Charles Frederick Holder.

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low Vance, to terminate my ill-
favored life, for I now was destitute
and alone, robbed of the only friend
in whom I had sympathy and trust;
but upon second thought I concluded
first to care for my poor brother's re-
mains. I took my map and compass
from my pocket, located the spot (we
had kept an accurate schedule of our
travels), and sorrowfully started for-

For three days I wandered about,
taking little food and sleep that I
might lose no time in reaching the
spot where Vance's body lay.

I finally arrived at the base of the
precipice, where I found the dis-
figured body. The face was torn and
mutilated almost beyond recognition ;
one arm was entirely severed from
the body, while the other limbs were
horribly crushed and mangled.

I fell upon the snow! I writhed
and grovelled in it! I wept and
moaned piteously, but in nothing
could I find consolation.

After sobbing myself into a sort of
stupor, I rose, used a small trowel
and my hands to dig a grave near by,
and dragged the body from where it
had fallen to the grave I had pre-
pared. Before covering it with earth
and snow, I took from the pockets all
the papers and money I could find,
and thrust them carejessly into my
own pockets. I then made the burial
mound, placed some wild - flowers
upon the grave, and started for home.

Home! Where on earth is home
for me? Without Vance there is no
home, for my heart can find no solace
in the family of sisters, mother, and
father to which I unfortunately be-

Yet is it love that prompted the
display of emotion at my brother's
grave and the lonely feeling I now
experience? I think it is not. My
utter dependence upon him for sup-
port in what by the gauge of the con-
ventional woman would be called
"wild schemes" and "unwomanly



conduct," left me grieving for him as
I should grieve for the loss of any-
thing that served me or was necessary
to my contentment. How different
my grief for the loss of the stranger !
With what tenderness do I remember
his every word and expression !

Three years have elapsed since the
tragic death of my brother. When
compelled to return to the city and
adopt woman's attire, what more
fitting field of work should I choose
than that suggested by the stranger!
I have given my undivided attention
to the study of occultism in some of
its various branches, with the ulti-
mate aim of spending several years
n India. I am constantly discover-
ng "unhappy souls" like myself

seemingly misplaced, for, like the tree
after which I was named, my very
nature seems twisted and writhed
from its proper symmetry โ€” and it is
my strongest hope to try to alleviate
their suffering. But I have discov-
ered that there are no mistakes ; for,
as the stranger in the mountains said,
we reap only what we sow, we are
now paying for our past misdeedi
and producing new causes.

I never saw the stranger again!
Among the papers Vance left I found
a little slip upon which was written
the stranger's name and address. I
read of his death a few months ago.
He left a wife to whom he had been
married six years. This solves a
problem !



THE broker had been trying to
persuade the banker to make
him a loan, but without success.

" I am sorry," the banker said. " I
know your position and I have no
doubt it would all turn out as you say.
But I don't see how I can let you
have even the temporary aid you
need to carry you over the worst. I
too think the change is coming soon,
but the drag of our own customers is
heavy, and it is all we can do to meet
their claims upon us."

"But," urged the broker, "if I am
not a regular customer, I am your
friend, and what is, perhaps, of
more present importance, I am a link
in a chain of related interests, all of
which will suffer if I don't hold out."

"True enough," came the firm re-
ply. " In such times as these, how-
ever, we are "

Music interrupted them. From
the street below a peculiarly sweet
and strange melody arose. Often
organ-grinders pass through Wall
Street, causing little more than a
frown to business. But this was the

round, pure voice of a woman, borne
upward on the sustaining voices oi
men, and as it echoed through the
deep side street it caused vibrations
in some hearts. It was a foreign
laughing song, the expression of a
momentary joy in a life of sadness,
and the singers beneath the banker's
window sang the laughter with never
a smile. There was no need of see-
ing the upturned faces, to feel the
melancholy of their hearts. And the
banker felt it.

The broker walked to the window,
and looking down into the street
said impatiently:

" Italian song peddlers ; an old hag
woman and two black beggars."

"Singing Napoli, Napoli," added
the banker as to himself.

