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BC Historical Books

The gold miners, a sequel to the pathless West Herring, Frances E. 1914

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Array     THE   GOLD   MINERS By  Mrs.  F.  E.  HERRING
NOW   READY.
CANADIAN   CAMP   LIFE.
Second Edition.    Crown 8vo.
Illustrated.   Price 3/6.
NAN, AND OTHER PIONEER WOMEN
OF THE WEST.
Crown 8vo.   Price 3/6.
ENA.   A Simple Story of a Girl's Life.
Crown 8vo.    Price 3/6.
THE   GOLD   MINERS.   A  sequel  to  the
" Pathless West."
Crown 8vo.    Price 3/6.
IN   PREPARATION.
AMONG THE  PEOPLES  OF  BRITISH
COLUMBIA.
Second Edition.    Fully Illustrated.
IN THE PATHLESS WEST.
Second Edition.   Fully Illustrated.
London: FRANCIS GRIFFITHS.   THE
GOLD MINERS
A Sequel to The Pathless West
BY
FRANCES   E.   HERRING
With a Preface fay Judge F. V. Howay
LONDON:
FRANCIS   GRIFFITHS
34,    MAIDEN   LANE,    STRAND,    W.C.
1914
j HR
E77   <r&  CONTENTS—Continued.
Visits New York—New Year's Calls
—Makes Mrs. Van Wick's and
Nettie's acquaintance — The
widow's troubles—Jack in love -
The family from New York—The
adroit boarder—The Robbing and
Elopement—Divorce and Marriage
Jack proposes to the widow—Their
marriage the   clever   lawyer	
Return to California   -
Mr. Huddersfield—His bereavement
—Leaves Ireland for the Unitep
States—Public Speaker—His son-
in-law elect — His Daughter's
We:
Mrs. Huddersfield makes new plans
—The little widow—The English
old maid—Mr. Huddersfield takes
the ladies for a drive falls out
with the old maid proposes  to
Bessie—Exeunt  Huddersfield
Jack Gayford provides a home for his
family — Re-union of Jack and
Billy—Sight-seeing in San Francisco—Marriage of Bessie and
Billy — Old Friends in new
quarters ----- LIST  OF   ILLUSTRATIONS
Frances E. Herring - - - Frontispie
Indian Potlatch at Clinton, B.C. - - i
Spence's Bride and Freight Waggons - ;
Mule Team with Freight for Cariboo t
Thompson River Chief -       - (
Indian Encampment
Ox Team at Yale for Cariboo
Seal Rock, Pacific Ocean
mm  PREFACE
No page of history is more replete with varied
incident than that which records the story of the
Pacific slope from 1849 to 1875. It was a mad race
for gold. In this hurly-burly, British Columbia occupies a very prominent position, though the conditions
were totally different from those prevailing in California, not only politically and climatically, but socially.
Without its golden magnet, California had, for years,
been drawing a steady draft of population across the
praries; British Columbia on the other hand, was the
fur-preserve of the Hudson Bay Company, and such it
would doubtless have remained, until in the gradual
process of evolution our race should have advanced
beyond the praries and through the mountain wall.
In the spring of 1858, news spread abroad that the
nameless region, through which flowed the Fraser,
contained Andavari's hoard. Nothing could have been
more opportune.
In California, the days of placer mining had passed
away. They had been succeeded by quartz and
hydraulic mining—in which the individual miner has
no place. Stagnation reigned. Dissatisfaction and
despondency possessed the mining population. Very
joyfully therefore they hailed the rising of the new
yellow star in the North.
mm
1 to PREFACE
The remoteness, the mere inaccessibility of the Eraser
with its golden sands, added a charm—were in some
strange way regarded as evidence of a rich region,—for
the North ever lured the miner, as the West lured the
mariner.
At once began an inrush of eager fortune hunters.
Within three months some thirty thousand persons
crowded into the unorganized territory then loosely
called New Caledonia. By every kind of conveyance
on land and water they hurried to El Dorado. No
nation was unrepresented in that gathering. Oh! what
a motley crowd they were! eager adventurers blown
from the four corners of the earth. Thirty thousand
moths fluttering " round a yellow candle!"
In an instant the whole face of British Columbia
was changed, as though Aladdin had rubbed his lamp
and bidden its obedient Genii to people the land. Up
the Fraser the miners made their way, testing and trying
with pan and rocker every bar and every bench upon
its banks. The awful and forbidding canyons deterred
them not. Upward, still upward, with unabated zeal,
toiled the more adventurous, remorselessly, relentessly
following the trail of the Gold. Close upon their
heels came the trader and the packer; and behind them
the representatives of law and order.
Within two years the Gold had been traced to his
lair amid the mountain fastnesses of Cariboo. In that
region of
" Crags, knolls, and mounds confusedly hurled,
The remnants of an earlier world," PREFACE u
he made his last stand. Hidden sixty and seventy feet
below the surface, he thought himself safe. But with
indomitable perseverance the search went on, and soon
the glittering metal was dragged from his hiding place
to reward the toilers and serve the purpose of man.
The Cariboo region lay some four hundred miles
beyond Yale, the head of navigation on the Fraser.
To enable access to be obtained to its rich creeks, the
Cariboo road was constructed. Built in three years by
an infant colony at an expense of over a million dollars,
through a region some portions of which scarcely
afforded foothold for a goat, it was alike the pride of the
colony and a source of wonder and admiration to its
visitors. Along that mighty highway a tide of restless
humanity serged forward and backward, to and from
the  great gold  fields.
The story of those days is as Joaquin Miller says:
"A  tale  half  told  and  hardly  understood,
A tale it is, of lands of gold
That lay towards the sun."
The bald facts, the bare statistics of the time are
only the dry bones—the skeleton—of the story. The
local color which is necessary to make that strange,
rough, yet gentle, life, understood by those of to-day,
can only be given by one who has lived and moved
in that time and amongst that people.
The author of this book has been for many years a
resident of British Columbia, and has enjoyed an unique
opportunity of becoming acquainted with that life, by
personal contact with many of its principal actors, who
have long since stepped off the stage.
^
1
, 12 PREFACE
"Old timers" will recognise, even through the veil,
many  of  the  incidents  she  mentions.     For  instance,
> Chapter IV. will recall to their memory the trial and
conviction of one Barry for the murder of his travelling companion, a trial which owing to the peculiar
_ evidence, attracted much attention at the time.
Judge F. W. Howay.
New Westminster, B.C.,
April gth, 1913. THE   GOLD   MINERS
HERDING    CATTLE
When we last heard of Billy he had just returned
from his enforced sojourn among the Northern Indians
of British Columbia, was dressed in the queer conglomeration of garments given him by the sailors on
board the southbound Hudson's Bay ship, and he was
looking for work.
With the few dollars which had been collected for
him on board he replaced the more glaringly conspicuous
articles of his dress, and with the assistance of his old
friend Mrs. Ackers, who, it will be remembered declined
to put on " French and frills," some even of these were
made to do service.
It was one of the very hard winters occasionally
experienced here, and Billy was glad to get employment from a butcher till the " spring broke" which
was then the sign for activities to be renewed.
As these activities consisted in mining, clearing land,
making roads, surveying and mapping out the new
country, those so employed, naturally flocked to the
little city for the winter, where some semblance of
private hospitality and public amusement could be
obtained.
1 i4 THE   GOLD   MINERS
Men went out in large parties to their different
employments in May, and naturally they required big
supplies of beef, so it occurred to the butcher for whom
Billy worked, to drive a band of cattle out into the
country, where there was any amount of grass to be
had for nothing, to kill his stock as it was required, and
make the cattle " pack themselves" to the scene of
their slaughter.
Billy was promised twenty-five dollars a month if
he would go along as general handy man or boy.
The offer was tempting, and the lad accepted it with
something of misgiving. A herd of range cattle was
brought out over the Hope Trail, and driven to a point
along the river, whence the beef could be easily
distributed by steamboat or trail.
It was a long and arduous drive, and they had but
one pack horse to carry tent, blankets, pots, kettles and
provisions.
The butcher was a large, heavy man, but he
frequently burdened the quiet old mare with his own
weight, promising Billy they would ride, turn and turn
about; for the lad was by this time bare footed and
limped painfully along. But Bill's turn and turn about
was infrequent and of short duration.
They journeyed very slowly in order to let the
animals feed as they went, and stopped early enough
to collect the band, and give to each a handful of salt,
as they seldom left the spot where this much desired
delicacy had been served until the sun rose next morning, usually lying down till then.
A good sale of dressed beef having been made to the
Government road party, the butcher made it an excuse   THE   GOLD   MINERS
to go to town for supplies; as indeed they were running
pretty short.
The Indians of the different tribes used to plant their
potatoes in the most easily worked patches of land on
their reservations.
These potato patches were surrounded by fences of
split cedar some six feet high. As they had no knowledge of the use of nails, they sharpened the split cedar
at one end, drove them into the ground, usually at any
angle that came easiest, and to any depth for the same
reason. The effect of this rude construction can be
imagined.
They left the old men and squaws to look after these
attempts at cultivation, and also to catch, dry and smoke
salmon, gather berries, which, like the salmon, they
dried in the sun for winter use.
The younger ones took their families and camped
near the saw mills and logging camps, where the
stalwart braves earned good wages while the inclination
for work was upon them.
The Siwash never went on any excursion for work
or pleasure, without his squaw and papooses. You
would see the Fraser River Indians coming down, their
canoes piled with all their household goods and chattels,
even to the dogs and chickens. Camping where night
overtook them, or, if the weather was bad, making for
the community house of some friendly tribe.
As Billy and his Boss journeyed back from delivering their beef, they came upon a potato patch, and
helped themselves to some of the tubers.
The Boss, in all probability, had imbibed sufficient
whiskey at the road camp to make him morose, for he 16 THE   GOLD   MINERS
rode the mare all the way, making Billy chase the
cattle into line.
But Billy had one small help, and that was the colt;
it would follow its mother, and poor tired Billy hung
on to its tail and made it pull him up hill, and over
the roughest places.
They stopped for the mid-day meal, and as they had
but one pot which was intended for the making of tea
or coffee, they had to cook some of the purloined
potatoes in it first.
The Boss undertook this delicate operation himself,
while Billy brought up wood, and fried the bacon.
Re-arranging his fire, the Boss overturned the kettle
and its contents, sending a cloud of steam into his face
and eyes, and putting him into a rage, he kicked the
unfortunate kettle over the precipice, and then began
to wonder how they would get any tea.
He ordered Billy down after it, but Billy, creeping
to the edge, looked down at the little black speck away
below, and declined to essay the venture. It was in
vain to threaten to chuck Billy after it.
In that case the Boss had to meander down after it
himself.
This put him in an evil temper for the day, and when
they started again, he rode the mare and Billy hung on
to the tail of the colt.
They came to the last steep descent before their final
camp by the Fraser, and the Boss sent Billy ahead to
urge the cattle to cross a ford in the stream which
rushes down to join the main  river.
One animal, with great branching horns and staring
eyes, seemed to have taken a special antipathy to Billy, THE   GOLD   MINERS 17
and instead of going towards the ford, turned and
chased the boy, who thought not only his last hour, but
his last minute had arrived.
With the instinct of self-protection, Billy saw a huge
log ahead of him with a hollow beneath. He threw
himself into this and rolled under just as the bull's
horns made an impact upon the fallen monster. Over
went the bull, and in his astonishment,  forgot Billy.
All the cattle were taken over, the provisions and
blankets carefully carried by the Boss to keep them dry,
and the old mare had been repacked with it all, when
a terrified whinny came from the colt, which had been
forgotten.
The mare called and the colt started to swim over,
but came into contact with the forked limb of a huge
tree which had fallen into the creek, and there, with
its head over the fork and its feet frantically pawing
the water, it whinned for help.
They knew it would be of no use to try to get the
mare to go off and leave her colt, so saying many
unpleasant things, the Boss sent Billy to crawl along
the tree trunk and extricate the little animal.
In his own excitement, the Boss let go the mare,
and away she started pack and all into the deep water
after the colt. She managed to release the poor little
creature and swam back to shore with it.
But alas for her pack, the blankets were soaked, the
sugar had disappeared, the flour and tea were wet,—
only the salt, or part of it which was packed upon the
top being left. The rage of the Boss was beyond
control, he seized a butcher knife and racing after the
colt threatened to kill it, but the colt kept out of his
1   i
J. 18 THE   GOLD   MINERS
reach, and they arrived at their final camping place,
set up camp, and the Boss got upon one of the rivei
steamboats and made his escape to town.
Billy, left alone with the cattle, pitched his tent near
the trail on the edge of the forest, and every night went
and laid handfuls of salt in a circle on the ground.
Soon he would see a pair of horns push their way
through the underbrush, then others, till the circle
seemed enclosed by branching horns and staring eyes,
and Billy, as he cooked his supper by the lone camp
fire, shivered as he looked. Then the animals would
venture into the open one by one, and the stillness was
broken as each crashed out and took up its stand where
the salt had been placed, and in the morning the ground
would be licked into a hole, by which the animals had
laid down and slept till dawn.
One evening Billy was cooking his supper, and with
it some of the stolen potatoes, when a form appeared,
coming up out of the forest trail.
It came silently on and others followed. They
stopped at his camp, took off the kettle of potatoes, fried
all the bacon that was left, squatted round and eat
everything they could lay hands on. Billy knew enough
of the Indians not to cross them, and he stood by, only
hoping they would leave something for him.
Supper finished they searched his camp, took the
blankets and even the battered kettle, and were marching off, when one of them spied Bill's waistcoat.
Now Billy loved red, and among his winter purchases
had been a red wool waistcoat, as they were then called.
The Indians made a sign for him to take it off. Very
slowly the lad complied, and was left with no g THE   GOLD   MINERS 19
but his cotton shirt upon him, and that his good friend,
Mrs. Ackers, had made out of flour sacks, and the
Indians disdained it.
Fortunately an old coat of the Bosses was left hanging up under the tree where the apparyo and bridle for
the mare had been placed, and Billy rolled himself in
that and went supperless to sleep, congratulating himself upon the fact that the Indians had left the tent.
But his troubles were not over for the night. As
he slept he became conscious of a rumbling noise, and
then the ground seemed to shake under him, and when
he opened his eyes the stars were shining above him,
and fleeing forms were passing down the forest trail in
wild confusion.
The cattle had stampeded.
After the last hoof had passed Billy followed a little
way down the trail and came upon what was left of
his tent.
Reflecting that the cattle could not go far in misdirection, and it would be useless to follow them, he
put up his tent as best he could to shelter him from the
heavy dews and slept till morning.
Searching his camp ground he found a few potatoes
and a little rice. The latter was useless as he had
nothing to cook it in, and he roasted some potatoes for
his breakfast.
Then he made his way to the river, and signalled |
passing boat, by hoisting his shirt upon a stick.
The Captain came in near enough to hail him, and
hearing of his plight sent him several garments and
some supplies ashore in a boat, and promised to take him ao THE   GOLD   MINERS
and the cattle to town next trip down, if the Boss had
not put in an appearance by then.
The Savages had left the salt as it was away from
Bill's camp, so he spread it round in hopes the cattle
would remember and come back for it, which they did,
but whether they were all there or not was more than
he could tell.
When the Captain called on his way down the Boss
had arrived with supplies, but Billy refused to remain
with him and went down with the boat to town.
When confronted by Billy at the Captain's instigation with a bill for his wages, he declared he had only
promised fifteen dollars a month, and this was all he
would pay. CHAPTER   n
WORKING   FOR   THE   JEW—-INDIANS    BUYING INDIAN
POTLATCH
Now if there was anything the "old-timers" despised,
it was a Jew. One of these people had a store on the
water front, and did a big trade with the Indians. He
also possessed a squaw wife, to whom he had been duly
married by the Priest who had lived among and taught
her tribe, and there was a numerous family.
No one was more despised than the squaw-man, even
by the Indians themselves, and Nathan Cons was also
deeply abhorred by the whites. He was too successful
for one thing, and for another, none of these simple
minded people could put their wits against his in a
business transaction; for Cons always came out ahead.
As some said, they had the experience, but Cons had
the cash.
Billy was just the person he was looking for, he
could speak Chinook, and he understood handling the
Indians. Time seemed to be an unknown quantity
with them, and they would squat around for hours,
making up their minds what they wanted, or perhaps
only listlessly feeling an interest in the place or the
stock, or the store keeper.
The only piece of advice Cons gave Billy was this; 22 THE   GOLD   MINERS
"When Siwashes want to buy something, don't leave
them. Make the first sale, even if you lose by it: for
if they quit without buying what they start on, you'll
likely get none of their trade; but if they make a start,
you'll likely clean 'em out before they get away.
Throw in a chunk of tobacco for the bucks, needles
and thread for the squaws, and sticks of peppermint
candy for the papooses."
The Indians were great for wearing charms against
sickness. One day a big buck was standing round the
store, and Billy became conscious of a strong odour of
skunk. As it was nothing unusual for one of the
animals to inhabit the roof of the one story shack, and
chase the mice and rats over the calico ceiling, Billy
took no notice for a time, but finding the proximity
of the buck increased the unpleasantness, he noticed,
when the Siwash let his blanket, the only covering he
was wearing, fall back, that he displayed the pretty
black and white skin of a skunk, like that of a kitten,
tied round his neck.
