BLTC Press Titles

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The Secret Doctrine, Volume II Anthropogenesis

H. P. Blavatsky

Some Experiences of an Irish R. M.

Edith Somerville and Martin Ross

The Revolt of the Netherlands

Friedrich Schiller

Novalis Including Hymns to the Night

Novalis, George MacDonald, Thomas Carlyle

Copper Streak Trail

by Eugene Manlove Rhodes


"Wash the dishes. You do it."

"You are a light-minded and frivolous old man," said Stan. "What are we going to do about our mine?"

"I've done told you. We — per you — are due to wash up the dishes. Do the next thing next. That's a pretty good rule. Meantime I will superintend and smoke and reflect."

"Do your reflecting out loud, can't you?" said Stan. His smooth forehead wrinkled and a sudden cleft appeared between his eyebrows, witness of an unaccustomed intentness of thought. "Say, Pete; this partnership of ours is n't on the level. You put in half the work and all the brains."

'"Sail right," said Pete Johnson. "You furnish the luck and personal pulchritude. That ain't all, either. I'm pickin' up some considerable education from you, learning how to pronounce words like that — pulchritude. I mispronounced dreadful, I reckon."

"I can tell you how to not mispronounce half as many words as you do now," said Stan.

"How's that?" said Pete, greatly interested.

"Only talk half so much."

"Fair enough, kid! It would work, too. That ain't all, either. If I talked less you'd talk more; and, talking more, you'd study out for yourself a lot of the things I tell you now, gettin' credit from you for much wisdom, just because I hold the floor. Go to it, boy! Tell us how the affairs of We, Us & Company size up to you at this juncture."

"Here goes," said Stan. "First, we don't want to let on that we 've got anything at all on our minds — much less a rich mine. After a reasonable time we should make some casual mention of discontent that we 've sent off rock to an assayer and not heard from it. Not to say a word would make our conspirators more suspicious; a careless mention of it might make them think our find was n't such-amuch, after all. Say! I suppose it would n't do to pick up a collection of samples from the best mines round Cobre — and inquire round who to write to for some more, from Jerome and Cananea, maybe; and then, after talking them up a while, we could send one of these samples off to be assayed, just for curiosity — what?"

"Bear looking into," said Pete; "though I think they 'd size it up as an attempt to throw 'em off the trail. Maybe we can smooth that idea out so we can do something with it. Proceed."

"Then we'll have to play up to that location you filed by hiking to the Gavilan and going through the motions of doing assessment work on that dinky little claim."

Feeling his way, Stan watched the older man's eyes. Pete nodded approval.

"But, Pete, are n't we taking a big chance that some one will find our claim? It is n't recorded, and our notice will run out unless we do some assessment work pretty quick. Suppose some one should stumble onto it?"

"Well, we've got to take the chance," said Pete. "And the chance of some one stumbling on our find by blind luck, like we did, is n't a drop in the bucket to the chance that we'll be followed if we try to slip away while these fellows are worked up with the fever. Seventyfive thousand round dollars to one canceled stamp that some one has his eye glued on us through a telescope right this very now! I would n't bet the postage stamp on it, at that odds. No, sir! Right now things shape up hotter than the seven low places in hell.

"If we go to the mine now — or soon — we'll never get back. After we show them the place — adids el mundo!"

'"Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird,'" Mitchell quoted soberly. "So you think that after a while, when their enthusiasm dies down, we can give them the slip?"

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