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THE ARGUS, TUESDAY, JANUARY 14, 1 908.
HENRY WALLACE PHILLIPS
COPYRIGHT. 1903. BY McCLURE. PHILLIPS t COMPANY
EDDY was on the station plat
form, walking up anl down
looking about him anxiously
We caught sight of each other
at the Barue time.
"Ill, there!" said be and jumped foi
me. "Gad-dog your little hide:" he
cried as he put iuy prut hand in lino
for a pension. "I thought-1 was book
ed to go without saying gondby to
you. You got tho note I pinned on
"Sure." ' ,
"Well, . there's time for a chin le
fore the ehon-choo starts. Thought I'd
be early, not savvying this kind of
traveling a great deal. Darned if you
ain't growed since I saw you! Getting
fat too! Well, how's everything? I
didn't fay nothing to the other boys
alout pulling tny freight, ns I wanted
to go sober for once. Yon explain to
em that old Hed's head ain't swelled,
will you? Seems kind of dirty to gt;
Off that way, but I'm bound for God's
country and the old time folks, and
somehow. I feel that I must cut the
budge out of It. "Nother thing Is I'm
superstitions, as you may or may not
have noticed, and I believe If you try
the same game twlcet you'll get just
ns different results as can be the sec
ond time. You heard how I hit it in
tho mines, didn't you? No? Well,
that's so. You ain't seen many people
out on the flat, have you? Hum! 1
don't know principally where to' lie
gin. You remember Wind River
Smith's pardner that the boys called
Shadder, Itecause he was ko thin? Nice
feller, always willing to do you a fa
vor or say something comical when
you least expected it. Had kind of a
style with him too. Yen, i'uat':; the
man. Well, hiai and me was out in
the Rend one day. holding a mess of
Oregon half breeds that was to be
shipped by train shortly, when old
Smithy comes with the mail. 'Letter
for you, Shudder,' says Smith and
passes over a big envelope with wads
of sealing was all over It. Shaddcr
reads his letter and folds It up. Then
he takes a look over the country the
kind of a look a man gives when he's
thinking hard. Then says he. 'lied,
take off your hat.' I done it. -Smithy,
take off your hat.' 'All right,' says
Smith, 'but you tell me why or I'll
snake the shirt off you to souare
"'Hoys,' e-ys Shadder, 'I'm Lord
"'Lord Ilellford" hollers Smithy.
'You'd better cail somebody in to look
at your plumbing. What you been
" 'Head for yourself,' says Shadder,
and he handel him the letter.
"Wish't you could have seen old
Smithy's face as he read It. He
thought his pardner had leen cut out
of his herd forever.
"'It's the ("Sod's truth, Red,' says he
slowly, and lie had a sideways smile
on his face as lie turned to Shadder.
'Well, sir.' pays he, 'I suppose congrat
ulations are ia order?"
"Shadd'-r's hand stopped short on
Its way to the cigarette, and he looked
at Smithy as if he couldn't believe
"To hell with 'em!' says he ns sav
age as a wildcat, and he jablted the
Irons In and whirled his cayuse about
on one toe, bending for the ranch.
"'Now yon go after him, you jealous
old sorehead.' says I. 'Co on,' I says
ns he started to argue the point, 'or I'll
spread your nose all the way down
your spinal column! The only time
to say 'No' to me Is when I'm not
meaning what I say, so away goes
Wind River, and they made It up
all right In no time. Well. Shaddcr
had to pull for England to take a
f.quint nt the ancestral estates, and all
of us was right here at this station to
see him off. Lord, It seems as If that
bapfiened last world! Well, It took
a little hit the edge off any and all
drunks n ranch as an Institution had
ever seen !efore. There was old Smithy
crying around, wiping bis eyes oti his
sleeve and explaining to a lot of east
ern folks that It wasn't Shadder's
fault gad hook It all! He was the
best, hootin', tootin' son-of-a-sea-cook
thnt ever hit a prairie breeze In spite
of this dum foolishness.
'"They can't make no "lord" of
Shadder!' hollers Smithy. 'That Is.
not for long. He'd a man, Shadder la
ain't cher, yer d d old gangle
legged hide rack?
