Legend of the Missing Loot: Guest Blogger--Karen Nutt

My story Wanted takes place near Flagstaff, Arizona in late 1880, where outlaws were still a real threat. A real life hold-up inspired the back story for my western tale, though my story has a happier ending.

In 1881, thirty-five miles east of Flagstaff at Canyon Diablo, a stagecoach carrying passengers also stopped to take mailbags with them. The stagecoach took the California-Santa Fe Trail toward Flagstaff where the passengers would meet the next stagecoach headed to Needles, California. The trail along the San Francisco Peaks is steep and the horses climb steadily until they reach a flat divide. Five riders break from the trees and surround the stagecoach with their six guns drawn and ready to use. The leader motions for two of the outlaws to go to the back of the coach. They take only two mailbags and leave the rest. They don’t rob the passengers. They send stagecoach on their way without hurting anyone.

Once the stagecoach reaches Flagstaff, the terrified passengers tell the station agent about the robbery. Everyone is confused why the outlaws would want mailbags. The stage master soon learns that the two missing bags contained a shipment of gold and silver bound from Albuquerque Bank to a San Francisco Bank. Wells Fargo, who had been plagued by stagecoach robberies, had attempted to fool the outlaws, by packing the gold and silver in two five-gallon whiskey kegs in each mailbag. It appeared the stagecoach outlaws had an inside source at Wells Fargo.

A posse set out immediately, but the outlaws had too far a head start. Wells Fargo demanded the help of the U.S. Army and the patrol of the 6th U.S. Calvary to find the outlaws. Two Indian scouts were enlisted to help also. They picked up the trail and found the men holed up in a log cabin near Veit Springs. The outlaws opened fired and the cavalry returned the gesture. In the end, all five outlaws lay dead. The authorities went through the outlaws’ belongings, but didn’t find the gold or silver. Word spread fast and the next day, men arrived to look for the hidden loot. The entire area was dug up, but nothing was found.

For years treasure hunters have dug all over the slopes, the dirt floor of the cabin, around the spring and even in the nearby ice caves, but to this day, no one has claimed they found the loot.

A Christmas Collection Anthology–Stimulating

Available at Amazon Print and Amazon Kindle; Barnes and Noble Print and the Nook; as well as at other online bookstores.

10-ISBN: 1456304410
EAN-13: 9781456304416


Blurb for ‘Wanted’:

Sheriff Jace Kelly’s wife died giving birth to his remarkable daughter, Emma. She inherited the families’ seer abilities, but being only six-years old, she has the tendency not to know the difference between a vision and just an ordinary dream. So Jace doesn’t put too much faith in Emma’s recent premonition: marriage for him and a new mother for her, all because she wished upon a Christmas star.

When JoBeth Riley arrives in town, Emma is convinced this is the woman she dreamed about: dark hair, green eyes and shamrocks in her pocket. Only there’s one problem, she’s the notorious outlaw, Baby Face Jo.

JoBeth’s stay in the lumber town is meant to keep Shane Maverick, the leader of the outlaw gang from finding her and breaking her out of jail before the authorities have time to devise a plan to capture him.
JoBeth finds the Kellys a strange lot. A little girl, who believes her dreams are tales of the future and the rugged sheriff whose kindness proves a distraction. She’s an outlaw for heaven’s sake, but Jace is bound and determined to steal her heart.


Cindy K. Green said...

Karen, Thanks for being a guest here today. Loved the post. I can't wait to read your story based on that Legend. Wishing you lots of sales.

Lynne Roberts said...

That is such an interesting story. I love history and hearing about inspiration for stories. Great post!

StephB said...

What an exciting to take inspiration from - it's good to know your story has a happier ending.

*giggle* What a cool story for the Stimulating anthology. I'm still slowly getting through my copy. Looking forward to reading yours.


Mona Risk said...

Karen, I enjoyed both the stolen gold story and your book blurb.

Karen Michelle Nutt said...

Thanks so much for having me on your blog today!

I'm so happy you liked the behind the scenes of my story. I love legends.

Thanks for the good wishes, too.

Karen Michelle Nutt said...


Thanks so much for coming by. History is full of really great stories to make your tale all the more interesting because it adds a bit of the truth.

Finding this legend, made me feel like I found a treasure. :)

Karen Michelle Nutt said...


There may be some grief, but I have to have a happy ending. lol

I'm working throught the anthology, too. I loved your story of first love and the couple reunited when they were adults.

Thanks for coming by.

Karen Michelle Nutt said...


Thanks so much for coming by. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. :)

hotcha12 said...


lin B

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Karen,
Great blog. We have similar stories here in Australia, bushrangers (outlaws) robbing stage coaches, but the loot is never found. Love these kinds of stories.


Karen Michelle Nutt said...


Thanks for stopping by. Laura Shinn created the lovely covers for the Christmas Collection. :)

Karen Michelle Nutt said...


I bet Australia has some great bushranger legends. I'll have to check out a few.

Thanks so much for coming by today.

Danielle Thorne said...

Karen, I loved the legend and the picture, too. Congrats on your anthology story and best of luck!

Karen Michelle Nutt said...


Thanks so much for stopping by and for the luck. You can never have too much. lol

Happy Holidays!

P.L. Parker said...

Hi Karen - I love those little tidbits from history. Great way to get background for stories. I watch the Discovery Channel all the time, just for that reason. Book sounds really interesting.

Karen Michelle Nutt said...


Thanks for coming by. I glad you enjoyed the post.:)

You are so right, the Discovery Channel is great for finding a new back story.