Sample Post from the Westerns Genre this Month:
Edward Lawrence Schieffelin posts in Tombstone
Ed already had several claims in the area, but left a lot of the business of running mines to his partners. He preferred prospecting, that difficult task of searching the harsh countryside, surveying the land, scratching at outcrops, using experience and intuition to find color. The land around the young but lively town of Tombstone was dry as a sun-bleached bone, a maze of rock and eroded bajadas. The islands of mountains rose up from the desert, cores of old volcanoes that had blown themselves to oblivion—like the Chiricahuas—or plutons of granite like the Dragoons.
In other places, Ed would follow streambeds, using the natural mining ability of the water erosion to help reveal the treasures of the land. He’d pan in the streams, looking for gold and silver. Here, the streambeds were dry until the rainy season when they would flood. He had brought water from the San Pedro River, multiple canteens on Puddin’foot’s back. He found natural check dams along the washes and used his hand tools to dig up the trapped silt. A handful into the broad, shallow pan was washed carefully with some of the precious water, swirled around to trap the heavier metals in the gill like ridges of the pan. Most of the time there wasn’t anything but fool’s gold: pyrite. Once in awhile a tiny sprinkle of color would sparkle in the dominating sunlight.
He shaded his eyes, looking upstream. The spot where he found the tiny clue was not the origin of the element. That would be farther up, an outcrop eroding into the watercourse. Puddin’foot fought the tug at his hackamore, but followed the insistent and patient man. The walls of the wash were solid enough, but not fully lithified. With a pick, Ed could easily crumble the alluvial debris that had washed down from the mountains over eons. The wash was quite deep at one point, perhaps twice his height. Looking up, Ed could see the fragile remnants of a juniper washed down from the foothills some fifteen feet above, carried by a flash flood summers ago.
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