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About The Albany register. (Albany, Or.) 1868-18?? | View Entire Issue (Aug. 6, 1880)
ALBANY, OREGON! AUGUST 6, 1880.
From the California!!.
by J. "w. ga;..
(Continued from eek.)
The western slope of tin Sierra Nevada,
from the seas to the summits. J a l"g
undulation of land, down through which
the rains and snows meander to the great
salt water ot the world, winding among
green woods and a various vegetation ;
the eastern slope is n "jtimpofr' into the
corrugated basin of the desert, where all
the streams are swallowed by the earth,
mid from whose summit the easfward
guzing grizzly lear. chained by the sun
beam, lift hi fl-xihle nostrils to sniff ilu
odor of the arid waste, then slowly tarns
about and prowls to westward. Two
worlds seem here 10 meet ; vegetable and
nnimal life have no communion across the
line ; on one side there is abundant rain,
now. tog. and moisture ;v i'e other
side tire wide wasies of gray pastures in
the drought, cold, and dust.
To tlie eastward ot this line, in a qtiartz
inining camp, where the object is precious
metal, there are no gardens shade-trees,
lawns, front-yards, hotne flowers, or
ornamental enclosures of any sort. After
Such a camp becomes a town or city, with
a far-fetched costly supply of water, the
green and growing luxuries appear in
tiny garden-spots, large windows, anil in
trees which are irrigated at the root by
underground troughs and wooden spouts
trees which are, in tact, brought up by
hand. But the newer town, which is
still a mining camp, knows nothing of
planted greenness ; and it It is situated in
the great empire ot Artemisia, where
silver and gold are married in the volcanic
chambers of the awful past, there is no
spontaneous greenness fresher than a
random, bristling nut-pine, or a sprawl
ing arid juniper. The general tone ot the
whole landscape is gray, inclining to drub;
and yet here and there are sporadic hills
breaking out from the general coir ring,
which present tints shading and blending
into each other in a way so ielie.it-tli.it.
no painter yet dares put them on canvas,
because the public can not understand
what the public has not seen the like of.
and tor which the public can tint! no use.
Nevertheless, the mining region is a
country of beautiful natural surprises.
Nowliere. not even in the vaunted blowzy
flora of the tropics, doe .Nature paint
with a touch so 'delicate or a spi-it so
masterful. There is. so to -peak, a charm
ing dramatic stage effect in the scenery
of this va-t land. The clear, dry. dewles
air offers no screen to kill the shadows
painted by the sun, the moon, or the stars.
Nisrht or day, the stray, Infrequent cloud,
which floats before the skyward breeze
or sleep lazily along the blue, easts us
counterpart in a dark, moving slridnw
UK)n the gray valley or among the pulse
less concourse of the hills. The tliir-ty
and tar-wandering "prospector. "' seeking,
among the pyiamids ot granite, the spires
of purpl') ry, the slopes of slate, the uast'es
of lime, the coliimtis ot basalt, tor one
sweet spring ot living water, finds instead
a mountain of rock-salt, glittciiua like a
glass dome among the steriie hills, to
tantalize his parching tongue and mock
lii in with a ma jety of art he has neither
the time nor the patience to enjoy.
Under font, the world is dry, gray,
silent. Ovei liead, during the long, cloud
Jess day. it is pale-blue, dry. silent. All
abroad, it is grny.or dark w ith mountains
distant, and it is silent. Silence is every
where. No tide ot restless, seas rolls
throbbing to the shore-lines on the rocks
the seas are dead and gone. No roar of
fai -off torrent tumbling down the hills to
jar the night air underneath the stars the
stars still are. hut all the torrents have de
paned. In this land the valleys have been
seas the canons have been torrent-bed,
tlie slopes hive been the dwelling-place of
men who dealt with fire, stone-headed
arrows earthen Hts, and shell-wrought
vatdties ; Out at. some lost period, back
ward of all dates, the Great High Sheriff
of the universe, in open court, has cried
Silence !" and has been obeyed.
Across these gray valleys, under these
silent shadow, and among these curious
hills, winds the long, dra'i-colored ribbon
ol the wagon-road on its way 10 the town.
It. too, i silent, save far forward in the
dusty distance, where the nxteam in a
piebald picture answers Aith straining
neck the profane shout that urges it
a.'onjr : or far backwaid, where the lines
of !entr by ear mark time to mulish feet
to crepitating leather, and to clanking
.chains, and all that makes a mule-team
mu-inl to the ears ot the silent an who
sits upon his laboring beast, jogging from
left to right, from right to lett. the whole
dav lone; o" between these teams, or
before or behind them, the croaking bisr
black raven may strut and croak in answer
to some far-oil woit upon a low lull, howl
ing at the plain. AH is silent. No house
along that way. No haying watch-dog
sitting at a gate. iNo children home hound.
book in trend, from school. No crowing
cocks, no lowing herds, no bleating lambs
no any thing. but Mlence and the shadows
and tlie gray.
Through such a land, on smh a road,
young Mr. Maydole mad- his way toward
the treeless sunbunrt mining town, lie
found it in one of these deserted torreni
Teds which the American man of the
Occident calls a ca-jon. Two feeble lines
of houses, with a stony street Instweeii ;
two rocky lines ot ragged hills from
whose rough faces, like numerous "JH'S
noes. jutted the half built, hr.lt dug-out
miners' cabins, and one large. noiy build
ing in tlie town, lrom whose high cliirur.eys
ome clouds of smoke and putts of steam.
