Imatges de pÓgina


These words were being uttered by wolf to San Francisco. You think I'm the hero of the hour as I entered. The afraid to fight. I'm not. I'll fight you store was full. The usual camp-loungers, now. Take off your three men; give my own men, and Myers' gang were fra- me a fair show. Come along with me ternizing on the basis of whisky broth- to the barley-field yonder, where there's erhood. Myers ordered drinks for the no trees and the ground is level, and I'll house every fifteen minutes, and it was fight you, and we'll see who's chief.” obligatory on all to drink. It was, how- I turned to the crowd. “You men, ever, a cross they endured with fortitude you are Americans. Will you stand by and resignation.

and see fair play? I am alone here My entrance caused a sudden silence. alone and, I suppose, friendless. Munse, The bully was the last to see me. The will you be my second ?" gradual cessation of noisy conversation “Yes,” promptly replied Munse. at last attracted his attention, as he stood “Thank you. Now, Mr. Myers, I am at the bar. He turned, and, on seeing ready. You are a fighting - man, and me, remarked:

can't refuse such a fair invitation. Be. “Hullo! Just in time-just had drinks fore we leave the house we'll take anall round. Come, put another nail in other drink at my expense. Mr. Myyour coffin!”

ers, I'll drink with you now.” And I This was spoken directly to me. His swallowed the liquor which had been next observations, as he walked up and prepared for me. down the store, were aimed at me, and This was a turn in affairs which Myfor the general benefit.

ers evidently had not expected. It had “I'm Jack Myers — free, white, and been his intention, as was ever his custwenty-one. I can run alone, I can. tom in such cases, to abuse, taunt, reI'm chief here. Is there any other vile, possibly to dash the liquor in my chief? Is there any other chief in the face, and thrust me from the door. house? Is there anybody here who Blindly, as it were, he understood that won't drink with Jack Myers ? Cum- the magnetism of fear, if I may so exmings, your whisky's waitin' for you — press myself, would not only prevent drink."

any interference on the part of others, “I do not wish to drink," was my re- but would, like a succession of intoxply.

icating draughts, stimulate him to still It was a dramatic silence then which greater fury. reigned in that greasy grimy store. For But my unexpected stand had devela moment the roar of the Tuolumne as oped an opposing influence. It came it rushed and foamed along on its way from the men around me. It was someto the sea, and the cry of a coyote on thing mysterious, silent, subtile, the the hill above, were the only sounds working of one mind on another, the heard.

creeping forth as it were into the air of “Well, now, you shall drink, or I'll set a spirit opposed to brutish tyranny, the you on my knee like a baby and pour it invisible sympathy and respect for a down your throat," was his sneering re- man who dared to stand up for himself; mark.

all this concentrated and fell like a sort "Jack Myers,” said I, “I know what of blight, a damper on the hitherto inyou want. You want to force a quarrel vincible Myers. on me, so that you may shoot me down “Well, gentlemen,” I continued," you like a dog. You want me to turn and will drink with me, will you not? I'm take water, and run back like a scared not the chief yet. I'm not going to try

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and force you to drink against your there had been considerable method in wishes. But we must be quick, for we his desperation. His wonderful quickhave business to attend to.”

ness “on the draw and the shoot” had They crowded about the bar, but in been his secret of success. If he struck silence, broken only by the clink of the a man, it was to jump backward almost glasses. Myers, whose surprise and in- with the motion; at the same instant his ward wavering had been but moment. right hand was drawing and cocking his ary, and who perceived that even his revolver. He relied on a skillful sleight own men regarded him curiously, now of hand, and used every effort to induce suddenly found his defense in the sneak- his victims to the commission of some ing cunning spirit of cowardice, and eact which should give him a justification said:

for putting it in operation. “Come up here, jump my claim, and We arrived at the barley-field. On a then want me to fight for it, do you? low hill directly in the rear of the ground You can't play that on me.”

chosen for the encounter was the camp You are a coward, and dare not fight grave - yard, a small square inclosure. fair!” were my words.

Out of the tall rank grass rose a few This I knew would bring the climax. white head - boards, and in the light of His hands and those of his gang went the full moon they stood out in even more for their pistols. But the spirit of man- prominent ghastly relief than in the dayhood was now uppermost in the rest of time. The choice of this spot was accithe crowd. Munse and a half - dozen dental. But the tallest head - board of others jumped to my side. “No-no- all was that of Will Leffingwell, Myers' no!" was the excited cry. “That won't last victim. do, Jack Myers. You fight this man The preliminaries were very simple. fair!”

