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252) E- 25: a Street, Fruitvale, Calif.
A MAN ADRIFT .
A MAN ADRIFT Being LEAVES FROM A NOMAD'S PORTFOLIO By BART KENNEDY COMPANY HERBERT S. STONE CHICAGO & NEW YORK MDCCCC fcf .
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED .
TO MY WIFE .
. FINDING A SHIP . 223 WITH THE INDIANS vii 234 . AT SHAFT PRISON IQ IO6 . THROUGH THE ROCKIES .. . ADRIFT LIFE ON . MY FIRST VOYAGE III. XIII. THE CHILKATS XVI.. .. 212 FROM VICTORIA TO NANAIMO . FIGHTING A NOR'-WESTER .119 144 XL NO MONEY XII. IN . SHOVELLING 95 . MAXWELL SIMILAKAMEEN 172 19! XIV. I II.. V. VI. XVII.CONTENTS PAGE I.. ... XV.. VII. ..152 . . X. AN OYSTER-BOAT . IX. .. 6 77 ON TRAMP BILLY . . 8l VIII. I? 4O 43 IV. .
298 308 319 THE BOWERY NO PLACE TO SLEEP XXIV.viii A NEW PHASE Contents PAGE XVIII. ." HOW I "RAN .... 330 .. XXIII. LOUNGING XXI.. EARNING THIRTY DOLLARS 262 277 XX.. .... 245 XIX.. ... THROUGH SUNSHINE FORAGERS PROPS.. OPERATIC XXII. ...
FINDING A SHIP I WAS in Liverpool.A MAN ADRIFT I. Surely I would find a ship to take me somewhere There were anywhere. and looking up into them made me think of the strange lands I day. though cold. looking at them. But the mates shook their heads when I told A . It was in the beginning of January. I had walked miles and miles that day. the would to like to visit. I eager see things. was The clouds sailed bright. with just a shilling in my I pocket. and occasionally asking to be taken in one of them. and pleasant and along so beautifully. wondering vaguely as to what would do. was young and Here I was in Liverpool the key to the whole world. thousands of them lying in the docks.
I was without friends and alone. A Man that I Adrift never had been to sea They wanted men who knew I the work. But I had thought and dreamed of them ever since I was a lad. And now in they seemed so I beautiful to me. but before me was it What the big. and strange. still felt that I Some chance or another would go somewould turn up. and rigging They had a curious air of travel and great distances. calm and strange.2 them before. and that they were going to About them was places a long way off. held for me I could not tell. something magical. their sails fit straight masts and their furled looked so and beautiful. great desire was to see and feel and experience to meet new My and strange phases. You felt that they had come from places a long way off. mysterious world. and I hardly cared. To live is a fine and . was only a raw in the greenhorn. They looked tall. fine. they said. just like the pictures had of them so my mind. I had never seen ships before the morning of that day. who would be I way ! But how.
where tossed the Phantom Ship the ship on which was laid a curse this When of Judgment. The and blowing. sailing ship got outside into till the Day . coward who is afraid of on. or to China. full of lights slow-moving steamer yonderthat loomed calmly along.Finding a Ship brave thing. life. that was being towed Perhaps it was along by a tug-boat? going round Cape Horn. swiftly - And odd the red of the sun lay upon the broad Mersey. be going to the far-away Indies. even if 3 you have neither a penny in your pocket nor a home nor It is only the weakling and the friends. or to Australia? ship And the sailing over there. The day wore up and throwing ing boats. darkness had fully settled life of the river was full of stood charm and mystery. glowing into relief the crossfull Soon the lights. and what did they hold. river was of rushing Whistles I and horns were till watched down. Where were the vessels going. and who commanded them ? Might not that big. or around the Cape of Good Hope.
And winds would carry her along And at last over the great sea-waters. and try and I find a ship. As I went noticed a big coffee-house. ashore and see things that were wonderful and full of a curious beauty. and in the morning I would still have .4 A Man the Adrift the open water her sails would spread out like the wings of great. get a bed that night. During the day I had noticed a lodging-house having a sign slices of bread and butter. At last I turned away and walked tip fuJJ towards the middle of the town. she would come to a port in some bright And the sailors would then go land. in the window which read to the effect that you could get a good bed there for sixI would pence. I That a cheap place to sleep. night and on the morrow I would look around find would again. and for threepence I got a big mug of hot coffee and some thick Now I had and for sixpence of it I could ninepence. My mind was of these thoughts as I looked out upon the river. sleep there that night. great birds. along a street In I walked.
a Suddenly. I front of me. could. find. Come " I want to talk to you. . over. as if reading "Don't be in what was " I my mind. afraid. and I was not afraid of things. his " I gait was slow and could easily knock him I he attempted anything. I wheeled round and looked. if to be half drunk his shoulders His head was sunk down. " hesitated a and then I went on with him. I my for I was going along looking for the street wanted the street in which was the It lodging-house. and uncertain." little . man as was a little hard I was turning to A was standing 1 in along/ said he.Finding a Ship threepence left 5 for breakfast. "Hello!" corner." he said. a voice shouted out. I was well able to look out for myself. After all I was strong and vigorous." thought to myself. in Then search I would set out again a ship. I'm not going to do anything to you." don't see how you was my comment. The man seemed were bent.
" "You want go to sea!" he said suddenly. We had now come window." he said. face. and I It was a round eyes. was the back. put Because you in the way of it. a ship?" " " And here's They will." he answered." He to " I for moment. a halt before a shop looked full into his face. How do you know ? to asked. slowly." I " looked at him in surprise. " for I have only nine- And will they be sure to find me pence. paused " But a that isn't the point." Adrift said. he with a laugh.6 A Man " Neither do I. I can take you to will a boarding-house where they you till they find you a ship. . as he looked me up and down. bleared Not an in it inviting face. with big." " I keep " But will they keep me without money ? asked quickly. face of a "How I man who holds things do you know?" I asked him " again. you go aboard a ship. If you want " I can to go to sea. I There was It something couldn't understand. saw you down on the docks I saw to-day.
and you don't know If you want to know the the ropes." " said the man. thing you can do is to come along with me that is.Finding a Ship 7 It's another thing I have to tell you. and then find him one. " Well. keeps you and finds you an and after you are safely gone he He gets the money." I thought for a I little. it is gets an advance because every man who note for two This note isn't paid till the ship pounds. outfit. Now. " That a why they came have Liverpool thing. It's strange places though. You give this is a few days out at sea. advance note to the boarding-house master. do you under- stand?" . But you where a man are green. is I will I go a with you. next to impossible for you to get a ship here in Liverpool without you are taken So the best boarding-house. you know. with a laugh." to said." "It isn't so strange as it looks to you. if it's a ship you are looking from a after. reason of ships it. to get ship. that for they keep nothing.
Here was all the I trouble taken right off my shoulders. however." To this I assented. little But I was a who had never been puzzled." . But too closely One must not look a gift-horse in the mouth. as to why a man to sea before should It struck get an advance of two pounds.8 I A Man did. where my guide re- freshed himself with "three of whisky. I thought. In that case you might as well treat me for the trouble I'm taking on your account. " Let us go over there and get a drink. I was all was lucky to fall so easily into the right way of things. me I that perhaps sailors were scarce. were going back in the direction We of the docks. would be on and an outgoing Suddenly the man pointed to a big public-house." he said. It Adrift clear enough. as it seemed a reasonable request. stopped. " You tell me you have ninepence. and at the I was filled I with joy thought that soon vessel. thought it well not to inquire into things. and we went over to the public-house. was sure of getting away.
he told me. regulated by the tonnage And on the day of sailing there were usually one or two hands short It was then that the boarding-house master came forward with picked up anyhow. my ful. The number was of the vessel. and he asked me a lot of questions about But I had little to tell him. was just a young workout into the world to man who was going seek his fortune. and wore a flat. and I still wore my rust-stained It slop and overalls. being able to get an advance note of two pounds who had never been Ships certain could not leave complement port without a of hands. I had a woollen scarf round my neck. for myself. I peaked cap. The whisky seemed to warm his feelings towards me.Finding a Ship while I 9 took a glass of beer. After we left the the some light into public-house he let mystery of a man to sea before. men he had Even though the men . greasy. life so far had been most unevent- had been dull and grey. like the town I had come from. The last place at which I had worked was a mechanic's shop.
with a dark beard and a pale. but pointed to a door at the end of a passage. it. and said." " me with no particular expression in his eyes. Murphy looked let Murphy. " A " and he gave three knocks on the door. addressing him." said the man. and there were four men in it sitting An oil lamp stood on before a big fire." said here's a my guide. bidding me follow him.io were not with. She did not reply. " at man for you. throwing out a small light. girl let us in without saying a word. A Man sailors. My guide left us. the mantel. Is Murphy in ?" he asked her." again. Then he turned towards the fire was a man about fifty. after shaking hands He . guide We turned down a narrow street which Murphy's boarding-house is over there. All right. and pushed The open. hard-looking face. He walked to it. him sit down. My " was a " runner for a boarding-house. One " of the men rose up and turned round. ran into the Docks. room we entered was rather a large it one. We walked across the road to pointing. Adrift the law was complied and the ship was free to go.
This was the only way they could . Was this the right way to go about getting a ship ? it have been better to have kept on asking the mates for a berth myself? All at once Murphy got up and left Wouldn't us without saying a word. were simply working-men who wanted to get out to other parts of the world. found men They The surmise was right. sad expecfor the first time depressed. One would have something like thought that the men were some led out to undergo waiting to be awful experience. I n began quietly to study They were evidently in the same circumstances as myself. I The dulled. and the other men. after in trying to had made a mistake go out into the world And doubts began to assail me. And feel subdued. And Soon then I we gradually that began to first talk.Finding a Ship with me. They were silent when I came in. It was a strange scene. my I was amongst were not sailors. travel-pictures in my mind became ! Perhaps. There was an that air of tancy about them. and they remained silent. day I began to all.
Living through the monotonous labour had grind quickened it. And talked in a like strain. of getting work hardly liked the idea of facing He life had heard that that sailoring was a hard else for men were others : often struck and ill-used. spoke of the in difficulties England. wandering instinct that is strong in every inherited human being far. the He ocean. and year after year in the same place and at the same thing is maddenof ing. Times were hard but the real reason they were here was because they were impelled to the less move by more or an past. to think of the work I when I had been spirits doing for the last four years. my . a young fellow from the country. A Man for they Adrift had no money. and brought it to the full in the men with whom I was now talking. month after month.12 manage it. But there was the nothing it. instinct from a dim when men wandered over earth dull the face of the as hunters. One of them. To work day after day. A man either becomes a clod or dangerously began And thoughtful.
thinking of what might happen on the morrow.Finding a Ship 13 rose again. Murphy came back There were some sacks for filled with straw us to lie on. somehow. but I I was hardly minded it much. . I was glad to be on the eve of any change. The night was very cold. however hard it might turn out to be. Things would turn out all right. We had make the it by putting off our coats and covering ourselves up with them as well as we could. I was willing to dare or go through anything. He was this man who waste words. sat and talked to till the middle At about one did o'clock Murphy came a in and beckoned not me. but to there were best no of blankets. we Then we of the day. and a two-pound loaf of bread was divided amongst us. And the pictures and dreams of the morning when I was going from ship to ship came back to me. When we came down in the morning got some hot coffee. after an hour or and showed the four of us up to the so. room where we were to pass the night.
so that there would be no mistake. and he into tell the mate or the the advance note out to purser to make him when gave me He signed as able seaman.B." he said again. and come " Your outfit's in along. We were soon going along the docks.14 A Man " Adrift Murphy. there's no sailorising . " Take it. I told him I didn't like to sign as an able seaman. "is going round Callao. for I had never been to if sea before. it. "Off with your slop and overalls. There was a sailor's bag lying at the end of the passage." I picked and easy to carry. He came at once to the point." Cape Horn He then let me know structed it me I was a steamer. his full name on a piece of paper. It was a day like the day before bright and clear. You 1 look I mechanic. "The to you on. sign as an A. couldn't go at "Besides. It was very light it up.' much like a Then he obeyed him. too to motioned for me follow him out." said vessel I'm going to put Murphy. I But he informed I me that didn't all." he said.
15 be done aboard a steamer. We were dismissed after I the mate had inspected us. stockily-built man with a his joked Murphy about the dry- land sailors and sent kind of " outfit he them in to sea with. They had got a When we man I ten minutes before.Finding a Ship to in conclusion. however. fate was against me. red face When we were aboard. So Murphy and trudged back again to the boarding- house. Murphy had gone ashore with the advance notes. on the John Gough. put their bags?" it he But Murphy took calmly. What have you asked. in She to made the trip fourteen days. before. and I was lined up for muster with the rest of the crew. along with two of the others. the bo'sun a across from twelve freight She carried and some passengers. a big steamer bound for Philadelphia. But the next day I was luckier. Such things had been said to him The articles were signed." he said got to the steamer. and was . Murphy shipped me.
cared what any of them said to me. little Then for walked forward. My dream was realised. I had found a ship! . And I was happy. " A " ! sailor stopped me. Greeny. of the ship were the same my dered eye." he said. I was actually going. you damned Paddy West.1 6 aft A Man for Adrift Both ends to going the fo'castle. Go I on. but said I nothing. I would soon get to know my way about. dryat land sailor looked I him. bewil" That way. pointing forward.
outfit. and I was wondering it by what turn of chance I should ever see I had no desire to go back. MY FIRST VOYAGE WE were running swiftly through the smooth into the river. was no joke as far was concerned. Liverpool was fading off distance. At this time I was standing on the forward deck with the sailors. He me was the red- man who had joked Murphy about to sea with.II. We were grouped up in front of the two bo'suns. It fell to my lot to be told off for the first bo'sun's watch faced the port watch. who were portioning us off into watches. for Murphy had put the outfit he was sending The as I B . however. but the thought worked idly through my mind as I turned and looked off over the side of the great vessel. again.
in it Indeed. was that the time was I scarcely for objecting. as he critically watched me unpacking my bag the fo'castle. I into my bunk but ripe filled I in fascinated with his felt way hardly of putting truths. there that was hardly anything of the was serviceable for the crossing North Atlantic Ocean in midI winter. was so with the thought of being actually aboard a ship that what he said didn't trouble It me much. Besides. What shaking out the notion. did not know this at the time. bells in the first (five o'clock in had just gone two the dog-watch when out foresail word came the afternoon) for us to shake the foresail. but a sailor informed me of it with much scorn and epithet. and then too jumped up into the shrouds.1 8 A Man oil-skins Adrift neither nor sea-boots into my bag. I paused a little. meant I had not the faintest But I got ready to do someor other. and was up alongside . into cats thing jumped up climbed like couple of sailors the fore -shrouds and A up the I rigging.
me in the rigging. Though I had never sea. By this time six or seven men had got up. Quickly got out along the foot-rope with the rest of them. It I was rather unfortunate did. " altogether. and were spreading themselves out on the yard on both sides of the mast. know my did not reply to but stopped where I was and watched. Where?" He swore. for it my going <made the think bo'sun and the rest I of the watch knew my work as a sailor." said to the man I whom I was near This puzzled asked. I The now* grasped what was meant. and I saw at a glance that at least there were sure hand-holds and foot-holds about a been to ship. idea was I to loosen the close-furled sail.My them in First Voyage 19 no time." said the alongside me. I was a good climber. and asked aloft me what I I meant by coming duty. Again I was " puzzled. and began to tug at the rope that fastened down the sail to the yard. I when didn't this. up that " as however. "That thing in your hand." he . Lay out on the yard there. fellow Pass the gasket.
I passed it to the tugging at. But Paddy West had dignified the calling with his .2O had A Man grin. the deck like wax. and then I learned why it was that a man such as myself was called a "Paddy West" sailor. name. Adrift added with a I He meant the rope in been meantime round sail and passed from hand to hand till it had reached me. of Liveroool. And stood on deck with the rest that I of them felt had emerged from my first trial with at least some success. was notorious for shipping green hands as able seamen. and then It we all got down on deck. was my as I first I lesson in sailoring. which had been taken from the him. Afterwards I found out that it was most " sailor to go unusual for a " Paddy West Invariably he stuck to up aloft at all. Hence the nickwho had shipped me. a boardingmaster. Murphy. At the end of the first dog-watch six o'clock we went into the fo'castle to have supper. It seemed that one Paddy West. fry of these was only one of the smaller villainous boarding-masters.
had filled sent "greenies" to sea with bags with straw for an outfit and so on.My name. I things fault grasp the fact that the real lay with the shipping companies. First Voyage 21 All sorts of shady and wonderful He stories were current concerning him. as they felt they were wronged. And there was a good reason for this feeling. The sailors had not enough sense of the relation of pleasant. it was only human for them to make it as hot for these as possible. exclaimed. to They only saw and knew of men who had come aboard under false pretences. way turned quickly round to him. at supper in the fo'castle It I was that began to realise that shipping as an able seaman when you didn't know the work might not turn out to be altogether saw that the regular sailors had a strong animus against the men who did it. And they did so. One of them shoved me aside when I reached forward to take men some food from the in table. . And. They had to do the work of these useless men. " ! "Don't get he a sailorman's I roughly.
for of food on an Atlantic the There was enough for there was always plenty liner. The supper biscuits consisted of fresh boiled beef. soft bread and butter. Here were men who had been everywhere. such an easy way about being in places thousands of They talked in . potatoes. and and tea. Anyway. and my respect for them grew to such a pitch that I almost forgot to think about the sailor who had shoved me aside roughly. After supper came yarns about all the lands and all the waters of the world.22 A Man Adrift in and would have got very much more his way. It seemed that the law of the fo'castle was that the sailors should eat before the green hands. It wasn't same as it was on a deep-water ship. breathlessly. where you got nothing but your pound and your pint. everybody. but the strangeness of the place and surroundings had a sort of quietening effect on me. Here it was plenty for everybody. The ever talk was -the I most interesting listened I had heard. I could wait.
" The whole world and its waters had been say. and then the same man would perhaps the next moment say " : Yes. one of them would say. felt filled me I last that I had found my true vocation to to go on always wandering from place place. out of 'Frisco. And then came the yarns about Paddy West.My " First Voyage 23 When I was in Calcutta. The sensation of being is on a great swiftly steamship when she running through smooth water is magical. men At in the Listening to them with ambition to do likewise. You feel as if you were steadily flying through ." miles apart." of them suddenly " noticed me listening eagerly. One sailor. out into the broken water. The ship was still She had not yet got running smoothly." " He was shipped with him on a barque Or another fellow would covered by these few rough fo'castle. After eight bells I was out again with the watch on deck. with a laugh. Look at the dry-land he shouted. I combing the beach in Honolulu when I came across him.
who stood off watching the sail.24 space. pin. Then the word came for us to brace things up before So we went turning in at eight bells. The foremost man would slip the halyard from off the belaying pin. and the wind got up. neither nor toss. round the ship. You hear nothing but the faint rumble of the easily-working engines. pay it out behind him. as four or us grabbed it. his I was told off with another man to go . blew on At this the pipe for us to stop. foremost man would spring forward and bend up the halyard on to the belaying When everything was braced up. would haul as five of We we sang. and. A Man There is Adrift jar. loosing the down-hauls. and haul and haul till the bo'sun. swells. and hauling each halyard or brace tight in turn. he would give out the shanty or song. out in the the We were meeting and the vessel began to heave. n TOWARDS midnight we were broken water. nor jerk.
The moon- were reflected in The this soft was shining upon it How sea beautiful ! and magical looked. came up on deck went forward ginning to feel not entered into to relieve us fo' castle. coil the sheets rang out to the sick. . and we was beSea-sickness had I my calculations when I I was looking I for a ship in Liverpool. it. bunk and lay feel flat I my back. the watch below . The day had been a long one.My Eight bells First Voyage down 25 around the ship and and halyards. it. of pictures and happenings was jumble passing through was bringing walking along my mind. And . I tried to think over all that had happened. but I could not conA confused nect one thing with another. and was very tired. would soon get I thought. of. But got I fought hard against And when on to my it. Now Murphy now I was me aboard the docks now I was hauling on the halyards now I could see the wideness and the far reach of the sea the sea stars light I had always dreamed it. began to over I better.
deck somehow. Here I felt a little better But when cold. " ! asleep when a hand was " " Turn out Turn out ! ! shouted a voice. I staggered aft I began I to feel worse. The ever. and when took a seemed as if my body had no But I managed to scramble on weight. I Hardly was on out my shoulder. and do had signed as one who was able . with the rest of the watch. I " It's eight bells ! Turn slowly got up. and got into I my I clothes as well as could. But this was not to be thought of in a shipped before the mast. have given anything to have been able to lie down in my bunk. a curious. When *I took a step could not feel my ship feet. as an able to steer. box the compass. I My step head was it light. I was horribly sea-sick. I asleep. The seemed to me I would to be going all ways at once. ship was now heaving more than stumbled heavily against and a stanchion. raw salt air revived me.26 A Man fell Adrift then a face came near to mine. man who had I seaman splice. strange face.
well in men my mind. I time.My added I First Voyage 27 And here was other shipmanlike things. but too. was nothing for it kicked me. to my misery. There was no use indeed. afraid. of the got through that watch I never remember falling I down. of course. was of saying anyAnd not powerless. for they had to take work. I was sick for two days and a half. upon themselves my share of the I had come aboard under false I I How knew. only was will I powerless in body. do anything back. and one could not. And this was hardly to be wondered at. but there was but to wait of repining. I felt getting began to myself be a coward. colours. I my was powerless. The moon at this time This man had shining brightly. . I as useless as a The thought of it log. thing while my or. was shown scant sympathy by my mates on watch. and keep it kicking me. They acted impatiently and brutally towards me. but I turned round so as to see his face.
The time would soon come! At about the sixth day out. when we were nearly half way across the ocean. The man especially brutal. I knew very little of the work. I saw him I smiled. I and I who Some face. I was beginning to be of use. got very weak kicked me was could eat nothing. Besides. I could hardly stand up at the time. indeed. The strong air of the ocean was .28 A Man All that time Adrift during which time I had to do my four hours on and off with the rest of the watch." I believe gradually I got well. and said: shouldn't hit a sick sick man. Still. but I looked him "You steadily in the eyes. Whenmet him I looked straight in his I And to as I felt I back my limbs the power coming was filled with joy. this man will get well. time after that he struck me in the blackening my eye. for I was quick. I was thoroughly used to the motion of the vessel. though. of course. thinking of this man helped to cure me. And Whenever ever face. and I could haul powerfully on the halyards and braces.
I just felt that I could the better of me. thought. and I thought the On for time had I now come the sailor who had for sick. striking him when he was helpless was no way to right things. I looked carefully over him. Even though a man did not know his work. fresh. I would see what he He was there. It was fine to feel the clean. black town. I would like to kill I him and pitch him overboard. And the . of it I smiled to myself. to be out in this vast open of moving waters. was a wonder- ful life sensation. It me to settle matters with struck me when was was our watch below in the fo'castle. My eye was still sore and black from the blow. and I noticed him standing near his bunk. sharp wind striking full into the face. annihilate him. and when I thought I had him now.My I First Voyage into It 29 such as putting a vigour of life me had never felt before. felt fit the seventh day out I anything. after being shut up all one's in a dull. sodden. and was made of. noting where and how I would hit I never thought that he might get him.
sitting about talking. He said nothing. And as he followed over on that side. keeping my eye fixed on his eye. who were us." said again to him. but came for me. I to talk in such a way to a you kicked me. It was a feint. making the blow more effective. too. I backed again it was a big fo'castle and then I sank myself down a little to the left and reached out. He staggered against the side of a bunk . when " And I was sick. I turned to the right like lightning jumped to and landed of his face. looked at and became to Something was going for was a rare thing happen! a green hand sailor. my fist heavily on the side The ship chanced the be I lurching towards me at instant struck." I gave him a push with my open hand. : your time to strike me again. " Come on. Don't be afraid.30 A Man Adrift shame of the blow swept through me as I walked up to him and said "You struck me when I was sick and Now's not able to do anything back. and backed quickly a couple of paces." The quiet. It rest of the watch.
in AFTER all. I was too quick for him. The first blow had knocked him stupid." There was no response. and four men were selected for The the lookout. and he was not able to give me any return. ! He had " I'll fight the best man in this watch. polish brass work. pounding him in the face and ribs. So for all practical purposes . to steering was done by four quartermasters. I turned to the rest of the watch who were all eyes and said quietly. The main work was clean. his over blood. and keep the paint free from dust. and asked had enough. It is astonishing how dust collects at sea. by the collar.My First Voyage I 31 and before he knew where he was was right close up to him. dragged him up him if he had Dropping him again. there was to not much real sailoring to be done aboard this steamer. keep everything holystone decks. Besides. And now face all he was down I in a heap.
and bend . one in a And the wind came with such fury and force that sensation from the body and it drove from the brain. The moon and clearly a out. indescribable uproar. I could push a holystone with the best of them no great feat after all. We could do thought nothing but gasp and hold on to something with the death-clutch. I'll never forget that night to the end of my It suddenly became pitch black. stars. or when the wind was blowing from the wrong quarter. And and I could braces.32 I A Man Adrift was as good a steamship sailor as anyone else. life. were blotted There was nothing for the watch on deck to do but to grope slowly along like blind men. haul strongly on halyards Usually the sails were only put on the vessel to keep her steady in heavy weather. And then the hurricane dropped on us. One night at twelve o'clock a short hurricane came down upon us. moment which had been shining before. It was as if the sea and the heavens and the thunders and the great ship suddenly became horrible.
mendous. shapeless thing of destruction. And the stars and moon came But the seas out again. All through the next day through these terrible seas we as strained if we were following cane. from which sensation had been suddenly driven. I over the I did not even feel was just a blind. were with us the gigantic. The the hurricane had swept tre- out into distance a flying. awful seas. let go what he was clutching on he would be dashed down. was going on in blind darkI was ness. Its minutes. And to. The wake of the hurriforward-deck had become in the c . shining clearly. I were sweeping was so stunned that seas fear.My a if First Voyage 33 so as to get a chance to breathe. gasping and shrinking and The end of things had come clutching. All at once the hurricane died down. All this ! Immense ship. sweeping. end was nearly as sudden as its behad only lasted a few It ginning. for the force of the wind striking down our heads man he in the face would choke him. clutching thing.
Where the kid and potatoes and meat . the sea was upon me. I No boat could be sent after him. The ship only remained steady for three or four seconds. she steadied.34 A Man Adrift to wait amid- most dangerous. Then was the time to make the dash along the deck for the fo'castle. one of these the cook's had the bad luck to be caught in I had just come from seas. As down. and watch settled One had ships at the beginning of the main-deck for the instant when the ship down and became steady. and if one waited too long the sea would again be thundering over the deck. I and the meat vessel watch's waited amidships at the main deck before for I made my steady herself dash forward for to the fo'castle. And once overboard. I I and this before slipped could recover myself. he would be swept overboard. I got up. he could never be got again. but time. If a man were caught in it. galley with for a kid the full of potatoes supper. I dashed along the fore-deck. but I had hardly got three-parts of the way when I slipped again.
again It struck me. that I was still on board. heaved up clear out of the water. that I I like a top. The water was boiling and fighting over and around me. and kept there I don't know how. though I felt must be overboard. to my utter surprise. my legs. By a miracle I had been swept into the lee scupper. stiff There But over the deck. too. and washed me from my a sea thundered clutch on the halyard as if I were but a feather that was lying against it. and I found. The awful force of the water did not strike a straight direction. I crawled down into the fo 'castle. but was picked up and swept against the foremast as I were a cork. spinning me in round and round enough. Many I was glad to be alive. but it seemed to whirl in a sort of circle. I around the stuck. when suddenly I struck against someThen the next instant I was thing hard. I twined rope. And big. Strangely kept my senses. I flung out my arms and clutched the fore-halyard for my life. a poor fellow has met his death .My went to if I First Voyage I 35 don't know.
and never a big blow as they were got again. though a boat was always got were humanly possible. as the sailors called it. used to tell of Occasionally the sailors it in their watch below. Lowering a boat for a man was rarely ever of use in rough weather. In the winter time the North Atlantic. out if it was of all the oceans of the world the most dangerous and ugly in this respect. so terribly cold. Some told chums who had gone out suddenly into violent death. or the Western Ocean. At last we were off the banks of New- . trip across In fact. How poor Tom in was carried off.36 in A Man Adrift by being caught and carried overboard a heavy sea. in the winter time some sailors would not ship for a it at any price. rounding the Horn. or how poor Bill was gone overboard an hour before he was missed sailor in at all ! the fo'castle There was not a who had not an of actual first-hand knowledge some of such sad experience. Squalls and short hurricanes were inAnd it was cessantly springing up in it.
and in time I would make a good sailor-man first sighted land one morning at in ! We sunrise. but with the joy was a tinge of regret . off It came up on the horizon away on the stoning of the port-bow. for one of the sailors had given me some socks and and the bo'sun had given me mittens an old pea-jacket that was very warm. me. decks at the said to " We me : were holy time. and " one sailors ! There's America dark line. and the fogs which usually lie here in the winter had lifted. First Voyage 37 The weather had moderated. The voyage would soon be I over now! The thought filled me with joy. But I mind that much. but still I must said. My fight with the sailor had created a . favourable was green.My foundland. It had grown much colder the halyards . It was a relief to feel the thing like running with somesmoothness after its heaving vessel and stressing through the heavy weather. and braces were bedded did not in ice. they have something I impression on my behalf. looked at the low-lying.
up on the horizon as a It dark morning was most The sky was so blue and beautiful. free ocean ! ! And lands boy. was a clearer and I this land that at first crept line. air. was getting used to feel the press winds. and the sun. still I loved in it. clear beauty of the morning. and land all the longings I . which was well up clear. now. was shining with a searching. intense feeling. were times when it brought terror. The strange. but was so fine of the great. clearer. I here was the land one of the had dreamed of when It was becoming faint. and the sight of the land off in the distance. but the northern softness. was cold. brought to me a moment of curious.38 to it. if had suddenly realised in this scene of ocean. heaving stretch of the ocean. to see the strong There vast. It was a higher and more acute feeling In it was sadthan that of happiness. A Man It Adrift I at leaving the ship. The great. It was as ness and joy and everything. that was my appealed to something blood to some instinct I It had inherited.
grinding our way through the thick Off floating ice of the Delaware River. and then in a few hours we were grinding. A new world was before me. good. in Philadelphia. but to me came this glorious. close. cold I was but tell and hard-looking. to see it. strange moment. The next day and the day after that we ran along favoured with calm The voyage was nearing its weather.My and wishes of it First Voyage I I 39 my life. It from the bank of the river stretched a country that was winter-bound. this country. was glad it For who could what held in store for tied me? up to the wharf. through suffering. walked through the phia I I streets of Philadel- hopeful. though had not a penny in my pocket. felt strong and . And soon the pilot came aboard. And now we were We was were over. The voyage Busy men were rushing about shouting English in a curious flat accent. The next morning I left the ship for And as I It was on a Sunday. had come to was but a com- mon hand working on the ship.
making a bare exist- ence by the doing of stray. tempting displays in the shop windows. winding country roads that seemed to He has go on without end for ever. looking for work. odd jobs. and he is touched with the general movement. even if he may not speak to them. and the long. The curious. The people 40 . ADRIFT ! THE magic of a great town A man goes into it when he is hard up and lonely and wearing shabby clothes. lonesome magnetism of the He has been off places. been so long communing with himself that he feels the need of contact with other human beings. and the ever-passing crowds and the bright. clean streets. mighty town possesses him.III. or he has been working his way hither and thither. He wishes to be near people and to hear their voices. Or he may have been going along over bare. in small.