When tlie two-horse spring wagon, which
tlie proprietor thereof called a stage. pulled
tip in front of the office building pertaining
to the larger structure, our hero alighted.
Unheralded. unattended. ' unacquainted,
ami miwelcoined. His few personal effects
were rapidly piled out alter him upon the
tep ot th j 'ofllce. ud the 4 age drove
way. leaving him an entire stranger "in
the cold world."
With his usual directness of purpose, he
presented himself' to tiie person behind the
desk, and. finding that person to be the
. jwirty to whom his credentials were ad
dressed, he immediately served the same
upon him. '
I am glad to meet yon, Mr. Myd!e.
and if it suit you as well to get in here
as It does ine to get out, we are both
To this remark Norman simply bowed
poJitely, and then said :
If you will be good enough to sliow
me over the place, and introduce me to
tlie foreman, ho-I such other persons as I
may have uto.t business with, I shall be
glad at any time to return tlie favor, if in
tuy power to do so."
Certainly, certainly ! Blethers is
down in the mine at present, tuit I will
introduce you to the amalgamator, the
store-keeper, tlie postmaster, ami and
the boys generally." ,
"And the matter of lodgings M Nor
man was beginning to sav.
- You take tuy room, I suppose ; right
here in the office building." Here he
ppenfid tlie door leading to an adjoining
loom, aud while exhibiting it to Norman,
he added : "It is not very tine, but it is
as good as any in camp."
Good enough," said Norman.
'Well, it is a good enough room, but
it should be fixed up should htvve been
done long ago but. I don't get on very
well with Hlethers. and have not expected
to remain here, or I should have had it
in better fix."
Mr. Blethers is the foreman, is he
'Well. yes. He is foreman, superinten
dent and Vveithing else in authority, ex
cept bookkeeper."' and the retiring clerk
looked upon No-man's mode-st young face
in a way which said plainer than any
words : -I pity you, my boy."-
'lf it i not disagreeable to you. I
would like to have you tell me. briefly, in
what style Mr. Blethers wields his au
thority.'"' In this way. among other things. He
runs the camp about, as he pleases. He
has a lot of men in iiere. some of whom
the most of them, in f.nwifl do just
what he says; and the few men who di tier
with him find it to their best interest to
keep mum. If yon kt-ep luniks and make
out accounts to suit him. you're all right
if yon don't you're all wrong. That's
ntuiut the size of it !" and the clerk ieered
into Norman" eyes to see how be took
a statement so iilarming ; but Norman
looked as innocent as a lamb, and gave no
further evidcce d alarm than to ask it he
could not put his small amount of luggage
into the cleik's room.
Why. of course." aid the clerk. "Go
in and "take MV'ession. The whole thing
belongs to tlit company, except a few tricks
have in then-, and I will s'lve yon most
of them if yon will receive them. I"il get
right out of yotu- way."
"No, no," said Norman. "I am in no
hurry to g.-t you out-take your leisure.
I will find a room in the town somewhere
for a time.'
I see you dnu'i understand this coun
try. About the only way to get a good,
dean, quiet sleeping apartment in this
camp is to build one and fumih it. Yon
may get a bed in a lodging house, divided
from other beds by cheap muslin and paper
partitions, next, door to a disoiderly drunk
on one side of you. and a husky bull-whacker,
w ho snores" worse than a fog ho-n, on
the other side but I'd advi-e yon not to."
-What can not be cured must be en
dured." Well, if I was boss of. the much any
more I would prooe that you sleep with
me; but yon have just let me out. you Sec."
"Oh. I see. Bill I beg you to continue
to boss the ranch, in that regard, as long
as you desire."
In that, case." answered the clerk,
smiling, "we are all ri .flit. I take pleas
ure in offering von halt my bed, Mr. May
dole anil that is the highest point of hospi
tality reached among business men in these
mountains ; the s;orls and bar-keepers
have been known to go further, but then
they have m.imiers peculiar to themselves."
Norman put bis personal belongings in
to the room, and then the clerk proceeded
to show him about, the place and introdli.'e
him to the men nr. as ihev are commonly
called, "the boys." After seeing the mill
and the town lie asked about the mine, and
the clerk answered :
"The mine is further
I've never been there bur
runs that to suit himself,
thoiitv for oiiT down
up the canon,
I have no au
into it. aud no
tas.e for going underground it I had the
authority. You'll hive to get Blethers to
take you round, awl it he don't invite you
down into tlie mine I guess you'll not go
"No?"' responded Norman, interroga
tively. .Inst here, as they passed along the mid
dle of the dry. hard street, they met a stal
wart, broad-shouldered man, with his
hands rammed half-way down under the
waistband of his pantaloons, aui arms
akimlMt. walking heavily, yet jauntily,
down the canon. To this rather lofty
personage the clerk said :
Mr. Blethers, Mr. Maydole the new
Mr. Blethers took his heavy right hand
out of his waistband and shook hands with
Mr. Maydole. saying he wasgiiul to meet
him. and then asked it he would not come
in and "take a driiiK."
No. thai.k you" Mr. Maydole did not
Well, come and take a smoke, then."
"Much fbliged" Mr. Maydole seldom
Well. then, come and see me take a
drink," said Mr. Blethers, with a laugh
that, seeuied to say lie was doing a very
"Very good.'" said Norman. "I will go
in and see how you do it ill ..this part of
the country." x
"Are you a temperance man ?" asked
Blethers, as they entered the saloon.
"If you spe'l with a big T, I am not.
"I'm not mud. on the "pell. Do you
belong to the Teinoiars or the Sous ?"
"No, I do not."
