Samuel L.

The Golden Tusk

Ivan had arrived in Alaska in the dead of winter. He, being a man with too much money and a lot of time on his hands, traveled the world looking for something to do.  It was there, six miles north of Nome that he would find it.  Ivan walked along a lonely deserted street in the middle of a small fishing town.  On that lonely street he saw a small building and it, being the first building he had seen in about a half mile, he decided to go in.  He stepped into the building and found it to be a supply store of some sort filled with different types of fishing and traveling equipment.  He then walked up to the man behind the desk at the opposite side of the single room.

“Hello, I am Baron Ivan Von Schliefen Von Heinrich, the Third,” Ivan introduced himself in the most stuck-up voice he could muster.
The storekeeper was so bewildered by Ivan’s entrance that he merely stared at him for some time.  Once he came to his senses he put on a fake smile and introduced himself.

“I am Sir Lawrence Hopkins the Fourth.  How may I be of service to you?” the store clerk inquired in a most mocking voice.  Ivan, being the self-centered man that he was, didn’t notice the obvious mocking tone of the storekeeper because he was too preoccupied with what he planned to say next to listen.

The truth was that Sir Lawrence Hopkins the Fourth was not Sir Lawrence Hopkins the Fourth but he was merely Louis Hopkins and he had added the rest to merely mock the customer and see if he said anything about it.  Making fun of his customers was a practice that Louis endeavored in daily to make the day go by faster.  He, owning the only supply store for many miles, could be as troublesome as he wished to his customers.  There was no other place that they could shop. Louis looked at Ivan and saw his fancy overcoat and expensive shoes.  After seeing this, Louis knew the kind of person Ivan was.  He was one of those kids who was brought up in a big house with rich parents, who went to a private school where money got grades and intelligence got you beat up.  Louis knew this was the kind of man who thinks he can do anything because he can afford a fancy coat.  Louis hated people like that.  He had worked hard all his life and owned merely a supply shop while Ivan had done nothing and achieved everything.  It was at this thought that Louis decided to teach Ivan a lesson; he would con the man for all he was worth.  Louis thought for a second and came up with the perfect scam. Ivan continued to speak

“I am a man looking for adventure.  Would you know where I might find some?”  Ivan questioned.

“Perfect”, Louis thought to himself.  “Perfect.” 

“Well, there is an old story of a mythical animal living out on the tundra,” Louis told Ivan, who was so determined to be a great adventurer that he was drawn into Louis’ lie immediately. 

“The story says that there is a walrus with a golden tusk who knows the secrets of life, but he lives quite far in the wilderness and you would need to be well prepared,” Louis continued.

“Really, that sounds exactly like something I would do.  Tell me, what will I need and where can I find this walrus?”  Ivan questioned.
“To find the walrus you must walk north from here until your compass spins in a circle and it is there where you will find it,” explained Louis.
It was at this point that Louis started listing various products, all at triple the normal price.  While he brought out all of the various items, Ivan took out money and lots of it.  Soon Louis had sold Ivan nearly half of his store's stock and his safe was considerably fuller. 

Once Ivan’s bags were packed he said, “Remember this day, for today is the day that the great Baron Ivan Von Schliefen Von Heinrich, the Third set forth on a noble quest that will be remembered throughout the ages.”

It was at this that Ivan then left the store and walked out of the town in search for the Golden Tusked Walrus.  Though he left with great determination, he was never heard from again.  Louis on the other hand, with his new-found riches, decided to go on a long vacation.  He planned to tour the great cities of the world in search of a way to make his name be remembered throughout the ages.  He wanted to be somebody important, not just a storeowner in Nome, Alaska.  So the first thing he did was buy an expensive Kashmir overcoat, Italian leather shoes and a golden pocket watch.  The first city he went to was Moscow where he heard an interesting tale about a hidden treasure and went off in search of it.


Copyright 2002-2006 Student Publishing Program (SPP). Poetry and prose 2002-2006 by individual authors. Reprinted with permission. SPP developed and designed by Strong Bat Productions.