Chapters 63 and 64

The Big Bonanza: An Authentic Account of the Discovery, History, and Working of the World-Renowned Comstock Lode of Nevada - Dan de Quille

Though the book is called The Big Bonanza, the author only gets around to talking about the particular area of silver and gold ore that the title refers to by these two chapters, close to the end of the book. But it was well worth the wait: his vivid descriptions of how the ore, rocks and crystals decorate the otherworldly walls of these deep, and often spooky nineteenth-century mines is awe-inspiring, and dazzling. He appeals to the logic and greed sensibilities of many of his readers by wowing them with numbers, describing the thickness of the silver-bearing ore veins, and how they are many times thicker than any other mine in the world, as well as how much cash per ton the ore is worth in these areas. But his descriptions of the colorful rocks glinting from the darkness at the viewer, the staggering mass of crystal that is almost pure silver protruding from all directions, and the shock with which miners and other interested parties involved gaped at these sights is a purely sensory tour-de-force that makes one wish to glimpse the scene at least in a dream.