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The Finding Of The "albia."

The Finding Of The "albia." image
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Thai' it I? I've spent a montli sirchin' t, mi' more m ney Umtl I cmild ave in ix. I've tot tod ii an' down that gulcli till iuy eyea are hlinded with the 'tarnal rocha, All kinds, jest a stlckln' out, tu ketch tlie hui, 'céptln1 tliis kind as is wanted, an' is 'n hidin,' KflMwhere. 1 jiivi'S It np. Ai ff any ntlier feller keu' tin' it welcmii'', snys Ned Clnrk ! " A he spokc, lie threw upon the counter ii bit of rock, Inoklng ullenly at it, wliile, one by nne, the irroup of men aroand tlie ([Mal slove in the middle or the store OHine np and cxainined the mail piece of botutilul red quariz with KOld fail ly stuüilin it. No one mude a cotnment, eaeh laylng it down with ;i sln uu of the shoulderB, until it had psM'd thrnuyh everv hii'id in ttie atine except a young fellow's wlio, the first to leave tlie stove, luid stootl silent Diitll the men werp hack In tlieir comtortable giUftvn ncar tlie il r-, and the rock. on the counter. Than he ipproüclieu1, took It np, turning it over and over in lus htuiil, siyiog slow ly as il thinkinr aloud: "It i the first pu re red quartz I vi Been in the camp." "On, is ity " Ned Clark's voice mix'ked the quict wurds, and NeU OLnk's i mldy tace w:is ful 1 of open contempt The young ftllow did notanswer, nave no evidence of havinir henrj, just kept on Bteadily lookinjf ut the quaft?, Afler ii Ii w moiiKdiu' silencu Ned #rew niiiiient. ''Well, wliy doiit you gk f" bc Mkd. "I have nothing I wisli to siiy," ans wcred the otlier. His talr, unbeurded face looksd out of place ainong the gun butut, heavilv bearileil men, whoexpectnj; amusement " in Ned chalTin' tlie yiiungster," stopped all oonversation to listen. "Oh!" sneered Ned, " p'raps thar's suthin yer wish to do? " And ppreading out his chest he laujrhed sarcastically at the Mtripllng, who with the slenderncsg ofyoutll und of deliiate build, nppeared a chlld In contrast with him. "Vc", there Is soinething I wi."h to do. I wish to look tor the lede that rock came from." His voice was quiet and flrin, his luit well back on his brlght hair, ühowtog how very fair and young he was. Yet, there was no lack of manliiiess, for he looked untiintlilnl y back at the brawny fellow trying to provoke hls anger. " Yer want ter fin' that ledge ? Yer wants ter !ln' it, does yer? Yer wants the nioon, too! I spee's ye'd cry for the sun," snet'ied Claik. My wants are nothing to you, Ned Clark." The young fellow's luce was red now with im!,'er. "You siild atiy oue could try who wanted to. And I mean to try. You have no rlght to these inountains! You can'l lócate a ledge before you lind it. Keep your bit of rock," he tossed t back on the counter; " I have eyes, and eau remember what I've geen!' "Oh, yer ht'Z eye, he yer li'ile purty ejes too ! An' a face like a gal's, with a a soft, white skin ! U's a pity yer mother didu'l keep yer at home, stead o' lettin yer run over these mountaina o' Nevada a-ípoilin' yer beauty ! " " We eau't help our fuces, but we can manners, and if you dare speak of my niother again, 111 strike you in the nioutli ! " said the young fellow. "Oh, yer'll strike, will yer ! Thar ! " Ned Clrk tlirew out his list wiih such fbrce that would have leveled Georse El mair, but he was prepared. A quick slde step, and the blow feil harmles.". Nul go ;he well directed one on Ned's great chest, wlilch n place ofanjpsrlng, pleased iiiu. "Ha, h ! " he shontcd, "Georga Elfnalr, yer hrz knocked the devil out i' me. When I seed yer a peckiu' at thtt rock. 1 feit that contempt tor ycr, as I wonld feel fer a gal masqiieradin' in ants ! But, blame me' if yer ain't a boy - and a fust elasg one, too. Here's my han', an honest one thougli rough. Take he rock, lad, an' es yer fin' it dein me ef thar'll be a man In ernnp ns l'll be rendier to say hooray than Ned Clark ! " George returncd Ned's grip with one as hearty, anil then. without a word to he men aboiit the stove, went on, ukmg tlie trail across tlie low hlll that leel in he "dugout' in the rocks where lic was 'caliiiiing." He was a boy, and a young nnc, not laving yet reacued his majority; but he lad a p:iini'ui spot In bis lite that, but for lis mother, mlght have blighted all the years be had to live. The mention of hi raotber's name before