Buried Treasure (Henry)

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Buried Treasure
Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: A man, driven by love, embarks on a quest to find buried treasure, facing challenges and rivalries along the way, only to discover that the real treasure was the love he found.

A man named Jim was in love with a young woman named May Martha Mangum, who lived with her father in a small Texas prairie town. May Martha's father was an etymologist, and he was very protective of his daughter.

Jim — the protagonist; in love with May Martha Mangum; determined, adventurous.
May Martha Mangum — Jim's love interest; beautiful, unsophisticated, non-committal.

Jim had a rival for May Martha's affections, a well-educated man named Goodloe Banks. Neither Jim nor Goodloe could determine which of them May Martha preferred, and they often spent time together trying to figure it out.

Goodloe Banks — Jim's rival in love; educated, sarcastic, envious.

Jim expresses his desire to have May Martha Mangum as his wife and to live a happy life together.

I wanted May Martha Mangum for to have and to hold. I wanted her to abide with me, and put my slippers and pipe away every day in places where they cannot be found of evenings.

One day, Jim received a document from a friend, which described the location of a buried treasure worth three hundred thousand dollars. Jim believed that if he could find the treasure, he could win May Martha's heart. He teamed up with Goodloe to search for the treasure, but they were unsuccessful in their first attempt due to a mistake in their calculations.

After correcting their mistake, Jim and Goodloe set out on another expedition to find the treasure. However, they discovered that the document was a fraud, as it had a watermark indicating it was manufactured long after the supposed date of the treasure's burial. Goodloe, disillusioned by the deception, abandoned the search and left Jim to continue alone.

Jim persisted in his quest and eventually stumbled upon a beautiful valley where he found May Martha, who had been living in a hidden cottage with her father. She confessed that she had been waiting for Jim to find her, and the two were reunited. Jim never found the buried treasure, but he and May Martha built a life together, complete with a house, a piano, and a growing cattle ranch.

Jim challenges Goodloe Banks to join him in the search for the buried treasure, emphasizing the importance of determination and adventure.

I am going to search that mountain for the treasure. Decide now whether you are in it or not. If you wish to let a water-mark or a variation shake your soul, you are no true adventurer. Decide.

Despite his lack of education, Jim was able to find happiness and love with May Martha, while Goodloe's extensive knowledge did not bring him the same success. The story serves as a reminder that sometimes, determination and persistence can be more valuable than education and intellect.