Chcon and the Spanish Treasure Depository
He wondered how in the name of heaven; after all they’d been through how could it have come to this. As Chcon crouched between boulders, irritating sweat trickled a path through the grime
that had been collecting on his neck ever since the Indian attack began that morning. Ever watchful, he realized his chances of seeing the desert’s sunrise tomorrow were slim.
Momentarily, his mind wondered. He thought about the recent war with the States and all the events, which led up to the expulsion of the Spanish. Forced to leave their holdings and mines,
Spanish explorers, settlers, and mine workers packed up most belongings, sealed and hid rich, gold, silver and copper mines and departed for their homelands in Spain and Mexico. For many years
Chcon's party had maintained a storage site where millions of dollars in gold, silver and copper from all the rich mines nearby were held until it was packed out by mule twice yearly. With
every intention of returning someday, Chcon’s party had set death traps in many false entrances all over the storage site before departing in case any intruder happened
upon the site in their absence. As always, they were aware of hostile Indians in the area, but they thought the bands were insignificant, too small to worry about. They’d felt
secure as their party was large, more than a hundred, well trained, fully, armed soldiers and twice that many workers. No one believed they’d be attacked and no one had been prepared for the
Had they left a few days earlier as Miguel, their scout, had suggested, Chcon realized they’d probably not encountered the ruthless Indians. Choices made by a few, had cost so many
everything. Reminiscing, he thought about the religious items he buried and the precious time he’d taken prior to their departure to hastily carve his name, a stick figure and other symbols on
a large boulder lying near the site. Simple carvings he’d left himself as a reminder should their return be delayed and his memory fail. Coded etchings providing reliable directions to the
hidden items were well out of sight, visible only to someone who knew where to look.
They hadn’t traveled far outside the protection of the towering, red, cliffs before the attack had come. Now as he crouched between boulders, he looked to the east his eyes roaming over
those same cliffs that had hid his home for many years. Even at this distance he was able to make out parts of giant carved figures in the cliffs. Figures scattered over many acres, stood
as giant, silent, sentinels guarding an immense treasure. Figures that had kept the superstitious Indians away for years. Each figure, meticulously carved for a specific purpose, some
harboring elaborate coded messages whose meanings were known only to the authorities and the Spanish who had erected them. His eyes scanned the grounds before him for the hundredth time.
Chcon, an engineer by trade; was trained to think. But for the life of him, he could see little way out of his predicament. If the Indians didn’t get him first he’d probably die from
dehydration. He needed water and he needed it soon. Only source he could see lay strapped to a dead mule, some thirty yards away. His lips were dry, splitting, scorched by the
unrelenting one hundred two degree sun. He could taste his own blood as he changed position, trying to relieve the cramping in his legs, making as little target as possible. He thought about
the gold scattered over the ground and the huge cache they had hidden back at the site. Right now he’d trade it all for a canteen of water and just a chance to slip past the hostiles.
The Indians had many reasons for not wanting any Spanish to escape. Hundreds of their people had been killed or taken prisoner over the years. They’d been made to slave for a nation
working in the dangerous mines and performing all the mundane, tedious, hard work required to keep camps such as his operating. No, they would never let him go but maybe, if he could keep them
at bay until dark he’d get a chance to escape. He knew he’d only have one. He needed water. They’d be watching for him to go for the mule but he was too smart for that. He’d been
watching for any movement and best he could make out there couldn’t be more than four or five of them left. It had been a hell of a fight. He believed all but himself in his party and
nearly all of theirs had died that day.
He waited. Judging by the sun, he figured another hour had crawled by. Three, maybe four more until it would be down. Chcon thirsty, edgy and tired was finding it ever more
difficult to concentrate. His eyes were having trouble focusing but he had to stay alert; his very life depended on it. He didn’t want to die this way. He had much to look forward
to. He would be a rich man if he lived to return. So far he’d been lucky. He was alive and he hadn’t been wounded. It was eerily quiet. His shirt, caked with dry
sweat and dust stuck to his body as a constant reminder of his need for water. Suddenly he felt the sensation of hairs rising on the back of his neck. He knew his position had been
breached. Somehow, they’d worked their way unseen and gotten behind him. His heart quickening and breathing almost non-existent he listened for the least sound that might help him know
which side his nemesis would come at him from.
