ADVENTURE OF BUZZSAW AND MELVIN ZWICK
WHO ELSE BUT THE GREAT MELVIN ZWICK
MELVIN ZWICK had spent some time in Tucson with Phooey Ralph, Grandpa's goofy brother. That adventure had been a hoot. Phooey Ralph is quite a comedian keeping MELVIN ZWICK’S belly sore with lots of laughs.
The time had come for MELVIN ZWICK to move on. But there was still one more adventure to be had in Arizona before traveling west to see the ocean.
MELVIN ZWICK had to see the Sandhill Cranes wintering in Sulphur Hills Valley near Wilcox, Arizona.
Phooey Ralph had told MELVIN ZWICK about the large flock of Sandhill Cranes that come to the Whitewater draw every winter. In 2010 there was a reported 40,499 Sandhill Cranes in Southern Arizona.
And so it was the comedian Phooey Ralph and the adventurer MELVIN ZWICK ventured south from Tucson to experience the thrill of seeing thousands of Sandhill Cranes settle in at the Whitewater Draw near Wilcox.
MELVIN ZWICK gave this brief description of the Sandhill Cranes in southern Arizona.
Sandhill Cranes are regularly found during the winter in the Sulphur Springs Valley of southeastern Arizona. Sandhills begin arriving in Arizona in early October and remain until late February when their return migration to nesting areas begins.Sandhill usually begin nesting at about four years of age. First and second time nesters are not as successful as older birds. Nests, consisting of mounds of vegetation and are usually located in shallow marshes or wet meadows. Cranes usually lay two eggs, but it is unusual for a pair to raise more than one young per year.
Wingspan is an impressive six to seven feet. Adult greater Sandhill Cranes normally weigh 11 to 13 pounds.Experiencing the morning Sandhill Crane launch at the department’s two wildlife areas, especially Whitewater Draw, is truly spectacular. Witnessing the Cranes return to roost at these wildlife areas can be equally spectacular, especially during one of Arizona’s brilliant sunsets.
Sandhill are the most common of all the world's Cranes. A fossil from the Miocene Epoch, some ten million years ago, was found to be structurally the same as the modern Sandhill Crane. Today, these large birds are found predominately in North America. They range south to Mexico and Cuba, and as far west as Siberia.
Size relative to a 6-ft man:
Average life span in the wild:
Body, 31.5 to 47.2 in: (wingspan, 5 to 6 ft.)
6.5 to 14 lbs. (3 to 6.5 kg)
You might like to see a flock in the sky on the following u-tube video
Can you imagine the size of the flying flock with birds that have around a 6 foot wing span. It is truly an amazing adventure to experience the very large bunch of birds flying overhead.
I MELVIN ZWICK really enjoyed the tour of the Sandhill Crane wintering spot.
But it was time to move on.
Early in the morning Phooey Ralph drove MELVIN ZWICK to the best truck stop in Tucson. They parked in the parking lot near the entrance to the Restaurant.
MELVIN ZWICK explained to Phooey Ralph that his mode of travel on these adventures is provided by truckers. His plan is to monitor the trucks as they come into the parking lot looking for a suitable truck headed west.
You can tell a lot about a driver by studying the truck he owns. Note the key word: owns. A driver who owns a truck will maintain it in the manner he looks at life. A shabby truck indicates a driver that is careless and shabby about his life. A well-kept truck indicates the owner is precise and cares about his belongings and his life. The best driver to hitch a ride with is the one who owns a pretty nice truck but not spick and span or shabby. That driver is relaxed about his life but not careless.
MELVIN ZWICKS plan is to pick out a driver in a clean but not perfect truck that is headed west. The plan is to follow the driver into the restaurant and strike up a conversation and become buddies with him. After the meal is done MELVIN ZWICK will ask if the driver will drive him to wherever the driver is going.
The plan has worked well in the past and will work today.
So Phooey Ralph and MELVIN ZWICK said goodbye. Phooey Ralph headed home to work on mailing his very popular books and CDs and MELVIN ZWICK at looking for a ride toward the sunset.
MELVIN ZWICK grabbed his backpack and headed to the bench in front of the Restaurant. The bench was in a location that favored MELVIN ZWICK. Drivers fueling their trucks would not easily see him as he sat there checking them out. He set himself down and casually observed the trucks entering the parking lot from the East headed west.
The first bunch of truck that fit the direction bill did not fit MELVIN ZWICK'S plan. They we're either shabby or way too perfect.
After about an hour the ideal truck entered the parking lot and pulled up to the diesel pump. The driver got out and set up the pump to fuel his truck. It would take a while for the tank to be topped off. While that was happening MELVIN ZWICK could study the truck as the driver went inside to the rest room.
The driver was a slim but muscular fellow who walked with a slight limp. His hair was cut in a military fashion.
The first thing MELVIN ZWICK noticed about the truck was the American flags painted on the side of the truck and the many flying from the windows and decals on the cab of the truck.
The most impressive decal on the truck was the Official NAVY SEALS patch. This driver was an ex-Navy Seal. One of the finest fighting men in the world. There would be no question about his character. He would be one tough fellow.
This is the driver MELVIN ZWICK would try to strike up a conversation with and if things worked out hitch a ride on to the west.
MELVIN ZWICK picked up his backpack and headed to the restroom. He needed to give time to the driver to finish fueling up his truck and to settle down at the counter for breakfast. Once the driver was at the counter MELVIN ZWICK could sit near him and strike up a conversation and with his special skills become a friend to the driver and hitch a ride west.
A brief time later the Ex Seal entered the restaurant and walked up to the counter and shouted out a good morning greeting to Barbara the Counter server and a few other truckers seated along the counter. She lit up like a neon sign in Las Vegas as she heard the greeting. She replied, “Buzzsaw I am so glad to see you.” It was obvious she was delighted to see him again. She might provide some interference with MELVIN ZWICK'S plan but this guy was the choice candidate for a ride to the West.
Buzzsaw!!! Now MELVIN ZWICK knew the drivers name.
Buzzsaw sat down at the counter and started a cordial conversation with Barbara.
MELVIN ZWICK walked casually to the counter and noticed where the salt shaker was in relation to the Ex Seal. MELVIN ZWICK needed to sit with the salt shaker on the far side of Buzzsaw. It is a lot easier to start a conversation with the intended lift giver after you ask him for the salt shaker.
Barbara asked Buzzsaw how he had been since his last visit six months ago. Was his leg still hurting him? He answered that it hurt all the time but worse when he was in the damper parts of the country and that he really enjoyed being in Arizona because of the dryness. She asked him if he was still chasing the ladies. He laughed and said he hasn't had much time for that. His very busy trucking business kept him on the road. There was no time for a serious relationship.
Barbara took Buzzsaw's order then asked MELVIN ZWICK what he wanted. MELVIN ZWICK said he was new at this stop and asked what she recommended. She laughed and said the stop was known for their great food and that he might want to order one of everything.
MELVIN ZWICK thought for a moment than said he figured whatever the regular patron seated next to him ordered must be what is best on the menu. He said he would have the same.
The same turned out to be three scrambled eggs, two sausages, two bacon slices, and a slice of ham, hash browns, two buttermilk pancakes and toast along with a cup of coffee. Now that is a breakfast. MELVIN ZWICK would have preferred monkey bread and Dutch babies but they were not on the menu. Grandpa’s wonderful grandkids provide them to him and Grandpa whenever they are visiting at the Crossroads Country Ranch in Mossyrock, Washington. The Bowes family are great providers of excellent food.
That treat would have to wait until MELVIN ZWICK next visited the Crossroads Country Ranch.
MELVIN ZWICK'S mind flashed back to his last visit with Grandpa’s family in Mossyrock. On that visit Kyle, Grandpa's 16 year old, 6ft 4 inch grandson, made monkey bread. Maybe MELVIN ZWICK could get Kyle to make another batch on his next visit.
MELVIN ZWICK, who is always in total control of his mind, had to force himself to concentrate on the current situation. Monkey bread would have to wait.
What had MELVIN ZWICK the observer learned so far about Buzzsaw? He knew his name and that he was an Ex Navy Seal, probably, wounded on an assignment so severely he had to retire from the service, he was unmarried and a very busy truck driver.
The playing field was set. The players were set. Buzzsaw between the salt shaker on his right and MELVIN ZWICK on his left two seats away and Barbara the waitress who seemed to be enamored with Buzzsaw.
MELVIN ZWICK, with his charming wit and personality, would have to draw Buzzsaw into a conversation and eventually get invited to travel Westward with him. Even for the charming MELVIN ZWICK it would not be a small task. In the time it takes to prepare the breakfast and eat it, MELVIN ZWICK would have to become one of Buzzsaw's best buddies.
He had used the technique successfully many times in the past as he traveled around the country. It even worked in his travels in other countries. He had learned the technique when he worked for the CIA as a covert agent.
