One day later Joaquin went down to meet his companions, whom he found installed in a tavern situated six miles from Stockton. In a few words he told them what had just happened, after which all the company set out. At the end of an hour they arrived at the end of their journey. The next day when the sun was setting, Joaquin, Valenzuela and Jack Three Fingers saw in the distance three German miners, dressed in green. They were walking slowly along the highway, apparently without any other ostensible object than to show their new clothes, whose elegance was enhanced with trimmings of gold nuggets in the form of pins, taken from the mines.
“Here are some people,” said Joaquin “who seem well pleased with their appearance.”
“Yes,” responded Valenzuela, “and if their vanity is based on what they are worth, they must be possessors of a great quantity of gold.”
“It is my opinion,” declared Jack, laying hold of his dagger, “that it would be a good thing to investigate this matter.”
He had hardly finished pronouncing these words when the miners entered a restaurant. Joaquin, seeing that they had disappeared, advanced in their pursuit, charging his companions to await him. He entered the restaurant and seated himself at a table not far from the one which the Germans occupied. In less than ten minutes, while he was drinking a cup of coffee, he secured all the information necessary. Then he went to join his companions, and all took the road to the house where they had stopped temporarily in the Mexican part of the city. After harnessing their horses, they began the journey to San Andreas.
Four miles from Stockton they stopped. The horses were hidden behind the shrubbery and the men themselves penetrated into it a short distance from the road.
“Our men will be here within a short while,” said Joaquin, “ready to return to their country with a fortune which they have