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Title: A Tramp's Scraps

Author: H. I. M. Self

Release date: November 27, 2015 [eBook #50558]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Chris Curnow, Diane Monico, and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at (This
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title page

A Tramp's Scraps

By H. I. M. Self





C. C. Parker
220 S. Broadway, Los Angeles, California

[Pg 5]

Table of Contents

The Ghost13
In a Houseboat13
At Sea21
A Quarrel25
The Witching Hour27
"May Good Digestion"31
Shooting in Illinois39
After Ostrich41
A Whitlow43
"To Sleep, to Sleep"49
"Half the World, Etc."51
Hard Times53
"There was a Ship Quoth He."55
Health and Appetite59
The Knuckle-duster59
"The Weary Ploughboy"63
Another Quarrel63
Another Fire65
Two Falls and a Cow69
Real Ghosts71
On the San Rafael Ranch73
Express Charges77
Cotton Packing81
Man Overboard85
"The Old Oaken Bucket"87
A Dog Story89
Sudden Death, Etc.97
A Game at Billiards98
Brief Authority105

[Pg 6]

A and B in bar

[Pg 7]


A, an Argentino, comes in to a pulperia and talks loudly to another native. B objects, laying his hand on A's arm, and asks him to make less noise.

A steps back, putting his hand on his knife, and B throws him out of doors and shuts the door.

Later A returns and he and B sit down to talk it over. A says that he is an Estanciero, with thirty thousand head of live stock and would have treated B well if he had come to his place; why had B thrown him out?

B said: "Too much noise and knife."

B had put on an ulster and had a Derringer in his hand in his pocket; a man had told him that A was coming back to kill him.

For two hours or so they sat, A talking a little and then jumping up in front of B, his knife wandering up and down B who sat perfectly still watching as if it was a show. Then A would sit again and jump up again and so on. They use a knife here as an Englishman would his hand and are so quick that the pistol would never have saved B, though he might have killed A, killing is not much thought of and this man was wild to do it. Why did he not? Was it Providence? Or was it that A being a brave man,[Pg 9] he could not kill a thing that made no resistance.

Buena Noche Toreador
Buena Noche Toreador.

Digging Ye First Corral Ditch.
Digging Ye First Corral Ditch.

Later it turned out that A was on some government work and had seventeen soldiers camped outside; they had stayed at an Estancia the night before where he had lost money at monte probably, probably had a "wet" night.

He was not in an amiable frame of mind. When he went to bed, he asked B if he would come and kill him as he slept; also if B would lock up his papers and things.

B told him to go to bed; that (B) was English. But why is B alive? and perhaps A?


Five small wooden huts originally brought from England and later hauled forty miles or more across a camp on bullock-wagons to start a new colony next to Indian territory. Each hut is about eight feet square and they are a foot apart with the high grass cut off around about in case of prairie fires. Three men from one end hut have gone shooting deer or emus or whatever turns up, leaving a heap of powder-flasks, guns, saddles, and clothes in one corner of their shanty;[Pg 11] blankets, etc., hanging out of the lower bunk, half-cover and open box on the floor with eight pounds of loose powder in it. The next hut is empty except when the owner comes to lie down, gasp, and perspire. It is so hot that you can break a piece of grass, and he is digging, with scarcely any clothes on, the first big corral ditch. Once as he lies half stupidly, listening lazily to a crackling, thinking that if he had sense enough he would wonder what it could be. Then he gets up to see. Fire had started in some way in the heap of clothes and was running up the thin boards to the roof. There is not much room but there is a fork with which he begins to shovel out the burning heap, and yell for water, which his brother, asleep in a further hut, brings when he realizes what is wanted. This water was thrown into the box of powder, but all this time the sparks have been falling into it and the man wants to know why everything was not blown to kingdom come before that water came.

A Prairie Fire.
A "Prairie" Fire.

When the shooters got home there were remarks. Reminded me of the story of two roughs in London who were talking over an article in a paper about the improvement of the lower classes which one read to the other, who remarked: "Yes, we're a bad lot, Bill, but we 'as our fun. The other day there was a bloody fire and the bloody fire engine come down the bloody street to the bloody 'ouse an' there was a bloody ole fool standin' at the top winder, an' I says, jump, ye bloody fool and me an' my mate Bill'll ketch yer in our blanket, an' the bloody fool 'e jumps an' e' breaks 'is bloody neck—we 'adn't got no bloody blanket."

[Pg 12]

And Said as Plain as Whisper in the Ear, the Place is Haunted.
"And Said as Plain as Whisper in the Ear, the Place is Haunted."

Sampans on the Yellow River.
Sampans on the Yellow River.

[Pg 13]


A lonely little old hut on the bank of a river in Illinois said to be haunted. Man went and slept there part of a night, cold, woke up covered with snow that had drifted in through holes in the roof. Went home, no ghost. Shooting duck on the way back got stuck in a slough. Another man turned up and took one end of the gun. Man in the mud's legs stayed on and he came out. If anyone don't believe this he has the legs still. Don't go after ghosts though; you may find one.


On the Yangtze River, houseboats have a cabin with bunks, table, and a mast, that should go up and down so that you can get under bridges made of long blocks of stone; they also have a huge sail made of matting. You put your cook, coolies, and provisions aboard, get your passport, and are off through merchant ships, junks, men-of-war, sampans, etc., up the river, and through the pass where they saw the fire from Shanghai and got up in time to save the captain of a craft where the men had been tied to the masts[Pg 15] and the ships set on fire by pirates. Sometimes the coolies pull you with a rope; sometimes push you with poles; sometimes you sail. When you please you land and shoot pheasants scared out of Chinese graves (big and little mounds covered with reeds etc.) by bones thrown in, plenty of bones, remains of bamboo stockades used in the Taeping rebellion still standing. There are duck, plover, and snipe; and now and then you pass through a Chinese village. Natives stare and big dogs get excited. It is as well to keep a watch, at night particularly when near any soldier junks, as we were at Foochow.

On the Yangtze Kiang.
On the Yangtze Kiang.

A Pulperia.
A Pulperia.


A pulperia with the usual crowd evenings, Spanish Mayor domo excited because he says a big Argentino (a stranger in with a tropa of prairie schooners from Mendoza) drew a knife on his compradre, the Italian proprietor. Writer was close but saw no knife. Spaniard being a man in authority has always a lot of human jackals ready to take his part; he is not any good himself. Argentino run out of pulperia and beaten, etc., till insensible. Englishman comes up and finding another Spaniard (said to have been a brigand formerly) burning the Argentino's fingers with a match,[Pg 17] saying that he is shamming, abuses everybody; stooping over the Argentino, finding his heart is still beating; slips his hand under him and takes his knife (a poor little one which he pockets); asks if the crowd think they've done enough? They go back to the pulperia, Englishman also, but he returns in five minutes and finds the man has come to and is staggering about. He lies down when found. Crowd turn up again, but hearing that the first who meddles will be shot, keep quiet till at last the juez de paz (Argentino) turns up and takes charge of man. Tried in Rosario later, he says that the Englishman, who is not called as a witness saved his life, dare say he was right; men are brutes sometimes.

A Row.
A Row.

What's Left of San Carlos Cathedral—Humatiaá, Paraguay.
What's Left of San Carlos Cathedral—Humatiaá, Paraguay.


In a little Paraguayan village where there is no hotel we find a shanty with a table on which are cold meat and pickles mostly; eat when you like, sleep when and where you can, and pay is exorbitant. Two of us slept on a table. We are here after jaguars. One found a hammock said to belong to the cook—don't know what became of him—this was slung over the table, all in the same room which opened on the main street. The old town was smashed in the last fight which was a plucky one and where the fellows left alive[Pg 19] got out of the town by tying dead soldiers to posts by dummy guns, leaving them on guard till the other fellows found out. There is nothing left of it but the ruins of a cathedral (San Carlos), high bare walls with great timbers sticking out into the sky and holes made by cannon. One of us tried to sketch it, but it was not easy as the population were interested and shut one up in a circle. The present village is half a mile away, a street of wooden shanties with big shutters (no glass) nearer the river. In the houses they played loto with much noise, and taught green parrots to whistle.

