Imatges de pÓgina

end, beyond which but few small ones buried with the dead, many mortars set exist; also a few on the western shores. in the ground to the rim, the pestle The mode of burial on this island is dif- either resting in its opening or lying ferent from that previously investigated. alongside, as if it had done its duty only The bodies rest in distinct graves by some days before. themselves, lying on their backs, feet The last island visited was Santa Ca. drawn up, and arms folded over the talina. It appears to be a long mountain chest; the head either resting on the oc- removed from its base and planted in ciput, the side, or sunk to the breast. the wide ocean, whose waters are here The skeletons, as a rule, were facing the wonderfully clear on account of the mieast, although other directions were ob- caceous bottom. This mountain, sevenserved. Some show signs of having teen miles in length, descends in innubeen buried in matting coated with as- merable steep gulches and ravines, and phaltum. Most of the skeletons and often abruptly ends in perpendicular implements are laid bare by the winds. bluffs, some of which are over a thouOur modus operandi was here changed; sand feet high. About five miles from spade and pick were dispensed with, its western end the island is almost and in the first days our party went over cut in two by a remarkable isthmus, the shell-mounds and piled the findings forming on the northern side Isthmus in heaps, which afterward were convey- Cove, and on the other, the southern ed to the boat by horses procured of the side, the fine but small port of Catalina “governor” of the island (as the old Harbor. The eastern and western parts man styles himself), and thence taken of the island are connected only by parby water to our camping-ground for a row strips of made land, not forty feet careful packing in boxes brought with above water, and about 600 yards from us from San Francisco. We obtained ocean to ocean. The island is well 127 mortars a heavy collection by it- known, and belongs to James Lick, and self-about 200 pestles, cups, trinkets, is settled by squatters, mostly engaged a small lot of quite unique sculptures, in stock - raising, fishing, etc. Some and some articles new to science. mining has been done on the island,

The money deposits on this island but to no advantage. It is well timber. are remarkable. In some places on the ed, with plenty of water in wells and shell-mounds we noticed, apart from the springs. The Government barracks are skeletons, and not buried with them, still in good condition, and offer shelnumerous small heaps of shells of the ter to picnic parties from the neighborOlivella bipicata, and some of the land- ing main-land, also to sheep-shearers in shell Helix strigosa; also, a uniform size the time of wool-clip. In front of the of pebbles, seemingly blackened by fire, porch we made our collection of rattleaveraging in quantity from a half to one snakes, that creep out from under the cubic foot, which were evidently stored brick base of the building to indulge there, and afterward exposed to the a healthy digestion in the warm suddrifts of sand, forming conspicuous di- light. minutive hillocks. We found as many The archæology of this island is said to as sixty of these deposits on one shell- have been ransacked by a scientific gen. mound. This, with the position of some tleman of merit, who lingered formerof the implements we observed, seems. ly around the picturesque isthmus. He to point to the fact that the last in- told me himself, some time ago, that he habitants were taken off suddenly. We had even spotted the “fat boy”-meanfound, for instance, instead of being ing the image of the temple to the sun, as reported by Padre de la Ascension, new to science. Even the thick singuof Cabrillo fame, whose narratives he larly-shaped cranium, much of a dolistudied in the original. To my deep chocephalic pattern, has already been regret I found that there was but little described by Bret Harte as the preleft for our party to gather, and nothing historic skull of the Stanislaus.



Beloved and good mother, O bear me no ill. will !
You saw that Robin kissed me out yonder on the hill;
I'll tell you all about it, if you will patient be —
'Twas the Echo on the hill-side brought this rebuke on me.

I sat out on the meadow, he saw me there to-day;
But, in his loving reverence, he stood quite far away,
And said, “Glad I'd come nearer, did I not think you proud.
Maid, am I welcome ?” “Welcome !" the Echo answered loud.

Then came he to me, and sat together on the ground ;
He called me his own maiden, and wound his arm around,
And begged that I would grant him, out on the hill beyond,
The treasure of my heart's love. “Heart's love," quoth Echo fond.

He heard it, and still closer he drew me to his side,

Believing I had spoken each time the echo cried ;
“O let me," quoth he tenderly, “call thee henceforth my bride!

And as thy heart's pledge, kiss me!” “Kiss me," the Echo sighed.

Now see, dear, how it happened that Robin kissed my brow;
That wicked, wicked Echo! it makes me angry now.
And mother! see, he's coming - I can hear him at the gate-
To tell you how he loves me, and learn from you his fate.