"And Shadder never lost his patience
atvall, though It must have leen kind
of trying o be made Into such a holy
show Iefore the kind of people he
used to be used to. All he'd say 'was,
Ret your life, old boy!' Well, it was
rlcht enouirh. too. ns Smithv lind
nursed him through smallpox one win- j
tcr up In the Shoshonee country and
mighty near starved himself to death
feeding Shadder out of the slim grub
stock when the boy was on the mend.
Still, some people would have forgot
"But did your uncle Red get under
the Influence of strong drink? Did he?
Oh, my! Oh. my! I wish I could make
It clear to you. The vigilantes put
eu r " ""rM; UWI once in Montana,;
nyon. and there was all the stock
vim tue brands on em as big as a
Lad time to. stop for alleratlojis,'.
" 'Well, says they, rwhaf have you
got to say for yourself?' He looked
at them brands staring -him in the
face, and he bit off a small hunk of
chewing Ttt-chay!' Says he, 'Gentle
men, I'm at a loss for words! And
they let him go, as a good joke Is
worth its price in any man's country.
I'm iu that lad's fix. I ain't got the
words to tell you how seriously drunk
I was on that occasion. I reiuembrr
putting for what I thought was the
hotel and settling down, thinking there
must be a lulu of a scrap in the bar
room from the noise. Then somebody
gave me a punch in the ribs and says,
'Where's your ticket?' and I don't
know what I said nor what he said
after that, but it must have been, all
right. Then it got light, and I met a
lot of good friends I never saw before
nor since. Then more noise and trou
ble, and at last I woke up in a hotel
bedroom, all right, but not the one I
was used to. I went to the window,
heaved her open and looked out. It
was a bully morning, and I felt Al.
There was a nice range of mountains
out in front of me that must have
come up during the night. 'I'd like to
know where I am,' I thinks. 'But
somebody will tell me before long, so
there is no use worrying about thnt
the main point is, have I been touched?'
I dug down into my jeans, and there
wasn't a thing of any kind to remem
ber me by. 'No, I says to myself. 'I
ain't been touched I've been grabled
they might have left me the price
of a breakfast! Well. It's a uice look
ing country, anyhow! So down I
walks to the office. A cheerful seem
ing, plump kind of a man was sitting
behiud the desk. 'Hello!' says he,
glancing up and smiling as I came in.
'How do you open up this morning?'
" 'Somebody saved me the trouble,'
says I. 'I'm afraid I'll have to give
you the strong arm for breakfast.'
'He grinned wide. 'Oh, It ain't as
bad as that, I hardly reckon,' says he.
He dove into a safe and brought out a
" 'When a gentleman's in the condi
tion you was in last night.' he says, '1
always make it a point to go through
his clothes and take out anything a
stranger might find useful, trusting
that tliere won't be no offense the next
morning. Here's your watch and the
rest of your valuables, including the
cash. Count- your money and see If
It's right.; - -
"Well, sir! I was one happy man,
and I thanked that feller as 1 thumbed
over the bills, but when I got up to a
hundred and seventy I begun to feel
queer. Looked like I'd made good
money ou the trip.
" 'What's the matter?' says he. see
ing my face. 'Nothing wrong, I hope!'
" 'Why, the watch and the gun and
the other things Is all right,' says I.
'but I'm now .r0 to the good, even fig
uring that I didn't spend n cent, which
ain't In the least likely, and here's ten
dollar bills enough to make a bed
spread left over.'
"Tshaw!' says he. 'Blame it! I've
mixed your plunder up with the min
ing gentleman that came In at the
same time. You and him was bound
to fight at first, and then you both
turned to to lick me. and what with
keeping you apart and holding you off
and taking your valuables away from
you' all at the same time, and me all
alone here, ns it was the night man's
day off, I've made a blunder of it.
Just take your change out of the wad
and call for a drink on me when you
feel like it, will your
"I said I would do that, and, more
over, that he was an officer and a gen
tleman and that I'd stay at his hotel
two weeks at least to show my ap
preciation, no matter where It was,
but to satisfy a natural curiosity, I'd
like to know what part of the country
I was nt present Inhabiting.
" 'You're at Boise, Ida.,' says he;
'one of the best little towns in tho
l?st little territory In the United States
of America, including Alaska.'
" 'Well' says I. 'Well' for again
I was at a loss for words. I had no
Idea I'd gone so far from home. 'I be
lieve what you say,' says I. 'What
do you do round these parts?
