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This story was written long ago about a beautiful gold inlaid bead that the author found while living in northern Nevada. It is written from the perspective that the bead is sentinent and can relate it's travels through time to the reader.......



Journey of the Golden Bead

By: David L. Souers



It is the year of our lord, 1707 a. d. The setting is Amsterdam, Holland. My creator, one Hans Von Noble has finally placed the final finishing touches of gold leaf to my intricately designed surface. This artist's aura shall be my strongest perception for as long as I shall exist. After all, was it not this craftsman who chose the proper silica to mold my body, the heady design that would make me such a valuable trade item to the Amerinds of the New World?
Darkness is all around. I sense movement, am tossed to and fro. I remain a prisoner of the French trappers that have purchased me as one of their trade items for their New World operations. I begin to wonder if I shall ever see any sights other than the bottom of the ocean….. Unknown to me, we have sailed into the St. Lawerence River and soon dock at the future site of what would become the city of Montreal.
Light! I am free to observe my surroundings. My first impressions are beginning to register. The traders do little talking, but much hand waving and gesturing is taking place. It finally dawns on me that I am the subject of a very animated bargaining session. After protracted, last minute details, I meet my new owner. As he peers into my dusky interior, turning me over and about in his strong calloused hand, I feel the sense of awe he holds for my cryptic golden design. The French trader chuckles a little as he begins to load the fine beaver pelts into his freighter canoe, but no conflict arises as both parties are quite pleased with themselves.
In the ensuing months, I learn much about my new owner. Three feathers is his name, and much prestige has been earned by the acquisition of my, to him, heavenly self. His wife Sweet Bird sighs passionately when they make love. Usually she watches as I dance about Three Feathers’ neck in the throes of his passion. We hunt the whitetailed deer in the meadows, go to parlays at the fort, and fish for the mighty mackinaw trout in the crystal clear lakes. All is well for I am treasured.
The following winter was both a sad and a strange one for Three Feathers. Sweet Bird falls to a plague of the white man, and in his ensuing sorrow, Three Feathers is convinced to leave his homeland to guide the trappers to the western regions in search of waters that still teem with shining pelts. Heading west by southwest they soon pass the last of the great inland seas, and the place that will someday be known to the “White-eyes” as Duluth.
Three Feathers is now consumed by the desire to possess one of the “thunder sticks” of the white men. He prepares his supply of pelts and other trade goods to acquire one of the magical weapons. When the trading is completed, the Arapaho trader grins broadly and places my intricately braided loop about his neck, loads the pile of pelts on his pack horse, gives the hand signal for farewell to Three Feathers, and my westward journey continues.
The days become seasons, the seasons become years. We visit many tribes and our entourage grows under the watchful eye of the shrewd trader. Lone Horse is his name, and with him I see many things.
We are on a mountain in what is to become eastern Nevada, near a clear sweet spring far up on the side of a beautiful mountain, waiting for the mule deer to show himself. Lone Horse draws the hammer of the ancient flintlock back and takes careful aim at what he hopes will become his trail rations for the next week. Gently he squeezes the trigger, and with a thunderous roar….. the deer is his! Unknown to him, the much abraded cord that suspends me below his throat, parts as he stands to retrieve his kill, and I fall without a sound to the soft dirt below his feet.
For nearly two centuries my only company is the wild life that abounds here, and the occasional woodcutters that pass my way. None notice me until the day that a man and his wife wander past my resting place, searching for the small artifacts that litter the ground near me. Many braves have waited near the spring over the centuries for game to come to the water. Often they would replace a broken arrowhead while waiting, and the broken discards were the objects being sought. The woman stepped over me and continued on her way. Several minutes later the man approached and picked me up. His incredulous admiration is an all consuming emotion. I am found!
My new home is excellent. I command a prominent place, and all who gaze upon my beauty express open admiration. All is well, for I am treasured……….
Many years later my owner decides to send me to a new place where I will also be treasured by his good friends. They are young, and will always hold me in the highest regard. Soon I cross the Atlantic Ocean once again only this time it is far below, and I am soon proudly displayed in my new owners home. Each one who comes to see me, exclaims at my beauty and wonderful travels through time. Once again, all is well for I am truly treasured!