The west shore. (Portland, Or.) 1875-1891, May 01, 1879, Page 134, Image 6

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    May, 1879.
(III. HUM llll. All. i ... wkl.i.GN.
1.1 1 1 ADM KAFAIL,
The hand of the office dock were
jui pointing to the hour of (It when I
locked the lin'iks, thus ending my
duties fm the day. Ah 1 emerged from
thr office, I saw passing along the other
side nl Ihr itfMt mi Old Oregon pioneer,
.111.1 IHtnd of my youth. I battened
after him Mid took him by the hand. It
hod hceii Mime lime llnCC I hint saw
liim, and us our acquaintance had been
during my boyhood day, I was not at
nil surprised nt hik ilowtMH in recog
nising me. It took, however, hut a
few early reminder to cause him to ex
claim, "I declare! declare I Howdy
do, hoy? llowdy-do? (ilad to see you.
(iiown up to he 11 man. I ticclarcl I
declai. if!
"Ye,"iul 1, "boy are like weeds,
they will grow."
"That's a fort, Rafael; that's n fact."
"When did you come in town?" I
"Just got In I came down on the cnr.
Lei's sit. It's heen ahoiit ten years
linCt I was lu re last. Hut what a dif
ference U'twecn now and thirty years
ago, when I use to come her in a
canoe. Bhf
"Yes," I sniil, "lime eeps moving
on, lending the march of improvement,
and drags us along with it. Hut let's
not tnp in r. Come and stay with me
"No, thank yon, Rafael, I'm regis-
tared il the Clarendon'1
"Will, come and take dinner with
Mil nn way, end I would nlso like to
have you go with me to the thvnter
tO night."
"Theatet' well, I would really like
1.. z there. 1 guess I will accept, for
its been nlmul thirty yean since my
last attendance at uch a place, and that
was the fust theatet in Oregon."
n. Wi ll, come along with me,"
said I, "I would like veiy much to hear
about Oregon' first thintei, and must
insist on your lelatiug it this rveuiug.''
When dinner WMOVei I wheeled the
arm-chair out, saying, as I did so:
"Now, Mr. Newell, 1 want to hear all
altout that eatly theater attendance of
yours. We have plenty of time be
tween now and the raising of the cur
tain at Ihit evening' performance, to
ait right down here and begin."
"Well! well! but you must know
thai il was dilTticiit iii those days from
"Yes, and that's just why I want to
hear about it."
"You'll excuse me, then, if it don't
Come up t your expectations, and par
ticularly if I relate it in an off-hand sort
of way?"
"Oh, certainly," I said.
"Let me see," said he, "I believe I
told you thai it was about thirty years
"Yes," said I.
"Well, it's a little more than thirty
years. Just trot back with me over the
past to May, 1846, when I was Cap
tain of the 'Great Mogul,' running
from Canamah to Champoeg) on the
I For the information of such of our
readers as are not Oregon Pioneers, it
may lie well to state here that the
"(ireat Mogul" was a flat-lottomcd
scow, propelled by oars, but at that
time considered the crack craft on the
river. Eo.J
"Well, in May of that year, Her
Britannic Majesty's ship "ModeRtc,"
sailed up the Columbia river and
dropped anchor at Vancouver. That
place, you must understand, was then
included in Oregon. This vessel was
officered and manned with a happy
and jolly crew, and a they tarried, they
received much hospitality at the hands
of Oregonians. The jolly tars took it
into their heads that they would make
a theater out of their ship for the timc
bftngi and extend in return, hospitality
to their many friends. It would have
done your eyes good to have seen the
scenery that these tan painted for their
stage. I tell you! Mt. Hood was no
hole in the ground in those days. It
was just as big then as it is now, and a
representation of it on canvas formed
the drop curtain. Their first entertain
men) waaa aucccas; also their second,
and the news soon spread throughout
thl QQMlre of the good times on board
the hip "Modeste," and cvcryliody
wanted to go. 1 remember I got the
fever bad, and 1 told my girl if you
w ill allow me the expression that we
would attend the next, sure; and she
teemed delighted at the idea, as she had
never attended a performance of such a
nature. It might Ik- well right here to
say that my girl's name w as Annie, and
that she was then attending Ivoarding
chool in Oregon City, her folks living
on Tualatin plains. Well, it was hut n
short time until it began to be circu
lated that the grandest time of all was
going to be had at Vancouver, about
the middle of May. So I told Annie
to hold herself in readiness. It gener
ally took U the best part of a day to
make the distance between Oregon
City and Champocg, and well I re
member the last trip before the affair;
how hard I worked to enable me to (. et
back early, so as to get everything
ready for an early start next day for
Vancouver. But the harder we worked
the more difficulties we met with.
Iking pretty well loaded, and the water
quite low, we often dragged on the
shoals, and it was near Rock Island
that we stuck fast. Darkness began to
gather about us. I thought about my
engagement with Annie for the theater,
and felt like jumping out, wading
ashore, and footing it the balance of the
way to Oregon City, leaving the boat
in charge of the men. But on second
thought I resolved to stick to my
"ship," and ordered the men to shift
cargo. After this was done wc all got
out into the water with hand-spikes and
began prying her off. By this time it
was far in the night, but after a great
deal of hard work wc succeeded in
getting the cruft once more into deep
water. However, it was then too dark
to navigate, so we tied up to the bank
and turned in for the night. In my
dreams that night I was wading to
the theater, carrying about one hun
dred and twenty pounds on my back.
At the first streak of day I was astir,
and had my men on the move. We
got along all right the rest of the way,
arriving at Cancmah about 8 o'clock in
the morning. There was no time to
be lost, and I did not remain to give
any orders, but rushed frantically along
down the trail past the falls till I
reached the door of Annie's boarding
house. 1 had caused the poor girl
much anxiety, but whether it was from
fearing that something serious had hap
pened to me, or being disappointed at
the idea of not being able to attend the
theater, 1 will leave you to judge. I
told her, panting, and in broken words,
that we would go if it took us till mid
night to get there, and that I would
call for her as soon as I could get
things ready, and then rushed off. The
Calipooia, plying between Oregon
City, Portland and Vancouver, had
left the day before, and the regular