Billy called his attention to the fact. He grinned
and remarked, " Na-wit-ka. Hyas shookum humm.
Halo shick turn turn." (Yes, big strong smell. No sick
heart me.)
Billy thought if smell had anything to do with preserving him, the Siwash had a good chance to escape
infection of any kind; for the smell of the skunk is
particularly nauseating; people have been known to
collect woosted and woosted rags and burn them in a
closed room, thinking the odour, unpleasant as it is,
preferable to that of the skunk.
But Billy had made a hit with the man, who returned THE   GOLD   MINERS 23
with a number of his tribe, headed by a decrepit, malodorous old squaw, whose tatters would not have covered
her, had she not worn the usual blanket, fastened at
the nether with a huge bone pin, such as the Indians
carved out  for  themselves.
This lot stood around for a while, and then squatting
in a circle, made Billy understand they wanted blankets.
Following Cons' instructions, he handed out sticks of
candy to the papooses, and passed around soda crackers
to the elders. They held the crackers in their hands
and looked at Billy, who was at a loss to know what
was lacking. When one of them said " mel-ass"
(molasses) and he handed them a jug of " black strap,"
as the special brand of molasses these people affected,
was called.
They regaled on the crackers till the jug of molasses,
which they kept passing round, was exhausted; then,
wiping their hands and mouths on their blankets and
clothes, they proceeded with the business which had
brought them to the store.
The decrepit old squaw, who sat at the head, intimated that a bale of blankets must be opened. They,
would not think of buying a whole, unopened bale at
once, as they would be perfectly incapable of adding
up the sum total for one thing, and for another, the
joy of the barter would be of too short duration.
Billy opened a bale of blue Hudson's Bay blankets.
No; the squaw wanted red. He passed the first one to
the woman. She examined its ends, sides and middle,
and passed it on around the squatting circle. The
blanket, being without flaw, was accepted; and the
squaw, diving among her rags, brought out the price. I
24 THE   GOLD   MINERS
So it went on for hours. Cons looked in once, and
fearing to break the spell, went noiselessly out.
Having obtained all the blankets she required, the
squaw proceeded to lay in a stock of crackers and
molasses, tea, sugar and so on for a potlatch. She had
no doubt been saving all the money she could lay hands
on for many years, in order to give this great potlatch
to her tribe, and die as its chief.
She handed out the price of each article in silver half
dollars, as it was approved of and passed to her
collection.
The Indians were doubtful of paper money. Two
of them were being paid for work done. One had
earned fifteen dollars, the other six. The white foreman
handed the former a ten dollar and a five dollar note,
to the other he passed six one dollar bills.
"What for!" objected the first. "Johnny got big
money," and the paymaster had to hunt up half dollar
pieces and pay them in the coin they understood. It
was a remarkable thing they could only count to twenty-
five.
Mox totlum pe quimim; i.e., two tens and a five.
Anything more that was beyond their calculation. The
way they kept accounts among themselves was by a
notched stick, either for number of days or dollars,
cutting a notch as a day went by, or a dollar was paid.
Billy frequently had to carry a box of silver into his
room behind the store, and being too tired to count it,
would push it under his bed till morning.
One night he was wakened by a scratching noise,
and woke up with the idea that some one was getting
jn at the insecure window.    He lighted a candle and THE   GOLD   MINERS 25
looked somewhat fearfully around, but finding the noise
came from overhead, among the rafters, waited and
trembled. Looking up he saw a bright eye peering
down, through a hole in the canvas ceiling, and at first
took it for a mouse and threw something at it, when
his mind was speedily set at rest on that point as the
penetrating odour of skunk filled the air, and finding it
was nothing more he went thankfully to sleep till daylight, when he got up, counted the contents of the soap
box, and locked it carefully away in the safe.
Now Con had a partner in his business, who was
mate on one of the river steamers, and his part on the
conder was to collect orders as he went up and down
the Fraser. He was a man of gigantic stature, and he
possessed one of the ugliest squaws in the country, one-
eyed, bad tempered, and masterful. When she became
too obstreperous he would beat her into what he considered a proper frame of mind. He had been occupied
in this pleasing manner upon his return from his last
trip up country, then to salve his conscience, had gone
off on a gambling bout.
Billy had hardly locked up the safe and hidden the
key away when the mate, red eyed for want of sleep,
and furious from his nights losses, rushed in and
demanded the key of the safe, which consisted of a box
built of stone and fitted with an iron door. He wanted
fifteen hundred dollars right away—and marched to the
puny lad threatening all sorts of dire calamities if Billy
refused to comply with his gentle request.
But Billy refused, and escaped through his bedroom
window, the key in his pocket, and set off for the home
of Cons. 26
THE   GOLD   MINERS
The latter being afraid to face his partner in the
half demented condition in which he was, stayed in the
back ground till after the steam boat had started on its
trip, and the uproarious mate with it. CHAPTER   III
MAKES   A   NEW   FRIEND   AND   TRAVELS   WITH    HIM    TO
THE   CARIBOO   GOLD   FIELDS
Billy made many acquaintances in the store of Nathan
Cons, mostly men outfitting for the Cariboo Gold
Fields. Up to the present none had appealed to him
except a young fellow, some ten years his senior, who
had just returned from San Francisco where he had
been to spend the winter and to board with some New
York people, whom he had met on his outward trip.
He had given his name as Jack, and as he had been
known in Cariboo, so was called Cariboo Jack, and no
one asked for any other name; indeed, it was sometimes
unsafe to inquire into the antecedents of these roving
Cariboo Jack seemed to have no boon companions,
and often dropped into Cons store to buy some household necessities, and he and Billy became quite good
chums. Naturally Jack talked of Cariboo, and of the
wonderful strikes some of the miners happened upon,
seldom mentioning the total wrecks and failures of the
majority.
For himself he had made good wages, and was returning thither as soon as the season opened, and the river
boats and stages again plied to that El Dorado. 28 THE   GOLD   MINERS
Billy became inspired with the gold fever too, and
made up his mind to travel with Jack. Billy had saved
his wages while at Nathan Cons, but they did not amount
to much, and the Cariboo trip was very expensive.
Jack being of an economical turn of mind, they decided
to take the stage as far as Billy could pay for, and then
to foot it the rest of the way into Richfield, the mining
centre of the Cariboo district. So one fine morning in
May saw them on board an up river boat prepared to do
or die. Billy, with a boy's romance had provided himself with wide sombrero, ill-becoming his small face and
slight figure, a heavy blue German shirt, a cartridge belt,
with a pistol stuck in a belt on one side and a bowie
knife on the other much as he had seen some of the
most admired braves in the Indian camps up the coast.
Cariboo Jack eyed him with a smile, but said not a
word. Billy also carried a carpet bag in one hand, a
concertina in the other, and a roll of blankets on his
back.
Thus equipped he felt equal to any emergency, and
all went well till they reached Yale, and Billy was
charged twenty-five cents per pound for his baggage.
Now this would have cleaned him out. He couldn't
afford to leave his clothing behind, so he retired for a
few minutes, donned all the clothing he could and
stuffed the rest into his pockets. Carried in this way,
although uncomfortable, it was not looked upon as
baggage, and indeed Billy only filled half the space some
of the sturdy miners occupied.
Travelling by stage and boat the two came to what
Cariboo Jack considered the end of their tether, and they
saw the stage drive off without them, at 4 a.m. one THE   GOLD   MINERS 29
morning, leaving to plod through the snow, carrying
their belongings on their backs.
The snow became soft as soon as the day wore on,
and their going was correspondingly difficult.
They arrived at a roadside house some hours after
dark, very cold and hungry, and found two other
travellers ahead of them.
They paid their dollar each for a supper of bacon and
beans, soggy bread and boiled tea, and enquired for a
bed. "Well," said the hotel keeper, " they's on'y one
bed in the house to spare, and if you four men can
make out on it, it'll on'y cost a dollar a-piece."
The four accordingly mounted the rough ladder to
shelter under the roof, and found a single mattress and
half a blanket
It was better than being out in the open, that was all
you could say about the accommodation before them.
The four eyed the mattress, and then looked each
other over.
One of the men threw himself down, apparently to
see how much the others would stand. He soon found
himself booted off that, and consented to take the mattress lengthwise, lay upon it their heads and shoulders
and so make out for the night
They were up before four o'clock, getting a breakfast
the counterpart of their last night's supper and at the
same price.
They secured all the pieces left when the landlord's
back was turned, and made sure of the midday meal they
had missed the day before. Several days and nights thus
spent brought them nearer Barkerville, and Billy found
it harder each  day  to keep  up  with  Cariboo  Jack, 30 THE   GOLD   MINERS
although the latter carried the boy's carpet bag and
helped him along all he could. Billy, footsore and
weary, begged Cariboo Jack to let him lie down and
sleep, but as it would have been an act of suicide,
Cariboo Jack insisted on the outward rush; brandishing a stick over the exhausted lad, and threatening
to lick him out of his skin if he refused to proceed.
Past all threats and too drowsy with the cold and
fatigue, Billy stretched himself out on the snow, his
concertina under his head, deaf to threat or persuasion.
Cariboo Jack couldn't carry him, nor would he leave
him.    What to do he didn't know.
After standing for some time in perplexity, he heard
the welcome sound of sleigh bells, and driving up on
the trail came the most noted gambler of the region.
He was wrapped in fur coat and cap, and was being
drawn along behind a pair of good horses.
He stopped by the man and boy, and wanted to know
" what the hell was the matter now." His tone was
not encouraging, and his words not very cordial, but
under the gambler's roughness was the brunt of the good
Samaritan. Finding not a tragedy, but only an
exhausted boy, he got out, helped to lift Billy to the footboard, climbed in again, took off his fur coat, wrapped
it round the forlorn and freezing boy, and took him
into Barkerville, had him fed and put warmly to bed.
There was no room for Cariboo Jack, but what did
he care, he trudged in a few hours afterwards, carrying
Billy's truck and his own, and located himself in a cabin
he knew of on the hillside, he was joined by Billy and
the two proceeded to make themselves comfortable.
Now Billy's mining life began.      The two would
L THE   GOLD   MINERS 31
come out of a shaft so covered with mud, you would
hardly distinguish humanity from its original clay. One
night Billy was awakened by a splashing outside the
cabin, and awakened Jack to know what it could be.
" Only the fellers taking a bath in that other old
cabin I guess," replied Jack sleepily, and was again in
dreamland.
The splashing kept on, and Billy thought to himself, " Those fellows must be very fond of using cold
water," when he felt the cabin rock, water gushed in
and the two comrades were thrown from their bunks
to the floor.
Jack was wide awake enough though now, and called,
"Grab your clothes and run." But the cabin was
jammed over on its side, and they crawled through the
window, for Billy to find he had left his purse under
his pillow with what little money he had in them.
Against Jack's advice he returned, struck a match,
and received his precious articles, but the cabin turned
over again, fortunately the door upwards this time,
through which he escaped and landed just in time to
see the water burst its bounds and carry the cabin
surging down the creek. Such a narrow escape upset
Billy's idea of the romance of mining, and he resolved
to seek more congenial employment.
He found it with a German who kept a general store
and batched in the back part of it
Part of Billy's duties at this time was to cook dinner.
Now, though potatoes and bread were very dear, beef
was comparatively cheap, as it was brought up the
hoof, killed and stowed away in natural cold storage.
So this German would have say two roasts of meat, and 32 THE   GOLD   MINERS
insist upon both being cooked the same day, but only
seven potatoes all the same size were carefully doled
out, and these were supplemented by the everlasting
boiled beans.
Billy was serving in this store, equipped in his cowboy costume, his pistol and knife proudly in evidence,
when the chief of police, a big red-headed, good-natured
Scotchman, one of the sappers and miners came along,
and asked him in no measured terms, what he was
masqueraded in that get up for, and advised him to get
into his usual togs.
This Billy did, for if there was one thing the boy
could not stand, it was ridicule.
Billy wanted to cook a lot of potatoes, so as to have
some cold to fry for breakfast, but no; the storekeeper'd
say, " To-morrow! you not know to-morrow come.
To-day! To-day! Get ready for to-day. Perhaps no
to-morrow."  V*P?EB CHAPTER   IV
Everyone had to repair to the post office to get their
own mail, and while waiting there one day Billy saw a
gigantic woman enter, look around, and then fire a pistol
at a man near him. Some one put out the lights, and
others, near the woman, secured her arms.
When the lights were put on again, men were seen
crowding to the door, flat on their faces, or hiding behind
the counter from which the mail was distributed.
Big Bertha, however, broke away from her captors,
and seizing the newly lighted lamp hurled it at the
offender, who it seemed after marrying her had gone
off with another woman.
Poor thing, her real story was pitiful enough, and no
one would wonder at the state of mind to which she
had been reduced.
People often remarked that through all her vicissitudes
an old mulatto always stayed by her; till it transpired
that he was her uncle. After this white man had
married in the South, and spent all her white father's
money, he had taken her to   City, and made her
get his living for him, and then abused her in return.
Fortunately for her the old uncle traced her up, and
as Big Bertha decided if she had to get her living on
the downward grade on which the man who should have 34 THE   GOLD   MINERS
held her sacred, had started her, she would keep the
proceeds herself.
Occasionally, however, in fits of remorse or fury, she
would drink herself beyond control, and then in her
mighty strength and her fierce anger, no one but the
old coloured man could soothe her.
The only punishment meted out to her for her
escapade, was a warning to leave the place which she
did. Some years afterwards she was seen near New
Orleans, living quietly, with the old uncle a shining
light in the Free Methodist Church, presided over by
an attentuated coloured pastor, who was paying his
respects to the wealthy widow of his community. For
Big Bertha always had her savings bank account.
When accosted by this man who had known her in
the North, she looked at him seriously and said, " I
was driven by one man to get my living through many
men. Most women get their living, in the same way
by one man." Adding after a moment's reflection, " I
dare say you have no call to ' cast the first stone at me.' "
He knew he had no call to cast it, and had the grace
to go and leave her to such peace as could come to her. (amounted to*£j'ers* returning" >j^. »
"vSSi? atter having "blown to    tn-
^e^ot ""SSets  and  "JgJj^gSa to
^V^nch^nslorteUoS when *.   ,
5?^>
venlence.    Sg-ch ^^Jcant   covering   in
,_.„ „„„ comfort w«"«
1 "doubling uPj.J'gstead of one only
o^rtbe^gf^^e5
iTOany such parties
the Cariboo road
„. »jcu:■-»-—l«i,oi«ted of three in-
J one of them ^S^SS^ Blessing,
o^id«*1^5Srton Mo^and James
Dudley Washington _^ Canadian from
Now
pile
of hird
•  -   ™ .,CT„«r „^-Canadian from
bufltjeuow^who^^^       ^ an im^ ,ad made his
por^-"-   - — „, 'mtteraU°barber,  en- bd  no  trace
I «*«* JS^.^rtSn gift of the «-
-^nf obS^Sol^d &j§| friend i
?2!L~Ar.;5fs.    Barry    w_M    an     «££ (,uraUy   some
had  not
wnom»»"^dn®ss'wittiout' means.    -   —.--- .
1 American,   "', . Vin.   but.   for   that
SUSpici&what  »U-*£trf these hastily-formed
V   . g matter, »<»*_?/„  were more or less
Started | traveUingP^6^^ had no money;
Smitf fe was dead broke   and Blr~
i   , I erously   cam8
started ■*■-"— *«
irted | looted the bills.at »• way^   f^
Some n1 ^Se.   and   "J^^^A**.
ralH
qulte'easy for Mose^l
hy "bartering
nvrr   -  K^SSSronttie  "ad.    And  thus
^^ r the luxury  of
o reasonable ■"
* him Bfe-ein^^and^arr^leftV
lexpress, had
ion to take
to find him-
I started out
[dler waited
On
same.
ie upon
j burly,
nJSrSSntoJw ^^Se^Sr^'oiitrouble and
good-na  few who  we^ ^^°^ ^asonable di-2     i„nripned
™nr(«e shaving-<r trtmmea ^     fe     d cr©pS|g  happened
expresse^^ons^flowmg b  ^ so^ers?^ ,
r journey, I
J at Quesnei.    jl..v,^,.„0	
>n  to hi him there and continued t_
.    . «fety miles to Barkerville. u**w«-«u
A  fewf "Don't wait for me,  Mistuh Bless-
.] ing!   I'll  see you In Barkerville in a
en   wit; few days," said Moses. 'i tflo„
"Hullo
chum?'!
&*Z*£T5«   ^nftenerS
color,   education,   tastes   ana   geuew
attributes between tttjr"
^ther^BTes^
Isturdy   ^d^pende
i, Blessing a
■ne liking — .•
sspected   the I
ply his trade I ,
m _   illow another
to W fofl thSET and Moses admired \
the geniality and.generosity of t
strapping  r^  -ai-" ' 34 THE   GOLD   MINERS
held her 6acred, had started her, she would keep the
proceeds herself.
Occasionally, however, in fits of remorse or fury, she
would drink herself beyond control, and then in her
mighty strength and her fierce anger, no one but the
3   old coloured man could soothe her.
