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       Silver and Gold: A Story of Luck and Love in a Western Mining Camp, p.1

          
Silver and Gold: A Story of Luck and Love in a Western Mining Camp


  SILVER AND GOLD

  * * * * *

  BY THE SAME AUTHOR

  THE FIGHTING FOOL:

  A Tale of the Western Frontier

  Cloth, 12mo. with a wrapper drawn by Edward Borein

  $1.75 net

  E. P. DUTTON & COMPANY

  NEW YORK

  * * * * *

  SILVER AND GOLD

  A Story of Luck and Love in a Western Mining Camp

  by

  DANE COOLIDGE

  Author of "The Fighting Fool" Etc.

  "Gold is where you find it, and Silver in high places." --_Miners' Saying_.

  New YorkE. P. Dutton & Company681 Fifth Avenue

  Copyright, 1919By E. P. Dutton & CompanyAll Rights Reserved

  Printed in the United States of America

  CONTENTS

  CHAPTER PAGE I. The Ground-Hog 1 II. Big Boy 7 III. Hobo Stuff 16 IV. Cash 23 V. Mother Trigedgo 33 VI. The Oraculum 42 VII. The Eminent Buttinsky 53 VIII. The Silver Treasure 61 IX. Bible-Back Murray 72 X. Signs and Omens 81 XI. The Lady of the Sycamores 92 XII. Steel on Steel 100 XIII. Swede Luck 108 XIV. The Strike 119 XV. A Night for Love 128 XVI. A Friend 138 XVII. Broke 147 XVIII. The Hand of Fate 154 XIX. The Man-Killer 161 XX. Jumpers--and Tenors 170 XXI. Broke Again 180 XXII. The Rock-Drilling Contest 189 XXIII. The Heart of his Beloved 200 XXIV. Colonel Dodge 210 XXV. The Answer 219 XXVI. The Course of the Law 231 XXVII. Like a Hog on Ice 238 XXVIII. Parole 245 XXIX. The Interpretation Thereof 251

  SILVER AND GOLD

  _THE PROPHECY_

  "You will make a long journey to the West and there, within theshadow of a Place of Death, you will find two treasures, one of Silverand the other of Gold. Choose well between them and both shall be Yours,but if you choose unwisely you will lose them Both and suffer a greatdisgrace. You will fall in love with a beautiful woman who is an artist,but beware how you reveal your affection or she will confer her handupon Another. Courage and constancy will attend you through life but inthe end will prove your undoing, for you will meet your death at thehands of your Dearest Friend."

  SILVER AND GOLD

  CHAPTER I

  THE GROUND-HOG

  The day had dawned on the summit of Apache Leap and a golden eagle,wheeling high above the crags, flashed back the fire of the sun from hiswings; but in the valley below where old Pinal lay sleeping the heat hadnot begun. A cool wind drew down from the black mouth of Queen CreekCanyon, stirring the listless leaves of the willows, and the shadow ofthe great cliff fell like a soothing hand on the deserted town at itsbase. In the brief freshness of the morning there was a smell offlaunting green from the sycamores along the creek, and the tang ofgreasewood from the ridges; and then, from the chimney of a massivestone house, there came the odor of smoke. A coffee mill began to purrfrom the kitchen behind and a voice shouted a summons to breakfast, butthe hobo miner who lay sprawling in his blankets did not answer theperemptory call. He raised his great head, turned his pig eyes towardthe house, then covered his face from the flies.

  There was a clatter of dishes, a long interval of silence, and then thesun like a flaming disc topped the mountain wall to the east. The squareadobe houses cast long black shadows across the whitened dust of thestreet and as the man burrowed deeper to keep out the light the door ofthe stone house slammed. The day seldom passed when Bunker Hill's wifedid not cook for three or four hoboes but when Old Bunk called a man into breakfast he expected him to come. He stood for a minute, tall andrangy and grizzled, a desert squint in one eye; and then with a mutteredoath he strode across the street.

  "Hey!" he called prodding the blankets with his boot and the hobo camealive with a jump.

  "You look out!" he snarled, bounding violently to his feet and droppingback to a crouch; but when he met Bunker Hill's steely eyes he mumbledsomething and lowered his hands.

  "All right, pardner," observed Hill, "I'll do all of that; but if youfigure on getting any breakfast you'd better come in and eat it."

  "Huh!" responded the hobo scowling and blinking at the sun and thenwithout a word he started for the house. He was a big, hulking man, witharms like a bear and bulging, bench-like legs; but the expression on hisface above his enormous black mustache was that of a disgruntledground-hog. His nose was tipped up, his eyes were small and stubborn andas he ate a hurried breakfast he glanced about uneasily as if fearful ofsome trap; yet if Bunker Hill had any reservations about his guest hedid not abate his hospitality. The coffee was still hot, there wasplenty of everything and when the miner rose to go Old Bunk accompaniedhim to the door.

