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The Weiser signal. [volume] (Weiser, Idaho) 1890-1904, December 24, 1902, Image 4

Image and text provided by Idaho State Historical Society

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn89055091/1902-12-24/ed-1/seq-4/

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Blow Up With the
Brig!
a
®
99
A SAILOR'S STORY
&&& By WILKIE COLLINS
Con tinued from Saturday issue.
)' He was on deck again the moment
after, and he a"d the two others shoved
the hatch on over me. At the farthest
end from where I lay they had not
fitted It down quite, true, and I saw a
blink of daylight glimmering In when
I looked In that direction. I heard the
■weeps of the schooner fall into the
water, splash, splash, fainter and faint
er ns they swept the vessel out In the
dead calm, to be ready for the wind
In the offing — fainter and fainter,
■plash, splash, for a quarter of an
hour or'more.
While those sounds were In my ears
tny eyes were fixed on the candle.
It had been freshly lighted. If left
to Itself, It would burn for between
alx and seven hours. The slow match
was twisted round It about a third of
the way down, and therefore the flame
would be about two hours reaching It
There I lay, gagged, bound, lashed to
the floor. Seeing my own life burning
down with the candle by my side,
there I lay, alone on the sea, doomed
to be blown to atoms and to see that
doom drawing on nearer and
with every fresh second of time
through nigh on two hours to
nearer
come,
powerless to help myself and speech
less to call for help to others. The
wonder to me 1s that I didn't cheat the
flame, the slow match and the powder
and die of the horror of my situation
before my first half hour was out In
the hold of the brig.
I can't exactly say how long I kept
the command of my senses after I had
ceased to hear the splash of the
•chootier's sweeps In the water,
trace back everything I did and every
thing I thought up to a certain point,
but once past that I get all abroad
and lose myself In my memory now,
mnch as I lost myself in my own feel
ings at the time.
The moment the hatch was covered
over me I began, as every other man
would have begun in my place, with
frantic effort to free my bands. In the
mad panic I was In I cut my flesh with
the lashings as If they had been knife
blades, but 1 never stirred them. There
was less chance still of freeing my
legs or of tearing myself from the
fastenings that held me to the floor.
I gave in when I was all but suffocated
for want of breath. The gag, you will
please to remember, was a terrible en
emy to me. I could only breathe freely
through my nose, and that is but a
poor vent when a man Is straining hla
•trengtb ns far ns ever It will go.
I gave In and lay quiet and got my
breath again, my eyes glaring and
■training at the candle nil the time.
While I was staring at it the notion
•truck me of trying to blow out the
flame by pumping a long breath at It
suddenly through my nostrils,
too high above me and too far away
from me to.be reached In that fashion.
I tried and tried and tried, and then I
gave In again and lay quiet again, al
ways with my eyes glaring at the can
file and the caudle glaring at me. The
■plash of the schooner's
▼ery faint by this time. I could only
Jn«t hear them In the morning stillness,
•plash, splash, fainter and fainter,
•plash, splash.
Without exactly feeling my mind
»togi_I began to feel It getting queer
I can
a
It was
sweep was
as early as this. The snuff of the can
die was growing taller and taller, and
the length of tallow between the flame
and the slow match, which -was the
lcuKtl1 of '"Ï Hfe, was getting shorter
and shorter. I calculate that I had
rather less than an hour and a half to
live.
An hour and a half! Was there a
chance In that time of a boat pulling
off to the brig from shore? Whether
the laud near which the vessel was
anchored was In possession of our side
or In possession of the enemy's side, I
made out that they must sooner or
later send to hall the brig merely be
cause she was a stranger in those
parts. The question for me was, How
soon? The sun had not risen yet, as I
could tell by looking through the chink
In the hatch. There was no coast vil
lage near us, as we all knew before
the brig was seized by seeing no lights
on shore. There was no wind, as 1
could tell by listening, to bring any
strange vessel near. If I bad had six
hours to live, there might have been a
chance for me, reckoning from
rise to noon. But with an hour and a
half, which had dwindled to an hour
and a quarter by this time, or, In other
sun
morn
ing, the uninhabited coast and the dead
culm all against me, there was not the
ghost of a chance. As I felt that, I had
another struggle, the last, with my
bonds, and only cut myself the deeper
for my pains.
