Here's the book's first paragraph: In April 1930, while hunting, Crown Cox, an eighteen-year-old farm boy, noticed an unusual rock with dark red coloration near the Little Missouri River in western Pike County, Arkansas. Around a month later and roughly fifteen miles to the east, D. F. Short, a section foreman for the Missouri Pacific Railroad, was blasting rock for riprap, near Antoine Creek at the far eastern end of Pike County. He noticed and picked up a similar specimen. The rocks were unusual, so both men kept them. Neither Cox nor Short, however, could identify what he had picked up. Unknowingly, they had found cinnabar --the primary ore from which mercury, called quicksilver in mining circles, is extracted.
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