“As a young child, I visited Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico and was transported into another world I didn’t know existed,” said Bostick of his latest novel’s story line. “The sheer immensity of the cave system was mind boggling. As I read about and pondered the location of Cíbola, I could think of no better place to hide a city of gold than deep inside Carlsbad Caverns.”
“Huber Hill and the Golden Staff of Cibola” is available in book stores and from online retailers, as are Books 1 and 2 of the series, “Huber Hill and the Dead Man’s Treasure” and “Huber Hill and the Brotherhood of Coronado.”
In 1539 in what is now New Mexico, Coronado and his men are searching for the fabled city of Cíbola based on the stories from a priest named Marcos de Niza. After following Niza’s directions, Coronado found nothing but impoverished villages and as you can imagine, isn’t happy.
Coronado pointed to the woman. “This wretch attacked me when I asked for her necklace. As you know, Fray Marcos, this land and all of its people and possessions now belong to España. She has refused to comply with her government and therefore must be executed. You know her language well enough. Tell her what will happen to her.” He grinned sadistically.
Niza’s eyes implored the Governor. “Please, your Excellency. In your mercy, could you not forgive such a trespass? She likely mistook you for invaders. In time, she will come to see you as a benevolent leader and governor.”
“Her fate is sealed. Now do your duty.”
Niza frowned. “Yes, Governor.”
Coronado then whistled for one of his men to accompany Niza out into the brush where the execution would take place. The priest picked the woman up by the arm and escorted her toward certain demise. Coronado’s solider walked on the other side of the woman.
Speaking in her native tongue, the priest began con- versing. “What is your name?”
“Sunitha,” the woman replied.
“Listen closely,” Niza said. “The man accompanying us intends to put an end to your life.”
“I know,” she replied curtly.
Their escort made no effort to listen in, unable to understand the words spoken. Niza continued, “When we get to the brush, I will distract the executioner. When I do, run and take this with you.” The priest slipped some- thing into the pocket of Sunitha’s garment.
“What is this?”
“My diary. It must never fall into the wrong hands. It contains directions and clues to find the actual golden city of Cíbola. Have you been there?”
“No,” the woman replied. “I have heard stories that a branch of my kin lived there many years ago. I’ve seen trinkets from the golden city, but none of my people have ever seen it with their own eyes. Are you saying you’ve seen the city?”
“Yes, and more than seen. I was led there by my companion, Esteban, months ago. We entered the city. I have never seen anything so glorious. My tongue was too loose, and the governor heard of our journey. He demanded I take him there, so I purposely led Coronado away from it to your village. I am sorry for what I brought upon you, but I feared what would become of the world if this man were to possess the city and the power that lies within.”
“You speak of the Golden staff,” she said, without making eye contact.
“Yes.” The priest nodded. “I found him, the golden king El Dorado. I saw his staff with my own eyes.”
“And you did not attempt to take it for yourself?”
“Such power should never belong to a single person. The object is wicked.”
“On that we agree,” the woman said.