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´╗┐Title: Hunted Down - or, Five Days in the Fog
Author: Granice, Harry
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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                             HUNTED DOWN:

                        FIVE DAYS IN THE FOG.

                        A Thrilling Narrative

                                OF THE

                       ESCAPE OF YOUNG GRANICE

                                FROM A

                       DRUNKEN, INFURIATED MOB.

         _Written by himself while in jail, and respectfully
             dedicated to Mr. Nicholas Breen._

                            SAN FRANCISCO:



       *       *       *       *       *


I write this narrative while confined in the Modesto jail awaiting my
trial for the shooting of the defamer of my mother's name on the 7th
of December, 1874. It will be seen by reading the following statement,
that I gave myself up to the sheriff to be held to await the decision
of the law. I will here explain why it was necessary for me to be
taken to the Modesto jail. There was no safe jail at Merced, and it
had been the custom for several months to take Merced prisoners to
Modesto, a town in the adjoining county, and a distance of about forty
miles. The cars passed through Merced about noon on the day of the
shooting, five hours after the affair happened, and direct to Modesto.
Why did not the sheriff improve this opportunity of taking me to a
place of safety? Failing in that, a good span of horses could have
conveyed us to Modesto during the afternoon. He knew the jail was not
safe, and instead of doing what every sensible man would conceive to
be a sheriff's duty, he chose rather to send me out handcuffed, with
two men, on a public highway, to a lone wayside inn, seven miles from
Merced, and ten from Snellings. It seems from my brother's and several
other gentlemen's statement, that every horse was engaged at the
livery stable in Merced before eight o'clock on that night.

There is another question which will naturally arise in the thinking
mind: Where did the sheriff go, and what was he doing that night while
the mob was getting ready? The mystery may be solved some day.

I wish to show in this simple statement that I did not flee
coward-like from justice, but that I was making my escape from a
drunken infuriated mob, after being duly liberated by the deputy
sheriff. I understand that the mob, or a portion of the mob that night
returned and destroyed my step-father's printing office, although the
sheriff was in town.


Hunted Down; or, Five Days in the Fog.

    Oh, why this fog, so thick and dark for five long days and nights?
    It seems as though kind Providence has veiled the heavenly lights,
    That he who seeks his life to save shall live the tale to tell
    Of drunken mobs and demon cries, like legions just from hell.

On Monday morning, at about fifteen minutes to eight o'clock, December
7th, 1874, immediately after the shooting, or as soon thereafter as I
could collect my scattered senses, which was in about three minutes, I
inquired for the sheriff for the purpose of giving myself up; but he
nor any of his deputies were on the spot. After waiting a few minutes
longer I began to grow impatient at the delay of the officers, and not
wishing to move from the scene of shooting for fear the movement would
be misconstrued and I be accused of trying to effect an escape, I sent
a messenger in quest of Sheriff Meany (I forget now who the messenger
was). In a short time thereafter Sheriff Meany arrived on the spot,
and perceiving him, I addressed him thus: "Sheriff Meany, I am your
prisoner." He grabbed me in rather a rough manner by the lapel of my
coat, took me to the lock-up, thence to the El Capitan hotel, and
after remaining at the latter place for half an hour (for what reason
I know not), he conducted me back to the lock-up, thrust me in, and
turned the key on me. In a short time thereafter my breakfast was
brought to me without knife or fork to eat with. The victuals were not
fit for a dog to eat. I so expressed myself to Meany, and asked him to
give me a decent breakfast. He answered me thus: "That has got to
answer. Can't treat you different from other prisoners." With the
exception of the coffee, I set the breakfast aside.

