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The San Francisco call. [volume] (San Francisco [Calif.]) 1895-1913, July 03, 1898, Image 24

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IT'S all off, boys; the game's up!" said "Easy" Bill, as
hu drew up in front of the only public house in Pot
Luck, the store, hotel, saloon, and miners' general
rendezvous, kept by 'Ceptin' Johnson.
"Hqw's that. Bill?" chorused the group gathered
on the long front porch awaiting Bill's arrival and
that of the evening, stage.
"oh. the Gap's done us up too brown tills time," re
•;.':plie4 Bill, throwing himself sldewise in the saudle that its
\ ppmmel might affocd support to his elbow; "sewed us up
•.'..'tighter'n a pocket." •'
• You don't -mean they've got that big steer?" gasped
: . -Johnson: "anything"cjeptin' that!"
.-■.•;• "That's <vh;it tlicyT.nvi'." .said Bill; "offered $10 more'n
:' '. : we. did. a.nd hired Jose Vacheca, the only man ter forty
' miles' that knows how to dp the trick, to barbecue it fer
v-' : 'em; and the band—" '.
■■':•. .••:-"Don*t say they've got -the .valley ban<l, Bill." pleaded
...Johnson. ..'**pe"ptta w»'.nave t-tye band our Fourth's busted
'. higher' n- a klteT I couldn't- stand that."
"You'll have to F.taHd ty'orse thfngs than that, old man.
. '. Why.; .the .Vaileyboys ain't good- enough rer the Gap.
A Story of the Fourth at Sea
'■'•' TOT a cloud- relieved the dull blue of the sky, not a
.'■ |y.J 'estlge of shadow offered shelter from the vertical
.-■" : . I\l rays of tKe" equatorial Run, not a : solitary seagull
•'••' • I \ or tropic bird could be seen to break with its "caw"
.■XI the death-.Hke silence of the stifling air.and not a
• . ■ ■" breath -of wind to revive the exhausted energies of
,•• ■..•:'. the crew or to cause the slightest flap of the sails
'.' •■• • . : of. the bark Excelsior as she lay motionless on the
• glassy bosom of the Indian Ocean,
"." ."'■ And to-morrow would be the Fourth of July.
."■."■ The Excelsior was on. a voyage- from Philadelphia to
• •• Japan. The Cape of Good Hope had been safely rounded
■; •■ arid war-had made a good run along the west coast of Aus
_;■" tralia, but after sighting the Island of Timor, noted for
': its many .massacres' by pirates, the little cherub that is
'. " generally" supposed to sit aloft and watch.over Jack's fate
•■• seemed to desert us .entirely. .'--..'•
•. ■ ■■ A' glance at the map" (if the islands stretching from the
...-.Gulf- of Slam to Torres 'Straits will show at once that be
•••' fore a' vessel can mak« her way from the Indian Ocean to
■ the Pacific she must thread a tortuous passage through
V "innumerable islands and rocks. This was the portion of our
*. voyage that lay immediately before us oh the Fourth. of
• July'-. in which 'we are. now interested.
' I : The first attempt to run this gauntlet of obstacles
proved- a fafluro; so did the second and third. We were
.-' -about .half way between Timor and Kathurst Island when
the. .wind, died away and we were left like a log on the
' " ocean— unmanageable and at the mercy of the currents
'"•running from the opposite' direction, to that In which we
•' ; wan ted to go. ...
•-, '■' Man is a feeble opponent against- nature, and the of
'•• fleers of the Excelsior realized ibis, as with all of their
'knowledge of navigation and seamanship they were forced
'to stand on the quarter deck and see" their vessel drift
• "helplessly past the Ombay passage, while consoling them
' selves with the hope that there would: be some wind before
•' .Floris Straits were reached. The hope was vain, how
'• ever, for the red sun rose out of an unruffled sea and
' »after.- sending forth his fiercest rays sunk into his western
-.chamber', ' his uninterrupted progress through the blue
- ocean above seeming to mock the helpless condition of
:. 'our vessel drifting- on the bluer ocean below.