I gave In once more and lay quiet
and listened for the splash of the
sweeps.
Gone! Not a sound could I hear but
the blowing of a fish now and then
the surface of the sea and the creak of
the brig's crazy old spars as she rolled
gently from side to side with the little
swell there was on the quiet water.
An hour and a quarter! The wick
grew terribly as the quarter slipped
away and the charred top of It began
to thicken and spread out mushroom
shape. It would tall off soon: Would
It fall off redhot, and would the swing
of the brig cant It over the side of the
candle and let It down on the slow
match? If It -would, I had about ten
minutes to live Instead of an hour.
This discovery set my mind for
minute on a new tack altogether. I be
gan to ponder with myself what sort
of a deoth blowing up might be. Pain
ful! Well, It would be surely too sud
den for that. Perhaps Just one crash
Inside me or outside me or both and
nothing more,
crash; that and death and the scatter
ing of this living body of mine Into
millions of fiery sparks might all hap
pen In the same Instant I couldn't
make It out. I couldn't settle how It
would be. The minute of calmness In
my mind left It before I bad half done
thinking, and I got all abroad again.
When I came back to my thoughts,
■r when they came back to me. 1 can't
■ay which, the wick was awfully tali,
the flame was burning with a smoke
above It, the charred top was broad
and red and heavily spreading out to
Its fall.
My despair and horror at seeing It
took mo in a new way, which was
good and right at any rate for my poor
souL I tried to pray—In my own heart,
you will understand, for the gag put
on
a
Perhaps not even a
all lip praying out of my power. I
tried, but the candle seemed to burn
It up in me. I struggled hard to force
my eyes from the slow, murdering
flame and to look up through the chink
In the hatch at the blessed daylight. I
tided once, tried twice, and gave it up.
I next tried only to shut my eyes and
keep them shut, once, twice, and the
second time I did It. "God bless old
mother and Sister Lizzie. God keep
them both and forgive me." That was
all I had time to say in my own heart
before my eyes opened again in spite
of me, and the flame of the candle
flew into them,, flew all over me and
burned up the rest of my thoughts in
an Instant.
I couldn't hear the fish blowing now.
I couldn't hoar the creak of the spars.
I couldn't think. I couldn't feel the
sweat of my own death agony on my
face. I could only look at the heavy
charred top of the wick. It swelled,
tottered, bent over to one side, dropped,
redhot at the moment of Its fall, black
and harmless, even before the swing
of the brig had canted It over into the
bottom of the candlestick.
I caught myself laughing.
Yes, laughing at the safe fall of the
bit of wick. But for the gag I should
have screamed with laughter. As It
was, I shook with it Inside me—shook
till the blood was In my head and I
was all but suffocated for want of
breath. I had just sense enough left
to feel that my own horrid laughter at
that awful moment was a sign of my
brain going at last. I had Just sense
enough left to make another struggle
before my mind broke loose like a
frightened horse and ran away with
me.
One comforting look at the blink of
daylight through the hatch was what
I tried for once more. The tight to
force my eyes from the candle and to
get that one look at the daylight was
the hardest I had had yet, and I lost
the fight. The flame had hold of my
fast the
of my hands. I couldn't look away
from it. I couldn't even shut my eyes
when I tried that next, for the second
time. There was the wick growing
tall once more. There was the space
of unburned candle between the light
and the slow match shortened to
Inch or less.
How much life did that Inch leave
me? Three-quarters of an hour? Half
an hour? Fifty minutes? Twenty min
utes? Steady! An Inch of tallow can
dle would burn longer than twenty
minutes. An Inch of tallow! The no
tion of a man's body and sou] being
kept together by an Inch of tallow!
Wonderful! Why, the greatest king
that sits on a throne can't keep
man's body and soul together, and
here's an Inch of tallow that can do
what the king can't!
thing to tell mother when I get home
which will surprise her more than all
the rest of my voyages put together. I
laughed Inwardly again at the thought
of that and shook and swelled and suf
focated myself till the light of the can
dle leaped in through my eyes and
licked up the laughter and burned It
out of me and made me all empty and
cold and quiet once more.
Mother and Lizzie—I don't know
when they came back, but they did
come bqck, not, as It seemed to me,
into my mli\d this time, but right down
bodily before me in the hold of the
brig.
an
a
There's some
Yes, sure enough, there was Lizzie,
just as light hearted as usual, laughing
at me. Laughing? Well, why not?