The process started with MELVIN ZWICK'S question about the food. He asked Buzzsaw if the food was really that good. Buzzsaw replied with a laugh and said it was the best in Arizona. He said he drove most of the night just to reach this place for breakfast this morning. He said he always plans his trips through Tucson so that he will be at Barbara's counter for breakfast, lunch or supper.
Buzzsaw seemed to be very gregarious and willing to talk. MELVIN ZWICK knew that being an interstate trucker could be a very lonely job. About the only time you could talk to another was when you made the food stops or were at either end loading or unloading.
MELVIN ZWICK asked Buzzsaw in what branch of service he served in. MELVIN ZWICK said, "I noticed your crew cut haircut and that you answer questions with "Sir", and that you have the proud stature of an ex-military man."
Buzzsaw laughed and said he didn't think it was so obvious. He answered that he had been a Navy Seal and had been wounded on a special mission in Iraq. A round from an AK 47 tore up his leg. His team mates carried him out of the danger zone. He said the damage to his leg forced him to retire from the service much to his regret.
Is that the Navy Seal symbol tattooed on your upper arm?
Buzzsaw answered that it was. He also mentioned that he had the insignia tattooed while he was recovering from his wound. He said Seals never get any identifying marks on their body while on active duty. It does not pay to be identified as a Navy Seal if you are captured. Most Seals get the tattoo once they leave the service.
MELVIN ZWICK mentioned that he had never been able to pass a physical to get into the service. Instead he signed up with the CIA while in college. That led to special covert agent school where he showed a special gift as a sniper. He also showed a special talent for learning foreign languages. These skills placed him in many conflicts around the world.
BUZZSAW responded by saying his specialty was firearms and was used many times as a sniper. That is what he was doing when his leg was wounded. He and his spotter were on the roof of a three story building guarding one access to the advance of Marine station. He had taken out six terrorists and was lined up on a seventh when two terrorist came up on the roof. Luckily he and his spotter shot both terrorists but not before one terrorist shot him in the leg.
MELVIN ZWICK told Buzzsaw that his last covert mission was a rather unique on. It required his special sniper skill but did not result in putting anyone down.
He mentioned that this country cannot order the assignation of any foreign entity. But that did not stop the CIA from sending him into Iraq on a very dangerous and weird mission. His target was So Damn Insane. Those were MELVIN ZWICK'S words for Saddam Hussein the brutal dictator of Iraq.
The CIA paid MELVIN ZWICK a major amount of money to get photos of Iraq's dictator So Damn Insane through his sniper rifle scope. They wanted to send So Damn Insane a photo of his face behind the cross hairs of a sniper scope. They hoped they could cause So Damn Insane to realize he could lose his life at any time. This might convince him to cooperate with the weapons of mass destruction inspectors and let them have free range through his country.
MELVIN ZWICK reached into the vest of his jacket and pulled out a pack of photos he had taken of So Damn Insane. The first photo was just what the CIA wanted him to get. It showed So Damn Insane grinning as he waved to his people.
The only thing different about this normal photo of him was the cross hairs of a rife scope laid across his face.
MELVIN ZWICK flipped to another photo and showed it to Buzzsaw. This one showed the magazine of the AK 47 rifle he was holding being separated by a .50 caliber sniper round. MELVIN ZWICK told Buzzsaw the CIA didn't say he could not shoot things around So Damn Insane.
The plot did not work. So Damn Insane was not a dummy. He felt secure in his life because his enemy, the United States, would not order his assassination. MELVIN ZWICK said he just could not resist taking the shot. He wanted the dictator to realize that he had been in the crosshairs of a special sniper who could have put the bullet into his brain.
It wasn't long after the photos were taken that the Marines found So Damn Insane hiding in a spider hole in the ground. He was later tried and executed for his many crimes against his people.
After that exchange the relationship between Buzzsaw and MELVIN ZWICK started to warm up. They shared more of their adventures as they ate the truck stops great breakfast interrupted every so often by the beautiful Miss Barbara checking on her boy.
The meal was over and Buzzsaw asked MELVIN ZWICK where he was going.
MELVIN ZWICK gave Buzzsaw a quick summary of his desire for adventure and that to satisfy that need he was headed west. He told a story of how he had been given a ride out of Albuquerque by several Young college kids. Things were going well during the trip. He felt he could trust them. They stopped at this truck stop and ate a good dinner. After the meal they visited the restroom. MELVIN ZWICK said he never spotted that his new found friends were planning a nasty trick on him and leave him here at the truck stop. They got away with a bunch of his dirty laundry
MELVIN was wheel less and was looking for a ride in a westerly direction.
Buzzsaw immediately asked MELVIN to join him on his way to Oxnard, California.
MELVIN thought who in the world would want to go to Oxnard. What an uninviting name for a city. But Oxnard is still near the Pacific Ocean and Buzzsaw would be a very interesting fellow to travel with.
MELVIN ZWICK paid the beautiful Miss Barbara for both meals leaving her a big enough tip so that she would remember him if he ever passed through the truck stop in the future.
The beautiful Miss Barbara met Buzzsaw at the exit and gave him a very big hug and a kiss on the cheek just before he walked out the door. MELVIN immediately said, “What about me.” She gave him a big hug but no kiss on the cheek.
They climbed into the cab of Buzzsaw's semi. The cab had a large, clean and neat sleeping quarter. The panel before the driver looked like an aircraft control panel. There was a gage for everything that could possibly be monitored. Buzz saw could monitor tire pressure on all 18 wheels, the oil temperature and pressure and cleanliness, indoor and outdoor temperature, a panel for analyzing the exhaust fumes, transmission temperature, GPS map with voice control, a computer operated by voice command and spoken output.
“Hey Buzzsaw how did you ever get that name?”
Buzzsaw answered, “I was a kid working in our family sawmill near Mossyrock, Washington. One day I mentioned to the guys during a work break that the saw sure makes a buzzing noise. Big John said, “Hhey kid you will get used to the noise before long.” From that point on everyone at the mill called me Buzzsaw. My friends call me Buzz and it would be OK if you called me Buzz.”
Buzz told MELVIN the trip to Oxnard was pretty boring. His load was not due in Oxnard for several weeks. He suggested they take a detour through Wickenburg and visit the Vulture Mine. They could stay there overnight after visiting the mine.
After that they could stop in Quartzsite and the biggest tail gate show in the country which was in progress at the time.
He had stopped there the last three years during the show looking for a special Stone.
The Stone had been described to him by his Iraqi interpreter.
The boys decided that the plan was OK, so it was on to Wickenburg.
After some small talk Buzz opened up and told MELVIN about Mazen his interpolator in Iraq.
He told MELVIN ZWICK the instant he met Mazen his Iraqi interpreter he felt a very special bond with him. The bond was very difficult to explain. It was as if they shared their spirit and life blood.
MELVIN ZWICK noticed moisture in tough old Buzz’s eyes as he talked about Mazen.
Buzz had saved Mazen's life within hours of when they met. Mazen had been knocked down by a fanatic terrorist. The terrorist was shouting Allah Akbar as he was about to put his knife into Mazen's heart.
Buzz shot the knife out of the terrorist hand. When the terrorist looked up Buzz put a round between his eyes. The dead terrorist fell dead on to Mazen.
It turned out that Mazen was a physic. He had used his vision to save their lives several times.
However the odd were against them. Mazen’s physic ability failed him one day.
Mazen had been shot by a sniper and was dying as Buzzsaw held him in his arms. Mazen looked up with distance look in his eyes and told Buzzsaw he had just seen a vision of a special Arizona Stone that when ground up had special healing power. The Stone was green and was called the Lizard Stone. He told Buzzsaw with his last breath that he had to find the Stone. The powder of the Stone would take away pain. It was not dangerous or addicting. Buzz with tears in his eyes said Mazen then died.
Buzz had to take out the sniper. He and his spotter climbed to the roof of the building next to them. They set up on the third floor with a window on the side where they expected the sniper to be on.
They had to get the sniper to expose himself. He and his spotter, Jackson, had a trick that had worked several times in the past. It was a lifelike head. They would expose the head just enough to encourage the terrorist sniper to let loose with a round at the target.
Jackson saw a flash a few seconds after the head was exposed. An instant later the head shattered.
They now knew where Mazen's killer was. He was shooting from a room on the second floor of a building. Jackson quickly ranged the window. It was 805 yards away. He then used his militarized Kestrel 4500 NV with Horus ATrag Ballistics calculator to calculate the wind age with the range and gave Buzz the sight settings.
Buzzaw adjuster the sights on his rifle. A minute later the terrorist showed up in Buzzsaw's scope. Buzzsaw squeezed the trigger and a .50 caliber round from his M107_1_7 rifle was on its way. Good by terrorist sniper.
Buzz had been looking for Lizard Stone ever since Mazen had mentioned it in his dying breath. It would sure be an answer to the pain in his leg.
They would have to stop in Quartzsite. Maybe this time the Lizard Stone would show up.
It was very strange but MELVIN actually felt Buzz's grief as he told the events of Mazen's death. The story about Mazen' death left him feeling like he had just lost a very close friend.
