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his as a sort nike free run plus of first defence as long as they could, and then just abandoned it and dropped back.”
“That’s it,” nodded Thorne. “That’s my conclusion. Somebody bigger than Samuels fears inves cheap nike free run 2 tigation; and they hoped to stop our sort of investigation short at Samuels. Well, they haven’t succeeded.”
Amy arose abruptly and ran to her filing cases.
“That ought to be easily determined,” she cried, looking over her shoulder with shining eyes. “I have the papers about all ready for the whole of our Forest. Here’s a list of the private holdings, by whom held, how acquired and when.” She spread the papers nike blazers out on the table. “Now let’s see who owns lots of land, and who is powerful enough to enlist senators, and who would fear investigation.”
All four bent over the list for a few moments. Then Thorne made five dots with his pencil opposite as ma nike blazers sale ny names.
“All the rest are little homesteaders,” said he. “One of these must be our villain.”
“Or all of them,” amended California John drily.

[Footnote A: “Nester”–Western term meaning squatters, small settlers–generally illegally such.]
Part 5 Chapter 16
The little council of war at once commenced an eager discussion of the names thus indicated.
“There’s your own concern, the Wolverine Company,” suggested Thorne. “What do you know about the way it acquired its timber?”
“Acquired in 1879,” replied Amy, consulting her notes. “Partly from the Bank, that held it on mortgage, and partly from individual owners.”
“Welton is no crook,” struck in Bob. “Even if he’d strained the law, which I doubt; he wouldn’t defend himself at this late date with any method as indirect as this.”
“I think you’re right on the last point,” agreed nike free run 2 review Thorne. “Proceed.”
“Next is the Marston N. Leavitt firm.”
“They bought their timber in a lump from a broker by the name of Robinson; and Robinson got it of the old Joncal [A] Mill outfit; and heaven knows where they got it,” put in California John.
“How long ago?”
“’84–the last transfer,” said Amy.
“Doesn’t look as though the situation ought to alarm them to immediate and violent action,” observed Thorne. “Aren’t there any more recent claims?” he asked Amy.
“Here’s one; the Modoc Mining Company, about one thousand mineral claims, amounting to approximately 28,000 acres, filed 1903.”
“That looks more promising. Patents issued in the reign of our esteemed predecessor, Plant.”
“Where are most of the claims?” asked California John.
“_All_ the claims are in the same place,” replied Amy.
“The Basin!” said Bob.
Amy recited the ” nike free running shoes descriptions” within whose boundaries lay the bulk of the claims.
“That’s it,” said Bob.
“Is there any real mineral there?” inquired Thorne.
“Not that anybody ever heard of,” said California John, who was himself an old miner; “but gold is where you find it,” he added cautiously.
“How’s the timber?”
“It’s the best stand I’ve seen in the mountains,” said Bob.
“Well,” observed Thorne, “of course it wouldn’t do to say so, but I think we’ve run against the source of our opposition in the Samuels case.”
“That explains Erbe’s taking the case,” put in Bob; “he’s counsel for most of these corporations.”
“The fact that this is not a mineral country,” continued Thorne, “together with the additional considerations of a thousand claims in so limited an area, and the recent date, makes it look suspicious. I imagine the Modoc Mining Comp nike free any intends to use a sawmill, rather more than a stamp mill.”
“Who are they?” asked California John.
“We must find that out. Also we must ourselves ascertain just what colour of mineral there is over there.”
“That ought to be on the records somewhere already,” Amy pointed out.
“Plant’s records,” said Thorne drily.
“I’m ashamed to say I haven’t looked up the mineral lands act,” confessed Bob. “How did they do it?”
“Well, it’s simple enough. The company made application under the law that allows mineral land in National Forests to be ‘freely prospected, located, developed and patented.’ It is necessary to show evidence of ‘valuable deposits.'”
“Gold and silver?”
“Not necessarily. It may be even building stone, or fine clay, limestone or slate. Then it’s up to the Forest Officer to determine whether the deposits are actually ‘ nike free review valuable’ or not. You can drive a horse and cart through the law; and it’s strictly up to the Forest Officer–or has been in the past. If he reports the deposits valuable, and on that report a patent is issued, why that settles it.”
“Even if the mineral is a fake?”
“A patent is a patent. The time to head off the fraud is when the application is made.”
“Cannot the title be upset if fraud is clearly proved?”
“I do not see how,” replied Thorne. “Plant is dead. The law is very liberal. Predetermining the value of mineral deposits is largely a matter of personal judgment. The company nike free 5.0 v4 could, as we have seen, bring an enormous influence to bear.”
“Well,” said Bob, “that land will average sixty thousand feet to the acre. That’s about a billion and a half feet. It’s a big stake.”
“If the company wasn’t scared, why did they try so h nike free 3.0 review ard to head us off?” observed California John shrewdly.
“It will do us no harm to investigate,” put in Bob, his eye kindling with eagerness. “It won’t take long to examine the indications those claims are based on.”
“It’s a ticklish period,” ob nike free trainers uk jected Thorne. “I hate to embarrass the Administration with anything ill-timed. We have much to do straightening out what we now have on hand. You must remember we are short of men; we can’t spare many now.”
“I’ll tell you,” suggested Amy. “Put it up to the Chief. Tell him just how the matter stands. Let him decide.”
“All right; I’ll do that,” agreed Thorne.
In due time the reply came. It advised circumspection in the matter; but commanded a full report on the facts. Time enough, the Chief wrote, to decide on the course to be pursued when the case should be established in their own m cheap nike blazers inds.
Accordingly Thorne detached Bob and Ware to investigate the mineral status of the Basin. The latter’s long experience in prospecting now promised to stand the Service in good stead.
The two men camped in the Basin for three weeks, until the close of which time they saw no human being. During this period they examined carefully the various ledges on which the mineral claims had been based. nike free 3.0 sale Ware pronounced them valueless, as far as he could judge.
“Some of them are just ordinary quartz dikes,” said he. “I suppose they claim gold for them. There’s nothing in it; or if this does warrant a man developing, then every citizen who lives near rock has a mine in his back yard.”
Nevertheless he made his reports as detailed as possible. In the meantime Bob accomplished a rough, or “cruiser’s” estimate of the timber.
As has been said, they found the Basin now quite deserted. The trail to Sycamore Flats had apparently not been travelled since George Pollock had ridden down it to give himself up to authority. Their preliminary labours finished, the two Forest officers packed, and were on the very point of turning up the steep mountain side toward the lookout, when two horsemen rode over the flat rock.
Naturally Bob and Ware drew up, after the mountain custom, to exchange greetings. As the others drew nearer, Bob recognized in one the slanting eyeglasses, the close-lipped, gray moustache and the keen, cold features of Oldham. Ware nodded at the other man, who returned his salutation as curtly.
“You’re off your beat, Mr. Oldham,” observed Bob.
“I’m after a deer,” replied Oldham. “You are a little off your own beat, aren’t you?”
“My beat is everywhere,” replied Bob carelessly.
“What devilment you up to now, Sal?” Ware was asking of the other man, a tall, loose-jointed, freckle-faced and red-haired individual with an evil red eye.
“I’m earnin’ my salary; and I misdoubt you ain’t,” sneered the individual thus addressed.
“As what; gun man?” demanded Ware c

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