Missing Gold by Mavis Thorpe Clark

London: Hutchinsons, 1951.
224 pages; hard-cover; 19cm; not illus.

About the story

"Bob Cameron's left leg was injured on the football field, and his pals determine to find enough gold to pay for an operation that will enable him to run and jump again. They enlist the help of an old prospector, but each time they discover some gold it is stolen from them.

Their efforts to find the thief are hampered by the unpredictable doings of youngsters Judith Anne and The Mosquito, while their plan to aid Bob Cameron is almost ruined by the mean-spirited Ben Davis.

Adventures in an old man-made tunnel through the mountains, an exciting chase along the treacherous creek bank at midnight, and the near-tragedy of Judith Anne are some of the incidents in this touching but often amusing story, which grips the reader and paints a fascinating picture of life in the Bush."

- Missing Gold (1951) blurb.

Background

Missing Gold was one of a number of historical adventure stories set in rural Victoria which were written and reworked during the 1930s and 1940s. Originally written as a newspaper serial in the early 1930s under the working title of "The Treasure in the Barn", this story was published by The Australasian as "Sunnymount School" in 1936. It was later adapted as a radio serial for 3DB with the title "Sunnyview School". In 1951 the story was published in book form under the title, Missing Gold.

Excerpt

"Both boys knew how to use their pans, having spent many an hour watching prospectors in the creek nearer home, and they both worked with a will.

Scooping up a quantity of gravel and sand from the creek bed, they filled their pans with water, then quickly moved them back and forth, until only solid substances remained. They worked eagerly and excitedly, even rolling up their trousers and, despite the coldness of the water, stepping out into the stream for their quantity of gravel, but after an hour their toil yeilded nothing more than tiny pebbles and stones. There was not even a gleam of gold."

- Missing Gold (1951) page 38.

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Cover from Missing Gold shows the children finding treasure in a little hole.

Cover from Missing Gold, 1951.