poetical fancies, his heart perhaps throbbing with desires

There is too much of a sameness in the letters of this period to use all of them. There are always new claims, and work done, apparently without system or continuance, hoping to uncover sudden boundless affluence.

poetical fancies, his heart perhaps throbbing with desires

In the next letter and the one following it we get a hint of an episode, or rather of two incidents which he combined into an episode in Roughing It. The story as told in that book is an account of what might have happened, rather than history. There was never really any money in the "blind lead" of the Wide West claim, except that which was sunk in it by unfortunate investors. Only extracts from these letters are given. The other portions are irrelevant and of slight value.

poetical fancies, his heart perhaps throbbing with desires

Extract from a letter to Orion Clemens, in Carson City:

poetical fancies, his heart perhaps throbbing with desires

1862. Two or three of the old "Salina" company entered our hole on the Monitor yesterday morning, before our men got there, and took possession, armed with revolvers. And according to the d---d laws of this forever d---d country, nothing but the District Court (and there ain't any) can touch the matter, unless it assumes the shape of an infernal humbug which they call "forcible entry and detainer," and in order to bring that about, you must compel the jumpers to use personal violence toward you! We went up and demanded possession, and they refused. Said they were in the hole, armed and meant to die for it, if necessary.

I got in with them, and again demanded possession. They said I might stay in it as long as I pleased, and work but they would do the same. I asked one of our company to take my place in the hole, while I went to consult a lawyer. He did so. The lawyer said it was no go. They must offer some "force."

Our boys will try to be there first in the morning--in which case they may get possession and keep it. Now you understand the shooting scrape in which Gebhart was killed the other day. The Clemens Company--all of us--hate to resort to arms in this matter, and it will not be done until it becomes a forced hand--but I think that will be the end of it, never- the-less.

The mine relocated in this letter was not the "Wide West," but it furnished the proper incident. The only mention of the "Wide West" is found in a letter written in July.

Extract from a letter to Orion Clemens, in Carson City: 1862 If I do not forget it, I will send you, per next mail, a pinch of decom. (decomposed rock) which I pinched with thumb and finger from "Wide West" ledge awhile ago. Raish and I have secured 200 out of a 400 ft. in it, which perhaps (the ledge, I mean) is a spur from the W. W.--our shaft is about 100 ft. from the W. W. shaft. In order to get in, we agreed to sink 30 ft. We have sub-let to another man for 50 ft., and we pay for powder and sharpening tools.

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