I       The  only  punishment  meted  out   to  her   for   her
.   escapade, was a warning to leave the place which she
did.    Some years afterwards she was seen  near New
^^ Orleans, living quietly, with the old uncle a shining
]   light in the Free Methodist Church, presided over by
- -1 an  attentuated  coloured  pastor,   who  was  paying  his
, J"} \3   respects to the wealthy widow of his community.    For
H     ^   Big Bertha always had her savings bank account
I    p?"      When accosted by this man who had known her in
|§& /*    the North, she looked at him seriously and said, " I
y was driven by one man to get my living through many
U   ' /     men.    Most women get their living, in the same way
by one man."    Adding after a moment's reflection, " I
i   ~^      dare say you have no call to ' cast the first stone at me.'"
|f  A'      He knew he had no call to cast it, and had the grace
J!    J       to go and leave her to such peace as could come to her. ,     «-»o»oop io a2q^„8"Pf aa>s1 si
lulu,"*9'1-***    ^WotT*"1*
« os jo pooIq £,*   "ewaa
-P09J *q ^rmtT!^ "* '■*,»
too.
CHAPTER   V
the murder of smith addler
Now a miner named Smith Addler, who had made his
pile, disappeared on his trip to the coast, and no trace
of him could be found. He, however, had a friend with
whom he had mined and batched, and naturally some
suspicion attached to this man, although he had not
started down with  him.
Smith Addler sending on his gold dust by express, had
started to walk to Barkerville alone.
When at a wayside house he had occasion to take
some money from his belt, he was surprised to find himself not alone in the room. The stranger started out
to walk with Smith Addler. If Smith Addler waited
over a day or two the stranger did the same. On
reaching another wayside house Smith Addler came upon
Moses, a coloured barber from Barkerville, a big, burly,
good-natured fellow, to whom he told his trouble and
expressed his fear, telling Moses if anything happened
to him it would be caused by this man. Moses went
on to his destination and returned to Barkerville.
A few days later Moses met Bertog, whom he had
seen with Smith Addler in the streets of Barkerville.
" Hullo! I see you've got in. What's become of your
chum?" 36 THE   GOLD   MINERS
"Oh!" returned Bertog, " got cold feet. Couldn't
wait for him, left him behind." No more notice was
taken of this till several days later, when Moses again
met Bertog, and asked, " Has your chum got in yet?"
Bertog got angry at Moses, and said, "It's none o' your
business. What do I know about him. I'm not
lookin' after him am I? If you mention him to me
again, I'll blow yer black head off!"
This disturbed Moses, and he began to have strong
suspicions that everything was not as it should be.
In the meantime Smith Addler's former mate had
been to one of the Dance Halls, and there while dancing with one of the girls noticed upon her hand Smith
Addler's ring, and fastened in her dress a gold nugget
pin. Of the latter he was very positive, as the pin had
been broken off, and the jeweller in mending it had
set the nugget wrong end up. He supposed Smith
Addler had given them to her, but he asked carelessly,
"Where did you get this pin and ring?" To his
surprise she told him Bertog had given them to her,
and had also left some blankets there, and told her she
could have them if she liked. Dobs asked to see them,
and also recognised them as Smith Addler's.
Now Moses' was the only barber shop in Barkerville,
so of course all affairs, important or trivial were discussed there. When Dobs required the services of Moses
he told the old man about the finding of Smith Addler's
effects in possession of the dancing girl, and of her
confession as to where she got them. Moses was so
much disturbed that he couldn't go to bed, and he sat
in his barber's chair, thinking over the matter, till he
fell asleep. THE   GOLD   MINERS 37
In the front of the shop was a small window; glass
being very expensive, no windows were of a conspicuous
size.    This window of course looked on to the side^
walk.
Moses dreamed that he saw Smith Addler, pass by
and look in. So realistic was the dream that he instantly
jumped up, ran to the door and opened it, intending to
call Smith Addler, but of course there was no Smith
Addler on the sidewalk.
Moses went back to his chair still pondering over this
strange illusion, when, soon after daylight, the little
mining sheet that was printed in the town began to be
distributed, and his copy was pushed under the door.
He got up and reached for it. The first thing that
caught his eye was—spot of red blood, and looking
closer he saw it was right over Smith Addler's name.
The paper contained an account of his disappearance.
Moses was too excited to work, he found no rest, he felt
certain that Bertog had killed Smith Addler.
He' went out and made enquiries around the townj
but nothing could be heard of him. Finally he decided
to go and see Judge Bell at Richfield, the official residence of the judge and police, and where the court
house was situated.
Judge Bell at the time being sick, Lindsay, the chief
constable, met Moses who told him he wanted to see
Judge Bell.
Constable Lindsay said, "You can't see him Moses,
he's pretty sick."
But Moses persisted, " I must see him, I've got something to say to him; you go and tell him I must see
him; if he can see you, he can see me." 38 THE   GOLD   MINERS
Lindsay reported to the Judge what Moses said to
him, and the Judge ordered Moses to be admitted.
Moses related to the Judge all the circumstances as
he knew them, and gave it as his opinion that Bertog.
had murdered Smith Addler.
The Judge immediately ordered the arrest of Bertog.
After a long search they found him, and he was taken
to New Westminster and jailed. He was tried at the
assizes and pleaded not guilty. There being little or
no evidence to commit him, he might have gotten off,
but a miner running short of meat, went into the woods
to shoot grouse. One that he shot fell upon a pile of
brush and leaves, and in picking up the bird, the man
caught sight of-some clothing showing under the brush.
Upon investigation it proved to be the body of Smith
Addler, with a bullet hole in the back of the head. The
body lay not far from a trail through the forest that
was used as a short cut.
Near the body was a log upon which it was surmised
the two men had rested and apparently eaten their midday meal. When they arose Bertog had shot his companion in the back of the head, and securing his money
and portable goods had made the short distance into
Barkerville alone.
Bertog was taken back to Barkerville and confronted
with the evidences of his guilt White and trembling
he made full confession, and the extreme penalty of
the law was meted out to him. CHAPTER   VI
EXIT   MINERS   FOR   THE   WINTER—THE   THEFT   OF   THE
SILVER   SPOONS
Now the brief Northern summer was drawing to a
close, but the supplies were running short, and nothing
being brought in by mule team and covered waggons
but straight whiskey. Flour was one dollars worth ot
gold dust per pound, bacon the same, and even beans
running short. Still every mule team that came in
brought nothing but whiskey. For months the roads
and trails would be blocked by snow, and dangerous in
the extreme from avalanches and land-slides. What
was to be done ? The whiskey men could pay the best
prices to the teamsters and cow punchers, and naturally each man wanted to make all he could during the
few summer months.
The miners called a council of their own, and gave
out that they would send a delegation to meet the next
incoming team, and should it be bringing only whiskey,
they would smash every keg and bottle, and do likewise
to each and all that followed with a like freight
This word was sent out by the whiskey men to the
teams coming in, and they were halted by the roadside,
till teams carrying provisions had passed on and the
mining district had been saved from fear of famine. 40 THE   GOLD   MINERS
Many of the prospectors had already started down
on foot, and among them Jack and Billy. On ahead
of them was a party of Italians whose hilarity must have
been caused by something stronger than water, and the
two chums lingered to give them plenty of headway.
Now of course neither Jack nor Billy had any more
money than they knew what to do with, although sewn
in the chamois skin belt of each was a tidy little sum
in gold dust.
Coming near a roadside house, where the stage was
already drawn up before the door, they were witnesses
of a lively dispute; and going into the dining-room found
passengers cleaning off pies, cakes and bread into their
pockets, or carrying them off under their overcoats. It
seemed that the man who kept this hostelry, on the
plea of serving such delicacies as pie and cake, charged
one dollar and a quarter per meal, but when the
passengers crowded out of the dining room and the stage
was waiting at the door, this hotel keeper could never
find any change, the consequence being that he often got
a dollar and a half or more for his meal, as the stage
could not wait, and the passengers could not afford to
loose it, as they would then have to walk, or stay with
this skinflint for a whole week, till the next stage came
along, as well as forfeit their passage on the one waiting.
One of the passengers who had travelled this road
before, warned his companions of what they might
expect. So each was ready with his dollar and a quarter,
and handed it out to the proprietor. He seemed much
surprised, but invited them all to take a drink, which
they all accepted, and felt that perhaps this man was
not so black as he had been painted.    But imagine the
L THE   GOLD   MINERS \i
astonishment of these sturdy pioneers, when Mr. Proprietor demanded pay for the same. This was when
some of the party returned and cleaned the dining table,
and so secured for all a midday lunch, as they would
not reach the next stopping place till late that night
Jack knew his man and continued on, although somewhat out of his way to the home of three brothers who
farmed a sheltered nook of rich land and were content
with their lot. Receiving a hearty welcome Jack gave
all the latest news of the mining district, and Billy
inspected the warm quarters provided for horse and cow.
Before they retired the eldest of the three arrived
home loaded with provisions for the oncoming winter,
and before retiring the elders took a glass of whiskey.
When these brothers left Ireland, their aged mother
gave each a silver spoon, on which was the family crest,
souvenir of better days, and a reminder of the good name
they bore. The youngest brother got up and provided
glasses, and went to the place where the two remaining
spoons were kept, for unfortunately one had mysteriously
disappeared some time previous. No spoons could be
found, and the eldest brother asked the others who they
had had in during his absence.
A man travelling down, with his blankets on his
back, had called in and asked for a meal, which had
been willingly given. Then he wished to be allowed
to do some work for them in return, and as night was
approaching the brothers gave him a shakedown in the
general living room and kitchen. Early next morning
they heard him depart, and when they had arisen went
leisurely about their day's work, with little thought of
their lodger. 42 THE   GOLD   MINERS
The eldest brother was angry with them for being
so careless as to whom they let in. Going over to the
table he remarked, "I see you put away the purse I left
here!" No, they had not put it away. But no purse
was where it had been left A somewhat strained
silence followed till one of the men dropped the ordinary
spoon with which he had been stirring grog. Still no
one spoke, and Billy sat watching the open hearth fire,
and the split cedar in which were many knot holes. A
mouse came up through one of the largest of these under
the rough chair upon which sat the man who had dropped
the spoon.
Putting up his finger for silence, Billy pointed to the
hole, and soon a bushy tailed rat appeared, seized the
spoon, and scurried back with its prize. The men eyed
each other and then burst into a hearty laugh. Prying
up the loosely laid board, they found many articles that
had mysteriously disappeared, for which strange visitors
had been suspected of taking. There were also the
missing purse, and the three precious spoons. CHAPTER   VII
SAPPERS    AND    MINERS    AT    WORK    AND    PLAY—THE
AVALANCHE—STORIES   OF   THE   ROAD   PARTY	
MULE    TEAMS
After a day of rest and social intercourse our travellers
again shouldered their blankets and set forth on their
journey. Taking a short cut through the forest they
came to a clearing from which many trails branched.
They were all but slightly marked, evidently more
used by animals than man.
Now the Indians, " Lost? sit down bile kittle," and
this they decided to do, for where so many animals
passed, they knew water must be near.
They soon found the stream, and camped for the
night under a spreading cedar. How sweet was their
fried bacon, how appetizing the beans warmed over in
the bacon fat. And tea! was ever so delightful a beverage brewed? notwithstanding it was without sugar or
cream. They collected bark, and brought it under their
sheltering tree, for there were signs of rain or snow,
and they also rested some of the larger pieces slanting
over their blankets, and with their feet to the solid fire
of bark, slept such sleep as few beds of down can give.
Next morning they rose with the dawn, and while
Billy made the fire, Jack went and threw a line for
mountain trout.    Such a feast as they had with slap 44 THE   GOLD   MINERS
jacks, trout and tea. The freedom of all the earth
entered into them as the healthy blood coursed through
their veins.
Shouts and a shot! a noble deer went bounding by,
followed by several sappers and miners of the Royal
Engineers from the coast, and the wanderers found
themselves near the military camp of these men, and
with them they worked and camped for the next month.
These were the men who built roads through this
all but inaccessible country, and left their landmarks for
future generations of hardy pioneers.
But as was said before, the short season was nearly
over, and the long winter approached, so camp, with
all its paraphanalia of instruments, and what not, was
Struck, and the party set off for the south.
A heavy rainstorm fell during their first night on the
road, and after a breakfast in the dripping forest, they
set out before sunrise on the march. As they made their
way through a narrow canyon a rumbling noise attracted
their attention. A halt was called. Then stones and
boulders came rolling down the steep sides of the mountain. Next, mountain sheep could be seen bounding
from rock to rock, and making all speed to the higher
altitudes.
Soon the forest about a mile ahead of them appeared
to be sliding down bodily into the canyon. Men looked
at each other in horror stricken silence. Then one
pointed to the forest on the other side of the canyon,
and lo! it appeared to be coming in majestic slowness
to meet its fellow.    All stood in silent awe.
The officer in command of the detachment took in
the situation and instantly ordered retreat
,m^^s&^^"J*'*iS^si  v^p"- THE   GOLD   MINERS
45
It was hard to nonplus these seasoned veterans of war,
many of whom had witnessed the " charge of the
Light Brigade," others were in the trenches before
Sebastopol, some had been in the hospital at Scutan,
either as sufferers or helpers to the never-to-be-forgotten
Florence Nightingale.
Not an unnecessary word was uttered, but the retreat
was made in the double, and in ten minutes after the
men had reached safety in a rocky defile, where there
was no land to slide, the mighty forces accelerating
their speed as they neared each other, had met in a
mighty embrace, and mingled their millions of tons of
debris, and a new and fertile valley sprang into
existence.
Calmly the men prepared their next meal and awaited
further results. A scouting party went out and reported
two men with a couple of oxen, and supplies a few
miles beyond the slide.
The mention of the oxen made the men think of
I the Roast Beef of Old England," and as the owner
of the oxen soon followed the scouts into camp, a
bargain was struck of something like a dollar a pound
for the meat, and the commissariat department was soon
busy preparing the feast. Round the fires the men
bivouaced, and with song and story the night was
beguiled.
One of these stories is too good to leave out, as it tells
of the intrepidity of these pioneers of civilization.
"Hullo Cass!" called a stalwart non-com. "Want
to pack some more bean?" "No want," grunted a
mahogany coloured Mexican, and passed on.
" That's the fellow,"  resumed the sergeant,  " who THE   GOLD   MINERS
m
wanted to get his money's worth when he was gettin'
'is boots at the coast fir 'is houtfit Siwashes and
Greasers are all alike fir that, they will buy boots big
enough to put both feet in one."
Cass or Cassetro, was a Mexican helper in the summer
road construction camp.
"Feet sore; no more can walk!" declared Cassetro,
sitting down by the trail on a log, with a sack of beans
he was packing, strapped to his back. Presently the
officer in charge of the Royal Engineers came along,
and waited to know what was the matter.
" Feet sore, no more likee walk!" repeated Cassetro.
" Let me see your feet," rejoined the officer. Cassetro
took off his big, hard, leather boots, very precious because no more were to be had till he returned to the
coast.
His feet were pretty badly cut up. The officer took
one boot, looked inside, and then threw it into the swift
current of the river, and before the astonished Cassetro
could object, had sent the other after it, remarking
suavely, " There, Cassetro, the damned boots won't hurt
your poor feet any more. You'll be able to walk
alright now!"
Cassetro had to hunt up the bags, the beans and bacon
had been placed in, tie them around his feet, and walk
that way, till his feet became sufficiently hardened to
walk without. One day as the party packed along,
wi.th eighteen or twenty Indians and several Greasers,
as the Mexicans were called, they came to a rapid
mountain stream which had to be crossed.
After the Indians had felled several trees one lodged
within four feM of the opposite bank, and several men' THE   GOLD   MINERS 47
were sent on to lop away the branches, so as to give the
water less chance to carry it away before the party had
had time to cross.
The Indians pack their loads on their backs, only
held by a broad band of grass work across the forehead;
so if they came to a dangerous place, where packer and
pack were alike threatened with destruction, either by
going over a precipice, down a crevass, or off an impromptu bridge like the present one, they could just
tilt off the band, let the pack go, and remain in safety
themselves.
The Indians plodded over the tree, which of course
swung slightly as they neared the smaller end, which
rested on nothing more stable than the swirling waters.
They swung with the tree, and all got over in safety
with tents, blankets, the heavier provisions, tools, papers,
and apparatus. Then the Greasers came on with bacon,
beans and coffee. Cassetro as leader, had a sack of
beans strapped to his back, the straps passing over his
arms, the same as the white men pack.
The officer of commissiariat warned him he was
strapped too close up, and advised him to fasten a band
across his forehead, which would leave his arms free,
as the Indians did, any way to loosen them so he'd loose
his pack and not his life if he couldn't keep his balance.
"He was no Siwash, to pack like a squaw carrying
a papoose," he said. "He'd go over as he was!" He
started; when near the middle of the stream the tree
began to sway, Cassetro lost his footing and disappeared
below.
"Catch at the first thing your hand touches," yelled
the officer,  when  he saw  Cassetro  going,  for,  good 48 THE   GOLD   MINERS
swimmer as he was, he could do nothing in those
seething waters. He took in the advice mechanically,
and clutched for anything in his way, but failed to hold
on till fully a quarter of a mile down, where he caught
on some bushes, and willing hands hauled him to land,
almost insensible. The straps were still on him, but the
sack had been ripped in the torrent, with one hundred
pounds of precious beans left behind; to which fact no
doubt, Cassetro owed his life.
When the dripping man was brought back at double
quick the officer asked him drily, what show there was
for mule-feed.
"You take me for one damned mule? no, by gosh,"
which was all the thanks anybody got.
