Many years ago there lived a young man who went by the name of Gildred Frost. This was not his real name, but he had been known by this name for as long as people could remember. He was what people called in the town as a regular good guy, but he rarely stood for anything. He was and gained a reputation as a doubter of just about anything that came up in the town
Why there was the time when the people had said that a great petulance would come to the town in a few days as it was already ravishing neighbouring towns, and many had already died painful deaths. This plague grasped at a man’s very life and wrung it out of him slowly over several days as it caused a parched dehydration and drying of the skin and organs of the body. The body shrivelled and eventually engorged itself and the spectre of death was indeed not a pretty site for anyone to watch yet alone experience.
Well Gildred, said no the petulance will miss our town, and he seemed to be speaking truthfully from a level of knowing authority. The people were relieved and sustained by this strengthened even, so that when the virus approached the town, the people were stronger in their immunity brought about by their positive hopefulness spread by this one man, and it didn’t take hold but passed that town and wreaked its destructive curse on the following town, where half the good townspeople were removed in a one week period and even some of the bad were taken into the other worlds
On another occasion it was around Christmas and it was forecast that the rains would bring a great increase in production in the crops of the town which was largely based on the production of alfalfa which was then made into capsules and sold as a herbal health remedy. The town had inherited a special process for processing the alfalfa which involved using a special water that came from a deep bore in the heart of the town that had been discovered by the founder of the town. The founder had been a man named Gungel and the town was then named Gungel Waters. The bore had a reputation for curing all sorts of illnesses caused by excessive acidity of the body and alkalised the body with the unique mineral mix it was composed of. Perhaps drinking this water as the good townspeople did and using their own capsules might have helped to prevent the plague plaguing the town also. But there has to be some credit given to the positivity that Gildred had instilled to the townspeople. The rains did not come until March that year, and the people were doubting they would come at all. But Gildred instilled faith in them by his continued cry of don’t worry they are only a bit late and will come in a deluge in March. He had been proved right again.
Gildred was known as a doubter because he was in truth not a doubter at all but always had a great trust in the plays of life that they would work out for the best even though for now it didn’t appear this way.
One day as Gildred was now approaching 40 which was old in those days, he appeared to the people to have taken on some type of illness, he limped about, and had lost weight and was gaunt and thin. The people asked him what the matter was and he had said he was fine don’t worry.
On the eve of the next Christmas the people were again praying for early rains for their crops of alfalfa to harvest them for a happy and prosperous Christmas holiday celebration and indeed they were not disappointed as the rains came in abundance and the crops were abundantly full and healthy. The crop was cropped and harvested and the people went to the bore to get some water to add in the mixing of the secret formula which was always overseered by Gildred who as the great grandson of Gungel the towns founder had the process memorised and so far had shared it with no one else
The people looked for Gildred but he was nowhere to be found, they searched the whole town without any luck, until somebody said to look down the old well where the bore water come from. There they found the body of Gildred, who had been obviously dead a few days now.
The townspeople were shocked and brought in some detectives from the next town to perform an examination of the remains.
Gildred was found to have actually been murdered and poisoned and this had been carried out over a period of weeks gradually and was why he had appeared sick looking . His body had been dumped down the well by someone unknown.
The people could no longer create the alfalfa tablets as nobody knew the secret process Gildred had applied. For years afterwards the town went downhill and their one source of production declined and went into disrepair as the machines were no longer used. Until a good 10 years after the death of Gildred some one thought to reexamine the old bore well. He carefully lowered himself down the well with a large torch and he reached the bottom and found that the walls were made of some type of soft limestone. There was a piece of chalky rock broken off and floating still in the murky waters that also the superstitious people had stopped drinking from because of the body found in the well.
He looked closely at the wall again and could notice some writing made by a chalky piece of rock. He eagerly read the message, which read as follows
" without a doubt I expect one of you fine people to find this message and use it to continue production of our towns production of alfalfa tablets. It is I Gildred, who has been disposed of down this well by our neighbouring mayor of Fligsville who wants to increase the sales of their own production of Tobacco and has killed me because our town has never taken to the habit of smoking because of our positive and healthy demeanour.
