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The Goldsmith and the Stone Pg. 11

The Goldsmith and the Stone Pg. 11

Goldsmith story by Rachel Walker

The group of miners, now a bit larger as the enthusiastic mood of the few spread far and wide. All the time spent indoors together, made a close pact and off they headed with tools in hand to venture into a new day.
Back in the canoe, Black Hat Jack and the Goldsmith moved up stream to a creek bed they had discovered before the rains. The familiar blue black slates and schists through the creek were good indicators that placer gold could be found here. The others betting on a drag line scraper were busy pulling up their findings to dispel into homemade sleuths and rockers.
Goldsmith and Black Jack panning the shallow gravels gave a shout as they found gold, course and scaly. Some of the scales were more than a half an inch in diameter. The fever beginning to hit the two were pulling up 4 ounces of gold every three hours!
The others were finding success as well using sluice boxes which increased their yield to double the amount of Goldsmith and Black Jack.
There was no turning back now, the whole village was a buzz with excitement as the villagers would check in at the river and run back to the waiting ears to share the good news.
One could hear the stories of the locals and all they would do with the future they now looked forward too. Food, supplies, blankets, books. The basics that Goldsmith always took for granted were dear to these folk. Hearing the conversations he thought to himself how his circles would compare items they owned, worth more than any of these people would ever come into. How it was more of a competition; an insecurity.
His heart warmed at the immense joy he was experiencing with these rugged people who had survived so much.
The furious non-stop efforts continued on for several weeks as the villagers took turns earning a small fortune. No longer strangers, now, more like family the reward at the end of the day was Mammy’s hot cooked meals, roast chicken, candied ham with mashed potatoes, corn, slathered with dripping butter, fresh and crunchy from the local gardens. Hot dinner buns you could smell all the way down the street, calling you in. No longer a solemn place to eat but laughter and comorodity was heard and felt as strong as the fever for gold. Something had changed in this small village as so too the cool air of fall began to settle in to no one’s notice.

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