OCR Interpretation


Martinsburg weekly independent. [volume] (Martinsburg, W. Va.) 1873-1875, January 03, 1874, Image 1

Image and text provided by West Virginia University

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84026810/1874-01-03/ed-1/seq-1/

What is OCR?


Thumbnail for

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

xml | txt