“How does Leaping Squirrel sound?” asked Red, swishing his flashlight across the tunnel floor to avoid any slick spots.
“It’s better than Dung Beetle,” Robbie answered, emulating Red’s movements. “That’s not even a traditional Native American symbol or anything.”
“So you’d be unique,” said Red, chuckling and gingerly making his way forward.
“Why do you get the cool name, but I get the terrible one?”
“Because you’re the sidekick.”
“I’m supposed to be your apprentice, Red. But you never actually teach me anything.”
Robbie sighed. “Like what we’re doing in this tiny cave?”
“It’s called spelunking. There, I just taught you something.”
“Legend says that an ancient Indian burial site was hidden deep within this cave network, which, of course, comes with lost treasure guarded by deadly traps.”
Robbie stopped moving. “Traps? Seriously?”
“No,” said Red. “But people think all sorts of stuff like that’s real.”
Robbie inched forward again. “What’s to keep people from taking the gold?”
“There is no gold.”
“Why are we wasting time here, instead of checking out some other site, then?”
“Because there’s never any gold,” Red said.
Robbie stopped again. “But you always find treasure or an artifact or old bones or something.”
“Nope,” replied Red. “Usually I bring along something I can say I found when I give my press conference. Or else I say there was a cave-in and the site was buried. Or that some greed on the part of the White Man – pollution or deforestation or whatever – destroyed a historic find. Press eats that stuff up.”
“Has it ever been real?” asked Robbie.
“Just that one time, when I was a kid.”
“Is your name even really Red Raven?”
Red turned to face his companion. “What do you think?”
“I think you told everyone your grandfather gave you that name to make yourself sound more authentic,” Robbie answered.
Red grinned. “Red Constantinos. My grandfather was Greek. The rest of me’s Indian, though. That’s real enough.”
“Speaking of real…” said Robbie, shining his light over Red’s shoulder. The pair looked at a glinting reflection from a cavern ahead. It had a distinctly golden tint.
“Huh,” said Red. “How does Eagle Eyes sound?”