" '.Mining,' says he. 'You're just In
time big strike In the Hob Cat dis
trict. Toor man's mining. Tlaccr, and
durncd good placer, right on the top of
the ground. The mining gentleman I
spoke about is having his breakfast
now. Suppose you go in and have a
talk with him? Nice man, drunk or
sober, although excitable when he's
had a little too much or not quite
enough. He might put you on to a
good, thing. I'm not a mining person
" 'Thanks,' says I and In I went to
the dining room.
There was a great, big, fine looking
1 man eating his ham and eggs the way
' I like to see a man eat the next morn-
Ing. He had a black beard that was so
strong It fairly Jumped out from his
" 'Mornin', says I.
"'Good morning, sir! says he. 'A
ver.al 8oftness aln.t jt?. -
-.Weil. I wouldn't care to bet on
that -without oinS little deeper into
tue subject, shvs I; 'but It smells good
t ieastso dot,s tliat bam and e(HpJ.
Mary ru tftte tne same wltn wiree
"'You have doubtless been attracted
to our small but growiug city from the
reports which are happily true of the
Inexhaustible mineral -wealth of the
surrounding region.' says he
"No-o not exactly,' says I; 'but I
do want to hear something about
mines. Mr. Hotelman out there (who's
a gentleman of the old school If ever
there lived one) told me that you might
put me on to a good thing.'
" 'Precisely, says he. 'Now, sir, my
name Is Jones Agamemnon G. Jones
and my pardner, Mr. II. Smith, is on
a business trip, selling shares of our
mine, which we have called "The
Treasury" from reasons which we can
make obvious to any investor. The
" 'Saunders Red Saunders Chanta
" 'Mi-. Saunders, are f0 cents apiece,
which price is really only put upon
them to avoid the offensive attitude of
dealing them out ns charity. As a
matter of fact, this mine of ours con-
taius a store of gold which would up
set the commercial world 'were the
bare facts of its extent known. Thera
is neither sense nor amusement in
confining such enormous treasure in
the hands of two people. Consequent
ly my pardner and I arc presenting an
Interest to the public, putting the nom
inal figure of 50 cents a share upon it,
to save the feelings of our beueflcla-J
'What the devil do I care?' says I.
'I'm looking for a chance to dig. Could
you tell a man where to go?'
" 'Oh,' says he, 'when you come to
that, that's different. Strictly speak
ing, my pardner Hy hasn't gone off
on a business trip. As a matter of
fact, he left town night before last
with two-thirds of the money we'd
pulled out of a ' pocket up on Silver
creek in the company of two half
breed Injuns, a Chinaman and four
more sons of guns not classified, all
In such a state of beastly iutoxlcatlon
that their purpose, route and destina
tion are matters of tho wildest con
jecture. I've been laying around town
here hating myself to death, thinking
perhaps I could sell some shares in a
mine that we'll find yet, If we have
good luck. If you want to go wild
catting over the hills and far away.
I'm your huckleberry.'
" 'That hits me all right, says I.
'For what 1 don't know about mining
nobody don't know. When do we
This or any other minute,' says he,
getting up from the table.
'"Wait till I finish up these egrs,
says I. 'Aud there's a matter of one
drink coining to me outside. . I may as
well put that where It won't harm
any one else before we start.
"'All right,' says he, waving his
hand. 'You'll find me outside, at your
, "I swallered the rest of my break
fast whole and bustled out to the bar,
where my friend and the hotel man
was waiting. 'Now I'll take that drink
that's coming, aud rather than be
small about it I'll buy one for you,
too, and then we're off,' says I.
" 'You won't do no such thing, says
the hotel man. 'It's a horse on me,
and I'll supply the liquor. Mr. Jones
is in the play ns much as anybody.'