Adrift 41 he has seen off from the town have been but stray and passing. The town was here long. approaching a strange a town. Or it may be that a man to is one who native may not go back is again his Now he place. The people who knew him once may be dead or But still gone. kinship has for him a though warmth and a sense of rest. or may not know him. there is for him the town. where He now proaching the great town and he it is thrilled. that . The town that is his town. He is glad to even though he be penniless. Lone ships that move on and on till they are lost in the dread. . even as himself. mysterious distance. townbut still get to it. is place hard with him. that a may be foreign man has come from things have apof his native at last is some gone land. Vague be. even as it is the town of him who is fine and great. Men who It are adrift. long after he has crumbled and gone to dust. is for here something that this akin to him. long before him the town that will last long.
sound of its mighty life. The magic of a great town! . is He is to to him ? stance through the magic of circumHe may. Even though he must How its be to see the spires of in churches arising will the distance! How the faint. And stride. find a Then he will go and purse of gold. fulness life of the pleasure of ! In the town Yes. this town but he it.42 A Man glad he glad he faint will Adrift face strangers. buy himself a good dinner. and new. Soon he will see the spires arising in the distance. in a street. be to hear. to coming coming And who knows what chance may do Who knows what may happen for him ? it! It is far off. He will stretch himself in the life. fine clothes. far away. give him the town! The town where no one knows him where no one knows of what he of the has done life where he may begin a new > he goes on with firm where fortune may await him.
Here I shipped on an oyster-boat to dredge for Chesapeake Bay. LIFE ON AN OYSTER-BOAT AFTER many days tramping self in I found my- the city of Baltimore.IV. And you were bound by the same laws oysters in the and you would be bound by if you shipped on a deep-water vessel that was going to round the Horn "Cape rules that Stiff." as the sailors call it. dredging grounds we had nothing to do but to sail the schooner. The were fifteen dollars a month. the captain's machine his He if had power thought I it to strike or shoot you he shipped necessary. which was an easy 43 On way down to the . You were slave. and sailed down the the bay. on a small schooner. and wages one had to ship for a month at least.
She on filled had the amidships sides for two crab-winches port and starboard the dredges oysters. A Man as there Adrift all were.44 task. so as to allow the dredges to pass easily. a dredge lay on either side near the gunwale. and rollers put on a level with the planking of the deck. In working time these were put in readiness to be heaved overboard at a word from the captain. A word about the dredging outfit of our aboard. sharp teeth. Across the mouth of the bag was a steel bar. in which was a row of long. Each man was armed with a " culling hammer. who then steered the boat The gunwales were cut away. The dredge was trian- gular in shape. and was simply a strong iron frame with a steel chain bag pend- ing from the large end. schooner. told. It winding to in when took a they had four with winch." . men a Fastened to stout. fifteen-fathom rope. These scraped in the oysters as the dredge dragged over the bed. ten men It took us two days to get on account of head winds. down.
which he used for breaking off extra shells that were stuck to the oysters. About an hour before dawn. and inform us that the time had arrived for us to sally forth to and unjoyfully. the cook. was work out of us. who cabin. work was much the same as another. Blankets were The to get we for froze to death or captain didn't care whether All he cared not. where we slept. voice and put on if our clothes that is. we Reluctantly would arise at the sound of the cook's toil. we had been warm enough them off. narrow head and a long shaft.Life on an Oyster-Boat 45 a hammer with a long. After creeping shiveringly out of the manhole and on to the deck. anchored every night in We . huddled gether like rats. our first job was to haul up the anchor and loose the sails. and for separating the oysters from the loose shells when the contents of the dredge were One day's dumped on deck. the night before to take scarce. lived aft would with the captain in come forward to the the to- fo'castle.
. " Heave " from the captain at the ing ! wheel. the schooner would be making all speed for the dredgArrived there. and splash would go both dredges simultaneously. gradually bars. which usually con- sisted of codfish-hash. damp winter wind which was usually blowing before daylight. into the Whilst breakfast. which were scraped into the chain bags by the toothfilling "Wind!" when the the captain would command dredges had passed over the whole width of the bed. Getting up the anchor was always a terrible job.46 A Man Adrift any small bay or cove that came nearest or handiest. file and one by one we would cabin to eat. and coffee. was being doled out in detail. we would ground. The speed of the schooner checked considerably as the dredges dragged over the oyster bed. because of the raw. "Breakfast!" the cook would shout. as a man from either ! side heaved them overboard. get to our places at the winches. bread. with oysters.
awful swells that are to be met with in mid . but in the one horrible strain wind ! wind ! we didn't notice it. and breath was strained to the muscle. there are lost in the shallow.Life on an Oyster-Boat will 47 would With a the whole of us suddenly bend our strength upon the handles of the winches. and wind with all our might and main. Every nerve. choppy waters of the North Sea than anywhere Oh. Proportionately. During the winding the schooner would be tossing about like a feather and shipping seas. the terror of that awful winding! I'd sooner help to take in frozen sails in a Cape Horn. gale off tightest possible tension. least bit it was instantly felt by the All had to fuse their strength into The cold seas desperate whole. It is well to remark for the benefit of those who don't know that the short choppy seas of a shallow bay are harder to contend with than are the gigantic.ocean. If a man slacked up the rest. more ships else. Wind Would the internal strain ! . washed us from head to foot.
it a man were though I every fibre had never I anything like before nor have since. the oysters out of the heap we quickly shovelled the loose shells. Any extra shells that were sticking them we broke off with our " culling hammers. above the and their contents fell dumped out in a heap. appeared Up ! up ! gunwale and they were on deck." As soon as we had got all to Culling. have done the hardest and roughest sort of labouring. Up! up! At last the necks of the dredges rollers. a before the so as captain had put the boat about to cross the oyster bed again and was ready to give the word to heave the . usually." called the picking out of the oysters. flinging the oysters behind us to form a pile. and " the seaweed overboard. By the time we had got little out all it. oysters. or.48 never cease in felt A Man ? Adrift if I It seemed as cracking. Then we menced sible on our knees and com- to separate as quickly as posthe oysters from the loose shells. as we was the a soft of rest after the terror of the winding. the stones.
The day was ended. and took in and furled the sails. filed. fast washed up the deck. real Thus we never got a breathing Again would corr. and de- into the fo'castle. and then we jected. wet.e the terrible winding. barring a few moments we got to snatch a bite of food. for the Arriving there. we let go the anchor. After that came supper. 49 dredges overboard. It gave one a sense of a sense of peace. there were fine life.Life on an Oyster-Boat spell. and made the dredges. however sad or hard they may be. was done. II STILL. The D jib of the schooner . At sundown we made nearest cove or harbour. and again would come the culling. This awful work would continue without a break up to sundown. weary. as there are fine moments moments in in the all lives. It was fine to stand on the foredeck of the little schooner and feel towards the harbour when her rushing our day's work rest.
and compare notes as to what they had been doing since the last season. the captains were If a a lot of brutal bullies. man didn't have the fighting instinct strong in him he was very apt to get knocked about If you sailed down the Bay with some . indeed. still in a sort of a way it appealed to me. I used to think and wonder about many things then. They had been murdered and pitched overboard by the captains and mates. and greet each other. At the beginning of every oyster season they would turn up in Baltimore. And.50 A Man I Adrift stood out like the wing of a giant bat. As a rule. there were fellows who had been at it years and years. iron facts has a charm of its own. Being faced with grim. I used to wonder how long would be a dredger. Though the life was hard. dredgers had a saying that if you ever once got the dredging-mud on you The you would always come back to it again. Bodies of in men were found floating the Bay. Often there were black tragedies in the life.
When they had finished eat- two of the men would be called in. knocked flat with the butt of a and like revolver. against but the laws didn't work. were bed. . enough get the Some captains kicked out of you. A word as the way we used the to First get our food. used to have loaded revolvers lying life within actually grasp while the men oyster sure. and the cook would ladle out the food them on to the plates that the for ing. of to You your had of to be ready out with sheath-knife it into to offered and give the whole blade the mate or captain who strike In no other you.Life on an Oyster-Boat to 51 go captains you had the whole length be the ready to rope. of course. you way could a man. There the working over the were laws. to be ill-using and to killing of men. captain and They. wouldn't keep up your style as Fighting back with your fists be You would be worth a rap. the mate would eat. would have clean plates and clean knives and forks.
another. looking little sailor man. would be called one every board two and so on. as time as possible in eating. you were kept The idea was to take up till the last. little I remember getting into I a row over this custom on one boat cook was called Scotty. favour with the captain. with a scarred He was the captain's face. hard fight little till block of a fellow. During the whole course of the meal the two plates and the knives and forks would not be washed. When others till men on had in finished. toady. as If you were out of the case may be. and hard eyes. . One morning breakfast I I came aft I into the cabin for believe . who would For some reason or he dropped. and I didn't We used to scowl at each other like him. he was a stout. You had to eat from the dirty plate of another man. he didn't like me. or four other men. or two other men. now and then. had eaten. The was a mean- But for all that. He was on.52 captain A Man and these Adrift just the mate had used. and to save the cook trouble.
he his to strike me. and he raised mate at truth. to tell the he was a plucky little fellow. I like a man? turned to who stood scowling at me. I He knew he would have his back.Life on an Oyster-Boat last 53 at was one of the two men filled I and sud- denly a sense of revolt sight of the dirty plate me the off. I had to eat Why plate should ? I be a dog any more. if asking this that the scowl left his He was dumfounded. The cheek of for a clean plate was somemy asking And rage took the thing unspeakable. place of surprise. I if determined to take chances necessary on getting a long drop and a scragging . the captain and the Besides. Scotty was so surprised at my face. I thought Why shouldn't I have a clean Scotty. who lived forward in the forepeak. He fist swore at me said. But had had enough of the whole thing. He would show me. while was only an' ordinary dredger. horribly. Scotty in It was as aft I a dog had spoken. and didn't asked him roughly why he give me a clean plate. the lived with the captain cabin.
killed anyone. let him have a the mouth. the whole infernal degradation of broke in on me like a lightningI And the life flash I while as was fighting. If I A Man If I Adrift fought I'd have to go to the whole hog. fist As I Scotty raised his suddenly and swinging blow full in rose cabin. but I was a much bigger and stronger man. His head struck against the bulking of the And I till rained it half-arm punches on his face was a mass of blood. I And felt was punching him was fighting with a rope round my neck. The chances were I'd get shot. . there was no it. He fought me as well as he could. And tried to Scotty. But he got away from me up the cabin He realised steps and on to the deck. But my blood was up. I thought I might kill well end it. and when that's the case a man might for as well go in for a sheep as a lamb. He all I hadn't the the time I ghost of a* show. chance at all about I'd get hung. to strike me.54 rope.
Nothing to do but to eat and sleep and go ashore occasionally We were anchored about a for water. where I was faced with the captain and the mate. But I was ready for them. Then we had a good time. didn't offer to interfere. on a sloop that was frozen ice for nearly Once up in I was solid a month. and we . hundred yards from the shore. to fight for all he was my They During the whole affair the men mates stood in a group forward. fight had been I followed him up on deck. The knocked out of him. too and seeing that I was ready they came to the conclusion that the easiest it way out of was the best. the animal instinct to save himself uppermost in him. season began in October March the six coldest and hardest months of the year. I After that The dredging and ended in always got a clean plate. him that it was no joke doing a man up who was ready worth. The captain calmed I suppose it dawned upon things down.Life that on an Oyster-Boat in 55 and came he was danger of his life.
It was freezing very hard. too. The lads on the sloop kept . and made hardly any headway. And one hour reached into two hours. and stepping on them would mean mean falling into the water. and two together. so as to bring aboard a barrel of water and some flour and bacon. afternoon another fellow and myself got the yawl ashore. and work our way back to the sloop. But this The loose ice stopped. that perhaps we couldn't Then we saw make the sloop it that night. frozen together behind us. for We worked hours into three hours. for the reason that there were large pieces of loose ice on both sides of the yawl. So we thought better in to make for we were had of the shore again. to We loaded up the yawl. The loose ice floatthe channel had become frozen an hour. began but when we had got about half way ing in we were blocked up.56 A Man One Adrift had cut a channel through the ice. Nor could we land on the ice on either side us. which would death. so as to get the little yawl backward and forward.
We it foot by foot along They had put on the roof of the cabin. They pulled us and gave us a big stiff drink of aboard. and then. But we were getting anxious. which fixed us up all right.Life on an Oyster-Boat 57 shouting to us from time to time to cheer us up. It whisky. with the help of their tugging. stiff the night be frozen it would mean that we should to me an eternity the ice slowly began to fought the channel to the sloop. We worked on and on. darkness and night had come upon us. lights move. smashing at the And after what seemed ice with our oars. we got alongside the sloop. If we had to stay in the yawl through And now by morning. to the yawl. was midnight. so that the reflections would show us where to the for ice. strike at At to fast enough which we made them last we got near throw us a rope. eight hours to It had taken us about go a hundred yards. Saturday nights we would go to Cambridge a little town on the eastern shore of the On Bay and tie up till Monday .
drunk. as as a scourings matter of fact. And whisky what we bought. rough lot 'of uncouth It men. We were a bad to But we weren't too bad do the beastly work of dredging. but the faces of the men. Yes. their hard. Where now? Where of a dredge. we used to get drunk.58 morning. is You all could buy a lot of whisky in Cambridge for a dollar. We of were the looked earth upon which. Years and years have gone by since that time. the dredgers I knew. are still clear in my memory. or fight with the police. we used to get Then we used interfere to fight with if one they another. faces rise Aye. The dredgings lot. tried to with the us. we were. into the Then we would town to have a good time. In other words. Where are they gone? are they ? Drudges Nobody . weather-worn are they before me. And why not ? was the only thing left open for us. we dredgers. of the earth. A Man Adrift get an advance perhaps of a dollar apiece from the capArmed with this we would go up tain. We were a dirty.
A fine Dublin. Galway were all Paddy of us to fight me. whose town. One Saturday night. everyone to throw a have an affection for them for comrades in hardship and There is nothing brings men misery. at. knew it. I have a fondness for them all. many of us dredgers had almost forgotten our real names. He was an Irishman man. and nobody asked his real name. the Connaught man. his was a Dublin Nobody sponsor.Life on an Oyster-Boat cares. flowing. and Belfast. We having a hilarious time. And there was Galway Paddy. 59 knows and nobody driftage! Poor human Dogs I stone all. His town became Indeed. for the captain and mate had gone ashore till Monday. Even poor little Scotty. Aye. and lots of others. My name was Reddy because I had red hair. So the whisky was singing songs. had become wanted his sponsor. and Tom Conroy. telling and and we were one another . too. I would like My to see even him. so close together. whom I fought with. fellow There was Dublin.
and the Connaught man knocked him out in short order. I I used to make thanks. Gal way Paddy. challenged me to fight. challenged at last Dublin Tom It man. I stood on to the wharf big pile the boat was made fast a and cheered on Dublin. and having no reasons declined it to quarrel with him. but on this occasion he was too drunk.60 been. But he for persisted. and one of us stood on the roof of the cabin holding a lantern so that the men could Dublin was see to punch each other. a good man to fight. once till brought on another. was just will getting to let ready much against my . who was my particular friend. after They deck. talk A Man All at Adrift where we had been and where we hadn't about someone began to and one word fighting. to fight with a rule never without a reason. who was backing up the Connaught I man. Conroy. and finally he made a rush I me from the deck. When he got knocked out. the Connaught agreed to fight on the was a dark night. liked Paddy.
hard left-and-right. I often think of him.Life him have to on an Oyster-Boat a 61 when. sure enough. and no room for him to swim. my intense surprise. for there was nothing for him to grab at. who never had had the ghost of a chance in this big world. and It was disappeared. and the first thing he knew was the finding of him- yanked was a good job I was sober Paddy up. I He would have been drowned. This stopped the But Dublin. though he was but a rough hulk of a dredger a magnetic. As he was making the drive for me he stepped on nothing. enough. that true. the indomitable Patrick suddenly I dark. they do not I. And right here I would like to say a word It is said concerning labouring men. fighting. He was a fing type of man. able man. couldn't make out where he I had got neath Pull to till heard a voice down be" : me spluttering out me up! I'm dhrownin'!" Reddy It ! was poor Paddy. between the boat and the the wharf. think. icy It self in cold water. This is not who have been a labouring .
62 man. grim. fine man. and. above all. and though he had been in' prison often and often. He one of the sudden in squalls in the that come up the winter time Chesapeake Bay. fighting in the cold ! and Dublin died rest waters. He would give the last cent he had to a stranger if the He was sympastranger needed it. God him was a brave. I mean that they have more genuine mind-power. whatever its scope evolved from a first-hand experience of actual Poor Dublin! He was lost at night in was drowned. iron The facts. brave. little He was scull- ing a yawl to the schooner he be- longed to. and who are alleged to be intellectual. labourer is faced with and is his judgment life. The squall struck the yawl and capsized her. to Adrift the fact that. thetic and noble. are in men who than rough of and illiterate have more vigour the thought and imagination have received educational men who advantages. though he did get drunk. and though he did fight. He . the A Man bear witness main.
. of having been his friend.Life on an Oyster-Boat pal in 63 He face. of having taken his hand. Dredger though he was. was my my friend. though he had known the inside of prisons. I Everyone liked him. am proud of having known him. tramp though he was. He had blue eyes and and he was a middle-sized man of a powerful build. There was fair something fine the expression of his hair. I never knew his real name.
we would be it to weather But white caps began to show on the waves. We had more than twenty tons burthen. sure enough. and headed WE for off Black Walnut Harbour. We thought able that. spells of wind.V. and far off on the north-west the sky was gradually darkening. been dredging for oysters all Our little schooner was not the morning. and well the captain thought in we might as be getting to harbour. FIGHTING A NOR'-WESTER hauled in our dredges. 64 . The weather had begun to look ugly. out till sunset. likely enough. and there were seven men of us aboard. We were in for a nor'-wester. all told. and a nor'-wester always means It was near the end of the business. All the morning there had been a nasty swell and now and then smartish rolling. which lay about seven miles to the north-west.
wind-gusts. but there was no other place for us to make for. as I was coiling the dredge rope round the neck of the starboard dredge. It was Hobson's choice. and strained if she would break away. dan- Suddenly. and the tops of the waves looked like the edges of of big. tear- ing flames as the flashed on them. We were in Right in a whirl of flying. was no harbour at all for a nor'-wester. Besides. it. If we could make right this we would be sheltered a good deal. The harbour we were making for lay off right dead in the eye of the wind. in fact. The jib bellied out. forward to ease the sheet. Go in or stay out. there was a small bend in it to the west over at the end. streaks lightning We were shipping murderous-looking seas.Fighting a Nor'-wester month of December gerous waters of the Chesapeake Bay. Beating up in the eye short of the wind with meant making very tacks . and. the nor'-wester smashed I down rushed on as us. It was dark now. 65 in the shallow. and claps of thunder. cutting spray.
drowning rats.66 A Man Adrift everything close reefed and the sheets hauled down flat. Jack and I were amidships hanging on halyards. over his ears. with ever. the lappets of his sou'-wester tied down His brother stood by him. cold work. In a gale of wind there . and it looked If a big sea as if she might swamp. weather boat. her before she were to bear down upon was had the recovered business from the sea before. my I fingers even through the thick mittens time it wore. along harder but the gale broke than The captain was at the wheel. took the foresail We Then we worked slowly with the jib and short mainsail. The frost numbed in altogether. would be done. to the mainsail The schooner labouring terribly. heavylike and die freezing. It up was hard. She was of the wrong shape and of too small a tonnage to be a good. and we would be fighting for our lives in the We would struggle a little cold waters. Victor was forward tending the jib sheet. By this had lightened up again.
wind was so strong that we were The not able to make the very short tack could we . chopping seas and a wind that cut you and wrenched you and stung you to the bone for at the same time. schooners were straining and tugging at their anchors inside the They had been caught suddenly. How we managed it I don't know. and had no time to make for a better harbour from the nor'-wester. Frank. All of us cold. desperate fight with big. Now we bend. it would be all right. managing to us some coffee we would never have been able to do anything. as we were caught. a drink or a tight place. the cook. After a long and hard time we beat our way up to the edge of the harbour. is Hot good mixed with and whisky. If were in and close up to the make our way up But we couldn't. were drenched through and deadly Only make coffee.Fighting a Nor'-wester is 67 nothing like having plenty of tonnage under you. It was one continuous. Sloops harbour.
Adrift to let necessary to get our anchors go So we had right where we were. to For a while we seemed But all be all right. In heavy weather the more chain there is out to the anchor it the better chance has of holding. The other boats in the harbour their were holding dently had much pared with their size than but they eviheavier anchors com- own. We fixed buoys on to the chains before we cast them off. It was like running into death. so that we could find them afterwards. Crunch Drag There was nothing for us to do but to let the anchors go altogether. This had been the chief reason for our trying to make the at bend. once our anchors began. . They were too light. and then we turned and made for the mouth of There was nothing the harbour again.68 A Man in. The minute they chocked the schooner up we began to pay out all the chain we could afford. we had. to drag. Drag ! ! ! for it but to run out into the nor'-wester till and take our chances itself the gale wore down.
She had bowsprit wrenched off. closed and For a few seconds the boats seemed to grapple together. The object of going out again after we had lost our anchors was to save the boat. What we were going to do was not very clear. At this point the German who belonged to our help to crew got on to the big schooner to In a minute push our boat off. We might be swamped or something might give way. free of her we were and rushing on before the gale. it. He had stopped aboard the big schooner. part Both of us suffered. . could hardly blame him. them. but when we looked round for the German he was gone. and our fore-shrouds were torn away on the of her port side. however. We were staking to our lives for And lose it looked as if we were going No one could tell what would come from one minute to another. We for our losing in game had too many chances of it.Fighting a Nor'-wester 69 Right near the edge of the harbour we collided with a big schooner swinging at anchor.
it. The wooden jib-traveller broke away all at once. but I could see noThe sea had swallowed thing of him. We could do nothing. and Victor.yo A Man Adrift an accident happened. the end of a rope. up in the air as if he had been shot out of a rushed forward and flung over flying him go right up. I of saw Victor clean as I gun. He had been jamming the jib sheet to leeward with his big iron ring at the bottom of the sheet. We shouted. to It is awful to see a man all death in such a way. who was standing on it. The jib was flapping viciously. The traveller. had caught the in the middle of suddenly force and traveller had smashed upwards through the the wind on the jib. It only little astern would have been worse than that would have lived in no more than a few seconds the sea was running. The first thing to do was to let it down with . And now was flung overboard. life-buoy yawl that The captain flung out the we had. which ran along the foot. Lowering the hung useless.
And then I worked my way schooner slowly up to the bowsprit. I looked overboard. There was too much reason simple. Then he us. which I did. because of there being no jib to steady her. and I heard it again. The He had escape from death was had been flung overboard in the direction that the boat was going. water right under of the boat. and she right on to him. my head. The was tossing about now more than ever. Then I thought I heard a voice coming from somewhere I turned forward. and had had drifted a drink of hot coffee.Fighting a Nor'-wester 71 a run. and I saw Victor. fought along with the rest of . A splinter from the traveller had struck him. He was all right again. and yanked him aboard. but we didn't have time to tell him so. caught him in the by the scruff of the neck. as soon as he got his head tied up. A stream of blood was running down his face. for his to be done. clinging to the bobjust reached down. He was down the bow I stay. We were glad to have him safe aboard again. however.
You had to stick for all or you were gone. shipping could be done with the jib. and slowly I would find myself lifted up again. But at last we had it finished. It was one hand for yourself and the other for the boat. It was the ugliest job men ever tackled. and stick like iron. The next thing to do was to raise the reef it as close down as we foresail. the water rise bury itself right and bury itself again. could. bowsprit would suddenly water. was Then. but It was blowing too hard. and we got inboard. and raise the peak of it it a little. stuck on the foot-ropes I don't know.j2 A Man tried to rig Adrift up a sort of traveller for the jib with blocks and lashings. Our idea was to try and make take the to place of the jib by giving more sheet . it was no use. nothing Jack and I crawled out on each side of floundering and How we the bowsprit and tied it down. We And as all the while the schooner seas. As I was cautiously and slowly tying a knot I would The down in you were worth. I find my head a foot under would gulp.
and knots that slip on a boat may mean knot slips when death." it We may never Frank evidently thought dangerous to swear than to knot. Besides. I swore hard at Frank as the " said. was next to me helping to reef. Don't swear at a time like touch land again. He shuddered. grannie A a strain comes upon it. knot myself. it. even if a man could keep his head in the big seas he would be frozen . end we were successful fearful but we had a job reefing numbed with cold. I might as well have kept them on though. was more tie an unsafe There was nothing best. for all the chance I would have had.Fighting a Nor'-wester it 73 In the than we gave to the mainsail. I to do after this but for the to run before the gale and hope pulled off my big sea boots so as to have whatever chance there was of swimming when the time came. I undid and retied and this. for the shore was fifteen or twenty miles away. . and standing I saw him tie a grannie knot. the cook. for our hands were Frank.
The night was upon us now. The long. The run the thing was get into and schooner ashore. the captain saw. he was more than a boy.d. away an inlet that he knew. but little The captain's brother began for to cry. soaked boots made my feet cold anyway. But I must say the for He stuck to game. and we knew where we were we were . the en. his face set and calm.74 up in A Man no time. We before got into the inlet all right. captain the wheel was He was a man from the eastern part of Maryland. Still. to The beach of it was sloping and sand. hour after hour. one couldn't blame him. the gale broke on as hard as ever. It was this that saved us for in off. and the But moon came out clear and bright. able to see the lie of the bay shore being was a good thing. We from Black Walnut had run farther Harbour than we of this inlet thought. Adrift in But all a tight time one instinctively does one can.
my body I to create in had lived in the midst of absolute to kennel filth in. The was so gradual that we could hardly ourselves beaching. But we were snug and out stayed there two days. I. of danger. had weathered the nor'-wester.had worked my life out to create wealth for others. I was as hard up as when I began.Fighting a Nor'-wester safe 75 slope feel and sound on the sand. Labour had brought me nothing but hardship and degradation. fighting brute of a man I would have been struck and ill-used into the bargain. had worked the blood and muscle out of wealth for others. and for my reward I had neither a place to sleep . Then We we went back and picked up our anchors. and We everything was calm and quiet again. And when the nor'-wester had worn itself out. Aye. ******* I to Black Walnut Harbour At last I grew tired of dredging. a dog a place not fit If I hadn't been a dangerous. And the gale roared and roared. we pulled ourselves off the beach at high tide.
76 in A Man eat. I thought? I got neither reward nor respect. . Adrift nor a bite to What was the use of working at all. So I faced about and became a tramp.
You are dispirited. You will forget where and how you began to think. be penniless tramp care Is a no curious experience. Your thoughts waver. and without self-respect. You are in a mental chaos. Things about you seem vague and elusive. You for and no one cares for you. You haven't spirit enough to steal you haven't continuity of mind enough to plan a course of action. You are a link dissevered from the human chain. or As you shuffle along people glance at you as they pass. dirty. Projects will 77 come up before . And caring you wander hardly knowing where you wander. ON TRAMP and on To one. Scorn is in their eyes. that the world The aphorism owes every man a living . does not apply to you. for you are a man without a home a man without friends.VI.
You may be one who has belonged to the topmost class you may be a labourer. sharp resentment. you You would feel hard. or you ask alms of stray. How shameful You would have thought that ! death would be preferable. passing men. You knock at the doors of houses and ask for something to eat. you may be a man with a future. And you beg for bread. or a man . in It may have been life that at one time your you would have thought it You would impossible for you to beg. If a man had . you are or what you were matters You may be a man with a past. to rob. A Man and they If Adrift you grasp enough in you would hate everything and everybody. from out the dispirited filth of the slums.78 you. will fade before you had force You would like to do You would destroy. have shuddered at the bare idea. But you are impotent your pulse is down Who not. you shuffle along. to like to hold the world in the hollow of your hand so that you might crush it. murder. or a low-down thief. them.
And you walk on and on. bearing with you a wonderful dream world. Perthat haps when you did think of able-bodied men begging you thought ball it them as wretches hardly worth the powder and of would take to feel sad. No is dependent upon you. . you really begin to are. And this is something. one is tempt for you. know who and what you are interested in the strange You have dreams unfoldings of yourself. It when a fine moment comes that you will feel the curious sense of power that beIt may be that longs to utter loneliness. You Still there are times to you. kill them. For time in your life. perhaps. world and fancies and curious longings. You are thrown in upon the first yourself.On Tramp said 79 you would come to this you would have struck him in the face. No one If people have a conwaiting for you. You A opens to you within yourself. at least they let you alone. will feel the sense of freedom that you may be comes from a total lack of responsibility.
they will die in come it to dust. They will For you the sun shines as shines for them. a day. In common with them you can see the strange pictures in the clouds. . who themselves fear the opinions of others all. common with them you have the air to breathe. ? After they will die. Yes. it For you the water In flows as flows for them.80 A Man Adrift What matters to you the contempt of people who move in grooves. you move along with a brisk step you ask for bread without shame. In moments when these thoughts are with you. In common with them you can move and think and see and hear. even as you will die.
we shared the food that we begged from the road. he spoke now and then of his life in the past. We were F just two outcasts who met by 81 . We . distant sort of way as if he were speaking more to himself than to me. the farmhouses we passed on was I Who idea. . He came me his and went out of told suddenly my in a like way. Billy really never had the least idea. True. BILLY BILLY and in the I were partners. but only in a vague. Where he it is now I have no life. jobs. tramped along looking for work together we slept same haystack together we whacked up what little money we got for doing odd When things were absolutely tight.VII. into He name was and that was the end and beginning of anything tangible he had to say about himself. Billy.
he was a tramp like myself. There was a pleasant ring in his voice." he answered. " " Hello. was a beautiful afternoon in tember." I said. bearded noticed him man His clothes were of about forty-five. A Man Adrift and who stayed by each other while circumstances permitted. We we It " I'm going that way. partner ! I I stopped are you and looked at him. The leaves of the trees Sepwere already beginning to turn to the rich varied colours of the fall. His eyes were large and blue. I saw him first as I was going along the road to Baltimore. sad-looking. as world's standpoint. and in them was a curious look of mingled pathos and resentment the look that marks the man whose life has been a failure from the said. and covered with dust.8a chance. and then started on our . "Where bound for?" " Baltimore. and worn.way together. On old the face of it. He was sitting under a hedge on the roadside when I a tired. too. or American . talked for a little while.
