A lesson learn

May 18, 2010
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“Give me the treasure boy. We know you’re in here and there’s no way out. We don’t want to hurt you but our patience is growing thin with you” said one of the outlaw bandit as they sat outside the door of the old farm house that they had Clayton trapped in. “We’re going to burn this place down in five seconds if you don’t give us what we want. 3……2……1!”
This summer was supposed to be an ordinary summer for Clayton. Just like last year, he planned on spending his whole summer lounging around the house, staying out late at night, and doing whatever he wanted. Until his mother told him that he had to spend his whole summer with his grandpa Daryl that he has never met, in Montana.

The day after school got out Clayton loaded his luggage up into the back of the suburban and climbed up into the front seat.
“Mom, do I really have to go” said Clayton.
“Your grandfather needs your help this summer and it wouldn’t kill you to do a little work this summer” said his mother.

The car left the city and headed out to the middle of knows where. Finally eighteen hours later they turned down a long driveway with cattle grates at the end of it. When they pulled up to the house Daryl was out rounding up the cattle.

Right away Clayton learned how to ride a horse and round up cows and even though it was only his second day here he was already enjoying it. In the middle of the afternoon he was going through stuff in the closet of his room when he saw that there was a loose board in the corner. When he opened it up he found an envelope that looked as old as the house. In the envelope was a map, a map of his grandpa’s ranch. The map seemed to be hand drawn and it looks like it when somewhere.

“Eagle nest tree? Bear rock? Where were all of these places?” thought Clayton.

At the end of the trail there was an “X” with the words “Aqui yace riquezas inimaginables”. It had to be Spanish. Luckily he still new some Spanish from the previous school year so he could interoperate it in to English. “Here lies unimaginable riches.”

“What?! Treasures here in on this ranch? No way!” Clayton was so confused and excited at the same.

As he studied the map he noticed at the bottom of the page there was writing that said “Copy 1 of 2”

“Someone else has the same map. They know where the treasure is too. I have to find it quick unless it is already gone” thought Clayton.

Clayton folded up the map and headed to the barn. He grabbed some food from the kitchen and went out and saddled up Boomer, the horse his grandfather gave him. It was about 10:00 in the morning by the time Clayton headed out and he figured he’d have until around eight or nine that night before his grandfather came back from town. He headed up into the hills trying to figure out where the first land mark was. From where the house was on the map it looked like eagle nest tree was straight east from there. Going through the woods for about a mile or so the land started to change dramatically. The hills had turned into steep cliffs and the grass into rocks and boulders.

