Monday, 13 April 2009

A Colony On Mars : Chapter 20

. Monday, 13 April 2009

CHAPTER – Super Store opens for Business
Super Store opened on the first Sunday of June, 2108. There were six
hundred people in line when they opened their doors. They had put their
shelves up and stocked the store with all the select merchandise that they had
been able to transport on the one hundred pallets they had been allowed on the

They opened the doors at 0900 all of the merchandise, every piece of it,
was in the hands of customers by 0930. People had just grabbed anything they
could get their hands on, it didn't matter whether it was something they could
use or not. With only three registers open it took until 1300 to get everyone
checked out. At that point there was no reason to remain open so they hung a
sign on the door and reconciled themselves to waiting for the next ship which
would be in August. All three Super Store employees went to work for the bank
on a temporary basis until August.
The following Sunday there was another giant swap meet in the business
district which had now become known as the square. Most of the merchandise
that had been purchased at Super Store was available for resale to the people
that actually needed the items for a slightly higher price of usually twice what
Super Store had sold it for. The swap meet also sold out in a few hours and
had to shut down.
Archy had wondered why there were so few people show up for church.
The church was open and operating now in the square with cement block
benches to accommodate one hundred worshipers. Archy put up a sign in front
of the church announcing an evening service to begin at 1900 hours. That
service was packed. Archy had successfully solicited twenty residents to form a
choir and chosen a choir director from among them. That evening the church
was packed and everyone enjoyed the choir and the country and western band
that accompanied them. Archy's leaning in the church was heavily toward lots
of hand clapping and gospel music. Everyone seemed to have a great time.
They particularly enjoyed Archy's preaching that was heavy on the shouting to
the lord and bible slapping and Hell, Fire and Brimstone rhetoric.
The church had to be doubled in size to accommodate the congregation.
Archy only wished that he was not obligated to The Company for the next ten
years so he could devote full time to his work as pastor.
June 20, 2108: Tim and Carter discussed this with Paul who agreed that
Archy was such a positive influence on the community that Carter and Paul
requested that be reassigned by The Company as the pastor of the church as
his full time work. After all they needed a full time pastor to conduct weddings,
baptisms, funerals and the many other duties that a pastor performed in the
community. Paul had already found out that the protestant pastor that The
Company was sending to Mars as Chaplain was an Episcopal priest so there
would be very little conflict between Archy and the new Protestant Chaplain.
Carter took it on himself and contacted the The Southern Baptist Theological
Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky who when they heard about Archy's ministry
and viewed a video of one of his services on Mars held a special ordination in
absentia ceremony and not only ordained Archy but gave him an honorary
Doctor of Divinity degree. Now Archibald Shrimp would a full time practicing
minister with his own church and congregation. On Mars he was called the
While this had all been happening the small side of the new cavern had
been sealed and pressurized the large end of the cavern would just have to wait
for more equipment to arrive from Earth. Two wonderful discoveries were made
when the scientists could get into the cavern and examine it closely. There was
adequate geothermal energy in close proximity to provide power to several
large generators, maybe enough to power all of Utopia.
June 30, 2108: The second discovery was a vein of gold larger than any
vein that had ever been discovered on Earth, anywhere.
“The company is going to be very happy to hear about this discovery
Carter.” “Now maybe we will have something to send back to Earth instead of
everything coming this way.” “Better see if we have anyone with hard rock
mining experience and get them extracting that gold ore right away. I would like
to have as much as possible on hand to ship back when the next supply chip
gets here in August.
Tim went to Doris and had her scan the data base of employees and
picked out fifteen candidates who had claimed to have the skills that he was
looking for. He called each of them on his cell and ask them to meet him in the
small cavern that had just been tamed in one hour. Tim was the first one there
and looked around while he waited for the others. Shortly all fifteen had arrived
and he said “I would like to show you gentlemen something and then I would
like you to tell me what you think.” He lead them to the wall and pointed out the
vein. “Wow that is really something.” Tim just stood by and listened to their
ensuing conversation. It didn't take long for Tim to choose his foreman. One of
the men, Harold Dixon seemed to know a lot more than any of the others. The
other men were looking to him for answers. He had a relaxed posture and
attitude, was very knowledgeable and communicated his thoughts easily to the
others. “You men have just been reassigned to the mine crew. Please advise
your present crew chief's of the change. You can get together and decide what
all you will need to get started extracting that gold. Harold would you step over
here there is something I would like to ask you?” “Sure” Tim and Harold walked
about 50 feet away from the other men and Tim said “you seem to know quite a
bit about this mining business Harold just how much experience have you had?”
