• “I've found it, I've struck gold” John Goldenburg said silently as he continued to uncover a great vein of gold in the rock in front of him. Like the last time, he found great value locked away in the stone wall that lay just in front of him. Reaching down to his work belt, he pulled a chisel from the belt and began to chisel a small hole in the rock face; big enough for only three sticks of dynamite if needed. Getting to his feet, he placed his hands on his hips and sighed a deep sigh of relief. Turning towards his modified miner's cart, a single brief thought passed through his mind.
    “How much dynamite do I need to break the gold from its prison without caving in the passageway?”
    To himself he thought about using two sticks of the explosive material. But then he said to himself rather loudly,
    “No, if I use too much I'll bring the whole mine down on top of me!”
    Realizing how loud he was, he quickly pursed his lips and made his way over to the miner's cart. Moving his tools aside, John located a small box of dynamite that included a timed fuse and a four year old cigarette lighter that he never used save for his mining.
    “Sure glad that I bought this mine ten years ago, or I would have been broke for a good while” John thought to himself as he gently lifted the box of explosives out of the cart. Taking great care, he carried the box in both hands to the spot in the rock that he had chiseled out. Slipping the cover off the box, he pulled a single stick of dynamite out and placed a fuse in the end of the explosive tube. Backing away from the hole in the wall that now held an explosive, he carried the rest of the dynamite back to the cart. Turning back to the dynamite in the wall, he lit the fuse and ran for the cart using it as a shield from the flying debris.
    At first all John could hear was the hissing of the burning fuse. Then a few seconds later, boom, the bright flash of light briefly lit up the dark mine's passageway. All the while the air was filled with smoke and flying rock. So violent was this explosion that it knocked the cart off its rails and throwing John against the ground.
    With the scent of sulfur filling his nostrils, john got to his feet finding that his right shoulder had been dislocated from the shock of the blast.
    “Dang” John said silently as he righted the cart. With severe pain in his right shoulder, he forced himself to use his left arm to push the cart back to the tracks. Using all his strength, he lifted the cart back onto the tracks using his injured as well, causing him even more pain. But he knew that he had to do what he had to do. At first the cart seemed to be on the rails, but then as soon as he thought he got it back on the tracks it slipped off onto the ground.
    Then the sound of heavy breathing caused him to stop. Listening, he thought it sounded like someone was injured, though no one was in the mine other than himself. In the sparse light of the dim wall lanterns he thought he saw a shadow move here and there. But when he got near the spot where the shadow moved, nothing was there. Stopping to listen for the heavy breathing to see if he could locate it by hearing, John found that the sound was gone and that the only breathing he heard now was his own. Still thinking that somebody was in the mine with him, he called out,
    “Is anybody there, if there is this is private property and are you okay?”
    But the only response he received was the rude echo of the mine. Then he immediately thought of his evil neighbor and the many plots she had tried to use to make him give up his mine and his fortune. Every plot she had tried was unique yet failed every time. Knowing that her time would come he had warned her not to cross the line, but she never failed to taunt him on her side. This thought made him think of the light on his cart. Pulling a few levers on the rear of the cart, a generator rumbled to life and a bright light lit up the pile of rock that contained the gold that he had long since been searching for for ten years. Yet when he looked around the passageway he found not a thing out of order. But then he found a scarf his evil neighbor wore frequently. Knowing that she had gotten away, he wasted no more time searching for his uninvited guest.
    Returning to the cart he pushed and pulled until the cart was back on its tracks. Looking back at the pile of ruble where the gold was lying, he knew he had struck success. Gazing at the gold sparkling in the cart's lamplight he knew he could do things he needed to and wanted to that he had not been able to do for about a year now. Checking his wrist watch in the cart's light he found that it was after nine and his family would be worried. Not only that, but he would need help from his servants to load the gold into the cart. So pulling a few more levers, the cart began to back up the tracks towards the surface. Exhausted, the miner walked alongside the slowly moving cart. As he walked he thought of what he would do with the gold, would he hold onto it or would he sell it after he smelted?
    Arriving at the surface, he looked down the side of the mountain at the meadow below where his home was. Then he thought of his family and their wants and needs. Then he thought of the joy his family would have at hearing the news of his success. Turning to the path, he made his way down the mountain side all the while thinking of sending his children to college and where to send them. Then he remembered that dress his wife had been looking at at the mall for over a week now.
    “I wonder how much that might cost?” John said to himself.
    Looking down at the meadows once again, he wept a tear of joy as he once again thought of the good he do for his family. Continuing on he finally arrived home. Standing on the front porch was his wife and three children.
    “You okay, john?” She asked him with concern.
