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Full text of "The luck of Roaring Camp (heathen Chinee), poems and other sketches [microform]"

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LUCK OF ROARING CAMP 



(HEATHEN CHINEE,) 



I^ C) E M S . 



AND OTHER SKETCHES. 



I3Y 



BRET HARTE. 



i»|W(TfrKTf;rTr--ir 



TORONTO: ^ 
1S71. 



Cj C 1 y ^\ I'i 






N^O^mUm*' 



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TOrtOKTu : 

IHK l»AIi..V IKI.FCRAl'H I'JJIXTJKG IIOUHE, 
COR^Kll KfN« AND JJAY STIIEKTS. 



^tWtrif'r'tTTIt-f^tl^ 



<ai;«UM^ 



\ 



I? \i K F A. ('' l: 



A SERIES of dcsi^,nis— suggested, 1 tliinir, byllogarth'K 
familiar cartoons ol" tlic Tndustrious and Idle Appren- 
tices— I romembcr a'-; among th(T carliost cfFcrts at moral 
teaching in California. They re i> resented tbo respective 
careers of The iloncst and Di*?solnte ^liners : the one, as 1 
recall him, retrogradiivi; Ihrongli successive planes of dirt, 
<lrunkemics3, disease, and death ; tlie other advancing l)y 
corresponding stages to afllncnce and a white shirt. What- 
ever may liave been Ihe artiF;tic d^•fc^l^J of these drawings, 
the moral at least was obvious and distinct. That it failed, 
however, — as It did, — to produce the desired reform in min- 
ing morality may have been ov/iug to the fact that the 
average miner refused to recognize himself in either of these 
positive characters ; and that even he who might havssatfor 
the model of the Dissolute Miner was perhaps dimly con- 
scious of some limitations and circumstances which pai'tly 
relieved liim from I'esnon^ibility. " Ver see,"' remarked such 
a critic to the writei*, in the untranslatable poetry of his 
class, '4t ain't no square game. They've just put up the 
keerds on that chap from tlie start." 

With this lamentable example before me, i trust that in 
the following sketches I liavc abstained from any positive 
moral. I might have painted my villlans of the darkest dye, 
— so black, indeed, that liu- originals there<yf would liare 



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contcnipliitod them with Ihc^Mowof compfinitive virtue. 1 
miLjlitliiivo in:ulc it iinp()ssil)lc for tlicm to luivo performed 
II virtuous or goucrous ncliou, und have thus avoided that 
moral confusion wliioli i.s apl to arise in tlio contemplation 
of mixed motives and (lualilics. But I should have burdened 
myself with t.ie responsibility of their creation, which, as a 
humble writer of romance and entitled to no j^artlcular rev- 
erence, I did not carv? to do. 

1 fear I cannot claim, therefore, any higher motive than 
to illustrate an era of wliich Californian liistory has pre- 
served the iucidejits more often than the cliaractcr of the 
actors. — an era which the pancgyrii^t was too often content 
to bridge over witli a general comi)liment to its survivors, — 
an era still so recent that in attempting to revive its poetry, I 
am conscious also of awakening the more i)rosaic recollec- 
tions of these same survivors. — and yet an era replete with 
a certain heroic Greek poetry, of which perhaps none were, 
more unconscious than the heroes themselves. And I shall 
be quite content to have collected hero merely the materials 
for tho Iliad that is yet to be sung. 



The 
Tin 

MiG 

Ten 
The 

IIlG 

A L 

The 



S\H Fbancisoo, Dofx'inbor -U, 18<i!). 



The 



Tm 
Jon 
Frc 
Boc 



f ««^»*nf>f»r«»r nr rff" 



C: O ]Nr T K NTS; 



SKETCHES. 

TiTE Luck op .ViOahing Camp 
TiTE Outcasts of Poker Flat 

Higgles 

Tennessee's Partner 

The Idyl of Red Gulch 

High- Water Mark . 

A Lonely Ride .... 

Toe man op No Account . 



. 1 
14 

, 50 
61 



70 



7/ 



STORIES. 

^Iliss 

The Right Eye of the Com^iander 
Notes by Flood and Field 



. 12:1 



BOHEMIAN PAPERS. 



The Mission Dolores 
John Chinaman 
From a Back Window 

BOONDKR . 



149 
. 153 

15(3 
. 159 



Tl 



*.<iNTBMfl. 



DP O E ISC S 

B\s Franci!;( o, kkom rrtR Sw.v 
Trn^. Anoelus ... - 

Tin: ]M(jr\TArN Hk\iit's-Ea8R - 

(JiUZZLT 

Madiioxo ... 

COYOTK 

To A SEA-niRP .... 

Her Lei TEH 

DivKENs IN Cam I' 
What tite Enoines said 

"The liETUUN OF 1>EEI8A11IIS" 

"T>YENTY Years'' . . - . 

I'^ATE ... - 



IG(; 

107 

108 
109 
170 
tTl 
172 
171 
176 



[77 



179 

180 



In Diat-ect. 



"Jim" 

Cjiiquita 

Dow's Ff-at 

In the Tunnet, 

"Ciceta" 

Penelope 

Plain Language from 'I'rutiiful James 
The Society fpon the Stanislaus 



181 
183 
18.") 
187 
189 
192 
193 
195 



Poems from ISGO to 18(18. 

John Burns of Getiysui i{(5 
The Tale of a Pony 



197 
200 



*«S«»t»!nnnnt- 



CONTKNTtii, 



Vll 



r.vor 

10') 

iO(; 

107 
108 
100 
170 
t71 
173 
174 
176 
177 
170 
180 



181 
183 
18r> 
187 
180 
193 
103 
105 



The MiiiAci.E ov I'adrk Junipero 
An A»i(Tk: Vjsion - - . . 
To Tn?: Pliocene Skum, 
The Ballad of the Kmeu 
Tire Aoed Strancsek - 
"IIow ARE YOU, Sanitary?" - 
Tim llETElLLE .... 

Our Privilkue 

Relieving GrARi> 



Paroiiies. 



A Gkolookal Madrid a Ti 

TiiK Willows 

North Beach 

The Lo8t Tails op Miletls 

All Sin's Kei»ly to Truthful James 



PAOH 

303 
200 
30H 
310 
311 

V 1 V 

313 
S15 
310 



317 
318 
330 
331 
333 



197 
300 



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I.--S K E T C 11 E S. 



I'SBK Bii:€!£ or KOAKBXH I'ASIP. 



''J'^IIEIiK vri\H commotion in Uoiuinr^ Canip. IL could not, 
"- havo been a fiii'lit, for in 1810 lluit whs not novel 
enough to hiivc ciillcd togctlioi' tlio entire pc tlK'nicnt. The 
(lltcht'3 and claims were not only deserted, but " Tuttlc'm 
grocery" had contributed its gamblers, Vviio, it will l)e re 
membered, calmly continued their game the day that 
French Pelc and Kankaa Joe shot each other to death 
over the bar in the front room. The whole camp was coi- 
locled before a rude cabin on the outer edge of the clearin;^. 
Conversation was carried on in a low tone, but the name 
of a woman was frequently repeated. It was a n;ime fa- 
miliar enough in the camp, — " Cherokee Sal." 

Perhi'.psthe less said of her the better. She was a coar.'je^ 
and, it is to be feared, a very sinful woman. But at that 
time slio Avas the only woman in Roaring Camp, and was 
just then lying in sore e.\.treinity, when she jnost needed 
the ministration of lier own sex, Dis^^olute, al)andoned, and, 
irreclaimable, she wa=? yet sufrerhig a martyrdom hard enough 
to bear even when veiled by sympathizing womanhood, but 
now terrible in her lonliness. The primal curse had come 
to her in that original isolation which must have made tho 
punishment of the first traisgrcssion so dreadful. It wa3, 
perhaps, part of the expiation of her sin, that, at a moment 
when she most lacked her sex's intuiiive tendenit'ss and 



iT wn w « w m4l <l'<<||| 



o 



THE LUCK OF ROAKINfl CAMP. 



care, she met only the lialf-coutemptiiouB faces of her mas- 
culine associates. Yet a few of the spectators, were, I think, 
touched by her sulTerings. Sandy Tipton thought it was 
" rough on Sal," and, in the contemplation of her condition, 
for a moment rose superior to the fact that he had an ace and 
two bowers in his sleeve. 

It will be seen, also, that the situation was novel. Deaths 
we-e by no means uncommon in Roarrng Camp, but a birth 
wao a new thing. People had bcsn dismissed the camp ef- 
t'ectivcl:', finally, and with no possibility of retfum ; but this 
was the first time that anybody had been introduced ah initio. 
Hence the excitement. 

" Yow go in there, Stump.y," said a prominent citizen 
known as " Kentuci," addressing one of the loungers. " Go 
lU. there, and see what you kin do. You've had oxiieri- 
enoe in them things." 

Perhaps there was a fitness in the selection. Stum])y in 
other climes had been the putative h-,'ad of two families; 
m fact it was owing to some legal informality in these pro- 
ceedmgs that Roaring Camp — a city of refuge — wa;? in- 
debted to his company. The crowd ajiproved the choice, 
and Stumpy was wise e.iough to bow to the majcrity. The 
door closed on tbe extempore surgoon and midwife, and 
Iloarin': Camp sat down outside, smoked its pipe, and 
Hwaitetl the issue. 

The assemblage numbered about a hundred men. One or 
two of these were actual fugitives i'rom justice, some were 
criminal, and all were reckless. Physically, they exhibited 
no indication of their past lives and character. The greatest 
Kcamp had a Raphael face, with a profusion of blonde hair; 
Oakhurst, a gambler, had the melancholy air and intellec- 
tual abstraction of a llamlet ; the coolest and most coura- 
jjeous man was sTiarcely only five feet in height, with a soft 
\Toice a,nd an embarrassed, timid manner. The term 
" rouglsa " applied to them was a distinction rather than a 
definition. Perhaps in the mmor details of fingers, toes, 
^ears, etc., the camp may haro been Jdeficient ; but these 



SJ)«uU»<M^!'?»«?!'!ir 



THE LUCK OF KOARINO CAMP, 



3 



her mas- 
], I think, 
(it it was 

)n(lition, 
ace and 

Deaths 
it a birth 
mmp ef- 
but this 
lab initio. 

i citizen 
. "Go 
ox]>eri. 

inipy in 
'amilies ; 
lese pro- 
wa!i in- 
i choice, 
;y. The 
^'ifc, and 
pe, and 

One or 
ne were 
xhibitcd 
greatest 
(!e liair ; 
intellec- 
t coiira- 
h a soft 
c term 
' than a 
rs, toes, 
t these 



slight omissions did not detract from their aggregate force. 
The strongest man had but three lingers on his right hand ; 
the best shot had but one eye. 

Such was the i)hysical aspect of the men who were dis- 
persed around the cabin. The camj) lay in a triangular val- 
ley, between tvv'o hills and a river. Tlie only outlet was a. 
steep trail over tlie summit ci" a hill tI)Mt faced the cabin, 
now illuminated 'dv the lisiuii: moon. The suliering wo- 

man might have socn it I'rom the rude bunk v.diereor 
she lay, — seen it winding like a silver thread until it waw 
lost in the stars above, 

A tiro of wiiliercd pine-boughs added sociability to the 
gntliering. By degrees the natural levitj' of lloaring Camp 
returned. Bets were freely ollered and taken regarding the 
result. Three to live that " Std would g(!t through Avith it ;" 
<3ven that the child would survive ; side bets as to the se:^ 
and complexion of the coming stranger. In the midst of an 
excited discussion an exel'miation came from the nearest to 
the door, and the camp stopped to listen. Above the sway- 
ing and moaning of the pines, the swift rush of the rivei, 
and the craclcling of the lire, rose a sharp, querulous crj'' — 
a cry unlike anything heard before in the camp. The pines 
stopped moaning, the river ceased to rush, and the fire to 
crackle. It seemed as if Nature had stopped to listen too. 

The camp rose to its feet as one man ! It was proposed 
to explode a barrel of gunpowder, but, in consideration of 
the situation of the mother, better counsels prevailed, and 
only a few revolvers were discharged ; tor, whether owing 
to the rude surgery of the camp, or some other reason, 
Cherokee Sal was sinking fast. "Within an hour she hat! 
climbed, as it were, that rugged rond that led to the stars, 
and so passed out of Roaring Camp, its sin and shame for 
over. I do not think that the announcement disturbed tliem 
much, except in speculation as to the fate of the child. '* Can 
iiC live now .?" was asked of Stumpy. The answer was 
doubtful. The only other being of Cherokee Sal's sex and 
maternal condition in the settlement was an ass. There was 



rt wrnwiU'W^ '^lll 



I 



4 THE LUOK OV rvOAUIN(i CAMP. 

cojvy coDJe<^.(iirc r*s to IKnes.'-, l-iiL the cxprriment was tried- 
It was ]qss pr()]>]eiiiatical tluiii llic ancient treatment of 
rkonnilus and Remus, and apparently as susccpsful. 

WlKii tiieso detailr'. Avcre conipletecl, wliicli exhausted 
another liour, the door ^va^i opened, and the anxious cro%vd 
of men who had ah'cady formed themselves into a queue, 
CJitered in 'Aui;]c file. I>eside the low l)unk or shelf, on 
Tvliich the %ure of tlic mother was starkly outlhied l;elow 
the blankets, stood a pine table, On this a candle-box vras 
placed, and withia it, sw ithed in starin«j red llannel, Liy the, 
last arrival at lioaring Camp. Beside the candle-box was 
placed, a hat. iLs u^e wcs soon indicated. "GTCutl'imen," 
feaid Stumpy, with a singular mixture ol authority and cv 
«/"^/67"6> complacency, — "GcntleDicn vv ill please pass in at the 
front door, round the table, and out at the back door. Them 
as wishes to contribute anythin^^ toward the orphan will 
find a hat handy." The lirst m.an enteied with his hat on ; 
he uncovered, however, as he looked about him, and so, 
unconsciously, set an example to the next. In bueli com- 
munities j<]jood ana bad actions are catching. As the 
procession lilcd in, comments were audible, — critici;;m3 
addressed, ratlier to Stumpy, in the eharacter of showman, 
— "Is that liim ?" "mighty small specimen ;" "hasn't mor'n 
got the colour;"' "ain't big,<!;er nor a derringer." The con- 
tiibutio'?3 were as characteristic: A silver tobacco-box; 
a doubloon ; a ivivy revolver, silver mounted ; a gold 
specimen; a very beautl rally embroidered lady's hanciker- 
chiet' (frojn Oakliurst the gambler) ; a diamond breastpin ; 
R diamond ring (suggested by the pin, with the remva-k from 
the giver that he "savv' that pin and went two diamonds 
bsttcr "; ; a slung shtf i; ; a Blblo (contributoi- not detected) ; 
R golden sp:ir; a silver teaspoon (the initials, I regret to say, 
were not the aiver'b) ; a pair of surgeon's shears ; a k^ncet; 
a Bank of England note tor £5; and about $r200 in loose 
golil ar.d silver coin. During these proceedings Slumpj 
mainla'.ael a silence as impissive as the dead on his left, a 
gravity as inscrutable as that of the nev;ly Ijorn on his right. 



i;H,t:tJiJi!tU''irtOf'' 



HIMIMHMIO^^KI 



l;iy the, 



THE LUCK OF P.OARINO CA3ir. 5 

Onlv one incident occurred to breok the monotony of tho 
curious ])]o:5ep.-^ion. As Kentuck bent over tlie canflle-box 
iialf curiously, the child turned, and, in ci f pisin of pain, 
caught at hisgropin-.^ linger, end hel(i it fast for a moment. 
Kentuck look«?d foolish and eml)P.i;i-a:-:3cd. Somelliing like 
a bhish tricvl to asMcrt itself in his wcather-Iieatcn cheek. 

"Tlie d d little cn3,>5 !" ho said, as lie extricated lii^ lincer, 

"with, perhaps, more tenderness and care thnnhc migljthavo 
been deemed ca])al)l'j of sliowln'^. lie held that fini!;crc^ 
little r.n;u't from its fellov.'s a^ he 'went ont, find eAamiiK<l 
it curr^uslv. Tlio examination provoked ilie same cria;iDal 
renvwl: in re2;''-rd to tlie child. In f;ict, he seemed to enjoy 
rep:'atii:<.!: it. '-lie rattled M'ith r.^.y linger," he remarked to 
Tipton, lioldiiv^r.p the member, "the u d Ihtlc cuss 1" 

It . ns four o'clock before the camp sought reposci A 
li; h.t ijiirnt in the cal)lnv,-herc the rratchers sat, for Stumpy 
did not c;o to bed thatnirrht. ]^ordM h>ntuo!>:. lie di'anl- 
quite f reel}', and related "wilh [rjcixt .':^usio Iil;'. ex'xn'ience, 
invarlnbly ending]; with hi^ ch.aracteris^lc condvmnatlon of 
the nevr-coni'T. It seemed to relievo him of any unjust im- 
plicati:'n of sentiment, and Kentuek had the v;eakii.es.sot 
the nobler ?ex. "When everybody el:-'e h.ad [!:;.*ne to heel, ho 
^valketl uo'vn to tlie river, and v/hir,tled reflectin^'lv. Tlicn 
he v»\alked ■•.p th.c j.^ulch, p'.'i.tt t:iec:'.bin, still v>]iistlin.'^ Avitii 
demonstrative unconeer'j. At a l-n'-^'c rv'jd-v/ood tree Iio 
pai!;?ed i\r.d retraced his Fteps, and ngain parsed tlie cabin. 
Half-way down to tlio river's bank he .o.TtVm paused, and 
retraced hi'i step;;, and then returned and knocked at the 
door. It was opened by I'^tumpy. ''■lovr .goe,^ itV" naiO 
Kcnt-ick, h')okinf;' past Stnmp^' toward the cr.ndlc-box. "All 
serene," rer>Hed Stumpy. "Anythine; up?" "ij'othin'r." 
There was ;i par.sG — an. embarrassing' one— Stumpy still 
holding the door. Tiien Kentuek had recourse to his finger, 

which he held up to Stumy. "Raatlcd v/ith it, — the d d 

little cuss," he raid, a-,id rt'tlred. 

The next day Cherokee Sal Intdi such rude sepulture as 
iiOarinc; Camn ^^Torded. After !:er bodv had been commit- 



iwmwrmtm»mttil'''flH> 



I 
■J. 



C THE LUOK OP KOARING CAMP. 

tccl to tlie iiill-side, there was a formal mceling of the camp 
to discuss wliot sliould be done with lier infant. A resolu- 
Mon to adopt it was unanimous and (;utiiusiastic. But an 
animated discussion in re;j^ard to tlie manner and feasibility 
of providtn,!,' for its ^vants at once sprung up. It was 
remarkable that the argument partook of none of those fierce 
personalities svlih v/hieh discussions were usually conducted 
jit Roaring C-auip. Tipton j^roposed tliat they should send 
Ihe child to l\ed Dog,— a distance of forty miles — where 
remale attention could be i)r()eured. Lut the unlucky 
Huggestion met with fierce and unaniiuous ojiposition. It 
was evident that no i)lan which entailed parting from their 
new acquisition Avould foi' a moment Ijc entertained. "Ee- 
sides," said Tom Ryder, "them fellows at Red Dog woSld 
Kwap it, and ring in somebody else onus." A disbc 'ief m 
Uic honesty of other camps prevailed at Roaring Camp as m 
other peaces. 

The introduction of a fs^iua^e nur.^e in the camp also met 
\7ith objection. It was argued that no decent woman could 
1)0 prevailed to accept Roaring Camp as her home, and the 
speaker urged that "they didn't \\ ant any more of the other 
kind." This unkind allusion to the defunct mother, harsh 
as it may seem, was the first spasm of propriety, — the first 
symptom of the camp's regeneration. Stump}- advanced 
nothing. Perhaps he felt a certain delicacy m interfering 
with the selection of a possible successor in OiUce. But 
when questioned, he averred stoutly that he and 
"Jinny "—the mammal before alluded to — could manage 
to rear the child. There was something original, inde- 
pendent, and heroic about the plan that pleased the camp. 
Stumpy was retained. Certain articles were sent for to 
Sacramento. "Mind," said the treasurer, as he passed a 
bag of gold-dust into the expressman's hand, " the best that 
can be got,— lace, you know, and filigree work and frills— 
d— n the cost !" 

Strange to siy, the child thriA'cd. Perhaps the invigor- 
ating climate of the mountain camp was compensation for 



M'il!»{«!;5}(»Si'»!»^»Hft«'''<'"'^ 



THE LUCK OF KOARINO CAMP. 



But 
and 



mcatcrial dGficiencics. Nature tonii the foundling to lior 
broader breast. In that rare atmosphere of the Sierra fool- 
hills, — tliat air pungent with balsamic odour, that ethereal 
cordial at once bracing and exliilarating,— he may have 
found food and nourishment, or a subtle chemistry that 
transmuted asses' milk to lime and phosphorus, 8t\unpy 
inclined to the belief that it was the latter, and good nurs- 
ing. "Me and that ass," he would say, "has been father 
and mother to him. Don't you," he would add, apostro- 
phizing the helpless bundle before him, " never go back 
on us." 

By the time he was a month old, the necessity of giving 
him a name became apparent, lie had generally l)een 
known as "the Kid," " Stumpy's boy," " tlie Cayote" (an 
allusion to his Vv'^cal powers), and even by Kentuck's en- 
dearing diminutive of " the d— d little cuss." Bu* those 
were felt to be vague and unsatisfactory, and w^ore at last 
dismissed under another influence. Gamblers and adven- 
turers are generally superstitious, and Oaknurst one O.ay 
declared tliat the baby had brought " the luck " to I^)aring 
Camp. It was certain that of late thc}^ had been success- 
ful. "Luck" was the name agreed upon, with the prefix of 
Tommy for greater convenience. Ko allusion was made to 
the mother, and the father was unknown. " It's better," 
said the philosophical Oakhur.^t, " to take a fj^ih deal all 
round. Call him Luck, and start him fair." A day was 
accordingly se': apart for the christening. What Vv\as meant 
by this ceremony the reader maj'' imagine, who has already 
gathered some idea of the reckless irreverence of Iioaring 
Camp. The master of ccremoRies was one " Boston," a 
noted wag, and the occasion seemed to promise the greatest 
facetiousness. This ingenious satirist had spent tv.o days in 
preparing a burlesque of the church service, with pointed 
local allusions. The choir was properly trained, and Sandy 
Tipton was to stand godfi^ther. But after the procession 
had marched to the grove Avitli music and banners, and tl)e 
child had been deposited before a mock altar. Stumpy step- 



•8 



Tin: LUl'A Oi'' ll'JAIllNCr CXYiV. 



[>!.',] I;, foro ll:c> cxpcctaTit crov.'f^ " I*- ain't my s(\'Ic to ppoil 
Urn, I);)ys," Fill tlio iit'lo vmu:, stoutly, n3-c'in,'j tlio faces 
nroiial li-.ii, "I-:'!, it strike;-; :no Uijit this thin.^ nin't exactly 
oil til" f-qv,;:!'. i'.'s i.l;(yl;),'>; it pr'^tty low down on tl:!:-; ycr 
I) I by t'.» ri'.i'j,' in I'wii c i liiiu !!;;it Ik3 ain't rvjlng* to nndcr- 
r-taMd. ?•".'! ci' tlici'i;'?} goin^; to br; any godfatliors ronntl, 
I'd Hkv' t>) F(-'i! v,'iiM's got any better ri^;lits than rae," A 
Bllunce rolhiw'.'d r«tU!npy'.-« spcecli. To Vnv. ci\?.lit of all 
IinmMrI>t:-, h • it ;-.i;d, tliat tlio iir;-.t in:in to acknov,ied^'};e its 
juiMi'C wf.s till' saliriit, ihiis j^iojipcd of his fun. "But," 
said Si.!::npy, (,;dc!dy, followiiu!: np lili adv^ntnii-r', " w(3're 
here I'l^r a chri.'tcniif'-, a'ul ^V!■"]1 ]:::t;' i'-. I procirnn von 
ri\n-v\^ hi;-:-:, avCoi\;ln- to fl'C hnv^^ of ihc United States 
pnd !!;o Irtafc ri (\!hrorn;.^ ro lieln mc Cod."' It was the 
ilr:-t tin'c that tl.r namv-> oi llu' D-lfy had hivn uttered 
oth( rv. i-e t!:an pr^^f-'- b' -'"^ ^^''' •^"'•■T- '^'i- forin of christ- 
onlu^; v.-a;; p;i'hap'. ivrn more hadicro^a? tlian tl'.o satirist 
had eoneeive 1 ; hot. h-lrangcly cnonc^h, nohodj' saw it, and 
iioliody lao;:;':ed. '" Tommy"' was christened as seriously as 
ho w.vdd liiivi' l-ean n:ider a Clu'isliaii roof, and cried and 
"vvM''. e(>!nf(;T;ed ioi :;? orthodox fashion. 

And ^•(> the work o: reTenrvalion hcr!-an in rJoarinL-: C'amp. 
Ahno^^ inipcrccpiihly a chancre came over the settlement. 
Ti:e ea.hin assi^:ned to " Toimnv laaek*' — or " TIic Luck," 
as he wa-5 %noro freqnendy called — jh-?t showed \:]^ui!> of 
imprevement. It was kepi ^eriipuloiTsly clean and v/hitc- 
washed. Then ir ^va^; boai\led, cioihed, and papered. The 
rosewood cradle — j^aeked cijlity miles by mine— liad, in 
£?tnmpy's way of intlinir il, "shorter killed the ro^ of the 
furniture." ^^o the rchabiliialion (.f the cabin became a 
necessity. The men who were in the habit of lo-.mging in 
at Stumpy's to iee " how th-^ Luck got on" seemed to appre- 
ciate the chance, and, in self defence, the rival establish- 
ment of " Tunic's ertu^cry" bestirred itself, and imported a 
carpet and mirrors. The reiiectious of the latter on the 
appeararc of Pioarlng Camp tended to produce stricter 



lux 
Ivh 

an< 

tin 



uuit;ffl)«V«tl?><lttftt^!^f."?.?''' 



le to spoil 
V^ui faces 
't exactly 
1 t!;i:-i ycr 
to iindcr- 
•r.3 ronncl, 
I'iie." A 
'it of all 
l'j(]' 



3lS 

', " Avo're 
I'-'m you 

(1 States 

^v;is tliG 

ultcretl 

i chnst- 

' satirist 

it, and 

lOllsly as 

i'locl iind 

p: Camp, 
t Km ait. 

•j^iis of 
Vviiitc- 
::. TJio 
luul, in 
t of the 
cairiG a 
riiiig in 
appre- 
tablish- 
ortcd a 
on tlic 
stricter 



PilWf»»»» 



THE LUCK OF KOATII.WC CAM!'. 



9 



habits or personal cleanliness. Attain, Stuivipy iirposed a 
kind of (iuarantine upon tliosc who asjnred to the honour 
and privilege of hokling " TJio Ltick.'' It was a cruel mor- 
tification to Kentack — Avbo, in llie c:M-e]essne:-M of a largo 
nature and the habits of fronti'.r life, had be^^'un to rc.ujard 
all garments as a second cuticle, which, like a make';-, only 
ploughed oir throu^^di deca}- — to be debarred this ]>rivlk'ge 
from certaiii prudential reasons. Yet sucii was the subtle 
influence o'l innovation Unit lie thereafter appeared regu- 
larly every afternoon in ;i clean ihirt, and face f-till shining 
from his abluiioir;. I\or were nionil and social f-jivnit iry 
laws neglected. " Tommy," v.ho v>-;i.s Kup])(;sed to spend 
his whole existence in u persistent atitmi)t to repose, must 
not be disturbed by no'.se. The shouting and yellin;;- wiiich. 
had gained th;; camp its infelicitous title were not permit- 
ted within ];f'aring distance of Stiirapy'F. TliC men con- 
versed ill whisper.-^, or smoked with Indian gravity. Pro- 
fanity was tacitly given up in these sacred precincts, aiKl'* 
throughout the camp a popular form of e.vpletive, '--nown a^jj^^'^ 
"D— ntlic luckl" and " Curse the luck!" was abandoned^ - 
as having a nevr personal bearing. Vocal musi* was nSr 
interdicted, being supposed to have a soothing, trai^quiliz- 
iug quality, and one song, sung b}'- " ?.ran-c^-wai' JacA,"" 
an English i?aiior, from her ^'ilajesty's Australia?! colonics, 
was quite popular as a lullaby. It v»\as a lugiy#ious recital 
of the exploits of " the Arethur-a, Seventy-:6^r," in a muf- 
fled minor, en.kng with a prolonged dying fall atth.e burden 
of each verse," On l)-o-o o-ard of the Arethusa." It was a 
line sight to see Jack holding the Luck, rocking from lide 
to side as if with the motion of !i ship, and crooning forth 
tiiis naval ditty. I'^ilher through the j;eculiar rcckirg of 
Jack or the length of his song — it contained ninety stanzas, 
and was continued with conr^cicntious deliberation to the 
bitter end— the lullaby generally had the desired en'ocl. At 
such times tiie men vv'ould lie at full length under the trees, 
m the soft summer twilight, smoking their pipe; and drink- 
ing in the melodious utterances. An indistinC. idea that this 



rtP- 



■itm t»«'^''1|l^ 



10 



TUr: LICK OF liOAIlINC! CAMk*. 



was p.iPtoriil li:ippinrss pcrviKlocl llie c.iinp. " 'VhU Vrc kind 
o' t'l'.nk," said tlic Co':'kiK.'y Siiinnon^, moditativc.'ljM'cclining 
on Jiis (dhow, " is 'cvinii-ly." It rcinind( d liini of Greenwich. 
On the loim- suniiiiff din's The liUck was usually viarried 
to tile guleh, from whence the.^''oUlon store of Roarin/^K'amp 
W!is taken. Tiien', on a Ijlankel spread over pine ])ou/!:bs,lic 
would lie Avhilo tlie nun wej-e workin/.!,' in tlie ditches below. 
Latterly tlicre was a ruJe attempt to decorate this bower 
with flowers and sweet-smelling shrul)?, and generally some 
one would brhig him ;i cluster of wild honeysuckles, azaleas, 
or the painted Idossoms cf Las Marijxjsas. The men had 
suddenly awakened to the fact that there were beauty and 
significance in these trilles, which they had so long trodden, 
carelessly beneatli their feet. A Hake of glittering mica, a 
fragment oi variegated quartz, a bright pebble from the bed 
of the creek, became beautiful to eyes thus cleared and 
strengthened, and were invariably put aside for "The 
I , r.Vick." 1 ' was wonderful how many treasures woods and 
. "^t Idll-sides yielded that " would do for Tonmiy," Surrounded 
i^:hy playthings such as never child out of fairy-land had be- 
fore, it is to be hoped that Tommy was content. He np- 
1 eared to be securely happy, albeit tliere was an infantine 
gravity about him, a contemplative light in his round gray 
eyes, tliat sometimes worried Stumpy. He was always 
tractable a|M quiet, and it U recorded that once, having 
crept beyondMiis "corral," — a hedge of tessellated pine- 
boughs, which surrounded his bed — he dropped over the 
bank on his head in the soft earth, and remained with his 
mottled legs in the air in that position for at least five 
, nunutes with uniliiichiu'r gravity, lie was extricated with- 
out a murmur. I hesitate to record the many other instances 
of his sagacity, which rest, unfortunately, upon the state- 
ments of prejudiced friends. Some of them were not with- 
out a tinge of superstition. " I crep' up the bank just now," 
said Kentuck, one day, in a breathless state of excitement, 
" and dern my skm if he wasn't a talking to a jay-bird as 



U5'i'r.iiu««i!j«>*«v«»''^«?'''"^"'^ ■" 



iuprMitwrtf 



THE LUCK OF KOAKING CAJVIl'. 



11 



i Vrc kind 
reclininfj 
rccnwicli. 
y o.'in-iod 
in/^K-amp 
ou/xhsjic 
OS below. 
is bower 
nlly some 
s, azaleas, 
men had 
aiity and 
^ trodden 
S mica, a 
11 tlie bed 
red and 
)r "The 
3od3 and 
rroimded 
:l had be- 
lle ap- 
Infantine 
md gray 
I always 
', having 
ed pine- 
over the 
f^'ith his 
?ast five 
ed with- 
iistances 
ie state- 
ot with- 
btnow," 
tement, 
-bird 38 



WHS iv sittin' on his lap. There they was, jnst as free awd >o- 
cialjJea^ anything you please, nji.win' at each other Just Tko 
two cherry-bums." llowbeit, whether creeping over tlio 
pine-boughs or lying lazily on his back blinking at the 
leaves above him, to him the birds sang, the sriuirrels chat- 
tered, and tJie flowers bloonusd. Nature was his nurse and 
playfellow. For liiin she would let slip botweisi ii^e 
leaves golden sliafts of sunlii!:hi that ft*il just within his 
grasp; she would send wandering bnczcs to Vi./i!, him with 
the balm of bay and resinous gums; to him Die tall red woods 
nodded familiarly and sleepii}"-, the l)umble-bees buzzed, and 
the rooks cawed a slumbrous accoinpimiuient. 

Such was the golden su?]imer of Uoaring Camp. They 
were " flush times" — and the luck was with tliem. The 
claims had yii'lded enormously. The camp was jealous of 
its privileges and looked suspieiou-^ly on strangeis. No en- 
couragement was giv^'U to immigration, and, to make llieir 
seclusion more perfect, the land on either i-ide of tlie riU)Uii- 
tain wall that surrounded the camp they duly preempt'.'d. 
This, and a reputation for singular proileiency ,vith the re- 
volver, kept the reserve of Roaring Camp inviolate. The 
expressman — their only connf'c«ing link with the surround- 
ing world — sometimes told Avonderful stories of the catnp. 
He would say, " They've a street up there in ' Koaring,' 
that would lav over any street in Red Dog. Tliey'voaot 
vines ai-id flowers round their houses, and they wjish th"m- 
selves twice a day. But they're mighty rough on strangers, 
and they worship an Ingin baby." 

With the prosperity of the camp came a desire for further 
improvement. It was proposed to build a hotel in the fol- 
lowing spring, and to invite one or two decent families to 
reside there for the ssike of *' Tlie Luck," — who might per- 
haps profit by female companionship. The sacrifice that 
this concession to the sex cost these men, who were fiercely 
sceptical in regard to its general virtue and usefulness, can 
only be accounted for by their afTection for Tommy. A few 



Hf^fHHP'ffnW 



•tf^'lp^ 



12 



THIi LUClv or HOAUlNd CAMT 



nlill 1\H.l out. r.it till? rosolvo conM not b(i c;irn<'d into ef- 
fect fi)r three ni uitlm. and Mio minority mci-kly yielded in 
t!ui hope t'.itit 80 ucthin;^ mi:^^hL turn u[) t.) provcnt it. And 
itdid. 

'TiTcMviinrT of t''.')l will long be rcnu-niLfrcd in tholool- 
hillii. The.'^novv liiv deep on tho Siorrn.^ and cv<>ry moun. 
tain cjrcl: bictnnc Ji river, nnd every i iver a laUo. E:irh 
gorre luul .r:nU'li wjih trmsfonnod into a tnniultiunis water- 
coin>e lluit de.'jccndpd Vw. hilU.ides, toarin^jj down i;iant 
trees and r-cat'crincj it-', drift a!id deliri?? alon^r the phiin. 
n(3d J)r^'V liadbcrii tw'icr. nnd:T water, and l^)ariii2 Camp 
liad 1 cen f<n-(!\VMn'.ed. " Water irat Uie gold into Ihrm gul- 
ches," s:;dd Si unipv. " It's been hero onee and will be here 
again !" And thit nifrht the North Fork t^nddonly leaped 
over its banks and '-'.vcpt n[) the- trimgular valley of Tioar- 
ing Camp. 

In the confusion of rui^hing water, crnsh.ing trecp, 
and er.\el;ling iin)V>( r, and the d.-nluiesa wliieh seemed 
to flow with the water and blot ont the fair valley, bnt 
litile coida be (ion(> to eolhct, tlic Fonttered camp. When 
tlie morning broL-e, the cabin of Stnmpy nearest the river- 
b.'inU v.iis gone. Higher up the gnlch they found the body 
of it?, nu'iicky owner; bnt the prtd^, tlie bone, the joy, the 
Lnc^c, of Hoaring Camp l^ad difliippeared. TIk'V were re- 
turnini; with rrul lieaitH, Avlicn a shout from the bank re- 
called them. 

It w'l ; a r;'lief-boat from down the river. Tliey hail 
picked n'\ tlu-y paid, a man ;nul an infant, near'y exhausted, 
about two utiles i)elovy'. Did ar.ybMdy knov/ them, and did 
thev bi'long here ? 

It needed but a glance io show them Kentuek lying tbcre, 
rruelly c^u^bed and brnised, bnt still holding the Luck of 
I'JoariuL', Camp in his arms. As tbey bent over tbc strangely 
Bssorted pair, they sav/ th.at the child was cold and pnlae- 
les*!. "Re iii dead," said one. Kentnck opened his eyes. 
"Dead ?" he repeated, feebly. "Yes, my man, and you are 



dyii 
"by 
boy; 
cVin 
to a 
for 






if^mif^ 






TJin I.UClw or llOAllINd (JAMP. 



13 



I into of- 
iclck'd in 
it. And 

th(3fO()t- 

y inoiin. 
e. Each 
us water- 
vn .i;i.int 
lio p];i,in. 
v^ Camp 
lirni gul- 
be here 
Y l^'fipcd 
of ivoar- 



dyin<x too." A smilo lit the eyes of tho expiring Kontnclc 
^'byinii:," lie repealed, "lie's a taking ukj with him,— tcU the 
boys I've got the Luck with me now;" and ihe Htnnig man, 
eUnging to the frail babo as a drowning man m (•■aid to cling 
to a t-araw, drifted iiway into the alnidowy river that flows 
forever to the unknown tea. 



g tree?", 
seemed 
I ley, b'lt 
When 
le river- 
he body 
joy, the 
>vfre re- 
bfink re- 



„>., 



liey had 
hansted, 
and did 



g there, 




Lnek of 




i-angely 




1 pnlse- 




is eyes. 




you are 




RM'!H!fH»rri-;'P !W| 





TBIK OH'Ti'AS'fS OF fcM)ES']lll FLAT. 



As Mr. Jolui 0;i!ilr.irst, |.^unbK'r, slopped into tlu; m-iin 
BtiTct of Pokrr Flat oiUhe morning of the twcnty-lliird 
of Nov(;ml)cr, iHoO, he v'fi=< consfioiis of a change In its 
mor.al atnios])hcre since tlie preceding night. Two or three 
men, conversing earnestly together, ceased us he approached, 
and e.\chang(Hl significant glances. There was a Siibbath 
hdl in tlieair, which, in a .-;etth'ment unused to Sabbath in- 
fluenee.A, h)oked ominous. 

3Ir. Oakhur-^t'dcalm, hindsonie face betrayed snjall con- 
cern in these indications. Whetlier lie was conscious of 
any predisposing cause, was anotlier question, "T reckon 
tliey're after somebody," lie reflected ; "likely it's me." He 
retiirned to hi.-; pocket tlie handkerchief with wliich lie had 
been whipping away the red dust of Poker I'lat from his 
neat l)oots, and quietly discharged Ids mind of any further 
conjecture. 

In point of fact, Poker Flat was "after somebody." It 
had lately suffered the loss of several thousand dollars, two 
valuable horses, and a prominent citizen. It was experienc- 
ing a spasm of virtuous reactiim, quite as lawless and un- 
governable as any of the acts that Lad provoked it. A se- 
cret committee had determined to rid the town of all im- 
proper pffn.ons. This was done permanently iii regard of 
two men who were then hanging from the boughs of a syca- 
more in the gulch, and temi)orarily in the banishment of 
certain other objectionable characters. I regret to say that 
some of these were ladies. It is but due to th« sex, how- 
crer.to state that their impropriety wai professional, and it 



TflK Ot'TCASTS oy I'oKKIl 1*I-AT. 



15 



\1\ 



k; miin 
it3'-ll)lnl 
in ila 
or llirce 
roiicbed, 
S;il)bath 
bath in- 

lall con- 
scious of 
reckon 
le." Ho 
I he had 
from his 
further 

dy." It 

ars, two 

perienc- 

;md un- 

A se- 

all iin- 

gard of 

a Pjca- 

nent of 

ay that 

:, how- 

, and it 



was only hi such easily cstablislipd standards of evil that 
Poker Fl.it ventured to sit in judirnient. 

Mr, Oiiicluirst w;u ri;^dit in sui)i)osin;^that he was ineludod 
in this cate;;'ory. A few ol' the coniniiltec had urged han<5- 
in;; him as a possible example, and a sure method of roim- 
l)ursin<^ themselves from his pockets of the sums he had won 
from llicm. "It's a.i,Mn juf>tice," said Jim Wheeler, "to let 
thisyer yoimg man from Roaring Camp— an entire stranger 
— caiTy away our money." But a crude sentiment of equity 
residing in the breasts of those who had been fortunate 
enough to win from jNfr. Oakhurst overruled this narrower 
local prejudice. 

I\Ir. Oakhurst received his sentence with pliilosophic 
calmness, none the less coolly that ho was aware of the hesi- 
tation of his jiidgfH. lie was too much of a gambler not to 
accept Fate. Vv'^it.h him life was at best an uncertain game, 
and lie reeognizod the usual percentage in favor of the 
dealer. 

A party of armed m-jii accompanied the deported wiek- 
edness uf Poker i^'lat U> the outskirts of the .settlement. 
Besides ?t[r. Oakliurst, who was knoAvn to be a coolly desper- 
ate man, and for whose intimidation the armed escort was 
intended, the expatriated i)arly consisted of a young woman 
familiarly known as "The Duchess;" another, wiio had bore 
the title of "Mother Shiplon;" and "Uncle Billy," a sus- 
pected sluice-robber and conlirmed drunkard. The caval- 
cadp i)rovokcd no comments from the spectators, nor was 
;my word uttered by the escort, (^nl)^, when the gulch 
which marked the uttermost limit of Poker Flat was reach- 
ed, the leader spoke briefly and to the point. The exiles were 
forbidden to return at the peril of their lives. 

As the escort disappeared, their pent-feelings found vent 
in a fcv/ hj'sterical tears from the Duchesss, some bad lan- 
guage from Mother Shipton, and a Parthian vollyy of ex- 
pletives from Uncle Billy. The i)hilosophical Oakhurst 
alone remained silent,. He listened calmly to Mother Ship- 
ton's desire to cut somebody's heart out, to tlie repeated 



, I 






16 



•rnE OUTCASTri OF rOKKH TLAT. 



statciiients of tlie Duohoss that she would die in the road, 
and to tlie alarmin,^^ oiiths that soonicd to be bumped out of 
Uncle Billy as he rode forward. With the easy good- 
humor characteristic of his clas-"}, ho insisted upon exchang- 
ing? his own ridiog-hor^e, " Five Spot/' for the sorry luule 
wliicli tlie Duehe.^s rod:\ But even this face did not draw 
the party into finy closer f^yiup'^^^iy- '^'^'^^ youn^; woman 
readji.sled licr pomcwhat draggled plumes witii a feeble 
faded coo'ictry; TJolhcr Shinlon eyed the possessor of 
"Five Spot" with mnlLVolence; and Uncle Billy iiichided 
the whob party in one Hweeping anathema. 

The road to Sandy Bar— a camp that, not having a.=; yet ex- 
perienced the regenerating iiiiluences of Poker Fiat, con- 
sequently seemed to oih-r some invitation to the emigrants 
—lay over a steep mountain range. It was distant a day's 
severe travel. In tluit advanced season, the party soon pas- 
sed out of the moist, temperate regions of tlic foot-hills into 
the dry, cold, bracing air of tlic Biernis. Tlie trail was nar- 
row and difiicult. At noon the Duchess, roiling out of her 
saddle upon the ground, declared her intention of g^' ing no 
farther, and the parly l^alled. 

TJie spot was singularly v/ild and imjircssivo A wooded 
amphitheatre, surrounded on three sides by precipitous 
cliffs of naked granite, sloped genlh^ tovrardtho crest of an- 
otiier precipice lluU overloohed the valley. It waf;, un- 
doubtedly, the most suitable spot for a camp, had camping 
been advisable. BiiLr.Ir. Oakhurst l:nevr that scared}' hal"^ 
the journey to Sand}' Bar was accoinpiished, and tlie party 
were not equipped or provisioned for dehu'. This fact ho 
pointed out lo his companions curtly, v/ith :l philosophic 
commentary on the folly of " throvv'ing up their liand before 
the game was played out." Bat they were furnished Vfith 
liquor, which in this emergency stood them in place of food, 
fuel, rest, and prescience. In spite of hia remonstrances, it 
was not long before they were more or les^ under its influ- 
ence. UnclG Billy passed rapidly from a bellicose state into 
one of stupor, the Duchess became maudlin, and Mother 



I 



Sill 
in: 

filol 

he I 
go 5 
foil 



or- 
th. 
ci' 



mmwMWM^^^^^ 



^mf 



TlVi 



OU 



A () 



OK 



'LV 



fi the road, 
M>(-'<-l out of 

easy good- 
cxcliaii"-- 
sorry innlo 
1 not dra^r 
■S" woman 

h a fccbh' 
?scsFor of 

^ iiicliided 

•:'d^' yet ex- 

Flilt, C021,- 

cniigrauts 
it a day's 

soon pas- 

-Iiills into 
1 Vv-as nar- 
biit of her 

g nio; no 

V woodod 
rccipiLous 
■est of an- 
wa.'i, iiji- 
camping 

he part}' 
3 fact lie 
ilosophic 
id before 
cd with 
of food, 
ances, it, 
tB InfiU- 
tate into 
Mother 



Shipton ^>!io^(Mj. 



0;ik])ur:it iiloiic rcniLr.ncd oioct, le:iu- 



ing n;^.::iinrr-t a rook, cala'ily svirveyhig thorn. 

Mr. O.ildiiirst did not dnih. It interfered ■\vli:h a p'-ofes- 
k1o:i -vviil:;;.! r^'qulred coolne::;^, 'iupassiveness, and presence of 
]\ih\'], ;■.:;.!, l:i hi-:; own L;ir.;;r.{5ge, lie '' co'jld'nt afford it." Aii 
he g;::;^,l at M'5 rcciiin^oent fellovv'-exilcv:, llic kmeliiic>?3 IjC- 
gottvn of LU j/::;l.i.h-!.rade, hi^ iriblt^ v.l life, hi? verj' viceH, 
for the :]y:-X si rlousl^" opprc;;;od hi;n. lie bestirred iiimself 
ill dn-ling hi:^ bl^ick elotlK;i\ washing hi;: hands and face, and 
otlicr a;:!s chnra^■tc■r!^;.lc <;i: h'r:, :-lud lonely neat Iiabir-, and 
for a i!i'j:n:i:it foi'gwt LI..; annov.ince. Thc3 tboucrhtoi de:;^ert- 
Ing id.i weaker a;id more pniabki er^::-ipa;l'oll^ never pcrhap-i 
oeeui'L'c ] to ];iin. Yet hecoitkl :\':.i lidv) ficlinirtke waiit of 
I'Kit exclionc id ■whick, ;;k!.:n]Liri3^ ciieiigh, wa-i most conihi- 
eivo t) tiiat cakn e(p.uiil!;i]:y f.^i" vrkiek he was notorio^is. 
li'o L">oked a:. t!ie glooi\jy wali ^ liiat r:);;j a l;i.ou,--and f.-et 
;ske>.!r abov3 liu cli'cilng piae^ around ]i!::i; al the sky, o;ni- 
noiisl,' cloiided : ;:.t tk:j vall-'V below, :'k-':'a ly deepening into 
;..had(rv,. .;Vjd, doi'^g ;-), sinklenly k'' tieai'd hlj own name 
ealkd. 

A}r(ir::e:ni"a hlowiy a.;ejnd:'d Wv. tvall. In tke fr;;;,k, open 
face of the new-comer r:Ir. OakkMr^t recog:ii::3d Toai Sim- 
eon, o!;K'rwi.-;e iino^vn a:^ '' Tk':' Innocent" of Sandy Bar. 
lie kid inci; kiai some montks kcroro over a "little game," 
andknd, with ]^orfect ecpiaiihvii'y, won Ike entire fortune — 
anionntki'::; to r-.onie for(v doliar;> — aftknt guileless vonth. 
Afler Ike game ws'.s llnl.;k'd, T-,Ir. Oakhnrst drew the youth- 
ful specuL\lor bel)l'.id the door, and thus audrcs^^ed him : 
" Tommj^ youk'o a ;!,ood littTe man, b-,it you can't gamble 
^7orthaeenk Dcnt4ry i*. over agaki." lie then handed 
him Ills money back, [>r;;ihed him gently from the rooui, and 
so made a devoted slave of Tom Simson. 

There v/a3 a remembrance of this in hii boyish and enthu- 
siastic greeting of ISlw Oakknrst. Ho had started, he said, to 
go to Poker Flat to seek hh lorLune. '• Alon" ?" Xo, not ex- 
actly alone; in fact (a giggle), he had ran away v/itii Pkiey 
Woods. Didnk :J\'. C'akhursl rrm.^mker Pin;^y ? tike that 



18 



TilE OUTOA.sT.S OF I'OKER FLAT, 



used to wnir, on the tabic ut llic Temperance House ? They 
had been cugiigod a lon-;^ tuns, but old Jake Woods had ob- 
jected, and so they had runaway, and were golnir to Poker 
Flat to g-et married; juid here tiny were. And tliey were 
tired out, and how lucky it was Ihey had found a plac ' to 
camp and company. All this the Innocent delivered rapid- 
ly, while Pniey,a stout, comely damsel of fifteen, eiuerged 
from behind the pine-tree, where she had ])een iiidin'.j un- 
seen, and rode to the side of her hwcr. 

Mr. Oakliurst seldom troubI(!d Irimself witli sentiment, 
still less with propriety: but he had a va^vue idea tluit tlic 
situation was not fortunal(\ lie retained, however, his pre- 
sence of mind sufficiently to kick Uncle Bill;/, who wa8 
•about to s.'iy soraethiD.';-, and Uncl( Billy wrts sober enough 
to recogniz(! in j\rr. Oakhurst's kick a supm-ior power that 
would not bear trldinu'. lie tlieii endeavored to di.isuade 
Tom SluT^ou from d.'laying furiher, but in vain. lie even 
pointed out the fact tii;it thtm' was no provision, nor means 
of making- a cam]"). Bui, unduekily, the Innijceiit met (ids 
objection l)y assuring tiic party thai he was provided v.dth 
an extra mule loaded wlih ijrovision-, and InMhe discovery 
of a rude attempt at a log house near liie. trail. " Pia^y (^•in 
stay with Mrs. Oakhurst,'' said the Innocent, pcin'liig to 
th'. Duchess, *' and I can shift, for myself." 

Nothing but Mr. Oakhurst's admonishing foot saved Unci? 
Billy from bursting into a roar of laughter. As it vras, he 
felt compelled to retire up the canon until he could vecoyei' 
his gravity. There he confided the joke to the tali pine- 
trees, wltli manv slaps oL' his leu', contortions of his fa.'e, and 
tlie usual profanity. But \w]v:-n he retuig^ied to the party, he 
found them seated by a lire— for the air had grown strangely 
chill and the sky overcast — in apparently amicable conver- 
sation. Piney was actually talking in an imjvdsive, 
girlish fashion to the Duchess, who was listening 
with an interest and animation sho had not shown for 
many days. The Innocent was holding forth, ap[)ar- 
ently with equal effect, to i\Ir. Dakhurst and 3Iothcr Ship- 



ton 

ycr| 

he 

thel 

mill 

ItM 

to ^1 

brel 
the 
auc^ 

As 
Lor 

SW{ 

:4o 



^r/;i;nr.w;Hir»«i»snfiW'«imirt|tim'Wf^g.;y^^^ 



THE OUTCASTS OV I'OKER I'LAT. 



11) 



e ? Tlicy 

!s had ob- 
to Poker 
ley wero 
plac- to 
eil rupid- 
emcrged 

Mdimout, 
that tlie 
, hisj)re- 
ho was 
cnongli 
i^cr tlial 
li^suade 
'Ic ovcu 
r Hi cans 
'let I his 
"Ci with 
■^covciy 

lii;;: to 

was, lie 
ocoyei' 

I piuc- 
^'0, and 
L'fy, he 
ang ely 
;onvor- 
ulsive, 
toiling- 

II far 
Eippar- 

Sliip- 



to!i, v»dio v;as actually relaxing into amiability. '* Is this 
ycr a d — d ))icnic':'" said Lncle Billy, ^vlili inward scorn, as 
he surveyed the sylvan group, the glancing firelight, and 
the tethered animalr, in the i'oreground. Biiddenl^^ an idea 
mingled with the alcoliollc fumes that de.iturbed Ids brain. 
It wafj apparently of a jocnhir nature, for lie fell impelled 
to slap his leg again and cram his fist into Ids mcivih. 

As the tiiadows crept slovvd}'- up the niountain, a slight 
breeze roeiLcd the tops of tlie pine trees, ;ii;d mo;:ned through 
their long and gloomy .aisles. Tiie ruined cabin, patched 
and covered vith pine-boughs, vras set apait for the ladies. 
As the lovers parted, they unailectedly exchanged u kiss, so 
honest ami sincere^ that it might have been heard above the 
swaviiMi: uiiies. The frail Duche:-.s and the malevolent 
Mother h>hii)ton were probably too stmmed to remark upon 
this la-t eviiler.ee oL" simplicity, and so turned Avithout a 
word ti) the liiit. The lire was replenished, the men lay 
down before the door, and in a few minutes were asleep. 

Mv. Oakiuirst ^^as a liglit .'^leeper. Toward morning he 
awoke benumbed and cold. As he stirred the dying lire, 
the wind, ^viileh was novr blowing strongly, brought to his 
cheek that v.-Jiieh caused tlic blood to leave it,— ?now ! 

lie started to his foot Vvitli tlie intention of av^^akening the 
sl^'cpers, for there v.'as no tiriC to lose. Ihit tvuming to 
where Uncle Billy had been lyin;r, he found liim gone. A 
suspicion leaped to his brain and a curse to his lips. He 
ran to the spot where the mules had been tethered; tl;ey 
were no longer th':.'re. Tiie. tracks were already rapidly dis- 
appearing in the snovr 

The momentary exetitemeiit brou;:;ht Tdr. Oakhursl back 
to the fire with his u'-ual calm, lie did not waken the sleep- 
ers. The Innocent slambereil peacefully, with a smile on 
his <z:ood-humored, fi'cekled face; the vii-gin Piney slept be- 
side her frailer sisters as sweetly as t liough attended by celes- 
tial guardians, and :.Ir. Oaklmr^t, drawing his blanket over 
his shoulders, stroked hi, mu-taches and waited for the 
dawn. It came slowlv In a whirl in e: mist of snow-flakes, 



Ri^MHTfPMH'ff 



ihm 



20 



or 



III 



'oi: 



11 



t.lA? liincirfcar'C 



iiui coni'iiaed llio o. 



ove 



iL' V 



v/orc 









'i;a!: (:.)v1m be ['ecn or 
. lie Ioo'vCmI 
ntjuidfi.tuivoiatwo 



liu: 



Lt C.1.1 



I 



J in 



U! .)■ 






iM.i- 



.crUiii;iK 



'Iv 



w ;ii 



^ 1 c I ii 



t!ic 



i; rp 



-(■,. I, 



)i\!.'>'. 



