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Stealing the Davy Jones
“By an Ejc-Operative of the X/nited State* Secret Service. APT AIN DICKSON, a Retired Officer, Uncovers and Nabs Perpetrators of Most Daring Theft — Full-Grown Steam boat Is Taken on Inland River —Vessel Long Used by Government and Then Sold to Hank Parlow — His Part in the Tale of the Davy Jones—Last Cruise of Famous Craft T SEEMS preposterous,” said Capt. Dickson, "that thieves could steal and get away with a full grown steamboat and that, too, on an inland river. Rnt this is Just exactly what a gang of river pirates did in the case of the Davy Jones.avern-wheel steam boat thu once belonged to the government service and which was employed with other boats of the govern ment fleet on the Mississippi river in looking after the levees, keeping the channel clear and the government lights burning, and the numerous oth er matters that the government has assuL.ed in connection with the navi gation on that stream.” Capt. Dickson was a retired secret service officer and I had known him for many years. He had no thought ■of publishing his reminiscences, but when I c.-uld get him under the influ ence of a warm fire In his cozy par lor, a pipe, and a glass—never more than two in an evening—of his favo rite sherry, I always got something that was worth publishing and I used to tell him 60. And as the principals to the affairs were so hidden In the telling and tho locale of the events was usually so far away he did not object. I prefer to tell it in his own words. The boat had been operated by the government until it had been consid ered unsuifed for its needs, and then tt was sold to a curious old river man named Hank Carlow, who employed it as a trading boat, towing a largo flat boat with it, and picking up such odd Jobs of towing and freighting as chance threw in his way. ou it and after some difficulty I de ciphered this message: the dav Jonea ta up at francls Hlver. It was not signed and the writing showed that its author was in no sense a scholar. I was pondering over it when Parlow came in to tell me that the gasoline launch was ready for my riera^-’-a whenever I wished to set out. I had not really intended going on a cruise, ns I thought the boat would be found in a day or so, but the anonymous letter had put the idea in my head. I showed the note to Par low and ho became highly excited. He sworo. "That's just what I thought they'd do. They've run out there in the swamps to pick the boat to pieces so that they can find my gold. There alu't no gold aboard It, but them thiev ing river-rats think there is, and this ain’t the first time they've tried to get at it.” We left about one o’clock an l made rapid time down the river. I had oft en seen the Mississippi river during a flood hut I had never fully uncerstood its h resistible force until this trip down it in the 30 foot launch We traveled at the rate of a racehorse. Parlow wanted to run after nightfall, and white I was more in favor of tying up, he nnd Wastrow assured me that traveling was absolutely safe and, as they were experienced liver men and seemed to understand the boat and the river, too, I consented and turned in making a bed on the locker seat of the forward cabin. My bed was a Utile cramped and the situation was a novel one .but I soon dropped asleep and didn't vpke until it was broad day i was in me ornce or toe surveyor or customs at a certain Mississippi river city one day when Parlow came in to have his license renewed and the sur veyor introduced him to me. He was a peculiar character, and when it came to paying the fee for the license. Par low drew forth a greasy pouch from some indeterminate place of conceal ment about his person, and paid the amount from a $20 gold piece. He asked for his change in gold, but as there happened to be none in the office Just then he accepted the silver and bills with some showing of reluc tance and bowed himself out of the office. After he had left, the surveyor told mo that Parlow was a miser and was reputed to be worth many thousands of dollars. His fortune, so the river men said, was concealed somewhere about the boat Davy Jones, and It was thought to be all In gold, as Par low Invariably had every bit of silver and every bill that fell Into his hands sonvcrted Into gold coins at his first opportunity. I dWn't see Parlow again until some weeks later, when he came Into my office and told me that his boat had been stolen from the wharf the night before and he wanted mo to find It He was frenzied with grief and cha grin and swore, with many black and long-winded oaths, that he would kill the thieves on sight If he could find them. I doubted if the rase was one In my Jurisdiction, but I wired the par ticulars to the department at Washing ton and received Instructions to go on search for the vessel and endeavor to capture the rogues. It