the erowd of rough men had set his heart throbbing, his lipt renibling. And hete, in the darkm s. eavinsr behind him tl e light of the store, and twinkling candles in cabin Windows, lie tearl carne out. They ran down it is eheeks as he wlii-.ered: "l'in a baby and a girl. But how '. do love her! I was tfilnking of her, almost in despair to-night, as I sat in tlie store, only because I had no money to waste for candles and tirewood. And hen when thut man brotight in the rock t seemed to me God had sent him - f God ever does eend help to a fellow !" he continued, sa.lly, For he was almost in despair. The light fiom which his mother had rescued him had fallen upou him thiough lis own ruilt, and she, to save Mm, bad aid all she liad. " The only son ol a vidow." Word so simple and full of uithog that tbey have come down to us hrough ares, carrying with them the his ory of two lives. And tbis widow, this only son, were as dear to eacb othei, as neecssary, as ever had been tbose others n the sciiptural story. She had been too iiuselflsli, this widowi'd mother; and be such a bright, af!e tionate, wlllfnl boy, that whlle really Deeding rreatest control he had seemed not to require any. Study came eay to hiin; snecess s a right; A college education, and then a )rofession ! This was the naother's lream. Stlnting herself, and keeping the stiut hidden, that lier boy niight stand amoiifi liia peer?, nor 1 ick what hcy had in abiuidance. Just the boy to win boy's ueartsand lead In manly sports, George Elmair's years in college had een one scène ot triumph, initil at ast at the very close, with honors stlll warm on his biow, he did, what other boys bad done before, and what alas! tbey will hereafter do - "he went ou a spree." Went on a spree witli sorae other felows, full as merry, but not so innocent as he Aud for result - not only acliing ïead and limbs, but papers forged ! How it happened be knew not, having ïo memory beyond the liour of druuken merriment, until after three days' searchng his mother fouud him In bed, In a trange hotel, his oODipanlon fl-d, and under his pillow the notes that had been advertised. An hour of agony, an explanntion that wng no explaiiation, and then, with, a pruyer to the God of the latherless, just is George was, his inotherbade him drevs ind come witb her to the banker's office. Pauslng flrst at her own bank, and draw n% out lier every cent, she hunied on ler feet not seeming quick enough to c:irrv her to íave her boy from dlshonor With her Imnd on Qeorge's arm, and in her bosom the book containing her llttle ttH - the all that stood between her and destitutlon - went the mother to tlie riek man's office, asking adinission Treated most curtley yet she laid down tier moiiey and stated her mission. At flrst the offer was refused, proecution was threatened, but slie pleaded m a mother can; then. a an Intel gent woman, slie stated that miiny polntt in tier boy's favor, and the slight cuse that couhl bc niadc agalnst him, that his only roof of guilt lay in the unconsclous posession of n"tes which she tierself had Found. The rich man finallv constderedi and, with ttie moMier's thanks, a-oepted lier monry, opeued the door for her, and let lier pas out pcnniless, into the world. There followcd d'iys of agony for George - days when, between him and :he despair of his ynung hoart, stood his mother, like the angel tic had ca'.led her, telling him (bat suicide whs cowardlce, that fhe believed in his nianhood, and looked to bis future as her sole hope. Then, with the rashnes of youth, he aiseitcd tbal if a future was possible for him. he must find it 'Hit In the Weit, iimong a nobler class tlian in tlie Eistern cities, wbere friend was synonym witli traitor. The young fellow was so ne irly brokenbearted that the mother yiclled, sold her watch and evcry trinket saved from the wreek of pist prosperlty, and sent him offloaded with her blesslngfl and her loTe. He knew slie had obtained a podtion aa a teacher, but be did not know her last cent was in hls pocket, and that the only bit of gold she owned was her weilding-ring. He knew she would be lonely for him, but he did not know that under her smile at partlng her heart cried out in agony for lier only child. No, he did not know this, nor what he would feel, when far from her the Westwurd bound train bore him and his bright liopes. He only knew that he would soon