Thursday, March 31, 2011

Letter to Lillian, July 13, 1922

Sampson Mine
Llanada Calif.
July 13th 1922

Dear Lillian - Although I wrote only last night, much has occurred since. I had just finished your letter and was writing to my aunt to tell her when to expect me, when I thought of my watermelon. I called the gang and we had melon. About 9 P.M. I was down at the bunk house sitting around just having finished eating when I heard a vehicle approaching. The road forks just as it enters camp and the truck stopped. Consequently we knew that it was a stranger. We called and directed them to come over on our side of the creek. He did so and we found that it was a carry all with eleven men including the cook. The driver said that he wanted to go back that night. I called the cook and the gang ate. I fixed them up with beds and then filled the truck and the carry all went back to San Francisco empty.

     About 11:30 AM today I was working in the laboratory and I heard a vehicle approaching. This time it was a Ford with the truckman driving and five new men including the cook. The first cook went to the upper camp which had been doing without a cook. The boss then fired the cook here and replaced her with the other one. I showed him around and then went back to the laboratory. The boss said that he would take the cook who was leaving to Idria, about two or three miles from here in a straight line or about 10 miles by auto. He had not figured on her trunk so I dug out the flivver and took the trunk. I eventually got there. One little pitch required three attempts to climb and another was so steep that I had to monkey with the engine to make it run on four cylinders instead of the customary 2 1/2 or 3. Coming back it saw that there was no further need of four cylinders, so only three ran. I stopped on the way back to put some water in the radiator and it was scarcely boiling.It is quite unusual to run any vehicle, including shank's mare, in this country without the engine getting hot.

     Judging by the influx of men I will leave here Friday noon, getting to town Friday night late or Saturday morning early. If I can convince the boss that there should be another person to look after the store I would have more time to myself, although lately I have not been very busy from a theoretical standpoint. I have certain ideas along that line but I guess that they will be discarded as impractical.

Mining tramway in Oregon
     My store has been doing a rushing business today. I sent a couple of thousand pounds of provisions, or at least it seemed that much, to the upper camp. It took three men the best part of an hour to carry the stuff to the tramway. Some of the material is still at the upper end of the tramway, not having been taken to the cookhouse yet. In addition I have to send more tomorrow, as I did not send some things. Now my job of getting supplies will be exciting as I will have from thirty to forty to feed. One fine thing though is that I have two good cooks, both men. Take that any way you like, but not personally. The one in the lower camp is well experienced in ordering, so he will know just what he wants.

     Tomorrow is mail day again and I have to flivver down. I wish that the flivver would run uphill as well as it does down.

     Well I must cease as I am quite tired tonight for a change. So write to

          Your Jim. B.

About 8 more days.

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