#10 THE INTRUDER
One morning, after days of solitude and sunshine, I felt the trailer rock. I turned from the stove to see a man leaning into my trailer, totally blocking the doorway.
The man was extremely tall, heavy set and appeared to be in his early fifties. He wore a dusty Stetson hat, a Western style shirt, a red neckerchief and faded blue jeans tucked into elaborately tooled, well worn cowboy boots. His thick leather belt held a holster and big gun.
There was no sign of London, and I was instantly awash in panic. No phone, no quarry guard to whom I could call and my only exit blocked. G.B., my protector, was a hundred fifty miles away. I wanted to scream and run. Instead I stared, unable to move, dreading whatever horror awaited me!
“Do you know where the jasper deposit is Ma’am?” the man politely inquired. “My rock hound map shows one in this area.”
Oh Gad! He was only a Snowbird, the harmless, joyous breed that flies south to the Valley of the Sun each winter. They don cowboy boots and hats, guns and turquoise jewelry, then play rock hound, prospector, gold miner, cowboy and golf until spring training, when “Canada Honkers” signal the trip north for the summer.
I pointed to the yellow jasper deposit down below my butte, but I knew the assessment work had all been stolen. G.B. and I had already hunted in vain for pieces of “his” yellow jasper, with which we planned to have someone make bookends, a bolo tie and belt buckle.