The Sumpter miner. (Sumpter, Or.) 1899-1905, November 30, 1904, Page 3, Image 3

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    Wednesday, November jo. 1904
Jim-jam Johnny
And His Partner
"ThauksKiviutf," orated the Old
Time Mining man thiu moruing, as
lie spread his coat-tails and baoked
up to a raidator Id the Hotel Sump
ter lobby "Thauksgiviug differs
from all other national holidays, in
that it cornea ofteuer than once a
year. Itisasetsou, which like the
poor, is always with ue. My friend
Roosevelt has proclaimed tomorrow
as a day for all people to give
thanks, it 1b safe to assume,
however, that hardly more than oue
tenth of the huudred million Ameri
can citizens of this republio will
observe hu day iu auy other spirit
than as au occasion for a big feed on
"1 have beeu mining for forty
years. It iu with no vain-glory that
I day that duriug that period of time
I have made a couple of fortunes.
Sadly, however, 1 admit that I lost
'em. Aud yet, during all those
forty years of tips and downs, of
poverty and uilluouae, of dross coats
aud maakinaws, there has hardly beeu
a single day when 1 failed to be
thaukful that it was no woro. 1
never owned a tour-jug iu my life,
aud wheu my time cornea to pass
over the divide; wheu the Groat
Engineer stops the pumpa in this
anatomy, and orders my soul into the
mill of the gods for a final panning,
t) determine the existence or uon
eixstenoe of fine gold eveu that oc
casion will be one of Thanksgiving
for my enemies.
"I am au optimist because I dearly
love that sort of cheerful animal a
man who nan fix his gaze ou a will-o'-the-wisp
or glow worm iu the
blackest midnight, aud persuade him
self aud others that it is high noon
that the world is 'dark with exaess
of light.' Sure 'tis bettor to laugh
tbau be sighing Demooratus is
preferable to Ueraolitus. Why
should a man gazo into a cesspool
wheu he may look at the stars?
Why explore the foul sewers of a
great city wheu ho may sun bis soul
amid the fragrant piue forests of
these wondeiful Blue mouutalus?
"The optimist is the brass baud
in the thanksgiviug torchlight pro
cession. Were old Sol to go out of
business the optimist would pmohiim
it an uiimixed blessing and prove it
by sunstroke statistics.
"During the forty years of time
iu which I have been rampaging up
aud down the miuiug camps of the
Paoiflo coast I have met many opti
mists. Most of tbem died poor but
happy aud therefore rich. Of all
the optimists I ever knew, however,
the greatest of these was 'Jim Jam
Johnny' Sloaue, original locator of
the Domiuiou miue, in the West
Kootenais. Johuuy has beeu dead
uritr teu years, but his example will
live forever in the hearts of those
with who he came iu coutaot.
"I first met Johnny in Victoria in
'81. He was at that time convales
cent from au attaok of blue turkey
gobblers with purple sun bonuets
aud orimsou-bellied lizards with
darning wjugs aud tails a. peculiar
sickness which afflicts people of
bibulous habis. It was tbo periodical
recurreuce of these attacks that gave
Johnny his uiok-name.
"Johnny bad been prospecting in
the Frazer river country be aud
his partner, Bill' Ferd, who waa as
meau a man as ever lived a liar, a
thief aud a rotten-hearted coward.
It was the attraction of upposites
which kept Johuuy aud Hill togothor.
Dozous of times Hill tried his
crooked work on Johuuy robbing
sluice boxes aud iHyiug it to Chiua
meu; 'rolliug' Johuuy whou the
latter was too druuk to kuow what
was happeniug; cheating him at draw
poker; et cetera aud so forth. Johuuy
never suspected that Hill was
crooked he preferred to beliove
that all mou weie good, aud houest
aud true, created iu the image of a
(Jod whom Johuuy but dimly under
stood, but whom ho worshipped
silently aud uuosteutatiously at all
times uud uuder all circumstances.
"Johuuy never prayed at least
aloud--but yet after he aud Hill
stumbled onto a big lodge of galena
oro in the Goour d1 Aleues, along
about '84, Johuuy "sorter wished
that their luck would hold fcood H
little whilo longer uutil thoy could
sell cut aud sottle dowu comfortably
somewhere aud quit roaming arouud
the hills like lost souIb.
