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The Old Stagedriver’s Yosemite Yarns (1962) by Laurence Degnan and Douglass Hubbard


DOWN THE MOUNTAIN IN A GOLD PAN

Harry Williams riding down the mountain in a gold pan
[click to enlarge]

OLD HANK WILLIAMS, rest his soul, was one of the most popular drivers to ever crack a whip on the Yosemite run. He used to tell a tear-jerkin’ tale about the death of his identical twin, Harry.

“Seems the boys were orphaned at an early age and reared apart. Since childhood they had not seen each other. Hank had been drivin’ for years on the Yosemite run and Harry had been prospectin’ up along the northern Mother Lode. Finally the brothers arranged a meetin’.

“Comin’ out at the head of a thousand foot high avalanche scar, Harry saw the dust of his brother’s stagecoach, way below. Was he too late? Fearin’ he would be and showin’ true western resourcefulness he sat down on his miner’s gold pan and tobogganed down that chute of loose rock. Seems old Harry understood the law of gravity but plum forgot about the law of friction.

“Tears would come to Hank’s eyes whenever he retold the sad experience: ‘Yes, sir, all I ever found of my long-lost brother were the copper rivets from his overalls, in the bottom of his red-hot gold pan.’”



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Online Library: Title Author California Geology History Indians Muir Mountaineering Nature Management

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