Happily unaware that Terl has snapped and plans on siccing his gas drone on humanity that afternoon, Jonnie and the Scots (with Dunneldeen on bass) decide to look busy at the minesite so that Terl doesn't snap and sic his gas drone on them.
This requires gold. They don't have much. But they take what they have and sprinkle it on top of the pile of quartz left over from the rockslide/explosion, then somehow fashion a lifelike dummy and rig it to a tractor. See, boss! Lots of gold here, hard at work, la la la...
Meanwhile, Jonnie consults ancient codices on the esoteric arts of digging for shiny rocks, and deduces that there might be more of this wire gold (I don't know either) in a pocket a couple of hundred feet up from the main vein they were following. They have approximately sixty days until their deadline, and they'll have to hope that what they recover will be enough "bait in the trap for Terl." Which is an optimistic way of spinning "we're being blackmailed by an alien overlord to do his dirty work."
And that's it for this chapter. A dinky little section, it sets the theme for this Part, namely the Quest for Gold. Not too exciting, but there's good news - next Part, the big stuff starts going down. Just thirty pages or so from now.
Next chapter, we learn that a previous subplot was just a big waste of time.
Back to Part Ten, Chapter Nine