"So the hotel man set 'cm up, and
that made one drink. Then Jones said
he'd never let a drink suffer from
lonesomeness yet when he had the
price, and that made two drinks. I
had to uphold the honor of the ranch,
and that made three driuks. Hotel
man said it was up sticks now, and
he meant to pay his just debts like an
honest man, and that made four
drinks. Then Jones said well, by this
time I see I needn't have hurried
breakfast so much. More people came
In. I woke up the next morning in
the same old bedroom. Every break
fast Aggy and me got ready to pull
for the mines, and every morning I
woke up in the ledroom. I should
like to draw a veil over the next two
werks, but it would have to be a
pretty strong veil to hold it. I tried
to keep level with Aggy. but he'd
spend three dollars to my one, aud4the
consequence of that was that we went
broke within .fifteen minutes of each
"Well, sir, we were a mournful pair
to draw to thnt day. We sat there
and cussed and said. 'Now, why didn't
we do thia, that and t'other thing in
stead of, blowing our hard earned
dough?' till bimeby we just dripiod
melancholy, you might say. How
somever. we weren't booked for a dull
time just yet. That afternoon there
was a great popping of whips like an
Injun skirmish and into town comes
a bull train half a mile long. Twelve
yoke of bulls to the team; lead, swing
and trail wagons for each, as big as
houses on wheels. You don't see the
like of that In this country. Down
the street they come, the dust flying,
whips cracking and the lads hollering:
.'Whoa haw, Mary up there! Wherp!
Vhoa haw!" -
"And those fellers had picked . up
dry throats walking in the dust; also
they had a month's wages aching In
their pockets. We hadn't much more'n
got the thump of their arrival out of
our ears when who comes roaring Into
town but the Bengal Tiger gang, and
they had four months' wages. The own
er of the mine got on a bender and paid
everybody off by mistake. You can
hardly Imagine how this livened np
things. There ain't nobody less likely
to play lame dnck than me, but there
was bo dodging the hospitality. The
only Idea prevailing was to be rid of
the money as soon as possible. The
effects showed right off. You could
hear one man telling the folks for
their own good that he was the Old
Missouri River, and when he felt like
swelling his banks It was time for
parties who couldn't swim to hunt
the Iiign ground, wtiiie tne gentleman
i on tne next COruer let us know that lite
; waa locomotive carrying ?.t)6 pounds
;of steam with the gauge still climbing
nd the blower on. - When he whistled
three times, he, said, any Intelligent
man would Know that there was dan- ruther be, and after us the whole
ger around. . ' - town, whoopin', yeilin', crackin' off
"Well, sir, I put the Old Missouri six shooters and carryiu' on wild.
River to bed that night, and he'd flat- "Then we had $23 and was as good
tened out to a very small streamlet in- as anybody. But It didn't last long,
deed, while the locomotive went lame The tin horns come out after pay day
before supper, aud had to be put In like hoptoads after a rain. - 'Twould
the roundhouse by a couple of pushers, puzzle the government at .Washington
That's the way with fine Ideas. Cold to know where they hang out In the
facts comes and puts a crimp In them. , meantime. There was one lad had a
Once I knew a small feller I could face on him with about as much ex
have stuck in my pocket and forgot pression as a hotel punkin pie. He
about, but when we went out and took run an arrow game, and he talked
several prescriptions together oa a day right straight along In a voice that had
he spoke to me like this: 'Red,' Hays no more bends In It than a billiard cue.
he, 'put your little hand In mine, and' "'Here's where you get your three
we'll go and take a birdseye view of for one any child may do It no chance
the universe.' Astonishln' Idea, wasn't to lose make your lets while the ar
lt? And him not weighing over a hun- row of fortune swings all gents ac
dred pound. Howsomever, he didn't commodated in amounts from two bits
take any birdseye view of the uni- to double eaglesaud bets paid on the
verse. He only become strikingly In- J nail,' says he.
disposed. ... . '"Red,' says Aggy, 'I can double our
"Well, to get back to Boise, you ' pile right here. Let me have the
never in nil your life saw so many! money. I know this game.' You'd
men and brothers as was gathered hardly believe it, bit I dug up. 'Dou
there that day, and old Aggy, he was. ble or quits?' says he to the dealer,
one of the centers of attraction. That) '"Let her go,' says the dealer. The
big voice and black beard was always arrow swung around. 'Quits,' 6ays the
where tho crowd was thickest and the ' dealer and raked in my dough. It was
wet goods flowing the freest. 'Gentle-! all over in one second,
men,' says he, 'let's lift up our voices "I grabbed Aggy by the shoulder
in melody!' That was one of Ag's de- and took him In the corner for a prl
lusions he thought he could sing. Soj vate talk. 'I thought you knew this
four of 'em got on top of a billiard game?' says I.
table and presented 'Rocked In the' '"I do,' says he. 'That's the way It
Cradle of the Deep' to tho company, I always happens.' And once more In
which made me feel glad that I hadn't ;
been brought up that way. After Ag
had hip locked the last low note an
other song bird volunteered.
