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The Lost Gold: An Elegy for Santa Fe

Tori Warner Shepard

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ISBN 10: 0692487476 / ISBN 13: 9780692487471
Published by Tori Warner Shepard, 2015
New Condition: New Soft cover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Lost Gold: An Elegy for Santa Fe

Publisher: Tori Warner Shepard

Publication Date: 2015

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition: New

Edition: 1.

About this title


Winner of the 2016 IPPY Silver medal for West Mountain Best Regional Fiction, the beautifully researched story takes place in 1930 after the U.S. has usurped the very remote 1598 Royal Colony of La Villa de la Santa Fe de San Francisco d'Asis, founded by a small group of conquistadores and their Franciscan Padres, who came bringing both Christ’s love to the heathen and a personal quest for riches. Not finding the wealth of either Mexico or Peru, this isolated colony stayed to eke out a subsistence living for three hundred years 1500 miles from Mexico City on vast lands granted as favors from King Philip II of Spain and his successor kings. The colony, side by side with the Pueblo Indians was in frequent danger from Comanches and other marauding tribes. To protect their wealth, what they saved was buried for safekeeping either in the very walls of their adobe homes, or in the ground itself. The colony continued in isolation until the opening of the Santa Fe Trail in 1821 when later Manifest Destiny over-ran and marginalized both the native Indian and Spanish Colonial cultures, imposing crippling taxes, new laws, a new language and compulsory education. Unscrupulous land speculators brought about break-up of the huge land grants, and homesteads, slowly weakened village life. The railroad brought further destruction. By 1930, Americans, artist-refugees, and tuberculars from the polluted industrial East came to Santa Fe as a refuge, essentially turning their backs on the inventive founding Spanish, in a rush to praise the naturalness of the Indian natives and their “pure untouched” religion. Everything Indian became the fashion and the Hispanics were virtually disregarded, Faustino Garcia, a very capable young man is cash-poor, having been raised in a small wood-cutting village while his father, like many men in Santa Fe was forced to find work in another state. Our hero, an hidalgo, Don Faustino de Garcia, lacks the land and ancient encomiendas to support his inherited 16th century title; he is now a common villager. But,unlike his padres, he is literate. Still, in his noble heart, he is a son of the conquistadors, refusing to speak English or in any way to capitulate to the Americans and their pagan ways. His marriage vow in 1930, to him a sacred and moral obligation, is to restore the stripped dignity of the Spanish settlers, to recapture their legacy. The task before him is difficult, so he prays and his prayers are answered in a visitation from the Blessed Virgin herself telling him of a map to a cache of gold buried in a nearby hacienda, once owned by his ancestors. Not merely a family’s stash of gold coins, Mexican silver and jewelry, the Virgin’s visitation hints at more... A great treasure. For Faustino, this treasure promises the restoration of the Garcia Family’s ancient lands and titles. He further wants the mountain returned to her people, and, if possible, the entire territory of New Mexico returned as the farthest stretch of Independent Mexico. Taking the map in hand, Nicasia, his wife, declares that her husband’s sturdy soul is in mortal danger from the sin of greed, the handiwork of the Devil himself. “Gold brings death,” she says. His two sons balk while his neighbors lay claim to the treasure as their own inheritance. Faustino must proceed in secret as the Virgin has instructed Faustino to befriend the heathen owners and to dig his treasure out from their walls. Preserving his legacy will be extremely difficult and the Americans are entrenched.

About the Author:

Tori Warner Shepard was raised in post-war Japan and schooled there, the Philippines, the States and in Switzerland. Having lived abroad in Asia, Europe and South America, she is now well settled in Santa Fe, researching and writing about New Mexico's colonial history and involvement in World War II. She has an MA in Creative Writing, is married with three children. please write her at Facebook and Http://

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