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Wheeling Sunday register. [volume] (Wheeling, W. Va.) 1882-1934, May 17, 1896, Image 11

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86092523/1896-05-17/ed-1/seq-11/

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Drspoiic Sway of King Riff of the Errif Mountains of Morocco
Overlooking Gibraltar.
i o* Felucca Upon the .Mediterranean You Think They Are
Fishermen Until They Approach.
CALL on you to halt and take them aboard.
,-r \ Crew With Knives and Guns They Loot the Craft, Taking Even the
Shoes of the Sailors.
L'-:' monarchs of the high seas for all time.
1S96. by the Ryman Inter
view Syndicate.)
T • crudest monarch in the world
«. .i-i" making himself felt. King
.. f king of the Raffs. ruler of the Er
l’- .T;n"y, has taken advantage of
jl.. "nj'oles of his neighbors, England
t-.d $pu:n. and is again ruling the high
of the Mediterranean after his old
~ R:ffs began their depredations
;i • >>and years ago. They had no
r. :. but as their course lay then along
, , Rivera, Italy, the name Riviera
-... f.-uHrtened to RifT. This was in the
y - «vo dialect and it has clung to
,(Prom description anil sketches given by a French explorer.)
>»m o :ho Riffs is that part j
• :»‘ an opposite the Rock
' "•* " It extends hack into the
•is an i completely fills
hills and up-jotting peaks
The name Krrit' mount
*• ' ng since bestowed upon
•vr.cr.' a no white man dares
„ : ■’> "f : ■ Riffs is that of self
' •• and the accumulation of
'• h.i\< settlements, which
>\vns or villages, and
'• - neration after gener
wlves and families.
- tre mixtures of barbaric
d •- 1'ialor. They have what
h on the high seas, but
• amplest elements of civ
* possesion of the Riffs
•a w.iich is the means by
'try on their calling vear
is boat the Riff pirate
' to exist, lie uses a fel
;• . 1 ' * 'tnall boat holding not
n men. It has no sails.and
"ng swiftly by oars. I'pon
' °f : h- Mediterranean you
x ' » lying peacefully about.
' ' no ' h tween them and the
<ag:». 1 ;n fishing. This craft
"v the honest shore folk,
s nothing in the outside ap
’’’ mdjcate whether the oc
'hese or the dangerous Riff
'rt tiTnp aKO the Dutch brig
i’ ' • ‘ ';lil from a on the
■ ■■' 4 a cargo of oil bound
\.* " r: nn the coast of Brittany.
Aftna ' r-lanned bv a crew of six. The
Nchwir **My alon* until she
keuu. which is the point direcu
Iy opposite Gibraltar. There a calm fell ,
over her and she lay seven miles from, j
shore. All round her were these fe
lucca fishing.
One of the crew of the Anna noticed
a felucca pulling towards her. In the
boat were ten dark, ugly Moors, armed
with knives, clubs and rifles. Their
faces had a savage look, and their heads
were the bullet shape of the Moor-Riffs.
The leader called to the Anna to lower
sail. The Anna's crew refused. A shrill
whis le brought up another felucca and
another, and soon the Riffs stood aboard
the I>utch boat, with the captain lying
on the deck fatally wounded and the
crew cowed.
When the Riffs left the Anna the oil j
was gone; so was the bedding, the side- .
lights, cooking utensils, ship’s imple- |
merits and everything that could be car
ried away except the sails, for which
the Riffs had no use. The crew they
stripped and left them tied to the deck.
When wind filled their sails and drifted (
them over to the Mediterranean shore
it was a sorry cargo that the Anna
The European powers have taken
turns stamping out the -Riff pirates.
Spain, after the Melila war. started to
exterminate the Riffans. and would
probably have done so had not the Brit
ish interfered. John Bull became jeal
ous of the riches of the Morocco coast 1
and warned Spain to keep her hands off.
A few months later the British ship the
Virgen tie los Angeles was attacked and ,
completely looted of all possessions.
The crew escaped by offering every
thing. even to the shoes on their feet.
R\ the time England had sent her
warships to the Mediterranean the Riffs
had apparently withdrawn.,and only a
few peaceful fishermen were to be
The Riff settlements are presided over
by a king, who takes his name from !
his band. So much was found out by
Duvewrier. an adventurous French
man. who. in disguise, traveled through
the Erriflf mountains. He found there
forts with armanents of guns. He <
found cannon, rides, bayonets and even
dynamite. He found swords, knives,
clubs and the savage weapons of bar
banans. and he found, too. an interest- i 1
ing collection of skulls and crossbones. ]
which the Riff pirates of old days used i
to carry at the peaks of their vessels. ; i
Ti;e old days of piracy differ from i !
those now oniy in the mode of attack. | '
When the Alisa and the Brltannica, re
turning from the races on -the French
Riviera, were suddenly fired upon in a
calm, the attacked vessels had to ad
mit that they were dealing with the pi
rates of the Middle Ages. The attack
ing boats were catamarians with sharp
points and one sail, which sent them
Hong before the least breeze like shot
from a gun. The heavy Alisa and the
■treat Britannia were useless in a calm,
tmt it was the Riff pirates’ opportunity,
rhat they escaped was due only to thd
heavenly breeze that sprang up.