seems that there had been considerable complaint from the port where I was then sta tinned, of thefts of goods and other articles f-unti steamboats, and as the wc't was attributed to a gang of river (\iAtes. the chief thought It would be % good Job to round up the gang -nd fint them where they would do no barm. HUAI ui^i mut*,. It was close to noon when we turned a sharp bond In the river, which Par low told me was 30 miles from the Mississippi. On tho fnrther shore there was a depression in the treeline, which barlow said Indicated that a slough or lead put out there, and that If It were followed up one would probably find a lake back In the timber. I looked at It curiously, and was on the point of asking some question when Wae trow, who was steering, became great ly excited and called Parlow to his side. He pointed across the river at the mouth of the slough and seemed to be endeavoring to show some ob ject to his companion. Parlow saw It In an Instant, and the boat’s prow was headed for It. I couldn’t make out what they had discovered, although I strained my eyes, as I asked what It was. Parlow pointed with his long, skinny arm at a tree limb which had been broken half off near the trunk and which dangled down, hanging by a strip of bark. I saw. even at that dis tance, that the break was white and fresh. My companions seemed to at tach the greatest weight to It, for they gesticulated and pointed at It, talking excitedly all the while. We wore now approaching It closely, and I suddenly saw Parlow grab up his rifle and point It at a streak on the trunk of the tree In which hung the broken limb. I saw what he re ferred to. and as we ran close beside It I saw that It was a smudge of paint and splinters of wood as If something had rubbed against It. Then I real ized the purport of these signs and did not need the excited explanation that ranow imurcu iu «*» and he tftld me that a friend of his, a aallow, slwo-Jilng fisherman named Wastrow, own-d a faat cabin gasoline boat that wmiid be put at my disposal. ( wired notice of the theft of the Davy Jonea to points along tjjo river and Its tributaries, as I felt sut*« that the boat could not remain long undetected if It showed Itself at any port of the Mis sissippi. The neat morning when I opened my office, I found a dtrty slip of paper among the lettera In my mall boa. Ra tmlnlng it. I discovered pencil writing the rlvermen gave me. We slowed the engine down until Its muffled exhaust was scarcely audible and stealthily crept Into the narrow slough that ran hack Into the tlmb°r. The men were sure that some boat had run up this slough, and 1 felt that they were right, and that It must be the Teasel that we were after, for no sane pilot would drive a boat into such a channel un less he were endeavoring to find a place of concealment. It wag a tortuous course through the forest, by this narrow slough, or lead, fringed with stately cypress trees standing as straight ss arrows. Kven my inexperienced eye could detec* that the boat had surely passed along the channel ahead of us. The drift was disordered and willows and sap lings were broken off here and there. As we proceeded, the rlvermen gripped their rifles nervously and peered ahead through the open win dow of the cabin with baleful glare of panthers. They swept every bit of the P/i&ioiv Z)/?/?gg£d /ro/yr iv/r/y 60/yy yyyyy/c/yy ry. cnannei on Doth Bines witn eyes tnat overlooked nothing, and at the discov ery of a new Hlgn of the boats having; passed that way. they would nudge each other and exchange glances that boded no Rood for the thieves. Far low was especially noticeable for the Bteely glitter of his eyes, and I read murder in them as plainly as 1 have ever seen it in box-car letters on the front page of a yellow journal. We must have traveled a mile or more, when, Just as we darted around a clump of willows and saw a stretch of open water loomed ahend. there was a spiteful report far down the lake, and a rifle ball sung over our heads. I had been under flro before, but it happened so suddenly that I ducked involuntarily. Put not so with Parlow and Wastrow. They seemed to hail the attack with a fiendish de light, and I saw them stick their rifles farther out of the open window and sight carefully down tho barrels. Our course was changed slightly, and as the prow of the boat swung I to the right In obedience to the rud der, I saw the Davy Jones tied up to a gigantic cypress tree at the farther side of the lake. We headed directly for it, and there were several more shots from Its direction, and one bul let plumped Into the woodwork of the cabin nnd sent a shower of splinters , about my cars. Over the bowed heads of the two river-men 1 could plainly see the steamboat, and on Us lower deck I saw three men, each firing at us with a repeating rifle. We were now less than 200 yards’ distant from them, hut