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Book details
  • Genre:FICTION
  • SubGenre:Action & Adventure
  • Language:English
  • Pages:190
  • eBook ISBN:9781483502649

The Gold and the Mountain

by John Edwin Parkes

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On a spring day in 1941 Will Bodie, a young teenage boy, is fishing on a dock on the St. Johns River in Jacksonville, Florida, while reading in a magazine about a lost gold mine. His fishing buddy, old Mr. McRae, soon joins him and this sets up a turn of events about Mr. McRae's gold find on a mountain in Mexico. He tells Will where it is on his death bed.This sets Will on a quest to find the gold on the mountain in Mexico. There is Will's sweetheart, Agnes, and his father, a shrimper, and his mother, soon to be a widow. Will studies Spanish in high school. Will is smart. Too, there is a war going on. On graduating from high school, Will goes to the mountain in Mexico to search for the gold, and is attacked by wild pigs. Of this, Maria, a Mexican Maiden, washing clothes in a stream, sees him and saves him from bleeding to death of his injuries. Will eventually returns home and has to go to war. In battle he gets a serious head wound. Agnes rethinks her commitment and marries another. Will recovers, goes to mining school, becomes a degreed mining engineer. He searches again for his gold in Mexico, is attacked again by wild pigs, kills two, and later encounters Maria. At night, they eat roast pig, have coffee and tequila, and have sex under a poncho in the desert chill. The next day Maria is gone. Will is hired by a Canadian mining company and is a successful mining engineer, working in South America for 10 years. He obtains a share of ownership. However, the mines are ultimately nationalized. Will gets the company to venture with him on his quest to find the gold in Mexico. They agree, and Will, looking for his gold, encounters Maria again, and she has a son, his. At first, it seems, no gold is there, and the company abandons their interest.. But by happenstance, Will finds that it is there, as refractory gold, secret gold. Ultimately, Will finds his place, with Maria, his son, and the mountain with its gold.
The Gold and the Mountain Synopsis It is a spring day in 1941 and Will Bodie, a young teenage boy, is fishing on a dock on the St. John’s River in Jacksonville, Florida, and reading about a lost gold mine in a magazine. Shortly, old Mr. McRae, his fishing pal, joins him. Fishing is good and Will is fascinated about the lost gold mine. Events play out, for Mr. McRae has a secret gold find on a mountain, just south of the border, in Mexico. He tells Will where it is on his deathbed. This sets Will on a life-long quest to find the gold. There is also Agnes, Will’s childhood sweetheart, who is making plans for a-some-day marriage and housekeeping. There is Will’s father, a shrimper who dies in a hurricane in the Gulf. There is Will’s mother, who then becomes a widow. Will is smart in school and studies Spanish in Miss Smith’s high school Spanish Class. There is, too, a war going on. In several years, Will graduates from high school and, naïve and ill prepared, he strikes out to find the gold. Before crossing the border, he chances on three sourdoughs, an old man and his sons, barely eking out a living from gold diggings in a shaft pit. They advise Will against going into Mexico, because he’s a kid, it’s hostile there, it’s a desert, and dry, with scorpions, rattlesnakes, and wild pigs. Will goes anyway and is attacked by wild pigs. He is bleeding to death, when a Mexican Maiden, Maria, washing clothes at a stream, saves him, puts a tourniquet on his leg and takes him to her hacienda. Will recovers and then leaves, because Maria’s mama, Rosa, does not like him. Time later, back home, Will is drafted, and has to go to war. Agnes and his mother wait for his return. He is injured in battle, has part of his head shot off, and is not recovering, it seems, in the Walter Reed Hospital. On this, Agnes has a change of heart and marries another. Will’s mother is by his side in this time of despair. But Will does recover, with a metal plate in his head. He wears a hat. He studies mining, works the mines, becomes a mining engineer. He then goes back to Mexico, to the mountain, to find his gold. Again, he is attacked by wild pigs, kills two. At the desert stream, once more, he encounters Maria. Then in the desert night, they eat the pigs, beans, tortillas, and have coffee with tequila, then wrap up from the desert chill in a poncho and have sex in the night. The next day she is gone. For the next ten years, Will works as a mining engineer for a Canadian company in Chile and Argentina. He successfully develops mining ventures and makes money for the company, and, through negotiations, wins a share in ownership. Subsequently the mines are nationalized. At this time, Will’s mother dies. He sees Agnes at the burial. They share a moment of passed memories, and for them, that which was not to be. Will next lobbies the company to venture with him his mine in Mexico. They agree, and spend a week searching over and about his mountain, and collecting bags of rock samples. At the end, they leave the mountain, and, using the rocks for truck ballast, maneuver through desert gullies and at dark find a dilapidated hacienda for a place for meals and beds. It is Maria’s. She has a 9-year old boy, Will’s son. In Mexico, the gold samples are tested and found seemingly to be of no value. Will loses his job and leaves the company. He subsequently attends his 10-year university’s graduation reunion. There he sees his old mining professor and by happenstance discovers that the bags of rocks that he yet has in his truck contains bonanza gold, refractory gold, secret gold, which cannot be panned or treated conventionally. In the end, Will finds his place, with Maria, his son, and the mountain, with its gold.
About the author
Writer’s Biography John Edwin Parkes was born in 1935 on a houseboat, on the St. Johns River, in Jacksonville, Florida, where he grew up. At age 17, he hitchhiked alone from Jacksonville to Vancouver, Canada, and returned. At age 18, he joined the U.S. Army Airborne for 3 years. At age 21, he joined the smokejumpers for five fire seasons, and received the coveted gold wings for having made more than 50 fire jumps. He attended the University of Florida for 1 1/2 years, and subsequently attended and graduated from the University of Idaho (BS, Geological Engineering), and the University of Iowa (MS, Hydraulics and Mechanics Engineering), and the Netherlands University at Delft (MS, Sanitary Engineering). In his early years, he looked for gold in the U.S., Mexico and Canada. He dredged gold in streams in California, and panned gold in streams in Colorado, Idaho, and the Yukon. In these years, he also explored the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon on a rubber raft, which included running Lava Falls, a Class 7 rapids (the only one in the U.S.). In his professional career, he has worked as a Civil Engineer / Water Resources Engineer in the western and eastern United States, and nine foreign countries (Nicaragua, Indonesia, Iran, Yemen, Philippines, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, and Sudan). He is a registered Professional Engineer in eight states. He retired from engineering at age 70 and began his writing career. He has completed his first novel, The Gold and the Mountain, and a book of short stories, The Old Hobo and eight others. In addition, he has in final draft a one-act play, The Graduate; and three novels, Vi (for Violet), Annie, and Gallagher. He also has in progress several technical treatises, dealing in statistics, water resources and hydraulics. He has been married 44 years to Linda, has two sons, three granddaughters. He resides in York, Pennsylvania.
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