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Chapter Sixteen: Mayer Mexican woman

George Scholey came to see me one day in Mayer and said that there was an old Mexican woman living up on the Big Bug Creek who told him that she was at the old Peralta mine down in the Superstition mountains. Scholey asked her if she would go with him and a friend down there and show it to them. She said she was tool old to ride a horse and that she could not stand the trip. Then Scholey asked her if he would bring a couple of his friends up there, would she tell them what she knew about it. She said she would.

He came to me and I wrote to Sims Ely, Sr. in Phoenix and received a reply that he would be in Mayer on a certain day, at which time we would have a talk with the old woman. Mr. Ely arrived, and we met her at her cabin. She was well along in years. All three of use could talk a little Mexican, but not well enough to get all the old woman said. We were very foolish indeed for not going at once to Prescott and hire an interpreter, or even if we had to come back to Phoenix.

The old lady could speak no English, but we gathered the following: That in her early days, her sweetheart, who was a noted Mexican brigand, arranged an expedition to come up into the United States, go to the Peralta mine and get some gold. At her request, her brigand lover agreed to take her alone, although she was only thirteen years old at the time. She was the only woman in the party. They came up into the Superstition mountains, got the gold and returned to Sonora, Mexico. She had married sometime since, and finally made her way up to Arizona, and that she was now living with her husband who was ekeing out an existence placering in Big Bug Creek, just above the cabin. The mine had a lot of work done on it by the Peraltas. There was a lot of gold there, and that it was in a hard place to find; that it was high up on a mountain; that you could only get to it by going down, and that there were three peaks near where one went down; that one had to go between two of them, through a hole; and that was about all we found out. In a short time, the old lady was buried up on the Big Bug.

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