"Well, then, take a drink." he said as
they approached the bar where the glasses
were being set up.
"No." said Norman. "I never drink
unless I absolutely nec.J it."
Bleth"rs then i-illid upon the f-w loung
ers in the hoitse to come, up, which ihey
promptly did. and ali except Norm in.
swallowed their diam leaving him. ill
the eyes of that pariicueir crowd, a rather
contemptible' minority. Then Blethers,
the clerk, and Nornian adjourned across
the street to the nil ice. Here Ble'hers
drew from Ids breast pocket certain papers
which he threw upon the desk in a grand
sort of way, telling the clerk what
record to make of ihein. after which he
turned to Norman and cat echi-ed him re
garding his kuowleduecf mines aud mining,
and this c-'techising eliciting nothing very
satisfactory to him. be said :
"I knowed there was a new mnti n-tmni-ing.
but 1 reckoned yoii knowed something
about the business. I don't see wh it in
hell the company means by changing clerks
on me so often."
"There need be no anxiety about that
in this case. I think." said Norman, in
his quiete-t manner ; "I'd keep the books
Blethers looked at him in his Joftv way
which seemed to sy. " I'll see about that."
a. il then he went out.
Norman got on very wei! with tlie clerk.
In fact, he soon began to iike th it person,
and that person became rapidly attach"'!
to him. ami aided him in evui-y way he
Could to mi understanding ot tlie po-itioti
aud the people. They were thrown to
gether day and night for several days and
Norman bad thereby a better opportunity
than he had expected to find out. without
going out of his way, how matters etood
in t- e town, and wlm was who.
"Blethers is going In put things up on
you in this can p." said the clerk, in one
ot the many talks he had with Norman.
Why do you think so ?"
.-' "I know he is by the looks ot him. lie
began it the other day when he asked you
to drink you didn't then he called up
the stove-herders. That's his "game. He
wants to throw the boys against you on
the start." :
"Tlie chances cr.n not all be good in one
tlitcctlou. I wiii take niipe op svme other
tack that Is, it I have need to take any
"Well. I'm soon going to leave you to
your fate. I've passed over everything in
tlie office, and have told you all I know.
Now I'm going out to fire the old loads
out of my pistol and get it ready for the
"Wait a moment." said Nornian, "my
own pistol needs blowing out and reload
ing," and he passed tnto the bed-room:
then, quickly returning, he and the clerk
walked a few steps up the canon beyond
the houses, chalked a white target-mark
upon a cliff of rocks and prepared to Are
Go ahead." said the clerk.
"After you," said Norman.
While the clerk was firing, there came
Blethers and two of the men on their way
up to the mine, and as pistol practice, at
the animate or inanimate target, is Rn in
teresting theme in the mountains, they
paused to see the shooting.
Tiie clerk was rot a bud shot, as shooters
com oonly go. When he had emptied his
revolver, and all had examined his hits, he
rechalkcd the target and said :
"Now, Mr. Maydole."
Norman took his position with his pis
tol in his liiy-pocket He stood there .Jor a
mmn-n: ; then, drawing and commencing
to tire in the same instant, he flattened
rapidly, one after the other, the six balls
against the chalked rock, and left the lead
en imprint of all of them inside of a space
w hich could be could be covered by a sil
The shooting bei..g done with. Norman
and the clerk turned away toward the of
fice, while Blethers and the men with him
proi-eeded up the canon.
That young feller is a shooter for base."
said the taller ot the workmen, aiming his
remark at Blethers.
"Uuiph !" grunted Blethers, "shootin'
gillery frills. Nothiu in it !"
"Aye !" said the other man, with a
broad. English accent, "it's no' his slmotiu'
as I wonders at tinhhut t' woiy ee pulls
t 'pistol fro' hi britchis he'ind. It's wot
yo' Americans calls t' lira w,' be'nt it?"
Yes." answered the taller workman,
"if he can draw and shoot that way when
he means business, he's got the drop on a
big majority ot all the shooters ever I saw."
"Ho "" said Blethers, as the three trudg
ed along, crunching over the loose stones
in the road. "Fancy practice ! Notion'
in it ! Nothin in it !" But his compan
ions, though they dropped the subject, did
init show by their looks that they agreed
with him. as they passed out of sight
around a bend in the canon road.
That was a good job." said the clerk
to Norman, as they two. on their return
from the target, entered the office.
"Ye-," responded Norman, "it Is al
ways best to keep a pistol fresh aud clean."
"I don't mean the cleaning of the pistols
I mean your shooting."
Oh. I am an old hau l at t irgf prac
tice." saiil Norman in his easy, quiet way.
"I should say you were ; but that is not
the point I'm driving at."
"Is knot? Then I do not catch your
"My meaning is," s-iid the clerk, with a
gr. titied sparkle in his eyes " That old
bully Bk'tliers sot a bug in his wool. He
claims to be a fighting chief, and thinks
be can draw quicker and shoot deader than
any man in tlie ntounta'ns ; but you've
laid him over, and he won't forget it."
Well, yes If a pistol is a gixnl one.
5n goid order, ami well loaded, in a close
tiht most any kind ot shooting will do
It is the nerve and draw which win." "
"All right! Yon keep your eye on
Blethers, because that lit re shooting will
be all over this camp before morning, and
Blethers won't 'ike that a bit. Those two
men who were with him don't like him.
lie don't like thrm. But they are A No.l
miners, and bandy anyhow or anywhere,
in a mine or about it. No mine can get
aloiiLt without such men. They are never
drunk, never off. and they don't talk out
side. I know them. They understand
things. They will soon understand you.
if I'm not mistaken, and it won't do vu
any harm to let them know you are on the
square with them."