In the meantime, quite a crowd had collected outside the jail, and
Meany was inciting them to mob violence by his vindictive expressions
against me. I kept perfectly quiet and said nothing to Meany nor his
deputies. Suspecting the duplicity of Meany, I despatched a courier
for my brother George, who was living some fifteen miles north of
Merced. My brother arrived in town about noon, and immediately came to
me. He was searched by Meany and then admitted into the lock-up. He
had hardly shaken hands with me when he heard Meany say something, and
turning to me, remarked: "I hear Meany talking, and I think it unsafe
to be in here, as I am in their power while shut up in here." He
immediately asked to be let out, and his request was acceded to. In
the course of the day a fellow named Packard, a shoulder-hitter of
Meany's, came skulking around the jail and, picking up a gun,
attempted to get an opportunity to shoot me through the bars of the
lock-up. I perceived his intention in time to hug the wall directly
under the bars, thereby preventing him from assassinating me. The
deputy sheriff told him to put the gun down; that he had no right to
pick it up. After loitering around a few minutes longer, Meany came
up, and then this Packard commenced to annoy me with insulting
remarks; and although Meany was there and heard him, he said nothing
to him. He left shortly after, indulging in the remarks mentioned
above, and I afterwards learned that he returned and tried to shoot me
through the bars of the jail with a pistol. I knew that my danger was
great, and my only hope was in my friends protecting me, not the
Sheriff, for he had expressed himself in such a free manner in my
hearing, although he did not know that I was listening, that I knew
there was no protection to hope for from that source. Knowing this, I
did not beseech him to save me; I merely asked him, when I gave myself
into his custody, to take me before a justice of the peace; I would
waive an examination and go to Modesto. It was eight o'clock in the
morning when I delivered myself up to Meany.

The cars would leave for Modesto at 1 P. M. There were, therefore,
five hours in which to allow me to do that which would take but ten
minutes, to wit--take me before a justice of the peace, and allow me
to waive an examination. I told him it was dangerous for me to remain
in Merced, and I wanted to waive, and go to Modesto for safety. My
attorney, P. D. Wigginton, mentioned the matter to many in my
presence, about nine o'clock in the morning. One hour passed--two
hours--three--four. It was one o'clock, and still Meany had done
nothing, although repeatedly urged by my friends to do something.
Well, when one o'clock arrived, and I still remained in the
lock-up, I knew what I could expect from Meany. I then made up my mind
to say nothing to him, but let matters take their course, and await
developments. He, no doubt, was surprised that I did not beg him to
take me to some place of safety; but I knew it was useless to ask him
to save my life. I had asked him to take me to Modesto in order to
prevent violence; and one o'clock arriving, I knew what his action
meant, on account of his expressions used in my hearing while I was
lying in the lock-up. It was plain to me that he was in sympathy with
the mob, which I knew was rising. I said nothing, but kept my own

A heavy fog came up about five o'clock P. M., and it was near dark at
that hour. Meany opened the door and ordered me, in a quick, sharp,
rough voice, to put on my coat, which I had taken off in order the
more easily to slip through the hands of the mob in case they broke in
the lock-up to take me out. Said Meany:

"Be quick! Put your coat on. Got to take you out of this right now, as
they will be down here in less than an hour and hang you!"

I merely said to him, "Why didn't you take me to Modesto when you
could have done so with safety?"

That question was a poser to him, and he made some inarticulate reply.
I put on my coat, and accompanied by Meany and Deputy Sheriff Breen,
one carrying a double-barreled shot-gun, the other a repeating rifle,
started towards the new court house, which lies just at the edge of
town. Upon reaching the south-west corner of the enclosure surrounding
the building, I perceived a thorough-brace awaiting us. John Hathaway
had the lines, and I was handcuffed and put in the carriage with
Deputy Breen, and Meany told Breen to go as far as the Half-Way House
and there stop. After giving this order, he started back to town. I
then saw through the whole arrangement. He had put me into the hands
of a deputy, and as he confidently expected the mob would hang me, he
would be free from blame, and could say, "Granice was not in my hands,
but in the hands of a deputy."

During all this time I said nothing although I thought a great deal.
Hathaway drove, according to Meany's orders, toward the Half-Way
House. It struck me, as well as the deputy sheriff and also Hathaway
(as I afterwards learned from their conversation), that the mob was
lying in wait at the bridge, at the crossing of Bear Creek. I kept a
sharp look-out ahead, and in a few minutes the Bear Creek bridge
loomed up through the fog, about one hundred yards ahead. I kept a
steady eye on the structure as we drew near, expecting every second to
see the forms of the devils.

