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The San Francisco call. (San Francisco [Calif.]) 1895-1913, October 11, 1896, Image 17

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To Judge the
Brain Powers
Of the Horse
"Do you think," some one said to tne
recently, "that horses really understand
what is said to them ?"
For answer I raised my voice so as to be
heard by my equine pet feeding upon the
hill above.
"Come down here," I called, "and go
into your stall." She turned, gazed at me
hesitatingly for an instant, and t: en, with
no demur, marched down the hill, pass
ing us with the merest glance of recogni
tion, and fiied obediently into the stable.
But my fr.end was still skeptical. "I
do not believe she really understands,"
she persisted. "She has come to associate
certain words with certain acts, and when
she hears those words she does the asso
ciated acts."
"I grant that," I said, "but will you tell
me what more we humans do in the way
of comprehending language? The horse
does not have as wide a ransre of under
standing as the human being, but so far
as it goes it is ba ed upon exactly anala
gous principles."
It is rather wonderful, when one thinks
about it, now much a clever horse can be
tauzht and how much wisdom he will
puk up by himself without instruction.
I stood on Jones street, near Jackson, a
short time a o and watched a big bay
horse pull a heavy millt-wagon up the
hill. H-' was all alone; there was no one
in the wagon, which was loaded with big |
milkcnns. The grade just here is very j
heavy, and the horse was progressing
diagonally back and forth from curb to
curb at exactly the angle that afforded the
best resistance to the backward sliding of
the wheels, while yet he could steadily
ascend the grade. At each curb he
turned carefully, with one watchful eye
upon his wheels, and not in a single in
stance did he graze the curb or turn so
sharply as to endanger the contents of the
wagon. I watched the performance in
delighted amusement until presently the
driver of the wagon emerged from a
house in the block, milkcan in hand. He
stooped beside me. "You're watching
that there horse, I take it," tie said.
"Well, I suppose fifty people stop and
■watch him every day. He's a knowing
old fellow, that horse, and he taught him
self that tricK when we first put him on
the route. No one ever showed him; he
just studied it out himself."
By this time the br.y horse had reached
the top of the hill and stood upon the
level looking back as if to see why in the I
world his driver was not on hand to con
tinue the journey.
It may be, as scientists tells us, that ani- j
m al& do not think, but I must say that I
have seen horses do things the perform
ance of which involved a process singu
larly like thinking.
One summer, I remember, while camp- |
ing with a friend in a cabin on a canyon's i
There's the raving and tearing new woman,
With ber hat on one side like a boy's.
Who makes speeches on every occasion.
And who bolsters her logic with noise.
With her disheveled locks In the breezes,
See her gestures fantastic and queer;
While the multitude gazes and wonders,
Whether really we needed her here.
It was bard to be patient with male cranks,
With their eloquence ready to spout,
Bnt it's harder to bear this new woman,
Who has nothing to do but to snout.
The Gold and
the Death of an
Alviso Miser
Of the numerous hermits who have
lived their dreary lives in some of the un
frequented spots in California Benjamin
Rodman is entitled to a place in the front
rank. The possessor of thousands of dol
lars in gold, he chose to spend his days in
misery, and tor twenty-five years occupied
a dilapidated ark on Coyote Creek about
three miles from Alviso. He went about
clothed in rags. He almost starved for
food and slept on a pile of foul rubbish in
his damp cabin. Just how he died will
never be known, for he was alone, and
none knew of his death for months after
ward, when his skeleton was found by
fishermen. The finding of his skeleton
and the holding of the inquest have been
reported in the columns of the daily pa
Everybody living down that way knew
Benjamin Rodman and despised him, for
he was as disagreeable a man as ever lived.
The finding of his remains was due to the
efforts of his nearest neighbor, the watcn
man at The Bridges, who induced a couple
of men to visit the cabin. As he tells the
story of Rodman it seems too horrible to
be true.
"I've only known Rodman about a
year," said the watchman when speaking
of the matter, "but that is long enough,
for be made my life miserable when he
was alive. The people who have lived
around here a long time tell me that it is
over twenty-five years since Rodman came
to these parts, and that they always looked
upon him as crazy. Nobody knows where
he came from nor anything about him,
but the supposition is that he made money
in the mines, and that it turned his head.
"He lived in peril of his life and said
that he was afraid he would be poisoned.
