Stories from Everybody’s Magazine

These are stories from Everybody’s Magazine, 1910 issues. Scanned by Charles Keller with OmniPage Professional OCR software donated by Caere Corporation, 1-800-535-7226. Contact Mike Lough Vol. XXIII No.1 JULY 1910 THE LAYING OF THE MONSTER BY THEODOSIA GARRISON Dorothea reposed with her shoulders in the shade of the bulkhead and her bare feet burrowing in
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These are stories from Everybody’s Magazine, 1910 issues.

Scanned by Charles Keller with OmniPage Professional OCR software donated by Caere Corporation, 1-800-535-7226. Contact Mike Lough

Vol. XXIII No.1 JULY 1910



Dorothea reposed with her shoulders in the shade of the bulkhead and her bare feet burrowing in the sun-warmed sand. Beneath her shoulder blades was a bulky and disheveled volume–a bound year of Godey’s Lady Book of the vintage of the early seventies. Having survived the handling of three generations, this seemed to take naturally to being drenched with rain and warped by sun, or, as at the present moment, serving its owner either as a sand-pillow or as a receptacle for divers scribbled verses on its fly-leaves and margins.

It was with a poem now that Dorothea was wrestling, as she wriggled her toes in the sand and gazed blankly oceanward. Under the scorching August sun, the Atlantic seemed to purr like a huge, amiable lion cub.

It was not the amiabilities of nature, however, in which Dorothea found inspiration. A harp of a single string, she sang as that minstrel might who was implored to make love alone his theme.

Given an imaginative young person of eleven, who, when not abandoning herself utterly to athletics, has secret and continual access to the brand of literature peculiar to the “Seaside Library,” and the result is obvious. Dorothea’s mother read recipes; her father was addicted to the daily papers. It was only in her grandmother that Dorothea found a literary taste she approved. On that cozy person’s bookshelves one could always find what happened to Goldie or what the exquisite Irish heroine said to the earl before she eloped with the captain.

In this knowledge Dorothea’s parents had no ambition that their daughter should excel. In fact, an uncompromising edict on the subject had been given forth more than once to a sullen and rebellious sinner. But how should the most suspicious parent, when his daughter sits in his presence apparently engrossed in a book entitled “The Girlhood of Famous Women,” guess that carefully concealed in its interior is a smaller volume bearing the title “Muriel’s Mistake, or, For Another’s Sin?”

Having acquired knowledge, the true student seeks to demonstrate. Dorothea had promptly and intentionally fallen in love with the son of her next-door neighbor. Amiel–fresh from his first year in college– was a tall, broad-shouldered youth, with kindly brown eyes and a flash of white teeth when he smiled. In contrast to the small boys and the sober-going fathers of families in which the summer colony abounded, he shone, as Dorothea’s favorite novelists would have expressed it, “like a Greek god.”

It was this unsuspecting person whom Dorothea had, at first sight, elected to be the Hero of her Dreams. She trailed him, moreover, with a persistency that would have done credit to a detective. Did he go to the post-office, he was sure to meet Dorothea returning (Lady Ursula, strolling through her estate, comes upon her lover unawares). Dorothea, emulating her heroine’s example by vaulting a fence and cutting across lots, could be found also strolling (if slightly breathless) as he approached.

She timed her day, as far as possible, with his. Would he swim, play tennis, or go crabbing–there was Dorothea. Would he repose in the summerhouse hammock and listen to entire pages declaimed from Tennyson and Longfellow, the while being violently swung–his slave was ready. She read no story in which she was not the heroine and Amiel the hero. At the same time, she was perfectly and painfully conscious in the back of her brain that Amiel regarded her only as a sun-browned, crop-headed tomboy, who had an extraordinary facility for remembering all the poetry she had ever read, and who amused and interested him as his own small sister might. Outwardly she kept strictly to this role–a purely natural one–while inwardly she soared dizzily from fantasy to fantasy, even while her physical body was plunging in the waves or leaping on the tennis court.

Could Amiel have had the slightest insight into the fancies seething in his small neighbor’s mind, he would have been astounded to the verge of doubting her reason. Little did he know, as he stood now on the bulkhead and looked down at her, that at the moment Dorothea was finishing mentally a poem in which with “wild tears” and “clasping hands,” he had bidden her an eternal farewell–by moonlight. She was, moreover, perturbed by the paucity of her native language. There appeared to be nothing to rhyme with “love” except “shove,” “above,” and “dove.” Of these one was impossible and two were trite. Scowling fiercely at the ocean, she finally gave the bird to the hungry line and repeated the final couplet doubtfully:

” `Farewell,’ he said. `Ah, love, my love, My heart is breaking for thee, Dove.’ “

“Look out!” said a voice above her. “I’m going to jump.”

Dorothea sat up delightedly, with her bare, brown legs tucked beneath her, Turk-like, as she welcomed him. (“Ah! Beloved,” said Lady Ursula with her hand on her fluttering heart.) “Hello,” said Dorothea, with a wide grin.

He flung himself down beside her and surveyed her with amusement. “Been digging holes with your head?” he asked affably. “Your hair and eyelashes look it. Been here all the afternoon?”

“Yes,” she said. “I saw you go riding after lunch. I’ve been here ever since. I love to be on the beach when there isn’t a lot of people bothering around. Then”–she made a wide gesture with her brown hand– “all of it seems to belong to me, not broken up in little bits for everybody.” She shook her cropped head vigorously, and the sand pelted down her shoulders.

“Well,” he said, watching this operation, “you came near taking your little bit to the house with you to keep, didn’t you? How long have you worn your hair cropped like that, Dorothea? Was it when you decided to be captain of a ball team?”

He drew a box of chocolates from his pocket and tossed it over to her. She caught it neatly on her outstretched palm, as a boy would have done, and nibbled squirrel-like as she talked. She did not resent being teased by Amiel–she liked it, rather, as representing a perfect understanding between them. Also, once removed from the high hills of romance, she was not devoid of humor.

“It was cut in June–before you came. They didn’t want me to, but I just begged them. It was such a nuisance bathing and then flopping about drying afterward, and being sent upstairs all day long to make it smooth.”

“You funny kid,” he said. “You don’t care how you look, do you? You ought to have been a boy. What have you been doing down here all by yourself?”

“Reading–and–listening,” said Dorothea vaguely. She folded Godey’s Lady Book tightly to her chest. Lady Ursula or no Lady Ursula, she would have died–with black, bitter shame at the thought of any eye but her own falling upon the penciled lines therein. The horror of ridicule is the black shadow that hangs over youth. That strange, inner world of her own Dorothea shared with nothing more substantial than her dreams.

“Listening?” he inquired.

“To the ocean,” explained Dorothea. “It was high tide when I came down, and the waves boom-boomed like that, as though it were saying big words down in its chest, you know.”

“And what were the wild waves saying?”

“Oh, big words like–” she thought a moment, her small, sunburnt face serious and intent. “Oh, like

“Robert of Sicily, Brother of Pope Urbane And Valmond, Emperor of Allemaine.”

she intoned deeply. “You see?”

“Absolutely,” he said enjoyingly. “And so you weren’t lonesome?”

Dorothea, who had spent her afternoon in a region peopled with interesting and exquisite figures, shook her head.

“You don’t get lonesome when you think,” she said–“imagine” was the word she meant; she used the other as appealing to his understanding. Suddenly the vague, introspective look left her face; she turned to him with the expression of one imparting pleasing tidings. “My friend is coming to-morrow to stay a week,” she said. “You remember I told you that mother had asked her. Well, she’s coming down with father to-morrow. She has never been to the seashore before. You’ll take us crabbing, won’t you, Amiel? And if we have a bonfire you’ll ask father to let us stay up, won’t you?”

“Sure,” he said good-naturedly. “What’s her name?”

“Her name is Jennie Clark, and she lives next door to us in the city, and we’re going to have fun–fun–fun,” chanted Dorothea. “Come on.” She sprang lightly to her feet and dug her shoes and stockings out of the sand. “We can have a game of tennis before dinner.”

Clutching her book with her shoes and stockings, she raced with him to the steps that led to the bulkhead, and from that eminence–with the air of one performing an accustomed act–she clambered on the fence that separated the green lawns from beach to avenue. This, with a fine disregard for splinters, she proceeded to walk–her property tucked under her arm.

Amiel strode beside her on the lawn. She was as sure-footed as a goat; but when he clutched her elbow as she performed a daring pirouette, she offered no opposition, but proceeded sedately beneath his hold. Why not? She had ceased to be Dorothea on her way to a tennis game (“Lean heavily on me, dearest,” whispered Reginald, “the chapel is in sight. Bear up a little longer”). With a weary sigh the Lady Ursula slid finally from the gate-post to the ground and proceeded to put on her stockings.

Jennie Clark arrived duly and was received, if not rapturously, at least hospitably. To be frank, Jennie Clark was not among those first suggested by Dorothea as a prospective visitor. Of her own private and particular friends some five had been rejected by a too censorious parent, mainly, it seemed, because of a lack of personal charm–Dorothea preferring a good sport from the gutter, as it were, to a dull fairy from a dancing school.

Jennie had been near, perilously near, the end of Dorothea’s list. Her sole claims to Dorothea’s friendship were that, living next door, she was available on rainy days when greater delights failed, and that Dorothea, by a dramatic relation of a ghost story, could hypnotize her into a terrified and wholly fascinated wreck.

Jennie was thirteen, a very young thirteen–pretty and mindless as a Persian kitten–but developing rapidly a coquettish instinct for the value of a red ribbon in her dark curls, and the set of a bracelet on her plump arm. Beside her curves and curls and pretty frilled frocks, Dorothea, in her straight, blue flannel playing suit or stiff afternoon pique’, with her cropped blonde head, suggested nothing so much as wire opposed to a sofa cushion.

She was in white pique’ this afternoon. To meet one’s friend at the station was an event. Dorothea was honestly excited and happy, and she was not at all pained that Jennie Clark’s first greeting was a comment on her short hair and her sunburn.