1. !!■.■'/ !■•• '^ 



v:it- 



Ci.' 



{■;;iC :l!l^ 



1 i 1 r i - ' 



!-;'t 



/>,. '•!. 



r(''*c 



vori'r'j \viiliii':," to 



ii; 



an?. 






Mil 



MA SOCi.ClipCCi 

.;S'.:'.L I'lC i':u.;t tl'dt 
tl.u Lniocj].!;-, •' ir 



L i. 



i'i r 



'!< 



< I.. ^ Ll . I' 



Di-j i;: 



Mseii to (; 



0)J 



CO 



•re 



;i3 1' 



IvlU' 



;lo-: 



.' I 



n* 



^.-"i 



jiili)' !.;cls l;:icl: witli pro- 

^;'r. 0;iLI;;i-':;u could not 

■^lily's rnircaHty, and s^o 

,r;in.li:'i'cd fr:-;:ui!iG camp 

u<dcJ 1^1.^ i^iilnuilo. lie dropped 



u:;!'; 



h-i h 



o.h 



.1 1: 



:j.'.i 



(■•■/.'.-J 



•!l. 



au.'jCi 



invtiiii 



inLriitcnh;;.^ Va-ta i:(i'" 



tl-. 



11.1, 



c-;i. 



•:t.u;i;uf 



lo oi 



Cl.'lv 



/•I ; 1 /\i> 



It 



H- 



iliid out 
MO rrood 



lo^':i .Miaijo; 



not 



wo; 



;i,- < .^ 



ysr 



:/rc :it. tiio 



1)1:1', 



ncit lo cnuy- 



pr. 



■ct of 



the- 



I J I I 1 .< . 



'ive 



LOO 1 ram;-) for a 



.1- 



and l;:c:i tl 



"II iJK'JL ;u^ 



-.o, 



i> rr'j. 



dicci-ru] 



1! ':ai 



VO! 



:o Oc 



iiiao, an; 



carai infcciod the ot 



i J a:? ivnio 



TV 



.1 of 



o!: D 



1 



lOiiL!;]:;: c::t!anv:ovi 



lc?s calil 



a, :o.id I 



V,'i TV; 



! a Uialcii for lli^ roof- 
Irccl^jd Piaey iu tb3 raiirraii^^c- 



.p fi 



uw. uv': aoi 



Idnc eyes of {\v:A Tirovia'; 
" I r. ^ 



l0;i now voi 



illi a t 

"..1 -■. 
lai It 

U:Od 



• •1 ., I '> r, 1 



:k1 lact fiial cpoiied the 
\ai-,Kii lo th(;;r fidk-i^t extent. 



10 



lilU.' 



I i L L . . ^^j tt 



t 



!>.,■' 



oaCi 



lat. 



nald Pincy. Tlio ])i'-Iu;,;i turned away sharply to conceal 
som'^ra-ni;' tliat radd'aiod her ciicg'^s throiiLdi its profes-dona] 
tint, and Motlic-r uihinton rccrie:-.-led Pincv iioito " '-liattcr." 



But wlicn Trlr. O.dahurst ro'iirnod from a Vv 



earv soarcii 



for 



tiio tntd, 1k' lieard llio sonnd of ]ia;->n7 lanfuter eclioed from 



tat 



ock 



lie i^loppt 



d in 



ae 



'.1- 



nd this t'.ion Tilts 



thi 



^1 

mil 



in: 
dll 



1^-- 



jinyi-niirtHHiHUJHHlis^jiijMS 



BiisM 



THE OUTOAST.S OT POKini iM.AT. 



21 



ct of 
for a 



firat naturally reverted lo tii'> ^vliiskfy, whicii l;c had pru- 
dently cacled. " And yet it uou't somehow soimi likc\\his- 
kcy," said tho gainblcr. It av:i3 not until lie caught fci;;ht oi" 
the bhizlnci: lire throu'rli tho p( ill blinding GtoriiMUid the 
;^ronp uronnd it, th;it he KCltled to the conviction that it waa 
" square fun.'* 

"VVhothev Mr. Oaiiliurst hud ciLclcd lih cards with the 
whiskey aa i-oinet linf:? debarred the free access of the com- 
numitv, I cannot f ".y. It y.'ai^: certain that, in Iilothcr Sliip- 
ton's worcb, he " didn't r^ay caroB cnco" during that cveii-.- 
inn;- ilaply the time wnfi bc/pii'ed by an jiccordion, pro- 
duced sonievrhat ostcntatiQUjdy hyTcni f^>inison from his 
pack. Xotwithslandi)-;;: ronn^ diihcidlics attcndino; the 
manipuhitlon of tliis i'.istrunicnt, Piney 'Woods ni:ina52;cd to 
i\',i reluctant meh:)dies from ihs keys, to an aceom- 



ok sevf 



plu 

panient by the Innocent on a pah* of bone castiiiet.s. But 
the crovv'ninLj festivity of the evening was reached hi a rude 
camp-nieetiiig hymn, which the hoverL!, joining hands, fiacg 
with great larncstnc^-s and vociferation. 1 fear that a cer- 
tain defiant tone and Coyenamer's swing to i(3 chvorus, rather 
tiian any devotional quality, caused it speedily to infect the 
otherr'., yy-jio at last joined in the refrain : — 

"I'm proud to \\\c in the f-ervlce of tlio Lord, 
Ariu I'm Ijocncl to die* in Hi:- annj'."' 

The piues rocked, the storm eddied and whirled above tlie 
miserable group, and the flame:; of tlicir altar leaped hciven- 
ward, as if in token of tlie \o\\. 

At midnight the f-;torni abate.l, the rolling clouds 
parted, and the stars glittered keenly above t]:e [deep- 
ing camp. SFr. Oakluirst, Vn'Iiosc professional habits 
had enabled him to live on the wnallcrit possible 
amount of sleep, in di\i<Ting t^ie ^watch v.ilh Tom Bimson, 
somehow nifmaged to take upcm himself the greater part of 
that duty, lie excused himself to the Ini-ocent by saying 
that he had " often been a week without sleep." " Doing 
what ?" asked Tom. " Poker I'' rtplkd Oakhuj';:t, Kuten- 



•Mitt 



:*f'!^ti>4«iitJ 



\n' 



'iL' Tlli; OL'KASTfS <»:' POKi:il Vi.A'l'. 

tloii.^iy ; " \v]\c}] !i;aan p'^s aftrcak of luck— r.iixger-luck — 
lie doji'l ;.i(.l, tin i!. T'lc Iticl; !:ivcs in first. Luck," con- 
tinued l?io g;inibl( r, rdloctivcly, " is a niiglity (lucer tiling. 
All yuu kjiow .';l)i);(l il for certain l.s that it's hound to 
cli ui'AX!. And It's ill: luvr «hi;. Vviien its ti'oinL'' to cli:i.u:?e that 
makes you. W'e'v^- !i-d s slr.vik of l>!id luck since \vc left 
Pol-Lcr Flat — you Cv)Ii;l' alon^:c, Mid slap j^ou get into it, too. 
If you can hold vour cards ritrht jdong vou're rli riiiht. 
For," added the gamhier, with cheerful irrelevaiico — 




'I'mproK'l to livcin t'ii(3 f-crvicc of the Lord, 
And I'm hound to die in His arrnv.'' " 



The third day canie, and the sun, lookiKg through the 
white-curtained valley, saw the outcasts divide their slowly 
decreasing store of provisions for the morning mcak It was 
one of the peculiarities of that mountain climate that its 
rays diffused a kindly warmth over the wintry liuid,-.cape,aa 
if in regretful commiseration of the past. LUU it revealed 
drifl on ilrift of snow piled high around the hut— a hope- 
less, unchartered, trackkss sea of white lying below the 
rocky shores to which the cast a wavs still clunir. Tlirouirh 
the marvellously clear air the snioko of the pastoral village 
of Poker Flat rose miles away. ]\rother Shiptou saw it, 
and from a remote pinacle of her rocky fastness, hurled in 
that direction a final malediction. It was her last vitupera- 
tive attempt, and perhaps for that reason was invested with 
a certain degree of sublimity. It did her good, she privately 
informed the Duchess. " Just you go out there and cuss, 
and see." She then set herself to the task of amusing " the 
child,' as she and the Duchess were i)lcascd to call Piney. 
Piney was no chicken, but it was a soothing and original 
theory of the pair thus to account for the fact that she didn't 
swear and wasn't improper. 

When night crept up again through tlie gorges, the reedy 
notes of the accordion rose and fell in fitful spasms and long- 
drawn gasps by the llickering camp-tire. But music failed 
to Jill entirely the aching void left by insufhcient food, and 



r 



TilH OUTOAST.S OF i'OIC;;it, FLAT. 



•i;5 



:ir-]iick — 
ck," Con- 
or tiling, 
oiind to 
iiigc iliat 
\vc left 
o it, too, 
11 riirlit. 



ugli tiic 
slowly 
It was 
tliat its 
■cape, as 
revealed 
I Iiopc- 

OVv^ tjiC 

iiroiigh 
village 
s:iw it, 
irled in 
tupera- 
ed witli 
rivately 
id cass, 
ig " the 
Piney. 
u-iginal 
! didn't 

3 reedy 
1 long- 
failed 
)d, and 






a new diversion was jn'oposcd by Pincy— storey-telling. 
Ncitlier Mr. Oakliurst nor his female companions caring to 
relate thoir personal experiences, this plan would have failed, 
too, but for the Innocent. Some months Ixifore he had 
chanced upon a stray copy of Mr. Pope's ing<uiious transla- 
tion of the Iliad. He now propo.^cjd to nari'ate thf^ princi- 
pal incidents of that poem — iKiving thorouirhly mastered 
the argument and fairly forgotten the words — in tlie car- 
rent vernacular of San(iy l>ar. And so for the rest of that. 
the Homeric demigoiln again walked the eartli. Trojan 
bully and wily frrcck wrestled in the winch-j, and the great 
pines in the canon seemed to bow to the wrath of the son of 
Peleus. ]\rr. Oakhnrst listened willi quiet satisfaction. 
Most especial^" was he interested in the fate of " Ash- 
heels," as the Innocent persisted in d;'nominating the " swift- 
fooled Achilles." 

Ho with small food and much of Ilonier and the accor- 
dion, a week passed over tthc heads of the outcasts. 'I'ho 
sun again forsook them and again Irom the leaden skies the 
snow-flakes were sif*f''l over t lie land. Dnyliy dav closer 
around Iheni drew the snowy circle, until at last they looked 
from their prison over drifted walls of dazzling v/hite, that 
towered twenty feet e.bove their heads. It became 
more and more difficult to replenish their fires, even from 
the fallen trees beside them, now half hidden in the driftt*. 
Au-d yet no one ( omplained. The lovers turned from the 
dreary prospf^ct and looked into each other's eyes, and were 
liappy. ]Mr. Oakhurst settled himsell coolly to the losing 
game before him. The Duchess, more cheerful than she 
had i)ven, assumed the care of 1 'iney. Only Mother Ship- 
ton — once tlie strongest (;f the party— s':'emcd to sicken and 
fade. At midnight on the tenth day s'le called Oakhurst to 
her side. *' I'm going," she saitl, in a voice of querulous 
weakness, " lint don't say anything about it. Don't waken 
t!ie kids. Take the bundlr fr(>m imder m,y head and open 
it." Tdr. OMklturst did so. It contained blether Shipton'j^ 
rations for the last week, uitouched. " Give 'em to the 



i'i;«>!t«»tf 



•fliir 



i'.i 



l.IIB Ot;T'A^>TS (>!•' i'OrCy.Pw PLAT. 



c1)il'l," dm said, poixUno: to tho slccpin!! Pinny. *' Yoivvo 
starvcayomvclf," Ktiicl the guinbler. " Thfit's what liioy 
call it," said the vroniiin, qi.icrulourOy, iiSKlicl.ay down again, 
■d)y], turning her face to the w:;ll, passed quietly tiwf\y. 

Tlie nccordion :uid tlie honcB were put risldc that day, 
and ITomer was forgotten. Trhen llie body of Mo'.hcr Sliip- 
ton had iDCtn committed to the snow, ?.Ir. Oakliursl took the 
Innocent r.^ide, and showed him n pair of snow-shoes, whicli 
lie had fashionivd from tiie ohl paek-«add]e. " Tiiere's one 
chanee In a hundred to !:,.iv(; her yet,'' he paid, pointing to 
Piney ; " l)Ut it's there," he added, pointing towards Pol;(!r 
Fiat. '*ir.youc;ia rcacli there in two days slie's safe." 
*' And vou '.'" a-^lied Tom Simson. "I'll stay liere," was the 
eurt reply. 

Tl'.e l')Vir.-^ p'.r.Ud witli vt loiiy; (Mubniee. " You are not 
going, too V" paid tlie Dueho:-;s as siio sav/ 7,Ir. Oalihurst ap- 
])arently awaill!\g to accompnny him. " As far as the 
e.'inoji," he repiit'd. i/,e turned snddenlj--, and l;Is?cd the 
T)u(;hess, leaving her pallid faeo a'lame, imd l)cr trembling 
limbs Jigid with amazemen!;. 

Kight came, but not Mr. «)al:hi'.r.4. Ii: brought the storm 
again and the wirling Bnow. 'Dien the Duchess, feeding 
the lire, found that some one had quietly piled besid.c the 
Imt enough fuel to last a few days longer. The tears rose 
to her eyes, but she hid Ihem from Piney. 

The women slept b'lt little. In the morning, looking 
into each other's faces, thej' read their fate. Neither 
spoke ; but I'iney, ;»eccpting the position of the 
stronger, er!;,w near and ])laced her iirm fsround tlie 
I)uchep?*'s waist. They kept this attitude for the rc/^t of the 
day. That night the storm reached its greatest fmy, and, 
rending asunder tlie ]u-oteeting pines, invaded the very hut. 

Tovrard morning they found themselves unable to feed 
the fire, which gradually died away. As the embers slowly 
blackened, the Duchess crept closer to Piney, and broke the 
silence of many hours:— ''Piney, can you pray?" "No, 
dear," said Piney, simply. The Duchess, witliout knowing 



m- 



nirifi !h 



^ jBW 



TIIK OL'TlJASTri OF i'OKER ri.AT. 



25 



oxartly '^vby, ivlK reliovetl, iind, putfln*; her licad upon 
Pincy's slKUildcr, rqtoko no more. And so rccliuiup', tho 
you)i,i.n'r and purer pillowin^o; tlu; head of lior .soiled sister 
upon her viiiiin breast, they fell asle(>p. 

The \viiul lulled as is it feared to waken tlicni. Feathery 
drift-', of pncw, shaken from the loi:g pine-honi^lis, llev.- like 
■\vhi!e-win;;ed birds, and settled abo'it Iheni as they slept. 
The niooii tlirough the rifted elouds looked down noon 
TvliJit had been the camp. ]iut all human stain, all Irioe of 
earthiv 1rav;nl, -was hidden beneatk tlie spotless mantle mcr- 
eifuily ilnng froui above. 

T!i(T slrpt, all tliat dav and liie next, nor did th.ey Avakcii 
whi'Ti voicrs and footsteps broke the silence of the eamp. 
And vv'lien pityhig Ilngei's bnv^b.ed the snow from thejr wan 
faces, j'on eould scarcely ha\e t<»ld, frcni the eqr.al peace 
that dwelt upon thr'm, which Wiis ^Iw. that sinned. Even 
the hnv of Poker Flat recognized thi'^, and turned away, 
leaving theni still locked in each otlier's arms. 

I .it at the head of the gulch, on one of tiie lan;e;t i)inc- 
trce?., tluy 1\Mind the deuce C'f clubs pinned to tiic bark with 
a bovvii'-linife. It bore tlie following, wrlttcjn in pencil, 
in a llrni hand: — 

f 

DENEATH THIS TKEE 

LIES THE BODY 

OP 

JOIIX OAKIIURST, 

WHO STRUCK A STllEAK OK BAD LTJCK 

ON THE 2;]i{--) OV XOVEMI'EK, 1850, 

AND 

IfAKDED IN Ills CHECKS 

ON THE "lUl DECE^riJEll, 1^'jO, 

I 

And piilselct^s and cold, wiih a Dei-ringcr by his side and a 
bullet in hi« heart, though still calm as in life, bein^atli tho 
SDOW lay he who was at once the strongest and yet the 
weakest of the outcasts of Poker Flat. 



l!t!S!i)HH!M!^*iPi'; 



u*. ('"•■•'•Hit' 



■f^rHifc' 



:^ii<;<;les. 



WE Avcrc cig]\t, inc'lndini,^ llio driver. Wc h;ul not 
spoken (luring the passage of the last six iiiile.^, pinco 
the jolting of the heavy vehicle over the roughening road 
had spoiled the Judije's last poelicil quotation. The tall 
man heside the Judge v/as asleep, his arm pas.se(l through 
the swaying strap and his hend resting upon it — altogether 
a limp, helpless-looking objeet, as if he had hiinged himself 
and been cut down too late. The Frcinch lad}' on the back 
seat was asleep, too, yet in a half-conscious propriety of 
attitude, shown even in the disposition of the handkerchief 
which she held to her forehead, and which partially veiled 
her face. The hi"^y rroni Virginia City, travidling uith her 
husband, had long since lost all individuality in a v/ild con- 
fusion of ribbons, veils, furs, and shawls. Ther(; -was no 
sound but the rattling of wheels and tin? dash of rain upon 
the roof. Suddenly the stage stopped, and we became 
dimly aware of voices. The driver was evidently in the 
midst of an exciting colloquy witli some one in the road 
— a colloquy of which such fragments as " bridge gone," 
"twenty feet of water," "can't ])ass," were occasionally 
distinguishable above the stonn. Then came a lull, and a 
mj'sterious voice from the road shouting the parting adjur- 
ation, — 

" Try Miggles's.'' 

We caught a glimpse of our leaders as the vehicle slowly 
turned, of a horseman vanishing tlirough the rain, and we 
were evidently on our way to jMiggles's. 

Who and where was Miggles ? The Judge, our authority, 
did not remember the name, and he ktiew the country 



MI(J(JLr!M. 



27 



1j:i(1 not 
la=i, Pinco 
ini!: roiicl 
Tho tail 

through 
togetlior 

ITunsclf 
the b:ick 
prioly of 
Ikcreliief 
y veiled 
with her 
vild con- 

wa'H no 
in upon 

became 
V in the 
the road 
e o-oiie," 
i«ionaily 
1!, nnd a 
lig adjur- 



slowly 
, and we 

iitliority, 
country 



thoroughly. Tirj Washoe traveller thought JILggles must 
kecj) a Iiotel. We only knew that W(! were stopped by high 
water front and rear, and thit Migglc-i was our roclc of 
refuge. A ten minutes' splasli through a taugU-d l)y-ro;id, 
Hcareely wide enough for the stage, and we drew up before 
a barrcnl and bonrded gate in a wiile stone wall or fence 
about r'l'^h'i ftict high. Evidently Miggleii's, and evidently 
]\Iiggles did not keep a hotel. 

The (h'iver got down nnd tried the gate. It was securely 
locked. 

"i\Iigglea! OMiggle.-t!" 

No answer. 

" .Migg-ells! Vou ?diggles!" continued the driver, with 
rising wrath. 

" j\ligglcsy ! " joined in the exprcssnum, persuasively. **C 
MiggyjMig!" 

But no reply came from th(! apparently Insensate 
Miggles. The Judge, who had Mnaily got the window 
down, put his head out and propounded a series of 
question:-!, w'hich if answered categorically would have 
undoubtedly elucidated the whole mystery, but which the 
driver evaded by replying that " if we didn't want to sit in 
the coach all night, we had better rise un and sing out for 
Miggles." 

Ro we rose up and called on J^Iiggles in chorus ; then sepa- 
rately. And when he had finished, a Hibernian fellow-jjas- 
senger from the roof called for '* Jtlaj'gells !" whereat we all 
laughed. While we Avere laughing, the driver cried " Shoo !" 

We listened. To our infinite amt'.zemcnt the chorus of 
" Miggles" was repeated from the other side of the wall, 
even to the final and supplemental " ]\Iaygells." 

'• Extraordinary echo," said the Judge. 

" Extraordinary d— d skunk !" roared the driver con- 
temptuoubiy. " Come out of that, Miggles, and show your- 
self ! Be a man, Miggles ! Don't hide in the dark ; 1 would'nt 
if I v/ere you, Miggles," continued Yuba Bill, now dancing 
about in an excess of fury. 



m- 



ItM 



28 



MlfinLKM, 



"Mi.ij'i--V's!" continnrfl llic voice, " O Ml.^^irius !" 

'• i"\[y /.^loclman! 3Ir. M'.'yi.'-li:iil !" s;iiil Iho .Jii(l,ii:o, soften- 
in;? tin; ii-pciilics of t'lo niunci ns much m poisihlf. " ('oq- 
slder the iiiho-pltality of refusing slu.'ltcr from Hk; iiiclem- 
ciicy of llio weather to lielplens i'einiiUs. lically, my (le:ir 

fc^ir " 13ul IX sacee.ssion of " ^li^^'^les," eiiuin;,' iu u buiat 

of laii«:hlcr, drowned hi;-, voice. 

Yubii Uill hesittitetl no lon;;-er. Takini^ a hcnvy stone 
from the road, he battered down the .t^ale, tmu wilJi the 
cxi»rt.-,M)i;in entered the eiielosure. We loilowed. Iscbody 
was to be t-een. in thegatlieriiig darl^ness rdl tlitit we eoulil 
distiiii^uish was that we were in u garden— from tlie roi>e- 
bu.-hes thai fceaLtere<l over us a nihiute t^pray from Ihoir 
drii)i)ing leaves — and before ii long, rambling wooden biilkl- 
iug. 

"Do you know tlii^i Higgles''" asked the Judg'o oi i'nba 

Bill. 
" No, nor don't waul to," said lilll, bhorlly, who felt the 

Pioneer btagc Company i.nsudted in lii-i person by the contu- 
macious Miggles. 

" But, my dear tir," expostulated the .fudge, as he thought 
of the barred gate. 

"Lookee here," said Yuba iiill, with line irony, " '■"In't 
you better go back j.nd .sit in the coach till ycr introduced ? 
I'm going in," and lie p.u.died open the door of the burred 
gate. 

A long room lighted only by the embers of a fire that was 
dying on the large hearth at its further extremity ! the walls 
curiously papered, and the liickcring firelight bringing out 
its grotesque pa Hern ; somebody sitting in a large arm-chair 
by the fireplace. All this we r.aw as. we crowded together 
into the room, after the driver and expressman. 

" Hello, be you I^liggles? ' said Yuba Bill to the solitary 
occupant. 

The figure neither spoI:c nor stirred. Yuba Bill walked 
WTathfully toward it, and turned the eye of his coach-lanteni 
upon its face. H was a man's face, prematurely old and 



'!'< 



"ima:;i; 

'• It 
reach ( 
'.-'.ere lu 
ment 
really 

][■"• 
Jlig ! 



ii]:3n[: 



SilliMiii!l!yii«liil»«Ji"«S*Sifl5HUil« 



MIOGLEH. 



20 



L\ aof tcii- 

" ('on- 

! inclem- 

r.iy dear 

a i\ burst 

ivy Btoiie 
with llio 
Nobody 
wfiC'OuUl 
the roae- 
•1)111 Ihoir 
k'ubuikl- 

oi i'uba 

[) Ti'lt lh(! 
ho coatu- 

dhoui^ht 

'■-•In't 
roJiiccd? 
he burred 

'. that was 
the walls 
ngh'ig out 
urm-chair 

I t'j<^-cthcr 

L' solitary 

II -p-'alked 
:'h-jaTiteni 
y old and 



xviiiiMcd, Avifh voiy lari^o cycM, in v/1;;c!i tlnrrn was thai cx- 
])rtJision of prrf'jclly /•;rrit"itous poU'mnlfy -which I liad 
{jomctimc3sc(!ii in an o'.vl's. Thf' lar^o oys ■wandcrrd frojn 
Bill'M fiice to thf» 1, intern, and finally fixed tlicirgjize on tlint 
luminous oVjoct, uil.iiout fiirtlier r( eno-v.iilon. 

Bill restrained liini-ielf with an cll'ort. 

"Mi.!;';;les I I'e y(Mi dt-'f ? You air*'t dumb anyhow, you 
kuou';" Mild Yiib.i, I'i'd .^'iod!; tlif inff:n:;il'< fi/^uro by the 
shoulder. 

Ti) oiirf,^reat di?in,iy, vs VA'] rcmovr d Id:-, hand, t!:c vene- 
rable stivmccr npparenlly eoll};pt'(>i.|,— ; inldn-.; into ludf Iuh 
f1/o and rindistln;;-tn':di:\ble henp of elotliinrr. 

" Well.derumy f^liin," pitld irdl, loohin^'^iippcaliii^rly at uh, 
and hopelessly rolirin;; from Wvi contefst. 

The Jiidg' now stepped i'orv.wrcl, and W3 lifted tlic niyste- 
riou- invertebrate back into h*^; oirfmal position. Hill was 
(■ismi.-f'cd v.dlk the lanl(>ni lo reconnoitre ontr.ide, for ir was 
cvid' nt that from thu helplccsne.?'^ ol! thi^ folitary man tiicro 
mu^l be attendants near at hand, n;id we all drew around 
the lb"'. Tlie Judge, who liad regained ]ii;5 authority, and 
had never lost hl3 conversational a^niabilily, — standing be- 
fore u^ with hii back to the lieart'i, — charged u?, as an 
imaginary jury, as follow,-; : — 

'• It iB evident that cither our d!;;tingui:diedfnend h"reha9 
rcaclie 1 th.at C(mdition dci-cribed by Sliakei-'pearo as * the 
sere and yellow leaf,' or has r-ulTercd some premature abate- 
ment of Ida mental and phy^icil facullii;:-;. Yrhether ho is 
reallv the Tvligclef? " 

lie was interrupted by *' ^Migiiles ! O ?,iiggles ! IMiggl-^py ! 
5Iig ! aiid, in fact, the whole chorus of ^liggles in very iv.ucli 
the fame key as it had once before been delivered unto us. 

We gazed at each other for a moment in some alarm. The 
Judge, in pnrticular, vacated lil"; position fpiickly, as tlie 
voice acemed to come dircctl}'- over hi^ shoulder. The cause, 
however, wai^ soon discovered in a large mngpie who was 
perched upon a slielf over the fireplace, and who immedi- 
ately relapsed into a sepulchral silence, v;hich contrasted 



ir:i::2i>!"?«;"«'."n!; 



;]u 



MiCOLE;^. 



singularly wi<.li liis previous volubilitjr. It was, undoubtcaly , 
his voioe ■\vliicli wc had heard in the roud, and our friend in 
the chair was not responsible for the discourtesy. Yuba 
Bill, who re-entered the room after an unsuccessful search, 
was loath to accept the explanation, and still eyed the help- 
less sitter with suspicion. He had found a shed in which 
he had put up hia horse?; but he came back drippini,' and 
sceptical. " Thar ain't nobody but him within ten mile of 
the shanty, and that ar' d— d oldskecsicks knows it." 

But the faith of the majority proved to be securely based. 
Bill had scarcely ceased growling before we heard a quick 
step upon the porch, the trailing oi a wet skirt, the door was 
fluu|^ open, and with a Hash of %Yhite teeth, a sparkle of dark 
eyes, and an utter absence of ceremony or diffidence, a 
young worn im entered, shut the door, and panting, leaned 
back against it. 

" O, if you please, I'm 3Iiggles !'' 

And this was Miggles! this bright- eyed, full-throated 
vouug woman, whoso wet 2:own of coarse blue stuff could 
not hide the beauty of the feminine curves to which it clung; 
trom the chestnut crown of who?e head, topped by a man's 
oil-s''rin sou'wester, to the little feet and ankles, hidden somc- 
whert m the recesses of her boy's brogans, all was grace ; — 
this was ^^liggles, laughing at us, too, in the most airy, frank, 
off-hand r.ianner imaginable. 

" You see, boys," said she, quite out of breath, and holding 
Oi;.. l.UiG han«l against her side, quite unheeding the spee^-h- 
lesb discomfiture of our party, or the complete demoraliza- 
tion )f Yuoa Bill, whose features had relaxed into an cx- 
press.'on of gratuitous and imbecile cliecrfulness, — "you see, 
boi'f , ''. was mor'n two miles away when you passed down 
me roai. I thought you might pull up hero, and so I ran 
the wh(»le wa}', knowing nobody was home but Jim, — and — 
and— I'm out of breath— and— that let's me out." 

And here Jliggles caught her dripping cil-skin hat from 
her head, with a mischievous swirl that scattered a shower 
of rain-drops over us: attempted to put back lier hair; 



i) 















\ 



'M\\ 



W^MM^^MMxiMW^^AMx^^ 



iblcdly , 
ricnd in 
Yuba 
search, 
he liclp- 
Q wliicli 
ing and 
mile of 

y LnsccL 
a quick 
[oor was 
:; of dariv 
dcncc, a 
J, letinecl 



tliroated 
ifl could 
it clung; 
a man's 
sn some- 
grace ; — 
V, frank, 

holding 
! ^pee^'h- 
noraliza- 

an cx- 
vou see, 

ed down 
e:o I ran 
, — and — 

lat from 

1 shower 
er hair ; 



MIGGLES. 



31 



dropped cwo hair pins in the attempt ; laughed and sat down 
beside Yuba Bill, with her han.Is crossed lii^htly on her lap. 

The Judge recovered himsoif first, and essajx'd an extrava- 
gant compliment. 

" I'll trouble you for that thar har-piii," said Miggles 
gravely. Half a dozen hands were eagerly stretched for- 
ward ; the missing hair-pin was restored to its fair owner ; 
and Migglcs, crossing the rv>om, looked keenly in the face of 
the invalid. The solemn eyes looked back at hers with an 
expression we had never seen before. Life and intelligence 
seemed to struggle back into the nigged fa(;e. ?rliggles 
laughed again, — and turned her lilack eves and white teeth 
once more towards us. 

" This afllicted person is '' hesitated the Judge. 

"Jim," said ]Migglcs. 

"Your father?"^ 

" No.'" 

" lirolher '^" 

"No." 

'< Husband?" 

Miggles darted a quick, half-dehant glance at tlio two lady 
passengers who 1 had noticed did not participate in the 
general masculine admiration of Miggles, and said, gravely, 
"No; iL's Jim." 

Th..-e Wiis an awkward pause. The lady passengers moved 
closer to e;ich other ; the Tv'ashoG husband looked abstract- 
edly at the fire ; and the tall man apparently turned his eyes 
inward for self-support at this emergency. But ]Miggles's 
laugh, which was verv infectious, broke the silence. "Come," 
she said briskly, " you must be hungry. Yv^ho'il bear a hand 
to help me get tea ?" 

She had no lack of volunlivrs. In a few moments Yuba 
15111 was engaged like Caliban in bearing logs for this Miran- 
da : the expressman was grinding colfee on the verandah ; 
to myself the arduous duty of slicing bacon was aHsigm-d ; 
and the Judge lent each man his good-humored and voluble 
counsel. And wIumi Miggles, assisted bj' the Judge and our 



Misiu^^^' 



iiiiJiiii]*' ""lUi"UJ"'iP" "^!] 



.-rim 



3S> 



MtGGLEt?. 



IIuiOriMii-i •' (!!^( •: nnsisenger," sot the taWo with n]] ihn avail- 
able crockery, vv'e had become quiie joyouM, in spite of the rain 
thnt, ly.\it ji.'2:ainst tlic windowf'., the v^lnd th.;it ^y^lirlcd down 
t:!e chimney, tlie t'.vo ladies v^lio whispered to;:ethcr in tho 
corner, <<r tlic macrpic \vho nttered a siitirleiil and croaldn/.^ 
connnent'iry on their convcr-;ation from hh perch above. In 
the now bii'vht, blaziiT^tire we couhl pcc that the walls w^ere 
pa;-.rrc:| vs-iiii iRnstratcd jonrnab, arranged with feminine 
tt^ste and dir-criminp.tion. Tiie furniture was extemporized, 
and adapted from ri'udle-boxcs r.nd ]';ickini?:-cascs, tijid 
covered with ;i;n- c;dico, or the frkin of i^omo aiuirnh The 
arnvO'Viir of th.c heipier-s Jim v.'as an inp'cnieiM variation of 
a lio'.ir l);^rrch Tiiere vrn?", nee.tnepn, ni-.d even a taste for tho 
picture5i.iue, to ].)e seen in I'le few detail ol'tlK^ ^^-'^S'? ^'-^'*'^ 
roon\ 

The v\?[i\ was a c:'il;i'iiy sneceff-. Diit more, it \vc.r, a 
Poei;"!t I'hmiph, — eldcily, 1 Ihinh, owi?!;:; to i];e ra.-e taet of 
3r;<r'!:k-o In guidinii; the convcr,"alion, ashing all the qvte?lion;; 
herseir, yet bearing' tlironghout a frankness that rejeetedtlic 
idea of any concealment on iier own part, :-a th.at we tabled 
of ourselves, of our prospecP:., of tlic journev, of tlic weather, 
of each other, — of (rv^erythiug but our iiost and ho-tess. It 
muft b(! coufeased that ]^Ii^':g]e<^'^ converr,ation wjis r.ever 
eh\u.mr, rarcjy fTi'annnatie'il, .'i;;^'! that at 1"mnr; phc employed 
expletivc-i;, the u^^e (vf vrhieh Juid generidly been yielded to 
our Gex. Bnt tliey were delivered vvi;h ^u.ch a li^?i;]iting up 
of teeth and eyes, and were nsu ]]y follo^^•:d liy a laugh— a 
laugh peculiar to jlig^des— so frank and honest that it 
;jcemed toch'a.r the moral atnio^-ohere. 

Once, dmiug the meal, we heard a noi^o Iii:e the rubtnng 
of J heavy boily against the outer wali^ of the house. This 
was idtortly followed liy a seratcldng and sniUling at the 
door. " Tiiat's Joacj ihi," said ]\Iiggles, in reply to our ques- 
tioning glances ; '' wouia .) ,)u like to see him V" iJeforc wo 
could aubwer slic had opened tlie door, aivd disclosed a half 
grown gri/zly, who instantly raised hiunself on his haunches, 
with his forepaws hanging down in 'he popular attitude of 



I 



g:les. 



iUiilliltiiJ!?U^!P?{HU<l»iiHuit»' 



%Hti 



lIio avnil- 
if ilKM'iiln 
led down 
ii'V in tho 

cro'ikin;]^ 
iibovo. In 
,^:ill3 were 

fcininine 
rni'orizcd, 
ascs, ;i lid 
v!;il. The 
n'hition of 
;1G for the 
long, ]o?r 

, it ^var. a 
arc tact of 
3 (pie^lion:-; 
cjcctedtlio 

Ave talivcd 
c v.'cather, 
o-tess. lb 
<,v;i3 r.evcr 

employed 

yielded to 
i^rliting up 

I langh — a 
St lliat it 

le rubning 
us-. This 
ing at the 
> our ques- 
iioforc wc 
)sed a half 
ihaimche?., 
itlitudo of 



I 



MiaULES. 



3:^ 



men d lean ey, and looked admirinj^ly at IMiurj^h's, with a very 
singular reseml)]anco in his maj.ner to Yuba Blil. "That'ti 
my watch-do,L>-," said Mig-ghr.', in explanation. " O, he don't 
bite," she added, as tlie two lady passengers lluttered into a 
corner, "Does he, ohl Toppy 'r" (the latter remark being 
adih'essed direct!}" to tlie sagacions Joaquin) "I tell you 
what, boys," continued Miggles, after she liad fed and closed 
the door on Ur-a Mino7\ "you were in big luck that Joaquin 
wasn't hanging round when you dro-pped in to-nigiit." 
'* Wliere was he?" asked the Judge. "With me," said Hig- 
gles. " Lord love you ; '\e trots round witli me niglits like 
as if he was a man." 

We Avere silent for a few moments, and lisU'ned to Iho 
wind. Perhaps we all had the i^am^) picture before us, — of 
Miggles v/alking through tlie rabiy v.'oods, with her j-avago 
guardian at her side. The Judue, I remember, said some- 
thing about Una and her lion ; but Jliggles received it as 
she did other compliments, with quiet gravity. Whether 
she was altogether unconscious of the admirati<m she 
excited, — she could hardly have been oblivious of Yuba 
Bill's adoration, — I know not ; but her very frankness sug- 
gested a perfect sexual equality that was cruelly humiliating 
to the 3'ounger members of our party. 

The incident of tlie bear did not add anything in ]\Iig- 
gles's favour to the opiiiioiis of those of her own sex who 
were present. In fact, the repast over, a chillne^s radiated 
from tlie two lady passengers that no pine-boughs brouglit 
in by "Yuba Bill and cast as a sacrifice upon thelierivlh could 
wholly ov(;rcome. JJiggles felt it ; and, suddenly declaring 
thai it was time to " turn in," oflered to show the hi dies to 
their bed in an adjoining room. " You, bo^ys, vcill liave to 
camp out here l>y the lire as v;ell as you can," she added, 
" for thar ain't but the one room." 

Our sex — by which, my dear sir, I allude of course to the 
stronger portion of liunumity — has been genendiy relieved 
from tlui imputation ol' curiosity, or a fondness for ivossip. 
Y''et I am constrained tr. -.ar, that hardly had the door closed 



>n(<4t:i( 



iyij<ii}iiii55"iitnn^"iH{!rii;--''i-«;i 



?A 



:Mi(i(ii;EH. 



(in Mi\i^L,4os lliiin wo crowded togetlior, wliisperiiif?, suicker- 
hys, smilini3% and cxchiingur]: .suspicions, surmises, and a 
thousand speculation-^ in r(';,Mnl 1o our nnnty hostess and 
her singular oompaiuon, IfVart'iat \s\« even hustled that 
Iml^cciie paralytic, ^vho sat like a voiceless ^lemnon in our 
midst, ga/.in;j; with the s'Teno indiflerenc.- of ihi^ Past in his 
passionless eye.; up!)n o^ir wordy counsels. In i!:e rai-^st of 
an cxcitin-r di^■eussion, the door opened ;i';!:'in, :ind Mi^^lcs 

re-entered. 

But, notap])arentiy, the sam-, Miggles who a few hours 
before hfid tlaslied upon us. Her eyes were downcast, and 
as f-l;o lv:\>ilat;-d [or ;t nu)nie!it. on the thrcsliold, with a 
blanket on Ir r '(rin, ,^he seemed to have le.^t h"iiin:l her the 
frank fenrle-iMi; s--. wiiieh had chnnned us ;^ mouvnt )>eforc- 
Cominic into th.e room, s'ne drew a low stool besid.e the para- 
lytic's cliair, sat down, drew tli(> blanket over h^-r shoulders, 
and sayinp:, "li' it's all the same to you., Itovs, as we're 
rather crowded, I'll stoj) here to-ni.'^ht," took t:)e invalid's 
"witliercd hand in her ov/n, and turned her eyes upon the 
dyinrr fire. An instinctive feelini;^ that this was only pre- 
monitory to more confidentird rclati(^n«, and perhaps some 
shame at our previous curiosity, kept rs silent. The rain 
Ptill beat npon the roof, ^vandering gaists of wind stirred the 
embers into momentary brightness, until, in a lull of the 
elements, ]\Iiggle3 suddenly lifted up her head, and, throw- 
mg her hair over her shoulder, turned lier face upon the 
group and asked, — 

" Is there an}' of you that knows me ? " 

There was no reply. 

*' Think again ! I liv(?d at j\r!irysvide in '53. Everybody 
kntw^ me there, and every'oody had the right to know me. 
I kept \]h.' Polka Saloon until I came to live with Jim. 
That's six years ago. Perhaps I've clianged some." 

The absence of recognition may Inive disconcerted lier. 
She turned her head to the fire again, and it was some 
seconds ])efore she again spoke, and then more rapidly, — 

""Well, vou see, I thought some of vou must have known 



W 



illGGIiES. 



35 



suicker- 
1, imd a 
Ll^ss and 
led that 
n in our 
ist in liis 
rai'''^;t of 

\v hoiii'.s 
;ast, and 

with a 
1 her tlio 
It I >e fore- 
rue para- 
boulder?, 

as we're 

invalid's 
upon the 
only pre- 
ips some 
The rain 

irred the 
dl of the 
d, throw- 
up on the 



verybody 
tnow me. 
idth Jim. 

rtcd her. 
van some 
)idly,— 
fe known 



me. There's no great harm done, anyway. What I was 
going to say was this: Jim here" — she took his hand in 
both of hers as she spoke — *' used to know me, if you didn't, 
and spent a heap of money upon me. I reckon he spent 
all he had. And one da}' — it's six years ago this winter — 
Jim came into my back room, sat down on my sofy, like as 
you see him in that chair, and never moved again without 
help. He was struck all of a heap, and never seemed to 
know what ailed him. The doctors came and said as how 
it was caused all along of his way of life, — for Jim was 
mighty free and wild like, — and that he would nevei get 
better, and couldn't last long anyway. Tlicy advised me 
to send hitn to Frisco to tlie hospital, for lie was no good 
to any one and would be a baby all his life. Perhaps it 
was something in Jim's eye, pr-'rhaps it was tliat I never 
had a baby, but I Bj).id ' No.' I was rich then, for I was 
popular with everybody, — gentlemen like yourself, sir, 
came to see mc, — and I sold out my businesss and bought 
thl& yer place, because it was sort of out of the way of 
travel, you see, and T brought my baby he'T." 

With a woman's intuitive tact and poetry, she had, as she 
spoke, slowl}'- shifted lier position so as to bring the muto 
figure of the ruined man between her and her audience, 
hiding in the shadov/ ])ehind it, as if she offered it as a tacit 
apology for her actions. Silent and expressionless, it yet 
spoke for her; helpless, crushed, and smitten Avith the 
Divine thunderbolt, it still stretched an invisible arm around 
her. 

Hidden in the darknt-ss, but still holding his hand, she 
wenr on, — 

*Tt was a long time before I could get the hang of things 
about yer, for I was ui^ed to company and oxcittnnent. I 
couldn't get any woman to help me, and a man 1 dursent 
trust ; but what with the Indians hereabout, who'd do odd 
jobs for me, and liaving everything sent from the North 
Fork, Jim and I managed to worry through. The Doctor 
would run up from Sacramento once in a while. He'd ask 



{Ut"ili""?"{'i"i'3i?K»;'l)?''i{*ll» 



iHHSW^^ 



:i iji "^^ 



3G 



MIOOLES. 



to SCO * Min^i^k's's bab_y,' as he called Jim, and when he'd fro 
awny, he'd f(iy, ' ]Mi,a:iilf », you're a trump, — 'rod bless yovi ! ' 
and it didn't seem bo lonely after thnt. But t!io last 
time he was here he ?aid, as he opened the door to ,o;o, 
*Do yon know, JTlirGjlcF!, your baby will fe-row np to bo 
a PTU) yet and an honour to his mother; but noi here, 
3Iiircr1e«. not here !' And I thou.c:ht he went away sad — and 
— sind — " and here ]\Ii<:p;]es's voice and head were somehow 
both lost completely in tbe shadow. 

" The folks about lipre are very kind," snid Mijrcrles after 
a pause, coniiufr a little into the li.frht again. " Tlic men 
from the fork used to hanir around here, until they found 
thev vrnsn't wanted, and the women are kind — and don't 
call. I v.'as ]>retty lonely uniil I ])icked up Jonquin 
in the woods yonder one dav, Avhen ho, wasn't so hlirh, and 
tnucht him tobeo; for hl;^ dinner ; and then thar's Polly — 
that's the majipie — she knov/s no end of tricks, and makes 
it quite soeinblc of eveninLrs with her <^alk, nnd so I don't 
feel like as I was the only livin/x hv'infi; about the rnncii. And 
Jim here," said Miirirles, v,iih lier old laugh a,a;ain, and 
comir^x '^nt qui'e in the linlijiht, "Jim — why, boys, you 
would jidmire to see how much he knows fora man like him. 
Sometimes i brinn; him tlowers, and he looks at 'em just ns 
natural ns if he knew 'em ; and limes, when we're sittiiio: 
alone, I read him those thinr;;s on the wall. Why, Lord" 
said Mifr<j;les, with her fi'ank laui^h, " I've read him that 
whole side of the house this winter. There never vras such 
a man for readin.ij; as Jim." 

*' Vv'hy," jisked tlic Jiid,'j,'e, " 0-^ you not marry this man to 
whom you have devoted yonv youthful life?" 

" Well, you see," f^aid Miii-irles. " it would be plnyin::^ it 
rather low down on Jim, to take advantage of his being so 
helpk^ss. And then, too, if ue were man and wife, now, 
we'd both know that I was uoirnd to do v;hat I do now of 
my own accord." 

"But you are young yet and and attractive " 

" It's getting late," said Miggies, gravely, " and you'd bet- 



r 

I tcrall 
* over h 
i her he 
spoke 
we eac 



after 



iiiMliiirililtiiutliisl?;ltilliUiitit'MUi^^^^^^^ 



MIGGLEA. 



87 



n hcW fro 

less voM '. ' 
t!io last 
)0r to f.^o, 

lip to bo 
noi, here, 
■ sad — and 

someliow 

tvu'les after 
The men 
hey fonnd 
•and don't 
Jonquin 
h!irh, nnd 
•'3 Polly— 
md makes 
so I don't 
inch. And 
Ei.i^ahi, and 
hoys, you 
n like hira. 
em jiii=t HP 
j're sittiiio: 
hy, Lord " 
liini that 
r was such 

hiii man to 

play hi 2: it 
L9 being so 

wife, now, 
do now of 



you'd bet- 



I 



terall turn in. Good-night, boys ;" and throwing the blanket 
over her head, Miggloa laid herself down beside Jim'e chair, 
her head pillowed on the low stool that held his feet, and 
spoke no more. The fire slowly faded from the hearth ; 
we each sought our blankets in silence ; and presently there 

was no sound iu the long room but the pattering of the rain 
upon the roof; and the heavy breathing of the sleepers. 

It was nearly morning when I awoke from a troubled 
dream. The storai had passed, the stars were shining, and 
through the shuiterless window the full moon, lifting itself 
over the solemn pines without, looked into the room. It 
touched the lonely tigurc in the chair with an infinite com- 
passion, and seemed <o baptise with a shining flood the lowly 
head of the woman whose hair, as in the sweet old story, 
bathed the feet of him she loved. It even lent a kindly poetry 
to the rugged outline of Yuba Bill, half reclining on his 
elbow between them and his passengers, with savagely patient 
eyes keeping watch and ward. And then I fell asleep and 
only woke at broad day, with Yuba Bill standing over me, 
and " All abo;u' 1" ringing in my ears. 

ColTee was waiiirig fi^r us on the table, but Higgles was 
gone. We wandered about the house and Imgered long 
after the horses were harnessed, but she did not return. It 
was evident that she wished to avoid a formal leave-tak. 
Ing, and iiad so left us to depart as we had come. After we 
had helped the ladies into the coach, we returned to the 
house and solemnly shook hands with the paralytic Jim, 
as solemnly settling him back iuto position after each hand- 
shake. Then we looked for the last time around the long 
room, at the stool where Higgles had sat, and slowly took 
our seats in the waiting coach. The whip cracked, and we 
were off! 

Bnt as we reached the high-road, Bill's dexterous hand laid 
the six hors^es back on their haunches, and thestagp stopped 
with a jei'k. For there, on a litttle eminemce beside the road , 
stood Miguh'S, licr hair flyiu'r, her eyes sparkling, lier white 
handkerchief waving, and her white teeth flathing a last 
3 



ilii^?i- 



iiH};;'"'it;!i;;;i;;!';!:;";»!'"S;{;B 



38 



MiaGLES. 



" good-by." "Wc waved our hats in return. And then Yuba 
Bill, as if fearfnl of further fascination, madly lashed his 
horses forward, and we sank back in our oeats. We ox. 
changed not a word until we reached North Fork, and the 
stage drew up at the Independence House. Then, the Judge 
leading, we walked into the bfti'-aoom and took our places 
gravely at the bar. 

" Arc your glasses charged, gentlemen?" said the Judge, 
solemnly taking off his white hat. 

They were. 

" Well, then, here's to Miffgles, God bless her !', 

Perhaps lie had. "^7ho knows ? 



■*c»- 






then Yuba 
lashed his 
. "We ux- 
iy and the 
the Judge 
our places 



TENNESSEE'S PARTNER. 



ho Judge, 



♦*» 



I DO not thirk that we ever knew his real name. Our 
ignorance of it certainly never gave us any social in- 
convenience, for at Sandy Bar in 1854 most men were 
christened anew. Sometimes these appellatives were de- 
rived from some distmctiveness of dress, as in the case of 
" Dungaree Jack ;" or from some peculiarity of habit, as 
shown in " Saleratus Bill,'' so-called from an undue propor- 
tion in his dailyl bread; or from some unlucky] slip, as ex- 
hibited in '' The Iron Pirate," a mild, inoffensive man, who 
earned that baleful title by nis unfortunate mispronunciation 
of the term " iron py rates." Perhaps this may have been 
the beginning of a rude heraldry ; but I am constraiued 
to think that it was because a man's real name in that day 
rested solely upon his own unsupported statement. " Call 
yourself Clifford, do you ?" said Boston, addressing a timid 
new-comer, with infinite scorn ; " hell is full of such Clil- 
fords !" lie then introduced the unfortunate man, whose 
name happened to be Clifford, as *' Jay-bird Charley," — an 
unhallowed inspiration of the moment, that clung to kim 
ever after. 

But to return to Tennessee's Partner, whom we never 
knew by any other than this relative title ; that he had 
ever existed as a separate and distmct individuality we 
only learned later. It seems that in 1853 he left Poker Flat 
to go to San Francisco, ostensibly to procure a wife. He 
never got any further than Stockton. At that place he was 
attracted by a young person who waited upon the table at the 
hotel where he took his meals. One morning he said some- 
thing to her which caused her to smile not unkindly, to some- 



u:iij4».iiauu!.u.!mi.ii^UttrUl ti? 



40 



TEVNESSKK S rAriT.VER. 



what co(iuettishly break a phite of iDiist over his upturned, 
seriously, simple fare, and to retreat to the kitchen lie fol- 
lowed lu-r, and emerged u few moments later, covered with 
more to;'.st and victory. That day week they irere nirrricd 
by a Justi(!e of tlie Pe.-vce, and returned to Poker Flat. I am 
uwarc that ;;onir-thi;i;^ more mii^ht be made of this episode, 
but I i)rel'erto tell it as it was curront at Sandy Bar — in the 
gulcliea and bir-rooms — where all sentimeiit was modified 
bv a Strom; sense of h '.auour. 

Of tlieir ju'irried ft llcity but little is known, perliaps for 
the reason that Tenm ssee, tiien living with his partner, one 
day took occasion to say somethiivi? to the bride on his own 
account, at which it is said she smiled not unkindly and 
chastely retreated —thi 5 time as far as "Marysville, where 
Tennessee followed her, and where they went to housekeep- 
ing willioul tiic aiiii of a Justice of iiic IN-aec. 'I'cnnessee's 
I'arinev took the loss of hi-5 wife simply and eierionsly, as 
was his fashion. But to everybody's surprise, when Ten- 
nes:see one day returned from Marysville, witliout his part- 
ner's wife — 3he having smiled and retreated with somebody 
else — Tennessee's Partner was the first man to shake his 
hand and greet him with affection. The boys who had 
gathered at the canon to see the shooting, were naturally 
indignant. Their indignation might have found vent in sar- 
casm but for a certain look in Tennessee's Partner's eye that 
indicated a kck of humourous appreciation. In fact, he 
was a grave man, with a steady application to practical de- 
tail which was unpleasant in a difficulty. 

Meanwhile a popular feeling against Tennessee had grown 
up on the Bar. He was known to be a gambler; he was 
suspected to be a thief. In these suspicions Tennessee's 
Partner was equally compromised ; his continued mtimacy 
with Tennessee after the atfair above quoted could only be 
accounted for on the hypothesis of a copartnership of crime. 
At last Tennessee's guilt became flagrant. One day he over- 
took a stranger on his way to lied Dog. The stranger 
afterwards related that Tennessee bea-uiled the time with 



interest 
I eluded 
I young 1 
your m 
trouble 

evilly d 
Francis 
here th: 
busines 
This 






;i:.u 



I tt«ijt«i«i; 



TENNESSEE .S PAKTNER. 



41 



upturned, 
He fol- 
v'crod with 
re mrrricd 

Jit. I am 
lis opisode, 
5ar— in the 
H modified 

erhajxs for 
iH'tiicr, one 
)n his own 
•^indlj'and 
lit*, Avhcre 
ouseliecp- 
cnncissce's 
if^'ii.sly, as 
hen Ten- 
his p.^rt- 
someijody 
.shake his 
who had 
naturally 
ent insar- 
's eye that 
fact, he 
ctical de- 
ad grown 
• ; he was 
;nnes3ce's 
intimacy 
i only be 
of crime. 
" he over- 
stranger 
me with 



\ 



interesting anecdote and reminiscence, but illogical]}'- con- 
cluded the interview in the following words : "And now, 
young man, I'll trouble you foryour knife, your piatols, and 
your money. You see your weppings might get you into 
trouble at Tied Dog, and your money's a temptation to the 
evilly dii'.poised. I think you said your address was Ban 
Francisco. I shall endeavour to call." It may be stated 
here that Teniicssee had a fine flow of humour, which no 
business preoccupation could wholly subdue. 

This exploit was his last. Red Dog and Sandy Bar made 
common cause against the highwayman. Tennessee was 
hunted in very much tiie same fashion as his prototyi)e, the 
grizzly. As the toils closed around him, he made a desper- 
ate dasli through the Bar, emptying his revolver at the 
crowd belore the Arcade Saloon, and so on up Crizzy 
Canon ; but at its farther extremity he was stopped by a 
small man on a gray horse. The men looked at each other 
a moment In silence. Both were fearless, both self-possessed 
and independent: and both tpyes of a civdization that in 
the seventeenth century would have been called heroic, but, 
ui the nineteenth, simply " reckless." " What have]Jyou got 
there? — I call," said Tennessee, quietly. " Two bowers and 
an ace," said the stranger, as quietly, showing two revolvers 
and a bowie-knife. " That takes me," returned Tennessee ; 
and with this [>-amblcrs' epigram, lie threw away his useless 
pistol, and rode back with his captor. 

It was a warm night. The cool breeze which usually 
sprangup with the going down of the sur. behind the cha- 
parral-CYCsted mountnin was tiiat evening withheld fi^^m 
Sandy Bar. The little cimon was stifling with heated resin- 
ous odours, and the decaying drift-wood on the Bar sent 
forth faint, sickening exhalatit)ns. The feverishncss of day, 
and its lierce passions, still filled the camp. Lights moved 
restlessly along thebiink of the river, striking no answering 
reflections from its tawny current. Against the blackness 
of the pines the windows of the old loft above the express- 



liiiiii:iilliii»ili"?{ili!!S!!J}?{»;!?g!JiSli^ii 



42 



TKNNEfSKK S I'AllTXEP.. 



oflUic Stood out stiuiii!.:ly l)r;;i,ht ; niul tliron,i',li llioir curtiiin- 
loss panes Iho loungers below coukl vca tlirt forma of those 
who wcro even then deeidiii!; tlie fjvlo of Tennessee. And 
above Jill this, etched ontlie diirk iirni:inent, rose the ^^ierra, 
remote und piissionles „: crowned with remoter passionless 

stars. 

