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Evening star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, November 03, 1912, Image 56

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BLUE, Who for Fif
teen Years Has Taken a
Leading Part in Fight Against
the Rat?The Chief Object of
His Study of Rodent Exter
mination Has Been for the
Purpose of Combating Bu
bonic Plague?Fighting Vari
ous Outbreaks of the Plague
Throughout the Country?
Killing From 15,000 to 20,000
Rats Each Week?Odd Rat
Trap Models Submitted to
Dr. Blue for Consideration?
Many of Them Worthless,
While Others Accomplish the
Desired Results.
IEL> PIPER, that
picturesque legend
ary character, with
the alluring notes of
his magic pipe freed
from rats the little
town of flamelin.
Passed A s sistaru
Surgeon R u pert
Blue, by means les<
a r t i s t ic. but far
more effect i v e .
freed from this mu
rlne p<-st San Francisco and other cities,
and today as surgeon genera! of the
1'nited States public health service, is
superintending the extermination of the
rodent population of the entire island ?>f
Porto Rico, .".?**? square miles in extent.
Magic, which placed the all-important
part in the accomplishments of the nomad
piper of Hamlin, has not figured in l>r.
Blue's undertakings. In its place have
been steel traps, poisoned bait, fixed de
termination and unending perseverance.
Supplementing these have been educa
tional campaigns on sanitation and rat
proof construction
* *
For tifteen years he has taken th.< lead
ing part in the tight against the rat
throughout the ITnited States, and today
he is the foremost authority on rodent
extermination in tlie land. To him be
longs the undisputed title of "Pled Piper
to t'nele Sam."
I'ntil his appointment as surgeon gen
?ral of the I'nited States public health
service I>r. Blue served as the com
mander of fighting forces on the very
scene of the battle against the rat, but
now he is tiie general wiio occupies a
point of vantage and directs the move
ment!) of his army of rodent extermi
nator- He is also the chief of ordnance
upon whom rests the responsibility for
the selection of the ammunition with
which his men on the firing line must
fight their battles.
I'nlike Pied Piper, whose sole induce
ment for rat killing was tiie promise of
."Vi.ooo golden guilders. Surgeon General
Blue has accomplished his tasks both for
the purpose of ridding communities of
Rm'hf - l>> SurKron tieneral Bit
these thieving vermin nn:l of the death
dealing diseases which they carry. The
chief.object of his study of rodent ex
termination. of course, has been for me
purpose of combating bubonic plague, for
the rat, worst mamalian pest known to
ni:in. is dfrectly responsible for this dread
disease of commerce.
, IIubonic plague- is pt imarily a disease e>f
rodents, and secondarily and a'-cidentally
a disease of man. Man's safety from the
disease lies in the exclusion of the rodent
and his parasites. If a man can live in
rodent-free surroundings he need have no
fear of plague, because if there be no ro
dents there can be no rodent parasites,
and for all practi a! purposes the flea,
which is the chief rodent parasite, may
be considered as the common vector of
the disease from rodent to rodent and
from rodent to man. The eradication of
plagu??, therefore, means the eradication
of rodents.
In combating the- various outbreaks
of bubonic plague throughout the coun
try during the past fifteen years, Dr.
Blue has superintended the extermina
tion of millions of rats. During the tight
against the dread di-ease in San Fran
cisco in 1!H?7. when be was in direct
charge of the campaign, not a week
passed but that from 15,ewio to 2'Mh:o rats
passed to the happy hunting ground of
their kind The rodent extermination
during the months that campaign was
under way was the greatest in all his
Today in Porto Rico the fight against
the rat is being waged by a corps of ex
perienced "rodentologists," who served
e during the past few weeks from tnven
under Dr. Blue in San Francisco. On
this occasion Dr. Blue is not on the
very scene of action, but by means of
telegraphic reports is kept in close touch
with the situation. The fight lias been
quite strenuous, for. while the rodent
population is not extensive, it is scat
tered over such a vast area as to make
the campaign difficult. Instead of a
fight with a city block as the unit of
measure, the square miie has been found
more appropriate in Porto Rico
it *
? 'lose study of the various species of
rats has been one of the chief reasons
why Surgeon Genera! Blue has been so
successful in bringing about their ex
termination. * Thorough knowledge of
their habits has enabled him to adopt
methods of eradication best fitted in
each case. Qf the 300 species of
the genus mus. four are contended with
in fighting plague. They are the Mus
norwegicus. the so-called brown or gray
rat. wiio stands at the bead of his fam
ily both in point of destructlveness and
number; the black rat, Mus rattus, the
inhabitant of ships: Mus alexandrinus.
