Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Lost Gold Mine - Tsingal

LOST GOLD MINE
From Eagle magazine, 1950 April 28. Digitized by Doug Frizzle, December 2013.

The Lost Gold Mine -Tsingal from 1932 Eagle magazine
Mail-clad Spanish explorers, marching through the jungle of Panama, met natives wearing plentiful gold ornaments. The unsuspecting natives showed the Spaniards where the gold came from. They called it the Tsingal Mine. It lay in wild country two hundred miles north of Panama.
The ruthless Spaniards built a strong stone fort beside the mine. They enslaved the local tribes and forced them to build a rough, 50-mile track to the coast. Hundreds of chained natives were driven with whips to work in the mine.
Between 1620-1715, the Tsingal Mine sent a million pounds' worth of gold every year to Spain. Then Spain became weak. The Tsingal natives revolted, killed every Spaniard at the mine, tore down the fort, and dismounted the guns. The track to the coast was wiped out by fallen trees, boulders and streams. Tsingal Mine disappeared.
Only one white man has seen the mine since then — Mr. Hyatt Verrill, an American scientist, was guided to the spot in 1932 by a friendly chieftain. He saw great stones lying in the jungle, heavy brass guns bearing the date 1565 under the royal coat of arms of Spain, and remains of the hidden road. The chieftain pointed to a shallow depression in the ground. "The mine was there," he said. "We hid that also."

Now no-one knows where the mine is. The silent jungle helps guard the secret of its tragic treasure.

Monday, 2 December 2013

Incas Treasure House -Pt 5, Conclusion

The Open Road for Boys, 1932 March
The Incas' Treasure House -Part 5, Conclusion
By A. Hyatt Verrill
Illustrated by Heman Fay, Jr,
From The Open Road for Boys magazine, March, 1932. Digitized by Doug Frizzle, December 2013.



The Story So Far
Bob Stillwell and Pancho McLean become lost in the Andes on their way to La Raya, a mining camp in Peru where Bob's father is manager. While lost they save the life of an Indian chief, disabled by a jaguar. Because of this they are well treated by the Indians of the chief's village. The boys find these Indians different from all others and they conclude that they are a lost tribe, living as did the Indians under the Incas before the time of Pizarro. They discover a temple with amazing golden ornaments and relics of the Spanish conquest.
Having recovered, Tonak starts with the boys and two young Indians, Kespi and Kenko, for La Raya, but first, because Bob and Pancho saved his life, Tonak shows them a fabulous treasure which the ancestors of his people kept from Pizarro's clutches, and tells them that they may take with them as much of it as they can carry.
The Indians suddenly desert the boys, just as they come in sight of a large exploring party under Mr. Stillwell, who has left La Raya before the news that the boys were lost had arrived. He is astounded to find Bob and Pancho in the midst of the desert, and amazed at the precious stones and gold they carry. Haskins, the foreman, and "Red" Masden, who are the only other white men in the party (except Larañaga, a Peruvian surveyor) are told the secret of the treasure. Arrangements are made to guard it, but the boys' suspicions become aroused and they feel that Haskins is worried and fears violence.


CHAPTER XIV  TREACHERY
MR. STILLWELL laughed when the boys told him of their suspicions. "Of course Haskins isn't worried, he said. "But he's responsible for everything and it's no light matter to keep an expedition of this sort running right."
"He told us Red didn't know anything about what we had," said Pancho. "Don't you think Red does know, or has guessed?"
Mr. Stillwell looked at Pancho with a peculiar expression in his half-closed eyes. "How should I know what Red thinks?" he said. "I haven't told him anything."
Had the two boys known what Red had told Haskins in the whispered conference Pancho had witnessed, and which Haskins in turn had reported to Mr. Stillwell, they would have understood several matters that puzzled them. They would have known why the miner carried his revolver, why he made the rounds of the camp in the middle of the night, and why—although they were not aware of the fact—Red slept on a most uncomfortable bed of blankets spread over the loads of the pack-mules, instead of upon his comfortable camp cot. Also, Bob would have known why his father had evaded Pancho's question and had looked so queerly at him.
There was not in fact anything definite to worry about. Red had strolled over to the boys' camp while they had been talking with Mr. Stillwell and Haskins inside the tent on the morning of their astonishing appearance, and had surprised two of the Cholos poking about the packs left by Tonak and his Indians. Whether or not they had discovered that they contained gold Red did not know.
"Even if those Cholos saw the gold, I don't think there is need for worry," Mr. Stillwell had declared. "These two have worked for me for several years. They are so accustomed to seeing and even handling bullion at La Raya that I don't think it would occur to them that they could steal this gold or that it was unusual for the boys' packs to contain it."
"Sure, if they don't talk, there's nothin' to it," agreed Haskins. "Trouble is, a Cholo can't keep his mouth shut. The men have been talkin' quite a bit 'bout them boys bobbin' up. Like as not they'll get arguin' where they come from an' how, an' then them Cholos'll up an' tell what they know. Now I ain't sayin' as how there's danger from these here men. Them two Rotos is the only ones as has got backbone enough for anythin'. It'd be dead easy for 'em to lift a few bars or bags or plates an' hide 'em in the sand or amongst the rocks an' come back an' get 'em when they was ready. So I reckon the bes' thing is to have Red keep them there packs alongside him at night an' for all of us to kind of be watchin' out. I'm goin' heeled from now on an' if any of that bunch tries any funny business it'll be an unlucky day for him."
"Yes, I think it wise to be on the safe side," agreed Mr. Stillwell. "I'm thankful none of the men know about the stones."
"It's lucky we're in Peru," declared Haskins, "an' not some place where they's bandits. Howsomever, I'm goin' for to keep my eyes on them there Rotos— they're jus' nat'ral born pizen, even if they can shoot a vein to beat all get out."

