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Mining History:
The Mint at the Mescal Mine

I Will See

They laughed. “I will see,” said I. I blew a shrill blast on my whistle and instantly there tumbled over the top of the mountain the blue forms of twenty soldiers, their legs in brown leggings, and their rifles in their hands. They scrambled rapidly down toward us, while Davis and Spencer turned white and looked appalled. Instantly Spencer blew a large whistle with a peculiar sound, and then I heard a great commotion in the refinery below us; they he beckoned to his men, and they ran as rapidly as possible together down the side.

Almost immediately after this, and while the soldiers were still about half way between the summit and the tunnel, there came at first a dull roar, accompanied by a slight shock, apparently from the center of the mountain, then in an instant followed an enormous and most terrific explosion, an explosion of volcanic violence which seemed to [come] from below us and through the tunnel and to convulse the entire mountain. The earth on which I stood heaved and threw me from it. I was hurled forward, forcibly striking the ground head first, and rolled down the slope. I looked above me; the concussion had loosened a quantity of overhanging rock, and an avalanche of debris was sliding down among the panic-stricken soldiers. A great rock bounded past me and shocked me with its wind as it went tumbling on in the gulch below. Men came sprawling headlong down, dome rolled down, while others remained lying flat on the side of the mountain.

When the effects of the explosion had passed I found, happily enough, that I was uninjured and that Lieut. Fitzgerald had also the good fortune to escape. He joined me and we began to get together the members of the troop. We found that one man had been so crushed between rocks that he was in a dying condition, another had a leg broken and another had sprained an ankle.

Such was the list of our killed and wounded. We turned to look for those whom we had come to arrest, and we were in no pleasant frame of mind to undertake the business. They were all huddled together, about twenty of them, in a sheltered ravine. We charged upon them. They did not repent. Davis told us there had been a blast in the mine. “A shot,” he said, “had been set and the fuse lighted; we had come out of the mine to allow it to take effect without hurting anyone.”

“Are all your shots like that?” I asked.

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