or roof rat, who makes his home in high
places, and the Mus musculus, or com
mon house mouse. To know just when
to resort to the guillotine or snap trap
and when to employ fumigation and
scatter poisoned liait are but a few of
the rat extermination problems Dr. Blue
has mastered.
His work has necessitated the study
of rat traps of every type, and today lie
is? the best informed man on the sub
ject in the country. Every rat-killing
device manufactured has been investi
ors throughout the I nitrd State*.
gated by him. Some be obtains himself,
while others are forwarded to him by
inventors who desire the child of their
brain to receive the mark of approval
from the official rat-catchej of the land.
* *
Recently Surgeon General Blue let it
be known that he wished to acquire for
the government models of any new types
of rat destroyers in order to ascertain
whether there had been invented any
traps superior to those generally used
by the health service. Rat trap inventors
ail over the country immediately got
busy and he has been flooded with traps
ever since. Not satisfied with having for
warded to Washington models of their
traps, a number of inventors traveled
hundreds of miles to the National Capital
to give personal demonstrations.
The response from rat trap inventors
was so generous that Dr. Blue soon had
in liis office the greatest collection of ro
dent-destroying devices ever seen. It was
in reality a national rat trap exposition,
and was so interesting that the surgeon
general included It in the public health
service exhibit at the recent Fifteenth In
ternational Congress on Hygiene and De
mography held in Washington in order
that scientists from all over the world
might have the opportunity of viewing it.
Many of the models were prac tical, but
a large percentage of them failed to get
Dr. Blue's mark of approval. One of the
most elaborate traps received was one
which Dr. Blue has named the "Ra*a
pult," because of Its unique construction.
The apparatus Is so arranged that when
an unsuspecting rodent attempts to enter
a cagelike compartment to get at the
baron with which the trap is baited he
steps on a lever which releases some
spring mechanism fitted above it A
metai arm operated by a heavy spiral
spring is released and. passing: through
a slot in the cagelike compartment in
the manner of a catapult, it strikes the
unfortunate rodent with a blow of suf
ficient force to break every bone in its
body and then hurls the carcass at least
fifteen feet away from the trap. The
spring will operate tlie device fifteen
times on one winding.
The inventor of this odd device, who
journeyed to Washington from a little
town in Kansas to demonstrate his in
vention. explained t<> Dr. Blue that the
superiority of his apparatus lay in the
fact that after killing the rat it hurled
it away so that other i-ats would not be
come frightened on seeing the dead body
of their comrade and refrain from en
deavoring to get at the bacon rind with
which tlie trap is baited.
* *
Another unique device consisted of a
box-like trap, the interior surfaces of
which are covered with mirrors. The
rat upon entering a small opening on one
side immediately becomes bewilderen.
The duplicating mirrors cause a hundred
'rats to stare at him. Seeing so many
comrades, all fear is banished, however,
from the unsuspecting rodent, the inven
tor of the device explained to Dr. Blue,
and he begins to investigate his sur
roundings forthwith. I'nab.e to pick his
way because of the bewildering effect of
the mirrors, the rat bumps into a fatal
spring and in an instant the entrance to
the crystal maze close- with a snap.
