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Mining History:
The Mint at the Mescal Mine

The Morning Shift


The morning shift was just about to go into the mine when I approached Mr. Spencer, a low-browed, moonfaced man, with taffy-colored hair, who, seeing me, said:

“The team will be here this morning, and I want you to go in on it; and if you ever come here again I shall send you to San Bernardino to jail.”

“Is that so?” I replied: “then I will have you to know that you yourself, sir, are under arrest. I am an officer of the United States and I arrest you.”

I threw back my coat and displayed my star, which I had lately pinned on my vest. The man looked upon it almost paralyzed with astonishment.

“On what charge do you pretend to arrest me?” he said, without questioning my authority.

“Upon a charge of counterfeiting the coin of the United States,” I replied.

“Pooh,” he said, affecting a coolness he did not feel. “You talk like a fool” He pulled a cord which rang a bell in the mine, giving the signal for the men below to appear on top. “I’ll have you to know, sir,” he said, “that it will take a better man than you to arrest a whole camp and shut down a mine on such a fool charge as that: how d’ye suppose you’re goin’ to take us in the railroad? D’ye think we will furnish our own transportation and haul you besides? Ha, Ha!”

At this juncture the men who were working below began to come out of the tunnel, and Spencer started to explain to them that they had been spied upon by a detective who wanted to arrest all hands upon the nonsensical charge of counterfeiting. A short, thick-set man with black hair, a black moustache, and light eyes whom I supposed was Davis, wanted to argue with me what an absurd thing it was to talk about any counterfeiting going on at that place.

I was not disposed, however, to play on words.

“I command you to call every man here,” said I: “they must deliver to me whatever arms they have, and prepare themselves to go to the railroad with me.”



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ecology: wildlife - plants - geography: places - MAPS - map/sat - roads & trails: route 66 - old west - communities - weather - book store
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