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SV m ill wmmm. 'Mam n v imr i ne 1 â glfl0H 'X&vt'//, ' Hw&kx 3fe I m » -r » iTi SäP aw u «s Sc Volume io. Helena, Montana, Thursday, May 25, 1876. 'é> No. 2 THE WEEKLY HERALD PUBLISHED EVERY THURSDAY MORNING. FISK BEOS,, - - Publishers. PERMS OF SUBSCRIPTION, 'I HUM'S Holt THE DAIlY IJERAL1). ul.-cril'O-- ('lolivoml by carrier) per month, fS 00 BY MAIL. c ii f ( o'iV one month.......................... it 00 I »ne I opv three months ........................ 6 00 < t. ecopv -ix months.......................... 12 00 One copy voir............................. ** W ;rms for the weekly herald. I ne war ........................................(0 00 •» x months...................................... i 51» •Jhree months................................... 2 50 WAS HE CRAZY? Ah Adventure in the Rocky Mountains— A True Story. The organization of iny party was com plete, excepting the position of cook. The men I had were mostly miners, and repre sented every portion of the country. Scarcely ever w ill you find among a congregation of ten or lifteen men in a Rocky mountain min ing town, more than two or three from the same State, and very frequently among so many you will find representatives not only from Europe, but also Asia ; such is the cos mopolitan character of the population. My friends had recommended a Chinese, but I wanted a man that could cook as well as drive the provision wagon. While casting about for such a man, I was approached by a quiet looking individual whom I had often observed in the office of the Cosmopolitan hotel, which was company headquarters in Helena. The man was apparently about 50 years of age. rather bald in front, with deep set grey eyes, well built and of medium heighth. His side whiskers were iron grey, and closely cropped. He wore a knit jacket with brass buttons, under which was a clean white shirt with a collar and necklace. His quiet manner seemed to hold him aloof from the noisy members of our party. I had put him down as a philosophizing individual, an inmate or boarder at the hotel. Ilis name was William J. Fanning, and of course he had heard all about our projected expedition to the Hell Gate river valley, to commence the survey for the railroad, the preparations for which were being actively carried on on all sides, for other parties to go in different directions, were also being organized. I was about leaving Helena, without a cook when, as I said, 1 was approached by this man who said : I understand you are on the look-out for a < i »ok to accompany your s urvoying party." • Y< s," said I "do you know of a good u •m ?' " \Y eil, yes." said he, smi ing, "or rather, * leas if you take the man I would recom n end, y m l need only do so < >n trial." •• W ho is he ?" i remarke d. " W i 1 1*14, it is myself,'' In i answered, and S< | J ein g nu-.! ni) evident look of uirprise. he con " i am mi a professional cook, bat having U •en n .lie i about the world, on this continent at ul in Europe, I have often found myself in M eh cirri instances that I lave been com I" •lied to cook ; and once, bi the army, 1 ll >okn to r several weeks ti >r a company of M klier : ml now, being ent irely without re si urce ■q a ml a stranger here I just thought I w ( e » V a I\ »ly, and I can as. ure you that for al 1 tlu ai t cuisine requim ! in the Rocky into !«>rt .Mountains, I fuel myself well qualified.'' I thought fora moment ''this man talks too glil.h tor a cook," hut pleased with his !, d ircss, and alter being assured by himself that lu* understood horses well, 1 concluded t > engage him. The word said, he reported for duty instantly. Looking over my list of utensils and provisions he proposed several additions, and evincing at once so much busi ness tact, 1 passed the minor details directly hands. Early next morning he re lut everything vs as packed securely :n his wagon, and he had attended to the harness and horses, and was ready to start at •a moment's notice. Incidentally, I had oc i a.-ion to ref er to his lint, and when he put his note book in my hand I was pleased to find the statement drawn up in a good busi m '* s form, and in an excellent hand, evi dently one not unaccustomed to the pen. But 1 uriously enough, at the top of the page was a quotation from Hamlet. I remarked to him, "i on appear to like Slmkspeare?" '•till yes, 1 know him nearly by heart. Gds memorandum book is full of jottings of ids, and odd lines of my own," lie said, care lusMy turning over the leaves. "Jove," I thought, what a jewel of a cook, a man of both literary and culinary taste, he will dash pepper in the beans and season his conversa tion w ith "attic salt."' Evidently he is a gen tleman, and 1 am ever glad to