dotted in little specks over its surface, and created quite a flutter as we handled it. The Thomas Brothers own a claim adjoining, bought from Proctor, not yet more than prospected, but which promises excellent results. The one they were working was opened ‘up by a shaft 65 feet deep by 4 wide, with a drive of 25 feet at bottom. The 4 feet does not represent the entire width of the reef, as that has yet to determined by working; but with the most primitive appliances and this narrow shaft the first 30 tons yielded them 1000, or say an average of 30 ounces to the ton! At the mouth of the shaft was lying some 70 tons waiting crushing all equally rich with the first30-verily perfect mine of wealth. The wretched machine in use enabled the brothers to crush but 5 cwt. per day – what the returns are likely to be with proper stampers can readily be conceived. From the top of the hill the quartz can readily be shot down by wire rope to the Queen’s River below, so that every facility is offered for working this mine when the proper time arrives; and altogether this property, reasoning from analogy, must be of incalculable value.
A Durban firm was endeavouring to effect a purchase while we were there and the sum mentioned as the offer was a gigantic fortune for these two brothers. Since we returned to Durban we learn the sale has been effected, and that the mine passes into the hands of Messrs. Adler Bros. of Durban, although the competition for it at Barberton was very keen.
Mr. Bray, the Nestor of Barberton fields, exhibits his confidence in it by taking a large number of shares. Advance Natal!
A LOOK AT THE REEFS AND MINES
We left Thomas’ with a sigh of regret possibly even a bit of envy-but heartily congratulating the brothers of their good fortune. On this Sheba range of hills and its offshoots are situated many valuable properties, most being energetically developed.
Close to Thomas’ Reef is another Natal man, Mr. Solicitor McNeil and his brother on their Joe’s Luck Reef, which gives every promise of something- good, and is being carefully worked. McNeil’s success had particular interest for us, as he is a well-known Durban man, and has had a lot of hard and depressing work before finding anything.
Scattered about are the well-known and familiar reefs Kidson’s, Lost Tribes. British Victory, Wheel of Fortune, et hoc, and too numerous to burden your pages with; but they seem merely a drop in the bucket with the width of country yet to be prospected and developed, the wealth of which, there is every reason to believe, is practically inexhaustible.
We left this grand mountain range with reluctance to descend into the warm valley, the descent been effected exceedingly rapidly in some places with very little exertion,. Except that of picking ourselves up after, oddly enough, the hillside had slipped from under us. I omitted to say that while we were at Barberton The Bray’s Reef Company paid another dividend, making now in all 75 per cent, on the original capital. Not a bad investment.
On the following day we rode out to have a look at the Caledonian and