The story of the Thirteenth Illinois Infantry and their Arkansas dog has never been told. Until Now
Family Solves Clues And Are First to Find Todd’s Treasure
Readers of Arkansas author James Babb’s historical fiction trilogy, THE DEVIL’S BACKBONE, THE DEVIL’S TRAP and THE DEVIL’S DEN, recently had the opportunity to go on a modern-day treasure hunt using clues from the story set near Fort Smith in 1881. The first to find the treasure could keep the items inside and sign the log, leaving the box for others to find. The little boy in THE DEVIL’S TRAP had hidden marbles, a necklace his father had worn, an arrowhead, a quartz crystal and several other items inside.
Bob Walter, from Batesville, and his granddaughter Ashlyn Latus, a first grader at Sequoyah Elementary in Russellville, used the clues from the books to successfully find the hidden treasure. According to Walters, he went through the books and marked everything he thought was a clue to the treasure location. Then he spent about a week researching Fort Smith and looking at old maps and historical accounts, trying to match clues to the ground. He said total research time was about two weeks.
Once in Fort Smith, the four generations of family – Walter’s mom, wife Kathy, daughter Sarah and her husband Robert Latus, and grandchildren Ashlyn and Zoey – spent several hours scouting out possible locations for the treasure. Once they had eliminated all areas but one, they spent about an hour searching for a particular match to an important clue. Walter said his granddaughter Ashlyn figured out the clue, and a short time later began to scream, “We found it! We found it!” In addition to the items from the story, Ashlyn Latus wins free autographed books, a free author visit from James Babb to her school, and a pizza party.
“I will always remember Ashlyn’s expression when she opened the box. It was a mixture of excitement, joy and happiness. She will not forget this experience, ever.” ___________Bob Walter
Bob’s family will receive the prizes for being the first to find the treasure but the hunt is not over. Take your family on an adventure they will not soon forget. Go look for Todd’s Treasure.