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2001-05-25

Ernest Hemingway
B. 7.21.1899 Oak Park, Illinois / D. 7.2.1961 Ketchum, Idaho
Suicide/Shotgun

One day, folded inside an old National Geographic I’d bought at a stoop sale, I found a treasure map traced in what looked to be blood. The directions however were clear—X marked the spot labeled “Treasure.” Providing myself with a trowel, I set off immediately. By late afternoon I’d reached the foot of a spreading yew tree. Here, as directed, I knelt between two upthrust roots and I began to dig. Eight inches down my trowel edge bit metal, then wood. The sun tossed in the yew tree’s bouffant branches. Soon I’d unearthed a small, padlocked chest, labeled “Treasure.” Taking aim with my trowel, I prepared to un-lock it. Then I noticed the fine print engraved on the hasp in an antique hand. It read: You’ve Come This Far—Why Give Up Now—Before You’ve Found the Key.

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