The trial of Tennessee was conducted us fairly as was con- 
sistent AVith a Judge and Jury who felt themselves to some 
extent obli,^ed to Justify, in their verdict, the previous irrc- 
f?uhirities of arrest and indictment. The law of Sandy 
Bar was imi^lacable, but not vcnujcful. The excitement and 
personal fee.' ing of the chase were over; with Tennessee 
safe in their hands they were ready to listen patiently to 
any defence, which they were already satisfied was iusiif- 
lieient. There hchrs, no doubt in their own minds, they 
were willing to give the prisoner the benelit of any that 
might exist. Secure in the hypothesis that he ought to be 
hanged, on general principles, they indulged him with more 
latitude of defence than his reckless hardihood seemed to 
ask. The Judge appeared to be more anxious than, the 
prisoner, who, otherwise unconcerned, evidtntly took a grim 
pleasure in the responsibility he had created. " I don't take 
any hand in this yer game," had been his invariable, but 
good-humoured reply to all (piesticns. The Judge — who 
vras also his captor — for a moment vaguely regretted that he 
had not shot him "on sight," that morning, but presently 
dismissed this human weakness as unworthy of the judicial 
mind. Nevertheless, v/hen there v>ras a tap at the door, and 
it was said that Tennessee's Partner was there on behalf of 
the prisoner, he was admitted at once without question. 
Perhaps the younger members of the jury, to whom the 
proceedings were becoming irksomely thoughtful, hailed 
him as a relief. 

For he v/as not, certainly, an imposing figure. Short and 
stout, with a square face, sunburned into a preternatural 
redness, clad in a loose duck " jwmper," and trousers streaked 
and splashed with red soil, his aspect under any circum- 



8 tan 

l0U5 

baj 

dev( 

whil 

Intel 

witll 

pen 

seric 



upoi 



i] 



lolr curtiiin- 
'ins of those 
essoc. Anil 
; tliQ Sierra, 
passionlcsa 

as wns con- 
ges to some 
)vi()us irre- 
tv of Sandy 
tcnicnt and 

Tennessee 

aticntly to 

was iusiif- 

linds, they 

any that 
i.fjht to be 
witli more 
seemed to 

than the 
)ok a grim 
don't take 
iable, but 
l!?c— who 

cl that he 
presently 
e judicial 
door, and 
behalf of 
question, 
horn the 
il, hailed 

>hort and 

ernatural 

streaked 

circum- 



TEXNESHEES I'AUTNEIl. 



43 



stances would have been quaint, and was now even ridicu- 
lous. As lie stoop«d to dei»oait at his feet a heavy carpet- 
bag he was carryin,-,', it l)L'came obvious, from partially 
develoi)ed legends and inscriptions, that the material with 
which his trowiriers had been patched had been originally 
intended for a less ambitious covering. Yet he advanced 
with great gravity, and after having shaken the hand of each 
person in the room witli laboured cordiality, he wiped his 
serious, i)erplexed face on a red bandanna handkerchief, a 
shade lighter than his complexion, laid his powerful hand 
upon the table to steady himself, and thus addressed the 
Judge : — 

"I was passin' by," he began, l)y way of apology, " and I 
thought I'd just step in and see how things was gittm' on 
with Tennessee thar — my pardncr. It's a hot night. I dis- 
remember any sich w^eathcr before on the Bar.' 

lie paused a moment, but nobody volunteered any other 
meteorogical recollection, he again had recourse to his 
pocket-handkerchief, and for some moments mopped his 
face diligently. 

" Have you anything to say inl^ehalf of the prisoner?" said 
the Judge, linally. 

" That's it," said Tennessee's partner, in a tone of relief. 
I come yer as Tennessee's pardnor — knowing him nigh on 
four year, off and on, wet and dry, in luck and out o' luck. 
His ways ain't allers my ways, bui thar ain't any p'ints in. 
that young man, thar ain't any liveliness as he's been up to, 
as I don't know. And you sez to me, sez you — confidential- 
like, and between man and man — sez you, ' Do you know 
anything in his behalf?' and I sez to you, sez I — confiden- 
tial-like, as between man and man — 'What should a man 
know of his pardner.' " 

" Is this all you hare to say?" asked the Judge, impati- 
ently, feeling, perhaps, that a dangerous sympathy of 
humour was beginning to humanize the Court. 

"Thet's so," continued Tennessee's Partner. "It ain't 
for me to say anything agin' him. And now, what's the 



i*i52!I!!{?»J'i?"«t!»! 



■(tl trfftK' 



44 



Tennessee's partner. 



case 9 Here's Tennessee wants money, wants it bad, and 
doesn't like to ask it of his old pardner. ^Tell. what does 
Tennessee do ? He lays for a stranger, and lie fe- cues that 
stranger. And you lays for Idm and you fetches Mm, and 
tlie lion ours is easy. And I put it to you, bein' a far-minded 
man, and to you, gentlemen, all, as far-minded men, ef this 

is'nt so.'' 
' ' Prisoner ," says the Judge, intcirupting, " have yon any 

questions to ask this man V" 

"No! no!" continued Tennessee's Partner, hastily, " I 
ni».v this hand alone. To come down to the bed-rock, it's 
iust I'lis : Tennessee, thar, has played it pretty rough and 
exp^nsive-Iikc on a stranger, and on ihis yer camp. And 
now, what's the fairthing? Some would sny more ; some 
would say less. Here's sevenloen huntired dollars in coarse 
gold and a watch— it's about all my pile— and call it 
square!" And before a hand could be raif^ed to preven*; 
him, he had emptied the contents of the carpet-bag upon 
the table. 

For a moinent his life was in jeopardy. C'ne or two men 
sprang to their feet, several hands groped for hidden 
weapons, and a suggestion to " throw him. fr^.n the win- 
doA\" was only overridden by a gesture from the Judge. 
Tennessee laughed. And apparently oblivious of the excit^i- 
ment, Tennessee's Partner improved the opportunity to mop 
his face again v^ ith his handkerchief. 

When order wan restored, and the man was made to 
undeistand, l>y the use of forcible figures and rhetoric, that 
Tennessee's oll'cncc; :ould not be condoned by money, his 
face took a more seriotls and sanguinary hue, and those 
who w»''re nearest to iiim noticed that his rougn hand 
treriibled slightly on the table. He hesitated a moment as 
he slowly returiied the gold to the carpet-bag, Jis if he had 
not yet entirely caught the elevated sense ox justice which 
swayed the tribunal, and was perplexed with the belief that 
he had not olVered en»ugh. Then he turned to the Judge, 
and saying, •'• 7'his yer is a lone hand, played alone, and 



with 

to AV 

hav: 
now 
n»^r 
his V 
hisl 



mg, 



un] 

.I, 



suniaisi!inm?ni»inn!f'itHnii{\feU^V.'ltUl!HlltU^'' 



Tennessee's pautnepw 



45 



,cl, and 
It does 
les that 
I J and 
minded 
ef this 

^ou any 

•iiy. " I 

ick, it's 
gh and 
). And 
! ; some 
a course 
call it 
prevent, 
ig upon 

wo men 

hidJen 
,he win- 
Judgo. 
excit'j- 
to mop 

ade to 
ic, tliat 

cy, his 

1 tho3e 
hand 
nent as 
he had 

wliich 
ief that 

Judge, 
ue, and 



u 



without my pardner," he howcd to the jury, and was ahout 
to withdraw, wdien the Judge called him back. " T*" yoa 
have anytliing to say to Tennessee, you liad 1)01111' say it 
now." For the first ti' \c that evening the eyes of the priso- 
n»^r ium the strange advocate met. Tennessee smiled, sliowed 
I his white teetli, and saying. "Ei^chred, oUl man !" held out 
I his hand. Tennessee's Partner took it in his own, and say- 
ing, '* T just dropped in as I was passin' to see how things 
wnsgettin' on," let the hand passively fall, and adding that 
*' it was a warm night," again mopped his face wltli his 
hnndkerchief, and without another word withdrew. 

The two men never again met each otliir ;dive. For the 
unparalle'efl insult of a brii)eo{lered to Jiu];..e Lynch — who, 
whetlier bigoted, weak, or n irrow, w^a.< at L-ast uncorrupt- 
ible — firmly fixed iii the mind of that m.vtiru'.tl ]M.'isonagc 
an.Y wavering determination of Tennessee's fate ; and at the 
break of day he was marched, closely guaraed, to meet it at 
the top of ^Marley's Hill. 

How lie met it, how cool he was, how he refused to 
say anytliing, how perfect were the arrangements of the 
committeee, were all dul}'- rej orted, with the addition of a 
warning moral and example to all fuiare evil-doers, in the 
Red Dog Clarion, by its editor, who Avas present, and to 
whose vigorous English I cheerfully refer tlie reader. But 
the beauty of that mid-summer morning, the blessed amity 
of earth and air and sky, the awakened life of the free woods 
and hills, the joyous renewal and promise of Nature, and 
above all, the infinite Serenity that thrilled through each, 
was not reported, as not being a part of the social lesson- 
And 3'et, when the weak and foolish deed was done, and a 
life, with its possibilities and responsibilities, had passed out 
of the misshapen thing that dangled between eaKh and sky, 
the ])irds sang, the flowers bloomed, the sun shone, ascheer- 
il}^ as before; and possibly the lied Dog Clarion was right. 
Tennessee's Partner was in the group that surrounded the 
ominous tree. But as they turned to disperse, attention 
was drawn +.o the singular appearance of a motionless don- 



46 



Tennessee's partner. 



key-cart halted at the side of the road. As they approadied^ 
they at once recognized the venerable '* Jenny" and the two 
wheeled cart as the property of Tennessee's Partner, — used 
by him in carrying dirt from his claim ; and a few i^aces- 
dibtant the owner of the equipage himself, sitting under a 
buckeye-tree, wiping tiiC perspiration from his glowing face. 
In answer to any inqoiry, he said he had come for the body 
of the " diseased" " if it was all the same lo the committee." 
He didn't wish to " hurry anything;" he could " wait." lie 
was not working that day ; and when the gentlemeu were 
done with the " diseased," he would take him. " Ef tliar is 
any present," he added, in his simple, serious way, " a» 
would care to jine in the fun'l, they kin come." Perhaps it 
was from a sense of humour, which I have already intimated 
was a feature of Sandy Bar, — perhaps it w*s from some- 
thing cren better than that ; but two thirds of the loungers- 
accepted the invitation at once. 

It was noon wlfen the body of Tennessee was deliveied 
into the hands of his partner. As the cart drew up to the 
fatal tree, we noticed that it contained a rough oblong box, 
— apparently made from a. section of sluicing, — and hall 
filled with bark and the tassels of pine. The cart was fur- 
ther decorated with slips of willow, and made fragrant with 
buckeye-blossoms. When the body was deposited in the 
box, Tennessee's Partner drew over it a piece of tarred can- 
vas, and gravely mounting the narrow seat in front, with 
his feet upon the shafts, urged the little donkey forward. 
The equipage moved slowly on, at that decorous pace which 
was hibitual with " Jenny" even under less solemn circum- 
stances. The men— half -curiously, half-jestingly, but all 
good-humouredly — strolled along beside the cart ; some in 
advance, some a little in the rear of the homely catafalque. 
'But, whether from . the narrowing of the road or some 
present sense of decorum, as the cart passed on the company 
fell to the rear in couples, keeping step, and otherwise as- 
suming the external show of r, formal procession. Jack 
Folinsbee, who at the outset played a funeral march in 



iURiU»;i;uiiiii}i?HJi'Hiiiiiii;;i?itHU^t:'itUtliUin<^^ 



Tennessee's T>ART2fER. 



47 



roaclied^ 
the two 

r, — used 

\V JMICCS. 

: under a 
higface. 
the body 
imittee." 
lit." He 
leu wcro 
:f tlmr is 
my, " as 
jrhaps it 
itimated 
m some- 
loungers. 

leliveied 
tp to the 
mg box, 
and halt 
yas fur- 
mt with 
in the 
red can- 
it, with 
brward. 
e which 
circum- 
but all 
some in 
afalque. 
some 
3mpany 
vise as- 
Jack 
arch in 



I 



I 



i, 



5 
I 



"dumb show upon an imaginary trombone, desisted, from a 
lack of sympathy and appreciation, — not having, perhaps, 
3^our true humourist's capacity to be content with the enjoy- 
ment of his own fun. 

The way led through Giizzly Canon-^by iliis time 
clothed in fuucrenl drapery and shadows. The red woods, 
burying their moccasoncd feet in the red soil, stood in In- 
dian file along the tracP, trailing an uncouth benediction 
from their bend irg boughs upon the passing bier. A bare, 
surprised into helpless inactivity, sat upright and pulsating 
in the ferns by thr. roadside as the cortege svcni by. Squir- 
rels hastened to gain a secure outlook from higher boughs; 
and the blue-jays, spreading their wings, fluttered before 
tlicin like outriders, until the outskirts of Sandy Ear were 
rcMCLied, and tiie solitary cabin of Tennessee's Partner. 

Viewed under more favourable circumstances, it would 
not have been a clieeriul place. The unpicturcsqvie site, 
the riidc and unlove!}'- ouHines, the unsavoury dc tails, which 
dli=.tingui'4i the nesi-')uHding of the California miner, were 
all luTc, with the drcnrinerxs of decay superadded. A few 
paces from the cabin there was a rough enclosure, which, in 
Iho br'of days of Tennessee's Partner's matrimonial fclicit}'-, 
luivi liecn used as a garden, but was now over;;rown witli 
fera. As v>»-(^ approaciie:! it, wo were surprised to find that 
v/lixt we had Vd'.svn for a recent attcuij-.t at culilviition vras 
the brolson soil ubov.; an open grave. 

Til; ccirt, w;iM halted before the enclosure; '.\]v\ rejecting 
the ofiers of assisLtance with the same air of t-implc self-re- 
liance he had dii-plnyed throughout, Tenne.-;;;<>e's Partner 
lified the roui'-h cofiin oihis back, and depo-ited it, un- 
aided, witliin the shallow grave, lie then niiiled down the 
board v.diich served as a lid ; and mounting the little mound 
of earth beside it, took off his hat, and .slowly n-.o'^iped his 
face with his handkert'hief. This the crowd felt was a prc- 
Ijmiriary to speech; and the/ disposed themselves variously 
on stumps and boulders, and sat cxpe'-'taui. 

* AVhen a man," began I'cnneBaee's Partner, slowly, " has 



ifitft<i;'»g*M»i!;v'«?USUi?iH!tHS{l!?'ii?{t!;!!"-?;',;; 



48 



TENNESSEE S PARTNER. 



been runnlnj free all day, what's the natural thhig for him 
to do ? Why, to come home. And if he ain't in a condi- 
tion to go home, what can his best friend do ? Why, bring 
him liome ! And here Tennessee has been running free, 
and we brings him home from his wandering." He paused, 
and picked up a fragment of quartz, rubbed it thoughtfully 
on his sleeve, and went on: "It ain't the first time that 
I've packed him on my back, as you see'd me now. It 
ain't the first time that I brought him to this yer cabin 
wln'Ji he couldn't help himself; it ain't the lirst time 
that I 3nd 'Jiiiuy' have waited tor him on yon hill, 
and picked him \(l> and so fetched him home, when he 
couldn't si)eak, and didn't know me. And now that it's 
the last time, why — "he paused, and rubbed the quartz 
gently on his sleeve — "you see it's sort of rough on his 
pt*rdiior. And now, gentlemen," he added abruptly, picking 
up his long-hAudlet] shovel, "the fun'l's over ; and my 
thank-;, and Teuni^e^see's thanks, to you for your trouble." 

Ilesisling any proffers of assistance, he began to fill in 
the grave, tumtiii^^ hib back upon the crowd, that aft(;r a 
few moments' Iiesitaiion gradually withdrew. As they cros" 
sed tlic little ri(]ge that hid Sandy Bar from view, some, 
looking back, tlioupnt they could see Tennessee's Partner, 
his work done, sitting upon the grave, his shovel between 
his knees, ?.nd hi:^ face buried in his red bandanna handker- 
chief. But it W!iH ai^ued by others that you couldn't tell 
his face from his handkerohief at that distance; and this 
ooi?U remained undecided. 

In the reaction that followed the feverish exciteujcnt of 
that day, Tenner?>;;ce'B Partner was not forgotten. A secret 
investigation hud cleared him of any complicity in Tennes- 
see's guilt, and left ouly a suppie.ion of his general sanity. 
Sandy Bar made a point of calling on him, and prof?Vring 
various uncouth, but well-meant kindness. But from that 
day ]\h rude licallii and great strength seemed visibly to 
decline; and when the rainy season fairly set in, and the 



ti»iniiU»iU}i{t?StiU»H\^ti\Ut('i:-ia^uiiilst?^- 



g for him 

a condi- 

Jiy, bring 

ling free, 

[(3 paused, 

Uffhtfiilly 

ime that 

now. It 

yer cabin 

h'si lime 

ron hill, 

when he 

that it's 

c quartz 

:b on his 

-', picking 

and my 

oublc." 

•o fill in 

t after a 

licy cros" 

w, some. 

Partner, 

between 

landker- 

dn't tell 

md this 



ujent of 

A secret 

Tennes- 

Ranity. 



'offtrlug 
oni that 
sAhly to 
and the 



Tennessee's partner. 



4:9 



I 



thiy grass-blades were beginning to peep from the rocky 
mound above Tennessee's grave, he took to his bed. 

One night, when the pines beside the cabin weie swaying 
in the storm, and trailing their slender fingers over the roof, 
and the r©ar and rush of the swollen river were heard 
below, Tenness'"Vs Partner lifted his head from the pillow, 
saying, "It is time to go for Tennessee ; I must put ' Jinny * 
in the cart ;" and would have risen from his bed but for the 
restrainst of his attendant. Struggling, he still pursutd his 
singular fancy; "There, now, steady, 'Jinny,' — steady, old 
girl. IIow dark it is ! Look out for the ruts, — and look out 
for him, too, old gal. Sometimes, you know, when he's 
blind drunk, he drops down right in the hill. Thar — I told 
you so ! — thar he is,— coming this vfny, too, — all by himself, 
sober, and his face a-shining. Tennessee ! Parducr !" 

And so they met. 



EiiiJWfc 



i!i;3;K;t»;;?;>«;!ii;it!!in»H;{?{ii;a»!3»{;{;!;^ij;iII::! 



THE IB>YL OF REB ^UL€II. 



O ANDY was very drunk. lie was lying under an azaloa- 
^ busli, in pretty much tlie same attitude in wliicli he 
had fallen some hours before. IIow long he had bscn lying 
there he could not tell, and didn't care ; how long he should 
lie there was a matter equally indefinite and unconsidered. 
A tranquil philosophy, born of his pliysical conditions 
suffused and saturated his moral being. 

The spectacle of a drunken man, and of this drunken 
man in particalar, was not, I grieve to say, of saHicient 
novelty in lied Gulch to attract attention. Earl-cr in the 
day some local satirist had erected a temporary tombstone 
at Sandy's head, bearing the inscription, " Effects of 
]\IcCork]e's whiskey. — kills at forty rods," with a hand 
pointing to JVIcCorkle's saloon. But this, I imoginc, was, 
like most local satire, jiorsonal ; and was a refl<;ction 
upon the unf;iirness of the process rather than a commentary 
v;pon the impropriety of the result. With tlii;! faectious 
exception, Sandy had been undisturbcru. A, v.tnidering 
mule, released from his pncic, bad cropped tiic scant 
herbage beside bim, and snifTed curiously at the prostrate 
man ; a vagabond dog, with that deep sympathy vvhicli the 
ST->ecies have for drunken men, had licked his dusty boots, 
and curled himself up at his feet, and lay there, blinking one 
eye in the sunlight, with a simulation of diss'jiation that 
was ingenious and dog-like in its implied flattery of the 
■unconscious man beside him. 

Meanwhile the shadows of the pine-trees had slowly 
swung around until they crossed the road, and their trunks 



iil^?^«j|l;^\I^lJiHii»l^iilUijSfc 



THE IDYL OF BED GULCxI. 



51 



an azaloa- 
wiuch he 
)2ca lying 
he should 
•iisiclf'red. 
3oiulition» 

(.Irunken 

sanicient 

cr ill the 

^mbstone 

Iffects of 

a hand 

!C, was, 

reflection 

r.ontaiy 

Vicetious 

".iidering 

ic scant 

prostrate 

licli the 

y boots, 

■Aug one 

ion that 

of the 

slowly 
r trunks 






barred the open meadow with gigantic parallels of black 
and yellow. Little puffs of red durt, lifted by the plunging 
hoofs of passing teams, dispersed in a grimy shower upon 
the recumbent man. The sun sank lower and lower ; and 
still Sandy stirred not. And then the rjpose of this 
philosopher was undisturbed, as other philosophers have 
been, by the intrusion of an unphilosophical stx. 

" Miss Mary," as she was known to the little flock that 
she had just dismissed from the log school-house beyond 
the pines, was taking her afternoon walk. Observing an 
unusually fine cluster of blossoms on the azalea-bush 
opposite she crossed the road to pluck it, — picking her way 
through the red dust, not without certain fierce little shivers 
of disgust, and some feline circumlocution. And then she 
came suddenly upon Sandy ! 

Of course she uttered the little stac:ato cry of her 
sex. Bat when she had paid that tribute to her 
physical weakness she became overbold, and halted 
for a moment, — at least six feet from this prostrate 
monster, — with Ber white skirts gathered in her hand, ready 
for flight. But neither sound nor motion came from the 
bush. With one little foot she then overturned the satirical 
head-board, and muttered " Beast,3 !" — an epithet which pro- 
bably, at that moment, conveniently classified in her mind 
the entire male population of Red Gulch. For Miss Mary, 
being possessed of certain rigid notions of her own, had not 
perhaps, properly appreciated the demonstrative gallantry 
for which the Californian has been so justly celebrated by 
his brother Calif ornians, and had, as a new-comer, perhaps, 
fairly earned the reputation of being " stuck up." 

As she stood there she noticed, also, that the slant sun- 
beams were heating Sandy's head to what she judged to be 
an unhealthy temperature, and that his hat was lying use- 
lessly at his side. To pick it up and to place it over his 
face was a work requiring some courage, particularly as his 
eyes were open. Yet she did it and made good her retreat. 
But sh3 was somewhat concerned, on looking back, to se» 



.«nm>jij«>mjj;t!r:nr 



^.I 



52 



THE IDYL OF IlED GULCH. 



tliat tie hat was removed, and that Sandy was sitting upund 
s?.ymg something. 

The truth was, that in the calm depths of Sandy's mind 
he was satisfied that the rays of the sun were beneficial and 
healthful; that from childhood he had objected to lying 
down in a hat ; that no people but condemned fools, past re- 
demption, Livcr wore hals ; and that his right to dispense 
with them when he pleased was inalienable. This was the 
^' at "ment of his inner consciousness. Ui fortunately, its 
outward expression was vague, being limited to a repetition 
of the following formula, — " Su'shinc all ri' ! Wasser maar, 
eh ? Wass up, su'shinc ?"' 

3Iiss ]\Iarv stopped, and, taking fresh courage f '-om her 
vantage of distance, asked him if there was anything that he 
wanted. 

"Waf-'sup? Wasser maar?" continued Sandy, in a very 
high key. 

" Get up you horrid man ?" said Miss Mary, now thor- 
oughly inccjised ; "get up. and go home." 

Kjundy staggered to his feet, lie v/as six feet high, and 
Miss Mary trembled. He started forward a few paces and 
then stopped. 

"WassI go home for?" he suddenly asked, uith great 
gravity. 

" Go and take a bath," replied Miss Mary, eyeing his 
grimsy person with great disf av( >ur. 

To her infinite dismay, Sandy suddenly pulka off his coat 
and vest, threv/ them on the ground, kicked cff his boots;, 
and, plunging wildly forward, darted he?,(Hong over the 
hill, in the direction of the river. 

" Good Heavens !— the man will be drowned !" said Miss 
Mary , and then, with feminine inconsistency, she ran back 
to the school-houso, nnd locked herself in. 

That night, wiiile seated at supper with her hostess, the 
blacksmith's wife, it came to Miss Mary to ask, ('omurely, 
if her husband ever got drunk. " Abner," responded Mrs. 
Stidger, reflectively, *' let'f> see ; Abner hasn't been tight 






I 



since h 
he pre 
cold hi 
an exp 
conten 
red-ch( 
efflores 
Thene 
think 
least ol 
I do nc 
able." 

In le 
except 
conscic 
every r 
among 
her litt 
invar i a 



i5!;rjr5U!M-i'^niiJisi5Jj!Ks!ilHil«<''H^^^ 



rni'i 



THE IDYL OP RED QULCII. 



53^ 



I 



since last 'lection." Mis3 Mary would hcve liked to ask if 
he preferred lying in the sun on these occasions, and if a 
cold bath would have hurt him ; but this would have involved 
an explanation, which she did not then care to give. So she 
contented herself with opening her gray eyes widely at the 
red-cheeked Mrs. Stidger — a line specimen of South-western 
efflorescence, — and then dismissed the subject altogether. 
The next day she wrote to her dearest friend, in Boston : " I 
think I find the intoxicated portion of this community the 
least objectionable. I refer, my dear, to the men, of course. 
I do not know anything that could make the Avonicn toler- 
able." 

In lc«s than a week Miss Mary had forgotten this episode, 
except that her afternoon walks took thereafter, almost un- 
consciously, another direction. She noticed, however, that 
every morning a fresh cluster of azalea-blossoms appeared 
among the flowers on her desk. This was not strange, as 
her little flock were aware of her fondness for flowers, and 
invariably kept her dcek bright with anemones, syringas, 
and lupines ; but, on questioning them, they, one and all, 
professed ignoranc.8 of the azaleas. A few days later, 
Master Johnny Stidger, whose desk was nearest to the win- 
dow, was suddenly taken with spasms of apparently gratui- 
tous laughter, that threatened the discipline ( f the school. 
All that Miss Mary could get from him was, thai, some one 
had been "looking in the winder." Irate and indignant, 
shcsallie." from her hive to do battle with the intruder. As 
she turned the corner of the school-house she came plump 
upon the quondam drunkard, now perfectly sober, and inex- 
pressibly sheepish and guilty-looking. 

These facts Mi«s Mary was not slow to take a femhiine 
advantage of, in ner present humor. But it was somewhat 
confusing to observe, also, that the beast, despite soniu faint 
signs of past dissipation, w as amiable-looking — in fact, a 
kind of blond Samson, whose corn-colored, silken beard, ap- 
parently had never yet known the touch of barber's razor 
or Delilah's shears. So that the cutting speech whiclv quiv- 



Ki<*H;i!f'!!t!::;i;;!' ;*;"J!'("**W!';{fT":;;' 



T. K'-:p 



di 



THE IDYL OF RED CJULCM. 



€recl on her ready tongue died upon licr lips, and sho con- 
tented herself with receiving his stammering apology v;ith 
supercilious eyelids, and the cathered skirts of uncontamin- 
ation. When sho rc-entei'ed the scliool-room, her eyes fell 
upon the azaleas with a new sense of revelation. And then 
«he laughed, and the little people all laughed, and they were 
all unconsciously very happy. 

It was on a hot day^-and not long after this — that two 
short-legged boys came to grief on the threshold of the 
school with a pail of water, which they had laboriously 
brought from the spring, and that Miss Mary comjmssion- 
ately seized the pail and started for the spring herself. At 
the foot of the hill a shadow crossed her path, and a blue- 
fhirtcd arm dexterously, but gently, relieved her of her bur- 
den. Miss Mary was both embarrassed and angry. *' If you 
carried more of that for jourself," she said,' spitefully, to the 
blue arm, without deigning to raise her lashes \o its owner 
*' you'd do better." In the submissive silence that followed 
she regretted the speech, and thanked him so sweetly at the 
door that she stumbled. Which caused the children to 
laugh again, — a laugh in which Miss Mary joined, until the 
co]o'.:r came faintly into her pale cheek. The next day a 
barrel was mysteriously placed beside the door, and as 
mysteriously filled with fresh spring- water every morning. 

Nor was this superior young person without other quiet 
attentions. "■ Profane Bill," driver of the Blumgullion 
Stage, widely known in the newspapers for his " gallantry" 
in invariably offering the box-scat to the fair sex, had ex- 
cepted Miss Mary from this attention, on the grouni that he 
had *a habit of " cussin' on up grades," and gave her 
half the coach to herself. Jack Hamlin, a gambler, having 
once silently ridden with her in the same coach, afierward 
threw a decanter at the head of a confederate for mention- 
ing her name in a bar-room. The over-dressed mother of 
a pupil whose paternity was doubtful had often lingered 
near this astute Vestal's temple, never daring to 



cei 



Kn55UiHi^{lJi5U!(Uit!!!tiiJJm«5l^'S?5«V'< 



THE IDYL OF RED GULCH. 



55 



enter its sacred precincts, but content to worship the priestess 
from afar. 

With sucli unconscious intervals the monotonous pro- 
cession of blue skies, glittering sunshine, brief twilights, 
and starlight nights passed over the Rod Gulch. Miss Mary- 
grew fond of walking in the sedate and propor woods. Per- 
haps she believed, with Mrs. Stidgcr, that the balsamic 
odors of the firs " did her chest good," for certainly her 
slight cough was less frequent and her step was firmer ; 
perhaps she had learned the unending lesson which the 
patient pines are never weary of repeating to heedful or 
listless ears. And so, one day, she planned a picnic on Buck- 
eye Hill, and took the children with her. Away from the 
dusty road, the straggling shanties, the yellow ditches, the 
clamor of restless engines, the cheap finery of the shop- 
windows, the deeper glitter of paint and coloured glass, and 
the thin veneering which barbarism takes upon itself in 
such localities, — what infinite relief was theirs ! The last 
heap of ragged rock and clay passed, the last unsightly 
chasm crossed, -how the waiting woods opened their long 
flies to receive them ! How the children — perhaps becauso 
they had not yet grown quite away from the breast of the 
bounteous Mother — threw themselves face downward on 
her brown bosom with uncouth caresses, filling the air with 
their laughter ; and how Miss Mary herself — felinely fas- 
tidious and entrenched as she was in the purity of spotless 
skirts, collar, and cuffs — forgot all, and ran like a crested 
quail at the head of her brood, until, romping, laughing and 
panting, with a loosened braid of brown hair, a hat hanging 
by a knotted ribbon from her throat, she came suddenly and 
violently, in the heart of the forest, upon — the luckless 
Sandy! 

The explanations, apologies, and not overwise conversa- 
tion that ensued, need not be indicated here. It would 
seem, however, that Miss Mary had already established some 
acquaintance with this ex-drunkard. Enough that he was 
soon accepted as one of the party; that the children, with 



59 



THE IDYL OP RED OULCII. 



tbat quick intelligence wbicli Providence gives the helpless, 
recognized a friend, and played with his blond board, and 
long sillcen mustache, and took other liberties, — as the help- 
less are apt to do. And when be had built a fire against a 
tree, and had shown tliem other mysteries of wood-craft, their 
admiration knew no bounds. At the close of two such 
foolish, idle, happy hours he found himself lying at tbe feet 
of Die schoolmistress, iruzing dreamily in her face, as s'le sat 
upon the sloping hillside, weaving wreaths of laurel and 
syringa, in very much the same attitude as he bad lain when 
first they met. Nor was the similitude greatly forced. The 
weakness of an easy, sensuous nature, that had found a 
dreamy exaltation in liquor, it is to be feared was now find- 
ing an equal intoxication in love. 

I think that Sandy was dimly conscious of this himself. 
I know that he longed to be doing something, — slayine: a 
grizzly, scalping a savage, or sacrificing himself in some way 
for the sake of this sallow-faced, gray-eyed schoolmistress. 
As I should like to present him in a heroic attitude, I stay 
my hand in great difliculty at this moment, being only with- 
held from introducing such an episode by a strong convic- 
tion th.'tt it does not usually occur at such times. And I 
trust that my fairest reader, who remembers that, in the real 
crisis, it is always some uninteresting stranger or unromin- 
tic policeman, and not Adolphus, who rescues, will forgive 
the omission. 

So they sat there, undisturbed, — the woodpeckers chatter^ 
ing overhead, and the voices of the children coming plea- 
santly from the hollow below. "What they said matters little. 
What they thought— which might have been interesting — did 
not transpire. The woodpeckers only learned how Miss 
Mary was an orphan ; how she left her uncle's house, to 
come to California, for the sake of health and independence; 
How Sandy was an orphan, too; how he came to California 
for excitement; how he had lived a wild life, and how he 
was trying to reform; and other details, which, from a 
woodpecker's view-point, undoubtedly must have seemed 



stuvj 

the 

gatl] 

strcl 

outJ 

ofl 



5!i'nruttJ5ii?'i!5!«!«ti'^tUH*uuii*'ijiUiii^ 



THE IDYL OF RED GULCU. 



C7 



5 helpless, 
»ni(J, and 
tlio lielp- 
a<;ainst a 
aft, their 
wo such 
t the feet 
IB she sat 
Lirel and 
lin when 
id. The 
found a 
ow find- 

himself. 
'hi3'ln£: a 
)me way 
nistress. 
i, I stay 
ly with- 
convic- 
Andl 
the real 
ronnn- 
forgive 

shatter, 
ig plea- 
s little, 
g— did 
v^ Miss 
use, to 
dence; 
fornia 
)w he 
fom a 
?emcd 



stupid, and a waste of time. 13ut even in such trifles was 
the afternoon H[)ent ; and when the children were again 
gathered, and Sandy, with a delicacy which the Rchoohnis- 
strcss well luiderstc od, took leare of them (quietly at the 
outskirts of the settlement, it had seemed the Bhortcst day 
of her weary life. 

As tlie long, dry summer withered to its roots, the school 
term of Red (iulch— to use a local euphuism — "dried up'* 
also. In another day Miss Mary would be free ; and for a 
season, at least, Red Gulch would know her no more. She 
was seated alone in the school-house, her cheek resting on 
her hand, her eyes half closed in one of those day-dreams 
in which Miss Mary, I fear, to the danger of school dis- 
cipline — was lately in the habit of indulging, Iter lap was 
full of mosses, fci'us and other woodland memories. She 
was so preoccupied witli these and her ow^n thoughts that 
a gentle tai)ping at the door i)assed unheard, or translated 
itself into the reiuembrance of far-off wood-peckers. When 
at last it asserted itself more distinctly, she started up 
with a Hushed cheek and opened the door. On the threshold 
stood a woman, the self-assertion and audacity of whose 
dress were in singular contrast to her timid, irresolute 

bearing. 
Miss Mary recognized at a glance the dubious mother of 

her anonymous pupil. Perhaps she was disappointed, perhaps 

she was only fastidious ; but as she coldly invited her to 

enter, she half unconsciously settled her white cuffs and 

collar, and gathered closer her own chaste skirts. It was 

perhaps, for this reason that the embarrassed stranger, after 

a moment's hesitation, left her gorgeou. parasol open and 

sticking in the dust beside the door, and then sat down at the 

farther end of a long bench. Her voice was husky as she 

began, — 

" I heerd tell that you were goin' down to the Bay to 

morrow, and I couldn't let you go until I came to thank you 

for your kindness to my Tommy." 



K^ili^ifin 



liiMiiMiiiiiuiiinnimmmtniHTmKi- 



58 



THE IDTL OF RED aULCH. 



Tommy, Mis3 Mary said, was a good boy, and deserrtd 
more than the poor attention she could give him. 

" ThanR you, miss ; thank ye !'* cried the stranger, b^ig^* 
ening ev3n through the colour which Red Gulch knew 
facetiously as her " war paint," and dtriying, in her embarrass- 
ment, to drag the louir bench nearer the schoolmistress. " I 
thank you, miss, for that ! and if I am his mother, there 
ain't a sweeter, dearer, better boy liyes than him. And if I 
ain't much as says it, thar ain't a sweeter, dearer, angeler 
teacher lives than he's got." 

Mis* Mary, sitting pricnly behind her desk, wilh a ruler 
over her shoulder, opened her gray eyes widely at this, but 
said nothing. 

" It ain't for you to be complimented by the like of me, I 
know," she went on, huiriedly. "It ain't f or me to be comin' 
here, in broad dixy, to do it, either ; but I come to ask a 
favour, — not for me, miss, — not lor me, but for the darling 
boy." 

Encouraged by a look in the young schoolmistress's eye, 
and putting her lilac-gloved hands together, die fiugers 
downward, between her knees, she went on, in a low 
voice, — 

" You see, miss, there's no one the boy has any claim on 
but mo, and I ain't the proper person to bring him up. I 
thought sc jic, last year, of sending him av/ay to 'Frisco to 
school, but vhen they talked of bringing a schoolma'am herp, 
I waited till I saw you, and then I knew it was all right, and 
I could keep my boy a little longer, And 0, miss, he I'oves 
you so much ; and if you could hear him talk about you, in 
his p.-eity way, and if he could ssk you what I ask you now, 
you couldn't refuse him. 

"It is natural." she went on rapidly, in a voice that 
trembled strangely between pride and humility, — "it's natural 
that he should take to you, miss, for his father, when I first 
knew hirji, was a gentleman,— ar«d the boy murit forget me, 
sooner or later,— and so I ain't a-goia' to cry about thati 
For I come to asV. you to take my Tommy,— Cod bless him 



for 

■witl 
S| 
and 



I 



CM,,i.'.i:,»iEi)|i',t.t'«'t*t}!tt(ttM'*i''^l 



l7C'<ttt 



THE IDYL OF RBD GULCH. 



50 



deserred 

r, b^ig^* 
)h knew 
nbarrass- 
ess. *♦ I 
ler, there 
\.nd if I 
, angeler 

1 a ruler 
this, but 

)f me, I 
e comia' 
;o ask a 
'■ darllntc 

ss's eye, 
Cijgers 
a low 

laiiu on 
L up. I 
•isco to 
n herr», 
ht, and 
e^oves 
''ou, in 
1 now, 

e that 
latural 
I first 
ot me, 
i that? 
s him 



for the bestest, sweetest boy that livus ! — to — to— take him 
with you." 

She had risen and caught the young girl's hand in her own 
and had fallen on her knees beside her. 

" I've money plenty, and it's all yours and his. Put him 
in some good school, where you can go and see him, and 
help him to — to — to forget his mother. Do with him what 
you like. The worst you can do will bo kindness lo what ho 
will learn With me. Only take him out of this wicked life, 
this cruel place, this home of shame and sorrow. You will ; 
I know you will, — won't you ? You will, — you must not, 
you cannot say no ! You will mal..e him as pure, as gentle 
a? 3''ourself ; and wlien he has grown up, you will tell him 
his father's name, — the name that hasn't passed my lips for 
years, — the name of Alexander Morton, whom they call here 
Simdy! Miss Mary! — do not take your hand away! Miss 
Marv, speak to me ! You will take my boy ? Do not put 
yonr face from me. I know it ought not to look on such as 
me. Miss Mary! — my God, be merciful! — she is leaving 
me !" 

Miss Mary had risen,and, in the gathering twllightjiad felt 
her way to the open window. She stood tiicre, leaning 
against the casement, her eyer fixed on the Ifist rosy tint:^ 
tiiaL were fading from the western sky. Tliere was still Fomo 
of its light (m her pure young forehead, on lif^r wliite coll;u', 
on her clasped white hands, but all fading slowly awny. The 
fiuppliant had uraLjged herself, still on her knees, beside her. 
"I know it takes time to consider. I will Wiiit here all 
iiiglit ; but I cannot go until you s]>pak. Do not deny me 
iiow. Yor. will !— I see it In your sweet face.— such a face as 
I have seen in my dreams. I see it in your eyes;, 3Tl3s Mai-y ! 
— you Avill take my boy !" 

The last red beam crept hlglier, sulfu^f^d Mi?s Mary'^ eyes 
with something of its glory, llickered, and faded, and Avent 
out. The sun had set on Red Gulch. In the twiliglit and 
silence Miss Mary's voice sounded pleasantly. 
*' I will take the boy. Send him to me to-night." 



iiniH' 



60 



THE IDYL OF RED GULCH. 



The happy mother raised the hem of Miss Mary's skirts to 
her lips. She would heve buried her hot [face in its virgin 
folds, but she dared not. She rose to her feet. 

" Does — this man— know of your intention ?" asked Miss 
Mary, suddenly. 

"No, nor cares. He has never even seen the child to 
know it." 

" Go to him at once,— to-night,— now ! Tell him what 
you have done. Tell him I have taken liis child, and tell 
Lim— he must never see— see — the child again. IVherever 
it may be, he must not come ; wherever I may take it, he 

must not follow ! There, go now, please — I'm weary, and 

have much yet to do !" 

They walked together to the door. On the threshold the 
woman turned. 
" Good night." 

She would have fallen at Miss Mary's feet. But at the 
game moment the young girl reached out her arms, cau.o-lit 
the sinful woman to her own breast for one brief monu^it 
and then closed and locked the door. 

It was witli a sudden sense of great responsibility that Pro. 
fane Bill took the reins of tlie SlumguUion Stage the next 
morning, for the schoolmistress was one of his passengers. As 
he entered the high-road, in obedience to a pleasant voice 
from the "inside," he suddenly reined up his horses and 
respectfully wailed, as " Tommy" hopped out at the com- 
mand of Miss Mary. 

*' Not that bush. Tommy— tlie next." 

Tommy whipped oat his new pocket-knife, and, cutting a 
branch from a tall azalea-bush, returned with it to Miss 
Mary. 

" All right now ?" 

" All right." 

And the stage-door close:! on the Idyl of lied GmIc'i. 



am; 



M'k't.'.'alfi 



UaitTi ifi 



's skirts to 
its virgin 

sked Miss 
cbilj to 

lim what 
, and tell 
^Vherever 
''ike it, he 
ry, and— 

?^ioId the 
lit at the 

?, CHUglit 

inomont. 



that Pro. 
fhe next 
g<;rs. As 
iut voice 
'ses and 
he com- 



itting a 
to Miss 



HIGH-WATER HARK. 



"TTTHEN the tide was out on the Dedlow Marsh, its cx- 
^ ^' tended dreariness was patent. Its spongy, low-lyini;; 
surface, sluprgisli, inky pools, and tortuous shniglis, i wistin;; 
their slimy way, eel-like, toward the open bay, were all hard 
facts. So were the few <sreen tussocks, with thoir scant 
blades, their amphibious flavour, and unpleasant dampness. 
And if you choose to indulge your fancy, — altlumgh the Cat 
monotony of Dedh.'W Marsh was not inspiring, — n*.- wjivy 
line of scattered driftgave an unpleasant consciousii'-ss of the 
spent waters, and made the dead certainty of iIk- returning 
tide a gloomy reflection, which no sunshine cou'd dissipate. 
The greener meadow-land seemed oppressed with this idea, 
and made no positive attempt at vegetation until tlie work 
of reclamation should be complete. In the bittf/- fruit of 
the low cranberry-bushes one might fancy he delected a nat- 
urally sweet disposition curdled and soured by an injudicious 
course of too much n^gular cold water. 

The vocal expression of the Dedlow M-irsli was also 
melancholy and deprcbsin^-. The sepulchral ])oom of 
the bittern, the shriek of the curlew, the scream of 
passing brent, the wrangling of (puirrelsome teal, the sharp, 
qucruluous protest of the startled r«rane, and syllabled com- 
plaint of the "kildeer" plover were beyond the power of 
written expression. Nor was the aspect of these nioui'nful 
fowls at all cheerfid and inspiring. Certainly noi the blu(^ 
peron standing midleg deep in the water, obviously ct'-h- 
ing cold in a reckless disregard of wet feet and cons^-quen- 
ces; nor the mournful curlew, the dejected plover, or 
low-spirited snl[)e, who saw fit to join him in hi-; suicidal 



tlU'. 



62 



HICn-WATER MAKK. 



contemplaliou ; nor the impassive king-fislier — an ornitholo- 
gical Marius — r^riewin!^ tlie desolate expanse; nor tliG 
black raven that went to and fro over th3 face of the marsh 
continually, but evidently couldn't make up his mind whe- 
ther the waters had subsided, and felt low spirited in the 
reflection that, after all tliis trouble, he would'nt be able to 
give a definite answer. On the contrary, it was evident at a 
glance that the dreary expanse of Dedlow Jlarsh told un- 
pleasantly on the birds, and that the season of migration 
was looked iorvrnrd to with a feeling of relief and satisfac- 
tion by the full-grown, and ot extravagant anticipation by 
the callow, brood. But if Dedlow Marsli was clicei-less at 
the slack of the low tide, you should have seen it when the 
tide was strong and full. Yf hen the damp air 1)1 ew chilly 
over the cold, glittering expanse, and came to the facos of 
those who looked seaward like another tide; when a steel- 
like glint marked the low hollows and the sirmnus line 
of slough; when the grsat shell-incrusted trunk:^, of fallen 
trees aror,o again, and went forth on their drr-ary, purpose- 
less wanderings, drifted hither and thither, but g^'tting no 
farther toward anygoil at tlip falling tide o'* the d-^y's de- 
cline than the CMrsed Hebrew in the If^gend ; w'len the fog 
came in with the tide and shut ou.t the bins abo-. o, even as 
the green belovr l;:id been obliterated, whon biatnirn, lost 
in the fog, paddling abo:it in a hopeless way, startcl at what 
S3enied theb.rus'dng of mermen's fingers on Wj- bo:vi,'j5 keel, 
or shrank fro-n tlie taft^ of gra'^s spreading aro-ind like the 
lloating hair of a corpse, and knew by tlu^s" signs' th-it they 
were lost upon l)e>llow Marr^h, and must mal:e a night of it, 
and a gloomy one at that, — then you migl3t kn^^v some- 
thing of Dedlow vlarsh at high water. 

Let me recall a story connected with tins bitter view 
which never failed to recur to my mind in my lonci' gunning 
excursions upon Deilow M;irsh. Although tb.e event was 
briefly recorded ia the county paper, I had the story, in all 
its cdoquent detail, from the lips of the principal actor. I 
cannot hope to catch the varying emphasis and peculiar 



fi 






I 



^;:U«iJi{iliiU)«i!!!i:!:.U'iUu!i':tJl 



ornitholo- 
; nor the 
the marsh 
nhid Tvhe- 
i'ccl in the 
be able to 
ident at a 
I told un- 
mii^n-atioii 
d satisfac- 
ipatjon by 
leerless at 
when the 
ew chilly 
1 faces of 
fi a steel- 
lions line 
of fallen 
pnrpose- 
:'ttini^ no 
d-^y'is de- 
1 the fog 
', even as 
am, lost 
nt what 
:vi't; keel, 
like the 
h;it they 
J:ht of it, 
V some- 

er view 
L,mnning 
mt was 
r% in all 
ctor. I 
)eculiar 



HIGH-WATER MARK. 



63 



colouring of feminine delineation, for my narrator was a 
woman ; but I'll try to gi^e at least its substance. 

She lived midway of the great slough of Dedlow Marsh 
and a good-sized river, which debouched four miles beyond 
into an estuary formed by the Pacific Ocean, on the loniij 
sandy peninsula which constituted the south-western bound- 
ary of a noble bay. The house in which she lived was a 
small frame cabin raised from the marsh a few feet b}"- stout 
piles, and was three miles distant from the settlements upon 
the river. Her husband wis a logger,— a profitable busi?iOS3 
in the county where the principal occupation was the 
manufacture of lumber. 

It was the season of early spring, when her husband left 
on the ebb of a high tide, with a raft of logs for^the usual 
transportation to the lower end of the bay. As she stood 
by the door of the little cabin when the voyagers departed, 
she noticed a cold look in the south-eastern sky, and she re- 
membered hearing her husband say to his companions that 
they must endeavor to complete their voyage before the 
coming of the south-wesitern gale which he saw brewing. 
And that night it began to storm and blow harder than she 
had ever before experienced, and some great trees fell in 
the forest by the river, and the house rocked like her l}aby*s 
cradle. 

But however the storm might roar about the little cabin, 
she knew th^t one she trusted had driven bolt and bar with 
his own strong hand, and that had he feared for her he 
would not have bft her. This, and her domestic duties, and 
the care of her little sickly baby, helped to keep her mind 
from dwelling on the weather, except, of course, to hope 
that he was safely harboured with the logs at Utopia in the 
dreary distance. But she noticed that day, when she went 
out to feed the chicke ns and look after the cow, that the 
tide was up to the little fence of their garden patch, and the 
roar of the surf on the south beach, though miles away, she 
could hear distinctly. And she began to think that she 
would like to have some one to talk with about matters, 



:l(!r.ju!sjsn VI 



iii';iA'.iitit'.:ii 



m 



HIGH- WATER MARK. 



and i!lic believed tliat if it Lad not been so far and so 
stormy, and the trail so impassable, she would have taken 
the baby, and have gone over to Ryekmun's, her nearest 
Hei!i:hbor. But then, you see, he might have returned in the 
storm, all wet, with no one to see to him; and it was a long 
cx]iosare for baby, v*'ho was croupy andailinir. 

But that night, she never could tell why, she didn't feel 
like sleeping or even lying down. The storm nad somewhat 
abated, but she still "sat and sat," and even tried to read. 
I don't know whether it was a Bible or some profane maga- 
zine that tills poor w^oman read, but most probably the 
latter, for tlie words all ran together and made such sad 
nonsense that she was forced at last to put the book down 
and turn to tliat dear volume which lay before her in the 
cradle, witii its white initial leaf as yet unsoilcd, and try to 
look forward to its mysterious future. And, rocking the 
cradle, she thought of everything and everybody, but still 
was wide awake as ever. 

It was nearly twelve o'clock when she at last lay down in 
her clothes. How long she slept she could not remember, 
but she awoke with a dreadful choking in her throat, and 
found herself standing trembling all over, in the middle of 
the room, with her baby clasped to her breast, and she was 
"saying something." The baby cried and sobbed, and she 
walked up and down trying to hush it, when she heard a 
scratching at the door. She opened it fearfully, and was 
glad to see it was old Pete, their dog, who crawled, dripping 
w^ith water, into the room. She w^oidd like to have looked 
out, not in the faint hope of her husband's coming, but to 
see how things looked ; but the M'ind shook the door so 
savagely that she could hardly hold it. Then she sat down 
a little while, and then walked up and down a little while, 
and then she lay down a little while. Lying close by th^ 
vrall of the little cabin, she thought she heard once or twice 
something scrape slowly against the clap -boards, like the 
scraping of branches. Then there was a little gurgling 
sound, "like the baby made when it was swallowing ," then 



i 



Id 



i}*lltU!it,iSlJnu«""UUt'"iUU5r!l*8 



niGH-WATEFw MARK. 



G5 



iir and so 
ave taken 
er nearest 
ned in the 
van a long 

didn't fee! 
■jomewliat 
1 to read, 
ne maga- 
bably the 

such sad 
:»ok down 
er in the 
nd try to 
king the 

but still 

down in 
^member, 
I'oat, and 
liddle of 
she was 

and she 
iieard a 
find was 
Gripping 
3 looked 
?, but to 
door so 
it down 
e while, 

by the 
r twice 
ike the 
urgling 
" then 



somethuigwent "click-click" and "cluck-cluck," so that she 
sat up in bed. When she did so slie was attracted by some- 
thing else that seemed creeping from the back d(jor towards 
the centre of the room. It was'nt much wider than her little 
finger, but soon it swelled to the width of her hand, and be- 
gan spreading all over the floor. It was water. 

yhe ran to tlie front door and threw it open, and saw 
nothing but water. She ran to the back door aud threw it 
open, and saw nothing but water. She ran to the side win- 
dow, and, throwing it open, she saw notliing but water. 
Then she remembered hearing Jier husband once say tliat 
there was no danger in the tide, for that fell regularly, and 
people could calculate on it, and that he would rather live 
near the l)ay than the river, whose banks might overllow at 
any time. Bnt vras it the tide ? So she ran again to the 
back door, and threw out a stick of wood. It drifted away 
towards the bay. She scooped up some of the water and 
pui it eagerly to her lips. It was fresh and sweet. It was 
the river, and not tlie tide ! 

It was then — O, God be praised for his goodness ! she did 
neither faint nor fall ; it was then — blessed by the Saviour, 
for it was his merciful hand that touched and strengthened 
her in this awful moment — that fear dropped from her like 
a garment, and her trembling ceased. It was then and there- 
after that she ncA'cr lost her self-command, through all the 
trials of that gloomy night. 

She drew the bedstead towards the middle of the room, 
and placed a table upon it, and on that she put the cradle 
The water on the floor was already over her ankles, and the 
house once or twice moved so perceptibly, and seemed to be 
racked so, that the closet doors all flew open. Then she heard 
the same rasping and thumping against the wall, and, look- 
ing out, saw that a large uprooted tree, which had lain 
near the road at the upper end of the pasture, had 
floated down to the house. Luckily its long roots dragged 
in the soil and kept it from moving as rapidly as the cur- 
rent, for had it struck the house in its full career, even the 



::iuusi 



CG 



HIGH-WATER MARK. 



stroivj nails and bolts in tlie piles could not liave withstood 
the shock. The hound had leaped upon its knotty surface, 
and crouched near tho roots shivering and Avhining. A ray 
of hope Hashed across her mind. She drew a heavy blanket 
from the bed, and, wrapping it about the babe, waded in 
the dcepcninij; waters to the dour. As the tree swung 
again, broadside on, making tho 'itiiO cabin creak and 
treml''", she leaped on t^ it., tavi' . V/ God's mercy she 
succeeded in obtaining a foots fi;^ (m ii- slippery surface, and, 
tvv'ining an arm about its looti o h"^'■^ in the other her 
moaning child. Then something cracjvC-l near the front 
porch, and the whole f]"ont of the house she had just quitted 
fell forward, just as cattle fall on their knees before they 
lie down, — and at the same moment the great redwood tree 
swung round and drifted away with its living cargo into 
the black uight. 

For all the excitement and danger, for all her soothing of 
her crying babe, for all the whistling of the wind, for all 
the uncertainty of her situation, she still turned to look at 
the deserted and water-swept cabin. She remembered even 
then, and she wonders how foolish she was to think of it 
at that time, that she Mdshed she had put on another dress 
and the baby's best clothes; and she kept praying that the 
houso would be spared so that he, when he returned, would 
have something to come to, and it wouldn't be quite so 
desolate, and— how coald he ever know what had become, 
of her and baby ? And at the thought she grew sick and 
faint. But she had something else to do besides worrying, 
for whenever the long roots of her ark struck an obstacle, 
the whole trunk made half a revolution, and twice dipped 
her in the black water. The hound, who kept distracting 
her by running up and down the tree and howling, at last 
fell off at one of these collisions. He swam for some time 
beside her, and she tried to get the poor bcasL upon the tree, 
but he " acted silly " and wild, and at last she lost sight of 
him for ever. Then she and her baby were left alone. The 
light which had burned for a few minutes m the deserted 



cabi 
whil 
on tl 
tree 
slacy 
by tlj 




.Tr:."l« 



Li'ijo into 



^tiling of 

, for all 

> look at 

red even 

nk of it 

er dress 

that the 

I, would 

luite so 

become 

:ck and 

)rrying, 

jstacle, 

dipped 

racting 

at last 

le time 

he tree, 

ight of 

i. The 

eserted 



withstood 
y surface, 
g. A ray 
y bhmket 
waded in 
io swung 
rcak and 
icrcy slie 
face, and, 
3ther her 
tlie front 
3t quitted 
'ore they 
v'ood tree 



I 



I 



IIIGII-WATEK MARK. 



or 



cabin was (luenchcd suddenl}-. She could not then tell 
whitlicr she wa- ''ifthig. T1)r oiUHur^ of the wliitu dimes 
on the pcninsul; showed dimly ahca.l, and she judged the 
tree w.".s moving "n a line with the river. It nnu ' bo iibout 
slack water, an'i she h-^d probiibly I'oached the eddy formed 
by the conflucr i ^ of the tide and the overiiowing waters of 
the rivf.r. Unless the tide f( 1 r on, there was jn-esent dan- 
ger of her drifting to its channel, and being earned out to 
sea or crushed in the floating drift. Tint peril averted, if 
she were carried out on the ebb toward the bay, she mii^ht 
hope to strike one of the wooded promontories of the penin- 
suln, and rest till daylight. Sometimes she thought she 
heard voices and shouts from the river, and the bellowinf^- 
of cattle and the bleating of sheep. Tlien again it was only 
the ringing in her cars and throbbing of her heart. She 
found at about this time that slic was so chilled and stifTened 
in her cramped ^)osl tion tluit she could scarcely move, and the 
baby cried so v.dien she put it to her breast that she noticed 
the milk refused to How ; and she was so frightened at that, 
tliat she put her head under her shawl, and for the first time 
cried bitterly. 