Another time when the party was out in a new
section of the country, they came to a mountain torrent
which had to be crossed. This time they had forty-
three mules doing the packing, led by a bell-mare.
Wherever she goes they never refuse to follow.
The crossing must be made, and as no ford could be
found, the choppers went to work to cut on the banks
of the torrent the longest trees they could find, three
hundred and fifty to four hundred feet in length or
height. They cut down some seven or eight before a
huge pine lodged right on the sloping bank of the opposite
side.
The men leaped on the swaying monster, made their
way along it, lopping off all the links to give the water
less hold upon it, and reached the other side with ease
themselves. But they must get the loaded mules over.
The officer in charge ordered some to take augers, and
bore holes in the side of the log, others to cut wedges ^1  THE   GOLD   MINERS 49
of wood. Then they hammered the wedges into the
auger holes, slightly raised outwards; laid smaller trees
on these, and covered the whole with moss, dirt and
leaves.
" Now start your bell mare over," commanded the
officer to the non-com. in charge of the mule team.
Feeling dubious of the result, the mare tried it.
The bell-mare was nearly half way over before the
mules missed her, then they noticed the tinkling of her
bell, and with noses down to their fore feet, they carefully tried the bridge.
Fortunately the mare kept on, and soon a string of
loaded mules were following, head down. The impromptu bridge swayed as they went; the men watched
with bated breath. The driver ahead with the bell-
mare called encouragingly, and the team knew his voice.
As the mare planted her two fore feet on the opposite
bank, the driver caught her head and led her steadily
off; but the loss of her weight made the bridge rise
slightly, and two mules went over into the seething
waters, and we saw them and their packs no more. .
They carried grindstones and iron tools, so their pack
was a dead weight. The rest of the mules, their noses
down to their hoofs, clung to the log, and plodded over.
No tatoo sounded " lights out," and the men went
to their beds as they felt like. CHAPTER   VHI
CLINTON—THOMPSON     RIVER     3
POALATCH TRIBAL   CUSTOMS—
IDIANS—GAMBLING—
AN   INDIAN   ROMANCI
The party next reached Clinto on their way to the
coast, and found there a gathering of a tribe of
the North Thompson River Indians.
They had come to meet the Indian Commissioner
from Victoria, and they came with their old and young,
their kyouses, their dogs and their tepees.
The Indian Commissioner was dressed in the uniform
of an Admiral or a Governor, with gold braid, cocked
hat and white plumes, and the beautiful trappings for
his horse that the Mexicans know so well how to make.
The saddle is deep-seated, with a horn in front which
precludes the possibility of being thrown over the head
of a bucking horse. The thick cowhide is carved in
intricate designs, and mounted with solid silver. The
bridle, martingale, and double reins are all of the most
exquisite workmanship, and heavy with carved silver.
All the bucks, headed by their chief, went out some
miles to the Commissioner. After suitable greetings,
the Indian chief rode side by side with the Commissioner, and the bucks at regular intervals galloped in a
circle round and round the two Tyhees (chiefs) without in the least impeding the progress of either. THE   GOLD   MINERS 51
This was made possible by the character of the
country. A soil composed of sand and alkali, with only
sagebrush growing everywhere, the bottoms of the lakes
white from the deposits of alkali, had the appearance of
having been Whitewashed below the water line.
Then again, where the soil was better, the trees stood
far apart in parklike fashion, with no impeding undergrowth.
The whole tribe of Indians met the Commissioner on
the plain outside the little settlement of white people,
and several hours were passed in watching Indian games
and in their favourite sport of horseracing.
After the bucks came the squaws, who rode astride in
this way: A blanket was spread upon the pony's back,
the squaws vaulted on to the animal's back and drew
the forward half of the blanket up to her waist, sitting
upon the ends, thus making her improvised divided
skirt secure.
Now Clinton nestled in a valley, surrounded by low
hills, and formed a natural race course, though somewhat rough. But the kyoos is very surefooted, and the
Indian riders reckless.
The bucks had shown many feats of horsemanship,
and their ponies were by this time tired; but were considered good enough for the squaws. In making a start
one of the young clootchman (squaw) was thrown from
her horse and her arm broken. This caused quite an
excitement among the tribe, who are always afraid of
a hoo-doo, and are equally willing to allow their
medicine man to inflict any kind of torture upon the
person possessed of the devil; who is supposed to have
caused the trouble, in order to drive out this particular 52 THE   GOLD   MINERS
evil spirit from the unfortunate sufferer. They generally succeed, as the tortured one often dies under the
process of elimination.
A doctor of medicine accompanied the Commissioner,
and soon the clootchman's arm was set, and the sports
continued; the young squaw being made happy by the
handsomest and brightest shawl from the store of the
white trader.
A plentiful lunch was now supplied the tribe. Boxes
of soda crackers were brought out, a barrel of blackstrap
molasses, and cauldrons of boiled tea sweetened by the
same tempting ingredient.
All the stock of cups and tinware belonging to the
white trader being requisitioned. The crackers were
freely distributed, the molasses in tins and jugs given to
the Indians, who formed a group round each receptacle,
dipping and eating with great gusto.
When everyone was satisfied, some dumplings were
tied to a string, dipped in molasses, and a number of
little Indian boys, in nature's own garment, their hands
tied behind them, were set to catch these dripping
delicacies in their mouths, as they swung back and forth.
This caused uproarious laughter, and the little fellows
were all rewarded with toy drums,. trumpets, whistles,
and so on.
Now followed the ceremony of the day, when the
Commissioner, under a canopy of red cloth, received
each member of the tribe, was introduced to each, and
while he shook hands with his right hand, passed out
with the other a plug of tobacco to the men; to each
squaw was given a shawl, and to each papoose some
thing in the shape of dress goods. THE   GOLD   MINERS 53
The Indians all bid a solemn goodbye to the Commissioner, and he, accompanied by the chief, and
escorted by the braves left for his next destination.
The Thompson River Indians have a great number
of horses, and these they sell to the white settlers. They
now proceeded to trade a band to the store keepers
for provisions, clothing, and anything that took their
attention.
They have a peculiar way of packing their belongings. They carry the poles for their teepees with them,
and these they fasten together, harness them to the
ponies, load their teepees, provisions, etc., on the poles,
perhaps seat a papoose or two on top, and draw them
along this way, the noble brave riding the horse, and
the squaw laden with small papoose, or anything that
could not be packed on the trailing poles, tramping after.
The North Thompson Indians were all ready to leave,
and only waited until the spirit moved their chief to
give the word.
In the meantime another tribe which had been down
from its mountain fastness to meet the Commissioner,
happened along, and camped behind the sandhills, across
from the North Thompson River Indians. A friendly
parley followed, a potlatch arranged for, and after
several days of feasting, dancing and games, the all
absorbing gamble of the Indians began.
Shrouded from the white people behind their sand
hills, preparation for the great event was made.
The place chosen was a narrow gulch, and when the
time for action arrived, each tribe was gathered on its
own side of the narrow canyon.    A long board of split 54
THE   GOLD   MINERS
cedar was laid upon the ground in the centre, and many
sticks of hard wood piled near.
Chosen men from each side arranged themselves on
either side of the board, each tribe to its own side.
Every man secured two of the aforementioned sticks
and squatted beside the board. A man from each seated
himself, one at each end of the board, holding in his
hand a drum of green hide. This drum has only one
head and is stretched over a circle of any kind of hard
wood.
Bilence ensued, the huge fire burnt brightly, and
illumined the dark faces, the steady eyes of the bucks,
the bright shawls and eager faces of the squaws, even
the papooses were at high tention.
All eyes were directed towards those squatted around
the cedar board. One buck exhibited a bone stained
black, and carved with the design of his tribe. In the
same way a buck on the opposite side, showed a piece
of bone or ivory carved with the mystic signs of his
tribe.
The silence was still unbroken for a few seconds.
Then the two bucks who had shown the symbols lowered
them and began passing them along, the bucks pretending
to hide them, or pass them, in any way to puzzle their
opponents. Then they paused, and a buck from either
side was asked to guess who had the bone. The one
who guessed right had the bone of his tribe used for the
entire gambling game, and the other was returned to its
own. It was considered good luck for the tribe getting
the first guess.
The black bone was the one retained, and now began
a monotonous chant from all those seated, the torn- THE   GOLD   MINERS 55
toms (drums) beat time, and the sticks in the hands of
each man did the same, only interrupted as the black
bone was passed, or pretended to be passed.
A squaw wagered her much prized shawl, perhaps,
upon the first guess from one tribe, and two squaws had
bet theirs against her.
All these shawls would be hung in sight, and the
guessing and gambling continued, before a certain number
of guesses had been recorded on either side, and the prize
awarded.
This continued for two days and nights, till one tribe
had gambled away not only all its ponies, blankets, and
provisions, but many of its squaws, girls and papooses.
The triumphant tribe left amidst the sullen anger of
the defeated bucks, and the bitter jeers of the angry
squaws.
The defeated tribe had left a band of ponies cached
some miles away and out of range of their opponents.
Selling or trading most of these, they returned to their
reservation, nothing daunted.
A romance we heard of which grew out of this
adventure was that of a young buck and his chosen
klootchman.
She was one of those wagered in the gambling, and
hlis lost guess gave her over as a slave to his opponent,
an old Indian of very bad reputation. Getting a pony
from somewhere, he followed the tribe, and came upon
them at sunset the day after they had started on their
homeward journey.
Hearing screams, he followed the sound till he came
upon the older Indian, whipping the girl he had won,
as she refused to enter his teepee. 56
THE   GOLD   MINERS
The young man made an eloquent appeal to the
chief, and secured one more day's freedom, for the young
squaw. Next morning he met the chief men of the
tribe, and with them the elderly Indian. He held a
handsome pony by the bridle, and near the old man
stood the girl, disfigured by weeping, enforced travel on
foot, and the stripes that had been given her.
The young man waited for liberty to speak, and then
offering his pony in place of the squaw, he pointed out
the fact that there were few ponies as strong and handsome as his, while there were many squaws much
prettier than the one in question.
After due consideration, and the knowledge that the
young buck had left his destination to be forwarded to
the Chief Commissioner in case of his non-return, the
old Indian consented to make the exchange, and the
two re-united ones returned on foot to Clinton. CHAPTER IX
LAST GOLD ESCORT OF THE  SEASON—A MOUNTAIN
STORM LEFT
Cariboo Jack and Billy started from Clinton, and the
whole country seemed to be moving with them. Mules
laden with nuggets and gold dust, in some instances the
work of years of patient labour, and never ceasing
vigilance. Now these miners from all the countries of
the world were coming out, and had timed themselves
to meet the Government road party at Clinton, for what
better escort could they have than the British soldiers?
The overcrowded stages that passed them, hastening
to meet the last boats of the season, warned them that
they would be left behind, and have to trust to the
mercies of the B. B.'s express.
This of course Billy failed to understand, but found
out later to his cost. In the early days, the winters were
much more severe than they are now, and steamboats
which plied as far inland as Yale, had to be laid off as
soon as thin ice began to form in the river, for heavy
ice rushed down in such vast quantities from the upper
stretches of the Fraser as to make navigation by the
lightly built river steamers impossible, and no more mail,
let alone freight, could be taken up or down till the
spring opened, the ice had disappeared, and the steamers
could ply again. 58 THE   GOLD   MINERS
The whole party plodded along, camping at night 1>
in the dry belt, and marching by day in the best of
spirits, for they were in the best of health, and were
they not going home? The thought was enticing to
many, to some a query, to others a blank, to the majority
a curse, for lone men without the ballast of female
influence are an easy prey; and many of both sexes were
lying in wait for their unguarded hour.
They now reached the Cascade mountains, and the
fall rains commenced with great severity. Millions of
tons of rock, earth and trees slid down the mountain
side, and did their little best to change the geography
of the country.
Arriving within fourteen miles or so of Yale, the
party were minded to march all night for fear of loosing
the very last boat of the season, as the drivers of belated
mule trains going up had warned them it would leave
at seven next morning.
A sultry heat prevailed in the canyon on the Fraser
as the mules and men went winding along the narrow
way. In and out meandered the road, changing to the
mountain side in places, passing over bridges which were
built out into space, with the mighty Fraser tumbling
and roaring over its rocky bottom several hundred feet
below.
The thunder roared and craked, peak and chasm
answering each other in cadence wild. The forked
lightning shone out spasmodically, and the sheeted flame
occasionally illumined the entire canyon from side to
side.
What is this? The mule teams are backing up on
each other, men are crowded together as the hinder part THE   GOLD   MINERS 59
of the cavalcade press upon those who have ceased to
move forward.
"Halt!" sounded from the British officer, and all
instinctively obeyed.
The last flame of sheet lightning had revealed a stage
and six horses, with barely enough room to stand on,
brought to a sudden standstill by what that sheet of
lighning revealed to the driver.
Right in front of them, not forty feet away, yawned
a break in the road when one of the built-out bridges
had been carried away by an avalanche.
Men with lanterns were soon exploring the extent of
the catastrophe, and reported room for mules and men
to pass but the stage must be left behind.
The passengers alighted, took their belongings and
started, each for himself; but the Captain of the
Engineers came forward and gave orders for the
procedure.
It was impossible for the laden mules behind the stage
to pass that vehicle in safety.
Mails and express were packed upon the six horses,
and they were started on their way. Next, it was
necessary to overturn the stage into the canyon below;
and then slowly and carefully the mules followed, and
when the last man had passed, the Captain left his post
by the danger spot; and now, again it was each man
for himself.
The horses with the mail and express had got a good
start, and had carried orders to the steamboat to wait
for the members of the road party.
Now some of the passengers out had elected to carry
their own nuggets and gold dust out, instead of paying 6o
THE   GOLD   MINERS
the Express Company for it. Two men here had
worked together and were going out carrying with them
thirty thousand dollars worth, sewed up in two chamois
skin bags. The bags didn't look very large, but their
weight soon told on those trying to carry them. First
one and then another tried to help them; but finding
they would loose their boat, they all hurried on except
Jack and of course Billy with him, for the lucky miners
had begged Jack to stay with, and upon condition that,
if he did, the men were to pay his passage and Billy's I
down by canoe, if the boat had left before they reached
Yale, he consented, and the two young men, assisted.;
the miners with their precious load; but were too late
for the river boat. CHAPTER   X
BILL       BRISTOL—THE       SQUATTIS       CHIEF—THE       SIX
SCOTCHMEN—COMMUNITY   HOUSE—VISITING  INDIANS-
FISH   DANCE
Now it was that Bill Bristol came into requisition.
Tall lithe with the strength of a panther, and lungs
of leather,' no weather daunted him, no dangers could
^ He' lived on an island about a mile from where the
Canadian Pacific Railway runs now, just above Hope.
He had cattle and horses, an Indian wife, and a half-
breed family. Grey and wiry, he went about with his
hairy chest exposed to the blasts of winter and the heat
of summer. ,
With three or four Indians from his squaws tribe,
the Chehalis, as strong and fearless as himself; he would
take charge of mail and express, the latter frequently
of great value in gold dust and nuggets, any passengers
who had to brave the perils of the trip at twenty-five
dollars each, besides being expected to take a hand if
their assistance was needed.
Bill set out with a big canoe. The water being low
at this season of the year it was easier to pass the riffles
below Yale; but the canoe and its freight had to make
several portages over the sand bars.
On one of these bars two men were working with THE   GOLD   MINERS
a rocker, and Bill hailed to know " How goes it pards?" I
" Pretty good!" returned one of them.    It seemed
the two men were brothers and had staked their claim I
on this bar, which could only be worked before and
after the freshet
" Soon be going down for a good time aye ?"
enquired Bill.
" Sure!" was the laconic reply.
Bill informed his passengers that these men just
worked their claim sufficiently to get a " good time "
on, and then they journeyed to town and were never
sober till all their dust was gone.
Finding themselves kicked out on the sidewalk by the
bar tender who had taken all or most of their treasure,
they would sober up, take the provisions they had paid
for before they started in, and proceeded up the river to
work their bar till the next thirst came upon them. Of
course poor humanity can only stand a certain amount
of this kind of treatment, and after a few years they
brought up at an hospital kept by some Sisters of
Mercy, and there they passed away, leaving to the
sisters there claims upon the bar, in payment for the
good treatment given them.
Bill and his passengers would sometimes come to open
stretches of water, where the ice had gone on down
with the current.
Looking back perhaps a pack of ice had broken, and
was chasing them down; then they had to paddle for
life and property for the nearest shore, perhaps camp
for hours, till the loose ice had passed on, then off again
paddling between the jams, hauling the canoe on to the
floes, all hands clinging to the side of the canoe, as they
I THE   GOLD   MINERS 63
pushed it ahead. If it broke through they clung to
it, or they pushed it into the next open water, and so
on for the one hundred miles of peril and adventure.
Never did Bill lose a passenger, a mail bag, or an
express package. The Express Company once recognised his services by presenting him with a two hundred
dollar gold watch, and Bill carried it round with him.
One time it disappeared, and Bill was at a loss to account
for it. If he thought of it at all, it was to wonder
which of his squaw's relatives had taken a fancy to it.
Two years passed and Bill had almost forgotten he
had ever possessed so valuable an article, when, happening to follow his stock to some unfrequented part of
his island, he espied an old vest of his trampled in the
mud and mire by the feet of cattle.
He thought it might yet be wearable, as his wardrobe
was not too extensive. So he dragged it out, and there
to his astonishment was the long lost watch, tied by a
leather moccasin strap to a buttonhole.
