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The passing of a race and more tales of western life Higgins, David Williams, 1834-1917 1905

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This book is a
1-feCen and
TfiiCip TKkriaa  m   Ifljl passim} of a îlaiâe
rifle would ïïjfyt passing of a îlaa
Formerly Speaker of the British Columbia Legislature
Author of "The Mystic Spring and Other Tales
^"Western Li e"
1905 Entered according to Act of the Parliament of Canada, in the year one
thousand nine hundred and five, by David Williams Higgins,
at the office of the Minister of Agriculture. TO   MY  WIFE
In affectionate remembrance
Of her many noble qualities
This book is dedicated , . . .  PREFACE.
The success which attended my first literary
effort, " The Mystic Spring," has induced me to
issue another volume of Western tales. I have
adhered as closely as possible to descriptions of the
peculiarities of speech and mode of life of the men
and women who peopled the Pacific Coast forty
or fifty years ago—peculiarities that have engrafted
themselves upon society of the present day, and may
ever remain prominent features of life in the West.
The stories of the occult, which comprise several
chapters, are left to the judgment of wiser heads
than mine. I have seen much that puzzled and
mystified me, and I am still seeking light, thus far
with indifferent success; but I am not prepared to
attribute the phenomena to either Satanic or
spiritualistic influences.
The reminiscent stories are all founded upon
actual occurrences, and in the years to come may
be found of value to the student of early events in
California and the British Pacific. I have aimed
tc write history, so far as it came under my own
observation, in an entertaining manner. How far
I have succeeded I leave to the judgment of the
reader. D. W. H.
Victoria, September ist, 1905.  CONTENTS.
The Passing of a Race    .        .       .       . '
The Lions        ......
The Pesthouse Mystery .       .       .       f
The Longest Speech and the Longest Nose
Bench and Bar        ....
Two Celebrated Cases
The Pork-Pie Hat   ....
A Queer Character ....
The Vigilance Committee of 1856   .
Weird Messages and Appearances .
The Old St George and Its She Dragon
A Miniature Race War   .
A Great Crime and Its Punishment
Lost in the Mountains on Christmas Day
The Guardian Angel       .       .
Voices and Messages from Dreamland
A California Stage Coach Adventure
" A Visitation from God "
The Wrong Saddlebags  .
Leaves from My Diary    .
The Woman with the Forget-Me-Nots
23 ï
" Every little while the sharp crack of a musket or rifle
would be heard " Frontispiece
" Were instructed to gently touch the old gentleman's
huge proboscis as they passed by him" ... 58
"She had a sweet, engaging face, and sat her horse
gracefully"       . 92
" He sat facing the door with a loaded revolver at his
right hand " 128
Victoria in i860 146
" He removed his hand from his head and motioned
towards his face "       204
M A look of horror came into his eyes as he gazed at
some object on the floor " ....      252 THE PASSING OF A RACE
" Ye whose hearts are fresh and simple,
Who have faith in God and Nature,
Who believe that in all ages
Every human heart is human,
That in even savage bosoms
There are longings, yearnings, strivings
For the good they comprehend not,
That the feeble hands and helpless,
Groping blindly in the darkness ;
Touch God's right hand in that darkness,
And are lifted up and strengthened ;—
Listen to this simple story,
To this song of Hiawatha."
In my " Mystic Spring " chronicle of " The
Haunted Man," I did not claim for John Taylor
the virtues, the perspicacity and the shrewdness of
a Sherlock Holmes. I did not say that he could
trace a criminal through the devious windings of
a wicked career and, taking a piece of twine or a
yard of thread, or a footprint, or a thumbprint on
a door-post as a clue, bring him to justice at last.
No, Taylor was not a Sherlock Holmes. For the
matter of that, there was never a Sherlock Holmes
in real life.    The character we know and admire 10 THE PASSING OF A RACE.
by that name never existed. It was a fancy creation, born of the fertile brain of Sir Conan Doyle,
the great novelist. All his fine work was imaginary
and unreal, and much of it was impossible. Sir
Conan Doyle is Sherlock Holmes, and an amazingly clever detective he makes—in imagination.
Our local detective was a living, breathing reality.
He did his work here in the full sight of all. His
methods were not always clean and the ends he
aimed at were not always creditable, nor were they
conceived in, the public interest, but he was a shrewd,
calculating, observing and brave person who could
read a man as others read a book, and who generally turned the information he gathered to the best
account for himself. By the exercise of these
faculties he accumulated a snug little fortune, and
for the last ten years of his life, as age crept upon
him, he was enabled to live in comfort and luxury,
and when he died he did not forget the orphans.
" Captain John " was an Indian chief. He was
King of the Hydahs, then the most powerful of
all the Northern Coast tribes. At one time it was
estimated by the Hudson's Bay Company officials
that " Captain John " had three thousand warriors
under his command. When I first saw him he was
about forty years of age and above the average
height of an Indian. His sallow face was surrounded by luxuriant black whiskers and his upper
lip was adorned with a sweeping black moustache.
His   stature   and   his   light   complexion and the THE PASSING  OF A  RACE. II
hirsute appendages gave rise to the impression
that he was the son of a Russian and an Indian
woman. Perhaps he was, but his origin was
shrouded in doubt. It was a fact that when a
youth he was taken to St. Petersburg in one of
the Russian trading ships and that he remained
there two years. Afterwards he was turned loose
in London and contrived to get back to the Coast
in one of the Hudson's Bay Company's ships. How
he became chief of the Hydahs I never heard. He
always claimed to have been born in Alaska. He
could read and write English a little, and his language was a puzzling maze of Russian, English,
Chinook and Indian. With the aid of pantomimic
gestures and broken words he managed to
make himself understood. He was always well
clad, and winter and summer wore a long blue
military overcoat. His head was crowned with a
blue cloth cap, around which was wound a heavy
band of gold lace. When accosted by strangers his
invariable custom was to point to his cap with his
forefinger and exclaim, " Me big Chief," and then
stalk away with an air of gloomy grandeur intended to impress the visitors with his importance.
There was much that was absurd about " Captain
John's " appearance, but, taken for all in all, he was
the finest specimen of the Indian I ever met. He
ruled his subjects arbitrarily, and it was death or
severe punishment to any member of the tribe who
might, disobey his orders. The Hudson's Bay Company officials knew how to manage and control the THE PASSING  OF A RACE.
native tribes, and they gave John to understand that
they depended upon him to maintain order amongst
his clansmen. It is possible that he was in the Company's pay; but one thing is certain, to Captain
John the whites who came here during the first
rush for gold were indebted for their immunity
from harm. The entire water front on the west
side of Victoria harbor, at the time of which I
write, was occupied by Indians—mostly Hydahs
and Stickeens from far up the coast.
On one occasion, in the summer of i860, the
Hydah youths became very restless. They had
imbibed " hiyou " (whiskey) and wanted to fight the
whites. John told them they were fools—that the
whites would drive them off the face of the earth.
" But," said he, " if you must fight, why not attack
the Stickeens?" The Stickeens were a rival tribe
that had erected their huts on the harbor-front not
far from where the E. & N. swing-bridge now spans
Victoria harbor. So that evening a drunken Hydah,
observing a little Stickeen boy pass along the road,
attacked him with a knife and nearly severed the
child's head from his body. Upon the discovery of
the corpse the war-drums were beaten, the natives
daubed their faces with paint, and the women began
to sing the weird songs that always presaged an
outbreak of hostilities.
The hostile tribes entrenched themselves on rocky
points that overlook a small cove on the west side
of Victoria harbor, above the railway bridge. Take
a horseshoe and the two ends will represent the
spots chosen by the tribes for their respective forti- THE PASSING OF A  RACE.
fications and the space between will represent the
cove. The natives dug pits and felled trees, from
the shelter of which they peppered away at each
other through the interstices of the logs. For a
few days the authorities did nothing to quell the
miniature war, and although several of the belligerents were wounded, none were killed, so far as was
known. The third day of the conflict was Sunday,
and in the afternoon, in company with several other
foolish young fellows, I walked over to the Hydah
" fort " to see Captain John. We watched our
opportunity, and by keeping well behind the standing timber that then thickly covered the reserve,
and dodging from tree to tree, managed to reach
the Captain's quarters without injury. We found
the Chieftain and about a dozen of his warriors in
the pit busily engaged in watching for opportunities
to shoot their enemies, who were similarly employed.
Every little while the sharp crack of a musket or
rifle would be heard, and then a bullet would bury
itself with a loud " ping !" in the earth or logs that
formed the breastwork. While there was really no
danger if one kept within the " fort," the passage
through the trees was hazardous. The Captain
chided us for coming, but he was anxious to know
what the papers said about the fight, and I told him,
much to his satisfaction, that they reported that he
was getting the better of the Stickeens. He was very
grave and serious in his demeanor, and seemed to
feel that a great responsibility rested upon him. We
waited until sundown before leaving the shelter of
the logs, and on our way back we encountered two 14
men who were supporting a third. The latter
appeared to be in pain, for he was moaning
" What is the matter ?" was asked.
u One of those Stickeen bullets has gone through
his leg," was the reply, " and we're helping him to
One of the party had had a little experience with
wounds, so he wrapped a handkerchief about the leg
above the spot from which the blood oozed, and with
a piece of wood made a sort of tourniquet, and drew
the handkerchief so tightly that the blood soon ceased
to flow, and we managed to get him to the hospital
that then stood on the present site of the Marine
Hospital. The next day Drs. Helmcken and
Trimble amputated the shattered leg above the
knee, and the last time I saw the unfortunate man
he was limping about on one leg and a crutch.
The police department was stirred to action by
this untoward event, and the constables, with a
reserve force of heavily armed marines from
H.M.S. Hecate, proceeded to the spot, destroyed
the fortifications, and arrested the principal men.
Among those seized was Captain John. The
leaders were soundly lectured, cautioned not to
repeat their conduct, and sent back to their respective camps.
For some time peace reigned at the reserve. I
have always believed that it would never have been
broken at all had it not been for the unlimited quantity of strong drink with which the natives were THE PASSING OF A RACE.
supplied. The so-called whiskey was the vilest stuff
that the ingenuity of wicked-minded and avaricious
white men ever concocted. What it was composed
of was known only to the concocters. I was told
that it was made of alcohol, diluted with water,
toned up with an extract of red pepper, and colored
so as to resemble the real thing. It was conveyed
to the reserve under cover of night by boatloads.
What the Indian wanted was something hot—something that would burn holes through his unaccustomed stomach and never stop burning until it
reached his heels. Quality was not considered. The
rotgut must be cheap as well as pungent, and those
two elements being present the sale was rapid and
profitable. An Indian's love of strong drink is so
keen that he will sell his wife or his children into
worse than slavery to obtain the money to buy it.
No sacrifice is too great, no price too high to gratify
his appetite for the inebriating bowl. Several of
these so-called " importing " wholesale liquor establishments were the headquarters, the manufactories,
where most of the vile liquid was made and sold by
a bottle or a thousand gallons at a time. Several
large fortunes were made from this awful traffic;
but I heard and believe that the parties either lost
the money so acquired, or if they kept it that they
never enjoyed its use. How true it is that money
acquired in a vile way carries its own curse with it !
*    *   *
Did the police know that this infamous business
was being carried on under their eyes and noses,
the reader will ask.   The answer is that they were MÊà
well aware of the methods by which the Indians
were being cleared off the face of the earth.
They knew that the hot stuff for which a
dollar a bottle was paid by the Indians did not cost
the maker ten cents. The maker and seller could
well afford to cut the profits in two and still realize
handsomely. For the makers and dealers to refuse
to divide meant exposure and ruin for men who
went to church regularly or occupied a good position in society. Did they divide? It cannot be
said with any certainty that they did ; but it was a
notorious fact that certain firms were never disturbed. They were immune from the visits of constables, and Justice was not alone blind—she was so
deaf that she could not hear the plaintive cries
of the wretched victims of man's greed and rapacity
as they rent the night air and seemed to call down
heaven's vengeance upon their poisoners. This is
no fancy sketch. There are men and women now
living who can recall the awful scenes of debauchery, outrage and death that were enacted on
the reserve and all along the island and mainland
coasts, because fire-water was ladled out to the
savages in unlimited quantities. Is it any wonder
that the grave-digger found frequent employment
at all the Indian reserves, and that sometimes now
when a posthole or a cellar is dug, ih^ bones of the
wretched people who perished before the withering
blast of the illegal liquor traffic are turned up?
In a few weeks   the   lesson   inculcated by the THE PASSING OF A RACE.
officials faded from the Indian mind, and Captain
John's drunken wards grew pugnacious and drunken
again. Captain John, who formerly had been noted
for his sobriety, yielded at last to temptation and
became an imbiber of the destroying liquid.
It was even said that for a money consideration he
connived at the sale of spirits to his tribe, and soon
pandemonium reigned supreme all over the reserve.
Outrages multiplied and deaths became more frequent. A man or woman perfectly well in the morning filled up with liquor in the afternoon, and by
nightfall was carried dead from his or her lodge.
The craving spread to children. Boys and girls
of tender age, following the example of their
elders, drank the " liquid damnation " and died,
sometimes with the bottle to their lips. A negro,
named Jasper, walked past the Hydah reserve one
afternoon and a drunken boy stabbed him to death.
The boy was hanged on Bastion Square. How
piteously he sobbed as he ascended the scaffold!
A number of Indians witnessed the execution.
They were told it was intended as an example and
a warning to them to do no murder. What hideous
mockery ! If the officers of the law had not allowed
the liquor to be sold, there would have been no
. murder, and a man visiting the villages would have
been as secure from harm as if he were in the
streets of Victoria. A gambler who visited the
reserve was set upon by natives, and in self-defence
shot and killed one of his assailants. A Royal
marine, strolling along the public road one evening, i8
was attacked by Hydahs and his head nearly cut
from his body. A peaceful citizen crossing a lot
from Pandora to Johnson Street after dark was
killed and robbed by intoxicated natives. King
Freezy, monarch of the Flathead tribe, in a fit of
drunken jealousy, decapitated one of his wives, and
soon afterwards was upset while in his canoe, and
drowned. A canoe with three Indians was capsized and all were drowned. H.M. gunboat Forward proceeded to Cowichan to quell an Indian
outbreak. The vessel was fired upon and one of
the sailors killed. A terrible punishment was
inflicted upon the savages. Their village was
blown to pieces and numbers of them killed by the
ship's guns. A British bark was wrecked near
Clayoquot on the west coast of the island. The
officers and crew got safely ashore, but were afterwards murdered by the Indians, who were headed
by a drunken chief. All along the coast the horrid
traffic went on unchecked. Sloops, canoes and
schooners, laden at Victoria, touched at all the villages and sold the Indians liquor which was dignified by the name of " tanglefoot." The Indians
died like flies, and soon tribes that numbered thousands were reduced to a few score. The scenes
enacted were too awful to be told here. I might
continue to cite tragedy after tragedy which resulted
directly from the sale of liquor to the poor red man
by white men who worked under the actual protection of the constabulary; but the instances I have
given will suffice to show the conditions that pre- THE PASSING OF A RACE.
vailed in and about this Christian town, beneath the
shadow of church spires and within ear-shot and
stone's throw of the peaceful and happy homes of
pioneer settlers.
Affairs went from bad to worse. Men's lives
were not considered safe when the inflammable bowl
flowed at the reserve, and Captain John was fast
becoming a besotted, quarrelsome creature in place
of the fine-looking and dignified man he was formerly, when an event occurred which put an end to
his career, although it did not stop the sale of liquor
to Indians. That went on just the same, and was
continued until the powerful tribes domiciled here
were reduced to mere remnants, and all that was
noble and good in the survivors had been burned
*    *    *
One day a small schooner called the Royal
Charlie, sailing out of the harbor, was treated to
a volley of musket balls fired» from the Hydah village. Several shots entered the hull, and the
schooner returned to the wharf. Officers were sent
to the village. They arrested Captain John and a
sub-chief and brought them to the police barracks.
Preparatory to being placed in the cells they were
being seardhed, when John drew a knife and made
several thrusts at Taylor, who promptly shot him
dead. The chief's brother also drew a knife and
tried to cut another constable. He, too, was shot
down, and died instantly.   Half an hour later I saw 20
both men lying where they had fallen. Captain
John's face was covered by his lace-bound cap—
the cap of which he was so proud—and his body
lay beneath the navy-blue overcoat. I raised
the cap and gazed long at the features, which were
placid and peaceful in death. Something of the
old-time nobleness lingered there and his coal-black
eyes, which were still open, seemed to> gaze sadly,
if not reproachfully, into mine. As I replaced the
cap these words from Wolfe's great poem occurred
to me:
" He lay like a warrior taking his rest,
With his martial cloak around him."
Many years afterwards the warehouse showed
signs of decrepitude and was torn down when there
was laid bare a number of trap-doors through which
were lowered into vessels that lay in the cove the
cases of liquor intended for consumption by the
wretched natives. The sufferings of the tribes
encamped near Victoria have never been fully
described. They cannot be. It is beyond the power
of the ablest pen-painter to convey to the understanding of readers of the present day a graphic
description of the misery and woe that follows the
trail of the Indian whiskey-seller. No more horrid
scenes were enacted anywhere on this round globe
than were seen on the Victoria Harbor reserve.
A perfect carnival of crime, with which the authorities would not or could not cope, went on for years ; THE PASSING OF A  RACE. 21
but let a drunken Indian commit an offence and he
was quickly punished by the strong arm of the law.
No mercy was shown him. As I look back and in
memory contemplate the awful condition of the
natives at that time, I can almost fancy that I hear
the poor creatures, as they appeal for vengeance to
the Most High, exclaiom:
" I know that Thou wilt not slight my call,
For Thou dost mark the sparrow's fall." THE LIONS.
" We sentry stand by Heaven's command,
At the portal of her sway ;
No threatening foe dare pass below
While her Lions guard the way.
Stern and grim on the mountain's rim
We crouch in our cloudy lair ;
Behind the veil of snow mist pale
We are waiting and watching there."*
—L.A.L., Vancouver, B.C.
The day had been one of the most beautiful of
a mild and delightful winter. On the Pacific Coast
there had been neither ice nor snow, high winds
nor heavy falls of rain. Throughout the length
and breadth of British Columbia railways and
wagon roads had been unobstructed, and open-
air industries were prosecuted without a moment's
cessation. The inhabitants revelled in the warm
sunshine; tender flowers bloomed in the gardens,
and buds on the trees burst with fullness; birds
carolled on every bush, crocuses and violets raised
their pretty heads, and fields were verdant with
young grass. It was, therefore, with a feeling of
deep sympathy that the people of the province
read in the daily despatches from the Eastern States
dismal stories of deep snows and intense cold ;  of
*From "The Lion's Gate," published by the Thompson Stationery
Co., Vancouver B.C.
entire families being frozen to death in their homes ;
of railway trains stalled for many days in great
drifts; of fierce blizzards that scattered misery and
starvation and death in their paths; of destructive
conflagrations that could scarcely be quenched because water in the pipes was frozen solid; of long
lines of miserable, underfed men, women and children who besieged the soup-kitchens in all the cities,
some dropping dead while awaiting their turn to
be fed ; of starvation, privation and crime as a consequence of the weather that condemned honest
bread-winners to involuntary idleness and reduced
whole families to pauperism.
The day, as I have said, had been bright and
beautiful and the sun had sunk to rest behind the
Lions, those wonderful carvings from the workshop of Nature which challenge the admiration and
excite in all beholders a feeling of awe, as high up
in the mountain at the entrance to Burrard Inlet
they crouch like huge sentinels keeping watch and
ward over the gateway through which is destined
to pass the commerce of our mighty Empire. As
the rays of the declining orb of day shone upon
those remarkable figures they became alight with
tints of crimson, gold and azure, so exquisitely
delicate and beautiful in their delineation that no
painter's brush could faithfully portray, or poet's
muse fitly describe their glories. It seemed to
need but the touch of a magician's wand to
endow with life those cold images in stone which,
shaped ages and ages agone by unseen hands, have 24
kept their vigil since the dawn of creation. If
they could but form their experiences into words
and tell of the vast changes that have been wrought
since they began their watch, what an interesting
volume their revelations would fill. A glimpse of
the Lions as they bathe in the soft sheen of the
setting sun, with its rapidly changing colors, is a
picture which photographs itself on the mind and
remains there a lasting memory.
As the sun went down and its dying beams gave
the Lions a good-night kiss, the full moon arose
in majesty and splendor, and casting its rays on
the massive images, clothed them in a white garb
of matchless beauty. A brief while before, gold
with a rich setting of red and blue had captivated
the senses. Now there was a wonderful transformation scene—gold had turned to silver, and the
vivid coloring had fled, giving place to a dark background of sky, from the depths of which sparkled
and glinted innumerable stars like diamonds reposing in a gigantic tiara. As the moon advanced on
its course its light fell on the cresting of the tiny
waves in the harbor that had been fanned into
action by a gentle breeze, and imparted a rich,
phosphorescent glow to the moving waters.
In the light of the moon on that evening a
stranger stood upon one of the wharves of the city
of Vancouver. He was tall and spare, with a
swarthy complexion. His hair was streaked with
grey, and he looked like one who had worked hard
and lived hard, for his hands were calloused with THE LIONS.
toil and his face was furrowed with deep lines of
care and exposure. He had been there a long time,
gazing with rapture upon the lovely scene, and as
he paced up and down he conversed audibly with
himself. At intervals he addressed the Lions as
though they were sentient beings and could divine
his words. He paused often as though he expected
a reply. For the twentieth time he asked the
sentries :
" How long have you been on guard ?"
And the only .answer was the lapping of the
piles by the waves and the rush of the cool evening
breeze as it swept by. A boating party of young
men and women came into view. They were full
of life and mirth as they landed at the wharf.
The stranger withdrew into the shadow of a shed
and watched them as they secured their boat.
Then they passed out of sight,' and their voices
died away in the distance The man emerged from
the shadow and stood again in the moonlight. He
paused to take in the enchanting scene once more,
and then, raising his arms, apostrophised the Lions,
demanding a reply to the question:
" How long have you been on guard?"
A voice at his elbow responded:
" About two hours."
The man started and trembled. He turned
quickly, and saw standing at his side a tall young
man with smooth face and long, light hair. He
was of athletic build 'and was clad in a grey ulster.
In his hand he carried a heavy walking-stick. 26
" Who the devil are you and what are you doing
here?" demanded the startled stranger, with a
threatening gesture.
" I am the watchman on this wharf, and it is my
duty to ask, Who the devil are you and what you
are doing here? Strangers are not allowed to
loiter here after dark. You needn't be so cheeky,
" I wasn't speaking to you," the man said, after
a pause.
" Well, who were you speaking to, then ? There
were none but you and me here."
" I was talking to myself," replied the man.
The young fellow gazed into the depths of the
other's face long and searchingly before he replied.
His inspection was apparently satisfactory, for he
presently said :
" I guess you wouldn't set these sheds afire? or
rob them? or waylay anyone, would you? You're
the right sort, I think ; but I fear you're a bit dotty.
Now, ain't you—just a little bit gone up here?" he
asked coaxingly, as he tapped his own forehead
with his finger.
" Do you mean crazy ?" asked the stranger.
" Yes," replied the watchman. " When a man
goes along talking to himself and asking all sorts of
fool questions in the dark of nobody, the police
run him in, and sometimes he is sent to Westminster for treatment. I am not sure but I had
better take you in charge as a vagrant."
" If you do, my friend," returned the man, " you THE LIONS.
will have your trouble for your pains. I am not
mad and I am not a vagrant, as this wad will show,"
and he produced from a hip pocket a good-sized roll
of bank bills, which he held before the watchman's
eyes. " I am as sane as you. I am a miner just
down from Cariboo, where I have lived and mined
for thirty years without once coming to the Coast.
I have saved a few thousands, and I came here to
blow part of them in with friends whom I used to
log and run with years ago. I have been here two
days, and I'm blessed if I have yet found a man
or woman whom I knew when I was last here;
and now I find myself liable to be run in as a
lunatic or vagrant by a man who. must have been in
short clothes when I went away. Funny, isn't it?
Everything is changed—everything save the magnificent harbor, the mountains and the wonderful
animals. They're the only things that have not
The watchman again looked hard at the stranger,
and waited until he resumed:
" Yes, I knew this place when it was marked
Granville on the map, but its common name was
Gasstown, after Gassy Jack Deighton, who was a
good old soul, if he was rough and raw, and did
have a tongue that was never still. There were
about two dozen mean little shacks in Granville
when I went away, and the inhabitants numbered
only about fifty. All over this townsite were forests
of great trees and tangled underbrush. These have
passed away, and I find in their places a busy city ■asâ
of forty-five thousand people. Where I left narrow
trails and logging roads I find paved streets with
sewerage, and on every side handsome business
and residential structures. Where I groped my
way with a lantern my path is lighted by electricity.
Where I climbed hills with difficulty I now ride in
a street car. Where I drank from a slimy well
there is now a full supply of pure water. Where
there were only a muddy beach and a few ships
at the mills there are now miles of wharves at which
lie the argosies of every nation discharging or taking in cargo. Where there was not a railway m
any part of the province I find this city the terminus of two great transcontinental systems whose
trains arrive and depart every hour of the twenty-
four.    But I weary you," remarked the man.
" No, no," responded the constable; "on the
contrary, you interest me.    Go on, please."
" Granville and Gasstown exist no longer save as
memories. You call the big town that has brushed
the others aside and sprung up upon their site,
Vancouver. I have walked the streets and ridden
in the cars until I am tired, and found, as I have
said, none whom I knew. I am going back to the
mines. Before starting, I thought I would come
down this evening to the waterside to—to—talk
awhile with the—the—animals."
" The animals?" queried the watchman. " What
animals do you mean ? There are no animals here
that I can see, excepting you and me. What do
you mean?   Are you getting off your nut again?" THE LIONS.
" Young man," said the other, with an air of
solemnity, " cast your eyes upward to the summit
of yon mountain and you will see two majestic
lions bathing in the moonlight. I watched them
when the sun was going down, and now I see them
arrayed in robes of silvery brightness and
matchless beauty. They are just as they were thirty
years—aye, thousands of years ago. They are as
unchangeable as the laws of our Maker. When I
speak of animals I mean those lions."
" Do they answer you when you talk to them ?"
asked the young man, with a mischievous smile.
"No; but it's mighty comfortable to think that
they would if they could. There are heaps of people
who possess tihe power of speech, but who never
know when to hold their tongues. It would be
better for the world if they had never learned to
talk. But those Lions—they are old enough to
be discreet. How I'd like to hear them roar ! You
have everything here to make a big city. You have
a grand harbor, commodious business premises,
hotels, schools, churches, overland and street railways, sewerage, water cheap and abundant, good
streets and a lovely park. You live at a fortunate
time, young man. Just think of it: In 1873 Henry
Edmonds held a sale of Government lots in the
Granville townsite. The highest bid he could get
for a lot was one hundred dollars, and he only sold
six. Those very lots are held now at twenty thousand dollars each, and a lot on Hastings Street, for
which no one would bid in 1873, has recently been
disposed of for forty-one thousand dollars. 30
" The street noises, the cars, the cabs, and the
delivery vans and carriages, the rush and crush
of business and the throngs of people confuse and
deafen me. They drive me almost mad. I sigh
for the solitude of the hills and valleys of golden
Cariboo, and there I shall go to spend the balance
of my years, while you will grow and prosper with
the town. Now, tell me some of the great things
that have occurred since I went away."
" Well," began the young man, " I was very little
when my parents came to reside at Granville. Of
course, there was a good deal of talk of a railway
coming in; but as the years slipped along many
people who had settled on the Inlet got discouraged
and left. But others came in and took their places,
and the town began to grow slowly. Then the
railway was built to Port Moody, and a struggle
began between the people of Granville and Port
Moody to be made the terminus. While this
struggle was going on a terrible thing happened.
On the 13th of June, 1886, I was playing with
my brother in the road near where Cambie and
Cordova Streets come together. Lots were being
cleared and brush fires were burning. Suddenly
a high wind sprang up and smoke and flames were
carried directly towards the lightly-constructed
buildings. The atmosphere grew so hot I could
scarcely breathe, and a dense cloud of smoke swept
along Water Street. Some one cried, | Fire!" and
there was a rush of people towards the spot where
we boys were playing.   Then I saw a great tongue THE LIONS.
of flame shoot out of the cloud of smoke and cast
itself like a fiery monster upon a small wooden
hotel that stood in its way. In an instant it seemed
as if the hotel was in flames from cellar to attic.
The guests fled, barely escaping with their lives,
leaving all their effects behind them. We boys
were paralyzed with fear, and stood looking at the
fire as it swept towards us, until a man dragged us
away. Then we began to cry. Men were shouting
and women wailing and shrieking. Some who tried
to save their goods had to abandon them, for both
sides of the street were now in flames. Others who
lingered too long in their houses were burned to
death. We never saw our home again, for it was
one of the first to go with everything in, except the
family, who saved themselves by flight. The hungry flames swept on, the frenzied inhabitants fleeing
before them, and in less than three hours the town-
site was swept almost clean, and, worse than the
loss of property, there had been a lamentable loss of
life. Thirteen bodies, many of them burned beyond
recognition, were found on the streets or among the
dying embers. Three men who had sought refuge
in a store were burned to a crisp. A mother and
her young son, whose retreat was cut off, descended
into a well, and when the flames passed by both were
found dead. They had been suffocated by smoke
and heat. There were many narrow escapes, and
the calamity would have paralyzed most communities. But not so here, for at four o'clock the next
morning, while the ashes of their buildings were 32
still glowing, Pat Carey and Duncan Macpherson
began to rebuild. Others followed their example.
Relief was sent from all quarters, and under the
stimulating influence of Mayor McLean and an
energetic board of aldermen, the town soon recovered itself.
" After the fire the battle for the terminus was
renewed, and raged fiercely for some months. Then
one day the Port Moody people were plunged into
a state of deep despair by the announcement that
the railway would be extended to Granville. The
residents here were elated. Granville was then a
straggling village of about two hundred buildings
and twelve hundred inhabitants. The first train
reached here in May, 1887, and you can be sure that
there was great rejoicing, and town lots went up
with a bound. The name of the town was changed
to Vancouver, and people began to flock in and buy
property and build. And so things have gone on
ever since until the city has reached its present size,
and it is growing faster now than ever before."
The moon had sunk behind the distant hills and
a chill wind swept over the sleeping city. The
stranger rose from his seat. He said that he was
tired and would seek his couch, for to-morrow he
must start back for his claim. " Besides," he
added, " the Lions have drawn the curtains of night
about them and gone to bed. So I, too, shall say
good-night and good-bye."
The next day and the next the watchman, cursing
his stupidity in  not having  asked  the  stranger's THE LIONS.
name, searched the hotels and boarding-houses in
vain for a trace of him ; but he was gone and had
left no sign.
îjî îj£ îjï
The Lions remain faithful to their trust. Day
following day finds them grim, watchful and incorruptible, presiding in silent majesty over the
western gateway of the Dominion. And so will
they continue to guard countless generations of
men, as they come and go, until heaven and earth
shall be rolled up like a scroll, and there will be no
11 have supped on horrors."
Nearly forty years ago a remarkable discovery
was announced at Victoria. It was reported, on what
was believed to be excellent legal authority, that a
strip of land lying along the line of Dallas road,
south of Beacon Hill park, was not included in the
acreage reconveyed to the Imperial Government
by the Hudson's Bay Company at the time Vancouver was created a colony, and that the strip in
question was open to pre-emption. Several enterprising persons took advantage of the information
and settled on the land. Amongst others a former
Speaker, Dr. Trimble, and Geo. E. Nias, a publisher, impressed with the idea that there was something in the report, erected habitations thereon,
after trying to record the claims at the lands and
works office. Dr. Trimble had a small shanty
erected, and sent a man to reside in it; but Nias
built quite a substantial cottage and a cow-shed
and stable, fenced in the land to which he laid
claim, and went there to reside with his family.
The case came before the courts and was partially
heard, and after one or two adjournments Dr.
Trimble dropped out, and there remained only Nias
to be dealt with. He held on to his " rights " with
true British fortitude, and continued to reside there
under the belief that possession was nine points of
the law. Neither the strip nor Beacon Hill park
was then included in the corporate limits of Victoria city, and I cannot remember that any steps
were taken to dispossess Nias by the Government.
I only know that he went away to Australia some
years later. When his family moved off the land
I do not know; but in 1871 the buildings were
vacant, the doors swung wildly on their hinges,
and the wind rioted through the broken windows,
the panes of Which had been broken by mischievous
boys. Soon the house fell into a condition of dilapidation and disrepair; and if there are such things
as ghosts and hobgoblins they must have had a
gay old time disporting in the empty rooms and
playing hide-and-go-seek through the stables and
sheds. The strip presently began to be regarded
as a sort of No Man's Land, and the Nias homestead as belonging to anyone who might wish to
occupy it.
In 1871 the ocean mail service was performed
by an iron steamer called the Prince Alfred. The
trip was usually made at that time in four days,
for the Prince Alfred was by no means speedy, and
when, on one occasion, seven days elapsed without
the steamer having put in an appearance, much
anxiety was felt by those having friends and goods
on board. The anxiety was at its height on the
eighth day when the old ship crawled into Royal
Roads with her ensign set at half-mast and the
yellow flag flying. What had happened? Simply
this : The passage had been unusually tempestuous,
and on the second day out smallpox developed on
board—a young American girl, travelling with her
parents, having been stricken. The vessel was
quarantined. The old house of Nias was requisitioned for the purposes of a pesthouse, and the
Victoria passengers, some seventy-five in number,
were landed at Macaulay's Point, where the military barracks are now, and a guard was placed
over them. There they remained for three or four
weeks, no communication being allowed with the
city—that is, newspapers and letters and food
might be sent to the camp, but nothing could be
brought out.
Every necessary and luxury, including ice-cream
and strawberries, and the best of wines, liquors and
cigars, were provided for the sustenance of the
quarantined persons. At the pesthouse there were
confined the girl patient, her father and mother,
Air. Hunter, second officer of the steamer, who volunteered to bring the Child ashore; a colored
steward, also belonging to the ship, upon whom the
disease had made its appearance, and one or two
others who were similarly affected. After a brief
stay at the pesthouse the girl died, and was buried
not far from the building. This was the only death,
and when, six weeks later, the quarantine was lifted, THE PESTHOUSE MYSTERY.
the building was once more deserted, and the rats
and bats and owls and hobgoblins again came into
possession ; and so it remained, forlorn and tumbling
gradually to pieces, when the mysterious and tragic
incident I am about to relate directed renewed
attention to it.
On the 28th of November, 1872, a respectably
attired man entered the Angel Hotel at Victoria
and registered as "P. Locker, San Francisco." He
said he had just arrived by steamer, and intended
remaining some time. A room was assigned him,
and he came and went as the other guests were in
the habit of doing. He seemed to have no employment and to desire none. He made few acquaintances, and had the air of a person upon whose mind
rested a heavy weight, either of guilt or fear. When
at the dining table he would always sit so that he
commanded a view of the front or entrance door,
and narrowly watched every person who might
enter. Being a good checker-player he was very
much in demand at the tables, but it was remarked
that he never would play except with his face turned
towards the door. On Sundays, morning and evening, he attended church with much regularity.
Sometimes he would remain away from the hotel
for four or five days, but always retained his room,
and every Monday morning he would appear at the
office and pay his bill in advance. Taken altogether,
Locker was a model boarder, but he was not very
communicative, and on no occasion volunteered any 38
information about himself, beyond that he was a
native of Scotland and had lived in New Brunswick.
To one man he said he was a landscape gardener.
On another occasion he described himself as an
architect, and again as a merchant. His object in
giving these various descriptions of himself was
probably to destroy all trace as to his identity. So
matters ran on until after the advent of the new
year, when Locker informed one of the guests at
the hotel that he expected his wife to arrive shortly
from the East, and that he had decided to take up his
residence permanently at Victoria. Could the guest
tell him of a small building that would be suitable
as a dwelling? As a joke the man directed him to
the pesthouse on Dallas road. The same evening
Locker informed his acquaintance that he had
visited the house, and that if he could get an allowance from the owner he would put it in repair and
stay in it for a year. He was then told that the
premises had been used as an hospital for smallpox
patients. He replied that that would not change
his purpose. He had had the disease, and his wife
did not fear it.
After that Locker made many visits to the pesthouse. He was seen sitting in the stable reading a
book; he was seen examining the dwelling, and on
one occasion he was observed mending a fence with
hammer and nails. No one seemed to take any interest in the building, and it was suggested to
Locker that he had better pre-empt building and THE PESTHOUSE MYSTERY.
land and go there and live rent and tax free. One
day a young man, known as Rufus, who boarded at
the Angel, reported that he had seen Locker standing near the pesthouse talking earnestly with a tall
woman. As he neared them the pair ceased to converse, and turned their eyes seaward. Rufus
touched his hat as he passed, and Locker bowed in
return. Rufus continued that he had placed about
three hundred feet between himself and the others
when he heard an exclamation, and turning quickly
saw the woman strike Locker in the face. Locker
seized her hands and held her, and Rufus, as he
explained it, not wishing to be a witness, hurried
away. At the usual hour for dinner Locker
appealed, and took his accustomed seat at the table,
with his face turned towards the door. Across
his cheek and nose there was a red welt as if made
with a stick or whip. He was more than usually
taciturn, and went to his room early. In the morning it was found that he had not slept in his bed
over night ; but as that was a not uncommon occurrence with him, it excited no comment. The next
night and the next, Locker was absent, returning
on the morning of the third day to pay his bill and
resume his checkers. No one rallied him about the
scene described by Rufus, although the identity of
the strange woman and her whereabouts after the
strife were often discussed in private. Whoever
or whatever she was, the woman was never seen
again by mortal eye in or near Victoria.    If she 40
was Locker's wife he never mentioned the fact to
anyone; nor did he ever speak again of his intention to occupy the pest or any other house. Gradually the occurrence faded from men's minds, and
Locker came and went as before, unquestioned and
He       *      *
On the afternoon of the 17th February, 1873,
or about one month after the altercation near the
pesthouse, as seen by Rufus, a man walking along
the Dallas road looked into the Nias stable casually,
and was startled to discover lying on the floor near
one of the stalls the dead body of a meanly-dressed
man. He had been shot through the head, the ball
passing in at the centre of the forehead and lodging,
as was afterwards shown, in the brain. No pistol
lay near the corpse, a circumstance which was
accepted as presumptive evidence that a murder
had been committed. The body was brought to
Bastion square, where it was exhibited in all its
ghastliness for the purpose of identification. Several of the boarders at the Angel thought the body
resembled that of Locker, who> had absented himself since the day before; but the clothing was not
such as he wore. He was always dressed neatly.
The corpse had on a ragged coat, a coarse shirt,
patched trousers, and shoes that a beggar would
scarcely have picked up. A dirty old hat lay near.
There was no vest, and the watch Locker was
known to have carried was not found. For several
hours   the   body remained   unidentified,   until   in THE PESTHOUSE MYSTERY.
Locker's room was found a penciled note which
" I give the landlord everything.—-P. Locker."
*    *    *
This discovery only deepened the mystery,
although it was now seen that the body was that
of Locker. If it was a case of suicide, where was
the pistol? How did the corpse come to be clad
in such indifferent garments, for when last seen
Locker wore good clothes? Who was the strange
woman with whom Locker had had the altercation
four weeks before? The police were baffled at
every turn, and but for an accidental discovery the
mystery might have remained unexplained to this
day. On the day succeeding the one on which the
body was brought to the square, an Indian boy
offered a pistol for sale at a second-hand store. The
dealer questioned him as to how he came into possession of the weapon, and evasive answers having
been returned he seized the lad, and sent for a
constable. The police forced the boy to tell where
he resided, and in a hut occupied by Indians were
found another pistol and a quantity of clothing.
The latter was identified as worn by Locker when
he was last seen at the Angel. The Indians, being
placed under arrest, stated that two of their number, named Joe and Charley, had found a man
lying dead in the stable, with a pistol at his side;
that they possessed themselves of the weapon, and
that Charley exchanged clothes and shoes with the
dead man.    Charley, when arrested subsequently,
k^ 42
wore Locker's trousers, coat, vest and boots. The
coroner's jury were not at all satisfied that the
man had committed suicide, and returned a verdict
that there was no evidence to show by what means,
or by whose hands, he met his death. The Indian
thieves were turned loose to prey on society, and
the story of Locker's fate and that of the unknown
woman soon passed from the minds of people thereabouts.
Now mark how the leniency shown the men who
stripped the body of Locker, reacting upon a distant community, was the indirect cause of another
and still imore horrid tragedy. On the 13th of May,
or nearly two months after the pesthouse horror
had excited people's minds here, Harry Dwyer, a
Nova Scotian by birth, and a farmer on San Juan
Island, was engaged in ploughing in his field. He
had lately married an English girl, a resident of
Victoria, and had erected a comfortable dwelling
on his land. As he ploughed that day the young
wife sat on the verandah of their dwelling in full
view of her husband. She was engaged in making
a garment for an expected baby. The morning was
soft and balmy, and the sun shone brilliantly. The
prospects of the young couple were roseate, and
to all appearances they had before them a long and
happy life. The thoughts that occupied their minds
on that lovely morning can only be imagined
by those who may have begun married life under
like auspices.    The very last impression that could THE PESTHOUSE MYSTERY.
have crossed their minds, as a cloud drifts across
the face of the sun and obscures its rays, was the
thought of death—death in its most awful and
repulsive form, sudden and present. All nature
had awakened from its long winter sleep.
The new grass was there with its tender blades;
the wild-flowers were clothed in all the hues of
the rainbow, and the song birds poured forth
melodious notes of praise and thankfulness. How
that young wife's heart must have overflowed with
sensations of joy and happiness as she mused upon
the bright future that lay before her and the man
of her choice. But even while her eyes watched
the figure of her husband as he guided the plough
across the field in the last furrow he was to make,
the cup of happiness was destined to be dashed from
her lips, never to be raised again. A sharp report,
a curl of smoke rising from a hedge, and without
a moment's warning Dwyer fell dead across the
plough. The evidence of an eye-witness, who
turned Queen's evidence, showed that the girl
dropped the half-made garment on the verandah
and fled to the house, locking the door as she went ;
that one of the fiends—there were two—thrust his
rifle through the window, which he broke in. The
woman fired her husband's shot-gun, but failed to
hit him. The murderers then leaped through the
window. The poor woman sank on her knees, and
implored them for the sake of her unborn child to
spare her. But her pleadings fell on stony hearts.
An appeal to a hungry tiger would have been as 44
effective. They shot her through the body, and as
she lay writhing in her death agony, one of her
slayers crushed in her face and chest with the boots
that he wore—Locker's boots. For it came out in
evidence that Joe and Charley, who robbed the body
at the pesthouse, were the murderers of Harry
and Mrs. Dwyer, and that the boots Charley wore
when he kicked Mrs. Dwyer had been the property
of Locker.