"W hen she raised her head again, the boom of the surf 
was behind her, and she knew +hat her ark had again swung 
round. She dipped up the water to cool her parched 
throat, and found that it was salt as her tears. There was 
a relief, though, for by this sign she knew s^e Avas drifting 
with the tide. It was then the wind went down, and the 
great and awful silence oppressed her. There was scarcely 
a ripple against the furrowed sides of the great trunk on 
which she rested, and around her all was black gloom and 
quiet. She spoke to the baby just to hear herself speak, 
and to know that she had not lost her voice. She thought 
then — it was queer, but filie could not help thinking it- 
how awful must have been the night when the great ship 
swung over the Asiatic peak, a:^<^ the sounds of creation 
vrere blotted out from the world. She thought, too, of 
mariners clinging to spars, and of poor women who were 



!?t!M 



68 



HIGH-WATER MARK. 



lashod to rafts, and heaUm to death by the cruel sea. She 
tried to thank God that she was tlius spared, and lifted lier 
eyes from the baby who had fallen into a fretful sl(;cp. 
Suddenly, away to the southward, a ^j^roat ]lj;ht lifted itself 
out of tlie gloom, and Hashed and Ilickered, and llicktred 
and flashed again. Her heart fluttered (luickly against the 
baby's cold cheek. It was the liglithouse at the entrance of 
the bay. As she was yet wondering, the tree suddenly 
rolled a little, dragged a little, and then seemed to lie quiet 
and still. She put out her hand and the curretit i^urgled 
against it. Tlie tree was aground, and, by tlie position of 
the light and the noise of the turf, aground upon the Ded- 
low Marsh. 

Had it not been for her baby, who was ailing and croupy, 
had it not been for tlie sadden drying up of that sensitive 
fountain, she would have felt safe and relieved. Perliap? 
it was this wliieli tended to make all her impre.^sions 
iiiournful and gloomy. As the tide rapidly fell, a great 
flock of black bient fluttered by her, screaming and crying. 
Then the plover flew up and piped mouDifully, as they 
wheeled around the trunk, and at last fearlessly lit upon it 
like a grey cloud. Then the heron flew over and around 
her, shri( king and protesting, and at last dropped its gaunt 
legs only a few yards from her. But, strangest of all, a 
pretty white bird, larger than a dove, like a pelican, but not 
a pelican, circled around and around her. At last it lit 
upon a rootlet of the tree, quite over her shoulder. She put 
out her hand and stroked its beautiful white neck, and it 
never appeared to move. It stayed there so long that she 
thought she would lift up the baby to see it, and try to 
attract her attention. But when she did so, the child was 
so chilled and cold, and had svich a blue look under the 
little lashes, which it didn't raise at all, that she screamed 
aloud, and the bird flew away, and she fainted. 

Well, thai ^v'J,s the worst of it and perhaps it was not so 
much, after all, to any but herself. For when she recovered 
her senses it was bri-rht sunlight, and dead low watei*. 



au'i 



u';!iS!;!t;;i;!»;i!in'S£ijj«jus!ia;:;:w 



IIIOH-WATER MARK. 



09 



}a. She 
fled lier 
il sleep. 
L'd itself 
lilckcred 
inst the 
ranee of 
uddonly 

lie quiet 
i;ur--lcd 
;itioii of 
the Ded- 

croupy, 

icnsilive 

P-?rhap? 

)ros3ion9 

a .j^rcat 

■ crying. 

a3 they 

upon it 

around 

.s gaunt 

>f all, a 

but not 

st it lit 

Siio put 

and it 
hat she 

try to 
lild was 
der the 
;rcamed 

not so 
covered 
watej'. 



I 



There was a confused uoIho of i!:uttnral voir(!s about her, 
and an old squaw, singini.j an Indian "liushahy," and rock- 
ini? herself from side to side before a tiro built on the 
marsh, l)r>fore which a'le, the recovered wife and mother, 
lay weak and weary. Iler first thoutjht was for her baby, 
and she was about to speak, when a yoim,'^ squaw, who 
must have been a mother herself, fathom^nl her thought, 
and brought her the " mowiteh," i)ale but living, in such a 
queer little cradle all bound up, just like the squaw's own 
young one, that she laughed and cried together, and the 
young squaw and the old squaw showed tlieir big white 
teeth and glinted their black eyes, and said, "Plenty get 
well, skeena mowilch," '' wagee man come plenty soon," 
and she could have kissed their brov/n faces with joy. And 
the;! she found that they had been gathering berries in the 
marsh in their qneer, comical baskets, and saw the skirt of 
her gown fluttering on the tree from afar, jind the old 
squaw could not resist the temjitation of procuring a new 
garment, and came down and di^;covered tlic "wagee" 
woman and child. And of course she gave the giirment to 
the old squaw, as you may imagine, and when he came at 
last and rudied uj) to her, looking about ten years oklcr in 
his anxiety, she f(;lt so faint again that th ey had to carry 
her to the canoe. For, you sec, he knew nothing about the 
flood until he met the Indians at Utopia, and knew by the 
signs that the poor woman was his wife. And at the next 
high-tide he towed the tree away back home, although it 
wasn't worth the trouble, and built another house, using 
the old tree for the foundation and props, and called it 
after her, " Mary's Ark ! " But you may guess the next 
house was built above High-water mark. And that's all. 

Not mucli, perhaps, considering the malevolent capacity 
of the Dedlow Marsh. But you must tramp over it at low 
water, or paddle over it at high tide, or get lost upon it 
once or twice in the fog, as I have, to understand properly 
Mary's adventure, or t» appreciate duly the blessings of 
living beyond High- Water Mark. 



A LONfflLY St]III>E. 



A S I stepped into the Slumgullion stage I saw that it 
-^^AViis a dark night, a lonely road, and that I was lh» 
only passenger. Let mc assure the reader that I have no 
ulterior design in making this assertion. A long course of 
light reading has forewarned mc what every experienced in- 
telligence must confidently look for from such a statement. 
The story-teller who willfully tempts Fate by such obvious 
beginnings ; who is to the expectant reader in danger of be- 
ing rcbbed or half-murdered, or frightened by an escaped 
lunatic, or introduced to his lady-love for the first time, de- 
serves to be detected. I am relieved to say that none of 
these things occurred to m '\ The road from "VVingdam to 
Slumgullion knew no other banditti than the regularly 
licensed hotel-keepers ; lunatics had not yet reached such 
imbecility as to ride of their own free-will in California 
stages ; and my Laura, amiable and long-suffering as she 
always is, could not, 1 fear, have borne up against thes« de- 
pressing circumstances long enough to have made the slight- 
est impression on me. 

I stood with my shawl and carpet-bag in hand, grazing 
doubtingly on the vehicle. Even in the darkness the red 
dust of Wingdam was visible on its roof and sides, and the 
red slime of Slumgullion clung tenaciously to its wheels. I 
opened the door ; the stage creaked uneasily, and in the 
gloomy abyss the swaying straps beckoned me, like ghostly 
liands, to come in now and have my sufTcrmgs out at once. 

I must not omit to mention the occurrence of a circum- 
stance which struck me as appalling and mysterious. A 
lounger on the steps of the hotel, whom I had reason to 



[ltili»illliti!liy.iliiiVid{l!iuiiiiUUrilil^^^^^ fiSi^s^ 



A LONELY RIDE. 



n 



w that it 
'. was lb» 
have no 
lourse of 
enced in- 
tatcment. 
1 obvious 
;er of be- 

escaped 
time, de- 

none of 
igdam to 
regularly 
hcd such 
alifornia 
g as she 
,hes8 de- 
.e slight- 

, Cazing 
the red 
and the 
leels. I 
d in the 
ghostly 
at once, 
circum- 
Dus. A 
ason to 



suppose was not in any way connected with the stage com- 
pany, gravely descended, and, walking toward the convey- 
ance, tried the haiulle of the door, opened it, expectorated 
in the carriage and returned to tbo hotel with a scrrious de- 
meanor. Hardly had he resumed his position, when another 
individual, cijually disinterested, impassively walked down 
the steps, proceeded to tiie back of the stage, lifted it, ex- 
pectorated carefully on the axle, and returned slowly and 
pensivel}'' to the hotel. A third sjiectator wearily disen- 
gaged himself from one of the Ionic columns of the portico 
and walked to the box, remained for a moment in serious 
and expectorative contemplation of the boot, and then re- 
turned to his cohmin. There was something so weird in 
this baptism tliat 1 grew quite nervous. 

Perh.ips I was out of spirits. A number of inllnilcsimal 
annoj'-ances, winding up with the resolute persistency of the 
clerk at the stage-ollh (5 to enter n\y name misspelt on the 
way-bill, had no', predisposed me to chcerf'ilnei-s. The in- 
mates of the Eureka House, from a social view-noint, vv'erc 
not attractive. There was the prevailing opinion — ."-'o com- 
mon to many honest people — that a serious style of deport- 
ment and conduct towards a stranger indicates high gen- 
tility and elevated station. Obeying this prhiciple, all 
hilarity ceased on my entrance to supper, and gencr.d re- 
mark merged into the safer and uncompromising chronicle 
of several bad cases of diphtheria, t!ien ei)ideniic at Wing- 
dam. When I left the dininii:-room, with an odd fceUng that 
I had been supping exclusively on mustard and tea-leiives, I 
stopped a moment at the parlour door, A piaiio, h.vrnioni- 
ously related to the dinner bell, ti kled resi">onsive to a difri- 
dent and uncertain touch. On the white wall the !>]iadow 
of an old and sharp profile was bending over severa. 
symmetrical and shadowy curls. " I sez to Maria r, I^Tariar, 
sez I, * Praise to the face is open disgrace.' " I heard no 
more. Dreading some susceptibility to sincere expression 
on the subject of female loveliness, I walked away, check- 
ing the compliment that otherwise might have risen 



iiiiiliUmiRV: 



iNHMJ4iTiw?. 



ei?nSi£2i2!2!»Ma{I.NIIfy!!lI!J!RE}?«!«!?BBniJ!iS.'n!S!r 



V2 



A LONELY RIDE. 



unbidden to my lips, and have brought shame and sorrow 
t« the househohl. 

It was with the memory of these experiences resting- 
heavily upon me, that I stood hesitatingly before the stage 
door. The driver, about to mount, was for a moment 
illuminated by the open door of the hotel. lie had the 
wearied look which was the distinguishing expression of 
Wingdam. Satisfied that I was properly M^ay -billed and re- 
ceipted for, he look no furtlier notice of me. I looked 
longin<^^ly :ii the box-seat, but he did not respond to my 
app(;al. T lliing my carpet-bag into the cliasm, dived reck- 
lessly afti'r it, and — before I was fairly seated — with a great 
sigh, a creaking of unwilling springs, complaining bolts, aud 
harshly expo>;tulating axle, we moved away. lialJier the 
hotol doar -;lipped behind, the sound of the piano sank to 
rest, and tli" ni^jht and its shadows moved solemnly upon 
us. 

To say it was dark expressed b;it faintly tbe pilclij' 
obscurity 1h;it encompassed tlio vehicle. Tlie roadside trees 
were s;'\rcely •li'^tinguishablo as deeper raas-scs of siiadow ; 
I ];new tliom only by the peculira' sodden odour l'A;\t from 
lime io time sluggishly flowed in at the open window as wo 
rolled by. Wo proceeded slowl^y ; so leisurely tluit, loaning 
from the Avind'nv, I more than once detected the fragrant 
sigh of some astonished cow, whose ruminating repose upon 
the highway we had ruthlessly distarbed. But in the 
darkness oui- !)i\>2'i'ess, more tlie guidance of some mysteri- 
ous instinct than any apparent volition of our own, gave an 
indeiinablech;irm of security to our journey, that a moment's 
hesitation or indecision on the part of the driver would have 
destroyed. 

I had indnlgf'il a hope that in the empty vcliich^ T might 
obtain that rest so olten denied me in its crowded conditicm. 
It was a woaiv delusion. When I stretched out my limbs 
it Wris only toilnd that the ordinary convenience's for making 
several pcopb' distinctly uncomfortable were distributed 
it my individual frame. At last, re: 



the st 
Beientl 
[torture 
||;ularly, 
Enfully 
^rge'l ii 
hotel 
^nunibii 
||aise-to- 
(flnd only 



'a' 



'ia 



'y 



eclianic; 
,e mon( 
tiling t( 
:ikly, a: 
^ccislty, 
her ann 
le last fc 
'' Was til' 
was no 
.';)i\vayn 
ihitherV 

Eis fancv 
> use t^) 
|l|id here 
fnaich, I; 
uatry i- 
:'.c:iuse t' 
luc is k^ 



A LONELY RIDE. 






ntl sorrow 

:es rcptiug 
e the stage 
a moment 
e had the 
[iression of 
lied and re- 
I loolied 
)ond to my 
dived rcck- 
^'ith a great 
4' bolts, ai.d 
fl;ilJH!r the 
mo sank to 
iQinly upon 

tlie pi tell}' 

idside trees 

f shadow • 

■ t;i;!t from 

.idow t).s we 

;il, lc!i]}ii)g 

le fragrant 

iposG- upon 

it ia the 

mysterl- 

n, gave an 

moment's 

oiddhave 

e T might 
condition, 
my Iim]:'ji 
for making 
iisdibuled 
y my arms 



I the straps, by dint of much gymnastic eflort I became 
ciently composed to be awaro of a more refiaed species 
torture. The springs of the stage, rising and falling 
ularly, produced a rhythmical beat, which began to 
nfully absorb my attention. Slowly this thumping 
rge'''. into a senseless echo of the mysterious female of 
hotel parlour, and shaped itself into this awful and 
R limbing anxiom, — " Prai3e-to-thc-face-is-f)peu-dii^grace. 
l^aise-to-the-face-iH-open-disgrace." Inequalitie:^ of the 
?oni'l only ({uickened its uttoranoe or drawled it to an exas- 
perating length. 

Ii was of no use to seriously coiisivier the statement. It 
Heas of no use to except it indignantly, it vv'as of no use to 
picaU the many instances where prai;se to tiie fuce hud i\'- 
lo.iiiiled to the everlasting honour of praiser and bepraised ; 
jf no use to dwell sentimentally on modest genias and 
:0'i;;ige lifted up and commended !fy ojien commendation ; 
i Lo use to except lo the mysteriu:i'3 D.-uiale, — to picture 
ler as rearing si thin-bloorled generation on sellish and 
acclsanicaliy repeated axioms, — all this failed to coimtcrat't 
;hc monotonous repitition of this sentence. There v/as 
letiung to do but to give in, and I was al)out to H(>co|:<t it 
fciikly, as we too often treat otht-r illusions of darkness a.id 
ificc-sity, for the timeboing, when I bccauio aware of some 
Ithcr annoyance that h;id been forcing itself upon me for 
Ihi' last few moments. lIov»' ([uict the driver was ! 

Vv';'i3 there au}^ driver V Had I any reason to suppose that 
fc was not lying g-.igL^ed and bound on the road- ide, and the 
1 >;li\vayman, who did the hing .-o (luietly, driving me — 
litlier? The tiling U perfectly feasible. And what is 
HhU fancy nov»'' being jolted out of me y A story ? It's of 
pii) mQ to keep it back, particularly in this abysmal vehicle, 
ail 1 licre i; come.* ; I am a luanpus —a French Marquis ; 
Fiviich, because the peerage is ]iot so well known and ths 
CO iiitry is better alapted to roni;intic incident — a Marquiti^ 
k'ciiuse the demo'ratic reader d'dight.s. in nobility. My 
biine is woaiethiug Ugn;/. I am oniin jj from Paris to rcjr 



74 



A LONELY KIl»K. 



counUy s<'al ;it St;. Gcrmiuii. It is n dark i'ii!i:iit, and 
fall a-lcep a^d tell my honest co:tcU:n;in, Andre, not to dis- 
turb iiie, iwid dreini cf an ai^-el. The CMrria,2;e at la^^t stops 
at tlio clialeau. It is so dark tii;it, when I a1i,i^ht, I do not 
recoiniize the IV.ce of the footman who hokls the carriuff. 
door, il'it wJiat of that V — j>c;<tc / I am heavy with sleep. 
The same oh.seu»"lty also hides the old familiar indeeeneiesof 
Ihestatiu.y on the terrace ; hid there is a door, and it opens 
and shid-. i'ehind me .^^marlly. Then I llnd myself in a trap, 
in tlie i)r>^-;L'ne<' of tiic l)ri:.rand who has ([uietlj; g-agged poor 
Andrv' ;i!id e;!nd(icte 1 the carriage tiiitiier. There is noth- 
ing for in(! to do, as a gallant French JNIarquis, but to say 
^' Parblcu T'' draw my rapier, and die valoronsly ! laml^ 
found, a week or two after, outside a dc^Qvtcd cabaret near 
the barrier, with a hole through my rulHed linen, and ir.v 
po( ket.s stripped. Is o ; on second thoughts, I am rescued,— 
rescued h'V tlic. an :r','i 1 have been dreaming of, who is the 
assumed daughter of tli;' brigand, but tlicreal daughter of an 
intimate friend. 

Lo('king from the Avindow again, in the vain hope of dis- 
(inivuishing the driver, I found mv eves were growing accns- 
tomed to tlie darkness, x could see the distant horizon, dc- 
tined by India inky-woods, relieving a lighter sky. A fe^v 
stars, widely spaced in this [)icturc, glimmered sadly. 1 
noticed again tlie iniinite depth of patient sorrow in their 
serene f;ices; and 1 hope that the Vandal who first applied 
the llippant " twinkle'' to them may not be driven melan 
clioly and by their reproachful eyes. I noticed again the 
mystic charm of space, that imparts a sense of individual 
solitude to each inte^r of the densest constellation, involvini^ 
the smallest star v.dth immeasurable loneliness, yomethin;: 
of this calm and solitude crept over me, and I dozed in my 
gloomy cavern. AYlieu I awoke the full moon was rising. 
Seen from my window, it had an indescribably unreal and 
tlieatrical ellect. It was the full moon of Norma — tha I re- 
markablo celestial i>hcnomenon which rises so palpably to a 
hushed audience and a sublime andante chorus, until the 



CoMa 1 
thcreaft 
part of 
white-r( 
bable i 
cold cl 
recitativ 
the pri\ 
enchan 
upon nr 
iMy fi 
moon. 
the full 
tions. F 
lips wer 
and soot 
mind, a: 
as when 
my cavv 
forward 
;m interi 
of the r( 
or t'vist 
{■haract( 
ar,s." ] 
curls of 
whisper 
female, 
upright 
lingers. 
1 ha.l 
Uvion I 
feeling 
humbk 
shape ^ 
eeived l 
to sepa 



n!?m-'<'»;*4^i-uJi 



"i^i^'it, and i 
'li'o, nf)t to dis. 
:^(i at la^t stops 

1>! the caiThiw. 
iv}' with sleep, 
■ iudceenciesof 
and it opeii< 
yself j;i a trap, 
y gagged poor 
There is iioth- 
i«, but to say. 
^'i^ly ! I am 
d cabaret near 
linen, and my 
ain rescued,— 
t wlio is tho 
an, filter of an 

n hope of di^ 
rowing- acciis- 
t horizon, dc- J 
sky. A feAv 
■ed sadly. I 
^row in their 
first applied 
riven melan 
cd again the 
f individual 
)!)., involvinir 

youiethin;: 
ozed in my 

was rising. 

unreal and 
na— tha t re- 
silpabl^ to .1 
Js, until the 



A LONELY IIJDE. . Til 

. (J.'Hta Diva is sung — the " inconstant moon" that then and 
; thereafter remains fixed in the heavens as though it were a 
part of the solar system inaugurated by .loshua. Again the 
white-robed Druids filed past me, again I saw that impro- 
bable mistletoe cut from that impossible oak, and again 
cold chills ran down my back with the first strain of the 
recitative. The thumping springs essa^^ed to beat time, and 
the private box-like obscurity of the veliicle lent a chea]) 
enchantment to the view. But it was a va^^t imjirovement 
upon my p:-.,st experience, and I hugged tlie fond deluFion. 

iMy fears for the driver M'cre dissipated with tlie rising 
moon. A familiar sound had assured me of lii,-; presence in 
the full possession of at least one of his most important func- 
tions. Frequent and full expectoration convinced me that his 
lips were as vet not sealed with the gag of the highwayman, 
and soothed my anxious ear. With this load lifted from my 
mind, and assisted by the mild presence of Diana, who left, 
as when she visited Endymion,much of her splendour outside 
my cavern, — I looked around the empty vehicle. On the 
forward seat lay a woman's hair-pin. I picked it up with 
an interest that, however, sooii abated. There was no scent 
of the roses to cling to it still, not eve]., of hair-oil. Xo bend 

CD I 

or twist in its rigid anodes belraye:! anv trait ol' ii.-; Avearer's 



character, 



1 tried to think tliat it \\\\'s\\\ 



i;:ive Oeeu 



?.lari- 



ar,s." 



I tried to iiiiagine that, contlning the syienietrical 
curls of that izirl, it might have lieard the sort coiiinliments 
whispert'd in her e:irs,wh;c]i [('.'ovoked 11:-.' wi'a'.a oi' Llieaged 
female. But in vain il was reticent ni:;! 'in-werviag in its 
upright fidelity, and at Li-t slipped li.;te.-dy tiirougii my 
lingers. 
I had dozed reiicateJly, — ^v■aked v,\\ tiie 



ii. 



\v<. 



.-■.holi.l of ob- 



livion by contact v,'itli some oi" the a^iglri of Llie coiel!. and 
feeling that I was unconsciously asiumiiv.', i^i iniita::v)n of a 
humble insect OL my child; ii reeoUeetio'i, tiial sp'ierical 
'■^hapc which (•i>U!d h:-.:l 'c-'- Jio-e Impr;' -loni, \vhe:i 1 per- 
ceived that the moon, riliag iiig'.i i:i th.' lie.iv 'a>. .a: '' '.'[S^ww 
to separate the formless mo-ses of the slia.'owy -tii !scuj:e. 



..saaBi.i.iA 



uttitrtrmTi 






A LONELY RIDE. 



Trt'es i:solat'.\ii, in clamps and assemblages, changed pliJ 
before my window. The sharp outlines of the distant hil 
came back, as in dayliixht, but little softened in the dri 
cold, dewless lur of a California summer ni::hl.. I was \\m 
derinf^ how late it way, and thinkuig that if the horses of t'lj 
ni'^ht travelled as slowl}^ na the team before ns, Fansti 
might have been spjired his agonizing prayer, when a siiddJ 
spasm of activity ;i,:t:u'la'd my driver. A succession of wliiJ 
sn.^ppiiigs, like a -pack of Chinese crackers, broke from ttl 
box bc.'fore me. The stage leaped forward, and whcnj 
could pick mys'.'lf fr'^sm under the seat, a long white buildinl 
had in some mystciious vay rolled before my windows I 
must 1)0 Slumgulliou ! As I descended from the s'agc I 4 
dressed the driver : — 

" I thought yon changed horses ou the road V" 

" So we did. Two hours ago." '' 

" That's odd. I didn't notice it." 

" Must have h:v.n asleep sir. Hope you had a pleasanil 
na}). Bully place for a nice quiet snoose— empty stnge, siri 



r 



either, i^ 
|llattkr tc 
tvou know 
splendi' 
)ear the 
jslie had t 
|and booli 
; the rich £ 
■ and very 
beautifu 
-Rattle 
jcut up V 
IValpara 
cood so; 
He \vc 
\ stolidly 



•.;i?!:;iti: 



HiUit: .(i>ii' 



nm Mky of ^^ a€Ci>ij?<'i\ 



f tlic distant hi: 
eiK'd in the dr 
i^til- I u-as \v(, 
the horses oft] 
foi-o us, Fansd 
'*, wlion a suddf 
:^c.sslori of wliij 

broke from tt | TLS name '■.vas Fag? — David Fagg. He came to California 
I'd, and whcnP-^ in '52 with us, in the " SkyBcraper." I don't think he 
'•^ white buiUlicJid it in an adventurous way. lie i)robably had no other 
fiiy window. Mlace to i^o to. V/hen a knot of us youm^ fellows woukl 
1 the s'.a^'e I ajccite Avhat splendid opportunities vrc resigned to go, and 
ow sorry oar friends were to have us leave, and iunv tlaguer- 
cl ':■" ieotypes and locks of hair, and talk of Mary and ISusan, the 

lan of no account used to sit by and listen with a pained, 
lortified expression on his plain face, and say nothing. I 
had a pleasanilihink he had nothing to say. lie had no associates, except 
^pty stage, sirlp\'hen we patronized him; and, in ijoint of fact, he was a 
rjooddcalof sport to us. He was al^'ays sea-sick v/henever 
w'C hiul a capful of wind, lie never got his se.i-legs on 
either. And I never shall forget how wc all laughed when 
liattlcr took him the piece of pork on a string, and — But 
you know that time-honoured joke. And tlien we had such 
Sa splendid lark with him. Miss Fanny Twinkler couldn't 
sljear the sight of him, and we used to make Fagg tliink that 
ishe had taken a fancy to him, and send him little delicacies 
jaiid books from the cabin. You ouglit to have wiinessed 
•the rich scene that took place when he came up, stammering 
and very sicic, to thank her I Didn't she flash up grandly and 
beautifully, and scornfully V So like " Medora," ilattler said 
Rattler knew Byron by heart— and wasn't old Fagg awfully 
jCut up V But he got over it, and when liatller fell sick at 
, Vidparaiso, old Fagg used to nurse him. You see ho was a 
ii^ood sort of fellow, but he lacked manliness and spirit. 
He had absolutely no idea of poetry. I've seen him sit 
stolidly by, mending his old clothes, when Ilattler delivered 






■t j /" 



78 



Till-: MAN OK NO ACCOUNT. 



♦(Tied (V. 
L 

niucU a| 




[!)i,MV:iy, — was tic source ot inimcniiu amusemeiu to lis 
tiiiiidny. If ;v})j)(.';iiv';l that lu3 li.id coacL'ived the idea that ho 
ooiikl v.'aK; lo Sacramento, and actually started oil" afoot. 
We liad a ;.': ))d liiiv^, and shook hand^ with one another :ili 
around, and so p-;rU'd. Ah nio 1 only ci-!,'ht years ago, anti 
yet ti'.nw' o'l U\n.^:; iKMr.U then clasped in amity liave been 
(denclie;! at each other, or have dijipfid l';;rtively in one an- 
other's pockets. I ]:vo\v that we didn't, dine togetlier Jiexi 
year, hecause youn;.!,' liarivcr swore he v.'ouldn't put his feet 
under the same mahogany wii]i sucli a yjvy contemptiLde 
scoundf* 1 as thatriiixer; .'ind Nibbles, wlio borrowed money 
at N'a.iparaisn of youug Stubbs, \v])o was then a waiter in n 
restaurant, didn't like to meet such i)eople. 

AVheu I hought a junnbcr of shares in tlie Coyote Tim - 
ml at 3Iu;v:'insville, In Til,! thouiiht I'd take; a run ni) 
there aad see ii. I stopped at the Janpire iiotel, and after 
dimier I ^oi a l:'.H'.-e and rode round the town and out to tlie 
clahu. ()i)o ot those individuals whom newspaper ccrrcs- 
pon'Jeu'scall " o;u- intelligent informant,'' and to whom in 
edl eommuR'Lies the right of au.sv.'ering (.|Uesliv>ns is tacitly 
yield(.'d, w:'..s (juleliy pointed (lut, to me. Habit had enabled 
liim to Y.'ork and t.ilii at the same time, and ho never preter- 
mitted eitiur. ilc gave n.u> a history of tlie chiim, and ad- 
ded : •• \'uu ^,0.', stranger," (he iidslressed 'die bank before him), 
" u'oid is s;u"e t') come out'er that theer claim (ho ] ut in a 
comma villi liis jiick), but the old pro-pri-e-tor ho wrig- 



sonie e: 
have a 
neccssa 
You 1 
a\\fvdly 
I heard 
holders, 
prietor 
j struck i 
All this 

! tUngnr 
daught( 

by hear 
the hot 
llobins 
I Utile tl 
though 
marry 
of som 
look a! 
It di 
my dri 
qncral 
I tallie 
thougl 
and hi 



THE MAN OF NO AiJt'OUNT. 



{in. He fiskcu 

yroii was cvcr|hnucli :uxiount (a Ions ^-troko of the pick for a period. lie 
^vi^s green, and let the boys about lieve Jump liim." — 



Jilt 1 know AVi 



was something' 

iiclsco, woliad 
r and perpctn 

you see, noAv 
UutoldFa,!^^..', 
i ve years old, 
isemeut to us 
cidea that lie 
L'd oil" afoot, 
c auollier ali 
?ar3 ag-o, an(i 
y Iiave been 
ly in one aii- 



I and the rest of his sentence was confided to Ids liat, which 
> lie had removed to wipe his manly brow wilh his red ban- 
I danna. 

I asked him who was tlie original proprieloi-. 
" His name war Fag'r?-" 

I went to see him. He looked a little older and plainer. 

lie had worked harder, he said, and was gettin-i; on "so, 

so." I took quite a liking to him, and jiatronized liim to 

some extent. AVhetlier I did so because I was l)eginning to 

^1 Iiave a distrust for such fellows as IJattler smd iMixer is not 

t necessary for me to state. 

You remember how the C'oyote tuniul went, in, and how 
awfully Avc shareholders Avere done I Well, the next thing 
i I heard was that Rattler, who was one of the heaviest share- 
holders, Avas u]) at Mugginsvilk?, keo-'-ping bar for ihe ])ro- 
ogetlier Jiext prietor of the :Mugginsvine Hotel, and that old Fagg had 



: put his feet 
ontemptible 
)wed money 
waiter in u 



^cyc^te Tu li- 
ve a run uj) 
'h nnd after 
1 ou.t to tlie 
i])er ccrrcs- 

wiioni ill 
s is tacitly 
id enal)le(l 
verpretcr- 
n, and ad- 
;fore him), 
3 put in a 

ho wrig- 



struck it rich, and didn't know wh;it to do with his money. 
AH this v/as told to me by ]\Iixer, who had been there, set- 
tling up matters, and likewise that Fagg was sweet upon the 
daufditcr of the proprietor of the tiforesaid hotel. And so 
by hearsay and letter I eventually gatlnn-ed that old ilobins, 
the hotel man, Wiis trymg to get up a matcli between Mellie 
Ilobins and Fagg. Nellie was a pretty, plumji, and foolish 
little tiling, and would do just as licr fatlier wished. I 
thought it v:ould 1,e a good thing for Fagg if lu' sliould 
marry and settle down; tliatas a married man he miglit be 
of some account. So I ran up to jMugginsvillc one day to 
]ook after things. 

It did me an innnense de:\l of good lo make luittler mix 
inv drinksfor mo,— Ilattler: the gay, brilliant, and uncou- 
riucrableHattler, who had tried to snub me two years ago. 
I talked to him about old Fagg andXeilie, particularly as 1 
I tliought the subject was distasteful. He never liked Fagg, 
I and he was sure, he said, that Nellie didn't. Did Nellie 




'■1:J 



80 



TUB MAN OP NO ACCOUNT. 



like anybody else ? He turned around to the mirror behind 
the bar and brushed up his hair ! I uuderstood the conceited 
wretch. I thought I'd put Fagi^ on his guard and get hiti 
to hurry up matters. I had a long talk with him. You 
could see by the way the poor fellow acted that he was bad- 
ly stuck. I[e sighed, and promised to pluck up courage to 
hurry matters to a crisis. Nellie was a good girl, and I think 
had a sort of quiet respect for old Fagg's unobtrusiveness. 
But her fancy was already taken captive by Rattler's super- 
ficial qualities, which were obvious and pleasing. I don't 
think Nellie was any worse than you or I. TVe are more 
apt to take acquaintances at their apparent value than their 
intrinsic worth. It's loss trouble, and, except when we want 
to trust them, quite as convenient. The difficulty with wo- 
men is that their feelings are apt to get interested sooner 
than ours, and then, you know, reasoning is out of the ques- 
ilt u. This is what old Fagg would have known had he been 
of any ret' J unt. But he wasn't. So much the worse for 
him. 

It was a few months afterward, and I was sitting in my 
office, wlien in walkcl old Fagg. I was surprised to see 
him down, but we taUrod over the current 'topics in that 
mechanical manner of people who know that they have 
something else to say, but are obliged to get at it in that for- 
mal way. After an interval Fagg in his natural manner 
said, — 

" I'm going home !'* 

" Going home ?" 

" Yes, — that is, I think I'll take a trip to the Atlantic 
States. I came to see you, as you know I have some little 
property, and I have executed a power of attorney for you 
to manage my affairs. I have some papers I'd like to leave 
with you. Will you take charge of them?" 

'* Yes," I said. " But what of Nellie ?" 

Hts face fell. He tried to smile, and the combination re- 
sulted in one of the most startling and grotesque effects I 
ever beheld. At length he said, — 



■gizcl 
thinl 



no ai 

T.I 



i 



*i 



Qirror behind 
the conceited 
and get hiti 
I him. You 
t ho was bad- 
ip conra^^c to 
1, und I think 
btrnsiveness. 
ttler's super- 
'ng. I don't 
/"e are more 
le than their 
hen we want 
Ity with wo- 
rsted sooner 
of tlie ques- 
had he been 
i worse for 

ttiug in my 
ised to see 

)ics in that 
they have 

in that for- 
al manner 



Atlantic 

lomc little 

y for you 

e to leave 



at ion re- 
elf ects I 



THE MAN or NO ACCOUNT. 



81 



f 



•' I shal' not mirry Nellio,— Ihat is^,"— lie seemed to apolo- 
•gize internally for the positive form of expression,—" I 
think that [ had h.'tter not." 

'•David Fa^%^;' I said with sudden severitv, "you're of 
no account !" 

To my a:slonishmeut his face brightened. " Yes," said he i 
" that's it !— I'm of no account ! But I always knew it. You 
see 1 tuougiit Rattler bved that girl a^ well a^ I did, and I 
knew s!u.' liked hiin better tliau she did m(!, and woidd be 
happier I dare say with him. But then 1 knew that old 
Robins woidd have preferred me to him, as I was better off, 
— and the girl would do as he said, — and, you see, I thou<^ht 
I was kinder in the way, — and so I left. But" iie continued, 
as I Avay about to interrupt him, " for fear the old man might 
object to Italtler, I've lent Inm enwugh to set him up inbusi- 
ne?5S for himself in Dogtown. A pushing, active, brilliant 
fellow, you know, like Kattler, can cet along, and will soon 
be in his old position again, — and you needn't be hard on 
him, you know% if he doesn't. Good bye." 

1 Avas too much disgusted with his treatment of that Rat- 
tler to be at all amiable, but as his business was profitable, I 
promised to attend to it, and he left. A few weeks passed. 
The return steamer ar.iived, and a terrible incident occui)ied 
the papers for days afterward. People in all parts of the 
State conned eagerly the details of an awful shipwreck, and 
those who had friends aboard went away by themselves, and 
read the long list of the lost under their breath. I read of 
the gifted, the gallant, the noble, and loved ones who had 
perished, and among them I think I was the first to read the 
nam.e of David Fagg. For the "man of no account" had 
*'Eoae home I" 



II.---ST0 11IES 



^l L I s s 



ClIAPTElt I. 

JUST where the Sierra Xevadabc.'iiiis los,nl).si(l(3 in gentler 
unrlalations, ami tlic rivers ^tow less rapid and yellow, 
on tlie side of a groat red mountain, stands" Suiitli's Pocket." 
Seen from the red road at «nnset, in the red light and the 
red dust, its white houses look like the outcroppings of 
quartz on the mountain-side. Thp red stage topped with 
red-shirted passengers is lost to view half a dozen tiraes in 
tlic tortuous descent, turning up nnexpcctedly in out-of-the- 
way places, and vanishing altogether within aliundredyards 
of the town. It is probably owing to this sudden twist in 
(he road that the advent of a stranger at Smith's Pocket is 
usually attended with a peculiar circumstance. Dismount- 
ing from the vehicle at the stage office, the too confident 
traveller is apt to walk straight out of town under ^he im- 
pression that it lies in quite another direction. It is related 
that one of the tunnel-men, two miles from town. m'*t one 
of these »elf-reliant passengers with a carpet-bag, umbrella, 
Harper's Magazine, and other evidencies of " Civilization 
and Refinement," plodding along over the road he had just 
ridden, vainly endeavoring to find the settlement of Smith's 
Pocket. 
An observant traveller might have found some compen- 



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23 WEST MAIN STREET 

WEBSTER, N.Y 145 80 

(716) 872- 4503 



.1 
A. 



ei, 



MUSS. 



sation for his disappointment in the weiid aspect of tliaft 
vicinity. Tliere were huge fissures on the hillside, and dis- 
placements of the red soil, resembling more the chaos of 
some primary elemental upheaval than the work of man ;. 
while, half-way down, along flume straddled its narrow 
body and disproportionate legs over the chasm, like an enor- 
mous fossil of some forgotten antediluvian. At every step 
smaller ditoli(?« crossed the road, hiding in their sallow depths 
unlovely streams that crept away to a clandestine union 
with the great yellow torrent below, and here and there 
were the ruins of some cabin with the chimney alone left 
intact, and the hearthstone opoa to the skies. 

Tlie settlement of Smith's Pocket owed its origin to the 
finding of a " pocket" on its site by a veritable Smith. Five 
thousand dollars were taken out it in one hulf-hour by 
Smith. Tiirce thousand dollar:-* were expended by Smith and 
others in erecting a tUune and in tunnelling. And then Smith's 
Poclu't was found tobconlya ))ocket, and subject like other 
pockeis i.!> dcplytion. Altiiough SmiiLi piorccd tlH> bowels of 
the grear red mountain, that live thousand dollars Avas the tirst 
and last return of his la'oour. The monntain grew reticent 
of its golden secrets, and the Hume steadily ebbed away the 
remainder of Smith's fortune. Then h-mith went into quartz- 
mining ; then iiito quartz-millinij ; tLen into hydraulics and 
ditcliing, and then by easy degrees into saloon-keeping. 
Presently it was whispered that Smith was drinkhig a ,^reat 
deal ; then it was known that Smith was a habitual di'uijkard, 
and then people began to think, as they are apt to, that he 
had never been anything (»lse. But the settlement of Smith's 
Pocket, like those of most dLr-coverics, was happily w^f 
dependent on the fortune of its pioneer, and other parties 
projected tunnels and found pocket.^. So Smith's Pocket 
became a settlement with its two fancy stores, its two 
hotels, its one expres8-ofl[ice, and its two first families?. Occa- 
sionally its one long straggling street was overawed by the 
assumption of the latest San Francisco fashions, imported 
p«r express, exclusively to the first families; makiitg out- 



MLISb. 



8» 



of thtkt 

nhd (Us- 

cliaos of 

of man;. 

narrow 
au cnor- 
'Qvy step 
w depths 
»e union 
13 d there 
one left 

n to the 

th. Five 

hour by 

mithand 

1 Bmith'3 

ke other 

)owels of 

s the first 

reticei;it 

vay the 

qufirtz- 

ilics and 

ceping. 

a ,5:reat 

uukard, 

that he 

Smith's 

pi!y not 

parties 

i Pocket 

its two 

!s. Occa- 

bj the 

mported 

iig out- 



raged Nature, in the ragged outline of her furrowed surface, 
look still more homely, and putting personal insult on that 
greater portion of the population to whom the Sabbath,, 
with a change of linen, brought merely the necessity of 
cleanliness, without the luxury of adornment. Then there 
was a Methodist Church, and hard by a Monte Bank, and a 
little beyond, on tlie mountain-side, a graveyard ; and then 
a little school-house. 

*' The Master," as he was known to his little flock, sat 
alone o!i(3 night in tlie school-house, with some open copy- 
books before him, carefully making those bold and full 
characters wiiich are supposed to combine the extremes of 
chirographical ;ind moral excellence, and liad got its far as 
"Riches are deci:iUul," and was elaboratinc the noun with 
the insincerity of iloufish that w?is quite in the spirit of his 
text, when he he;ird a gentle tapping. The woodpeckers liad 
been bu-jy about thereof (luring the day, and the noise did 
not disturb his work. But tlie opening of Die door, and tho 
tiipping continued rtoiiiliio insidt', caused him to look up. 
He was Gligiuly sUirtled by the lignre of a youn.;j girl, dirty 
and shabbily clad. Still, her great black eyes, her coarse, 
uncombed, lustrele.-JS hair falliac^ over her sun-burned face, 
her red arms and feet streaked with the red soil, were aU 
familiar to him. It was ]Melii-;sa Smith — Smith's motherless 
child. 

" What can she want here?" tho'i;;ht the masli r. Every- 
body knew " MIlss," a.^ she was called, tliroughoiit theltugth 
and height of IWd Mountain. Everybody knew her as an 
incorrigible girl, ilerlicrce, un^;<)vernaV»le di^vposition, her 
mail freaks and lawless cliaiacier, was in their way a^3 i)ro- 
verbial as the story of her father't. weaknesses, and as phil- 
osophically accepted by the townfolk. She wrangled with 
and fought the school -boys with keener invective juid quite as 
powerful arm. She followed the trails with a woodman'a 
craft, and the master Jiad met her before miles away, shoeless,. 
stockingless, and bareheaded, on the mountain road. The 
minera' camps along the stream supplied her with subsistence 



} 



m 



MLISS. 



during these voluntary pilgrimages, in freely offered alms. 
Not but that a larger protection had been previously extended 
to Mliss. The Rev. Joshua McSnagley, "stated" preacher, 
had placed her in the hotel as servant, by way of preliminary 
refienient, and had introduced her to his scholars at Sunday- 
school. But she threw plates occasionally at the landlord, 
and quickly retorted to the cheap witticisms of tlie guests, 
and created in the Sabbath-school a sensation that was so 
inimical to the orthodox dullness and placidity of tkat insti- 
tution, that, witli a decent regard for the starched frocks 
and unblemished morals of the two pink-and-wliite-faced 
children of the first families, the reverend gentleman had 
her ignominiously expelled. Such were tfie antecedents, 
and such the character of Mliss, as she stood before tho 
master. It was shown in the ragged dress, the unkempt 
hair, and bleeding feet, and asked his pity. It tlashed from 
her black, fearless eyes, and commanded his respect. 

" I come hereto-night," she said rapidly and boldly, keep- 
ing her hard glance on his, "because I knew you was alone. 
I wouldn't come here when them gals was here. I hate 'em 
and they hates me. That's why. You keep school, don't 
you ? I want to be teached !" 

If to the shabbiness of her apparel and uncomeliness of her 
tangled hair and dirty face she had added the humility of 
tears, the master would have extended to her the usual 
moiety of pity, and nothing more. But with the natural, 
though illogical instincts of his species, her boldness awak- 
ened in him something of that respect which all original 
natures pay unconsciously to one another in any grade. 
And he gazed at her the more fixedly as she went on 
still rapidly, her hand on that door-latch, and her eyes on 
his: — 

" My name's Mliss— Mliss Smith ! You can bet your life 
on that. My father's Old Smith— Old Bummer Smith— 
that's what's the matter with him. ISIliss Smith — and I'm 
coming to school I" 

" Well ?" said the master. . 



MLISS. 



sr 



id alms, 
xtended 
readier, 
itninarj 
sunday- 
mdlord, 
e guests, 
was so 
lat insti- 
l frocks 
te-faced 
lan had 
3cdenta, 
!oro tho 
nkcmpt 
d from 

r, keep- 
s alone, 
ate 'em 
1, don't 

g of her 
illty of 
; usual 
aatural, 
s awak- 
)riginal 
grade, 
ent on 
eyes on 

3ur life 
Imith— 
nd I'm 



Accnislomed to be thwarted a7id opposed, often wantonly 
and cruelly, for no other purpose than to excite the violent 
impulse of liernatnrp, the nmsicr's 'phlegm evidently took 
her by surprise. She stopped ; she began to twist a lock of 
her hair between lior lingers ; and tlie rigid line of upper 
lip, drawn over t!ie wicked little teeth, relaxed and quivered 
slightly. Then her eyes dropped, and sometliing like a blusii 
struggled up to her cheek, and tried to iisscrt itself through 
the splashes of redder soil, and the sunburn of years. Sud' 
denly she t lire v/ herself forvvr.rd, cidiing on Ood to s^^trike 
her dead, and iVll (Miiic weak and hcl-oless, with her face 
on the master's desk, crying and sobl)in<j a.-? if her heart would 
break. 

The master lifted her gently and v,^ai{ecl for the paroxysm 
to pass. AYlieu, with face still averted, she wns repciitlng 
between her sobs the uca culpa of childish penitence — that 
" she'd be g'ood, she didn't mean to," tSrc, it came to him to 
ask her why she had left Sabbath-school. 

Why had she left the Sabbath-sciiool ?— why ? O yes. 
"What did he (^IcSnagley) want to teil her she was wicked 
for? If God hated her, what did she want to go to Sabbath- 
school for? 'S'/i^ didn't want to bo •'beholden" to anybody 
vdio hated her. 

Had she told McSnagley this ? 

Yes, she had. 

The master laugiied. It Vv'-as a lioarty laugh, and echoed 
so oddly in the little school-house, and seemed so inconsis- 
tent and discordant with the sighiag of the pines without, 
that he shortly corrected himself with a sigh. The sigh 
was quite as sincere in its way, however, and after 
a moment of serious silence he asked lipr about her father. 

Her father ? Wliat father ? Whose father ? What had 
he evc]' done for her ? Why did the girls hato her ? Come 
now ! what made tho folks say, " Old Bummer Smith's 
lilliss!"whcn she passed 1 Yes; O yes. She wisiie'd he 
was dead^she was dead — everybody was dead ; and her 
sobs broke forth anew. 



«8 



MLISS. 



Tlic master, then leaning over her, told her as well as he 
•could wliat you or I might hare said after hearing such 
unnatural theories from childless lips; onlj Ijearing in 
mind perhaps better than you or I the unnatural facts of 
her ragged dress, her bleeding feet, and the omnipresent 
shadow of her drunken father. Then, rising hor to, her 
feet, he wrapped his shawl around her, and bidding her 
come early in the morning, he walked with her down the 
road. There he bade her " good night." The moon slione 
brightl}^ on the narrow path before them. He stood and 
watched the bout little figure as it swaggered down the 
road, and waited until it had passed the little graveyard and 
reached the curve of the hill, where it turned and stood a 
moment, a mere atom of sufferisg outlined against the far- 
off patient stars. Then he went back to his work. But the 
lines of the copy-book thereafter faded into long parallels of 
never ending road, over which childish figures seemed to 
pass sobbing and crying into the night. Then, the little 
fschool-house seeming lonelier than before, he shut the door 
and went home. 

The next morning Mliss came to school. Her face had 
been washed, and her coarse black hair bore evidence of 
recent struggles with tlie comb, in which both had evidently 
suffered. The old defiant|look shone occasionally in her eyes, 
but her manner was tamer and more subdued. Then began 
a series of little trials and self -sacrifices, in which master and 
pupil bore an equal part, and which increased the confidence 
and sympathy between them. Although obedient under the 
master's eye, at times during recess, if thwarted or stung by a 
fancied slight, Mliss would rage in ungovernable I'ury, and 
many a palpitating young savage, finding himself matched 
with his own weapons of torment, would seek the master 
with torn jacket and scratched face, and complaints of th« 
dreadful Mliss. There was a serious division among the 
townspeople on the subject; some threatening to withdraw 
their children from such evil companionship, and others as 
T7armly upholding the course of the master i.'i his work of 



MLISS. 



89 



11 as he 
ing such 
faring in 
facts of 
lipresent 
r to, her 
ling her 
)wn the 
)n shone 
)od and 
)wn the 
'ard and 
stood a 
the far- 
But the 
all els of 
med to 
le little 
he door 

ice had 
mce of 
idently 
er eves, 
1 began 
ter and 
fidence 
der the 
ngbya 
ry, and 
atched 
master 
of thft 
Lg the 
idraw 
ers as 
drkof 



reclamation. Meanwhile, with a steady persistence that 
seemed quite astonishing to him on looking back afterward^ 
the master drew Mliss gradually out of the shadow of her 
past life, as though it were but her natural progress down 
the narrow path on which he had set her feet the Jmoonlit 
night of their first meeting. Remembering the experience 
of the evangelical McSnagley, he carefully avoided that 
Rock of Ages on which that unskillful pilot had shipwrecked 
her young faith. But if, in the course of her reading, ehe 
chanced to stumble upon those few words which have lifted 
such as she above the level of the older, the wiser, and the 
more prudent — if she learned something of a faith that is 
symbolized by suffering and the old light softened in her eyes, 
it did not take the shape of a lesson. A few of tlie plainer 
people had made up a little sum by which the ragged Mliss 
was enabled to assume the garment of respect and civiliza" 
tion ; and often a rough shake of the hand, and words of 
homely commendation from a red-shirted and burly figure, 
sent a glow to the cheek of the young master, and set him 
to thinking if it was altogether deserved. 

Three months had passed from the time of their first 
meeting, and the master was sitting late one evening over 
the moral and sententious copies, when there came a tap at 
the door, and again Mliss stood before him. She was neatly 
clad and clean-faced, and there was nothing, perhaps, but 
the long black hair and bright black eyes to remind him of 
his former apparition. " Are you busy ?" she asked, " Can 
you come with me ?" — and on his signifying his readiness, 
in her old wilful way she said, " Come, then, quick !" 

They passed out of the door tegether and into the dark 
road. As they entered the town the master asked her 
whither she was going, She replied, '* To see my father." 

It was the first time h'; had heard her call him by that 
filial title, or indeed anything more than " Old Smith," or 
the " Old Man." It was the first time in three months that 
she had spoken of him at all, and the master knew she 
had kept resolutely aloof from him since her great change. 






90 



MLIHS. 



Satisfied from lier manner that it -was fruitless to question 
her i)urpo3e, he passively followed. In out-of4he-\vay 
places, low groggeries, restaurants, and saloons ; in gambling 
hells and dance-houses, the master, preced(id by Mliss, came 
and went. In the reeking smoke and blasphemous outcries 
of low dens, the child, holding tlie master's hand, stood and 
anxiously gazed, seemingly unconscious of all in the ono 
absorbing nature of her pursuit. Some of the revellers, re- 
cognizing Mliss, called to the cliild to sing and dance for 
them, and would have forced liquor upon her but for the 
interference of the master. Others, recognizing him mutely, 
made way for them to pass. So an hour slipped by. Then 
the child whispered in his ear that there was a cabin on the 
other side of the creek, crossed by the long flume, where she 
thought he still miglit bo. Thither they crossed,-:— a toil- 
some half-hour's walk, but in vain. They were returning 
by the ditch at the abutment of the Hume, gazing at the 
lights of the town on the oppoiite bank, when, sut'denly, 
sharp]}^ a quick report rang out on the clear night air. The 
echoes caught it, and carried it round and round lied Moun- 
tain, and set tlio dogs to barking all along the streams. 
Lights seemed to dance and move quickly on the outskirts 
of the town for a fev/ moments, the stream rippled quite 
audibly beside them, a f(;w stones loosened themselres from 
the hillside, and splashed into the stream, a heavy wind 
seemed to surge the branches of the funereal pines, and then 
the silence seemed to fall thicker, heavier, and deadlier. 
The master turned towardi^ Mli.-:S with an unconscious ges- 
ture of protection, but the child liad gone. Oppressed by a 
strange fear, he ran quickly down the trail to the river's bed, 
and, jumping from boulder to boulder, reached the base of 
lied Mountain and the outskirts of the village. Midway of 
the crossing he looked up and held his breath in awe. For 
high above him, on the narrow flume, he saw the fluttering 
little figure of his late (companion crossing swiftly in the 
darkness, 
lie climbed the bank, and, guided by a few lights moving 



about 
breath 
men. 
the mf 
raggej 
but h( 
to wlu 
an ex 
seeme( 
partly 
what 
hole b; 
with h 



MLISH. 



01 



about a central point on the mountain, soon found liimself 
breathless among a crowd of awc-striclcen and sorro^rful 
men. Out from among them tlic child appeared, and, taking 
the master's liand, led him silently before what seemed a 
ragged hole in the mountain. Her face was quite white, 
but her excited manner gone, and her look that of one 
to whom some long-expected event had at last happened, — 
an expression that, to the master in his bewilderment, 
seemed almost like relief. The walls of the cavern were 
partly propped by decaying limbers. The child pointed to 
what appeared to be some ragiijed cast-oil clothes left in the 
hole by tl;e late occupant. The master approached nearer 
with his tlaming dip, and bent over them. It was Smith, 
already cold, with a pistol in his hand, and a bullet in his 
heart, lying beside his empty pocket. 



CHAPTER II. 

The opinion which IMcSnagley expressed in reference 
to a *' change of heart," supposed to be experienced by 
Mliss was more forcibly described in the gulc.es and 
tunnels. It was thought there that Mliss ha 1 * struck a 
good lead." So when there was a new grave added to the 
little enclosure^ and at the expense of the master a little 
board and insc|ription put above it, the Red Mountain Ban- 
ner came out quite liandsomely, and did the fair thing to 
the memory of one of " our oldest Pioneers," .Jludinij grace- 
fully to that '' bane of noble intellects," and otherwise gen- 
teelly shelving our dear brother with the past. " lie leaves 
an only child to mourn hi;u loss," says the Banner, " who is 
now an exemplary scholar, thanks to the efforts of the Rev. 
Mr. McSnagley." The Rev. ZdcSnagley, in faot, made a 
strong point of Mliss's conversion, and, indirectly attributing 
to the unfo'tunate child the suicide of her father, made af- 
fecting aliusions in Sunday-school to the beneficial effects 



92 



IfLISS. 



of the " silent tomb/' and in this cheerful contemplation 
drove most of the children into speechless horror, and caused 
the pink-and-white scions of the first families to howl dis- 
mally and refuse to be comforted. 

