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the pay gave out, which soon occurred.
The next comers delved into the
little flats and low banks on either
side, gradually widening out until on
one side the bank was ten or twelve
feet deep above the bedrock. To
remove this bank with pick and shovel
was too slow and laborious a process,
and soon the face of the bank was
dotted with "coyote holes," gouged
in by the workers on one crevice or
another, and followed in a dozen feet
or more till the limit of the pay streak
was passed. Old miners who saw the
work shook their heads and prophe-
sied that some day there would be a
terrible accident there, but thus far
the gamblers had borne charmed
lives.

In a couple of weeks I was all right
again, and one night I announced
to Charley that I was going to town
and would probably take my place in
the claim next day. Charley, con-
trary to my expectations, decided to
accompany me.

The same scenes presented them-
selves as before, except that the lans-
quenet table was replaced by a
roulette game. Meeting an old Mis-
souri friend, I found he was present
the night Castro lost all his money ;
in fact had borne away a part of it,
himself. He chuckled at the idea of
having sent the fancy-shirted gentle-
man to w r ork.

"To work," I repeated, "what is
he doing — hired out ? ' '

" Not much. He and his wife go
up to Gamblers' Gulch every day."

"Slim picking, I should think.
The gulch has been pretty well
cleaned up."

"Oh, there's some good spots there
yet, but they are hard to get at. Take
a head of water though, and a fellow
could get a pretty good season's run.



126



GAMBLERS' GULCH.



" You hear that Charley ? " said I.

"Hear what?"

' ' Bradley tells me your lady friend
has turned miner. She and Castro
are working the Gamblers' Gulch."

' ' Better for her than being in a place
like this. I'll go and see them to-
morrow."

''Why not to-night? "

' ' I want to see them together, and
I want you to be there. I've got no
money for him to gamble with, but I
have a few hundred to help them, or
rather her, to get into the way of
making an honest living."

"I've a double purpose in having
you come with me, Tom," said Stall -
ard the next morning when we were
well on our way to the Gulch. "I
have staked off a claim up above here.
Was up here two days while you were
sick. I hope you'll like it ; if not,
good-by to Poverty Flat."

Gamblers' Gulch is about a mile
above the point where Ten Cent Gulch
debouches into the receiving stream.
At that time of the year, the snows
had disappeared from the watershed
of Ten Cent and its tributaries, and
only the water from the springs flowed
down the gulch at any point. We
passed a few miners who were working
with rockers, and very soon we came
to the mouth of Gamblers' Gulch. We
saw Adele seated by a water hole,
panning out the last of a panful of
earth. So absorbed was she in her
work that she did not hear our
approach until we were almost be-
side her, when she rose up in some
alarm .

11 Don't be frightened, Adele," said
Charley, laughing. ' ' We're not jump-
ing your claim."

'* I'm glad to see 3^011, Charley,''
she said as she laid down the nearly
emptied pan. " I've been in torment
for the last three days."

1 ' I heard of your trouble, Adele ;
but it was only last night that I
learned you had turned miner."

1 ' The trouble you refer to is
nothing. If the change of the last



few days should be the means of mak-
ing Mr. Castro adopt a different mode
of life, I could rejoice at what others
would call trouble, and welcome it as
a blessing in disguise. Its not that
which worries me. It is Searles — he
has followed me to California."

"Where's Castro? Does he know
it? How did you find out he was
here? What does he want ? " Charley
rattled off, excitedly.

"You take my breath away with
your many questions. Hark!"
We listened in silence for a moment
and could hear the occasional faint
sound of a pick striking the ground
up the gulch. "Castro is digging
out another pan of earth for me to
wash. The two have met but failed
to recognize each other. Why he has
come to this State, God only knows.
I had a letter from him a few days
ago ; he writes like a crazy man, and
says he will have vengeance on me
and those who have robbed him of
me. He and George are sure to have
trouble."

We now went up the gulch and the
sound of the pick grew very near,
though the worker was hidden in one
of the numerous coyote shafts which
pierced the bank. Mrs. Castro stopped
in front of one of them and called him
to come out.

