Davidson visited Harris every day. At first he only sought to entertain and awaken enthusiasm. He recited the familiar story of the Last Chance Gulch, how in 1864, four half-starved and disheartened miners, on their homeward journey from a prospecting tour among the gulches of the Blackfoot country in search of the precious dust, had settled down to work their last chance to make a stake, and had found gold in abundance.
Davidson said, “Here, where to-day runs the main street of Helena, was the ‘Last Chance Gulch,’ and the output of its placers was not less than fifteen millions. From 300 feet square, where now stands the Montana Central Railway depot, two miners took out over $330,000.” Davidson told of the great successes at the “Jay Gould,” and “Big Ox Mine,” and, that in five years the output of the Drum Lummon Mine was six millions.
All this pleased young Harris, and whetted his appetite for mining investments. Finally, as a result of several trips to examine prospects and mines, Alfonso bought two prospects one hundred miles west of Helena at a place called Granite.
At Drummond west of Helena, a line branches south of the Northern Pacific to Rumsey. From Rumsey, Alfonso rode four miles to Granite, which was located high up among huge granite boulders. Here, for a year he isolated himself and labored hard for silver that was to be exchanged into gold and laid at the feet of Christine. His mines had been named “Hidden Treasure” and “Monte Christo.” Possibly these mystical names influenced Alfonso to make the purchase, and no doubt they often renewed his courage.
The United States patents for his two lode mining claims finally came, and were examined by legal experts, who pronounced them perfect. In the purchase of the properties and in the development work, Alfonso and his two associates expended $50,000. On the showing, which the development made, together with the Annual Report of the adjacent Granite Mountain Mining Company, young Harris hoped to form a syndicate and profitably work his mines.
The facts in the report which Alfonso emphasized, were that the Granite Mining Co. had paid dividends as follows:
Twelve dividends ending
July 31st, 1889 $1,900,000
Total of fifty-five dividends,
an aggregate of, $6,700,000
In eight years these mines had produced and sold of pure silver 10,989,858 ozs.
Of pure gold 6,521 ozs.
Realizing a gross sum $10,988,800
Total gross expenditures $ 4,092,512
Alfonso felt free to use the facts of the Granite Reports, as his property was supposed to be a continuation of the same lode or metallic vein. His syndicate was finally organized, and with the money thus made available, all possible work was done for the next twelve months, on shaft, levels, cross-cuts, drifts, winzes, and raises. For two long years he pursued underground promising indications of wealth, which like the will-with-the-wisp evaded him, until every prospect of silver and gold in the “Hidden Treasure,” and “Monte Christo” disappeared, and the mines were abandoned.