Likely never found out who he was. individuality. vital and clear and sustaining in the air. less stepped out freely along the was worth while being a nameI and homeless tramp for the sake of living and moving through a scene like this. and I had no curiosity on that score. Off from the road were glades and forests toned with curious and exquisite colours. I knew as much about him I in the first half hour as ever knew. was an English gentleman who had drifted away from his bearings. for I This was as far as ever got.Billy autumn. As we walked along together. enough he wished to forget it himself. little The man had After a while I found out what I he was. I glad as It road. to the full There was something so the joy of life. 83 I I Though I had no idea where felt would sleep that night. The felt clear cries of birds filled the air. and come He . Billy and I talked He interested me very much not so say. much because of what he had to but because of himself.
The memory We since passed from me. and we determined to wait till grew darker. and began to discuss as to where we should pass the night. when the sun began to sink. human say wreckage. There was no mistaking curious. we came to a halt." him was air that air fine. but I saw it almost at a glance. of that strange aftertalked noon will always be with me. of many things. it . and then to go and We lay down near the climb up into it. About "manner. is it.84 down that in the A Man world Adrift just a piece of not. cornfields tramped on and on for hours and peach orchards and Now and then we saw in the distances stretches of the shining. silver It was the Chesapeake waters of a bay. Off over near a big farmhouse we sighted a haystack. At last. he was a gentleman. We past forests. and when it was dark we crossed hedge. He did of course. the drift of which has Bay. half-insolent that that called Hardship and the humiliation of having to beg for his bread had not robbed him of this.
barking.Billy 85 the field cautiously to the haystack. Then we started out again on We could have got work on the farm. Moving along through the the main road. the charm of tramping the road was upon us. The cool. were afraid of dogs hearing us and setting We We got there all up a . changing open country was a much more alluring prospect than sticking at hard steady work. clear stars were shining above us. but that hardly suited us. At the time I met Billy I was all but to an illiterate man being hardly able . clean hay. as our object was to get to Baltimore. Besides. and we climbed up into the fresh. We had found a most dea fragrant. morning came we got down out of the haystack without being seen. refreshing bed. Our idea was to ask the people there for breakfast. lightful bed after the tramp of the day. right. and When made a detour house from so as to approach the farmthe front. After we had done a little work they gave us breakfast.
however. I longed that if for it seemed to me to had it I would have a chance raise myself. But I felt it to be an advantage. he knew things self easily he could express himand surely. He did not do so knowingly. though of but am afraid my little help to him. It man whose name even you But such was the case. Though he was . but a tramp like myself. and knew something about men. It was rather that was struck with the great ence that lay between us. to appreciate I Billy at his full worth. this advanadvantage over me. It is a curious thing to meet with and be indebted to a don't know. I appreciation was Of the two I alone was the gainer. He had I differ- style . whilst he gave me a great deal.86 A Man But Adrift still I had had a wide experience of actual living. could give him nothing. . Thus I was able read and write. still he had an True. and to possess I it. nevertheless. was Billy who first gave me the idea of trying to educate myself. tage had not been able to stop him from coming down in the world.
in gave But he little I volunteered to help me. I got now. and I would repeat and repeat at last I it after him till got it it. Billy would tell me the right pronunciation. forget grimy. to I way to Billy took the greatest possible. slip in speak- ing he would me and explain to me why was a He told went into the history of the world and of the nations of the world.Billy It 87 that Billy was a curious look I me when I spoke of this to him. but it answered the purpose. pains teach me it as much as When tell it made a of slip. How My first task was to learn to pronounce the big words in it properly. It was dog-eared and it. chanced to have my pocket a or where ten-cent dictionary. And our so went as we slowly tramped on Baltimore. He and me of the mysterious origins He told me how vagaries of religion. for me wonderful . These days were days. the geologists had wrested from the earth and rocks their dim secrets.
A Man We Adrift at cutting worked now and then corn or picking peaches. beautiful with their green leaves full fruit. The farmer would Sleeping on a warm night in a great. have a little money by us to We wanted let to when we got us Baltimore. I liked the odd days we worked in the peach orchards best. we would have supper and go back to then on the barn. looked the with sun shining . smell of the earth and fine its and refreshing is earth Why do people ! How produce. The orchards were filled with an exquisite aroma. roomy barn is In the air is the cool fresh delightful. After working an hour or so. and delicately-coloured. and go us . sleep at night in the barn. And so the trees. and . into the field or orchard. we would come back hungry to breakfast and then we would work on to dinner-time. After sunset up to sunset. lave our faces and hands in water. the smell of the live in towns ? At daybreak and out call the farmer would come and we would get up.
thought pure fields and the clean. I and was sorry of the be in the air. glorious health. and money we had between us was and all a dollar and seventy-five cents. spread them out in the sun. us to take as 89 we The much farmer would allow of the fruit as wanted for ourselves. and the the foul air.Billy through them. Even soiled I the waters bay town. with its calm. We had been tramping all day the we were very tired. looked black from to wharves. The forest and wide came up before me. At our other to times way bathe stop on in a stream. We had got into Baltimore the night before. At last we were in Baltimore. a big town of busy streets and wharves. and lie down and wait for them to dry. Here was nothing but rush and and unrest of hurry. gliding streamfresh waters. Billy . Then we would would wash our clothes. It was so different from the peaceful country. we where lay ships of all descriptions.
Here one could get a bed for ten cents. A Man of Adrift near cheap lodging-house Lightstreet Wharf. who gave Billy a cordial Billy had stayed in the lodging-house on and off for a long time. In the welcome. and a meal for fifteen cents. house were two great rooms. Every man his pillow. or dormibeds each. During all this time Billy on . were lucky enough to pick up some work on the wharf. which held tories. for which we were paid at the rate of twenty Billy and cents an hour. slept with his clothes If this precaution under were not or taken one was apt to wake up and find either his money I if he had any part of his clothes gone. The work was freight rather hard but it unloading a ship was more interesting than labourkept from ing work usually is. and we a went The keeper of it was a man named Murray.90 knew the there. narrow beds stand- ing in two long rows with a space of about a foot and a half between them. fifty They were small.
and all had re- sented like Englishman. would repeat parts of it aloud to Billy. carried into arch- The sublimeness of the thoughts and words a great light. Faust. heart At the once I learned verses in off by be- wonderful the ginning of the poem. talking Billy disparag- England. he I was proud of his country. Soon ******* One night fellow strike in the in lodging-house quarrel. for. muscular from New York I was going This ingly to him. I I felt myself awakening and growing. and he would explain to me the meaning of certain passages. amongst which was a translation of Goethe's masterpiece. me whenever he got some books. man had been of it. where the angels address themselves to God. interfered. was not .Billy teaching I 91 got a chance. I took Billy's part a A big. I had committed to memory I nearly the whole of the great poem. to see something beautiful even began in the my mind squalor around me.
quietly. on. I fight my own " battles.92 much A Man interested in Adrift the matter of hear- ing England blood myself see Billy abused but I being wasn't of Irish going to knocked about. said. "Come Strip off. said again. that he would have no in earthly muscular American. hit Billy. more than laid my quarrel. " No. saw chance BeEnglishman. in his and he was rather slow suitable at all movements." can't size. Look Won't here. I'll I "You your " I I'll on like him. you won't. fighting." said to the American." I pulled off my to coat and the waist." I said to the American. I'm more fight you." Billy did not me to interfere. not " " a fight with the big Billy was not strong. and I stood naked Then . would have the down my Billy. He's " my partner. you mustn't " I. sides. and let's what you can do. rough for quick." he But see took no notice. quarrel I His quarrel was life my for I in fact." by God pick ! he exclaimed. shirt.
All the time
eye peeled. a quick rush.
was on the lookout
The American other men stood
were just about to get to work
Murray, the boss,
This stopped the thing the big room. at once. Murray was afraid of the
strong could polish off the big American.
"English Billy," as him. Years afterin
lodging-house to try and I was no tidings of him. longer
a tramp. for me.
The world had grown
had changed. Murray was still at the old lodgingHe was older and greyer. He house.
him about this English to come and get a bed
at his lodging-
the slightest idea as to who I was. He could tell me nothing. Billy had
gone away years ago.
have ever tackled, shovelling It trying and monotonous.
nity goes with
alleged to go
I can only labouring work the opinion that this dignity is
of the most diaphanous and hard-to-beIt certainly escaped perceived kind. power of observation.
Fellows have asserted to
navvy was "Give him
really fond of his shovelling. his pipe and his glass of beer
evening, and he goes back to his the morning with joy." This assertion has been made to me with varying degrees of emphasis, but truth com-
add that the fellow who so
never had been
asserted was not a navvy
a navvy, and never was likely to be a
And it has person. that the ground upon which he based his assertion was about
as solid and as easy to be seen
of shovelling and other kindred arts. Indeed, the only thing solid the assertion was based upon was
the solidness of ignorance.
have been a navvy, and have necessarily mixed with navvies a great deal,
must bear witness
to the fact that
have never heard one of them speak of
than tones of disgust.
Their eyes have been as blind as my in the matter of seeing where the
had got a job of Columbus, on the railroad track. sniping Sniping
plate-laying in difference is that the
work is harder, and the hours longer, and the men are more bullied by the
that the proud British
tackles a job has to do twice the
much about the same money when everything is considered.
art of shovelling.
Myself and an old Irishman were given a job together to load up cinders on to We worked side by side, and flat cars.
with each other, could, of course, be told
our respective heaps.
was of the genuine type of His father and grandlikely
a poor, last gasp, but
used-up old horse at still able to draw.
with a spirit of emulation,
young man, whilst he was a man who I could see that was nearly at his end he was thinking this as he bent himself He was ould, but he would to his work. G
show the boss how well he could shovel So he went at it as hard as he could. There was no such spirit impelling me. I worked with calmness and ease, and rested now and then. The result was that after some hours there was a
use a comparison, the spective piles. old Irishman's pile looked like one of
Mountains, appearance of a
boss came round, looked at the
and exploded with wrath.
at this poor ould
be your grandfather!
at your pile!
Look at his pile, and look Yez ought to be ashamed
of yourself to
an ould man bate ye!" But I did not feel the sting of shame, and I let my lack of feeling be known to
sharp argument. shovelled harder
young balm of Gilead
of his out-shovelling a strong man and the boss noticing it was
had a go at shovelling A sewer was being Cincinnati.
dug in one of the main streets, and I was put on with some other men at
The night before morning. had wandered around the city, because
had no money
hardly Still, there
get a bed. condition to begin
work and starve, too, for when twelve came lunch time I could get I could not get a sub from no lunch.
the boss as a navvy could
in England. be remembered that the must always
in the States are
they are in England.
stopped at six in the evening
to being able to conbut,
was hopeless as
tinue at the work,
Adrift to would have I was lucky enough be taken by one of the timberers to his But for that I would boarding-house. Added to this. for the contractor only a month. I have often have to give known men in America to up work because they could neither get food nor shelter. to half- give up work in less than an hour because the pace was This sort of murder-work so killing.ioo A Man it. There was a each gang of shovellers who was secretly paid a quarter of a dollar a day more than the rest. I have seen poor. and in addition to it pay. as hard as in he could. starved gives the answer to the question as to why there are so many tramps in the men have . have lost the work. and anyone the gang who could not or would not keep up with him was at once discharged. of in man course. the sun was burning the life out of one. and I could not have paid once waited round for the sake of a dollar and my day's a half. system of The " A ning was in vogue there. shovelling in this sewer was very " runhard work indeed. He would work.
I have tried both. Right here I would like to explode the fallacy to the effect that extreme intellectual labour is more severe than extreme manual labour. surrounding it it . After the day's work I as if could lie was so tired that I felt down and die. is certainly less monotonous. and I must say that my verdict is. and. cents The pay was rate first thirty an hour a of three dollars I a day. in the cleaner in the second place there are no degrading conditions in the third place. worked there or four days unloading in the sand-scows harbour of Vancouver.Shovelling United States. sore feeling I over my body. I 101 was glad when the end of the month came. was hardly able to eat my supper. of this in perience I British Columbia. and I was able to draw what money was coming to me and to go on my way. time. real Again. is Perhaps the hardest shovelling of all I had an exthe shovelling of sand. I had all a strained. Give me It is intellectual labour first every place . to in- the world attaches dignity .
is because every time you sink your shovel into the sand you get exactly the same amount and weight upon efforts you have to make off are absolutely uniform. They give who have forth their judgment the confidence of ignorance. The people who prate of the superior exhaustive quality of brain labour not are tried invariably people both.102 A Man Adrift tellectual labour. To be just. much harder work to shovel than is so gravel or cinders. or anybreaks up unevenly. it. and the it in pitching Making the same effort of strength through several hours at a stretch is most tiring. I must admit that it is a politic thing to let the navvy know with all all about the hardships of intellectual labour. however. The muscles get no chance to rest or recover. In the shovelling of clay or coal. or coal or clay. the thing that . But let us go back to the art of The reason that sand shovelling sand. while the dignity that is attached to manual labour smacks too much of the legendary and mythical.
worked I. and one had to jerk the shovel hard in the This didn't suit pitching to get it off. And at the end of the day a man is nothing near so tired as he would be after a day's work In at shovelling sand. up the soil so that the stones could be The soil was clay. My sole aim when as easily I was I navvying was to work as . rate After working the first half day. it into the carts.Shovelling efforts 103 pitching vary with the different weights and sizes that get upon the shovel. enough to cause a relaxing and tightening of still is the muscles get some chance to rest and recover through the variation Thus of the efforts made. and we shovelled laid. which were drawn off by mules and dumped somewhere outWe were paid at the side the town. got a job with a roadwith others. I hit upon a scheme for making the shovelling easier. it continuous the muscles. The clay was apt to stick. Vancouver I making gang. of two dollars and a half a day. me a little bit. Slight though this difference in made may be.
therefore. that he can He give but a bad account of himself.IO4 A Man shovel the that it Adrift possibly could without getting the sack. I had. only threw. if he ever gets into a fight. but it My certainly possessed the tangible merit of for Shovelling myself. After a time. will find himself getting slow and stiff shovelling will and set clumsy in his is movements. a The reason for this because particular of muscles are developed out of all The man who proportion to the rest. of course. will be slow and awkward. immoral. half a shovelful into the cart at every pitch. hardly develops a feeling for ethics. Thus when I pitched. I did not give the necessary jerk. a man who works at being easier begin to find himself I mean that he getting muscle-bound. but I saved the method was decidedly extra jerk. The result was was always half-filled I with clay. a full shovel's weight to swing each time. as far as regard for the interest of the contractor was concerned. and always . has become muscle-bound will find.
see that he doesn't get hold of you.Shovelling in 105 blows. the way be of the other man's stronger than his opponent. but he will be unable to strike a blow that is anywhere near in proIt grieves me strength. to have to say that my once-upon-a-time He may much portion to his comrade. . for the And good when you are prodding him of his health. is the easiest man going to beat in a fight. All you have to do is to keep out from him. the navvy.
I after the same way was glad when for I six o'clock came supper-time my fast that day. so I went night shift over to the shanty to wait for supper. told at The to foreman. and see which bunk bunks shanty that I would have to were in arranged in sleep the in. and a mattress. and had not yet broken I had walked up the from New York into bargain a door distance of about eighteen miles. look round generally. 1 06 . Chinaman stood outside the A of the shanty served. IT AT SHAFT 19. He where the meals were was pounding on a gong. 19 was late in the afternoon when I got a job at Shaft Connelly. Tom me come on with the seven o'clock.IX. The sleeping something bunks are arranged in the fo'castle In each were two blankets of a ship.
too. from the sleeping-shanty. And other languages. They seemed to ground. What shanty ! a mob of us there was in the Eating and drinking and shoutand laughing and talking. noisy crowd. all represented. The supper was good and wholesome. to be sure. The idea Missing it would mean that you would have to wait. sliced meat. but not a dirty mob. The white races of the grime earth were nearly English. good . They from had the magnetism comes actual contact with the earth.At Men Shaft 19 107 rushed from every direction from the mouth of the shaft. and Russian spoken and shouted all at once. and there was plenty of it cold. There is a difference between and dirt. Nothing that of the down- trodden atmosphere about them. I didn't miss it. spring up out of the was to get to the first laying of the table. They were ing a grimy mob. You heard French. German. where a load of grimed navvies were pouring forth from the up-cage. from all places around. steaming hot coffee and tea. It was a jolly.
down. potatoes.io8 A Man I Adrift bread and butter. a mountain. We were ready to There were two go down the shaft. The corners of them fitted into slides that were fastened along the straight. fell to like in life a wolf. and fragrant. there well is a lot when you can the eat and heartily. They steep sides of the shaft. rushing Chinaman. as the other went One went up cages. sliced tomatoes that were delicious. bring us some more meat a fellow would shout to the silent. a powerful spring suddenly pushed out two immense steel claws or catches. orders to this effect in You I heard badly-twisted languages of After meal. broke to which the cage was suspended. felt enjoyed that that I could tackle At seven of o'clock I stood with a crowd men in the cage. which fastened on to the . and let down by a powerwere pulled up ful engine that stood off about thirty If the wire yards away. After all. How knives and rattled ! forks " and ! plates clashed and Hey " ! here John. sweet corn. all it I kinds. busy.
keep the water which dripped from the roof of the tunnel from going down their necks. They So said could wait calmly till help the man who invented the spring and catches. the shaft was but eight hundred feet deep. Thus the cage was held. felt The pace terrific. lined with huge timbers.At Shaft 19 109 big wooden beams lining the shaft. We seemed stopped to suddenly. came. at And which we were sinking was it seemed as if we were after never going to get to the bottom. and tin oil little kettle-shaped hats. Candles and lamps were lighted now as we were sinking down the shaft. a sinking sensation in the pit of the stomach. Suddenly we sank down into the thick black gloom of the shaft. threatening I black wall. lamps fastened in the front of their These hats were shaped like sailors' so as to sou'-westers. Some of the crowd had candles. to what though me be an eternity. and the men were saved from being dashed to death at the bottom. I caught a little blurred glimpse of a straight. and a whizzing in the head. .
There were twenty-eight drip of water. and to drink. thousands of men were at work. till The human gnomes would the tunnels all met and formed one great tunnel Through this tunnel twenty-eight miles long. It was a mule drawing a car along clank! the line of short-gauge rails which ran along the floor of the tunnel from the north and south headings to the bottom The headings were the of the shaft. north and south. burrow. extreme points north and south to which . the roof of the tunnel which ran north and south into the could hear in places the steady drip. burrow. water was to come from Croton for the people of New York It was a tremendous job. The contractors boarded them at the rate of four dollars a week. north and south.no A Man Adrift and we were now earth. As we clank! stood in the tunnel It we heard a sounded weirdly and curiously through the stillness and darkness. tunnels extending from Croton to New One York. Out of the cage we standing beneath got. and a dollar and a half a day was the lowest wages paid.
but enough for us do the work. Then would be hoisted . picks and shovels and drills from a car on the way. was drawn. to see to uncertain light. This we had to At load into the car. on the top of which was the narrow heading where the machine men and and-sbovel their helpers were now and getting drills. when bottom by the mule to the cage at the it of the shaft.At the rock. drillers Shaft 19 pierced in through the had Now we We We the north heading. into position their machines the foot of the bench was a great mass of broken rock. Our light came from candles and lamps and torches ranged along the wall near us A fitful. Other and got our and machines men were following us from the next down-cage. had tramped slowly along the tunnel in were up about five hundred yards. I was in the pick- gang at the bottom of the bench a huge mass of rock shaped like a step. shattered out from the bench and heading by the dynamiteblast of the last shift. which full. belonged to the north heading gang.
which we had pushed up ourselves from a little siding. smooth faces of the seven -pound sledges as they were swung round and round by strong-armed. Up above us in the heading the machine drills were whirring. crouching men. so that the dynamite would blow eating into the rock. we lifted into big the car with for the The We used our shovels small and crumbled pieces. drilling. Whirrrr whirrrr . pieces of rock our hands.H2 A Man Adrift up and dumped out on the ground on top. crunching and Holes were being drilled at an angle from either side of the heading. or bench. out triangular sections of the rock. men were hand- would look up and see flashing the bright. Clang clang clang sledges were striking the heads of the steel hand -drills as they were being ! ! ! turned and held into the rock by peering. where a machine drill could not be got to work. In down perpendicularly awkward parts of the heading. Holes were being drilled into the bench. While the mule was away we were loading up another car. I Now and then The grimy men.
At whirrrr Shaft the 19 113 were going machine-drills. dripping down had to look us from the roof. and the power of blood and bone and muscle. We were gnomes buried deep. much. for now and then in Water was We the tunnels pieces fell from above and men were killed. and shouts of " as a fellow Look out there would pinch down with " I a lever a big piece of rock from the top of would jump out of the the bench. as the great. We all were gnomes gathered here from H parts of . along. Fighting our way with and air and hammers and bursting steel frightful dynamite. jagged rock crashed past dripping. It was a chaos of whirring and crunching and ringing of driven steel and hissing of the escaping exhaust of air and crushing of rocks into the car. We But we didn't think of that just worked and worked There was a curious overpowering smell of earth penetrating everything. fighting and crushing our way through the dark hidden rock. deep down. upon out for the roof. driven by compressed air. We way us.
in And were going a straight line abso- lutely guided by the sure. for all that we were going in a line was straight absolutely. Hour heading hour passed in the north Shaft 19. iron rock We But that were slowly fighting in blackness. Fifty-six gangs of gnomes who all time would meet. of light could see nothing but blackness.H4 the earth. piercing eye after of Science. A Man We Adrift In were working down fitful glarings were as blind men fighting. with the fellow if working alongside Even you know his language. at least you .eight tunnels going as we were going fifty- six headings in in all. shouting didn't conversation you. one hardly noticed the time The noise and the curious picturesqueness of the surroundings gave You could carry on a one a stimulus. and darkness and shadows and We We rock old with the age of thousands upon thousands of centuries. solid. And at the same time there were twenty . so going. of The work was navvying more interesting than work usually.
You would part of the hardly that we were same at crowd who had had supper together seven o'clock in the evening. away in safe places. Some of down with cold tea the fellows produced bottles of beer which We they had stowed to say. and gloom was falling upon us. The sudden silence after the noise and movement believe affected us. they spoke the drip ! in low. Twelve o'clock was upon us before we knew where we were. in a body. or water. was brought down for us in big baskets to left the the bottom of the shaft. so I knew the ropes. and walked down the and sat on and around the down- washed it cage to eat our grub. 19 was not the first shaft at which had worked. If men spoke tones. for exchange some ideas the navvies had a tunnel Shaft I slang as sailors have a ship slang. A We heading tunnel. This meal was a quiet one. darkness. None of us had much The spell of midnight. at all.At could Shaft to 19 115 manage with him. and we stopped to cold luncheon get something to eat. ! subdued And drip of the water .
It was one o'clock in the morning now. and two silent o'clock into three o'clock. about a foot and a half square each. were carefully carried up into the heading.n6 A Man Adrift from the roof gave a weirdness to the overhanging silence. We had The they drillers were getting ready were sponging out through the the holes drilled And then two wooden boxes. rocks ghosts. If a box fell from the arms of the it. mers and the They were swinging hamrocks and it and shovels. for was carrying frightful might mean sudden and death for every man . They as were becoming so o'clock silent. Men lifting moved like phantoms. The work was going on as before. they were round as ghosts. to blast. And one merged into two o'clock. it man who of us. but there was a difference in the men. and we were back again in the heading. as But was as into if using picks the life of tools men had gone if the and they were but attendant At half-past five we had cleared up all the loose rocks. long night.
tell what amount of shock One can never it off. By this time the holes in the bench filled. and therefore knew what was coming. will set We and which loaded up the picks and shovels drills and machines be into two cars tunnel far we pushed down to the enough away from the actual Then we destroying effect of the blast. and got waited. ing I near had been down in tunnels before when the the dynamite had been set off by connecting battery.At each box was Shaft 19 117 It filled with dynamite. The shock was all -seizing. primed and and the heading boss was standheading us the and were ready to touch off dynamite with an electric battery. He touched if off. to The best way stand the tremendous. horrible shock to let was If you go limp. some distance behind them. yourself Even your power of will could make no . Dynamite is was in the an ugly thing to handle. shape of big cartridges from ten to twelve inches long. braced yourself hard it was all the worse for you.
.n8 A Man Adrift In fact. it would headway against it be better if you did not know it was coming at all. Your body. ourselves We over washed to and then went breakfast. the And after that shanty to get we turned in. It was fine to see and feel it after being down in the darkness for eleven hours. Imagine it! You were two hundred yards away from a terrific explosion that rushed space twenty by twenty feet. if along a in a direct In fact. without being dashed to death. Its power was confined and kept line. your brain. and the sun was up. your will were struck violently and horribly. intact just as is the exploding powder in the bore of a cannon. it was as you were standing inside a gigantic You felt the shock of death cannon. After the blast we got into the cage and went up into the clear morning air. It was summer-time. your blood.
ever. year whirr. Here Wheels on for gambling goes on in day in in day out.X. IN PRISON NEW ORLEANS upon a swamp. balls cards shuffle The gambling-houses 119 are on Royal . It is a French town. some time or another. for has become out. Americanised. the waters of which are eighteen inches higher than the level of the town. and that ever hanging over New But the town is gay and bright of life. is a picturesque town built It lies in the form of a crescent round a bend of the Mississippi. A levee has been built to protect it. the town will be swept away by the overThus there is rushing of the great river. but the inhabitants say that. a shadow full Orleans. night night year roll. out.
The tramp may rich. He is welcome to share the light and warmth. tions. All may enter. The after gold a passion that brings level. jostle elbows with the well-groomed blood. If a man has no to get himself a place to sleep at money he may go in and sit down. in the hurry and bustle a . it matters not how shabby the attire. It is like that of some rare old warms and soothes from crown old negro.120 Street. to toe. A man need not be ashamed of meanness for of dress. A Man Adrift fashion. An a Around is in the market is the huny and But there bustle of buying and selling. They are fitted up in luxurious They may be blamable institu- but at least they are democratic. lust no one notices or is criticises. night. white-capped and white-aproned. Its delicious coffee in effect upon one wine. is men to a common How Market! quaint and beautiful the French Here may be got the most the world. may serve it to you across stall. and there is no one to censure or to eject. or how disreputable and low down the appearance.
the Creole patois negroes pass. suffering from a twenty-four hours' and full have come out into the street again and satisfied. baskets are you are hard up and hungry in this town. and you possess a dime. People hurry and bustle of the North. electric very wide. flower-girls arrange . A if from the chef will serve you with a cut joint. which shine from the tops It is . chattering . and is lit up by lights. wheezy tie voices . cry out the merits of their wares in shrill. If benedictions. and a dish of delicious soup hours. you get there between I have gone into this certain saloon fast. and horses and up bunches of flowers drivers shower carts back and start again . promiscuous everywhere.In Prison suggestion of 121 not the It is languor. and at peace with the I world in general. you may go to a saloon on the corner of Royal Street and get a sumptuous free lunch as much as ever you can eat of the best food. Canal Street at night presents one of the most beautiful city sights of the world.
voices. But in the air there lurks disease. the clearness hangs death. A Man Adrift in the These columns stand centre of the street. The effect of the lights piercing in a straight line through the distance is fine. clear. happy-go-lucky like of They are a fellows. Orleans Its strange town. and its sunshine And beautiful orange In trees are in the gardens. and the harmonic lot effects they get are peculiar and beautiful. Overhanging is the eternal threat of the river. On the levee at night the negro roustabouts collect together and sing quaint. In this town I spent a month in prison. . Often they have fine strange part-songs. ! work A bright and and golden. who work dogs during the day for roustabouting on a Mississippi steamboat is the hardest it about New air is full and forget imaginable at night over their songs. extending along for miles.122 of columns. But still ******* it lies is the town for bright and gay under the shadow of destruction. dread and foul.
will arrest the three of you. I explained to him that we were for a job . I had a notion to knock him down and get But there were other policemen away." concluded the policeman. and asked him if that were the way they did things in the " Land of the Free. and how much money we had. . We submitted to the arrest. and that we had freight been working together lately on John " No Diamond's plantation. and it would only have ended our being shot.of unloading from a ship. in in sight. and what we were going to do. " you ? I had two and the other fellows you can't had none.In Prison I 123 was standing on the levee talking with two other sailors." But he was obdurate. " How much money have dollars. I pointed out to him the injustice of the whole thing. He at once began to question us as to who we were. when a policeman came along. " you have ten If show me I that dollars apiece." he on the look-out said. matter. When I found out that he was really going to do what he said.
He sang "Carry me back to Ole Virginny" the song of the slave who had been sold flogged. I sent out for I some beer with the two dollars had we were allowed this privilege if we paid and we made merry.124 A Man levee. The fact of being arrested did not seem to weigh much on any of us. with the sense of the degradation of being and bought and sold. The man who sang but he was born had not been a slave. and sang One negro had a most beautiful It was a voice of sweet. and that night we were with some others in the calaboose There were about twenty of us in all negroes and white men. . of us had had the requisite ten dollars So necessary to ensure us our liberty. mournful timbre. We told stories. voice. It is easy for it and natural to make merry with people who are in the same boat as yourself. songs. Through it ran the sadness of the life of the slave. compared notes. we made the best of it. Adrift We were shut up on the taken. We were comforted by the curious philosophy that None goes with poverty and misfortune.