have the oppor tunity to help one such in distress. As our wagons drew up before leaving a great crowd surrounded us, and just as they started amidst the cheering and the cracking of the whips over the backs of our untrained cayuses, I overheard one voice the crowd call out "don't eat any of that man's biscuits" —possibly it was the voice of a disappointed applicant, and no further atttention was paid to the remark. An hour after the wagons had departed, I followed after and caught the hindmost team two or three miles out, but the cook's wagon was nowhere in sight. Gal loping ahead, I shortly caught sight of its white cover a mile ahead, enveloped in a cloud of dust. Evidently the horses must be running away, 1 thought, and only after con siderable urging of my horse I overtook the wagon, but great was my surprise to find that Fanning was beating the animals most un mercifully and ripping out oaths that would have done justice to a Colorado bull w hacker. For a moment I was dumb-founded, not know ing what was the cause of his excite ment, yet feeling some respect for the* man's age and general abilities, I hesitated to speak, hoping that w hen he realized my presence he would desist from beating the horses. But not a bit of it—the lashings and oaths kept up in no very harmonious unison. Finally I called to him not to whip them any more, and as he drew in the reins letting them take an easy gait, he said something about "train ing the horses." And as this was, indeed, the first time they had ever been in harness, I thought it was possible that his plan, though cruel, may have possessed some merit. But as he still interlarded Lis remarks with oaths, I had finally to check him in that, a matter that he seemed not to take with a very good grace, though he said nothing. Involuntari ly I began to think less of my Shakesperian man Friday, and yet I was puzzled by his be havior, and inclined to think he was in some degree eccentric and possessed of a bad tem per, of which this was perhaps only a tem porary and an unusual display, and finally my better opinion returned in some measure, as we rode along together. We came to camp that night about half way up the mountains in the Ten Mile Pass, at a point where a fine sping crossed the road, and where a little opening in the pine timber promised to afford pasture for the horses. Fanning cooked the supper admirably and put everything away in a systematic manner. I noticed, however, that he would occa sionally mutter an oath clenching his teeth when a spoon for a moment appeared to be mislaid. Gathered around the fire was the group of fifteen, and stories beeran to be told in sotto voice by some of the members expe rienced in the mountains. That was my first night in the Rocky mountains, and I shall never forget the exhilirating sensation that possessed me. The noisy brook in the dark ravine was an unfledged and unnamed tributary of the "Father of Waters" and headed above as not more than a mile on the great continental divide, separating the waters flowing into the Pacific and the Atlantic the line between the Occidental and the Oriental world. High overhead the white fleecy moon lit clouds ap peared to be scudding through the top-most branches of the pines which plaintively and tunefully moaned with the night wind. Across the ravine the distant mountains were ablaze in one place with fire, and we could hear now and again the dull crash of a fallen forest monarch, which had succumbed to the devouring fiend. Near by the horses, pick eted, stamped and snorted as the camp-fire occassionally revealed in weird outline, in dark shadows the spectre of our high, can vassed wagons. Fanning, however, ap peared not to care for sociability and going off a little ways rolled himself up in his blankets alone to sleep. The next drive found us thirty miles ad vanced and on the western slope of the mountains, overlooking the beautiful Deer Lodge Valley. The fourth day we reached our starting place, the initial point of our survey at the mouth of Little Blackfoot the head of the Hellgate river. Two w eeks later, we had surveyed about twenty-five miles, and nothing of interest in connection with this story had transpired. It was true that I had become heartly tired of Fanning, and wished him out of the party, and only awaited his recovery from a slight attack of sickness, to discharge him. He had quarrelled with evciy one in the party, from trausitman down to the axman. He appear ad to be morose, and never once did he lighten his words with the ' attic salt. ' His only complaints were that invariably the handles of the pans were turned beyond his reach by agencies unknown. But it was a vile slander on the men, for they left him and his pans most