Charles Frederick Holder.

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Borley was told by the first sergeant

to report to the lieutenant for duty.
When he came back Dan told me
that the lieutenant was ordered out
after the deserters, and he, Dan.
being first on the list of corporals for
detail, was going along and w .
to take one man, and I could be that
man if I liked. I was glad enough
to go— anything in the nature 1
change from the monoton j
routine being welcome. ' Tl
were to take our carbines and twenty
rounds of ammunition, five <
rations, an overcoat and a bias
We saddled our horses at the stab
and leading the lieutenant s horse,
rode up to his house, where
mounted while Dan went inside and
reported. The lieutenant came out
in a few minutes, followed presently
by his wife. Although the
were going after were two of the
worst characters in the troops and
had, moreover, stolen their horses and
arms, their pursuit was not regarded
as particularly dangerous duty. 1
lieutenant's wife had no great rea-
son for being alarmed, nevertheless
while her husband was securing his
outfit on the saddle, she said to Bor-
ley, as a woman will under such cir-
cumstances: "Take good care of my
husband, corporal."

44 Yes'm," replied Dan, turning red,
as usual, and saluting, " I will."

And so the order was given to
mount and we rode off.

The lieutenant evidently had some
information that he was acting on,
for he took the trail that led to the
mines near the Canadian border and
followed it at a trot all that day and
late into the night. We made no fire
when we camped, but eating a 1
supper, rolled ourselves in our blan-
kets, and were up and in the saddle
again at the first break of dawn.
When we mounted the lieutenant
cautioned us to keep a sharp look-
out, as the signs were getting fr<
He, himself, rode first, Dan next,
and I brought up the rear. It
about an hour after sunrise when I
thought I saw T something move in



the bushes on the side of the trail
ahead of me. Just as I was going to
call Dan's attention to it, he sud-
denly jabbed the spurs into his horse's
side so that the brute gave a great
leap and landed alongside of the lieu-
tenant, while at the same moment
Dan threw his carbine to his shoul-
der, facing around on the bushes.
Instantly there came a jet of smoke
from the brush, with a flash and a
report, met half-way by the fire from
Dan's gun, the two explosions com-
ing so close together they almost
seemed like one. The lieutenant's
horse had swerved when Dan shoved
between it and the bushes, and then
had reared at the sound of the shoot-
ing, but the lieutenant wheeled it
back on to the trail and drew his re-
volver. By that time Dan's horse
had started running up the trail and
was out of sight behind a turn. My
own horse was dancing a little, but I
had him in hand, and sent a shot
into the bushes on general principles.
Whereupon a voice that I recognized
as belonging to one of the deserters,
named Morrow, called out: "Don't
shoot any more! I surrender!"

" Hold up your hands, then, and
come out!" said the lieutenant.

"I can't, sir," replied Morrow.
"Donovan's killed and is lying on
me, and my arm's broke so that I
can't move him."

The lieutenant hesitated a moment,
not believing this, then gave the
order to dismount. Tying our horses,
he and I went into the brush with
our revolvers ready to shoot in case
of treachery, but we found matters as
Morrow had said. The lieutenant
took his gun away and we lifted the
dead man off of him, and then, while
I tied up his arm as well as I could,
Morrow told us that it was the one
shot fired by Borley that had wounded
him and killed his companion. " We
were taken by surprise," he said.
" We didn't know you were so close
and had only time to hide our horses
and get into the brush. I had no
idea of fighting, and was kneeling

behind Donovan, with my gun on
the ground. But when the lieutenant
came along, Donovan up with his
carbine and pointed it at him. I
whispered, 'For God's sake don't
shoot!' but he fired, and just as he
fired the corporal jumped in and let
us have it, and the ball went right
through Donovan's neck and hit me
in the wrist. "

Then the lieutenant said to me:
" Go and see what has become of the

I had not far to go, for I found him
just beyond the bend of the trail,
lying on the ground, to all appear-
ances dead. J guessed then that he
had got the bullet Donovan had
meant for the lieutenant, and sure
enough, when I put my hand under
his coat to see if his heart was beat-
ing, I found a wet spot on his breast.
His heart had not stopped, but was
fluttering so feebly I did not think
that we could get him in to the post
alive. But the lieutenant made a
compress for the wound and band-
aged it with strips torn from his
shirt, and gave him some whiskey
and water, which revived him. Then
he rigged a horse litter with a couple
of saplings and our blankets and
hitched the deserters' horses to it, so
that Dan was carried as easily as pos-
sible. When we were ready for the
road the lieutenant sent me ahead to
bring help from the fort.