Evening in Humatiaá.
Evening in Humatiaá.

In one there were two delightful and rather fiedish little jaguar cubs, in the street people played bowls and talked to anyone they wished. We all knew each other directly and did the same. Now and then, to some belle going out in scarlet dress, gold embroideries, and huge earrings, her dress up to her knees in front and a long train; nothing much on her shoulders or her feet and at night people wander into the room where we are trying to sleep, eat, play cards, sing, fight, and so on. Sometimes a man on the table goes mad and sits up. I am in the hammock above so I go mad. It doesn't matter, everyone is mad with an uncivilized madness here.

So we get up and eat, the language is guarani, two-thirds Spanish, one-third Indian and a trifle of Portuguese;[Pg 21] nice language, with a click in it like a dissipated watch.

Adios Humatiaá.
Adios Humatiaá.

Your Stateroom.
Your Stateroom.

There was a baby's funeral among other things. The little body covered with flowers and surrounded by candles, is carried round on a board, by a crowd and brass band; they come in, put it on a table or somewhere. The band plays and the crowd fraternize and drink cana till tired. Then to another house and this goes on till they are all drunk and till the baby has to be buried.


"Ye gentlemen of England who stay at home at ease,
How little do ye think upon the dangers of the seas."

Eleven days in the Bay of Biscay off Tencriffe. A nasty sea; seems to come everyway; knocks the ship one side and the other till she trembles like a live thing. Engines only strong enough to keep us off shore and we get out twice only to be driven back again. Life lines out; fiddles on the table; water washing about saloon and cabins; one lady, in a top berth, with her door swinging open and shut, wants to know when we are going to be drowned; and "to have her cabin mopped out." Another, who has been so ill ever since we left that she is expected to die and who the captain wants to put ashore but can't get there, has a husband looking after her. He becomes ill and she suddenly gets well and stays so! What kind of a cure is this? The stove breaks loose, but no fire; too much water. [Pg 23]Rather an unlucky ship; crank and cargo badly stowed, overmasted and undermanned; once a fort'gallant yard came down endways through forecastle deck, lead water tank, etc., made the splinters fly. Once a marine spike came from aloft and stuck in the deck close to yours truly. Fog around St. Paul's island. We took reckoning for three days but did not know where we were. Expected to make the voyage in seventy-five days; took nearly four months and when we did anchor ship ahead on fire broke loose and drifted down on us, "those that go down to the sea in ships". One night she was rolling horribly; people holding onto saloon rails, steward came along top side rail and broke a man's hold, man flew across and avoided crushing a girl in a red garibaldi, red hair, and a pink ribbon (he should have crushed her) by spreading his arms and feet as he brought up against the wall. Another steward stooped for a turkey which was doing something in a big silver dish on the floor. He loosed the rail as the ship rolled. Away went turkey and man, getting to the other side. Man's head went whack. By the time he got his wits, the ship had rolled again and the turkey was half way back. Comforted oneself, remembering the man who when the ship was going down, reflected that he had paid £12 to go to New York, and they "had to take him there."

Down in the Saloon Boys—Bay of Biscay Oh!
"Down in the Saloon Boys"—"Bay of Biscay Oh!"

[Pg 25]


Sunday afternoons here in camp there are horse races, bone game, monte, drinking, etc. At the pulperias, at a race today, two brothers quarrelled. One stands, knife in hand, talking to friends; the other twenty feet away, is held back by men all around him, who getting tired of persuasion begin to hammer him with their short whip stocks made of wood or iron covered with hide or silver, with a long flat rawhide thong. These rattle on his head like hail but he seems to feel nothing and see nothing but his brother till suddenly he drops stunned.

Children, You Should Never Let Your Angry Passions Rise.
"Children, You Should Never Let Your Angry Passions Rise."

Fighting here, a man wraps his poncho round the left forearm to catch the other man's knife, holding his own knife below in the right hand and watching the antagonist's knife instead of his eye. Sometimes they face each other a long while but are as quick as cats when they move; there is not much interference usually. Once a man on horseback rode in and grasping one of the fighters by his long black hair pushed him away backwards. Unless it is serious they do not fight to kill so much as to slash faces; but they don't seem to care for their lives much. A peon of mine was brought home an awful object. Santa (his woman) wept and said he was killed but he got well, I asked the other fellows afterward what they wanted to kill my fellow for and they laughed and said a man did not matter; pity to kill a woman, as they are scarce; but Santa could soon have got another man. The last is true enough. One day a big domador started back to G's house, where we sat on the porch and could see across[Pg 27] the slope; he rode over. He had won money or his silver harness, or for some other reason three fellows followed him; he had a good little mare and rode till the one following who had the best mount was ahead of the others. Then Jose jumped off and waited, getting his knife (it was mine by the by), and the other man rode up jumped off and ran at him, Jose made one thrust and jumping on his mare rode in with his hand and knife all blood. Don't know who the other man was but this time soldiers came after Jose who hid for three weeks in the maize; his woman took him food. Then he appeared again with three small black cats which he had found in the corn and of which made pets.

The Guanaco Episode.
The Guanaco Episode.


Night in a little house on the pampas edge we got some girls together and had a dance. The natives have gone home and men are sleeping all over the floor and on the table over which is a sack of hard biscuits, etc., slung to the rafters. Through the darkness and open door enters one of two tame guanacos (something like small fawn-colored camels), steps on a man who wakes with a shriek. One man on the table wakes up, tries to sit up in a hurry, and the bag of biscuits meets him and knocks him flat. Over goes the table and other man and everyone and everything is mixed up with the guanaco in the dark till the brute fights his way out of the house. Someone gets a light and saves the pieces.

[Pg 28]

Perrochino Trapped.
Perrochino Trapped.

Fetching the Priest.
Fetching the Priest.

[Pg 29]


Woman calling for help at the end of hallway. Man wanders over to see what is wrong. At the other end of the hall is a door and a crowd. Wanderer jumps in and helps to hold the door, asking next man what is going on. Perrochino, the strongest Italian in the colony, has got into trouble and is jammed in the doorway, unable to do anything, while one Spaniard beats his head with a chairleg. Head looks ugly and the man is raging. Wanderer gets the door open a bit and Perrochino slips out, his brother, who sees him from a distance, discreetly slipping down a side street. Later lightning strikes a wheat stack and most of the men go off with a tarpaulin to draw over and smother the fire. Wanderer left to sit on the steps with a gun in case the Italian should return to the Señora and niñito. He does not.


Smallpox came our way; seemed to take a piece about a quarter of a mile wide. Many died. Woman very ill and man went for Priest. Rainy and windy night and the little lamp the man carried in front of the Priest, who was saying prayers, kept blowing out and having to be lit again. The atmosphere of the room was awful for the Priest. Antonia and two men. Antonia was confessed and died. The others cleared and next day the man got a Spanish carpenter (Tapia) and boards and sixteen old kerosene cans[Pg 31] from the store and they made a coffin and lined it with the kerosene cans and put Antonia in; her feet were tied with a ribbon and the smallpox lumps showed through her white stockings. Some friends came at night and in the morning we soldered her up and had the funeral. Two wheels and the coffin on boards covered with a cloth, a cross with her name, etc., painted on it as well as one could; all the mourners on horseback. We buried her. Hers was the first death here. Her sister, who came to see her, was well for two weeks; then she died in twenty minutes; she only had one mark on her.

Antonia's Funeral.
Antonia's Funeral.

Near Corientes.
Near Corientes.