neither of my companions had replied to their Are, Our progress wag slow, and we made an excellent target, as tho sullen crunching of bul lets through tho woodwork and the splintering of glass Indicated. As coolly as If he were giving some direction about the running of the launch. I heard Parlow mutter to his companion: "You take the one on your right side and I'll take care of the one on mine. You say when." Wastrow Immediately grunted his understanding, and although he didn’t say "when.” he eaid something that caused two fingers to curl about two triggers. There was a loud report from their riflen, sounding like a single shot, and I saw two of the men on the steamer crumple up like a sere leaf, stagger a step or so, and fail to the deck. Tho third man turned to run, but he had only gone far enough to permit of tl s flinging back of a lever and a hasty taking of sight be fore I raw him pitch forward In re sponse to a spiteful crack from Par low's rifle. "”d ’a’ got him If yon hadn't," Wastrow grunted in a matter-of fact way, Just as it be bad been shooting at squirrels or ducky Instead of human beings. It made me turn sick to hear them speak no lightly of killing three of their fellow men. Wo run alongside, | and one of the river-men jumped out and made fast to the streamer. Par low looked apprehensively about the boat, and I followed his gaze, which finally settled on the brick foundation for tho boilers. I saw a glad light come Into his eyes, nnd somehow I jumped to tho conclusion that his treasure, whatever It might be, was concealed In that brickwork. Wastrow had not noticed this. The boat was In the wildest confn slon. It was evident that the thieves were literally following I’arlow's sug gestion and picking It to pieces. The stuff/ cabin and squalid staterooms had been absolutely wrecked. The mattresses were slit open, planking torn away, nnd every place of conceal ment laid hare. Parlow grinned mali ciously at the wreck of his boat, and I saw that he felt the keenest satis faction at the knowledge of the three inert things that lay out upon the forward deck, stiffening In the drizzle which had now turned to sleet. Parlow examined the corpses and said that he knew all three of thorn; they were members of a gang of toughs that Infested the river, and he began to display symptom's of alarm is soon as he had looked them over “This ain’t all of ’em/’ he said. “There's more’n this, and they will he coming back here and fakin’ a pot shot at us If we don’t hurry up and get away." Wastrow Reemed to share this apprehension, and suggested that • we had best leave as soon as possible, for tho pirates would have every ad vantage of us If they should come back, the timber about the boat af fording excellent places of conceal ment from which they could fire upon us with safety. Acting upon this advice, Parlow se cured a crowbar and attacked the brick foundation under the boiler at a point near the farther end from the fire box, while Wastrow stood by and watched him with greedy eyes. With a few lusty strokes Parlow pried oir* some of the bricks, and I saw a small Iron bound box wlfnl:. the opening. f’Arlow dragged It out with some diffi culty, It was heavy, and something within It clinked like metal when It was moved. VMth Wastrow's assist ance he carried It to tho gasoline launch and plaobri It Inside, Then he hastened up the companionway Into the stuffy office and dived Into the rickety stove that stool In one corner. He scooped the ashes from the waste box at Its bottom, and disclosed a small ring. Pulling on this, ho raised an Ingeniously contrived door which had been quite concealed by tho Mho*. The stove had a false bottom and from the cavity in It he brought forth three henvy Backs wh.Ic.li I buw contained colon. Wastrow had watched these pro ceeding with eyes that were nnr rowed to *'jy silts. I could seo that ho was Interested, and I didn't liko the cupidity and cunning which showed In his entire face. Parlow hnd lugged his sacks down the companion way and started for th« launch, declining the assistance that Wastrow offered him, and he was In the act of stepping into tho launch w'hen there came a spiteful crack and a puff of smoke from somewhere hack In the timber, and a bullet plumped into a stanchion beside him, to which the launch wan tied. It was no time for hesitation, so we three Jumped Into the launch and Wastrow cut the rope which moored us to the steamer. The surviving members of the gang were returning, and we had no desire to be trapped ou the dismantled steamer. In a trice Parlow had started the engine and w« were headed away from the Davy Jones. Mullets sang all around us, and although we returned the fire, the plritss were hid away In the timber, and '.here was small chance of silen cing them. We tore through the water with bullets skipping and ricocheting abcut us on every hand until we