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I

GOLD!

GOLD! The word had an immense magnetism.


At the thought of it homes were abandoned, bold
faces turned to the setting sun, caravans moved
over desert wastes into unknown ridges: Cali-
fornia, Nevada, Dakota, Idaho-the Coeur
d' Alenes ! Men came in legion to the Sierras and
the valley of the Sacramento. Cities sprang up
overnight. Gold glittered in the earth. Moun-
tain torrents, diverted, poured through sluice
boxes; men mucked and moiled with pick and
pan.
The California gold rush fired the national im-
agination, leaving in the hearts of American people
a new hunger for romance and adventure; it at-
tracted men of hardihood and courage from every
corner of every state. After its gold deposits had
been exhausted, they sought wealth from other
sources, and by so doing they developed a great
Southwestern empire. When the first guns of the
Civil War were roaring, a prospector located the
4 SILVER STRIKE
Comstock in Nevada; the development of that
famous silver-bearing lode aided materially in
financing the North through the struggle. The
Deadwood stampede followed in the Black Hills of
what is now South Dakota, in the early seventies.
In three years a hundred thousand people poured
into Deadwood, a spot two hundred miles from the
nearest railroad station; and the mineral wealth
unearthed was stupendous. It is still producing.
From the Homestake mine, there, came the original
Hearst millions.
In 1883, then, if we accept the view that these
strikes had been running in cycles of about seven
years, the country was ripe for another great min-
ing excitement. Prior to 1883, Shoshone County,
in the Coeur d' Alenes of Northern Idaho, an area
equal to the State of New Jersey, was unknown to
all but sportsmen. It had few white inhabitants.
I ts only agricultural lands were in the Coeur
d' Alene Valley, a portion of the Coeur d' Alene
Indian reservation closed to whites. It was a
vast space of hills and mountains, covered with
dense growths of white pine, fir, tamarack,
hemlock, alder, and cedar. Its rivers teemed
with trout. Climatically, it was delightful in sum-
mer and very cold in winter, with heavy snow-
fall.
GOLD I 5
I was born in Wooster, Ohio. Nothing, I dare
say, could have been more respectable than birth in
the Wooster of 1859. I grew up there. I re-
ceived my legal education in Boston. That too
was respectable - the last rigorous touch. A
youth who was respectably born in Wooster and
respectably educated in Boston - the Wooster and
the Boston of a half century ago-should have
hung out his shingle in some respectable Middle-
Western town, courted some respectable lady
with due Victorian formality, married, and settled
into humdrum respectability. But, to be honest,
Boston and Wooster weighed heavily upon my
spirit.
I had been hearing strange tales of the f ar West;
its temptation was infectious. So I came West,
traveling until my money gave out; stopping here,
stopping there, then moving on. In 1883, at the
age of twenty-five, -weighing two hundred
pounds and standing well over six feet, - I was
attempting, under the limitations of a Boston legal
education, to practise law in Spokane, Washington,
then a town of but eight hundred people - a sleepy
frontier village at the falls of the Spokane, a jumble
of shacks dominated by one brick building, the
Wolverine Block. The railroad had come. The
romance of the West was gone. A farming dis-
6 SILVER STRIKE
trict was already developing in rolling hill land to
the south.
An occasional prospector went up into the hills
- - into the Coeur d' Alenes and Bitter Roots of
Idaho to the east, and into the Pend d' Oreilles of
Washington on the north. Fat Indian bucks, in
Stetson and blanket, stalked up what is now River-
side Avenue; stolid squaws, beaded bags in hand
and black-eyed papooses strapped to their backs,
waddled after them. Miners and would-be miners
drank whiskey straight at numerous bars and
talked sadly of the great old days in California, in
Deadwood, in Leadville. The pack mule and burro
had given way to wagon and stagecoach. Law and
order reigned. Life might have gone on in this
manner to the end of time, had it not been for one
significant incident.
A. ]. Pritchard, for whom Pritchard Creek is
named, and his partner came down to Spokane in
August of 1883. Their buckskin pouch held more
than four pounds of gold. This they had found,
Pritchard said in his quiet way, on a small tribu-
tary to the North Fork of the Coeur d'Alene in
Shoshone County.
Whiskey stood untouched upon a score of bars,
faro and poker lost their hold, and within twenty
minutes of the arrival of the two prospectors a mob
of at least two hundred milled and banked about
GOLD! 7
them. Pritchard was past fifty, as I saw him that
day, a stocky" brown-bearded man, deliberate of
movement, concise and intelligent of speech.
Something in his manner inspired confidence. His
few words carried the ring of truth. Not relishing
either notoriety or applause, he shouldered his way
through the throng to a hotel. He had made his
find. He had staked his claims, one of which he
had named the Murray, after a relative of his wife.
This was the only subject of conversation for the
next two weeks. Then Bill Keeler and his partner
appeared with four, possibly five, pounds of the
same kind of gold. This, their tale went, was also
found on "Pritchard Creek."
A crowd gathered around these men when they
reached the first saloon. Bill Keeler stood out head
and shoulders above the mob, a gaunt, red-faced,
illiterate hunter and trapper. Quite the opposite
of Pritchard, Bill was loud of voice and talkative.
He would gabble for an hour. He was a notorious,
stimulating, and harmless liar. He was not a pros-
pector, but he could play the part and play it well.
Bill raised the buckskin pouch to public gaze and
poured the slightest sheen of its precious dust into
the palm of his calloused hand. Those five pounds
of gold had a louder voice than he. A shout went
up. .
"The hills up thar," Bill roared, pouring back
8 SILVER STRIKE
his dust, closing the pouch, and pointing off toward
Idaho, "air lousy with it. Pard, here, and me-
we panned this out in ten days. Whar? Why,
Pritchard Creek, of course I" And Bill, with
scores of miners clamoring about him, would go
into long dissertations on mining and prospecting.
He neglected only one thing-he forgot to tell
them that he had corne in contact with Pritchard
on the stream in question, and that, spurred by
Pritchard's findings, he had turned miner.
Bill's reports, greatly exaggerated, were
heralded far and wide. They went as rumor goes,
to the countryside, to the ranch, to the homestead,
to the trapper's cabin high in the hills. The As-
sociated Press seized upon them and flashed them to
every corner of the nation. Once again the Argo-
naut, once again the Golden Fleece!
Spokane boomed. Bars were crowded. In
neighboring districts business counters stood de-
serted. Ploughs rusted in their furrows. Herds
shifted for themselves. Wagons came rumbling
over rough mountain roads. Dusty horsemen
lashed their mounts in from the cattle country.
Every stagecoach brought its quota. Every
Northern Pacific train discharged a small army of
men. Here was a repetition of the Deadwood and
Leadville excitement.
GOLD! 9
By the first of October this motley horde, re-
cruited now to thousands, was moving from Spo-
kane, at that time the outfitting point nearest the
"diggin's." Outfits were procured here: pack
saddles and burros, sheet-iron stoves, tents, shovels,
picks, grub, and that final necessity to human peace
and comfort - whiskey. Then the rush to Coeur
d' Alene, at the lower end of Lake Coeur d'Alene,
en route to Pritchard Creek.
I had a law office, a cubbyhole looking down upon
Howard Street. Clients claimed little of my time.
I had the leisure to watch the crowd rush by ; and as
it passed, the fever got into my blood.
Several friends and I, among them Harry White
and a chap named Butler, joined the caravan, if
such it could be called. Practically all that we had
went into an outfit and two tons of grub. I car-
ried with me, much to their amusement, two pon-
derous volumes, the Idaho and the United States
Mining Statutes. After a thirty-mile trip by
wagon to Coeur d'Alene, we embarked, the follow-
ing morning, on a crowded lake steamer.
The air was crisp with November as the little
craft ploughed across the calm surface of the lake,
and the bald knobs of timbered ridges rising from
the water were powdered with snow. On deck,
miners and prospectors jostled elbows and talked
10 SILVER STRIKE
of gold. N ear noon the steamer entered the mouth
of the Coeur d'Alene River far down along the
eastern shore of the lake. As the valley narrowed
precipitately, we passed mile after mile of virgin
forest and river, with steep ridges rising on either
side. Heavy banks of cloud hung over the western
horizon, and when we landed, near dark, at the Old
Mission, a snowstorm was eddying and swirling
among the peaks.
That night we camped a little way beyond the Old
Mission. The boisterous roar and crackle of our
camp fire held back slumber. Its flames licked the
boughs of pine trees standing stark and big and
dark above us; its glow crimsoned our faces and
warmed our bodies. Dawn broke in a swirling
mist of snowflakes; the higher ridges and peaks
about us were white. Winter had come. Here
we arranged to have our outfits and provisions
sent by bateaux up the river to its junction with
Eagle Creek, a much longer route than that which
we had in mind over the ridges. That day we
tramped twelve miles along the river to Evolution,
a station where one saloon herded a score of tents.
The storm, raging unabated, held us at Evolu-
tion three days; then a sleet came, crusting the
snow-a fortunate circumstance, since there was
not a snowshoe in the mob. On the fourth morn-
GOLD! II

ing we looked out of our tents upon a white-


curtained valley. One may imagine the more con-
servative urging a return to Spokane until spring,
but such sentiment was never expressed. A com-
pany of twenty formed, all but ourselves hardy
frontiersmen; and with only blankets and the bare
necessities of life, we set out up the ridge separating
the North Fork proper from the headwaters of
Eagle Creek, one of its tributaries, our purpose be-
ing to short-cut the river way by many miles.
The snow was damp and heavy as we plunged
into this wilderness. We were wet and steaming
before we had climbed the first slope of the ridge,
and were soon forced to take formation in a file,
the leader breaking trail and the remainder follow-
ing. Higher up, the drifts were from six to ten
feet deep, but we plodded on. N ow ~and "-
then, as
the leader tired, another man from the file would
take his place. Frequently, where the snow was
loose and powdery beneath its crust, someone would
sink from sight, and, laughing and shouting, we
would pull him out. Yard by yard, up and up, the
snow deeper and deeper; and, finally, bitter cold in
the late afternoon, with a gale howling down upon
us. Half exhausted, half frozen, we pushed on.
Before darkness fell, we were over the ridge and
down in a dense growth of pine and tamarack, there
12 SILVER STRIKE
to make camp for the night. The following morn-
ing we moved on into Eagle City, at the confluence
of Eagle Creek with Pritchard Creek.
There were approximately two thousand miners
and prospectors here, snowbound - a city of tents,
rags of canvas soiled and dirty against the pure
white festooned from boughs, heaped high in drifts,
and four feet deep on the level.
I look back upon them now as a race of men su-
perior in character, intelligence, and courage, a
hardy lot capable of meeting any circumstance of
the outdoors, even a Coeur d'Alene winter. Like
ourselves, they had fought their way in over the
ridge behind us; and, temporarily established here,
they had set to work with dogged determination,
wallowing through the snow to prospect or work
diggin's already opened.
Noone suffered any apparent hardship from the
bitter cold of that Idaho winter. These men were
hardy veterans of the mining frontier. Their ex-
perience had been gained in the Sierras, in Dead-
wood, in the Comstock; they knew what to expect
from circumstances, and how to face it; theirs was
a philosophy of strength and courage. I t set them
apart, as a class, from the underworld and its fol-
lowers.
One of our first adventures, shortly after our
GOLD! 13
arrival at Eagle City, is indicative of this attitude.
We made our way, one night, to a saloon, a large
heated tent sheltering, in addition to its busy bar,
faro and poker tables. These, as usual, were full
up. Our attention centred, for no particular rea-
son other than curiosity, upon a group absorbed in
stud poker. Now gamblers are, as a rule, super-
stitious, believing in secret and mysterious influ-
ences at work behind their cards. One callous-
hearted gamester, after a consistent run of heavy
losses, began looking for his hoodoo.
He quickly found it in the person of Oregon
John, a worthless underworld follower and camp
hanger-on. Oregon John, it developed at first
glance, had committed the unpardonable offense of
watching the game with one foot on the rung of the
gambler's chair. The gambler, his hoodoo dis-
covered, rose deliberately from his seat and shot
Oregon J ahn through the heart. There was no
demonstration. Someone carted the body out with-
out ceremony and buried it. The incident had
given riddance to rubbish. But to me, in my inex-
perience, this was a shock. Oregon John, utterly
worthless though he was, and mere driftwood, was
nevertheless human. That, I recall, was the first
of many killings confined almost exclusively to the
underwor ld.
II

THE GRAY EAGLE

BUT other men were even then opening a less diffi-


cult route to Eagle City camp. Thompson's Falls,
Montana, began to share with Spokane the boom
and profit of our gold rush. Its one station, its
half-dozen saloons, its store, and its few cabins
multiplied overnight to a city of several hundred
buildings and tents. It had advantages: a station
on the Northern Pacific; a situation about thirty-
five miles from the diggin's, or less than one third
the route we had taken.
The new route was established by the first pack
train from Thompson's Falls; crossing Clark's
Fork in bateaux, it threaded its way up a tributary
stream to a natural pass in a lofty ridge to the west,
and followed from this point down Pritchard Creek
to Eagle City. But its arrival meant more to us
than a new route, more than provisions and sup-
plies, and more than news from the outside world
- the "Gray Eagle" of the mining frontier had
come.
THE GRAY EAGLE
The effect of William H. Clagett's personality
upon the camp was electrical; our disorganized
rabble, from the first instant of his presence, was
an army following a leader - and a great leader!
The next day two thousand miners, myself among
them, men who had known Clagett in the Sierras,
in Leadville, and in Deadwood, gathered beneath
sombre pines heavily laden with snow, and he stood
before us like a prophet. Our respect for him was
profound. His message was the message of law
and order. Great mining camps in California, in
Nevada, and in Dakota had heard, in years past, the
same message from the same lips.
The day of the orator, I observe with regret, is
gone; from him came more than facts -he per-
sonified and vitalized our thought and refined our
sentiment. To-day, for a nickel, a dime, or a
quarter, we pick from news stands a newspaper
or a magazine, and our views of life are hodge-
podge, lacking character, lacking emphasis, lack-
ing eloquence and, more often than not, intelligence.
Men like Clagett are gone like the heroes of
myth. He stood before me for the first time that
day, nearly fifty years ago, at an hour when I was
young, when my impressions were for this reason
the more vivid. I see him as I saw him then: the
flashing eyes, the grace and proportion of his body,
16 SILVER STRIKE
dressed in the camp fashion of that Idaho wilder-
ness - in all, the personification of physical and in-
tellectual power. I have heard other great voices,
- Bryan's, Garfield's, and Blaine's, -but none
were comparable to his; none approached its perfec-
tion; none were possessed of its appeal. His Eng-
lish was pure, his reasoning broad and extensive,
and his influence among his fellows at the bar and
in public life immeasurable. He was forty-five at
the time of which I speak. In his youth, when his
hair was black, Montana Territory sent him to Con-
gress. He quickly distinguished himself; he led
the fight against polygamy, and his speech to the
House on that subject was translated and went
round the world within a few weeks of its utter-
ance. It was a bill of his which created Yellow-
stone National Park.
But to return to Eagle City: Clagett, at the con-
clusion of his address, pointed up the canyon. Be-
fore night, Eagle City was practically deserted.
That army of miners, two thousand strong, had
moved, under Clagett's leadership, five miles up
Pritchard Creek into the heart of the placer diggin's
and the present site of Murray. Morning came,
and with it the ring of the woodsman's axe, the
quick cry of "Timber!" and the crash of falling
pine and tamarack. A permanent city began to
THE GRAY EAGLE
take form along Main Street, then but a line
through the forest; log cabins, stores, and saloons
rose in the snow.
In the canyon the north wind howled down upon
us, driving leaden banks of cloud over the ridges;
snow fell, now enveloping us, now a powdery mist
piling high in drifts, weighing heavily upon pine
and cedar boughs. Through it all, day after day,
men labored, felling trees, building, moving over
the snow to stake claims, and here and there to
work, even in this winter weather, diggin's already
established. Main Street was a hundred yards in
length, then a quarter mile, then a half. On an-
other street behind this, and near the bluff, was a
formation of cabins set apart, with red lanterns
hanging on their doors.
Any day, in storm or calm, high above us against
the white slope, moving as ants move, was an end-
less file of life coming down into the canyon-
people from the outside world, their quest the
Golden Fleece: miners, a red-faced, sturdy lot;
business men, but less men; lawyers, doctors, spec-
ulators, gamblers, and women to recruit the under-
world. Within another month there were ten thou-
sand here in Murray, and placer mining going on;
and by the middle of January, what interested me
more, teh mining lawyers, each with a few books,
18 SILVER STRIKE
a tent, and an outfit. Some of them had won dis-
tinction in other mining camps, in the trial of litiga-
tion involving millions. They were frontiersmen
from choice, not necessity. Most of them had
families, and some had wealth, but they loved this
life in the wilderness.
The faces and figures of these men live with me
still, and Clagett most of all. This was his life,
and he cared for no other. With him it was Cali-
fornia first, then Nevada, then Montana, then
Deadwood-and now the Coeur d'Alenes. No
man understood the problems of frontier life better
or dealt with them more constructively. He was
an intimate of Bret Harte, Bill Nye, Mark Twain;
but most of all, of the miners with whom he lived.
There was Major W. W. Woods from Salt Lake,
about Clagett's age, a Civil War veteran, a lawyer,
and a gentleman of the old school; old Alec May-
hew, then in his sixties, a fat, pudgy bachelor,
scraggly of beard, careless in dress, but a man who
knew the miner, and more profoundly than he knew
law; and thick-shouldered Frank Ganahl, the son
of an Austrian nobleman, a Harvard graduate, and
perhaps the leading advocate and jury orator on the
Pacific Coast. We shall hear more of him later.
There was W. Y. Pemberton, a tall, gray man in
his fifties, afterward judge of the supreme court of
THE GRAY EAGLE 19
Montana; Albert Allen, about forty, an undersized
little man, but the most accurate lawyer of them all;
Tom Singleton, a Southern orator, tall, drunken,
temperamental, now upon the heights, now in the
depths; W. B. Heyburn, then thirty-six, afterward
United States Senator from Idaho - a heavy, seri-
ous, florid man; and Stanford from Arizona,
dubbed by Clagett the Aztec Stud," a ponderous
H

giant of a man with a touch of the traveling medi-


cine colonel about him.
Bob McFarland and Charles O'Neil and myself
were the youngsters, sitting willingly at the feet of
these who were older, more experienced, and more
learned. Bob was a nephew of old Jubal Early of
Civil War fame-a tall, swarthy youth full of hell.
He afterward became attorney general of Idaho.
O'Neil, one of the finest characters ever to enter
that country, died in 1894, in the late prime of his
youth.
III

MOLLY B' DAM'

LIFE in Murray went on. When spring came,


Pritchard Creek began to roar, a tawny tumult
swollen by mountain torrents above. Sluice boxes
followed the stream. More cabins and shacks
straggled in the outskirts. Development followed,
and with it legislation and frontier court battles,
strife and contention, claims jumped, men robbed
or tricked.
From the first of December to the first of March,
that year, Murray averaged close to one homicide a
week, a depletion confined exclusively to the under-
world. In these, however, we took no serious per-
sonal interest as long as they occurred wholly within
the ranks of that class; we accepted them as good
riddance. But it was tacitly understood that if a
member of the underworld killed a miner, ven-
geance would be swift and final.
We drank good whiskey. We won and we lost
around faro and poker tables. We squabbled over
MOLLY B' DAM' 21

mining claims. I can look back now, :from nearly


half a century at the bar, and say, "This was
life."
One evening early in March of 1884 a pack train
came in from Thompson's Falls, and with it a
woman known by no other name than Molly b'
Dam', an uncommonly ravishing personality. Her
face gave no evidence of dissipation, her clothes no
hint of her profession. About her, at times, was
an atmosphere of refinement and culture; her
speech was a new note in the colloquialism of the
camp. On occasion, she quoted with apparent un-
derstanding from Shakespeare, from Milton, from
Dante. She was soon the reigning queen of the
Murray underworld.
Here was a medley of contradiction: her blue
eyes would one moment melt with tenderness and
sympathy, and in the same instant her feminine
poise would be submerged in the basest and most
profane vulgarity. With one hand she would rob
the unwary; with the other she would give liberally
to charity, or nurse the sick. That was Molly b'
Dam'. Her popularity in the town was rivaled
only by that of Curly, a ragamuffin mongrel
who had once been a dog-team leader, and Phil
O'Rourke, a loud-mouthed, resonant-voiced, blath-
erskite Irishman.
22 SILVER STRIKE
Curly, a great brute of a dog, Newfoundland
predominant in his mixture of breed and respon-
sible for his black shag of fur, went everywhere,
as did Molly and the irrepressible O'Rourke; he
was a privileged visitor in every cabin, in every
office, in every saloon - a vagabond universally
beloved. Curly, I can truly say, was a joint pos-
session of the miners and the gods.
Frequently on Sunday afternoons in summer the
miners would line Main Street. Bets would be
posted. A committee would take the not unwill-
ing Curly to the upper end, where, with a formal-
ity altogether affectionate, a tin can, noisy with
pebbles, would be attached to his rag of a tail.
Then a sudden hush of expectancy, the crack of an
official pistol, and Curly would streak it down that
lane of miners, the lot of them cheering and shout-
ing and firing pistols. At the lower end of the
street, where another line had been drawn, Curly's
time would be taken by a second committee with a
stop watch, and this officially reported. He won
who guessed closest to the exact recording. A
good many dollars changed hands on Curly's race
with his own shadow; and Curly, good old trooper
that he was, enjoyed it as much as they.
O'Rourke was glib of tongue, intelligent, a
drinker, a gambler, a miner who never mined, an
MOLLY B' DAM' 23
agitator who agitated for money; he could make a
!speech, tell a tale, precipitate a fight or riot and
slip away. His giant stature, his rich Irish brogue,
his never-failing good humor, and his practical
grasp of human nature placed him on the same
pedestal of popular favor occupied by Molly and
Curly.
But to return to Molly's professional improprie-
ties and disregard for convention. In June, after
the flood waters subsided, forcing discontinuance
of hydraulic mining operations, a bluff, red-shirted
braggart of a miner came roistering down from his
claim somewhere on the sky line. In a buckskin
pouch he carried his entire diggin's for the season,
a hoard worth perhaps a thousand dollars. Light-
nin', for such he was called, though that was not
his real name, went from saloon to saloon, showing
his treasure. Eventually he wound up, more drunk
than sober, at Molly's place.
Whether Molly herself or another under her di-
rection robbed him, no one knew. This much is cer-
tain-the same offense by any person other than
Molly would have trailed after it swift retribution.
At any rate, when he left her door, his buckskin
pouch was empty of its gold. Lightnin' accepted
the situation philosophically: men paid cash for
provisions in those days-an empty pouch meant
24 SILVER STRIKE
an empty pack saddle, and he had come down out
of the hills for supplies. Folly was now kicking
him back again with only a meagre pack bought on
credit, a serious predicament for a miner. Light-
nin', however, uttered no word of complaint; one
shrug of his broad shoulders, and he marched out
of town and up the trail like a man.
Three months later his partner appeared on the
streets of Murray. Lightnin', he reported, was
dangerously ill with mountain fever, a species of
typhoid. The word soon reached Molly. She
hunted up the partner. "Take me to Lightnin' ,"
she said.
The partner, a short, stout man, with the sun-
browned honest face of one much in the open, looked
her steadily in the eye and spat contemptuously in
the dust at his feet.
"Take me to Lightnin' ," she repeated.
The partner studied her face coldly. Still no
response.
"You're broke-Lightnin's broke," she rea-
soned.
"I reckon yer right," he grumbled, "and you
know why."
"That's all the more reason, is it not, why I
should help now?"
"Well, mebbe it is," he admitted reluctantly.
MOLLY B' DAM'
The fact is he had no defense against Molly's eyes
and hair. She beamed upon him.
"Just keep quiet," she admonished him, "and ac-
cept nothing from anyone; I '11 take care of Light-
nin' - provisions, medicine, everything he needs
-and nurse him back myself."
Secretly and adequately they loaded two burros.
The partner stroked his beard, still puzzled, and led
the way without a word.
They followed the ridge hour after hour until
the trail1ed to a cabin sheltered in a grove of pines.
Molly walked over that rude threshold; and there
before her, in the dim noonday light that filtered
through the cabin's one flyspecked window, she
saw, lying on a rough bunk, the semiconscious form
of Lightnin', a fever-wasted hulk. The partner
turned silently on his heel and left.
With tenderness she worked over him, applying
simple, effective remedies - whiskey and water
and quinine. The afternoon passed. The sun
went down. Her patient's mind remained clouded
with fever.
The partner came in quietly through the dusk
and lighted a candle. "Lightnin' gain' to come
through ?" he whispered.
Molly could not answer. She did not know.
The candle burned down. She lighted another,
SILVER STRIKE
then another and another. Hour after hour she
kept vigil beside him.
Eventually he awoke with his mind clear for the
first time since her arrival. Molly smiled down
upon him.
The flicker of a smile lighted his haggard face.
"Molly b' Dam'," he whispered.
Molly arose. She heard the ring of the part-
ner's axe outside the cabin door.
"Lightnin's coming out of it," she said as she
passed him by to a spring a few yards below, leav-
ing a wordless happiness in his face. For days she
nursed health and strength back into Lightnin's
big frame as only a woman can. At length the
time came when, leaning upon Molly for support,
he walked a little way along the ridge.
That night Molly b' Dam' reigned once more as
queen of the Murray underworld. But Molly was
never the same afterward. The old zest for this
life was gone.
Within a year she was found, one morning, dead
in her bed. The day of her funeral the miners
knocked off from their diggin's and sluice boxes,
saloons closed their doors, blinds were drawn in
business-house windows, and a procession of hun-
dreds followed her remains to a burial ground on a
sunny hillside.
IV
JUDGE BUCK

WHILE Molly b' Dam' was up in the hills nursing


Lightnin' back to health, civilization was some-
what hesitantly joining hands with the frontier.
Bateaux brought the first sawmill up the North
Fork to Eagle City, with heavy logging wagons for
its transportation to a site in the western outskirts
of the town. Soon it was ripping lumber from
pine and tamarack logs for frame buildings. Aul-
baugh's Morning Sun made its appearance in due
time, and later Culver's Evening Record began a
rivalry bitter and personal, yet stimulating and en-
tertaining.
Hundreds of claims, the preceding winter, had
been staked in from three to six feet of snow; some
of them had been duplicated many times; there were
the usual questions of overlaps and priorities. The
clamor for litigation arose.
Fearing trouble, the governor of Idaho Terri-
tory wired the Department of Justice, and the
United States Attorney-General telegraphed Judge
SILVER STRIKE
Norman Buck 1 instructions to proceed to Murray,
organize a court, appoint a clerk, and establish a
place in which to keep records. The governor ap-
pointed a sheriff and sent him to the canyon with a
force of deputies.
Judge Buck, a Union war veteran, was equal to
the task before him, and worthy his high post in
authority over the men I have, as yet, but briefly
mentioned - one of the most lovable personalities
I have ever known, on the bench kindly, humane,
learned in the law, and just in his decisions. He
had the force, the integrity, the courage, and the
understanding of human nature to endear him to
all with whom he had contact, whether lawyer or
miner; we regarded him with a deep and abiding
affection.
Judge Buck came in promptly. Forty-eight
hours after the appointment of a clerk more than a
hundred cases had been filed, these including eject-
ments, trespass, and every conceivable conflict in-
volving real estate. I was then too young and in-
experienced to take a hand in this litigation, other
than in a small way through older lawyers - such,
for instance, as going into the hills to make meas-
urements and gather evidence. I was not yet
1 Judge Buck was, by appointment of President Arthur, a judge
of the United States District Court of the Territory of Idaho.
JUDGE BUCK
ready, though afterward I became associated with
them, and later took charge.
The first important term of district court opened
in Murray, then the county seat of Shoshone
County, about November I, 1884. The courtroom,
approximately fifty by seventy-five feet in dimen-
sion, held benches sufficient to accommodate more
than a hundred people. Every inch of space was
occupied by miners, mining engineers, mine owners,
business men, and other respectable citizenry; but
no member of the underworld entered unless di-
rectly concerned in litigation either as principal or
as witness. This was a frontier's first tangible
movement toward law and order.
I pass by the scores of cases on the calendar for
a criminal action worthy of note.
Red-Handed Mike was charged with an infa-
mous crime, one which, even in a community in-
clined to view any moral issue tolerantly, was
regarded with universal abhorrence. Mike was a
huge beast of a man, over six feet tall, weighing at
least two hundred and forty pounds - an ex-pugi-
list, surly of temper and dangerous. His singular
pseudonym, I believe, came from an incident when,
during some wild exuberance of spirit fully in ac-
cord with his nature, he had been caught red-handed
in an attempt to cut a miner's throat. Mike em-
30 SILVER STRIKE
ployed me in his defense and gave me for my fee a
deed for two lots in Spokane.
Dapper little Teddy Guthrie, the sheriff, had ar-
rested Mike early in October, and had held him in
jail at Wallace on the South Fork of the Coeur
d' Alene. The evening before court opened, he
brought Mike from Wallace for arraignment.
The sheriff led his sullen prisoner to the Murray
jail, a none too substantial structure of one room or
cell about fourteen feet square. It was his inten-
tion to confine Mike there until morning, but two
prisoners charged only with the trifling offense of
robbing sluice boxes raised a storm of protest,
threatening in no uncertain terms that if Mike were
confined in the same cell with them they would kill
him.
The jail, in view of this warlike sentiment, was
no place for one even of Mike's rugged constitu-
tion and manifest ability to protect himself. Very
much perplexed, the sheriff, taking Mike in tow
again, set out to find him quarters elsewhere. His
search went unrewarded. Mike was no more
wanted than contamination. Finally, in despera-
tion, he hit upon the happy expedient of chaining
Mike to a stump for the night.
To that end he procured a log chain about fif-
teen feet in length, secured it to the stump with
JUDGE BUCK 31
heavy staples, and locked the other end to a hand-
cuff on Mike's left wrist. He then supplied his
burly prisoner with blankets, grub, and water, and
· . left him alone under the stars.
When dawn broke over the canyon and the sher-
iff came to care for his charge, Mike and chain and
stump were gone. Sheriff Teddy's astonishment
knew no bounds. He stood reflecting upon the
hole where the stump had been and swearing round
Irish oaths that will not bear repetition here. A
crowd, curious and irrepressible, gathered. The
sheriff turned on his heel and set out to solve the
mystery. Half a mile away, in a blacksmith shop
at the lower end of Main Street, he found the stump
and chain, but no Mike. A telltale file and a dis-
membered handcuff told the story. How Mike
dug out that stump, how he shouldered it and
marched the distance to that blacksmith shop, can
be explained only by his brute strength. His crime
was forgotten. He never troubled the district
again. The verdict was general that he had earned
his freedom.
Twenty years later, in Spokane, where I had my
home, I read in a morning paper of the sale for
$75,000 of the least valuable of the two lots Mike
had deeded me as a fee. That did not trouble me
in the least-the eight hundred I had received for
32 SILVER STRIKE
the two of them back in 1884 meant more to me then
than double the amount in publication.
A host of mining cases were tried during that
term of court, one deserving of special notice: it
involved ownership of the Golden Chest, the Idaho,
and other mines, estimated at that time to be worth
a million dollars, and all depending on the same
source of title. Arraigned on one side were five of
the distinguished lawyers I have previously men-
tioned, headed by Clagett; and on the other, four
more led by Ganahl. Only a few law books were
used or referred to during the trial, the Idaho Stat-
utes~ and. a pamphlet containing the decision by
Judge Lorenzo Sawyer, of the United States Cir-
cuit Court of California, on the Eureka-Richmond
case, a document that summed up practically all the
legal literature extant on the questions involved.
The points raised in the Golden Chest case were
numerous and varied, - virtually all of them new,
- and it is to the credit of Judge Buck that his
decisions on them have, in the main, been crystal-
lized into binding judicial precedents by appellate
courts.
During the course of the trial, miners took the
stand; and Ganahl bellowed and thundered at them,
Major Woods smiled and cajoled, Clagett's voice
rose and fell in argument. Ganahl's weapons were
JUDGE BUCK 3.3
humor, satire, invective; his inquisition was relent-
less, his network of evidence dexterously woven.
Loose details were picked up with amazing ingenu-
ity, making a chain of facts apparently conclusive
-and finally their point was driven home with ex-
plosive force by the roll of his deep voice, by what
was dynamic in his big head, his great neck, his
great shoulders. Major Woods was his antithesis.
Clagett was like neither of these.
In the midst of this trial, during an examination
of a witness who was afterward charged with per-
jury, a fierce clash precipitated by Ganahl devel-
oped between two of the contestants.
"You're a damned liar!" one blurted forth.
"You're another!" was the return.
In this day of false advertising, to call a man a
liar is to pay him a compliment, but in that day it
was serious. Judge Buck's quick rapping for or-
der in the court was lost in sudden confusion. Both
men whipped out six-shooters, and pandemonium
was upon us. Judge, jurors, principals, and at-
tendants sought safety in flight or under chairs,
benches, or in any other convenient shelter until
Sheriff Teddy jumped in between the two outraged
contestants with a Colt's 45 in each fist.
That restored order, but court adjourned until
the following morning. Both of the offending
34 SILVER STRIKE
parties were promptly fined for contempt, and both
promptly paid.
That trial, adroitly and skillfully conducted by
opposing counsel, was for me a schooling that I
could not have had in years of study elsewhere. I
had been brought close to the problems involved in
mining life, and equally close to human nature as
it sat twisting and squirming under examination or
cross-examination.
v
NAPOLEON AND JOSEPHINA

ONE beautiful evening as court adjourned, near the


middle of the term, a portly Neapolitan, accom-
panied by a lumbering black bear and a uniformed
monkey, came marching down Main Street to a
point beneath a tall tamarack standing sentry over
a rude attempt at a city square.
There Giuseppe halted. A black hat with a
plume sat jauntily on his head; he wore a flaming
scarlet shirt, somewhat dusty from travel, and he
leaned for support upon a great golden harp - the
first, and doubtless the only instrument of its kind
ever seen in Murray. His s.warthy face was jovial
and round with fun and laughter. It was easy to
see that he loved his monkey and his bear.
Melodies of sunny Italy soon brought the crowd,
while Josephina, the black bear, did a slow ludi-
crous dance, and Napoleon., the monkey, kept
spirited time on the shoulder of our troubadour.
When our applause broke forth, Giuseppe would
clap his hands: "Go geeta da mon', Napoleon [n
SILVER STRIKE
And Napoleon, the monk, in the uniform of an
I tali an grenadier, would go scampering here and
there, taking his toll and jingling in his tin cup
nuggets and small change.
Yet another melody. "Go geeta da mon', Na-
poleon!" On with the dance, Josephina-a lazy
fandango that never varied its movement whatever
Giuseppe's musical range. Life's purest comedy,
this. We jostled and shoved; we roared our ap-
plause. Giuseppe smiled and bowed and bowed ..
Giuseppe picked at his harp, Josephina danced,
Napoleon jingled his cup.
The shadow of the tamarack lengthened over the
multitude, and Giuseppe's treasure grew; the Coeur
d' Alenes were dark and blue against the heavens;
the sun sank lower and lower, and still this show of
shows went on. By now the last of the miners
were coming in from their sluice boxes.
Giuseppe clapped his hands for the hundredth
time, but now to his dancer. "Josephina-oop,
oop-shoosh! Climba da tree, Josephina.
Climba da tree - oop !"
A chorus of shouts and cheers followed as
Josephina made her way clumsily but swiftly up
the trunk some thirty feet into the first branches.
I t was evidently Giuseppe's intention to call her
down directly, but Curly and a pack of camp dogs
NAPOLEON AND JOSEPHINA 37
came yelping and baying to the base of the trunk.
N or could they be driven off. Josephina, at a com-
mand from her master, edged her way slowly down,
but a nip in the heels changed her mind.
Giuseppe cursed and pleaded. Josephina climbed
higher and higher. Curly and his cohorts barked
louder and louder, much to the amusement of the
crowd, which was still responding liberally to N a-
poteon's beggary.
Suddenly from the mountain slope near Pritch-
ard Creek a shot rang out, followed by two others
in quick succession. Josephina crumpled, clung
twitching to the swaying trunk, then crashed from
bough to bough to land heavy and limp at our feet.
I gave back with the crowd when Giuseppe, with
a volley of Latin imprecation, brandished a dagger,
threatening annihilation; certainly I felt dejected
with those about me as he knelt down to his beloved
Josephina.
A big black-bearded miner was passing a hat by
this time; he touched Giuseppe gently on the shoul-
der, and held out a collection of more than seventy-
five dollars. But Giuseppe spurned it angrily,
scatter~ng coins and bills in the dust. The crowd
turned away.
Finally, silently and disconsolately, he picked up
his harp, called in a husky, choking voice to Na-
SILVER STRIKE
poleon, and gathering the little grenadier to him, he
marched away through the dusk.
But our sorrow was soon lost in the practical.
We had not had fresh meat in many days. That
night we barbecued a bear.

