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Title: Montezuma's Castle and Other Weird Tales
Author: Cory, Charles B. (Charles Barney), 1857-1921
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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                        Montezuma's
                              Castle

                             And
                              Other
                               Weird
                                Tales

                         [Decoration]

                              By

                          C. B. CORY

                           NEW YORK
                       RALPH S. MIGHILL
                        70 FIFTH AVENUE
                             1899



[Illustration: OFTEN AT NIGHT HE SPOKE WITH FIERY ELOQUENCE. P. 128.]



                        MONTEZUMA'S CASTLE

                               AND

                        OTHER WEIRD TALES

                               BY
                         CHARLES B. CORY
         Author of "Dr. Wandermann," "Hunting and Fishing
                        in Florida," etc.

                            NEW YORK
                        RALPH S. MIGHILL
                         70 FIFTH AVENUE
                             1899


                        Copyright, 1899
                       BY CHARLES B. CORY

                            PRESS OF
                     Rockwell and Churchill
                         BOSTON, U.S.A.



                               TO

                        Charles K. Crane

                      AUTHOR AND TRAVELLER

           WHOSE NAME RECALLS MANY PLEASANT MEMORIES

                           THIS BOOK

                          IS DEDICATED



CONTENTS.


                                                          PAGE

  MONTEZUMA'S CASTLE                                         7

  THE AMATEUR CHAMPIONSHIP                                  23

  THE TRAGEDY OF THE WHITE TANKS                            43

  TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT                                     55

  THE STRANGE POWDER OF THE JOU JOU PRIESTS                 75

  AN AZTEC MUMMY                                            78

  A LESSON IN CHEMISTRY                                     90

  AN INTERESTING GHOST                                     102

  THE MOUND OF ETERNAL SILENCE                             116

  THE STORY OF A BAD INDIAN                                127

  A QUEER COINCIDENCE                                      135

  THE STORY OF AN INSANE SAILOR                            152

  THE ELIXIR OF LIFE                                       173

  THE VOODOO IDOL                                          194

  AN ARIZONA EPISODE                                       205

  ONE TOUCH OF NATURE                                      218



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.


                                                          PAGE

  OFTEN AT NIGHT HE SPOKE WITH FIERY ELOQUENCE  _Frontispiece._

  THE CASTLE IS BUILT ON A LEDGE ON THE SIDE OF A MOUNTAIN   7

  THE SMOKE CONTINUALLY OOZED FROM ALL PARTS OF HIS BODY   106

  THE MOUND OF ETERNAL SILENCE                             118

  JUDSON'S MAP                                             119

  TIXINOPA                                                 127

  MALITA                                                   130

  A SILVER COIN * * * ONE EDGE HAD BEEN FLATTENED AND A
    HOLE PIERCED IN IT                                     152

  THE GREAT DOG * * * RESTING HIS HEAD ON THE COWBOY'S
    KNEE                                                   218



[Illustration: THE CASTLE IS BUILT ON A LEDGE ON THE SIDE OF A
MOUNTAIN.]



MONTEZUMA'S CASTLE.


"No," said the curiosity dealer, "that mummy is not for sale. I had too
big a job to get it."

"Tell me about it," I asked.

The curiosity dealer carefully closed and locked the case, and then
meditatively rolled a cigarette.

"Well, it was this way: you see I was out after snakes and other natural
history specimens. I had a special order from a chap in New York for
three hundred snakes--he wanted some big rattlers. I think I sent him
some that pleased him; anyhow he paid for them all right. I had a
customer who wanted a rattlesnake with a very big rattle, and I fixed up
a snake for him on this trip and sent it to him afterwards. It had one
hundred and eighteen rattles! I glued a lot of rattles together, and by
taking off the buttons it was pretty hard to see where they were joined.
This rattle was more than a foot long.

"There was another Eastern chap wanted an ibex, which he said was found
up in these mountains. It had light-colored horns curved over at the
tips like a chamois and striped legs and eyes that stuck out like an
antelope. He had heard about the ibex and wanted a pair. I told him I
had often killed them, but they were hard to get."

"What is an ibex?" I asked.

"I'll be hanged if I know," answered the collector. "But there are
fellows in these mountains who say that there really are such animals,
and if he wanted to have an ibex, and had to have an ibex, I might as
well get him an ibex as anybody else, even if I had to make one.

"But to get back to my story. I had a big outfit on this trip and I
expected to get a lot of curios one way and another, what with snakes
and animals of various kinds, besides all the things that I might pick
up in the way of baskets and Indian relics, which might prove salable.
My outfit consisted of two wagons, five horses, and I had a Mexican
along to look after the teams and do the cooking.

"After being out some two weeks we found ourselves near what is called
'Montezuma's Castle,' up by the Verde. There are a lot of caves
scattered about up there, supposed to have been made by the Cave
Dwellers, and many of them had never been touched or examined.

"I had an offer of good money for a mummy, and had tried making them
from the bodies of Indian children, but I never could get them to look
real. The bones are not crumbly enough, and the rags which the real
mummies are done up in are pretty difficult to imitate.

"I was mighty anxious to explore the big caves, so off we went to the
place, and I tell you the old ruin they call 'Montezuma's Castle' is a
dandy, and don't you forget it. The castle is built on a ledge high up
on the side of a mountain which hangs over at the top. The only way to
get up is by ladders or ropes, and it is mighty hard to get there even
then.

"Right near there, on the face of the high cliff, there are a lot of
fine old Cliff dwellings, and some of them are more than one hundred
feet from the base. These cliffs are straight up and down, sometimes
nearly smooth, but often with narrow broken ledges here and there on the
face of the wall.

"One particular cave which seemed to be a rather large one was about
fifty feet up, and immediately below it were two or three small ledges,
which, after I had looked the place over, seemed to me to be
sufficiently wide to hold a ladder; and I came to the conclusion that if
I wished to explore one of these caves I had better try the one in
question.

"In my outfit I had two large tents, nine by fourteen, and the poles of
these tents, it seemed to me, would answer very well for ladders if I
connected them by pieces of rope. It was not necessary to make the steps
very near together, and by cutting notches in the poles and tying pieces
of rope across I succeeded in making two very good ladders, one fourteen
feet long, with the two top poles--one from each tent; and two small
ladders, each about seven feet. I made these last from the four upright
tent poles, there being two to each tent, as you know.

"The foot of the cliff was rough, and the first fifteen feet or so we
could climb easily to a broad ledge, then there came a space between
nine and ten feet in height, which was as smooth and perpendicular as a
wall. Here my first ladder was put up. Two small ledges above this, some
three feet apart, and a wider ledge four feet higher, allowed me to
climb up, without the use of ladders, to another ledge.

"From here I ran another small ladder up to a ledge which was between
two and three feet wide; from this ledge to the entrance of the cave was
about twelve feet, and my fourteen-foot ladder answered finely, but the
difficulty was, it had to stand so straight that it was rather ticklish
business going up; one could not help feeling that a slip or a little
backward jerk would topple it over into the valley below, and as from
the ledge where it stood to the bottom was some forty feet, a tumble on
to the rocks would prove most unpleasant.

"However, my Mexican, Antonio, held the ladder, and by very careful
work I succeeded in reaching the mouth of the cave and crawling in. I
had no sooner entered than I felt pretty sure it had never previously
been visited by any one since the original inhabitants left it. The
first thing I did was to take a stout piece of twine from my pocket and
fasten the end of the ladder to a piece of rock. Then I felt easier.

"There were numerous bits of broken pottery scattered about and one
nearly perfect specimen. Besides these there was a very interesting bit
of stone carving. These things I gathered together and placed in a heap
near the entrance. I then went back and, taking a small hatchet which I
had brought with me, commenced to dig about in the floor and pretty soon
found this little child mummy.

"By the time I had taken it out I was pretty thirsty and hot, as you may
suppose. I was careful and did not hurry matters, and the cave was like
an oven.

"Wrapping the little mummy carefully in a big handkerchief which I had
tied round my neck, I untied the twine from the ladder, and lowered the
bundle slowly down to Antonio, my Mexican, who was standing at the foot
of the top ladder. It reached him safely, but while he was untying it I
carelessly dropped the end of the string. I went back, however, and
gathered up the other relics, intending to take some of them down with
me and then come back for the rest if I could not manage them all the
first time.

"While I was looking them over I heard a crash and the sound of tumbling
stones, and looking out I saw that the ladder had fallen, and commenced
to curse Antonio for his carelessness; but imagine my horror when I saw
him throw down the bottom ladder and then run as fast as he could
towards the camp. My first and only thought was to pay Antonio for his
treachery. It was evidently his intention to leave me safely housed in a
place from which I could never escape alive, and start off the proud
owner of the two wagons, five horses, and various valuables which he
believed my boxes to contain.

"My revolver was still in my belt, and hastily pulling it I commenced
shooting at the running figure, now some sixty or seventy yards distant.
The first bullet knocked up a cloud of dust about three feet to his
right and a little ahead, the second was still worse, but at the third
he turned sideways, staggered on several paces, and fell among some
loose rocks in a way that must have been unpleasant. He tried to get up
again, but I now had his range pretty well and hit him again with the
sixth shot; after that he lay pretty quiet, although I thought I saw him
move his arm once or twice. I reloaded, having plenty of cartridges in
my belt, and began shooting at him again. This time I hit him three
times out of six shots, and as he had not moved for some minutes I
concluded that he was dead.

"Then I began to think over how I was going to get down. I was very
thirsty and it was tantalizing to see the water down in the valley
sparkling in the sunlight. It looked very clear and refreshing.

"I thought and thought, and the more I thought the more hopeless it
seemed to me to plan a way to get down alive. There was one ladder still
standing,--the second one,--but there was a space of some thirty feet
before I could reach it. I had absolutely nothing, not even a string, to
aid me in getting down.

"There was no use hoping for help from any one, for the place was rarely
visited, and it might be weeks before any person would discover that I
was there. I was getting more thirsty all the time, and, at last, I
hated to go to the mouth of the cave, hot as it was inside, because the
sight of the water nearly drove me mad. I amused myself by occasionally
taking a shot at Antonio. I had his range down pretty fine, now, and
rarely missed him. It was getting late, and the sun had long since sunk
out of sight. Above the mountains there was one tall peak which I could
see up the cañon. It stood out in the sunlight bright and shining, even
after the cañon had become quite dark.

"As the sun sank lower and lower the darkness crept gradually up until
only the very top was left a shining point. For a few minutes it shone a
fiery red and then the light was gone like a huge torch which flickers
and goes out.

"Then the night noises commenced: the incessant, maddening croaking of
the frogs and now and then an owl.

"Did you ever hear the frogs in Arizona?"

I responded in the affirmative.

"Well, then, you know something about what they sound like, and know
they can give Eastern frogs cards and spades and beat them easy. But you
don't know what they sound like when you are _really_ thirsty!"

"Probably not," I answered.

"Well," continued the curiosity dealer, "I knew nothing could be done
until morning, so I lay down and tried to sleep. I was very nervous and
could not help fearing that in the night I might walk in my sleep or
roll to the mouth of the cave and tumble out. I do not think I really
slept at all, but lay in a half-dazed condition until it was light
enough for me to see things in the cañon below.

"Strange to say, I was not hungry, although I had eaten nothing since
the previous morning. My whole thoughts were concentrated on the one
desire--something to drink! I thought and pondered, trying to think of
some possible way to get down! At one time I thought seriously of
jumping to the ledge below, but I knew that it would be impossible for
me to stay on it even if my legs were not broken by the fall, and that
to jump meant practically to commit suicide!

"At last a thought occurred to me that I might possibly make a rope out
of my clothes. I had a large pocket-knife and a hatchet, and no sooner
had the thought suggested itself than I commenced to undress. My canvas
coat, shirt, and trousers and some thin underclothes constituted my
entire wardrobe, and by carefully cutting them into strips wide enough
to bear my weight, and yet narrow enough to give sufficient length, I
succeeded in making a kind of a rope with which I hoped I could succeed
in reaching the second ladder without broken bones!

"I could not work steadily, as it was impossible for me to avoid getting
up and now and then walking about the cave. I suffered so with the heat
and thirst, that the hope of escape alone kept me from going mad. At
last the rope was done and tied together with various knots. It had a
creepy sort of stretchy feeling when I pulled on it, but I had no
alternative but to trust to it,--it was that or nothing, and nothing
meant death from thirst in a very short time.

"I succeeded in fixing the hatchet firmly into and across a cleft in the
rock where it was split, and it gave me something to tie the rope to
which I was satisfied would hold my weight. I tied the end of the rope
to the hatchet handle and threw the other end down, and was mighty glad
to see that it reached within four or five feet of the middle ledge.

"I was stark naked excepting my shoes, and I tell you it was no easy
task letting one's self down over the sharp edges of the rock. Every
moment I expected one of the knots to give way, and I shall never forget
the feeling which came over me as I swung myself clear of the ledge and
hung swaying on that improvised rope which seemed to stretch and grow
thin in a way which sent cold shivers running up and down my spine. It
seemed a year before I reached the ledge. I went down pretty slow,
sparing the rope as much as I could by supporting part of my weight by
digging my toes into every little crack and crevice I could find, but I
got there at last, and when I did, I sat down on the ledge and cried
like a baby.

"Well, that is the story. Of course I got down the rest of the way all
right, or I wouldn't be here; but I don't know as I would have done it
if Antonio had pulled down the second ladder instead of the bottom one.
He was evidently in too much of a hurry to do the job up right. After
reaching the second ladder, it was no kind of a trick to slide it down
and use it over again. The first thing I did when I got down was to run
as fast as I could to the river and drink as much water as I dared, then
I lay down in the water and enjoyed it. Talk about your Paradise
Cocktails--they are not to be compared with that Verde River water which
I tasted that day!"

"Antonio?"

"Oh, yes, he is there yet, I believe, although I have never been back
since to see, and I hope I never will. My first experience among the
Cliff Dwellers was all sufficient."



THE AMATEUR CHAMPIONSHIP.


I.

A committee from the Phœnix Athletic Club and one from the Prescott
Club had met, and after considerable discussion had arranged a match to
decide the Amateur Championship of Arizona.

As the Phœnix and Prescott clubs were far and away the foremost
athletic organizations in the Territory, the contest was looked forward
to with a great interest, especially as an intense rivalry existed
between the two cities.

"Let the contest be fair and square on both sides," said Smith, the
chairman of the Phœnix committee. "Let each club send its best man,
who is strictly an amateur, of course, and a member of the club, in
good standing, and let the best man win."

"Them's my sentiments exactly," responded Johnson, the chairman of the
Prescott committee. "Fair play and honors to the best man, say I! I did
think of sending a young fellow I know in our club who took some
sparring lessons in 'Frisco last year, and is quite clever; he's a
gunsmith by profession, but the trouble is he has been teaching the boys
during his spare time when he could get away from the shop, and that
makes him a professional, doesn't it?"

"It does," said Smith, "and I am glad to find you are as particular as I
am in such matters; let me tell you, it is a pleasure to meet a man like
yourself who tries to be fair and square, and to take no advantage of
anybody. Let's take something."

During the next few days there were anxious meetings of the committees
in charge of the arrangements. A certain man well up in sporting
matters went to 'Frisco as a committee of one, representing the Prescott
Club, to hunt for talent; at the same time a brother of the chairman of
the Phœnix committee, who kept a bar-room in Chicago, received a
letter which caused considerable discussion between him and his partner,
and several interviews with a certain short-haired, thick-set individual
who frequented his place.

"What I want," said the letter, "is the best man you can get. Some one
who is a sure winner, and can punch the stuffing out of this amateur
duck from Prescott. Don't make a mistake, and do not spare money. Get a
star, as the boys will bet all they have on him, and we do not want to
take any chances."

The following week the chairman of the committee of the Phœnix
organization received a letter from his brother in Chicago, which
informed him that for two hundred dollars, and expenses, they had
secured the services of a well-known professional, but one who had never
been West, and who, they were sure, could "lick" anything which could be
produced, professional or amateur, on the Pacific Coast. He had
commenced training, and they could rest easy, and bet as much money as
they wanted to.

Meanwhile the Prescott Club's representative had made a rich find in San
Francisco, in the shape of an Australian professional who had just
landed and was therefore not likely to be recognized. He had a record of
numerous victories in his own country, and cheerfully undertook, for the
sum of seventy-five dollars, "to knock the bloomin' head off any
bloomin' duffer," anywhere near his own weight, that might be brought
against him.

Things went along merrily, letters were exchanged between the chairman
of the two committees reporting as to the progress of their
representatives.

"Our young man," wrote the Prescott leader, "is doing very well, and I
hope great things from him. Naturally we want to win, and have secured
the best man of good amateur standing in our town to represent us. He is
a drug clerk, and his mother objected pretty strongly at first, but she
has been talked over. There will be a party of at least one hundred of
us go down with him, and I hope you will have front seats reserved for
us. Most of the boys feel inclined to wager a little on the success of
our representative, but he himself does not feel very confident of the
result. Upon my return I found quite a strong feeling in favor of having
the young gunsmith represent us, but, after my conversation with you,
could not for a moment countenance any such proceedings on our part."

Two nights following, the Prescott chairman read the following letter
in answer to the one which he had sent:

    TO R. W. JOHNSON, ESQ.,
       _Chairman of the Committee
             for the Prescott Athletic Club_,
                              _Prescott, Arizona_:

      DEAR SIR: I am glad to hear that there is considerable
    interest taken in the forthcoming match. Boxing is a noble
    art, and this coming contest will no doubt help to boom both
    our clubs. There is a great interest taken here in the match,
    and I warn you our man is getting himself in the very best
    condition possible. He is nervous, of course, this being his
    first appearance in an affair of this kind. He is a clerk in
    a bank, who has lately been engaged by my friend Robinson,
    and therefore does not get as much time for exercise as
    perhaps would be wise, but Robinson is an enthusiastic sport,
    as you know, and has arranged to let him get off several
    hours each day. We look forward to a great contest, and I
    certainly feel that the winner may fully consider himself the
    Amateur Champion of the Territory. We shall take great
    satisfaction in reserving the one hundred seats you ask for.
    I think you will find all the money ready for you in the way
    of bets that you will want. Our population is made up a great
    deal, as you know, largely of miners and ranchers, and they
    are inclined to bet recklessly. I cannot close without
    congratulating the Prescott Athletic Club for the energy and
    enterprise they have shown in this matter. May the best man
    win!

                                         Yours, etc.,
                                                  J. SMITH.


II.

There was a great crowd packed into the ring of the Phœnix Athletic
Association on the evening of the contest. Seats were at a premium, and
the fight had been the principal subject of conversation for days. The
two principals had met and been introduced to one another, just before
going to the scene of the contest. Both were dressed for the occasion,
and I tell you they were sights! The bank clerk had on a collar so high
that he could hardly turn his head, a high silk hat, long black
frock-coat, and an immense white rose in his buttonhole.

