One day in 1848, a carpenter named Marshall, who worked in a saw mill on the American River in California, made a remarkable discovery. He noticed some bright yellow particles in the water. He bent down to pick them up, and took them to his partner, a Mr. Sutter. This was the beginning of the California Gold Rush. Sutter was a Swiss. He had gone to America some years earlier to make his fortune. 在加利福尼亚州美洲河畔锯木厂的一位名叫马歇尔木匠,在1848年有一个惊人的发现。他注意到河里有一些金黄发亮的颗粒,便俯身捧了一些带给他的伙伴。他的伙伴是一位名叫萨特的先生。这就是加利福尼亚州淘金热的开端。萨特是一位瑞士人,几年前他为了发财致富到了美国。
Sutter realized the importance of the discovery and decided to file a claim so that his right to the gold would be established. So he sent a man named Bennet to San Francisco to see the Governor. He warned Bennet not to tell anyone in case people came to the valley before his claim was recognized. Bennet could not keep the secret, but the people of San Francisco did not believe him at first. Then the editor of a weekly newspaper there, Sam Brannan, went to Sutter's mill to make a report. When he came back, he ran through the streets of the town shouting “Gold! Gold!”. Within a month, almost the entire population, then only 800 people, had gone to look for the precious metal. Soldiers deserted the army, sailors left their ships and men gave up their jobs so as not to miss the chance of becoming rich.
萨特意识到这个发现的重要性,决定对其权益提出要求,以确认他对黄金的所有权。所以,他派了一位名叫贝内特的人去旧金山见州长。他告诫贝内特不要对任何人讲这件事,以免在他的权益得到确认之前会有人来到这个流域。贝内特还是将此事泄漏了出去,但在一开始,旧金山的人并不相信他。后来,还是一位当地周报编辑萨姆·布兰南,赶到萨特所在的锯木厂做了一篇报导。他一回到旧金山,就满城大街小巷的叫喊“黄金!黄金!”不到一个月,几乎全城的人,当时只有八百人,都去淘金了。士兵逃离军营,水手弃船登岸,男人们放弃工作,以免丢失这一发财机会。
The news spread across America to Europe and thousands of people joined in the search. 这个消息从美洲传到了欧洲,成千上万的人加入了淘金队伍中。
The Gold Rush proved a disaster for Sutter himself. For years he tried to evict the prospectors from his property so that his family might enjoy the wealth of his land, but his business was ruined. The prospectors did a great deal of damage, and killed one of his sons. At the end of his life, he was a poor man who continually stopped people in the street to tell them “Gold is the Devil.” 对萨特本人来说,淘金最终是一个灾难。许多年来,他千方百计要把那些淘金者从他的那块宝地上赶走,好让他的一家独享这里的财宝,但他的家业被毁了。淘金者到处破坏,还杀了他的一个儿子。临终前,他已贫困潦倒,还常常拦住街上的行人,对他们说“黄金是恶魔”。

Gold Is the Devil黄金是恶魔: http://insuns.com/article/11931-1.html