I was trying to convince myself that there was a
" •• breath of wind from some direction: in spite of the fact
th.at the dog vane did not. make the least attempt to flut
ter when the captain came up the companion.*
'.'Take in the small galls and have them made well
fast. 1 think these monsoons are going to play a. trick on
• us," he said, addressing the^mate. His calculations were
based on "the erratic motions of the mariner's savior— the
• • barometer.
.■ ' "Anything would be better than this," said the mate.
•"Perhaps you won't think so by this time to-morrow,
' although this is enough to make a saint swear." And both
men leaned over the rail and watched the peculiar ac
tions of hundreds of those little water spiders that are
never seen except in. a calm.
•- > • •• „»..■• • • • • •.». • ■■»
.■" ° • Dlrig-dong, ding-dong, ding-dong, ding-dong.
"Eight bells." . -.'' ■ , -
"Eight bells, sir; all hands shorten sail," echoed one
of the middies of the starboard watch as he rufihed into
my room at midnight. *.■.*.)
I jumped out of my berth and having turned in "all
standing I was ready to rush up on deck.
•Rain was falling in torrents, the darkness was so
dense it could be almost felt and was rendered blacker
by the occasional flashes of lightning. The wind was
howling and whistling through the rigging and the white
waves, la"shed into fury by the sudden storm, were hurling
their crests on the deck, and the sailors were trying in
vain 'to clew up the fluttering fragments of the torn sails
before their violent flapping should carry away a mast.
■ i Even then with death staring them in the face, not one
of them flinched from doing his duty or hesitated to obey
■ his officer's orders. It was a time when prompt action
might. mean salvation; to temporize, certain destruction.
When the tempest first struck the < vessel the captain
ordered her kept dead before the wind, but as- such a
.course was carrying us toward the dangerous overfalls off
Hlnglt Point, on the southeast corner of Lombok, It was
necessary to haul th« ship to the wind as soon as possible.
- /'Everybody off the main deck while she comes to the
■wind." ordered the captain. All hands mustered to the
poopdeck to avoid the heavy seas which a vessel invariably
chips when she Is being laid to. - •:
"Down with the helm— not too fast now! Bring her to
.gently." was the advice (riven to the man at the wheel.
All eyes were watching the. ship's head. Gradually she
rose on the top of a huge breaker as she answered her
helm and brought the wind on the quarter. A mountnin
• pus roller was tearing, along In a direct line it or our
$*am. It barolr.s orer tho rai?, thawing ton* & water ylth
They're goin' to ha\> a band from 'Frisco; twenty pieces
at $160 fer the day. Talk about the Valley band! Why, it
Wouldn't draw a handful of picnickers if the woods "was
full of "em this Fourth."
"That's the worst deal they've give us, 'ceptln' the
picnic May day two year ago," groaned Johnson, as the
Btage rattled up and he went inside to sort tne mail.
''Let's to down and 'shoot up the town'!" *ald Ike
Bledsoe, suddenly aroused by the clatter of the stage
coach from his nap on one of Johnson's benches. "I'm a
peaceable man. but there's tome offenses that calls fer a
gun play exclusive, and if I'm any jedge, feller citizens,
this hi i- 'a one "f 'em; to be done up right and left by an
upstart of a t^wn that everybody Knows wasn't nothln*
better'n a suburb to Fot Lurk a few yt-ar ago — "
"Walt till I read you this, boys!" broke in Johnson,
bouncing out of his office with a letter In his hand. "Keiif
chairman of the Fourth of July committee I took the lib
erty t" "j'vr; it. Now listen:
" 'To the Honorable Chairman and Members of the
Fourth of July Committee and Feller Citizens of Pot Luck
in General, Greeting: Surmisin' that you don't intend to
celebrate this year and knowin' the patriotic sentiments
of your citizens, we extend you a cordial invitation to
come down and picnic with us. (Signed) The Fourth at
terrific force upon the deck, and at the same Instant the
weather clews of the lower topsail gave a quiver and the
vessel was at the wind.