severely alone. He had been sick for t wo days, and confined himself nearly alto get lier to his tent, which he had fallen sole | heir to, by the desertion or ms comrades to other tents. In the meantime our oldest axman, had taken cook. Camp was ordered to be mo noon, and after dinner, before the party went into the field, everything bad been packed up excepting the Cook's tent, and a few utensils. After the departure of the men, I remained some time at the wagons, waiting for Rourke, the teamster, to bring my horse, which had strayed off some distance. He had only come in with him, having thereby missed the regular dinner. He, however, helped himself to a bite from the tail of the cook's wagon, where he found some tomatoes, and other things put aside in a pan. Melvin stry, under the direction of Fanning, who Had come out of his tent for the purpose, was busy cooking a batch of bread för supper. Before leaving, I spoke to Fanning in his tent. He appeared to be nervous and excited ; he said he felt very ill, and asked my opinion of his case. I felt his forehead and hands ; there was no fever, though his pulse was quick but weak, while his eyes had a peculiar and unnatural brilliancy. He said he suf fered pain in his head etc., aud asked for morphine, but there was none of that drug in our medicine chest. I could form no idea of the nature of his complaint, but at my McKinstry— his place as ed that after | suggestion he took a weak tonic mixture which composed him. Directing that camp be moved to the mouth of Flint creek, three miles below, I prepared to leave. I noticed as Rourke handed me the bridle that Hie face was flushed and that he apparently staggered ; for a mo ment I thought he had obtained liquor while off hunting the horse, but as be bad been such a quiet, attentive aud reliable mau 1 said"nothing, and rode off. We were la*e in camp that evening, aud the moon wras just supplanting the sun in the heavens when we sat down to our evening repast. The 'boys' bad shot some wild ducks with their revolvers during the afternoon, and they had been cut up, rolled in flour and cooked for a side dish, in our rather slim bill of fare. The bread having been passed around, it was not long before some one re marked its peculiar bitter taste; then another remarked the same thing. I noticed it slight ly myself, and laid my piece aside, it was but a mass of dough at the best. Another re marked that perhaps some quinine had been spilled in the wagon, and this theory obtained the more, when a delicate youth from New York said that he had lost a package of that article, which he had brought from the 'States.' As a consequence little of the bread was eaten, the pieces being thrown away. Our camp was close alongside a ranchman's house, and the the ranchman, accompanied by a fine Newfoundland dog, had climbed the fence in front of his door and was enjoy ing a smoke by the fire, for though it was August, the nights were clear, delightfully dry aud cool. The dog, of course was pick ing up the bread and eating all that it could find. Poor dog, that was his last square meal. The conversation for some time after supper ran on the bitter tasted bread, and there was much speculation regarding the matter. Rourke said that at dinner time, at the other camp, he had noticed a bitter taste in some tomatoes that he had found in the wagon, and that the sugar he put in his tea only made the tea more bitter. He had eaten no supper, complaining that he bad been quite sick all afternoon; and was only then re covering. But, amid the jokes and laughter little attention was paid to bis remarks. It was fully an hour after tea befor any in the circle around the tire made a motion to retire. Finally I rose to my feet to go to my tent when 1 stopped suddenly as thougfi every muscle bad became fixed iu a vice. My body appeared to have beyome p. ralized, with a peculiar rigidity and constraint, inde scribable. My bead swam, the moon and the tents began to float around in my distorted vision. At the same time I was struck with a faintness, and feeling myself falling I called for help, believing that I was dying. I would have fallen insensible to the ground had not the faithful Rourke caught me in his arms and said, as I felt myself fading into unconsciousness : "Don't be alarmed, Captain, that is just what happened to me at dinner time; you will recover." In a moment I appeared to regain my con sciousness, but what was my horror to dis cover eight or ten of the men staggering around aud some fallen to the ground, call ing "O God, we are poisoned! Save me, 1 am dying," etc. The spasms of some were fearful. One young man, in particular, fell backwards, with his eyes distended, and pale as death, remaining for