They talked about many of their adventures. An hour later they arrived at Wickenburg. He drove straight to the parking lot at the Vulture mine.
Buzz had contacted a friend in Wickenburg and had asked him if he would take the boys on a tour of the mine.
His friend, Osborn, who manages the mine and the old town of Wickenbury agreed to meet the boys at the mine. He met the boys at the parking lot.
Osborn said that around 1863 a fellow by the name of Henry Wickenburg travelled along the Hassayampa River. He picked up a rock to throw at a stubborn burro and noticed gold traces in the rock. He chipped some of the quartz away and found more gold. Well that is at least one story.
Another story has Wickenburg wanting to sweep out his tent. He shot a vulture, intending to use a wing for a broom. The vulture fell on the gold outcrop.
The least colorful story of the discovery of the Vulture mine has Wickenbury noticing a large outcropping of gold, large enough for him to see it from 10 miles way.
He said that once the mine got into production freighters would line up at the mine with wagons to transport the gold ore to the smelter. As soon as they were out of site of the mine they would begin picking through the gold, pocketing the best nuggets. Being a freighter was a very profitable venture. So much so many small mine operators would quit mining and become freighters.
The miners were also known for highgrading the ore before it reached the Company storage room. It was widely known that working at the Vulture mine for a few months could be profitable enough to grubstake a fellow for a year.
The boys were introduced to the hang tree where 18 men where hung for stealing gold.
In 1923 several miners were working in one of the mines large underground chambers. The Vulture mine was what is called a hard rock mine. The chambers were cut in solid rock therefore no support timbers were required. However solid rock columns were left as supports. It is said that about 40% of the ore was left in these support columns. These miners were chipping away at the columns until the chamber collapsed. About 7 men and 12 burros were trapped in a mine cave in and are still there. The hill above the collapsed chamber became a pit which became known as the Glory hole.
All the buildings in the town were built with low grade rocks from the mine. The gold in the buildings is worth millions of dollars in todays inflated market.
The boys left the Mine with a feeling of awe. To think that in this most unlikely place millions in gold was removed from the hills.
The boys and Osborn climbed aboard his 4 wheel drive jeep and headed out across the desert. Osborn wanted to show the boys some of the old claims around the area.
At one spot they found an old dilapidated shack next to a stream. Osburn told the boys that this claim was owned by two gunfighters. Those old boys left their gun fighting ways and settled on this claim. They found an outcropping up the hill but made a bundle of money panning the stream that ran by the cabin. They sold the claim and their gold and disappeared into history.
After about two hours of 4 wheeling Osborn took the boys back to the parking lot. The boys thanked Osborn and climbed aboard the truck and headed to Quartzsite.
MELVIN asked if he could pick up the guitar. Most owners of Martin guitar, the best in the world, are reluctant to let others play their guitar. From MELVIN ZWICK’S request Buzz knew his guitar would be in hands of someone who appreciate fine guitars.
MELVIN ZWICK adjusted his shirt to cover his belt buckle and cell phone. It would not be acceptable to have those items put a scratch in the Martin. MELVIN gently, with respect, picked up the Martin and set it in his lap. He fingered a "C" cord and found the guitar tuned well.
MELVIN asked Buzz if he would like to join in on a sing along. Buzz was immediately ready to join in. He said he loved folk music and knew most of the more common ones.
MELVIN said let's give it a go. He asked if Buzz knew "He'll be coming round the mountain?" Buzz perked up and answered he did. MELVIN went on to tell him about the hootenanny he had had with Grandpa's kids and Grandkids at the Crossroads country Ranch. They sang "He'll be coming round the mountain" with a few versed written by him. MELVIN explained that there was a sound effect they would have to say for each verse. MELVIN said he would identify the word or sound needed for each verse before singing that verse.
So MELVIN ZWICK fingered a "C" cord and started:
The key word here is "So High."
He then started singing:
He’ll be coming or the mountain when he comes.
Buzz and MELVIN sang together, “So High”
He’ll be coming or the mountain when he comes.
He’ll be coming or the mountain
He’ll be coming or the mountain
He’ll be coming or the mountain
He’ll be coming or the mountain when he comes.
The boys finished that song and spent the next hour singing many other folk songs.
Buzz was correct is saying he knew most of the common folk songs. MELVIN could not find a song he didn't know. MELVIN ZWICK and Buzz sang about a two dozen folk songs.
After about a three hour drive and another hour while singing folk songs the boys arrived at Love's Travel Stop in Quartzsite. The parking around town was full. The Travel Stop parking lot was full. It seems all passing through truckers made a stop at Quartzsite during the show.
Buzz drove to the North West corner of the lot. There were several saw horses blocking a parking space. There were signs on each saw horse saying "RESERVED FOR BUZZ.' Buzz got out and relocated the saw horses to the corner of the lot.
He climbed back into the truck and parked it as he explained to MELVIN ZWICK that the owner of Love's was Jackson his spotter in Iraq. He knew of Mazen's vision of the Lizard Stone and reserved the parking space every year for Buzzsaw during the show.
Buzzsaw inspected all the fittings on the truck and wacked each tire with a hammer checking tire inflation. When he was satisfied he put the hammer back into the truck and then the boys headed to the restaurant.
It was obvious Buzzsaw was anxious to see his old buddy again. Not only that but it was time to eat lunch. MELVIN ZWICK knew that Buzzsaw would receive the best lunch Jackson could serve.
Pandemonium broke out within seconds of when Buzzsaw entered the restaurant. The first to spot Buzzsaw was Rocky the waitress. She let out a howl as she rushed to him. Before she could reach him the rest of the restaurant help shouted their greeting and came to Buzz. The waitress grabbed him and gave him a big hug and kiss. The rest shook his hand and gave him hugs. It was obvious Buzz was a well-loved friend of the crew of Love's Travel Stop.
MELVIN ZWICK later learned that Rocky was Jackson's wife and that all the other working in the restaurant were his relatives. Before the lunch meeting was over he learned something Buzz didn't tell him about when he was wounded.
One of the terrorists entering their hideout knocked Jackson's pistol away from him and was pointing his AK 47 at his head. Buzz saw what was happening. One terrorist had Jackson in his sights. Another terrorist was aiming his AK 47 at Buzz.
Buzzsaw in a love for his buddy shot the terrorist facing Jackson at the risk of being killed by the other terrorist. Buzzsaw's bullet hit the terrorist a split second before he pulled the trigger of his rifle aimed at Jackson. The terrorist's aim was foiled just enough to cause the bullet to pass through Jackson's left ear and imbed itself in the wall.
This gave the other terrorist free reign to shoot Buzzsaw. The only thing that saved Buzz was the shot killing the first terrorist caused the second terrorist to flinch causing him to loose aim causing his bullet to enter Buzzsaw's leg before Buzzsaw shot him.
Buzzsaw saved Jackson he best buddy at the expense of having his leg badly damaged. That was why the Love's crew loved Buzzsaw. He had saved their husband, brother and uncle.
Jackson came out of the kitchen and grabbed Buzzsaw. They embraced each other as two strong friends would with each one and another taking turns lifting the other off his feet.
When the greetings were over Jackson, Buzzsaw, Rocky and MELVIN ZWICK took their place at a table in the center of the restaurant near the kitchen.
Every year that table was reserved in honor of Buzzsaw during the Quartzsite show.
Ice tea and soft drinks were served to all. MELVIN ZWICK was introduced to Jackson's family. His family included Rocky his wife and waitress, Jeff his brother and assistant cook, Jolene, Jeff's wife and cashier and waitress, Charlie his son and general everything.
It was obvious they had been expecting him. It was a once a year ritual during the Quartzite tailgate show.
Buzz stated he wanted to look for the Lizard Stone before eating so after a while the boys got up and left for the show.
So it was off to the show. There is no index listing the dealers and what they sell. The only way to find what you are looking for was to walk through all the sellers until you find what you want.
It could take the rest of the afternoon and all of the next day to do that. Buzzsaw had been told by Mazen in his dying breath the Lizard Stone would be found under an American flag.
The plan was simple, look at rock sellers with an American flag in their booth. So it was a quick walk through vendors selling everything that could be legally sold. Slippers, wallets, household junk, tools, car parts, jewelry, paint, art supplies, paintings and so on. Mixed in all that stuff were vendors selling rocks. Many rock sellers were amateur prospectors who spent a part of their life in the field looking for material that could be sold to jewelry makers. Most of the raw material was unique and found only in a local area. The finder of a unique Stone would name the Stone they found.
After about two hours of walking the boys found an American Flag standing tall above a pickup truck. On the tailgate of the truck was a collection of raw Stones. On the left of the tail gate was a box of green Stone. There was a card on the edge of the box that proclaimed in hand written words that the Stone was Lizard Stone at $100 per pound.
Buzz lite up like a Christmas tree. His eyes were sparkling. His excitement was contagious.