"Meet her, my lads, steady the helm," said the captain,
and for the minute all immediate danger was past. But
only for a minute.
Crash! A violent shock was heard and felt all over the
Crash! rang out the thunder, followed immediately by
a blinding flash that revealed to us the foretopmast
hanging over the lee-rail.
It was the work of a few minutes to cut away the
backstays and release the wreckage which drifted away
to leeward. When this wan done some of the stoutest
. hearts began to quail. Already our vessel had received one
test that she could not stand. How soon might some other
accident occur? And then • - -
At last day broke, and with its appearance the fury of
the tempest decreased. But the troubles of that eventful
day had only begun. As is usual with tropical storms,
the wind died away almost as suddenly as it rose and left
us partially wrecked to the mercy of the conflicting cur
rents that hold high carnival around the shores of
Lornbok. -••;
. A few observations and crossj>earings soon convinced
the captain that we were drifting fast toward the shore.
Soundings were taken but showed no bottom at 100
fathoms, bo it was useless to think of anchoring. Yet we
could plainly see that we were rapidly approaching those
almost perpendicular cliffs. We were not more than half
a mile off and were nearlng the edge of the seething over
falls caused by the meeting of several approaching cur
rents. « .
•Nearer nearer nearer! One minute more would ; de- '
cide her fate.
What an age that minute seemed! All hands 'wore
standing near the boats ready to leave the ill-fated bark
as soon as they were certain they could be of no more
use to the ship. It would all be settled in a few
. seconds — now a biscuit could be thrown on shore. The
main yard arm grazes the cliffs. Crash! Crash' Crash!
The Excelsior's stern was hurled against the rocks, which
at that place disappeared under water perpendicularly for
more than a hundred fathoms, .»• .
The force of the collision caused the timber to splinter
like matchboard. \ i ;%.s*glHigßßjSF t pi • : ■
Would the. vessel sink? Was she damaged under wa
ter? Would the yards become locked in the cliffs and
cause the mast to go by the board? As any one of these
disasters would inevitably have destroyed the boats and
robbed us of our last means of " escape,- the captain or
dered the men into the gig and lifeboat and told them to
row off a little distance and stand by. Barely had they
left the vessel when one of the currents swung: her off .
the rocks and she was free from another danger. When
■ the pumps were sounded the rod was pulled out of the well
almost as dry as when it went in.
"TSio old craft isn't sinking, anyhow, Chip," said the
"No, sir;" replied the carpenter. "Just six Inches, sir;
same as yesterday. Can't be leaking a drop. Didn't
i touch under water, I guess.". > .:.. - /
By trimming the yards so as to catch a. faint air that
•came to our assistance we were enabled to work our way
into fifty fathoms of water and let go an anchor.
How that two-ton mudhook did make the chain fly be
fore It struck the bottom. . >- ;■ - --;. • - -..-' .-
Onco more we were safe. The crew then' commenced
to bring order out of chaos, and the cook and his mate set
about preparing our Fourth of July dinner, which is al
ways a great occasion on board a ship. Little did any
body dream at that time of the circumstances under which
that meal was to be eaten. • :
' ********* ";♦<'•■.• *• •
The little bay in which we were riding at anchor, was
up to this time considered one of the most dangerous
pirate grounds in the Malay islands. ,- ■_■•; ... >
Shortly after noon the second mate, who was looking
through the glass, noticed hundreds of the swarthy na
tives congregated together and gesturing i toward the ship. -
He Immediately informed the captain, vrtio seeing It >
would be folly to keep his fears a secret any longer, mus
tered the crew aft. <, -,; ■ ■:--,, • •
"After the experiences of the last twenty-four hours,";
said the captain, "I feel that I have a crew on whom I can
. rely." .-•■ ■ , „-, ■-<./, ■■ „- - ■■■ ■. * - -
',',£}'*■ *'-'*■ sir." the sailors shouted. - ' • .
