Charles Frederick Holder.

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found in abundance. Many of these
tracks show but three toes: in some
instances, however, there are distinct

impressions of four. The extreme
length of the loo

toe in any one of

these bird ti

five inches, and the

stride nieasnn -

little more than two

feet. Several *

distinct tracks ofd

are to beseen, as well

as tl.

tile imprint of which

IS the same as that

of the horse <>f to

day. Still of:

tracks, resembling

tho>e of a wolf nia\
l>e traced for twenty
feet or more, when
they arc also lost in
the cliff, and near the

western limit of the

quarry there are in-
dications <»f a large
animal having I
lowed in the mud."

Dr. Harkness prob-
ably refers to the
hollow where tin
mains of the BUI
don were found at the
time the shoeshoj.

was being built, as it
is the only spot in
the prison yard b

ing any evidence of
the kind mentioned
by him. By walk
southwest from this

spot to a thirty I
foot wall, we come to
the extinct geyser
course shown in the

illustration, with the
various formations in
the towering wall
behind the two in-
dividuals at the base.

This geyser must have simply l>een
covered up and squelched by the de-
posits of shifting sand, only to break



6o2



NEVADA FOOTPRINTS.



out in some other spot, as about 250
yards north of it, there are three im-
mense swimming tanks for the use of
the warden and the attaches, constantly
fed by hot water from springs of like
kind. They have never failed to
flow, and all the water used by the
institution is from this source.

The clam shells and other fossils in
Plate 1, are taken from a three foot
deposit of clay and sand-stone, at the
base and thirty feet to the left of the
extinct geyser. Figure 1, of Plate 1,
shows the course of the root of a sage-
brush in the center of a sand-stone
rock. It is about two inches acn>^>
and penetrates the stone. Figures
2 and 3 are the outlines of pet-
rified roots imbedded in the clay and
protected during the countless years
by the soft sediment. In the right hand
corner of Plate 1, Figure 4, is
plainly visible a portion of a
snail hole, the dark rings running
around it indicating the discoloration
made by the glutenous substance-
thrown off from the body of the little
creature. The interior of this slender
hole is polished, still retaining its
luster equal to that produced by new
varnish. The clam shells in this place
were all taken out of the clay and
sandstone strata shown in Plate
3, extending from the elbow to
the feet of the person sitting down.
The prisoners have converted them
into table ornaments of different kinds,
to be sold to the visitors at fifty and
twenty-five cents each. Very few
people have visited the State prison
without securing some relic to take-
away with them, and although 5,000
visitors and curiosity seekers have in-
vestigated these signs of the dead
races and species in the last two
years, there still remain tons upon
tons of specimens which are being
constantly brought to light. Warden
Frank McCollough has in his possess-
ion a few arrow heads, stone-plates
and vases found in the quarry by the
blasters. The arrow-heads are made
of the finest transparent flint, and
measure from two to five inches.



The plates and vases are very crude
in form, but absolutely indestructible,
being made from a hard grayish rock,
considerable of which can be seen on
the surface at the present day.

In this portion of the yard are many
footprints of the human being, who
seemed to strike a thick layer of soft
mud, into which he sank several inches
each step. Most of these tracks tend
northwest and finally disappear in the
western wall, which is the highest in
the yard. Coming out from beneath
this wall are round tracks, evidently
made by some of the feline family.
They are sixteen in number, and trend
southeast to the southern wall, where
they blend with a wolf track, and
finally become indistinct in what ap-
pears to be a hard formation with con-
siderable sand in it. A plaster cast of
the eat traek can be seen in Plate 2,
renting on top of the petrified bone.
Perhaps at this point it would be well
to explain this fossil. It was
found by a prospector between Pine
Grove and Wiley's Station in Lyon
County, protruding from the earth
with the joint up, about two feet. He
attempted to remove it from the soil,
which had become firmly set around
it. but it was solid as a rock. He
broke it off without securing further
assistance, and brought it to Genoa,
Nevada, where it was placed on exhi-
bition for some months. Across the
top it measures eight inches, and when
struck it gives out a metallic sound,
similar to that produced by marble
when struck with a hard instrument.
It is extremely heavy and the marrow
very distinct. At the broken end it is
as hard and brittle as delicate coral.