a while entirely in sensible. The consternation was fearful, for a while none knew what to do or say. The axeman ou duty as cook and the transit man had not as yet been affected, end thej 7 shortly after proposed that we ail drink coffee. Immediately the rancheuiii fi led the pots, and the fire became covertd with various utensils, as each man was in a hurry to securr w arm water and coffee to drink. Others mixed mustard and water, and fairly gulped it down in the hopes of exciting vom iting. One Irishman drank at least a quart of mustard and water, a pint of coffee, and, finally, warm water with salt. He would come up to me frantically, saying : "For God's sake, Captain, can't you raise an emetic in the camp? Five thousand dol lars for a puke ? O God ! I shall die, I know I will." But I had enough to do to control my own feelings which were horrible in the extreme. A dark suspicion settled in my mind that the axeman had put strychnine in the flour aud this morbid belief settled deeper and deeper within me, so much so that when he offered me coffee I felt as if he was a fiend desiring to make sure of his foul work. I believed from experience that night that strychnine excites, among other things, suspicion in ones nature which feeds on the slightest pretext, and becomes, for the time, almost ungovern able. We bad in the wagon a quart bottle of castor oil and finding that by no manner of means could we excite vomiting, a raid was made for it and iu a short time it was metre than half consumed. But for my myself I was afraid to take anything from the wagon, so that when the rancheman invited me to his house to get some soda and milk, I gladly ac cepted, and accompanied by the dog, we crossed the fence towards the house. ,As I was climbing the fence a second spasm nearly as bad as the first seized me, and for a moment 1 was terrified beyond measure. My muscles stiffened everywhere except at the waist, for I observed that 1 could bend there. However, the paroxysms soon passed off, but leaving me extremely weak. While the rancheman was mixing tliesodaand milk, I observed that his dog ran up and down the room, jumping towards big master's face, licking his hands and showing every con ceivable sign of affection. " What is the matter, King, don't be so playful," bis master said to him; Hut had scarcely uttered the words when the dog stiffened and fell head foremost to the floor, dead. Trembling with excitement, I felt his legs and they were as stiff as iron bars. I believe now, that that dog could have been balanced on the last joint of his tail, but at the time as may easily be imagined, I was in no humor to try the experiment. Crossing the field again I was seized with my third and last distinct attack, and then for the first time it struck me that it was exertion that brought them on. (Afterward one of the men who had had before a very slight at tact, at my request, hurriedly climbed the fence and had an alarming attack in conse quence.) Meantime m camp things had improved, the returning attacks becoming milder. All were, of course, more or less weak and ner vous. We became satisfied that if strychnine was the poison that it had been placed in the flour. Ail who had partaken of the ducks, which had been rolled iu the flour, became sick, and several who had not, but bad eaten tomatoes. Rourke's story about the sugar pan at dinner fixed that dish, though it hav ing become wet, was not placed on the sup per table. As the conviction settled on the minds of the men that we had been intentionally poi soned, the query arose who could have been the diabolical villain. Mclvinstry for one, ex pressed bis conviction that Fanning was evil minded enough to be guilty of auy crime. To which sentiment there was almost unani mous assent. At this juncture the ranchman, who was considerably moved by the loss of his noble Newfoundland dog, proposed that old-fashioned Montana justice be meted out to the guilty man. McKinstry said that as he was about to open the flour sack at din ner time he found a tin plate over which the strings were tied, and that finding some dough and flour adhering to the plate, he was beating it off by striking it against the wagon wheel when Fanning told him in an excited manner, "Man, don't waste the flour in that way." As it was on this plate that the ducks had been rolled, McKinstry 's statement seemed to carry conviction in the minds of many that Fanning had upset the poison on the plate and thus put it in the flour. As Mc Kinstry closed his remarks our jolly Irish chainman, and the one who offered live thou sand dollars for a vomit, sang out, "Men let us hang him." The ranchman and several others seconding, a general move was being made for Fanning, who had