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Patty Osborne's Blog

Zachary's Gold: luck trumps education

Patty Osborne

Just spent a few days in a tiny cabin with a couple of little kids underfoot and found that it was still possible to read Zachary's Gold by Stan Krumm (Touchwood), a good story that doesn't require deep concentration.

Zachary graduated from law school in New England and then went to work for Pinkertons but was lured to San Francisco by stories of a gold rush. From there he travels to Victoria and Fort Langley and then he walks inland to Fort Hope and Yale, takes a sternwheeler to Quesnelle Mouth and walks on to Barkerville, where his adventure starts in earnest. It's difficult to believe that, despite being a city slicker, Zachary could adapt to wilderness living and learn the ways of a prospector as quickly as he does, but once we accept that, it's both interesting and fun to read how he outsmarts some dastardly characters, goes into partnership with a Chinese fellow who speaks no English, and comes out with a small fortune in gold.

This slice of BC history will be of particular interest to readers who, like me, have been to the places that feature in Zachary's story—even if they've travelled there by car or train, rather than on foot or bystern wheeler.

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