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Title: A Pacific Coast Vacation
Author: Morris, Ida Dorman
Language: English
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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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Libraries.)



Transcriber’s Notes:

Text enclosed by underscores is in italics (_italics_).

Additional Transcriber’s Notes are at the end.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: MRS. JAMES EDWIN MORRIS.]



A PACIFIC COAST VACATION


  BY MRS. JAMES EDWIN MORRIS

  _Illustrated from Photographs Taken En Route
  by James Edwin Morris_

  THE Abbey Press
  PUBLISHERS
  114 FIFTH AVENUE
  LONDON  NEW YORK  MONTREAL

       *       *       *       *       *

Copyright, 1901, by THE Abbey Press

       *       *       *       *       *

Dedicated to Alaska’s Beautiful Daughter,

MISS EDNA MCFARLAND

Linked in my memory of those sea-girt shores where snow-crowned
mountains tower like castles old; where wild cataracts hurl their
waters down rugged cliffs to the sea; where sea gulls mingle their
cries with the rushing torrents; where frost giants stride up and down
the land; where the Aurora flames through the long winter nights, will
ever be the name of this gifted daughter of Alaska.



FOREWORD


If you ask what motive she who loved these scenes had in essaying to
portray them with pen and camera, she would reply that like the Duke of
Buckingham, when visiting the scene where Anna of Austria had whispered
that she loved him, let fall a precious gem that another finding it,
might be happy in that charméd spot where he himself had been.



CONTENTS


                                        PAGE

  FOREWORD

  CHAPTER

      I. AUF WIEDERSEHEN                   1

     II. PLENTY OF ROOM                   34

    III. OFF FOR ALASKA                   46

     IV. FIRST VIEWS                      59

      V. FURTHER GLIMPSES                 72

     VI. GOLD FIELDS                      85

    VII. MUIR GLACIER                     91

   VIII. SITKA                           103

     IX. ALASKA                          116

      X. FAREWELL TO SKAGWAY             129

     XI. WASHINGTON AND OREGON           137

    XII. OFF FOR CALIFORNIA              160

   XIII. SAN FRANCISCO                   173

    XIV. CALIFORNIA FARMS AND VINEYARDS  187

     XV. YOSEMITE                        191

    XVI. SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA             210

   XVII. HERE AND THERE ON THE COAST     217

  XVIII. WALLA WALLA VALLEY              224

    XIX. HISTORICAL REFERENCES           228

     XX. YELLOWSTONE PARK                236



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.


                                                        PAGE

  Junction of the Mississippi and Black Rivers             9

  Falls of Saint Anthony                                  11

  Falls of Minnehaha                                      13

  Old Fort Snelling                                       15

  Roadway, Soldiers’ Barracks, Fort Snelling              17

  Entering the Cascade Range                              35

  Lava Beds in Washington                                 37

  Tangle of Wild Fern in a Washington Forest              39

  Mount Rainier                                           41

  Street in Tacoma, Washington                            45

  Parliament House, Victoria                              51

  Gorge of Homathco                                       53

  Light House, Point Robert                               55

  Fjords of Alaska                                        57

  Fishing Hamlet of Ketchikan                             59

  Fort Wrangel, Alaska                                    63

  Chief Shake’s House, Fort Wrangel                       67

  Entering Wrangel Narrows                                71

  Douglas Island, Looking Toward Juneau                   73

  Silver Bow Cañon, Juneau. (_By permission of F.
    Laroche, photographer, Seattle, Washington_)          75

  Old Russian Court House, Juneau                         77

  Street in Juneau                                        79

  Greek Church, Juneau                                    81

  Indian Chief’s House, Juneau                            83

  Summit of the Selkirk Range, at Head of Yukon River.
    Old Glory Waves Beside the British Flag               85

  The Skagway Enchantress                                 89

  Skagway, Showing White Pass                             91

  Muir Glacier (section of)                               93

  Greek Church, Killisnoo                                 99

  Kitchnatti                                             101

  Sitka--Soldiers’ Barracks, Old Russian Warehouse and
    Greek Church on the right, Indian Village on the
    left, Russian Blockhouses Beyond, and Mission
    Schools in the Distance. (_By permission of
    F. Laroche, photographer, Seattle, Washington_)      103

  Indian Avenue, Sitka                                   105

  Blockhouse on Bank of Indian River, Sitka, Alaska      107

  Rapids, Indian River, Sitka                            113

  Where Whales and Porpoises Poke Their Noses Up
    Through the Brine                                    119

  Steamer Queen Leaving Juneau                           133

  Alps of America                                        135

  Government Locks on the Columbia River                 143

  Rapids, Columbia River                                 145

  Farm on the Bank of the Columbia River, Below the
    Dalles, Oregon                                       147

  Scene on an Oregon Farm in the Willamette Valley       151

  Roadway in Oregon                                      153

  Climbing the Shasta Range                              163

  The Highest Trestle in the World, near Muir’s Peak,
    Shasta Range                                         165

  Mount Shasta. (_By permission of F. Laroche,
    photographer, Seattle, Washington_)                  167

  Street Scene in Chinatown, San Francisco               177

  Museum in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco              181

  Early Morning, Yosemite Valley                         189

  Wawona Valley                                          191

  Oldest Log Cabin in the Sequoia Grove, Mariposa
    County, California. Old Columbia in the Foreground   193

  Half Dome and Merced River                             195

  Merced River, Yosemite Valley                          197

  Yosemite Falls                                         199

  El Capitan                                             201

  Bridal Veil Falls and the Three Brothers (solid rock)  203

  Mirror Lake, Sleeping Water                            205

  Yosemite Falls, Showing Floor of the Valley            207

  Sunrise in Yosemite Valley                             209

  Entering Hell Gate Cañon                               233

  Liberty Cap and Old Fort Yellowstone                   235

  Hotel Mammoth, Hot Springs, Yellowstone Park           237

  Old Faithful Geyser, Yellowstone Park, Just Before
    an Eruption                                          239

  Yellowstone Lake                                       241

  Camping on the Shore of Lake Yellowstone               243

  Paint Pots on Shore of Yellowstone Lake                245

  Grand Cañon of the Yellowstone                         247

  Gibbon River Falls                                     249

  Micky and Annie Rooney                                 251

       *       *       *       *       *

A Pacific Coast Vacation



CHAPTER I AUF WIEDERSEHEN


Off to see the land of icebergs and glaciers; the land I have often
visited in my imagination. It seems but yesterday that the first
geography was put into my hands. O, that dear old geography, the silent
companion of my childhood days.

The first page to which I opened pictured an iceberg, with a polar
bear walking right up the perpendicular side, and another bold fellow
sitting on top as serenely as Patience on a monument.

“What was an iceberg? What were the bears doing on the ice and what did
they eat? Was that the sun shining over yonder? Why didn’t it melt the
ice and drop the bears into the sea? No, that was not the sun, it was
the aurora borealis. Aurora? Who was she and why did she live in that
cold, cold country, the home of Hoder, the gray old god of winter?”

The phenomenon of the aurora was explained to us, but to our childish
imagination Aurora ever remained a maiden whose wonderful hair of
rainbow tints lit up the northern sky.

We talked of Aurora, we dreamed of Aurora, and now we are off to see
the charming ice maiden of our childhood fancy.

Off to Alaska. For years we have dreamed of it; for days and weeks
we have breakfasted on Rocky Mountain flora, lunched on icebergs and
glaciers and dined on totem poles and Indian chiefs.

Much of the charm of travel in any country comes of the glamour with
which fable and legend have enshrouded its historic places.

America is rapidly developing a legendary era. Travel up and down the
shores of the historic Hudson and note her fabled places.

The “Headless Hessian” still chases timid “Ichabods” through “Sleepy
Hollow.” “Rip Van Winkle,” the happy-go-lucky fellow, still stalks the
Catskills, gun in hand. The death light of “Jack Welsh” may be seen
on a summer’s night off the coast of Pond Cove. “Mother Crew’s” evil
spirit haunts Plymouth, while “Skipper Ireson” floats off Marble Head
in his ill-fated smack.

With a cloud for a blanket the “Indian Witch” of the Catskills sits on
her mountain peak sending forth fair weather and foul at her pleasure,
while the pygmies distil their magic liquor in the valley below.

“Atlantis” lies fathoms deep in the blue waters of the Atlantic, and
the “Flying Dutchman” haunts the South Seas.

We have our Siegfried and our Thor, whom men call Washington and
Franklin. Our “Hymer” splits rocks and levels mountains with his
devil’s eye, though we call him dynamite.

Israel Putnam and Daniel Boone may yet live in history as the Theseus
and Perseus of our heroic age.

Certainly our country has her myths and her folk lore.

In time America, too, will have her saga book.

Yonder, Black Hawk, chief of the Sac, Fox, and Winnebago Indians, made
his last stand, was defeated by General Scott, captured and carried to
Washington and other cities of the East, where he recognized the power
of the nation to which he had come in contact. Returning to his people,
he advised them that resistance was useless. The Indians then abandoned
the disputed lands and retired into Iowa.

Just north of Chicago we passed field after field yellow with the bloom
of mustard. Calling the porter I asked him what was being grown yonder.
He looked puzzled for a moment, then his face lighted up with the
inspiration of a happy thought as he replied:

“That, Madam, is dandelion.”

“O, thank you; I suppose that they are being grown for the Chicago
market?” said I, knowing that dandelion greens with the buds in blossom
and full bloom are considered a delicacy in the city.

“No, Madam,” answered my porter wise, “I don’t think them fields is
being cultivated at all.”

I forebore to point out to him the well kept fence and the marks of the
plow along it, but brought my field glasses into play and discovered
that the disputed fields had been sown to oats, but the oats were being
smothered out by the mustard.

Wisconsin is a beautiful state. Had the French government cultivated
the rich lands of the Mississippi valley and developed its mineral
resources as urged by Joliet, Wisconsin might still be a French
territory. But all his plans for colonization were rejected by the
government he served. A map of this country over which Joliet traveled
may be seen in the Archives de la Marine, Paris, France, to-day.

The soil is light and farming in Wisconsin is along different lines
from that of her sister state, Illinois. In every direction great dairy
barns dot the landscape. Corn is grown almost entirely for fodder. The
seasons here are too short to mature it properly. In planting corn for
fodder it is sown much as are wheat and oats.

The principal crops of this great state are flax, oats, hops, and I
might add ice. Large ice houses are seen on every side. Much of the
country is yet wild. Acres of virgin prairie just now aglow with wild
flowers, take me back to my childhood, when we spent whole days on the
prairie, “Where the great warm heart of God beat down in the sunshine
and up from the sod;” where Marguerites and black-eyed Susans nodded
in the golden sunshine, and the thistle for very joy tossed off her
purple bonnet.

Here and there in northern Illinois and Wisconsin kettle holes mark the
track of the glaciers that once flowed down from the great névé fields
of Manitoba and the Hudson lake district.

In traveling across Wisconsin one is reminded of the time when witches,
devils, magicians, and manitous held sway over the Indian mind.

Milwaukee is a name of Indian origin,--Mahn-a-wau-kie, anglicized into
Milwaukee--means in the language of the Winnebagoes, rich, beautiful
land.

According to an Indian legend the name comes from mahn-wau, a root of
wonderful medicinal properties. The healing power of this root, found
only in this locality, was so great that the Chippewas on Lake Superior
would give a beaver skin for a finger length piece.

The market place now stands on the site of a forest-clad hill, which
had been consecrated to the Great Manitou. Here tomahawks were belted
and knives were sheathed. Here the tribes of all the surrounding
country met to hold the peace dance which preceded the religious
festival. At the close of the religious services each Indian carried
away with him from the holy hill a memento to worship as an amulet.

It was the greatest wish, the most passionate desire of every Indian to
be buried at the foot of this hill on the bank of the Mahn-a-wau-kie.

Recent investigation has shown that Wisconsin was the dwelling place of
strange tribes long before the advent of the Indian.

The Dells of the Wisconsin river was a favorite resort of the Indian
manitous. Yonder is a chasm fifty feet wide, across which Black Hawk
leaped when fleeing from the whites. He surely had the aid of the
nether world.

In this beautiful region, hemmed in by rugged bowlder cliffs, lies a
veritable Sleepy Hollow. In a dense wood back of the cliff stands the
mythical “lost cabin.” Many have lost their way searching for it. The
strange thing about it is that they who have once found it are never
able to find it again. Weird stories are told about it. Its logs are
old and strange, different from the wood of the dark old forest in
which it stands. There are stories afloat that it is haunted by its
former inhabitants, who move it about from place to place.

At the foot of this rugged cliff lies Devil’s lake. At the head of this
fathomless body of water is a mound built in the form of an eagle with
wings outspread. Here, no doubt, lies buried a great chief. Nothing is
left in Wisconsin to-day of the Indian but footprints,--mounds, graves,
legends and myths.

At Devil’s Lake lived a manitou of wonderful power. This lake fills the
crater of an extinct volcano. Now this manitou, so the tale runs, piled
up those heavy blocks of stone, which form the Devil’s Doorway. He
also set up Black Monument and Pedestaled Bowlder for thrones where he
might sit and view the landscape o’er when on his visits to the earth.
These visits have ceased, since the white man possesses the country.
One day this wonderful manitou aimed a dart at a bad Indian and missing
him, cleft a huge rock in twain, which is now known as Cleft Rock. At
night, long ago, he might have been seen sitting on one of his thrones
or peeping out of the Devil’s Doorway watching the dance of the frost
fairies or gazing at the aurora flaming through the night.

Every night at midnight Gitche Manitou appears in the middle of the
lake.

In days gone by a strange, wild creature, known as the Red Dwarf,
roamed the region of the great lakes, haunting alike the lives of red
man and white.

The snake god, the stone god, the witch of pictured rocks, were-wolves
and wizards held sway in that charméd region where San Souci, Jean
Beaugrand’s famous horse, despite his hundred years, leaped wall of
fort and stockade at pleasure.

[Illustration: JUNCTION OF THE MISSISSIPPI AND BLACK RIVERS.]

At LaCrosse we crossed Black river into Minnesota and shortly after
crossed the Mississippi. LaCrosse, although French, originally, means
a game played by the Indian maidens on the ice. The heights on either
side of the Mississippi river remind one of the Catskills along the
Hudson. Indeed, the scenery is very similar. You easily imagine yonder
cliffs to be the palisades. Here, a spur of the Catskills range and the
little valley between might be Sleepy Hollow. But you miss the historic
places--Washington’s headquarters, Tarrytown, West Point and others.
Like forces produce like results. When you have seen the Hudson river
and its environs you have seen the upper Mississippi.

St. Paul and Minneapolis form the commercial center of the North.
Although the ground freezes from fifteen to sixteen feet, the concrete
sidewalks and pavements show no effect of the touch of Jack Frost’s icy
fingers. The street-cars here are larger and heavier than any I have
ever seen. Then, too, they have large wheels, and that sets them up so
high. This is on account of the snow, which lasts from Thanksgiving to
Easter, good sleighing all the time.

The French and Indian have left to this region a nomenclature
peculiarly its own. There is Bear street and White Bear street. In the
shop windows are displayed headgear marked Black Bear, White Bear and
Red Cloud. There are on sale Indian dolls, Indian slippers, French
soldier dolls, Red Indian tobacco, showing the influence still existing
of the two peoples. One sees many French faces and hears that language
quite often on the streets and in the cars.

The falls of St. Anthony are at the foot of Fifth street in
Minneapolis. The water does not come leaping over, but pours over
easily and smoothly in one solid sheet. On either bank of the river are
located the largest flouring mills in the world. Not a drop of the old
Mississippi that comes sweeping over the falls but pays tribute in
furnishing power for these mills. Huge iron turbine wheels that twenty
men could not lift are turned as easily as a child rolls a hoop.

[Illustration: FALLS OF SAINT ANTHONY.]

On the site of these mills long ago were camped the Dakotas. They had
just come down from another village where one of the men had married
another wife and brought her along. The woman was stronger than the
savage in wife number one, and when the Indians broke camp and packed
up their canoes and goods for the journey to the foot of the falls, the
forsaken wife, taking her child, leaped into a canoe and rowed with
a steady hand down stream toward the falls. Her husband saw her and
called to her, but she seemed not to hear him and she did not even turn
her head when his comrades joined him in his cries. On swept the boat,
while the broken-hearted wife sang her death-song. Presently the falls
were reached. The boat trembled for a moment, then turning sideways,
was dashed to pieces on the rocks below.

Minnesota was the land of Gitche Manitou the Mighty and Mudjekeewis.
Mackinack was the home of Hiawatha and old Nokomis. There Gitche
Manitou made Adam and Eve and placed them in the Indian Garden of Eden.
One day Manitou or Great God made a turtle and dropped it into Lake
Huron. When it came up with a mouth full of mud, Manitou took the mud
and made the island of Mackinack.

As we steamed up the Mississippi to the falls of Minnehaha we had a
good view of the bank swallows in their homes in the sandstone banks
along the river. The action of the air on sandstone hardens a very
thin crust on the surface, and when this is scraped off one can easily
dig into the bank. The swallows are geologists enough to know this and
hundreds of them have dug holes in the perpendicular walls. Here the
chattering, noisy little cave-dwellers fly in and out all day long,
flying up over the cliffs and away in search of food or resting in the
shrubbery which grows in the water near by. It is a pretty sight to see
the happy little fellows skim the water. It makes you wish that you,
too, had wings.

At the entrance of Minnehaha park we were greeted by a merry wood
thrush, whose voice is melodious beyond description. There he sat on a
swaggy limb not ten feet from us. We were familiar with his biography
and recognized him by his brown and white speckled coat. We advanced
cautiously. We had come six hundred miles to see him and I think he
knew it, too, for when we were so near that we could have taken him in
our hands he recognized our presence by nodding his graceful head first
this way, then that, and sang on. We spent some ten minutes with him,
then “_bon voyage_” he sang out as we passed on.

[Illustration: FALLS OF MINNEHAHA.]

Three miles above Minneapolis are the beautiful falls of Minnehaha,
Laughing Water. These falls are beautiful beyond the power of my pen to
describe. The water does not pour over, but comes leaping and dancing,
like one great shower of diamonds, pearls, sapphires and rubies. The
vast sheet of water sixty-five feet high reminds one of a bridal veil
decked with gems and sprinkled with diamond dust.

  “Where the falls of Minnehaha
   Flash and gleam among the oak trees,
   Laugh and leap into the valley.”

It was here that Hiawatha came courting the lovely maiden Minnehaha.
The falls are surrounded by a government park. Hurrying along through
glen and dale, looking for the falls, we met a party of young ladies
who were having a picnic in the park.

I accosted one of them, “Beg pardon, Mademoiselle, can you tell me
where to find the falls?”

She looked astonished for a moment. “The falls of what?”

“The falls of Minnehaha.”

“O, I don’t know; never heard of her,” replied my maiden fair as she
turned and tripped away.

It has always seemed so strange to me that people living near places of
interest are oftentimes ignorant of the fact.

We next met a youth of some fourteen summers, who knew the history of
St. Paul, Minneapolis and their environs. He could tell you all about
the big mills, the soldiers, the barracks and old Fort Snelling. He
knew the story of Minnehaha, too; had been to the falls hundreds of
times, and knew the Song of Hiawatha as he knew his alphabet. Gitche
Manitou had but to set his foot on the earth and a mighty river flowed
from his tracks. Mudjekeewis was a great warrior, but Hiawatha was
his hero. It was with genuine regret that we bade good-by to this
interesting youth.

[Illustration: OLD FORT SNELLING.]

Our next visit was to old Fort Snelling, three miles out from St.
Paul. This fort was built in 1820. It is round, two stories high
and is constructed of stone. The old fort, of course, is not used
now. The regular soldiers stationed here are located in delightful
quarters. The barracks are just beyond the old fort. The hospital is a
large, commodious building of stone. The parade field is a delightful
bit of rolling prairie. The barracks are quite deserted now, most of
the regiment being in the Philippines. Only a small detachment of
twenty-five troops remains to take care of the property. Fort Snelling
was the rendezvous of the Chippewas and the Sioux in the old days of
Indian occupation.

While the two tribes smoked the pipe of peace and made protestations of
friendship they might not intermarry.

At one of these meetings a Sioux brave won the heart of a Chippewa
maiden. Their love they kept a secret, but when the tribes met again
at old Fort Snelling a quarrel arose among the young warriors which
resulted in the death of a Sioux.

The Sioux fell upon the Chippewas with the cry of extermination.

In the midst of battle lover and loved one met, but for a moment. They
were swept apart and the young warrior knew that the fair maiden lived
only in the land of shadows.

There dwells in the river at the falls of Saint Anthony a dusky Undine.
She was once a mermaid living in a placid lake, longing for a soul
which the good Manitou finally promised her upon her marriage with a
mortal. The mortal appeared one day in the form of a handsome Ottawa
brave, and to him the beautiful mermaid told her tale of woe. The two
were wed. The mermaid received her soul and the form of a human, but
her new relatives disliked her. They quarreled over her and at last the
Ottawas and the Adirondacks fought over her, and threw her into the
river. There she lives to this day, thankfully giving up her soul for
the peace and quiet of a mermaid’s life.

This is the home of the pine and the birch. The white melilotus grows
rank in the byways of Minneapolis.

[Illustration: ROADWAY, SOLDIER’S BARRACKS, FORT SNELLING.]

The horse may not have to go, but the bicycle has surely come to stay.
A unique figure on the streets of St. Paul is a window washer, black as
the ace of spades, mounted on a wheel. Rags of all sorts and conditions
hang from his pockets. He carries his brushes aloft _a la_ “Sancho
Panza.” He rides up to the curbstone, dismounts, leans his steed
against the curb, washes his windows and rides away at a pace that
would make Don Quixote’s sleepy squire open his eyes in amazement.

