Page:Dick Hamilton's Fortune.djvu/233

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rock itself. Then, when a blast was set off, the rock, concrete and gold was all blown into small pieces, so that it looked as if the ore was of good, gold-bearing quality, whereas it was nothing but ordinary rock "salted."

That was how the men were working to fool investors. They had taken an abandoned mine, from which all the gold had been dug, and, by this ingenious method, made it look, to the ignorant, as though it was a regular bonanza.

"Well," remarked Dick, in a whisper, "we've discovered the trick. I guess dad's money and mine, too, is 'gone up the flume,' as the miners say. But I'm glad—"

At that moment, Frank, who was balancing himself on a bit of rock, in order to see better, stumbled and fell, making quite a noise. The men turned as if a shot had been fired.

"What's that?" asked Smith, in a hoarse whisper.

"Some loose rock caving in," answered one of the men. "Come on, finish up. We've only got one more hole to fill, and by that time Nash will be ready to hoist us up."

"That wasn't falling rock!" declared Smith. "Boys, I believe someone is spying on us. I'm joing to take a look."

Seizing one of the torches he started toward where Dick and his companions were hiding.

"Come on!" exclaimed the millionaire's son,