Charles B. (Charles Barney) Cory.

Montezuma's castle and other weird tales online

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the animal, but said nothing something
within him forced him to keep silence.
After a time he snapped his fingers and
called the dog by name.


" * " Did you speak ? " asked one of the
men, Stevens it was, I believe.

" t " I was only calling the dog," said

" < " What dog? " asked Stevens.

" ' " Why, that dog, of course," said Jud-
son, pointing at the animal.

" ' " You are crazy, man," answered
Stevens. " The heat yesterday was too
much for you; there is no dog there."

" 'Judson turned away; he began to fear
there might be something the matter with
his brain, and that there was no dog there
after all. But when he looked again there
he was as plain as ever. " I will take the
brute outside of camp and kill him when
I get a chance," he thought.

"' That evening when they made camp at
a small water hole, Judson walked away out
of sight and hearing of the camp. When
he could no longer be seen he turned, and,
aiming his pistol at the dog, pulled the


trigger. The bullet hit the ground between
the animal's legs, and he ran back a few
paces and stood grinning at Judson showing
his teeth, and his face looked like that of
his old partner. Judson picked up a large
rock and ran at the dog; the animal yelped
slightly and started for camp. Judson in-
creased his pace and the dog circled out
into the desert.

" l " Curse you," cried Judson, " I'll kill you
yet." Several times he threw stones at the
animal, and twice he fell, bruising himself
among the loose rocks. At last he sat down.

" < " What is the matter with you," shouted
Stevens. " What are you running about
and shouting in that way for?"

"'"That confounded dog of mine,"
answered Judson unthinkingly.

" ' " Nonsense, man, there is'nt any dog."

"'Judson walked slowly back to camp fol-
lowed closely by the dog. The men looked
at him strangely. That night when he went

* T


to sleep the brute came and lay down beside
him. A horrid fear took possession of him
and he pushed the thing away, but it imme-
diately crawled back again. At last he
arose and spent the rest of the night walking
up and down the desert, the dog following
close at his heels.

" ' When they arrived in Phoenix the doctor
ad\ 7 ised Judson to go to a quiet place and
rest, and gave him an opiate.'

" l Why don't he go back and get the
gold ? ' asked the Eastern man.

" ' Because as I have told you whenever
he starts to go back the dog meets him on
the desert, and he is only free from it when
he stays in Phoenix. He says the dog is his
old partner, and will never let him go back
there again. That is why he is willing to
sell his secret.'

" ' But how do you know if we pay him
this money,' asked the Eastern man, ' that
we can find the gold?'


" < Why, his map and directions together
with the photographs ought to make it sure.
Anyway, I am putting up $250 of my money
with your $350, and run as much risk as
you do ; besides, you never would have
known about it if it hadn't been for me.'

" < Won't he take less than $600? ' asked
the Eastern man.

" ' Not a cent ; I have tried him too often.
If I had $600 of my own I never would ask
any one to go in with me. It's a snap.'

" We found Judson seated in a big arm-
chair, smoking a meerschaum pipe. His
eyes had a peculiar wild expression, and he
glared at us as we entered.

"'What do you people want?' he asked.

" ( We have come to buy your claim,'
said the Prospector.

" Judson laughed a strange, hard laugh.

" ' Always the same gold, gold, gold.
Have you the money with you to pay for
it?' he asked.


"The Prospector produced a bag of
twenty-dollar gold pieces and shook it.
' Here it is,' he said, ' this gentleman and
myself have made up the amount

" ' Well,' shouted Judson, ' give me the
money and take the cursed claim, buried
gold and all, and much good may it do you !
I will go away far away from here. My
God, to think that I should sell a rich claim
like that for nothing! But I wouldn't go
back to it for all the gold in the world.
Three times I have tried, and each time
that dog devil met me at the edge of the
desert, grinning at me with the face of my
dead partner. Here are the photographs
and the map, take them and go, my head
aches; go away and leave me.'

" He buried his face in his hands, groan-
ing and muttering to himself. The Pros-
pector put the bag of gold on the table,
and taking the photographs and map left


the room. We followed him, closing the
door softly behind us."