A beautiful morning in June finds us aboard the Great Northern Flyer,
bound for the Pacific coast. We were soon up on the river bluffs. Here
is some fine farming land, the only drawback being the lack of well
water. The geological formation is entirely different from that of
Indiana and Illinois, where water may be had on the bluffs as easily as
lower down toward the riverbed. Here the underground water current lies
on a level with the bed of the river and a well must go down five or
six hundred feet through the bluff before water is obtained.

Our route here follows the Mississippi, which in places is jammed with
rafts of logs on their way down to the saw mills. Each log bears the
owner’s mark. One sees many logs, big fellows worth ten or fifteen
dollars, which have slipped from their rafts and like independent boys,
get lost in all sorts of places.

George Monte was an Indian lumberman of the north. He worked at a chute
where the logs were floated down to the river and held back by a gate
until it was time to send them through _en masse_. When all was ready
the foreman ordered the log drivers to open the gate. One chilly night
the order came to open the gate. The night was dark and the men drew
lots to see who should attempt the dangerous feat. Monte drew what was
to him the fatal slip. Without a word he opened the door and passed
out into the night. The jam was broken and the logs passed through,
but hours passed and Monte failed to return. Then his companions went
in search of him. Investigation showed that the big gate which sank
by its own weight when the pins had been removed, was held by some
obstruction. The object was removed with long spike-poles and proved
to be the mangled body of Monte. The chute was soon abandoned, for
every night at midnight his ghost walks the banks. His moans can be
distinctly heard above the swish and lap of the water.

On the Coteau des Prairies (side of the prairies) in Minnesota,
pipe-stone, a smooth clay, from which hundreds of Indians have cut
their pipes, forms a wall two miles long and thirty feet high. In front
of the wall lie five big bowlders dropped there by the glaciers. Under
these bowlders lies the spirit of a squaw, which must be propitiated
before the stone is cut. This quarry was neutral ground for all the
tribes. Here knives were sheathed and tomahawks belted. To this place
came the Great Spirit to kill and eat the buffalo of the prairies.
The thunder bird had her nest here and the clashing of the iron wings
of her young brood created the storms. Once upon a time, when a snake
crawled into the nest to steal the young thunderers, Manitou, the Great
Spirit, seized a piece of pipe stone and pressing it into the form
of a man, hurled it at the snake. The clay man missed the snake and
struck the ground. He turned to stone and there he stood for a thousand
years. He grew to manhood’s stature and in time another shape, that of
a woman, grew beside him. One day the red pair wandered away over the
plains. From this pair sprang all the red people.

From St. Paul to Fargo not a stalk of corn was to be seen, but there
was field after field of fine wheat. This part of Minnesota is much
more thickly settled than immediately around St. Paul and Minneapolis.
Morehead in Minnesota and Fargo, across the line in Dakota, are
thriving towns. The country here looks like Illinois. The lay of the
land is the same and groves and houses dot the landscape. Here dwelt
the Dakota tribes from which the states of Dakota and Minnesota take
their names. Here came Hiawatha and his bride, Minnehaha, whom he won
at St. Paul when the tribe was visiting that country, for Minnehaha was
a Dakota girl, you remember.

Hiawatha’s fight with his father began on the upper Mississippi and the
bowlders found there were their missiles. Hiawatha fought against him
for many long days before peace was declared between them.

The evil Peace Father had slain one of Hiawatha’s relatives. He engaged
him in combat all the hot day long. They battled to no purpose, but the
next day a woodpecker flew overhead and cried out, “Your enemy has but
one vulnerable point; shoot at his scalp-lock.” Hiawatha did this and
the Peace Father fell dead. Taking some of the blood on his finger the
victor touched the woodpecker on the head and the red mark is seen on
every woodpecker to this day.

Dakota as well as Wisconsin has her Devil’s Lake, about which hang
many legends, but unlike that of Wisconsin the Great Spirit, Gitche
Manitou, does not appear in the middle of it every night at twelve
o’clock.

Indians as well as whites believe in a coming Messiah. In 1890 a frenzy
swept over the northwest, inspiring the Indians to believe that the
Messiah, who was no less than Hiawatha himself, and who was to sweep
the white people off the face of the earth, would soon arrive. Dakota
was the meeting ground of the tribes. Sitting Bull, a Sioux chief, told
them in assembly that he had seen the wonderful Messiah while hunting
in the mountains. He told them that having lost his way, he followed
a star which led him to a wonderful valley, where he saw throngs of
chiefs long dead, as they appeared in a spirit dance. Christ was there,
too, and showed him the nail wounds in his hands and feet and the place
where the spear pierced his side. Then the old rogue returned to his
people and taught them the ghost dance, which caused the whites so much
trouble.

Dakota is a beautiful state. The land along the route of the Great
Northern railway lies more level than in Minnesota. The crops are
looking well in this region. There seems to be but one drawback to
farming here and that is the famous Russian thistle imported a few
years ago. The principal crops are oats, barley and wheat. Rye bread
is plenty and good, too. Out there on the broad cheek of the Dakota
prairie the weeds are holding high revelry. Some of the same old weeds
we have at home and many which are new to the writer. Wild ducks build
their nests in the tall grass of the ponds just as they did in Illinois
thirty years ago.

At Minot, Dakota, we set our watches to Mountain time, turning them
back one hour. We arrived at Minot at 11:10 P. M., remained fifteen
minutes and left at 10:25. At 9:15 o’clock the sun was just sinking in
the west. It does not get dark here, only twilight. At 10 o’clock the
moon came up and we bade good night to Saturday.

Sunday we spent in the Bad Lands of Montana. “Hell with the fires
out” is the popular name given to the Bad Lands in the wild, fearless
nomenclature of the west. It is an ancient sea bottom. The lower strata
is clay and the one above it is sand. They are wild and rugged beyond
description. The action of the air, wind and storm have worn them into
towers, citadels and fantastic peaks.

The highly colored scoria rocks crop out here and there, adding a
beauty of their own. Summer and winter, long before the advent of the
white man the coal mines in this region were burning. Looking down into
the fiery furnace one may see the white-hot glow of the coal and the
heated rocks glowing with a white heat. Rattlesnakes wriggle through
the short grass. Quails and grouse fly up and away.

There is a banshee in the Bad Lands whose cries chill your blood if you
happen to hear her, which I did not. She is most frequently seen on a
hill south of Watch Dog Butte, in Dakota, her flowing hair and her long
arms tossing in wild gestures, make a weird picture in the moonlight.
Cattle will not remain near the butte and cowboys fear the banshee and
her companion, a skeleton that walks about and haunts the camps in the
vicinity. Leave a violin lying near and he will seize it and away,
playing the most weird music, but you must not follow him, for he will
lead you into pits and foot falls. The explanation of all this is the
phosphorus found in this vicinity, which glows in the night air.

Standing Rock agency is the best known of our frontier posts. The rock
from which the post takes its name is only about three feet high and
two feet in width. This rock was once a beautiful Indian bride who
starved herself to death upon her husband marrying a second wife. After
her death the Great Manitou turned her to stone, and here she stands to
this day.

Glasgow, Montana, lies in the midst of the Sioux reservation. Like the
Spartans of old, these warriors of the plains dwell in tents during a
part of every year. Just beyond the town tepees now dot the landscape
where for a brief space the red man forgets the things taught him by
his white brother and resumes his old wild ways, but at the approach
of winter he abandons his tent and returns to his log cabin and to
civilization.

The Indian costume is a mixture of savage and civilized dress, looking
more like that of the Raggedy Man than any other.

Blackfoot is a village in the heart of the Blackfeet reservation, lying
just west of that of the Sioux. These people, like the ancient Greeks,
reverence the butterfly.

“Ah!” exclaim these red children of nature when they see one of these
Psyches of the prairie flitting from flower to flower over the green
meadow, “ah, see him now. He is gathering the dreams which he will
bring to us in our sleep.”

If you see the sign for the butterfly which is something like a maltese
cross painted on a lodge, you will know that the owner was taught
how to decorate his lodge, in a dream by an apunni,--butterfly. A
Blackfeet woman embroiders a butterfly on a piece of buckskin and ties
it on her baby’s head when she wishes to put it to sleep. Wrapped in
their blankets the Indians stood about Blackfoot village as we came in
reminding us of Longfellow’s address to “Driving Cloud:”

  “Wrapt in thy scarlet blanket, I see thee stalk through the city’s
   Narrow and populous street, as once by the margin of rivers
   Stalked those birds unknown which have left to us only their
     footprints.
   What in a few short years will remain of thy race but footprints?
   How canst thou tread these streets, who hast trod the green turf of
     the prairies?
   How canst thou breathe this air who hast breathed the sweet air of
     the mountains?”

When one has trod the velvety green turf of the prairies and breathed
the sweet air of the mountains he is quite ready to sympathize with
“Driving Cloud.”

The government schools for the Blackfeet Indians are located in a
valley beyond Blackfoot village. The schools are conducted exactly as
our public schools are, only that the Blackfeet children must go to
school ten months in the year. Think of that, boys and girls. During
July and August these dusky redskins get a vacation, which they spend
with their parents and for the time being return to the savage state.
The agent told me they were always quite wild upon their return to
school after two months of hunting, fishing and living in tepees.

Now and then a fine covey of quails or prairie chickens flies up and
away. How glad they would make a sportsman’s heart!

With our glasses we see easily two hundred miles in this rarefied
atmosphere. I discovered several coyotes running along a ledge in the
Bad Lands that I could not see at all with my naked eye. The Sweet
Grass mountains, sixty miles away on the Canadian line, loom up so
plainly that they appear to be only two miles distant. With the aid of
the glasses we could see the vegetation and rocks on the sides of the
mountains quite plainly.

The United States geological survey reports Montana the best watered
state in the Union. It has more large rivers than all of the states
west of the Mississippi combined. Milk river is five hundred miles
long. This valley is one of the finest in Montana. Here irrigation is a
perfect success.

Here one sees the cowboy in all his picturesqueness. The saddle is your
true seat of empire. Montana cattle bring a big price in the Chicago
market. The top price paid in 1897 was five dollars per hundredweight,
and was paid to George Draggs for a shipment from Valley county. I
would almost be willing to live in the Bad Lands if I might always
have my table supplied with the juicy mountain beef which we have been
eating since we arrived at St. Paul.

This is a fine sheep as well as cattle country.

Montana is not all sage brush, coyotes and rattlesnakes.

Montana has according to the report of the secretary of the interior
seventy million acres of untillable lands. A great portion of this land
can be reclaimed by irrigation.

We passed the Little Rockies sixty miles to the north (the distance
looked to be only about two miles). The Bear Paw mountains are west
of these. The Indians are very superstitious about the mountains. The
great spirit, Manitou, they tell us, broke a hole through the floor of
heaven with a rock and on the spot where it fell he threw down more
rocks, snow and ice until the pile was so high that he could step from
the summit into heaven.

After the mountains were completed, Manitou by running his hands over
their rugged sides, forced up the forests. Then he plucked some leaves,
blew his breath upon them and gave them a toss in the air and lo they
sailed away in the breezy blue birds. His staff he turned into beasts
and fishes. The earth became so beautiful he decided to live on it and
starting a fire in Mt. Shasta he burned it out for a wigwam.

An interesting part of life on the plains is the prairie dog and his
town, the streets of which were not laid out by an engineer. Each dog
selects the site of his home to suit his taste. The houses are about
the size of a wagon wheel, almost perfectly round. As the train whirls
by they sit on top of their houses looking much like soldiers standing
guard. The dogs are three times as large as a gopher and of a pale
straw color. As one walks toward them, down they go through the door,
but they are very curious and presently back they come for another
look. They are agile and graceful in movement. One handsome fellow lay
on the projecting sill of a house basking in the sun. We approached
very near before he saw us. The flies were annoying him. He shook his
head and blinked his eyes at the flies, paying little attention to us.

The wild flowers of Montana are as abundant and beautiful as those of
the Alps, and more varied. Shooting stars greet the spring. Dandelions
abound but do not reach full rounded perfection. The common blue
larkspur, however, revels in the cool air and warm sunshine. The little
yellow violet which haunts the woods in the eastern states makes
herself quite at home here. Blue bells nod and sway in the breeze,
little ragged sun flowers turn their faces to the sun and mitreworts
grow everywhere.

Along the shady streams wild currants flaunt their yellow flags while
hydrangea, that queen of flowers, lends a shade to the violets blooming
at her feet. Wild roses strew the ground with their delicate petals.
Stately lilies, their purple stamens contrasting strangely with their
yellow petals, are abundant. The most dainty of this fair host is the
golden saxifrage, and the most delicate gold thread, whose dainty,
slender roots resemble nothing so much as threads of pure gold.

At Havre, Montana, the Twenty-fourth United States Infantry came
aboard. They are stalwart colored soldiers who will do credit to
the uniforms they wear. They go to San Francisco, where they take
transports for Manila. The good-bys at the station between the soldiers
and their friends and relatives were pathetic indeed. Not one of the
brave fellows but acted a soldier’s part.

Just as the train was pulling out a handsome girl ran along one of the
cars to the window calling out to her sweetheart:

“O, lift me up till I kiss you again.”

We were glad when two big black hands came out through the open window
and strong arms clasped the maiden for a moment.

Every heart beat with the same thought; how many of these brave men
would return from the deadly Philippines?

We were proud of the Twenty-fourth when they bade good-by to their
friends at Havre; we were proud of them when they marched up the
street at Spokane; we are proud of them still.

The officers of this regiment are white. They and their wives came into
our car.

The conversation was enlivened with tales of camp life. When a private,
one officer was greatly annoyed by the Indians, who came day after day
to sit in the shade of his quarters, when having been on night duty he
wanted to sleep. He bought a sun-glass and when they began talking he
would sit down at the window and carelessly with the glass draw a focus
on one of his tormentor’s feet. With a yell worthy an Indian with the
bad spirit after him he would bound away, followed by his companions.
Soon they would return, when the glass would be brought into play with
the same effect. At last the Indians came to believe the house haunted
and our captain was no longer troubled by his red brothers.

After forty miles of mountain climbing we reached the summit of the
Rockies. At nine o’clock we were still in the mountains and the sun was
still shining.

The smallest owl in the world has his home in these mountains. It is
the Pigmy owl, but you must look sharply if you see him as he flits
from limb to limb and hides in the dense foliage. The Rocky Mountain
blue jay is not blue at all. His coat is a reddish brown, he sports a
black-crested cap and has black bars on his wings like his Illinois
brothers.

Flowers, ice, snow and mountain torrents spread out in one grand
panorama. Fleecy white clouds not much larger than one’s hand float up
and join larger ones at the summit of the peaks. There is no grander
scene on earth than this range of snow-capped mountains spread out in
mighty panorama, peak after peak and turret after turret glistening in
the golden sunshine against skies as blue as those of Italy.

  “Come up into the mountains--come up into the blue,
   Oh, friend down in the valley, the way is clear for you;
   The path is full of perils, and devious, but your feet
   May safely thread its windings, and reach to my retreat.
   The mountains, oh, the mountains! How all the ambient air
   Bends like a benediction, and all the soul is prayer.
   How blithely on this summit the echoing wind’s refrain
   Invites us to the mountains--God’s eminent domain.
   Oh, soul below in the valley where aspirations rise
   No higher than the plunging of water fowl that flies,
   Come up into the mountains--come up into the blue;
   Leave weary leagues behind you the lowland’s meaner view,
   The autumn’s rotting verdure, the sapless grasses browned,
   Come where the snows are lilies that bloom the whole year round.
   Here in the subtle spirit of all these climbing hills,
   Man may achieve his dreaming, and be the thing he wills.”

   --_Joseph Dana Miller._

When one has felt the inspiration which the air of the mountains gives,
he feels that he may achieve his dreaming, may be the thing he wills.

Ten o’clock found us going down the western slope of the Rockies in
the twilight. Daylight comes at two o’clock in the morning. All along
the track over the mountains are stationed track walkers, who live
in little shacks. Before every train which passes over the road each
walker goes over his section to see that all is well.

All the Indians east of the Rockies located the Happy Hunting Ground
west of the mountains and those west of the divide thought it was on
the eastern side, and that every red man’s soul would be carried over
on a cob-web float.

At Spokane we turned our watches back another hour. We are now in
Pacific Coast time.



CHAPTER II PLENTY OF ROOM


There is plenty of room in the great Northwest. For twenty-five years
to come Horace Greeley’s advice “Go west,” will hold good. Charles
Dickens once said that the typical American would hesitate to enter
heaven unless assured that he could go farther west. “Go west.” Surely
these are words to conjure with. “Go west,” thrills the blood of youth
and stirs the blood of age.

The tide of immigration is turning this way. No matter what your trade
or profession, there is room for you here.

Agriculture, the supporting pillar in the temple of wealth of any
nation, stands in the front rank in Washington and Idaho, the soil
being wonderfully productive. Stock raising, dairying and fruit farming
are carried on with great success. But the great mining interest must
not be forgotten. The annual rainfall varies from thirty-five to sixty
inches. A healthful climate meets one in almost every part of these
great states. Malaria is practically unknown. As to scenery one may
have here the sublime grandeur of Switzerland, the picturesqueness of
the Rhine and the rugged beauty of Norway.

The lava beds of eastern Washington are wild and barren as to rocks,
but the soil is very productive when irrigated. The lava is burned
red in many places. Castle after castle with drawbridge, turrets and
soldiers on guard, all of solid rock, greet the eye. Column after
column stand hundreds of feet high.

[Illustration: ENTERING THE CASCADE RANGE.]

The Cascade mountains surpass the Rockies in grandeur and ruggedness
of scenery. We crossed on the Switch Back. This is by “tacking,” as a
sailor would say. We had three engines, mammoth Moguls, one forward,
the other two in the rear. There are but two engines in the world
larger than these.

To explain more fully we went back and forth three times on the side
of the mountain until we reached the summit, then down on the other
side in the same manner. Going up we made snowballs with one hand
and gathered flowers with the other, tiger lilies, perfect ones one
and one-half inch from tip of petal to petal on tiny stalks five
inches high. Blackberry vines run on the ground to the summit of the
mountains. They creep along like strawberry vines. They are in bloom
now and the berries will ripen in time.

The snowfall last winter on the summit was one hundred and nine feet.
Miles of snowsheds are built over the road and men are kept constantly
at work keeping the tracks clear of snow and bowlders. Five huge
snow-plows are required, all working constantly to keep the sixty-six
highest miles clear. The fall of snow for one day is often four feet.
The Great Northern road is putting a tunnel through the mountains now,
and will thus do away with the Switch Back. Eight thousand men work in
the shafts night and day. They have been at work two years and expect
to finish in 1901.

For hours we traveled above the clouds and at other times we passed
through them and were deluged with rain. Magnificent ferns grow
everywhere on the mountain sides and towns and villages are to be seen
frequently.

[Illustration: LAVA BEDS IN WASHINGTON.]

Descending the mountains we came to the Flat Head valley, the scenery
of which is wild and rugged enough to suit the taste of the most
imaginative Indian. The Flat Head river, a wild, raging, roaring
torrent which sweeps everything before it as it comes leaping down the
mountains, flows peacefully enough in the valley. Here water nymphs
bathe in purple pools, yonder fairies and fauns dance on the green.

On the trees we see such signs as “Smoke Red Cloud,” “Chew Scalping
Knife,” “Drink Smoky Mountain Whisky,” “Chew Indian Hatchet,” “Chew
Tomahawk,” “Drink White Bear.”

Wenatchee valley is famous for its irrigated fruit farms. A great
variety of fruits is grown. Water is easily and cheaply obtained.
Mission District is another fine fruit valley. The interest in
agriculture is growing. Bees do well here. If you do not own all the
land you want come west where it is cheap, good and plenty. The country
is rapidly filling up with settlers. We passed fine wheat lands that
stretch away across the country to Walla Walla. Men are now coming in
to the wheat harvest just as in Illinois they come to cut broomcorn.
But they are a better looking class of men. One sees no genuine tramp.
There is no room for him here, there is too much work and he shuns
such districts as one would a smallpox infected region.

SEATTLE.--The first white men to explore this coast was an expedition
under command of Juan de Fuca, a Greek pilot in the service of the
Viceroy of Mexico. They explored the coast as far north as Vancouver
island in 1592. Two hundred years later Captain George Vancouver, of
the British navy, made extensive explorations along this same coast.
The first overland expedition was commanded by Lewis and Clarke.
The next was also a military expedition and was commanded by John
C. Fremont. The first people to settle in the country were the fur
traders. The first mission was established by Dr. Marcus Whitman at
Walla Walla in 1836. It was Dr. Whitman who rode to Washington, D.
C., leaving here in December, and informed the government of the
conspiracy of England to drive out all the American settlers and seize
the country. The first town was Tumwater, founded in 1845 by Michael
Simmons. These are some of the people who helped make Washington.

General Sherman said, that God had done more for Seattle than for
any other place in the world. It is destined to be the Chicago of
the West. The largest saw-mills in the world are located here. The
population is about eighty thousand and the increase is rapid. The
University of Washington, supported by the state, is grandly located
in Seattle. The Federal government has a fine military station twelve
miles out of the city.

[Illustration: TANGLE OF WILD FERN IN A WASHINGTON FOREST.]

At every turn Indian names meet the eye. We steamed down the bay on
the Skagit Chief to the city park, where we lunched at the Duramash
restaurant. In the shop windows Umatilla hats, Black Eagle caps and
Ancelline ties are offered for sale.

Ancelline was an Indian princess, daughter of Seattle. Seattle was
chief of the Old Man House Indians. These Indians had a big wigwam in
which the entire tribe lived during the winter. They called this the
Old Man House and the tribe took its name from this house. There is but
one family of these Indians left.