The vendor's name tag said Carlos. He was a scruffy looking fellow. His hair hung down to chest level. His red beard rested on his chest. His cowboy hat was low on his forehead. MELVIN noticed Carlos might be thinking he new Buzz/
MELVIN ZWICK noticed he had a Navy Seal tattoo on his right forearm. Buzz muhave noticed the Carlos's tattoo about the same time the Carlos noticed the Navy Seal tattoo on Buzz's forearm as they reached to shake hands. The handshake was forgotten as they grabbed each other in large bear hugs. They were brothers like no brothers ever were. They had all been through the most grueling training any human could be put through. The training made ever seal a brother to every other seal. They were the elite of elite of military men.
When the hugging and tall tale story telling was over Buzz picked up the box of Lizard Stone and asked Carlos to weigh the Stones and quote a price.
Carlos emptied the Lizard Stones on his scale. The scale read 11 pounds 4 ounces. That would come to a little more than $1000 for the lot. Carlos said that the 11 pounds 4 ounces was all the Lizard Stone known to exist.
Buzz told Carlos he had been hunting for Lizard Stones ever since he was discharged from the service. He told Carlos the entire story of Mazen.
MELVIN ZWICK learned another thing about his friend when Buzz said his leg that was wounded in Iraq gave him sever pain 24/7. Being a trucker prevented him from taking pain medicine so he had to mentally block the pain. That took a tremendous amount of mental concentration. Even at that he was only capable of easing the pain somewhat and for only short intervals.
He knew Mazen's dying statement that powdered Lizard Stone taken orally would stop the pain was true. That is why he had been coming to Quartzsite show looking for the Lizard Stone for the last three years.
Before Buzz could get his wallet out Carlos put the Lizard Stone in a triple plastic sack and gave it to Buzz and told him to take the Stone as a gift from one fellow Seal to another. Buzz thanked Carlos with a big hug and invited him to have dinner on him at Jackson's. Carlos said he ate there all the time. He stated he would be there in about at 18:00 hours.
Bear hugs were exchanged as they separated.
Buzzsaw was extremely excited. He had finally found the Lizard Stone Mazen his translator had told him about in his dying breath. His excitement faded as he remembered Mazen his Iraq buddy. His eyes welled up in tears and his speech became faint. The thought of how he knew about the Lizard Stone brought him very sad feelings. He had held Mazen his friend and guardian in his arms as he passed away. Mazen's last thoughts were of him and how he could live without pain.
It was off to Jackson's for a wondrous dinner. Buzz told MELVIN ZWICK all about his buddy’s excellent cooking ability. He said he hoped MELVIN ZWICK liked fried bread with beans and cheese, tamales and a thing called monkey bread. The thought of having those things for dinner really lit up MELVIN ZWICK. They were three of his favorite foods.
Rocky sat the boys and Jackson down at the reserved table. A few minutes later Carlos arrived. The three Seals greeted each other as usual. This time they ended the hugs with a unique hand shake. Jackson placed his fist with his thumb up. Carlos grabbed Jackson's thump and placed his and thumb up. Buzz grabbed Carlos's thumb. They stood there with their heads bowed for several seconds then disconnected and patted each other on their backs.
The hand shake and bowed heads told MELVIN ZWICK the three had more in common than just being Navy Seals. He thought he might ask about that later.
He would not have to wait long for the explanation though.
The three started to tell stories about each other.
Like the time Carlos a very sleepy raiser stepped into the shower, turned on the water and stood there with his eyes closed as the cold water worked on waking him. He noted a strange smell but was too asleep to pay much attention. When he finally filled his hands with water and ran them over his face he felt something sticky. He opened his eyes and saw the water running green. He looked at his hands and saw the green. His arms and chest were streaked green.
A loud scream brought Jackson and Buzz who were rolling in belly wrenching laughter as they looked at Carlos all streaked green.
Jackson had placed several packets of green Jell-O in the shower head.
It took several days for the green streaks to disappear. They all rolled in laughter again as they remembered green streaked Carlos in his Navy uniform attending to his duty.
Then there was the time when Carlos packed his hand with flower. He walked up to Jackson who was sitting asleep in his chair in front of his computer. Carlos shouted very loudly, "Wake up every one time to get going."
Jackson jolted awake as Carlos slapped him in the face with the hand full of flower.
One morning Buzz stepped up to the toilet to take care of business. Immediately his legs received a shower. The seat and hole of the toilet was covered with Saran wrap.
It was obvious all three had been roommates while on state side duty.
While all this was going on MELVIN ZWICK who was seated facing the front door noticed what looked like a carjacking in progress in front of the restaurant. A fellow had just drug a fellow out of a car that was facing the restaurant. The bad guy hopped into the car but the car owner started to fight with him through the window.
MELVIN ZWICK alerted the boys. Seconds later the car screech its tires as it headed directly toward the front door of the restaurant. The boys jumped aside as the car slammed into the restaurant and into the table the boys had been seated at.
The owner of the car had been hanging through the window but was knocked loose as the car went through the door.
The boys all shouted at the same time that the bad guy was stunned but was trying to start the car again.
MELVIN ZWICK slipped his ever present knife out of its sheath and leaped to the driver side front tire. He jabbed the knife into the tire. He then slid back and did the same thing to the driver side rear tire. It was then on to the rear tire on the other side of the car. As he got to the other side of the car the bad guy succeeded in getting the engine running again. Jackson and Buzz were trying to drag the bad guy out of the car but he started to back out as MELVIN ZWICK pulled his knife free from the passenger side rear tire.
The bad guy stomped on the accelerator. The extra stress on the flat rear tires caused them to be ripped from the rims leaving nothing but bare rims in contact with the floor. The car had no traction. The bad guy jumped out of the car and turned to run away. In an instant the boys had him down in three submission holds. Jackson was at his neck, Buzz was at his arm and Carlos was at a leg. The scream coming from the guys mouth indicated he was in some sever pain.
There was no way he would leave the restaurant until the police had him in tow.
Jackson laughed and said, "Hey Buzz remember when we were given the assignment of capturing that Al Qaida leader. It took us three days to infiltrate through enemy territory to his camp."
He went on to describe the event as they held the screaming bad guy waiting for the police. Jackson tightened his hold on the perp’s neck and send him into silent sleep.
The Al Quaid leader was Aref Asad. He was known to be teaching terrorists how to build IUD and car bombs.
The terrorists camp was in a cave. On the outside of the cave there were seven terrorists sleeping on the ground, three beat up trucks and several 55 gallon containers probably containing gas and a pile of artillery ordinance.
These guys were being taught how to build truck bombs.
The boys checked each terrorists through their advanced night vision glasses as they looked for Aref Asad the leader they were after. They didn't find him outside.
The boys set remote sensing explosive next to each terrorists. Then they checked out each truck. Two of them were loaded with explosives being prepared as car bombs. The boys set explosives on the two trucks being prepared as car bombs and the ammo and fuel storage.
Once that was done the boys entered the cave and found Aref lying on a cot. His name translates to wise lion. He sure was not wise tonight. He never expected anyone would attack his camp located in an area predominately occupied by terrorists.
Jackson grabbed him around the neck and put him in a sleep hold as Buzz grabbed Aref's right arm as he reached for a pistol. Buzz put Aref's arm into a submission hold.
Buzzsaw knocked the pistol away and released the arm. He put some duct tape over Aref's face then wrapped his hands together behind his back then taped his ankles together.
Buzzsaw threw Aref over his shoulders in the fire man’s carry hold and carried him out to the nearest truck.
He threw him into the back of the truck as Jackson started the engine.
That’s when Buzz smiled and said this is where the fun begins. He pushed button one on his remote transmitter. Instantly, seven terrorists were sent to their afterlife. When the boys reached a safe distance Buzzsaw pressed button two and the car bombs, ammo stockpile and the fuel storage drums lit up the area. Jackson stopped the truck so they could enjoy the fireworks
The air force had been bombing the general area every night for a couple of weeks. By now the terrorists in the area would be used to explosions and fireworks so Aref's camp lighting up would be nothing new.
The boys would destroy the truck in an abandon cave and carry Aref two miles on foot to a pick up point that was known to be free of terrorists.
The Seals would send a helicopter and several gunships to pick them up.
The boys cleaned up the restaurant. Jackson said the kitchen was not damages so the feast was on. Fried bread, beans and cheese, tamales and monkey bread were on the menu.
MELVIN ZWICK was delighted. The food Jackson was preparing was MELVIN ZWICK'S favorite.
More Navy Seal adventures were shared as the chow went down
After a while the Lizard Stone subject came up. Buzz related what Mazen had told him about what the powdered Stone was capable of doing. Carlos mentioned he knew Amos an amateur chemist who might help in turning the Stone into powder. He said the fellow was probably still awake and would probably enjoy helping them out. He got on his cell phone and gave Amos a call. Amos was delighted to hear from one of his buddies. He told Carlos to come on over.
Carlos drove the boys away from town, then on to a dirt road which turned into a 4 wheel drive road. After about a 15 minute drive they came to a well-built building with several smaller buildings scattered around the area.