It was not till a long time after that I It learned the real reason of our arrest. This negro sang more than anyone else. we were nothing but white and black slaves together. It may have been that it was cheaper to clap them into not only have to gaol. of arresting Such a simple thing as the stranger being an alien could be easily got over by supplying him with a name and an address. is The buying and the staple selling of votes one of industries of the United States. And so the night wore away. did Why the the party in power not bribe strangers themselves was rather a puzzle. for they would give them no money. other side would bribe them to vote. After all. His voice seemed to chime in with the spirit of the situation. and power took the precaution all the strangers they could They were afraid the lay their hands on. seems that an election was going the party in on.In Prison 125 away from the place where he was born. but they could even make a profit on them while in prison .
freedom. everything was said and done. For the the I my life was proud to own that I was an Englishman. England was absolutely the freest country in the She practised the principles of world. while America only boasted in a blatant way about them. But now After my prejudice had received a shock. impression upon like their country or their institutions to that I be criticised.A Man by charging up State. prejudice I had inherited a against everything English with my Irish blood. their Adrift maintenance to the When we Justice stiff were brought up before the spoke out first time in I next morning. . We were sent to prison for a month. and strong. I said I was glad that Fate had so willed it that I had been born in the north of England. but afraid I am only produced a bad Americans don't him. I talked like this to the Justice.
the whole of his mind as it were sees passes in review before him. been thrown has no power to cramp He passes through a curious. man is made of the thinnest tissue paper imaginable. to suffer can have no upon him in the way of making him downcast. outside. The small. for it will require but a slight effort of his intellect to show him that he is being made a scapegoat to suffer because that he is being made been bold enough to realise in action an idea he shares in common with other he has The* partition that separates the criminal from what is called the honest men. which he effect is The made reason. or crime. He His into its most obscure fold and depth. ripening for experience. imagination becomes freer more powerful. a habit man who is given to the of thinking passes through many Shut off from the world mental stages. harsh world into which he has it. .In Prison 127 ii IN prison.
There was a white captain of the yard . But for the failures and hard-ups and unfortunates the law has not only punishment. it for desperate law-breaker. perhaps The was more sharply drawn here than in the world outside. but contempt. usually kept race however.128 A Man in Adrift HAD committed no crime. but the it certainly contempt Indeed. I fact. The no law punishes. for Better In men I than I had committed bitterly It crime. but that I was none the better I I realised that. together the negroes were put I don't In the daytime we shared in common the freedom of The negroes and whites themselves distinction apart. The whites were herded Where know. regretted that had to not done something. the big yard. was so stupid has be thrown into prison for nothing. There were about as many negroes as whites in this prison. in two great cells. shows practically that it has a respect for him.
eating the bread for we would carefully watch fell. carried heavy clubs. and unfortunate. This was of their respective races. with each other.In Prison and a black captain of the yard in 129 prisoners favour with the chief warder. off to told keep order who were amongst the men These captains they had the power to knock down any man who was There was disorderly or insubordinate. Everyone of us suffered from hunger. for it made the time hang talk wearily on one's hands. I was hungry I during the whole month I was there. used to wake up at night dreaming that I was When we were eating plentifully. however. sentenced. enough to satisfy us. and a pint of alleged coffee in the morning and The bread was nothing near evening. We could We wore the clothes in which we were For food we were given a small loaf of bread each day. I . and pick up and eat the crumbs that astonishing It is can taste when a how delicious dry bread man is really hungry. no work for the prisoners to do beyond the cleaning out of the cells.
by the surroundings. aptitude for the exercise of any function.130 A Man Adrift To amuse themselves the warders would sometimes pitch loaves of bread to the The sight was most sickening. cries. and had been handed from one set to another for years. man would And as they tear it fought they would send out sharp. a judge. clear. Now the white from him again. These laws had been made by prisoners. and we governed ourwhile in there selves by a code of laws. Hungry white men and black men would sprawl and fighting like tumble in a heap together. Now a nigger would clutch a loaf from a white man. wolf-like in There were about fifty men in the cell which I was. of course. he was remembered for it. They were based on the same principles as the laws governing a country or any society modified. We had a president. The warders would stand off enjoying it. prisoners. and other If a man showed a particular officers. a sheriff. and when he came back again to the prison he was . wolves for the bread.
" as it was there. of the the cell The judge counsel for appointed me defence. cross-examined the witnesses for the I prosecution. and same spirit that a grave a recognised court of would be in The the I chief warder stood at the door of listening to the trial. case. And in won my My speech for the defence was applauded. One of the laws of the cell was that no man should steal another's bread. I crime was a severe "paddling. if were at all The warders never interfered with the laws of the prisoners. The trial was rather long. and the man was let go. . cell. The punishment called. The was law. 131 it to the office. trial and was as serious as a could be.In Prison elected possible. a man did flogging with a Whilst was steal another man's bread/ He as was found out and tried for the offence. must say that the judge allowed the end me I rather a free hand. issue issue at stake treated in the was a grave one. for this belt.
who had time in prisons. could not show ten dollars. it break into a house the kind of house I to break into. or sit We yard where we would walk or lounge tell down and each other our histories with the frankness of a common ban. with blue eyes and an indomitable expression of talked of burglary as a would talk of any other profession. Also there was a young English fellow He was little more from Birmingham. had been ignominiously gathered in with the rest of us. because he.132 A Man rv Adrift How above clear and beautiful was in ! the sky us the great spent the day about. He man He when knew every to twist and turn of on. and so could not help thinking that his was a profession which called into play a tremendous amount The burglar of daring and natural talent. men under There was one man in spent a good deal of He was a burglar a particular. face. most intelligent-looking man. too. .
while the other saw that all he turned out his wealth. and I seemed to take his fancy.. racking was done was in a small shanty . doing something. He thought that we would do well if we took the road It took two. open face. one could live and there was the excitement of never knowing what would turn up next.In Prison 133 He had a fine. A man was tied up. And at the worst I would have the consolation of into gaol for knowing that had got Besides. I must confess that the idea had for me I a great charm. well. a trifle hard. Though there pline. laid upon it. still was the hardly any discibreaking of the few exist prison-rules that did terribly. to together. and tortured by means of stretching and twisting the The place where this joints of his legs. This young with blue eyes. hold up a man properly one to cover him fellow with the pistol. The stocks was rack. had been a highway robber. he explained. than a boy. Men was punished were bound up and torreally a tured in a contrivance called the stocks.
cowed and disheartened. seen a man hustled into the shanty and afterwards have heard him groaning and screaming. I man would be myself came near being racked through having a quarrel with a negro.134 A Man racked." called me We ing from the mouth of a black man. and affect the beating The cowed negroes and of the heart whites would fully. this . had some dispute. and the negro " a white son of a Com. The cries of the tortured man seemed to get into the blood. groups. we were After being tortured the taken to the hospital. of a The screaming The effect man thing that can never in agony be forgotten. look at each other fear- In these horrible moments even lost. for no one knew whose turn would come next. man I but I have . Adrift painted black which stood off over in I never saw a the corner of the yard. the sense of distinction of race was We were fellow-prisoners before negroes or whites. is a upon us as we listened to it We stood in in the yard was awful.
I had fallen a victim to a trick back. could was lying on my upon me. and try as I might I was unable to move. and then jumped at the negro. but he didn't strike. stepped back. with the negro's weight Both my shoulders were touch- commonly practised by the roustabouts.In Prison insult 135 was the most odious imaginable. I was completely at my opponent's mercy. His fist was raised. looked up at the negro and waited. and as I was backing away from him he suddenly the instead simply turned his flung his arms himself. According to the feeling of white men in the Southern States I would have been justified in I shooting him dead. striking him twice in the face. ready to knock him down when he got He up for again. I had no idea what he was up to. I made of a mistake. round and Before flung I my ankles. getting up body round and got upon his hands and knees. Then I stood over him. if possible. went down. ing flat on the ground. But here negro. I . raised me clean over his realise it I head.
you're a white as he turned away. I felt my time had come. For thing was over in a few some reason or another the black captain of the yard who was standing near ignored the fight.136 As I A Man Adrift was wondering what would be the reason of this. "Who to thought. man. " It's a damned good job he said. chief the warder came I running his up. The black man was magnanimous. The whole seconds. His eyes blazed as he laid hand heavily on it. struck first?" he demanded. On Sundays we attended Divine Ser- . around Just as the crowd that had collected us was dispersing. He spared me. My colour had saved me. I would be And fear came over me as I tortured. my shoulder. looked into the warder's face. The was in for I man who did." struck first would be the man be racked! "I I said." This was the end of the incident. he got up from me suddenly and helped me to my feet.
be better for me to work like a dog and a slave. His image was there before us. if only for an hour. The Man whose name would live while the world lasted had been a tramp and He a criminal. . knelt before the altar on the same terms as other men. the founder of our religion And indeed was One who was hard up and despised. and take my chance? Or would some curious stroke of luck happen to me that would lift me out of my present groove? Honesty and labouring with the hands only brought degradation and contempt.In Prison vice. showing Him as He suffered an awful and ignominious death. it 137 this. for We We all looked forward to was a pleasure and a relief to feel that one was a man once more. or would it be better for me to go and rob and live easy. do when I Would it got out into the world again. tones of the organ playing in the little I wondered what I should prison church. would have understood us absolutely. Strange thoughts used to to come into full my mind as I listened the rich.
To conquer the underhand world. took them. As a rule the criminals who were put in prison were those whose crimes savoured somewhat of nobility. Not such the burglar's cowardly. fraud. meanest and worst criminals got free. It off scot- was said that it vengeance over- was only said. cunning. But use blinking the fact? I thought. and lying. Or was could it be. and What was the violence had to be used. I thought again. would sooner Christ theft.138 The upon theft A Man as Adrift was based society in which we lived the principle of theft. safe theft. have taken the hand of the burglar than the hand of the business man. The but mean. that to follow out the teaching of the Galilean impossible? Could it be the that cowardly theft and meanness. and undtrhand thing essence after all ? violence was even but right Was the very subtle of ? Religion a hypocrisy . Ministers of religion were traitors who of warped the teachings of Christ so that themselves and the State might profit.
In Prison 139 ONE day a murder was I one of the warders. understand what effect this water would have used even upon a strong man. stripped. A prisoner was suffering from pellagra. eyes. committed by saw it done with my own about it. I need only state that the water of the river if was not from freezing point. exhausted condition. into the bath-house. . least forty The water must have been air. while the temperature of the air was about eighty far degrees. He ought to have been sent at once to the hospital. He was taken and a stream of Mississippi water was To fully played upon him from the hose. would be fun but this warder thought it to give him a cold bath. rounding the man was already in a weak. at degrees colder than the surBesides. Nothing was ever said The body was trundled away. The warder played the hose upon him as he crouched and shivered in the bath. 1 and no questions asked.
The warder was still playing the hose upon him." he ordered." I said. dead. I and he was dead in less saw the whole thing. by the huddled-up way in which he was lying. "He's The warder stopped the hose and came " over to the side of the bath. cleaning up the I knew the man was dead floor. " Lift I him out." was his service. over his heart. and placed my hand It was still. The Lift him out.140 I A Man Adrift than a minute. had gone. lifted got into the bath and this out the body." "Let up. then. " Dead as a stone. and I lifted the murdered man in. and he was trundled away." I said to the warder. then. for was in the bath-house at the time. " " Isn't he sham- ming ? and turned the dead man over on his side. I . And warder's burial " was the end of him. Are you sure " ? he asked me. A cart was brought. The man I reached. either Nothing more was said about him or over him.
would be glad But I had grown to like some that I of my fellow-prisoners. whom I I could go New have Still. to my liberty.In Prison don't 141 if dog. thought of most was getting a of The the full chance would have of meal again. would drift away from the two men who would be on the same day. So when the morning came for my . ******* Curiously enough. a lot to a let out with me Companionship means drifts man who about the world alone. and to there in was no one Orleans. had no money. To be hungry straight on end for a whole month is terrible. Going out would felt mean I parting from them. But where would I I get the meal from I when did get out. in time one would get used to suppose almost any I I set thing that surroundings. I did not feel as much thought should feel at the I prospect of getting my liberty again. just as he were a when I the end of the month drew elation as I near. know where.
month's forced inaction had lessened of initiative. My I feeling like a man once more.142 release I I A Man felt Adrift rather sad. felt afraid to face things And somehow The again. clean. me that had better face circumcould tell stances alone. The The young Birmingham fellow had gone out a couple of days before. Besides. It would be a fine thing to walk around. spirits began to rise. my power surroundings and the bad food had taken the spirit out of me. came to unlock the He my name with some and we followed him out into the warder called out . others. The ones I had on were common and shabby-looking. said he would be on hand to meet when I came out. And who I ! what might turn of a street might on the corner up? find a purse Then I would go and buy myself a good breakfast a first-class breakfast and after I would get myself some clothes. But I felt that He me this it was rather a struck forlorn I hope. and shook hands with my mates in the cell when door.
I at woman who me curiously. I A feeling of shame came over me. thought. out through the great gate. and as fast as I hurried away could. . after some formality.In Prison 143 we were let the yard and into the office of the prison. As I crossed the street a was passing by looked and. pityingly. Here.
But between me and sheet the town was a water. Sale fact was the place where was The 144 . two-hundred-mile of The water was so high that steamboats were plying over the country between Bayou Sale and New Orleans. and there seemed to be no chance for I me to go in the direction wished to go. to New Orleans. Water. It was swallowing up the country from three the south. the west. directions The only of escape was by a narrow strip of way hill-land which ran to the north up into Texas. the east. I Bayou at. The country was flooded. I wanted to go east. water the yellow water of the big river had The made a twelve-hundred-yard crevasse in the levee below New Orleans.XLNO I MONEY! WAS puzzled as to what to do. was everywhere Mississippi.
I had no money to pay my luck for being in Louisiana If things had during the flood season. belongings up the narrow strip of They were homeless. steamboat was to go to New Orleans to a in half an hour. it was as easy as rolling A a log. What a fool I had ! been off Why. to majority of them were going up north the way I didn't want But the great to go. So their began to think. I cursed my But I to swim it was a large niggers order.No Money of the steamboats 145 running to where I wanted to go did not help me. flashed Suddenly the way out of the difficulty upon me. And there was a good and sufficient reason. had been flooded the to Those who had money New pay their way were going Orleans on the steamboats. They out. fare. She was moored K . Passing families their me were and carrying what they could of hill-land. however. been all right I could have tramped it.
146 tree rise A Man in Adrift slight which stood on the top of a the ground. My plan was a The collector would not simple one. I nodded to the swearing. nigger abouts were getting freight aboard her. You'd have thought I owned it. raucous-voiced mate. As The country had been covered . come round for fares till the boat had horribly at been out tell at least an hour. one could see the awful desolation caused by the flood. through So I waited. But I had long ago realised that risks to get one must take some life. This would mean a month's imprisonment at least. and the big white mate was blaspheming The roust- them as was the custom. the boat steamed along. They put me the water they couldn't turn back and they couldn't eat me. I swaggered on to the steamboat with an air of lordly ease. was that they might The have me only danger arrested when we got to New Orleans. that I Then I would him calmly couldn't had no off into money.
about the the weather. looked smiled easily. of me. said in a calm. else 147 The sugar everything bodies of houses. The crisis Now I must play my I part. or had up on Occasionally a wooden house was to be seen floating on to the high land." speaking I matter-of-fact might flood have or in been I way. He smiled He thought was . its side. fashion. and ruined. passed by immersed towns All that was to be seen of them were the tops of the highest houses and the spires of their churches. We and villages. They had either left behind become unmanageable when the owners tried to drive them in the hurry. in my reverie by He was standing The moment had come. straight " into his eyes. It was a scene of ruin and desolation. made I the remark a casual also.No Money as with a great winding sheet. was hand. crop. had been The been horses and cows and sheep were floating about. waiting. I was awakened from front at I the collector of fares. and I have no money. property.
"What coming asked. and Americans have always time " for the appreciation of a joke. guess. was surely not in earnest." he said. the situation. by he My dear man. I I country And can't very well New was. have noticed. Come on. But I gave him a second and And then the repeated my assertion. He grasped smile died from his face. Shell out!" He had evidently seen my lordly swagger as I came on to the boat. I course." to I replied." easy. and became indignant." ^ "You take damned . still smiling. couldn't I I swim to stop where I So to did for me do it the only thing came on board. As you the will is probably flooded.148 A Man Adrift joking. had come the conclusion that style at once to of that when a man and ease said he was hard up he smile. either. " " in hell do you mean then?" aboard the boat. left Orleans. my reason for coming aboard the boat must be plain you. and. putting two and two together. Of " That's all right.
He was a hard big. cool. let forth a torrent of blasphemy." He laughed a he remarked. My only chance was . This with- had the come aboard his fare." I had taken the man's measure in had taken the measure of the I fact. raucous." " You're a beauty. " I've a good mind to winding up with He knock hell out of you. and getting into gaol into the bargain. fellow's "Ho!" gall to he shouted to the " blaspheming.voiced mate. I to from head to eyed him too. 149 want You don't me to weep about it. in playing a . stiff. anyway. whole situation. doesn't know what's going in little. And. with a brutal. happen. There was a risk of my getting used up. unafraid game. do you?" " Do you know that we can put you in gaol for this " " ? I Of course all know to it." out the money pay The mate came forward and eyed me foot. I'm not gaol yet. Besides. face.No Money "Of course. powerful fellow. But one I have weighed that.
Come down into the stokehole and get New pass coal. brought and left me down me with into the stoke- the firemen who." I. Well. Then kept my eye hard on his. an) how. partner.150 I A Man Adrift to going up him. and looking him straight and hard " Don't talk of . hell out of me. If I've broken the law. by the way. I'd like to see you or any other man on the boat try it on. knocking decided instantly as to the handling of the mate. " Look said close here. " his face softened a little. but you've got grit. I'll take the consequences when I I get to I New and Orleans. had to do what did." He hole. Do he you mind working your passage?" concluded suddenly. damn me. behaved very decently . there's an end of it. and moved slightly. "All to right. and when Orleans you can help we to unload freight." He But I glared at me. " Not a bit. Perhaps we won't go hard on you.in the eyes." I replied.
and drink. just lay and chatted till the journey's end." he said. my They gave me a of which I stiff pull of whisky was in need and they gave me some They wouldn't let me grub. afraid of the mate. As everyone was stock went up. as agreed. I And. was in New Orleans. 151 A of deck- how I had tackled the collector and the mate. taking the quarter with went ashore. I And when this was going down the gang-plank. and faced up I Royal Street. the mate called me back. When we got there I helped to unload the freight. " Here's a quarter. I shovel any coal for them. "Get a was done. hand had brought down news to me. .No Money They were white men." thanks.
All one had to do was you pay the Canadian Company a dollar. Fort Donald was on the east side of the great mountain chain. when you came simply wanted ing of to look into it. I THROUGH THE ROCKIES sailoring on Lake Ontario. and was loafing around Toronto. Going was the easiest thing in the world. For to Pacific Railroad this they carried to Fort Donald. A snow shed is a great wooden platform built along the 15* . But it wasn't so charitable.XII. They to ship labourers into the Rockies so as to use them for the build- snow sheds. in British Columbia a place three thousand miles west of Toronto. after all. when suddenly an idea struck me to go out to the HAD been Rockies. Carrying a man three thousand miles for a dollar seems to be a charitable sort of deed for a railway company to indulge in.
and. Here we got out of with some others. the train. night after I nerves. I. The country we passed through was wild and fine.Through mountain side the the Rockies 153 to for the purpose of keeping snow from sliding down on the railway track. The brain had adopted the sensation permanently. It seemed as if the grinding whirr of the wheels Even beneath us would go on for ever. train. country of mountains and great rivers and lakes. It took us five days to get to our descontinuous railtination. climbed down lake. stopped at a little town on the edge A We of Lake Superior. The. when the train stopped at a station one still could feel this whirr. the rocks to take a drink from the The water was the clearest water . gave one an impression of vastness. above all. and five days 1 way swift after travelling is no joke. got upon the day. or even for the awkward pitching of a steamer in for the rolling of heavy smooth. day after night. weather. longed a sailing vessel. steady. going hour rumble of the hour.
I had never seen the prairie before. and. it immense.154 I A Man Adrift had ever seen. stretching horizon . vast I upon. one a from awe and covered A limitless plain. The waters were And till then the train went on and on entered the stretching. death-like in its coldness. depth. although the sun shone out strongly. lone than the ocean Looking out sense of grass- upon brought upon stillness. chill. It stretched out wide and far like a great sea. deep whenever a steamer in had heard said that sailor fell overboard from a effort Lake Superior no and rescue him. with lake. it was cold and fresh. man long before a be lowered. was made was to stop for the life chilled out of the boat could so cold. It seemed it to me almost more wide and itself. It was a lake to sail I would scarcely have liked forbidding waters. A it beautiful. cold. black which tells of immense blue. prairie. there was something Indeed. Off out in it I could see the glint of deep.
to were the Rockies There was nothing for us but to go to work building sheds. . And the foot-hills changed to great. Here we were and around us. Whisky is a bad thing. If do now snow- the a man wouldn't work he wouldn't get anything to eat. last At we came to the foot-hills of the Rockies. rugged mountains.Through to the Rockies to 155 horizon. And we it got on well together. men three thousand When Fort Donald the men had they were in to work at the snow sheds whether they liked or not. We were nearing Fort Donald. mainly because was almost impossible for us to get whisky. seen tough things done through drinking whisky. It makes a man forget that the other fellow I've is a man too. hailing parts of the world. and therein lay the true inwardness of the company's reason for carrying miles for a dollar. and seeming begin and end in eternity. We from all were a mixed-up crowd. at Fort Donald at last. rising higher ! and higher.
They half a The board was good plenty of meat and bread and coffee and The meals were served up vegetables. At twelve we stopped an hour for dinner. while it and sawing up big trees.1 56 A Man Adrift A dollar week and a half a day was our pay. charged us three dollars and a for board. but mountain air and hard in work make a man able to forego silver and fine napery. were called up at six in the mornfull and by seven we had had breakand were just commencing work. to the big By after this time supper was ready. and after that we kept on till six o'clock in the evening. and supper we would go over we slept. Some of us blasted out rock from the mountain side. The others were felling mountains were We ing.1 -throw it-at-you way. The work was rough. and we were kept at ten hours a day.when. Others again were now and then sent out to hunt for fresh meat. a sort of here-grab-this. and pay-day came once a month. wooden shanty. fast of big game. where There we smoked and told .
Suddenly . but Here they had come from every class. and two blankets. uncouth clod. however. born with the marks And of labour slavery upon him.Through all the Rockies till 157 to sorts in. I who had a beautiful tenor I shall heard him never forget the first time It was in the evening. remember one fellow he was an I Englishman voice. or to the crushing of a country. here was the man who had left his country for his country's good. the heritage of high birth and social advantage. hard men a crowd that a strong man might lead to the freeing of a country. Taken as a whole. And here was the poor. The crowd was interesting. sing. they impressed me as a crowd of good. The men had not only come from every place. This was furnished with a mattress. of yarns it was time turn Every man of us had a bunk to himself. was the man who had about him that curious air of self poise. when we were near work. a hard pillow. He and I end of our day's had been working side to the by side in the pickaxe gang.
indeed. though I have heard the world. lone mountains. could buy food at the Thus Company's stores along the way. or. I He can't describe the effect it had upon us out there out there in the clear air of the wild. wanted it to get to the Pacific Coast. nearly a month's tramp. at once. in my mind to it Vancouver. But I had somewhere from ship was five hundred miles away.158 A Man Adrift he began to sing. since. I and found myself thirty dollars ahead. Poor boy! heard his song I threw up work after two months' time. the main difficulty of the journey was rethirty dollars I For . times since. finest Italian singers in the All of us was singstopped working ing an old English song a beautiful song. asked the Englishman a lot of questions after that. but he would tell me I I have nothing. and I was thrilled as I had never been thrilled before. thought of him many Who was he? What was I he? and why was he there? Years have gone by since in the Rockies. that will live while the white race lives.
or to preach about. But a hardy man will take big chances when he wants to be on the move. I and beautiful in the middle of June. even though was knew not what. and to take chances on being done to sleep out One had up either by the Indians or wild animals. some biscuits and bacon. and . Com- pany's rails were laid two hundred miles of the way. a pannikin. which were strapped across my back. where the rails had yet I to be laid. Hard labour very well to talk about. every night. besides. And. to be sure. My outfit consisted of a pair of blankets. and the right of way. as far as getting away from the work was concerned. one morning. but doing it is quite a different thing. would guide me right up the coast.Through moved. I couldn't miss the Pacific Coast for the by any manner of means. So started was so glad to get away from I the monotonous going to is all I labour. I the Rockies all 159 I was right as long as had money that is. I remember It was clear and bright the morning well.
or a brush at close quarters. give a good knife. I carried a forty-four calibred revolver and a broad sheath knife. better I suppose ought to say something about the magnificent scenery of the Rockies. to tell the truth. mind a revolver and a knife are the heeled as far as handiest weapons going that is. if you've got to look out for a surprise. tenth of a rap a know where you revolver I are. No. ing hard months. Fine scenery doesn't he's impress a or man he's much when hungry. me a or. and you are apt to get done up before you rifle. weapons were concerned. I wouldn't for give the It is part awkward to handle in a quick rush. at that little. still. in the middle of it for two The poetry had been knocked out of me.160 some A Man coffee Adrift And I was well and sugar. But I had had enough mountain scenery I had been workto last me a lifetime. time the scenery impressed It me but was great and wild and finely coloured. and I had fifty cartTo my ridges in my ammunition belt. when . but.
L . And was so tired of it all. labouring class the I had been thrown out into slave class. These frightful. and why I was going. What had I I done that I should be a pariah and a the tramp. the world without education or any other advantage. I and wonder where It seemed to me labourer and a vagrant ? that the main reason was because I be- longed to the low. It is that you are absolutely and utterly alone you might fall down and die. and there would be no one round to hold a that cup of water to your lips. was face to face with things face listen to to face with myself. I knew I was going to the I had but what then? Pacific Coast been going ever since I was a lad. lonely I mountains made used to me think.Through alone and get out of it the Rockies and wondering if 161 he'll tired it alive. and I had become a labourer on land and sea a human buffet for the world's blows. The lonesomeness him in of all is what strikes a time hard to like feel this. It is so terrible. I tramp of my feet. was going.
clear I Everyseemed from many sides at once. sud- denly came up before my mind. the whole business. all out. I had seen men shot through the brain.1 62 me A Man in Adrift to These and other thoughts used to I come the long. it mapped I out. too. effect was and then One jumped one sank down like a like. rag. But just as trigger I put my finger on the began to think in a way I had I never thought before. life. I began to And one day I grew sick of despair. look. and I unslung my revolver and determined to take a rest for good and all. in my mind. and put the muzzle of the revolver under my right ear so as to get the base of the brain. and I knew exactly what the violently. strange days the days was tramping through the mountains. My whole in it. And I felt so lonely. and everything thing was so to see things I had done and vivid. came a peaceful is more apt to come from a jagged knife wound that face and over the A distorted face lets I the life out slowly. .
Through This is the Rockies that 163 when the way men think And I they are drowning. I felt I that I had never had such a chance. first. Honestly. I my own fault. despite what any well-fed liar from the pulpit had to say about it. And I stood up again and cursed the earth and everything in it. it had not been felt. I had been moulded and crushed to a certain shape by circumstances. and I had stayed in the mire. self? Why shouldn't kill mybut said What was there before me misery and hard knocks? People that everyone in the world got at some time or another a square chance. And I felt that the time would come when men of my breed men from it. the gutter would get even with . brought down the muzzle of the revolver. But less. I'd try I feelings And and analyse my sat down on a log I and wondered. I thought. No. I intended to kill myself neverthe- However. I was no more to blame for being what I was than the Indian was to blame for being what he was. in had been born the mire.
just to live for frame of mind. to it be sure. something came over me. and then well. though. better for all think if I me it would have been had seen no one at Then I through the whole tramp. occaI alone. sionally .164 I A Man Adrift my tell put the muzzle of the revolver against head for the second time. I couldn't what it was I couldn't tell even to day. I this It wasn't fear. might have got more used to being utterly was never bothered at all by the Indians. too. right we white As a rule Indians men will let them alone. though I saw them. are all have been bothered by Indians if at other times. Somehow. I suppose it was the lonesomeness of the whole thing that got me into this morse. at the for I saw faces. but just I a few moments to was only long enough for me buy what food I wanted. it wasn't re- wanted to live just wanted no particular reason. but they either paid no attention to me or they greeted I me in a friendly way. company's stations. They are not blessed with civilisa- .
we send missionaries day.Through tion the Rockies 165 tribe to starve as long as they but they never allow any of their have food them. in to give still They are Christian this respect much more than we are. out on to the middle of the track to sun itself. about noon-time. . path with The will dispute other snakes glide Its away at the sound of a footstep. my footsteps had disturbed it I had never seen a rattlesnake after I I and had got over because it my it first I impulse of fear began to study I knew it was a it rattler tallied it. out to And them. The attracted was going of The sound before. One It was a rattlesnake that had come bright steel of the rails had Sbrrr! Its rattle it Sbrrr! at a furious rate. and out fro. head was raised about four inches from the ground. descriptions is had heard of well known that they are the only snakes the in the North-west that you. 1 heard a sound that froze me to the marrow with fear. with the Besides. and was swaying to and Its mouth was wide open.
You are not often allowed the privilege. however. colour was a sort of dirty dark grey. So I got off the I had track and walked half round it. plan was to collect a big pile of dried branches and night When came on.1 66 it A Man Its It Adrift the fangs were shooting. feet long. it. as you see snakes coiled up in of pictures. for wheeled slowly round with me. my . It still swaying touched me a its head little. It wasn't coiled up. fired a shot at and though it I it broke never kept This the ground within an inch of moved a peg out of the way. watch- ing me. was in its own country. I was an intruder there anyway. The snake was game come across and that's I like to anything game. and rattling. to it keep a close eye on it. After all alone. must have been about its five The look make a man I in eyes was enough to turn sick and die. and would harm no one if not bothered. I was going I to fire at I'd let it it but it thought a second time.
so that I could grab them at once if need be. Just as People I waken eat. live too much in houses. to and other blankets just as I I then would drop before lay off sleep you at could say I Jack Robinson. and lay my knife and revolver near where my head was going to rest. Sleeping out in the open air is the finest You become as thing a man can do. breaking. . After my smoke I would spread a blanket on the ground. Afcer my blankets and get on the I many days tramping settlement It came to a little on the north fork of the Fraser River. dawn was Then up. I would would cook my fire. breakfast over the remains of the pack move. strong and as hard as an animal. was called Yale. was the too with tramping and monotony.Through make a fire. and after I had eaten I'd have a smoke. the Rockies I'd 167 Then cook myself some grub. I covered myself up with the down. I didn't tired dream the all.
The with snow. It seemed to me as if I were in the biggest church one could roof.1 68 I A Man didn't I Adrift just Though then. tops of them were covered and half way down one of glacier them was a that had taken a thousand years to form. If you fell in here you had no more chance of swimming than you would have in the Maelstrom. think of a church without a The mountains were the biggest I had ever seen. Down horribly. because beneath it all one could feel there was lost. Here I had a go at salmon fishing. You were was more awful -looking than the mid -ocean in a hurricane. It treachery. in the valley the river tore It along was one of the ugliest and wickedest-looking pieces of water I had ever seen. go much on scenery must say the look of the mountains here impressed me. and they stood up almost as straight as pillars. He just thrust an immense landing net down . I saw a Si wash Indian on the top of a rock hauling up salmon out of the rapids. His way of doing it was simple.
