He seems troubled. Like he isn’t sure where to start.
So, I help.
Pointing at the dead bodies.
“What did these two find that led to their deaths?”
“There is nothing here. It’s just a claim. What did they do?”
This wakes him up.
“NO. It isn’t just a claim. It’s a mine.”
I look around.
“There is nothing here. No one has mined this claim.”
Now he is angry.
“NO. Not true. It’s just grown over. This mine is older than most are aware of.”
“How old? And how do you know?”
“BECAUSE THIS MINE BELONGS TO MY FAMILY!”
At that he walks over to a pile of brush I had not noticed.
He uncovers what looks like very old wood.
“This was a part of a sluice.”
“Ever go to a theme park with a log ride?”
“OOOOOh, sure. But how is that related to mining?”
To be clear, I am pretty sure I know, but the goal is to keep him talking, instead of, you know, killing me.
“It’s how you sift through the dirt and silt to reveal the ore. It takes a lot of water.”
“Ooh, right. Cool. Well, how come there isn’t more of that laying around and stuff.”
He seems a little forlorn.
“It was a long time ago, and. . “
He motions for me to move into the shed.
“Not yet, c’mon, it’s a good story. It was a long time ago and . .?”
His face, sorrowful and angry at the same time.
“THEY KILLED MY FAMILY!”
“Who, who killed your family.”
“Those dirty Walker Boys!!”
Ok, so, I still have no idea why he killed them.
But, at least I am still breathing.