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“Boys, that's a darned ugly tramp to that its adoption was due more to a dethem 'ere new diggins. What d'ye say sire not to be outdone by other miningif we licker-up now?"
camps, than to any necessity felt for That was a peace-offering which dis- it. It was generally conceded that the sipated whatever bitterness the mortifi- old way of disposing of such cases as cation of being so badly victimized may would henceforth come within the corhave possessed. The jingle of glasses oner's jurisdiction was the most expeand the hearty inartistic rendition of the ditious, and often the most satisfactory. refrain of the familiar ditty,
The informal burial in a hurriedly dug “For he's a jolly good fellow,"
grave was sometimes quickly suppleby Happy Jack and Dancing Bill, quick- mented by the consummation of a tragely followed. The revelry which then set dy under the auspices of Judge Lynch. in disturbed Bummer Bob. It annoyed Coroner Kurtz's first inquest was held him to be thus rudely woke up. It an- over the body of Bummer Bob, at the noyed him still more that he was not in- Occidental. He felt all the importance .vited to participate in the bacchanalian of the occasion. He selected representfestivity which had just been commen- ative men of Norway Flat as his jury, ced. He was angry when he realized with Brown of the Occidental as forethat Doc, his supplanter of the previ- man. He was very precise in his quesous day in the good graces of Norway tioning; very careful in the manner in Flat, was at the bottom of it all. He which he took down the answers. Hapapproached his innocent rival, and, hiss- py Jack, Dancing Bill, and Barkeep, ing something in his ear unintelligible the only witnesses examined, were put to either of the others present, struck through what he termed "a coursh of him a heavy blow in the face. That was shproutsh,” but their story was straightthe signal for open hostilities. Quicker forward and corroborative. than the story is told Doc and Bummer Notwithstanding the habitual reckBob grappled and fell. The struggle lessness of the pioneers of Norway Flat, was short, sharp, and decisive. Two they were on the whole a law-abiding men rolled over and over on the floor; people. Not that they heeded, in any two knives gleamed in the early sunlight sense, the written law of the land-they which penetrated the frosted panes of did not — but there was an unwritten the windows of the Occidental. A few law, which each one tacitly recognized. rapid passes and the struggle ended. At times obedience to this common law But only one man rose, and that was had to be enforced at the pistol's mouth, Doc. He was unscathed, while the and any infringement of it was always life-blood ebbed rapidly from the writhe followed by a terrible punishment. Peting body of Bummer Bob, ending his ty offenses were few, for each member checkered career as he had often said of that community was at once guardian he would: he had “died in his boots." of the peace, judge, jury, and execution
At the time when the sanguinary con- er. The statutory law was too slow and flict between Doc and Bummer Bob uncertain in its operation, and a sense took place, Norway Flat was beginning of insecurity of life and property posto creep out of its primitive lawlessness, sessed those who placed their trust in it. and some of the institutions of a more Hence this broad principle was laid enlightened civilization than the one down: Where the laws of civilized life which had hitherto obtained were being failed to give protection, they would prointroduced. The honored office of coro- tect themselves after whatsoever fashner had been established. It was true ion circumstances dictated and their resources warranted. This was the prin- down an avalanche of débris. Streams ciple recognized by the jury in the ver- of liquid mud course between walls of dict of justifiable homicide, presented cobbles. Here and there the jagged through its foreman in the following edges of the naked rock project-the crude form:
ghastly skeleton of the once comely val“Mr. Crowner – We're 'greed on a vardick. ley. A moving army of human workWe're 'greed that Bummer Bob passed in his checks, ers, picturesquely attired, give it the apand we guess it sarved him right."