He spent his time along the banks of the |
edge, our equine camping companion had
the run of a stubble-field in which the
cabin stood. It was our custom to feed
her grain night and morning in a round
basket that when not in use hung upon a
nail quite high up on the side of the house.
One morning, having the nijrht before at
tended some festrviiy or other :n a near
by town, we were Jate in rising, and at
about 9 o'clock we were startled by a loud
knock at the front door. Ha-stily dressing
1 threw open the door to admit our caller,
and WJtfl confronted by Madame, who was
just in the act of repeating her heavy
knock with one iron-sliod foot upon the
doorstep. She had taken the grain-basket
from its nail and brought it to the door,
and as I made my appearance she threw
it down at my feet, with an indignant toss
of the lead, wonderfully expiessive of her
opinion of two women who would lie abed
until that late liour and keep respectable
ponies waiting for breakfast.
It was the same mare who, on another
occasion, by her almost human reason
ableness, saved me from serious injury, if
not from death. I was driving one dark
winter night up a steep, rocky ana peril
ously narrow road, which neither she nor
I had ever before traveled. Behind the
buggy walked a companion, bearing a
lantern. His lantern was of no real use,
as, if carried in front, it blinded both the
mare and the driver, and the road was
too narrow to permit of the light-bearer's
walking beside the buggy, oo we were
blundering along, as best wecould, in the
murky blackness. All at once the mare
stopped, and no urging of mine availed to
make her take another step. I even struck
her with the whip, but to no purpose. I
was in despair. "For the first time in her
life," I said to my companion, "she has
balked. I cannot say that I blame her
much. It is a fearful road."
My friend came around with the lantern
and we saw, within six inches of the right
front wheel, a yawning gully, where the
road had been washed out by the recent
rains. One step further and the vehicle
would have toppled down a steep bank an
almost indefinite distance.
We could teach our horses a great deal
more than we do il we were only willing
to taKe the trouble. I see women every
day go around their carriages and enter at
the side away from the curb because they
apparently do not know that in two or
three lessons the average horse can be
taught to bring the buggy close to the
curb, crank the wheel and wait for his
driver to enter the vehicle. #
There are a number of useful words
which a horse can be taught perfectly to
understand and obey. -'Steady" is a word
I always teach any horse 1 drive often to
understand and heed. It is a good word
to have at your command, the "so-o-o" of
most good-natured drivers sounding so
Here you see the athletic new woman,
Who wears bloomers and wheels through the land
She can carry a gun on the hillside.
And aims to have -backbone" and "sand."
About freckles and sunburns she's careless,
Bnt her muscle's her pride and her joy;
She can run, row and swim with her brother,
Who declares she's as good as a boy.
There's a place in the world for her muscle,
Let ber be just as strong as she can;
If she will only smile like a woman
And maxe sunshine in life for some man.
slough hunting for such articles and food
as would be useful to him. It was dan
gerous for anybody to go near his ark, as
he nearly always stood near the door and
pointed a gun at them until they went
away. Nobody suspected that he had any
money until about five years ago, when
he took a shot at the watchman who was
here then.
"Of course he was arrested and taken to
San Jose for trial. He was fined $300 or
300 days in jail. To the surprise of every
body he pulled out a sack of gold and
paid his fine. That watchman left the
place soon afterward.
"When I took this job 1 was told to
keep a sharD lookout for him, which I did.
He never came around without his rifle,
and I was afraid that he would shoot at me
any time. He was always in a mean
mood and quarrelsome, but I humored
him and we never had any trouble. He
objected to my being on the marsh, and 1
was afraid he would shoot at me some
night when I went out to tend to the
"The last time I saw Rodman alive he
was towing a dead pig to his cabin. He
had found it floating in one of the sloughs
after it had been dead several days and
was ail swelled up. I asked him what he
was going to do with it, and he said he in
tended to cure i^ an<l that it would last
him all summer. That was some time
last April.
"I don't know how long it was after
ward, possibly a cuuole of weeks, when I
noticed that there was never any smoke
coming from the old man's cabin aa there
used to be. I thought something was
wrong then and kept a sharp lookout. I
tried to see him, but he never came along
the sloughs any more. It then struck me
In the Tunnel Where the Nest of Live Bats Was Unearthed by Blasting.
