm the families met at Queen of All Saints for the ceremony, the I dos and the you dos and then the rice…and another party. The reception was held at the home of Hugo Prespa, superintendent at the Daisy Mine. Guests included miners and their families from the Keystone, the Standard, Jokerville and Smith Hill Mines. Although competitive underground and in the taverns (with names like the Bucket of Blood Saloon and Kochevar’s) most were having a great time listening to polkas, to tunes on the gusle. They stopped mid-sentence to watch as the bride and groom engaged in the traditional wedding dance. There was prase roasting on hot ash, cevapcici and culbastija and lots of wine. Thoughts of the Sava ran through the heads of the more recent immigrants to North America.

It was quite the scene that July day in 1899, just months before 1900 would come calling. Rudy Triglavic had arrived in Crested Butte three years before. He was a quiet man who worked hard. His family ties to the old country had been tarnished by political conflict. In a country divided into distinct regions ruled by the Byzantines, the Austrians, then by the Ottoman Turks it was not hard to make enemies. The Triglavic family had been staunch supporters of Francis Joseph in the hopes that the Austrians would create a Slavic nation like the Magyars of Hungary had won some years before.

Josip Triglavic, Rudy’s father, had even talked of leaving Slovenia. Things were not so good there for the supporters of the Hapsburgs in the dawn of nationalism. The anarchists were busy, the climate was ripe for what would be World War I. Josip had been mocked by fellow villagers because he insisted that the Austrian monarchy should be recognized as legitimate rulers of his country. There were threats on his life and on the life of his son, Rudy, who had served in Italy with the army and had even attended the university at Innsbruck. When Rudy left Europe, rumors were the residue. Had he informed on a Croatian nationalist in Zagreb? Someone had. Rudy was gone. He was a monarchist. Conclusions were drawn.

A contingent of nationalists, comprised of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes had sought to throw off the Hapsburg yoke and create a new country. They were led by a man named Draza Petrinja, a charismatic Croat from Dalmatia. Seeking to take advantage of the weaknesses of the Austrians, who had recently been defeated by the Prussians, the French and the Sardinians, the movement flourished. Along the Adriatic, especially in cities like Trieste, nationalists were openly hostile to anything Austrian. With promises of aid from Italy, they plotted a full scale revolt in the fall of 1896. Suddenly, in August, without further provocation, Austrian troops swarmed along the coastline forcing all of Dalmatia to heel. Petrinja and others were arrested and imprisoned in Carinthia. The revolt was crushed.

The entire Triglavic family, along with other supporters of the Hapsburgs, was suspect. People had looked for a scapegoat. But that was years ago. Surely the family could find reprieve from old world struggles in the Rockies.

Two cold men stood at the fringe of the reception. Each had a glass of wine in his hand. They smiled cordially although nobody knew them. Each family thought the two were guests of the other. Maybe they were friends of the bride from Ljubljana, where many Suleks still lived. Maybe they worked in the mines. Were they cousins from Pueblo? Maybe they were the caterers. At any rate, they spoke the right language and were welcomed graciously by both families.

“Which one is he?” whispered the taller of the two men.

“I can’t tell from this photograph,” was the answer. “We’ll have to wait him out. Someone will drop his name, then we’ll do our business and vanish like we did on our last project.”

“Watch the wine,” smiled the first. “We don’t want to miss. Let’s just take it slow and strike when the party is in full swing. Surprise is our best weapon. It shouldn’t be long before most of the men are well on their way to a good drunk.”

The party went on all afternoon with much dancing and drinking. Then, at about 4:30 there was a toast from the father of the bride, Amill Sulek. The cake was cut. The band played on. It was at that moment that the two intruders first realized which guest was Rudy Triglavic.

“He’s the groom!” gulped the first. “He’s the damn groom. Damn. They didn’t say anything about shooting a groom…”

“Just relax,” whispered the second man, biting down on his lower lip, swallowing a healthy slug of wine. “We haven’t made ourselves known and there’s still time to finish our business. It’s not like we’re going to shoot the traitor at the altar.”

Both men stood silently, confused as to what action to take. This turnabout had taken the wind out of their assassin’s sails. They had no way to consult with the people who had sent them all this way to kill Rudy Triglavic. Besides, the powers in Dalmatia had no way to know they had sent two executioners to dust off a bridegroom.