The attack came with a blood-chilling shriek. Chcon fought nobly for a man in his shape, every swing of his sword lethal, had it connected. But his opponent, fluid in motion, quick as a
desert rattler had the advantage as the hostiles had not been deprived of water. Blood, sweat, dirt became one. As the scene played out both men new it was just a matter of time.
Both knew which one would walk away and with little time left, Chcon began to pray. Father, please forgive me my sins and watch over my family. Then staring into the face of defeat he took his
last breath and prayed, Father please, don’t let the innocent come to harm from the works of my hands.
Many years later … Time, had no meaning for Chcon. Days, months finally years had turned into centuries.
After he’d died, he remembered how frightened he’d been when he actually became aware that he was dead yet, his spirit earthbound. Realization shook him to the core of his being. Oh he
believed in God and the afterlife but Spirits, Ghosts? What happened to him? Why had he not passed on to the heaven he believed so much in? A Spirit he was though he felt the
animals somehow knew when he was around. He didn’t understand how they could know but they would always scurry swiftly away whenever he passed by leaving him with so many unanswered
Getting past the horror of the attack had been a major accomplishment for him. He’d played the scene of those last moments over and over again in his head trying to trick his mind into
changing his dire straits. But in the end, the results were always the same.
The first few years after his death, Chcon found he had an acute aversion to mingling with travelers that were passing through the valley. And he had a particular aversion to Indian
hunting parties though he knew they could no longer hurt him. He’d found himself watching them more than once from a safe distance, high above the valley from the sanctuary’s hidden
lookout. From there, he could see for miles in all directions. In the beginning this suited him but over the years he eventually became despondent by the lack of companionship and
forced himself to get closer to all travelers.
He was never comfortable among the Indians due to the circumstances of his demise but overtime he’d got to know the people and their beliefs. He would study them as close up as possible
being ever so careful taking precautions to never do anything that could draw attention to his location. He would always try to get close enough to hear what they were saying and eventually he
learned much about them. He came to understand their ways, hardships and the pain of losing their lands to the ever-growing influx of intruders, a group of which he had once been a party.
On occasion, Chcon drifted over the acres of land that had been his home now for more years then he could remember. During the first year after he’d died, he’d become so desperate for
companionship he found himself talking to one or another of the giant carved monuments secluded in strategic locations all over the site. Oddly enough he named each one after some
old friend from the past. He’d talk to them about any and everything and though he knew they’d never speak back, he still found some semblance of comfort pretending then laughing at his
self for doing so. Often he’d find himself deep in thought, reminiscing the past. He remembered when they’d first come north from the old country. New Spain they called
it. It had been a long, hard, tedious, journey filled with anticipation, uncertainty and death. Chcon’s party had been selected to find and establish one of many central locations
where gold, silver and other valuables would be brought from the working mines high up in the mountains and pillages confiscated from the natives or other explorers. In these hidden locations
the gold, silver and other bounty would be stored until the appointed time to move the vast fortunes across country to Mexico or ships waiting to take it to the homeland of Spain.
As head engineer, he’d worked closely with the trace a fabricante, “the mapmaker” his close friend, Diego de Medina. Between them, they made sure Diego’s hand written maps were precise
documentation of the constructed land maps. It had taken years to complete all the trail monuments but eventually all the routes to and from the site had been marked and an exact copy of every
route was made on hand written maps then sent back aboard ships to Spain. Chcon had faced numerous challenges during the months constructing the monuments. He, as all other engineers in
his position were required to follow King Philip’s strict dictates of construction. One of the King’s requirements were that all monuments had to be erected in a way that they would
withstand anything Mother Nature could throw at it. Usually a large boulder or cliff along the route would suffice to create the needed mountain range monument or trail marker but there were
many times Chcon had to have the workers move large boulders from great distances to complete monuments. At times it took many men and animals to move the boulders so large they were.
Then, getting them into position to create the impression of a figure, animal or human was no easy task. Talented carvers would chip away at the rock until the boulders were shaped to
resemble faces or figures and fit together much like a puzzle leaving no chance for slippage.