"Did you find the gold?" I asked.

" I didn't look for it," answered the
Drummer. " They offered to let me in and
give me a third interest for $300, but some-
how I didn't like the idea, and the whole
thing seemed uncanny, and it is lucky I
didn't. The Prospector and the Eastern
man got back a week later without having
discovered the ' Mound of Eternal Silence,'
both mad as hatters, and each laying the
blame of the failure on the other. I have
always wondered since if Judson was really
as crazy as they thought he was."

" Why," I asked, " what made you doubt

" Oh," answered the Drummer, " I can't
exactly say I disbelieve his story, but
well, you see, about a month afterwards I
was in Phoenix again, and one night I saw
the Prospector and the lunatic taking a


drink at a bar together. A little later the
Prospector passed me without seeing me.
He was walking arm in arm with a stranger,
and as they went by I heard him say, ' If I
had the money I never would think of ask-
ing any one to go in with me. He calls it
the " Mound of Eternal Silence."' . . .
" They passed on, and their voices were
lost to me in the distance."



MALITA was a half-breed, the daugh-
ter of an old squaw man. She had
spent several years at the Indian school in
Phoenix, and had proved herself an apt
pupil. Later she went to work on Sim-
mons' Ranch. She was a very pretty,
healthy looking girl, and one day Morgan
Jones, the hunter and trapper, asked her to
marry him. She went with him to his cabin
near the Reservation and settled down.

Jones was a devil-may-care sort of chap,
who, when he had a little money, came to
the straggling one-horse town near the
Reservation, drank considerable whiskey,
and amused himself by running his pony up


and down the one street, firing off his gun,
and shouting at the top of his voice. This
was Jones' idea of a good time, and his
method of contributing his share to the
sanguinary ornamentation of the embryo

Malita made Jones a good wife, and at-
tended to his creature comforts to the best
of her ability, and when Jones returned to
the cabin in an inebriated condition she
soothed him, and put him to bed, looking
upon such incidents as a matter of course.
For a year or more they lived contentedly,
and a little boy was born to them.

On the Reservation lived an Indian
named Tixinopa, a splendid specimen of a
savage athlete, and the most noted runner
and hunter in his tribe. Like many of
his race, while hating the white man, he
loved the white man's fire-water, and it
made him surly and quarrelsome. He was
a natural leader, and often, at night, he


spoke with fiery eloquence of the wrongs
of his race, sowing the seeds of unrest and

Tixinopa was the only cloud which dis-
turbed the domestic horizon of the Jones
family. He haunted the vicinity of the
cabin, and was continually asking Malita
for whiskey and tobacco when Jones was
away, until at last Jones intimated to him
gently that his presence was, to say the
least, undesirable. Being a child of the
woods and hills, he did not have at his
command a large vocabulary of diplomatic
phrases to enable him to do this politely,
in fact, he was blunt.

In describing the interview to Malita
afterwards he said :

" I told him if he cum around here any
more I'd smash his head, an' he grunts an'
draws himself up this a-way, and looks ugly
and says, i he's a big Injun,' and I told him
to go to hell ! "


For some time Tixinopa kept away from
the cabin, but one day he appeared and
demanded whiskey. He was half drunk,
and his bloodshot eyes blinked at Malita as
he swayed unsteadily in the doorway.

a No, Tixinopa, there is no whiskey."

Tixinopa's eyes grew ugly. "You lie,
you half-breed squaw; but be it so, I will
take the boy away until you remember
where it is."

So saying he lifted the baby by the arm
and swung him on to his shoulder. The
child cried out with pain from its twisted
arm. Malita's heart sunk with a dreadful

" Give the child to me, Tixinopa, do not
be so rough; see, you have hurt him."

She tried to take the boy, but Tixinopa
pushed her away roughly and she fell to the
ground. Up she sprang and threw herself
upon him, trying to get the boy, and in the
struggle she scratched his face slightly, so




that the blood came. With a curse he
struck her full in the face with his clinched
fist and she fell as if dead, and lay with her
hands twitching feebly.