Some Words That
A Horse Can Be
Taught to Know
much like "whoa" that its use serves to
lessen obedience to that supreme word of
command which should always bring a
horse up standing. It should never be
used save to stop a horse, and he should
be trained to stop instantly upon hear
ing it.
"Come here" is another phrase every
horse can and should be taught to obey.
Whoever has chasea an equine torment
about a pasture when in a hurry to hitch
This Is only a student-new-woman;
Eitcer doctor or lawyer she'll be.
'lhere is nothing too deeo to be fathomed,
By the size of her books you can see.
She admits that her brain is the lighter,
But in quality fi^er than ours;
And she claims equal rights in ihe college,
To develop her natnral power).
We admit she can learn this new woman;
And we never have doubted her ruht,
But this life is one wide Beid of battle,
And our learned young maiden must fight.
that something was wrong with him. I
tried to get some of the fishermen to go
over and see, but they were afraid. I
asked at least a dozen, but none of them
would go, and I couldn't leave my post to
go myself.
"About three weeks ago George Price
and William Dumphy, two young men
who came here to fish, agreed to go over
and see what was the matter with the old
man. They came back and said that only
his skeleton was there. It was hanging
over the well of the centerboard in the
middle of the ark and the bones were
picked clean by the rats. He must have
been taken with some attack and died
while trying to walk about. 1 think he
died from eating the dead pig, and I am
Ark on the Alviso Marsh Where Benjamip Rodman Lived the Life of a Miser Hermet and Died an
Awful Death
up will appreciate the desirability of
teaching a horse to come when called, a
li'sson any horse can learn.
Every horse carries an index to his tem
per and intelligence in his face. The
teachable, tractable animal is broad and
flat between the eyes: the bony ridge of
his face dishes slightly from the point
where tne face narrows, toward the nos
trils. His ears are well set, sensitive and
far ajrmrt, with a well-defined ridge of
bone extending across the top of the head
between them. Always feel for this ridge
in judging a horse. The eye should be
large, clear and bright, with a prominent
ridge of bone along the inner and upper
edue of the socket. Miss Russell
Thnre is still one more type of new woman,
'1 hough you might call her "him" at. first sight;
For her coat, shirt, and hat, and stiff collar,
On her brother would look about right.
No, she doesn't go In for athletics.
Or to glean wisdom's grain from big books;
She cures not to be manly in nature,
>lie would just be a man in ber looks.
It Is neat', though it's fearfully ngly,
And perhaps she will find as she grows
That soft womanly foids and sweet gteces
Fit a woman, as roseleaves a rose.
sure it happened soon after I last saw
him. He miu'ht have been there yet if 1
hadn't induced those fellows to go over
and see what was the matter.
"The Coroner came over from San Jose
and held the inquest, but just what was
agreed upon I don't know. The ark was
sold to a man for $7 and it has proved a
good investment. Of course it was of no
use to him, but he came over last Sunday
and made a search of it. When he came
back here tq take the train he showed me
$1200 in gold that he had found concealed
in different places in the ark. The chances
are that there is a whole lot more money
concealed arbunri the place. The old fel
low was often seen • digging in certain
places and people believe that gold is
Peddles the Same
Green Turtle to
Many Restaurants
"Green Turtle Suup To-day."
The sign is so familiar on all manner
of restaurants in San Francisco that to a
stranger it would seem that San Fran
ciscans are gourmets of a pronounced
type. One would pass it by without com
ment if posted outside the door of a
restaurant of the fashionable class, or
even that of a "four-bit" house. But
when it comes to a place where meals,
including soup and wine, or Deer, a*e
'■Wo uld you really call this a new woman?
We have loved some just like her for years;
They have helped us to bear all our burdens,
They have shared all our joys and our tears."
Don't you see her hands held out in pleading?
I ijii dear creature is asking to vote,
bhe declares it a right, not a lavor,
You should hear now much law she can quote.
We must yield to her sooner or later,
.Let us hope this bad world she'll reclaim;
But If politics grow a shade blacker
Can you tell who'll be mostly to blame?
buried there. The owner of the ark j n
tends to make a thorough search. An old
resident about here says that when Rod
man first came here he told him he had
$20,000 in gold, but that he didn't believe
him. The chances are, though, that that
money is somewhere around waiting for a
Miser Rodman's old ark was visited by
a Call representative last week, at which
time the accompanying picture was made.