At last the bridge was reached and crossed, and that which I most
dreaded and feared--the crossing of Bear Creek bridge--was passed in
safety. While crossing the bridge, I looked behind and perceived eight
men about one hundred yards behind, on foot, approaching the bridge.

The programme was not laid down quite right. They were about one
minute behind time, thanks to John Hathaway's rapid driving, who, of
course, together with the deputy sheriff, knew nothing of the little
arrangement to get me on the road. But they strongly suspected, as I
learned from a word that I caught from their whispered conversation.
After crossing the bridge, Hathaway whipped up his horses, and we
started off at a rapid pace for the Half-Way House. I heard Deputy
Sheriff Breen remark to Hathaway:

"John, its strange Meany didn't tell us to keep right on to Modesto,
instead of stopping so near town. But I have got to follow
instructions. If the mob comes, I'll turn Harry loose, d----d if I
don't, if there is no other recourse."

I then spoke up and said: "Well, Mr. Breen, if you do, and I am alive,
you will find me in the Modesto jail inside of a week."

He then remarked: "Oh, they may not come."

The above remark was the only one I passed from the time of leaving
the lock-up till I arrived at the Half-Way House, as I was deeply
engaged in thought, trying to arrive at some plan to outwit the mob,
whom I felt certain would be on my tracks ere long, if they were not
so already. It was half-past seven or eight o'clock when we arrived at
the Half-Way House, six miles north of Merced. I was led into the
house, securely handcuffed. The horses were taken out of their traces;
then supper was ordered. We sat down to the table and eat our supper.
After finishing my repast, I was conducted to a room and put to bed
with the hand-cuffs on. I had no sooner laid down when I was agreeably
surprised to see my brother George step into the room--a young man
about twenty years of age, and brave as a lion. Like a sleuth-hound he
had scented me out. It was then between eight and nine o'clock. In
presence of Hathaway, Breen and the host, we held a hurried
conversation. George was armed and on horseback, but his horse was
completely fagged out. He said:

"I will ride to town, and if met by the mob on the road, I will put
spurs to my horse and give the officer an alarm."

I tried to dissuade him from running any risk, but he would not listen
to me. He said:

"I will ride towards town; if I reach there without encountering the
mob I will get a fresh horse and stand guard at the bridge."

He then left. I afterward learned that he reached town with his horse
completely broken down, and applied to all their livery stables for
another, but was told that they were all engaged (doubtless to the

After my brother's departure, the deputy sheriff removed one of the
hand-cuffs from my wrist, fastened it on his own, and got in bed with
me, Hathaway and Powell, the proprietors of the house, standing guard.
Shortly after Breen retired I dropped off asleep. I had slept for some
time when I heard Hathaway call to Breen in an undertone:

"Wake up, Nick, they are coming!"