" Take your half-breed brat," he hissed,
throwing the baby roughly on the ground
beside her. He turned to walk away, but
something in the motionless form of the
child caused him to look again, and he saw
that his little head lay doubled under his
arm in a way that could only mean one
thing a broken neck.

Malita rose unsteadily to her feet and
looked about in a dazed way until her gaze
rested upon the little bod)' of her dead
baby; the next instant she was striking and
cutting at Tixinopa, screaming like a mad

The attack was so sudden and fierce that,
trained athlete and fighter as he was, Tix-
inopa received a deep cut on the shoulder
and a slight one on the arm before he sue-


ceeded in grasping her wrist, and twisting
the knife from her. Then, seizing her by
the hair, he drew her to him and drove the
knife twice into her breast, throwing her to
the ground, where she lay gasping her life
away in broken sobs.

Tixinopa stood for a moment looking at
Malita and was quite still. His arm pained
him and he held up his hand and watched
the blood dripping from his fingers. Then
he took a self-cocking revolver from his
belt and fired shot after shot into the bodies
of the dead baby and the dying mother.
Twice the hammer clicked on an empty
shell before he ceased to pull the trigger,
and he slowly turned away, pushing his
empty pistol into his belt. As he did so he
found himself face to face with Jones, but a
different Jones than the one he had known.
This Jones' face was white and drawn, and
looked years older than the other Jones.
The hand which held a pistol pointed at



him shook unsteadily. A minute, perhaps
two minutes, passed, and still the two men
faced each other; then an evil light came
into Tixinopa's eyes, and his hand slid
slowly towards the handle of his knife, to
be instantly smashed by a bullet from Jones'
pistol. Another shot and the other arm
was broken at the elbow. Neither man
had spoken, but now Tixinopa began a low,
wild chant. Raised to his full height, with
his broken arms hanging by his sides, he
chanted the death song of his people, the same
song which had been sung by his father, and
his father's father, and for generations past
by all the dying warriors of his tribe.

"Tixinopa," the voice was a husky
whisper, " for her sake I won't torture yer
as I would like ter, God give me strength
to keep from doin' it ! but I'm afeared He
won't unless I kill yer quick. All I hope is
that if there is a hell, your black soul will
roast in it for ever and ever, amen!"


The muzzle of the pistol was now within
a few inches of the naked breast; still the
low, wild chant went on, the bronze figure
standing as if turned to stone. Then another
shot and the chant stopped.

Ten minutes later a horseman rode slowly
into the desert. To his left, as he crossed
the half-dry bed of the alkali stream, two
Indian boys were skinning a rabbit alive
and laughing at its agony. From afar back
on the other side of the valley he heard the
strains of the "Star Spangled Banner"
played by the pride of the Reservation
the Indian band!


" "\7OU say," said Doctor Watson, as he
X rested one arm on the mantel and
looked thoughtfully at the open fire, "you
say there is no proof of the actuality of
what is called telepathy or though t-transfer-
rence, and perhaps you are right, but I have
several times in my life had experiences
which were very difficult to explain except
by some such theory, and if you care to
listen I will tell you one of them which I
have in mind."

Our chorus of approval evidently left no
doubt as to our desire to hear the story, for
Watson smiled, and lighting a fresh cigar
he began as follows:

"On the seventeenth of January last year


there was a slight wash-out on the Northern
road not far from Chicago, and the forward
trucks of one of the cars on train 61, on
which I was a passenger, left the rails, but
luckily the train was going slowly at the
time and there was little damage done
except a general shaking up of the pas-
sengers in the car as the forward wheels
bumped roughly over the sleepers for a few
yards before the train stopped. The other
cars did not leave the track, and only one
man was seriously injured.

"This man had been standing on the plat-
form at the time and was thrown between
the cars and badly crushed. I was close
to the end window and saw him fall, and
when the conductor called for a doctor I
responded at once.

" I found the man lying on a blanket sur-
rounded by a number of the passengers.
He seemed to suffer but little pain, and
I feared, from a casual examination, he


was badly injured internally, although he
was perfectly conscious; he was bleeding
at the mouth, and his legs seemed to be
paralyzed. He asked faintly if I thought
he was going to die, and I cheered him up,
as is customary in such cases, but shortly
afterwards he developed such serious symp-
toms that I felt forced to tell him I feared
he was seriously hurt, and it was quite
possible he would live but a few hours.