Up close or from the wrong angle some formations resembled nothing at all. But, when viewed from the trail or when the sun was in the correct location the monuments revealed all. The
formations were astonishing. At times he’d create the figure of a mule with a pack to point out the best trail for the pack train to follow. Usually the outline or profile head of a mule
with the resemblance of a pack on its back would suffice. Other times carvers would chip away at one rock or another until their work created amazingly detailed heads or figures of men, animals
or fowl. Some were embellished with eyes, noses, mouths or other etchings. Etchings whose coded messages conveyed important information to the follower of the trail. Along with
major monuments the trail builders would form a hole where daylight could be seen. They might do this by drilling through the narrow section of a boulder or by placing several boulders in a
formation to create a hole. These holes were signs that the monument was indeed a Spanish trail monument and not the work of mother nature. Also, if needed they would place a large unusual
colored rock for the area near the monument. This odd rock, preferably bright white or black would draw the eye of the traveler to that monument. As Chcon’s trails drew nearer to the
final destination, he’d have the monuments constructed and coded with many signs. Only those who had knowledge would know which signs to follow and which were created to confuse intruders
sending them off in the wrong direction. Usually the monuments closest to the end of trail were constructed a short distance off the actual trail. This was done to make it more difficult for
anyone other than their own people to locate the final destination. Finally trails leading to their mines never had monuments constructed within the last two hundred yards of any
It had been quite the challenge to complete the land maps as the monuments and trail markers along the route had been difficult to erect. Chcon had no choice but to follow the dictates of
the King’s command of construction and sometimes he’d have to have huge boulders moved great distances for the construction. Other times rock formations lie conveniently nearby. Then
again the routes were tedious and long as they wound back and forth following ancient trails near streams and rivers.
One trail would have been hard enough to make but they had to make several. Kings rules again. There would be a trail used by pack trains and another used by those who could move
much quicker than the laborious slow animals. Finally there was the Royal Trail. This trail was special and only used for the purpose of transporting their booty back to the
The building of monuments had at one time been an important part of Chcon’s life. Taking a moment to reminisce, he realized how much he’d taken for granite in his previous life. He
always thought he’d finish his work in the Americas and return to Spain a rich man who’d grow old watching his grandchildren grow up. He certainly didn’t foresee the way it had turned out and
to say it had been difficult getting used to his situation was an understatement.
Soon after the fatal Indian attack Chcon realized he was still on the earth, stuck in an unfamiliar dimension. It didn’t take long to realize that he’d been accompanied into this new
dimension by three of his prior natural senses. Confusing it was but sight, hearing and the since of smell seemed to have accompanied his spirit and he wondered why when he had no physical body to
put them to practical use.
Early on he had also thought he was totally invisible until an unforeseen incident made him the wiser. That event took place while he was on an excursion to a creek that ran down through
his valley. On that day it just happened to be the same location where a returning hunting party had decided to camp and rest up for the night before heading on home.
It was nearly dark when he reached the stream and he could hear their horses impatiently stomping feet and shaking manes in anticipation of the cool water awaiting them. Shortly he smelled
the burning wood of the fire they had made in preparation of cooking their evening fare which appeared to be a portion of antelope, probably killed that day. After the meat began cooking his
longing grew for a taste of the succulent meat, as its juices began to drip into the fire creating a wonderful aroma bringing back memories difficult to ignore. Finally, he decided he’d
tortured himself enough and started to move away from the camp. An abrupt shout froze him in place. Glancing back towards the campfire confirmed that something was awry. One
individual had rose and was pointing in his direction. Chcon knew their language having learned much from their captives over the years they had been slaves. He heard him say the native words
for Spirit, blue eyed followed by the word killed.
He appeared frightened, spooked by what he was describing to the others. He said something about floating orbs surrounding a Spaniard. This Spaniard he said he recognized as he had
fought him to the death a many years previous. He said it was the battle where all the Spaniards and most of their war party had died. He told how they had attacked the Spaniards after they had
left the protection of the high cliffs heading south to another land. He said he himself had fought and killed the last Spaniard, a blue-eyed one, the same one whose spirit he had just
His story greatly frightened the others for they were very superstitious. Immediately they broke camp and departed. From that time on, Chcon noticed most Indians stayed clear of the
entire valley believing it haunted by none other than his spirit. As time went on he discovered he had some control over his somewhat physical appearance and eventually he learned to use it to