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The Nevada County picayune. (Prescott, Ark.) 190?-current, May 06, 1909, Image 2

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn90050306/1909-05-06/ed-1/seq-2/

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•KnaBxruBEam MAGiNK a gr(.at, fat
■ " H slimy something poked
1 & out of the water into
I < > I your face, quic kly foi
lowed by another slimy
soineming aim tueu
another and another;
each endeavoring to
secure an option on a
different portion of
your anatomy, and you
have one of the vari
ous joys of fishing for
the devil fish.
But along the Arner
lean coast or me uuii
of Mexico there are lots and lots of
men who eke out their livings doing
Just this thing. For the man who
doesn't have to fish for the devil-fish,
It’s fun, hut to the man or crews of
men who do it for their daily bread;
well, they content themselves with a
single catch a day.
Aristotle of old is recorded in his
tory as the first writer on the sub
ject of devil-fishing, but as he was
exceedingly fond of Mr. Aristotle's
health he left lots unsaid because he
didn't investigate.
Every Gulf of Mexico sailor who
fiahes for this creature carries a
hatchet close by, for that is the only
means of getting away from the fish's
teutades simply cutting them off as
they are about to grasp the intended
Is the gulf the devil fish is har
pooned and seldom after one of these
great prongs has been imbedded in
the body of the victim are the fisher
men able to land their quarry within
two hours. Usually it takes from
three to four hours of good, hard mus
cle-grinding work and then lots of
times the crew of the hunting craft
must cut the cable and lose the har
poon simply because the brute fights
too hard to allow the occupation to
be carried on safely. It is little
wonder that one fish a day of this
variety is considered sufficient.
Many wild, weird tales are told of
the devil-fish. One class of stories
deals with the creature’s addiction to
towing ocean-going steamers out of
their courses. So strong is the deep
sea monster that captains of vessels
have been known to wonder what
was carrying them to windward, and
It" "
<2_^» siouth or n & £>£.wi~—r/js*
aiul after a year or so into eight
small arms. These grow larger and
stronger as the age of the fish in
creases. Some adult specimens have
been caught, the tentacles of which
were over 20 feet in length. Jets of
W'ater squirted by means of fin3 con
stitute the method of locomotion of
the cuttlefish.
The devil-fish’s choicest occupation
is that of feeding upon shoals of
smaller members of the finny tribe
and when interrupted in this pursuit
he effect is terrifying. The great
creature will toss several of its ten
tacles to the surface, still continuing
to feed with the rest of them; and if
this bluff fails to scare the intruder
away, the devil-fish will come to the
surface personally to see about it.
While next to human beings,
sharks are the greatest enemies of
KEsiO V" TO '
tne CUllieilSIl, uie sumrufiCJa
sea are just about as frightened by
the tentacled monsters as the latter
are by the sharks. Mariners have
I ~r/ ;/~7s-7 j a/q
fense, and thus the Al
mighty has endowed the
species with more than
the ordinary powers, for
usually fish, beast or
bird of the air has only
one natural mode of pro
tection. The cuttlefish,
however, can cast from
its tissues an inky sub
stance known as “se
pia,” which turns the
water in its vicinity an
impenetrable black and
allows escape. Combined
upon Investigation find that a devil-fish or cuttle
fish was trying to bite off a corner of the rudder.
Nwnerons cases of the fish attempting and suc
ceeding in towing ten-ton sloops for miles have
been recorded in the annals of the industry. The
devil-fishers always are compelled to put up a hot
fight against this animal of the sea. The intend
ed quarry will pull them far out of their course
after the first harpoon has stung his hide and
it takes two and sometimes three of them be
fore the catch can be brought close enough to
the sloop to allow the gunner to place a shot in a
vital spot
The fish mast be continually worried or it.
will descend to the bottom to rest, in which case
it usually takes the boat, crew and apparatus
with it.
A story is told of a boat crew which had not
bad a devil-fish strike for two days until finally
the harpoon expert on the bowsprit imbedded
his instrument of torture within the \iials of one
of the monsters. The creature, of course, went
through the formality of turning the water there
abouts into a delicate black, this being one of the
traits of the species when attacked. This done
the devil fish Etarted for home, which was the bot
tom of the gulf. The harpoon expert hated to
let go. on account of strikes being few and the
boat, crew and harpoonist also began the descent
in inky darkness. The cralt being provided with
air tanks at each end. the harpooned had some
Job on his hands, and when down in the sea
about 20 feet, as near as tin- mariners could
figure, the eight-armed namesake of the \merican
trust gingerly climbed into the boat with the
men who were seeking his life blood. It being
dark the fishermen did not perceive his presence.