The Prescott drug clerk was still more gorgeous. Besides a buttonhole
bouquet and high collar, he sported an eye-glass, and smoked a cigarette
while in the presence of his opponent.

"'Ow's yer bloomin' 'ealth?" remarked the drug clerk. "Hi 'opes as 'ow
yer fit."

"Ah-h-h, go arn," answered the embryo financier, using only one side of
his mouth, "don't try ter jolly me, yer sage-brush dude, or I'll give
yer a poke right here."

Several members of the committee hastened to interfere, and put a stop
to all further danger of trouble by hurrying the principals off to their
dressing-rooms to prepare for the contest.

In the ante-room Smith hugged Robinson, and nearly wept with joy when
they were alone.

"Did you take a good look at the stiff?" he gasped. "Why, our man will
punch daylight out of him in two minutes after the gong sounds! Why, I
say this is wrong--it is too easy; I really feel sorry for these
Prescott chaps!"

Robinson chuckled and muttered something about "fools and their money
being soon parted," and then the two worthies repaired to the ringside.

Smith was to be Master of the Ceremonies, and climbing upon the raised
platform he crawled through the ropes, and after looking about him for a
moment, raised his hands to enjoin silence.

"Gentlemen," he said, "I must beg you all to stop smoking. The contest
which is to be held here to-night is to decide the Amateur Championship
of the Territory of Arizona. Nothing is more calculated to incite among
our younger men the love for athletic sports than such competitions,
when conducted in a fair and sportsmanlike manner. I must beg of you
not to allow yourselves to be biased towards indulging in any unseemly
noise in case your favorite should be worsted. What we want is a fair
field and no favoritism, and while we hope our boy will win, none of
you, I am sure, would wish in any way to feel that either man was given
any undue advantage. The men will fight with 3-oz. gloves, Marquis of
Queensbury rules, three minutes to each round, with a minute's rest
between. A man down to get up inside of ten seconds or be counted out.
No hitting in the clinches. Many of you are acquainted with the
gentlemen who are our representatives this evening, but for the benefit
of those who are not I will introduce them."

Waving his hand towards the Prescott pugilist, he said:

"This is Alexander Harrington, amateur champion of the Prescott Athletic
Club, who is, I may say, by profession a popular druggist in the town
from which he comes. [Considerable applause.]

"And this," he continued, pointing to the man who represented the
Phœnix Club, "is J. Francis Livingstone, a young man who has shown
himself to be a good exponent of the noble art, and who is deemed to be
the amateur champion of the Phœnix Athletic Association. As he has
only lately arrived, and is not very well known to many of you, I may
add that he is a personal friend of our Vice-president, Mr. Robinson,
and is employed at his bank. [Wild enthusiasm.] As there can be no
question as to the amateur standing of the gentlemen, I will again beg
of you to treat both men with equal favor, and will ask the Referee to
call time!"

The seconds at this climbed down from the ringside, shoving their stools
out under the ropes, and the two athletes, throwing aside their bath
robes, stood up in their corners, each stripped to the buff, with the
exception of tight trunks and canvas shoes. A roar of admiration and
astonishment went up as the bank clerk first exposed himself, and
Robinson grinned at Smith across the ring as the splendid exhibition of
muscle was exhibited. It was evident that the bank clerk had not devoted
all his time to banking; he was apparently as fit as a race-horse, and
the muscles of his back and arms twisted and rolled about like snakes,
at every movement.

But Robinson's expression altered somewhat as he glanced at the drug
clerk. That individual was somewhat shorter than his opponent, but if
the banking representative was well developed, he of the pharmaceutical
persuasion was magnificent.

Both men had been fanned and washed, their gloves carefully tied on, and
they now stood rubbing their shoes on some powdered rosin which was
scattered about the corners, eyeing each other intently. What they
thought will probably never be given to the public, but there is no
doubt that each must have experienced a feeling of surprise at the
physical condition of his opponent. This did not affect them in the
least, however, as they were both as anxious to begin as bull-dogs, and
when time was called and the gong rang, they danced to the middle and
commenced sparring for an opening, grinning with confidence.

For the first minute or two nothing was done. Forward and back they
moved, their arms moving in and out, each with his eyes fixed on the
face of his opponent, watching closely for an opening. Then the bank
clerk jumped in and led one, two, without effect, for his first blow was
neatly guarded and the second brought a vicious cross-counter in return,
which grazed his nose as he got back out of the way. In came the drug
clerk with a rush, and they closed just as the gong sounded which ended
the round.

Up through the ropes came the seconds with the activity of a lot of
monkeys, and the two men were hurriedly seated upon stools and each was
fanned furiously with a towel by one second, while the other bathed his
neck and face with cold water. A hum of conversation arose.

"Who is the blooming duck?" whispered the druggist to his principal
second. "'E ain't no bleeding dude, I can tell yer."

But before the man had time to reply, the gong sounded the call of
"time," and the men sprang forward to the middle of the ring.

There was no sparring this time--they went at it biff, bang, right and
left, sending in their blows with all the power of their muscular
bodies. The Referee, almost dancing with excitement, shouted to them to
"break away," and tried to part them when they clinched, but they were
no sooner separated than they closed again, fighting with the energy and
tenacity of bull-dogs.

Just before time was up, the drug clerk swung his right and caught the
gentleman of finance fair and square on the nose, with the result that
Prescott was awarded first blood and first knock-down, amid great
excitement.

During the one minute's rest the seconds did wonders. The men were
sponged and rubbed, while fanned constantly with a large towel, water
was squirted on their heads and the back of their necks, and at the
sound of the gong each arose from his stool looking as fresh as at the
start.

_Round 3_ opened as though it would be a repetition of the hurricane
style of fighting of the previous round, but after a clinch or two and
giving and receiving a few good blows, the men kept apart and fought
more warily. Each had evidently become satisfied that the other was not
quite the easy victim he had expected; and as this conviction gradually
dawned upon them they dropped the rough and tumble style and fought
with more skill and caution, each watching and waiting for an opening,
hoping for a chance for a "knock-out," but none came, and the round
closed with honors even.

During the intermission Watkins, the sheriff, who was acting as Referee,
talked earnestly with a friend, and from time to time looked hard at the
drug clerk. He turned towards the time-keeper and seemed about to say
something, when the bell rang and the men were again in the middle of
the ring.

_Round 4_ had commenced.

They were both fresh and eager, but business was written all over their
hard faces,--they were not smiling now. Round and round they moved,
constantly facing each other, their arms moving back and forth like a
machine. Now and then one or the other would make a quick feint or
move, and the other would spring back with the agility of a
dancing-master.

Suddenly the financier thought he saw an opening, and let go his left,
but was short, and received a counter in return which sounded all over
the place; then they went at it hammer and tongs and kept the Referee
very busy separating them, and making them fight fair. Questionable
prize-ring methods were resorted to by both men, and the knowledge shown
by these amateurs of the little unfair tricks of the professional
prize-fighter was astonishing. The bank clerk took especial pains to
stick his thumb in his opponent's eye whenever they clinched, and the
compounder of drugs used his head and elbow in a way which is frowned
upon by advocates of fair play.

The men were fighting hard and fast when the round ended. Every man in
the crowd was on his feet yelling like a hyena, as they went to their
corners. Referee Watkins walked to the side of the ring, and raising
his hand to enjoin silence, stood waiting for the uproar to subside. At
last, when he could be heard, he addressed the crowd as follows:

"Gentlemen, I am sorry to stop this fight, but I must do it. These men
are supposed to be fightin' for the Amatoor Champeenship of the
Territory. Whether this is a put-up job or not, I do not know, but I do
know that the Prescott man is a professional pug, lately arrived from
Australia. I suspected him from the first. From the way he acted I was
pretty blamed sure he was no drug clerk and my friend here, Jim Sweeney,
swears he knows him, and that he was called the 'Ballarat Boy' when he
saw him fight in Australia, some seven months ago. I can't let this
thing go on, and have honest men lose their money. I am not dead sure in
my mind that the other man isn't a ringer; he is a damned sight too good
for an amatoor; but that cuts no ice. This fight stops right now. It's
a draw, and all bets are off."

There was a tremendous row, but the pugilists were hurried off to their
respective dressing-rooms, and the crowd slowly left the building. On
the steps outside, Johnson, the chairman of the Prescott Athletic Club,
met Smith, and, going up to him, he offered him his hand.

"Smith," said he, "I want to tell you how pained I am that the affair
ended as it did. You, of course, do not for a moment suspect that any of
us knew our man was a professional. How he could deceive us I cannot
understand. Why, I was never more fooled in my life!"

Smith shook hands heartily. "Don't say a word, Johnson; the best of us
are often deceived, and the more pure our motives are the easier it is
to fool us."

"That's so."

They walked on in silence for a short distance.

"Smith."

"Hallo."

"Pity they stopped it; it was a lovely scrap while it lasted."

"That's what it was," said Smith.



THE TRAGEDY OF THE WHITE TANKS.


"I do not believe," said the curiosity dealer, "that the bite of the
gila monster is fatal. It is poisonous, no doubt, and there have been
one or two cases of death where persons have been bitten by it, but it
is always well to remember that the teeth themselves may be in a
condition to produce blood-poisoning, which might cause death without
the assistance of any particular toxic venom. The rattlesnake, however,
which is rather too common in the desert, is a different sort of a chap.
If he strikes you, you may just as well make your will, and chirp your
death song, as to monkey with physicians, and squander some of the good
wealth which may be useful to your family."

I asked him if he did not believe in the efficacy of some of the
so-called Indian snake cures.

"There are lots of Indian remedies," he continued, "and snake charmers'
cures for rattlesnake bites, which are, in my opinion, all poppy-cock.
It is claimed that the Moquai Indians, during their Snake Dance, allow
rattlesnakes to bite them, and after applying the juice of a certain
herb suffer no ill effects from the poison. This may be all right, but
the antidote is considerable of a secret, and you cannot buy it at your
druggist's.

"There was a chap over in France who claimed to have produced an
anti-venomous serum which was a sure cure for the poison of a
rattlesnake, or any other old snake which you might want to have bite
you. I squandered five dollars of my hard-earned wealth in sending for
a bottle. This chap lives at Lille, France, and manufactures his serum
at the Pasteur Institute at that place. He gives careful directions as
to how much to use, and just how to use it, and it may be all right with
some snakes which have the reputation of being bad, but it don't go with
our rattlers. I tried it in all sorts of ways. I tried to get a Mexican
to experiment on, but couldn't. None of them had much faith in the
cure--not enough to let a healthy snake bite 'em for five dollars.

"Then I tried dogs. I got three curs, all in robust health. The first
one died in fifteen minutes after being struck by a big rattlesnake
which I had in a box, although I injected him with a carefully measured
dose of the serum. Another one lived several hours, and made a hard
struggle. I thought at one time he might pull through, but it was no
use. He joined his friend in dog heaven after giving his final kick four
hours and fifteen minutes after he and the snake had been introduced to
each other.

"The third one was a half-breed bull bitch with lots of vitality. I
tried to make this one immune by injecting a dose of the serum
twenty-four hours before, and again immediately after she was struck by
the snake, but she did not do as well as the other one, and died in
three hours and sixteen minutes. All these dogs seemed to die from
inability to breathe. The poison apparently acts on the respiratory
centres rather than directly on the heart. They all vomited just before
they died."

"Have you never found out what the Indians use as an antidote?" I asked.

"No, I have tried, but they keep it a carefully guarded secret. One
reason why I believe that the secret is so carefully preserved is
because they have no antidote, and the whole thing is a bluff.

"You see," continued the collector, "in my wanderings about the country
I have run across a great many queer people, and as you seem interested
in this subject, I will tell you an incident which happened while I was
out at camp one time at the White Tanks, catching gila monsters, horned
toads, etc.

"I remember the year well, because I had a lot of trouble with a very
useless assistant of mine, whom I sent to Central America to collect for
me. Among the birds he brought back were a lot of skins of the blue
chatterer--the one with the purple throat, you know. He knew I was
anxious to get new species, so he thought he would be smart and make
some for me. So he manufactured five, all with faked labels on, showing
that each species was taken at different altitudes. Unfortunately he
commenced too high, and the mountains in the vicinity where he
collected, and where the labels indicated that the birds were taken,
lacked several hundred feet of the necessary altitude for two of the
species, so that if his labels were correct he must have shot them out
of a balloon.

"They all looked alike except about the throat and head. One lot had a
gold band across the breast, another had the whole throat gold, others
had gold stripes or spots. I believe he produced these gaudy effects
with the lighted end of his cigar.

"He doctored up a lot of humming-birds, too, and made me a peck of
trouble. I fired him, all right. Dishonesty in a trade like mine is, I
think, most reprehensible, and there is no money in it, because you are
dead sure to get found out.

"He was a cute little chap, however, and had learned a lot of tricks
from the Indians. He could change a bird's color by feeding it on
certain kinds of food. There is a chap in Amsterdam who does about the
same thing and brightens up old worn birds which have faded out in the
Zoölogical Gardens, and sends them back with all the brilliancy of their
original plumage restored; but he cannot turn a red parrot blue, or make
a gray bird with a yellow head turn to bright orange all over, as this
chap could. He told me how he did it, but the secret is too good to give
away. But to get back to the story about rattlesnakes:

"It was, as I said, in the spring of '89, a party of us were camped at
the White Tanks about forty-five miles north-west of here, and one day a
chap came into our camp, a half-breed Mexican Indian, who called himself
a snake-charmer. He had a box of rattlesnakes which he would allow to
twine round his neck and bite him, for a dollar. He travelled about the
country giving exhibitions with his snakes, and selling the rattlesnake
cure, which was put up in small bottles containing a brown-colored
liquid, which he claimed he made from a plant which was a sure cure for
the bite of the rattlesnake, and a number of the boys bought this
remedy, paying him a dollar a bottle.

"He had seen our camp, as he drove along the road to Phœnix, and he
told us he had been up country for two or three weeks visiting some
mines, where he had done very well, selling his cure to the miners and
exhibiting his snakes.

"There were several of us in the party, and one chap, a doctor by the
name of Baker, who was always playing practical jokes. As we were coming
back to Phœnix, the next day, Miguel, which was the snake-charmer's
real name, I believe, although he was generally known as Mexican John,
decided to stay over a day and go back with us.

"Baker proposed that we should see how much faith Miguel had in his own
antidote. As it happened, I had captured a very big rattlesnake the day
previous, and had him in a box in my tent. By the aid of some forked
sticks and bagging we succeeded in fastening the snake so that he could
not move. We then pried his mouth open, and kept it open with a small
stick. We took all this trouble for the purpose of preparing him to
assist in an experiment in which he and Mexican John were to be the
principal performers. Baker carefully cut out the poison-sacs, which are
situated just beneath the temporal muscle, back of the eye. It was
suggested that it would be better to remove the fangs, to avoid any
possibility of danger; but Baker objected, as he said removing the fangs
would give the whole thing away.

"He took the precaution, however, while the snake lay helpless with its
mouth open, to carefully wash the teeth, and then filled the small
openings near the end of the fangs with some dental cement which Baker
had in his outfit, which hardens in a few minutes. You see, the fangs
of a rattlesnake are like two hypodermic syringes. They are hollow
tubes, as it were, with an opening near the point,--a little narrow
slit, but one that is easily seen, if you look for it. Through this he
squirts the poison by the aid of the temporal muscle, which he contracts
as he strikes.

"As we had removed the poison-sacs and plugged up the fangs, this snake
was not in a very good condition to do any serious harm. He, however,
was fighting mad, and evidently did not enjoy the operation which he had
undergone. It did not seem to hurt him any, however, for he was as
lively as a kitten when we let him loose in the box, and was ready and
anxious to strike at anything.

"Towards evening Miguel came back to camp, and we had the snake all
ready for him. It was a much larger one than those which he had in his
box, and when we slipped it in among the others we could easily
recognize it from its size. The boys asked John to give an exhibition of
the curative powers of his snake cure, saying that they would like to
buy some more, but wished to see it tried before doing so.

"John was quite ready, and after opening a bottle of the antidote he
lifted the cover of his snake box, and reached in his hand to take one
of them out. As he did so, he was immediately struck good and hard by
our latest addition to the collection.

"My, how he carried on! He looked hastily into the box, and then at the
marks on his hand, where the fangs had cut in. He gave one screech,
grabbed a knife, cut the place wide open, and commenced to suck it
fiercely, at the same time praying and cursing almost in the same
breath.

"The boys begged him to apply his antidote, asking him what was the
matter and why he appeared to be so frightened, but all the answer they
could get was, 'Don't touch me. I am going to die! I'm going to die!'

"And say, what do you think? He _did_ die! He got weaker and weaker. His
teeth were clenched, and he refused to take whiskey, although the boys
forced some down his throat. In a little while he became insensible, and
in less than an hour he was dead.

"'Scared to death,' you say? Well, maybe so; anyway, the boys said the
laugh was on Baker!"



TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT.


When Dr. Watson entered I saw by his manner that he had something of
more than usual interest to communicate. Watson has a trick of winding
and unwinding his watch chain around his finger whenever he has some
case in which he is particularly interested. As a rule, his work in the
asylum keeps him busy the greater part of the day, and the little time
he has to spare is given to cases in which he is called in consultation
or by special appointment.

Therefore, knowing how busy he was, I felt certain that something out of
the ordinary had called him from his regular duties at this time of day,
and I was interested to learn what it was.

Watson is nothing if not direct, and rarely wastes words. On this
occasion he certainly lived up to his reputation, for he began talking
before he was fairly in the room.

"My dear Morris," he said, "I have called to talk with you of a most
interesting case, which has lately come under my observation. It is one
in which I need your help, and I hope you will be able to spare the time
to assist me."

I nodded and waved him to a chair.

"The case in question is a most interesting one, in which hypnotic
suggestion may or may not be an important factor.

"You know young Blake, the son of the late Mathew Blake, and you are
aware that he has been rather extravagant in his habits and ways of
living, and although not exactly a spendthrift, undoubtedly spends more
money than he ought to in many ways. The great trouble with him is his
passion for race-horses, and that is what, one of these days, is going
to break him financially, unless I am very much mistaken.

"Just now young Blake has two horses entered in the big race which comes
off day after to-morrow at Eaton Park. One of his horses, called
Emperor, is well known, and he should easily win the race. He is by far
the best horse of the lot, and has been selling in the pools for two to
one against the field. The other horse is not nearly as good as Emperor,
and has little chance of being placed. Murphy, the jockey who is to ride
Emperor, is one of the best on the turf, although comparatively a young
boy, probably about nineteen years old. He has ridden a number of races,
and from all reports is a lad of good habits, and seemingly thoroughly
honest.