I immediately awoke my sleeping bed-fellow, who, jumping up, listened
for a moment. Breen stopped to listen again, when Hathaway exclaimed,
"For God's sake, Nick, hurry up; they are right here!" Hathaway was
white as a sheet, and held a double-barreled shot-gun in his hands in
a determined manner, while Breen hastily picked up his pants from the
floor, took out the key of the hand-cuffs, and taking me by my
extended wrist, loosened it (it seemed an age, while he was feeling in
his pocket for the key). At this instant I heard the fiends for the
first time. They were then about one hundred yards from the house. I
hurriedly put on my pants, shoes and vest, and catching up my coat, I
made a hasty exit out of the back door. As I did so, a terrible shout
went up from the throats of the mob, which sounded like the yells of
devils from the lower regions, and I thought they had discovered me as
I passed out of the door. As soon as I reached the open air I got down
on my hands and knees and crawled very softly about fifty yards from
the house, when I stopped and put my ear to the ground to see if they
were yet on my track. The fog was very thick; one could not see three
yards ahead. I listened for a second; then taking off my shoes to
prevent making a noise, and putting on my coat, I crawled about one
thousand yards. I then stopped to think what was best for me to do to
outwit those seeking my life. I argued to myself that it was best to
tack back toward Merced, as the mob would be apt to pursue me
northward and eastward that night. They would imagine, so I thought,
that I would flee before them and strike for the Merced river; so I
concluded to go where they would least expect to find me. I would
return and strike Bear Creek, which has very high banks and a narrow
channel, but which at that time contained no water. If I could reach
the creek (which was some seven miles off) before day-break, I knew I
would be safe for one day, at least, provided I was very cautious.
With this resolution formed, I listened for a few seconds, and hearing
nothing, I started to make a semi-circle of the Half-Way House in
order to get on the other side of it. By a bright light which the fog
magnified to at least ten times its size, which kept moving to and fro
in and around the Half Way-House, which was either a torch or a
lantern, I knew that the blood-thirsty crew were searching under the
porch and in the out-houses for me. I had not proceeded a quarter of a
mile after taking my resolve to get between the mob and Merced, when I
came to the road leading from the above houses to Cox's Ferry. I
stopped and listened for a second and peered through the fog, which
was growing denser and more dense as the night advanced, but could
discern nothing but the bright light before mentioned, which I was
utilizing as a guide to travel by. I then crossed the road; I had no
sooner done so than I discovered two horsemen going toward Snelling. I
fell flat on my face, scarcely daring to breathe, and they passed on
without discovering me. While lying down I watched them attentively to
see if they suspected their close proximity to me, as they were riding
at that moment very slow, and were apparently on the alert for any
sound which might possibly reach their ears. I saw several more
horsemen, but luckily they did not see me before I had accomplished
the semi-circle around the Half-Way House; but after accomplishing
that manoeuvre, I saw no one again that night, as I kept away from
the roads, and was not under the necessity of crossing any more. When
about four miles from Merced, I altered my course slightly with the
intention of striking Bear Creek; about one or two miles below town;
but losing my reckoning, I reached the creek about five hundred yards
from the bridge.

It was now near daylight, and the fog was impenetrable to the eye, or
at least all objects moving in it at a greater distance than fifty
yards. Having reached the creek, and put on my shoes (having walked
all the way from the Half-Way House in my stocking feet), I proceeded
up. By daylight I was opposite the County Hospital Farm, situated
northeast of town. I cautiously passed beyond it, and as there was a
road running on each side of the creek at this point, I scrambled up
its banks and struck out toward the foot-hills, knowing that I would
not be apt to encounter the mob off from a road, within a circle of
five miles from Merced. I commenced to walk around a section of land
which was marked by a furrow, and which I think belonged to Upton. I
had to keep walking to keep from freezing.

I was now about two miles from the Hospital grounds the hour about
nine o'clock A. M., and up to this time I had only halted once, then
for only a second to put on my shoes. I was sick, tired, thirsty, and
commenced to feel hungry. I sat down for awhile to rest. I was very
weak and emaciated from a severe attack of bloody flux, from which I
had suffered several days prior to the shooting, and which continued
during the first two days of my wandering. My mouth was dry and
parched; there was no water to be seen; I looked at the grass; the fog
had made it damp; I will try to suck the dampness I thought; as I was
preparing to do so, to my horror I discovered that my jaws were
locked. I had doubtless clasped them firmly the night before,
determined to escape, and in my eagerness had not opened my mouth; and
that, together with the cold and thirst, had fastened them vise-like.
I rubbed and worked nervously for several minutes; then I bethought me
of my printer rule which was luckily in my vest pocket. With this I
succeeded in prying my jaws apart, and with a few crumbs of tobacco
which I found in my pants' pocket, I found relief. I then resumed my
walk; would walk around the section and return to my starting point;
alternately walking a mile and resting for a half hour, thus I passed
some three hours.

