Each pan he carried down to the water to wash, and as he went higher up the hill the pans grew richer, until he began to save the gold in an empty baking-powder can which he carried carelessly in his hip-pocket.
When he filled a pan with dirt, he ran down the hill to wash it; nor could he forbear running up the hill again, panting and stumbling profanely, to refill the pan.
He filled a pan and carried it down the hill to wash.
It was only at thirty inches beneath the surface that he could get colors in his pan.
Twenty cents, thirty cents, fifty cents, sixty cents, were the values of the gold found in the pans, and at nightfall he washed his banner pan, which gave him a dollar's worth of gold-dust from a shovelful of dirt.
His first pan of the morning washed out over two dollars in coarse gold.
Nightfall found him by the edge of the stream his eyes wrestling with the gathering darkness over the washing of a five-dollar pan.
He dropped it into his pan and examined another piece.
Still squatting on his heels, he continued examining the fragments and tossing them into the pan.
He continued rubbing the dirt from the quartz fragments and throwing the gold into the pan.
His body crumpled in like a leaf withered in sudden heat, and he came down, his chest across his pan of gold, his face in the dirt and rock, his legs tangled and twisted because of the restricted space at the bottom of the hole.
And when no specks at all were found in several pans, he straightened up and favored the hillside with a confident glance.
Then he went down the canyon, following the line of shovel-holes he had made in filling the pans.
But the increasing richness of the pans began to worry him.