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The Young Engineers in Mexico by Hancock

THE YOUNG ENGINEERS IN MEXICO

or, Fighting the Mine Swindlers

by

H. IRVING HANCOCK

CONTENTS

CHAPTERS I. The Land of Golden Eggs II. The Wolf Who Showed His Teeth III. Gato Strikes the Up Trail IV. Tom Does Some Sampling V. The Mine That Did and Didn't VI. Watching the Midnight Lights VII. Don Luis's Engineering Problem VIII. Dangling the Golden Bait IX. Don Luis Shows His Claws X. The Spirit of a True Engineer XI. A Piece of Lead in the Air XII. Nicolas Does an Errand XIII. Pining for the Good Old U.S.A. XIV. Next to the Telegraph Key XV. The Job of Being an Hidalgo XVI. Two Victims of Rosy Thoughts XVII. The Stranger in the Tent XVIII. Craft--Or Surrender? XIX. The Hidalgo Plans Gratitude XX. Two Real Signatures XXI. The Final Touch of Tragedy XXII. Mr. Haynes Asks a Few Questions XXIII. The Engineer Turns XXIV. Conclusion

CHAPTER I

THE LAND OF GOLDEN EGGS

Luis Montez, mine owner, stood on the broad veranda in front of his handsome home, looking out over the country sweeping away to the eastward.

"Gentlemen, you are in a land of golden promise," began Senor Montez, with a smile and a bow. "I should call it more than promise. Why not? My beloved country, Mexico, has been shipping gold to the world ever since the days of Montezuma."

"Yes; in a mineral sense Mexico has truly a golden history," nodded Tom Reade, one of the engineers to whom Montez was speaking.

"And a golden history in every sense," added Senor Montez, with a quick rush of patriotism. "Mexico is the finest country on earth. And, though we are neither as numerous in population, or as progressive as your own great country, still Mexico has greater possibilities than the United States."

Tom was too polite to argue that point. And Harry Hazelton, whom a seventy-mile ride in an automobile over dusty roads, that day, had rendered very drowsy, didn't consider an argument worth while.

"Mexico has almost incredible natural wealth," Montez went on, his voice soft and purring, his eyes glowing with something that might have passed for pride. "Yet, through all the centuries that white men have been here, I am confident that not one per cent. of the country's natural resources has yet been taken from the ground. Enough wealth lies at man's beck and call to change the balance of power between the nations of the world. I have been in your great city, New York. It is a place of tremendous wealth. Yet, within ten years, gold enough can be taken from the ground within a radius of twenty miles of here to buy the whole great city of New York at any sane valuation."

"That purchase would require billions of dollars," broke in the practical Hazelton.

"But the wealth is here," insisted Senor Montez, still smiling. "Truly, _caballeros_, as I have told you, this is the land of golden--"

Again the Mexican paused, eloquently.

"The land of golden eggs?" suggested Harry.

For an instant there was a flash in the Mexican's eyes. Then the friendly smile reappeared.

"Of course, you jest, senor," he replied, pleasantly.


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