pearance of a gigantic ant-hill, and a Time has wrought wondrous changes sound like the unbroken rumbling of since then in Norway Flat and its sur- distant thunder or the suppressed hum roundings. Those who knew the Flat of a bee-hive ascends from these busy only as it was twenty years ago, would scenes. Overlooking the buried Flat no longer be able to point out the spot there stands a new city whose buildings on which it stood, for it is numbered are substantial and elegant, and whose among the mushroom towns which inhabitants enjoy a liberal measure of sprung up in a day to disappear in an ease and comfort. But it bears no name hour. It lies “full fathoms five" deep, calculated to awaken any reminiscence beneath an ocean of tailings, and its foi- of the past. Only the old cemetery on bles and shortcomings have been buried the hill remains unchanged. No desewith it. Every landmark by which it was crating hand has disturbed the ashes of formerly recognized has been obliter- its inmates. Wind and weather only ated. The well-wooded slopes of the have affected its confines, and most of surrounding hills have been denuded by the rude tablets, which rough but kind a class of men of recent in-come, whose hands placed at the heads of the mossviews of enterprise are infinitely broad- grown mounds, have long since mingled er than those of Norway Flat's fosso- with the mold; but in a secluded corner rial pioneers. A net-work of flumes, a weather-worn shingle still stands from scaffolding, pipes, and water - ways cov- which this rudely carved inscription has er deep-furrowed banks, at whose base not been effaced : silvery, fan-like shafts batter, bursting
" DOC, into a shower of splinters, and bringing “THE LAST OF THE PIONEERS OF NORWAY FLAT."
THE ROPE - MAKERS.
It seemed I walked beside the sobbing sea
That breaks upon an edge of barren land,
And as I went I saw before a band
Who heaped the shining grains with either hand,
I saw that they were making ropes of sand ;
One turned upon me pitiful sweet eyes,
By sad experience how quickly flies
These chains wherewith he may be firmly bound.
(BENJAMIN P. AVERY DIED IN PEKING, CHINA, NOVEMBER 8TH, 1875.)
God rest thy soul !
0, kind and pure, Tender of heart, yet strong to wield control,
And to endure !
With us is night
Toil without rest;
The ways are blest.
Close the clear eyes!
No greater woe
Can ever know,
God's peace be thine!
God's perfect peace!
And death shall cease.
Just as our last form goes to press, news comes of the death of Honorable BENJAMIN P. Avery, United States Minister to China, and late editor of the OVERLAND. The shock is so sudden we can hardly realize our friend has gone from our gaze forever. Have the cruel wires lied, or has his gentle spirit passed from this world of care and pain to “ the land where all is peace ?"
Mr. Avery was in many respects a remarkable man. He typified the ripest fruitage of our western thought and culture. He was essentially Californian, but he represented the finer feminine side of California
- California in those gentler moods of which we see too little. He had the freshness without the brusqueness of the frontier spirit. Perhaps no one person did so much to educate the people of the State in the right direction — to lift the thoughts of men above the sordid interests of the hour and the mean ambitions of per. sonal gain. He embodied in his life and character that spirit of a broader culture, purer morals, and loftier aims which constitute the basis of all healthy growth. He loved California with an almost idolatrous love, but lamented its hard materialism, and strove to make it more worthy of its great destiny. And he was unwearying in his efforts to elevate and refine. The hours that other workers gave to rest and recreation he devoted to the building up of new æsthetic interests and the study of those gentler arts that uplift society and smooth down the sharp angles of our western life. He was one of those rare men who are estimated rather below than above their true value. His modesty made him shy; and some people, who but half knew him, made the mistake of thinking he lacked force. No man was more firm in upright purpose – could be more courageous in the assertion of honest conviction. His adherence to principle was firm and uncompromising. He was constitutionally incapable of putting a falsehood in print or perverting facts to partisan uses. His pen was never soiled by an attack upon private character. He abhorred with all the intensity of a pure soul the personalities of journalism.
His capacity for work was marvelous. We can not recall a journalist, with perhaps the exception of the late Henry J. Raymond, who could write so rapidly, yet so pointedly and correctly. His well-stored mind poured forth its treasures in a rapid-flowing copious stream. He was equally ready in all departments of journalistic activity. He was an admirable dramatic critic, was well versed in the elementary principles of music, while in the specialty of art criticism he was without a rival among Californian writers. His editorials were models of clear statement and strong but elegant English, while all that he wrote was pervaded by a cer. tain spirit of candor and a power of moral conscience that compelled attention and carried conviction. While the prevailing tone of his mind was serious, few writers could be more delightfully playful, more charmingly humorous.