Death by suffocation is provided in an
other odd device. The apparatus con
sists of a tin tube about eight or ten
inches long and just large enough in
diameter to permit a rat to crawl through
it with ease. The interior of one portion
of the tube Is lined with cotton wool J On
this a fine powder, the ingredients of
which the inventor kept secret, is
Th's operation constitutes the setting of
In the army now freeing: Porto Rleo
from ltd rodent population.
*he trap. It is then p'a<-ed at the open
!ng of a rat hole or burrow. When a rat
wishes to venture forth it is necessary
for him to crawl through the tube. The
instant lie touches the cotton the powder
snows down upon him. It gets into his
nostrils, the inventor explained, and
rauses instant death. He failed to state
just whether the rat is suffocated or
merely sneezes himself to death.
A way to induce rats to kill each other
and commit suicide was explained by a
woman living in Indiana in a lengthy
letter to Surgeon General Blue. A large
iron kettle with steep and slippery sides
is filled with water and a stone is placed
in the center, making a small desert
island. Two paper bridges ai? then
placed across the top, and a piece of
cheese is laid in the middle.
The first rat smells the bait and breaks
through one of the bridges in his efforts
to reach it. Having gotten on the island,
he sets up a howl for rescue. His pal
comes on the jump, and. of course, lands
on the Island also. The evil tempered
brutes immediately begin to light for
possession of the small dry space, and
all the rats in the community dash to the
spot, hoping to be at the finish. A great
rat disaster ensues, and the cold pray
dawn finds the kettle full of floating
bodies. It is needless to say that the
plan did not meet with Surgeon General
Blue's approval.
Death by drowning is also provided in
a similar device, drawings of which were
received by Dr. Blue. A tub or half bar
rel is filled with water. A thick layer
of bran is then sprinkled on the surface
of the water. Being extremely light, a
rather thick layer of bran can he sprink
led on the water before it begins to sink
to the bottom of the tub. oard. one
end of which rests on the floor and the
other on the edge of the barrel or tub,
makes it possible for a rat to reach the
bran. Believing the tub to be completely
filled with bran, a rat will invariably
make for the very center of it, the in
ventor explained. Leaping from the edt-e
of the receptacle, he sinks through the
bran and is drowned. The floating bran
soon closes the opening made by the rat.
and everything is then in readiness for
the next unsuspecting rodent that hap
pens to come along.
:|E ' .
^ -\'l
A number of suggestions for killing rats
by electrocution have also been received
by Dr. Blue. g"or the most part, how
ever. they have been impractical. Such
is the case with a large majority of the
models for traps received by him. no mat
ter whether they be mechanical, electrical
or otherwise.
Because of the simplicity of construc
tion, low cost of manufacture and sure
ness of action. Surgeon General Blue con
siders the so-called guillotine, snap or
deadfall trap to be the best for rodent
extermination. There are many traps of
this type manufactured, but those of flat
construction have proven superior in
many vva.\ s to those having perpendicular
projections. The flat *ype of guillotine
trap can be placed along a narrow run
way or at the mouth of a hole or burrow
where one of bulky construction would
be worthless. Any other type of trap
when placed in this position would block
the runway and immediately cause the
rodents to become suspicious. No matter
how tempting the morsel witii which a
trap is baited, a rat will not attempt to
approach it when once his suspicions have
been aroused.
The appearance of the guillotine trap is
not alarming to rodents. Surgeon General
Blue has found, and without hesitation
an unsuspecting rat makes for the halt,
only to be imprisoned beneath the wire
fall in a manner that either crushes its
skull or strangles it to death.
The big wire cage trap is not without
merit, however, for it lias the advantage
of catching the rats alive and very fre
quently more than one at a time. This
type of trap has been found well suited
for catching sewer rats. It if also of
great value when it is desired to catch
rats alive for the purpose <>f observing
them to ascertain whether they are in
fected with plague.
Barrel traps have been found useful in
warehouses where rats exist in large
numbers. They consist of a cask half
full of water and having a lid which will
tilt and precipitate the animal into the
water beneath. A large piece of rancid
cheese attached to the middle of the lid
serves to attract the rat. A board, one
end of which rests on the floor and the
other on the chimes of the barrel, in
sures the approach of the rat from the
proper side.