"If they can not find th.it out by my
general conduct. I do not see how else I
should get them to knw it."
That's all right. I'm not asking you
to blow your own horn, but just to give
the boys a point now and then. People
sometime don't see without a hint or
What do yon call these men ?"
" The tall one's an American Irish-American
Charley fitzgibbon ; went inio
the war at seventeen years old. in the first
call for "three inonths"-men," and never
left the servi-je a day until he was honor
ably di-charged after the tall of Kiclimond.
The other is Cussin" Jack. a west-country
Englishman gold miner from Ge'irgia
who fought under the stars and bars all
over the South. They live together, sleep
together, work together sort of social
Why is the Briton called 'Cussin'
Jack" is lie o profane ?"
"No o." said the clerk, laughing ; that
is miners humor. He never was known
to use profanity. He is a sort of Cornish
Puritan preacher, it you know what that
is. Originally he was 'Cousin Jack. but
the miners liave tw isKl It to suit them
selves. On the books he is John Cadwa!."
During the time of these conversations
and of may others which to.ik place in
the office between the same parties day
and night the mighty measured tread of
the ore-stamps in the mill adjacent kept
up its roar, making he atoms of gravel
creep aud nestle among the larger stones
which lay about the staring while board-on-end
building in which tiie office was.
To a stranger's ear this ceaseless rhythmic
roar in the otherwise silent land becomes at
first a sort ot gra id. loud, yet muffled
harmony ; then a painful, thundering dis
cord ; etill later a bearable monotony ;
and. finally, the agreeable pulsating music
ot prosperity. So agreeable does this
music become that, its cessation is an
alarm ; aud when it dies out altogether,
aud the long rows of great iron stamps are
"hung up" to rust between the massive
posts which hold them, five in a nlaee
from post to post, the "camp" takes up
its line of march in a "go-as-roti-please"
stampede to richer realms ; and then a
silence falls into the canon more dreary
and oppressive than that which existed
before man disturbed the "ancient, solitary
region" of the speechless spirit of the
desert. There is no picture more sugges
tive of desolation, more full of enforced
silence, than a rusting, idle quartzinill
among the steri' hills of the Rilver land.
The battle-field where daring industry has
been forced by the shadowy, gliding giant
ol want to lay down his r.rms and inarch
empty-handed away, is a sad appeal to
the truly artistic more pathetic than half
the battle-grounds ot contending empires.
But as long as the roar of the stamps re
verberates along the rock-walled canon the
reader need not apprehend any increase of
desolation about ihe office where young
Mr. Maydole U now fully installed being
left to his fate by his genial predecessor.
Steadily and. politely, under the jarring
muic of the now to him unnoticed stamps
he attends promptly to ids business. The
men come on the monthly pay-day to find
their accounts in exit ' -tier, and the
checks for the money ..,o them ready
for delivery. One by or.,.- they sign the
p-sy-rolls, each opposite to his name, date
of payment, and amount. Some f igii with
a heavy, wavering, horhy-hauded signa
ture ; others ask the new clerk to sign for
them, while they, like tlie barons of old,
add the chivairic sign of the cross; now
and again one wields his pen with a rapid
and easy grace, and leaves behind him an
autograph ancestrally know in science,
commerce, and letters. As they sign their
names each takes his .eheck, glances it
over, tucks it away in his pocket, and
walks heavily oit. The great stamps go
on and on, roaring and jarring. The men
are paid up for the month. They have
gone, and left the clerk to his books his
spider like solitude, aud the long, rolling
monotone of the mill.
Day after day. often into the nitdit. the
new clerk, amid the continual noise, pur
sues his silent tak. No and again he
locks his ofllce doors pfT?s lino the mill
aud around among its bewildering move
ments, asking questions ot and speaking
to the men. concerning their various em
ployments. At first ( they answer him
coldly, even -morosely ; then, by and by,
more cheerfully ; and. after a time, more
or less cordia'ly. Little at a time be picks
up the meaning of things, till gradually
there awakes within him the latent me
chanical lore ot his race ; then, like a,
yisiou, the whole business dawns upon
I i:ti. Every wheel and crank, journal
and boxing, pullev aud belt, cog-wheel
aud lever, tub, settler, battery, engine,
furnace an 1 retort, becomes his intimate
friend. He knows them all. Outside the
mill he knows each driver and each mule
byname the capacity and present con
dition of every wagon. Nothing of tlie
business is unknown to him save the
cause of it all the deep, dark delving of
the mine over which, thus lar, Blethers
Several time our hero has gone to the
mouth of the mine, inside of the building
called the hoisting works, and has watch
ed the hoisting machinery bringing up
refuse rocks and precious ore watched
the coming up and going down cf the men
as they changed the gangs, or shifts ; but
at no time has he asked to be taken down
into the mine, or in any way seemed to
manifest any undue curiosity as to what,
might be going on below the earth's sur
face. Tints mouths passed away. He be
gan to be looked upon as a very neat,
cleanly, orderly, harmless young fellow,
and polite, good clerk. The men looked
pleasantly upon him on the pay-days in
the office, and saluted him cheerily when
ever tie met them ; even Blethers seemed
to abate some ot his loftiness in his pres
ence. One day. shortly alter the latest pay-day.
when the weight of the preceding month's
business was well ofl'his hands, he locked
his ottice doors and strolled leisurely up to
tha mine, where he found "Cussin' Jack"
out of doors engaged in hewing heavy
timlers. He sat do-vn upon the hewn
surlace of the lojj. and fell into conversa
tion with the hewer.