That term of court adjourned the evening of the


night before Christmas in 1884. The north wind
howled down upon us, and snow fell three feet deep
in the canyon, with a still greater depth on the
mountain trails to Thompson's Falls and Coeur
d' Alene - all this at a time when Judge Buck,
Clagett, Woods, and others of the older lawyers
were looking forward to spending Christmas holi-
days in Spokane, Lewiston, Salt Lake, and else-
where with their families.
We were snowed in; we should remain snowed
in until packers cleared the trails - a matter of
days, perhaps weeks. There was nothing to do but
make the best of the situation; and that, from any
reasonable perspective, meant a banquet Christmas
night in honor of Judge Buck.
Failure of pack trains to arrive left us without
fresh meat. But that problem was solved by a
hunting party who invaded a herd of blacktail deer
wintering up the canyon. Our menu developed to
the point of venison, ham, beans, cabbage, and other
NAPOLEON AND JOSEPHINA 39
vegetables. We gathered for our banquet in the
dining room of the Louisville Hotel, a mingling of
la wyers, court attaches, and guests - mining men,
mining engineers, business men, and among them
Aulbaugh, of the Morning Sun, and Culver, his bit-
ter enemy, of the Evening Record.
That Christmas night we sat down at eight
o'clock; we arose the following morning at three.
N ever will there be another bar-association ban-
quet like that!
VI
UNCLE TOMMY REYNOLDS
THE English-speaking race, if I may trust the ob-
servations and experiences of a lifetime at the bar,
is by nature a law-abiding race with a deep and in-
herent regard for human life and property. There
are, of course, exceptions to the fundamental prin-
ciples of social and civil adjustment among people
the world over, and the Englishman as well; but
wherever you find him, whether in centres of civili-
zation, vine-clad with convention and tradition cen-
turies old, or along the frontier faced with circum-
stances new to statutes and codes, his movement,
individually and institutionally, is ever toward the
equity and justice symbolized by the court at its best.
In London, where life has been mellowed for
centuries in convention and tradition, the British
bobby carries no weapon other than a walking
stick, something which he is seldom forced to use.
In the California or Montana of two generations
ago, on the other hand, the raw material of the
UNCLE TOMMY REYNOLDS 41
frontier brought into being the Vigilantes, an or-
ganization as lawless in practice as the lawlessness
it sought to quell- its objectives and purposes,
nevertheless, aiming at the common good.
It succeeded; for that was a day when the nature
of circumstances enabled the individual to make his
own law and enforce it with the six-gun. Life was
cheap. Property had no value, owing to uncer-
tainty of possession. The primal law of the sur-
vival of the fit, something that has succeeded in
plant and animal life, and failed at every turn with
man, was asserting itself. The Vigilantes hanged
offenders first and tried them afterward -by the
score, in wholesale manner. Murder and robbery
had but one recompense-the noose.
Lawlessness and crime fled from California for
refuge in Montana, there to demoralize cattle
camps and mining towns; and the Vigilantes fol-
lowed. More murder and robbery - and more
hanging. But with few exceptions the man who
respected human life and property was safe; the
man who robbed and killed paid forfeit with his
neck. The organization worked with speed, with
silence, with surety; it defined, in terms of action
that were final, one man's natural obligations to
another.
42 SILVER STRIKE
These obligations became traditional wherever
men congregated on the frontier. It was so in
Murray -life was safe, property was safe. My
first month there I lived in a tent. I have often
had in this tent as much as two tons of grub, some-
thing, in a district so far removed from civilization
'as this, second only in value to gold. I have tied
my tent flap shut in the early morning and returned
late at riight, day after day, but never have I lost so
much as a toothpick. There was not a lock in town,
or a key. There was no need for locks and keys.
The Vigilantes had put the fear of God in men's
hearts.
Warren Hussey, for example, came to Murray
in February of 1884 with three thousand dollars
and founded our first bank. He had nothing but
tent walls; he had no safe. Resources and deposits
he kept in a suitcase, sleeping beside it unarmed.
He was never troubled.
I t was a mining life with a mining perspective:
gamblers, gunmen, and other members of the un-
derworld, as I have previously had occasion to
note, might ply their trade as long as they molested
no miner's life or property. But as far as the town
was concerned, they were rubbish and drift; if they
robbed or killed among themselves, that was their
privilege. I t was when a miner died or lost by their
UNCLE TOMMY REYNOLDS 43
hands that the shadow of the noose fell across their
path.
I recall, during this period of development, but
one case of this kind. Goosefoot Mulligan, com-
monly known as "Goosey," was charged with a
miner's death. Now Goosey was a cripple, and his
act was not without provocation - considerations
which saved him from mob violence and permitted
the law to take its course. I was appointed by
Judge Buck to undertake his defense, and after-
ward employed for the purpose by members of the
underworld, for a satisfactory fee - a hatfull of
gold, silver, and bills, most of it tainted money.
Even with an impartial jury the poor frightened
devil had but a slender chance; and with one juror
biased against him his case was hopeless. I knew
it; the fear in Goosey's face told me, in wordless
eloquence, that he knew it too.
A jury was drawn and peremptory challenges
exercised until we had passed and qualified eleven
men. All of my challenges were exhausted by this
time. I t was evident that the next man to be called
would be sworn unless he could be disqualified for
cause such as bias, prejudice, or entertaining an
opinion concerning the guilt or innocence of the de-
fendant.
My amazement was without bounds when the
44 SILVER STRIKE
clerk called as the twelfth juror Thomas Reynolds,
affectionately known in the camp as "Uncle
Tommy." Uncle Tommy, at the moment when he
stood up to be sworn, was a majestic old patriarch
somewhere in his sixties, six feet in height, broad
of shoulder, and well proportioned. He had a
great shock of snow-white hair and a flowing beard
equally white; his ruddy face was frank and hon-
est; his eyes were a kindly blue, full of humor and
merriment until something prodded his temper.
He was a personality, in whatever mood. He
had come from Ireland in his early youth, then in
1849 to California. He had followed the Cali-
fornia gold rush; he had lived through the breeziest
Colorado and Montana mining days. In all of
these places he had been reputed to be a leading
force in the Vigilantes.
Uncle Tommy knew nothing of legal technical-
ity and cared still less about it. He was simple,
honorable, and very quick to act on his own convic-
tions.
I shuddered for poor Goosey when Uncle Tommy
stood up. He looked first at Goosey, then at me.
His expression was one of withering contempt, as
if to say, "Bill Stoll, you might be engaged in better
things than the defense of a galoot like that."
UNCLE TOMMY REYNOLDS 45
I knew that Goosey had but one hope. Uncle
Tommy was sensitive and easily aroused; he would
explode regardless of time or place. I began his
examination with extreme caution.
"Mr. Reynolds," said I, "have you any conscien-
tious scruples against finding a man charged with
murder guilty, where the penalty is death?"
"N one at all, at all 1"
"This man is charged with murder."
"Yis, Oi know that."
"If found guilty, the penalty is death."
"Yis, sor, Oi know that too."
"You believe," I continued, "in giving every man
charged with a crime a square trial ?"
"Yis, sor, shure Oi do."
"Have you any bias or prejudice against the de-
fendant, charged as he is with murder?"
"None at all, at all!"
"Could you give him a fair trial?"
"Shure Oi could!"
This seemed to me to be the psychological mo-
ment; so I raised my voice sharply in the hope of
provoking the explosion; and pointing my index
finger at him, I proceeded thus: uyou say you
could give him a fair trial-would you do it,
Uncle Tommy?"
SILVER STRIKE
There was an instant flash in his blue Irish eyes,
his face flushed hotly with anger. He sat up rigid
and straight.
"Shure, Oi'l1 give him a fair, square trial," he
roared. "Oi'l1 try him, then Oi'11 hang the--
[and Uncle Tommy thundered out what cannot be
printed here] . But Oi '11 try him furst 1"
That disqualified Uncle Tommy. He marched
raging from the jury box.
That night, in some manner still unknown to me,
probably with the connivance of the underworld,
Goosey made his escape from the jail in which he
had been incarcerated. The following morning
Judge Buck declared it a mistrial, and my worries
were over. Goosey had done more for himself
than any lawyer could ever have done. I have not
heard from or of him since.

Uncle Tommy lived a long and useful life, one of


rigid single blessedness. In the years that fol-
lowed we had many a laugh over that incident in
court. Uncle Tommy, you see, had a sense of
humor all his own. "That," he used to say, "was a
dom' good joke on yer daddy, Kid."
Years later, when his hair and beard were pure
white, Uncle Tommy visited San Francisco, for
the first time since he had left California in the
UNCLE TOMMY REYNOLDS 47
'fifties. Uncle Tommy stood on Market Street
marveling at the changes that had taken place in the
last half century. Still marveling, he spat a great
gob of tobacco juice on the sidewalk. With that a
policeman's hand fell upon Uncle Tommy's shoul-
der.
"You're under arrest," he said.
"Arristed for phwat?" demanded Uncle Tommy,
shaking himself free in surprise and indignation.
"For spitting on the sidewalk," answered the
officer.
"Phwere in the divil would yez have me shpit?"
The argument went on, with Uncle Tommy's
wrath mounting.
Finally the officer said, "If you'll put up three
dollars for bail, I won't detain you."
"No," cried Uncle Tommy, "Oi'l1 be dom'd if Oi
do! Oi '11 give foive dollars to the furst newsbhye
thot comes along- but not one cint for graft!"
The officer blew his whistle. A wagon came and
took our venerable friend to the police station,
where, after considerable argument, he put up bail
for his appearance the following morning before
the municipal judge.
Uncle Tommy was there at the hour appointed.
Prisoners of all races were herded in together, with
Uncle Tommy among them.
SILVER STRIKE
At last Uncle Tommy stood before the bench, his
eyes flashing fire.
The judge looked down upon the dignified old
. .
man tn surprtse.
"What's this man charged with?" he demanded.
"Spitting on the sidewalk on Market Street,
Your Honor," the officer replied. But he got no
further.
Uncle Tommy Reynolds addressed the court.
"Me name, sor, is Thomas Reynolds. Oi am not
a buum! JJ Here he drew from his pocket a huge
roll of bills and shook it at the judge.
He then proceeded: "Oi'm a good cityzen.
Oi 'm a Forty-noiner. Oi am a good Christian as
well.
"Oi shtood on Market Street when ut was but a
footpath through the dunes. Then Oi lift Cali-
forny for Idyho, and Idyho for Montaana, and
Montaana for the Black Hills-and then back to
Idyho, and the Coeur d' Alenes, phwere me home
now is. Always Oi have pioneered on the frontier.
Oi have lived nayther in town nor in city.
"Oi know nothin' av town or city life, nor av laws
regulatin' shpittin'. N ow in me auld age - I am
eighty-two - Oi comes back to San Francisco for
the furst toime; and shtandin' on Market Shtreet,
the ould cow path av 1852, admirin' the great
UNCLE TOMMY REYNOLDS 49
buildin's, the crowds av people unlike the bhyes av
'forty-noine and 'fifty-two - overcome wid me
emotions, Oi shpits a gob of tobacco juice on the
sidewalk, and a copper arrists me."
Uncle Tommy paused, with a withering look of
contempt for the officer. Then he continued:-
"Now Oi'm in Police eoort, san'wiched in be-
twixt a whure in front av me, and a hay then
Chinaase behind me, charged wid a croime-
shpittin' on Market Shtreet, moine a half century
before the big buildin's wint up, and long before
thot copper was hatched from the bad egg thot gave
him birth.
"It's not the three dollars I cares for, Judge,-
Oi '11 give tin dollars to a newsbhye, or a hundred
dollars to a poor widow, - but it's bein' charged
wid a croime thot Oi objicts to; it's hein' herded
here wid haythens, naagers, and whures thot Oi
objicts to.
"Now, Judge," Uncle Tommy concluded, "it's
for ye to say if Thomas Reynolds is guilty av a
croime."
The judge looked straight into the face of the
grand old man before him.
"I find," he said, "Thomas Reynolds not guilty
of a crime against the City of San Francisco, and
I order his immediate discharge and the return to
50 SILVER STRIKE
him of the bail money deposited for his appear-
ance."
After a moment of silence the judge sat forward,
a smile on his face. "Mr. Reynolds," he said, "if
you have the time, would you mind coming to my
chambers when I am through here-say in about
an hour?"
"Shure Oi will, Yer Honor," Uncle Tommy re-
plied.
What occurred at this meeting can only be sur-
mised.
SILVER STRIKE
outraged the peace and dignity of the mining camp.
Dire threats were made against him by the popu-
lace, but he continued to raise his voice with an
asinine indifference to public sentiment, until he
finally usurped the spotlight, and in so doing
brought about a development that made millionaires
by the score and exploited the greatest, the richest,
and one of the most permanent mineral belts in the
history of our country.
From 1883 to 1885, hundreds of gold claims had
been worked to exhaustion in the Pritchard Creek
watershed. Then the rush had subsided. Life in
Murray was fast settling into commonplace: Aul-
baugh and Culver still hurled invective at each
other through their rival editorial columns; mining
claims in conflict kept litigation alive; Curly raced
do\vn Main Street on Sunday afternoons; men
drank and gambled, and the underworld still thrived
- but the old zest for life, the restless activity and
adventure of a year ago, had gone.
Mother lodes of gold are rarely found; and their
deposits lower down, by stream or other agencies
of nature, are soon claimed by intensive mining
operation. This was true at Murray just as it had
been true, years before, in California. From the
closing months of 1884, through to the time of
which I speak, rumors had heen drifting in of ga-
THE JACKASS STRIKE 5.3
lena discoveries on the upper South Fork, near the
present site of Mullen, and in the Canyon and Nine
Mile Creek districts, tributaries to the South Fork;
but they caused no excitement.
In August of 1885, Murray's building boom had
subsided. N. S. Kellogg, a man in his sixties, a
carpenter destitute and out of employment, decided
as a last resort to turn prospector. He applied to
O. O. Peck, a small contractor for whom he had
previously worked, and whom he considered his
friend, and Dr. J. T. Cooper, at one time a surgeon
in the British navy, for a prospector's grubstake.
Cooper was a Scotchman, big, heavy, somewhere
around Kellogg's age, and possessed of the thrift
characteristic of his race; Peck was a native of
Vermont, also in his sixties, ta1l, gaunt, lantern-
jawed, with a typical New England conscience.
Their enthusiasm, as they sat debating the matter
in Cooper's office, whither the insistent Kellogg had
followed Peck, was cold. Kellogg, desperate,
pleaded with them. And as he pleaded a familiar
bray echoed down the canyon.
"That damned ass," Cooper observed in disgust.
"Someone oughter take a shot at 'im," said Peck.
Ke1logg was shrewd enough to see his opportu-
nity. "Put a grubstake on his back," he begged,
"and I'll take him into the hills."
54 SILVER STRIKE
This was done after much bickering and protest.
That day Kellogg led the Jackass from town, up
Pritchard Creek, grumbling to himself and con-
temptuous of the meagre, inadequate outfit they
had given him-its total value less than twenty
dollars, and its substance such that it would not,
under even the most favorable circumstances, last
him a period of more than six weeks. But he was
in such financial straits that he had no choice in the
matter. He had applied everywhere else without
result, and this was at least something-he would
make the most of it. Nevertheless, he was vindic-
tive toward his benefactors, if such they can be
called.
That afternoon, pushing and prodding the Jack-
ass before him, he made his way up the Skyline,
thence over the ridge and down to a small stream in
the Beaver Creek watershed, where he camped for
the night. The following morning he crossed the
Beaver Creek watershed, climbed another ridge,
and late that afternoon came to the South Fork at a
point known as Bill Osborn's Ranch, now the town
of Osborn. After spending another night here,
he moved down the South Fork until he reached a
deep gulch breaking back into the ridge to the north
from the river. This he named Milo Gulch.
Three miles up he made his camp.
THE JACKASS STRIKE 55
The long and difficult two-day tramp through
the Coeur d' Alenes had in no sense diminished Kel-
logg's contempt for Cooper and Peck. He was
not to be envied as he relieved the patient Jackass
of the niggardly outfit obligating him to these pe-
nurious gentlemen; and his prospects were any-
thing but bright as, with the Jackass tethered
near by, he cooked supper over his camp fire in
the gulch he had so classically named, and later
pieced together a bed of fir boughs for his night's
repose.
Kellogg was not accustomed to the rigor and
hardship of unexplored mountain wilds like these.
He turned in exhausted. His sleep was long and
sound. When he awoke in the morning the sun
was high above the ridges.
His first glance showed him that he was alone-
the Jackass had slipped his tether and disappeared.
A search along the stream that tumbled down the
gulch further confirmed his loss. But as he made
his way back to camp, he heard a familiar voice; far
up, on a steep slope behind him, the Jackass was
braying.
The day was hot, the mountain was high, and
Kellogg was old; the effort, for a man of his age,
to recover the Jackass was fraught with no little
difficulty, but without the braying beast he was
SILVER STRIKE
helpless. He ate his breakfast in moody silence
and set out up the ridge.
Hour after hour, in the intense heat of the gulch,
he climbed, plodding up slope after slope, clinging
to a bull pine here and another there, fighting
through buck brush, resting in the sultry shade of
a ledge, and pulling his aching bones together for
another few yards up the mountain side. Late
that afternoon he came upon the Jackass grazing
in a patch of meadow and switching lazily at the
flies that fed upon him. The stupid brute, as Kel-
logg appeared, blinked his eyes contentedly, and ac-
cepted the halter with supreme indifference to the
profanity heaped upon him by his discouraged and
disgruntled master.
Some moments later Kellogg paused upon a ledge
to rest. He lighted his pipe, mopped perspiration
from his features, and gazed listlessly into Milo
Gulch. Relaxing thus, his hand fell upon a loose
rock in a great dike crossing the mountain from
east to west, and at right angles to Milo Gulch.
He picked it up. Beneath it he found galena in
place, and under that yet more galena. While not
by trade a prospector, he was well enough informed
in mining geology to know that this came from the
outcrop of a silver-lead vein.
Knocking the ashes from his pipe, he arose with
THE JACKASS STRIKE 57
a. new animation and studied the face of the ledge.
Before him, under his calloused finger tips, was ga-
lena 1 A few blows of his pick disclosed a vein of
extraordinary size, and practically pure galena.
By this time Milo Gulch was dusky with shadow
and the sun had sunk behind the western ridges.
Kellogg, his rancor toward the Jackass gone and
enthusiasm surging through his aged body, re-
turned to camp. At daybreak, leaving the Jackass
securely tethered, Kellogg, armed with a pick, re-
traced his steps to the ledge. By digging into the
outcrop, and removing the earth and the vein's cor-
roded surface, he found a continuous body of ga-
lena, frequently high in grade, clean, and of mar-
velous width and depth. He followed this conti-
nuity down the mountain side, across the gulch, and
up the opposite wall. Everywhere he picked, ga-
lena showed in amazing quantity.
Kellogg's discovery, that August day in 1885,
is what we now know as the Bunker Hill and Sulli-
van mine, the biggest silver and lead mine in the
world. To say that it has produced a gross of more
than a quarter of a billion dollars in metals, and
made more than fifty men millionaires, is not an ex~
travagant statement. A report recently published
shows that this mine has more than fifty miles of
drifts and underground tunnels, and that the ore
58 SILVER STRIKE
actually in sight cannot be worked out in half a cen...
tury of intensive mining operation.
On September 6, 1885, if my memory serves me
right, Kellogg located two claims, each fifteen hun-
dred feet in length on the dike. The one he named
the Bunker Hill, and the other the Kellogg. He
staked them properly - that is, a stake at each cor-
ner and one at the point of discovery; and he posted
in a conspicuous place on each claim a notice of
location signed: "N. S. Kellogg, 0; J. T. Cooper,
~ ; O. O. Peck, 34 ; locators."
Kellogg then struck out for Murray with the
Jackass and many fine samples of his find, blazing
a trail down Milo Gulch as he went, in order to be
able to return to his location. The Jackass he had
forgiven by this time; but Cooper and Peck, never.
His animosity toward them mounted proportion-
ately as he approached Murray. A vindictive
spirit goaded him with the thought that, having
shoddily outfitted him and made their contract with
him, they were entitled to share in his rich find.
We shall in time be involved in a great litigation
growing out of Kellogg's discovery and the singu-
lar and trivial facts contributing to it, a litigation
dramatic in the clash of the personalities and issues
involved. Knowing what is in store, I am to be
pardoned, I hope, if at this point I reach far enough
THE JACKASS STRIKE 59
into the future to snatch from its records, for the
reader's benefit, disclosures by O'Rourke and
others, after the trial, and after the purchase by
Simeon Reed of the Bunker Hill and Sullivan,
which bear out the truth of the incidents contained
in this chapter; namely, that the Jackass, through
his braying, led Kellogg to the discovery of this
greatest of galena lodes.
For a time the Jackass was a privileged charac-
ter around camp. Finally the part that he had
played was' forgotten in the increasing and cease-
less noise of his braying. The public moved
against him. Several sticks of dynamite were
lashed to his body, and a long fuse ignited. Once
again I see him galloping toward the outskirts, and
can picture the pell-mell rush of miners to escape
from his immediate vicinity, and hear the explosion
that reverberated through the canyon. That night
Murray slept in peace.
VIII
GALENA
KELLOGG was a man of shrewd intelligence, sensi-
tive, and when not blinded by his own vanity an
accurate judge of human nature. He appreciated,
first of all, the value of that galena lode in Milo
Gulch; he knew, next, the character of the men he
had to deal with in Cooper and Peck; and finally,
he recalled with no little bitterness the penury be-
hind the miserable outfit they had grudgingly pro-
vided him with. And now, by a queer turn of fate,
this outfit would enrich them, perhaps to the extent
of millions. He was fearful, too, that the same
miserly spirit would prevail in the development of
the claims, and that he would be kept in a state bor-
dering upon want. Kellogg's Scotch ire, as he re-
turned to Murray, gradually brought him to a pitch
of resentment.
He slipped into Murray by night, and in this dis-
agreeable frame of mind, without troubling to re-
port to either owner of the outfit, he sought out
GALENA 61
Dutch Jake, a noted gambler with a reputation for
open-handed spending.
Dutch Jake could appreciate the value of four
aces in a poker game with an expressionless face;
he studied Kellogg's ore specimen and heard his
tale with the same composure. Together they
hunted up our genial Irish friend, Phil O'Rourke.
An alliance with O'Rourke meant the support of
Murray's mining population. One glance at Kel-
log's samples, one word from Dutch Jake, and
O'Rourke, always ready for any adventure, was
easily enlisted.
Before daybreak Kellogg, O'Rourke, Can Sul-
livan, and Alec Monk were far up the Skyline trail,
headed for Milo Gulch with saddle horses, pack
horses, and an outfit to delight the heart of any
prospector.
Needless to say, they tore down Kellogg's orig-
inal notices, obliterated all marks on the stakes, and
made new locations, one named the Bunker Hill,
the other the Sullivan. The new names on the lo-
cations were: N. S. Kellogg, Jacob (Dutch Jake)
Goetz, Philip O'Rourke, and Con Sullivan. Kel-
logg's name, however, appeared only on the Bunker
Hill location, a notice which stated that he owned
one half, though later it developed that he held a
secret half in the Sullivan. These operations com-
SILVER STRIKE
pleted, they remained on the ground and sent a
representative to Murray in hot haste to file their
location notices.
The news of Kellogg's great discovery was
quickly out. Its effect upon Murray was that of a
spark in a powder magazine. Intense excitement
prevailed. There was an instant surge of the old
life. Claims were deserted. Mining operations
in the Pritchard Creek watershed halted. Men
rushed down from the hills. Burros and pack
horses were loaded with outfits. Galena was the
theme of every conversation. Within twenty-four
hours half the population had left for Milo Gulch,
a rabble racing over a mountain course to a rich
finish.
Had it not been for Cooper and Peck, I might
have joined the mob. A combination of circum-
stances held these unhappy gentlemen in Murray.
They sought an interview with Kellogg, who was
now at Milo Gulch, but Kellogg avoided them.
Then the Jackass brayed again-their Jackass.
They found the luckless Bucephalus wandering
about the outskirts of Murray in a state of neglect.
Such is human gratitude! From him they rushed
to the Recorder's office. That leisure-loving dig-
nitary opened before them the record of the Milo
Gulch mining claims. Kellogg's name was there,
GALENA
and with it a scrawl of the others already noted.
But the names of J. T. Cooper and O. O. Peck were
conspicuous by their absence.
At this time I had been associated for some
months as a junior partner with Major Woods.
We were sitting in our office talking galena when
Cooper and Peck burst precipitately in upon us.
Cooper's face was flushed with wrath, his breath
reeked with whiskey, and there was a wild light in
his eye as he waved his big hands and thundered
down upon us in a guttural, rage-choked, half-
intelligible Scotch generously intersp~rsed with
oaths reminiscent of his English navy days.
Peck slumped his ungainly length down upon a
bench and stared silently before him, greed and dis-
appointment mingling curiously in this old blacka-
moor's face. The situation, considering its back-
ground, would to a mere spectator have bordered on
the ludicrous.
" 'T is fraud, black fraud!" Cooper roared. "I
tell ye, mon, I hae ser'ed her Majesty, the Queen; I
hae sailed the se'en seas, and followed gold frae the
Sierras to the Coeur d' Alenes-but ne'er hae I
seen the equal 0' this - " And his voice trailed
away into oaths unprintable.
Major Woods, the old diplomat, sat forward with
an attitude admitting that they had been deeply, ir-
SILVER STRIKE
reparably wronged. I wanted to laugh, but I could
only look solemnly serious.
Cooper went on. "Here's me and my friend
Peck, sitting in my office attending tae oar owen af-
fairs, whan comes this beggar, Kellogg-asking
for an ootfit. And what, wi' all his whining, dae
we say? What can we dae but gie the wretch an
ootfit - claes and groob, an ass, and a guid ass, as
ye can noo see, and send him tae the hills tae pros-
pect. Out 0' oar owen pocket we gied ut him.
"And what daes the beggar and his ass dae?
Find a galena lode ten mile long and a mile deep,
eno' tae make e' ery mon in the Coeur d' Alenes a
mooltimillionaire. And then? Why, the bloody
wretch comes back wi' his braying ass and defrauds
us. Mon, I tell ye I '11 hae the law on him - I '11
make him eat Milo Gulch before he's done."
Thus Cooper unburdened himself of his woes, his
passion rising proportionately as he thought and
talked of his loss. Toward Kellogg his bitterness
knew no bounds.
Major Woods and I listened to Cooper's lively
recital of Kellogg's knavery. Here were we, law-
yers in a country of dying litigation, in a shabby
little town sleeping after its one golden hour; and
there, on the other hand, according to information
we had no reason to doubt, a few miles over the
GALENA 65
Beaver Creek watershed in Milo Gulch was one of
earth's richest ore veins-one in which we had, as
yet, no hand. Before us stood Cooper and Peck,
protesting their injury and offering us a cause.
We accepted it. We agreed to enforce their rights
for one fifth of any possible recovery either by
judgment or by settlement.
Before the ink was dry on the contract I was on
my way to Milo Gulch with John Flaherty, an ex-
perienced and very shrewd prospector, though no
older than 1. Having little knowledge of the coun-
try, nor of mining in the actual field, I had enlisted
Flaherty to aid me in my search for evidence.
Even on the strength of the Jackass and Kellogg's
outfit, supplied as they were by our clients, we had
a good case; a chance bit of direct evidence would
make it safe.
Flaherty was tough of sinew and agile as a moun-
tain buck, and an agreeable companion. Like my-
self and Major Woods, he too had a motive. He
was one of the best prospectors in the Coeur
d' Alenes ; here was the district's richest strike, with
Kellogg, a carpenter, O'Rourke a ne'er-do-well agi-
tator, and a host of others basking in the favor of
the gods for no other reason than the voice of a don-
key, while he shivered in the cold.
Galena gave wings to our feet. We followed a
66 SILVER STRIKE
trail worn deep by traffic; men on horse dashing by,
men on foot swinging along with perspiration
beaded on their brown faces; gray-bearded old
prospectors laboring under packs and rolls of blan-
kets; the ceaseless beat of hoofs, the pad of caulked
shoes; a shout, a grumble, a burro's bell tinkling-
this was the press through which Flaherty and I
fought our way.
We had no difficulty in finding the Galena region.
A host of miners were already working over the
territory like ants, locating claims where claims had
not been located, and in some cases where they had.
O'Rourke, Con Sullivan, and others of this enter-
prising company were very much in evidence, al-
though Kellogg, for some reason, would have none
of me.
O'Rourke greeted us with a bland smile, his big
Irish face ruddy with triumph through his sandy
beard.
"Phil," I said, "I want to look around a bit."
They were absolutely sure of themselves.
O'Rourke was never in merrier humor.
"And there ut tis," he cried, waving his hand
eloquently toward the gulch walls. "Yez kin ex-
amine ut to yer heart's contint. When we came
here, 't was virgin sileo If Cooper and Peck, and
their jackass, have a more prior claim to the wilder-
GALENA
ness than the rist of American cityzens, the Lord
bliss 'em."
Flaherty and I, following O'Rourke's directions,
climbed the gulch wall to the ledge. N ever have
I seen a galena vein to compare with that! One
blow of a pick, and its broken fragments glittered
with a white silver light. The rock was richly
flecked. I was swept off my feet with the marvel-
ous lode width and depth before me: it had a con-
tinuity of more than a mile, easily traceable - down
the mountain side, across the gulch, and up the op-
posite slope; it had a width of from four to twenty-
five feet; and it extended down to a depth inestim-
able.
The thrill of its proximity, and the thought of
what it would ultimately mean, left me breathless.
It had the same effect upon Flaherty, who as a miner
could more accurately estimate its worth than 1.
We searched the claims over, every foot of them;
we found chips, at points here and there, that might
have come from stakes, but upon them were no tell-
tale marks. Kellogg and his friends had evidently
covered up his fraud perfectly. Our quest seemed
doomed to failure.
Suddenly, from a spot a few yards below me to
my right, on the Bunker Hill, Flaherty whistled
softly.
68 SILVER STRIKE
"Bill," he called in a low voice.
I was there in a few bounds.
He held out a torn and dirty scrap of paper, a
printed form used in posting notices on mining
claims. It read: "Dated Sept. 6th. N arne of
claim: Bunker Hill. N. S. Kellogg, ~; J. T.
Cooper, 7.4 ; O. O. Peck, ,74: ; locators." It was in
Kellogg's own handwriting. It was the original
location notice. Flaherty grinned broadly. We
said nothing.
How it got there I do not know, nor can I hazard
a reasonable guess. I know only that it was there,
there in spite of all their precautions; there under a
fragment of rock loosed by Flaherty's foot, and its
discovery the merest of incidents. The weather,
in the fall of the year through the Coeur d' Alenes,
is dry and crisp, and there had been no rain. Rain
would have destroyed it. The discovery of that
vein of ore rested with the bray of a donkey; its
ownership now depended upon this unassuming
scrap of paper.
I folded the precious document and tucked it
away in a buckskin pouch suspended from my neck
and inside my shirt. Flaherty and I made our way
down the gulch wall while the sun was still above
the ridges.
O'Rourke and Con Sullivan welcomed us with
GALENA
the most effusive hospitality; they invited us to sup-
per and set their best before us. I wonder what
their greeting would have been had they known the
content of my pouch! I wonder if the joking,
devil-may-care attitude I assumed served as ade-
quate disguise for the excitement raging in my
blood!
"Well, me bhye," said O'Rourke, with a twinkle
in his blue eyes, "phwat did yez foind?"
"Not much, Phil," I replied.
"And did n't Oi till yez so!" he exclaimed.
"Did n't Oi till yez 't was virgin sile - virgin sile
just as the Lord lift ut? Here yez comes racin' to
Milo Gulch, lookin' for ividence; and yez foind no
ividence. And phwy? For the reason, me bhye,
thot there ain't no ividence."
I looked him easily in the eye. "I guess you're
right. I've been on a wild-goose chase."
"Av coarse Oi'm roight. Yez have in yez the
makin's av a man; and here yez go chasin' rain-
bows - phwy the hell don't yez prospict here wid
the rist av us? If 't is yer fortune yer a-wishin' to
make, shtick aroond, me bhye, and we'll make yez
rich."
"Thanks, Phil- thanks a lot !" I laughed.
"Woods and I have an assault case coming up in
Murray day after to-morrow. I've got to get
70 SILVER STRIKE
back. If I make it to the Forks to-night, I '11
camp there, and get an early start to Murray in the
morning. I 'd like to stay with you, you know;
but you're a miner, and I 'm trying to be a law-
yer."
Phil fairly exploded with good humor. "'Tis
no difference," he cried. "Shtay all noight if yez
wish; if not, the best a v luck."
"Thanks, 1'11 be heading down the gulch."
"Have ut as yez wish," he answered. "Iviry
man to himsilf. Flaherty here - he's a good
Oirishman, if such be; shtick wid us, Jack, and
we'l1 be showin' yez virgin site thot has in ult
traysure."
Flaherty was too much of a prospector to refuse
the invitation; in fact, I am of a mind that nothing
could have taken him out of the Gulch. I t was his
real purpose in joining me. Fortunately, while I
was close by, he had not given my secret away.
I turned to go.
O'Rourke roared after me. "Yer travelin'
loight, me bhye; ye'l1 b' shtarvin' before yez get
half the way to Murray. Wait a bit, wait a bit!"