"Young Blake, as you know, 'plunges' more or less on his horses when
they run, whenever he thinks they have a fair show to win, and in this
case he has bet a great deal more money than he can afford to lose,
knowing that unless the horse meets with some unforeseen accident he is
certain to win the race. As I understand it, he has bet so much money
that if by any chance Emperor should lose the race it would seriously
hurt young Blake. Of course, this is all foolishness from our
standpoint, but the fact remains that the young man has bet this money,
and that any accident which would interfere with his pulling off that
race would cause him serious loss.

"Knowing his father as I did, I have taken more or less interest in the
boy, and have time and again advised him to let racing alone, and settle
down to more serious life. I should not have taken the special interest
in this particular race had it not been that by a curious coincidence
information has come to me which leads me to suspect that everything is
not as it should be at young Blake's stables.

"Last year one of the stable boys, a lad by the name of Collins, was
badly injured by an accident, and young Blake saw that he was nicely
taken care of, and paid him a salary during his illness. The youngster
was grateful, and the other day, it seems, he came to Mr. Blake and told
him that Murphy, the jockey who is to ride Emperor, had been sleeping
badly for several nights, and talked a good deal in his sleep about the
horses.

"Murphy and Collins sleep together in the room over the stable, and the
night before last Collins was awakened by hearing Murphy call out to
some one, and then say distinctly, 'Yes, yes, I understand; if you wave
your handkerchief I am to 'pull' Emperor. If you do not wave it I am to
win, if I can.'

"This is serious business. The boy was dreaming, of course; but why did
he dream such a dream? The idea of 'pulling' being in the boy's mind is
in itself enough to cause serious reflection. Yesterday young Blake
called on me and told me this story as it had been told to him by
Collins. Collins was present at the time, and again repeated his
statement, declaring positively that he could not have been mistaken in
the words spoken by Murphy in his sleep, and that the boy seemed very
much excited.

"Blake, by my advice, sent for Murphy and we had a serious conversation
with him. The boy seemed thoroughly honest, and was very much hurt upon
being questioned in regard to the matter. He said that he had worked for
Blake several years and had always tried to do right, that he intended
to ride his best, and win the race if he could.

"Blake naturally feels somewhat disturbed under the circumstances, but
he believes the boy is honest, and he believes young Collins must in
some way have been mistaken in what he imagines he heard. Or, if he was
not mistaken, that Murphy was dreaming, and the words had no
significance.

"He told Murphy to go back to the stables, and that he would trust him
implicitly, stating at the same time that it would cause him serious
inconvenience if by any chance Murphy should not win, as he had bet a
large amount of money on the result.

"Murphy, with tears in his eyes, thanked him for trusting him, and went
back to the stables. Afterwards I had a serious conversation with
Collins, and learned that on two occasions he had seen Murphy talking
with a strange man who often visited the track.

"Upon inquiry we have learned that the man in question is a brother of a
man who married Murphy's sister, and that Murphy has met him several
times at his sister's house. The man's name is Simms. He is a low
character, who is known as a habitual frequenter of the race track, and
who at times does business as a poolseller and bookmaker. Simms is
described as being thin and dark, with a big scar on his right cheek,
usually wears a soft hat, and carries a cane with considerable silver
about the handle.

"Last night I decided to have an interview with Murphy and find out
whether the lad could be hypnotized or not. Why this idea suggested
itself to me I do not know, except that, as you know, hypnotism is one
of my hobbies. With Blake's consent I sent for Murphy, and asked him to
let me look him over, as I would like to assure Blake as to his physical
condition, as naturally he was feeling, as I told him, somewhat nervous
after our interview of the morning.

"The boy consented readily enough, and after listening to his heart,
and asking him a few questions which might suggest a cause for his
restlessness at night, I asked him to look at me fixedly while I gently
stroked his forehead above the eyes with my hand. Imagine my surprise
when I found him to be an extremely sensitive hypnotic subject. He did
not become entirely unconscious, but was in a peculiar somnambulistic
condition, in which he conversed readily enough. He is one of the best
subjects for post-hypnotic suggestion that I have ever seen.

"I tried several experiments with him, and the thought occurred to me if
it was not possible that this susceptibility to hypnotic suggestion
might be used by unscrupulous persons in many ways, which might be
especially dangerous in case he was riding a good horse in a race.

"Upon questioning Murphy, after I had awakened him, regarding his
susceptibility to hypnotic influence, he told me that _Simms had often
put him to sleep for fun, when they met at his sister's house_. The
question which now presents itself is, Suppose he has been hypnotized
and has been given a post-hypnotic suggestion, that he is to 'pull'
Emperor if a certain man waves his handkerchief, how are we to prevent
his carrying out these instructions? Of course, we can take the boy off
the horse and put on another jockey, but Blake does not wish to do this.

"In his waking moments Murphy does not remember anything that has been
told him while hypnotized, and I doubt if we could make Blake believe
that there was any real danger in that quarter. Again, if we allow him
to go in and ride the race, it is more than possible that he could be
made to win or lose the race by any one who had given him orders while
in a hypnotic condition, and we also know that he would forget entirely
that he had received such orders after waking.

"Now, the difficulty presents itself as to how we can prevent him
following out such instructions, in case he has received them. We know
we cannot affect such suggestions by re-hypnotizing him, because we do
not know the exact circumstances under which such directions were given.
To merely hypnotize and tell him he is not to carry out such orders
would have no effect whatever. Perhaps if we could tell him that under
certain described circumstances he was not to carry out such orders we
might succeed.

"But my experience has been that the directions, as given, are carried
out by the subject if, at the time, the circumstance described, which is
to be recognized as a signal for such and such action on the part of the
hypnotized sensitive, occurs _and is noticed_.

"For instance, if I should hypnotize a young man, and say that at eight
o'clock, when he hears the clock strike, he should at once go downstairs
and get a glass of water, he would undoubtedly do it when the clock
struck eight. But if the clock did not strike eight, supposing some one
had removed the striker, and when near the hour some one occupied his
attention so that he did not notice the time, in all probability he
would not obey orders. It requires some special occurrence which has
been described in connection with the act to suggest it again to his
mind.

"In my opinion, the best we can do is to let Murphy ride the race, and
to take all precautions possible to prevent any man waving his
handkerchief to Murphy during the race. Of course, to have any real
effect on the race, the person waving his handkerchief as a signal for
Murphy to 'pull' Emperor must do so far enough from the home stretch to
make it certain that Emperor can be prevented from winning without
attracting especial attention, which could not be done in case Emperor
was in the lead if the signal was given close to the Grand Stand. We,
therefore, must look out for our man, if such a man there be, some
distance down the race-track.

"Now, if you will go to the track with me to-morrow we will station
ourselves in places where we think it likely that such a person would
stand, and keep a sharp watch for a thin, dark man with a scar on his
cheek. Will you join me?"

I assured him I would be more than willing to do so, as I was very much
interested in the case.

"Good! Now, this is my plan. I shall take Mike Falan with me, and he is
worth half a dozen men in the case of a row. I have also engaged three
private detectives to be on the watch at the entrance to the Grand
Stand, and another at the entrance to the grounds, while a fifth is to
station himself at the side of the track, and do sentinel duty about the
half-mile post, with orders to report to me the moment Simms puts in an
appearance, and to have him shadowed. Of course, this elaborate plot may
exist only in my imagination, but if, as I believe, there is a carefully
arranged scheme to beat Blake's horse, we shall have done him a good
turn, and perhaps saved him a lot of money. I must go now, but don't
fail to meet me to-morrow at eleven, at the track. You will find me in
front of the Grand Stand."

The next morning when I arrived at the track I found Dr. Watson in
conversation with a powerful-looking man whom he introduced to me as
Mike Falan. We walked slowly up the track to a point about a quarter of
a mile from the finish. There was a great crowd of people present, the
numbers had gone up for the first race, and most of the horses were
already out and "warming up." Emperor appeared to be in splendid
condition. As he galloped easily up and down in front of the Grand Stand
his great muscles rolled and swelled under the shiny skin, and he looked
and acted like a horse fit to race for his life. He was a prime favorite
at the pools and was selling at two to one against the field.

"I have seen Blake," said Watson, "and he is feeling confident that
Emperor will win. He is somewhat nervous, of course, but he tells me the
horse is in first-class shape, and that Murphy is all right. No signs of
Simms yet and the race will be started in less than ten minutes. It
begins to look as though I have been frightened at a shadow."

At this moment a man touched Watson on the arm and whispered something
to him and then moved quickly away through the crowd. Watson started,
and turning to me said,

"Come this way. Simms is here, he is down the track, below the gate."

He hurried away, Mike and I following, and upon getting clear of the
crowd we saw a man leaning against the picket fence which separated the
track from the carriage drive, watching the horses through a small
field-glass. As we came up, Simms, for it was he, glanced suspiciously
at us, but as we paid no attention to him and talked earnestly together,
apparently arguing as to the relative merits of the horses, he soon
ceased to notice us and turned again to the horses.

Hardly had he done so when he hurriedly put the glass in his pocket, and
a great shout from the Grand Stand and cries of "They're off!" told us
that the great race had commenced.

We could see the horses far off on the opposite side of the track all
running in a bunch, until they neared the half-mile flag, when two were
seen to be well in advance of the others. As they swung round the curve
we could see the red cap worn by Murphy flashing in the sun, and we knew
that Emperor was leading. But another horse, a deep bay, the jockey
dressed completely in blue, was very close to him.

On they came, and Watson and Mike edged closer and closer to Simms,
whose whole attention was fixed on the race. His face was flushed, and
he was actually dancing with excitement. We watched him as a cat watches
a mouse, and it was very lucky for Blake that we did so. The horses were
now quite near us, and we could see Murphy plainly, and noted how white
and drawn his face looked. Suddenly Simms pulled a large white
handkerchief from his pocket, but as he did so the doctor snatched it
from his hand and at the same instant Mike seized him in his powerful
arms, and dragged him from the fence.

Mad with surprise and rage, he struggled and kicked like a wild animal.
"Damn you," he yelled, "let me go; let go, I say! What in hell do you
mean?"

"Let him go, Mike," said the doctor. Mike pushed Simms from him, and he
staggered back against the fence. The man was crazy with rage, and I
believe for the moment he was really insane. He half crouched as if to
spring at us, snarling and showing his teeth like a savage dog, then his
hand went to his hip pocket.

"I wouldn't try that if I were you, Simms," said Watson quietly. "You
will get the worst of it if you do."

Watson's right hand was in the pocket of his sack-coat, and his eyes
said, "I'll shoot," as plainly as if he had told Simms so in so many
words.

"See here, you," cried Mike, "if you pull a gun I'll smash your jaw!"

Simms looked from one to the other of us, with the expression of a
madman. His face was ghastly white, and the scar on his cheek stood out
livid, in contrast with the white skin. I thought for a moment he was
about to draw his revolver, but suddenly he turned and ran toward the
crowd, and in a moment was lost to our view.

The shouting and cheering still kept up, and, as we hurried toward the
Grand Stand, Watson asked a man which horse had won.

"Emperor, by a length,--a great race!"

We found Blake in front of the stand. He came to us and shook hands. His
face was beaming with the joy of success.

"Do you know," he said, "I do believe that something is the matter with
Murphy. He was as pale as a ghost after the race. He said he could
remember nothing about it until he found himself in the home stretch
running neck and neck with Nettie B. Then he seemed to wake from a
dream, and sat down and rode Emperor for all he was worth. You know the
rest. He won out all right, but I tell you it was a confounded sight too
close for comfort."



THE STRANGE POWDER OF THE JOU JOU PRIESTS.


Dr. Watson carefully opened the little antique silver box, which was
about the size and shape of an ordinary watch, and showed that it
contained a gray powder and a little gold measure resembling a miniature
thimble. It was evidently very old, the cover being worn smooth in many
places, nearly effacing the peculiar hieroglyphics with which it had
once been engraved.

"I consider this," he said, "my _chef-d'œuvre_, my 'star exhibit,' as
it were. The powder possesses such wonderful properties, and is so
unlike any known drug, that I hesitate to describe its effects. That it
is a powerful poison there can be no doubt, but when taken in small
doses it is apparently harmless enough."

"What is its history?" asked Dr. Farrington.

"I picked it up in London. Got it from Burridge, the explorer, who had
just returned from a year's trip in the interior of West Africa. He went
into Benin City with the English when they cleaned out the town.
Burridge says he took it from a dead Jou Jou priest, and he made me pay
a pretty stiff price for it. It is a wonderful drug, entirely unknown
outside of Africa. Burridge thinks it is made from the leaves of some
plant; but its preparation is a secret of the priests of Jou Jou.

"Now, I propose that we each take a small quantity of the powder
to-night, and then dine together to-morrow evening and compare notes. I
may as well tell you now, it produces strange hallucinations. I tried
it once myself, and my experience on that occasion was, to say the
least, peculiar; therefore I am more than anxious to try it again, and
compare notes with you afterwards, and I think I can promise you a new
and novel experience."

Farrington and Forster were perfectly willing to try the experiment
which Watson hinted promised such interesting results, and it was agreed
that each should take a dose of the powder before retiring, and meet
together the next evening.

Promptly at the time appointed, the three men met in Watson's study, and
after cigars had been lighted Watson asked Farrington to be the first to
relate his experience, whereupon the Doctor drew from his pocket several
pages of closely written manuscript, and began as follows:



AN AZTEC MUMMY.

[DR. FARRINGTON'S STORY.]


I was standing in a museum looking at a case of mummies. One of them was
marked "Mummy of an Aztec, found in a Cliff Dwelling," and it interested
me very much. In size it was that of a small man, and was in a fine
state of preservation, with the exception that the bones of the legs
were exposed, and more or less disintegrated, in some places. The hands,
even to the finger nails, were perfect, however, and there was a silver
ring on the index finger. One hand grasped a large stone axe--the handle
being modern. The right hand rested across the chest, clasping a
necklace of silver wire.

"Interesting specimen, is it not?" said a voice at my side.

"Quite so," I replied. "But I doubt if it is really an Aztec mummy."

"What makes you think that?" asked the voice sharply.

"Because I don't believe the Aztecs buried their dead in Cliff
Dwellings. However, it is an interesting mummy, and in a wonderful state
of preservation."

I was so interested in examining the mummy that I had spoken without
turning my head. Now, however, I looked up and saw a tall, gaunt figure
of a man dressed in a suit of corduroy, and wearing a broad-brimmed hat,
or sombrero, such as is generally worn on the Western plains.

"Well," he remarked, "in my opinion, it is a pretty good mummy. I made
it myself, and ought to know."

"Excuse me, what did you say?" I asked, thinking I had not understood
him aright.

"I said that was one of my mummies."

"What do you mean by that, sir?" I asked.

"You will understand when I tell you I was a dealer in curiosities, and
during my time I furnished museums with a great many interesting and
valuable specimens; when trade was slow, I occasionally helped nature a
little, but that is all over now."

"Have you given up the business?" I asked.

"Had to; but perhaps you do not know that I am dead," answered my
companion. "Fell from a cliff last year and broke my neck."

"Did you, indeed?" I answered, trying to appear interested.

"That's what I did. But let me tell you about that mummy. There was a
scientific chap who came to our place and wanted to buy Aztec relics. Me
and my partner made a trade with him and sold him a lot of stuff; but
he was very anxious to be taken where he could dig some up for himself,
'to be sure of the authenticity and antiquity of the relics.' Well, me
and my pard figured up that it might be to our advantage to take him to
a good Cliff Dwelling, and we arranged that he should pay us so much for
everything he dug up. If he found a mummy we got one hundred dollars; if
stone hatchets and axes, two dollars each; arrow-heads, ten cents each;
for stone _matats_ and grinders, one dollar each, taking them as they
came; and whole pottery, five dollars."

"Where did you find the mummy? Did you know of the cave?" I asked.

"Well, we knew where there were lots of caves, and where there were
Indian graveyards. With the aid of a little stain and judicious
arrangement of a body we prepared a fine Aztec mummy. Of course we used
the body of an Indian, one who had been dead for a long time and was
dried up and crumbly. My partner was a clever chap, and he fixed up the
axe and the silver necklace, and we took the outfit and started for the
Verde Cañon. We picked out a good-sized cave, and dug a hole in the
floor, in which we carefully placed the mummy and covered him up with
dry dust; then we wet the clay over him, leaving the floor hard and
smooth as before. We also buried about fifty axes and two or three
hundred arrow-heads, and half a dozen nice specimens of Indian pottery,
which we burned up good and black.

"After we had 'salted' the cave to our satisfaction, we partly sealed up
the entrance and returned to Flagstaff."

"Was that acting quite fair?"

"Fair? Why, how do you think that poor man would have felt if he had
come all the way out to Arizona, and gone to all the expense of his
car-fare and outfit, and then found nothing? It was philanthropy, my
dear sir, the height of philanthropy."

"Was he pleased with the mummy?"

"Pleased? Why, bless your dear, innocent soul, he screamed with joy like
a child, when we accidentally discovered a piece of a toe while digging
in the bottom of the cave! He dropped on his knees and removed every
particle of dirt with his hands, and almost cried over it. He carried on
so that my partner nearly gave us away. He was a chump about some
things: if anything pleased him, he would laugh, and his laugh sounded
like the bray of a jackass.

"Well, sir, when this scientific chap got down on his knees, and
commenced to paw the earth away from the fake mummy, my partner began to
gurgle. I knew what was coming and punched him in the ribs, but it did
no good. The scientific chap looked up and asked what was the matter.

"'Matter?' shouted my pard, and then he roared and yelled and howled.

"A look of doubt and annoyance came into our victim's eyes; but pard
saved himself just in time.

"'Look!' he yelled between his paroxysms of laughter, 'look at that
buzzard over there! I'm damned if he ain't the funniest buzzard I ever
saw in my life,' and then he roared and yelled and jumped about. 'Look
at him,' he laughed; 'see him fly! did you ever see anything so funny?'

"I am not sure but what the scientist thought he was crazy, but anyhow,
he didn't catch on to what he was laughing at, and pretty soon went on
with his digging. We stayed there three days and dug the whole place up
and took back with us a basket full of stone axes, arrow-heads, three
large prehistoric vases, and the mummy. He drove the wagon himself every
step of the way, for fear something would get broken, and when we got
to Flagstaff he spent two days packing the relics."

"Do you consider that sort of thing quite honorable?" I asked.

"Honorable? What is that you say, you squint-eyed dude? Now, my boy,
don't get fresh with me just because I am dead and can't jump you."

I hastened to pacify him.

