Cricket Magazine

Golden Spike

“HEY, YOU—WATER BOY!”

I trudge along the lines of men working. Clang, crash, clang! Their heavy sledgehammers slam down on the rails in a steady rhythm. The wooden pole across my shoulders digs into my skin, and the pails of water hanging on each end feel like they are made of stone. Sweat drenches my shirt. I squint through the dust and glaring sun, and hurry toward the harsh voices calling.

My name is Li Min Wei. It means clever, and also powerful. But these days, I do not feel I’m either one.

I am from China, but I’m very far from home. My father and I left our village. We left behind my mother and brothers to come to this place called Utah. Back home, people told us amazing tales about this strange land. They called it Gum Sham, the Mountain of Gold. Here, they told us, a man could get gold out of the rocks. My father said we could make enough money to bring our whole family here. We could all live a better life.

Now that I am here, I see that there are certainly huge mountains all around. But they are not made of gold. They are only red, dusty rock. The empty land is hot and dry, with scarcely a spot of

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