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Title: A Tramp's Scraps
Author: Self, H. I. M.
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Tramp's Scraps" ***

A Tramp's Scraps

_By H. I. M. Self_






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

Table of Contents


?                                    7

Fire                                 9

The Ghost                           13

In a Houseboat                      13

Animals                             15

Humatiaá                            17

At Sea                              21

A Quarrel                           25

The Witching Hour                   27

Perrochino                          29

Smallpox                            29

"May Good Digestion"                31

Bug-hunting                         33

Evelina                             35

Shooting in Illinois                39

After Ostrich                       41

A Whitlow                           43

Buchaton                            45

Fever                               47

"To Sleep, to Sleep"                49

"Half the World, Etc."              51

Hard Times                          53

"There was a Ship Quoth He."        55

Health and Appetite                 59

The Knuckle-duster                  59

Wanderers                           61

"The Weary Ploughboy"               63

Another Quarrel                     63

Another Fire                        65

Two Falls and a Cow                 69

Real Ghosts                         71

On the San Rafael Ranch             73

Express Charges                     77

Cotton Packing                      81

Man Overboard                       85

"The Old Oaken Bucket"              87

A Dog Story                         89

Arden                               89

Horses                              95

Sudden Death, Etc.                  97

A Game at Billiards                 98

Thieves                            101

Brief Authority                    105



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

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

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

B said: "Too much noise and knife."

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

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

[Illustration: Buena Noche Toreador.]

[Illustration: Digging Ye First Corral Ditch.]

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

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

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


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

[Illustration: A "Prairie" Fire.]

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

[Illustration: "And Said as Plain as Whisper in the Ear, the Place is

[Illustration: Sampans on the Yellow River.]


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


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

[Illustration: On the Yangtze Kiang.]

[Illustration: A Pulperia.]


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

[Illustration: A Row.]

[Illustration: What's Left of San Carlos Cathedral--Humatiaá,


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

[Illustration: Evening in Humatiaá.]

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

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

[Illustration: Adios Humatiaá.]

[Illustration: Your Stateroom.]

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


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

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

[Illustration: "Down in the Saloon Boys"--"Bay of Biscay Oh!"]


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

[Illustration: "Children, You Should Never Let Your Angry Passions

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

[Illustration: The Guanaco Episode.]


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

[Illustration: Perrochino Trapped.]

[Illustration: Fetching the Priest.]


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


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

[Illustration: Antonia's Funeral.]

[Illustration: Near Corientes.]


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

[Illustration: Cold Water Cure--Java.]


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

[Illustration: In Irons.]

[Illustration: A Tormento.]


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

[Illustration: "To Die! To Sleep--Perchance to Dream!"]

Man says: "Is Evelina here?"

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

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

[Illustration: Rats! Musk Rats.]

[Illustration: On the Calumet.]


"_The days that are no more._"

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

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

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

[Illustration: L-- and F. W. Shot With the P. of W. When He Was Here
(in Chicago), Missed His "Injin".]

[Illustration: "I'm a Simple Little Ostrich, But I Know It All,"]


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

[Illustration: Ostriches--On the Look-out.]

[Illustration: Somerset and Yo.]

[Illustration: Whitlow, From Tree Pruning. South America.]

[Illustration: Men off H. M. "Rattler".]


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

[Illustration: Diphtheria at Pera.]

[Illustration: Buchaton's Death in la Candelaria.]


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

[Illustration: Acclimatizing Fever--Shanghai.]

[Illustration: Oil Springs Typhoid--Canada.]


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

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

[Illustration: Baggage.]

[Illustration: A Night on the "Grimsel" Pass--Switzerland]


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

[Illustration: Death.]

[Illustration: Katrina.]


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

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


[Illustration: British Benevolent Society--2 A. M.]


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

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

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

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

[Illustration: The "Cisne" at the Old Wharf Rosario--Santa Fé.]


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

[Illustration: O'Geary.]



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

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

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

[Illustration: "Tramp, Tramp, Tramp, the Boys Are Marching."]


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

[Illustration: The Knuckle-duster.]

[Illustration: Callers!]


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


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

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


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

[Illustration: Bringing in Ruffinelli.]

[Illustration: Our Last Night on the "Plata".]

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


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

[Illustration: A Dismal Swamp--Hundreds of Miles of It. Ye Gran Chaco.]

[Illustration: Shipwrecked.]

[Illustration: A Lonely Skeleton.]



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

[Illustration: The Mare Wins Easy.]

[Illustration: El Hombre ò la Vaca.]


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

[Illustration: Real Ghosts.]


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

[Illustration: The Day of Rest.]

[Illustration: Saionara.]


    "Went down the hill without the drag on,
                                    Poor Mary Ann.
    Mother she waxed her, petted her and kissed her,
    Docter he came and he put on a blister,
    If she'd a' died we'd never a' missed her;
                                    Poor Mary Ann."

[Illustration: Man in a Slough.]


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

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

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

[Illustration: Express Charges--Pittsburg & Fort Wayne R. R.]

[Illustration: F. P. Long Stop.]

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


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

[Illustration: "Roll Dat Cotton."]



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

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

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


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

[Illustration: Coaling--Rio Janeiro.]

[Illustration: Man Overboard--Bay of Biscay.]


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

[Illustration: Act I.--The Great Baldearing Trick.]

[Illustration: Act II.]


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


[Illustration: The Tale of Grouse.]


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

[Illustration: Arden, 1897.]

                  Los Angeles, October 14, 1897.

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

[Illustration: Weeding.]

[Illustration: 1900--Beginning of the D----.]

[Illustration: Let Go!]

[Illustration: They're Off!]


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

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

[Illustration: Russian Consul Going for the Grand Stand--Shanghai.]

[Illustration: "Get on Ferguson."]

[Illustration: One on the Wall.]

[Illustration: A Bad 'un to Mount.]

[Illustration: Lloyd's "Crumpler" on Miss Louise. Steeple. Flat.]


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

[Illustration: The End of Don J-- F. Front of White House, Commercial
St., Los Angeles.]


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

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

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

[Illustration: One Adobe--Los Angeles.]

[Illustration: "Empty is the Cradle, Baby's Gone"--San Rafael Ranch.]


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

[Illustration: California--Voices of the Night.]

[Illustration: Pincher--All That Could be Seen, or Heard.]

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

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

[Illustration: "Marshals Them the Way That They Should Go?"]

[Illustration: "Oh Lie Down P.---- It's All Right."]


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

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

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

    La vie est brève:
    Un peu d'espoir,
    Un peu de rève ...
    Et puis--bonsoir." ...

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's Notes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*** End of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Tramp's Scraps" ***

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