be back to lier with a fottune, like every fellow did who went West. Tliia was George Elmair's firm belief, when from a forlorn little station of the P. libe took the stage to the Great Camp of Bellaire. The miners In their ftinncl shlrU, and pants tucked in boots, who sat with him on the stage, which, more properly detined, was an old fashloned "buckboard," gave him no more attention than a passing look. "A boy like a gal, wid a skin like a babby's. Wonder what he's doln' bere!" said one brawny feil OW, who had notbing of his babybood aboiit him- not a relie of its purity to judge from his broad joke, at which bis oompanions laughed, sometimes elappinsr liim on the back with: '-Wal, Ned Clark, but yer is good company." "I 11 itters mysell better'n a baby, who's nigli ter cryin' fer his mamma," Ned Clark shouted, as the horses ran down a little gulcb, jottllng the occupantg of the stngc, togetlier TlK'se loud words reaclied George Elmair's ears, and made him conscious tli1 the gense of desolation in his heart, bat sent its expresión to bis face. íle turned liis hesd away, preseed hls lipa together, wondered If man was the animal wlio most delighted to opprecs his iiiil, iind tlicn, determlning to give no forthcp cause for jokes to the man called Ned Clark, ' began to observe more and ihink le. The country tbrough whicli luy were rapidly riding geemetl a desert to him, with ts light, sandy soil rising Ín clouds, and the he.ivy sage bush losing even its grayish semblance to green, as he dust settled upon it. The bu:lie', though, sent up a pungent and rather jleasant odor, and the soll was capible t cultivation. as was evlnced by the large lelds of gtain, and fine potato-vines, whicli, called "ranches" were fouiid at every streamlet. What a relief these 'babbllDI brooks" were to the hungry vallej', that swallowed ttiem up witain ts sunily licpths ! II w they spoke of cool and shady looks as they ran down from the great, )luc-clad mountains, that wlth their Bhowy crests sent out here and there n gip;it "boulder" to "show formation," wliu'h since the minéis had cea9ed laughus; at him, seemed their only topic of conversatiou ! The stage stopped at each of the ranches,' its passengers apparently wellinovvn to the "fellers," WBO would leave vli iicver they were about, "Jest to give 'er a shake, Ned," they said to the ruddyaccd, hroad-chested man. "Ned, seenied a Ihto in tlieseparts, but George, concludug hi' bad done sometliing remarkable, was soon undeceived by a young girl - he tirst strauger to be pleased with him. Slie ran out to the buck-bo.ird with a gl tas of milk as he Mt waitiner. "Mother sez asshe'll be glad ter licv yer :ike this; it's so awful dusty ter day," said, holding out the milk. "Thank you." He gratefully accepted ler courtesy. Then she continued In the perfect rankness commoii to the West: " I say, efyrr Isa stranger to these parts, and hain't got no trien'?, yer'd better make ip ter Ned Clark. He's orful good ef be is a iiiind. an' niighty mean ef he ain't. Why, he's jest skinned a greenliorii out o' l"t o' money, jest fer a lark ! An" lien" - wlth a 1 lugh, as i fshe was telling i gnod j 'kc - ' jest took all these fellows lown ler Californy! Now money's all une Ned's back So f yer hez sp ir" jest ook out. An' ef yer ís dead broke gee íed; lie'll help yer." The girl - and a pretty girl, too - told the story with such evident rellsh, such lerfect giiorance of any wrong on Ned's art, that the free generous West, George íad been dreaming of began to seeni a )lace where man sinneil nul orred, the sume as in Eastern cities, but without shaine or liypocrUy to hide his wrong. The lireat Mountains were, however, rraaij ihcy grew awful in their grandeur is the stage, after rushing down a road so preclpltoua that George felt exultaion from the very danger, drew up to a ¦tora. Betoral men lounging routed themselves intu snmathlng llice life, wben one excl:iimed: "Ned Clark, 11 1 be derned!" 