We had run out of meat and were living on a few hard biscuits and oranges for two days in our boat on a big river in South America; but today we ran up a creek to Corientes and found any quantity at fifty cents the aroba (25 pounds); so we took some to the creek mouth and Maria cooked it while we sat round with our hunting knives. Don't use plates and things; when cooked you cut a piece off, lay hold with your mouth and cut off your mouthful avoiding your nose. Cooking is done by sticking an iron rod (if you have one) through the meat into the ground slanting over the fire, turning it when one side is done. Then we sailed off again and came to Parana after a while. There is a revolution on (Blancos and Colorados) and[Pg 33] the town population is picknicking with bedding, etc., on an island in the river. In the town men are on the flat roofs shooting at others scurring about in the bush shooting back; also maniacs are riding about like drunken demons cutting at anything that comes in reach. We got away after a bit and past batteries on the river bluffs which don't notice us (too small, I suppose), though we pass close to the tops of the funnels of a steamer that they just sank.

Cold Water Cure—Java.
Cold Water Cure—Java.


In Java you are (or were) only allowed to drive around the island. You get a permit, from the Dutch, but are not to go into the interior far from the landing place where there is the biggest banyan tree in the world, it is said; a village could be put away in the arches. There are also numbers of fighting cocks, a very fine cocoanut grove; and lots of other fruits, bananas, plantains, etc. The ship doctor, who was a collector of insects, and I got away seven miles or so over small hills and through forest meeting only a few blacks and other insects till we came to the Upas tree valley (the poison from these trees was mostly used for arrows). It is said that anyone sleeping under them dies, and it may be true—I don't know how soon death will take place though. We did not sleep there. There are bones but other animal's bones perhaps. They say that those that gathered the poison[Pg 35] soon died. Trees look like a palm. The doctor got some beetles and we came back and eat bananas and things till time to return to the ship with some little bullocks and vegetables. Our coxwain (quarter-master) had been in the navy, and, with them I believe he stays by the boat till all the others are away. Our ship is P. and O. and our cox was standing at the foot of the gangway holding a stanchion and steadying the boat with his foot. Captain looked over the side and called him. Cox (who had had a drink ashore no doubt) did not move, captain spoke to mate who ran down two or three steps and jumped landing on cox's chest. Both went into the sea with a crash. Boat picked them up and cox was put in irons. They spatch-cock chicken very well in Java.

In Irons.
In Irons.

A Tormento.
A Tormento.


A tormento generally begins with dust; then wind, then rain; the two last fight furiously till the rain comes down solid, with now and then blasts of wind through it. One usually sees them coming and shuts everything that will shut. Huts are sent flying sometimes. I've seen the roof of a house taken off, and a man get to a house on his hands and knees. Oh, yes; she blows; and the rain! In one a man, his peon, and woman, start out to get three favorite horses picketted[Pg 37] two hundred yards away. Man tells the woman to go back; but once outside one can hardly see or hear, though people are close together. Lightning all around and thunder that seems to shake the ground. There is a white glare that feels hot and a crash of thunder and the peon (Pascassio) called "my woman's dead! my woman's dead."

To Die! To Sleep—Perchance to Dream!
"To Die! To Sleep—Perchance to Dream!"

Man says: "Is Evelina here?"

"She's blown into the ditch." But the next minute he steps on her, picks her up; sounds as if she said something but her head is wrapped in a poncho, man gets her back to the house and lays her on her bed. Sends peon, who does not know what he is doing and anyway, they won't touch anything struck by lightning—to the nearest house where there is a native woman, cooking.

Petrona came, and did what was necessary. Evelina was dead when picked up very heavy to carry. Only one little hole was burned in the poncho and brown mark as big as one's finger nail on the back of her neck. They put four candles around her in one corner and left. Man slept in another corner and kept candles alight for them. They would not stop and said the devil would come for her and take the man as well. Man said the devil probably had better places to go to, and they said he was the wickedest man they ever saw. Came back next afternoon and spent the night[Pg 39] singing, playing cards, praying, and drinking mate. Two children went to sleep on the floor, man got up, put "kids" in his bed, and joined the wake. Next day they took Evelina away and left the man alone again.

Rats! Musk Rats.
Rats! Musk Rats.

On the Calumet.
On the Calumet.


"The days that are no more."

The way you used to catch the wily muskrat years ago on the Calumet River was to set a tooth trap in the water, in one of his runs in summer; in winter you could skate or walk to their houses, built of reeds, three feet high, and dome shaped, and spear them with a three-foot spear on a pole. The skins, taken off and dried by being stretched on willow twigs, were worth seventeen cents a piece. Big ducks sold for two and a half to three dollars a dozen to the dealers—canvas back, red-heads, etc.—smaller ones, Teal, blue-bills, widgeon, butter balls, etc., for two dollars.

There were fellows there making a good living at hunting and trapping, and some owned farms on the river bank.

The duck-shooting was the best I have had in any country. Now I believe there is still some shooting held by clubs. The Pullman place is where we used to shoot hundreds of birds beyond where the best shooting house (Chittendens) used to be, where the river forks. Then you could shoot forty miles up to the[Pg 41] Grand Calumet and there were lakes and swamps, flight shooting night and morning, and in the day one could pole through the wild rice; etc., or take a stand now and then, or land and try the ridges for prairie chicken. There were also woodcock and snipe. Further away the pineries for deer. Still hunting, because there were Indians who would shoot dogs; they do spoil still hunting. You would not see the Indian as the brush was very thick. If you do see him and shoot at him and miss him, as one of us did, it is better not to go again. We did, and a bullet came between us and stuck in a tree. The man I was with did not like Indians and shot at them when he got a chance.

L— and F. W. Shot With the P. of W. When He Was Here (in Chicago), Missed His Injin.
L— and F. W. Shot With the P. of W. When He Was Here (in Chicago), Missed His "Injin".

I'm a Simple Little Ostrich, But I Know It All
"I'm a Simple Little Ostrich, But I Know It All,"


On the South American pampas you ride one horse and lead your fastest when you are after ostriches. The birds raise their wings and sail before the wind at an awful pace and if you do not get up to one soon after he starts you might as well give up. When you get near you change horses, and, taking your bolas (three balls as big as pigeon eggs of lead or brass, on a plaited rawhide thong) from around your middle, begin to swing them around in your right hand keeping your finger hooked through the fork of the thong, holding one ball in your hand.[Pg 43] As you close up, you bring them over your head, letting your finger loose them to their six foot length. You send your gee along and, bending forward, loose them at your ostrich. If you hit him, the bolas tangle him up and down he comes. If there are holes and things, you come down instead. It is a fast thing and as often as not or oftener you are bareback. Sometimes fellows make a big circle and close in on the birds; then you have a lively time, particularly if you play at being an ostrich yourself.

Ostriches—On the Look-out.
Ostriches—On the Look-out.

Somerset and Yo.
Somerset and Yo.

Whitlow, From Tree Pruning. South America.
Whitlow, From Tree Pruning. South America.

Men off H. M. Rattler
Men off H. M. "Rattler".


Pain! oh yes! Fourteen days in and out of bed alone in a shanty, forty miles from town. Whitlow they call it; an Indian woman advised a piece of willow burned and the powder mixed with the yolk of an egg in the shell; no good. Animals to feed, water to draw, etc., when one is so scared of one's own finger that one breaks a demijohn up and cuts a hole in the wicker cover in which to slip one's hand in bed. Not much to eat and one gets weaker, but has sense enough not to stay too long in a room with a gun. Got the old horse (Somerset) and saddle on someway and to town. Lot of English sailors off a gunboat in the hotel, dancing and singing. Two are interested and want to know if man will come aboard because they "have a sawbones who will take it off with a handsaw." Well, surgeon[Pg 45] cuts the finger up both sides and later the other two sides; couldn't tell what it was; never be a success again. One can see what it was meant for. Another time diphtheria. Doctor came one hundred and thirty miles and found man with his head in a blanket on the table, no brush and made one out of prairie wolf hair; did his throat like cleaning a gun; man got well.

