From this will be seen how much frequently depends upon the reputation of an engineering firm for honor and judgment. In New York City, downtown, is an almost dingy suite of offices. It is the business headquarters of a firm of mining engineers known and trusted the world over. Probably the entire equipment of these offices, including the laboratories and assay rooms, could be purchased for seven or eight thousand dollars. The real asset of this firm is its reputation for splendid judgment and unfailing honor. Let this firm of engineers indorse a new mine sufficiently, and Wall Street will promptly raise twenty million dollars to finance the scheme. This firm of engineers, despite its rather dingy quarters, often earns a yearly income running into hundreds of thousands of dollars.
These men of the A.G.& N.M. R.R. knew Tom Reade and Harry Hazelton as well and favorably as the mining world at large knows the New York firm which has been referred to above.
“It all looks good to me,” declared President Haynes, speaking again.
“And to me,” nodded several others of the visitors.
“In the mine, this afternoon,” Tom proposed, “we can show you much more that you will like.”
Now, as by magic, Don Luis’s servants appeared with tables which they set and spread on the porch and luncheon was served.
“Now, we will go see El Sombrero itself,” Don Luis proposed. “I shall not have much to say to-day. I understand that you are willing to have Senor Tomaso Reade do the explaining.”
“More than willing—anxious,” replied General Manager Ellsworth.
That night Tom and Harry returned to their tent. As they went at a late hour their absence from the house was barely noted.
All through the afternoon the visitors had been busy inspecting ore supposed to have been blasted in the tunnels of El Sombrero Mine. As the reader will understand, every bit of this ore had been brought from a profitable mine further up in the mountains.
“How does it seem to be a rascal, Tom?” inquired Harry, as he blew out the candle in their tent.
“Great!” muttered Tom Reade.
The day following was given somewhat to sight-seeing in and around the mine, but still more to a discussion of the intended purchase. As Don Luis would not hear to reducing his price, the visitors were finally satisfied to pay the money demanded.
“When will you be ready to turn the money over, gentlemen?” inquired Montez.
“As soon as we can reach a town where there is both a bank and a telegraph office,” replied Mr. Haynes. “The whole amount of money is on deposit in New York City, subject to sight draft. If you are well enough known at the bank, Don Luis, to introduce us, the draft may be drawn at that bank, and accepted from New York on telegraphic inquiry.”
“The speed of you American business men is marvelous!” cried Don Luis Montez, delightedly.