"Be yo' getten' to feel whoam-loike up
'ere i' th' moines ?"
"Yes. I like ;t first-rate."
"Well ! T' boy be comiii' to loike yo'
Well. I like the boys."
Yo' dew ?"
"Why dost tha nivver cnam out an' tak'
a dram wi" Vm ; or smouk a poipe F"
'I do not drink."
"Nor smoak ?" asked Jack, as he still
hewed to the black line be had struck
upon the log.
"I can smoke, but I do not fancy
"Tha'rt a rare uu. T' hovs think tha'rt
a bit stiff an' 'igb tony i' thy ways."
T d not mean to be siilfand hlgh-toiiv.
I work for my wages the sune as they do
we are all in tho same boat "
'Weil 7-aid. lad. well zaid." and lie
stopped hewing, put the po'ut of his
broad-axe on the log. anil, crossing his
arms, leaned upon the end of the handle,
while he put one foot upon the timlser.
and asked : "ll' vo' waant to know 'ow
io put feither i' thy cap wi' t' boys I' this
ere camp ?"
"Yes," said Ncrman, "I would like to
help the boys." -
Aye, 1 believe tha ;" then he looked
all about him. dropped his axe on the
tiuitier. lined his black leather belt with
one hand, and with the other hand fished
tint ol bis foh-ocket his last month's
check, handed it to Norman, aud, resum
ing his axe. went on hewing.
"This check is all right, it not ?"
said Norman, when he had it unfolded.
" There's uowt amiss wi' t' check.
There oe'ent no better check az I knows
"What is the matter, then ?"
'Well, it yo'k loike to gi' vo'rsen a lift
wi' boys, stop pavin' checks an' gi' s t'
Is not the check as good as cash ?"
"Naw, it be'eut ; not 'ere. T' store
keeiaper sdiaives ir, ivverabody shaives it ;
but t' cash, lad, gi tis t' cash. I be'ent a
gossip talker. Go thv ways : but doant
I've telled tha to
feither i' thj cap."
"I will remember it," said
handing ins check back to bun.
"Ho thy ways. An' tha gettest I'
trouble i' the cash bissens ir.oind I tell tha,
tha hast freinds i" the house o' Pharaoh.'
Norman bade the hewer good-day,
strolled about tlie mine-mouth aud ore
house a short time, aud then went back to
his office, where he wrote a letter to his
patron, from which the following Is an
"I think I am beginning to grasp the
situation. I have delayed any examina
tion of the mine. Have not yet made any
demand tor it. because I have wished to
see my way in broad daylight first, be
fore frying the darkness. " The men Mill
coinplhiu that the'T checks are shaved un
mercifully by all to whom they present
them, but most severely by the store,
which the men call the 'company store.
They also complain that they are called
upon, wtK'ii working by contract, to re
ceipt for more money than they receive,
etc., etc. These latter matters (which I
will report more at large by and by) can
not now be afifected by my present iower ;
hut if you will enable me to pay the men
in cash coin or gold -notes altogether in
cash, or half cash aud half checks, it will
distribute the wages of the men into more
hands make tlie men feel more indepen
dent, and therefore slightly weaken the
hold which tlie present management tuts
upon this people."
The letter had It effect. When the
men came in to sign he pty-rolls of the
succeeding mouth, they took their half
cash with pleasant chaff ami merry good
humor. The outside 6tore-keeper and
other dealers did a better iying business
than they hud done for a long time. Even
the gamblers and visiting priests and
preachers were better off. All tlie outgo
was no longer re-absorbed by the mine
management aud the pet barnacles attach
ed thereto.' The men's checks were not
now shaved to the bone. Gradually tlie
wink passed, from man to man. as they
privately gave the new clerk credit for the
improved financial condition.
The new clei k attended to all his busi
ness promptly and pleasantly. He treated
the lofty Blethers with perfect respect.
He also attended thoroughly to any rea
sonable demands made, upon him by
Blethers' pets the store-keeper, the
keeper of the boarding-house, the saloon
man. the lodging-house person, aud in
fact all the pets who love to cluster about
the management of a working mine. Not
withstanding his fairness, his civility, his
attention to these persons, they were not
happy ; thev did not like him, yet they
could find no stable ground on which io
assault hi position.
Before the next pay-day drew nigh Iip
wrote, in his regular monthly letter, to
Colonel Holteu as follows :
'The half-cash idea wo'-ks well. The
men are pleased with it. It yon can make
It all cash it will be sti'f' better. I am
aware of the expanse and risk in sending
large sums of money, but I fully Iielieve
that it is hetter to do so, even If we should
be robbed twice per year. As affairs now
stand you virtually lose te money any
way. But I do not admit that we shall be
robbed. If yon express the money (after
notifying me in the manner I have here
tofore pointed out) as far as the express
box comes, I think I can see it sate the
remainder of the way."
This letter was also effectual. On pay
day the men were entirely satisfied. The
trade was distributed throughout the camp,
and that satisfied a majority ot the people
but the Blethers crowd Were not content
ed. On a pleasant winter sunny Sunday, af
ter pay day, Norman carfully locked up
his office and betook himself to the road
for a little exercise afoot. In his rambles
he met many of the men. who now accost
ed him with very kindly chceriness as they
passed to and from their work for there
is neither night, nor day, Sunday nor holi
day, on a working mine. As he walked
on. outside the village, he heard heavy
steps at some distance behind him and
gaining on his gait, till at last he was over
taken by two workmen, both Iaise but
one taller than the other, the shorter of
whom, as he overtook Norman, said:
"Gi ns thy hand. lad. That's getten
it done. an' the feither Is l' thy cap," and
he shook hands heartily with Norman.
