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MARTIHSBDRG WEEKLY INDEPENDENT.
“3F'BARIjBSS AXD FHEH3” — .—~ -•-— ... • r-r--=u-i:V- - VOL. 1. MARTINSBTTRG, WEST VIRGINIA., SATURDAY, JANUARY 1874. MISSISSIPPI STEAMBOAT RACING. A Vivid Picture fFrom Mark Twain and Charles Dud ley Warner’s new Novel.] “By George, yonder comes the Aramanth!” A spark appeared, close to the water several miles down the river. The pilot took his glass and looked at it steadily for a mo ment, and said, chiefly to himself: “It can’t be the Biue Wing. She couldn’t pick up this way. She’s the Aramanth, sure.” He bent over a speaking tube) and said : “Who’s on the watch down | there ?” A hollow, unhuman voice rum bled up through the tube in an swer : “I am. Second engineer.” “Good ! You want to stir your stumps, now Harry—the Ar amanth’s just turned the point— and she’s just a-humping herself, too!” The pilot took hold of a rope j that stretched out forward, jerked | it twice, and two mellow strokes I uf I tie big bell responded. A voice j out on the deck shouted : “Stand by, down there, with that larboard lead !” “No, i don’t want the lead,” 1 said the pilot, “l want you. Roust oulthe old man—tell him the Am aranth’s coming. And go and call Jim—tell him ” “Aye-aye, sir!” The “old man” was the captain —he is always called so on steam boats and ships; “Jim” was the other pilot. Within two minutes both of these men were dying up the pilot-houses stairway, three si- at a jump. Jim was in his s! leeves, with his coat and w this arm. He said : “1 -.as just turning in. Where’s the ass V” i ook it and looked. n’t appear to be any night-I ha* on the jack-staff—it’s the Ai snth, dead sure!” ' .3 captain took a good long loo! , and only said : “! Divination !” (o urge Davis, the pilot on watch, sh< ted to the night-watchman on (It ci-: : “How’s she loaded ?” “Two inches ivy the head sir.” “Taint enough !” Thecaptaifi shouted, now: “Call the mate. Tell him tocall ail hands and get a lot of that sugar forrard—put her ten inches by the head. Lively, now !” “Aye-aye, sir!” A riot of shouting and tramp ling Abate ! up from below pres ently, and the uneasy steering of the boat showed that she was get ting “down by the Lead.” The three men in the pilot house began to talk in short,sharp sentences, low and earnestly. As their excitement rose their voices went down. As fast as one of them put down the spy-glass an other took it up—but always with a studied air of calmness. Each time the verdict was: “She’s a-gaining.” “The Captain spoke through the tube; “What steam are you carrying?” “A hundred and forty-two,sir! But she’s getting hotter and hotter all the time The boat was straining and groaning and quivering like a monster in pain. Both pilots were at work, now, one on each sideof the wheel, with their coats and vests off, their bosoms and col lars wide Open, and the prepara tion flowing down their faces. They were holding the boat so i close to the shore that the willows swept the guards almost from stem to stern. “Stand by!” whispered George. ‘^TU ready!” said Jim under his breath. “Let her come!” The boat sprang away from the bank iike a deer, and darted in a long diagonal toward the other shore. She closed in again and thrashed her fierce way long the willows as before. The captain put down the glass : ‘ “Lord how she walks up on us! I do hate to be beat!” “Jim,” said George, looking straight ahead watching the slightest yawning of the boat and promptly meeting it with the wheel, how’ll it do to try Murder er’s Chute?” “Well, it’s—it’s taking chances. I How was the cotton-wood stump J on the false point below Board man’s Island this morning?” “Water |ust touching the roots.” j “Well, it’s pretty close work. That gives six feet scant in the Murderer’s Chute. We can just barely rub through if we hit it ex actly right. But it’s worth trying. She don’t dare tackle it”—mean ing the Aramauth. In another instant the Boreas plunged into what seemed a crooked creek,and the Aramanth’s approaching lights were shut out in a moment. Not a w hisper was uttered now, but the three men stared ahead into the shadows,and twoofthem spun the wheel back and forth with anxious watchful ness while the steamer tore along. The chute seemed to come to an end every fifty yards, hut always opened out in time. Now the head of it was at hand. George tapped the big bell three times, two leadsmen sprang to their posts, and in a moment their weird cries on the night air were caught up and repeated by two men on the upper deck. “No-o bottom!” “De e-p four!” “Half three!” “Quarter three!” “Mark under wa a-ter three!” “Half twain!” “Quarter twain !