How the man could have lived there is a
mystery. Squalor and filth does not
describe the place and the awful silence of
the marsh is enough to turn one's brain.
The bottom of the art had rotted out years
ago, so that at hign tide the interior con
tains several inches of water.
Live Bats Found
Imbedded Deep
In the Earth
served for 15 cents to 25 cents, the marvel
is how can green turtle soup be dispensed
as part of the menu. Here again the
traveler is taken by surprise, and led to
infer that in all the wide world there is
not such a paradise for the man who
thinks much of his dinners.
It barely costs the native a second
thought, so accustomed is he to accept
things as they are, without investigation
of any kind, but it must strike him that
there is some deep down mystery in this
green turtle soup as a course of a cheap
"Would you like to know how it is
done?" asked an employe of the Pacific
Mail Company. "Then I'll tell you," he
added after a brief pause, while he as
sumed a quizzical air.
"Every time a steamer comes in at the
dock here from Panama, you can see an
o'd man looking for turtles. Generally he
gets one or X wo of them, and hauls them
away in his little cart to bis home on
Third street. Where he lives are also his
office and business headquarters. He
usually keeps a stock of six or eight tur
tles on hand, and with them he makes his
living. Pretty tough on the turtles, but
that makes no difference as long so he
makes it pay. And then, you see, these
prevention of cruelty to animals fellows
don't catch on.
"Well, this fellow gets the big turtles for
a song, and what do you think he does
with them — turn 'em into soup? Not
much. He rents them to restaurants at so
much a day, and moves them from one
place to another, all over town. Mo3t of
his business, though, is south of Market
"The restaurant men leave the turtles
on the sidewalk beside the door and put
out a sign, 'Green turtle soup to-day.'
The turtle's back is painted with the same
sign, and as he sprawls about and peeps
from under bis cover once in a while he
attracts people. You've noticed people
stop to look at the turtles.
"It's a great advertisement and pays
the house well, but none of that turtle
gets into the soup, for he goes to another
eating place next day, and so on. Those
cooks know how to make a good imitasion
with young veal and things. But the rent
from half a dozen or a dozen turtles pays
the old man wjell.
"The turtles don't stand this rough
usage very long. A few weeks settles their
hash, and then they are killed and sold
for a pretty fair price to some restaurant
that dishes up the genuine article. And
this is how the hasheries can have turtles
at their doors once or twice a week."
About 200 miles from Sydney, N. S. W.,
is a place called Wingen, and in one of the
mountains there Is said to be a coal mine
which has been burning for over lOOyears.
"Is the bachelor maid a new woman?"
Well, perhaps it is best, so to say ;
'Tis the name that is new, not the maldqffc
But it suits her to put it that way.
She could ne'er be persuadnd to marry,
Never husband shall order her life.
As for children she never could stand them,
With their noise and perpetual strife.
Yes, dear bachelor maiden new woman*
The men are a despicable lot:
It may be you'd refuse oue to marry,
It may also be true that you'd not.
America Was
Not Named by
the Florentine
It seems safe to assume that nine- tenths
of the native-born Americans are ignor
ant of the real origin of the name of their
mother country. This is not strange, &b
the makers of schoolbooks have taken
particular care and delight to perpetuate
an error born of ignorance. We have
been told time out of mind that it was
Amerrcus Vespucius, a Florentine navi
gator, who, with loud and ponderous
voice, proclaimed himself to Europe as
the discoverer, and with intent to defraud
fastened his name upon the newly found
country. This bit of pseudo history has
been asserted with severe authority and
maintained with asperity, and nothing
but the hand of time can wipe the untruth
from the pages of history, for it requires
the aid of centuries to establish knowl
edge. Recently a movement has been es
tablished in the East, which has met with
more or less success, with the object of
tearing the borrowed robe from the back
of poor "Americus," demanding its resti
tution to its rightful owner, Columbus ( ?).
However laudable this effort is to give
tardy ju3tice to a calumniated reputation
it is founded upon a misconception. It
would only rob the innocent and enthrone
another error, because the first name of
Vespucius was not "Americus" but
"Albericus." Of course exact history
could not take note of auch trifles.