Diphtheria at Pera.
Diphtheria at Pera.

Buchaton's Death in la Candelaria.
Buchaton's Death in la Candelaria.


Three houses now in this colony, joining Indian Territory. Mine was first; then a Frenchman came and used my well and corral, etc., till he got settled half a mile away; and another is being put up for a store. One foggy night, or morning rather (1 A. M.), some one woke me, rapping on the door. As I was alone and one did not expect people, or open the door after dark without knowing what is on the other side, I asked and a woman's voice answered; opened and there was Buchaton's wife with two small children. They had found the house luckily after two hours in the fog. Her man had been doing something with the stove and had words with an Argentino and friend. The Argentino started for him with his knife but the wife got it and threw it away (man was a little drunk). He picked it up again and killed the Frenchman; then they tied him up with a lasso (the woman had run out[Pg 47] with the children), got their horses, and left. Some of us got horses and went to the house but the man was dead; there was a trail in the wet grass in the moonlight but we never caught them as they changed horses and got over the line into another state.

Acclimatizing Fever—Shanghai.
Acclimatizing Fever—Shanghai.

Oil Springs Typhoid—Canada.
Oil Springs Typhoid—Canada.


In China and some other places one has a fever getting acclimated. One in Shanghai left man pretty weak when the usual plague of boils broke out. Then there was less rest for the wicked than ever, and he balanced himself on a boil and thought about Job. The doctor says that the man is better and that this is a crisis he wanted (man wishes doctor had it). But man does get well after many dawns, watching the bats come home to roost in the round tiles used in the roofs here. Then cats come along the edge and reaching paws over extract the bats and put them away and go after more. The man thinks he's glad he's not a bat and goes to sleep and wakes up better and forgets about it till some day years after he dreams dreams.

Talking of fevers, when the oil wells started in Canada it was rather rough living. The water to drink very bad, and so on. At all events we got a bad mixture of typhoid and smallpox and not much doctor. So a great many died. One of us had it and another nursed him till he got to his bed and forgot everything except sticking a favorite pin in a rafter overhead.[Pg 49] The other was better and had sent a line to friends a hundred miles away; they came, and the two men were put on their mattresses on the bottom of a wagon and so over eighteen miles of corduroy road (which is trees laid alongside one another) and into the baggage car of a railroad train. The war was going on and sympathetic passengers came in: "Oh, poor fellows! where were they wounded?" Our friends said: "not wounded at all; typhoid," and the car was empty. Took us nine weeks to get around. H. McC. carried one along the railway platform and if you have ever been carried through a lot of people when you have sense enough to know that you are grown up and want to hit some one if you had the strength, you know what one felt like—Wonder who got that pin!


A Night on the Grimsel Pass—Switzerland
A Night on the "Grimsel" Pass—Switzerland


We did not know this morning if we would stay the night and went out for a walk. While away twenty-seven geological students arrived and took everything and more in the shape of beds; so here we are in a big attic of a little house on top of the Grinsel Pass in Switzerland. The room is the cheese room surrounded by shelves on which immense gruyere cheeses are drying—all kinds of makeshift beds on the floor and for washing little basins and wine bottles on a bench; lovely! Went to bed midnight and as we[Pg 51] leave at 4 a.m. and the interval is filled up by a number of peasants yodeling—below why "Happy, happy, happy be thy dreams."




A small hut made of reeds, lost in an immense swamp—the home of a girl and an old gaucho. Man gone; don't know when or where, leaving the girl stripped and tied with a piece of a lasso to a post in the hut, stabbed and dead. She was quite young and rather pretty—poor thing.

At another place found the German girl who cooked for the S——s, stripped and tied down in the prairie just outside the village. Three natives (horseback of course) caught her and carried her off and staceared her. (I don't know how they spell it but that is what it's called in Spanish) means pegging your hands and feet with rawhide to the ground. Under her was a knife; suppose they meant to kill her but got scared away. She died; had been there all night.

[Pg 52]

building diagram
British Benevolent Society—2 A. M.
British Benevolent Society—2 A. M.

[Pg 53]


A man (in California) lying in bed dying; wife ill in bed in the next room watching him through the open door; third and last room divided by sheets into two, one-half with stove in it, the other used by anyone including seven children all under nine years old. No money. The man died; money was collected and he was buried; and family sent back to Europe. S. P. railway made a reduction on fares; train was to leave at 10 p.m., telegram to say it would be 11 p.m.

The woman, children, and man waited till eleven when another message came to say the cars would not be in till 2 a.m. So they went over to the hotel and got a sleep till a quarter to two when the man woke them up and the procession trailed back and got aboard. Trainman interested: "Where's she goin'?" "Europe," said the man.

"With all them kids! Never get there alive."

She did though; man nearly went also as he was inside the car putting a big roll of mattresses through the door and they jammed, cars were moving and man crawled over the top of the bundle and slid onto the platform and off the car saying to an astonished conductor who appeared from somewhere, "you get those mattresses in old man."

[Pg 54]

The Cisne at the Old Wharf Rosario—Santa Fé.
The "Cisne" at the Old Wharf Rosario—Santa Fé.

[Pg 55]


Coming down the Plata River in the "Cisne" steamer a fellow passenger asked us to help him when we landed. We said we would. Well, it was very dark and raining; we landed under a wharf, arrangement on the other side of which was a ten-foot steep and slippery mud-bank on top of which were one or two wheel carts made with a pole with a hole in the far end. The carter slips a rawhide fast to his horse's cinch, through the pole hole and makes fast, he (riding the horse) can then pull, or if he wants to back, ride his horse around the pole and push backwards. To return to our mutton, what our man wanted was help to land a portmanteau and some heavy small boxes and we got them into a cart after a weary time sliding up and down that mud bank and much indifferent language. One native rode and two friends kept him company. We had to go two miles over a wicked road. The tall grass grows right up to it on both sides and there have been a lot of unpleasant things happening; so we had our guns in our hands. We had found out that our friend from Paraguay, one of his prisoners Lopez left alive, had been trading and the boxes, etc., were full of gold, and silver dollars. Got to the hotel all right and had a drink. There was a funny little old man with hair over his shoulders and white beard to his middle and very old clothes. He looked lonely[Pg 57] so we asked him to drink. No, he did not drink. Smoke? No; he did not smoke but he put a cigar in his pocket. Felt curious about him and asked him and the capitalist to my room, also, drink and cigars. They came and oh, yes! I had struck it rich. The little man was I think doing penance. He would not say why he had tramped hundreds of leagues through the wildest parts of the country with some polenta to eat and no arms except a small pocket knife, or why he had not cut hair or beard for seven years; but the stories those men told each other, myself sitting listening till 4 a.m. with hardly a word; and they could have gone on for weeks. I said that queer things happened on the road we came here by, in the grass that borders the road back a little way are adobe huts and very queer people live there. Everyone carries a knife of course but the police had a very bad character for a time. At another men riding were lassoed from the grass and you are gone if a lasso gets you. At another the natives did not like it because a number of men were killed one by one and there were stories of a ghost. Soldiers hunted and some of us went out many nights. At last some one was stabbed but before he died shot a tall man dressed as a woman. What with the night, tall grass in which to slip out of sight, and dark dress, the ghost theory is easy. His trick had been to ask you for the time or for a light, and stab you as you got it.[Pg 59] For some time after if one was asked for a light about there after dark, one threw a matchbox and said help yourself.


three men drinking, smoking


Sitting in a little park in Los Angeles some one sat down on the other end of the bench. Seeing a dilapidated pair of boots that did not match I went on reading. After a while the stillness was broken by: "Got ten cents pardner?"

"What do you want ten cents for?" said I.