By what might have seemed to the unobserving a happy coincidence, Amiel, strolling from his house to the beach with his after- dinner pipe, was hailed by Dorothea from the summerhouse. She had run the unsuspecting Miss Clark very hard to arrive at the psychological moment. Joining them there, he was duly presented to Jennie Clark, and Dorothea, accepting the courteous fashion in which he acknowledged the introduction as an indirect compliment to herself, was elated. Jennie was certainly very pretty. She tossed back her long curls and talked to Amiel with an occasional droop of her long lashes, and Dorothea, beaming upon them both, had no notion that, hovering above her in the quiet twilight, the green- eyed Monster was even then scenting its victim and preparing to strike.

Presently Dorothea’s father and mother and Amiel’s stout and amiable parents joined their offspring in the summerhouse. One of the affable, if uninteresting, neighbors came as well and, promptly introducing a banjo as a reason for his being, lured the assembled company into song.

Dorothea, snuggled into her corner, blissfully conscious of Amiel’s careless arm about her shoulder, gave herself up to happiness. The night was soft as velvet, sewn with the gold spangles of stars. The waves whispered secrets to each other as they waited for the moon to rise. Dorothea, rapturously using the atmosphere as a background for Lady Ursula, became suddenly aware that the singing of “Juanita” in six different keys had ceased, and that Jennie, having been discovered to be the possessor of a voice, was singing alone. She had an exquisite little pipe, and she sang the dominating sentimental song of the year with ease if not with temperament. Its close was greeted with instant and enthusiastic applause. Jennie became instantly the center of attraction.

It was Amiel who urged her to sing again, Amiel who seized upon the banjo and accompanied her triumphantly through a college song, turning his back squarely upon Dorothea the while.

Dorothea sat up straight, a sudden, bewildering anger at her heart as she watched them. In the midst of the song she announced casually that the moon was coming up. No one paid the slightest attention to her except the calling neighbor, who said “Hush!”

An instant later, the instant that saw Amiel lay a commending and fraternal hand on Jennie’s curls, the Monster struck. Jealousy had no firmer grip of beak and talons on the Moor of Venice than on the crop-headed Dorothea. In absolute self- defense she did an unprecedented and wholly unexpected thing. Without warning she burst into song, even as Jennie was coyly preparing for an encore.

“O fair dove, O fond dove.
O dove with the white, white breast,”

shrilled Dorothea to her startled audience. This was the same song with which Lady Ursula invariably brought blinding, bitter tears to the eyes of those assembled at picnics and hunt balls. It had an opposite effect upon Dorothea’s auditors. With apparently one accord they burst into hilarious mirth, comment, and expostulation.

“My child!” “Where did you get that absurd song?” “Dorothea, never try to sing again. I forbid it.” This last from her father.

It was Amiel who commented admiringly on the fact that Dorothea with practice might go through an entire song without once touching upon the tune and time, and Jennie who giggled enjoyingly and said, “Oh, Dorothea, you’re awfully funny.”

Dorothea sat out the rest of the evening in stony silence, which nobody regarded. She refused to join in the various choruses– no one noticed the omission in the least. When at last she walked to the house with Amiel between herself and Jennie, and haughtily shrugged her shoulder away from his hand, he continued listening to Jennie’s prattle without giving the slightest attention to her aloofness.

Long after Jennie was asleep, Dorothea, wide-eyed, communed with the Monster. This was not an imitation Lady Ursula jealousy at all. That was an interesting game at which one played when Amiel occasionally walked and talked with some stray damsel in the colony. She had no real jealousy of the young ladyhood that at times intruded. But this was different; here she was out- ranked in HER OWN CLASS. In that lay the sting. She reflected dismally that this was only Tuesday and that Jennie was to stay until the following Monday.

She was perfectly and miserably fair in recounting Jennie’s attractions as contrasted with her own. She, Dorothea, could, at demand, which was seldom, reel off pages of poetry; Jennie could sing–to appreciative audiences. Dorothea could swim and dive; Jennie had curly hair. Plainly, Jennie had all the best of it. It remained only for Dorothea not to forget the courtesy due a guest and, above all, oh, above everything, not to show the slightest trace of the jealousy that consumed her. Lady Ursula had several times been the life of the party when her heart was breaking. Her proud smile had never faltered in the presence of her rival. Well, neither would Dorothea’s. She assumed it instantly in the darkness by way of immediate practice, and fell asleep with the result plastered upon her face.

In the morning the Monster, wearied perhaps by his session of the night before, seemed to lie dormant. Dorothea woke jubilant as the morn and, having roused her friend by the gentle method of half stifling her with a pillow, rushed her through her dressing and led her forth.

The ocean welcomed them with rapture; it caught the sun for them and threw it back in millions and millions of living, rainbowed diamonds. The world was all gold and blue and tremulous with clean salt winds. It seemed ridiculous that one could be unhappy on such a day. Dorothea danced pagan-like at the wave edge while Jennie watched demurely from the bulkhead.

However, it appeared that even on a day like this one could carry black envy at one’s heart. It was during the bathing hour that the Monster again asserted himself–this time for no indefinite stay. As a rule, the bathing hour was one in which Dorothea reveled. Arrayed in her faded bathing suit, guiltless of skirt or sleeves, her prowess as an amphibious creature had been highly commended by that one for whose praise she would gladly have precipitated herself from the highest pier.

In vain to-day did she perform feats of daring and agility that would have done credit to a flying fish. No one had eyes for her except an agitated mother and grandmother, who finally ordered her summarily out of the water and into the bath house.

Amiel had occupied himself in coaxing Jennie into the water and giving her primary instructions in swimming. Jennie, in the daintiest red and white suit that could be imagined, skirted and stockinged, with her curls escaping from a coquettish red handkerchief, timorously advancing and drawing back from the wave rush with little, appealing cries, was as fascinating as a playful kitten.

Dorothea regarded her with the disgust of the seasoned veteran for the raw recruit. This, however, her erstwhile friend might have been pardoned for not suspecting, seeing that whenever she caught Dorothea’s eye she was immediately the recipient of a wide and beaming smile that even one less vain might have accepted as a tribute to her attractions. It never wavered even while Jennie shook down her long curls ostensibly to let the sun dry a single lock that in some unaccountable way had felt the touch of a wave. Beamingly Dorothea heard Amiel humorously contrast this brown glory with her own short crop. Beamingly she fell into the plans for the crabbing party that afternoon. However, it was this lightsome expedition that laid the last straw upon the Monster’s back.

The gentle art of crabbing involves the carrying of a long-handled net and a huge basket, and a stop at the butcher’s to purchase unsavory lumps of meat for bait.

Hitherto Dorothea had always proudly and vehemently insisted upon carrying the basket the long, hot mile to the bay. To-day, as Amiel dropped the bait in and handed it to her as a matter of course, she accepted it with the look of the proud spirit that will not cry out beneath indignities. She hung the basket over her blue flanneled arm and trudged valiantly before them.

The afternoon was one of long and unprecedented martyrdom. Dorothea reviewed it as she changed into her white pique’ for dinner, the while beamingly advising Jennie as to the selection of hair ribbons. SHE had vaulted fences; Jennie had been assisted. SHE had baited lines; Jennie’s had been baited. The fact that a week before the offer of help in that delicate operation would have been regarded as an insult to her intelligence failed to occur to her to-day. She burned with humiliation as she remembered that after a half hour of seeing Jennie’s line carefully prepared, she had handed her own to Amiel with the air of one doing only what was expected of her. Amiel, in return, had stared at her, and in the tone he might have used to a younger brother had said briefly, “Well, go on and bait it. What’s the matter?” She had baited it. Also, she had carried home the net while Amiel had borne the spoils and protested courteously when Jennie offered an assisting hand. It was dreary consolation to realize that never for a moment had the proud smile wavered. She was beginning to feel as though an elastic band had been stretched for hours under her nose and behind her ears, and the sole comment her lofty amiability had drawn forth had been a reference to the famed animal of Cheshire.

From her window she presently saw Jennie, all rosy muslin and tossing curls, strolling beachward with Amiel. The sight nerved her to demonstrate an idea that had occurred to her inspiringly during the day. Once by simply placing a dewy rose in her golden torrent of hair, Lady Ursula had brought the ball room to her feet. In emulation, Dorothea extracted a hair ribbon from Jennie’s stock and, failing other means, tied it bandage-wise about her head. The result was not coquettish. It suggested only accident or disease. She removed it wearily, and sat down on the edge of the bed to think. Plainly, she could not compete with Jennie on the grounds of beauty or accomplishments. Apparently the fact of being able to swim, vault, and leap from vast heights constituted none of these things. And yet, before Jennie arrived–and doubtless after Jennie departed–after these five interminable days that stretched before her–but why five?

The dinner bell rang insistently. Some one was calling her from the stairs. Dorothea sat still, with her arms folded on the bedpost and a new thought playing like summer lightning in her brain. The thought gradually resolved itself into a problem. It was well enough to decide that Jennie must go–the problem was how to make her go. A telegram or a letter summoning her home? A good idea if there were any one in the city to send it. That was obviously impossible.

Dorothea walked downstairs with her brows knitted in thought above the unchanging smile, and in her eyes the look of the rapt soul momentarily expecting inspiration.

The inspiration arrived during that hour when the denizens of the little colony sat ring-wise about the beach fire.

The neighbor with the banjo had done his worst, and desisted; Jennie had piped through her repertoire and was now graciously accepting the support of Amiel’s arm. Dorothea and the Monster, somewhat withdrawn from the circle, watched a crooked moon lift itself above the horizon and lay a trail of opal glory on the waves. Still awaiting inspiration, she regarded it with as little interest as Lucretia Borgia might have given the sunset that preceded one of her little poisoning dinners.

Presently, as befitted the atmosphere and hour, the talk of the little circle fell upon things ghostly and mysterious–strange happenings and prophetic dreams. Dorothea, who had a love of horrors, lent a suddenly attentive ear; but Jennie, though plainly fascinated, uttered a protesting plaint. “Oh, please stop! You don’t know how you frighten me! Dorothea has had some awfully queer things happen to her, and it scares me almost to death when she tells about them.”

Mirth followed the announcement of Dorothea’s occult powers, which, needless to say, had come as a surprise to her immediate family.

