In the Alaskan territory, who you were, sometimes meant more than anything else. Sanders was not a rich man, but he was a tenacious man. He acted, and acted quickly. This made him a commodity to his men.
That’s what he meant by gray gold, it was who seized control in those times when others were scared and confused. Power was the deciding factor for Sanders. This was the main reason why he was the head of the Pick Axes, it was also the reason that, he was willing to show Silver his face.
What the other Pick Axes didn’t know, was that while Sanders was their boss, he wasn’t the boss. Someone else pulled Sanders’ strings, and then he pulled theirs. Pin and Lafayette suspected this, but Sanders meeting confirmed it.
The head of the Pick Axes was notorious for his privacy. No one alive, outside of his lieutenants, had seen his face. Sanders wouldn’t risk that for ego alone. Only if he intended to kill Pin, which he never showed signs of.
Once Sanders left, Pin called Lafayette to ask a question and review the meeting. “He arrived late, his two lieutenants, yelling at me from the yard. They didn’t want to meet the wolves, just me. The three of us had seen them coming, and I held my rifle on them from the tree line behind the house.”
” ‘What do you want?’ I asked, after firing off a welcome shot. Sanders spoke. ‘I’m giving you a rare treat, a meeting with me, the boss. Usually death follows, for you, it’s a few days late. If you leave, you may even out run it.’ ”
” ‘Nice try, but you know my answer. Why did you really show your face? I hear you’re not into parties?’ Sanders laughed. ‘I’m not, but I’m glad others are. Some parties are very interested in me, or at least they will be next week.’ ”
” ‘The trouble is, you and Lafayette won’t be invited. So here it is, stay out of our way, and you’ll live longer. Leave town, and you might reach retirement. Fight me, and they’ll be four graves where you’re standing right now.’ ”
“I responded with a warning shot at his boot. He didn’t flinch, simply waited a minute, and turned to leave.” “Did he give any clue to his plans?” Lafayette asked. Pin smiled.
“Actually Mayor he gave more than a clue. He told me the key to his entire plan, once you answered my question. The curator of your museum, he’s their prize. The son of the head of the territorial party leader on one side of politics, and the great nephew of a President from the other party as well. We’ve got to stop a kidnapping to save more than our town, we’ve got to rescue Alaska.”