Chapter 14: Ruca, Maté, and Guests

“Sir, Millaray is my dream girl and everything I could ever want, but I don’t think I’m ready for marriage. I barely know Milly, and I want to know her more first. In fact, I just found out today that I barely know myself!” Milly replied, “I want to know you too. I’ll hold onto you’re necklace until you change your mind!” Maiten was impressed by the boy’s answer. “Haha, yes, I agree. Joe, you have a smart son who  thinks long term and is very mature for his age.” Joe nodded in agreement. “I’m proud of him.” Said Joe. Maiten resumed. “Joe and I recognize that coin because that is the coin I made for him. I made it when we first crossed paths with each other. I gave it to him as a gift for giving me advice about selling merchandise in the town market.” Joe built on Maiten’s thought. “Yep, and that’s when I discovered  these hills were loaded with gold ore. I gave him a strategy to mine it, and the rest seemed to have worked out pretty smoothly. We barely tapped into the reserves in these hills. There is a fortune out there!” “Well, it wasn’t so smooth.” Maiten defended. “My people hated me for it. I thought I was going to lose their trust. It was one of the hardest decisions I ever made. I mean, we were desperate for any solution, but that was unheard of and I’m sure our ancestors are rolling over in their graves. I questioned myself and my own integrity for a long time. I’m surprised our people even followed me. I would not be fit to lead if I wouldn’t follow my commands, and I was asking a lot from them. I want to be a worthy leader to our people, and a good leader inspects before he expects.

Quidel came back into the conversation after polishing a piece of opal. He looked at his brother Maiten and said, “The quality of leaders reflects in the standards they set for themselves.” To Maiten, this was gratifying to hear. “So, now that you know you can make a lot of money with gold, why not mine it all?” Said Richard. Joe instantly agreed. “That’s what I said!” “We only mined what we needed in our emergency that we were facing.” Maiten defended once more. Rich hastened with an instant rebuttal. “But now you can make way more than you need!” “‘Wherefore would you ever need more than you need?’” Quidel quoted a proverb that he knew and follow up with another. “Remember Rich, ‘there are riches in this world that cannot be touched by the flesh.’ You explained this to me earlier when you spoke of richness and happiness. Your proposal is based on greed and fear. Both of you need to understand this. There are terrible consequences to your idea including the history of the lust for power. Please consider your thoughts carefully before you speak.”

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