Once more at the surface, however and there
was a miniature fire panic Regaining his pres
ence of mind, however, the harpoonist put an out
drop on his second throw and put an < ml to tin*
pranks of the fish. That tale has been called
"just a fish story,” hut there are thru- deep >a
fishermen to-day who vouch fur tin truth of a
portion of it and they still ply that trade on the
coast of the gulf. Hut now when the devil li. h
starts for home, they let him go.
The manta, as the creature is called by sci
ence, is to be found as far north on tin* Atlantic
coast as the Carolinas and in those waters some
of the largest of this class of sea creatures have
been seen. One caught on the Atlantic coast
several years ago required three yoke of oxen to
drag it from the sea und its weight was estimated
at four tons.
T*ualty the devil-fish measures from 20 to 25
feet across its back when full grown and one
mariuer on the Pacific coast reported that he had
estimated one to be 40 feet, which eye measure
ment, of course, is within the realm of possibility.
The creature has two well defined plans of do
with this there is the set of eight tentacles,
which possess grips of iron and are lined under
neath with "suckers,” which, when in working
order, form a vacuum over the object grasped
and thus insure a firm hold.
So firm is this grasp that story tellers of sever
al decades ago were fond of dropping tiie treas
ure-hunting hero into the hold of the sunken
galleon and there bump him up against the "ter
rible devil-fish which had thwarted all human
wiles and for umpty hundred years been the
guardian of the don's loot.” The hero always
won and captured the coin, being dragged to the
surface unconscious.
There have been one or two cases where the
cuttlefish has made its home within the cabins
ef sunken ships. In one case in particular off
the northern coast of South America it is told
that a devil-fish killed three divers who descend
ed to lay plans for raising the ship. As each
man was brought to the surface dead from a
cause which none of his mates could guess, an
other was sent to take his place. Finally the
trouble was suspected and the last man sent
down gave explicit instructions about being
brought to tiie surface upon the faintest tug at
tlie guide line. After numerous trips up and
back lie succeeded in dislodging the creature
by cutting off its arms one by one. Deprived of
its arms, it tied and no further trouble was ex
Perhaps the most uncanny sight which ever
befalls the devil-fish hunters is when, on a clear
day, the denizens of the deep may be seen on the
bottom walking along with the aid of their
tentacles, which are used as feet. On land, it is
reeurded, this is a physical impossibility, for the
fish, but buoyed up by the water of many fath
oms, it’s easy.
Though absolutely the most dangerous of crea
tures of the sea, it is said the devil-fish displays
greater fear of human attack than any of the
other species. The first move when assailed, is
to try to f mb the hunters with two or more of
the long arms that stretch out as occasion de
mands. Failing in this the fish will attempt to
get away under cover of the inky “sepia," but
when caught with the harpoon and it finds there
is no apparent escape the real tug of war com
mences and the struggles are never ended until
the quarry ceases quivering in death. Then the
cables which hold the harpoons are lashed to the
srern of tin' craft and the sailors turn the ves
sel's nose towards home, the most welcome part
of the voyage.
Study the habits and origin of the cuttlefish
is one of the most interesting which any scien
tist ever attempted. The fish are propagated
by means of eggs. The liny creature at first has
only one tentacle, which, when it grows older,
gradually divides into two and then into four
often told of the battles which they have seen in
dear water between these warriors of the briny
deep, but accounts telling of the victors are scarce.
Along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico the sharks
show their delight at the plight of the devil-fish
when caught by following in its bloody wake and
with wide-open jaws, seeking a bite here or there
from the carcass. At night along the coast they
fight in the water for the opportunity to consume
the dead devil-fish after the fishermen have fin
ished with him.
All in all devil-fishing is the most thrilling, most
hazardous, most entrancing method of angling
which has ever been discovered, for the creature is
doubtless the craftiest of the inhabitants of the
tropical waters. And the man who goes after the
scalp of the devil-fish while he is not armed with
modern accoutrements is taking his own life in
his hand. The plain hardware store hatchet with
the short handle is declared to be the best weapon
of defense in close quarters and dozens of lives
have been saved simply because the parties at
tacked were equipped with hatchets and knew
how, when and where to use them upon the an
atomy of the dangerous fish.
Will (he time ever come when T’ncle Sain can
dispense with letter carriers? The increasing use
of the automobile, the pneumatic tube ami me
chanical devices in the postal service would indi
cate that eventually some method of delivering
mail will be found which will, in a large measure,
do away with the present system of distribution.
