I have many things to tell you. In your whole lifetime, there never was an occasion when I desired you here so much as I do now. I need you, son, because many things have happened which indicate to me that my last journey is at hand. You will find that I have nothing much to leave you in the way of tangible wealth. I have, however, the satisfaction of knowing that in you I shall live.
I have developed you from boyhood into the sort of man you have become, and I have spared no time or expense to make you just what I think you should be.Everything I have done for you has been with the purpose that you should find yourself capable of carrying on the work which I so hopefully started, and which, in these last few years, has been almost impossibe to carry on.
If I do not see you again before this letter is in your hands, I want to assure you that I appreciate the fact that you have lacked nothing in the way of filial devotion. That you have been absent so much of the time has been a secret source of gratification to me, for your absence has, I know, made you self-reliant and able. It was all that I hoped for you.
Now, as to the heritage which I am about to leave you:
Some twenty years ago, in the company of Hubert Robertson, I went on an expedition to Hidalgo to investigate the report of a prehistoric mine, from which gold was taken by the Mayans, or by some other race that preceded them.
We were told that if we could placate the fierce tribes who inhabited that particular valley in which the mine was located, it would be feasible to secure a grant to work the mine from the then existing government of the country.
We proceeded almost to the valley itself before we were molested, but one afternoon we were surrounded by thousands of natives, whose language was totally unknown to us. They led us into the valley where, much to our surprise, we found that they had erected a great shrine to the sun.
We found them, in the most, a very gentle tribe, with apparently no desire to harm us. We lived with them for three months, and while we were carefully watched, we were perfectly free to go anywhere within the confines of the valley. There came a day, however, when Hubert's knowledge of medicine enabled him to prove to this tribe that we were friendly.
In the meantime, I had discovered that the ancient mine was directly under their shrine. Of course, it would have been considered sacrilege by the natives had we made any attempt to explore it. From the material of which the shrine was made, however, I am convinced that it is the richest bit of ground on God's green footstool, for the shrine is literally built of gold.
Realizing the utter futility of attempting anything then, we took our departure when we were permitted to do so. A large party of the natives accompanied us for almost one hundred miles. We had instruments which enabled us to determine the geographical position of the valley. Thereupon we proceeded to use every bit of influence we had to obtain grants from the government.
Things were going along well enough until our plans were laid before the cabinet. Then we met sudden opposition from some unknown source, and it was only with extreme labor that we secured the right to mine the gold for ninety-nine years, upon payment to the government of twenty-five per cent of the takings. The papers are all with this letter.
Upon our return to America, I became involved in other big deals and never did quite solve the problem of how to get the gold out of that valley. And, in addition, I experienced some slight difficulty with the government concerning the grants. Since Hubert's death- and now I fear that his end was not entirely natural- attempts have been made to annul the grant, to lessen its duration, or add some other provision. The government refused to furnish any help in quelling the natives, or cooperate in any way.
Therefore I am passing this along to you as a doubtful heritage. It may be a heritage of woe. It may be a heritage of destruction to you if you attempt to capitalize on it. On the other hand, it may enabe you to do many things for those who are not so fortunate as yourself, and will, in that way, be a boon for you in carrying on your work of doing good to all.
All I can say is, "There is the treasure. It is yours, if you can take
it, and may God be with you."
Your Affecionate father,