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Re: [meancosmalltalk] Sanchez and his Mission - a short story

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  • Hoang Ho
    SEE BELOW AD FOR STORY............................ twomtns2002 wrote: My Groups | meancosmalltalk Main Page From the Book Short
    Message 1 of 1 , May 4, 2003
      SEE BELOW AD FOR STORY............................

      twomtns2002 <twomtns2002@...> wrote:
      My Groups | meancosmalltalk Main Page


      From the Book 'Short Stories of lost Treasure in the Adirondacks' by
      Hoang Ho copyright 1996



      Central New York has a history of inaccessability and transportation
      problems. The Mohawk River, because of its many twists and turns
      proved to be difficult to navigate except with small canoes. Before
      the Erie Canal was built trade routes proved to be more profitable
      north at the St. Lawrence River. The Mohawk Valley lost its immediate
      appeal to the wealthy financiers and enterprising traders of the
      time.
      The hustle and bustle of the European and Middle Eastern royalty's
      business of the day included trades for properties in the New World.
      The pirate age began and coincidentally, Spain decided to send an
      exploratory expedition north from their inland post of operations in
      present-day Tennessee. A man named Sanchez was to lead the
      expedition, but some said the famous explorer Pizzarro was to get
      full credit for the job. Of course full credit meant a kind of a
      first in the mapmaking business, and also all the treasure that was
      found.
      The Spanish fleet has made the most of their early explorations in
      Central and South America. Hundreds of tons of gold and silver had
      leveled the economy of Europe. The bloody conquest gave its support
      to, and was blessed by, the Pope. Many people in Spain profited by
      the structure of the economy. Otherwise luckless youths were educated
      to master trades associated with the many voyages and overland travel
      of the explorers. The expedition leader Sanchez was one such youth.
      He was neither well-born nor well educated. His courage and fighting
      ability was the reason for his appointment. The comparison here would
      be that of a convicted death row inmate being asked to lead a suicide
      mission. Little was known about the area north of Tennessee, but
      Sanchez was determined to find out.
      The excesses of gold and the greed that ensued has transformed the
      trade into a lazy sort of compliance with fate as the years rolled
      on. Gold was a nonchalant thing. There was so much of it that army of
      accountants kept track to their best ability. But back in Spain the
      favors of the royal court were bandied about with such fervor and
      confident abandonment that the same gold was promised to different
      people two and three times over. To keep up there was creative
      bookeeping and secrecy enough to confuse a genious.
      Eventually, through many negotiations, a chest of gold was secured
      for Sanchez' mission and then another chest for his responsability to
      transport to Portugal was assigned to him. Finally a third chest with
      an unknown purpose of transit was added. Sanchez had roughly 60 men
      to start his journey. A Native American councillor or guide was to
      accompany the group to as far as where Reading, Pennsylvania is now.
      Any further ventures north would be the responability of Sanchez
      alone. As far as Sanchez knew there was to be no rendezvous with
      another Spanish force, only a round trip as the crow fies sort of
      journey. It is unclear whether the Sanchez expedition engaged in any
      fighting. Perhaps an important navigator got sick and died, but at
      any rate the expedition soon got lost. The records of the trip are
      scant, but a crude map showed the presence of a river running north
      and south before emptying into the sea. The distorted proportions of
      the map when viewed today would seem to show the areas of New York
      and the Hudson River. The expedition included small chariot-like
      carts to haul the chests of gold and other supplies down the old
      indian trails. There were about ten of these carts and about as many
      Cherokee and other slaves to tend them and the animals that pulled
      them. It was possible that there was Native American blood in Sanchez
      as well, perhaps Seminole or Mexican as a result of some earlier
      tradte between Native American and explorer.
      At any rate, Sanchez seemed to understand his slaves and they gave
      him no trouble. The same couldn't be said for his Spanish
      compatriots. There was almost constant bickering between them and it
      got so bad that the expedition divided into two or sometimes three
      groups as the journey wore on. Sanchez had already accused his cook
      of trying to poison him, and it may well have been an aborted attempt
      on his life. The intrigue and complicated moves of the Spanish royal
      court had made any casual jump in class difficult and at the same
      time relatively simple to achieve. Among the Sanchez expedition there
      were more than a few who aspired to his authority and post of
      expedition leader.
      Due to miscalculation and confusion, the expedition had already
      crossed the Hudson River back and forth three times. They would cross
      the river with hastily built rafts and then travel for a few days and
      recross it further north or south, depending on the erratic direction
      of the group. There was no interference from Native Americans on this
      particular journey although they may have been observed at various
      stages of the trip. Some of the slaves escaped however, and Sanchez
      was forced to punish some of the others for the transgressions of the
      escapees. The whole expedition had been gone only 40 days when
      Sanchez elected to turn south towards Tennessee again. His expedition
      had become so ragged and disorganized that he could only account for
      about half of his party. Some were stuck on the other side of the
      river without rafts or the tools to build them. Others had decided to
      continue the journey on their own in hopes of receiving individual
      credit from the Queen of Spain. When Sanchez counted his stores he
      realized that his original outfit of one chest of gold was all he
      could account for.
      As he headed south with the remainder of his band he followed the
      Hudson River and fished the waters for his meals. One evening as the
      cook fires died out there was a great commotion. Sixteen stragglers
      who had been inadvertently left on the other side of the river began
      to jump into the river to swim or push tree branches ahead of them to
      stay afloat. These terrified survivors of their ordeal related to
      Sanchez a pitiful tale of being lost in the woods and losing their
      slaves. They also left behind one of the chests of gold and the third
      chest was left unaccounted for as well.
      Perhaps the chests of gold and reale coins simply rotted away with
      the years, and are still sitting where they were left, near the banks
      of the Hudson River.




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