The bodies of the Dwyers were brought to Victoria, and buried from Odd Fellow's Hall amid the
tolling of the church and fire bells. Charley was
hanged at Port Townsend, Washington Territory.
A year slipped away and summer was again
approaching, when a young lady who had been a
passenger on board the Prince Alfred at the time of
the outbreak of smallpox, and who had escaped
contagion, sent a gown which she wore while
on board the vessel to a dressmaker at New Westminster to be made over. There was not then,
nor had there been at any time, the slightest
suspicion that the gown was infected. A member of the household was directly afterwards
stricken with a disease which baffled the skill of the
Westminster doctors. So a physician (since
dead) was sent from Victoria, and he was as much
puzzled as his Royal City brethren. In the midst
of a consultation, there arrived at New Westminster   a   medical gentleman   who   accompanied THE PESTHOUSE MYSTERY.
Principal Grant in his famous journey across the
continent. He was requested to visit the patient.
As the Eastern doctor crossed the threshold of the
patient's residence he sniffed the air for a moment,
and then said:
" There's smallpox in this house ! I can smell
And so it proved. The case was in its confluent
stage, and no power on earth could have saved the
patient. Had his malady been understood at first
the result might have been different; but when the
Nova Scotia physician saw him it was too late.
The dressmaker and several others contracted the
disease from the gown and died.
*    *   *
With respect to the tall, dark woman, little or
nothing was ever ascertained. The only clue that
reached the police was furnished by a householder.
He said that a woman, giving the name of Gourlay,
applied for and hired a room in his house on the
3rd of January, 1873, paying a month in advance.
She did her own cooking in a chafing dish, and all
her belongings were contained in a small hand
valise. The impression of the landlord was that
the woman was very poor. She seemed to be an
utter stranger and to know no one. When she left
her room it was always in the afternoon, and she
returned about dusk. She went out one afternoon
about a month before Locker's body was found,
and never came back.    Her valise, when searched, 46 THE PASSING OF A RACE.
contained very little of value, and not a single scrap
of paper that might show whom she was or where
she belonged. The day of her disappearance coincided, as nearly as could be ascertained, with the
date on which Rufus saw a woman struggling
with Locker on the Dallas road. The pesthouse
mystery is the darkest that has ever agitated
police circles in British Columbia, and I often
think that some day, should explorations be made
near the site of the pesthouse, that another body,
that of a female, will be uncovered.
* # *
The reader will want to be told, in conclusion,
what became of the pesthouse. One dark night,
a year or two subsequent to the events narrated,
the southern sky was illumined by a great glare,
and when the firemen reached the scene of conflagration it was seen that the pesthouse was wrapped
in flames. And so the old building passed away,
as all things made of mortal hands are destined to
pass, and to-day it would be a difficult task to point
out the spot where it once stood, and where the
mysterious guest of the Angel came to his mysterious end.
*    *    *
Some time ago, in one of my chapters, I took
occasion to deny a published statement that the
American author of " Ben Bolt " wrote " Tell Me
Ye Winged Winds." I ascribed the latter poem
to its rightful author, the late Charles Mackay, and THE PESTHOUSE MYSTERY.
proved my assertion beyond the shadow of a doubt.
I find in a late number of a Chicago paper an article
on Lady Flora Hastings, in which the assertion is
made that Lady Flora wrote " Tell Me Ye Winged
Winds," at a time when she had been dismissed
from court and was dying of a broken heart. This
statement is pure rubbish, so far, at least, as it
relates to the dying girl having conceived that
exquisite poem, which, in my opinion, deserves to
rank with the finest productions of the last century. Lady Flora Hastings, I need scarcely remind my readers, was a maid of honor in attendance on Queen Victoria, at a time when Britain's
Queen was herself in her teens, and had not then
met Prince Albert, whom, as all the world knows,
she afterwards married. Wicked court gossip
ascribed a tumor, which afflicted Lady Flora, to
disgraceful causes. A medical examination confirmed the gossip, and the girl was retired from
court. She died three months later, having fretted
herself to death, and a post-mortem examination
proved her innocence. It is a sad story. The
mother of the late Marquis of Bute was Lady
Flora's sister, and both were the daughters of the
first Marquis of Hastings, the famous Governor-
General of India. The Hastings family never forgave our late Queen (although I cannot see how
she could be blamed for her action in the face of
the report of the court physicians), and would
never be presented to Her Majesty or appear at THE PASSING OF A  RACE.
any public function in which the Queen took part.
I have any amount of sympathy for Lady Flora.
Her story is one of the saddest in late English
history, but my sympathy does not extend so far
as to permit, without protest, her panegyrist to rob
Mackay of the credit that will always attach to his
name of having written one of the finest hymns
that the English language contains. THE LONGEST  SPEECH AND THE
" Speech is like the cloth of Arras, opened and put abroad,
whereby the imagery doth appear in figure ; whereas in
thoughts they do not lie in packs."
—Bacorts Essays.
Dennis E. Lennox was an English solicitor.
He came to Victoria in 1859 from Australia. At
that time, the legal professions here not having
been united, a solicitor could not act as a barrister,
or a barrister as a solicitor. His chief feature was
an enormous nose. Mr. Lennox was past his prime
when he came to the colony, and from the style in
which he dressed one would have thought that his
one object in coming was to wear out his old
clothes, relics of past decency, so to speak. He
invariably wore a tall hat of the breed which the
small boy irreverently refers to as a " plug," and
of a fashion dating back some twenty years. His
coat was such as is now worn by gentlemen at
evening parties and balls—black, with clawhammer
tails. His trousers were not always black; oft-
times they were grey, and on some occasions they
were a light blue. His vests were of still more
uproarious and incongruous hues. He seemed to
have a suit for every day in the week, and when
he strode to court in his vari-colored garments,
49 5o
with his bag over his back, and took a seat behind
the bewigged and begowned barristers, his appearance was, to say the least, striking, and created a
marked impression. Mr. Lennox was a good man,
as things went in British Columbia forty odd years
ago, and the fact that he was inordinately fond of
brandy.and water and pretty girls did not weigh
a feather in the social scale against him. He had
a good practice, dividing much of the solicitor's
work with a bright but unfortunate man, Robert
Bishop. In an evil hour Lennox stood for the
Legislature, and was elected to represent Salt Spring
Island. He took his seat, and from that day until
he left the colony he began to decline in practice.
In vain he donned his tallest and most unfashionable hats; in vain he aired his brightest-hued garments on Government Street and in court; in vain
he got himself puffed in the papers upon every
convenient and inconvenient occasion; in vain he
indulged in oratorical outbursts in the legislative
chambers—his name was " Dennis," indeed, and
in a double sense, and continued to be Dennis until
a financial crash came a year or so later. I liked
the old man. He was good-hearted and generous,
and grave in demeanor; and he could take a joke,
and never retaliated.
*    *    *
Amor De Cosmos founded the Colonist in December, 1858, and at the time of which I write he had
sold the property to W. A. Harries & Co. Leonard
McClure was the editor of the Colonist.    He was LONGEST SPEECH AND LONGEST NOSE.    51
a North-of-Ireland man, the son of an Anglican
curate, clever as a writer and speaker, and a deep
and original thinker. His articles were much
appreciated, and he had a small circle of readers
and admirers. He was hostile to the maintenance
of Victoria as a free port, and never missed an
opportunity to give free trade a dig, as the saying
goes. He was never popular; but he had warm
friends. All his associates liked him, and he
seemed to exert a sort of hypnotic influence over
those with whom he was brought intimately in
contact. He was a man of good physique, but to
look at him one would not have imagined that he
was capable of performing a feat of endurance for
which he has become world-renowned, and in the
performance of which he lost his life He sat for
Victoria city as colleague of Mr. De Cosmos in the
Legislature of 1866.
The afternoon of the 23rd and the morning of
the 24th of April, 1866, will ever be memorable in
the political annals of the old colony of Vancouver
Island. They are dates into which a pin should
be stuck for the information and instruction of
budding politicians and suckling statesmen. A week
before those dates a bill had been introduced to provide for the cancelling of sales of land for taxes
which had been made the year previous. The period
when the land could be reclaimed by the owners
would expire at one o'clock on the afternoon of
April 24th.    Times were very bad.    The Cariboo 52
mines had been over-rated, or business had been
overdone, or something had occurred to place it
out of the power of many property-owners to meet
their tax bills.   It might as well be stated now that
the taxation then levied was direct.    There was
a one per cent, tax on real estate, and there was a
light business and liquor tax; but the colony was
destitute of a customs house, there being no impost
of any kind upon goods entering the port.    When
the  cancelling  bill  was  introduced  the  members
present were equally divided.    One-half proposed
to vote for the measure, the other half were pronounced against it.    The Speaker was known to
favor the bill, so in the event of a tie the presiding officer's vote would insure its passage.    Now
Mr. Lennox was notoriously opposed to the measure ; but he was not to be found.   He had not been
seen for several days.    Should he arrive in time
his vote would kill the bill.     The excitement in
the   lobby   was   intense.     Messengers   were   despatched in every direction in search of the missing legislator, but their efforts were futile.     The
Opposition were in despair, and the   Government
were jubilant.    The most sought-for man in the
colony   was   Dennis E. Lennox,   and   messenger
after messenger returned with the report that he
was lost—at least, that  he  could  not  be traced.
The debate had closed, and the Speaker was in the
very act of putting the motion when the door of
the chamber swung noisily back and revealed the
lean figure of Mr. Lennox, nose, dress coat, tall LONGEST SPEECH AND LONGEST NOSE.    53
hat and all, as he stalked into the room and took
his seat at the board. The old man was in a
deplorable condition. He looked as if he had been
rolled in the James Bay flats, for he was mud
from head to foot, and his hat was smeared and;
pressed down over his eyes. He had found himself! His vote was recorded against the bill, and
it was killed.
The proceedings of the 23rd and 24th of April
began in this way: An address was moved to
Governor Kennedy asking His Excellency to refund the amount received from the sale of land
for taxes. To this resolution Mr. De Cosmos and
Mr. McClure offered a strenuous objection, while
four of their supporters who had voted against the
bill announced their intention of voting for thq
address. But where was Mr. Lennox? it will be
asked. Why did he not appear at the House?
For the excellent reason that he had meanwhile
been declared a bankrupt and his seat had, therefore, become vacant. There was keen political
work done in those days as well as in these, and
Lennox's political enemies were not idle, as their
method of getting hira out of the House showed.
The rules were suspended, and the address was
read a first time. On a motion to read a second
time Mr. McClure rose to speak at three o'clock
in the afternoon, and proceeded to refer to matters
and read articles which had no relation whatever to
the point at issue, he daiming that the rules having
been suspended there were now no rules.   In spite THE PASSING OF A RACE.
of the cat-calls, howls and interruptions of other
honorable members, he remained upon his feet
until six o'clock the following morning, having
spoken sixteen hours without rest or intermission
or relief of any kind. Mr. De Cosmos, who had
left the chamber in the evening and gone to bed,
returned at six o'clock in the morning, and spoke
until one o'clock in the afternoon, when the time
for redemption expired, and there was no necessity
for the address, the property having passed in fee
to the purchasers at the tax sale.
The members present on that memorable occasion were: Dr. Helmcken, Speaker, and Messrs.
Trimble, De Cosmos, Dickson, Ash, McClure,
Cochrane, Tolmie and Carswell, five out of the
nine being doctors of medicine and two editors.
The legislative building is now occupied by the
Bureau of Mines. It has been enlarged and altered ;
but evidences of its former greatness, when its
walls resounded to the eloquence of the legislators,
may still be seen in and about it. There were
originally no side galleries; they were provided
after Confederation. In the hall where Dr.
Helmcken presided, and where McClure made his
great speech and committed involuntary suicide,
there was a long pine table in half circular form,
covered with green baize. Around this table the
members, who were unpaid, sat on wooden-seated
chairs and faced Mr. Speaker, who occupied a
desk slightly raised above the floor. The session
lasted usually about nine months in each year. The LONGEST SPEECH AND LONGEST NOSE.    55
hour of meeting was two o'clock p.m., but frequently there would be no quorum, and after waiting for half an hour the members would depart,
to come again some other day. Sometimes there
would be six members present, who would watch
the old James Bay bridge anxiously for the. seventh
member to appear. Mr. Waddington was nearly
always behind time, and often just as ihe members
were about to depart he would be seen crossing
the bridge. Then the cry would go up : " Old
Waddy's coming!" and when he arrived a quorum
was secured, and business began. There were
some lively scenes in the old hall, especially between Mr. Cary, the Attorney-General, and Mr.
Waddington. The Attorney-General was ill and
irritable. Waddington was old and irritable. The
manner in which those two would hammer away
at each other was most refreshing to the outsiders
who gathered at the hall.
Leonard McClure never recovered from the
effects of his long speech. He became an annexationist, and went from the colony to San Francisco. While editing a newspaper there he succumbed to Bright's disease of the kidneys, which
was brought on by the tax on his system when he
made the great speech. In this case it might be as
well to ask, Was the game worth the candle? Was
the end that was secured by his oratorical efforts
worth the sacrifice of his valuable life? 56
And Dennis E. Lennox, what became of him ? I
think I hear the reader ask. He got into a money
difficulty with a client, and the sheriff was on his
trail. He ascended Fraser River to Yale and fled
into the Okanagan country, then traversed by
Indian trails and visited only by a few trappers.
It was the abode of hostile natives. The old
gentleman was desirous of reaching Oregon by
the overland route. He was light in the matter
of baggage (the sheriff having seized his trunk),
carrying nothing in the way of a change, and
wearing his plug hat and dress coat in all weathers.
Everyone who met him going into the Okanagan
«predicted that he would be killed and scalped, his
long locks were so tempting to a Siwash. But he
wTasn't. He got through to Oregon all right, and
how do you think he managed it? The Okanagan
Indians had never before seen a tall hat. They
immediately decided that Lennox was a great tyee
(chief) and fell in love with him and his hat,
regarding the man with awe and his head-covering with veneration. They fed him and bedded
him, and passed him on to the Nez Perces tribe
with every mark of consideration and respect.
The Nez Perces admired his great nose;—their
own noses, as their name indicates, being their
chief feature. They didn't care for the hat
(Lennox had presented it to the Okanagans in
return for their hospitality) for that could be taken
off and put on at pleasure; but the nose, it was a
fixture.    Besides, a big nose was an evidence of LONGEST SPEECH AND LONGEST NOSE.     5 7
gentility and nobility, and was a war emblem.
They had nothing like it in the tribe, and after a
consultation they proposed that Lennox should
remain with them and become in all respects one
of themselves. They felt that the nose was a gift
of the gods to the Nez Perces nation, and that it
was their duty to keep it among them and perpetuate it. Therefore they proposed that Lennox
should marry one or more daughters of chieftains
and lay the foundation broad and deep for a race
of big-nosed Indians. Lennox demurred. He
was married already, he said, and must first go to
England to get a divorce. The chiefs consulted
again. Some were for taking the nose by force
and preserving it in whiskey, not knowing that it
was well-preserved already in spirits; but the
majority agreed to liberate Lennox if he would
solemnly promise to return within a year. He
promised, and they let him go, providing him with
a horse and an escort to the nearest Hudson's Bay
post, where he was well received, and sent on to
Portland. In course of time Lennox turned up in
London with his nose intact. Some years afterwards he died in Melbourne, having first committed his adventures to a small pamphlet, which
had a limited circulation.
In the brochure referred to Lennox details his
experiences with the Indians. He says he presented his tall hat to the Okanagans to serve as a
war talisman, and adds that they gave him a coon-
skin cap in exchange.    He heard after he reached 58
the Nez Perces that the Okanagans immediately
made war on a neighboring tribe, relying upon
the hat to carry them safely through. But they
were soundly licked, and had to give a thousand
blankets to compensate their opponents. They
also surrendered the hat, which the others burned
amidst great rejoicing. Lennox adds that he heard
incidentally that the Okanagans sent a messenger
to the Nez Perces asking for his return—that they
were desirous of enjoying a short interview with
him in the course of which a white man's scalp
would play an important part. The Nez Perces,
however, knowing they had a first mortgage on
the old man's nose, declined to surrender him.
The Nez Perces, having consented to Lennox's
departure, presented him with a woolly coat. The
garment was densely populated, and it was some
time, Lennox says, before he got accustomed to
his numerous travelling companions. When his
departure was decided upon the chief arranged a
farewell ceremony. Drums were beaten and the
men, women and children of the tribe gathered in
front of the chief's lodge, where Lennox stood on
an inverted barrel. The Indians filed by the guest
of the occasion, and the members of the tribe were
instructed to gently touch the old gentleman's huge
proboscis as they passed by him. One young buck,
writes Lennox, who was probably inspired by the
spirit of jealousy, gave the organ a vicious tweak
which brought tears to his eyes, and as the hand
was not over clean the odor that saluted Lennox's jj
1    i-ii/
îp-f| w
■ E Ji
*•••     ;
' Were instructed to gently touch the old gentleman's huge proboscis
as they passed by him."  LONGEST SPEECH AND LONGEST NOSE.    59
nostrils was not the odor of sanctity. " The affair
came to an end when a very old lady made a dash
as if she intended to bite me," continues Lennox.
" I knew that if I lost my nose I should lose my
little—or rather big—all. So I leaped from the
barrel with a yell, and fled to the bush in terror.
I was followed and brought back, when it was
explained to me that the old lady only wanted to
kiss me. I objected to even being kissed, and my
objection was noted and sustained on appeal to
the chief." BENCH  AND  BAR.
"No ceremony that to great ones 'longs,
Not the King's crown nor the deputed sword,
The marshal's truncheon, nor the judge's robe,
Become them with one-half so good a grace
As mercy does."
—Measure for Measure.
The first Chief Justice on the British Pacific
Coast was David Cameron. He was a Scotchman,
and in early life had been a manufacturer of
woollen and linen goods in his native country.
He never studied law, although he had had a
liberal education. He was connected by marriage with Governor Douglas, and to that fact
he probably owed his preferment. When I
say that Mr. Cameron was a man of good^
strong common sense, that his library consisted of three law books—one on criminal law,
one on contracts and a third Burns' " Justice," the
legal reader of to-day will have some idea that the
justice dispensed here at that time must have been
of the Jedburgh variety. As there was no Appellate Court the Chief Justice's word went without
question. He was an amiable, kind-hearted old
man, and if his head was not filled with legal knowledge, his heart overflowed with the milk of human
kindness. He was a timid man withal, and when
learned barristers from Great Britain began to
flock here and besiege the court with their wigs
and gowns, their bags and piles of law books, they
threw the old gentleman into a state of mental
confusion and physical trepidation that well-nigh
overwhelmed him. There was no finality about his
rulings, either; many trivial cases hung on from
court to court and year to year until the litigants' purses, as well as their patience, were
exhausted. The lawyers reaped the harvest. They
always do. I have known the old gentleman to
decide a point offhand, and ten minutes afterwards
reverse the decision in deference to the demands of
the Attorney-General or some other leading barrister. Sometimes his Lordship's indecision would
give rise to exciting scenes and provoke the use of
violent language.
On one occasion Barrister Babington Ring
scored a point over his learned brother George
Hunter Cary, the Judge deciding adversely to the
" But, my Lord," persisted Cary, " Chitty says
" If Chitty says that," remarked the Chief Justice, f I must decide in your favor. The order is
" But, my Lord," urged Mr. Ring, " Burns'
' Justice ' says this " (and he proceeded to read from
the authority).
"What do you say to that, Mr. Cary?" asked
the learned Judge. 62
" I say," retorted Mr. Cary vehemently, " that
the authority quoted has no bearing on this case."
" I think that it has," replied the Chief Justice,
after a long pause, " and the Court decides against
The next moment Gary's wig sailed across the
court room, and he leaped from his seat and made
a wild dash for the door, as he ran divesting himself of his gown and bands, casting them on the
floor, and shouting: " I'll never appear before that
 old fool Cameron again!"   The solicitor who
instructed him and the litigants whom he represented ran after him, and after a few minutes'
pleading prevailed upon the irate gentleman to
return. His legal toggery was recovered, and
having put it on again, he went back to the
court and resumed his efforts to induce the Chief
Justice to again reverse his order, which he aetua-
ally did in spite of the fervid appeals of Mr. Ring
and liberal quotations from English authorities, of
the existence of which the Chief Justice had not
the slightest knowledge.
Mr. Cameron was a merciful man. It always
cut him to the heart to sentence a prisoner to death,
and when delivering a charge to the jury in a
hanging case he always assumed an apologetic air
towards the criminal. He was very gentle in his
demeanor, but sometimes he would lose patience
and flare up at the goading of counsel; but it was
only for a moment.    The old gentleman's amiable BENCH AND BAR.
nature would soon reassert itself, and he would
pardon the indiscretion of speech or the offensive
manner of the barristers. He wore neither wig
nor gown, for the reason that he had never read
law; and he never insisted that the barristers who
appeared before him should be properly clothed.
He used to refer privately to a certain pompous
barrister who pleaded before him in wig and
gown, as " that gorgeous creature," and another
he referred to as " an uncertain quantity "—forgetting his own inability to arrive at a determination. Cases, as I have said, lingered on for years.
The Court of Sessions was farcical. Every lawyer
who asked for an adjournment of a case got it.
The Assize Court, although only convened once or
twice a year, was not much better. Jurors when
summonsed appeared promptly, but were frequently told that their services would not be
required till some future day. Litigation drifted
on for years to the serious injury of the whole
country, until some good angel took pity upon our
condition and represented to the Queen that a
judge who knew law was required in the colony.
Then Mr. Joseph Needham came out, and Mr.
Cameron retired with a pension, which he enjoyed
till his death some years later.
Chief Justice Needham was a strong man mentally and physically, and his knowledge of the law
was phenomenal. Of all the crown colony judges
he was one of the cleverest.    He could grasp the 64
fine points of a case almost by intuition, and he had
the English practice at his fingers' ends. His
memory was prodigious, and his explanation of the
law was lucid and unanswerable.
Mr. Needhami always wore the wig and gown.
On assize days he donned a red robe, and on ;a
hook just back of the judicial seat hung a black
cap, which he put on when imposing the death penalty. Mr. Cary had returned to England in ill-
health before Mr. Needham arrived; but there
remained his old antagonist, Mr. Ring, Mr. W. T.
Drake (now a Justice of the Supreme Court), Mr.
T. L. Wood (afterwards a Judge in China), Mr.
J. F. McCreight and Mr. Rocke Robertson, who
were both subsequently elevated to the bench.
The new Chief Justice was most punctilious in
insisting upon a strict observance of court etiquette
as it is practiced in England. Under Mr. Cameron
the rules were not enforced, and a 'barrister frequently rose in his place and secured a hearing
without having his wig and gown on. A few days
after Mr. Needham had taken his seat, a young
Canadian barrister who was not properly gowned
advanced to the table, and said :
" My Lord, in the case of—"
The Chief Justice, with a quick glance in the
direction of the speaker, turned to the Registrar
and said:
" Call the next case." BENCH AND BAR.
The barrister, supposing that he had not been
heard, raised his voice and repeated:
" My Lord, in the case of—"
The Chief Justice—" Do I hear a voice,  Mr.
The   Registrar—" Yes, my Lord, Mr.   R— is
addressing you."
The Judge looked along the line of counsel, and
then glancing around the courtroom, said :
" I hear some one speaking, but I don't see any
one.   This is very strange."
" My Lord, in the case of—" the barrister
again began.
The Chief Justice—" Really, this is most perplexing.   I hear, but I do not see."
At this moment one of the solicitors whispered
something in the barrister's ear, and a wig and
gown were handed him by a brother practitioner.
Having donned these he began as before. This
time he obtained the Chief Justice's attention at
once, and with the remark, " I both see and hear
you now, Mr. R—," the request, which was one
for an adjournment, was granted.
*    *    *
One day Mr. Hopson Walker, barrister, appeared
before Mr. Needham in wig and gown, but visible
below the gown was a bright-hued Baltic shirt-
front. Walker failed to catch the Judge's eye, and
was puzzled to know why. Presently the Registrar whispered, " His   Lordship   objects   to your 66
colored shirt!" Walker withdrew into one of the
rooms, tucked a sheet of white legal cap into his
bosom, and came back to court with the colored
shirt-front no longer visible to the judicial eye.
The case then proceeded.
W|hen Mr. Needham took charge he found no
less than 216 cases pending in the Court of
General Sessions. Some had hung for several
years. His Lordship took his seat at ten o'clock
one morning, and by six o'clock in the evening the
last case had been disposed of, and the docket was
cleared for the first time since the court began to
make history.
Some of the suits disposed of were very amusing. A man named Feigh kept a bar on Yates
Street. Under the Tippling Act a publican cannot
bring suit for drinks ; but he can recover for bottles
of wine or liquor supplied. Feigh brought suit
against a customer to' recover $95, and in order
to comply with the Act he made out the account
as for nineteen bottles of champagne at $5 a bottle.
The charge was fraudulent, and the Judge recognized its character at once.
Feigh was put in the box.
" So you charge $5 a bottle for champagne?"
"Yes, sir."
" Twenty shillings for a bottle of champagne?"
" Yes, sir."
"A pound for a bottle of champagne?"
I Yes, sir." ; BENCH AND BAR.
I Well, you charge too much. Your bill is
exorbitant, and I find for the plaintiff."
* *    *
The suit of C. B. Young, a noted political writer
of the day, against the Chronicle newspaper for
libel, damages laid at $10,000, was tried before
Chief Justice Needham in 1866. The paper had
called Young " an old reprobate " because he presided at a meeting which had been convened for
the purpose of advocating the annexation of Vancouver Island to the United States. The paper
pleaded justification, and produced witnesses who
swore that the plaintiff was a wicked person. The
Chronicle won the suit, the Chief Justice showing
a decided leaning towards the defendants. One of
the allegations was that the plaintiff had frequently
stated that the power and greatness of Britain
were on the wane. Asked if he had1 made the
remark, Young replied:
" Yes, and I do believe Britain is on the wane."
" Mr. Young, Mr. Young," exclaimed the Chief
Justice, " the power and greatness of England will
outlive both you and me."
And so it has. Great Britain is greater and
more powerful to-day than it has ever been, and
Needham and Young are dead.
* *    *
Mr.  Needham was  fond of entertaining.    He
had a charming wife and two equally charming
daughters.     They were  very musical,   and  threw
themselves heart and soul into every movement
5 68
that had for its object charity. They were the life
of colonial society at the time, and the dinner and
dancing parties were frequent and most pleasant.
The Chief Justice's eldest son was a lieutenant in
the navy, and was stationed at Esquimalt.
In 1867 a serious disturbance arose on Grouse
Creek, Cariboo. The trouble was about a mining
claim which had been jumped by a company of
Canadians. The mining laws allowed a company
to lay over an alluvial claim from November till
the first of May or June—that is, during the
season when the ground was frozen. The miners
who owned this particular claim were not on the
ground when the first of May (or June) arrived,
and a number of miners who called themselves the
Canadian Company jumped the ground, appropriated the cabins, tools and sluices of the original
company, and began to take out quantities of gold.
They were ordered off by the Gold Commissioner,
and refused to go. Mr. Trutch, who was then
Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works, sent
orders to expel them. The Canadians armed themselves, and defied the officers who were sent to
enforce the orders. Next Chief Justice Begbie
issued an injunction, but the papers were torn up,
and the pieces thrown in the officers' faces. The
miners began to fortify the claim, and meanwhile
the sluices ran day and night with rich pay dirt.
The miners generally sympathized with the intruders, and the lives of the officials were threat- BENCH AND BAR.
ened if they should venture on the property. Governor Seymour, who was a very timid man, began
to fear that he had a rebellion upon his hands, and
cast about for means to settle the difficulty without bloodshed. He declined to back up Mr. Justice Begbie, as he should have done, and while the
dark cloud lowered the miners themselves suggested a method for settling the trouble. They
said : " We have no confidence in either Mr. Begbie
or Mr. Trutch. They are prejudiced against us.
But there is a man in Victoria whom we feel we
can trust. His name is Needham, and he is Chief
Justice of Vancouver Island. Ask him to hear
the case. Whichever way he decides we shall
abide by the decision."
The Governor grasped at the proposition, and
Chief Justice Needham accepted the task of hearing the casé judicially. A special commission was
issued, and Mr. Needham went to Cariboo posthaste. He was accompanied by Lieut. Needham.
Arrived at Cariboo, his first step was to visit the
disputed ground. He was enthusiastically received,
and shook hands with the rebels and accepted
their hospitality. Observing that mining was still
proceeding, he said:
" Gentlemen, on Monday I shall hear this case
at the Richfield courthouse on William Creek.
But the first step must be taken by you. You must
discontinue working the claim at once. The next
step you will have to take is to pay into court the
gold that you have washed from* the disputed
The miners were charmed with the manner of
the judicial arbitrator, and fell over each other in
their efforts to comply with his wishes. They
regarded their case as strong, and were certain of
The trial opened at Richfield as announced.
Several special constables had been sworn in, and
when Mr. Needham, attired in red robe and wig,
took his seat on the bench, his son, in the uniform
of a British naval officer, sat by his side. The
presence of the young officer had a marked effect
on the spectators. The courtroom was filled, and
the approaches to the building were packed with
The proceedings were begun in a most solemn
and ceremonious manner, advantage being taken
of every opportunity that would lend dignity to
the scene. The money paid into Court amounted
to about $6,000. It was impounded by the Judge,
who ordered it to be placed in the Government
Witnesses on both sides were heard. The failure of the original company to represent the claim
within the legal limit was clearly proved. It was
also shown that the Canadian Company had
" jumped," or taken possession of, the property,
declaring that it was forfeited because of non-
The decision was rendered the next day. It was
against the Canadian Company on every point.
" It is true," said his Lordship, " that the original BENCH AND BAR.
owners failed to appear on the ground within the
legal limit; but the power to forfeit the claim
resides in the Crown and can only be exercised by
the Crown. The Crown has failed to act and the
power that it has not exercised cannot be exercised
by individuals. The claim reverts to the original
holders, and the money paid into the Court must
be delivered to them."
The losing side accepted the disappointment
with as good grace as possible and surrendered
the property. It was never believed that the
money paid into Court represented more than a
small percentage of the gold that had been taken
out by the jumpers.
After the union of British Columbia and Vancouver Island Mr. Begbie (afterwards Sir Matthew) was made Chief Justice of the united
colonies. Mr. Needham went to Trinidad, where
he was knighted. Some years later Sir Joseph
Needham retired on a pension, and went to England to reside. He was hale and hearty at the age
of eighty odd, and was as fond of a good dinner
at that age as when he was much younger. He
had an abiding faith in the saving virtue of brandy
and water, and would often strike his chest with
his clenched hand, and exclaim : " I'll tell you what
is the matter with the Englishmen of the present
day—they don't drink enough brandy."
One evening the great jurist ordered his team
of spirited horses to be brought to the door, for
he was an excellent driver.   He took the reins, the THE PASSING OF A  RACE.
horses ran away, and Sir Joseph was thrown out
and killed.
*    *    #
" W. S." sends me a most amusing incident that
occurred at the gaol in 1861, and which will fit in
this chapter. Sergt. Blake at that time was a chain-
gang guard. He started out one morning with
thirteen prisoners to do some work on the Government grounds. When he counted the gang in the
evening he found only twelve, instead of thirteen,
prisoners. To account for the missing anan he
could not at first devise a plan, and saw dismissal
looming before him». He was walking moodily
towards the gaol with the balance of the gang
when he saw an old Indian wrapped in dignity and
a new red blanket gazing at some pretty things that
were displayed in a shop window. A bright idea
occurred to the constable. Seizing the old Si wash
by the arm, he led him into the midst of the gang,
and told him to march with the others towards
the gaol.
" Ikta?" (What does this mean?) asked the
astonished Indian, who was inclined to resist.
" Copet wa-wa, hyas clatawah " (Don't talk,
but go on), responded Blake, who presently
handed his thirteen men over to the gaoler and
took his receipt for them. The wondering old
Siwash could not make himself understood, for no
one would believe that he was Archivan while the
prison record insisted that he was Avalang. So he
served the 'balance of   the sentence of   the  other BENCH AND BAR.
Indian, who, a little later, came back on another
charge, and the two men, the guilty man and his
substitute, worked side by side in the same gang
for months. The innocent man, who was an
honest creature, was in a chronic state of surprise,
like Alice in Wonderland, all the time he remained
in the gang, and whenever he caught sight of
Blake would ask, " Ikta?" Blake would reply,
with a threatening gesture, " Copet wa-wa "
(Hold your tongue), and the Indian would
resume his duties until he saw Blake again, when
he would repeat the question with the same result.
He was ever afterwards known to the police as
" Old Itka." The affair was a standing joke with
the constables for a long time, but it was anything
but a joke to poor Ikta. TWO   CELEBRATED  CASES.
" How lov'd, how honored once, avails thee not ;
To whom related or by whom begot ;
A heap of dust alone remains of thee ;
Tis all thou art, and all the proud shall be."
Forty years ago, on the 24th of November last,
there was tried before the Supreme Court, sitting
at Victoria and presided over by Chief Justice
Cameron, a suit for damages against a naval commander. The damages asked were twenty-five
thousand golden dollars. The plaintiff was Mr.
Charles William Allen, editor and one of the
owners of the Evening Express, an enterprising
newspaper published by Wallace & Allen at Victoria The defendant was Hon. Horace Douglas
Lascelles, lieutenant commanding Her Majesty's
gunboat Forward. Lascelles was a scion of the
influential and noble Harewood family. He was
very wealthy, very free with his money, and consequently very popular with his friends and the
colonial shopkeepers. He was one of the most
genial and pleasant gentlemen one would care to
meet. Lord Charles Beresford, now Admiral
Beresford, and one of Britain's bravest sailors, was
on this station at the time of Which I write. He
was a lieutenant on the warship Clio, and had inherited the mischievous traits of his ancestors.
In " The Mystic Spring" I narrated his prank at
Honolulu, where he tore down the American coat
of arms, and was forced by the commander of his
ship to climb a ladder and restore the emblem to
its place over the U. S. consul's office. At Esquimalt our future fighting admiral was often in hot
water, but everyone liked him. Even old Driard,
of the Colonial Hotel, smiled blandly when Lord
Char}es one afternoon mounted a marble-top table
in the restaurant and proceeded to knock down in
true London auctioneer's style the contents of the
hotel larder, which was composed of a sucking
pig with a roast apple in his mouth, dressed fat
fowls, and a few dishes of sweetmeats. The
bidders were all subs and midshipmen from the
men-of-war. I think the pig brought three shillings, and a turkey sold for a half dollar. The
auctioneer made many witty remarks in extolling
the articles offered, and having disposed of everything in sight, he paid Driard for the articles at
the full rates, and sent them by van to the Clio,
where the young fellows had a glorious feast the
following night.
Commander Lascelles maintained a phaeton,
a dog-cart and several horses. He also maintained
at a little cottage on the Esquimalt road, not far
from the Admiral's road, a number of young English friends, who had gone broke at the mines, and
were waiting for money to take them home.    It 76
was stated that Lascelles spent about $15,000 a
year in Victoria, and as he was the best of pay the
reader will understand why he was a very well-
liked young man. There is a vast difference in the
behavior of naval officers and men then and now.
Then money was plentiful—everyone having a
goodly share. The officers, mostly the sons of rich
fathers, were a happy-go-lucky lot, and the sailors
were as free and easy in their habits as their
superiors. While the officers were gentlemen and
generally comported themselves as such, the sailors
were a wild and untamable lot. On every liberty
day Esquimalt road was lined with half-drunken
tars wending their way to town, and when the
town was reached the streets were filled with hundreds of men from the ships, singing and shouting,
and sometimes fighting. A sailor on horseback
was a ludicrous sight; I used to pity the horses.
The Jacks were beyond pity, for although many
were thrown few were hurt. Nowadays one
scarcely knows when the -men are ashore, they are
so quiet and well-behaved. But turbulent and
dissipated as the old-time sailors were, they were
never guilty of offences against citizens or their
property. The trouble was all between themselves,
and if they were finally landed at the barracks the
sentences imposed were usually very light.
Commander Lascelles never made any virtuous
pretensions, nor posed as a moral man, and yet he
was a kind-hearted fellow and was constantly help- TWO CELEBRATED CASES.
ing some poor devil out of a financial hole or a
scrape of some kind. The sister ship of the Forward was the gunboat Snapper. She was commanded by Lieut. Blank. He was a very religious
and proper young person. He was leader in every
movement with a good object. Charity balls, tea-
fights, lectures and readings, either found Mr.
Blank in the chair or not far from; it. On Sundays he read prayers as a lay-reader at the
Cathedral. I have no reason to think that he was
not sincere at that time, and I admired him for his
professions and practice in that ungodly era
But to return to the celebrated case of Allen vs.
Lascelles. A serious disturbance had broken out
among the Cowichan Indians. They had been
tuned to the fighting pitch with Victoria-made
whiskey, and were ripe for the commission of any
atrocity. Having tired of fighting among themselves they turned on the settlers, destroying one
or two homesteads and killing two farmers. The
Forward was sent to investigate. The Indians
fired upon her, killing a young sailor named New-
combe. The Forward returned for instructions
and effective ammunition. The Express quoted
these well-known and variously-ascribed lines from
" He who fights and runs away,
May live to fight another day,"
and denounced the Forward for coming away
without wreaking vengeance on the savages.   The m
article gave great offence to the navy. The Forward had returned to the scene immediately after
securing the ammunition, and bombarded the villages, killing many and destroying the lodges. A
few days later she returned to her anchorage in
James Bay, and two sailors were sent ashore in a
small boat to invite Mr. Allen, with Commander
Lascelles' compliments, to come aboard. Allen responded, and upon addressing Lascelles was
ordered to the forecastle. He demurred, and the
two sailors who had brought him off conducted
him to the forecastle steps, and he descended.
There he was kept a prisoner by the two sailors
for about an hour. Meanwhile Ûie Forward
raised her anchor and was steaming out of the
harbor, when Allen, evading his guard, reached a
spot where the Commander was conning his ship,
and demanded to be told why he had been subjected
tc this outrage.
" Go below, sir !" said Lascelles, in a voice of
Allen advanced to protest, whereupon the Commander pushed him away with his foot, and Allen
leaped into the harbor off Sehl's Point, which was
then an Indian graveyard, and struck out for the
shore, for he was a fine swimmer. The vessel was
stopped, a boat lowered, and the editor was
brought back to the ship. In the forecastle he
was given a change of clothes, and when the gunboat was off Beacon Hill, shortly before dark, he
was put ashore, and walked back  to town.    The TWO CELEBRATED CASES.
Commander's offense was a very serious one. Had
it occurred in England then, or were it to occur
here to-day, severe punishment would have been
visited upon the offending officer by his superiors.
But, as I have said, it was a happy-go-lucky age,
and the colony was remote from the governing
centre, and but little attention was paid to things
happening in the colonies then. When it is remembered that until last year the practice of
" ragging " has prevailed in England beneath the
very shadow of the War Office, and that it was
carried on for many years without remonstrance
or disapprobation from the high officials, it is not
to >be wondered that such an offense as kidnapping an editor and placing him in confinement, to
escape from which he imperilled his life, would
receive little attention. The article was inexcusable. Commander Lascelles was not a coward.
He was a brave officer; and he was a prudent
officer, too. He knew that to overawe the Indians
he must be prepared to deliver a telling blow. He
did not run away; he came back to complete his
preparations for attack, and when those had been
completed, he returned, and smashed the tribe so
effectively that they never again broke into open
rebellion, although they are a sneaking, treacherous lot, and have often cut off lone settlers from
#    *    *
Damages were laid at $25,000, and the case came
on for trial on the 24th of November, 1863. Commander Lascelles did not appear in person. 8o
The Attorney-General having opened for the
prosecution, and reviewed the evidence he proposed
to produce, called the plaintiff, who told his story
as it has been given in brief above. Other witnesses testified that they heard Lascelles tell the
sailors to invite Allen to come on board. Then, the
plaintiff's counsel called William Runyon, one of
the two sailors who brought plaintiff aboard, had
him in charge in the forecastle, and picked him up
after he jumped overboard.
The moment Runyon entered the witness-box it
was evident that he was the worse for liquor. As
he leaned on the side of the box to steady himself
he swayed backwards and forwards, while his eyes
roamed over the courtroom, and took in the spectators, at whom, he winked and grinned furiously,
much to their enjoyment.
" Swear the witness," said the Attorney-General.
Mr. Richard Woods, the Registrar, said : " The
evidence you shall give between the plaintiff and
the defendant shall be the truth, the whole truth,
and nothing but the truth. So help you God.
Kiss the Book."
The man gazed at the Registrar with a knowing
look, but refrained from touching the sacred
" Take the 'book in your right hand," said the
The witness shook his head, and turned his back
on the official. TWO  CELEBRATED CASES. 81
"Wlhy don't you kiss the Bible?" demanded the
" Becos I wants my fee," returned the witness.
" I'll 'ave it, too."
Mr. Dennes, a solicitor, who instructed Mr.
Cary, being a little deaf, asked the Attorney-General,
" What does he say he'll have?"
" A little gin and sugar with a small dash of
water," shouted the man, from the 'box. " Thanks,
hawfully." Then raising his hand to his mouth
as if it contained a tumbler, he said with a most
ludicrous leer at Mr. Dennes : " Chin-Chin, old.
man," which expression I believe is Chinese for
'' drink 'arty."
When the boisterous laughter had subsided
Dennes was told that the man wanted his fee before
giving evidence.
" That'll be all right," said Mr. Dennes, " I'll
pay you."
Now it happened that Dennes was more than
usually seedy that day, and Runyon looked long
and hard at him, and shook his head doubtingly.
" How much do you want?" asked the Attorney-
" What's fair between man and man," he replied. " 'Ere's my 'and. A quid '11 do it. Just
drop a suv'rin into it, and I'll tell hall I knows and
a good bit more. No suv'rin, no hevidence," he
concluded, and he gave his trousers a fore and aft
hitch in true sailor fashion and winked rapidly at
the delighted spectators, who manifested their keen THE PASSING OF A  RACE.
enjoyment by frequent bursts of laughter and loud
stamping with their brogans.
After a short delay the sovereign was placed in
the man's hand, the kiss was administered with a
resounding smack, and the agony began.
"What's your name?" was asked by the Attorney-General.
" What's yours ?" he retorted.
The Court explained that the question was a
necessary formality, and he answered, " My name's
" Runyon what?"
" No, not * Runyon Watt '—just Runyon."
" I mean what is your first name?"
" Oh ! William—William Runyon. What's
yours ?"
" Never mind my name."
" Oh ! but I does mind it. I 'ave as much right
to arsk yours as you 'ave to arsk mine, 'aven't I,
your Warship?" nodding and winking at the Chief
" You have no right to ask questions," indignantly returned the Chief Justice. " You are here
to answer questions. You have got your fee, and
must give your evidence. Answer the Attorney-
Runyon then proceeded to give his evidence,
which went to show that he had invited the
plaintiff on board " horf his hown bat," which
meant that he tendered Allen the hospitalities of
the Glory-hole on the Forward at his own volition. TWO CELEBRATED CASES. 83
I The Captain never knew nothin' about Mr.
