Page:Sawdust & Spangles.djvu/44

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24
SAWDUST AND SPANGLES

there any secrecy as to where it was packed during the long journey. So honest were the native blacks that not a dollar was lost by carelessness or theft. Frequently there would be ten thousand of these silver dollars in the hut, with only one or two white men in camp, surrounded by negroes, Arabs and half-breeds; yet no attempt at robbery was ever made. The half-civilized natives, knowing they were not entitled to a dollar until they had earned it, never tried to get it in any other way. The natives slept where and as they pleased, and three times a day were given a fair supply of Indian corn, which they would grind and, after adding a little water, would cook over their own fires, making a sort of biscuit. The white men had negro cooks and lived luxuriously. They had eggs, coffee and Indian corn biscuit for breakfast, with a broiled chicken for a relish whenever desired. For dinner, maize and beef or mutton made up the usual bill of fare. A well-conditioned ox cost only four dollars, and a "good eating-goat" was to be had for fifty cents. No meal was complete without plenty of onions. After supper, the German hunter's inseparable evening friend, his long-stemmed china pipe, invariably appeared.