THAT night the expedition camped in a deep, fertile ravine, and before they dropped off to sleep, Bob and Pancho determined to go out on a hunt at dawn the next day. They arranged to join the expedition again at about noon, farther down the ravine.
It was still quite dark when they awoke and crept out of their tent. Tiptoeing through the silent camp they met Haskins, who wished them good luck in a hoarse whisper. After eating the sandwiches which old Chin Foo had thoughtfully provided, they hurried up the canyon.
By the time the sun rose, they had traveled a mile and more from camp, Bob taking the right side of the canyon and Pancho the left. Often they were within sight of each other, but at times the ravine widened, and fallen rock masses and miniature jungles intervened.
In one such spot, Pancho heard the sound of a gunshot from the opposite side of the canyon. "Well, Bob's found something anyway," he said to himself. "I wonder what he got." Almost at the same instant a deer sprang into view and Pancho threw his rifle to his shoulder and fired. "Missed!" he exclaimed, as he saw the creature vanishing like a fleeting shadow. "Guess I'll go over and see what luck Bob had."
Just ahead the canyon narrowed abruptly. As he reached this point Pancho shouted and listened for Bob's reply. But all was silent. Pancho felt suddenly panic-stricken. Why didn't Bob answer? Taking a long breath, he opened his mouth to call again, but no sound issued from his lips. A slight noise caused him to turn and he stood transfixed, gazing into the muzzle of a gun along the barrel of which squinted a dark, villainous face!
Along the barrel of the gun...
Pancho felt his last moment had come. The thought raced through his mind that Bob already had been killed by the shot which he had heard. Incapable of moving, unable to utter a sound, he awaited the blinding flash that would end his life. Suddenly he heard the man say in Spanish, "Drop your gun!"
Pancho's fingers relaxed and his rifle fell clattering to the ground. Instantly a second figure sprang from behind a rock, seized the rifle, cocked it, and jamming the muzzle against Pancho's back ordered him to move along.
Faint with fear, yet vastly relieved to be still alive. Pancho stumbled forward. He had recognized the man who had seized his rifle as one of the Roto "powder-men" belonging to Haskin's gang, and he now recalled the other as one of the burly Slav miners. Somehow they must have discovered the secret of the treasure, and must have learned that he and Bob were going on this early morning hunt. With guns in their possession, they were doubtless planning to hold up the party and seize the gold and jewels. An ambush could easily be arranged among the rocks, from the shelter of which the villains could pick off the three white men, and as many of the others as they chose. And Bob! A lump rose in Pancho's throat as he thought of what must have been Bob's fate.

THE three soon came out on a bare slope below almost sheer cliffs. The fellow behind Pancho ordered him to turn to the right where a narrow shelf led up the canyon wall. Presently the narrow pathway ended behind a pillar of rock where a dark cavern opened in the cliff. With a kick and a curse the Roto ordered Pancho into the cave. As, with an involuntary cry of pain, he stumbled forward on hands and knees, he was thrown on his face and his wrists and ankles were quickly lashed together. In the dim light of the cavern he recognized the fellow who was manhandling him as the other Roto. Like a sack of meal he was dragged across the floor and flung into a corner.
"Pancho!" came a muffled cry from the blackness.
"Bob!" gasped Pancho, "Where are you?"
"Here!" came the whispered response.
"Over beyond me," came a new voice almost in Pancho's ear. "Ouch! You're lying on my wrists. Roll over!"
"Wh-who's that?" whispered Pancho. "Me—Larañaga!" came the reply. "They got me, too. They need me to guide them, but they plan to kill Mr. Stillwell and the others!"
"Shut up in there!" ordered the Roto from the outer cavern. Larañaga lowered his voice to a whisper. "There's only one chance for them," he said. "Haskins is no fool. He'll miss these fellows sooner or later and know something is wrong. The fools! With good wages due them, to kill and rob for the sake of a few horses and the camp outfit!"
Larañaga evidently did not know about the treasure, did not realize that the Rotos and the big Slav were playing for high stakes. Pancho pondered whether he should let his fellow prisoner remain in ignorance or tell him about the gold and precious stones. He was about to speak up, when an exclamation from Bob stopped him.
"Listen!" Bob hissed. "They forgot to search my pockets! I've a knife. If we can get it open we can cut each other free!"
"Caramba, it is true!" agreed the Peruvian. Perhaps I can reach the knife."
It was slow and painful work, trying to secure the knife with his lashed hands, but at last Larañaga drew it out and got it open. It took only a short time to cut Bob free, and the rest was easy. With sighs of relief the three rubbed their numbed, swollen hands and wrists.
"It's more comfortable," said Bob, "but I don't see as we're any better off."
"We'll be a lot worse off if they come in and find us free," Pancho remarked.
"No fear—for the present," declared Larañaga. "They're expecting our party at any moment and won't give us a thought until the fight is over."
The sharp report of a rifle suddenly rang through the canyon!

CHAPTER XV  ATTACKED
WITH no suspicion of danger, Mr. Stillwell led his party up the canyon toward the spot where the three desperadoes crouched behind the rocks, their rifles cocked and ready. They could not have found a place more perfectly designed for an ambuscade. In front of the cavern erosion had formed a groove or gutter with its outer edge nearly two feet above its floor. Lying with their bodies in the hollow, with rifles resting in crevices of the rock, the men could be seen only from above, by some one looking down from the top of the canyon, or by the condors sailing in great circles in the cloudless sky.
Mr. Stillwell did not expect to meet the boys for another hour, and not until the expedition was actually within range of the plotters' guns did he have any inkling that something was wrong. Then the alert Haskins rode up, scowling darkly.
"Them two Rotos has skipped!" he announced.
"Skipped!" repeated Mr. Stillwell, "you mean—"
"Gone. An' that ain't the whole of it neither. That big Slav, Peter, has cleared out with 'em, an' Larañaga's mis-sin'. Now what do you make out of that?"
"Larañaga—I can't believe he would associate with those Rotos," cried Mr. Stillwell. "Is any of the gold missing?"
"Not a chance!" declared Haskins. "An' I ain't sayin' as Larañaga j'ined them pizen Rotos. Maybe they're aimin' on makin' us ransom him."
"I believe you're right!" exclaimed Mr. Stillwell, pulling his horse to a stop. They've taken him prisoner. And the boys! Do you suppose they've got them too, and will demand the gold as ransom? Good Heavens, Haskins, the boys have guns! Those villains would stop at nothing if they know about the treasure. They may already have killed Bob and Pancho to get their rifles! Quick! Call Red and a few men you can trust. We must plan a rescue if it's not already too late!"
In response to Haskins' summons, Red rode up hastily. Suddenly there came the sharp report of a rifle, and Red's sombrero flew from his head! With a single motion he threw himself behind his horse, whipped out his revolver and fired at the tiny puff of smoke that had spurted from the face of the cliff.
The detonations of his forty-five drowned the sound of a second rifle shot; but a Cholo, frantically striving to control a terrified mule, spun like a top and sank limply to the ground.
"Back!" roared Haskins, wheeling his mount. "Back to them rocks!"