Big salmon they were. When one of them got into the net the Indian knew about it. in the rapids I would have smashed into smithereens on the . for knocked me into the rapids. the Rockies 169 into fish. to a tree that stood off over on the bank. Three guy-ropes were fastened to the frame of the net to keep it steady in the The ropes were hitched rushing water. It looked as if the guyropes were going to snap. When the Indian hauled up the struggling. and he did. me have a try at I it hauled almost The first salmon up nearly cost me my life. too some of them thirty-five and forty pounders. fighting salmon on to the top of the rock he brained it by giving it a light tap on the club. and once been rocks.Through into the water. I head with a small let asked the Indian to it. it. and a salmon would run The water was packed with the their They were working way up stream.
I I didn't know where only knew that was getting a hard flinging about somewhere or another. fish. I was I more of it. or cutting. My journey was nearly over. a gradual slope to the coast. From then on it was of way. held on though^ till the Indian got in one of his light taps on the head of the I salmon. for and dangerous you got knocked off the sport. I had crossed the summit of the big mountain chain. thought grappling with a mountain it. lion. A I man was I nothing to was. just to see how strong an upI want no stream salmon really was. too. hauled up about twenty it and I must say rocks it was great if sport. right this part of At my journey I where the line had yet to come. . had got a long way past the point where the comI was in the pany's rails were laid. was all up with you. left The mounfeeling The lonesome me. tains got smaller. I This soothed him. and I was foolish enough to pick him up in my arms.170 A Man Adrift This salmon was a big fellow.
of water. It was .Through And of a the Rockies I 171 a one morning as I rounded the turn in the distance gorge saw off great shining stretch the Pacific.
MAXWELL The men KAMLOOPS was a rough town. and as I was not one of that few.XIII. to go to work on the railroad which was away out through the mountains. We got our wages on the fifteenth of every month. Three dollars and a half a day was the rate at which we were paid. I We re- and hard things used 172 . Four of us had up and carry thirty-foot steel rails a hot sun. though to be found gold. and when the money came we took a day painted or so off to spend it. being I was in the gang that laid the steel. that drift here and there and everywhere had made it for the time their abiding mountains beyond it was place Few found it. built The work was to pick in lively. I had for in the . to happen. Kamloops red while it lasted.
two men came up to the track. noisy in The crowd had been a saloon that trifle all. and made for the calaboose. arrested Bruce fellow nothing a University at He was a nice he had cut man but I suppose up rough at home in England. But that's neither here nor there. interfered." and which we built ourselves. The Marshal and be sure. to get out. this At the door of our shack. of us would stay at home and cook the grub while the rest were working on One we took turn about.Maxwell member deputies for just 173 and his when got the Marshal fresh. Kelly's was But that night six or seven of us heeled ourselves. and his out. as we were smoking our pipes round the fire. With an axe we got Bruce gang I smashed to in the door. We small " lived in batches of six or seven in rough log-houses. but they had got the drop on us. They were in . I and had had felt sorry to have to see him go along with the Marshal and his men. which we called shacks. One night. and all. and in that country it was shoot if you moved.
and wiry build. his name as Cox. mother and his wish to see her. They Canada. he was a young whose appearance one would be apt fellow He was home-sick. that they a post two hundred miles away. Maxwell could not old. and did our level sympathised best to make them comfortable. where they would be safe. I felt sorry for him. Altogether. but that it would be impossible now that he was a He would have to try his luck deserter. well formed. in the States. have been more than twenty years He was tall. the other as Maxwell. with them. spoke of his to like. They had deserted from the post because the discipline was hard. Their next point was Yale. a foxy expression of face. Cox might have been old. fine. where they had enlisted. they s'aid. Their soldier's uniform. said they belonged to Toronto. One gave object.174 A Man Adrift and they frankly told us had deserted from Indian Creek. a place thirty He . twenty-five years was of middle height and of a He had keen black eyes. was to get to the United We States. and had a frank face.
point have hurled myself into a Niagara. and rowed out Kamloops Lake. were tired. and overturned it. I faced myself. not being able to withstand his logic. I jumped on the gunwale of the boat.Maxwell miles away. hands. strongly objected And as he had twenty dollars planted away since last month's pay-day. into . stayed. Rails would be laid after we were dead. They hoped to reach the following night. he proposed a holiday. and with a complica- Jimmy Murphy to our guests leaving. I felt the sudden sense of great power I would that often comes to the drunken. for the centre of the lake. which at this filled was a good deal over a mile wide. Our time. Full of whisky and the devil. it Morning came. turned We tion. or a hell. guests. As for with a crazy notion. After smoking and chatting awhile. including the deserters. 175 it by all in. and we On in the afternoon into had a roaring we got a boat. he said. Luckily. all hands could swim.
far before I was clutched by the collar. for was swimming was a powerful current. who had swum after me. which would have carried me down into the rapids. Two the months Globe the after this I in was singing in Hotel Vancouver. and I knew baritone. and we went back us to go on to work. hotel in something of music. The next day came. The soldiers left to Yale. and swam back with him. To him I owe close to the lake's centre my life.176 I A Man Adrift to certain death. and I was engaged as a I had a fair voice. and dragged round. But I had not gone very jutting rocks. He brought me to reason. It was Maxwell. The evening was turned into a concert hall. He saw the danger my mad spell was bringing me to. and I turned. I sang on the stage . where I would have been torn to pieces on sharp.
Reddy!" he exclaimed. knew "By God. me. to take a drink. them all And they were good I fellows." I said. were indeed a mixed -up. Where's your pardner. the tie of the vagabond bound together.Maxwell in the 177 had worn Singing same rough sailor rig I when working on the railroad. "You've got a great voice. Cox. I They got on well with the audience. who would sang share up with the stranger. After singing again." he repeated after looked at me curiously. that's all right. down and have a drink. Maxwell?" " His face changed colour. I I Then went in amongst I the audience and sat fellows I down with some was hardly seated before I was touched on It was I turned round. got big applause. cosmopolitan But crowd hailing from everywhere. the shoulder. Maxwell. He had got rid of his uniform.'* "Sit "Oh. was easier than laying rails. as he " Haven't you heard " ? "Heard what?" M .
anyway." asleep not to have heard about "Yes. I'll bet guess they're done for. anyway. "You mean the young. be hung. that the Indians killed the man." put in another. and a of a doctor said that their clothes were spattered with I human blood. He's going to be with the other two I can't rehung member Reddy" their to names next week.178 " " for ? A Man he's Adrift to Why Hung " condemned I hung!" I said. old circumstantial evidence gag. good-looking fellow who deserted from Indian Creek. you The men were in the neighbourat the numbskull time of the murder. "and I think the trial was a damned fraud." I sat there. though. slowly. The hood know. yes interrupted one of the men ! sitting at the table." " " Oh. my head to a cent. not knowing what to say. . Why me "you must have been it. he and two other fellows were to and condemned for death in New cold Westminster knocking a man and taking away his money in Yale. " " What and "Why tried looked straight at him.
and the day after that. didn't know what minute the troopers from Indian Creek would be on our necks.Maxwell I 179 was bewildered. Where did you leave him ? " Oh. : said to Cox "The boy has come across a tough " streak of luck. affected was rather a My mystery to me. hardened to scenes of violence. Thirty next day after we got there Maxwell got on a tear. had often thought of him. ." he answered. I Why was so head was turning. There was young fellow who had something had saved I fine in his face. You know I was scared. Besides. " We got to Yale on the night of the day we started from you fellows. as he wouldn't leave Yale. But for this I I got into trouble felt a liking from the first I saw of him. I miles isn't easy. though. he my life. about two or three days after we were with you in the shack. We had hard work to make it. out-of-the-way places I had seen men fight and kill each I had become other for nothing at all. The left I him there. knockings round for often in my various in tough.
"only that I wasn't round Yale when the thing happened. I'm . So time. laying his shoulder." long. Reddy. Cox. you the God's truth. I followed him. It's guess they would have." a wonder they didn't pull you. to Indian Creek over tell at table You tell can't who's round. I've mentioned yonder. too. But. boys." remarked someone. I going. and.180 The were " A Man next time trying I Adrift saw him was when they him for murder in New Westminster. some He rose and walked to the door. said : my hand upon "Say. can't you tell me anything more about Maxwell ? What you've told me about him has upset me knocked me out. shall Where I are you going " ? And when see you again ? "Well. See you again. say. I'm goin' to get out of here at four o'clock in the morning on a schooner got to get into the States. to Tacoma. I'm "Well. You see." said Cox. for I'm liable to be pulled here I'm sorry I any minute for desertion. Besides.
but then nobody knows what's going to happen.Maxwell dead skeary about well's. Why the man was found with his head battered in. a good anyway." "Well. and. I'm certain he wasn't. But I'm sorry about Maxwell. Do you think he He's was " in I " it ? don't . my business where you were. " I wonder if anything could be done for Maxwell?" " I I asked." " said. It's none of you'd better get right out." I . The doctor said it was the work of a club. I think I'll try and see Maxwell. and his body all smashed up. then/' said I. I 181 this business of MaxI wasn't round at the time. "if that's the case. the killing was too mean a business for a soldier to be fellow." I looked at him." "When " was the murder committed?" loth. don't know. The papers say on June the about midday. and that was about the only true thing he did say. know. mixed up in.
in I ferreting had known policemen. and The trouble so he had got into the scrape. Reddy. The boy was surely no coward. He had nothing to do with it not he! And if he had well. No. they were going to make an arrest. where his Again I could see its determined look as he pulled me around in my mad swim in Kamloops Lake. and others like them. that they'll you in to see him. . I've got to and he disappeared.'* But. and this murder was low and cowardly. to put up a job on an innocent man. show how clever they were out murder on the frontier.'so long.1 82 " A Man New Adrift him in the penitenI Well. go. I couldn't bear to think of that. marshals. All night long I I couldn't sleep. I could kept seeing Maxwell's face. was this the limbs of the law wanted to . see its softened expression as he talked of his home away off in Canada. though. let don't think. it someone must have been the work of He was around when else. mother sorrowed for him. you'll find tiary at Westminster.
the thing found out was that a mistake as to the Cox had made The murder date. On the morning of the next day full made first inquiries. this was the doctor's unsupported assertion that their clothes were of them Added to stained with All human I blood. And the names of the men who were Maxwell were with along Derose and Connors. I stopped . the while was thinking of the whole business. the loth of June. the date which Cox had given me of the day of the murder kept continually coming to me. and why was should come to puzzling. I To my surprise. not on had been committed. The only evidence convicted that the fact law had against them was the of a marshal swearing to the seeing in Yale on the day of the murder. my ears. June the loth. in so persistently Something curious was me working my mind.Maxwell and have him hung solely for the 183 purpose I of showing that they were smart. It was the it seemed ring wrong date. but on June the nth. The loth of to in June.
for. and to analyse on the loth of June ? This question seemed all at once to be put to me by something outside myself. till nine o'clock that morning. said. as no rails . June It was the day when I jumped on the gunwale of the boat and overturned it. The Canadian Pacific right of way was had at ugly travelling. ings of that day at I and presented the happen- Kamloops Lake. They were intensely vivid.184 thinking A Man of it. He and Cox must six or eight miles have been only from Kamloops. and by no chance could they have reached Yale before late that night. had On the midday of the it nth. the time of the murder. a series of mind- before me. Adrift tried the murder. Where were you?" As if to answer pictures flashed it it. they had not left us as I now remembered. ! it! I saw it all On the loth of Maxwell was with us at the shack. have been in was impossible for him to Yale. " Where were you ? Where were you ? I Suddenly Where was a light broke in on me. and.
and lay the case before him. Murphy remembered the date of Maxwell's stay with us as exactly as I did. and of my intention to go and see the Governor of the penitentiary. . By this time some wind of my intention had got round amongst the boys. and there was quite an excitement. I soon found Murphy. and our pay-day was on the fifteenth ! of every month. they walk every step of the My clear case of alibi. Here was a I could save the boy.Maxwell that time 185 been laid past must have had way. I After that Murphy and had tramped it to Vancouver. and he could back up my testimony. and I told him all about it. to Kamloops. But was I sure of all this ? Yes I remembered distinctly that four days after Cox and Maxwell had left us we were paid off. in Jimmy Murphy was to town. So I determined go and see the Governor of the peni- tentiary in New Westminster. heart gave a leap. I started for New Westminster. and he said that he would help me all he could.
He was heavily manacled. There was Maxwell. and after some thought. which he grasped way. I an interview with the Governor. but stood up in a bold. granted After a lot of difficulty me permission to see Maxwell. dark forest. so that he could .1 86 A Man Adrift New Westminster was just twelve miles from Vancouver. erect The manacles. without receiving any cue. firmly with his left hand. When the night came I door of his cell. was granted He had been a colonel in the British Army. and the road to it lay In three through a thick. he supported what I said. hours I was there. curious was brought I to felt nervous I and as the door opened. was to see him that night in the I presence of two gaolers. and to talk to him as had to his whereabouts at the time If of the murder. the Governor would see about taking further steps. entered. to say. and was a man with cold blue eyes and a He listened to what I had strong face.
hand.Maxwell move easily." I said nothing. " Oh. who has come said to he can do you any good. it's you Reddy. but eyes. in a and might benefit him " I to answer my questions. 187 glisten. my hand. I Reddy I looked at him again. looked into his gaoler then hinted to cautious way the reason of my said it The him visit. pointing me. had a blue better They looked new." taking " I'm glad to see you. off than I can't worse am. " ? What be any do you want to ask me." said. " Who is this ? " he asked. 1 one of the gaolers. " see It's if a friend of yours. " Maxwell. and holding out my As I spoke he recognised me. said. I stepping forward. "You remember Kamloops?" . He when I looked handsomer than had seen him last. But his eyes to were shining strangely. * Certainly/* he said.
run before looked up again. ! in an unsteady way. the meaning of the look that I had noticed in his eyes when I entered the He was mad. and the other boys?" He "Oh.A Man "Yes! I Adrift you in the lake "Where's Murphy swam after smiled slightly. He dates suddenly sat down on covered his face with a hands. were looking to see that I didn't give Maxwell any sign as to the should answer my question." "They muttered. He His face was I understood now cell. and his madness the date hinged on the idea of this date ." I " said. The They gaolers looked keenly at us both. convulsing with mania. Maxwell. " The The manacles gave The dates " he ! clank. Murphy's in Vancouver." said And we talked on in this strain for I. way he his his Maxwell bed. I'd like to speak to you about your whereabouts on the nth of June. and I don't know where the rest drifted to. me. a little while.
The next day again." I This was get. I dangerous scuffle. I was thinking of him the Vancouver. and that I and others could prove that his being there was an impossibility. coldly.Maxwell that 189 had occurred to me so suddenly and strangely day before in when off. after a He was got under. went to the Governor and asserted that Maxwell's saying that he was in Yale at the time of the murder was due to the giving way of his mind through the strain put upon him. But I am are Who ? questions Damn you who asks me Get out of you all ! here!" > And he sprang at one of the hard and gaolers and knocked him down. of June. " The man admits that he was there at the time. " and that is the end of all it. We were broke up over . I the to satisfaction could told it went back Vancouver and all Murphy. innocent. had out " : set him the He question rose up and shouted My On nth I the murder." the Governor said. at the time of was in Yale.
.190 innocent. A Man did Adrift that knowing as we Afterwards sentence was for life. I have often wondered and thought about Maxwell. and since then I have drifted about and seen and known many But strange things. i because left Vancouver soon after. he must be we learned that Maxwell's commuted to penal servitude of insanity.
we rounded Cape Flattery and entered I We the Straits of Juan de Fuca. Perhaps is I ought to explain that a lime- a deep-water or long-voyage ship. crew. SIMILAKAMEEN I LEFT Yokohama one April on the She was 1700 tons barque Seraph. and I must say that the taste of is 191 . and where you get lime-juice health. all told. and was bound for Vancouver I was one of the with a cargo of tea. which. burthen. for the good of your The lime- juice alleged to be a preventative against scurvy. after a trip of seventy-five days.XIV. had quite a slow and uninteresting time of it. and need hardly say that we were elated when. juicer where you get nothing but your pound and your pint. counted ten hands. as she was a typical lime-juicer.
captains and mates of this class of vessel are invariably crusted cranks who have forgotten all about everything but sheets and ropes and sails and the tricks of wind and water and weather. we were in the Straits. and a man gifted with a is There nice sense of balance. form of labouring work have ever had the good fortune If to indulge you don't step just so upon the ladder or scaffolding. so I had to turn to and get some kind of a job. a great deal of knack in carryYou have at once to be a ing the hod. Here we were turned upon the unsuspecting town. In a day the wealth I had amassed at lime-juicing had withered. However. There was a great deal of building going on in the town. and a pilot boarded us and brought us carefully up the Gulf of Georgia and into the harbour of Vancouver.192 it A Man Adrift is The ugly enough to prevent anything. and I got work at carrying the loose hod. artistic Really it is the I most in. The salt has entered their souls. powerful man. or lean forward just .
thought I might as well go off and make a fortune with the rest of them. I had not enough money to buy myself an outfit. It am was while I I was carrying the hod Miners that heard of Similakameen. came along with Arabian Nights' stories of how gold could be picked up there by the And came upon me so handful.Similakameen so. to me for my prowess hod only amounted to ten make things more interest- ing still. the thirst for wealth strongly that carrying the hod began to lose for me its fascinaThe delights that attended the slow tion. you and the hod I will fall not going to say anything against But All that I will say is that hod-carrying. But a difficulty presented itself. I found that I could only get seven dollars for the check when I came to cash it at a store. N . for the time-check which the boss considerately presented to at carrying the dollars. and. climbing of a steep ladder with a heavy I load upon my shoulder began to pall. 193 overboard. is work of an extremely interesting it nature.
had developed an intense thirst for the wealth to be gained This was good. seven wouldn't even gaze upon it. too. at the most meagre reckoning. fare to dollars My visions of quick. easy wealth were beautifully becoming dim. but. was the fact that the night before at he had made a big winning He was able draw-poker. a fine wire sieve. and I was fluctuating on the ragged edge of despair. in Similakameen. found that he. He would get me my outfit. and the 194 An A Man Adrift Fort Hope. Bob one of the lads who had come over with me from Yokohama on the talked matters over. Added to this. in a saloon to get an and he generously proposed that we should become partners. and I Seraph. We what was much better and still more to the point. . meant the possession of a pair of blankets. a pickaxe and shovel. and a revolver or a Winchester rifle. there was the getting of bacon and flour and whisky. a good knife. No. when who should come along but my shipmate. Thus was the difficulty surmounted.outfit. he said. outfit and to spare.
New We had to wait a few hours for the steamer. Nuggets " Pure as well. miles It was four hundred away from Vancouver. With this end in view we walked over to Westminster. We had found we were all not going to have Simiourselves." Bob would reiterate to me. and each other time by telling we put all we would do when we got in the " back with our load of gold dust." Then we would go off into a long discussion as to which carry. Our first point to make was Fort Hope. where the 195 wealth was patiently waiting for us. as the saying goes. It They're up there as big as your won't be all dust we'll have to carry. fist. nuggets or dust. situated right in the heart of the Selkirk Mountains. where we were to take a steamer up the Fraser River. The steamer men of all kinds I . was a mining camp. nuggets. was the easier to At last we were aboard to Fort the steamer and on our way out that Hope.Similakameen Similakameen. lakameen to There were others. was simply crowded with rough and smooth and otherwise.
Everybody seemed to be giving everybody else valuable points. Fort Hope was something over two hundred miles from Vancouver.trail is made by Indians as they . We got off the steamer. and after going three or four miles we were confronted with a tote-trail. which seemed to run sheer up over the tops of the mountains.196 A Man Adrift heard a great deal of talk. In fact. and three miles His eyes grew a little wide in places. one man averred. the bed of every stream and river in the world. and got a vast number of tips about gold and its getting. and here it was that our journey began in earnest. I heard many and wonderful schemes put forward for the turning of streams from their courses so as to get at the gold-laden sand which There was gold lay over the bed rock. A tote. this in who was a little wild in the eyes forward a scheme for the turning off put of the Fraser River a river of tremendous man volume and quick flow. wilder when I volunteered the opinion that at least his scheme had the merit of being big.
We were only one hundred and eighty miles from Similakabut this hundred and eighty miles wanted a lot of doing. broken-up mountain . Sometimes I would sit down and wonder where I was Gold was all very well. for the woeful. but this stiff. including ammunition and whisky. a gold-hunter would as soon think of forgetting his flour bag as his big leathern whisky flask. trail was going earning the a bit too sanguine Bob had " Even the admit that we were nuggets. provisions along and over places that are accessible for pack-horses and mules. for. I used to at. could make no We more than twelve trail miles a day at the outside. besides our." When night was coming on we used . In a big. we had our blankets and weapons flour and bacon and or to carry and one two other things. 197 and merchanin- or carry. as I was wiped it my to brow.Similakameen tote. something think.country whisky is invaluable. meen selves. Indeed. the whole crowd of us began to string up the trail. dise However.
circle will and then go away do this. lie fall asleep the instant we stretched At the break of dawn we ourselves out. we would wrap ourselves up in our blankets. would would get up. may be that they fear if they pass over the rope they get into a trap.198 to look fire. When we got the rope fixed. A Man round and Adrift collect wood to make a Then we would fry some bacon. Our reason for doing this was that if snakes crawled towards us during the night they would stop with their heads at the rope go around the Snakes again. make our breakfast. turning our feet Indian. load ourselves up with our blankets and things. I don't It know will the reason why. and make flapjacks with flour and water. Our last preparation for the night was to put a rope in the form of a circle around the place where we were going to sleep. and smoke and talk. When supper was over we would light our pipes.fashion We were so tired that we to the fire. and down. After the first day or so along the trail . and go on our way.
Besides being hard. high wind blowing.Similakameen 199 we stopped talking about what we would do when we got the gold. going on to Similakameen for gold. were Chilkats the wild. We the kill. of feet. hard country of the Indians who always Many of us would leave our bones here. On in quest of gold. the great mountains we could always see the glint of some torrent a sharp. the trail was often to most dangerous. It was trying the nerves to have to crawl slowly with our on a narrow ledge along the face loads of a precipice that sheered down thousands And usually there was a strong. Often I shuddered. Again we Miles out down would see in the far distance small trail. A few of us would come back . All moving slowly in on. sinister. The wind would almost seem to claw at us as if it wanted to drag us down to an awful death. and wondered what would happen next. They were before us and behind along the us. white line. specks moving They were men like ourselves.
even in the end If we died gold! died before us! Other men's bones had did not get the well. We were not the off first men who had gone danger willed it in and grappled If Fate search of treasure. other men had we lain whitening. It And we were going was not altogether the idea of eventually getting gold that bound us to this terrible trail.200 slowly on. glorious How were the . that it? we were It not to come back. A Man Adrift all laden with gold. all. it After was a fine It was a fine thing to feel that one was that doing something was hard and It was someworthy of achievement. thing to climb across an almost inacces- sible mountain chain if to this Similakameen. With it was surely blended the instinct that prompts white men to voluntarily put themselves in the way of hardships and difficulties so that they may surmount them. what of was as good and terrible to die one way as another. thing to fight along mile after mile through the clouds.
tant roar of the torrents seemed but to make more silence. We saw glaciers hundreds of years old giving forth the rays of the sun in a shimmering blaze of wonderful colours. whom we had in before started in the steamer had got . universal ter- We vast passed through gloomy.Similakameen mountains ! 201 The dis- And how clear this silent. difficulty There was not much and make about this. had not become important enough. had not as The camp yet got up into the mountains. and. And Sun. as the limbs of the law. II AT last we had in We thing were got to our journey's end. canyons. we did was to stake out our claim. awkward for them. Some the journey was of the men with an ugly one. strange. besides. North of us lay the great Klondike north of this again lay the immense trackless region of the Midnight region. it who sweat miners. The first Similakameen. rifying.
we were we had endured along the sixteen It had taken us days to come the hundred and lay around the banks of a ftv* ipi^g done was of the eighty miles. We used rested for a day or so. The camp creek. and was a great help to the Indian in the carrying of his load up steep and awkward It was simply a utilising of the places. as up through the hardships trail. Get- ting machinery up to a place like this for the purpose of crushing ore was of course It was bad quite out of the question. that struck us hard when we thing . force a man exerts when he throws his head forward A in the effort of climbing.202 us. The loads were fastened on to their backs with broad bands which were arranged so This as to pass around their foreheads. for every ounce of it had to be carried on the backs of Indians. enough to get flour up. A Man Others were still Adrift straggling behind in the distance. and most primitive kind placer mining. way of arranging the load brought into play the powerful muscles of the neck.
We would have to take our it chances of eking fishing. I miners concerning the big that imagination I found stories had helped out the had heard in Vancouver. and not met them I told that they had gone off for the Fraser River along another trail. they will find another. but there were lots of fellows nothing. Miners have a feeling against going back on the same trail. left. however. had some money at and he bought twenty pounds of flour the store. and not to be thought of for a moment. one or two men had struck big paying pans. our stock of provisions. as we into had already made a heavy inroad we began to get Bob. Going to work was quite simple. True. who had struck when was I asked Many had left why we had the place. Bacon was something fabulous. out by hunting and When I made inquiries from the other finds. And. nervous. If possible. All we had to do was to build a rough wooden .Similakameen first 203 got into camp was the fact that flour was a dollar and a half a pound.
rocking the cradle gently as he did so. I When we were dug up a shovel- of sand and gravel from the side of the creek. lifted the water. We were at it the whole of the day. Men were scattered along the banks of the creek. and pitched it into the sieve on the top of the cradle. and threw away the gravel and coarse sand. shovelful Then so.204 cradle. Bob immediately reached down his scoop into the stream. heavy sand had sifted through. ready. This was placer mining. black. for nearly a mile. slimy sand as it oozed through the sieve. he detached the sieve. working as we were working. The ful gold dust was in this sand. When the fine. . I threw in another or and exactly the same operation was gone through again. Sometimes Bob would take the shovel and I the rocker for a change. and poured it slowly over the sand and gravel. Beneath this we had fixed a piece of blanket to catch a certain heavy. A Man Adrift and fasten across the top of it the sieve we had brought with us from Vancouver.
"Your little. He work again. and brought it over to When the shack we had it built for ourselves. nuggets/' I said to Bob. took the blanket gently out of the cradle. For the first few days we did very well. with a will. was I. pieces about the size of a pin-head. a dull. laughed as he carefully put the dust away into a little Then. and indeed. We looked . there were none of " Bob's " nuggets in it. When we melted off the quicksilver the next day. at Here we dried thoroughly it the fire outside the front of the door. good We to see it. could easily get the little heap on to the point of a knife heavy. we went to gold-bag. True.Similakameen 205 night was coming on we stopped. Through it ran a few little yellow heap. over it. there before It did us our eyes was the precious dust. and once Bob actually did nugget an ounce. but still it was gold. find a little that weighed something over half He was wild with excitement so. lifted off the sieve. and afterwards ran quicksilver through it to the gold. we shook attract the sand out of carefully. When dry. cradling and washing the sand.
and passed it one to the other and tried hard to persuade ourselves that was. so.206 at it A Man eagerly. through it structural alloy running through for it enough to give a little when we squeezed it between the thumb and fingers. Whilst I was digging was always thinking of gold doubloons. it Adrift several times. and why not perhaps I ? Other men had done It was delightful to feel that I was lifting up on my shovel a piece of gold the size of many Spanish doubloons. appealed to the profound love of . right was heavier than it really We could tell that it was pure gold that there was no hard. we was soft could never find. This placer mining was the most exciting work I had ever done. bit hard and steady. but It I never minded that. The treasure I had read of in the stories of the old pirates and the treasure I was I seeking after here in the mountains ran The work was a together in my mind. After all. what we were going to Whenever I sank my shovel into tell the sand there was no knowing whether or not I might heave a nugget the size of my fist into the sieve.
in the whole camp while we were The reason for this was simple. would of night poker was played a great deal in the store. there was never a row In fact. This poker-playing helped out our digging I must say that Bob was the immensely. . to They had finely adjusted weigh the dust. luckiest man at cards I have ever known. His usual good luck was with him. there was never over the game. Curiously enough. There was no fear now of our running out of provisions.Similakameen chance that I 207 with other shared in common men. and it was a sight to watch the miners looking over and under and around these scales balance was absolutely spoke of to true. At the store the gold dust was taken just as money would be taken. at any rate for a time. a row there. And we were scales able to indulge in the extreme luxury of bacon. and when we got enough dust At ahead Bob went and took a hand in the game. see if the Fellows ounces and half -ounces and quarter-ounces of gold as they so many pounds or dollars.
They had made their pile. Any who invariably provoke the man who has been in gold this. So the result And camp right here in I must say that a mining is any part of the world as a rule peaceful before the limbs of the law come into it to extort blackmail from the miners for is themselves and their Governments. often er struck next men were going away who had to nothing. and who were leaving because they had had enough of In these cases we would club together it.20 8 A Man Adrift A row would mean business. On such an occasion we would get together to see them off. The primal conditions under which we lived . It the police rows. Someone would surely have been killed. and But give them a parting cheer for luck. was peace and amity amongst a crowd who were in the main hard men. rushes will attest to Now start and then a couple of miners would away from camp to go over the trail off to Vancouver or Port Moody. to get ammunition them some bacon and flour and if they were short. for every man was armed for all he was worth.
us realise that
was our duty
possible the necessities of it was not done with the air
of bestowing a favour. It was done simply and as a matter of course.
Sometimes Bob and off and scour around
would take a day for game. It was
as well not to be buying too much grub at the store. Though it was a big game country, it was awkward to stalk the game,
we had to confine our attention to birds. One of the men in the next claim to us lent Bob a shot-gun with the understanding that we were to whack up our kill
Quails were what we and we got a good few of them, owing mainly, I suppose, to the fact of the gun
high at the store. used to get mostly,
being of a large bore, and to the spreading
of the shot in the
Our claim gave
forth a small, steady
of the pans through the whole
of the day averaged about sixty dollars. Out of this, of course, a good deal had to
the store were the
The men who kept fellows who really got
They took no
the bulk of the gold. but simply charged
prices for to Simila-
but, like all
be sure, most expensive, middlemen, they took a double
and treble advantage of
got the gold nor did they tote the provisions. They just sat tight, and the fat from the pot.
However, Bob still kept up his form at poker, and this stood us in good stead.