“I have been a hard rock miner all my life and my father before me spent his life
mining, my grandfather was a prospector. My family is from rural Nevada. The
mines are pretty well played out there so when this job came my wife and I
jumped at it.” “What is your educational background Harold?” “I have a BA in
Engineering from University of Nevada, Reno and a Masters in Mine
Engineering from Colorado School of Mines, in Golden, Colorado.” “I'm
impressed, you will be in charge of setting up this mine and supervising this
Make sure that the things these guys have put on the list they are
preparing are legitimate and then see if you can find enough of the things you
need in the supply yard to get started. There will be a ship arriving here in
August but it is too late to get anything on that ship. We should be getting two
ships in December and what you need besides what we already have here will
be on that ship.” If you can find enough to get started in the yard your crew can
start in the morning. You will probably be seeing a lot of me around here for a
while because among my other chores I am a drilling engineer and we will be
installing another generator about a mile over there.” Tim pointed toward the hot
spots. “Give me a call this evening and let me know if you want all the men that
are here or if you need more that are unskilled. These men here are the only
ones that claim to have any hard rock mine experience. I should be able to find
you some coal miners though if and when you need more men.”
June 30, 2108: The next morning Tim allowed his assistant to hold the
muster while Tim got his drilling crew together and began to pillage the supply
yard. They found better drilling equipment than they had used on their first hole
in The Company cavern. He then inspected the new generator and found it was
almost twice the output of their present generator. He told the men to gather all
the equipment that they needed and meet him at the hot spot when the
equipment was all in place. These were the men that Tim had worked with on
the previous hole and they all pretty much knew what they were doing. They
didn't need much direct supervision and Tim already knew which of them would
be best qualified to be in charge of the project when he wasn't there. It took
them all day to find and move the equipment so they didn't need to call Tim any
more that day.
Tim then looked up the air quality control supervisor who was one of the
Government scientists. “Where do we stand on getting the new atmosphere
equipment installed at the Utility cavern?” Tim ask. “So far so good, I was
relieved to find that we had everything that we need and it is being moved to the
Utility cavern now.” The small new cavern that had just been opened had been
dubbed, the Utility cavern because of the generator and atmosphere equipment
being installed there. “We should have the new equipment running in a week or
so. Then there will be no question that we will have plenty of atmosphere so we
can open the big half of that cavern.” “Crews were already working on the
surface sealing the fissures on the big half so it looked like they could open it up
within the next week.
July 1, 2108: tunneling was coming along great on the tunnel to the third
new cavern. It would be a 580 footer and the crews were already in ten to
twelve feet and another crew was already installing the air lock. Every evening
the spa in the paradise cavern was packed with people enjoying the hot water.
Some were even swimming in the warm river. The park had turned out to be
very popular with the population of Mars.
Tim could hardly wait to get Big Lake Cavern opened, and the lake
stocked with fish. Tim had no idea how they would manage to build boats or
rafts to use on the lake but he was sure someone would come up with
something. Tim made a note to himself to find out about getting some electric
outboard motors, they could always find some Styrofoam or empty drums or
something that would float.
The tunnel enlarging crews had started work on enlarging the tunnel
from the Paradise cavern to the Utility cavern.
Tim, Carla, Juan and Lupe once again started playing shuffleboard in the
evenings. They had no trouble at all finding an open court.
July 4, 2108: Tim and Carla attended the Saturday night dance and
found a table. They danced a couple times while they sipped a cup of tea.
Then Carla said she would like some air so they stepped out. No one had yet
figured out how to hold fireworks on Mars, and they didn't have any anyway so
it didn't seem much like the 4th of July.
Tim remembered something that he wanted to get from home so he went
around the mess hall to go and retrieve it. He was shocked to see about thirty
people sitting around in folding chairs pulled up to folding tables all smoking
clay pipes. They could hear the music just fine from there and some of them
had laid down their pipes to go and dance. Tim spotted one of the men he new
in the crowd and went over and joined him. The man casually acknowledged
Tim then passed him his lit clay pipe. There was no doubt at all what the pipe
contained. Tim respectfully declined but gave the man a big smile. Nothing
had to be said.