INSTANTLY all was confusion. The Slav laborers took to their heels like stampeded cattle. The arrieros, shouting, cursing, cracking their whips, strove to check and turn their mules and burros. The frightened animals snorted, reared, and kicked. Only the Indians and the llamas remained calm.
Back to them rocks!
Unmindful of their danger, the three white men herded men and animals back to the partial protection of boulders and trees. A mule uttered a piercing scream and plunged to its knees to roll over kicking spasmodically. Burros squealed with fear or fell dead or wounded. A lumbering Slav uttered a bellow of mingled pain and rage as a bullet clipped his shoulder.
One Cholo lay dead beside the trail and a second crawled, dragging a shattered leg, into a crevice of the rocks. Haskins' face was covered with blood from a furrow cut by a bullet across his forehead. Red's mount had been killed under him, and Mr. Stillwell's saddle-horn had been broken by a rifle ball. But by far the greater number of shots spattered harmlessly against the rocks or thudded into the earth. Not until the last man and all the animals were comparatively safe in the shelter of the natural barrier did the three Americans turn their attention to their enemies.
"Those scoundrels have the boys' guns!" cried Mr. Stillwell as the trio crouched with poised weapons. Haskins' heavy revolver roared as he fired at a momentary glimpse of a moving body on the cliff side. "How many shells did them boys have?" he asked.
"I'm not sure," said Mr. Stillwell. "I think Bob had at least fifty and Pancho about half as many."
Red and Haskins fired together.
"Mebbe the Rotos loaded up with more before they vamoosed," remarked Red.
"Dumb fools!" growled Haskins. "Lessen they kill us three they can't never get away with it. Hullo! Who's them up there atop the cliff?"
On the summit of the canyon wall, above the spot where the bandits lay concealed, three figures had appeared, stooping, gazing down over the edge.
"Injuns!" exclaimed Red. "Reckon they heard the shootin' an' come along to see what's up."
"Injuns they be," agreed Haskins. "But what be they up to? Looks like—By thunder, they're throwin' somethin' down sure's I'm a settin' here. An' them villains up there have quit shootin'. Now what the dickens can that—"
Mr. Stillwell had leaped to his feet.
"The boys! Thank Heaven!" he shouted, springing over the rocks and dashing across the canyon.
At the spot from which the bandits' rifles had blazed, Larañaga and the two boys had suddenly popped into sight, waving their arms and shouting.

CHAPTER XVI  AYHUALLA!
AS the first shot fired by their captors echoed through the cave, Larañaga, Bob and Pancho tensely listened for answering shots. Between the sharp cracks of the rifles close at hand, they could hear faint sounds and the occasional staccato, barking of pistols. Slowly the three prisoners drew nearer the entrance to the cavern, but they could see nothing of what was transpiring in the canyon even when they at last crouched just within the shelter of the cave. From their right came the crashing reports of rifles, and wisps of pungent smoke drifted to their nostrils. Now the shouting had ceased. Only the intermittent rifle fire and the answering reports of revolvers broke the silence.
"Caramba!" whispered Larañaga. "The fiends have not killed our comrades. They are still shooting. How many pistols can you distinguish?"
"Two fired then—almost together!" replied Panchito.
"There goes another!" said Bob. "Dad and Haskins and Red must be all right. They're the only ones who were armed."
"If they have plenty of cartridges they will win," declared Larañaga. "How many have these brigands?"
"I had twenty-three and used two—that leaves twenty-one," Pancho told him.
"I had fifty though," said Bob, "a full belt, and—"
A sharp, agonized cry from one of the bandits interrupted Bob's words.
"Gracias a Dios!" exclaimed Larañaga. "One of the scoundrels has been hit!"
"Give it to 'em!" shouted Pancho, in his excitement forgetting he was supposed to be a bound and helpless prisoner within the cave. But the Rotos and their companion were too occupied to notice, even if they heard his exultant shout.
"I've got to see what's going on!" cried Bob, stealthily creeping to the entrance of the cave and peering around an angle of the rock.
"Whew!" he exclaimed, drawing back. "They're right around the corner. But they're back to and won't see us. Come on, let's watch!"
"That big fellow is badly hurt," whispered Pancho as the three, emboldened by the men's position and their own excitement, darted from the cave and dropped behind a sheltering rock whence they had a clear view of the whole scene.
"Dead!" muttered Larañaga. "If it weren't for being shot by mistake by our friends we could now escape. These fellows could not see us until we reached the bottom of the canyon."
Bob grasped his arm. "Look!" he cried. "Where on earth did that come from?"
At his words the others turned toward the Rotos at whom Bob was gazing in puzzled amazement. From between the shoulders of the nearer man a slender shaft projected like a miniature flagstaff. Before the astonished three could speak, other shafts flashed downward to stand quivering, one in the sprawled body of the dead Slav, another within an inch of the surviving Roto, who, apparently oblivious of his companions' fate, was still firing at the men across the canyon. But at the impact of the missile he turned, uttered a startled cry, and twisting over on his back fired straight upward.
"Arrows!" gasped Larañaga. "Indians! From above! They—"
The words died on his lips as he stared at the Roto. Gazing toward the canyon rim with rolling, fear-filled eyes, he worked the rifle bolt frantically but only metallic clicks followed. The magazine was empty. With an oath he cast the useless weapon aside, half rose, then remembering the enemies across the canyon, he dropped back and like a gigantic reptile clawed and writhed his way toward the cavern's mouth. Never had the boys dreamed such awful fear could be written on a human face.
Scarcely had he moved forward his own length when a large stone whanged on the ledge before him. With a jerk and a cry of terror he flung himself back. Too late! With a sickening thud a rock struck his back. He screamed, and doubling up like a jackknife writhed horribly for a moment and then lay still. "Quick!" cried Larañaga, leaping to his feet. "It is over! We are saved!"
"Hold on! Wait!" yelled Pancho, grabbing the Peruvian and jerking him back. "They'll think you're a Roto and shoot at you. We'll show ourselves first. They'll recognize us. Come on, Bob! Jump up and yell like blazes!"
As they did so, Bob's father sprang from behind a rock and came dashing across the canyon, followed by Haskins and Red.