About noon the fog exhibited indications of clearing off, and I
thought it best to hunt the shelter of some friendly creek, for the
double purpose of screening myself from view and quenching my thirst,
which was becoming almost unbearable. Sick and hungry, I started in
quest of Bear Creek; and after traveling about an hour, I realized the
fact that I had become lost in the fog. Previous to this discovery, I
had passed within sight of several houses, but not knowing all the
inhuman wretches who were hunting me down, I durst not apply within
for food, and shelter from the cold, chilling fog, for fear of
encountering some one in sympathy with the mob, if not one of the
actual participants. Upon finding that I was lost, I began to blame
myself for not going boldly into one of the several farm houses,
making myself known, requesting food and a conveyance to Fresno or
Modesto, to deliver myself up to a sheriff who was not an actual
participant in the mob, much less in sympathy with the same.

But I kept up my courage, and tried to discover my bearings. I thought
I must be somewhere near Mariposa Creek; so trudging along for about
two hours longer, I found that I had guessed rightly, and I struck the
above mentioned creek about a mile or two north of the railroad
crossing, and knew my whereabouts to a certainty. I clambered down its
steep banks on one side and up on the other, when I espied a man about
one hundred yards distant, armed with a rifle. Although the fog still
continued to hang over the valley, I was fearful lest he had seen me.
Immediately upon sighting him, I couched down in the tall grass, which
grew quite rank on the banks of the creek at this particular spot, and
cautiously raised my head to see if I had been discovered; as I did
so, I perceived he had seen me. He was about sixty or eighty yards
off, was standing with his face toward me, and had just made a
movement to approach my hiding place, when with a sudden impulse I
seized a long shovel handle (which I had picked up early in the
morning, for use as a walking stick), and lying flat on my stomach,
brought it to bear on the man. My ruse was successful. He evidently
took the harmless weapon for a rifle, and immediately disappeared in
the fog, going up the creek.

This man, whoever he was, no doubt, thinks to this day, that some one
took him for Granice, and that he ran a narrow risk of being
shot--with a shovel handle. As I said before, he took up the creek,
and I proceeded down, and about four o'clock I struck the railroad
crossing seven or eight miles from Merced. Still keeping on the north
side of the track, I proceeded toward that town, being careful to keep
away from the roads.

After proceeding two or three miles, I concluded to get on the other
side of the track; and with that object in view, tried to catch a view
of the telegraph poles, in order to find the track; in a few minutes I
discovered them. In order to change my position to the other side of
the track, I would have to cross two roads, one on each side, which
was a dangerous undertaking so near Merced, in the day time. But the
fog gave me courage, and I started. I had just crossed over the track,
meantime keeping my eyes on all sides of me, when I discovered a man
riding along toward Merced. I immediately dropped flat, and he rode
past, all unconscious of my near presence. This fellow, I should judge
from his paraphernalia--consisting of six shooter, bowie knife and
gun--was one of the brave crowd whom I encountered the preceding night
at the Half-Way House. The horse was completely fagged out, and his
rider was evidently returning to Merced for a fresh movement. I know
you, sir; I saw you, but you did not me. After the outlines of horse
and rider faded away in the foggy mist, I hurriedly walked about a
half mile from the railroad, intending to lay in one of the many
little hollows thereabouts and await the coming of dark.

It was now about half past four. Up to this time I had not had a drop
of water, although I had hunted for it in creeks and "hog wallows."
The cravings of appetite did not bother me much--my thirst was too
keen. Arriving at the point just mentioned, I discovered a pool of
muddy water, and getting on my hands and knees, I proceeded to slake
my thirst. I took one swallow, and it burnt my throat like molten
lead. It was alkali water, and the strongest I ever tasted. It was a
bitter disappointment, but it was near night; I was but a few miles
from town, and under the cover of darkness I could get water and maybe
something to eat.