Dorothea paid no attention whatever. Instead she rose to her feet and, flinging her arms wide, yawned elaborately. It was a delicate suggestion, which caused the men to look at their watches, and the party forthwith dispersed.

Dorothea, for all the sand in her shoes, seemed to walk to the house on air. The inspiration had arrived, fully accoutered, as it were, on the breath of Jennie’s complaint.

The work in hand called for the dexterity of the true artist. With managerial instinct, Dorothea, repelling any attempt at conversation, waited only until Jennie was comfortably ensconced in bed, to turn the lamp down so that it glimmered in sickly fashion, before beginning proceedings. Then, seating herself beside the bed–an eerie figure in her straight, white gown–she shook her head dismally and indulged in a heartfelt sigh. Jennie, her nerves already on edge with the ghost stories of the hour before, turned startled eyes upon her.

“What is the matter? What is it?” she inquired anxiously.

“I–feel–strange,” said Dorothea. She turned upon her victim a face full of uncanny suggestion. Divested of its perpetual smile, it seemed to Jennie as unfamiliar as a room from which an accustomed piece of furniture had been moved.

“I feel–strange. Something terrible is happening somewhere.–I can tell–I always can–I am going to have a vision–I can feel it–It always comes like this.” With a quick hand she extinguished the lamp. “It will come in a dream,” she muttered. “Let me sleep, oh, let me sleep!”

She made a sweeping pass with her out- stretched hands and, after a dramatic pause, fell heavily on her pillow, where she instantly proceeded to fall into a deep and trance-like slumber–a slumber that prevailed through the terrified questionings, whimperings, and agitated shakings by her friend.

It is an awesome thing to seek repose beside one wrapped in trance; it is worse to traverse unlighted halls and ghostly stairs in an effort to awake the gifted medium’s family. Wrapped in terror as in an icy sheet, after divers Herculean efforts to rouse the log beside her, the responsive victim fell into a troubled slumber with her head well under the bedclothes.

The gray dawn was in the room when she was awakened by what seemed to be muffled sobs from–the figure beside her. In an instant wide awake and palpitating, she fell upon Dorothea. “What is it? Oh, what is it?” she cried.

“I have had it,” said Dorothea in a sepulchral whisper. “The vision. Oh,” she turned dramatically from the instant question, “I can’t bear to tell you!–It was about you.”

“Dorothea, you’ve GOT to tell me! I think you’re HORRID. I’m going right downstairs to tell your mother.”

“Of course I’m going to tell you,” said the sybil crossly. She resumed her chest tones hurriedly. “I must tell you. It was sent to me to tell you. I wanted to prepare you.”

“Prepare? Oh, Dorothea, what WAS it?”

Dorothea stood upright on the bed, and her eyes assumed the expression of those that see inward–Jennie stared at her, hypnotized, breathless.

“I saw a room,” chanted the inspired one, “a room in a large city. I can see it now. It is a bedroom. There are blue rugs on the floor, and the furniture is oak. It has two windows. There is a canary bird in one, and the other has a seat with blue cushions.”

“Why, that is my mother’s room, Dorothea! You know it is.”

“In the bed a woman is lying. She is sick. She is turning from one side to the other–she says, `Oh, where is my daughter? I want my daughter! Why doesn’t she come back to me?'”

“Oh, Dorothea!” Jennie, tearful and excited, began to draw on her clothes. “That was my mother! It must have been! Oh, Dorothea!”

The sybil drove in the fine point again. “`Why doesn’t she come back to me?'” she reiterated.

The program that had proceeded so smoothly now received an unexpected hitch. Jennie paused suddenly in her garmenting, relief growing in her face.

“After all,” she observed, “I don’t believe mother had anything more than one of her sick-headaches. She has them all the time. I wouldn’t go home just for that. I do believe that is it, Dorothea.”

It was time for rapid thought. Another moment and the fine dramatic work of the morning would have gone for naught. For a moment Dorothea staggered, but for a moment only. “I didn’t tell you everything,” she said mysteriously. “Your mother is not alone in the bed. She is holding something in her arms. She is saying–” she paused to give her climax its full effect– “`Oh, why doesn’t Jennie come home to see her little sister?'”

“Her little–?–Dorothea!”

It behooves the villain to be without conscience. No slightest shame visited the brazen one’s heart at the sight of Jennie’s instant joy and excitement. Modestly she accepted the tribute to her uncanny power; obligingly she assisted her friend to pack; martyr-like she acquiesced in Jennie’s decision that the first train after breakfast would be none too early to bear her to that long-coveted delight–a baby sister. Moreover, she cannily advised her friend as to the mode of proceeding. “If you tell them downstairs why you are going, they may not let you. They don’t know about visions. Just tell them that you’re going home and NOTHING ELSE.”

This advice, followed to the letter, produced no little agitation at the breakfast table. Jennie simply announced her intention of immediate departure; all questions as to her health, happiness, and possible reasons were met only with a parrot-like repetition of the fact. Upon closer pressing she gave way to hysterical tears, Dorothea the while assisting the scene with round, innocent eyes and the bewildered air of one suddenly made aware of an impending event.

The solution was presently found by a sympathetic and consoling circle–the child was homesick; she wanted her mother. Assuredly that explained everything. The lure of sails and picnics having failed, Dorothea’s mother came to a decision with sympathetic tears in her eyes and a glance toward her own innocent. “She shall take the first train home if she wants to. The child sha’n’t be miserable. No, don’t urge her, Bob. I was homesick myself once, and I understand perfectly.”

Dorothea reposed in the shade of the bulkhead, sand on her person and a great peace in her heart, upon which the Monster, departing, had left no scar. Under her head was the Godey’s Lady’s Book, in which, over the picture of a brocaded pelisse, she had recently finished a poem in which “lover” rhymed– with “forever.” Amiel, cross-legged on the sand beside her, was whistling gently as he industriously whittled at a bit of driftwood, little suspecting that at the moment he was taking tea in a bower with Lady Ursula.

Presently he drew a letter from his pocket and flipped it over to Dorothea. “Your mother asked me to give you this,” he said. “She thought it might be from that pretty little friend of yours.”

Dorothea opened the letter with some trepidation. Presently a bland smile over- spread her countenance. The day of reckoning that she expected to dawn upon her next meeting with her victim melted cloud-like as she read:

Dear Dorothea:

I arrived home safely. It’s just as well I did, because my aunt was waiting to take me to Lake George, but you made a mistake in the vision. It wasn’t my mother. It was Mrs. Gray across the street and hers is a boy, but I think that was very near.

I think the vision was perfectly wonderful, but I am glad I don’t have them. My mother says I can come again later if your mother wants me. I didn’t tell her why I came home, because she doesn’t believe in them either.

She presented her love to several people and added in a postscript, “Let me know at Lake George if you have another.”

Dorothea tore the letter into minute scraps and gave them over to the sea breeze.

“Well,” queried Amiel idly, “what does she say?”

“She says she arrived safely,” said Dorothea.

***************************************************************** Vol. XXIII No.1 JULY 1910


Fake Mining Schemes that Steal the People’s Savings


Author of “The Mississippi Bubble,” “54-40 or Fight,” etc.

EDITOR’S NOTE.–It is time vigorous efforts were made to stop the cruel frauds perpetrated on the name of one of the world’s greatest industries. Mining is a legitimate and honorable enterprise. It contributes immensely to the national wealth. It has been the source of some of our great fortunes. Because there is something magical in the suggestion of gold or coal or copper taken out of the ground, sharpers have made mining an instrument of successful deception. They have tricked people into investing their savings in worthless or even non-existent mines. Perhaps you who read this have bitten at an advertisement in a reputable publication, which pretended to place the wealth of some western El Dorado at your feet for a few hundred dollars. Doubtless your money has disappeared. It is for the purpose of giving you the protection of a knowledge both of legitimate mining and of the ways of thieves that this article is published.

AMERICA is the land of the free and the country of opportunity for all. Incidentally, it is free hunting-ground for sharpers, and a land of opportunity for the unscrupulous. No such chances for fraudulent business exist anywhere else in the world. Americans are the richest people on earth, and the most easily parted from their money. Those whose sole ambition is to get rich quick very frequently help some other man to get rich quick. Society owes no debt to either of these. It is obliged to support them both. This is wrong both as a moral and as an industrial proposition. Once, a dollar was spent to mine a dollar. To-day two are spent: One dollar goes into blasting powder, the other into advertising and office furniture.

No doubt you have heard the age-old legend of the Mother Vein of Gold, which appears and vanishes, now and again, in this corner of the world. Superstition regarding this great original vein of gold is found wherever men seek the precious metal. The feverish Spaniards called this phantom lode the Madre d’Oro, or “Mother of Gold.” Now it is located in Mexico, now in India or Peru, California or Australia. Tradition says that Montezuma got his gold from this great vein, which lay in a secret valley whose where-abouts was jealously guarded by three priests of the war tribe, sole possessors of the knowledge. Any intruder who by chance or design looked down into this valley was smitten absolutely blind. Tradition among the successors of the Aztecs says that when Montezuma passed, the Madre d’Oro sank back again into the earth, and has been seen no more. Men still follow the phantom vein. Those who see it, even in their dreams, still are smitten blind.

Gold! There is no other word that means quite so much. We want gold; indeed, we must have it. Malleable, divisible, indestructible, rare, it is the indispensable medium of exchange. It is our chosen unit of power and success, the measure of civilization and human attainment. Hence it has always been the object of human desire. The Golden Fleece very probably was the sheepskin bottom of an old-time sluice-box, in a day when they used wool, instead of blankets, below the rocker troughs. In the vast ruined civilization of Southeast Africa unknown men once mined probably $400,000,000 worth of gold. There are mines profitably operated in Greece to-day which the Phoenicians opened 1,200 B. C. Sixteen hundred years later the Romans owned all the mines in Europe. Hannibal once paid his warriors in gold coin of Carthage. Egypt was settled by the Semitic races 2,500 B. C., because of the gold that was found there. A thousand years later Job knew about gold, and five hundred years later still, King Solomon showed what an abundance of wives and what a reputation for wisdom a man can get when he has unlimited gold mines back of him. Columbus found America when he was searching for the wealth of Ormus and of Ind. Cortez and Pizarro toiled and slew in the hope of finding the Madre d’Oro. The great discoveries of the world have been made by men in search of gold. The great voyages of exploration were in part piratical voyages made in search of gold already found and mined by others.


