"The snake has something to do with black opal?" asked Li Du.
"Yes," said one of the miners. "I have found black opal many times around snakes, not only me but the rest of the crew, too, right?"
"Right my *ss," someone instantly retorted. "I've dug up a dozen black opals, but none of them had anything to do with snakes. You're crazy."
"I've never seen a snake associated with black opal, either. It's just ridiculous."
The miners started arguing about it. Some felt that snakes and black opal were connected, and others felt they were not.
Li Du pondered this theory. If a snake could look for gems, he could find a way for the little bug to tame a snake for his use and then follow it to find gems.
He had never heard of snakes in relation to black opal. There were gems under the 114 mine next door, but he had not seen any snakes around them.
There was also no information about snakes and gemstones, nor about the history of gem discovery.
As the night wore on, the miners left one after another, and the mines became silent again.
In the middle of the night, the rain trickled down, and the water beat against the roof of the cabin in a rhythmic manner. The sound made Li Du sleep more soundly.
The next morning it was cloudy outside, and it was still drizzling.
Li Du opened the door and saw that the sky was foggy, which was very rare in central Australia. Normally, the humidity in Australia was very low.
Sophie drove to buy an umbrella, a raincoat, and breakfast. Li Du stayed back to take care of the four small mischievous animals.
When it was raining outside, Ah Meow and Crispy Noodles didn't like the water on their fur so they stayed indoors.
Ah Ow liked to play with water, or at least, she liked to play with muddy water. After looking outside the door, she ran out like a stray dog.
Rushing to the mine, she found a puddle and stuck her head in it, like a war horse breaking a glacier. She stepped on the puddles, and the muddy water splashed as she ran through it.
Li Du quickly called her back, but Ah Ow ignored him. She was running around in the mine's wide field until Li Du finally caught up with her. By this time, she was covered with mud and water.
This made Li Du mad. The day was so bad. The mine did not have a bathroom, so he could not give Ah Ow a bath.
After being picked up by her ear, she rushed to Ah Meow and Crispy Noodles with muddy water on her. It would be okay if she was just dirty herself. However, Ah Meow and Crispy Noodles were smart, too, so how could they not understand her intention?
The house was made of wood and logs. Ah Meow panicked and quickly climbed on them. He had a point of strength, and it was easy for a tiger like him to climb.
The raccoon was just as able to climb as a tiger cat, but he simply had a different response to the situation. Crispy Noodles slapped Ali, who was bouncing, to distract Ah Ow.
Ali had been preparing to squat down to poop, but with the slap it flew towards Ah Ow, who was showing her teeth. Ali was scared to death.
Brother Wolf shook his head and said, "This little kangaroo is out of luck."
Indeed, the reason that Ali had fallen into the hands of Li Du and the others was that its mother threw it away to divert attention.
Now when Ali was with Li Du, it was again thrown to divert attention.
Ah Ow only wanted to play. It didn't matter who she played with. When the baby kangaroo stumbled to the front, she pinned its fur with her paw.
Li Du went up again to carry Ah Ow by her ears and said angrily, "D*mn you, you just dirty yourself and now you want to make others dirty, too? Go outside and stay there!"
He pulled Ali out and wiped it with a towel dipped it in warm water.
The baby kangaroo was still in the nursing period, so its immune system was low. Li Du was angry because he was afraid that the cold mud and water that Ah Ow threw on it would cause the baby kangaroo to get sick.
When Sophie came back, she saw Ah Ow sitting alone under the eaves of the doorway, staring at the rain flowers on the ground and looking gloomy.
"What's wrong with her?" Sophie asked.
Li Du said, "She was playing in mud, ignore her."
"No, I mean her mood. Why does she look so gloomy?"
Li Du said, "I scolded her. She is getting more and more disobedient."
Ali hid beside him. Ali was afraid of its friends, and now Ali was afraid when it saw them. It could only follow Li Du closely.
Although it didn't have a high IQ like Ah Ow and Ah Meow, Ali also knew that Li Du was an umbrella for protection. It was the nature of survival to follow Li Du. The smaller the animal, the more sensitive it was.
In addition to buying a raincoat and an umbrella, Sophie also bought a thick tarp, which was raised with a pole over the mine to provide shelter from the rain.
After breakfast, Li Du, Godzilla, and Brother Wolf raised the tarp together. The rain was not heavy. With the cover of the tarp, the mine was no longer affected by the rain, and they could continue to work.
This was the excellent geology of Lightning Ridge. It was made of sand and gravel underground. The rainwater that fell on the mine would penetrate into the ground.
There was no groundwater around Lightning Ridge, so there was no need to worry about reverse osmosis, which meant there was no groundwater flowing into the mine along the gravel fissure.
As Godzilla and Brother Wolf continued to work, Sophie asked worriedly, "Is it dangerous to dig a mine in such bad weather?"
"It's ok now, just drizzling," Li Du said. "I have read the data. The geological water resistance of Lightning Ridge is very strong. Unless it is a tornado or really heavy rain, we can continue mining."
The little bug adjusted its direction, and Godzilla and Brother Wolf worked in turns, using a crusher to break rock formations, transporting rubble horizontally from the pit to the bottom of the mine via belt conveyors, and then transporting it above ground using buckets.
The rubble couldn't be thrown away. It had to be left there. According to Australia's laws, the land had to be backfilled after mining.
For safety reasons, Li Du bought steel pipe supports and wooden boards, and for every meter of hole dug, he and Lu Guan installed a support.
Horizontal mining was harder than well mining, and because of the scale, they could only work with handheld crushers, which were physically tiring and difficult to transport.
After two days of work and ten meters' progress, on the third day, a heavy rain began to fall on Lightning Ridge. Li Du had to stop digging.
After a day and night of heavy rain, it suddenly cleared up. On the fourth day, the sun reappeared.
The weather in Australia was very bad. After the sun came out, Li Du was not happy, either. The hot sun baked the earth. It had just rained heavily, and there were puddles on the ground. The humidity in the air was high.
The sun vaporized the water, and the air humidity was greater, but the underground mine hole was not ventilated, so it was very hot. It was similar to staying in a sauna!
It was so difficult to dig the mine. The miners who suffered, no matter if the days were rainy or sunny.