CHAPTER 9 – McCLELLAND HALL, HURON COLLEGE, MARCH 11, 1985

Here’s another excerpt from Ghost Creek, Chapter 9, page 99. 

Dr. Hamilton droned on. “For all of their attributes and business practices that may seem at least a wee bit barbaric to us today, early miners did a remarkable job in helping to establish a stable American economy. Hard, diligent work raised many small desolate communities into bustling hubs of wealth and prosperity. Coeur d’ Alene, Ouray, Cripple Creek, Silverton, Breckenridge, the Magdalena District, these places and many more like them were the pride of the West in their day. Then again, all good things must come to an end.”

Hamilton’s words didn’t disillusion Garret in the least. He loved mining, the whole aura about the trade, despite its many shortcomings. His father was a miner, as was his father before him. As a youth, Garret would read tales of mining lore for hours with the hope that one day he would find his own mine.

More than anything, all of this talk about mining agitated the itch to find the source of the black crystal adorning the neck of his refound love. Did the crystals come from some old abandoned mine, or did they wash out of the bedrock due to stream erosion? Did Paul Carter excavate some little vug—a hollow void in rock commonly infilled with mud and crystals? Not knowing was excruciating.

Garret continued to flip through the textbook. He paused at another double-page photo spread of someplace that looked strangely familiar to him. Garret looked long and hard at the panorama, trying to place the location. He couldn’t. He was certain, though, that he had seen the very same mountains that rose off in the background somewhere before. In the way that he held the text before him, his hand covered the center of the picture. When he removed it, he had to re-center the book in his grasp. After he had done so, he looked to where his hand had covered the majority of a miner who apparently was the focus of the photograph. And there was the man again.

Hope you enjoyed the read.

Rick

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