But there is to be said about gold mining ways of the old time, that Tyre sought gold with actual ships, with actual men and mining implements. The peninsula of Sinai did not sell stock, but mined actual gold. Gold in those days meant actual risk and courage. Perhaps even then fraudulent promoters weren’t unknown; but he who ventured, in the days of Vespasian or Hannibal or Hiram, too prominently to gild the gold brick certainly lost his head. The mining of gold was then a sober and serious and honest matter.

In America we place the gold brick ahead of the gold mine. We mix alloy of duplicity and greed with the virgin metal of our standard of value. By improved mining methods we nearly double our output of gold, and so cheapen it by well-nigh a half. This shrunken gold dollar is small enough; but that is not all. We adulterate and divide it by, say, another half when we falsely double its cost. This we certainly do when we issue counterfeit promises as against good coin; for in civilization and commerce always the genuine coinage has to pay the cost of the counterfeit. Your tailor charges you a stiff price for your suit of clothes. That covers the clothes of the dead beats who did not pay. To allow the sale of a fraudulent mining stock is to depreciate the basis of this country’s values. Such a wrong ought not to be allowed in a country claiming an enlightened government.

It is the thief who is protected in America, not his dupe. The old law of caveat emptor protects the SELLER of fake mining stocks, not the BUYER of them. There is little or no actually enforced law to protect the latter. That is to say, there is little or no actually enforced law to protect those who most need protection, those of small incomes, orphans who have no guardians, wage earners who have little education, widows whose life insurance is not quite enough to support them, women engaged in the desperate battle of life and needing more money, quick money, better to protect themselves. The fence between these and the natural perils of the world is slight enough. In America we break it down entirely.

We offer these helpless ones freely as victims to the greater cunning and strength of men wholly without sense of business honor or personal decency. When we do this, we also attack the whole system of savings banks, which is, or should be, the very bulwark of a nation’s financial safety. Says the wolf to the widow, to the busy professional man, to the clerk, the stenographer, the wage earner: “Take your money out of the savings bank. What is three per cent. a year, when I can make you three hundred per cent. a year? Give your money to me!” We permit that. Our national government does not undertake to put a stop to it; our states do not undertake to do so; and this fact is more possible through actual lack of proper statutes than through any misinterpretation or lack of enforcement of the law.

The field is one devised by nature for the trickster. His success does not depend altogether on human gullibility; part of his argument rests on the conditions which surround the industry of mining, one which never can be free of extreme risk. All men know that gold is found far away, where living is high and means of transportation are scarce; that it costs large sums to find and dig it, and that such sums are more easily raised among the many than among the few. None of these attending features has weight to stop the capitalization of bona-fide enterprises. These latter are used as bait by men who have nothing bona-fide to offer, and who make their fattest profits out of their shallowest shafts.


Methods vary among such fraudulent operators, but new victims continually are found. The “sucker list” of one firm in Wall Street numbers 110,000 names, selected as those of persons who will bite more than once at a mining scheme, and whose records show that they have so bitten. This operator proudly declares that the only way a sucker can get his name off that list is to die. In the reorganization of the firm of Douglas, Lacey & Co., of New York City, it was discovered that 20,000 persons had money invested in stocks of the company.

The best bait in this particular operation was a “trust fund” established for the benefit of stockholders. The proceeds of the better-paying mines were to be applied to pay dividends for those which were less successful. In this way, the various directors of the many Douglas-Lacey Companies explained, it was impossible for the investors to lose. But they did lose. The reorganization, intended to save some of the better properties, wiped out more than seventy per cent. of the small stockholders–widows, schoolteachers, stenographers, washwomen, scrubwomen–all who once had a dollar in the stocking.

Burr Brothers, Inc., of New York, used the effective bait of the instalment plan of payment. Their literature and advertising offered sudden wealth at twenty cents a share, payments to be in instalments, “the best twenty offers” to be accepted. It was pointed out that if one made one’s weekly payment large enough to be included among the fortunate twenty, one could have a nice, clean certificate sent to one immediately, and pay for it at one’s leisure. If you think the operators could not afford to do that, you are ignorant. There was an old negro woman in the South who often importuned her white friends for funds to build a certain somewhat mythical church. They asked her what she received for the time spent in collecting. “I has what I gits,” was her frank response. She enunciated a great modern mining principle which has made fortunes in Denver, Butte, New York, Boston, and many other places where handsome lithographic work is done, and where advertising space can be bought in journals considered reputable.


Sometimes there are victims in enterprises of this sort where there probably was no deliberate intent to deceive or to defraud. Not long ago, in Boston, one Henry D. Reynolds, formerly president of the Reynolds Alaska Development Company, was brought before the United States Circuit Court on the charge of using the United States mails with intent to defraud. Three alienists are said to have declared him insane. In 1907 ex-Governor John G. Brady, of Alaska, endorsed Reynolds and his schemes, and is reported to have collected in New England about $450,000 for these Reynolds projects. Brady gave “lectures” and stereopticon exhibitions in New England churches. Reynolds took out an excursion of Boston and New England investors to Prince William Sound, at one time, and showed them the seacoast of Alaska, practically all of which he claimed to own. At Boulder Bay he took his party into a long tunnel, the face of which they were told was composed of solid copper ore. When they emerged into the garish light of day, each was given a bright copper nugget, said to have come from the mine.


Really, according to local report, these nuggets of native copper had been taken from sluice boxes on Chittitu Creek, 235 miles inland. Reynolds, so ran the story, had treated them with an acid bath to brighten them, knowing that bright bait is better. At any rate, the good, sober New Englanders went back home and sent him $300,000 more, which set him entirely “dippy,” in local phrase.

Reynolds’s scheme was to run all the barber shops, laundries, bars, and pretty much everything else on the Alaskan coast. A certain Sam Blum had a store and bank; Reynolds wanted it; and Blum, it is alleged, annexed $50,000 of the New England money as a forfeited first payment on his property. A steamship company, it was said, got $75,000 of money on a forfeit. So the good New England savings merrily disappeared, in one of the most spectacular farces ever known in Alaska; which latter is too good and valid and valuable a national possession to permit to be Reynoldsized, as it has been. Reynolds, in the belief of one who knew him well, was a combination of the ignorant enthusiast, the wild promoter, and the crazy man; and as for Brady, another Alaskan called him “nothing worse than an innocent old ninny.” Yet, even with so sorry a mental equipment, these two took something like half a million out of conservative New England! The ease with which money can be raised for such enterprises by the deliberately fraudulent or the unintentionally insane continues one of the wonders of our civilization.

Another kind of bait offered is that of the “prominent name.” This has proved more useful in England than in this country. Whittaker Wright was able to secure members of the nobility for his boards of directors, and the English public swallowed his schemes one after another, bait, hook, bob, and sinker. In this country we have no lords whom we dearly love, so the names of prominent literary or scientific men sometimes are employed by wise promoters. A “prominent mining expert” is excellent bait. Some good men have been used in this way, and the bait of their reputation in other lines of activity has served to make ignorant and innocent people of small means swallow the hook hid in the lying statements which they have perhaps innocently, certainly ignorantly, fathered. We are all familiar with the literature of this class, sent to us under the guise of personal and intimate confidence. Always that part of the communication is followed by the blackfaced type where the stinger lies concealed. The words AT ONCE usually come in capitals, as do LAST CHANCE, and PRICE POSITIVELY WILL ADVANCE AFTER TEN DAYS. Millions and millions of dollars have been extracted from the public by these means. There is no law against it.


Then there is the same old argument about wonderful properties “adjoining” such and such a dividend-paying property. Very often the properties are miles apart. They might be within twenty-five feet of each other, and one still might be worthless and the other rich. The profits of old and famous properties very frequently are given in advertising literature of this class, “to show what money there is in mining.” The “property” sold may be a ten-foot hole in a sand-bank two thousand miles from any of these; yet this absurd argument is sufficient to extract coin from the pocket of the American buyer. You can use Michigan to tout him on to Arizona; Utah to land him in California; Mexico to interest him in Alaska. Is it not true? There is no law against it.

Again, the appeal to your mining pocket may come, not through the advertising page, but in the proper person of the promoter or owner himself. For instance, not long ago a gentleman from California came into my office. He owned a mine on the old and well-traced Mother Vein, of Tuolumne County, California. It had been well opened, and showed, in development, according to a reputable engineer’s report, three million dollars’ worth of ore in sight, with many tons of the best ore already in the dump, stuff which would run very high in value.

At the proper time the gentleman carefully produced from his pocket a little ingot of pure gold, product of one test-mill run. He gave the best of references as to his responsibility. He offered to guarantee ten per cent. dividends on all money invested, and declared that he had a banking proposition and not a mine.


“My Christian friend,” said I to him, “you seem to have a good thing. How far is it from your mine dump to the nearest bank?”

“About five miles,” he answered.

“In that case,” said I, “it seems to me you don’t need to sell a hundred thousand dollars’ worth of stock to build a stamp-mill. You need only enough to buy yourself a good, strong wheelbarrow. In two or three months you can thus build your own stamp-mill and pay for it with ore, and still have your mine all in your own hands.”

He could not see it that way, and, pursuing his own method, he took $72,000 in two weeks out of the city of Chicago, from some of the best business men of that city. Now, perhaps he had a real mine. I have no right to doubt that he had; but the point of interest to the small investor is this: NEITHER HAVE I ANY RIGHT TO BELIEVE THAT HE HAD. The thing for me to do, had I wished to invest in this way, would have been to send an expert to see the property personally.