This bone created considerable com-
ment among medical men, and was
pronounced by some to be the femur
Done of an extinct race of human
beings, existing many thousand years
ago. In its petrified state it weighs
about fort\' pounds, some twenty-
five pounds heavier than it looks.

The late Samuel Coleman Wright,
ex-Superintendent of the U. S. Mint
in Carson, became verv much inter-



NEVADA FOOTPRINTS.



603



ested in the fossil, and agreed to sub-
scribe sufficient funds to secure the
remaining bones necessary to complete
the skeleton. The discoverer appeared
unable to locate the exact spot and, in
consequence, the interest died out.
This bone is said to be a fragment of
the race of men who walked upon
the shores of the extinct lake, and
left their footprints on the clay to
muddle the scientists of this present
advanced era, and furnish food for
geological cranks.

It may be well to further ex-
plain the pictures in Plate 2 : Fig-
ures 2 and 3 are casts taken from
the prints in the tunnel, illus-
trated in Plate 4, Figure 2 being the
most perfect shaped foot (twenty-
one inches) in the series. There are a
considerable number almost equal to
it. Figure 3 is one of the smallest
in the yard, it being slightly over
seventeen inches in length. Figure 6
represents the' tooth of the mastodon
found imbedded in a block of sand-
stone, and in a perfect state of preserva-
tion. The masticating surface, still
glistening with enamel, can be plainly
seen on the right side of the fossil.
This tooth measures nearly four inches
across the top, and resembles dirty
ivory.

Figure 7 represents the petrified
marrow of the shin bone of a masto-
don, the sandstone surrounding it.
The white spot near the center of the
rock is the bone referred to! It is
nearly thirty inches in circumference,
md pieces can be chipped out with a

>cket knife. It goes through
te rock and appears in the same form

the other side.

Figures 8 and 9 are the cameo and
itaglio casts of the frog of a horse's
ioof, the outside line of the entire

>of being very plain in Figure 8. It

about the same size as the hoof-

ints of the horse of the present day.
r ery few of these tracks have been

:ated up to the present time.

Figures 4 and 5 are excellent casts of

le water bird referred to by Professor

Conte. The longest toe measures




PLATE 4— FOOTPRINTS IN THE TCNNEL.

five inches. These tracks are very
thick along the base of the eastern
wall, the highest point in the prison
yard.

The largest cast in PI;!'
Figure 2, is taken from one of the
mastodon tracks, and is twenty -five
inches in diameter ; the ridge slightly
inside of the outside edge represents
the track. They have been uncovered
in the tunnel some twenty feet, and
appear with unfaltering regularit'
the work progresses. All the indica-
tions in the fossil line point to the fact
that these tracks are genuine.

Since the excavations were made, a
fossil jaw of the elephant has been
found, also fossil teeth of the horse,
but both crumbled upon being exposed
to the air.

Professor Le Conte inclines to the



604



NEVADA FOOTPRINTS.



belief that the supposed human tracks
were made by a quadruped, and says :
"The strong argument for the bi-
pedal theory is the apparent singleness
of the tracks and the absence of toe
marks, while the one strong argument
for the quadrupedal theory is the wide
space between the right and left series
of tracks. To this may, perhaps, be
added also the size and shape.

' ' It seems to me that inductive cau-
tion requires that the judicious mind
should hold itself in suspense, await-
ing more evidence. Meanwhile, how-
ever, my own mind inclines strongly
to the latter theory.

"Since writing the above, I find that
Professor Cope, in American Natural-
ist, vol. 1 6, p. 195, and Professor Marsh
in a letter to me, regard the strata of
Carson quarry as belonging to the
Equus Beds. The age of these beds is
still doubtful; some regard them as
upper Pliocene, others as early Quart-
enary. They are probably upper Plio-
cene. The Carson strata, therefore,
are possibly deposits from King's
Lake, Shoshone, and not Lake La-
hontan. From deposits of this age
three species of gigantic ground sloths
are known, viz.: two species of Moro-
therium and one species of Mylodon.
It is not at all improbable, as suggested
by Marsh in his letter, that the sup-
posed human tracks were made by one
of these. The size, the stride, the
curve and the straddle all agree with
this supposition."

Opinions of the many people who
have come from all over the United
States and parts of Europe, are so
numerous, conflicting and varied that
it has been impossible to quote more
than two or three, these being from
scientists and geologists who are con-
sidered authorities. Estimates as to
the age of the prints range from 3,000
to 325,000 years, and, in consequence,
it is extremely diflicult to establish
an accurate figure.