The Indians on this side of the mountains have never received any
support from the government. They are much more industrious than their
red brothers on the other side. There are many tribes here and many
of them are quite well to do in the way of lands and money. All talk
English but prefer to speak Chinook.

Nokomis was an old Indian woman who did laundry work for a family in
Seattle with whom I have become acquainted. Nokomis was exceedingly
stubborn. She would permit no one to tell her how to wash for had she
not washed in the creeks and rivers all her life? This old woman was
somewhat deaf and when directions were being given her she could not
possibly hear and continued the work her own way. But when the mistress
would say, “Come Nokomis, have some coppe (Chinook for coffee) and muck
amuck (Chinook for ‘something to eat’),” she never failed to hear,
though this was often said in a low tone of voice to test Nokomis’s
ears.

Wheat in this section easily goes fifty bushels per acre. The root
crops, potatoes, turnips, onions, carrots, beets and parsnips yield
enormously, with prices fair to good. The fruits are fine and prices
good. Strawberries sell here now three quarts for twenty-five cents.
The fruits go to Alaska, Canada and east to Montana and Minnesota.
Stock and poultry do well here and supply eastern markets at good
prices. Another industrial resource in which many are engaged is
fishing. The cod, halibut, oyster, crab, shrimp, whale and fur seal
yield fine profits. Canned fish go to the Eastern States, to Europe,
Asia and Australia. The timber, coal, iron, gold and silver industries
are well represented.

There is one industry that is not represented here at all, and that is
the window-screen industry. There is but one fly in Seattle; at any
rate I have seen but one. Meat markets and fruit markets stand open.
The temperature has averaged sixty-two in the shade for several days.
It is quite hot in the sun, however.

If you are out of a fortune and would like to make one, come to
Washington.

[Illustration: MOUNT RAINIER.]

Mount Rainier is the highest peak of the Cascade Range and the most
beautiful. Though standing on American soil it bears an English name,
that of Rear Admiral Rainier of the English navy. The local name was
for years Tacoma, but in 1890 the United States board of geographic
survey decided that Rainier must stand on all government maps.

The people of Washington speak lovingly of this splendid peak which was
smoking so grandly when the Pathfinder found his way into this country
fifty years ago.

From its summit eight glaciers radiate like the spokes of a wheel down
from which flow as many rivers. Its ice caverns formed by sulphur vent
holes in the crater, its steam jets, its moss draped pines, its dainty
vines and hemlocks, its grassy vales, where wild flowers are swayed
by the breath of the glaciers, its beautiful lilies, remind one of
“Aladdin’s” journey through the wonderful cave in search of the magic
lamp.

Here blows the heather and the shamrock.

  “With a four-leafed clover, a double-leafed ash, and a greentopped
     seave,
   You may go before the queen’s daughter without asking leave.”

There stands fair Daphne, changed to a laurel tree.

In the legends of the Silash Indians Mount Rainier has always been
held as a place of superstitious regard. It was the refuge of the last
man when the waters of Puget Sound swept inland, drowning every living
thing except one man. Chased by the waves, he reached the summit, where
he was standing waist deep in the water when the Tamanous, the god of
the mountain, commanded the waters to recede. Slowly they receded, but
the man had turned to stone. The Tamanous broke loose one of his ribs
and changing it to a woman, stood it by his side, then waving his
magic wand over the two, bade them to awake. Joyfully this strange Adam
and Eve passed down the mountain side, where they made their home on
the forested slopes. These were the first parents of the Silash Indians.

In the very center of the Cascade range stands another mountain of
equal beauty, Mount St. Helens.

Washington is the home of the genuine sea serpent. He makes his
headquarters in Rock Lake, where he disports himself in the water,
devouring every living thing that ventures into it or dares to come on
the shore. Only a few years ago he swallowed an entire band of Indians.

Expansion seems to be the law of our national and commercial life.
Beyond the placid Pacific are six hundred million people who want the
things we produce. China and Japan furnish a market for our wheat. The
cry now is for more ships to carry our produce to Asia, Australia, to
islands of the Pacific and to Alaska, not to speak of the Philippines.
Manila is the center of the great Asiatic ports, including those of
British India and Australia. Our trade with the Orient is growing and
Manila will make a fine distributing depot. These eastern countries use
annually over eighty-six million dollars’ worth of cotton goods and
nearly forty million dollars’ worth of iron and steel manufactures.
This we can produce in this country as cheap if not cheaper than in any
other country. Seattle is the best point from which to export, as the
route is shorter than from San Francisco.

The battleship Iowa is in dry dock here. I should liked to have been a
marine myself and have stood behind one of those big guns when Cervera
left the harbor of Santiago. And now I’d like to train that same gun on
the anti-expansionist and send him to the bottom of the sea, there to
sleep with the Spaniards and other useless things. Officers and marines
alike are proud of their ship and delighted to explain the mechanism of
the guns.

We took a steamer over to Tacoma one morning, where we had the pleasure
of seeing the North Pacific steamship Glenogle, which had just arrived
from Japan, unload her cargo. She brought two thousand tons of tea,
over two thousand pounds of rice, two thousand and twelve bails of
matting, two hundred and eighty-six bails of straw braid, one
hundred and thirty-nine cases of porcelain, two hundred and eighty-five
packages of curios, three thousand packages of bamboo ware, silk goods
and a multitude of small articles made the load. She had forty Japanese
passengers for this port, and left forty-five at Victoria.

[Illustration: STREET IN TACOMA, WASHINGTON.]

The air was fragrant with the odor of roses and beautiful pinks.

On the street we met a party of Indians in civilian dress, wearing
closely cropped hair and moustaches.

Tacoma pays ninety dollars per ton for copper ore from Alaska.

Returning across the bay we met a flock of crows on the flotsam and
jetsam which floats down from the saw-mills. Their antics reminded me
of a party of school boys playing tag. At the steamer’s approach the
leader gave a warning caw and they were up and away before the steamer
struck their floating playground and scattered it to the waves.

At sunset the reflection of the sun-lit clouds on the waves and the
fire and glow of the sparkling water, now ruby red, changing to
turquoise blues and emerald greens, make a scene delightful to the eye
of one who loves the sea.



CHAPTER III OFF FOR ALASKA


“All aboard!” At ten o’clock we steamed out of the harbor of Seattle
and headed toward Alaska, the land of icebergs, glaciers and gold
fields. Seattle sat as serenely on her terraced slopes as Rome on her
seven hills. The sun shone bright and clear on the snow-capped peaks of
the Cascades. Mt. Tacoma stood out bold and clear against the sun-lit
sky.

We steamed at full speed down Admiralty Inlet.

At noon we stop at Port Townsend, the port of entry for Puget sound.
One sees at all these coast towns many Japanese, some dressed in nobby
bicycle costumes, leading their wheels about the wharves, others
wearing neat business suits and sporting canes. The less fortunate
almond-eyed people are here too, dressed in the garb of the laborer,
but it is to the former, the padrone, that the American employer goes
for contract labor.

In any case the laborer pays his padrone a per cent. of his wages.

It holds true the world over that “some must follow and some command,
though all are made of clay,” as Longfellow puts it.

We are soon out on the ocean, where it is all sea and flood and long
Pacific swell.

All up and down the picturesque shores of Puget Sound live the Silash
Indians, who to-day dress in American costumes and follow American
pursuits. One sees them on the streets of the cities and towns. The
Silash, like the ancient Greeks, peopled the unseen world with spirits.
Good and evil genii lived in the forest; every spring had its Nereid
and every tree its dryad. They believed the Milky Way to be the path to
heaven; so believed the ancient Greeks.

One beautiful day there gleamed and danced in the sunshine a copper
canoe of wonderful design. Down the sound it came. When the stranger
whom it carried had landed he announced that he had a message for the
red man, and sending for every Silash, he taught them the law of love.
The Indian mind is slow to adjust itself to new thought. Such ideas
were new and strange to these children of nature. When this beautiful
stranger about whose head the sun was always shining, told them of the
new, the eternal life in the world beyond, they listened with deep
interest, but the savage was stronger than the man in the red skins and
they dragged the stranger to a tree, where they nailed him fast with
pegs in his hands and feet, torturing him as they did their victims of
the devil dance.

Then they danced around him until the strange light faded from his
beautiful eyes. Slowly the radiant head dropped and life itself went
out. A great storm arose that shook the earth to its very center. Great
rocks came tearing down the mountain side. The sun hid his face for
three days.

They took the body down and laid it away. On the third day, when the
sun burst forth, the dead man arose and resumed his teaching. The
Indians now declared him a god and believed in him.

Year by year the Silash grew more gentle and less warlike, until of all
Indians they became the most peaceful. My readers will readily see that
this is a confused tale of the Christ.

Another fantastic tale of this region is that of an Indian
miser who dried salmon and jerked meat, which he sold for
haiqua,--tusk-shells,--the wampum of the Silash Indians. Like all
misers, the more haiqua he got the more he wanted.

One cold winter day he went hunting on the slopes of Mount Rainier.
Every mountain has its Tamanous, to which travelers and hunters must
pay homage. Now the miser, instead of paying devotion to the god of
the mountain, only looked at the snow and sighed, “Ah, if it were only
haiqua.”

Up, up he went, and soon reached the rim of the volcano’s crater, and
hurrying down the inside of the crater he came to a rock in the form of
a deer’s head. With desperate energy he flung snow and gravel about.
Presently he came to a smooth, flat rock; summoning all his strength,
he lifted the rock. Beyond was a wonderful cave where were stored great
quantities of the most beautiful haiqua his eyes had ever beheld.

Winding string after string about his body, until he had all the haiqua
he could carry, he climbed out of the crater and started down the
mountain side. But the Tamanous was angry. Wrapping himself in a storm
cloud, he pursued the miser, who buffeted by the wind and blinded by
the snow and darkness, stumbled on, grasping his treasure. The unseen
hands of the god clutched him and tore strand after strand from his
neck.

The storm lulled a moment, but returned with renewed energy; the
thunder and lightning increased; again the unseen hands held him in
a vice-like grasp. Strand after strand the angry god tore from the
miser’s grasp, until by the time he arrived at the timber line but one
strand remained; this he flung aside and hurried on down the mountain.
Not one shell remained to reward him for his perilous journey. Weary
and foot-sore he fell fainting in the darkness. When he awoke his hair
was white as the snow on the mountain’s brow. He looked back at the
snow-crowned peak with never a wish for the treasures of the Tamanous.
When he arrived at his home an aged woman was there cooking fish. In
her he recognized his wife, who had mourned him as dead for many long
years. He dried salmon and jerked meat, which he sold for haiqua, but
never again did he brave the Tamanous of Mount Rainier. Thus ends the
weird tale of Puget Sound.

Clearing this port, our course lay across the straits of Juan de
Fuca, named for the Greek explorer before mentioned. The green slopes
of the beautiful San Juan islands now came into view.

We landed at Victoria, the capital of the province of British Columbia,
at eight o’clock in the morning. The city was still wrapt in slumber. A
cow placidly munching grass in the street, looked at us inquiringly. We
met a dejected looking dog and presently a laborer going to his work.

[Illustration: PARLIAMENT HOUSE, VICTORIA.]

A handsome hotel occupies a commanding site, but the doors were closed.
Not a store was open. The government buildings, naval station and
museum are the only places of interest.

The Island of Vancouver is composed of rock and sand. All along the
shore are magnificent sea weeds, ferns and club mosses, growing fast to
the rocky side and the bottom of the sea. Many of these plants break
loose and go floating about.

Imagine a perfectly smooth, flexible parsnip, from twenty to fifty feet
long, with leaves of the same length like those of the horse radish in
form, but the color of sapless, water-soaked grasses, and you have a
kelp. Coming toward you head on, the long leaves floating back under
it, you have a miniature man-of-war.

The fortifications for the protection of the harbor are submerged. You
would never suspect that below that innocent looking daisy covered
surface great guns were ready at a moment’s notice to blow you and your
good ship to atoms should her actions proclaim her an enemy.

Farther up the coast Exquimalt, the most formidable fortress on the
American Continent, occupies a commanding site.

We were glad to retrace our steps to the steamer and shake from off
our feet the dust of that sleepy old town, which never felt a quiver
when “Freedom from her mountain height unfurled her standard to the
air,” and shake off too that strange feeling which possesses one when
treading a foreign shore.

All day long Mount Baker of the Cascade range has stood like an old
sentinel, white and hoary, to point us on our way.

Fair Haven and New Whatcomb, the terminus of the Great Northern railway
for passenger traffic, are delightfully located on the coast. These
towns are growing rapidly. The population is now twelve hundred. The
largest shingle mill in the world is located here. It turns out
half a million shingles every ten hours. The saw-mill turns out lumber
enough every day to build five ten-room houses, while a tin can factory
turns out a half million cans a day.

In time Fair Haven and New Whatcomb will be two of the most beautiful
towns in Washington. The streets are broad. Green lawns surround
handsome homes and pretty cottages.

At noon we passed the forty-ninth parallel, the boundary line between
the United States and the British possessions. What a vast expanse of
territory had been ours had we adhered to our determination to maintain
the fifty-fourth parallel. “Fifty-four, forty or fight,” we said, but
gave it up without a blow.

Forty miles across from Vancouver lies the busy collier town of
Nanaimo. The Indians discovered the coal fifty years ago. On the knoll
near the coal wharves, there is a beautiful grove of madronas. In the
surrounding forest gigantic ferns and strange wild flowers grow in
great profusion. Berries are plentiful and game abundant.

At Cape Mudge we bid farewell to the Silash tribes. Cape Mudge
potlatches are famous for their extravagance. In 1888 a neighboring
tribe was worth nearly five hundred thousand dollars. The British
Columbia legislature prohibited potlatches and in one year their wealth
decreased four-fifths. The prohibition of potlatches quenched their
desire to accumulate property.

[Illustration: GORGE OF HOMATHCO.]

The wild gorge of Homathco is the result of the relentless glaciers.

In Jervis Inlet is a great tidal rapid, the roar of which can be heard
for miles. It is considered the equal of the famous Malstrom and
Salstrom of Norway.

At Point Robert we pass the last light house on the American coast. The
stars and stripes floated from the flag staff. With a dash and a roar
the white crested waves tumbled on the beach. With a last farewell to
Old Glory, we steam ahead and for six hundred miles plow the British
main.

[Illustration: LIGHT HOUSE, POINT ROBERT.]

The scenery becomes more wild, savage, grand and awful. Snow-clad
mountains guard the waterway on either side. Such Oh’s and Ah’s when
some scene of more than usual grandeur bursts upon our view. A canoe
shoots out from yonder overhanging ledge. The glasses reveal the
occupants to be four Indians out on a fishing expedition.

Nearly every one of our three hundred passengers was interested in
the first whale sighted. “O yonder he goes, a whale;” “O, see him
spout;” “Now look, look!” “Ah, down he goes.” Then everyone questions
everyone else. “Did you see the whale?” “Did you see our whale?” “O,
we had whales on our side of the boat,” and adds some one, “They were
performing whales, too.” Then the gong sounds for dinner and the whale
is forgotten in the discussion of the menu.

Many of our passengers are bound for Dawson City, Juneau and other
Alaskan points. One hears much discussion of the dollar, not the
common American dollar, but the Alaskan dollar, which seems to be more
precious as it is more difficult to obtain.

Here are young men bound for the frozen field of gold who could carry
a message to Garcia and never once ask, “Where is he ‘at?’” “Who is
he?” or “Why do you want to send the message, anyway?” Young men with
backbone, muscle and brains, who would succeed in almost any field.

From Queen Charlotte’s sound to Cape Calvert we were out on the
Pacific. Old Neptune tossed us about pretty much as he liked, although
Captain Wallace, who, by the way, is a genial gentleman and a charming
host, assured us that we had a smooth passage across this arm of the
old ocean. Many suffered from _mal de mer_.

Wrapped in furs and rugs, we sit on deck, enjoying the panorama of sea
and sky. Sun-lit mountains, white with the snows of a thousand years
and green-clad foot hills covered with pines as thick as the weeds on a
common. Here and there in a wild, dreary nook the glasses revealed an
Indian trapper’s cabin. Here he lives and hunts and fishes. When he has
a sufficient number of skins he loads his canoe and skims across the
water, it may be eighty or a hundred miles, to a town, where he trades
his furs and fish for sugar, coffee, tea, and the many things which
he has learned to eat from his white brother. He is very fond of tea
and rum. He does not bury his dead, but wraps them in their blankets
and lays them on the top of the ground, that they may the more easily
find their way to the Happy Hunting Ground. Then he builds a tight
board fence five or six feet high about the lonely grave and covers
it tightly over the top to keep out the wild animals which roam the
mountain sides. A tall staff rises from the grave and a white cloth
floats from its pinnacle. We sighted one of these lonely graves on the
top of a small island on our second day out, and were reminded of that
other lonely grave in the vale of the Land of Moab.

[Illustration: FJORDS OF ALASKA.]

Bella Bella is an Indian town located on Hunter island. The houses are
all two-story and nicely painted. There is nothing in the aspect of the
town to indicate that it is other than a white man’s town, though the
Indians who reside here were once the most savage on the coast. On a
smaller island near by is a cemetery. Small, one-roomed houses are the
vaults in which the bodies are placed after being wrapped in blankets.
Here we saw the first grave stones. They stand in front of these vaults
and are higher. On them are carved the owner’s name and his exploits in
hunting or war in picture language.

The Silash Indians are very gentle and kind. If you are hungry they
will divide their last crust with you. If you are cold they will give
you their last blanket. They wear civilized dress, fish and hunt and
are quite prosperous. Many hops are grown in the State of Washington
and in the fall these Indians go down in their canoes to pick hops.
They are preferred to white pickers, because of their industry and
honesty.

Saturday night we crossed “Fifty-four forty or fight” and Sunday
morning found us in Alaska.

[Illustration: FISHING HAMLET OF KETCHIKAN.]



CHAPTER IV FIRST VIEWS


We visited the Indian village of Ketchikan. The Episcopalians have a
mission at this place. The teacher is an able young woman. A young
lady, a handsome half-breed Indian girl, came upon the wharf to meet
someone who came on the boat. Her carriage, language and manner were
those of a lady. We landed some freight at this point. The freight
agent was a half-breed Indian, quite good looking and a gentleman.

New Metlakahtla is a most attractive village on the Annette Islands.

The Metlakahtlans are the most progressive race in Alaska. Mr. Duncan
visited the United States in 1887, enlisting aid for the Indians. Henry
Ward Beecher and Phillips Brooks became champions of his cause.

The government at Washington assured Mr. Duncan that his people would
be protected in any lands which they might select in Alaska.

In the spring of 1887 four hundred Metlakahtlans crossed to the Annette
Islands.

These enterprising people print their own newspaper. They have a
photographer. The silversmiths, woodcarvers and bark weavers do a large
business on tourist days.

The salmon cannery ships from six to eight thousand cases a year. There
is a government school and a boarding school for girls. On steamer days
the Indian band plays on a platform built on the tall stump of a cedar.

These people, all Christians, have all subscribed and faithfully live
up to a code of rules, called the Declaration of Residents.

The inhabitants are greatly disturbed over the discovery of gold on
these islands. The white man discovered the gold and now he wants the
islands. Will the government keep faith with the Metlakahtlans?

Now let me tell the boys and girls what our vessel has down in her
hold. Our boat, The Queen, is three hundred and fifty feet long and
draws twenty-five feet of water, so you see she has a big hold down
below her decks. There are twenty big steers going to Juneau to be made
into beef; two big gray horses going to Dawson to work about the mines
in the Klondike and when winter comes to be killed and dried for meat
for dogs, as there will be no feed for the horses in the Klondike when
winter sets in and the grass dies. A sad fate. They are gentle horses,
poking their noses into your hand as you pass for an apple, peach or
bit of grain. There are five hundred chickens down there, too, going
to different points in Alaska. Two little Esquimaux pups, worth one
hundred dollars each, are also here. Their mother, which was killed
by the electric cars at Seattle the day before we sailed, cost four
hundred dollars. The little curly-haired fellows play and tumble about
very much like kittens, then suddenly they remember their mother and
set up such a pitiful wail.

There is also a big, black Husky aboard. He is a cross between an
Indian (not an Esquimaux) dog and a wolf. He is a big, heavy fellow,
large of head, strong of limb and feet widened in muscular development
wrought in his race by generations of hard service in this rugged
climate. He is valued at three hundred and fifty dollars. He will pull
three hundred pounds and travel forty miles a day over ice and snow,
being fed but once a day on dried fish.

The most curious and by far the handsomest dog aboard is a Malamute.
He is a beautiful dog. His furry coat is heavy and his fine ears stand
erect. For actions, manners and affection for his master he is a fine
specimen of the canine tribe. His walk is somewhat of a stride like
that of the bear.

His owner, who lives in Chicago, is aboard. He paid three hundred
dollars for the dog and took him home, but it is too warm for him in
Chicago, so he is taking him back to Alaska.

There are many cases of oranges, lemons, peaches, apples, apricots
and plums and tons of groceries of all sorts for Skagway, Dawson,
Juneau, Sitka and other Alaskan points. Also many pounds of dressed
beef, mutton, flour, cornmeal, oatmeal and canned goods. There are one
thousand cases of oil, lots of dry goods and many miners’ outfits. So
you see there is quite a traffic up and down this coast.

As we steam steadily on toward the home of Hoder, the stormy old god
of winter, the air grows colder, the scenery more wild and strange.
Snowclad mountains, sun-lit clouds resting on their peaks and veiling
their sides, blue sky and sparkling water make a scene which may be
imagined but not described.

[Illustration: FORT WRANGEL, ALASKA.]

Alaska is the aboriginal name and means “great country.” It was at the
request of Charles Sumner that the original name was retained. Seven
million two hundred thousand dollars for a field of stony mountain,
icebergs and glaciers! Had Seward gone mad? Ah, no. He builded wiser
than he knew. Alaska is nine times the size of the New England States
and cost less than one-half cent per acre.

