Had to go into the Oxford English Dictionary for this one, folks. It says:
“Kleptocracy: A ruling body or order of thieves”. Our motif for this week:
Jewelry…Gold…and Thievery. True or False? Ready? Here we go.
Marshfield, Indiana. A train stops for water and firewood. Five masked men
appear from their hiding places. They knock out the fireman and the
engineer. They uncouple the passenger cars and roar away with the engine
and one baggage car. It’s the Reno Gang. They make off with $80,000 in
gold. For those of you who have never heard of the Reno Gang…I’m sure
you’ve heard of the theft. It was called The Great Train Robbery. The loot
was never recovered. The story’s true.
Texas. The Mexican border. A convoy is carrying $2,000,000 in gold
belonging to a Mexican insurgent general. A masked group thunders across
the land. You ever notice that when someone rides quickly on his or her
steed…they’re galloping. But if they’re off to deeds of derring-do…then
they thunder? Ahh…English. There ain’t no better language. In any
case…they attack…and carry off the gold…which they proceed to hide
somewhere in the Wichita mountains of Oklahoma. The gang is headed by a
couple of brothers. Their names…Frank and Jesse James. The loot was never
recovered. The story’s true.
The Alvin Karpis gang hooks up with a lady and her four homicidal
sons. The lady’s name is Ma Barker. Together they pull off a major
kidnaping. They capture one William Hamm Jr. and ransom him off for
$100,000 in gold…and get it. Encouraged…they try for another kidnaping.
This time it’s Edward Brenner…president of St. Paul’s bank. The price
tag…$200,000 in gold. Ma Barker and her group got their loot and duly
buried it. Alas…before she could tell anyone where it was…she was shot
dead by the FBI. The loot was never recovered. The story’s half true. It
was never gold…but rather money. Oh well…
A stagecoach is bound for Salt Lake City. Thundering again, another
gang pulls up. They start firing and kill four passengers. They then help
themselves to $80,000 in gold bullion…and ride off…thundering once more
into the distance. Alas…a posse starts after them…and so they heave
their gold into the murky waters of Mud Lake…never to be
found…well…almost never. In 1901 a fellow named Duncan found three gold
bars in the river and sold them for $25,000. The rest is still down there
in the muddy waters of Mud Lake. The story is true.
The Pentegoet Peninsula. Maine. I don’t have the year. The Mad Baron
Castine…born in France…hated the British with great passion …migrated
to Canada and then down to Maine…built an empire in gold spent much of
his time verbally lambasting the British and everything they stood for. The
Brits…having had enough…decided to invade the Mad Baron’s fortress and
confiscate his wealth. Hearing about this…Castine made off to the
woods…buried his gold…and lived in self-imposed exile to his death.
Alas and alack…the gold was never recovered. The hoard is still out
there. The story is true.
And last but not least…we have Captain T.M. and his lovely Indian bride.
His gold was not stolen…but rather salted away over many many years.
Hidden in a strong box and buried in the Kiamichi mountains of
Oklahoma…this tale has a twist. After our dear Captain died…it is said
that only his Indian bride knew where the gold was buried. Empirical
evidence leads to this thinking. As it happened, many came to her remote
cabin in the wilderness after having heard of her husband’s death, asking
for a loan…which she always granted. She would invite her guests to sit
down, relax, while she stepped out. Sometimes heading north, sometimes
east…always in a different direction…she would return within 30
minutes with the gold that was needed. As the years passed by…her memory
faded …and she was never able to provide authorities with the information
needed to recover the loot. This story too is true.
And now folks…as I end my refrain…before I thrust home…I have a li’l
ol’ tidbit to knock you all on your collective derrieres. I have
maps…believe it or not…of the rough location of all the golden
treasures mentioned above…except for that of the Captain. Scanning it all
however is more than I care to undertake. So eat yer hearts out lads and
lassies. And if one day you hear of an old old man whom is rumored to once
have been in the jewelry industry and can now be seen somewhere in the
American wilderness…roaming the countryside with a metal detector…his
wild and unkempt gray beard blowing in the wind…bent over with arthritis
but with a stubborn bent to his jaw…why…heck…just smile a little
smile and think of me.
And there ya have it.
That’s it for this week folks.
Catch you all next week.
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