Who Is to blame Lizzie for thinking
I'm lying on my back drunk in the cel
lar, with the beer ban-els all round
me? Steady! She's crying now, spin
ning round and round in a fiery mist,
wringing her bands, screeching out for
help, fainter and fainter, like the
splash of the schooner's sweeps. Gone
—burned up in the fiery mist! Mist?
Fire? No; neither one nor the other.
It's mother makes the
knitting, with ten flaming points at the
ends of her fingers and thumbs and
slow matches hanging in bunches all
round her face instead of her
gray hair; mother In her old armchair,
and the pilot's long, skinny hands hang
ing over the back of the chair, drip
ping with gunpowder.
own
No! No gun
powder, no chair, no mother—nothing
but the pilot's face, shining redhot,
like a sun in the fiery mist, turning
upside down in the fiery mist, running
backward and forward along the slow
match In the fiery mist, spinning mil
lions of miles In a minute in the fiery
mist—spinning Itself smaller and small
er Into one tiny point, and that point
darting on a sudden straight into my
head, and then all fire and all mist
no hearing, no seeing, no thinking, no
fooling—the brig, the sea, my own self,
the whole world, all gone together!
After what I've just told you I know
nothing and remember nothing till I
woke up, as it seemed to me, in a com
fortable bed, with two rough and
ready men like myself sitting on each
side of my pillow and a gentleman
standing watching me at the foot of
the bed. It was about 7 In the
Ing.
morn
My sleep, or what seemed like
my sleep to me, had lasted better than
eight months—I was
countrymen In the Island of Trinidad.
The men at each side of my pillow
my keepers, turn and turn about,
and the gentleman standing at the foot
of the bed was the doctor.
among my own
were
What I
said and did In those eight months I
never have known and never shall
know.
I woke out of It as If It had
been one long sleep; that's all I know.
It was another two months
or more
before the d«?tor thought It safe to
■wer the questions I asked him.
The brig had been anchored, just
l had supposed, off a part of the coast
which was lonely enough to make the
Spaniards pretty sure of no Interrup
tion so long as they managed their
murderous work quietly under
Of night.
an
na
cover
My life had not been saved from the
shore, hut from the sea. An American
vessel, becalmed in the offing, had
made out the brig as the sun rose, and
the captain, having his time on his
hands In consequence of the calm and
seeing a vessel anchored where no ves
sel had any reason to be, had manned
one of his boats and sent his mate
with It to look a little closer Into the
matter and bring back a report of what
he saw.
What be saw when he and his men
found the brig deserted and boarded
her was a gleam of candlelight through
the chink in the hatchway. The flame
was within about a thread's breadth
of the slow match when he lowered
himself Into the hold, and If he had
not had the sense and coolness to cut
the match in two with his knife before
he touched the candle he and his men
might have been blown up along with
the brig as well as I. The match
caught and turned Into sputtering red
fire in the very act of putting the can
dle out, and if the communication with
the powder barrel had not been cut
off the Lord only knows what might
have happened.
What became of the Spanish schoon
er and the pilot I have never heard
from that day to this.
As for the brig, the Yankees took
her, as they took me, to Trinidad and
claimed their salvage and got it, I
hope, for their own sakes. I was land
ed just in the same state as when they
rescued me from the brig—that is to
say, clean out of my senses. But please
remember It was a long time ago, and,
take my'word for It, I was discharged
cured, as I have told you. Bless your
hearts, I'm all right now, as you may
see. I'm a little shaken by telling the
story, as Is only natural—a little shak
en, my good friends; that's all.
the Hnnipagre.
Rousseau, the originator of the
"Comic Tribunals," amused himself of
with few
A Journalist
In pulling down the signboards and
changing their places. Next day he
would write in the papers, "When will
the prefecture of police rid us of the
gang of ruffians that disturb the pub
lic peace and annoy our worthy shop
keepers?" The authorities, thus put
on their mettle, set a few extra de
tectives at work, with the result that
Rousseau himself was arrested and
taken before the commissaire.
"Your name?" inquired that function
nry.
"Rousseau."
"Your profession?"
"Actress at the Odeon.
"What did you say?"