"Well, pardner, I'm here from Milwaukee, was in the lumber trade there and got six dollars a day, my brother has a big place there; he sent me some money yesterday, I got broke, an' I went on a tear an' spent it all, an' my mouth's awful dry an' I want a drink." It sounded straight so we had a talk about the Keeley cure about which I told him, and about Florida and lumber about which he told me and compromised on twenty-five cents of which he agreed to spend fifteen on solid food; hope he did.

Tramp, Tramp, Tramp, the Boys Are Marching.
"Tramp, Tramp, Tramp, the Boys Are Marching."


Coming up from Aspinwall to New York, a second-class passenger came into the first-class saloon and a big steward objected. Man did not like it and when the steward swore at him, he struck the steward (much the biggest man) and knocked him down; the steward said the man used a knife; no one had seen a knife[Pg 61] but over the Steward's heart was a little tear in his white duck. Captain took a hand, and steward, who had had a bad record was put in irons. Other man turned out to be an artist; had been through Borneo—of all places—and come out alive with a wonderful lot of pictures and photographs (burned later). Came into my cabin as he wanted to copy a little sketch of Panama. Showed me how that tear happened; he used a knuckle-duster that was in his pocket when he (the steward) came at him the second time. An ugly thing; iron ring with holes that your fingers go through, short spikes over your knuckles, and a longer one below your clenched hand.

The Knuckle-duster.
The Knuckle-duster.



Making a fire after a long day in the boat and not thinking there was anyone else for miles; rather there was not, as the nearest place is the line between two states where a number of "bad men" have settled. When the soldiers from one state come for any of them (if they ever do) the men can step over the line. Well, we were getting wood and one of us came out of the night with a fellow walking behind, knife in hand (such a foolish thing; why not in front?) A canoe slid out of the fog with two muffled women astern, and three more men who got out and stood round the fire. As they had their knives out, one of us left fishing in the boat and passed guns round to our side. Then we talked and ate. They were very free and easy villains[Pg 63] but went off into the fog again all right. After keeping watch awhile we went to sleep.


"The weary ploughboy homeward bound," and not knowing one day from another here we were ploughing with bullocks when a man riding by said: "Thought you English did not work Sundays." My brother was wild; he threw the ear ropes down and wanted to know "If he'd lived all these years and traveled all these miles to plough Sundays with adjectived bullocks in a condemned country!" Bullocks are trying. The Reverend—looking out of the train at Frayle Muerto saw an Englishman swearing wonderfully at his bullocks. The Reverend told him to be gentle; the man being angry threw his ropes down, telling the Reverend to take them around himself. The Reverend did so; and it is said that by the time he got around—well you can guess. We got a little two-wheeled cart and with a broncho not used to driving. Some one behind him with his leather belt and buckle; and a peon on a horse in front to pull him along, and so across camp to a railway and my brother went back to England. The rest of the outfit got home somehow.

Nineteen Miles to Go Across Camp and The Day is Departing, de-par-ar-ting.
Nineteen Miles to Go Across Camp and "The Day is Departing, de-par-ar-ting."


Swede playing billiards with an Italian in a cafe full of Italians; they quarrelled and the Swede used his cue and the Italian a small knife, as the manager came in the Swede went down and some men bolted.

[Pg 64]

Bringing in Ruffinelli.
Bringing in Ruffinelli.

Our Last Night on the Plata
Our Last Night on the "Plata".

[Pg 65]

Manager locked the doors with thirty or forty inside but the man had gone. Three of us went through houses where men were sleeping and then a mile into camp to a house where two Italians and a big dog lived; knocked; man appeared behind dog in doorway. H told him to call off his dog; would not; so H shot the dog and we went in. Found Ruffinelli in bed, pretending sleep; shirt covered with blood and head tied up; not pretty to look at. Put him on a horse and tied his feet together, brought him to the only brick building in town. Some got on top of it with guns while the manager did sentry; there are hundreds of Italians here. A stage starts for town at 8 A. M. and the manager suggested that if there were no passengers the stage should take the man in now before the other gentlemen woke up, and we could go to bed. It was done, and Ruffinelli went off and later got seven years on the frontier.


A cold night on this big river though we are getting south now after our thousand miles in our little boat; so we got ashore and supped on grebe which reminded one of red herrings. Found a little grass hut built by a woodcutter possibly, and three of us snuggled up on the floor, just big enough, with a candle and part of a book. Heaven knows where the man got it. Well, we went to sleep and the bookman knocked[Pg 67] the candle over and the fire ran up the hut luckily one of us woke and put it out and the others never knew and told the fireman next noon that "he had been dreaming"; is so, why that black streak? Another morning we found a big jaguar and cub had passed a yard from A's head. They were grunting all night close to us in the jungle, and could not have been hungry as there were five of us to choose from. Got aboard and got lost on the Chaco side of the river. This gran Chaco is an endless maze of creeks and little islands covered with trees and jungle, no birds or beasts seemingly and the fish won't bite often. There are some hostile Indians but the chances are greatly in favor of starving to death, a desolate place but the wind brought us to the river again and when the cox wanted to go about, it blew so fresh that mast and big lateèn sail went. Two of us jumped and held on to it but it was hard on finger nails and as there was quite a little sea our small boat was tumbling about. We all had our trousers rolled up to our knees except Maria, who was a Paraguayan woman and wife of Salvador, a Portuguese, who we called Joe. Fortunately there was a little island on to which we drifted. Maria was frightened and knelt down a few yards off, with her skirt over her head, for five minutes, like an image. Then she rose up and said: "It is a bad wind; we shall not get to Rosario alive," and set to work like a little[Pg 69] man. We fixed our mast up with fish lines and whatever we had. Drifting again on the Chaco side where the jungle is not as thick as on the other, with more trees. We ran in to look at what turns out to be boughs bent over in a half-circle, once a tiny hut four feet high. Now the thatch is gone and there is two or three inches of water and rotten leaves, sitting in which and leaning against the boughs is a skeleton and a worm-eaten flint lock musket alongside, the skull has rolled or been blown off and lies there. What a death! miles of dark silent forest behind, in front the immense river, the wash of which is the only sound. Poor devil, wonder who it was once! We left it sitting there and I do not suppose anyone will come across it again.

A Dismal Swamp—Hundreds of Miles of It. Ye Gran Chaco.
A Dismal Swamp—Hundreds of Miles of It. Ye Gran Chaco.


A Lonely Skeleton.
A Lonely Skeleton.

horseman chasing cow


Chasing a little cow bareback and riding loosely she made a quick turn and the mare stuck to her just where we had worn a track bringing the adobes for houses. Man's head struck the track and a native woman carried the remains into a house and doctored him. Another time, sitting on a blanket strapped around a tall black beast with a back like the roof of a church, and leading a mare, dogs came and scared the mare, man held but the rope was only around the mare's neck and, as she was faster than the horse, man was pulled forward over the horse's head, one hand full of reins, revolver, and mane, the other of the mare.[Pg 71] Strap round the blanket loosened and away went man onto his back. Mare dragged him fifty yards over burned camp and the skin came off his arms and the black stuff rubbed in. Took some time to heal and he could not get up for a while because he thought his back was broke; also he had to swear at the dog owners when they ran up. One day, as we stood about among some piles of brick, a cow stood pawing the dust up near, suddenly she charged and all got on brick piles except one who thought it was all right because he was behind a heap; but the cow turned round the corner and came at him head down and tail up. Now would you think that that man stood perfectly still and watched the cow's shoulder wondering if he had a sword whether he could hit the right spot? We had been seeing a good many bull fights lately. Anyway when he jumped to one side he did it mechanically and the cow's horn tore his coat. She kept straight on though.

The Mare Wins Easy.
The Mare Wins Easy.

El Hombre ò la Vaca.
El Hombre ò la Vaca.