The northwest coast of Alaska was discovered and explored by a Russian
expedition under Behring, in 1741. Russian settlements were made and
the fur trade developed.

The climate is no colder than at St. Petersburg and many other parts
of Russia. The warm Japan current sweeps the coast and tempers the
climate. Sitka is only three miles north of Balmoral, Scotland. The
isothermal line running through Sitka runs through Richmond, Va.,
giving both points the same temperature. The average summer temperature
is fifty-two degrees and the average winter weather thirty-one degrees
above zero.

The average rainfall at this point is eighty-two inches. Native grasses
and berries grow plentifully in the valleys. The chief wealth of the
country lies in its forests, fish, fur-bearing animals and mines.
The forest consists of yellow pine, spruce, larch, fir of great size,
cypress and hemlock. The wild animals include the elk, deer and bear.
The fur-bearing animals are the fox, wolf, beaver, ermine, otter and
squirrel. Fur-bearing seals inhabit the waters along the coast. Salmon
abound in the rivers.

It is one of the secrets of the rebellion that the large sum paid
to Russia for Alaska was to compensate her for the presence of her
warships in our harbor during the early days of the Civil War, thus
helping to prevent English interference.

Fort Wrangel is delightfully located on the green slopes of the
mountains. It was once a Russian military post and takes its name from
the Russian governor of Alaska, Baron Wrangel.

Here are some fine totem poles. Totemism is a species of heraldry.
Their whales, frogs, crows, and wolves are no more difficult to
understand than the dragons, griffins, and fleur-de-lis of European
heraldry. The totem pole of the Alaskan Indian is his crest, his
monument. The totem is his clan name, his god. He is a crow, a raven,
an eagle, a bear, a whale, or a wolf. It is the old story of Beauty and
the Beast. The beautiful raven maiden may live happily with her bear
husband.

Every Indian claims kinship with three totems. The clan totem is the
animal from which the clan descended. There is a totem common to all
the women of the clan. The men of the clan have a totem and each
individual when he or she arrives at manhood or womanhood chooses a
totem sacred to him or herself. This totem is his guardian angel and
protects him from danger and harm. The Alaskan Indian believes the
eagle to be the American man’s totem and the lion and the unicorn the
two totems of the Englishman.

The civilized races of antiquity all passed through the totem period.
Our Indians all had their totems as their names indicate, Blackfeet,
Crow and Sioux. Totems are common to all savage races, but the Alaskan
Indian is the only North American who erects a monument to his totem.

While the totem protects the Indian the Indian is in duty bound to
protect his totem. He may neither kill nor eat his own totem, but he
may with impunity kill the god of another. If you kill his totem he
will be grieved and sorrowfully ask, “Why you kill him, my brother?”

These people were evolutionists long before Darwin. There are no
monkeys, however, among the totems of the Alaskan Indians.

When an Indian marries he takes his wife’s name, the name of her clan
totem. The children, too, belong to the mother’s totem, and, of course,
take her name. The wife is the head of the family, managing it and
transacting all the business.

These Indians and all the Indians of southern Alaska are Tlingits.
Tlingit means people. There are many traditions among them of a
supernatural origin; one to the effect that the crow in whom dwelt the
Great Spirit lived on the Nass River, where he turned two blades of
grass into a man and a woman. This was the first pair from whom sprang
all Tlingits. They have tales of a migration from the southeast, the
Mars River country. Their propitiation of evil spirits, their shamanism
and their belief in the transmigration of souls, all point to Asiatic
origin, yet there is no tradition among them of any such origin. Once,
many thousands of snows ago, a Tlingit stole the sun and hid it, then
nearly all the people died, but the crow found it and placed it in the
sky again. After this the tribe increased.

The Tlingit idea of justice is something of a novelty. The code,
however, is short; an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth, is
always strictly demanded. A Tlingit once shot at a decoy duck, but he
made the owner pay for the shot used. A young Indian stole a rifle and
accidentally killed himself with it. His relatives made the owner pay
for the dead thief. If a patient dies under a doctor’s care he pays for
him.

Before the advent of the white man shamanism held sway. When a Tlingit
fell ill he sent for his medicine man, who by incantations cured him,
or failing that, accused some one of bewitching his patient. The wizard
or witch was tortured and put to death, after which the sick Indian
recovered or died, as the case might be.

Captain E. C. Merriman, of the U. S. Navy, destroyed the power of the
shaman by rescuing the accused and punishing the shaman.

The shaman spends the greater part of his life in the forest, fasting
and receiving inspiration from his totemic spirits. A concoction of
dried frogs’ legs and sea water give him power to perceive a man’s
soul--the Tlingit woman had no soul then--escaping from his body and
to catch it and restore it to the man.

The Tlingits practiced cremation, but the body of a shaman was never
cremated, it would not burn. It was always buried in a little box-like
tomb. The body was wrapped in blankets and placed in a sitting posture,
surrounded by the masks, wands, rattles, and all the paraphernalia of
the office of a shaman, ready for use in the heaven to which he had
gone.

The missionaries have destroyed faith in the shaman and broken up the
practice of cremation.

[Illustration: CHIEF SHAKE’S HOUSE, FORT WRANGEL.]

At Fort Wrangel we called on the chief. He has the tallest and the most
handsomely carved pole in the Indian village.

There are three kinds of totem poles. The family totem pole, which is
erected in front of the home. On it are carved figures representing the
totems of the family, the wife’s totem always surmounting the pole and
the husband’s next below. Then appear totems of other members of the
family.

The death totem pole is erected at the grave. On it are engraved the
totems of the dead man’s ancestors, as well as his own. The third class
of poles are erected to commemorate some remarkable event in history
of the tribe or of the man. These poles may be seen up and down the
coast from Vancouver to Yakutat.

  “And they painted on the grave-posts
   Of the graves yet unforgotten,
   Each his ancestral totem,
   Each the symbol of his household,
   Figures of the bear, the reindeer,
   Of the turtle, crane and beaver.”

   --_Longfellow._

The fine flower of the native races of the coast are the Haidas. They
are taller and fairer, with more regular features than any of the
Columbian coast tribes. They are aliens to the Tlingits, differing
from them mentally and physically, in speech and customs. The Tlingits
call them “people of the sea.” They were the Norsemen of the Pacific
shores; the coppery Erics and Harolds, who sailed the blue waters of
the Pacific, sweeping the coast, attacking native villages, Hudson Bay
Company posts, and the settlements of the whites. The harbor at Seattle
was a place of rendezvous.

The origin of this daring race is a mystery. They hold many traditions
in common with the Aztec and Zunis of Mexico. Marchand identifies them
with those whom Cortes drove out of Mexico. Many of their images are
similar to silver relics found in the ruins of Guatemala.

These people bear a resemblance to the Japanese. They have Japanese
words in their language; they sit always at their work and cut towards
them in using tools, which are much like those in use by the Japanese
to-day. They have also many modern Apache words in their speech, while
their picture writing is similar and in many cases the same as that of
the Zunis.

Their own legend of their origin runs in this wise: During a great
flood when every living thing on the earth perished, a few people
floated to the tops of the mountains in canoes, which they anchored
with heavy stones. The water rose so high, however, that they at last
were drowned.

The only living thing to survive the flood was a raven. When the waters
had subsided he flew down to the coast, where the waves dashing on the
rocks sent forth a noise as of thunder. Presently he heard the cry of
babies; directly a huge shell came rolling in on the sandy beach. The
raven opened it and out came a strange people. In thankfulness for
their deliverance they have made the raven their clan totem.

These people make baskets and mats to-day exactly like those made by
the natives of the Islands of Polynesia, while their carving, in which
they excel all other tribes of the North, resembles the sculpture of
ancient Egypt.

Totem poles originated with these people and spread from them to other
tribes with whom they came in contact. They practiced cremation and
their death totem poles are always hollow, making a receptacle for the
ashes of the dead.

The earliest explorers found these people living in houses built of
heavy, hewn logs, and planks hewn out and neatly mortised. The houses
were covered with a hip roof, supported by heavy rafters and thatched
with an odd sort of shingle, clipped or hewn out of the logs. On the
plank floors were mats made from a rush which grows on the islands.

The old Hydahs were a warlike people, who were ever waging battle with
the fierce Chilkats.

[Illustration: ENTERING WRANGEL NARROWS.]



CHAPTER V FURTHER GLIMPSES


Wrangel narrows is one of the finest scenic passages along the coast
of Alaska. The magnificent range of snow-covered mountain peaks, the
green-clad slopes on the shore and the Stickine delta compose as
noble a landscape as one will see anywhere in the world. The sunset
and sunrise lights in the narrows and on the snowy, cloud-wreathed
mountains are marvelous pictures of beauty, beyond the power of pen or
brush to portray.

At low tide broad bands of russet hued algae border the sea-washed
shores. Giant kelp break loose from their moorings and go floating
about, their yellow fronds and orange heads contrasting strangely with
the intense green of the water. The Indians say these kelp are the
queues of shipwrecked Chinamen. Many eagles build their nests in the
trees, while myriads of seagulls skim the water.

The scenery of the Stickine river is equally grand. Three hundred
glaciers drain their waters into this river.

The tourist meets the first tide water glacier in the Bay of Le Conte.
The Stickine Indians called it Hutli, Thunder Bay. Here, they say,
dwells Hutli, the Thunder Bird. To their imaginative mind the cracking
of the ice and the noise of the falling icebergs, is the cry of Hutli,
and the roar of the falling water the flapping of his huge wings.

In Lapland the guardian spirit of the mountains is known as Haltios.

[Illustration: DOUGLAS ISLAND, LOOKING TOWARD JUNEAU.]

Juneau is located at the foot of Mt. Juneau, which is more than three
thousand feet high. It is snow-capped and delicious water comes pouring
down the mountain sides. Juneau is a newly built town and is the
largest on the coast. It has a population of thirty-five hundred. Just
below the town is a village of Taku Indians. Back of the village are
the grave houses. Here we find totem poles and Indian offerings to the
spirits. Steamers bring to this wharf fruits and vegetables. Radishes,
lettuce and onions, also rhubarb, look tempting in the gardens. Juneau
is the home of many miners and prospectors. The chief mining interest
in this vicinity is the Treadwell mines, located on Douglas island,
just across Gastineau channel from Juneau. The ore runs from two
dollars and twenty cents to four dollars per ton only, but the water
power coming from the mountains makes the working of the mines cheap,
so that the company is enabled to pay large dividends. Hundreds of
sacks of gold, nearly free from rock, lay day and night on the wharves,
waiting for the steamers to carry it away to the stamping mill. On the
wharf at Treadwell lay twenty thousand dollars.

The mill spoken of is the largest in the world. It runs eight hundred
and eighty stamps day and night. There is enough ore in sight to run
the mill twenty-four hours a day for thirty years. The mountains are
being literally blasted down and carted away. The Indians work in the
mines, but they cannot compete with their Anglo Saxon brothers, they
earning only about half as much. They will not trust the white man over
night, hence are paid at the close of each day.

The Indians wear citizens’ clothes and carry watches. Many of them
sport canes when walking about the streets. The women and girls do
the family washing on the rocks in the mountain streams. One little
black-eyed, brown-faced witch who said her name was Troke Lewis, was
washing handkerchiefs on a big rock over which the water poured. She
paused to talk to us, a cake of soap held high in one hand, while with
the other she held her handkerchiefs down in the cold water on the rock.

Just around the cliff, back of Juneau, lies the beautiful Silver Bow
cañon.

[Illustration: SILVER BOW CAÑON, JUNEAU. By permission of F. LAROCHE,
Photographer, Seattle, Washington.]

There are plenty of fine fish in the bay. Salmon, trout and eels
abound. The writer caught a trout weighing ten pounds and an eel
weighing one pound.

Skagway is located on the Lynn canal at the foot of Mt. Dewey, which
rises sheer fifty-five hundred feet above the sea. The climate is
very mild, the thermometer never being known to register over six
below zero. A veritable Ganymede sends down a vast supply of the most
delicious water. Skagway is the coming city of Alaska. It will be to
Alaska what Chicago is to the Middle Western States, what St. Paul
and Minneapolis are to the Northwest and what Seattle is to the North
Pacific coast. Streets are being laid out and other improvements are
going on. Log cabins covered with tar paper are being replaced by
more substantial buildings. People are coming here to stay and the
representative inhabitants of this youthful town are men and women of
refinement and culture from the Eastern and Middle States.

At Skagway all sorts of vegetables are growing in the gardens, lettuce,
radishes, onions, potatoes, cabbage and tomatoes.

We spent the Fourth of July in this place. Congressman Warner invited
us to join him and the senatorial party for the day. We went to the
summit of the Selkirk mountains, to the head of the Yukon River on the
White Pass and Yukon railway, after which the party was entertained in
Skagway.

[Illustration: OLD RUSSIAN COURT HOUSE, JUNEAU.]

Observation cars were especially prepared for the party. These
consisted of flat cars around which run a railing. The seats were
reversable and ran lengthwise of the cars. Thus you might view the wall
of granite along which you were passing or reverse the seat and behold
the wonderful things to be seen in the pass below, where the march of
Civilization has left her trail, cabins, mining camps, amidst snow and
flowering mosses, tin cans, cracker boxes; and last but not least,
horses and mules just as good as when they lay down to their last
sleep in these wilds.

The run to the summit was made in two hours. Over the same route men
and pack mules plod along three weeks. Only in places is there much
vegetation on these granite mountains. Toward the summit blackberries
are in bloom. They are perfect plants only two inches high, each plant
sending out two or three branches loaded with bloom. Dwarf pines and
tufts of grass grow in the crevices of the rocks and on the sides of
the mountains, where a little soil has found lodgment.

The White Pass and Yukon railway, which was opened in February, now
runs trains over the summit to Lake Bennett. Work is being pushed
rapidly forward to the final destination, Ft. Selkirk, Northwest
Territory. The distance from Skagway to the summit is sixteen miles.
The road was blasted out of solid granite all the way and is a
wonderful feat of engineering skill.

There are the usual curves and loops, but these are not sufficient to
overcome the steep grade which rises two hundred feet to the mile. The
road rises thirty-two hundred feet in the sixteen miles. At one place
the train was run up into a ravine on a Y. The engine was uncoupled and
coming in behind us pushed the coaches up to the summit.

The ice bridges all through the mountains are in good repair, the
turbulent streams flowing under them with a dash and a roar of the
Selkirk’s own.

All along the way to the summit is visible on the opposite side of the
pass, the foot trail of the Indians. This narrow path lies along the
sheer cliffs, dropping suddenly into deep ravines, then almost straight
up the precipitous side of the mountain.

An enterprising company has built a wagon road to the summit, but a
nervous person had best run his carriage on more level ground. This
road stands on end in many places. It runs along level enough for a
foot or two then takes a header into a ravine, presently it winds over
a frail bridge which the spuming torrent below threatens every minute
to wreck.

[Illustration: STREET IN JUNEAU.]

The wagon relegated the trail to oblivion. Then came the railroad and
travel and commerce deserted the wagon road. Here they lie, the foot
trail on one side, the wagon way on the other, and just above the road
way, the railway. Three path ways: that of the untaught, unskilled
Indian, that of the enterprising pioneer and that of the modern
engineer, traverse this play ground of the Titans.

At the summit of the mountains Old Glory waves beside the British flag.
Several British red-coated police are on duty at this point. They live
in one-room frame houses covered with sail cloth.

The Yukon river rises at this point and flows four thousand miles into
Behring Sea. Just now the head is a bank of snow from which we made
snowballs.

The railroad will shortly be completed to Lake Bennett. From that
point, with the exception of White Horse rapids, is a clear, unimpeded
water route to Dawson City, in the heart of the Klondike.

From the Dawson City _Midnight Sun_ we learn that this metropolis of
the Northwest Territory is quite a busy place.

Hundreds are leaving for the Cape Nome country by every steamer, and
many are making the trip in open boats.

A disastrous fire occurred on the hill back of Dawson on Wednesday
last, when about forty cabins were destroyed by the blaze. In many
cases the entire contents were destroyed, while some few were enabled
to save their outfits. The fire caught from a small bonfire down
near the Klondike, and in the first ravine up that stream. It ran up
the hill to the trail, and then burning down towards the ferry, also
destroyed half the homes on the lower side of the trail. The loss is
estimated to reach about five thousand dollars, and fell on a class who
could ill afford the loss, some being left absolutely destitute.

Scows and boats through from Lake Bennett began arriving in great
numbers the last of the week, and are continuing to do so.

Trunks and bandboxes are taking the place of dunnage bags heretofore
brought into the country. Every steamer is unloading cords of them.

Men who during the winter were spending hundreds of dollars over the
gambling tables are now looking for a chance to work their passage out.

The suspicious actions of two strangers over on Gold Run has caused
gold sacks to be guarded more carefully.

Two men while poling a boat up the river, were overturned near the
mouth of the Klondike, losing a valuable kit of tools. The men were
picked up by a boat pushed off from the river bank.

[Illustration: GREEK CHURCH, JUNEAU.]

The grand opera house, built by Charles Meddows, is to be the finest
building in Dawson. It is three stories high. The auditorium has a
seating capacity of two thousand and a double row of boxes, forty-two
in number.

From present indication Dawson will celebrate the Fourth of July as it
was never before celebrated. Citizens of Canada are as eager supporters
of this movement as are those of the States. There was a public mass
meeting held in June at the A. C. warehouse, when there was about five
hundred people present, and an executive committee appointed. Since
then the different committees have been appointed and are meeting even
better support from all quarters than expected.

The foreman of the Gold Hill mine saved from his washup a thousand
dollars’ worth of handsome nuggets. Over these he kept a jealous eye
continually until last Friday. Between seven and eight o’clock that
evening he went to a neighboring cabin to bid good-by to Sam Miller,
who was preparing to return to the States. During his temporary absence
some sneak thief entered the cabin and cutting open a valise secured
the sack of nuggets, but in his haste overlooked fifteen hundred
dollars in dust lying near by.

We learn that a responsible firm is organizing a properly conducted
express company, which will be prepared to carry parcels, gold dust,
and attend to commissions. Thus a long felt want will be supplied in
connection with Dawson’s dealing with outside points.

The foreman of the Eldorado is doing the finest piece of mining yet
seen in the Klondike. A passer by would think that his large force
of men was laying off a baseball ground, so level is the entire five
hundred-foot claim being stripped for summer sluicing.

Cards are out announcing the marriage of two of Dawson’s most prominent
young people.

A beautiful baby girl born over on Bonanza claim the other day is
considered the most valuable nugget on the claim.

[Illustration: INDIAN CHIEF’S HOUSE, JUNEAU.]

Patrick O’Flynn, a prisoner serving a six months’ sentence, escaped
Thursday and has gone, nobody knows where. He, with other prisoners,
was carrying water from the Yukon when he bolted among the tents along
the river bank, mingled with the crowd and was lost sight of. One
hundred dollars reward was promptly offered for information leading to
his capture.

The Yukon has been steadily rising for the past week, and the high
water mark is not yet reached. Water is backed up in the Klondike,
overflowing the island.

This little city came near having a Johnstown flood last winter. An
eye witness thus describes how the ice went out at Dawson. The river
had been frozen all winter. When a few warm spring days came, the
melting ice and snow in the mountains sent down immense volumes of
water the strain of which the ice could not long withstand. All day the
people stood helplessly about discussing the situation. A flood seemed
inevitable; the greater part of the city was in danger of being swept
away; until three o’clock in the afternoon the situation was unchanged,
the ice gave no evidence of going.

Suddenly and almost simultaneously all along the city front the ice
was seen to commence moving. A steamboat whistled and the cry went up,
“The ice is moving,” and thousands of spectators rushed to the river
bank just in time to see it go. The dancing masses of huge pieces
of ice weighing tons upon tons, reared high in the air and tumbling
over each other as they fell, presented a most beautiful spectacle. At
ten o’clock it jammed and raised the water about three feet, doing no
damage except smashing the wheel of the steamer Nellie Irving. In ten
minutes the jam broke and the next morning the river, which the day
before was frozen solid across, was entirely free except for blocks of
floating ice from above.

Last year ice jammed and, backing the water up, flooded the town, doing
much damage.

[Illustration: SUMMIT OF THE SELKIRK RANGE, AT HEAD OF YUKON RIVER. OLD
GLORY WAVES BESIDE THE BRITISH FLAG.]



CHAPTER VI GOLD FIELDS


The United States Geological Survey has gathered a volume of
information on the subject of the gold fields of Alaska. The object
of the expedition was to discover the source from which the gold of
the Yukon placer mines was derived. A belt of auriferous rocks, five
hundred miles long and from fifty to one hundred wide, runs from the
British Territory across the American line at Forty Mile Creek. It is
the opinion of the Geological Survey that the gold deposits of Alaska
will rival those of South Africa.

Returning to Skagway the gentlemen of our party were entertained at
a banquet given by the members of the Chamber of Commerce, in their
building.

The ladies were invited by Mrs. Bracket to her lovely home where a
delightful luncheon was served. The leading ladies of Skagway were
met at the home of our charming hostess to bid us welcome to their
enterprising little city.

An employe of the engineering department of the White Pass and Yukon
Railroad is at the Portland hotel. He came in from Cariboo Crossing to
celebrate the Fourth, and recuperate from a hard trip up the Watson
river and along the foothills of the mountains to the Fifty Mile river
below White Horse Rapids. Most of the country through which the party
traveled is entirely new to map makers and no signs of trails, mess
debris, chopping or other evidences of a previous visitation could be
found. As a consequence a number of streams and lakes were discovered.
Of the latter some are quite large and are teeming with large lake
trout. The latter were caught in large numbers by throwing a common
pickerel trotting hook, attached to a line, out into the lake and
hauling it ashore. It was seldom that a cast failed to land a fish.
Artificial flies had no attraction for them. In appearance these fish
look very much like the mountain trout of Puget Sound, but are much
lighter in color. The topographer of the party says they are identical
with the trout found in the Adirondack lake regions.

