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Rebel Treasure tenth post

Rebel Treasure tenth post

INT. THE SLIDELL GARAGE
Morgan enters by the side door, taking care to shut it behind him. He crosses to where the tools are hung on the wall and gathers together two shovels and a pick.
A huge glass jar sits on its side on a work bench in front of the wall of tools. A heap of gold coins lies where it was poured from the jar, and two neat stacks rise from the jumble. He stops briefly to admire the treasure on his way back to the door.After passing out the door, he stops on the outside to lock it. Further back in the shadows along the same wall, we see the body of cousin Toby, hung by its heels from the rafter.

EXT. THE TREASURE SITE – LATER
An eager Mrs. Slidell moves from one side of the fresh pit to the other, as the boys finish setting up a tripod from which they suspend the line from the winch mounted on the bumper of Morgan’s SUV.

MRS. SLIDELL
Morgan, be careful!

MORGAN
Don’t fret, Ma.

Morgan starts the winch and Ben and Riley guide a Wells Fargo strongbox up and out of the hole. The tripod groans under the weight.
When it’s safely out they crowd around all googly-eyed. Ben opens the hasp and throws back the lid. Gold bars, stamped with the Confederate seal, fill every square inch.

RILEY
Do you think we better get this to a bank right away?

MRS. SLIDELL
The kitchen will do just fine.

INT. SLIDELL RANCH HOUSE – KITCHEN
Mrs. Slidell turns a gold bar over and over in her hands, examining it. Before her the table is heaped with the contents of the Wells Fargo strongbox. Riley and Morgan enter each carrying gold bars.

MORGAN
These are the last of them, ma! Looks like you can now pay off the mortgage.

MRS. SLIDELL
Won’t that be a blessing!

She places the bar she’s been holding into its place with the rest, taking care to arrange it just so.

RILEY
I’m going to go give Ben a hand with the box.

Riley exits.

MRS. SLIDELL
Two treasures in less than twenty-four hours.

Morgan is pained by her observation.

MORGAN
Well, I hadn’t gotten around to that side of the house yet, ma. I would have found it.

MRS. SLIDELL
Maybe. And maybe not! I think our Mr. Gates bears close watching. It may be quite profitable.

MORGAN
For the Knights of the Golden Circle, you mean.

MRS. SLIDELL
Of course! Don’t be a ninny!

Ben and Riley enter, each bearing an end of the strongbox. They place it on the floor with a CLUNK.

MORGAN
So! No sign of any papers?

Ben reaches inside the box and raps the bottom. With a knowing smile he pulls up on some straps that release the false bottom, causing “oohs” and “aahs” from all watching.

INSERT
In between the reinforcements in the bottom are indeed papers: maps, bills, pictures, and wrapped in a fine mesh cloth is a book of some sort. With care Ben removes it from its resting place.

BACK TO SCENE
Ben removes the cloth with equal care and opens the book.

BEN
(flipping pages)
Judging by the dates, it’s a log Turner kept during the war.

Mrs. Slidell rummages through one of the drawers and comes up with a large size zip lock bag.

MRS. SLIDELL
Here, take this for your papers.

Ben and Riley retrieve the papers and slip them carefully into the plastic bag, all that is, except the logbook. That Ben keeps in a death-grip.

MRS. SLIDELL (CONT’D)
I suppose you will be returning home now? Where is home, for you?

BEN
Just outside Baltimore. And yes, we will be returning, as soon as we can catch a flight. Could we hop a ride to the airport?

Mrs. Slidell picks up the same gold bar she’d been handling earlier and passes it to Ben, much to the disapproval of her son.

MRS. SLIDELL
Here. Take this, I want you to have it. You’ll see that it’s different from all the rest.

Ben feels its heft, its solidity brings a smile to his lips. This one, instead of the Confederate seal, has San Francisco mint markings and the date 1860.

BEN
Thank you, Mrs. Slidell. I don’t know what to say.

MRS. SLIDELL
“Thanks” is just fine.

Riley picks up the false bottom and turns it over. He notices something, and so does Morgan.

MORGAN
Hey, that’s another map, isn’t it?

Ben takes the artifact from Riley. And they all look over his shoulder.

BEN
There’s that JJ combination again. And here’s a Masonic symbol, one that was shared by the KGC. Ever hear of them?

MRS. SLIDELL
You mean that old soviet spy organization?

MORGAN
No, ma. Not KGB, he said KGC.
(to Ben)
The KGC was some Confederate group wasn’t it?

BEN
Yes, and Lon Turner was a former member.

MORGAN
That makes sense.

BEN
This caption here – Sha-co-na-qe – the Cherokee word for the Smoky Mountains gives us a place.

MORGAN
Just over in Tennessee, huh?

Mrs. Slidell takes the map and holds it up close to her face.

MRS. SLIDELL
Mr. Gates, instead of returning by plane, would you like to swing by this place and check it out?
My son was driving back to DC today, anyway.

Ben looks at Riley, and Riley looks at Ben.

BEN
If you would excuse us for a minute.

They step out onto:

EXT. SLIDELL RANCH HOUSE – BACK PORCH

RILEY
So, what are you thinking?

BEN
I feel like we’re hot on a trail of bread crumbs.

RILEY
Having visions of rebel submarines?

BEN
The way I see it, I need to follow up every possibility. Let’s see what kind of deal we can make.

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About rwoz2

Poet, historian, writer for stage and screen. Responder to Jesus (Romans 5:8)

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