Hallen comin' on board till he got there, and never
gave no horders. I puts 'im down in the Glory
'ole myself. I goes after 'im when he jumped
hoverboard, and I brings 'im hack to the ship harfter
I 'auls 'im hinto the small boat. I lends 'im a suit
of clothes, and puts 'im hashore off Beacon 'ill, and
I dries 'is hown clothes and takes them to 'is
hoffiee next day, and this is what I gets for it (producing the sovereign and the subpoena). Cheap
at 'arf the price. Do you call that gratitood? I
calls it downright mean, that's what I does. The
next time I saves a man from drownin' I'll take a
receipt before I pulls 'im hout. Hit's my hopinion,
speaking between man and man, that Capt. Lascelles is a gentleman, which is more than I can say
of some as is a persecutim' 'im this 'ere day."
" Runyon !" cried the Chief Justice, " you are
an impudent fellow."
" Axin' your Warship's parding, I means no
hoffence. I was honly givin' my hopinion as to
these 'ere proceedin's."
" Silence !" roared the Bench. " You have no
right to an opinion, and the Court does not ask it.
Answer the questions, or you will be committed for
The witness subsided at this threat; but all
attempts to get him to connect Capt. Lascelles with
the assault on the plaintiff failed. As the witness
retired he gave his trousers another hitch, winked
violently at the Chief Justice, and  regarded   Mr.
6 84
Dennes with a malignant stare for so long a time
that the old gentleman was fain to turn his head in
alarm, while the spectators, who had been convulsed with laughter during the examination,
roared until the old building shook like a fever
and ague patient.
The   jury   found    for   the    plaintiff—damages
$1,000, which carried costs.
Commander Lascelles went to England, where
he retired on half-pay with the rank of captain.
He came back some years later to reside in his
little cottage on Esquimalt road. He was in a
very bad state of health when he returned; but
was the same genial soul as ever, generous and
kind-hearted. He burned the candle at both ends,
and by and by the day came when the wick
was all consumed, and the candle had melted
away. Then the officer took to his bed. In
a few days he turned his face to the wall, and
when the nurse examined him he found that, like
the candle, he had gone out. The next day H. M. S.
Sparrowhawk came in from: Bella Coola with the
flags set at half-mast. She bore Governor Seymour's body, he having died on the passage north,
quite suddenly. So there were two high-class
funerals on the next and the following days.
Both bodies were laid away in the naval cemetery
at Esquimalt with honors, and there may they
remain undisturbed until the last trump shall break
the stillness of their repose  and summons them to TWO  CELEBRATED CASES.
the judgment seat to render   an   account for   the
deeds done in the flesh.
*    *    *
The Forward and the Snapper were sold out of
the navy after nearly twenty years' service in these
waters. The Forward was purchased by Mexican
revolutionists, and as Mexico had no navy the new
owners of the boat proposed to prey on the commercial marine of that republic. They were making fair progress when the engines broke down, or
the boiler leaked, or the boat ran aground. At any
rate, she was beached for repairs, and while lying
helpless on the mud bottom of an estuary the government officers captured the rebel navy. They
hanged the principals, at least all whom they did
not pistol or put to the sword, confiscated the
vessel, stripped her of her machinery, and sold the
hull for junk to a dealer who bought the wreck
for the copper bolts which were not in her. It
turned out that what seemed to be copper bolts,
worth eighteen cents a pound, were wooden pins
with a veneering of copper melted and run into the
pin-holes to represent bolt-heads.
The Snapper met with an equally tragic fate.
She was bought by a company, and made several
profitable trips along the north-west coast. One
lovely spring day she left Victoria with a full
cargo of supplies for the canneries and mines, and
about one hundred ambitious, industrious young
men   who  had   accepted   employment,   and   were 86
bound for their respective fields of labor. On the
second day out, and while the gunboat was steaming through the narrow canal known as Seymour
Narrows, a cry of " Fire !" was heard, and the
cargo was found to have ignited from some unknown cause. The engineers were driven from
their room by the flames, and neglected to shut off
the steam as they went. So the engines kept on
working at full speed, and nearly every effort to
launch the boats proved futile. The motion of the
vessel caused the flames to spread rapidly. The
passengers and the crew dropped off one by one
as the boat steamed on. Many were drowned.
Some were burned. How many were lost will
never be known until the roll is called elsewhere.
One or two boats got safely away with a few
occupants. The captain before leaping overboard
grasped a bag of money. He was found lying
insensible on the beach with the bag of money
still in his grasp. The vessel and cargo proved a
total loss.
Having disposed of Captain Lascelles and the
two gunboats, it is fitting that I should relate the
subsequent career of Commander Blank. As already
intimated, he was attentive while here to his
religious duties, and was highly thought of by all,
especially the church people. It was a picture
worth seeing to behold him, prayer-book in hand,
land   on   a Sunday morning  at  the   James   Bay TWO CELEBRATED CASES.
bridge, rowed there in the captain's gig from the
gunboat by a crew of neatly-dressed and well-
behaved seamen, and to hear him read the prayer
was a privilege. Moreover, he was a thoroughly
well-behaved gentleman, a bachelor with lots of
money, and a big property in entail. There were
managing mammas and nice girls in those days,
as in these, and no social function was complete
that did not include among its guests Commander
Blank. When his vessel went out of commission
he went home, and some years afterwards retired
with the rank of captain. Then he was elected to
About ten years ago the London smart set, and,
in fact, all England, were shocked by an extraordinary charge that was brought against a prominent elderly member of the charmed circle. He
was a man universally respected, rich, and connected closely with the nobility. He was a leading agnostic—one of those self-important indi-
. viduals who profess not to believe in anything.
It was said that this gentleman while strolling
along Regent Street one sunny afternoon was
accosted by a comely, well-dressed young lady, who
stepped in front of him and, laying a hand on his
arm so that his progress was stayed, demanded his
card. The gentleman threw off the hand, but the
lady again grasped the arm and barred his passage.
11 want your name, sir," she said.    " You shall THE PASSING OF A  RACE.
not escape me. I shall cling to you until you give
it me." The gentleman with a lofty air hailed a
passing Bobby with the remark:
" Here, you, I wish to give this woman in
charge !"
"What for?" asked the man, lifting his hat as
he recognized the gentleman.
I On a charge of obstructing the Queen's highway."
I And I," said the lady, calmly, and without the
least show of excitement, I give this man in
charge. I charge him with being—" and she
whispered something into the constable's ear.
" My goodness, lady !" said the policeman, with
a horrified air, " do you know what you are saying? This gentleman is Captain Blank, and he is
a member of Parliament."
" I do not care if he is the Queen's son. I do
not care what he is to the world—to me he is what
I have said he is." She said this loudly, but without the least show of passion or excitement.
A vast crowd had by this time collected. The
great shopping street was thronged. The people
sided with the lady, and the patrolman, who was
joined by an inspector, conducted both parties to
the nearest police station. There Blank, who was
strangely agitated, withdrew the charge against
the lady, and the inspector asked her if she wished
to withdraw her charge.
I Never !" she exclaimed with warmth. " Never.
I have tracked him for months, and now that I TWO  CELEBRATED CASES.
have run him down I shall not let him go till
justice has dealt with him."
The gentleman, who trembled visibly, was
admitted to bail, and the next day the police court
was thronged with fashionable clubmen, friends of
the accused, and by friends of the accuser, many
of whom were highly respected tradesmen.
The woman testified that she was lured to
France, through the medium of an advertisement
in an English newspaper and the representations
of a woman resident in London, to accept the
situation of governess in a French family. At
Paris she met the accused, who made certain proposals to her. She fled from the apartments, and
he tried to stay her egress from the house. After
a sharp struggle she escaped, and returned immediately to London and consulted a solicitor. Acting
under his advice, she watched the clubs at intervals
for months, and on the day of the arrest she saw
her quarry as he was walking leisurely along
Regent Street unsuspicious of the fate that awaited
him. She knew him, she said, by a slight limp,
which she had noticed while in Paris. She added
that she had reason to believe that scores of English girls had been deceived by the prisoner, who
was one of an organized gang. Blank was committed for trial, convicted and sentenced to imprisonment in the common gaol. His seat in Parliament was declared vacant, his clubs expelled
him, and society set its seal of condemnation upon
him. THE   PORK-PIE   HAT.
" I know it is a sin,
For me to sit and grin
At him here ;
But the old three-cornered hat,
And the breeches, and all that,
Are so queer ! |
You want me to tell you something about
Burrard Inlet in the early days. Well, although
I can tell you a good deal, I did not get here until
1865, when Stamp put up the Hastings mill, but
the first sawmill was built by Hicks & Graham
in 1863. The first white men who settled on the
site of Vancouver were John Morton, Wjilliam
Hailstone and Sam Brighouse. About Christmas,
1862, they located 550 acres, and when the government came to survey the land it was sold to
them at one dollar per acre. Morton and Brig-
house afterwards divided their land, which lay
west of Burrard Street and took in English Bay,
by tossing a coin—head or tail. The land which
had been bought for $550, and was disposed of
by the toss of a coin, is now worth between five
and six million dollars. A single lot has been
sold for $45,000 ! I was employed as a
hand logger at that time.    Most of the hands at
the mills were Americans and Indians. There
were no Chinese or Japanese then, fhe little
village which sprang up near the Hastings mill
was called Granville. Deighton's hotel was the
only place of entertainment. Its owner was called
Gassy Jack, for the reason that he was such a
gas-bag, always talking and blowing. After a
while people got to calling the place Gasstown,
after Jack. He used to keep his money in a
" safe," as he called it; but it was in reality a
cigar-box, such as holds a hundred cheap cigars.
This " safe " used to rest on a shelf back of the
bar during the day, and at night Jack would lock
it up in a drawer and go to bed. No such thing
as a robbery being possible ever entered his head.
He was honest himself, and imagined every one
else was the same.
At the time of which I am speaking I worked
at Hastings. Captain Raymur was in charge, with
Mr. R. H. Alexander as his assistant. I was on
the day-shift, and one evening—it was at the close
of a beautiful day, warm, clear and still—I came
up to the hotel from my work. I was just tuckered out, I was that tired and hungry, and was.
taking a swift wash in a tin basin that stood on
a packing-case near the hotel door. Half a dozen
other hungry men were waiting their turn to wash
and dry themselves upon the one towel, when I
heard the clattering of horses' hoofs on the hard
road. Looking up I saw two Indian ponies, on
which were seated a gentleman and a lady.    The 92
gentleman was dressed in a suit of dark clothes
that looked worn and dusty. He was light com-
plexioned, and his hair, which was parted in the
middle, was streaked with grey. He wore a long,
heavy, tawny moustache which swept across his
face and almost lost itself in his ears. I remember I thought at the time that but for the hairy
ornament he would be quite good-looking. The
lady seemed to be about eighteen. She had the
loveliest black eyes, large and lustrous, and
fringed with the longest lashes that you ever saw.
She had on a dark-green riding-habit, and on her
jet-black hair was perched a little turban of a style
then much worn, and known as the " pork-pie."
She had a sweet, engaging face, and sat her horse
gracefully. The man dismounted, and assisted his
companion to alight. She leaped down, with the
skirt of her riding-habit gathered in her hand,
and after taking in the crowd with a quick glance
of her glorious eyes, she busied herself with beating her habit with a riding-whip, sending up little
clouds of dust from the folds.
" Gentlemen," exclaimed the man, in a soft and
pleasant voice, as he removed his hat, " good
" Good evenin'," returned one of the boys.
" Kindly direct me to the landlord," said the
new arrival.
" You will find him at the bar mixin' lickers,"
said the spokesman.
At this moment Gassy   Jack   appeared   at   the   THE PORK-PIE HAT.
door, and seeing the gentleman and the beautiful
lady, removed his hat and bowed almost to the
ground, for he was awfully soft on the woman
" You are the landlord, I presume," said the
" I ham," replied Jack.
" W]ell, my daughter and I have ridden over from
New Westminster, and she is very tired. Can we
get two rooms, with supper to-night and breakfast in the morning?"
" Sure !" cried Jack, in his most effusive manner. " Yer can have the best the house has got,
and what it hasn't got I can get yer."
" We heard," said the gentleman, " that there
is a vacancy here in the school-teaching line, and
as my daughter is a teacher we thought we would
cross and look at the surroundings before applying for the place. We like the appearance of
things. My name is Crompton—Lionel Cromp-
ton—and my daughter is Miss Crompton."
" By gracious !" said Jack, striking his fat thigh
with his hand, " it's just what we want—a school-
marm—and I'm a trustee, and I'll help your gal
git the job."
" Thanks, awfully," returned Mr. Crompton.
" We'll stay here overnight, and perhaps two or
three days longer. Kindly have our horses looked
Jack summoned the Indian hostler, and the
animals were led off to the stable.   While this con- THE PASSING  OF A RACE.
versation was in progress Miss Crompton continued to dust her habit, occasionally raising her
pretty eyes to survey the group that stood spellbound by her beauty.
" Come, daughter," said Mr. Crompton, " we
will remain here," and giving her his arm he conducted her to the parlor, as Jack called has best
room. The parlor was small and low-ceilinged.
Its walls were adorned with cheap pictures of uproarious color and design, and a card bearing the
legend, " God bless our home." There were two
or three books, among which was a hymnal, for
Jack allowed church services to be held there on
Sundays. In one corner was a piano with a few
sheets of music lying upon it. The girl laid down
the whip, removed her " pork-pie," and went to
the piano. After running her fingers over the keys
she began to play, and, oh! the music that she
brought out. It swept through the house in a
great gust of melody, and floating outside filled
the woods with delicious sounds. It was a great
treat, in the midst of that wildwood, to hear such
strains. Presently she sang in a clear and strong
contralto several popular airs, and when supper
was announced she was in the midst of " Robin
Adair." Didn't the boys who were gathered at
the door just go mad with excitement, and didn't
they clap, and whoop, and shout for more. Some
who were due on the night-shift at Hastings
wanted to stay and listen all night.
As father and daughter passed into the dining- THE PORK-PIE HAT.
room we regular boarders sheepishly followed, and
took our seats on either side of the table. The
evening meal never amounted to much. The food
was generally wholesome enough, but on that
occasion it was rich. Pork and beans were not in
evidence for a wonder, and there was cold chicken
on the list, and Jack, who could not take his eyes
off the beautiful vision, waited on the pair in person and saw that they wanted for nothing. We
boys supped high that night, and when the meal
was over and the party had gathered on the.
verandah, Deighton passed around the cigars. As
daylight faded the girl returned to the parlor, and
again attacked the piano, to our intense delight.
In the meantime a few of the boarders managed
to pluck up courage and spoke to her, and found
her affable, but very prudent and sedate.
Some one in a burst of enthusiasmi proposed a
dance, with Indian girls as partners; whereupon
the young lady said she did not play dance music,
and dancing was sinful; besides, it was bed-time
and she would retire. Wishing all a sweet goodnight, she again swept the group with a glance
from her expressive eyes. Then she kissed her
papa, and gathering up her long skirts with the
remark, " Don't be late, dear, and don't drink any
more," she walked towards the stairs. There were
two coal-oil lamps burning on the table, and I
seized one and volunteered to light the girl to her
room. She thanked me, and we went upstairs, and I
led the way to the door.   Then she said :
" May I ask your name?" 96
" Certainly," I replied ; " my name's Simmons
—Bill Simmons."
She laid a little hand on my arm and looked
long and searchingly into my eyes. I trembled
like a leaf on a tree. The floor seemed to be giving
'way beneath my feet. All things were in a whirl
and my knees just knocked together. In my excitement I almost dropped the lamp, and how I
refrained from falling at her feet and telling her
that I loved her, I cannot say. Perhaps I did—I
don't know—I was so upset. In a few seconds I
recovered myself, and then I saw that her sweet
eyes were filled with tears. In broken accents she
said :
" Oh, Mr. Bill—Simmons, I mean—can I trust
I You can," I remarked ; " hope I may die if
you can't," and I drew a cross on my chest with
my finger as a mark of fidelity.
1 Oh ! my poor, dear father," she moaned.
" What's the matter with your old man—I mean
your daddie?" I asked.
The poor thing just leaned her head on my arm
and her body shook with emotion, while I trembled
and felt like sinking through the floor. I wanted
to put an arm about her, and tell her that she was
dearer to me than life, but I couldn't, for she held
one arm, and the other was occupied with the lamp.
At last she said:
" How can I tell you? But I must. My father
is addicted to drink.    When he gets among a lot THE PORK-PIE HAT
of nice, handsome young fellows like you and Jack
he never knows when to stop. I want you to
promise me that when you go downstairs again
you will do all in your power to get him to bed."
" All right," I said, " I'll do it."
The dear girl murmured her thanks, and resting her hand again upon my sleeve gave my arm
such a squeeze that the blood seemed to leave my
heart and fly to my head. Again everything
seemed to give 'way. My head went round and
round like the great fly-wheel at the mill, and a
buzzing sound, as of a circular saw ripping through
a plank, filled my ears. At this critical moment
the girl released my arm and opened the chamber
door. Then I recovered myself and said, in faltering tones:
" Don't thank me—you are quite welcome."
Again she murmured her thanks, again she
placed her hand on my arm, and again the hot
blood flowed like a current of electricity through
my veins. The door stood open behind her. She
gave me another long, searching look, and then,
quick as thought, she sprang backwards and
slammed the door in my face! Then the key was
turned in the lock, and when I came to I found
myself standing alone on the threshold. I pulled
myself together with difficulty, and tumbled, rather
than walked, down the stairs. In the bar I found
the strange gentleman " shouting for the house,"
as they say in Australia, or " standing treat," as
British Columbians put it.   All hands, lined up at 98
the   bar, and   Jack, who   was   very -much " on,"
insisted upon toasting the strangers.
" 'Ere's to the new boarders !" he shouted,
" 'specially to the young 'un. Her father's a
dandy, but she's a peach."
The toast was drunk with cheers. The health
of the old 'un was next washed down the parched
throats of the milknen and loggers. Then Jack
got his share of toasting, and before midnight all
were in a state of how-come-you-so ? and wobbled
on their legs. The old gentleman had to be assisted
to his room, where he was put to bed with his
boots on. While we were tucking him in the
covering he knocked on the partition of his
daughter's room  and called out:
"Alish—Alish, dear (hie), are you all right
" Yes, papa."
" And (hie) are you very, very comfor'ble
Yes, papa."
"Then good-night, my sweetheart (hie), pl-
pleasant dreams to you (hie) ; may good digestion
wait on appetite (hie)."
" Oh, fie, papa !" cried the girl.
" Yesh, dear (hie), what ish it?"
"You've been drinking again. Oh, my! What
will poor mamma say?"
" Shay ? Why, she'll shay, ' I'm a jolly good
feller, which nobody can deny.' Good-night (hie).
Shay, Alish, to-morrow I'm to be Queen of the THE PORK-PIE HAT.
May   (hie), and they're going to kill the fatted
calf in my honor (hie)."
Alice, apparently disgusted with her father's
condition and incoherency, made no reply, and he
presently turned over and went to sleep. Then
the house fell into a deep slumber, broken only by
the snoring of the inmates as they slept off their
heavy potations.
The morning broke brightly. The sun was high
in the heavens, and the little birds in the woods
had breakfasted and were carroling their thanks,
when the Indian hostler, who had joined in the
revelry, awoke from his drunken stupor and proceeded towards the stable to look after the horses.
He stopped at a spring to cool his parched throat,
and then dragged his aching head and unwilling
limbs to the barn. He opened the door and peered
into the stalls. To his surprise they were empty!
Where he had fed and bedded two ponies the night
before there was a void. Scarcely trusting his
eyes at first he stood open-mouthed, gazing into
the untenanted stalls. Then, uttering the one word
" Clattawahed " (Gone), he rushed to the hotel,
and knocked up Jack, who, in turn, ran to
the stable, and then back to the house. He
ascended the stairs two steps at a time and knocked
at the door of the old man's room, gently at first;
but meeting with no response he gave a thundering
bang and shouted:
" Beggin'   your   parding,   Mr.   Crompton,   but
your horses is stolen."
7 100
Still no reply. Then Jack turned the door
handle and slowly pushed his red face into the
room. The bedclothes were tumbled and the room
was in disorder. The window was wide open, but
the gentleman, like his ponies, was gone!
Jack flew to the room to which the girl had been
conducted. He tapped gently. Then a little
harder, and still meeting with no response, he
softly opened the door. The blind was closely
drawn down, and the light in the room was
uncertain, but he could discern the beautiful black
hair which he had admired so much the evening
before straggling over the pillow, and, what struck
him as most singular, resting on what seemed to
be her head, was the pork-pie hat!
"Strike me lucky," he shouted, " I'm jiggered
if the gal hasn't gone to bed with her hat on for
a nightcap ! Miss," said he, " wake up ! Your
daddy's gone, and the horses is stolen."
There was no answer, and, with an air of becoming modesty, Jack tiptoed into the room, and
advanced to the side of the bed before he discovered that there was no girl there! She, too, had
gone, leaving behind her a wig and a hat. On a
chair was spread her dark-green riding-habit.
Jack beat his head with his clenched fist, and
bounding downstairs to the bar ran straight to the
drawer in which he nightly deposited the " safe."
The drawer had been pried open and the " safe "
was gone, too.
" Robbed, done up, buncoed, ruined !" he wailed. THE PORK-PIE HAT.
" There was four hundred dollars, nearly, in that
'ere safe, and that man and that girl is the thieves."
A hue and cry was raised, and a party was soon
on the trail of the supposed robbers. A short distance away were found eight gunny sacks that had
been tied about the horses' feet to muffle the sound
of their tramping as they were led past the hotel;
and near the same spot the " safe," rifled of its
contents, was picked up. The pursuers reached
New Westminster quickly, but the robbers had got
away by crossing to the American side and reaching Washington Territory. It was afterwards
learned that they were male members of a strolling theatrical company, who, learning of Jack's
careless habit with money, had disguised themselves for the purpose of robbing his " safe." The
fellow who acted the part of the girl and captivated
the lumbermen was one of the most expert impersonators of female characters then on the Coast.
They were never caught.
Jack returned from the search a wiser man. He
bought a real safe and became a woman-hater.
The wig he committed to the flames and the pork-
pie hat adorned the head of the wife of the
Indian chief of the tribe for a long time. When
it became so dilapidated that even the Indian
woman would not wear it, the hat was sent to a
museum as the cooking utensil of a prehistoric
race, unearthed on the shore of Burrard Inlet. It
was classified   and may still be seen there. GHOSTS.
" There are times
When Fancy plays her gambols in despite
Even of our watchful senses ; when, in sooth,
Substance seems shadow, shadow substance seems,
When the broad, palpable and marked partition
'Twixt that which is and is not seems dissolved
As if the mental eye gained power to gaze
Beyond the limits of the existing world.
Such hours of shadowy dreams I better love
Than all the gross realities of life."
I think it is well in beginning this chapter
of shadowy events that I should disavow any
responsibility for the incidents that are herein set
forth. As I had no part in their creation, I must
ask to be regarded merely as the pen-painter of
actual occurrences which no person has yet been
able to explain to my satisfaction. To the Spiritualist or the Theosophist their meaning may be
clear; 'but to one who, like myself, gropes in a fog-
bank of uncertainty, not unmixed with suspicion,
they convey no lesson, bring no moral. I am
aware that more than one church has denounced
the phenomena as the work of Satan and counselled its adherents to have no dealings with his GHOSTS.
Satanic Majesty when he appears in the form of
materialized spirits or makes his presence known
by raps on table-tops. Indisposed as I am to regard
so-called spirit •manifestations as the work of
spirits, I am equally indisposed to attribute them
to machinations of the devil. May there not be
some law of nature, as yet unrevealed to mortals,
by the action of which these remarkable effects are
obtained, and which, once understood, will seem
plain to the simplest minds? Scientists, who are
hard at work upon the many problems that disturb
the minds of men, may some day furnish a key to
all that is mysterious at this moment, and lay bare
to the world much that is now hidden behind a
veil of uncertainty. Twenty years ago who would
have believed that the human voice could be
thrown a distance of hundreds of miles by the
agency of a chemical 'battery and a thin wire? Or
five or six years ago who would have believed
that Marconi would discover a method by which
messages can be sent through space three thousand miles without the aid of wires or of any
agency save a transmitter at the starting-point and
a receiver at the other end ? " Wireless telegraphy," said Canon Wilberforce, preaching in St.
Paul's Cathedral, " wireless telegraphy ! It is no
new thing. It is as old as creation. What is
prayer but wireless telegraphy—an instantaneous
message from earth to the Throne of Grace?"
That is a pretty idea, and the Christian mind, in
common with the commercial mind, has accepted THE PASSING  OF A RACE.
wireless telegraphy as a harbinger of greater discoveries yet to be made in the realm of space.
Marconi explains that his discovery is based on
natural laws, and promises more developments
along the same line. He would be a bold man who
should say that Marconi has dealings with the Evil
One and that his invention should be shunned by
all good men and women. I regard spirit manifestations as susceptible of explanation upon other
than supernatural grounds, only we are not sufficiently enlightened or advanced to work the problem out. But step by step the knowledge necessary to place Spiritualism where it belongs—on
the plane of natural science—is being gained, and
on some not far-distant day all will be made clear
and plain to the weakest intellect without the aid
of table or planchette.
*    *    *
A remarkable man I once met came from Australia to New Westminster. He rejoiced in the
title and name of Professor Bushell. He was a
Spiritualist and necromancer—not very clever at
sleight of hand, nor eminently successful as a
medium. One of his acts was to kill a sheep
shortly before the performance opened. Then he
would place the carcass on the stage and make it
walk, bleat and gambol under his touch. When
he removed his hand the carcass would fall lifeless, but it would revive again and again at the
professor's will. Asked to tell the secret of his
power, he replied, with a knowing grin, " Spirits," GHOSTS.
and that was the only explanation he would give.
The professor claimed to be a healer of disease by
the laying on of hands, and some persons who submitted to his touch claimed to receive great benefit
therefrom. One old woman went to the theatre
on crutches, and left them behind when she came
away as a fee for the treatment. In a short time
her trouble returned, and when she went for her
crutches again she found that the professor had
sold them to another lame patient, and the townspeople had to subscribe a sum sufficient to buy the
old lady another pair.
There was a certain blind man who, having submitted to the professor's touch, joyously declared
that he could see as well as ever ; but when he tried
to walk off the stage he tumbled and fell in a heap
into the place reserved for the orchestra, spraining
one of his ankles and nearly breaking his neck in
the fall. A young woman who complained that
her lover was being won from her by another
young woman, was given a powder to mix in the
faithless one's beer. There must have been some
mistake—either the wrong powder was prescribed
or the wrong man took it, for the young fellow it
was intended for married the girl whom the professor assured the other girl he would never marry,
and another man made violent love to the discarded girl and after a long siege won her. It was
a queer mix-up, and afforded the wits of the day
much amusement.
The greatest feat, trick or delusion—call it what 106 THE PASSING OF A RACE.
you will—of the professor was to produce a
ghostly shape at the back of the stage and command it to approach the footlights with a slow and
measured glide. The coal-oil lamps were turned
low, and the figure was that of a tall woman
habited in long, white robes, which trailed behind
her as she walked. The face was as white as newly-
fallen snow, and the features bore an expression of
intense grief and anxiety.
" That," remarked the professor, " is the shade
of one who lost her husband and children—both
of them twins!"
This absurd announcement caused a burst of
laughter from the audience in spite of the solemnity
of the scene.
" I calls her Mary," continued the professor.
" Mary Doherty. She is in great trouble. She
is looking for the pearl of great price which she
has lost somewhere. Walk on, Mary," he said
one night.
Mary obeyed, but Mary had been drinking
spirits, and with her eyes turned towards heaven
she glided clean over the footlights and fell into
the orchestra pit where the blind man had come
to grief a few evenings before. As she went over
the train of her dress caught on a projection and
the robe was torn from the figure, revealing the
lusty form of a half-clad youth named Seymour,
who had been personating for several evenings the
ghost of Mary Doherty. The oaths of the late
ghost as he rubbed his bruised shins were fearful GHOSTS.
to hear. The professor gave no more entertainments, and got out of New Westminster as quickly
as possible.
Perhaps a leaf from my own experience with
the uncanny may prove interesting here. More
than seven years ago I was stricken with a severe
illness. Having retired at eleven o'clock in apparent health, three hours later I awoke in fearful
agony and scarcely able to breathe. Drs. Davie
and Watt were summoned, and they diagnosed my
trouble to be pneumonia. The days and nights of
pain and suffering through which I passed need
not be described; but I wish to tell what happened
(or rather what I thought happened) one night.
My memory has been quite clear and remarkably
good at all times, and I have a vivid recollection
of my experience on that occasion. My hallucination was that I had died, and my body was prepared for burial. The undertaker came, and
mourners gathered about the bier on which the
coffin rested. I heard the sympathetic things that
were said about me to my friends by people who
came to peer into my face for the last time before
the lid was placed on the coffin, and the sweet perfume of flowers from the bouquets and wreaths in
the room reached my olfactories, and gratified my
senses. The last farewells were said, and the
undertaker advanced to screw down the lid, when
I sprang from the coffin, and confronted him.
" Don't you dare screw me down !" I cried. " I
am not dead, and I will not be buried alive!" io8
To my surprise, no attention was paid to me, and
the man went on with his duties. I pulled his
sleeve, his coat tails, and plucked at his beard and
hair. I might as well have been a gust of vagrant
wind for all the notice that was taken. I tried to
wrest the lid from his hands, but he went quietly
on with his work. I vociferated and appealed to
the company to save me from a horrid death. I
called my friends to witness that I was being
murdered with their connivance. I appealed to
the clergyman, but he ignored my presence. Then
from the parlor organ pealed forth the strains of
the " Dead March in Saul." Rendered desperate
by what I conceived to be a deliberate attempt to
do away with me in the most horrible manner that
could be imagined, as a last resort I leaped upon
the top of the coffin, and there—horror of horrors !
—I saw myself lying within, stiff and cold, with
eyes closed and features placid in death!
" Five minutes ago," I reasoned, " I left that
box, as I thought, empty. Now I find it still occupied by my body, and I am here—here! I am
within the coffin, and yet I am outside ! Merciful
heavens! what has come over me? Who am I—
what am I? Am I dead or am I alive? Is the
man in the coffin 'me, or am I some one else?"
I held one of my hands to my face, and something peculiar about it caused me to shudder. A
pier-glass stood at one end of the room, not far
from the coffin. An uncontrollable desire possessed me to look at myself.    I sprang from my GHOSTS.
perch on the coffin and darted towards the glass.
To my wonderment I seemed to go through,
instead of around, every obstacle that stood in my
path. Men and women were as vapor to my touch.
They neither moved nor gave the slightest sign
that they observed me. WJiile I could see them
they did not seem to see me. At last, only one person—a stout old lady—stood between me and the
glass. I passed through her bulky form and
emerged on the other side, and she did not appear
aware of my presence.
What was the object that was reflected by the
glass? It did not resemble a human being, nor
was it like a monkey. It was like something I
never had seen before or ever imagined. A little,
black, grisly, dwarfish thing about a foot in
height, with a face all seamed and scarred and
furrowed. Now all was clear! The body was
my late habitation, and the grisly little object, that
had cried itself sick in an effort to make people
see and hear it, was my spirit—my soul—my alter
ego! I struggled no more, but took refuge under
a chair and wept.
îjî ïjî 3{C
The coffin was carried out, and from the verandah I watched the procession as it slowly
wended its way down the road. As the last carriage passed from sight around the bend in the
avenue I gave a deep groan, and turned to re-enter
the house. But the doors were locked and the
windows fastened down.   I was shut out from my 110 THE PASSING  OF A  RACE.
own house! Then, as I awoke, I heard a gentle
voice say, " The doctor has just gone. He says
you are better, and that with care you will get
I looked, and saw the kindly face of the trained
nurse gazing down upon me. " Thank God !" I
exclaimed, " it was all a dream."
" Hush !" said the gentle voice. " You must
not speak—doctor's order!"
In a month I was well again and have lived to
write my weird experience.
The most remarkable medium the world has
ever known was a Mr. Douglas Home. By the
aid of some occult power he was enabled to float
like a feather in the air from room to room and
to elongate or compress his 'body at the will of the
unknown force. On one occasion, according to
the testimony of Lord Wigan and other equally
respectable witnesses, he floated out of a window
overlooking a courtyard seventy feet below, and
floated in at another window. Home could take
red-hot coals from the grate with his bare hands,
and put them in his shirt and pockets without
injury to himself or his garments. He could call
up the shades of departed friends at will, and
deliver messages to members of the circle
from persons whose handwriting was readily
recognized, and whose identity in other respects
could not be disputed. Home exercised great
influence over the Russian Court, and was said to GHOSTS. 111
have won over the late Czar Alexander to Spiritualism. In spite of his cleverness and ingenuity
and the influence that was supposed to guard him,
Home became involved in a law suit over an estate
which a lady convert willed him. The will was
broken by the courts, and he died a little later.
About five years ago a family residing near
Vancouver came into possession of what is called
an ouja board. It was like a table, and on its top
were the letters of the alphabet and the numbers
from one to naught. Upon the board stood a
small, heart-shaped piece of wood on three legs.
To procure communications it was necessary for
the persons sitting at the board to place their hands
on the heart-shaped object, when it would move,
as if endowed with life, to the different letters and
figures and spell out intelligent answers to questions. One night a " spirit " that called itself
" Norman Taylor " took possession of the board,
and for weeks he gave replies to queries that were
put to him. After awhile he became very familiar
and told the company many wonderful things about
themselves. On one occasion he addressed a
young lady who was present and said that he
would send a friend of his to see her.
" But how shall I know him ?" the young lady
I By a signet-ring which he will place on your
Three years rolled away.     The   magical table THE PASSING OF A RACE.
had been sent away meanwhile, and the spirit of
" Norman Taylor " must have gone off with it,
for he was heard of no more. One day a gentleman was introduced to the young lady, and the
acquaintance thus formed resulted in a courtship
and an engagement. The young man slipped a
signet-ring on his sweetheart's finger, and as he
did so she exclaimed:
" Why, that must be the ring Norman Taylor
told me about?"
" Norman Taylor, Norman Taylor ! He is
dead," said the young man. " How did you
become acquainted with him?"
The incident of the table, and the promise of the
spirit of Norman Taylor to send a gentleman to
her with a signet-ring, were told, and the happy
man explained that Norman Taylor was a schoolfellow of his in Scotland, who went to Australia,
and died there some years before the table was
operated at Vancouver.
It only remains to add that the young people
were married, and lived happily ever afterwards,
as the story books say.
*    *    *
A nautical friend, who stands high in public
esteem in the province, contributes the following
wonderful incident of a ghostly visitation and a
timely warning:
Many years ago, sometime in the '8o's, I was
the officer of the watch from eight to midnight of
a large mail steamer running down for Cape Frio, GHOSTS.
on the coast of South America, bound for Rio de
Janeiro, crowded with passengers, there being, I
believe, some nine hundred souls on board all told.
The night was wet and dirty, but as the ship was
supposed to be giving this prominent headland a
wide berth we were steaming along full speed
without a thought of danger. Two lookouts on
the forcastle and myself were on the bridge. I
had been pacing to and fro across the bridge for
the last hour or two, carefully peering over the
edge of the weather-cloth on each side into the
darkness and rain, and wishing for eight bells,
when my disagreeable vigil would be over, when
I found myself at about two minutes to midnight
under the lee of the port shelter. I looked at the
lee side of the bridge, where the rain was sweeping
inside the starboard shelter, and made the mental
remark, " I am not going there again this good
night." All at once I heard a voice whisper to
me, " Go over the other side." It repeated, " Go
over the other side." I made another mental
remark, " Bother the other side," when once more
I heard, and this time slowly, deliberately and
urgently, the order, " Go over the other side." I
went, looked over the weather-cloth, and in an
instant was electrified by seeing, through the rain
and spray from the lee bow, a large dark object,
a mass of foam at the foot, close to us. I knew in
an instant it was a rock, and that we were inside
Cape Frio ! I called to the quartermaster, " Hard
astarboard!"  but  the  man,  not grasping  such  a ii4
sudden, sharp and unexpected order, for a moment
hesitated, when, rushing to the wheel, I pushed him
on one side and whirled the wheel round myself.
The steam steering-gear saved us; she paid off in
an instant, but we were so close that our stern just
cleared the back wash of the foam. It was all
over in a minute, and the ship was saved. The
captain came on the bridge just as I had got the
wheel hard astarboard. He grasped the situation
at once, and taking hold of the bridge rail he
turned to me and said quietly, " She is a lost ship."
I replied, 11 hope not, sir," and when she had
cleared the foam and was heading out into the
broad Atlantic, we both exclaimed, with heartfelt
gratitude, " Thank God !" The men on the lookout were sent for afterwards, when both men
declared they had never seen the rock until they
heard my shout to the wheel. The rock had just
come in sight through the rain. The incident was
never mentioned in the log.
I once lived in a house where the hostess possessed the gift of second-sight. Without being
aware that it was anything out of the common she
could name the place where would be found any
article that might be missed by another member of
the family. If it were a pair of scissors, a knife,
a cloak, a dress, or any other article, without leaving the room in which she happened to be at the
time she would tell you where you would find it,
and she was always right. A   QUEER   CHARACTER.
" The naked every day he clad,
When he put on his clothes."
I propose to relate a few of the pranks of a
noted character, who flourished in the colony in
the early days of the gold discoveries. His name
was Butts, or Butt, as he persisted in being called.
He was as insistent in claiming that his name was
destitute of the sibilant as another gentleman
whom I may mention here. This gentleman's
name was Smallbone. Inadvertently one day,
about forty years ago, his name was printed
Smallbones, whereupon he threatened an action
for libel, and his anger was only laid by the
appearance on the following day of his name in
the smgular number—a wit of the day remarking
that one of his kind was all the colony could abide
at a time.
Butt was an English-Australian. He came first
under my notice in 1856. I was engaged on a
San Francisco newspaper at the time, and Butt
was a sort of carry-all between the politicians and
the editorial rooms of the Sun, then a leading
journal, edited by a Scotchman, and, with all its
staff, long since defunct. Later on Butt was
8 US ïi6
charged with complicity in the murder of James
King, an editor, by one James Casey. This murder
gave rise to the Vigilance Committee, and I saw
four murderers hanged in the streets of San Francisco by the Vigilantes. Butt, who was imprisoned
by the Committee, was later released, and in July,
1858, I met him; in Victoria. He had been
appointed town-crier, and, equipped with a huge
bell, was paid to stand on street corners, then few
in number, and proclaim auction sales, theatrical
performances and social events. Sometimes the
government availed themselves of his stentorian
voice and loud-mouthed bell to make public their
proclamations and orders. This he did under the
instructions of the magistrate. He was told to
always conclude the reading of the proclamations
with the invocation, " God Save the Queen." So
long as the magistrate was within earshot Butt
adhered religiously to the instruction; but once
around the corner he would cry the information, and
finish by calling out " God Save (a pause of a few
seconds) John Butt." For this act of disloyalty
he was deposed as town-crier, and was never after
employed officially.
From " crying " Butt took to scavengering, and,
procuring a horse and cart, he would load up on
Government Street, drive around the corner of
Yates Street, and, having previously raised the
tail-board a few inches, by the time he had proceeded two hundred yards the mud and filth he
had gathered on Government Street would ooze
out and deposit itself on Yates Street.   He would A  QUEER CHARACTER
then return for other loads, and dispose of them as
before. Having succeeded in cleaning Government Street, he would take a contract for carting
away the mud he had deposited on Yates Street,
whereupon he would cart it back to Government
Street, and so on, until his tactics were discovered,
and he was forbidden to be town scavenger any
He next resorted to petty thieving, and when
unconsidered trifles were scarce he would eke out
his existence by begging at back doors for food
and clothing. The food he would eat or throw
away, according to his necessities; the clothing he
would sell. Butt possessed a nice tenor voice. He
had been a negro minstrel in California before he
sank so low as to become a politician, and one of
his favorite methods to excite attention and sympathy was to knock at a door and ask for the lady
of the house. Upon her appearance he would doff
his hat, assume the attitude of a troubadour, and,
placing his hand on his heart, sweetly warble a
then popular song, commencing :
" Deal with me keeyindly,
Cheer me young hea-a-r-t,
And I'll follow you bleeind-ly,
Wherever thou a-r-r-t."
The song and attitude almost invariably captured the lady's hea-a-r-t, and the response was a
generous one.
From thieving and begging to selling whisky
to Indians was only a step, and Butt soon found n8
himself in the chain-gang. When arraigned before
the magistrate he, on one occasion, put up a plea
for mercy, and recited a part of one of Wlatt's
hymns in support of the plea, but he got six
months' "hard" all the same. The day following his sentence word came from the prison that
John Butt during the night had had a paralytic
stroke. Below the knees there was no feeling.
He was so lame he couldn't walk a step or work
a stroke. He was examined by the surgeons.
Needles and pins were forced into his legs below
the knees, without causing a quiver. Above the
knee a pin or needle point inserted would make
him howl with pain. Every method was adopted
to ascertain if he was malingering, but no use, and
he was finally carried to the hospital. There for
several weeks he was an object ai general sympathy, and cakes, tarts, cigars and an occasional
bottle of Hudson's Bay rum found their way to
him. His helpless condition excited the commis-
seration of the other inmates, and every fine day
he was carried from his room to the front of the
building, and there, seated in an armchair, would
bask in the sun and hold conversations with the
visitors and inmates. But one day a wonderful
thing happened. While seated in his easy-chair he
was observed to slyly move one of his disabled
legs. Presently he was seen to move the other.
Word was sent to the physician of the hospital.
By his direction several buckets of cold water
were secretly conveyed to a verandah overlooking
the spot where Butt sat, and emptied on his head.
At the fall of the first bucketful the shock caused
him to spring to his feet, and upon the third or
fourth application he ran off like a deer, never
stopping until he had reached town and stowed
himself away in one of his many haunts.
One stormy night a missionary meeting was
convened at the Methodist church. The late John
Jessop presided, and introduced an Irish doctor as
mover of the first resolution. The doctor ascended
the platform and was observed to look anxiously
about for some object. At last he exclaimed : " I
wish I had a dhrop of wather." There were
no taps in those days, and the necessity of
water to assuage the thirst of speakers had been
overlooked. Instantly rose from the fringe of the
crowd near the door the fat and ragged figure of
the irrepressible and ubiquitous Butt.
" Wait a minute,, doctor, and I'll bring you a
drink," he shouted, saying which he started for the
door. Just around the corner there stood on Government Street a bar known as the Elephant and
Castle. Into this bar Butt burst with a wild
whoop, and, seizing a gallon measure filled with
water, made off with it. The loungers started a
cry that the church was on fire, and while some
ran to ring the bell, others poured into the church
in time to see Butt amble up the centre aisle and
deposit on -the chairman's table the dripping
measure, amid roars of laughter, in which the
minister and the chairman heartily joined.