The building had no glass window. The only opening in the walls were narrow slots. MELVIN ZWICK notices a rifle barrel sticking out of one of the slots.
Carlos stepped out of his truck and shouted out who it was. The rifle disappeared from the slot.
An instant later a grizzly bearded fellow stepped out of the front door and gave Carlos a big hug. He invited the boys in.
Carlos introduced the boys. Amos offered coffee to all.
Carlos told Amos that Buzz had a request of him. Buzz related the Lizard Stone story again. He then said he had some Lizard Stone that needed to be turned into powder.
It was obvious Amos was excited about helping out an American hero. He explained he assayed and analyzed Stones for amateur prospectors. Carlos said Amos was being too shy. Amos was a noted expert in material analysis. He was used by many law enforcement agencies around the country to test crime scene evidence.
Amos ignored the compliment and mentioned he was just a guy that had a very fun hobby. He asked Buzz for a sample of the Lizard Stone.
He mentioned that he had a small rock crusher that could turn chunks of the Stone into small grains.
The rock crusher was something Amos had designed himself. It consisted of a tube about 4 inches in diameter with a removable plate fastened to the bottom. Attached to the tube was a bracket that supported a piston that was inside the tube. The piston was connected to a hydraulic operated mechanism that drove the piston up and down in the tube.
Amos took a large chunk on the Lizard Stone from Buzz and broke it up into smaller chunks. He mounted the sample of the Lizard Stone on the bottom plate. Then he attached the plate to the bottom of the tube. The hydraulic mechanism was turned on and the piston started pounding the Lizard Stone against the bottom plate. In a short time the Stone would be crushed into grains no bigger than 1/32 inch in size.
Amos then placed the grains of the Lizard Stone in a small ball mill. The mill consisted of a large tube sealed at both ends. The solid metal balls in the mill were slightly smaller than tennis balls.
He turned on the motor that caused the ball mill to rotate. The metal balls would pulverize the grains of Lizard Stone into powder as the mill turned.
This process took a couple of hours.
The boys offered to leave and come back the next day but Amos objected. He was enjoying the company of his friends and was excited to be involved in the legend of the Lizard Stone.
Later after several cups of coffee and lots of stories from the boys the Lizard Stone was now a powder.
Amos removed about four tablespoons full of powder and ran a magnet through it to remove any trace of metal. It was decided by the boys to call the powder Mazennight in honor of Buzz's translator and shaman. The term powder made it seem the name was too close to bad powders. None of the boys would tolerate illegal drugs.
Buzz was ready to take a teaspoon full of the Mazennight. Amos suggested he test Mazennight for any toxic compounds before any was taken orally.
Buzz argued he had complete faith in his best friend and shaman, Mazen. Mazen would never on his last dying breath tell him to take something that would be poison.
The discussion between Buzz and Amos went on for a minute or two until Amos won the discussion. Buzz would wait for the results of Amos's tests before he took any Mazennight.
Amos then prepared some Mazennight for the next step. Amos placed the prepared
powder into his state of the art electronic chemical analyzer. It was a state of the art chemical analyzer. Amos had modified the equipment to make it capable of determining the exact chemical composition of any material sample inserted into its test chamber.
Within minutes the machine printed out a list of elements that made up the Lizard Stone composition.
Amos took the printout and laid it on the table before him. He studied it for a short time than started to scratch his head.
Buzz asked him what was in the Lizard Stone.
Amos shook his head and said he had never seen anything like this in the 30 years he had been analyzing material. The Stone contained most of the elements that Jasper was composed of however there were two elements he had never seen before. In fact those two elements did not register as a known substance to his very advanced machine. He was not able to identify them.
Amos thought of the legend of the Lizard Stone and that Mazen had told Buzz to take its powdered form orally. He had no way of telling if the two unknown ingredients were toxic. He told the boys more tests would have to be done before he could say the powdered Lizard Stone would be safe to take orally.
He had some lab animals he could test the powder on. The test would take a couple of days.
Buzz begrudging agreed to the tests. The delivery of the load on his truck could wait for a couple days. He could wait for the results of Amos's tests.
In the meantime he could help Jackson rebuild the damaged front of his Restaurant.
MELVIN ZWICK always ready to experience a new adventure agreed to stay and help the construction. He knew that there would be lots of stories told and Jacksons Indian fry bread smothered in beans and cheese along with tamales and monkey bread would be well worth the stay.
After some of Amos's delicious coffee the boys went back to the truck stop.
Carlos invited Buzz and MELVIN ZWICK to stay at his house. He had a two bedroom cabin located on his property that the boys could use for their stay. He said they might be interested to know that he had discovered the Lizard Stone while he was digging the foundation for the bed room of the cabin. If they had some time they might look for additional Ston
Amos called to say he had the results of his toxicity test on the Lizard powder and that he would be in town around 6:00 that afternoon. He said he needed some of Jackson's excellent food while they discussed the results.
Amos arrived at the restaurant at 6:00 sharp with a large jar of slight green powder. The boys sat down at a table and ordered dinner. Buzz immediately asked Amos for the results of his test. Amos at first played with Buzzsaw by not telling him anything about the test. But he could not do that for long because he was excited about the results.
He had given some of the powder to one of the chimps he had in his lab. The only sign the chimp showed after taking the powder was that the chimp seemed to be more relaxed. The powder was not toxic. His top of the line testing of the powder determined that it was not addicting or any more dangerous that aspirin. He told the boys that in his best analysis the powder would be harmless to take.
Amos gave Buzzsaw the large jaw of powder explaining he had crushed up all the Lizard Stone Buzzsaw had left with him on their visit. The powder filled a gallon plastic container. On the side of the container was a very official looking label identifying the content as Mazennight a powdered Lizard Stone. Nontoxic, non addicting.
Buzz stated he would take some Mazennight before going to bed that night. That was when his pain was the worst.
Buzz and MELVIN ZWICK retired to their apartment after many rounds of stories.
The plan was for Buzz to take some of the Lizard Stone powder with a glass of water. He then was going to go to bed. He knew that MELVIN ZWICK also suffered from pain in his legs and hip. Buzz offered MELVIN some of the powder.
They talked about the danger of both taking an untested substance at the same time. Buzz mentioned that his buddy and shaman, Mazen, told him the powdered Lizard Stone was safe to take orally. They thought about that then MELVIN remembered Amos had said that all his tests indicated the stuff was not toxic or addicting.
It was decided that they both had faith in Mazen and Amos and that both boys would run the test that night.
The boys prepared for bed. It was around 21:00 hours when a teaspoon of the powder was added to water and down the hatch it want.
The boys lay down and were asleep within minutes.
BUZZ was the first to wake the next morning. The first thing he noticed was his lack of the usual pain and stiffness. He was anxious to talk about his night but MELVIN ZWICK was still asleep.
Buzz entered the kitchen and fixed himself some coffee and oatmeal with honey and yogurt on it. He nervously paced the floor waiting for MELVIN to wake.
About a hold hour later MELVIN ZWICK made his way into the kitchen. When he saw Buzz he immediately started talking about his dream he had last night. Buzz looked at him incredulously and replied that his dream was the same.
Before they discussed their dreams any further they talked about how they slept and how they felt this morning. They both stated that they did not wake all night and that they both felt the best they have had in many years. No aches or pains. No stiff joints. They both agreed that the Mazennight they had taken was by far the best pain medicine they had ever had. Nothing had ever eliminated the pain so deeply.
Once they finished talking about the great pain reducing and sleep producing effect of Mazennight they talked about their dreams.
Buzz was first to speak. He said the last thing he remembered about the last night was lying down and saying the prayer he has said ever since he was a kid.
He said he had the most vivid dream he had ever had in his life. It was as if he was actually experiencing the actions and not just dreaming them. He was even more amazed in that MELVIN ZWICK was in his dream.
MELVIN ZWICK'S eyes grew as big as saucers. He said he had a vivid dream in which he and Buzz were together in what he felt was actual action.
The boys thought that it was amazing that their dreams were so vivid but even more amazing that they were in each other’s dream.
The amazement didn't end there. MELVIN ZWICK stated that in his dream the boys were old gunfighters who were operating a small gold claim in Wickenburg Arizona.
Now Buzz's eye got as big as saucers. He exclaimed that was the same dream he had. How could that be?
After a brief discussion it was decided that their dreams were very similar. Buzz decided that MELVIN ZWICK, being the better story teller, should describe his dream. Buzz would interrupt whenever his dream differed from MELVIN ZWICK'S dream.
So over breakfast MEVIN ZWICK started his story.
In his dream his was named was Stamp. Right away Buzz interrupted. He said that was the name of MELVIN ZWICK in his dream. He stated that his name in his dream was Deacon.
MELVIN ZWICK immediately exclaimed that was Buzz's name in his dream.
So far the dreams were exactly alike. This was starting to get very fascinating.
