Chapter Ten: George Scholey
I was interested in business in a little town called Mayer in Yavapai County, Arizona, where I became acquainted with a miner and rancher named George Scholey. He is now living in Prescott, Arizona. Mr. Ely and I had employed George on several occasions to go down into the Superstition mountains to run down some new story that had come to us about the Lost Dutch mine. George was a good worker and prospector, also, as true as steel. He was living on his ranch about fourteen miles south of Mayer, and living on the ranch and working for George was an Apache Indian and his family. This Indian belonged to the Tonto Apache tribe, and he apparently thought a great deal of George. He was known to the whites as "Jack."
One day Scholey said, "Mr. Bark, I believe Jack knows where the Lost Dutch mine is." "Do you think he will show it to you, George?" And he said, "No, I don't think he will, but maybe I can get him to go on a hunting trip and gradually lead him around to where he will show it, or at least indicate where it is. So I said, "You find out if Jack will go, then make all arrangements, as it won't do for Jack to think I am in on it."
He had a talk with Jack and he said he would go. It took George about a week to get the outfit together, and in the meantime, the medicine man got wind of the expedition. He hunted Jack up and told him that he had been consulting the proper authorities and found that it was bad medicine for Jack to make the trip with a white man. After the medicine man had left, Jack's squaw grabbed him around both knees, commenced crying and begged him not to go.
An old blind Apache squaw who came to Scholey's house in Mayer a few days after told him that he would see light colored rocks high up, and they were set in a triangle; that he would have to approach them from above and turn to the right between the first two through a kind of crack or cave: "and maybe, George, you better take a rope as trail just wash a little, then have to have a rope."
Now, in all the arrangements that had been made, mine or mining, or gold had not been mentioned, as George was well aware that the subject of mining was strictly taboo. It was thoroughly understood that it was to be simply a hunting trip. Where the old squaw got her information is a mystery to this day.
George persuaded Jack to go and they were gone something over thirty days, but Jack would not show the mine, although George believed Jack knew where it was. So he led Jack around to where we believed the mine to be (and where I now feel certain it is) getting nearer and nearer, until one day about three in the afternoon old Jack said, "George, lets go to camp." George said, "Why, Jack, what is the matter, are you sick?" He said, "No." George then said, "This is the first time you ever wanted to go." Jack replied saying, "George, there is a bad spirit at that mine and he only sleeps four hours a day. If you can get into the mine and out again in that four hours while he is asleep, all right, and if you don't, you never come out." George said, "All right, Jack, we will go back to camp, but where is it from here?" They were standing just about where Ed and Wiley Jones' Indians would go no further, when they said waving their hands forward, "boosca" and Jack went through the same performance, using the same word "boosca" which means, go ahead and look.
They then returned to their camp, although it was only about three o'clock in the afternoon. The next day they packed and saddled their horses and started on their return trip for home, where Jack parted company with George at his ranch, as Jack had moved his family over on the Verde river where the Tonto Indians were then camped. Jack said, "George, if I send for you, you come quick. I tell you where you find it." "All right, Jack, I'll come."
A couple days after that, George took a contract to do some assessment work for people who lived in the east (said assessment work consists of doing one hundred dollars worth of work per annum on each and every mining claim on which the locator wishes to retain title) and George did a great deal of this so-called assessment work for non-resident holders, as he was familiar with the location of most of the claims in that part of the country, which was appreciated by the eastern claim holders, as they were awaye if they let Scholey do the work, it at least would not be done on some one else's claim, they paying for it, as well as losing title to their claims.
Mrs. Scholey did not know where these mining claims were located, consequently, did not know where George was working. A few days after George left, an Indian boy came to the ranch and wanted to know of Mrs. Scholey where George was; that Jack had sent for him and wanted him to come right away. Mrs. Scholey told the boy she did not know where George was. the boy then wanted to know if she could not go over with him, as Jack was sick and wanted to tell George something very much. Mrs. Scholey, living on a ranch fourteen miles from nowhere, with three very young children, one a babe in arms to try to ride horseback thirty or more miles over the mountains was out of of the question. Although, when I talked to her afterward, I really believe she contemplated trying it.