There is one thing Butt did about this time that
deserves   mention   here.     A   movement   for   the THE PASSING OF A RACE.
annexation of the colony to the United States was
instituted in 1866. Butt suddenly became intensely
loyal, and erected a miniature gallows on Wharf
Street, from which he used to turn off the annexationists, naming each " traitor " as the drop fell.
I have often thought that this burlesque execution
business did as much to check the disloyal sentiment as the opposition the Colonist offered to the
agitation, which was short-lived, although at one
time influential, if not numerically strong.
History relates that Rome was saved by the
cackling of geese. The cackle of a solitary goose
which Butt had stolen from a backyard proved his
undoing. He carried the bird beneath his Inverness cape, and was met by a constable who,
remarking his bulky appearance, bade him halt.
" What have you there?" he asked, pointing to
the bunchy protuberance.
" It's some old clothes I'm takin' to a poor
woman down in the alley," replied Butt.
The constable eyed him suspiciously for a
moment, but suffered him to pass on, and the
culprit was 'making rapid tracks for his cabin when
there arose from beneath his coat the most dismal
squawking that ever the tongue of a goose gave
utterance to. The constable seized both man and
goose, and the next day the magistrate sentenced
him to the chain-gang for a long term. A few
weeks later the Governor pardoned Butt, and he
was shipped on a lumber vessel bound for Australia, and Victoria knew him no more. THE VIGILANCE COMMITTEE OF 1856.
" See they suffer death,
But in their death, remember they are men ;
Strain not the law to make their torture grievous."
It was in the blustry month of March, in the
year of our Lord, 1856, that I landed at San
Francisco, in company with about one thousand
other ardent searchers after the yellow metal,
which, we had been given to understand, could
be found in huge lumps anywhere among the hills
and ravines of California. Such an idea as failure
never entered our enthusiastic heads—there was
no such word in our lexicon. The first day or two
after landing were passed in securing habitable
quarters. Some of my fellow-passengers took
rooms at the miserable establishments that were
dignified by the title of "hotel," but the larger
number sought and obtained lodging on back
streets, where the rates were within their means.
San Francisco at that time was a very primitive
city. Many of the best buildings were of wood,
and the few brick structures were poorly constructed and gave no evidence of architectural
merit. There were only three or four retail business thoroughfares—Montgomery Street being the 122
chief. The sand hills came down to and covered
the ground where Market Street and many other
principal avenues of trade in the present day now
run, and where a restless human tide flows unceasingly. At the time of which I write the population of the city was about 40,000. There were no
street cars, neither sewerage, water supply, telegraph, railways, telephone, nor any of the many concomitants which now go to make existence bearable.
California was then more remote from civilization
than Nome is to-day. That is to say, the only
means of communication with the outside world
was by a line of steamships which left New York
twice a month, debarked her passengers at Aspin-
wall, whence they crossed the Isthmus by rail to
Panama, and there took another steamer for San
Francisco. The trip from New York to San Francisco generally consumed twenty-three days, but passengers were often four weeks on the way. The party
with whom I sailed for San Francisco on the 5th
of March were especially fortunate. The passengers who left New York two weeks previously
were involved in a train wreck on the bank of the
Chagres River, and many were killed and mangled.
The passengers who left New York two weeks
later were attacked on the Isthmus by natives, and
a large number
fell victims
to   the  bullets
(a great knife)
of the Colombians.
made the
trip in
days.    I was fortun-
ate in securing a
small room
on Powell Street
, for
which I
to pay
$12 'monthly, and
started out to find employment. When I landed
on the wharf I found myself the possessor of
thirty-eight dollars and twenty-five cents. In the
course of a brief period this sum melted away, and
on the morning of the third Saturday after arriving I had spent my last quarter for a light meal
at a restaurant. I had made a few acquaintances
on the voyage out, but these had all disappeared.
Some, not finding nuggets on the streets, had gone
back discouraged. Others had gone to the mines
or to towns in the interior, and of those who still
remained in the city I knew not their whereabouts.
Saturday night I went to bed supperless. In the
morning I took a draught of water for breakfast,
and walked down to the water front. Was I contemplating suicide? Not a bit of it. Such a
thought did not enter my head. I was young and
ardent, with an appetite like a young wolf's, and
life to me was precious. I gazed longingly into
the bakery and restaurant windows that lay in my
way, and wondered whether I should ever again
eat a full -meal. I recalled dishes which, in the
days of plenty, I had spurned. At my boarding-
house in an Eastern city a standard dish each
Sunday morning was fried tripe. I tried the dish
once, and turned from it. As I walked along the
water-front on that bright Sabbath morning eleven
o'clock struck, and the 'bells were summoning worshippers to the various churches. I wanted to
attend church, but who can listen with patience to
a service and a sermon   on   an   empty stomach? 124
Try it, good reader, and you will find that to enjoy
a mental or a spiritual meal the man or woman
worshipper must be tuned up with wholesome
physical food. So I elected not to attend service
on that particular Sunday and continued my walk
along the tumble-down wharves that then lined
San Francisco's harbor area. Matters were getting
desperate. For twenty-eight hours nothing save
water had passed my lips. It never occurred to
me that I might raise a small sum by visiting one
of the numerous pawnbrokers, so I just pulled the
strap of my trousers tighter. I really thought
myself the most miserable man on the face of the
earth—without money, food or friends, in a strange
land—and I began to think that all this misery
was sent as a punishment because I had declined
good food in the past.
" Why did I not eat what was set before me and
be thankful?" I asked myself over and over again.
" Yes, indeed," I mused, " there are worse things
than fried tripe in the world. I wish I had a
chance to get a meal of it now."
Such a craving for food then took possession of
me. I saw a man with a wolfish, greedy look on
his face devouring a large piece of pie which he
held in both hands, and I wished he would ask me
to join himi; but he didn't. I strolled slowly on,
wondering where all this would end. I began to
feel tired and weak and homesick. A man was
unloading potatoes from a small sloop. He had
a kindly look on his face, and I ventured to ask THE   VIGILANCE COMMITTEE.
him if he wanted to hire some one to help him.
" No," he said, " but if you should happen this
way day after to-morrow I'll give you a job."
I Day after to-morrow," I thought, " if I don't
get work or money before then I shall be dead or
I continued slowly on for another block, and just
when I felt I must sink down from sheer weakness a baker's wagon swung swiftly round the
corner. The driver, a smart-looking young fellow,
stopped the horse in front of a bar and proceeded
to deliver bread and cakes to the landlord. As he
passed round the back of his cart I noticed that
his face was deeply pitted with smallpox—the
worst case of disfigurement from that cause I ever
" Surely," I said, " I have seen that face before
—I know those marks—know that man."
As he reached the sidewalk with his arms full
of goodies, I accosted him:
" I say, is not your name Varnum—Frank
" That's my name," he said, gazing at me with
wondering eyes. " But who are you ? Surely—
no—yes—it cannot be H—?"
" That's who it is," I replied.
"What are you doing here?" he asked.
" Starving to death," I replied faintly.
" Good gracious," said my dear old classmate.
1 Starving ! Just hold on a minute. Wait till I
deliver these goods."    He ran to the bar, and in 126
an instant was out again. " Here," he cried, " get
up alongside of me."
I mounted the box, and in an instant we were
rattling over the planked streets towards his place
of business. " Oh !" he exclaimed, " here, you
might as well be eating as we go on," and he
handed me a loaf of bread.
" Oh ! Frank," I said, " I couldn't eat it—really
I couldn't. I am craving something in the meat
line—and I want you to lend me five dollars till I
get some work." By this time I was so weak that
I nearly fell off the 'box, and clutched Frank's arm
to save myself.
" Five dollars," said the grand fellow, " I'll lend
you ten."
When we arrived at the bakery Varnum leaped
from the cart and ran into the shop, quickly
returning with a ten-dollar gold piece in his hand,
which he handed to me. He then insisted upon
driving me to the New York restaurant on Keaney
Street, where he left me. I entered the restaurant
and took my seat at one of the tables. A waiter
approached, and I gave him my order in a weak
voice. I must have looked very woe-begone, and
wretched—I certainly felt as if I had just risen
from a sick bed—for the man gazed searchingly
at me. Perhaps he thought I did not have the
money to pay for the meal; but if he did he
refrained from saying so. And-what do you think
my order was, of all things?    Don't laugh—
The dish was a long time in coming—an age it
seemed, I was so hungry; but when it did arrive
I was quickly on good terms with it. I ordered
three boiled eggs and coffee, too, and when I rose
from that table I felt, as the certificate of a quack
doctor's advertisement would say, " like a new
On the day following I got employment, and
nine months later I was part owner of a San Francisco daily newspaper—The Morning Call—and
making money hand-over-fist.
On the 14th of May, 1856, an awful thing happened. About eight months before a man named
James King, of William, had started an evening
paper called the Bulletin. San Francisco had long
been under the heels of a band of ballot-box
sniffers, robbers and assassins. They had their
representatives in all the public offices, even on
the Bench. Three of the Supreme Court Justices
were known to have been chosen from the very
worst class. The Chief Justice was an habitue of
gambling! and disorderly houses. One of his
associates—Terry—was a desperado of violent
temper, and had killed his man in Texas before
reaching California. In his early life he had been
educated for the church, but he abandoned religion
for the law and politics. The leading spirit in
San Francisco was the famous Ned McGowan.
Upon these men and their practices King's newspaper opened a savage warfare.    He was a brave 128
man, without an ounce of discretion. In dealing with
the ruffians who had polluted politics and poisoned
society, he did not mince his words. He rightly
styled them thieves, thugs and murderers and, of
course, he was soon a marked man. He was
accustomed to appear armed on the streets, and in
his editorial room he sat facing the door with a
loaded and half-cocked revolver on the table at his
right hand. Young as I was I could see that King
was inviting an attack by the ostentatious preparations he made to repel one. Many men would
have written just as effectively and escaped without injury. But King was aching for trouble; and
he got it!
One of the most obnoxious and dangerous
wretches of that day was named James P. Casey.
He edited a newspaper called the Sunday Times—
that is, his name appeared as editor, but he could
scarcely sign his own name. King ascertained
that before coming to California Casey had done
time in a New York State prison, and he published
the fact. An hour later Casey met King on the
principal street, and at a distance of fifteen paces
shot him through the right breast. King lived six
days, but while he lingered on the edge of the
tomb a Vigilance Committee was formed, and on
the Sunday morning following that of the shooting, the committee, with two pieces of cannon, and
rifles, muskets, pistols and every other imaginable
weapon of death, marched to the prison where
Casey was confined.    The cannon were pointed at   THE   VIGILANCE  COMMITTEE.
the jail door, and the building surrounded by five
thousand armed men. The matches were lighted,
and a demand was made for the surrender of
Casey and Cora (the last-named some months
before had murdered the United States marshal
on a public street, because the marshal's wife had
tk cut " Cora's mistress at the theatre, and was
awaiting trial) within five minutes. The prisoners
were surrendered after a short parley and were
taken to the Vigilance Committee room, which,
being surrounded by breastworks of gunnysacks
filled with sand, was christened " Fort Gunny-
bags." King having died, the men were tried,
found guilty and sentenced to be executed. On
the day of King's funeral both were hanged from
the windows of the committee room. I saw their
bodies swinging from the ends of ropes in the
afternoon breeze.
*    *    *
The condition of affairs in San Francisco consequent on these tragic events was most deplorable. Business was practically suspended, and
bodies of armed men took possession of the streets
and public offices. They arrested .many evil-doers
and banished them from the State under peril of
hanging should they return. The committee also
besieged the armories, where the State militia had
assembled, and captured the entire force, with all
their arms and accoutrements.
While the public mind was at fever heat a
Welshman named Joseph  Hetherington shot and I30
killed a Dr. Randall in the St. Nicholas Hotel.
Randall was indebted to Hetherington and either
could not or would not pay his debt, and for that
default he was shot. Hetherington was hurried
off to the committee room and locked up. The
next day a young man named Philander Brace,
who was suspected of murdering three men, was
seized by the committee. These men were of more
than ordinary intelligence. Both had been well
educated. Brace was a New York clergyman's
son, and had a most innocent, interesting face. He
was twenty-one years of age. Hetherington was
about thirty-five, and was strikingly handsome,
with a full black beard and a somewhat swarthy
countenance. He had been in trouble before, having killed a man five years previously, but he got
off. The two were sentenced to be hanged by the
Vigilance Committee. A gallows was erected in
the centre of one of the streets, and at a given
moment they were placed thereon. Brace was
profane, defiant and drunk. Some one had given
him a large quantity of liquor before he was led
out. Hetherington was grave and pensive, and
while a trifle nervous, was cool and brave. His
" last dying speech and confession " was frequently interrupted by Brace, but he managed to
say that he did not consider himself a murderer,
that he had all his life been a praying man, and
that he was not afraid to meet his God.
Brace's last words were   that   he would wrap
himself in the American flag, and die like a -4* —* THE   VIGILANCE COMMITTEE.
I stood within ten feet of the scaffold and heard
every word that was uttered. When the drop fell
a shudder ran like an electric current through the
multitude. My own heart seemed to stand still.
I had gone there on purpose to see these men
executed, and at the supreme moment my self-possession deserted me and I was absolutely unprepared for what I had expected and hoped for.
These were the first men I ever saw hanged, and
for a long time the scene haunted me.
I turned away from the dread spectacle while
the bodies still hung on the scaffold, and hurried
around the first corner. On the next street two
women seated in an open landau drew my attention.
Both were weeping. One was hysterical, and was
sobbing and moaning pitifully. A bystander ventured the remark that the hysterical lady was
" Mrs." Hetherington, who had just been told that
her " husband " had been hanged. The same person told me that the woman was known as the
" Scotch Lassie." I managed to get a good look
at her face. She was very beautiful and was
dressed richly and with exquisite taste. The
landau drove off at this moment, and I saw the
women no more.
One day while a posse of the Vigilant police
were about to arrest a man named Maloney, Judge
Terry, an associate justice of the Supreme Court,
interfered and stabbed one of the police, named
Hopkins, in the neck.   The Vigilants seized Terry 132
and held him, pending the issue of Hopkins'
injuries. After some weeks, Hopkins recovered, and
Terry was set at liberty. Had Hopkins died Terry
would have been hanged. In 1859 Terry challenged Broderick, a U. S. Senator, and the two
met near San Francisco. Broderick was killed at
the first fire, Terry escaping unhurt. Nearly
thirty years later, Terry's first wife having died,
he married a woman who was known as Sarah
Althea Sharon. She had laid claim to the Sharon
estate by virtue of a bogus marriage contract.
After a long legal fight Terry and his wife were
worsted by a decision of Justice Field, of the
United States Supreme Court. Terry a few
months subsequently attacked Field at a railway
station and was himself shot dead by a man
named Nagle, who had been detailed to act as
Field's bodyguard, Terry having threatened
*    *    *
The state of affairs at San Francisco at the time
of the Vigilance Committee can only be understood by giving a few instances of the moral turpitude of the chief men of the city. Casey was
undoubtedly a bold, bad man, but he was only a
type of the men who then ruled California. He
was dyed deeply in crime—would not hesitate to
shoot, cut and rob as his needs or the occasion
demanded. But mark the strange inconsistency
of the man. The allusion of King to his having
been a jail-bird caused him to shoot the editor; THE   VIGILANCE COMMITTEE.
and yet he did not hesitate to do the wickedest and
vilest things in broad daylight and boast of them
afterwards. He always acted as if the better
instincts of human nature were dead to him, but
when he stood on the plank awaiting the fatal
plunge he cried for his " poor old mother," and
begged the Vigilants not to let her hear of the disgraceful manner of his taking off. One night he
entered the fashionable gambling-house of Whipple
& Burroughs. The faro-tables were in full swing.
Wiord was passed around that Casey was drunk.
He approached one of the tables on which lay a
heap of gold and, drawing a .bowie-knife, thrust it
into the table, shouting:
" I want money, or I want blood !"
None dare say him nay. His reputation as a
cut-throat had preceded him, besides it would not
be wise to have murder done in the swell gambling-
house. The exposure would kill the trade, so he
was led aside by Whipple, and placated with a substantial gift.
On another occasion, with a band of ruffians, he
entered the Mercantile Hotel and proceeded to beat
the landlord and his guests, men and women. He
was arrested; but in an hour was liberated by an
order from a Justice of the Supreme Court, one
of his cronies. He returned to the hotel and
renewed the assault, this time without molestation
from the police.
San Francisco was an ideal Isle of Crete, with
this difference: Where Crete had but one Mina- 134
taur, San Francisco had a thousand. Where Crete
had but one labyrinth, San Francisco had a score.
Instead of a tribute of only seven young men and
seven young women to appease the appetite of one
monster, the rapacity of the San Francisco Mina-
taurs required as many hundred, and the demand
exceeded the supply. Nothing good that fell
under their influence was good after it left their
hands, and with the judges members of the gang
the rascals did what they liked. Perhaps King, in
attacking the monsters, thought himself another
Theseus. Poor man! He resembled Samson
more, for like the Scriptural giant he pulled the
edifice down upon his enemies and himself as well.
When the Vigilance Committee had got through
its labors and disbanded a purer moral atmosphere
prevailed, and for years crime did not flaunt itself
on every street corner or make itself hideous by
openly outraging public peace and decency.
Two years rolled by, and the Fraser River gold
fever broke out. I became infected with it and sold
out my business and went to the new diggings,
passed more than a year and a half at Yale, and
came down to Victoria in February, i860. In search
of a room, I was directed to a house on Broad Street,
where I engaged an apartment. A young woman,
who gave the name of Macpherson, was the only
other boarder. She was a tall, handsome woman
of about twenty-five, with pleasant manners. She
was beautifully clothed and gave out that she was THE   VIGILANCE COMMITTEE.
on her way to meet her brother, who had struck
a rich mine of gold somewhere on the mainland.
A sewing machine was got in, and Miss Macpher-
son began to make up a lot of goods for her own
wear. I saw her first on the stairs and was
strangely impressed with the belief that somewhere in my travels I had met her, but cudgel my
brain as I might I could not place her.
One day I chanced to mention that I had witnessed the execution of Hetherington and Brace,
when she became strangely agitated and burst into
tears; then I remembered that she was one of the
women whom I had seen seated in an open landau a
few minutes after the fall of the drop that launched
Hetherington and Brace into eternity. The woman
presently left for Cariboo to join her "brother"
there. One morning, some years afterwards, she
was found dead in her cabin at Richfield. She had
been strangled over night by some unknown person and all her valuables stolen. The murderer
was never found, but old Cariboo men tell of the
deathbed of a popular business man there whose
last moments were haunted by the ghostly presence of the poor Lassie, and whose dying cries to
be saved from her vengeance were pitiful to hear. WEIRD  MESSAGES AND APPEARANCES.
"Be thou a spirit of health or goblin damn'd,
Bring thee airs from Heaven or blasts from Hell,
Be thy intents wicked or charitable,
Thou com'st in such a questionable shape
That I will speak to thee."
Recent visitors at San Francisco have returned
with astounding tales of the work of a certain
medium in that great city. He calls up the spirits
of the departed, delivers messages from the dead
to living friends, and mentions dates, names, localities and incidents with a fidelity that astonishes
his audiences. In nearly every instance the persons, dead or living, were, and are, entire strangers
to the medium, who does his tricks (or call them
what you may) in the full glare of the electric
light, and upon a platform which is destitute of a
cabinet or other furniture. The hall on the occasion of the seances is packed. The medium
advances to the front of the platform and after a
short exposition of what he is about to produce,
begins by calling out a name.
" Did anyone here know a Mrs.  Mary Brown
when she was on earth?"
A voice responds, " Yes, I knew a lady of that
The operator, without apparently noticing the
interruption, continues :
" I am on a steamer. We are bound for the
north. We have been three days at sea and we
reach Vancouver. I see there a lady. She is related to Mary Brown, deceased—a daughter, I
think. Mary Brown has a message for her
daughter which she wishes you (looking in the
direction from which the voice came) to deliver.
Tell the daughter that her mother says she has
acted wisely, and that prosperity is about to dawn
on her and hers. There is a gentleman here who
wishes to speak to you. He used to live on Puget
Sound, at a place called Port Angeles. His name
on earth was Thomas. He is tall and strong-looking. He wants me to say to you that you have
acted nobly, and that your reward is certain. He
awaits your coming with impatience. Did you
ever know a person of that name?"
" Yes, he was my husband," faltered the female
" Ah," exclaimed the medium, " here's a man
named Max Popper. He has something to say
to a Mr. Ernest Popper, who, he says, is in this
room.   Is there such a person here?"
A fat little man rises, and says :
" Dot vos mine name."
" Well, sir, the spirit says you must stop playing
the races or ruin will overtake you. He says you
gamble and drink too much." 138
" Gootness gerracious," interrupts the little fat
man, " dot vos mine brudder Max. He blowed
his prains out ven he loosed den tousand tollars
at the drack last year."
The medium continues : " He says you will not
blow your brains out, for a very good reason. He
adds that you are spending money that is not your
" Gootness gerracious," interrupts Ernest Popper, in a great state of excitement, " dot ish sho ;
but who telled him?   Vot elsh dosh he say?"
" Nothing. Is there a lady here named Arabella Pingstone?"
" That's me," cried a shrill female voice from
the rear.
" You have lost something. It is of great value.
Your husband is here. He says if you will look
in the dark closet under the first pair of stairs in
your house you will find what you have lost."
The woman makes a quick exit to search the
dark closet.
" Is there a Mrs. Pollard—Irene Pollard—
here?" is next asked.
A timid-looking little woman, in a faded shawl
and last year's bonnet, pops up, blushes, opens and
closes her lips, and sits down.
" Is your name Irene Pollard ?"
"Yes, sir," comes back the nervous answer.
" I've a message for you from your son
" But my son's dead," gasps the timid little
" I know he is and that's why I've got a message from him. He bids me tell you he is very
happy. The other boys are with him and they are
waiting for you. He says he wants you to forgive him for his neglect of you while on earth."
" Has he seen his father?" ventured the lady.
" No, and he adds that he doesn't want to see
him, either. He says that where his father is
there's neither ice nor snow."
" Oh," eagerly explained the little lady, " he
was killed by an avalanche in the Sierra Nevada
mountains. My son doesn't mean to say that his
father's in the bad place. He means that it's
always summer where he is."
The audience laugh doubtingly, but makes no
" I see," continues the medium, " a handsome
girl of some twenty summers. Her long hair is
hanging loose and her garments are dripping with
water. She says her name while on earth was
Adelaide Prout, and that she was drowned in the
wreck of the Rio Janeiro in San Francisco harbor.
Does anyone here recognize her?"
Half-a-dozen persons sprang to their feet, and
all exclaimed that they knew the girl in life
" She wishes to speak to a Mrs. Eckert."
A lady rose in the auditorium, and in trembling
accents responded to the call.
" She wishes me to tell you that she is happy,
much happier than while in life. She says you
acted right in   getting   a   divorce;   but that you 140
should not take the step you contemplate—marriage—for you will have nothing but unhappiness
with the man who has proposed to you."
The lady gathers up her wraps and, with a very
red face and a little cry of dismay, hastens from
the hall.
And so a seance goes on every evening, to the
mystification of the numerous audiences and the
profit of the medium. It is said that the medium
is seldom acquainted with either the dead or living
persons who send or receive messages through
him. This is doubtless correct. I long ago
arrived at the conclusion that the wonderful
powers ascribed to clairvoyants cannot be attributed to any cause now known to man. It is a
gift that few own and the existence of which has
never been satisfactorily explained. " It was
borned in me," said a fat seeress who turned
things topsy-turvy in 1889 in Vancouver and
" Am I clairvoyant ?" a gentleman asked of her
one day.
" No, not a bit—you're too earthy."
" What do you mean by that ?" he asked, indignantly.
" I mean that you're of the earth earthy. You're
too fond of your fleshpots."
The visitor gazed at the gross old woman as she
leaned back in an easy chair and leered at him,
while a strong odor of onions flavored her breath
and filled the apartment.    His choler rose. WEIRD MESSAGES AND APPEARANCES.    141
" Well," he said, " I may be fond of my flesh-
pots, but I don't eat six meals a day and I don't
weigh three hundred pounds."
" Sir-r-r," the woman cried, " how dare you say
I eat six meals a day and weigh three hundred
pounds !"
" I dare say it and I do say it to your face. And
you not only eat six meals, but you have a snack
sent up every night after you have retired."
" Well, I   don't   drink whiskey,   anyhow,'
exclaimed, as a home-thrust.
" Perhaps not," retorted the visitor, " but youl
eat onions, which is worse, and—and you—"
The seeress waited to hear no more. She
waddled from the reception-room1 into the bedroom and locked the door. But in spite of her
gross appetite and her love of onions, the old lady
told a great many things that were true and mystified her numerous visitors by her knowledge of
past events in their lives.
One bright moonlight night, in the summer of
1892, a number of ladies and gentlemen stood on the
corner of two of the principal streets in the city of
Victoria, waiting for a car. Just as a car was rounding the corner, what appeared to be the figure of
a man darted from the opposite sidewalk and
walked right in front of the rapidly advancing
conveyance. There was no fender, and it seemed
that the man must be run down. The people on
Ûie corner were horror-stricken. They shouted
and screamed to the motorman to apply the brake..
it. 142
It was too late. The front of the car seemed to
strike the figure, and all expected to see him ground
to pieces beneath the wheels. To the surprise of
all, the car made no impression upon the man. He
seemed to pass through the obstacle and emerge
on the other side. Keeping straight on he looked
neither to the right nor the left, crossed the street,
and disappeared in the doorway of the Bank of
Commerce building. The figure and the dress were
those of Hon. J. H. Turner, Finance Minister.
At least ten persons witnessed the strange occurrence. In the morning he was congratulated upon
his miraculous escape.
" Why," he replied, " I was not out of my house
last evening.   It imust have been' some one else."
Who the " some one else " was has never been
made clear to the persons who saw the other self
of Mr. Turner defy the street car and allow it to
pass through his body without injury to himself.
Was it a ghost?
Nearly thirty years ago I made one of a party
of ladies and gentlemen who formed a circle for
the investigation of the phenomena of spiritualism*
W)e were accustomed to meet each week alternately
at each other's houses, and, resting the palms of
our hands on the top of a pine table, received;
many messages by means of raps from forces that
claimed that they were disembodied spirits. Some
of the messages were of a very pleasant nature,
others were not, like some medicines, agreeable to WEIRD MESSAGES AND APPEARANCES.    143
the taste. The spirits were generally in a very
sedate and serious frame of mind. Some of the
knocks were nearly indistinct, as if the spirits were
of a timid nature. Others were firm, without being
noisy. The knocks from the female visitors were
generally soft and delicate, while the male
knockers were more decided, and were readily distinguished. After a while we were able to recognize certain spirits that came frequently by the
nature of their raps. There was one unconscionable blackguard who often made his presence
manifest by the most pronounced knocking and
riotous behavior. He said his name was Richard
Loo, and that he had been a sailor. From the way
in which he acted I should have thought that he
was two or three sailors, and not very sober or
moral ones at that. He would attack the table as
with a hammer, and would pound upon it with all
the vigor of a strong man bent on destroying it;
Then he would lift the table two or three feet from
the floor, and bring it down again with a tremendous jolt. Upon his approach the other spirits
would seem to fly, only returning when Mr. Loo
had ceased his operations and gone to some other
circle to continue his ill-conduct there. The
gentler spirits used to refer to Richard as a " bad
'un," much given to swearing and the use of
tobacco and entirely unreliable. The rioter himself said that he was kept near earth because he'
had been too wicked while in life to mingle with
the better natures that inhabit the higher spheres. 144
The whoppers that the former sailor told were so
monstrously absurd as to stamp him as a lying
spirit. When he took his departure each evening
he would give several heavy knocks, and then tilt
and lift up the table, upset it, and slam it on the
floor, to the imminent danger of the people whose
feet were beneath it. In spite of the rough usage,
the table never showed signs of damage. One of
Loo's specimen lies I will give as a sample of all.
A gentleman asked :
" Do you know my name?"
Loo rapped out the querist's name.
"Have you met my brother in the spiritland?"
" Yes—know him well."
"Is he happy?"
" More than happy—he's married again."
" Why, he's got a wife on earth."
" That makes no difference—it doesn't count
here.    I've got another wife myself."
Then followed a stream of profane language in
the midst of which the circle dissolved in haste
and the rapping was suspended. The following
day the " dead " brother arrived in Victoria.
When Eva Fay was at Victoria in 1896 she did
some wonderful things. I entered a cabinet with
her and held both her hands firmly in mine; in
spite of which banjos and tamborines were played
upon, vegetables thrown, and my face was slapped
by unseen hands. How were these things done?
By spirits or jugglery? In explanation of her
clever    responses   to    written    messages   it   was WEIRD MESSAGES AND APPEARANCES.    145
observed that her manager handed each person
desiring to ask a question a slip of paper and ai
piece of cardboard, upon which he was supposed)
to write his message. When the slips were gathered in by the ushers the pieces of cardboard were
taken up too, and handed to the manager, who
stood at the right of the platform with paper and
cardboards in hand. The popular theory was
that when one wrote on the paper, the cardboard,
which was chemically prepared, recorded a duplicate of the writing and ventriloquism did the rest.
In writing my questions I rested the slip on the rim
of my hat. When my name was called the woman
failed.    She said:
" You want to know something about your
" No," I interrupted, " I know too much about
that already. My question is of an entirely different nature."
" I must have got your message mixed withi
some one else's.    I'll return to it later," she said.
When the list was exhausted and she was about
to leave the stage  the manager called out :
" You've forgotten to answer that gentleman's
query ?"
" Oh !" she said, " I can answer it now. Yes.
Tell her to get a  bicycle."
My question was : "A lady friend of mine is!
putting on flesh rapidly and wishes to know if shd
should ride a bike to maintain a sylphlike form?"!
Some one in the audience asked :  " Shall wd 146
have fine weather on Monday for the Queen's
Birthday celebration?"
" Yes," she answered, " you will have glorious
weather, and a good time."
Not a word about a defective bridge which even
then was tottering to its fall. A word of warning
from the medium might have caused an inspection
to be made, and been the means of saving fifty-six
precious lives, for within forty-eight hours after
the " good time " was promised by the medium
two-score homes were desolate. It's a queer thing
that mediums should appear to tell so much and
yet tell so little. I do not know—I cannot recall
a single instance in my own experience where a
warning from spiritland prevented a catastrophe.
Others may. There have been presentiments of
danger, and disaster has followed. I have had
premonitions myself, but no harm resulted. uv
" Then gently scan your fellow man,
Still gentler, sister woman ;
Though they may gang a kennin' wrang,
To step aside is human."
The modest-looking red-brick structure that
stands sandwiched between the Victoria Theatre
on the east and the majestic Hotel Driard on the
west, has a history which if told would, I think,
interest readers. It was built in 1862 by a Mons.
Bendixen, who came here in the spring of that
year, accompanied by his wife, a tall, heavily-built
French woman. M. Bendixen, who was a Belgian,
purchased the lot on which the structure stands at
a pretty stiff figure. A boom was on at the timq
and owners could scarcely open their mouths wide
enough when setting a price on their properties.
The building was originally of two stories, and
was called the St. George. The hotel was very
comfortable, and at first was well conducted.
Seattle at that time was a mere village of 200 or
300 inhabitants, and Portland had a population of
about 2,000. Victoria's census showed 2,020 white
inhabitants in i860. So the St. George might
easily be the best hôtel north of San Francisco, and
then not be anything ta boast of. Take them for
all in all, however, the Bendixens were very accommodating, and when the woman was not in one of
her queer moods things sailed along smoothly, and
guests came and went in considerable numbers.
But the business proved unprofitable, and as times
grew bad the temper of Mme. Bendixen grew more
and more disagreeable, until visitors to the city,
having been previously warned, were loth to come
within the range of her tongue, and so went elsewhere for accommodation and refreshments. Coarse
and almost repellant as the Madame had grown,
there were people in Victoria who could call to mind
the time when, seven or eight years before, she was
one of the handsomest and daintiest of the smart
set of San Francisco. I saw her often driving in
an open carriage along Montgomery Street, the
observed of all observers, and by long odds the
most magnificently appareled and the most beautiful woman in that gay and dissipated metropolis.
How she had changed in the interval between 1854
and 1862 will be understood when I say that I did
not for a long time recognize in the fat, grisly-
looking, boisterous hostess of the St. George the
delicate and refined-appearing young California
beauty. It is true that her associations at first
were with the very worst class of California
society. She was at one time the cher amie of the
notorious " Judge " McGowan, whose exploits
while on Fraser River were told in " The Mystic
Spring."      When   she  broke  with   that   wicked THE OLD ST.  GEORGE.
person the Madame took a small cottage on Pike
Street and announced that she would shortly be
married. I cannot recall the name of the man of
her choice. Perhaps it was Bendixen; but I think
the name was an English one. However, she continued to occupy the cottage referred to, and was
most exemplary in her conduct, and regular in
attendance at church. I really believe she tried
hard to 'be good, and had she been left to her own
devices she would have succeeded in becoming an
excellent wife, if not a mother. But the gang of
ruffians with whom she had formerly consorted
would not let her rest. Their hands were ever
outstretched to drag her back into the path of sin
which she had forsaken. She resisted all overtures and became a mark for their venom and
insults. She applied to the police for protection,
but the force were the tools of the thugs that then
controlled politics at San Francisco, and she
received no assistance from that quarter. One
evening, while walking along the principal thoroughfare, nitric acid was sprinkled on her dress,
and the garment was ruined. On another occasion
her fiance was assaulted and terribly beaten by two
men whom he could not identify.
I boarded at the time in a house at the corner
of Pike and Clay Streets kept by an Irish lady
named Miss Rennington, scarcely a stone's throw
from the cottage of the penitent woman. Our
quarters were very comfortable, and the boarders
were mostly nice, quiet people, and in every respect i5o
desirable acquaintances. Miss Rennington was
related to the very best people in Ireland. She
had a crest, and corresponded regularly with
friends whose letters also bore crests. She was
a perfect lady, well educated and refined. Her
old father, who was about eighty-five, and quite
helpless, occupied a room in the house, and it was
pleasant to notice the tender care with which the
daughter always looked after the old gentleman's
comfort. What he had been in early life we never
heard, but he probably filled an important government position in the closing years of the eighteenth,
and opening years of the nineteenth, century. I
think that he belonged to the loyalists and assisted
in putting down the rebellion of '98. He was well
read and very intelligent. In warm weather the
windows of our house were left open to admit the
cool air. One morning, before daybreak, the
household was awakened by an overpowering
stench which seemed to invade every nook and
cranny of the establishment and sickened all who
came within the radius of its powerful influence.
For about half-an-hour the horrid odor penetrated
the bedrooms, and men and women were fain to
run into the street to avoid the noxious fumes.
The sun was well up before the smell was overcome by the purer air of heaven. We learned later
on that the gang had set off a Chinese stink-pot
beneath the floor of the cottage with the object of
driving the woman out. The unfortunate female
remained within,  and   although   she was   nearly THE  OLD ST.  GEORGE.
asphyxiated, held her ground. A few nights later
the neighborhood was shaken by a violent concussion which caused much alarm. The fire-bells
were rung, and we all turned out to ascertain the
cause of the shock. It was found that an infernal
machine had been set off 'beneath the cottage, shattering it and lifting it from its foundations, and,
of course, frightening the poor inmate who was
trying so hard to be good. We dressed, and ran
to the spot, where we found the unfortunate
woman, standing in her night apparel, unhurt, but
badly frightened, and sobbing amid the wreck of
her home and goods. As she stood wringing her
hands, and in dislocated English bewailed her hard
fate, Miss Rennington walked up to her, and, placing a hand on her arm, spoke a few words in
French. The woman shook her head, and tried to
throw off the lady's hand. Miss Rennington
grasped the arm tighter, and again spoke to her in
her native tongue. The poor thing reluctantly
yielded, and Miss Rennington, drawing a shawl
from her own shoulders, threw it over the back of
the woman, and led her towards the boarding-place.
The boarders followed at a respectful distance.
The ladies were greatly scandalized, and when
they saw the two disappear within the door their
indignation was vigorously outspoken. In the
morning at breakfast, Miss Rennington appeared,
looking pleasant and apparently quite unconcerned.
She was received with chill silence by the ladies
and with a constrained air by the gentlemen.    No 152
one spoke for about five minutes, when a Mrs. Coe,
who was admittedly the leader and mouthpiece
of the social set in the house, broke the silence by
addressing the landlady in severe tones :
" Is it true, Miss Rennington, that you have
given shelter to—to—to—"
" Yes," broke in the landlady, " it is perfectly
true that I have given shelter to one of God's creatures—a poor, persecuted woman, whose house
was wrecked by a gang of scoundrels last night,
and whom I found weeping amongst the ruins of
her home."
" But, while you looked out for her comfort, did
you have no regard for the feelings of your
boarders—especially your lady boarders?"
" Mrs. Coe," said Miss Rennington, I if your
character is of so unstable a nature that it cannot
withstand the temporary presence here of that
wretched woman, be so good as to leave the house
as soon as you can get other quarters."
As the noble woman spoke she drew her tall
figure up to its full height, and her bright, blue
eyes seemed to flash and kindle as with holy fire.
She gazed along the table, and after a short pause
continued, " ' He that is without sin among you
let him first cast a stone at her.' " No one spoke
after that. The back of the objectors was broken,
and the meal was finished in deep silence. Only
the boarder who sat next to me ejaculated, s otto
voce, " Ould Ireland forever." The woman left
the house in the afternoon   and the incident was THE OLD ST.  GEORGE.
soon forgotten, except, perhaps, by Mrs. Coe and
the victim. Among the ruins of the house the
police picked up a letter, evidently written the
night before the explosion, by the occupant. It
came into the hands of the press and was printed.
Here it is :
I August 17.
" My dear friend,—I suppose that you are very
surprise not to see me any days, but as been
very bad for me an he says if I go and see you the
most worst will me happen. He is very jealous
and sorry why you like me. I am been sick by his
conduct and want you to come to see me soon.
Suppose you do not never come I be more sicker
than ever, for I want you to marry me soon or it
will be very bad for me both. My silk dress he be
spoil with some drug he throw on it and I am
very sorry.    Come an soon and see me.
" Your loving friend,
" Lenny/"
Upon the partial destruction of the cottage
"Lenny" moved away, and the next time I saw
her she was hostess of the St. George in this city,
and instead of the shrinking, timid, handsome
girl of several years before, she had degenerated
into a fat, bold and quarrelsome middle-aged
The St. George remained in the hands of the
Bendixens for three or four years. Evil times
descended upon the province   and ravens croaked 154 THE PASSING OF A  RACE.
in the grass-grown streets. In 1869 I cut down
thistles that grew in the gutter * on Government
near Yates Street—the principal business thoroughfare—and in warm weather, as late as 1871, I was
accustomed to sit in a chair on the same sidewalk,
near the same corner, and read newspapers and
books without fear of interruption—the passers-by
were so few. There was no pound law then, and
cows and horses roamed the principal streets and
fed on the grass that grew on either side. The
inhabitants were supplied with water in fitful quantities from Harris' Pond and Spring Ridge,
through wooden pipes, and by draymen, who delivered the fluid in buckets at the doors and sold it
at so many pails for a dollar.
A bathtub was a luxury that only the rich possessed, and in the St. George hotel there was no
bathroom.    Quoth the Madame:
I What's the use ? Suppose I have bathroom,
nobody cannot get no water for bath. Lucky to
get enough to drink and face and hand to wash.
The rest have to wait for more water to come."
This was an argument that none cared to dispute. The hard times finally drove the Bendixens
from the hotel. Bendixen went to San Francisco,
and the Madame to Cariboo, where she remained^
I am informed, until she died at an advanced age.
She must have been seventy. She acknowledged
to forty-four. Why do women nearly always prevaricate about their ages? Or if they do not prevaricate, what possible objection can they have to THE OLD ST.   GEORGE. 155
telling how old they are? I was conversing with
a most estimable woman awhile ago, and in the
course of conversation I mentioned a circumstance
that happened in 1864. "Oh!" said the lady,
" that was before my time. I was too small to
remember what took place then, for I was a very
small child." She forgot that in 1866, she being
then a young lady with her " hair done up," I
escorted her to the old Victoria Theatre, where a
concert was held.
After the Bendixens went away, the St. George
remained closed for some time. It was opened by
different proprietors at various times, but all met
with disaster. Messieurs Sosthenes Driard and
L. Hartnagle were the proprietors of the Colonial
Hotel, on Government Street, just where the
Senate saloon and a boot and shoe store now are.
There was a billiard-room in the rear, which, one
night in 1875, took fire, and was destroyed, together
with the hotel and the brick building now occupied
by Fletcher Bros.' music house. Driard & Hart-
nagel afterwards purchased the St. George,
changed the name to Hotel Driard, and added another story and a mansard roof. Some years later,
when railway construction began on the mainland,
the Driard became the headquarters of the engineers and contractors and their friends, and of land
speculators, and the owners must have scooped in
a barrel of money. Shortly before this period, Mr.
L.  Redon joined the firm.    Mr.  Driard, after a 156 THE PASSING OF A  RACE.
hard day's work, was in the habit every summer
evening of sitting in an arm-chair on the sidewalk
in front of the hotel and falling asleep. His
snores were of the most vigorous and sonorous
kind, and his slumber was often prolonged into
the chilly hours of the night. One evening, having
fallen asleep, as was his custom, when his nap was
at an end he tried to rise, but to his surprise and
alarm he found it impossible to move. He felt
as if he had been nailed to the chair, and struggle
as he might there was no breaking loose. In his
distress he called for assistance, and when helped
into the hotel it was found that the old man was
paralyzed. From that night to the hour of his
death poor Driard was a sufferer, and although he
managed to potter about, it was with extreme difficulty and pain.    When he died everyone felt that
a good man had passed away.
*    *    *
Mr. Hartnagel's death was about as affecting.
He was a famous caterer—the best, perhaps, that
ever came to the Pacific Coast. Meals provided
by him were the talk of the continent. Everywhere you might be, if you met a man who had
visited Victoria, he would always ask after Mr.
Hartnagel, and tell you how he enjoyed the food
while putting up at his hostelry.
Many people will call to mind Captain Morse, of
the   steamship Dakota, which   vessel   carried   the-
mails between Victoria   and   San   Francisco   for
many years.   Morse, who was a bluff, hearty East- THE OLD ST.   GEORGE.
erner, was very popular, and when it became
known that he had been promoted to the command
of an Australian liner, and that he was about to
visit this port for the last time, it was arranged to
tender him a farewell banquet. This was early in
the eighties. The committee selected the Driard
as the place for holding the banquet, and Mr.
Hartnagel prepared the menu, of which the committee approved. This was on Tuesday, and Mr.
Hartnagel was apparently in the best of health.
Preparations for the great event went actively forward. On Thursday Mr. Hartnagel was taken ill.