In this game of plucking the dollars of the poor and the ignorant, there has been a gradual improvement in methods. The constant aim has been, first, to increase the amount of the harvest; second, to reduce to a minimum the risk the reapers run of detection and punishment by the authorities. Experience in most lines of commercial activity has shown that the middlemen often gather in the largest profits and have the smallest losses. Many of those working the mining game–and by this is meant selling stocks on wind and water–have made use of this fact. To-day in the majority of cases we have, in place of the prospector or the company selling stock direct to the suckers, the financial or fiscal agent. He operates either under the name of a banking firm or as a security company, which is generally a registered trade-name intended as a cloak to cover the names of individuals not desirous of publicity.

The financial agent of this description is in reality the organizer and promoter of the mining company whose stock he sells. But should trouble come along, he is the first to assert that he has been deceived as well as his customers. He sells the shares of the mine on a commission basis so large that practically nothing is left for development. He takes out of the money secured large salaries and the entire expense of advertising and carrying on the exploitation. He prepares all the literature. One of the advantages he claims for his proposition is the wide distribution of the stock as a safeguard against assault by wicked Wall Street interests.


In this wide distribution, however, lies one of his own greatest safeguards against either criminal or civil prosecution. Scattered over the country are his investors–the mill hand, the poor seamstress, the humble artisan, whose total investments, comprising perhaps all their savings, seldom exceed one hundred dollars each; and, with their savings gone, there isn’t money left to pay carfare to the office of the financial agent, let alone to undertake a civil suit or enlist the aid of the authorities. The poor seamstress has no way of knowing any of her fellow unfortunates. Hence the utter impossibility of cooperation in seeking to get back their savings.

As an example of the fiscal agent, there may be cited the concern of Douglas, Lacey & Company, already mentioned, a concern which in four years, through its operations in this country and in Canada, culled from the people of this country, according to its own statement, over $2,000,000 in exchange for stock certificates in more than forty varieties of mining companies. Here is a letter written to a woman by this concern four years after she had invested all her savings in the stock of one of these companies through this concern, showing the advantage of the fiscal agency plan:

Financial Agents
66 Broadway.
New York Cable Address “Douglacey”–Anglo-American and Bedford McNeil Codes Telephone, 790 & 791 Rector

DEAR MADAM: June 2, 1908.

Replying to your favor of June 1st would say that we do not find in our files any recent letter from you, and your letter addressed care of 44 Wall Street has probably gone to the Dead Letter Office, from which you will in time receive it.

Now, in reply to your question, we think if you are at all familiar with business procedure, you will see that it would be impossible for the fiscal agents of any of the companies to return money which had been paid for shares and which had been turned over by the fiscal agents to the treasury of the various companies and expended in development work on the different properties.

It is true that we have sold stock for our customers at various times and we are glad to do so when it is possible. At the present time, however, as this company is in process of reorganization, there would be no market for its stock and for this reason we are unable to help you in the way you request.

Very truly yours Douglas, Lacey & Co.

In pursuing this method, few promoters have had the success of Dr. John Grant Lyman. He is credited with having gathered in a half million dollars in his International Zinc operations. This company was supposed to have valuable zinc properties in the Joplin district of Missouri. To unload its stock on the people of this country Lyman organized the firm of Joshua Brown & Company, Bankers, incorporated under the laws of West Virginia. Through them the stock was sold until the collapse of the scheme in 1901, when the investors found that what property it did own was heavily mortgaged. While the firm was taking in the money, Lyman maintained a racing stable, had a reputation as a daring automobilist, and even invaded the sacred precincts of the New York Stock Exchange.


Three years ago the papers throughout this country were filled with the advertisements of the Union Securities Company, selling the stock of the Boston Greenwater Copper Company. It was stated that the mine had cost $200,000 and that so much ore was in sight that an offer of $400,000 had been refused. The Union Securities Company, with offices in New York and in Goldfield, Nevada, started the stock at forty-five cents and lifted it to a dollar. It was merely another name for John Grant Lyman. Not only did the Union Securities company sell the stock to the public, but it also offered it to brokers at thirty-seven and a half cents, on their guarantee that it would not be sold by them at less than forty-five cents. The brokers began getting contracts for the stock and then were told that the Union Securities Company was all sold out.

Shortly thereafter, confederates of Lyman came to these brokers and offered stock to them at fifty cents a share; and the Union Securities Company at the same time telegraphed the brokers that it wanted all the shares it could get at sixty cents. That forced the brokers to buy of confederates; but when they shipped on the stock to the Union Securities Company, expecting to get sixty cents a share for it, Lyman was gone. It had not cost him much. He owed the newspapers of this country $150,000 for advertising, which went unpaid. He reaped $300,000 profits. Boston Greenwater Copper stock can still be found in many a stocking–of humble folk.


It is not, however, always the city promoter who furnishes all of the crookedness. He himself may be deceived by those who sell him the mine. Some of the most thrilling stories in literature might be written about salted mines. The sale of the Bear’s Nest Mine, and the special train expedition to the salted Bear River placer field; the sale of the Mulatos Mine to a set of Chinamen, and scores of other instances in American mining history, have been regarded rather as big jokes than as great lessons. And as to such large jesting we advance in finesse. The old way of salting a placer or a quartz vein with a shotgun is now antiquated.

A little while ago a party of capitalists bought a Nevada placer on what they thought to be strictly a “cinch” basis. With their own hands they collected the specimen dirt from all over the claim, and they watched a Mexican miner pan the dirt at the creek. The pans showed up beautifully. They bought the claim. Later, it proved worthless. Afterward they remembered that the Mexican smoked cigarettes all the time he was panning, and that he was careless in expectorating, as well as in knocking the ashes off his cigarettes. The truth was that the highly intelligent Greaser was using the cigarette trick in salting the pan. There was much fine gold in his cigarette and under his lip!


All sorts of methods of salting mines, even to the injection, with a hypodermic needle, of strong solutions of mineral salts into a mining engineer’s carefully sealed sample bags, have been worked. The most honest, careful, and expert mining engineers have been deceived time and again, and salted right under their own eyes. Even a bland Chinee may be fooled. Take the instance of the Mulatos Mine: The bunch of Chinamen who proposed to buy it insisted on a mill-run test on fresh-mined ore, taken out BY THEMSELVES, for a five-days’ run. They were not taking any chances, in their own belief. The owners of the mine, however–so runs the story–had a platform of plank arranged above the timbers at the top of the drift where the Chinamen brought out their ore cars. On this planking a man lay face downward where he could see each ore car that passed. He had a rather hard life for five days on the sandwiches and water which he took up there with him, but he managed to drop a pinch or so of nice gold dust into every car of ore that came trundling under him. The mill-run was an entire success from the viewpoint of the sellers, although not from that of the buyers.

There is no working law, let us repeat, which actually protects the investor against this sort of thing, nor which always protects even the promoter, though he be honest. The game is risky all the way along the line, in spite of state laws against the heinous crime of salting, which latter hath as yet by no means lost its savor.


As matters stand to-day, the man selling mining stock on a fraudulent basis fears the Post Office Department much more than he fears the District Attorney. That is the main protection which the public has against such schemes. But to depend upon it is like trying to stop Niagara with a dam of reeds. The man who induces you to take your money out of the savings bank in exchange for stock in a mine, through such operations as have been described, thrives by reason of his use of the United States mails. It is a mail-order business pure and simple.

Let us see what machinery the Government has to protect you and prevent the letter-carrier from bringing daily to your door the flamboyant literature intended to lure your money from the bank. There are five hundred Post-Office inspectors employed in watching Uncle Sam’s mail wherever it is carried, in keeping the vast and complicated machinery of the Post Office Department oiled and working smoothly, in running down Post-Office robbers and mail thieves and, lastly, in keeping the mail free from frauds. Ninety per cent. of this force is required to do the routine work of the inspecting branch; that is to keep the machinery running smoothly and to prevent delays. That leaves just ten per cent. for actual detective work such as is necessary in running down thieves and in tracing frauds. In the New York district, which comprises the state of New York as well as New York City, there is a force of twenty-five men working under a chief inspector. Of the ten men assigned to work in New York City, by no means all have special detective ability, and the time of these is taken up almost entirely in catching actual thieves.


It is only the biggest and most barefaced scheme that under these conditions can receive any attention whatsoever from the department, and even then its force is hopelessly inadequate and incompetent for the work in hand, work requiring the highest-class detective ability.

About twelve years ago the Post Office Department ran down and convicted a swindler, Stephen Balliet, who was selling stock in a mine full of water in Oregon and was known as “the mining genius of the Northwest.” He was tried three times, finally convicted, and sent to prison. That case cost the Post Office Department $18,000, took a man’s entire time for two years, and required two trips across this continent. The Government has not tried since to get many such convictions.

Perhaps because of the pressure of other work, perhaps for other causes, investigations of this nature are allowed to languish. Some years ago, when the firm of Douglas, Lacey & Company was reaping its harvest, an inspector was assigned to investigate the concern’s operations. He was one of the ablest inspectors of the service, a man with real detective ability and a knowledge of the devious ways of certain kinds of financing. He made a trip to Mexico and subsequently sent in a report to Washington recommending that a fraud order be issued against the concern and that its use of the mails be stopped. He waited a long time and then got word from Washington that more evidence was required. He made another investigation and sent in another report, recommending in even stronger language that the mails be barred and the public protected. While on this work he was constantly assigned also to other matters and finally was shifted to a station in the South. The concern collapsed some years later, leaving thousands of people in this country and in Canada bereft of their small savings. There was no fraud order ever issued against this firm, though shortly before it closed up it was informed that if it continued to sell stock its use of the mails would be stopped.

The burden of proof is on the buyer. If he turns to the District Attorney he finds perhaps a sympathetic official, without power to assist him. The man selling bogus mining stocks knows all this; therefore his harvest goes on. It is better than the green-goods game, better than the wire-tapping swindle, safer than selling any other form of gold bricks. A few years ago a reporter who was engaged in investigating the schemes of Cardenio F. King–now in Charlestown jail, but then posing as “the apostle of the golden rule in finance” and selling his stocks by the barrel in every mill town in New England–made a call on the late John B. Moran, then District Attorney in Boston and widely known as a reformer. He asked Mr. Moran’s help in proving that King was a swindler.