The sun was soon gone. The air was crisp and
cool. A thin smoke haze of Indian summer hung
over the ridges to the south. Camp fires dotted the
GALENA 71
mighty walls of Milo Gulch. Farther down along
the creek, where one sent its ruddy glow high among
the pines, I heard the strumming of a guitar and
the rasping of a frontier fiddle. Frequently I
turned aside from the trail while a miner or a pack
train, dusty with travel, passed by.
I went down to the edge of a pool and drank
deeply of the cold mountain water. As I did so I
felt that pouch and its roll of paper tight against
my chest.
What if Flaherty, warmed by good food and
good company, were to grow talkative? In fancy
I saw the quick flush of rage in O'Rourke's face;
I saw Kellogg's eyes light with resentment. What
if they were following me? My hand fell on the
Colt's in my holster. I ts presence there was, al-
most for the first time in my brief frontier experi-
ence, reassuring. I walked quickly back, stopping
just short of the trail, and straining my ear to the
dusk. I heard nothing.
Murray was thirty miles away by trail, and a
shorter distance as the crow flies. If Flaherty had
talked, O'Rourke and the others would have little
difficulty picking me up on the trail, or following me
wherever I went in daylight. Night and the vast
limitless spaces of the Coeur d' Alenes offered a
safety that would be lost with dawn. I took at once
SILVER STRIKE
to the hills, my guides through this uncharted wil-
derness the stars.
Several hours of steady tramping up the moun-
tain through dense growths of white pine and cedar,
broken here and there by the charred snags of an
old burn, brought me to the first slope of a ridge
walling the South Fork. My course was north by
east. Somewhere beyond was Murray. The way
was still difficult, but a harvest moon came over the
eastern highlands. I followed parallel with the
ridge to the gorge of a mountain brook tumbling
down to the South Fork, and picking my way up
this, through buck brush, and scrambling over
rocks and boulders, I had fought my way by mid-
night through a pass and down the southern slope
of the Eagle Creek watershed.
My hands and face were scratched and bleeding
from the brush; my clothes were torn and my bones
aching; my senses were alert to every sound, my
eye sensitive to every movement and form in the
moonlight. Once on the fringe of a mountain
meadow, I heard a hoof beat. I listened intently.
It came again, this time a hundred yards ahead of
me through the trees. I moved cautiously ahead,
keeping in the shadows. A branch snapped under-
foot. A shrill whistle answered. I laughed. It
was a buck deer.
GALENA 73
Dawn was breaking when I plodded over the last
painful yards of Main Street to our office and, in
its rear, our bachelor quarters where we cooked and
slept.
A loud knock brought the Major to the door in
his nightshirt. I staggered over the threshold,
now that the long and difficult journey was ended,
on the verge of exhaustion. The Major was too
much the military veteran to display surprise.
HAny luck, Bill?" he said quietly.
"Plenty, Major," I grinned back, handing him
the pouch.
A slow smile spread over his features as he read
the paper.
"I guess that settles it, Bill," he concluded.
I slept until late that afternoon. When I awoke,
the Major was absorbed in mining law. Three
days later Aulbaugh won a great victory-he had
scooped Culver with this latest story of galena.
When the first copy of Aulbaugh's Morning Sun
reached Milo Gulch, it spread consternation. The
language of Messrs. O'Rourke, Kellogg, Sullivan,
and others was loud and abusive. They were
ready to skin Flaherty, but he fought 'em back like
a true Irishman - Greek against Greek, Irish
against Irish. Later he was to prove one of our
best witnesses.
74 SILVER STRIKE
O'Rourke, for he was the realleader now, Kel-
logg, and Con Sullivan raised a cry of fraud and
forgery that echoed back to Murray, but there was
the scrap of paper in Kellogg's own handwriting,
antedating their own notices; there was the aban-
doned Jackass; there was Kellogg's grubstake de-
livered by Jim Wardner's grocery and charged to
Cooper and Peck; there was, in the midst of all this,
the further salient fact that Kellogg had avoided
Cooper and Peck, and had refused to see me when
I went to Milo Gulch in their interest.
Meantime Flaherty had filed a claim, naming it
the Last Chance for reasons, in view of the hun-
dreds that had already rushed in there, too obvious
to demand exposition. Associated with him in the
enterprise were ]. L. (Yellow Dog) Smith, M.
Carlin, and John Burke, after whom the town of
Burke has since been named.
IX

MILO GULCH

MAJOR WOODS and I then brought suit for Cooper


and Peck against Kellogg, O'Rourke, Sullivan, and
others, charging fraud and praying that our clients
be adjudged owners of a half interest in both claims,
and that they be placed in possession. The filing
of our complaint and subsequent legal formalities
were but the preliminary move to a -great legal
battle; and I leave it here with both sides marshal-
ing forces for the April term of court in 1886, the
time set for trial.
Murray was now sleeping in warm sunlight: her
gold claims were exhausted; her cabins deserted;
her population on the march for Milo Gulch, where
two towns were already struggling through civic
infancy.
Kellogg, O'Rourke, and Sullivan were not
miners. They reasoned in terms of ownership and
dollars, not of development; they understood none
of the problems involved in bringing ore forth from
the earth. Their treasure house was locked to
SILVER STRIKE
them by Nature, and they needed money. When
Jim Wardner and A. M. Esler offered them a good
sum for a lease on both mines, they gladly accepted.
Wardner and Esler appreciated the virtue of
giant powder; they were soon blasting ore out of
quarries, soon absorbed in the construction of a
road down the gulch to the confluence of Milo Creek
with the South Fork. They scoured the country
for teamsters and wagons. They overcame ob-
stacles considered impossible. They were builders,
engIneers. Such men attract others of their
kind.
D. C. Corbin came from Spokane. With Ward-
ner and Esler, he studied Milo Gulch, the size and
potential tonnage of its lode; and as a consequence
of this study he started work on a narrow-gauge
railroad. This road was built from the head of
navigation on the Coeur d'Alene proper to the
mouth of Milo Gulch in the space of a few months;
and engines, drawing behind them cars heavily
laden with lumber, merchandise, and supplies for
thirty-five hundred people, labored up the valley.
Wardner and Esler blasted their way into the
lode, and its ore came down in tons while the dull
reverberations of powder explosions echoed and
reechoed in the gulch. Teamsters, with six horses
in a team, hauled clean ore down to the railway; the
MILO GULCH 77
railway, in turn, moved it to barges at the head of
navigation; and in these it passed down river and
across the lake, thence to Spokane to be shipped to
Tacoma, Anaconda, and other smelter regions.
Teamsters returned to Wardner with loads of
lumber. This lumber took form in homes and
business buildings. A new Main Street developed.
Within sixty days nearly four thousand people had
rushed to this new mining centre. At the point
where the lode traverses, the gulch is but a few hun-
dred feet in width, with a steep grade down Milo
Creek to the South Fork. The mountains rise
precipitately on either side to a height of more than
three thousand feet. High on the western wall
was the Bunker Hill; and on the eastern the Sulli-
van. Half a mile below this point the gulch bends
sharply, like a crescent. It was here that Wardner
became a town. Overnight, like Murray, it grew;
but unlike Murray its mile length of Main Street
curved sharply with the gulch, and houses and busi-
ness buildings huddled thickly on either side.
The underworld straggled along the bluff, higher
up, on an elevation overlooking the town - at night
a twinkle of red lights. And a strange town it
was: from the upper end of Main Street to the
lower, the sidewalks ran level for a little way; then
a flight of steps led to another level, and another,
SILVER STRIKE
and so to the lower limit of the town. From the
upper end of Main Street to this point, a distance of
nearly a mile, there was a grade of considerably
more than a hundred feet. Curly, had Murray
cared to spare him, might have staged an interest-
ing race down this unusual avenue on Sunday after-
noon.
What is now the town of Kellogg, named after
N. S. Kellogg, just as Wardner was named after
J. F. Wardner, was laid out during the same period
at the mouth of Milo Creek, where it empties into
the South Fork-an ideal town site, spacious, level,
perfectly drained, and the soil about it, spreading
back on either side in the valley of the South Fork,
rich and deep. To-day Kellogg is a neat, clean city
with excellent railway facilities, modern schools,
and a modern business district, - a hive of indus-
trial activity, -while Wardner is practically aban-
doned.
Both towns, aside from the fact that their build-
ings were made of lumber instead of logs, were like
Murray-given over to whiskey, gambling, the
underworld, and other frontier diversions. Win-
ter came with its deep snows; but the dull heavy
explosions of giant powder reverberated through
the gulch in spite of it. The roads were cleared as
fast as snow fell. Teams plodded down to the rail-
MILO GULCH 79
road. Locomotives lumbered down to barges.
Men labored with galena.
O'Rourke ruled with a free hand. He was the
centre of attraction before any bar, upon any dance
floor. He had money now, from the lease of the
Bunker Hill and Sullivan to Wardner and Esler.
He spent it freely. "Come on, bhyes," he would
roar as he leaned on any bar, "and dhrink wid Phil
O'Rourke!" And a rush would follow, and many
rounds of whiskey. Miners like whiskey. His
good humor and generosity were inexhaustible.
The miners liked him.
Kellogg, on the other hand, was retiring, tight-
lipped, and close-fisted. Sullivan lacked personal-
ity. O'Rourke made clear to the miners and the
public his side of the legal action pending by Cooper
and Peck in regard to the Bunker Hill and Sullivan
cla.ims; and the miners and the public accepted his
cause as their own. Woods and I, as a conse-
quence, were practically boycotted as far as legal
business from Wardner went. Then, to make
matters worse, the Major, as was his custom, went
to Salt Lake to winter with his family. I was left
alone.
The winter was long and severe. I had little
use for Cooper and Peck personally. Their com-
pany did not interest me. Championing an un-
80 SILVER STRIKE
popular cause is a dreary business on the frontier,
and my loneliness increased as the weeks wore on
to Christmas. Murray lapsed into a snow-bound,
frozen listlessness, accepting her fate meekly.
There was no activity; there was little litigation.
It was necessary in those days, when charge ac-
counts were unknown, to pay cash for whiskey and
other essentials to human happiness and comfort.
My money dribbled away.
January dragged through to February, and F eb-
ruary to March. Then the chinook came as the
chinook comes to the Coeur d' Alenes in early
spring. The snow melted, the ice broke up, and
Pritchard Creek awakened from her winter's sleep.
My drooping spirits revived. I knew that the
Major would be in with the first pack train from
Thompson's Falls. I knew that we should soon
test our case in court. There was a thrill in the
thought of this clash.
x
INTERLUDE
NEAR the end of the month, a day or two before the
Major's arrival, I was sitting in the office with my
back to the door, reading Bleak House, when the
door opened cautiously. I swung around to find a
small, watery-eyed Jew before me.
His hair was straight and greasy, his shoulders
narrow and stooped; his eyes were sharp and black,
like a ferret's. He was typical of the cheap-trades-
man class of his race, a great race. I asked him to
sit down. He said that he preferred to stand.
Re came to the point quickly.
"I'd like to get some legal advice," he said.
"How much you charge?"
Considering the depressed state of my finances,
I would have advised him all day for a nominal
sum; but for some reason, I know not why, I told
him ten dollars.
His hand disappeared beneath his belt and groped
far down inside his trouser leg. Without protest,
he pulled forth a large roll and peeled off a sweat-
82 SILVER STRIKE
stained ten-dollar hill. When he handed it to me,
it looked as big and as important as the Bunker Hill
.
nune.
"VeIl," he began with some fervor, "me und mine
brudder, ve own a liddle store down de street. In
de vinter times, de business she is so dull dot last fall
I tink me I should let Sammy run de store, und I
give him all de profits, und I go out in de Villamette
Valley in Oregon, und I sell goods from a pack until
.
spring.
"Dot been all right mit Sammy mine brudder.
Last November 27th, I go mit a pack to Thompson's
Falls .. Yen I get to Thompson's Falls, I got six
hours to vait for my train; so I write me a ledder
to mine mudder in Poland; und I say:
"DEAR MUDDER:
HI send you $200. Send me a vife. Send me a
good strong vife.
"Your loving son,
"IXEY

"Und den I put two hundred-dollar bills in dot


ledder, und I vent up so no one can see me, und I
register dot ledder to mine mudder in Poland. Den
de train come, und I go to Portland. Ven I get to
Portland, I buy me a pack und I sell goods until last
veek, und I make four hundred und fifty-nine dol-
lars und fifty cents profits. Dot vas enough to pay
INTERLUDE
for mine vife und two hundred fifty-nine dollars
und fifty cents more.
"Den yesterday I come in here to take charge of
mine business mit mine brudder Sammy, und yen I
get here, Sammy is got mine vife, und he is married
to him.
"So I say: 'Sammy, you is mine brudder, but you
got mine vife.'
"Sammy he say : 'No, he is mine vife.'
'''But, Sammy,' I say, 'I send me two hundred
dollars to mine mudder in Poland for dot vifes ; but
my vife he comes yen I ain't here, und you steal my
vife.'
"But Sammy he get mad, like a dog, und he say:
'Ikey, dot is my vife, und dot is de end of it.'
"Den I say, 'Sammy, ve is brudders; ve must not
quarrel; ve must have no misunderstandings - ve
gompromise: you gif me dot two hundred dollars
mit 6 per cent interest from last November 27th,
und you keep de vif e.'
"Den Sammy he say: 'No, Ikey, dot vould n't be
business.'
"Now vot shall I do ? V ot can I do ?"
The little man had been illustrating his vivid and
unconventional narrative with gestures in the best
and most approved Israelite fashion. At its con-
clusion, his hands dropped eloquently to- his sides,
SILVER STRIKE
an expression of deep personal injury spread over
his sallow face, and his eyes lighted greedily.
I suppressed a desire to laugh; but my client's
ten-dollar bill, my first retainer fee in weeks, was
crumpled securely in my pocket, and the knowledge
of what it would mean, in my present circum-
stances, warmed me through and through with
sympathy. I sat back with an air of serious re-
flection.
"I'm sorry, my friend," I then explained, "but
you have no remedy at all. Your brother, from
what you tell me, knew nothing of the money, or
the fact that you had sent to Poland for a wife;
and there was no contractual relation between your-
self and Sammy. Sammy has, so far as I can de-
termine, violated no obligation that he owed you,
considering the status of a woman in America as a
free and independent personage with a legal right
to make her own choice of a husband."
My client's hands came up in despair.
"Mine God," he cried, hunching his shoulders to
his ears, "is dot de law?"
"That is the law."
He got out a soiled piece of paper and began to
figure rapidly.
"VeIl," he said at last, with a sharp note of dis-
appointment in his voice, "I am out two hundred
INTERLUDE 85
und ten dollars now, mit interest on two hundred
dollars since last November 27th; dot is almost half
so much as I make since dot time. Mine God, it is
awful!"
He remained with me for more than two hours.
We discussed it from every possible angle. Finally
he bowed profoundly and left.
Major Woods came. We plunged into endless
detail of preparation for the trial now soon to break.
O'Rourke rode over occasionally from Wardner to
drink with the few miners and prospectors remain-
ing in Murray, and to tell them his version of the
fraud we were supposed to have perpetrated upon
him, Kellogg, Sullivan, and others of their com-
pany; he stood before the Murray bars and shouted
fraud and forgery, referring to the notice Flaherty
had found, in a broad and eloquent Irish tongue.
Miners passed us by with scarce a word. The
atmosphere was tense. The Major and I, fearing
the force of Clagett's personality, coupled with
O'Rourke's hold upon the miners, enlisted W. B.
Heyburn in our cause. In the meantime, I forgot
my Jewish client.
Three weeks later, however, a day or two before
the opening date set for the trial, he reappeared in
our office, this time grinning all over.
"I'm married," he announced triumphantly.
86 SILVER STRIKE
I congratulated him warmly.
"Yes, I'm married," he repeated. "I got a vife.
Sammy, he go to Portland to buy goods; und yen
he get back, he say: "Ikey, mine brudder, I got you
a vife, und here he is.'
"My vife," Ikey continued, "he is a good vife; ve
got married yesterday.
"Dis morning Ikey he come to me, und he had a
paper in his hand, und he say: 'Ikey, mine dear
brudder, I buy your vifes a dress for ten dollars,
shoes for three dollars, ticket from Portland to
Thompson's Falls, thirty dollars. Now Ikey,' he
say, 'I like you should pay me dot.'
"Den I say: 'No, Sammy, dot vould n't be busi-
ness; I did n't tell you to bring me no vifes.'
"Den Sammy he get mad like a dog. Den I
say, 'Sammy, you is mine brudder; ve gompromise:
you got my vife vot cost me two hundred dollars;
den you bring anudder vifes, und you pay only
about sixty dollars. You is my brudder. I call it
square.'
"Den Sammy he say, 'Ikey, ve is brudders; ve is
been hrudders many years - I take ten days to
tink it over.'"
And with this, my friend slipped shyly through
the door and was gone.
XI

THE BUNKER HILL AND SULLIVAN


TRIAL

A FULL court docket, most of it litigation arising


from conflicts over mining claims, served to delay
our trial. The fresh pure beauty of spring, with
its tender delicate greens and its buds and blossoms,
was lost in the dust and heat of early summer as
the weeks slipped by to June. The sun beat relent-
lessly down upon Pritchard Creek canyon and its
shambles of a town. Miners knocked off from
work and trekked to Murray in scores as the time
for the trial drew near; prospectors came down
from the hills; and man by man, group by group,
the Coeur d' Alene frontier gathered round one vital
scrap of paper.
The evening before the trial Major Woods and I
strolled down Main Street. I was young and
strong, the Major was old and gray, and wise in
the ways of men. What a rigorous schooling in
law and in the study of law he had given me in the
course of our preparation for this strugglel
88 SILVER STRIKE
The day had been hot and stifling. With Hey-
burn we had been absorbed in a final tedium of de-
tail since early morning. N ow we were ready for
the test. I t was a relief. But we had purpose in
this walk. Sentiment prevailing, since the filing of
our suit, had made us objects of suspicion, with our
good faith, our integrity, and our courage ques-
tioned. The miner, rough and elemental as he is
on the exterior, has an amazing capacity for judg-
ing human nature accurately: he is quick to loathe
the coward, or one who hides away; he is quick to
respect the man, though an enemy, who walks be-
fore him boldly. Our cause was unpopular with
the mining public, and for this reason the Major
and I had been ostracized and boycotted for weeks,
as had our clients, Cooper and Peck.
Miners, big of shoulder and brown of face,
lounged in groups on either walk or congregated
in saloons, their talk galena talk; the atmosphere
was tense with feeling and sentiment; they were
critical- weighing us, balancing us instinctively.
For this reason Main Street was our promenade.
There was something of the soldier left in the
Major's stride; he walked erect before these spec-
tators and met their eyes with quiet determination.
Dutch Jake's temple of faro and whiskey was
quiet but for one eloquent voice, whose words, none
BUNKER HILL TRIAL
the less spirited for whiskey, floated out to us on
the cool night air that had filled Pritchard Creek
canyon. The Major smiled in his quiet way.
"For twinty dollars and a Jackass," O'Rourke
was shouting, "they'd take from honest miners a
mine worth millions! Who iver heard a v Peck and
Cooper minin'? Here's mesilf, and Kellogg, a
man afther yer own hearts, and Con Sulli~ant, an
Oirishman and a Christian - the three av us; and
phwat do we do? Phwy, we prospict as miners
prospict! That's what we done. And phwat do
we foind? The richest lode av ore in the Coeur
d'Alenes! And phwat do we do wid ut? Phwy,
share ut wid yez as miners and minin' men.
Phwere else in this great wilderness would yez be
wurrukin' if ut were not for Phil O'Rourke, N oab
Kellogg, and Con Sullivant?
"And now phwat are they thryin' to do, God bliss
'em? Rob us av phwat the Lord gave us. Does
ut shtand to reason, me friends, that Cooper and
Peck and thayre Jackass should own ore that only
miners and minin' men have the sinse to foind and
locate? Come on, bhyes, and dhrink wid Phil
O'Rourke on Phil O'Rourke to the Bunker Hill and
Sullivant-and to hell wid Cooper and Peck and
thayre Jackass I"
A wild hurst of applause rolled out to us as we
SILVER STRIKE
moved slowly on in the dusk. O'Rourke had been
making that speech for weeks, both at Wardner
and at Murray; he had been shouting fraud and
forgery to the high heavens, and none could shout
it better.
Murray's mining population, plied liberally with
O'Rourke's whiskey, and inspired by his Hibernian
oratory, was uproariously drunk and getting
drunker every moment as we shouldered our way
back to the office.
I turned in. Sleep did not come. To-morrow,
with the Major and Heyburn, I should face Clagett
and Ganahl and Allen. To-morrow I should take
my stand in an important case for the first time, on
equal footing at the bar, with these men who were
great in my eyes then even as they are great in my
eyes and heart now. I was as nervous as a runner
before his first big race. The night wore on. The
shouting died down. My eyes closed at last.
Dawn broke clear and bright. No dawn ever
meant more to me.
Every bench was crowded with miners long be-
fore court opened, and every aisle; miners stood on
ladders, filling the windows with big brown serious
faces; miners surged in at the door, elbowing for
each last inch of space; miners milled and banked
outside. But order prevailed at that moment, just
BUNKER HILL TRIAL 91
as order prevailed throughout the trial. We gath-
ered at a long rough table before the bench: Clagett,
Ganahl, Allen, and their clients at one end and side;
the Major, Heyburn, myself, and Cooper and Peck
at the other, all of us facing Judge Buck, who had
entered quietly.
N ever will Idaho have another court sitting like
that: several hundred silent miners, black-bearded,
flannel-shirted men, disciplining their emotion and
passion to patience, confident in the institution now
about to try a cause that was their own and vital to
them. On one hand an imposing array of counsel
with personality, force, knowledge and experience,
wealth behind it, with public sympathy behind it,
and with property possession yet another card in
the showdown - they had everything from Clagett
on down to the last miner straining his ears at the
door. We had little: we were poor; I was inex-
perienced; Major Woods was frail; our cause was
universally disclaimed; we had nothing but a scrap
of paper and a jackass.
Judge Buck spat a mouthful of tobacco juice
upon the floor. That was a mannerism of the
judge, the only outer expression he ever gave to
excitement within him. Clagett and the rest of
us all chewed tobacco. We spat it on the floor.
The frontiersman who did not chew tobacco was
92 SILVER STRIKE
rare, and cuspidors were rarer still- a cuspidor at
this period would have attracted as much attention
as a marble bathtub in the hotel. Sam, Judge
Buck's nigger, scrubbed the floor between sessions;
and Sam was a busy darkey boy. A black plug,
heavy with licorice, went the rounds. Every man
bit into it where every other man had bitten into it.
Not to have done so would have been an unpardon-
able breach of etiquette.
Clagett won the opening tilt. It was an equity
case, but he demanded a jury to assist the judge in
determining the facts.
"Your Honor," he began, "I would of all men be
the last to question your ability to judge the evi-
dence now about to be laid before you; but the issue
at stake in this case, involving, as it does, millions,
is of such importance, both to my clients and to the
Territory of Idaho, that the decision should rest
with men rather than one man, however wise, how-
ever impartial he may be. Therefore, with all due
respect, I pray you that a jury be impaneled to as-
sist you in your final deliberations."
A jury was called and examined. Our peremp-
tory challenges were quickly exhausted. We knew
what the jury's verdict would be. Judge Buck
knew. The crowd knew. Nevertheless there
should be a trial. I t was an intelligent jury made
BUNKER HILL TRIAL 93
up of honest men-a jury, I believe, superior to
any nine out of ten impaneled in any court to-day.
But it was poisoned. For six months it had heard,
as individuals, nothing but: "And for twinty dol-
lars and a jackass they'd take from honest miners a
mine worth millions! Whoiver heard of Cooper
and Peck minin'?" For six months they had drunk
O'Rourke's whiskey and listened to his agitation.
Men are human. Bias and prejudice reigned.
Our first witness was John Flaherty. Flaherty's
life in Wardner, since the discovery of that scrap
of paper, had been none too pleasant. There on
the witness stand he was coming back at those who
had heckled him. He had the truth to tell.
Three days were given to his examination and
cross-examination. He testified concerning our
trip to Milo Gulch; he related the finding of Kel-
logg's original notice, which we then introduced as
evidence. In cross-examination, Clagett showed
him no mercy; with subtle implication he charged
Flaherty with falsehood. This Flaherty denied.
He was a shrewd Irishman. He fought back at
Clagett with an Irish wit; he met satire with satire,
and quip with quip. Clagett was forced to smile,
and Flaherty left the stand unshaken.
Cooper was a big man physically, and a towering
personality, though until this moment, owing to the
94 SILVER STRIKE
'fact that we had long been accustomed to seeing
him in liquor, none of us had realized it. His jaw
might have been hewn from granite; courage
flashed in his steady gray eye, an eye clear and
bright from weeks of utter sobriety, his sacrifice
for the battle we were now waging for him. He
had knocked about the world for many years; he
knew life from the wide range of his contacts with
it. He was in perfect possession of his faculties
as he took the stand after Flaherty.
I should like at this point to detail his examina-
tion by Major Woods, for the Major was one of
the great personal forces in this trial, a match for
Clagett or for any other legal mind; but the facts
upon which our case was ultimately to rest are rea-
sonably clear to the reader without troubling, at
this time, with questions and answers which might
perhaps, before the conclusion, prove tiresome.
Let it suffice to say that Cooper was a Scotchman
fightii1g for a fortune, with his wits whetted to a
perfect edge by the treasure at stake. On top of
this he had been for six months an object of ridi-
cule and hatred. The stony faces in the assem-
blage sobered him to vindictiveness, but it was a
vindictiveness that comforted, steadied, and sup-
ported him. His answers were concise, clear, and
amazingly intelligent. Like Flaherty, he was tell-
BUNKER HILL TRIAL 95
ing the truth. He looked Kellogg straight in the
eye as that equally interesting personality sat at the
counsel table with Ganahl on one side and Clagett
on the other.
When Major Woods concluded his examination,
two days later, the following salient items stood
forth prominently: -
I. A contract whereby Kellogg was to prospect
the lower South Fork for galena, and Cooper and
Peck were each to share one fourth in any possible
find.
2. The grubstake purchased at Jim Wardner's
store and delivered, though charged and yet to be
paid for, to Kellogg with the Jackass, the entire
cost of which was less than twenty dollars.
3. Kellogg's departure and return to Murray
clandestinely later, avoiding Cooper and Peck,
abandoning the Jackass in the environs of Murray.
4. His clandestine departure, on the evening or
night of his arrival, with Con Sullivan, Phil
O'Rourke, and Alec Monk, adequately equipped
with horses and an outfit, and his going directly
to the Bunker Hill and Sullivan claims on Milo
Gulch, locating them, and within a short time filing
notices of location with Kellogg, O'Rourke, Con
Sullivan, and Alec Monk as locators.
S. No notice or advice of any kind to Cooper
96 SILVER STRIKE
and Peck that he (Kellogg) had located any claims
for them either on Big Creek or elsewhere, or that
his contract with them was terminated.
6. Their first notice of a strike on Milo Gulch
or elsewhere was obtained from the Recorder's
office - that is, the filing of notices of location by
Kellogg, O'Rourke, Sullivan et al.~ and from the
newspapers and street talk.
7. The fact that everyone in Murray knew of
the strike and many of them had struck out for the
new Eldorado before Cooper and Peck had heard
anything about it at all.
8. Cooper and Peck furnished him blank loca-
tion notices, which were different from the blanks
used by Kellogg, O'Rourke, Sullivan et al.~ in post-
ing their notices.
- -- - --~~~~------~-