On Friday he died. On Sunday he was buried,
and on the Monday following we eighteen admirers
of Captain Morse partook of the delicious banquet
which the amiable old gentleman had provided.
It was the hour of two, one morning in the summer of 1882, when an alarm was sounded that the
extensive stables of Wlm. G. Bowman, which
occupied the site where the Colonist building now
stands, were on fire. The flames spread with great
rapidity, and, crossing the street, encircled the
Driard House in their fiery embrace. The mansard roof caught first, and the fire ate its way
downward until the building was destroyed, causing a heavy loss to the owners. When the hotel
was rebuilt the mansard roof, a realistic fire-trap,
was not replaced, and the old building presents the
same general features it possessed when reconstructed after the fire.    The palatial structure now 158
known as the Driard was erected about thirteeri
years ago, and is conducted and owned by Mr.
Clinton A. Harrison, with credit to himself and to
the enjoyment of his guests.
In the summer of 1863, when the steamer Eliza
Anderson was the only boat that ran between Victoria and Olympia, there arrived a man and a girl,
who registered at the St. George. I do not remember the names they gave, but let us say that the
man registered as Stowell and the girl as Cowell.
They were both young, the girl not more than
fifteen. Separate apartments were assigned them,
and whatever else may be said about Mme. Bendixen, she was always kind to her sex. A certain
something about the pair aroused the hostess' suspicions, and taking advantage of the man's absence
from' the house for a short time, she questioned
the girl, who frankly admitted that she had crossed
the Straits for the purpose of marrying her escort.
How long had she known him? queried the
Madame. About a month. Did she know anything about him or his affairs? No, except that
he was a bookkeeper, and came often to her
father's house. Did her parents object to the
marriage? Yes, they thought her too young, and
no clergyman at Seattle would marry them without her father's consent. So they had come on to
Victoria, and her lover was then gone to get a
license and a clergyman.
In an hour   or so   the   man   returned without THE OLD ST.  GEORGE.
license or clergyman. Madame's suspicions grew
stronger, and she kept a close watch upon them.
When the hour for retiring came she took the girl
to the room, tucked her in the bed, kissed her goodnight, and, on coming out, slyly locked the door
of the apartment and took the key away. An
hour or two later, the lights being out, Mr. Stowell
stole into the passage, and felt his way softly on
tiptoe towards the room within which the girl was
locked. His chagrin was great, and his anger ill-
concealed, when he came downstairs again and
asked for the key of No. —. Then Mme. Bendixen
poured the phials of her wrath upon him. In
broken English she raked him fore and aft, called
him canaille, rascaile, cochon, scoundrel, villain,
and asked him why he did not return with a clergyman.
The fellow pleaded that he could not find one.
* Zat ees one lie—what ze Anglish call infa-mous
lie. You no want to find one! You no want to
marry ze girl!   You dare not so do!"
"Why do I not dare?"
"Because—shall I you tell? Because you has
a vife alreaty."
The man reeled as if hit with a bullet.
" How—how—do you know that?" he asked.
" Yes—veil, I vill tell you so you'll forget not.
A little bird he did vhisper it in my ear, an' he tell
me not to by no means tell you hees name."
" It's a lie—a d—d lie," said the man.
"No, ees not a lie," screamed the woman, with i6o
her arms on her hips in true female scolding attitude. " Eet ees as true as ze Gospel book; I reads
it in your vace. I zee you sneak, sneak along zee
passage in your feets, vizout zee boots. I vatch you
all zee afternoon, an' ze leetle girl, too. She ees
as innocent as, vat you calls it? Oh, somedin' vat
you eats viz mint sauce. Oh, yes—lamb—leetle
sheep, you know. Veil, you no zees her no more
to-night, and to-morrow, maybe, her fazzer comes
and takes her avay. You are von great rascaille,
and get out of zis, qvick."
The man put his hand in his pocket and drew
forth a gold coin. " Here," said he, " put this in
your pocket and shut your mouth."
The woman seized the coin and threw it in the
man's face. She foamed with rage as she
screamed :
" You villain—you sacre hog ! Once I was all
zee zame as zat leetle girl, all zee zame as a angel.
I had a fazzer and a muzzer, and a bad man stole
me avay, and sold me for a piece of gold, and here
I am! No, zir, you get out—vamose—leave, or I
vill kill you ! No more you zee zat leetle girl. She
is all ze zame as my leetle daughter. Zere ees ze door.
The man, thoroughly cowed, grasped his bag
and made off, a herd of sacre cochons squealing in
his ears as he ran.
In the morning the father of the girl did arrive
from Seattle, and took possession of his child. It
.turned out that the random guess of the hostess THE OLD ST.  GEORGE.
was correct. The man had a wife in California,
and, of course, could not marry his intended victim. It is to be hoped that she profited by her
narrow escape.
What if I should tell my readers, in confidence,
that a ghost once " walked " through the corridors of the old St. George. A woman who
announced herself as a spiritualist appeared one
day at the hotel, and was accommodated with a
room. She engaged the dining-room for a lecture,
and a good many attended. Among other things,
she announced that if a book were placed in her
hands, without opening it she would tell the page
on which any quotation that might be made by
one of the company from the pages of the volume
would 'be found. With a copy of Shakespeare she
was very successful. With the New Testament,
which she seemed to know by heart, she was
infallible. A gentleman present happened to have
in his pocket a small edition of Lindley Murray,
and handing it to her asked her to parse a certain
phrase which was given as an exercise in the book.
She was " stumped " at once : she floundered, and
at last abandoned the attempt. My impression
has always 'been that the woman had a phenomenal
memory, and that once having read a book, she
remembered everything it contained. Her language convinced me that she had never looked
inside a grammar, and the result showed that I
was right.   After the book test spirits were called 162
up; but the results were not convincing  and the
medium retired under somewhat of a cloud.
That night strange things happened at the St.
George. Rappings were heard on the walls and
doors; bells were heard ringing in parts of the
building where no bells were supposed to be, and
sepulchral voices resounded in the passages. The
landlord and landlady turned out in their robes de
nuit to investigate, when the noises suddenly
ceased. They turned in, and the noises were heard
again. They buried their heads beneath the
blankets to shut out the din, when a strong band
plucked away the covering. They ran into the
hall in time to see a very tall, white figure glide
along the passage and disappear at the head of the
stairs. They ran to the spot and lying on the floor
they discovered a sheet. They proceeded at once
to the medium's room and pounded on the door
without getting any response for some minutes.
When at last the door was opened by the woman
she yawned as if half asleep. The landlady pushed
her way inside, and, proceeding to the bed, found
that it was just one sheet short of the complement.
That sheet she held in her hand ! The next morning the medium' quitted the house, and ghosts
never again walked at the St. George. A   MINIATURE   RACE   WAR.
1 ' A weapon that comes down as still
As snowflakes fall upon the sod ;
But executes a freeman's will,
As lightning does the will of God,
And from its force nor bolts nor bars
Can shield you ; 'tis the ballot-box."
The long struggle for supremacy between the
Northern and Southern States of America was
waged with relentless fury for more than four
years, and ended, as all are aware, in the defeat
of the Southerners. Shortly before the war broke
out, and just before the discovery of gold on
Fraser River, the negro residents of California,
who numbered several thousand, were deprived of
all political rights. Even the right to hold property was denied them. A few intelligent colored
men had engaged in business in California, but
they stood at great disadvantage with their white
competitors and found it difficult to get on. Many
of these men had been slaves; some had escaped
from bondage, others had bought their freedom,
and still others were free men from non-slavehold-
ing States. These people, tiring of the disabilities
to which they were subjected, resolved to send nve
of their number to Vancouver Island, much as the
u 163 164
Israelites despatched emissaries to spy out certain
lands which they had been commanded to go in
and possess themselves of. The emissaries, on their
return, reported that Governor Douglas had promised them every privilege then enjoyed by the
white settlers, including the right to buy and sell
land, become naturalized and hold office. They
also reported that the country was one that flowed
with milk and honey.
Consequent upon their report, in 1858, there
was a large emigration of respectable colored
families to Vancouver Island. Many stayed at
Victoria, where they bought lots and built homes.
Others went into the farming districts, mostly on
Salt Spring Island, where they took up land and
became farmers. The descendants of these people
are still to be found on Salt Spring Island, and in
and about Victoria. All, or nearly all, of these
early colored immigrants have died. The passing of Nathan Pointer in this city a few months
ago removed from Victoria almost the last of the
pioneer colored settlers.
The gold-seekers of 1858, upon arrival here,
found the negro element strongly entrenched in
official confidence and patronage. To preserve
order among the heterogeneous mining population,
whose tents covered the entire townsite of Victoria, and who numbered at one time ten thousand
souls, a police force was necessary, and a number
of stalwart young negroes offered themselves as
constables.    They were promptly sworn   in  at   a A MINIATURE RACE  WAR.
salary of $70 a month each, and provided with
batons and uniforms. The first attempt to arrest
an evil-doer created a riot. It seems queer that a
man, having committed a criminal act should claim
the right to elect the color or nationality of the
person who shall take him into custody. Yet that
was what occurred at Victoria town forty-five
years ago. A white man, caught by a negro policeman while robbing a miner's tent, refused to go
with his captor. He did not, could not, deny the
theft, for he was taken red-handed; and he didn't
object to going to jail, but he did object to 'being
taken there by " a nigger policeman."   And
his objection was sustained by the white element,
who rushed in a body to his aid. Even the man
whose tent had been robbed was said to have supported the objection, and in the end the culprit
escaped. There is, then, it would appear, an
aristocracy in crime.
Upon the old bridge that then spanned Victoria
harbor at Johnson Street, a similar scene was
enacted. A colored policeman undertook to arrest
a white man who was beating another, when both
the beater and the beaten turned upon the representative of authority, and, aided by a score of
others, deprived the constable of his baton,
stripped off his uniform, and sent him to police
headquarters in his drawers! These and many
other evidences of dissatisfaction with the hue of
the police force, induced the government, after
two months' trial, to dispense with   the   colored i66
force and appoint white men. To show their
appreciation of this gracious act of concession the
criminal element were accustomed to accompany
the white policemen as meekly as lambs, seeming
to deem it an honor, rather than a disgrace, to go
to jail  in such company.    All this happened in
In 1859, George Hunter Cary, the gifted,
erratic and eloquent first Attorney-General of the
colonies of Vancouver Island and New iCaledonia,
reached here from England. The Chief Justice
of the colony was David Cameron, who, although
a very intelligent and honorable gentleman, had
not been bred to the law, and Mr. Cary found
judicial matters in a grave state of confusion. He
was not long in expressing his opinion of the
Chief Justice in terms more forcible than polite.
When Mr. Cary landed he was given to understand that the rule of the Hudson's Bay
Company was objectionable to the settlers who
had flocked here from California and the Eastern
provinces under the impetus of the gold discoveries.
The leader of the anti-government force was Mr.
Amor De Cosmos, a man of rare intellectual parts,
a vigorous writer and fearless speaker. He was
ably seconded by C. B. Young, an Englishman
with a grievance. What his particular reason for
hostility to the government was I have never been
able to understand, but he was a bitter and uncompromising opponent, and evidenced it on every
Cary had not been long ashore before he and
De Cosmos had a serious clash. A general election for the Legislative Assembly had been proclaimed. The franchise was confined to British
subjects, and when the lists were made up it was
seen that the De Cosmos element was in the
ascendancy by a large majority. A defeat of the
government meant an appeal to the home government for a change in the form of the administration of affairs. Should the lists remain as originally drawn, the government had not the slightest
hope of success. In the emergency the Attorney-
General was appealed to, and his fertile mind hit
upon a scheme that turned a prospective government defeat into a certain government victory.
There were about fifty male adult colored men
then resident at Victoria. These men were not
British subjects, because there was no naturalization law that extended to the colony. Mr. Cary's
attention was called to an infamous decision of the
Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court,
two years before, in which it was laid down that
a negro was not, and could not, become a citizen of
the United States, and that he had no rights that
a white man was bound to respect. Here was an
opportunity to stuff the lists and beat the opposition. If the negroes were not citizens of the
United States, they were not citizens of any country, and, therefore, had no citizenship to renounce.
As immigrants without a country they might be
admitted as subjects here by simply subscribing to l68 THE PASSING OF A RACE.
an oath of allegiance to the Queen. This they did
to-day, as it were, and to-morrow they were placed
on the voting list. The election came off in due
time, and Selim Franklin, the government candidate, took the seat that by right belonged to Amor
De Cosmos. A protest was lodged with the
Assembly, which then tried election petitions, but
without avail.
Two years later, in 1861, another opportunity
presented itself to Mr. De Cosmos to enter parliament. A certain Mr. George Tomline Gordon sat
for Esquimalt Town in the Assembly. He was
appointed Colonial Treasurer, and in order to give
the House the flavor of a responsible body he
resigned and stood for re-election. Mr. De Cosmos
offered himself as the Opposition candidate. It
was said that Gordon, a few years before, had distinguished himself by running off to the Continent
with the wife of a great London banker, but that
his fault was condoned by his wife, who was a
beautiful and accomplished lady, and they came to
Victoria to reside. There were twenty-six names on
the voting list of Esquimalt Town at that time.
Electors voted on property qualifications, hence a
man could vote in every district in which he held
In connection with this particular election a
thing occurred that I make bold to say is without
a parallel in the world. Nothing like it ever
occurred before or is likely ever to occur again.
It was a matter of public notoriety that while a A  MINIATURE RACE   WAR.
resident of California Mr. De Cosmos, whose
patronymic was William Alexander Smith, had
had his name changed by the Legislature there to
the one by which he was known here. It was an
act of eccentricity, by a very eccentric man; but
there was no concealment about it, and it was done
with no evil purpose in view. But it was given
out by Gordon's friends that if William Alexander
Smith ran as Amor De Cosmos, his election would
be upset on the same ground that Mrs. Gamp
objected to Mrs. Betsy Prig's mysterious friend,
Mrs. Harris, that there " wasn't no sich pusson."
The De Cosmos committee, therefore, as a matter of precaution, decided that their candidate
should stand as " William Alexander Smith, commonly known as Amor De Cosmos." He was
nominated as such, and his friends were instructed
to use that formula when approaching the polling
booth, the voting being viva voce.
The day of polling arrived, and great was the
excitement in the little town of Esquimalt. The
fences and dead walls were profusely decorated
with placards and posters, and the reds (Gordon)
and the blues (De Cosmos) took possession of the
village long before the polls opened at ten o'clock
in the morning. The saloons were wide open, and
horses, buggies and express vans, and, on one occasion, a wheelbarrow, were used to take electors to
the poll. I actually saw one free and independent
wheeled to the booth in a barrow, and wheeled
home again in the same conveyance that brought THE PASSING OF A RACE.
him. It sometimes happened that an elector who
had pledged to one side voted upon the other. The
announcement of his choice was received by cheers
from one party and groans from the other. Two
or three men were bonneted—that is, their hats
were jammed over their eyes—for going back on
their pledges, and from the amount of interest
manifested one would have thought that the fate
of the British Empire depended on the result of the
election in that little borough.
As the day wore on it became evident that a
full vote would not be cast. Several electors, who
had promised one side or the other, failed to put
in an appearance; some had climbed the steep
Metchosin hills, or taken to the tall timber, to
avoid giving offence to either side. One property-
holder, who lived in Victoria, was kept in by his
wife, who hid his clothes to prevent his going to
the poll to vote for his favorite. The few colored
electors in the district cast for Gordon.
At three o'clock every available vote, save one,
had been polled. That was the vote of a Mr. Moore.
C. B. Young volunteered to bring Moore down
and started for Victoria on horseback. When he
left Esquimalt the vote stood thus: George Tom-
line Gordon, 10; William Alexander Smith, comK
monly known as Amor De Cosmos, 10. This wag
a tie. Moore was known to be a supporter of De
Cosmos, and the ministerial party, who wore red,
looked blue.    Ten minutes   before   four o'clock] A MINIATURE RACE  WAR.
Young and Moore clattered into town and rode
up to the booth. Now, the belated elector was a
nervous, retiring, mild-mannered person. Indeed,
Young, who had a caustic tongue, was heard to
remark on more than one occasion that Moore was
the most ladylike old gentleman he had ever met.
Moore was led to the returning officer's table,
Young on one side, De Cosmos on the other.
" What is your name ?" he was asked.
" James Moore."
" Where do you reside?"
" In Victoria."
"What is your qualification?"
" Lot number so and so, Esquimalt Town."
" For whom do you vote?"
" Amor De Cosmos," came the answer, clear
and concise.
A wild cheer burst from the Gordonites. Gordon himself, who wore a long beard, after the
fashion of the day, and was a six-footer, leaped up
and down and waved his arms and whiskers in a
state of frantic glee and excitement.
" Put that down, put that down, Mr. Sheriff,"
he wildly cried.
" No, no," said Young. " He meant ' William
Alexander Smith, commonly known as Amor De
Cosmos,' didn't you, Moore?"
" Yes, yes," stammered poor Moore.
" Too late," said Sheriff Naylor, " the vote is
recorded for Amor De Cosmos." 172
At four o'clock the poll was closed, and soon
afterwards the returning officer mounted a packing-case at the side of the road, and read the
returns as follows : William Alexander Smith, commonly known as Amor De Cosmos, 10; George
Tomline Gordon, 10; Amor De Cosmos, i.
" I declare a tie between Mr. Smith and Mr.
Gordon, and I cast my vote as returning officer in
favor of Mr. Gordon, whom I declare duly elected
member for Esquimalt," concluded the Sheriff.
Moore, who was melted to tears*in consequence
of his mistake, was roundly berated by his political
friends. The joy of the successful candidate and
his friends found vent in cheering and other manifestations of delight at the extraordinary, unexpected   and unparalleled outcome.
A protest was lodged, but Gordon took his seat
among the mighty, and held it.
About six months later there was a great commotion at the Treasury, across James Bay. Mr.
Robert Ker, Colonial Auditor-General, had discovered a heavy shortage in Gordon's accounts,
and the Treasurer was arrested, indicted, and
arraigned for trial before Mr. Justice Cameron.
Mr. D. Babington Ring, an English barrister, who
was accustomed to advertise his profession by
walking through the streets arrayed in wig and
gown, and Mr. H. P. P. Creasa (now Sir Henry
Crease)  defended the prisoner.    Attorney-General A MINIATURE\ RACE   WAR.
Cary prosecuted. Ring demurred to the indictment
on several points. The Court sustained the objection and Gordon was liberated. He rode into
town in a sleigh, and was again taken into custody
and conducted to jail. ^ Public indignation at the
failure of the indictment was intense, many declaring that it was all arranged by the government,
which feared that the conviction of Gordon would
reveal a bad state of affairs in other departments.
This, of course, was rank nonsense.
Gordon remained in prison until the following
midsummer, when one morning a friendly jailer
opened his cell door, and he got clean away, and
was seen here no more. At the next general election De Cosmos was enthusiastically returned.
The Privy Council having decided in another case
that a man may change his name as often as he
likes without prejudicing his legal or political
status, he stood and was elected as Amor De
The action of the colored population on the
occasion of the election in 1859 was not forgotten,
although the ruling of the Attorney-General was
never upset, and for a long time the occurrence
rankled in people's breasts, to the detriment of
the blacks. It may be proper to remark here that
M. W. Gibbs, Peter Lester, Nathan Pointer, Paris
Carter, Willis Bond, and all the other colored men
who were naturalized under Cary's ruling, were 174
never required to go through any other legal process. They held their British citizenship to the
time of their death, most improperly, I have
always thought.
When the war broke out the Americans resident
at Victoria divided into two hostile camps—
Northerners and Southerners. The colored men
threw their sympathy in the Northern scale and
formed a militia company, which was called Victoria Rifles, No. i. They held two or three
parades, and not a few in the ranks were soldierly
in appearance and bearing. The colored population made many efforts to secure social recognition, but without success, although a few were
invited to Government House during Governor
Kennedy's reign—but that was after the war.
M. W. Gibbs was elected town councillor in one
of the wards in 1866, and served with great credit.
He was a fine orator, and an intelligent and honorable citizen, and is now a judge in Arkansas.
Strange as it may seem, the class who showed the
greatest objection to negro equality were Northern
men. They-were the instigators in a gross and
wicked outrage,  the particulars   of which   I will
now relate.
*    *    *
Late in 1861 an amateur concert was given at
Theatre Royal. For this concert several respectable colored men and their wives secured seats in
the dress-circle. Previous to this colored persons
had been consigned   to   a   quarter of  the  house A MINIATURE RACE   WAR.
especially reserved for their accommodation and
remote from the seats occupied by the whites.
M. W. Gibbs and wife and Nathan Pointer were
among the colored persons who had secured seats
for the concert, and the curtain had risen on the
first part, when a tissue-paper bag, filled with flour,
was thrown at the colored party. The bag landed
on Pointer's head and burst, scattering its contents
over himself and wife. The outraged men rose
from their seats, and were with difficulty kept from
wreaking swift vengeance on a party of Northern
Americans, who stood in a row in the rear of the
dress-circle, and who were more than suspected of
throwing the flour. Order was at last restored,
the colored men resumed their seats, and the programme was completed. The next day a complaint was laid against several persons, who were
arraigned before Mr. Pemberton, P.M. James A.
McCrea, an auctioneer, was committed by the
magistrate, and was tried at the following assizes
and acquitted. A witness swore that he saw
McCrea throw the bag ; but two witnesses testified
that the real culprit was one Reynolds. English
sentiment was greatly scandalized by the mean
action of the blackguards at the theatre. Captain
Robson, of H.M.S. Grappler, was very pronounced
on the night of the affair. He was a splendid
specimen of a British sailor, and, poor fellow! a
few days later he was killed at Rocky Point by his
horse falling on him.
The race war extended to the churches.    Many 176
white men and women refused to sit in the same
pew with negroes. The pastors took sides, some
for and others against the commingling of the
races. Two of the congregations broke up in consequence of the strife, and a long time elapsed
before public sentiment quieted down and all distinction as to race died out.
" For murder, though it have no tongue, will speak with
most miraculous organ."
" How many lives do you think the Indian
whisky manufacturers at Victoria destroyed,
directly or indirectly, by their traffic?" I was asked
the other day. I replied that the number would
be difficult to estimate ; but when I say that the
western and southern shores of the harbor, as far
as F. S. Barnard's residence on the one side, and
as far as the gas works on the other, were thickly
populated by members of the northern tribes who
had moved to Victoria for commercial purposes,
and that the Songish village, which now contains
only some ninety natives of all ages and both
sexes, numbered at the very least 4,000 souls, some
idea of the terrible inroads that were made upon
the tribes may be conceived. A rough census
taken in 1859 gave a native population in and
about Victoria of 8,500. In July, 1858, the
Songish tribe were visited by the Mackah tribe,
who inhabited the country in the vicinity of Neah
Bay, Washington Territory. The visiting war-
canoes numbered 210, with an average of twelve
177 178
Indians to a canoe. The Mackah tribe, in common with the Songish and other tribes along
the island and mainland coasts, have nearly all
disappeared. Of the great Hydahs, the Tsimpseans,
the Bella Bellas, the Bella Coolas, the Nootkas,
the Clayoquots, the Stickeens, and the Chilcats,
only miserable remnants are to> be found. The
Hudson's Bay Company's records show that both
coasts were studded here and there with thickly
populated villages. Previous to 1858 there must
have been 150,000 Indians on the island and mainland coasts. Twelve years afterwards the number throughout the entire province was computed
at 140,000. How many of this smaller number
now exist I do not know ; but I venture to say that
between 1858 and 1870 at least 100,000 natives
perished directly from the use of alcoholic stimulants supplied them by illicit vendors. It is a bold
statement to make, but I feel confident that I am
under rather than over the mark. What an appalling record the manufacturers and their agents and
abettors have faced in the other world—for they
are all dead, and, with their victims, have been
judged. For lucre they poisoned a vast army of
their fellow beings. It was just such men our
Saviour had in his eye when he put the great
question to the listening Jews : " What shall it
profit a man if he gain the whole world yet lose
his own soul?" An ocean of penitent tears would
not quench the flames to which they are condemned.    If my readers imagine that the Indians A GREAT CRIME AND ITS PUNISHMENT.    179
were the only sufferers from the effects of the
whisky trade, the brief story I am about to relate
will undeceive them.
In the month of December, 1868, there sailed
into the harbor of Port Discovery, Washington
Territory, a handsome English bark, named the
lohn Bright in honor of one of Britain's greatest
statesmen and orators. The captain, who was
named Burgess, was part owner, and on board
were his pretty young wife and baby boy, and an
English nurse maid, on whose cheeks the " rosies
and posies " of her native land bloomed. The
vessel was a long time in loading, the facilities for
quick dispatch being poor. While the bark was
taking in cargo, the captain and his wife became
well acquainted on shore, and through their
geniality and hospitality soon grew to be general
favorites. The nursemaid was about seventeen.
Her name was Beatrice Holden. She had the
lovely English complexion, bright blue eyes, and
long hair of tawny hue. Pretty girls were scarce
on the Sound at that time, and when the day came
for the bark to go to sea this particular girl received
no less than three offers of marriage. She declined
all with merry laughter, remarking that she
intended to live and die an old maid; but should
she change her mind she would only marry an
Englishman. The vessel sailed away, and passed
out of the straits into the open sea early in the
month of March, 1869.    She was bound for Aus- i8o
tralia. The weather was boisterous, and the bark
was unable to keep off shore. After a gallant
struggle she was cast away on the island coast at
a point about fourteen miles north of Clayoquot
Captain Christenson (now one of the Nanaimo
pilots) commanded at that time the trading
schooner Surprise, owned by William Spring.
The schooner was making one of her customary
voyages at the time, and word reaching the captain that a vessel had gone ashore, he sailed at once
for the scene of the wreck. He was some days in
getting to the spot, and by that time the wreck
was complete, the vessel lying broadside on the
shore, and the sea making a clean breach over her.
The captain saw the chiefs of the tribe, and they
told him that all hands were lost in the surf. They
showed him the remains of a woman (the captain's wife) with long hair lying on the beach,
and Captain Christenson buried the body. He
searched, but found no other remains. From
some word a native let fall and from the evasive
answers of the Indians generally, Captain Christenson suspected that there had been foul play.
He wrote at once to Victoria of the wreck,
adding that he believed some of the ship's company got ashore alive, and that they had been
either murdered by the Indians or were held in
captivity at some place well back from the shore. A GREAT CRIME AND ITS PUNISHMENT.    l8l
Mr. Seymour, who was then Governor, was told
of the captain's suspicions, and was asked to send
a war vessel to the scene. He declined to act,
expressing the belief that all hands had perished.
Three weeks passed and nothing was done. Captain Christenson could not rest easy, and despairing of government assistance, at great personal
risk he again visited the scene of the wreck. He
walked along the shore—the very shore over which
he had walked three weeks before—and to his
horror discovered other bodies of white men lying
above high-water mark. The remains had been
frightfully mangled. In every case the head was
missing, having been cut off to preclude the possibility of identification. In. some instances an arm
or leg was missing. The fast-decaying bodies had
been stripped of all clothing, and no trace was ever
found of the baby. The captain again wrote, and
the facts were laid before the Governor, whose
dilatory course caused the massacre. H.M.S.
Sparrowhawk was directed to proceed to the coast.
The party landed at the nearest safe harbor to
the scene of the wreck, and the shore was searched.
Nine dead, bodies, decapitated and mangled in the
manner I have stated, were found. It was
shown afterwards that the captain had been shot
through the back while in the act of running away
in the vain hope of escaping from the cruel savages,
who had proved themselves to be   less   merciful 182
than the wild waves. The other prisoners were
thrown down and their heads removed while they
piteously begged for mercy!
The natives were questioned, and at first denied
all knowledge of how the bodies came there. But
when confronted with Christenson's evidence they
confessed that, the entire ship's company got safely
ashore. The Indians were drunk, and in a dangerous mood. The captain's wife and one seaman were killed the first day. The pretty English
maid was delivered up to the young men of the
tribe, who dragged her into the bush. Her cries
filled the air for hours, and when she was seen
again by one of the native witnesses some hours
later, the poor girl was dead, and her head had
disappeared! Her body was not found by the
officers, although a diligent search was instituted,
for her sad fate appealed to the hearts of the
officials and stirred their indignation, and they
desired to give her remains a Christian burial.
The witnesses further disclosed the fact that the
captain and the rest of the survivors were secreted
in the bush, and were alive and within a few hundred yards of Christenson when he first reached
the scene. They saw him, too, and were threatened with instant death if they dared to make an
outcry. After Christenson's departure the tribe
waited several days, fearing the warships would
come, and they hesitated to murder the survivors.
At last the savages   pretended   they had   secured A GREAT CRIME AND ITS PUNISHMENT.    Î83
passage for the men on a liquor schooner that had
just discharged her cargo and was sailing for
Victoria. They lured the poor people to the shore,
where they were cruelly massacred, and their
bodies left where they fell.
Several Indians were seized and brought to Victoria. They were tried, and two of the number
were convicted. The culprits were taken to the
scene of their crime in the Sparrowhawk, and in the
presence of the whole tribe were hanged. The
scaffold was left standing as a warning to other
evil-disposed Indians who might be inclined to ill-
treat other crews that should be cast on their shore.
îfî       Jp.       :jî
The lesson proved salutary. A year or two
later the bark Edwin, owned and commanded by
Captain S. A. Hughes, dropped anchor in Royal
Roads. The captain had his wife and two bright
little boys, aged seven and nine years, on board.
Accompanied by his wife and children, Captain
Hughes came ashore at Victoria and did some
shopping. In the evening he set sail for California
with a cargo of lumber. Three days later the
bark encountered a severe gale. The sails split
as if made of paper, and soon the vessel was being
swept towards the rocky shore. Every effort was
made to keep her off, but in vain. She struck
nearly in the identical spot where the lohn Bright
laid her bones. Mrs. Hughes, the two children
and   two   seamen   were    swept    overboard,   and THE PASSING  OF A RACE.
drowned almost immediately. Captain Hughes and
the remainder of the crew managed to reach the
shore, landing almost at the foot of the scaffold
on which the murderers were hanged. The Indians
received them with kindness and hospitality, and
showered favors upon the men. To those who had
no clothes they contributed from their own scanty
store. Captain Christenson brought the shipwrecked men to Victoria in the Surprise. Captain
Hughes landed without a penny in his pockets or
an acquaintance in the town. To a reporter he
" I never was in such a fix before in all my life.
Ten days ago I had a wife and two children,
was the owner of a neat little clipper bark, and had
$5,000 in my cabin. I didn't owe a cent to anyone. To-day," he added, and his eyes filled with
tears and his lips quivered, " I am destitute of wife
and children and money, and am thrown on. the
world a beggar. A man had better be dead. How
I wish the sea had swallowed me up, too!"
" Cheer up," said the reporter, " there are plenty
of men here who will aid you."
" That's just it," he replied, " I don't want to
accept favors from anyone. And yet I've seen the
day when I was able to help, and did help, a shipwrecked crew."
"When was that?" was asked.
" It was in the mid-Atlantic," he replied. " The
ship Aquilla was flying signals of distress. I hailed
her, and was told that the ship was sinking.    I A GREAT CRIME AND ITS PUNISHMENT.    185
stood by and took off Captain Sayward and all
his men, and carried them to New York. The
United States Congress voted me this gold watch
and chain."
He drew the watch from his pocket and, opening the case, showed an inscription which ran
something like this :
" Presented to Captain S. A. Hughes, of the
British bark Gertrude, as a mark of appreciation
for his gallant conduct in saving the lives of Captain Sayward and the crew of the American ship
It did not take many minutes for the information to pass from mouth to mouth that the man
who had saved the life of one of Victoria's best-
known citizens was in need of assistance, and the
best that could be had was not deemed too good
for Captain Hughes.
It is worthy of remark that never since the lesson taught the tribes on the West Coast have shipwrecked people been molested. In fact, the natives
have been ever foremost in saving life, and in
some instances have rescued and brought crews to
*    *    *
The Sparrowhawk remained on the station
several years, and, if I mistake not, was sold out
of the navy when last here. In 1870, Governor
Seymour, who was very ill, was ordered to take a
sea voyage, and the Sparrowhawk was selected for
the purpose.   He embarked with Sir Joseph Trutch 186
and several other officials. The ship went direct
to Bella Coola. The Governor was confined to his
room all the way up the coast and showed signs
of slight mental aberration. His body-servant was
named Colston, and the night on which the
Sparrowhawk arrived at Bella Coola he was left
on duty in the Governor's room, with instructions
to give him a tablespoonful of a certain medicine
contained in a quart bottle every hour. In the
dead hours of the night Colston dozed, and
dreamed that he was derelict in a small boat without oars or sail. The water lapped the side of the
boat, and tossed it from billow to billow. He was
ahungered and athirst, for he had been a long
time afloat. Mechanically he reached out his hand
to grasp the bottle that contained the Governor's
medicine. It was not there. His hand swept an
empty shelf. He awoke with a start, and heard
a strange gurgling sound that proceeded from
the Governor's bed. He sprang forward just as
His Excellency, who had drained the last drop of
medicine from the bottle, sank into a state of
insensibility. The ship was aroused and every
effort made to save the Governor's life. But he
never rallied or spoke again, and when the early
sun rose to resume its daily course Governor
Seymour had crossed to the other shore. The
remains were brought to Esquimalt and buried in
the Naval Cemetery, where a neat monument marks
the last resting-place of the only Governor of
British Columbia who died whilst in office. LOST  IN  THE  MOUNTAINS  ON
'* Poor naked wretches, whereso'er you are,
That ride the pelting of this pitiless storm,
How shall your houseless heads and unfed sides,
Your coop'd and window'd raggedness, defend you
From seasons such as these ?
The holiday season of 1858 found the people of
the Fraser River town of Yale ill-prepared to face
the rigors of a severe winter. Cold weather, which
had set in unusually early, found many of the
inhabitants still living in tents, and few occupied
dwellings that were comfortable or storm and
frost-defying. The lower river was closed by a
sharp frost on the first day of December, and
communication with the outer world, except to
those who chose to risk their lives by walking over
the ice, was suspended. Supplies were scarce and
high, and long 'before Christmas Day arrived
people began to talk dismally of the prospects of
a famine in the prime necessaries. When the day
before Christmas dawned, the absence of the
wherewithal for a seasonable dinner was seriously
discussed. There was no poultry in town, but at
Hedges' wayside house, some four miles up the
Little Canyon, it was known that there were a
small flock of hens and two geese that had been
specially fattened for the festive occasion. It was
more in a spirit of adventure than anything else
that four of us young fellows, Lambert, Talbot,
Nixon and myself, proposed to tramp over the
mountain trail to Hedges', and purchase half-a-
dozen of his birds for our tables. We started about
two o'clock on the day before Christmas. The
snow, which was about two feet deep on the town-
site, gradually increased in depth as we ascended
the trail, until we reached the summit, where the
snow was three feet, rendering locomotion exceedingly difficult. It took us till six o'clock to reach
Hedges', a trip that was usually made in one and
one-half hours. W)e were completely exhausted
when we came in sight of the smoke from the rude
chimney, and saw the welcome glare of a light in
the window as a beacon for -belated travellers.
A great fire of logs blazed on the spacious
hearth, emitting a glare and warmth that were
especially pleasant to the half-frozen poultry purchasers from Yale. A few drops of oh î-be-joyful,
followed by a bountiful repast of pork and beans,
warmed over for our entertainment, put all in an
excellent humor, and, although the wind raged without, and the windows rattled, and the snow was
piled in great drifts against the building, the scene
within was animated and cheerful. Gathered at
the home of Hedges were several miners who had
that day come in over  the upper  Fraser.    They LOST IN THE MOUNTAINS. 189
reported severe cold and a heavy snowfall all along
the line of the river. They had experienced great
hardships in the walk down from Spuzzem.
Several had abandoned their small stocks of provisions that they packed on their backs, and in one
or two instances blankets and cooking utensils had
been thrown away in the anxiety of the wayworn
and half-dead men to reach a place of shelter.
*    *    *
All these, together with our contingent from
Yale, were gathered about the blazing hearth on
that Christmas Eve, speculating on the chances
for reaching Yale on the morrow. The landlord
declared that it would be a physical impossibility
for any person to pass up or down the river until
the storm had abated, but we Yaleites did not
agree with him. We told him that we had promised to return to Yale by noon on Christmas Day
with some of his fowls, and that we intended to
start in the (morning for home in any event, for I
had a suspicion that Hedges, in discouraging our
leaving, was anxious to retain us as guests until
he had milked us of our last coin. He offered to
sell five fowls and one goose at $4 apiece. We
closed with the offer, and the birds were duly
slaughtered and became our property. In the
morning the storm still raged. The cold was
intense. The building was almost buried in snow,
which lay three feet on the level at the river brink.
This meant four feet on the summit, and enormous
drifts everywhere, but in spite of these obstacles î9ô
we four foolish young men proposed to start ior
home with the birds after an early breakfast.
Several old and experienced miners remonstrated
with us, but in vain. We were determined to go.
One grey-haired prospector likened us to a lot of
silly geese, and another said we ought to be sent
to an asylum for idiots to have our heads examined.
Another produced a tapeline, and with a solemn
expression on his grim face proceeded to measure
"What for?" asked one of our party.
" I'm a carpenter out of a job," he said, " and
I shall begin to make four coffins the moment you
pass out of sight, so that, when you are brought
back stiff and stark, there will be nice, comfortable
shells to put you in. Bill here (pointing to his
mate) will proceed to dig four graves as soon as
the storm is over."
We all laughed heartily, but chaff and entreaties
were futile. We discarded all advice, shouldered
the poultry, and proceeded to pick our way up the
mountain side, intending to' follow a zig-zag trail.
The snow was indeed deep, and as we advanced it
grew deeper. We broke our way through several
heaps fully six feet high. The wind howled dismally through the trees and underbrush, scooping
up as it swept by great armfuls of snow, and
piling it in fantastic shapes and drifts on all sides.
Before we were well out of sight of the cabin the
trail had vanished, and every landmark by which,
under   other   circumstances, it   might   have   been LOST IN THE MOUNTAINS.
regained, was gone, too. I looked at my watch.
We had started at eight o'clock, and it was now
eleven. We had not made, according to my calculation, a mile; besides, we had no compass, and,
being off the trail, it was impossible to tell whether
we were going north or south. We floundered on
through the snow, which grew deeper and deeper
as we ascended the mountain. Sometimes one of
the party would step into a hole and disappear for
a few moments. We would all stop, and, having
hauled him out, would press on again in the hope
of again recovering the lost trail. The cold grew
sharper and the wind fiercer. We were fairly
well wrapped in woollens. There was one fur coat
in the party, and the wearer of it, young Talbot,
who was not at all robust, seemed to feel the cold
more keenly than the other three. Several times
he paused as if unable to go on, but we rallied him
and chafed him and coaxed him, until he was glad
to proceed. Another hour passed in the senseless
effort to overcome the relentless forces of nature,
and by that time we were four as completely used up
and penitent men as ever tried to scale a mountain in the midst of a howling snowstorm, with the
thermometer standing at zero. Talbot at last sank in
a drift, panting for breath and weeping from exhaustion. We dug him out with our hands, and he
tried to rise, but his strength was spent.
" Boys," he moaned, as he sank down again, " I
am done. I can go no further. Leave me here.
My furs may keep me warm until you can get help ; i.92
but, at any rate, save yourselves if you can. I am
not afraid to die, but I would rather not die on
Christmas Day with my boots on."
" Fiddlesticks !" cried I. " What nonsense to
talk of dying. We are all right. Only make
another effort and we'll be at the summit. After
that it will be all down hill and dead easy."
Talbot shook his head sadly, and continued,
" Promise me you won't let me die with my boots
on." Tears sprang from his eyes, and froze on
his cheeks. He lay helpless and inanimate in the
snow. Lambert and Nixon were strong and sturdy
young men and as brave as lions; but they were
greatly disheartened at the condition of our
wretched companion. Besides, like me, they
suffered severely from the cold, which had grown
more intense as we proceeded. All wished that we
had listened to the expostulations of the people at
the inn; but it was too late now for regrets—
there was only room for action. Something must
be done quickly or all would perish. We divested
ourselves of our packs, casting the fowls from us
as if we hoped never to see another goose or
chicken so long as we might live. The fowls
sank in the new-fallen snow, and we saw them no
more, and with them disappeared the wherewithal
for a grand Christmas dinner which we were taking to our friends at Yale.
While we deliberated as to the best course to
pursue, for it was as difficult to retrace our steps LOST IN THE MOUNTAINS.
as it was to proceed, the snow having obliterated
our footsteps, a sudden cry from Lambert attracted
my attention.    Pointing to Talbot, he exclaimed :
" He has fallen asleep ! Wake him up, in God's
name, or he'll freeze to death!"
We seized Talbot and stood him on his feet.
He was limp and helpless, and fell over again; his
eyes were half-closed, and his breathing was so
faint that when I put my face against his lips I
could scarcely detect the slightest evidence that
life still abode in that tired body. We rubbed his
face, hands and ears with snow. Lambert and
Nixon called him by name and begged him to
speak. We pounded him on the back and stood
him up again ; but although he began to show faint
signs of awakening, he was so far gone that he
could not raise foot or finger to help himself.
While this was going on I hurriedly broke a few
dead limbs from a pine, and, clearing the snow
from the roots of an upturned tree, produced a
match-box, and with the aid of a knife, with which
I made some kindling, soon had a small fire burning. To this fire we hurried Talbot. By dint of
rubbing and pounding, and the assistance of a
few drops of a cordial commonly known as H. B.
Company rum, Talbot shortly revived and shook
off his desire to slumber, but he was very weak,
and kept calling on his mother, who was thousands
of miles away. The exertion we put forth to
restore Talbot had set us aglow, and we resolved
to keep the fire up and remain under the shelter of
the fallen tree until the storm abated. 194
" By Jove," said Lambert, " why didn't we
think of it before? If we had kept those chickens
we might have had a rousing Christmas dinner
after all. We might have cooked them at this
But it was too late. We searched, but could not
find the first feather. So we tightened our belts,
consulted our flasks and tobacco pouches, and sat
down by the fire. Talbot, having become rested by
this time, showed no signs of falling asleep, but
he was very weak and despondent.
About two o'clock the snow ceased to fall, and
the wind gradually fell from a roaring blast to a
gentle   zephyr, and   then   died   away   altogether.
Towards   the   south, the sky, which for   two or
three  days  had presented  a hard,  steely aspect,
seemed to darken.    Presently great heavy masses
of clouds stole slowly along the eastern horizon,
the cold lessened, and the temperature rose rapidly.
Then we knew that a Chinook wind had set in,
that the back of the cold weather was broken, and
that if we could but regain the lost trail we should
be saved!
*    *    *
I rose from my place near the fire, and proceeded to reconnoitre. I floundered along for a
short distance, but not a vestige of the trail or the
tracks we had left in our painful progress was
visible.   It was now four o'clock in the afternoon. LOST IN THE MOUNTAINS.