■;,■■■■■'■• Won, boys," he continued, "here we are, unable, with
out making repairs, to go tiny further. Those cutthroats
on tho beach know this, too, and it looks as though they
wanted to have a warm time at our expense. I don't in- .
tend to give them any. encouragement. . :• Wo • will • make
the best showing we can with our srane a.nd muskets, but
I hone we shall not have to use them. If we do, — — — '
——rr. And the captain merely waved his hand;'-- ■
The. three six-pound era that we ; carried were placed
on tho- poopdeck with their mutales projecting over the :
July Committee of Dutch Bill's Gap.
" 'P. S.— Don't trouble yourselves to bring lunch bas
kets; we'll have good music and plenty to cat and drink,
and it won't cost you a cent,'
"Now then, that's a polite invitation enough," said
Johnsun, with a wink at Easy Bill. "What's the matter
with 'ceptln' it?"
'•'Ceptin' it!" roared lice; "I never felt more like shoot
in' a friend than 1 do like pluggin' you this minute, John
son, fer swallowin' an insult like that. Come on. fellers!
I'm a peaceable citizen, but I'm goin' down to interview
that Fourth of July Committee at the Gap, and if there'B
a rnaii in Pot Luck that packs a gun and won't f oiler me
he's a coward and I can lick him.
"Oh, hold on, Ike," said Johnson; "don't be pom' off
half-cocked up you're always doin'. This here invite's all
a Josh; nothin' but a bluff. Tney don't mean a word of it
any moron they expect us to 'cept it. But look a-here,
boys. Can't you see they've dealt us the very cards we
need to b»at era at their own game? What's the matter
with our 'ceptin' this invite and raisin' the biggest crowd
Pot Luck ever seen and goin' down there and monopolizin'
that hundred-and-fifty dolhir dance music, and wlpin' all
their eatables and drinkables off the face of the vearth?"
'Ceptin' Johnson's dignity as Postmaster ana Justice of
the Peace of Pot Luck, never known to be it raffled * e o f °c£
proved unequal to the strain of .extraordinary an ocubl .
lion. He fairly screamed out the final words. tt e p o a .f\ z )f f
them with a swipe of his bis felt hat acoBS the.top or a
bench", illustrative of the clean sweep he Proposed „„ 5^
of the viands of the luckless picnicked at the GaP. l""
masterly diplomacy was at once recognized by^houts and
cheers of approval, in which the voices or IKe BIMm ana
Easy Bill sounded loudest and longest. Pot Luck *as
ready to act as one man. Johnson's strategy. is exec
utive ability and Ike's oratory- had been the brilliant feat
ures of many a victory in the bitter rivalry Ion? waged
between Pot Luck and the Gap, and not a Pot Lucker ever
hesitated where this trio led the way. „„,.. nnd
The committee went directly into executive L session and
laid all necessary plans to gather the largest crowd of men
ever collected in Pot Luck and march in a body down to
the Gap on the morning of the Fourth, now ten dajs
aYU The ditch and flume long contemplated by the Pot
Luck miners was suddenly found to be an mmed late ne
cesslty, and word was sent down to the \ alle> ,s and to
neighboring camps that 200 extra men were wanted to be
gin work upon it July 1. Not a tramp came to town but
was offered a chance to do light work for hla board until
after the Fourth, a. move which of itself » most loub led
the population of the town, the news spreading v th *uch
mysterious rapidity that 'every Weary M atklna vkl»ln its
reach quickly turned his face toward Pot Luck as the
Mecca lie long had sought/ Pot Luck knew the Gap
never figured upon entertaining more than five |Or ■*« hun
dred people at the most, and determined to muster at least
that number in its invading host. Fourth, that the Gapers
Less than a week before the Fourth, that the Gapers
might not have time to discover the trap set for .them.
