The Spirit of Spanish Ridge
The harness trace chains clanked and jingled like sleigh bells as the rancher walked his plow team to the grove where he was working. He was trying to clear a wagon road to the upper pasture and the stream. Cutting trees and clearing stumps was hard work, compounded by the searing heat and incessant flies that never let up. It was hard on man and horse.
This particular tree was especially difficult. As he dug down around the roots to be able to start cutting and secure his chain, he bagan to find Indian arrow and spear points imbedded in the wood. He found what looked like to be rusted iron deposits, scattered around the roots. It seemed as if someone wanted this particular tree dead. The rancher never seemed to notice the twisted face that seemed to be staring out at him.
The stump finally came free after much effort. The rancher would swear that he heard a low moan coming from the stump as his ax cut through the last root and the team pulled the stump out of its resting place.
He had often heard the tale of how Spanish ridge got it's name. A Spanish Conquistador had become seperated from his party and wandered these mountains until he died of starvation. The Shoshone and Serrano Indians spoke of a man's spirit, with an iron chest, who wandered this ridge. Perhaps, their arrows were their way of keeping his spirit inside the tree.
No matter....the stump was out and there were several hundred to go. If he hurried, he could get one more out of the ground before noon.