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

Finding Goods by the Roadside

I had had ample evidence of this while hauling lumber from Plum Creek, and when I had brought in three loads, which made up sufficient material with which to close in a fairly good-sized house, I suggested to Mr. Middleton that money could be made by driving along the trail and gathering up this abandoned property.

[Illustration] from Seth of Colorado by James Otis

I proffered my suggestion with some timidity, believing he would call me foolish for imagining it might be profitable to pick up what others had thrown away; but greatly to my surprise he grasped at the idea eagerly, and declared that instead of taking time just then to finish putting up the house, he would join me.

To furnish Mrs. Middleton and the children with shelter in our absence, he bought a canvas tent from one of the returning prospectors, and there we left the good woman and the boys, while we set out on this new venture, closing for the time being our shop with its incomplete stock of goods.

Six times we drove out from Auraria, over a distance of not more than forty miles, and six times did we return with our wagon loaded to its utmost capacity, having picked up from the wayside, without paying a single dollar for it, valuable stuff which would in due time command a ready sale at the settlement.

When the last load had been brought in, by which I mean the last which we could afford to go in search of, because the remainder of our stock of goods had by now been carted from Leavenworth, Mr. Middleton, roughly figuring up the results of our labor, announced that we had at least doubled our capital, or in other words, instead of owning four hundred dollars' worth of goods as I had when he made the purchase at Leavenworth, I could count myself as having eight hundred dollars invested.

[Illustration] from Seth of Colorado by James Otis

It was a handsome profit for a boy of my age, when nothing save the labor of his hands and the use of the oxen were to be balanced against it.