Chapter Nine: Silverlock and MalHm
Just after the Goldfield mine began working, there were two men, strangers in that part of the country, who moved up on the side of the Superstition mountains about two miles from Goldfield. They immediately located two claims, had them surveyed by Mail Lewis of Mesa, established a camp and went to work. They were known as Silverlock and Malhm.
They very seldom left their camp, and then only to get supplies, and never both at the same time. They had a team of dun horses which they used to haul water and supplies. They located on what I considered my cow range after Criswell and I bought the Lamb boys' cattle interest in and around Goldfield, although it was all government land. Still, a cattleman's range rights were respected by all other cattlemen, but mining was considered as having first claim.
I frequently rode up to their camp and left piece of beef, for which they always thanked me, and when they were working away from camp, they could always see me coming, and would meet me at the camp and offer me a drink of either whiskey or wine. As soon as I left, they would return to work, digging trenches up the hill until they came to the foot of the cliff. If they encountered any large boulders, they would blast them and throw them behind in the trench. Then they would go down below and repeat until they came to the foot of the cliff. Some of those trenches must have taken them years to dig, as they were mining there some fourteen years.
I could not figure out what they were doing, as it was plain to be seen that they had no vein in place, and it was not placer ground. And yet, they dug. They never talked with anyone that I could hear of. I had a house about two miles from their camp, where at times when we were riding that part of the country for long ears (unbranded calves) we would stay.
One night Malhm came to our camp, woke us both up (John Chuning was there), was very much excited and wanted us to go back to his camp with him (Silverlock was away). Malhm's legs were full of cactus thorns, and altogether he was a very frightened man. He said that over in the second draw from his camp, there was a large part of Indians, squaws and bucks, and they were yelling, fighting, and shooting, and he was satisfied that there had been a number of them killed. After we talked to him awhile, he calmed down, and we got him to stay all night with us.
In the morning, I rode over to where the Indians were, and they were all dead to the world asleep. John went with Mahlm to his camp. The Indians were Pimas, and they had been away from their reservations for some time gathering sauhuara fruit, which the giant cactus bears at a certain time each year. It is very red and sweet and about the size of a fig, full of seeds. Most all wild animals and birds are very fond of it, and the Indians gather great quantities of it if the season warrants a good crop.
But there was one thing I did not know: that they put the fruit in ollas, let it ferment, and then they would get most gloriously drunk on it. For some reason, they wanted to see which one could yell the loudest, and if his voiced failed to come up to standard, he or she would take another drink.
Malhm told us that night that Silverlock had had a ranch up in Idaho and had some trouble with the Indians about some horses. A prospector came along one day, stayed with Silverlock and helped him with the Indians, as he was a pretty good hand with them. He hung around until Silverlock sold out his ranch, and then asked Silverlock where he was going. He replied that he did not know. The prospector said "Why don't you go down to Arizona. I can give you a map where there is some very rich ore. I ain't going there, and this might be pretty good." He went to his pack and brought out this map and gave it to Silverlock. Silverlock asked Malhm to come down with him which he did. They recognized the location from the map, had located two claims, and had been there ever since. That they were looking for a vein, there is no possible doubt. Their work would show that.
One time in Phoenix, Silverlock and I were standing at the bar of a saloon quite early in the morning, and Silverlock had had several drinks when he said, "Mr. Bark, I have been going to quit work up there, but" and he raised his fist and brought it down to the bar and said, "that float never rolled up hill, and I will stay there till I die but what I will find it." Neither of them was a prospector, as they would not have looked twenty-four hours for a vein in that tufa debris.
This story is of very little value toward proving the location of the Lost Dutchman, but further along when I tell the Scholey story you will see the significance of this one. There are a great many people alive today who knew of Silverlock and Malhm and where they were working. They finally abandoned their camp and moved to Phoenix.