"This was a little fat Dutchman,
with pale blue eyes and a mustache
like two streaks of darning cotton.
He had come to town to sell a pair of
beef steers, but got drawn sinto the
general hilarity, and now he didn't
care a cuss whether he, she or It ever
sold another steer. He got himself on
end and sung fT.eeb Fadderlont mox
true eckstein jn a style that made yon
wonder that the human nose could
stand the strain.
"'Aw, cheese that! says a feller
near the door. 'Come, get your steers;
one of 'em's just chased the barber up
a telegraph pole!'
"So then we all piled out Into the
street to see the steers. Sure enough,
there wa the barber sitting on the
crosspiece and the steer pawing dirt
" 'He done made me come a fast
heat from de cohner,' says the barber.
I kep hollerin "Next!" but he ain't
pay no 'tention he make it "next" fur
me, shuah! Yah, yah, yah! You gents
orter seen me start at de bottom an'
slide ail de way up dis yer telegraft
pole' . . .
"One of the bull whackers went out
to rope the steers, nojl Ag gave direc
tions from the sidewalk. He wasn't
very bandy with a riata, and that's a
fact, but the way Ag lit into him was
scandalous. When he'd missed about
six casts of bis rope, opened up on
him: - ' '-l! v
" Tut a stamp on It nnd send it to
him by mall, said Aggy In his sour
castic way. 'Address it, "Bay Steer,
middle of Main street, Boise,- Ida. If
not delivered within ten days, return
to owner, who can use it to hang him
self." Blast my hide If I couldn't
stand here and throw a box car nearer
to the critter! Well, well, well! now
many left hands have you got, any
how? Do it up in a wad and heave it
at him for general results. He might
get tangled In it
It rattled the bull whacker, having
so much attention drawn to him, nnd
he stepped on the rope aud twisted
himself up In it and was flying light
'Say,' says Ag, appealing to the
crowd, 'won't some kind friend who's
fond of puzzles go down and help that
gentleman do himself?'
"That made the whacker mad. He
was as red in the face as a lobster,
" 'You come; down and show what
you can do,' says he. 'You've got gas
enough for a balloon ascension, but
that may be all there Is to you.'
'"Oh, I ain't so much,' says Aggy,
'although. I'm as good a man today as
ever I was in my life, but I have a lit
tle friend here who can rope, down
and ride that critter from here to the
brick front in. five minutes by Jhe
watch, and if you!ve got a twenty-flvo
dollar bill In your pocket or its equiv
aleut in dust you can observe the ex
peri men t.' ..
" 'I'll go yo'i, by gosh" says the bull
whacker, slapping . his hat on the
grouud nnd digging for his pile.
" 'Say, If you're referring to me,
Ag,' I says, 'It's kiud of a sudden
spring. I ain't what you might call in
training, and that steer Is full of triple
extract of giant powder.'
"'G'wan!' says Ag. 'Yon can do it
and then "we're twnty-flve ahead.'
"'But suppose we lose?'
'"Well It won't be such an awful
" 'Now, you look here, Agamemnon
G. Jones,' sa.Vs lt .'I ain't going to
stand for putting; up a summer breeze
agiu that" feller's good dough. That's
a skin game, to speak It pleasantly.'
"Then Aggy argues the case with
me, and when Aggy started to argue
you might just as well 'moo' and chase
yourself Into the corral, because he'd
get y6u sure.- -Why, that mnn could
sit In the cabin and make roses bloom
right in the middle of the floor. While
he was singing his little song you
could see 'ehrand smell 'em. He could
talk a snowbank off. a high divide In
the middle,. xf - February. Never see
anybody .with such a medicine tongue,
and in a big man it was all the stran
ger. 'Now, he winds up, 'as for cheat
ing that feller, you ;onght to know me
better, Red. . Why, I'll give him my
note. .' .-v ... . -
anyhow,; I done It: Up the'
street we went; steer bawling and,
buct jumping. my lialr a flying ana ra
as busy as thlittle bee you read about
teeplng" that steer underneath -me
'stead of on top of me, where he'd
my life I experienced the peculiar feel
ing of being altogether at a loss for
" 'Aggy, says I at last, 'I've got a
good notion to lay two violent bands
ou you nnd wind you tp like an eight
day clock, but rather than make hard
feelings between friends I'll refrain.