Americ, Amerrique or Amerique is the
name of the high land in Nicaragua, the
high land or mountain range which lies
between Juiealpa and Libertad, in the
province of Chontales, and which reaches
on the one side into the country of the
Corcas Indians and on the other side into
the country of the Ramos Indians.
"Ie" or "ique," used aa a terminal,
means "great."
A nest of live bats were found 100 feet
underground in'Snowshoe Guich, near
Cottaee Grove, in Oregon, the other day.
This is considered a most remarkable dis
covery, and those who have visited the
place and seen the animals are at a loss to
account for it.
John Dinman and Andrew Wilson have
been developing a claim in the gulch by
running a tunnel to reach the vein. The
tunnel runs obliquely, and a few days ago
wden a depth of 150 feet had been reached
the rock began to assume a different con
dition. It sounded loose, or holiow, in
that particular spot, and ihe partners
knew that they were nearing what in.
miner's parlance is called "a chance."
Their "holes" were nearly loaded when
this discovery was made, but they con
tinued loading and then went to the sur
face and touched off the charge. Upon
their return they expected to find a vein
uncovered or at least a rock of different
character from that through which they
were running.
But quite a different matter attracted
their attention when they went back to
the end of the tunnel and the circum
stance has been the wonder of the entire
country ever since. It has created aa
immense amount of discussion, scientifia
and otherwise, but no certain explanation
has yet been adduced.
Instead of finding ore or any particular
change in the rock they found the tunnel
full of bats. The cause of the peculiar
sound that indicated a change of ground
was a small cave and into this their last
shots broke and out of which came the
bacs. How the bats got into the cave is
the problem and what sustained them
there? The point is about 100 feet below
the surface and there is apparently no
opening or means of ingress or exit. The
bats when caught ana taken out to the
daylight appeared to be without eyes and
able to fly but a little ways ; in fact their
wings were butmeagerly developed. The
first thing that attracted the men's atten
tion upon their return to tne tunnel was the
peculiar odor, which, notwithstanding the
amount of gas from the exploded powder,
was quite perceptible and disagreeable.
The only solution of the strange oc
currence that has yet been offered lies in
the fact that the rock is of metamorphic
and aqueous origin, and, being in the
Cascade Range, is of recent occurrence.
The rock is a closely bedded shale, and at
the time of the geological disturbance that
put it into its present position the bats
had their nest there and then became in
casbd as they were found. It would seem,
too, that the bats must be of that nature
that becomes dormant and able to re
tain life without food. An effort was made
to save some of them alive, but they
rapidly succumbed to the sunlight and
fresh air.
Now, this last is the nicest new woman;
May her numbers increase everyday!
She's a trimly dressed, pleasant young person,
Who can talk in a sensible way.
She will fall deep in love and gat married :
Of her home she'll b? proud as a queen ;
She will walk step by step with her husband
And with never a shadow between.
She will gather about her the children,
Who will run when they hear mother call,
And she'll sing lullabies in the gloaming—
"She's the old woman"— so are they all.
Columbus mentions in his fourth voy.
age the village Coriai, probably Oaicai.
The people abounded with sorcerers or
medicine men, and this was the region of
the "Americ" range, 3000 feet high. But
Columbus does not mention the name,
It is stated that the name "America
Province" first appeared upon a map pub
lished at Basle in 1522. Until that time
the region was believed to be a part of
India. This information may be verified
by reference to "The Naturalists in Nica
ragua," by Thomas Belt.
The northmen who visited the conti
nent in the tenth century, according to
Torf«us' "Historia Vrielandiae An
tiquse," found the country a low level
coast thickly covered with wood, and called
it "Markland," from "mark," a wood. The
"r" bad a rolling sound as in Marrick.
A similar word found in the region of the
HiinaJays, and the name of the World
Mountain, Meru, is pronounced in some
dialects as Meruah, ttie letter "h" being
strongly aspirated. It is notable "that
two people could possibly accept a word
of similar sound, each having used it in
their own sense, and finding it applied to
the same territory. "
Professor Wilder remarks it is plausible
that the State of Central America where
we find the name "Americ,'' signifying
(like the Hindu Meru) great mountain,
gave the continent its name. Vespuciua
would have given his surname if he had
designed to give a title to a continent.
It is Vespucius who has been slandered
and to whom restitution is due.
There is more in a name than the world
wota of — even Romeo and Juliet must
have found that out — although a rose by
Any other name would smell as sweet.

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