Gold Fever

The old Indian woman tried to dissuade the two men from crossing the river and going into the mountain. “There is evil up there,” she said in her native tongue.

Roscoe answered her in the Indian dialect, “We’re going, Maria.”

Delmore didn’t like what he was hearing. He didn’t like the tone he was hearing in either Roscoe’s or Maria’s voice. “What? What did she say?”

“She warned us not to go into the mountains. There’s devils up there.”

Delmore smiled and touched the gun hanging from his belt. “I ain’t afraid of no stinking devils.” Delmore was a realist, a practical man who only believed in his five senses. And he didn’t believe in no devil. Or ghosts either, for that matter. What he and Roscoe believed in was the gold.

The two men finished loading the burros and climbed on their horses.

Roscoe turned and tipped his hat and bid her farewell.

Maria looked up at him. She did not smile. “Adios,” she said. There was sorrow in her voice. She had done her best. She had given the two Americanos a warning. Like the others, they did not listen. “Miguel,” she called for her son.

A young Indian man came outside from the small store. “Si?” the son said to his mother.

“Get out the devils.”