We stood twelve paces apart, and were “Is your grave dug?" said he, fall- to fire as the master of ceremonies counting back upon his only real courage ed three. I had asked Munse to stand - the spirit of intimidation and brava- as my second at the store merely to test do.“Well, we'll adjourn to the barley- his temper and that of the crowd. On field.”

the ground we dispensed with such fashI must disclaim here any endeavor to ionable formality. establish a reputation for bravery. I It was but a moment given me for ream brave only in streaks, and they are flection, as we stood thus facing each few and far between. It required gen- other, but in that moment the silence erally strong pressure to bring out what and splendor of the night, the great rag. little was in me. I have passed days ged castellated peaks-apparently but a in mental distress before I could sum- mile distant, in reality twenty - looking mon up sufficient courage to go through sternly down upon us, the monotonous any trying ordeal. I have sneaked away babbling of the Tuolumne as it struggled from trivialities — little lions in my path and fretted over and through a broken -until my despicable estimation of my- dam near by, the chirping of the crick. self caused me to loathe myself, and yet ets in the grass, the huddle of men siat certain times and in certain moods of lently regarding us, the white grave. mind every trace of pusillanimity disap- stones keeping their faithful watch and peared, and I could look any possibility ward over the dead, the ruffian confrontin the face, without fear.

ing me - with his slouched hat, gray Myers was in a trap. This was to be shirt, and dirty-white canvas pants, on his first fair stand-up fight. Hitherto his face an expression of annoyance




vexation-all this in that moment was and table, and he swore at them. Men photographed on my brain never to be also followed him about, shaking their erased.

fists at him, threatening him with drawn We never fired. I was not to be the weapons, gibbering, whispering in his "avenger of blood.” The fates with ear at night, talking without his cabin their superior wisdom had decreed a in low tones, plotting to kill him. “They more fitting punishment for Jack Myers. worried me some at first,” said Dick. As the word “One” was spoken, some- “I'm used to 'em now. Snakes, that's thing between a rustle and a groan was all; got up one night and followed a heard among the graves; the next, a crowd on 'em way from here to Marsh's tall form, clad in black, slowly arose. Flat. They were going to burn down It clung to the pickets and surveyed the the Bar. When I got to the Flat, they party below. The moon shone full up- scooted over the tree-tops all in a body on the face, which seemed as white as on to Pino Blanco Hill. Then I cuss. the surrounding grave-stones. The sit- ed, for I knew it was nothing but the uation was such that the eyes of every- snakes. Can't fool me now.” one present necessarily fell upon the About two years previous, Dick, with apparition, which suddenly found a voice the usual good luck of a drunken min. and shrieked :

er, which in California used to be pro"Jack Myers, haint ye done killin' verbial, had struck a "pot-hole" on the

river- bank, overlooked by the earlier Myers uttered a yell of fright, drop- miners, from which he had taken sevped his pistol, which was discharged by eral hundred dollars. Returning after the fall, and broke for the hills. A half- dark in company with Myers from Sadozen other by-standers retreated in va- loada-a small mining-camp, which he rious directions. Then came a shout of had visited for the purpose of exchanlaughter from the cooler of the party, as ging his dust for coin—the latter, in one the voice again cried out:

of his brutal fits of rage, had set upon "Don't run, boys; don't run. I'm no old Dick and pummeled him until he ghost yet!

Don't you know me? I'm became insensible. Dick was left lying Clamp-old Dick Clamp-just back from upon the trail, near Rocky Point, a steep Shanghai; back to see the boys.declivity bordering the river. Dick's

Dick Clamp had been a resident of cabin was vacant next morning and Swett's Bar since 1852. He had also many other mornings. None troubled been drunk since 1852. Concerning old themselves about him; none save MyDick, men

never thought of remark- ers knew that he had ever been near the ing, “He's drinking himself to death.” Bar again since leaving it to exchange Whisky seemed his natural sustenance. his dust. Myers naturally concluded He had the “horrors” occasionally, but that he had fallen into the river, which they agreed with him. He talked of was then swollen from the melting snowbirds, beasts, and creeping things around banks on the upper Sierra. Dick pass. him, but went on shaking his rocker as ed into the history of the Bar. None usual, and seemed entertained by them. ever expected to see him again. He would see a string of monkeys a half- But Dick, blind and stupid from the mile in length following him, and regard- combined effects of rum and the beating ed them as curiously as if they had not given him, had indeed slipped into the been the unnatural creations of a whisky- river, was carried in a very few minutes steeped brain. Crows and ravens Aut- a couple of miles down-stream, eventtered into his cabin, perching on his bed ually struggled out on the bank, and,

VOL. 15.-25.