It recalled to him the scenes and
the feelings of Southern Italy and
his family, who were there at that
moment. He had heard that song
there so often that he had sometimes
cursed it. But now it soothed him,
gave him a moment of the sweet, sad
indolence which had rested him in



his months of leisure in poor beauti-
ful Naples. He listened, remem-
bered, rested ; and a few old thoughts,
old foolish ideals passed through his

He pinched his cigar till it went

After all, he thought, what does it
matter, this constant 'toil and care?
There is beauty in life and purposes
ultimate and fine. I forget that the
uses of all my labor are other than
the labor itself. I am winning for
my wife and our happy children.
And so this broker, too, is pleading
for his invalid wife, my daughter's
friend, and his one poor sickly boy ;
all without knowing it.

" How's your wife now?" he asked
the banker suddenly, but gently.

"My wife? My wife? Oh, she is
very ill again. I shall send โ€” I in-
tended to send her away to Southern
Italy in the fall ; for her lungs, you
know. "

The music ceased. A window
here and there went up and a few
pennies jingled on the pavement.
The banker threw out a coin, then
walked thoughtfully to the "ticker."
He slipped the " tape" between his
finger and thumb for a few minutes,
and saw that the market was weak
and feverish.

The broker too had been listening
to the song. But he cast aside the
feelings the music had left upon him
and, turning to the banker, said:

" You were just about to say "

"Yes," resumed the other, "I was
saying that at this particular time,
when all values are fluctuating so
wildly, we are compelled to be un-
usually conservative. I am sorry,
very sorry, but I don't see how I can
accommodate you at present."

So the music came, was heard, was
felt; then it passed, and was gone
from the market, leaving no remem-
brance after it.


BY R. A. L. Koi'.INSON.

YUMA COUNTY was one of the
four political divisions estab-
lished by act of Congress creat-
ing the Territory, in 1863, and the
city of Yuma lies in the southwestern
portion on the Colorado River, the
boundary between Arizona and Cali-
fornia. In the matter of water, an
essential question in the south-
west, it is better supplied than any
other county in the Territory. The
Gila River crosses it from the east
to the southwest, a distance of about
one hundred and ten miles, furnish-
ing drainage during the rainy season
and water for irrigation during a
large part of the year, and finally
forms a confluence with the Great
Colorado at the city of Yuma. Since
the days of 1849 the Gila River has
been an important factor in a com-

mercial sense and as furnishing a
supply for irrigating purposes.

By means of dams and storage
reservoirs, now under construction
on this river, a portion of its spring
flood waters will be stored and made
available for summer use, as is done
in India where the reservoirs are
constructed by the English govern-
ment. The soil of the valley of the
Gila is second only in quality to that
of the Colorado.

The Colorado runs from north to
south, forming the western boundary
of the county and carrying a volume
of water larger than that of the Co-
lumbia, with excellent economic pos-
sibilities for irrigation.

The topographical configuration of
the county includes a series of wide
plateaus gradually rising from the



Gulf of California about fifty miles
south. These plateaus are crossed
by numerous ranges of mountains,
especially in the northern part, be-
tween which lie large, fertile valleys.
The mountain ranges are for the
most part abrupt and rugged, but
highly mineralized, yielding gold,
silver, lead, iron, and copper in pay-
ing quantities. The Harqua Hala
Mountains in the northeastern part
of Yuma County contain the " Bo-
nanza," one of the best-paying gold
mines in the United States. The
ore is what miners term "free." It
is milled at the mine, and during
the last year the shipment of gold
bullion averaged about $50,000 per

These mountains are most valuable
for their production of mineral. In
the gulches considerable placer gold
is taken out, and though such mining
has been going on since the occupa-
tion by the mission fathers, the sup-
ply in the rocky, gravelly canyons
does not seem to have diminished.
The metal is bright yellow and very
rich, bringing eighteen to nineteen
dollars per ounce.

It was once thought that all that
portion of the county lying north of
the Gila was worthless because of
the absence of perpetual streams
from which to draw a water-supply,
though the country consists of beau-
tiful valleys and plateaus that are
very productive when irrigated. In
the last few years wonderful strides
have been made by engineers and
irrigationists toward the reclamation
of this vast area.