Night at last arrived, and under its sable folds I reached the
railroad bed, and proceeded on my way--my place of destination,
Merced. About seven o'clock I reached the outskirts of the town, and,
proceeding cautiously to Fourteenth street, through Chinatown, crossed
the railroad track below the El Capitan Hotel. Just as I stepped on
the track two men passed on their way to town--evidently men from one
of the farms beyond Merced. I was then about five hundred yards from
my home, and I determined at any risk to find out the fate of my would
be brother and poor dear mother, (whom I expected home on Monday
night). Crawling on my hands and knees to within one hundred yards of
the house (which was the last one at the west end of Seventeenth
street), I watched for about five minutes to see if the place was
under the surveillance of the mob. Discovering no indication of any
one on the outside, I crept along, reached the back door, and
cautiously tried to get a view into the interior, but could see
nothing, as the windows were covered with heavy curtains. I shuddered
at the gloomy appearance of everything about the house; I wondered if
any of the family were dead within. I then opened the back door, and
looking in discovered the children and a neighbor lady, Mrs. Keogh.
When I opened the door the children ran off frightened, as they did
not know who I was. I hastily asked Mrs. Keogh where the family was.
She replied "all gone." "Are they all alive?" She answered "yes."

Just then I heard a noise at the front door and beat a hasty retreat
out the back door. I dare not venture back where there were so many
children, so I went to another part of town, where I knew almost to a
certainty those who were thirsting for my blood. I ventured to look
into the house of two persons whom I did not know, I saw them through
the windows of their house, and knew that if they were not friends
they were not enemies. Going to the door, I rapped. The door was
opened, and standing in the dark I requested a drink of water, which
was handed to me. It was the first water I had tasted since leaving
the Half-Way House. I then stepped boldly into the room and said:

"I suppose you know who I am? I am Granice."

They remarked, "Yes."

"Well," said I, "give me something to eat; I am almost starved."

Something told me there was nothing to fear from these people. Telling
them to put down the curtains and lock the door, I sat down to the
table and commenced to partake of a lunch which they sat before me. I
feared to eat too heartily, as I had not tasted food for twenty-four
hours. After eating and drinking and resting for about a half hour, I
asked for a hat, as mine had been left at the Half-Way House the night
before. One was given me, and also a blanket, and some victuals which
I strapped up in the blanket; and throwing the whole over my shoulder,
I signified my intention of departing, and left them, with the
injunction to say nothing to any one about seeing me. They gave me
their promise, which they faithfully kept.

I then took up my weary march again. It had been walk, walk, since the
preceding night. After leaving my newly-made acquaintances, I struck
off into the chilling fog, hardly knowing which way to turn. I had
learned from these people that my brother and step-father were being
hunted down by Meany and his mob, and I knew I must get away from the
hot-bed of their rendezvous--Merced--as soon as possible before
daylight the next morning.

I proceeded toward Modesto, on the railroad track, and kept up my
weary tramp, tramp, tramp, scarcely able to drag one foot after the
other, until near morning. At about four o'clock I reached a point
about four miles from the Merced river and one or two from the
railroad, and could proceed no farther. Spreading my blanket, a single
one, on the fog-damp earth, I laid down and slept for about an
hour--the first rest and sleep for more than fifty-eight hours, unless
it be the short stop I made while at Merced. But the sleep did me more
harm than good, as the cold chilled me through and through, and left
my limbs so stiff that I could scarcely stand, much less walk. I
managed to drag my weary body back to the railroad, and just as I
reached it I saw a hand-car coming down the track at a rapid rate. It
was going toward the Merced river, to the section-house at that point.
One white man and four or five Chinamen were in the car. Hailing the
man, he stopped. I asked for a ride. He told me to jump on, and I did
so, and sat right among the Chinamen. I told the man that I was
hunting work, but had been taken sick and was scarcely able to travel;
that I was going to Modesto, where I had friends. He said I was
welcome to a ride. I watched him narrowly, and saw that he did not
suspicion anything. I rode as far as the Merced river with him, and as
he was going no farther, I was obliged to get off. He will probably be
surprised to learn that that sick man hunting for a job was Granice,
who at that time was being hunted down for his life, and for whom
there were large imaginary rewards offered for his capture. I would
advise him not to chide himself for his short-sightedness in not
discovering whom I was, and thereby letting the reward slip through
his hands, as I can assure him, had he captured me, he would have
received not one dime for his pains.