On Sunday, after church Tim called Paul and Carter to request a quick
meeting. He related to them what he had observed behind the dining room on
Saturday evening. “We already know all about it Tim, and we have figured out
how to handle it.” “How is that,” Tim ask. “By doing nothing,” Carter responded.
If I caught a member of management smoking in public I would ask him not to
do that any more, but as long as we don't have a problem during the work
week, I see no harm in it. After all pot is now completely legal in twelve states.
So far it has not occurred to the Government or The Company to address the
issue. We have had a chat with Abner and Darwin over at the farm and they
assure me they are giving the stuff away to anyone who comes by and asks for
it. Sometimes they say that a person will slip them some small amount of
money for their trouble but they never ask for anything in return. Since alcohol
is not available this pot is the only thing people have to help them relax and
have a good time at the Saturday night dance and other such gatherings. If
anyone wants to smoke it in their own home we have no objection to that either.
Paul and I both agree that everyone would be appreciative if we never
brought the issue up. On the other hand if you ever caught anyone smoking on
the job you should probably advise them that what they are doing is not allowed
and if they persist they could ruin a good thing for everybody.” “That is all I
wanted to know, and I have no objection to the non policy,” said Tim. “I will see
to it that Rusty doesn't do a story about it on TV and that everybody gets the
word they should not smoke in public when there is a ship in port. I think those
should be reasonable restraints, after all we don't want word of this non policy
getting back to Earth.” Tim added.
July 10, 2108: The two gentlemen who had volunteered to produce
alcohol had harvested their first crop of corn and finished making their first
batch of booze. They only produced about twenty gallons and had already
consumed quite a bit of that themselves. No one had planted more corn.
Abner had corn growing at the farm but it had not been earmarked for making
booze. It appeared that our booze project had failed. Tim had the two men
take the remaining booze over to the farm where Abner had agreed to store it
until next New years Eve when everyone would get one drink as far as it went.
July 1, 2108: Two of the Government workers who had remained on
Mars as private citizens had been racking their brain to figure out what kind of
business they wanted to go into. They finally hit on the idea of starting a winery
and brewery. Ironically their names were Austin Viner and Byron Suds. They
had ordered the plants and grow lights and other equipment that they needed to
produce grapes, hops, barley and yeast and were working at Burger Boy's until
their stuff came in in December. It had cost them almost a million dollars but
they were sure they had made a good investment.
July 6, 2108: Tim went to see Abner that morning to tell him that there
was now plenty of room for his orchards. Tim had staked off 40 acres of land in
Big Lake cavern. Tim asked Abner to accompany him to Big Lake. The two of
them walked the area reserved for the Orchards. “Great said Abner now all I
will need is topsoil and grow lights to cover 40 acres of land.” Abner had been
mixing local nitrates with manure from the farm and Martian soil for some time.
He had quite a pile of it. “You see this Tim,” Abner said when they returned to
the farm. If I mix this soil with the contents of my compost pile, then plant each
tree in a 3X3X3 hole filled with this mixture I should have a good start at
growing our orchard. I can dig the holes now and fill as many of them as
possible with this soil I will start another soil conversion pile at the Orchard.
Once you get the grow lights in I will be able to start transplanting these little
August 12, 2108: Mars Supply One docked. They had brought only one
hundred new construction workers but they had brought two hundred new civil
service employees. Mars now had the staff for the public services that they
needed. They got 150 new clerical people, one judge, two attorneys, a Public
Records Librarian, and even three police officers. One of the clericals was an
election specialist and would work in that capacity full time as needed if and
when there were to be an election. In the meantime she was assigned to
computer input work. One of the new clerical workers was assigned as Tim's
secretary. Tim had been taking up too much of Doris time lately with his
projects that had nothing to do with her data base work. Tim had accumulated
a ton of work for that he had been putting off.
Among the cargo items that arrived were1,000 new grow lights. Tim
already knew they would be on this flight because he had told The Company
that the trees they had sent would be of no value without them so they had
agreed to put them on the next ship out.
The ship had also brought ten thousand board foot of utility grade ply
wood in various thicknesses. There were the usual food supplies and among
other things, lots of odds and ends they desperately needed.
Aside from personnel they got the 125 golf carts they had requested.