THE boys and Larañaga raced down the narrow ledge and skirted the face of the cliff to the bottom of the canyon to meet the three men.
"Where's them blasted Rotos?" demanded Haskins, as the two groups converged. "What happened to 'em? Did we get 'em or was it them Injuns on the cliff?"
"Madre de Dios! Did you not know then?" panted Larañaga. "I thought you sent Indians to attack from above."
"Gosh it was awful!" exclaimed Bob.
"They killed one with an arrow and the other with rocks!" interrupted Pancho.
"Yes, and that big Peter was already shot," put in Larañaga.
"But who in time were them Injuns?" demanded Haskins. "I seen 'em up there, thro win' somethin' down. Let's go up an' have a look at them Rotos. We'll want the rifles, anyhow."
As the two boys, shuddering a bit, approached the dead men, Pancho uttered a surprised cry and darting forward seized the arrow-like shaft that had struck the rocks. "It—it's one of Kespi's throwing spears!" was his amazing declaration.
"It sure is!" gasped Bob. "But—"
"You mean—" began Mr. Stillwell, "you mean it's a weapon belonging to those Indian friends of yours?"
"How about this here pig-sticker?" asked Red who had withdrawn the spear from the body of the dead Roto.
"That's old Tonak's!" cried Bob excitedly. His spears always had this mushroom-shaped mark and a silver band. But Dad! how could they be here?"
"It sure beats me," commented Red. "Them Injuns made a mighty good job of it. Cleaned out the whole nest. That Peter wasn't shot by a bullet. There's a hole in his head, but not a bullet hole or I'm a liar."
"Yes, by hookey, an' I figger this is what made it," interrupted Haskins. As he spoke he exhibited a smoothly finished spherical object of grayish stone.
"That's a sling stone!" cried Bob, "just like those the Indians used."
"By Jove!" exclaimed Mr. Stillwell, who had taken the little ball from Haskins. "Did you notice it's weight, Haskins? It's tin—cassiterite—stream-tin! And as heavy as lead. No wonder it could kill a man."
" 'Pears to me," Haskins observed, "that them three Injuns must ha' been campin' on our trail ever since we met up with the boys."
"Gee, I'd like to see them again!" declared Bob.
"Me too!" chimed in Pancho. "Can't we find them and thank them for helping us?"
Red chuckled, "I reckon not," he said. "If they'd wanted to be met up with they'd have been here by now. Looks to me like their job's done and most likely they're hittin' the high spots on their way back to their hide-out."

BUT Red was mistaken. As the party crossed to where the rest of the expedition lay hidden behind the rocks, the boys halted and glanced back.
"Look! Look!" cried Bob excitedly. "There they are!"
Standing upon the verge of the canyon wall, motionless as statues, were three figures that the boys would have known anywhere. Wildly they shouted and waved their hats.
"Tonak! Kespi! Kenko!" they yelled at the tops of their lungs.
For a moment the Indians upon the cliff top remained silent, as quiet as if carved from stone. Then slowly they raised their arms, their right hands lifted toward the sky, their left hands resting over their hearts in the Incan gesture of farewell.
"Ayhualla! Ayhualla!" Faint and thin as the whisper of a breeze the words drifted across the canyon. The next instant the three figures vanished.
In silence the boys turned to the waiting horses. Silently they mounted and rode forward as with the cracking of whips, the shouts of Cholos and Indians, the clatter of hoofs and the tramp of the Slavs' hobnailed boots the cavalcade once again resumed its interrupted journey.
"Day after tomorrow we'll be in La Raya," muttered Bob with a note of regret in his voice. "But—well, I suppose it will be awfully tame after all the adventures we've had. Somehow I'd like to be going back to Tonak's village."
"So would I," declared Pancho. "I'd give a lot to be with those Incans again. They're mighty fine fellows."
Mr. Stillwell smiled. "Remember the old saying, boys," he reminded them. "Distance lends enchantment, you know."
"By gum, I don't know about that neither," exclaimed Haskins.
"Seems to me the nearer I be to my pay the better it looks. Danged if it don't."

THE END

Incas Treasure House -Pt 4

The Open Road for Boys, 1932 February
The Incas' Treasure House –Part 4 of 5
By A. Hyatt Verrill
From The Open Road for Boys magazine 1932 February. Digitized by Doug Frizzle, December 2013.
Illustrated by Heman Fay, Jr


The Story So Far


Bob Stillwell and Pancho McLean become lost in the Andes on their way to La Raya, a mining camp in Peru where Bob's father is manager. While lost they save the life of an Indian chief, disabled by a jaguar. Because of this they are well treated by the Indians of the chief's village. The boys find these Indians different from all others and they conclude that they are a lost tribe, living as did the Indians under the Incas before the time of Pizarro. They discover a temple with amazing golden ornaments and relics of the Spanish conquest.
Having recovered, Tonak starts with the boys and two young Indians, Kespi and Kenko, for La Raya, but first, because Bob and Pancho saved his life, Tonak shows them a fabulous treasure which the ancestors of his people kept from Pizarro's clutches, and tells them that they may take with them as much of it as they can carry.

