'THERE COMES A time in every rightly constructed boy's life', said Mark Twain, 'when he has a raging desire to go somewhere and dig for hidden treasure.' But it's not just boys who succumb. Grown-ups do too. As a seven-year- old, Max Anderson turned his parents' garden in suburban Derby into a muddy honeycomb of shallow holes. Twenty years later the digging impulse returned with a vengeance. So he quit his job on the travel pages of the Sunday Times and lit out for the gold- fields of Western Australia.
Anderson sets up his tent on the edge of a town called Kookynie, about 800 kilometres northeast of Perth. At the end of the nineteenth Century great fortunes were made and lost in that part of the world as the semi-desert land gave up jaw-dropping quantities of what metallurgists would