Morning came soon enough. Though fall had settled in, today the sun was out like a shadow of summer spreading its beams onto the valley reminding the animals to prepare for a new season. Goldsmith didn’t sleep all that well and rousted himself out of bed to look for some morning coffee. He wasn’t sure he wanted to face the crowd at Mammy’s and poked at his wood stove coals to warm his hands. Feeling somewhat responsible, he decided to wander down to Mammy’s and listen to the feedback. Draining the last drop from his coffee cup, as if it was a necessary chore, he slowly wandered down to the sounds of familiar voices and the smell of fresh apple pie, made for the day. He wandered in and all eyes were on him. “Mornin’,” he declared a little self-consciously. “Sit on over here, friend, “Black Jack stated, without reserve. ” These were good folk” Goldsmith thought to himself. “Salt of the earth”. He found his familiar seat as Mammy poured his fresh coffee and handed him a piece of pie. “Well now, whatya make of it?” Black Jack said in his loud booming voice. Several eyes now directly looking at Goldsmith. ” Well Jack, I can’t say that I can figure this out yet. I went over all the plans of the mine, the history and the maps and they all directly say the last owners of the mine were the locals themselves, and they had passed.” Black Jack took another long sip of his warm coffee, “Hmmmnnn aha,” was all he said. The room was quiet for a few minutes as if everyone was thinking what to do.
To no one’s notice, the orphaned boy, Matt, was sweeping the floor. He earned a small wage and Mammy fed him three square meals per day which kept him alive.
He listened to the chatter about the mine, no one remembered it was his father who held the last deed to the land. He had died so long ago, it seemed, and his mother not too long since, due to the fever that came and went a few years back. In fact he had forgotten about it too, in his deep grief. ” What had his mother said to him on her deathbed? ” he thought. And where was the letter she had given him, to open after she was gone? It all came to him in an instant, like an old memory, a gush of pain startled his thinking. “Mammy! I have to go!” was all he said and ran out the door, to staring eyes that followed him.