My Experiences in the Yukon

[ Gold was also found on Hilltops, where Creeks had once flowed ]

Gold was also found on Hilltops, where Creeks had once flowed, E.A. Hegg, 1898, Author's Collection

[George tells others about the strike]

[leaving the site of the discovery] We had gone only a short distance when we met four men wading up the stream, towing a loaded boat . . . I sprang my surprise. I told them of my discovery and showed them the gold. Their eyes lit up and the whole expression of their face changed. It was like the bright sunshine bursting out from behind a black cloud . . . I felt as if I had just dealt myself a royal flush in the game of life, and the whole world was a jackpot. . . .

[In a tavern at Fortymile] After gathering my wits and taking a little time to get my breath, I turned my back to the bar, held up my hand and said, “Boys, I’ve got some news to tell you. There’s a big strike up the river.

“Strike! h—l,” said a big husky miner, seated at a nearby card table. “That ain’t no news. That’s just a scheme of Ladue and Harper to start a stampede up the river.”

“That’s where you’re off, you big rabbit-eating malamute. Neither Ladue nor Harper knows anything about this.” The reaching for a blower [a brass dish used for weighing gold dust] near the gold scales on the bar, I dumped the cartridge shell full of gold into it and said, “Well, how does that look to you, eh?”

“It [sic] that some of Miller Creek gold that Ladue gave you?” asked my big friend, getting up and striding to the bar. Picking up the blower, he looked at the gold and slowly stirred it around with his big forefinger, then his mouth dropped open as though his lower jaw had been unjointed, and his voice sounded like a Stick Medicine Man with congested lungs, delivering an incantation.

“Holy Makulak boys, this ain’t no Miller Creek dust. I know the gold from every creek in this country and this ain’t like none of them,” and putting out his ham-like hand, he said: “Put ‘er there, George. I’ve known you since ’88, and I’ve never known you to lie to a white man or a Siwash, and I can lick any hooch-guzzling, salmon-eating son-or-a-gun that says you lie now. But say, old man, if it ain’t asking too much, where in h—l did you get it?”

“Well, “ I answered with a smile, “from the frozen conditions of the country, I don’t think I was anywhere near that place. But listen, boys, and I’ll tell you.” So they all gathered around me and I told them the story of my discovery.

THE BIG STAMPEDE WAS ON . . . . But that’s another story

Source: George W. Carmack, "My Experiences in the Yukon" (n.p.: n.p., ca. 1922), 14-16

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