"This is my pa rdner. Charley Fifzkibbin.
'E's a mini as it's wuth thy whiles to know,
lad. tho'ff I zay it to 'is faice."
Nornian shook hands with Fitzgibbon.
and they tlncb went forward in the road
Why don't yon come down into the
mine and take a look around ?'' asked
"I hare not yet been invited," said Nor
man. "The damned hog !"
'What !" exclaimed Norman, sharply.
"I don't mean von."
"'Ee ts a 'og is Blethers."
"The boys down in the mine will he
glad to see you. Yon come down and see
ns some time. We'll show you around and
let you see some things yon ought to know."
"Yon are very good," said Norman,
"and I will be glad to be down in the mine
as soon as business is so arranged that I
can. In the memtime. If I have any friends
down there, give them my best respects."
You bet your ribs you've got friends
down there"," said Charley, wUh an em
phatic tw it of his bead.
'Ee 'ave that ; an' top o' t 'ground
'How is the mine looking ?" asked Nor
nian. "It looks well enough tor the way it is
treated ; vou'll see how it is when 3ou
"I t--e'nt no wise shy o' tellin' wot I
thinks o t' moine to them as 'ave business
wi' it. Blether be 'oggiu on It for a
treeze-hont. That's wot t' fact is. I
knows a moln as well as 'ee do. This 'ere
be a good little moine In honest 'auds."
Well, gcirlemen, I want verv much
to know all about the mine, and to thor
oughly understand it ; and I shall feel un
der obligation to von and to all who assist
me to understand not that I can hope t
do more than to express the obligation. I
have only my wages as you all have."
"We understand that." said Charley ;
"and we know "that things is happenin
"Ave !"added Jack, "things do 'appen
"raand Vre." And then both the men
turned away into a branch road, laughing
and shaking their broad shoulders as they
went ; leaving Norman lo pursue his
walk and return to his starting point,
where the noise ot the mill furnished him
with music, while it reminded him con
stantly of the unfinished task he had in
hand. He begau to feel that he was not
alone in his struggle tor "a fair deal."
As he sat on that Sunday evening in the
office, reading one of the Tew choice hooks
he had brought with him, he could hear
tlie men In tlie saloons across the way.
singing and laughing over their beer, but
he could not hear cite conversation at one
of the tables in the saloon, where he was.
in part at least, the subject under discus
sion. Thi new clerk is making himself damn
ed fresh around here."
"I duniiot see but 'ee keeps bissen to
hissen well's yo' do."
Oh, Well, Jack, we won't fight about
that ; onl; old Ble:hers's just billn'."
"Jet un bile. 'Twean't hurt un to bile.
It daan't spile bad ejrgs to cook tin."
But when he biles over he'll just kick
the stuffin all out o' that fancy young
duck from 'Frisco."
Don't you tool yerself about fancy young
duck from 'Frisi.-o. Ben Blethers jist better
let that job out by contract."
This latter remark was made by a John
ny come lately to the camp.
"Dost tha' know t' lad ?"
'No. I hain't no acquaintance with him,
hut I know who be is."
'Oo is 'ee ?"
"He's the rooster that killed -Cocho
Plzan,' and cleaned out the stage robbers."
"Ego-h !" exclaimed Cussin' Jack."
striking the under side ol his heavy fist
u Don the table, "I smells a raat. Gi us
anoother beer aw round. EgoshI Itbow t
'ee was no common chap fust toime J zeed
un. . Whenwoz it 'ee plugged t' staige
robber?" "L.st spring, some time May or June,
"Eirosh ! I read un In uooze paiper.
'Ee' t' b'y is 'ee "
Here the beer being served all round tlie
table. Jack grasped his glass mug by the
handle, rapped on the board, then raising
the foam capped, brown liquor toward his
Hps said :
'Ere's to the lad as pays t' cash to a
workiu' man I" tlien, having swallowed
his draught, he set down his hall emptied
mug and said : '.-,
"Summnns getten. sense at the 'ead o'
this inolnlu company.'' -
:. "That's all right. Jack." said the speak
er who had opened - this dialogue ; "but
that won't save the boy from takiu a dev
il of a wlialiu' when Blethers gets despe
rate. He may le a good man of his size,
but blathers is too heavy for him."
' "It be 'lit bij uns as wins siy the flgbts,
them ns sent un here knows un. 'Ee be'
ent combd up 'ere tor nowt. : Yo' talk o'
kiekin' stuffin' out o' tin I tell tha wot.
them as kicks stuffin out ' yon lad has
getten it ro kick out o' moar than im.
Stuffin will oe cheap i' this camp. Them's
the soothin remarks o' owd John Cadwal."
Thus ami tbuswise the men spent their
Sunday evening, and many another even
ing, while the great stamps in - the mill
thundered and roared, and the clerk, most
ly alone in his office, day and night, ro.
mained quietly at his post, the least ob
trusive man in the camp.
But the storm was gathering about him.
Tlie day drew near wIipii he must either
bow to others or have them bow to him."
During one day ot the week following
the drinking bout, as above related. Bleth
ers came across from the store to the office
with a tew papers in tils hand, and. walk
ing into the office, where Norman sat be
hind the counter at his desk, he tossed the
papers over to the desk, saying :
-Contracts. I want them looked over,
ami I wntit j-oti to dnrw checks for the
amount due on them, and ask the men to
indorse the checks and then you hold them
till I call for them. Understamme ?"
