PANAMA: Conquistador Gold

Three grizzled prospectors — Arrin Thorpe of the U. S., Joanes Van Steck, a Frenchman, and Antonio Hill, a German— weary from months of prospecting, stopped their pack burros near the Piedra Candela settlement in the shadow of the Santa Maria Mountains on the Costa Rican-Panamanian border one day last week, prepared to lay out claims. Driving the first claim-stake, the ground beneath their feet gave way and the trio dropped into an abandoned mine shaft. Before their startled eyes stood 35 gold ingots, each weighing 50 lb., neatly stacked against...

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