“Young man,” said Boston’s reform District Attorney, “if King was selling corner lots in heaven and advertising them in the newspapers, I couldn’t stop him, because I haven’t anybody to send up there and prove that they are not there.”

King wasn’t selling corner lots in heaven, but he was selling stock in a Texas company that was the next thing to it, so far as tangibility is concerned. It was only when he actually took from investors money sent to him to buy real stocks, and pocketed it, that he was put in jail.


A plan for the protection of the investor by statute is embodied in a model law drafted by the American Mining Congress of Denver, and recommended for general passage:


To Prohibit the Making or Publishing of False or Exaggerated Statements or Publications of or Concerning the Affairs, Pecuniary Condition or Property of Any Corporation, Joint Stock Association, Co-partnership or Individual, Which Said Statements or Publications Are Intended to Give, or Shall Have a Tendency to Give, a Less or Greater Apparent Value to the Shares, Bonds or Property, or Any Part Thereof of Said Corporation, Joint Stock Association, Co-partnership or Individual, Than the Said Shares, Bonds or Property Shall Really and in Fact Possess, and Providing a Penalty Therefor.

Section 1. Any person who knowingly makes or publishes in any way whatever, or permits to be so made or published, any book, prospectus, notice, report, statement, exhibit or other publication of or concerning the affairs, financial condition or property of any corporation, Joint-stock association, co-partnership or individual, which said book, prospectus, notice, report, statement, exhibit or other publication, shall contain any statement which is false or wilfully exaggerated or which is intended to give or which shall have a tendency to give, a less or greater apparent value to the shares, bonds or property of said corporation, joint-stock association, co-partnership or individual, or any part of said shares, bonds or property, than said shares, bonds or property or any part thereof, shall really and in fact possess, shall be deemed guilty of a felony, and upon conviction thereof shall be imprisoned for not more than ten years or fined not more than ten thousand dollars, or shall suffer both said fine and imprisonment.

This law has been enacted in six states and a campaign for its general enactment is under way. But let not the credulous investor suppose that even such a law would guarantee him against loss. The Secretary of the American Mining Congress, Mr. James F. Callbreath, offers the following comment:


“I do not believe that any one law can effect protection to mining investors, nor that the protection afforded through the Post Office Department forbidding the use of mails for fraudulent advertising matter can fully cover that ground. The greater part of mining frauds are perpetrated without the use of the mails.

“The proposed law, in our judgment, is the longest possible step toward preventing mining frauds. A second step has been taken in the form of a publicity law. My belief is that no system of laws, either state or national, will prevent men from gambling in mines more effectually than such laws now prevent gambling in its more common forms. These may restrict and furnish protection to those who are wise enough to open their eyes, but it will be impossible to protect all the fools all the time. It is the purpose of the American Mining Congress, after having secured the enactment of laws providing penalties for fraudulent representations and requiring publicity, to perfect an organization to SECURE EXECUTION of these laws, and also to carry on campaigns of education showing to investors, first, that mining is a legitimate business and not a gamble; second, that mines are found and not made; third, that investments in mining should be made with the same care and prudence exercised by business men when embarking in other business enterprises. . . . The next work of our organization will be along the line of developing some manner of control of corporations by which paid-up capital stock shall represent actual value.”

Mr. Callbreath would seem to be one fore-doomed to his own troubles; yet it is clear that he and his organization stand for legitimate mining as opposed to prospect-selling. In strictly accurate phrase, it is the prospect which is found, and the mine which is made and investment cannot properly begin until a body of ore has been blocked out in a proved prospect. Add to the glamor of risk the haze of fraud, and the foregoing will show the nebulous condition of mining investments in relation to mining laws in America to-day.

What we really need is a Bureau of Mines at Washington. Nobody protects the mining investor. Nobody guards the widest open gate into the savings deposits of this country.

The American Mining Congress, it should be stated, had a quasi pre-inaugural pledge from President Taft in favor of a Federal Bureau of Mines. Toward this we have made a start. A bill establishing this Bureau has already passed both the House and the Senate, and bids fair to become a law. But the activities of this new department will be confined to safe-guarding mineworkers. The next step should be to enlarge the province of the Bureau so as to include the supervision of the mining industry for the protection of investors.

It seems quite likely that the states and the nation will need to unite if adequate protection to the investing public is to be expected. But when did state and nation unite to solve a great popular problem? When did section ever unite with section or even resident with nonresident? This is America.


Back of any movement of this kind there must be popular interest in popular education. Thus far, the greater publicity idea is of more value than anything at hand. We may perhaps. best do our own little part by offering some studies in the theory of mining, showing just WHY it is risky, and just HOW we ought to tabulate the risk. In addition to this, we can present, and should perhaps first present, some of the results of intelligent mining as pursued in other countries.

Take the Rand Mines of South Africa, operated on the English basis–mines which turned out more than $12,500,000 in one month not long since. The English method of operating on the Rand is this: A corps of experts is sent to examine a proposed property–that is to say, a proved prospect. If their report be favorable, an estimate is made of the cost of a five-or seven-compartment shaft, to be sunk, say, 3,500 feet. The cost of producing a year’s supply of ore for the mill is then considered. The cost of the mill and the cyanide plant is also figured. The total cost is then cast up, and the company is ready to be formed for a half million to five millions of dollars, according to existing conditions. This money is paid in, and is ready to start operations. These men mine carefully, using all possible scientific knowledge and practical experience as guides. The operation may have risk, but it is perforce honest.


Now let us examine conditions not infrequent in the United States, by no means assigning wings to all English mining men, or hoofs to all Americans:

A prospector discovers mineralized rock. He locates one or more claims as controlled by the laws of the district where he is. Perhaps others also locate more ground. A little work is done, and then the claims are up for sale. A claim is perhaps sold for a few hundred to several thousand dollars; sometimes the seller receives in addition stock in the company to be formed. No attention is paid to the geology, but a company is formed ostensibly for the purpose of mining, with a capital of one million shares at one dollar par. Perhaps four hundred thousand shares are placed in the treasury to be sold for development purposes. Of course the whole thing is as yet on a wholly gambling basis. The property is still a prospect and not a mine, and hence it is not possible to put it on an investing basis. Comparatively few companies have ever used the services of a real expert, although very possibly the company furnishes a report made from a purchasable local “mining engineer,” one of the cheapest commodities in any mining district, where the wide hat and the high-laced boot often take the place of a mining education and a reputable character. This is the stage at which, this is the basis on which, most of the mining “investments” of America are made.

In this state of affairs grafters find their opportunity. Prices in a boom camp are always above any sort of industrial warrant. There were literally millions of dollars poured into Goldfield and Tonopah for claims which never had any careful examination by competent men. Fortunes were made by local promoters and “operators” out of claims which could not show ten feet of actual work. Sometimes the entire capitalization was sold out, and the promoters put the money in their pockets. One operator of this kind sold $130,000 worth of stock, and omitted the precaution of putting even ten per cent. of it in the treasury. Fortunately, he got into the penitentiary. Many of his fellows never had actions brought against them except under the postal laws, which naturally are inefficient. There was one shaft of a hundred feet which cost twelve thousand dollars, charged up to the stockholders, the names of dead men being used on the pay rolls as “laborers.” The mine boss and the local officers got big salaries to keep their mouths shut. The real mine was in the savings banks of America, in the pockets of non-residents. In Nevada alone, in the past four years, more than twenty million dollars have been invested in WORTHLESS properties. One engineer with a government certificate could have saved the clerks, stenographers, widows, washwomen, and orphans of America fifteen million dollars at the cost of, say, five thousand. Would that have been a good investment? What could a dozen do? What could an efficient corps do? Is there here yet one more future task for our patient and long-suffering United States Army? What police work would pay better dividends?


Even when the mine wins, the small stock-holder rarely wins. The promoters often take the cream. Suppose a company is organized for three million shares. One million is put in the treasury for sale. Of this million shares, say, two hundred thousand are offered at twenty-five cents. This raises a working capital of fifty thousand dollars. Let us be very glowing, and suppose that, with this fifty thousand dollars, we really uncover five million dollars’ worth of ore. The net profit would not exceed three million dollars; so that the man who put in twenty-five cents might, after a long time, get back a dollar. In the meantime, two million dollars would have gone to promoters, in “commissions,” and so forth. There are thousands of such cases, and still the people continue to bite on such bait.


Instances of actual Nipissing rises caught in time by the lamb are very rare. I rom first to last, the PUBLIC is the mine, AND THE RETURNS COME OUT OF THE SAVINGS BANKS. In some mines “high grading”–the carrying away of valuable pieces of ore by the miners themselves–is fought as sternly as the diamond stealing by the Kaffirs in a Kimberley mine. In yet other mines, far more numerous, high grading is encouraged among the miners. The report gets out that the ore is so rich that the miners steal it in their dinner pails. That booms the stock. WALL STREET MAKES THIS MONEY OUT OF THE MARKET AND NOT OUT OF THE MINE.

In spite of all warning and all examples, the average American will to a certain extent persist in gambling in mining stocks. Supposing this to be true, it is of value for the investor to learn something of the theory of mines, something enabling him to pass on the natural value of any mining stock which is offered to him. What, then, is a mine? What are some of the inevitable features in developing a mine?

In the first place, there must be prospecting. This is sheer and unavoidable risk on the face of it, and it is attended with economic waste which cannot be avoided. Of a hundred prospectors, ninety-nine die poor. The failures must be charged off to industrial waste attendant upon inherent conditions of the mining industry.

Again, in the development of a mine after it is located and proved in part, there is more unavoidable economic waste. The rock is blank and silent. It can only be explored by means of expensive drifts and drillings. In one mine at Bisbee, Arizona, a shaft was sunk which had drifts at the 600-and 900-feet levels, all without result. Later on they found a blanket of copper between those two levels, from which six million dollars were taken. Even in old established mines there is something of a chance, and there are often unwittingly false standards of values. Which is no argument for making all gamble that which originally was part gamble.