They came all dismantled and crated but assembling them would not be a
problem. Everyone was thrilled that they got two hundred thousand fingerling
catfish, cutthroat, bluegill, and crappy. Before the ship arrived screens had
been installed on the two warm rivers to keep the young fish from swimming off
into uncharted regions of Mars. There was a lady ichthyologist that said she
had been sent along to care for the fish. She had enough fish food to keep
them growing for three months and knew how to process table scraps into fish
food. There was the parts necessary to construct a new large geothermal
generator, another unit would arrive in December when Mars Runner made it's
first arrival. One great thing that came in was five thousand cubic feet of
hardwood. It was in various sizes but wood was something they had plenty of
uses for. There was cargo for the farm as well, Abner had ordered and now had
received twenty million Earth worms. Super Store even received another
hundred pallets of merchandise. Tim laughed, now they will be able to open for
business for another one day stand.
Tim was wrong, this time around it took Super Store into the second day
to sell everything that they had.
Ever since Tim had arrived the new arrival's had all had housing waiting
for them. The previous crop of new arrivals and this group had rooms in row
houses, They had started using common walls between the units instead of
building individual houses as they had done at first. They would build another
row of rooms that shared a common wall at the rear of the room. The
completed units resembled motels. The buildings were then given a number
followed by a dash and then a letter, as in 354-C. There were 20 units to each
building so they would letters up to T.
Because of the irregular work hours the kitchens and dining rooms had
started staying open 16 hours per day. They would just transition from
breakfast to lunch to dinner and people could eat any time they pleased. The
kitchens had started offering more choices of food and serving buffet style
rather than just serving everyone that came through the line the same meal.
The Government kitchen always offered a different food selection than The
Company kitchen. Residents were free to eat in either dining room. For the
most part the vegetables were fresh from the garden and both dining halls
usually offered a salad bar, and a choice of dressings. More cooks and kitchen
help were arriving on each ship so they had plenty of help in the kitchens. In
addition to these changes it took standing in line for 20 minutes or more to get a
Big Boy and fries.
Paul mostly but Tim and Carter to a degree had dreaded the day that
they would have police officers on duty in the community. Now they had a U.S.
Marshal and two deputies. Paul summoned them to visit his office. In about ten
minutes three young women entered the office. “Are you the police officers?“
Carter asked. “Yeah, not what you expected, huh?” “No, not exactly,” Tim
answered. “Just what do you ladies expect to contribute to this community?”
Paul inquired. The older of the three spoke for the three of them. “ Why don't
we introduce ourselves, I am Deputy United States Marshal Constance Raul,
my two associates here are Marlene Dotson and Pamela Justin, they are also
Deputy United States Marshals but I am in charge because my pay grade is
higher than theirs and I have been with the Marshal Service longer. You
gentlemen are?” I am Paul Silverman, the facility director and this is Carter
Fredrick, the Mars Colony, Inc. manager and Tim Erkin, the construction
superintendent. The titles may be a little misleading but the three of us pretty
much run the facility. “Now as I previously asked, Just what do you ladies
expect to contribute to this community?”
“We will have a lot to do,” Constance replied. “One thing will to be to find
out why you have never had a reportable crime in the twelve years since the
colony was established. Another thing is to be the administrative arm of the
court system once that is established. Another would be to investigate any
crime that does occur, and believe me, it is inevitable that sooner or later as
your population grows you will have some crime. You gentlemen could
probably apprehended a suspect but there are occasions when you wouldn't
know who to apprehend. I know we are young women but between us we have
had over 27 years of training beyond high school, in college and in practicing
our professions. Any of us would be qualified to work in a crime lab or work as
a crime scene investigator on Earth. If, as you apparently believe, it turns out
that we have nothing to do then we could always ask you for permission to take
jobs on the young economy that we hear is emerging on Mars. That way we
would always still be available if you needed us to do the job we were sent here
to do.” All three of the men in the room were impressed. “I guess you don't
need any advise from us so just go about your business. Carter put in, “We
have constructed a court house of sorts, but like you said we have never had a
crime, we have never had a civil action filed either. You will find your offices in
the court house along side the one cell jail that we constructed. There is also a
bailiffs office, judges chambers and a court room with a jury box and everything.
One of our people will be in touch with you to find out if you need anything. The
girls left and Tim looked at Carter and Paul and just shrugged.
As it turned out, not only were the three U.S. Marshals all female but so
was the judge and the two attorney's. One of the attorney's was the prosecutor
and one the public defender. The bailiff, however turned out to be a large black
man that appeared capable of putting down any courtroom difficulties.
