Shortly after her cousin Frances ran away from home, Ellie received a letter from her explaining that she left because her father, the sheriff, captured her boyfriend, the outlaw Dirk Valentine. When he was hanged nine days later, Frances left Arizona and swore never to return. She wrote to Ellie that Dirk hid a treasure for her to find, but she was too heartbroken to look for it and gave Ellie her permission to search for it instead. She also sent Ellie a ring and a picture of her and her father.
Decades later, Ellie, who may or may not have looked for the treasure herself, gave the letter, ring, and picture to her grand-nephew Dave Gregory.