One More Bankruptcy

In a quick search of records, with help from an assistant at the Prudence Town Hall, she found a record of land sale in 1963, from an individual named George Nettering to Adam (Lucky Dog) Norbert and Jessie (Playboy) Plober, and then a building permit issued in 1964 to Norbert and Plober, followed by a tax record on the property dated May of 1965, and continuing. The short parade of years showed a systematic, paced plan of events, all leading to the establishment of a U.S. Postal Delivery Route in 1966. The slow but insistent progression the pair of men attained was quite noticeable to Tricia, but set off no inventive or fictitious ideas, at least story-wise in her mind.

But a continuing intrigue of some unknown source or nature, continued to swing into her mind, captivating her. She knew she had been alerted to an unknown mystery or story of the oddest sort, and would prove worthy of her time and survey.

She could feel it pulling at her, asking questions, making demands.,

But less than a month later, with significant highlights accumulated, the cabin burned to ground level, leaving much debris, Adam Norbert probably escaping through a window, but Jessie Plober was caught by flames and died in the midst of the fire. Norbert disappeared from town the night of the fire and was never seen again. The supposed ashes of Jessie Plober, gathered in an urn, eventually disappeared, possibly in the hands of a collector of odds and ends, of any kind.

Tricia convinced her energetic and adventurous father, Harvey Colbert, a successful business man, to buy the property from the town, at a cheap price and its guaranteed clean-up. He readily agreed, spending time getting rid of debris, finding in the stone wall cellar another but smaller L-shaped room in one corner with a puzzling 3 foot by 3-foot wooden door a foot off the floor. He assumed it to be a crawl-through passage. The door was heavily charred but fell apart with one swing of a sledge hammer.

He was surprised again, by flashlight, to see the floor of the enclosure littered with all kinds of tools (chisels, hammers, ratchets, wrenches, iron pry bars, bludgeons of all sorts, etc.), and sitting there stolid as a monk on its 4 wheels was a mobile bank vault or safe, yet massive to him. His daughter’s investigation of a clearly exposed serial number revealed it to have been stolen from a bank in Peoria, Illinois in 1935, all of 30 years earlier and not a word of it heard since then.





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