The head chainman killed a huge brown bear, which, after being shot,
made a furious charge upon him and was only laid low when but a few
feet away from his slayer.

The lower lands of this country are almost entirely devoid of rock. The
soil is an ashy sand patched with powdered limestone stretching over
the country in white patches like alkali lakes. On the Forty Mile river
declivity the country is cut up with huge pot-holes. Many of these
contain lakes of the purest water, that gleam in the sunlight in green,
azure and dark blue according to their depths and shades. A curious
peculiarity of these lakes lies in the fact that their outlets and
inlets are subterranean. They receive their supply from the bottoms of
lakes above and their overflow percolates through their lower banks to
lakes below.

The country swarms with ducks, snipe and other water fowl. It is now
the breeding season and ducks followed by broods of ducklings may be
seen along the edge of every sheet of water. Much fresh sign of bear,
moose, mountain sheep and cariboo were seen throughout the country, but
the noise attendant upon the progress of the party along the line of
their journey, gave all the big game a good opportunity to get out of
sight.

The open coulées and plateaus of this country are waving with luxuriant
bunch-grass, rye-grass and redtop, but the mosquitoes are in such
untold numbers and so violent in their attacks that the pack horses
of the party were too worried to receive much benefit in grazing. In
places are woodlands of large spruce and tall lodge-pole pines, but
most of the timber is scrubby and fit only for fuel.

No indications of mineral could be seen.

The night before the Fourth a large flag was planted on top of Mt.
Dewey. The town was decorated with bunting and flags. Well dressed
people thronged the streets. An oration was delivered from the grand
stand and foot and horse races lent zest to the sports.

The town has two fire companies. These exhibited their hose-carts and
ran a race, making an exhibition of their skill in handling the hose.
Water is plenty, as it comes down the mountain side in a vast volume
from a lake near the summit of Mt. Dewey and is piped over the town.

[Illustration: THE SKAGWAY ENCHANTRESS.]

While the town looks and is new there was nothing to distinguish the
celebration of the national holiday from the same day in the States.

We are now above the line of night. It is as light as day all night. No
light is needed as one can read at any time of night without it. The
sun scarcely sets in the west until it rises in the east. At Summit
lake, which is at the top of the mountains, there is no night at all,
it being in latitude sixty north and longitude one hundred and sixty
west.

The display of the aurora borealis each night is a scene never to be
forgotten. Night after night the whole northern sky is aflame with
a light akin to sunlight tempered by moonlight and enriched by the
splendor of the rainbow’s glorious hues. The Tlingit Indians believe
the aurora to be the ghost-dance of dead warriors who live on the
plains of the sky.

The Skagway enchantress is a figure in stone high up on the mountain
side resembling a woman. Her flowing garments resemble those of a
stylish Parisian gown. The Indians formerly crossed the mountains at
this point, Chilkat Pass, but this witch long ago enchanted the trail,
so that it meant death to follow it. The Indians now turn aside here
and follow the White Pass.

High above the enchantress’s head a bear, whose head is plainly
visible, stands guard over her.

If you look long enough on a moonlight night you can see the
Enchantress move, but she cannot leave the mountain. She cannot come
down, yet Chilkat Pass remains enchanted.

[Illustration: SKAGWAY, SHOWING WHITE PASS.]



CHAPTER VII MUIR GLACIER


The sun shone bright and warm, but a cold wave swept over the glacier.
It was the beautiful Muir glacier.

We left the steamer in a little boat and were rowed to the shore,
landing on the sandy beach. High on the sand lay an Indian canoe, a
dug-out. Near by a party of Indians wrapped in their scarlet blankets
squatted on the sand. They had come to meet the steamer and sell their
toys, baskets and slippers.

A little black eyed boy had a half dozen young seagulls, in a basket,
great awkward squabs. Their coats were a dirty fuzzy down like that of
a gosling, sprinkled over with black dots. Their big hungry mouths and
frowsy coats gave no hint of the beautiful birds they would be when
they grew up.

When I paused to look at the birds their owner regarded me with
interest as he sat with the basket hugged to his breast. Then the
young merchant held one up for my inspection, with the remark, “hees
nice bird.”

“Yes,” said I, “hees very nice.” I had no thought of buying a seagull.
What would I do with it? Then I remembered a little invalid boy whom I
thought might be pleased with a pet seagull.

“How much you give?” inquired my little Indian boy.

“How much will you take?”

“Two bits.”

So, I paid down my two bits and picked up my baby seagull. Then my
little merchant spoke up, “Him want basket?”

“Yes,” I said, “I think that I want a basket.”

The basket was paid for and my enterprising little Indian tucked the
baby gull in with a wisp of sea weed and handed him to me with the
remark, “Him all right now.”

How that gull did squawk when he found himself all alone in a big
basket. What cared he that I had purchased for him the prettiest basket
on the beach? He wanted his brothers. When we arrived on the deck of
the steamer I hurried my gull down to the steward and gained admission
for him to the cook’s department, where he was cared for the
remainder of the voyage.

[Illustration: MUIR GLACIER (SECTION OF).]

It is something of a novelty to be seated at the base of a glacier
in July. From the Chilkoot to the source of the Yukon river is only
thirty-five miles, but the intervening mountain chain is several
thousand feet high and bears numerous glaciers on its seaward side.
Forty miles west of Lynn canal and separated from it by a low range
of mountains is Glacier bay, and at the head of one of its inlets
is the far-famed Muir glacier. It is one of the many fields of ice
which stellates from a center fifteen miles back of the Muir front
and covers the valley of the mountains between the Pacific and the
headwaters of the Yukon river. Nine glaciers now discharge icebergs
into the bay. All of these glaciers have receded from one to four miles
in the past twenty years. Kate Field says, “In Switzerland a glacier
is a vast bed of dirty air-holed ice that has fastened itself like a
cold porous plaster to the Alps. In Alaska a glacier is a wonderful
torrent that seems to have been frozen when about to plunge into the
sea.” There they lay, almost free from debris, clear and gleaming in
the cold sunshine of Alaska. The most beautiful of them all is the
Muir glacier. It is named in honor of John Muir, who visited Alaska
in company with Mr. Young, the Presbyterian missionary, in 1879,
and discovered it. This glacier extends straight across the fiord,
presenting at tide water a perpendicular wall two hundred to four
hundred feet above and seven hundred and fifty feet below the surface,
making a solid wall of ice a thousand feet high and three miles wide.

I cannot do better than to give Prof. Muir’s own description of this
wonderful _mer de glace_: “The front and brow of the glacier were
dashed and sculptured into a maze of yawning chasms, ravines, cañons,
crevasses, and a bewildering chaos of architectural forms, beautiful
beyond description, and so bewildering in their beauty as to almost
make the spectator believe he is reveling in a dream. There were
great clusters of glistening spires, gables, obelisks, monoliths,
and castles, standing out boldly against the sky, with bastion and
mural surmounted by fretted cornice and every interstice and chasm
reflecting a sheen of scintillating light and deep blue shadow, making
a combination of color, dazzling, startling and enchanting.”

This is nature’s iceberg factory. The “calving” of a berg is a
wonderful sight and one never to be forgotten. Avalanches and great
blocks of crumbling ice are continually falling with a crash and roar
into the sea, while spray dashes high and great waves roll along the
wall of the glacier, washing the blocks of floating ice upon the sandy
beach on either side of the great ice-wall. The great buttresses on
either side as they rise from the sea are solid white, veined and
streaked with mud and rocks, but farther in near the middle of the wall
the color changes to turquoise and sapphire blues, blended with the
changeable greens of the sea.

The upper strata of a glacier moves faster than the lower and is
constantly being pushed forward, producing a perpendicular and at
times projecting front. A piece of the projecting front breaks off
and falls with a heavy splash into the water, then up it comes almost
white. Now a piece breaks from the lower and older strata and comes up
a dazzling green. Again a deafening roar as of artillery and a huge
piece of ice splits off from top to bottom of the sea wall and goes
plunging and raving like a great lion to the bottom of the sea, then up
it comes slowly, a berg of dazzling rainbow hues. Such a one, as big
as all the business houses in a village, floated toward the beach and
the outgoing tide left it stranded there. We ate a piece of it, ice
thousands of years old, and drank water from a cup or pocket in its
side.

The beach is strewn with rock, pebbles and bowlders carved by the icy
hand of the glacier. Along the beach near the glacier, just above high
tide, in the rocks and sand grow lagoon grass, laurel and beautiful
clarkias. These brilliant purple flowers are named for Prof. Clarke,
who first studied and classified them. They are sweet scented and
belong to the evening primrose family.

The Tlingit Indians believe that mountains were once living creatures
and that the glaciers are their children. These parents hold them in
their arms, dip their feet into the sea, then cover them with snow
in the winter and scatter rocks and sand over them in summer. These
Indians dread the cold and always speak the name Sith, the ice god,
in a whisper. They have no fear of a hades such as ours. To them hell
is a place of everlasting cold. The chill of the ice god’s breath is
death. He freezes rivers into glaciers and when angry heaves down the
bergs and crushes canoes. When summer comes the ice spirit sleeps, but
the Indians speak in whispers and never touch the icebergs with their
canoe paddles for fear of awaking him.

Once upon a time glaciers plowed over Illinois. Manitoba and Hudson Bay
were then great snow and ice fields, down from which swept the glaciers
over the United States south to the Ohio river. Great rocks and
bowlders were carried along and deposited here and there on the broad
prairies. Many of these rocks and bowlders may still be seen in central
Illinois, still bearing the marks of the glacial slide.

An odd old character in our neighborhood used to tell us children that
those big flattened bowlders were left there for the good people to
stand on when the world should be burned up. “Would they get hot?” we
asked. “Oh, how could they when they had lain years in the heart of a
glacier?” To all of our questions as to how he knew he always turned a
deaf ear.

Our sailors rowed out and with ropes captured an iceberg which they
said would weigh five tons and with rope and tackle hauled it aboard
and put it down in the hold. Then they captured a second one not quite
so large and after it was safely stored away we weighed anchor and
steamed out of the beautiful bay, afloat with icebergs, many of them
being larger above water than our ship. But one disappointment met me,
not a polar bear was in sight.

A nunatak is an area of fertile land surrounded by ice. One of the
finest on the Alaskan coast is Blossom island. It is quite a large
tract of rich land covered with forest and brilliant flowers.

When Mr. Young (before mentioned) was missionary to the Hoonah Indians
they appealed to him to pray to God to keep the glaciers from cutting
down the trees on the bays putting into Cross sound. They said their
medicine man had advised them to offer as a sacrifice two of their
slaves to the ice god, but this they had done without any effect. They
were greatly disappointed when Mr. Young told them that he could do
nothing to prevent the glaciers destroying their forests.

[Illustration: GREEK CHURCH, KILLISNOO.]

Passing Cross strait we go down Chatham strait. Our next stop is
Killisnoo, a small fishing hamlet on Admiralty island. The largest cod
liver oil factory in the world is located here. The Northwest Trading
Company established a fishing post here in 1880. Chatham strait is full
of cod. The fish are artificially dried. The natives receive two
cents apiece for a five-pound fish. Many fish are packed in salt. Our
steamer took on many hundred pounds of dried and packed fish. Cod liver
oil is made in the factory. Each barrel of fish when pressed yields
three quarts of oil valued at twenty-five cents to thirty-five cents
per gallon. The refuse of fifty barrels of fish when dried and powdered
yields one ton of guano worth thirty dollars. This is shipped to the
fruit ranches of California and the sugar plantations of the Hawaiian
islands. Great vats of oil stand in rows under the shed of the factory.

There is a little fish here called the candle fish. It is almost all
oil. For a light the natives impale this fish on a stick and light the
fish. It burns with a sizzle and sputter but makes a good light.

This is a beautiful island. The gardens are now at their best.
Everything grows luxuriantly. Fine strawberries, currants and
gooseberries are grown. Beds of royal purple and golden pansies in
dewy splendor adorn the yards and gardens, great broad faced beauties
measuring from two to two and a half inches across.

Here we met our first Alaskan mosquito. He is about the size of our
glow flies. His bite is something to remember. It leaves a miniature
snow capped mountain on your face.

The Indians say that once upon a time, many thousand of snows ago, he
was a giant spider, but a wicked manitou tossed him into the fire one
day where he shriveled up to his present size. The bad manitou thought
him dead but when the fire burned low he escaped and flew away with a
live coal in his mouth which he carries to this day. Since he could not
be revenged on the manitou he takes his vengeance out on man.

Arachne, fair mortal, at Minerva’s fateful touch shrank and shriveled
into a spider.

The student of Indian myths will be impressed before he carries his
researches very far, with the likeness of many of these legends to the
mythologies of the old world.

[Illustration: KITCHNATTI.]

These Indians, the Kootznahoos, claim to have come from over the
seas. They deny any relation with the Tlingits. They were the first
Indians to distill hoochinoo, which carries more fight and warwhoop
to the drop than any other liquor known. It is made from a mash of
yeast and molasses, thickened with a little flour. They were great
fighters and murdered the traders as soon as the Russians left. In
1869 Commander Mead shelled the village and took Kitchnatti prisoner.
He was taken to Mare Island, California, and confined for a year.
The tribe now numbers only five hundred souls. They are a peaceable
people and follow fishing for a livelihood. Many of them are employed
in the fish factory on the island. Kitchnatti is still the recognized
chief, and is very proud of his position. He meets all the steamers
coming in and is delighted to meet the officers of the vessels, all of
whom are kind to him. He is quite vain in his dress, wearing a silk
hat, long coat, black pantaloons and slippers. He also sports a cane,
which is a sheathed sword. He claims descent from ancestry as old as
“yonder granite mountain” which stands across the strait. His state
dress consists of a crown made of goat horns and a tunic made of red
felt trimmed with fur. Over his door he has posted his escutcheon,
which some one has translated for him into English. It reads, “By the
governor’s permission and the company’s commission I am made the Grand
Tyhee of this entire illabee.”

On a green slope stands a Greek church, established by the Russian
government. The priest lives in a tiny cottage next door.

At the wharf a dozen little Indian boys, dressed in sweaters and
overalls, displayed much energy and skill in helping to unload the
freight which was landed at this point. The first officer gave them
fifty cents apiece when the work was completed and away they went to
spend it, American boy like, at the candy store.

One of the most interesting things that I saw in the village was a
little papoose taking his bath in a big dishpan on the front veranda.
He did not like it at all and kicked and screamed but his mother
without a word proceeded with the bathing.

Just off Killisnoo the steamer anchored several hours to give the
passengers an opportunity to try deep-sea fishing. Some fine halibut
were brought aboard. Then we weighed anchor and steamed toward the old
town of Sitka. This ancient capital of the Romanoffs is the seat of the
territorial government of Alaska. A strong effort is being made by the
mining interest of Juneau to move it to that point.

[Illustration: SITKA.--SOLDIERS’ BARRACKS, OLD RUSSIAN WAREHOUSE
AND GREEK CHURCH ON THE RIGHT, INDIAN VILLAGE ON THE LEFT, RUSSIAN
BLOCKHOUSES BEYOND AND MISSION SCHOOLS IN THE DISTANCE. By permission
of F. LAROCHE, Photographer, Seattle, Washington.]



CHAPTER VIII SITKA


Sitka is beautifully located at the foot of the mountains and commands
a fine view seaward. The streets are not regularly laid out. Everyone
appears to have chosen the site that pleased him best, regardless of
his neighbors. Many of the buildings are old. At every turn one is
made aware of Russian architecture. Several blocks from the wharf and
directly in the middle of the street stands the Russian orthodox church
of St. Michaels. The interior is richly decorated. Many rich paintings
adorn the walls. A handsome brass chandelier hangs from the ceiling.
Massive brass candlesticks stand on either side of the door. The
interior is finished in white and gold, and the inner sanctuary where
women may not enter is separated from the church proper by fine bronze
doors.

The Sitka Mission and Industrial School was established by the
Presbyterian board in 1878. There are now enrolled sixty-four boys and
forty-six girls. School continues nine months of the year. The boys
and girls occupy separate buildings. The forenoon the pupils spend
in the school rooms and the afternoons the girls spend in the sewing
room and the boys in the shops. The superintendent called a bright boy
about twelve years of age and asked him if he could show me about the
grounds and through the workshops while he conducted a larger party in
a different direction. “Yes sir,” and with a touch of his cap to me,
led the way to the carpenter shop. Two young men busy at work at a long
bench touched their caps and a “Good afternoon, madam,” greeted me.
“Yes madam, I am a carpenter,” proudly replied one of the young men to
my question. He was about eighteen years old, while his companion was
only sixteen. In this shop the pupils make tables, chairs and all sorts
of furniture. I was next conducted to the tin shop, where besides pots
and pans, stoves are made out of sheet iron and scraps of any old thing
that is left over. All of the stoves in the school buildings are made
in this way. My young Indian guide next conducted me to the shoe shop.

[Illustration: INDIAN AVENUE, SITKA.]

The schools are having vacation now, so the shops are not running
a full number of pupils. The conductor and two pupils were at work,
the former on fine shoes and the latter on heavy Klondike boots. Each
boy has his own cobbler’s bench and a full set of tools. A third
boy was sauntering about the room making himself familiar with his
surroundings. The conductor of the shop told me that this lad had
chosen the shoe maker’s trade and was to begin work on the following
morning.

The boys all greeted me with a smile of welcome when I entered and
bade me good-by when I departed. My guide said that the paint shop was
closed, but he explained to me the object of the shop and the work
done there. When I asked him if he had chosen his trade he politely
explained that he had only been in the school a year and that he had
not decided what he would like. The pupils enter for five years,
the parents or guardian signing a contract to that effect. My guide
conducted me to the gate, where I thanked him for his kindness. He
gracefully touched his cap and said: “Good-by madam, I was glad to show
you about.”

All of the dormitories, play rooms and school rooms are models of
neatness. In the girls’ building the bread was just being taken out
of the bake oven. Thirty loaves was the day’s baking. The boys make
the bread and put it to rise. The girls mould it out and bake it. The
Indians are very proud of the school and come of their own accord
seeking admission for their children. This school is making these
Indians self-supporting and consequently prosperous. One sees many
bright faces among them and the younger people are happy and contented,
with nothing in their dress or manner to distinguish them from young
white Americans of the same age. In an old blockhouse located on a
rocky prominence overlooking the sea some of the boys of the school
spend the evening hours in band practice. They played until eleven
o’clock on the parade ground without a light, reading their music by
twilight. The selections were choice and well rendered. They played
“Star Spangled Banner” as an opening piece. Sitka is rightfully proud
of her Indian band. The Indian is given his chance in this land of the
midnight sun and he is making the most of his opportunities.

[Illustration: BLOCKHOUSE ON BANK OF INDIAN RIVER, SITKA, ALASKA.]

Opposite the Mission on the bank of the Indian River is a large square
rock called the Blarney-stone, which dowers the kisser with a magic
tongue, but never a four leafed shamrock in all the merry dell with
which to weave a magic spell.

The Sitkans, like all native races have a mythical legend as to their
origin.

Two brothers, twins, lived in paradise. One of them ate a sea cucumber.
It was the one forbidden fruit. The paradise became a wilderness. The
brothers were starving when a band of roving Stickines came that way
one day and pitying them left them wives to care for them.

From one of these pairs sprang all the Kaksatti, the Crow clan. From
the other descended all the Kokwantons, the Wolf clan.

The legends of these Indians as well as all other tribes in this
country, contain a full account of the landing of Columbus. The news
was carried overland from post to post and tribe to tribe by runners.
The history of the tribe at Sitka runs back five hundred years. Beyond
that period they have no record and frankly say that they have no
authentic account of their origin.

Their stature, their industry, their faith in the shaman, their belief
in transmigration of souls, all point to Asiatic origin. Their word
for water is agua, much like the Latin aqua.

The Mission and Training schools have transformed these savages, whose
ancestors murdered the intrepid Muscovites, into frontier fishermen,
boatmen and loggers.

An Indian never willingly consents to have his photograph taken,
because, when you have a picture of him, he firmly believes that you
have power over his soul. The educated Indian, however, is fearless of
the camera.

The Kletwantans and the Klukwahuttes, two branches of the Frog clan,
are at variance over the erection of a totem pole and have gone into
court to settle the matter. The Klukwahuttes are the true aristocrats
of Indian society in Sitka. The Kletwantons are the wealthy members of
the real Indian four hundred, but having made their money in fish and
oil, are considered upstarts by their more aristocratic brothers. The
Kletwantons decided to build a new home for the chief and to set up
an elaborately carved and decorated totem pole. The eyes of the frog
which was to surmount this wonderful pole were to be twenty-dollar
gold pieces. A grand potlatch was to be held when the pole was ready
to set up. All of the Indians up and down the coast, from Juneau,
Killisnoo, Skagway, Ft. Wrangel and Bella Bella, were invited, but the
aristocratic Klukwahuttes were left out. Did they sit down and quietly
ignore this insult? No indeed. They told their wealthy brothers in true
American style what they thought of such conduct, and the matter would,
no doubt, have been dropped here had not the wealthy fish oil makers
denied that the Klukwahuttes belonged to the Frog clan at all. Upon
this things grew so warm that the missionary appealed to the district
attorney to aid him in making the Indians keep the peace. Then the
disgusted Klukwahuttes went to him asking for an injunction to keep
the pretended Frogs from holding the potlatch and setting up the pole.
He replied to them that he would take the case upon them paying him
a retainer of five hundred dollars, feeling sure that would end the
matter, well knowing that they could not raise the money. Petitioned
again he reduced his fee to two hundred and fifty dollars, feeling
quite sure that they could not raise even that amount. But he reckoned
without his host. In less than two hours the leading men of the
Klukwahuttes filed into his office, carrying goat skin bags and pouches
filled with money and counted out the two hundred and fifty dollars in
small coins, no coin being larger than a fifty-cent piece. The attorney
was obliged to keep his word and take the case. The injunction was
issued restraining the oil makers from building the house and setting
up the totem pole. The potlatch, however, was held.