Any mine, no matter how rich, or how large, begins to be exhausted from the time the first pick is stuck into the ground and all its profits ought to be figured on the basis of diminishing deposits. When your deposit is drawn out, your bank does not honor your check. A mine is the reverse of a mortgage or a bond. The security does not remain stable nor increase in value, but, on the contrary, CONTINUALLY DECREASES in value. In a mortgage, six per cent. is wisdom; in a mining return, it is folly. A mine, instead of being figured on the basis of a mortgage, ought to be figured on the basis of a term annuity. That is to say, on the basis of a wiping out date. When the mine is done paying dividends, there is no return of the face of the principal invested. Yet the great and gullible public forgets this all-important fact, which differentiates mining from every other form of business.


There is every probability that the average investor never heard of a proper “amortization charge” in the management of a mine. Until he shall have heard of it, until he shall have learned something of the terms of life annuities, he ought never to invest a cent in any mining stock. After he actually has learned the theory of amortization, he will observe that ALMOST EVERY MINING STOCK LISTED IN PUBLIC PRINTS IS SELLING AT AN INFLATED VALUE. That is to say, even the best and most stable of mines are overrated, not to mention the purely wildcat ventures. Some mines may naturally be long-lived, others short-lived; yet, if either pays a good, stiff dividend, THE PUBLIC MAKES NO DISTINCTION BETWEEN THE TWO and will buy the stock of either. In this investing, the public has no protection on the part of the government, on the part of honest publicity, or on the part of its own careful education.

In the MAJORITY of cases, a mine ought to pay annually perhaps twenty per cent. of the investment, to be profitable. That is to say, the actual value of any mine is rarely over five times actual dividends paid after expenses of operation. How many mines are capitalized on any such real basis as that? The answer lies in our own ignorance, and in the shrewdness of the men who sell us mining stocks. Stocks that are the best dividend-payers often sell at TEN or TWELVE times the face of the annual dividends. Let the mine hit a brief streak of bonanza, and the stocks will climb yet higher. We buy such stocks, or worse; but even a fundamental acquaintance with the theory of mines would show us that such an investment is usually a bad one. In a mortgage we do not look to the interest to pay us back our principal; in a mine we MUST look to DIVIDENDS to pay us back our PRINCIPAL AND INTEREST also. When the mine is done, our principal is gone. But how many mining investors ever thought of that? And how many, when offered a ten per cent. “guaranteed dividend” for five years on their money, ever stop to reflect that, for instance, I could take your money and put it in a cracker box, and myself make money by paying it back to you, ten per cent. a year for nine years–and then explaining what had happened to the cracker box! Now, most of us are just such cracker-box investors. We pay out millions and millions annually, just that foolishly. And our nation, our states, allow us to do it. They even–as recent legal proceedings prove–allow the “inside” operating stockholders to borrow money to pay dividends to the “outsiders.” That keeps up the “values” in the market. It does not enhance the real value in the mine.


Again, granted even a valid and a well-managed mine, how much information regarding it does the average investor in the stock secure? In a general way, he knows in advance that all mining, whether placer or quartz, is very expensive. Beyond that, he gets the annual report of the officers, which will tell perhaps the names of the men who are spending his money, the total earnings, the total output, the balance sheet, the statement of capital stock issued–and little else. All of which means nothing!

A well-regulated English company is obliged to go much farther than this. A good annual report will show the advertisement of the general meeting of stockholders, the list of directors and officers, reports of directors, giving details of the condition of property, including the development work, the tonnage of production, the values recovered from such tonnage, the costs of operation, the profits for the period covered, the balance sheet of accounts, the profit and loss statement, including a working cost estimate, the appropriation list showing what has been done with all the earnings, the reports of managers giving details of the development work, the estimated values of ores EXPOSED ON THREE SIDES, the probable values of ores not so well exposed, the working expenses, the construction account, general remarks on the physical condition of the property, and a map of the property itself.

What American promoter would trouble himself to make such a showing as that to the American sucker? Even if such detailed information existed in the records of the average American mining concern, the sucker could not get access to the books even did he have the temerity to demand it.

Professor H. S. Munroe, of the Columbia School of Mines, when asked whether such a thing as general supervision of mining investment could be possible, answered: “Yes, if some philanthropist will give us ten millions to endow such an institution, and maintain a corps of engineers in the field who will do work similar to that accomplished by J. Curle under the auspices of the London Economist. Such work should, of course, cover all incorporated mining companies, not merely a few hundred of the more prominent gold mines; and it should be continuous and not spasmodic. Such a plan is of course Utopian, but I feel that anything less would be likely to do little good. Even Curle’s opinions began to lose their value within a month or two after they were written, and are of less value every year. Mining can never be put on the same basis as agriculture, for the reason that the risk of failure is infinitely greater, and that it is impossible to prove the value of any mine or mining region without spending a large amount of capital, the greater part of which will inevitably be lost in this work of initial development.”

Those are the sober words of an expert who spends his life in studying the theory and practice of mining. If such words shall teach us a little wisdom, so much the less need for laws. But let us consider what the laws ought to do in order to protect you for the sake of your family, and for the sake of society, and for the sake of the savings which lie back of the prosperity of this country.

Let us agree that no government can guarantee the safety of any investment. Let us admit that digging gold can never be put on the same amortization basis with digging potatoes, for instance, because the soil remains for more potatoes, whereas the ore of a mine is exhausted and does not raise more ore. Nevertheless, although the industries of potato growing and ore digging are not the same, the principles lying back of them ought to be precisely the same; and our governments, both state and national, ought to see to it that they are kept precisely the same, and controlled on the same plane legally. If it be true that no government can watch after every mine, none the less any enlightened government can establish general conditions for engaging in mining or engaging in the sale of mining stock; and, perhaps with yet better results, it can establish a general supervision over the mining intelligence of the public, just as it does over the agricultural intelligence of that public.


The enactment of good mining laws, punishing the proved intent to commit a fraud as well as the fraud itself, and seeing to it that capital stock shall be paid up, seeing to it also that all moneys spent by a mining corporation shall be traceable from start to finish, is the natural first step toward the purification of American mining methods. Beyond that, the national government could take a hand in the game through a federal Bureau of Mines. There must be some clearing-house of intelligence and of values in this country, some place from which our intelligence may start and to which it may return. The public must have accessible reports of engineers, state or federal, of a sort entitled to confidence.

The nest of vermin in our large cities, inhabited by those who make a living out of the ignorance and eagerness of small investors, must be smoked out once and for all. In this work, state and national governments, popular education and intelligence, and the aid of the better class journalism of America, all must be enlisted. The pages of our press might well be far cleaner than they are. The publication which prints the advertisements of a fake-mining enterprise is itself a party to the fraud. A Bureau of Mines chief can sit behind the desk of every advertising manager in the counting-rooms of every newspaper and magazine in America. The press of this country, when it likes, can, by taking thought, somewhat dim the splendor of the mahogany in many an elegant suite of offices in New York, Boston, or elsewhere. It can reduce the reckless and senseless expenditure of ill-gained wealth which is making civilization a mockery in America, and branding our republican form of government as a failure.

We will have a different way of life, or another form of government. We will have a better administration of law in the United States or we will have another political party, possibly another political system. We will clear up this rotten society, or we will try how we like a different organization of society. The people of America are beginning to murmur. The burden of the murmur is that they have long enough been betrayed. Unspeakable injustice has been done the people of America under the forms of law and government. It is coming to be said that our law and government have not an even hand for all, that a few are allowed to despoil the many. When a people murmurs, let a government beware. Meantime the more that certain unspeakable things are reduced in, and eliminated from, Wall Street and the other “financial centers,” the better for our schools, our taxes, our farming, our industry, our living, our CHARACTER, our country.

After all, the government of this country, as we now have it organized, depends on the CHARACTER of its average individual citizen. The end of this abuse of fake-mining enterprises begins now, here, with you and me, in OUR intelligence, in OUR love of a square game. By taking thought we can add a cubit to our OWN stature, and so add to the stature of OUR laws and of our national morality.


As for you and me, when next we see the flaming advertisement advising us that the Madre d’Oro, Montezuma’s fabled Mother Vein of Gold, has once more come to the surface of the earth on Manhattan Island or near Plymouth Rock; when next we read counsel that because mining pays in Michigan it ought to pay in Nevada; when next we are advised to get into the game at once because this is our LAST CHANCE–we might at least ask to see the report of the engineer, likewise the record and antecedents of the engineer; and many, many other things. Perchance we might write and ask the mining promoter what, in his belief, is the proper amortization charge in his particular mine. At which the average mining promoter would probably fall dead.

***************************************************************** Vol. XXIII No.1 JULY 1910


OUT of the great world came a man to the wooing of Susanna Crane. From the vague southwest he came, now skirting the chimneyed towns and elm-bordered village streets, now exchanging the road for the bright rails and perhaps the interior of a droning freight-car, now switching anew through the edge of odorous pine woods, yet leaving behind him always a wary, broken trail.

The man was tall and strong, with hair that gleamed red in the sun, and eyes of a reddish brown. He walked with the free swing of a world wanderer, yet always his heart strained for a glimpse of the Canadian border; for some hundreds of miles behind him lay the Vermont marble quarries whose dust still faintly blanched his clothes, and there, in a drunken flight, he had killed a man. He did not know that in fleeing from justice he was rushing into the arms of love; he did not even know that he was in the Ragged Woods, with Twinkling Island just off the coast; he only studied the tree bark and snuffed the breeze, and knew that the sea was near. At length, well satisfied with the distance he had come since dawn, he cleared a space among the pine cones, then lay down, and, lulled by the ancient whisper of the wind in the treetops, closed his eyes.

He was of the Ulysses breed, this man, a wanderer of the earth, acquainted with many cities, one whose shipwrecks and misfortunes had but whetted his love of life; and even while he slept, there came upon him, as of old Nausicaa came upon Ulysses, a woman. She, too, was straight and strong; her dark face was framed by a blue-checked sunbonnet; she carried a large basket filled with blackberries, and her lips as well as her hands were stained. She saw the man lying in a shaft of the sunset, and started back, then, tiptoeing past, bent forward slightly to examine his face. In that lingering gaze a twig cracked beneath her foot. He sat up instantly, tense, expectant; then for a silent space their eyes caught and clung. Thus the first pair might have gazed when Adam wakened to find her who was bone of his bone, flesh of his flesh, standing over him.