He remembered that he had felt too warm, when out
this way, had removed his vest, hung it on a bush, and
forgotten it.
Being of so good a make, the watch was little the
worse for its exposure, and Bill 'iled her and cleaned
her up, and she went as good as ever.'
Some Englismen with money came along one time,
and thought they would like to buy Bill's island, and
they asked him what he would take for it
I Take fer it ? Air yu aware of what yu're talkin'
about young men?"
"Why, yes; we think we'd like to buy it if you will
name your price." 64 THE   GOLD   MINERS
" Now then," returned Bill, sententiously, " jest yu
tell me what yer income is, and I'll tell yu ef yer ken
buy that there land."
"What difference does it make to you what our in-'
come is, if we pay you your price?"
"Well, its jest this way, ef yu've got a good income^
and can support that land, you ken hev it; ef not, yu
kearnt; fer I've ben a mighty long time on it, an' it hes
never yit supported me."
A survey party came along on the mainland, and the
purveyor for them cast longing eyes on Bill's young
cattle. He went and asked that individual if he wouldn't
sell him half a beef a week.
"Well," says Bill reflectively, " what could I do with
the other half? Ef it could run around till the next
week, it'ud be alright, but es it is, I don't see how I
could sell you half a beef."
It was seldom the luxury of milk was found on Bill's
table, and butter was not so much as named among
them.
The squaw and the family raised potatoes enough for
the winter, the salmon only waited to be caught, and
mountain trout was to be had for the angling, deer,
grouse, wild ducks and geese for the shooting.
Bill salted a beef, and exchanged several for clothing,
flour, tea, and sugar at one of the Hudson's Bay stores,
and then winter supplies were complete.
Berries dried in the sun by the squaw formed a
delicacy they always had, and we must not forget
tobacco, which was as much enjoyed by the squaw and
her many relatives as by Bill.
Bill and our party had now got as far as Sea Bird's   THE   GOLD   MINERS 65
Bluff, a place where the mountains close nearly down
to the waters, making a very swift current at any time
of the year. Not only this but a sudden bend seems to
invite a wind storm when it comes from the north.
Such a storm was now raging, and the blinding snow
and sleet seemed to cut their well tanned faces as it
swept around them.
Bill gave orders to paddle for shore, and they landed
at Squattis, so named from the tribe living there.
The two men, the thirty thousand dollars of gold,
were given the Priest's room in the chief's house, which
consisted of two log huts built near together.
In the one, inhabited by the chief and his sick wife
were two rooms. In the bedroom of this was a big
iron box stove that would take a four-foot stick, and in
the kitchen was an iron cook stove. Both these were
kept going at full blast all night, and no one complained
of too much heat, for the rest of the passengers, Bill and
his Indians slept in their blankets on the kitchen floor,
the Priest's bed being occupied as we have seen, by the
men carrying their own gold down.
Morning came, no wood was left for cooking, but,
the Chief shouldered an axe and followed by Bill and
the Indians they went out Billy could see no wood
pile, and he asked Jack where they were going to get
wood.
"You'll see," returned Jack, and the two followed
the Indians outside.
The Squattis chief went to a blind slough near by,
and got out a small canoe, soon an immense stick (log)
came swirling down, covered with ice, the Chief and
Bill were after it in a second, had it secured and brought 66 THE   GOLD   MINERS
it to land, where the rest soon had it reduced to firewood.
Chief Squattis and Bill returned to view the water,
when presently Squattis threw a long pole from a
peculiarly made fishing tackle.
The fishing pole was a proper contrivance for the
trick.
The Indian would sit on the haunches, wrapped in
a blanket, and as live fish or people always swim up
stream, the buck or squaw, watch for a certain ripple,
which could only be seen in shallow water, because the
river in the upper reaches is generally narrow and very
swift, and the fish in nature, takes the easiest or slackest
current The Indian in this case, looking for this
ripple, made by the fish in plowing its way up stream,
put the pole ten or twelve feet ahead, the water being
very clear, and the rod prepared the colour of the water,
so that the fish could not see it and dodge out of the way.
This rod is about twenty feet long, in the main part
At the end of the rod is another small piece of wood
nearly one foot long; to one end is fastened a strong
surgeon-sized fish hook, six inches with a curve, and
of iron, firmly bound with raw hide.
The thickest end of this small stick is a hollow, like
a thimble. To this thimble end is tied an !ndian
rope, made with seven or eight pieces of wild prarie
grass, cured and platted together, and quite strong, about
an inch in diameter.
This thimble end of the little piece of grass rope,
about a foot long, is fixed to the small end of the long
stick, which in turn is stuck on the small end of the
larger one.   This is pushed into the water, in the path THE   GOLD   MINERS 67
of the fish, and when it is directly above the hook, the
whole rod is suddenly pulled against the fish, and the
small piece with the hook is free to allow for the
wriggling of the fish and generally landed safely,
splashing and flapping. This they cleaned, carried into
the house and fried. Then in the fat in which it had
been cooked they heated up cold potatoes, and Jack
brought out a pan of biscuits from the oven.
This meal, washed down by strong boiled tea, was
greatly relished by all. But the storm continued unabated, and the Indians refused to risk paddling through
the drift ice.
As they sat by the red hot stove, smoking and talking,
they could hear the broken floes crashing and grinding
on the banks of the river. Bill's canoe, hewn out of an
immense cedar tree, strong as it was of its kind, would
have been crushed like an eggshell.
Now among the Indians, who of course, could neither
read nor write, a good story teller is much appreciated.
One of the passengers asked Bill if he had ever come
across any members of the McEny family, as he
remembered having met one of six brothers of them in
Oregon whose hair was white, but he was quite a young
man.
Bill smoked reflectively for a while, then, still with
his pipe in his mouth, he began in his slow way. To
any one but those present the story as told by Bill would
be unintelligible as it was a mixture of the Chinook
jargon, the native Indian and English of a kind.
Before Bill came and discovered this happy island
he had wandered and worked as the fancy took him
through the fertile valleys of Oregon. 68 THE   GOLD   MINERS
Here, he met three brothers from the North of Scotland. Men who had grown up by the sea, and for
Whom the mighty Columbian river had no terrors.
They built a steamboat, and plied it on the river,
starting just above the Falls. This was alright during
the season of low water, but when the spring freshet
began, for which these young men were not prepared,
the case was altered.
One brother, the captain, had fallen in love with and
married an actress. The other brother being a practical
engineer, took charge of the engine room, and between
them they made a remarkable cut across the Falls.
One day they started, and noted nothing unusual
until their boat was well in the stream, then they
realized their danger, and that a strong downward
current was running.
The Captain in his wheel house, and the Engineer
below felt the situation, and both stood to their posts
like the brave Scotchmen that they were, and worked
for their lives and their boat; but the rush of the waters
was too much for them, and they went over the Falls
to instant death, and their bonnie boat was smashed to
pieces on the rocks, and carried away in atoms by the
seething waters.
The third brother, who acted as wharfinger and clerk,
standing upon the bank, obliged to see his two brothers
going to destruction, without the power to help them,
had his hair turned white as snow. His rosy, youthful
face, thus framed made him a very noticeable figure.
The unusual thing about this disaster, being that the
body of the Captain was cast ashore on an island in THE   GOLD   MINERS 69
the river, and taken to what is now Portland, Oregan,
Great sympathy was always felt in those days for a
bereaved woman, and the citizens of Portland came
together, raised a purse, waited on the young widow
with it, and offered to take all the trouble and expense
of the funeral off her hands.
She thankfully accepted their aid and their kindness
in saving her trouble, and the remains of the young
Captain was buried with social honours, and the funeral
was very  largely attended.
The young widow was greatly touched by the general
kindness shown her, and the respect paid to her late
husband. She wrote a full account of it all to the aged
mother in Scotland. She told of the purse of gold
raised for her, of the public burial at the public expense,
thinking to comfort the old lady, who was somewhat
near eighty years of age, by letting her see in what
esteem her son had been held. The widow sent his
latest photograph, a lock of his hair and other souvenirs
by mail.
What was her surprise to find all these things returned to her with a stern note from the old lady herself, saying, " My son earned good wages, and had only
you and himself to keep, and if you both lived in such
a way as to be unable to keep money enough by you
to pay for Sandy's funeral, I am ashamed of you and
him. I want none of his likeness or hair, he's no son
of mine that brings himself to a pauper's grave."
This way of looking at it astonished this Western
woman, for she understood nothing of pauperism, nor
could she fathom Scotch pride. L
70 THE   GOLD   MINERS
After the disaster to his brothers, the young Scotchman went to Victoria, and with the aid of a Company
built a larger and stronger boat for the newly opened
up Yale trade, this he called the "Cariboo."
A fifth brother, a young lad just out of his apprenticeship as an engineer now arrived in  the country, and
his elder brother put him in the engine room on tiftgl
Cariboo with an experienced engineer under him.
For the first trip Captain McEny took his bride with
him. The boat started with flags flying, a lively young
party on board, a few passengers and some  freight
She came flirting and curveting round the bend in
the river, and kept on her way to Yale, a point which
the river boat had not yet reached, owing to the sand
bars, riffles, and two rocks, called "The Sisters," which
stood in the stream and made a dangerous current. But
the fearless young Captain took his boat up successfully,
and made a safe trip down, coming stern first through
the  dangerous  rapids.
He made several successful trips to Yale, and had all
the freight and passengers he could carry, as this trip
saved a long and tedious portage from Douglas, a small
town which had sprung up at the head of Douglas Lake,
where the steam boats had at first made their head of
navigation, and from which packers, Indian and white,
had carried freight into the Cariboo Country, and from
which the lumbering six-horse stages had started with
their varied passengers for the bourne.
On one trip, Captain McEny was deeply laden, and
had many passengers, but having stopped at New Westminster, a number of the Sappers and Miners got on THE   GOLD   MINERS 71
board, on their way to the road making, surveying, and
so on.
One of the larger boats that was only going to Port
Hope, to take on cattle from the Similkaneen country,
raced the smaller boat up, and whether the boilers in
this way became overheated, or they were unable to
stand the pressure, will never be known, for in going
through the "Two Sisters" riffle, there was a teriffic
explosion, and freight, passengers and coats were whirling round in the eddy.
Strange to say they all made shore on one side or
other of the river, except the Captain, whose body was
never recovered, and a fireman, who was seen drifting
on a piece of wreckage, and looking as though he was
sleeping soundly. He was brought to shore and found
to be dead, with no mark of hurt or violence upon him.
"What became of the other brothers?" asked Billy,
with breathless interest
"Well," returned Bill Bristol, " I guess I'd best tell
yer all the tale o' woe, fer these Scotch brothers had
another boat yit at Victory, and when she was loaded
up wi' freight and sich like, she blowed up in the night
and them two last of the five brothers went up, and
nobody knowed how it all happened."
It was late that night when they all turned in, with
the hope that next day would see them as near civilisation as New Westminster.
Morning dawned late and darkling, the wind blew a
hurricane round Sea Bird Bluff, and all hope of getting
away was abolished for that day at least.
After a breakfast of salt, very salt salmon, and partly
frozen potatoes, they sat round and sipped hot coffee to I
72 THE   GOLD   MINERS
the music of the gale, and the silent drifting of the snow.
A young buck came in and said something to Chief
Squattis, and he and Bill Bristol went out together.
Soon we heard the tom-toms beating, and followed
the other members of the household to a community
house. A large shed or room in which all the tribe
could meet and where visiting tribes took up their abode.
Some hunters from an island tribe had come in to
pay them a visit, and hence the movement to the
Community House.
A fire was burning near the centre of the house, an
aperture in the roof serving as chimney. Already the
floor space was pretty well filled with saluting Indians.
When they entered a dance was in progress by eight
squaws, who stood in couples, holding an evergreen
bough in each hand. They were chanting a low, soft
rythm to the time of the tom-toms, and keeping up a
kind of trotting movement. They faced each other for
a few bars, then, keeping up the same step, till each
faced around to the squaw who had been behind them.
The monotonous chant and the trit-trot step never
ceased for more than an hour; the boughs all time being
held upright in their hands.
This same dance is performed by the squaws on the
banks of the Fraser, when the salmon are late in coming .
up the river; the only difference being that they hold
a green bough in one hand and a knife, for cutting the
fish, in the other. They will keep this up for hours,
till some of them drop with fatigue.
The same gambling game we have seen at Clinton
was introduced, and played on a smaller scale, but with
great gusto, although it must be said, while the bucks THE   GOLD   MINERS 73
played with stolid earnestness, the squaws and children
' fairly shrieked  with  excitement.
Another feature was now presented by a clown
Indian who sprang in among the squatting Indians. The
Indians always squat on their heels, and it is astonishing
how many of them can thus crowd into a small space.
The clown sprang in among and over the squatting
crowd, dressed in a skin, with animals tails bobbing all
over him. A large wooden calabash of water was
brought in by a lad, and a pile of slap jack's laid beside
it.
The clown carried a rifle, and he proceeded to make
feints of shooting anything and everything in sight.
Making ludicrous signs of pride and courage, he would
cower and run away, and whatever he did the audience
were prepared to laugh at
He now appeared to discover the calabash of water
and the slap jacks for the first time, and made all sorts
of antics and grimaces round them. Pretending he was
afraid, pretending to taste them, pretending they made
him sick; till his performance ende<f*in his devouring
all the slap jacks, and drinking all the water to the
continued roar of satisfaction from the tribe.
It was getting dark, the long twilight was almost
ended, and as the Siwash never moves out in the dark
if he can possibly help it, they all trooped off to their
several abodes, cooked and ate their supper, and little
more was heard till morning but the barking of the dogs,
or the cry of a wakeful child, for these children of the
open sleep like logs, never heeding the crashing of the
ice upon the shore, nor noting that the storm had
abated. 74 THE   GOLD   MINERS
The visitors were left in possession of the community
house, and likewise proceeded to cook their supper,
spread their blankets, and built up their fire in the centre
of their hostelry, utterly oblivious to the smoke.
Bill Bristol and his passengers retired to Chief
Squattis' cabin, and after a hearty supper proceeded to
sleep, for the day's excitement had left them pleasantly
weary.
Next morning a watery sun shone forth, the air was
still and crisp, the wind had died down, the ice had been
smashed, ground up, and piled on the shore.
Bill Bristol made haste to start before the ice from
above should come surging down upon them.
Everyone paddled, and before dark they were within
a mile of their destination, when the pack came crashing down after them with the falling tide, and it took
them all their time to keep their frail craft from being
cut to pieces. CHAPTER   XI
GOING  TO   THE   CALIFORNIAN   GOLD   FIELDS-
CAPTAIN VAN WICK
After a few days' rest, Jack Gayford, as we must now
call him, told Billy he was going to San Francisco, at
least for the winter, as the Cariboo diggings had not
been as rich for him as he had expected, and he thought
he would try California again.
Bill's married sister had gone down there with her
husband and family during his absence, and he was only
too glad to join forces with Jack, who had been such a
faithful friend to him.
Bidding goodbye to Mrs. Ackers and her daughter,
Bessie, he started in good hope for pastures new.
It being winter time of course when they arrived,
they thought it better to stay and work round San
Francisco, and start for the mines in the spring.
As their stock of ready money was getting rather low,
they gathered up several large packing cases, obtained
a little second hand lumber, and constructed for themselves a shanty on what is now Telegraph Hill.
Of course they had their blankets, men never thought
of travelling without these useful articles in those days,
and with their carpet sacks for pillows, they slept more
soundly in their wooden bunks than many a one on a
down bed. 76
THE   GOLD   MINERS
They soon got a job grading sand lots, and continued^*
at this work all winter, till April, when they started
for the mines.
They had to go on a flat, or what was called surface |
diggings.    These were known as " poor man's diggings,"
and very few of the miners made " a pile," just wages.
So the young men pitched their tent upon this flat
with some five hundred others. It had the appearance
of once having been a lake or water course.
A little distance from the flat a town had been laid
out, which boasted several stores, an hotel and a saloon,
where spirits of all kinds were dispensed, and where a
great deal of gambling went on. For this reason Jack
and Billy thought it better to keep to themselves; they
had a good word for every one that would speak to
them, but they went into no company whatever. Jack
bought a little pup, which they named "Bob," and they
made a great pet of him.
When they had arranged everything to their satisfaction, they each took up a claim, staked it out, and
went to work. They proved to be literally, " poor
man's diggings " for a few days, as they only took out
from twenty to forty cents a day between them.
After a while it got better, but the most they took
out never exceeded five dollars a day, and that but
seldom.
Claims didn't run very deep, ten feet being their
greatest limit, thus they soon worked one out and had
to take up another.
After they had been there a few months an excitement
was raised about another flat which was said to pay
much better than this, and a great many men left, but
*s»e THE   GOLD   MINERS 77
the two friends thought it better to remain where they
Before the fall rains came on they built themselves
a leg cabin, with a shed at the side, where they put
their cooking stove, and stored their wood, making a
kind of kitchen of it.
They put up their two cots in the cabin, made a
centre table, and that with their two trunks and a couple
of Chinese bamboo arm chairs completed their furniture.
They constructed an open hearth and chimney from
the stones they collected; and as the winter came on
they would have a nice fire upon their hearth, a bright
lamp on the table, and they were cozy and comfortable
as could be, with Bob blinking at them from the
warmest corner.