“This is great, “said Paul. “ we now have a whole legal system in place
but we have no laws to enforce or to charge anyone of violating.“ They then
summoned the judge, Nancy Whalen to the office along with the two attorney's.
Paul posed that same question to them. “Oh, but there are laws a plenty. This
colony is officially a territory of the United States, and laws have been
accumulating on the books that govern U.S. Territories for the last four hundred
years, I have over thirty seven books that I brought from the states that are just
crammed full of those laws. These two attorney's here each have a copy of all
the same books that I have. With email we have access to a lot of other laws
that are available from the national law library and from the library of congress.
“Your local assembly, whatever you call it needs to pass what would be
called county ordinances on earth. How do you get by without them?” “Simple,”
said Carter when there is a good reason that people should not do something
we just tell them not to do it and they don't do it. It works the same as when you
have something you want them to do we just tell them to do it but we always
give them a reason. If we don't have a good reason we don't bug them, it works
for us.”
August 13, 2108: Because of having received advance instructions four
large ponds had been dug, cemented and cured. The ponds were adjacent to
the warm river across from the farm in The Company cavern. They were ready
to receive the paint that Grace, the new fish farmer had brought from Earth.
The day after they got the paint the crew that had been assigned to help Grace,
set up painted the four ponds. The paint was quick drying and sat up in an
hour. The workers scrubbed the new paint then painted over that with a
nutritional gel resembling bottom and sides of an established pond. By noon
they opened the four trap doors allowing river water to pour into the ponds.
Fifty thousand young fish were dumped from the tanks they had lived in on the
ship into the ponds. Each breed had their own separate pond. Several
hundred fish in each pond floated to the surface. They had died en route to
Mars. The dead fish were quickly removed. Some of the young fish began to
swim a little but others just laid there, their gills moving as if they were gasping
for air. Grace, the fish farmer put a little food into each tank. The catfish food
sank to the bottom while the blue gill, trout and crappie food floated on the
surface. Thank you folks so much for all your help but there is nothing more
you can do at the moment. You may return to your other duties. One young
woman stayed behind when the others left. If it is all the same to Mam I would
like to relieve you while you go and take care of your housing needs and put
your things away. After that you can go and have lunch and come back when
you are all squared away. Just tell me what to do while you are away and I will
see to it. “ What is your name hon,” Grace asked. “I am Helen, Mam.” “I just
think I may take you up on that offer Helen.” Grace said, “At this point there is
really nothing to do, just keep an eye on the fish and scoop away any that die
and float to the top. I will be back in a couple hours.”
Because the bureaucracy was in such a turmoil because of all the new
arrivals it took Grace closer to four hours before she found her house, found her
luggage and had lunch. When she returned Helen was still there, the net in her
hand and she was carefully scooping away the young fish that had expired.
The worms that Abner had received at the farm were introduced into the
crops and the orchards and to his compost piles. A million or so Earth worms
were given to Grace because she could use them in her own compost operation
that was part of her making fish food out of garbage.
As the days passed Grace had little difficulty in caring for her fish and still
had time to go to her meals and take care of her personal matters and check on
the fish as often as they needed checking on. Every afternoon Helen would
drop by after work and just look at the fish. Sometimes Grace would return to
check on the fish and Helen would be there. Sometimes Helen would drop by
while Grace was working with the fish. Would you tell me about these catfish,
Grace?” Helen ask one evening. “Sure Helen, these fish grow fast, they were
barely hatched when the ship had left Earth but already some of these guys are
six Inches long. A catfish in ideal warm water conditions can grow to over two
pounds in one year. For the cost of production catfish easily out perform all
other fish. Crappie (pronounced Croppy) are prolific and grow to about two
pounds in 18 months or so. They are good eating with lots of meat but you
have a lot of bones to contend with. A lot of pet food manufacturers use crappy
in their products but they grind them up so the bones won't harm the pets.
Trout and blue gill are fun fish, they are fun to catch and they are fun to watch,
but catfish that is where the meat is. Of course blue gill are a favorite of people
who like to fillet small fish and fry them crispy in a pan. Trout really isn't one fish
but a family of fish, we have several varieties in this pond and they are also
good pan fish and the larger varieties are good baked. There is a lot more but if
you are curious why don't you look them up on the Internet and learn all about
them. The fish that we chose to try first on Mars were chosen because they are
hearty fish that we thought might make the journey to Mars and still be alive and
they are fish that we thought might be most likely to adapt best to the
environment here. If I can find the right location I am going to try and create a
salt water lake and have them send up some salt water fish to try here.” “Within
eight or nine months we should be eating fish regularly and fishing should be a
popular sport on Mars within a year.” “I am just taken with these fish Grace I
would love to work with them if the time ever comes that you need an assistant
please consider me for the job. My boyfriend, Darwin got a job on the farm over
there caring for the animals. Darwin and I are planning on getting married soon
and it would be great if he cared for animals and I cared for fish.”