"Yes I understand you," said Norman,
gently, as be took up the papers. Blethers
turned on his heel and went out of the of
fie. While Norman was carefully look
ing oyer the contracts the second cook of
the boarding house one Ah Quong came
softly in with a bucket of water, a scrubb
ing brush, a hatchet, etc.. and proceeded
to take out the sash and clean the windows
as lie had. been previously directed to do
After reading the contracts, the clerk
put them ,iu the drawer of his desk, then
said : '
"What !" "
"Sabe 'Long Johnson?"
"Yes too nuichee."
"Go tell hitn come see me."
"AH Hah'." and Quong came down off
his step-ladder ami went out. Presently
the Asiatic returned, followed by a lengthy
Mr. Johnson." said the clerk, "you
are one of the parties to this : contract, are
you not ?"
Johnson, standing ontside the counter,
took the paper, looked it over hastily, and
"Ye. Wnlspy and me done that work."
and passed the papers back to the clerk.
How do you want your pay cash or
Well, I don't keer ; I 'spose I niout's
well hev the caish ef you've got it."
'Caih it is, then."
'All. right ; go and bring Woolsey here,
and we'll settle up."
The Missourian left the room, the China
man washed at the window, the stamps In
the mill rose and fell and thundered, the
clerk sat at his desk and wrote, when
Blethers re entered, and, walking up to
the clerk's counter, asked :
Johnson been here ?"
"What'n hell'd ft want ?"
"W ants to settle up and get his money
on Ins contracts.
"What'd yon tell him ?'
"Told him to bring Wolsey. and I would
settle with tbeui and nav them their mon
ey." They've got their money, by '
'Not from the company, I think."
'I tell ye. they've got their money.
1 think otherwise."
"I don't care a damn what yon think!
"Yes. I understand you quite well."
'Well. then, see't you do what I order
ed. Understamme ?"
Norman made no reply to this last in
quiry about "iiiiderstannne" but went on
figuring at his books. Blethers leaned
against the counter as it waiting for a re
ply, but he got none.
"Are you going to get me them checks?"'
asked Blethers rather fiercely.
'No. sir," and Norman got down from
his stool at the desk. and. coining up to
the inside of the counter opposite to Bleth
ers, he added : "This is a very simple
matter of business. Mr. Blether. Get a
written order from t';e contractors, or.
failing in that, serve me with a writ ot
attachment otherwise I shall pay the
men their money. I am not here to act
as general collector of other people's debts
nor am I a constable."
. Understamme ?" roard Bleth
ers. You arc a bully, anrf I think you are a
coward." said -Norman, folding his arms
and looking in the flushed face of the now
furious Blethers. He did no! have long to
look. Blethers reached across the counter
fiercely, aiming to catch Norman by the
throat. In his eager wrath he reached a
little too far. and before tie could recover
Ids overreach, he had cause to imagine
that the stainps'in the mill next door were
thundering about his jaws aud ears. In
the next minute, the Chinaman, glancing
down trotn his step-ladder, beheld him
prostrate on the office floor, which thtit
amiable Asiatic no sooner saw than,
clattering down his ladder, he grasped his
hatchet and was about to finish him.
'Stop. Quong !" shouted Norman.
"Me likee on no likee him," and
again he made at the prostrate man with
the hatchet. By this time Nornian was
by his side, and, taking hiiu by the cue,
held him back, saying :
"Let him alone, Quong."
"All ligh' ! Me likee you no likee
him. Bi-m-bi him fiend kiliee you me
sabe." said the Asiatic, as he replaced his
uaicnet on me wiuuow-siit and recliuied
his ladder to resume his work.
Johnson had been gone a very short
time, yet now, when Iio returned accom
panied by Woolsey, it was evident thai
a revolution had taken place since he had
last been in the room. He paused just
inside the door ; Woolsey paused in the
doorway behind him, and rather to one
side of liiui ; both men looked at Blethers
who by this time was sitting on the floor
with ids legs stretched out in front of him,
propping himself with one baud, while
witli the other he felt about his eyes and
face tor some confused clue to his surround
ing, while Norman leaned with his back
aud elbows against the office-counter,
surveying the field. Presently, Blethers,
in the dim return of consciousness with
the instinct ol habit.' took his hand from
Ids face, and halt feebly fumbled aroui il
the region of his pistol-pocket, but the
shining occupant of that pocket lay on the
floor behind him, where it had fallen
when the owner tell.
Johnson said nothing; Woolsey made
no remark ; Norman looked silently on ;
the Chinaman washed away at bis win
dow as it he had never seen, beard, . read,
or dreamed of anything unusual, and the
great stamps in the mill thundered and
crushed without ceasing.
"Please take -him to his room." said
Norman, pointing to his foe, who was
now numbly gathering himself to his feet ;
"then come back, and I will pay yon
what is due yon." and there was a cold,
metallic ring to his usually soft voice.
The two men, without a word spoken
Ktwcen thera, took the defeated man by
his arms and were moving out of tbe ofllce,
when Norman stepped forward, and pick
ing up the pistol, said .
-Here, take this with you. It telonijr
to him." : . t :
Then, whetVjhe men had con wy
with Blethers. Norman entered - hfe-dsrn
room, washed his hands adjusted hU outer
man, and came back to his desk.
Johnson and Woolsey did not return'
immediately- nor at all", that day. They
were in demand after they tooc Bletheiji
to his own place. They were called tipoa
to recount what thev had seen In the officr
and every time they told it tliey wereaskeU
Dy some listener : .