'Yus, Ned Clark," called out the disinguished son of the camp with a voice nat despite George's inclinalion to fiuht liin, liad a plrasaiit ring in it "Xed ílurk an' dead broke. Ha ha ! " he aughed. "Ualiforny's the place ter scatm yer c ish, but dcrn me ef Bellaire, pore as i looks - " and the grent fellow made a how to the few poor cabiii9 that wern til of the 'great camp of Bellaire," as he newspapers liad calleil it - "jest dern me ef Bellaire ain't the place ter plek il ípl" He stiuck one hand into the other, ooked round to see who would negatlve lis remark, and, tiuding hlmself the adnired center of a ring of fellows wlth louch bats and canvas pants, lnughed once more hl9 "H i, ha ! " George Elmair, in his Eastern-out lothes, with bis college elegance showng iisi-lf even more tlian his surprise at he sceue before him, was bitterly sinilllg ilt hlS tllHUglltS. Was this to be the scène of his success? 3ow was ho to make beadway against such ludeness, sucb roughness? líe did not underataud lliat. rude and rough as he men were, liad they known of his 10%'erty añil bis difflcultles, hardly one in he group, including Ned Clark "himself, jut would have extended his hand and, calling bun "pard," have offered hiin a aliara oí' the best he had. But they did not know tbis, andqulckly lading nol h was no cupiulut for whoai ,hey could "s.ilt a miue," they concluded ie hel I himself above tbem, aml tbey lateJ him for bis reserve ind dignity. "He'l a settlo' himself above us" the oiuigeis in tlie store said to one another, mil so the phr.ise spread to the whole camp; even the rirls - pretty ones, too, tro up in the mountains ! - turued up their noses as he pasged to and fio up t he (ulchei seekiug work. Had the men icen friendly things would llave been easy, and an experienced minersoon huve flveu li i ui practical lessons. But as it was, work was hard to get. Tlie gravel is was called the great boud rs of rock witli their cement of sand and stnall stones, was not easy for au inexperie:iced minar to move. And though George Elin ti i swung the piek, brlngiug its point lown in better potltiOQ euch day ; Ihough. with his unused to labor, he left tlie ni irk of his blood un the hard wooden handles, and worked the nu ill rockers imlil the gold was caught iu the rifles, and his 11 sh scared with many a deep cut the water leaves as ita compllineDts; he could not pay tlie high prlces for meaU at the "Rstaraunt," nor the lodgin house charge for a very bard bed. S i he withdiew more and more into liinistilf, found an iinused "dug-ouf In the mountains tor a cabin, and buyiug a sack of flour and side of bacon, with hls last silver, bravely started "cabining ' for liimself. If he had had a companion tosbari' his hardships. lie could have made light of them; but he was iilonc, and a lonely laugh brnught forth fea'rful echoes from that hole in the rocks. Thecontempt the miners feit for hls "education and liandsotue face," he returned for their "roughness, gambling and drinking;" and though the letters to his inothor were ftill of cheerfulness, he 10 ithed the openly committed sius of the mountain c unp, feeling with a shiiddcr that froin just siicti, undera velvet coveriii};, liis inotlier had rescued liim. Mother! It was the thought of her that kept him from despair, kept him from tossing his voung Ufe as a worthless gift back tn bis Creator. What brave IiIIits she wrote ! How she belleved in 11 1 1 ii ! He must repay her. 8o he struggled on against want and dissapointment, uu til that cold evening, shivering in his "dug-out," In; had gone to the store, liad seen the red rck, and resolved to llnd the led ge. (corge's pluck in hltting Xeil had delighted more tliati the great fellow himself. "Hi're, lad; here's luck ! Drink wi' us ter yer üudin' the red ledge," had called out severa! volee. And even though the lad refused, the niiners had all drunk to liim, wiping their luouths with the backs of their hands' and ctlüng hlm "derned plucky." He was plucky, starting out the next moi-ning, walking up the gulch, keeping his eyes eastward, picking up bits of the red quartz, whlch in min Ing parlauce is Cilled "float." These "lloats" persistently stnpped at the toot of one great bald peak whose only ornament was a dead cedar, whlch had gained for it the sobriquet of 'Injun's Arrow." For 1 g tall black iplre struck out against the sky like b giant's sharpened wenpon. Nothing had ever been found on thls bald peuk; not even a boulder broke lts smooth surface, nor wild flowers which, during Spring and early sumraer, cover these mountain?. Alone, wiih lts "Injun's Airow," the peak hasttood for centurles. "It Is nothing hut country oarth, the wash of some waves millionsof years ago, when these valleys were "great seas," said Geniore to hinisclf, adding the miners' belief to Kis