-” Davis pulled a couple of ropes— there was a jingling of small bells far below. The boat’s speed slack ened, and the bent steam began to whistle and the gauge cocks to scream. “By the mark twain !” “Quar-ter-Aer er-less twain !” “Eight and a half!” “Eight feet!” “Seven and a half!” Another jingling of little bells and the wheels ceased turn'ng altogether. The whistling of the steam was something frightiul now—it almost drowned all other noises. “Stand by to meet her!” George had the wheel hard down and was standing on a spoke. “All ready!” The boat hesitated—seemed to hold her breath, as did the pilots and captain—and then she began to fall away tostarboard,and every eye brightened. “iVoie,then !—meet her!—snatch her!” The wheel flew to port so fast that the spokes blended into a spi der web—the swing of the boat 'Ubsided—she steadied herself “Seven feet!” “Sev-six and a half!” “Six feet! Six-” Bang! She hit the bottom.— George shouted through the tube: “Spread her wide open! Whale it at her /” Pow-vow-ehow! The escape pipes beiched snowy pillars of steam aloft, the boat ground and surged and trembled—and sliu over into “M a-r-k twain!” “Quarterher “Tap! tap! tap!” (to signify “Lay in the heads ”) And away she went, flyinp up the willow snore, with the whole silver sea of the Mississippi stretch-1 ing abroad on every band. No AramantU in sight. “Ha! lm, boy;, wot C. . ou ple of tricks tha* Cm said the Captain. And just at that moment a red glare appeared in the head of the chute and the Aramanth came springing after them! “Well, I swear!” “Jim, what is the meaning of that?*' “I’ll tell you what’s the mean ing of it. That hail we bad at Napoleon was Wash Hastings, wanting to come to Cario—and we | didn’t stop. He’s in that pilot! house, now, showing those mud ' turtles how to hunt for easy; water.” “That’s it. I thought it wasn’t any slouch that was running that middle bar in Hog’s Eye Bend. If it’s Wash Hastings—well, what he don’t know about the river is ' not worth knowing—a regular gold-leaf, kid-glove, diamond breast-pin pilot Wash Hastings is. We won’t take any tricks oft him, old man.” “I wish I’d a stopped for him, that’s all.” Tho Aramanth was within three hundred yards of the Boreas and still gaining. The “old man” spoke through the tube.* “What - she carrying now’ ?” “A ho tired and sixty-five, sir.” “How jour wood?” “Pine all out—cypress half gone—eating up cotton-wood like pie!” “Break into that rosin on the main deck— pile it in, the boat can pay for it!” Soon the 1 oat was plunging and quivering and screaming mow madly than ever. But the Aru manth’s head was almost abreast the Boreas’ stern. ‘How’s your steam now, Harry?’* “Hundred and eighty-two sir.” “Break up the casks of bacon in the forrard bold ! Pile it in ! Levy on that turpentine in the fantail! —drench every stick of wood in it!” The boat was a moving earth quake by this time, “How is she?” “A hundred and ninety-six and still swelling!—water below the middle gauge cocks!—carrying ev ery pound she can stand !—nigger roosting on the safety-valve !” “How’s your draft ?’* “Bully! Every time a negro heaves a stick of wood into the furnace he goes out the chimney with it!” The Aramantli drew steadily j up until her jackstaff breasted tho I Boreas’ wheelhouse— climbed npj inch by inch til! her chimney; breasted it—crept along further and further till the boats were wheel and wheel—and then they closed up with a heavy jolt and locked together tight and fast in the middie of the big river under the Hooding moonlightljA roar and a hurrah went up from ttie decks of both steamers—all hands rushed,! to the guards to look and shout and gesticulate—the weight ca reened the vessels over towards each other—officers Hew hither and thither cursing and storming, trying to drive the people amid ships—both captains were leaning over towaids each other threaten ing and swearing—black volumes of smoke rolled up and canopied the scene- delivering a rain of I sparks upon the vessels—two pis- | to 1 shots rang out, and both cap- j tains dodged unhurt, and the I packed masses of passengers surged hack and fell apart, while the shrieks of women and children soared above the intolerable din — And then there was a booming roar, a thundering crash, and the riddled Amaranth dropped loose from her hold and drifted he'p lessly away! Inrtantly tho fire-doors of the Boreas were thrown open and the me.