mong other lesser tales from Rons first Caribbean voyage, was an evening spent in the port of Ponce hearing stories of alluvial gold in the Puerto Rican hinterland. Add to such tales, the fact that his Caribbean Motion Picture Expedition had finally cost him dearly what with the assumption of Phil Brownings debts, that his father had long dreamed of augmenting his lieutenants pay with a mining venture and a bit of investment capital from like-minded officers, and suddenly we have the makings of Rons second voyage into the southern latitudes.
His formal account of this Puerto Rican Mineralogical Expedition (also known as the West Indies Mineralogical Expedition) he aptly entitled A Sample Pick Saga for the prospectors requisite tool. To all that he offers in broad strokes, let us add a few more incidental notes. Although his tone remains breezy throughout, in fact Puerto Rico proved grueling and Ron would long keep bottles of quinine at hand for recurrent bouts of malaria. Notwithstanding his failure to find that legendary lode of metallic sunshine, the venture did indeed prove profitable with the staking of claims to silicon, manganese and several lesser ores. His references to the hillmen or jíbaros are significant, for he conducted much ethnological work amongst interior villages, with particular regard to that curious blend of Catholicism and voodoo known as espiritismo. Finally, let us reiterate that this Puerto Rican expedition constituted the first complete mineralogical survey under United States jurisdiction, and is otherwise still remembered in the annals of grand adventure.
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