CHAPTER XII AMAZEMENT!
GLEAMING, flashing in the glare of the torches were jewels of every hue. Bob and Pancho found themselves almost blinded by the brilliancy of the precious stones. Like living fire they scintillated and sparkled—blue, green, purple, lavender, crimson and dazzling white. Never, the boys thought, had white men looked upon such a vast treasure. Here, as Tonak had said, was wealth which they could carry—riches in condensed form—and though ignorant of the value of jewels, they realized that a pocketful would be worth hundreds of pounds of the yellow gold."
They plunged their hands into the chest, lifted the emeralds, rubies, sapphires, diamonds, topazes, amethysts and countless semi-precious stones and let them trickle in showers of flame between their fingers. Could it be possible the glorious things were real, that they were seeing, handling such gems as neither they nor anyone else had believed existed: limpid green emeralds as large as pigeons' eggs, blood-red rubies the size of marbles, ropes of iridescent pearls from Lake Titicaca, topazes carved to represent the sun, fire-flashing diamonds set in beautifully wrought ornaments of gold; golden and silver flowers with petals of gems, golden insects with jeweled eyes and wings, golden ears of maize with kernels of pearls and husks of silver, the finest examples of Incan and pre-Incan art, the work of the incredibly skillful goldsmiths and lapidaries of the vast ancient Incan empire!
The Indians stood silent, motionless, watching the boys and waiting for them to help themselves to the vast treasure.
"My heavens!" sighed Bob. "I can't believe I'm not dreaming. There must be millions and millions of dollars' worth of jewels here."
"Fortunes!" agreed Pancho. "When are we going to wake up?"
"Better fill our pockets before we do," said Bob.
"I'm going to take these that are set in gold," declared Pancho. "And one of these gold ears of corn." He turned to Tonak. "Do you really mean that we are to have all we can carry?" he asked. "We have done nothing to deserve so generous a reward and this gold and these jewels must be very precious to you."
Tonak nodded and spread his hands in a wide gesture that seemed to sweep over the entire contents of the room.
"All you wish of the treasure is yours," he said, "nor do we feel that we give too much. The fearlessness with which you saved my life and the friendliness with which you have lived among my people make us most willing that you should choose and take all that you can carry. There will indeed be ample left, for we five can take away from the entire treasure only as little as five ants could carry at one time from an anthill. Yes, my sons, it is yours."
Again and again Bob and Pancho expressed their thanks to the Chief and for some time examined the jewels and with many exclamations of wonder and astonishment laid aside those which most appealed to them. Taking Tonak at his word, they also handed over to the Indians all which they could carry.
At last their task was done, and with a final long look at the astounding heap of treasure which remained, they turned toward the doorway, and with Tonak in the lead, again traversed the various passages and at last stepped out into the sunlight. It seemed strange enough to come back to their own world after having lived for a few moments in an era that had ended centuries before. Carefully the Indians replaced the stones and then with scarcely a backward glance set off down the trail.
"I wonder," said Bob, "if we shall ever come back for any more of this treasure. There is no doubt in my mind but that Tonak would be more than glad to let us come again."
"I don't know about that," said Pancho. "He isn't going to take any chances of having the location of this wealth discovered. These Indians must have guarded it most carefully or some inkling of its whereabouts would have leaked out during the last few hundred years. He has paid his debt to us, but of course he doesn't want the hoard plundered, and if I am not mistaken, would never again be willing to bring us here."
"You may be right," said Bob, "and anyway, I wouldn't want to come back for any of the treasure without his permission; but all the same, it will do no harm if we try our best to remember how to reach this place. I'm going to watch for landmarks carefully and note them down so that I won't forget them."
"That's all right with me," assented Pancho. "I'll do that too, but I don't believe we have a chance in the world of ever being able to return to this spot. These Indians will see to it that they leave too confused a trail."
So, concentrating their minds on the character of the surrounding hills and valleys, the boys followed silently in Tonak's footsteps, wondering how long it would be before they would reach La Raya.

DAY after day they plodded steadily on, sometimes following narrow paths, at other times proceeding where no trail was visible; turning now east, now north, now west, now south, until the two boys were hopelessly confused and had not the most remote idea of the general direction in which they had traveled.
"It's lucky Tonak knows the way," panted Bob as they climbed a long slope. "Sometimes I wonder if he really does or is just going round and round, as much lost as we were on the other side of the mountains. If he does know where he's headed for, how on earth does he find his way?"
"I guess it's instinct," replied Pancho. "Same way pigeons and toads and other things find their way home. He knows where he's going all right."
Though the journey was long and the boys desperately footsore and weary, they at least did not suffer for want of water or food. The Indians carried a good supply of parched corn, barley meal, dried beans and jerked meat; the country through which they passed, though often barren, was cut by many small streams; and while game was scarce, still hardly a day passed that Pancho did not shoot something. At night the boys threw themselves down utterly tired out, but the Indians made nothing of it. Even burdened with their loads of over one hundred pounds each, Kespi and his brother seemed never to tire, and Tonak, who had so recently recovered from injuries that would have left a white man a semi-invalid, kept up his same swinging pace for hours on end with never a sign of weariness.
Frequently Bob or Pancho asked the chief how much farther they would have to go or how many more days it would be before they arrived at La Raya—and he invariably replied in some unintelligible metaphor or declared he could not say, as it all depended on how fast they traveled.
By the end of a week the trip seemed like an endless nightmare. It did not appear possible that they could have walked steadily for seven days without seeing a single human being, a house or a village. To be sure they had passed within sight of several ruins of ancient buildings, but the entire country seemed devoid of human life, a wilderness of hills and valleys, of dark cañons, of broad punas and grassy upland plains, of tumbling mountain streams, gleaming silvery lakes and distant phantom-like mountains.
They camped wherever the end of the day found them—sometimes in the shelter of a pile of rocks, sometimes in a cavern in the hills, sometimes in hastily constructed huts beside streams or ponds. One morning they came to a large lake that barred their progress and the boys groaned as they thought of being forced to tramp the long way around it. Then to their surprise the Indians threw down their loads and, wading knee-deep into the water, commenced gathering great bundles of the tall, inch-thick reeds that grew everywhere in the shallows. These they placed in bundles on the ground and lashed them together with withes and roots.
Kespi grinned when the boys questioned him and informed them he and the others were making a balsa.
"We know just about as much—or as little—as before," complained Bob. "What's a balsa, anyhow?"
"Looks as if they were making some kind of boat!" Pancho said.