"Who done it ?"
"Can't prove it by tne," tlwy each
invariably answered. .-. '
"Ye don't s'pose that little feller put
a head on big Ben Blethers, do you t".
"I tell ye, ye can't prove uothiog by
me." said Johnson.
"And there wasn't nobody there bat
Blethers an hitu an' the Chinaman
"Them's all I seed thar." '
"I didn't see no one elae tber, aald ttw
Then It must' a' been the little falter
"Oh. no ! It wasn't him." aald tb
bar-keeper, who was ambitious of being
a wag ; "it was the Chinaman." :
"Mebbeold Blethers had a fit."
"Damn clse fit, too," said the bar-
keeper, as he stood polishing his tumbler.
"Hez lie got much of a head on hitn
"Yes," said the bar-keeper, "beV eot
double mumps, ink-bottle eyes, and
Humboldt spud between 'em.'"
"Wellibedain," said each listener, re
flectively. The news of Blethers's defeat flew up
and down the canon, from mouth to month,
trotn cabin to cabin into the mill, where
it was shouted from lips to ears through
the din ot the roaring stamps from team
to team, as the drivers met in the road
aud down into the mine, where, by low,
deep voices, it was retailed in the glare of
the dim lights, which burned with br
less silence. -V ; t
Men desiring to see the battle-field made
excuse to call at the office" and inquire for
"Not in at present," was the clerk'a
polite and brief reply to each inquirer,
while he sat at his desk apparently absorb
ed in his duties. The men, after the
fashion of the mountains (and perhaps the
fashion is not confined to the mountains?.
nuuiu nave iiheo. Gorman to coiue mwm
them, to talk with them about the affair,
and be patted on the back while he drank ,
with them ; but he was not that kind ot a
tighter. He had not sailed around the
Wlien the Chinaman came out, bucket
in hand, ladder on shoulder, after finishing
his task, the idlers in camp, interrogated
"John 'd you see that fight ?"
"No see flghteo."
"The hell you didn't!"
"No see 'to nodding uo sabe flghtee."
"Well what's the matter with Blethers
, "Think so lilm yelle sick no com' ta
"Ther'H be war -in this camp' when
Blether? gets on his pins again," said ore
workman to another, whom be met on tbe-
"Who'll make the war?" asked tbe
Blethers and bis friends." '
"Hain't got no friends but bis pets, and
they ain't got sand enough to stand up to
a red-eyed gander."
"Well, they talk war."
"Let "em talk It's cheap but they'd!
better. hunt a change of climate. This air
is too thin for 'em that's what tbe boy
say.' "All right ! It suit your Uncle Reu
ben. I like the little clerk fust-rate."
"So do I ; and he ain't so little, either.
wnen you stand up to liim."
During this general-and" -scattering dis
cussion. Norman Maydole Jr.i" was attend
ing to his duties and reflecting. As be
came aeross the street to his supper, with
bis left baud wrapjied up iffra handkerchief,
the men. of whom there is always at
least one gang ("shift tliey call ty off duty
in a mining camp, looked at him, saluted
him politely, but asked him no questions
When he went back to his oflice, afttr
supjier, he wrote" to Colonel Uolten, in.
part, us follows :
"Herewith I send you statements in
detail of last month's business. I hope
you will not fail to note a slight improve
ment an increase of yield, a decrease of
cost, and I think uo increase ot wear and
tear, or neglect of supplies. This improve-,
ment is not directly, but perhaps is in,
directly, attributable to my presence bere
Since they find that they are to be fairly
treated, the nieu do more and better work.
The management has for certain reasons,
been more careful and less lavish of ex
penditure. It yon think best, you way
tell the Ktock-h-jlders erenerallv that thev
shall, from this time forward, have every
cent the mine can be made to earn a long
as I remain here. I can never be able to
explain to you how I have arrived at so
confident a conclusion. I can not explain
it to myself, but well. In tact I have
grasped tlie situation, and shall bold it.,
I had a personal encounter to-day with.
Mr. Blethers, the foreman, because be
used vile language to me and attempted.
to assault me. I am satisfied with tlie
result, and I hope that Tie is.- Next
mouth, tf nothing disastrous happens. I
expect to report a general improvement."
This portion ot the letter was thoroughly
understood and appreciated at the homo
office in San Francisco.
TO BE CONTrNT; ED.
Don't quarrel. People talk of lovers"
quarrels as rather pleasant episodes prob
ably because they are not quarrels at all..
She pouts ; be kisses. He frowns ; slie
coaxes. It is halt play, aud they know it,.
Matrimonial quarrels are a different thing
I doubt se riously if married people-ever
truly forgive each other after the first fall-,
ing out. They gloss it over ; they ; kiss,
and make up; tlie wound apparently beat,
but only, s some of those horrible wound,
given In battle do, to break out again at
some unexpected moment. The man who ?
lias sneered and said cruet things to a Kens',
tire woman never has her whole heart
again -Tiie WMHagwbobaa: uttered ce---proaches
to a man can never be taken ta
his bosom with tbe same tenderness as be
fore those words were spoken. Tbe two
people who roust never quarrel are hus
band' and wife. One may fall out - with
kinsman, and make up, and be Mends
again. The tie ol blood is a strong cna,
and affection may return after It has flown
away ; but love, once banished, is a dead
and buried thing. The heart may ache,
but it is with hopelessness, -ft may be 1 as
possible to love any one else, but it it '
more impossible to restore tiie old idol to
itt empty niche,