Stephan Finds a Blaze…

The following story is from Stephan The Pants-less Pirate


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.


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.

18 thoughts on “Stephan Finds a Blaze…

  1. Hi Dal…another fun post! Loved reading it. Even if you don’t find the treasure, you’re certainly meeting the most interesting people, no?

    • Hey Irene-
      Its true…interesting people galore! I live on a small island and although we have our fair share of characters, the folks I’ve run into because of Forrest’s treasure are a superior lot. I guess they get out more than islanders.

  2. I may have to go out west just to have the hopes of seeing the pantsless pirates. Could be a treasured memory in it’s own right. Great blog Dal.

  3. Stephan here. Me and the lads just got back from a-hunting that thar treasure. Now it seems that I will also henceforth be called Stephan The-Compass-Less, and me lads are giving me many a surly look. It seems that we got utterly lost for a bit this afternoon, not a happy state for fun-lovin’ pirate-knights, because the mountains don’t care for foolishness, and greenhorns can pay dearly. So, in all seriousness, be careful all you treasure hunters, take your gps with you wherever you go!

  4. I don’t have a gps, Yikes! How did you get out of being lost Stephan The-Compass-Less? I’m thinking of bringing some breadcrumbs with. I think I remember hearing that would work.

  5. Stephan The-Compass-Less was struck with acutelessness, and hard rain which obscured the sun. So he circled and fretted with stomach a-churning, and dumb-luckedly then came the sun! From which a direction, unevenly plotted, was sufficient to get the job done!

  6. Stephan(I’m attracted to your name, but I feel it’s missing something) The-Compass-Less, I appreciate your candor on how you escaped such a predicament. Although, It seems to me that your still holding back just a bit as you obviously have some ancient secret powers. You “circled and fretted” does not typically stop rain. If you ever REALLY feel like helping fellow searchers, you should share with us this “stop the rain dance” you speak of.

  7. Stephan here, back at you, Stephanie! Me, I’m kind of into this modern arty, less is more kind of thing. So, for example, when I place my steady pirate hand to the canvas, I try to leave as little paint as possible. Like most highly profound and deeply substantiative modern artists, I try to let my words speak for me as much as possible, and my artwork not at all! Which is why of course I call myself Stephan, and not Stephanie. Those two extra letters would just get in the way of the profound message which is “Stephan”! Although I must say that when we pirate-knights go into our woodshop to make custom doors, we call our style Neo-Medieval, and it seems that birds, figures, flowers, and all that kind of nonsense just seems to come out despite our best efforts. If you want to see some of our work, you can go to Russell is just a figure head, I saw that name once in a proto -Germanic rune and i liked it. Which is funny, because some of the other carving I found on that thar tree of mine is definitely runes!

    As far as that “Stopping the Rain Dance” goes, that was learned way back in the 70’s after watching countless episodes of “Soul Train”.

    • WOW!
      Thanks for sharing your art with us. Those are magnificent. I note that you apparently wear pants when you carve.


      • Stephan and the lads send many thanks. We are busy toiling in ye olde wood shop, and cunningly crafting our next bold adventure!

  8. Pirate Stephan(adding ie adds a very exquisite flavor to the soul, in my opinion..might want to try it for a day even). I probably should not read treasure hunting blogs after two glasses of wine(I don’t really drink…so you can see my dilemma as to if I should continue). I did look at those doors and I think I “eye spied” an FF in one of them which made me wonder. So as I wonder here at 8:20pm at night central time(<—wine speaking, time really means nothing), I have to believe you are from another dimension and possibly from Pittsburgh originally and you were covered up by Forrest's thumb. Have you noticed you speak in a dual personality? This giving you access to knowing things that I don't(I live near Chicago and have never been covered up…by a pilot). Ok, where am I going with this? I might have to contact you in a more sober state to gain access to your thinking. By the way, those doors are amazing!! I actually did woodworking before and owned a lathe till a log decided to attack me(bad log). I then sold it, but I love wood and love all things artsy. Wow, do I appreciate your talent. So very cool.
    Stephanie <—was never really into soul train…but love to dance!…just never danced in the rain before. Maybe I'll try that this weekend as we're supposed to get some.

  9. @Dal of course I do. I have an fondness for pirate door carvers, also blogging aficionado documentary film makers, and a weakness for Air Force Pilot Art Dealers. I thought those were on every girls list of pleasant distractions.
    I couldn’t reply under your last comment…there’s no reply link under you for some reason. Must mean your the final word?

  10. Mornin Dal, (and Stephan 😉 )

    Seems to me that if I were to come up on such a seemingly obviously “blaze” I wouldn’t leave until my pockets were full. Alas, Stephan has not (or may not) inform us of anything. I just don’t happen to thin Forrest would be that obvious. I think he’d toy with us until the bitter end. I’ll let you know here in a few weeks tho. 🙂

    • Thanks Mark-
      Hope to hear more about your expedition. Some folks think Forrest’s clues are very cryptic. Others think they may be so obvious as to be missed…like hiding the butter on the top shelf of the refrigerator…right in plain sight…no one ever looks there and if they do, they do not have any expectations of finding anything…

    • Hi Mark and Dal,

      I will most certainly reveal the rest of my carving sometime, maybe soon. Some pirates do believe in sharing, after all, and I am certain you would find the remainder of the carving much less obvious than FF but very intriguing indeed as accompaniment to FF. In my humble pirate opinion, I believe Mr. Fenn to be both brilliantly obvious and obscurely cryptic at the same time! Good day to you, and happy hunting!


      PS- Dal, I enjoyed your harrowing account of your last adventure very much!

  11. Just recently entered the world that you all frequent. Across the blogs, clues, poems, and sites are people I could see myself buying a beer for. I’m not as eloquent as you all, but wow do you seem like my kind of people.
    I tell my Daughters all the time that they are weird and goofy. They reply in kind that they got it from me, and it makes me smile every time. Now I just need to keep them from world domination… It’s Mine!
    Thanks for all the words each and every one of you have uttered here in the inter webs. My days are definitely brighter for reading them!

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