For eons treasure seekers had relentlessly hunted for the mother lode, an elusive and long rumored vein of purest gold.
It was said to be so blindingly brilliant that the mere sight of it would make men turn away from all other temptations. So transfixing was its purity and beauty that he who held but a nugget in his hand would thereby possess such wealth as not even all the kings and emperors had ever amassed.
Of course people appeared who promised maps and excursions, for a price, to where the mother lode could be found but the gullible would always find only disappointment and no comfort for their loss of time, hopes and investments. [...]