  "Going to be hot," he observed as the heat struck through their clothes;but the hobo omitted even a nod of assent in his haste to be off downthe trail.

  "Well, the dadblasted bum!" exclaimed Bunker in a rage as the minerpassed over the first hill and, stumping across the street, he rolled upthe tumbled blankets. "The dirty dog!" he grumbled vindictively,hoisting the bed upon his shoulders; but as he started back to the househe heard something drop from the roll. He paused and looked back andthere on the ground lay a wallet, stuffed with bills. It was the miner'spurse, which he had put under his pillow and forgotten in his suddendeparture.

  "O-ho!" observed Bunker as he picked it up. "O-ho, I thought you wasbroke!" He opened the purse with great deliberation, laying bare a greatsheaf of bills, and as his wife and daughter came hurrying down thesteps he counted the hobo's hoard.

  "Over eight hundred dollars," he announced with ominous calm. "Someroll, when a man is bumming his meals and can't even stop to saythanks----"

  "He's coming back for it," broke in his wife anxiously. "And now,Andrew, please don't----"

  "Never mind," returned her husband, slipping the wallet into his pocket,and she sighed and folded her hands. The hobo was walking fast, comingback down the hill, and when he saw Hill by the blankets he broke into aponderous trot.

  "Say," he called, "you didn't see a purse, did ye? I left one under myblankets."

  "A purse!" exclaimed Bunker with exaggerated surprise. "Why I thoughtyou was broke--what business have _you_ got with a purse?"

  "Well, I had a few keep-sakes and----"

  "You're a liar!" rapped out Bunker and his sharp lower jaw suddenlyjutted out like a crag. "You're a liar," he repeated, as the hobo let itpass, "you had eight hundred and twenty-five dollars."

  "Well, what's that to you?" retorted the miner defiantly. "It's mine, sogimme it back!"

  "Oh, I don't know," drawled Bunker hauling the purse from his pocket andlooking over the bills, "I don't know whether I will or not. You came inhere last night and told me you were broke, but right here is where Icollect. It'll cost you five dollars for your supper and breakfast andfive dollars more for your bed--that's my regular price to transients."

  "No, you don't!" exclaimed the hobo, but as Bunker looked up he drewback a step and waited.

  "That's ten dollars in all," continued Hill, extracting two bills fromthe purse, "and next time you bum your breakfast I'd advise you to thankthe cook."

  "Hey, you give me that money!" burst out the miner hoarsely, holding outa threatening hand, and Bunker Hill rose to his full height. He was sixfeet two when he stooped.

  "W'y, sure," he said handing over the wallet; but as the miner turned togo Hill jabbed him in the ribs with a pistol. "Just a moment, myfriend," he went on quietly, "I just want to tell you a few things. I'vebeen feeding men like you for fifteen years, right here in this oldtown, and I've never turned one away yet; but you can tell any bo thatyou meet on the trail that the road-sign for this burg is changed. Iused to be easy, but so help me Gawd, I'll never feed a hobo again. Heremy wife has been slaving over a red-hot stove cooking grub for youhoboes for years and the first bum that forgets and leaves his purse haseight hundred dollars--cash! Now you git, dad-burn ye, before I do theworld a favor and fill you full of lead!" He motioned him away with themuzzle of his pistol while his wife laid a hand on his arm, and afterone look the hobo turned and loped over the top of the hill.

  "Now Andrew, please," expostulated Mrs. Hill, and, still breathing hard,Old Bunk put up his gun and reached for a chew of tobacco.

  "Well, all right," he growled, "but you heard what I said--that's thelast doggoned hobo we feed."

  "Well--perhaps," she conceded, but Bunker Hill was roused by the memoryof years of ingratitude.

  "No 'perhaps' about it," he asserted firmly, "I'll run every last one ofthem away. Do you think I'm going to work my head off for my family,only to be et out of house and home? Do you think I'm going to have youcooking meals for these miners when they're earning their five dollars aday? Let 'em buy a lunch at the store!"

  "No, but Andrew," protested Mrs. Hill, who was a large, motherly souland not to be bowed down by work, "I'm sure that some of them areworthy."

  "Yes, I know you are," he answered, smiling grimly, "that's what youalways say. But you hear me, now; I'm through. Don't you feed anotherman."

  He turned to his daughter for support, but his bad luck had just begun.Drusilla was shading her eyes from the sun and staring up the trail.

  "Oh, here comes another one," she cried in a hushed voice and pointed upthe creek. He stood at the mouth of the black-shadowed canyon where thetrail comes in from Globe--a young man with wind-blown hair, lookingdoubtfully down at the town; but when he saw them he stepped boldlyforth and came plodding down the trail.

  "Oh, not this one!" pleaded Mrs. Hill when she saw his boyish face; butBunker Hill thrust out his jaw.

  "Every one of 'em," he muttered, "the whole works--all of 'em! You womenfolks go into the house."

 
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