lain all this time in his tent, but groaning audibly at times. " Hi9 sickness is a sham, let us haug the villain," said others. "Right, boys," chimed in the ranchman, "I'll show you a handy pine in the gulch above my house." Seeing at once that the men meant serious business, I called to them with all the strength that my enfeebled condition would permit: "Hold, men, let us wait until Dr. Mitchell arrives from Deer Lodge." About midnight I bad dispatched a neighboring ranchman on a thirty-live mile ride for a doctor. "No, no, Captain, you are too easy on the villain," someone rejoined. For a moment I felt that my influence was gone, and that the excited, nervous men would surely hang the cook. Up to this time I had kept my own suspicions of another being the guilty party to myself, but these suspicions bad weakened greatly before the torrent of evi dence of the cook's bad nature, and peculiar actions, as related by the men. Finally, however, as a last resort, as the men were gathered at Fanning's tent, ready to drag him out, 1 called to them again : "For God's sake, men, don't murder an innocent man. I suspect another of the par ty." * "Who is he," shouted McIntyre, "by the gods," fie said, drawing a huge navy revolver, "name the man, Captain, and I'll blow his head off." As 1 drew the parly away towards the fire a few feet, I never felt in such a peculiar po sition. From the appearance of the fifteen determined looking men, only two or three of whom were inclined to listen to reason, or remonstrate with the others, I felt that I held life and death in my hands. The men with scarcely an exception, liked me and evinced their friendship on all occasions, by their zealous obedience to instructions and the interest they manifested in their work. They looked from one to another, each con scious of innocence, but apparently ready to immolate any one against whom I cculd pro duce even the slightest evidence. But when the demand came for me to name a man, whom they would consider worthy of death, my suspicion of McKinstry faded into the air. 1 could only have told them my imag inations, distorted as I presume were some of theirs, by the poison itself, for not a sin gle act could 1 name against him save that he had baked the bread, and then appeared foremost amongst the accusers of Fanning Yet I must do something to save poor Fan ning's life, and finally I told them that I could not. name the man just then but would do so if any farther evidence presented it self to rnv mind, but that 1 greatly desired to consult with Dr. Mitchell, whom several of the party knew to be a clear-headed, fearless man. This ultimatum was accepted. I agreed that Fanning should be closely guarded, and McIntyre placed himself in the grass by his tent door, with a pistol ready to shoot if he made a motion to escape. The afternoon following the doctor arrived. After a general talk he said we were probably poisoned with strychnine, that he would take back samples of our provisions for analysis. Meantime, after a private consultation with me in regard to Fanning, he told the men, that from all the evidence it appeared to him that it must have been an accidental occur rence, poison for wolves, etc., he said, being sold everywhere, and that doubtless a little of it had become mixed with some packages of our provisions. Everyone in the party agreed with him that if we had only got "a little of it" that strychnine would go a long wav in seasoning provisions. Overhauling our provisions, every package that had been opened was committed to the fire, even the bacon side9 were carefully scrutenized for "crystals": such a careful search for poison was probably never before inaugurated as was then and there. In the meantime Doctor Mitchell and my self had a consultation with Fanning. As the doctor went into his tent he said, " What is the matter with you?" to which Fanning replied, " I don't know, doctor, I am very sick; bad pains in my s'omach and bead, see, I throw up everything the Captain brings me to eat." After the doctor felt Lis pulse, and asked a few questions, he remarked very abruptly, " Fanning, you are shamming, you have been drinking." "No, doctor, the Captain can tell you that there iw no liquor in camp." "Well, it you ain't a drunkard, you are a morphine eater. I can see it in your coun tenance, and you have taken an emetic to sham sickness." Fanning of course denied these allegations, and then related what he had heard iu camp about the poisoning, finally breaking out: "My God, doctor, that I should liyeto bear myself charged with such an enormity, if I wanted to kiil any man in this party 1 would have shot him. What object could I have had in killing fifteen men ? 