The postotBce department has an annual appro
priation which is used to experiment with mechan
ical devices, ard every year the officials are called
upon to investigate the practicability and utility
of inventions. There have been hundreds of differ
ent styles of mail boxes submitted, and there Is
no end of devices designed for picking up mail
bags by fast-moving express trains. There is no
doubt, so experts say, that the stamp-fixing ma
chine will come into general use, and they are
equally certain that the government will adopt
slot machines for the automatic sale of postage
stamps, as Germany and numerous other foreign
countries have. The department has made an offi
cial trial of such machines.
A little more than a year ago the postmaster
general appointed a special committee of officials
to make a thorough investigation of the stamp
vending machines. Washington is now having its
extended public demonstration of these machines,
and other cities also will have a chance to try
them for a long period under the direct supervi
sion of the postoffice authorities.
Win n the postmaster general decided to make
experiments with stamp-selling machines, he ln
\ ited ail persons w ith inventive tendencies to sub
mit models. He did not confine the invitation to
America The result was that some 7a machines
wen offered for experiment, and the postofflco
committee had a long and tedious task in selecting
those that appeared to be practical.
After much Investigation the committee selected
a half-dozen machines for further test To the
owners or inventors of these six makes was given
the opportunity to make public tests of the ven
ders under the direction of the department, but at
their own expense. Finally three different models
were picked out for an extended public test at
government expense.
Two of these machines are foreign inventions—
one a German machine and the other the invention
of an Australian.
Resolution Introduced in Congress
Urging Investigation of Missouri
Federal Court.
Washington— Placing serious charg
es again t Federal Judges John *.
Philipps and Smhh McPherson o
the Western District of Missouri,
Representative Murphy of that staie
has intro’need a resolution to inves
tigate tl ir conduct in the litigatiou
between the state and the railroad
companies over the maximum 2-cent.
passenger rate. The preamble of
the Murphy resolution claims that
the two judges accompanied certain
railroad attorneys on a fishing trip on
which occasion members of the par
ty were arrested for violating the
game lavs of the state. The resolu
tion chai ges that Judge Phillips neg
lects his duty by continued absence
from the bench and that when he
does pre ide the court is in session
for only tour hours each day.
Americans Are Honored.
London.—There was a demonstra
tion of tnthusiasm remarkable in its
character at the Institution of Civil
Engineer ■ Monday when the Aeronau
tical So iety of Great Britain con
ferred on Wilbur and Orville Wright,
the aero danists of Dayton, ()., its
first gold medal. Those who had
gathered at the institution to witness
the presentation cheered and applaud
ed repeatedly while the Wright
brothers blushingly bore their hon
ors through aji hour of the warmest
eulogies. Finally the entire assem
blage ro1 e up and gave three cheers
for each of the two brothers.
Gay Life For Jap Sailors.
San l'raneisco.—The officers and
men of the Japanese training squad
ron were well entertained .Monday.
The events Including two formal re
ceptions to Rear Admiral lliehi and
his com Missioned officers and a din
ner on hoard the West Virginia by
the chie” port officers to the officers
of smal' r rank.
A min trel show aboard the United
States 1 agship to 200 Japanese en
listed n n and a dinner to the Japa
nese offi ers by the American officers
followed by a theater party at the
t other Girl is Injured.
Tyler Tex.— Following the lynching
of Jim Hodge, a negro, here Satur
day, wh j was accused of assaulting
Miss Winnie Harmon, posses were
Tuesday hunting for another negro
who Sui ,laj night attacked Miss Kt
tie Paui near this city. Site was
1 beaten into insensibility with it bo.
tle. The citizens of Tyler are gr al
ly incensed and it is feared the ne
gro, if captured, will receive summa
ry punishment at the hands of tin
members of the posse.
Accused of Killing Old Woman.
Kdinburg. Oscar Slater, alias Otto
Sands, who was extradited front New
York last February charged with the
murder in Glasgow of Marion Gil
christ, was Tuesday placed on trial
before Lord tlu.". ie. The killing of
.Miss Gilchrist, who was S3 years old,
apparently was wanton.
The crime has aroused intense feel
ing north of the Tweed, and there
is a great degree of interest in the
trial. Slater pleaded not guilty.
Arrested For 30-Year-Old Crime.
