Page:To Alaska for Gold.djvu/65

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49
PREPARATIONS FOR DEPARTURE.

at hand was a big bill-board on which was posted a large circular headed in big black letters:—

THE GOLD FIELDS OF ALASKA!

Direct Route via Juneau and Over Chilkoot Pass!
Now is the Time to Go and Stake Your Claim!


"That circular is enough to set almost any one crazy," said Earl, as he read it over. "Well, I hope we strike a bonanza."

"The reports are very encouraging," replied Foster Portney, who, in spite of his usual cool headedness had the gold fever nearly as badly as any one in San Francisco. "You see," he went on, "the sooner we get there the better: for we won't have much time left after arriving before the long and terribly cold winter sets in."

Earl had imagined that the six hundred pounds of freight must be divided between the three, but soon learned that six hundred pounds was the limit for each person.

"We'll never carry that much, will we?" he queried. "Why, how are we going to get all that stuff over the pass you mentioned?"

"We'll get Indians to pack it over. They'll charge twenty or thirty cents a pound, but it's the best that can be done. Some hire pack mules and dog teams, but my experience has been that Indians are the most reliable."