I arrived at the post about mid-
night, and getting a fresh horse, rode
back with the doctor. He was able
to give Dan sufficient relief to enable
him to reach the hospital alive, but
that was all, for the doctor said he
could not possibly live another day.
I was worn out and slept for twelve
hours, but in the morning I went to
the hospital and sat by my bunky's
side. He was suffering frightfully.
His face was ashen pale, and as the
paroxysms of agony took hold of him
he writhed and lifted himself, and
cursed the man that had shot him,
calling him all the vile names known
to the barracks, and they were not a



few. He grew weaker and weaker
after each attack, and when they sub-
sided fell back exhausted and panting
for breath.

It was just after guard-mount that
the doctor came into the ward and
with him the lieutenant, who had al-
ready spent a good part of the night
with the wounded man, trying to
help him. The doctor felt Dan's
pulse and answered the lieutenant's
inquiring look by saying in a low
tone: "He can't last much longer."
Then the lieutenant said to Dan:
"Corporal, my wife would like to
speak to you, to thank you. Will you
see her?"

Dan had watched all who ap-
proached his bed with a dumb, hope-
less look, but now his face percepti-
bly brightened in assent. So the
lieutenant went out into the hall,
where his wife was waiting, and

brought her into the room. She
came to Dan's side and lookec
him and said, "Oh, I'm so sorry !
I'm so sorry!" while Dan gazed up
at her with his hollow eyes. Then
the tears began to roll down her
cheeks at the sight of his suffering,
and she leaned over him and wiped
the death -sweat from his forehead
with her handkerchief— a trifle of
lace and cambric — and murmured:
"Poor fellow! Is there nothifl
can do for you?" Dan looked at her
wistfully, but the next moment his
lips tightened over his teeth :tnd
he motioned for the lieutenam
come to him, and gasped: "The
pain's coming on me — take her

The lieutenant led his wife away
weeping, while the agony again took
hold of Dan. But from this time on
until he died he endured it silently.



THERE are two forces of nature
which appear in human charac-
ter, the active and the inert.
So in politics, in popular government
there are two general elements, the
aggressive and resistant, or the pro-
gressive and non-progressive.

The Democratic party came into
existence sixty-five years ago, and
since then it has carried eight presi-
dential elections, and when Mr.
Cleveland's present term expires it
will have had control of the execu-
tive branch of the Government thirty-
two years. The opposition to the
Democratic party has carried nine
elections, and Presidents chosen by
it have administered the Govern-
ment thirty-six years. At first and
for a time the Democratic was the
aggressive party of the country, but
since it fell under the control of the
slave power its attitude has been de-

fensive. It has defended the worst
of causes, and has suffered defeats
that would have resulted in the de-
mise of any other party, and should
have destroyed its very existence.
That it survives and has gained re-
cent successes may be attributed
mainly to the fact that it has been
the most thoroughly organized and
best disciplined political force the
country has ever known. It claims
to be the rendezvous of the conse:
tive men of the nation — it certainly
is the non-progressive, the resistant
party. It is natural that the progres-
sive and resistant elements should be
in conflict. The one sees that im-
provement should be made and has
the courage to undertake it, but the
other never looks to the front, and
regards innovation with doubt and
fear. The resistant element is more
easily organized and submits to dis-



