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Chapter Nineteen: Minor

Sometime in the seventies, two scouts were with a detail of soldiers going from Fort McDowell on the Verde River to Picket Post, located at the foot of the Pinal mountains near the Silver King mine. While in the Superstition mountains, they asked permission of the office in command to let them cut across a part of the mountain, as they felt certain they could get a deer, and that they would meet the company in the valley where the new board house was built.

The permission was given. They got two deer and met up with the detail within two hours after leaving it. One of these scouts was named Minor, but I never heard the name of the other. In cutting across, they ran into a very unusual trail. It was worn quite deep, and it certainly was not an Indian trail. It apparently led off into a very rough country, so they followed it and did not go far until they had to abandon their horses. They finally crawled through a crack or hole between two peaks or tall rocks, and came to old workings, two including pits and a walled up tunnel. There was certainly plenty of gold in all the loose rock scattered around, but it was in an awful place.

When they came out, they had to burry as they had not seen any deer up to then. They agreed to say nothing about their find to anyone, and when their enlistment expired, which would be very shortly, they would return together and ever after "Ride in a golden chariot."

But, oh, that work "but." Minor's partner died previous to discharge. When Minor was discharged, he went to Silver City, New Mexico, and told his story to a man by the name of Eberle. His story was so convincing that Eberle financed and outfitted an expedition of about thirty miners.

They struck across the country, which at the that time was infested with Apaches. They at times, were made aware of the proximity of the Indians by a shot from away off, but they only lost one man. He was shot through the head while bringing up the rear when he had stopped to break some rock to sample for gold. Several of the expedition had been wounded, but not seriously.

It finally came to a halt on top of the range, almost north of where the new board house now stands, about two miles away, and at the foot of a peak of rock standing several hundred feet above the rest of the mountain range. There is quite a large hold through the peak of pichacho, and it is called Minor's Needle, as that is the place where they held council and decided that they had been buncoed; that Minor had told his story so as to be able to prospect the country between Silver City and where they were; that they had been duped and had also a long hard trip; in fact, they felt very sorry for themselves for the way they had been treated, and the only satisfaction they could get out of it was to hang Minor.

Eberle told them that he had been out more money than all of them and hanging Minor would not bring back a dollar of what he was out. He still believed that Minor told the truth, and that Minor said that he distinctly remembered Sombrero Butte, not Weaver's Needle, but that he had come into the mine from the other side, or the Salt River side. If they would go with him over to the river and let him start from there, he felt sure he could shot them the mine.

They replied by saying that Minor had said that as near as he knew, the formation was all alike clear to the river, and they knew no mine could exist in such formation, tufa or volcanic ash. So the expedition broke up, some going to California, and some to Tucson or Mexico.

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