During seven years of research for the book, this was the only source that I found for the accurate bullion weight. I had photographed a Provincial Police letter in the Royal BC Archives that listed the weights but they didn’t add up properly. Human error can be found where you least expect it. Eventually I browsed through all the reports from the Boundary Historical Society as found online. That’s where I found this gem of information. Shortly after the robbery, Chief Constable McMynn in Midway, BC sent a letter to the Spokane, Washington Police Chief in the off chance that someone tried to sell one or three rough bullion bars. By giving the accurate weights, there would have been enough cause to hold a suspect for further questioning. Court records indicate the smallest bar was sold to a jeweller in Seattle. We can then be certain the two lost bars weigh 258 and 272.5 troy ounces respectfully, an impressive 530.5 ounces at 625 fines or per cent purity.
Publishing the book and learning about marketing has left me busy, broke, and staying close to home. I should be camping in Rock Creek canyon and enjoying the health benefits of bonding with nature. Those were great times as I explored and appreciated every moment of it. But age changes the body in so many ways. Get out there and enjoy nature while you can. And carry a copy of my book along to follow the treasure map. Take a selfie at the Bre-X shack and I will set up a venue for that purpose. Be safe.
I am in the process of getting ten copies ready to mail out to the lucky winners. My humble book attracted 1804 entrants for which I am grateful. Only one Canadian was among the winners. The contest was open to Canadian and US residents but there was no way to select five winners in each country. Winners were scattered across the two countries and all women. Thanks ladies. Now guys, put my book on your winter reading list so you can go treasure hunting next year.
Starting August 1, Chasing Stolen Gold went live on Amazon.com. It will follow in Canada, the U.K. and other countries over the next week. The “Look Inside” feature is live but only shows up to page 14 with some pages missing. My understanding is this will increase up to 20% but as I have yet to contact a human there, so we shall see. The high price is due to color printing costs and wide distribution. Freight costs are hurting us all. My royalty per book is five dollars and change so please don’t shoot the messenger. My hope is that libraries and brick and mortar stores will take notice. But if you’re looking for a treasure map, there has never been a better time.
This Young’s Weeping Birch grows on the grounds of the old Insane Asylum in New Westminster, BC, about one kilometer east of my apartment. I see it as a former patient, firmly rooted in the past, trying to escape the institution.
Treasure hunting has greater perils in winter. But the serenity and absolute silence are worth the risk especially for an old man determined to receive the benefits of forest bathing. While the adventure cost me everything I had, the call couldn’t be ignored.
Winter has returned to once again securely lock the two gold bars in nature’s protective vault. This image is years old; I don’t know the current amount of snow in the canyon. This old man wishes he were once again there to absorb the absolute silence nature allowed me to absorb into my soul. Urban life is saturated with noise that rarely subsides. I walk streets spotted with dog urine and poop, some in bags. If I stopped to relieve myself on a tree, I’d be ticketed or at least chastised by anyone who saw the infraction. Oh sweet rural lifestyle, I miss you. But I had to be where great doctors worked their miracles so for now, I stay. When my end comes in perhaps a decade, maybe two, let it be in the silence of nature, under a sky studded with a million stars. Please.
Yet it must be done so I persist, the stubborn Englishman within clashing with the German side of my limited abilities. There is an overwhelming tide of online articles and more printed books than I imagined. I waded carefully through a number of potential books that were rated, removed the ones more than seven or eight years old, and read some of the reviews. They helped me to narrow my choices down to two that are due at my door tomorrow. Already returned a “small sized, limited number of pages” book that had every sentence and headline double-spaced. I need information that I can understand, not white space for doodles and thoughts. (Update: one of the two new arrivals featured the same style-too much empty space).
Learning is good for the senior brain, I’ve heard. Good for all brains, actually. Life is like that. If you’re not moving forward by learning, you’re moving backward or stagnating. In my agricultural years gone now over two decades ago, monthly magazines were the method of keeping up on the latest trend or repair. And hockey rink visits. Today, having so much information available at my keyboard is a good thing, if I can put it to proper use. So I struggle on, hopeful to learn the basics and move forward.
I also try to live my senior years in as slow a motion as possible, keep busy but not overly so in hopes each day doesn’t pass by too quickly. Life is like a roll of toilet paper; the closer you get to the end, the quicker it goes. C’est la vie.
If publishing a book seems to take forever for you, it does to me too. I’m trying to give the reader the best possible experience and that means as few errors as possible. A talented lady has designed the interior layout and I am pleased with her progress. We have had much contact in our back and forth exchanges to be error free. 85,000 words and more than 200 pictures takes some effort. To increase the book’s appeal, it’s in 8.5 x 11 inch format with full color except for the old photos. Museums and libraries have allowed me to use many images, for a fee, but again, I think it helps to tell the story. At this point, the book might be available in a week, maybe two. I think it will be worth the wait and look forward to online reviews, well the good ones at least. The maps alone should be worth your hard earned dollars. But whether you venture into the forest or read the story from home, I think most will enjoy the adventure. I sure did.