cipline better than the aggressive,
for activity means thought and indi-

The Whig party possessed a high
degree of intelligence and individual-
ism, and consequently its members
would not submit to severe discipline.
It was unable, except in two national
elections, to overcome the lockstep
tread of its antagonist. In the last
one it only succeeded through defec-
tion in the ranks of its opponent,
caused by factious dislike of a candi-
date. It had so little coherence that
when the tremendous conflict be-
tween freedom and slavery came on
its dissolution was inevitable. The
Republican party was organized from
the aggressive elements of both the
old parties, and to combat for a great
principle. It appealed to the intelli-
gence and conscience of the country
and drew to its folds men of convic-
tion, courage, and energy. It was
aggressive upon a great wrong, and
the cause it advocated aroused the
enthusiasm and determination of its
members, which enabled it to over-
whelm the trained forces of its op-
ponent. Its successes have been un-
paralleled and its achievements will
stand as the greatest in our history
up to the present time.

A political party may be formed to
do a particular work and disappear
when it is done, or it may have a
prolonged existence, if when a par-
ticular object has been accomplished
it passes to and takes up new issues
which are ever rising. To a certain
extent a new issue has the effect of
reconstructing parties, though it has
been rare that a marked inroad has
been made in the Democratic party,
whatever position it has taken upon
new questions. Since its organiza-
tion the Republican has been the pro-
gressive party, and in the main has
done its work well, otherwise it could
not have gained such conspicuous
successes in carrying elections ; but it
must not make the mistake of sup-
posing that there ever will come a
time when all necessary work maybe

considered done, or that it can succeed
or survive on its record merely. Its
attitude in the past, which has gen-
erally been correct and just, made it
an irresistible power, and because its
members believed that the party was
true to the interests of the masses of
the people. It is this that has made
it victorious, and not that organiza-
tion and discipline that can be en-
forced on men of less intelligence.
Republicans will not stand in line
except when something of value is to
be accomplished for the country. Be-
cause slavery has been swept away,
the solidarity of the republic as-
sured, the great war debt reduced to
comparatively trifling proportions, a
national circulating medium secured,
and methods of administration im-
proved through Republican manage-
ment and legislation, it must not be
presumed that there is no further
mission for the Republican party.
The country has a right to expect
that a party which has accomplished
so much will address itself to what is
now demanded to promote the gen-
eral welfare, and unless it takes up
new questions suggested by ever-
changing conditions, with wisdom,
intelligence, and courage, it cannot
hold its membership, and will pass
into an insignificant minority party.
It is a common experience that
when a party has acquired great
strength through the efforts of good
and patriotic men, and especially
when it has been successful for a
considerable time, bad men join it
from sinister motives. There are al-
ways those who have political or other
interests to promote, and they seek
associations with a party that has the
power to advance them. To such,
convictions are nothing. Those also
disposed to ring manipulation, when
they discover a strong and compact
power, seek to put themselves in lead
in the hope that they may be able to
use it to their advantage. The re-
publican party has suffered at times
and in localities from such accessions
to its strength. When it appears



that these elements gain control and
dictate policies, it is necessary to ad-
minister an alterative remedy by
selecting for leadership men whose
characters and sentiments are a guar-
antee that honesty, efficiency, and
progressiveness will be carried into
legislation and administration. Po-
litical parties, like individuals, should
occasionally, at least, revise and im-
prove their habits. The money
power never undertakes to organize
a political party, but allies itself to
that which, for the time being, seems
most controllable in its interest.
The shortcomings of the Republican
party in some instances are attributa-
ble to this influence, and it has suf-
fered the consequences. It is natural
to feel and act leniently and gener-
ously toward those who render ser-
vice, but no party in this country has
been able to dominate for any length
of time, which has favored classes
instead of the masses.