"In a minute," was the answer.
" Throw me the pan and I will fill it
and bring it with me. How was the
last ? "

"Good." She emptied the dust
into a corner of her handkerchief and
then entered one of the little tunnels.
In a moment she returned. "He
will be out soon," she said, and
added, " its very warm up here, let's
sit in the shade of those manzanitas
until he comes."

1 ' Rather a dangerous place to drift
in," said I, "but men will take all
sorts of chances for the sake of the
dross. ' '

"Ah, ha ! Here you are, are you ?
I knew I'd find you." The voice
came from above us on the opposite
side of the gulch, and looking up we



GAMBLERS' GULCH.



12-



iw the figure of a man standing on

te bank opposite. Hatless, with

>ng, unkempt hair and beard, his

)thing soiled as though the earth

lone had been his bed for months,

le man stood on the edge of the per-

>endicular bank and gesticulated

wildly.

My God," exclaimed Adele, in a

)\v voice, 4< it's Searles."

4 ' I've found you — found you !"

illed the maniac. " Did you think

>u could escape me by putting a

ttle continent between us ? Ho, ho !

Tot if it had been the world — I'd have

lowed you anywhere. And now

my reward." Quick as a flash he

rew a pistol from his bosom and fired

our group. The ball struck the

irth between Adele and myself,

trowing the earth into our faces.

Run behind the manzanitas,

Ldele," cried Charley, as we sprang

our feet. "They will deflect. a

diet. Tom, we must get the best of

lat fellow, or he'll kill us all. Rock

lim."

He grabbed two or three of the
gravel stones lying loose upon the
surface as he spoke, and I immediately
followed his example. Charley's aim
was truer than mine — one of the rocks
struck Searles on the shoulder ; the
pistol was discharged again, but
without harm, and fell to the ground.
''What's this?" cried Castro,
emerging from the drift and pushing
the full pan of earth before him,
" What's all this shooting about ? "

He stooped as he spoke to lift up
the pan of earth, when a sudden cloud
of dust arose and the front of the
drifted ground on which Searles had
been standing fell with a dull sound,
covering Castro from sight and fling-
ing Searles upon the bedrock below.

Charley and I pulled Searles out
from under the loose earth and laid
him in the shade, and then Charley
ran to town for assistance, while I
remained with Adele. A score of
ready hands were soon on the ground,
with picks and shovels, digging
earnestly away at the point we indi-



cated as the last place where Castro
was seen. An old sluice-box was
knocked to pieces, from which an
improvised litter was formed on which
Searles was carried to town, and we
led Adele up the hill by the narrow
path which crossed the Catholic cem-
etery and conducted her to her lodging
house.

In the afternoon the body of the
dead gambler was brought in, and the
following morning his mangled re-
mains were laid awa3 r .

Searles escaped with a broken leg
and a few bruises, and, strange to say,
either his narrow escape from death
or the awful tragedy he precipitated,
restored his unbalanced mind. I called
to see him, and as he lay in his cot,
I saw there was no expression of rec-
ognition in his countenance. I told
him I was present during the tragedy,
and he at once expressed a- desire to
talk with me, which he did calmly
and sensibly.

1 ' I was a fool to let the matter take
hold of me the way it did, but I could
not help it. When I left her father's
house the day I expected to claim
Adele as my bride, I was indignant
but sorrowful, and when I learned she
had fled from me with him — a mar-
ried man — ' '

"A married man," I repeated.

"That's what he was."

1 ' But Adele did not know it. She
went with him on the cars to-New York,
was married there, and took the
steamer the next day for California."

"The more shame for him, then.
But I got wild over the idea of being
abandoned for a thing like that and
swore to kill them both, if I followed
them to the end of the world. That
one idea was in my mind all the time,
and I have been following the two
ever since. If he and Adele were
married, he only added another crime
to those he had to answer for already.
But I am glad now that no one's
blood is on my hands, and will thank
you to tell her so."

I promised to do so and left him.

In a few days Adele left for one of



128



GAMBLERS' GULCH.



the southern counties where some of
her former schoolmates were living.
Charley would gladly have furnished
her with the means to return to her
Eastern home, but she was pronounced
in her determination never to enter her
father's door again. By the time she
was gone I had recovered strength to
go into the mines again, and the first
use I made of it was to move from
Poverty Flat for good and all.