It was thought by most people that there would be
places on these flats were a kind of drift of gold, held
by some stones or rocks, would be found; but as yet
no one had struck one of these.
Like most of those who had gone out to this Eldorado, these young men had built castles in the air;
but after working steadily for two years, they abandoned
the idea of suddenly becoming rich, and made up their
minds to be satisfied with what they got. They were
quietly doing very well, being frugal young men, who
spent no money foolishly.
They took turns at cooking week about, and on
Saturday they left work at noon, did their washing and
general house or cabin work, and then, the one whose
turn it was cleaned himself up, and went to the Post
Office for letters and papers, and to the store for the
next week's provisions.   They were afraid to go out THE   GOLD   MINERS
together, as their gold dust was hidden in the cabin, and
they thought they might be robbed of their hardly won
earnings.
One evening after they had left work and were
cleaning up, they heard a pleasant voice say, "Gentlemen,
I hear one of you came from the state of New York."
They looked around and saw a man of fine appear- I
ance and well dressed, standig at the door of their cabin.
They invited him, and as supper was nearly ready, he I
joined them at that meal, and after they were through
and all sitting round the fire, he told them about himself.
" My name is Van Wick. I am a native of New
York, and was captain of a clipper ship, in which I
owned some shares. A man gets to have a great regard
for his ship, and I wanted to own her altogether.
" I spoke to my wife about it, but she advised me
' to leave well enough alone.' She didn't want to have
her property mortgaged, for it had been in her family
ever since it was taken up by her Dutch ancestors, who
cleared off its first trees.
" But I over-persuaded her, and invested every cent I
could raise in my ship, took on a cargo, and sailed from
New York to San Francisco, expecting to realize handsomely on my venture.
"After we'd rounded the Horn she sprang a leak,
and the crew finding out she was unseaworthy, mutinied
off Valparaiso, almost to a man.
" My first officer stood by me, and we took on a
crew of Greasers, and made port in safety. There she
was condemned, and I am left with just about money
enough to take me to New York; but I can't go back THE   GOLD   MINERS 79
without money enough to pay off the mortgage, and
I've come up here to find it"
They chatted far into the night, and then they made
him up a bed and he stayed there. Next day when the
two young men were out at work, they talked things
over, and resolved, if the Captain was willing, to take
him into partnership.
When they returned to the cabin, they told him
exactly what to expect, but he was of that bright and
sanguine disposition, and persisted in believing that they
would come upon a drift, and if they didn't make a big
fortune, they would surely make a nice little pile, but
Jack and Billy, as we know, had given up any hopes of
that kind long ago.
Captain Van Wick was a very pleasant companion,
a fine talker, and could sing well.    He went to work
and put up a mantle
and some bra
ckets; and linet
the
cabin with printed ca
cheery, like himself.
lico, making e
He handled
verything bright and
his pick and shovel
with a will, althougl
it was easy t
0 see the work
was
new to him.    When
it came his tu
rn to cook, they
had
nicer things to eat than had falle
1 to their share
for
many a long day.
Of an evening, v
smen they sat
round  the fire
he
would sing a sea song, the young
men joined in
the
chorus, and Bob wou
Id bark and howl and wag his
tail,
and look highly del
ghted.
It was a great deal
two could go out tog
more pleasant every way, for now,
ether, whilst the third stayed home
to cook and take care of the cabin
After the Captain
had had time
to get a letter
rom
home,  his  wife  use
d  to send—papers,  pictorials
and 80 THE   GOLD   MINERS
pamphlets, beside the never-failing letters. Jack
and his friend Billy, with their careful saving ways,
thought this must be a great drain upon her resources,
and said something of the kind to the Captain; so he
told them that his wife had a friend who kept a book
store, and when these things were two or three weeks
old, his wife could get them, and it only cost her
postage.
It was very pleasant and instructive to them to read
about the outside world, and to have it pictured to them.
The young men made the most of these privileges, and
eagerly read and talked over with the Captain the books
which also reached them from the same source.
Captain often spoke of his wife and of his little girl
Nettie, and his conscience troubled him for mortgaging
the property, as the mortgagee had foreclosed directly
he heard that the Captain's ship had been broken up in
San Francisco. Jack understood the Captain to say his
wife still had some claim to a part of the property,
which had come to her from her grandfather, and had
not been included in the mortgage, and in which Mrs.
Van Wick and her little daughter now resided.   CHAPTER   XII
THE    CAPTAIN'S    DEATH BILLY    LEAVES    THE    MINING
CAMP—JACK'S GOOD LUCK HE LEAVES FOR NEW YORK
The Captain, among his many gifts, was quite an
artist. He drew a sketch of the house in New York,
. with the number upon it, for the young men, and another
of the inside of the cabin, with Jack and Billy and Bob
sitting there, the latter he sent to his wife and Nettie,
and they prized it greatly.
He had been mining now nearly a year, and as he
had to send money home, he found the " making a
fortune " very slow work; for they never came upon
a pocket or drift, as he had always been in hopes they
would. He was just as pleasant and companionable as
ever, but Jack, in his quiet observant way, could see
it cost him an effort. He was weary of the hard life,
and his trouble weighed heavily upon his mind.
One night Jack was awakened by hearing the Captain
talking. He called to him, thinking he was just talking
in his sleep; but the Captain took no notice, and kept
rambling on. Jack felt sure something must be wrong
with him. He got up and lit the lamp, and when he
came to look at him, saw at once it was serious, as the
poor Captain was burning with fever, his eyes staring
wild at nothing, and his pulse very high.
He called up Billy, and they went to work and gave 82 THE   GOLD   MINERS
him hot herb tea, and did all they knew of to relieve
him. Just as soon as it was daylight enough to avoid
the many pit falls on these flats, which had the appearance of gigantic open graves, Jack went off in search
of a doctor, who returned with him, and pronounced
it to be a very bad case of brain fever.
Seeing the serious faces of the friends he added,
" but with a constitution like the Captain's, and good
attention, he might pull through; but it is very
doubtful."
So the young men hired a man who had been in the
habit of waiting on sick miners; he was a very handy
nurse, and everything was done for the poor Captain
that could be.
When he came to his senses, he had a talk with Jack
Gayford, and told him he thought he would die. He
requested the young man to sell everything that could
be turned into money, and send it home to his wife,
after paying all necessary expenses. The friends
promised, but refused to give up hope, relying on the
Captain's fine constitution to pull him through,—but,
he died.
After the funeral the young men gathered up everything that had belonged to Captain Van Wick, had them
up to the town, and sold them by auction. Jack
bought a trunk, and Billy a great coat There was a
watch and ring which had been down from one to the
other, and these, with some papers, Jack had promised
to take to Mrs. Van Wick whenever he should be in
New York, as it was the wish of the late Captain, that
Jack should hand them to her in person.
The doctor and nurse were paid with some of the
««M THE   GOLD   MINERS 83
late Captain's gold dust, and all the rest of his money
was sent to Mrs. Van Wick. To do this they had to
write to her, and that was the hardest task of all to
them. There was part of the Captain's last claim still
to be worked, and that they told they would send her
later on, but for her not to expect it till winter.
Mrs. Van Wick sent them a very grateful letter back,
thanking them for all their kindness, and saying that in
all her husband's letters, he had written her how good
they had been to him; and if they were pleased with the
papers and pamphlets that were a little out of date, she
could always send them, as they cost only the postage.
Jack wrote to say they would be very glad of the papers
and sent a five dollar gold piece to pay the postage, so
every mail that came brought them something worth
reading.
After the Captain's death, Billy got low spirited and
complaining, and said it was very hard to be isolated the
way they were, with nothing but work from sun rise
to sun down; and that they might have been living in
civilization, saved nearly as much, and lived like white
people.
Jack got quite concerned about him, and used to send
him to the store and post office when it was not his turn,
just for the change, as he thought it might do him good.
One Saturday Billy refused to go, as he said it was
Jack's turn, so Jack had to go for the week's provisions
to the store, and then he went to the post office, although
there had been no Eastern mail, and they couldn't get
any papers.
Billy's maimed sister, as we said before, had gone to
California with her husband and children. "
84
THE   GOLD   MINERS
They had settled in a country place, and the husband
kept a general store.
There was a letter from him, deeply edged in black.
Jack knew it was in her hand writing, and he thought
to himself, " Now I suppose that's one of her children,
and Billy's melancholy enough  now."
When he got back he told his friends he had a letter
for him in a mournful envelope, but it was addressed
by his sister, so she was alright.
Billy found upon opening it, that his sister's husband
was dead. She urged him to go to her at once, and
take charge of the business, as her children were young,
and she couldn't attend to it herself. She told him if
he liked to buy it out, he could do very well there, and
make money. For herself, she would like to return
North with her family.
He showed the letter to Jack, and told him he would
like to go, for he had been so downhearted ever since
the Captain's death; but that he didn't like to leave his
old friend alone.
Jack assured him it was the wisest thing he could do,
for he had been worrying himself about him for a long
time, and intended to propose that he should go to San
Francisco for the winter. The good-byes were painful
enough to both, but Jack took up his lonely existence
bravely, his only companion being Bob.
When he was alone in his cabin he would talk to the
dog for while, it was a relief to hear even his own
voice, and he thought if any one was sneaking around,
they would not think he was alone. But he really felt
relieved after Billy's departure,  the lad had been so THE   GOLD   MINERS 85
dejected since the Captain's death, it had made him
uneasy.
Jack, as we know had come from New York, where
he had left a widowed sister with two sons; so he thought
he would send for her to come out, and bring the boys
with her.
The mining flat was now almost deserted, there were
not more than four or five men working. The drinking saloon was closed, the boarding house had no
boarders, the town itself was almost as silent as it and
the flat had been before the advent of the miners, and
only the tumble down shacks were left to mark what
it had been. One store remained and was more than
sufficient to supply the needs of both places. So he
thought if he could get his sister to come out, the two
boys could assist in mining, and he could buy the hotel
cheap, and make a boarding house of it.
The hotel was pleasantly situated on a road by which
the stage coaches passed to and from the different mining
towns; it had a large garden, and considerable land, and
he thought he could make a nice home for himself, his
sister and her boys.
The two friends had just cleaned out their claims
when Billy's appeal from his sister arrived, so now Jack
took up a single claim and went to work again. Of
course he had his own washing, cooking, and general
work to do, but his evenings were particularly dreary.
There were six miners working on the flat within
sight, doubtless there were others farther off.
Jack worked along in this solitary way for six weeks,
when one day his pick struck a rock. He flushed all
oxer, for he thought of the many arguments they had 86 THE   GOLD   MINERS
had about pockets and drifts, and the thought flashed
across his mind, "Well now, is there a drift here for
me ?"
He scraped round the rocker in breathless anxiety;
and there, sure enough was gold, so much of it, in fact,
that he felt frightened. He knew his life would be
worth little if any of those rough and desperate characters, always to be found round mining camps, were
to come and discover his lucky find.
He scraped up the gold as clean as he could into his
bucket. It had settled in all the crevices, coarse gold;
what they had been getting was very fine. He dared
not put it in the sluice box and wash it, as he had done
before, so he carried it into his cabin, and worked day
after day till he had picked out every piece, and then
he set about cleaning and weighing it
He cut up the tent and made little bags that held
about two ounces each, and its value, as near as he could
come to it, was about four thousand dollars. In all the
time he had been working before, his share had only
amounted to about one thousand dollars.
The rainy season was coming on, and he knew it
would be scarcely safe in the cabin alone with his five
thousand dollars worth of gold, so he made up his mind
to take it himself to San Francisco.
He had a good heavy overcoat of pilot cloth, with
strong pockets, and he put as many of his little bags of
gold into these as he could, and sewed them up. The
rest he concealed about his person, also putting a small
portion in his valise.
He nailed up the cabin, took his blankets and valise
and went up to the hotel.    Then he made arrangements THE   GOLD   MINERS 87
with the boy, that if he would take care of Bob, and
just look after his cabin, and see that nobody stole his
traps while he was away, he would make him a present
in the spring.
He got on the stage, and went along first rate, changed
to the steamboat, and landed in San Francisco safely, gold
and all; but he never felt easy till he had deposited his
treasure in the mint.
When he received it again in gold coin, he placed it
in a branch of the Rothschild's Bank, where it gained
no interest, but was safe. CHAPTER   XIH
VISITS      NEW      YORK—NEW      YEAR'S      CALLS MAKES
MRS.   VAN   WICK'S   AND   NETTIE'S   ACQUAINTANCE—THE
WIDOW'S    TROUBLES—JACK    IN    LOVE
Jack had been up the country nearly four years, and
great changes had taken place during that time in San
Francisco. He now had money and leisure, but he felt
lonesome, and missed his friend more in the crowded
city than he had upon the mining flat.
At this time the steamers of the Nicaragua and Panama
routes were running opposition, and fares were very
low, so he came to the conclusion he might as well take
a trip to New York, as walk about San Francisco all
winter, with no one there that he knew.
He took a thousand dollars out of the bank, got an
order on the New York branch for five hundred, and
the rest he had with him. Taking his blankets and
valise, with a good basket of provisions, he bought a
ticket for the steerage for fifty dollars.
Great improvements had been made upon the route,
and, with the exception of a few days rough weather
on the Atlantic, he had a fine trip back to his native
state.
He arrived in New York clad in his rough mining
clothes; so he thought he would dress himself up a bit
before he went to see his sister, as she kept a nice THE   GOLD   MINERS 89
boarding house in a good locality. He went to the
barber's and then to the clothiers and bought a full new
suit; hat, boots and gloves, which made quite a transformation in him.
Next day he went to see his sister, confident of finding her as he had left her. But strangers met him, and
when he came to make enquiries, he found she had
married again, and gone West. He knew the man she
had married, a widower, and his first wife and Jack's
sister had been great friends when they were girls.
Still it was a great disappointment to him, and his idea
of buying the hotel had to be abandoned.
It was Christmas time, and New York was very
lively. He made calls on the few friends he knew, and
there were plenty of amusements to pass the time
pleasantly. His desire for knowledge and love of reading had been fostered in the solitude of the mining camp,
and he frequented Mechanics Institutes and Public
Libraries till New Year's day came round.
The Hollanders had started the custom of calling
upon this day, so he went to make his New Year's calls.
The landlady saw him going out, and told him to be
sure and come back for dinner, for she was going to
give them something extra good. He returned to
dinner, and then went to his room to fix up for calling
again in the afternoon.
When he was ready to start, he found he had no
pocket handkerchief. In turning out his valise to find
one, he came upon a little bundle he had put away in
some stockings; it was the Captain's watch, ring and
papers. He bethought himself it would be just the
right time to go and call upon Mrs. Van Wick.    All THE   GOLD   MINERS
that was to come to her from her late husband's claim
was set down, and he made it up to an even hundred
dollars from his own pocket.
Making five, twenty dollar gold pieces, the watch,
ring and papers into a neat parcel, he gave himself an
extra brush, went out and hailed an omnibus, and soon
found himself in the neighbourhood of the late Captain
Van Wick's residence. He recognized the house from
the Captain's sketch of it, went up the steps and knocked
at the door. A waiter answered the summons. " I
wish to see the widow of Captain Van Wick," he said
to the man.
" No widow lady lives here, sir," returned the man,
" but Mrs. de Lancy and her young ladies are receiving
callers, perhaps you had better see them?"
" No, thank you; couldn't you tell me where the
widow lives?"
Before the man could answer, Jack received a slap
on the back, and a voice, somewhat thick from many
New Year's calls, said, "My young friend, take the
elder Weller's advice, and 'bevare of de vidders."
Three other gentlemen who had just alighted from
a carriage with him, joined in his boisterous laughter,
and the manservant grinned.
Jack felt an inclination to knock them all down the
steps, but he refrained himself, and walked slowly along
looking at the house. More callers were arriving, so
he stepped into an alley way which ran along side, to
get a better look at it, and pull himself together for the
next move.
He was comparing the sketch of the late Captain's
with the building before him, and making sure he had THE   GOLD   MINERS 91
not mistaken the number upon it, when he noticed a
little girl looking up at him in a wistful manner.
"Well Sissie," he said, smiling down upon her,
I where do you live ?"
"We live right here," indicating the alley.
" Have you lived here long?"
"Yes, we always lived here. Mamma always lived
here."
"Show me where your mamma lives, I want to see
her," he returned, for he thought it would be a good
idea to go and make enquiries of the child's mother.
He followed her into a square yard, on the right
hand side of which stood an old fashioned Dutch house,
such as had been built in Colonial days by the Hollanders.
The little girl opened the door, and running through
the hall, called, "Oh, mamma, here's a gentleman come
to call upon you."
He saw a fair young woman, dressed in black, sitting
by a window, quilting in a frame.
As she rose and came forward to hand him a chair,
he noticed how worn and sorrowful she looked. Of
course she didn't recognize him, but she seemed to think
it was some one she ought to know. She looked
enquiringly at him, but treated him as a New Year's
caller.
The lady began to talk, and he soon found out it was
the Captain's widow. When he came to look at the
little girl, he could see a great likeness between her and
her father.
After Mrs. Van Wick had been telling him about the
sketch she had, and of her late husband's partners, and
how they lived in California, he told her who he was, 92
THE   GOLD   MINERS
and both  shje  and  Nettie  were  greatly  pleased,  and
couldn't do too much for him.