Besides, you are a funny cuss, that's
sure. One thing, boy, you can mark
down. We leave here tomorrow morning-'
" 'All right,' says Ag. 'This sporting
life is the very devil. I like outdoors
as well as the next man, when I get
"So the morrow morning away we
went. All we had for kit was the
picks, shovels and pans. The rest of
our belongings was staying with the
hotel man until we made a rise.
Ag said he'd be cussed if he'd walk.
A hundred and fifty miles of stroll
was too many.
" 'But we ain't got a cent to pay the
stage fare,' says I.
" 'Borrow it of Uncle Hotel-keep,
'Not by a town site,' says I. 'We
owe him all we're going to at this
very minute. You'll have to hoof it,
'I tell you I won't. I don't like to
have anybody walk on my feet, not
even myself. I can stand off that
stage driver so easy that you'll won
der I don't take it up as a profession.
Now, don't raise any more objections
please don't,' says he. 'I can't tell
you how nervous you make me, al
ways finding some fault with every
thing I try to do. That's no way for a
hired man to act, let alone a pardner.'
"So of course he got the best of me.
as usual, and we climbed into the
stage when she come along. Now,
our bad luck, seemed to hold, because
you wouldn't lind many men in that
country who wouldn't stake two fel
Iers to a wagon ride wherever they
wanted to go and be pleasant about
it. I'd have sure seen that the man
got paid, even if Aggy forgot it, but
the man that drove us was the surli
est brute thnt ever growled. When
you'd speak to him he'd say, 'TJnh' a
style of thing that didn't go well In
that part of the country. I kept my
mouth shut, as knowing that I didn't
have the come-up-with weighed on my
tel I you I won't. I don't like to have
anybody walk on my feet."
spirits, but Aggy gave him the Jolly
He only meant it in fun, and there was
plenty of reason for it, too, for you
never seen such a game of driving as
that feller put up in all your life. The
Lord save us! He cut around one cor
ner of a mountain so that for the
longest second I've lived through my
left foot hung over about a thousand
feet of fresh air. I'd have had time
to write my will before I touched bot
tom if we'd gone over. I don't know
as I turned pale, but my hair alnt
been of the same rosy " complexion
- " 'Well!' says Aggy in a surprised
tone of voice when we got all four
wheels on the ground again.' Here we
nteV says he. 'Who'd have suspected
it? I thought he was going to take
the snort cut aowu to tii crees.
-"The driver turned round with
corner of his lip h'isted a dead rlngei
of a mean man. Says he to Aggy
Yer a funny bloke, ain't yer?'
'Why, says Ag. 'that's for you tt
say wouldn't look well coming from
me but if you press me I'll admit 1
give birth to a little gem now and
"Our bold buck puts on a great
swagger. 'Well, yer needn't be funny
In this wagon,' says he. 'The pair of
ye? spongin' a ride! Yer needn't be
gay. Yer hear me, don't cher?
" 'Why, I hear you as plain as though
you set right next me, says Ag. 'Now,
you listen and see if I'm audible at the
same range. You're a blasted chump"
he roars in a tone of voice that would
have carried forty mile. 'Did you hear
that. Red?' he nsks very innocent. -1
was so hot at the driver's sass th
cussed Iowr downness of doing a f ellet
a favor and then heaving it at him
that you could have lit a match on ni6
anywheres, but to save me I couldn't
help laughing A g had the comicalest
"At that the driver begins to larrup
the horses. I ain't the kind to feel
faint when a cayuse gets what's com
ing to him for raising the devil, but
to see that lad whale his team because
there wasn't nothing else he dared hit
got me on my hind legs. I nestled
one hand In his hair and twisted his
ugly mug back.
"'Quit that! says I.
" 'You let me be I ain't hurting you,'
"'That ain't to say I won't be hurt
ing you soon,' says. I. 'You put the
bud on them horses again, and I'll boot
the spine of your back up through the
top of your head till it stands out like
a flagstaff. Just one more touch and
you get It!' says I.
"He didn't open his mouth again till
we come to the river. Then he pulled
up. This Js about as far as I care
to carry you two gents for nothln', he
ays. 'Of course you're two to one,
and I can't do nothing If you see fit to
bull the thing through. But I'll say
this, if either one or both of you roost
ers has got the least smell-of a gentle
man about him he won't have to be
told his company ain't wanted twice.'
