|Rights||No Copyright - United States (NoC-US)|
|Publisher||Digitized by J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah|
|Article Title||"Pyrites Sam."|
nlsssslllisM r ( . PYRITES SAM. 1 BY E. E. BOWLES. . 41 , If AT:H,-HvvirfTTTVTmrrtFH'TTK f TTE all thought Pyrites Sam wns n YY o1 ,1C vcrJ' day he struck the camp, but wore not absolutely certain until the night he came in with his ' pockets full,of pyrites of Iron, and. taking tak-ing each man aside, privately Informed lilm, with many Injunctions as to secrecy, se-crecy, that he had discovered and lo-" lo-" ' cated a brass mine. As a rule, we had grown very tired of initiating every tenderfoot that came along into the i-- mysteries of quartz mining, showing f ' , ' them the difference between gold-bear ' ing quartz and country -rock; between 4 ( v a true flssureund contact vein; between granite, porphyry, schist, spar, serpentine, serpen-tine, quartzite, etc.; of trends, dips. , spurs, angles, etc.; of shafts, tunnels, stones, winzes and drifts; of the ttianip ? - " illation of the horn spoon or gold pan; how to distinguish the resultant sedb ment, if gold, from mica, pyrites or sul- , phurcts; in u word, teaching horn in ,an hour or two all We had learned after years of toll and privation. We had i "i reached this stage of the "tired feeJ- ' ing" when Sam brought in his "brass" J 1 specimens, and not a man of us would tell him what It was. "Uh-huh," we said, as he carefully exhibited his de- J ceptivc-looking find. What did we think of it? Why, it was a great lind, ' and very high-grade ore if it was" 4 brass. "If" why of course It was , brass; look at it; anybody could see , what It was. We admitted that they could; yes, anybody that knew anything any-thing at all. So we permitted Sam to work uway in ignorance of his claim for two weeks until he received rc-1urns rc-1urns from the samples sent to Los Angeles for assay. Then the "Brass Monkey," as Sam called it, shut down, and he wont to prospecting again. , ille was so persistent and industrious j in his determination to "strike it rich" that we finally began to have a fellow feeling for him and to appreciate his ' pluck; sympathy he did not need. He was jolly and good-natured, and did not j drink to excess, and was never known to l t. turn a card for money. In a friendly j game in his tent the suggestion of i , "draw" at only a dollar limit was al- f -ways met by the quiet statement that li ,1c never played for money, that he was w mised differently, and, besides, his I! money "came so hard" that lie knew he M "" would be a bad loser. Ife was always E ready with his sympathy when anil an-il other's ledge "pinched," "petered" or Jf "broke off," and encouraged" him nil ho JB could; always 'had a song or a story for jjHt -u bad night, and in the event of sickness vjT or injury had some simple remedy in fT 1hu way of poultice that his mother ,fl "used to use." In fact, he was one of jj those happy-go-lucky, light-hearted ,'j , fellows, handy about camp, and a friend 1 io everybody, but one could not get ' rid of the impression that ho "didn't ' ,! v have, any more sense than the law nl-, nl-, is""" "-IV'V lowed." Therefore, It was accepted as ' " V) " & a matter of course, when a tenderfoot L ,''''" ,.. ' struck camp one day in the first stages ft! -'r" -of desert fever, that Sam should take if ' ' entire charge of him and dose him W "with wild sage and "squaw" tea and j . f- concoct appetizing dishes wltih bacon, - . beans, rice and Hour. . ' Ww, As a "stayer," malarial or chagreB fe- J ver Is not to be compared to desert fo- j Ter. The latter drags along and hangs ' on dav after day, week after week, and, "i -!,,.,.., .!'