A gigantic scheme is at present on
foot, by which it is proposed to bring
the water through the very heart of
the country, by means of a large
canal, to be brought out one hundred
miles above Yuma near the juncture
of Bill Williams Fork with the Colo-
rado. Many engineers of note think
it feasible, and when it is done it
will redeem a larger acreage of fruit
and grain lands than is contained in
the entire Salt River Valley of central

Arizona. The topography of Yuma
County is comparatively unknown
through the channels of government
report, and scarcely one-tenth of it
has been surveyed other than by
private enterprise. Individuals ac-
quainted with its resources and
wonderful possibilities have pushed
investigation, and now statistics con-
cerning it have been collected and
widely circulated.

A large portion of the county,
which was part of the Gadsden pur-
chase, lies south of the Gila. This
includes the vast valley on the east
side of the Colorado and extending
from Yuma to the Mexican line, a
distance of twenty-five miles. It
was one of the finest large bodies of
land in the United States, adapted to
the raising of all kinds of grain, fruit,
and vegetables. This valley and
the vast plateaus in the north give
to Yuma County the largest extent of
arable lands in the Territory, and a
water famine is impossible. There
is no section of the Territory so well
supplied. Low water in the Colo-
rado has an average depth of five and
a width of six hundred feet, while at
its highest it averages fifteen feet,
with a width of one-half to three-
fourths of a mile.

During January and February the
rainy seasons occur, though it is a
period more in name than fact, and
the average fall for the last eighteen
years has only been two and one-half
inches. Everything depends upon
irrigation, and people are not disap-
pointed when there occurs a year
with three hundred and sixty-five
cloudless days.

During the dry, hot months, when
water is most needed, it will be seen
that the Colorado is running full,
feeding the forests of cottonwoods
and willows along its course, water-
ing the Indian's corn and melons,
and furnishing such a supply for the
canals and ditches that no matter
how much it may be drawn upon no
visible diminution can be apparent.
The great rise of the Gila occurs

during the months of January and
February. The latter stream, risin<
in the mountains of New Mexico,
catches the winter rainfall, which
often reaches thirty inches, and pours
an immense amount of water into
the Colorado, after meandering for
one hundred and ten miles through
the county of Yuma. At that time
the Colorado is at its lowest.

The Colorado, however, is the Nile
of North America, and in many ways
the two streams resemble each other.
Rising amid the snow-capped peaks,
the one in the centre of Africa and
the other in the heart of the Rockies,
they course away in the light of the
sun like molten silver fringed with
the green of forests, until, after wind-
ing around the ruins of extinct peo-
ples, the one by Memphis and Karnac,
the other those of the cliffs and the
more ancient ones of the valley, they
are lost in the wastes of the sea.
Each is fed by the melting snows;
they rise about the same time of the
year, pass through countries similar
in topographical and climatic condi-
tions, and deposit a silt and detritus
which government chemists pro-

nounce the same. This detritus,
when deposited over the valley of the
Colorado in both Arizona and Cali-
fornia, is larger than that of the
lower Nile through the distribution
of water used for irrigating purposes,
and does away forever with the
necessity of fertilizers. Upon irri-
gation depends the future agricul-
tural success of Arizona. This is
especially true of the central and
southern portions. Several years
ago it was found that tapping the
Colorado with canals would entail an
enormous expense โ€” more than the
people at that time were able to put
into such enterprises, consequently
they began to cast about for a cheaper
method by which to get the water on
the land.

It has long been the dream of the
residents of Yuma to see the fertile
Colorado River water made available
for irrigating purposes on the beauti-
ful, level mesa land which adjoins
the town on the .south, and this dream
has at last been realized through the
energy of Hiram W. Blaisdell, C.E.,
who has been identified with the de-
velopment of Yuma County for a



number of years, ably assisted by
Lewis A. Hicks, C. E. Eastern capi-
tal was interested in the enterprise,
and the Ytima Water and Light Com-
pany formed to carry out the work.
Construction was commenced in Sep-
tember last and completed in Feb-
ruary, since which time the pumping
plant has been in constant operation,
sending an immense stream of fertile
Colorado water to the thirsty mesa.
What a surprise it must have been to

densing engine, which is connected
with the plunger of the pump by ex-
tending the piston-rod through the
rear cylinder-head of the engine. By
this method of connection, the power
generated by the engine is trans-
mitted to the pump without the in-
tervention of cranks.

