“Where are you going to set the stuff off?” Josh asked.
“In two places,” Gage answered. “One big pile in the tunnel, half-way between the heading and the shaft, and the other at the bottom of the shaft. Get picks and a couple of shovels, and we’ll soon lay mines and tamp ’em.”
While the men were obeying, Gage reclimbed the ladders. Roping about a third of the dynamite sticks, and passing a loop over one shoulder, he succeeded in carrying the dynamite below. In two more trips he brought down the rest. The fourth trip he came down with a magneto and several coils of light firing wire.
On account of their industry the time slipped by rapidly. As a matter of fact their wicked task occupied them for nearly four hours. However, no sound of what went on underground reached the ears of those who slept in the shacks.
“We’re ready for the wiring,” announced Josh at last.
“I’ll do that myself,” said Gage. “I want it well done. Each of you hold a lantern here.”
By the light thus provided Dolph attached the light wires so that the electric spark would be communicated to each stick in this “mine.” This was done by looping a circuit wire around each separate stick, and connecting the wire with each detonating cap. The dynamite, frozen on the snow crust, had thawed again at this subterranean level.
“Now, for the last tamping,” ordered Gage.
While the others worked, Dolph carefully superintended their operations.
At last the tamping was done, and the connecting wires were carried back to the bottom of the shaft.
Here the second mine was connected in the same manner, and the wires joined so that the circuit should be complete.
“One spark from the magneto, now,” chuckled Dolph, “and both blasts will go on at once. Whew! This old ridge will rock for a few seconds!”
For a few moments he stood surveying his work with huge satisfaction.
“Now, get up with you,” he ordered. “Remember, at the bottom of the last ladder, blow out your lanterns.”
“The wires?” queried Josh.
“I’ll carry ’em. All you have to do is to get out of here.”
In quivering silence the three evil-doers ascended. The light of their lanterns extinguished, they stepped out of the shaft and once more on the hard snow crust.
“Now, take the magneto back about two hundred feet, leaving the wires stretched on the snow,” whispered Dolph.
“Who’s that coming?” Josh demanded, in sudden alarm, clutching his leader’s sleeve.
For an instant all three men quailed. But they remained silent, peering.
“Don’t get any more dreams, Josh,” Dolph ordered sharply. “There’s no one coming. It’s all in your nerves.”
“I was sure I heard some one coming.” Josh insisted in a whisper.
“But you didn’t”
“What if some one comes now?”