Pot Luck sent this reply to their invitation, an epistle upon
which 'Ceptin' Johnson and the whole committee expended
much time and ingenuity: - -- /t,i,,
"To the Chairman and Members of the Fourth of July
Committee of Dutch Bill's Gap: Gentlemen and Feller
Citizens— ln acceptin' the invitation so cordially extended
us to participate in the good time you intend havin on tne
Fourth, allow us. on behalf of the citizens of Pot Luck, to
thank the good people of the Gap for a courtesy which is
doubly appreciated on account or our present boom havin
upset our own preparations fer celebratin'. We assure you
that every Pot Lucker who can afford to knock off work
will be down to see you on our Nation's glorious birthday.
(Signed) The Fourth of July Committee of Pot Luck. - __
This reply had the precise effect intended, namely. It
assured the Gapers that the Pot Luckers were as good as
themselves at bluffing, and big Jake Tohmer's fat sides
shook with laughter, when, as their chairman, he read it
'to the committee. Some one suggested that perhaps rot >
Luck had accepted the invitation in good faith.
Jake roared again. "Good faith nothin'! said he.
"They want us to think so and go ahead and prepare for
'em, and then not a Pot Lucker come near our celebration.
That's their game. We wasn't born yesterday; -not.au (or
us. The idee of a boom at Pot Luck! That's too good!
And so things went on, the Gapers making prepara
tions for their usual crowd only, while Pot Luck strained
itself to add men enough to its population to "eat the Gap
out Of house and home." as Ike Bledsoe put it. ■ • -
Two days before the Fourth. Jake Tohmer's boys,
Fritz and Jake Jr.. went fishing far up the creek toward
Pot Luck, 'and came home almost, bursting- with excite
111 till t
"Dad." said the breathless Fritz, dashing into hi 3
father's grocery, "the Pot Luckers are goin' to bust our
Fourth wide open!" m , . „ , .
"Go long, you young rascal! said his father: what
you tryin' to play on your old dad now? They ain't goin
to celebrate at all up there."
"That's just it. dad, and say! the woods is plumb full
of men up that way; I never saw such droves of 'em. an
me an 1 Jakey heard 'em talkln', an' they're every one of
'em goin' to march down on us Fourth of July mornin an
eat an' drink up everything in sight, run all the Gapers off
the dancln' floor an' off , the groun's, and just < par'lyze us
gen'rally; them's the very words they said, ain't they,
A' great light suddenly flashed upon the mind of Jake
Sr. Not waiting to hear Fritz's news confirmed ne spread
a big sheet of -wrapping paper on his counter, hastily pen
ciled a call for a meeting that night, not only of the
Fourth of July Committee, but all good citizens of the
Gap, and tacked it up outside his door.
Jake's s grooery store wouldn't begin to hold- the Gapers
who answered the call, and the public pulse ran co high
that it seemed nothing but bloodshed could result. Some
of the more impetuous Gapers were for arming every man
and going to meet the Pot Luckers half way. This was
given up as too hazardous. Pot Luckers were known to
' be fighters to a man. and would doubtless greatly out
number the Gapers. 'Others suggested moving to. a grove
a dozen miles down the river early in the day and thus es
caping the ravaging horde from Pot Luck. But this
smacked of cowardice and could not be considered for a
The chagrined Gapers blamed their committee for get
ting them into such a dilemma, while accusations of bun
gling and stupidity passed freely between the committee
mombers themselves. Big Jake Tohmer was almost the
only man present who did not lose his temper, and when
the meeting seemed about to break up in a free fight he
banged loudly upon his grocery counter with a sugar scoop
and ps chairman of the meeting commanded order.
What 'Ceptin' Johnson was to Pot Luck, Jake Tohmer
was to the Gap, and the noisy crowd was hushed to silence
when he rose to speak. ,:
"Feller citizens!" said big Jake. "I own I'm as much to
blame in this matter as any one; perhaps more. I don't
believe any of you will call me a coward, and you all
know I ain't at man to set my. Judgment up against the will
of the majority. What goes with the crowd goes with me;
but if you'll allow me to say so, it's lust struck me all of
a heap that we ain't been trcatin' the Pot Luckers Just
right rer some years back. While they've been goin'.back
ward, their mines playln',- out and their population dwln
dlin' away, we've /been progressln' right along; our or
chards and vineyards multiplyln' and yieldln' bigger, and
cur population- growin' year after year. Another thing:
We've got homes and families here at the Gap with our
fair share of women folks to make homes worth havin',
while up there they're only a crowd of mmm' men batchin*
together. And with all our prosperity and happiness, in
stead of Bympatbizin' with 'em and extendln'. a helptn
hand, we've been flghtin 1 'em at every turn and tryin to
take away what little they've got left, just because they,
used to be big enough to crow over ua In years-gone by.
