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Mining History:
The Mint at the Mescal Mine

A Good Team of Mules


Kevane and myself, equipped with a sparse camping outfit, and driving a good team of mules in a light covered wagon, started for the mine on the 1st day of August. It was a long and weary drive, across a broad desert into a country of rugged and bare mountains, the most desolate region the mind can imagine. We traversed the dry bed of an ancient lake where the ground was blistering hot and our animals nearly strangled to death with the dust of alkali. Far down the valley hovered a water-like mirage, as though in mockery of a cooling sea. The ground was partially covered with a stubby sage brush which made travel difficult, and occasionally we were forced to cross a deep dry rut which had been plowed in the surface by the running waters of a winterís cloudburst.

Ultimately we entered the mouth of a wide pass which Kevane said was five miles from the mine. The great mountains on either hand were bare in their dry desolation. only little dots of color here and there against the bare reddish earth told that some famished shrub continued to cling to a weak existence in desperate defiance of the furious sun. Occasionally in small gulches, or depressions, orchards of yucca grew like stunted trees, the little tufts of green palm-like leaves sticking from their tops, while often almost all the balance of the plant was dead and rotted. Across the valley stood Parkís Mountain, bold, gigantic, grand! A great dark mass, dark, for it is limestone, while all the rest are granite.

We turned around a small conelike hill, and there before us, close upon us, was the Mescal camp. It lay on a ridge which made out from the mountain into the valley. A scramble down a steep s\hillside brings you to a little stream trickling away from a pool of the most delicious water, fed from a pipe communication with a wet shaft in the mine. Above on the bald side of the high roaring mountain is the mine, its grey dump marking with a light splotch the dark slope. There is a bucket cable railway leading down over trestles from the mouth of the tunnel to the smelter several hundred yards below, to which place the ore is carried for treatment.

In my long experience as a detective I have found that the best way to work up cases is to conceal your identity while you can and never reveal your true case. Invent a set of circumstances to employ for the time, which will prompt the one upon whom you are operating to do your will; the need of this will be but transitory and employed to overcome a present obstacle or carry a point at hand, when you have done this and your true character has been discovered, the man whom you have thus deceived will think nothing of it so long as he himself is not injured, and this it should not be your purpose to do, except he be the party against whom you are operating. Indeed, it seems to me that the ability of a detective is measured by the readiness with which he invents these circumstantial subterfuges and the depth and strength of them.



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