Story by the storytellers-Grandpa Antonio Trujillo and retold by grand daughter Priscilla Garduno Wolf
There was a tale told by my friend Don Pepp- not real name- Grandfather said; who was a rich cattle rancher living in the Sangra De Cristo Mountain’s of Colorado. Many stories were told about the Sangra mountains with many bank and train robberies, by well known banditos. The gang of Jessie James was certainly known to most of the Spanish and Indian family’s and they were well likes, I was told by poor farmers. ( this were just story’s handed down, weather true or not, made for a good story). The gangs would always stop at the same spots and eat and rest and they would leave gold coins under their plates or to the family’s that took care of them. Don Pepp- not real name– and his gang, who had robbed a stage coach and taken a great amount of gold- They left to the Sangra De Cristo Mountains and buried the gold- it was never found.
Several Law man searched for the gang and the gold, but never found the outlaws or gold, they had vanished. One of the man was Thomas, , he claimed many years later when he got old.
he was one of the many he had managed to escape the Snake Caves but all the others had been trapped in a cave that led to their death. Thomas, had lived a very wealthy life in Santa Fe, Supposedly with the gold that came from the Snake Caves. He told the story that they planned to rob the stage coach for over a with help from a insider. Clay was the gang leader and had a cabin near Colorado.. They were heading to the cabin when they spotted several lawman on their trail- and they had to change their plans- so they hid in one of the Snake Caves. Thomas said; that Clay was worried because he had heard that the area was covered with Snake Caves, and snakes lived in them as big as 25 foot long to 100 foot long. Many old folks told legend story’s- about the time of the giants – there lived snakes over 100 foot long. and the Sangra De Cristo Mountains were their homes- within time many changes came to the snakes. and they got lazy to hunt for their food. so they would hide in the caves and open their mouth wide toward the opening of the cave- entrance- when their prey would enter the mouth of the cave- the snakes would close their mouth trapping the animal or human inside.
Thomas claimed the men took their horses and gold into the cave. – Thomas stayed behind with his horse and bags of gold -suddenly to his surprise the whole entrance closed and he saw two huge eyes looking at him. I left he said; I was so scared ! The story was told to my Grandfather in the late 1800’s. and later told to me in 1950’s. many dogs and sheep vanished in those areas. but no one knew what had took them. I visit those areas one time with my father George- in the 1970’s and as we went down we spotted so many rattle snakes crawling all over. my father claimed; he heard stories of gold in those caves guarded by the Snake people…
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