own theories. So he passed the bold peak, searching still farther up the gulch for the bits of red float. None could be found. "Well, I'll tiy here, for it is nowhere else." he said, and began the ascent towards "Iiijun's Arrow." He bed wnlked a jrood distanee, slipplog, falllnr and pnlflng himsalfup, before a bit of the red rock greeted hls eye?, when suddenly, after a backward look where the valle.v, hung wlth the morning's mist, seenicd the land of plenty and not sandy waste, he started foward agaln, and just at his foet a great plece of the rock he was searching for lay before hlm. He picked it up with a cry of joy. He had not feit so glad sincc, as stioke," his crew had won the college raoe. For he was on the right track. He knew it, and he would persevere. He kept his resolution, though day after day he would spend hours in searching, day then, after " packlng," the Western term for earryfnir, - whole sacks of rock down to the spring, only tiny bits of the red quartz would reward hls labor. His money was gone, his food was scarce, bis strenglh failed fast ; yet pantIng, exhausted, on h.e toiled. The whole camp grew interested in him. The men betted on him, some even speculated tvbether it would "jost be neighbor-like ter offer him a loan,'1 but li is own proud bearing and reserve made them "kinder 'shamed." One day the maddest desire for liquor carne on hlm, He feit f he had but one drink to warm him he would be able to find the ledtre. But then the mother who loved him rose In his tlioughts; and weak, ablverlng, wenrted, he started once mure up the bald peak. It wis so high, lluro was no other peak above it. It was so steep Geoiffe Elmair staggercd uuder the smal! prospectlng piek with its hammer on one side, his only weapon in the battle for success. 'Til reach that arrow to-day," he said, 'Til reacli il ifjit be only to die at it." And then he said "Mortier ! " wilh a sob. Then he was sllent, earehlng in the ]oo-r eartb for those specksof red quartz. Midd iy ;found hiin near the "Injun's Arrow," but perfectly exhausted; so exhausted that he feil on his face, and at the same time into heavy, trance-like slep. He woke with a shiver. He had dremned his raother was calling, and he could nottindher; yet the sleep strengthened him, for he saw the great dead cedar tree and said: "I'll reach you now." Then hls head grew llght, he begnn to laugh at money and its power. He began to fancy hlmself a klng. Aking! He would at least have a tire to die by. As the warnith cheered him he grew more mastor of himself. The glorlous view of moiintaiu after mountain range, the wide valley wlth lts sage-bush looking like rerdure, the sky with wonderful pellucid blue, and greatclouds moving In majestic grandeur; and the air, the invigorating breatli of God it seemed, as George's strength temporarily returned. Yes, Xevada was a glorions country. The tire blazed on, crackling and sendIng out its starry sparks like beacons to welcome wanderen, and ftill George dreamed. l'rcsently his heart fht a great leap; he cauglit his breath Was he really mail, or was - that rock therc, just undiii the humt cedar, his ledre? A inoiuetit more he was on his feet, su inging hls piek, and hittlng at that boulder with a giant'g strength. Great pieces llew off, but the boulder was flrm, it was no float. It was the led#r, and - lilled with gold ! 'I proeluim thee "Albia," for iny mother," tfaootad the young fellow half crazed with joy. Then ho built up the llttle piles of rock Odllod "inonunieiitp," and "located" his find, procl.ilming in his notice to whoever mlght chance that way that George Klmair had located this gold-bearing li'dfrc, whioh shall be known as the Albia. That Ie claimed 1,600 feet north and outli, öOÜ feet e&H and west, with all the dips and spurs, and all the advantages the mining laws ol Nevada allowed. Then he addcd dates, put the paper notice between the rock?, and rmhin;down the mountain side, buist into the store with - "l've found the Iedge ! " The men jjathered around hiin; Ned Ciark gave him "a thousand jest down" for one-third, and he sent for hls mother. Bellaire, however.did notseema lonely place to her when she saw her boy's glad face, and he knew he had achleved suncess. Te?, he had suceceded In more than flndlng a fortune, for he had conquered himsclf.


Ann Arbor Courier
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