It is quite evident that at some time
this entire country, running up from
the Gulf of California through San
Bernardino County, taking in Death's



and Panamint Valleys, was an arm of
the Pacific Ocean, which also passed
through Nye, Churchill, and Washoe
Counties, Nevada, into Pyramid Lake,
at which point immense deposits of
coral can be found to-day. It must
also have taken in Sixty Mile Desert,
near where the town of Dayton now
stands, as well as Eagle and Jack's
Valleys, already mentioned. On a
low range of hills, south of Carson
three or four miles, mother-of-pearl
shells have been found, and many frag-
ments are scattered around in the local-
ity. These shells have the appearance
of at one time belonging to the sea.

Throughout the entire United States
we cannot find such a field for scien-
tific research as the quarry of the
Nevada State Prison supplies, and
while the scientific men of this section
are estimating and theorizing on the
origin of the impressions in the clay,
the touch of time is slowly eating away
that which at some future day may be
of great importance to the world.

The Nevada World's Fair Commis-
sioners have taken from their resting
place two of the human tracks intact,
and numbers of bird and animal prints,
which are now on exhibition at the
Exposition, in t lie center of the hall
of Mines and Mining. Geologists and
scientists from all parts of Europe
have taken such an interest in them
that the United States Government
has already extended aid, appointed
an officer of the Bureau of Ethnology
to take charge of them and continue
the research as soon as convenient.
They probably attract as much atten-
tion as any one scientific study from
the Pacific Coast.

Many of the best plaster casts taken
by Prof. Harkness in the prison yard,
some years ago, are also displayed and
arranged in the relative positions
which they occupied in their original
situations in the hard clay.

The clam shells, showing evidence
of the existence of water, and the
formation of the deposit have been
arranged as an exhibit, in conjunction
with the footprints, coming as they do






MARGARET.



fr .5



from the same locality. The petri-
factions and bone fossils are being
closely studied by geologists, who
consider that in them lies the key to
their age, and the era in which they
were animated with life and motion.



Mr. James A. Ycrington, Chairman
of the Commission, says the most rep-
utable authorities claim that Nevada's
State Prison quarry is producth
more food for scientific research than
any other spot in America.



MARGARET.



BY DANIEL MORGAN.




HEY had worked to-
gether in his studio
side by side for a year;
he as master, she his
pupil in sculpture.
Long hours of silence
and hard work, varied
by a half hour's inter-
change of thought, wrought the magic
of a touch which accentuates the
fraternal attitude one assumes towards
another whose aims, whose ambitions
are one with his own.

He was of a strong, high-born
nature, who.se very strength sometimes
made him cruel in his judgment ; his
temperament being even, he had never
encountered the fierce fire of a danger-
ous temptation. His art w r as his all.
The outside world existed for him
only as a source from which he might
ga'her materials for the sustenance
and development of his genius ; love
and hope, all centered in his mistress,
art. True, he had his ideals to which
he clung with unvaried tenacity, but
he cherished them only as ideals, hav-
ing no time nor inclination for anal-
ysis, nor practical experiment.

vShe was silent, deep, discerning,
and at times so tenderly Womanly that
he would pause in amazement when
any incident in .student life called
forth the rich melodv of " the woman"



in her, which at other times she so
jealously guarded. After Mich mo-
ments she was prone to work harder,
dig more vigorously into the del-
less clay as if to punish something
tangibly for her previous momei
softening, for it was evident she had
schooled herself to "hard lines;" and
at each recurring evidence of weak-
ness, she took fierce delight in prun-
ing. But toward the faults of others
she maintained ever the sweetest flow
of sympathy and forg iv eness. fre-
quently, when the stm.io
crowded with those who con>ti-
tuted the class of which she was a
part, and when the malice of idle
tongues was turned against an absent
one, she had been known to drop her
modeling tools, her breath coining
quickly, her eyes even tearful
" O girls, don't speak that waj
of us know what motive led to such
acts ; far less do we know how deep
the sorrow, how cutting the pain and
sense of failure. One never kn<
what one might do himself."