Winning gold in the store from the other miners was not perhaps so romantic as getting it out of the earth in nuggets
After awhile our claim began to thin
and we went further up the creek,
Here our luck was something about the same as it was
and staked out another.
small, steady there was no use in repining, Still, yield. for there were lots of fellows who struck
hardly anything at
about six or seven
weeks, and then
making was the end of August, and
tracks for the Fraser River.
as well to be getting back while the
And one morning we
and found that we would have four
worth of dust clear after
getting a stock of grub and ammunition two thousand dollars apiece. What with
poker and our joint
had not done so badly after all. And the next day we packed up and started from Similakameen.
THE CH ILK ATS
BOB and I were in a hopeful mood as we went back along the trail. True, we had not made our fortune, but we had
come away with something into the bargain. Our work, of course, was still cut out for us, but we had made the main point, which really was to go and
managed right, and
see what the place looked like. The possibility of getting a fortune had only an inAt least, cidental bearing on the project.
appeared to us now as we talked the matter over. Bob laughed
was the way
" over his nuggets," and said that we had enough to carry over the trail as it
taking was one that
skirted to the north.
by Sfwashes who toted provisions into camp that it was easier than the one we had come by. We found this to be a fact. The only drawback was that it would run us on to the north fork of the Fraser
of running us out at This would mean perhaps Hope. delay in getting a boat down the river. However we chanced it. One cannot
we had been
out three or four
men who were
returning after prospecting to the north.
told us of
having struck a place rich
was impossible to because the water was too far away. one of the difficulties in gold-huntbut that
Besides finding the gold in paying quantities one must also find the water to
These men, who were Canadians, also told us a piece of news they had heard that made us feel anxious. It was to the
effect that the Chilkats
were " out."
meant that our bones would stand a good
chance of lying
us, for the Chilkats
savage, fighting Indians. different race altogether from the Siwashes,
were hard, They were a
were, generally speaking, inoffensive, to the missionaries.
Chilkat was as ugly and as dangerous on
the warpath as a Sioux Indian.
However, do them justice, they never went out withit
out being given a good reason for way or another by white men.
thought was rather cold comfort just then. The Canadians and ourselves decided Four would to keep together on the trail.
have a better chance of standing
off a rush
we Then was
kept the sharpest look-out just as were going in or going out of a canyon.
the greatest danger of falling into an ambush, for the Chilkats were in
the habit of posting themselves amongst the big rocks that lay around the mouth.
Here they would lie white men to come
not only hear
in wait for
when they were
how many were
was said they did
up canyon and
the mountains, the
Going through these gloomy canyons
us with dread.
so dark so
was when we were
middle of one
that our nerves were strung to the hardest Death seemed to be hanging tension.
be ahead of us
The vengeance of the Indians us. seemed to be lurking in the immense, sinister shadows thrown down upon us from the
terrible to live
of violent death.
At night when we
for a fire
It was not a safe thing to do, seen a long way through the used to go off three or
four hundred yards from the trail. Each of us took a turn at standing watch whilst
we kept up the same sharp. we were day- The danger was in the time. And along. to be ourselves to laugh talk. Here we would be could get to Fort Hope without any trouble. ever. constant watch. We and and but Perhaps at all! the It Chilkats were not "out" been a spirits rose as might have false report.2i6 A Man Adrift But at the rest slept in their blankets. the Canadians knew a halfall right. From there Bob and could go over to Vancouver or Port . in time at and men will get used to last we got used to the anyidea of being began joke rushed at any moment. or six days more we would be at the north fork of the Fraser. our we tramped a tension Men If can't stay at for the Chilkats wanted us they would for us ! come However. But thing. night as long as we had no fire fairly safe. We In five were getting well over the trail. We breed us all I who had a down the boat big enough to take river. for. as luck would have it.
cruel He to said that in men were most were. We a dropped. Chilkats. throwing himself flat. " they would be sure to try and rush us. who was going on in front. As there were only four of ! us. We knew at once what was up. Down!" shouted Bob. made a sign to us. wouldn't live in Europe if town in it for nothing. The Chilkats were coming down upon us We were in for it. They were worse than the maybe. And one of the Canadians said he see it. that perhaps we might as well pay for a passage to Europe before we had the " time." so as to see what going I suggested to Bob But Bob didn't as a passenger was like. and have a little time with the gold we had brought from Similakameen. trailing who us now I to kill us was in the thick of a strong argument with -him as to this assertion when Bob. barely in time to volley that miss seemed to come . ! one another.The Chilkats 217 Moody. was good enough for him in it he were given a The North-west ! He had lived for twenty years ! He this was very sore on civilisation. it was Canadian. too.
2i8 from A Man everywhere. twenty feet from us. and get Where the Chilkats were it was Indians noise hard to nothing. The bad however. would work for The We all we were it able. we could see no one as yet. when the Canadian raised . Suddenly an Indian seemed to spring He was hardly over up out of the ground. were not under cover. We it is stayed down hard to hit a a few seconds is man when he lying prone on the ground and then all at once there broke out a most horrible whooping and screeching. where we would have expected for we were nowhere near flat for a canyon. it. that we part of it was. screeching was enough to upset one. and was rushing full at us with a yell. Still. but by this time we had got a hold upon ourselves." many with of 'em after said the Canadian the whom I had been having argument. "I don't think all. Adrift It was hardly the place the Chilkats. to try and to would not have paid tell. can hide behind to The seemed be going there's so on all around us.
******* The whole thing right. back to back. up to him. but they hundred. They had dropped their guns. and were on us with their knives. " his hand towards ! and Bob grabbed it. clad in skins and leggings. The his body. They ! came for us. yelling wild. A The Canadian would have been all right. after There were not so all no more than a dozen. The Canadian was many Indians. Up Up I shouted and we were up to meet the rush. was over. out of him. as he was trying . made noise enough for a He was Poor old Canadian ! gone. knife he " had brandished shot out of us.The Chilkats 219 himself easily and dropped him with his The ball had gone through Winchester. big Indian had knifed the life It was a slashing up-stroke. but somehow the barrel of his Winchester got in his way when the Indian was close to turn. and he fell over on his face. and. I found out that was then that there is no weapon It like a revolver sharp work. savage-faced men. of big calibre for close.
a grave for him. After finishing he gave Bob a jab in the shoulder. all This Indian the rest put the Canadian. and would have finished him. was nearly done up through loss of The Canadian's partner was cryblood. again. getting out stitched up the I could. He He was lying close to the big and the worst of it was we had to We could not dig leave him as he lay. and it took him hard to see him dead. it would not do much. I of the took Bob's coat off. gave more trouble than together. too. needle and thread. again. only that I in got on him in time with the revolver. Chilkat. They had been together ten years. I slash in his shoulder as well as my and. for there was nothing but rock all around for us. and finally what was Chilkats drew off.220 the knife A Man went into Adrift him. And. ing over him. for the us to wait about too Chilkats might come back Again we were on the trail. This time we had to go very slowly on account of . When he was out of the way the fight left slackened.
Then We he took the three of us down the river to Fort Hope. The again. I Chilkats 22 1 was beginning to be afraid about He seemed to get weaker all the him. There he had to go on the sick list for a I . Chilkats did not bother us When we were two days' journey from the north fork of the river an English hunting party kind to us. was glad when the whole thing was over and I had got Bob safe to Vancouver. afraid proper Only for meet- a I'm would have gone under. between us. and who helped we fell in with who were very us for out.The Bob. The voyage in the boat did us good. They gave me some and quinine Bob some linen to make he bandage ing them Finally for his wound. we got to the north fork. everything else. and we were not able to We had to walk him slowly take it. A wounded man needs rest above time. here for a day or so with the halfstayed breed whom the Canadian knew.
222 time. A Man When Adrift he was right again we went over to Victoria to take our ease and to put the boys on the best way of going to Similakameen. .
in the year they he had killed to the white nothing. and talked calmly about nothing in parIf there were not enough holidays ticular. in Vancouver Island. Jong. Salmon was still cheaper and easier to get. Over their dinners they lingered They smoked to soothe themselves. their shops late in the morn- and closed them up early in the after- noon. made more. so as to supply properly their strong demand for rest. It man for next to cost almost less for a deer bought from him than it would to buy enough powder and shot to kill it. and white labour commanded a high The Si wash Indian sold the game price.XVI. FROM VICTORIA TO NANAIMO life IN the old days people took easily at very Victoria. 223 This . Food was very cheap and easy to get. They opened ing.
of the near-by United States had crept. hunt a little. into the town. The men who year had a yearning for leisure were gradually to linger. About thirteen thousand people lived in The hurry-up .224 A Man Adrift be sure. The people were forgetting closed late. The former state of affairs spirit The hurry-up had passed away. was and the being forced to leave town and go up into There the northern part of the island. and labour The shops opened early cheaper. and laze and smoke Victoria British to their heart's finest content. This all was the town in Columbia. Bob and I got to Victoria when the old days had slipped as it' were into the new days restful a trick they have. they could live with the Siwashes and do nothing but fish a little. to to the inhabitants. for their command of good and sufficient amount of leisure which poets and philosophers say is so that necessary for man's best development. and they had stopped studding with holidays. favourable state of affairs was. or rather rushed. Men were more plentiful. Everybody was hustling. it.
The Chinese were here. looked unpicturesque. The Victorians were always grumbling about them. They washed clothes. They said that when they came to a country they carried hard times with them on their backs. of straight. above all. did light labouring work.Victoria to and rush-around giving to it Nanaimo had resulted 225 in the spirit and drives. paved highways The better the roads the rush. cooked. They embodied prosaicism. and that this was one of them. In the long-winded. swifter the evidently became the motto of the people. well They had on the face of represented it arrived at the conclusion that there were flowerier places even than the Flowery Land. They were an unstartling and uninteresting lot. bitter dis- . and. The assertion was mainly because the white used them as a means to grind capitalist down and starve to death his white quite true. brother. who had arrived at the conclusion that it was necessary for the well-being and happiness to try their level best to get twenty-five hours' time out of the twenty-four.
and when ripe I I thought that the time was asked him to have another drink. is but I listened due to the aged. the I close of the restful epoch. haste from different parts of the world for the good An did old white-whiskered who me the honour of taking a drink with me. heard. offcolour adventurers. Victorian. and then went on to me that these fellows were always raising rows and ructions.226 cussions I A Man Adrift heard about them no one ever Neither did anythat brought out this point. Just before Victoria. said it was the rendezvous of outlaws. one mention the fact white gold-greedy their men smuggled them across frontiers and through harbours in defiance of own laws and exclusion acts. told me that the gold-find in Similakameen attracted them. was a rather The old-timers trying place to live in. and other in kindred gentry who had departed of their health. and that Victoria was their stopping-off I was not aware that Similakameen place. He tell took the drink. had been known so with the respect that long. maiming and .
and plenty of time for fighting. and they would come in and spend the town to witness that they it. and thought a little. . found to their cost that the old-timers knew a thing or two more about fighting than they did. suggested to the old-timer that they must have been a this I were spending At desirable acquisition to the regular population in the sense of affording an element of excitement to off-set and balance the easiness and sleepiness of the town. Instead. old The But paused. white. At this the aged. he it. but now and then they had the nerve to turn their attentions to the The result was that were suppressed vigorously. They they old-time inhabitants. As soon as they made a call stake at the placer mines. and breaking the peace generally. said. I can't say he rose to my suggestion.whiskered man finished his drink. he asserted that it would have been all right and proper if these fellows man had only fought with and exterminated one another.Victoria to killing Nanaimo 227 each other. They had little time for work.
a town in the northern part of Vancouver The brilliancy of the idea lay in the fact that we had never been there. So we left for Vancouver. Here I went to the Globe Hotel and made a borrow from Ben Woods. and things began to look The town had a rather bad for us. due. It straits on a big was beginning to snow when we got to Nanaimo. Then we worked Island. Making valiant efforts to relieve the Saharan thirst of bar-room crowds soon eased us of what we had Fellows brought from Similakameen. suppose. the brilliant idea of going over to Nanaimo. mouldered and worn appearance. would listen admiringly to our recitals of our adventures along the trail. the proThen it was that Bob conceived prietor. our passage across the freight sloop. and then calmly borrow from us.228 A Man after this Adrift Not long Bob and I found ourselves strapped. to the incessant rains. we took the precaution of spending the money I had borrowed. Before we thought of starting. I On the . however.
. alas ! we I could hadn't the price. an oasis liked to have gone in ! But. across the well lit We Over way was a saloon with windows and looking altogether cheerful in the midst of darkness and snow and damp. and and night was snowing in it coming on and Bob and I had no money. should we get something to eat. had got to the end of the and were standing for a moment. of. We walked dolefully along the main street was trying to think as to ways and means. How we would have up. . The thought it was a useless one though did bear I most exasperatingly upon the point. was a dull wooden grey town .Victoria to coast in British for at least five It it Nanaimo it 229 Columbia rains steadily months in the year. think of the money we had flung around so freely when we were telling the fellows not help but in Victoria all about things. A Where knotty problem was before us. street. It was snowing. and where had our should we sleep that night ? We but going outside the town to sleep out was not to be thought blankets with us.
is in the habit of seeing them Bob and saloon. but was a big one. over in rather. was a simple idea. and they were coming to invest part of their wages in a little and sociability. where one about. Men were going into the saloon. they were all coal-miners. for it was Saturday night.230 turned it A itself Man my in Adrift mind. If it turned the if over my mind. or. for I belonged to the North of England. A lot of men were drinking at the bar. and he grinned with approval. and these were the miners. Round about jollity Nanaimo were coal mines. gazed yearningly at the Neither of us said a word. There was no mistaking . I still All at once an idea broke in on me. We walked across the road and into the saloon. I could tell that they were coal-miners by the set and walk of them. Yes. and the most of them were men from the north of England. but the more examined it the more luminous it got. It I I turned and said a few words to Bob.
Ah come from theer. and we had it rough coming over the trail." he said. Before that come over we were in Similakameen. in a loud voice. anyone likes to we should be thankful. Thee and thy mate come " wi' and have a sup drinks for us. If I'd like to sing you a song or two. with a smile. " in a broad I Lancashire accent. hard-looking frames telligent faces. My mate here will go round. It did me good to hear the good old broad burr . Eh. It were all right. If you don't mind. just "me and my mate here have from Vancouver. give a trifle after." I had struck the right note.Victoria to Nanaimo 231 and in- their strong. but luck was against us. We had got to the turned out that there were several Lancashire men in the crowd. o 1 ' Mates. " Wheer abouts does tha' come from said " ? one man. me. I come from the north of England. tha' knows Bowton." said." He ordered We oasis. lad. as he grasped " my hand." said I. Monchester.
To use a placerism. was the landlord faced. and I had finished. that's good said the man from " Bowton. . It had been away from Lancawas as if he had only left it the day were getting on swimmingly. and gave us a big He was a jolly-looking. we had struck big paying pans. a typical. After this I sang. " A Man A He Adrift to man who belonged called it Heywood us Yowwood. he brought us back into the parlour.2 32 again. Then the landlord asked us if we were hungry. song was "Tom Bowling. They applauded when My first Hey." After supper was in great form. shire for twenty years." and the drinks were again in evidence." he treated next. looked as if he might have been suddenly dropped into " Owdham " or this " I far - away place from and Bowton. lad. red- He old English tavern landlord. but his accent as rich before. turned out that the landlord also was a We Lancashire man. " " ! said we were." of them had often heard it sung in Many the Old Country. heart)' supper. when we man.
" . He collected over fifteen dollars. all We were right. And that night and " slept at the house of the we went over man from Bowton. Then Bob went round with the hat.Victoria to Nanaimo 233 sang several more songs in the bar-room.
and I was " " Bowton would afraid the man from Bob's lungs were in added. strong. to subject of work drop. I a delicate condition. Toil in the open in was bad enough. and therefore accustomed fresh air. Being Shanghaied means being taken aboard a vessel against your will 234 when she is on . the let fact. to good. Whilst we were in Nanaimo we came within an ace of being Shanghaied. but toil down the darkness of the mine was something air to get away from altogether.XVII. Bob's looks comment upon our relief. plained to our friend that So I exwe were sailors. WITH THE INDIANS from "Bowton" said that he THE man would get us a job in the coal mines. hardly bore out my statement. he the However. Besides. But that hardly suited us.
With the Indians 235 the point of sailing and being forced to Men are do a sailor's work upon her. The are drugged. hands game was tried upon Bob and myself we were neither drunk nor the When drugged. as the case thing often happens in a wharf groggery. put aboard a boat. and taken over to the vessel which sail. The custom originated in Shanghai. and we were holding on as tight as we could to the money Bob had for collected. It was the day but one for after in my the singing the Lancashire men saloon. or when they may be. to take with us Departure The game was way. a stevedore original played in a simple and like A man who looked us stopped on the main . we wanted it to to buy flour and bacon Bay. A man is hustled out when he is half unconscious. is lying outside ready a is to make its This way of of getting ship complement practised more on the Pacific Coast than anywhere else. usually Shanghaied when they are drunk.
" I "Turn back. and then I dropped to the whole scheme. I thought that the time to get a little light on the asked the man oar." he said. edge of the wharf. "Belay. She was a big. bidding us do the same. I was ripe for Bob and myself subject. thought a little. looked at her. A Man and asked us Adrift if a job unloading a ship at forty cents an hour. rather curious that the ship we thought were going to work on was not tied up to the wharf. where the ship was. and he told us to come we wanted We He went down to the along with him. went on pulling out farther and Finally. full-rigged The man bent himself to his oars I again pulling strong. He farther. where he got into a yawl. said we did.236 street. but for the moment I said out into the nothing. He was out to Shanghai us ! Once aboard to get the full-rigger ashore again ! we would have a job said to him. He shipped an and pointed to a vessel that lay off a mile away. pulled straight it Then he I bay. half "Out I there." . ship.
Bob laughed. round Departure Bay was only six miles away from Nanaimo. White ." But the man was a told obstinate. and " plied. Our plan was to find a deserted shack on the edge of the forest and ensconce ourselves there for the winter. have to this I pull us there in At stood if up and asked him he could swim. he would how. and said " Don't you want the job ? right. bit all " No." I re- we don't want the job just yet. I meant. He knew what at once. laughed. and he turned back got on the wharf again I and struck him in the When we turned face. would have an easy time of it there along with the Siwash Indians who lived round about. right.With He the Indians : 237 all I " It's stopped pulling. He us that it was and that anythe boat. a lot about We Bob and I had heard such they led that well if them and the calm life that we thought it would be as we took it on for a time. and we walked up there after we had bought some provisions at a store.
There was nothing all anybut to work in your days like a dog. Many of them had taken squaws for their wives. stockily-built with flat. and tolerated the missionaries who . And also we found quite a number of white men who turned out as were living with the Indians. with savage eyes. They liked white men. Si washes were small. in no way who were big. straight fellows.238 men were in A Man Victoria had lots Adrift told us that there of shacks fellows had deserted lying around that after the life had palled It upon them. One old man had lived there for twenty years. and die His talk put the end like a cur! in me mind of the talk of the poor old Canadian who was knifed by the big Chilkat. The men. He now for it said he for wouldn't live in civilisation thing. He gave the life big praise. They were most hospitable. and lent us the pots and pans we needed. These Si wash Indians were like the Chilkats. strapping. mild faces. We did find a suitable shack. we had been told.
A potlatch xwas . One could imagine them stepping up from out of the earth. from the standpoint of civilised ethics. Their language sounded most strange. learn. all of us white men were after Soon we invited by the Siwashes to assist in is. got fixed up comfortably in our shack.With the Indians 239 gave them religion mixed with presents. Some of them were the quaintest-looking little men tall. moist language that seemed It was hard to be without consonants. It was an odd. With their conical hats made out of bark. they looked exactly like large gnomes. curious curious ceremony that it a most was most practical. I had ever set eyes upon. When talking to a Siwash one had usually Chenook was to fall back upon Chenook. a polyglot language invented by the traders so that they might the more easily do the for a white man to get the different tribes of Indians out of all they This language only contained about three hundred words. and was easy to had. hang of it. A potlatch was given.
. of the Even race did not The stray. up all he could for Sometimes. the knowledge that he was honoured by his tribe as a good and generous man. indeed. passing white man race who had crushed them and was if robbed them of their country to the potlatch as invited warmly as he were of the tribe. fishing-nets. money. matter. thing. This was a potlatch. mattered not whether they were of the tribe or not. as reward. Adrift and : it manner was got up in the A Siwash would save years. blankets. He to all would deny himself everything so as be able to gather together wealth of kinds rifles. ammunition. Presents were given to everyone.240 a big following A Man feast. To one would be invited . the The Indian who gave it had. he would be saving up all his life. friends. it mattered not whether they were strangers. And the feast went on. knives. or enemies. and everyWhen he had become rich he this feast everyit would give a feast. Everytill one ate and drank and made merry last of the wealth was gone.
With the Indians 241 To give a big potlatch was the great ambition of the Indian's life. Q We . just as it is the great ambition of the white man's to life amass gold for himself. The far potlatch was given in a great tent away in the forest. drinking. The feast lasted four days. them to such noble By the fruit shall one know the tree. and Bob and I got ammunition. At this potlatch a feeling of disgust and shame came over me when I thought of the men of my own race who had the presumption to try and thrust their religion on a race who possessed a religion of their own and that could impel fine acts. it even though he knows he must get sin out of blood and and misery. and some things of which we were in need for our shack. By the acts shall one know of the worth of religions. for presents blankets. religion of the Indian taught The to him it amass wealth so that he might give to others. had the finest time men could have singing and dancing and eating and We felt so much at home.
summer time you . When men the potlatch was over we white went back to our shacks on the edge of the forest.242 You were A Man Adrift was so sincere. and you were responsible In the to no one but yourself. with an intelligent face We and kindly eyes. and you could salt enough down for the winter. This Indian hospitality not asked because they knew or because you might be interesting. to tell each other all we knew. There was an old Indian with whom I both tried got on particularly well. could get all the salmon you wanted. too ! liked. Lots of white men had married squaws. and who had had experience of many potlatches. told me that Bob and I ought to settle down with the Indians and live our lives out with them. you. and the old fellow. he argued he had and they turned married one in fact ! And the out to be the best wives going. He was a nice old fellow. You were asked because you were a human being. who had lived out of civilisation for twenty years. You did what you life was easy.
and who corrupted the Indians. Men in will forgive you for beating them but they will not forgive you for interfering with their inherited ideas of what is sacred and holy. and of game. only drawback was They were a lot of loaf- ing hypocrites. . The the missionaries. war. Besides.With the Indians the forest was old full 243 so the Flour and tobacco were easy to get. And man ran on. is impolitic to allow the religion of a " " race that is called savage to be inter- fered with. must say that experience has shown me that the opinion was But a I based facts. tried to spring a religion upon who them that was not so good as their own ! This was a strong opinion for the old man to give vent to concerning the mis- sionaries. upon correct deduction from think that to conquer and subjugate a race was bad enough. even when looked from the low standpoint of expediency. without afterwards sending out men to insult this One would was a at it race by telling them that their religion false one.
Man often Adrift undo the doings of Missionaries armies and great generals. . The old man who lived with the Siwashes was right in what he said.244 A.
The in idea in my mind Nanaimo. had just deserted the vessel upon which had shipped from Nanaimo.XVIIL IN 'Frisco I A NEW PHASE become tired went on the stage. I was in 245 . months DeI Bob stayed with them. had been singing in the and several people had said to Why don't you go down to 'Frisco " and go on the stage ? me. and thought I would glitter first like to try for awhile the tinsel and and ease of the formed itself I stage. wondering. with the at where returned after several living Siwash Indians parture Bay. And of I I at last I found myself at the foot Market Street in 'Frisco. In " Nanaimo saloons. I never saw him again. I had of the sea and the mountains I and the Indians.
and I was afraid in and ask to be taken as a singer. However. and singers going in them from across the road. And I was brown and hardlooking and weather beaten as tough a looking specimen of the genus one could lay eyes on. saw the spruce-looking for rehearsal. I watched My courage to had deserted me. on the possessed a hardened constitution. Civilisation was be- ginning to get on I my nerves. He looked . Opera It and I was eleven in the morning. This was the extent of my capital through and through. and coin of the realm amount of four dollars and a half.246 'Frisco! A Man ? Adrift to get I stage But how was I That was the rub. I homo as had been told went there. a used up merchant sailor's suit which to the I had on me. Billy Furst. go The hurry and bustle of the town after the quietude of life in the solitude of the mountains. plucked up went in and saw the conductor. Indians in the confused me. and with the forest. a belt and a sheath knife. I the Tivoli in Nanaimo to go to House on Eddy Street.
music. and practise reading at sight. The love of music stimulated me to try and pick up a knowledge of to learn to read a little it. The trial satisfied my could read him. and then he asked me if Then he engaged me I could. and that I had come down to San FranI was cisco to go on the operatic stage. He asked I was. me who and what tired of sailoring. I managed In by myself. I told living with Indians in Vancouver Island. sing in the different operas. vocal scores. I was very fond of music. for the chorus. and where I him that I had been came from. I remember when I worked . When England I I was a boy in the North of used to spend my sixpences in the gallery of the theatre when going to an opera was on. Thus I managed to learn to read even difficult music. Joseph Maas. and so unlike a vocalist. my knockings around afterwards I studied it I used to buy up whenever I could. but tried voice.A New at Phase I 247 looked so me in an astonished way rough. He I laughed. I said. I had heard the great tenor.
gazing on me as if I were some wild animal. for. Billy Furst told me that was all knew stage. But I must say that night " when the was on the stage that was opera being given I the strangest Orpheus and Eurydice feeling came over me that I ever had in " my The life. literate had about stead. It now served me in good in place of having to tackle a lime- was going a long way off to juicer some vague. It was . I they paid raw chorus singers nothing in particular about all who the passed that memorable morning between the conductor and myself and the singers who stood won't go into that round wonder-struck. distant place I was able to tackle the tinsel and glitter and ease of that the stage at the munificent salary of eight dollars a week.248 at Shaft A Man Adrift 19 going to New York one pay " day and buying a score of Verdi's Aida. This hour when I ability to read music I was the only thing me. transition was so abrupt." after and studying it hour had done work.
was Imagine it! Here and brilliant light soft. possible. and captivating. who would every now and then come up to me and ask me how I liked living with the Indians. Furst thought that was as well for me come and After all. and what sort of a life it was. and I was hard-looking and toughlooking enough to look my story. At the time they didn't . grand music. wearing my weather-beaten to merchant it sailor clothes. It just chanced that the conductor took an terest in in- me. and colour. I was not playing as yet.A New coming a comic brilliant Phase life 249 with right from the midst of the Indians in Nanaimo company to the midst of opera that gaudy. lovely white stunned knocked was women. getting taken on here was the The odds were a purest kind of luck. thousand to one against me. To I say that it I was bewildered would be the mildest to put in way out. to be sure. I was just standing in the wings. My story had circulated round. see what the stage was like as soon as possible. flower of civilisation.
As the I was a was sent up into flies to help the fly-man with the ropes attached to the drops and borders and curtains. and a room for two a week.250 really A Man want I Adrift If I singers. much use that this to the fly-man. I found that I could live well in 'Frisco on eight there. Food was cheap For a quarter one could get a good course dinner and a small bottle of wine. I on as did had not caught would have had to ship out sailor I of 'Frisco. dollars a week. This was at the conductor's suggestion. that I could He put I told the management the time in like this the next opera don't think I was of for I while to I was waiting be put on. but suppose was an excuse put forward by Furst so that I could draw my salary. A got for dollars fifteen good breakfast could be cents. . The mildness of the climate made it possible to live on almost like I one meal a day. After roughing it had been the change was delightful. It was a saving management. and not be charged anything extra for coffee.
A New The first Phase 251 opera that was put on was I Erminie. but then sung before an audience before. That wonderful. first When as I the night came I was as nervous if I were going to play a big part. As stood on the stage the lights and the watching faces behind them produced a curious. alluring if charm It seemed lived to me I had never really before. enjoyed the rehearsals very much. Here so the people were so far and quiet and seemed to be an air of passive still away and critical. but after a while they got used to me. But the nervous feeling soon wore off. The magic and vitality of the music and the scene and the glowing lights got into my blood. . was of them. I was near to them." a beautiful. of course. There hosas if I tility about I them. And felt somehow was more looked at than anyone else. chilling effect on me. The stage as thrilled strange charm of the me. ! subtle. I had. bright opera. At " I was an object of curiosity to the other chorus singers.
2 $2 A Man first Adrift ! That a night on the stage in It marked new phase my life. alike. cultivated They were. men. They were an odd lot of men unlike any I had ever come into contact with before. Frenchmen. much of the principals One or other of well they could play the principal part if they only If they only got a got a chance at it. is One of the hard things in to feel that you have never had a part. and intelligent on the whole. chance to play a principal I did not stay long at the Tivoli. chance at it Poor chorus singers This ! ! them was always saying how attitude of mind of theirs was so human and life pathetic. But was mainly through my own fault. who was it . Billy Furst. My comrades in the chorus were made up chiefly of Germans. In one way they were all All of and them thought they had wonderful voices just and true methods of producing tone. I was always quarrelling with the Germans. The life I had led had made me overready to fight. They as did not think singers. and Italians.
It was each day for and be thankful that yesterday had passed. I had not been able to save a great my eight dollars a week. We were somewhat in the same fix. for would be cheaper us to live together. life became rather hard for me.* But at last I kicked up too big a row. to live would be hard to for the effort we make on each it so strenuous that particular day was blotted out completely nearly everything that had happened on the preceding day. itself. interceded several times with the manage- ment on my behalf. and we thought we might It as well join forces. We had occupied the same small room. I got discharged. This was about the time I met Ward. After this. and to-morrow had not yet come. but I had had deal out of enough of it. Our great aim in life was to get some- . I could have gone back to follow the sea again any time I wished. All the details of how we managed to tell.A New favourably Phase 253 disposed towards me.