Now about this celebration: We wasn't satisfied to beat
'em bo bad that they didn't have the heart, to .try -to cele
brate at all, knowin' our attractions ■wotiid.dra'.w' all the. : .
crowd from the country round about; not' satisfied with- •
this as I Bay. we must taunt them by sendin' that sham
Invitation. That, of itself, was a challenge, and -they're,
only takln' It up as they have" a right to. -Now. 11l tell
you, friends, to my notion there's Jus.t one v.ay.fer- us- to
get out of this scrape like men. That. 1b fer. us- to pervlde
the best there la in the land, and enough. of- It fer. every
Pot Luckcr that comes, and treat 'em so- white that -ev>-fy
man vt 'em '11 go home a friend Instead of an- enemy. Why,
what'H ail this Fourth of July business fe'r,-. anyway? It
ain't the lickln' our great-granddads give- -the; '.Jlrltis'hers-,..
but the peace and haupiness and prosperity they had .to
fight fer; that's what we're celebratin'! Iso.w, gentlemeh,
I don't pertend to dictate what course. .we. ought- to. take,
but If there's any one present with a better -p3an out at
the difficulty I should be pleased to hear from him.'; • ■ ' ■
Dead silence prevailed for some moments after Jake.-'
ceased speaking. Then ihe leaven .of brotherly. -lf>ve im
parted by his speech seemed all at once to lea ve-n thfe whole
lump. His plan, put in the form of a motion,. .was carried
with applause that shook cans of tomatoes-- and- bores- of
sardines off. Jake's grocery shelves, white' his s;o'ek- ojf i»n»
terns and tinware suspended from numero-us hOoks-ln- th«- '•
ceiling nodded and clanged in approval like so many lib
erty bells. •■ ..r .**"?•-. - •■
Then the Gapers set to work in earnest. The time: was ..
short, but what they lacked in time they made up" in.ynr . 7=
erg-y. The hot July sun had barely pushed its face abewa
the eastern mountains on the morning of th.e-.Fourtn-.be-..
fore the picnic grove at the Gap swarmed wi.t.h .people -of .. ■ •
both sexes putting- the tlnishing touches to. tßfr'SXtra prepi.'; .
aratlons for entertaining the expected- horde from' -Pot
Luck. - " ' • .:"•.' .'•■ ;■■"■
Two big fat steers Instead of one. six fat sh?'K'P. ; instead .
of three, and a dozen instead of six fat.yoU-ng porkers;.:
were already smoking over the barbecue, pits', dope -to a .- .'..-.
Juicy brown crlspiness known only to the art of. Jose; Pa- -..- : . :
checo, while long rows of tables groaned, under-the-welglu
of other good things. Everything the larders of .-thrifty ■■; ;
Gapers could supply was there.' with such boxes and b.-rs
kets of fruit and such stacks of melons as only the. font -
hills of California could furnish .. . ..-'■" •:•.••:
A scone of equal bustle and activity, though- animated
by a far different spirit, was transpiring, up •among the- •
pines at Pot Luck that bright July morning £vher.e- th<'ir .
chosen leaders were marshaling the invading hosts.- ;'-. ;-'.
"Pack our guns? Of course, every man of us, r said
Ike Bledsoe, In answer to a query as the' column' began 10 •.,- .
form. "I'm a peaceable citizen and we ain't huntin'- fer
trouble, but we may want to fire a f«alut.e, ' ymi ..know.
