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    Prefactory

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    Chapter 1
    This book is merely a personal narrative, and not a pretentious history
    or a philosophical dissertation. It is a record of several years of
    variegated vagabondizing, and its object is rather to help the resting
    reader while away an idle hour than afflict him with metaphysics, or goad
    him with science. Still, there is information in the volume; information
    concerning an interesting episode in the history of the Far West, about
    which no books have been written by persons who were on the ground in
    person, and saw the happenings of the time with their own eyes. I allude
    to the rise, growth and culmination of the silver-mining fever in Nevada
    -a curious episode, in some respects; the only one, of its peculiar kind,
    that has occurred in the land; and the only one, indeed, that is likely
    to occur in it.

    Yes, take it all around, there is quite a good deal of information in the
    book. I regret this very much; but really it could not be helped:
    information appears to stew out of me naturally, like the precious ottar
    of roses out of the otter. Sometimes it has seemed to me that I would
    give worlds if I could retain my facts; but it cannot be. The more I calk
    up the sources, and the tighter I get, the more I leak wisdom. Therefore,
    I can only claim indulgence at the hands of the reader, not
    justification.

    THE AUTHOR.
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