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and torn uniforms, we had broken shovel-handles, curses of miners, the rattling of tin pans, and torn red flannel shirts. It so happened that the "faithful" all rusted for the same spot, and when their lions were served the lambs found the balance of the best in the hands of or in the possession of the “Gentiles.” This occasioned considerable sparring among themselves, and resulted in the “lambs” selling out for from ten to fifteen dollars, being their entire summer's work.
I did not trust my interest at this time, to the supervision of a hired man, but joined in the foot-race, leaving Prince (the cook) in charge of the store. I knew nothing about the best points in the bar, but followed the "Prophet” and his satellites, and when they selected their "leads” I took the one next above; in this lead I had an opportunity of seeing rich deposits, although I kept it from the knowledge of the "faithful.” I would go on the bar at 9 A. M. and work until 12; then from 1 P. M. to 4. On one day I got eleven and a half ounces, and on several days as high as six ounces. The bed of my lead was rotten granite, which in some places was entirely covered, being yellow with gold; in some of the crevices of the rock I would take it out with a spoon, almost entirely free from dirt. The person having the lead next above me found a piece in a crevice worth twenty-five dollars, which was thought extremely large for river gold; it was found in a cavity of its own size and form, and seemed to have dropped in in a molten state. The final result was a loss to almost all concerned in the operation; the same result attended all the canalling operations within my knowledge with one or two exceptions; such experiments require such immense expenditures that they must be extremely productive to remunerate.
Some three weeks after Jim's departure, as I was sitting in the store, in the after part of the day, I heard a peculiar whoop, and looking up the side of the mountain I saw a cloud of dust, and a something flying in the air that had the appearance of a sail that had broken loose from its lower yard during a gale; then there were four legs and two other legs, all of them seemed to be running races; whether on the ground or in the air it was difficult to tell. I soon came to the conclusion that it was a trial of speed between Old Gray and Jim; they both
JIM'S ADVENT AT SACRAMENTO CITY.
arrived about the same time; Jim a little ahead; as between his poncho and old Gray's latter extremity it was about an even race, and they both settled down quietly, as if glad the race had ended. As Jim drew up to the door, he dismounted, and throwing on the counter a large handkerchief filled with gold and silver, said, “Well, I vow captain, I've made a raise;" he then untied his handkerchief; there were twenty or thirty dollars in silver, the balance in gold coin; the former he insisted upon my accepting, assuring me that it was of not the least value to him. He had been up the river twenty miles, had fallen in with a Mormon who had some money, and who proposed that Jim should deal "monte" and share the profits; in a few nights they had won $13,000; the half of this was more money than he cared to have by him at any one time, and was on his way to Sacramento City to spend it. He felt in high spirits, and as there were two gamblers along in the evening, who wished to open a "monte bank,” he wished me to allow them to do so, which I did; they had a capital of a few hundred dollars, and Jim was to try his luck at betting, which, by-theway,
he understood as well as the other branch of the game. He watched the run of the cards for some time, then wished to cut them; soon he made a small bet—it won; he made a larger bet, and won it also; after making a few successful bets, he “tapped the bank," and won it; at about midnight he mounted Old Gray for Sacramento City, with as much money as he could conveniently carry
The next morning a man came to the store, who saw Jim sleeping under a tree, his money under his head, his horse tied with a lasso, having traveled about five miles on his
to town. On his arrival, he looked upon Sacramento City as his guest, and emptied his handkerchief in drinking its health. He had all the inhabitants drunk who were disposed that way, and
, many of them much against their will. He was quite successful in getting rid of his money, and one week after his advent, he had invested his last dollar. He had engaged to pilot the mail through to Santa Fé, for the government, and the time arrived while he was entertaining the city. Of course, he could not leave just then, and when the officer in charge ordered him to starty he declared in the strongest language, that he considered himself full as good as some men, and better than others. The result was that he was put in irons. One day of such confinement would be sufficient to bring him to his senses, and make him long for his mountain air. I have no doubt that, ere this, he has seen the mail safely deposited at Santa Fé, and is, perhaps, again extensively engaged in the mule trade.
FALSE REPORTS AND THEIR INFLUENCES-DAILY AVERAGE-ABUNDANCE OF GOLD-ORIGI
NAL DEPOSIT" COYOTAING -SAILORS—THEIR SUCCESS AND NOBLE CHARACTERISTICS-THEATRICAL TENDENCIES-JACK IN THE AFTER-PIECE-MINERS ON A
" THE WRONG TENT.
THERE was an almost universal uneasiness felt throughout the mineral regions. Not a day would pass without arrivals and departures. To-day, a report would be in circulation that at a particular point on the Juba, or Feather river, miners were getting one hundred dollars per day. A party would immediately set out, and to.morrow a party will arrive from that particular point, having heard that at this point, miners had actually got all they could carry away. They would arrive with a full supply of provisions, utensils, &c., but being disappointed, there would be no alternative but to sell out, as their provisions could not be drawn up the mountain. To-day a man arrives who has prospected throughout the southern mines without success, and fallen in with a report that has brought him to this point. Miners who are successful say nothing about it, but those who are not, are generally fond of making an impression. I have now in my mind's eye several individuals who were almost daily visitors at the store, who had always just discovered a very rich deposit. But strange as it may seem, that deposit never happened to find its way into the individual's pocket. Now, a man will come in, all excitement, having just discovered, in a mountain gorge, a deposit so rich that gold can be picked up by pounds and halfpounds. He is out of provisions, and on his way to town to lay in a stock, preparatory to availing himself of his rich discovery. He talks incessantly of his prospects, and on his arrival in town imparts the information to the press. It is published as coming from the individual himself, and, of course, worthy of credit. It is copied by papers throughout the world, and uni. versally believed; this individual, however, in the course of a week, has engaged to drive team by the month, or if returning to the mines, goes in some other direction, as if having forgotten his rich discovery. His report, however, sends thousands to look for the spot, which, I need not say, they do not succeed in finding. The precise spot is rarely found; people get within twenty miles of it, but seldom nearer. As if exerting the influence of the Upas tree, they cannot approach within the prescribed limit. At the same time, many were engaged in private leads that were paying well, some averaging an ounce per day, and some even more. At the mouth of a ravine near, there were ten persons at work, who were averaging one and a half ounces per day. There were others in the vicinity doing equally well.
The country had been thoroughly prospected; there was not a bar nor ravine that did not bear the impress of the pick and shovel. There were daily discoveries of deposits, sufficiently rich to pay well; still, such discoveries, in proportion to the number in search of them, were not one to twenty. All were earning something, and the mass more than their expenses, still they were not averaging good wages. A man could place his machine almost anywhere and get two dollars per day; this, however, barely pays for the provisions consumed, and unless a lead will pay at least five or six dollars, it is not considered worth working. A miner finds a lead that pays six dollars, he exhausts it in six, or say ten days; his expenses are two dollars per day, leaving him, at the end of ten days, forty dollars. He now spends a week, perhaps more, before he finds another lead that will
expenses have reduced the amount in hand to twenty-six dollars. If he goes any considerable distance, he must hire a mule to carry his provisions, machine, &c., which will cost him one ounce ($16) per day; two days exhausts his fund. There are in California, two hundred thousand inhabitants. Say half this number are engaged in mining-at five dollars each, it amounts to half a million daily. Now, according to statistics, this is more, by half, than is actually produced, and half this amount, or two dollars and a half, is about the daily average, take the mass together.