The Big One…………………..Chapter 36

The sound of the explosion from a couple days back was still on Abe Yoder’s mind but he never mentioned it to little Emily. Life was hard enough for the three year old little girl without troubling her any further. She seemed to be adjusting to her new living situation very well but there were times at night that Abe could hear her mutter in her sleep for her mother and father. Abe remembered his old Amish grandpa say that you could take the boy out of the country, but not the country out of the boy. This saying he was sure would hold true just the same for a little girl and her family. The morning was warm and sunny as Abe watched Dave and his girlfriend head off up the ridge. Emily had been wanting to explore for a number of days now and so Abe decided to head in the other direction for a change, along a path that followed the river at the mouth of the meadow. This trail lead along nicely for a bit before becoming more rugged with mountains looming on both sides that had been broken and torn by the quake as it seemed appearing to look like piles of spoil in an old scrap yard. He kept the little girl close holding onto her hand and  the two walked silently for some time taking in the new scenery yet enjoying the feel of the mid morning sun on their skin and the birds in their late summer song.

About an hour into their hike, Abe noticed a mountain to their right that had been rent down the middle and appeared to have been split in two. They moved a little closer and noticed that one could actually approach it very easily. The river to their left had sent a branch stream right through the middle of this mountain and  the two followed its path right into the valley between the two peaks. Standing there in the shadow of those peaks the air was cooler and a chill went down their spine, in fact Abe felt a tremor travel from little Emily’s hand to his and he smiled at her.

Looking up at the left handed peak Abe noticed a small tendril of smoke rise from it and saw a path winding upward from the peak. He knew that much of the earth was likely still unstable but his curiosity got the best of him and so they wadded across the shallow river branch between the peaks and headed up the trail. One could not see it from the valley floor but when they were half way up the path turned in towards the peak and opened into a cavern were it became much hotter and steam drifted upwards. What Abe saw next left him speechless. About one hundred feet below was a massive lake of some molten substance bubbling from the heart of the earth. Abe’s great uncle had worked in Pittsburgh for years for a gold smith. He used to talk at great length about how gold was shaped and processed and his employer often paid them a visit and talked all hours of the night about the American and Canadian mountain ranges and how they held many mineral riches in their midst. Abe knew his minerals very well and he was well aware that before him lay a massive treasure trove of a molten liquid gold deposit.

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