Our new claim was a successful
venture and we were not long in re-
cuperating. Charley kept his word,
for the gaming table saw him no more,
but he never spoke of returning
East, and the thought came into my
mind that he intended, at the proper
time, to ask Adele the question he
should have asked years before. And
I guessed rightly, for one night in June,
sitting, not by the fireplace as before,
but with* our pipes alight reclining
under the glittering stars, he told
me that he would soon ask Adele to
come and share his home. This
brought afresh before our eyes the
tragedy of the year before, and we
recalled each incident minutely. Then
I told him what Searles had told me, in
regard to Castro being a married man.

V It may be so," said Charley. "If
it is, Adele was innocent, for she



showed me what she believed to be
her marriage certificate. Not that I
doubted her word, but she had for-
gotten the name of the clergyman.
Poor Adele ! ' ' Then in a moment
Charley grasped me by the hand say-
ing warmly, "You and I, old Pard,
have been together since the time we
met on the river, and each formed his
first partnership in Trinity. We'll
stay together yet, both in cabin and
claim."

And so it proved. The little cabin
on the claim was exchanged for a
home better adapted to that over which
a woman was to preside, and here we
stayed until the unrelenting hand of
Death was again stretched forth and
the husband and father taken away.

Of the thousands who then roamed
through the forests, climbed the hills,
delved in the carious, drifted in the
flats or turned the river from its bed
in the mad search for gold in the
mountain-bound county, how many
remain ? A few still linger near the
scene of their early mining experi-
ences, but year by year the meager
number grows less. Of the miners
then upon the Ten Cent, I am fain to
believe that none other than myself is
left to tell the story of the tragedy at
Gamblers' Gulch.








Questions * , *



4 MR. BLOUNT'S MISSION.
[an open better to the editor.]

THE wisdom of making haste slowly in
the matter of the proposed annexation
of Hawaii becomes more apparent with each
week's news of the real situation of affairs
in the Islands. Already the tide of public
opinion, which at first was overwhelmingly
in favor of annexation at once and upon any
terms, seems to be turning ; and if the al-
tered tone of the public press is any indica-
tion of the true condition of affairs, the
plan first suggested by the Caeieornian in
its April issue, or some modification of it,
will most likely be adopted for the settle-
ment of this affair.

The selection of Mr. Blount by the Presi-
dent to act as his Commissioner to Hawaii
was a most happy one, as he has proved
beyond a doubt that he means to get at the
bottom facts, regardless of the advice and
clamor of interested parties. It is impos-
sible at this writing to say just what action
the Commissioner will take in the settle-
ment of affairs, as he has succeeded in
maintaining a degree of self-control in the
expression of any opinion that is as admir-
able as it is rare. In the tense condition of
the political atmosphere, Mr. Blount's ex-
traordinary reticence may cause an explo-
sion ; but it is to be hoped that the calm
councils of the cooler heads may prevail yet
a little longer, and the little community be
spared any exhibition of violence. There
seems to be a universal disposition on the
part of other nations to allow the United
States to settle this affair without inter-
ference or molestation, and whatever action
this Government may decide to take, it
cannot be said in the future that it was done



3K- 4HS*



through coercion, or for lack of time for due
deliberation.

Freed from the complicating details of
political intrigue and party rancor, with
which we have nothing to do, the Hawaiian
situation, as Mr. Blount found it, and as he
will doubtless report to the President, may
be briefly summarized as follows :

On the 1 6th day of January, 1893,
profound national peace reigned, there
being no external or domestic subjects of
controversy or discord. Treaties of amity
and commerce were in force between
Hawaii and all the great powers of the
earth and many of the smaller nations.
The kingdom was a member of the Uni-
versal Postal Union, having its accredited
representatives in the Congress at Geneva.
The little country was represented at the
principal capitals and seaports of the world
by diplomatic and consular agents, while
corresponding representatives of various
countries hoisted their flags in Honolulu.
The best of relations appeared to exist be-
tween the kingdom and its nearest great
neighbor, the United States. The courts of
the country were administering the laws
without molestation or menace. The school
system was in perfect running order, and
the various schools throughout the king-
dom, and especially in Honolulu, were in
session, and were admitted by all to be
doing good work generally, under able
teachers. Travelers and tourists passed at
will without let or hindrance. At the
banks, business houses and newspaper
offices, the usual course of business was
going on without interruption. A band
concert was given at the Hawaiian Hotel at
eight o'clock in the evening, and the
grounds of the Hotel and adjacent streets
29