Mrs. Van Wick made him take off his overcoat and
wraps, and stay and take tea with them. When she
lighted up the room and stirred up the fire and he could
look round, he saw that everything was very handsome,
but old-fashioned. She made him sit in one of the old-
fashioned chairs, and told him Martin Van Buren had
sat in that chair many a time, and taken a comfortable
He found Mrs. Van Wick both pretty and intelligent
The reason she was living in the home of her childhood was, that it had been left to her by her grandfather,
and had not been included in the mortgage. She told
him of all the trouble the mortgage had given her, and
how she came to take possession of this house.
When she refused to give it up they instituted a
series of prosecutions, and finally threatened to block
up the alleyway, which was the only way of ingress
and egress.
She went and consulted the lawyer who had been
their adviser in better days, and he wrote to her tormentors, and told them if they interfered with her and
stopped the alleyway, he would build a stone wall in
front of their dining-room window, which opened into
Mrs. Van Wick's yard, and would likewise stop their
entrance upon the inner square, by which they would
lose the use of a fine well of fine water. Since then
they had left her in peace.
Nettie talked to him about Bob, and asked several
questions about camp life and mining in her bright and
childish way. THE   GOLD   MINERS 93
The tea was so nice, the surroundings so cheerful,
Mrs. Van Wick and her little daughter so pleasant and
refined, he thought he had never passed such a delightful
evening in his life.
As he was to remain in New York for about six
weeks longer, he asked to have the privilege of calling;
he told her he had no relatives in the city and felt
lonely.
After all his kindriess to her late husband, and his
attention to her interests in the claim left by the
Captain, she could scarcely refuse him.
So they parted, and he went back to his boarding
house, but he was not like the same man. The beautiful, sad eyes of the widow seemed to follow him everywhere, and he was also greatly pleased with Nettie,
and fell asleep thinking of them.
The first thought in the morning was of them, and
he went to several book stores, before he could select a
present he thought good enough for Nettie.
He had to confess that he had fallen in love with
the widow at first sight He argued with himself that
she was a delicate and ladylike woman, made to shine
in society, while he was only a rough miner. Still he
was an American citizen, and he felt, as most Americans
do, that he was on an equality with any one. He
therefore made up his mind to polish himself up, and
make himself more companionable. CHAPTER   XIV
IE   FAMILY   FROM   NEW   YORK THE   ADROIT   BOARDER
—THE     ROBBING     AND     ELOPEMENT DIVORCE     AND
MARRIAGE
of a  man,  his  wife, and  four .
children, came out from New York State the same time
Jack Gayford set out for the western gold diggings.
They had had a farm in the interior of the State,
which they sold; and as they intended to keep a boarding house in San Francisco, they bought and sent by way
of Cape Horn, all the doors, windows and general
furniture needed.
Mr. and Mrs. Milbert had been married very young,
and their eldest daughter was now eleven or twelve
years of age, and their youngest boy six.
The mere fact of having come from the same State
brought them together on board ship, and as Jack
Mayford was a steady young man, the acquaintance was
kept up as long as they remained in San Francisco.
They camped together on Telegraph Hill, and Jack
assisted Mr. Milbert to build a snug little place, consisting at first of three rooms, built of lumber bought
cheap from a wreck, supplemented by other lumber
which had been slightly charred, and which was likewise obtained at a low rate. THE   GOLD   MINERS 95
When Jack left for the Cariboo mines in the spring,
the goods and chattels of the Milbert family had
arrived, and they were preparing their boarding house;
then they lost track of each other.
As Jack returned to his boarding house in New York,
after selecting a suitable gift for Nettie, the landlady
told him a gentleman from San Francisco had been
making inquiries for him, and had made an appointment at three o'clock to meet him.
Upon meeting the gentleman Jack saw at once that
he was a stranger.
"Do you remember the Milbert family?"
"Very well, indeed; and also what hardworking
good people they were."
"My business with you is concerning them, so I must
begin at the beginning, and tell you all about them,
from the time you left."
"They got along very well the first year, for they
all worked. The two little girls waited on table, and
the father made a wagon for the boys, who collected in
it all the wood necessary for use in the household. In
fact they were saving money from the start.
"One day Mr. Milbert came home and said he was
not feeling very well, and complained of a bad head
ache. By morning he was in a high fever, and Mrs.
Milbert sent for a doctor, who gave him suitable medicine to break the fever, but unfortunately the poor man
insisted upon getting up and going out into the night
air, and as he was far too strong in his slightly delirious
condition for Mrs. Milbert to hold him back, he took
a relapse, from which he soon after died.
" It had all come so suddenly upon the poor woman, 96 THE   GOLD   MINERS
that she hardly realized what had happened, and her
hands were too full of work for her to be able to sit
down and think.
"When she went to her room she would relieve her- I
self with a good cry, but she was-almost too tired to
take her clothes off, and was soon sleeping the sleep of
the utterly weary, oblivious of trouble or over work.
"One of the boarders was a New Yorker, who had I
been raised to hotel keeping. He was a man of rather
fine appearance, and good address. He had been to the
mines, but found a life of ' ruffing it' didn't agree with
him, so he returned to San Francisco to see what he
could do there.
" He used to attend auctions, and buy up large
quantities of goods, and then retail them; but he had
a great deal of time on his hands, and he offered to assist
the widow for his board and lodgings. Besides, he used
to buy vegetables and fruit at a wholesale, and could
supply the house at a much better rate than Mrs. Milbert
had been able to do at the stores.
" He was very good to the children, and they all
liked him. He advised Mrs. Milbert to make out to
send them to school, and hire help in the kitchen. By
this means the boarding house was better served, and
became more popular, and Mrs. Milbert was doing
better than she had ever expected to do.
" Things went on in this way for about a year, and
then Mr. Chester proposed to the widow, but she had
no thought of marrying again, and told him so. He
professed to be greatly attached to her and the children,
and said if she refused to marry him, he would leave
San Francisco.   THE   GOLD   MINERS 97
" The children were really fond of him, and wouldn't
hear of his going away. So after a great deal of talk
on either side, Mr. Chester and Mrs. Milbert were
married.
/" Things went along in much the same way; the
children were sent regularly to school, they were all
smart and got along well. They were also a fine
healthy  family and  good  looking.
I The elder .girl being now nearly fifteen years of
age, Mrs. Chester had paid the first instalment on a lot
in the days of her widowhood, and she and her second
husband continued to save money.
§ It was the bi-monthly steamer day, and Mrs. Chester
used to go down to see people off on the steamboat, who
had been stopping at the house, and Mrs. Chester would
then do the daily  marketing.
"This day she left the cook in the house and took
the two little boys with her with the wagon. She
thought Mr. Chester wouldn't be gone long, so she
didn't hurry herself, as he would see that all was ready
for dinner; she had heard the gun fire, and knew the
boat had left.
I When she got home she expected to see everything
going on for dinner the same as usual, for they had
quite a number of boarders; but Mr. Chester wasn't
there. The cook was at a standstill in the kitchen, and
didn't know what to do. Mrs. Chester hadn't time to
change her dress, but went to work to help get the
dinner ready in the best way they could. She got a
very good dinner and served it, but no Mr. Chester put
in an appearance, and only the two little boys came
home to dinner, 98 THE   GOLD   MINERS
"After dinner was over, she set the two boys to assist
the cook in clearing away and washing up, while she
went to change her dress. When she came to look
around, she thought it seemed very strange, her husband's
trunk was gone. They kept all their wearing apparel,
and everything of value in trunks, that they might easily
be thrown out in case of fire.
" She looked into the girls' room, and a cold shiver
ran over her, for the trunk of the elder was likewise
gone. She returned to her room, and went to the head
of the bed, where her first husband had made a concealment between the bedstead and the wall, in which they
kept their money.
" She would save up in small change till she got fifty
dollars, which she would change into a slug. This she
always rolled up in a piece of rag, and deposited in a
hand satchel. Fifteen hundred dollars had thus been
stored away in this hiding place, and when she came to
look she felt completely stunned, for it too was gone.
She sat down helplessly and didn't know what to do.
"After a while one of the little boys came in to say
that a boarder wished to speak to her. This man told
her that her husband had run off with her elder daughter
on the morning's steamer. She almost crazy thinking
of her daughter, and she would have given the money
twice over only to have had her safe.
"When she recovered herself a little, she sent for me,
as I had been her lawyer. Sent me after them, and I
soon found out where they were.
There were no telegraphs in those days, and the start
of one boat meant two weeks ahead.
"Mrs. Chester wrote to this husband of hers, telling THE   GOLD   MINERS
99
him she couldn't find words to say what she thought
of him, but she had commenced a suit for divorce, and
as soon as it was obtained, he must marry her daughter
in the presence of witnesses she would send. She said
she would never cross their path unless he refused to do
the only thing left him to do; if he refused, she would
follow him to the world's end and shoot him wherever
she met him.
" The divorce has now been obtained, and Mrs.
Chester or Milbert, as she will now be called, has sent
me to you, Mr. Gayford, requesting you to be the second
witness of the marriage."
Of course Jack Gayford went and did as he was
desired; but the poor girl had already commenced her
repentance, and was but a weeping bride. She lived in
ill health for some years, and finally died before her
mother, leaving no children. CHAPTER   XV
JACK   PROPOSES   TO   THE   WIDOW—THEIR   MARRIAGE—
THE   CLEVER   LAWYER—RETURN   TO   CALIFORNIA
After Jack Gayford's return, from the fulfilment of
his next most unpleasant task, he continued his visits to
the widow of the late Captain Van Wick.
One Sunday evening Mrs. Van Wick had a friend
there likewise a widow lady, with one son. This was
the friend who kept the bookstore, and from who the
papers and so on came, that had been such a boon in
the mining camp.
After tea, they all went to the Lutheran church, and
little Nettie took possession of Mr. Gayford. When
they returned to the house they had some singing and
sacred music, and Jack was more than ever enthralled.
One week passed after another, but he could not make
up his mind to go away, till April came round and very
fine weather, and he felt it was high time for him to get
back to work. He went to take tea with Mrs. Van
Wick and Nettie, and to make his final farewells.
Nettie began to cry, and said she didn't want him to
go away. He could never tell exactly how it came
about, but that evening the widow promised to become
Mrs. Gayford.
After some simple preparations they went to Albany
for a couple of weeks.    They had made up their minds THE   GOLD   MINERS 101
to go to California, but Jack wanted his wife to sell the
old house first
He went to the lawyer who had befriended bis wife
in her trouble with the mortgage and asked his opinion
in the matter. The lawyer understood the people he
had to deal with, and advised Jack to make an offer to
buy back Mrs. Gayford's father's property, giving the
amount for which it had been mortgaged, with all the
interest and expenses incurred to date.
The mortgagee had of course made a good bargain,
and refused to give it up; but, as the lawyer had anticipated, he offered a fair price for Mrs. Gayford's house;
so she came to her husband with quite a nice little
dowry.
Jack had all the handsome old furniture packed, not
omitting the arm chair in which Van Buren had sat,
with a lot of new furniture, and everything that w«s
required for a good boarding house; this he sent by
clipper ship round the Horn.
Then they all started for San Francisco; and after a
good passage they arrived there safe and well. Jack
rented some furnished rooms for his wife and daughter,
while he went up the country. CHAPTER   XVI
MR.      HUDDERSFIELD   HIS      BEREAVEMENT  LEAVES
IRELAND   FOR   UNITED   STATES PUBLIC   SPEAKER HIS
SON-IN-LAW   ELECT HIS   DAUGHTER'S   WEDDING
The landlady of the house in which Mrs. Gayford and
Nettie stayed was very companionable, and tried to make
her roomers feel at home.
One evening as this lady and Mrs. Gayford were
sitting down to have a cozy chat, they were startled by
some one in the hall, speaking in a deep toned voice,
asking if Mr. Parks was at home.
After some time Mr. Parks came into the parlour,
bringing his visitor with him, and introduced him as
Mr. John Huddersfield.
He was a pretty good looking man, of massive build
to match his voice, and probably forty years of age. He
talked mostly to Mrs. Gayford, whose quiet voice and
gentle ways were such a contrast to his own.
He went away about ten oclock, and Mrs. Parks'
first exclamation, as the door closed upon his burly
figure was, "What a voice."
"Don't say any more," put in her husband. " John
Huddersfield is quite a character. He's a good speaker,
and always speaks in favour of the working classes.
He's a man who is honest and true in all his dealings,
and wouldn't worry man, woman or child; but I don't THE   GOLD   MINERS 103
think he would be a favourite with the ladies, for he
speaks the truth too plainly, and he's no ways polished."
Mrs. Parks looked at Mrs. Gayford, but never a word
did she say. Presently Mrs. Gayford spoke up and said
she believed he was a rough diamond and she liked him.
After this, Mr. Huddersfield was a constant visitor.
He came early in the evening, and talked mostly to Mrs.
Gayford. He told her he had been married when he
was quite young, before he was twenty, and his wife
not eighteen, that they got along as well as a couple
could do for a few years. Then he went to collect
some money for his father, as his wife and he were
driving home, just as they got to a dark and lonely part
of the road, two men jumped out, one on each side, and
tried to get hold of the horse's head. It was a spirited
young animal, and throwing up its head, dashed off for
home as hard as it could go.
The sudden plunge threw Mrs. Huddersfield backwards over the seat, into the bottom of the cart; but there
was no stopping the horse till he reached his own gate.
Then it was found out she had broken a blood vessel,
and they lifted her out in a fainting condition. A dead
child was born the same night, and the poor lady was
in delicate health for some years.
Then Mr. Huddersfield became a public speaker,
taking part with the working classes, but finding his
sphere somewhat restricted was induced to leave Ireland
for the United States, to find a wider scope for his
talents.
He went first to Philadelphia, and settled himself in
a pretty cottage in the outskirts of the city. Here his
wife's health was so much improved, that he found him- io4 THE   GOLD   MINERS
self a good partner, and went into business as a contractor and builder.
After a while, a little daughter, Nellie, was born to
them, much to their own pleasure and every one else's
surprise.
When Nellie was about eleven years of age, he was
taking her and her mother out for a buggy ride, when
the horse took fright and ran away. They were all
thrown out; neither Mr. Huddersfield nor Nellie were
hurt, but the shock brought on the old hemmorhage in
poor Mrs. Huddersfield, and she died in a few days.
Mr. Huddersfield didn't know what to do with Nellie
and his home; so he bethought him of his wife's sister,
who lived in the North of England, and sent for her.
She came with her husband and large family, and took
charge of the house and Nellie. The north country
dialect which she had acquired, grated upon his ears,
and although she was a good housekeeper, she lacked
the refinement of his wife. So he resolved to send
Nellie to school, and made his sister-in-law a present of
the house goods, with the proviso that Nellie was to
spend the vacations with her aunt and be taught housekeeping.
Mr. Huddersfield told his partner he must buy him
out, for he couldn't stay there; that he would leave
Nellie under his guardianship and go to California.
He made arrangements that she should come to him
when she was eighteen and keep house for him. It
only wanted a few months of that time, and he told
Mrs. Gayford he was going to buy a house, and get
ready for her coming. He would buy another horse,
too, so they could drive a carriage and pair. THE   GOLD   MINERS 105
"Oh, you just wait till you see my lass," and he gave
a merry look over to Mrs. Parks. " She'll not be all
skin and bone, like some people, she'll be an armful."
Mrs. Parks would generally have something to say
in return, and she was a pretty good talker, but he had
so many words that she always came out second best.
He told them what a fine house he had bought and
where it was, and wanted them to go and look at it. He
had sent money to his lass to fix up her wardrobe,
arranged with a friend and his wife who were coming
out to the Golden State, to bring Nellie with them, and
was negotiating for a handsome pair of horses, when he
received a letter from the lass herself.
He came straight to Mrs. Gayford, his face in a
flame, his voice louder and gruffer than ever, and bouncing himself down in the large arm chair he always
occupied, took the letter out of his pocket, and shaking
it violently above his head, as if he would like to shake
the person who had written it, roared,
" Here's a pretty how-d'-yer-do. Here's a pretty
kettle of fish."
Mrs. Gayford, who was reading, closed her book, and
looked up at him. "What's the matter, Mr. Huddersfield?" she asked quietly.
"Well, you know the preparations that I've been
making to get my lass out here, and how I've been looking forward to her coming eighteen years of age?" and
speaking very loudly and in his deep tones, he went on,
" Here's a letter, and she says she'd very much like to
see her dear papa, but she don't want to leave Philadelphia,"  and  with  a perfect  roar,  " because  there's io6 THE   GOLD   MINERS
somebody else!    I've a great mind  not  to  take  any
notice of this letter, but send for her to come right on."
" I don't think I'd do that Mr. Huddersfield," said
Mrs. Gayford, gently. " You forget that you were
quite young when you got married, and that your wife
was not quite as old as your daughter is now. You
have a friend in Philadelphia that you can trust, would
it not be better for you to write to him, and ask all
about this 'somebody else?'"
He quieted down a bit and said, "Well, Richard
never went around with his eyes or ears shut; its
astonishing I didn't hear anything of this before, as he
is her guardian."
" I think that argues well for the young man,"
returned Mrs. Gayford, " for if he had not been of
good character, and one her guardian would like for
her, he would certainly have written, and "
" Then you think its best for me to write to him, and
find out all about it, and not say anything to Nellie?"
he interrupted in his impetuous way.
"Yes, you wouldn't like to have her here pining and
fretting, and wanting to go back again, would you?"