"Now, mind yon, Ag and roe didu'i
have the first cussed thing not grub
nor blankets nor gun nor nothing, and
this the feller well knew.
' 'Red,' says Aggy, 'what do you say
to pulling this thing apart and seeing
what makes it act so?
"'No. says I, 'don't touch It-It
might be catching. Now, you whelp.
says I to the driver, 'you tell ns if
there's a place where we can get any'
thing to eat around here? We'd ex
pected to go hungry until we hit the
camp some forty miHs further on,
where we knew there'd be plenty for
anybody that wanted It.
" 'Yes,' says he. 'There's a man run
ning a shack two mile up the river.'
ah rignt,' says I. 'Drive on.
You've played us as dirty a trick as
one man can play another. If we everj
get a cinch on you, you can expect
we'll pull her fill the latigoea snap.
"He kept shut till be got across the
river, where he felt safe.
"'It's all right about that clnchr be
hollers back, grinning. 'Only wait till
you get lt, yer suckers! Sponges!
Bents! Deadheads! Yah!
"Well, a man can't catch a team of
horses, nnd that's all there Is about
It. but I want to tell you he was on the
anxious seat for a quarter of a mile.
We tried hard.
"When we got back to where we
started nnd could breathe again, we
held a council of war.
"'Now. Aggy, says I, 'we're dumped.
What shall we do?"
"He sat there awhile looking around
him, snapping pebbles with his thumb.
" 'Tell you what it is. Red,' he says
at last, 'we might ns well go mining
right here. This is likely gravel, and
there's a river. If that bar in front of
you had been further In the mountains
It would have been punched full of
boles. It's only because it's on the
rond that nobody's taken the trouble
to see what was In It This road was
made by cattle ranchers that didn't
know nothing alwut mining, and every
miner that's gone over the trail had
his mouth set to get further along as
quick as rossible just like us. Do
yon see that little hollow running
down to the river? Well, you try
your luck there. I give you that place,
as it's the most probable, and you as a
tenderfoot in the business will have all
the luck. I'll make a stab where I am.
"Well, sir, it sounds queer to tell it
and it seems queerer still to think of
the doing of lt, but I hadn't dug two
feet before I come to led rock, and
there was some heavy black chunks.
" 'Aggy, says I, 'what's these things?
tnrowlug one over to him. He caugb
lt and stared at lt.
'"Where did you get that? says he
in almost a wnisper,
"'Why, out of the hole, of course!'
Bays I, laughing. 'Come take a look!'
"Aggy wasn't the. kind of a man to
go off the handle Over trifles, but when
he looked Into that hole he turned per
fectly green. His knees give out from
under him, and he sat on the ground
like a man In a trance, wiping the
sweat off his face with a motion like
"What the devil alls your says I,
astonished. I thought maybe I'd done
something I badn t ought to do
through ignorance of . the rules and
regulations Of mining,
'Red,' says he, dead solemn, Tve
mined for twenty year and from old
Mexico to Alaska, but I never saw
anything that was ace high to that
before. " Gold laying loose in chunks
on top of the bed rock Is too much
for me. I wish Hy could see this.
" 'Gold!' htya I. 'What you talking
about? What have those black hunks
to do with jold?
The only answer he made was to
lay- the one I had thrown to him on
1ln Ckt A wV Anil flit fll jiv.ar.lr M.l 1.
I h pick. Then be banded it tcr uw.
was the yeller. Of course ' If Tt
known more about the business I could
bave told it by the weight but I'd
never seen a piece of gold fresh oft
the farm before in my life. I hadn't
the slightest idea what it looked like,
and I learned afterward it all looks
different. Some of it shines up yeller
in the start, some of it's red, and some
is like ours, coated black with iron
"So I looked at Ag, and Ag looked
at me, neither one ' of us believing
anything at all for awhile. I simply
couldn't get hold of the thing I ain't
yet, for that matter. I expect to waks
cp and find lt a pipe dream, and In
some ways I wouldn't mind if it was.