We had been out eight hours, and night was coming on rapidly. I began to fear that we were little
nearer our goal than when we started, and I saw
no other prospect than being obliged to remain
where we were all night. I tightened my belt
another hole, and was in the act of retracing my
steps, when—what was the sound that fell upon
my ears, and sent a thrill of joy through my tired
and aching frame? " Is it the ring of a woodman's
axe echoing through the canyon?" I asked myself.
I listened intently, and soon my doubting heart
supplied the answer. It was only the beat of a
woodpecker's bill on the hollow trunk of a tree.
I turned away with a feeling of heartsickness at
the prospect of passing the night, without food or
shelter. My mind was filled with apprehension
lest the delicate constitution of Talbot should succumb to the exposure. As I prepared to return to
the fire another and more familiar sound reached
me. My heart almost stood still as I paused to
listen. Then there broke full upon my ear the deep
bay of a dog! It rolled up from the valley, and
reverberated through the rocky depths, disturbing
the awful stillness of the forest, and imparting to
me hope and confidence at the prospect of a rescue.
I drew my revolver from my belt and fired five
charges. I listened to the reports as they
echoed through the forest and died away in the
distance. Then—oh ! thrice welcome sound ! Never
in all my life did a human voice seem so sweet in
my ears as that which I heard utter almost at my
feet: 196
" Coo-ee !—coo-ee !"
I must have " Coo-eed-d " in response, because
again I heard clear and full and distinct a man's
voice, as he shouted:
" Where are ye, boys ?"
" Here," I cried, " this way."
In another moment a great mastiff broke through
an enormous drift and -barked loudly as if to encourage us, my companions having by this time become
apprised that help was at hand.
Talbot rose to his feet in his excitement and
tried to call, but his voice died away, and he could
not utter a word. He tried again and again, until
his vocal chords at last limbered up, and he managed to burst the bonds of silence that his excitement had imposed upon him, and emitted a long,
resonant :
" Coo-ee !—coo-ee !"
We shouted again and again, and soon from the
foot of the mountain there came back the answering call of many voices. The mastiff leaped as if
with gratification at having found us, and led the
way down the mountain side. We plunged through
snow that reached to our armpits, following the
dog, and in a short time we came in sight of a
large cabin with smoke curling from an ample
chimney. As we approached a number of men
came out to greet us. I paused to look and rubbed
my eyes.
"Is this a dream? Where are we, anyhow?
No, it cannot be. This is not Hedges', surely?"
I asked of one of the men, as we drew near. LOST IN THE MOUNTAINS.
" That's just what it is, sonny," replied the man.
Hedges advanced and offered me his great fat
hand. " I didn't expect to see you silly boys alive
again," he said, " and I ought to have tied you
up before I let you go out in the storm. Come in,
anyhow, and have something, and then join us in
our Christmas dinner, which is just about ready.
You must be hungry."
The " carpenter out of a job " scanned us closely
from head to foot, and then said, " Well, I'll be
durned. It's just my luck. I'm out fifty dollars
on your coffins."
Everyone laughed at this, but few besides ourselves understood how nearly our obstinacy and
self-conceit had brought us to the " narrow home."
So we went inside, and accepted the landlord's
" something," and about five o'clock we sat down
to a roast of fowl and goose, and spent a jolly
evening. Two days later we reached Yale, where
we had been given up for lost.
But the best of the tale remains to be told. It
was ascertained by Hedges, who saw where we
had made our fire, and he reported to our friends
in town, much to our annoyance and confusion,
that in all our wanderings and flounderings we
had never been more than an eighth of a mile from
the inn, having walked around in a circle after we
lost the trail ! THE   GUARDIAN   ANGEL.
if I closed my lids, and kept them close,
And the balls like pulses beat,
For the sky and the sea, and the sea and the sky
Lay like a load on my weary eyes,
And the dead were at my feet."
—Ancient Mariner.
It was at the close of a charming day in the
month of April, 1866, that three weary and travel-
stained men, who were bound for the Cariboo gold-
fields, and who had walked over the wagon-road
from the head of navigation on Fraser River,
reached a sylvan dell not far from the town of
Quesnelmouth, where they proposed to camp for
the night. They spread their blankets and partook of a meal of fried bacon, slapjacks and hardtack. The kit, or pack, of each man consisted of
a pair of blankets, a small bag that contained provisions, a fry-pan and a tin cup. Having partaken of supper, they stretched their weary limbs
upon the improvised couch, and courted sleep.
The party comprised a negro barber, named
Moses ; an American, who bore the name of Morgan
Blessing, and John Barry, an Irishman. Blessing
and Barry had mined in California, but had never
seen each other until they met  a few days before THE GUARDIAN ANGEL.
the date on which this story opens. Moses had
been a slave in the Southern States. He was
loquacious, as all good barbers are, and had passed
several seasons in the Cariboo mines scraping
faces and mowing superfluous hair. He was well-
known and much respected. The tired men slept
soundly until daybreak, when they resumed their
journey, and about the noon hour reached the
little town of Quesnelmouth. The Mouth wasl
filled with miners bound for the diggings. The
wayside inns were crowded with guests, many of
whom were the worse for liquor, and were acting
in a boisterous and unseemly manner. On the way
up, Moses, having told his simple but interesting
history as a human chattel, suggested that his
companions should relate their life-stories. Barry
said he had been a miner of late years, but that
in early life he had trained and raised horses in
Sligo, his native place. He had not been successful in California, and was on his way to Cariboo,
with the object of bettering his circumstances*
Blessing said that he was from Massachusetts, and
that he was a married man, with one child, a
daughter. He had owned a very good claim in
Calaveras County, and only lately worked it
out. His profits he had sent home regularly, and
he had sufficient there to live on for the remainder
of his days. But, 'before returning East, he had
resolved to test the Cariboo diggings. Blessing,
who showed frequently a well-filled purse, continued that he attributed his good luck to having 200
found a curious-shaped nugget in his claim. Before
finding the nugget, he said, he was miserably poor,
but after he turned up the specimen his fortunes
" I call it my Guardian Angel," he said, " because
it's shaped like an angel, and because since I found
it I've prospered. Everything that I touch turns
to gold. I have an idea that if I should lose that
nugget I should become poor again, or something would happen to me. Since I started on
this trip I've been doubly careful. The other night
I dreamed that I had lost it. I awoke in a fright,
and cried out. But it was only a dream, and I
fell asleep again."
" I say, mate, let's have a look at this wonder.
I'd like to see it, wouldn't you, too, Moses?" cried
" Yes," replied the colored man. " Trot de angel
out, Mister Blessin'.    Has it got wings?"
For an answer Blessing thrust his hand into an
inner pocket of his vest, and drew out a small
package, saying, " Inside this paper lies my
precious friend. To it I owe all my good luck."
He then carefully unrolled the paper. There were
many folds, but at last he held up the piece of
gold before the wondering eyes of his companions.
Moses asked to be permitted to handle the specimen, and when it was passed to him he saw that
it was, indeed, formed like an inhabitant of the
upper sphere. He said, " Hit really looks like de
picturs wot we uset ter see at Sunday School.   Hit THE   GUARDIAN ANGEL.
has wings, and dar is a robe erbout hit. Hit's haid
has a kind ob crown, an' dar is a face, too, dat
seems almos' human. Dar is two holes fer de eyes,
an' it is erbout a inch long. It makes me feel queer
when I looks at it."
With the consent of its owner Moses passed the
nugget to Barry, while Blessing, who announced
that his feet were sore and that he would stay at
the Mouth overnight, arranged for a room. During Blessing's absence several half-drunken miners
drew near, and asked to be allowed to examine the
curious specimen, and Barry allowed them to
handle it. Presently Blessing returned, and asked
Barry for the Angel. Barry told him that he had
handed it back to Moses. Moses stoutly denied
that he had seen it after he handed it to Barry. A
wordy war followed, and the men almost came to
blows. The landlord declared that both men
should be searched. This having been done without the hoped-for result, the landlord decided that
every man in the room should be searched, he submitting to the ordeal first, but the nugget was not
found. Suspicion finally settled on the colored
man, and Blessing implored him in piteous terms
to confess,- and produce the nugget. Moses stoutly
maintained his innocence, but without effect, and
the company were about equally divided upon a
proposition to hang him, when the landlord
ordered him to leave the house instantly, and so
the old man took up his pack and resumed his
journey, followed by the jeers and maledictions
of the miners. 202
Blessing was inconsolable. " My Angel is gone,
and I'll never have any more luck on this earth.
I never found anything until I dug that pretty
thing out of the claim, where it had waited for me
through all the ages since creation. Boys," he
pleaded, while tears chased each other down his
face, " oh, help me find it. I'm a ruined man. I
feel—-I know—that I shall never have any more
good fortune without my Angel."
The rough miners sympathized with the distressed man, but the Angel seemed to have spread
its wings and soared away to the celestial sphere,
for it was not recovered. Blessing and Barry
remained at the inn for two or three days, and then
resumed their journey, and were seen no more at
the Mouth.
About two weeks after the loss of the nugget,
Moses, who meanwhile had reopened his shop at
Barkerville, was surprised at the entrance of Barry.
" I was all ob a tremble de minit I laid eyes on
de man," said Moses, as he subsequently related
the incident.
" Good morning, barber," said Barry. " I want
yer to shave me, quick."
" So," said Moses, " I got out my tools, and set
to work on his face. As I shaved him, I talked to
him, an' I asked, ' Whar am Mistar Blessin' ? ' "
" He was took sick," replied Barry, " and went
back to Californy. He never came into the mines
at all."
" I sez ter him, ' Dat's strange. I cain't un'er-
stan' hit.   Whar did yer leab him?" THE  GUARDIAN ANGEL.
" At Quesnelmouth," replied Barry.
" Does yer mean to say dat ar man nebber corned
to dis ar camp at all?" persisted Moses.
" That's what I said, colored man," replied
Barry, who began to show irritation. " He went
sick, and turned back. Come, nigger, stop your
d—d clack and give me a shave," demanded Barry,
" or I'll go over to the other shop."
So the barber said no more, and shaved the man
in silence, and the customer left. He never again
patronized Moses, but visited the " other shop "
More than a. month had passed after Barry's
visit to Moses' shop. The negro had never ceased
to think of Barry and Blessing, and the fact that
he was under suspicion of having stolen the
Guardian Angel weighed heavily upon his mind.
One sultry afternoon, business being dull, Moses
stretched his form on a lounge and fell into a
deep sleep. Presently he heard a noise, as if the
door had been opened, and looking up he saw the
figure of a tall man standing in the middle of the
room. The man's face was white and haggard,
and his clothes were wet and mouldy. He tottered
as if weak, and placed one hand behind his head,
while an expression, as if he was in pain, stole
across his face. Moses instantly recognized the
man as Blessing, his companion on the trail.
" 'Fore God, Mister Blessing, am dat you?" asked
the barber.
The rnan made no reply, but just looked at the
colored man with a sad expression on his coun- 204
tenance. Then he removed his hand from his head,
and motioned towards his face, indicating that he
desired to be relieved of his beard, which was of
several weeks* growth. He took his seat in the
chair, but he never removed his eyes from the
barber's face, continuing to regard his with a sorrowful look. Moses placed a clean towel under
the customer's head, and as he stropped his razor
he said:
" Say, Mister Blessin', fer sure I didn't steal
yer Angel."
Blessing made no reply, but continued to look at
the barber with his great, big, black eyes.
Moses, in describing the incident to a friend,
said : "I almos' fainted dead away, I wos dat
frightened, 'cos I begin to suspeck dat de man wos
daid. I sot ter thinkin' wot I'd better do. Dat de
man wos daid I felt sure, an' I made up my min'
if he wosn't daid a'ready, he wud be soon, cos my
han' trembled so, I'd be sartin to cut his troat.
Well, I jist kept on stroppin' de razor, and all the
time I wos thinkin' how I was ter git red ob de
man. I had my back to him, where I stood, an'
all ob a sudden I heerd de do' slam hard. It made
sich a loud bang dat I almos' had a fit. I turned
quick, and de char wos empty. De man had gone.
I runned to de fron' do', and looked up an' down
de street. But dar wos no Mister Blessin' in
sight. I went back to de empty char, an' wot do
yer think I seen dar? De towel dat I had put
under de man's haid wos covered wid blood.   Yes, i
'He removed his hand from his head and motioned towards his face.'  THE GUARDIAN ANGEL.
sah. Dar wos a great, big, red blotch on hit, an'
it looked like fresh blood, too. It wos as clar as
dat pictur' on de wall. I trembled as I tooked hit
up, an' the towel smelled like as if hit had bin shut
up in a cellar fer a yar. Den I knowed dat
Blessin' wos daid fer a fac', an' dat dat ar' Barry,
like es not, hed stoled de Angel an' killed de pore
man. If eber dat ar body's found, I'll bet enny
ermount dat dere'll be a hole found in hit's haid.
I sent de towel ter de laundry, but hit corned back
es red as ever; so I burned hit in de stove, an' de
flames dat hit made wos as red as de blotch de
man left berhind him on de towel. I wos a skeerd
man, I kin tell yer, an' es I had ben 'cused er
stealin' de nugget, I jest made up my min' not ter
say nothin' erbout de matter, fer fear Barry 'ud
say I murdered de pore man, too. But I did a
heap ob thinkin'."
About a month after the strange appearance of
Blessing's ghost at the barber shop, another exciting incident occurred there. At the time of which
I write there was a dance house maintained in the
town of Barkerville for the recreation of the
miners and the profit of the proprietors. The
representatives of the fair sex who danced at the
house were called " hurdy-gurdies." They had
been imported from California, and were expected
to make themselves agreeable to the niggers by
dancing whenever asked, and between dances to
steer their partners to the bar and induce them
to pay for the drinks.   It was a matter of common 206
report that these girls had been selected because
of their enormous holding capacity, for the amount
of liquid refreshment they could consume of an
evening was astonishing, and many a miner who
was induced to stand treat, had reason to regret
his liberality as he regarded with rueful looks his
depleted " pile " the morning following a dance-
house debauch. Taken altogether, the hurdy-
gurdies were a pretty tough lot, and they were not
all in the spring-lamb stage of existence. Some,
indeed, were as old in sin as they were in years,
which is saying a good deal. But all contrived to
look young with the artistic assistance of Moses,
who was the only fashionable hairdresser on the
creek, and the seductive frills and come-kiss-me-
quick crimps and cockles he managed to work into
their locks were both original and fascinating. One
afternoon a hurdygurdy woman entered Moses'
shop. She had been drinking beyond her capacity,
for she was not quite sober, and had exceeded the
Plimsoll line, as the sailors say.
I Nigger," she exclaimed, " I want you to fix
my hair up scrumptious, and if you do it good I'll
give you this nugget," and she drew from a pocket
a lump of gold and laid it on the table.
" Great Scott !" cried Moses, as he started back,
"whar—whar did yer git dat ar Angel? I'se bin
a-lookin' fer hit fer two months. Whar did yer
git hit?"
" A man gave it to me last night. He didn't
have any money to pay for drinks, so I took the
nugget instead." THE GUARDIAN ANGEL.
" A man gived hit to you las' night, did he ?"
said Moses.    "Does yer know his name?"
"No, I never saw him before. He's short and
stout—why, there he goes now, across the street,"
and she pointed to a man, whom Moses recognized
at once as Barry.
" Here, girl," cried the excited barber, " gimme
dat nugget, an' I'll dress yer har free as long a9
yer lib on Willyum Crick."
" It's a go, Moses," cried the girl, and she
handed him the nugget.
So Moses dressed her hair on that and many
other occasions, and the Angel he locked in a
drawer, and said nothing more about it.
The summer passed away without further incident. Barry was often met by Moses on the street,
but the barber never spoke to him-, or gave the
slightest sign that showed he had ever seen Barry
before. The days had begun to draw in, and the
month of September, with its raw and chilly
evenings, "was well spent, when a packer, passing
along the wagon road not far from Barkerville,
shot a grouse. The bird fluttered to the ground,
alighting among a clump of bushes distant some
forty feet from the road. The packer plunged
into the thicket to recover the grouse, and was in.
the act of picking it up, when his eyes encountered a sight that sickened and horrified him, for
the bird had fallen directly upon the skeleton of a
human being, partly clad in mouldy and rotting
clothing.    The head seemed to grin at him, as if 208 THE PASSING OF A RACE.
the story of how it came there, if told in full,
would excite the packer to laughter, as it had the
The man hastened to town and informed the
authorities, and upon examination it was seen that
the skeleton was that of a male who had been
done to death by a shot fired from behind, for in
the back of his head was a bullet-hole, which was
mute evidence of a cowardly murder.
Near the fatal spot was picked up a tin cup, on
which was scrawled the name, " Morgan Blessing."
Moses declared that the clothing was the same as
that worn by Blessing when he last saw him at
the Mouth. He recognized the cup, too, and a
warrant was issued for the arrest of Barry, who,
meanwhile, had disappeared. He was followed
and brought back, and in due time came up for
trial. The prisoner stoutly denied his guilt. The
sensation of the trial came when Moses took the
>tand and told of the mysterious disappearance of
the nugget. Then he told the Court of the apparition that entered his shop and took a seat in the
chair, finally leaving a great blotch of blood on
the towel. He described with dramatic effect the
manner in which he had obtained the Angel from
the hurdygurdy girl, and told the story of the
nugget's mysterious disappearance at Quesnelmouth.
After a patient hearing, Barry was convicted
and hanged, and the case is often referred to as
one of the most singular in the annals of crime in
British Columbia. THE   GUARDIAN ANGEL. 209
The nugget was returned to Moses at the close
of the trial, and upon his death, some years later,
probably found its way into the melting-pot of
some practical assayer, who neither believed in
ghosts nor in celestial visitors who become lumps
of gold, and remain buried in the ground for ages,
until some fellow digs them up, and wears them
for luck. The story, however, is a remarkable one,
and caused a great sensation in the colony forty
" There is no death.    An angel form
Walks o'er the earth with silent tread ;
He bears our best loved things away,
And then we call them dead.
" Yet ever near us though unseen,
The dear immortal spirits tread ;
For all the boundless universe
Is life.    There is no dead."
She was a remarkable-looking woman—short
and fat, with a waist at least two yards wide ; keen,
penetrating eyes, and an incisive tongue that was
forever dislocating the Queen's English as she
reeled off the fortunes of her auditors, for she
claimed to be a clairvoyant. The time was the
month of October, 1888. I had gained admittance
to the room of the lady upon payment of two
dollars. She offered me a chair, while she sat
on the side of the bed. Having taken her seat,
she swept me from head to foot with a hard,
enquiring eye, and, after a moment's silence, said:
"You want your fortune told? Well, to begin
with, you like the ladies, don't you?"
" How do you know ?" I asked. VOICES AND  MESSAGES.
" Because," she said, reaching out and drawing
from my coat collar a long, yellow hair, " you
carry the sign on your coat."
She gazed at me intently for a moment, and then
said : " You are one of the most sperritually
inclined men I ever seen. Why, there is sperrits
all about you. There is a old man and woman,
two or three children, and a young lady wearing
a blue turban and big hoops, with her hair hanging down her back—all wanting to speak to you
at onct."
" What are they doing ?" I asked. " Playing
harps ?"
" They is gazin' at you. The old man is too
weak to talk. He must be one hundred years old,
at the very least. I think if you were to come
three or four times «more he would be able to tell
you something important."
As a single fee was two dollars, and my purse
was lean, I began to suspect that the old lady
wished, by playing on my credulity, to increase her
" You are fond of music, and you are married."
She then proceeded to correctly tell me the number of my children, my business, and my circumstances.    " You had a uncle," she continued.
I remarked that I had several, including the
" Yes, but this one disappeared suddenly. You
think him dead, but he ain't. He's in India. He's
made a pot of money. He'll be here soon—he is
coming now. He'll make you rich beyond compare [comparison].   You had a father."
I replied that it was manifest that I had—at
least I had been told so.
" Don't be funny," she said, with some show of
warmth. " The sperrits can't stand fun. You
will take a long journey soon—no, not you, but two
members of your family will. They will be tele-
graft for to the bedside of a beloved one in a
Eastern city."
" When will they go?" I asked.
I In January."
" Will the patient die?"
" No. She will get well, but she will be in grave
danger. You will be successful in all your undertakings.    You ought to die worth a million."
I Oh," I interrupted, " why can't I live worth a
million? What's the use of dying worth anything
at all ?   Put it the other way about, please."
II don't put anything either way," she said,
severely. " The sperrits does the business, and
fixes things. I can only tell you what they sez and
does. There's going to be a big real estate boom,
and you can't go wrong in buying land."
" I've lost something lately," I said, " and I
want you to aid me in finding it. Can you tell
me what I am seeking?"
After a moment's reflection, during which her
eyes sought the ceiling, she turned them floorward
again, and replied:
" Yes.   A bunch of keys." VOICES AND MESSAGES.
You could have knocked me over with a breath.
I had that morning gone to my office and missed
a ring on which hung a number of keys, including
one that opened the inner, or steel, chest of the
safe. After a thorough search, I remembered this
clairvoyant person. I repaired to her room for
information as to the lost articles, and that was
why I found myself there on the occasion referred
Wlhen I had recovered from my surprise I
asked : :
" Were they stolen ?"
" Yes," she replied, " they was stolen."
" By whom?"
She reflected a moment, and then asked:
" Has you a man in your employ whose name
begins with a ' W ' and ends with a ' y ' ?"
" Yes."
" He's got your keys. Change the combination
of your safe at onct."
" Would a search-warrant recover them ?"
" No. He's hidden 'em so as I can't see 'em.
But he's got 'em all the same. He's a very nice
young fellow—don't smoke or drink, does he?
But he gambles, and—and—you can guess what
else he does—I don't like to say."
She then rose from her seat on the bed, and
began to claw the air, exclaiming:
" Do you see 'em ?   Do you see 'em ?"
" See what ?" I asked.
" The   sperrits—they're
all   about you.    They 214
hang down the wall in clusters. There—there's
the old man, and the young girl, and there's a
little mite of a old woman—she's got something
that looks like a apple in her hand."
" Do they have apples in spirit land?"
" They does—and strawberries, and fruit of all
" And vegetables ?"
" Yes ; everything you have here, they have
there, only more of them, and better."
" Do the spirits have to weed and hoe the ground
to get crops?"
" Don't be silly," she said. " There ain't no
ground there, and there ain't no work. Everything grows without help. You should become a
mejum.    It's a most vaccinating study."
The lady, who probably meant fascinating, here
relapsed into silence, and after inviting me to call
again soon I was bowed out.
#    *    *
As I left the room I nearly ran against a lady
with whom I was well acquainted. She was standing in the dim hall near the door of the audience
chamber, and as I saluted her, she exclaimed,
eagerly :
" Oh ! tell me, is there anything in clairvoyancy,
or is it all humbug? I want to know badly. I am
in great trouble. My house has been robbed of all
my jewels—precious things my mother gave me
in England—and  nearly five  hundred   dollars   in VOICES AND MESSAGES.
gold coin. Do you think this woman can tell me
who stole them, and how I can get them back?"
I briefly told her about the keys, and the supposed identification of the thief. I had very little
faith in the communication, and told the lady so,
but added that I would change the combination of
the safe. After some hesitation, she asked me to
await her return. She then entered the seer's
apartment, where she remained some twenty
minutes. When she came out I saw that she had
been crying—her eyes and face were still wet with
We walked from the Clarence Hotel on to
Douglas Street before she spoke. Then, in a tearful voice she informed me that the clairvoyant had
told her that she had been robbed by her own son.
I knew the young fellow well. He was popular
and gifted, and was a welcome visitor at the best
provincial homes. His mother was beloved by all
who knew her. She was an Englishwoman, a consistent Christian, and a liberal dispenser of charity.
She had been wealthy, but had been sorely tried by
her husband, who, after spending most of her
fortune, had gone off.
" I do not care for the money—although it's all
I had ; but I am shocked to think that my son would
rob me. I hesitate to believe it, and yet there are
circumstances that make me fear it is true."
We called on the chief of police, and laid the
matter before him.    He sent for the young man, 2l6
and taxed him with the crime. He confessed, and
paid into the chief's hands nearly two hundred
dollars, all, he said, that remained of the five hundred. The poor mother and he subsequently went
away to California.
The gentleman whose name began with a " W "
and ended with a " y," only remained in my employ
two weeks after my visit to the clairvoyant. He
resigned, and I never found my keys.
With regard to the woman's prophecies, one
or two which I have mentioned came true. The
boom in land occurred, but I am still awaiting the
arrival of my avuncular relative from India with
his pile to lay at my feet. He must have lost his
way. The forecast of the trip to Toronto was
verified to the letter.
The woman was certainly a most remarkable
person. She was as ignorant as a Siwasfi, and yet
she seemed to read a person at a glance, and could
tell all about him or her. " You are building a
new house," she said to one visitor, " but you'll
never live in it." And he didn't. Another, who
asked if she would advise him to marry, was told,
" You'd better keep on raising chickens."
" How do you know I keep chickens ?" he asked.
" Man, dear," she retorted, " look at your
trousers—.they're stuck full of feathers, and there's
chicken fleas all over you!" adding indignantly,
" You've given 'em to me," and she moved uneasily
To a young lady who asked if she would ever
make a musician, she said : " No, you'd better learn
to cook and wash. You'll never make a livin'
poundin' a pianny."
One morning, a fond mother led two dirty-
faced children into the clairvoyant's presence.
" I've come to see what these children are good
for," she said.
" Good for? Good for a bath," replied the seer.
" Here, take back your money, and buy a bar of
soap and a scrubbin'-brush."
Amongst the callers upon the woman was one
Morris Moss. Everyone knew Moss in the days
of his prosperity—a liberal, whole-souled, credulous
fellow when he had money, and who died of a
broken heart when he became poor. Well, in an
evil moment, Moss called at the Clarence. The
moment the woman saw him  she asked:
" How are you, Mr. Moss ?"
The visitor was staggered, because the woman
and he were entire strangers.
" Why do you call me Moss ?" he asked. " My
name is Morris."
" Yes," she said, " Morris Moss. You have
come to consult me about your mine. Two dollars,
please. (The fee having been paid.) Your mine
is rich (taking a piece of the rock in her hand).
You will be many times a millionaire—richer than
Flood, O'Brien or Mackey. I see a palace, with
maids and footmen arunning up and down the
corridors.     I   see   you    dispensin'    charity,   and 218
receivin' dukes and princes and sich like. Yes,
put all you've got into the mine (naming it), and
you'll be all right."
Moss withdrew in a jubilant mood, invested his
last dollar in the mine, and was ruined. This is
only one of many instances where loss resulted from
too much faith having been placed in the predictions of this soothsayer. But how did she divine
my trouble, and Moss' name and hopes, and the
lady's predicament?
:jc       if.       if.
On one occasion, I was invited to' attend a seance
in a private house at the town of Port Angeles,
Washington. The medium was a man, who was
called by his friends " Farmer " Riley. He
appeared to be a very respectable agriculturalist, of
the extreme Western type in dress, manner and
speech. He had a keen face, and a keener eye. I
thought, when we were introduced, that he
regarded me with an interrogation point in each
optic. It seemed as if he suspected that I had gone
to the place with the object of exposing him as a
trickster. He sat in complete darkness, in a small
bedroom off the drawing-room, across the entrance
to which portières were hung. Twelve ladies and
gentlemen occupied seats in the drawing-room,
and, joining hands, formed what is called a circle.
The coal-oil lamp was turned down low so as to
cast only a dim light on surrounding objects, and
a hymn was started by the circle. In the course
of   a   few moments, the   portierres   were   slowly VOICES AND MESSAGES.
divided, and an elderly man, attired in a full-dress
suit, stood between the curtains.
One of the company became strangely agitated,
and exclaimed:
" Is that you, Jackson?"
The figure bowed, the curtains fell slowly back
into their place, and the shape was seen no more.
The next appearance was that of an elderly
woman  wearing a widow's cap.
Two persons claimed her. One said she was
her grandmother, the other that she was his wife.
The question of relationship did not seem to trouble
the spirit, for it maintained a most benignant smile
on its face, and, leaving the disputants to settle
the matter between them, finally faded away.
A little girl next appeared. She wore long ringlets
and a white dress. A lady recognized her as
" Rose," a cousin who had died many years ago.
From that on, shapes—mostly those of men in full
evening costumes—came out in rapid succession.
At last a presence appeared that caused a creepy
feeling to run through me. There was no mistaking the figure—it was that of a former high judicial
officer who died at the St. Joseph's hospital some
two years before. I saw his face and form as
plainly as I see the paper over which this pen is
" Is that you, D ?" I asked.
Three loud raps, to signify " yes," were given
on the doorcasing, and the spirit, after gazing at
me for at least ten seconds, allowed the curtains to
come together again, and disappeared. 220
Almost at once the curtains were again divided,
and another and taller figure appeared. I recognized the figure as that of a colonel in the militia,
who died at St. Joseph's Hospital shortly after the
death of the judicial officer who had just gone.
The two men died in the same room. The next,
and last appearance that I felt interested in, was
that of a former Dominion Government official at
Kootenay, who, strange to relate, also died at St.
Joseph's in this city. He was a long time ill, and
when in his prime was a valuable citizen.
I again offer no comments on these strange
occurrences. I only tell you what I saw and heard.
Others must make or furnish the explanation, if
they can. If the figures were produced by fraud,
the counterfeit was most clever. If the " Farmer "
used, as some people declare, rubber masks and
clothes blown up with air to resemble those " we
have loved long since but lost awhile," he was
certainly a clever rascal.
The closing act of the seance was sensational.
After a long wait, the portières were violently
agitated, and again parted. The figure of an old man
appeared in the opening. He wore a frock coat and
trousers of some dark material. The vest was white.
In the top buttonhole of the coat lapel was a red rose,
fresh and radiant. He bowed twice, and in a hollow
voice said, " Good evening." " This is Mr.
Benson," volunteered one of the company. " He
appears often."
The old man bowed again, as if in acknowledg- VOICES AND MESSAGES.
ment of his name. I sprang forward, and touched
one of the hands that supported the curtain. It
was cold and clammy, like death! In an instant
the figure disappeared behind the curtain, and I
was loudly censured for my presumption. I was
sorry, but the temptation to touch the " spirit "
was irresistible. But what did I prove? Nothing.
I still grope in the dark.
I was present at a breakfast table in Victoria in
the month of June, 1867, when a young lady guest,
who had slept over night in the house, related a
strange dream' which she had had. The nature
of the dream I cannot now recall ; in fact, my mind
was buried in the columns of the morning paper,
and I paid little attention to the conversation that
was going on about me until I heard the voice of
the hostess exclaim :
" I wish you had not dreamed that dream,
Miss  ."
"Why?" was asked.
" Because it means death—swift and unexpected—
to a member of this household. Something dreadful is sure to occur."
The host and I indulged in a little humorous
badinage, in which we ridiculed the importance of
dreams in general, and of this dream in particular.
" You may laugh," said the lady, in a solemn
and impressive manner, " but there is death in the
air. Either you (inclining her head towards her
husband), or you (looking at me), will meet with THE   PASSING OF A  RACE.
an accident of a most serious nature before nightfall."
" Why is not some other member of this company likely to suffer? Why are we unfortunate
men selected as doomed?" I asked, flippantly.
" Because," was the answer, " according to the
dream, the victim must be a male and an adult,
and you two were the only male adults in this
house last night."
The host and I attached no importance to the
prediction, and went to our respective avocations
with light hearts. The day was one of the loveliest
of a lovely summer. The sun shone brightly, and
not a cloud flecked the sky. The birds almost burst
their little throats as they poured forth melodious
songs of praise; sweet flowers filled the air with
fragrance and captivated the eye with their
beauty. All nature was radiant with life and
hope and joyousness, while over the homestead I
have described the angel of death was already
spreading his black wings. At nine o'clock on the
evening of that day, I brought the corpse of my
host of the morning to his stricken family. He
had been thrown from his horse at Esquimalt, and
instantly killed, two hours before.
The wife, who divined the dream, could never
explain how or why she did it. She always said
that she felt impelled to speak by some unknown
force, and that she was impressed with the solemnity and accuracy of the information she imparted. A  CALIFORNIA  STAGE  COACH
In the month of June, 1857, I was assigned to
special service as correspondent of the Call newspaper, of San Francisco. I was directed to proceed to
Stockton by steamboat, and while there to write up a
murder case. Having performed that duty, I was to
take the stage for Sacramento, and at the latter place
get the particulars of a grave political scandal.
The reader will recall that this was before railways and telegraphs had reached the Pacific Coast.
I arrived at Stockton before nightfall, and by
noon the next day had mailed my report and left
by stage for Sacramento. The stage was of the
style known as the Concord coach. Its body hung
on heavy, leathern braces in lieu of springs. The
situation of the passengers, of whom there were
six, would not have been unpleasant, but for the
intense heat that prevailed and the dust-clouds that
the horses and wheels raised. The atmosphere was
ablaze. The hot air seemed to rise in sheets and
waves, and the dust penetrated every nook and
cranny of the conveyance, compelling us to keep the
windows down at the risk of being stifled. Men
and women gasped for breath, and the four horses,
ready to drop from fatigue, were in a lather of
perspiration. 224
Among the passengers were a young German
and his flaxen-haired wife. They were pleasant-
faced and very nice in their manners. They told
me that they were from the mining town of
Columbia, where they kept an hotel, and were on
their way to buy goods. About sundown the stage
stopped at a wayside inn, a mere shack of a place,
and we alighted for supper—all but the young German and his pretty wife, who remarked that they had
a lunch-basket, and would refresh themselves from
its interior. After a swift wash in a tin basin, and
a futile attempt at drying on a grimy towel—I was
the fifth to use it that evening—we sat down at a
greasy table with a greasy covering. A dirty old man,
and a still dirtier old woman, waited on the guests,
while a rather good-looking girl of fifteen or sixteen sat at a small table near the door. The meal
consisted of tough beefsteak, sodden biscuits, a
greenish mixture, called tea, and a curious compound, which the old lady referred to as " apple
sarse," and which she ladled out with a spoon in
one hand, while with the other hand she pressed the
" sarse " back into the dish whenever it showed
a disposition to run over. It is scarcely necessary
to say that our stomachs revolted at such fare. I
made an heroic effort to eat the steak, but in vain.
It was as impervious as a piece of boiler-iron. I
turned to the biscuits. They had been shortened
with rancid butter, and were uneatable. I asked
for a boiled egg, but the woman said:
" Our chickins is moltin', an', onnyways, aigs is
We rose, unrefreshed, from the table, and one
of the party was passing out, when the young
woman, holding out her hand, said, in a drawling
tone :
'" One dollar, please."
"What for?" asked the departing guest.
" Fer yer supper," replied the girl.
" I didn't eat a bit. It was the durndest stuff I
ever saw.    I won't pay for it," said the traveller.
The young woman did not appear in the least
disconcerted. She must have been accustomed to
facing angry stagefolk, for she calmly placed herself between us and the door, and still held out her
hand for the money.
" Let's form a union," said another guest, "and
strike against this imposition. They can't collect
for what we didn't have."
A woman passenger raised a shrill remonstrance,
and declared the inn was a deadbeat. A young
man, who early in the journey had told us he was
a pugilist from San Francisco, threatened to clean
out the house. A lawyer from Stockton declared
he would never, never, never pay. It was highway robbery, and he would begin an action against
the inn-keeper for trying to obtain money under
false pretences; while I, throwing myself back on
the power and dignity of the press, foreshadowed
a lively roast in the next number of the paper I
represented. All were unanimous. We would not
pay, come what might, and we formed up for a
rush past the girl, when something clicked behind 226
us. We turned, and there stood the dirty old man,
with a dangerous glitter in each eye, and an equally
dangerous-looking revolver in each hand pointed
directly at us.
" GenTmen," he began, " our terms is cash.
You'll drop a dollar in the sarser on the table next
the door, as you pass out—no more, and no less."
" But," remonstrated the lawyer, " this isn't a
legal charge, and you can't collect it. Don't you
know you can be punished for obtaining money
under false pretences?"
" GenTmen," interrupted the portable arsenal,
" the stage is awaitin', an' the driver is a-callin'
Them as don't pay can be accommerdated with beds
at a dollar each bed, and breakfast in the mornin',
also at a dollar. This is a dollar houses—everything's a dollar here, 'ceptin' coffins, which comes
high. Them as pays now will pass out of the front
door, and them as don't pay won't pass out at all,
'ceptin' they passes out feet fust, an' with their
boots on."
" This is highway robbery," cried the valiant
young man from San Francisco.
" Beggin' yer parding," quoth the landlord, " but
I thought I heerd ye ejaculate a remark," and he
turned his glittering eyes and one of the revolvers
full on the fighting man's face. " I disremember
what ye sed. Will ye have the kindness to obleege
me by sayin' it agin? I'm rayther hard o' hearin'
in my left year."
The San Franciscan paled, declared he hadn't A  STAGE  COACH ADVENTURE.
uttered a word, and, dropping his dollar into the
" sarser," hurried out.
" Perhaps it wos you as sed as this wos a case
of highway robbery," continued the old man, as he
trained the awful eyes and the wicked revolvers
full on the lawyer.
The lawyer, as he drew a piece of gold from a
purse, disclaimed having said anything about a
" But ye did grumble at the food that the good
Lord sot before ye, didn't ye?" queried the old man.
I Well, yes ; but I've seen worse," stammered
the lawyer.
| It warn't so bad, war it?" insinuated the landlord.
"Well, no."
| Then, why didn't you eat it ?" thundered the
old man, at the top of his voice.
" Because I wasn't hungry. I never can eat in
hot weather," said the lawyer.
" Oh, you wasn't hungry, eh ? The weather was
hot, eh? How about that ere suit yer is goin' to
bring agin me?"
" Oh," said the trembling lawyer, " I was only
in fun."
" Well, there's yer change," said the landlord,
" and when ye've got any more jokes to discharge
jist label 'em, elsewise people '11 think you air in
arnest, and you mought git hurt."
While this was going on, the female passenger
and the writer were making futile efforts to escape
15 228
from the room, both having dropped our dollars
into the " sarser," but the girl blocked the way, for
the old man had reserved me, the youngest of his
guests, for the last.
" I imagine," he began, " that you was the cuss
as sed he'd print my name in his paper. Air you
that ere individooal ?"
" Certainly not," I lied, " the grub suited me,
but I'm not well."
" But yer asked fer aigs."
" That's because I'm a Catholic, and never eat
meat on Friday," I lyingly responded.
" Young man," said the old man, solemnly, as
he pointed to an insurance calendar that hung on
the wall, " thar's what says as this ere day's a
I hung my head, and could find voice for nothing
more. The guns appeared like cannon, and ready
to go off at the slightest touch on the trigger. I
thought my time had come, and began to think of
all the 'bad things I had ever done.
" Young man," said the landlord, " give me yer
hand," and he laid one of the pistols on the table.
I extended my right hand, and he gave it a
squeeze that seemed to break all the bones. He
kept on squeezing, while I writhed in agony. It
seemed an age before he left go, after giving me
a little paternal advice to keep out of bad company,
lawyers, fighting men and sich like, and especially
to avoid the lyin' noosepapers. He released my
hand at last; the woman passenger and I ran out A  STAGE  COACH ADVENTURE.
of the house, climbed into the coach, and took our
seats. The driver was already on the box, and the
wild horses, given their heads, were soon flying
along the dusty road towards Sacramento. At the
next stopping-place, where a relay of horses
awaited us, the driver approached the window with
a grin on his broad face and a bit of straw between
his teeth.
" Youns got a bad skeer back theer, didn't ye?"
We acknowledged that we did.
He. meditated a moment, and then said :
" You was sold. Old Si's as harmless as a
kitten, an' he couldn't hit a barn-door if it was ten
feet off, for he's half blind. 'Sides, there wasn't
no bullets in them guns neither, only caps. He's
a old fraud, in coorse; but he was only bluffing
ye. He skeered the life out o' ye, didn't he. Well,
I'll be dummed. This beats bull-fightin'," and he
laughed and chuckled till the tears ran down his
" Wjhat's that you say?" roared the fighting
man.    " Wasn't he in earnest?"
" No.    But he got his dollars, didn't he?"
The pugilist's rage knew no bounds. He foamed
at the mouth, stamped on the ground, and beat the
air with his clenched fists, meanwhile uttering the
most frightful maledictions.
" A horse," he cried, " give me a horse, that I
may ride back and settle the hash of that blamed
old fraud! The idea! Threatening to shoot us
with an empty pistol. I'll swab up the dust in the
road with him!'" 230
"Do you want a horse, sir?" asked the landlord, a mild-eyed person. " I have a animal as
would just strike your fancy. He'd carry you to
Si's in erbout a hour.   Shall I saddle him for ye?"
" Yes, yes—I mean, no. I've got an engagement at Sacramento. I'll call and settle Si's
account on my way back."
The driver mounted the box, the horses' heads
were loosened by the hostlers, and away we dashed.
In two hours we were at Sacramento, and registered at the Golden Eagle Hotel.
The pleasant-faced German, his fair-haired wife
and I sat at the same breakfast table the next morning and exchanged confidences. My new-found
friends told me that their name was Oppenheimer
—Mr. and Mrs David Oppenheimer. Two years
later I met them in the heart of the Fraser River
mines, where Mr. Oppenheimer became a leading
merchant, and subsequently Mayor of Vancouver.
Both have long since passed; but they left behind
them- a record of good work which still survives. "A  VISITATION  FROM  GOD."
"Which way I fly is hell ; myself am hell ;
And, in the lowest deep, a lower deep,
Still threatening to devour me, opens wide,
To which the hell I suffer seems a heaven."
—Paradise Lost.
That portion of the State of Washington on
either side of the great inland sea known as Puget
Sound, near the. forty-ninth parellel of latitude,
was first settled by the servants of the Hudson's
Bay Company, who established trading-posts and
built forts in Oregon and throughout the Puget
Sound country, and extended their influence as
far south as San Francisco, closely competing with
the traders of John Jacob Astor, founder of the
family of which William Waldorf Astor, formerly
of New York City, but now a British subject and
a " citizen of famous London town," is the acknowledged head and wealthiest member. The company's chief port in the North-West at that time
was at Nesqually, which lies midway between the
towns of Steilacoom and Olympia, and of which
the late Dr. Tolmie was chief factor. Before the
Oregon treaty was made, the Hudson's Bay people
had brought the native tribes of Oregon and Washington Territory under their control. The
humane and just methods in dealing with the
1 232
Indians had won their confidence and affection, and
a King George man (a Briton) might travel
securely through sections peopled only by hostile
tribes, where a Boston man (an American) hardly
dare trust himself. After the country south of the
forty-ninth parallel had been surrendered by treaty
in 1846 to the United States, wars with the natives
were of frequent and bloody occurrence. The first
settlers of Oregon and Puget Sound were subjected
to great hardships and dangers, because the Indians
resented their transference from British to American rule. Many years passed, and only after the
tribes had been decimated did they sullenly accept
their new masters.