"Well, that's all right, but if you had said that to me last year when I
was alive I would have marked squares all over your body with a piece of
chalk and then played hop-scotch on you."

"I meant no offence," I said humbly.

"Maybe you didn't. But just you make another break like that, and I
won't forget it; you will have to die sometime, and then,--oh, mamma!"

"Is your partner dead?" I asked.

"No, Jim is not dead by a long shot. I went down to see him last winter
at his place in California, where he has opened up a new store. He has
a good tourist trade--made a lot of money this year out of mermaids and
sea-devils--there was a run on sea-devils this winter. He makes them out
of fishes.

"The mermaids he makes out of fishes' tails and Indian children--robs
the graveyards, you know. Some of them are really fine and artistic. I
tell you he is an artist in his line.

"He has a branch store still somewhere in New Mexico, and made a stack
of money last winter in Navajo blankets and scalp-trimmed Indian arms
and shields. It is the scalp trimming which catches the tourist. He gets
most of his scalps from California, from hospitals there; but when he is
short, horse hair does pretty well, especially for old Indian scalps.

"And then, Navajo blankets. Holy smoke, a gold mine isn't in it! They
make them of Germantown wool and aniline dyes, and they cost at the
factory all the way from six bits to $10, and sell to the tourist for
various prices; sometimes as high as $75 or $80. Oh, I tell you he is
shrewd; some day he will be worth a million!

"Sometimes a chap goes into his shop and poses as an expert--those are
the kind of jays that fill Jim's soul with joy. The fellow will pull
over a pile of blankets, and after looking at them wisely, will say,
'Haven't you got any real good blankets? These are Germantown wool and
mineral dyes.'

"Then Jim will say--'Ah, I see you know something about blankets.'

"'Oh, yes; a little,' answers the expert.

"'The fine old-style blankets are mighty hard to get now,' remarks Jim.

"'I know they are,' remarks the wise tourist, 'but still they are to be
had sometimes, are they not? Come, now, haven't you got something
choice hidden away?'

"Then Jim will look about, as though fearful that somebody might see
him, and will steal softly into a back room and pull from beneath his
bed a good cheap blanket--worth about $3--and spread it out lovingly in
front of the tourist.

"'There,' he whispers; 'look at that; that is not for sale. I am keeping
that for myself, but I thought you would like to see it, as it is very
evident you know a good deal about blankets; isn't it a beauty?'

"Then the tourist 'bites,' and asks him what it is worth, and admires
it, agrees with him as to the splendid old dyes and fine preservation of
the native wool prepared in the manner of the old Navajo, speaks of its
great rarity, and at last ends by asking Jim what he will take for it,
and usually carries it away with him, having paid three or four times
the value of a really good blanket.

"I've seen Jim pull their legs so hard they'd pretty near limp when
they went out. Ah, those were happy days!"

The departed heaved a deep sigh, and gazed silently at his handiwork.

"Well," he said, "I must be going; I have a lot of things I want to do
before morning, but hope to run across you sometime again. Glad you like
the mummy. I forgot to mention that most of the teeth were gone when we
first got it, and Jim put in a fine new set, and improved it a whole
lot."

I glanced at the mummy, and when I looked up again, my companion had
disappeared.



A LESSON IN CHEMISTRY.

[MR. FORSTER'S STORY.]


I took the powder as agreed, and sat down to read the evening paper
before retiring, with the result that I did not retire at all. I became
much interested in an article on new explosives with which the
Government has been lately experimenting, and had nearly finished it,
when I heard a voice say to me, "Interesting subject, isn't it?"

I turned, and saw seated on my lounge a peculiar-looking man: his
clothes seemed to be all run in together. You could make out the
outlines of the man, but the figure was not clear; sort of foggy, you
know. What surprised me most was that I could look right through him
and see that back of the lounge.

I said to myself, "Is this a dream or the effect of the powder I have
taken?" and I pinched my leg, and rubbed my eyes, but although I seemed
to be perfectly wide awake, the shape did not disappear.

"What did you say?" I asked.

"I remarked that the subject of high explosives was decidedly
interesting," answered the shape. "I was a chemist when alive, but it
makes me sad to think how very little I really knew. Chemistry, as well
as other branches of science, has made great strides during the past
generation, since my day, but even now they really know very little."

"But," I answered, "it seems to me the high explosives which we now have
are sufficiently powerful if we knew how to use them with safety."

"That's it," answered the shape. "Now, I have a couple of hours to
spare, and, if it would interest you, and you care to come over to my
laboratory, I will be happy to give you one or two points which may
prove of value to you--I say to my laboratory, but it really is not
mine; I use any laboratory that is handiest, and I know most of the good
ones in the city. You see, I do not need to have a key to enter a room;
that is one of the great advantages we have, as you will discover one of
these days. Just now I can get you in very well because the owner of the
laboratory to which we will go is out of town. I will go in first and
unlock the door for you."

I told him that I should be most happy to accept his invitation; it
seemed the most natural thing in the world to be conversing with a ghost
and to have him invite me to go to somebody's laboratory and use up his
chemicals. It never occurred to me that it might not be considered quite
good form. We went out of my rooms and downstairs, the shadow floating
alongside of me in the most friendly manner possible. I could see by the
position of his body that he had hold of my arm, but his fingers did not
show on my coat-sleeve.

We went up town for perhaps half a mile, and entered a large brick
building in which I noted were various studios. It was dark, but going
up three flights of stairs my guide opened a door and ushered me into a
large and extensively furnished laboratory, evidently belonging to some
scientific man of means and experience. The ghost turned the button of
the electric light, and then motioned me to a seat.

"My time," he said, "is somewhat limited, because I have an appointment
with a lady at twelve, but I will show you what a high explosive really
is, and then if we have time we will talk of something else. The
difficulty about high explosives is not in making them, but in using
them after they are made; you create a gigantic power which you do not
know how to handle.

"The rather modern discovery of how to make liquid air has simplified
matters a good deal. When you can make liquid hydrogen in quantities you
will have a still better agent for many purposes. Now, let us take a
little of this liquid air. You see it pours like water. As I happen to
know, our absent host has nearly two gallons of it, or had this
afternoon; some of it has evaporated, but, as you see, there is still
more than a gallon left, and we will not steal much, as all we want for
our experiment to illustrate to you the greatest explosive which can be
manufactured is about as much liquid air as you can hold in a thimble."

"Do you propose to try your explosive here, Mr."--I hesitated. "By the
way, what is your name?"

"Oh, call me any old name; it does not matter!"

"Mr. Spook, shall we say?"

"Ahem! a little personal, perhaps, but it will do as well as another.
Now, as I was saying, I will show you how to make the most powerful
explosive that was ever invented."

It is possible that I did not show as much interest and enthusiasm as he
expected, and to tell the truth I was a little nervous. Spooks do not
have the same interest in being careful in their experiments--an
accident or two is of little consequence to them, but might be decidedly
disagreeable to me. I may have shown something of what I was thinking in
my manner, for Spook looked at me keenly.

"What is the matter? You do not appear interested."

"On the contrary," I answered, "I am deeply so, but do we not run
considerable risk in trying such experiments in a laboratory without
the consent of its owner?"

"Not at all, not at all. I will use a very small amount of the
explosive, and there will be no damage done."

"Have you attempted to make it before, Mr. Spook?" I ventured.

"Oh, yes, last week; that was a mistake--you see now I know all about
it, I didn't then; the explosion was something awful--it blew the
building pretty much all to pieces. If I had been alive I don't believe
you could have found a piece of me as large as your finger--they called
it spontaneous combustion; however, we won't have anything of that kind
to-night."

"Please don't," I answered.

"No, I promise you. Now we will take a little of this red
phosphorus--ordinary phosphorus will not answer--and pour a little
liquid air on it, stirring it gently, as you see. Now, if I should let
that dry it would explode at the slightest touch; but we do not want
that, and we wish to increase its power, so we add a little chloride of
potassium; now watch it dry--see the color change to a light red-brown.
There, if you should strike that or put fire to it, it would wreck this
building as completely as if you had exploded fifty pounds of dynamite
in it."

I drew away from the table instinctively.

"Have no fear, I will not explode it. Now watch me closely. I will
ignite a minute quantity, about as much as would make the head of a
small black pin or a No. 4 bird-shot. See, the rest we will put in this
pail of water. There--now all is ready--here goes!"

He lit a match and touched the little brown dot--a tremendous explosion
followed and the wooden table was split into pieces. The sound was so
terrific and the shock so unexpected that I was dizzy and frightened.

"Great heavens!" I exclaimed, "you have broken everything in the
laboratory!"

"No," replied the ghost rather shamefacedly, "not so bad as that, but
I'm afraid that I have ruined the table and cracked a few things;
however, I will be more careful next time: it is even more powerful than
I thought. What do you suppose would be the effect on a warship if
struck with a shell containing one hundred pounds of that stuff?"

I answered that she would be destroyed.

"Destroyed? I should say she would; the largest battleship would be
blown to atoms."

The spook glanced at an old-fashioned Dutch clock in the corner of the
laboratory.

"Fine clock that; glad I didn't break it with our little racket just
now. I see I have nearly an hour to spare. Is there any experiment you
would like to try?"

I said anything would interest me, but that I didn't care for any more
explosives.

"I suppose you know how to make diamonds, don't you?"

I answered that for years men had tried to manufacture diamonds, but
practically without success; that as far as I was aware they had only
succeeded in making them so small as to be practically of no use
commercially, and the expense of the manufacture was far in excess of
their value.

"That's all right," answered the spook; "but really it is a very simple
matter. Here; I will make a diamond for you." He walked across the room
to the fireplace, and taking from the grate a lump of coal about the
size of a billiard ball, he laid it upon the table.

"This," he said, "is nearly pure carbon, and as you are well aware it is
practically what a diamond is. Now, I will illustrate to you how you may
make a diamond from this piece of coal, which will be as good as any
diamond ever found in the mines. We will manufacture it instead of
letting nature do it.

"We will first place it in this glass bowl, and pour over it sufficient
liquid air to cover it completely. We will let it remain until it is
thoroughly cold, say, at least 200° below zero; there--now all we have
to do is to heat it and then subject it to a powerful--Great Gee
Hosiphat! Five minutes to twelve! I must go--appointment with a lady at
twelve. But I say, old fellow, just hold it under the blowpipe and get
it hot--just as hot as you can; I will be back soon--ta-ta." His last
words came to me faintly through the window--he had already floated out.

I took the queer-colored piece of coal, and began heating it under the
blowpipe. It did not burn, as I thought it would, but turned red and
then white; gradually it seemed to grow larger and larger and brighter
and brighter until I opened my eyes and found myself in bed with the sun
shining full upon me through the open window.



AN INTERESTING GHOST.

[DR. WATSON'S STORY.]


It is with the greatest difficulty, (said Dr. Watson), that I force
myself to believe that what I am about to relate to you did not actually
happen. It seemed to me that I was as wide-awake as I am at this present
moment, and impossible that the strange series of incidents could be due
entirely to mental disturbances. I went home and went to bed, after
first taking the powder, and I think I went to sleep. How long I slept I
do not know, but I was startled at finding myself floating about the
room with much the same feeling as one has when floating in water, only
it was without effort. My motion seemed to be governed entirely by my
will,--if I glanced at anything in the room I would float towards it.
Imagine my astonishment at seeing my body lying in the bed apparently
sound asleep; you will admit the sensation was novel, to say the least.

After floating around the room two or three times enjoying the peculiar
sensation, I began to wonder what they had been doing at the hospital
during my absence. Immediately I found myself in the hospital ward. Dr.
Ford and two nurses were standing by a cot at the north end, and
glancing at the chart on the table I saw the patient was seriously ill.

"Moribund," said a voice.

"I'm afraid so," I answered. I turned and saw an elderly gentleman,
dressed in the costume of the last century, floating beside me.

"Sad, is it not? People still die, I see, in spite of the wonderful
advance in the science of medicine since my day."

"Were you a doctor when alive?" I asked.

"Well, I was called one, and received the regular license to kill or
cure. I regret to say that I have since learned that I killed a great
many more than I cured. The trouble is, after you are dead your patients
know this as well as you do and say unkind things; even to-night I
received word from a former patient of mine, and a ghost who ought to
know better, to the effect that he intended to hunt me up and punch my
head. I treated him for renal colic and he died of appendicitis."

"What sort of a death certificate did you give?" I asked.

"Heart disease, and let me tell you that was a great deal nearer to it
than some of you chaps get nowadays."

"You are not complimentary," I said coldly.

"Perhaps not; but if you think my criticisms harsh and uncalled for,
let us get down to cold facts. Did it ever occur to you how very few
people live to be even one hundred and twenty-five years old? You surely
will admit that there is no reason why a man should not live to that
age, barring accidents. We know that in Bible times there were lots of
old fellows who passed their three hundredth birthday, and a chap named
Methuselah claimed to be nine hundred and ninety-nine years old."

"Nine hundred and sixty-nine, was it not?" I asked.

"Perhaps you are right, but sixty-nine or ninety-nine, I am inclined to
be a little sceptical about that record myself; there is one thing in
its favor, however, and that is, that he made it an even nine hundred
and ninety-nine, and not one thousand. Of course, you know there are
plenty of people living to-day who are over one hundred years old, and
some who have reached the very satisfactory age of one hundred and
twenty-five; most of them, however, live in Bulgaria, Mexico, or some
out-of-the-way place, and are so poor that they have to live
abstemiously."

"Then you consider the secret of longevity to be a matter of diet?" said
I.

"Partly that, and partly proper care of the nervous system; but come
downstairs, and let us have a cigarette; I am dying for a smoke."

We floated down to the office, which happened to be unoccupied at the
time. The medical ghost helped himself to a cigarette from a trayful on
the mantel-piece, and lighting it, he seated himself in an armchair, and
puffed away with evident enjoyment. I noticed the smoke, which he
inhaled continually, oozed from all parts of his body.

[Illustration: THE SMOKE CONTINUALLY OOZED FROM ALL PARTS OF HIS BODY.]

"My dear fellow," he said impressively, "you must understand that all
diseases are caused by germs--microscopic bugs and plants, you know,
many of them so small that they are invisible to an ordinary microscope,
or, if seen at all, are not recognized. There are thousands and
thousands of them, and each and every one has its mission in life, and
preys upon and destroys other germs. Now, the human body is constantly
getting a lot of germs inside of it which do not belong there. Some are
taken in by the lungs, while floating in the air; some by the stomach,
by the food and drink; some by the skin, etc.

"These germs are met by their natural enemies which live in man's
blood--his body-guard, as it were--and are destroyed. But if the
attacking army is very large, or from some reason the home army has been
weakened and decimated, then the invaders flourish, establish themselves
and wax powerful and strong, and the man becomes what is called 'sick.'

"Come," he said, rising abruptly, and throwing the unconsumed end of
his cigarette into the fireplace. "Come with me to the laboratory, and I
will show you in about two minutes more than I could explain if I talked
for years, and a great deal more satisfactorily."

We floated down to the laboratory, and the ghost took from the shelf a
wide-mouthed bottle and held it up to the light.

"Here," he said, "we have a culture. You, of course, understand how the
germs of disease are cultivated for experimental use. It is needless for
me to explain to you that certain media are used for these cultures,
such as milk, beef-broth, etc.

"Here we have the germ of diphtheria, here of tuberculosis, here of
typhoid fever, etc. That little short jar over yonder contains some
cholera bacilli, which have been lately sent here. Now look at this
typhoid germ. If we took a drop of healthy blood and put some of these
typhoid germs in it, how they would wiggle! but if the drop of blood was
from a typhoid patient, they won't wiggle very long, as you know. See
this blunt-headed chap which we have to stain to see properly, even with
this wonderful microscope; that is our old friend the bacillus of
tuberculosis; but unless you see the patient first I do not believe you
could distinguish him from the leprosy bug.

"These are known germs, but look through the glass at this drop, and you
will see some bugs worth seeing, although the medical fraternity have
not as yet discovered their value. Perhaps you know that most
bacteriologists consider these germs to be plants, not bugs, although
they admit some of them move a little. How astonished they would be if
they could look through this glass! See that chap with green hind legs:
he preys on the typhoid germ, and when they discover this physicians
will simply inoculate the patient with a lot of these little chaps with
the green legs, and they will do the rest.

"Here is a germ with yellow stripes which looks a little like a
diminutive potato bug. He is the deadly enemy of the bug of consumption,
and will attack and kill him on every possible occasion. They are about
evenly matched, but I think the little striped chap is a bit the better.
Another ghost and myself made a match the other night,--seven battles,
the result to decide the championship,--a sort of a bugging main, as it
were. I won. The first six matches were even. We won three each, but in
the seventh my striped bug got the tubercular germ down and shook him as
a terrier does a rat. The other ghost and myself nearly had a fight to
get our eyes to the microscope. I tell you it was exciting. There is my
champion bug now, see him?--the one with the fourth hind leg gone."

"But how," I asked, "are you going to prevent people from dying of old
age?"

"Of course they will die of old age; but there is no such thing as old
age under one hundred and fifty years; what you call old age is not old
age at all. There are two kinds of old age or senility. Old age,
properly speaking, results from a distinct modification of the nervous
tissues and a hardening of the arteries--the former caused by unnatural
conditions, nervous strain and dissipation, and the latter from
over-feeding and drinking. The trouble with the ordinary man is that he
absorbs great quantities of nitrogenous foods instead of making his diet
one of nuts, fruit, milk, etc. In comparatively young men of the present
age there is often a decided modification of the nervous tissues with
symptoms resembling those in neurasthenia. In such cases galvanic
treatment will restore the centres to their normal condition. You will,
therefore, I think, admit that with proper diet and possibly the aid of
a galvanic battery a man may live,--barring possible death by
violence,--say, two hundred years."

"You mean," I said, "when we have learned to combat the various disease
germs by pitting against them their natural enemies."

"Exactly, of course," answered the shade; "but it seems to me that we
have talked long enough; I am becoming very dry, so let us repair to the
Waldorf and have a cocktail."

"How is it possible," I asked, "that you can take a cocktail, there
being nothing tangible about you?"

"Of course," answered the ghost, "it is impossible for me to actually
drink a cocktail. I can, however, float over the bar and inhale the
pleasing odors arising from the various concoctions served to the
guests, and in my ethereal condition I enjoy the odors and am affected
by them as much as if I were really drinking the liquid."

We floated from the house and down town, until we reached the
brilliantly lighted Waldorf Hotel. There were many people in the
bar-room, and the medical shade and myself, floating about over the
different tables, inhaled with decided enjoyment the delicate aroma of
the various mixed drinks so dear to the present generation.