XII
CLAGETT TAKES THE WITNESS
IT was Clagett's nature to command, and he sought
to rule that courtroom. But before he had asked a
half-dozen questions, he realized that he had a for-
midable foeman before him. Like the rest of us,
he had seen Cooper in his cups so often that he
had wholly underestimated the true character of
this man, now made clear after a long period of
sobriety. Cooper and Clagett! The balance, in
fact, was in Cooper's favor, for he was in the right.
He looked over those miners before him with su-
preme contempt, as if the room were empty; he ig-
nored the jury; he f aced Clagett with the confidence
of a man who knows himself.
Clagett's attitude changed on the instant; a new
respect came into his voice and demeanor.
"Dr. Cooper," he said, chewing his quid more
rapidly than was his habit, "you claim that you and
Mr. Peck purchased an outfit for the defendant,
Kellogg?"
98 SILVER STRIKE
"Nay, sir," Cooper came back quietly but firmly,
"I dae not claim thot. I stated it as a fact. It is a
n
fact~ not a claim.
"You say you paid three dollars for the Jack-
ass ?"
"I did."
"And approximately seventeen dollars for food
and an outfit?"
"I did."
The miners sat forward intently.
"Do you consider," Clagett continued, "such an
outfit adequate for a man who must, in the course
of his prospecting, spend weeks, perhaps months,
in the wilderness ?"
"I am not a praespector, Mr. Clagett," Cooper
snapped, "I am a doctor. I ken naething 0' praes-
pecting problems, and care less; I heal the sick, dress
wounds, alleviate suffering; those air my problems,
and i' them am I interested. If a beggar came tae
my house, starving, I would gie him four bits, per-
haps more, for a meal. I am aware that such pit-
tance would not feed him indefinitely; I am further
aware thot I am under nae obligation tae feed him
indefinitely. Kellogg, your client, came tae me
hungry and penniless, after he had been turned
do on by e'ery other person tae whom he applied i'
this camp. I gae him an ootfit, warth the amoont
CLAGETT TAKES THE WITNESS 99
ye state. 'T was all that I could afford. Had I
not gi'en it him, he would hae had naething. Hae
I not, in that light, treated him fairly?"
"Have you paid Wardner?"
Before we could object, Cooper shot back: "Nay,
r hae not."
"Has not Wardner dunned you for it?"
"He has. The expense 0' this case has absorbed
all my funds."
The crowd smiled at this reply, and the prejudice
against him became more pronounced.
"Then, Dr. Cooper," Clagett continued, "you
have not in reality paid for Kellogg's outfit?"
"At the time 0' this purchase," Cooper explained,
"we made the circumstances clear to Wardner.
He gied us time. The obligation is oors. The as-
sumption 0' this obligation gies us, I believe, the
same claim tae the ootfit, and the same interest in it,
thot we would hae had by cash payment."
H At this time, did he not tell you that the contract
was terminated, and that he would have nothing
further to do with it ?"
"Tae what time dae ye refer?" Cooper coun-
tered.
"When Kellogg asked you for the price of a meal,
following his return from Big Creek."
"I hae made it clear, I think," Cooper answered
100 SILVER STRIKE
firmly, "that there was nae such time. Frae thot
matter, I hae not seen nor had opportunity tae see,
the mon since the night we ootfitted him. He has
ne'er terminated the contract, nor made any effort
tae this end."
With this reply Cooper was permitted to leave
the stand. Clagett, skillful as he was in cross-
examination, had lost. Cooper had dealt the de-
fense a damaging blow. The facts of his examina-
tion still stood firm. Clagett sat back perplexed.
Allen twisted and squirmed. Ganahl bit a huge
crescent out of a tobacco plug and started it round
the table without a word.
Judge Buck never changed expression: he would
have gone to his own wedding, to his mother's
funeral, to a Grand Army gathering, to a prize
fight, or to a Fourth of July celebration with the
same expression on his face; and if he smiled at all,
it was when he was sad.
Peck followed Cooper, and his testimony cor-
roborated Cooper's. In all we introduced thirteen
witnesses, some to testify concerning the sale of
the outfit to Kellogg; others to state that O'Rourke,
while intoxicated, had told them that the Jackass
discovered the Bunker Hill, and that he wanted to
name Milo Gulch "Jackass Gulch," but that the
other owners thought it best not to do so until the
CLAGETT TAKES THE WITNESS' 101

trial was over. Their evidence was direct. It


withstood Clagett's fiercest cross-examination.
When we closed after more than tw'o weeks of
this, the Major, Heyburn, and I were confident of
victory; but not more so than Clagett, Allen, and
Ganahl. They had wealth and public sympathy;
they were gambling on the jury. They were
thrusting, in voice, gesture, and demeanor, a mailed
fist of power under the nose of the mild-mannered
judge before them. The jury would rule for them.
He must of necessity, faced with its verdict and
the sentiment of the district, rule likewise.
We knew the jury, we knew the crowd; we did
not underestimate their influence - but we knew
Judge Buck, particularly the Major. The Judge
had not been through four years of the Civil War
f or nothing.
XIII
COMEDIA MORT ALIS
NOAH KELLOGG, serious, faltering, hesitant, the
first witness for the defense, followed our last to
the stand, there to play his unheroic part in his own
way, a weak way. He was well along in years, in-
telligent enough to be shrewd, but lacking what lies
between shrewdness and wisdom. Where Cooper
was forceful and impressive, Kellogg was fatuous
and weak; and the truth concerning the matter at
hand was not in him. Truth is an abstraction
decernible only by facts, which are for the most part
easily traced and easily related; falsehood is a tissue
of fancy threaded together by figments of the im-
agination, each of which demands another in its
support-a net from which there is no escape for
the individual once he is enmeshed. Kellogg, with
his own self-pity, was in the web he had made for
himself; and for the next two days he was to
struggle there, wrapping and tangling it the more
securely about him with each effort in his own be-
half.
Clagett had been drawn into the case with a rea-
COMEDIA MORTALIS r03
sonable belief in the justice of his client's cause;
how much of the actual truth Kellogg told him I
know not, but certainly not all of it, and doubtless
no more than enough to give his claims plausibility.
In Cooper's testimony certain facts already noted
stood out clearly; these must be broken down or
Kellogg was lost. Then, in the face of all this,
there was the scrap of paper found by Flaherty on
the Bunker Hill and carried by me to Murray.
"Your name is N. S. Kellogg?" Clagett began.
"Yes."
"You are one of the defendants in this case?"
"Yes."
"Do you know Dr. Cooper and O. o. Peck?"
"Yes-I do."
"Did you have a contract with them to prospect
for galena on the South Fork?"
"I did."
"State the facts in connection with this transac-
tion."
Kellogg glanced at Cooper and shifted uneasily
in his chair. Cooper may have noticed this. If
so, he gave no sign.
"Well," said Kellogg, "1 am a carpenter by oc-
cupation. I had worked for Peck, who was a con-
tractor. When the building boom ended here, 1
was out of work and broke. I had been hearing of
104 SILVER STRIKE
galena on the South Fork, and made up my mind
that if 1 could get a grubstake, I'd go over there
and prospect; so I looked up Peck and found him in
Dr. Cooper's office. 'Well, Peck,' says I, '1 'm
strapped. If I could get an outfit, I believe I could
strike it rich. I'd like to prospect the South Fork
deestrict. How about going in with me?' Well,
Peck hesitated, then turned to Cooper and asked
him if he would go in with him. Cooper said, 'No,
I can't afford it.' But after they had argued it a
long time, they finally agreed to give me a grub-
stake, and went to Jim Wardner's store, and got
me something less than twenty dollars' worth of
grub, and bought a Jackass that was running loose
around Murray, and paid three dollars for him,
and gave me the grub and the Jackass. The agree-
ment was that I was to go to the South Fork and
prospect as long as my grub held out, and that I
would share any find or discovery with Cooper and
Peck equally-that is, one half to myself, and a
quarter to each of them. They also gave me a
dozen blank location notices that cost them about
two bits.
"I didn't like Cooper at all-he was rough and
troublesome; but I took the grub and started out.
I went to Big Crick and located two claims for them
- one called the Cooper, and the other the Peck;
COMEDIA MORTALIS lOS

and at the end of two weeks, when my grub played


out, I went back to Murray. The last day I had
nothing to eat, as my grub was all gone."
A smile of satisfaction spread over Kellogg's
f ace. He paused here and glanced about the court-
room. He had discovered the Bunker Hill, the
richest strike in the history of the Coeur d' Alenes.
A town had been named after him. A few weeks
before, he had been penniless. His smile was the
smile of the man who considers himself self-made.
The sudden reversal of his fortune went somewhat
to his head.
"Well, Mr. Kellogg," said Clagett, encouraged
by the fact that his client was now fully at ease,
"what did you do when you returned to M urray ?"
"I went to Dr. Cooper's office. I told him that
I was hungry and out of grub. I asked him for the
price of a meal."
"Did he give it to you ?"
"No, sir-he did not. He was rough and ugly,
jest drunk enough to be ornery. I said to him, for
I was mad myself, 'Dr. Cooper, if that's the way
you feel about it, I'm through with you.' That
ended my dealings with them."
"And then?" Clagett led him on.
"Well," Kellogg continued, growing more talka-
tive and more confident of himself, "I made up my
106 SILVER STRIKE
mind that I'd go ahead prospecting. I had a hunch
there was galena in them South Fork hills, so I
went to Dutch Jake's saloon; and I told Dutch
Jake about the raw deal I had got from Cooper and
Peck. Dutch Jake says, says he, 'That's a dam'
dirty trick they done you, Kellogg.' 'But that
ain't all, Dutch Jake,' I says-'I've seen enough
of the Big Crick country to know that it ain't been
prospected. They' s galena over there, Dutch
Jake,' I says. 'I believe you're right, Kellogg,' he
says. 'Here, go get yourself a good feed; then see
Phil O'Rourke. If Phil '11 go in with you, 1'11 out-
fit the two of you.'"
"Proceed, Mr. Kellogg," said Clagett.
Kellogg looked first at O'Rourke, then at Sulli-
van, then at Ganahl and Allen, and finally over the
appreciative audience in the courtroom. He
grinned.
"Well, sir, Mr. Clagett," he said, "it was jest my
luck that Phil O'Rourke came in while I was eating
the first square meal I had et in a day; and I was
feeling pretty bright. 'Phil,' I says, yelling at him,
'come here; I got some news.' And Phil came and
set down. 'Phil,' I says, 'I got some news-kinda
confidential like. I been over in Big Crick and I
know where they' s a big dike or reef of rocks cross-
cutting the country from east to west through the
COMEDIA MORTALIS 107

crick.' Phil looked kinda surprised, he did. 'Kel-


logg,' he says, 'if that dike's quartzite, it's a sure
sign that they' s lead under it - over in the Lead-
ville dee strict the miners call them dikes the mother
of lead,' Phil says. So after I 'd et, we went back
and talked it over with Dutch Jake; and Dutch Jake
says, 'Phil, Kellogg here, he ain't been prospecting
long; but he's a prospector. I'm willing to stake
you to an outfit, if you'll head right out for Big
Crick.' "
"And you did this, Mr. Kellogg?"
"Yes, sir, we done that, Mr. Clagett-jest that.
Phil said it was jake with him, and that he guessed
I knowed what I was doing; and that he'd take a
chance. So Dutch Jake hired four saddle horses
and two pack horses and loaded the pack horses
with about two hundred and fifty pounds of grub,
tents, picks, and such. Then Phil says, 'Kellogg,
Con Sullivan's my friend, and Alec Monk-why
not take them in with us?' 'Phil,' I says, 'that's
jake with me.' So we made a partnership agree-
ment with Con and Alec to prospect the lower South
Fork for galena; and at eight o'clock that night we
started out, each of us on a riding horse, followed
by the pack horses and their packs. We got as far
as Big Crick about two in the morning and camped
there. The next morning we started up the crick
loS SILVER STRIKE
and got to the dike about eight 0' clock. We made
camp there. Sullivan and Monk tended the horses
and the camp, and Phil and me started up the dike
to prospect, each of us with a pick in his hand.
'Kellogg,' Phil says, 'this dike '8 quartzite, or I'm
not Irish-you'll make the deestrict rich.' 'Phil,'
I says, 'I knowed it all the time.' 'Kellogg,' Phil
says, 'this dike's jest like the one in Leadville,
where the big deposits of silver and lead was found.'
'Only better, Phil,' I says."
Heyburn looked bored through the course of this
narrative. The Major smiled quietly. I was dis-
gusted. The old sinner was lying. And there he
sat, under Clagett's skillful questioning, puffing up
more and more as he went on. I t was easy to see
that he was making an impression. N one knew it
better than himself.
"And then what happened, Mr. Kellogg?" Clag-
ett urged.
"Well," said Kellogg, reciting his tale with the
cocksureness of a parrot long schooled, "Phil and
me climbed the mountain, following the dike and
digging into it with our picks; but we found no
signs of minerals. When we got about two thirds
up the mountain, Con and Alec ketched up-they
was pretty tired. Well, we got to the top at about
eleven o'clock- right on the dot, so Phil says, look-
COMEDIA MORT ALIS log
ing at his watch; and we started down the other
side, still following the dike, and all of us picking
into it for mineral, but we found nothing. I twas
exactly twelve when we got to the foot of the moun-
tain in what is now Milo Gulch. We rested there,
and et our lunch that we brought with us.
"From there," he continued, "we started up the
west side of the gulch, picking away as we went.
At about three o'clock, I dug into the dike in a place
where it was kind a rotten; and out comes a piece of
cap rock. I looks under it, and I seen bright, shiny
pieces of galena. 'Hey, Phil-come on boys!'
I yells; and they come a-running from where they
was working about three hundred yards behind me.
Phil looks at the pieces, Con looks at them, Alec
looks at them - we all looks at them. Then we got
excited. 'Kellogg,' says Phil, '1 knowed you'd do
it, and you've done it.' 'Well boys,' I says, kinda
proud like, 'I had a idee we'd find something in this
deestrict before we got done - did n't I tell you
so ?'
"Well, you shoulda seen us dig, Mr. Clagett!
We picked and picked, and dug and dug - we was
all excited. When we got the cap off the dike it
was eight feet wide - and just about clean galena.
'Kellogg,' says Phil, 'we '11 all be rich-you're the
best prospector in the Coeur d' Alenes.' 'Well,
110 SILVER STRIKE
Phil,' I says, 'it is a pretty good find, ain't it?'
So
we went on and put up our location notices, sticking
a post first at the point of discovery. 'Well, boys,'
I said, 'I don't want to be hogging nothing-but
it's my find, and I oughta have one half; and I'm
going to call it the Bunker Hill.' 'Kellogg,' Phil
says, 'that's no more 'n right; if it had n't of been
for you, we'd never been here.' So we put up the
notices like that-one half for me, and the other
half to the others."
"And what next, Mr. Kellogg?" Clagett de-
manded.
"What next? Why, it was close to six o'clock,
so we went down to the bed of Milo Gulch. 'Boys,'
1 says, 'I'm tired-if you want to make any more
locations, go ahead, but I'm satisfied with my half
of the Bunker Hill.' 1 'Me too,' Phil says. So we
stayed in camp."
"Proceed," Clagett urged.
"Well, Con and Alec, they goes back over to Big
Crick and brings the horses and our outfit around
through the South Fork and up the gulch to where
O'Rourke and me was; and there we made perma-
nent camp on the Bunker Hill."

1 This, it developed after the sale to Simeon Reed, was false.


Kellogg had a secret half in the Sullivan, but we were unable to
prove anything to that effect in the trial.
-~--. - ---

COMEDIA MORT ALIS III

"What time," said Clagett, "did Sullivan and


Monk arrive with the outfit?"
"Well, it was after dark-mebbe half-past eight
or nine-mebbe later."
"What did you next do, Mr. Kellogg?"
"We slept."
"Well, the next day?"
"Phil and me finished the location of the Bunker
Hill; that is, we measured off fifteen hundred feet
in length, six hundred feet in width, and marked
each corner with a corner post. After that I was
pretty tired and about done up from excitement,
so I rested. The other boys located a claim on the
east end of the Bunker Hill on the mountain, and
called it the Sullivan; and after breaking up the
rocks and picking off the cap, they found a lot of
mineral there in a lot of places."
"Mr. Kellogg," inquired Clagett, "have you ever
been on Milo Gulch, or on what is now the Bunker
Hill or Sullivan claim, prior to that date ?"
"No, I never have."
"Have Cooper and Peck, or either of them, any
interest or right to an interest in the Bunker Hill
and Sullivan claims ?"
"Absolutely none," Kellogg shouted, "absolutely
none! I made that find several days after ending
my contract and telling them I was through."
112 SILVER STRIKE
llAfter locating the Sullivan claim, what was
done?"
"Alec Monk and Con Sullivan," Kellogg replied
in a steady, sober voice, now that his narrative was
ended, "took the horses and pack saddles and the
location notices and went to Murray to record them
and bring back more grub."
"You named it Milo Gulch ?"
"I did."
"Have you ever seen or talked with Cooper and
Peck since the time you saw Dr. Cooper in Mur-
ray?"
"I have not."
"Have you ever seen either of them?"
"No, I have not. I have not seen Peck since the
day I saw him in Cooper's office, and I have not
seen Cooper since the night he turned me down for
a meal."
"Have you ever been to Murray since that
time ?"
"No, I have not."
"Now, Mr. Kellogg," said Clagett, "after your
discovery, state what you did with reference to
leasing the Bunker Hill and Sullivan claims to Jim
Wardner and A. M. Esler."
"Yes, we leased the property to them, and made
what I consider a very good lease."
COMEDIA MORTALIS 113

"What have they done toward mining the prop-


erty since that time ?"
"They have mined it steady and took out thou-
sands of dollars in ore."
"Are they still mining it?"
uYes, they are."
"Major Woods," Clagett concluded, very courte-
ously, "you may take the witness."
XIV

MAJOR WOODS
THE MAJOR was suave, conciliatory, kindly; he
tickled Kellogg's vanity and puffed him into the
belief that he was the great central figure in the
discovery of a great mining district, the building
of two important towns, and that his associates
were mere figureheads, acting under his direction
and control.
Our opponents saw the hidden force in this, and
understood its menace to their cause before Major
Woods had gone far: Clagett chewed with serious,
nervous rapidity; Ganahl roared out objections in
a voice that shook the foundations of the building;
Allen, wise little lawyer that he was, squirmed and
twisted. The jury was their only consolation:
they knew what its twelve good men and true would
find; they were confident that the mild-mannered
veteran before them would never have the courage
to disregard a verdict unanimous on the part of
that determined body, and crystallizing public sen-
timent as well.
MAJOR WOODS 115

This is as sad to me now as it was dramatic then,


for it carries me half a century back to a day when
I was young, full of life, full of hope, and one of a
company which is no more; and I sit here know-
ing that my Round Table is scattered to the four
winds.
Gracious of manner, and with smiling face, the
Major stood before the witness. But Kellogg was
ill at ease. The Major's opening statement was
calming, however.
"Mr. Kellogg," said the Major, "the territory
of Idaho, and Shoshone County, are deeply indebted
to you, not only for the discovery of two great ga-
lena mines, but for a great galena district which
will add immeasurably to the wealth of this section;
and I want you to know that in my cross-examina-
tion it is not my purpose to attack you or to im-
pugn the truth of any statement you have made-
but rather to elucidate and clarify, and amplify
portions of your testimony which to me, and per-
haps to the Court, are in points obscure and not
entirely clear."
This praise by the Major obviously pleased Kel-
logg mightily. The Major's unexpected friendli-
ness, in the face of what he had doubtless been told
by his counsel, first disarmed the witness, then put
him fully at his ease, and finally convinced him that
116 SILVER STRIKE
the simple, courtly man before him was his best
friend in the courtroom.
I glanced down the table: Ganahl was fuming,
Allen was terrified, and Clagett thunderstruck at
the change that had come over Kellogg.
The Major then proceeded. "I understand you
to say, Mr. Kellogg, that before you set out on this
great service you received an outfit-meagre and
inadequate, it is true - from Cooper and Peck, our
clients, and that you were to prospect for them until
that outfit was exhausted."
"Yes," said Kellogg, "that's so."
"And you were dissatisfied with the scrimpy out-
fit given you, and indignant at the spirit of penury
behind it ?"
The reply was taken from Kellogg's mouth by
Ganahl.
"I object!" he thundered. "Your Honor, coun-
sel is misleading the witness. Kellogg is a simple,
honest old man unused to ways of court."
Judge Buck spat reflectively at his feet. His
voice, as he answered, was as gentle as that with
which a fond mother cautions a wayward child.
"Objection overruled," he said.
The Major repeated his question.
"Yes, sir, Major Woods," Kellogg replied, "I
was. Who wouldn'ta been?"
MAJOR WOODS 117

"And you dislike Cooper very much ?"


"Yes, very much."
"And you disliked him still more after you saw
him upon your return to Murray?" the Major went
on affably~
"Yes, sir, Major - I just could n't help it," said
Kellogg. By this time he had, much to the alarm
of his counsel, become quite voluble, answering the
Major readily.
"But you did accept the outfit, and you agreed to
prospect for them as long as the supplies furnished
you held out ?"
"Yes, I did. I was broke, Major; I knowed
there was galena in them hills, and I wanted to
get it. I had to make the agreement to get the out-
fit. "
"Exactly," the Major agreed. "Now, Mr. Kel-
logg, what time of day was it when you left Mur-
ray?"
"Well, sir, Major, I'm as good as my word, and
better; I left Murray early in the morning."
"How long did it take you to get to Big Creek?"
"Two days."
The Major smiled serenely. "That's about
twenty-two miles, is it not?"
"Yes," Kellogg returned; "but Major, with all
respects to the Jackass, he was slow on the trail; I
I 18 SILVER STRIKE
had to push and pound him along. That was the
best time I could make."
"You went up Big Creek?"
"Yes."
"What led you to go up Big Creek?"
"Major, it looked to me as how noboddy'd ever
been up the gulch. Says I to myself, 'Kellogg,
they's virgin territory here.' "
"How far up the gulch did you go that day?"
"They's a big dike crosses Big Crick from east
to west, Mr. Woods. I made camp there."
"NoW that was the end of the third day?"
"Yes."
"Had you ever prospected before, Mr. Kellogg?"
"No."
"Did you then know anything about rock forma-
tion ?"
"No."
"Did you know whether or not this reef or dike
crossing Big Creek was quartzite ?"
"No, I did n't; not till Phil told me that it
was."
The Major's urbanity was boundless. It im-
plied that Kellogg, in spite of lack of geological
knowledge, had gotten results.
"You then located," he tripped on cordially, "two
claims, one of which you called the Cooper, and the
MAJOR WOODS 119

other the Peck, on this dike, one on each side of the


gulch ?"
"Yes~"
"Did you discover any minerals on these claims
, before locating them ?"
"No, I did not."
The Major was more pacific than ever here.
"Why, then," he smiled, "did you locate on this
reef of rock?"
"Well, I thought there might be mineral there."
"How long did it take you to locate these two
claims ?"
"Two days."
"Now that would be five days from the time you
left Murray?"
"Five days," Kellogg agreed.
"What did you do on the sixth day?"
"I prospected farther up the gulch."
"And on the seventh day?"
"I rested."
"And the eighth day?"
"Well, my grub was commencing to run low, so
I thought I'd better head for home, and I pros-
pected down Big Crick."
"How many days did you prospect on Big
Creek?"
"One day."
120 SILVER STRIKE
"Now that is nine days. Then what did you
do?"
"I prospected one day on another gulch."
"That's ten days," the Major added like a school-
boy. "Then, I assume, you started direct for
Murray?"
"Yes, but I think I was gone about two weeks."
"Well, we'11 say, then, two weeks by the time
you got back to Murray. You ran out of grub,
however, on the day before you returned?"
"Yes."
"Now, Mr. Kellogg," the Major cajoled, "after
what you've accomplished, I assume you have a
very good mind for details, and you remember
things without difficulty."
"Well, Major," Kellogg laughed slyly, delighted
at the compliment, "I have a pretty good memory,
even if I do say it myself."
"And you recall how much grub Cooper and
Peck furnished you?"
"I object!" It was Ganahl again. "Your
Honor," Ganahl shouted, his face as red as a gob-
bIer's with small boys in the turkey yard, "Major
Woods, through flattery and otherwise, with ethics
contrary to the best legal practice, is tricking the
witness into saying what he wants him to say-
and what is not fact. No man can recall, how-
MAJOR WOODS 121

ever good his memory, the exact poundage in a pack


given him under these circumstances."
Judge Buck chewed slowly on without change of
expression. "I see nothing improper in the cross-
examination," he said. "Objection overruled."
The Major repeated the question.
Kellogg was sinking, and happy in sinking. He
was too obtuse to grasp the life line Ganahl had
thrown him.
"Yes, I do," he answered as Ganahl plumped
back in his chair. Allen squirmed. Clagett
winced.
"How much was it then?" said the Major
meekly.
"Well now, Major, let me see," Kellogg consid-
ered- "about thirty-five pounds of bacon."
"Thirty-five pounds of bacon-anything else?"
"Yes. Ten pounds of beans, and fifteen pounds
of flour and sugar and coffee."
"And that was all gone at the end of the thir-
teenth day?"
"Yes, it was all gone."
"So that when you got into Murray you hadn't
had anything to eat for one day?"
"Yes. I had n't et for nigh to twenty-four
hours."
Clagett's rapid chewing began again with this
122 SILVER STRIKE
answer. Allen squirmed and twisted. Ganahl
slumped as if he had been hit by a heavy club. The
courtroom missed the point entirely. The jury
leaned forward satisfied.
"Then," smiled the honey-mouthed Major,
tlwhen you approached Dr. Cooper for a meal, after
this hardship, he, in a rough, coarse, and insulting
manner, refused you?"
"Yes, sir, he did," said Kellogg with great em-
phasis. "I was mad all over."
"And you terminated your contract with him?"
"Yes."
"You felt that you had been wronged?"
"I sure did. I had done my best, and this was
what I got."
"Did you see Peck?"
"No, I did n't. I was through. I did n't want
to see neither one of them again."
"Did you try to see him ?"
"No, I did n't."
"Did you tell Cooper you had located two claims
for him and Peck?"
"No. I did n't tell him nothing. After he got
ugly I would n't of told him nothing."
"Did you give him the location notices that you
had posted on the claims ?"
Ganahl boomed another objection. Judge Buck
MAJOR WOODS 123

promptly overruled it. Ganahl dropped down in


disgust. Clagett looked steadily at Kellogg. Allen
studied the jury intently.
The Major repeated the question.
"N0, I did n't give him them location notices; I
did n't give him nothing. He did n't deserve noth-
ing."
Cooper gave no sign that he had heard. His big
granite jaw was silent with contempt.
"Then as I understand you," the Major led Kel-
logg on sympathetically, "within a few hours you
entered into a new contract with O'Rourke, Dutch
Jake, Con Sullivan, and Alec Monk; and you left
the same night for Big Creek with saddle horses,
pack horses, and an adequate outfit?"
"Yes."
"Did you show O'Rourke, or any of the party,
any samples of ore that you had found in the Big
Creek country?"
"No, I did not."
"They furnished the outfit, costing several hun-
dred dollars, merely upon your statement that there
was a big reef of rock intersecting Big Creek from
east to west ?"
"Yes, and what I told them about the looks of the
country."
"Now, you have already detailed to Judge
124 SILVER STRIKE
Clagett the circumstances of your discovery of the
Bunker Hill?"
"Yes, sir."
"I will not go over that," Major assured him,
"except from the time you left Milo Gulch, going up
the Bunker Hill mountain side. Were you tired
when you started up the Bunker Hill side ?"
"Well, I was ruther tired."
"Were O'Rourke and Sullivan tired?"
HJudge Buck, Your Honor - I object!" bellowed
the enraged Ganahl, shaking with passion, and
shouting with all the power of his big lungs. "I
can't see, nor can any of counsel, what O'Rourke
and Sullivan being tired have to do with this.
Major Woods is cajoling the witness into misstate-
ment against interest -leading him along, and get-
ting out of him, not facts, but what he wants."
"Objection overruled," said the Judge gently.
The Major, in his sweetest and mildest manner,
repeated the question.
"O'Rourke was pretty tired-Con and Alec
was not."
"Howald are you, Mr. Kellogg?"
"Sixty-five, Major."
"Sixty-five," the Major repeated after him.
"You're remarkably strong for your age, Mr. Kel-
logg."
Kellogg fell rapturously into the arms of Van-
MAJOR WOODS 12 5

ity. "Well, I reckon," he chuckled, "I'm as spry


as any of 'em my age."
"You testified, Mr. Kellogg, that after striking
the dike on Big Creek, you came west and crossed
the mountain ?"
"Yes."
"How high was that mountain?"
"Oh, about three thousand feet."
"Pretty steep?"
"Awful steep."
"But you made it over the top ?"
"Me and Phil, and Can and Alec."
'.'You kept up with them ?"
Kellogg chuckled again. "Hell, Major, they
had to go to keep up with me."
"Well now, Mr. Kellogg-that's fine. You
were still agile and strong enough to take the lead
from these younger men?"
"Well, I guess that's about it-even if I do say
it myself."
"And after all this trip, you started up the Bun-
ker Hill side?"
"Yes."
"And you were in the lead ?"
Kellogg was highly pleased. He looked over
the courtroom, and the impression he was making
'upon his partisan army puffed him the more.
"I took the lead," he boasted. "Phil and Con
SILVER STRIKE
and Alec followed along behind, but they done some
prospecting ."
"How far ahead were you when you discovered
the ore on the Bunker Hill?"
"Oh, mebbe a hundred feet-mebbe a hundred
yards."
By this time Clagett was chewing as he had never
chewed before. Allen looked alternately from
Kellogg to the jury. The jury sat supinely back,
enjoying Kellogg's story. Ganahl was furious.
"I object!" he boomed for the hundredth time.
"Your Honor, I object! Old Tittering Billy, the
Major, is tittering and tittering and tittering with-
out purpose or effect. He smiles. He cajoles un-
til the client cannot know his own mind. I object!"
Judge Buck spat a prodigious gob of tobacco
juice under his bench. His bearded face was as
gentle of expression, as calm, as I have ever seen .~
it.
"Mr. Ganahl," he said softly, "Mr. Kellogg, your
client, has shown sufficient intelligence to care for
himself. It is my opinion that the cross-examina-
tion, thus far, has been very courteous and very
fair; and although Major Woods has smiled con-
siderably, as he usually does, I think counsel for the
defense might emulate this to his advantage. Ob-
jection overruled."
MAJOR WOODS 12 7

"Now, Mr. Kellogg," the Major proceeded af-


fably, "you left Murray at eight o'clock at night.
The next afternoon at three 0' clock, you discovered
the Bunker Hill mine?"
"Yes."
"On a gulch and on a hillside that you had never
been on before?"
"Yes."
"And when you discovered it, you were at least
ahead of your associates a hundred yards?"
"Yes."
"Within another twenty-four hours, Mr. Kel-
logg," he continued, "the notice of location to this
claim was filed in the recorder's office, showing you
to be the owner of a half interest?"
"Yes."
"And you received a half for making the dis-
covery?"
"Yes."
"Although you were partners with four other
persons?" the Major smiled inquisitively.
"Yes, Major," Kellogg chuckled, still thoroughly
enjoying himself. "I got that for making the dis-
covery.. 'Boys,' says I, 'I led you to it; if I hadn't
led you to it, you would n't be here - you would n't
never be here, - now would you ?' And Phil says,
says he, 'Kellogg, you're right. The boys and 1'11
128 SILVER STRIKE
see that you get half of the Bunker Hill.' So I
got it."
"As a matter of fact, Mr. Kellogg," said the
Major pleasantly, tithe Sullivan claim has shown up
a bigger are body since that time than the Bunker
Hill, has n't it?"
"Well, they say so, Major; but I'd still rqther
have the Bunker Hill. I'm satisfied." And in-
deed he was, both with his claim and with himself.
Then the Major proceeded jocosely, smiling al-
most to the point of laughter, "Did you hear Phil
O'Rourke say, in the presence of X and Z that the
Jackass discovered the Bunker Hill claim?"
Consternation prevailed among the defense.
Ganahlleaped to his feet once more to roar objec-
tion; Clagett's chewing began again.
To Kellogg it was all a huge joke. He had the
utmost confidence in the Major. "Well," he
laughed, "I did hear something to that effect, but I
don't know what it was."
"Did you ever hear O'Rourke insist on calling
Milo Gulch 'Jackass Gulch'?" smiled the Major
broadly now, as if he and Kellogg had been bosom
friends for many years.
"Yes, but we all objected to that. I would n't of
had it."
"Now, Mr. Kellogg," said the Major, suddenly
MAJOR WOODS 129

serious for once, "as a result of your discovery of


the Bunker Hill and Sullivan, the town of Ward-
ner, with more than three thousand people, has
sprung up; and another thriving town at the mouth
of Milo Gulch has been established and named Kel-
logg as a monument to your name."
Kellogg, glowing with pride, answered in the af-
firmative.
"You have considerable education, have you not,
Mr. Kellogg?" said the Major, gilding his pill the
more.
"Yes, I think you could say that I have some."
"You write a.good hand, do you not?"
"Yes, fairly good."
"Who wrote the location notice that you put up
on the Bunker Hill and Sullivan?"
"O'Rourke."
"Well, now, Mr. Kellogg, why didn't you write
it?"
"Not because I could n't write, Major; but be-
cause O'Rourke knew more about what to put into
the notice."
"Mr. Kellogg," said the Major, "would you do
me a favor-would you mind writing your name,
on this piece of paper, for me as you usually write
it ?"
"I'd be glad to do it, Major."
130 SILVER STRIKE
And he took the pencil and paper handed him
and wrote with great flourish and pride.
Once more objection from the defense; once
more consternation from the opposing end of the
table; but the Judge overruled.
"Now," said Major Woods, "just write it again
below to show that you are writing the same each
time."
Again Kellogg wrote it. The Major then called
upon the clerk for the answer filed in the case,
signed and verified by Kellogg in ink; and this he
handed up to the witness.
HIs that your signature ?"
"That's my signature."
The Major now handed Kellogg the notice of
location, our humble scrap of paper, of the original
Bunker Hill location lode, containing a fairly good
description of it as on Milo Gulch and dated four
days earlier than the one posted by himself and
O~ Rourke, and signed, "N. S. Kellogg, 0; J. T.
Cooper, ~; o. O. Peck, 74; locators." Flaherty
had testified to finding this under a rock on the
Bunker Hill.
"Is that your signature, Mr. Kellogg?" said the
Major, still smiling.
For the first time during cross-examination, Kel-
logg flared up, turned red in the face, became very
MAJOR WOODS 13 1
nervous and angry, and blurted out: "N0, sir,
Major; that's not my signature-it's a forgery!"
"Well," said Major Woods, with greater suavity
than ever, "how do you account for the fact that it
was found on the Bunker Hill property?"
"Major," Kellogg struck back, "it was never
found on the Bunker Hill property - it was put
there by John Flaherty and Bill Stoll."
Major Woods then placed before Judge Buck
Kellogg's two signatures made in the courtroom,
his signature in the verified answer, and the sig-
nature on the notice found by Flaherty.
"Will Your Honor examine these?" he said.
Judge Buck studied them critically. The slight-
est trace of a smile flickered in his face, for the first
time during the trial. He spat significantly upon
the floor and said nothing.
Poor old Kellogg! He was now thoroughly dis-
illusioned. Clagett came to his rescue and at-
tempted to extricate him from the net in which he
had been hopelessly enmeshed by the astute Major;
but his efforts were futile. The following points
stood uncontroverted: -
I. The contract to prospect for Cooper and Peck
until the grubstake provided him was exhausted.
2. Kellogg's statement that he had consumed,
in thirteen days, thirty-five pounds of bacon, ten
13 2 SILVER STRIKE
pounds of beans, and fifteen pounds of sugar, flour,
and coffee.
3. The fact that, when he returned to Murray,
he had gone to Cooper, whom he disliked, instead
of Peck whom he considered his friend.
4. A partnership formed with four others the
same evening, and an immediate return to Big
Creek.
5. The discovery by Kellogg of the Bunker Hill
mine within twenty-four hours after leaving Mur-
ray, and going direct to it.
6. Kellogg, although the oldest and most infirm
member of the group, was at least a hundred feet
ahead of the younger men when he made the dis-
covery, indicating that he knew what he would find,
and where he would find it.
7. Kellogg received one half of the Bunker Hill
in the face of the fact that he had equal partnership
with the other four.