In cold storage houses rats have been
successfully eradicated by suspending a
bait between two heavily charged over
head electric wires from which the insul
ation has been removed for a short dis
tance. The hungry rodent, crawling over
the wire, shunts the current through its
body and falls unconscious into a tub of
water, in which it is drowned.
Shooting, clubbing and other forms of
violence have proven efficacious in exter
minating the rodent population of stock
yards, food markets, abattoirs, provision
warehouses and other places where rats
abound in great numbers. Poisons, when
skillfully prepared and intelligently dis
tributed. are also a great aid in combat
ing rats. In the notable anti-rat cam
paign in San Francisco in 1!?>7 this means
of exterminating tats was used to great
While the campaigns conducted by Sur
geon General Blue asainst the rat have
been for the sole object of combatlrrr
plague. th?;y have In ? 11 of unestimabl ?
value in other ways. They ha\e tesultei
in the extermination of millions of rat*,
which constitute a commercial as well a<
a physical menace. The mere item o
subsistence alone is enough to warrant
the limitation of the species. A rat will
consume approximately a bushel of gra n
a year. If the cost is taken at <1. it can
thus be seen that a community suffer*
ari enormous loss in this way each year
Although sjeel traps and iKiisoned hait
have been his chief weapons. Surgeon
General Blue in all his anti-rat cam
paigns has called attention to the fact
that sanitation and rat proof construc
tion are even better weapons for com
bating this murine pest. If sanitation
is practiced the food supply of the rat
is cut off If every garbage can be
water-tight, well covered and maintained
in a cleanly condition one can feel
reasonable security from both rats an<l
flies. It is not enough, however, that
garbage cans be tight and ciean: the
collection and disposal of their contents
require careful supervision. This com
prehends a study of a city's entire rel
use disposal sy.-tem. and. if necessary.
its reorganization to meet the sanitary
Quantities of Golden
Idols Now Found in
Costa Rica and Panama?
The Hoards of the Buccaneers
and the Golden Madonna of
Cocos?Lakes in Which Gold
Is Buried?The Treasures of
the Incas?The Pearls of the
Western Pacific?Some Re
markable Finds?The Black
Pearls of the Gulf of Califor
nia and the Pearl Islands of
the Southern Caribbean Sea.
right 11*12. by Frauk G. Carpeottr.)
Corn spoodCBM ?>f 'Hi'' Star.
PUNT A ARENAS. Costa Rica,
one of the fabled
treasure islanda of
th?- world. This i?
Cocos, which lies
southwest of here
in latitude ?"> de
gree; minutes
and longitude K7
degrees j minutes.
It is ?I aimed that
on the inland is
buiied gold to the
amount of millions of dollars. One of
the treasures was carried there in 17l?
at the time r.f the revolution in Peru
when the people of Uma and Callao
. bartered the little vessel 1\ ing at the
whar\es and escaped to Cocos with their
plate. bullion and other valuables. They
were c lased b\ a Peruvian man-of-war,
I.ut outran it in tin- darkness. They
landed eleven boatloads of treasure at
?"ocos amounting in valu<\ it is said, all
the way from liftj to one hundred mil
inns or dollars. Among the obje ts was
a life sized statue of the Holy Virgin,
made of solid go d. and there were smaller
.golden statues of Ht. Joseph, St. Peter
and others. There was a great quantity
of silver plate, and, in all. a vast treasure.
* *
After hurying this, the vessel started
La< k to Peru, l>ut on tt.s way it met one
of th? revolutionary men-of-war and Was
bombarded As a result every Peruvian
on board was killed and only two men,
an Knglishman ami an American, were
saved The American afterward disap
peared His name was Thompson. This
left the Knglishman. a resident of New
foundland namefl Keating, as the sole
owner of the secret. Keating went home
arid h short time later started out two
expeditions to get the treasure. In one
of these his vessel was wrecked and in
thp other ht' and his crew were arrested
at Panama and sent back home. He left
his charts, however, to his descendants,
and some years ago they were still in
the hands of one of them, a Mrs; Young,
who was then living in Boston.