I one to do it. face. something? The only thing that was clear in my mind something was. one occasion the landlady told us that we should have to get out on the next day. and then where would she come things tone. but he lacked action. and vigour of places he always looked brave. initiative In tight was a nice fellow. She was suave. She wanted the lucre. and done But how was I to define that quickly. and she hazarded opinion that we would soon be another week behind. happened like this : . and with it It won ten dollars. Besides. for was that whatever the would have to be the Ward was not to be depended upon.254 A Man Adrift thing to eat. and by hook or crook find the two dollars a week for our room. we were a On week behind the already. I That night fortune favoured the borrowed a quarter. but firm. in ? All this and other she told us in a suave but firm Steel in velvet is a bad thing to Something had to be done. I He to me.
man and then gamble with him The baritone. blessing the man who . wishing the while that I could take part in the game. He lent it me supera quarter." I put it it. As I was taking the drink I stood watching them. tried to Poor baritone He who double or I every throw. was not stitious. They all knew me sauntered in they asked as a matter of course to have a drink. however. Just for a shake. He a said was unlucky to lend money for to it. The all baritone had been paid Tivoli. however. but I had the luck of the won man in his last ditch. and as no one stopped. But he didn't see it. I But before he knew where he was had ! won ten dollars off him. I assented. but I'd his salary that night at the have won it and every- thing else in sight. and when I Phase 255 baritone of the Tivoli Opera House at a bar in Market Street friends. is quit. and said he would win back off me just for fun. Finally I plucked up and tried to borrow " a quarter from one of them. else would play with me I He came away jubilant.A New The was shaking dice with two of his me.
the climate of California is delightful. full The life. . One was good for its soup at one o'clock. neighbouring. and a go at the free-lunch counter. At another the corned beef was fine. The food was plentiful. Adrift had invented Ward and I were I How astonished he was when woke him little up. were unable even to raise the modest ten cents that We would procure us two drinks. while at others it was choice but slight Of and course. saloons were well known to us. A Man dice. The merits and demerits of the free-lunches of the and even the distant.256 saved. And at the saloon on O'Farrell Street you could eat all you were able without the bar- tender looking at you in a pained and pointed way. but somewhat coarse of quality at some places. as he lay in the bed in our room. and rattled the big silver dollars under his nose ! There were days when Ward and I abstained from food altogether. hungry hours. air is clear and bright I of But Ward and couldn't eat the climate in our trying.
too There was tried much of the forlorn hope about them. At still I last I had an idea ! Forlorn but Ward was to go one way. They had and there nearly is all been before. another way. fruit for ever. such a thing as driving the Trees won't bear willing horse to death. a big cup of coffee. a place where you could get one helping of meat. Eddy Our theme was how and where we should for We eat. and all "the bread could eat for fifteen cents. we hadn't eaten anything since the morning of the day before. Our luck seemed to have gone from us altogether. the corner of Phase 257 One evening we were holding one of were standing on and Market Streets. Different plans were brought up by us in turn. but none of them seemed to be worth putting into execution.A New our consultations. where we were standing then. and we were was to go to meet in an hour's time at the corner an idea. and butter you A meal like R . If either of us had raised anything by that time we were to go over and have a feast at the Palace Restaurant.
I I to stand next to him when bass in the Tivoli chorus. and smiled " a large and joyous sort of way. near I I got could see by his face that he had saw him approaching.258 this. as " It's all right. Ward come Soon. however. was another man. big Italian and borrow a dollar from him. Let's go over Palace and eat " ! He Ward's face brightened up wonderfully. I In about an hour's time the corner. As he failed. I He had been unsuccessful. it A Man Adrift where you could sit down and take comfortably. Come " ! on I exclaimed. cheerily. was much more satisfying than a raid on the best free lunch counter in 'Frisco. waiting for was back to at up. I going to the allotted forget. was to go and try and find Napoleoni Galliani a fine. My used plan. in walked quickly up to him. His step became springy and elastic as he walked across Market Street . We do in parted. What Ward was time. before I sang first But that was got the sack. I took his to the arm.
and examined leisurely to see if all the items were correct. I I did it He was a German." Ward walked out into the street. I'll settle the bill. took the which was a heavy one for the place. simply surpassed himself. deliberately. very turned slowly to handed him the bill. me it the bill. it was over. Ward was a most valiant and capable enjoying a good meal. As we stood up to I go the waiter handed bill. but on this occasion he He was a tall. and then lit my cigar at the little gas-jet I which burned at the desk.A New Soon we were Phase 259 and in the Palace. for the putting away of food. " had be presented to Here nodded Ward and Go on. We trencherman. with fair hair and . Then and the cashier. then we walked -bills I easily to up to the desk where the paid. and I topped by ordering two good cigars. seated had helpings of meat and fish and everything in sight. And and said. We would light them at the desk as we were last the feast At off going out. with a great natural aptitude lanky man.
I kept upon him a firm and fixed stare. slowly.260 because I A Man I Adrift soft blue eyes. looked so steadily and squarely Put that on the shelf right behind you till I come in to-morrow. chance of being half-killed by the waiters and bouncers. thought he was going to shout for help. and I A the angry look gradually never uttered a word." I said in an even voice. His ." I " There." repeated. but always I kept my eye on his eye. on the shelf. and did as I bid him. The German looked at the bill. Then an angry look into them. He thing all The whole It few seconds. pointing to the bill. restaurant. " He turned. remember his eyes well. to the desk. paused. didn't take over a left his face. " came run into his face. was over before the next customer had come up Put that on the shelf behind you. He realised that I had come into the bill it. but said nothing. and had up a big to without money pay for having the This was a danger- man ran a ous thing to do in 'Frisco.
He he would never have been able to " eat a mouthful. and walked out very had been looking through the window. light for Phase Then I 261 took another my cigar. " No. affairs calmly and easily. If he had known the true state of face." I said. You had no money " I he gasped. taking the whole A look of horror was in his thing in.A New eye met mine again. I saw Ward. .
How Come and have a are you getting on? drink. " Glad to see you. Why he was called Count Straps was one of the mysteries that of California. across the He knew me when I The Count was singing at the Tivoli." Not wishing to hurt his feelings.XIX. EARNING THIRTY DOLLARS I ANOTHER time next. was a rather mild-looking young man. who wore long hair and a cowboy hat. Report had it he had run dollars in through three hundred thousand two years. was going down Market Street wondering what would turn up caught sight of Count Straps ambling towards me from I when suddenly road. 262 I con- . "Hello! ""he exclaimed. as he shook hands with me.
he " I said. I nexed three sandwiches. to no money I had But happily I was deceived." he concluded." quickly. The Count had not yet got down to bed rock. turned and looked at him. and saloon. taking some friends for a month's cruise down the coast to Santa Barbara am and back again. I reflected rapidly as walked over to the lunch counter and annexed more . seen the game worked before. as finished my lager. what effect his And you can look out for things generally. The impressiveness of his tone almost made me think he had pay for the order. 263 nearest we turned into the Here a magnificent I was struck my gaze.Earning Thirty Dollars sented. as he turned and signalled to the bartender to let us I have another drink. Two " lagers ! a bold tone to the bartender. glad been considerate Count's offer as " in I free lunch I that had the enough to accept walked over and ancalled out the Count. " I want you I to come aboard my yacht. You've been a to see " sailor " ? He paused a little words had upon me.
" But no worse than fact. I'll we'll call the go with you anyhow. self." anything in it. we won't call it off." he added." he assented. " A Man A But Adrift month's cruise would do me no harm! Done ! "Done!" is I exclaimed. Count. dollar. " You don't need the it money now." " things are tight. the end of the trip. I'm broke. if Oh I put in. would it do. If you had Thirty dollars at Will that do?" It you'd only spend it. So at the was settled that I wharf on the next day. Count? clothes. money end of it off. should turn up And the Count lending me a we parted. . "You can have thirty dollars at the end of the trip. looking " I there " You It me up do my- and down. "when a man has no money he I should dress well. "But." he said.264 sandwiches. I think a month away from 'Frisco would do both myself and the town good. suppose I shall soon was a have " to turn into a " ! dude myself. sagely." No. and I need a suit of do.
Thus my easy concerned.Earning Thirty Dollars I 265 was sorry I was not able to share the dollar with Ward. who were I standing with him on the wharf. getting together of was a job that would not The my belongings take up very I much of my time. At once he introduced me to his friends. I This I polished up. . in mind as far as an outfit was was me this only thing necessary for to do was to create a bit of an imposing I The effect as appeared on the wharf. All that had was a This couple of shirts and some socks. but he had left 'Frisco to go to work on a ranch. for it is not cold off the coast of California. did not bother me much. got my landlady to lend me lain an old worn portmanteau which had for a long time in her lumber-room. If it came on from the I to rain I would borrow oilskins Count or one of his friends. to see right. was hailed with a shout from the Count when I appeared the next morning. glanced if down sideways was looked it at the in portmanteau which swinging all my hard. I With end in view.
I ran my eye over his yacht.2 66 It I A Man Adrift had a polished. for things of late had not been going satisfactorily with I me in the eating line. this has grubbed her. for he had got wines and spirits aboard to stock enough a canteen. had helped out the shirts and socks It with some books and old papers. Cruising along a coast always wants careful watching. I told him. I in effect the captain of the away hold prevailed upon him to stow nearly all the drinkables in the . but I wonder how he The truth was. It was all very well to be excelled jovial. In this particular I found in that fact. but too much joviality would get us on the rocks. and steered with a tiller. And. I thought to myself. being yacht. the too Count had excelled himself much himself. accessory to the trip rather interested me. beautiful little was a sloop-rigged boat of about fifteen tons. full-looking appearance. She looked well and fit. had been subsisting mainly on hopes and free lunches. She'll do.
The steamer managed as we were right under her bows with our mainsail shaking and flopping. Count came in and too. We The Count had to steer while I taken it upon himself tended jib. nearly knocked two of to stop his friends overboard.Earning Thirty Dollars Soon tain. but he it all right. and with cursed fluency share. bows of a big which was coming head on to us. swept round. On one occasion we were within an ace of it. How we got safely out of harbour and through the Golden Gates to will always remain a puzzle me. though it was into the wind. were nearly run down four or five times. The mate leaned over the I the rail. the yacht get up and she jibed before we let knew where we as it were. and damned vigour. while he himself only knew enough to take risks. Count's friends knew nothing about the ways of a boat. The main boom. for my . I 267 found that I but I was not only capwas the crew as well for the . steamer tried to cut across the He He would have made risky.
of whom knew fifth less I nothing about sailoring. and out into the free water. didn't seem to realise that we were precious lucky to get off with only a left-handed If the steamer had struck benediction. fellows in Here was four I with five a boat. and ourselves. I was in a situation at once ludicrous and dangerous. And. When I put this to him with emphasis. I a succession of bad quarter-hours. us. than nothing.268 But the the A Man 'Adrift Count got the lion's share of benediction because he was at the tiller. did the Count ! At I last we were through the Golden Gates. The Count's dignity was injured a little by the variety and vigour of the insults and He epithets the mate had hurled at him. to think to save Before that had had no time about anything but trying the had passed through yacht. and some of us perhaps our lives. he would certainly have lost his yacht. After this I took the tiller myself. he became himself again. as far as and the was con- . Then began to think a little I about the situation.
. for none of them could steer. I am thankful to say. The They were As for the sick. I would have hard work and anxiety all the It He There was humour. He was a nice fellow. Count himself. the adventures the yacht had gone through in getting out of harbour proved And the Count to be a reed of the most broken kind. in the situation but the humour was distime. but a reed ! had entered upon this pleasure-trip depending on me to pull it through safely. in San We I ran along till it began to get dark Count's at the tiller all the time. counted by the danger.Earning Thirty Dollars cerned. would be no pleasure-trip for me. to be sure. and telling me all sorts of . to the fore. I began to wish I had stayed Francisco. I 269 myself didn't know too much about the handling of a boat with a fore and aft rig. Besides. I would have to do absolutely all the work! None of them could be trusted to take a watch. he was on deck. very much four friends were in the cabin. I had hardly any knowledge of the coast.
" I hadn't been listening to what he had been saying." said nothing. gave me His being of any use at a pinch a decided shock." amazement. as I gave " do you know of a the tiller a shove. Adrift things about nothing in particular. that point. to seemed too good His remembering be true. shelving bottom. We ought to make hour with I the yacht for half an it in this breeze. but headed for the direction it he gave me. for him up than anywas irritated right through. place where we could run in for the night ? If I'm to be the captain and crew all rolled up into one. direction. incredulously. "Tell me. I've been there before. suddenly." I asked. when Cregan was running me. indicating the " It's a little bay with a sandy. I had asked him the question more to shut I thing else." he replied. I deter- .270 last I A Man " said. At That's all right. I might as well have a little sleep. the Count did know of a little bay where we could run utter in To my and shelter. "Where?" I "Off over behind asked.
made a night of it discipline but myself. But I thought that cipline.Earning Thirty Dollars mined if it 271 have a turned out all right to better opinion of him in future. The Count shore. But that The fact of his piloting me to it at all helped me to forget his curious method of steering us through the harbour in the morning. the others got over their sea sickness. of the tell place was. the mainsail. might as well relax dison the grounds that we were at I anchor. and we all had a jolly supper Soon together in the cabin. the Count was mattered unable to me. It did turn out all right. We . that as pilot. As captain. and that there was no one to Also. the Count was really in charge of the ship. for sure I enough ran the yacht into as fine a little anchorage as one could wish for. What the name little. The drinkables were brought into requisition. the Count deferred to me as to whether or not drink should be allowed. let I down the anchor as the jib and dropped ran her up close to the in Then we took after this.
three days. it shines only in California brilliance. time.A Man The next Adrift day things went on more smoothly. this It to Here we stayed two or was a most beautiful bay bay where the English rover had cast his anchor in the long ago. He had been a good deal around. and had had the excitement of getting through a fortune in a hurry. But surely.was glad that my golden wanderings had led me to such a country. . but I had to do all the steering The Count tended the jib. and told me various stories. In time we worked our way down Drake's Bay. old proverb had it that a rolling stone gathered no moss. into it in the morning. . I and the sun was shining as with a soft. After all there was something to be said in favour The of knocking about the world. And we made another night of it. The sky We got was gloriously blue. just the same. His friends stayed drinking below in the cabin most of the dropped bay. When was night came we little anchor again in another at least a The Count good pilot.
and as we were short of fresh meat he said it would be a good idea to scout I around and shoot a calf. the captain would come the front most effectually. in 273 became the rolling the stone bright ! We here in enjoyed ourselves while we were loafing and lazing around on shore the sun in the daytime. that if the crew to mutinied. in civilisation There was began a flavour to of piracy about the suggestion reminiscent of the old buccaneers who had made this s .Earning Thirty Dollars at least. There were some cattle scattered over the hills. chasten Living me. We The Count joked me. and his friends were most jovial and com- got all the drinkables panionable. and sleeping The Count aboard the yacht at night. agreed with him that it was an excellent idea provided no one caught us carrying it out. if would they do replied saying what I the crew mutinied. A few hours before our time for sailing out of the bay the Count made a proposal. and stowed them in the cabin. out of the hold.
made themselves in killing There was no use that anyget idea. Having through whole days to tell was rather wearying. We started out on the But no calves were to be found. would be too long a story I about the second half of the to say that I Enough was to more than earned the money As get from Count Straps. thing aboard. I But after a little per- began to see the romance of the When you are amid the ruins of naturally apt to feel some! Rome you are what Roman scout. got through We stayed here some time. would be too heavy to Besides. as captain and crew needed a to steer continuously in succession It thought the rest.274 A Man Adrift part of the Californian coast one of their stamping grounds. and scarce. trip. suasion idea. There were nothing but big cows and bulls or The calves must have known bullocks. . We had up the At before last we were first riding safe at anchor Santa the Barbara. of our evil intent. the mind of the Count to give ran on veal. part We of the I had trip.
But I managed to sheer away.Earning Thirty Dollars before. deadly roar of the surf. I 275 And the steering. after an anxious time. but he saw too Count up to pilot me. went ashore on the Seal Rocks just outSan Francisco. many I lights at once. I had her through When I got to the wharf. but I felt that I needed all my to wits about me to and it. too. I When heard the roar of the breakers thought we were done for. manage the tiller. I side the harbour of had made the mistake of trying to get in in the The Count was in the cabin night-time. we almost through. by good luck . the Golden Gates. keep a lookout I had to leave and run forward I to tend the jib when- ever I got the put the boat about. Drunken shouting and singing from the cabin below mingled with the ugly. They wanted drinking with his friends. me to drink. and. I was just beginning to see the black heads of the rocks in the moonlight. only that we were usually able to put in somewhere at night I could never have had to do all pulled As it was.
. Lord. as fervently thanked the hauled in the yacht and made I her fast.276 A Man And I Adrift He grabbed a loafer was hanging around. I threw him. And I I went to to into the tailor's shop came buy myself a hand-me-down suit of clothes. his was over day I walked up Market trip ! Street with my thirty dollars safe in my first The Count had been as good as word. and hitched it round the line a spile. The next The pocket.
gressive from intensity.XX. LOUNGING THROUGH SUNSHINE dollars left after I HAD twenty buying the I suit of clothes. and I thought might as well take a ing the have a look around California relaxation after captainI would like to Count's yacht. am and lounger that will sure that every globe-trotter agree with me in saying in a difference latitude in makes a corresponding of the sun's distinct difference rays. In Calcutta he . I the quality mean is moods. little to lounge through sunshine. quality as Sol has varied piercingly ag- London he makes you sad because of the doleful way in which he in veils his face in fog . in Greenland he is 277 . For the sunshine the of California is past sunshine of any other part of the I planet.
He shines with un- Climate California. If you are foolish enough sand. brilliant as His in rays once as they are in Calcutta.278 A Man in California Adrift if pale and ethereal. he were for his But he makes up is delinquencies. He in his best mood. despised. and seems as not for this world. rather. and third thing that is talked about. from praising to the and that is is thing This part of the climate. there Californian refrains is one thing that the the or. their lucid hardly been It is become the country a confirmed climate -ex- impossible to escape from and exhaustive way of putting If you wish to become unpopular and it. sultry brilliance. all you have to do is to barely hint that the climate perfection. second. San Franciscan skies. is the is most the vital topic in It first. too. is not quite absolute However. are at He behaves himself. their effect as and as mild and genial they are in England. in the after to walk along Market Street . in People who have month pounders.
look at you in reproachful The Chinese have a great Francisco. pleased-to-meet-you kind of sand. a block or two. and morbidness of the Aye. You are in the midst of Mongol. mouth. under your vest. nostrils. squalor. the Chinese have come . and gets into your eyes. if you are unwise. up walk in a city. pockets. hazard a sarcastic remark about the of this will sand. You have but ! hold in San to turn Clay Street from Kearney Street. lo you are Chinese the filth. The kona gathers it up from the neighIt is an affectionate and bouring hills. After it has dallied with you for a quarter of an hour. and. ears. and to wonder feebly at the Californian's climate- When next you hear him praising faculty. you will. losing himself in a panegyric concerning the gilded benefits climate. you begin to feel sorry for ever having come to 'Frisco.Lounging through Sunshine 279 noon when the kona or trade wind is blowing from the Pacific Ocean. you speedily will become acquainted with this sand. and everywhere it can. For answer the panegyrist silence.
the sand too familiar and affectionate for one's comfort. has all the gravity of some religious ceremony. you must go south. under the shadow of a great mountain. The . look like quaint. for Take lies It example. Here to its you will find California living up reputation. If best. pipes. who move around gravely. Little Chinese children. their uncanny-looking smoking opium mixed with tobacco from queer-looking shops. You is will find the climate as as they say it glorious and as beautiful is which saying a great deal. Even the very streets are as narrow and uneven as they are in the lower quarters of a town in far-away China.280 their A Man Here theatres. No. if such their solemn movements can be called. is As I said before. Adrift here to stay. are their joss-houses. Santa Barbara. Stretching out before it is the laze and heave of the great Pacific Ocean. you must not stop in San Francisco. Their playing with one another. animated wax dolls. and themselves. you want to see California at its however.
for through the best vigour part of the year its heat is not calculated to They must have been make one think of Heaven. can't for the life of it me after see why the Spaniards named the angels. strange-looking town town that at once old and young. is a hard-looking town. As you approach from the seaward great. A town framed sun of gold. Forty miles inland you Angeles. house here. high. clear fire of a Santa Barbara. You town on and on to in at last a little seems come up out of the the soft It is waters.Lounging through Sunshine 281 scenery around this part of California is the most wonderful and beautiful in the world. a tithe of the beauty of Santa I In a way. it possessing not Barbara. I believe . two hundred years old. possessed of great of imagination. It is a is come upon Los a Before it is a desert of sand. It realises the ideal of the greatest descriptive writers. a relic of the Spaniards. snow-topped mountains sail rise and till rise before you. Byron himself has not imagined a land-picture more There is a Jesuit missionmagnificent.
abroad to the
Los Angeles has everything
have to be heretic enough
suppose, sounds well to the far outsider. He doesn't know, of course, that one of
the interesting things about the climate of California is the fact that it changes
tremendously within the radius of a There is a big difference few miles. miles coast and between the fifty
wonder why the Spaniards It town after the angels.
could hardly be that the heat of it made them think of the fallen angels when they were christening it, for the Spaniards were conquerors of the devoutest calibre.
They slew and prayed and prayed and
presume, they indulged both these pastimes at one and the same time. Again, it might have been
that a sense of the
humorous was upon them when they were performing the But this is hardly town's baptismal rite.
Lounging through Sunshine 283
probable, for they were civilisers, and, as everyone knows, civilisers are an
must have a
steel point to
can appreciate it. No, it have been humour nor irreverence that
before they could neither
prompted the Spaniards as
the namis is
abrupt to of it.
home of the tamale. those who have never
street at midnight,
the joy of eating a tamale on the I must try and describe
very warm to the hands, and looks like an overgrown bunged-up banana. It
of chicken, corn meal, strong spices, and other things known and unis
These are all boiled and mashed up together, and laid out on big corn
shape of the aforesaid banana, and tied up at both Then a man stands on the corner ends.
rolled into the
late at night to sell
them to the rounders. them steaming in a big tin keeps
give him a dime, and
he hands you out a tamale on a
the tamale off the
strip off its leaves,
joy yourself, thinking the while that there is some good after all in the skill and intelligence of man.
of the tamale
warms you up from
top to toe like
good old wine, feeds you,
feel that things are
and makes you
optimistic, generally. forget your radical, destructive ideas, and begin to think kindly even of old time,
they are no more to be compared with the Los Angeles - - or angel tamales than well, words fail to tell the difference.
In this town you get good wine at a low Of course, the wine hasn't got the price.
ancient and hoary pedigree of a wine of Southern France, but then I need hardly
Lounging through Sunshine 285
faked-up wine with an alleged ancient pedigree of the hoary and that also the order, possesses
expensive, able thing
desirhardly the most in the world to stack up
do towhisper softly what you can put off till to-morrow." I day can well understand how the older inhabit:
gets into the knack of using up a great deal of time in the doing of nothing. The very air " to Never
After awhile here one
ants have attained to such a degree of skill " in the subtle art of killing time. Hurry
a phrase which has lost its meaning for them. They are the masters of time
instead of being
wrong, from a New York or London But then it is comfortable standpoint.
such a bad thing after
know people who have from the Eastern States by just got the way they bustle round trying to do
climate soothes them.
people plant orange trees in their gardens, and the effect of the bright
green leaves and
The country round about is most favourable to the cultivation of oranges. You may drive along by orange groves
guard them. have to do is to stop your horse, get out, and help yourself. The proprietors don't
There are no fences Think of it! All you
the picking season the tramps come down from San Francisco to help to gather in Their pay is a dollar a day the crop.
Rest, and indulge
and they go about
Tough-looking specimens of the genus homo are these tramps. But they are all
healthy and vigorous of look, and
faces are thoughtful of expression.
Lounging through Sunshine 287
given to introspection. They have the to discover themselves to them-
come here from the
unfreshing, in love with
made such a
beautiful, easy-to-loaf-in land,
are willing to stay with that
say a word as to the has come to the consustained
general little of it now and then is all right but at it for a month or a year is not to keep
Reasoning thus, he becomes a tramp. He goes from place to place, from spot
Gradually he develops his
philosopher upon the subject of
Don't run away with the idea that our tramp walks very much. Don't imagine that hour after hour he is climbing up
It abounds wide country. prairies and chains of lofty
would smack of the nature of
No, our tramp
railway companies takes advantage of
At bottom he
Also he has a certain sense of honesty. He is too honest to rob any poor man
out of a day's work.
not particular as to his accommodation when he is taking a ride on a
nothing, and that something of the very
and He respected thinks the by Government ought to build more ships and increase . In common with all men who have nothing whatever to do with the governing of the State. He No a gallery doesn't cry out for a stall. the negro question. seat will do. or on the front of the blindbaggage. as people usually do. a box-car or on the bumpers. and disthrown-away papers. reads them.Lounging through Sunshine 289 He is that best. interest in He say in with his in fellow interested the He is tramps. he takes an intense picks up old. of the tariff. And when the brakesman tells him to get off he does stops. in under the Or he will ride in engine on the trucks. workings in the Chinese question. He would like to see America foreign prosperous countries. But he gets when the train on again when the train starts. He will take his ride on the cow-catcher of the engine. or. cusses what they say and what they don't politics. He is not particular. if needs must. rara avis an uncritical deadhead. .
at the also thinks same do nothing. they make it pay- Occasionally the tramp becomes weak enough to do some work. sitting is thing does.2 go A Man of the Adrift Army. it. He approvingly of the Commisto settle things. tie is sioners who go abroad there He feels a strong himself. very strong on the rights of the working always man. The who talk a lot about nothing. what more the point. time. This doesn't appeal to rights the tramp. They do the only very much the fine They down to to excel in art of settle things. or he people who win the tramp's admiration are the Senators and Congressmen. Either a man must work and shut up about must avoid working altogether. and. And. however. He soon resumes . But this weakness doesn't last long. between these people and he same better. The working man is striking or growling about the of labour. live well. for deep continuous thought has shown him that in the nature of things labour can have no rights. the strength He is not.
much mistaken. They are rare. Some people may think that there is no art in begging. as the tramp will inform you. he must be able to single out . Peach-picking is what he favours most. He gets something a day and his board. however. which a glance a "hand-out. The season lasts six weeks. and the peaches are delicious of aroma This work and taste. there are really in men who like to give money to anyone who asks for it. existence . the tramp develops into a skilful and expert beggar. " He is can will at house where he A hand-out" its get a a parcel of food.Lounging through Sunshine 291 his is wonted vigour. usually of a light and pleasant nature. It know what stranger As he goes along the at a glance the giving type of man for. The is tramp's real means of tell livelihood begging. with the privilege of sleeping in the barn in the hay. Yes. is easy and healthy and shady." derives name from being handed out through a half-opened door. The work. but they do they are takes a clever man to if to ask for street money.
and then to know if if in his pocket. and well appointed. But let us go back to the land of sun- shine : San Diego lies to the south of Los Angeles. older part of this town which was . the wealthiest of travellers Only may put up The only gazed at it.292 A Man he has money in the right Adrift The thing is to be but they do exist. an immense there. stand great mountains. temperature is pretty nearly the same all the year round between seventy-five and eighty degrees Fahrenheit. Behind it. able to single out this man. and is quite close to the frontier Mexico and the United line between six or eight miles from it. bracing and soft. On Coronado it stretches the ocean. It is a fine place for invalids. who travel to it from Its air is at once all parts of the world. some States The Here the climate is perfection. and this he be mood. Beach stands a the little way from the town It is Coronado Hotel. I hotel. in the Before distance. To do requires genius.
The women early.Lounging through Sunshine 293 built by the Mexicans. often are beautiful. and often are Here live the Mexiquaintly beautiful. and black They have a mixture of Spanish eyes. but they age They are old at twenty . she magnetic. coloured. flashing of eye. swarthy faces. great gorge which cuts mountains. This is another little gem is of a town on the southern coast. I went to see the Big Trees. They have coppery-coloured. and finely formed. can part of the population. six miles away. and Indian blood in their veins. It here so cool and green and beautiful. I remember the morning I first lounged into beautiful indeed Santa Cruz. The houses is very picturesque. The scenery And gloriously The magnificence of the trees is hardly to be described. and running up straight . are of adobe. When is a Mexican woman is beautiful.five. They are stupendous immense of girth. From They them along were The way road to was the over side a of stage built a through the here is wild and grand.
Two hundred years ago the Jesuits built .coach This will give some idea of their passes. built right It also is this on the edge of the ocean. vastness. the waves to thunder there in wrath The Mexicans have because of the desecration of their land by the Gringos. They are The effect is nearly of the same awesome. Man feet. these waves miles away. some distance out. or Americanos. Adrift hundreds of One of them has a great hole cut through the base of its trunk through which the' stage . At point the waves thunder in with great because of a reef that lies force. There a little town not very far from here called San Bueneventura. a superstition conThey say that God has caused cerning it. There is nothing like where all is it along the whole coast of California. size. this roaring. as of a constant. You can hear the roar of In the town. wild storm. has an odd effect. You feel so all puny standing by the silent side of a tremendous Titan that has lived through the is centuries. calm and clear and bright.294 for A.
of the indomitableness. is all Not once has small through these two hundred out. her arms she holds the Babe. Some of the larger houses have curious inner courtyards. Typical never-dying persistence of the Jesuit. a flame and blue and Before the altar the Virgin stands.Lounging through Sunshine 295 in this It is is town a church. and dark-looking. . simple altar a light burns. it been It steady. Before It the small. ing there years. the it priests thought roof of rafted. The well to subject the soul. and slow. the church is low and heavily rude wooden benches wheresat are still The on the Indians there. and In surmounted by a great wooden cross. soldiers When had subjected the body. which is there still. is the It has been burnsanctuary light. it the Jesuits converted and baptized Indians after the the Spaniards had the crushed them into subjection. this is the most Mexican in appearance of all the towns in Southern California. roofed over with glass. long and low. In San Luis Obispo is about twenty miles I think inland from San Bueneventura.
When thought the So goes the old legend. He taught them useful arts. Quetzalcoatl was a white man probably from Europe. probably as far back as the birth of Christ. Spaniards came the Aztecs their god had kept his It promise. The ease with which the Spaniards conquered the Aztecs was due to the fact that they believed the white men to be the sons of their god. Quetzalcoatl. and when he left them he promised to come back again The rememwith a numerous progeny. whom themselves a mighty and powerful race Cortes conquered. and they welcomed them. The idea of building these glass-roofed courtyards was in the borrowed long ago from the Aztecs. brance of this promise was kept alive by just as the Jews keep alive their belief in the coming of a Messiah. man who Quetzalcoatl was really a dwelt with the Aztecs.296 In chat and A Man Adrift them the Mexicans used to sit and smoke cigarettos. was only when the white men had committed unheard-of atrocities and treacheries that that the Aztecs thought of trying to repel . tradition.
fighting They thought they were the against sons of their god. . But even then the Aztecs were demoralised.Lounging through Sunshine 297 them.
that his heart was in the right pay out what manager doesn't come in.XXL OPERATIC FORAGERS THERE was pany that California Pacific a certain comic opera comused to go on tour through and Oregon. artistic Everyone liked And I have heard people say that they would almost as soon work for him without salary as 298 . And I must say that when he was telling one on salary day can't A of the wonderful things that would happen in the way of finance the week after he did way. it in a most pleasing and him. of this men little I The manager was one of the nicest company have ever met. but for place. True. he was a Slope shy about the all paying of salaries. and round the generally.
hotel Say bills. can't say that It my devotion to him was as prostill it nounced as this. decrepit. to the He would win over the hotel-keeper to let the trunks go.Operatic Foragers for 299 I some managers with salary. and not often able but this I when once weighed little with me came under the spell of the manager's magnetism. that ghost to was walk. if he were unable to pay their his genius or unable to raise the fare to Then next stand. I was engaged by first this genial sing small bass in his chorus manager to and to play parts when fifteen called dollars salary was The upon. of course. or he would deftly borrow five hundred or a thousand dollars from an almost complete stranger. He was a man with the true impresI ario's gift. but was when his was pronounced. After had got back to 'Frisco from having an easy lounge through California. I the had heard. He described . a week. go would bud and blossom forth. company had got into a hole that he showed forth in his best form.