Sick, worn out, footsore, not knowing the fate of my poor mother,
brother and step-father, I cautiously approached the saloon at Cressy
station, and peering through the window without being seen, I saw six
or seven men sitting around the stove; I recognized but one among the
number; the rest were strangers to me. Knowing my enemies, I saw at a
glance there were none among those men. Half frozen and famished, I
walked fearlessly into the bar-room, and took a seat by the stove.
Addressing the bar-keeper, I asked for a glass of brandy. He evidently
saw from my appearance that I was very sick, and needed a strong
stimulant; and filling a glass half full of brandy, he handed it to
me; taking it, I drained every drop. I then commenced to warm my
half-frozen body, but during the operation I was very silent. In a few
minutes I felt revived, and I told the men that I was on my way to
Modesto afoot, but that I was sick, and did not think I could hardly
make the trip.

My acquaintance in the meantime said nothing, and did not even appear
to recognize me. At last I succeeded in getting him to one side, and
told him I wanted to get to Modesto by some means. He said he could
not help me, but would not inform on me. He told me he knew the men
present, and that they would help me, if anything, to get out of the
clutches of the mob. I told him I wanted to be kept out of Meany's
hands; also that he was in with the mob, to my way of thinking. He
said they all understood that; that they, the men, would see me safely
through. Here I eat breakfast, after which I went and hid myself in a
barn. Peeping through the cracks of the same, I saw Meany and some of
the mob, just as the afternoon train arrived, talking to one of the
men I had seen in the saloon, and I thought I would be discovered
sure. But in a few minutes the sheriff and posse (?) left, going up
the river. I had guessed rightly; the men did not suspect me; if they
did, they kept their own counsel.

I learned, during the afternoon, that my mother was on that train on
her way to Merced, and that some one had whispered in her ear, your
son is thus far safe. This was a great relief to me, for I had feared
for her safety; I knew that rumors must have reached her of my being
hunted down, and of the uncertainty of my escape from the mob, and I
knew that her agony must be terrible.

I remained hid in the barn until nightfall, when I ventured forth, and
was guided by two friends to a good hiding place, their main object
being to keep me out of the clutches of the mob, as I informed them
that I did not wish to evade the law, but wanted to reach Modesto
when I could do so with safety. I did not look upon Meany as an
officer, as he, to my knowledge, mixed with the mob, and deputized
some of the ring leaders as his posse. I have his own word for this,
because he told me, while returning with me to Modesto from my
examination at Merced, that there was not a half-dozen men out but
what he had deputized. I laid hid in my new retreat, which was in a
barn, some four or five miles from Cressy Station. This barn was
filled with hay, and I burrowed a hole, got into it, covered it up,
and lay hid all day, venturing forth at night only, to stretch my
aching limbs and to get water.

While hid in this barn, I suffered from cold, hunger and thirst.

While hid here, the mob was hunting for me everywhere, and whenever
the cowardly crew came to a thicket of willows that they feared to
inspect closely or in which they thought I might be hid, they fired
into the same. The firing was distinctly seen and heard by myself at
one particular point on the Merced river. In the corral of the barn in
which I lay hid there were a dozen or so of fine horses, out of which
I could have taken my pick, had I desired to effect my escape, but
that was far from my intention. I was determined not to flee if I
could possibly reach Modesto in safety. Had I have had no opportunity
to have done so, as a last resort I would have armed myself, mounted a
good horse, and leading another, struck a bee line for Mexico. Knowing
the country so well, and for other reasons which I will not mention
here, I could have reached that country without fear of arrest; and
after stopping there six months or a year, I would have returned and
stood my trial.

