A Story of the Pacific Coast. "Ben's Nugget" is the concluding volume of the Pacific Series. Though it is complete in itself, and may be read independently, the chief characters introduced will be recognized as old friends by the readers of "The Young Explorer," the volume just preceding, not omitting Ki Sing, the faithful Chinaman, whose virtues may go far to diminish the prejudice which, justly or unjustly, is now felt toward his countrymen.Though Ben Stanton may be considered rather young for a miner, not a few as young as he drifted to the gold-fields in the early days of California. Mining is carried on now in a very different manner, and I can hardly encourage any of my young readers to follow his example in seeking fortune so far from home.
ere at present living.
Besides carrying out the wishes of his patroness, Ben intended to try his hand at mining, and had employed the interval of three weeks since he discovered Mr. Dewey in working the latter's claim, with the success already referred to.
The time when the two friends are introduced to the reader is at the close of the day, when, fatigued by their work on the claim, they are glad to rest and chat. Mr. Bradley has a pipe in his mouth, and evidently takes considerable comfort in his evening smoke.
"I wish I had a pipe for you, Ben," he said. "You don't know how it rests me to smoke."
"I'll take your word for it, Jake," returned Ben, smiling.
"Won't you take a whiff? You don't know how soothin' it is."
"I don't need to be soothed, Jake. I'm glad you enjoy it, but I don't envy you a particle."
"Well, p'r'aps you're right, Ben. Our old doctor used to say smokin' wasn't good for boys, but I've smoked more or less since I was twelve years old."<