Is Robin, dearest mother, not worthy mine to be ?
Then tell him that the Echo deceived him cruelly;
But, if you think we're fitted each other's joys to share,
Tell him, in accents loving- I was the Echo there.

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ACK MYERS and his crowd own- slipped quietly out of the saloon when

ed a claim in the bed of the river, he entered. People talked in low and which they turned and worked every subdued tones while he was by, for he summer; and this claim covered the frequently criticised chance remarks, ground occupied by our copper - lode. whether coming from a stranger or acThey had been working all winter in quaintance, and made them the preGarrote Flat, about eighteen miles dis- tense for a quarrel. He shot Will Leltant, and coming down in the spring fingwell while eating his dinner in a restook the copper fever severely, and find- taurant, having construed a few words ing we were on a part of their ground, of Will's, spoken that morning and relaid claim to such portion of our pos- ported to him by one of his officious sessions. I argued that the two claims toadies, into a threat against himself. had nothing to do with each other. Pos- He put a ball through Sam Boynton's session of any portion of the river - bed knee, and lamed him for life, because implied possession only of the gravel in Sam refused to drink with him. He it, and the discoverer of any lode of ore had knifed a man to death in Aurora, in the underlying rock, whether above no one could tell why or wherefore at or below water, was as much entitled to the trial. These were but a moiety of it as though it were ten miles away. his exploits; yet the law, or what was

Jack Myers was not an arguing man. called by that name, always cleared him. His first and last resort lay in his pis. He was as lucky at mining as he was tol. He had always carried his points at shooting. He always could and alin this way, and he had always found ways did command the best legal talsuch process quicker and cheaper than ent. Next to maiming or killing a fel

. resort to the complicated and costly ma- low-being, he liked being on trial for the chinery of courts, law, and lawyers. He offense, on account of the notoriety it could not live comfortably without a fight gave him. · His juries were always comevery few months, and when he failed to posed of picked men, born and brought pick a quarrel with any outsider he would up in the South and South - west, who work off his combativeness on one or had carried arms habitually from early other of his three associates, who were boyhood, and whose estimation of any completely under his control and influ- man increased in direct ratio to the ence, and who seemed to like him all the number of his victims. Old Sam Mcbetter for an occasional beating. Cullough, of Mississippi, was his legal

Myers was a thoroughly bad man. counselor, a great and successful crimThere seemed no soft spot, no reliev- inal lawyer and eccentric character; in ing quality in his nature. His speech appearance a realization of John Ranto others alternated between a sneer dolph of Roanoke, tall and straight as and a growl. He went about always an Indian, with a leather-colored commore or less under the influence of liq. plexion, a glittering black eye, a shrill uor - delighting in the dread his pres- squeaky voice; who had never thorence inspired, for he was as dangerous as oughly' read a page of Coke or Blacka tiger turned loose. Respectable men stone in his life, who was not equal to


the task of drawing up the simplest le- in compliments or commonplace remark. gal document, and whose chief weapon “Half the ground you claim," said he, of argument lay in appealing to that “belongs to me; you must leave it. I coarse and bloody sentiment which he give you twenty-four hours to get your managed to concentrate in his jury-a cabin, traps, and tools off it!" sentiment misnamed chivalry, but in re- Myers' claim extended over the disality behind the back murder. This old covery- hole. gentlemen would, on looking over the “But,” said I, "you sold this portion list of jurors just previous to a murder of the bank to the Chinamen. We have trial, remark, in his shrill voice, to the come into possession of their claim. clerk of the court:

How can you, then, in justice ask this “William, where is this man McClos. from us?” ky from ?"

“Sold them the gravel only," was his “Mississippi, I believe."

reply; "didn't sell'em the ledge. That's “Good! he'll do for me. And Star- ours. You can buy it of us if you want buck, where does he hail from ?" “Massachusetts."

“What is your price ?" “I must scratch him off; Yankees “One hundred thousand dollars!” won't do on our juries."