Then our florid Hibernian friend, Mr. Phil


O'Rourke: "For twinty dollars and a jackass they'd
take from honest miners a mine worth millions 1"
O'Rourke knew his speech and took the stand to
say it, lifting his hand and in broad brogue swear-
ing to "'till the truth, and nothing but the truth, so
hilp me Gawd." Phil, pompous and flushed with
MAJOR WOODS 133
his own importance, doing his best to impress the
jury, corroborated Kellogg's wildest flights of
fancy in a bombast delightfully Irish. He glow-
ered down upon the Major, Heyburn, myself, and
our clients; he smirked and smiled at the jury, he
dramatized incidents, both fact and fiction, for the
crowd; and they enjoyed it - everyone of them.
A roar of laughter followed his every quip and
sally.
Clagett led him on as best he could, content to let
him have his way, the crowd growing more boister-
ous as its mining Jove prepared to loose the first of
his oratorical thunderbolts.
"And here's mesilf," he roared in answer to one
of Clagett's questions, "and Noah Kellogg, and
Con Sullivant, and Alec Monk-miners and pros-
pietors, shtandin' on virgin sile in the heart 0' the
hills - our site just as the Lord gave ut to us,
thinkin' 0' cities soon to be built, 0' men wurrukin'
and grow in' rich, thinkin' 0' a great minin' devilop-
ment; and phwat 't is ut thot we see but Cooper and
Peck and thayre Jackass, nayther miners nor pros-
pictors, in the voice of fraud and forgery a-shout-
in' : ' 'T is ours; the Lord thot made the hills and the
wilderness - ' "
O'Rourke got no further. The Major came to
his feet with a smile.
134 SILVER STRIKE
"Your Honor," he explained, "the witness, with
all respect for his ability, is making a speech in
which are statements entirely irrelevant to the case;
the witness has eminent counsel fully capable of
arguing the case for him. I object."
"Objection sustained," Judge Buck ruled.
O'Rourke roared and blundered, and backed and
filled, and launched into another oration. The
Major again objected, and again was sustained.
Another speech, another objection, and O'Rourke
left the stand.
Major Woods did not consider his testimony of
sufficient importance to cross-examine, much to the
disappointment of the crowd. Con Sullivan, Alec
Monk, and others, none of whom are significant
here, followed. Finally, after weeks, with the haze
of another Indian summer in the hills, the defense
closed.
xv
DE MINIMIS NON CURAT LEX

DURING the course of the trial, Judge Norman


Buck was the same calm personality we had known
since his arrival in Murray. Before the bitter
clashes of counsel, a partisan crowd, and a jury
blind with its own natural prejudice, I had seen
him change expression but once, and then to smile.
His gray eye was penetrating, but kindly; his voice
was subdued and gentle in the final argument and
rebuttal.
Major Woods stood before him, ignoring the
jury, ignoring the crowd, and reasoning quietly,
but with his usual smile, - a sincere smile, by the
way,-on th~ facts at hand; and Judge Buck fol-
lowed the course of his argument in the same spirit.
The Major summed up the evidence dispassion-
ately and with the utmost brevity; and very much
to my surprise I heard him conclude: "Judge Buck,
I am an old man, and frail; this trial has been long;
the facts are before you, for your decision. I shall
say, and am capable of saying, no more. I have
SILVER STRIKE
beside me, at the counsel table, my young associate
and friend, William Stoll; the main argument, our
analysis of these facts, I trust to him."
I was struck dumb for the instant, with a strange
mingling of confidence and misgiving, coupled with
gratitude toward and affection for my dear old
friend the Major. Now it was my misfortune, at
this time, to have been suffering for more than a
week from a severe summer cold. My voice was
husky, and my throat sore.
"Bill," said Cooper, coming to my rescue during
the brief recess which followed the Major's argu-
ment, " 'tis a gin fiz thot ye need; there's naething
better thot I ken for the voice. I '11 hae some
made up for ye."
Sam, the bailiff, was sent for it, and he was back
shortly with a pitcher of this pleasant drink, based
with whiskey, and looking not unlike lemonade.
Ganahl followed the Major as the recess ended; my
turn would be next, I reflected. Ganahl trained
all his guns on Cooper in a brilliant oratorical effort
for considerably more than an hour, during which
he boomed and thundered invective and abuse, run-
ning the range, with infinite artistry, of ridicule and
sarcasm - an oration to the jury, and to the crowd,
which hung on to every ringing word and phrase.
Then I stood looking into Judge Buck's quiet
DE MINIMIS NON CURAT LEX 137
gray eyes, interrupting my argument here and there
to ease my throat with gin fiz.
"Judge Buck," I can remember saying, "I have
but little to add in the way of argument; nor is
much in the way of argument necessary. Does not
Dr. Cooper's testimony flatly and truthfully con-
tradict Kellogg? Has not Kellogg, with his own
lips, shown that he is testifying falsely?
"This poor old man has stated that he entered
into a contract with our clients, Cooper and Peck,
and that he was to prospect for them until his grub-
stake was exhausted. By his own admission, he
was gone thirteen days. Is it reasonable to sup-
pose that Kellogg could, in that space of time, have
eaten thirty-five pounds of bacon, ten pounds of
beans, and fifteen pounds of sugar, coffee, and
flour? Does not a statement so ridiculous as this,
made under oath in this court, cloud every other as-
sertion in his testimony with falsehood?
"When he returned to Murray, according to his
word, tired and hungry, he went to Dr. Cooper,
whom he disliked. Why did he not go to Peck,
whom he liked?
"Here you have," I continued, "a man sixty-five
years of age, leading three other younger and
stronger men in a difficult climb up a steep moun-
tain side, after a long day on the trail without food,
SILVER STRIKE
then an all-night ride and an equally difficult climb
over a mountain ridge-and yet, in spite of all this,
a hundred feet ahead when the find was made.
Does this not indicate, in itself, that he knew ex-
actly what he was going to find?
"Then you have the location notice found by
Flaherty on the Bunker Hill, made out on one of
the blanks furnished Kellogg by Cooper and Peck
- written in Kellogg's own hand, and signed by his
own hand four days before the Bunker Hill and
Sullivan location notice made out in his interest, and
the interest of the rest of their party; you have the
further fact that the description in both notices is
essentially the same; both notices describe the Bun-
ker Hill as on Milo Gulch, even though he testified
that Milo Gulch was not named by him and
O'Rourke until four days later, when he and
O'Rourke, and their friends, made the location
which they filed thereafter.
"The truth is this, Judge Buck: Kellogg had just
time enough after the sixth of September to return
to Murray, pick up O'Rourke, Con Sullivan, and
Alec Monk, and speed back to the gulch by the
tenth of that month, the date upon which, with
O'Rourke and the others, he made the last location."
Like Major Woods, I ignored the jury through
my argument, addressing Judge Buck alone, know-
DE MINIMIS NON CURAT LEX 139
ing that the final decision would rest with him, and
confident in him.
The Major smiled reassuringly when I sat down.
"Very good, Bill, my boy," he whispered.

And now, Clagett.


"May it please Your Honor," he began, bowing
profoundly, then turning to the jury with another
regal courtesy, ((De minimis non curat lex-the
law) gentlemen, does not concern itself with trifles)'
a scrap of paper, a jackass, a miserly pack penuri-
ously given - and balanced against this, the earth's
richest vein of ore. There you have this case in
perspective.
"But yet, you have something more; something
that has, though it should not have done so,
weighed heavily in the balance; you have, Judge
Buck, Your Honor, and gentlemen of the jury, the
forceful personality of Dr. J. T Cooper.
"I can now see, as I could not see before, how
that personality has dominated every plaintiff wit-
ness."
At this point he paused, his eye upon my pitcher,
and his throat was dry.
"William," said he, "may I have some of your
lemonade ?"
What was I to do? Clagett never drank. He
140 SILVER STRIKE
was one of the cleanest-living men I have ever
known, with a nervous system so delicately ad-
justed, so delicately balanced, in spite of his great
masculine force and vigor, that alcohol was poison
to it. I knew this. Clagett had often, in our in-
'timacies of the past, laughed over this fact.
If I refused him, it would not only insult him,
but appear contemptible to all in the court, even to
those about the counsel table.
I handed it to him with a trembling hand and a
sinking heart. There was nothing else to do. He
poured out a tumblerful and drank it down, smack-
ing his lips afterward; but his mind was too intent
on his argument to realize why his lips had smacked.
"Dr. Cooper," he proceeded, with new anima-
tion, and with new fervor, "has controlled, and has
submerged every mind aligned with him in this
case, through the power of that personality.
"Then the ancient Aesculapias (Dr. Cooper) ,"
he went on, launching into mythology for an ap-
propriate figure, "said to the lean and hungry
Cassius (Peck), 'Cassius, things are thus and so.'
"And the lean and hungry Cassius, having heard
the ancient Aesculapias say that things were thus
and so, thereupon concluded that things must be
thus and so.
"And the ragged thirteen (referring to our thir-
DE MINIMIS NON CURAT LEX 141

teen witnesses), including the wily libidinous Fla-


herty, having heard the ancient Aesculapias say
unto the lean and hungry Cassius that things were
thus and so, likewise concluded with one voice that
things were thus and so."
The courtroom roared. The jury broke into
unrestrained merriment. Judge Buck laughed
quietly. The Major smiled. Cooper, however,
sat unmoved, as big, as firm, as a rock lashed by
storm and tempest. For my part, I had never
spent a more unhappy five minutes.
To my horror, Clagett again helped himself to
my gin fiz.
A moment later, he was swaying, and his voice
was tipsy.
"Thish man Coop, and thish man Peck-er," he
was saying in maudlin grandiloquence.
I caught Judge Buck's eye and winked.
"Just a moment, please, Mr. Clagett," said the
Judge quietly. "This has been a long, long day. I
am tired. The jury is tired. We are all tired.
Arguments will resume in the morning. Court
stands adjourned."
The royal Clagett was in his cups, and by my
hand-the man of all men on the frontier whom
most I admired, and whose friendship I cherished
above other friendships. What would he think?
142 SILVER STRIKE
What would he do? I slumped away heartbroken,
and no word the Major or Heyburn could say held
consolation.
Many a laugh have Clagett and I had together
over that incident, and many a laugh the rest of us.

The following morning it was Clagett's turn


again. He held the jury, the courtroom, and every-
one but Judge Buck, Dr. Cooper, and plaintiff's
counsel, in the hollow of his hand.
He pointed out the stake involved, and the temp-
tation by Cooper to use his masterful influence in
building up a great conspiracy based on trifling and
inconsequential facts - the Jackass and the grub-
stake.
"Your Honor, and gentlemen of the jury," he
concluded, "I was truly alarmed for our case when
Flaherty testified that he and William Stoll had
found that location notice under a piece of rock on
the Bunker Hill claim; but, gentlemen, when Mr.
Stoll failed to take the stand and corroborate Fla-
herty, I was able to conclude, and rest assured, that
this had been manufactured by Flaherty, inspired
by our Aesculapian friend, Dr. Cooper; for Mr.
Stoll, whom I hold in high esteem, was too honor-
able to take the stand and perjure himself with
Peck, our lean and hungry Cassius, and his ragged
DE MINIMIS NON CURAT LEX 143
thirteen in their conclusion that 'things are thus
and so.'"
Heyburn met satire with logic and ridicule with
reason when he concluded our argument. Invec-
tive, he said, is a lawyer's last line of defense when
he has a poor case; and he answered Clagett's argu-
ment in regard to my failure to corroborate Fla-
herty with the following:-
"It is immaterial where the scrap of paper was
found, since Kellogg denied signing it. The ques-
tion is, did he sign it? His signature made in open
court, and another to his answer to our complaint,
are ample evidence to show conclusively that he did.
Does it describe the same property, and does it ante-
date the location notice of Kellogg and O'Rourke?
"With reference to Mr. Stoll's failure to take the
stand to corroborate Flaherty, Mr. Clagett must
know, as a lawyer, that it is contrary to the ethics
of our profession for a man to act as a witness in a
case in which he is an attorney. Mr. Clagett would
certainly not have his young friend violate that
canon of ethics."

After Judge Buck had instructed the jury and


sent it to its deliberations, and court had been ad-
journed until its return with a verdict, he caught
me by the arm.
SILVER STRIKE
"Bill," said he, with a twinkle in his eye, "let's
stroll down the canyon."
I was delighted with the invitation and, now, that
the case had gone to the jury, eager to do something
to pass the time.
"Bill," said the Judge, as we left Main Street for
the cool shade of the pines, "I'm worried."
"Yes?"
"Yes, greatly," he replied. "Sam, my janitor,
is leaving me. Sam's going to-night."
"That's hard luck, Judge," I consoled him.
"Indeed it is. Sam came to me to-day at noon
and said, 'Jedge Buck, I 'se leavin' .'
"'Ob, surely not, Sam,' I urged.
" 'Yassuh, yassuh, Jedge.'
""Well now, Sam - you can't do that. What
shall I do?'
"'Jedge, I jes' mus'. Yassuh, I'se gwine.
Gwine-ter kotch de pack train foh Montana to-
night. I'se jes' gotter go.'
"'But, Sam,' I pleaded, 'I can't spare you until
this case is over. Who '11 clean up my floors?'
But Sam persisted.
" 'No, suh, J edge, I' se gwine. 'T ain't healthy
here no rno' foh Sam.'
"'Sam,' I urged, 'we're old friends, you know.
And how about our floors? Do you expect lawyers
DE MINIMIS NON CURAT LEX 145
to quit chewing tobacco till you return? At least
you can trust me with your reason.'
"'Well, suh, Jedge Buck, hit's like dis: mah
wife's husban' a-comin' in f'urn Spokane to-mor-
rer; an' I jes 'lows to mahself dat dis town ain't big
enu£ foh two crumpish niggers, so I' se tuk an'
made up mah min' ter go befoh he gets hyar; an'
say, Jedge,' Sam went on impulsively, 'ef yoh jes'
drap me er line w' en dat nigger goes 'way, Sam'l1
be back on de fu'st pack train £'um de Falls.'
"I assured Sam that I would do this," Judge
Buck laughed as we turned back toward town, "and
indeed I shall. Sam is indispensable to the profes-
sion."
But Sam, I am sorry to say, never returned.
His wife's husband came and was gone with his
lady. Sam and she had lived quietly and conven-
tionally in a shack at the lower end of Main Street
for nearly a year, Sam doing janitor work in the
county buildings, and she taking in washings.

When we returned to the courtroom, the jury


was ready to report. It had deliberated but a few
moments at most, and this as mere formality. It
returned its verdict in favor of the defendants on
all counts. Judge Buck spat an unusually large
gob of tobacco juice on the floor. Clagett looked
SILVER STRIKE
down my way and smiled in triumph. Cooper was
silent, Peck dejected. Major Woods chuckled to
himself.
Never shall I forget the roar of applause that
followed! N or the rush of congratulation!
O'Rourke was the hero of the hour. Kellogg was
lionized.
Cooper shouldered his way through the throng
with the stoniest indifference. Peck slipped away
without a word. Woods and Heyburn and I were
completely ignored. Judge Buck picked up his
papers and left as if another day's routine had been
completed, but nothing more.
That night, while I was eating dinner with the
Major, relating to him the story of Sam's defec-
tion, a tremendous explosion shook the canyon.
Then another, and another. O'Rourke and his
friends were saying" A Daniel hath come to judg-
ment" with giant powder, and in ton lots. Every-
thing, we soon found, was wide open, restaurants,
stores, saloons, and the underworld, with O'Rourke
paying the bills. Whiskey barrels were rolled out
on Main Street. Everybody was drunk. Every-
body was happy.
Later on, O'Rourke, tipsy but in the highest good
humor, singled me out of a crush on the walk.
"Phwy, there's me friend Bill Stoll, himsi1£!" he
DE MINIMIS NON CURAT LEX 147
shouted. "Bill, we're wid yez -wid yez to the
last man. Ye 're a faine bhye. Come and dhrink
wid me t' the Bunker Hill and Sullivant!"
A great uproar and shouting followed as I ac-
cepted his invitation. Never were human beings
happier than these. It was over. They had won.
They failed to consider one thing, however.
Judge Buck had not yet made his decision.
XVI
THE DECISION

THE echoes of O'Rourke's giant powder blasts


died a way in placards lampooning Cooper and Peck
and their Jackass; Culver and Aulbaugh, our rival
publishers, had one golden day flamboyant with
banners; the population, miners and underworld,
continued its rush to Milo Gulch, confident that the
jury's verdict had forever settled the issue.
O'Rourke and his associates, for he was their leader
no\\'~, were big men in Kellogg and Wardner.
Within a week we made a motion to disregard the
jury's findings and grant judgment for the plain-
tiffs; and the Major, Heyburn, and I-and Clag-
ett, Ganahl, and Allen - argued over the motion,
the law, and the facts before Judge Buck. The
judge heard us as he had before during the trial;
our arguments were again the arguments that had
concluded the trial- with opposing counsel, it
might be added, insisting that Judge Buck was
morally and legally bound by the jury's findings.
A few days later Judge Buck sent the court bailiff
THE DECISION 149
to inform opposing counsel that decision would be
rendered the following morning at ten o'clock; and
once again, at the hour appointed, we gathered at
the counsel table. Clagett, Ganahl, and Allen were
quiet, silent, confident; the Major, Heyburn, and I
were grave and serious, all of us, as lawyers, doing
our best to take things as a matter of course, and
not one of us quite succeeding.
Judge Buck was inches under six feet, yet with
broad powerful shoulders, a deep chest, and a neck
and lower jaw suggestive of firmness. But his
mild manner, his soft hesitant speech, his kindly
eyes, his patience and his tolerance, led the defend-
ants to believe that he would follow the line of least
resistance indicated by the jury's verdict.
Turning toward and apparently addressing
Clagett, Judge Buck began: "The burden of the
argument by the defendants on this motion for final
judgment is to the effect that, a jury having been
impaneled, it is the court's duty to be governed by
their findings. I t is there that I differ radically
with eminent counsel for the defendants."
A sudden twist by Allen, Clagett's rapid chew-
ing, and Ganahl's quick slump in his chair indicated
an awakening as they realized what was to come.
Judge Buck then went tersely into the history of
the practice in equity of calling juries to assist the
ISO SILVER STRIKE
court; and he stated the limits of the rule thus:-
"In cases where there is a sharp conflict of evi-
dence, by witnesses of equal credibility, on compli-
cated questions of fact, it has been the practice-
and I think it the duty - of the court to follow the
findings of the jury, but in a case of this kind, which
can be decided upon the testimony of the defend-
ants, the rule does not obtain.
"I should much prefer to follow the findings of
the jury, and my refusal to do it in this case is due
to no lack of confidence in, or respect for, the twelve
splendid men who made up the jury."
Consternation fell upon Clagett, Ganahl, and
Allen; but they could ouly follow his words in
silence.
"From the day that I came here to hold this term
of court," he continued, "I sensed a strong atmos-
phere of bias and prejudice again Dr. Cooper and
Mr. Peck and in favor of the defendants. This
case has been the subject of general discussion
during past weeks, many times in my hearing, in
hotels, on streets, and in restaurants; all such dis-
cussions were favorable to the defendants and
strongly against the plaintiffs. The demonstra-
tions in this courtroom when the jury returned their
findings, and the general demonstrations on the
streets afterward, - shooting off giant powder,
THE DECISION lSI

fireworks, and the placarding of Dr. Cooper and


Mr. Peck, - all show the poisoned state of public
mind. I am justified in concluding that these in-
fluences at least measurably affected the jury in its
deliberations.
"Time out of mind it has been the boast of all
English-speaking peoples that their courts have
stood as impregnable barriers against waves of
passion and prejudice; and I would feel recreant to
my bounden oath, my duty, and my conscience, were
I not entirely to disregard the findings of the jury.
"Furthermore, in this case the jury's findings
were contrary to the evidence, and have no support
whatever in this evidence. If there were no other
evidence, save that of the defendant Kellogg, plain-
tiffs would be entitled to a decree: Kellogg admitted
the grub-stake contract with Dr. Cooper and Mr.
Peck; that it was to continue as long as his grub
held out, or until otherwise mutually terminated.
He then tells of consuming thirty-five pounds of
bacon, ten pounds of beans, and fifteen pounds of
flour in thirteen days. I find, first, that this is un-
true. He then testified that he came to Murray
and went to see Dr. Cooper, a man whom he thor-
oughly detested, and there terminated the contract
with him; and that he did not see or attempt to see
Mr. Peck, a man whom he considered his friend.
SILVER STRIKE
I find, secondly, that this testimony is unreason-
able and untrue.
"He testified further," Judge Buck went on in a
calm even voice, "that within two hours of his re-
turn to Murray he formed a partnership with the
other defendants, and with saddle horses and an
adequate outfit started post haste in the nighttime
for Big Creek. He testified further that he and
Mr. O'Rourke, early the next morning, climbed
the mountain between Big Creek and Milo Gulch,
following the quartzite dike, and that at three
0' clock that afternoon he personally discovered the
Bunker Hill claim; that he went straight to it, far
ahead of his companions, indicating conclusively
that he knew what he was going to find and where
he was going to find it. All this occurred within
twenty-four hours from the time he claims to have
terminated his contract with Dr. Cooper.
"A location notice was found by the witness
Flaherty on the Bunker Hill claim, describing that
claim with reasonable accuracy, and expressly
stating that it was upon the western slope of Milo
Gulch, dated some four days prior, a day on which
Kellogg admits that he was in the vicinity. That
notice is signed, 'N. S. Kellogg, ~; ]. T. Cooper,
,%: ; O. O. Peck, ]4 ; locators.'
"Kellogg denies signing that notice, says that
154 SILVER STRIKE
O'Rourke, Kellogg, and the rest at Wardner. A
storm of public condemnation followed, only to sub-
side when the full text of Judge Buck's ruling ap-
peared in the newspapers.
The Judge was never milder of manner, never
gentler or more dispassionate of speech, than in
the delivery of this decision.
The case was finally appealed to tl.e Supreme
Court of the Territory; and that court, in a short,
curt opinion, affirmed it in February of r887.1
A short time after the Supreme Court decision,
Simeon Reed, of Portland, Oregon, purchased the
Bunker Hill and Sullivan claims for $600,000, of
which $100,000 was distributed among the attor-
neys on both sides - Clagett, Ganahl, and Allen re-
ceiving $80,000, and the Major, Heyburn, and I
$20,000. The remainder went to the owners ac-
cording to their several ownerships.
If we, the lawyers, had taken stock in the com-
pany formed by Reed, the Bunker Hill and Sullivan
Mining and Concentrating Company, for the
$100,000 paid us in fees, that stock would now be
worth several millions, and we should have received
dividends from it for more than forty years; but
instead we accepted the cash and as promptly
spent it.
1 Pacific Reporter. Vol. 13, pp. 350, 351.
THE DECISION 15_5
And now, court action ended, Phil O'Rourke's
Irish humor would not allow him to remain quiet:
after sale of the property he admitted openly, as did
the taciturn Kellogg, that the Jackass had discov-
ered that galena lode.
One final word of aftermath: five days after
Judge Buck's decision I was standing at the bar of
John Bennington's saloon, watching the harvest
sun sink behind the western ridges.
A prizefighter, whom I knew casually, came grin-
ning through the open door and straight toward
me, his right hand extended in what seemed
friendly greeting. Somewhat surprised, I took it.
Suddenly, not troubling for threat or warning, he
closed down upon it with the grip of a vice and,
still grinning, began to pummel me with his left.
Before I realized his purpose he had done me con-
siderable damage.
I do not care to say here in what manner I de-
fended myself; but when the melee was over his
friends helped him to an improvised hospital.
When he left it, I approached him and asked him
who or what induced him to attack me. For an-
swer he turned sullenly on his heel and walked
away.
I have never charged, nor do I now charge, any
particular person with being the cause of this ag-
SILVER STRIKE
gression; but I have a lasting conviction that it
would never have happened had Judge Buck de-
cided in favor of the defendants.
The Bunker Hill and Sullivan enriched the dis-
trict, in the years that followed, just as it enriched
the state and nation. When people have money,
and are prosperous, personalities fade from per-
spective. It was so in my regard-my legal prac-
tice picked up immediately, my recognition was
general. Even Kellogg and O'Rourke were
friendly.
XVII

PLENO JURE
MIKE SWEENEY kicked Noah Porter off the North-
ern Pacific right of way in May of ISgo, a few
months after Willis Sweet succeeded Norman
Buck as judge of the district territorial court.
Michael Sweeney, was a florid Hercules of a man,
over six feet in height, massive of shoulder and
chest, temperamental as the Irishman at his best,
but faithful to orders - reasons, doubtless, why he
was indispensable to the Northern Pacific as a fore-
man in charge of its section gangs at a time when
it was spanning an empire and hiring men of every
type for the purpose. Foremen of Michael's spirit,
I sincerely believe, have built more miles of railway
than the soundest plans of engineers and the most
lavish investment of capital.
Mike, let it be said to his everlasting credit,
kicked Porter off the right of way in question with
a neatness and dispatch that permitted no other re-
course than that to be had in court; and thither,
bruised and smarting, Porter went in all haste.
SILVER STRIKE
Judge Willis Sweet lived at Moscow, a hundred
and seventy miles distant, and only came to the
Coeur d'Alenes for regular terms of court. The
law, in the meantime, was administered by justices
of the peace who held forth in district towns;
among them Mike Maher, a wizen-faced little Irish-
man with red whiskers, piercing blue eyes, and a
brogue that came straight from the QuId Sod.
Maher was as pompous as the Lord Chancellor,
mentally as agile as a fox, and independent in his
views. I t was to Maher that Porter applied for
redress for his alleged wrongs.
Justice, incidentally, was a side line to his more
lucrative business of saloon keeping; and it was in
his barroom that he held court. Sweeney was
Irish; Maher was Irish. The folly of arresting
Sweeney was at once apparent. Maher accord-
ingly prepared a criminal complaint charging the
Northern Pacific, of which he spoke as an "Octope-
us," with "having built, unlawfully, tortiously~ and
with malice aforethought, a railroad across one
Noah Porter's lands without just compensation,
and to his great and irreparable damage, contrary
to the peace and dignity of the Territory of Idaho,
and statutes provided thereof."
Mike Maher may have been slightly inebriated
PLENO JURE IS9
during the transcription of this weighty document,
but that is neither here nor there: its full weight fell
upon J. R. Stephens, the company's locating engi-
neer in charge of construction and the man directly
over Sweeney, whose ready foot had precipitated
the issue.
It was at this point that I became personally in-
volved as counsel for the defense. I had been for
some time attorney for the construction depart-
ment of the Union Pacific, then engaged in build-
ing a standard-gauge road, the Washington and
Idaho, from Tekoa on the main line of the O. R.
and N., now the o. W. R. and N., to Mullen up the
South Fork valley, with a branch line from Wal-
lace to Burke. The Northern Pacific, shortly be-
fore the incident which led to the trial contained in
this chapter, had been in serious rivalry with the
company I represented, paralleling our line with
one of their own on the opposite bank of the river,
and with another up Canyon Creek. The two com-
panies, however, so far as right-of-way matters be-
tween Wallace and Mullen were concerned, had
been drawn together in common cause against
squatters, hoodlums, and others who, sensing po-
tential value in railroad right of way, had located
what they called "ranches" and "mining claims" on
160 SILVER STRIKE
every available foot of territory over which the lines
would pass, this to hold at exorbitant prices.
The two roads agreed that I should act for them
both in steps necessary to procure right of way; in-
vestigation soon showed that the adventurers in
our path had no legitimate claim to the land they
had staked off , having made no mineral discoveries
and not having gone through the steps necessary
for possessory rights to ranches. Our right-of-
way agents, in fact, reported but two legitimate
claims between the two towns of Wallace and Mul-
len, a distance of eleven miles. I had advised engi-
neers and contractors to ignore fences, notices, and
all other obstructions, in order that they might
build the grade and force claimants to sue the com-
pany instead of letting the company take action
against them. I t was on the strength of this
advice, communicated through Stephens, that
Sweeney had torn down fences erected by Porter,
bringing that gentleman forth with a double-bar-
reled shot gun. After a hasty glance down its twin
muzzles, Sweeney had asked Porter to sit down and
talk it over; then, having caught him off guard, he
had wrested the weapon from him and booted him
off the right of way.
When Stephens was arrested by the sheriff, I
went with him to Mullen, where he was booked to
PLENO JURE 161

appear before Maher. We found the justice be-


hind his bar, serving drinks to whoever among his
hoodlums had money in their fists.
Mike greeted us cordially. I told him the pur-
pose of our visit.
"Th' dhrinks is on yez, Bill," he announced.
I treated the thirsty mob surging about us.
"Th' dhrinks is on yez, Stephens," he went on,
refilling a score of glasses.
Stephens accepted the invitation without a word.
"Now th' dhrinks is on th' coort," Mike con-
cluded, and another round of whiskey followed.
These were the customary formalities preceding
convening of his court.
Mike next walked to a stud-poker table, picked
up a heavy bung starter, and with ludicrous pom-
posity, pounding on the table with this "boong
shtarter," he began:-
"Coort is now in session; all persons havin' busi-
ness wid this honorable bar of Justice will come for-
ward and be heerd."
Mike's hoodlums gathered about, improvising
chairs out of empty beer and whiskey kegs.
"Mike," I said, coming abruptly to the point,
"what's your idea in issuing a warrant for
Stephens on a criminal complaint against the
Northern Pacific Railway?"
162 SILVER STRIKE
"Shure," he snapped back, his shifty blue eyes
boring into me, "and ut' s me owen oidea! How
else can an honest man get ralafe from th' great
Octope-us ?"
"Mike," I advised, "the Supreme Court has de-
cided-"
It was as far as I ever got. He interrupted:-
"Ha, ha - thayre 's th' pint, Bill; th' Suprame
Coort has been revarsin' me decisions for thrae
years, and now Oi revarses thim! To Hell wid th'
Suprame Coort! To Hell wid yer law! 'T is jus-
tice we wants. Th' order av me coort is that John
Rittenhouse Stephens be hild in doorance vile, wid-
out bail or roight av clergy, until such toime as thot
great Octope-us, th' Narthern Pacific Railway,
compinsates this pore but honest cityzen for th'
great and irreparable damage ut has done him.
Coort is now adjourned, and th' dhrinks is on yez,
Bill."
Once again I treated Maher's hoodlums.
"Th' dhrinks is on yez, Stephens!"
Stephens waved to the crowd.
Between the two of us, by our investing some-
where around thirty dollars in drinks, until Maher
was reeling and lush in his legal phraseology, I
succeeded in persuading him to release my client
to me for three days.
PLENO JURE
That night Stephens and I took a locomotive and
steamed at full speed for Moscow, where Judge
Sweet granted us a writ of habeas corpus.
For months thereafter Mike held forth with the
crowd at his bar, charging "corruption, and ti-
ranny~ and various and sundry other evil practices,
by a coart av cuordinate jhurisdiction."
This, may I conclude, ended our right-of-way
difficulties. In the months that followed both
roads pushed their construction through to Mul-
len, then to Desmet, Montana; and the Coeur
d' Alenes were finally accessible by modern trans-
portation systems to the outside world.
XVIII
AN ARGUMENT TO THE JURY
EBB and flow are in the tide, and in human conduct
as well. Our movement in the Coeur d' Alenes,
even at a time when each man was potentially a law
unto himself, had been one of social and civil order;
Judge Norman Buck's decision in the Bunker Hill
and Sullivan trial, given calmly in the face of pub-
lic opinion, was the climax of this movement-
high tide, in other words; but now came change,
imperceptibly at first, then with all the rush and
force of white waters in mid-straits.
Our Coeur d'Alene frontiersmen had been
birched into respect for human life and property
by the Vigilantes; and with rare exceptions they
were true to their teachings. But the old order,
after Judge Buck's decision, was going: galena had
been found, cities had been built-here was El
Dorado. Men from all parts of the world, men
from other schools than the Western frontier, or
from no schools at all, were drifting in. They had
-----_ .. -- - -

AN ARGUMENT TO THE JURY 165


their influence. It was not in all cases a good in-
fluence.
Here was great wealth to be had for the taking,
and lust overcame restraint: six-shooters flashed
from open holsters more frequently; now and then
men were robbed; respect for the court and other
agencies of government faded from the public point
of view. Foreign agitators deeply concerned for
their own personal ends, many of them Irish,
shouted platitudes on human oppression, hinting of
Utopia, swaying masses, particularly the lower and
more populous order of mining labor. The move-
ment was scarce a ripple before 1888.
That year Patrick Flynn, a native-born Irishman
sixty-five years of age, his back bent from toil, was
charged with the murder of Oscar Shea, a younger,
a bigger, and a stronger man. I was employed by
the county commissioners to assist the district at-
torney, Walter A. Jones, a brilliant though inex-
perienced young lawyer. Frank Ganahl, then at
the peak of his power, defended.
Flynn's countrymen, in spite of the fact that cir-
cumstances pointed strongly to his having shot
Shea in cold blood, were deeply, militantly in sym-
pathy with him. The sheriff, an alcoholic descend-
ant of the QuId Sod, was partial to the forces of the
accused, whose only defense was age and infirmity
166 SILVER STRIKE
helpless before youth's passion and violence-a
mere pretense. Flynn, they argued, had spent his
life on the frontier and had never before been
charged with a crime.
Two weeks of examination and cross-examina-
tion, with Flynn's friends crowding the courtroom
every moment; then we came to final arguments.
The district attorney opened. Ganahl followed.
After he had held the jury in his hand for two
hours, Judge Buck adjourned court until the morn-
ing following, promising Ganahl an opportunity to
finish his analysis and plea.
That evening, in the dusk, three of Flynn's
friends stopped me on the street.
"Stoll," said one, "you are only a hireling; you
have no business in this case-get out of it. Don't
argue in the morning. Stay away. Show up and
you get cold lead; we'll shoot you."
I walked away with this threat in my ears. I
resolved to ignore it; indeed I had no other choice
in the matter, for aside from my duty to proceed,
there was the further consideration that failure to
appear would stamp me as a coward.
It did not seem probable that the threat would
be carried to conclusion; yet the situation was grave
enough to demand every possible precaution. I
knew that the courtroom would be packed with
AN ARGUMENT TO THE JURY 167
Flynn's friends; I knew that I could expect no pro-
tection from the sheriff in emergency; I knew, too,
that with the exception of what little aid I would
get from Judge Buck, which, considering the mob,
might well be negligible, I must depend upon my-
self.
In a frame of mind none too pleasant I crossed
the street to the Louisville Hotel where Judge Buck
was then stopping.
I laid the circumstances before him frankly.
"William," he mused, after a moment's reflec-
tion, "since the day of the Vigilantes the West has
been reasonably safe. I for one am slow to be-
lieve that men, either singly or in mob, will attempt
such outrage in court. I admire your determina-
tion to do your duty. Rest assured that I will
grant you any protection in my power."
I then outlined a plan of action which met with
his approval.
When the court convened the following morning
the jury filed into its box, the prisoner took his place
on Ganahl's left, and I sat beside the district attor-
ney, a leather handbag at my feet.
Ganahl concluded in another hour, his argument
powerful, pathetic, and - on the defense theory-
.
persuasIve.
I stood up.
168 SILVER STRIKE
"Your Honor," I began, "I have two revolvers in
the handbag which you see beneath the table where
I have been sitting. I request your permission to
place these before me on its top and within easy
reach. Last night three of the defendant's friends,
all of whom are now in court, called upon me to tell
me that if I appeared to argue here this morning,
I should be shot. The flag above this build-
ing should be ample assurance of safety, even
among foreigners; but as a further safeguard I
look to these six-guns. I will not use them un-
less an attempt is first made to carry out the
threat."
"It is almost unbelievable," Judge Buck an-
swered, addressing the assemblage, "that such a
threat should have been made; it is entirely unbe-
lievable that in a court of justice, over which the
American flag is now waving, violence would be
attempted during progress of a trialt involving hu-
man rights and human life. I will make the or-
der."
Placing the two heavy Colt's on the table before
me, determined to shoot out the issue if necessary,
I proceeded to make the argument of my life.
There was not the slightest demonstration. Per-
fect silence prevailed. After instructions from
Judge Buck, the jury retired, only to report twenty-
AN ARGUMENT TO THE JURY 169
four hours later that agreement was impossible.
One man had held out for acquittal.
Nor was I offered violence then or ever. The
trial came up again during next term of court; but
Flynn went free-our witnesses scattered to the
winds.- For all I know, Flynn may be living yet.
I mention this incident only to indicate that the
old order was changing. A year before, two years
before, or during the first winter, such a threat
would have brought its authors to tragedy.

