Front Matter How I Came to Write my Story Who I am My Great Loss My Worldly Wealth Plans for the Future The Gold Fever My Great Disappointment Cured of the Gold Fever My Opportunity How I Might Work My Way Keeping My Bargain At Pueblo A Welcome Time of Rest Outbreak of Gold Fever Opportunity for Money Middleton Agrees With Me Middleton's Proposition Gold Seekers Land Claims Our Ranch Building a Dwelling Corn and Gold Dreams of a Harvest Disappointed Prospectors Returning Evil for Good Striving to Save Our Corn Defending Our Own A Council of War Interview With The Enemy Missouri Miners Make Sport How to Collect The Debt Possession of Cattle Night Before the Battle A War of Words The Prospectors Try to Kill Us A Real Battle A Truce Terms of Peace The Enemy Surrenders The Prospectors Depart The Growth of Our City Farming Or Mining My Share of the Harvest Middleton Goes on a Journey Auraria and Denver Middleton Turns Trader Middleton's Plan A Weighty Problem Middleton's Partner A Change of Homes Arrival At Auraria The Town of Denver We Hire a Shop I Regret Turning Merchant How We Transported Goods Middleton's Advice The Tide of Emigration Finding Goods By the Roadside Gold in Colorado How the Cities Grew A Post Office in Auraria Letters From Home Our Business Flourishes Denver Outstripping Auraria Claim Jumping The Claim Club The Turkey War The Need of Government Union of Denver and Auraria What Others Thought of Us Territory of Colorado Good Citizenship Civil War Breaks Out Need of a Jail Denver in Flames Our Loss By Fire Mrs. Middleton Consoles Us Good Resulting From Evil Middleton's Honesty Rebuilding Denver The Flood Destruction of the Town In Great Peril The City Destroyed Our Lives Are Spared Fears Regarding the Future Uprising of the Indians Begging for Help A Famine Threatens Horrors of an Indian War My Duty at Home Beginning Over Again My Story is Done

Seth of Colorado - James Otis

How to Collect the Debt

Again the miners held their sides with mirth, which was their way of showing that they believed us powerless to mend matters, and having said his say, Mr. Middleton turned sharply on his heel and walked slowly away, I following closely behind him, in the direction of our shanty.

I made bold at last to pluck at his sleeve and inquire by what means he counted on getting from the miners, who doubtless had spent all their money, the price of our corn, and he answered with a grim smile, which had in it more of anger than of mirth:

"Follow me, Seth, and you shall hear our scheme for collecting the debt, for you must have a hand in putting it through."

As a matter of course, I followed him, and at our cabin door we found the other settlers awaiting our return with stern, set faces. This was ample evidence to me that they intended to resist the Missourians at any cost, even of their lives.

The plan outlined was a simple one; but whether it could be carried into execution was quite another question. It consisted simply in our hovering around the cornfields, and at every opportunity, when safely out of sight of our foes, driving off their cattle, one by one, until all the beasts had been taken beyond the settlement, where we had a common pasture for our animals.

[Illustration] from Seth of Colorado by James Otis

Once all the beasts were within an inclosure, so Mr. Middleton declared, we would hold them at the muzzles of our guns until their owners had paid for the damage done to the corn.