THE COPPER NAIL: A Story of Atacama by C.J. Lambert

THE COPPER NAIL: A Story of Atacama

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Although the story's Postscript indicates that it is based on an actual incident, it suggests a fable in places and it winds up with the sort of ""happily ever after"" ending that one is likely to label too good to be true. Pedro was the son of a poor Indian peasant who lived in the Atacama desert region of Chile, but he was able to leave home to be educated at a monastery. He returned when he discovered a map showing that an old Spanish treasure had been buried on the only sizeable farm in the area, which was owned by the cruel Don Silva. Pedro was chased off the land, so he went to the nearest town and worked until he was able to buy the farm and marry Don Silva's daughter. Although Pedro's determination was becoming a megalomania, his search for the treasure was sidetracked by his interests in improving his farm. Just as he seemed headed for disaster, lightning struck to reveal the missing clue, and the treasure was enough to insure an idyllic rural existence for the family. The narrative has a pleasantly straightforward, folktale quality, but it's the sort of story that seems to beg to wind-up as an illustration of a moral. The fact that, despite the blissful finish, there is no apparent moral will leave readers dangling.

Pub Date: June 30th, 1966
Publisher: Follett