MELVIN ZWICK went on. He stated that he as Stamp had arrived in Wickenburg around 1863. He was a gunfighter who was always on the edge of the law. He had promised himself to hang up his guns and find an honest way to live.
Wickenburg was known as a gold town with mines opening up throughout the mountains.
Stamp knew nothing about mining but took a chance and invested in a mule and a months’ worth of supplies and a shovel, hammer and misc. tools and headed into the hills.
On his first week out all he found were rattlesnakes and lots of heat. He didn't even know where to look for gold.
On the morning of the eight day he was eating breakfast when a rattlesnake came crawling into his camp on the side of a hill. Stamp drew his pistol and shot the snake dead. He thought he was a little slow on the draw but still faster than most. While he was looking at the snake he noted something shinning in the rock behind where the snake was. Apparently the bullet that ended the snake’s life hit the rock and chipped a small chunk loose. That snake and bullet were about to change Stamp's life forever.
Stamp kicked the snake down the hill and squatted down in front of the shiny spot in the rock. He took out his rock hammer and hammered a chunk of rock with the spot in it loose from the bolder it was part of.
A closer look at the spot indicated it was gold. Stamp noticed that the spot behind the removed chunk of rock had even a bigger spot of gold.
By a shear dumb accident Stamp had found the start of a very profitable gold mine.
By this time Buzz was sitting in amazement. He stated that in his dream he was known as Deacon and that he had arrived in Wickenburg about the same time Stamp arrived. He wanted to settle down.
His stated that his troublesome mule had kicked a rock outcrop when a rattlesnake crawled near him. Deacon shot the snake. When he bent over to pick up the dead snake he spotted a shiny spot in the Stone outcrop the mule had kicked.
That called for more coffee and some of Jackson's fabulous monkey bread.
MELVIN ZWICK continued the story. He stated that Stamp had heard a gunshot about the same time he shot the snake. He gave it no mind as gunshots were common in rattlesnake country.
Stamp immediately took action to stake out his claim. When the local mine marking was done he loaded up his mule and started into Wickenburg to register his claim.
On his way to town he ran into a fellow named Deacon who was on his way to town to register his claim. As they talked they realized that they both had the same background and were looking for the same thing. By the time they reached Wickenburg there were very good friends.
They also realized that they were about to stake gold claims on adjacent sides of the same hill. It didn't take long for them to realize that it was in both their interest to stake their claims together. That way they could be partners protecting each other’s back and could work together to claim their gold.
The area around Wickenburg was awash with gold fever. The Vulture gold mine had just been opened by Henry Wickenburg the fellow who found the claim. The main area where all the gold prospecting was happening was at least 30 miles from the boys claim.
Once they registered their claim the locals took to calling them foolish tenderfeet and greenhorns with not an ounce of smarts. Everyone knew there was no gold in the hills they registered their claim in. They all said the only gold they found must be fool’s gold.
The local’s evaluation of their claim suited the boy’s just fine. No one would waste their time trying to jump their claim.
Work on the claim began just as soon as the boys got back on site. They had two projects. One was to build a cabin and the other was to start collecting their gold. They would work on the cabin in the morning and work the claim in the afternoon. They would sleep under the stars and hope it didn't rain until the cabin was finished.
The walls of the cabin were built of rock they found in the area. They noted that some of the rock contained gold flakes.
There was a gushing spring about a mile up the canyon from their claim. The water poured down a gully below their hill but still on their claim. The water traveled about a mile before going underground.
The boys discussed the fastest way to get the gold off the claim. Deacon mentioned that he heard gold can be washed down into a gully from a vein on a hill side. They thought they might try panning the stream first before trying to dig the gold out of the hill.
They squatted down next to the stream and started digging up dirt and putting it into a pan. A little rocking of the pan in the water washes the dirt away. Gold being heavy settles to the bottom of the pan.
In minutes Stamp let out a whoop and holler. He had found a gold nugget the size of his thumb. Seconds later Deacon did the same. They got together and looked at their prize. They both dropped the nuggets in their coat pocket and went back to work.
Buzz interrupted MELVIN'S and exclaimed his dream was the same.
MELVIN ZWICK in astonishment continued the story.
After about six days they quit putting gold in their jacket pockets. They sewed up some canvas sacks and started placing their gold findings in them.
It didn't take them too many months before they had a couple thousand ounces of the bright golden metal in several canvas sacks.
One night while eating the last of their beans with some venison they got to talking about selling the claim and buying a cattle ranch. The gold they had found would be more than enough to pay for a ranch and sustain them for many years.
That night the decision was made to move on. The next day the boys would strap on their six guns, load up their mules and head into town to cash in.
The next day they took their sacks of gold into town. With a little braggadocio they went to the saloon and showed the towns people the results of their find. They were no longer called idiots. In fact everyone wanted to be their best buddies.
The boys bought a round of drinks for everyone.
They took their gold directly to the local assay office. He offered to give them gold coins equal to 65% of the value of their gold dust and nuggets. MELVIN ZWICK the excellent haggler said he didn't like that exchange and stepped into the negotiation. He said that was not enough for their gold and all the work they did in gathering it. The Assayer said he would give the 70%. MELVIN shook his head and backed away a little. The trade value was increased to 75%.
MELVIN grabbed their sacks of gold and turned and started to walk towards the door saying to Buzz let's go to the exchange at the saloon. I'm sure we can get more for our gold there.
Before MELVIN got to the door the Assayer shouted out, “You’re killing me.” I can’t stand it but I will do 80%.
That amount was agreed to.
The boys took their gold coins and headed towards their cabin.
On the way to their cabin though town they discussed how to protect their new found wealth. They knew that the best way to keep robbers from hassling them was to intimidate them. The best way to do that was to challenge all the town folks to a fast draw pistol match.
The plan was to head for the local bar, drink a little and pretend to be a little drunk and offer 100 dollars to whoever was the fastest on the draw.
Six of the local ruffians took up the challenge.
Stamp, Deacon and the six ruffians went outside. The saloon cleared. No one wanted to miss the action.
A large crowd of Wickenburg residents gathered around the contestants. A couple of kids were sent to get residents back off the street because bullets might be whizzing their way.
The contest would be drawing and shooting at bottles thrown into the air. Anyone missing a bottle before it hit the ground would be eliminated.
The first round saw all eight hitting their targets. The second round saw four missing and dropping out. That left Stamp, Deacon and two others still in the competition.
Stamp and Deacon reloaded after each trial. After five rounds the boys suggests shooting at coins.
The sixth round found Deacon and Stamp being the only ones hitting coins. The remaining two ruffians were eliminated.
Stamp and Deacon decided they did not need to finish the match so they called the contest a draw.
The last two ruffians were angry about being beaten by a couple of greenhorns. They thought they were faster on the draw. They challenged Deacon and Stamp to a real face off. A shoot out to the death in the streets of Wickenburg. They were calling the boys cowards and ladies.
Deacon would face one ruffian and Stamp would face the other.
The boys refused. They headed to the saloon offering to buy the guys some drinks.
The offer infuriated the ruffians who would not stand down. The crowd made up mostly of their buddies was egging them on. It was obvious the ruffians just might draw and shoot the boys in the back then steal their gold coins.
Stamp mentioned that they had no alternative but to face the ruffians.
So it was back to the center of the street.
The faceoff was at about 26 yards. The combatants would draw and fire the instant a beer mug thrown into the air hit the ground between them.
The local sheriff threw up the mug. It hit the ground and two shots rang out and two town bullies hit the dirt. They drew fast but never fired a shot. The boy’s skills with their pistols saved the day for themselves. And maybe a little stupidity on the ruffian’s part helped. They forgot to reload their pistols after the bottle and coin shoot out.
The boys never admitted that they counted on the ruffian’s stupidity to enter the face off with empty guns.
The boys reloaded and headed to the saloon where they announced their claim was up for sale. Three of the town's financial big shots said they would buy the claim.
That afternoon the boys and three money guys went to the claim.
The boys showed the city fellows the gold outcrop and showed the results of one pan of dirt.
The bidding war began. It finally ended at $100,000.
In town the transfer of claim was completed after the boys had $100,000 in gold coins transferred to an account in their name in a bank in San Francisco.
The boys felt with all their wealth they needed to disappear immediately.
They returned to their cabin to collect their belongings.
They had bought several horses and pack gear. Their plan was to pack up and leave at midnight. The late hour of leaving was to hide their route away from the mine.
They would head to Texas where there was plenty of land to be had for a cattle ranch.
The boys just sat down for dinner after the horses were packed.
The door burst open and three Mexican bandits entered with guns drawn.
They demanded the gold the boys must have hidden.
Stamp told the bandits they had cashed in all their gold and had the fund transferred to a band in San Francisco. The bandits didn't buy that. The leader, whose name was Lino walked up to Deacon and punched him in the face knocking him to the floor.
Deacon picked himself up and angrily said the boys did not have any money. He wanted to return the punch to Lino but facing three guns put a damper on his anger for the time being. Not only that he knew what the future held for the Lino and his two gun toting buddies.