The long dry summer came. As each fierce day burned 
itself out in little whiffs of pearl -gray smoke on the moun- 
tain summits, and the upspringing breeze scattered its red 
embers over the landscape, the green wave which in early 
spring upheaved above Smith's grave grew sere and dry and 
hard. In those days the master, strolling in the churchyard 
of a Sabbath afternoon, was sometimes surprised to find a 
few wild-flower's plucked from the damp pine-forests scat- 
tered there, and of tener rude wreaths hung upon the little 
pine cross. Most of these wreaths were formed of a sweet- 
scentrd grass, which the children loved to keep in tneir 
desks, intertwined with the plumes of the buck-eye, the 
syringa, and the wood-anemone ; and hero and there the 
master noticed the dark blue cowl of the monk's-hood, or 
deadly aconite. There was something in the odd association 
of this noxious plant with these memorials which occasioned 
a painful sensation to the maiiter deeper than his esthetic 
sense. One day, during: a long walk, in crossing a wooded 
ridge he came upon Mliss in the heart of the forest, perched 
upon a prostrate pine, on a fantastic throne formed by the 
hanging plumes of lifeless branches, her lap full of grasses 
and pine-burrs, and crooning to herself one of the negro me- 
lodies of her younger life. Recognizing him at a distance, 
she made room for him on her elevated throne, and with a 
grave assumption of hospitality and patronage that would 
have been ridiculous had it not been so terribly earnest, she 
fed him with pine-nuts and crab-apples. The master teok 
that opportunity to point out to her the noxious and deadly 
qualities of the monk's hood, whose dark blossoms he saw 
in her lap, and extorted from her a promise not to meddle 
with it as long as she remained his pupil. This done, — aa 
the master had tested her integrity before,— he rested satis-* 



i t 



1ILI88. 



93 



amplfttion 
nd caused 
howl dis- 

y burned 
he moun- 
d its red 

in early 
d dry and 
urchyard 
to find a 
•ests ficat- 
the little 

a sweet- 

in tneir 
-oye, the 
here the 
hood, or 
sociation 
jcasioned 

esthetic 
'. wooded 
perched 
1 by the 
f grasses 
egro me- 
ilistaiice, 
i with a • 
t would 
nest, she 
ter t«ok 
I deadly 
he saw 
meddle 
)ne, — aa 
)d satia** 



? 



; 



fled, and the strange fueling which had overcome him on 
secin^jj them died away. 

Of the homes that were offered AIllss when Jier conversion 
became known, the master preferred that of Mrs. Morpher, 
a womanly and kind-hearted specimen of South-western 
elUonscenCe, known in her maidenhood as the " Per-ralrie 
Rose" Being one of those who contend resolutely against 
their own natures, I^Irs. Morpher, by a long scries of self-sa- 
«rilif:o«3 and struggles, had at last sulyugated her naturally 
'larelcss disposition to principles of "order,' which she con- 
sidered, m common with Mr. Pope, as " Ileaven' first law." 
Put she could not entirely govern the orbits of her satellites 
however regular her own movements, and even her own 
"Jeemes" sometimes collided with her. Again h^r old na- 
ture asserted itself in her children. Lycurgus dipped into 
the cupboard " between meals," and Aristides came hom'> 
from school without shoes, leaving those important articles 
on the threshold, for the delight of a bare-footed walk down 
the ditches. Octavia and Cassandra were "keerless" of 
their clothes. So with but one exception, however much 
the " Prairie Rose" might have trimmed and pruned and 
trained her own matured luxuriance, the little shoots came 
up defiantly wild and straggling. That one exception was 
Clytemnestra Morpher, aged fifteen. She was the realiza- 
tion of her mother's immaculate conception, — neat, orderly, 
and dull. 

It was an amiable weakness of Mrs. Morpher to imagine 
that " Clytie" was a consolation and model for Mliss. Fol- 
lowing this fallacy, Mrs. Morpher threw Clytie at the head 
of Mliss when she was " bad," and set her up before the 
child for adoration in her penitential moments. It was not, 
therefore, surprising to the master to hear that Clytie was 
coming to school, obviously as a favour to the master and as 
an example for Mliss and others. For " ClyMe" was quite 
a young lady. Inheriting her mother's physical peculiarities, 
and in obedience to the climatic laws of the Bed Mountain 
^ regio», she was an early bloomer. The youth of Smith's 



94 



MLias. 



i 



:•! 






> > 



Pocki'l, to wlioni this kind of llowor M'ns iiire, fei.^iu'd for 
lu.'i* ill A])ril ami luii^^uisljcd Id INfny. Enanioun d swains 
btuiiiU.'Ll Ihc Ku!iaol-liou><c at the liour of aij?njisfcal. A few 
\vi?reJeah)nsof t!io nuistcr. 

* Periinj).-; it AV;;s tills iattur ( iif winslanc^' that oj-xiumI tlu; 
master's eyes to .Tiiotiicr. We could not IjcIj) noticin.';' Iliat 
Clyti(Mvas ronKuitic ; that iu sfliool slie required a great 
do.d of attention ; that lier pens were uniformly bad and 
wanted liximj;; that she usually accompanied the reque:;t 
■with a certain expeetatlon in her eye tliat was i^ome'.vhat 
disproportI(.»nulc t») the ((ualily of service she verhally re- 
quired ; that r-he sometimes allowed the curves of a round, 
plump whitcarm forest on his whenh(; was wrilin_ii;lier (to- 
pics ; that ;-ho always blushed and flun^^ bad; her l^lond 
"iirls when j;h{i did so. I don't remember whethir I have 
stated that Xha master was a younij man,— it's of 
littJe eon'jeqncnco, liov.'ever : he had been severely 
educated in the scliool in which Clvtie was tahini;' her 
first lesson, and, on the whole, witlistood tho llcxiblr curves 
and fac'tilious glance like the fine .young Spartan that lie 
was. Perhaps an insulricient quality of food may have 
tended to this ascetism. lie generally avoided Clytie ; but 
one evening, when she returned to the school-house after 
something she had forgotten, and did not find it until the 
master walked home with her, I hear that he endeavoured 
to make liiniseU" particularly agreeable, — partly from the 
fact, I imagine, that his conduct was adding gall and bitter- 
ness to tho already ov^orcharged hearts of Clytcmnestra's 
admirers. 

The morning after this affecting episode Mliss did not 
came to school. Noon came, but not 311 iss. Questioning 
Clytie on tlie subject, it appeared that they had left for 
school together, but the wilful Mliss. had taken another 
road. Tlio afternoon brought her not. In the evening he 
called on Mrs. Morplier, whose motliorly heart was really 
alarmed. Mr. Morphcr had spent all day in search of her, 
without discovering a trace that might lead to her discovery. 



MU».S. 



06 



j;hv(\ for 

il swains 

A f(.'U' 

mud Ihe 
('ill.';' I hat 
I ;i <.;vv:\i 
l.'iul uml 
L> rt'qucift 
omowluit 
l)u]]y re- 
ft rouiul, 
cc lier CO- 
cr IjIoiuI 
I ]• T have 
, — il's of 
h(>vcrelv 
i];u"!g' hov 
ilr curves 
I lliat lie 
iny liavc 
ytie ; but 
use after 
until tho 
etn'ourefJ 
from tUo 
id bitter- 
unestra's 

did not 
istioning 

left for 
I another 
'cning he 
as really 
li of her, 
iscovery. 



Aristldes was summoned as a probable accomplice, but 
that equitable infant succeeded in impressing the housi^hold 
with his innocence. Mrs. Morpher entertained a vivid 
impression that the child would yet be found drowned in a 
<litch, or, what was almost as terrible, muddled and soiled 
beyond the redemption of Hoap and water. ISlck at heart, 
the master returned to the school-house. As he lit his lamp 
and seated at his desk, he found a note lyin;; before him 
addressed to himself, in Mliss's handwriting. It seemed to 
bo written on a leaf torn from some old memorandum-book, 
and, to prevent scarilegious trilling, had been sealed with 
tiix brok(^n wafers. Opening it almost tenderly, the ma3tcr 
read as foUows : — 

Rbspected Siu, — When you read thi«, T am luu away. 
Never to come back. Kevci\ Neveii, NEV'EIJ. You c;tn 
give my beeds to i\[ary Jennings, and my Amerliiii's Prido 
I a highly coloured lithograph fi'on\ a tol)ac('0-l)Ox| to Sally 
Flanders. But don't you give any to Clyde Morpber. 
Don't you dare to. Do you know what my opinion is of her, 
it is this, she is perfekly disgnstin. That is all and no 
more at present from 

Yours respectfully, 

Melissa B.MiTir. 

The master sat pondering on this strange epistle till the 
moon lifted its bright face above tho distant hills, and illu- 
minated the trail that led to the school-house, beaten quite 
hard with the coming and going of little i'cct. Tiien, more 
satisfied in mind, he 'uon^ the missive into friigmcnls and 
scattered them along tlie road. 

At sunrise the next morning he was picking his way 
through the palm-like fern and thick underbrush of the 
pine-forest, starting the hare from its form, and awa- 
kening a querulous protest from a few dissipated crows, 
who had evidently been making a night of it, and so 
came to th« wooded ridge where he had once found 
Mliss! There he found the prostrate pine and tasselledt 



96 



MLISA. 



branches, but the throne was vacant. As he drew nearer^ 
what might hare been some frightened animal started 
through the crackling limbs. It ran up the tossed arms of 
the fallen monarch, and sheltered itself in some friendly 
foliage. The master, reaching the old seat, found the nest 
still warm ; looking up in the intertwining branches, he 
met the black eyes of the errant Mliss. They gazed at each 
other without speaking. She was first to break the silence. 

" What do you want ?" she asked curtly. 

The master had decided on a course of action. " I want 
some crab-apples," he said, humbly. 

*' Shan't have 'em ! go away. Why don't you get 'em of 
Clytcmnorertera V" (It seemed to be a relief to IvIIiss to ex- 
press her contempt in additional syllables to that classical 
young wonian's already long-drawn title.) " O you wicked 
tiling !" 

" I am lumgry, Lizzy. I have eaten noching since din- 
ner yesterday. I am famished !" and the jroung uiai^, in a 
state of remarkable exhaustion, leaned against a tree. 

Melissa's heart was touched. In. tlic bitter days of her 
<r'i])^y life she had k'nown Die sojisntion he so artfully F.inm- 
lated. Overcome hj hishoart-brokon tone, but nat eutfrely 
divested of suspicion, shesai-l, — 

" Dig under the tree near the roots, and you'll find lots ; 
but mind you don't tell," for Mliss had Iter hoards ny well 
a=; the nt^s ;ind f-quirr;'ls. 

Tint the master, of course, was uaable to find them ; the 
elFects of hunger probably blinding his senses. :Mliss grew 
unueasy. At length she peared at him through the leaves 
hi an eltlsh way, arul questioned, — 

" If I cotne down and give you some, you'll promise you 
won't touch me ?'' 

Tlie master promised. 

" Hope you'll die if you do !" 

The master accepted instant dissolution as .\ foi-fpit. 
Mliss slid down the tree. For a few moments nothing 
.transpired but the nmnching of the pine-nut. " Do you 



i 1 



MLI8S. 



or 



V nearer, 
started 
arms of 
friendly 
the nest 
cjhes, he 
I at each 
) silence. 

' I want 

t 'cm of 
ss to ex- 
classical 
wicked 

CO d in- 
law, in a 
c. 

of her 
h' F.iiim- 
eiitfrely 

nd lots ; 
ny well 



m ; the 
iss grew 
3 loaves 

lisc you 



feci better ?" she asked, with sorae soliiutude. Tlie muster 
confessed to a recuperative feelin;^:, and then, gravely thank- 
ing her, proceeded to retrac'e his steps. A« he expected, he 
had not gone far before she called him. Tie turned. She 
was standincj there quite white, with tears in her widely 
opened orbs. The master felt that the right moment had 
come. Going up to her, he took both her hands, and, look- 
ing in her tearful eyes, said grsvely, " Lissy, do you remem- 
ber the first evening you came to see me ?" 

Lissy remembered. 

" You asked me if you might come to s«hool, for you 
wanted to learn something and be better, and I said " 

" Com«," responded the child, promptly. 

" What would you say if the master now came to 
you and said that he was lonely Avithout his little scholnr 
and that he wanted her to come and teach him to be 
better ?" 

The child hung her head for a few moments in silence. 
The master waited patiently. Tcnpted by the quiet, a hare 
ran close to the couple, and raising her bright eyes and 
velvet forepaws, sat and gazed at them. A squirrel ran 
half-way down the furrowed bark of the fallen tree, and 
there stopped. 

"We are waiting, Lissy," said the master, in a whisper, 
and the child smiled. Stirred by a passing broeze, the 
tree-tops rocl^:cd, and a long pencil ©f light stole through 
their interlaced boughs full on the doubting face and irre- 
solute little figure. Suddenly she tock the master's hand in 
her quick way. What she said was scarcely audible, but 
the master, putting tbe black hair back from her forehead, 
kissed her; and so, hand in hand, they passed out of the 
damp aisicr", and forest odours into the open sunlit road. 



foi'feit. 
nothing 
Do yon 



f,i 



08 



MLISS. 



CHAPTER .III. 

Somewhat less spiteful in her intercourse M^ith other 
scholars, Mlls^s still retfiined an ot!ensive attitude in regard 
to Clytemnestra. Pcrhap«5 the jealous clement was not 
entirely lulled in her passionate little breast. Perhaps it 
was only that the round curves and plump outline offered 
more extended pinching surface. But while such eballi- 
tions were under tlie master's control, her enmity occasion- 
ally took a now and irrepressible form. 

The master, in his first estimate of the child's character, 
could not conceive that she had ever possessed a doll. But 
the master, like mnny other professed readers of character, 
was safer ina poi^ferlori than a priori reasonin*!;. Mliss had 
a doll, but then it was emphatically Mliss's doll, — a smaller 
copy of herself. Its unhappy existence had been a secret 
discovered accidentally by Mrs. Morpher. It had been the 
old-time companion of Mliss's wanderings, and bore evident 
marks of suffering. Its original complexion vras long since 
washed away by the weather and anointed by the slime of 
ditches. It looked very much as Mliss had in days past. 
Its one gown of faded stuff was dirty and ragged as hers 
had been. jMli'is had never been known to apply to it any 
childish term of endearment. She never exhibited it in the 
presence of other childran. It was put severely to bed in a 
hollow tree near the school-house, and onl}' allowed exer- 
cise during Mliss's rambles. Fulfilling a stern duty to ker 
doll, asshc would to herself, it knew no luxuries. 

Now Mrs. ^Mor.pher, obeying a commendable impulse, 
bought another doll and gave it to Mliss. The child receiyed 
it gravely and curiously. The master on looking at it 
one day fancied he saw a slight resemblance in its 
round red cheeks and mild blue eyes to Clytemncstra. It 
became evident before long that Mliss had also noticed the 
same resemblance. Accordingly she hammered its waxen 
head on the rocks when she was alone, and sometimes dragged 



MLISS. 



OD 



otlier 



iipulse, 
C'ceiTed 
: at, it 
in its 
ra. It 
ed the 
waxen 
ragged 



it with a string round its neck to and from schoel. At other 
times, setting it up on her desk, she made a pin-cnshion of 
Its patient and inoffensive body. Whether this was done in 
revenge of what she considered a second figurative obtrusion 
of Clytie's excellences upon her, or whether she had an intui- 
tive appreciation of the rites of certain other heathens, and, 
indulging in that "Fetish" ceremony, imagined that the 
original of her wax model would pine away and finally die^ 
is a metaphysical question I shall not now consider. 

In spite of these moral vagaries, the master could not help 
noticing in her different ta.'sks the working of a quick, rest- 
less, and vigorous perception. She knew neither the hesitancy 
nor the doubts of chddhood. Iler answers in class were 
always slightly dashed with audacity. Of course she was 
not infallible. But her courage and daring in passing beyond 
her own depth and that of the floundering little swimmers 
around her, in their minds outweighed all errors of judgment. 
Children are not better than grown people in this respect, I 
fancy; and whenever the little red hand flashed above her 
desk, there was a wondering silence, and even the master 
was sometimes oppressed with a doubt of his own experience 
•md judgment. 

iNevertheless, certain attributes v/hich at first amused and 
entertained his fancy began to ailiict him with grave doubts. 
He could not but see that Mliss was revengeful, irreverent, 
and wilful. That there was but one better quality which 
pertained to her semi-savage dispositiou, — the faculty of 
physical fortitude and self-sacrifice, and another, though not 
always anattrinute of the noble savage, — Truth. r-Iliss was 
both fearless and sincere; perhaps in such a character the 
adjectives were synonymous. 

The master had been doing some hard thinking on this 
subject, and had arrived at that conclusion quite common to 
all who think sincerely, that he was generally the slave of his 
own prejudices, when ho determined to call on the Rev. 
McSnagley for advice. This decision was somewhat humil- 
iating to his pride, as he and McSnagley were not friends. 



Iil0$!l}0(: 



ICO 



MLIS8. 



^1 



But lie thongbt of Mlinia, .••mi tlie evcriing of their first meet- 
in;,' , :;;ul pcrlmps with ji pnrdonablo Biiperstition that it was 
not c'iMnce nione that luid guided ht-r wilful feut to the 
■scliool-house, nn'l perlui[)s with a complacent consciousness 
of tlu; rare magnamiuity of the act, he choked buck his 
dislike and went to McSnagley. 

The reverend gentlema'i w.i-; glad to see him. IMorcover 
he ohporved that the master wa« looking " peartish," and 
lioped he had got over the "ntiiiralgf" and *' rheumatiz.'» 
Hcl'.imsf'lf had been troubled with a dumb " ager " since 
Ja-^t conference. But he had learned t'» " rastle and pray." 

Pausing a moment to enable the nvisier to write his 
cerlain method of curing li\e dun^b " agcr" upon the book 
fUid vohime of h' « hram, Mr. McSnagley proceeded to in- 
quire after Sister Morpher. '' She is an adornment, to Chris- 
t( ic:\Ti\\}\ and has a likely growin' young family," added 
]\lr. 3l!-5?n(igl(:y ; '-and there's that maunorly young gal, — 
so well bcluived, — Miss Clytie." In fact, Clytie's perfections 
.<^t't iued to affect him to such an extent that he dwelt for 
several minutes upon them. The master was doubly em- 
biirnissed. In the liist place, there was an enforced contrast 
witJi ]>(»or MIis8 in all this praise of Clytie. Secondly, there 
was something unpleasantly confidential in his tone of 
speaking of Mrs. Morpher's earliest born. So that the 
master, after a few futile efforts to saj something natural, 
left without asking the information required, but in his 
after reflections somewhat unjustly giving the Eev. Mr. 
McSnagley the full benefit of having refused it. 

Perhaps this rebuff placed the master and pupil once more 
in the close communion of old. The child seemed to notice 
the change in the master's manner, which had of late been 
constrained, and in one of their long post-prandial walks 
8he stopped suddenly, and, mounting a stump, looked full in 
his lace with big, searching eyes. " You ain't mad ?" said 
fihe, with an interrogative shake of the black braids. " No.' 
"Nor bothered?" "No." "Nor hungry?" (Hunger was 
ito Mliss a sickness that might attack a person at any mo- 



MLISS. 



101 



rst mect- 
iit it was 
t to the 
iousness 
ack his 

lorcover 
«h," and 
.imatiz.'' 
' " since 
I pray." 
rite his 
he book 
id to in- 
o Chris- 
" added 
i^ gal,— 
•fcftions 
welt for 
bly cm- 
eon trast 
y, there 
Mine of 
lat the 
natural, 
: in his 
ev. Mr. 

ce more 

notice 
ite been 

1 walks 
i full in 

?" said 
No.'' 



t( 



jer was 
iny mo- 



ment). "No." " Nor thinking of her ?" " Of whom, 
Lissy?" "That white girl." (This was the latest epithet 
invented by Mliss, who was a very dark brunette, to express 
Clytemnestra). " No." " Upon your word ?" (A substitute 
for " Hope you'll die !" proposed by the master). " Yes.'' 
"And sacred honour?" "Yes." Then Mliss gave him a 
fierce little kiss, and, hopping down, liuttered oif. For two 
or three days after that she condescended to appear more 
like other children, and be. as she expressed it, "good." 

Two years had passed since the master's advent at Smith's 
Pocket, and as his salary was not large, and the prospects of 
Smith's Pocket eventually becoming the capital of the State 
not entirely definite, he contemplated a change. He had 
informed the school trustees privately of his intentions, but, 
educated young men of unblemished moral character being 
scarce at that time, he consented to continue his school term 
through the winter to early spring. None else knew of his 
intention except his one friend, a Dr. Duchesne, a young 
Creole physician known to the people of Wingdam as 
"Duchesny." He rever mentioned it to ^Trs. Morpher, 
Clytie, or any of his scholars. His reticence was partly the 
result of a constitutional indisposition to fuss, partly a desire 
to be spared the questions and surmises of vulgar curiosity,, 
and partly that he never really believed he was going to do 
anything before it was done. 

He did not like to think of Mliss. It was a selfish instinct, 
perhaps, which made him try to fancy his feeling for the 
child was foolish, romantic and unpractical. He even tried 
to imagine that she would do better under the control of an 
older and sterner teacher. Then she was nearly eleven,, 
and in a few years, by the rules of Red Mountain, would be 
a woman. He had done his duty. After Smith's death he 
addressed letters to Smith's relatives, and received one an- 
swer from a sister of Melissa's mother. Thanking the 
master, she stated her intention of leaving the Atlantic 
States for California with her husband in a few montjis. 
This was a slight superstructure for the airy castle which 




102 



MLISS. 



■;, I! 
!' ' I . 
1:1. 



the master pictured for Mliss's home, but it was easy to 
fancy tliat some loving, sympathetic woman, with the 
claims of kindred, might better 2;uidc lier wayward nature. 
Yet when the master liad read the letter, IMliss listened to it 
carelcsi^ly, received it submissively, and afterwards cut 
figures out of it with her scissors, supposed to represent 
Clytcmnestra labelled " the white girl," to prevent mis- 
takes, and impaled them upon the outer wall of the school- 
house. 

When the summer was about spent, and the last harvest 
had been gathered in the valleys, the master bethouglit him 
of gathering in a few ripened shoots of the young idea, and 
of having liis llarvest-IIomc, or Examijiation. So the 
savaiis and professionals of Sniitli's Pocket were gathered 
to witness that tune honored custom of placing timid child- 
ren in a constrained position, and bullying them as in a 
witness-box. As usual in such cases, tlie most audacious and 
8elf-po?sessed were the lacky recipients of the honours. The 
reader v»'ill nuaglne tliat in the present instance ]\Iliss and 
Clytle were i>re-eminent, and divided public att-ention ; 
TvDiss Avith her clearness of material perception and self- 
reliance, Clytic witlilier placid self-esteem and saint-like 
correctness of deportment. The other little ones were 
timid and blunderiiiLT. Mliss's readiness and brilliancy, of 
course, captivated the greater number and provoked the 
greatest applause. ]\Iliss's antecedents had unconsciously 
'<iwakcned the strongest sympathies of a class whose athletic 
forms were ran<.red against the walls, or vrhose handsome 
bearded faces looked in at the window. But ]\riiss\s popu- 
larity was overthrown by unexpected circumstance. 

McSnagley had invited himself, and had been going 
throuirh the pleasinti: entertainment of frightcniuG: the more 
timid pupils by the vaguest and most ambiguous questions 
delivered in an impressive funereal tone ; and Mliss had 
sr>ared into Astronomy, and was tracking the course of our 
spotted ball th.iough space, and keeping time with the 
music of the spheres, and defining the tethered orbits of 



MLISS. 



103 



the platicts, when McSnajley impressively iirose. "Mcelissy! 
ye were speaking of the revoKitions of this yere yearth 
and tlie move-ments of llic sun, tuul T think ye said it liad been 
a-dohig of it since tlie creasliun, eh V Mliss nodded a scornful 
amrmativc. *' Well, war that the truth V" aaid .MeSnagley, 
folding his anus. " Yes," said Mliss, siiulfmg up lior little 
red lips tightly. The handsome outlines at the windows 
peered further in the schcol-roon), and a salnlly Kaphael- 
facc, with blond beard and soft blue eyeii, lielwnging to the 
biggest scamp in the diggings, turned towaril the ciiild and 
whispered, " stick to it, i'vlliss !" Tiie reverend ^gentleman 
heaved a deep sigh, and cast a compassionate glance at the 
master, then at the children, and then rested his look on 
Clytie. That young womtm softly elevated her round, 
white arm. Its seductive curves Avere enhanced by a 
gorgeous and massive specimen bracL'lei, the gift of one of 
her hund)lest wo^shipper^, w(U'n in h'>nour of the occasion. 
There was a momentary silence. CMytie's round checks 
were pink and soft. Clytie's low-necked wiiite book-muslin 
rested softly on (Uy tie's white, plump 5;iouldeis. (iytie 
looked at the master, an.l the master nodded. Then (Jiytio 
spola* softly : — 

"Joshua commanded the smi to stand still, and it obeyed 
him I' There was a low liuia of a])plau^e in the school- 
room, a triumphant expression 0:1 I>rcSnagicy's face, ;i ^;rave 
shadow on the master's, and a comical look of disappoint- 
ment retlected from the v.'indow.-;.. Mliss skimmed lapidly 
over her Astronom}'', and then s;jut the bool: Vv-itli aloud 
snap. A groan burst from T'JcSnagley, an CApression of 
astonishment from the school-room, a yell from the windows, 
as Mliss brought her red fist dov/n en the desk, with the 
emphatic declaiwtion, 



(( 



It's a d — n lie. I don'c believe it !" 



104 



MLISS. 



CHAPTER IV. 



|! 



VI- 



Titis long wet season had drawn near its close. Signs of 
spring were visible in tlie swelling buds and rushing tor- 
rents. The pine-forests exhaled the fresher spicery. The 
azaleas were already budding, the Ceanothus getting ready 
its lilac livery for spring. On the green upland which 
climbed the lied Jdountain at its southern aspect the long 
spike of the nion];'s-liood shot up from its broad-leaved 
stool, and once more shook its dark-blue bells. Again the 
billow above Smith's grave was soft and green, its crest just 
tossed with the foam of daisies and buttercups. The little 
graveynrd had gathered a few new dwellers in the past 
yeai', and tlie mounds were placed two by two by the little 
paling until they reached Smith's grave, and there there 
was but one. General superstition had shunned it, and 
the plot beside Smitli was vacimt. 

There had been sevci-al i)]acards posted about the 
tovrn, intiniatmg that, at a certain period a celebrated 
dramatic company would perform, for a few days, a 
series of "side-splitting" and "screaming farces;" that, al- 
ternating pleasantly with this, there would be some melo- 
drama and a grand divertisement, which would include 
singing, dancing, &c. These announcements occasioned s 
great fluttering among the little folk, and were the theme of 
much excitement and great speculation among the master's 
scholars. The master had promised Mliss, to whom this sort 
of thing was sacred and rare, that she should go, and on 
that momentous evening the master and Mliss '' assisted." 

The performance was the ])revalent style of heavy medio- 
crity ; the melodrama was not bad enough to laugh at nor 
good enough to excite. But the master, turning wearily to 
the child, was astonished, and felt something like self-accu- 
sation in noticing the peculiar elfect upon her excitable na- 
ture. The red blood flushed in her cheeks at each stroke of 
her panting little heart, ller small passionate lips were 



!krLISS. 



105 



slightly parted to give vent to her hurried breath. Her 
widely opened lids threw up and arched her black eyebrows. 
She did not laugh at the dismal comicalities of the funny 
man, forMlifS seldom laughed. Nor was she discreetly af- 
fected to the delicate extremes of the corner of a white 
handkerchief, as was the tender-hearted " Clytic," who wiis 
talking with her " ftsller" and ogling the master at tlie same 
moment. But when the perforiiance was over, and the 
green curtain fell on le little stage, ]\[liHs drew alonir, deep 
breath, and turned to the master's grave face with u half- 
apologetic smile and wearied gesture. Then she said, "Now 
take me home!" and droi);)ed the livlsof lier black eyes, as 
if to dwell once more in fancy on the inimic stage. 

On their way to ^Irs. Morpher's the master thought prope'' 
to ridicule t he wliolo periormance. Now he shouldn't won- 
der if Mliss tuou^ht, that ti:e young lady who acted so beau- 
tiluily wa4 really in earnest, and in love with the gentleman 
who wore such line clotbes. Well, if she were in love w^ith 
hiiiJ, it was a very unCortuiiate thing I " Why V" said Mliss, 
with an upward sweep of the drooping lid. " Oh ! well, he 
couldn't support his wife at his present salary, and pay so 
much a week for his fine elotiies, and tiieu tliey wouldn't 
receive as much wages if they v/ere married as if they weie 
merely lovers, — that is," advled the master, " if tluiy Jire not 
already married to somebody elt^e : b think the husband 
of the pretty young countess takes the tickets at the door, 
or pulls up the curtain, or snuffs the candles, or does some- 
thing equally refined and elegant. As to the young man 
with nice clothes, which are really nice now, and must cost 
at least two and a half or three dollars, not to speak of that 
mantle of red drugget which I happen to know the price 
of, for I bought some of it for my room once — as to this young 
man, Lissy, he is a pretty good fellow, and if he does drink 
occasionally, I don't think people ought to take advantage of 
it and give him black eyes, andthro-.v himinthemud. Do 
you V I am sure he might owe me two dollnrs and a half a long 



100 



MLISS. 



timo, bc'torc; I woiiUl throw it up in liis luce, as tlic fellow 
did the other nii^ht ut Win.i,^{lam." 

MHbh litid liiken his IkukI ia Ijoth of her.s aiul -svas trying 
to look ill liis eyes, which the young nitui kept as resohitely 
averted. ^UiL'S had a faint idea of irony, indulging heroclf 
soinelinies in a species of sardonic humour, wliicli was 
equally visible in her actions and her speech. ]]ut the 
young ma]i continued in Ihi,^ .itrain until they had reached 
Mrs. ]\Iori)her's, and he had dei)osiled 3liis^j in lier maternal 
chara-e. Watching the invitation of Mrs. Morr.her to refresh- 
ment and rest, and shading his eyes with his hand to keep 
out the blue-eyed Clytcnmsetra's glances, he e.\(aHed him- 
self, and went luMue. 

For two or three days after the advent of the dramatic 
company, ^Iliss was late at school, and the master's usual 
Friday afternocm ramble was for once omitted, owing to the 
absence of his trustworthy guide. As he w\a8 putting away 
his books and preparing to leave the school-house, a small 
voice piped at his side, "Please, sir:" Tlie master timicd, 
and tliere stood Aristides 3Iorj)her. 

"Well, my little man," eaid the master, impatieutlj^ '"v/hat 
is it? quick!" 

"Please, sir, me and 'Kerg' thinks that Mliss is going to 
run away agin." 

"What's that, sir?" said the master, with that unjust 
testincL^s A'ith which wo always receive disagreeable news. 

"Why, sir, she don't stay at home any more, and 'Kerg' 
and me se(?. her talking with one of those actor fellers, and 
she's witli him now ; and please, sir, yesterday she told 
'Kerg' and me she could make a speech as well a3 Miss 
Cellcrstina ]\[ontmoressy, and she spouted right off by 
heart," a)ul tlie little fellow paused in a collapsed condition. 
- "Wliat actor ?" asked the master. 

"llim as wears the shiny hat. And hair. And gold pin. 
And gold chain," said the just Aristides, putting periods for 
commas to eke out his breadtii. 

The master put on his gloves and hat, feeling an un- 



MLISS. 



lor 



follow 

s trying 
solutcly 

llCTaClf 

ell was 

Ihit Uk; 

leached 
internal 
rel'i'osli- 
to keep 

c'd liim- 

Iramatu; 
's usual 
\g to the 
ng away 
a small 
L' turned, 

y, '"what 



g'oiug to 



t unjust 
3 news, 
id 'Kerg' 
lers, and 
she told 
1 a3 Miss 
it off by 
ondition. 



gold pin. 
■riods for 



:; an un- 



ploasnnt tightness in his ehest and thorax, and walked out 
in the road. Aristldes trotted along by his side, endeavoring 
to keep paec witli h'.sshortlegs to the master's strid(!3, when 
the masi(>r stojiped suddenly, and Aristldes bumped U|> 
against him. "Where were tluy talking ? asked the master, 
as if continuing the conversation. 

"At the Arcade," said Aristides. 

When they reached the miin street the mister paused, 
"rinn down home," said he to the bo}-. "If Mllss is there, 
come to the Arcade and tell mc. Ifslic i<n't there, stay 
liome; nml"' And oil' trotted the shortdegged Aristides. 

Tii(! An-adc was just across the way, — a long, 
rambling building, containing a bar-room, billiard-room, 
and restaurant. As the young man par-scd the plaza, he 
noticed that two or three of the passersdw t'.ir:ied and 
looked after him. If*; looked at his clothes, took out his 
handkerchief and wiped his face, before he entered the 
bar-room. It cont.Ained tlie usual number of loungers, who 
stared at him as he entered. One of them looked at him so 
fixedly, and with such a strange expression, that the master 
stopped and looked again, and then saw it was only Lis 
own reflection in a large mirror. This mi^de the master 
think that perhaps he was a little excitetl,and so he took up 
a copy of the Red Mountain Banner from one of the tables, 
and tried to recover his composure by reading the column of 
advertisements. 

lie tlieu walked through the bar-room, through the restau- 
rant, and into the billiard-rocm, The child was not there. 
In the latter apartment a person was standing by one of the 
tables Vv^ilh a broad-brimmed glazed hat on his head. The 
master recognized him as the agent of the dramatic com- 
pany ; he had taken a dislike to him at their first meeting, 
from the peculiar fashion of wearing his beard and hair. 
Satisfied that the object of his search was not there, he 
turned to the man with a glazed hat. He had noticed the 
master, but tried that common trick of unconsciousness, in 
which vulgar natures always fail. Balancing a billiard-cue 



108 



MUHS. 



in his hand, he pretended to play with a ball in the centre of 
the table. The master stood opposite to him until ho raised 
his eyes ; when their glances met, the master walked up 
to him. 

He had intended to avoid a scene or quarrel, but when he 
began to speak, soracthinj; kept rising in his throat and 
retarded his utterance, and his own voice frightened him, it 
sounded so distant, low, and resonant. *' I understand," he 
began, "that Melissa Smith, an orphan, and one of my 
scholars, has talked with you about adoptin*: your profes- 
sion. Is that so V" 

The man with tlie f^lazcd hat leaned over the table, and 
made an imaginary shot, that sent the ball spinning round 
the cushions. Then walking round the taj)le he recorered 
the ball, and placed it upon the Rpot. This duty discharged 
getting ready for another shot, he said, — 

"S'posc Bho has?" 

The master clioked up again, bat, .S!in''«zing llie (:•u^■lli<)n 
of the table in his gloved hand, ho Aveut on : — 

"If you are a gentleman, I have i>nly to tell j'ou tiiat 
I am her guardian, and responsible lor her career. You 
know as well as I do the kind of life you offer her. As you 
ma}' learn of any one here, I have already brought her out 
of an existence worse than death, — out of the strccia and 
the contamination of vice. I am trying to do so rgain. 
Let us talk like men. Uhe has neither fath(!r, mothar, 
sister, nor brother. Are you seekirig to give lier an equiva- 
lent for thece ? 

The man with Ihv' gla/ed hat examined the poiut of the 
cue, and then looked around for somebody to enjoy the joke 
with him. 

" I know that she is a strange, wilful girl." continued the 
master, " but she is better than she waa. I believe that I 
have some intluence over her still. I beg and hope, there- 
fore, that you will take no further steps in the matter, but 
HH a man, as a gentleman, leave her to me. I am wil- 



ling 

throat, ar 

Theme 
lilencfl, ] 
iftid in a 

'•Want 
young mt 

Tke fni 
in the gla 
nature th 
khid of a 
his pent-i 
act, he St 
sent the j 
the glove 
joint. It 
and »^o\ 
to come. 

There 
tram pi in; 
left, and 
rapid sue 
nent, and 
picking b 
his left h 
ing at it, 
fingers w 
knife. I: 

The mj 

He hurrii 

back, an( 

parched I 

paid Mr. '. 

linto the j 

Isaid that 

Imoments 

Uomebod 



MLinn. 



109 



ling " But h«r« something rose again in tho master's 

throat, and the sentence remained unflnished. 

The man with the glazed hat, mistaking tho master^ 
lilence, raised his head with a coarse, brutal laugh, and 
■aid in a loud voiee — 

'• Want her yourself, do you ? That cock won't fight here, 
joung man !" 

Tko Insult was more in the tone than the wordn, more 
in the glance than tone, and more in the man's instinctive 
nature than all these. Tho beat ai)prcciable rhetoric to this 
litud of animal is a blow. Tho master felt this, iind with 
his pent-up, nerrous energy finding expression in tho one 
act, he struck the brute full in his grinning face. Tlie blow 
sent the glazed hat one way and tho cue another, and tore 
the glove and skin from the master's* hand from knuckle to 
joint. It opened «p tho cornerd of the ftillowa moulh, 
and sijoilt tho peculiar shape of hi,^ beard lor some time 
to come. 

There was p shout, an imprecation, a scuftlc, and the 
trampling of many foot. Then the crowd parted right and 
left, and two sharp quick reports forllowed each other in 
rapid succession. Then thoy closed again about his oppo- 
nent, and the master was standing alone. He remembered 
picking bits of burning wadding from h's «oat-slcevc willi 
his left hand. Some one was holding his olher hand. Look- 
ing at it, he saw it was slill bleeding from the blow, but his 
fingers were clenched around the handle of a glittering 
knife. He could not remember when or how lie got it. 

The man who was holding his hand was Mr. Morpher. 
He hurried the master to tho door, but the nuister held 
back, and tried to tell him as well as he coulil with his 
parched throat about *' Mliss" "It's all right, my boy," 
said Mr. Morpher. "She's home!" And they passed out 
into the street together. As they walked along, Mr. Morphcr 
said that Mliss had come running into the house a few 
moments before, and had dragged him out, saying that 
somebody was trying to kill the master at the Arcade. 
5 



110 



MLISS. 



"Wishing to be alone, the master promised Mr. Morpher that 
he would not seek the Agent again that night, and parted 
from him, taking the road towards the school-house. He was off t 
was surprised in nearing it to find the door open — still morepctors V 
surprised to find Mliss sitting there. 

The master's nature, as I have hinted before, had, 
like most sensitive organizations, a selfish basis. The first." 
brutal taunt tbrown out by his late adversary still rankledl With 
in his heart. It was possible, he thought, that a construcJwith lier 
lion might be put upon his affection for the child, which atfc'een Ica^ 
best was foolish and Quixotic. Besides, had she not volun-per quick 
larily abnegated his authority and affection ? And whalold life, m 



The m 

•' Yes," 



I knew it 
to stay J] 



" That'; 
mill the 



had everybody else said about her? Why should he aloue 
combat the opinion of all, and be at last obliged tacitly to 
confess the truth of all they had predicted ? And he had care whic 
. been a participant in a low bar-room fight with a common ne ! ISTc 
boor, and risked his life, to prove what? What had be despise m 
proved? Nothing' Wliat would the people say? Whal 
would his friends say V What would McSnagley say ? 

In his self-accusatior the last person he should have wishf liem awa 
ed to meet was IMliss. lie entered the door, and, going ir 
to his desk, told the child, in a few cold words, that he v; 
busy, and wished to be alone. As she rose he took hel' to 
vacant seat, and, sittmg down, buried his head in his hanq 
When he looked up again she was still standing there. Sb 
was looking at his face with an anxious expression. 

" Did jovL kill him ?" she asked. 

" No !" said the master. 

" That's what f gave you the knife for !" said the child 
quickly. 

" Gave me the knife ?" repeated the movSter, in bewilder 
ment. 

'' Yes, gave you the knife. I was there under the bai 
Saw you hit him. Saw you both fall. He dropped hit; ol 
knife. I gave it to you. Why didn't you stick him ?" sai 
Mliss rapidly, with an expressive twinkle of the black eye 
find a gesture of the little red hand. 



The pa 
)eeped o^ 

liem 

rasps. 

"If y( 
keei 

'ather ki 
ul of tha 
md she s 

The m 
jrave, an 
ng her h 
le said,— 

" Lissy, 

The ch 
ally, *' 1 

"Butn 

" To-ni 

And, 
ow roa( 



Morphcr tha 
t, and parted 
ol-liouse. He 
en — still more BCtors 



The first. 



before, had 
basis. 
J still rankled 
at a construe 
bild, whicb a 
she not volun-iier 
And what old 
Lould he alone 
liged tacitly to 
' And he had 
ith a commoB ne 

What had hjdespise 
le say? Wha 
^Icy say V 
)iild have wish 
', and, going njiffasp 
•ds, that he wa 
50 he took he 
id in his hands 
ing there. Sbi 
ession. 



' said the child 

er, in bewilder 

under the 
hopped his ol( 
:ick him ?" sai( 
I the black eye 



ilLi.S«. 



Ill 



The master could only look his astoul&hment. 

" Yes," said Mliss. " If you'd asked me, I'd told you I 

was off with the play-actors. Why was I ofl with the play- 

? Because you wouldn't tell me you was going away. 

I knew it. I heard you tell the Doctor so. I wasn't a-goin' 

to stay liere alone with those ]\Iorpher's. I'd rather die 



With a dramatic gesture which was perfectly consistent 
with her character, she drew from her bosom a few limp 
gi-een leaves, and, holding them out at arm's len^lli, said in 
quick vivid way, and in the queer pronunciation of her 
life, which she fell into when unduly excited, — 
" That's the poison plant you said would kill me. I'll go ^ 
ffith the play-actors, or I'll eat this and die he re. I don't 
are which. I won't stay here, where they hate and despise 
! Neither would you let me, if you didn't hate and 
me too !" 
The passionate little breast heaved, and two big tenrs 
eeped over the edge of Mliss's eyelidci, but she whisked 
Iiem away with the corner of her ai)ron as if they had been 

" If you lock me up in jail," said Mliss fiercely, 
to keep me from the play-actors, I'll poison myself. 



ather killed himself, — why shouldn't I ? You said a moutb- 
ul of that root would kill me, and I always carry it here," 
md she stmck her breast with her clenched fist. 

The master thought of the vacant plot beside Smith's 
rave, and of the passionate little figure before him. Seiz- 
ng her hands in his and looking full into her truthful eyes, 
le said, — 

"Lissy, will you go with me .?" 

The child put her arms around his neck, and said, joy- 
bafully, - Yes." 

"But now— to-night?" 

" To-night." 

And, hand in hand, they passed into the road, — the nar- 
ow road that had onee brought her weary feet to the 



112 



MLIS3. 



ma-iter's door, and which it seemed she should not tread 
again alone. The stars glittered brightly abore them. 
For good or ill tlie lesson had been learned, and behind 
them the school of Red Mountain closed upon them for> 
ever. 



■»— ♦- 



d not tread 

ibOTC them. 

and beliind 

n them for- 



TSIE RICJIIT EYE OF THE €OMMANI>EK. 






rj^HE year of grace 1797 passed away on the coast of 
J- California in a south-westerly gale. The little bay 
of San Carlos, albeit sheltered by the headlands of the 
blessed Trinity, was rough and turbulent ; its foam clung 
quivering to the seaward wall of the Mission garden ; the 
air was filled with flying sand and spume, and as the Senor 
Comraandante, Hermenegildo Salvatierra, looked from the 
deep embrasured window of the Presidio guard-room, ho 
felt the salt breath of the distant sea buffet a colour into his 
smolce-dricd cheeks. 

The Commander, I have said, was gazing thoughtfully 
from the window of the guard-room. He may have been 
reviewing the events of the year now about to pass away. 
But, like the garrison at the Presidio there was little to 
review ; the year, like its predecessors, had been uneventful, 
—the days had slipped by in a delicious monotony of simple 
duties, unbroken by incident or interruption. The regularly 
recurring feasts and saint's days, the half-yearly courier 
from San Diego, the rare transport-ship and rarer foreign 
vessel, were the mere details of his patriarchal lite. If 
iherewas no achievement, there was certainly no failure. 
Abundant harvests and patient industry amply supplied the 
wants of Presidio and Mission. , Isolated from the family of 
nations, the wars which shook the world concerned them 
not 80 much as Ihelast earthquake ; tht struggle that eman- 
cipated their sister colonies on the other side of the continent 
to them had no suggestivenegs. In short, it was that glori- 
ous Indian summer of California history, around which so 



lU 



THE WIGHT EYB OF THE COMMANDER. 



much poetical haze still lingers, — that bland, indolent au- 
tumn of Spanish rule, so soon to be followed by the wintry 
storms of Mexican independence and the reviving spring of 
American conquest. 

The Commander turned from the window and walked 
toward the fire that burned brightly on the deep, oven-like 
hearth. A pile of copy-books, the work of the Presidio 
school, lay on the table. As he turned over the leaves with 
a paternal interest, and surveyed the fair round Scripture 
text, — the first pious pot-hooks of the pupils of San Carlos, 
— an audible commentary fell from his lips : " 'Abimelecli 
took her from Abraham' — ah, little one, excellent! — 'Jacob 
sent to see his brother' — body of Christ! that up-stroke of 
thine, Paquita, is marvellous ; the Governor shall see it ! " 
A film of honest pride dimmed the Commander's left eye,— 
the right, alas ! twenty years before had been sealed by an 
Indian arrow. He rubbed it softly with the sleeve of his 
leather jacket, and continued: "'The Ishmaelites having 
arrived ' " 

He stopped, for their was a step in the cou"t-yard, a foot 
upon the threshold, and a stranger entered. With the 
instinct of an old soldier, the Commander, after one glance 
at the intruder, turned quickly toward the wall, where his 
trusty Toledo hung, or should have been hanging. But it 
was not there, and as he recalled that the last time he had 
seen that weapon it was bemg ridden up and down the 
gallery by Pepito, the iafant son of Bautista, the tortilio- 
maker, he blushed and then contented himself with frown- 
ing upon the intruder. 

But the stranger's air, though irrever'^nt, was decidedly 
peaceful. lie was unarmed, and wore the ordinary cape of 
tarpaulin and sea-boots of a mariner. Except a villanous 
smell of codfish, there was little about him that was pecu 
liar. 

His name, as he informed the Commander, in Spanish 
that was more fluent than elegant or precise, — his name 
was Pcleg Scudder. He was master of the schooner General\ 



THB RIGHT BTB OF THE COMMANDER. 



115 



nclolent au- 
Y the wintry 
\g spring of 

and walked 
p, oven-like 
the Presidio 
3 leaves with 
id Scripture 
San Carlos, 
' 'Abimelecli 
mt ! — ' Jacob 
up-stroke of 
lall see it ! " 
•'s left eye,— 
sealed by an 
sleeve of his 
[jlites having 

-yard, a foot 
With the 
r one glance 
11, where his 
ing. But it 
time he had 
id down the 
, the tortilio- 
with f rown- 

ras decidedly 
linary cape of 
t a villauousl 
lat was pecu- 

r, in Spanish I 
se, — his name 
ooner Gcnerdi 



Court, of the port of Salem, in Massachusetts, on a trading 
voyage to the South Seas, but now driven by stress of 
weather into the bay of San Carlos. He begged permission 
10 ride out the gale under the headlands of the blessed 
Trinity, and no more. Water lui did not need, having taken 
in a supply at Bodega. He knew the strict surveillance 
of the Spanish port regulations in regard to foreign 
vosels, and v/ould do nothing against the severe dis- 
cipline and good order of the settlement. There was 
a slight tinge of sarcasm in his tone as he glanced toward^ 
the desolate parade-ground of the Presidio and tlie open 
unguarded gate. The fact was tiiat the sentry, Felipe Go- 
mez, had discreetly retired to shelter at the beginning of 
the storm, and was then sound asleep in the corridor. 

The Coaamander hesitated. The port regulations were 
severe, but he was accustomed to exercise individual autho- 
rity, and beyond an old order issued ten years before, regard- 
iug the American ship Columbia, there was no precedent to 
guide him. The storm was severe, and a sentiment of hu- 
manity urged him to grant the stranger's request. It is but 
just to the Commander to say, that liis inability to enforce a 
refusal did not weigh with his decision. He would have 
denied with equal disregard of consequences that right to a 
seventy-four gun ship which he now yielded so gracefully 
to this Yankee trading schooner. He stipulated only, that 
there should be no communication between the ship and the 
shore. " For youself, Senor Captain," he continued, " accept 
my hospitality. The fort is yours as long as you shall grace 
it with your distinguished presence ;" and with old-fashioned 
courtesy, he maas the semblance of withdrawing from the 
guard-room. 

Master Peleg Rcudder smiled as he thought of the half- 
dismantled i'ort, the two mouldy bra^^s cannon, cast in Ma- 
nilla a centuiy previous, and the shiftless garrison. A wild 
thought of accepting the Commander's oUer literally, con- 
ceived in the reckless spirit of a man who never let slip an 
oflbr for trade, for a moment filled hi.^ brain, but a timely 



IIG 



THK UI(}HT FA'li OF TliE COM-MAXDEU. 



lefiectloii of the commercial unimportance of the transac- 
tion checked him. He onlj took a capacious quid of to- 
bacco, !is the Conimander gravely drew a settle before the 
fire, ainl in liouour of his i^uest untied the black silk hand- 
kerchief that bound his grizzled brows. 

Vriiut passed between Salvatierra and his guest that 
ni'^ht it becomes nie not, as a <a"ave chronicler of the salient 
pointy of his liistor}', to relate, i have said that ^Master 
Peleiv Scuddcr was a fluent talker, and under the influence 
of divers waters, furnished by his host, he became still more 
loquacious. And think of a man with tAventyj^ear's budget 
of gossip! The Commander learned, for the flrst time, how 
Great liritain lost her colonics; of the French Revolution; 
of the great Napoleon, wiiose achievements, perhaps, Peleg 
coloured more higlily than the Commander's superiors 
would have liked. And when Peleg turned questioner, the 
Commander was at his mercy. lie gradually made himself 
master of the gossip of the Mission and Presidio, the ''small- 
beer " chronicles of the pastoral age, the conversion of the 
heathen, the Presidio schools, and even asked ihe Com- 
mander how he had lost his eye! It is at this point 
of the conversation Master Peleg produced from about his 
person divers small trinkets, kick-shaws and new-fangled 
trifles, and even forced some of them upon liis 
host. It is farther alleged that under the malign influence 
of Peleg and several glasses of a^/uardienie, the Commander 
lost somewhat of his decorum, and behaved in a manner 
unseemly for one in his position, reciting high-flown Spanish 
poetry, and even piping in a thin, high voice, divers madri- 
gals and heathen canzonets of an amorous complexion ; 
chiefly in regard to a " little one " w^ho was his, the Com- 
mander's " soul !" These allegations, perhaps unworthy the 
notice of a serious chronicler, should be received with great 
caution, and are introduced here as simple hearsay. That 
the Commander, however,took a hfmdkerchief,and attempted 
to show his guest the mysteries of the fsemhicxiacua. capering 
n an agile but indecorous manner about the apartment, ha^ 



1 



wm 



transac- 
id of to- 
aforo the 
ilk hand- 
iest that 
,1(3 salient 
It ]\Iaster 

inlluence 
still more 
r's budget 
ime, how 
ivolution ; 
ips, Peleg 

superiors 
ioner, the 
lu himself 
he ''small- 
on of the 

ihe Com- 
his point 

about his 
w-fangled 
jpon Ills 
L influence 
)mmander 

a manner 
'^n Spanish 

ers madri- 
nplexion ; 

the Com- 
vorthy the 
with great 
;ay. That 

attempted 

^. capering 
Kmcnt, hato 



THE RIGHT EYE OF THE COMMANDER. 



11^ 



been denied. Enough for the purposes of this narrative, that 
at midnight Peleg assisted his host to bed with many protes- 
tations of undying friendship, and then, as the gale had 
abated, took his leave of the Presidio and hurried abcard the 
General Court. When the day broke the ship witsgone. 

I know not it Peleg kept his word with his host. It is 
said that the holy fathers at the ISlisslon that night heard a 
loud chanting in the plaza, as of the hcathejis singing p.sahns 
through their noses ; that for many days after an odour of 
salt codfish prevailed in the settlement; tliat a dozen hard 
nutmegs, which were unfit for spice or seed, were found in 
the possession of the wife of the baker, and that several 
bushels of shoe-pegs, which l^ore a pleasing resemblance to 
oats, but were quite inadequate to the purposes of provender, 
were discovered in the stable of the blacksmith. But when 
the reader reflects upon the sacredness of a Yankee trader's 
word, the stringent discipline of the Spanish port regulations, 
and the proverbial indisposition of my countrymen to im- 
pose upon the confidence of a simple people, he will at once 
reject this part of the storj^ 

A roll of drums, ushering in the year 1708, awoke the 
Commander. The sun was shining brightly, and the storm 
had ceased. He sat up in bed, and through the force of habit 
rubbed his left eye. As the remembrance of the previous 
nigbt came back to him, he jumped from his couch and ran 
to the window. There was no ship in the bay. A sudden 
thought seemed to strike him, and he rubbed both of his 
eyes. Not content with this, he consulted the metallic mirror 
which Inmg beside his crucifix. There was no mistake ; the 
Commander had a visible second eye, — a right one, — as 
good, save for the purposes of vision, as the left. 

Whatever might have been the true secret of this trans- 
formation, but one opinion prevailed at San Carlos. It was 
one of those rare miracles vouchsafed a pious Catholic com- 
munity as an evidence to the heathen, through tiie interces- 
sion of the blessed San Carlos himself. That their beloved 



ii'i 



\hii\"iM\imi\\ 



118 



THE RIGHT EYE OF THE COMMANDER. 



Coinmander, the temporal defcuder of the Faith, should be 
the recipient of this miraculous manifestation was most fit 
and seemly. The Commander himself was reticent ; he 
could not tell a falsehood, — he dared not tell the truth. After 
all, if the good folk of San Carlos believed th:it the powers of 
hisri.i^ht eye were ac*ually restored, was it wise and discreet 
for him to undeceive them ? For the first time in his life 
the Commander thought of policy, — for the first time he 
quoted that text which has been the lure ol' so many well- 
mcanin!^ but easy Christians, of being " all things to all men." 
Infeliz Ilermenegildo Salvaticrra } 

« For by degrees an ominous whisper crept through the 
little settlement. The Right Eye of the Commander, 
although miraculous, seemed to exercise a baleful effect upon 
the beholder. No one could look at it witliout winking. It 
was cold, hard, relentless, and unflinching^. More than that, 
it seemed to be endowed with a dreadful prescience, — a 
faculty of seeing through and into the inarticulate thoughts 
of those it looked upon. The soldiers of the garrison obeyed 
the eye rather than the voice of their comn- .nder, and 
answered his glance rather than his lips in questioning. The 
servants could not evade the erer-watchful but cold attention 
that seemed to pursue them. The children of the Presidio 
School smirched their copy-books under the awful super- 
vision, and poor Paquita, the prize pupil, failed utterly in 
that marvellous up-stroke when her patron stood beside her. 
Gradually distrust, suspicion, self-accusation, and timidity 
took the place of trust, C(mfidence, and security throughout 
San Carlos. Whenever the Right Eye of the Commander 
fell, a shadow fell with it. 

