I’ll tell you right off the bat, I don’t know this guy, but I love his stories. This “Mystery Traveler”, as I have dubbed him, began submitting the most fantastic articles (minus titles and pictures) to Travel Fave. From his amazing stories and verified descriptions of destinations, I gathered profile information about him that I’ve put into a dossier (which I will continue to update). I wasn’t sure what to make of it all at first (Who is this guy? Why TF? Why now?), but I decided to go with it. After all, why not?!?
Why Fearless Mystery Traveler Went to Remote Mountains of China to Retrieve Strange Box
There was no face. The moon of Jinzhanping greeted me off of the bluish steel of the Type-54 pistol and addressed me with unease. The arm was relatively short and steadied with a professional indifference that betrayed its absentee master as ex-military stock or of an even more lawless element yet. Four scuttling paws crossed the terraced earth before Ru, as he would later be called, stepped out from behind his gun and the pine tree from which the arm extended, into the night’s eye. I couldn’t help but grin as the Type-54, and the rather elderly form that stood before us (the pistol and me), seemed the least of my worries. After all, I only had another two days in which to get the whole thing wrapped up or I wouldn’t get my pay. I already had a lot of time into this trek through Guìzhōu and I wasn’t going home empty-handed. So far, I had seen more oxen than I cared to recount, a couple of thieves, and some earth-starched children, even the storied Guìzhōu snub-nosed monkey on a reconnaissance trip, but not the jiao. Perhaps there never was any, at least like Artusco (or so I’ll call him here) wanted at any rate. Hell, Ponce de León had been given a lot more time and leeway than this.
“We will have what you are having,” said father time.
“I’m sorry; is this a f***ing restaurant?” I asked. “Who the hell is ‘we’?” I looked around but couldn’t make out any other people, but there were a number of dense trees and for all I knew in the darkness…
The eyes contracted in the moonlight into a grimace, but there was an air of amusement that hung in the peripheral corners of the aged constellation that stood before me.
“Nat now,” he said, “but soon. Ju-long is a pàntú- a traitor.”
“So there’s a guy, who you think is a traitor, and his name is Ju-long? I don’t see how that’s my concern.” He brought the gun a step closer and I could make out the shadow-works of a contortion that ended as a grin.
“The box is too valuable to ever be sold. If you know anything, you know that. Where is the meeting?”
“Damned if I know,” I said. “I came here for the views.” The grin didn’t waver.
He inched away back into tree shadow until his shadow and the tree’s were one indecipherable mass.
“No matter,” he whispered “see you soon.”