To my annoyance my shade companion soon began to sing--he was evidently
affected by the odors which had passed through him. His manner became
familiar, and I had great difficulty in keeping him from kicking the
glasses off the tables. At last I succeeded in getting him out of the
room, and it was time, for as we floated into the street he began
shouting in a most uproarious manner, and I was afraid that we should
be arrested for disturbing the peace.

"Be quiet, I beg of you," I pleaded; "see that policeman on the opposite
side of the street? We shall surely get into trouble if you make such a
noise."

"Policeman?" hiccoughed the shade, "What the devil do I care for a
policeman? Watch me go over and punch him in the stomach."

In spite of all I could do to prevent him he started straight for the
officer, who was standing all unconscious on the corner, watching a
pretty girl who was looking into one of the brilliantly lighted store
windows. Now was my time to rid myself of this most undesirable
companion, and I wished myself in my own room.

Instantly I found myself floating about over my bed, and there was my
body sleeping as peacefully as ever. I was somewhat tired, but I
remembered our contract to write down the result of our experiences,
and immediately sat down to do it. After I had written it I read it over
carefully to see if I had overlooked anything, and then wished myself in
bed and asleep. The next thing I knew it was broad daylight. There, on
my writing-table, were the pages of manuscript which I had written. They
were real enough, whether the rest was a dream or not.



THE MOUND OF ETERNAL SILENCE.


"I ought to know something about it," said the Drummer, "for I went with
the Prospector and the Eastern man to see Judson.

"I remember when we started out together the Eastern man asked the
Prospector if he thought Judson was really crazy.

"'Yes,' said the Prospector, 'he is as crazy as a loon, as you will see
when you get there.'

"'Tell me the story over again,' said the Eastern man.

"'Well, you see,' said the Prospector, 'they found him lying in the hot
sand away off on the desert, with his head propped up against a rock,
nearly dead for want of water. When they tried to rouse him he stared at
them vacantly. They gave him a little water, and as soon as he had
swallowed it he fought like a wild animal for more. It took three or
four of them to hold him. He cursed and swore at them because they would
not give him all he wanted, and his cries were pitiful. He alternately
cursed and screamed for water, sometimes as loud as he could shout and
then again in faint whispers.

"'Later on, when they dared to give him more at a time, he became
tranquil, and towards night, after he had drunk a bowl full of thin
oatmeal gruel, he went to sleep. When he awoke they questioned him.

"'He said that he had been prospecting with his partner, and had found a
gulch with precipitous cliffs all around it where there was very rich
placer digging. Directly in front was a high mound covered with big
cacti, and they made their camp on the top of this. There was a little
water in the cañon held in rock basins, and with this they washed out
the gold and got a lot of it--Judson says three or four thousand
dollars' worth. Then bad luck came, and the burro died. Three days
afterwards Judson's partner was poisoned in some way, and died a few
hours later, cursing Judson and saying he had poisoned him.

"'Judson buried him and also the gold; it was too heavy for him to pack,
especially as he had no way to carry water. Then taking a small bag of
gold dust in his pocket he started across the desert. He had a hobby for
taking photographs and carried a small camera with him, and before
leaving he photographed the place, which he called "The Mound of Eternal
Silence," so that in case anything happened to him it could be found
without trouble. They developed the negatives later, and he has them
pasted all around his room. He called the place "The Mound of
Eternal Silence" because during the two months he was there he never saw
or heard a single living thing except jack-rabbits and a bird or two.'

[Illustration: THE MOUND OF ETERNAL SILENCE.]

[Illustration: JUDSON'S MAP.]

"'What was that about his killing the dog?' asked the Eastern man.

"'Well, you see when Judson started off alone the dog would not leave
his dead master, and sat upon the hill howling. Judson was afraid he
would attract somebody's attention if they happened along that way, and
after trying to get him to follow him without success, he went back and
shot him. The first thing that Judson saw when he awoke the next morning
after they had found him was the dog sitting on his haunches looking at
him. Judson looked at the animal, but said nothing--something within him
forced him to keep silence. After a time he snapped his fingers and
called the dog by name.

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

"'"I was only calling the dog," said Judson.

"'"What dog?" asked Stevens.

"'"Why, that dog, of course," said Judson, pointing at the animal.

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

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

"'That evening when they made camp at a small water hole, Judson walked
away out of sight and hearing of the camp. When he could no longer be
seen he turned, and, aiming his pistol at the dog, pulled the trigger.
The bullet hit the ground between the animal's legs, and he ran back a
few paces and stood grinning at Judson showing his teeth, and his face
looked like that of his old partner. Judson picked up a large rock and
ran at the dog; the animal yelped slightly and started for camp. Judson
increased his pace and the dog circled out into the desert.

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

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

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

"'"Nonsense, man, there isn't any dog."

"'Judson walked slowly back to camp followed closely by the dog. The men
looked at him strangely. That night when he went to sleep the brute
came and lay down beside him. A horrid fear took possession of him and
he pushed the thing away, but it immediately crawled back again. At last
he arose and spent the rest of the night walking up and down the desert,
the dog following close at his heels.

"'When they arrived in Phœnix the doctor advised Judson to go to a
quiet place and rest, and gave him an opiate.'

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Judson laughed a strange, hard laugh.

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

"The Prospector produced a bag of twenty-dollar gold pieces and shook
it. 'Here it is,' he said, 'this gentleman and myself have made up the
amount--$600.'

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

"He buried his face in his hands, groaning and muttering to himself. The
Prospector put the bag of gold on the table, and taking the photographs
and map left the room. We followed him, closing the door softly behind
us."

"Did you find the gold?" I asked.

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

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

"Oh," answered the Drummer, "I can't exactly say I disbelieve his story,
but--well, you see, about a month afterwards I was in Phœnix again,
and one night I saw the Prospector and the lunatic taking a drink at a
bar together. A little later the Prospector passed me without seeing me.
He was walking arm in arm with a stranger, and as they went by I heard
him say, 'If I had the money I never would think of asking any one to go
in with me. He calls it the "Mound of Eternal Silence...."'

"They passed on, and their voices were lost to me in the distance."



[Illustration: TIXINOPA.]



STORY OF A BAD INDIAN.


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

Jones was a devil-may-care sort of chap, who, when he had a little
money, came to the straggling one-horse town near the Reservation, drank
considerable whiskey, and amused himself by running his pony up and
down the one street, firing off his gun, and shouting at the top of his
voice. This was Jones' idea of a good time, and his method of
contributing his share to the sanguinary ornamentation of the embryo
metropolis.

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

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

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

In describing the interview to Malita afterwards he said:

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

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

"No, Tixinopa, there is no whiskey."

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

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

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

[Illustration: MALITA.]

She tried to take the boy, but Tixinopa pushed her away roughly and she
fell to the ground. Up she sprang and threw herself upon him, trying to
get the boy, and in the struggle she scratched his face slightly, so
that the blood came. With a curse he struck her full in the face with
his clinched fist and she fell as if dead, and lay with her hands
twitching feebly.

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

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

The attack was so sudden and fierce that, trained athlete and fighter as
he was, Tixinopa received a deep cut on the shoulder and a slight one on
the arm before he succeeded in grasping her wrist, and twisting the
knife from her. Then, seizing her by the hair, he drew her to him and
drove the knife twice into her breast, throwing her to the ground, where
she lay gasping her life away in broken sobs.

Tixinopa stood for a moment looking at Malita and was quite still. His
arm pained him and he held up his hand and watched the blood dripping
from his fingers. Then he took a self-cocking revolver from his belt and
fired shot after shot into the bodies of the dead baby and the dying
mother. Twice the hammer clicked on an empty shell before he ceased to
pull the trigger, and he slowly turned away, pushing his empty pistol
into his belt. As he did so he found himself face to face with Jones,
but a different Jones than the one he had known. This Jones' face was
white and drawn, and looked years older than the other Jones. The hand
which held a pistol pointed at him shook unsteadily. A minute, perhaps
two minutes, passed, and still the two men faced each other; then an
evil light came into Tixinopa's eyes, and his hand slid slowly towards
the handle of his knife, to be instantly smashed by a bullet from Jones'
pistol. Another shot and the other arm was broken at the elbow. Neither
man had spoken, but now Tixinopa began a low, wild chant. Raised to his
full height, with his broken arms hanging by his sides, he chanted the
death song of his people, the same song which had been sung by his
father, and his father's father, and for generations past by all the
dying warriors of his tribe.

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

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

       *       *       *       *       *

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



A QUEER COINCIDENCE.


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

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

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

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

"I found the man lying on a blanket surrounded by a number of the
passengers. He seemed to suffer but little pain, and I feared, from a
casual examination, he was badly injured internally, although he was
perfectly conscious; he was bleeding at the mouth, and his legs seemed
to be paralyzed. He asked faintly if I thought he was going to die, and
I cheered him up, as is customary in such cases, but shortly afterwards
he developed such serious symptoms that I felt forced to tell him I
feared he was seriously hurt, and it was quite possible he would live
but a few hours.

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

"I thought it was probably some message to send to some members of his
family, or some instructions regarding his affairs, but after a few
words I became very much interested. He talked for fifteen minutes, part
of the time being sustained by the use of stimulants. His story, which
was a very strange one, I will repeat as nearly as possible in his own
words. After repeatedly asking me to assure him there was no possible
chance of his recovery he said:

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

"'It had been my earnest desire to occupy the position of professor of
physiology in one of the universities, but failing to obtain a position
of this kind, and having no means of support, I gradually became poorer
and poorer, earning a livelihood as best I could, until I became
discouraged and attempted to make money in a way not quite so honest.

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

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

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

"'For the last two years I have been rather fortunate, in a small way,
speculating in stocks. My capital being small, the amount of money I
could make was, of course, comparatively little; yet I succeeded in
doing very well until about three weeks ago, when, by two or three
unfortunate speculations, I found myself absolutely destitute, and
without a penny in the world. It was then the idea suggested itself to
me to hypnotize Mr. Herrick and make him bring me money from the bank.
This of course was perfectly possible, if no accident occurred, or no
unforeseen difficulty presented itself, which I had not previously
thought of, as the cashier would act simply as an instrument, being
governed entirely by my directions. I asked him in a casual way several
times about the affairs of the bank, and learned one day that the bank
would have an unusually large balance in settling with the
clearing-house. It was the custom for Mr. Herrick to lock up his own
funds, and simply state to the cashier that he had done so.

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

"'He was to take a carriage and drive directly to a small, unoccupied
house which is situated on the corner of Blank and 117th streets.

"'It was my intention, as I had gone so far, to go still further. I knew
that Mr. Herrick would bring me the money and securities, and that I
should find him asleep in the house, but what I did not know positively,
and what I feared was, _that he might not forget what he had done when
he awoke_. As a rule, sensitives obey the command to forget, but in the
course of my various experiments I have found sensitives who had a vague
idea of what occurred, perhaps nothing tangible, but still sufficient,
in a case like this, when there would be a great row about the lost
securities, to suggest a possible clue.

"'It was a very cold day, six degrees below, I think, and I had
deliberately intended to leave Mr. Herrick asleep after I had taken the
money from him and let him take his chances, sleeping without any fire
or covering, in an hypnotic condition, with the temperature below zero,
and you can judge what his chances would have been. This scheme I
thought out deliberately, and what seems strange, I had not the least
repugnance against arranging for the death of my friend. After I had
once made up my mind to make him steal the securities his disappearance
seemed to be the only way to insure my safety. Of course no one could
know I was connected with this matter. I would not go near the bank, and
unless he was followed, which was most unlikely, as he had been with the
bank some years and was a thoroughly trusted official, there would be
absolutely no chance of my detection.'"

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

"While he had been speaking another train had arrived with a lot of
workmen who were busily engaged jacking the car back on the rails. The
train was about to return to Chicago, so I inquired the name of the bank
and its president, and the address of the house, writing them down so
there could be no possible mistake. I then hastened on board the train,
leaving my patient under the care of Dr. Morse, a local physician, who
agreed to notify me as to the condition of the man later in the day.

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

"On our way out we stopped and picked up Dr. Marsh, who as you know is
very much interested in such matters. It was quite a long drive, but we
found the place without difficulty. It was unoccupied, and many of the
windows were broken, and altogether it presented a very dilapidated
appearance, such as the cheap houses on the outskirts of a great city
often do after having been unoccupied for a year or two. We tried the
door and found it unlocked. On the first floor the rooms were entirely
empty, loose papers scattered about, and no signs of any one having
entered the house. Upon going upstairs we found the door on the first
landing at the head of the stairs closed, but not locked. At the back of
the room was a cracked wooden stool and a dilapidated hair sofa, which
had evidently been considered too used up to be of any value. Part of
the cover was torn away, one of the legs was broken, and some of the
hair stuffing was lying scattered about the floor. On this lounge lay
Mr. Herrick apparently sound asleep; his lips blue with cold, his face
pale, and the general appearance of a man half frozen to death. He was
breathing very quietly, however, and his heart action was still fairly
good, although somewhat slow. By his side lay a small bag, which, it is
needless to say, was pounced upon by Mr. Bartlet. It contained some
valuable securities, and a great bundle of bank bills of large
denomination. Both Marsh and I considered Herrick's condition as
decidedly interesting and unusual, and we were both of the opinion that,
as part of the story had proved true, it was very likely the whole would
turn out just as described.

"If this proved to be the case, all that now remained to be done was to
restore Herrick to his normal condition, which might or might not be
easy to accomplish. The first thing to be done was to get him out of
such a low temperature. We tried various methods of restoring
consciousness, but without success. What we did not like was that his
heart action was gradually becoming weaker. We gave a hypodermic
injection of strychnia, and the heart was soon acting in a much more
satisfactory manner. There was no return to consciousness, however, so
taking him in the carriage we drove back to Dr. Marsh's house, and
arriving there we all turned to and did what we could to restore Herrick
to consciousness. Now that he was in a warm room the drawn expression
and the blue look left his face, but otherwise he appeared to sleep as
soundly as ever. The heart was now acting very well, and aside from the
coma the condition of the patient gave us no cause for anxiety. As time
went on, however, and we absolutely failed to waken him, and the heart
again showed signs of weakness, we began to feel somewhat uneasy.

"You see," said Watson, "we did not know what suggestion was given the
patient; these post-hypnotic suggestions are peculiar in their action
upon some sensitives. If, as it is fair to suppose, this man was ordered
to sleep, he should in the natural course of events sleep for a number
of hours and then awake, after passing from the hypnotic sleep to the
normal sleep; but we know very little of the effect on some nervous
systems of post-hypnotic suggestions. Another thing, in many cases the
patient will not waken or cannot be wakened except by the person who put
him to sleep. The reason for this is plain enough. Part of the effect on
the mind of hypnotic suggestion is due entirely to sleep. The skilled
hypnotist commands one of his sensitives to sleep under certain
conditions. The sensitive expects to be awakened by the same voice and
in the same way, and habit and association have fixed in his mind
certain conditions which he associates with the order to awake. There is
no doubt whatever that Mr. Herrick heard what we were saying when we
spoke to him in a loud voice, but he heard it without understanding,
much as a person in a sleepy condition hears noises about him without
trying to comprehend them. It is undoubtedly true that the man who put
Herrick to sleep could have wakened him in a moment, while we, with all
our knowledge and experience, were unable to make his brain regain its
normal condition. We decided to let him sleep; and if, at the end of a
few hours, he did not regain consciousness, we would try again what we
could do to assist him, of course watching the heart in the meanwhile
and using nitro-glycerin or strychnia if indicated.

"At that moment Herrick suddenly spoke, at first huskily and then in a
loud, clear voice, shouting, 'Yes, yes, I hear you; I am awake.' Then he
sat up, asking in a dazed way, 'Where am I? What does this mean?'"

"As he did so the old-fashioned clock in the hall struck the hour of
seven."

The queerest part of this story is suggested by a letter received from
Dr. Morse the next day, which read as follows:

       DEAR WATSON: You asked me to write you about the injured man, and
     I do so now to tell you he is dead. He died a minute or two before
     seven o'clock last evening; I know the hour exactly, because I was
     watching him at the time, and for some moments he had been
     whispering and muttering to himself, but all I could catch was
     something about, "I withdraw my command;" when, suddenly raising
     himself, he shouted, "Wake up, wake up!" and fell back dead just as
     the clock in the church-yard struck seven.

       I should be much interested to hear whether his story was true or
     not. Drop me a line about it when you have time.

                                             Very sincerely yours,
                                                             F. MORSE.



STORY OF AN INSANE SAILOR.


"That pocket-piece of yours," said the doctor, "reminds me that I have
an interesting one of my own; perhaps you can tell me what it is." He
took from his pocket a silver coin and handed it to Jennings, as he
spoke. One edge had been flattened, and a hole pierced in it.

"Ah! an old Spanish piece," said Jennings, "evidently of the time of
Pope Leo Fourth, sometime in the sixteenth century. A very interesting
piece. Where did you get it?"

"There is a curious story connected with that coin," meditatively
remarked Dr. Watson; "perhaps you would like to hear it."

[Illustration: ONE EDGE HAD BEEN FLATTENED AND A HOLE PIERCED IN IT.]

We had been dining with Watson and were now comfortably seated in the
library before an old-fashioned open fire. It was snowing outside,
making the warm, bright study all the more cheerful by contrast.

"Perhaps you remember," said Watson, "that during the winter of 1886 I
devoted much more of my time than usual to the Insane Asylum. I was very
much interested in testing the value of hypnotism for insane patients,
especially mild cases and those having illusions and insistent ideas. I
had been quite successful in one case--a woman who had tried to starve
herself to death under the impression that the devil commanded her not
to eat was greatly benefited by post-hypnotic suggestion. Suggesting
that the devil would not come any more induced pronounced hysteria, but
when hypnotized, and told that the devil commanded her to eat, instead
of to abstain from food, she took nourishment readily, and soon
developed an extraordinary appetite.

"An immediate improvement in her condition was noticeable, and as her
general bodily health improved, the illusions became less and less
frequent, and she was discharged from the asylum as cured in less than
three months."

Watson paused and gazed meditatively at the end of his cigar. "Ever
tried to hypnotize an insane person, Jennings?"

"Not that I remember."

"You, Morris?"

"Can't say that I have."

"Hm! Well, sometimes you succeed, and sometimes you don't; more often
you don't. There was one patient, a man by the name of Allen, who had
been a sailor. He was subject to fits of extreme melancholia, and at
times was positively dangerous, as he imagined some one was trying to
poison him.

"I never succeeded in hypnotizing him, although I tried repeatedly.
However, I saw him every day, and as his general health improved, his
attacks of melancholia became less frequent. He seemed grateful to me
for taking an interest in him, and often talked with me about his early
life and the out-of-the-way countries he had visited. Shortly after I
was called away and did not return to the asylum for two weeks, and when
I did go back I found that Allen was dead. He had cut his throat one
afternoon with a large pocket-knife and made a mighty clean job of it,
too.