Stamp casually started eating as Lino became ballistic. He threatened to start carving Stamp and Deacon into little pieces as he drew his large knife.
Stamp casually suggested the bandits sit down and have a bite to eat and discuss the gold. He suggested that Deacon should warm up some beans and venison. He knew Deacon would get the real meaning of his statement.
Lino shouted we don't need no stinking food. One of his buddies protested saying he was starving and sat down at the table opposite Stamp.
Deacon walked to the wood pile saying he would warm up some food.
An instant later three bandits left this world to meet their maker.
Deacon drew the pistol he had hidden in the wood pile, turned and shot Lino in the head. Stamp drew the pistol he had hidden under the table and shot the bandit seated at the table across from him. They both shot the remaining bandit. It was over in an instant. Three bandits would be meeting St Peter at the pearly gates that night.
That's where the dream ended.
Buzz could not believe it. His dream was exactly the same as the dream MELVIN had just told. They both were in the same dream.
It was as if they had been joined in their dream. Was it caused by Mazennight the powdered Lizard Stone they had taken the night before? More investigation needed to be done.
The boys could not wait to tell Jackson and Rocky about the dreams. They would tell Carlos about their dreams as they rode with him on the way to the restaurant.
On the way to the restaurant they called Amos and asked him to meet them at the restaurant. They had some important news about Mazennight.
Carlos dropped the boys off at the restaurant saying he had to take care of some business. He would meet them at the restaurant in about two hours.
Buzz told the gathering about the dreams the boys had had. He gave a brief description about the gold find, the sale of the claim and the bandits that met their end trying to rob the boys.
Everyone was amazed by the story.
There was much discussion as what to do next. It was decided that everyone but Buzz and MELVIN ZWICK would take some Mazennight that night. The results would be discussed the next morning.
Rocky broke into the discussion with another addition to the boys dream story. She showed everyone the heading of a newspaper. It said that three Mexicans had been found dead in a rundown cabin at an old mine near Wickenburg. The mine originally belonged to two fellows who sold the claim in 1874 and disappeared.
The details indicated that one had been shot in the head, one shot in the chest and the other shot two times. The fellow shot in the head was identified as Lino Garazza. There was no motive for the shootings except maybe a drug deal gone badly. Garazza was known to have ties to drugs.
The caliber of the bullets that killed the three was rather strange and unique. The bullets were .44 caliber balls probably fired from 1860-1873 Colt Army revolvers. The three dead guys were carrying very old Colt Army revolvers. Rather strange weapons to carry when there so many new types of firearms on the market.
Evidence in the cabin indicated that the three dead fellows were probably the losers of a gun fight.
The headlines and the article shocked the boys. Were these three shootings the result of their dreams? Everyone said it must be a coincidence. But no one was convinced of that statement.
MELVIN reminded Buzz that his buddy had shown them a cabin on a gold claim that was discovered by two old gunfighters and how the two had sold their claim and disappeared. Could it be the cabin they had seen was the cabin in their dreams and the cabin the three dead fellows were found in?
Everyone read the article again.
After reading the article again Buzz said the description of the cabin and its location sure matched the cabin they had been shown and the cabin in their dream. MELVIN ZWICK agreed.
Buzz told MELVIN it might be a good idea to review their actions the night before. Was it possible they drove back to Wickenburg and somehow were instrumental in the shooting of the three fellows?
It would take at least two hours to drive to Wickenburg then another hour to drive to the cabin. Then it would take another three hours for the return trip.
The boys went to bed at 21:00 hours (9:00 PM) and awoke around 8:00. That gave them eleven hours to drive to the Cabin in Wickenburg shoot the three fellows and drive back to Carlos’s cabin and still have time to sleep.
Jackson asked where would Buzz and MELVIN get the pistols used in the shooting. Working 1860-1873 Colt Army revolvers are very rare.
Someone mentioned that Carlos had a several rare pistols in his collection.
Carlos said he had two working 1860-1873 Colt Army revolvers in his collection.
Buzz mentioned that Carlos has shown the two pistols to both he and MELVIN.
Everyone grew silent. Was it possible the boys shot the three Mexicans? They had plenty of time to travel to the cabin in Wickenburg meet the three Mexicans and then shoot them with Carlos’s pistols.
There were three Mexican found shot in the same manner as in the dream. They were shot with the same type of revolvers they were carrying in the dream. One fellows name was the same as in the dream and they were found in the same spot in Wickenburg as in the dream. There were way too many similarities between the newspaper account and the boys dream. Coincidence? They didn't think so and that gave them all a chill.
This Mazennight stuff started to take on a sinister look.
Everyone was sitting in silence when Carlos arrived. He was quickly brought up to date about the shooting of the three Mexicans and the fear that Buzz and MELVIN might have be responsible for the shooting.
Carlos let out a big shocked what? With that he gained the attention of everyone seated at the table. He realized he was the center of attention. He knew something everyone else did not know. He thought he just might play along with everyone for a while.
Carlos chuckling inside said let me get this straight. Everyone here thinks that last night Buzz and MELVIN took my two 1860-1873 Colt Army revolvers and my truck and drove to an old mine cabin in Wickenburg and met three Mexicans and shot them. Don’t we think we should call the police? Buzz and MELVIN might be killers.
That started everyone buzzing. No one believed Buzz would be involved in anything like the shooting of the three Mexicans. His shooting days were over. But then no one knew MELVIN ZWICK that well. Maybe he might do something like the shooting of the Mexicans.
The group discussed what to do. It was decided that the Police should be called. They were the ones who could sort all this stuff out.
Carlos was laughing inside as he listened to all the discussion. He knew that in an instant he could put all their fears to rest but he remembered his days as a roommate with Jackson and Buzz and thought this situation was just ripe for getting even.
Rocky took out her cell phone and said she knew she had to call the police even though it was not want she wanted to do.
Carlos grabbed her cell phone as he gave out a big belly laugh and spoke up. He said not to worry. There were several reasons the boys could not have done the deed.
One. Last night around midnight there were several coyotes howling near his front door. He grabbed his rifle and headed out to check to see what the commotion was. He was afraid the coyotes might be bothering his dogs.
As he returned to the house he noticed the truck had a flat tire. He figured it was too late to change it then. He could change it in the morning. He changed it around 5:00 the next morning.
The boys did not have transportation to go to Wickenburg. Not only that but he had taken the firing pins out of his 1860-1873 Colt Army revolvers several years ago. He did not want to take the chance anyone would fire his highly collectable treasures.
Then there was the alarm system he had in his home and buildings. If the boys had opened the door of the cabin the alarm would have gone off. If they opened a window the alarm would have gone off. The alarm never went off last night.
Carlos had another good belly laugh. He had just let the group sweat out the shooting of the three Mexicans and the possibility of their best Buddy Buzz and MELVIN were the shooters.
The joke playing between Buzz, Carlos and Jackson just had another chapter added to their camaraderie. It was Carlos’s turn to make his buddies sweat.
Everyone let out a big sigh of relief.
After much discussion everyone agreed it would be safe to test Mazennight that night. They all would take a teaspoon of the Mazennight just before they went to bed. Then they would compare their results the next morning.
The next morning they all gathered at Jackson's for a great breakfast. They were all anxious to tell their results but agreed to enjoy the meal first.
After the meal Jackson said he awoke feeling better than he had for many years but he was disappointed in that he did not dream. Everyone else who took Mazennight agreed that they had the same experience. They all felt great but were all disappointed in that none had any vivid dreams.
None had any idea why there was a difference between Buzz and MELVIN'S experience and all the rest of the group. It just didn't make any sense.
No one had any suggestions as to what to do next. There was some though that Buzz and MELVIN should duplicate the experience. Buzz and MELVIN though that might be a way to check the effect of Mazennight but they felt it was not good to waste the healing effect of Mazennight until they were experiencing pain again.
The one thing all agreed on was Buzz's need to deliver the load he had on his truck. Any more tests would have to wait until that project was completed. They asked Amos if he would try to identify the two unknown compounds that were in Mazennight. He said it would be a great challenge that he would love to take on.
So it was that Buzz took 3 pints the Mazennight he had and gave 2 pints to Jackson and one pint to Carlos. He gave Amos about a half pound of raw Stone. Buzz still has 9 pounds of raw Lizard Stone.
Carlos said he would look for more Lizard Stone.
All agreed that no one would take any Mazennight unless they were in serious pain until it makeup was better known and the results could be predicted.
All felt sad as Buzz and MELVIN left the restaurant and climbed aboard the truck. They might not see the boys for a while.
They were about an hour down the road when MELVIN had a runny nose. He reached into his coat pocket to get a paper towel to blow his nose. He felt something like heavy rocks in the pocket. He picked out the largest chunk and brought it out into the open. He was shocked when he saw what the chunk was. He recognized it as the first gold nugget he had panned from the stream on their claim. He saw the same crease in the nugget he was holding that he saw in the first nugget he had found.
