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Newspaper Page Text
It is a far cry from the queen's
palace to the shacks' of the pearl
fishers" on the muddy bank of the
Wabash in southern Illinois.
They -are poor folks there, and
live in wretched hovels. But
they live always in the hope of
riches; for the river is full of
mussels; or fresh water clams,
and some of them hold pearls.
William Adams, called "Jurrf
bo," was a steamboat hand who
had always scorned such treasure
hunting, lie had a wife and five
children to support. But one of
his pals, Frank Pate, who had
fished for .pearls all his life, with
the quenchless hope of "the gold
digger, persuaded him to try his
luck. So Jumbo gave up his job
and joined the pearl fishers of Mt.
In two weeks Jumbo struck it
rich. He. "found a trick" a,
white pearl of wonderful beauty,
the size of a marble.
A 'local pearl speculator, Dr.
Pepper, paid him $800 for his find.
To a mussel digger that is a for
tune. Jumbo bought an interest
in a little old steamboat, and soon
had enough, money to purchase a
shack of three rooms a home for
his wife and little girls.'
But Frank Pate the ."pal" wlio
had showed him the way to for
tune, was jealous. Frank wur
sore at Jim' a neighbor explain
ed to me, "fur afindin' wat he wur
ahuntin' fur so long."
One night at a dance tKe ill
feeling reached its height. Pate
went home for his shotgun.
When he appeared with the wea
pon Jumbo shot him dead.
"All the wealth the pearl had
bought to the Adams family went
to pay for Jumbo's defense. But
he was found guilty and sentenc
ed to 14 years' infprisonment.
Dr. Pepper had sold the pearl
to a New York jewelry house for
$1,200. A Paris firm paid $3,000
Just then the British royal fam
ily was preparing for the corona
tion. Queen Mary's pearl neck
lace was to be doubled in length
and value. London was searched
for matched pearls but one
thing was missing a jewel fit for
the center of such a priceless
necklace. A special envoy was
sent to Paris, and he returned
with Jumbo Adams' pearl.
Pearls and superstition seem to
go together. The queen became
convinced that the pearl was
"dying" losing its luster and
tracing back its history she was
horrified to learn that it was
stained with blood. So, as the
story goes, she determined to do
all she could to remove that stain.
Edward B. Green, former chief
justice of Oklahoma, 'was em
ployed to get Adams out of prison
and clear vfiis name. He will not
tell who employed him, but Mt.
Carmel people say that he has
been getting his instructions, ex
penses and fees from Washing
ton, and- hint that they come,
through the British embassy,
from the queen herself. '
"I hope it is the queen that's
doing it," says Mrs. Adams.
"The board will do more for the
queen than fur Jum an' me. And
anyway, the queen's got the pearl
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