And I found this photograph…

Because despite all the self warnings, and trepidation…

…I crossed that bridge and found this:

Yes, we went back in time, and when I pulled over, and got out of the car the first thing that crossed my mind, I was either in an old gold mining town, or it was a mid way settlement to somewhere else.

Of course, it was deserted.

So, next thought was that this was a ghost town. But, the fact it’s late in the afternoon and everything looks as though it’s locked up, this might also quite easily be a tourist attraction, done for the day.

But, it was off the main road, down a track that led to what I thought might have been a settlement.

I go for a walk and look at some of the buildings. They have been kept in good order, but are showing signs of age, and no sign of modernisation.

Does this mean I’ve gone back in time?


I hear a voice behind me, that of a man, and turn around.

He’s about 80 wearing well worn clothes and a raggedy beard, wrinkled eyes and leathery skin. A miner? A cowboy? Someone who lived here, like perhaps the last remaining resident.

“Who are you?” he askes stopping about 20 feet away. He looks annoyed, or maybe that was his perpetual angry face.

“A visitor?”


“Back east.”

A knowing look crosses his face. “City slicker eh?”

Language right out of an old Hollywood western. Any minute now I might see John Wayne or a troop of Union soldiers.

“Perhaps.” I had no idea why I used the expression, back east.

“Then you’d better go back. No place for the likes of people like you. Last fellow that came from the city got run out of town.”

Friendly town then. A sideways glance showed movement, and another man along side one of the buildings, with a rifle, pointed straight at me.

“I guess I’m not welcome. I’m leaving. You might tell that to the man with the gun on me.”

“He knows.”

I turned, and walked slowly and steadily back to where I thought I left the car. Instead there was a saddled horse tied to a fence.

That’s when I had a very bad feeling…

© Charles Heath 2020-2021

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