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Before Terlingua achieved some notoriety as the site of the annual World Championship Chili Cookoff, the ghost town was the bustling center of the mercury mining industry in the United States. Quicksilver tells the story of the company town and its feudal lord, Chicago industrialist Howard E. Perry, who built a hilltop mansion overlooking the dry domain. Based on many primary sources, this solidly researched and historically sound book tells of profit, power, and loss; of U.S. Army protection from the effects of revolution south of the border; of Depression-era maneuverings and labor unrest; and of a region that holds growing fascination for thousands of visitors each year. Color and authenticity come from the author's interviews with such individuals as Robert Cartledge, who for nearly three decades worked as store clerk, purchasing agent, and finally general manager of the Chisos Mining Company in Terlingua.