Front Matter How I Came to Write my Story Who I am My Great Loss My Worldly Wealth Plans for the Future The Gold Fever My Great Disappointment Cured of the Gold Fever My Opportunity How I Might Work My Way Keeping My Bargain At Pueblo A Welcome Time of Rest Outbreak of Gold Fever Opportunity for Money Middleton Agrees With Me Middleton's Proposition Gold Seekers Land Claims Our Ranch Building a Dwelling Corn and Gold Dreams of a Harvest Disappointed Prospectors Returning Evil for Good Striving to Save Our Corn Defending Our Own A Council of War Interview With The Enemy Missouri Miners Make Sport How to Collect The Debt Possession of Cattle Night Before the Battle A War of Words The Prospectors Try to Kill Us A Real Battle A Truce Terms of Peace The Enemy Surrenders The Prospectors Depart The Growth of Our City Farming Or Mining My Share of the Harvest Middleton Goes on a Journey Auraria and Denver Middleton Turns Trader Middleton's Plan A Weighty Problem Middleton's Partner A Change of Homes Arrival At Auraria The Town of Denver We Hire a Shop I Regret Turning Merchant How We Transported Goods Middleton's Advice The Tide of Emigration Finding Goods By the Roadside Gold in Colorado How the Cities Grew A Post Office in Auraria Letters From Home Our Business Flourishes Denver Outstripping Auraria Claim Jumping The Claim Club The Turkey War The Need of Government Union of Denver and Auraria What Others Thought of Us Territory of Colorado Good Citizenship Civil War Breaks Out Need of a Jail Denver in Flames Our Loss By Fire Mrs. Middleton Consoles Us Good Resulting From Evil Middleton's Honesty Rebuilding Denver The Flood Destruction of the Town In Great Peril The City Destroyed Our Lives Are Spared Fears Regarding the Future Uprising of the Indians Begging for Help A Famine Threatens Horrors of an Indian War My Duty at Home Beginning Over Again My Story is Done

Seth of Colorado - James Otis

Mrs. Middleton Consoles Us

The house which we had built on the east side went the way of many another building, and that night when Mrs. Middleton and the children took refuge in the shop with such few of the household effects as had been rescued from the burning dwelling, she, seeing the despairing look upon her husband's face and upon mine, said cheerily that we were not so badly off as when we gave up our farm at Fountain City.

[Illustration] from Seth of Colorado by James Otis

She reminded us that we still had the shop and such goods as yet remained in it, to say nothing of the half-finished building which could now undoubtedly be sold to some of those merchants who would be looking about for a place in which to continue business.

The dear soul tried earnestly to cheer us in every way at her command, and made light of the disaster, as if the terrible conflagration was a matter of small consequence to us, until we were somewhat heartened.

Her brave, cheering words made me realize that it was wicked for me to mourn over the loss of the greater portion of all we owned, when I knew that many of our neighbors were absolutely penniless. I was even guilty of consoling myself with the reflection that I was better off than my partner, because of having, probably, more years remaining to me in this world in which I might repair my loss, while he, an older man, could not lay so much claim to the future, and must, in addition to providing for himself, secure comfortable maintenance for his wife and children. Thus, selfishly perhaps, did I soothe my sorrow.

On the night after the flames had been checked I stretched myself on a shakedown under the shop counter, unable to sleep, turning over and over again in my mind all that had happened, until the last selfish thoughts passed away, and I came to understand that it was my duty not only to make up for what had been lost, but to do all I could to help those people who had treated me like a son.

If Mr. Middleton and his wife had not given me the opportunity to come with them into this country of Colorado, most likely I should still have been living in Lawrence, looking about to earn a dollar here or a dollar there, and oftentimes failing to gain money enough to pay the cost of my daily food, whereas, through them I had become a merchant of good repute.