“We can’t just leave,” offered the second gunman. “If we go back without completing our mission we could end up dead too. You know how much they want this Triglavic. We have no choice. We have to give them their pound of flesh, satisfy the vengeance.”

The assassins took a seat, smiled sweetly to someone’s grandmother and were presented with a piece of wedding cake. They ate quietly until the band struck up another polka.

“The powers back home want revenge,” started the first man. “They order us to retaliate for what they believe was a betrayal. They give us steamship passage and pistols. They give us a picture…It doesn’t even look like this Triglavic. They tell us to shoot him. They didn’t say it would be on his wedding day.”

The second gunman smiled, “They wouldn’t know the bridegroom from Archduke Ferdinand. They just want vindication. All we have to do is provide them with a body. I’m not about to shoot the groom. What do you think?”

After pushing the last piece of cake into his mouth the first man sighed, “Then let’s give them one.”

After further consultation the two decided that they would pick out an acceptable victim, one different from the groom. They scanned the reception looking for the proper target. After several circles the taller man nudged the other and gestured toward an irascible crank of a man who was disrupting his corner of the festivities by arguing with his wife.

“He’s just about the same size,” quipped one of the gunmen.

“Cantankerous looking fellow,” winked the other. “Who’s gonna miss him.”

The two plotted the attack and their escape as the wedding party grew more merry. They wanted to wait until they had a clear shot, for the right time. When several of the ladies herded the children into a nearby pasture for games, they drew their pistols and fired. At first the party was not interrupted. The guests turned and thought the noise was part of the celebration. When the victim fell to the ground it became apparent that something was very wrong.

The assailants calmly holstered their pistols and disappeared as the crowd gathered around the mark, who was propped up on one elbow, talking to himself. A doctor was summoned and the victim was pronounced quite healthy with the exception of a bullet wound in the forearm and a bump on the head, suffered in the fall.

“Did we get him?” said the first man to the second as they rode furiously up Kebler.

“I aimed low, you aimed high. He must be dead,” said the second.

*       *       *       *       *

Weeks later the two gunmen returned to Dalmatia and announced that they had concluded the business at hand. Everyone seemed satisfied. There would be more revolts, more trouble in the Balkans, a World War to distract them. The matter was considered settled.

Five months later as winter began its occupation of the East River Valley the Triglavic family received a small card. Josip, who had stayed in the United States to avoid the troubles in his country and to see his grandchildren born, opened the letter. He didn’t recognize the handwriting or the first names on the card.

“It says these people here are sorry for interrupting the wedding reception,” he frowned. “Do you really think it’s from the same men who shot your cousin in the arm? Why would they send a sympathy card? They never even brought a gift.”

– Rex Montaleone


Paymaster Otter

“Baker’s Park used to be a pretty quiet place with just a handful of summer visitors. All Indians.” – from Mining the Hard Rock in the Silverton San Juans by John Marshal and Zeke Zanoni.

Silverton had been very good to Marvin Otter since first he arrived hell bent to strike it rich during the first gold field circus of 1880. Baker’s Park promised wealth for all back then yet most went home hungry and a little rougher for the wear. Otter had arrived young with maybe a silver dollar in his pocket. He stayed on after the initial gold fever had subsided. He worked hard.

Healthy gold and silver strikes were abundant by the mid-80s and Silverton thrived. After a few short years, Marvin had a steady job, a house on the river, a stake up Minnie Gulch and a promising bank account. He was still poor but in some ledgers he was up-and-coming.

In addition, he was courting the youngest daughter of the richest man in Parrot City.

When it came to loyal employees and stable citizens Otter was beyond fault. Hadn’t he been promoted three times in three years and helped build the town’s first firehouse? Hadn’t he successfully negotiated agreements that allowed for whites to come into the high country in the spring and leave with silver in the fall? Didn’t he show up at the annual Fourth of July festivities with the dazzling Clara Spears, the daughter of the most prosperous trader in the San Juan, radiant on his arm?