The religion of the Riff pirates, for
they are a race of long-established an
cestry. is a mixture of Mohammedan
ism and Christianity. They are Moors,
and they are the Barbary Rangers, who
were famed as long ago as stories were
written. “Water devils’’ they were
called by the peaceful dwellers of South
ern Europe.and the citizens of Mor
But there they have lived for hun
dreds of years, never adding to their
number and never intermarrying withl
other races, until now they have the
most powerful savage kingodm on tlm
globe. Their worship is partly a fire
worship. Vet they have a reverence for
the crucifix, ami in their rude homes
there are church ornaments, crosses
and beads, carefully treasured from tha
looting of the ships. Their business is
that of plunder, and to their barbarian
way of looking at it it is a legitimate
means of livelihood.
The sway of the Riff King is the most
absolute one to be imagined. He car
ries always in his hand a club and is
armed to the teeth with knives and ri
fles. Insubordination, any attempt to
usurp his power, any failure to give up
plunder, is punished by him with in
stant death. He lives in a cave, low,
but of great depth, and at a roaring fire
in front of it his food is prepared. There
are no women in his shore household,
and his slaves are Riff pirates who are
chosen by him to work for him.
Reports of him declare him to revel
in the bloodshed of his pirate slaves.
Tales of his cruelty fill the Barhary
coast. When plunder Is not brought in
fast enough, and when attacks are made
upon the pirate band, the rage of the
King is ungovernable, and with his
great bone club he fells his slaves
right and left who have the temerity
to approach him.
All the immense plunder of the Riffs
is taken to the King. It is sorted by
him and his slaves into separate lots.
Hold, silver, iron, jewels, cloth and pro
visions are collected in great lots and
placed in caves. Bach cave is guarded
by a Riff guard armed with knives.
Provisions, jewels, metals and neces
sary clothing are dealt out by the King
to his pirates, a reward for their mis
deeds. and taken by him hack into the
tangle of wild hills where they have
ho.nes and farms. Here at home thq
King lives in wild splendor in the rich
est of the Barbary valleys.
In cruelty the Riff pirate is unique in
warfare. He admits of no fighting
tack. It is a word and a blow, and the
blow means death. Once having resist
’d a Riff, no man is allowed to live, not
hough he may hoist the white flag of
surrender and b°g on his knees for his
life. He has givean the Riff too much
trouble. This is the King’s order. The
King uever stirs from his domain. In
justice to the Riff it may be told that
le has not always taken the life of the
’rew of the plundered vessels. He is
ifter the booty, not after life, and if
hat is freely given up to him he will
•eturn. In this he differs from the pi
*ates of the waters of Malay. They
ilunder for both blood and booty.
In southern Morocco. Algeria. Trip
ili and Egypt there are large farm
ands belonging to the RifT pirates,
s’^ar Gibraltar there are other farms
hat are unquestionably theirs. The
lills of the Sierra Morena mountains,
ooking towards Seville and Grenada
ind to Cadiz on the coast, overlook al
io rich farm country in which the de
scendants of the Riff pirate now live,
rhe p!*etty dark-skinned daughters of
the savage (Moors get tired of the wild
ness end beg a piece of land in which
to settle with the gentlest of the pirate
band. They marry, raise families and’
gradually mingle with civilization, nev
er breathing a word of their ancestors.
Explorers who have had descriptions
of the Riff King tell him to be a fat
bodled, rough-headed Moor, with a face
brutal and without refinement, hut with
enough cunning to prompt him to take
advantage of the Ahglo-Egyptian and
Spanish troubles to make the Mediter
ranean his own free land.
At this wrltng the question with us peo
ple outside the incorporated towns is
whether to shoot, hang or burn at the
stake the fellow that inflict* smashed bug
gies, death and doctor bills by making the
highway a foaming stream of paper.
Only yesterday 1 walked down the road ■
two hours behind an advertising outfit—
wouldn’t have driven a blind mule with
hobbles on—and the first thing was a fence
stake with blood on it and all along for a
mile were hair, spokes, eggs, butter, hold
back straps, brains, splinters and rihs,
and still the infernal paper was rolling
around in the wind threatening the next
man with a horse with immediate exter
mination and a general scatterment of his
individuality and other effects.
