“More than seven hundred million pounds sterling!” the Scotchman exclaimed. He was silent for some moments, and then he said: “Well, lad, I wish it was only six tons instead of six thousand. It would be far more tempting. One means comfort and no worry for each of us. The other—I’m afraid to think what it may mean for us.”

“It will mean a life of the most galling publicity and notoriety, unless we can conceal the existence of the bulk of the treasure from the world’s knowledge,” said Brent earnestly, as the apprehension of the penalties of great wealth suddenly dawned upon him.

“You are right,” answered Fraser. “We cannot guard the secret too carefully, and all our plans must bend to that end.부산오피 ” From that hour, Brent never lost sight of this danger. It furnished the dominant motive in all his dealings with the gold of the Cordilleras.{75}

After the fourth day following their arrival in the golden valley, the two strangers and the native chiefs took careful account of the facilities at their command for transporting the immense weight of treasure which nature had surrendered to them. Fraser was much pleased to discover that the material for raft-building was very abundant. The change in the bed of the river had left a great level area below and in front of the rocky barrier over which the water had formerly poured. The new course of the stream after passing through the riven mountain returned to the old bed at a sharp angle just below this point. At times of high water this former river-bottom was flooded, and it had become the depository of great quantities of débris which the receding waters in their annual or semi-annual freshets had left behind. Fraser noted that an immense number of well-seasoned logs or tree-trunks were included in the accumulation.