" Upon hearing this he became very
much agitated, and whispered to me that he
wished to speak to me alone, saying he had
something of the utmost importance to com-

" I thought it was probably some message
to send to some members of his family, or
some instructions regarding his affairs, but
after a few words I became very much in-
terested. He talked for fifteen minutes,
part of the time being sustained by the use
of stimulants. His story, which was a very


strange one, I will repeat as nearly as pos-
sible in his own words. After repeatedly
asking me to assure him there was no
possible chance of his recovery he said:

" ' It is not necessary for you to know my
name, but it is sufficient for me to tell you
that I received a good education in my
youth and graduated with high honors at
one of the large universities in this country.
I always had more or less interest in the
study of physiology, and during my college
course conducted a series of experiments
in hypnotism, and made some interesting
discoveries regarding the exaltation of the
senses, and especially in relation to illusion
and hallucination by the aid of post-hypnotic

" ' It had been my earnest desire to occupy
the position of professor of physiology in
one of the universities, but failing to obtain
a position of this kind, and having no means
of support, I gradually became poorer and


poorer, earning a livelihood as best I could,
until I became discouraged and attempted to
make money in a way not quite so honest.

"' The idea suggested itself to me during
a series of experiments which I had con-
ducted with a friend of mine. It so hap-
pened that this friend was paying teller in
one of our well-known banks of Chicago,
where he is to-day. He is a thoroughly
honorable man in every way, but I found
that he was a good hypnotic subject, or sen-
sitive, as we call it. At first he could not
be considered first class, but he was much
interested in the subject, and allowed me
to hypnotize him repeatedly. After a few
evenings he became very easily influenced
and one of the best subjects I had ever
had. I could put him to sleep in a moment,
simply snapping my fingers and telling him
I wished him to sleep; of course this can
only be done with sensitives who have been
repeatedly hypnotized.


"' Under these conditions I succeeded in
making him do very many wonderful things,
especially in the way of post-hypnotic sug-
gestions; a post-hypnotic suggestion is a
command given to hypnotized subjects
that at some future time they perform a
certain act. In most cases, in waking from
the hypnotic sleep they have forgotten that
the suggestion has been given them, but at
the time set they perform the act uncon-
sciously, as though by their own volition.
Not only will they do this, but after the act
is performed they usually sink into a quiet
sleep, 1 from which they awake after passing
into the normal sleep, and, as a rule, have
forgotten that they did anything unusual, or
that they have been hypnotized, and take up
the thread of thought again at the point
where they first entered the hypnotic con-
dition. They do not remember what they

1 This is unusual ; the subject rarely falls asleep after carrying out a
post-hypnotic suggestion unless commanded to do so. ED.


have done or seen. Their mind is a blank
as to all that occurred during the time
they were hypnotized.

" ' For the last two years I have been
rather fortunate, in a small way, speculating
in stocks. My capital being small, the
amount of money I could make was, of
course, comparatively little; yet I suc-
ceeded in doing very well until about
three weeks ago, when, by two or three
unfortunate speculations, I found myself
absolutely destitute, and without a penny
in the world. It was then the idea sug-
gested itself to me to hypnotize Mr.
Herrick and make him bring me money
from the bank. This of course was per-
fectly possible, if no accident occurred, or
no unforeseen difficulty presented itself,
which I had not previously thought of, as
the cashier would act simply as an instru-
ment, being governed entirely by my direc-
tions. I asked him in a casual way several


times about the affairs of the bank, and
learned one day that the bank would have
an unusually large balance in settling with
the clearing-house. It was the custom for
Mr. Herrick to lock up his own funds, and
simply state to the cashier that he had done

" ' According to a carefully arranged plan,
I hypnotized him last evening and com-
manded him to take all the money and
securities he had in his possession, after
settling with the clearing-house, and instead
of locking them in his vault to put them in
a bag, of course taking precautions to do
this when no one was observing him, and
then leave the bank in the usual manner.