IT WAS soon evident that a boat was precisely what the Indians were making, for they worked rapidly, tying bundles of reeds together, lashing these bundles into place, and forming a canoe-shaped affair some twenty feet in length by six feet in width. Within three hours from the time they had begun work the strange craft was completed, and as the astonished boys looked on, two of the Indians lifted the little vessel to their shoulders, carried it to the shore of the lake and placed it on the water.
"Well I never saw anything like that!" cried Bob. "Come on, let's see if it'll hold us!"
The balsa seemed scarcely affected by their weight and was so buoyant, dry and steady that the boys shouted with delight.
The Indians seemed vastly amused at all this enthusiasm. To them the balsa was nothing extraordinary, for similar boats had been used by Peruvian Indians for thousands of years. Having loaded the supplies and armed themselves with poles cut from a hillside thicket of poplars, they clambered aboard and pushed off.
This is something like!
"This is something like!" declared Pancho, as the buoyant craft moved toward the center of the lake. "Wish we could travel this way all the time!"
"You bet!" agreed Bob heartily. "But look there! Ever see so many ducks and geese and—say, what are those two big white ones with the black necks? Try a shot. They ought to be fine eating."
As Pancho threw a shell into the chamber of his rifle the Indians grasped his intention and slowly guided the balsa toward the unsuspecting waterfowl. Not until he was within easy range did Pancho risk a shot. Then he brought down one of the big black-necked swans. As the flock of birds rose with a terrified squawking and a roar of beating wings, he fired twice more and three ducks fell splashing to the water.
"Great!" cried Bob. "That was swell shooting—three ducks in two shots and on the wing!"
Pancho grinned. "Swell nothing," he declared. "I couldn't help hitting them, they were so close together. But— Well, what do you think of that?" Kespi, not to be outdone by the white boy, had jerked a woven woolen sling from his girdle, had hastily fitted a round stone from a wallet at his side, and whirling it about his head had sent the stone whizzing after the birds. As Pancho spoke, one of the flock plunged headlong to the water.
"Guess you aren't such a crack shot after all," laughed Bob, as he saw Pancho staring in surprise. "If an Indian can knock one of those fellows over with a stone from a sling you ought to get three of them with two rifle bullets."
Gathering up their game, the party continued on their way, following the winding sheet of water for mile after mile between the hills. Not until they had reached the head of the lake did the Indians pole the balsa into shoal water and draw it up on the shore.
They dined royally that night on roast duck, and afterwards the boys slept like logs. It was broad daylight when Pancho awoke. Rubbing his eyes he sat up, glanced about to see if the Indians were cooking breakfast, and then suddenly wide awake, he leaped to his feet shouting excitedly to Bob.
The Indians were nowhere in sight!
"Wha-what's the matter?" asked Bob sleepily, yawning as he sat up. "Why all the shouting?"
"The Indians!" cried Pancho. "Tonak, Kespi, Kenko—they're not here!"
"What?" exclaimed Bob getting to his feet and staring about, blinking in the bright light. "Not here? Well, what of it? Most likely they've gone for a swim."
"I hadn't thought of that," Pancho admitted. As he spoke he hurried toward the spot where they had beached the balsa. Neither the Indians nor the craft were anywhere to be seen.
"They're not at the lake!" cried Pancho. "And the boat's gone too!"
"Well, they've left everything behind them—if they really have gone," Bob informed him. "The gold and jewels they were carrying are here. I guess they're somewhere near. Why should they run off, anyway? You don't think they'd desert us, do you?"
"I can't believe they would," declared Pancho. "But just the same, it's mighty queer—the way they've gone off without saying anything, and they've taken the boat. I admit I'm scared. We can never find our way alone!"
"If they've taken the boat," Bob said, "that explains it. They've gone fishing."
"I'll soon find out," declared Pancho. "I can see all around from the top of that hill."
Without waiting for Bob, he hurried off toward the crest. As he reached the summit and glanced about, he stood staring, open-mouthed, incredulous. Within a quarter mile of where he stood, a stream flowed around the base of the hill, its banks fringed with aspens. And there, in plain sight beneath the trees, were tents, tethered horses and mules, men! For a brief moment Pancho gazed at the seeming apparition, too amazed to utter a sound. Then he let out a yell like a Comanche. “Whoop-eee! White men, Bob! Come on!"
Bob gave one glance at the camp among the aspens, and with a yell that outdid Pancho's, dashed after his comrade.
At sound of the wild shouts, the men camped beside the stream turned with one accord and reached for their weapons. They had thought there were no human beings except themselves within a hundred miles. Who could these two be?
"Hey, who in time are you?" demanded a tall, rawboned fellow. "What's chasin’ you?"
Before Pancho or Bob could gasp out an explanation, a man emerged from the door of a tent nearby. "What's up, Haskins?" he asked.
Bob wheeled at the sound of the voice. His eyes grew round, his jaw gaped. Then—"Dad!" he shouted, and fairly threw himself upon the astounded figure before the tent.

