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Old Jim'll find it! He'll find the gold. French Pete hid it; Panamint hid it; this here Frog lady is hidin' it. But old Jim'll find it. Old Jim'll find it after all of 'em's dead. Dead! Dead! Dead!" He burst out into shrill laughter, and his horse snorted and tried to pull away. He instantly broke off laughing to curse foully, mouthing obscenities and oaths as he jerked cruelly at the spade bit.

You know or maybe you don't that Panamint was finally found dead in a cave in Death Valley and there was talk that Banker followed him there and beefed him, thinkin' he really had a mine. Nothin' come of it except to make folks a little dubious about Jim. He never was remarkable for popularity, nohow, so it don't amount to much."

Behind them was the beautiful green Panamint Valley, but before and below them for miles and miles, as far as the eye could reach, a flat, white desert, empty even of sage-brush, unrolled toward the horizon. In the immediate foreground a broken system of arroyos, and little cañóns tumbled down to meet it. To the north faint blue hills shouldered themselves above the horizon.

It was being built by contract, and more solidly than ever, and already it was through the gorge and well up the canyon towards Panamint and the Homestake Mine. And the mud and rocks that the cloudburst had deposited had been dug out and cleared away from their trees; the ditch had been enlarged, her garden restored and everything left tidy and clean.

"Well, that's the craziest idea I ever heard of," remarked Cribbens, "to take a canary along prospecting. Why not kid gloves, and be done with it?" They travelled leisurely to the southeast during the day, following a well-beaten cattle road, and that evening camped on a spur of some hills at the head of the Panamint Valley where there was a spring. The next day they crossed the Panamint itself.

"I was readin' about the old days in the Panamint, not long ago," said Williams, gazing at a corner of the office. "I they was a list of names of the ranchers that cleaned up the rustlers over there, back in '86. It was interestin' some of them names." Walter Stone coughed and turned in his chair. He gazed out of the window. Finally he faced Williams again. "We had to do it," he said, smiling.

East away from the Sierras, south from Panamint and Amargosa, east and south many an uncounted mile, is the Country of Lost Borders. Ute, Paiute, Mojave, and Shoshone inhabit its frontiers, and as far into the heart of it as a man dare go. Not the law, but the land sets the limit. Desert is the name it wears upon the maps, but the Indian's is the better word.

News from the outside world filtered slowly into the Panamint Valley, and the telegraph had never been built beyond Keeler. At intervals one of the local papers of Independence, the nearest large town, found its way into the cattle camps on the ranges, and occasionally one of the Sunday editions of a Sacramento journal, weeks old, was passed from hand to hand.

There was the hush in the air which she had learned to associate with an explosion such as was about to take place, and she looked back anxiously, for her husband was up the canyon and the downpour might strike above Panamint.

It was thought that the fair fields of California would be seen from the top of the Panamint Range; but when the travellers reached the summit other desert valleys appeared in the west, and beyond these, in the dim distance, another snowy range was visible. The emigrants now divided into parties.