It wasn't the surveyors' fault the Colonel couldn't read maps.
Commissioner Simpson takes after his great-grandfather that way. Can't read a map worth a shit. When he looks at lines on paper that aren't words or numbers, he just blanks-out - freaks out. Which is pretty funny for someone in real estate. He's also got no sense of direction. Couldn't find his own house at night if it wasn't for Ace. It's part of why he pays him so much - Ace is a bully who can find north.
Colonel Simpson was only interested in getting the survey done for the title insurance. It had been over twenty years since the court of land claims had ruled in his favor and now his creditors were hounding him for something of value. There had never been more than a "metes and bounds" description of the grant that went something like: at a boulder on a corner of another grant, go east so many leagues to another boulder next to a tree or to a pueblo ruin - that kind of thing. That kind of thing, exactly.
If either the Colonel or his grandson, Alva, had known about the stuff in the shed they would have had it hauled off to the dump. Alva in particular had no use for history. After his mother Consuela died, he had emptied the Perea hacienda and disposed of her collections, including three colonial era wooden trunks and two boxes of retablos from the Las Lomas church. They were rescued from the landfill by a man who had once served as an altar boy at the church and recognized them immediately.
But Alva, at least, figured out what the Colonel hadn't about the grant corner and the villagers' deception.