It was an unwritten law of this Western coun-


try, at the time of which I speak, that insult be
wiped out with blows: if a man would not fight
when so confronted, he was marked thereafter as
a coward; if he stood up for himself he earned re-
spect, win or lose.
It is the natural misfortune of a bear that a ter-
rier may torment him in safety. At this time I
was thirty-five years of age, weighing well over
two hundred, and six feet three in my stocking feet.
My size, accordingly, rendered me exceedingly cau-
tious in provoking or resenting the attack of a
smaller man.
Some three weeks after Flynn's first trial, a civil
case came up. I represented the plaintiff, and
Tom Singleton the defendant.
170 SILVER STRIKE
Singleton was a Mississippian of my age, and
fully as large as I - we might clash with perfect
propriety. On this occasion he was half drunk
and more insulting than usual. Suddenly he let
go with: "Yoah a goddam liah, suh I"
The table was between us. He was on his feet
at its opposite end twenty feet away. In a fit of
anger I seized a bottle of red writing fluid and
hurIed it at his head. Fortunately my aim was bad.
Singleton, much under the influence of liquor,
reeled and fell; nor would he move until the sheriff
came to his rescue. Judge Buck promptly fined
him two hundred dollars, and much to my surprise
I escaped without reprimand.
The situation had its ludicrous side: the bottle
three-fourths full of crimson ink, uncorked at the
exact instant when I brought it back over my shoul-
der to hurl it, splattering the face and shirt of a
timorous little Jew sitting directly behind me. For
some unknown reason the group about him thought
it blood, and a cry went up. Goldstein promptly
fainted. They carried him out, but life revived,
bringing with it no little fun at the victim's ex-
pense.
Other complications of a more serious nature de-
veloped. Mild of temperament as Judge Buck was,
he expected a fine of any denomination to be paid.
AN ARGUMENT TO THE JURY 17 1
Singleton was practically penniless. Jail seemed
inevitable.
That night our little bar association held a special
meeting to devise ways and means of saving Single-
ton further humiliation. When a survey of our
own limited assets indicated that a collection would
tend to impoverish all of us, we went in a body to
Judge Buck.
He was adamant.
Clagett made an eloquent appeal. "Your
Honor," he concluded, "men's conduct in the wil-
derness cannot be measured by standards common
elsewhere. I earnestly urge you to remit Single-
ton's fine."
Judge Buck made no answer.
Ganahl reasoned with him, the Major pleaded,
I pointed out that I was not entirely free from
blame, and urged leniency.
Finally Clagett touched a responsive chord in the
old Roman's nature. The burden, he urged, would
fall not on Singleton but upon each of us, for in
our determination that he should not go to jail we
were willing to pay his fine. Imprisonment for a
long period of time under the circumstances would
be harsh.
"I remit the fine," said Judge Buck, turning and
walking out in disgust.
172 SILVER STRIKE
Everyone was happy over the outcome but Gold-
stein: he insisted that he should be compensated for
the ink stains on his shirt and coat. We gave him
no satisfaction whatever, I am sorry to say; and he
would have had none but for a poker game in cele-
bration of Singleton's release. Goldstein brought
his business acumen to bear in this, and, if I recall
rightly, he walked out of it with something like fif-
teen dollars of our money, his spirit soothed by the
knowledge that this amount would amply remove
the ink and its accompanying humiliation.
XIX
MINING TYPES
FROM the day of Kellogg's Jackass discovery, there
had been a steady mining development of the Coeur
d' Alenes, a development which had assembled men
from all parts of America, brought cities into be-
ing, added state to state, and which was now about
to reach its climax in one of the West's greatest
mInIng wars. To appreciate something of this
situation it is first necessary to understand the
miner and his life.
Metal mining in the west, at the period of which
I speak, included in its range five types of men,
each vital to the industry. The first of these was
the prospector.
His habitat was the heart of the hills, in unknown
ridges days from the nearest railway station. Un-
til the shadows fell his eye was upon the next ridge;
his mother lode ever yonder, the lure in uncharted
'distance. His life was an odds-against gamble-
from the Sacramento to the Yukon, from the
Canadian Rockies to the Bitter Roots. A dozen
174 SILVER STRIKE
nuggets in his quinine bottle, an inadequate pack;
or a whim of fate, a full pouch, and a laden burro
- all ultimately to be lost in frontier current and
cross-current. Civilization hardly came within his
ken; once in months a night of whiskey before the
bar, a turn at poker, a paid embrace, sleep, and he
is off into the hills again. That was the pros-
pector as the frontier knew him. He had the in-
telligence to adjust himself to any circumstance of
desert, hill, and forest; his patience was boundless,
his courage unfaltering. He lived close to nature,
and like the Indian he understood more of her mys-
tery than comes down to us in books. He could
have taught college professors much concerning
geology and mineralogy.
The second type was the roistering placer miner,
also with a degree of intelligence, but, in the same
inconsistency of nature, happy-go-lucky, drunken,
improvident; his operations limited to pick and pan
and sluice box. Gold glittered in his diggin's, nug-
gets came to light - a full pouch, the faro table, a
spree, women, his pouch emptied; then, unde-
pressed, satisfied, he was off to new streams and
sands. And if fortune smiled upon him, as she
sometimes did, then would follow another round,
and so on until age and poverty crept upon him.
MINING TYPES 175
There were, in the case of both the prospector and
the placer miner, exceptions. I am speaking of the
rule.
The promotor, generally a less-laudable person-
ality, came next. Scruple weighed but lightly on
his conscience; where the prospector's tongue was
silent, and seldom heard, his wagged freely, fre-
quently with note and logic to convince. Where
the first two were rugged and inured to hardship,
the promoter was flabby and soft; where the others
were intrinsically honest, he was crooked - cheat-
ing, when cheating best suited his end, either pros-
pector or investor. He gambled in a game with
the odds in his favor, yet was a necessary factor,
since he inspired the movement and investment.
The mining promoter led to the capitalist, the
financier. His may have been a fortune built by
acumen and saving; it may have been inherited.
In either case his money brought railroads, ma-
chinery, order, organization, sound engineering
principles, and all that the other three types had
nothing, in the nature of their lives, to do with; his
money made foundations sound, though, like the
promoter, he might know nothing of mining and of
minerals. From him came dividends.
And last in this scheme of things was the hard-
SILVER STRIKE
rock miner, a laborer who worked by the day. He
fell into two classes: first the skilled laborer, the
powder-and-drill man; and second the mucker,
whose business it was to shovel ore into cars and
get it to hoists where it was elevated to the surface.
The powder-and-drill man worked in the stope
of a drift, holding the drill while his partner used
the sledge, hammering upward. Into this drill
hole giant powder went. Charges were tamped.
Throughout the shift the mucker toiled; then again
at evening, before a new shift replaced the old,
when the mine was cleared, the charges were set,
and in the roll of explosion the ore was broken
down for more mucking. It was a hazardous em-
ployment, with a heavy toll of life.
These men were steady, reliable, for the most
part sober, with families in homes scattered in the
outskirts of mining towns and villages. Mining
depended upon them, just as it depended upon the
prospector and the others. The great majority of
the laborers were uneducated, content to labor, and
caring for no more responsibility than that in-
volved in their routine.
Their courage, however, was unquestioned.
Stopes broke down unexpectedly, closing drifts;
tunnels were wrecked, and men imprisoned deep in
MINING TYPES 177
earth. They would undertake any risk, perform
any heroism without thought of reward or praise,
to save life. They were a type by no means less
laudable than the best of the others - prospector,
placer miner, promoter, capitalist.
xx
THE MINING WAR
THE galena belt of the Coeur d' Alenes is limited on
the west by the Bunker Hill and Sullivan mines at
Wardner, on the east by Mullen in the upper South
Fork Valley, and by Burke at the head of Canyon
Creek.
In this belt, then as now, were many silver, lead,
and zinc mines. The general character of their
ore was the same, this measuring in vein width
from eighteen inches to a hundred and fifty feet in
a mine such as the Bunker Hill. The smaller
mines, as a rule, contained the higher-grade ore,
with less waste; but they lacked the permanency
of the larger mines, and they were more costly to
work.
These mines, big or little, were classed as "wet"
and "dry" mines by 1890. By dry mines I refer
to the working of ore bodies above water levels set
by neighboring streams - a process requiring no
pumping; by wet mines, to those in which ore bodies
had been exhausted above water level, and which,
THE MINING WAR 179
in order to operate, require pumping day and night,
often at prohibitive cost. Otherwise they would
flood, depositing mud and silt in the drifts during
idle periods, and in some cases causing irreparable
damage. The necessity of pumping at all times
cut heavily into dividends.
Two types of laborers were employed in these
mines - powder-and-drill men to blast out and
knock ore down into drifts, and muckers to follow
them up and load ore deposits into cars for convey-
ance to hoists and elevation to the surface. May I
again add that powder-and-drill men were classed
'as skilled lahor, muckers as unskilled. Two
muckers were employed to one powder-and-drill
man.
Prior to 1891 all mines had worked to capacity;
prior to 1891 all mines had paid good dividends,
powder-and-drill men drawing three dollars and
fifty cents a day for their labor, and muckers fifty
cents less. Everyone was satisfied, everyone was
happy; there were no unions, there was no need
for unions - a matter, doubtless, entirely of opin-
.
Ion.
From the time of the last hanging in the old
Vigilante days of Montana through to 1891, law-
lessness and crime were strangers on the frontier;
frontiersmen - miner, prospector, or settler -
180 SILVER STRIKE
were loyal to the court and its codes, finding in them
reasonable security for life and property. Then
came a backward swing of the pendulum: the agi-
tator, a foreigner who did not mine, and who under-
stood little of mining problems, came from Butte
to sew dragon's teeth in the soil; and in secrecy he
worked, organizing the district miners.
He encountered little difficulty in the Coeur
d' Alenes : men who have occasion to think little and
labor much are usually vigorous, with emotions
easily aroused; they are also accustomed to taking
orders without question. And so it was with the
muckers. They outnumbered powder-and-drill
men two to one; they drew fifty cents a day less-
facts appreciated at their face value by the agi-
tators.
"Liberty - free America" was the cry. Or-
ganize! Why be beasts of burden? Why be
slaves? Why should powder...and-drill men draw
more for sitting around timing charges than
muckers who get ore to the hoists? Answer that!
Fifty cents a day difference - discrimination!
The menace of capitalism - unequal distribution
of wealth! Rise against it! Stand by your
rights, and stand together. Organize!
And so the shouting went on, individually, in
groups, in every lodging house, in every saloon; it
THE MINING WAR 181

poisoned the minds of miners, the majority of


whom were Irish and Swedes. Discontent be-
came general. Peace and understanding gave
way before enmity and strife.
With the unions increasing in number it became
more and more difficult for the individual miner to
stand against them; their rule was the rule of fear
and force - final argument always to the ignorant
and illiterate; soon they absorbed the district's en-
tire laboring population. When their organiza-
tion had developed to this point, they shoved the
mailed fist under the noses of the mine owners and
made a hard-and-fast demand that the wage scale
of all miners working underground, skilled or un-
skilled, be raised to three dollars and fifty cents a
day.
This demand came at a time when overproduc-
tion had been forcing price drop after price drop
in lead and silver, at a time when all mines, wet or
dry, were operating on an extremely slender margin
of profit, at a time when the future held no promise.
The practical effect of the union demand, had it
been accepted, would have made certain a greatly
increased operating cost and a further dwindling
of dividends at a time when the bottom was begin-
ning to drop out of the ore market. On its face the
proposition was manifestly unjust.
SILVER STRIKE
During the next few weeks a series of meetings
was held between union officials and representatives
of the mine owners. The situation was discussed
from every angle. The organization's wage de-
mand, the mine owners explained, would force them
to close the mines. A firm refusal to raise the
wage scale followed; whereupon, in the closing
months of 1891, the unions declared war and gave
notice of a strike unless their demands met with
prompt compliance.
The necessity of meeting organization with or-
ganization led to the formation of the Mine
Owners' Association. They promptly employed
W. B. Heyburn, Albert Hagen, and myself as at-
torneys and agreed to shut down all mines in the
Coeur d' Alenes, at the same time entering into an
understanding among themselves to apportion and
pay, during the shutdown, the expense of pumping
out the wet mines - this being done to save
hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of ma-
chinery.
Threats and demonstrations of violence became
general, each with a more ominous note; and the
Mine Owners' Association, for safety's sake, sent
to the Pinkerton Detective Agency in Chicago for
a detective who would come as a miner seeking em-
ployment, and who would join the union in order to
THE MINING WAR
give the organization reports of impending lawless-
ness and violence.
The detective agency sent Charles A. Siringo, a
personality as interesting as any I have ever met
along the frontier. He was of medium height,
slender, but remarkably agile and strong. His
early youth had been spent on the cattle ranges of
Texas; he was a skillful horseman, he was deadly
with a Colt's 45, a weapon he carried at all times.
I have thrown up an empty bean can and watched
him, shooting from his hip, riddle it in flight; yet
he had never, so far as anyone knows, taken a hu-
man life. He had been years with the Pinkerton
Agency on every type of case from mine salting 1
to bank robbery and murder; he was shrewdly in-
telligent, infallible in his judgment of human na-
ture, and courageous to the point of recklessness;
he was quick and nervous normally, but in a critical
moment, or an emergency, cold and steady as a rock.
He was relentless on a scent: it was his work, some
years before, that led to the death of that famous
old outlaw, cutthroat, and gunman, Billy the Kid.
Siringo, as I knew him, was deadlier even in his
calmest moments than the Kid; but he was a rattler
who never struck: he had other methods of offense
and defense, and-of yet greater importance-
1 Placing foreign gold or metal in mines for promotional purposes.
Cou,-tcsy of llullqhlull Jl,fiffiill Co.

SIRINCO, ONE OF PINKERTON~S 1\1E~, IN J89I


SILVER STRIKE
he was perfectly at home among men of the Coeur
d' Alene type.
Immediately after his arrival in Wallace - an
arrival unannounced - he was called into secret
conference with officials of the Mine Owners' As-
sociation. The union leaders, he was told with
much truth, had been reared in the old "Molly Ma-
guire" school of Pennsylvania coal-field fame; they
had no human sympathies: they were more than
agitators fighting for a cause that they considered
right and just - they were fanatics, cutthroats,
gunmen, bludgeoneers, murderers. He had men
like Joe Poynton and George A. Pettibone to deal
with. Whether or not he dealt with them wisely
subsequent events must show.
His identity was to remain secret even among
all but a few of the mine owners. He could work
his own way - they trusted him. Siringo said not
a dozen words in this meeting.
A day or two later a rough miner, somewhat the
worse for drink, and not a little of the tramp, ap-
plied for a job to Jahn Manihan, superintendent of
the Gem mine. He gave his name as C. Leon Alli-
son. Monihan took him to one of his shift bosses,
who put him to work on a mucking crew. He was
an indifferent mucker, but he had intelligence.
This intelligence may have accounted for his indif-
THE MINING WAR 185
ference to mucking obligations. Sooner or later
intelligence in a mucker attracts attention: in Alli-
son's case it found an outlet in union activity; and
his espousal of labor's cause won him the secretary-
ship of the union, a post of responsibility.
Early in 18g2 a panic began to sweep over the
nation, one of the worst in its history. It para-
lyzed industry; the silver, lead, and zinc market
f ailed utterly; banks closed their doors; the N orth-
ern Pacific, the Union Pacific, and other great rail-
roads went into the receiver's hands and were ulti-
mately sold under foreclosure proceedings. Un-
employment became general over America. The
union leaders, however, paid no serious heed to this
storm.
Coxey's motley army was later to seize a train of
cars in Tacoma and by sheer force proceed to
Washington, an interesting ride while it lasted.
When finally they were driven from the train, the
mob marched on foot to the Capitol, surrounded the
White House, and made startling demands of the
government. But official ears, incidentally, were
deaf to threat and entreaty alike, and the police had
excellent exercise with their clubs. But soldiers of
labor had to eat, a complication for which little pro-
vision had been made; hence the army broke up,
and, if it had ever been organized, disbanded.
186 SILVER STRIKE
In the meantime the market value of Coeur
d' Alene ore products had fallen so low that opera-
tion of the mines under any kind of a wage scale
was impossible. The union leaders did not know
this or, if they did, ignored it. Some things, how-
ever, cannot be ignored without serious conse-
quences.
Siringo, or C. Leon Allison, whichever you will,
stood on middle ground, at once a servant of both
forces; and many things he knew, ignoring noth-
ing, though he was neither an authority on indus-
try nor a philosopher in the abstract.
He was something better-he was a good fel-
low; he knew when to glad-hand the boys. They
liked it, or they would never have honored him with
a secretaryship in their order. Gambling halls and
saloons ran full blast in spite of depression; Siringo
swaggered through them all, drinking, gambling;
he was the beau ideal of labor-union secretaries,
aside from the fact that his reports escaped in a
fashion somewhat mysterious and to our advan-
tage.
But even so Siringo had problems sufficient to
vex his every resource: reports must first be writ-
ten, then mailed to St. Paul, Minnesota, there to be
typed, then sent back to the Mine Owners' Associa-
188 SILVER STRIKE
least. The night Peterson turned him out into the
cold of unemployment he drank riotously, spent his
remaining wages lavishly, and slapped sympathetic
mining backs. In the same mood he confided to
not a few that he had a rich father back in Texas
who still loved him as a son, and, loving him thus,
sent him funds. The story had a popular appeal.
Siringo had changed, as the chameleon changes,
from tramp to miner, from miner to union secre-
tary, and from all this to the prodigal son. As
such he had his influence. Had he been a leopard,
permanency would have deserted his spots.
N ow that his labors were over, our wayward
Allison had ample opportunity to fraternize with
George A. Pettibone, Joe Poynton, Tommy
O'Brien, Samuels, and others of a goodly company
of high union officials who drew, by their own
order, handsome salaries for supervision over and
control of mining-union destiny. He doubtless
found their company uplifting. George A. Petti-
bone, for example, was a sharp-featured little man
with the eye of a weasel. When he left the peni-
tentiary, years after the mining strike of which I
am now speaking, he became involved in the murder
of Governor Steunenberg, and the eloquence and
wit of Clarence Darrow alone stood between him
and the noose or another period behind prison walls
THE MINING WAR ISg
- all of which indicates that Pettibone, at this time
a justice of the peace, was an artist in his field.
Poynton was a big dynamiter with a dogged anti-
pathy to regular shaving; he came from Butte; he
was reckless and ruthless - let us assume that
Butte had her first easy breath in months after his
departure for Idaho. O'Brien was the best of the
lot, and the most temperate-not a bad man at
heart, though president of this peace-loving group;
his particular virtue was slipperiness of true Erin-
ian hue and color. Paddy Burke was Irish, wild-
eyed, irrepressible. Such was Siringo's company.
For weeks he was never to have a dull moment-
the truest test of fellowship.
There was in the district, at this time, a growing
force of men who, though lacking genius for organ-
ization, and the ability to wield the sceptre, were
yet of the hardihood and courage for men at arms.
They were not of the capacity, nor did they have
the imagination, to be big in lawlessness and crime
until more discerning minds shouted orders at them
- I refer to Webb Leasure, Long Shorty, Billy
Daxon, Jack Lucy, and others. A strange com-
pany, after Clagett, Judge Buck, Major Woods,
and dear old Uncle Tommy Reynolds.
When union officialdom convened, bearded pages
armed to the teeth dashed through town ringing
190 SILVER STRIKE
bells and shouting of a citizen's meeting in the
Union Hall. "Citizens" were in all cases union
members in good standing, and only such were per-
mitted to pass over the sacred portals of the Union
Hall. Then the speeches - the shrewd eloquence
of Pettibone, the bombast of Poynton! Oppres-
sion! Slavery! Down with the mine owners I
Death to the Coeur d'Alene octopus! And the
response was frenzy.
In this gentle frame of organized mind, the scab
became a menace to union life, liberty, and the pur-
suit of happiness. A scab was any individual who
refused to join the union, or who in any manner
continued in the service of the mine owners.
I have seen these scabs, men who for reasons of
their own stood out against the union, dragged
from their wives and homes by howling mobs;
I have seen them spat upon; I have seen them
marched, begging for mercy, to a jangle of pans
and larum of bells, up the canyon to Burke and the
mining camp there, three miles distant, and told to
"hit the road." Their compliance was always in-
stantaneous. A volley of pistol shots frequently
gave wings to their feet; and this at a time when
snow was waist deep in the Coeur d' Alenes. All
winter this went on - not only at Gem, but at other
THE MINING WAR 191

mining centres as well.Men who joined the union


took the iron-clad Molly Maguire oath never to
turn traitor to the union cause. For such defec-
tion, they were given to understand, death would
be the penalty.
THE FIRST SKIRMISH 193
trouble and bloodshed, we agreed with the unions
to join in a mass meeting at Wallace to discuss both
sides of the situation.
It fell to my lot to speak for the mine owners. In
no sense did I relish the task; neither could I see
purpose in it, for I knew to what extent the miners'
minds had been inflamed by Pettibone, Poynton,
Burke, and others, and that men listened to reason
only when they are calm. I went to the hall that
night with assurance that the mine owners would
have men, each armed with two six-guns, scattered
through the gathering to shoot it out if necessary;
I knew, too, the general attitude toward lawyers at
times like this; I realized further the target a
speaker would offer on the rostrum. All this was
consoling, to say the least.
The hall was crowded, the atmosphere tense.
Bearded miners, most of them armed, filled every
bench and aisle; nor were their faces pleasant to
look upon. My first furtive glance located Siringo
far back: I knew that his Colt's .45 was ready for
action and wondered vaguely what such action
would be like. Yet farther back, eyes wilder than
usual, sat Paddy Burke surrounded by a sociable
company of dynamiters. Around me were Poyn-
ton, Pettibone, O'Brien, and other union officials.
I stood up in a volley of catcalls and jeers.
194 SILVER STRIKE
Eventually these subsided and I talked to the men
before me quietly, my oratorical straws respect for
law, rights of others, panic raging over the nation,
the fact that the mine owners were financially un-
able to meet union demands, the injustice of placing
both skilled and unskilled labor on the same wage
scale. In the midst of this a burly Irish miner
interrupted me.
"Bhyes," he roared, "if thayre was foorty dures
in this hall, yez ought to throw th' dirty shcab out
av iviry upshtairs window. 'Tis loies and bunk
he shpakes!"
This whole-hearted suggestion met with popular
approval: a roar of boos and jeers followed; far
out in the hysterical mob Siringo chuckled, and
Paddy Burke's eyes were wilder. I can fancy that
Poynton and Pettibone smiled with satisfaction be-
hind my back. Nevertheless I floundered OD,
measuring my words carefully as the noise and
confusion before me increased. After a time I
sat down. There was nothing else to do. And
even then sitting down on the other side of the
world would have been both wiser and more wel-
come.
Such reception met our every attempt to state
our case, but not so the attempts of the union of-
ficials: they screamed injustice and oppression;
THE FIRST SKIRMISH 195
they thundered messages to the mob emotions; they
drew the applause; they were heard with attentive
ears. When we left the hall it was plain that
friendly understanding was impossible. The fol-
lowing day we determined upon a course of action.
A call went out to other states for miners, but
not without union knowledge - they too had their
secret-service system. A bustle of activity greater
than usual developed in central union headquarters
at Wallace, where Tommy O'Brien was president
and Joe Poynton secretary. Siringo was used as
a dispatch bearer, and thence carne the knowledge
that Sheriff Cunningham was secretly allied with
the unions.
The sheriff, somewhat the worse for liquor, sat
astride a fine mount the day our hundred strike-
breakers were due to arrive in Wallace; around him
he had gathered a considerable force of armed
deputies who would have passed, at any other time,
for hoodlums instead of union men deputized to
preserve order.
The engineer of the train, however, had other
than routine instructions: instead of stopping at
Wallace to be greeted by the sheriff's reception
committee, he opened the throttle and dashed under
full head of steam toward Burke.
A great shout of rage and disappointment went
SILVER STRIKE
up; and Sheriff Cunningham, highly indignant, put
spurs to his horse and galloped up the track, shout-
ing state law regarding the importation of armed
thugs, and bellowing at the engineer to halt.
But before he could return to Wallace and march
his deputies the seven miles to Burke, Joe Warren
had disembarked our strike breakers and led them
under arms to the Union mine, which had been pre-
pared for their arrival.
The sheriff's force, recruited with many armed
miners, made its appearance in due time and moved
cautiously up the mountain slope, only to find sub-
stantial barricades guarded by Winchesters and
some very curt information concerning officials of
his type. Raging, he returned to Wallace.
Late that evening a rabble of angry miners, fum-
ing with whiskey, crowded the streets of Burke,
brandishing rifles and begging President O'Brien
for permission to "blow the dirty scabs off the face
of the earth." The suggestion tickled the fancies
of Pettibone, Poynton, and others of the more radi-
cal tendencies, but President O'Brien held out
against it. A committee of more level-headed
unionists was appointed after much debate, these
to accompany the persistent sheriff and arrest Joe
Warren as peaceably as possible. Siringo was in
the group.
XXII

SIRINGO
A LIFELONG friendship was later to develop be-
tween Siringo and me; and it is from this under-
standing that I speak of him now. No man was
less a braggart, even when he talked of his ad-
ventures: his eyes would light with pleasant humor,
a chuckle come into his narrative. His chuckle
was a dry, silent chuckle-I have never heard an-
other like it; at one moment it would convulse the
listener with laughter, at another it was positively
chilly.
The first of July came, ominous with trouble.
First of all, the Coeur d'Alene Barbarian, a weekly
news sheet from a Wardner press published in the
interest of the mine owners, had been making pub-
lic choice secrets of the union; obviously these
had leaked through radical officialdom; and
throughly alarmed and not knowing whom to trust,
the union sent a call for relief to Butte. Relief
came in the singular personality of One-Eyed
Dallas.
SIRINGO 199
One-Eyed Dallas was reputed to be an ex-con-
vict; at some previous time he had lost an eye in an
escapade of no value here. But this loss was more
than balanced by his instinct for the detection of
trouble.
Dallas moved among the union leaders like a
ferret: he studied their books critically; he studied
Siringo critically; he studied everything critically.
It was soon evident that Siringo did not meet with
his approval. Siringo realized this. It was one
of the reasons why he slept with his Colt's .45 and a
pearl-handled bowie knife within easy reach.
Siringo's ability with a revolver was, if anything,
excelled by his skill with this wicked-looking knife.
I have seen him, from the saddle, snip the head of
a rattler coiled along the trail. After Dallas ar-
rived from Butte, Siringo never went abroad with-
out tucking this weapon somewhere in his shirt,
there to keep company with the Colt's in aWes'
Harding holster under his right arm.
Tension increased by the Fourth of July, when,
in obedience to orders, fuming miners, most of
them foreigners, riddled American flags with bul-
lets and spat upon them. 1
1 I saw this incident; what follows I did not, and could not have
seen. I speak of it in this vein on the strength of three sources:
Siringo's reports to us, what he told me afterward when our friend-
ship and personal intimacy developed, and a publication of his own,
200 SILVER STRIKE
The afternoon of] uly 5, Johnny Murphy, a radi-
cal unionist and friend of Siringo's, stopped him.
"Thayre's a spicial meetin' to-noight, Allison,"
he said.
"Yes," answered Siringo easily, "I know that-
I '11 be there."
Murphy's blue Irish eyes narrowed; he spat a
great gob of tobacco juice and shrugged his broad
shoulders reflectively. H Allison," he advised,
"Oi 'm yer friend-ye know that; Oi wouldn't go,
not if Oi was yez."
"No ?"
"No," Murphy replied with a note of finality.
"Fact is, Johnny," Siringo explained, "I'm sec-
retary; I've got to go. You don't think I 'm a
quitter, do you?"
, 'No, not a-tal a-tal; but if ye ask me, Allison,
Oi'm sayin' 't is better if ye was n't secretary."
"Meaning what?"
"Meanin' this - Oi 'm warnin' yez. The re-
port's got aboot that thayre' s a Pinkerton man
wurikin' in the union; sacrits is lakin' out where
sacrits should niver lake out. Bedad, and the
bhyes have seen yez too often in Wallace- mailin'
letters, they say. They been watchin' yez, Allison.
A Cowboy Detective~ in which are two chapters dealing with the
Coeur d' Alene mining war. - W. T. STOLL.
SIRINGO 201

Skip out while the skippin's good, and the best av


luck to yez."
Siringo looked this honest Irishman steadily in
the eye; then he laughed. "Johnny, we've known
each other since I came to the Coeur d' Alenes."
"Yis, Oi know thot."
"Well, you don't think I'm low enough down to
be a Pinkerton man, do you ? You don't think I 'm
ornery enough to work with scabs for them dirty
mine owners, do you?"
"No, sor, Oi do not - thot 's why Oi 'm here to
warn yez."
Siringo laughed pleasantly, clapped Murphy on
the back familiarly, and turned away. "Thanks,
Johnny; I'm staying-see you at the meeting."
"Don't go," the miner pleaded, following him,
"don't be a fool! They'll get yez shure; ut's a
spicial meetin' for the purpose. Hell '11 be turn't
loose any day; and whan ut is, ye 'd better be gone,
Oi 'm tellin' yez."
"Thanks just the same, Johnny."
That night the union hall was packed, every
bench, every aisle, with miners in an ugly mood.
Oliver Hughes, president of the Gem union, entered
through a door in the rear end of the hall and took
his place on the rostrum with an air of importance;
Dallas followed, a malignant smile on his face.
._------

202 SILVER STRIKE


Then Pettibone, then Poynton, then Siringo, with
his accustomed ease of manner, a manner at times
bordering upon jauntiness. He sat down, very
much at home, and greeted Pettibone, who was
seated beside him. He received no reply: if Petti-
bone had heard, it was not apparent in his face, the
sharp features of which were hard and cold as flint.
About Siringo, in addition to Pettibone, were the
others noted. The sudden silence occasioned by
Siringo's entrance gave way to whispering spiced
with sneers and threats, then to a low ominous
growl general over the hall.
When Hughes called the meeting to order, the
rabble before him responded with instant silence.
Siringo leafed leisurely through his book, then read
the minutes of the last meeting in a voice as even
and contained as that of a small-town recorder at a
weekly convening of the city council. The un-
natural silence continued, even after he closed the
official document to await approval. For some rea-
son this parliamentary procedure was neglected.
Dallas stood up. The silence was even more
intense - not a word, not a whisper. Here and
there revolver butts could be seen peeping from
open holsters; Paddy Burke's dynamiters had
surged forward in one of the aisles; far back an-
other group of miners were armed with Win-
----~--- - - - - - -

SIRINGO 203

chesters. Every face in this sea of faces was


trained upon Siringo; but he met their gaze with-
out change of expression.
Dallas studied the thousand men before him
quietly. I t was a full moment before he spoke,
and then in a low voice that strained every ear.
"Brothers of the Gem, and other unions, men
and miners of the Coeur d'Alenes-you have
united in a cause; you are an army awaiting the
signal to strike for your rights; and for these
rights you will strike as men have always struck
at their oppressors-"
The tension and silence gave way, interrupting
Dallas, in a burst of applause. He held up his
hand, and it subsided instantly. Siringo chuckled
silently, marveling at the man. He had not ex-
pected this.
Dallas continued: "But you have allowed a spy
to join your ranks; a traitor sits within reach of my
hand. What, men of the unions, is the fate of
traitors and spies? What has it ever been? What
will it be to-night? Will he leave this hall alive?"
"No-no! Kill him! Let us at him-we'll
show the Pinkertons I"~ was the chorus in reply.
Siringo joined it.
"You know what capitalism has done in the
Coeur d' Alenes," Dallas went on; "you know what
204 SILVER STRIKE
it is to muck and slave in the drifts, night and day;
you have had oppression - now you have liberty.
You know what to do 'With that liberty! You know
how to stand together as men; you know, also, how
to deal with traitors) and with spies r)
Here a thunderous vociferation interrupted him
- a thousand voices hoarse with rage. "Kill the
dirty scab! Hang him! Burn him!" was their
cry.
Siringo joined in the outburst, his voice among
the loudest of the lot, and when Dallas sat down he
clapped with the rest.
President Hughes ordered a ten-minute recess,
but no one left the halL
"Siringo," he said, "before we come to order, I
want to see that book - and I want you to get
off this rostrum. You don't belong here no
more !"
Siringo followed the official edict obediently and
without hesitation. The detective took a position
near by, just out of reach of the angry rabble, now
beginning to move and surge in the rear of the
hall, and at a point where he could coolly watch
every turn of a page.
The clamor about Siringo rose like the voice of a
storm about to break. The leafing suddenly
stopped, and with it, tense, unnatural, came a re-
SIRINGO 205

turn of silence. Dallas turned upon the detective,


a venomous note of triumph in his voice.
"There's a page gone there," he said, raising his
voice for the mob, and pointing to the book. "We
want an explanation."
"You are entitled to one, sir," Siringo answered,
smiling. "President Hughes ordered me to cut it
out."
"Like hell I did," Hughes shouted, coming to his
feet.
For Siringo the moment was critical. The
crowd was waiting. But he looked Hughes stead-
ily in the eye and chuckled - a mirthful chuckle
as spontaneous, as disarming, as that of a child at
play.
"I beg your pardon, President Hughes -" But
a roar of catcalls, jeers, and cries for his blood inter-
rupted him. The trace of a smile flitted across
his face; he was standing where he could see the
mob from the corner of his eye and still face the
officials on the rostrum; his right hand came loosely
to his coat lapel to toy with that appendage. They
did not know what was directly under it in the Wes'
Harding holster.
Hughes held up his hand and the room quieted.
Siringo spoke in a slow, lazy drawl that carried to
every corner of the room.
206 SILVER STRIKE
"That leaf," he explained, "held the notes of the
joint meeting with the Burke union, Mr. Hughes.
At that time we voted to pull the pumps of the Poor-
man and Tiger mines and flood their drifts. I
wrote down the full facts of the resolution and read
them at the following meeting. It was then, Presi-
dent Hughes, that you ordered me to cut that leaf
out and burn it, since, so you said, nothing of this
nature should be recorded in the minutes for the
mine owners, to get hold of. Those were your in-
structions, were they not ?"
The union president smiled broadly. "They
were," admitted Hughes. "I had forgotten."
"And I burned it," 1 Siringo added, "just as you
instructed."
President Hughes did not know it, but his smile
and his admission had saved Siringo's life - and
perhaps his own, at Siringo's hands.
Siringo was then called back on the rostrum and
the meeting continued, with the miners lapsing
gradually into boisterous good humor and an oc-
casional taunt for Dallas.
President Hughes concluded the meeting, a half
hour later, with a conservative speech, urging that

1 This leaf was mailed to St. Paul by Siringo. It promptly


came to US J and its importance in obtaining later convictions was
inestimable.
SIRINGO 207

nothing be done to bring discredit on the union.