" No," he said energetically, and away he went, but
came back a minute later, and putting his head in at
the door, said he'd show Mrs. Grayford the letter he
would send to his friend next steamer day.
The evening before the bi-monthly mail went out,
in came Mr. Huddersfield, sat down in the big arm
chair, and read the letter he had written to his friend.
" Friend Richard,—
" You know how I have been looking forward to the
time of my lass coming out here, and have made great THE   GOLD   MINERS 107
preparations for it, and by last mail I received a letter
from Nellie, stating that she did not want to come to
California; and she would like to see her dear papa, but
there was somebody else, and now I want to know who
the ' somebody else ' is, that aspires to the honour of
being John Huddersfield's son-in-law. (Here he cleared
his throat with a great ahem, ahem!) I want to know
his pedigree—does he belong to the useful and producing
classes? I want to know his age and weight; because
if I am to have grandchildren, I want them to be strong
and healthy and good looking. Now, I will tell you
what I don't want, an old, long legged, lantern jawed,
stick-whittling, whiskey drinking, smoking, chewing,
swearing fellow for my son-in-law.
" From your old friend,
" John Huddersfield."
" P.S.—Answer by return  of mail."
In due time the answer came; it commenced: —
" Dear John,—
" I see life in California has not changed you. You
are the same outspoken John that you always were; and
to confess the truth, I have been grinning in my sleeve
for the last three years, thinking that here is a love
affair that would bring my old friend John to Philadelphia again. You may depend if this ' somebody
else ' had not been the right kind of person, you would
have heard long ago. And his pedigree is, his father
is an Englishman, and his mother is Scotch; both fine,
young, good looking people, and his grandparents are
still living, and all, of the useful members of society.
According to your wish, I had the young man measured. 108 THE   GOLD   MINERS
He stands six feet without his boots, and his weight is
one hundred and ninety pounds. He is within two
months of being twenty-three years of age. He is the
youngest of five children, the other four being daughters.
He neither smokes, drinks nor chews, and he is in business with his father, in a large furniture factory. It
would be a great pity to break up the match, as he is an
only son, and his father and friends would not like to
part from him. So John, come back to Philadelphia
and give your Nellie away yourself."
Then he wrote to Nellie, that though he was very
sorry to lose her, he had had such a good character of
this " somebody else," he supposed he would have to
He also got a letter from the young man himself, a
nice letter. In answer, John Huddersfield wrote:
" You call her dear Nellie, now. I hope it will always
be so. You can be master outside, but I hope you will
let her be mistress in her own home, for it is always best
that ' the grey mare should be the better horse.' "
About this time, Mrs. Gayford, who had obtained
Bessie's address from her husband, went to look up the
young girl, and she was a frequent visitor at the Gay-
fords' rooms. CHAPTER   XVII
MR.   HUDDERSFIELD   MAKES   NEW   PLANS THE   LITTLE
WIDOW THE  ENGLISH  OLD  MAID MR.   HUDDERSFIELD
TAKES   THE   LADIES   FOR   A   DRIVE FALLS   OUT   WITH
THE     OLD     MAID PROPOSES     TO     BESSIE EXEUNT
HUDDERSFIELD
After Mr. Huddersfield's return from giving Nellie
away, he came in and said, " Now its all settled, what
shall I do with the house?"
"Your daughter's got a good start, and you've many
years before you yet, get married yourself," suggested
Mrs. Parks.
" If I could find some one to suit me within ten
years of my own age, I would. I'm not going to marry
a young girl!"
Mrs. Parks promised to be on the look out, and if she
saw any one eligible, she'd speak a good word for him
and let him know.
One day Mrs. Park's met him and said, "Oh, Mr.
Huddersfield, I've got acquainted with a nice widow that
would just suit you; she's a brunette and small, and a
very nice woman altogether."
" Is she young ?"
" No, I think she's well on to forty, by the way she
talks; but shoe's well preserved, and has enough to live no THE   GOLD   MINERS
"How long as she been a widow?"
" Four years."
"Good looking, and young looking," he mused in a
stage whisper, " has enough to live on, and in a place
where ladies are so scarce."
Then in his usual stentorian voice, " I wonder she
hasn't married long ago."
" I'm going to invite her to tea on Tuesday,"
continued Mrs. Parks, " and you can drop in as if by
accident."
On the appointed day Mrs. McDuff came to tea.
She was handsomely and becomingly dressed, and a very
nice little lady she seemed.
Bessie was there too, and as it happened she was the
first to be seen by Mr. Huddersfield. He looked
suspiciously at Mrs. Parks, fearing she was having a joke
upon him, and intended to introduce him to a young
girl.
As he was being introduced to Bessie, Mrs. McDuff
came down stairs, and he was introduced to her. He
was frigidly polite, but gave Mrs. Parks a look over the
little lady's head, that she was unable to understand, and
which made her feel very uncomfortable, fey she was
well aware of his blunt, outspoken manner. During
tea he would look over Mrs. McDuff's head and give
Mrs. Gayford the same kind of look.
Tea over, Mrs. Gayford had them into the parlour
to show them some pictures. Bessie stayed to help
Mrs. Parks clear away and wash up. Just as they were
putting away the tea things, Mr. Huddersfield came out,
and laying his hand on Mrs. Parks shoulder, said in a
hoarse whisper which could be heard all over the house, THE   GOLD   MINERS m
" She won't do!" Bessie nearly dropped the clean cups
and saucers she had in her hands, and Mrs. Parks
remarked quite loudly and as coolly as she could, "Mr.
Huddersfield, if you want some water, walk this way."
She got him out into the yard and shut the door, then
she said, " Now, Mr. Huddersfield, you've got to behave
like a gentleman; it don't matter whether she'll do or
"All right," he returned doggedly, " but I won't see
her home."
" Now don't say any more. I don't want to hear
it," interposed Mrs. Parks. " You can tell me when
she's gone."
At about half-past nine Mrs. McDuff talked of going,
but he took no notice; so Mrs. Parks and Bessie said
they would go with her; then he offered to accompany
them.
After they returned Mrs. Parks demanded, " Now,
Mr.  Huddersfield, what's the matter?"
" I know that woman's husband," he thundered.
He had to leave her. She don't drink all the time, but
she gets on drinking sprees, and keeps on till she gets
the delirium tremens. Besides all that," and he seemed
to swell out as his voice increased in volume, " she's
got a lodger."
"Well, well!" said Mrs. Parks. " I think there's
enough without the lodger, we'll drop her."
One day he came in and asked us all to go for a
carriage drive with him. Mrs. Gayford excused herself as she was afraid of horses, and was unwilling to
take Nettie. Bessie was there and eager for the drive,
so Mrs. Parks went with them. THE   GOLD   MINERS
Jack, Mr. Huddersfield's horse, was in great spirits,
and the ladies were proportionately nervous. All went
well until^ they reached the long trestle bridge which
crossed a torrent, tumbling among the rocks and stones
below.
Here they were brought up sharply by another horse I
and rig in front of them.   The bridge was not wide
enough for two to pass, and one must back off to let the
other over.
Mr. Huddersfield tried to make Jack back, but he
only stood on his hind legs, and pawed the air with his
fore feet
The ladies thought every moment to find themselves
precipitated below. Seeing it was useless for Mr.
Huddersfield to back off, the man in the other rig got
down, and succeeded in getting out of the way himself.
Mrs. Parks and Bessie looked at the lady in the other
rig, and she looked at them, the two men scowled at
each other, and passed on their different ways.
They went on merrily enough after that, Mr.
Huddersfield and Mrs. Parks keeping up a lively conversation, when, all of a sudden, Jack pricked up his
ears, attempted to stand on his hind legs, trembled all
over, and ended up by trying to turn round and round.
Mr. Huddersfield did his best to hold the creature while
he shouted, " Ladies, you'd better get out; there's something wrong with Jack."
When she was a safe distance from the unaccountable
Jack, Mrs. Parks said to Bessie, " This is the first
carriage ride I've taken in California, and I'll not want
another very soon.    We narrowly escaped being thrown   THE   GOLD   MINERS 113
over the bridge, and killed among the rocks, and now
the wretched horse has got a fit; just look at it."
Two gentlemen who were passing, asked if they
could be of any service, and went to examine Jack.
They informed Mr. Huddersfield that the horse had
the " staggers," but would soon be better.
As soon as Jack had recovered, Mr. Huddersfield
wanted the ladies to get in the carriage again. That,
Mrs. Parks declared she would not do. She would
Walk over to the mission, and take an omnibus home.
This he wouldn't listen to, declaring he would never
hear the last of it, if he took two ladies out for a
carriage ride, and dumped them down in the sand hills.
Timidly the ladies remounted the vehicle, and reached
home in safety, and very thankful they were once more
to stand on solid ground, and no persuasions ever
induced them to go carriage riding with Mr. Huddersfield again.
Some time after this he came in and said he was going
away for three months, and had come to say good-bye.
After that time had elapsed, he called on us again, and
said he felt of some importance now, for he was engaged
to be married. So of course Mrs. Parks wanted to hear
all about the affair.
"Well, the lady is an English old maid. She was
engaged when she was quite young, but being poor
gentle people, they had waited and waited, and the
marriage had been put off in order to get something to
make a start, and raise a family on.
"At last the young man had an offer to come out to
California as supercargo. He did very well, and bought
some lots in a coast town, went to work and levelled ii4 THE   GOLD   MINERS
them himself, sold them again and made considerable
in the transaction.
"When he'd been out here two years, he'd got a
house and lot of his own, and he sent for his lady love.
But was taken sick before she got here, and two weeks
after he died; but he left her everything he had. That
was four years ago. How I came to meet her, she
heard I was from the old country, and she came and
told me some man was trying to cheat her out of a
thousand dollars; and she wanted my opinion. One
thing brought on another till we got engaged, and in
three months we are to be married. So I shall be away
most of that time."
The ladies told him they should watch the papers
about that time, for they would be sure to give him a
puff; and he must bring the lady to see them when they
came to San Francisco.
They watched the papers, but never saw anything
about the wedding. At last he walked in again one
evening, and Mrs. Parks exclaimed, "Oh, Mr. Huddersfield, where's the madam?"
| That's all off, we've Tell out!"
Mrs. Parks went into Mrs. Gayford, and told her.
"Here's Mr. Huddersfield, and no lady. He says
they've fallen out. Come along, we shall hear all
about it."
It seemed the lady had come up to San Francisco to
try to get the thousand dollars, and he met her and
said, " Now, Betsy, you must come up and look at my
house, it is to be your future home, you know."
She  looked  through  it,  and  then  said,  "Oh,  Mr. THE   GOLD   MINERS 115
Huddersfield,  this  is  a   large  house;   I   could  take   in
boarders."
"Betsy, I don't want to live in a boarding house."
"Well then, I could rent out three or four rooms."
" I don't want roomers," he roared, " and I won't have
people prowling about the house all hours of the night
I want my house to myself."
" So they came away and Miss Betsy was not in a
very good humour; but he had Jack and the buggy
brought round and took her for a ride. They went
some miles, and the lady was still sulking. On the
return drive he told her that he couldn't get his business settled to take her back next day, but he had given
her in charge of a  friend of his.    Mr.  Simpkins will
: yc
1 safe home," he told her.
uldn't be seen walking with Mr. Simpkins,"
she returned in a scornful manner. He turned upon her
in his abrupt way, and in his loud voice, shouted, "Do
you mean to say you'd lend a canting old hypocrite like
Jonkins a thousand dollars, and you wouldn't be seen
walking with an honest man like my friend Simpkins?"
With that she began to give out shrill screams, and
our old Jack took fright. Mr. Huddersfield said he
might have bawled himself hoarse, and Jack would have
taken no notice, but those feminine screeches made him
nervous, and he shied from one side to the other. At
last he went on a rock, and knocked the lady's bonnet
down the bank, hanging by the strings, and Mr. Huddersfield's best stove pipe hat into the road. This vexed him
so that he called Jack a fool, and gave him a cut with
the whip.
Miss Betsy screamed again, and told him he was a n6
THE   GOLD   MINERS
violent man, and said he had made the horse run away,
and they would be killed; then she tried to jump out.
At that time very large hoops and wide skirts were
worn; so he caught both skirts and hoops, put them
under him, and sat down upon them. She began to
scream again, and then she would laugh in a demonical
way, as he called it, and frightened poor Jack worse
than ever.
Mr. Huddersfield said to her in a very loud voice,
" If you don't stop that, we shall all be killed, you and
me and Jack."
So she quieted 'down, and he regained control of Jack,
and at last brought him to a standstill.
He liberated Miss Betsy's skirts, and said, "You can
get out now if you want to, but I can assure you, you
don't look very respectable. We both look as if we
had taken ' a champagne,' and had a rough and tumble
fight"
He offered to take her back to San Francisco if she
would keep quiet, and he went back and picked up her
crushed hat, whilst she arranged her disordered attire
as well as she could, but they were a dishevelled looking
couple.
After they had been driving silently along for some
time, Miss Betsy said, " I don't think you and I could
get along together." To which he replied bluntly, " I
don't think we could, Miss Betsy, and I'm very glad
we found it out before we got married."
Some time after that he was talking it over with the
ladies of the house and Bessie was there.
Turning to her he said abruptly, " If I was only THE
GOLD   MINERS
117
twenty years younger.
, or you twenty years older,
you'd
be the next.
" Thank
you,   Mi
:.   Huddersfield,"   returned
Bessie
demurely, "
but there's 'somebody else!'"
" Somebody else,"
he roared, in his big, base
voice.
" There's
always
; somebody  else.' "    Grabbi
ng  up   -
his hat, out
he rushed, and they never saw him ;
again. CHAPTER   XVIII
JACK   GAYFORD   PROVIDES   A   HOME   FOR   HIS   FAMILY	
RE-UNION   OF   JACK   AND   BILLY SIGHT-SEEING   IN   SAN
FRANCISCO MARRIAGE     OF     BESSIE     AND     BILLY OLD
FRIENDS   IN   NEW   QUARTERS
"Who do you think we came across in San Francisco?"
Billy couldn't guess. "Why your old friend Bessie
Akers."
Trying to hide his pleasure at hearing of her, Billy
asked as indifferently as he could, what she looked like
now, and if she was the same school girl she used to be.
"Oh, she's greatly improved. She's in a fine dry
goods store on Market Street. She's very bright and
intelligent and stylish looking, my wife and she were
very good friends. They are staying in the same house,
and think a lot of each other."
Billy made no remark, but seemed in a great hurry to
reach San Francisco after that.
Going directly to Mrs. Gayford's rooms, they met
Miss Bessie, and Billy surrendered to the old attachment
instantly. He was delighted with his friend's wife and
daughter, and Jack made sure Billy would soon follow
his example and join the ranks of the Benedicts.
They took in all the sights of San Francisco, and
with them went the lively Mrs. Parks. THE   GOLD   MINERS 119
One evening they went to see Caroline Chapman
play. She was called "Charming Carry," and was one
of the great theatrical attractions of the early fifties.
She was a clever actress and an estimable in private life;
but few people outside of her family knew why she
remained single.
While playing in the South, a mutual attachment
sprung up between her and a Southern gentleman; but
their course of true love was crossed by the pride of this
gentleman's mother; who insisted that Miss Chapman
should not only give up her profession, but that she
should throw over her relatives. This Carrie refused
to do, and a faded bouquet, carefully stowed away, was
prized more highly than the presents of gold which were
showered upon her, for it was all that was left to her of
the romance of her life.
Our friends were greatly delighted with the performance of the Chapmans.
Events followed each other in quick succession.
Jack had the pleasure of being best man for Billy's
marriage to Bessie. These happy young people returned
to the store and bought out Billy's sister, thus setting
her free to return to the North for which she had pined
since her widowhood.
The ship with the goods and chattels of the Gayfords
having arrived, Jack took them up the country, and fixed
up everything comfortably, in readiness for his wife
and daughter, and a very nice place he made of it. He
had a fine flower and vegetable garden, for things grow
profusely in this sunny land, and everything presented
a bright and homelike appearance, when he returned
with his wife and little daughter. 120 THE   GOLD   MINERS
After Mr. and Mrs. Gayford were comfortably settled
in their new home, Jack asked his wife to go for a walk
with him, and he led her into the grave yard up on the
mountain side. Not many people were buried there,
and those mostly miners, for the place had only been
settled a short time.
Under a nice shady tree, surrounded by a nice picket
fence, was a grave with a marble slab, and upon it the
name of the late Captain Van Wick.
This marble head stone Jack had brought from New
York, and erected to the memory of Mrs. Gayford's
first husband. She was overwhelmed at his thoughtful
kindness, for this was the first intimation she had had
of his intention.
Mrs. Gayford's widowed friend, who had so kindly
supplied the camp with papers and books, came with
her son and settled near them; afterwards marrying a
judge.    So they had quite a little colony of their own.
When Billy and his wife came to visit at Jack's wayside house, he was the proud father of a very fine son.
As Nettie was showing him she said, "Oh! I don't care
how many boys they have, but I don't want them to
have a girl."
Papa Gayford laughed and said, " they wouldn't have
a girl till after she was married."
" I shall never want to be married," she returned
seriously, " for I couldn't love any one as much as I
do my Papa Gayford and my dear Mamma." By  the  Same  Author
CANADIAN GAMP LIFE
A Domestic Story of Life on the border lands of Canada
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