Image provided by: Deschutes County Historical Society; Bend, OR
About Cloverdale courier. (Cloverdale, Tillamook County, Or.) 190?-19?? | View Entire Issue (Aug. 6, 1915)
When | wa? a youngster casting
about for something to do for a living
I spent a good deal o f time groping In
the dark. I was o f an adventurous
disposition and longed for new fields.
Finally I settled on a career.
1 went out to India to seek my for
tune and found— well, for three years
1 found poverty, then I found some
thing better. Walking on a street in
Calcutta, I saw at my feet a brilliant
spot emitting the colors o f the spec
trum. I stooped and picked up, to my
surprise, a diamond, it was not one
of enormous proportions, nor yet was it
small. It wus worth not less than $10,-
000 nor more than $20,000, but as I
was no Judge of diamonds, I did not
know. It was surely o f sufficient value
to take me home to America and give
me a new start
Nevertheless. I was sufficiently hon
est to look In such mediums us would
serve to advertise Its loss. 1 did not
advertise It myself because there is so
much rascality in that benighted coun
try that had I done so 1 would have
been beset by persons whose object
would have been to get possession o f It
surreptitiously. I did not see any ad
vertisement of a lost diamond, so I
considered myself Its owner. My the
ory o f its loss was this: There had
been a gathering of Indian potentates
in Calcutta, and some one of them bad
dropped it. These fellows have so
many jewels that the loser may not
have missed It. or perhaps If he did
miss it he may have considered it be
neath his dignity to issue any public
notice of the fact.
One Incident In Its finding troubled
me. Upon picking it up, while I was
examining It I looked up suddenly to
learn If any one saw me and encoun
tered the ga*e of an Indian. There
was a diabolical expression on his face
that told me If he had a chance he
would murder me to relieve me o f my
find. I put the gem In my vest pocket
and walked away, not looking at the
man to see what became o f him.
I had a room In a low grade hostelry
—I could afford nothing better—and
that night In order to make sure of my
gem I tied it to the palm of my hand
and slept with It In my grip During
the night I heard some one rummaging
In my room. I lay perfectly still, and
by and by whoever was there went
ou t I had not told any one of my
find and could not understand who
could have had a motive for robbing
one whose very appearance indicated
I had a friend in Calcutta who was
in good circumstances. I went to him.
told him o f my find and that I wished
to go home. He loaned me the money
to pay my fare, and I sailed for San
Francisco. I had not been out twelve
hours before I recognized in one of
the passengers the man who had seen
me pick up the diamond.
It is a very uncomfortable feeling to,
know that yon a r e cooikh I u p with one
who is determined to relieve you o f a
valuable article. It seemed tome that,
whatever 1 did to conceal my diamond,
this Indian would get It from me. I
was sure that lie had come on board
for it, and the natives o f India are so
stealthy, have so many Insidious ways
o f securing their ends, that I consid
ered my property ns good as lost.
On the forward lower deck was a
coop containing chickens. They were
of a rare variety and were going to
some American chicken fancier. One
morning, standing t»efore the coop, a
singular plan o f concealing my dia
mond occurred to me. It was to let
one o f the chickens swallow It He
would hold It In his crop, and I could
shadow him as the Indian was shad
owing me and in time get it away
from him. From my next meal I took
away with me some crusts o f breud
and, going to the chicken coop as soon
as I was sure I was unoiisei ved, be
gan feeding a stately rooster. He took
down one piece of crust utter another,
and among them I fed him my dia
mond. It was rather lurge for him,
but he got it down, and I congratulat
ed myself that If It was lost to me that
rascally Indian would not get It
I visited the bird, that was now
worth a small fortune, tho same even
ing and went again to the coop the
next morning. He waa there in the
evening, hut at my morning visit I was
horrified to see thut he was missing
from the coop. I knew that the Indian
had goi him, but did not trouble my
self to discover how. Not a word did
A say to any one on the subject I met
the Indian later walking the deck and
fancied that there was a look of tri
umph in his eye. As for me. I en
deavored to conceal any evidence of
knowing that he had secured posses
sion o f my property. If he was obliged
to kill the rooster for the diamond 1
was resolved to kill him before I would
permit him to leave the ship with my
Where did lie keep tho bird? I was
not long In finding out. My stateroom
was in the stern o f the ship directly
over the steerage. In the middle of
the night I heard n crow. Jumping
from my berth. I threw on some
clothes, ran below and hunted for the
crower. I found him In possession of
the Indian. 1 drew a long knife, with
which I made n pass nt the man. selz
ed the rooster and ran with him to my
room and locked the door.
I never left the room, nor did the
bird till after reaching port. I killed
him In my stateroom and was delight
ed to find the diamond in his crop I
got it safely ashore and sold It to a
leweler for $18,000____________________
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-213 TILLAMOOK BLOCK—
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Tillamook, Oregon TILLAMOOK.