Another treasure buried on Cocos is
aaid to have been left there by William
X)ampier. who blockaded Panama in WW
and took during the year following a
big treasure ship which was coming
north from Peru, intending to send Its
silver and gold on horses across the istn
mus to Porto Hello and thence to Spain.
Dampier, it is alleged, uuiim six boat
loads of silver on Cocos and made sev
eral trips there after that with similar
There is a third story which says that
In 18BI, during the revolution when the
Central American Colonies broke away
from Spain, the native Spaniards living
here in Costa Rica loaded a schooner
with gold gems ami silver plate anil s*nt
it to Cocos to be kept there until the
troubles were over. They gave the treas
ures over into the hands of six men,
each of whom hart a chart of the exact
place where the stuff was buried. One
of these men was killed during the revo
lution and two others died from natural
causes before it was over. When peace
was restored the remaining three started
for Cocos to bring back the wealth, but
their boat was driven on the rocks of the
island and ail on board perished. Tliat
w?s about 1830
* *
These facts have long been current in
this part of the world and many people
believe that the above-named treasurer
still exist there The government or
Costa Rica has ^iven a number of per
mits to parties to hunt for them, and
not long ago a squad of soldiers and a
scientist in charge of the Costa Rican
then went away. Palliser, however, was
confident that the treasure existed, and
he got the earl to put up $#0,000 to pur
chase this yacht and equipment. They
had a full corps of men, including sai
lors and diggers. They came around
through the Strait of Magellan and made
the island all right. In looking for the
treasure, however, they used dynamite,
and in the explosion which followed the
earl and the admiral were so badly in
jured by rocks that, to make a long story
short, .they went back to Panama with
nothing but disgust for their pains.
Another party started cut to look for
this treasure was headed by a New
foundland woman, the widow of a ship
chandl?\ She went over to the Pacific
and outfitted a ship from Victoria. Her
captain was a man named FVed Hackett,
and she had with her a transfer from
Hartford of his permission from the Costa
Rican government to search for treasure
on Cocos, the understanding being that
the latter was to have half of the find.
When she came to Cocos the island was
inhabited by a castaway who was dressed
like Robinson Crusoe. He had nothing
VDWIH \ I. I* \ l.l.hKIl * \T
government survey went to C ocos accom
panied by a Colorado man who claimed
that In* could hold (f stick in his hand
and that it would turn over and point
down when he passed over gold. 1 hav?
seen men looking for water in the moun
tains of Virginia using the forked limb
of a peach or apple tree in much the
same way. Well, the Colorado man's
charm did not work on X'ocos. 1 don't
know what was the matter. He went
there, but claimed he had not a fair trial.
Another set ot treasure hunters came
here about Ave years ago from Kngland.
I was at Panama at the time their boat
wm in the harbor. That expedition was
budded-by Karl FitzWilliam, who is said
to have an income of a million dollars
a v? ar and to own a hundred thousand
acres of land in Ireland. He had bought
a yacht named the Vercnique, and had
com? out with Admiral Palliser, who at
one time was tin* i ommander of the Brit
ish fleet hi the Pa< iQc. The admiral t'ad
been sent to Coves by "lie government
some years before to Investigate the
claims of a man named Hartford, an
linglishman, who had a concession from
Costa Rica to hunt.for this treasure. He
was on the Impe.rieuse at the time, and
he and his sailors did some digging and
on but skins of beasts, and he looked
crazy. At first he could not speak, but
after they 'had siven him some whisky
he told in broken language ids story, lie
said he arid others had had a con
cession from ("osta Rica to search for
this treasure, but that the others had
become disgusted and left. He could not
sav how long he had been on the island.
