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Rush to Gold

By , Yakima, WA
Rushed to Gold

Lands crossed over as mountains and just beyond those mountains was the sight of the oceans of the great Pacific. It seemed as if people came by the thousands and they kept coming. But there stood a man about 5 foot 6 who was looking down at his hand were there was a very small picture. And as he looks down at the picture he talked to it, “I am finally here Elena.” As he said that he held on tighter to her. He put her back in his pocket and went on to his destination.
He pulled out another piece of paper that showed a settlement position, and looked around and trying to find where he was supposed to go. After about 10 minutes he found his way to a settlement that had the initials D.C. and G.O. on a side panel. He walked in and a man quickly appeared at the door.
“Who the hell are you?” asked the short stubby man.
“Names James Jerkins, Cafrey told me about this place” answered Jerkins without any dread
“David!” scram the short man turning his head but still keeping his eyes on Jerkins. About 3 seconds later an average 5 foot 10 man comes out into Jerkins view. Once Cafrey saw Jerkins he smiled.
“You made it,” said Cafrey, “so how was the trip down here?”
“Kind of bumpy, but it got me here didn’t it?” responded Jerkins’
“That it did indeed” replied Cafrey. A moment after, Jerkins shortly glanced at the short man as if wanting to be introduced but wasn’t sure if he would get aggravated. By doing so, Cafrey saw Jerkins.
“Oh yes I forgot, I’m sorry. This is Olmen, George Olmen from Missouri. I met him on my trip back home when –“he suddenly stopped himself from finishing. He looked at Jerkins and saw him look down at the floor. About a minute passed before anyone said anything.
The first one to break the silence was Olmen, “So Jerkins, you from Iowa as well then?”
Jerkins, barely snapping out of his thoughts, responded “Yes, I grew up there with young Cafrey over here. Been friends for ages now but when he heard about this place he quickly told me and said I could get some very good money if we really tried for it’”
“Well that you can,” said the Olmen, “Why just yesterday, a man came out saying he made $150 his first week, and $250 this past week. Name was C. C. Mobley I believe.”
“Did you hear that Jerkins?” asked Cafrey, “$400 in just 2 weeks of being here. Imagine what fortune we can make here?”
“Only time can tell” said Jerkins, “But we would also have to put all the work we can in.”
Olmen then thought and said, “Well we can only put our best if we have enough sleep.”
“That sound good right about now.” Jerkins said, “were do I sleep?”
“Over here,” said Cafrey taking Jerkins to his bed, “goodnight Olmen”
As the night passed, many miners were working and the noise of the hammers and chisels hitting the tunnels sounded throughout the settlements. As the night passed they all dreamt about the next day’s findings. And as each went to sleep they could not help but smile to know that they had made it to California.
Jerkins woke up first ready to go out and work. He once again took out the picture of Elena and spoke to her, “Elena, today is the day that I make something of myself, I’m going to do great things” at this time Olmen had already awoke but saw Jerkins and stayed quiet and watched him. “Elena maybe Neil will come back now that I’ll have money. Maybe he’ll come back to see his old man –” he started to tear up. Olmen was turning to leave, when Jerkins turned around and saw him.
“I’m sorry,” said Olmen, “I didn’t mean to eavesdrop. But I’m ready to go and I was –“
“No its okay,” interrupted Jerkins, “it’s just that it’s my wife Elena–” stopping briefly, “she passed away.”
“Oh,” Olmen responds unknowing of what to say, “May I see the picture?” Jerkins hands him the picture. Olmen stares at the picture for a while then looks up at Jerkins, “She is beautiful, when did you meet her?”
Jerkins, still trying to control himself, managed to answer, “When we were just 17. And she is very beautiful indeed. We had been married for 6 years and were graced by God with a child. But after what happened to his mother, he took it hard and he just hasn’t come to see me.” At that moment Cafrey had come in and felt the grief in the room.
“Jerkins?” asked Cafrey concerned, “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing,” responded Jerkins, “we were just talking about Elena and Neil. But now I think it is time to work because we are all ready to go.” Jerkins and Cafrey stared at each other for a while, and then Cafrey leaned in for a hug. As they released the saw Olmen’s face and he showed an expression of missing out on something but quickly moved out the door.
They each wondered off into deeper parts of the mine and worked at it for about 8 hours straight and Cafrey decided to take a break first and walked out past Jerkins, who then decided to take a break as well. As they walked out, Cafrey fiddled with his findings.
“So Jerkins,” Cafrey asked, “How much gold did you find today?”
“It’s about $5 dollars worth,” Jerkins answered, “And yourself?”
“I made a whopping $20 today,” a now grinning Cafrey answered.
“I wonder how far Olmen went in?” asked Jerkins.
“Well I’m sure he couldn’t have gone that far, said Cafrey, “he’ll come out when he has how much he wants.”
Jerkins looked at Cafrey, “What happened to him that he can’t control his anger or emotions?”
“He has no family,” Cafrey answered, “they were all killed”
Shocked at the response he barely ounces up to ask,” How were they all killed?”
Cafrey looks at Jerkins and asks “Are you aware of the Haun’s Mill massacre?” Jerkins thinks hard and finally looks up, then slowly looks back down.
After a short pause Jerkins asks, “How has he been going through all of it?”
Cafrey looks up from the despair, “Well I’ve been sticking with him for a while and we have been real good friends, but every now and then he starts to think about things. I have shown him to most of the people I know around here and he takes a liking to them. But he never stays happy.”
Jerkins responds quickly, “Well would you after something like that?”
Cafrey answers, “Well I can see why he –” they get interrupted by a loud bang. It came from the tunnel that they had come from. They looked at each other and knew dynamite was supposed to be blown outside. The people ran out of the mine and stood outside to look back at it. They looked for Olmen but couldn’t see him anywhere. There was one miner who came out who was looking around for someone. He looked all around and finally looked directly at Cafrey.
The man walked straight towards him and looked him in the eyes and told him something and put something rapped in a towel in his hands, then told him something that Jerkins could not hear. Cafrey then became motionless and Jerkins went over to him, “what he say?”
“It was Olmen” he said unfolding the towel that had a gun.





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