1 could not have made off with their outfit," etc., The doctor agreed with me that Fanning should be sent away as soon as possible. The doctor started home about sundown. Early next morning Fanning was hauled to Coberley's stage station, three miles dis tant, to be placed in the coach running to Pioneer and Deer Lodge, lie was accom panied by two men, he lying in the wagon rolled up in his blankets and pityfully groan ing. Reaching the station it was discovered that no coach passed on Sunday, but some one remarked to our men, " Do you see that light wagon with two men up the road? well, those fellows are going to Pioneer." "Where," said Fanning, raising his head for a sight over the tail board, aud seeing the direction he rose suddenly and ran after the disappearmg wagon, and was out of sight before my astonished men fairly realized he was gone. This was the last that any of our party ever saw of Fanning, but as a sequel to this story I will relate his adventures as I gleaned them afterwards from different individuals. After overtaking the spring wagon, he was taken in by the driver and carried to Pioneer, a mining town in the mountains twenty miles towards Deer Lodge. The men in the wagon were going to a political meet ing that was to be held there that night (the election for deligates to Congress, engrossing popular attention.) Arrived in Pioneer, Fan ning represented himself as an assistant en gineer from the Hellgate party, returning to Helena for instruments. He desired to make a speech, and there being little difficulty he was negularly iotroducecl from the platform, as an assistant engineer of the railroad, and was greeted with cheers. He made a short, pithy speech, rather 'florid,' too, my informant stated. After the meeting was over he was, of course, well taken care of by bis new found political friends. As he rambled from store to store, he related bow he had ' run short ' of funds, owing to the expense in curred in * treating,' iu the excitement of the evening, lie was l'nnished with about $;>0 4 on his own recognisance,' and bis supposed connection with the railroad. Not a soul in Pioneer had as yet heard of the occurrences in our camp. Next day he went to Deer Lodge, where he remained several clays, until meeting Dr. Mitchell in a drug store, whither Fanning had gone to procure morphine, he con cluded to leave for Helena. In Helena, he again stopped at the Cosmopolitan hotel, and Wä9 assigned to bed in a room occupied by another man. During the night the lodger was awakened by hearing Fanning gliding around the room in his under-clothes, and finally saw him reach for his vest and remove his gold watch, having secured which, Fan ning opened the door, and immediately dis appeared down stairs, and out into the street —half clothed as lie was. As rapidly as pos sible the lodger followed, and raising an alarm, two men joined him in the chase. Fanning was run down, and captured about a mile from town, where be sank down ex hausted. He Lad time, it appears, to bury be watch, before they came up with him. His captors, making believe they were 'vigil antes,' threatened to bang liimif he would not divulge where he had thrown or hidden the watch. Finally, he revealed the place. Next morning he was handed over to the author ities for trial. In the interim before the trial an account of the poisoning of our party was published in the Helena papers, and Fanning's name was connected with it. In court the jury found lnm guilty of stealing the watch ami the judge sentenced him to seven years con finement in the Territorial pen item iary. In 1872, the year following the events just related, the writer was again in charge of surveys in Montana. For a few'days iu August his party was camped near Deer Lodge, in sight of the penitentiary walls where poor Fanning was confined. We made inquiries concerning him, and learned that he was lying at the point of death, dying of consumption. Finally, while we were in the camp near by, Fanning sent for a young lawyer or physician of the place, telling the warden that he had a statement to make be fore he died. The lawyer arrived ; he requir ed and exacted a promise from him that he would not divulge what he w as r bout to re late. Just before bis death he requested that his cot be carried outside the doors of the penitentiary so that it could be said that be did not die within any prison walls, which request was granted. What he fold the lawyer I could never learn. Whatever it was it must have been a story of a strange life, mixed perhaps with many dark crimes. Still, after all, lie may have been crazy. T. P. R. Pittsburgh, February, 1876. —"Old Abe," the Wisconsin eagle that went through the war, will be taken from his present home at Madison to the Centennial.