Devotional 1/24: Nevada Smith and the Secret Treasure Part 1
Nevada Smith was a film starring Steve McQueen from 1966. I imagine that is where Steven Speilberg and/or George Lucas got the inspiration for the name, Indiana Jones. However, with respect to Steve McQueen and/or Harold Robbins, I would like to tell a story about him. You can consider it fan-fiction if you choose (no copyright infringement is intended or attempted). However, in some ways, i think it parallels Steve McQueen’s story.
Nevada Smith sat drinking a cold beer from an unwashed glass in a dirty bar, in a dusty town. The heat of the day was oppressive. But Nevada did not notice. His thoughts were elsewhere, they were in paradise. It was supposed to be the treasure of treasures, this treasure he had heard about. For Nevada, it was going to be the source of everything he ever wanted. With this treasure he was told, he would never be hungry or thirsty and he could leave a legacy for his family. Also, he believed that with THIS treasure, he would find true love.
Now, many of his friends had told him that the treasure did not exist. “Come on, Nevada” They would say. “The treasure is just in your mind or that, “Its too good to be true”. Some would even laugh at him, calling him a ‘dreamer’. Admittedly, he doubted it himself sometimes but the story had come from some people he trusted. His own mother had heard of it and talked about it. He had talked to others and some confirmed the treasure’s existence and others looked at him like he was just simple. Some of those who say they have seen the treasure were good people, some bad trying to be good, all were just human. Some of them who talked about the treasure wanted help him find it but Nevada said, “No, if the gold will shine for you, then it will shine for me!” Anyway, sometimes he thought most of them were full of whiskey or sniffing swamp fumes or seeing things or something akin to all that. He even once met one fella who claimed to have seen the treasure but then left it all behind and did not actually use any of it. Nevada just shook his head at that one.
His mother, the others had offered him a map many times, but he had turned it down. “I will find my own way”, he would say. Besides, he could not make heads or tails of the map anyway. There was always someone saying that the map was too old or that it was historically and scientifically inaccurate. He did not know what that meant, a map is a map, right? It does not change! A mountain is still a mountain and a river is still a river, even a long time afterwards.
‘Clip-Clap’ went the ping-pong match in his mind. ‘If the story is true, I will be rich, If the story is not true, I might as well paint my face white, put a red nose on, and wear a funny costume because I will truly be a fool’ he thought. The sunlight in the bar started to dim as he nervously shifted back and forth in his old, nearly worn-out boots.
His boots were worn-out from a lot of walking. He had been chasing treasures for a long time. The soles were worn way-down from hoping he had found something real and taking it around with him various places, hoping that would last. He looked out of the bar at the sand on the street, the final resting place of all of the treasures he had found. He went outside and picked up a handful of sand and watched it flow through his fingers. He laughed to himself and went back in and sat down. He looked around at the barmaid, Sally and took another swig of whiskey from the dirty glass. “Yes, this is sure nicer than being in a downpour and without a hat on but if the owner of that treasure left that for me, then I aims to get it!” ,he said to no one particular.
He sat the glass down and stood up again. A shrill, female voice from across the room echoed his thoughts as he started for the door, “Oh looksee, Nevada is out to find another treasure, maybe it is in my dress!” She looked down her cleavage. Everyone laughed, except Nevada. Tom, an old local, said, “Boy, you is going to deny yourself women, drink, relax here, you ain’t got no sense! There aint nothing outs there!” “Theres something. I can feel it in my bones this time, this time I am going to find it!” Again, they all laughed at him.
He thought, ‘the answer must lie in the map. With the throwing of clothes, papers, and other things in his little room,above the bar, he found his map. It was not easy to approach it again, it was so frustrating! Many times he had tried to understand it. He sighed. One more time. He tried a little bit of it. Maybe, just maybe he could get some sense out of it, maybe this time it would click. Then he punched his hat. He had an ephiany. John would know. John was your buddy, your friend. John. He could depend on John to explain the map. But John was over there in the jail in the town of Patmos, WY serving a looonnnnnggg sentence and that was a loooonnnngg hike. He had better get going.