still dazed and bewildered, traveled all finally found his way back to San Frannight wherever his legs carried him. cisco, and immediately started on foot At day-break he found himself on the for his old home at Swett's—the dearest Stockton stage-road. His belt full of spot now to him on the whole earth, coin was about his body; the stage was since there was liberty, a living, and passing him on its way to the city, he comparatively light work. Arriving in hailed it, and got on board, concluding it Saloada, seven miles distant, he had ex. to be a good time (now that he was thus pended his sole remaining capital in the cut adrift from Swett's Bar and the irre- purchase of a bottle of whisky to celesistible influence of its whisky-shop) to brate the return home of the prodigal see the world. He arrived in Stockton son; this he drank on the road. Stum. drunk. He arrived in San Francisco bling on the grave - yard, in a drunken drunk. He was industriously drunk freak he had clambered over the palings, during his whole stay there. His ob- stretched himself between two graves, servations of the Pacific metropolis were and, after courting slumber for a few confined for a few days to the four walls hours, had awakened, to re-appear just of a low drinking-den; he awoke to full as Myers and myself were about shootconsciousness and sobriety in the fore. ing each other. Myers was overcome castle of a clipper-ship bound to China; at seeing one supposed victim rising he found himself in the grasp of a brawny from the earth, and probably feared that second-mate, who was dragging him up Leffingwell might follow. He was nev. the companion-stairs, and with a kick er seen about that locality again. His sent him to his first maritime duty. prestige was gone. Old Dick was aftDick had been “shanghaied.” He erward known as “Myers' Ghost," and drifted about the China seas for awhile, I am still John Cummings.


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Sunshine and melody follow the rain

Patter the rain - drops merrily!
Spring joy follows the winter pain,

Then, ho! for the earth's green holiday.

Flutter the rovers from over the sea

Greet them, robin, right heartily!
Nest and twitter in field and tree,

And O! for love's sweet holiday.

Wait, and the winds of the winter cease :

Up, little heart, beat hopefully!
After the warfare cometh peace –

And O! sor a life's glad holiday.


Our Quarter-centennial.

from Pacific Coast resources. In fifteen On the 9th of September, 1875, California years we recovered from the earth 2,250,000 entered upon the twenty - fifth anniversary tons of coal, largely contributing to build up of her existence as a State of the American and foster our manufacturing enterprises. Union. During that limited period an ad. Among the products of 1874 were 7,000,000 vancement was realized in material progress, gallons fine native wines and 40,000,000 in civilization, refinement, culture, and ar. pounds of wool. At the commencement of tistic development, unequaled in history. 1875 the industrial classes of California had When, weeks after Congress had disposed $70,000,000 gold coin standing to their credit of the question, the intelligence was receiv. in various savings - banks, and the banking ed that California had been recognized as a capital of the State was $140,000,000. Real sovereign State, her population scarcely ex- estate exchanged hands in San Francisco ceeded in numbers that of the single town alone to the extent of $24,000,000, and the of Lynn, Massachusetts, in 1870; now, it appraised value of personal and real propapproximates a million. San Francisco then erty within her borders is upward of $300,was but a hamlet by the sea-side, but at pres. 000,000. ent she is the third in point of commercial From an apparently arid, unpopulated, importance on the American continent, and barren waste, California has become a land must take the second rank ere the lapse of teeming with wealth and inherent power. half-a-dozen years. From a mere village Through her influence the State of Nevada she has risen to a position of proud emic and the Territories of Washington, Idaho, nence, and incloses within her limits fully Utah, Montana, Colorado, Wyoming, New 260,000 souls. In 1849 this State was de. Mexico, and Arizona have been reclaimed pendent upon the East and foreign countries from a state of nature and been made the for every article consumed by its people. abodes of intelligent, thriving, and progres. The very houses under which we sheltered sive populations, pursuing all the arts of were framed and fitted abroad. What was her peace, developing the boundless resources record on the ist of January, 1875? Califor. of that vast region, and pressing forward nia exported through San Francisco 11,000,. with energetic pace toward a more advan000 centals of wheat, besides leaving a large ced rank in the world's recognition. Twen. surplus for domestic requirements, the whole ty-five years ago New York was distant a crop being 20,000,000 centals. Of gold and month's voyage, and the great European silver we added $85,000,000 to the circulation centres could not be reached in fewer than of the outside world; and since 1849 have ex. forty or fifty days. The nations of the Ori. ported $800,000,000 in those precious metals, ent and the isles of the Pacific were only exclusive of the very large amounts carried visited occasionally at great expense of time by individuals and forwarded through the and money. Now, New York is within six mails. From 1854 to the end of 1874 our days of our homes, while regular and rapid Mint coined $378,000,000. The value of our communication has been established with merchandise exports for 1874 amounted to nearly all other portions of the globe. The $28,500,000. Instead of depending upon magnetic telegraph and a fine system of eastern supplies of lumber we are export- railways exhibit their traceries of speaking ing it, in enormous quantities, to many for- wire and commercial iron in every direction eign markets, and our receipts for the year over our domain. The comparative annihi. above mentioned were 253,000,000 feet, all lation of time and distance has given to

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