"Well," continued the doctor, "among his effects they found a package
addressed to me, which contained a letter and a silver coin. The coin
you now hold in your hand, the letter I have here in my desk."

He opened a drawer and took out a large yellow envelope containing a
number of pages of closely written manuscript.

"This letter," said Watson, as he slowly turned over the pages,
"contains a story so strange that I did not for a moment believe it had
any foundation in fact; but during the past year or two I have learned
certain things which have caused me to change my opinion. Whether the
story is true or not we will, of course, never know, but I _now_ believe
that it is a true record of events which actually happened. I have made
some inquiries and find that the places mentioned do exist, or did at
the time this story was written, and--but never mind; I will read you
the letter and you can form your own conclusions:

"'DR. S. T. WATSON:

"'DEAR SIR: I have made up my mind to kill myself, but before I die I
wish to make a confession of my wrong doings, as _he_ insists that I
shall and I dare not disobey him. I therefore write this confession, to
be read by you after I am dead.

"'You tell me I _imagine_ I hear the voice and see the man. I tell you,
doctor, you who think me crazy are the one who is deceived. You do not
believe in telepathy and thought-transference, and yet I could tell many
times when you looked at me of what you were thinking. I tell you that I
hear Jim's voice as plainly as I ever heard yours, and he talks to me
and tells me that he will never leave me while I live, and then he
laughs. Oh, that laugh! He comes often at night and wakes me out of a
sound sleep with that awful laugh, and then he whispers to me to go to
sleep again. Of course you do not believe in spirits or ghosts, and you
believe I am crazy, and that the half-invisible form of my dead partner
which comes to me and talks to me, and whose voice I hear as plainly as
I ever heard yours, exists wholly in my imagination. Well, doctor, you
have been kind to me, and I hope and pray you will never suffer the way
I have suffered during the past three years.

"'Just three years ago to-day I was on board the "Ada Gray," a small
schooner off the coast of Florida, bound for the Isthmus. There were
seven of us in all, including the captain and mate, the latter an old
pal of mine who had arranged to get me in as one of the crew. In some
way he had learned that the captain was to take with him some two
thousand in gold, and although we had no plans, we intended to get the
gold in some way. On our way down we had talked over many schemes, but
none of them seemed satisfactory. The gold was kept in a small fireproof
safe in the captain's cabin, but it was an old-fashioned key-lock
affair, and we did not anticipate much trouble from that quarter, even
if we could not find the key. The great point was, how we were to get
the money and get away. At last we decided to drug the men's coffee,
and when they were sleeping from its effects, we would take the money
and leave in the schooner's yawl, in which, as the weather was very calm
and the Florida coast could be seen in the distance, we should have no
difficulty in making the shore.

"'Jim had overhauled the medicine chest and had found a vial containing
a lot of morphine pills marked one-eighth grain, and as neither he nor I
knew how much morphine it took to drug a man, he watched his opportunity
and emptied the contents of the vial into the coffee.

"'After supper we kept on deck for some time waiting results. At last
Jim went forward and reported everything quiet and the men apparently
all asleep. We found the captain in his cabin lying on his bunk
breathing heavily. The key to the safe was in the captain's pocket, and
we opened it without difficulty. There were six rolls of twenty-dollar
pieces marked two hundred dollars each, eight rolls of ten-dollar
pieces, and a bag of silver.

"'We took the money and some other things we found in the cabin,
including a pair of revolvers, a double-barrelled shot-gun, and a rifle,
and put them in the boat, together with a small keg of water, tinned
meat, and a bag of ship biscuit. After these were carefully stowed away
in the yawl, Jim went back to the cabin, while I busied myself arranging
things in the boat. He soon came on deck again bringing several bottles
of brandy, and coming to the side of the schooner reached them one by
one to me over the side. As he handed me the last bottle I saw the burly
form of our negro cook rise slowly out of the hatchway, rubbing his eyes
as if half asleep. Jim saw my stare of surprise, and, turning quickly,
faced the negro, who was looking at us with a dazed expression. He could
not have drunk of the coffee, for I have since learned the amount of
morphine Jim put in the pot was more than enough to kill the entire
crew.

"'Jim turned, and, walking slowly up to the man, said hoarsely: "Go
down," at the same time pointing to the hatchway.

"'"What for?" asked the negro, moving a step backward.

"'"None of your business what for; go down, I tell you."

"'"I don't take no orders from you, nohow," answered the man. "Where's
the captain?"

"'Without a word Jim struck him full in the face with all his strength.
The blow was an awful one, and the negro staggered back, and would have
fallen had not he brought up against the foremast. He roared with rage,
and came at Jim with a rush like a mad bull. Jim bent sideways, and
something flashed in his hand, as he struck upwards under the man's arm.

"'Instantly the negro stumbled forward, and fell on the deck, and then
sat up and began to cough. He coughed incessantly, like a man who has
swallowed something which choked him. Jim looked at him a moment, and
then, without a word, cast off the painter and jumped into the boat.
There was not a breath of wind, so we each took an oar and pulled
towards the faint line of land just visible in the western horizon.

"'The schooner lay almost motionless, with the silence of death about
her. The negro had stopped coughing, and all was still, save the faint
creaking of the masts and spars and the sounds of our oars in the
rowlocks.

"'In the west the sun-painted clouds lay in great masses of gold and
purple, tinting the sea with ever-changing colors.

"'"Damn pretty sunset!" remarked Jim, as he drew in his oar, and bent
over to light his pipe, and then, musingly: "I wish I hadn't had to
kill that nigger."

"'Shortly after dark a gentle breeze sprung up from the southeast, and
we put up a little sail we had brought with us.

"'Fowley Rocks light was in plain sight, and about midnight we rounded
Cape Florida, and entered Biscayne Bay, and by daylight we made the
mouth of the Miami River, where we tied up to a small pier, owned by a
man named Brickle. On the other side of the river stood a long, low
stone building, which, they told us, was once used as a government
building, and was called Fort Dallas.

"'We told the people we had come from Key West, following the coast
along inside the keys, and were on a hunting and fishing trip. Upon
inquiry we learned that there was very little game about the bay except
crocodiles, but that we could get splendid sport by going up the river
into the everglades and following the shore line north to New River.
They advised us to get an Indian to go with us. This plan suited us
exactly, as once having disappeared in the wilderness we could come out
at some other point, and having assumed new names could go forth into
the world in perfect safety.

"'Before starting we bought a light flat-bottomed boat for use in
shallow water, and after rowing up the river a few miles we made camp
and burned the yawl, first breaking her up with our axes. This took up
the greater part of the day. In the afternoon Jim went up to the head of
the river and reported meeting an Indian who told him of a large island
which was, as near as he could judge, about thirty miles to the north,
on which there were deer and turkeys.

"'We had plenty of provisions, and for three days we pushed our boat
northward among the islands of the great grassy lake. In many places
the water was so shallow we had to push our way through grass and reeds.
We noticed a great many white flowers growing on the banks of the
islands, and water-lilies were abundant, but they had no smell.

"'Towards evening, on the third day, we landed on a large island on
which there was a high mound. Hundreds of white herons and various other
kinds of birds were nesting in the trees, and there were a good many
ducks about. We shot some of the herons and cut off the long hair-like
plumes, but the flesh was strong and unpalatable. The ducks, however,
were very good.

"'We camped on the mound, which was much higher than the rest of the
island, and decided to stay there for a day or two. While putting up the
tent I saw something shine, and picked up a silver coin which had
evidently been worn as a medal, as one edge had been flattened and a
hole pierced in it. There was no date, but it was evidently very old.

"'That day we tried fishing, and shot several ducks. We had but one
shot-gun, so took turns with it at the ducks.

"'That evening Jim produced an old pack of cards from his pocket and
suggested a game of poker. My luck went against me from the beginning,
and when we stopped playing I had lost fully two-thirds of my share. The
next morning I awoke feeling remorseful and sulky, and demanded that Jim
play another game to give me a chance to get even. He assented readily
enough, but my bad luck continued, and in an hour I had lost all of my
money and had nothing left to bet. Jim got up, taking the gun, and went
down to the boat to repair a leak which had bothered us the day before.
I sat on a log, inwardly raging and cursing myself for my foolishness.
The rifle was leaning against the log near me, and involuntarily I took
it and dropped the lever to see if it was loaded. It was empty, and the
hammer moved back and forth at the touch of my finger. Evidently the
spring was broken. But how? Why? I felt in my pocket for my revolver
with feverish haste. Gone. Then I understood!

"'I rose and walked slowly down the slope of the mound, and nearly
stepped on a large rattlesnake which lay coiled up beside a palmetto
root. I looked at the snake as he lay there watching me, rattling
angrily all the while, and then I looked at Jim's coat which hung on a
branch near by, and at the doctored rifle in my hand, and the more I
looked the more wicked thoughts came into my mind. I glanced towards
Jim; he was apparently busy with the boat, and I could just see the top
of his back as he bent over. I hastily fastened one of the dead herons
to a stick and held it in front of the snake, which immediately struck
it in the breast, and then uncoiled and slowly retreated into the scrub.
Taking two pins from my coat, I inserted them into the holes made by the
fangs of the rattlesnake, and took them out covered with blood and
poison. In a few minutes this dried, and I then fastened the pins inside
the arm of Jim's coat in such a way that his hand would be scratched
when he put it on.

"'This done, I hung the coat back on the branch and walked off a little
way, but feeling more than half inclined to go back and take the pins
out again while there was yet time. Perhaps Jim did not mean to kill me,
but simply wished to protect himself against treachery on my part;--but
then I remembered the negro and the morphine, and--well, dead men tell
no tales. As I turned to go back, I saw Jim in the act of taking down
his coat, and I felt a queer choky sensation in my throat and a sort of
half catch to my breath as he pushed his arm through the sleeve, at the
same time putting the back of his hand to his lips in a way that could
only have one meaning. I watched him with an ugly feeling of
satisfaction, wondering how long it would take for the poison to begin
to take effect.

"'Jim put a couple of sticks on the fire, and then sat down on a log and
commenced to fill his pipe, but soon laid it down. "Curse it!" he said;
"I feel queer."

"'He got up and walked up and down, rubbing his arm. He looked at me in
an odd sort of way once or twice, and then went into the tent and lay
down. Shortly after he called to me, and on my going to the door of the
tent he tried to rise, but fell back and became delirious, laughing and
shouting my name, and muttering to himself. He breathed with difficulty,
and in a little while became unconscious, and just as the sun was
sinking over the faint line of trees in the west he died.

"'I took down the tent and dug a hole and buried him where he lay. I
built a huge fire and sat by it all night without closing my eyes.
Towards morning the moon came up and the sounds of the night noises
ceased, and as soon as it was light I put the gold and what things I
needed in the boat and made haste to leave the island. I paddled for two
or three hours before I noticed that the sun, which had been to my right
when I started, was at my left, and I knew that I must have turned the
boat around.

"'I turned about and paddled on steadily all day long, but night found
me with no signs of dry land anywhere, nothing but an unending stretch
of grass and water as far as the eye could reach.

"'When it grew dark I lay down in the bottom of the boat and tried to
sleep; but as soon as I closed my eyes I felt cold all over, a creepy
sort of cold, and heard voices whispering. At first I told myself they
were not voices, 'twas a trick of my imagination, the wind, perhaps, or
the rustle of the grass about me; but then I heard Jim's voice. There
could be no mistaking his horrid, sneering laugh; it made me afraid, but
do what I would I could not help hearing it. I stopped my ears and
wrapped my head in my coat; but still, from time to time, I could hear
the voices whispering, and Jim's laugh, and at times I felt cold.

"'The next day I poled and paddled until late in the afternoon. I felt
very hot, and my head ached as though it would split. I had a pain in
the back of my neck and drank a great deal of water. I knew I had some
sort of a fever, but having no medicine I could do nothing but push on,
hoping to find my way to dry land.

"'All that day I continually heard Jim's voice laughing at me, and the
next I knew I found myself in an Indian camp, and was told that I had
been found in the boat sick. The gold was gone; the Indians claimed it
was not in the boat. One of them seemed to be a chief and wore a big
turban on his head with a silver band around it. They told me his name
was Tom Tiger.

"'And now, doctor, good-by. Jim is whispering to me again and telling me
it is time. In five minutes after I sign this I shall be dead. I shall
make no mistake. My knife is very sharp.

"'JOHN ALLEN.'"



THE ELIXIR OF LIFE.


"Behold," said Doctor Watson, "the Elixir of Life!"

Robinson looked up from his writing and assumed an expression of deep
interest.

"Wonderful! I have often heard of it. Is it the true _Elixir vitæ_ of
the ancients, or a new and more subtle compound?"

"Listen, scoffer; if you will behave with a decorum consistent with the
gravity of the subject, I will explain how I became the possessor of
this wonderful powder. Perhaps in your life of seclusion and deep toil
you may not have noticed this advertisement which has appeared for the
last month regularly in the morning paper?" Watson took from his
pocket-book a newspaper clipping and read as follows:

                           "METHUSELAH CLUB.

    "The object of this club is to enable its members to live to
    be one hundred and fifty years old. All persons desiring to
    become members should apply for particulars to Rengee Sing,
    No. -- Twenty-seventh street, City."

"Are you a member?" inquired Robinson.

"Not as yet, but Jones is, and it was through Jones that I came into
possession of this mysterious drug. It seems that Jones decided after
reading the advertisement that he would like to become a member of the
club. Jones' health is not very good, as you know, and he called on
Rengee Sing, and the result of the interview was that he came away with
this small vial of the wonderful Elixir, for which he paid twenty good
dollars. He was so impressed by the gentleman who sold him the powder
that he came to me, as his medical adviser, to ask my opinion as to the
advisability of taking some of it. He brought with him a paper
purporting to be the translation of an ancient papyrus manuscript, the
original of which was in Thibetian or Sanscrit and which was ingenious,
if fraudulent. He told me a rambling story of how this Rengee Sing had
procured this powder, and the whole thing was so peculiar that I decided
to interview the gentleman myself; but first I made a point of getting
our friend Strauss to analyze the powder. His report of the analysis
shows it to be composed entirely of chloride of sodium or common salt,
with a small quantity of some unknown vegetable matter which gives it a
yellow color. Armed with this information, I called upon Rengee Sing at
his office on Twenty-seventh street."

"You interest me," said Robinson, glancing at his work, and palpably
attempting to suppress a yawn.

Watson arose, and gently but firmly removed the pen from Robinson's
fingers; he then placed a book on the papers, and continued:

"The office was distinctly oriental, and there were numerous Bokhara and
other good rugs scattered about; besides there were gorgeous divans, and
the air was heavy with peculiar Eastern odors. I was admitted by a
gigantic negro dressed in oriental costume, and another negro arose as I
entered, and stood respectfully at the inner door. I asked for Rengee
Sing, and was informed that he would 'be at liberty in a few moments,'
and 'would I sit down and wait,' all in very good English from one of
the gigantic sable guardians who bowed me in. I was kept waiting but a
few moments, when the door opened and a small black-bearded Hindoo came
softly into the room dressed in the ordinary European costume. There
was nothing striking about him except his eyes, which were really the
most wonderful eyes I have ever seen in a human being. With the gentle
manner peculiar to his race he smiled and asked me to take a seat near
the window."

"Is it possible?" said Robinson, languidly, lighting a cigarette.

"Is what possible?" inquired Watson, frowning slightly.

"Why, that he asked you to take a seat near the window."

"Robinson," remarked Watson sternly, "remember that your mental
infirmities will not prevent my punching your head if you interrupt me
with any more foolish questions."

Robinson grinned, and after ostentatiously placing a paper-weight within
easy reach, Watson continued.

"I inquired if he was the person to whom I should apply for information
about the Methuselah Club.

"He answered that he had the honor of being the president of the club,
and would be glad to supply me with all information in his power. Did I
wish to join?

"'A friend of mine,' I said, 'has already become a member, and the
description of a wonderful powder has interested me, likewise the
history of the powder.'

"The Hindoo smiled gently, showing his white teeth, and said that he was
not surprised at my curiosity. He then went to a desk and took from it
the printed circular which Jones had already shown me, and which was
supposed to be a translation of the ancient manuscript. It is the one I
hold in my hand; please glance over it before I continue my story."

Robinson took the paper.

"What is this hieroglyphic affair at the top here?" he asked.

"That," said Dr. Watson, "is probably a copy of some very ancient amulet
or talisman. The fish at the bottom was often used to designate '_Dag_,'
or the master; next above we have the Solomon's seal, then the four
Chaldaic letters _Jod-He-Van-He-Iaho_, which is 'The Deity;' the other
symbols are strange to me."

"Ah," said Robinson, "a weird sort of thing, is it not?"

"Don't be sarcastic, read it," sententiously remarked Watson.

Robinson did so.

[Illustration]

"'Let him who dares to live forever take of the powder, but let him
think of "_Aum_;" but speak it not on pain of death; let absolute
"_muckta_" be known to him; let him study the secret "_mantras_," and
ponder on the mysteries of "_Vach_;" let him also say each day in his
prayer "_Aum ma-ni pad-me hum_."

"'He who takes of the powder three times should acquaint himself with
"חד" the _marcaba_ and the _lah gash_, then he will never die. Even
though he wished to live a thousand years, so it shall be!'"[2]

[Footnote 2: Translation of the sacred manuscript found with the "Elixir
of Life."]

"Well," remarked Watson, "what do you think of it?"

"Fake," answered Robinson.

"Verily, out of the mouths of babes, etc.," said Watson, "but, O learned
friend, you have not heard the whole story. Listen. I asked Rengee Sing
if he would be good enough to explain to me fully about the powder and
especially how and where he obtained it.

"'My dear sir,' he said, 'I see you are a scientific man, and it always
gives me great pleasure to meet such, and to explain to them as fully as
possible how I, Rengee Sing, obtained possession of one of the most
valuable treasures in the world, the Elixir of Life; but before doing so
I must enroll your name among the members of our Society; in fact, one
of the rules of the Society is that unless a person becomes a member we
can tell him nothing, beyond allowing him to read the circular which you
have already seen. The initiation fee is five dollars, and you are at
liberty not to take the powder if you desire not to do so after you have
become a member, but if you wish to become a member in high standing,
and to take the powder, which will insure you a length of life far
beyond that of ordinary mortals, an additional fee of twenty dollars is
charged for the powder.'

"I decided," continued Watson, "that the experience was worth five
dollars, so I intimated that I should be delighted to become a member of
the Society, and handed Mr. Sing five dollars, whereupon he wrote me a
receipt and gave me a member's card, which stated that I was a member of
the Methuselah Club of the second class, and entitled to receive the
Elixir, and to become a member of the first class upon the further
payment of twenty dollars any time within the next ten days. After
which, if I had not been made a member of the first class, my name
should be dropped from the rolls.