* began dashing buckets of water into the furnace—for it would have been death and de struction to stop the engines with such a head of steam on. As soon as possible the Boreas dropped down to the floating wreck and took off the dead, the wounded and the unhurt—at least all that eould he got at, for the whole forward halfof the boat was a shapeless ruin, with the great chimneys lying crossed on top of it, and underneath were a dozen victims imprisoned alive and wail ing for help. While men with axes worked with might and main to free these poor fellows, the Boreas’ boats went about, picking up stragglers from the river. And now a new horror presented itself. The wreck took fire from the dismantled furnaces! Never did men work with a heartier will than did those stalwart braves with the axes. But it was of no use. The fire ate its way steadily, despising tiie bucket brigade tiiat fought it. It scorched the clothes, it singed the hair of the axemen— it drove them back, foot by foot— inch by inch—they wavered,— struck a final blow in tlie teeth of the enemy, and surrendered. And as they fell back they heard pris oned voices saying: “Don’t leave us! Don’t leave us! Don’t do it!” And one poor fellow’ said : •‘I am Henry Worley, striker of the Amaranth ! My poor mother lives in St. Louis. Tell her a lie for a poor devil’s sake, please. Say I was killed in an instant and never knevvwhat hurt me—though God knows. I’ve neither scratch nor bruise this moment. It’s hard to burn up in a coop like this with tiie whole wide world so near. Good-bye, hoys—we’ve all got to come to it at last, anyway!” The Boreas stood away out of danger, and the ruined steamer went drifting dow n the stream an island of wreathing and climbing flame that vomited clouds of smoke from time to time, and glared more fiercely and sent its luminous tongues higher and higher after each emissson. A shriek at intervals told of a cap tive that had met his doom. The wreck lodged upon a sand-bar, and when the Boreas turned tiie next point on tier upward journey it was still burning with scarcely abated fury. When the boys came down into ►the trlrthi salon . of the Boreas they saw a pitiful sight ami iwmrd a world of pitiful sounds. Eleven j poor creatures lay dead and forty j i more lay moaning, or pleading, or I ! screaming, while a score of Good !.Samaritans moved among them, doing what they could to relieve their sufferings—bathing their skinless faces and bodies with lin seed oil and lime-water, and cov ering the places with bulging masses of raw cotton, that gave to every faceaud form a dreadful and inhuman aspect. A little wee French midshipman of fourteen lay fearfully injured, hut never uttered a sound till a physician of Memphis was about to dress his hurts. Then he said: “Can 1 get well? You need not be afraid to tell me.” “No—I—I am afraid you can not.” “Then do not waste your time with me—help those Uniterm get well.” “But—” “Help those that can get well! It is not for me to he a girl. I carry the blood of eleven genera tions of soldiers in my veins J” The physician—himself a man who had seen service in the navy in ids time—touched ids hat to this little hero, and passed on. The head engineer of the Ara mauth, a grand specimen of phys ical manhood, struggled to Ids feet, a ghastly spectacle, and strode towards his brother, the second engineer who was unhurt, lie said: “You were on watch. You were hops, You would not listen to me when I begged you to reduce your steam. Take that—take it to my wife, and cell her it comes from me by the hand of my mur derer! Take it—and take my curst* with it to blister your heart a hundred years—and may you live so long!” And he tore a ring from his linger, stripping tlesh and skin with it, threw it down and fell dead! Bui these things must not bo dwelt upon. The* Boreas landed her dreadful cargo at tho next large town and delivered it over to a multitude of eager hands and warm Southern hearts—a cargo amounting by this time to 89 wounded persons and 22 dead bodies. And with these she de livered a long list of 96 missing persons timt had drowned or otherwise perished at the scene of the disaster. A jury of inquest was impaneled, and after due deliberation and in quiry they returned the inevitable American verdict which has been so familiar to our ears all the days of our lives— “Nobody to blame!” A Wild Cat Shot.