Instant Goldby Frank O'Rourke
Should anyone come into possession of any gold, via prospecting or other means, they are required to sell it to the nearest bank or Federal Reserve immediately, at
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In 1933 FDR took America off the gold standard and locked the price at $35 per ounce. At that time the government forbade private citizens from owning any bulk gold, beyond the jewelry they wore.
Should anyone come into possession of any gold, via prospecting or other means, they are required to sell it to the nearest bank or Federal Reserve immediately, at the earliest possible time. Failure to do so would result in a rather lengthy prison term.
Our story takes place in 1964 when gold bullion was still illegal to own.
* * *
Early one foggy November morning a small shop opens for business in the fashionable shopping district of downtown San Francisco. Showcased in their window is the one thing they sell. A small, nondescript can with simple lettering. Etched clearly on the plate glass window was...
A mysterious salesman opens shop selling "instant gold," a fine gray powder that isn't gold, but when mixed with equal parts of common sea water, and left to sit for one hour, miraculously transforms into solid 24-karat gold -- and now everyone wants a piece of the action. From common citizens, to big business, to the mob wants to get it, control it, and make a quick fortune from it. The government scrambles to control it while the public lines up wanting their eight ounces of fine gray powder and eight ounces of sea water to turn into one pound of solid gold, earning them a hefty $60 an hour profit -- which, in 1964, was a small fortune!
Could it be real? Could the age-old alchemy dream of creating gold have come true at last? And who are the mysterious inventors of this wondrous concoction? The world needs to know!
* * *
Instant Gold is a modern day fairy tale that satirizes human greed and lays bare the whole paradox of free enterprise capitalism, all the while thumbing a symbolic nose at big government.
- Mundania Press LLC
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Meet the Author
In a career spanning four decades, Frank O'Rourke published more than sixty works of fiction. The versatility which became a hallmark of O'Rourke's writing was demonstrated in more than one hundred short stories which appeared during the 1940s and '50s in The Saturday Evening Post, Collier's, Ladies Home Journal, and Esquire.
From 1948 to 1956, O'Rourke published seven sports novels, two mysteries, one under the pseudonym Frank O'Malley, and industrial novel, and twenty westerns. Since the early westerns were continually reprinted, O'Rourke was generally categorized as a western writer. He wrote several contemporary satires on modern society's worship of money including Instant Gold in 1964.
In 1988, in his early seventies, O'Rourke began to write children's books. There stories are an expression of rare strength, an imagination as fresh in the last years as it had been in the beginning years. It's all the more remarkable when one considers that during the twenty years from 1969 to 1989, he was struggling with bronchial asthma, and was treated by doctors who prescribed the steroid drug prednisone; they neither monitored nor limited the amount. As a result, the long-term use and large amounts slowly destroyed his body. And on April 27, 1989, after finishing a final story, he ended his own life by gunshot.
"As I remember him, he was one of the most engaging, energetic, and alove people I ever met. To try to think along with him, or to follow him through a conversation, about anything, was like trying to flap your arms and fly behind a rocket borne for the edge of the universe." —Carroll Ballard, director of The Black Stallion and Fly Away Home.
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