Early in the era of the gold discoveries in California, the vast timber wealth of Puget Sound
attracted the attention of lumbermen, and soon the
hum of sawmills, of rude construction and small
capacity, broke the stillness of the forests. The
lumber then produced sold readily at San Francisco for one hundred dollars a thousand. At one
time, immediately after a great fire, cargoes of
lumber from Puget Sound sold at three hundred
dollars a thousand. Gradually little communities
of whites began to gather about the mills, where
homes were reared and business houses established, and where the presence of women and children imparted an air of civilization to the neighborhood. The missionary and school-teacher followed, and it was not long before the church-going
bell, a sound familiar to Eastern ears, summoned lA   VISITATION FROM GOD.»
the settlers to the house of God, and " the little red
school-house " became a picturesque and gratifying
feature in every small community.
When to the thinking men of the day it was borne
in that Puget Sound was destined to become the
seat of a mighty empire of commerce, where the
argosies of all nations would arrive and depart with
rich cargoes, and where great cities, peopled by
the energetic, thrifty and industrious, would spring
up, the early comers to this virgin land began to
speculate as to where, in the fullness of time, the
great city of the future would find a location. The
towns of Steilacoom and Olympia, near the head
of navigation, were laid out and plotted when the
sites of Seattle, now the commercial giant ;of the
West, and Tacoma, to-day the greatest wheat-
shipping port in the North-West, were trackless
forests. Port Townsend, then the only port of
entry for the district, where all vessels bound in
or out were required to enter and clear, under the
stimulating influence of the trade that came from
the shipping, grew quickly. Forty-seven years ago
it was a thriving town with a population of several
hundred, and had begun to put on the airs and importance of a metropolis.
In 1858, the year of the Fraser River gold excitement, Seattle numbered scarcely one hundred
of a white population, while Whatcom and Sehome,
now consolidated as Bellingham, sprang into
ephemeral existence as starting points for miners.
The writer landed at Port Townsend   from a San 234
Francisco steamer in July, 1858. The town was
filled with miners bound for the diggings. There
landed from our steamer on Fowler's wharf about
1,500 souls, and business of every description was
brisk, especially the liquor traffic. The place was
placarded with handbills, signed by C. C. Terry,
that drew attention to Seattle, " the future metropolis of the North-West," and offering to sell town
lots of generous dimensions at prices varying from
fifty to one hundred dollars each according to
location. Many of these lots are selling at from
fifty to one hundred and fifty thousand dollars today.
I showed one of the handbills to a leading
merchant of Port Townsend, named Bartlett, and
asked his advice as to the wisdom of investing a
small sum in Seattle lots. Mr. Bartlett was
strongly of opinion that Seattle would never
amount to much. " Why," said he, " for several
months in the year the fogs are so dense between
this place and Seattle that navigation is impracticable. That place ought to be called Fogtown."
I allowed the handbill to flutter from my fingers,
and so threw away a fortune.
In the month of October, 1861, I paid another
visit to Puget Sound, embarking in the little side-
wheel steamboat Eliza Anderson, then commanded
by Capt. John R. Fleming. The boat touched at
several points. The only signs of activity were
observed at Port Townsend, Steilacoom and Olympia,
the last-named town having been selected as the capi- "A VISITATION FROM GOD»
tal of the Territory. At Seattle, one man, the late
Mr. Yessler, met the steamer at the wharf, caught
the line that was thrown ashore, and took charge
of a few .packages of freight and a mail pouch
that contained, perhaps, half-a-dozen letters and
papers. Not a passenger embarked, nor did one
land at that port. Tacoma was of so little importance that the steamer did not touch there on that
trip, but went straight on to Steilacoom and
Olympia, where considerable business offered.
Whatcom and Sehome, after the miners went away,
sank into insignificance, and remained obscure
villages until the building of the railways gave
them their present great importance under the
name of Bellingham. Victoria, at the time of
which I write, had a population of about two thousand whites, and was undoubtedly the Queen City
of the North-West. These statements, in the face
of the marvellous changes that have since taken
place, read like a fairy tale; but there are men and
women living who will vouch for their correctness.
The growth of the young giant Seattle, and its
sister, Tacoma, is astonishing, and evidences what
intelligent effort, when backed by railway competition and unlimited resources and capital, together
with geographical position, will accomplish in the
space of a few years. A large majority of the men
and women who brought their household gods to
Puget Sound, and reared homes in the midst of the
wilderness, were honest and God-fearing people,
who sent their children to school, and led them to 236
church. Fifty years ago motherhood was regarded
as the highest honor that could be conferred upon a
wife, and a couple without children were not
deemed desirable settlers. So' the little settlements
increased with rapidity, and the merry prattle of
children was heard in every home. But with the
decent people came a large element of ne'er-do-
wells, who had no sooner set their feet on shore
than they threw off all the restraints of society,
and, mixing with the red men, soon grew more
savage than the savages themselves. Crimes of
violence became frequent, and the law was so
loosely administered that the moral foundations on
which the social fabric was reared became weakened and often destroyed. A spirit of lawlessness
was manifest in every town and camp-, and Port
Townsend, where flocked the bad of every nationality and both sexes to prey upon the sailors who
came to that place, as the chief shipping port, in
considerable numbers, grew rapidly. A more
graceless gang of ruffians than that which gathered
at Port Townsend forty-five years ago never
infested any community. They were up to' every
devilment that Satan could inject into their receptive minds, and the crack of the revolver, and the
whizz of the rifle ball, were sounds familiar in the
ears of the people of the little town.
A person who should visit Port Townsend to-day
would find it one of the most orderly and moral
communities   on   the   Pacific   Coast,   and   would 'A   VISITATION FROM GOD."
scarcely believe that at one time it was the abode
of murderers and bandits. Yet so it was, and
there is reason to believe that many of the very
worst characters who> gathered there were originally
British subjects who deserted from our warships.
Nearly forty years ago, the crew of a vessel then
loading at Port Ludlow left the ship for some
reason and, coming to Port Townsend, retained a
young attorney, named Tripp, to sue the captain
for wages, which they claimed were due them.
Tripp went to Ludlow, and, under pressure, collected a considerable sum from the captain, but
accepted a smaller amount than the men asserted
was owing. After deducting his fee, the lawyer
sent the balance to the sheriff at Port Townsend,
who, deducting his own rake-off, passed the balance
over to the sailors. The men were greatly dissatisfied at the smallness of the result, and threatened to "do" for Tripp, if he should return to
Port Townsend. They haunted the wharf for a
day or two, and one bright afternoon their intended
victim tripped gaily ashore from the steamer. He
had been to Seattle, and wore a complete suit of
new clothes, and carried a cane. Five of his clients
accosted him, speaking roughly, and threatening
to do him bodily harm should he remain in town.
Tripp protested that he had done no wrong.
" Look at yer clothes," cried the sailors. " Yer
left here in rags, and yer come back rigged out like
a howlin' swell.    You stole our money, and put it 238
on yer back. Blank, blank yer! Yer not good
enough to stay in this country any longer. Go to
the British side, an don't yer never come back."
" But I live here," urged Tripp. My home is
here, and I am an American citizen. Besides, I
have a wife and children here."
" D—; yer wife and children. We'll drive yer
spawn out, too," shouted the sailors.
The men were armed, and displayed their
weapons. Tripp was unarmed. He was driven
back on board the boat and told that if he should
again set foot on shore at Port Townsend he
would be assassinated. The steamer brought
Tripp to Victoria. Here he bought a double-
barrelled shotgun from Guy Huston, and loaded
the weapon with heavy charges of buckshot. As
he stepped ashore at Port Townsend on the following day, the sailors approached Tripp with
threatening gestures and horrid oaths.
" Stand back !" cried the lawyer, who carried his
cocked weapon at rest across his left arm.
I We wants to speak to yer," said the sailors.
I Not on the wharf," said Tripp, as calm as a
summer morning.    " Come to my office."
" Let's rush the — of a —m shouted one of the
party, and the doomed men prepared to surround
Tripp in an ever-narrowing circle.
" Stand back !" cried Tripp  once more.
His assailants made a simultaneous advance
towards him. As quick as thought the lawyer
brought the gun to his shoulder and fired a barrel. <A   VISITATION FROM GOD."
Two of the men, who were in line, fell and died
almost immediately—killed by the one discharge.
Scarcely had the report died away when the second
charge was fired and another man fell dead. Then
Tripp clubbed his gun and brought the stock down
upon a fourth man's head, braining him. He
sank to the ground insensible, dying a few days
later. The remaining man turned to fly, but a
revolver bullet, fired by a brother-in-law of Tripp,
stretched him a corpse on the wharf. The locality
presented a fearful spectacle when the contest was
over. There were blood and brains everywhere,
and four dead men and one dying man lay in
various postures awaiting the coroner. The lawyer
surrendered to the sheriff, but it being shown to
the satisfaction of the jury that he had acted in
self-defence, he escaped punishment. It is mentioned as a singular coincidence that Tripp was one
of the contractors for the construction of a new
jail and that he was the first man to be confined
Two of the justices of the Supreme Court got
into serious difficulties. One of these officials
shot and killed a man near Whatcom. He presided
at the next term, and heard all the cases except his
own. This he assigned to a friendly brother judge,
who went to Wihatcom and tried him, and before
whom he was acquitted. This gentleman continued in office until Lincoln was elected President,
when he was retired. Another Supreme Court
judge, who resided at Port Townsend, seduced the 240
wife of a friend, and was sued for damages. When
the case was called, the gay Lothario requested a
friendly brother judge to. try the cause, and won
easily. All the parties to this scandal afterwards
died in California, the woman perishing in a most
deplorable manner.
One of the most bloodthirsty men who ever
located on the Sound was named Harry Sutton.
He was well educated, handsome and almost
feminine in appearance and manner, when he first
went to Port Townsend. In fact, he resembled a
rosy-cheeked, bashful student enjoying his holidays. You might have picked him out for a Sunday School teacher, but never for a desperado or a
cut-throat. He had such a confiding expression
in his eyes, and when spoken to by an older person
he blushed like a young girl.
I was seated in my office at Victoria one evening in the summer of 1862, when, a young man
entered. He was neatly and fashionably dressed,
and wore a stiff Peruvian hat, then as much affected
by the young men of that day as Panamas are now.
In a low, hesitating voice, he asked :
" Do you get any Boston exchanges here?"
" No," I replied, " but you may get them at
" I've been there," he said, " and they have none."
He offered me a cigar and lighted one himself.
Then he sat down and talked about Boston and
Yale and Harvard, while we discussed the cigars,
which were of excellent quality. "A   VISITATION FROM GOD»
" These cigars were sent me by my mother," he
remarked. " They are real Havanas. My folks
are in the shipping business in Boston. They own
clippers. I came to California in one of them.
You see," he said, with a confidential air, " I got
into some trouble back home and mother sent me
out here to be reformed."
We both laughed at the bare idea of any one
being sent to the Pacific Coast with a view to
reformation, and I began to. ask myself what this
shy, shrinking young fellow could have done back
East to render necessary his expatriation. It could
not be anything very wicked. Perhaps it was a
love affair.   Finally I asked hkn1 :
" What sort of trouble did you get into at
" Oh," he said, with a light laugh, " did you
ever hear of Harry Sutton? (I shook my head).
Well," he continued, " I'm Sutton. I'm the
man who killed two Irishmen on my daddie's
wharf in Boston. They attacked me in the dark,
and I just ripped them up. It was a case of self-
defence, though," he added, as he flicked the ashes
from his cigar, " but it cost my mother piles of
money to get me off. You see, the Irish societies
wanted to hang me."
As he said this he rose from his chair and
walked rapidly up and down the office floor. Then
I saw a strange transformation sweep over him.
He suddenly changed from a rosy-checked youth
on his holidays, modest, refined   and shy, to a sin- 242
worn man of mature years. The gentle expression that had charmed me a few moments before
vanished, and a repulsive, wicked look came into
his face. His color deepened, the soft, brown eyes
gleamed like hot coals, and rays of hate and anger
shot from their depths. He swore savagely and
swung his arms, and struck the thin air with his
hands as though they contained a weapon which
he wished to use.
" Is he acting—rehearsing his murderous act,
and does he enjoy the tragic memories which he
has conjured up?" I asked myself. Presently he
sank into his chair, panting for breath; the deep
color faded, the fire died out of his eyes, and he
became once more the gentle, confiding schoolboy
on his holiday. The paroxysm had passed, but he
still breathed heavily.
We parted that night to meet a few years later,
when the gentle youth's name had become a terror,
and when he had acquired a reputation for blood-
thirstiness that few men enjoyed, even on the gore-
besprinkled shores of Puget Sound.
Sutton went to Port Townsend, where he started
a bar on Tibball's wharf. The building is still to
■be seen. He drew about him a number of kindred
spirits, and they soon became notorious along the
length and breadth of the Sound for evil practices.
They shanghaied sailors from one ship and sold
them at so much per head to another ship; then
they would steal them' from the last ship, and sell "A   VISITATION FROM GOD.y
them back to the ship from which they were first
taken. They would shoot or cut on the least provocation and many deeds of violence were perpetrated
in and about the Sutton shebang.
Amongst this promising young man's close
companions was an American of about . his own
age. This man was a bright, well-educated
fellow, but was as dangerous a character as his
friend. He was ready to shoot at all times. On
one occasion, he fired a rifle at a fleeing Indian,
of whose klootchman he had taken possession.
The ball missed the native, but it passed through the
wooden wall of Mr. Joseph Kuhn's office, and
lodged in the drawer of a desk, where Mr. Kuhn
had sat writing a few moments before. Strange
to say, the man's sinful career was cut short in a
very remarkable manner. He attended a Methodist
revival meeting one evening. Having gone to
scoff, he was so impressed with what he saw and
heard that he remained to pray. He slept in a
bunk back of the bar, and that night, when Sutton
prepared to turn in, he found his friend on his
knees asking for mercy. The next morning,
regardless of the taunts of his late companions, the
regenerated man refused to drink, and removed his
traps from Sutton's. That evening, and many
subsequent evenings, found him at prayer-meeting, and in the result he became a convert, and is
now, or was until quite recently, a leading clergyman in California.   The hole in the wall, made by 244 THE PASSING OF A  RACE
the bullet which he fired with murderous intent
nearly forty years ago, is still to be seen in the wall
of Mr. Kuhn's office.
At that time there resided on Puget Sound a
pilot, named Charlie Howard, a short, stocky,
powerful man, who had a bad record as a pugilist.
On one occasion he was wanted by the sheriff for
some misdeameanor and fled to Port Angeles,
whither the officer followed   and served the paper.
" All right," said Howard, " I'll go with you.
Let's have a drink."
After drinking the two walked to the sheriff's
boat, where Howard tripped the captor up and held
his head under water until the poor sheriff, nearly
drowned, gave up the warrant, and the prisoner
walked away, and was not prosecuted for his lawless act.
One evening Howard strolled along the wharf,
past Sutton's bar, in company with Captain Libby
(not the present Captain Libby, but his father).
Said Libby to Howard : " Let's go into Sutton's
and take a drink."
" Not much," replied Howard, " I wouldn't
drink in that — of a —'s house if I were dying of
Sutton, who was standing just inside his door,
overheard the remark and sprang out with his
ever-ready revolver in hand, and inflammable
language on his tongue.
" Take that back," he shouted.
" I'll take nothing back," cried Howard. 'A   VISITATION FROM  GOD."
" Then take this," yelled Sutton, as he fired a
ball into his victim's breast. Howard fell on one
knee, exclaiming, as he fell, " That'll do, Harry.
Don't shoot me any more."
" You —," yelled Sutton, "if I had a
thousand bullets   I'd give them all to you."
So saying, he fired the remaining five balls into
Howard's body.
Another account says that the difficulty arose
over an Indian woman, and that Sutton only fired
once, killing Howard.
Sutton was convicted of manslaughter, and sentenced to five years in the penitentiary. His mother
came to his aid and he broke jail. He was captured at the picturesque town of Port Angeles by
Tom Stratton and others and taken back to Port
Townsend, where he again broke jail. He fled to
Colorado, where he died with his -boots on, being
hanged by a vigilance committee for murdering
two miners.
An account of the murderous doings of Sutton
would fill a volume. Being pursued on one occasion by the officers of the law for firing at and
wounding a negro, he fled to Cariboo, where he
was ordered to leave by the constabulary. On his
way out he was suspected of arson at Yale, but
was never prosecuted. He was next heard of at
San Francisco, where he engaged in the butchering,
business. In a dispute with his partner one day
he clove his head with a cleaver, and the man died.
It was shown that Sutton had struck in self-defence 246
and he got off. He next appeared again at Port
Townsend with a power press and a complete
plant for a printing office. He started a daily
newspaper and became an editor—this man, with
the blood of five men on his hands ! The paper did
not live long, but while it existed Editor Sutton
"made things hum" along the Sound.
Sutton had long before parted with his boyish
ways and his look of innocence. His face had
become bloated and deeply seamed with the lines
that a sinful career always engrafts upon the
features. His gentle ways, which attracted me at
our first interview, had been displaced by a coarse,
and brutal bearing. His apparel, too, was in keeping with his changed manner and his language
was profane and vulgar. It was said that Sutton,
in his somewhat brief span of life, killed ten men,
and was only punished for the last two. I am only
sure of seven, a number that should be sufficient
to satisfy the appetite of any reasonable desperado,
although Slade, who dominated the overland stage
line between California and Utah forty years
ago, bore on the stock of his revolver twenty-nine
notches, each notch representing a dead man, killed
by that unerring weapon in the hands of that sure-
to-kill ruffian. Slade also died with his boots on,
having been hanged by a vigilance committee. It
is related of the man-eating tiger, that once having
tasted human blood he will never again be content
with food that is relished by any well-conducted tiger.   He needs a man for breakfast every "A   VISITATION FROM GOD." 247
morning. No other " game " will appease his
appetite, and he will permit the most tempting
viands set for his regalement and capture to
remain untouched, while he prowls hungering
through the jungle for a human sacrifice. Does a
desperado who has shot one man hunger, like
the tiger, for more lives?
Mark Twain, in one of his inimitable stories,
tells of one Sam Brown, a wretch in Nevada, who
had fallen into the amiable habit of shooting every
man who refused to drink with him. One morning he accosted a miner in a bar-room with :
" Come, stranger, have a drink with me."
" Thank you," replied the man, who was a
tenderfoot and not " up " to the ways of Nevada,
" I'm a total abstainer   and don't drink."
" My God," cried the wretch, " and must I kill
a man every time I come to town?" Whereupon
he whipped out his pistol and reduced the census
of temperance men in camp by one. If there were
any teetotalers left in town, they must, like Peter,
have denied their faith, for every man within sound
of the murderer's voice lined up and took his
whisky at Brown's command. The ruffian left
town on horseback for home, but the boys " laid
for him " in the brush and bored him full of holes
as he came to the place of ambush. When the
avengers examined the dead man's pistol they
found sixteen notches on the handle. It is related
of an Oregon desperado that, having let the life
of another man out   by puncturing his side   with 248
a sheathknife, he drew the reeking weapon from
the wound and lapped the blade.
The British warship Sparrowhawk came to
Esquimalt station in 1864. She lost a number of
men by desertion, most of whom went to work at
the logging camps on the American side. Amongst
the runaways was an Irishman, named John Quail,
a tall, good-looking fellow, built like an Adonis,
as agile as a gladiator and as powerful as a draught
horse. Quail began life on the Sound as a logger,
but soon tired of hard work and became a gambler.
His comrades called him " Poker Jack," because
he excelled at the game of poker, and, as he could
drink as deep, shoot as straight and swear as loud
as Sutton, he was admitted to that gentleman's
confidence  and the two became sworn friends.
There lived at that time on Puget Sound a
swashbuckler named Charlie Brown, who haunted
the lumber mills and logging camps, to fleece the
lumbermen on pay days with poker and other
devices. At Port Ludlow resided one Slater. He
had an Indian wife and was tolerably well conducted, as things went in those days. He was a
friend of Poker Jack's, and one morning he ran
to Jack's cabin and told him that as he was sleeping peacefully by the side of his wife, Brown had
kicked in the front door and got into his warm
nest, threatening to shoot him if he resisted. Jack,
pistol in hand, strode to the cabin and found
Brown snoring off his debauch in Slater's bed.
He seized the ruffian by the hair of the head and "A   VISITATION FROM GOD."
kicked him into the road. Then he threw his
great arms about him, and carried him towards
the mill.    Brown roared for mercy.
" What are ye goin' to do wid me?" asked
" I'm going to throw you into that fire, you
dirty brute," replied Jack, as he strode on with his
burthen. The fire to which the avenger referred
was a huge mass of burning sawdust and other
offal, which every mill company on the Sound,
having once lighted, never allowed to die out while
the mill continued in action. On that particular
day the Ludlow fire was more than usually fierce,
and must have reminded those who saw it of a
certain very hot place with the lid off. As they
neared the fire the hot tongues leaped up, as if
hungry for their prey. They seemed to laugh
with glee at the prospect of a glorious feast on
human flesh. Brown screamed in terror and
begged for mercy, but Jack was implacable.
" They ain't no mercy for you, young man," he
said. " You're goin' on a long journey an' I'm
goin' to give you a taste of hell before you get
Then Brown appealed to the men, who, attracted
by his cries, flocked to the scene. Jack at first
refused to listen to the people, but, on the very brink
of the flaming pit, he consented to let Brown go
upon condition that he would leave town at once
and stay away from it for ever, which he did.
One evening  in the spring of 1870  Poker Jack 250
entered a restaurant at Port Townsend and
ordered supper. At an adjoining table was seated
a man named Thompson, who was the worse for
liquor, and who began to revile Jack. The latter
kept his temper and tried to pacify the excited
man, but Thompson continued his abuse and
threats. Quail, having finished his repast, walked
to the door, Thompson following close behind.
Harry Sutton was met coming in. He took in the
situation at a glance, and, whispering to Quail,
asked him if he were armed.
" No," replied Jack.
" Then take this," said Sutton, as he handed him
a huge bowie knife with a razor edge.
Quail and Thompson passed out into the darkness, and were lost to view for a moment. There
was an instant of silence, broken only by the oaths
of Thompson; then the listeners heard a gasp, and
next a shout for help. They ran along the sidewalk, and thirty feet away they came upon a
scene that the most hardened man among them
never forgot to the day of his death.
In the indistinct light cast by the feeble rays of
a lantern, the figure of a man was seen lying
prostrate on the ground, and the figure of another
man stood over him, dealing blow after blow with
a huge knife. The prostrate man was Thompson,
and the erect man was Quail. They took the
slayer off his victim, upon whose body there were
seventeen cuts, any one of which would have
caused death.    Quail himself was cut in the face 'A   VISITATION FROM GOD.»
and on the neck. He got off on the plea of self-
defence, and returned to his old haunts and practices. But the killing of Thompson was not forgotten, as the sequel will show.
About a twelvemonth after the death of Thompson a man named John Martin, a close friend,
if not a relative of the dead man, walked into the
bar of the Metropolitan Hotel at Port Townsend,
kept by John Hunt. Quail sat at a table playing
cards. The instant Martin caught sight of Quail
he discharged a volley of abuse. Quail made no
reply at first, but finally exasperated beyond
endurance, he leaped to his feet and, seizing a
stool, raised it as if to strike his assailant. Martin
grasped a leg of the stool and, reaching between
the rungs, drove a long knife into Quail's abdomen. The wounded man released his hold on the
stool and, placing his hands on his body in the
vicinity of the pit of his stomach, walked to the bar.
" Boys," said he, " I guess I'm done for. I'm
cut through and through. Let's have another
drink before I go." The bystanders ranged up at
the bar and drank with him in silence, and with a
feeling of awe at the bare idea of pledging the
health of a man who was bleeding to death before
their eyes, and whose passage had been already
booked for the " other side " of the River Styx.
He died the next day. The boys gave him a big
funeral and a minister spoke of his many virtues,
which no one suspected that he possessed while
But if Martin avenged the taking off of Thompson, who avenged the taking off of Poker Jack?
The patient reader must accompany me to the end
of this tale  and draw his own conclusions.
Martin was taken to prison for killing Quail, and
was admitted to bail. Pending the trial he disappeared. Two years sped away and Martin and
his great crime had almost faded from people's
minds—crowded out by other stirring events, of
more recent occurrence—when, on the second
anniversary of Quail's killing, the habitues of the
Metropolitan Hotel were overcome by surprise at
beholding his slayer enter the bar of the hotel.
" Klahaya tilicums ?" asked Martin, as he shook
hands all round. This salutation is Chinook for
" How do you do, friends?"
The hangers-on greeted him warmly, and their
hearts were made glad by an invitation which he
extended to the whole party to come up and " have
The glasses were quickly charged and each man
clinked his tumbler against his neighbor's. Then
Martin, raising his glass above his head, said in
a clear and distinct tone, " Let us drink a toast. I
give you the health of—of—of—" His voice
suddenly ceased, and a look of horror came into
his eyes, as he gazed at some object on the floor.
Then his countenance grew ashy pale, he trembled
violently, and with a loud cry of anguish he fell
face downward almost on the very spot where
two years before   on that very night   Jack Quail   «A   VISITATION FROM GOD J
had received his deathblow. As the stricken man
fell the glass flew from his hand and broke into
a dozen pieces. Martin lay motionless. Some one
turned him on his back. His features were set in
an expression of deep alarm. The eyes were fixed
and staring, as if the dead man saw some horrid
shape that had attracted his attention just before
he sank to the floor. The protruding tongue was
bitten half through, and blood flowed from his
mouth. They shook him and spoke to him, calling his name and telling him to wake up. He
made no sign, but ever those dreadful eyes gazed
with a horrid expression at—something! They
tore open his shirt and felt for a heart-beat. There
was not even a flutter. Some one brought a
mirror and held it to his lips.- The breath had
gone out, for the glass was unsullied. Then they
sent for a doctor and a clergyman.   Both came.
" Died of heart disease," quoth the medico, after
a quick examination.
" Died of a visitation from God," said the clergyman, as he bent down and closed those dreadful
eyes. Then, baring his head, the good man added,
Early in the month of May, 1856, a British
steamship sailed from the port of Southampton,
bound for the West Indies. Amongst her three
or four hundred passengers were a young couple
who bore the name of Mr. and Mrs. George Storm.
They gave out that they had been recently married,
and from their appearance they were well-bred and
well connected. The pretty bride, who' was little
more than a girl, was exceedingly pleasant in her
manners, and made friends of all with whom she
came in contact on board. Among the acquaintances they made was a middle-aged gentleman,
named William Stephenson. He was an Englishman, and, having been to California, was on his
way back to look after some mines that he owned
there. As Mr. and Mrs. Storm were also bound
to California, they found the information which
Mr. Stephenson possessed of the country most
valuable. So the three were thrown much together,
and by the time the steamer reached the Isthmus
of Darien they had become fast friends and had
formed plans for the future. In due course, the
passengers crossed the Isthmus and embarked on
a steamer which landed them safely at San Francisco. Here Mr. Stephenson learned that the bank
in which he had on deposit a large sum of money
had failed, and a project which he had in view for
the advancement of his new-found friends could
not be carried out.
The Storms were naturally greatly disappointed
at the result, as they were not overburdened with
means, and, after some days, they departed for the
interior of the State, where Storm said he would
try his luck at the diggings. They took leave of
each other, Stephenson remaining at San Francisco
to recover what he could from the wreck. A fact
which struck Stephenson as strange was that the
Storms had not a single letter of introduction, nor
did they impart any information as to their connections or antecedents, beyond the fact that their
(match was a runaway one and that the girl's
friends objected to her marrying Storm. But, as
they were very nice, and apparently respectable, Mr. Stephenson took them entirely into his
confidence and lent Storm a considerable sum of
money from his depleted store. He parted from
them with regret, for he well knew the temptations
to which they would be subjected in the mining
towns. Several years passed, during which time
Stephenson did not hear from his steamship
acquaintances. He at last gave up all hope of ever
meeting them and, although he often wondered
what had become of them, they gradually faded
from his mind.
In 1862 the Cariboo gold fever broke out, and
early in that year Mr. Stephenson joined in the 256
rush to the new gold fields. The path through the
then unexplored country was difficult and dangerous. Thousands walked every foot of the way
and reached William Creek, where the richest
deposits were found, weary and worn from the
hardships they had gone through.
Stephenson was so fortunate as to secure a
claim upon one of the richest bars on the creek.
Near this bar " Old Man " Diller, Hard Curry,
Bill Abbott, Jim Loring, John Kurtz, Bill Cunningham, John Adams, W'm. Farron, John A.
Cameron, Bob Stevenson, and a host of others,
whose names will ever live in history as the possessors of rich claims in Cariboo, were located.
They washed out hundreds of thousands of dollars
in a single season. Frequently as high as five
thousand dollars was obtained from a single
bucket. When Abbott one evening staked five
thousand dollars on a single hand at poker, and
was remonstrated with for his foolishness, he
replied :
" Oh, pshaw ! It's only a single 'bucket. There's
five hundred thousand such buckets still in the
The day came when poor old Abbott walked the
streets of a British Columbia town in search of a
man who would lend him the wherewithal for a
meal, and found him not. Of the hundreds who
had fattened at his 'board in the days of his aflu-
ence, not one offered to help him when he became
poor again.    Is not this the way of the world?   I THE   WRONG SADDLEBAGS.
do not say that Abbott died of want ; but I do know
that the men who helped him in his later days were
not those who fed and drank at his expense when
he rolled in gold.
Abbott's fate was that of nearly all the men who
made big money in Cariboo. Cameron carried
his earnings to Eastern Canada. He had $175,000.
This huge sum he lost in a few years in bad
speculations. Twenty-five years later he returned
to the scene of his former success and opened a
little eating-house. One day, while supplying a
customer, he dropped dead. Old Man Diller was
almost the only one who held on to his talent and
made more. He settled down in Pennsylvania,
where he invested in real estate and died worth
an enormous sum. Bob Stevenson lost his wealth
in trying to add to it. He is still trying in Granite
Creek  to strike another William Creek.
Our steamship acquaintance, Stephenson, from
whom I have obtained much of the material for
this narration, is still alive and resides in California, old, hale and hearty, and wealthy. He
told me that in a single season he made $56,000
on William Creek, and that he sold out to his
partners at the close of the year for $10,000 more.
Like Diller, he kept his pile, and added to it.
A day or two after Stephenson had disposed of
his claim, and was popularly supposed to have a
large sum in his cabin, he strolled into a gambling
house at Barkerville. Gathered in the house were
many evil-looking men and women.   The scene was 258
dimly lighted with kerosene lamps. On the tables
were cards, dice and faro-banks, and a billiard
table in the centre of the room was utilized for
the purposes of keno. A continual stream of
miners and business men were entering and departing, after trying their luck at the different games,
or imbibing at the bar. Now and again the voice
of the dealers would be heard shouting, " Make
your game, gentlemen," or, " Game's made, gentlemen, roll." The music from a piano and a fiddle,
the clinking of glasses and the popping of corks
added to the din. In one corner might be seen a
miner, who had parted on the green cloth with his
week's earnings, bewailing his hard luck; and in
another corner stood a prospector, who was exhibiting to the astonished gaze of his friends the
glorious prospect he had obtained from a new discovery. In the middle of the room a painted lady
with a glass of Oh-be-Joyful in her hand was
essaying an Irish lilt to the accompaniment of a
mouth-organ between the lips of a besotted miner.
On the sidewalk two men engaged in a bout of
fisticuffs, to the intense delight of a crowd of
by-standers. Across the street a cockingnmain
was in full swing, and numerous posters announced
that on the following day there would be a prizefight, with bare knuckles, between George Wilson,
the English champion, and " the great California
Unknown." The betting was heavily in favor of
" You see," said one of Wilson's backers, " the THE   WRONG SADDLEBAGS.
California fellow's got the most science, but George
has got one thing that gives him a big advantage.
He's got the best of the fight before he strikes a
Stephenson was anxious to know in what the
advantage possessed by Wilson consisted, and
asked the man to explain.
" Why," said the fellow, " George has got a
cock-eye. Now, if you stand up to fight a man you
never want to take your eye off his'n. If you do,
you're a gonner. How can you follow the movements of a man with a swivel-eye? You can't do
it. He'll belt you all about the ring, while you're
searching for his optic."
Convinced by the reasoning of Wilson's backer,
Stephenson bet five hundred dollars on the man
with a cross-eye, who lost the fight in five rounds.
Attracted by a sound of revelry Stephenson
next entered a long hall in which a number of
miners and others were engaged in wooing the
favor of Terpsichore with a number of highly perfumed and gorgeously arrayed females. They were
known as hurdy-gurdy girls. These representatives
of the goddess of dancing were imported from California expressly to serve as partners for the miners
of Cariboo. All were not young or beautiful, but
they were very gracious, and never refused to drink
when asked. Indeed, they were expected to urge
their partners to treat them at the close of each
dance, and as the broad light of day often streamed
into the hall before shutting-up time came, the
amount of liquor consumed on the premises at the
rate of fifty cents per drink must have been very
great. As he stood gazing at the whirling figures
Stephenson witnessed a dastardly act. A ruffian
who had been disappointed in obtaining the hand of
one of the painted and bedizened creatures, and was
madly jealous in consequence, watched his opportunity, when he fancied he was not observed, and,
striking her violently in the face, ran toward the
door. The woman screamed and would have fallen
had not the strong arm of Stephenson caught 'her
form and laid her gently on the floor. A crowd
gathered at once, and chase was made for the
assailant, who was soon overtaken and severely
beaten for his brutality. In the meantime Stephenson busied himself in restoring the unfortunate
woman to consciousness. His efforts were soon
rewarded, and he had the satisfaction of seeing her
open her eyes and ask to be taken to her room. She
had a bad bruise on her face, and as she was assisted
to her feet the woman gazed long and earnestly at
" Where—where have I seen you before ? Was
it in England? or was it in California? No, it
cannot be. Surely you are not Mr. Stephenson ?
You are not the gentleman I met on the Southampton boat ?"
" My name is Stephenson," he replied, " but I
cannot recall that we ever met -before."
" Am I then so changed that you do not know
me?" the wretched woman asked. " Do you not
remember George Storm and his wife ?" THE   WRONG SADDLEBAGS.
" Yes—yes—but do not tell me that you are Mrs.
Storm !"
" I am that lost woman," she cried, as she burst
into a flood of tears.
" And where is your husband ?" Stephenson
asked, with emotion.
" He is here—in this camp."
" And does he know that you," he hesitated a
moment for a word, not wishing to wound the
woman's feelings, and then added, " that you are
here ?"
" Yes, but do not blame him. We were reduced
to great straits. My baby died, and my friends at
home would not help us, so—and so—you know
the rest."
Again the poor woman wept, and Stephenson
could scarcely refrain from mingling his tears with
hers. With a great effort he restrained himself,
and having arranged for a surgeon to attend to her
injury, he left her, promising to return on the
morrow, mentally resolving to do all in his power
to rescue her from her forlorn condition.
Stephenson followed the winding of the creek
to his cabin, which was situated about a mile above
Barkerville. The night was intensely dark. As
he neared his place, he observed a light within.
He approached a window and peered cautiously
into the front room, the blind of which was raised,
and plainly saw the figure of a tall man standing
by the side of the bunk, in the act of raising one of
the mattresses, apparently searching for valuables.
Stephenson turned for the purpose of raising an 262
itf* •
alarm, when he became conscious of the presence
of another man, who advanced from the shadow
of the cabin and dealt him a severe blow on the
head. The victim fell at once and lay where he
fell until early 'morning, when he was discovered
by some miners on their way to work, and his
injuries, which were quite severe, were attended
to by Dr. Black, then a noted practitioner on
William Creek. The doctor decided that the patient
had been sandbagged, and ordered his removal to
the hospital, where several days elapsed before he
recovered sufficiently to tell how he received the
hurt. By that time, identification of the robbers
was impossible, and no steps were ever taken to
apprehend them. They got very little for their
crime, as their victim had, providentially, deposited
nearly all his wealth in the bank. As soon as
Stephenson obtained- his discharge from the hospital, he repaired to the dance hall and enquired
for Mrs. Storm, who was known to the inmates as
Bella Armitage. To his profound grief he learned
that she had left the creek the day after the assault,
and that a man, calling himself her husband, had
gone with her.
In the fall of 1862, a great event occurred.
Lord Milton, heir to the earldom of Fitzwilliam,
accompanied by his friend and medical adviser,
Dr. Cheadle, arrived on William Creek. They
had come across the continent by the overland
route and had been nearly a year on the way.
Cheadle was a man of fine proportions, but Milton THE   WRONG SADDLEBAGS. 263
was only about five feet in height, and weighed
scarcely one hundred and twenty pounds. However, as the saying goes, there are many good goods
put up in small packages, and Lord Milton was
just about as genial, liberal and light-hearted a
fellow as you ever met. He didn't look much like
a lord though, and many amusing incidents arose
through Cheadle being mistaken for the nobleman,
and the lord for the doctor. Milton took these
mistakes good-naturedly, and on two or three
occasions allowed Cheadle to receive undisturbed
the honors, while the real lord stood aside and
enjoyed the confusion of the parties when at last
they were set right. The " boys " gave the visitors
a big banquet, and " whooped it up " until the small
hours. Milton and Cheadle, on their return to
England, wrote a most entertaining book on their
travels, in which they gave a graphic description
of the dinner and the proceedings thereat. They
were especially struck with the wit and hospitality
of the late Wtilliam Farron, who gave the visitors
a most hearty welcome and a handful of nuggets.
Mr. Farron was one of the lucky (miners of that
period, and realized a competency in one season.
From Barkerville the visitors rode to Hope, on
the Fraser River, where they took a steamboat for
Victoria. There was no Vancouver then. At
Victoria they were given another banquet, which
the then Governor Douglas and staff attended,
and in which all the principal citizens took part.
After Milton came into the title, he took his bride 264
of a year to the Lake Superior country, and it was
in an Indian hut that the future Earl Fitzwilliam
was born. The world said that the father was
eccentric, but it is not every one who can afford
to minister to his eccentricities as the noble earl
did. I have often wondered what the young wife
thought of the transformation scene, from a palace
to an Indian wigwam, at the caprice of a freaky
In the summer of i860 another traveller came
through by the overland route. His name was
Captain Butler, of one of the crack English regiments. He had walked through by the Yellow
Pass, accompanied only by a half-breed guide.
He wrote a book on his travels, entitled " The
Great Lone Land." The book had a deservedly
large sale, for it was admirably written, and, in
view of the opening by the Grand Trunk Pacific
of the country through which the captain travelled,
ought to be reprinted now. Captain Butler afterwards -married Miss Thompson, the famous war-
picture painter, and both are still alive. At the
outbreak of the difficulty with the Boers Butler
had become a major-general, and was stationed at
South Africa. He incurred the disapprobation of
the War Office by warning them that the Boers
would prove a most formidable foe. For his
pessimism Butler was recalled, and, although his
prediction was verified by results, he was not permitted to take any part in that bloody and disastrous
Stephenson lingered about Barkerville until the
latter part of July of the following year, hoping
to hear from a party of prospectors under John
Rose, whom he had sent out the previous fall, and
who had not «been heard from since their departure.
When news did come in it was of the most dismal
character. Rose and his party had died of exposure
on one of the unexplored creeks, and their bodies
were buried where they were found.
Stephenson immediately left Cariboo and travelled by easy stages toward the lower country. He
was accompanied by several other miners, who,
having made their pile, were desirous of reaching
civilization by the speediest and safest means. As
the road was believed to be infested with desperate
men, who had failed to win gold at the diggings,
the miners kept closely together, and were fully
armed. On their way out the party fell in with a
young man, named Tom Clegg, a clerk in the
employ of E. T. Dodge & Co., merchants. Clegg,
who was on a collecting tour, was known to have
in his possession a very large sum of money, which
he carried in saddlebags on his horse, a large,
powerful animal. He was accompanied by a
Captain Taylor, who belonged at some place on
'the Sound. Taylor rode a mule. When Taylor
and Clegg fell in with the miners they expressed
great pleasure at the protection afforded, and
agreed to keep close by them. The party reached
the 150-Mile Post, a wayside inn, in good shape.
But there they fell to drinking and carousing, and 266
when day dawned neither Clegg nor Taylor was
in a fit condition to travel, so the others started
without them. Clegg and Taylor followed about
an hour later, having changed animals at the Post,
Taylor riding the horse with the gold-laden saddlebags, and Clegg bestriding the mule, which carried
no treasure. A short distance below the Post two
men were seen ahead. As the travellers approached
the men separated, one crossing to one side and
the other to the other side of the road, as if to let
the horsemen pass between them. When the horsemen came opposite them, each footman grasped a
bridle and began shooting. Taylor's horse took
fright, reared and broke loose, dashing the man
who held him to the ground, and got clear off, darting along the road at great speed. Clegg leaped
from his mule, and seized the man who held his
horse's bridle. He was getting the best of the
highwayman, when the man who had tried to stop
Taylor's horse came to the assistance of his pal and
shot Clegg dead. The robbers then cut the saddlebags from the mule's back, under the impression
that they contained the gold, and, plunging into
the thicket, disappeared. The murderers were seen
the next day by William Humphrey, now of Victoria,
who was driving a light wagon along the road.
While following the trail of the highwaymen
through the brush the Indian trackers came upon
the saddlebags. They had been cut open, and the
contents, a bundle of papers and a suit of underclothes, lay on the ground.   What must have been THE   WRONG SADDLEBAGS.
the feeling of the robbers, when it dawned upon
them that they had taken the life of a fellow-being,
and imperilled their own lives, for so paltry a
booty as the wrong saddlebags contained, may be
imagined. Mr. Humphrey told a party of the
robbers' whereabouts, and one, who gave the name
of Robert Armitage, was caught in the valley of
the Bonaparte. The other disappeared, and was
seen no more alive. For a long time it was feared
that he had got out of the country ; but one morning a farmer on the North Thompson, while watering his stock, saw on one of the bars what he at
first took to be a bundle of clothes, but which upon
closer examination proved to be the body of the
missing highwayman. The survivor was committed for trial before that judicial terror, Judge
Stephenson, having convoyed his gold to Yale,
placed it in the hands of Billy Ballou, the pioneer
expressman, for transmission to the Bank of
British North America at Victoria. Leaving the
express office he walked slowly along the front
street, and almost the first person he met was Mrs.
Storm, alias Armitage. She had recovered from
the effects of the cruel blow, not a trace being
noticeable, and with her face divested of the paint,
she looked like her former self. Accosting him she
said, imploringly:
" Oh, Mr. Stephenson, I am so glad to have met
you, for I am in great trouble, and need your help. I
have just received a letter from Mr. Storm.   He is 268
in prison at Lillooet. He is charged with the
murder and robbery of a man on the Cariboo
wagon road. He is without money and friends
and unless he can get some money, he will surely
be hanged. Will you help him? In the past you
have done much for us. Will you aid us once
again? In God's name, I implore you to return
to Lillooet and see if something cannot be done to
save him. I know that he has been a bad man and
has done much that was wrong; but I can never
forget that he is my husband—and "then think of
the disgrace! I gave him all the love of a young
and pure heart, and I forgive him freely for the
wrongs he has heaped upon me and the misery
he has caused me. Will you—oh, will you, Mr.