When the Juneau Indians arrived in their canoes off the shore the chief
stood up and chanted their traditions to prove that they belonged to
the Frog clan and were rightfully invited. When he had finished the
leaders of the Klukwahuttes, who were standing on the beach, recited
their traditions to prove that they and not the Kletwantans were the
true Frogs. The Klukwahuttes, however, made no disturbance during the
feast. Later the Kletwantans employed a young Boston lawyer who was
stopping at Sitka and sued the Klukwahuttes for damages. Not wishing to
be outdone by the aristocratic Klukwahuttes, they at once paid their
lawyer a retainer of two hundred and fifty dollars. There the case
rests. The lawyers are trying to settle it out of court.

On an eminence which commands a fine view of the harbor and the town,
stood the Baranhoff castle, which was burned a few years ago. It did
not in the least resemble a castle. The picture makes it look like an
old country inn. The ruins are still visible and the two flights of
steps leading to it still exist. Around this historic ground cluster
the scenes and incidents of the past century. The castle, like the
island on which it stood, took its name from the Russian governor,
Baranhoff, who in the early part of the century ruled the people with
an iron hand, beginning with the knout and ending with the ax.

Not one of the intrepid Muscovites who landed here in 1741 were left to
tell the tale of their capture and execution by the native Sitkans. In
1800 another party arrived and placed themselves under the protection
of the Archangel Gabriel instead of trusting to the power of gunpowder
and stockades. They too were massacred and their homes destroyed by
fire. Baranhoff was at once sent out by the Russian government. He
erected the castle and stockade, withdrew the town from the protection
of Gabriel and placed it under the protection of the Archangel Michael.

This old castle was once the home of nobility and the scene of grand
festivities. Here princes and princesses of the blood royal ate their
caviare, quaffed their vodka and measured a minuet. It was in this
old castle that Lady Franklin spent three weeks twenty-five years ago
when in search of her husband, Sir John. It was here that W. H. Seward
spent several days when on a trip to Alaska after its purchase from
Russia, through the sagacity of himself and Charles Sumner. At one
of the windows sat the beautiful Princess Maksoutoff weeping bitter
tears as the Russian flag was lowered for the last time. On the 18th
of October, 1867, three United States warships lay at anchor in the
bay. They were the Ossipee, Resaca and Jamestown, commanded by Captains
Emmons, Bradford and McDougal. Each vessel was dressed in the national
colors, while the Russian soldiers, citizens and Indians assembled upon
the open space at the foot of the castle carrying aloft the eagle of
the czar of all the Russias. At a given signal the American navy fired
a salute in honor of the Russian flag, which was lowered from the staff
on the castle. After a national salute from the Russian garrison in
honor of our flag, the stars and stripes were hoisted to the top of the
old flag staff.

The Russian parade ground has been converted into a base ball
ground, where Indian and white teams contest for honors.

The native races of Alaska are slowly dying out. The bright light of
civilization is always the death doom of savagism.

[Illustration: RAPIDS, INDIAN RIVER, SITKA.]

The most beautiful natural park in the world lies just above Sitka, on
the banks of the Indian River, which rises in the valley between the
mountains and winding down, empties into the sea.

Here are the greenest of pines, cedars and firs. The grasses and mosses
are the brilliant green of the tropics. A neat suspension foot bridge
swings clear of the water from buttress to buttress. The shallow,
murmuring, sparkling water bathes the brown roots of shrubs and trees.
Great cedars lie prostrate, covered with short green moss. Giant firs
are draped with a delicate sea green moss, which hangs in festoons and
pendants from branch, limb and trunk. The pine tops sigh softly the
music of the seas.

Sunny banks are yellow with the familiar cinquefoil, the blossoms of
which are five or six times as large as they are at home. In open
glades the ground is white with cornells, and tiny dogwood shrubs
growing from two to five inches high. The wild purple geranium
brightens sunny glades, while the mountain spiraea, the most beautiful
of all spiraeas, bends and sways in the breeze.

Thickets of salmon berry and wonderful mazes of strange ferns meet
one at every turn. One of the handsomest bushes in the park is the
magnificent Devil’s Club. There are great thickets of them twenty feet
high casting an enticing but dangerous shade. The dainty green leaves,
as large as dinner plates, rear their heads aloft, umbrella-like. The
stems, limbs, and trunk are covered with thousands of tiny poisonous
prickles, which work deep into the flesh, making ugly sores.

Down on the beach are the graves of Lisiansky’s men, who were killed by
ambuscaded Indians while taking water for their ship, in 1804.

Friday evening we weighed anchor and steamed out of the harbor. The
beautiful bay, with its beautiful islands, slowly receded from view and
we bade farewell to the historic old town of Sitka.

Hamerton, in his charming work on Landscape, says: “There are, I
believe, four new experiences for which no description ever adequately
prepares us, the first sight of the sea, the first journey in the
desert, the sight of flowing molten lava, and a walk on a great
glacier. We feel in each case that the strange thing is pure nature, as
much nature as a familiar English moor, yet so extraordinary that we
might be in another planet.”

I would add a fifth, sunset at sea. Earth holds nothing more fair,
nothing more beautiful than sunshine.

A little while ago the sky was blue, flaked with fleecy white clouds,
the snows on the coast range lay sparkling like diamonds in the sun,
the forest lay dark and green on the mountainside, the sea gray and
blue by turns; but now a change comes over nature’s moods, the clouds
glow, the snows take on brilliant hues, the dark old forest grows
darker, the sea shimmers and sparkles, a flaming molten mass.

The imperial sunset throws its red flame afar, ’till the land, the sea,
the mountains, the sky, the very air it incarnadines in one grand flame
of scarlet. Long, long will the beholder remember that glorious sunset
at Sitka.



CHAPTER IX ALASKA


A friend of the writer who owns mines at Cook’s Inlet thus describes
his voyage north along the coast to Unalaska:

We were now aboard the Excelsior. About noon the next day we put out to
sea and saw no more island passages such as we had seen while aboard
the Queen.

Our first stop was at Yakutat, an Indian village on the Yakutat Bay.
This bay is only an indentation of the coast, curving inward for about
twenty miles. The whole force of the Pacific sweeps into it. Landing is
both difficult and dangerous. In the bay are always many icebergs from
the glaciers at its head.

Great excitement prevailed here in 1880 when gold was discovered in
the black sand beaches. The rotary hand amalgamators were used and
as much as forty dollars per day to the man was often realized. The
miners, however, had reckoned without their host; the Yakutat chief,
who suddenly developed financial ability worthy of his white brother,
exacted licenses and royalties from the miners.

This black sand mine was not yet exhausted when a tidal wave heaped the
coast with fish. These decayed in the hot sun and the oil soaked down
into the sand. The mercury would not work and the miners moved to a new
beach, but again a tidal wave ruined the mines by washing all the black
sand out to sea. Yakutat was then deserted by the miners. The Indian
women of this village are the finest basket weavers in Alaska.

Soon after leaving Yakutat we sighted Mt. St. Elias and the Malispania
glacier. The Indians call it Bolshoi Shopka--great one. This snow-clad
mountain, nearly four miles high, beautiful as Valaskjalf, the silver
roofed mansion of Odin, is a most magnificent sight. Such grandeur,
such solidity, such poetry of color,--the white peak kisses the blue
heaven,--such solitude. Like the golden few of earth’s great ones, it
stands alone, isolated by its very greatness.

The Malispania glacier which flows down from a great névé field in
the mountains, is said to be the largest glacier in the world. It is
nearly one hundred miles long and thirty-five miles wide where it pours
into the sea, and rises four hundred and fifty feet above tide water.

Orca, on the shore of Prince William’s Sound, lies snuggled up under
the rugged cliffs, which rise sheer thousands of feet high. From the
woods beyond a noisy river goes leaping down the rocks to the sea,
where its power is chained to run the machinery of a cannery. That
other Orca was a powerful sea dragon, especially fond of a seal diet,
but this Orca preys only on the salmon.

Our next stop was at Valdes, where two years ago two thousand miners
started for Copper River, to prospect for gold, but they were doomed
to disappointment, as yet no gold has been discovered on this river.
Many and sad are the tales of hardships endured by these miners. Some
worked their way up the Copper River and down Tanana River to the
Yukon, but by far the greater number returned to Valdes destitute. Many
of the miners lost their lives on the Valdes’ glacier. In going to
Copper River they had to travel eighteen miles across this treacherous
glacier. Nine men lost their lives here last winter.

[Illustration: WHERE WHALES AND PORPOISES POKE THEIR NOSES UP THROUGH
THE BRINE.]

At Valdes is located a government expedition under the command of
Captain Ambercrombie. The object of this expedition is to study the
topography of the country and to make surveys. The government is doing
much to aid stranded miners to reach Seattle. For thirty days’ work
they are paid five dollars and given a free passage to that city.

Prince William Sound is a fine body of water. It is almost surrounded
by land. Abrupt mountains rise seemingly out of the sea. It is deeply
indented by fiords and inlets running back from ten to twenty-five
miles. On the south it is protected by mountainous islands. In coming
out of this sound we passed around Mummy Point, into the ocean.
Presently we came to the Seal Rocks. They were alive with seals. When
the engineer blew the whistle they went plunging into the sea, making
a great splash. Whales and porpoises bob their noses up through the
brine--descendants, no doubt, of that gallant crew of Tyrrhenian
mariners changed by angry Bacchus to dolphins in that dusky old time
when the gods held sway over nature’s forces.

From here to Cook’s Inlet we had rough sailing. Neptune was out on a
lark. We realized fully that he was king of the sea and that we were
his timid subjects.

The crowning glory of Alaska’s natural attractions is Cook’s Inlet.
Sheltered by a great mountain wall on the west, its shores enjoy
delightful summer weather. Only the pen of a Milton or the matchless
brush of a Turner could paint this fair empire of earth, sea and air.
Glacier after glacier, frozen to the cold breast of the mountains, lay
glistening in the sunshine. The finest waterfalls in Alaska leap from
rugged cliffs and go singing to the sea.

A grand panorama of snowy peaks, smoking volcanoes, forested slopes,
grassy glades bright with flowers and fertile valleys, lend enchantment
to this wild Arcadia of the North. Goethe truly says: “Him whom the
gods true art would teach, they send out into the mighty world.”

Moose graze in the open glades, mountain goat and sheep leap from
cliff to rock and away. Extensive level plateaus line both shores of
the inlet, which will make fine grazing country some day in the near
future. The grass grows luxuriantly and in many places reaches a height
of six feet. We traveled up the inlet seventy miles to a branch of the
inlet known as the Turnagain Arm, which is from five to eight miles
wide and enclosed by high mountains. These mountains are covered with
timber at the base. Tall grass covers the mountain side to the height
of three thousand feet, sweet grass for all the flocks of some future
Pan.

We landed at Sunrise, which is the largest city on the inlet. It has a
population of one hundred and fifty, mostly miners. Hope, twelve miles
away, has a population of seventy-five miners. Fine vegetables grow
here. A storekeeper has a small garden. His potatoes are as fine as
any grown in the states, some weighing one and one-half pounds. He has
cabbages weighing seven pounds, and turnips weighing eleven pounds.
Beets, peas and other vegetables are as fine as grown anywhere. People
who have lived here during the winters say that the temperature rarely
falls twenty degrees below zero, and that the winters are dry and
without blizzards.

Moose, mountain goat and wild sheep furnish the towns and camps with
meat, which is usually bought from the Indians, who are good hunters,
but very superstitious. They are afraid of a giant who, Odin like,
rides from mountain to mountain on the wind, killing every Indian whom
he finds traveling alone. White men don’t count, so if you wish to
employ a guide to accompany you on a hunting expedition you must also
employ a brother Indian to protect him, or he “no go.”

Farther south along the coast a black dwarf haunts the mountains,
making life miserable for lone Indians. His arrows, like the magical
spear of Odin, never miss their mark.

In the mountains north and west of the inlet a giant floats his birch
canoe on the wind, from peak to peak, seeking lone Indians, whom he
slays with the canoe paddles. This wonderful canoe, like that good ship
of Frey, always gets a fair wind, no matter for what port its oarsman
is bound.

This portion of the inlet, Turnagain Arm, is a treacherous bit of
water. The highest tides rise fifty feet. Then there is the bore, which
runs up just as the tide comes in, rising eighteen to twenty feet
perpendicularly.

No boat can live in it. The tide usually comes in three great waves,
one right after the other. The water is thick with mud, ground up by
the glaciers at the head of the Arm and brought down by the streams.

There will be some good placer mines in Cook’s Inlet when the country
is properly opened, but it has hardly been prospected as yet, owing to
the difficulty in sinking shafts to bed rock on account of the water
coming in so rapidly. It is necessary to go through bed rock to the
glacier channels below for the main deposits of gold.

By timbering the shafts the water may be kept out. The soil and gravel
taken out of a shaft which has just been sunk averages only twenty-five
cents per cubic yard, but the owners intend to go through the rock to
the channels below, where they expect to strike a rich vein, make their
fortunes and return to civilization.

There is usually a light freeze about the middle of September, after
which the weather is fine until the last of November.

The king of volcanoes in this region is Iliamna. Steam and smoke issue
from two craters at the summit of the snow-clad mountain. During an
eruption this giant shakes the earth to its very center.

This wonderful estuary was discovered by Captain Cook, on the natal day
of Princess Elizabeth, May 21, 1778. He took possession in the name of
her majesty, and buried his records in a bottle at Possession Point.
Vancouver searched for these records in vain.

Tramways, stone piers and decaying buildings speak in unmistakable
language of busy scenes during Russian occupation.

Five hundred miles west of Sitka, on the shore of Kadiak, one of the
emerald isles of the Alaskan coast, is St. Paul, the first capital of
Alaska, and the center of the fur trade established by Shelikoff and
Baranhoff.

The natives say that many summers ago the Kadiak Islands were separated
from the mainland by a very narrow channel. One day a big otter
attempting to swim through was caught fast. He struggled until he
widened the Shelikoff Strait, when he swam triumphantly through. A bad
Indian and his dog sent adrift on a big stone turned into the largest
Kadiak, on the shore of which St. Paul is located. The Kadiakers are
descended from the daughter of a great chief of the north, who, with
her husband and dogs, was banished from her father’s lodge.

The forest on these islands consists of a few scattered groves. The
grass, shrubs and mosses bathed in a perpetual fog are so brilliantly
green as to dazzle the eye.

The dug-out canoe disappears here and boats of sea lion and walrus
skins stretched over frames of drift wood lightly skim the blue waters
of the cold sea.

As we steam along through sunshine and fog, past glaciers, mountains
and fiords, “so wide the loneliness, so lucid the air,” we are reminded
that the Ancient Mariner sailed the blue Pacific. Now the sun drops
into the sea, lighting it up with a luminous glow. With a tremor and a
sparkle the purple waves glimmer red, now shadow to a violet hue, and
now to a crimson blue.

  “Tries one, tries all, and will not stay
   But flits from opal hue to hue.”

The volcanoes of Alaska! What a grand, what a wonderful panorama, as if
you had rubbed Aladdin’s lamp. Expectation stood in awe when this giant
upheaval was in progress. Enwrapped always in the mellow haze of white
smoke and blue atmosphere, the cold clouds kissing their white brows,
these sentinels old, like Wordsworth mountain, “look familiar with
forgotten years.”

The prince of them all, Shishaldin, rises nine thousand feet, trailing
his white robes in the blue sea.

The seventy islands of the Aleutian chain lie along the coast for
thousands of miles. These islands are treeless, but green with Arctic
grasses and mosses.

At Unalaska the Russians have a nicely built church. These Greek
churches have no pews, the congregation standing and kneeling during
the service. The priest in charge of this church speaks no English.
These churches all pay an annual tribute to the patriarch in Moscow.
This is all un-American. The Mary Lee Home, a Methodist mission, has a
small school here.

The Aleuts, a kind, gentle people, suffered much at the hands of their
Russian masters in the past. The Aleuts living in sod huts are the
Crofters of America.

The fine flower of the fauna of Alaska is found in the valley of the
Koyukuk River. Here tusks and bones of mastodons are found imbedded in
the sand banks and gravel bars.

Since the discovery of gold in Alaska the Indians have saved many
lives. Born and reared amidst these wild surroundings, where winter
white and hoary stands ever at the gate of the North, wagging his
shaggy beard, they have partaken of the very nature of their own rugged
mountains. The long Arctic nights and the intense cold have given
these people hearts of steel and muscles of iron.

Are you ill? Are you starving? No mountain is too high, no snow too
deep, but one of these heroes will climb the one or plunge undauntedly
through the other to bring you succor.

In the chilly Arctic sea there lies a mysterious island, the home of
the ice goblin, who kicked it loose from, no one knows where, so the
legend runs, and towed it to its present location.

Its mountains are the highest, its gorges the deepest, and its fields
and fiords the grandest in the world.

It was a most magnificent island before the goblin stole it and dragged
it away into the great ice fields of the North. It was clothed in rich
verdure. Birds sang, flowers bloomed, and gay butterflies hovered over
them.

This was not at all to the goblin’s taste, so he threw a sheet of ice
over mountain, field and fiord. In his ice castle on the summit of the
loftiest peak reigns the great ice goblin, sending out storms over sea
and land, and pouring ice, snow and glaciers down over the island to
his heart’s content.

In the Arctic region a dark cloud called the “loom of the water”
overhangs where ever there is clear water.

The Arctic sea! The land of the midnight sun! What a fascinating
subject! What an inexhaustible field for those three happy brothers,
the poet, the painter and the scientist! The land of jötums, penguins
and ice packs. The land where night kisses morning. The realm of
bright-haired Aurora and sable-robed Niobe.

Returning along the self same route the mind never tires nor the eye
wearies of the matchless scenery. Like a moving panorama, grand,
austere, majestic, sublime. Here reigns Vidar, the god of silence.

Magnificent fiords indent the coast. The dark mountains rise to a vast
height, their snow crowned peaks standing out clear and sharp against
the blue sky.

Glaciers like huge giants clasp the mountains in their frosty arms,
while their tears course down the mountain’s weather-beaten cheek.

Here and there a fleecy white cloud envelopes the summit of a mountain.
A silvery thread comes creeping out over the rocks, loses itself in the
pine forest on the slopes, emerges and with a boundless sweep plunges
into the ocean.

All this wild scenery from base to peak stands mirrored in the
sea-green water of the fiord.



CHAPTER X FAREWELL TO SKAGWAY


At Skagway quite a number of miners came on board, bound for home. One
hears from them many sad tales of the Klondike. One man aboard is dying
of consumption and scurvy, contracted in the mining region. A purse is
being made up to enable him to reach his home in Toronto, Canada. He
hopes to live to see his wife and child. An impromptu entertainment in
the salon netted one hundred and fifty dollars for the sick miner.

Another tale not quite so pathetic is that of Mike McCarty, of San
Francisco. He bought a claim and paid all the money he possessed for
it. When he went to have the lease recorded he was told that it was not
legal, that the property was not his, but still belonged to the Queen.
“Damn the Quane,” said Mike, “I bought it and paid me money for it. The
Quane has nothing to do with it at all.” Then he was informed that some
one had sold the claim to him under false pretense and besides losing
it he would get three months’ imprisonment for insulting the Queen.
“Faith and how could I insult the Quane when I niver see her?” queried
Mike. “All right,” said the magistrate, “you go up for three months and
the claim still belongs to the Queen.” “Damn the Quane,” said Mike,
as he was taken away to his cell. Mr. McCarty is on his way home, a
ragged, penniless, but a wiser man.

These miners are bringing down a great deal of gold. One man who has
made sixty-five thousand dollars in mining is taking two children to
Seattle to be educated.

One lady has her bustle stuffed with paper money, another her dress
skirt interlined with five and ten dollar bills.

Gold may be converted into paper money in Dawson City at the rate
of fifteen dollars per ounce. Its actual value runs from sixteen to
eighteen dollars per ounce.

Living is quite high at Dawson, owing to the long distance over
which freight must be carried. Coal oil sells at seven dollars for a
five-gallon can, bread at fifty cents a loaf, beefsteak at two dollars
a pound, candles at one dollar each. This is an item in household
expenses, as during the winter months it is twilight only from eleven
o’clock in the morning to two o’clock in the afternoon. Candles are
used for lights in the mines.

There is plenty of gold in Alaska, but one must go equipped to
withstand the winters and prepared to work his claim properly. Mining
in Colorado and California is not mining in the Klondike. For various
reasons mining in the Klondike is much more expensive than in either of
the other places. The British mounted police are very vigilant, so that
miners lose but little by thieving.

We arrived at Juneau at eleven o’clock at night. The sun having just
set it was still daylight. Nearly the entire population was at the
wharf, eager to learn the news of the outside world. We repaired to
the opera house, where we attended an impromptu political meeting.
The mayor presided and Judge Delany, judge of Alaska under Cleveland,
set forth in a forcible manner the needs of Alaska. The speaker said
that this rapidly growing child seemed to be somewhat neglected by
legislators, mainly because Congress does not know her needs. “First
of all,” said he, “we want the boundary line settled. We want every
foot of land called for in our treaty with Russia in 1867. Until
the discovery of gold in the Klondike England had never questioned
her treaty made with Russia in 1825. But when gold is discovered up
comes England and plants her flags on our territory. Our government
sent out troops and forced them back to the original line. Now let
Congress settle it once for all. It interferes with business and
until this question is settled we don’t know where we are ‘at.’ Next
we want better school facilities. In Juneau we have two hundred and
forty children of school age and room for only forty. This state of
things exists all over Alaska. If Congress will give us half as much
attention as is bestowed on the seal we promise to ask no more. We want
some sort of government. We have no government and are not represented
in Congress. Next we want more judges and more courts, instead of one
judge and one district as now. We think that Alaska should be divided
into three districts.”