He mentioned it to Buzz. Buzz being a safe driver pulled to the side of the road. Once the truck was parked he reached into his pocket and pulled out a large chunk of gold. He was amazed when he looked at it. It was the same nugget he had panned from their streaming in his dream. He pointed to a small depression in the first nugget he had found. He remembered that depression because he could see the details of the rock that had made it.
They both reached into their jacket pocket and pulled out around 10 large nuggets of gold. Each of the boys was holding about 10 ounces of gold nuggets that were exactly the ones they had found in their dreams.
It took Buzz about an hour before he felt settled enough to drive again. He had encountered many very stressful events during his service as a Navy Seal but none quite as shocking as finding gold nuggets in your pocket that you had found in your dreams several nights before.
The boys agreed that they had found something very strange and that it needed more investigation.
As they drove into California they were still talking about their experience. MELVIN ZWICK the great thinker had a brilliant idea. Why don't the boys summarize all the events? He would make a table of the events on his I-Pad. Maybe that would lead to a reason for the different results the group had while taking Mazennight.
And so it went. As the boys thought of an action MELVIN would add it to his table. When they could think of no more action items they started to review the table.
Buzz was the first to hear of the effects of powdered Lizard Stone. His very close buddy and shaman told him of its benefits
Only Buzz and MELVIN had any vivid dreams. None of the others had vivid dreams after taking Mazennight.
Mazen never mentioned the possibility of vivid dreams.
Mazen never mentioned exactly where the Lizard Stone would be found.
The Mazennight had two compounds Amos was not able to identify.
All he group took Mazennight and went to sleep in the quarters.
The boys took the Mazennight while in Carlos's cabin.
Carlos said the Lizard Stone was found while adding on a sleeping quarters to his extra cabin.
MELVIN said wait a minute. Is it possible that we had the vivid dreams after taking Mazennight while we were sleeping over where the Lizard Stone was found? Nome of the others were sleeping over the original spot and none had vivid dreams. We were the only ones with vivid dreams.
Could it be that the dreams have something to do with the closeness to the original source of the Stone?
The boys would not be able to investigate that possibility until they returned to Quartzsite.
Buzz said that after they deliver the current load he would attempt to schedule a haul that would take them back to Quartzsite. Unfortunately that didn't happen.
The boys decided that they should remain together. Buzz offered to sell MELVIN 1/2 of his trucking business. Buzz said there was enough business for two drivers.
Federal law limits the hours a driver can be on the road. With two drivers the truck could be on the road 24/7. One driver could sleep while the truck was driven by the other driver. They both agreed it would be a perfect arrangement.
MELVIN ZWICK accepted the offer. He would provide the necessary funds to buy 1/2 interest in the trucking business.
The load was delivered and a new one taken on. Unfortunately the new trip would not take them near Quartzsite.
The boys delivered many loads up and down the West coast during the next three weeks before they finally were headed back to Quartzsite.
During that time they took Mazennight three times. The excellent pain relief was the same each time but there were no vivid dreams.
They were very excited to discuss their thoughts with the rest of the group.
Buzz had called ahead and had asked Jackson if he could gather the entire group at his place for dinner. Buzz and MELVIN would arrive around 16:00 hours. Jackson said he would take care of the invites and would also put up the saw horses around the parking spot.
Buzz and MELVIN arrived at 16:23. They entered the restaurant to the usually hugs and emotional greetings. This time MELVIN was included in the greeting.
Buzz was very anxious to tell the group about the conclusions he and MELVIN had come to. He figured some of the group could test the conclusions that very night.
The first thing Buzz told that group was that he and MELVIN were now partners in their trucking firm. Every one gave a long round of applause and congratulations.
The next thing Buzz told the group was how they had found around 10 ounces of gold nuggets in their coat pocket. The same nuggets they had panned out of the stream in their dreams.
That brought a shout of amazement from the group. Buzz and MELVIN showed the group the first nuggets they had found in their dreams. They were now pendants hanging on gold chains that were made from the other gold nuggets they had found.
As soon as all were seated around the table Buzz took no time to state that he and MELVIN thought they might have a clue on why only he and MELVIN had had such vivid dreams.
He reminded everyone that he and MELVIN had stayed in Carlos's cabin the night of their vivid dreams. He then said that Carlos had told them that he had found the Lizard Stone while digging the foundation for the sleeping quarters of the cabin.
He then told the group that he and MELVIN think that only those who sleep over the original location of the Lizard Stone would have vivid dreams after taking Mazennight.
He said that some of the group should stay in Carlos's cabin and take Mazennight tonight to test their theory.
Buzz and MELVIN waited for the group’s response. All they saw were very saddened faces.
MELVIN looked at everyone’s faces and asked what was wrong.
Carlos spoke up. He said that two weeks ago a sever rain storm washed the mountain out from under his cabin. They found parts of his cabin 25 miles downstream. The whole side of the mountain where the cabin had been built on was washed away. There was now a hole about 30 feet deep where the original Stone was found. The strange thing about the storm was that it was mainly above his buildings.
He thought for a minute then said when he took Mazennight he was sleeping about 100 feet from where the Stone was found but he never had a vivid dream.
If the boy’s theory was correct the vivid dreams would only come when the person taking Mazennight was sleeping over the original spot.
The boy’s theory would never be able to be tested. The original spot where the Stone was found was now scattered 30 miles down the wash.
The group was silent for a considerable amount of time.
Carlos spoke up and added another weird chapter to the puzzle of the Lizard Stone. He said he bought the land from a family whose ancestors had homesteaded the property.
When he was searching through the land holding records at the County Recorder’s office looking for land to buy he found the homestead record of the land he eventually bought.
He forgot that there was a weird statement written on the land grant record by the homesteader.
The homesteader wrote on the land registration papers that one night when he was camping after looking for land to homestead he was shaken by a weird petrifying occurrence. A large whirling disk with lights on the edge came down from the sky and hovered above the land next to his campsite. It looked like the disk was resting on a pedestal of brilliant light that shown from the disk to the ground. The light was causing the land to smoke. He hid in fear behind a rock until the disk shot into the air and disappeared. The spot where the column of light hit the ground was glowing.
He continued to write that after the fear left he walked to the glowing spot. The glow was slowly leaving. It was too dark to see the spot after the glow was gone.
The next morning he checked the spot again. There was a very large green Stone where the glow had been.
The homesteader took the incident as a sign that he should homestead the land around the green Stone.
Carlos said he didn't find the green Stone when he first checked out the land. He forgot all about it until he dug it up when he dug the foundation for the bedroom addition he added to his guest cabin.
The spot of the Stone was right under the new bedroom.
That caused everyone the stare in amazement. Maybe Buzz and MELVIN were on to something. But the theory would never be able to be tested. The location of the Stone was scattered all the way down the stream bed.
Then Amos spoke up. He had a great big grin on his face. He said all is not lost. He had finally broken down the chemical makeup of the two unknown ingredients of Mazennight. The group should be delighted to know he had taken out a patent in the name of the group on the ingredients and the process he used to create Mazennight in his lab. That gave the group exclusive rights to Mazennight. No one could produce Mazennight without their permission.
He sent a sample of lab created Mazennight to Sam a very good friend of his who is in a top Pharmaceutical company. Sam was head of the pain control department of the company. He had a strong interest in pain control. He had broken his back in a skiing accident and was in constant pain.
Amos told Sam to take a teaspoon of the powder he had sent him.
The next morning Sam called him and excitingly exclaimed he was free of pain for the first time in years.
Amos said he had negotiated a contract with Sam's Pharmaceutical Company. In return for information about Mazennight's patented ingredients and the manufacturing process the company paid the group several million dollars.
He opened up his brief case and took out some paper. He gave Buzz, MELVIN, Jackson, Rocky and Carlos checks for $500,000.
It turned out that the two compounds did not fall under the FDA guide lines. Mazennight could be sold over the counter like vitamins and herbs.
Once the Pharmaceutical Company put the equivalent of Mazennight on the market the group would be getting royalties on the sales.
At that the group gave out many loud shouts. The customers in the restaurant must have thought the group was a bunch of crazies.
Jackson went to work in the kitchen and within minutes served the best Indian fried bread smothered in beans and cheese along with great tamales to the group.
MELVIN suggested that the whole group should share in Carlos's loss and help to rebuild his home and cabin. The suggestion was approved by the group by a loud shout. Jackson placed his right fist thumb up over the table. Buzz grabbed Jackson’s thumb and raised his thumb. MELVIN then Carlos then Amos then Rocky joined in the hand shake.
Rocky asked Buzz and MELVIN about their plans.
Buzz said, I want to clear up a few things in my home in California then I will go to Afghanistan and get Mazen’s ashes. Mazen had no relatives. It is only fitting that as close as we were his remains should come to my home in California. I was the only family he had.”
MELVIN said he would travel with Buzz to California then continue on with his adventures. He also said he would never forget his new found friends. It had been quite an adventure.
All was well with the group.