Frederick, Okla. John Adams was
arrested here .Monday on a charge of
murdering a 'railroad section Fire
man in Texas 3o years ago. Since
that murder, it is said, he lias served
two penitentiary terms, one for a
Texas murder and one in tin- Arkan
sas penitentiary at Little Rock for a
minor crime. Adams < aim- to Fred
erick Iasi August and worked as a
day laborer.
To Save Evangeline Oil Company.
Lake Charles. La. Peter P. Van
Vloot of Memphis. Term., obtained
an injunction in the district court
lure, restraining the officers and di
rectors of the Kvangeiim Oil Compa
ny from disposing of any of the prop
‘Tty rights and credits ot the compa
ny. The petition also asks the ap
pointment of a receiver for the com
Railroad Company to Save Fine.
San Francisco The Cnited stales
Circuit Court of Appeals here hand
ed down a decision reversing th»> de
cision of Hie district court in the case
in which the Atchi on. Topeka and
Santa Fe Railway Company was
found guilty of granting rebates and
sentenced in pay lines amounting to
Will Speak to Florida Legislature.
Taliali;. ■ ee, Fla. Cnited States
Sr' atm- II 1). Money of Mississippi
.Monday wired bis acceptance of the
invitation rt the |{oii~e of Repre.-en,
a'ives to address that body with
Senator Beard of IVmsaeola in favor
°f in’ Heard tlisfranr hi: < meiif meas
ure now before the House.
Cripple Shoots Man Dead.
Knoxville, Tenn. Joe \ewby. a
cripple, who claimed that his cousin,
Will Brown, residing near Fiketon in
Rhea county, owed him $2.f»0, went
to Browi.' home and engaged in a
dispute over a, alleged debt. Newby
claims that Brown secured a shotgun
and tried to chase him away, He
refused to leave and instead pulled
a pistol and shot Brown dead in the
presence of his wife and children.
Newby had purchased a ticket to
Little liock.
Simple and Comprehensive Si
Up by Small Boy with * *
The Lang worths lived in a
house so easily accessible from0111
street that they were constantly111
noyed by persons ringing to ask v41
other possible inhabitants 0f ft
block were to be found. Finally ^
ed to desperation by these int’e^
tions, the family boy attempted to '
a stop to the nuisance.
"I SUPSS'',’ said hp. c°mp]acenti
“there won t b? any more folks u
ing if the Browns, the Biddles or
Hansons live in this house. I've a
’em.” ;
“What have you done?" queried*.
Langworth. *
"Hung out a sign.”
“And what did you print on It i.
die?” ^"I
“Just five words,” replied Harol
proudly: “ ’Nobody lives here but us’
“Do you really love mo, George*
“Didn't you give me this tie, dear}
“Yes, love. Why?”
“Well, ain't 1 wearing it?”
For Colds and Gripp—Capudine.
The best remedy for Gripp and Colds"I
Hicks' Capudine. Relieves tic aching at
feverishness. Cures the cold—Hcadaclx
also. It's I.iquid—Effects immediately-!
H5 and 50c at Drug Stores.
Respect for the past Is not bigotry
and we are to beware of the dange
of changing too much, as well as thi
of not changing at all.—Sydney Smith
I m . i.. ri Positively t uredbj
CAR] ERS thcse LiulePi,u
i Thpy nUo rellere to
I iTTPIF tress from Dy«*pep«lft,Ia
■ a J digest ion and Too Heart]
I V ER Eat in y. A perfect mi
!L fit e<ly *or 'ziness, Km
I fl I.L v< sea, Dru\\ vinesa, B»i
Taste Int -M .:th,Coal
eel Toiiprue, Pain in tin
I (side, ToKPID LIVE*
They ri'jruiatc the Uoweln. Purely YrdeliUl
“A light purse is a heavy curs^
Sickness makes a light purse.
The LIVER is the seat of ninl
tenths of all disease.
go to the root of the whole mat*
ter, thoroughly, quickly
and restore the action of tb#
LIVER to normal condition.
Give tone to the system Jfld
solid flesh to the body.
Take No Substitute. _
'>' ^0WER'S
J i ^/S/ZBR.^
-\ < OILED
[they LOOK V/ElL-mRVQJ.
\ LONG COATS -*322 .♦3s*
.-) SUITS *3
A. J.Tower Co. boston. u.sA I
Tov^r Canadian Co. iimitcs -topontcu-^J
1 ";'-vrr-a
•: ' ttgg
I.: :
bt. LouiB, Mo. Write for catalog a
Mention this pai>»*»* _*
IrUiiKU Jttf tiw^ ,

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