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to expectation, nobody would respond to his
shout. He had been a convict, and "lagged"
for some grievous offence. The man was at
his wit's end. At last he struck upon the brilliant
expedient of engaging an idler at labourer's
daily wageseight shillingsto drink with him.
And so he got through his holiday!

No one can tell where a rich mine will be
discovered, or where it will not. Even quartz
mines, which require skill to diagnose, have
been equally discovered by chance. A robber
fired at a man standing with his back to a rock,
but missed; as the ball splintered the moss-
grown quartz, the miner who was attacked saw
specks of gold sparkle in the moonlight. It
afterwards proved one of the richest mines in
California. Two miners about to leave the
country, just to celebrate the event, got " on
the spludge " the night before their intended
departure. As they were coming home to their
cabins, in mere foolishness they commenced
rolling stones down a slope. One of these
struck off the point of a rock: which, on being
examined, was found rich with specks of gold.
This changed their plans, and they stayed, and
stayed to some purpose, for they afterwards
became very wealthy men.

The honest miner is far from being what may
be called a " domestic character." If he were
making five dollars per diem to "the hand"
at " Greaser's Camp," and heard that
somebody was making six at " Hellgate Ca├▒on,"
in " Mountain Goat Gulch," the chances are
that he would presently disappear to the new
El Dorado. Now, Gold Bluff was the point
to which all were rushing; that failed, but it
didn't dishearten the men. They next rushed
in thousands to Gold Lake; and then the cry
was Fraser River; which disappointed so many
thousands, that eventually it became a matter
of as serious personal offence to ask a gentleman
if he had been to Fraser River, as to tell
him to " Go to Jericho." In 1863, the infuriated
miner was blocking all the mountain trails and
Washoe was the cry. In 1864, it was Blackfoot.
In 1866, I saw hundreds rushing through
slush and snow for Big Bend, in the heart
of the Rocky Mountains, declaring that " Cariboo
wasn't a patch on it," and that at all
events they would "see the elephant." It is
curious that men who have been on the Pacific
coast since the commencement of gold mining,
who have knocked about the Rocky Mountain
slopes, and have been the victims of a dozen
disappointments, should be so easily tempted
again to risk fortune; but it is so, and the
country would never have been what it is,
if they had all been as sensible as they might
have been. This vagabond propensity will
fasten on a man who allows himself to sit in
front of a frying pan and a bundle of blankets
on the ridge pole of a sore-backed horse, and
I verily believe there are many men who, if
their history were known, have travelled, more
and endured greater hardship in this way than
many whose names are famous in the annals of
travel, and whom the Geographical Society
delights to honour. The true seeker after
El Dorado does not stop at distance or

The Pacific-coast gold-miner does not care to
be called like the Australian, a " digger:" the
term in the former region being applied to and
associated with, a miserable race of Indians
who inhabit the mountains. He likes to be
called by the title I have put at the head of this
paper, " The Honest Miner." That he is honest
enough, as honesty goes in America, nobody
will deny to the profession as a whole, but still
there is occasionally the dishonest miner. We
do not speak of the rascal who is caught stealing
gold out of the " sluice-box," and gets lynched
for his pains; but of the equally rascally
individual who "salts" a claim before selling it.
That is, he scatters a few pieces through the
gravel before the buyer comes to test it. In
California some of the claims are wrought
summer and winter; indeed the winter is more
favourable than the summer, because water is
more plentiful; but in British Columbia and in
the Rocky Mountains, the frost causes working
to be suspended. Then the claims are "laid
over" and the great body of the miners come
down to Victoria and other towns to pass the
winter months, and to spend the money they
have made during the summer. They also try
to dispose of rather doubtful claims at this
time, and one of the means adopted is to
report having " struck a good prospect" just
before leaving. It is remarkable, to say the
least of it, how many good prospects are
"struck" in this way. The endless swindles
connected with quartz companies are, I dare say,
vividly enough in the memory of certain gentlemen
in the City of London and elsewhere,
whose purses were longer than their foresight.

Gold mining will always be a staple industry
of the Rocky Mountain slope, and the increased
immigration and attention excited by the
Pacific Railroad will greatly increase the
business;  but the old miner will be " killed off."
Large companies will work his "claims," and
shoals of new hands will crowd his solitary
valleysmen who know not the old traditions
and have no sympathy with the old manners.
He himself will meet them half-way, and will
unconsciously lose many of his characteristics
and peculiarities. He will get toned down to
the duller routine of other workmen, as his
pursuit takes its place among the " industries."


'TWAS a wild, mad kind of night, as black as the bottom-
less pit,
The wind was howling away, like a Bedlamite in a fit,
Tearing the ash-boughs off, and mowing the poplars
In the meadows beyond the old flour-mill, where you
turn off to the town.
And the rain (well, it did rain) dashing the window
And deluging on the roof, as the Devil were come to
The gutters were running in floods outside the stable-
And the spouts splashed from the tiles, as if they would
never give o'er.