"The  Quest  Begins" an original  frametale by Michelle Wilson

 "The Lost Cave with the Iron Door" 

 "The Treasure of Devil's Canyon"



    The air was hot and still. The canyon-slashed desert was vast and barren but beautiful in a bleak way. The sun beat down mercilessly on the four who trudged determinedly across the landscape. Lizards peered unblinking as the travelers passed. Occasionally they'd see a rattlesnake sunning itself on the warm rocks and would take care to avoid it. There were no trails or signs to point the way to their destination. Peaks, pinnacles and spires rose up erratically in every direction. After hours, the sun began to set. One of the women in the party called for everyone to stop. Her name was Sedona Reed. She was tall and slender with dark hair, dark eyes and a determined demeanor. In her early twenties she still felt the immortality of youth.
   "Let's camp here for the night. We can use the shelter of that rock overhang ahead," she said, wiping the sweat from her brow.
   "Sounds good! I think my blisters have blisters!" said a jovial young man with bright red hair. His name was Danny and he was almost always cheerful.
   "Are you sure you know what you are looking for?" asked Natasha a little testily.
   "Yes, I'm sure. I'm just not sure where it is! But, I know we'll find it," exclaimed Sedona.
   "I'll believe it when I see it," snorted Christian.  He set down his equipment and pulled out a fire kit.
   "You'll see it," answered Sedona confidently.
   Soon it was dark and the fire that Christian had lit cast spooky shadows on the craggy rocks. They had finished eating and were discussing plans for the next day. The air which had been hot now took on a chill. The cries of an owl echoed eerily through the canyon. Sometimes a coyote would howl mournfully in the distance.
   "Okay, we have to be getting close so everyone should be looking for what was once an ancient volcano. The geologist I spoke with called it a chimney mine," said Sedona, pulling out a battered letter.
   "I've heard of those. They are shaped like cones or funnels," stated Natasha.
   "Exactly, the problem is we don't have a map, only what my great uncle wrote down before he died. He writes that the treasure is rich beyond imagining. He says he saw it once with his own eyes," mused Sedona.
   "Too bad Uncle Albert isn't here to lead us to it then," said Christian sardonically. In the firelight he looked like an Indian warrior of old.
   "Perhaps I could be of help to you," called a voice from the darkness. "I know this land like the back of my hand and it sounds like you could use a guide." A stranger stepped into the light. He was dressed like a prospector you would see in a movie. He had a bushy beard and a burro laden with bundles. I couldn't help but notice your fire. If I could warm myself a bit I'd be grateful. I'd trade you a tale if you'd be willing."
   "Certainly Mr...," said Danny trailing off.
   "You can call me Jeb, yes sir, Jebidah the wanderer, " he said settling in. " Now the story I want to tell you young'uns about is true and it takes place in Oklahoma. Perhaps you've heard of The Lost Cave with the Iron Door?"
   All four shook their heads no.
   "Well, legend has it that somewhere in southern Oklahoma in the Wichita Mountains is a cave or a mine with an iron door that is secured with an unusual lock. They say that in the 1880's old Belle Starr and her gang held up a train that were headed for the Denver Mint. The gang had hit the jackpot, for it was full of gold. Now they picked a cave to hide their bounty in and the door they used to cover the opening was one of them iron rail car doors pulled right off the train! Then they put a fancy lock on it and covered it with brush and such. Soon they tried another robbery and everyone but Belle was killed. Then Belle got herself murdered in 1889 and with her death the last person who knew where the treasure be was gone. Some people claim the treasure came from the James gang, but I don't cotton to that thought. I believe ole Belle hid near 500,000 dollars! Some people claim to have seen that door with their own eyes. First a rancher and son, then in 1932 a wandering farm laborer and later a woman. None of them could open the door without tools and when they tried to go back they couldn't find it again! People say it's likely north of Treasure Lake in the Wichita Mountains. Yes sir, a fortune is waiting for someone."
   "Do you know any other stories?" asked Natasha wide-eyed.
   "Well, I'll tell you one more, but I warn it may give you the spooks. This is in Oklahoma too. It is said that at the mouth of Devil's Canyon is an old Mexican ghost town and that all that seek gold in this place are met by ghosts. Not just any ghosts, but ones in armor! The ghosts of dead Spaniards. They protect a Spanish gold mine, smelters, a brass cannon filled with gold and a silver casket full of church treasures which are hidden in a separate cave. Don Diego Del Castillo and his crew told this tale in their travels way back in 1650. A body best beware if they travel into the Canyon Diablo for it's the Devil's own claim."
   Danny was fascinated, Natasha had chills and even Christian's eyes were bright with interest. Sedona was more determined than ever to find her own cave. Her eyes were bedazzled by visions of treasure.
   "Perhaps we could use you as a guide," she asserted boldly...

 


Author's note: This story is an original frame tale told in third person. It encompasses the original two Oklahoma lost treasure legends. Jeb is telling them and you may notice his speech is a little different than the other characters. The first story is "The Lost Cave with the Iron Door" and the second story is "The Treasure of Devils Canyon". The second story comes from The Lost Treasures of Kiowa County. I chose these two stories because the treasure is supposed to be located here in our own state. No changes were made to the stories' plots. I liked the image of the iron door up in the mountains sealing the cave full of female outlaw Belle Starr's treasure. Here is a link to learn more about "Belle". On a personal note in my early twenties I dated a guy who was a relation to Belle Starr. I liked the second story because it had a supernatural element as an added bonus to the lost treasure!

Desert image found at: News Robot
Lizard image found at: Neartica   
Snake image found at: Cal Poison
Prospector image found at: Heritage Gallery     

Biography Information:
"The Lost Cave with the Iron Door"
posted to treasurenet.com archives, a forum  for treasure hunting.
posted by Travis on September 2nd , 1998

"The Treasure of   Devils Canyon"
Taken from "The  Lost Treasures of  Kiowa County, Oklahoma- Part one."
The Longest List of the Longest Stuff at the Longest Domin Name at Long Last.com

also story found at: The Lost Treasue of Kiowa County!!"
This information compiled, prepared and submitted to this site by Ethel Taylor and remains the property of the submitter NOTICE: Ethel Taylor grants that this information and data may be used by non-commercial entities, as long as this message remains on all copied material, for personal and genealogical research.

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