Stephenson, befriend us once more? Will you
return to Lillooet  and give him this letter?"
Stephenson told me, many years afterwards,
that he at first declined to accede to the unhappy
woman's appeal; but she was so persistent and so
pathetic in her prayer that he yielded at last, and,
after providing for her comfort at one of the
hotels, he left by the first stage for the scene of
the trial, arriving at Lillooet the day before the
court opened. The little town was uncomfortably
filled with jurors and witnesses, and a few lawyers,
who accompanied the judge on circuit. Mr.
Stephenson had an opportunity of seeing the Chief
Justice for the first time as he took his seat on
the bench to preside at the assize. Arrayed in wig
and gown  he presented a majestic appearance.   He THE   WRONG SADDLEBAGS.
was far above the average height, being six feet
four in his socks. His figure was as straight as
an arrow, his features, when in repose, stern and
somewhat forbidding; his brown eyes were expressive and thoughtful ; his hair was then just turning
from black to grey, and his face was adorned with
carefully-trimmed moustache and whiskers. His
bearing was that of a judge who under any and
all circumstances would discharge his duty as he
understood it. This was the man who, by the
sheer force of his iron will and overpowering
intellect, swept all before him. A giant among
pigmies, he subdued the most turbulent ruffians
who ever afflicted a new country with their presence. The mere mention of his name terrified
hundreds who had set at defiance the laws and
rulers of their own land. As the judge took his
seat on that morning a stillness as of death fell
upon the crowded room. Men seemed afraid to
breathe, so great was the awe which the majestic
presence inspired.
The judge charged the grand jury in words of
flaming eloquence, in which he depicted the
enormity of the offence with which the prisoner,
Robert Armitage, was charged. A human life had
been taken for the purpose of robbery, and the
blood of an innocent man cried for vengeance upon
his slayer. One of the culprits had met a merited
fate, having lost his life while fleeing from the
bloodhounds of the law. The other was in the
hands of the officers of the Crown, and against 270
him an indictment had been framed and would be
laid before their body. It was their duty to con^
sider the indictment, " and," he added, with a
menacing look that seemed to say, " throw out the
bill at your peril," " I leave the matter in your
The grand jurors were not long in returning a
true bill for murder against the prisoner, and he
was at once arraigned and pleaded guilty, no
defence being possible. The prisoner, upon being
arraigned for sentence, was the most unconcerned
man in the room. He leaned against the side of
the dock and yawned frequently while the judge
addressed him in severe and unpitying language,
telling him that no mercy would be shown him,
and that his execution upon the day fixed was as
sure as the sun rose. When the man yawned for
the third time the judge paused indignantly in
the midst of a sentence and demanded to be told
why he showed so much unconcern, under circumstances so dreadful that the entire courtroom
was moved.
" Please, sir," replied Armitage, " hurry. I ate
no breakfast, and I want my luncheon. I am
The man was then sentenced, without further
comment, to die on a certain date, and was removed
from the dock.
A few days later Stephenson sought and
obtained an interview with the doomed man. As
he entered the cell unannounced, the prisoner, who THE  WRONG SADDLEBAGS.
was seated at a table, arose and, addressing his
visitor, said:
" It is a long time since we met, Mr. Stephenson
—at least since you were aware of my presence.
I have seen you frequently, but you did not recognize me. When your cabin was robbed, I was
there, and could have killed you, had I wished to
do so; but you had been good to me, and I only
dealt you a light tap. We thought that your gold
was between the mattresses, and we only intended
to take one-half. But, as you know, we got nothing." He paused, and yawned, as if he were bored,
and wished to shorten the interview.
Stephenson, who was disgusted at the man's
indifference, standing, as he did, on the threshold
of the other world, contented himself with handing him the letter from his wife. Armitage
opened and read it carefully and without emotion,
then crumpled it in his hand, and, turning to his
visitor, said:
" I owe you an apology for treating you as I
did, and for my indifference now. My wife writes
me that you have 'been more than good to her.
Continue to be her friend, for she is a good sort,
and was never bad, although, to support me and
furnish mè with money to enable me to " buck "
at faro, she became a hurdy-gurdy girl. I always
attended her to and from the hall, and, although
appearances are against her, she is as pure as refined
gold. Tell her that it is best that I should die, and
that she will be well rid of me, in this world and 272
the next. Tell her that when I am gone, perhaps
her friends in the Old Country, who are rich and
influential, will relent. All I ask is that my father
and mother shall never hear of the way I died. My
father turned me from his door because of something
wrong that I had done, and bade me never to cross
his path again. I married the sweet girl who calls
me her husband under false pretences. My name is
neither Storm nor Armitage. I have been a sham
ever since I can remember. I ought to have killed
myself ten years ago, but I hadn't the courage. I
was starving when I assisted in waylaying those
men and in sandbagging you. But that is no
excuse for the crime. I am about to die. Gambling
has been my curse and has brought about my ruin.
Now, my friend, say that you forgive me for my
treatment of you and say good-bye. I commit my
poor wife to your care, and if I thought God would
answer the prayer of such a wretch as I am, I
would ask Him to bless you both. As it is, I can
only hope that He will. I have told Mr. Elliott,
the magistrate, everything—my name, and my
father's name. I have given him my signet-ring,
and some other little things to forward to my
father. Mr. Elliott will write that a horse threw
me and broke my neck. He has pledged himself to
preserve my secret, and I know that he will keep
the pledge. Good-bye, Mr. Stephenson—forever."
Stephenson extended his hand, which the
wretched criminal grasped, and pressed to his
heart.    It was the only time that he had shown THE   WRONG SADDLEBAGS.
any emotion since the commission of the murder.
Stephenson assured him of his full forgiveness
and, promising to care for his wife, left him to his
reflections. Upon the date set he was hanged,
ascending the scaffold with firmness, declining to
say anything.   He died without a struggle.
Mr. Elliott, who subsequently became Premier,
and whose grandsons, James A. and John Douglas,
are residents of Victoria, lived for twenty-five years
after the execution of Armitage, and the only thing
he would ever say about him was that his family
were among the highest in the kingdom, and dated
their descent from William the Conqueror. I was
once told that that it was more than suspected that
the criminal was closely related to a duke, but Mr.
Elliott would neither confirm nor deny that statement.
And what became of Mrs. Storm and her benefactor? will be asked. I wish I could reply that
they were married and lived happily ever afterwards, as the story books say. All that I do know
is, that about five years after the tragic events
which I have recorded, William Stephenson led a
lady to the altar of Grace Church, at San Francisco,
where they were made one. I never saw the
marriage notice, but it is a strange coincidence that,
in the next number of the San Francisco city
directory the name of Mrs. Ella Storm did not
appear, while that of William Stephenson did. LEAVES FROM MY DIARY.
" Controls them and subdues, transmutes, bereaves
Of their bad influence, and their good receives."
— Wordsworth
It will be news to many to whom these lines
shall come, when they are told that the Government of the (then) colony, in 1858, believed that
the most available route by which the mines in the
upper country could be reached inexpensively and
expeditiously, was that by Harrison River and the
chain of lakes that lie between Douglas Portage and
Lillooet, on the Fraser. Acting upon the advice
of the royal engineers, the Government declared
the route via Fraser River, the line now traversed
by the C.P.R., to be dangerous, expensive, and
altogether out of the running as a competitor for
the carrying-trade to the mines. In 1858, engineers
and workmen were sent to the line of the proposed
route to prepare the country for the anticipated
influx of a large mining population. A wagon
road was constructed between the lakes, and steamboats were built to carry freight and passengers
across the lakes. The town of Douglas, at the
head of Harrison River, grew rapidly under the
fostering care of the Government, which only discovered after the route had been opened to traffic, that
the excessive handling to which the freight was
subjected (at least four portages, or exchanges,
being necessary), gave to the Yale route, with only
an indifferent trail, a great advantage over its competitor. When this fact dawned upon the Government mind, it retraced its steps and a wagon
road along the line of the Fraser River was
quickly constructed. Gradually the route via Harrison River was abandoned, the steamers and storehouses and landings were dismantled, or suffered
to fall into decay, and a stillness as of death brooded
over the country. The loss to the Government was
heavy, but the individual losses of merchants and
steamboatmen, who relied upon the judgment of
the royal engineers, ran into five or six hundred
thousand dollars, and not a few were ruined.
Among the hundreds who. invested their means
in the belief that the traffic of the mines would
pass over the Government-selected route, was a
young American. He had lately been married, and
brought with him his pretty wife (she was a mere
girl of seventeen). People married young in those
days, when women were scarce, and men were
numerous on the Coast. Their names were Mr.
and Mrs. Frank Norton, and a more affectionate
pair was never witnessed. After looking the
ground over, Norton decided to start a restaurant,
and, erecting a tent upon a lot which was donated
by the Government, he soon had his establishment
in full running order. Mrs. Norton cooked and
her husband waited on the table. Whether it was
iS 276
the beauty of the girl, or the excellence of her
cooking, I cannot say, but in a few days the Norton
restaurant had attracted all the custom in the town
that was worth attracting, and their competitors lost
much of their patronage.
One of the first customers of the Nortons was a
Mr. Edwards. He was a tall, handsome Southerner, dark, and most gentlemanly in his deportment. To know him was to like him. He was the
beau ideal of a romantic woman's notion of what
a man should be, for he had many accomplishments which one does not often find men possessed
of in a mining camp. Cool, calm and collected on
all occasions, nothing seemed to ruffle the serenity
of his manners or disturb his habitual good-nature.
One evening a report was brought to town that a
teamster, who was suffering from dementia, had
killed a miner and barricaded himself in his cabin.
He was heavily armecL, and had already fired on
several persons while they were passing his shack.
Volunteers were asked for to proceed to the cabin
and take the lunatic into custody. The first to
offer his services was Mr. Edwards. Armed with
rifles, the party, headed by a constable, repaired to
the place, and their appearance was the signal for
a fusilade from the cabin. The assailants went
under cover.
One of the men was badly wounded at the first
fire and was sent back to town. An effort to
parley with the besieged was met with a rifleball,
and another man fell.   The party remained hidden LEAVES FROM MY DIARY.
till nightfall, when they made an advance from
four different quarters. A party, led by Edwards,
scaled the low roof of the building, and kicked a
hole through the shingles. Then Edwards dropped
through the hole, and seized and downed his man,
holding him in a vice-like grip until the whole posse
gained admittance   and secured him.
Of course, after this adventure Edwards became
more popular than ever. The fair sex, who are
known to favor the brave, beamed admiringly on
the hero, and, among those who seemed to have
lost their heads, and to be happy only when
Edwards was near, was the child-wife of Frank
Norton. Wlhen he came for a meal Mrs. Norton
would wait upon Edwards herself, and send her
husband into the kitchen, and there were always
dainties to tempt the guest's appetite and make his
meal palatable. It was not long before Norton
observed a great change in his wife. She became
moody and fretful and indifferent in the discharge
of her duties. Instead of being the happiest when
her husband was near, she came to regard him as
repulsive, and, in place of smiles, she met him with
frowns. Frank noticed the difference, and, as he
was of an affectionate disposition, was greatly
distressed at the changed attitude of his wife
toward him. For a long time he was uncertain
as to the man who had won the affections of his
wife, but at last he became convinced that Edwards
was the favored person. Matters had gone on in
in this way for about a month, when one morning 278
it was given out that Mrs. Norton had decamped
overnight, and that she had taken with her all her
jewellery, a portion of her wearing apparel, and
several hundred dollars in money. When questioned, Norton admitted that he and his. wife had
had words the night before, and that she had signified her intention of returning to her friends in
The affair created great excitement in the little
town. The gossips were quite sure that she had
run away, and that, although Mr. Edwards, who
was still in town, had not gone with her, he would
follow as soon as the matter had become a nine-
days' wonder. But days and weeks rolled on, and
Edwards did not leave, nor had he from the first
shown any surprise at the absence of the little
woman. He discussed the affair in a vaguely
interested manner, but, as was his custom, showed
neither excitement nor displeasure when told that
his name was coupled with the departure of the
woman. Enquiries were made of teamsters and
boatmen who came from the direction that Mrs.
Norton must have taken had she left town, but no
one had seen her. She was well-known to all, and
yet none had met her. In the course of a few
weeks Frank Norton announced that he was leaving camp, a broken-hearted and ruined iman. He
compounded with his creditors and left the country,
and was heard of no more. Letters addressed to
Mrs. Norton continued to arrive by every post, and
then' letters of enquiry as to her whereabouts were
received by the Government agent; but from that
day to this no trace of her was ever discovered.
The finding, later in the year, in Lillooet Lake, of
four 'bodies of murdered men, weighted with stones
to sink them, was seized upon by some as furnishing a clew to the mystery; but as the bodies were
those of males, the solution was not accepted as
Among the many Californians who were
attracted to the Harrison-Lillooet country as a
profitable field of investment, was Thomas B.
Lewis. He was a native of Virginia, and one of
the finest specimens of the many fine specimens
of Americans who came to this country. He was
a genial, whole-hearted fellow, and was universally liked. Tom was a heavy loser by the failure
of the Harrison-Lillooet route, but took his reverses
good-naturedly. He had known Flood and O'Brien
when they kept the Auction Lunch, a "bit" grogshop near the waterfront at San Francisco. He
told me that, while tending bar one day, the
partners overheard two brokers, who had dropped
in for a beer and a lunch, discussing in a confidential tone a plan for advancing to $100 the price
of shares in a certain Washoe mine. A few days
before, a packer, named Jem Wade, had arrived
from Cariboo with $65,000 in gold. This sum
he deposited in Flood & O'Brien's safe.
" If only we had a few thousand dollars," quoth
Flood to O'Brien, " we could make a fortune."
" Let's ask Wade to lend us his gold for a few
days," suggested O'Brien. 28o
The idea was acted upon. Wade was asked, and,
being an old friend, he consented, and the stock
in the mine was secured with Wade's money.
Before the firm sold out, the stock rose to nearly
a thousand dollars a share. The shares, having
been bought on a margin, the liquor dealers realized
nearly a million dollars from the investment of
$65,000 of Cariboo gold. The next day the Auction
lunchrooms were offered for sale, and in the course
oif a few weeks Flood bought a seat on the stock
exchange and became one of the most important
men on the board.
One of the pursers on the Nicaraguan line of
steamships was Wl C. Ralston. He made a lucky
turn in stocks, and went on the board about the
same time that Flood made his appearance there.
They made heaps of money, and for a long time
pulled together. But the day came when Raison,
who meanwhile had become cashier of the Bank
of California, was " short " on one of the Corn-
stock stocks. Knowing that Flood had a great
many shares in the company, he sent for him, and
asked him to lend him a sufficient number to make
up the deficiency.
Flood, who had long secretly disliked Ralston,
and now saw an opportunity of " downing " him,
refused to grant his request. Ralston flew into a
towering passion, and in his rage exclaimed :
" Look here, Flood, I'll send you back to sell
liquor at a ' bit ' a glass."
" If you do," retorted Flood, " I'll sell it over
the counter of the Bank of California." LEAVES FROM MY DIARY. 281
Ralston's affairs finally got into an inextricable
tangle. He undertook to boom a new mining district, called White Pine, and failed. To meet his
floating obligations, he overdrew his account at the
bank, covering it up successfully for many months.
At last the day came when concealment was no
longer possible, and he was called before the board
of trustees and confronted with a statement of his
shortage. He was told that the overdraft amounted
to a. sum that exceeded four million dollars. He
asked for time—twenty-four hours—in which to
make the overdraft good. The time was granted.
He left the bank and went straight to a place where
he was accustomed to take a salt-water plunge
daily. He disrobed and put on a pair of trunks,
all the time conversing and joking with the attendants and a few friends whom he met on the
bathing-float. Then he entered the water and
swam about two hundred feet from the shore. No
one appeared to take much interest in his movements. Certainly not a soul thought for a moment
that the good-natured, jovial man who had left the
bathing-house a few moments before with a smile
and a joke on his lips, Was about to dive into the
great sea of eternity that circles the world about,
and would be seen no more of men.
Others were taking a dip at the same time, and
as Ralston passed a group of swimmers he
remarked that the water was cold. The swimmers
agreed with him, and he swam farther out. That
was the last ever seen alive of the banker and broker
who for so long a time had controlled the financial 282
interests of San Francisco. A few minutes later
he was observed to be floating with the tide, helpless,
his face downward, his body partially submerged. A
boat was sent out and the body brought ashore.
It was still warm, but life was extinct. The
surgeons said that he had taken laudanum and that
he fell asleep in the water, and passed away painlessly. Almost in the twinkling of an eye this
great man had become a bit of human wreckage,
tossed to and fro by the billows on the bosom of
mother ocean. But yesterday a financial king,
before whom men cringed, and upon whom they
fawned. Now an inert, insensate form—dead to
all things earthly—afloat without compass or chart
or rudder to direct his course. In recalling the sad
fate of Ralston, how forcibly one is reminded of
the words from Timothy, " We brought nothing
into this world, and it is certain we can carry
nothing out." The Bank of California suspended
for a brief period, but the shareholders were all
rich, and subscribed new capital, and the bank is
now one of the strongest in the United States.
Associated with Flood and O'Brien later on, was
John W. Mackey, one of the most charming and
unostentatious of all the suddenly-made-rich men
through the discoveries in the great Bonanza.
Mackey mined in California with indifferent success, and when he went to Nevada he was very
poor. His career showed that he was possessed of
more than ordinary ability. Having realized many
millions from the Bonanza, he went to New York, LEAVES FROM MY DIARY.
and placed his huge capital in cable and telegraph
lines. When he died a few years ago his fortune
had been greatly added to by the wise character
of his investments. It was said of him that he
never forgot men who had rendered him a service
when he was poor, and that his 'benefactions were
large   all the world is aware.
Flood became a banker, and a successful one,
too. He gathered about him able financiers, and.
following their advice, made the Bank of Nevada
a strong financial institution.
One day, in the course of conversation I asked
Lewis if he had any theory as to the fate of Mrs.
" Yes," he replied, " I have always believed that
Norton, in a fit of jealousy, killed her and buried
her body, or hurled it into the river."
" How do you account for Edwards' indifference?" I asked.
" Easily enough," he responded. " Edwards
was not in love with the poor girl, and was rather
relieved than otherwise to think that she had gone
away. He was a fine man and would not have
done anything wrong under any circumstances. He
did not believe that there had been a murder, and,
as I have said, was glad to think that the woman,
who wearied him with her attentions, had gone
Nearly ten years after this conversation, I read
in a San Francisco newspaper the alleged confession of a man named Norton.   He was believed to 284
be dying, and said that he had had a difficulty with
his wife in British Columbia and had killed her by
a blow on the head with a potato-masher. He said
he buried the body beneath the house, and gave out
that she had eloped, taking with her much money
and valuable property. The man died, and that
was all the information I ever obtained of the
tragic affair.
Lewis went from here to San Francisco in 1867
in a stone-broke condition. In that year a real-
estate movement set in, and Lewis shared in the
general prosperity that resulted. He bought a
huge tract of land in the suburbs of the city, and
plotted it, realizing many thousand dollars from
the sale. His first step after realizing a considerable fortune was to pay all his indebtedness in
this country. His next was to open a savings
bank. In the first he was eminently sucessful, all
his creditors were paid. The savings bank, however, proved his ruin. He lost all his own and a
large part of the money of his friends. He died
at San Francisco about ten years ago, deeply
regretted by all who knew him, for he was a good
sort, and the world would be better off if there were
more of his kind. But they shouldn't start savings
William Smithe, who' succeeded Mr. Beaven as
Premier in 1883, used to give an amusing account
of how he once got ahead of Ralston. Smithe
was then on the reportorial staff of the San Francisco Chronicle, and the editor of that newspaper LEAVES FROM MY DIARY.
was desirous of obtaining an interview with
Ralston, to glean information as to a great project
that that capitalist and his friends had in hand.
Reporter after reporter had been turned away from
the capitalist's door with the reply that Mr. Ralston
had nothing to communicate. At length, Smithe
volunteered to get the required information. It
happened that he was very little known in the city,
and when he sent his card in to Mr. Ralston's
private office as " William Smithe, Boston, Mass.,"
he was received with cordiality and every consideration. It happened that it was Boston capitalists
whom Ralston was anxious to interest in his scheme,
and he had had correspondence with a gentleman
named Smith on the subject. Without noticing
the redundant " e " at the end of his visitor's name,
he naturally concluded that he was identical with
his Boston correspondent, and so at once proceeded
to a discussion.of the subject which just then lay
nearest his heart. Smithe, of course, was in a fog,
for he was densely ignorant of the whole business,
but, being a bright young fellow, he soon picked
up a thread here and there, and led Ralston along
until he obtained a cue that opened the door
of his mind to the project and gave him material
for a splendid sensational article. Mr. Ralston
was delighted with his visitor, and invited him to
dine with him at Menlo Park the same evenings
promising to call for him with his carriage at six
o'clock at the Palace Hotel.
" But," said Smithe, " you may be sure I did not 286
go. I never believe in tempting Providence. I had
got all I wanted. I had got what none of the other
reporters had been able to» get, so I thought I had
better not run the risk of being discovered and
kicked out. Besides, I had never been in Boston,
and ten chances to one my entertainer would have
invited some Boston men to meet me, and then
I should have been in a bad fix. So, when Ralston
called for me at the hotel at six o'clock, he found
that no one of my name was stopping there. That
probably set him thinking, and when next morning he found the interview in the Chronicle, he
must have sworn vengeance against the whole
Smith family, whether with or without the
final " e."
William Smithe was one of the ablest men who
ever entered politics in this country. By sheer force
of intellect and untiring industry he rose to the
position of Premier of the province, and held office
until his death, which occurred in the spring of
1887. If was during his administration that
arrangements were made with the C.P.R. to extend
its line from the temporary terminus at Port
Moody to. Vancouver. A pet theory of Smithe's
was both original and startling. He believed that
the country west of a line drawn through the
Province of Manitoba, and through the Western
States of America to the Gulf of Mexico, would
all form one nation, and that within the borders
of the territory lying west of that line would be
produced a new type of man, the intellectual and LEAVES FROM MY DIARY.
physical superior of every other race, who would
rule the world, with Winnipeg as the capital.
In the summer of 1885, about fifty members of
the American press visited Victoria, and in return
for courtesies shown them by the local Government and press, they invited their entertainers to
a luncheon on board the steamer Princess Louise.
About a hundred persons sat down at the table and
when the toast of the local Government was drunk,
the Premier rose to respond. To the surprise of
all he launched at once into the subject nearest
his heart. Once having made a start upon his
favorite theme, the Premier spoke for nearly an
hour. He appeared to have lost all idea of the
flight of time, and the departure whistle was blown
before he sat down. Then it was too late for the
other guests to give utterance to the pretty thoughts
which they had intended to say, and, after a few
pleasant interchanges of compliments the party
left for their own country. Of course, the Opposition press came down with thundering force on the
Premier, but that gentleman, calm and serene in
the conviction that he had imparted information
that would prove of value to the visitors, laughed
at his critics, and took their gibes in good part.
Some American papers took the matter up, and
discussed the Premier's speech with heated and
contemptuous words.
Readers of American history at the time when
the war between the North and South was waged,
will call to mind that   at   the  beginning  of  the 288
struggle General Dix, who was one of the Ministers
at Washington, having been informed by one of
his officers at the port of New Orelans that Holt,
the collector of customs at that port, had threatened
to remove the American flag from the Customs
House, telegraphed this memorable reply : " If any
man attempts to haul down the American flag,
shoot him on the spot." Shortly after the delivery
of Smithe's speech at the banquet I took passage
one day upon a steamboat bound for New Westminster. On board were a bright, chatty little
Southern American lady and her aged father.
They had lately returned from a trip around the
world, and, as they were very talkative, we soon
got acquainted. Then the old gentleman told me
that he was collector of customs at New Orleans
when the rebellion broke out, that his name was
Holt, and that he was the man whom Dix ordered
to be shot on the spot if he should dare to haul
down the American flag. After discussing the
war, secession, and many other topics, the lady
took up Mr. Smithe's speech at the banquet, and
scored him heavily. While she spoke, a canoe put
out from the Cowichan shore and signalled the
steamer. The vessel stopped and received on
board another passenger, in the person of the
Premier of British Columbia. Now, it was believed
that Miss Holt was not acquainted with Mr.
Smithe, and that she was not aware that he had
come on board; so it occurred to some wags  who LEAVES FROM MY DIARY.
were on the steamer to have a little amusement at
the expense of the little Southern lady and the
Premier. Smithe was conducted to a seat not far
from, and within hearing distance of, Miss Holt.
She was still discussing the banquet incident, and
one of the wags pretended to defend the Premier.
At this she displayed great wrath and, raising her
voice, said that the Premier should be drummed
out of the country.
" Why," she continued, " if we had him in the
South, we'd tar and feather him. A new race,
indeed! If I lived here, I'd race him out of the
province. The idea! If his physical and mental
conditions need toning up, let it be done. But let
him leave other people's conditions alone, until they
ask his advice."
There was a burst of approval from the passengers, who had gathered about, and were in the
secret. Smithe, who had heard every word of the
tirade, said nothing, but looked as if he wished he
had not come on board.
" What sort of a looking man would you take
Mr. Smithe to be?" asked one of the group.
" Why, I should say that the man who could
give utterance to such sentiments must be a mean,
sawed-off, undersized, measly little fellow, with
weedy hair and whiskers, a snub nose and rheumy
eyes. Just the sort of looking man a woman would
run away from if she met him in the dark."
(Smithe was a very tall, handsome man, with full
black whiskers, and most agreeable manners.) 290
Peal after peal of laughter went up, as some one
led the Premier forward, and said:
" Miss Holt, allow me to introduce the Hon. Mr.
Smithe, Premier of British Columbia." Smithe
raised his hat, and the lady, rising, extended her
hand, which Smithe took  and shook warmly.
" I trust that you and your father have been quite
well since we met at Government House the other
evening," said Smithe.
The lady assured him that she and her father
were very well ; then, taking the Premier's arm, she
withdrew from the group, and the two walked up
and down on the hurricane deck, the laughter
which came from the pair convincing the
wags that they were the victims of their own joke.
Mr. and Miss Holt remained in town several days,
and then departed for home. But it was a long
time before the wits, who had been so sadly discomfited and outwitted by the sweet little Southern
lady, heard the last of their adventure on the New
Westminster steamboat. THE WOMAN WITH THE FORGET-
" Nothing in his life
Became him like his leaving it ; he died
As one that had been studied in his death,
To throw away the dearest thing he owed,
As 'twere a careless trifle."
I saw her first at Vancouver, in a Granville
Street car. She was a brunette with dark, expressive eyes, an oval face of a faint olive hue, and a
glorious crown of intensely black hair. She was
dressed in black. Her figure was round and full,
and her appearance was that of a beautiful young
woman, educated and refined. She held in her
hand a hymn-book, and by her side there rested a
parasol with a carved handle of exquisite design.
Pinned to her breast was a small bunch of that
lovely flower called the forget-me-not. With her
companions, two ladies and a gentleman, she was
evidently returning from an evening service at one
of the churches. By chance I occupied a seat
directly opposite the young lady. Presently our
eyes met, and to my surprise she gave a slight
start, and a frightened look stole into her eyes as
for a brief moment they rested on my face. I
19 291 292
looked toward the end of the car. The situation
was embarrassing to me, at least, for I have now
and always have had an uncommon horror of being
counted with that disagreeable class of people
known in society as " mashers." When I again
allowed myself to turn toward the lady she was
looking intently at the floor, while she carried on
an animated conversation with her friends. Her
voice, I call to mind, was low and sweet, and gave
evidence of culture and refinement Presently she
raised her head and gazed full at me. Her glance
swept my face, and a deep, inquiring look crept
into her fine eyes. They said to me, almost as
plainly as if she had uttered the words :
" Where have I seen this man before ? Under
what circumstances have we met?"
At the corner of Davie Street I left the car, and
the lady and her friends continued on.
The next day and the next passed without my
meeting the charming woman, though I rode up
and down the line several times in the hope of seeing her. I was impressed with the belief that there
existed a reason for the lady's strange agitation,
and I was anxious to obtain an explanation, if possible. On the third evening my persistence was
rewarded. The strange lady and her friends
entered the car, and I found myself seated opposite
her. She was plainly but neatly attired in some
dark stuff, and on her breast reposed a beautiful
bunch of forget-me-nots. As I looked, I detected
her again scanning my   face   with a questioning, THE WOMAN WITH FORGET-ME-NOTS.     293
eager, frightened expression. I only glanced at
her, but as I dropped my eyes to the floor I was
conscious that she was studying my face closely
and drawing upon the cells of her memory to recall
my features. That she associated me with some
startling event in her past life was evident, but,
rack my brain as I might, I could not remember
having seen her before.
" This," I said to myself, " is a woman with a
history. She has a past, and it is an eventful one.
She has seen trouble—lots of it, and, perhaps, she
has sinned. As a last resort she has thrown herself at the foot of the Cross and asked for mercy
from Him who is the refuge for all bruised,
despairing hearts. Why does she regard me so intently and show agitation when we meet? Have
we met in some other land, and if so, where, and
under what circumstances? What act could this
lovely woman have committed against human or
divine law, the recollection of which causes her so
much uneasiness, lest I, knowing her offence, should
proclaim her record from the housetops ?",
As I looked towards her again I caught her gazing full at me, studying me with the same indescribable, almost frightened expression that I had noticed
before. When she found that I was observing her
she swiftly withdrew her eyes and resumed the
conversation with her friends. Presently she
opened the hymn-book, and after consulting the
index, turned to the 277th hymn, which begins,
" Nearer, My God, to Thee," and seemed to read it. 294
" Poor girl," I mentally remarked, " she is seeking strength."
As I mused, something struck my knee and fell
to the floor. It was the lady's parasol, which, while
standing at her side, had lost its balance and fallen
across the car. I picked it up and handed it to her.
She received it graciously, with a sweet smile and
a glance from those deep, black eyes which seemed
to say, " My future depends upon your silence. I
trust you.   Have mercy!"
At least, that was how I divined the look, for I
was amazed at the deep interest which the lady
seemed to take in me, and the wild, startled, beseeching air with which she regarded me. I then and
there determined to fathom the mystery—for such
it seemed. I gazed full into the deep jet orbs. She
responded with a long stare, and I thought that an
expression of defiance, like that of an animal at bay,
crept into her face, and that from an humble suppliant of a moment before she had become a defiant
antagonist. The contest was one of the blue against
the black, and at last I dropped my eyes and gave
up the struggle. All this had occupied scarcely ten
seconds, and was unnoticed, save by the actors.
Presently the party rose to leave the car. The
strange lady was the last to file by me, and as she
passed I felt something drop upon my knee and
then fall to the floor. I looked, and it was the lady's
bunch of forget-me-nots! I picked the sweet
flowers up and held them in my hand. It never
once occurred to me that they had been intention- THE WOMAN WITH FORGET-ME-NOTS.     295
ally dropped by the owner in the hope that I would
restore them, and so open an avenue for an interview, although subsequent revelations would seem
to show that they were purposely placed within my
reach. I kept the flowers until they faded, and
often and often I looked into their depths and
wondered who and what the woman was, and why
she was so deeply interested in me and I in her.
On two or three occasions I encountered the
strange lady, once in a dry goods store, where she
was purchasing some goods, but she resolutely refrained from looking toward me, and gave no sign
that she saw me then or had ever seen me before.
Her face was set and impenetrable. Once, when she
found herself seated opposite me in the car, she rose
and walked to the rear end, and took a seat on the
other side, finally leaving the car without giving the
slightest evidence that she had ever seen me before.
On every occasion I observed that she wore a small
nosegay of forget-me-nots.
In a week or two the ladies and gentleman who
had accompanied the lady to and from divine
service entered the car without her. At first I
thought that she might be ill, but after awhile I
came to the conclusion that she had gone away, for
I saw her no more. A month, two months, passed,
and one evening I addressed the gentleman who
had accompanied her this question :
" What has become of the lady who was accustomed to go with your family to and from church?
I mean the lady who was always dressed in black, 296
and who always wore a bunch of forget-me-nots."
" Oh," replied the gentleman, " she has gone to
" What is her name?" I asked.
" Royce," he replied.
" What does she do for a living?" I persisted.
" She is a stenographer and typewriter."
" I had an idea that I have met her before somewhere," I said, " under extraordinary circumstances."
" Very likely," he replied. " She is a most unfortunate woman. After her trial and acquittal
she joined our church, and we offered her a home
for a short time. She is a good Christian woman
now, whatever she may have been before."
" Her trial and acquittal !" I exclaimed with
astonishment. " Of what could that lovely woman
have been suspected?"
" Of the murder of her husband."
I was silent for a moment, for I was overwhelmed
with surprise. I asked myself if it were possible
that this gentle-faced, innocent-looking, well-bred
lady had really been tried for her life ? There must
surely be some mistake. If she really killed her
husband it must have been a misadventure, but if
she did it deliberately, I shall never trust a pretty
face again.
" Did she really kill him ?" I asked.
"Oh, yes, she killed him fast enough, and she
meant to do it, too. There was only one fault to
find with her. She ought to have killed him long
before she did." THE WOMAN WITH FORGET-ME-NOTS.     2<tf
" What had he done?" I asked.
" Everything  that   is   bad,"   he
walked away.
After my friend had departed I turned the name
Royce over and over again in my mind. Where
had I heard it before? I asked myself. Seattle
was the scene of the tragedy, was it ? At last, after
many hours passed in reflection, the truth dawned
upon me. I remembered that some months before,
having business with a newspaperman at Seattle, I
found him in the Criminal Court taking evidence.
A woman stood indicted for the murder of her husband. She sat by the side of her lawyer listening
to the evidence, and I took a seat among the reporters and watched the proceedings for a long
time. The prisoner sat exactly opposite me, and I
observed that she wore on her breast a small bunch
of forget-me-nots. Unquestionably she had seen
me in the court-room, and recognized me when we
met in the street-car. Piece by piece the sad story,
as it reached the court, came back until at last it
stood before me as plain as a picture on the wall.
The victim's name was Royce. He was a litterateur, and some years before had married a beautiful
girl who loved him devotedly. Matters went on
pleasantly until the husband took to gambling.
His wife got employment as a stenographer, and
turned her earnings over to her husband. They
were insufficient to satisfy his needs, and he urged
her to take to the street, and so add to his income.
For a long time she refused, but at last she yielded. 298
Her earnings were large, but not sufficiently large
to meet her husband's requirements.
One night he entered their apartment. Inflamed
by liquor, he was in a savage mood, for he had
lost heavily at the gaming table. His wife reclined
on a lounge.
" Here," the man roared, " what are you doing
lying here? Why are you not hustling? Get out
of this—quick—for I want more money. I must
have it to-night."
" Charlie," the woman responded, " I shall not
go out. I shall never go out again. I am done with
it all. To-morrow we part forever, unless you will
promise to leave this town with me and try and lead
a better life."
The man flew into an ecstasy of passion. Anger
choked his utterance, and he could only beat the
air with his hands and stamp and swear. At last
he contrived to blurt out that there was no necessity for reformation, and she should return to the
street at once or he would kick her out of the house.
" Go now," he continued, " and don't let me see
you again until you have some cash for me."
The woman rose to her feet and stood before her
" Listen to me, Charlie," she implored, " only
for a few minutes. I have met a godly man who
has pointed out to me my errors—our errors. He
has shown me the road that leads to eternal life.
He has opened the door of heaven to me, and has
convinced me that  you   and I will be surely lost THE WOMAN WITH FORGET-ME-NOTS.     299
through all eternity if we do not abandon our evil
1 Stop that snivelling, you fool," interrupted the
man, " and let's talk business.   Who  is  this	
scoundrel who has dared to come between man and
wife? Give him a name that I may beat him like a
" His name is Barnes. He preaches every night
on the streets. Two nights ago I stopped while on
my rounds and listened to his kind and gentle
words. To-night I heard him again. When he had
finished he spoke to me, and bade me be of good
cheer, for he had seen me weeping. He implored
me to quit this dreadful life, and I promised him
that I would. He also made me promise to bring
you to him that he might talk and pray with you.
He says we should go away and start life in some
place where we are not known. I beg of you, my
husband, to listen to me. Let us leave everything
behind us and go away to-night—to-morrow. I am
ready to start now."
She paused and looked anxiously at her husband.
He regarded her with a sneer on his face for a
moment, and then burst into a torrent of abuse and
"Want to go right away, do you?" he snarled.
" Ready to start at once, are you? Want to join
the psalm-singers, do you? Next you'll ask me to
join the Salvation Army and carry a banner, while
you beat a tamborine and pass it around for stray
quarters. A nice occupation you've found for me,
haven't you?   Look here, my lady, if I catch that 300
Gospel sharp loafing about here I'll break his	
neck—see? You'll go back to the street. I'm your
husband, whom you swore to love, honor and obey.
Now, stop your crying and praying, and start out.
I want money—money, do you hear? I have a
system by which I can break McNulty's bank, and
we can live in wealth and comfort for ever afterwards. But I must have cash to do it with, and
you've got to get it for me."
During this tirade the woman fell on her knees,
and with clasped hands and with her face turned
heavenward had prayed silently for help. " Oh !
Charlie, Charlie !" she cried, " I will forgive you
freely for what you have done to me if you will
only come away now and give up your evil habits.
If you could but hear that good man talk and pray
I am sure he would convince you that even sinners
like you and I can be saved. He gave out a hymn
that was a favorite with my dear old mother, and I
joined in the singing with some other girls. I
hurried home from the meeting and ran upstairs to
this room. I tore off my hat and trampled it under
my feet. I got a pair of scissors and cut my silk
street dress into little bits and strewed the fragments
on the floor. I washed the paint and powder from
my face, then I threw my jewels into the street.
I'll never wear any of them more. They would
scorch my flesh and burn like acid into my soul.
To-morrow I shall leave this town. Must I go
alone? Come with me, Charlie, I beg of you. I
implore you to come with me to some quiet place
where we shall not be known, and where amid new THE WOMAN WITH FORGET-ME-NOTS.     301
scenes and new faces we may devote ourselves to
good objects.   Come, Charlie, say you will come/:
Royce burst forth into the most horrid imprecations. " How did you dare destroy your clothes
and cast away your jewels? They were my
property. I shall beat you for destroying them,"
and he advanced upon his wife with his hand raised
as if to strike her.
" Stand back !" the woman cried. " Don't dare
to lay your hands on me. Unless you go with me
you shall never touch me again. You have disgraced and degraded me. You have insulted my
womanhood, but I will forgive everything if you
will repent. Do not come near me till you have
promised to go with me."
Despite her warning the man continued to advance. She retreated, her face paling, her bosom
heaving and her eyes blazing like red-hots coals in
a furnace. Overcome by her emotions the woman
fell backward upon the lounge.
Royce sprang forward and, seizing her by the
shoulders, raised her to her feet.
" Curse you, you devil !" he shouted. " I'll not
let you go. You shall stay and work for me. If
you will not I'll beat you—I'll kill you, if necessary.
Do you hear me? You are my property, and I'll
treat you as I like !"
The woman again sought the lounge and sat
down upon it, smoothing one of the cushions.
Then she looked up at her husband, and said
quietly, " I'll go all the same."
The man again  broke  into a torrent of abuse. 302
"You'll not go!" he shouted. "I'll kick you till
you'll be too sore to walk, and you have no money
to pay for a ride.   Get up, you ," and he struck
her a violent blow with his open hand on the left
side of her face. The delicate flesh where the blow
fell turned crimson, while all about the red mark
the face was deathly pale. The mark seemed like
the brand of a hot iron.
The woman's hand sought the cushion again as
if to smooth it. Then she turned quickly and confronted her husband. She pointed to her cheek and
looked as if all the devil in her nature was aroused.
For a moment there was a deep silence. The man
himself seemed appalled at his own act. They had
had many differences, but he had never struck her
before.    It was the woman who spoke first.
" All is over between us for ever. Never again
shall I live with you. Go your way and I will go
mine. You only struck my face, but the blow has
reached my heart and seared it. Never in this
world or in the next shall I forgive you. May you
be accursed for ever and ever !"
Her words added fuel to the man's anger, and
he advanced towards her with his clenched fist
raised as if to strike her.
" Back !" cried his wife, as she retreated to the
wall and stood there like a hunted animal at bay.
She raised one hand to push him back, but the right
hand hung by her side. Something glistened in it.
Was it a knife or a pistol?
Royce seized the left hand and crushed it in his
strong grasp. THE WOMAN WITH FORGET-ME-NOTS.     303
" Release me," she cried, " or
sponsible for what I may do!"
He laughed insanely, and in his frenzy drew near
to again strike her.
" Back," she screamed, " or your blood will be
upon your own head."
" You can't scare me," the infuriated fool said.
He still crushed the left hand and made an effort
to seize the right.
" Release me !" the woman cried.
" Not till I've broken every bone in your body !"
he shouted.
" Then may God have mercy on your soul !" she
There was a loud report. Royce lifted his hands
above his head, and fell heavily to the floor. He
uttered no word, nor did he move. A few heavy
sighs, and the turbulent, wicked spirit had passed
away, all unprepared, to its Maker.
The report attracted the attention of the passers
on the street and of the other inmates of the house.
They rushed into the room. The woman stood with
the smoking pistol in her hand, her eyes dry, and,
save for the crimson mark of that wicked hand,
her face pale as death. She pointed calmly towards
the body on the floor, and said, " I shot him ! He
struck me and I killed him. Take me to prison!"
She was arrested and confined in a cell awaiting
trial. Her spiritual adviser was Rev. Mr. Barnes,
whose street-preaching had awakened her slumbering conscience. He stirred up the Christian sentiment of the town in her behalf.   Able counsel were 304
procured for her, and every day good men and
women prayed with her. Flowers, among them the
favorite forget-me-not, and fruit and food and
luxuries were sent to her cell.
She was acquitted. Upon her discharge Rev.
Mr. Barnes proposed marriage to her. She declined, and came to Vancouver to stay with some
friends here who had been attracted to her by the
story of her sufferings. The clergyman went mad,
and was sent to the state lunatic asylum. It was
during her stay in Vancouver that I met her in the
car, and to that incident may be attributed this
story. After leaving here Mrs. Royce returned to
the Sound, where she sought employment as a
stenographer and typewriter. But who cared to
employ a woman who had once walked the streets
and who had been tried for killing her husband?
It was true that she was a regenerate, and that she
now belonged to a church and went to communion.
It was urged that she had been forced to sin by a
dissolute husband, and that she had committed a
righteous act in ridding the world of him. All
argument was of no effect. No one wanted her.
Even those ladies who had visited her in prison
and sent her food and fruit and flowers, and who
had prayed with her, objected to their husbands or
sons taking the beautiful creature into their business offices, and in the end—well, she turned from
the new life and went back to the old!
" Alas for the rarity
Of Christian charity
Under the sun."    .fen 51? ^ 


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