"Actress at the Odeon."
"My dear sir, this is not the place to
carry on the silly jokes you have been
practicing in the streets. You might
have to smart for it, you know."
"Monsieur le commissaire," said
Rousseau, "the pretty women at the
Odeon theater are not to be prevailed
upon to take the parts of old ladles,
and the manager has decided to en
gage a few gentlemen for the purpose,
and I am among the number. I was
therefore quite correct in saying that I
am an actress at the Odeon."
And the commissaire gravely wrote
down, "M. Rousseau, actress at the
Odeon."—Magazin des Families.
He Spoke Too Quick.
A certain well known Frenchman, an
octogenarian, spent most of his time
In his younger days in Paris hunting
up valuable books among the second
hand bookshops,
across a "find,"
abated. He was a bachelor and for a
housekeeper bad an extremely plain
woman, who, however, had caught
from her master the taste for old
books and occasionally came home
with an armful when she had been
marketing. One day the housekeeper
appeared with a parcel of books
He rarely came
but his fervor never
wrap
ped in paper and asked her master to
look at them. Among the rubbish
a small volume bound in red
was
morocco.
"What have you paid for this?" the
master gasped after looking at the
title page. "Thirty sous for the lot,"
the servant replied. "But, my good
woman, this book alone is worth 10,000
francs!" the bibliomaniac went on and
the moment after regretted the unwise
speech.
The woman pricked up her
ears, and In vain did the master try to
recall his remark,
francs for It," he said,
said Just now It was worth 10,000.
"I'll give you 500." "No, no."
hundred and fifty.
"I'll give you 100
"But monsieur
"Seven
But it was no use,
and, to make a long story short, the
master married the bonne In order to
obtain the first edition of the "Hep
tameron" (1559).
J
01
3
Weiser, Idaho, Dec. 0lh,1002.
Editor: As an item of interest I beg ....
advise that from February 15th, 1903
until April 30lh 1903, the following cheap
one way second class settlers rates from
the east to points on the Oregon Short
Line will be in effect as follows;
lo Huntington and main line inter
mediate points.
Prom.
Chicago.
Bloomington.'
Peoria.
St Louis.
Kansas City, Leavenworth, Âtchin
son, St. Joe, Council Bluffs
and Omaha.
Bioux City.
8t. Paul.
to
830 50
29 30
28 50
27 50
22 50
25 40
25 40
Your truly,
J. W. LAPI8H, Agent.
Stops the Cough and Works off the
Cold.
Laxative Bromo-Quinine Tablets
cure a cold in one day. No Cure
pay. Price 25 cents.
no
OLD PAPERS 20 cents a hun
dred at the Signal office.
Buy Castle Gate or Rock Springs
coal from Kimball.
tf
Gun repairing at Jenney's.
Blue print Thunder Mountain
maps, accurate, $1.00 each, post
paid. At Signal office.
THROUGH THE HEART OF THE
ROCKIES
Everybody knows that the scenic
and most interesting route across the
continent is by way of Salt Lake
City—"the City of the Saints"—and
the Canon of the Grand River, Ten
nessee Pass, Eagle River Canon, the
Royal Gorge, the Black Canon of
the Gunnison or Marshall Pass, all
of which are views seen from the
car windows of the Denver & Rio
Grande R. R. Through Sleeping
and Dining Car Service to Denver,
Omaha, Kansas City, St. Louis or
Chicago. Stop-over privilege is
granted on all classes of tickets.
Personally Conducted Excursions.
Write for copy of "Crossing the
Rockies" to 1. A. Benton, General
Agent, Passenger Dept., Salt Lake
City. ___
Luncheon in Denver To-day, Dinner in
Chicago Tomorrow,
made possible by "The Rocky Moun
tain Limited," via Rock Island
Route. Leaves Denver Ip. m. an
Colorado Springs 1:20 p. m. daily.
Free chair cars and dining cars for
all meals. Mid-day luncheon, fifty
cents.
N 6R
From Prairie Schooner to Overland
Limited.
Under this title the July Review
of Reviews contains a well illustrated
article that deals with the history
snd development of the Chicago &
North-Western Ry., one of the larg
est and best managed railway prop
erties in the country. The article is
especially timely by reason of the re
cent opening of the North-Western's
new double track across the plains
from Chicago to the Missouri River
at Council Bluffs.