Did you ever keep house for friends gone away? If you have not, don't do it, the place is full of ghosts of live people, this is quite unfair. No well conducted live person should have a ghost; but there they are, and their feet go hither and thither making no sound, and[Pg 73] their mouths eat at meals though the food never gets less, and they talk to you and to each other. You know what they say though there is no sound, and you get no answer if you speak to them. One does not really object to it; they are just like the live people in a way; they have exactly the same ways as the people they seem to be. They seem to hear your remarks and pass them by; often I fancy you are like a ghost to them, but one is not sure because if so why do they listen to you? Still, as I said, one does talk to them—but they don't answer. Do they expect you to reply to them; mine don't. In the open air, gardening or filling up time someway, they are not with one so much; it is at meals mostly. What becomes of them later. When you come into the place at night the stillness is wonderful either in the black darkness or with the bright moonlight shadowing everywhere with wraiths of boughs and plants; but one misses the ghosts; there is only an open grave; there's nothing in it.

Real Ghosts.
Real Ghosts.


Once on a time there was a ranch with a church on it amongst other things. There was also a winery, and a man for whom the manager tried to find work that he could do, having got down to weeding which was[Pg 75] not a success, he gave him the winemaker's shanty in which to sleep close to the winery which he was to see was safe; and Sundays he was to sweep the church by 11 o'clock. The manager had been doing this when he took the flowers down formerly, coming down the first Sunday that the man was to have done it, it was not done; so after getting the church ready, the manager drove to the winery and found the door forced, shouted down a trap door and the man appeared from below, saying that four men with clubs had broken in; he watched them from his window being afraid to interfere; but there were four empty wine bottles in his room, he was told to pack. As he was sulky and wanted to argue with a club full of nails to help him, he was put on the floor and his head bumped till he was reasonable; the blacksmith put his head in and requested that the man should not be killed. Manager said he was not worth it and sent blacksmith off to put him on the cars. Had smith fix the winery door again, after which they went to church just in time to meet the clergyman from town. A very pretty little church, built in memory of her husband who owned the ranch on the road to the village (one hundred and ranch, by his widow. There is a long tunnel on this thirty yards long) made by the last owner trying for coal. When he did not find coal, he made a road of[Pg 77] the tunnel, and a big reservoir by banking at one end, fifty feet of this embankment washed out in our big flood year (ground squirrels had been working in it) and swept a railroad bridge away further down. We come through nights without a light often and feel our way along the sides with the whip, as dark a place as I ever was in, and there is not above eighteen inches to spare, each side your wheels. Coming out at one end there is a long downhill and once on a wagon with no break or foot board. Sitting on top of a load of wheat the wagon ran onto the four horses and away we went, the driver swung the horses off the road onto the plough to the mountains, the only way to save a smash; but as he swung, the rope loosened with the jerk and landed the sack he sat on and him on his back in the road, close to the wheel, luckily turning from him. He threw up the reins, the plough, etc., stopped the horses and another man and he having sorted them out, got a better wagon. That is enough about ranching.

The Day of Rest.
The Day of Rest.


downhill with no brakes
"Went down the hill without the drag on,
Poor Mary Ann.
Mother she waxed her, petted her and kissed her,
Docter he came and he put on a blister,
If she'd a' died we'd never a' missed her;
Poor Mary Ann."

Man in a Slough.
Man in a Slough.


In the pineries (Illinois), where there was shooting, a man got lost, they are twelve miles through timber, ridges, and sloughs covered with green moss that closes over you if you don't mind your ways. This man luckily came across a solitary railroad track and as[Pg 79] he had been out a good while and was seven miles from home he sat down to smoke and think about things. Then the handcar came along, three men; so the shootster, who knew many of the men, got on and worked his passage leaving his spaniel, Dash, to run. We came along, talking and singing, till we came to the quarter mile long trestle bridge over the Calumet and swamps. Here an express turned up behind us and we started to work; oh, yes; we worked with that beast of a train getting closer. We could not stop to get off the track, but we got to the little station and a man at the switch had time to let us off while the express thundered by. Whether they saw us or not we never knew; if they did it was a cruel game to play and when we got in we sat on a woodpile and felt queer. My dog turned up half an hour later; the pace was too good for him at first. The undergrowth is so thick in those woods that you cannot see any distance. It was here two brothers, shooting forward, and whistling to know where each other was came to the edge of the tall trees. A woodcock got up and shot off through the brush down this edge. One man shot it and, looking beyond as he loaded, saw something he could not make out. It turned out to be his brother's head.

"What are you waiting for?" said No. 1.

"The rest of the charge," said he, "you've shot me."

Express Charges—Pittsburg & Fort Wayne R. R.
Express Charges—Pittsburg & Fort Wayne R. R.

F. P. Long Stop.
F. P. Long Stop.

[Pg 81]

"Oh, shot your grandmother," said No. 1. But all the same there was one little spot of blood on his left cheekbone and I could feel the shot which he never would take out though I wanted to; it was my shot anyway.


In Shanghai it was against the law to pack cotton at night but it was done, one night, in a big go-down, a lot of Chinese on a platform ten feet above the floor were running round a capstan as if getting up anchor, only their thing works downwards, around, around to their eternal chant of ha ho, ha, hao o ha. Two fell over the edge. Now there were pigs of lead piled up below and their skulls cracked like eggs. The other fellows did not seem to care much and in the morning carried the bodies off in their ropes and probably threw them in the weeds a little way outside town. On the Bubbling Well road (so called because there is a well that always has a bubble coming up from the bottom), it used to be horrible sometimes in one's early morning ride. They are rather an awful people, and there are razor-backed hogs that roam around.

Roll Dat Cotton.
"Roll Dat Cotton."

carrying away the dead

[Pg 82]

man underwater

[Pg 83]

Acapulco is a queer little place, mostly heat, blacks, shell work, sharks, etc. There are immense sharks (about sixteen feet). They won't look at pork with or without a hook in it. What do they eat. Must be mostly the stuff thrown from ships. Some say that they run up into the surf and catch the little darkies by the legs. Anyway they are big and fat and there are lots of them.

A war with the French is about to begin and the ships are expected but have not come; so we can't land some French officers who are here to join their ships—not good for them ashore just now.

We were round, look, see business, and there was a fuss, and a fellow shot and missed; but the bullet got my leg. Curious it did not sting but was more like a blow; did not break anything though. The native imitations of flowers (shell work) are very pretty and there is lots of coral, etc. Only a small place and not much clothing. An old fort at the entrance with mouldy cannon, harbor to get into which one goes up a passage that is parallel to the coast. You can't see anyway in when you are out, or out when you are in, is like a big pond with a grove of cocoanuts on the far side from the village but no other trees except a palm or two, the colors of the mountains are fine, and the young fry dive any distance after money thrown to them, as they do at all these places, carry it in their mouths, their only pocket. Principal industries, when[Pg 85] there is no ship to coal, lying in (and out of) the sun and drinking; as some one said: "Customs beastly manners none."


Aboard a ship where there were a lot of young men passengers, and jumping back and forth over open hatches, diving from the yardarm, catching sharks, and revolver practice at men-of-war hawks, molly hawks, cape pigeons, catching albatross with a hook and line, etc., were among the amusements, some of us met at about 11 A. M. to breakfast in a cabin the owner of which had a hamper of cakes and two boxes of Partaga and Regalia Brittanica cigars, these men amongst whom were a T— and two M's—had been brought up on civilized things so the unfortunate owner's cigars went fast. One of us poor fellows was too fond of drinks and other things and had no business to have come as he soon got d.t's. and was shut up in his cabin with a sentry. Some way he got out, ran the length of the saloon, and dived through the big stern window, through the glass, bending the guard rods right and left. A man standing by the wheel on deck above, looking aft, saw the head and arms of a man rise on the top of a following wave, shouted "man overboard",[Pg 87] and threw a preserver. The captain was very good and we went astern for an hour or more which was dangerous with the sea that was running; had a boat out too. Then we picked up the boat and went ahead and he floated alongside near where he went overboard. They tried everything, though he had already been a little eaten by fish. Several of our crowd on this ship could not stand the new life after landing. H shot himself. W shut himself up with brandy and drank till he died; and so on.