Having skirted the sin crimes, fermented by gambling, booze and whores, Otter began his career as a mucker then graduated to hoistman in the Cornwall Mine near Eureka. He hated working underground. but continued to impress, setting policy, pace and work ethic in the accounting sector of Silverton’s Pardon Me Mining Company. It came as no surprise that the mine bosses chose Otter to perform the most trusted chore, carrying the monthly payroll over the mountain to Lake City.

The Pardon Me owned the Land of the Free Mine near White Cross and two other small digs in Cunningham Gulch. It also held paper on the Jingo Mine in Mineral County and the rich Butterfly-Terrible Mine in the San Miguel. Despite millions taken from the ground, miners were paid $6 per day for a 12-hour shift. The United Mine Workers Union was gaining strength, its members labeled as anarchists and socialists by the mine bosses who went to extraordinary lengths to discredit labor movements. Labor troubles were really management troubles but the rich man always dictates the sad history of the poor man.

Otter had saved his money but it was not enough to ask for the hand of the lovely Clara, join the brahmans in Parrot City and hop onboard the train to social mobility. He remained obsessed and beguiled, constantly trying to maneuver his way around financial shortcomings.

There were five of them, the trusted men who carried the payroll. The same man could not consistently carry the money each month due to robbers and highwaymen who freely roamed the mountain passes. Even the cargo was disguised, sometimes in whiskey barrels, other times as feed, still other times tucked under explosives bound for Hinsdale County mines. Often just two men brought it over.

Sometimes, in the interest of security, the payroll was switched over to mule in Howardsville and sent by way of Stony Pass to Creede and then back up over Slumgullion.

The law barely flexed its muscle in the mining camps much less the backcountry. Citizens of both Silverton and Lake City remembered the murder of the whistling postman, Ron Powers, on Bill Williams (Leroux) Pass in 1886 “when the Utes were jumpy” and the near-scalping of “The Red Finn”, Donald Enenga, and his family when they got caught in a snowstorm on Hunchback Pass the next year.

On a brisk October Thursday a well-armed Otter, with a $2500 payroll, would make the journey by horseback upriver to Animas Forks where he would take on a local gunman to ride shotgun with him over Cinnamon Pass to Lake City.


After a dusty ride from Silverton Otter walked into the Frog Saloon (11,580 ft) in Animas Forks searching for Knute Johannsen, his approved hired gun for the trip. It was dusk and a small procession was just returning from the local graveyard.

“You looking for Knute?” laughed one man. “You’ll find those bones up yonder in the cemetery. That good-for-nothin bully finally got his just desserts.”

Shot twice once from the front and once from the back…murdered during a drunken argument over a soiled dove who had just arrived in town to ply her trade and expand her market. Knute was a mean sombitch with few friends. She had worked at Lacey’s Famous Avon Paradise in Eureka and had moved on to Animas Forks since men were said to bathe once a week and pay a working girl in silver.  Shootings were common. Prostitutes came and went. The only other potential guard Jake Mulholland was too drunk to walk, much less tote a shotgun up the Cinnamon.

The local chamber of commerce here played down the violence by ignoring it.. Animas Forks pretty much disappeared in 1891 only a few years before the 1893 Silver Crash tore the heart out of this mining country.

Fearing that the shooter and any number of derelicts in Animas Forks might recognize him from Silverton, Marvin made his way up Cinnamon Pass alone.

If all went well the 28-mile journey could be completed before the autumn darkness set in. The first stage of the pass was the most dangerous with slippery shale, loose rockslides and tight switchbacks. The mule inched and picked its way. The footing was often bad enough that Otter had to dismount and lead his mule in tougher terrain. To the south stood Whitecross Mountain and farther south Handies Peak. He would follow what was then called the Shelf Road to Sherman where he could change from mule to horse for the remainder of the trek to Lake City. He thought of Clara as he climbed toward the 12,600-foot pass. She had agreed to consider his marriage proposal that night when the Dodge City Cowboy Band had performed under the stars. He watched for signs that he was followed. He thought about the money he was carrying.

The alpine terrain unfolded with sharp cliffs, dull, soft dirt and jagged peaks caressing the faraway sky. It was idyllic, a paradise, a hell, a no-man’s land…a wonder to see.

