As we sat and talked, I told Mr. O'Rourke,
"Sir, there's gonna be talk, when they find all those men strewn over that hillside people are going to start talking. You say you were in the war, were you at Fredericksburg?" Mr. O'Rourke nodded,
"I was there, what about it?"
"That hillside looks like Marye's heights." Mr. O'Rourke got very quiet and hung his head down for a few moments, then very quietly said,
"I was in the next wave scheduled to take that ridge, I saw two best friends die there. Son, I had nightmares about it for years after, don't ever ask me again about it."
"I'm sorry sir," I replied, I know all about loosing good friends, maybe I'll tell you sometime."
Mr. O'Rourke sat in silence for a minute or so then said,
"I'll take care of his burying, If you could be so kind as to take him down to the undertaker just down the street. This is the second time you boys has come through, I don't know how you're doing it, and perhaps I don't want to know but your getting the gold through where other's couldn't. Ready for another job?"
"We'll have to pass on this one sir, our ladies are getting rather antsy over our being gone so much, however a little home time and we'll be good to go again, we'll let you know."
He gave us $250.00 for this job which would pay for fifteen acres of land. Unfortunately the land office was in Deadwood but we'd cross that bridge when we came to it. For now, it was back home and making up to our ladies.
When we got home, the women had to be assured that we weren't taking on another job. Tomorrow, it would be a trip into Deadwood to the land office, the hopefully back out again without any trouble, but I knew the chance of that happening were close to zilch.