I never was so completely two men an
I was on that occasion. One of 'em
was hopping around and hollering
with Ag, yelling 'Hooray! and tho
other didn't take much interest in the
proceedings at all. And it wasn't until
I thought, 'Now I can pay tbt cuss
ed coyote of a stage driver what I
owe him" that I got any good out of
it. That brought It home to me. When
I spoke to Ag about paying the driver,
he says, 'That so.' Then he takes a
quick look around. 'We can pay him
In full, too, old horse!' he hollers, and
there was a most joyful smile on his
" 'Red,' says he, 'don't you know this
is the only ford on the river for I
don't know how many miles perhaps
the whole length of her?"
" 'Well,' says I.
"'Our little placer claim says Aggy
slowly, nibbing bis hands together,
'covers that ford, and by a judicious
taking up of claims for various uncles
and brothers and friends of ours along
the creek on the lowlands we can fix
it so they can't even bridge it
'Do you mean they can't cross onr
claim If we say they can't?'
" 'Sure thing:' says Aggy. There'
you and me and the law to say 'No
to that. I wish I bad a gun.
"You don't need any gun for that
skunk of a driver.
'Of course not, but there'll be pas
sengers, and there's no telling how ex
cited them passengers will be when
they find they've got to go over the
hills ford hunting.'
'"Are you going to send 'em all
"'The whole bunch. Anybody com
ing back from the diggings has gold
in bis clothes, so it won't hurt 'em
none, and I propose to give that stage
line an advertising that won't do it a
bit of good. Come along. Red. Let's
see that lad that has the shack up
the river. We need something to eat,
and maybe he's got a gun. If he's a
decent feller, we'll let him in on a
claim. Never mind about the bole.
It won't run away, and there's nobody
to touch anything. Come on.
"So we went up the river. The
man's name was White, and he was a
white man by nature too. He fed ns
well and was just as hot ns us when
we told him about the stage driver's
trick. Then we told him about th
find and let him in.
" 'Now, says Aggy, 'have you got a
'I have that' says the man. 'My
dad used to be a duck bunter on Ches
apeake bay. AVhen you say "gun" I'll
show you a gun. He dove In under
his bunk and fetched out what I should
6fly was a No. 1 bore shotgun, with
barrels six foot long.
Gentlemen,' says he, holding the
gun up and patting it lovingly, 'if you
ram. a quarter pound of powder In
each one of them barrels and a hand
ful of buckshot on top of that you've
got an argument that couldn't be upset
by the supreme court I'll guarantee
that when you point her anywheres .
within ten feet of a man not over a
hundred yards away and let her do her
duty, all the talent that that man's
fambly could employ couldn't gather
enough of him to recognize him by.
and you won't be In bed more'n long
enough to heal a busted shoulder.
" 'I hope it ain't going to be my pain
ful line of performance to pull the
trigger,' says Aggy. 'I think the sight
of her would have weight with most
people. When's the stage due back?'
'"Day after tomorrow, about noon.
"'That gives us lots of time to stake
and to salt claims that can't show
cause their own selves,' says Aggy. 'I
think we're all right
"The next day we worked like the
old Harry. We had everything fixed
up right by nightfall, and there waa
nothing to do but dig and wait
"Curious folks we all are,, ain't we?
I should have said my own self that If
I'd found gold by the bucketful, I'd be
more Interested In that than I would
be in getting even with a mut that bad
done me dirt, but It wasn't so. Fer
haps it was because I hadn't paid
much attention to money all my life,
and I bad paid the strictest attention
to the way other people used me. LlT
ing where there's so few folks ac
counts for that I suppose. "
"Getting even on our esteemed
friend, the .stage driver, was right in
your Uncle Reddy's line, and Aggy and
our new pard. White, seemed to take
kindly to it, also.
"If ever yon saw three faces filled
with innocent glee, it was when we
beard the wheels of that stage coming
hy, the night before I was woke
up by somebody laughing. There was
Aggy sound asleep, sitting up bugging
himself in the moonlight - -
" 'Oh, my! Oh, my!' says he. 'It's
the only ford for 4.000 miles'.' -
"We planted a sign in the middle of
the road with this wording on it in big
letters, made with the black end of a,
stick: - . -
This and adjolnlnc claims are the prpp
erty of Agamemnon G. Jonea. Bed Saun
ders. John Henry White, et al.
- Trespassing done at - your own rlski
Owners .will not b responsible for th
"There was a stretch of about a.mlle
on the level before us. When thentagA
ont. Sure enough! There under the black come la plain sight Aggy proceeds ta
' - - -.: r; i. i" (Continued on Page-Nine!)