130



QUESTIONS OF THE DAY.



were thronged with men, women and chil-
dren enjoying the music on this beautiful
moonlight night. No hint of danger to the
life or property of either subject or alieh
had been heard. At about five o'clock in
the afternoon of this day, a strong force of
marines with a howitzer and two Gatling
guns landed from the U. S. S. Boston, then
in port, and marching up King street halted
between the Government Building and the
Palace. The movement was so unexpected
and uncalled for, that a curious crowd, com-
posed of all classes from the street gamin to
the professional man, attracted from his
office by the unusual procedure, quickly
collected to learn what it was all about. No
one seemed to know. After a delay of an
hour or two the troops located in a hall on
private property within half pistol shot of
the Government Building, and remained
there during the night. The crowd being
unable to learn the cause of the move
quietly dispersed, the most of them going
to the band concert at the Hawaiian Hotel.
On the day following (January 17th) at
about twenty minutes before three o'clock
p. m., thirteen men proceeded from the
office of W. O. Smith on Fort street, to the
Government Building, and as they passed
the front of the United States troops, Charles
U. Carter, one of the thirteen, delivered to
the commanding officer a letter from Hon.
John L,. Stevens, United States Minister,
and immediately rejoined his party which
then took position in front of the Govern-
ment Building. Then Cooper, the leader,
read without delay the proclamation depos-
ing the Queen, and announcing the forma-
tion of a Provisional Government, the full
text of which has already been published.
At this time the usual business was being
carried on in the building. The business of
the day being pretty well over, there were
only a few people in the building, and the
clerks of the several offices were at their
desks writing up the day's work, wholly un-
conscious of what was going on till called
out by the office messengers. In the course
of a few moments, armed men, to the num-
ber of about twenty-seven, were seen run-
ning in from the side and back entrances
and quickly occupied the corridors of the
building. The clerks and loungers in the
premises were dum founded at the whole



affair. The news spread quickly by tele-
phone over the city. The Government at
this very moment had a guard at the bar-
racks not 300 yards distant from the scene,
of eighty-seven men, thoroughly equipped,
disciplined, officered and drilled, and also a
very efficient police force of about one hun-
dred men, with a full supply of arms and
ammunition at the police station for their
use. The first impulse of the Government
was to order the officer in command of the
Barracks to occupy the Government Build-
ing and arrest the thirteen proclaimers, to-
gether with all who were carrying arms
without authority. But as this meant a
collision, and the U. S. troops would from
all points of attack be under fire, the Min-
ister of Foreign Affairs immediately com-
municated with Mr. Stevens, who informed
him in writing that it was his intention to
support the filibusters with the U. S. troops,
if any effort were made by the Hawaiian
Government to assert its authority and to
occupy the Government Building. During
the time consumed in communicating with
the U. S. Minister, over 200 of the old mem-
bers of the native volunteer regiment, which
was disbanded by the Reform Government
in 1887, and who were well drilled and
anxious for service, collected at the Bar-
racks, and over one hundred natives and
foreigners, friendly to the Government,
assembled at the Station House to offer their
services to the Marshal. There was a full
supply of arms and ammunition at both
places to arm and equip all present, and to
spare. A Gatling gun with a full supply of
ammunition, boiler-plate shield, etc., was
in the entrance hall of the Station House,
while four breech-loading field pieces and
four Gatling guns were at the Barracks with.
a large supply of best ammunition of all
kinds. At both places the friends of the
Government were rapidly increasing in
numbers, and so far as the immediate issue,
was concerned, there would have been no
difficulty in the Government reasserting its
authority at once. The officers and men at
the Barracks and the Marshal and police
with their friends at the Station House were
both ready and anxious to try the issue,
which could in no sense have been doubtful.
Hon. Paul Neuman and other friends of the
Government, at this juncture, in view of






QUESTIONS OF THE DAY.



131



the attitude of Minister Stevens, advised
the surrender to the U. S. troops. The
Queen's proclamation and protest, already
published, was the result of their advice,
and the Government surrendered every-
thing, trusting to the magnanimity and
sense of justice of the American people for
a correction of the outrage committed.