Coaling—Rio Janeiro.
Coaling—Rio Janeiro.

Man Overboard—Bay of Biscay.
Man Overboard—Bay of Biscay.


If you do not know what baldearing is and are short of amusement, tie the end of a well rope to your cinch and then walk your horse away eighty feet or so till your bucket comes up full, if you like to and have a trough along side, arrange it so that bucket catches and tilts at the top so as to let the water into the trough, or 'troff' as I suppose it will be spelled later. Then walk your horse back and down goes your bucket. The first time one man tried, as he turned he let the rope touch the horse and this horse did not approve. It whirled around a few times, tied himself up in a knot, and over they went. Horse up again some way and got to the end of his rope in a hurry. The two brick pillars of the well (the pride of the man's heart) crumbled away and off went that animal with eighty[Pg 89] foot or so of suga, the bucket, and the cross beam, into a drove of mares which stampeded all over the world. Don't know what became of the mares but we got the horse fifty miles from home next day. He was a good beast but nervous about ropes apparently. It is better to have a quieter gee for baldearing.

Act I.—The Great Baldearing Trick.
Act I.—The Great Baldearing Trick.

Act II.
Act II.


Lx, who was one of the Prince of Wales shooting party around about Chicago (F. W. was there also), had one of the dogs they shot over with him. He was a liver colored pointer named Grouse, and one of the most cantankerous beasts in temper I ever saw. Once he growled at Mark (A No. 1 bullterrier owned by my brother). Mark was the quietest dog unless he was bothered. He went for Grouse who jumped away so quickly that Mark only reached his tail. It healed all right but left a lump and we thought L— would be wild when he returned. However, he was not, but thanked Frank, as he said Grouse bit when he was threshed and L used to hold him by the tail and when he turned to bite hit him with one of those short knotted dog whips; then Grouse would try the other side and get straightened out again. So L was obliged; as he said he never could hold him before as he could now from behind. This is a true dog story. L was the man who always shot at an Indian.

chasing horse

The Tale of Grouse.
The Tale of Grouse.


Leaving el Toro after about a ten mile drive over two ranges of small mountains, through wild flowers,[Pg 90] grain, cotton wood, and live oak trees and by a creek, a fine drive but not for wild horses, you wind past the home farm and turn sharply to your right over a bridge with a swing gate, to find yourself suddenly amongst big lawns and live oaks, great beds of roses and flowers, shrubbery, and a little lake and glass houses. At the back of this eight acres or more is a natural terrace one hundred feet high, covered with live oaks, geraniums, creepers, etc., and up which goes a flight of steps to the orange orchard at the top. Back of this on the mountains, they are all round. At the foot of this terrace stands the house, a long rambling collection of rooms, porches, entrances, open-air dining-room, etc., very prettily built to harmonize with the scenery. From the inside one looks out into a green sea of a dozen different shades of green; inside it is a perfect place, everything one can want from madame down to cocktails at which Mr. B. is a pastmaster. Pictures, music, books, and most of them with histories. The rides and walks up the canyon are beautiful, the one that goes on past the house winds through the mountains and across and across the creek, ferns and flowers are all about and one passes two little cabins, in the furthest of which they lived when they first came out, there are stories of a bear that comes here but we don't see anything of him—there are live stock, olives, oranges, etc., and bees, on the ranch. Friends are[Pg 91] always coming and going, carriages meeting the train at el Toro twice a week for friends, and so many visitors (and uninvited guests) come that there has been a well sunk and grounds made for picnic parties about a quarter of a mile from the house. "Arden" is its name and madame played Rosalind on the lawn once, where the hammocks and tables for afternoon tea, etc., are, one forgets that there is any world outside here, why should you remember when there is all you want, and nothing to remind you? There are papers of course if you can't let them alone. "The world forgotten, by the world forgot", is something like it but not nice enough, and we do a little honey business and get stung enough to see what it is like, and sometimes garden with musical interludes and play whist and poker, and fight about gardening or cards, or whether dried currants are currants, and make cigarettes with crafty little machines, and go walks and get flowers sometimes drive or ride or shoot or fish, or watch R making a contraption for pumping water out of the lake, or go up to where a 40-foot high dam is starting across a road where the rocks nearly meet, this will make a big lake, more water, fish and boating, you don't know how the days go till you are away—then you know.

Arden, 1897.
Arden, 1897.

Los Angeles, October 14, 1897.

Well, beginning on the left is the little house Mr. B and Madame went to stay, but when she was getting better last time, they said it was dryer than her own room—next that is an enclosed yard with a store room at the back and over it a room where her theatrical[Pg 93] dresses are kept, the little house right off that is the house girls' rooms, in front of the last is a bed of carnations and where the two girls are is the open air dining room, next that is the indoor dining room, kitchen behind, then Nashtia's room with a rustic well in front, part of dining room behind and part of kitchen and big pantry behind that—then an entrance and little hall behind which is my room as they call it and bathroom beyond—then Mr. Bozentas' study, hall behind and then the room with the church windows (the odd window is a seat of Madames) this a very large room and goes the whole depth of the house and up to the rafters with a big granite fireplace and no end of pretty things in it. I suppose you would call it a drawing room—then there is a spare bedroom, hall and another bedroom at the back, then an entrance with a bathroom beyond the hall—then Mr. B's room with Madame's at the back and these open onto a wide deep porch with Japanese screens and trellis and creepers which is the end—the kitchen garden is beyond the shrubbery to the left and that lawn runs to the right ever such a way to the farmyard entrance—at the back is a deep hill 50 yards high or more covered with live oak, geraniums, wild grasses and so on—on top there is an orange and olive orchard—in front excepting drives it is all garden and shrubbery to a creek with a swing gate, I dare say there are 8 or 10 acres, all this and a small valley are shut in by high mountains and you exist in a sort of green sea. That is Madame by her porch, the girls on the right were Misses Langenberger, Yorke and Easton. I am doing roses on the well, Annie and Maggie are in the open dining room, Nashtia is by the little house, Mr. B is talking to Johnny, left front, Sam is watering with his small and faithful Bobilo dog near him, the other dog is a big hound named Rock. If you keep this till you get the sketch perhaps you can make it out.


1900—Beginning of the D——.
1900—Beginning of the D——.

[Pg 94]

Let Go!
Let Go!

They're Off!
They're Off!

[Pg 95]


"A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse."

One man who was nervous wanted to drive forty miles across camp to Rosario, Santa Fé, and one of us who was not nervous said he would drive the pair of greys; one had been in harness twice and the other not at all; but the trap and harness were strong. So when the driver went to start and found them loading chains and ironware in case there was a runaway, he had it out again; there are no fences or ditches and all there was to do if they did runaway was to head for Rosario, they did, after trying if they could fly, horses buck here more than they kick, and when they wanted to stop the driver prevailed on them with a whip to keep on till one tried to fall down and nearly pulled him over the dashboard, but they got to town. Talking of bucking; we have some prize-takers. We all tried one and no one could stay on. Sometimes a piece of wood is used which you tie in front and push your knees under, or a blanket rolled up helps. Another, a beautiful labuno, was brought for me one day, the Señora who knew the horse, asked if I was a domador which I am not at all, she said "better not get on" and next day I knew she was right. Our best rider was going to try but the horse went around in circles at the end of a lasso, bucking like an airy fiend, everything flying till he broke away and no one got near him for hours, then he was captured with bolas, all this is different from hunting or riding races, the horse seems to express his opinions more freely and forcibly here, and one[Pg 97] wants a special education. In Australia I know there is plenty of bucking, but I never was there, we had some horses from there in China, one of them (F—s) bucked his saddle over his head and never broke the girths. I did not see this but it is true. Another fell in a race and would not get up although fire-crackers were let off among his legs; then they tied a chain to him and dragged him away. Don't know if he ever got up. One Tartar pony I knew ran away with a Consul and up forty steps into the grand stand, another in a race jumped on top on one of these wide mud walls, and as he had his fore legs one side and hind legs the other he had to be taken off. I was riding in these races and we had no end of fun; last a week, but two men were nearly killed and one horse quite.