CHAPTER XIII  SURPRISE
At the sound of the boys' shouts
MR. STILLWELL was too surprised to utter a word. He had known nothing of the boys' disappearance, he had thought them safe at La Raya, and here they were dropping out of a clear sky as if by magic. "Good heavens, what are you doing here, Bob?" he gasped when he found his voice. "Why aren't you at La Raya?"
"Gosh, Dad, but it's good to see you!" cried Bob. "But what are you doing here? Searching for us?"
"No, son, why should I be searching for you? I'm on my way back to La Raya. Been examining prospects for the past month and more. How did you know where to find me?"
"It's a long, long story, Dad, and we haven't had breakfast yet. Our Indians ran off and left us. We'll tell you all about it while we eat. But didn't you know we were lost?"
Mr. Stillwell shook his head. It was hopeless to make any headway until he could get a connected account of the mystery. "All right," he agreed. "You arrived just in time for breakfast—never knew you to miss a meal yet—so come along and eat, and let's see what sort of fairy tale you can think up to explain why Pancho and you are here."
"Well, first thing that happened," mumbled Bob as he helped himself to an immense flapjack, "the car skidded and was wrecked and the chauffeur was killed. Then Pancho and I decided to walk to Palitos and—"
"Lost your way of course," his father interrupted. "Well, go on."
As they ate, the boys described their adventures while Mr. Stillwell and Haskins listened attentively. When they reached the point where they told of having saved Tonak's life and of living in his village, Bob's father again interrupted.
"Never mind about all the details," he said. "I can guess that part. I suppose eventually the Indians guided you out for La Raya, and if I'm not mistaken you said they deserted you. When was that?"
"Last night," said Pancho.
"Say, wasn't that a wonderful coincidence, Dad?" cried Bob. "There we were, camping almost within sight of each other and never dreaming of it, and then the Indians happening to go off just at that particular time."
"Coincidence nothin'!" growled Haskins. "Them Injuns knew we was camped here. They figgered it out to leave you flat soon's ever they brung you within sight of us. But I'd like to know why they done it. Injuns don't do nothin' without a reason. I—"
"And they left their packs, too," exclaimed Bob. "And—galloping catfish! I'd forgotten all about it." He jumped up, his mouth full of food. "Say, we'd better go back before some one finds all that gold and stuff over there at our camp!"
"Gold!" cried Mr. Stillwell. "What gold? What are you talking about, Bob?"
"Why, the gold they gave us. Gee whiz, we haven't told you about that yet. You see—"
The men scarcely heard his words. They were gazing at the gleaming objects Pancho had nonchalantly placed on the table before them. "We got these, too," he announced. "Are they worth very much?"
"Jumping Jupiter! Am I seein' things?" gasped Haskins. "Worth very much? Oh, my everlastin' sainted aunt!"
"Where on earth did you get those?" asked Bob's father in awed tones as he picked up one of the flashing gems. "This—why don't you know, don't you realize this is an emerald—a jewel? It must be of great value!"
"Yea, verily!" declared Haskins, leaning forward and peering at the stone with burning eyes. "If it didn't have that there hole into it I'd say 'twas worth all of ten thousand!"
"Ten thousand dollars!" cried the boys.

HASKINS sank limply into his camp chair, threw up his hands and groaned.
"While we're skinnin' these darned hills an' a-walkin' our feet off lookin' for some outcrop of pay dirt these two human horseshoes are a pickin' up jools like they were daisies!" he exclaimed.
"Gee, I wish we'd brought more of 'em," lamented Bob. "There was a whole chest full of—"
"Hold on, son!" cried his father. "Let's have this straight. Where did you find these? What about the chest? You didn't mention it when you were telling your adventures."
"Well, you didn't let me," Bob reminded him. "You said never mind about what happened after we got to the village. But there's a lot more to tell. We found a temple—"
"With mummies and an old fellow in armor and a gold sun—" put in Pancho. "And Tonak told us he'd make us 'great chiefs' in our own country and gave us these and the gold. Showed us a large treasure they'd been guarding for hundreds of years in a big pyramid. Tons of gold and silver and a chest full of these stones. And—"
"He told us to take all we wanted, but we couldn't carry very much," added Bob. "Just the gold the Indians could tote and what we put in our pockets. But Tonak said we were welcome to go back and get more whenever we wanted to."
Mr. Stillwell almost collapsed as he listened to the boys' amazing statements. "If these stones weren't here before my eyes I wouldn't believe a single word of what you've said," he declared. "What do you make of it, Haskins?"
The foreman sat up with a jerk. "Make of it!" he cried. "Why, these two boys have seen what folks have been huntin' for close onto four hundred years—Atahualpa's treasure! They get plumb lost an' just by bull luck find the old cacique bein' chawed by a cussed tiger, an' here they be with their pockets stuffed full of jools an' nobody knows how much gold lyin' around loose over to their camp. Oh my aunt!"
The boys started to disgorge the contents of their pockets, but Mr. Stillwell stopped them.
"Don't!" he exclaimed. "Not here, boys. I think my men are honest, but there's a limit to temptation for any native. Come into my tent—you, too, Haskins, and we'll see what loot you've got and put it under lock and key."
When at last the boys had emptied their pockets the two men sat gazing at each other with wide eyes.
"I haven't the most remote idea what this is worth," said Bob's father. "Have you, Haskins?"
The miner shook his head. “If them stones wasn't so badly cut and wasn't bored I'd guess they'd be worth close to quarter of a million," he announced. "But as 'tis—"
"As it is," declared Mr. Stillwell, interrupting him, "in my opinion they may be worth fully as much or even more as archeological specimens."

THE two boys scarcely could believe their ears. A quarter of a million! A fortune! And they had taken but a fraction of the contents of the chest!
"Whew!" whistled Pancho. "Then there must be billions in that place!"
Mr. Stillwell smiled. "Scarcely that," he said. "It takes almost two tons of solid gold to be worth a million—and a billion is one thousand millions or over two thousand tons of gold, my boy."
"Well, it looked to me as if there were thousands of tons there," declared Bob. "What was it old Tonak said about all the llamas it took to bring it there?"
"He said it required two thousand yanaconas and forty llama trains to carry it," announced Pancho. "What are yanaconas? I suppose they're some kind of Indians."
"They be," Haskins replied. "That's Quichua for porters. They carry about seventy-five to a hundred pounds. Are you dead sure the old boy said two thousand?"
"Well, he didn't say exactly that," Pancho admitted. "He said, 'Yanacona-kuna Ishcaica mitikuna huranga.'"
"That's right, by hooky!" Haskins declared. "Twice ten hundred. And how many llama trains?"
"Chusgo-Chunga," replied Pancho promptly.
"Forty all right," affirmed the miner. Then, after a moment's mental calculation: "Tie me down, Stillwell!" he exclaimed. "If the ol' Injun told the truth, more'n seventy-five tons of gold were brung by them there porters even if they only lugged seventy-five pounds apiece. And close onto twenty ton more must 'a' been on them llamas—forty trains is four hundred critters more or less. That's more'n a hundred ton of gold, Stillwell, not countin' them there stones—over fifty millions lyin' in that there place a-waitin' for us to walk in an' take it!"
Mr. Stillwell shook his head and smiled. "Even if there are one hundred tons of gold and countless gems in that remarkable treasure vault," he said, "there are a great many matters to be considered and not a few difficulties to be overcome before we can 'walk in an' take it.' "
"Well, what's the use of talking about that now?" demanded Bob. "Let's go over and get that gold at our camp. First thing you know someone'll run off with it."
Half an hour later, the gold had been safely hidden away among Mr. Stillwell's mineral samples without, apparently, arousing any suspicion among the muleteers and other natives. Orders were given to break camp and before noon the cavalcade was again in motion, wending its way slowly toward distant La Raya.