" ' He was to take a carriage and drive
directly to a small, unoccupied house which
is situated on the corner of Blank and nyth

" ' It was my intention, as I had gone so
far, to go still further. I knew that Mr. Her-


rick would bring me the money and securi-
ties, and that I should find him asleep in the
house, but what I did not know positively,
and what I feared was, that he might not
forget what he had done -when he awoke.
As a rule, sensitives obey the command to
forget, but in the course of my various
experiments I have found sensitives who
had a vague idea of what occurred, perhaps
nothing tangible, but still sufficient, in a
case like this, when there would be a great
row about the lost securities, to suggest a
possible clue.

" * It is a very cold day, six degrees be-
low, I think, and I had deliberately intended
to leave Mr. Herrick asleep after I had taken
the money from him and let him take his
chances, sleeping without any fire or cover-
ing, in an hypnotic condition, with the tem-
perature below zero, and you can judge
what his chances would have been. This
scheme I thought out deliberately, and what


seems strange, I had not the least repugnance
against arranging for the death of my friend.
After I had once made up my mind to make
him steal the securities his disappearance
seemed to be the only way to insure my
safety. Of course no one could know I was
connected with this matter. I would not go
near the bank, and unless he was followed,
which was most unlikely, as he had been
with the bank some years and was a thor-
oughly trusted official, there would be
absolutely no chance of my detection.'"

Watson relighted his cigar, which had
gone out, and continued

" While he had been speaking another train
had arrived with a lot of workmen who were
busily engaged jacking the car back on the
rails. The train was about to return to Chi-
cago, so I inquired the name of the bank and
its president, and the address of the house,
writing them down so there could be no pos-
sible mistake. I then hastened on board the
train, leaving my patient under the care of Dr.


Morse, a local physician, who agreed to
notify me as to the condition of the man
later in the day.

" Upon arriving in Chicago I immediately
drove to the bank, but found it closed. I
was told, however, that Mr. Bartlet, the
president, was attending a corporation meet-
ting in an office in the same building.
I immediately hunted him up, and, upon
hearing my story he hastily ordered a car-
riage and we drove to the house as de-

" On our way out we stopped and picked
up Dr. Marsh, who as you know is very
much interested in such matters. It was
quite a long drive, but we found the
place without difficulty. It was unoccu-
pied, and many of the windows were
broken, and altogether it presented a very
dilapidated appearance, such as the cheap
houses on the outskirts of a great city often
do after having been unoccupied for a year


or two. \Ve tried the door and found it un-
locked. On the first floor the rooms were
entirely empty, loose papers scattered about,
and no signs of any one having entered the
house. Upon going upstairs we found
the door on the first landing at the head of
the stairs closed, but not locked. At the
back of the room was a cracked wooden
stool and a dilapidated hair sofa, which had
evidently been considered too used up to
be of any value. Part of the cover was
torn away, one of the legs was broken,
and some of the hair stuffing was lying scat-
tered about the floor. On this lounge lay
Mr. Herrick apparently sound asleep; his
lips blue with cold, his face pale, and the
general appearance of a man half frozen to
death. He was breathing very quietly,
however, and his heart action was still fairly
good, although somewhat slow. By his side
lay a small bag, which, it is needless to say,
was pounced upon by Mr. Bartlet. It con-


tained some valuable securities, and a great
bundle of bank bills of large denomination.
Both Marsh and I considered Herrick's
condition as decidedly interesting and un-
usual, and we were both of the opinion that,
as part of the story had proved true, it was
very likely the whole would turn out just
as described.

" If this proved to be the case, all that now
remained to be done was to restore Herrick
to his normal condition, which might or
might not be easy to accomplish. The first
thing to be done was to get him out of such
a low temperature. We tried various
methods of restoring consciousness, but
without success. What we did not like
was that his heart action was gradually be-
coming weaker. We gave a hypodermic
injection of strychnia, and the heart was
soon acting in a much more satisfactory
manner. There was no return to conscious-


ness, however, so taking him in the carriage

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Online LibraryCharles B. (Charles Barney) CoryMontezuma's castle and other weird tales → online text (page 5 of 9)