If you don’t find this message I expect you might have already taken up this vile habit of tobacco use and be suffering the ill effects from its use on your health.
As a last resort to help you my own townspeople I have written down the methods of production of our alfalfa tablets in a small booklet which is hidden in my ….."
and the words had been eroded away and were no longer visible.
Deldred was annoyed and dejected, how could he know and find out where this booklet was hidden. He quickly ascended the well and went to Gildred’s old delapitated farmhouse and searched all over without any luck. One week or two later around the middle of a cold night he even conspired to dig up the remains of old Gildred but still not a clue could be found on the body which was surprisingly well preserved and still you could see some chalk stains and fragments up the fingernails.
Deldred was ready to give up the search when he decided to look down the well one last time. Gingerly he descended the dark cavernous column. The limestone was slippery and fragile, and as he placed his foot on a ledging crevice sticking out from the wall it broke off and he found himself plummeting into the waters below, he still held onto his torch in one hand.
The waters were oh so cold and murky, and he started by now to feel really frightened, how was he to get out from here. He shone his torch around and saw a large piece of limestone which he had seen floating in the waters the first time he had ventured down the well.
He looked at it closely, it had obviously now been part of the wall before and he turned it over and saw some writing on it a continuing message.
It said " method of writing don’t doubt this Gildred" that’s all it said
Even in his predicament Deldred was trying to decipher this somewhat cryptic last message of Gilgred. What could it mean?
He scratched his head with a wet hand, and then scratched it once again. The booklet is hidden in my method of writing. what does that mean and not to doubt this. He was thinking the method of writing was to use the chalky limestone, and hidden in the method must mean hidden in the limestone. He looked around some more and found the large piece of ledge or foothold that was broken off when he fell. Looking more closely at this he saw that there had been a booklet or some thing resting on it as the shape of a small book was imbedded in it. The book was no longer there
What Dildred didn’t know was that he was actually the son of Gilgred who had been conceived some 37 years ago but whose mother had raised him alone as she had always been afraid of Gilgred’s eccentricity but had also been intrigued by his honest demeanour and had had a brief affair with him in which Gildred never doubted her love for him which had never really been there.
He begun to remember his early life as he tread water at the bottom of the well and remembered a book that he had seen when he was very young that Gildred always carried with him. He decided he would have another look around and did a duck dive underneath the water. He dove to the bottom with his torch still working. He thought he saw something flapping near the bottom, was it the missing book. He shone his torch eagerly and yes it looked like the book, but he was out of air and had to come back to the surface.
Quickly he dove again in the direction of where he had saw the book. Sure enough he was rewarded and rose this time triumphant with the book in his hot little hands but his hands were not hot but freezingly cold. He shone the torch on the book to see if he could still read the wet pages. He was fortunate he could still make out most of the words, for the formula was printed on every single page of this little book of maybe 20 pages.
It simply said that the secret ingredient for the formula was to mix the alfalfa with the bore water and then to boil it for 22 minutes and to distil the water coming off and put it aside. The chemicals in the bore water should then be soaked deeply into the alfalfa. It was then to be dried in the sun for a few hours and pounded to a powder when it is to be remixed with the water to make a paste and then baked until solid in the mold rack. The secret was in ensuring the bore minerals were infused properly into the plant material while it was fresh enough to absorb the mineral content.
So he had the secret and knew his town could be again prosperous, but how to escape from here in the well. He shone the torch up the well and saw it was already dark as he could see some stars overhead. Then he had an idea the people were more important than him maybe he could throw the book up and out of the well and someone might find it. He tried several times without success. Then on the 5th throw it went over the ledge and he heard it land on the ground near the well.
Unfortunately another 10 years went by and Dildred had died in the well and nobody came by and found the book and the town became poor and most people left it.
What is the moral of this story don’t’ die with your story inside you, share your knowledge and as well as being positive and optimistic don’t doubt your own truth enough that you die with it unshared and see how your unshared truth might affect so many for so long.