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Newspaper Page Text
SEVEN NOTCHES IN A HUNTING KNIFE
BY JACK JUNGMEYER.'
Copperopolis, Cal., April 21. The
dogs of this little mining, camp wei
talking to the moon when Carlos
Martin, seeker of gold and excite
ment, told me the story of the seven
notches in the bone-handled hunting
knife of his old comrade, Dick Abbott.
"I've seen men in the North merely
shrug their shoulders when their
shoulders when their wives were
coaxed away" said Martin, who is
tall, tanned and wiry despite his 60
years, "but you steal, their gold and
dust and they will trail you 'to the:
ends of the earth!
"Old Dick Abbott didn't have a
wife, so he loved his gofcLall the more
And he had a big sack of it stowed
Vway in his cabin up near Fort Stee-
He, British Columbia out in the timber.
"I was prospecting close by, and
for many moons we bad fried dtlr
bacon in thesame,,pan aHd.Jfstend'lromped.intD.them -..
to the wolves from the same bed of 5
embers a,t night.
"Beside the gold, Dick had blankets
and beans and whisky. - i
"I met him one afternoon going to- ?
ward his cabin. He was smiling
throujgh his scraggly beard and he
said, 'Going out soon, Martin; got
about all the dust I want.' "
Martin is a sort of temperamental .
man, as most soldiers of fortune are
when their hairs begins to grey. The
glow of his pipe during the pauses
showed glistening eyes.
"When Dick reached his cabin that
day,." resumed Martin, "every thing
was gone gold, blankets, 'beans and
"Dick thought fask The liquor was
the cue. He knew that before the In
dians had gone many miles they
would' be dead, drunk. How many ,
there were he had no idea, maybe
three, maybe "thirty.
"Seeing red, -Abbott trotted off into
the-forest, alone, swinging his Win
chester. "TTnw Vlp trailed fhe mnrrjTirloro Vio
fhiinself-said he hardly knew. Seem
ed to be by instinct, sharpened by his
fury and his love of the gold.
"Four hours later, he was peering
from behind a tree. .Before him
around a fire were seven Indians,
maudlin, shaking his precious yellow
dust on the ground.
"At this point, in telling me what ..
happened, Abbott always unsheathed
his big knife with the seven notches
on the bone handle.
" 'They were shaking my gold on
the ground and swilling my good;
whisky,' he'd say, 'seven of the dogs. '
Anfl.dn every copper face was a dare
and an insult.
" 'I waited until they was good and
drunk me being one to seven and
not wanting the odds too heavy and
'when they law down aroiihd their fire
i -jeapea irom Deaina, me tree ana