Leastwise, the woods is full of bears arid we may be. late...
gettin' home; I was treed by a grizzly once .just. because .--■' ..:
I'd left my gun to home." . ■ '•'-. '••'■' . ■'•■•• ■.'".,
Bursts of laughter greeted Ike's, ironical ■"■d eel . a ration ' :
of peace," and as the anvils at the Gap began to boom, and
echo across the valley and up the canyon' toward Pjrit'Luok
a motley army 500 strong, of almost every race; artd Color .. . ,
under the sun and headed by the fifes and drums., of & \ .-;
strolling band of mlnstr«-is. marched with s.wi'ngihg s-tridev
down the winding road between the solemn- pines : and red-,
woods toward the Gap. .. '.•':'•**■.■• ' -' •:.
The Gapers heard their coming miles away; -and fqr*rn- .■
ing as many couples as there were ladies on' th.c- grounds
went out to meet them with waving banners of welepmo
and a lively burst of music from their own excellent band/-
The Pot Luckers heard t-he advaneing-music with. qu.ak-
Ing hearts. That, their raid was- anticipated upset even
their leaders, and only by heroic effort on triejr. part was . ••'
the column kept in motion as the Gapers dre-.v .near. '■ • .•;•.■'
"They're on to our game. Bill!" said Ike Bledsoe, :Jsßl-" ' ■
loping ui> to his lieutenant, just as their own' piusicwa- .
vered and came to a sudden stop." "Ride ahead arid. start -•■
that music again and keep it goin' i-f you'-have'to -shoot-. • ,'■
a couple of drummers! If thatstops, half this rabblelll
take to the woods in no time. Come on, bb-y-s!'.' ho shouted ' ■
to the faltering ranks, "they're comin" to meet us;'- no.''
flunkln' now! I'm a peaceable man and don't want" to hurt
nobody, but I'll plug the first man that makes a break ..to.. '•
run!" ' ' ' : .
Without stopping their music or breaking' the' step of .--'
their guests the Capers "about faced" and- escorted them ' ■
to the grounds, where the leaders were conducted to. < ■■:
chairs on the speakers' stand with their own committee, . :
the rank and file to desirable seats under a- banner, in- ':
scribed "These seats reserved for- Pot Luckers.-" ' - : .'.'
The embarrassment and chagrin of the Pot ..Luckers,'. ■-.
which, as Ike Bledsoe afterward declared, ''made-- every..
man of 'em feel like wiltin' down to his T>oot tops,'.'. dis-C ';.-.
appeared quickly before the friendly spirit manifest oh all' '
ides; the orator of the day closing his address with these..; •■
words: • ' ' .- " .- '.•'•. .
"To our fellow-citizens of Pot Luck, who- have hrfir-. .' :
ored us so proudly by their presence in such humber.3- here :
to-day, we extend the glad hand of- fellowship -and weK. -;r; r
come. Pitch, in. gentlemen of Pot Luck,- a-nd enjoy' yo.iir-. '....
selves. Everything on the. grounds is yours, and'you.'re •■•
as welcome to it as you are to the watpr 'that dashes .do'w.n '.-.
yonder mountain side, or to the balmy air that floats Aip to..'-: .
us over the tree tops from the bosom of the. broad .P.aeinc'.''. . -.
When the tables were spread the ladies cev'o-ted.' themf '.'. ■
selves to their guests, and not a Gaper ate .or. drank.- uwtil. '..
every Pot Lucker had been well served.' Then in -bumpers: ."'
of lemonade the Gap toasted Pot Luck, and" l?ot Luck' :. .
toasted the Gap. and Ike Bledsoe. in response to'" repeated '.'
calls, made a speech in acknowledgment of trie r'o'y.abwei-^-. . '•
come of the Gapers, or tried to make one. The. event-' will-/-. :
go down in history as the greatest time ever • enjoy M at.«":
The Gap, and the one occasion upon which Ike's rhetoric
ever failed him. . . . ■•■'.''-'.•-•.■ ".-•'-,.'