August 22, 2108: Grace had inspected Big Lake and had inspected the
warm river that flowed out of the spa in Paradise and would soon be moving a
couple thousand trout to Big Lake and a Thousand or so catfish to the warm
river. She told Tim the next time she saw him that she would need a crew for a
few hours at sometime in the next week. In the meantime she filled a couple
tanks with water from the two places and put a couple fish in each tank. The
Trout did well in the water from Big Lake and the catfish did just fine in the water
from Warm River. The next week she moved one thousand trout to Big Lake
and one thousand Catfish to Warm River. They both thrived on a minimum
amount of food made from kitchen garbage. The catfish in warm river were
soon larger than the catfish in the pond. The trout in the lake out performed the
fish in the pond also. On the second week in the pond Grace was finding no
more dead fish a day than she would have expected to find on Earth. Grace
opened each trap door long enough to let a few fish out into the river from each
species. Then she started feeding them the food that she made from table
scraps, they also thrived. Grace had also sewn thousands of Earth worms
along the banks of the lakes and rivers and made sure there was enough for
them to eat. Within a month Grace had transplanted more fish to Big lake,
crappie, blue gill and some more trout. Then she opened the gate to the ponds
and left them open. Some of the fish still preferred the pond but most chose the
river and the warm lake. The catfish seemed very fond of the warm lake. The
water in Big Lake stayed a little warmer than most native Mars water because
of all the heat being generated in the Utility cavern.
September 13, 2108: For two weeks Tim had three crews assembling,
charging and testing golf carts. Tim himself got the first one off the assembly
line. He could now scurry from place to place quickly. When the carts were all
assembled they were put in a motor pool. Anyone who needed a cart for work
just took one. When they were done with it they drove it back and parked it in
the motor pool. If the yellow light was on they took it to the charging station and
plugged it in. The lithium ion gel batteries that they used were good for about
two hundred fifty miles or ten days which ever came first, before the yellow light
would come on. There were never more than ten of the carts on the charger
overnight. The surface carts could be used in the caverns but the cavern carts
could not be used on the surface. The difference being that the surface carts
had big balloon tires that would not sink into the dust that was on much of the
surface. People working on the surface would just ride a cart over to the
pedestrian elevator, go up to the surface and use the cart while they were
working then return it in the evening. After five PM people would take a cart
anytime they were going out of the original complex of the Government cavern
and The Company cavern a lot of them could be found at the spa on any given
evening. People could be found lining the banks of Big Lake, near the feeding
area and lining the banks of Warm River and the river and Lake in The
Company cavern every evening spotting fish.
September 20, 2108: The gold mine had proved to be very productive.
They were extracting not only pure gold from the vein but the ore on each side
of the vein for several feet proved to be very rich in gold. They did not even
attempt to smelt the ore on Mars. They did jury rig a crusher that worked well
so they were just crushing everything produced in the mine. They made
cement boxes that were filled with the gold and ore then sealed with cement,
and cured before being loaded on the empty ships and sent back to Earth. The
only way to get at the contents was to destroy the cement box. The boxes were
not so heavy that two strong men on Mars could handle one box which weighed
about one hundred lbs on Mars but weighed almost three hundred lbs on the
ships and on Earth. These boxes had to be unloaded back on Earth with fork
lifts. As far as anyone ever knew no gold had ever been pilfered.
September 23, 2108: The tunnel crew had a hard time digging the tunnel
leading out of Big Lake and the Utility cavern. They ran into hard rock so went
and consulted the mine foreman. He examined the rock and decided it was all
part of the same vein they were pursuing from the Utility cavern. He moved the
mine crew to the tunnel and they removed the 40 foot wide vein of gold bearing
quartz before the tunnel digging crew could continue. The hard rock had finally
been removed and the tunnel crew resumed work on September 27, 2108.
New tunneling equipment had arrived on August 12, 2108 and once
tunneling had resumed it went much faster.

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