Conditions which are constantly
changing give rise to new questions.
A political party which does not ob-
serve the current of events and adapt
its policies to changes as they take
place is incapable of managing the
affairs of a great nation. It must
have the disposition and genius to
employ measures adaptable to supply
the wants of the country under all cir-
cumstances. Lamartine said, "that
Napoleon was clear-sighted as to the
past, but blind to the future." If the
Republican party possesses the latter
quality of Napoleon's mind, it need
not calculate on future success. No
party should succeed which cannot
comprehend the present and forecast
the future with a reasonable degree
of intelligence. With the Republican
party "the past is secure," but the
question is: Has it worn itself out in
the work it has already done, or will it
take cognizance of new conditions
and wants and undertake to provide
for them with the intelligence, cour-
age, and energy with which it has
performed its previous work? If it
does not, it might as well be consid-

ered as "gathered to its fathers," for
the independent and aggressive of its
membership will seek other affilia-
tions where activity instead of iner-
tia prevails. Republicans cannot be
held together through the mere force
of party drill. They want that which
will animate, something that prom-
ises promotion of the public welfare.
There are conditions at the present
time that demand such change of
policy as will remove evils as speedily
as practicable without producing de-
structive consequences.

The fact cannot be disguised that
there is a struggle between capital
and labor, between a class and the
mass. How it has been provoke
immaterial, the fact exists and must
be dealt with. The i not

whether one interest shall be subor-
dinated to another, but as to how the
rights of all shall be respected and
all interests protected and justly pro-

There are trusts and combinations
to enhance income upon capital at
the expense of the laboring and con-
suming classes, and these must be
suppressed through the necessary
legislation. It is to the credit of the
Fifty-first Congress, which was Re-
publican, that it enacted a law to sup-
press them in interstate trade, but
this step should be followed up in the
States as to domestic traffic to an ex-
tent that will cause the principle of
competition to be respected. The
disparity in the possession of wealth
is alarming to many minds, and the
condition is unnatural. Equality in
the possession of wealth is an im-
possibility, as men are unequally en-
dowed mentally and physically. But
the disparity which exists cannot be
accounted for by these differences.
It has resulted in large part from poli-
cies which favored the few, which
has enabled capital to acquire an
undue proportion of produced wealth.
The disparity has become so great
that it is both alarming and irritat-
ing; so much so that there is some
reason to apprehend that efforts may



be made to remove it through revo-
lution and violence. It is a subject
to which the public mind is earnestly
addressing itself, and many remedies
are proposed. That some of them
should be impracticable and inde-
fensible is but natural, yet there are
others which are practicable and
would produce good results without
harm to any interests, except to those
which seek special advantages. The
tariff policy of the Republican party
protects American labor from the
competition of cheap foreign labor.
In this no change is necessary. It
is natural that the party should re-
spect the interests of toilers, for it
was organized to ultimately remove
unpaid and coerced labor from the

It is not best that any party should
advance too rapidly, for the interests
of the various classes are so inter-
woven that a sweeping policy might
do injustice, might do more harm
than good. The capitalist class has
had advantages from the fact that
the country has suffered for several
years from an inadequate volume of
circulating medium, which has given
money an undue earning power. The
fact that the volume should Keep
pace with the increase of population,
production, and trade has been disre-
garded in our financial legislation.
The adequacy of the volume has been
sacrificed to the idea of good money,
and on the assumption that gold only
is good money. Our financial theory
has been formed with reference to in-
ternational dealings, and in disregard
of our domestic commerce, which
is more than ten times greater than
our foreign commercial transactions.
Whatever our laws make a legal ten-
der for all public and private debts
and dues, is good money in domestic
transactions. How the volume of
the circulating medium shall be en-
larged to meet the wants of business
is, perhaps, the most important ques-
tion now before the country. It
is unfortunately a sectional issue, a
contest between the capitalist and

producing classes. That a large
majority of the people of the nation
favor free coinage of silver is cer-
tain, and that there is a deficiency of
money is nearly universally felt; it
has been demonstrated by the strin-
gency that created such a scare or
havoc among the banks. It was not
the insolvenc3 r of many of the banks
that forced them to close, but the in-
sufficiency of their means to accom-
modate business. Free coinage of
silver will supply the deficiency to
an extent at least, and perhaps fully.
If it will not, then some measure
must be devised that will. The Re-
publican party should take the side
of free coinage of silver as a matter
of justice and a measure of policy.
If the experiment should not estab-
lish the fact, it will produce money
enough to supply business wants;
then some additional measure will
have to be devised, for the producing
and commercial classes will not much
longer endure the evils of monetary
stringency which oppresses them,
makes profit for the capitalists, and
increases the disparity in the pos-
session of wealth.