At first Jie had kept tally of the days by
notching a stick, but he lost the stick
and he had about given up in despair
when the schooner arrived.
* *
In the meantime other parties, including
some of our canal employes, have been
planning to excavate Cocos, but so fat
no one has discovered either the buccaneer
hoard or the Madonna of gold. 1 am told
that concessions can be gotten from the
t'o.sta Ricun government if any one cares
to search.
There is no doubt that there are great
treasures hidden on the islands and also
on the continental part of Central Amer
ica. On Mona Island $200,000 worth of
silver i's buried. This is not far from
Porto Rico.
I have myself seen here and at Panama
at least a half peck of solid gold images
which have been taken from the old
grave mounds of Central America. No
one knows who buried them and some
suppose that they date back for hundreds
and even thousands of years. 1 saw a
quart of these images in the bank of
Ehrman & Co. in Panama City and I
am told that Minor C. Keith lias a col
lection of tliem in New York which is
said to be worth several hundred thou
sand dollars.
I took a photograph of the im
ages in the Panama bank. They are
of a!i sizes from that of a man's thumb
nail to the palm of your band. Some
are quite heavy and the gold in them
must be worth several hundred dollars.
Some represent frogs. others birds and
some are women with a hawk head of
Hathor, or what looks very much like it.
Indeed, the most of the images have an
Egyptian cast and they remind one of
the treasures found in the pyramids. The
most of these came from the Chirlqui
province in the northern part of the
Panama republic, where it joins Costa
I am told that a large part of the
Keith collection came from Costa Rica,
and that they are now finding some
a)bout the Gulf of Agua Dulce. At San
Jose there is a jeweler who has some of
these images for ^ale, and down here at
Punta Arenas I have been offered two
very fine ones for ? and $40 apiece. I
should judge that this equals just about
half the value of the gold in them. Dr.
Spencer Franklin, who has them for sal"
for a native, says that they are prob
.ably one or two thousand years old.
lii H*
The workmanship on these images is
exquisite. Some of them are beautifully
carved and some are lifelike in feature.
Among the treasures of Mr. Ehrman are
a great many breastplates of solid gold.
These are round disks with a nipple in
the center ranging in diameter from two
to six inches. The gold is a thin plat<
and is unalloyed. lie has also a bracelet
which would tit around the biceps of a
prize fighter and which is about four
inches wide. This is also of solid gold.
1 understand that many such images
are being discovered and that in all cases
they come from these grave mounds of
the past.
Some of the lakes of the Central Ameri
can highlands are said to contain treas
ures put there by the Indians at the time
they were persecuted by the Spaniards.
There is one on the top of a mountain in
Colombia, not far from Panama, out of
which images like those I have described
have been taken. Th? most of them have
been found near the shore, and it is said
that a party of Englishmen are now
planning to drain the lake and mine the
bed for the treasures They are making
a tunnel to let off the water.
I heard of similar treasure hoards in
this same region of South America. There
is one in Ecuador said to contain the
treasures of the Incas, and another in
Peru where it is claimed that something
like sixteen million dollars' worth of gold
was thrown at the time Pizarro broke
faitti with Atahualpa and caused his
You may remember part of the story.
Pizarro had conquered Peru and was
taking away the silver by the shipload.
That metal was so common that the
Spaniards had their horses shod with it.
It was at this time that Pizarro, the
Spanish general, had captured the Inca
king Atahualpa, who was also a sort of
a prophet and high priest of the people.
He offered to ransom the latter if the
Indians would fill the room in which the
king was imprisoned with gold.
The room was seventeen feet wide,
twenty feet long and nine feet high. The
gold was brought in in great quantities.
It comprised gold plates torn from the
Temple of the Sun at Cusco, golfl vases
wonderfully carved, immense gold basins'
and hundreds of drinking cups and dishes
of various kinds. There was so much
of it that it took the Indian goldsmith
a whole month, working day and night,
to east it into ingots, itnd so much that
it filled th*; room, as Pizarro demanded.
