The hidden years in Canada,103, the vein

Door San-Daniel gepubliceerd op Wednesday 29 July 15:50


The vein

That night I dozed off with the fire that burned still high, when I heard the sound. Now I heard it from two sides simultaneously. I smiled grimly and felt beside me the machete, which was with me, ready for use when the need would arise. The branches broke here and there and I realized how important weapons  were. The fact that the cold steel was lying beside me, gave me a sense of power, of almost inviolability. Weapons do that with you. Slowly the sound of branches breaking on both sides. The nocturnal silence returned to the forest. Had it been imagination? I resolved to look at the bushes and see at first light at what height the branches were broken. An unpleasant feeling crept over me, was I being watched, was I surrounded? I thought of Richard and Bev and Don now in the warm city in their beds. Bev our dear Bev who always arranged everything and Don that could come so strange out of a corner. Without wanting to, I thought about how Don had been drinking from the river and at that moment I heard a chuckle softly panting. I had called forth the river God, I thought in panic. I know it was a silly thought, but at that time it was a reality that was not to be discarted in the dark night. I was breathing as gently as possible and my hand closed around the machete. I would defend myself to the limit. I broke into a cold sweat when I again heard chuckling and breaking branches. Then it was quiet

I must have fallen asleep because the birds woke me. ‘You see,’ my first thought was, I'm still here, the river has no God. Deep in my heart, however,  a gnawing doubt. A doubt that increased when I saw the broken twigs, 20 meters from the camp. Something had come along here. it had  been no imagination. The ground was hard and dry and there were no traces that could tell me what had been along.I shook it off and made me a cup of tea on the still smoldering fire, which was dilapidated to ashes and some red-hot branches. I decided to go back to the swampy area, where I almost had lost my shoe. I folded the blankets and went through the cold water towards the hidden creek and a half hour later I was panning again. I worked bent forward ever deeper into the forest and was surprised therefore that I just came to a pole with a rusty metal plate on it. e c  it insisted and then bc1032. The pole was weathered and sunk and I took no further notice of, but I found it strange that someone had taken the trouble to `place a pole in the forest.


In the afternoon I came to a side arm of the stream and another stream joined to the main stream. After having followed it for a while it stopped at its source .. An elongated lake where a source or a few sources came to surface which made the water well up. The water was fairly quiet as if it was a natural basin and then flowed over the edge off it away. Miraculously, I thought, we are all much too fixated on riches. This is a beautiful place and I am only concerned about panning. It is a disease, an agreement if people had agreed that shells were invaluable than people would now be looking for shells. I thought I ever heard that there were such islands where  shells were important. Vaguely I thought  that held true in Polynesia, shells as exchange or as a means of payment were used there. It so happened, by all reveries that it did not even dawn on me that much really much gold dust was glittering in the pan. Then it hit me, I took a second scoop sand from the bottom and in panning, I turned and saw the grooves already filled with the brilliance that would mean the fulfillment of my quest.

The others ought to be here, I thought, especially Don he would have found it a wonderful moment. When the next pan gave the same result, I knew what I should do. I walked back to the main stream and in panning I noticed there was no gold dust in the pan. The vein, the place of origin was in the puddle around the springs, my heart sang with joy and I knew where I was going to strike a claim the next day. It meant to walk to Deadhorse and probably spend hours at the registration office in the municipality but then all that was found here, would be ours for 90 years.

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