Rosa told him before she died that the ruin marked on a 1720 map of the Spanish land grant had been “dislocated.”  Chocky just she meant mis-located and they already knew that.

The three-story adobe structures of the ancient pueblo had melted into a low hill and convenient corner landmark for the original claimants. But in 1910 the boundary of the new Cozy Y Ranch and fence line was a half-mile from where the ruin had been. It was a fortunate mistake for the villagers as it significantly reduced the size of the Colonel’s claim, excluding the village of Escadero itself.

The actual site was fenced and forgotten. The gas station next to it was a booming concern until they built the freeway. Then Uncle Johnny turned it into a junk yard and within five years it was covered in dead cars, refrigerators and tires.

Chocky bought the site after Johnny died and couldn’t dig a post hole without hitting artifacts. When he began building his sculpture of wrecked cars and buses he found a kiva, an underground religious chamber. Sadie and Cat were watching him from his porch while he dug for a foundation support when they heard him yell and saw the little backhoe disappear in a puff of dust.

The exposed walls were covered in elaborate paintings. After retrieving the equipment and photographing the walls they backfilled the hole with soft sand.
He didn’t notify anyone. Technically he didn’t have to. He hadn’t found a burial and this was private land. And, given Alva’s treasure hunt hysteria, the place would be crawling with people.

From what Rosa had told him, this was a secret with profound implications. He needed to think things through.


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