“I want to go with Jimmum,” said he, stoutly. “You ought to not go ’thout me! I shan’t talk to that mine. I shan’t say, ’Come, little mine, Eddo won’t hurt oo.’ No, no, not me! I shan’t say nuffin’, and I shan’t fall in the hole needer. So there! H’m! ’m! ’m!”
It was not easy to resist his pleading. Perhaps Aunt Vi saw how matters were, for she appeared just then, bearing the news that she and Uncle James were going to drive, and would like to take one of the children.
“And Eddo is the one we want. He is so small that he can sit on the seat between us. Aren’t the rest of you willing to give him up just for this morning? He can go to walk with you another time.”
So they all said they would try to give him up, and he bounded away with Aunt Vi, his dear little face beaming with proud satisfaction.
LUCY’S GOLD MINE
The other children strolled leisurely along toward a place that looked like a long strip of sand.
“A sand beach,” said Kyzie.
“No,” said Nate; “it isn’t a beach and it isn’t sand.”
“What can you mean? What else is it, pray?”
She stooped and took up a handful of something that certainly looked like sand. The others did the same.
“What do you call that?” they all asked, as they sifted it through their fingers.
Nate smiled in a superior way.
“Well, I don’t call it sand, because it isn’t sand. I thought it was when I first saw it; I got cheated, same as you. But there’s no sand to it; it’s just tailings.”
“What in the world is tailings?” asked Kyzie, taking up another handful and looking it over very carefully. Strange if she, a girl in her teens, couldn’t tell sand when she saw it! But she politely refrained from making any more remarks, and waited for Nate to answer her question. He was an intelligent boy, between eleven and twelve.
“Well, tailings are just powdered rocks,” said Nate.
“Powdered rocks? Who powdered them? What for?” asked Edith.
“Why, the miners did it years ago. They ground up the rocks in the mine into powder just as fine as they could, and then washed the powder to get the gold out.”
“Oh, I see,” said Edith. “So these tailings are what’s left after the gold’s washed out.”
“Yes, they brought ’em and spread ’em ’round here to get rid of ’em I suppose.”
“Is the gold all washed out, every bit?” asked Jimmy. “Seems as if I could see a little shine to it now.”
“Well, they got out all they could. There may be a little dust of it left though. Mr. Templeton says the folks in ’Frisco that own the mine think there’s some left, and the tailings ought to be sent to San Diego and worked over.”
Jimmy took up another handful. Yes, there was a faint shine to it; it began to look precious.