AS THE boys rode along they told of many incidents which they had not mentioned before, but their thoughts naturally centered on the treasure they had seen and the small fortune they now possessed. They were greatly disappointed when they found that Mr. Stillwell could not at once go back with them in search of the treasure. "It would take weeks," he declared, "perhaps months to locate the spot, even if we ever found it. As a matter of fact I don't believe you boys have the remotest idea as to where it is."
They admitted that they did not.
"It may be in any direction from here then," he continued. "I'm inclined to think those Indians deliberately took you a roundabout route, and the only chance of finding it again would be by airplane."
"I been wonder in' why them Injuns left you boys when they did," observed Haskins, "but I reckon I know. That ol' cacique, to save a lot of travellin', brung you down to where he savvied we'd be an' set you down where you couldn't miss findin' us. He's a wise ol' bird an' wasn't takin' no risks of bein' trailed back to that there treasure house of hisn."
"But why should he object to taking us back there?" asked Bob. "He said we could have all the treasure ye wanted."
"Lord love ye!" exclaimed Haskins with a laugh. "You weren't takin' what he said for what he meant, were you? Injuns is like Spaniards that-a-way. If they like you or owe you somethin', they'll say a lot more'n they mean jus' to be per-lite like. A Spaniard'll tell you his house an' all in it's yourn. But jest try to take it!"
"Well, maybe you're right," sighed Bob. "Anyway, we shouldn't really complain even if we never find the place again. We're both pretty rich."
His father smiled. "I'm afraid, son, you'll find you and Pancho are not as wealthy as you imagine. Most of these gems are antiquities and cannot legally be exported from Peru. Even if the gold were melted down and the gems recut, and thus destroyed as far as their archeological value is concerned, you would still be liable to have one-half of all the valuables seized by the government. It would be treasure-trove and according to law Peru claims fifty per cent."
"Then—but, Dad, that isn't fair!" cried Bob. "Tonak gave the things to us—we didn't find them."
"You'd have a mighty hard job trying to make the officials believe that," laughed his father. "I advise you boys to be very careful of what you say—don't mention treasure or Tonak's gift or, for that matter, anything about the hidden village, its people or the temple. The less said the better."
"You're dead right, Chief," exclaimed Haskins. "What folks don't know won't bother 'em, an' there ain't no danger of their knowin' nothin' less'n the boys spill the beans."

COMPARED to trudging on foot over the punas and across the mountains, camping wherever night found them and depending on chance game and the coarse food of the Indians, the boys found their present journey almost luxurious. They had horses or mules to ride, they slept on comfortable cots in tents, and they had an abundance of food. Although Mr. Stillwell and Haskins were both accustomed to hardships, they saw no reason in being uncomfortable when it could be avoided. This was a company expedition, and neither money nor equipment had been spared to render it as successful as possible. Because considerable sampling had to be done, a gang of laborers had been taken along, in charge of Haskins. In addition to these ten fellows—all Slavs or Russians, there were two "powder-men," Chilean "Rotos" of Spanish blood; a Peruvian surveyor, Señor Laranaga; Mr. Stillwell's Chinese cook, a coal black Jamaican, Tom, who cooked for the men; four Quichua Indian "arrieros" or muleteers; and half a dozen Cholo roustabouts and servants, while finally, there was a red-headed, bow-legged Texan named Masden, universally known as "Red," who was in charge of the live stock and packing.
Although Mr. Stillwell believed his men honest, he felt that his precautions in keeping the gems and gold out of sight were fully warranted. The men were a far from prepossessing looking lot, especially the laborers who, as Pancho remarked to Haskins, looked "more like pirates than miners."
Haskins, however, rated them differently. "Them!" he exclaimed. "They haven't the nerve to do nothin'. Now it's different with them two Rotos, who are plumb p'izen no matter where they be. Too danged ready with a knife an' short-tempered as a rattler. Just the same, them two ain't lookin' for trouble. What's that? The Cholos? Lord love you, son, them an' the Injuns is jus' about as dangerous as them llamas. You could load 'em down with gold and tell 'em to lug it down to La Raya alone an' they'd do it. But what you boys worryin' over? They's three of us white men—me, the boss an' Red—an' say, you ought to see Red when he get's het up!"
"Seems to me there are four white men," observed Bob. "You didn't count Señor Laranaga."
"Shucks, he's a Peruvian," replied Haskins. "Course I s'pose he is white, but we wouldn't never count on a native if it came to any trouble—not that they's a mite of chance of it. Even Red don't savvy what you two brung in."
"I wonder," mused Pancho a little later when Haskins had ridden off with Bob's father to look at a crimson patch on a hillside that indicated a lead-silver outcrop, "I wonder if Haskins really isn't worrying some over all our stuff."
"Nonsense!" declared Bob. "Why should he? No one knows about it. What put that idea into your head?"
"Well, nothing very much," replied Pancho thoughtfully. "Only I noticed that he's been wearing a revolver. And last night I woke up and heard someone moving about and peeked out and saw him."
Bob laughed. "Red carries a revolver, too," he reminded Pancho. "And why shouldn't Haskins be moving about at night? He's in charge of the outfit, after Dad, you know. It's his business to see that everything's all right."
"Well, maybe," admitted Pancho, "but he just said a few minutes ago that even Red didn't know anything about—well, about our things—and yet I saw him whispering with Red last night."

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As an armed forces brat, we lived in Rockcliff (Ottawa), Namao (Edmonton), Southport (Portage La Prairie), Manitoba, and Dad retired to St. Margaret's Bay, NS.
Working with the Federal Govenment for 25 years, Canadian Hydrographic Service, mostly. Now married to Gail Kelly, with two grown children, Luke and Denyse. Retired to my woodlot at Stillwater Lake, NS, on the rainy days I study the life and work of A. Hyatt Verrill 1871-1954.