—The Staun ton (Va.) Vindicator says: Last week, while Mr. David Steele, of ibis county, was fox hunting in the vicinity of Midway with a pack of ten dogs, tho dogs gave chase to a wild cat which they brought to hay after a long run. The animal was four feet, two inches long, and twenty inches high. After being shot once lie ran up a tree whence he was dis lodged by a second and fatal shot. In Helena, Montana, J. R. Boyce & Co. joyfully advertise that they have received from New York 838 Bibles, which they will sell at cost to those who are able to pay for them, and give them away to those who aro not. In the same newspaper we find an extended account of “tho first genuine cock-fight that ever took place in Helena.” Tho Democrats of Ken tueky will hold a Convention at Frankfort, February 18, to nominate a candi date for Clerk of the Court of Appeals. The Democratic State Committee of Maine will hold their annual session in Augusta on Thursday evening, January 8. BY TELEGRAPH. For the Independent PENNSYLVANIA. A SHOCKING MURDER IN PHILA DELPHIA. Philadelphia, Dec. 31.—God frey Kimkle, a German baker on Frankford road, below Girard avenue, was murdered (Ins morn ing in his bake house by a young German in his employ. The nmr | dorer robbed the house of $55 and attempted to kill Iviinkle's wife in her bed. He fled, but bus since been captured by the police in a neighboring lager beer saloon. THE MURDERER AN APPRENTICE. Philadelphia, Dec —The Ger man baker murdered iu this city was named Godfried Kunkle. The murderer was an apprentice known only as Fritz. Kunkle was killed with a blow of a shovel while engaged in leaning into a barrel of Hour, causing death in stantly. Fritz then went into the room of Kunkie’s \yife and at tempted to strangle her, but she waking up, a struggle ensued. He beat and bit her, and overpowering her, pushed her under tho tied, believing her to be unconscious He then robbed the bureau of all the money in it, and changed his clothes in an upper room. Mrs. Kunkle revived, locked her door, and planned the neighbors, but the murderer escaped from the house. Ho was captured from the description given officers, he hav ing lost the little finger of the left hand. The murderer calls him self FrPll’k Heidenhiut, and con fesses tho crime. The money was found on in*in. CALIFORNIA. TIIK TRANSPORTATION PRORLKM IN CALIFORNIA. Han Francisco, Dee. 80.—The chamber of commerce ibis after noon received the report of the committee appointed to consider the question of the regulation of railroad fares and freights by a legislative enactment. The com mittee recommended the creation of a board of transportation com missioners, a railroad police, and the paesage of an act to prevent extortion anil unjust discrimina tion by railroad companies. The report includes a series of ques tions to ex-Oovernor Stan ford anil and his replies, v\ hero in he declares generally the policy and practice of the Pacific Railroad company. The report is very voluminous. Governor .Stan ford denies that the company has made unjust discriminations against any towns and cities of the coast, and denies the right of the legislature to limit the rights of company, and deprecates agita tion of the subject in or out of leg islation. Tie- acts proposed by the cominitte.) will be subject to fur ther consideration by the cham ber of commerce. Foreign \o!es MONEY PANIC IN LONDON. London, December 81.—A spe cial telegraph from Berlin says there is a panic on the Bourse in that city. THE LOSS by the burning of Loyd's Weekly, a London newspaper, on Monday night is estimated at $100,000. another political how in SPAIN. Madrid, December 31,—There is a completo rupture between President Castelar anil Honor Sal meron, president of the eortes. There Is some excitement in Madrid, but*the success of the government in the eortes is con sidered certain. QUARANTINE. London, December 31.—The Portugese government has issued an order directing that all vessels arriving at ports belonging to Portugal from the West coast of Africa shall be placed in quaran tine. This measure will prevent the landing of all invalids be longing to tho Ashantee expedi tion at Maderia. THE SITUATION SERIOUS. London. December 31.—A spe cial dispatch to the Daily News from Madrid reports that tho sit uation in that city is serious. At Liverpool o cember were exhi of Canadian m beef, mutton and over in the steam This meat was before the vessel then frozen and I dry place on boar satisfactory resul perfectly fresh th pearance of ha\ only A few days company is to introduce this me It is charg d tt Brooklyn has bee bogus cases of s man would be a v of the Philadelph