Then without warning the mule stumbled tossing Otter and his cargo into the side of the mountain. He grabbed the saddlebags and the shotgun landing hard on his right ankle, twisting it savagely. Marvin knew he was in trouble when the swelling started. Looking back along the trail, he removed his boot and the ankle throbbed. He took a sip of rum from a bottle stashed in the bags, then a sip of water. If anyone were in pursuit, he would be an easy target. He leaned on the mule to stand and the cargo shifted, sending the mule over the side carrying his food and cold weather gear down into Grizzly Gulch.

Otter sat holding his ankle, the money and saddlebags. If anyone were to come along the trail, he would either rescue him or rob him. He buried the saddle bags somewhere deep in the rocks in a small cave prodded by landslides and scooped out by centuries of snow.

 All around him were precipitous peaks, dinosaur ridges and curious valleys perched in the icy air of October. Otter searched for fuel for a fire but there was not much. Just tiny purple flowers and mountain goats. When he does manage to start a small fire it strains to ashes. He thinks about the money and how he’d like to keep it. He drinks rum and thinks of the money. It’s paper. He laughs. “Hell, I could burn it and be warm for another hour.”

The clouds parted, displaying a myriad of stars. He had another swig of rum and another. His lone provision relieved the pain of the ankle.

“I could burn the money. What else can I do. I’m freezing.”

“What else could I do? I was freezing, said Otter aloud, practicing the words.

Then the temperature began to drop quickly and a light snow fell. He pulled his collar tight and lowered the brim of his hat.

“It’s the perfect explanation if I show up empty.”

More rum. The stars listened to his words. They didn’t go down any better in the heavens than there at the top of the planet. After adjusting the symmetry of the immediate geology, he fell asleep.

Marvin had dream after dream while a madman in the darkness up on the pass. He dreamed he had married Clara and that he was made president of the local bank. He dreamed they were rich. He saw himself as a poker player winning a big pot only to take a bullet and drop to the floor. He saw Clara smiling fondly at another man. He saw this mountain trail open up and suck him into the abyss.


When the cold morning light hit the top of the peaks Marvin awoke from his jagged bed possessed with the money he had stashed. He could dig it back up or leave it buried? He went over his story aloud confirming that his employers would believe him. Who would doubt the honorable Marvin Otter?

He burned the satchel that had once been full of bills and then saved it thinking it would make a fine exhibit A in a liar’s defense. He almost died up there on the pass. He had to burn the currency to survive. How could anyone doubt his story? How could anyone prove otherwise?

Marvin’s ankle throbbed. He reached for the painkiller and found the bottle empty, and then he reflected on his strange dreams. A rock rolled down the ledge and he heard someone approaching from the Lake City side. He raised his shotgun and waited to meet his morning company. Around the corner came the mail carrier on horseback making his way to Animas Forks from Sherman, where he had spent the night.

“They were expecting you last night,” said the mailman. “They was worried you fell off a cliff! Where’s your escort?”

Otter told him the story of Knute Johannsen, his decision to make the solo journey, the loss of the mule and the tragedy of broken bones and frigid weather. Then he told him he had burned the money to keep from freezing.

“Makes sense to me.” quipped the mail carrier. “Got plenty cold up here last night. Even a little fire could make a difference, heh.”

The mail carrier watched Otter curiously. Burned the money to stay warm did he? That’s a crock. This boy is hiding something but it ain’t my call. I’ll take him down to Sherman on the way back around. What fool will believe his story in Lake City?”

The carrier made the 10-mile round-trip and returned to the spot where Otter sat waiting. His ankle was turning all sort of colors but he  soon felt better up on the mailman’s horse.

The two men talked non-stop as they meandered down the mountain. They crossed Crazy Dog Creek and waded through last winter’s frozen drifts along Deception Ridge and into light rain that fell on the Hinsdale side, washing the pines and sending aspen leaves scurrying for their lives in the storm’s path.

By evening they were in Sherman where the mine bosses were waiting for the payroll to arrive. Otter was helped off the mail carrier’s horse, his ankle pronounced broken by a doctor from lake City. He told his story to three tongue-tied mine bosses who listened quietly until the ankle was set. While Marvin ate his first meal in over 30 hours, they talked in private.

“He burned the money and my ass chews gum!” said the foreman at the Land of the Free.