    All the while his children ran out to him crowding about him hugging him, though not saying a word. Smiling at them with a grimy face, he said not a word as he kissed his wife. Out of the doorway behind them one of John's servants declared with a smile,
    “Dinner's ready!”
    Rushing to the sink to wash up, John tried not to hold dinner up any longer.
    “You don't have to rush!” his wife yelled from the dining room.
    Heading to the table, he sat with his family. Holding hands,
    “Dear heavenly father, thank you for this food at which we are about to receive, thank you for blessing it and this successful day. In Jesus precious name we pray, amen.”
    “Amen!” His children said.
    “So what was your success for today?” His wife Mary asked.
    “My success today-” he paused as he ate. “-was that I struck the largest vein of gold ever found in the United States alone.
    Mary's only response was to stare at him as he ate. Noticing her silence, he reached over to her, kissed her and said,
    “Don't worry I will not corrupt like the neighbor and I will do what is good for this family. I will always love you, no amount of money will change my mind.”
    Asking no further questions, John finished his meal in silence and headed over to the kitchen where his servants were cleaning. Turning to him, one of them asked,
    “Is everything okay, sir?”
    “Yeah, um, I am going to need your help loading the cart tomorrow with the gold that I just located. Can you do that?”
    “Yes, sir!” the servants replied with the servant that John was speaking to.
    “Very good.” John responded. “Have a good evening.” turning he walked out of the kitchen and immediately went to bed.
    While the miner slept, the neighbor was in the mine ranting,
    “He'll never have success as long as I am free.”
    Mixing stones with equal amounts of Fool's gold with the real gold, she thought to herself,
    “If I can get him to give up on the mine maybe I can get it for a small price.”
    Thinking of the success she might have she laughed wildly as she continued to mix the Fool's gold into the gold. Finishing her job, she headed back to the surface and looking at the full moon bathing the mountains in pale light, she giggled as the thought of finally succeeding in getting rid of her neighbor and his family forever. Turning her gaze to the miner's home in the meadow, she thought of the nuisance he was to her plans. Plans that would make her queen of the world or at least a small part of it.
    The next day, John headed up to the mine with his servants. Down the passage they went without a single word spoken. As they got closer to the site of the gold, one of the servants knelt down.
    “There's boot marks that don't match yours sir. Did you wear a different pair of boots yesterday?”
    shaking his head no, John realized his neighbor had been here. But to himself he said that it was too early to suspect his neighbor of trespassing, even though she had the day before. But when he arrived at the site and had his servants load the gold laden rocks into the mining cart, one of the servants exclaimed with rage,
    “Your gold has been mixed with Fool's gold. There seems to be equal amounts of each!”
    “Should we pick out the Fool's gold and toss it to the side?” another of the servants asked.
    But John's reply was,
    “No, if you pluck out the fools gold you might throw away true gold as well. Rather, load it all and when I have had it smelted, the Fool's gold will burn out of the gold and the gold will be all that is left.”
    After finally collecting all the gold from the vein over the course of a two weeks, John decided that it was time to catch his neighbor in action trespassing on his property trying to steal the gold he had worked hard to get. Late one night the neighbor had found the vault where he kept his gold. Gathering up as much as she could carry she headed out, not realizing that the gold bars were marked and that there was a camera watching her every move. Reaching her car in the driveway she loaded the gold into the trunk. Turning around she was met by John Goldenburg bearing a shotgun aimed at her. All the while police sirens were hear screaming down the road where he lived.
    Placing her hand on her colt .45 holster she prepared to draw her pistol when suddenly she felt sleepy, and a sharp stinging sensation in her neck. Dropping to the ground, she lost consciousness. Standing behind her was a police officer with a tranquilizer gun aimed at her.
    “That is not Natalie Grevinwic, but rather Jade Gunleer, a criminal that has escaped from prison about twelve times now. Go get your gold from her cars trunk and make sure its yours because we had her place searched and found loads of gold that was stolen and you're the only man up here with a gold mine. So the gold in her home is yours too.”
    Turning to the vehicle, John opened the trunk and removed the gold bars that were stolen and in the process he found a rifle that belonged to his great grandfather. Taking the gold and the rifle he made his back to the vault placed the items in their respectful locations. Returning to the officer, he thanked him, shook hands and before the officer left, the officer stated,
    “Due to the many crimes she has committed and the escapes she has made, she was found not worthy for prison. Rather she will be going to death row, as she has committed more than grand theft.”
    with that the officer lifted the women into the patrol car; handcuffed and shackled. Getting into the vehicle the officer drove off with blaring sirens as other patrol vehicles turned around and headed back to the county jail where she would be held until the federal police would pick her up and take her to her last place that she would see.
    Heading back up the driveway, John cleaned up the mess that his neighbor had so kindly made. No longer would he be terrorized by his evil neighbor and to that he smiled.