Congressmen Warner, Dazill, Payne and Hull replied in short speeches
and the meeting adjourned just at dawn, one o’clock. The opera
house is lighted with electric lights and heated with a furnace. It
has a parquet, dress circle and boxes, and is a model from an
architectural point of view. The acoustic properties of the hall are
beyond criticism.

[Illustration: STEAMER QUEEN LEAVING JUNEAU.]

Leaving Juneau to carry on the struggle of leading Alaska to statehood,
we board our good ship, the Queen, weigh anchor, and sail away.

The upper deck is the salon, the reception hall, the library. Here we
leave our steamer rugs and chairs. Here we come for a better view of
the mountains and the sea. Here we meet our friends. Here we may take
a book and, snugly ensconced, pass a quiet hour. Many of us, however,
found it difficult to read a single line or to enjoy our rugs and
chairs for long at a time, for just as your companion has tucked you
all snugly in, exclamations of surprise and delight from some other
part of the vessel lures you away, as the ship turns her prow this way
and that, now steaming straight ahead, as if she meant to knock that
mountain from its seat, and now quickly changing her course, giving us
a magnificent view down a fiord.

Everyone is reading, “David Harum,” and their comments are quite as
interesting as the book itself.

Sweet Sixteen--“O, I do just love John and Mary, but that stupid old
David is so tiresome.”

A critic--“Literature, indeed. Where’s the plot? You couldn’t find it
with a telescope.”

A judge--“Served his good-for-nothing brother just right.”

Pious looking old gentleman--“Good man, David, but he lacked religion.”

Business man--“Too soft hearted; ought to have kicked that idiot Timson
out long before he did.”

An old farmer lays down the book and laughs until the tears roll down
his weather-beaten cheeks. “Now, there’s a man as is a man. Knows all
about farmin’ and tradin’ horses, he, he; traded horses myself, he, he,
he; best book ever read, he, he, he.”

The first interesting sight to greet us on our way south was a group of
small rocky islands, where more than a hundred eagles were fishing. Out
they would fly by twos and threes, seize a fish in their talons, return
to the rocks and proceed to eat him.

From Dixon’s Entrance to Milbank Sound lie the Alps of America, a
double panorama of unbroken beauty two hundred miles in length. Green
slopes reflected in greener waters. The shores rise perpendicularly
from a thousand to fifteen hundred feet, above which snow-clad
mountains rise as high again. Tall trees climb and cling to these rocky
walls like vines and cascades come gliding out from snowbanks and go
hurrying and singing to the sea, some like delicate silver threads
winding down, others dashing mountain torrents.

[Illustration: ALPS OF AMERICA.]

Late in the evening a mist Jötun rose out of the sea and enveloped us,
and the ship lay at anchor for several hours. The next morning the sun
shone clear and bright. The clouds lay on the water like a veil of rare
old lace flecked with pearls, diamonds and sapphires, caught up here
and there by unseen hands and wreathed about the mountains’ snowy brows.

Scene after scene of wild beauty greets the eye at every turn of the
vessel’s prow. Wild deer and fawn come down to the water’s edge and
stand gazing at our ship. We ran into a school of whales disporting
in the water and scattered them right and left. Flock after flock
of wild ducks skim the water, to light in yonder cove. Flock after
flock, battalion after battalion of wild geese swing along overhead,
led by an old commodore, giving his commands with military precision,
“Honk, honk,” until the very air quivers with their joyous shouts and
greetings. The cormorant is your true diver. Down he goes, a ripple,
and the water is smooth again. While you are lost in speculation as to
where he will reappear up he comes in some placid spot away beyond. If
you guess that he will come up at your right he is sure to appear much
further to your left. If you guess that he will remain under water two
minutes he is likely to remain five. In fact he never does the thing
you expect of him at all, but like Thoreau’s loon on Walden pond, he’ll
lead you a merry chase if you board your canoe and attempt to follow
him.



CHAPTER XI WASHINGTON AND OREGON


Seattle is now full of people on their way to Alaska, principally
tourists, as the miners are now all coming down to rest or visit with
relatives and to make preparations to return to the Klondike for the
winter. Now that the Yukon and White Pass railroad is completed over
the mountains to Lake Bennett the trip thus far is made in about four
hours which formerly required four weeks over a rough, rocky mountain
trail. Freight rates are much cheaper than when the Indians carried the
freight over at twenty-five cents per pound. Living will be cheaper in
the Klondike and more mines will be worked. Success or failure waits
on the mining industry as well as every other, and the man who would
succeed in the field must study the business thoroughly.

From a scientific point of view Alaska is certainly a wonderful
country. From the point of development and commerce it gives promise
of becoming an important State. The possibilities in the way of
development of its mineral resources and fisheries are incalculable.

Seattle is deeply interested in the boundary question. This city
conducts the bulk of the northwest trade to Alaska and were England
given a port at Lynn canal, Seattle would feel it keenly, as would
Washington and other Western States. Congressman Warner says we have
nothing to concede to Great Britain in the way of territory. That we
stand on the right of possession acquired by the Russian purchase.
England is anxious indeed to lay hands on the Porcupine mining
district, which is considered as rich as the Klondike.

Traveling south from Seattle, we enter the grazing and fruit-growing
district. Cattle graze on the hill-sides while the fruit farms occupy
a more level tract. The fine cherries, known as the Rocky Mountain
variety, are ripe now. There are three varieties; the sweet, the sour
and the blood-red, seen in our market. The currant farms are of equal
interest. The currants too are ripe. Boys and girls are employed as
pickers. They enjoy the work and consider it great sport. The luscious
fruit is placed in baskets and carried to the manager, who measures it
and sets down the amount opposite the picker’s name. The fruit is much
larger and juicier than in the Eastern States.

Portland is the center of the hop belt. A hop field is quite as
interesting, from a financial point of view, as a field of broom-corn.
If the crop is a success it pays and pays well, but if a failure from
blight or worm, it is likely to bankrupt the owner. So you see that
a hop ranch is an interesting speculation. The fields themselves are
beautiful, indeed. The varied shades of green, from the darker hues of
the older leaves to the delicate sea green of the new tendrils as they
wreathe themselves about the tall poles, or twine about the wires which
in many fields run from pole to pole, forming a beautiful green canopy
from end to end of the large fields. Not the least interesting part of
the hop ranches are the store and dry-houses. The hops are dried by hot
air process, and are then baled and ready for shipment. King Revelry
holds high carnival in the hop districts when the hops are ripe.
Everyone looks forward to this harvest with the greatest of pleasure.
The invalid, because he would be healed by the wonderful medicinal
qualities of the hops; the well because he would have an outing and
be earning good wages at the same time; the boys and girls, because
it is their annual festival of frolic and fun; a time of camp-fires,
ghost stories and witch tales. The real old-fashioned kind that chills
your blood and makes you afraid of the dark and to go to bed lest the
goblins get you “ef you don’t watch out.” The pickers camp in the
fields and along the road sides. The hops are picked and placed in
trays. Each picker may have a tray to himself or an entire family may
use one tray. When the trays are full they are carried to the warehouse
where they are weighed.

Plank roads abound in Washington. One-half of the road is laid down in
a plank walk, which is used when the roads are muddy, so that when the
roads dry they are ready to travel without that wearing-down process
which is so trying to the nerves of both man and beast.

Oregon is the most important state in the Union from an Indian’s point
of view, for it was here that the first man was created. It is needless
to say that he was a red man, and his Garden of Eden was at the foot of
the Cascade mountains. That was long before the bad Manitou created the
white man.

Portland is a larger city than Seattle. There is more wealth here
too. This city is the outlet for the immense crops of wheat raised
in southern Washington, Oregon and Idaho. The fine peaches, plums,
cherries, currants and apples grown here find their way to eastern
markets. Wood is so plentiful and cheap here that every man has his
wood-pile. (The little coal used on the Pacific coast comes from
Australia.) The enterprising wood sawyer rigs a small steam saw mill on
a wagon, drives up to your door and without removing the mill from the
wagon saws your wood while you wait.

An interesting feature of river life in Portland is the houseboat,
moored to the shore. Sometimes they are floated miles down the river
to the fishing grounds. Most of them are neat one-story cottages and
nicely painted. Nearly always there is a tiny veranda where flowers in
pots are blooming.

An aged couple lives in a tiny houseboat, painted white, which is
moored apart from the others. A veranda runs across the front of the
boat and there are shelves on either side of the door. They have a fine
collection of geraniums and just now the entire front of their water
home is aglow with the blooms. Misfortune overtook these people and
they adopted this mode of life because of its cheapness. Another boat
was moored under the lea of the steep bank. Up the side of the bank a
path led to the top, where the children have built a small pen from
twigs and sticks. Inside the pen are five fat ducks, a pair of bantams
and a pig.

Portland is the third wealthiest city for its size in the world.
Frankfort on the Main takes first rank and Hartford, Conn., second. The
climate is delightful. In summer the average temperature is eighty,
with always a cool breeze blowing from the sea or the snow-capped
mountains.

The trip up the Columbia river to the dalles is a continuous panorama
of beautiful scenes. On each side along the densely wooded shores are
low green islands. Here and there barren rocks fifty to one hundred
feet high stand, sentinel like, while over their rugged sides pour
waterfalls. Ruskin says that “mountains are the beginning and the end
of all natural scenery.” This wonderful river inspired Bryant’s “Where
rolls the Oregon,” Oregon being the former name of this river--the
Indian name.

[Illustration: GOVERNMENT LOCKS ON THE COLUMBIA RIVER.]

James Brice paid a tribute of admiration to the superb extinct
volcanos, bearing snow fields and glaciers which rise out of the
vast and somber forest on the banks of the Columbia river and the
shores of Puget Sound. The Oregon chain of mountains from Shasta
to Mount Tacoma is a line of extinct volcanos. A peculiar basaltic
formation three hundred feet high stands at the gateway to the white
capped Cascades of the Columbia river. Here a Lorelei might sit
enthroned and lure to death with her entrancing music, sailors and
fishermen. The Cascades are so dangerous that the government has built
locks at this point, through which every boat passes on its way up or
down the river. The Indian legend as to the origin of the upheaval in
the bed of the river now called the Cascades runs in this wise: Years
ago when the earth was young, Mount Hood was the home of the Storm
Spirit and Mt. Adams of the Fire Spirit. Across the vale that spread
between them stretched a mighty bridge of stone joining peak to peak.
On this altar “the bridge of the gods,” the Indian laid his offering
of fish and dressed skins for Nanne the goddess of summer. These two
spirits, Storm and Fire, both loving the fair goddess, grew jealous of
each other and fell to fighting. A perfect gale of fire, lightning,
splintered trees and rocks swept the bridge, but the brave goddess
courageously kept her place on this strange altar. In the deep shadows
of the rocks, a warrior who had loved her long but hopelessly, kept
watch. The storm waxed stronger, the altar trembled, the earth to its
very center shook. The young chief sprang forward and caught Nanne
in his arms, a crash and the beautiful goddess and the brave warrior
were buried under the debris forever. The Columbia now goes whirling,
tossing and dashing over that old altar and hurrying on to the sea. The
Spirits of Storm and Fire still linger in their old haunts but never
again will they see the fair Nanne. The Indian invariably mixes a grain
of truth with much that is wild, weird and strange. It was Umatilla,
chief of the Indians at the Cascades who brought about peace between
the white man and his red brother. He had lost all of his children by
the plague except his youngest son, Black Eagle, his father called him,
Benjamin the white man called him. Black Eagle was still a lad when an
eastern man built a little schoolhouse by the river and began teaching
the Indians. A warm friendship sprang up between teacher and pupil. One
sad day Black Eagle fell ill with the plague. Old Umatilla received
the news that his son could not live, with all the stoicism of his
race, but he went away alone into the wood, returning at the dawn of
day. When he returned Black Eagle was dying.

[Illustration: RAPIDS, COLUMBIA RIVER.]

Slowly the pale lids closed over the sunken eyes, a breath and the
brave lad had trusted his soul to the white man’s God.

The broken-hearted old chief sat the long night through by the corpse
of his son. When morning came he called the tribe together and told
them he wished to follow his last child to the grave, but he wanted
them to promise him that they would cease to war with the white man
and seek his friendship. At first many of the warriors refused, but
Umatilla had been a good chief, and always had given them fine presents
at the potlatches. Consulting among themselves they finally consented.
When the grave was ready, the braves laid the body of Black Eagle to
rest. Then said the old chief: “My heart is in the grave with my son.
Be always kind to the white man as you have promised me, and bury us
together. One last look into the grave of him I loved and Umatilla too
shall die.” The next instant the gentle, kind hearted old chief dropped
to the ground dead. Peace to his ashes. They buried him as he had
requested and a little later sought the teacher’s friendship, asking
him to guide them. That year saw the end of the trouble between the
Indians and the white race at the Dalles.

The old chief still lives in the history of his country. Umatilla is
a familiar name in Dalles City. The principal hotel bears the name of
Umatilla.

On either side of the river farm houses, orchards and wheat fields dot
the landscape.

Salmon fishing is the great industry on the river. The wheels along
both sides of the river have been having a hard time of it this
season from the drift wood, the high water and the big sturgeon,
which sometimes get into the wheels. A big sturgeon got into a wheel
belonging to the Dodon Company and slipped into the bucket, but was too
large to be thrown out. It was carried around and around until it was
cut to pieces, badly damaging the wheel. Now the law expressly states,
as this is the close season for sturgeon, that when caught they must be
thrown back in the water. “But what is the use,” inquires the _Daily
News_, “if they are dead?”

[Illustration: FARM ON THE BANK OF THE COLUMBIA RIVER, BELOW THE
DALLES, OREGON.]

A visit to a salmon cannery is full of interest. As the open season for
salmon is from April first to August first, the buildings though large
are mere sheds. The work is all done by Chinamen. The fish are tossed
onto the wharf, where they are seized by the men, who carry them in and
throw them on to long tables, chop off their heads, dress them and hold
them, one fish at a time, under a stream of pure mountain water, which
pours through a faucet over the long sink. Next they are thrown onto
another table, where other Chinamen cut them up ready for the cans, all
in much less time than it takes to tell about it. The tin is shipped in
the sheet to the canneries and the cans are made on the ground.

Astoria, the Venus of America, is headquarters for the salmon fishing
on the Columbia River. Joaquin Miller described it as a town which
“clings helplessly to a humid hill side, that seems to want to glide
into the great bay-like river.” Much of it has long ago glided into the
river. Usually the salmon canneries are built on the shores, but down
here and on toward the sea, where the river is some seven miles wide,
they are built on piles in mid stream. Nets are used quite as much as
wheels in salmon fishing. Sometimes a hungry seal gets into the nets,
eating an entire “catch,” and playing havoc with the net. Up toward the
Dalles on the Washington side of the river, are three springs. These
springs have long been considered by the Indians a veritable fountain
of youth. Long before the coming of the white man they carried their
sick and aged to these springs, across the “Bridge of the Gods.” Just
above Dalles City lies the dalles which obstruct navigation for twelve
miles. Beyond this point the river is navigable two hundred miles.
Here, too, legends play an important part.

When the volcanoes of the northwest were blazing forth their storm
of fire, ashes and lava, a tribe known as the Fire Fiends walked the
earth and held high revelry in this wild country. When Mount Rainier
had ceased to burn the Devil called the leaders of the tribe together
one day and proposed that they follow nature’s mood and live more
peaceably, and that they quit killing and eating each other. A howl met
this proposal. The Devil deemed it wise just at this moment to move on,
so off he set, a thousand Fire Fiends after him. Now his majesty could
easily whip a score of Fiends, but he was no match for a thousand. He
lashed his wondrous tail about and broke a great chasm in the ground.
Many of the Fiends fell in, but the greater part leaped the rent and
came on. A second time the ponderous tail came down with such force
that a large ravine was cracked out of the rocks, the earth breaking
away into an inland sea. The flood engulfed the Fiends to a man. The
bed of the sea is now a prairie and the three strokes of the Devil’s
tail are plainly visible in the bed of the Columbia at the dalles.

Just across the river from Dalles City on a high bluff, stands a four
story building, the tower in the center running two stories higher.
The building stands out there alone, a monument to the enterprise of
one American. He called it a shoe factory, but no machinery was ever
put in position. After the pseudo shoe factory was completed false
fronts of other buildings were set up and the rugged bluffs laid out in
streets. An imaginary bridge spanned the broad river. Electric lights,
also imaginary, light up this imaginary city. The pictures which this
genius drew of his town showed street cars running on the principal
streets and a busy throng of people passing to and fro. As to the shoe
factory, it was turning out thousands of imaginary shoes every day. Now
this rogue, when all was ready, carried the maps and cuts of his town
to the east, where he sold the factory and any number of lots at a high
figure, making a fortune out of his paper town.

From Dalles City across the country to Prineville in the Bunch Grass
country, a distance of a hundred miles, the country is principally
basalt, massive and columnar, presenting many interesting geological
features. Deep gorges separate the rolling hills which are covered
with a soil that produces bunch grass in abundance. This same ground
produces fine wheat and rye. This is a good sheep country and wool is
one of the principal products.

Crater Lake is haunted by witches and wizards. Ghosts, with seven
leagued boots, hold high revelry on its shores on moonlight nights,
catching any living thing that comes their way and tossing it into the
deep waters of the lake, where the water devils drag it under.

[Illustration: SCENE ON AN OREGON FARM IN THE WILLAMETTE VALLEY.]

We spent two delightful days on an Oregon farm near Hubbard, thirty
miles south of Portland.

We drove from Hubbard in the morning to Puddin river. The bridge was
being repaired, so we walked across, our man carrying our traps. We had
just passed Whisky hill when we met our friend Mr. Kauffman and his
daughter, driving down the road. We were warmly welcomed and after an
exchange of greetings we drove back with them to their home, where we
partook of such a dinner as only true hospitality can offer.

Mr. Kauffman owns three hundred acres of fine farming land. There is no
better land anywhere on the Pacific coast than in this beautiful valley
of the Willamette river. Beautiful flowers and shrubs of all sorts in
fine contrast to the green lawn surround the house, which is painted
white, as Ruskin says all houses should be when set among green trees.
Near by is a spring of pure mountain water. In the woods pasture beyond
the spring pheasants fly up and away at your approach. Tall ferns nod
and sway in the wind, while giant firs beautiful enough for the home of
a hamadryad lend an enticing shade at noontime.

If any part of an Oregon farm can be more interesting than another
it is the orchard, where apple, peach, plum, pear and cherry trees
vie with each other in producing perfect fruit. Grapes, too, reach
perfection in this delightful climate. One vine in Mr. Kauffman’s
vineyard measures eighteen inches in circumference. The dryhouse where
the prunes are dried for market is situated on the south side of
the orchard. No little care and skill is required to dry this fruit
properly.

Wednesday morning we reluctantly bade good-by to our kind hostess
and departed with Mr. Kauffman for Woodburn, where we took the train
for Portland. The drive of ten miles took us through a fine farming
district. Here farms may be seen in all stages of advancement from the
“slashing” process, which is the first step in making a farm in this
wooded country, to the perfect field of wheat, rye, barley or hops.

Arriving at Woodburn we lunched at a tidy little restaurant. The train
came all too soon and we regretfully bade our host farewell.

The memory of that delightful visit will linger with us as long as life
shall last.

[Illustration: ROADWAY IN OREGON.]

There are few regions in the West to-day where game is as abundant as
in times past. Yet there are a few spots where sport of the old time
sort may be had, and the lake district of Southern Oregon is one of
these. Here, deer and bear abound as in days of yore, while grouse,
squirrel, mallard duck and partridge are most plentiful.

Fort Klamath lake is a beautiful sheet of water, sixty miles long by
thirty wide. Among the tules in the marshes the mallard is at home,
while grouse and nut brown partridge by the thousands glide through
the grass. Fish lake speaks for itself, while the very name, Lake of
the Woods, carries with it an enticing invitation to partake of its
hospitality and royal sport.

Travel is an educator. It gives one a broader view of life and one soon
comes to realize that this great world swinging in space is a vast
field where millions and millions of souls are traveling each his own
road, all doing different things, all good, all interesting.

In our journeyings we have met many interesting people, but none more
interesting than Miss McFarland, whom we met on our voyage up the
Columbia river. Miss McFarland was the first American child born in
Juneau, Alaska.

Her only playmates were Indian children. She speaks the language like
a native and was for years her father’s interpreter in his mission
work. She has lived the greater part of her life on the Hoonah islands.
The Hoonah Indians are the wealthiest Indians in America. Having all
become Christians they removed the last totem pole two years ago.

Reminiscences of Miss McFarland’s childhood days among the Indians of
Alaska would make interesting reading.

The old people as well as the children attend the mission schools. One
day an old chief came in asking to be taught to read. He came quite
regularly until the close of the school for the summer vacation. The
opening of the school in the autumn saw the old man in his place, but
his eyes had failed. He could not see to read and was in despair. Being
advised to consult an optician he did so and triumphantly returned with
a pair of “white man’s eyes.”

Upon one occasion Miss McFarland’s mother gave a Christmas dinner to
the old people of her mission. It is a custom of the Indians to carry
away from the feast all of the food which has not been eaten. One old
man had forgotten his basket, but what matter, Indian ingenuity came to
his aid. Stepping outside the door he removed his coat and taking off
his dress shirt triumphantly presented it as a substitute in which to
carry home his share of the good things of the feast.