Socially Mr. Avery was very lovable. In him all the virtues seemed harmoniously combined. He was absolutely without guile, as he was without vices. His heart overflowed with love for his fellow. He could not bear to think ill of anyone, and if a sense of public duty compelled him to criticise, it was done so kindly, so regretfully, that censure lost half its sting. And his friendships were so firm and steadfast, his trust in those he loved so deep and unquestioning! Who that has felt the grasp of his manly hand, and looked into the quiet depths of his kindly eye, can ever forget the subtile influence that crept like a balm into his soul ? He lived in and for his friends. Caring little for general society, his social world was bounded by a charmed circle of intimates. He was such a delightful companion : so fresh and bright and genial, so apt in repartee, so quaintly witty, so rich in various learning without taint of pedantry. To know him, to be much in his society, to feel the sweet influence of his pure life, was a boon and blessing. He is dead; but the seed of thought and culture he has sown has not fallen on barren ground. His work survives him. The interests he promoted and the institutions he helped found, are living monuments of his beneficent activity. We shall see him no more in the flesh, but his spirit will long be a pervading presence to hosts of loving hearts.
What he should have said is this: O! that And now, as to opinions. mine adversary had written an opinion. Opinions are troublesome. I have had the Then I would have had him. Write a book! measles, mumps, whooping.cough, matrimo. Why, there are books written which even ny, and nearly all the earlier ills that life is “Solomon in all his glory” could make noth. heir to, but now I have got opinions, and ing of, as against friend or foe. But, mark they make the most tedious, uncomfortable you! No sooner did Elihu the Buzite disease I have yet suffered. I do not know (whose tribe is numberless on California how an opinion gets into a fellow, but once Street) arise and even verbally proclaim his in, it is assiduous always, and sometimes opinion, than down went the Buzite, and clamorous, to get out. Once out, if it is a from that hour Job warmed into health, bold opinion, it becomes covered with myri. strength, and prosperity. ad parasitic additions, comments, sneers, Opinions must be supported, or they perfileers, jeers, and then pestilently flies home ish. What opinion had the fellow who bossto roost and riot in the brain where it was ed the contract of building the Sphinx? No hatched or housed.
doubt he had opinions running through his Yet a fellow must have opinions-every- head, as he ordered about the busy swarm of body has them-or the indulgent world will Egyptian onion - eaters, while they hewed, say: “Ha-ka! out upon such a fellow. He hacked, chipped, cut, and carved the myshas no opinions of his own.” As if one man terious image ; but he left his opinions un. in nine hundred ever had an opinion of his supported, and now, like himself, they have own, or was capable of honestly and fully perished. It takes money to support an adopting the unmarred opinion of his neigh- opinion. It costs more to support an opinbor. I tell you, opinions are terrible things. ion than to carry on an ordinary Dutch fam, If a fellow-I say “fellow" instead of man, ily. An opinion without courage behind it because we have in the world of opinion fel. is as a still-born baby — no hope in its earlow-sisters, have we not? — if a fellow has ly beauty, and a mere excuse for a funer. opinions and expresses them, he will, by his al. With courage and plenty of money a very nature, be sensitive about them; and fellow may support an opinion - otherwise then all the callous, ingenious, thick-skinned not. plod-workers will lift up their voices and cry How easy it is to exhort a bold honest out: “Go to. He hath opinions - he hath newspaper : “Give it to them! Your opin. expressed them. Now, verily, shall he live ions are correct.” Alas! thou fool, know. up to his opinions.” Alas! for this poor fel. est thou not that dollars are risked in the ex. low, the days of his peace are numbered; pression and impression of these “correct” his "goose is cooked;" the enemy surrounds opinions? What riskest thou in support of him, demanding not honorable surrender, but, opinions? “Lip," and "lip" only. dancing in critical war - paint and feathers, I mean this for you, O intellectual swag. shouts for his continued slow torture. The gerer! If you had lived in the days of Ga. inconsistent world clamors for consistency. lileo, and the studious old man had met you, Ah me! what a bilk “the world” is. a prosperous upholder of the faith, and, tak.
Job “O'd” for two things — namely, an ing you by the neighborly button, had stepanswer from the Almighty, and a book writ. ped aside to whisper in your ear, “It turns!" ten by his adversary. Now, Job was several "Ah! does it?" you question. thousand years younger than I am, and in “The world is a globe, and turns about, his inexperience failed to express himself. day unto day, with a rapid motion.”