turned the bend In the slough. Not until then did we draw a full breath or feel that wo were out of danger from tho murderous bandits hid back In the thick timber. It was an uneventful cruise hack to tho city, It having been derided that It wits better to return there and send out a strong party to recover the stolon boat, than for us three to at tempt It. I am sure thnt Parlow didn’t sleep a wink on the return Journey, for whenever I was awake I saw him huddled down upon the Ironhound bos into which he had surreptitiously slln ad the sacks of money that he had taken from the bottom of the stove. I wrs dog tired when we reached port late the next afternoon, so I left the rlvor-men aboard the launch after offering to help Parlow carry his box to a place of safety, an offer which he declined. That was the last I evc-r saw of eith er of the river-men. Parlow was found dead, floating In the river some months later. Wastrow. who had disappeared, was suspected of the murder, but he was never apprehended. I don't know what became of the Ironhound box, but the Davy Jones never went on another cruise. The pi rates burned It clear to the keel wheft It was tied up In the isolated lake. (Copyright. 19•». by W O Chapman.) (Copyright in Uraat Britain.) VESTLRH CANADA’S SPLENDID CROP YIELD FOR 1908. AMERICANS PROFITED LARGELY AND SEND BACK SATISFAC* TORY REP0RT8. The cons ns branch of the Doper*, ■sent of Agriculture. Ottawa. Canada* has completed Its retuiaa ef the show ing of Western Canada's grain yield for 1903. and tho reports make very Interesting reading. In the three prov inces of Manitoba. Saskatchewan and Alberta, which comprise what may he known as Central Canada, there wae a total wheat yield of about 107.990.09# bushels, worth to the farmer about IS5.090.000; In addition to this the oat* barley and flax crops were worth an other 936,000,000. Letters have bees resolved from many of the settlers from the United States. From these, that of ltev. Oscar L. King has bees selected. llo lives In tho vicinity of Edmonton, Alberta, and what he bays will bo of Internet to those who con template moving to Central Canada. Every line of the letter Is Interesting. Those who wish for the particulars as to bow to secure homesteads sad pre emptions should write auy Canadian Government agent. Mr. King says: “Mr. M. V. Mclnnnos, Detroit, Mich igan: I am well satisfied with Al berta. This country offers excellent opjtortunltloe for anyono to mako a good borne for hlmsolf aad family If ho Is willing to put up with a fow hard knocks for tho Urst two or three years. liut it Is worth a few hard knocks to got a 160 aero farm of rich, productive land with no mortgage wa It. Tlfls province is well titled for grains, stock mining and dairying. We have found tho climato "oner ally healthful, more healthful than Mlch Icati, and although tke thermometec sometimes drops to 40 degrees below zero In winter, yet wo do not soein to foci that temperature any more thaa we did 6 or 10 degrees below aero la Michigan. We liko the winters. "The Government take* greiU Inter est in the education of the people sod quickly ulds the settlers in establish ing schools where they are called for. The schools, though graded differently than those In tho States, are efficient and Advancing. Our great drawback has been the limited and Inadequate railway facilities, hut uow roads are being rapidly built and many more are projected through various parts of the province. The now policy of tho Alberta government to constmct a great many branch linos throughout tho jmrvinco will greatly help all parts of the country. If those new settlers who have to go back a considerable distance from existing railroads and tow.in to find free homesteads will but locate along the lluo of a project ed railroad they will In two or three years bs near both town and railroad. Wheu I first ramo to this country three apd a half years ago the home stead I took was 75 miles from a rail road town; now thero is a railroad IS miles north, another 16 miles south, and a third is being built through my neighborhood. “I think tho prairie country or ootm try that Is partly prairie offers much better opportunities than the hilly port Iona.” If thou speakest what thou wilt, thou shall hear what thou would*# not.—Bias. There’s Danger Ahead if yoa’ve been neglecting a cold. Don'texperimentwith your health. Get a remedy that you l^nout will cure—that remedy ia DR.D.JAYNE’S EXPECTORANT It'* mfe. In the severest cases of cough*, cold*, bronchitis, croup, in flammation of chest and lung* it is the mos*. effective remedy knoan. It do«s it* work quickly, removes the rnw*t of the disease Sold e+rn/tehtre fn thtm tix* boilLt, $1.00. 50c. 25*. wear well and they Keep you •] dry while you are wearing them ^300 EVEWYWMEBE mmnap mjewmot. * CAJAW6 FREE AJ Tbwcp Co. TGwtrj Omamam Bottom, usa. CO uwrn, "Wmomra. Cam.