Stephan Finds a Blaze…

The following story is from Stephan The Pants-less Pirate

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED APRIL 2012

Stephan here, aka Stephan Of Dubious Pants-less Attire, or as my fellow pirates call me, Stephan, Our-Supreme, If Somewhat Less Than Acute (ie Obtuse), Buccaneer-in-Chief.  I am actually the bona-fide and de-facto leader of a desperate and scabrous gang of treasure hunters, roaming far and wide over the hinterlands of our great Southwest in search of Forrest Fenn’s Fabulous Treasure.  We  delight in laying waste to the hearts of beautiful young mountain maids whilst also shaking down unsuspecting school lads for their lunch money.

And in all seriousness, you write an excellent blog.  Mr. Fenn told me you are a fine writer, and I must agree.

I didn’t tell you, but we call ourselves the Dark Velvet Knights of Rio Chamita.  But since we are actually PIRATES only thinly disguised as knights, our impeccable code of honor requires that we volley back at you, sir, a blistering broadside in response to some recent remarks you made in that thar blog o’ yers about Stephan The-Magnificent-Kind-Of.

First of all, we are all fully capable of both finding and donning our pants, at least some of the time.  Unless we happened to spend a riotous evening the night before playing backgammon and drinking lemon seltzer.  Then all bets are off.  You see, as soon as we pull out our boards and starting throwing the dice, the comely lasses thereabouts just can’t resist our sinister smiles as we casually and carelessly flick our wrists, all devil-may-care-like.  And of course all the men fear us, as they stand agog while we quaff un-godly amounts of lemon seltzer far into the wee hours of the morning.  After that, it is indeed difficult to even find one’s pants, let alone don them.  So I must admit that you have us there.

But you see, a very curious thing happened one day after just such a licentious evening.  We arose late, our gang, and yes we were frightful to behold.  Pants were strewn everywhere, and some of us have yet to figure out what that second trouser is for, so I leave it to your imagination.  It was winter, quite cold, and so we regaled ourselves with porterhouse steaks and steamed spinach before setting out into the frigid dawn.  We decided pants-less was best, given our natural inclination for honest penance after wanton debauchery.  And soon, or course, I felt icicles forming relentlessly on my knobby knees.

We decided our best course of action was to confront this Forrest Fenn fellow directly, so we trundled ourselves into the Collected Works Bookstore, and calmly waited as we pretended to be interested in all dem hoity-toity books they got in thar.  That took some gumption, I can tell you, because it seems that pants-less attire must needs attract plentiful attention.  But we were unswayed, and at last we spied a ten-gallon hat, and we knew that the Texas Gentleman would soon be ours.

Yep, he did put up quite a fight, knocking all the framed Oliphant Cartoons off the wall, but soon he was subdued, and as the barista under-study wailed, we spirited him off in our trusty ’82 Honda hatchback.

We had a room ready for Mr. Fenn, and I can tell you, surrounded by desperate blackguards disguised as knights, poor Mr. Fenn was quite at his wits ends at first.  You see, we had taken special care to hang the most atrocious modern art floor-to-ceiling in our little interrogation room, and we had Garth Brooks blaring on the speakers.  We knew that Mr. Fenn, as a Texas man, grew up listening to the likes of Hank Williams Sr. and Johnny Cash, so we figured some modern country music rubbish might really rub him the wrong way.  And certainly all that awful art would make him crack like an egg.

Boy, were we wrong.  That intrepid gentleman didn’t even flinch.  So we gathered in a corner and decided that truly onerous measures were in order.   So out came the fried-pineapple pie.  Mr. Fenn looked wary at first, but after a couple of slices, we knew we had him.  He started muttering something about warm water, and brown trout, and we took careful notes.  Soon we had Mr. Fenn safely back in Santa Fe, and he gave us hearty congratulations on our baking abilities as we sped off into the frosty mountains with our hard-won clues.

Well, it wasn’t long before we found ourselves staggering around in the middle of nowhere, in thigh-deep snowdrifts.  Now, for the uninitiated, I don’t recommend that you do this without pants.  But we, bold adventurers all, were undaunted.

The day waned, and lo, a cry of triumph rang out from Pierre le Moche, my stalwart, if somewhat difficult to look at, lieutenant (I’m partial to the French, you see)  He pointed, trembling.  And the attached photo is part of what he saw…

Well, Dal, I can tell you that FF is accompanied by some other very interesting carving, nicely and precisely grouped. The carving isn’t that old, and not that new, and there isn’t any other carving around anywhere.  You see, it is a very remote spot.  I might bet my entire vintage pants collection that you would be interested to know what the other carving said.  But that will have to wait.  You can be sure that I carefully and clearly solved all clues in the poem, in a way that even all those school lads we frisked could understand.  And if my solution turns out to be wrong, I will give you all my pants if you don’t agree that all of my clues and deductions fit perfectly.

And by the way, that email of mine which you posted was only a small part of the story of that particular day…

Nope, I haven’t found the treasure, but there is still lots of snow in the high country, and pants-less pirates do after all prefer the warm spring sun on their knobby knees.

Best wishes to you and truly, I do admire your blog.

Stephan

PS That other photo is me with a couple of yellowtail tuna. It’s from my pirate-knight apprentice days.   I thought you might like it as well.