STONE AND CANVAS©️
NANA COOK AND CHARLOTTE MADISON
Copyright 2019 offices;
#42 TWENTIETH CENTURY ALCHEMIST
“Charle, I’m gonna make a fortune!
Guess what I’m gonna do?” Pat Big Deal McNeill asked as he blew through the front door of home.
I laughed and shook my head unaware.
“Well the army needs to get rid of some obsolete printed circuits up in Utah — truck loads full of ‘em, and I plan to buy ‘em an’ move ‘em down here onto my place, under a big canopy. I’ll lay a fire, get a cauldron, an’ after a hot burn, I’ll render ‘em down — I’ll make a fortune.
My vacant expression told him this needed more explaining, so he continued.
“They use valuable elements in those circuits, sorta like you use solder. You know what solder is don’ cha? Well I’ll use acids and whatever it takes to separate those elements. I’ll be rich!”
Once Pat got going on the printed circuits, G.B. and I took a break from work and painting so we could head out to McNeill’s ranch to check on “Big Deal’s” painting progress and see for ourselves whatever it was he was doing to the printed circuits.
Big Deal McNeill struck a mighty pose beneath an immense canopy that billowed and flapped in a high wind, He stood behind a humungous cauldron wearing a dark stained smith’s rubber apron and high, black rubber gauntlets. With the sight of it all I could almost see Arthurian Knights materializing between the trees. As he stirred his elemental brew the heavenly aromatic Juniper smoke from his fire swept me back to starlit nights atop my butte.
The vapors rose around him, until at one moment he was almost hidden, at another seemingly fading away into the mist that encircled him — that beautiful mist, that insidious mist, that toxic vapor.