"Johuuy aud Hill opoued up their
galeua mine, took a couple of sacks
of samples to Spokane aud eutured
into uegotitatious for a sale of the
property. Hill conducted uegotia
tlouB"Vou are too easy going," ho
said to Johnny, "to dicker with
these money sharks." Johuuy left
everything iu Hill's bauds aud
started ou one of those fiamboyaut
sprees for which he was famous aud
which were tho only objectiouable
trait iu his character. Wheu good
aud druuk, Hill secured his siguature
to a deed to the galena miue, aud
just about tho time Johnny began to
see bottle-green snakes with pink
eyes and thnso old f-tmiliar turkey
gobblors with purple suu bonnets
a sure sign that the sprue was at
au eud aud that Johnny would lie
good for at least another year about
this time Hill, playing a lone hand,
sold out the Coeur d' Aleue miue
for 920,000 iu cash aud disappeared.
Wheu tho blue turkey gobblers and
bottle-greou suakes faded slowly from
Johuuy's mind, he took up the
search for his old nal. He was sure
Hill had beeu tho victim of foul play.
'Hill ail'us wuz a sorter trouble
browiu' man,' he paid. 'Hesides, 1
wanter go dowu ter Huffalo ilumii
and kaiut go 'tbout old Hill.'
"Iu 'OU 1 rati across Johnny in
Sump ter.
" 'Haint saw Hill, have ye?' he
asked. '1 heard tell he wuz down
tbis-away. (Sot a couple of claims
over there,' be Hwept his arm vaguely
toward tho Greenhorns, 'and 1 want
Hill to help me handle 'em.'
"A year latter 1 was sitting in a
hotel lobby in Spokane, reading a
newspaper, wheu au item caught my
eye, which read: 'John Sloan, a
miner, was picked up by tho police
yesterday aud taken to a hospital
for delirium tremens.1 1 weut tn
see him, lying on a white cot iu a
cool ward. The blue turkeys aud
purple suubouets had faded away aud
Johuuy's drawn face was peaceful.
" 'Haiut saw Hill, huve ye? I'm
golug to kick the bucket aud wanter
see old Hill 'tore 1 go. I'll bet 1
see bim up there.'
"Johuuy didn't kuow, aud 1
didu't tell bim, for various reasous,
that Hill was a 'lifer' iu tin Orogou
pon for killing a mau dowu iu Lake
oouuty. "
Tho Old-Timo Miuiug Man wipud
au imaginary cinder from his loft
eye, buttoned up his coat aud spat
copiously at, not in, a ouapidoro.
"Tomorrow is Thanksgiving" he
said, "and even had I nothing else
to bo grateful for, I would still. give
thauks that in tho world thoro are
lots of Jim Jam Johnny Sloauos and
dam few Hill Fords."
Beautiful Columbia River folder.
Tbo pasaeugor department of the
Orogou Hull road & Navigation com
pauy has juat issued a boauiilu) and
costly panoramic folder eutitlod"The
Columbia River, Through the Cascado
Mouutalus, to the Pacific Ocean."
From Arliugtou to Portlaud, aud
from Portlaud to the Pauitlo oceau
every curve of tho river aud every
poiut of interest are shown, whilo
Mouut Hood, Mount Adams, aud
Mount St. Helens, perpetually cov
ered r.'ith suow, staud in all their
boauty. Ou tho back of tho map is
au interesting story iu detail of tho
trip from Huntington to Portland
aud, from Portlaud to tho ocean, not
overlooking tho beauhos and the San
Frcisco trip by ocean. Acopy of this
folder may bo secured by sending
four couts iu stamps to pay postago
to A. L. Craig, Geuoral Passenger
agout for the Orogou Kail road &
Navigation company, Portlaud, Ore
gon. Hy soudlug tho address of som
frieud iu the oast, aud four couts
in postago, tho foldor will bo
promdtly mailed.
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"Dlamoudflold" Jack Davis, who
recently struck it rich at Guldflold,
has given Judge Powers, of Salt Lake,
who prosecuted and uonvicted him of
murder a few years ago, before au
Idaho court, a 910,000 interest in
one of his properties. Afterward
howevor, becoming convlnood ' of
Davis' iunoceuae, Judge Powers ap
peared before the Idaho board of
pardnus to urgo tbat Davis bo re
leased. This was done, and about
two years ago Davis went to Salt
Lake, penniless. Judge Powers
loaued him mouey enough to get to
Tonopah, Nevada, aud DuvIh de
parted with the promise that he
would repay the money.
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