You see (page 109) you’ve got that ancient river-bed in your head, & you’ve got the modern river-bed in your head too, & [you’ve ] gone & mixed the two together. But they won’t mix., any more than oil & water. Nevins could see the stream down in the cañon, & that is what I allow him to see; & he could judge there was gold there, by (in that stream,) by the look of things—& I allow him to do that; but he couldn’t see one of those “ancient” river-beds, because ‸it‸ is buried in the very heart of the mountain; & if one little end of it did stick out of the mountain side that man couldn’t see it a hundred yards, & if he could he wouldn’t know what it was. That paragraph has been an awful strain on my intellect, but I believe I am in a measure rational yet. As there would be a little gold all through the sand, I suggest “the rich spots,” to justify the “tons” & the “confound her!”1
Mrs. C. getting along tolerably well. We send our warmest regards.
MH-H, shelf mark bMS Am 1429 [1151–1191]).
Provenance:deposited by Talbot Aldrich in June 1942, and donated in 1949.
Emendations and textual notes:
you’ve • [‘uv’ conflated]
Merely • M | Merely [rewritten for clarity]