It should be read by all who
interested in the rapid growth of the
Northwest. Copies of the article
bound in Review of Reviews
are
covers,
can be secured on application to G.
A. Walker, the Northwestern's repre
sentative in Salt Lake City.
SINJAF 3 © !
I have some fine snaps in the
way of
Farm Property.
both in this locality and under the
new ditch across
TLo Snalxo River In
Oregon.
Call and let me show them. I always
have an abundance of money to loan.
R*"0. IVEcKlzmey,
is i N
\f
5m
Sr
_
■ "• à
il
-y \
o
o
i
>
>4
One Thing at a Time
» "I can't afford to advertise
S a large scale,
I lately, "and with my varied stock Î
• I wouldn't know where to begin |
I on a small scale."
r It la a common fallacy that 1
I *> 1 « advertising mnat
» tke whole stock.
on
said a merchant
cover
In point of fact It never does, x
even with the most lavish adver- ^
Users, and. If It did, the result |
would be a jumble of prolixity. X
The true policy Is to select
article at
one
time—something
4 mpderately priced and meeting
V the want of the day—and push
I that at the people—Philadelphia
Z Record.
a
You are Invited to try this
plan In our columns. Change
your ad. with every Issue.
Buyers watch
for store news.
our columns
FERGUSON,
gams in all kinds of
Second Hand
O° 0(
Stove Repairing. Loc&te d h
ROYAL CA
CROWELL & McOREaby p n
Everything New
&ncl ^ T p a
Only White Help Employed,
Meals furnished
on Short
LODGING HOUS
connection,
EOFF STREET, .
in
• Wj
Mia
EX-C
M I * I
%
m
i
We only handle milk lot
of those who want good quality,
good milk here.
16 Quart-Tickets for $l
Cream at 35 cents per Quart,
arated Milk at 10 cents per Gal
A. C. Mitch(
PAINTERS,
Deooraton
and
Paper liant
CALCIMININQ, GRAININ
SIGN and CARRIAGE PAINT
All work guaranteed. Charges re
ble. Leave orders at shop
OLD BOWLING ALLEY
ON FIRST STRE1
/
A. SEARS,
Undertaking
and Embalm]
PICTURE FRAMES
WINDOW SHAPES
Weiser,
Idaho
Farmers'
Restaurant
Only FIRST-CLASS
taurant in the city.
None but White Help employed
p'ace where you can take your ft
and get a good meal for 25 cent
RICHAED HOLT, P
K. of P. building.
Pacific & Idaho
Northern^
ONLY DIRECT
RAIL ROUTE
FROM WEISER, ILAHO JO
Ruttiburp, Heath, and the. o0 J*t, M
Devils Conner mines. Fayette Lake-.
Salubria an P d Long Valleys, Salmon Hi-«
dows, and Gold Placer p i 8H in H?> .
When traveling west In «ei a 'oh of » »'
stop off at Weiser, Idaho, take a rp
Pacific & Idaho Northern Ral " ffi ,i
tion of country, and investigate 1
sources. You will not be
DELIGHTFUL CLIMA1S.
Cool night breezes from the snow-WF*
tains, making sleep refreshing.
NO MALAnlA. _
PURE MOUNTAIN goVerJ
Plenty of excellent un< J®f®£i,i 0 limbe
land, abundance of merchao
failure of crops.
TRAIN SCHEDULE
Ex-S
Dep. Daily
Ex. Sunday.
8:30 a. in.
10:24 "
10:55 "
11:55 a. m.
Weiser.
Middle Valley
Cambridge
Council
Rates and further Information
application.
! S
l;»
famished
p *■ Ä Y i*
General Manager. " el
DENVER & RIO GRANDE
AND
RIO GRANDE WESTERN,
the scenic li" e
the only
transi
world and
through 8»1 (I
nental line passing
City. Three fast trains
points east. Through
Tourist cars daily between
Denver,
to
daily
0?

Salt Lake City, ann
St. Louis and Chicago.
la Carte on
Dining
all t br<
service a
trains. For descriptive
or other information,^» 1 g gRTO n
Gen'l Agt. Pass. Dept., S* 1
Citÿ, Utah, or any ticket h
the ® I(I
Old papers for sale at
office at 20 cents a hundred

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