The laws of taxation require re-
modelling and on the principle that
burdens should be imposed some-
what in accordance with ability to
bear them. In national taxation two
measures are proposed: one is a gra-
duated income tax and the other is
a graduated inheritance tax. There
are objections to the first as well as
argument for it. One objection is,
that it is inquisitorial, which applies
to all taxes, except that upon land.
If that were all, it scarcely rises to the
dignity of consideration. There are
objections to an income tax of no in-
considerable weight. In business a
tax is treated as one of the expenses.
It is taken into account by the mer-
chant and manufacturers in fixing
prices at which they will sell, by the
banker in establishing his interest
rate, and by the carrier in making
his charges for transportation.

It is doubtful if the poorer classes



would not have to pay more for what
they are compelled to buy than they
would save through a reduction of
taxation. Besides this it would be a
restraint upon enterprise, the greater
as the tax is made higher. The in-
heritance tax is not subject to any of
these objections. It is easily col-
lected, for the records in the probate
court would disclose what it would
be. Those who would pay it would
not have the merit of having earned
it. The natural law is that the prop-
erty of a deceased person escheats
to the community. It goes to chil-
dren or other heirs or devisees
through the grace of government,
and for this it is but just that the
beneficiary should contribute some-
thing toward the support of the
benefactor. Though men are un-
equally endowed by nature, it is
good policy that all should begin life
as nearly equal as is practicable so
far as the possession of the things of
earth is concerned. Desire for such
dominion is a tremendous stimulant
to exertion, but those who inherit
what satisfies them are deprived of
such stimulation. Human history
shows that but few sons of rich men
add to their patrimony; they rather
squander their inheritances. In this
country especially great achieve-
ments in the public service, in the
professions, in science, art, litera-
ture, and the acpuisition of wealth
have been by those mainly who be-
gan life in moderate circumstances
or poverty.

There is a measure which can only
be adopted by the States, and it is
the exemption of homesteads of lim-
ited value from taxation. The con-
stitution of California is different
from that of any other State. It pro-
hibits such exemption and would
have to be amended in order to carry
the principle into effect. The laws
of all the States exempt homesteads
from seizure and sale to satisfy pri-
vate indebtedness, but the tax gath-
erer can turn the widow and orphan,
the poor and distressed out of house

and home to satisfy a public debt.
If an individual can be made to lose
his debt, consistency and an extension
of the principle of humanity would
seem to require that the Government
should collect its revenues from those
who are fortunate enough to pea
more than a homestead of lin
value. The glory of this count!
that a far greater percentage of the
people own their homes than in am
other nation, but the decrease in the
last few years, if not alarming,
greatly regretted by all patriots and
philanthropists. Our highest duty
is to protect the home. And if the
Republican party is true to itself as
it has been to the country, it will
make this measure a part of its plat-
form, and as soon as it gains the
power will carry it into effect. It
will not conflict with the principle
of equality and uniformity of taxa-
tion, for the homesteads of all will be
exempted. It will be applying the
principle of imposing burdens accord-
ing to ability to bear them. The
taxation of inheritances and exemp-
tion of homesteads will have some
effect in lessening the present dis-
parity in the possession of wealth.

It is not difficult for any intelli-
gent man to imagine that he can sug-
gest the measures which are neces-
sary to remove all the evils which
afflict the country. There are those
who are in too much haste and those
who move too leisurely. It is not con-
sidered wise by the medical profes-
sion to administer too many medi-
cines at once, but it is deemed better
to experiment first with that which
seems to be the probable pana-
cea for the disease. The specific
measures which I have suggested
seem to be applicable to the most
distressing ailments, and perhaps
will restore the country to a health-

Online LibraryCharles Frederick HolderThe Californian (Volume 4) → online text (page 91 of 120)