George did not finish his contract for about two weeks after that. Upon his arrival home he heard that Jack had died. When Jack returned with Scholey from their trip, I saw him and he appeared to be in the best of health, rugged and strong, weighing about one hundred and seventy pounds and not over sixty years old. But I guess it was bad medicine that killed him, and the Lost Dutch mine slipped through our fingers once more.
Shortly after that, Scholey and I took a trip over that part of the country which he and Jack had traversed that in any way pertained to the Dutch mine. When we rode up on a little hill about a half mile east of Apche trail and just opposite the government well and about two miles north of where Silverlock and Malhm had their camp, (although they had gone and all signs of a camp had disappeared before Jack and George had taken their trip) Jack said, "George, that is where the big fight took place." George asked him what big fight, and he replied the fight between the Papago Indians and the Apaches. George asked what made him think they were Papagoes. "Because," said Jack, "they all had long hair and wore tall peeked straw hats and sandals," but he also said there were some Mexicans as they were much whiter than the Papagos and wore different kinds of hats. (In explanation, the Papago Indians do wear their hair bobbed around their necks about collar high; also the Mexican peons wore their hair the same style. Hence, the reason for Jack's mistake as the Papago Indians never did any mining.)
Then Jack went on, and told the following: that when he was a young man, he lived in the Pinal mountains, which were in a southeasterly direction, about twenty-five miles from where the big fight took place.
It was the custome before the days of the white man's reservations for the Apaches to live far apart on or in the different mountains. The numbers that lived in any one place depended upon the game, water, mesquite beans, etc. In other words, just what that particular locality would support without much work other than for the squaws. Each community would select their own head man, or sub-chief as they were sometimes called, who were sworn to act for the good of the tribe. They were also subject to the orders of their war chief. One day Jack saw an Apache smoke signal for help, and another smoke signal to hurry, and he got his warriors together immediately and away they went. When they got to where the signals had been sent up, they found an Apache warrior who told them that there was a big fight going on about a mile to the west, and that the Papagos were trying to break through and get out on the desert where they could get away; that the Apaches were trying to prevent them by trying to corral them against the bluff of the Superstition mountains; that they had been fighting them for just two days and they came from some distance bask. They immediately joined the fight, as well as many other bunches of Apaches coming from all directions, and that night they won the fight, killing them all.
George asked Jack how many there were, and he said he did not know, but there were lots of them, and quite a number had been killed further back. He asked how many horses and mules they had, and Jack replied that there were more than three hundred saddle horses for the men to ride; the rest were packed some with ollas and blankets, but most of the packs were stones. George asked him what they did with the stones, and Jack said they threw them on the ground. Then he asked him what they did with the horses and mules, and he said that they divided them, and "We eat every one of the mules and took the horses to their homes."
He told George that "back that way," pointing in the direction we feel sure the mine is located, "A long time before we kill thirty-four Mexicans." George asked if they had packed animals, and he said, "Yes, mostly stones." "What did you do with the stones?" "We leave them on the ground." (This ore has never been found to my knowledge.)
I believe what Silverlock and Malhm found was the ore dumped after the big fight. Just think of men working that many years, when it was 115 or over in the shade in summer and no shade, in nothing but tufa rocks and water in barrels, of about the same temperature as the air. They certainly must have found something worth while to dig, blast and dig. In passing through Goldfield, located on the Apache Trail, look off to the southeast about two miles, at the base of the rugged cliffs of the Superstition mountains, there is where Silverlock and Malhm had their camp for so many years, also, where the big fight took place. If you can stop over for a few hours when traveling along the Apache trail, go up there and look at the empty dynamite boxes, old fuse, and general camp equipment, and who can say but what you might pick up a pice of the Lost Dutchman. Then look almost due east about four miles, and there you will see a mountain with a black lava top just a little higher than the surrounding mountains, and there on the west side or the side toward Phoenix is located (I believe) the Lost Dutch mine.