. "although tho patient may bo able to J "' . ' crawl about, .ho is wcak, debilitated and i f nerveless, and "don't care a rattle out i , of the box" whether he lives or dies. P t 'Jlliis was the condition of thnt tender- ' ' foot. During the middle of the day 3 he dragged himself about the camp 5 in the sun, but the remainder of tho '"" - lime he spent in his bunk in Ills tent. One night, when most of the boys were "V f assembled in the "Bedrock," Sam enme. ''. v?f In, and, going up to the bar, drank alone, contrary to his usual custom, v then turned his back on the crowd, ' f"". J leaned his elbow on the bar nnd gazed out into darkness, at tho same time , twisting his mustache fiercely as if worrying over something. "What's wrong, Sam? Patient dead V" .sonic one asked. i "No," said Sam, "but he's n lnyin' up there wish In' he was. I tell you, pard-jjers," pard-jjers," he continued, turning to the 1 crowd, "I'vo been in hard luck myself so've all of us, I guess an' .seen oth- ers In hard luck, but that poor cuss up a i' there's in the hardest wtrenk of luck ' i I ever see. He's plumvdown to bedrock an' nary color." ' "That's nothin, Sam; wo'e all been there .many a time. Whut's the matter, out of grub'." ".Naw, he olin't out of grub, un won't be as long's Sam's got any; but it's T I somebody else. I got n. letter for htm mi to-day on the stnge nn' took it down M to him. After he read it he jest, turned S over wltji his buck to me nn' laid quiet, Bl'"1MB":"i"' WWIWWWWIi Wi WW-W-i -nm--ai Wiiull ' but putty soon I shifted to wliero x could see his face, an' I'll be denied if he wasn't cryin', yes, sir, cryin' like a baby, he's that weak, you know. I says to him easy like: 'What's tho matter, pard?' " 'Nothin',' he says, 'only more hard luck.' " 'Oirl gone foack on you?' I said, thinkin' to be cheerful an' tnakln' up my mind to josh him. " 'No,' he says; 'It 'ud n-becn. better for lier if she had long 'go. Bead that,' he says, an' handed me this," concluded Sam, and ho drew a letter from his pocket. It was dated from an Ohio village vil-lage nnd read as follows: p "My Own Dear Husband: Your loving letter recelvcu yesterday, but It found us, oh, so downhearted and wishing for papa. Dear husband, it seems that our troubles will never end. Mr. Rhoadcs has changed hl3 mind and will foreclose the mortgage You know ho said before you went away that If wo paid the lntortst up ho would let It stand awhile longer. Well, when tho mortgage was due I sold the cow and took bo mo of tho money you left mo to live on and paid the six months' back Interest. Now, ho says, as tho mortgago is due ho must have his money nnd will forecloio. I tried all the companies and banks to borrow bor-row tho money to pay him, but they all say that $2,000 Is too big a loan on the place; thoy won't toon "over Jl.500, and ho won't tako a second mortgage to securo the other $500. Yet It does socm hard, when tho place ought to bo Worth three times fl.GOO. I've tried very way to sell It, but I can't get no one to glvo anything abovo tha mortcnire. Evervbodv known It la mort gaged and are watting to buy It at nhorlK'a sale. Tthoades knows this, too, and now ho says It will save us Iota of trouble and costs If wo will glvo him a quitclaim dood and surrender peaceable possession. I begged him to wait awhile, hut after he had learned you had gone out to the mines ho said he would not wait a day; that you wcro on a wild goose chase, and, dear husband, hus-band, ho even Intimated that he believed you were never coming back to us. That made mo angry and I may havosald things to him that I should not. but I could not help It. Now, dear husband, I cannot ctay here after having sold the cow; there Is nothing to do here, you know, except washing vand ironing and house cleaning, and I am not strong enough for that. Mrs. Simmons will tako Bessie and let her help with tho housework and go to school, and I will sell the chickens, pigs and furniture and toko little Chuiile and (jo to Cleveland to try to get sewing or something. It will be, oh, so hard, but It cannot bo helped. Now, dear husband, do not worry; wo will got along Bomo way, Remember tho words of the prophet: 'Onco I was young, but now I am old, but never have I seen tho righteous forsaken or their seed begging bread.' Now, dear husband, take caro of your health, and If you do not And anything out there soon, come back to us, wo miss you, oh, so much. Every night Besslo prays for her papa, 'way out In Uio mines,' and that ho may ilnd something rich. You may bo Bure that I echo her prayers. Write as soon as you get this, dear husband, for I cannot stay here long. "Your loving wife, "MAGGIE." This letter was passed around; two