The time for action, he said, would come later. A
noisy cheer followed this prediction.
When the meeting broke up, Siringo jostled out
through the throng, his old self, with a glad hand
for everyone. Had he slipped out through the rear
d90r, he might have been shot. This last bold
stroke completely vindicated him with all but One-
Eyed Dallas.
"Bill," Siringo told me some weeks afterward,
"that was the most exciting moment I've had in
years; I had an idea the game was up."
XXIII
SIRINGO LEAVES THE UNION

ONE evening shortly after his arrival in the Coeur


d' Alenes, Siringo was riding from Wallace to
Burke with a miner who carried dispatches for the
union officials. At a point where the road curved
sharply around a timbered bluff, and the canyon
floor opened in the rocks and timber, a coyote
darted for the pines, a ball of light brown fur
scurrying low to earth, seventy-five yards distant.
Without troubling to rein in his mount, Siringo
flicked his Colt's from its holster and fired in-
stantly. The coyote catapulted forward, rolled
over, and lay twitching.
Siringo's companion gasped in astonishment.
Siringo replaced his gun with a chuckle.
"Hell," exclaimed the miner, still unable to be-
lieve his eyes, Hnot many in these mountains can do
that with a rifle !"
"That's part of the education a man gets in
Texas," Siringo observed as they trotted on.
This incident spread through the Coeur d' Alenes
SIRINGO LEAVES THE UNION 209
like myth. The shot may have been accident, it
may have been entirely within the range of
Siringo's skill with firearms; but the fact remains
that it was universally believed. Few others ever
saw him shoot, for he was not given to exhibition
or display; it is enough to know that every miner
in the district had a profound respect for the big
Colt's .45 he carried on his person.

I have neglected to state that early in April, at


the request of the mine owners, Siringo had
bought a sizable frame building in the heart of
Gem; and in the fore part of this Mrs. Kate Shipley,
a woman closely in touch with the union miners, was
employed to run a store. On the second floor were
twelve decently furnished rooms rented principally
to miners, these also in her charge. Siringo shared
profi t half and half with the lady and her bright-
eyed five-year-old son. Both made money, both
got along well together, though Siringo never
troubled to confide in her his real mission in the
district.
Behind this building, flanked by brush, was the
swift, turbid Canyon Creek. For reasons known
only to himself Siringo had built a board fence
nine feet high around the rear of the store, leaving
one board loose at the bottom, a precaution in case
210 SILVER STRIKE
of trouble that would enable him to slip away un-
observed. Siringo's quarters were in an upstairs
room where he could see over this fence; Mrs.
Shipley and her little son lived in a room below.
Two days after Siringo had entertained the
miners with a reading of the minutes, and had per-
plexed and confused One-Eyed Dallas to the satis-
faction of even the most skeptical, Mrs. Shipley
called his attention to a man sitting in front of the
post office and watching the store with more than
casual inter~st.
Siringo peeped cautiously through the store win-
dow. What he saw caused him no pleasure. He
made his way at a leisurely rate up the stairs to his
room. Here he picked up a Winchester, pushed
ten long soft-nosed shells into its magazine, and
made certain that a case of shells like those in the
rifle was easily accessible at the foot of his bed.
Mrs. Shipley knew nothing of this; neither did
she know that the stranger across the street was a
desperado known to Siringo as Black Jack.
Black Jack had taken a leading hand in dyna-
miting the Prinz and Pelling mines and residences
at Tuscarora, Nevada, in I 88g. Siringo had fer-
reted out the culprits, with the exception of the
elusive leader, who had fled to South America to
escape the penitentiary. Black Jack, in the course
--- - - -

SIRINGO LEAVES THE UNION 211

of this operation, had learned to know Siringo well.


Naturally there was very little love between them.
Siringo left his room a few moments later,
descended to the store, sauntered out through the
gate and down the street, paying no attention what-
ever to Black Jack. That gentleman of fortune,
however, watched his movements with considerable
interest. When Siringo returned half an hour
later, Black Jack was gone.
Even without the final touch of Black Jack's ap-
pearance in Gem, the day had been one of interest
and excitement for the detective: a dozen scabs had
been taken by a mob of irate unionists and stoned
and beaten into an insensibility from which some
of them were never to recover; Joe Poynton's cut-
throat gang had mobbed an official of the Mine
Owners' Association; and all in all, it had been a
great and glorious day from a strictly union point
of view. Siringo might have enjoyed it had Black
Jack not appeared upon the scene.
Then to add to his complexities Billy Flynn reeled
into the store and up to his room, and hiccuped out
a warning that he should not attend the union meet-
ing that night. Billy, it was evident, had partaken
freely of Daxon's whiskey. Quizzing him for
further facts, Siringo learned that Dallas had
again convinced uniondom of the presence of a
212 SILVER STRIKE
Pinkerton man; someone was going to die-Billy
didn't know who-but someone. Siringo ac-
cepted this advice at its face value.
The union meeting, a regular meeting, was
scheduled for eight o'clock. Half an hour before,
Siringo again sauntered down the street, this time
to Daxon's saloon. He ordered whiskey, and ap-
parently drank a good deal. This, however, did
not prevent him from seeing Black Jack talking
with animation to One-Eyed Dallas in an obscure
corner of the room. Acquaintance ripens rapidly
and with no conventionalism in the West - a truth
then as now: Dallas and the gentleman from Tus-
carora had found something intensely, personally,
intimately in common at first sight; they watched
Siringo's drinking with intense satisfaction; they
were jubilant over the fact that he was reeling when
he left.
Siringo was absent when Pettibone called the
meeting to order that night, a matter of such con-
cern that the union president appointed a commit-
tee of three to call upon the absent secretary and
discover his intention. Siringo welcomed them
with tipsy effusiveness.
"You're late to the meeting, Allison," said one.
"That's right," Siringo admitted in a voice ap-
parently sodden with intoxication, adding that he
SIRINGO LEAVES THE UNION 213

would be there in ten minutes. When the com-


mittee left in uncertainty and disgust, Siringo
sobered marvelously; seizing a sheet of paper, he
scribbled a communication which he handed in per-
son to the union hall door keeper, who in turn carried
it to Pettibone.
Pettibone's face darkened as he read it, then
handed it on to Dallas. It was worded as
follows : -
GENTLEMEN: I present, herewith, my resigna-
tion as secretary of the union. Dallas and others
of the organization have knifed me in the back
under the impression that I am a Pinkerton de-
tective, the lowest and most degraded calling any
man can follow. To be accused of a crime so
black by my best friends is more than I can bear.
For this reason I will never set foot in the union
hall again. I remain
Yours to the end,
C. LEON ALLISON

The formality of the minutes was dispensed with


that night in an uproar that allowed no explana-
tion. Siringo heard the confusion and shouting
f rom his room.
Adjournment followed in babel and uproar;
then the hall was thrown open to a dance. By
eleven o'clock Siringo had recovered sufficiently
214 SILVER STRIKE
from his inebriety to slip out and be spectator of
the carnival from a window, with a prominent mem-
ber of the Mullen union who had arrived too late
for official business, and who did not yet know of
the secretary's fall from favor-a fact, for that
matter, not generally understood.
The Mullen man was talkative with enthusiasm
and excitement.
"Blood '11 be flowin' right soon, Allison," he said.
"Got it straight from the inside. Big things comin'
up. The officials is workin' on the quiet. Hell,
I knew the meetin' would n't last long to-night.
Reason I was n't in any hurry to get here."
"Well, it's about time," Siringo mused, watch-
ing the couples inside; "we've been waiting long
enough for action."
"Sure enough, Allison," the Mullen man went on
confidentially, "the scabs '11 wish they'd never seen
the Coeur d'Alenes. The Homestead troubles in
Pennsylvania'll be a church social compared to
what's comin' up here."
"Yes ?"
"Yes. Guess it'll break to-morrow night."
"Sure about that?"
"Sure," the man from Mullen boasted; "the
officials ain't let it out yet; but they've told the
outside unions to be here to-morrow. Here's
SIRINGO LEAVES THE UNION 2 15

where things start from. The officials'l1 give the


order to-morrow. Hell 'II pop."
"That suits me," Siringo agreed.
"Well," continued the Mullen official. "I know
a couple of scabs that'll get theirs to-night."
"That '5 news to me," answered Siringo in a low
.
VOIce.
"Well, it ain't to me."
"No?"
"No. Two scabs from the Gem mine slipped
into town to-night to get a drink; they're over at
Dutch Henry's now, passin' themselves off as union
men; there's a gang over there treatin' 'em. When
they're drunk enough, they'll be beaten to death;
and I '11 be Johnny-on-the-spot to see it," he added
with evident relish.
Siringo watched the dance for some moments
without a word.
"Well," he yawned, HI've had enough of this.
Think I'll be moving around. Want to go
along?"
"No, thanks," said the man from Mullen, "guess
I '11 dance a set. Ain't danced in a year."
Siringo sauntered away through the darkness.
At the risk of his head, he went directly to Dutch
Henry's, there to mingle in the press and watch
for an opportunity to warn the two Gem miners.
2I6 SILVER STRIKE
This opportunity did not come: the visiting
miners were surrounded by a dozen jovial union-
ists, plying them with Dutch Henry's questionable
whiskey, slapping their backs, and showing them a
rousing time. One of the intended victims was a
red-bearded giant, now roaring with fun and
bravado as the liquor warmed him; later in the
vicious stage preceding intoxication, he roared out
that he could whip any union man in Gem. This
announcement was greeted with unrestrained ap-
plause. Then with a wink a unionist handed him
another glass of whiskey.
At this moment old Shoemaker Robertson
opened the front door and shuffled up to Siringo.
HAllison," he whispered, "get out of here, and get
out quick."
Siringo answered him with a silent smile.
Robertson turned on his heel and joined the mob
now surging outside.
Siringo walked leisurely to the bar and called for
beer. He emptied a stein before turning to the
front door.
A restless crowd of union men faced him from
the street. He sauntered forward.
There was a movement in the mob; under the
leadership of a hair-lipped thug known as Johnny-
Get-Your-Gun, it began to circle about him.
SIRINGO LEAVES THE UNION 217

With the quickness of a cat Siringo leaped into


the middle of the street.
"Someone wants to die," he laughed; "that man
will be the first man to pull a gun. Keep back!"
Still facing them, he moved backward toward
his store, the mob edging forward with him,
Johnny-Get-Your-Gun in the lead.
Not a word was spoken until Siringo had backed
into the hallway leading to his room.
"You damned dirty spy," cried J ohnny-Get-
Your-Gun, "we'11 settle with you in the morning !"
"I shall look forward to an interesting day,
gentlemen," Siringo laughed. "Good night, and
pleasant dreams."
THE STORM 219

A few moments more and slow footsteps broke


the silence down trail; a challenge from a sentry,
an answering hum of conversation for the briefest
instant, and the town constable, followed by Petti-
bone, passed the guards.
"Two of your men are in a bad way down there,"
said the Constable to Monihan. "One killed-
beaten to death; the other dragged to the dead line
to die. He may live, but I doubt it."
Monihan said nothing; turning abruptly, he left
with a group of armed guards for the wounded
man. They returned half an hour later with the
victim, life flickering feebly in his big body. No
man had ever been worse beaten; his jaws were
broken, his ribs caved in, his face a shapeless mass
of blood and gore.
Monihan cursed under his breath. ttAny man
here," he cried, "got the guts to go to Wallace for
a doctor?"
Every individual in the dusk about him, crim-
soned with the light of a torch, studied the dying
man's face and figure and hesitated; they knew that
every road and trail were guarded; they could see
before them what they themselves might be if
caught. A low moan came from the miner.
Finally one of the Thiel guards stepped out, Win-
chester in hand.
220 SILVER STRIKE
"Good God, Monihan," he muttered, "1'11 go; I
can't stand it."
"Who'll go with this man?" Monihan pleaded.
Siringo stepped forward.
Monihan waved his hand in the direction of
Wallace without a word.
Siringo led the way past the union outposts.
They reached Wallace shortly before dawn, and
awakened Dr. Simms, the only reliable physician
and surgeon in the district, a fact which gave him a
certain sense of security. He picked up his medi-
cine case and left with the guard.
Siringo remained behind. Dawn was breaking
now, the Coeur d'Alene ridges blue and misty
against the eastern heavens. He walked to the
mining-company offices, where his repeated knock-
ing brought John A. Finch, secretary of the Mine
Owners' Association, to the door.
"A little early, are n't you Siringo?"
"Oh, a little -yes."
"Any news?"
"Some," Siringo smiled. "Rioting will start in
a couple of days - to-morrow night, possibly the
next."
"Thanks, Siringo," Finch returned, now thor-
oughly awake. HYou've been a big help, but
THE STORM 221

you're through - don't know what we'd have done


without you. But they'll get you sooner or later;
now I want you to clear out of the country until
we send for you. We'l1 call you back when it '8
safe. We '11 need you to send some of these hounds
like Dallas and Pettibone to prison."
Siringo laughed. "I'll see it through, Finch.
That's what I came here for."
Ignoring Finch's orders, he turned away to get
some breakfast in a neighboring hotel. Later he
walked into a saloon, called for a drink, and sipped
the liquor reflectively with his Winchester beside
him.
At eight o'clock he caught the morning train for
Gem. Pettibone had met a delegation of union
miners and a Catholic priest from Wardner.
They were in the car when Siringo entered.
Pettibone turned upon the detective with a snarl.
"What the hell you doing with a gun, Siringo?"
he cried.
Siringo smiled and sat down.
"I want to know what you're doing with that
gun!"
"You don't always get what you want, do you,
George?"
"What are you doing with that gun?"
222 SILVER STRIKE
"First of all, George," Siringo returned, still
smiling, "I'm attending strictly to my own busi-
ness; in the second place, some of your poor fools
and dupes started trouble with me last night."
"Well, you'11 get yours," Pettibone threatened.
Siringo pulled a soft-nosed cartridge from his
coat pocket and held it up before the official.
"There are ten of these in the magazine of this
rifle," Siringo explained, patting the Winchester
lying across his knees; "and there are seven of you,
including the Reverend Father. That will leave
three for the first one of your thugs that speaks to
me in Gem. You get the first one, George; it will
tear a hole through you about the size of my fist-
not a bad idea, eh?"
Pettibone lost further interest in conversation;
nor did his spirits revive when the train arrived at
Gem, where a throng of unionists had gathered to
welcome him and the Wardner party. Siringo fol-
lowed them down the car steps to the station plat-
form, his Winchester in the crook of his arm. The
crowd surged threateningly about him, but Petti-
bone motioned it back. Then, without hesitation,
Siringo shouldered and roughed his way through
its very midst and walked deliberately down the
street to his store. The nerve of this man, I am
certain, was without parallel along the frontier.
THE STORM 223
That morning I went to Finch's office, somewhat
hesitantly in view of threatening conditions appar-
ent everywhere. I told him that I was going to
Pendleton on the following day to meet my fiancee.
He gave a sigh of relief. "Good, Bill," he cried,
"I'm glad of it; I've already sent word to Heyburn
and Hagen to leave. This is no place for lawyers,
according to what I learn from Siringo; there's
nothing you fellows can do-and when the fire-
works start, they'll get you first of all. We did n't
hire you as fighters; we brought you here as ad-
visers-what we have here now is a problem for
troops. We'l1 send for you when we need you.
Go, and my best wishes."
The morning of July I I was bright and beauti-
ful when I left Spokane on the O. W. R. & N. for
Pendleton. Up the Rockford hill grade we labored,
then into the clumps of bull pine and scab rock on
the fringes of the Palouse, a rolling hill land green
with wheat soon to head for the harvest. Through
this we wound for miles and miles, near noon to
reach the breaks leading down into the canyon of
the Snake. At Starbuck the conductor handed me
a telegram. I tore it open hastily. It read:-

HELL BROKE LOOSE TEN THIS MORNING.


FRISCO MILL DYNAMITED. TWO OUR
224 SILVER STRIKE
MEN KILLED. MINERS HOLDING EVERY
MINE AND MILL IN DISTRICT. ANARCHY
REIGNING.
FINCH

The terse yellow slip in my hand filled me with


rage and sorrow: the Frisco gone, the mines ruined
- the development and progress of years lost in a
day, and for no purpose, and to no good. We had
built a social, a civil, and an industrial order; but
this was gone, lost in anarchy, lost in violence, lost
in ignorance and stupidity. What would the end
be?
Another stop at a dusty little station, and another
telegram:-
UNIONS HOLDING EVERY MINE, MILL,
POWDER HOUSE, STORE, AND RAILROAD.
COMMUNICATIONS CUT OFF. WE ARE
UTTERLY HELPLESS. EXPECTING TROOPS.
FINCH

At Pendleton, yet another telegram:-


THREE OUR MEN MURDERED. OTHERS
UNACCOUNTED FOR. CONDITIONS IN-
DESCRIBABLE.
FINCH
THE STORM 225

I met my future bride and her mother here, both


of them alarmed at the reports they had been hear-
ing en route; nor did they find much comfort in my
efforts to reassure them. It was here, however,
that they saw their first blanket Indians, as I led
them to a hotel: a fat and swarthy Umatilla with
an eagle feather in his broad black Stetson; and a
little farther on two squaws, brilliantly beaded, in
moccasins and shawl, and waddling along each with
a black-eyed papoose strapped to her back. Fortu-
nately these touches of color took their minds off
the Coeur d'Alene outbreak.
I shall never forget our journey to Spokane the
following day: the Pendleton papers flamed with
vivid accounts of murder, violence, and destruction
in the Coeur d' Alenes; the Morning Oregonian
gave us more detail, with full accounts of the previ-
ous day; bulletins were posted at every station en
route announcing some new and startling phase of
the rioting. At Colfax, Washington, another bul-
letin told of the dynamiting of the Bunker Hill and
Sullivan mill, constructed at a cost of nearly a mil-
lion, and the very heart and soul of the Coeur
d' Alene mining industry.
On July 13 the governor of Idaho Territory de-
clared martial law, and the Secretary of War di-
rected General Carlin, then in command at Fort
226 SILVER STRIKE
Sherman, a military outpost in Coeur d'Alene City,
to proceed to Wallace and restore order.
My marriage occurred at Spokane on July 19; a
short honeymoon in Portland, Oregon, and I re-
turned with my bride to the Coeur d' Alenes, there
to begin, with Heyburn and Hagen, the task of
gathering evidence to be used in the prosecution of
the union leaders.
xxv
SIRINGO FACES THE STORM

I TURN once again to Siringo's reports of what fol-


lowed after he had made his way, the morning of
July 10, from his store, whither he at first repaired,
to the Gem Mine. Bill Black was sent by Petti-
bone to learn the detective's intentions. Black, ap-
preciating the folly of coming within range of the
vengeful Thiel guards and miners behind the barri-
cade, laid in wait for Siringo at a point down the
trail leading to the mine. An hour elapsed before
Siringo left the barricade; and beneath a towering
white pine Black halted him.
"Stickin' round a while, Siringo?" inquired the
tactless Black in a tone anything but pleasant.
Siringo's eyes twinkled. He leaned lazily
against the pine. "Well now, Bill, I might," he
answered; "I like the climate."
"Want-a be carried out?"
"You figuring on carrying me out, Bill?"
"No-not me-"
"Well then, Bill," Siringo chuckled, "you'd bet-
228 SILVER STRIKE
ter be moving down the trail where you belong.
I'm a bit nervous; you would n't want to be carried
out, would you?"
Bill Black muttered something under his breath
not in the least complimentary, and was gone. In
Gem he reported at the union hall. Much as the
strikers hated the detective, they feared that any
concerted effort to effect his capture would bring
on violence prematurely and give warning of their
plans. Reasonably certain that he would remain,
they decided to spare him until the general uprising.
Siringo appreciated this possibility. Early that
afternoon he walked boldly into town and to his
store, where he found the faithful, if not over-
shrewd Mrs. Shipley, and her son; and here he re-
mained while the woman made excursions among
the miners, carrying back significant information
to him after each trip.
He knew that scores of miners were drifting
into Gem by train and by foot as the day wore on;
he knew that union men had formed companies in
the union hall and were drilling there under men
appointed as captains. By night their number had
swollen to more than a thousand, all of them armed
to the teeth. Shortly after sunset Mrs. Shipley
learned that a guard had been thrown around the
town, probably for the purpose of holding Siringo
SIRINGO FACES THE STORM 229

there; and she talked in terror of violence that would


start shortly after daybreak the following morn-
ing, news which Siringo, retracing his route of the
previous night, carried to Monihan. Guards were
promptly redoubled along the barricade, and a hun-
dred and twenty of the non-union miners were
armed under Monihan's direction. The night wore
on. No one slept. Siringo did scout duty until
dawn flushed in the eastern heavens.
Two nights without sleep had in no sense ren-
dered him less daring. Much to the surprise of
Monihan and others in the barricade, he suddenly
slipped away in the direction of Gem. Not one of
them expected him to come back alive. Why did
he go? Well, it was evident that the mining war
would culminate in a trial. Convictions in this
trial would depend upon the evidence given by eye-
witnesses. He went down there to be an eye-
witness.
Concealing his Winchester under a heavy coat
he had worn during the night, he walked boldly by
three union men guarding the bridge. Whether
his recklessness caught them by surprise, or
whether they feared him, will never be known; but
at any rate he encountered no difficulty in reaching
Gem, and there entered the Nelson Hotel, adjacent
to his own store, from the rear, passed two cooks
230 SILVER STRIKE
and a waitress with a bow and a smile, raised the
kitchen window, and leaped into the alley. An-
other moment and he was through the hole in his
fence, up the ladder to his window, and lying on his
bed. His unexpected return aroused Mrs. Ship-
ley, who rushed to his room half-dressed and pale
with fright.
"They'll kill you I"~ she cried. "Why did you
come back?"
"Hear anything more?" Siringo asked, ignoring
her question.
"No, nothing-I haven't slept; the miners have
been drilling all night; they're drunk, they're
crazy."
Siringo tiptoed to a vacant room in the front of
the building where he could peer down into the
street: two guards remained on the bridge; the
other had gone, doubtless to warn the officials of
his return; and even as he watched a patrol of
armed guards took position around the store.
The first gun of the battle which followed was
fired at this time under circumstances to Siringo
little short of ludicrous. Jim Ervin, a clerk in the
White and Bender store near by, and known for
his extremely long nose, poked his head out of a
window, his curiosity aroused by the sudden move-
ment of men and a general shouting.
SIRINGOFACES THE STORM 231

One of the guards just below Siringo, a burly


blacksmith unsteady with liquor, raised his rifle.
"Watch me knock that damned nose off," he ex-
claimed to Tom Whalen, and, taking deliberate aim,
fired. How close the bullet may have come to the
clerk's nasal protuberance will never be known; but
Siringo's laughter, for laugh he would, was cut
short by a rifle volley up the canyon, a company of
over-eager miners accepting the shot as a signal.
A moment later firing became general in the vicin-
ity of the Frisco mine, where a group of guards and
non-union miners had barricaded themselves.
This sudden turn of events convinced Siringo
that he had nothing further to gain by remaining in
Gem; slipping back to his room and through the
window, at the risk of drawing fire, he retraced his
route to the Nelson Hotel kitchen, where, as he was
about to step into the open, a French cook pulled
him forcibly back. In the excitement of the mo-
ment Siringo raised his rifle for a blow at the cook.
"For God's sake, stop!" cried the frightened do-
mestic, cowering back. "They're laying for you
out there-fifty men; they'l1 riddle you."
The door, open but the width of a palm, looked
out upon the bridge and an approach leading from
this across a space of marsh to the hotel; upon it,
unarmed, and moving at a rapid pace toward them,
23 2 SILVER STRIKE
was one of the Thiel guards. He had volunteered,
Siringo later learned, to come to Gem from the
mine for medicine needed to ease the suffering of
the big miner who had been so brutally beaten two
nights before.
At a point some fifty yards distant, he halted and
threw up his arms.
"Get back, you- !" someone close by cried, and
simultaneously a shot rang out. The guard, Ivory
Bean, pitched forward on his face, a bullet through
his heart.
Thanking the cook for saving his life, and un-
nerved by the murder he had just witnessed, Sir-
ingo rushed back to his room in time to see the men
at the Gem mine, four hundred yards up the moun-
tain side, open with a volley on Billy Daxon's sa-
loon, driving its occupants to more substantial shel-
ter in a pellmell rush, and not without casualties-
Daxon himself had three bullets through his
clothes, and a miner beside him was instantly
killed.
Volley after volley rang out, then a desultory fire
from both sides with no further casualties.
Through a crack in his fence Siringo could see two
armed men; and scattered about, behind any ob-
struction that offered shelter from the Gem non-
unionists, were others, all of them waiting for him.
SIRINGO FACES THE STORM 233
Mrs. Shipley, Siringo states in his reports, slept
on the lower floor in a back room; here, some time
back, purely as a precaution, he had sawed a hole
just large enough to admit his body into the space
below, and this he had covered with a rug. Be-
neath these loose boards was a dark damp excava-
tion boarded round, and banked to the rear with
solid earth.
The rattle of rifle fire continued. Siringo, cool
as he was under any circumstance, in no sense rel-
ished his predicament. He knew that the miners
would come for him at any moment; he knew too
that the door which Mrs. Shipley had long since
locked and bolted would not stand the shock of a
concerted rush. Life was all at once a maze of
conflicting possibilities, anyone of which was seri-
ous. What if they decided to dynamite the store?
What if they fired it? What if they did a hundred
and one other things? He might barricade his
room with chairs and other furniture and shoot it
out; but in the end, his ammunition gone, they
would get him. And, too, there were Mrs. Ship-
ley and her little son, for both of whom he had a
warm regard.
Obviously his presence in the store was known
to every striker; obviously his situation was des-
perate. Without further delay Siringo went to
234 SILVER STRIKE
Mrs. Shipley's room. The woman was pale with
fright, the child tearful, hysterical. He lugged
the trunk aside, lifted the freshly sawn boards, and
dropped into the damp below. Mrs. Shipley re-
placed the boards and, with her son's help, hitched
the trunk back.
It was at this instant that a thunderous explosion
shook the canyon and rolled away in a rumble that
submerged the cracking of rifles; the earth trem-
bled beneath Siringo's feet; the heavy timbers
above him creaked and groaned. A shout went
up. The firing died out in a lull.
"They've dynamited the Frisco mill," Mrs. Ship-
ley cried; "break out and run for your life, Allison
- they're coming! They've been saying they'11
settle with you !"
A moment later the door splintered and came
down with a crash; and in a storm of cursing, and
the heavy beat of hobnailed boots, One-Eyed Dallas
and a hundred others crowded in upon her.
A shriek of terror went up from the child.
"We want Siringo!" cried Dallas, his fury driv-
ing the child into hysterical screaming.
"Siringo ain't here," answered Mrs. Shipley.
"The hell he ain't!"
"Search the building, if you wish," she said.
A dozen miners tramped through the rooms,
SIRINGO FACES THE STORM 23.5
throwing things every way, only to return in an
uglier humor than ever.
"Choke it out of her," a big mucker roared.
"He - he ain't here!"
"And we know he is here!" Dallas snapped back.
"Well, what do you want with him?" she par-
ried.
"You know," Dallas sneered, "we'l1 burn the
--"
leyou had your chance yesterday," she said;
"why did n't you do it then?"
"Yesterday was n't the time; now's the time,"
Dallas answered. "We '11 find him - tell us where
he is and save yourself trouble."
"I don't know."
"You do know!" Dallas muttered, shaking her
savagely.
At this the little fellow raised another howl of
terror, now so desperate that the agitator turned
his mother loose.
They broke up in another search; not an article
of furniture in the building remained in its place,
with the possible exception of the trunk in Mrs.
Shipley's room; and on this Dallas was sitting, his
face a picture of rage and disappointment.
Siringo, less than two feet below him, heard
every move, every footbeat, every intake of breath;
SILVER STRIKE
he was caught in a trap of his own making; but he
still clung to a faint thread of hope, the hope that
the child would continue his screaming. Then,
after more parleying and threats, the last of the
mob, including Dallas, was gone, and the child's
sobs subsided.
N ow for the first time Siringo dared to move; he
crept about the damp space of his prison, peering
through its cracks, and tense at every sound and
movement outside. Seen through a crack some
forty yards away was Dallas, leaning on a shotgun
and watching the structure intently.
Siringo lowered his eyes to the musty embank-
ment sloping up close against the log floor supports
running toward the front; he was up this in an in-
stant, surveying it critically. Here was a foot of
space five feet in width - why not chance it? He
wormed his way to a point where the board walk
met the front door.
This walk met the main one ranging down the
street. They had been elevated a foot to eighteen
inches to allow for the flood waters of spring fresh-
ets, a construction which made possible his further
progress. By painful inches he followed it, at any
moment facing the possibility of discovery by
miners loitering on the other side of the street, or
passing directly over him on the boards, some of
SILVER STRIKE
Canyon Creek, a shelter gained in half a dozen
bounds, and fortunately without observation.
Then into current waist-deep, across, and through
dense timber on the eastern slope of the canyon. A
half hour more and he passed the mine guards in
safety, just in time to laugh over an outcry down
in Gem, where a group led by Dallas had broken
into the space beneath his store to discover the
route of his escape.
But even in the barricade Siringo was in danger;
ten minutes later a miner, one of the force that had
broken into his store, entered the barricade under
a flag of truce. In his hand he held a demand for
unconditional surrender signed by Dallas and Petti-
bone, and threatening the dynamiting of the Gem
mill near by.
"What do you think about it, Siringo?" Moni-
han asked.
"You know what to tell 'em," Siringo replied.
Monihan turned to the unionist.
"Go to hell!" he roared. "Get out of this barri-
cade, and I 'm giving you just two minutes to be out
of sight."
Soon after, the union fire sputtered and went
out. "Boys," said Monihan, "there's something
cooking; keep your eyes open."
Soon groups of men, all discreetly out of rifle
--_._ .. -

SIRINGO FACES THE STORM 239


range, were to be seen moving through brush and
across openings in the trees along the mountain
slope. Siringo and Monihan watched them.
N either spoke.
Fred Carter, a former cowboy, limped over and
studied the situation with them. He had been in
the Frisco mill explosion; he had run a gauntlet of
rifle fire to escape, one bullet tearing a heel from
his left boot and creasing the flesh, and another
smashing a knuckle on his right hand. He was
pale and weak.
"They're getting set to blow us up, Monihan,"
he said. "They'll take the mine tunnel up there,
load a car with dynamite, and send it down the
tramway into the mill-that's the way they
wrecked the Frisco."
Monihan broke into a volley of profanity.
"We can easy enough stop that, Monihan," said
Siringo.
"Then for God's sake stop it!"
Hastily enlisting a handful of men, Siringo led
them to a point half the distance up the tramway,
and there lashed a heavy boom of poles across it,
making certain that the obstruction would derail
any car that might come bearing down upon the
mill just behind them. He returned grinning.
Nothing developed during the next hour; noting
SILVER STRIKE
the boom across the tramway, and realizing the fu-
tility of their dynamite attempt, the unionists
turned back to Gem, where a desultory sniping be-
gan again with soft-nose shells biting into the logs
of the barricade. The sun was at high noon now.
Suddenly a shout and a challenge went up from
one of the guards, and with his hands in air a mes-
senger was marched in. He proved to be a dis-
patch bearer from the Gem mine owners. His
communication instructed Monihan to surrender in
order to save both the mill and the mine from de-
struction.
"Don't do it, Monihan," Siringo urged him ve-
hemently. "I've been down there; I know what
that bunch is like; you'll be safer fighting it out.
Every man in this barricade will be at the mercy of
Poynton, Pettibone, and Dallas. Think of the
beating the big fellow in there got! You have no
safe assurance that the mill or any of your men will
be spared. You have everything to gain by fight-
ing, and nothing to lose."
Monihan studied the message critically.
"Sorry, Siringo," he said at length, "but orders
is orders; we'll have to do it."
Siringo knew perfectly well what would happen
to him, regardless of any promise or agreement that
might be made.
SIRINGO FACES THE STORM 241