Boomer was sure footed as a mule though going up and up the side of the mountain. Finally as they reached the top he looked around and looked out across the land for miles and miles of dense, wild, untamed wilderness. All of the sudden out of the corner of his eye he saw movement. The bushes started rustling and a big brown bear came charging out. The bear stopped about ten yards away and started grunting and growling. Clayton could feel Boomer shaking beneath him and within a split second Boomer reared up and sent Clayton rolling off his back and on to the grown sliding down and over the cliff. As he was sliding he caught his hands on the root of an old oak tree. His feet dangled off the edge he held on with all of his might while he watched Boomer run down east and disappear into the woods. Then his attention turned to the bear who obviously knew that he was still around. The bear started walking towards Clayton who clung to the root with both hands trying to get his footing on a ledge. There was a tree behind Clayton that seemed to have grown off of the mountain and as the bear got 3 feet away Clayton did the only thing he could think of and he let go of the root and fell. He couldn’t’ have fell more than three feet when he landed on something almost soft but it felt like branches and leaves. Clayton opened his eyes and didn’t believe it; he had landed in the eagle’s nest that he had been looking for. Granted he was still high off of the ground but he was away from the bear and that was all that mattered. He climbed down the rest of the way down and walked around and found Boomer eating in the meadow.
Clayton got out the map and realized that bear rock was probably less than a mile away and there lied the treasure. They ran across the field and down the trail and when they reached bear rock Clayton stood there in amazement. The rock actually head a bear carved into it.
He took out his shovel and went ten paces behind the rock and started digging. Sweat dripped off his forehead and dripped over his noes and fell to the ground. “THUMP”. He heard his shovel hit something hollow.
“It’s really here, I can’t believe it” said Clayton to Boomer, even though Boomer could care less. He dug it all out but it was locked. He had seen wire cutters in the barn so he decided that he would just take it there to open. He strapped the box behind the saddle, mounted up, and headed back home. He wasn’t 50 yards into the brush when he heard voices. All he could make out was something about treasure and bear rock and he instantly knew someone had the other map. He got as far into the dense pine trees as he could and tied up Boomer. Clayton snuck as swift fully as he could back behind a boulder by bear rock to see who was there.
As he looked around the rock he saw two men and horses walking towards where the treasure was buried. Clayton realized that he had been so excited when he left that he didn’t even fill in the hole.
“Damn it Carlos, someone was here,” said one bandit to the other, “they can’t be far, this dirt couldn’t’ have been dug up more the twenty minutes ago it’s still fresh.”
“Look Cole horse tracks, they must’ve gone this way” said the bandit Carlos.
“Oh crap” though Clayton “they are on to me.” Clayton ran as fast as he could back to Boomer. He knew the men were bad news by the way they looked.
By the time he got to his horse Clayton knew the men were on his trail. He head up the hill as fast as he could but as he got to the top he heard the men yell “There he is, get him!”
Clayton was so scared he knew he couldn’t ride as well as these guys but he figured he might know the land a little better. He jumped from trail to trail trying to lose the men. When Clayton and his grandfather were bringing the cattle back to the ranch they had gone by here and he knew there was an old house not far away. He ran and he ran as fast as Boomer would go and the men seemed to be trailing behind.
They came in to the trail that lead to the old farm house and Clayton ran to the house and let Boomer keep running hoping that maybe the bandits would fallow his tracks away from the house. He ducked in side moments before the men came into view. Clayton locked the door and hide in the closet leaving it open just a crack so he could look out the window. He saw one of the bandits fall for his trick but other one stopped outside the door.
“Carlos! He’s in here.”
The men came walking up to the door and pulled on the handle but it was locked. Clayton was shaking. He knew the men would do anything for the treasure.
“Give me the treasure boy. We know you’re in here and there’s no way out. We don’t want to hurt you but our patience is growing thin with you” said one of the outlaw bandit as they sat outside the door of the old farm house that they had Clayton trapped in. “We’re going to burn this place down in five seconds if you don’t give us what we want. 3……2……1!”
“WHACK!” Clayton was sure that the men had broken in but then he heard one scream and then “WHACK!”
Clayton was so confused until he heard
“Clayton you in there?” said a familiar voice.
“Grandpa?”
Clayton came outside and saw the bandits on the ground tied up and his grandfather there with a bloody shovel. He had seen Boomer saddled with out a rider and knew something was wrong. Clayton told his grandfather about the treasure and everything.
All his grandpa could do was laugh when he saw the box.
“Clayton, do you know what that is?” he asked Clayton.
“Treasure grandpa, we are going to be rich!”
“It might be treasure to your mom but not riches.” He said as he pulled out a key from around his neck. He bent down and opened up the lock and when the box opened they looked inside and Clayton’s mother’s child hood was in there.
“She had always wanted to have someone find this. It was the proudest adventure of her life, putting this treasure hunt together. I’m sure there would be know one that she wanted to find this more then you” said Daryl.
In the end Clayton realized that the treasure was the ranch and the saddest day of his life was leaving at the end of the summer. After he told his mother about the adventure of his summer she laughed and learned the lesson that she ran away from her home to look for something that was there all along. Clayton and his mother moved back to Montana the next summer and they found home there at the ranch.





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