Another monster irrigation scheme,
of which Arizona at large and Yuma
in particular has just cause to be
proud, is that of the Colorado River


those arid lands to be given such a
bountiful supply of the life-giving
fluid! The resultant growth has
proven their gratitude for the gra-
cious draught.

The pumping plant is situated im-
mediately in the town on the bank of
the Colorado River. The exceptional
elevation of eighty feet to which the
water had to be raised for irrigating
the heights prevented the use of the
ordinary centrifugal irrigating pump,
and compelled the designing and con-
struction of a special form in which
durability and economy of operation
must be combined. The pumping
plant adopted consists of a 175 H. P.
high -duty, automatic cut-off con-

Irrigation Company. This plant is
also situated in the town of Yuma,
runs both day and night, and has a
capacity of 6,000 gallons per minute,
while arrangements are being made
to increase it to 30,000, which will
make it the largest irrigation pump-
ing plant in the world. The land
upon which the water is carried lies
below the town, extending from the
Gila to the Mexican line, a distance
of about twenty- two miles by an
average of six in width, containing
60,000 acres, 40,000 of which are sub-
ject to irrigation without any con-
siderable outlay of expense.

Some time ago Coe Brothers, capi-
talists of Denver, became interested




in this portion of the Colorado Valley,
and Captain Ingalls and Mr. J. H.
Carpenter formed a stock company
with the object of developing that im-
mense section. The present pump-
ing plant was put in, water distrib-
uted over the nearer portions, and four
hundred acres planted with oranges,
lemons, figs, grapes, apricots, and
various kinds of vegetables. Great
success attended the experiment,
and with the increase of the pumping
capacit3 r thousands of acres more
will be brought under cultivation.
A limited amount of water is needed
for irrigation, and where the ground
is once saturated fourteen inches to
the acre will be sufficient to grow all
kinds of fruits and vegetables. No
finer land for the growing of grain,
melons, vegetables, and all deciduous
fruits exists anywhere than this por-
tion of the Colorado Valley. The soil
is a rich loam, made by the sediment
of the river. Immense groves of
mesquite grow on the uncleared por-
tions, furnishing an almost inexhaust-
ible supply of firewood, which is only

needed, however, for cooking pur-
poses and during the mornings and
evenings of winter.

Actual trial has proven this section
superior to any other in the world
for raisins. Two-year-old vines yield
about three tons, while those seven
years old average about seven. A
close estimate on the selling price is
$20 per ton, which gives an idea of
the early and large return. Raisins
grow as luxuriantly, ripen more
quickly, and cure with less trouble
than in any country in the world.
The climate seems perfectly adapted
to them, and all things concurring as
they do, it seems that in a little while
this section of Arizona will be able to
produce the supply for the United
States now shipped from the shores
of the Mediterranean.

Unlike Southern California, there
is no fog in this section. By the time
the Gulf winds have passed over the
desert lying south of the line they
have been robbed of all the moisture
they contained, and instead of caus-
ing decay they are conducive to the

8 7 4


preservation of all kinds of fruit,
which accounts in a great degree for
the fitness of the country for raisin

Another fruit for which the Colo-
rado Valley is especially fitted is the
fig. The trees are of rapid growth,
begin bearing in two years, and pro-
duce bountifully. Trees average a
production of one hundred and fifty
pounds per year, and the Colorado
River Irrigation Company has been
selling them from its orchard since
the ioth of May, weeks ahead of any
other locality. Considering the fact
that three crops per year are pro-

cal nature grow and thrive well. The
Persian date fruits heavily and at an
early age, and there is always a good
market for its production. The lands
of the Yuma Fruit Company are the
natural home of "the olive, and the
great success that has attended its cul-
ture in California is proof of what may
be done with it here. The time is not
far distant when between the Gila
and the Gulf every portion of the
valley belonging to this company will
be settled and cultivated in these early
fruits, for which the demand is al-
ways greater than the supply.

Another enterprise which, while it


duced, in time the production at
Yuma of this fruit alone promises to
be enormous.