"Ladies andgentlemen and feller-citizen's- of- The Gap/ —
he began, "I— l— we— we— Oh', hang it all,' r.i-ieveF- fcn'ail '■'
my life had the packin" so everlastingly knocked- out of..mc' -
as I have to-day, and I'm going to own up to it : like.a' rhajj.-VV-
We came down here with malice in our hearts, every '.lrfanr--'-.
of us, but from this day on Pot Luck's the best friend The • '
Gap's got, and don't you forgit it. I'm a peaceable- man '
and don't want to harm nobody, but if ever' I- "hear a Pot ■ ••
Lucker say a word agin The Gap. I'll shoot- him ton' ihe : i:
spot. More'n that, we want to celebrate' with y.o'u- ftvery' '•'■' \ :
year after this, and on behalf of the citizens' of Pot iL.uck,;.
I invites you, one and all, to come up and picnic wfth-us 1 ' '■ ■"'
next Fourth. I calls fer three cheers fer the peopjevof ' '
Dutch Bill's Gap! and, as I said before, I'm a peaceable
citizen, but I can lick the man .that says the Gapers, aJri't'- '■■■'■
the handsomest ladies and the best all-round good felller.3 '.;;'
in all this glorious land of the free and home of the brave! ■ : .
Hip! Hip! Hooray!!!" - ' ■ ...".; : .
rail. The muskets and sabers were dealt but to the
crew, the ammunition was distributed, and ; as that' tin M.'v
the sum of our means of defense, there, was nothing to QO'■■'.'
but await developments. r. ;.'-'■' .' :
Late in the afternoon the natives left us no longer \n
doubt. Several hundred marched toward the 'canoes, '
dancing- and yelling like a crowd of blackdemoria; A few.
minutes later fully fifty canoes were launched and.
manned with the fierce looking crowd. They started- for
the ship and those who were not paddling: were shouting '
and gesticulating. The entire absence of. any .women.' ' V
proclaimed their mission — they were out to fight;'- When ■
about half way to the ship they ceased. paddling and held'
a pow-wow. We made up our minds that they had deter- :.
mined on waiting for darkness to help them." .' Jjiist as-"
the captain was ordering the officer's 'to fire our guns, the
canoes turned around and started for the- beach. We at- '•" i
once concluded that they were returning for .re-enforce- : .:
ments with which to come back after nightfall.- ■•• ' • :•.'. ■ ■
Never did human beings pass mure anxious hours than. -
those we passed that evening. While a Tew 'kept- .watch .'
the others rested by stretching out on' the deck, but not
to sleep. • • .-■ . ■ .-'■ - . . .■ " ■
Hark! Were our ears deceiving us? Couid we not heat
the airs of the old tune, "Yankee Doodle"— vain illusion.'
Nearer and clearer came the music. It must surely be the.
hallucination of our worn-out, distracted, despairinir ••.'•:
brains. ■ • , '. •' ■•> .; '
What was that coming around the point?" A bowsprit f
A hull! A mast! A full-rigged ship comes into- view! - ,'.
Ah. ah! Surely a kind rate had. driven us mad. so that
we Should be insensible to our doom.- ■ .;.. ' ' '"
Illusion? No. Mad? No. • • ' . ' '. .' - ;-.'
Thank God! It was a man of war and. from, her-peak
fluttering in the clear evening breezes were the.- red,:.whJt«
and blue of Old Glory. „••'• '. .- '.•.'...
We were safe. Owing to ,a dep'Tessloft .-'in-, the hill' at
the back of the point, the savages had seen ; the ''upper',
yards of the approaching ship, arid it was' that" which d£- "•' '•.;'
cided them to return. . ' ••■.'. ! - ... ..-. . ;-..;.
And what a jolly Fourth w.e did' aelebrate. after all.
How we did enjoy that dinner, prepared by. Uncle Sam's
cook! How our flagged spirits were' revived by -that
music, and with what security we went to el-e^p. ■• ■ ■ :-. -.' " '■: '

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