"Rengee Sing was the embodiment of courtesy when he bowed low and handed
me my receipt.

"'My dear sir,' he said, 'I shall now be happy to explain to you
anything that I can.'

"'I would like,' I said, 'if possible, to see the original papyrus which
I understand was found with the Elixir, and I also would like to learn
more fully the details as to how and where this Elixir was obtained.'

"Rengee Sing bowed, and, going to the corner of the room, opened a small
fireproof safe, taking from it a roll of what proved after being
unrolled to be an ancient papyrus manuscript written in the Sanscrit
language. As far as I could make out it seemed to be the original of
which the printed circular was a translation. It certainly appeared
ancient enough.

"'This manuscript,' said Sing, 'and the box of powder was obtained by my
brother and given to me at his death. He died from the effects of a fall
from his horse, which broke three ribs and otherwise injured him
internally. He never would have died except from the accident, as he had
taken several doses of the Elixir. Just how long it will enable a man to
live we do not know, but certainly one hundred and fifty years and
perhaps even two hundred years. He obtained it in the following manner:
My brother had long been desirous of visiting Lassa, which is, as you
know, the wonderful capital of Thibet, but was unable to do so until a
few years before his death, when he accompanied a Hindoo who went there
for the purpose of making certain reports to a foreign government. His
name I am not at liberty to disclose, but his report was simply signed
Punjaub A.B. My dear brother described Lassa to me very minutely, and
from all accounts it must be the most wonderful city in the world. As
you probably know, no European or Christian has ever been allowed to
enter within its walls. According to my brother's description the city
is situated in a fertile plain on the Sampo river some six hundred miles
north of Calcutta, and has a population of fully sixty thousand persons.
The streets are wide, and the houses have their walls whitened and the
frames of the doors and windows colored red and yellow.

"'Nearly west of the city, connected with it by a splendid avenue, is
the mountain of Buddha, where now stands the temple of the Grand Lama.
This temple is four stories high, and therein dwells the Grand Lama and
his High Priests. Some idea of the magnificence of this temple may be
obtained when I tell you that its great pillars are covered with plates
of pure gold. The Grand Lama can live forever, and many people believe
he does so, but he really does not. After a certain time he reincarnates
himself into a new body. All of the priests, however, are very old. It
is claimed the Pandita is at least one hundred and fifty years old. The
Grand Lama has about him two priests of the highest grades, one the
Pandita and the other Tchoiji. The Grand Lama sits upon an altar or
throne for hours at a time, clothed in gold-woven cloth and jewels of
fabulous value. Over his head is a magnificent peacock's tail composed
entirely of gold and precious stones. It is the custom of the Grand Lama
to receive persons who desire to receive his blessing at certain hours
of the day. For a small amount of money one is allowed to bow before
him; for a little more one may touch his garment, and receive his silent
blessing; but for the sum of twenty rupees he will speak to the person
and touch him with a little wand. The Punjaub A.B. in describing his
interview states that the Grand Lama talks in a hoarse voice which he
tries to make as much as possible like God's.

"'It was during his visit to the temple that my brother learned of the
wonderful treasures preserved there, fabulous stories being told about a
huge emerald with an ancient inscription engraved upon it,--the mystic
seal of the first Lama, which had been handed down for ages, together
with the greatest treasure of them all, known as the Elixir of Life.

"'The wonderful powder was and is used by the high priests, some of whom
are of great age. It is supposed to have been brought into Thibet by
King Srongb Tsan, during the seventh century, and that it originally
came from Nepaul.'

"'How did your brother procure it?' I asked.

"'By bribing one of the priests. My brother was wealthy, and being very
desirous of procuring some of this wonderful powder, he tried to buy
some of it. Under no circumstances, however, would they listen to him or
even allow him to see it. He succeeded, however, as I said, in bribing
one of the priests, paying him a large sum of money, several hundred
rupees, I believe, and was shown the sacred chests containing this
powder, and other treasures, including precious manuscripts and some
jewels of great value. The powder was contained in five little gold
boxes, of beautiful workmanship. While examining them they heard a door
close and the sounds of footsteps in the passageway. The priest became
very much frightened and begged my brother to replace the boxes and
manuscript at once, and was so agitated that he did not notice my
brother when he slipped one of the gold boxes into his pocket. The
person, whoever he was, passed on down the passageway, and as soon as
they dared they hurriedly left the vault. Luckily for my brother he left
Lassa with the Punjaub that evening, and never learned whether the theft
was discovered or not. Probably his powder would have done him little
good had it been so and had he been suspected.'

"'But how,' I asked, 'do you know that this Elixir will really prolong
life?'

"Sing smiled sweetly, and said, 'I myself, my dear sir, am a living
proof of that; I am one hundred and ten years old, and to-day there are
in New York some sixty men who will live to that age, having taken the
powder, unless they die from some form of disease. This elixir will not
protect them against poison or diseases where the poison germ has
entered the system. That is impossible; but it acts upon the nerve
centres and upon the blood corpuscles in such a wonderful way that there
is no degeneration. The person simply lives along the same as he would
between the ages of thirty and forty; he is always the same. He may die
from many causes, but it would not be from old age.'

"'My friend,' I said, 'took the liberty to analyze some of this powder.'

"'Ah! And may I inquire the result of his analysis?'

"A peculiar yellow light came into those eyes, and although he
smiled--Have you ever seen a caged tiger languidly looking at the crowd
of people in front of his cage suddenly discover a dog near him?"

"I don't know that I have," said Robinson.

"Well, if you do you will notice the same yellow light flash into his
eyes, and the sudden change of expression that I saw in the eyes of our
friend Sing. It was gone in a moment, however, and he was again smiling
sweetly.

"'I understand he found it to consist principally of common salt.'

"'Quite so,' answered Sing; 'but he must have discovered that it also
contained something else?'

"'That is true,' I answered, 'there was a small amount of vegetable
matter which gave it a yellow color.'

"'That is the true Elixir,' said Sing; 'salt is merely necessary for the
results. You, as a scientific man, know that the poison which kills so
quickly from the fang of a cobra and the ordinary white of an egg can
hardly be distinguished by the chemist. He finds them both to be
albumen.'

"'Why, then, should one kill and the other be harmless?' I asked.

"'Simply the minute "something else" which is contained in the snake
poison and which is held in solution by the albumen.'

"'Have you any other proof of the power of this Elixir?' I inquired.

"'My dear sir, I trust you do not question the truth of my statement
regarding my own age.'

"He frowned slightly, and those wonderful eyes of his glanced like
lightning towards the two huge attendants standing in plain sight in the
hallway.

"'Not at all,' I hastened to assure him. 'It all seems so wonderful to
me, you must excuse my apparent incredulity.'

"'The most natural thing in the world,' smiled Sing with grave courtesy,
'but I will let your own eyes banish any doubt you may have as to the
wonderful properties of this strange powder.

"'Ashmed,' he called, 'ask my son to come here a moment if he will be so
good.'

"The attendant who had spoken to me when I entered immediately
disappeared, and in a moment a back door opened and the bent figure of a
very old man entered the room and spoke to Sing in a weak voice. The
language was evidently Hindustani, but I caught a word here and there
which sounded familiar. Sing spoke to him sharply, and turning to me
said, 'This is my son; he is nearly eighty years old, but refuses to
take the powder on account of his religious principles--he belongs to
the sect who believes that to die is better than to live, that his
spirit will become incarnate in another body, and in his next life he
will be at least a Kobtchie.'

"My eyes must have betrayed my incredulity.

"'You do not doubt that he is my son?' sweetly asked Mr. Sing.

"'Certainly not,' I answered.

"'I trust, then, that I shall have the pleasure of furnishing you with
some of the wonderful powder? There is not very much of it left, but
luckily it requires a very small dose. I have enough probably to supply
one hundred men to insure them existence for one hundred and fifty
years. When that is gone the supply can never be replenished.'

"He sighed.

"'Thank you,' I answered. 'I shall think the matter over and in all
probability give myself the pleasure of calling upon you again.'

"Then I came away, being bowed out by the sable attendants with all
ceremony possible. There! What do you think of that?"

"Do you intend to return and purchase the powder?" asked Robinson.

"Perhaps," answered Watson, "but I think I will wait awhile and see if
Jones lives to be one hundred and fifty!"



THE VOODOO IDOL.


Jones lay on the sofa watching the consul mix a long, cool drink of
Apollinaris water and crushed sour-sop. His arm pained him a good deal
and the bandages felt hot and uncomfortable. By his side was a little
table on which were piled numerous articles in a manner common to
mankind, among which were a bottle of whiskey, a revolver, several
books, and a plate containing some bananas and sapodillias. A light
breeze stirred the curtains behind him, and under the awning he could
see the long stretch of green palms and waving cocoanuts, back of the
city. A faint white line indicated the road to Lecoup.

"I tell you what, old man," said the consul, as he poured the mixture
from the shaker into the tall, thin glasses, "you are almightly lucky to
get out alive, and you took big chances. Stealing a god of the Voodoo
priests is about as dangerous an experiment as playing with fire over a
barrel of gunpowder. From your description I should judge the place you
found it was about fifteen miles back of Gantier."

Jones nodded in silence.

"Well," continued the consul, "it was somewhere in that vicinity they
killed that Frenchman last year, and how they ever let you get out alive
I don't know. They meant to kill you fast enough, tried to poison you at
Gantier, and knocked out that servant of yours. You escaped by not
drinking the coffee. Then some one shot at you on the road, and even
then you did not have sense enough to throw away the idol; but even if
you had I don't know that it would have made any difference. Then the
day before yesterday they put a bullet through your arm at Lecoup, and
if old Chabeau had not gone himself with you part of the way, I do not
believe you would ever have reached here alive. What on earth made you
monkey with that idol anyway?"

Jones explained that he could not resist the temptation to steal it. He
had been camping on the banks of a nearly dry stream, ten miles or more
east of Gantier, where he had found the little hummingbird, _Mellisuga
minima_, the smallest bird in the world, very abundant. He had also
trapped a specimen of the extremely rare _Solenodon_, and being anxious
to procure more he had stayed there for several days. Within half a mile
of his camp was a small stone tower open at the sides, in the middle of
which stood a little idol on a sort of pedestal. This little idol was
about eighteen inches high and was carved out of stone, the eyes oddly
enough being bone. Jones had cast longing glances on this idol, but did
not dare to touch it, or in fact to go into the tower, as the natives
were sullen and suspicious, and on more than one occasion showed signs
of being decidedly ugly.

Jones saw enough to confirm his impression that these people were a bad
lot, and one dark night he "folded his tent like the Arabs and silently
stole away," taking with him as a souvenir the little idol, which he had
carefully rolled in a blanket and packed on one side of his pack-horse
to balance his box of specimens on the other. Fear of possible
unpleasant consequences had caused Jones to ride fast, but he had been
followed and three separate attempts made on his life by unknown
persons. The last one resulted in a bullet through the upper part of the
left arm. He was safe enough now, however, as he remarked, there being
little likelihood of danger while under the protection of the American
consul in the city of Porto Prince.

"Don't you be too sure of that," said the consul. "There, try that and
see how you like it."

Jones sipped the cool mixture; it seemed like nectar to him in his
feverish condition. The bullet which had passed through his arm had made
a wound, which, while not in itself serious, had left him weak and
feverish.

"Yes," continued the consul, "you were mighty lucky to get off as you
did. You may not know it, but right here in Hayti the people in the
interior are as savage and bloodthirsty as any Central African tribe.
Most of the inhabitants are descendants of negroes brought from the Gold
Coast many years ago. They have reverted to their original wild state,
keeping up many of the ancient customs. Mixing as they have with the
Indians of the interior, the present race is even worse than their
ancestors. From Toussant l'Overture in 1804, when he first ruled, to
Hyppolite Florvil and Salomon, the island has been the scene of
continuous insurrection, intrigue, and murder.

"Salomon was probably the best of them all. He was an immense negro,
some six feet four inches tall, with a pock-marked face, who had
received an education in Paris and married a Frenchwoman. He, like the
rest, however, was superstitious and cruel at heart. Hyppolite was a
Voodoo priest and, it is said, an anthropophagist. The people of the
interior have an intense hatred for the white man, and still retain many
of the barbarous customs of the savages of the African interior.

"The Voodoo dance is presided over by a high priest, who usually
commands a goat or a hen to be killed, but in some of the more
important ceremonies a child is murdered, and its blood mixed with the
_tafia_ and drunk by the dancers. The high priest is called _Papoloy_.
Every two years after the dance of the moon a human sacrifice is
ordered; generally a young girl is killed and eaten. You probably ran up
against one of the Voodoo gods, and the large stone in front was
undoubtedly the sacrificial stone. How you ever got away alive passes my
comprehension. They evidently thought that you would try to leave in the
day-time, and had things all arranged for taking a shot at you
somewhere, but your nocturnal skedaddle knocked their plans galley west.
There is one thing dead sure, those Voodoo priests are bad medicine, as
we used to say out West, and you want to keep your weather-eye open
until you are safe on board a steamer and out of the harbor. I wouldn't
give five cents for your life if you walked about the streets of Porto
Prince. When the time comes to leave I will have you smuggled on board.
The authorities would wink at your assassination, but they would not
openly countenance it."

Jones remarked wearily that he had begun to believe it might be as well
for him to rest quietly in the consulate, and not give them another
chance.

The soft flower-scented breeze blew softly in through the open window
and was soothing to Jones. Lying there on the lounge with his eyes
closed, he soon fell asleep, and the consul left him to attend to his
various duties. When Jones awoke he lay in a sort of drowsy
condition--half asleep and half awake. Through his partly open eyes he
looked through the open door leading out on the broad piazza. There was
a chair in front of the door, and over the top of this he saw a face and
a pair of very black eyes looking at him intently. For a moment he
imagined it was some freak of his imagination, as the face was as still
as though it was carved in wax. Right in line with Jones' eyes, and
within a foot of his half extended arm, was the little table, and the
handle of the revolver seemed to stand out as though placed there for
his especial benefit. That was certainly real, and it required a very
slight movement for his fingers to close over the pistol handle; but he
did not move and lay watching the figure, which began to rise slowly and
developed into the form of a large, ugly-looking negro. Jones remembered
particularly noticing a white scar across the cheek just under the eye.
The man was not looking at him now, but was glancing about with the
stealthy look of a hunted animal. At the same time he drew from under
his coat a long, unpleasant-looking knife. As he did so Jones lifted his
pistol, and, aiming hurriedly at the breast, fired. The man dropped,
grasping at the chair as he did so, but immediately rose to his feet,
swaying unsteadily. Bang! went Jones' pistol again. This time the negro
did not fall, but stood seeming half dazed, steadying himself by holding
on to the back of the chair. Jones fired again, and at the report the
man clapped his left hand tightly over his heart, and with a muttered
imprecation threw the knife at Jones just as he fired his fourth shot,
the thud of the knife driving deep into the wood close to Jones' head
being followed by the sound of a falling body on the hard floor. As the
consul ran into the room followed by one of his men he found Jones
sitting on the lounge, pale and weak from excitement and fever.

"Lucky you had the pistol," remarked the consul; "might have been
unpleasant. See that gummy green stuff on the knife? Well, that is
poison, and a mighty bad poison, too; one little scratch--But all's well
that ends well; the steamer is in, and if I were you I would make a bee
line for the pier, and get on board just as soon as the Lord will let
you!"

Jones rose with some difficulty and went out upon the wide balcony. On
the blue waters of the bay he saw a large steamer, and at her stern,
floating in the breeze, the most beautiful flag in the world, the Stars
and Stripes.

The effect on him, in his half hysterical condition, was to make him
want to cry and cheer at the same time. The room he had just left was
dark in contrast to the bright sunshine outside; but he could see the
knife and the dead body of the negro, from which a narrow dark red
streak was slowly making its way across the floor.

"We can't go any too quick to suit me," said Jones.



AN ARIZONA EPISODE.


I.

Wendell Harrison was a club man with no ambition in life beyond making
his small income pay his club fees, and leave enough for him to live in
the manner peculiar to young men of his class. His one hope in life, as
he often told his particular crony, was to find a rich wife, and it
seemed to Harrison that chance had played into his hands when he
received an invitation from old John Stiversant to join his party on a
trip to the Grand Cañon in Northern Arizona.

Harrison had met old Stiversant on the yacht of a mutual friend a few
weeks before, and knowing how to make himself agreeable he had done so
to the best of his ability, with the result that he had been asked to
make one of a party on this western trip in Mr. Stiversant's private
car.

"Good luck to you, old man," said his chum as he was leaving the club on
his way to the station. "Go in and win."

"Trust me for that," answered Harrison.

The trip out proved a delightful one. Miss Nellie Stiversant, the young
lady who, Harrison had decided, was the most likely catch, did not prove
as easy as he imagined. While charming and agreeable, she had evidently
seen more or less of the world, and was not to be gathered in by the
first man who made up his mind he would like to have her ornament his
home. Likewise, she was a girl with common sense, and knowing her
position and advantages did not lose her head when a man showed an
inclination for her society. In fact, just before the party arrived in
Flagstaff she had made it very evident that she did not care for
serious attentions from any one. She was, however, of a decidedly
romantic nature, and Harrison pondered deep and long as to the best
method of gaining her affections. Late that evening he was reading a
sensational novel, when suddenly he laid it down and a far-away look
came into his eyes.

"By Jove," he muttered, "the very thing--on this very road too. Whether
the story is true or not, it is reasonable enough, although a trifle
dramatic, but that is what is wanted to attract a girl like Nell. She
don't care for me and never will, and all she wants is excitement and
novelty, but if she thinks I saved her life or risked my own in
protecting her, there might be a chance. In this story the chap had led
rather a tough life, but had reformed, and the road-agents recognized
him and knew he meant business. He got pretty well shot up, but the
whole thing cast a halo around him, which would undoubtedly attract any
romantic girl. Damn it, why couldn't I do it? It is that or nothing, the
trip will be over in two weeks, and it is pretty evident that I am not
in it unless something extraordinary happens."


II.

The saloon was pretty well filled with a sprinkling of miners, Mexicans,
and ranchers. Men in blue overalls, flannel shirts, and wide-brimmed
hats were playing the different games of chance or standing in groups in
front of the bar. A harsh brass-sounding piano on a raised platform at
the end of the room was being played by a short-haired individual in a
dress suit, and a young lady who evidently did not object to the
calsomining process to aid nature was singing a topical song. In the
corner stood Wendell Harrison surrounded by four rough-looking men, who
seemed very much interested in what he was saying.