or three started to read it ulouu, but they broke down, and it was silently passed from one to another. It was well for Mr. Bhoades that he was not In camp. "He told me all about it," said Sam. "They was five acres in the home place that he got from his father') estate close to town, an' he bought live more joinln', mortgagin' tho ten to make up tho balance of the money. He'd n-uiade It all right, but times got hard, au' first one, then another of them got sick an' ho had to keep on a-mortgugin'. He seo ho could never pay out, so he come out here to see if he couldn't strike it. lcavln' nearly all the money they had witlli his wife, an' this cuss Kudades sayln' that he'd' let the mortgage stan' nnuther year, now dern him. See thnt stain there? That's from a bunch of npple blossoms that wns in tile letter; he 'lowed thoy must a-been, from the yellow harvest trees back of tho garden, gar-den, poor cuss. 'Take keer of yer health, dear husban',' "an him a-luyln' flat on his. back up there In his tent, without money enough for u month's grub. 'Oome back soon to us' hum-m. Look here, pardners, let's answer Bessie's Bes-sie's prayer, an' show this feller Bhoades whether,mlnln' is ehasin' wild geese ur not. Mebbe Sam's u dern fool, an' I know he ain't got much money, but he can rustle. I'll gopurty nigh my pile on it there's CO; who's all in on it?" and he blainmed two 20s aud 10 on the bar. it was just "like Sam, and whoever heard an nppcuMike thnt go unanswered un-answered In a mining camp'.' There were 00 men- in the room, and every man saw Sam's ante, and those that did uot have that amount foorrowed it from their friends. In a few moments $2,550 in gold lay. piled on the hnr. Sam's eyes glistened ns he counted the money. "Everybody's In on the game," ho said; "won't ho be paralyzed? Now, pardners, every one of you come down and sec what he has to say." "No nonsense, Sam; you take it down, an' tell us what he says to-morrow." "No, I'll be denied if I do. Some of you fellers got to come along. I ain't a-goln to play this hand aloue any longer." So three or fun.- of ua wont with him. Well, there Is no use going into details. What would) you or nny oUher man say under tlhe circumstances? circum-stances? Finally he wanted to give us a note or send a mortgage back us security, se-curity, but we laughed at him, and all of 113 crawled) Into our blnn1;ets that night conscious of "having done something some-thing that might balance something else on the debit side of tdio recording angel's ledger. He was too ill to travel alone, and at last, nfter repeated urg-ings, urg-ings, Sam was induced to nccompany him. "You can bert your life," said Sam, "that I'll gave Mr. Ithoades the camp's respec's." Not loug after that my .partner nnd I left the gulch and drifted into Cripple Creek. One day when court was In session we dropped in to see how a court organized under the code operated. "Well, I'll be d ," untutored my partner part-ner as he pointed' to the prisoner's dock. There were two men in it, Pyrites Sam and tho tenderfoot. The air seemed to grow suddenly close in the courtroom, and we wen.t out. At noon we went down to the jail, and were allowed -to see the prisoners. "Hello, Sam; how.'s JthondesV" "Hello, hello; how's the boys down at Tough iN'uty" nnd Sam and his partner part-ner grinned. "Look here, Saim, you done the enmp up 1 good shape, unci you know we won't squeal, biit tell us about it." "Sure; but Ihen they ain't nothin' to tell; this Is my parduer, an' there wna no fever, no lUiondes, no Maggie, uo Bessie, no Charlie, no mortguge, no farmtno cow, no no apple blossoms, no nothin', but jest me on him." "An' 50 tools," said my partner, us we went out. He made a brief memtul calculation, cal-culation, then said: "Sam was there three months an' his pardner one, an thoy cleaned up twelve hundred an' fifty fif-ty each; not bad, 'specially when they was hidln' out from another trick they'd dusned." Across the street I saw 11 building with swinging doors nnd red windows. I pointed to it nnd asked: "Wbnt'lf you take, Jack?" "I 'low it '11 take nbout four fingers of hot Scotch to settle my atummlck" and he took it. St. Louib Globe-Democrat.