"I've seen enough of men like those down there,"


he said to Monihan. "I'm taking no chances.
I'm off for the tall timber."
"And I'm going with you," Fred Stark broke in.
Re was a youth who had come into the district with
Joe Warren's guards.
"Fine," laughed Siringo. "Good luck, Moni-
han," he added, slipping out of the barricade and
into the pines while Monihan cursed his own luck
in round Irish oaths.
An hour later a noisy cheer went up from a thou-
sand union throats as Monihan's little company
marched from the barricade. Without any sem-
blance of ceremony they were lined up on the streets
of Gem by Dallas, and a rigid search was made for
the detective.
" T h e ' s gone over the hill," Dallas shouted
to his men. "Go get him, boys; and if you bring
him back dead, it'll be better than alive."
A posse of forty men started in pursuit. Others
were sent on horse to Wallace, and still others to
guard remote trails up the mountain.
XXVI
THE AFTERMATH

No day in the history of Idaho has ever been more


crowded with stirring events than was July I I,
1892; by the going down of the sun, lawlessness
ruled the Coeur d' Alenes, and riot had smashed into
every mining enterprise and struck terror to every
legitimate industry. George A. Pettibone, Joe
Poynton, One-Eyed Dallas, and Paddy Burke were
in control, bellowing anarchy and treason, and men
had followed them blindly.
General Carlin at Fort Sherman, as already
noted, had orders from the Secretary of War to
move into the mining region with one thousand reg-
ular troops and restore order. Poynton, Petti-
bone, Dallas, Burke, and others of the radical labor
leaders knew that Carlin would make this move;
they had triumphed, but the flush of victory was not
upon their faces. They made a final threat - they
would dynamite the railroad bridges leading into
Wallace from the west.
THE AFTERMATH 243
General Carlin, a veteran, understood the full
possibilities of radical dynamite. He loaded field
ordnance aboard a train, equipped a thousand
Negro troopers for field service, and left with the
threat still ringing in his ears - but not directly for
Wallace. His route, quite the contrary, took him
secretly to Spokane, then over the Northern Pa-
cific to Desmet, Montana, and from that point into
the Coeur d'Alene mining capital from the east.
The rebels overreached themselves; and the snip-
ping of telegraph lines, while it cut off the district
from the world at large, also made it in the same
degree impossible for useful information to reach
them. They had sent their threat of violence, then
closed their ears to its answer; they had no way of
knowing that Carlin was on his way.
The twelfth and thirteenth of July passed.
Siringo and Stark eluded capture; then to the sur-
prise and consternation of the unionists, the troops
came-a thousand blue-clad Negroes disembark-
ing, and marching down the streets with the pre-
cision of trained veterans, and with cold steel.
They had to face a rabble, whose leaders had
scattered pellmell.
The miners, at Gem, at Burke, at Wardner, and
elsewhere,-Americans and Swedes,-remained
behind bewildered, their passions cooling. The
244 SILVER STRIKE
Negro troopers herded them together in a hastily
constructed and none too comfortable stockade and
left them here to reflect, and in many cases to curse
the leaders who had deserted.
Siringo and Stark saw the Stars and Stripes
waving over Wallace from the crest of a neighbor-
ing mountain top, and started down through the
timber on the run. When within a quarter mile
of the Carter Hotel, and still in a dense growth of
white pine, they came to the fine new home of
French Pete, a radical unionist who had married a
comely Irish girl a few months before. French
Pete was in hiding.
Siringo paused at the yard, where Mrs. Hollihan,
French Pete's mother-in-law, and a stranger to
Siringo, met him. She was weeping.
"Aye, and it's yer name that Oi knows not-
but 'tis a moiner that ye be; and hid in the forests
loike Pate and the rist, until them dhirty naagers
go."
"Ryan's me name," said Siringo sympatheti-
cally, and with an Irish accent that completely won
the woman.
"Ryan," she cried, wiping tears from her eyes
with her a prOD, " 't is a good name; 't is Oirish thot
ye be."
"But is it true Tommy O'Brien, and Dallas, and
THE AFTERMATH 24.5
Poynton, and Paddy Burke, and all av our leaders
is gone?" Siringo asked. "If we had thim back,
we'd tache thim naager throops and Gineral Carlin
a union lesson."
"Aye, and thot's whare yer wrong, Misther
Ryan," Mrs. Hollihan grinned broadly. "They
ain't all gone," she confided in a whisper, "for 't is
in me cellar that Tommy 0' Brien, and Joe Poynton,
and others be - 'bidin' thayre toime. Shall Oi
take yez to thim?"
"No, no," said Ryan, "'t would worrit thim.
Say nothin', or they '11 be lavin' for yer not kapin'
the sacrit. Vt's a dhrink av water thot Oi want,
thin Oi'l1 be on me way before the naagers
comes."
Mrs. Hollihan left with a pail for a near-by
spring. During her absence Siringo picked up a
morning Spokesman-Review. Its headlines told
of the Frisco mill dynamiting, of the killing of
scabs, and of the capture of Monihan's force.
These men, the news story stated, had been
marched to Wallace in a body to draw their wages,
after which they were herded aboard a train under
union guard and taken to the Old Mission to await
a steamer that would take them from the district.
At dusk, the news story went on, a group of union
men under Poynton had fired on the defenseless
SILVER STRIKE
prisoners, killing several, and robbing the rest.
John Monihan was among the missing. 1
When Mrs. Hollihan lumbered back with her
bucket of cold spring water, Siringo drank his fill,
paid her with his thanks, and left. A few minutes
afterward he and Stark reported to General Carlin.
Soon a squad of six Negro troopers were march-
ing O'Brien, Poynton, and three other indignant
Irish unionists down the main street of Wallace in
the direction of the stockade.
Siringo watched them pass by the saloon in which
he had just had his first straight whiskey in three
days.

I returned to Wallace the evening of July 2S


with my bride and, associated with Heyburn and
Hagen, began the almost endless details of prepar-
ing evidence to be used against the prisoners who,
as time wore on, were rounded up in hundreds by
Carlin's troopers - with Siringo taking a leading
hand in these expeditions.
There were no demonstrations in the meantime;
peace had returned to the Coeur d' Alenes. It was
to remain there until the trouble which led to the
murder of Governor Steunenberg in 1909. Now
1 Monihan escaped, returned to Wallace later, and proved an
important witness in the trial which followed.
SILVER STRIKE
penitentiary at Detroit. 1 It would have been better
had Pettibone gone up for life, for it was his agita-
tion and influence that led to Governor Steunen-
berg's murder a few years later.
After the government assumed control, law and
order led again to peace; mills opened, men worked,
and galena was mined. It was, however, neither
safe nor wise for me to continue my residence in
Wallace. Many spirits among the miners, after
the troops left, still smouldered with vengeance
against every lawyer who had had a hand in the
prosecution. Soon afterward we moved to Spo-
kane, where fortune smiled upon my legal practice.
It was then that I became associated with Clagett.
1 The case was appealed to the Supreme Court, and on March 6,
1893, reversed because of a defect in the indictment. They served
about eight months. Vol. 148, u. s., p. 197.
THE AFTERMATH 247
that the storm was over, we had no motive other
than mercy: the majority of our prisoners in the
stockade were patient, plodding Swedes, and other
men who will ordinarily work steadily and faith-
fully. Sanitary conditions in the stockade became
a problem in time. We solved it by freeing those
who most merited freedom.
The judge advocate appointed by the governor
when he declared martial law, a Negro sergeant,
and I would enter the stockade, pick out a man here
and another there, and, cautioning them, lead them
away to liberty. Few of them were Irish. The
Irish had gone. We gradually reduced this group
to all but eighteen leaders, including Pettibone, who
had been captured in the hills a few days after the
troops came, Poynton, O'Brien, Divine, Murphy,
Sinclair, and Nicholson.
In Boise before Judge Beatty the leaders were
convicted in spite of the best efforts of their two
able attorneys - Pat Reddy, a noted criminal law-
yer, and James Hawley. Heyburn assisted Fre-
mont Woods, United States attorney, and F. B.
Crossthwaite, of the Department of Justice, in the
prosecutions. Siringo, as the reader may guess,
was the star witness. Our evidence was conclu-
sive; O'Brien, Pettibone, Poynton, Sinclair, and
the rest were each given two years in the Federal
XXVII

A LAST ECHO

THERE was to be a last echo of the Coeur d'Alene


mInIng war. S. S. Glidden, a prominent Spokane
capitalist and banker, owned the Tiger mine near
Burke. One evening in December of 1892, a few
days before Christmas, he called me to his office.
"Bill," said he, "the Tiger mill burned to-day.
The insurance adjustors will be in Burke from
Seattle sometime during the next two days. I
don't know what sort of a mess things are in; I
want you to go in there and look over our· policies
and see that all is regular. And get there ahead of
the adjustors -that's the big thing."
I caught the morning train; but to my alarm the
adjustors were already comfortably reclining in its
smoker. Their presence certainly punctured my
hope of beating them to Burke; I had no wings.
They knew me. I knew them. We greeted each
other cordially. Fortunately they did not know the
object of my mission, nor did I trouble to inform
them.
250 SILVER STRIKE
I t had snowed during the night, and it was still
snowing with rigorous persistence as the train sped
through the gray day. The whole country was
sheeted up in snow, and in the end it slowed the
train to walking pace while ploughs cleared the
tracks from the Old Mission up.
Nearly a decade had gone since first I passed the
Old Mission, and what changes it had wrought in
the meantime: here was the spot where we had
slept that first night; and there, to the north, some-
where in the mist of flakes, the saddle we had
crossed to Eagle City. Between the banks of snow
ran the river on which we had transported our grub
and other frontier necessities. We had not
dreamed, in 1883, that a train of cars would be
laboring along these same banks nine years later.
What changes would the next decade bring, and the
next?
But in these pleasant reflections there was one
disturbing element - how could I reach Burke be-
fore my friends the adjustors?
At Wallace the snow was so deep that the station
master announced in his terse way that there would
be no traffic to Burke before morning. The ad-
justors lugged their suitcases over to the Carter
Hotel for a comfortable night. Nine years ago I
had tramped into Eagle City through six feet of
A LAST ECHO
snow, and after days of hardship en route; the
seven miles to Burke meant nothing set against
Glidden's generously financed instructions to get
there first.
With this in mind I ate a thick steak in the hotel
restaurant, went to a general store, outfitted my-
self with a leather coat, high boots, and a six-
shooter; and a few moments later completed this
equipment with a pint flask of whiskey.
Obviously it was not advisable, at the rate the
snow was still falling, to attempt the journey alone;
a sturdy companion would help to break trail and
keep me company. But here another difficulty pre-
sented itself: feeling over the mining strike, a few
months previously, still ran high; no miner of my
acquaintance would care to take the trip with me,
nor would I care to chance his company. I twas
evident that I must depend upon a total stranger.
After scouting about the streets until after six
0' clock, I came upon a broad-shouldered, hungry-
looking Irishman.
"My friend," said I, "are you working?"
"Am Oi wurrukin'? Hell, no, thayre ain't no
wurruk!"
"Well, do you want to work? Care to make ten
dollars?"
"Shure! Do Oi want to foind a gold moine?"
SILVER STRIKE
"My name's Hennessey," I went on, introducing
myself as an insurance man from California.
"The Tiger mill burned yesterday, as you know;
I've got to get there to-night. You look the right
sort to break trail for me."
"Shure Oi'l1 go; Oi'm the shpalpeen ye're
lookin' for; but Oi ain't had supper yit, and not a
red cint in me pockets."
"Here," said I, handing him a dollar, "go eat,
and meet me at the depot in half an hour."
He was there promptly. Shortly after seven
0' clock we started up the canyon. The air was raw
and pointed; the flakes, which still drifted down,
were damp and adhesive, powdering our shoulders
and melting in our faces; the night air, beyond the
feeble glow of our lantern, was black and silent.
I took the lead for a mile, and the exertion taxed
my strength every foot of the way. Higher up the
snow had greater depth, but fortunately we were
equal to the task ahead. At the end of the fi rst
mile we changed positions - he taking the lead and
I following; then another struggle into the night,
and another alternation, and so on hour after hour
with the snow increasing in depth.
In time we both grew talkative: he told me of
the Coeur d' Alenes ; I related a glowing tale and de-
scription of modern California, a land of endless
A LAST ECHO 253
summer and cities by the sea. I did not let him
know, however, that I had whiskey until the last
two miles. Here I brought forth my flask for the
first time; and in the lantern light, with the snow
falling soundlessly about us, we each had a good
swig. I t warmed him, and loosed his tongue yet
more.
"Misther Hennessey," said he, "did ye iver hear
a v the big moinin' stroike we had here last July?"
"No - I had n't heard of it," I answered.
"Well," he laughed, keeping close behind me, "we
had a good wan; we showed the moine owners who
owns the airth."
"Yes?"
"Shure we did. We mucked for nothin' iver
sinet the Jaekass stroike; and wurruked till mid-
noight ivery noigh t, like oxes, till George Pettibone
come in - Pettibone, Poynton, Dallas, Burke-
and foine men they ware."
"And of course they helped you out?"
"Shure they did. Did n't they lade us? Did n't
they orginoize us? And did n't we raise hell?
Phwy Misther Hennessey," he went on, "we took
ivery moine and mill, ivery powder hoose; we even
took the railroad. Bedad, and a foine toime ut
was ! We kilt a dozen dhirty shcabs or more, and
run the rist till hell and gone."
254 SILVER STRIKE
"And you were through all this?" I led him on.
"Shure Oi was! Oi '11 niver forgit the toime we
dynamoited the Frisco."
At this point we stopped for breath, and another
drink.
"You were there?" I quizzed as he made a great
inroad upon the contents of the bottle.
He wiped the snow from his face with his sleeve
and smacked his lips. "Ah ha, Misther Hennes-
sey, 't is foine whiskey ye have - shure Oi was
thayre; shure - 't was me that hilped Pettibone
hissilf to dhrop the dynamoite - " and a lusty roar
of merriment interrupted his narrative.
"Niver will Oi forgit ut," he continued, still shak-
ing with rough humor and shouting back over his
shoulder . "We cloimed to the moun tin' top wid
enough powder to blow the roof off av hell; we lit
the water out av the flume; and Pettibone dhroppt
the powder, half a ton av ut."
We were now entering upon the last painful mile;
his breath was coming short, and mine too, even
though I had been trailing. It fell my turn to take
the lantern and the lead.
"A foiner man than old George Pettibone niver
lived," he cried, picking up his narrative again.
"Bedad and he'd see anything through. 'Whan
A LAST ECHO 255
the powder wint down, 't was Pettibone hissi1£ thot
touched ut off; and 't was Pettibone hissilf thot
listent in the flume for the explosion; and 'twas
Pettibone hissilf thot wint up in the traa tops whan
ut came. Niver, niver can Oi forgit thot; nor the
cussin' he done whan he come down."
"It did n't kill him?"
"Hell, no - not Pettibone. N othin' can kill him
- if ut had n't been for thot, thim dhirty naager
throopers 'ud niver av got him."
"N igger troopers?"
"Shure-naager throopers!" he exclaimed with
unutterable contempt. "Tin thousand av 'em.
The guver'mint sint thim in, the black clivils; and
even then, we dam' nare had 'em licked - fought
'em to the last ditch. We'd be foightin' 'em yit,
only thayre was too many - tin to our wan, and
cannon as big as thot log, and bayonets a yard
long."
"They got Pettibone?"
"Shure-they got 'im," my companion admitted
ruefully, "but cripplet as he was, he offert to lick
any thraa naagers in Carlin's army."
"Well- where is he now?" Tired as I was,
there was no end of enjoyment in his highly colorful
narrative.
SILVER STRIKE
"Bedad, and they sint him to the pen - Bill Stoll,
Heyburn, and Hagen, thraa av the dhirtiest crook
lawyers thot iver corrupted a coort."
"Well, who were Stoll, Heyburn, and Hagen?"
I grinned, though he did not know it.
HThraa big bastes!" he exploded with an oath.
"Thraa big bastes thot put the moine owners up to
all av thayre diviltry; and if they had n't skippt out
at the last minute, we'd have kilt the thraa av
thim; we had 'em marked. And Bill Stoll the
dhirty shpalpeen, was the wurrst av the lot. Oi 'd
loike to lay me hands on 'im-Oi'd loike to have
'im roight on this shpot! Oi 'd make mince meat
av'im."
I was leading at the moment when he delivered
himself of this sentiment. There was some conso-
lation in the thought that we were rounding the last
curve of Canyon Creek into Burke! What com-
fort in the first ray of dawn!
Culbertson, the Tiger manager, had waited up
all night for me after receiving my telegram, and
had a pot of coffee on the stove. The light in his
office window beckoned us on.
It was six o'clock. Shifts were changing. Men
were coming and going.
Just as we were mounting the steps to the Tiger
office, a shift boss I had known personally through
A LAST ECHO 257
the mining development and mining strike rushed
up to me.
"Well," he exclaimed in a volley of friendly
oaths, "if it ain't Bill Stoll! Where the hell did
you come from, Bill?"
I turned to my Irishman with a grin.
He looked at me hard, then his face relaxed into
boisterous good humor.
"Ah, Jasus Chroist, Bill- Oi knowed yez all the
- toime."
"Yes," I said, giving him his ten dollars, "I'm
sure you did - that's why I followed you up the last
stretch with my hand on my six-shooter."
I had until ten o'clock to go over Glidden's poli-
cies. They were ready and waiting when the ad-
justors arrived behind a snow plough.
That evening on the train to Wallace I saw my
Irishman. Many drinks had he taken during the
day. He was hors de combat. I have never seen
him since.
XXVIII

THE MAJOR INSTRUCTS THE JURY


I HAVE gentler memories of the declining days of
my dear old friend and first associate, the Major.
He was elected judge of the district court in 1894, .
serving until his death at the age of ninety, a few
days after the battle of the Marne. Through all
these years he was known always as "the Major,"
never as "Judge Woods."
Justice never had a truer priest; he was learned
in the law, and he was very human.
Whether on the bench. or in private life, the
Major had a supreme affection for every veteran
of the Civil War. I recall, in this connection, a
grizzled prospector who came down out of the hills
to Rathdrum, county seat of Kootenai County, in
the fall of 1894 for his pension check, of vital im-
portance to his wife, their daughter, and her two
small children.
This check he cashed in a Rathdrum saloon.
He treated the saloon keeper, the saloon keeper
treated him - a cordial exchange which went on
--------~ --

THE MAJOR INSTRUCTS THE JURY 259


for some time. Eventually the old man went to
sleep. When he awakened it was daybreak, and
he was lying in an alley without a cent in his pocket.
Unsteady on his feet, and his senses reeling, he
returned to the saloon keeper for assistance. That
worthy urged him to make out a check for the
amount he needed. An attempt by the saloon
keeper to cash the check ended in its return with
"No Funds" stamped upon its face. Without an
opportunity to make it good, the old man was ar-
rested on complaint of the saloon keeper.
Edwin McBee, an astute and skillful lawyer,
undertook his defense. Charley O'Neil was prose-
cuting attorney. The Major sat upon the bench.
The courtroom was crowded. I was a spectator.
What Edwin McBee elicited from his client con-
cerning his past the evidence must show; certain it
is that the aged prospector neither understood nor
appreciated its significance. He was stunned by
the whirlwind that had howled down upon him; he
had an old man's terror of prison bars; and the
question of what would become of his family added
to his complexities when he took the witness stand.
The Major paid little attention to the routine of
his name and other information preliminary to ex-
amination.
"What were you doing in Rathdrum, the day of
SILVER STRIKE
the crime with which you are now charged?" Mc-
Bee demanded.
"I came down for my pension check."
I smiled at the effect of this answer upon the
Major. The word "pension" indicated to him that
the witness was a veteran. He sat forward in-
tently.
"And after that?" McBee led the witness on.
"Well, I took it to a saloon, and cashed it; me
and the saloon keeper kep' treatin' each other - "
"In other words, you got drunk."
"Yes."
HAnd then?"
"I went back to the saloon keeper, and he said
he'd cash a check for what I needed."
At this point McBee suddenly changed his tack.
"What did your pension check represent?" he
asked.
"My soldier's pension," answered the veteran,
somewhat perplexed.
"How long were you a soldier in the Civil War?"
"Four years-I went out with Lincoln's first
call for volunteers and served through to the
end."
The Major had not taken his eyes from the wit-
ness. McBee paused. I saw the Major's gaze
shift quickly to the old soldier's wife, his daughter,
THE MAJOR INSTRUCTS THE JURY 261

and his grandchildren, badly frightened and very


much lost. The Major's face was expressionless.
"What state did you come from?" asked McBee.
"From Iowa."
"In what company?"
"The Second Iowa Volunteers."
McBee's examination was suddenly interrupted.
Much to his surprise, and to the surprise of every-
one in the court, the Major left his bench and stood
before the witness.
"Who was your captain?" he said, gently.
The veteran's eyes brightened. "Will Woods
- after the first year," he answered with a quaver.
Some strange inner force overwhelmed the
Major; in words almost inarticulate, he faced us
and announced: "Court is adjourned until to-mor-
row."
Then, placing an arm gently about his comrade
of other days, he led him off to chambers. The
court bailiff, acting under instructions a moment
later, took charge of the veteran's family, who
spent the night in the comfortable hotel.
The two old soldiers were seen to leave chambers
an hour or so later and amble off to the hotel, where
dinner was served them in the Major's room.
When the chambermaid unlocked the Major's
room, near noon the following morning, the two
SILVER STRIKE
old gentlemen were sleeping in their chairs - an
empty whiskey bottle between them.
Court did not convene that day.
Not until the following morning did the veteran
take his place on the stand. McBee completed his
examination. O'Neil cross-examined briefly.
Briefer arguments to the jury followed.
Then the Major's instructions: "The defendant
is charged with issuing a check without funds to
cover, and with intent to defraud. Intent to de-
fraud is the essence of this charge; failure to prove
that point is fatal to the state case.
"It is for you, gentlemen, to say whether or not
the defendant is guilty of the charge preferred
against him by the State of Idaho. The evidence
shows that he, in an intoxicated condition, a victim
of robbery, and with want staring him and his
family in the face, gave a check to the man whom
he claims robbed him, a check for which he had no
funds. If this were done with intent to defraud,
gentlemen, the State of Idaho brands it a crime. It
is for you to say whether it was done with intent
to defraud; it is for you to say for the state whether
or not, under all the circumstances of this case, this
is a crime. Gentlemen, I excuse you to your de-
libera tions."
I have never seen the Major more rigidly the
THE MAJOR INSTRUCTS THE JURY 263
judge; I have never seen him colder or more schol-
arly. Probably his veteran friend heard his words
with a mingling of fear and respect.
But in spite of the Major's instructions rumor
had busied herself with the emotions of the jurors.
These twelve good men and true had learned of and
observed the affection existent between the Major
and the defendant; and their deliberations, I fear,
were neither lengthy nor weighty. They were
back in court within a few moments at most.
"Not guilty!" the foreman announced.
The Major sat formally and rigidly in his place.
The veteran came slowly to his feet; and we saw
his hand, from force of old habit, rise in salute-
he was saluting his captain. The Major, for all I
know, was returning it in his heart.
---------- - -- - .- - -

XXIX
SUNSET
I HAVE lived in my own way for threescore years
and twelve, ranging through wisdom and folly, suc-
cess and failure, comedy and tragedy; and if it were
my lot to live that life over, I should doubtless live
it differently-who would not? But I have no
lament to make for what has been; rather do I look
confidently forward to what will be. I may live
one year, ten years, twenty; I hope so. I t is good
to be alive to-day. I have a son. I am happy in
the fact that he is beginning to-day where I began
half a century ago.
Forty-seven years ago our point of view was
narrow, factional; to-day it is as broad as the earth.
Forty-seven years ago a dog race against time down
:Main Street in Murray was an event; to-day we
ya wn over transatlantic flights and feats beyond
frontier comprehension. Forty-seven years ago
romance and adventure were on the streets of a
shambles of a town in the Coeur d' Alenes, and
SUNSET
along the mining frontier; to-day romance and ad-
venture are on opposite poles of earth. Forty-
seven years ago we were looking into the future
and shouting empire and empire development; to-
day the clamor still rises anywhere in the West,
and rivers are dammed, deserts watered, and moun-
tains moved to sea for harbor jetties.
But the modern movement is not without its
price. Our frontier grain, oak or pith, stood out
without veneer, and the quality of the one was more
easily distinguishable from the other - the ma-
chine had not robbed us of solid walnut. We
lived closer to nature, we were more intimate with
hill and stream; we had little, our life was simple.
Life to-day is a commonplace of miracle, a con-
tinuous yawn, an over-burdening, sense-dulling
complexity of the new and strange accepted with
indifference. It took less to thrill and excite us,
it took less to make us happy-but we were as
happy.
What was vital in the doings of our friends and
neighbors, in the ponderings of government, or the
strife of states and nations, came to us in eloquence
from the lips of our orators; to-day these things
are lifeless chaff in the modern newspaper, a soul-
less institution blotted with the listless imperson-
ality of the syndicate, morbid with crime and social
SILVER STRIKE
degeneracy for lack of interest in what is positive
in humanity's clash with circumstances. It has
robbed us of men like Clagett and Ganahl. I have
belonged to bar associations for half a century, but
Major Woods, William H. Clagett, Frank Ganahl,
and W. B. Heyburn stand before me like giants in
Lilliput. Our stories, our humor, our wit, came
from men like Colonel Patrick Henry Winston, the
subject of the following digression for example's
sake.
No personality in my experience was more inter-
esting, or a greater master of repartee, than Colonel
Patrick Henry Winston - a Colonel for reasons
which I shall make clear later.
The best blood of the old South flowed in his
veins. When he reached man's estate, back on a
North Carolina plantation, the Wanderlust got into
his blood; and he concluded, so he once told me, that
the South had too many orators and Democrats.
This heresy brought him North to try his fortune
in the Republican Party. Somewhere around
1882, President Arthur appointed him register of
the United States land office in Lewiston, a connec-
tion which brought him frequently to Wallace and
other points in the district.
And it was during this period that I knew him
first, an acquaintance which ripened into friendship
SUNSET
during my residence and practice in Spokane.
Many a laugh have I had from his retorts.
He could hold any crowd. He was more than a
match for any heckler. On the platform he was
eloquent, humorous, entertaining. For these rea-
sons he was a welcome guest anywhere. But this
matter of his military title - One time, at the Spo-
kane Club, he was introduced to a regular army
officer as "Colonel" Winston.
"Regular army?" said the officer.
"No, suh."
"Oh," persisted the officer, with an air of su-
periority- "state militia?"
"No, suh."
"Governor' 5 staff?"
"N 0, suh."
"Well then," cried the officer, "where in hell did
you get your title ?"
"My friend, suh," Winston answered in his 50ft
Southern drawl, "I was bo'n a Colonel, suh."

I shall recall one more incident before I leave


him, one that occurred at Ellensburg, Washington,
shortly after that state was admitted to the Union.
The Republican Party held its first convention there
to nominate future state officials; and a great con-
vention it was. The magic name of this new state
SILVER STRIKE
had attracted thousands from all corners of the na-
tion. The men who gathered in the Ellensburg
convention hall were Northerners, Southerners,
Easterners, Westerners - and above all, frontiers-
men.
After a temporary organization, and after com-
mittees had been appointed and sent out to prepare
reports, a motion for adjournment followed.
Someone in the rear of the hall stood up.
"Mr. Chairman," said he, "we have with us a
nationally known orator and stump speaker -
Colonel Patrick Henry Winston. I move that in-
stead of adjourning we ask him to address us."
Winston needed no further urging. Without
waiting for action on the motion he started for the
platform - a medium-sized man, clean-shaven and ~-
bald as an eagle. His head, in fact, glistened like
a billiard ball as he launched into his extemporane-
ous oration.
He was getting along famously, and to the de-
light of all, when a tall, cadaverous Populist stood
up, interrupting him. This man, like others of
that ill-fated party, then in its heydey, had a tangled
mop of unkempt hair and a most extraordinary
flow of whiskers.
From his height of six feet four inches he looked
down upon Winston, leveled a long bony finger at
SUNSET 26g
him, and glared. The moment was for some rea-
son dramatic, the air heavy with intensity.
"Colonel Winston," he cried in a shrill harsh
voice, "I want to ask you a question! How do you
account for the unequal distribution of wealth?"
Unhesitatingly Winston shot back:-
"My friend, I will answer yah question by asking
yuh another, suh! How do yuh account foh the
unequal distribution of ha'r?"

And so I pass Winston by. He had not the


depth of Clagett; he had not the leadership of Du-
bois; he was a wit, a flash of color set against the
background of this life.
Forty-seven years ago in the Coeur d' Alenes we
had in Curly a distinguished dog, in Molly b' Dam'
a distinguished harlot, and in the Jackass a dis-
tinguished ass. A distinguished dog, a distin-
guished harlot, and a distinguished ass are not to
be found in this day. In the Coeur d' Alenes we
had law and order, brought to us by the Vigilantes,
made articulate by Clagett, stabilized by Judge
Buck. This was overthrown in time by foreign
agitators; and in its place murder and anarchy
reigned until Federal troops came with force, the
same means used by the Vigilantes. Idaho, a wil-
derness in 1883, is now one of the sisterhood of
SILVER STRIKE
states. I reflect with pride upon the fact that I
had a personal connection with this movement, and
that I was intimately associated with its life. We
were a different lot, I know; we even drank differ-
ently, and more like men than is the case to-day,
as the following incident in 1884 will show.
A blizzard howled over the Coeur d' Alenes for
days, driving snow before it in fine white powdery
mist, and trailing after it bitter cold; and into this
men went, with sledge and dog, to save men-a
pack train marooned in twenty feet of snow along
the trail to Thompson's Falls, freezing there and
starving.
The night they returned I stood at John Benning-
ton's bar. Each time the door opened an icy breath
of winter swept into the room. Men came. Men
went. Thirty below! A big stove radiated heat
from the centre of the room. Poker hands were
dealt. Money changed hands. Talk was of the
rescue party.
Then another freezing blast from out of the
swirling night, and a big miner bundled to his ears
in a Mackinaw, his broad shoulders crusted with
snow and sleet and his cheeks blue and hollow with
privation and exertion, staggered in. Others fol-
lowed.
A shout went up. A crowd surged about them.
SUNSET
No lives lost-some frozen hands, some frozen
feet - but everybody here. Cold? Hell, yes t
Whiskey, for God's sake, give us whiskey!
And there they stood, rescuer and rescued, drink-
ing it straight, with a gulp and the tinkle of an
empty glass, and a busy barkeeper working up and
down before them. Soon the heat was thawing out
their clothes and melting the ice and snow in their
beards.
Among them towered a miner, known until the
following incident simply as Dan, a lank hulk of a
man with a cadaverous face and a slow drawl in
his voice.
Said the barkeeper to Dan: "Whiskey?"
Dan stared back glumly. A sleepy grin finally
broke over his lantern-jawed face.
"N0, thanks," he drawled, "I think I '11 take
lemonade. "
The barkeeper slumped back thunderstruck. A
general laugh went up, for the situation was ludi-
crous; and sacrilege had been committed.
The leader of the rescue party, a great sandy-
bearded Irishman, shouldered his way through the
press to our temperate friend; and his big hands
fell heavily upon Dan's shoulders, to shake him as
a mastiff shakes a rat.
"Phwy, ye blankety, blank, blanked-blank,
SILVER STRIKE
blank," he shouted, "ye '11 dhrink whiskey - make
ut whiskey, barkeep-or Oi'l1 throw yez on a
sledge, and Oi'l1 take yez back phwere Oi found
yez. Dhrink ut. Dhrink ut down! Liminade,
hell! Dhrink ut, Oi say I"
Dan's Adam's apple rose and fell obediently.
HDhrink ut to the last dhrop!" roared the irate
leader.
Dan set an empty glass down on the bar in utter
silence, and smacked his lips.
"Thirty below," the leader groaned, turning
away, "and here's a galoot wantin' liminade.
Liminade! Phwat's the frontier comin' to?
Liminade! Niver lit me hear thot wurrud agin,
or 't is a dead man thot ye be, and on the shpot."
No heed was given this warning then or there-
after. The miner was universally known as
Lemonade Dan. Wherever he went, the name,
like Mary's Iamb, followed him. Perhaps it
brought him luck-who knows? At any rate, a
galena lode he had staked out in the neighboring
hills yielded him hundreds of thousands of dollars.
When last I heard of him, he was still alive, wealthy
and prominent around Spokane.

Winston, Lemonade Dan! Pritchard-Keeler


-gold! The Coeur d' Alenes, Eagle City, Mur-
--------------- -

SUNSET 273
ray; Clagett, the Major, Judge Buck, Ganahl!
The faces and figures of my youth are legion about
me. Can it be that I am the last of this cherished
group of other days?

(Mr. William T. Stoll died on February


10,1931, five months after his manuscript
had been delivered to his publishers.)

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