Nor was Salvutierra entirely free from the baleful intlu- 
ence of his miraculous acquisition. Unconscious of its efl'ect 
upon others, he only saw in their actions evidence of certain 
things that the crafty Peleg had hinted on that eventful 
New Year's eve. His most trusty retainei^s stammered » 
blushed, and faltered before him. Self-accusations, confes- 
sions of minor faults and delinquencies, or extravagant 



should be 
9 most fit 
icent ; be 
ith. After 
powers of 
d discreet 
in his life 
»t time he 
laiiy well- 
) all men." 

rough the 
nniiander, 
ilFc'ct upon 
iking. It 
than that, 
ciencc, — a 
thoughts 
ton obeyed 
nder, and 
ning. The 
I attention 
3 Presidio 
ful super- 
utterly in 
beside her. 
d timidity 
[iroughout 
jmmander 

leful intlu- 
Df itseflect 
of certain 
t eventful 
tammereiL 
is, confe^- 
:travagant 



THE RianX BYB OK THE COMMAXDEIi. 



119' 



excuses and apologies met his mildest inciuiries. The very 
children that he loved— his pet pupil, Paquit a— seemed to be 
conscious of some hidden sin. The result of this constant 
irritation showed itself more plainly. For the first half- 
year the Commander's voice and eye were at variance. lie 
was still kind, tender, and thoughtful in speech. Gradunlly, 
however, his voice took upon itself the hardness of his glance 
and its sceptical impassive quality, and as the year again 
neared its close, it v^&s plain that the Commander had fitted 
himself to the eye, and Jiot the eye to the Commander. 

It may be surmised that these changes did not escape the 
watchful solicitude of the Fathers. Indeed, the few who 
were first to ascribe the right eyo of Salvatierra to miracu- 
lous origin, and the spicial grace of the blessed San Carlos, 
now talked openly of witchcraft and the agency of Luzbcl, 
the evil one. It would have fared ill with Heimenegildo 
Salvatierra had he been aught but Commander or amenable 
to local authority. But the reverend father, Friar Manuel 
de Cortes, had no power over the political executive, and all 
attempts at spiritual advice failed signally. He retired 
baftled and confused from his first interview with the Com- 
mander, who seemed now to take a grim satisfaction in the 
fateful power of his glance. The holy father contradicted 
himself, exposed the fallacies of his own arguments, and 
even, it is asserted, committed himself to several undoulned 
heresic!'. When the Commander stood up at mas-s, if the 
officiating priest caught that sceptical and searching eye. the 
service was inevitably ruined. Even the power of the Holy 
Church seemed to be lost, and theli»«t hold upon the nlfcc- 
tions of the people and the good order of tlie settUment 
departed fntm San Carlos. 

As the long dry summer passed, the low hilk that sur- 
rounded the white wall«i of the Presidio grew more and 
more to resemble in hue the leatliern jacket of the Comi- 
mander, and Nature herself seemed to have borrowed Ins 
dry, hard glare. The earth was cracked and seamed w.th 
diought ; a blight had fallen upon the orchards and vine- 



120 



THE niCIIT EYE OF THE COMMANDEl!. 



;< I 



yards, and the rain, long dfflaj'cd and ardently ])rii,yL'd for, 
came not. The sky was as tearless as the right eye of the 
Commander. Murmurs of discontent, insubordination, and 
])lotting among the Indians reached his cars; he only set his 
teeth tlie more firmly, tightened the knot of his hlack silk 
handkerchief, and looked up his Toledo, 

The last dav of the vearl7P8 found the Commander sitting, 
at the hour of "vcning prayers, alone in the guard-room". He 
no longer attended the services of the Holy Church, but 
crejit away at such times to some solitary spot, where he 
spent the interval in silent meditation. The fireliaht played 
upon tlie low beams and rafters, but left the bowed figure of 
Salvatierra in darkncs^^. Sitting thus, he felt a small hand 
touch his arm, nnd, looking doAvn, saw the figure of raquita, 
his little Indian pupil, at his knee. " Ah, littlest of all," 
said the Commander, with something of his old tenderness, 
lingering over the endearing dimmutives of his native 
speech, — " sweet one, what docs-t thou here ? Art tliou not 
afraid of him whom every one shuns r.nd fears?" 

" No," .'^aid the little Indian, readily, "not in Ihe f'ark. I 
hear your voice, — the old voice; I feel your touch, — the old 
touch ; but I see not your eye, Senor Commandant(!. That 
only I fear, — and that, Senor, my father," said the child, 
lifting her little arms towards his, " that I know is not thine 
own !" 

The Commander shuddered and turned away. Then, 
recovering himself, he kissed Paqnita gravel j^ on the fore- 
head and bade her retire. A few hours later, wh(>n silence 
had fallen upon the Presidio, he sought his own couch and 
slept peacefully. 

At about the middle watch of the night a dusky figure 
crept through the low embrasure of the Commander's apart- 
ment. Other figures were flitting through the parade 
ground, which the Commander might have seen had he not 
slept so quietly. The intruder stepped noise! es'^ly to the 
couch and listened to the sleeper's deep-drawn inspiration. 
Something glittered in the firelight as the savage lifted his 



THE RiailT KYE OF THE <!()MMANI)Ett. 



121 



'iiyed for, 
ya of tlic 
It ion, and 

nly sot his 
hlack silk 

icrsittin;^, 
room". He 
iiirch, but 
where he 
iht played 
(1 liG;nre of 
mnll hand 
)i Pa quit a, 
St of 'all," 
cndemcRP, 
lis native 
t tliOU not 

10 f'ark. I 
h,— the old 
,nt(!. That 
1 the child, 
s not thine 

ay. Then, 
1 the fore- 
hvn silence 
couch and 



arm ; another moment and the Bore perplexities of Ilermene- 
gildo Sulvatierra would have been over, when suddenly the 
savoge started, and fell back in a paroxysm of terror. The 
Commander slept i)oaccfully, but his right eye, widely 
opened, li.-ved and unaltered, f^larcd coldly on the would-be 
assassin. The man fell to the earth in a lit, and the noise 
awoke the sleeper. 

To rise to his feet, /;Ta<'p his sword, and deal blows thick 
and fast upon the mutinous savages Avho now thronged the 
room, wa'^ the work of a momejit. Ii("Ii> opi<ortunely 
arrived, and the undisciplined Indians were speedily driven 
beyond the walls, but in the scufilc the Commander received 
a blow upon the right eye, and lifting his hand to that mys- 
terious organ, it was gone. Xevcr again was it found, and 
never again, for bale or bliw?, did it iidorn the right orbit of 
the Commander. 

With it passed away the spell that had fallen upon San 
Carlos. Tha rain returned to invigorate tlie languid soil, 
harmony was restored between priest end sohlicr, the green 
grass presently waved over the sere hillside.^, iJie children 
Hocked again to the side of their martial preceptor, a To 
Dcum was snug in the Mission Church, and pastoral content 
once more smiled upon the gentle valleys of Ban Carlos. 
And far southward crept the General Court with its master, 
Peleg Scudder, trafficking in beads and peltries with the 
Indians, and ofTering glass eyes, wooden legs and other 
Boston notions to the chiefs. 



I sky figure 
der's apart- 
ihe parade 
had he not 
ssly to the 
inspiration, 
e lifted bis 



-♦-•-4- 



•i 



NOTES BY FLOOD AND FIELD, 



PAKT I.— IN THE FIELD. 

IT WAS near the close of an October day that I began to be 
clisa/];reeably conscious of the Sacramento Valley. I had 
neen riding since sunrise, and my course, through the de- 
pressing monotony of the long level landscape, atFected me 
more like a dull dyspeptic dream than a business j(nirncy, 
performed under tliat sincerost of natural plienomcna, a 
California sky. The recurring sketches of brown and 
baked fields, the gaping fissures in the dusty trail, the hard 
outline of the distant hills, and the herds of slowly moving 
cattle, seemed like features of some distant stereoscopic pic- 
ture that never changed. Active exercise might have re- 
moved this feeling, but my horse by some subtle instinct had 
long since given up all ambitious effort, and had lapsed into 
a dogged trot. 

It was autumn, but not the season suggested to the Atlan- 
tic reader under that title. The yharply defined bound- 
aries of the wet and dry seasons were prefigured in the clear 
outlines of the distant hills. In the dry atmosphere the 
decay of vegetation was too rapid for the slow hectic which 
overtakes an Eastern landscape, or else Nature was too prac- 
tical for such thin disguises. She merely turned the Hip- 
pocratic face to the spectator, with the old diagnosis of 
death in her sharp, contracted features. 

In the contemplation of such a ju'ospect there was little 
to excite any but a morbid fancy. There were no clouds 
in the flinty blue heavens, and the setting of the sun was ac. 
companied with as little ostentation as was consistent with 



124 



NOTi:.S K FLOOD AND FIELD 



i ; 



the dryly practical atmosplicre. Darkness soon followed, 
with a rising wind, wliich increased as the shadows deepened 
on the plain. The fringe of alder hy the watercourse began 
io loom up as I urged my horse forward. A half -hour's 
active spurring brought me to a corral, and a little beyond a 
house, so low and broad it seemed at first sight to be half 
buried in the earth. 

My second impression was that it had grown out of the 
soil, like some monstrous vegetable, its dreary proportions 
were so in keeping with the vast prospect. There were no 
recesses along its roughly boarded walls for vagrant and 
unprofitable shadows to lurk in the daily sunshine. No 
projection for the wind by night to grow musical over, to 
wail, whistle, or whisper to ; only a long wooden shelf con- 
taining a chilly-looking tin basin, and a bar of soap. Its 
uncurtained windows were red with the sinking sun, as 
though bloodshot and inflamed from a too long unlidded 
existence. The tracks of cattle led to its front door, firmly 
closed against the rattling wind. 

To avoid being confounded with this familiar element, I 
walked to the rear of the house, which was connected with 
a smaller building by a slight platform. A grizzled, hard- 
faced old man was standing there, and met my salutation 
with a look of enquiry, and, without speaking, led the way 
to the principal room. As I entered, four you-^g men, who 
were reclining by the fire, slightly altered their attitudes of 
perfect repose, but beyond that betrayed neither curiosity 
nor interest. A hound started from a dark corner with a 
growl, but was immediately kicked by the old man into ob- 
scurity, and silenced again. I cant't tell why, but I instant- 
ly received the impression that for a long time the group by 
the fire had not uttered a word or moved a muscle. Taking 
a seat, I briefly stated my business. 

Was a United States surveyor. Had come on account of 
the Espiritu Santo Rancho. Wanted to correct the exterior 
boundaries of township line.^, so os to connect with the near 
exteriors of private grants. There had been some iKtervcn 



i( 



to 



>n followed, 
W8 deepened 
course began 
. half-hour's 
;tle beyond a 
it to be half 

n out Oi the 
proportions 
here were no 
vagrant and 
mshine. No 
ileal over, to 
len shelf con- 
>f soap. Its 
king sun, as 
)ng unlidded 
it door, firmly 

XT element, I 
nnectod with 
rizzled, hard- 
ly salutation 
led the way 
g men, who 
r attitudes of 
her curiosity 
orner with a 
man into ob- 
but I instant- 
the group by 
sole. Taking 

on account of 
ct the exterior 
with the near 
ome istervcn 



Non;;-; liv vlood and fielu. 



125 



I 



$ 



tion to the old survey by a Mr. Tryau who IlhI pru-ctiiptcd 
adjacent — " settled land \varraut3," ir'terraijted the old man. 
"Ah, yes! L.iud Warrants,- -Jirid ^libn this was Mr. 
Try an?" 

I had t-pokcn mechanically, for I was prv30CGupied in con- 
necting otiier public lines with private surveys, as I looked 
in his face. It was certainly a h-ard face, and reminded me 
of the shigular effect of that mining operation known as 
*' ground sJuicing;" the harder lines of underlying character 
were exposed, and what were once plastic curves and soft 
outlines were obliterated by some powerful agency. 

7''lierc wa:3 a dryness in his voice not unlike the prevailing 
atmosphere of the valley, as he launched ihto an ex parte 
statement of the contest, with a fluency, which, like the 
wind without, showed frequent and unrestrained expression. 
He told me — what I had already learned — that tlie boundary 
line of the old Spanish grant was a creek, described in the 
loose phraseology of the deseno as beginning in the valcla or 
skirt of the hill, its precise location long the subject^of litie- 
gation. I listened and answered with little interest, for my 
mind was still distracted by the wind which swept violently 
by the house, as well as by his odd face, which was again 
reflected in the resemblance that the silent group by the fire 
bore toward him. He was still talking, and the wind was 
yet blowing, when my confused attention was aroused by a 
remark addressed to the recumbent figures. 

" Now, then, which on ye'll see the stranger up the creek 
to iVltascar's, to-morrow .^" 

There was a general movement of opposition in the group, 
but no decided answer. 

" Kin you go, Kerg ?" 

" Who's to look up stock in Strarberry per-ar-ie ?" 

This seemed t« imply a negative, and the old man turned 
to another hopeful, who was pu'lHng the fur from a mangy 
bear-sjkin on which he was lying, witli an expression as 
though it were somebody's hair. 

" Well, Tom, wot's to hinder you from goin' :'' 



12G 



KOTE>S BY FLOOD AND FIELD. 



r 



" Mam's jroin' to Brown's store at sim-up, and I s'pose 
I've got to pack her and the baby agin." 

I think the expression of scorn this unfortunate youth ex- 
hibited for the filial duty into which he had been evidently 
bct^uiled, was one of the finest things I had ever seen. 

" Wise ?" 

Wise deigned no verbal reply, but figuratively thrust a 
worn } Jid patched boot into the discourse. The old man 
flushed quick. 

" I told ye to get Brown to give you a pair the last time 
you war down the river.'' 

" S:ii(l he wouldn't without' en order. Said it was like 
pulling gum-teeth to get the money from you even then." 

There Avas a grim smile at this local hit at the old man's 
parsimoin', and 'rYise, who was clearly the privileged wit of 
the faniily, sank back in lionourable retirement. 

" Well, Joe, ef your boots are new, and you aren't pester- 
ed wirii nimmin and children, p'r'aps you'll go," said Tryan, 
with a jU'rvoas twitching, intended for a smile, about a 
mouth not remr.rkably i.iirthful. 

Joe lifted a pair of bushy e}'e]jrows, and said shortl}"", — 

"Got iio saddle." 

" Wot's gone of your saddle V" 

" Kerg, there," — indicating his brother with a look such 
as Cain min;ht have worn at the sacrifice. 

" Yoi" lie!" returned Kerg, cheerfully. 

Tryai sprang t-j his feet, seizing the chair, flourishiu':; it 
around his head and gazln-i- furiously in the hard young 
faces which fearlessly met hio o\vn. But it was only for a 
moment ; his arm soon dropped by his side, and a look of 
hopeless fatality crossed his face. He allowed me to take 
the chair from his hand, and I was trying to pacify him by 
the assurance that I renuired no guide, when the irrepres- 
sible Wise again lifte^^ hh voice : — 

" Thoer's George co:nin' ! why don't ye ask him? He'll 
go and introduce yo^] lo Don Fernandy's darter, too, ef yoi; 
ain't pertielder." 



mi 

exi 

by] 

fail 



$' 



I I s'pose 

youtli ex- 
cvidently 
een. 

■f thrust a 
e old man 

e last time 

t was like 
m then." 
} old man's 
:'2;ed wit of 

en't pester- 
said Try an, 
le, about a 

ihortly, — 



a lool^ such 



ourishin,'5 it 
bard young 
s only for a 
nd a look of 
1 me to take 
ic'ify bim by 
the irrepres- 

bim V He'll 
■, too, of you 



NOTES BY l-'LOOU AND FIELD. 



12 



The laugh which followed this joke, which cvilently had 
some Vmestic allusion (the general tendency of rural pleas- 
antry), was followed by a liu'ht step on the platform, and the 
youu';^ man entered. Seeing a stranger present, he stopped 
and coloured ; made a shy salute and coloured again, and 
then, drawing a box from the corner, sat down, his hands 
clasped tightly together and his very handsome bright blue 
eyes turned frankly on mine. 

Perhaps I was in a condition to rccei\re the romantic im- 
pression he made upon me, and I took it upon myself to 
ask his company as guide, and he cheerfully assented. But 
some domestic duty called him presently away. 

The lire gleamed brightly on the hearth, and, no longer 
resisting the prevailmg influence, I silently watched the 
spirting flame, listening to the wind which continually 
shook the tenement. Besides the one chair which had 
acquired a new importance in my eyes, I presently discov- 
ered a crazy table in one corner, with an ink-bottle and 
l)cn ; the latter in that greasy stf te of decomposition peculiar 
to country taverns and farm-houses. A goodly array of 
riil3s and double barr{?lled guns stocked the corner ; half a 
dozen saddles and blankets iay near, with a mild flavour of 
the horse about them. Some deer and bearskins completed 
the inventory. As I sat there, with the silent group around 
me, tic Siiaflowy gloom within and the dominant wind 
without, I found it difiicultto believe I had ever known a 
different existence. !My profession had often led me to 
wilder scenes, but rarely among those whose um-estrained 
habits and cas}^ unconsclousnefcS made me feel so lonely ind 
uncomfortable. I shrank closer to myself, not without 
grave doubts — which I think occur naturally to people in 
like t^itualions — that 
mauity, and I wa 
exception. 

It was a relief when a laconic announcement of supper 
by a weak-eyed girl cjmsed a general movement in the 
familv. We walked across the darl; platform, which led 



this was the general rule of h'l- 
a solitary and sOmevv'hat gratuitous 






NOTES BY FLOOD AND FIELI>. 



to anotlier low ceiled room. Its entire lengtli was occupied 
by a table, tit the farther end of which a weak-eyed woman 
y ;;s already taking her repast, as she, at the same time, gave 
nourishment to a weak-e^-ed baby. As the formalities of 
itilroduction had been dispensed with, and as she took no 
nolicJe of me, 1 was enabled to slip into a seat without dis- 
cs iinposing or interrupting her. Trymi extemporized a 
grace, and th(i addition of tlie famil}- became absorbed in 
bacon, potatoes and dried apples. 

The meal was a sincere one. Gentle gurglings at the 
upper end of the table often betrayed the presence of the 
" well-spring of pleasure." The ccmversation generally 
referred to the labours of tlie day, and comparing notes as 
to tlie whereabouts of missing stock. Yet the supper was 
such a vast improvement upon the previous intellectual 
feast, that when a chance allusion of mine to the business 
of my visit brought out the elder Tryan, the interest grew 
quite exciting. I remember he inveighed bitterly against 
tlie system of ranch-holding hy the " greasers," as he was 
pleased to term the native Californians. As the same ideas 
have been sometimes advanced under more pretentious cir- 
cumstances, they may be worihy of record. 

" Look at 'em lioldin' the tinest grazen land that ever 
lay outer doors? V/'har's the papers for it? Was it 
grants V Might}'' fine grants — most of 'em made arter the 
'Mori ikjms got possession. More fools the 'Merrikans tor 
lettln' 'em hold 'em. Wat paid for 'em ? 'Mcrrikan blood 
and money. 

" Didn't they ou'^hter have suthin out of their native 
corny try ? Wat for V Did they ever improve ? Got a let of 
yaller-skined diggers, not so sensible as niggers to look arter 
stock, and they a-sittin' home and smokin'. With their gold 
and silver candlesticks, and missions, and crucifixens, priests 
i.nd graven idols, and sich ? Them sort things wurent al- 
lowed in Mizzoori." 

At the mention of improvements, I voluntarily lifted my 
( vcp, and met the half-laughing, half-embarrassed lock of 



P 
I 

I 



NOTES BY FLOOD AND FIELD. 



129 



icupicd 
woman 
le, gave 
ities of 
;ook no 
out clis- 
•ized Ji 
rjed ui 

at tlie 
of the 
?nerally 
notes as 
per was 
lUectual 
jusiness 
it grew 
against 
he was 
ie ideas 
LOUS cir- 

lat ever 
Was it 
rter the 
:ans tor 
,n blood 

• native 
t a l«t of 
)lv arter 
en* gold 
1, priests 
rent al- 

'ted m}^ 
look of 



George. The act did not escape detection, and I had at 
once the satisfaction of seeing that the rest of the family 
had formed an offensive alliance against us. 

"It was agin Nater, and agin God," added Trj^an. " God 
never intended gold in the rocks to be made into heathen 
candlesticks and crucifixens. That's why he sent 'Merrikhis 
here. Nater never intended such a climate for lazy lopers. 
She never gin six months' sunshine to be slept and smoked 
away." 

How long he continued, and with what further illustra- 
tion, I could not say, for I took an early opportunity to 
escape to the sitting r^om. I was soon followed by George, 
who called me to an open door leading to a smaller room, 
and pointed to a bed. 

" You'd better sleep there to-night," he said; '"you'll be 
more comfortable, and I'll call you carl}-." 

I thanked him, and would have asked him several ques- 
tions which were th(!n troubling me, but he shyly slipped to 
the door and vanished. 

A shadow spemed to fall on the room when he had 
gone. The ** boys" returned, one by one, and shullied to 
their places. A larger log was thrown on the lire, and the 
•huge chimney glowed like a furnace, but it did not seem to 
melt or subdue a single line of the hard faces that it lit. In 
half an hour later, the furs which had surved as ckairs by 
day undertook the nightly oflice of mattresses, and each re- 
ceived its owner's full-length figure. Mr. Tryan had not 
returned, and I missed George. I sat there until, wakeful 
and nervous, I saw the fire fall and shadows mount the wall. 
There was no soured buc the rushing of the wind and the 
snoring of the sleepers. At last, feeling the place insup- 
portable, I seized my liat and, opening the door, ran out 
briskly into the night. 

The acceleration of my torpid pulse in the keen light with 
the wind, whose violence was almost equal to that of a tor- 
nado, and the familiar faces of tho bright Etarn above me, I 
felt as a blcf^sed reiief. I ran notknowiD:': v.bithcr, and v.'heii 



130 



-VOTES BY FLOOD AND FIELD. 



I halted, the square outline of the house was lost in the 
alder-bushes. An uninterrupted pWni stretched before me, 
like a vast sea beaten flat by the force of the gale. As I 
kept on I noticed u slight elevation towards the 
horizon, and presently my progress was impeded by 
the ascent of an Indian mound. It struck me forcibly as 
resembling an island in the sea. Itn height gave me a bet- 
ter vi(!W of the expandiKt;^ plain. But even here I found 
no rest. The riiliculous interpretation Tryan had given the 
climate was somehow sung in my ears, and echoed in my 
throbbin;i; [)d\.iv, as g lUled by the star, I sought the house 
again. 

But I felt fresher a] id more natural as I stepped upon the 
platforin. The door of the lower building was open, and 
the old man was sitting beside the table, thumbing the 
leaves of a Bible with a look in his face as though he were 
hunting up prophecies against the " Greaser." I turned to 
enter, but my attention was attracted by a blanketed figure 
lying beside the house, on the platform. The broad chest 
heaving with healtliv slumber, and the open, honest face 
were familiar. It was Geoi^-e, who had given up his bed to 
the stranger among his people. I was about to v.'aken him, 
but he lay so peaceful and quiet, I felt awed and hushed. 
And I went to bed with a pleasant impression of his hand- 
some face and tranquil figure soothing me to sleep. 

I was awakened the next morning from a sense of lulled 
repose and grateful silence by the cheery voice of George, 
who stood beside my bod, ostentatiously twirling a " riata," 
as if to recall the duties of the day to my sleep-bewildered 
eyes. I looked around me. The wind had been magically 
laid, and tlie sun shone warmly through the windows. A 
dash of cold water, with an extra chill on from the tin basin 
helped to brighten me. It was still early, but the family 
had already breakfasted and dispersed, and a waggon wind- 
ing far in the distance showed that the unfortunate Tom had 
already " packed" his relatives away. I felt more cheerful, 



I 



NOTEH BY FLOOD AND KIKIJ). 



131 



t in the 
fore me, 
3. As I 
ds the 
Ted by 
rcibly as 
Lie a bet- 
I found 
;iven the 
d in my 
Hi house 

upon the 
pen, and 
bing the 
L he were 
urned to 
ed figure 
)ad chest 
nest face 
is bed to 
ken him, 
hushed, 
his hand- 

of lulled 
: George, 
i " riata," 
jwildered 
iiagically 
ilows. A 
tin basin 
le family 
on wind- 
Tom had 
cheerful, 



I 



$ 



I 



— there are few troubles Youth cannot di-itancc with the 
start of a good night's rest. After a substantial breakfast^ 
prepared by George, in a few moments we were mounted 
and dashing down the plain. 

We followed the line of alder that defined the creek, now 
dry and baked with summer's heat, but which in winter, 
George told me, overflowed its banks. I still retain a vivid 
impression of that morning's ride, the far-off mountains, 
like silhouettes, against the steel-blue sky, the crisp dry air, 
and the expanding track before me, animated often by the 
well knit figure of George Tryan. musical with jingling spurs 
and picturesque with flying " riata." He rode a powerful 
native roan, wild-eyed, untiring in stride and unbroken in 
nature. Alas ! the curves of beauty were concealed by the 
cumbrous ma'^hiUas of the Spanish saddle, which levels all 
equine distinctions. The single rein lay loosely on the cruel 
bit that can gripe, and, if need be crush the jaw it controls. 

Again the illimitable freedom of the valley rises before me 
as we again bear down into sunlit space. Can tliisbe " CIiu- 
Chu," staid and respectable filly of American pedigree, — 
*' Chu-Chu," forgetful of plank roads and cobble- 
stones, wild with exci<^cment, twinkling her small white 
feet beneath me? George laughs out of a cloud 
of dust, " Give her her heaa ; don't you see i.-he likes 
It ?" and " Chu-Chu" seems to like it, and, whether 
bitten by native tarantula into native l)arbarisin or emu- 
lous of the roan, " blood" asserts itself, and in a moment the 
peaceful servitude of years is beaten out in the music of her 
clattering hoofs. The creek widens to a deep gully. AVe 
dive into it and np on tlie opposite side, carrying a moving 
cloud of impalpable powder with us. Cattle are scattered 
over the plain, grazing quietly, or banded together in vaat 
restless herds. Geor^je makes a wide, indefinite sweep with 
the '* nata," as if to include them all in liis v.^qnero's loop, 
and savs, " Ours !" 

" About how many, George?" 

" Don't know." 



132 



NOTES BY FLOOD AND FIELD. 



"How many ?" 

" Well, jVr'aps throe Ihousaiid lioad," says George, re- 
flecting. *' We don't know ; takes five men to look 'em up 
and keep run." 

" What arc they worth ?" 

" About ihirtv dollars a head." 

I made a rapid calculation, and looked my astonishment 
at the laughing Geoge. Perhaps a recollection of the do- 
mestic economy of the Tryan household is expressed in that 
look, for George averts his eyes and says apologetically, — 

*' I've tried to get the old man to sell and build, but you 
know it ain't no use to settle down, just yet. We must keep 
movin'. In fact, he built the shanty for that purpose, lest 
titles should fall through, and we'd have to get up and 
move stakes farther down." 

Suddenly his quick eye detects some unusual sight in a 
herd we are passing, and with an exclamation he puts his 
roan into the centre of the mass. I follow, or rather 
" Chu-Chu" darts aftei* the roan, and in a few moments we 
are in the midst of apparently inextricable horns and hoofs. 
" Toro 1" shouts George, with vaquero entliusiasm, and the 
bands opens a wnyfor the swinging " riata." I can feel their 
steaming breaths, and their spume is cast on " Chu-Chu's" 
quivermg flank. 

Wild, devlish-looking beasts are they ; not such shapes 
as Jove might have chosen to woo a goddess, nor such as 
peacefully range the downs of Devon, but lean and hungry 
Cassius-like bovines, economically got up to meet the exi- 
gencies of a six months' rainless climate, and accustomed to 
wrestle with iJie distracting wind and the blinding dust. 

" That's not our brand," says George ; " they're strange 
stock," and he points to what my scientific eye recognizes as 
the astrological sign of Venus deeply seared in the brown 
flanks of the bull he is chasing. But the herd are closing 
round us with low mutterings, and George has again recourse 
to[tho authoritative "Toro," and with swingmg "riata" divides 
the " bossy bucklers" on either side. When we are free, 



nes 

of 

em 

his 

his 

ish 

ma 



gc, re- 
'em up 



isliment 
the do- 
lI in that 
ically,— 
but you 
ust keep 
>ose, lest 
up and 

in a 
puts his 
r rather 
nents we 
nd hoofs. 
, and tlie 
feel tlieir 
lU-Chu's" 

!h shapes 
• such as 
id liungry 

the exi- 
stomed to 
; dust, 
re strange 
lognizes as 
he brown 
ire closing 
in recourse 
ta" divides 

are free, 



NOTES BY FLOOD AND FIELD. 



133 



and breathing somewhat more easily, I venture to ask 
George if they ever attack any one. 

" Never horsemen — sometimes footmen. Not through 
rage, you know, but curiosity. They think a man and his 
horse are one, and if they meet a chap afoot, they run him 
down and trample him under hoof, in tlic pursuit of know- 
ledge. But," adds George, •' here's the lower bench of the 
foot-hills, and here's Altascar's corral, and that white build- 
ing you see yonder is the m.s«." 

A white-washed wall enclosed a court containing another 
adobe building, baked with the solar beams of many sum- 
mers. Leaving our horses in charge of a few peons in the 
courtyard, who were basking lazily in the sun, we cntoj'ed a 
low doorway, where a deep shadov^ and an agreeable cool- 
ness fell upon us, as sudden and grateful as a plunge in 
cool water, from its contrast with the external glare and 
heat. In the centre of a low-ceiled apartment sat an old 
ma'i with a black silk handkerchief tied about his head, the 
lew grey hairs that escaped from its folds relieving his gam- 
boge-colored face. The odour of cigarritos was as incense 
added to the cathedral gloom of the huikling. 

As Senor Altascar rose vrith well-bred gravity to icceive 
us, George advanced with such a heightened color, and 
such a blending of tenderness and respect iji his manner, 
that I was touched to the heart by so much devotion iu the 
careless youth. In fact, my eyes were still dazzled by the 
effect of the outer sunshine, and at llrct I did not see the 
white teeth and black eyes of Pepita, who slipped into the 
corridor as we entered. 

It was no j>leasant matter to disclose particulars of ])usi- 
ness which v/ould deprive the old Senor rf the greater part 
of that land we had just ridden over, and I did it ivith great 
embarrassment. jJut he listened calmly — not a muscle of 
his dark face stirring — and the smoke, curling placidly from 
his lips, showed his regular respiration. When I had fin- 
ished, he offered quietly to accompany us to the line of de- 
marcation. George had meanwhile disappeared, but a sus- 



134 



NOTES BY FLOOD AND FIELD. 



picious conversation, in broken Spanish and Englisli, in the 
corridor, betrayed liis vicinity. When he returiuvl ajjain, a 
little absent-nunded, tlic old man, by far the c )i)lest and 
most self-possessed of the party, extln.:?irHhed his black silk 
cap beneath that stiff, uncomely Homhreri) wlue'i all native 
Californians affect. A aerapn thrown over hi-* -^ho-iMers, 
hinted tliat he wafs waiting, ^orst!^^ are always roa ly sad- 
dled in Spanish ranehos, and in half an hour fri) n the time 
of our arrival we were again " loping" in tlie staring sun- 
light. 

But not, ascheerfullv as before, George and mvself were 
weiglied down by restraint, and AUasear was grMvely quiet. 
To bre^k the silence, an;l !>■/ way oT a consolatorv essay, I 
hinted to hhn that there might hi fiirtlier intorNcntion or 
appeal, but the proffered oil and Avine were retini:'d with a 
careless shrug of the shoulders au<l a sentei'ii>:is " Que 
hneDo? — Your courts are always just." 

The Indian mound of the ]irovious night's disiiiwciy was a 
bearing moiiuiuenl oi" Ih.; movv liue, and ther(! we halted. 
"We were surpi-i«t»d to find the old man, Tryan, waiting us. 
For the lirst time during our interview, the old Spaniard 
seemed moved, and the blood rose in his yellow cheek. I 
was anxious to close tiie scene, and pointed out the corner 
boundaries as clearly as my recollection served. 

"Tiu' deputies will be here to-morrow to run the lines 
from this initial i)oint, and there will be no further trouble, 
I believe, gcntlei.ien." 

Senor Altascar had dismounted and was gathering a few 
tufts of dry grass in his hands. George and I «!XCiianged 
glances. lie presently arose from his stooping pOHtui'c, and 
advancing to witliin a few paces of Joseph Tryan, said, in a 
voice broken with passion, — 

*' And I, Fernando Jesus INfaria Altascar, put you in poa- 
session (»f my hind in the fashioii of my country." 

He tlirew a sod to each of the cardinal points. 

" I don't know your courts, your judges, or yoir corregi' 
dores. Take tlic ////m>.^— and take this with it. May tlio 



\OTER IJY FL(HU) AM) KIRLO. 



135 



I, h\ the 
ivi^iiin, a 
ilest aud 
liick silk. 
11 native 
louMers, 
I'ly sad- 
tholimo 



ing siin- 



;olf were 
•ly quiet, 
essay, I 
nliou or 
■1 with a 
•!i>^ " Que 

TV was a 
'(.' halted. 
liliiiLj us. 
Spaniard 
hcuk. I 
10 corner 

the lines 
ir trouble, 

ng a few 

X changed 

siuro, and 

saiO, ia a 

u in poa- 






drouijlit si'izo your cuttle till tlicir tongues han;; down as 
long as those of yonr lying lawyers! May it be the curse 
and torment of your old nge, na you and yours have niadc^it 
of mine ! " 

We stei>ped bctM-een the principal uciovA in this scene, 
^hich only the passion of Altascar made tragical, but 
Tryan, with a humility but ill concealing his trinmpli, inter- 
rupted, — 

"Let him ciirsc! on. He'll tind 'em coming home to him 
sooner than the cattle he has lost through his sloth and 
pride. Tlie Lord is on tlie s^idc of the just, as well as agim 
all flaudei-ers and revilers^." 

• Altascar but half guessed the meaning oC the Missourian, 
yet sufucleiitly to drive from his mind itil but the CAlrava- 
gant power of his native invective. 

" Stealer of the fiiicramenl: Open not! — open not I say, 
your lying, Judas lii)s to me! Ah! half-bnied, with the 
soul of a Ciivote ! — Car-r-r-ramba ! " 

Witli his passion reverberating among the consonants 
like distant tlumder, ho laid his hand upon the mane of his 
horse as though it had been the grey locks of his adver- 
sary, swung himself into the saddle, and galloped av/ay. 

George turned to me, — 

" Will you go back with us to-night ? " 

I thought of the cheerless walls, the silent figures by the 
fire, and the roaring wind, and hesitated. 

" Well, then, good bye." 

" Good-bye, George." 

Another wring of the hands, and v/c parted. I had 
not ridden far when I turn d and looked back. The 
wind had risen early that afternoon, and was ah-eady 
sweeping across the plain. A cloud of dus* travelled 
before it, and a picturesque figure occasionally emerg- 
ing therefrom was my last indistinct impression of George 
Tryan, 



M' corregi- 
May tlio 



130 



NOTKS «V FLOiH) A NO FIT LI). 



PART TL— IN THE FLOOD. 



Til UKK months after the survey of the Espiritu Santo 
Raucho, I was again in the valley of the Sacramento. But 
a general and terrible visitation had erased the memory of. 
that event as completely as I supposed it had obliterated the 
boundary monuments I had planted. Thu i^reat lh»od of 
18G1-03 was at its height, when, obeyin<j some indelinite 
yearning:, I took my carpLt-bH£- and embarked for the inun- 
dated v.alley. 

Tiiere wtui nothing to be seen from tlie bright cabin win- 
dows of the Golden, City but night deepening over the water. 
The only sound was the pattering rain, and that liud grown 
monotonous for the past two weeks, t.nd did not disturb the 
national gravity of my countryr\en as they silently sat 
around the cabin stove. Some on errands of relief to friends 
and relatives wore anxious faces, nnd conversed soberly on 
the one absorbing topic. Others, like myself, attracted by 
curiosity, listened eagerly to newer details. Rut with that 
human disposition to seize upon any circumstance that might 
give chance event the exaggerated importance of instinct, I 
was half conscious of something more than curiosity as au 
impelling motive. 

The dripping of rain greeted us the next mornmg as we lay 
beside the half-submerged levee of bacram ento. Here, how- 
ever, the novelty of boats to convey us to the hotels was an ap- 
peal that was irresistible. I resigned myself to a dripping 
rubber- cased mariner called *' Joe," and, wrapping myself in 
a shining cloak of the like material, about as suggestive of 
warmth as court-plaster might have been, took my seat in 
the stera-shects of his boat. It was no slight inward struggle 
to part from the steamer, that to most of the passengers 
was the only visible connectmg link between us and the 
dry and habitable earth, but we pulled away and entered the 
city, stemming a rapid current as we shot the levee. 

We glided up the long level of K Street,— once a cheerful, 



NOTlliS BY rr,(K)l) AVI) V\V.\.l). 



13; 



,u Santo 
ito. But. 
emory of. 
ralctl tho 
Hood of 
iiulelinitc 
tho inun- 

vbin win- 
he water. 
1(1 grown 
isturb the 
ently sat 
to fricntls 
obcrly on 
racted by 
with that 
hat might 
instinct, I 
iiij as an 

1 as we lay 
lere, how- 
ivas an ap- 
i dripping 
myself in 
festive of 
nyseat in 
d struggle 
passengers 
19 and the 
ntered the 
c. 
1 cheerful, 



busy tlioroughfare, now distressing in its silent dosol.ition. 
The turl.'id water wliich seemed to meet the horizon edire 
before us flowed at right angles in slugirisli rivers through 
the streets. Nature had revenged iuTsclf on the local taste 
by disarraying the regular rvotan^des by huddling houses on 
street corners, where they presented abrupt gables to the 
current, or by capsizing them in compact ruin. Crafts 
of all kinds were gliiling in and out of low-arched 
doorway;!. The water was over the top of the fences 
surrounding well-kept gardens, in the lir.-st stories of 
hotels Jind private dwellings, trailing its sHine on velvet 
carpets as well as roughly boardovl floors. And a silence 
quite as suggestive as the visible desolation was in the 
voiceless streets that no longer echoed to carriage-wheel or 
footfall. The low ripple of water, the occasional splash of 
oars, or tlie warning cry of boatmen were the few signs of 
life and habitation. 

With such scenes before my eyes and such sounds in my 
ears, as I lie lazily in the boai, is mingled the song of my 
gondolier who sings to the music of his oars. It is notcpiite 
as romantic as his brother of the Lido might improvise, 
but my Yankee " Guiseppe" has the advantage of earnest- 
ness and energ}'', and gives a graphic description of the 
terrors of the past week, and of noble deeds of self-sacrifice 
and devotion, occasionally pointing out a balcony from 
which some California Bianca or Laura had been snatched, 
half clothed and famished. Guiseppe is otherwise peculiar, 
and refuses the prof erred fare, for — am I not a citizen of 
San Francis(K), which was first to respond to the suffering 
cry of Sacramento ? and is not he, Guiseppe, a member of 
the Howard Society? No! Guiseppe is poor, but cannot 
take my money. Still, if I must spend it, there is the 
Howard Society, and the women and children without food 
and clothes at the Agricultural Hall. 

I thank the generous gondolier, and we go the Hall — a 
dismal, bleak place, ghastly with the memories of last year's 
opulence and plenty, and here Guiseppe's fare is swelled 



138 



NOTES BY FLOOD AND FIELD. 



by the stranger's mite. But here Guiseppe tells mo of the 
" Relief Boat" which letn-es for the flooded district in the 
interior, and her», proliting by the ieeson he had taught 
me, I make the resolve to turn my curiosity to the account 
of others, and am accepted of those who go forth to succour 
and help the afflicted. Guiseppe takes charge of my dirpet- 
bag, and does not part from me until I stand on the slippery 
deck of " Relief Boat Tso. ;3." 

An hour later I nni in the pilot-house, looking down upon 
what w^as onco the channel of a peaceful river. But itfs- 
banks are only deuned by tossing tufts of willow washed by 
the loyg swell that ureaks ove.ra vast inland sea. Stretches 
of " tule" land fertilized by its own regular channel and 
dotted by flourishing ranches are now cleanly erased. The 
cultivated profile of the old landscape had laded. Dotted 
lines of symmetrical perspective mark orchards that are 
buried and chilled in the turuid floo;:l The roofs of a few 
farm-houses arc visible, and here a^nl there the smoke 
curling from chimneys of half submerged tenements show 
an undaunted life within. Cattle and sheep are gathered 
on Indian mounds waiting the fate of their companions 
whose carcasses drift by us, or swin^ in eddies with the 
wrecks of barns and out-houses, Waggons are stranded 
everywhere where tlie tide could carry them. As I 
wipe the moistened glass, I 'lee nothiog but water, 
pattering on the deck from tlic lowering clouds, dash- 
ing against the windows, dripping from the willows, 
hissing by the wheels, everywhere washing, c(>iling, sapping, 
hurrying in rapids, or swelling at last into deeper and vaster 
lakes, awful in their suggestive quiet and concealment. 

As di. y fades into night the monotony of this strange 
prospect grows oppressive. I seek the engine-room, and in 
company of some of the few half-drowned sufferers we 
have already picked up from temporary rafts, I forget the 
general aspect of desolaticm in their individual misery. 
Later we meet the San Francisco packet, and transfer a 
number of our passengers. Fr(»m Ihem we learn how 






ikL:iUUtliUi;;i!i!Utiiti:illittiitmt:t). 



WM^Ui.Uu 



NOTES BY FLOOD AND FIELD, 



139 



10 of the 
^t in the 
id taught 
account 
3 succour 
ly rtirpet- 
3 slippery 

own upon 
But ito 
/ashed by 
Stretches 
mnel and 
sed. The 
. Dotted 
that are 
i of a f ew 
he smoke 
ents show 
cathered 
mpanions 
! with the 
stranded 
n. As I 
.U water, 
ids, dash- 
willows, 
J, sapping, 
and vaster 
ment. 
is strange 
3m, and in 
[fferers we 
forget the 
al misery, 
transfer a 
learn how 



inward-bound vessels report to having struck the well- 
defined channel of the SacraLiento, fifty miles beyond the 
bar. There is a voluntary r^ntrioatiou taken among the 
generous travellers for the use of our afilicted, and we part 
company with a hearty "Godsp'ied" on either sidL\ Bat 
our signal-lights are not far distant before a familiar sound 
comes back to us, — an indomitable Yankee cheer, — which 
scatters the gloom. 

Our course is altered, and we are steaming over the 
obliterated banks far in the intprior. Once or twice black 
objects loom up near us, — the wrecks of hous(!S floating by. 
There is a slight rift in the sky towards the north, and a 
few bearing stars to guide us over the waste. As v^c pene- 
trate into shallower water, it is deemed advisable to divide 
our party into smaller boats, and diverge over the submerged 
prairie. I borrow a pea-coat of one of the crew, and in 
that practical disguise am doubtfully permitted to pass into 
one of the boats. We give way northerly. It is quite dark 
yet, although the rift of cloud has widened. 

It must have been qj)0ut three o'clock, and we were lying 
upon our oars in an eddy formed oy a clump of cottonwood,. 
and the light of the steamer is a solitary, bright star in the 
distance, when the silence is broken by the " bow oar,"— 

" Light ahead." 

All eyes are turned in that direction. lu a few seconds a 
twinkUiig light appears, shines steadily, and again disap- 
pears, as if by the shifting position of some black object 
drifting close upon us. 

" Stern all ; a steamer ! " 

" Held hard thei'c ! Steamer be d d 1 *' is the reply of 

the coxswain. " It's a house, and a big one too." 

It is a big one, looming in the starlight like a huge frag- 
ment of the darkness. The light comes from a single 
candle, which shines through a window iis the great shape 
swings by. Some recollection is drifting back to me with 
it, as I listen with beating heart. 

" There's some one in it, by Heavens ! Give way, boys, — 



: ,') 



NOTES BY FLOOD AND FIELD. 



lay her alongside. Handsomely, now ! The dooi's fastened ; 
try the window ; no 1 here's another ! " 

In another moment we are trampling in the water, which 
washes the floor to the depth of several inches. It is a large 
room, at the farther end of which an old man is sitting 
wrapped in a blanket, holding a candle in one hand, and 
apparently absorbed in the book he holds with the other. I 
spring toward him with an exclamation, — 

" Joseph Tryan ! " 

lie does not move. We gather closer to him, and I lay 
my hand gently on his shoulder, and say, — 

•' Look lip, old man, look up ! Your wife and children, 
where are they? The boys, — George ! Arc they here? are 
they safe?" 

He raises his head slowly, and turns his eyes to mine, and 
we involuntarily recoil before his look. It is a calm and 
quiet glance, free from fear, anger, or pain ; but it somehovr 
sends the blood curdling through our veins. He bowed his 
head over his book again, takinix no further notice of us. 
The men look at me compassionately, and hold their peace. 
I make one more elTort : — 

"Joseph Tryan, don't you know me? the surveyor who 
surveyed your ranch, — the Espiritu Sant© ? Look jp, old 
man ! " 

He shuddered, and wrapped himself closer in his blanket. 
Presently he repeated to himself, " The surveyor who sur- 
veyed your ranch, — Espiritu Santo," over and over again, 
as though it wTre a lesson he was trying to fix in his 
memorv. 

I was turning sadly to the boatman, when he suddenly 
caught me fearfully by the hand and said, — 

"Hushi" 

We were silent. 

" Listen !" He puts his arm around my neck and whispers 
in my ear, '* I'm a moving off! " 

"Moving off?" 



]^OTLS BY FLOOD AND FIELD. 



141 



fastened ; 

er, which 
is a large 
is sitting 
land, and 
other. I 



>nd I lay- 
children, 
lere? are 

nine, and 
jalm and 
somehoviT 
owed his 
ce of us. 
eir peace. 

»yor who 
k ap, old 

i blanket, 
who siir- 
■er again, 
fix in his 

suddenly 



whispers 



"Hush ! Don't speak so loud. Movhig off. Ah ! wot's- 
that ? Don't you here ?— there ! listen ! " 

AVe listen, and hear the water gurgle and click beneath., 
the floor. 

"It's them what he sent! — Old Altascar sent. They've 
been here all night. I heard 'em lirst in the creek, when 
they came to tell the old man to move farther oil'. They 
came nearer and nearer. They whispered under the door, 
and I saw Iheir eyes on the step, — their eruel, hard eyes.. 
Ah! why don't they quit?" 

I tell the men to senrch the room and see if they can find' 
any further traces of the family, while Tryai resumes his 
old attitude. It is so much like tlie figure I remember on 
the breezy night that a superstitious feeling is fast over- 
coming me. When they have returned, I tell them briefly 
what I know of him, and the old man murmurs again, — 

" Why don't they quit, then? They have the stock,— all 
gone — gone, gone for the hides and hoofs," and ho groans 
bitterly. 

"There are other boats below us. The shanty cannot 
have drifted far, and perhaps the family are safe by this 
time," says the coxswain, hopefully. 

We lift the old man up, for he is quite helpless, and carry 
him to the boat. He is still grasping the Bible in his right 
hand, thopgh its strengthening grace is blank to his vacant 
eye, and he cowers in the stern as w^c pull slowly to the 
steamer, while a pale gleam in the diy shows the coming 

day. 

i was weary with excitement, and when we reached the 
steamer, and I had seen Joseph Tryan very comfortably 
bestowed, I wrapped myself in a blanket near the boiler 
and presently leli asleep. But evan then the figure of the. 
old man often started before me, and a sense of uneasiness 
about George made a strong undercurrent to my drifting, 
d-eams. I was awakened at about eight o'clock in the 
morning by tlie engineer, who told me that one of the old 
man's sons had keen pieked up and was now on board. 



.{.,}[!(;!)!! jlKljnHiinniJi 



142 



NOTiiS BY FLOOD AND FIELD. 



: J 



i . 



" Is it George TryanV" I ask qllickl3^ 

"Don't know ; but he's a sweet one, whoever he is," adds 
the engineer, with a smile at some luscious remembrance. 
«♦ You'll find him for'ard." 

I hurry to the bow of the bo;'t, and lind, not George, but 
the irrepressible AVise, sitting on a coil of rope, a little dirtier 
and rather more dilapidated than I can remember having 
seen him. 

He is examining, v.itli apparent ad'airation, some rough, 
dry clothes that had been put out for his disposa I cannot 
help thinking that circumstances have somewli vt exalted 
his usual cheerfulness. Pie puts me at my ease by at once 
addressing me : — 

"These are high old times, ain't theyV I say, what do 
you reckon's become o' them thar bound'ry moniments you 
stuck? Ah!" 

The pause which succeeds this outburst is the effect of a 
spasm of admiration at a pair of high boots, which, by 
great exertion, he has at last pulled on his feet. 

" So you've picked up the ole man in the shanty, clean 
crazy ? lie must have been soft to have stuck there instead 
o' leavin' with the old woman. Didn't know me from 
Adam ; took me for George ! " 

At this affecting instance of paternal forgetfulnesg. Wise 
was evidently divided between amusement and chagrin. I 
took advantage of the contending emotions to ask about 
George. 

"Don't knov/ whar he is! If he'd tended stook ii^stead 
of running about the prairie, packin' off wimmin and 
children, he might have saved suthin. He lost eveiy hoof 
and hide, I'll bet a cookey. Say you," to a passing boat- 
man, "when are you goin' to give us some grub? I'm 
hungry 'nough to skin and eat a boss. Reckon I'll turn 
butcher when things is dried up, and snve hides, horns, and 
taller." 

I could not but admire this indomitable energy, which 



■ i^liWiUiUi. 



NOTES BY FLOOD AND FIELD. 



14a 



is," adds 
abrance. 

)r<i,o, but 
le dirtier 
r having 

3 rough, 
I cannot 
; exalted 
■f at once 

what do 
ents j^ou 

ffect of a 
^hich, by 

ity, clean 
•e instead 
me from 

CSS, Wise 
lagrin. I 
ask about 

• 

)k ipkstead 
imin and 
;very hoof 
sing boat- 
'ubV I'm 
I I'll turn 
horns, and 

gy, whicli 



under softer climatic influences might have borne such goodly 
fruit. 

" Have you any idea what you'll do. Wise V " I ask. 

" Thar ain't mu(;h to do now," says the practical youngs 
man. "I'll have to la3' over a spell, I reckon, till things 
comes straight. The land am't worth much now, and won't 
be, I daresay, for some time. Wonder whar the ole man'U 
drive stakes next." 

" I meant as to your father and George, Wise." 

" O, the ole man and I'll go on to ' Miles's,' whar Tom 
packed the old woman and babies last week. George 'II 
turn up somewhar atween this and Altascar's, ef he ain't 
thai now." 

I ask how the Altascars have suffered. 

"Well, I reckon he ain't lost much in stock. I shouldn't 
wonder if George helped him drive 'em up the foot-hills 
And his 'casa' 's built too higli. O, thar ain't any water 
thar, you bet. Ah," says Wise, with reflective admiration 
" those greasers ain't the darned fools people think 'cm. I'll 
bet thar ain't one swamped out in all 'er Califoray." But 
the appearance of " grub " cut this rhapsody short. 

"I shall keep on a Utile farther," I say, '"and tiy to find 
George." 

Wise stared a moment at this efcentricity until a new 
light dawned upon liim. 

'• I don't think you'll save inucli. What's tlie percentage^ 
— workin' on shares, eh I " 

I answer that I am only curious, which I feel lessens his 
opinion of mc, and with a sadder feeiijig than his ussurince 
of George's safety might warrant, I walked away. 

From others whom wo picked up from time to lime we 
heard of George's self-sacriticing devotion, 7;iUi tlie praises 
of the many he had lielped and rescued. But I ilid not feel 
disposf,'d to return until I had seen him, and soon prepared 
mvself to take a boat to the lower " v ilda" of tlie toot-hills, 
and visit Altascar. I soon perfected niy arrangements, bade 
farewell to Wise, and took a last look at the old man, whc 



J51i'51"!j5'S'«jliJ?"'-{!J'*5''^J' 



144 



NOTES BY FLOOD AND FIELD. 



was sitting by the furnace-fires quite passive and composed. 
Tlien our boat-liead s\rung round, pulled by sturdy and 
willitig hands. 

It was again raining, and a disagreeable wind had risen. 
Our course lay nearly west, and we soon knew by the strong 
current that wc vrere in the creek of the Espiritu Santo. 
From time to time the wrecks of barns were seen, and we 
passed many half-submerged willows hung with farming 
imjilements. 

AVe emerge rt last into a broad silent sea. It is the "llano 
,de Espiritu Santo. As the wind whistles by me, piling the 
shallower fresli water into mimic waves, I go back, in fancy, 
to the long ride of October over that bovmdless plain, and 
recall the sharp outlines of the distant hills which are now 
lost in the lowering clouds. The men nre rowing silently, 
and I lind my mind, released from its tension, growing 
benumbed and depressed as then. The water, too, is getting 
more shallow as we leave the banks of the ci'eek, and with 
xny hand dipped listlessly over the thwarts, I detect the tops 
of chimisal, which shows the tide to have som.ewhat fallen. 
There is a black mound, bearing to the north of the line of 
'alder, making au adverse current, which, as we sweep to 
the right to avoid, I recognize. \Ye pull close alongside 
and I call to the men to stop. 

There was a stake driven near its summit with the ini- 
tials, ** L. E. S. I." Tied half-way down was a curiousl)'- 
worked " riata." It v»'rs George's. It had been cut with 
some sha^p instrument, and the loose gravelly soil of the 
mo!*.nd was deeph^ dented v,'ith horse's hoofs. The stake 
was covered with horse-hairs. It was a record, but no clew. 

The wind had grown more violent, as we still fought our 
way forward, resting and rowing by turns, and oftoner 
"poling" the shallower' surface, but the old "valda," or 
bench, is still distant. My recollection of the old surrey 
enables me to guess the relatire position of the meanderinga 
of the creek, and an occasional simple professional experi- 
ment to detenninc the distance gircs my crew the fullest 



with a 
laid hi 

- r<j 

hunge 
peace.' 



NOTES BY FLOOD AND FIELD. 



H5 



mposed. 
rely and 

id risen, 
e strong 
.1 Santo, 
and we 
farming 



le 



'llano 
iling the 
in fancy, 
lain, and 
are now 
silently, 
growing 
is getting 
and with 
t the tops 
at fallen, 
le line of 
sweep to 
alongside 

I the ini- 
curio'jsly 
cut with 



-)il of the 



'1h; Bt&ls-e 
no olew. 
night our 
d of toner 
^alda," or 
Id Burrey 
anderings 
al expcri- 
he fullest 



faith in my ability. Night overtakes us in our impeded 
progress. Our condition looks more dangerous than it 
really is, but I urge the men, many of whom are still new 
in this mode of navigation, to greater exertion by assurance 
of perfect safety and speedy lelief ahead. We go on in this 
way until about eight o'clock, and grouiid by the willows. 
We have a muddy walk for a few hundn 1 yards before we 
strike a dry trail, and simultaneously the white walls of 
Altascar's appear like a snow-banji before us. Lights are 
moving in the court-yard ; but otherT\ isu the old tomb-like 
repose characterizes the building. 

One of the peons recognized me as I entered the court, 
and Altascar met me an the corridor. 

I was too weak to do more than beg his hospitality for the 
men Vv'ho liad dragged wearily with me. lie looked at my 
jiand, which stili uncorsciously held the broken "riata." I 
bep,an, wearily, to tell iiini about George and my fears, but 
with a gentler courtesy than was even Lis wort, he gravely 
laid his hand on my shoulder. 

