This excerpt sets the stage:
“Now listen…this is the real deal. Way out in west Texas…out between Van Horn and the Carlsbad Caverns…there’s some mountains. There’s…,” Slim hesitated, coughed, then looked around and pulled Sam’s ear close to his mouth as he rasped, “ … gold.”
Time seemed to stand still as the word emerged out of an invisible cloud of stale, wine-laden bad breath.
Slim held Sam’s arm a little tighter, as he continued in a wheezing whisper.
“There’s a gold mine out there. I ain’t never seen it, but my grandpa knew about it…he looked for it for years. My daddy looked for it too. Hell, I looked for it…for years. We all knew it was there. None of us ever found it but, I tell you, it’s out there somewhere. My kid, she’s got no use for me, so I ain’t never told her the details, but you’ve been good to me when nobody else woulda helped an old broken down drunk, so I’m telling you.”
The old man, spent from the exertion, relaxed his grip on the younger man’s arm and Sam cradled Slim’s head and leaned down close to whisper, “It’s all right, man. Just take it easy.”
Slim coughed and any remaining color seemed to be fading from his lips and face. “I don’t have no time, so listen.” His voice was barely a whisper. “My grandpa knew a guy named Ben Sublett. Look him up, he’s a regular legend. They was drinkin’ buddies. One time they was drinkin’, just the two of them, and old Ben told my grandpa all about the mine. Ben always told people it was in the Guadalupes but that’s just what he told people to throw them off…it wasn’t there. Nope. He told my grandpa it was south of there. Remember that. South! He told grandpa ‘ya gotta follow the devil and look for the table, then turn around and you’ll see the why of it.’ That’s what he told grandpa. Remember it. I know it don’t make no sense, but it ain’t supposed to until you get there. You just have to keep searching until it does make sense. A fortune, that’s what I’m giving you, a fortune.” Slim coughed for half a minute, exhausted from his exertion. Then he looked Sam right in the eyes and said, “Don’t forget what I told you. You find it and it’s yours.”
Find the gold!