After Pizarro got the gold he treacher
ously killed the king, and it is3 said thai
the Indians then gathered together such
gold as they had left and buried it in
that unknown lake.
There are said to be gold hoards at
the bottom of Lake Titieaea. but that
can never be drained. There are other
gold hoards in the nitrate fields farther
south, and indeed no one knows just
where the greatest treasures of the past
lie. It is very probable that there is
some tin the Isthmus of Panama, and the
excavation of old Panama City, which is
about to begin when tlie new road there Is
completed, will unearth some which were
hidden at the time that Morgan took and
destroyed the city. Morgan is said to
have taken away a hundred and seventy
five liorseloads of jewels, silver and gold,
and he tortured the people to make them
confess where the money was hidden.
If treasures $re found at old Panama
it is not improbable that jewels and
pearls may be found among them. The
waters adjoining Panama and other parts
of Central America have long been noted
for their magnificent pearls. Some of
those in the crown of Spain came from
here, anil in the cathedrals in Seville and
Toledo are strings and cluster* of pearls
which the early explorers took from the
Indians. Columbus met natives wearing
ropes of pearls while he was in this part
of the world, and he took one pearl
weighing .'itmi grains home to the queen
Cortez found black pearls which came
from the waters of Lower California,
while Ferdinand De Soto is said to have
robbed one of the Indian queens of a
great string of fine pearls.
There are pearl fisheries just outside
Panama bay and the diving is going on
now. I find pearls for sale here in Punta
Arenas and the waiters at the hotel ta
bles will untie knots in their handker
chiefs and ask you to buy then) between
bites. Some of the pearls are only seeds,
but others are as big as a pea. In the
stores you will see little bottles of pearls
which can be bought by the lot for all
sorts of prices, but as a rule the pearls
are either very small or not perfectly
round. I was told that one was taken
out a few years ago which weighed fifty
carats and I have heard of another
which a twelve-yenr-old boy found in an
oyster and sold for $4.0*0. It was taken
to Panama and ther~ sold to a banker
and in time it reached Paris where it was
valued at flO.ntio. Not long ago some
pearls were found near our canal sani
tarium on Tabogn Island, and one of
them brought $2.<K)o.
* *
The most of the pearls, however, come
from the Pearl Islands, which lie on the
west side of Panama bay, about thirty
miles from the islands on which we are
now building the fortifications which com
mand the western end of the Panama
canal. There are sixteen of these islands,
the most of them small. They are popu
lated chiefly by the Indians, who are en
gaged in pearl diving. The men use div
ing suits and they bring up the pearl
oysters in the shell. After the shells are
on board the boats they are opened and
the oysters are searched over for pearls,
the shell being cleaned and sold to make
butttins, knife handles and other such
things In which mother of pearl Is em
ployed. 1 am told that the shells found
are worth about as much as ??ipearls
and that they are the sure part of the
profit. The divers may work for days
without finding a pearl, but the shells al
ways sell, and it is on that account that
the business is profitable. In talking with
one of the dealers here I asked him
whether it was true that pearls could be
made by putting a grain of sand inside an
oyster so that it irritated its flesh and
made it secrete the. solution which com
poses the pearl. He replied that he had
no faitli in the theory and that he had
found pearls of considerable size in very
young oysters and that there was n<> rule
as to just where they were. Said he:
"A pearl is like an onion. It is made
of a series of eoats as:d you can K'ind
ofT the outside one to tind those within
intact. As a rule the pearls now found
are small and not of great value, al
though there is no telling when fine ones
may be discovered.
I am told that the Pearl Islands havo
been fished for pearls for almost .ino years,
and that pearl fishing is carried on ad
along this coast from southern California
to Mexico. The black pearls of the Gulf
of Lower California hpve l?een exported
since the days of Cortez, and more than
l,_oO ounces were shipped to Spain in one
year. That was in 1715. About two years
ago a diver found a pearl as big as a
partridge egg. and it was sent to Paris,
where it sold for That pearl was
of a light steel color, but greenish black
at the base.
