Emanuel went directly to Browning and delivered him the stock, but he lied about the price he had paid for it, telling Browning he had given five pennies per share for it. But while Browning was sure the man had lied, he was satisfied, for he then had all of the stock of “The Wedge of Gold.”
Browning had, as he told Sedgwick, gone to South America on a commission. It was known in London that he was a miner who had made a success in America. An Englishman who had a bond on a mine in Venezuela had hired him to go over and make a report on it. He fulfilled the trust, but he heard while there of another mine in a district ten miles away. He went to see it and bought it for L2,000, hired a foreman and ten men; laid out the work for them for six months ahead, and left L1,000 in a local bank to pay them, with instructions to the foreman to send him a report and sample by every steamer.
The first mine was sold on his report, and besides his commission of L300, the happy man who had sold the mine called at his house one day when Browning was out, and left an envelope directed to him. The envelope contained a check for L3,000, and a note saying that the writer thought he was entitled to one-tenth of the proceeds of the sale, and that Browning must accept the money, for the writer intended that day to leave England. Browning turned the money over to Rose as her fee “as an expert.”
A month later a steamer from Georgetown (British Guiana) brought news that the Browning mine was developing superbly, and still a month later the foreman estimated that he had five thousand tons of ore in sight which would average as well as the samples sent. Browning had the samples assayed, and they averaged L5 6s. in gold per ton.
He had a friend named Campbell, who was a broker: Campbell dropped in upon him as he was looking over the assays, and he told him all about the mine.
“What will you give me to sell that property for you, Browning?” asked Campbell.
“Not a penny,” said Browning, “but I will give you a bond on it for four months for an even L100,000, and you may make as much above that as your conscience will allow; you may, by Jove.”
“Will you make me a report and map?” asked Campbell.
“I will write you a report, and make you a rough sketch,” said Browning, “but my drawing lessons were neglected when I was young, and I am not a very reliable or finished map-maker.”
The conversation closed with an agreement, and the bond and report were in due time finished.
A Wedge of gold indeed.
Sedgwick and Jordan waited at Port Natal for the coming of the “Pallas.” Sedgwick explained what the ship would bring, and told Jordan about Grace being in San Francisco to receive him, and how while the mill was being built, he and his wife had raced around the country.