as they can, working only as it becomes requisite to obtain the few
coarse necessities of their lives. With them also are small farmers who
at seasons when farm work is not pressing, seek the excitement and
possible profit of the hunt for pearls.
all such persons the occupation has a great fascination. The
difficulties of following the streams through almost impenetrable
surroundings, the coarse fare of bacon, meal and coffee; the long
tramps back and forth to their mountain huts, or the exposure to night
in the tangle of the woods, have no terrors for them; they are but
pearls of value are found, but the occasional pearl which each one
does get, makes expectation tingle, and hope recounts again and again
the great finds which others have made. There are curious happenings
which illustrate the uncertainties of the work.
is told on the Clinch river in East Tennessee that a pearler, having
patiently fished all day, examining the fish from time to time as
little heaps of them were gathered, without finding even a small pearl,
finally decided to quit.