"Now I think you understand thoroughly what is required," said
Harrison. "I am to pay you five dollars each now, and twenty dollars
each when the job is done, likewise if it comes off successfully and the
bluff works I am to give you twenty dollars more upon our return to
Flagstaff. Don't forget to carry out the plan exactly as we have agreed.
When I spring from the coach waving my pistol and firing blank
cartridges, one of you is to shout, 'Fighting Harrison, by God!' and
shoot two or three times as you run. The thing is easy, but requires a
little judgment. I do not care where you stop the stage. Stop it any old
place, but not too near Flagstaff. I shall be alone in the coach with an
old man and two young girls, so there is not the slightest danger, and I
will see that the old man is unarmed."


III.

"Say, Jimmie, I must tell yer something, but let me larf first. Say, I
nearly fell down in a fit. I am going to tell yer all about it, but
don't call me a liar, or I'll kill yer. What do yer think? Oh, Lord, how
my stomach aches!--what _do_ yer think? Wait a minute--I'll tell yer in
a minute, let me larf it out now, or I shall drop down right here!

"Say, I sat in that booth over there having a quiet drink, and what do
yer think? A dude in the next booth commenced putting up a job with four
ducks; one of them is Mexican John and the other is Brady, our assistant
bar-keeper here. As far as I can make it out Brady got the three other
ducks. Say, wait a minute! I don't believe I ever will stop larfin'.
What do yer think? this dude is going up to the Cañon on my next trip,
and is going to have these four fellers stop the stage to put up a
bluff on his girl to show what a fighter he is, and he is to give um
twenty dollars each. He is going to jump out and pull his gun and clean
out the crowd, and then go back and bask in the sunshine and admiration
of the young girls. Oh, Lord! The skunk don't care how much he scares
the girls and the old man who are goin' along, but all he wants is to
pose as a fighter from away back. But say, Jimmie, what do yer think? I
have been thinkin' this thing over, and I don't believe his little
picnic will transpire. He calculates to blow in eighty dollars to make a
monkey of himself, and I am thinkin' that we can use that eighty dollars
in our business and teach the fellow a good lesson all ter wonce. What
breaks me up more than anythin' is that he told Brady to hunt me up and
tell me on the quiet that there was a reformed desperado going with me
who used to be known by the name of 'Fightin' Harrison.' Worked me into
the job too, see? What do yer think?"


IV.

The stage was slowly toiling up a dusty hill some five miles from
Flagstaff. The road was rough and the day was warm. The stage-driver let
the horses take things easy, and from time to time shook with suppressed
emotion. "I hope I may die," said he to himself, "if this ain't the
damndest."

In the back seats the two young girls, the old man, and the would-be
hero were enjoying the scenery and the novelty of the trip in spite of
the dust. Suddenly three men sprang into the road, and a loud voice
commanded the stage to "hold up."

"What is the matter?" asked Nellie excitedly.

"Don't be afraid," said Wendell, pressing her hand, "remember I am with
you."

A rough-looking man appeared at the side of the stage.

"Is your name Harrison?" he said, addressing Wendell.

"It is," answered Harrison boldly; "what do you want?"

"I have a bill here for eighty dollars against you, which will have to
be paid or you will have to get out and go back to town with me."

"What do you mean?" gasped Harrison.

"Just what I say, young man; your name is Wendell Harrison, isn't it?
You used to be known here by the name of 'Fighting Harrison,' didn't
you?"

"Certainly not, you have the wrong party," answered Harrison
indignantly.

"Well, I don't know about that; didn't somebody tell you that this
fellow was 'Fighting Harrison,' Bill?"

"They certainly did," answered the stage-driver.

"It is all a mistake," said Harrison.

"Mistake or not, you will have to pay or go back to town with us; that
is all there is to it. I believe you are the Harrison I want."

"Oh, Mr. Harrison," said Nell, "do pay this man and let us go on; you
can easily recover the money when you go back to town."

"Yes," said Mr. Stiversant, "that certainly is the best way to settle
the matter; it is, undoubtedly, a case of mistaken identity, but this
man is evidently acting in good faith, and you will have no difficulty
in straightening matters upon your return at Flagstaff."

Harrison's face was very red, and he looked and acted ugly; but this man
evidently meant business, and there was no way out of it but to pay the
money, which he did with a very bad grace, taking a receipt made out to
Wendell Harrison, alias "Fighting Harrison of Arizona."

"An exciting incident," said Nell, as the party rode away.

"Yes," said Harrison, "but one that might just as well have been left
out of the programme."

The stage moved on, but Harrison seemed uneasy; every few minutes he
mopped his face with his handkerchief and pressed his hand to his head
as if in pain. Visions of the little reception committee some few miles
ahead were constantly in his mind. What would he say and do when the
stage was stopped, and he received his cue to spring out and fire off
his six-shooter, especially as he had only fifteen dollars left in his
pocket. What would these pseudo-gentlemen of the road do to him, if,
after his little exhibit of bravery, he failed to wind up the melodrama
by settling with the actors? He didn't care to find out, and his mind
was bent now in deciding the best way to get back to Flagstaff. He
continued mopping his face, and once or twice he groaned.

"What is the matter?" asked Mr. Stiversant; "are you ill?"

"I fear so," answered Harrison faintly. "I have a dull pain in my head
and I feel faint."

"Oh, let us go back," said Nell, "it is only five miles, and we can
start again to-morrow just as well."

"Perhaps it would be as well," said Harrison weakly; "I fear I am going
to be ill."

In the privacy of a room at the hotel Harrison hastily manufactured an
urgent telegram calling him at once to San Francisco to see a sick
uncle, and had barely time to explain matters and express his deep
regret at being forced to leave the party at such short notice.

An hour later he lay back in a luxurious chair in the smoking
compartment of the California Limited, and gazed out of the windows at
the vast desert plains through which they passed. His eyes had a
far-away look in them, and ever and anon he sighed.

Far up the Grand Cañon road late that evening Brady and his three
companions still sat watching sadly for the stage which came not. There
they had sat in the burning sun without food or water since ten o'clock
that morning. They did not speak to each other, but occasionally they
cursed, sometimes the birds, sometimes the inanimate things about them.
At times they thought of Harrison--but what their thoughts were no one
will ever know.



ONE TOUCH OF NATURE.


"Pretty good cigar this," remarked the Cowboy.

The Eastern man nodded.

"Nowadays we can buy good ones out where I live, but 'twa'n't very long
ago when good cigars were as rare out there as buffaloes are now round
Kansas City."

"The enormous increase in population in some of your Western cities is
astonishing," remarked the Eastern man.

The Cowboy glanced at him with an amused smile. The Eastern man smiled
back good-naturedly.

"What's the joke?" he asked.

[Illustration: RESTING HIS HEAD ON THE COWBOY'S KNEE.]

"Oh, nothin'," answered the Cowboy, "only I was thinkin' maybe you
didn't live out West."

"No, I am a New Yorker," answered the Eastern man.

"Well, I guess they raise pretty good men in both places," remarked the
Cowboy.

"Our late war proved that, I think."

The train had stopped, but there were no signs of a station, although
two or three rather dilapidated houses and a typical Western saloon
could be seen a short distance ahead.

"Wonder what we are stopping here for," remarked the Cowboy; "it strikes
me we've been here a pretty long time."

Just then the porter passed the door of the smoking compartment, and the
Cowboy called to him:

"Say, porter, what's the matter? Seems to me we have been stoppin' here
a whole lot. What's the name of this metropolis?"

"It's mighty lucky you've got whole necks," answered the porter. "The
eccentric, or something about the engine, is broke, and we came mighty
near having a bad accident. They've sent on for another engine."

"That's pleasant," remarked the Eastern man. "How long do you think we
shall have to stay here before the other engine arrives?"

"Give it up," said the porter. "Maybe an hour, maybe two; can't tell
exactly. The train conductor will be along pretty soon and he will know
all about it."

"Guess I'll have to appoint myself a committee of one to investigate,"
remarked the Cowboy.

He arose and went out on the platform of the car, followed by the
Eastern man. They climbed down and walked forward to where they saw a
crowd gathered about the engine. The eccentric rod had broken short
off, and had the engine not been slowing up at the time, the result
might have been serious.

The two men strolled down the track for a short distance, and the Cowboy
discovered a small colony of prairie dogs. Several of the comical little
creatures were sitting on their hind legs on the mounds beside their
holes ready to disappear at the least sign of danger. Occasionally one
would run from one hole to another a short distance away, usually diving
out of sight, to reappear again in a few moments when satisfied that
there was no immediate cause for alarm.

The Cowboy amused himself by listlessly throwing small stones at the
little animals. After a few moments of this he turned to the Eastern man
and said:

"Say, I am goin' to take a little stroll over yonder towards that
luxurious mansion and get a drink from the well. Want to go along?"

"With pleasure," answered the Eastern man.

The two strolled slowly towards the house, which was decidedly in need
of repair. The fence surrounding it was broken down in many places,
weeds and grass filled the little yard in which there were still
evidences of some past attempts at ornamentation in the way of
flower-beds, and the whole place gave evidence of poverty and lack of
care. On the porch was seated a girl apparently between twelve and
fourteen years of age. She was hugging an immense shaggy dog and crying
as if her heart would break.

"What's the matter, sis?" sympathetically inquired the Cowboy.

"Oh, sir (sob), Jake's goin' to kill my Rover."

"What for?"

The sobs subsided a little and the girl looked up, wiping her eyes on
her torn apron.

"Why, he bited Jake because he tried to kiss me and I didn't--want him
to--and they are goin' to come and kill him."

"Who is goin' to come and kill him?"

"The feller he bited--Jake."

"There, don't cry, little un; seems to me the purp did the proper caper.
What do you think, pardner?"

"In my opinion," answered the Eastern man, "the dog's action was
decidedly laudatory."

"And yer think same as I do that the pup hadn't ought to be killed for
doin' it?"

"Decidedly not."

"Say, sis, ain't yer got any friends to sort of stand off the feller as
allows to do the killin'?"

"No, sir, nobody except father, and he--drinks sometimes and don't care
for Rover, and he says he don't want no trouble."

"Ain't yer got no one else?"

"No, sir; nobody but Rover. Mother's dead and I ain't got nobody but
Rover. Oh, dear me!"

The girl buried her face in the shaggy coat of her friend and sobbed.

The Cowboy sat down on the step beside her; the dog eyed him
inquiringly, but evidently decided he was a friend and wagged his tail
slightly.

"Don't cry, my girl; brace up, now; perhaps they won't kill him after
all."

"Oh, yes, they will. Jake is over in the saloon now; I saw him go in.
He'll do it sure; he hates Rover."

"May I speak to your lap-dog? Will he tear me up much if I pat him?"
inquired the Cowboy.

"I wouldn't fool with him, sir; Rover don't like strangers."

The Cowboy snapped his fingers at the dog and called to him:

"Come here, Rover."

The splendid animal walked solemnly to him and, resting his head on his
knee, looked up steadily into his face.

"Don't seem to be too savage nor nothin'--pretty decent sort of dog."

"Oh, he is, sir; he is just the sweetest, lovingest dog that ever lived.
I had him when he wa'n't no bigger than a coon, and couldn't eat nothin'
but milk, and he loves me, don't you, Rover? and I love him, and he's
all I've got to love in the world, and they're goin' to kill him. Oh,
Rover, Rover, what shall I do? what shall I do?"

"Now, sis, tell us about the row--did the dog begin the trouble?"

"Oh, no, sir; Jake came along this morning and I was settin' here
playin' with Rover, and Jake he grabbed me and tried to kiss me, and I
put up a holler and Rover bited him in the leg. Jake swore and wanted to
kill him, but he didn't darst to, and he didn't have no gun; so he's
gone home to get his gun and he'll be back pretty quick and he's goin'
to kill him."

The girl had stopped crying, but little hysterical sobs choked her from
time to time as she talked.

The Cowboy pulled the dog's ears gently and the animal responded by
licking his hand.

"Seems to me, pardner, that Jake ain't actin' quite white in this deal."

"It's an outrage," warmly responded the Eastern man.

"I see two fellers," continued the Cowboy, gently stroking the dog's
head, "comin' around the corner of the house; maybe we'd better ask 'um
please not to hurt the dog."

"I agree with you, most decidedly."

The girl caught sight of the men and uttered a cry of fear. Seizing
Rover by the collar, she attempted to drag him inside the house, but the
dog braced himself and growled savagely, facing the newcomers.

"Say, pard," remarked the Cowboy quietly, "suppose they are impolite?"

"Well."

"Can you fight?"

"I can try."

"Bully for you, pard; that's the stuff! Shake."

The two men shook hands warmly. Jake and his companion were now very
near, and as they came up Jake pulled a large revolver from its holster.

"Now, girl, get away from that dog; I'm goin' to shoot him and I don't
want to hurt yer."

The girl turned white, but she placed herself in front of Rover,
shielding him as much as she could with her slender body.

"Hold on, my friend," interposed the Cowboy; "you mus'n't shoot that
dog."

"Who's goin' to stop me?" sneered Jake.

"I am."

"You are, are you? Well, I'm goin' to shoot him just the same."

"If you shoot that dog I'll give you such a beating yer own mother won't
know yer. Sabby?"

"Won't, hey? Perhaps you notice I've got a gun?" said Jake, with an evil
look in his eyes.

"I've got one, too, but I ain't pulled it yet," answered the Cowboy
slowly.

"See here, now," interposed Jake's companion, "where do I come in?
What'll I be doin' all the time when you're smashin' up my pard here?"

"I will try and occupy your attention," quietly said the Eastern man.

"The hell you will!"

"I will."

"Now, gentlemen," said the Cowboy, "we don't want no trouble, but there
is a peck of it around here if you fellers try to hurt that dog. The dog
bit yer because yer tried to kiss the girl, and he served you damn well
right!"

"It's a lie!" interrupted Jake sullenly.

How it was done the Eastern man never knew, but Jake went staggering
backward, and when he recovered himself and stood with the blood
trickling from a cut under his eye, the Cowboy had him covered with a
big Colt's 45, and the eyes which looked at him over the barrel were
ugly enough to make a gamer man than Jake feel uneasy.

"Drop yer gun."

Jake dropped it.

"Now move away from it."

Jake did so.

The Cowboy handed his big pistol to the Eastern man and walked straight
up to Jake, who looked decidedly uncomfortable.

"Now take it back, or I'll smash yer face," said the Cowboy savagely.

"All right, but, damn you, if it warn't that my leg is sore where the
dog bit me I'd fight yer till I couldn't see!"

The Cowboy smiled grimly.

"Good enough! Now get out of here."

"Wait a minute," interposed the Eastern man; "may I make a suggestion?"

"Cert, pard,--why, sure!" answered the Cowboy.

"Well, it seems to me this matter had better be settled amicably if
possible; if not, after we are gone something might happen to the dog.
After what has happened the gentleman naturally feels an animosity
towards the animal. Now, I would suggest that he name a sum of money
which he would consider sufficient to compensate him for injuries
received. I would be glad to pay a reasonable amount--say ten
dollars--in settlement of all damages, if the gentleman will agree not
to attempt to injure the dog in any way."

"I'll agree to that," cried Jake eagerly.

"Very well, here is the money." The Eastern man held out a ten-dollar
gold piece, which was seized upon by Jake, and without a word he and his
companion started in a straight line for the saloon.

The Cowboy shouted after them: "Remember, I'll be back here next week,
and if the dog isn't all right there'll be trouble." Then, turning to
the girl, he said:

"Well, sis, the show's over; the dog's all right, so I guess I'll get
aboard the train. So, so long."

"Please tell me your name, sir, and you, too, sir," turning to the
Eastern man.

"Why, sis, what do you want to know my name for?"

"To pray for you, sir; mother's dead, but I pray every night just the
same, and I ask God to bless Rover--he's all I've got now, you know. Is
that wrong, sir? and to-night and every night I'm goin' to ask God to
bless both o' you for bein' so kind ter Rover and me."

"Oh, that's all right, sis; don't think of it;" the Cowboy's voice was
husky. "Good-by; good-by, Rover, old boy."

He seized the big dog in his arms and turned him over on his back,
holding him down. The dog caught one of the man's hands in his huge
mouth and chewed it gently, while the Cowboy poked him playfully in the
ribs with the other. Then the man jumped up and ran for the car, with
Rover leaping and romping about him, uttering great deep barks of joy.
The Eastern man followed more slowly; a cinder or something had got into
his eye, and he was ostentatiously wiping it out with the corner of his
handkerchief.

That night, in the darkness of her room, the girl knelt by the side of
her rough bed, and whispered softly her little prayer:

                       "God bless mamma,
                        God bless papa,
    God bless Rover, and bless the two fellers that was good to
    me and Rover--I dunno their names, God, but you do."

The sounds of a slight figure getting into bed were followed by "'Scuse
me, Rover, I didn't mean to step on yer foot; goodnight, Rover, dear."
Several heavy blows on the floor answered her, and then for a time there
was silence. The wind moaned faintly in the chimney and a rat squeaked
and scampered across the floor; then a board creaked,--the child slept
on oblivious to it all,--but at each new sound the dark form on the
floor stirred slightly, a shaggy head was raised, and wide-open,
faithful eyes gazed in the direction from whence it came, intent, alert,
and watchful.


------------------------------------------------------------------------

Transcriber's Note:

The two Hebrew characters (khet on the right, dalet on the left) on p.
180 may appear reversed on some computer systems that have not been set
to read right-to-left languages correctly.

Spelling variants and dialect have been left as they appear in the
original (e.g. purp, p. 223; damndest, p. 212; and almightly, p. 195).
Two misspellings of foreign words have also been retained. (matats for
metates, p. 81; sapodillias for sapodillas, p. 194).

The following corrections and changes were made:

  p. 19: pocket knife to pocket-knife
  p. 87: " to ' (will say, 'Haven't you got any real good blankets?)
  p. 121: is'nt to isn't (Nonsense, man, there isn't any dog.)
  p. 135: thought-transferrence to thought-transference (what is called
  telepathy or thought-transference)
  p. 143: is to was (It was a very cold day)
  p. 145: meetting to meeting (attending a corporation meeting)
  p. 176-177: duplicate text removed (original read: "dressed in the
  ordinary European costume. There [Page Break] in the ordinary European
  costume. There was nothing striking about him")
  p. 180: etc, to etc., ("Verily, out of the mouths of babes, etc.,")
  p. 196: Mellissuga minima to Mellisuga minima
  p. 202: ugly looking to ugly-looking
  p. 205: Heading for section added (I.)

Commas were changed to question marks in the following sentences:

  p. 104: "Were you a doctor when alive?" I asked.
  p. 178: "What is this hieroglyphic affair at the top here?" he asked.
  p. 187: 'How did your brother procure it?' I asked.

------------------------------------------------------------------------





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