" Poco a j)oco Senor, — not now. You are tired, you have 
hunger, you have cold. Necessary it is you should have 
peace." 

lie took us into a small room and poured out some cog- 
nac, which he gave to the men that had accompanied me. 
They drank and threw themselves before the fire in the 
larger room. Tlie repose of the building v.wa intensilled 
that night, and I even fancied that the footsteps on the 
corridor were lighter and softer. TJie old Spaniard's hab- 
itual gravity was deeper; v/e might have been shut out 
from the world as well as the whistling storm, behind those 
ancient walls with thoir time-worn iuhcritor. 

Before I could repeat my inquiry he retired. In ji few 
minutes two smoking dishes of "chupa"w;i!i con oe were 
placed before us, and my men ate ravcuoiisiv. I i.'j-ank the 
coffee, but my excitement and wcarine-ts kcpf dovrn the 
instincts of hunger. 

I was sitting- sadlv by the fire when he re-entered. 
1> 



|fR!ii 



H>nij( 



146 



NOTES BY FLOOD AXD FIELD. 



"You have eat?" 

I said, " Yes," to please liini. 

^' Bueno, eat wlien you can,— food and appetite are not 
always." 

He said this with that Sancho-like simplicity with which 
moat of h\3 countrymen utter a prorerb, as though it were 
an experience ralher than a legend, and, taking the " riata " 
from the floor, held It almost tenderly before him. 

"It was mnde by ,ne, Senor." 

" I Ivcpt it as a clew to him, Don Altascar," I said, " If I 
could find him " 

" lie is here." 

"Here! and"" — \)\h I couid not eay, "well!" I under- 
stood the gravity of, the old man's face, the hushed footfalls, 
the tAmb-lJke repos-:; of ihe building in an electric flash of 
consciou5:ncss ; I held the clew to the broken riata at last. 
Altascar took my hand, and we crossed the corridor to u 
sombre apartment. A few tall candles were burning in 
Hconces before tlie window. 

In an alcove there was a deep bed with its counterpane, 
j)iUows,and sheets heavily edged with lace, m all that 
splendid luxury wliicli the humblest of these strange people 
lavish upon this single item of their household. I stepped 
beside it and saw George lying, as I had seen him once 
boforcf, peacefully at rest. But a greater sacrifice than that 
he had known wi^s here, and his generous heart was stilled 
forever. 

" He was honest aad brave," sp'd the old man and turned 
away. 

There was another figure in the room; a heavy shawl 
drawn over her graccffll outline, and lier long black hair 
iiidirjg the hands tliat buried her downcast face. I did not 
s?oni to notice her, retii ing presently, left the loving and loved 
to.ivelhfM'. 

"VVjiCLi we were agi'hi beside the crackling fire, in the 
shitihig shadows of the great chamber, Altascar told me 
]io\v he had th:'.t mornhig met the horse of George Tryan 



i 



elite are not 

r with wliicb 
ough it were 
Tthe"riata" 
im. 

I said, "If I 



!" I imder- 
ihed footfalls, 
ectric flash of 
riata at last, 
corridor to a 
u buruiag in 

counterpane, 
5, ill all that 
itrange people 
Id. I stepped 
2en him once 
ifice than that 
irt was stilled 



w and turned I 



NOTES BY FIELD AND FLOOD. 



U7 



swimming on the prairie ; how that, farther on, he found 
him lying, quite crld and dead, with no marks or bruises on 
his person ; that h.5 had probably become exhausted in ford- 
ing the creek, and that, he had as probably reached the 
mound only to die for want of that help he had so freely 
given to others ; that, as a last act, he had freed his horse. 
These incidents were corroborated by many who collected 
in the great chamber that evening,-^women and children, — 
most of them succoured through the devoted energies of 
him who lay cold and lifeless above. 

He was buried in the Indian mound, — the single spot of 
strange perennial greenness, which the poor aborignes had 
raised above the dusty plain. A little slab of sandstone, 
with the initials, " Gr. T.," is his monument, and one of the 
bearings of the initial corner of the cw survey of the 
" Espiritu Santo Rancho." 



►"^■m*-*" 



heavy shawl 
ng black hair 
ice. I did not 
viug and loved 



\g fire, in the 
ascar told me 
George Tryan 



i I 



I i 



img 



Ill -BOHEMIAN PAPERS. 



THE Mi^BI^^:^^ HKDL'OISES. 



rniE Mission Dolores Ls destined to be "The Last Sigh" 
-^ of the native Califoniian. WIicii tlic last " Groiisor"' 
shall indolently give way to the bustling Yankee, I can 
imagine he will, liko the Moorish King, ascend one of the 
Mission hills to take his last lingerinr>- look at the hilled 
city. For a long time he will cling tenaciously to Pacific 
Street. He will delve in the rocky fastnesses of Telegraph 
Hill until progress shall remove it, lie will haunt Yailcjo 
Street, and those back slums which so vividly typify the 
de.'jrodation of a people ; "but he will eventually niak.G way 
for improvement. The I^Iission will be last to drop from 
his nerveless lingers. 

As I stand here this pleasant afternoon, looking up at the 
old chapel, — its ragged senility contrasting witli the smart 
sunshine, its two gouty pillars with tiie plaster drop})ing 
away like tattered bandages, its rayless windows, its crumb- 
ling entrances, the leper spots on its whitewaslied wall 
eating through the dark adobe,**-! give the poor old mendi- 
cant but a few years longer to sit by the highway and ask 
alms in the names of the blessed saints. Already the vicinity 
is haunted with the nhadow of its dissolution. The shriek 
of the locomotive discords with the Augelus bell. An Epis- 
copal church, of a green Gothic type, with massive buttresses 
of Oregon pine, even now mocks its hoary age with imita- 
tion, and supplants it with a sham. Vain, alas ! were those 



150 



THE MISISION DOLOUKH. 



rural accessories, tho nurseries and market-gardens, Unit 
once gathered about its walls and resisted civic encroach- 
ment. They, too, are passing away. Even those (lucer 
little adobe buildings with tiled roofs like longitudinal slips 
of cinnamon, and walled enclosures sacredly guarding a few 
bullock horns and strips of hide. I look in vain for the 
half-reclaimed Mexican, whose respectability stopped at his 
waist, and whose red sash under his vest was the utter 
undoing of his black broadcloth. I. miss, too, those black- 
haired women, with swaying unstable busts, whose dresses 
were always unseasonable in texture and pattern; whose 
wearing of a shawl was a terrible awakening from the poetic 
dream of the Spanish mantilla. Traces of another nation- 
ality are visible. The railroad " navvy" has built his shanty 
near the chapel, and smokes his pipe in the Posada. Gut- 
turals have taken the place of Unguals and sibilants ; I miss 
the half-chanted, half-drawled cadences that used to mingle 
with the cheery " All aboard " of the stage-driver, in those 
good old days when the stages ran hourly to the Mission, 
and a trip thither was an excursion. At the very gates of 
the temple, in the place of those " who sell doves for sacri- 
fice," a vendor of mechanical spiders has halted wiili his 
unhallowed wares. Even the old Padre — last type of the 
Missionary, and descendant of the good Junipero — I cannot 
find to-day; in his stead a light-haired Celt is reading a 
lesson from a Vulgate that is wonderfully replete with 
double r's. GLntle priest, in thy R-isons, let the stranger 
and heretic be remembered. 

I open a little gate and enter the Mission Church-yard- 
There is no change here, though perhaps the graves lie 
closer together. A willow-tree, growing beside the deep, 
brov»rn wall, has burst into tufted plumes in the fulness of 
spring. The tall grass-blades over each mound show a 
strange quickening of the soil below. It is pleasanter here 
than on the bleak mountain seaward, where distracting 
winds continually bring the strife and turmoil of the ocean. 
The Mission hills lovingly embrace the little cemetery whose 



TIIK MISSION DOLOIIES. 



J51 



t-giirdcns, that, 
;ivic cncroach- 
n those ciucer 
iffitutlinal sllpa 
l^uardhig a few 
I vain for the 

stopped at his 

was the utter 

o, those black - 

whose dresses 
•attern ; whose 
from the poetic 
mother nation- 
milt his shanty 
Posada. Gut- 
bilants ; I miss 
used to mingle 
Iriver, in those 
.0 the ]*>Iissiou, 
LC very gates of 
lIovcs for sacri- 
lalted wiih his 
ast type of the i| 
pero — I cannot 
It is reading a 
f replete with 
et the stranger 

n Church-yard- 
the graves lie 
sslde the deep. 
I the fulness of 
nound show a 
plcasanter here 
ere distracting 
il of the ocean. 
:emctcry whose 



decorative taste is less ostentatious. The foreign flavour is 
strong; here arc never-failing garlands of immorunc^^-wiih 
their sepulchral spicery ; here are little cheap medallions of 
pewter, with the adornment of three blaclc tears, that would 
look like the three of clubs, but that the simple humility of 
the inscription counterbalances all sense of the ridiculous. 
Ilere are children's graves with guardian angels of great speci- 
lic gravity; but here, too, arc the little one's toys in a glass 
case beside them. Here is the average quantity of execrable 
original verses; but one stanza — over a sailor's grave — is 
striking, for it expresses a hope of salvation through the 
"Lord High Admiral Christ!" Over the foreign graves 
there is a notable lack of scriptural (luolation, and an 
increase, if I may say it, of humanity and tenderness. I can- 
not help thinking that too many of my countrymen are 
inlluenced by a morbid desire to make a practical point of 
this occasion, and are too apt hastily to crowd a whole life 
of omission into the culminating act. But when 1 see the 
gray immortelles crowning a tombstone, I know T shall tbid 
the mysteries of the resurrection shown rather in svnibols, 
and only the love taught in Lis new commandment hft for 
the graphic touch. But " they nuuiage these things better 
in France." 

During my purposeless ramble the sun lias been steadily 
climbinsr the brown wall of the church, and the air seems to 
grow cold and raw. The bright green dies out of the grass, 
and the rich bronze comes down from the wall. The 
willow-tree seems half inclined to doff its plumes, and wenrs 
the dejected air of a broken f:iith and violated trust. Tlie 
spice of tlie immortelles mixes with the incense that steals 
through the open window. Within, the barbaric gilt and 
crimson look cold and cheap in this searching air; by this 
light the churcli is certainly old and ugly. I cannot help 
wondering wliether the old Fathers, if they ever revisit the 
scene of their former labours, in their Inrg^r comprehen- 
sions, view with regret the impending change, or mourn 
over the day when the ]\Iission Dolores shall appropriately 
come to grief. 



JOMM €2III^AMAN« 



'^piIE exi)rcssion of the Chinese face in the aggrc,<;^nte is 
-^- r. cither cheerful nor happy. In an acquaintance of 
half a dozen 3'ears, I can only recall one or two exceptions 
to this rule. There is an abiding consciousness of degreda- 
tli>n, — a secret pain of self-Jmmiliation visiMe in the lines of 
the mouth and eye. "NVhcther it is only a modification of 
Turkish gravit}^ or whetner it is the dread Valley of the 
Shadow ot the Drug through whicli they are continually 
iilraying, I cannot s:iy. They seld-jni smile, and their 
laughter is of such an exfraordinary and sardonic nature — 
so purely a mechanical spasm, quite independent of any 
mirlhfal attribute — tliat to tliis day I v.m doubtful whether 
1 ever s;r,v a ChinauMin laugli. A theatrical representation 
hy natives, one might think, would have r;ct my mind at 
(iioC 0:1 this point; bv.t it did not. Indeed, a new difficulty 
presented itself, — the impoLssibilty of determining whether 
I'ic perLorrnance was a tragedy or farce. I thought I 
detected the low comedian in an active youth who turned 
tvro '^■oniei'saults, and knocked everbody down on entering 
the st::sj:e. Bat, unfortunately, even this classic resemblance 
to the legitimate farce of our civilization was deceptive. 
Another brocaded acto]-, wbo represented the hero of the 
pLrf, turned three somersaults, and not only upset ni}'- theory 
and his fellow-actors at the same time, but apparently run 
a-mue i: behind the scenes for some time afterwards. I look- 
ed around at the glinting wliite teeth to observe the effect 
of these two palpable hil:s. They were received vvith equal 
acclamation, and apparently equal facial spasms. One or 
two '. eheadings which enlivened the play produced the same 



ftTiW..,.,,,., 



JOHN CHOAMAX. 



153 



nggrCi-^nte is 
Liaintauce of 

exceptions 
of degreda- 

1 the lines of 
)difi cation of 
^alley of tlie 

continually 
and their 
nit; natiirc — 
dci't of any 
tiul whether 
ipresentation 
my mind at 
ew difFiciilty 
ing whetlicr 
[ thought I 
who turned 
on entering 
resemblance 
s deceptiye. 
hero of the 
it luy theory 
parently run 
rJs. I look- 
re tlic effect 
. with equal 
ms. One or 
:ed the same 



sardonic effect, and liit upon my mind a painful anxiety to 
know what wai the serious business of life in China. It was 
noLiceable, however, that my unrestrained laughter had a 
discordant eiTtct, and that triangular eyes sometimes turned 
ominously toward the " Fanojii devil ;" but as I retired dis- 
creetly before the play was finished, there were no serious 
results. I have only given tlic above as an instance of the 
impossibility of deciding upon the outward and superficial 
expression of Chinese mirth,. Of its inner and deeper exis- 
tence I have some private doubta. An audience tliat will 
view with a serious aspect the hero, after a frightful and 
agonizing death, get up and quietly walk oil the stage, cannot 
be said to have remnrkalde perceptions of the hidicrous. 

I have often been struck with tlic delicate plial)ilily of the 
Chinese expression and taste, that miglit snii'gest a broader 
and deeper criticism than is becoming these pages. A Ciiina- 
mnn vrill adopt the American costum ', and wear it with a 
taste of colour 3.nd detail that will surpass those " native, and 
to the manor born." To look at a Chinese slipper, one 
might imagine it impossible to shape the original foot to 
anything less cumbrous and roomy, yet a neater-fitting boot 
than that belonging to the Americani-ed Chinaman is rarely 
seen on this side ot the Continent. Y7beu the loose sack or 
pabtot takes the place of his brocade blouse, it is worn with 
a refinement and grace that might bring a jealous pang to 
'11)0 exquisite of our more refmcil civilization. Pantaloons 
fall fni-'Aly and naturally over legs that luive known unlimited 
freedom and ba:':iijIno;i3, and even garrot;'- collars meet 
correctly around sun-tanned throats. Tae new expression 
seldom overflows in gaudy cravats. I will back my Ameri- 
canized Chinaman against any neophyte of European birth 
in the choice of that article. While in our ovrn State, the 
Greaser resists one bv one the irarmeuts of the IS'orthern 
invader, and even wears the livery of his conqucrer Aviih a 
wild and buttonless freedom, the Chinaman, abased and de- 
graded as lie is, changes by correctly graded transition to tlio 
garments of Christian civilization. TJicrc is but one article 



154 



JOHN CHINAMAN. 




of European wear that he avoids. These Bohemian eyes have 
never yet been paiaed by the spectacle of a tall hat on the 
head of an intelligent Chinaman. 

My acquaintance with John has been made ur of weekly 
interviews, involving the adjustment of the washing accounts, 
so that I have not been able to study his character from a 
social view-point, or observe him in the privacy of tho 
domestic circle. I have gathered enough to justify me in 
believing him to be generally honest, faithful, simple, and 
painstaking. Of his simplicity let me record an instance, 
where a sad and civil young Chinaman brought me certain 
shirts with most of the buttons missing and others hanging 
on delusively by a single thread. In a moment of unguarded 
irony, I informed him that unity would at least have been 
preserved if the buttons were removed altogether. He smiled 
sadly and went away. I thought I had hurt his feelings, 
until the next week, when he brought mc my shirts with a 
look of intelligence, and the buttons carefully aud totally 
erased. At another time, to guard against his general dispo- 
sition to carry off anything as soiled clothes that he thought 
could hold water, I requested him to always vv^ait until he 
saw me. Coming home late one evening, I found the house- 
hold in great consternation over an immovable Celestial 
who had remained seated on the front doorstep during the 
day, sad and submissive, firm, but also patient, and only 
betraying any animation or token of his mission when he 
saw me coming. This same Chinaman evinced some 
evidences of regard for a little girl in the family, who in her 
turn reposed such faith in his intellectual qualities as 
to present him with a pretcrnaturally uninteresting Sunday- 
school book, her own property. This book John made a 
point of carryin/7 ostentatiously with him in his weekly visits. 
It appeared unsually on the top of the clean clothes, and 
was sometimes painfully clasped outside of ths big bundle of 
solid linen. ^Yhether John believed he unconsciously 
imbibed some spiritual life through its pasteboard cover, as 
the Prince in the Arabian Nights imbibed the medicine 



thi 

ex] 
po( 
wo 
for 
stn 
Th 
yoi 
me 
Co 
per 
wit 
hai 
cla 



!tU4iUU, 



P'^-y^- 



m eyes have 
[ hat on the 

]}■ of weekly 
ig accounts, 
iter from a 
racy of the 
stify me in 
simple, and 
m instance, 
me certain 
ers hanging 
: unguarded 
I have been 
. He smiled 
lis feelings, 
lirts with a 
aud totally 
neral dispo- 
he thought 
rait until he 
i the house- 
lie Celestial 
during the 
i, and only 
)n when he 
need some 
, who in her 
lualities as 
iig Sunday- 
ihn made a 
eekly visits, 
ilothes. and 
ig bundle of 
consciously 
d cover, as 
e medicine 



JOHN CHINAMAN. 



15^ 



through the handle of the mallet, or whether he wished to 
exhibit a due sense of gratitude, or whether he hadn't any 
pockets, I have never been able to ascertain. In his turn he 
would sometimes cut marvellous imitation roses from carrots 
for his little friend. I am inclined to think that a few rose& 
strewn in St. John's path were such scentless imitations- 
The thorns only were real. From the persecutions of the 
young and old of a certain class, his life was a tor- 
ment. I don't know whit was the exact philosophy that 
Confucius taught, but it is to be hoped that poor John in his 
persecution is still able to detect the conscious hate and fear 
with which inferiority always regards the possibility of even- 
handed justice, and whicTi is the key-rote to the vulgar 
clamour about servile and degraded races. 



WR€m A IU€2£ WSNBOW. 






IRE?>IEMBEU that long ago, as a sanguine and trustful 
cliiUl, I became possessed of aliiglil}' coloured lilliogranh, 
representing a fair Circassian sitting by a ^vindo^\^ Tlio 
price I paid for this v/ork of art may have been extravagant, 
even in youtli's fluctuating Rlate-pcncil currency ; but the 
secret joy I felt in its possession knoAv^ no pecuniar}' 
equivalent. It Avas not alone that Nature in Circassia 
lavished alike upvon the cheek of beauty und the vegetable 
kingdom that most expensiv" of colours— Lake ; nor was it 
that the rose wliicli bloomed beside the fair Circassian's 
window had no visible stem, and was directly grafted upos? 
a marble balcony ; but it vv'as because it embodied an idea. 
That idea was a hinting of my Fate. I felt that somewhere 
a young and fair Circassian was "lilting b}'- a window look- 
ing out for me. The idea of resisting such an army of 
charms and < colour never occurred to mo, and to my honour 
be it recorded, that during tlic feverish period of atlolescence 
I never thought of averting ray destiny. But g,s vacation 
and holidays came and went, and as my picture at tirstgrew 
blurred, and then faded quite away between the Eastern 
and Western contine.Us in my ath'.s, j-o its charm seemed 
mysteriously to pass away. When I became convinced 
that few females, of Civcassi:m or other origin, sat pensively 
resting their chins on their henna-tinged nails, at their 
parlour windows, I turned my attention to bacl: windows. 
Althougli tlio fair Circassian has not yet bur^t \\]y>n me 
with open shutters, some peculiarities not unworthy of note 
have fallen under my observation. This knowdedge has not 



w. 



and trustful 
1 litlioii-ranh, 

Oil 

lulow. The 
extravagant, 
cy ; but tlic 
o pecuiiifiiy 
in Circassia 
he vegetable 
: ; nor ^vn,s it 
' Circassian's 
^•rafted upos? 
ied an idea. 
t somewhere 
'indov/ look- 
nn ai'ni}'- of 
) my honour 
adfilescence 
; &s vacation 
id first grew 
the Eastern 
arm seemed 
i convinced 
at pensively 
lis, at their 
;k windows. 
ft ii])f)n me 
rthy of note 
3dge has not 



FROM A BACK WINDOW. 



157 



been gained without sacrifice. I have made myself familiar 
with back windows and their prospects, in the weak disguise 
of seeking lodgings, heedless of the suspicious glances of 
landladies and their evident reluctance to show them. I 
have caught cold by long exposure to draughts. I have 
become estrang(id from friends by unconsciously walking to 
their back windows during a visit, when the weekly linen 
hung upon the line, or where Miss Fanny (ostensibly indis- 
posed) actually assif^ted in the laundry, and JtEaster Bobby 
in scant attire, disported himself on the area railings. Butl 
have thought of Clalileo, ,ind the invariable experience of all 
seekers and discoverers of truth uas sustained me. 

Show me the back windows of a man's dwelling, and I 
will tell you his character. The rccir of a house only is 
sincere. The attitude of deception kept up at the front win- 
dows lea v'cs the back area defenceless. The world enters at 
the front door, but nature comes out at the back passage. 
That glossy, well-brushed iudividual, v/ho lets himself in 
with a latch-key at the front door at night, is a very di'derent 
being from the slipshod wretch who growls of mor-i'ngs for 
hot wat'2r at the door of the kitchen. The same with Aladiime 
whose contour of figurb grows angular, whose face grows 
pallid, whose hair comes down, and who looks sonic ten 
years older through the sincere medium of a back v/indow. 
Xo wonder that intimate friends fail to recognize each otlier 
in this dos a dos position. You m.'iy imagine yourself 
familiar with tlic silver door-plate and bow-windows of the 
niiinsion where dwells your Saccharis;'ui ; you may even 
fancy you recognize iicr graceful figure between the lace 
curtains of the upper chamber which you fc-ndly imagine to 
be hers; but you shall dwell for moiitlis in the roar oi" her 
dvrclliiig and wdthin whispering distance of her bower, and 
never know it. You shall sc>e lu-r with a handkerchief tied 
round her head in confidential discussion M'ith tlie batcher, 
and know her not. You shall hear her voice ia shrill expos- 
tulation with her younger brother, and it shall awaken no 
familiar response. 



158 



FROM A BACK WINDOW. 



I am writing at a back window. As I prefer the warmth 
of my coal-fire to the foggy freshness of the afternoon breeze 
that rattles the leafless shrubs in the garden below me, I hare 
my window-sash closed ; consequently,'! miss much of the 
shrilly altercation that has been going on in the kitchen of 
No. 7 just opposite. I have heard fragments of an entertain- 
ing style of dialogue usually known as " chaffing," which has 
just taken place between Biddy in No. G, and the butcher 
who brings tlie dinner. 1 have been pitying the chilled 
aspect of a poor canary, put out to taste the fresh air, from 
the window of No. 5. 1 have been watching — and envj'^ing, 
I fear — the real enjoyment of two children raking over an 
old dust-heap in the alley, containing the waste anildebris of 
all the bac^t yards in the neighborhood. What a wealth of 
soda-water bottles and old iron tliey have acquired I Bat I 
am waiting for an even more familiar prospect from my 
back Avindow. I know that later in the aftcnoon, when the 
evening paper comes, athickset, grey-haired man will appear 
in h\9. shirt sleeves at the back door of No. 9, and, seating 
himself on the door-step begin to read. He lives in a pre- 
tentious house, and I hear he is a rich man. But there is 
such humility in his attitude, and such evidence of gratitude 
at being allowed to sit outside of his own house and read his 
paper in his shirt-sleeves, that I can picture his domestic 
history pretty clearly. Perhaps he is following some old 
habit of humbler days. Perhaps he has entered into an 
agreement with his wife not to indulge his disgraceful habits 
in-doors. He does not look like a man who could be coaxed 
into a dressing-gown. In front of his own palatial residence, 
I know him to be a quiet and respectable middle-aged busi- 
ness-man, but it is from mv back window that mv heart 
warms toward liim in his shirt-sleeved simplicity. So I sit 
and watch him in the twilight as he reads gravely, and won- 
der sometimes, when he loi>ks up, j^quares his chest, and I'olds 
his paper thoughtfully over his knee, whetlicr ho doesn't 
fancy he hears the letting down of bar.-, or the tinkling of 
bells, as the cows come home, and stand lowing for him at 
the gate. 



I 



the -warmth 
noon breeze 

me, I hare 
nuch of the 

kitchen of 
m entertain- 
," which has 
the butcher 
the chilled 
sh air, from 
,nd envyin^^, 
dng oyer an 
'AuddebriH of 
a wealth of 
red ! Bat I 
ct from mv 
)]i, when the 
L will appear 
and, seatinji;' 
^es in a pre- 
But there is 
of gratitude 
and read his 
Liis domestic 
\g some old 
red into an 
iceful habity 
d be coaxed 
al residence, 
le-aged busi- 
it my heart 
y. So I sit 
y, and won- 
st, and I'olds 
ho (l()t?:sn't 
! tinklin«; of 
: for him at 



BOONDER. 



T NEVER knew how the subject of this memoir came to 
* attach himself so closely to the affections of my family. 
He was not a prepossessing dog. He was not a dog of even 
average birth and breeding. His pedigree was mvolved in 
the deepest obscm-ity. He may have had brothers and 
sisters, but in the whole range of my canine acquaintance 
(a pretty extensive one), I never detec'ed any of Boondcr's 
peculiarities in any other of his species. His body was 
long, and his fore-legs and hind-legs were very wide apart, 
as though Nature originally intended to put an extra pair 
between them, but had unwisely allowed herself to be per- 
suaded out of it. This peculiarity was annoying on cold 
nights, as it always prolonged the interval of keeping the 
door open for Boondcr's ingress long enough to allow two 
or three dogs of a reasonable length to enter. Boondcr's 
feet were decided ; his toes turned out considerably, and in 
repose his favourite attitude was the first position of dancing. 
Add to a pair of bright eyes ears that seemed to belong to 
some other dog, and a symmetrically pointed nose that 
iitted all apertures like a pass-key, and you have Boonder 
as we knew him. 

I am inclined to think that his popularity was mainly 
ovving to his quiet impudence, ilis advent in the family 
was that of an old member, who had been absent fo'; a short 
time, but had returned to familiar haunts and associations. 
In a Pj^'thagorean point of view this might have been the 
case, but I cannot recall any d'jc cased member of the 
family who was in life partial to bone-burying (though it 
might be post niorkm a consistent amusement), and this was 



IGO 



nOONDBK. 



Boontlcr's great w.ikncss. He was at first discovered 
soiled np on a rng in an upper chamber, and was the least 
disconcerted of tlio entire household. From that moment 
Boonder became one of its recognized members, and privi" 
Icg-es, often denied the most intelligent and valuable of his 
species, were ([uietly taken by him and submitted to by us. 
Thus, if h-s were found coiled up in a clothes-basket, or any 
article • f clc'^^Uig assumc'J locomotion on its o-wn accyunt, 
-".re on"*; : .^k;.. ' o i .'s Boonder," with a feeling of relief that 



it was nv 



'orse 



I have Si .iken .' his fondness for bone-burying. It could 
not be called an economical facult}^, for he invariably forgot 
the locality of liis treasure, and covered the garden with 
purposeless holes ; but although the violets and daisies were 
not improved by Eoonder's gardening, no one ever thought 
of punishing him. He became a synonymc for Fate ; a Boon- 
der to be grumbleil at, to be accepted philosophically, — but 
never to bo averted. But although he was not an intelli- 
gent dog, nor an ornamental dog, he possessed some gentle- 
manly instincts. When he performed hh only feat, — 
begging upon his hind Icg'i (and looking remarkably like a 
penguin), — ignorant strangers would offer hlin crackers or 
cake, whicli he didn't like, as a reward of merit. Boonder 
always made a great show of accepting the proffered dain- 
ties, and even made hypocritical contortions as if sv\'allow- 
ing, but alwa^'-s deposited the morsel when he was 
unobserved in the first convenient receptacle, — usually the 
visitor's overshoes. 

In matters that did not involve courtesy, Boonder was 
sincere in his likes and dislikes. He was instinctivel}' 
opposed to the railroad. AVhcn tlic track was laid through 
our street, Boonder maintained a defiant attitude toward 
every rail as it vrent down, and resisted the cai's shortly 
after to the fullcst^cxtent of his lungs. I have a vivid recol- 
lection of seeing him, on the day tif the trial trip, come 
dovrn the street in front of tlie car, barking himself out of 
all .shape, and tlirown back several feet by the recoil of 



I 

I? 



BOONDER. 



161 



discovered 
as the least 
it moment 
and privi" 
•ible of his 
I to by us. 
iot or an '• 
n accyimt, 
relief that 

It could 
.bly forgot 
-rdcn witli 
lisies were 
31' thought 
c ; a iJoon- 
;al]y,— but 
an intelli- 
iie geutle- 
ly feat,— 
bly like a 
:ackcrs or 

Boonder 

2rcd dain- 

swallow- 

ho was 
Bually the 

nder was 
Linctivel}- 
[ throurdi 
e toward 
3 sliortl}'- 
,''id recol- 
ip, come 
If out of 
recoil of 



each bark. But Boonder was not the only one who has 
resisted innovalionp, or has lived to see the Innovation 

prosper and even crush . But I ar.i anticipating. 

Boo7idcr iiad previously r'^sisted the gas, but although ho 
spent one whole day in angry altercation with the work- 
men, — leaving his bones unburied and l)leachiug in the sun, 
somel^ow the gas went in. The Spring Valley water was 
likewise unsuccessfully opposed, and the grading of an 
adjoining lot was for a long time a personal matter between 
Boonder and the contractor. 

These peculiarities seemed to evince some decided character 
and embody some idea. A prolonged debate in'., ^"•imily 
upon this topic re^uUed in an addition to his nan. ~wc 
called iiim " Bocmder the Conservative," ■«• . '^ t« Taint 
acknowledgment of his fateful power. ' u „ ithough 
Boonder had his own way, his path was not ^;itirily of 
roses. Thorns sometimes pricked his scnsl' "ti ;. Tv'heii 
certain minor chords were struck on the piano, Boonder was 
always painfully aflected and howled a remonstrance. If 
he were removed for company's sake to the back yard, at 
the recurrence of the provocation, he would go his whole 
length (which was something) to improvise a hov/l that 
should reach the i^erformer. Bat we got accustomed to 
Boonder, and j.s we were fond of music the playing 
went on. 

One morning Boonder loft the liouse in good spirits v.'ith 
his regidar bone in his mouth, aud apparently the usual 
intention of burying it. The next day he was picked up 
lifeless on the track, — run ovjr apparently by the first car 
that went out of the depot. 



^tVUii'i]>jtl>MISii 



i'i<'^X 



I 



h 



POEMS. 



BY 



BRET HARTE. 



TORONTO : 
1871. 



I - 1 t 



I 



,-aiW.u;j.*.. 



SAN FRANCISCO. 

FllOit THE RKA. 

O ERKNE, indinerent of Fate, 

^^ Tbou sittest at tlin Western Gate ; 

Upon thy Jicights so lately won 
Still slant the banners of tlie sun ; 

Thou secst tlie ^vhite seas strike their tents, 
O Warmer of two Continents ! 

And scornful of the peace tiiat Hies 
Thy a:igry winds and sullen skies, 

Thou drawest all thinj:!:3, small or orcui, 
To thee, beside the \7csteru Gate. ' 



if 



i'- 



lion's whelp, that Jiidest fnst 

In jungle ^rowth of spire and marit, 

1 know thy cunuin.^ and thy greed, 
Thy hard high lust and wiirui'deed'. 

And all thy glory loves to tell 
Of specious gifts material. 

Drop Town, O fleecy Fog, and hid« 
Her sceptic sneer, and ail her pride ! 

^Vrap her, O Fog, in gown and hood ' 
Of her Franciscan Lrotherhood. 

Hide me her faults, her sin and blame ; 
With thy gray mantle cloak her thame f 



J»Ki4i»Ki-;i?j>Ui^it;i;s;jiS};;{;ili;!t;a»ii{a 



166 



THE ANGILTJS. 



ir 



So shall she, cowled, sit and pray 
Till morning bears her sins away. 

Then rise, O lieecy Fog, and raiso 
The glory of her coming days ; 

Be as the cloud that flecks the seas 
Above her smoky argosies. 

When forms familiar shall give place 
To stranger speech and newer face ; 

When all her throes and anxious fears 
Lie hushed in the repose of years ; 

AVhcn Art shf.ii raise and Culture lift 
The sensual joys and meaner thrift, 

And all fulfilled the vision, we 

Who watch and wait shall never sec,— 

Who, in the morning of her rf.ce. 
Toiled fair or meanly in our place, — 

But, yielding to the common lot. 
Lie unrecorded and forgot. 



THE AISGELUS, 

IIEAKD AT THE JtlSSION DOLOP.ES, 18GS. 

|.>ELLS of the Past, whose long-forgotten music 
^ Still fills the wide expanse, 
Tiugeinar tlie sober twilight of the Present 
With color of romance : 

I hear you call, and see the sun descending 

On rock and wave and sand. 
As down the coast the Mission voices blending 

Girdle the lieathen Irnd. 



?I.K3tii>ll 



;uu>H( 



THl MOUNTAIN HEART's-EASE. 

Within the circle of your incantation 

No blight nor mildew falls ; 
Nor fierce unrest, nor lust, nor low ambrtion 

Passes those airy walls. 

Borne on the swell of your long waves receding, 

I touch the farther Past, — 
1 see the dyinp glow of Spanish glory. 

The sunset dream and last ? 

Before me rise the dome-shaped Mission towers, 

The white Presidio ; 
The swart commander in his leathern jerkin, 

The priest in stole of snow. 

Once more I sec Portala's cross uplifting 

Above the setting sun ; 
And past the headland, northward, slowly drifting 

TJie freiirhted galleon. 

() solemn bells I whose consecrated masses 

Recall the faith of old,-* 
O tinkling bells ! that lulled wilh twilight music 

The spiritual fold ! 



16T 



Your voices break and falter in the darkness, — 

Break, falter, and are still ; 
And veiled and mystic, like the Host descending, 

The sun pinks from the hill I 



music 



mg 



THE MOUXTAIX IIEAliT'S-EASE. 

>Y scattered rocks and tuibi:! vralers shining, 
^ By furrovvcl glade and dell. 
To feverish mm tliy calm, sweet icico uplifting, 
Thou stayest them to tell. 



168 



GRIZZLY. 



The clelicatG tliouglit, tliat canuot find expression, 

For ruder speech too fair, 
That, like thy petals, trembles in possession, 

And scatters on the air. 

The niincr pauses in liis rugged labor. 

And, leaning on his spade. 
Laughingly calls unto his comrade-neighbor 

To sec thy charms displayed ; 

But in his eyes a mist unwonted rises. 

And for a moment clear, 
Some sweet home face his foolish thought surprises 

And passes in a tear, — 

Some boyish vision of lii^^ Eastern village, 

Of uuevcntfiil toil, 
Where goldcu harvests followed quiet tillage 

Above a peaceful soil : 

One moment only, for the plclv, uplifting, 

Througli root and fibre cleaves, 
Aad on the muddy current slowly drifting 

Are swept thy bruised leaves. 

And yet, O poet, in thy homely fashion, 

Thy work tb ju dost fulfil, 
For on the turbid current of his passion 

TJ\7 face is shining still ! 



GRIZZLY. 

/"^OWARD,--of heroic size, 
^-^ In whose lazy muscles lies 
Strength we fear and yet despise ; 
Savage, — whose relentless tusks 
Are content with acorn husks : 
liobber,— whose exploits ne'er soared 



3n, 



prises 



MADRONO. 

O'er +lie bee's or squirrel's hoard ; 
Whiskered chia, and feeble nose, 
Claws of steel on baby toes, — 
Here, in solitude and shade, 
Shamblinij, shufiling, plantigrade, 
Be thy courses undismayed ! 

Here, where Nature makes thy bed. 
Let thy rude, half-human tread 

Point to hidden Indian springs, 
Lost in ferns and fi arrant grasses, 

Hovered o'er by timid wings, 
Where tiie>^ood-duck lightly passes. 
Where the wild bee holds her sweets, — 
Epicurean retreats, 
Y'li for thee, arid bcttcn' tlnin 
IJ'earful spoils of dungevons man. 

In thy fat-jowled deviltry 
Friar Tack shall live in thee ; 
Thou matst levy lilhe and dole ; 

Thou shalt spread the woodland cheer. 
From the pilgrim t:.king toll; 

Match thy cunning witli his fear; 
Eat, and drink, and have thy fill ; 
Yet remain an outlaw still ! 



169 



MADUONO. 

^A APT/UN of the Western wood, 
'■' Tho.n that apest Rol>in Hood ! 
Green above thy h-carh.'t hose, 
jIovn' th}^ vclvt. t mantle shows ; 
Never tree li];<? tlnie arrayed, 
O t'uHi g;dhmt of the glade! 



170 



i; 



\i r 



COYOTE. 

When the fervid August sun 
Scorches all it looks up»n, 
And the balsam of the pine 
Drips from stem to needle tine, 
Round thy compact shade arranged, 
Not a leaf of thee is changed ? 

"When the yellow autumn sun 
Saddens all it looks upon, 
Spreads its sackcloth on the hills, 
Strews its ashes in the rills, 
Thou thy scarlet hose dost doflf, 
And in lirabs of purest buff 
Challengest the sombre glade. 
For a sylvan masquerade. 

Where, O where, shall he begin 
Who would paint thee. Harlequin ? 
With thy waxen burnished leaf, 
With th J branches' red relief, 
With thy poly-tinted fruit. 
In that spring or autumn suit, — 
Where begin, and O, where end, — 
Tliou whose charms all art transcend 



COYOTE. 

BLOWN out of the Drairic in twilight and de^, 
Half bold and halt timid, yet lazy all through ; 
Loath ever to ^'^ave, an.l yet fearful to stay, 
He limps in Jiecicaiing, — an outcast in gray. 

A shade on the stubble, a ghost by the wall, 
No^T les'-ing, now limping, now risking a fall, 
Lop-Ciiied and large-jointed, but cveralway 
A tho' 3Ughly vagabond outcast in gray. 



^V&f : '-.vtii^K^iTUkf^iFiflin^. ^.wbaki* 



TO A SEA-BIRD. 



171 



Here, Carlo, old fellcw,— he's one of your kincl, — 
Go, seek him, and bring him in out of the wind. 
What! snarling, my Carlo! So — even dogs may 
Deny their own kin in the outcast in gray. 

Well, take what you will,— though it be on the sly. 
Marauding, or begging, — I shall not ask why; 
But will call it a dole, just to help on his way 
A. four-footed friar in orders of gray ! 



|d de^, 
trough ; 



ill, 



TO A SEA-BIRD. 

SAKTA CPtUZ, 1809. 

AUNTEKING hither on listless wings, 
^ Careless vagabond of the sea, 
Little thou heedest the surf that sings, 

The bar that thunders, the shale that rings, — 
Give me to keep thy company. 

Little thou hast, old friend, that's new, 
StorUiS and wrecks are old things to thee ; 

Sick am I of these changes, too ; 

Little to care for, little to rue, — 
I on the shore, and thou on the sea. 

All of thj wanderings, far and near, 

Bring thee at last to shore and me ; 
All of my journcyings end them here. 
This our tether must be our cheer, — 
1 on the shore, and thou on the sea. 

Lazily rocking on ocean's breast. 

Something in common, old friend, have we ; 
Thou on the shingle seck'st thy nest, 

1 to the waters look for rest, — 

1 on the shore, and thou on the sea. 



172 



HER LETTER. 

I'M sitting alone by tlie fire, 
Dressed jnst as I ca?»ie from tlic dance, 
In a robe even you would admire, — 
It cost a cool thousand in France ; 
I'm be-diamonded out of all reason, 

My hair is done up in a cue : 
In short, sir, '• the belle of the season " 
Is wasting an hour on you. 

A dozen engagements I've broken ; 

I left in the midst of a set ; 
Likewise a proposal, half spoken, 

That waits — on the stairs — for me yet. 
They say he'll be rich, — when he grows up,— 

And then lie adores me indeed. 
And you, sir, are turning your nose up, 

Tl\rce thousand miles off, as you read. 

• 

'* And how do I like my position ?" 

" And what do I think of Kew^ York ?" 
"And nov/, in my higher ambition, 

Vfith whom do I waltz, flirt, or talk?" 
" And isn't it nice to have riches, 

And diamonds and silks, and all that ;" 
*' And aren't it a cljange to the ditches 

And tunnels of Poverty Flat r" 



Well, yes, — if you saw us out driving 

Each day in the parlv, four-in-hand,— 
;f you saw poor dear mamma coiitrivin 

To look supernaturallj^ grand, — 
r you saw papa's picture, as taken 

By Bradj', and tinted at that, — 
lL'^u'd never suspect he sold Ijacon 

^.vA flour at Poveriy Flat. 



*'^'^W# 



nee, 



up,— 



I-.5 



rr 



u 



llEil LLTTEll. 173 

And yet, just this moment, when Bitting 

In the glare of the grand ehandelier, — 
In the hustle and glitter Ijefitting 

The " IJnest solr<.'3 of the year," — 
1)1 th(} mists of a ,v«;<' dc. Chamhcrij, 

And the hum of the smallest of talk, — 
Somehow, Joe, I thought of the " Ferry," 

And the dance that we had on " The Fork" ; 

Of Harrison's harn, with its rnufJter 

Of ilags festooned over the wall ; 
Of the candles lliat siiod their soft lustre 

And tallow on head-dress and shawl ; 
Of the steps that we took to one ikldle ; 

Of the dress of my queer vis-a-vLs ; 
And how I once went down the midcllo 

With ihe man that shot Sandv Z\]'^Qee : 

Of the moon that v/as qulc'Jy sleeping 

On tlie hill, when the time came tc u'O : 
Of the few baby peaks that were pecpiug 

From under their bedclothes of snow ; 
Of that ride, — that to jne vras tlie rarest;. 

Of — the something you ?i.id at the gate : 
Ah, Joe, then I wtisn' t an Iieiress 

To " tlic l.K'st-payliig lead in the State." 



Yv'el], Vs-ell, it's all \y.\M. ; yet it's funny 

To think, as I stood in the glare 
Of fashion and bca:ity and money, 

That I should be thinking, right there, 
Of some one who l)reasted high water, 

And swam the i\ orth 7ork, and all that, 
Just to dance with old Folinsbec s daughter. 

The Lily of Pove-ty Fiat. 



174 DfCKENS iX OAMi\ 

But goodness ! wliat nonsense I'm writing 

(Mamma says my taste still is low,) 
Instead of my triumplis reciting 

I'm spooning on Joseph, — belgh-lio ! 
And I'm to be " finislicd " bj travel, — 

Wliaterer's the meaning of that, — 
O, why did papa strike pay gravel 

In drifting on Poverty Flat? 

Good niglit, — liere's the end of my paper ; 

Good night, — if the longitude please, — 
For maybe, while wasting my taper, 

You7' sun's climbing over the trees. 
But know, if you haven't got riches, 

And are poor, dearest Joe, and all that. 
That my heart's somewhere there in the ditches. 

And you've struck it, — on Pover'y Flat. 



I 



DICKENS IN CAMP. 

ABOVE tlie pines the moon was slowly drifting. 
The river sang below ; 
The dim Sierras, far beyond, uplifting 
Their minarets of snow. 

The roaring camp-fire, with rude humor, painted 

The ruddy tints of health 
On haggard face and form that drooped and fainted 

In the fierce race for Avealth ; 

Till one arose, and from his pack's scant treasure 

A hoarded volume drew. 
And cards were dropped from hands of listless leisure 

To liearthe tale anew; 

■ And then, while round them shadows gathered faster, 
And as the firelight fell. 






ing 



)er: 



lat, 

le ditches. 



drifting. 



)ainted 
id fainted 

treasure 
stlcss leisure 



i 



DICKEN-S IN CA^IP. 17^ 

He read aloud the book wherein the Master 
Had writ of " Little Nell." 

Perhaps 'twas boyish fancy,— for the reader 

Was youngest of them all,— 
But, as he read, from clustering pine and cedar 

A silence seeuKid to fall ; 

The fir-trees, gathering closer in the shadows, 

Listened in every spray, 
While the whole camp, with "Nell" on English meadows > 
, Wandered and lost their way. 

And so in mountain solitudes — o'crtakcn 

As by some spell divine — 
Their cares dropped from them like the nee lies shaken. 

From out the gusty pine. 

Lost in that camp, and wasted all its lire : 

And he who wrought that spell ? — 

Ah, towering pine and stately Kentish spire, 
Ye have one tale to tell ! 

Lost is that camp ! but let its fragrant story 

Blend with tne breath that thrills 
With hop-vines' incense all the pensive glory 

That fills the Kentish hills. 

And on that grave Avhere English oak and holly 

And laurel wreaths intwine, 
Deem it not all a too presumptuous f oil}"-, — 

This spray of Western pine ! 

July, 1870. 



lered faster, 



!in«5n!i 



176 



nmwi 



AVIIAT THE ENGINES SAID. 

OPENING OF THE rACIFIC RAILROAD. 

IX/TIAT WHS it the Engines said, 
» ^ Pilots touching, head to head 
Facing on the Bingle track. 
Half a world behind each back ? 
This is what the Engines said, 
Unreported and unread ! 

With a prefatory screech, 

In a florid Western speech, \ 

Said the Engine from the WEST : 

*' I am from Sierra's crest ; 

And, if altitude's a test. 

Why, I recivon, it's confessed. 

That I've done my level best." 

Said the En,'>-iuc from the EAST : 
^' They wko work best talk the least. 
S'poseyou whistle down your brakes ; 
What you've done is no great shakes, — 
Pretty fair, — but let our meeting- 
Be a different kind of greeting. 
Let these folks with champagne stuCing, 
Not their Engines, do the jJi/jA'r/y. 

"Listen! Where Atlantic beats 
Shores of snow and summer heats ; 
Y/liere tiie Indian autumn skie* 
Paint the Avoods with wampum dyes, 
1 have chased the living sun. 
Seeing all he looked upon. 
Blessing all that he has blest, 
Nursing in my iron brcasl 
All his vivlfjing licat, 
All his clouds about my crest; 



(( 



THE RETURN (>K IH'J.ISARIUS." 



177 



I 



And before my flyin<T feet 
Every shadow must retreat." 

Said tlie Western En<>ine, " Whew !" 
And a long low whistle blew. 
** Come now, really that's the odde.r.t 
Talk for one so vcy modest, — 
You brn ,[•' of your I']ast ? 3 \ni do ? 
TVh}', /bring the East to yon ! 
All the Orient, all Cathay, 
Find through me the shortest way, 
And the sun you follow her'^ 
Rises in my hemisplieri?. 
Reallj', — if one must be rude, — 
Length, my friend, aiu't longitude." 

Said the Union, " Don't reflect, or 
I'll run over some Director 
Said the Central, " I'm Paci.'ic, 
But, when riled, I'm (luite teri-illc. 
Yet to-day we shall not quarrel, 
.lust to show these folks thi-j morij, 
How two Engines — in tlieir vi.-^iori — 
Once have met without collision." 

That is what tlic engines said, 
Unreported and unread ; 
Spoken sliglitly tlu'ougli theno?:', 
With a wjiist^e at the cloj^e. 



*'T1IE llETUETS OB^ BELISAT^IUS." 

MUD FLAT, 18G0. 

SO you're back from yonr travels, old fellow, 
And you left but i, t\\Tlyemontli ago ; 
You've hobnobbed with Louis ISTapoleon, 
Eugenie, and ki-3sed the Pope's toe. 



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Photographic 

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Corporation 



23 WEST MAI!J STREET 

WEBSTER, N.Y. 14580 

(716) 873-4503 







^ 




178 



**THE RETURN OF BELISARIUS.'* 



:i|' 



By Jove, it is perfectly stunning, 
Astounding, — and all that, you know ; 

Yes, things are about as you left them 
In Mud Flat a twelvemonth ago. 

The boys!— They're all right,— Oh ! Dick Ashley, 

He's buried somewhere in the snow ; 
He was lost on the Summit, last winter, 

And Bob has a hard row to hoe. 
You knew that he's got the consumption ? 

You dldn' ! Well, come, that's a go ; 
I certainly wrote you at Baden, — 

Dear me ! that was six months ago. 

I got all your outlandish letters, 

All stamped by some foreign P. O. 
I handed myself to Miss Mary 

That sketch of a famous chateau. 
Tom Saunders is living at 'Frisco, — 

They say that he cuts quite a show. 
You didn't meet Euchre-deck Billy 

Anywhere on your road to Cairo ? 

So you thought of the rusty old cabin. 

The pines, and the valley below ; 
And heard the North Fork of the Yuba, 

As you stood on the banks of the Po ? 
'Twas just like your romance, old fellow ; 

But now there is standing a row 
Of stores on the site of the cabin 

That you lived in a twelvemonth ago. 
But it's jolly to see you, old fellow, — 

To think it's a twelvemonth ago ! 

And you have seen Louis Napoleon, 

And look like a Johnny Crapaud. 
Come in. You will surely see Mary, — 

You know we are married. What, no ? — 
jO, ay. I forgot there was something 

Between you a twelvemonth ago. 



Lshley, 



no 



"TWENTY YEARS." 

T3EG your pardon, old fellow ! I think 

-'■-' I was dreaming just now, when you spoke. 

The fact is, the musical clink 

Of the ice on your wine-goblet's brink 

A chord of my memory woke. 

And I stood in the pasture-field where 
Twenty summers ago I had stood ; 
And I heard in that sound, I declare, 
The clinking of bells on the air. 
Of the cows coming home, from the wood. 

Then the apple-blooms shook on the hill ; 
And the mullejn-stalks tilted each lance ; 
And the sun behind Rapalye's mill 
Was my uttermost West, and could thrill 
Like some fanciful land of romance. 

Then my friend was a hero, and then 
My girl was an angel. In fine, 
I drank buttermilk ; for at ten 
Faith asks less to aid her, than when 
At thirty we doubt over wine. 

Ah well, it doen seem that I must 

Have been dreaming just now when you spoke, 

Or lost, very like, in the dust 

Of the years that slow fashioned tlic crust 

On that bottle whose seal you last broke. 

Twenty years was its ai;-(.', did yon say ? 
Twenty years ? Ah, my friend, it is true ! 
All the dreams that have flown since that dav. 
All the hopes ia that time passed away, 
Old friend, I've been drinking with you ! 



180 



FATE. 

^ 6 npHE sky is clouded, the rocks are bare, 

-*- The spray of the tempest is white in air ; 
The winds are out with the waves at play, 
And I shall not tempt the sea to-day. 

" The trail is narrow, the wood is dim, 
The panther cling-s to the arching limb ; 
And the lion's wlielps are abrgad at play, 
And I shall not join in the chase to-day." 

But the ship nailed safely over tho s-oa, 
And the hvuitcis came from the cliuse in glee ; 
And the town that was builded upon a rock 
Was swvallowed ui> in tliu cartiKpniko shock. 



IN DIALECT. 



" JIM." 

4^ AY there ! P'r'aps 
■"- Some on you chaps 

Might know Jim Wild ? 
Well, — no offence ; 
Thar ain't no senfc(! 

In ffittm' riled ! 

Jim was my clmm 

Up on the Bar : 
That's why I come 

Down troni up yar, 
Lookin' for Jim. 
Thank yc, sir ! Yok, 
Ain't of that crew, — 

Blest if you are ! 

Money ?— Not much : 
That ain't my kuid 

I ain't no such. 
Rum?— I don't mind, 

Beein' it's you. 

Well, this yer Jim, 
Did you know him f 
Jees 'bout your size ; 
Same kind of eyes?— 
Well, that h strange: 
Why, it"8 two yciU* 
Since he nuna here, 
Sick, sink, f-M- a chaiiii-o. 



782 



^^V(•.U. lioro's 1(» us: 

Eh? 
Tiio h yon ft\y I 

Dead*?— 
Thrit little cu.s3 ? 

Whiit makca jou star,— 
You over lliar? 
Can't a man drop 
'a glass in ycr !i]iop 
B"t you must rar' ? 
It wouldn't take 

^ much to break 

You and yor.r bar. 

Dead I 
Poor — little — Jim! 
— Vv^h}^ thar was me, 
.rones, and ]3ob Lee, 
Harry and l^on,— 
Ko-acpount men : 
Then to take Iimif 

Well, thar — Good by, — 
No more, sir, — I — 
Eh? 

Vv'hat'a that you say ? — 
■W']}y, dern it! — sho! — 

KoV Tvs! Bv Jo! 

Sold! 
f^ohl ! Yihy, yira limb, ' 
Yon ornery, 

neriipj old 
Lon;.^-]e.r^;' 1 Jim! 



183 



CIIIQL'ITA. 

I BEAUTIFUL ! Sir, }()ii may say so. Thar ian't lier 
^ match in the countv. 
Is thar, old gal,— Cliiquita, my darlm^, my beauty? 
Feel of that neelv, sir, — thar's velvet! Wlioa I 

Steady, — ali, Vv'ill yon, you v!>:en! 
V/hoa! 1 sa}-. Jack, trot her out; let the gentleman look 
at her paces. 

Morgan!— yhe ain't notliii)' lUv, and I've got the papers to 

prove it. 
Sired by Chip[)e\va Chitf, ajid twelve hundred dollars ^Ton't 

buy her. 
Rriggs of Tuolumne owned hr r. Did yc-n know IJriggs of 

Tuolumiic? — 
Busted hisself in White Phie, and Vinw out his brains down 

in 'Frisco V 

Iledn't no savcy—hed Briijg5. Thar, Jack! that'll do,— quit 

that foolin' ! 
Nothin' to what she kin do, when .'.he's got her work cut 

out before her. 
II0SSC3 is hos-es, you know, and likewise, too. Jockeys! is 

jockeys; 
And 't ain't ev'ry man as «an lide as knov,-s what a hoes hiw 

got in him. 

Know the old ford on the Fork, that n(.-ur]y got Flanigan's 

leaders ? 
Nasty in daylight, you bet, aial a mighty rough ford in low 

water ! 
Well, it ain't six weeks ago tliat me and tho .ledge and hi3 

nevey 
Struck for that ford in the night, in the liiin, and the water 

all round us; 



184 



CHIQUITA. 



Up to ♦jur dunks in the gulch, and Rattlesnako Creek just a 

billn', 
Not a plank left in the clam, and nary a bridge on the 

river. 
I had the- gray, and the .ledge had his roan, and his nevey, 

Chiquita ; 
And after iis trundled the rocks jest loosed from the top of 

the canon. 

Lickit}'', lickity, switch, we came to the ford, and Chiquita 
Buckled right down to her work, and afore I could yell to 

her rider. 
Took water jest at the ford, and there was the Jedge and 

me standing, 
And twelve hundred dollars of hoss-flesh afloat, and a 

drif tin' to thunder ! 

Would ye b'lieve it? that night that boss, that ar' tilly, 
Chiquita, 

Walked herself into her stall, and stood there, all quiet and 
dripping : 

Clean as a beaver or rat, with nary a buckle of harness. 

Just as she swam the Fork, — that boss, that ar' filly, Chi- 
quita. 

That's what I call a boss ! and — What did you say ? — O, 

the nevey ? 
Drownded, I reckon, — leastways, he never kem back to 

deny it. 
Ye see the derned fool had no seat, — ye couldn't have made 

him a rider ; 
And then, ye know, boys will be boys, and bosses—well, 

bosses is bosses ! 



