The Rudiments of Sucess
by: A.R. Jameson
“I assure you, this site shall be a place of exceptional profit,” Lester Bryant said as he stood with the local sheriff atop a ridge, staring out over an apparently worthless looking spot of land. “More than enough for any one man.”
The Sheriff looked as well, but apparently didn’t see the same potential beneath the frost covered ground. “I don’t see nothing. You sure there’s gold here?”
“Not gold, my friend, but black ore!”
Now the Sheriff frowned. “Ore? You said it was some kind of black gold.”
“A metaphor. This ore is far more valuable than gold.”
The Sheriff scratched his head. “What makes it worth so much?”
Lester had to resist the urge to smack himself in the face. He had to admit, the man sounded a level more intelligent in their correspondence. Now he was beginning to think the letters were written by a different hand.
“The way of the future, my man! Soon it shall replace coal in nearly every application.”
“Oh,” the Sheriff said, as if a sudden revelation had been revealed to him. “I remember now. Saw it in the paper. Some inventor out east used it to power a locomotive for the first time.”
“Precisely so, and before long every locomotive will be using it, along with the rest of the industrial world. However the supply for it is still woefully low. I intend to rectify that.”
“How much you reckon to make?”
“Oh, my estimation lies somewhere in the millions, I assure you.” Lester in fact had no idea how much was here, but details were hardly worth scrutinizing over.
The Sheriff stared out across the expanse of land once more. “I can hide your operations well enough, just as soon as I get on your pay roll. One question, though.”
Lester resisted a grimace. He knew the question already. “How you plan on hauling all this back unnoticed?”
“Simple logistics, my good man. We shall hire out convicts to perform the work at minimal cost, boosting both your profits and my own. They shall work under the guise of a clean up crew for some bio-hazard your department will cook up. Then it’s just a matter of hauling it out in government sealed crates, remove the seals, then ship ’em off to the processing plants.” Lester felt a swell of pride as he put forth his plans. It was a good plan, no denying that.
The sheriff looked satisfied. “Looks like you’ve got all the angles covered, huh?”
“Most definitely! So you can relax with confidence in this operation. Do we have a deal?”
Marshal Biggs smirked. “I think I’ve got everything I need!”
He then pulled out his revolve, blew Lester’s brains out and proceeded to dance from foot to foot, shooting wildly into the air.
“I’m rich, rich I tells ya! Yeehawwww!”