<ln the other side of the isthmus
pearls have been found off the coast of
South America. It Is said that Venezuela
is producing .something like six hundred
thousand dollars' worth every year. It is
that region which is called the "Gulf of
Pearls" and it was from near there on the
Island of M&reerita that a pearl of '2T*)
carats was taken in 1579. That pearl
was worth perhaps $.Vt,OOrt. It became
the property of the Kinn of Spain. An
other gem which adorns the Spanish
crown came from the waters of Mexico.
It weighs 4<H? grains.
S|h-HmI < '?i res|>?iiileiiee nf 'I lic Star.
LONDON. October 2*5. 1!?12.
NO man may serve on a jury in thb*
country if he lives in a house wit i
less than fifteen windows. Nor is any
one eligib'e for jury duty in England
who pays ess than Sluo or .<ir?n rent it
year. according to the county in whicn
i.e lesides. To serve on a special jury,
moreover, one must be an "esquire" or
person of higher degree than the com
mon, or sarden juror?namely, a banker,
merchant < r a householder occupying a
private dwelling place assessed at not"
less than SfHin in a town of not fewer
than inhabitants or Si'.'iO ? ls> wln r?
And wheieas the special iutor is paid
S."? per case the ordinary juror nets onlv
a shilling, or about a quarter of a dollai.
Th.* window <|Uallt1eation, by the way. is
a re'ic of the old day.-- when windows
were taxed and the number a man cou d
afford was an indication of his means.
This strange anomaly in a country
where justfc is on the whole, so we I
administered, "of measuring a man's In
tel igence by 41i- rent roll or by his tax
receipts. is brounht t<> mind by reading
>.r the extraordinary care taken in choos
ing the jurors fi>r the Meeker trial in New
The British system of s? lecting jurors
has been rond??inned l>> many judges and
lawyers as being farcical, and it is not
sui prising that many truly amazing as
well as amusing results of t'ial by jury
are 011 record In this country. Of these,
perhaps the most astonishing is related
in tiie reminisc* n?*es of the late Sergt.
Bal'nntine, who tells of a case when 1
man confessedly gui'.ty of murder was
set free b\ a jury. The prisoner, who
had a bad record, was committed to take
his trial a* the London sessions. The
giand jury threw out the hill against the
man. greatly to the surprise of the judge.
Sir William Ifardman who returned the
document to the jury with ihe sugges
tion that probably soim- mistake had
been made. The foreman initialed the
bill and sent it baci..
Sir William imagined that the grand
jurymen had reconsidered their previous
decision. When called upon to plead, the
prisoner declared frankly that he was
guilty, and was, therefore, remanded to
come up for sentence later in the day.
A minute or two afterward the foreman
intimated that his initials on the hill were
meant to emphasize the original ttnding
of the graid jury. The piisoner was
brought bH -k into court. "The grand
jurv." said Sir William, "believe you are
innocent. Vm have told us that you are
guilty. 1 have 110 alternative but to dis
charge you from custody."
Perhaps the best story in connection
with British juries is t"ld by Lord El
don. Noticing once, during the progress
of a trial, that one of the jurymen was
absent, he said: "There are only elevei:
jurymen; where is the twelfth?" "Please,
my lord," said one of the eleven, "he has
gone away about some business, bux he
has left his vote with me."
The intricate laws of copyright in this
country bother juries a lot. but neve
were twelve good men and true more
puzzled than the jurors In an importanf
civil action that w as tried before th?
late Justice Jelf. The judge had devotee
many hours to a lucid and painstaking
summing up of the case, and the jurorg
had spent half ?if another day In con
sultation. when at last they returned Into
court, to the manifest relief of every
body present. It was only, however, V*
exp'ain that they could not arrive at ??
decision. "What is your difficulty?''
asked the judge, impatiently. "If you
please, your lordship." answered "the
foreman, tugging at his forelock, "what
we wants to know is what all this 'ere
case is about?"

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