Our Ohio legislature passed a bill to
prevent women from wearing the large
hats intended to keep men's eyes from the
immoral influences of the stage. It also
passed a bill to prevent us from scattering
any devilment or sharp pointed merchan
dise along the course of the bicycle.
This bicycle bill was all right enough, I
guess; so would have been the theatre hat
hill, had the men been given a few good
stiff paragraphs on opera etiquette to bal
ance off.
But a bill that will help manage old
Jinny with butter and eggs, a woman
and six children, will be of much more
value to that large class of people whose
chief pastime is paying taxes and trying
to make a living.
Excepting the undertaker, every one who
knows that horses have eyes and that
some pneumatically tired theatre hat I.eg
islaure haven’t hopes that the next leg
islature will, if it does anything (no re
flections intended), also prevent this pub
lic nuisance; or else give the people per
mission to le* their guns go off accident
ally under certain circumstances which, if
named, might incriminate me before the
next term of court.
But. even now. a dose of fly-paper is a
grave offense, and I believe any court
will feel kindly toward the fallow who
possesses an unmanageable Ithaca, Par
ker or Smith & Wesson.
The dissolved roots of the sassafras are
now passing: through ten million alimen
tary canals. Who would suspect such an
enormous transportation of timber by way
of canals? But such is the case.
In springtime every man with a heart
and a liver has thoughts of love and sas
safras. Love makes his heart a whole or
chestra'in an orange grove of delight, and
sassafras tea makes his blood run with the
glow of a hoy clinging to a swiftly mov
ing watermelon.
Sassafras tea always comes in plowing
time. It makes the plow guide easier. It
makes old Jinny get more expeditious. It
tones one's stomach, saves much profanity,
increases the appetite, decreases doctor
bills, builds up the system, tears down nar
row prejudices and widens one's intellec
tual horizon and corn-crib. There is noth
ing better than sassafras tea.
The old lady reads her Bible and is happy
In Its promises; hut delays their realiza
tion by drinking good old fashioned "sas
safrac tea.”
I was told that 'Methuselah drank up all
the sassafras in Asia except seven or eight
carloads Enoch and a few others disposed
of. Since then there has been a great fall
ing off of years.
Mr. Hood claims it was Hood’s Sarsa
parilla Methuselah drank. Pierce claims
that Pierce's Pellets were always on Me
thuselah’s sideboard.
There being such a difference of opinion
on this matter. I will not undertake to sat
isfy my own mind as to Methuselah's
spring medicine. But give me good old
"sassafrac tea” and just watch how stub
bornly and smilingly I put off my last
sickness and creditors.
When the grass begins to grow,
And the birds begin to sing.
When the plows begin to go;
And the dinner bells to ring;
When the cocks begin to crow,
And the hens begin to lay:
When all the fowls clatter so,
And five is break of day;
When the carpet tacks go clink,
Making all us men so shy.
And it's sassafras we drink;
W’y then it’s spring—says I.
As this poem may become very popular
and make me famous, l will say that if
any of the magazines wish to reprint it,
the following will be a very appropriate
Mr. Fogg, the author of the above poem,
was horn very quietly in IStS. Was raised
on a farm. Xot wishing to cast any re
flections on the farm, will not say what
Mr. Fogg began to write poetry before he
knew anything worth speaking of and lias
continued to write under the same condi
tions ever since.
As with most poetry, this poem is a true
reflection of tihe aurthor. and precludes the
need of further comment. It certainly
shows a remarkably close communion with
nature, and that. some time or other,
while wandering through the forest in the
throes of poetical fancy the author has
stepped on a crooked stick, or else, at some
time, has failed to remove his Intellect
from the way of a passing train.
“So Miss Keene is engaged?’’ said one
young man. “Yes.” replied the de
spondent lover, “and to another.” "I
thought she regarded you very kindly.”
“She did. And I lavished every atten
tion on her. I took her to the opera
every night, and immediately after that
she. married my rival." "She thought
he had more money than you.” “She
was sure of it. He couldn’t help but
have after I took her to the opera every
night.”—Washington Star.
Mrs. Wallace—“Dear, isn’t treason
deemed a worse crime than burglary?”
Mr. Wallace—“Of course. Why. a trait
or is the worst, most wicked villain on
earth.” “Then why is it that you can
get extradition for a burglar, while the
treason man is safe if he can get to
another country?” “Why, er—ah—.”—
Cincinnati Enquirer.
The devil tempted Faust, and he
Unfortunately fell;
Faust tempted Marguerite, and she
Ran off the line as well;
Rut Marguerite she soon became
An angel bright and fair;
While Faust, though tempted just the
Was hustled off elsewhere.
And vet New Woman makes complaint
With all the force she can,
Because the laws for woman ain’t
The same as those for man,1 $ ^ I
\f arch of the People.
Copyright, 1893,.,
Musical News Co.
MarcU ot tbc reopic— a.

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