The filibusters immediately organized
and proclaimed what they were pleased to
term a Provisional Government, with an
"executive council" of four men and an
" advisory council " of fourteen. These to-
gether resolved themselves into a Star-
chamber, arrogating legislative powers,
holding secret sessions, enacting laws, pay-
ing out moneys from the Public Treasury at
their own will, enlisting a standing army,
driving the Queen from the palace, disband-
ing her guards, stopping altogether her
allowance in the civil list, seizing the rev-
enues of the Crown Lands, and in effect,
declaring themselves by proclamation and
enactment to be possessed of the peculiar
animal fecundity of that lower order of rep-
tiles — of which the tad-pole is a type — which
without perceptible inconvenience repro-
duces a tail or other member which may
have been accidentally misplaced. In like
manner the Provisional Government in
secret session, without the slightest refer-
ence to the public wishes, fills any vacancy
in its number occasioned by whatever cause.

One of the first acts of the new regime was
to compel all officials to take the oath of
allegiance to it as a Government, more es-
pecially the native Hawaiians, and remorse-
lessly dismiss all of whom there was the
least doubt — treating an expression of pa-
triotism on the part of an Hawaiian born as a
crime, and inaugurating a business boycott
against any member of the community not
wholly in sympathy with it. The ranks of
the " Regular Army " were filled with waifs
and strays, ex-convicts, fugitives from jus-
tice in other lands, deserters from the mer-
chant vessels in port, and vagrants who were
under police surveillance when the filibus-
ters came into power, scarcely any of whom
can claim American citizenship. In less than
two weeks after the emeute, the lack of dis-
cipline and mutinous character of the het-
erogeneous crowd composing the " Regular
Army," frightened the filibusters and Min-
Vol. IV— 9



ister Stevens into proclaiming a protectorate
over the country; and on the 1st day of
February, accordingly, the American flag
was raised over the Government Building.
As the Hawaiians and their friends were
unarmed and perfectly helpless, and were
quietly awaiting the decision from Wash-
ington, the protection could only have
been against their own ungovernable min-
ions. Notwithstanding all these acts of
aggression, so out of harmony with the
notions of universal freedom of these later
days of the nineteenth century, the Hawaiian
people following the advice of their Queen,
and their white friends have patiently sub-
mitted, never doubting that substantial
justice would be done them and their nation
as soon as the true state of the case was
known by the authorities at Washington.

In consequence of this feeling, the arrival
of Hon. James H. Blount as a Commissioner
with '* paramount authority " in all matters
affecting relations with the Government of
the Hawaiian Islands was hailed with delight
by the native Hawaiians and their friends,
and his immediate withdrawal of the Pro-
tectorate was accepted as an evidence of
good faith foreshadowing an early re-estab-
lishment of the Status Quo of January 16th,
1893. The impenetrable mystery and reti-
cence which the Commissioner maintains,
however, is exceedingly disappointing and
annoying to the people of whatever politi-
cal party. Unintentional as it may be on
his part, this attitude of inaction may pre-
cipitate a bloody conflict, which has simply
been averted heretofore by the extraordin-
ary feeling of confidence with which the
native Hawaiians look to the United States
for the reversal of the wrong done them. It
is the firm conviction of the Hawaiians and
their friends that simple justice demands the
United States authorities should restore the
conditions to exactly the point and status
existing on the 16th of January, when
American guns at the command of Minister
Stevens made it possible for the filibusters
to seize the reins of Government. Every
day's delay strengthens the Provisional
Government, which is now making every
effort to secure the signature of native
Hawaiians to Memorials in favor of annexa-
tion, and approving of the present form of
Government. To this end they are using



132



QUESTIONS OF THE DAY.



every threat and menace they dare, as well
as holding out impossible inducements, and
making promises never intended to be ful-
filled. In its mad efforts to procure these
signatures, the Annexation Club, having its
headquarters in the building occupied by the
United States Consulate, has placed upon
its rolls as citizens and voters every seaman
and deserter from the shipping in port; sick
men temporarily located at the hospitals;
and every other waif and stray found on the



Online LibraryCharles Frederick HolderThe Californian (Volume 4) → online text (page 17 of 120)