Luckily, I had an opportunity to reach Modesto, but not without
incurring a great risk from the mob, whom I had to dodge on every hand
in order to reach Cressy Station, where, under the protection of five
friends, I took passage to Modesto on Saturday morning. Arriving there
at seven o'clock, I immediately went to the Ross House, eat my
breakfast, and then sent a messenger in quest of the sheriff. He being
out of town, his deputy, Chas. Aull, came into the parlor. I was
introduced, to him, and gave myself into his custody. That night the
sheriff called out a large number of men to prevent a set of
scoundrels from Merced from mobbing me.

I have written this simple, uncolored, true statement of facts in
justice to Nick Breen, as Mr. Fleming, the deputy sheriff, told my
mother that Mr. Meany had ordered Mr. Breen to take me to Modesto, and
that he (Breen) had disobeyed orders. My mother went immediately to
Mr. Breen and asked him if what Mr. Fleming said was true. "No," said
Mr. B., "I wanted to take Harry to Modesto, but Meany's strict orders
were, the Half-Way House."

       *       *       *       *       *

The following beautiful poem was written after the authoress had spent
several hours in jail with the prisoner in company with his mother, in
which time they all dined together; the meal being furnished from a
restaurant by his mother. Young Harry acted as host, calm and
dignified, though pale from confinement and want of sun and air:



    The sun was shining bright without, where happy faces smiled,
    But within the lonesome prison walls sat one so pale and mild;
    No sigh escaped his peaceful lips, no tear bedimmed his eye,
    Though weary from the waiting to know if he must die.

    Kind stranger, do you wish to know what is the prisoner's crime?
    'Twas because some cruel monster his mother did malign,
    Which roused the sleeping passions of anger, hate and strife,
    When in a time unguarded he took the offender's life.

    "Oh now," said he, "I'm ready to answer for this crime;
    You see I've killed the villain my mother did malign--
    That mother who has cherished me through all my childhood days,
    And rocked me on her bosom when weary of my plays;

    That mother, who in her early years her orphan boy has led
    O'er weary wastes and craggy peaks, to earn our daily bread,
    Far over snow-capped mountains and through the sunny glens,
    To sell her own productions--her books--to stranger men;

    That mother, who at midnight hours, when daily toils were o'er,
    And millions, on their downy beds inside their palace door
    Were resting from all sorrow while she, who forced to roam,
    Sat writing by the camp-fire--an authoress, with no home.

    How many, many were the days, when I was but a child,
    I stood beside that mother, and watched her pen the while,
    Until her hand grew weary; her mind would fain have rest.
    But the publisher was waiting; the book, her child might bless.

    Thus months and years rolled onward; when childhood's days were done,
    I stood beside that mother, a faithful, happy son.
    For years we toiled together, with books and pen and type,
    In hopes the future had for us a home--Oh, happy sight!

    But ah! stern fate, how cruel! when men who mock our laws,
    And strive with unrelenting hand to find some legal cause
    To murder every cherished hope with slander's cruel knife,
    And drop by drop to steal away poor woman's helpless life."

    'Twas slander vile, young Harry saw upon the printed page;
    His mother dear, the victim, which caused the fires to rage;
    His cheeks grew pale with anguish, his heart could know no fear;
    He only thought of days gone by, and mother's name so dear.

    He only thought of years agone, when mother's face was young;
    Her arms were strong and willing, then, to guard her little son;
    But times have changed that youthful face, and age is creeping on,
    While he, in early manhood now, must be the stronger one.

    Shall he defend his mother's name? No duty is too great,
    Though prison walls or gallows high for him will anxious wait;
    And now within the lonely jail young Harry waits his doom;
    Though it be liberty or death, the time must shortly come.

    Oh, mothers dear and fathers, too! Oh, women, weak or strong!
    Remember Harry's cause is yours, for you he's suffered long;
    'Twas not for gold or laurel wreath, 'twas not for praise or fame,
    'Twas not for love of honors great, but love of woman's name.

       *       *       *       *       *

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Hunted Down - or, Five Days in the Fog" ***

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