Her character for firmness and
gentleness had won for her the £cn-
eral respect and regard of those who
knew and felt her daily influence, and
thus it was her wishes met with n
compliance. By her assiduity she had
won a step in advance of the class,



6o6



MARGARET.



and certain hours she occupied the
studio alone with her master, a man
seventeen years her senior, and it was
at these times she was particularly
reserved, worked harder, seemed more
absorbed in thought, until the teacher
himself fell to studying his pupil more
deeply. With questioning wonder he
marveled at her choice of subjects.
Why should a young, vigorous life
with such consummate skill, delicacy
and wondrous conception seek only to
trace, with the feverishness expressed
by the vigor of her strokes, the
lineaments of sorrow-crowned human-
ity, as she drew, from the clay the
embodiment of a burning truth, work-
ing its way towards something as yet
unformed — undetermined. She be-
came of infinite and absorbing
interest to him. Intuitively he
arrived at a confirmation of the exist-
ence of some hidden pain — some
definite sorrow, but never speculated
as to its full import. He was too
calm, too self-centered for that.

He grew to look forward to their
hour alone. All through the long
morning he found himself questioning:
what would be her mood ? Would
she receive his lighter thoughts ?
Would she brighten under them or, as
so often before, by a sudden look
whose sadness fell like a weight upon
his heart, silence him completely, and
turning gravely towards her work
question as to the probable result
upon a face where sorrow ( always
sorrow) sat for the first time ? Would
the lines remain permanent, or were
they to be pictured softened, as
though about to melt away at touch
of some happier experience ?

Thus from some hidden power she
possessed of moulding others, she
drove him to thoughtful words, and
silently they worked on, hearts and
brains replete with widely different
matter. The only sounds evincing
life were the deep sighs of her anxious
moments, the click of the tools now
and then, and the noise of the clay as
it fell in response to the ploughing of
the tools. At such times she made



vigorous onslaught, he suggesting
here and there a curve, or deeper
indentation, a line more closely
drawn. After such experiences
he returned home depressed, unsatis-
fied. Why did her moods vary so
rarely, and why this almost habitual
somberness ? And yet, how could she
ring from that unresponsive clay all
the power of a feeling, suffering soul,
unless she herself could feel? Oh, to be
able to turn to one's self all the wealth
and power of that tenderness — that
strength ! Would it not give to love
the very essence of life itself? And
all — all spent upon lifeless clay.

In vain he argued with himself ; in
vain he strove to conquer the urg-
ings of his nature, which tempted him
to gather to himself the alluring
thought of what life would be shared
with such a companion.

One day she seemed inclined to
talk, and prattled on until she recalled
the story of an erring girl, a former
pupil, whose heart had made her the
victim of deceit, man's heartless deser-
tion had completed. He listened,
interested to see what turn her
thought would take, and when she at
last exclaimed: "Yes, I have suc-
ceeded in breaking her chains. I have
freed her from him, for I taught her
how and why to despise him, and to
make a new world for herself outside
of love."

' ' You have done this, you say. And
do you hope for the regeneration of
this woman through this one experi-
ence ? No ! believe me the woman is
lost — lost ! Do you understand ? She
will never regain herself. She will go
on from experience to experience —
down, down to the very dregs of
despair, if she have feeling enough
left to be cognizant of it. You are
a dreamer. Women do not reform ;
they sink." •

Something made him pause. Was
it a gasp from her, or had he imag-
ined it? But there she stood before
him, perfectly colorless, her mouth
set. hard and firm, her nostrils
dilating.



MARGARET.






"Do you believe that?" she ex-
claimed.

"Yes, I do," he replied. "It is
the commonly accepted history of
such things. It is not only a falling
away from the path, but more — a
positive plunge into utter ruin ! You
did wrong to yourself to interfere."

Something in her eye forbade him
to say more. She turned her head
with a dignified poise towards the bust
upon which she had been working,
and with a voice clear and strong she
said :

" I did right!"

After that he dared not speak, be-
lieving she would only be hurt by his
strong difference with her on the sub-
ject, and as he preferred his own com-
fort and peace, he would rather silently
pass over the conversation on amicable
grounds, for he recognized with that
proud turn of head she also possessed
a strength and pride, as well as a
spirit of defiance which would not be
brooked. In his heart, too, he admired
her and warmly applauded her disin-
terestedness, futile as he believed her
efforts to be.