“He must be crazy if he thinks we’re buying that story,” agreed another mine official.

“I’m disappointed in Otter,” offered the owner of the Pardon Me, “but a thief is a thief.”

Then the Hinsdale sheriff arrived.

“Our main priority is the return of the payroll,” explained the three. “Then we will see about punishing Otter. First we put him under wraps, then we’ll have to deal with over 100 miners expecting their pay.”

The sheriff then arrested Otter at his dinner and tossed him in the town’s only private jail cell.

When he returned the four men discussed the best approach to recovering the funds.

“I believe there is still meat left on the bone here. We could beat the information out of him,” offered the sheriff. “The irony is that if he doesn’t talk we can’t prove he’s a liar. I think he’ll spill the beans when push comes to shove. I figure when the miners find out what went down his life won’t be worth a Confederate dollar anyway.”

That evening the sheriff and two deputies entered the tiny cell where Otter was confined.

“Otter, where is the money?” demanded one deputy, pushing Marvin across the cell into the rock wall.

“You had better come clean with us, boy. You’ve got no friends here to save you,” said the sheriff. “Was Knute Johannsen part of your scheme? Did you murder him too? Your story is bullshit. You must think we’re really stupid over here,” he added slapping Otter a good one to the side of his head.

“I told you,” whined Marvin, “I burned the money to keep from freezing. I even brought down the singed satchel to prove it! I didn’t steal the payroll!”

A blow to the head from on of the deputies knocked Otter to the ground.

“You’d better start telling the truth, Otter,” said the sheriff. “Once these miners find out they ain’t getting’ paid they’ll tear you to pieces. You ever seen a lynch mob at work? We couldn’t prevent unlawful violence even if we wanted to…”

But Otter stuck to his story, falling asleep in his blood.


When the prisoner came to, he heard voices in the street outside his cell.

“We’ll get a confession out of this bastard. Burned the money my ass. He stole it up there on the Cinnamon. Let’s just hang the bastard and let the mine sort it out.”

Otter sat alone thinking.

“I’ve made it this far and I’m stickin’ to my story. These lawmen might beat me up but they can’t let a mob have me.”

He thought of the beautiful Clara sitting in her parlor in Parrot City. Surely she would hear of all this.

“I’m sticking to my story. They’ll never find the money and they’ll never prove me a liar. In time the money is as good as mine. I just have to keep my head until then, and after a year or so go back and dig it up.”

Early the next morning the officers returned telling Otter that the mob would be larger and angrier before the day was over.

“These people have hungry kids at home and no payday. You won’t last a minute after dark. There’s a proper hanging tree right out your window,” laughed a deputy. “The sheriff will fill out a report saying: An angry mob tonight hanged Marvin Otter of Silverton. My small contingent of peace officers was overwhelmed and could do nothing to prevent this tragic act from precipitating.

The sheriff returned and tried to reason with Otter.

“If you tell us the truth we’ll hide you over in Creede until the miners get paid, then you’ll get a fair trail.”

Otter stood firm with his story.

“I have been a loyal employee of the Pardon me Mine for many years. Why won’t someone believe me!”

“I give up,” said the sheriff.

It was decided that in the interest of recovering the loot Otter must stay alive.

The only answer was to move him to Silverton where the jail is more secure.

The next morning before daybreak three riders left Lake City for Silverton along the same route that Otter had taken several days earlier. Otter, now a prisoner, was tied to his horse. One deputy rode ahead while the other followed up from behind. They made their way through Sherman in the dark then into Grizzly Gulch by first light. Otter examined the cliffs searching for some mad escape route. He imagined getting away, digging up the money and heading for San Francisco where Clara could join him and…

Just at that moment a shot rang out echoing through the alpine valleys, one intrusion in all of the crystal peace that surrounded them. Otter slumped down on his horse with a bullet in the back. When he arrived in Silverton later that afternoon he was processed by the coroner and buried in the local potter’s field.

For years miners and others looked for the money while the Pardon Me Mine search took two months and covered a 3-mile radius of where Otter was rescued. The mule and the money lie covered in a fool’s grave, quietly waiting for another season to come and go, patiently waiting for nothing.

Clara married a banker from Gladstone the next summer.  They say it was quite the affair.

     – Uncle Pahgre