Apricots, peaches, and pears are the
leading deciduous fruits. They are
hardy, vigorous growers, bearing at
two years as much as the trees can
support, and requiring attention to
keep them from breaking. In sweet-
ness, size, flavor, and color the fruit
is unsurpassed, and ripening as they
do weeks ahead of California fruit,
they find a sure market and the high-
est price, All fruits of a semi-tropi-

is in California, owes its success to
Yuma, is the Colorado Irrigation
Canal, and deserves mention as one
of the great undertakings to redeem
the desert. This line has only been
surveyed during this year, but as
much as $60,000 has been spent in
that work, and the location has been
permanently settled. The canal
will be taken out at the Pot Holes,
the old mission mines, and will run
southwest to Flowing Wells, a dis-
tance of about eighty miles, redeem-
ing some of the finest lands in South-





ern California. Work has been laid
off for the summer, but in October
it will begin again and will be
pushed to completion.

Judge E. M. Sanford, who owns
land south of Yuma on the Arizona
side of the river, is president of the
Cocopah Fruit Company, with head-
quarters in the city. Five hundred
acres are being planted with early
fruits of all kinds, with the object of
supplying the Eastern markets. The
earliness of ripening insures its suc-
cess beyond doubt.

The pumping plants just described
are the only ones now in active oper-
ation on the river in the interest of
irrigation, though canals are being
surveyed from both sides at points
above, and on the Gila several reser-
voir and storage systems are being
put in. When completed, they will
redeem thousands of acres of very
valuable land and will open up an
agricultural section of great benefit
to the town of Yuma. The Mohawk,
the South Gila, and the Farmer's
Canal are among the prominent ones,
all of which are now fur-
nishing water for certain

Several new proposi-
tions are being talked of,
one of which is to dam the
Gila a few miles above
Yuma, but it is yet in em-
bryo and its construction
not certain. With suffi-
cient capital reservoirs
can be built along the
Gila, so that every foot of
its valley area may be
cultivated, and at the
same time sufficient water
be held in reserve to work
the placer mines, now
handled by a system of
"dry washing," by which
they yield considerable.
In the matter of climate,
Yuma in many respects
excels any other portion
of the United States. Sit-
uated in the same latitude

as Charleston, S. C, and San Diego,
Cal., any one acquainted with the
climate of these localities may form
some idea of the relative degrees of
heat and cold. In some respects, as
is proven by the United States
weather statistics, there is a slight
difference in favor of Yuma. The
Yuma weather bureau is careful and
conscientious, and observations have
been made regularly for the last
fourteen years. The record shows a
combination of the highest barometer
with the height of temperature to be
found anywhere in the world. This
is an invaluable attribute of climate,
especially for those who are afflicted
with any pulmonary trouble, as it is
comparatively no exertion for the
lungs to breathe the dry atmosphere.
At Yuma the air has the barometric
pressure of the best health resorts,
without the attendant dampness
found at the sea-shore. For eighteen
years, in winter the average temper-
ature has been 59 degrees, which is
not excessive. The highest shade
temperature ever recorded was 118




degrees. This may appear high to
one unacquainted with the climate,
but it is modified by the low relative
humidity, so that 118 degrees at
Yuma is not so oppressive as 85 de-
grees in San Francisco and at the
coast health resorts or the cities of
the East. It is to the humidity of
the atmosphere that oppressive heat
is due. At San Diego the maximum
humidity is about 84, and, it seldom
falls below it; at the resorts of south-
ern Florida it is about the same,
while at Yuma the highest maximum
ever recorded was only 44, and this
was during the early morning, when
the thermometer registered very low.
During the hot hours of the day the
humidity is only about 7, which ac-
counts for the fact that no matter how
high the thermometer, even 118 de-
grees, the heat is not intolerable.
Yuma has less rainfall than any other
point on the habitable globe, the
total annual fall being only one-third
as great as the precipitations that
have fallen in a single day at places
known as health resorts. Snow is
unknown, there are no foggy days,
few clouds, and a totally cloudy day

Online LibraryCharles Frederick HolderThe Californian (Volume 4) → online text (page 116 of 120)