\Hl 



to Creek just a 
bridge on the 
and his nevey, 1] 
rom the top of 



, and Chiquita 
could yell to 

he Jedge and 

afloat, and a 

that ar' filly, 

all quiet and 

harness, 
ar' filly, Chi- 

lusay?— O, 
tern back to 
t have made 
tosses— well, 






D 



DOW'S FLAT. 

180(3. 

kOW'S FLAT. Thai's its name. 
And I reckon thiit you 
Are a stranger ? The same? 
Well, I thought it was true, — 
For thar isn't a man on the river as can spot the place at 
first view. 

It was called aftir Dow, — 

Which the same was an ass, — 
And as to the how 
Thet the thing kem to pass, — 
Jest tie up your hoss to that buckeye, and sit ye down here 
in the grass : 

You sec this 'yer Dow 

lied the worst kind of luck ; 
He slipped up somehow 
On each thing thet he struck. 
Why, ef he'd a straddled that fence-rail the demed thing 'ed 
get up and buck. 

He mined on the bar 

Till he couldn't pay rates ; 
He was smashed by a car 
When he tunnelled with Bates ; 
And right on the top of his trouble kem his wife and five 
kids from the States. 

It was rough,— mighty rough ; 
But the boys they stood by. 
And they brought hira the stuff 
For a hr ^se, on the sly ; 
And the old woman, — well, she did washing, and took on 
when no one was nigh. 



1.. 



\iiO 



DOW 'a FLAT. 



IJut ILirj yor luck of Uow'i* 

"Was M) powerful moan 
That till «;i)ring near his house 
Dried right up on the grt'cn ; 
And he sunk forty feet dovm for water, but nary a drop to 
be necn. 



Then tlio bar petered out, 

And the boys wouldn't stay; 
And the chills got about, 
And his wife fell away ; 
But Dow, in his well, kept a peggin' in his U3ual rcdikilons 
way. 

One da}-, — it was June, — "* 

And a year ago, jest, — 
This Dow keni at noon 
To his work like the rest, 
With a shovel and pick on his shoulder, and a derringer bid 
in his breast. 



It 

i 



I 'if 



He ^roes to the Arell, 

And he stands on the brink, 
And stops for a spell 
Jest 1o listen and think ; 
For Uic sun in his eye?, (jer,t like this, sir!) you see, kinder 
maue the cuss blink. 

His two ragged gals 

In the gulch were at play. 
And a gOAvnd that was Sal's 
Kinder Happed on a bay ; 
Kot much for a man to be leavln', but his all, — as I've 
bccr'd the folks say. 

An^ — That's a peart boss 
Thet you've got, — ain't it now? 



aiy a drop lo 



lal rcdikilons 



derringer hid 



n see, kinder 



ill, — as I've 



IN Tiin Tl N.Ni:i,. 



187 



WJiat miL^fit be lier C(»;stV 
KIi V Oil !— Well, then. Dow- 
Let's HOC, — well, that forty-foot grave wain't Ills, sir, that 
day, anyhow. 

For a blow of his \nck 

Sorter caved in Ids side, 
And he looked and turned siek, 
Then ho trcnd)led Mnd eried. 
For you see the dern ciiss had stiuck — " Water?" — 

Beg your pardin^-, yoiin;; man, there you lied ! 

It was f/oll, — in the quart:':, 

And it ran all alike; 
And I reckon live ()ii.;:;!its 
Was the worth of that strike ; 
And that house with the coopilow's liis'n, — which the same 
isn't bad for a Pike. 

Thet's why it's Dow's Flat; 

And the thing of it is 
That he kinder got that 
Through sheer contrairiness: 
For 'twas WHier the derned cuss was sv^ckin', and his luck 
made him certain to miss. 

Thet's so. Tiiar';-: your way 

To the left of yon tree ; 
But — a — look li'yur, say '.■' 
Won't you come up to tf aV 
No? Well, then, the next time you're i)a£;siii' ; and ask after 
Dow, — and thet's hic. 



D 



IN THE TUNNEL. 

TDN'T kiiou' Flynn,— 
Flvnn of Vir;.nnln,-- 



Long as he's been 'yar 



188 



IX THE TrNVEL. 

Look 'co here, 8tniii;,'cr, 
Wliur hcv you boeu? 

Here in thw tunnel 
Ho WHS my purdner, 

Tli:it same Tom Flynn,— 
"Work I n;:^ logollicr, 
In wind and weather, 

Day out and in. 

Didn't know Flyun ! 
"Well, that in queer; 

Why, it's a sin 

To think of Tom Flynn,— 
Tom with his cheer, 
Tom without fear,— 
Stranger, look, 'yar! 

Thar in the drift, 

Back to the wall, 
He held the timbers 

Ready to fall ; 

Then in the darkness 
I heard him call : 

" Run for your life, Jake ! 

Run for your wife's sake! 

Don't wait for me." 

And that was all 
Heard in the din, 
Heard of Tom Flynn,— 
Flynn of Virginia. 

That's all about 
Flynn of Virginia. 

That lets me out. 

Here in the damp, — 
Out of the sun'— 

That 'ar demed lamp 



"CICEI.V." 



Makes my ryes run. 
Well, thenj,— I'm done! 

But, fiir, when you'll 

Ih'ar the next fool 
Asking of Flynn,— 

riynn of Virginia,— 
Just you ehip in, 
Say you knew Flynn ; 

Say that you've been 'yar. 



180 






Q 



j/sA-i l' , / )'> "CICELY." 



J' 



ALKALI STATION. 



/CICELY says you're a poet; maybe; I ain't much on 

^-^ rhyme : 

I reckon you'd give mc a hundred, and beat me every 

time. 
Poetry !— that's the way some chaps puts up an idee, 
But I takes mine " straight without sugar," and that's what's 

the matter with me. 

Poetry !— just look round you,— alkali, rock, and sage; 
Sage-brush, rock, and alkali ; ain't it a pretty page ! 
Sun in the east at mornin', sun in the west at night, 
And the shadow of this 'yer station the on'y tiling moves in 
sight. 

Poetry! — Well now — Polly ! Polly, run to your mam ; 
Run right away, my pooty ! By by ! Ain't slie a lamb ? 
Poetry !— that reminds me o' suthin' right in that suit : 
Jest shet that door thar, will yer ?— for Cicely's ears is cute* 

Ye noticed Polly, — the baby? A month afore she was 

born, 
Cicely — my old woman — was moody-like and forlorn ; 






190 



a t: 



CICELY. 



Out of licr licad and crazy, and talked of flowers and treea 
Family man yourself, sir? AVell, you know what a woman 

IDC'S. 

Narvous she w^ar^, nnd rcstlfs.'', — said that she "couldn't 

stay." 
Stay, — and the nearest woman seventeen miles away. 
*■ But I fixed it up with 11 iC doctor, and he said he would bo 

on hand. 
And I kinder stuck by the sJinnt}', and fenced in that bit o' 

land. 

One night, — the tenth of Octo])cr, — I woke with a chill and 

fright. 
For the door it was standing opcr., and Cicely warn't in 



sight. 



But a note was phmed on the blanket, which it said that 

she " couldn't star," 
But had gone lo vliil her jici/bl.or, — scveutcca miles awav • 

When and how she stampeded, 3 didn't w^ait for to see, 
For out in the road, next mlnlt, I iiUirtcd as wild as slie ; 
Bunning first tins way and that v/ay, like a lior.nd that is; 

ofi' the scent, 
For there vrarn't no track in the darkness to tell me which 

way she vrent. 

I've had some migh;y mean moments Jifore I kcm to this 

spot, — 
Lost on the Phiins in ''VJ, droxvncd almost, and shot ; 
But out on this alkali desert, a hunting a crazy wife, 
Was ra'ly as on-satis-faetory as anything in my life. 

"Cicely! Cicdy: Cic^'lyl" I called' rnd I held my breath. 
And " Cicelj-- !" cune fiwm luc- canyon, — and all was as still 

as death. 
And " Cicely I Cicely ! Cicely. I "' Ciunc from the rocks below, 
And jest but a v;hl.-[;er of " Cicely I " down from them peaks 

of snow. 



•wers and trees 
what a woman 

she "couldn't 

?s luvay. 

l1 Jie would bo 

tl in that bit o' 

ith a chill and 
3ely warn't in 
h it said that 

1 iiiiles away • 

t)r to sc(?, 
Id as slie ; 
or.nd that h 

cil me which 
hem to this 

^llOt ; 

wife, 
Jifc. 

niy brcatJi, 
v/as as still 

ocks below, 
them peaks 



ti 



CICELY 



)» 



191 



i 



I ain't what you call reli.:5ious,— but I jest looked up to the 

And— this 'yer's to what I'm comin«^, and maybo yc think 

I lie : 
But up away to the east'ard, yallor and bi;i^ and far, 
I saw of a suddent rising the singGrlist kind of star. 

Big and yaller and dancin;^, it seemed to beckon to me : 
Yaller and big and dancing, such as you never .see : 
Big and yaller and dancing, — I never saw such a star, 
And I thought of them sharps in the Bible, and I went for 
it then and thar. 

Over the brush and bowlders I stumliled and pushed ahead : 

Keeping the star afore mc, I went wharever it led. 

It might hev been for an hour, when suddent and ]ieart and 

righ, 
Out of the yeartli afore me thar riz up a baby's cry. 

Listen! thar's the same miisic ; but her lungs they are 

stronger now 
Than the day I packed her and her motlipr, — I'm derued if 

I jest know how. 
But the doctor kem the ne>it )ninit, and the joke o' the whole 

thhig is 
That Cis never k-v.^'A- Avh;!t Lupprru-d I'r.-m V.'.'-t rvry uight 

to this! 

But Cicely ^.r;^ you'/r ;i. pci/T, uiut iiur be y;;u ];:i^;;ht, :;omc 

day, 
.Tci^t aVni/x her ;■ r^u'n;-' 'oout >i f^'-y -'"t ^vn^] ]y:r:\ I:i a c'lri- 

ons M':iy. 
And see wlnt ..'i:: siys ; nml ; ' 1 T l!w.v, wIk n you rpcak of 

the '^I'-r, uoM'r tell 
As how 'twas lii<' doelor'^^ l;^ri(Y;i,— f>'r ivuvIh^ 't ^von't 

.souud well. 



192 



S' 



PENELOPE. 

Simpson's bar, 1858. 

O you've kem '3'er agen, 

And one answer won't do ? 
Well, of all the denied men 
That I've struck, it is y«u. 
O Sal ! 'ycr 's that derned fool from Simpson's, cavortin' 
round yer in the dew. 

Kem in, ef you will. 

Thar, — quit ! Take a cheer. 
Not that; you can't fill 

Them thecr cushhigs this year, — 
For that cheer was my old man's, Joe Simpson, and they 
don't make sucli men about 'yer. 

He was tall, was my Jack, 
And as strong as a tree. 
Thar's his gun on the rack, — 
Jest you heft it, and see. 
And y(?w. come a conrtin' his widder. Lord! where can 
that critter, Sal be ! 

You'd fill my Jack's place ? 
And a man of your size, — 
With no baird to his face. 
Nor a snap to his eyes, — 
And nary — Sho! thar! I was foolin', — I was, 
Joe, for sartain, — don't rise. 

Sit down. Law! why, sho! 

I'm as weak as a gal, 
Sal! Don't you go, Joe, 
Or I'll faint,— sure, I shall. 
Bit down,— any irJieer, where you like, Joe,— in that c.hoar, if 
you choose,— Lord, where's Sal ! 



193 



s, cavortin' 



PLAIN LANGUAGE FROIVr TRUTHFUL JAMES. 

TAULE MOUNTAIN, 1870. 

T\/^HICH I wish to remark,— 

And my language is plain, -- 
That for ways that are dark 

And for tricks that are vain, 
The heathen Chinee is peculiar. 

Which the same I Avould rise to explain. 

Ah Sin was his name ; 

And 1 shall not deny 
In regard to the same 

What that name might imply, 
But his smile it was pensive and childlike, 

As I frequent remarked to Bill Nve. 

It was August the third ; 

And quite soft was the skies : 
Which it might be inferred 

That Ah Sin was likewise; 
Yet he played it that day upon William 

And me in a way I despise. 

Which w^e had a snuill u-'dinc 

And Ah Shi took a hand : 
It w.as Euchre. The sa-ue 

He did not understand ; 
Bnt he smiled as he sat by the talbe, 

With tlie smile that was childlike and bland. 

Yet the cards they were stocked 

In a way that I grieve, 
And my f«"elings were shocked 

At the state of Nve's sleeve : 
Which was stalled full of aces and bow«Mv, 

And the same with intent to deceire. 



1.04: PLAIN LANGUAGE FROM TRUTH Fl'L ,IAMES. 

But the lianas tlif\t were played 

By that heathen Chinee, 
And the points tliat he made, 

Were quite friglitful to see, — 
Till at last he put down a rii^ht bovver, 

Which the same Nye had dealt unto me. 

Then I looked up at Nye, 

And he gazed upon me ; 
And he rose with a sigh, 

And said, " Can this be ? 
We are ruined by Chinese cheap labor," 

And he went for that heathen Chinee. 

In the scene that ensued 

I did not take a hand, 
But the Hoor it was strewed 

Like tlie leaves on the strand 
With the cards that Ah Sin had been hiding; 

In the game " he did not understand." 

In his sleeves, which were long, 

He had twenty-four packs, — 
Which was corning it strong, 

Yet I state but the facts : 
And we for.jvl o;i hi:^ nails, which vrcrc taper, 

What is Ircq'ion! in t;:p::r8, — th-it's wa^. 

Whlcl) h wiiv 1 i-'iiM:-!;, 

And my lao/j; lavrc is ]>! iin, 
Tliat '\iv ^v:! v:i ih.it ;ii'C' u.irk, 

And foi- tri'.'k-^ I'lit r^v^^ v.iii^ 
Tlic a'\-i];c'!i Cliiiiv' ' 1:^ p"«'u!iniv — 

VrKi(;:> !V.-> ;-aic.e i aiu iVco to iiptintalii. 



■ v 



105 



THE SOCIETY UPO:^! THE STANISLAUS. 

T KESIDE at Ta'olc rvloiintain, ami my muuo is Truthful 

-*- James ; 

I am not up to small d(3ccit, or any sinful games ; 

And I'll tell in sim])le language about the row 

That broke up our society upon the Stanislow. 

But first^I would remark, tliat it is not a proper ])lan 
For any scientific gent to whale his fellow-man, 
And, if a member don't agree with his peculiar whim, 
To lay for that same member for to " put a lieiul" on him. 

Now nothing could be more fmcr or beautiful to see 
Than the first six months' procccdinga of that same society. 
*Till Brown of Calaveras brought a lot of fossil bones 
That he found within a tuunel near the tenement of Jones, 

Then Brown he read a paper, and he rcconslrucied there, 
From those same bones, an animid that Nvas e?:ire!nely ^are ; 
And Jones then a^'ked tlie Chair for a s^!;•;p^,•n^i<>n of the 

rules, 
Till he could prove tlial tliuso same b(.)nc.s was one of iiLj 

lost mnU't:. 

Then Brown he suiiled a bitter smile, and said he was in 

fault. 
It seemed he had been trespassing on Jones's famiiy vault: 
He was a most sarcastic man, this quiet Mr. Brown, 
And on several occasions he had chnsncd out the town. 

Now I hold it was not decent for a sclcntiile gent 
To say another i>] an ass, — at least, to 1.II intent; 
Nor should tlie individiitil who happens to be nu-ant 
Reply by heaving I'ocks at him to any great extent. 

TJien Abncr Dean of Angel's ru;-.ed a point ot order- 
when 
A chunk ot old red sandstone took him i]i the abdomen. 



1% 



THE SOCIETY UPOX THE STANISLAUS. 






And he smiled a kind of sickly smile, and curled up on the 

floor, 
And the subsequent proceedings interested him no more. 

For, in less time than I write it, every member did engage 

In a warfare with the remnants of a palajzoic age ; 

And the way they heaved those fossils in their anger was a 
sin, 

Till the skull of an old mammoth caved the head of Thomp- 
son in. 

And this is all I liave to say of these improper games, 

For I live at Table Mountain, and my name is Truthful 

James ; 
And I've told in simple language what I know about the 

row 
That broke up our society upon the Stanislow. 



'-*^>- 



I up on the 

10 more. 

did engage 

e; 

nger was a 

of Thomp- 



imes, 

s Truthful 

about the 



POEMS FROM 1860 TO 1868. 



JOHN BURNS OF GETTYSBURG. 

HAVE you heard the story that gossips tell 
Of Burns of Gettysburg ?— No ? Ah, well 
Brief is the glory that hero earns, 
Briefer the story of poor John Burn : 
He was the fellow who won renown, — 
The only man who didn't back down 
When the rebels rode through his native town : 
But held his own in the fight next day. 
When all his townsfolk ran away. 
That was in July, sixty-three, 
The very day that General Lee, 
Flower of Southern chivalrv, 
Baffled and beaten, backward reeled 
From a stubborn Meade and a barren field. 

I might tell how, but the day before, 
John Burns stood at his cottage door, 
Looking down the village street, 
Where, in the shade of his peaceful vine, 
He hoard the low of his gathered kine. 
And felt their breath with incense sweet ; 
Or I might say, when the sunset burned 
The old farm gable, he thought it turned 
The milk tliat fell, in a babbling flood 
Into the milk-pail, red as blood ! 
Or how he fancied the hum of bees 
Were bullets buzzing among the trees. 
But all such fanciful thoughts as the«e 



iifttUttUMiO 



)' ' 



31>8 .fOHN lirilNS OV fiKTTYrilU'RU. 

Were strancjc to a practical man like Jjurns, 
Who minded only bis own concerns, 
Troubled no more hy fancies fine 
Than one of his calm eyed, long-tailed kinn, — 
Quite old-fashioned and matter-of-fact, 
Slow to argue, but quick to act. 
That was the reason, as some folk say, 
He fought so well on that terrible day. 

And it was terrible. On the right 
Raged for hours the heady fight, 
Thundered the battery's double biiss, — 
Diflicult music for men to face ; 
While on the left — where now the graves 
Undulate like the living waves 
That all that clay unceasing swept 
Up to the pits tlie rebels kept — 
"Round shot ploughed the upland glades, 
Sow^n with bullets, reaped with blades . 
Shattered fences here and there 
'I'ossed their splinters in the air ; 
The very trees were stripped and bare ; 
The barns that once held yellow grain 
Were heaped with harvests of the slain ; 
The cattle bellowed on the plain, 
'J'he turkeys screamed with might and main, 
And brooding barn-fowl left their rest 
With strange shells bursting in each nest. 

Just where the tide of battle turns, 

Erect and lonely stood old John Burns. 

IIow do you think the man was dressed ? 

He wore an ancient long bull' vest, 

YelloAV as saffron, — but his best ; 

And, buttoned over his rianiy breast, 

Was a bright blue coat, with a rolling collar, 

And large gilt buttons, — size of a dollar, — 

With tails that the country-folk called " swaller." 



JOJJN BUIINH OF CJET'rY.SBOKG. JUBf 

He wore a broacl-brimracd, bell-crowned Imt, 
White as the locks on which it sat. 
Never had such a sight been seen 
For forty ,vears on the villap^o green, 
Since old John Burns was a conntrv beai , 
And went to the'* quiltings " long ago. 

Close at his elbows all that dav, 

Veterans of the Peninsula, 

Sunburnt ami bearded, charged away; 

And striplings, downy of lip and chin, — 

Clerks that the Home Guard mustered in, — 

Glanced, as they passed, at the hat he wore, 

Then at the ritle his right h.'iud bore ; 

And hailed him, from out their yt)ulhCal lore, 

"With scraps of a slangy repevioire : 

•* How are you. White ITat !" " P>it her through?" 

" Your head's level," and " Bully for yow I" 

Called him " Daddy," — begged he'd disclose 

The name of the tailor who made his clo'hes, 

And what was the value he set on those ; 

"While Burns, unmindful of leer and ycoIF, 

Stood there picking the rebels olT, — 

With his long brown rille, and bell-crown hat, 

And the swallow-tails they were lauginng at. 

'Twas but a moment, for that respect 
Which clothes all courage their voices check : 
And something the wildest could understand 
SiDake in the old man's strong right hand ; 
And his corded throat, and the lurking frown 
Of his eyebrows under his old bell-crown ; 
Until, as they gazed, there crept an awe 
Through the ranks in whispers, and some men saw, 
In the antique vestments and long white hair, 
The Past of the Nation in battle there ; 
And some of the soldiers since declare 
That the gleam of liis old white hat afar, 



\\^v.m 



800 THE TALE oF A PONY. 

Like the cresteil t)lnnic! of the bmvo Navarre, 
That day was th(ur orilhininio of war. 

So rapjcd the battle. Yon know tlie rest : 
IIow the rebels, beaten and backward pressed, 
Broke at the final charge, and ran. 
At which .loll 11 Burns — n practical man — 
Should'-red his ritle, unbent his brows, 
And then went back to his bees and cows. 

That is the stoiy of old John Kurns ; 
This is the moral the reader learns : 
In fiirhting the battle, the question's whether 
You'll show a hat that's white, or a feather ! 



I ., 



THE TALE OF A PONY. 

TVTAME of my heroine, simply " Rose "; 
■^^ Surname, tolerable only in prose ; 
Habitat, Paris, — that is where 
She resided for change of air ; 
^tat XX ; complexion fair, 
Rich, good-looking, and dehoiinaire. 
Smarter than Jersey-lightning — There ! 
That's htr photograph, done with care. 

In Paris, whatever they do besides, 
Every lady in full dress rides ! 
Moire antiques you never meet 
Sweeping the filth of a dirty street ; 
But every woman's claim to toti 

Depends upon 
The team she drives, whether phaeton, 
Landau, or britzka. Hence it's plain 
That Rose, who was of toilet vain. 
Should have a team that ought to be 
Equal to any in all Pans/ 



THE TALE OP A TONY, 

" Bring forth the horse !" — The commissaire 
Bowed, and brought Miss Hose a pair 
Leading an equipage rich and rare : 
" Why dotli that lovely lady stare V" 
Why? The tail of the oil' gray mare 
Is bobbed, — by all that's good and fair ! 
Like the shaving-brushes that soldiers wear, 
Scarcely showing as much back-hair 
As Tarn O'Shanter's *' Meg,"— and there 
Lord knows she'd little enough to spare. 

That stare and frown the Frenchman knew. 

But did, — as well-bred Frenchmen do : 

Raised his shoulders above his crown. 

Joined his thumbs, with tiie lingers down. 

And said, *' Ah Heaven !" — then, " Mademoiselle, 

Delay one minute, and all is well !" 

He went ; returned ; by what good chance 

These things are managed so well in France 

I cannot say, — but he made the sale, 

And the bob-tailed marc had a llowing tail. 

All that is false in thi-j world below 

Betrays itself in a love of show ; 

Indignant Nature hides her lash 

In the purple-black of a dyed mustache ; 

The shallowest fop will trip in French, 

The would-be critic will misquote Trench ; 

In short, you're always sure to detect 

A sham in the things folks most affect ; 

Bean-pods are noisiest when dry. 

And you always wink with your weakest eye ; 

And that's the reason the old gray mare 

Forever had her tail in the air. 

With flourishes beyond compare. 

Though every whisk 

Incurred the risk 
Of leaving that sensitive region bare, — 



201 



203 



TUP, TALIS or A I'oNT. 



i 1 



i; 



H\\& dill SDino thingp, tint, you coiildn'l but IVo 
8b() woiiUhi't hiivc done h;id her Inil been real. 

Champa F.l^'secs: Tunc, jj.'ist live ; 

ThcHJ^o tlio (Mrri;»,!,''i.'.Ji, — Lool; alive 

IjVcryLliijiij tliul m;ui can (Irive, 

Or hi.s invontivo !>«kill CMiitiive, — 

Y'HiikcG hujTfry or En;j,Iisli " cimy " 

Dog-cart, drosclikj'-, and smart coupe, 

A deso!)U'/ca nfe quite bulky, 

(French idea of a Yankee suiki/ ;) 

Band in the distance, pkiyin.o; a niarcli 

Footman standing hViW as stareli ; 

t^uvans, lorottes, deputies, Arcli- 

Bisliops, and tlicre together range 

tS w»-lieutcnants and <?^/i^gardes, (strange 

Way tliesc soldicr-chnps make change, 

Mixed with blaek-cyed Polish dames, 

With unpronounceable awful names ; 

Laces tremble, and ribbons llout, 

Coaclimen wrangle; and gendarmes shout,—- 

iJlc-s us! what is the row about V 

Ah ! here come:? Kosey's new turn-out ! 

Hmart ! You bet your lifo 't w as that ! 

Nifty ! (short for majnijlcdt) 

Mulberry panels, — heraldic spread, — 

Ebony wheels picked out with red, 

And two gray mares that were thoroughbred ; 

No wonder tliat ever}'' dandy's h.ead 

Was turned by the turii-out, — and 'twas said 

That Caskowwhisky (friend of the Czar), 

A ver}'' good inhip (as Russians are), 

Was tied to llosey's triumplial car, 

Entranced, the I'eader will understand, 

By "ribbons" that graced hernead and hand. 

Alas ! the hour you think would crown 
Your highest wishes should let you down 



Tin; MiUA(.i<R OF TADiiK .1 i:-:ii'i:tio. 

Or fato should turn, by your own miscliance, 

Your victor's car to un auibulauco ; 

From cloudless heavens her li.i;litnin;.;S glance, 

(And tliPHO thln^i^s happen, even in France;) 

And so ]\Iis>» Ko^e, as she trotted by, — 

The cynosure of every eye, — 

Saw to her horror the olF nitire «l»v, — 

Flourish her tail so cxccedin;^ ln;.i;h 

Tliat, disreq;ardinj[^ the closest tie. 

And without ;:;ivlng a reason why, 

She Ibm,!^ that tail so free and frisky 

Olliu the face of Caskowhisky ! 

Excuses, Mushe.H, smiles: in fine, 
Knd of the pony'y tail, and in'mit ! 



2tt 



THE ailllACLE OF PADRE JUNIPERO. 



ind. 



'^^lll^ is the tale that the Cbronicle 
-*• Tells of the -wonderful Tuiraclo 
Wrought by the ])iou3 Padre Serro, 
The very reverend Juniix'ro. 

Th;^ Ib.'atlu'n stood on hi> Mne'-iit )noM:id, 
Lookiv,!!; over the dcs-.M't bound 
Into the di^t;iru, i»azv south, 



VrV 



o 



•NVher 

AM r 



:ii;^' 

il]l 



d 



d rl, 



'i;:'; ii 



.r.::-n 



r M ! 1 1 1 , 



irre i v w]:< ] ny 1'';^ !'^ 



! '!;•(> 



Ftir :-!'Vi';i luonl'i^' b«d I'le ■\v:>l'-\i pi.iii 
Ku<iwn ;;«) iiioi-.'i-:''.- ci' •'•■m- f>r vrjn. 
Tlie V. ( 
'ill" y\\ 



■•VlM'e rV'^'H ^' :]• 



c\\r. 



! -y^'^ .^and 



iK'.-i 



'i'l .<■'(; 



.1 i'lii I ;n' 



1 .;!■ 



IC f^v 



ic;:.', i< 



■ IWI 



1 !' 



'o. 



mIk'SIH. of \\\i' S-t!V;0) 



ix'ion' 



Only 11 

Slipped 

Deep in its bcvl lay t'lv river's bones, 

Bleaclil'Hjr in nebl)!i;s aiil milk-wuite stoucs. 



■ram 



^ 



i1 



204 THE MIRACLE OP PADRE JUNIPERO. 

And tracked o'er the desert faint and far, 
Ita ribs shone brighr, on each sandy bar. 

Thus they stood as the FAin went down 
Over the foot-hills bare and brown ; 
Thus the^' looked to the South, wherefrom 
The pale-face medicine-man should come. 
Not in anger, or in ^tr' fe. 
But to bring — so ran the tale — 
The welcome springs ol eternal life, 
The living waters that should not fail. 

Said one, " He will come like Manitou, 
Unseen, unheard, in the falling dew." 
Said another, " He will come full soon 
Out of the round-faced watery moon." 
And another said, '' lie is here ! " and lo, — 
Faltering, staggering, feeble and slow, — 
Out from the deecit's blinding heat 
The Padi-e dropped at the heath "n's feet. 
They stood and gazed for a little space 
Down on Lis pallid and careworn face. 
And a smile of scorn went round the band 
As they touched alternate the foot and hand 
This mortal waif, that the outer space 
(ff dim mysterious sky and sand 
Flung with so little of Christian grace 
Down on their barren, sterile strand. 

Said one to him : " It seems thy god 
Is a very pitiful kind of god ; 
He could not shield thine ashing eyes 
From the blowing desert sands that rise, 
Nor turn nside fi'om thy old gray head 
Tlie glittering blade that is brandished 
By the snn he set in the heavens high; 
He coul'.l not moisten thy lips when dry ; 
The desert fire is in thy brain : 



feH^+t- 



THE MIRACLB OF PADRK JUNIPERO. 

Thy limbs are racked with the fever-pain : 
If this be the grace he showeth thee 
Who art his servant, what may we, 
Strange to his ways and his commands, 
Seek at his unforgiving Iiands ? " 

" Drink but tliis cup," said the Padre, straight, 
"And thou shalt Ivnow whose meicy bore 
These aching limbs to your lieathen door, 
And purged my soul of its gross estate. 
Drink in His name, and thou shalt see 
The hidden depths of this mystery. 
Drmk ! " and he held the cup. One blow 
From the lieathen daslied to the ground bcloAv 
The sacred cup that Jhc Padre bore ; 
And the thirsty soil drank the precious 5;tore 
Of sacramental and }\oly wine, 
That emblem and consecrated sign 
And blessed symbol of blood divine. 

Then, says the legend, (and they who doubt 

The same as heretics be accurst,) 

From the dry and feverish soil Iciiped out 

A living fountain ; a well-spring burst 

Over the dusty and broad champaign, 

Over the sandy and sterile pliiin, 

Till the granite ribs and the milk-while stoufji 

That lay in the valley — the scattered bouci — 

Moved in the river and lived again ! 

Such was the wonderful miracle 
Wrought by the cup of wine tliat fell 
From the hands of the pious Padre Serro. 
The very reverend Junipcro. 



205 



2C0 



AN ARCTIC VISION. 



WHERE the sliorl-lcggcd Esquimau: 
Waddle in the ice and snow, 
And the playful polar bear 
Nips the hunter unaware; 
^Yhere by day they track tlie ermine, 
And by night another vermin, — 
Segment of the frigid zone, 
Where the temperature alone 
Warms on St. Elias' cone; 
Polar dock, where Nature slips 
From the ways her icy ships; 
Land of fox and deer and sable, 
Shore end of our western cal)le, — 
Let the news that flying go"3 
Thrill through all your Arctic floes, 
And reverberate the boast 
From the cliffs of Becchy's coast. 
Till the tidings, circling round 
Eveiy bay of Norton Sound, 
Throw the vocal tide-w\ave back 
To the isles of Kodiac. 
Let the stately pijlar licsirs 
Waltz around the pole ifi p.i.iiv-, 
And the walrus, in hi:^ .i^lce, 
i'are liis tus;k of ivorv; 
Wli'lc tiio^. boM s':i uiucx/vn 
(.'ai;ily Lak; s an (!\;;m Ii;m:\: 
All ye polar skies, rrvc-.l yr-ui- 
Yci-y rare,>t iu pari;''ii,>; 
Trip it, ;;11 yc^ mcr;y (liu.ccr'i, 
In the airiest of lancer,«5; 
Slide, }e solemn glaciers, t^lide, 
One inch farther to the tide, 
Nor in rash precipitation 



AX ARCTH.! Vi.SION. 

Upset TyndaU's calculation. 
Know 3'ou not what fate a.vaits you, 
Or to whom the future mates you? 
All ye icebergs nia];e salaam, — 
You belong to Uncle Sam I 

On the spot whore Eugene Sub 
Led his wretched "Wandering Jew, 
Stands a form wiiose features, strike 
Iluss and Esquimaux alikv. 
lie it is whom Skalds of old 
In their liunic rhymes foretold; 
Lean of flank and lank of jaw, 
Bee the real Xorthern Tlior! 
See the awful Yankee lca^in^• 
Just across the Straits of Behring; 
On the drifted snow, too ]>lain. 
Sinks his fresh tobacco stain 
Just beside the deep indoii- 
Tation of hi3 xTumber 10. 

Leaning on his icy haninier 

Stands the hero of this di-ama. 

And above the w^ild-duck^s clamor, 

In his own i)cculiar grammar, 

With its linguistic disguise.'-, 

Lo, the Arctic prologue rises: 

" Wa'll, I reckon 't ain't so bau, 

Scein' ez 'twas all they had; 

True, the Springs arc rather late 

And early Falls predominate; 

But the ice crop 's pretty sure, 

And the air is kind o' pure; 

'Taint so very mean a trade. 

When the land is all surveyed. 

There's a right smart chance for fur-chaso 

A.ll along this recent purchase. 

And, unless the storie3 fail, 



20T 



208 TO THE PLIOCFNE SKULL. 

Every fisli from cod to whale; 
Rocks, too ; mebbe quartz ; let's see, — 
Twould be strange if there should be,- 
Seems I've heerd such stories told; 
Eh! — why, bless us, — yes, it's gold!" 

While the blows are falling thick 
From his California pick. 
You may recognize the Thor 
Of the vision that I saw, — 
Freed from legendary glamour, 
See the real magician's haijuner. 



TO THE PLIOCENE SKULL. 



A GEOLOGICAL ADDRESS. 



«( 






O PEAK, O man, less recent ! Fragmentary fossil ! 
^ Primal pioneer of pliocene formation, 
Hid in lowest drifts below the earliest stratum 
Of volcanic tufa ! 

" Older than the beasts, the oldest Paheotherium ; 
Older than the trees, the oldest Cryptogami ; 
Older than the hills, those infantile eruptions 
Of earth's epidermis ! 

'* Eo — mio — Plio — whatsoe'er the " cene " was 

That those vacant sockets filled with awe and wonder,- 

Whether shores Devonian or Silurian ])Gaches, — 

Tell us thy strange story ! 

*' Or has the professor slightly antedated 
By some thousand years thy advent on this planet, 
Giving thee an air that's somewhat better fitted 
For cold-blooded creatures ? 

"Wert thou true spectator of that mighty forest 
When above thy head the stately Sigillaria 



Fi 



'OBsil ! 



vender, — 



inet, 
\ 



TO THE PLIOCENE SKULL. 309^ 

Reared its columned trunks in that remote and distant 
Carboniferous epoch ? 

" Tell us of that scene, — the dim and watery woodland 
Songless, silent, hushed, with never bird or insect 
\ oUed with spreading fronds an(l screened with tall club 
mosses, 

Lycopodiacea, — 

" When beside thee Avalked the solemn Plesiosaurus, 
And around thee crept the festive Ichthyosaurus, 
While from time to time above thee ilew and circled 
Cheerful Pterodactvls. 

" Tell us of thy food, — those half-marine reHections, 
Crinoids on the shell and Brachipods nii naturel, — 
Cuttle-fish to which iliQ'pieuvre Victor Hugo 
Seems a periwinkle. 

*' Sper,k, thou awful vestige of the Earth's creation, — 
Solitary fragment of remains organic ! 
Tell the wondrous secret of thy past existence, — 
Speak ! thou oldest primate ! " 

Even as I gazed, a thrdl of the maxilla, 
And a lateral movement of the condyloid process. 
With post-pliocene sounds of healthy mastication, 
Ground the teeth together. 

And, from that imperfect dental exhibition, 
Stained with the expressed juices of the weed Nicotian, 
C«me these hollow accents, blent with softer murmurs 
Of expectoration ; 

" Which my name is Bowers, and my crust was buttfed 
Palling down a shaft in Calaveras County, 
But I'd take it kindly if you'd send the pieces 
Home to old Missouri ! " 



6t 



l*ti!»Jii):!J> 




210 



THE BALLAD OF EMEU. 

OSAY, have you seen at tbe Willows so green, — 
So charmmg and rurally true, — 
A singular bird, with a manner absurd, 
Which they called the Australian Emeu Y 

Have you 
Ever seen this Australian Emeu ? 



It trots all around with its head on the ground, 

Or erects it quite out of our view ; 
And the ladies all cr}'-, when its iigurc they spy, 

O, what a sweet pretty Emeu ! 

Oh! do 

Just look at that lovely Emeu ! 

One day to this spot, when the weather was hot, 

Came Matilda Ilortcnse Fortescue; 
And beside her tliere cume a youth of high name, — 

Augustus Florell Montague : 

The two 

Both loved that wild, foreign Emeu. 

With two loaves of bread then they fed it, instead 

Of the flesh of the white cockatoo. 
Which once was its food in that wild neighborhood 

Where ranges the sweet Kangarco; 

That too 

Is game for the fanioi.^s Emeu ! 

Old saws and gimlets but its appetite v,'hets 
Like the world-famous bark of Peru ; 

There's nothing so hard tliat the bird will discard. 
And nothing its taste v, ill eschew, 

That you 
Can give that long-lep:ged Emeu ! 



ItT^H,,..,. 



211 



green, — 



iind, 
'spy, 



IS hot, 
1 name,- 



TIIK AOED STnAN«:;KH. 

The time slipped away in tliis innocent play, 
When up jumped the bold Montague : " 

** Where's that specimen pin that I gayly did win 
In raffle, and gave unto you, 

l^'ortescae?" 
^o word spolvc the guilty Emeu ! 

" Quick ! tell me his name whom tliou gavest that same 
Lre these hands in ihy blood I imbrue ! " ' 

"Nay, dearest," she cried, as she clung to his side, 
" I'm innocent as that Emeu ! " 

"Adieu!" 
He replied, " Mis^ M. IL Fortescue 1 " 

Down Ehe dropped at his feci, all as white as a sheet. 

As wildly he lied from her view ; 
He thought 'twas her sin,— for lie knew not the pin 

Had been gobbled up b}- the Emeu ; 

All throu'/h 
The voracity of that Emeu ! 



, instead 
diborhood 



its 

1 discard. 



THE AGED STTIAXGER. 

AN INCIDENT OV THE WA^t. 

"T WAS witli Grajit— " the str;n]y:cr taid; 



Said the farmer 



'i Q 



, b;iy no more, 



ii.'cc porcii, 



But rest thee licre at my cott 
For thy feet are weaiy and sore. 

" I was with Grant—" the slranger said 
Baid the farmer, " ISTay, no more,— 

I prithee sit at my frugal boar.,]. 
And cat my humble store. 

How fares my boy --my soldier boy, 
or the old :;ortii Ariwy Corps V 



■ti 



212 



u 



now ai;e Yoi:, samtary ?'* 




I warrant lie bore bini gallantly 
In the smoke and the battle's roar ! " 

" I know him not," said the aged man, 

"And, IS I remarked before, 
I was with Grant — " " Nay, nay, I know, 

Said the farmer, " say no more ; 

" He fell in battle, — I sec, alas ! 

Thou 'dst smooth these tidings o'er, — 
Nay : speak the truth, whatever it be, 

Though it rend my bosom's core. 

" llow fell he, — with his face to the foe, 

IJDholding the tiag he bore? 
O, say not that my boy disgraced 

The uniform that he wore!'' 

"I cannot tell," said the aged man, 
" And should have remarked, before, 

That I was with Grant, — in Illinois, — 
Some three! years before the war." 

Then the farmer spake him never a word, 
But beat with his list full sore 

That aged man who had worked for Grant 
Some three years before the war. 



"HOW ARE YOU, SANITARY?" 

DOWN the picket-guarded lane, 
Rolled the comfort laden wain, 
Cheered by shouts that shook the plain, 

Soldier-like and merry : 
Phrases such as camps may teach, 
Sabre-cuts of Saxon speech, 
Such as " Bully ! " " Them's the peach ! " 
" Wade in, Sanitary ! " 



www*'' 



Till? IIEVEILLB. 

Kifflit and left the caissons drew, 
Ab the car went lumbering through, 
Quick succeeding in review 

Squadrons military ; 
Sunburnt men with beards like frieze, 
Bmooth-faced boys, and cries like these, — 
'* U S. San. Com." " Tliat's the cheese ! " 

" Pass in Sanitary I " 

In such cheer it struggled on 
Till the battle front was won, 
Then the car, its journey done, 

Lo ! was stationary ! " 
And where bullets whistling fly, 
Came the sadder, fainter cry, 
" Help us, brothers, ere we die, — 

Save us. Sanitary 1 " 

Such the work. The phantom flies, 
Wrapped in battle clouds that rise ; 
But tlie brave — whose dying eyes, 

Veiled and visionary, 
See the jasper gates swung wide ; 
See the parted throng outside — 
Hears a voice to those who ride : 

'^Pass in, Sanitary!" 



•213 



9" 



H 



li" 



THE REVEILLE. 

'AllK ! I hear the tramp of thousands, 
And of armed men the hum ; 
Lo ! a nation's hosts have gathered 
Round the quick alarming drum, — 
Saying, " Come, 
Freemen, come ! 
Em your heritage be wasted," said the quick alarming 

drum. 



liW'LiiiijSilSllilaiillii 



214 



Tril! ARVEILLR. 



" L?}t mc of vA-y heart tnkc counsel : 

"War h n\ji of Lit'u the sum; 
Who sh.ill tilay and reap the harvest 
When the autumn days shall conio ?" 
J>at tlio drum 
Echoed, "Coino! 
Death shall rcip the braver liarvc-jt," said th(5 solemn- 

tiouudliii; drum. 

''IJnt ^v]lC!^ won the coming' battle. 
What of i^rolit sprhig.j therefrom ? 
What if conquest, subju^ration, 
f'jVCTi greater ills bjcwme V 
lUit the dmm 
Answered' *' Cc-mo ! 
do tlij siun to prov'i il,,'' said the Yankee- 



You must 



1 1 



ausivcriD^' unun. 



" 'What if, 'mid the canuoiiii' thunder, 
A7histlin:j shot cud burstiiig bomb, 
When my brothers fall iiroimd me, 
Should m.y heart .rrrow cold and numb r" 
But the drum. 
Ansv/ered " Come I 
Better there in dcalii united, than in life recreant, — 



come 



IM 



Thu3 they ans'.vercd, — hoping, fearin.^:, 

Some in faith, and doublin;!^ some, 
Till a trumpet-voice proelaiminfr, 
Said, " My chosen people, come !" 
Then the drum, 
Lo ! "was dumb, 
For the j'^rcat heart of t!io ualion, throbbing-, answered' 

" Lord, v/e come !" 



tho solemn- 



the Yankeo- 



nb' 



lc recrcanV 



ng, answered' 



UlS 



01 n PrviviLi:GL;. 

^OT ours, where brJtle smoko upcnih 

And battle dews lie wet 
To mo.t the char^^^. that trcasoa hiials 
■L»7 sword and buvonr>t 

Nor curs to guhle the fatal scythe 

The fleshless reaper wielda • 
The harvest moon looks calmly dovva 

L poll our peaeerul fiehh'. 

The long grass dimples on the hill, 

The pines sing- by the sea, 
And Plenty, from her golden horr, , 

Is pouring far and free. 

, <^ brothers by the farther sea, 
Think still our faith i=i warm • 
The same bright flag above 113 waves 
That swathed ora- ba])v fr>nn. 

The same red blo:^;"! thai dvrs vr- f rl.^. 

Here throbs in piu-iot nrldr- 
Tlio blood t!.utt:.v,-o,lvi...nT',rV.-r.ii 

A?id]]aI:er'sciI:]ic;o]i tiui". 

And^th-isapqnoiTrhon;-,^ Ixep li.io 

^■'♦^ith every pul'jc ye lYc], 
And Mercy's ringing gold shall cLlmc 

VVith Valors ('!ar^];ing Meei. 



'JKi 



RELlEVlNfJ GlTAKl). 



T. tS. K. on IT MARCU i, 18()1. 



r^AME the Ik-licf. " Wliat, Sentry, ho ! 

V^ How msM'Ai the night throu^^h thy loiif.j waking ? 

" Cold, cheerless, ibirU,~us niivy belit 

The hour before the dawn is breakin.i,'." 



*'No sight ? no sound ? " No ; nothiiv^ save 
The plover f rota tlie mashes calling, 
And in yon Wt-stern :;ky, r.bout 
Au hour ago, a Mar was falling.'' 



•' A star ? There's nothing si range in lliat.' 
'' No, nothing: but, above th^.^ thickft, 
Somehow it seemed to mc tuit God 
Somewliere had ju^t relieved a i)ieket." 



PARODIES. 



Wiikinjj ?' 



A (JEOLlKJJCAL M ADUKiA 1 . 



AFTKi: nrJlHTf K. 

T HAVE found out a cit'l for nij fair ; 
-■- 1 know where tlif fossils abound, 
Where the fo()ti)rints of vl;-"* dcchirt' 

The birda that once walked on Ihegrwiiid 
O, come, and — in teciinieal speech — 

AVe'll wclk this Devonian Hhor«, 
Or on poinc Silurinti beneb 

We'll wander, my love, evermon*. 

I will show tbte the sinuou-^ Hack 

"By ti.e slov.'-moving annelid made, 
Or the Tiilohite that, farthi r back. 

In the old Potsdan) snndsione was lui;!. 
Thonshalt see, in his .lurassii.- lo?nb, 

The Plesiosnrurus endjahned ; 
In his Oolitic prime aiid his Itlooni. -- 

Iguanodon safe ap.d unbanned ! 

You wiebed — I remenibi'rii tvcU, 

And I loTcd you the more for ibni wi.sb - 
For a perfect, cystedian sLeil 

And a irhole holGcepbalie [U\\. 
And O. if Earth's strata contaiiiH 

In its lowest Siliu-ian drift. 
OrPaheozoic remain.<^ 

The same,— 'lis your lover's fr^e i-ift '. 
8 



218 THE WILT.OSV'.S. 

Tlien come, love, and never say nay, 

But ciiln) all Tour maidenly fears, 
We'll note, love, in one summer's day 

Tbc record of millions of years; 
And though the Darwinian plan 

Your sensitive feelings may shoci^, 
"WVll find the beginning of man, — 

Our foHsil ancestors in rock 1 



THE ^VILLOWS. 



AFTl'^R EDG.AK A. TOK. 

^I'^llE skies they were ashen and sober, 
■*- The streets they were dirty and drear ; 
It was niffht in the month of October, 

Of my most immemorial year ; 
Like the skies I was perfectly sober, 

As I stopped at the mansion of Shear, — 
At the Nii:htingale, — perfectly sober. 

And the w^illov.y woodland, down here. 

Here, once in an alley Titanic 

Of Ten-pins, — I roamed with my soul, — 

Of Ten-pins, — with Mary, my soul ; 
'Vhoy were days when my heart was volcanic, 

And impelled me to frequently roll, 

And made me resistlessly roll. 
Till my ten-strikes created a panic 

In the realms of the Boreal pole, 
Till my ten-strikes created a panic 

With the monkey atop of his pole. 

I repeat, I w:is perfectly sober, 
But my thoughts they were palsied and aear,- 
ify tlioughts were decidedly q'leer ; 

For I knew not the month was October, 



IjHJtr 



t)v 



ear ; 



ere. 

al,- 
clcivnlc, 



ind sear, — 



cr. 



THE WIliLt>Wrt. 

And I marked not the nii^lit of the year ; 
I forgot that svi-ect morceav of Aiibcr 

That the hand oft performed down here, 
And I mixed the sweet music of Aiiljcr 

With the Nightinsjalc's miii^ic hy She.'jr. 

And now as the ni<,dit was seueseeni, 
And star-dials pointed to morn, 
And car-drivers hinted of morn, 

At the end of tlie path a liquesc(^iil. 
And bibulous lustre was born ; 

'Twas made by the bar-tender prej^eni, 
Who mixed a duplicate horn,— 

His two hands describing a crescent 
Distinct with a duplicate horn. 

And I said : " This looks noiicctly regal. 
For it's warm, and I know I feri chy,-— 
1 am confident that I feel dry ; 

We have come past the emeu and ea;;le, 
And watched tlie gay monkey o i hi<;h ; 

Let us drink to the emeu and eagle,— 
To the swan and the monkey on high,— 
To the eagle and monkey on high ; 

For this barkeeper will not inveigle,— 
Bully boy with the vitreous eye ; 

He surely would never mvcigle,- 

Sweet youth with the crystnlline eye." 

But Mary, uplifting her tingcr, 
Said, " Sadly this bar 1 mistrust,— 
I fear that this bar does not trust. 
. O hasten ! O let us not linger ! 
Q fly —let us fly,— ere v/e mu^t ! 

In terror she cried, letting sink her 
Parasol till it trailed in the dust.-- 

In an-onv sobbed, letiini; sink her 



210 



i 




Ud^ XOKTH HE Mm. 

\ ' Paniaol till it trailed in the dust, — 

Till it sorrowfully trailed in the dust. 

Then I pacified Mary and kiascd her, 
And tempted her into the room, 
And conquered her scruples and gloonj ; 

And we passed to the end of the vista, 
But were stopped by tho warning of doom, — 
liy some words that were warning of doom. 

And I said, " What is written, sweet sister. 
At the opposite end of the room ?" 

She sobbed, as she answered, " All liquors 
Must be paid for ere leaving the room." 

Then my heart it grew ashen and sober, 
As the streets were deserted and drear. 
For my pockets were empty and drear, — 

And I cried, '* It was surely October, 
On this very night of last year, 
That I journeyed — I journeyed down here, — 
That I brought a fair maiden down here. 
On this night of all nights in the year. 
Ah ! to me that inscription is clear ; 

Well I kn3w now, I'm perfectly sober, 
Why no longer they credit me here, — 

Well I know now that music of Auber, 
And this Niglitingale, kept by one Shear. 



NORTH BEACH. 



AT PER SPENSER. 

1 O ! where the elastic of bold Pfelffcr throws, 
*-' Its siillvJix :hadow on the rolling tide, — 
No more the home where joy and wealth repose, 
But n<iw where wassailers in cells abide; 






THK LOST TAriaS OF MILKTUS. 221 

See von long (luay that stretches far and wide, 
Well known to citlzenh as wharf of Meiggs ; 
There each swoct Sabbath walks in maiden pride 
The pensive J.Iargaret, and Ijrave Pat, whose legs 
Encased in broadcloth oft keep time with Peg's. 

Here comet h oft the tender nursery-maid, 
While in her ear her love talc doth pour; 
31eantinie hwr infant doth her charge evade, 
And rambleth sagely on the sandy shore. 
Till the sly sea-crab, low in ambush laid, 
Seizeth his leg and biteth him full sore. 
Ah me ! what sounds the shuddering echoes b(»re, 
When his small treble mixed with Ocean's roar. 

Hard by there stands an ancient hostelrie, 

And at its side a garden, where the bear. 

The stealthy catamount, and coon agree 

To work deceit on all who gather there ; 

And when Augusta — that \mconscious fair — 

With nuts and apples plieth Bruin free, 

Lo I the green parrot claweth her back hair, 

And the gray monkey grabbeth fruits that she 

On her gay bonnet wears, and laugheth loud in glee! 



THE LOST TAILS OF MILETUS. 

TTian on the Thracian hill<, half hid in the billows of 

*— ■- clover. 

Thyme, and the asphodel blooms, and lulled by Pactolian 

streamlet. 
She of 3iIiletLis lay, and beside her an aged satyr 
Scratched his ear with his hoof, and playfully mumbled his 

ciiestnuts. 

Vainly the Ma3nid and the Bassarid gambolled about her, 
The free-eyed Bacchante sang, and Pan— the renowned, the 
accomplished-— 







009 



All MN S llKrLY TO TRUTH! IT. JAMJVS. 



Excc'iitctl his difficult solo. In vaiti ^verc their gambois and 

dances : 
lliLjh o'er Uic Thmcian liills rose lUo v )ice of tlicsliophcrdcas, 

wailing. 

'' Ai I for llic tlcccy Hocks, — the inct^k-noscd, tlie passionless 

faces ; 
Ail for the tallow-scented, tbo straiijiht-ifiilcd, the high- 

steppinf^ 
Ai! for the timid i^lance, which i-^ that Avhich the rustic, 

sagacious, 
Apiiliesto himwlio love,? but vawy not dechirc his passion I" 

Her then Zeus answered slow : " daughter oF song and 

sorrow, — 
Hapless tender of sheep, — iirise from thy long hunentation ! 
Since thou canst not trui^t fate, nor behave as becomes a 

Greek maiden. 
Look and behold thy sheep. — And lo ! they relumed to her 

tailless ! 



AEI SIN'S HEPLY TO TllUTIIFUJ. JAMES. 

Which my name is Ah Sin ; 

I don't want to call mimes, 
But I must to begin, 

Say just thi3 for T. James ; 
Tliat I am convinced he is rather 

Well up to the sinfulest <ramc^. 

Ves, Ah Sin is my name, 

Which I need woi <]cny ; 
"What it means — U no ^hame, 

You will find, if you tr}'. 
That it's meaning is somelliing (;ele.stia1» 

And how is CcU-iikd for llifjli f 



giiinboi.s ami 
cslic;plicrdcs8, 

jc passionle&i 

(I, t!ie hig]j- 

:*h tho riistk*, 

liis passion I" 
ol' song and 

liiiiycntatioii ! 
as becomes a 

liirnnl to her 



JAMES. 



tiaU 



All SIN S KEPIA- TO TUUTHFVL JAMK.S. 

And about that small <ainie; 

1 (lid not understand, 
80 1 made it my aim, 

Witli the smile that irafi " bland," 
To keep my small eyes at their keenest, 

On Nye, as he dealt the first hand. 



And the way that he dealt, 
Tlicre could be notlun;^ liner, 

But smiehow, I lelt, 
'* 3[r. Ah Sin, from Cliina, 

Eocausc you smile it so * t.'7i('7cZ-like,' 
These I'elloAV.^ piny you for miacv 



i'2;i 



m 



Dut no slouch U Ah Sin, 

And from the word " Go," 
I did play lor io win, 

And Nye — rathtr bo, 
And play the new game as 1 learn him, 

Which showed level head, don't j'ou know. 

On my nails tiiere icafi v;ax, 

I>ut that noihliig proves, 
AVlicn I state tlse real facts; 

I was 'prenticeri on .V;oc.v. 
And that wax tli^iL v/as found on my lingers 

Was the kind that the shoemakers use. 

And rhe packs up m j sleeve V 

3Iy ( .Hh 1 will take, 
Were not there to deceive. 

But got tliere by mistake ; 
I ))ought Ihcm for Ah Sin, the younger, 

Who likes J!«ome card houses to make. 

In my pocket tluy were, 
When I fcat down that day, 




s . 
1 : 

1^ 



224 AH sin's WKPLT T(» TUUTHFUIi .lAMK.H. 

But what with the stir 

And excitement of pla} 
T/wy worked up my sleeve froia my pockety 

And strange it was, too, I must say. 

Was it right in Bill Nye, 

When the trump knave I led 
For to blacken my eye, 

And on mo put a head t 
Ilad I known James held the rij^dit bower, 

I'd have played Homclhing else in its stead. 

# 

But I don't play no more 
For my lot is now cast. 

On a Euchreless shore, 

So I—" Stick to mv last.'' 
And my smile at North Adams is pensive 
And my hoathenish days thej- arc past. 



THK EIS-D. 



388M^ 

268 



J AM KM. 



y pockety 
say. 



t bower, 
iu its stead. 



19 pensiTO 
re past.