" In Los Angeles the ghost walked were paid our wages. and he dollars in advance.300 A Man Adrift the beauties of the country through which his company was to tour in a fine guide- book manner. first opera that " was put on fol- Der Fledermaus." " " After that " lowed Student Boccacio and The Beggar and several other comic operas. let me have five We believe was " opened the in 'Los Angeles. I thought that she must be a very democratic prima donna indeed. and I was astounded to hear her tell the company. We finished with "The Pirates of Pen- zance. I was sitting next to the prima donna. I will waiter that she wanted beer instead of champagne. but I afterwards found out that the worst is beer better than the best Californian champagne. Here we I played for a month in the Pavilion. . And when we the month was over the landlord of the hotel where the bulk of us were staying gave a champagne supper to the whole of the never forget that supper.
dis- cussing and wondering what we would have to do next. How he At the however. We rifles we had had run out of food. and he last.Operatic Foragers After for in 301 we left Los Angeles we left home. but borrowing money and soothnothing ing the wrath of hotel-keepers. His plan. no other town did we even make The manager was put our expenses. we sat around. Our position was serious. it struck him that company needed a rest. in the mountains. True. So we went out and camped in the Santa Ynez Mountains. but we had only one decent shot in the crowd. and ammunition. was to have the men of the company camp out in the mountains till he could raise enough money to open up the season again. One a scant morning. where he closed the season. kept it up was a mystery. and there was plenty of game around us. . after breakfast. managed get us to Santa Barbara. to he explained. to the necessity of showing forth in his He was doing best form the whole time.
"Why not kill The suggestion suggested. The the neighbouring stream would So simply have nothing to say to us. was received with horror. for the pig I referred to was one of a drove of pigs a pig ? I " that belonged to a rancher who allowed them to run in the mountains. with Thus we had come little away Alas. a luminous idea suddenly broke in upon me. We trout bad also. skill we had were in depended fishermen on our as hunters. bad The a rest have off. No ! Such would a thing could not be thought of! It . here we were in the midst of plenty with no hands to grasp it. As we were arguing. The way to it lay across a over parts of which a mule could not travel. right on the trail coast. comparatively food. barn a lot We were a sad The ing at ladies of the company were stay- a cheap hotel in Santa Barbara. Santa Barbara lay forty miles to the west.3oa could A Man hardly Adrift luck. hit and he had had hundred yards generally.
emphasis upon this point. The seed had fallen on good ground. and. in fact. though for the men around a ranch both in California were apt to believers good marksmen and The thing for quick justice. least it. most be in likely fate. But I caught doing rather bad. thereby running less risk of having any If we were of the rancher's men see us. To be shot would be our . or at taken to arrested prison Santa Barbara. of course it would be to We and might get shot. was budding forth vigorously in their minds. and they were bad hunters and one could go right up and interview a pig . The only difficulty was the barrier raised up in their minds by . was without the introduction of a couple of hours' stalking. They were short of food. to us to do commit the deed expeditiously at I laid dusk. After a little while I could see by their faces that my suggestion had germinated.Operatic Foragers be nothing short of robbery robbery ! ! 303 Daylight pointed out that we might perpetrate the deed at night or at dusk.
Soon Charlie and I sighted what we took to be a suitable pig. we based our chances of safety upon the probability of his thinking that The principal we were hunting. and Charlie had a prepare it quickly. and Charlie knelt near five . If a ranchman heard the shot. fifty not more than a hundred and I pounds exactly see at the weight. time his reason for being so particular. and so as to leave no trace. needless to say. and now was I All coming the beginning of the end. quite after the stout tenor's fancy. tenor of the company. Hunger When dusk came Charlie Johnson and sallied forth. A smallish one. rifle. shoot bury the offal had a spade.304 was soon A Man Adrift But this the sensitiveness of their ethics. was stout. day long we had been thinking of roast pig. didn't but afterwards it dawned upon me. he said. and ethics soon part company. who. had given us a caution as to the size of the pig we were in to select. I it. Our plan was to get as close to a pig as possible. It was standing or six others. surmounted by their need.
and its grabbed strong. Plainly. took blazed aim. was then we saw that we than had killed a bigger pig we intended. It was horribly and knocked soon me but Charlie It about a good finished it with his knife. and were getting nervous. This we passed through lifted the legs. by one of it forelegs as it lay struggling furiously. legs together. It 305 and away. By we time night was upon us. its it behind ear. The dusk had fallen upon After we had prepared the us too rapidly.Operatic Foragers down when near enough. There was a this chance any minute of our being fired u . while I had the other end of it my left shoulder. and cut we tied its down the limb up the carcase first. and buried it evidences of our deed. deal. and carried Charlie went with one end of the tree limb on his right shoulder. of a small tree. But the pig was so heavy that we could go no more than a few yards before we had to put it down. dropped with a bullet I rushed forward. on we had made a bad mistake as to the size. Then we it.
We stated the case to them as they stood around the There were a great many blank fire." mopped said.306 ' A Man Adrift And upon or challenged by someone. his forehead. Hardly the best thing for us ! We would never be able to get to camp with our What were we to do? load. old numbskulls! man! We are two Here are we taking all the risk in this business while the other fellows are luxuriously waiting in the feast when we arrive. let us leave the pig here. Perhaps more. to carry it share the risk. but they will eat as shall. our camp was nearly a mile away. they must all So back to camp we went." risk. but the getting The stout tenor was . looks. and make in turn. he " What should we do ? " " Do? to Why. Suddenly I said to Charlie : "Look here." hands help they eat. Nobody seemed feast to like the idea. If go back camp. camp to begin They take no much of it as we "You're Charlie right. bothered them. The of it was all right. The moon was also coming up clear and strong.
it it to camp ourselves. prying ranchman had been around. we might If we were if wouldn't have been his funeral. In about an hour's time we were back with the pig. As serene as the No moon ! Soon a delicious odour was arising. but forcible things to him. He had foreseen what would happen a big one. last the we killed hunger proved to them that the right thing to do was to come and take their chance. So we all left At logic of camp in a body. The I stout tenor said a few wanted to stay behind. No accident had occurred. And then we had a feast! . Everything had been serene. for us to kill a small pig.Operatic Foragers especially indignant. so that 307 His idea had been carry shot.
HOW I I "RAN PROPS" I WHILST was in 'Frisco had the honour of suping with Sarah Bernhardt. She played a season at the Baldwin Theatre. and I.XXII. I suppose she report said. a night for sup" Theodora. member on one occasion having the riders I re- felicity of standing quite near to the divine Sarah in the right second entrance. and was getting ready to follow some Roman nobles who they looked quite critically at the great actress to see if she were as thin as She was not. if owned I had picked up somewhat. got the princely allowance of fifty cents. 308 . were marching on to the stage as it. along with others. I was dressed up as a slave." her in porting played slaves and nobles and gladiators and circus- We and other things Roman.
Thus I had to take on suping. I had no money. They were rather way of ad- me for here in the gramme was I on one side of the prowas announced as the " CeleI brated Tenor." while on the other side announced as the " Celebrated Bari- tone. This is a conclusion that all engaged play heavy and such like." Here I I sang I for a month. this actor. As he deftly .How I " Ran Props I ' 309 from This was after had got to 'Frisco touring through California with the opera company. He had the keenest sense of self-value I have ever met in anyone. Street. for he had come to the conclusion that he was great. actors arrive at. Soon after this I got an engagement to sing ballads in the Eureka Music Hall on Kearney generous to vertisement. He was rather a character. for the genial manager had told me in his most tactful manner that he would pay me what he owed me when things looked up a little. This actor wanted to star through the country. at once to When by a left - was actor third rate business for him villains.
the engagement. the melodramatic actor. be heard outside the theatre. but to. He a me I not because a part in " The Danites. above have lost a steady and commanding walk. . He gave went in for producing unsubtle. I was luckier with Jim Wessels. Alas.310 chance I'll A Man it : Adrift " If I and pointedly put only get a paralyse the earth. of the ship had not yet got out of my to I gait. well. but because I had good loud voice. was known as the scene-chewing type of actor." I With sorrow that I am compelled to state did not suit the actor's requirements. And villain had. I and it I read my lines like one." could act. he averred. Whenever Jim He was what spoke the scenes trembled. looked the part of a villain. However. I was my walk he objected sailor. roll still had the walk of a a stage The all. broad effects. and though acter. The man who had been playing the part was most artistic in his make-up and conception of the charbut his voice could hardly be heard At a pinch I could past the footlights.
When the curtain went down on to us fiercely act Galassi turned round and shouted.How I I " Ran Props' bad as an actor I 311 was was atrociously given the part to play. The next thing I did was to sing chorus in the Grand Opera House on Mission Campanini came to San Francisco He to put on a series of grand operas. we were first We were " Rigoletto. the conductor from La Scala. In as far as the chorus was concerned. We for the chorus singers had to rehearse a month before the operas were actually put on. for nearly all hard up. The the opening chorus Gore did not give us the sign to attack. I shouted back at him. Baldini. looked like dummies neither useful nor ornamental." was a fiasco opera. " What for you " no cantante ? As his eye seemed to meet " mine. and this was a trying time for us. Repetto. paid nothing for the rehearsals. Antonio Galassi. Why didn't the first Gore give us the cue?" Galassi was a . including Gore. and other artistes. Street. had with him Scalchi. and the result was that We not one of us opened our mouths to sing.
towering big man, and he looked as were going to come for me.
turned out afterwards that Gore
got himself, and thought he was conducting at
We were told
a conductor never gives the sign to the chorus to attack. They are supposed to know when to come in themselves. This
plan, of course,
has had a sufficient number of rehearsals.
got out of this engagement was
time the climate of California
and subtle beauty. I But how? I longed to go Eastward. was thirty-six hundred miles away from
big obstacles met
very few companies that New York ever wanted
people. fate to
looked as though it were my become a permanent Californian, when an engagement was offered me. It
to sing in a quartette at the Alcazar Theatre, where Ned Harrigan, a famous
exponent of character comedy, had just arrived from New York to put on his own
eight weeks, he took a liking to
me, and his manager intimated to me that I could go with the company, if I wished,
as Harrigan was going to play his across the Continent to New York.
of delight suffused me. But, alas there was a codicil, so to speak, to the
props." notion of what running props meant, but an instinct told me that it was something
I had to "run had only a vague
with very little of a soft snap in it. My ardour was dampened considerably, but I
had had a
of the gilded climate,
to accept this iron-
and therefore decided
had only known then what knew afterwards, I would have stayed
the golden sun had covered before I would have taken
such an engagement. It was only by a miracle that I ever got to New York.
was on the point of
to the nature of
was, indeed, an unthankful, an ungrateful, and a tough task. I became everyone's
me, and who drank
now looked upon
my beer in 'Frisco, me as their natural
in addition to
consisted of twenty -six my duties as a
to look after all the
baggage and scenery, for we carried no We would get into a town, carpenters.
say, at ten o'clock in the morning.
who, by the way, was a very good fellow named Charles and I would go together and get a stiff drink to
prepare us for the day's ordeal, while the
would immediately hie him to the
hotel to sleep.
rest of the
would either follow his example, or stand around on the principal street mashing the Of course, as Charles and I were girls.
time they had
naturally envied the easy compared to ours, and, as
they invariably grumbled at us in the night time when we were running the scenes
and properties of the performance, we anathematised them roundly over our fraAfter we had quenched ternal drinks.
our thirst and eased our feelings, we would go to the theatre, or rather hall, where I
would interview the property-man, while
indomitable Charles interviewed the
to use that
was, about the scenes
After Charles had seen that sapient individual, he would mark off the dressing-
party whom usually a man or boy other business, and
who worked at some who got off on that
day to help
needless to say that his
knowledge would fill
for this lack
by boundless would give
of the indispensable properties, not more than half of them
showed up when the shades of night fell, and I alone had to bear the brunt of the star's fury when he found them missing.
had got through our interviewing we would go out and get a little more courage, and await developments.
After Charles and
They would come in the shape gentry we had just interviewed.
us to treat them.
hardly say management never allowed us treating expenses. In time night would come, and then
grumble would be about dressing-rooms, and I don't wonder at it, for the noble
knights of the sock and buskin had had such an easy time during the day that dressing in those stuffy little rooms injured
were magicians who could,
occult power, transform the
holes into large, commodious, airy spaces, where they could keep up in a fitting
manner the atmosphere of luxurious ease in which they had revelled during the day. However, I must say that we would meet their disapproval with a vast amount of
we would make
" Ran Props'
remarks to them that were calcu-
lated to heighten Then the star
but, to tell
starship was less of a grumbler than any of them, for he
only grumbled from an artistic standpoint. He would stand in the entrance during a
performance and upbraid me in scathing terms for my dilatory and stupid ways. He
would analyse and expound the value of properties to actors and the acting art.
would say that I killed his piece in fact, he would show up my shortcomings in a vivid and He powerful manner.
played the part of on
and he played
to see the
he would arise from his bumliness and
the stage for not having his hand-props in the right
night, in St Paul,
to retire to the
the phrase, but gave
out to him in strong
be tired of
the whole business.
iron for ever.
can't hold hot
But the manager interposed
my being forgiven after
things have an end, and after
might add, York.
but distinct.XXIII. people who of the The atmosphere seems charged with something that no one shall define. subtle. between the crowd that moves along the Bowery and the crowds that move along like places in Old World great lies cities. You is There will find cosmopolitanism.- The difference will in the fact that here you find a suggestion of blending. There is a differgamin terrible to ence. The people possess a grim sense of humour. Along it move the dwell in poverty. . but it is the humour of recklessness that humour that has moved the Paris make history. a feverish activity everywhere. of fraternisation of race. THE BOWERY THE Bowery is the main artery of the east side of New York. It is the doomed the breathing promenade spot for those that live in the gloom.
The shriek of the locomotive and the jangle of horse-car bells mingle. been known to club people into insensisurveys bility and afterwards arrest them for He possesses the obstructing his club. the He has been known to men money wherewith to get hard-up after all. A black-eyed. stalks along swing- Here the policeman ing his club. crunch and rumble along. His buttons shine beautiHis club. polished. contempt for the liberty of the pedestrian that belongs peculiarly to the American policeman. . The elevated trains rush and puff horses stumble and clatter carts . He is the ornament of Bowery. sinewy Italian presides . But he is human give food and shelter. Here Refuse barrels is stand on corners.320 You of A Man Adrift are behind the scenes in the theatre New World civilisation. He is monarch of all he He has the rajah of the street. As a rule he is is an offensive skilled in the blackguard and bully who fine art of levying blackmail. though hard. Drivers swear. is nicely fully. the street torn up for repairs.
perhaps. in making Johnnie ten love Mamie an week. not sing at all. while Johnnie presses . Mamie works a cigar Neither of them has ever lived outside the East Side of New York. panini like an angel. Let us draw near ! Ah. cover his stall. perhaps. drives express waggon for well. The girl's eyes down.The Bowery over a fruit-stand. His is shirt is open because of the heat. of the long ago are awakening within him. pears and fruits of all kinds fortune in the Cosmopolis. 321 The land of the glorious sun and the sparkling waters he has left He is seeking his for ever behind. dollars a and Mamie factory. A dreaming. This may are cast shyly be seen at a glance. Sliced pineapples. Here Johnnie is is a picture that to is beautiful. in a doorway. dozing. who on other nights could listening. and he the life whirls by. Memories. oranges. he is humming softly an aria from "II " He is in the Scala of Milan Trovatore ! to Pifferini or Camwho on some nights sang Pifferini. as tender expression is softening the lines of his bronzed face.
Heedless are they of the people passing crowd who stare at them. She has a handkerchief tied around her head. drinking the first delicious draughts of love. that and tells her. Again. Adrift perhaps. and a husband who earns but a dollar and a quarter a day. he can marry her next because he They are expects a rise in his salary. in the There saunters the working man. Shrewd bargaining and close figuring are the only methods by which she can make ends meet. but you can tell what he is at a glance. closely after the necessary to look pennies. fall. is She store walking along the Bowery to the where she gets her provisions for her family. When one has four or five little children at home. Look at the Irishwoman with the basket. Pat it is . who labours many hours a day so that he may eat bread. He wears a starched shirt and a neat suit of clothes. dropped here from Galway. and a look of shrewd She might have bargaining is in her face.322 close A Man up to her. The weary look in the face it and the droop of the shoulders speak more plainly than words.
He is jolly looking of face girth. Up comes the ward politician. discussed. He gets stands the above system and benefit. His smile flashes filled is and big and knowing and tight of satisfied. pockets are with money. he needs ten cents for his growler of beer every night.The Bowery receives no 323 contractor wages if from the when he has the rain. he is good that things go his way. is. to become either a . fine His heelers get in his This is the man smiles. way to catch his who will tell you that money talks. fellow Still. He knows as much about our present social system as Herbert Spencer and all the thinkers and writers upon sociology put together. He possesses magnetism enough successful bunco-steerer. to stop And work on account of he doesn't work harder than the Italian alongside of him. His of needn't being be a upon it for his method has the merit So simple that it simple. and his taste in dress is loud. he is apt to be fired from his job. Also. A his diamond from his shirt front. if down own in a way. for he revels in the fat of the land.
They thrust the articles towards you as you pass. Socrates he may be . he like the passing crowd. and other things too numerous to mention. So says In the faker. of the They are selling laces. however. kerchiefs. from is ? And the faker He hails from fact.324 A Man better. is pay him is His especial virtue In that he always buys the drinks. suspender. Fakers stand on the corners streets. this the chief secret of his simple method of running the affairs of this great city. and who is certainly descended from an Irish king. cheap jewellery. Wondrous bargains may be procured for a nothing. Adrift or an after-dinner orator the interests of trusts. His home He may in has descended divinely subtle is is wherever he hangs be a wily Greek who a direct line from the . his hat. who is eloquent in Politics. the though modest. hail where does he all spots. fact. . handuseful. a Jew who a descendant of a black sheep of one of the Lost Tribes of Israel or he may be a ward politician whose magnetism has gone back on him.
At small that night used to wander along the things. desolate I air. Its air of blatant. unrolls itself. When labouring men were struggling . sham democracy disgusted me. In them you may So ****** life goes on I in the Bowery. where you can see everything from a mammoth to a protoplasm on payment of ten cents. I had left the stage long ago. Whenever managed get a little money I would lay in a stock of provisions at the delicatessen shop across the road. brilliant fronts of the sit and gaze while the blood-and-thunder drama cheap theatres. re- cognised that direction. And the gaudy. house had been built colonial and about I it was an odd. I Bowery and think over room lay in in had a house the top of an just off in old it. a street This times.The Bowery Here are 325 the dime museums. I was getting tired of America. I had no talent in that used to cook for myself I in I the garret to where lived.
it was the to had come from. would be nonsense. and takes the hideous travesty of justice concerning the alleged Anarchists in Chicago. that England is a freer and more democratic country than is America. is I were giving forth saying that to live in. I was beginning I again to England. above all. I . But I do from personal and absolute knowledge.326 crushed A Man down by Adrift were shot and for the right to live they the military with more mercilessness and for less provocation than they would be under the most despotic and ruthless Government in Europe. am not England That. In fact. the English policeman would not saying things allow them to be interrupted while they their ideas. of a perfect place course. If any American exception to this statement I can only ask him if he has forgotten the affair at Homestead. And. people to get a year's for imprisonment that in New York they might" say with impunity in Hyde Park in London. place long to go back After all. say. and I have known other like instances.
and . and I was glad to be could with them. and necessarily the steerage passengers were kept* below. the air of the steerage became bad because of the impossibility of opening up Thus hatchways and port-holes. They had been paid off in New York. and their idea was to go to Liverpool so that they ship to Australia. somehow I did So I managed to * get myself a steerage ticket. for we had heavy weather crossing the Atlantic. I found there were other sailors beside myself in the steerage. with the old times. They were a jolly lot of lads. was a most interesting for He had followed the sea twenty years. I could easily have managed to go to my luck there. They were the crews of three sailing ships.The Bowery longed to go to London. I 327 to try wanted idea of being in the world's great town fascinated me. but not care for the idea. * * * I * was sorry afterwards that I had not gone as a sailor. The England as a sailor. ally They brought me into touch One of them especicharacter.
own name admiringly. hailed ideal He the was the English type that Marry at to sing immortalized. I had put him down for a baritone solo. sailor. looked at his and Liverpool was coming up After years had passed distance. His name was Myles Hand. At last we were running up the Mersey. are always well opened. seeing it in I the was it. The of sailors looking out and the continual watching blue. good looking of and had The eyes well-opened eyes. and put Myles' name first writing of this bother to me. because of the rolling of the ship. I was glad to see . and he from Liverpool. causes When we voyage I were near the end of the on got up a concert. again. He in was well able and dance. person he was well face. programme was a great the got some mustard from the steward and Then he stood off. When it was finished Myles The programme. and built of frame. and plastered it up.328 knew A Man Adrift of hardly anything save ports and the ways of ships and grog-shops. this.
.The Bowery 329 even though I was poor as when I left had gathered nothing but experiI it. ence. And the next day I started for London.
the past and present. black. The people leave streets. NO PLACE TO SLEEP of THE hour at midnight alive tolls out and It London becomes strange and quiet becomes is once its and dead. ing. 330 . disblackness is into frightful shapes. chang- weaving. uncertain. unite. Silence. London. Monstrous. . and For- Terrifying shadows. Here is mystery. and glorious beauty foul. bidding. Nameless shadows of weird shadows. louring and waving and moving Formless.XXIV. and elusive. In the waters of the old river are re- flections of a strange mingling with shadows unspeakable. London of torted the shadow. nothing left but shadows. and dim light Everything vague. And soon there Gigantic.
And you walk on on your footsteps is It sounding lone and strange.No Here is Place to Sleep 331 darkness and sadness and the unknown. are adrift. London in shadow. shudder. if you were in some vast. that has Sweeping goes the tone of the great bell over hovel and palace over the black sullen waters nificence over destitution and magthe poor miserables and misery. deserted as city some mighty. of breaks forth. marking Mighty is the tone. The great brazen tone full menace for them. colonised. They sit up on the benches who toThose who They is where of they have been lying. ghost-haunted labyrinth. voices the genius of the great English nation that dominant genius that has crushed and spread itself wherever wind blows or water dashes. full It menace and sullen power. It startles night have no place to sleep. They . They are poor human shadows. Boom The great ! bell the hour of one.
332 A Man Adrift come from out of the great black. this Strand. ! Over yonder a church had. shadow of the Sphinx. In the is filled of humans. There is no one to give help them. They are lost. sinister shadow of the town. They are but shadows. them shelter. in Why have they to starve and shiver the midst of plenty ? Over yonder is a palace wherein a thousand such as these might be church shelter housed. How daytime tide quiet it it is. turn up from the river and walk towards the Strand. Two! And you The bell has broken forth. with an ever-flowing They rush and hurry . And you in think that if Christ lived now and the this Christian lying civilisation He would mayhap be yonder starved Yonder under hungry and cold. There' is no one to give them warmth or food or love. ! is a mark you might be wherein What would Christ say to this? But Christ is dead. They are ghosts There is no one to of wrecked lives.
But meanwhile shadows. wander through the streets aimlessly. fate Monstrous. So bed.No along. of It is dominion to the shadows. changing. You go back to the river. Here is luxury and comFood in plenty is here. weaving. is No one be seen. You houses are where people are resting comfortably in But there is no bed for you. black are the think. vans. but you may not touch Warmth is . The and dark. There is hurry and bustle and excitement. crunch. it And you will stop Soon it be Soon are will be day. Horses. and rumble along. you How fort cold everything is! How cold is human on nature. all sides. Nothing to be heard but your own footfalls. it. is But now under the is the Strand dead. Place to Sleep 333 and lounge and idle along. How light. strange shadows. to On sleep all sides hard. old river. and cabs and carts clatter. ****** Working be in a great in the loom af To town at night is and to have no place look around. Shadows.
matters not if you be the dullest clod. howthing is Where? summon up courage ever. You are an outcast. Perhaps you but you will sit down on a for bench. You will think of the good times you have had. Move Perhaps you will enough to ask a passer-by for alms. A Man Rest is Adrift here. for the chance of your getting anysmall. Aye. You will think of your future. Ever on. It is better for you not to do so. And you begin to think and to wish many it strange things. So you move And your life will arise before you. may will not sit long.334 here. The to policeman come and order you on! move on. And you may on. But you must go Like one who is doomed because you are or damned. but you will not think of your future long for the present is too real and pressing. you think. For suffering and loneliness breed thought. . be given in charge. on. guilty of that crime of crimes poverty.
you think. but you stop. live or The before. had no right to back that fellow's bill or you had no right to leave that job beor you cause the foreman bullied you . is all your always one's own fault own when It luck goes It is always one's own fault against one. You should have for being struck down. will will You be fine have plenty of rest. bells ring out the hours. You a man then as a king. You . till But what a long time then! . it Time has for you a significance It will never had be all right in a hundred years from now.No Of course is Place to Sleep it 335 fault. You doesn't help you are here in the dark streets. It and no one cares whether you die. count for as much. will be as will You really A hundred years from now. ing in What ? is the use of think- this strain one bit. be dead then. You allowed to sleep. You should have done such and such a thing at such and such a time. been strong enough to stand up. and will not will You care.
! Dear. her it And may be that the face of a dear heart would break. fire is all very well a good cigar. when you have no woman a woman who loved will arise before you you in the old days. sleep. before which to thrust your Their logic But it counts for nothing when you place to are hungry.336 And by the it A Man may be palace where fine Adrift you will that wander lives the Queen. when you have bright feet. and grand is this palace how Herein a spacious must be the rooms thousand like you might sleep. that there after is is a differ- ence in human blood all? Philo- sophers say that there there must be. and make you feel a to her arms. but surely Philosophers don't know everything. though you are. sweet love of the fine old days But she is dead. not. . and cheer you up. you will think. What would she say if she saw you in this plight ? Why. and a wine. man again. She would take you unkempt and begrimed She would kiss you. Can it How ! ! be.
but they don't And are talking about. They are impartial. It is a finer Dear been old bells lot to ! I love them.No And to Place to Sleep 337 the so you go on and on. and listen bells as they strike the hours. They only think they are. well-off people talk feelingly hardships of the poor. is without he has experienced of the have heard have sympathetic. You are the same to them as any other man. No. Yes. No know what they one has any but the poor. for they do not They blame you for being unfortunate as man blames you. they are not really sympathetic with the poor. they pay no heed. for at it has my wander through a great city money to pay for a bed. cold though their voices are. these people talk. are the only friends you have. real If sympathy with the poor There is something in class you are a tramp and a gaol- . I heard them in drawing-rooms. thing than sympathy. that dead of night because I had no And it I I assert no man knows what it. And of all things misfortune loves impartiality. after all.
it A Man is Adrift better for you to chum in wit> tramps and gaol-birds. even . and the foul alley. There isn't as big a difference between is illiterate and literate people as Illiterate generally supposed. These poor people do their degradation. and the gaol. fortunate people don't realize to the the degradation of their lives. It is not a drawing-room the way that smacks of the It is slum. in touch with the iron facts Yes. Sometimes is said that low-down. They realize that they are dogs way of saying that and slaves. is they know they are not what is called an way. This realize is a lie. people are on the whole more intelligent than literate people because they are brought more of life. after all. it Keep to your class. and the gutter. nise class They won't patro you and hurt your is feelings. Yesun ful the thing. one way of saying the same thing is much the same as another way.338 bird. And. the poor homeless the streets at night is man who walks forced to think. but their dogs and slaves elegant way.
man may not have a satishe may be a criminal factory pedigree he may be undeserving he may be just . 339 he be ever such a to forced think hard. just as is an excellent reason destitute for everything. I.No if Place to Sleep clod. who have had need of them. and apply to relief hungry and one of them for will from misery they I do nothing for you. a hair's-breadth beyond their alleged scope of action. . I assert that they are no good. no good. there an excellent reason for their not helping the destitute. The . A word as are to charitable organisations. is in And the proof of the pudding the eating. have applied to them. a cold If you are homeless. spotless reputation. for I know what is I am talking about. he may not possess a Again. To get help from a . At least. Of there course. This statement is sweeping but listen to fact. And he is And he knows more about what walking the streets means than even the most sympathetic upholder of charitable organisations. have found them They to be no good. Yes.
to go out on the hoof of wicked- They ness. Even though you he'll almost sure that it. he is dirty . if a man ever asks you for four- pence for his night's lodging. you must be able to fast and do without sleep for a month after your application. it is an ill wind that blows nobody good. and able to stand searching cross-examination. What then ? Doesn't the poor chap need a drink to little? cheer him up a See. they will than the worth of it out of you. give it to feel him with if you can.340 A Man Adrift you must possess You must be good charitable organisation a spotless reputation. And. them for if they do take you in you a piece of bread. go and get a drink Supposing he does. Still. and give take more It is much better for you Embankment. destitute. If The fat salaries for charity organisations provide the officials who run them. above all. and -worthy. steer clear of you are ever . but talk of the cloven I tell you it is as nothing compared with the iron heel of organised charity. No.
The city sleeps. help. Its great rumble has gone down of the policeman. Christ would have helped asked no questions. give the poor fellow fourpence. And you will man. is at about half-past two in the morning. and give him the price of a drink if you can is. The hardest time of all for a homeless it. The army of unemployed increases day by I am not day. No a heart.No Place to Sleep 341 and hungry and half-starved and badly clothed. going to argue as to why this only state a fact. The tramp . that he has dog. It is what he is. Do People often say than any man can get work if he wishes to work. that he has red blood just like you have. Or he may have but never mind what he was. I spare be doing an act of which Christ would have approved. who is tramping the dark streets. But remember that he has feelings. He may have been a man who once held a good position. He is worse off than a homeless one has any use for him. altogether. He is a man who needs him and thou likewise. Then everything is dead quiet. No. This is false.
He ********* He must move at last on. policeman is his enemy. Adrift he goes from house to house trying the doors. The policeman humanity of our Aye. seems to make the loneliness all the more The poor outcast must for the keep out of the policeman's way. And dawn breaks. this is is the embodiment of the civilisation. . even on the pavement. would give his soul to lie down and But he sleep. indeed a hard time for the vitality is at its His lowest ebb. outcast. He must move on. may not do so.342 as A Man lonely.
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