We sat silent, facing each other, for a Myers and his gang came and took few moments. I didn't know what to possession of their cabin in May. It do. To "talk up” to the man was to was but a few hundred yards from my invite instant combat. To cringe before quarters. Their presence brought pan- him was equally as bad. He was watchdemonium to Swett's Bar, hitherto so ing my every motion, ready to draw if he quiet and lovely in the California spring. saw a suspicious one on my part-ready There is at that season of the year, be- at any show of verbal defiance to apply fore the grass and flowers become with- to me some vile term which no man could ered and dried by the intense summer hear, according to the sentiment of those heat, a balminess and freshness which times, without resenting. To gain time, predisposes the mind to a soft waking I said: dream; and at night, with the full moon “Myers, take a drink, and let's talk over you, pouring down such a flood of business afterward." silver light that any ordinary print may “Certainly,” said he, “I'll drink with be clearly read, and in the distance the you.” silent mountains seen quite as distinctly And when he had poured down a tumas in the day-time, yet entirely changed blerful of my best brandy, which rankin shade and color-it seems not to be- ed with him no better than the vile whislong to this earth, but to some ideal ky he consumed by the gallon, he reenchanted region. But Myers and his marked: three disciples poisoned all this beauty. “Well, what are you going to do? Until late in the night, and every night, Trade or travel?” their cabin was a scene of carousing, “I don't feel like traveling, Mr. Myoaths, yells, fighting, and drunken rev- ers.” I said this mildly and quietly. elry.

“Well, I do,” was his reply. “You get On the second day of their arrival the off our ground by to-morrow night, or desperado called on me. He was a we'll put you off, that's all.” small man, with a face which had more He walked out of the door. Shortly of the weasel in it than any other ani- I arose, and, going outside, saw Myers mal. There was no time wasted by him at the farther end of the claim tearing

was near.


down our notices and putting up his own champion might arise who would beard scrawls in their place. There was not the ruffian; and everybody knew, ala man in my employ on whom I could though no one spoke it, that, no matdepend to aid me. They were willing ter what might be the complexion of to work but not to fight. Soon Munse, the difficulty, the law would make but litmy foreman, met me. He looked a lit- tle trouble for the man who killed Jack tle embarrassed and cowed.

Myers. “The gang has knocked off work,” It was night, my supper was over, and said he; "Jack Myers and his crowd I was alone in my cabin. But I could have been tearing around, and, under not remain alone. I felt that a crisis the circumstances, if he says quit, we've

I could not stay quiet. The got to quit or fight."

suspense was far worse than the inevita“And you won't fight?" I remarked. ble clash, and I felt impelled to rush to

“Well," replied Munse, digging his ward it. An hour previous and I had heel into the ground, “it's not exactly been a coward. I had clung to life and our fight or our funeral. I think it's knuckled to a bully. I could not see an outrage, and I don't like to knuckle how far I had demeaned and degraddown to Myers, but-"

ed myself until it was all over. Now, “But you're all afraid of him?” I said, when I looked at the picture of the in. finishing the sentence.

terview between me and Myers, I felt “Suppose you say we're all afraid of a sensation akin to remorse, as if I him," said Munse, with the slightest pos- had committed some shameful offense. sible tinge of sarcasm in his voice. Sometimes I'think cowardice to be only

I returned to the house. In an in- another form of selfishness. The mostant my course became clear to me. ment a man rises to that condition There must be no more hesitation. It where he may renounce what is very was a matter of life or death between dear to him, he becomes brave. me and Jack Myers. Every circum- The Swett's Bar store was the comstance was crowding me on to a per- mon resort at night for almost every. sonal conflict with him. The law could body in camp. It was a place I visited give me no protection. Its machinery as little as possible, for its greasy deck was potent enough, but the despicable of cards, its wrangling noisy game of public sentiment of the time, which “seven - up,” its commingled odor of worshiped and toadied to a red-handed whisky, tobacco, pork, and codfish, and murderer, would paralyze every effort its rough loungers perched on boxes and it might make in my behalf. I felt no barrels dimly seen at night in the dark longer depressed. I became cheerfully corners by the uncertain light of a smodesperate. Before, I had clung to life. ky lamp, all these had no attractions Now, the indignation I felt at being for me. I preferred to wander amid the thus crowded to the wall by such a lonely hills. I heard loud talking and brute, and the shame I had experienced laughing within the store as I neared it during the crowding process, made life that evening. I knew what that meant. a matter of little moment. Another Myers and his followers were there holdthought also came into the scale, which ing a jubilee over their supposed victory. made existence the lesser weight. That “Got any more fancy mining superinwas the hope of, and, to be frank, the fame tendents to come up from Frisco and also which would be mine in that com- jump Jack Myers' claim? I hope munity by taking Myers off. In secret they'll send 'em, for I can chaw 'em up and for years it had been hoped that a as fast as they come along."

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