The incident was all but forgotten
by him, but not by her. His words
never ceased to beat their way into her
memory; they stood out in plain char-
acter in the very tapestries which
hung about the walls of the studio.
They were his, and she could but as-
sociate all that belonged to him as re-
flecting back his sentiments. She grew
colder and more reserved each day ;
paler, too, he thought. But work!
Why, she seemed all ambition, and her
sudden impulses sometimes threatened
destruction to the task so well begun,
and never before had she seemed so
imbued with the power of wresting
from her strong vigorous strokes the
expression and life of her thought.
"We are progressing," he would so-
liloquise.

Things went on in this way until he
could bear the suspense no longer, and
acknowledging to himself that he did
truly love the woman, he resolved to
tell her so.



It was a sad gloomy day in late fall,
the clouds hovering near the earth
veloping all mankind in their ttu
ening aspect — a discouraging omen,
surely, for a mission from which he
hoped so much. Coming into the
studio, he paused to scan the :
wherein he might read what mean
much for him. Never before had he
endeavoured to call from out the
written lines of the human face t In-
deepest import of human emoti.
Not even in the meat anxi«»us mo-
menta of early art training had lu- kit
the power lying hidden in the contour
of a visage, whose power for good or
evil seemed accentuated now by his
anxiety.

She met his gaze openly, for she was
of that frank nature which scorns ■
half-met look, and turning tO W aidl
her work was alxnit to begin.

44 Do not let us work just vet Miss
Headrick," he said. " I— I want to
talk to you. You are such a strange
creature ; I do not understand man
your w r ays. I sometimes even fear to
approach you, and yet -" he pan
here a moment, "I have seen yon
portray some of the most lovely attri-
butes wherein a warm full nature
shone, and I have been held in adinira
tion by your wealth of wonianlin
Then again you have been 10 bitterly
cold, so depressing, that I could not
draw a conclusion of it all. The cold-
ness seemed foreign to you, not a
yourself, but a forced condition. Tell
me of yourself; are you then the real
woman, or — or — . I own that in \<<ur
strength of character > on have •
Upon me, until I am no long* •
purpose unless you are near me or in
my thoughts. All that is high and
noble in me you awaken, and all that
I ever hope to be, it is only in the
power of your nature to draw from
me. In your work you have carved
out my destiny. I am a stroiu
better man in every sense, and fed and
know I owe it all to you. I low von
truly, sincerely, as a man loves, not as
a boy, whose fancies might be lit by
the soft smiles of a woman — but as one



6o8



MARGARET.



who holds as sacred all her higher
attributes. In you I see them —
strength, sweetness and, above all,
truth. Tell me. now, may I hope ? "

"You are cruel — cruel!" she cried
out, her voice trembling and her whole
form quivering with emotion. "The
love for which I have so hungered for
years ! This is more than human
heart can bear," and she burst into
uncontrollable weeping.

The man stepped back, speechless
with amazement.

"I do not understand," he said,
quickly ; " is it then a crime to offer
you the very love you crave ? ' '

She crossed to the window, standing
there trembling in every limb. Then
a sudden resolution seemed to move
her and she turned and walked firmly
toward him. He had by this time sunk
into a chair. She cast herself abjectly
at his feet, but when he would have
raised her, she determinedly refused to
change her position, and he, powerless
from shock, awaited her next move-
ment. She partly raised herself so her
face looked squarely into his. Then
with dilated eyes and lips trembling,
she exclaimed, " Listen ! You have
offered me what I admit I have longed
for with all the power of a lonely soul —
waited for, prayed for. But you your-
self have made it impossible for me to
accept. Your love is such as will
never be offered me again, but — but — ' '
she dropped her head, but only for a
moment, for she was a brave woman
and her resolution was taken.
Slowly she began to speak, and she
seemed to gain courage as the words
fell from her white lips, never faltering
until she had finished.

' ' Do you recall the words you once
uttered when you spoke of the hope-
lessness of saving a woman who had
fallen, and how you yourself said you
had no faith in their repentance nor
ultimate self-mastery? Well," her
voice trembled and she paused. He
looked into her pale face, startled and
bewildered, then his own countenance
blanched and a low exclamation burst
from his lips.



She sprang up and started towards
the door, but suddenly he grasped her
arm as if to restrain her. She, with



Online LibraryCharles Frederick HolderThe Californian (Volume 4) → online text (page 80 of 120)