“Did I scare you, Miss?” at length asked the Man. “I thought–well, I didn’t know who you might be at first.” His gaze deepened into unconcealed admiration. “I wouldn’t scare YOU for anything!”

“I ain’t so easy scairt,” the girl returned defiantly. “Ef I was,” she went on in her fresh, young voice, full of queer, upward inflections, “I wouldn’t be a-berryin’ in Ragged Woods after sundaown.”

She marched onward, her head thrown well back. Twenty steps later the Man was again at her side.

“Pardoname, little one!” he said. “But, seein’ you ain’t scared, an’ thar bein’ no blaze in these yere parts, maybe you’d put us on the trail. Guess I’d a-gone on siesterin’ till midnight if you hadn’t a-happened by–gracias a Dios!”

Her glance shot suspicion at him as though she scented banter in the strange, foreign phrases; then she said:

“Ef you mean you wanter git to Potuck, whar the railroad starts, you’ve got to walk three miles back to the Potuck Road; then it’s three miles west to Potuck taown.”

“An’ what lies on ahead, whar you’re goin’?” he asked.

“Why, nothin’,” she returned with a child’s surprised simplicity. “Nothin’ but Twinklin’ Island an’ father an’ me.”

There was silence then, but the Man watched the strong, straight lines of her face, her keen black eyes, her wealth of black hair tumbled into the back-fallen sunbonnet. At length he said quietly:

“Think I’ll g’long over with you to your island, camarada. Maybe your father’s got a bite o’ something for a hungry man. I pay the freight, sabe? ‘Twon’t take me more’n a couple o’ hours to make the railroad to-night.”

To this she vouchsafed nothing, but swung onward, shifting her heavy basket from one hand to the other; then a strong grasp intervened, and she found herself burdenless. In the village streets of Potuck and Nogantic, shamefaced lads had offered such help a hundred times, and she had accepted it, flattered by their homage; but the quick, silent action of this big, red-haired man thrilled her with strange anger.

“I don’t want no help,” she said proudly, “I kin carry that.”

“Not while I’m here, chiquita mia!” He smiled downward, and his body seemed to loom over her like a shield. “Say, when I woke up an’ seen you, do you know what come into my head? A little Navajo squaw I knowed once. Her name was Moonlight Water, but the fellers called her Little Peachey. But she was twenty-five, and you–well, now, how old might you be?”

“Goin’ on eighteen,” she would have answered nonchalantly to any one else; for him there woke from the depths of her nature a fierce retort:

“Give us that basket! I ain’t a-goin’ to let you carry it a speck further.”

“ALL right,” he acquiesced with broad, kind humor, vet without relinquishing his burden. “ALL right, chiquita mia! Never you mind me, Little Peachey!”

They gained a bare tongue of land lapped by water. She stepped into a canoe, the Man following. Very quickly he took the paddle from her and put forth with strong, practiced strokes, cheering himself onward with snatches of a queer, guttural burden which he had picked up from a negro chantey-singer on some Southern cotton-wharf.

Straight ahead lay the island, breasting the Atlantic swell. Seen from the distant hills, the red sunset strikes its outpost cliffs for a moment’s splendor, and so it is called Twinkling Island. The girl said not a word, nor indeed was it necessary. He found the beach without trouble, helped her ashore, and carried the canoe up the slope on his back. A hundred yards onward they encountered a low, rambling house and the vague shape, in the twilight, of an elderly man smoking his pipe on the steps.

The stranger set down the canoe and gave an account of himself. But even as the great Ulysses was wont to name a false lineage and give a feigned story to his hosts, so this man said his name was McFarlane–which it was not–and told a wily tale of having been directed to a logging camp where hands were needed, of alighting at the wrong station and losing his way in an attempted short cut through the woods. Meanwhile his listener, a man of weather-beaten face and a great shock of gray hair, observed him with shrewd attention. At length he replied:

“Thar’s few strangers git to Twinkling Island; but so long as you’re here, you’re welcome to our plain victuals. The money’s neither here nor thar. Git supper, daughter. Seems you’re mighty particular to git that canoe high an’ dry to-night.”

The girl wheeled abruptly and strode indoors, flashing at the stranger a covert, half-defiant glance.

“Gals are queer cattle,” mused old Crane, drawing off his fisherman’s boots. ” ‘Pears to give ’em a kind o’ satisfaction to set a man to work. Her mother was just the same, before her.”

The guest said nothing; but the realization that the girl who had grudged his taking her basket had afterward suffered him to carry her canoe quite an unnecessary distance, seemed to yield him no unpleasant thoughts.

They sat down to supper in a low’ceiled room of smoked rafters. The stranger ate hungrily and with few words, yet always his gaze followed the girl’s slim figure as she moved to and fro, waiting on the board. As the food disappeared, the talk sprang up. The girl brought in a huge pitcher of cider and left the men by the fireplace, while she passed back and forth, clearing away the dishes. Crane set out a decanter of whisky, which spirit he mixed sparingly with his cider, as did also his guest–none too sparingly.

Now was the Man’s heart loosened, and he told of all he had seen and done and lived; of his spendthrift youth, passed aboard tramp freighters between Lisbon and Rio, Leith and Natal, Tokyo, Melbourne and the Golden Gate–wherever the sea ran green; of ginseng-growing in China, shellac gathering in India, cattle-grazing in Wyoming. He spoke of Alaskan totem-poles, of Indian sign language, of Aztec monoliths buried in the forest. He sang “Lather an’ Shavin’s,” “La Golondrina,” “The Cowboy’s Lament,” and, clicking his fingers castanet-wise, hummed little Spanish airs whose words he would by no means translate.

Crane marveled that this man should be still on the hitherward side of thirty; and as the stranger sat there, his very clothes, poor rags of civilization, seemed to bulk with heroic lines, his face to reflect man’s primal freedom, while his every word rang with the sheer joy of the things he had seen and known.

At a break in the talk, the girl, who, though she had constantly busied herself about the room, had missed not a word, nodded significantly to her father, then walked from the house and out into the night. He glanced after her for a moment, then turned with a queer smile.

“We’re all ‘baout the same, I reckon,” he said, “so far as furren countries is consarned. That’s to say, a man allaways conceits thar’s a heap o’ promise waitin’ for him, somewhar over yonder. Naow, you’ve seen sights enough for a hundred men. Contrariwise, thar’s my gal–never been further’n the Caounty Fair. But that don’t stop her; no sirree, human nature can’t be stopped. Every night, fair or storm, she walks daown an’ sits on the rocks, lookin’ seaward, before she turns in. She’s done it ever since she was SO high. Why, thar’s nothin’ to see but the Atlantic an’ a piece o’ foreland to the northwest! But her fancy is, the sea’s a-bringin’ her somethin’–that’s what she used to say as a kid–somethin’, she don’t rightly know what. _I_ say it’s just furren countries–pieces she’s got outer story books, an’ yarns she’s heard the fishermen tell–that’s what’s she’s hankerin’ for, Mr. McFarlane. So ye see, as I say, we’re all ‘baout the same, that way.”

“When I first seen her,” began the Man tentatively, “I could ha’ sworn that–See here, now! Ain’t thar still the leavin’s of a redskin outfit up this way?”

“Why, yes,” returned the other, with some compunction. “I don’t talk much ‘baout it–not that it’s a thing to he ashamed of; but I wouldn’t give the gal a handle to think herself different from any one else hereabout. The truth is, her mother’s mother was pretty near to a full-blooded Ojibway–not the kind you’ve seen plaitin’ baskets for summer boarders, but a clean, straight-backed red woman, an’ she claimed descent from one o’ their big chiefs. I’m English stock myself, but the wild breed mixes slow: it’s in her blood, Mr. McFarlane, and sometimes it worrits me. Thar’s days she won’t speak nor eat, but just goes off to the woods an’ makes little trinkets out o’ pine needles an’ bark, and then I know the fit’s on her. And proud! Thar’s not a man hereabout she’d lift an eye at, and one feller that wouldn’t take “no” got his head split open with an oar. Sometimes I’ve thought that ef she was married to a strong man–strong AND kind, d’ye see?–‘twould be the best thing for her.”

At this the stranger, who had missed no word, leaned quickly forward, the firelight striking his firm face. With the poise of conscious power he said quite simply:

“I’m the man!”

They eyed each other a moment, Crane measuring the Man who had come, the Man inviting measurement.

“You mean–?” asked the father. He paused as if welcoming interruption, but it was not in this man’s slow, sure nature to interrupt. “Tell us what you do mean!”

“I mean,” repeated the other slowly, “that I’M THE MAN! I love that little gal, I want to marry her. O’ course you objeck: that’s natural, that’s right. I like your objectin’, an’ I’m going to fight it to a show-down. First you’ll say, `You’re verruckt–crazy.’ See hyar now! I’ve lived life, I have, and I’ve seen a drove o’ women, hither an’ yon, but not one of ’em could hold me, no more’n an ordinary slipknot could hold stuff on a packsaddle. I’m no lightweight, an’ I need the diamond hitch. But to-day, when I seen Little Peachey in the scrub over yonder, why, it was different, and I knowed it right quick. Ever broke a horse, have you? Well, before you’ve got your lassoo coiled, the critter’s eyes’ll tell you just what sort o’ tea-party you’re goin’ to have. Thar was a man once–a hoss wrangler–an’ the easier a hoss broke, the more he’d mouch around an’ hang his head, real melancholy and sad-eyed. The only minutes o’ slap-bang-up joy that came his way was when he corralled a bucker whose natural ability to roll on him an’ kick his brains out left no percentage o’ chance in the player’s favor. Maybe that’s what I seen in Little Peachey to-day. Just now you said the wild breed mixes slow. It does: for it sticks out, waitin’ for its own kind. And by that same token, blood talks to blood–aye, even without no Indian sign-language. Maybe all these years Little Peachey, settin’ out on them rocks, has been a-watchin’ for more than foreign countries.”

“Aye, mebbe that’s all right.” Crane paced the floor, and his