Russian Consul Going for the Grand Stand—Shanghai.
Russian Consul Going for the Grand Stand—Shanghai.

Get on Ferguson.
"Get on Ferguson."

One on the Wall.
One on the Wall.

A Bad 'un to Mount.
A Bad 'un to Mount.

Lloyd's Crumpler on Miss Louise. Steeple. Flat.
Lloyd's "Crumpler" on Miss Louise. Steeple. Flat.


In Los Angeles on Main street a hack drove along and one man directed another's attention to two girls in it. They were very pretty but like many others, had their faces covered with white powder, these were Mexicans. They drove across to Rose and Ferguson's stable (Rose shot himself later) and then down Commercial street and Los Angeles street to a hotel with a man (I— F) they picked up at the stables. One of the first two men was passing as the hack stopped and made a grab for the girl, who got out first, because as the man put his foot on the hack step to get out, she[Pg 99] shot him in the eye and he fell forward onto the sidewalk dead. She only said: "He'll never fool another girl" and was going to shoot again but changed her mind and walked off with her sister to the police station to give herself up. She was tried; she was impudent and said she would shoot anyone that said anything about her. Some fellows took her bouquets; she got no punishment, of course, and the day she was free went to get the revolver which she had borrowed she said. B's daughter shot at a man on Spring street near First three times front of where the P. O. used to be, but only shot a bit off the top of his head. He ought to have been killed; his folks had money though and he was let off. I was summoned as a witness in this. The father knew me but I knew nothing of the affair. I got mad in court as usual and Mr. S. W. let me go. There used to be a good deal of shooting in Los Angeles but it is all changed now. At the same corner of Commercial Street a man sat at an upstairs window and waited till the man he wanted went along the other side; then he shot him with a shot gun.

The End of Don J— F. Front of White House, Commercial St., Los Angeles.
The End of Don J— F. Front of White House, Commercial St., Los Angeles.

shooting pool
Man coming in suddenly—"Now I've got you."
Man, looking up—"Oh let up, don't interrupt this game."
First man, paralyzed, walks out again without shooting.
The Good Old Days.

M and I used to go down Sonora town to Spanish fandangos and things where there was often trouble. Once they were shooting in the night around the adobes and a policeman fell down and was carried home but when they searched they found the ball in his clothes and he was not hurt a bit.

I was shot in the Pico house and S— drove me to his funeral, next week I was at S's funeral; he was shot in his room.

[Pg 100]

One Adobe—Los Angeles.
One Adobe—Los Angeles.

Empty is the Cradle, Baby's Gone—San Rafael Ranch.
"Empty is the Cradle, Baby's Gone"—San Rafael Ranch.

[Pg 101]


Staying in a house full of things for friends who were away once there was a burglary. I never knew till a day or two after. Well, the things were mostly recovered; it was an old servant and his partner who did it. When we looked around there was an outside adobe store room that would not open and a locksmith said that the door was not locked. After some gymnastics we found through an extremely dusty window that there was something against the door. The crafty George had jammed a crowbar into the floor and leaned it against the door so that when shut the other end of the bar dropped under a crosspiece and held the door like a rock. Wonder where he learned that.

California—Voices of the Night.
California—Voices of the Night.

Pincher—All That Could be Seen, or Heard.
Pincher—All That Could be Seen, or Heard.

One night, being away from a ranch some one went into my bedroom and took the cash box (only $225 and $50 was mine and $15 A. C. J's). There were two men playing chess in the next room who never went to see what was going on though all the dogs were wild the men say, and the men's quarters are some distance away. We found the broken box on the tennis court, house table, all the money, but $19 church money in an envelope, gone of course. Never knew who did it. Another time, at a little ranch I had five miles from town, I used to walk out sometimes at night. Some one broke in one night as I found the[Pg 103] door open but nothing gone. So next Sunday I left everything just the same and came out after dark but earlier and lay down with my gun just opposite the door, at twelve whoever it was came (there was no house near) and I lay trying to hear what they said but could not. They came to the door and then that little fiend Pincher (my fox terrier) turned up from some where and "raised Cain"; they left and I followed a little way; it was a black night; struck one that searching for gentlemen one had not been introduced to, able to see nothing ahead and with the light from the open door in one's rear, was not correct; so I went to bed. Next morning found where they had tied their horses in the willows down by the creek. Mexicans from the mountains probably. Have not had many robbery games. Father went down once long ago with a sawed off shotgun and I went to open the door. I asked him after "what he thought about?" and he said that he thought he should spoil a new carpet.

Another time still further back, when so small that I was sleeping in his room, I woke him to see the shadow of a ladder on the blind in London. There were burglars, but in the next house. He caught one and let him go and the grateful ruffian sent him a paper of written rules as to how to make his house safe.

[Pg 104]

Marshals Them the Way That They Should Go?
Marshals Them the Way That They Should Go?"

Oh Lie Down P.—— It's All Right.
"Oh Lie Down P.—— It's All Right."

[Pg 105]


Once upon a time a man, call him P.o1, was Marshal at a big picnic and cavorted around in a gorgeous scarf, riding an ancient but fiery untamed Mexican bronco, blanco I mean, which had lots of action, particularly forward. This man had been yarning with another, call him P.o2, who had also been in the golden South Americas and who, being in that frivolous state of mind, often found in travelers, insisted on climbing up behind P.o1 whenever he got a chance, and inciting the blanco till the action became worse than ever, and the three nearly got seasick. They did not though, but feasted sumptiously on part of a whole bullock barbecued, which was so good that they wished they had known him when alive; might have been better men. Picnic was a success but P.o2 was not satisfied with one day, and carried on till a couple of weeks later P.o1 got a message to come to the St. C. hotel. P.o2 had got D.T.'s and was amusing himself trying to get out of a three-story window. The St. C. people sent for P.o1 who took the maniac away and kept him in his bedroom for four abandoned nights. P.o2 was big and wiry and strong withal, and in the lengua del pais it was "no circus". P.o2 got better and two years after P.o1 had a telegram from him saying their ship went down in the Atlantic and took his twenty thousand draft with her, and he was busted. Now he is in England with a title and estate and P.o1 has neither, and this is the reward of virtue—but P.o1 was a Marshal once—and

"The world goes up, and the world goes down,
And the sunshine follows the rain;
And yesterday's sneer and yesterday's frown
never come over again."

[Pg 106]

"La vie est vaine:
Un peu d'amour,
Un peu de haine ...
Et puis—bon-jour!
La vie est brève:
Un peu d'espoir,
Un peu de rève ...
Et puis—bonsoir." ...

Transcriber's Notes

Repositioned illustrations and silently corrected minor punctuation errors. Retained original spelling except for the following changes:

Page 21: Tencriffe may be a typo for Teneriffe (now Tenerife).
(Orig: Eleven days in the Bay of Biscay off Tencriffe.)

Page 27: Changed "quanaco" to "guanaco."
(Orig: everything is mixed up with the quanaco in the dark)

Page 61: Changed "villians" to "villains."
(Orig: They were very free and easy villians)

Page 90: Changed "prettyly" to "prettily."
(Orig: very prettyly built to harmonize with the scenery.)

Page 93: Changed "shruberry" to "shrubbery."
(Orig: all garden and shruberry to a creek)

Page 105: Changed "mim" to "him."
(Orig: yarning with another, call mim P.o2,)

Page 106: English Translation:
"Life is in vain:
A little love,
A little bit of hatred ...
And then—good-day!

Life is short:
A little hope,
A little dream ...
And then goodnight." ...