“Well this is how I’m gonna die.” Thought Rodney
He was staring down the barrel of a shotgun held by an old cowboy with wild eyes. He was walking around the site getting a look at what he was sure was an illegal gold mining operation run by the attorney Bud Loren. He had just dropped off construction equipment in exchange for Bud calming neighbors near a city infill shopping center.
“Who are you and what do you want.” growled the old man. “I got a mind to drop you where you stand hombre” Great, Rodney was not only in fear of getting shot, it would be by some old dude who talked like a John Wayne movie.
“My name is Rodney. I am dropping off some equipment that Bud Sellers asked me to deliver.” Rodney said calmly.
“Well hells bells! Why didn’t you tell me sooner!” said the old man. “I’m Fuzzy Wilson, caretaker ‘round here, nice to meet ya.” He stuck out a hand and Rodney shook it.
“Do you need me to put the excavator and dozer somewhere special?” asked Rodney.
“If you don’t mind just get ‘em real close to these doors, I’ll take it from there.” replied Fuzzy
Rodney was hoping to see more of the mine area behind the big doors. Fuzzy seemed like a nice enough guy and Rodney thought he might be able to get some information from him if he was low key and not too direct with his questions.
It only took Rodney a few minutes to have the drivers bring the two big rigs around the site to the doors and drive them off the trailers. Rodney dismissed the drivers and turned his attention to Fuzzy.
“Here they are.” said Rodney. “I will jump in the dozer and bring it inside for you.”
“Better not.” said Fuzzy. “Boss man told me nobody gets past this point. Don’t rightly know why, nothing down there except rocks and such.”
Rodney saw an opening and decided to run into it. “Why all the fuss just for rocks then? Bud was pretty excited to have me deliver this equipment as quick as possible.” asked Rodney.
“Crazy fools think they can extract the gold in the pit…” said Fuzzy. The second it came out of his mouth, he knew he said too much. “Guess I shouldn’t have said that, supposed to be hush hush. Do me a favor and keep it to yourself if you could.” pleaded Fuzzy.
“Your secret is safe with me.” replied Rodney “They think there is gold down there and you aren’t so sure Fuzzy. Have they proved you wrong yet?”
“Crazy city fellers with more money than sense. I worked this claim for twelve years with hardly anything to show for it. The term on the claim ran out and I just stayed out here. The land got sold for houses or something but the economy went south and I been left alone. All of a sudden Bud Loren and others come out with some crazy idea on how to get the gold out of the rocks and asked me to watch the site.” reflected Fuzzy “I told ‘em the lease was expired but he said he was an attorney and he would take care of it. Guess I shouldn’t have told ya all that stuff”
Rodney thought for a moment and digested the confession of Fuzzy. He thought correctly, Bud Loren was running an illegal mining operation and implicating Fuzzy and probably others.
“No problem Fuzzy, what you folks do here is your business.” said Rodney “I’m just doing a favor for old Bud”
“Why would you wanna do anything nice for that polecat.” asked Fuzzy. “He never done anything nice for anyone. Only reason I’m here is he had some money for me if I watched the place while he and all his uppity friends look for gold. Bet they got a lot already, never tell me about that. For some reason they think I can’t keep a secret.
Just as he finished talking, a light came on in Fuzzy’s head. He got an urgent look on his face and suddenly got serious. “Holy snake skin.” he shouted. “I had to turn off some big electric burner or some such 20 minutes ago. Better get to it.”
He turned and started running into the cave, just as the blast sent Fuzzy and Rodney back a good 100 feet.