These Indians believe that earthquakes are caused by an old man who
shakes the earth. Compare this with Norse Mythology. When the gods
had made the unfortunate Loke fast with strong cords, a serpent was
suspended over him in such a manner that the venom fell into his face
causing him to writhe and twist so violently that the whole earth shook.

When Miss McFarland left her home in Hoonah last fall to attend Mill’s
college every Indian child in the neighborhood came to say good-by.
They brought all sorts of presents and with many tears bade her a long
farewell. “Edna go away?” “Ah! Oh! Me so sorry.” “Edna no more come
back?” “We no more happy now Edna gone,” “No more happy, Oh! Oh!” “Edna
no more come back.” “Oh, good-by, Edna, good-by.”

Every Christmas brings Miss McFarland many tokens of affection from her
former playmates. Pin cushions, beaded slippers, baskets, rugs, beaded
portemonnaies. Always something made with their own hands.

Miss McFarland’s name, through that of her parents, is indissolubly
connected with Indian advancement in Alaska.

One meets curious people, too, in traveling. In the parlor at the
hotel one evening a party of tourists were discussing the point of
extending their trip to Alaska. The yeas and nays were about equal when
up spoke a flashily dressed little woman, “Well,” said she, “what is
there to see when you get there?” That woman belongs to the class with
some of our fellow passengers, both men and women who sat wrapped in
furs and rugs from breakfast to luncheon and from luncheon to dinner
reading “A Woman’s Revenge,” “Blind Love,” and “Maude Percy’s Secret,”
perfectly oblivious to the grandest scenery on the American Continent,
scenery which every year numbers of foreigners cross continents and
seas to behold.

One of our fellow travelers is a German physician who is spending the
summer on the coast. He is deeply interested in the woman question in
America. He is quite sure that American women have too much liberty.
“Why,” said he, “they manage everything. They rule the home, the
children and their husbands, too. Why, madam, it is outrageous. Now
surely the man ought to be the head of the house and manage the
children and the wife too, she belongs to him, doesn’t she?”

“Not in America,” we replied, “the men are too busy, and besides they
enjoy having their homes managed for them. Then, too, the women are too
independent.”

“That is just what I say, madam, they have too much liberty, they are
too independent. They go everywhere they like, do everything they like
and ask no man nothings at all.”

My German friend evidently thinks that unless this wholesale
independence of women is checked our country will go to destruction.
The war with Spain does not compare with it. I am wondering yet if our
critic’s wife is one of those independent American women.

Just below Portland on the banks of the Willamette river and connected
with Portland by an electric street railway stands the first capital of
Oregon, Oregon City, the stronghold of the Hudson Bay Company, which
aided England in so nearly wrenching that vast territory from the
United States.

This quaint old town is rapidly taking on the marks of age. The
warehouse of that mighty fur company stands at the wharf, weather
beaten and silent. No busy throng of trappers, traders and Indians
awaken its echoes with barter and jest. No fur loaded canoe glides
down the river. No camp fire smoke curls up over the dark pine tops.

The Indian with his blanket, the trapper with his snares and the
trader with his wares have all disappeared before the march of a newer
civilization. The camp fire has given place to the chimney; the blanket
to the overcoat; the trader to the merchant and the game preserves to
fields of waving grain.

The lonely old warehouse looks down in dignified silence on the busy
scenes of a city full of American push and go.

All the forenoon the drowsy porter sat on his stool at the door of the
sleeper, ever and anon peering down the aisle or scanning the features
of the passengers.

What could be the cause of his anxiety? Was he a detective in disguise?
Had some one been robbed the night before? Had some one forgotten to
pay for services rendered? Had that handsome man run away with the
beautiful fair haired woman at his side? Visions of the meeting with an
irate father at the next station dawned on the horizon.

The train whirled on and still the porter kept up his vigilance.

It was nearly noon when I stepped across to my own section and picked
up my shoes. The sleepy porter was wide awake now. His face was a
study. For one brief moment I was sure that he was a detective and that
he thought he had caught the rogue for whom he was looking.

“Them your shoes, Madam?” said he approaching me.

“Yes.”

“Why, Madam, I’ve been waitin’ here all mornin’ for the owner to come
and get ’em.”

Ah, now I understood. He was responsible for the shoes and he thought
that they belonged to a man. Fifty cents passed into the faithful black
hands and my porter disappeared with just a hint of a smile on his
face.



CHAPTER XII OFF FOR CALIFORNIA


We left Portland on the night train for San Francisco. I took my gull,
the Captain we called him, into the sleeper with me. He was asleep when
I placed his basket under my berth, but about midnight he awoke and
squawked frightfully.

I rang for the porter but before he arrived the Captain had awakened
nearly every one in the car. Angry voices were heard inquiring what
that “screeching, screaming thing,” was.

An old gentleman thrust his red night capped head out of his berth next
to mine and angrily demanded of me where that nasty beast came from.
When I politely told him he said he wished that I had had the good
sense to leave it there. Then he said something that sounded dreadfully
like swear words, but being such an old gentleman I’ve no doubt that my
ears deceived me.

At any rate it was something about sea gulls in general and my own
in particular. His red flannel cap disappeared and presently I heard
him snoring away up in G. Now my poor gull only squawked on low C.
After that the Captain traveled in the baggage car with the trunks and
packages.

Traveling south from Portland one passes farms and orchards until the
foot of the Sierra Nevada range is reached. Most of the farms are well
improved. Many of the orchards are bearing, while others are young.

Here and there in the mountains are cattle ranches. These mountains are
not barren, rugged rocks like the Selkirks of Alaska. Here there is
plenty of pasture to the very summit of the mountains.

Wolf Creek valley is one vast hay field. Up we go until the far-famed
Rogue River valley is reached. This noble valley lying in the heart of
the Sierras reminds one of the great Mohawk valley of New York.

Ashland is the center of this prosperous district. The Southern State
Normal School is located here.

The seventh annual assembly of the Southern Oregon Chautauqua will
convene in Ashland in July. This assembly is always well attended.
Farmers bring their families and camp on the grounds. The program
contains the names of musicians prominent on the coast. Among the
lecturers are the names of men and women prominent in their special
fields. Frank Beard, the noted chalk talk lecturer, will be present. So
you see that the wild and woolly west is not here, but has moved on to
the Philippines.

When the passenger train stops at the station of Ashland a score of
young fruit venders swarm on the platform, crying plums, cherries,
peaches and raspberries at fifteen cents a box. When the train-bell
rings fruit suddenly falls to ten cents and when the conductor cries
“All aboard” fruit takes a downward plunge to five cents a box, but the
fruit is all so delicious that you do not feel in the least cheated
in having paid the first price. “Look here, you young rascal,” said a
newspaper man, who travels over the road frequently to one of the young
fruit dealers, “I bought raspberries of you yesterday at five cents a
box.” “O no you didn’t, mister, never sold raspberries at five cents a
box in my life sir, pon honor.” In less than three minutes this young
westerner was crying “Nice ripe raspberries here, five cents a box.”
“Why,” said I, “I thought you told the gentleman that you never sold
berries at five cents a box.” “No, Madam, I didn’t, pon honor,” and the
little rogue really looked innocent.

[Illustration: CLIMBING THE SHASTA RANGE.]

Leaving Ashland with three big engines we climb steadily up four
thousand one hundred and thirty feet to the summit of the range.

The Rogue River valley spreads out below us in a grand panorama of
wheat, oats, barley fields and orchards. Down the southern slope the
commercial interest centers in large saw-mills and cattle ranches.

Off to the east lie the lava beds where Gen. Canby and his companions
were so treacherously assassinated by the Modoc Indians under the
leadership of Captain Jack and Scar Faced Charley.

Crossing the Klatmath River valley the dwelling place in early days
of the Klatmath Indians, the engines make merry music as they puff,
puff, puff in a sort of Rhunic rhyme to the whir of the wheels as they
groan and climb three thousand nine hundred feet to the summit of the
Shasta range. There is something wonderfully fascinating about mountain
climbing. Whether by rail over a route laid out by a skilled engineer;
on the back of a donkey over a trail just wide enough for the feet
of the little beast, or staff in hand you go slowly up over rocks and
bowlders, or around them, clinging to trees and shrubs for support. The
very fact that the train may without a moment’s notice plunge through
a trestle or go plowing its way down the mountain side; the donkey
lose his head and take a false step; the shrub break or a bowlder come
tearing down the rock-ribbed mountain and crush your life out, thrills
the blood and holds the mind enthralled as a bird is held enchanted by
the charm of the pitiless snake.

Throughout the mountains mistletoe, that mystic plant of the Druids,
hangs from the limbs and trunks of tall trees.

It was with an arrow made from mistletoe that Hoder slew the fair
Baldur.

All day long snow-covered Mt. Shasta has been in sight and toward
evening we pass near it on the southern side of the range and stop at
the Shasta Soda Springs. The principal spring is natural soda water.
This is the fashionable summer resort of San Francisco people, who come
here to get warm, the climate of that city being so disagreeable during
July and August that people are glad to leave town for the more
genial air of the mountains.

[Illustration: THE HIGHEST TRESTLE IN THE WORLD, NEAR MUIR’S PEAK,
SHASTA RANGE.]

It certainly is odd to have people living in the heart of a great
city ask you during these two months if it is hot out in the country.
“Out in the country” means forty or fifty miles out, where there is
plenty of heat and sunshine. At Shasta Springs, however, the weather
is cooler. The climate is delightful, the water refreshing and the
strawberries beyond compare. Boteler, known as a lover of strawberries,
once said of his favorite fruit: “Doubtless God could have made a
better berry, but doubtless God never did.”

Just beyond the springs stand the wonderful Castle Crags. Hidden in the
very depths of these lofty Crags lies a beautiful lake. This strange
old castle of solid granite, its towers and minarets casting long
shadows in the moonlight for centuries, is not without its historic
interest, though feudal baron nor chatelaine dainty ever ruled over it.
Joaquin Miller, in the “Battle of Castle Crag,” tells the tale of its
border history.

Not far away at the base of Battle Rock a bloody battle was once fought
between a few whites and the Shasta Indians on one side and the Modoc
Indians on the other.

[Illustration: MOUNT SHASTA. By permission of F. LAROCHE, Photographer,
Seattle, Washington.]

The Indians of California say that Mt. Shasta was the first part of the
earth created. Surely it is grand enough and beautiful enough to lay
claim to this pre-eminence. When the waters receded the earth became
green with vegetation and joyous with the song of birds, the Great
Manitou hollowed out Mt. Shasta for a wigwam. The smoke of his lodge
fires (Shasta is an extinct volcano) was often seen pouring from the
cone before the white man came.

Kmukamtchiksh is the evil spirit of the world. He punishes the wicked
by turning them into rocks on the mountain side or putting them down
into the fires of Shasta.

Many thousands of snows ago a terrible storm swept Mt. Shasta. Fearing
that his wigwam would be turned over, the Great Spirit sent his
youngest and fairest daughter to the crater at the top of the mountain
to speak to the storm and command it to cease lest it blow the mountain
away. She was told to make haste and not to put her head out lest the
Wind catch her in his powerful arms and carry her away.

The beautiful daughter hastened to the summit of the peak, but never
having seen the ocean when it was lashed into a fury by the storm wind,
she thought to take just one peep, a fatal peep it proved. The Wind
caught her by her long red hair and dragged her down the mountain side
to the timber below.

At this time the grizzly bears held in fee all the surrounding country,
even down to the sea. In those magic days of long ago they walked
erect, talked like men and carried clubs with which to slay their
enemies.

At the time of the great storm a family of grizzlies was living in the
edge of the forest just below the snow line. When the father grizzly
returned one day from hunting he saw a strange little creature sitting
under a fir tree shivering with cold. The snow gleamed and glowed where
her beautiful hair trailed over it. He took her to his wife who was
very wise in the lore of the mountains. She knew who the strange child
was but she said nothing about it to old father grizzly, but kept the
little creature and reared her with her own children.

When the oldest grizzly son had quite grown up his mother proposed
to him that he marry her foster daughter who had now grown to be a
beautiful woman.

Many deer were slain by the old father grizzly and his sons for the
marriage feast. All the grizzly families throughout the mountains were
bidden to the feast.

When the guests had eaten of the deer and drank of the wine distilled
from bear berries and elder berries in moonlight at the foot of Mt.
Shasta, when the feast was over, they all united and built for their
princess a magnificent wigwam near that of her father. This is “Little
Mt. Shasta.”

The children of this strange pair were a new race,--the first Indians.

Now, all this time the great spirit was ignorant of the fate of his
beloved daughter, but when the old mother grizzly came to die she felt
that she could not lie peacefully in her grave until she had restored
the princess to her father.

Inviting all the grizzlies in the forest to be present at the lodge of
the princess, she sent her oldest grandson wrapt in a great white cloud
to the summit of Mt. Shasta to tell the Great Spirit where his daughter
lived.

Now when the great Manitou heard this he was so happy he ran down the
mountain side so fast that the snow melted away under his feet. To
this day you can see his footprints in the lava among the rocks on the
side of the mountain.

The grizzlies by thousands met him and standing with clubs at
“attention” greeted him as he passed to the lodge of his daughter.

But when he saw the strange children and learned that this was a new
race he was angry and looked so savagely at the old mother grizzly that
she died instantly. The grizzlies now set up a dreadful wail, but he
ordered them to keep quiet and to get down on their hands and knees and
remain so until he should return. He never returned, and to this day
the poor doomed grizzlies go on all fours.

A wonderful feat of jugglery, but a greater was that of the Olympian
goddess who changed the beautiful maiden Callisto into a bear, which
Jupiter set in the heavens, and where she is to be seen every night,
beside her son the Little Bear.

The angry Manitou turned his strange grandchildren out of doors,
fastened the door and carried his daughter away to his own wigwam.

The Indians to this day believe that a bear can talk if you will
only sit still and listen to him. The Indians will not harm a bear.
Now for the meaning of those queer little piles of stones one sees so
frequently in the Shasta mountains. If an Indian is killed by a bear he
is burned on the spot where he fell. Every Indian who passes that way
will fling a stone at the fated place to dispel the charm that hangs
over it.

“All that wide and savage water-shed of the Sacramento tributaries to
the south and west of Mt. Shasta affords good bear hunting at almost
any season of the year--if you care to take the risks. But he is a
velvet-footed fellow, and often when and where you expect peace you
will find a grizzly. Quite often when and where you think that you are
alone, just when you begin to be certain that there is not a single
grizzly bear in the mountains, when you begin to breathe the musky
perfume of Mother Nature as she shapes out the twilight stars in her
hair, and you start homeward, there stands your long lost bear in your
path! And your bear stands up! And your hair stands up! And you wish
you had not lost him! And you wish you had not found him! And you
start for home! And you go the other way glad, glad to the heart if he
does not come tearing after you.”[1]

Downward from Mt. Shasta flows the Sacramento river. For thirty miles
it goes tumbling over bowlders and granite ledges on its way to the
sea. In mid-summer the Sacramento cañon is a paradise of umbrageous
beauty, a region of forest and groves, of leafy shrubs, delicate ferns,
mosses and beautiful flowers, of roaring, tumbling rivers, shining
lakelets and dancing trout streams.

Up in the mountains the dewberries are ripe. They are about the size
of currants, but farther down the slope they are larger. Blackberries
are also plentiful, also the black raspberry, called by the Indians
succotash.

The coniferous forests of the Sierra Nevada range are the most
beautiful in the world. Here, where the granite domes which are so
striking a feature of the Sierras, we find the most beautiful little
meadows lying on the tops of the dividing ridges or on their sloping
sides. These meadows are all aglow with wild flowers, rank columbines,
stately larkspur, daisies and the lovely lupines, beds of blue and
white violets, many strange grasses and beautiful sedges, and the glory
of them all, the lily.

The magnificent sunset of the mountains, the afterglow resting on their
summits, the many clouds of various hues, borrowing the tints of the
rainbow,

  “That glory mellower than a mist
   Of pearl dissolved with amethyst,”

resting on the snowy peaks, lend an enchantment to the scene that might
entice the elf king Oberon himself and all his crew of Pixies and Imps
back to earth.

Doubtless God might have created a more magnificent range of mountains
than the Sierras, but doubtless God never did.

  “If thou art worn and hard beset
   With sorrows thou wouldst forget,
   Go to the woods and hills.”

   --LONGFELLOW.

“There ain’t nothing like fresh air and the smell of the woods. There’s
always a smell from trees dead, or living, and the air is better where
the woods be.”

FOOTNOTE:

[1] JOAQUIN MILLER, _A Bear Hunt in the Fifties_.



CHAPTER XIII SAN FRANCISCO


The Pacific slope has a wonderful flora which has been but little
studied. Here wonderful ferns and laurels grow the whole year round.
With few exceptions all the plants are new and strange. One of the most
beautiful trees on the coast is the madrona, graceful and stately,
its red trunk contrasting oddly with its green foliage. The dandelion
is here but puts on such airs and graces that unless you are quite
familiar with him you would never take him for the common weed he is
at home. He grows several in a cluster on a delicate stem twelve to
fifteen inches long. He is the pale yellow of California gold. His
white head when he goes to seed is more frowsy than with us, and the
seeds are a little different in shape, but he wings himself over onto
people’s lawns with the agility and grace of his Illinois brother.

There are many points of interest in San Francisco and not the least
of these is China Town, which has a population of thirty thousand
people. A Chinese school is a place of interest. The boys (girls are
not sent to school in China Town) stand at long tables running across
the room. The pupils all study aloud. Besides their books each pupil is
provided with a small camel’s hair brush and a pot of ink with which he
writes out his lessons in the characters of his native language. The
paper used is very red, while the ink is very black. This is a priest’s
school and these little almond-eyed Orientals in their quaint caps and
gowns are all studying for the priesthood. They laugh and whisper too,
when the teacher’s attention is engaged elsewhere, just like American
children. One boy painted a Chinese character on another’s face, then
they all laughed and the first boy wiped it angrily off. The teacher
had not seen it, so no one was punished. The teacher, a fine looking
man in the native dress of his country, with a few strokes of his brush
painted for us on red paper an advertisement of his school. Teacher and
pupils bowed a good morning as we departed.

[Illustration: STREET SCENE IN CHINATOWN, SAN FRANCISCO.]

At the Christian Mission the Chinese minister, a man of much
intelligence, greeted us cordially, asking where we were from. He
knew where Chicago was and something about it. He was sorry that the
services were over and asked us to come again next Sunday at ten
o’clock.

The tea house, which is the club room, is the finest oriental club
house in America. The beautiful tables and chairs are all inlaid with
marble and pearl.

The Joss House, which is the temple, is magnificently adorned and
decorated. A cup of tea, which of course evaporates, is kept setting
in front of the god, but his worshipers believe he drinks it. Lamps
and incense are kept burning all the time to keep the evil spirits
away. The worshipers come and go at all hours. No regular services are
held except at New Years and on feast days. Upon request, however, the
priest will accompany an individual to the temple and conduct services
for him.

The home of an aristocratic Chinaman is full of interest to an
American. In the home in which we visited everything except the
chairs came from China, and these looked oddly out of place against
the background of rich oriental draperies, and the quaint costumes of
our hostess and her daughter. Our hostess was a large woman, but she
proudly displayed her tiny feet, the mark of true aristocracy. She
hobbled bravely about on these feet only four inches long and did the
honors of her house.

When in exchange for the compliment of seeing these aristocratic
feet I quite as proudly thrust out my American ones encased in No. 6
broad-soled mountain climbers, the dear lady bowed and smiled, but made
no comment. The six-year-old daughter of the house was suffering the
tortures of having her feet bound. When the Chinese become Christians
they abandon this practice.

In an opium den an old smoker showed us how he smoked the fateful drug.
He first took a large lump of opium on a long needle and holding it in
the flame of a candle, burnt the poison out of it, then thrust it into
the cup of his long pipe, the tiny opening of which he held near the
lighted candle, sucking the blue smoke into his lungs and exhaling it
through his nostrils.

In the drug store the druggist was putting up a prescription for a sick
Chinaman who was standing near. He took down four different bottles and
took some roots out of each. Telling the man to make a tea of them
he tied them up and handed them over the counter and received his pay.
There were lizards and toads there also to be made into medicine.

In the jewelry store four goldsmiths were at work making rings,
bracelets and earrings, all by hand.

In the market all sorts of fish and birds were offered for sale. A big
fat pig roasted whole looked tempting indeed. Beans, which had been
kept damp until they had sprouted, the sprouts an inch to two inches
long were ready to be made into a tempting salad. There were baskets of
green watermelons the size of an orange.

This being Sunday the streets were thronged with Chinese in native
holiday dress, who sauntered leisurely along or gathered in groups
chatting away in their native tongue. Their long queues tied with black
ribbon hung down the back or were tucked into the side pocket of the
tunic. Here and there an Oriental who had imbibed some of the American
energy hurried along dressed in the somber business suit of the
American, his closely cropped hair, mustache and American shoes making
a strange contrast to the groups on the corner.

There is no Sunday in the calendar of these almond-eyed Orientals,--the
stores, markets and opium dens were all open.

Presently the weird music of the Salvation Army broke on our ears.
Down the street came the Chinese Salvation band, dressed in American
costume, the leader carrying the American flag.

When the first Chinese came to California the Indians were very curious
about them. A dispute arose among them as to what country the strangers
might hail from, and whether or not they were Indians.

The Indians, wise as the Puritans of old, would apply the water test.
If the accused swam they were witches, if they drowned they were
innocent.

One day a party of Indians met a party of Chinamen approaching a little
stream.

The strangers approached the bridge and started across. The Indians too
filed across and meeting the Chinamen in mid-stream pushed two of them
into the angry, spuming current below. The test was conclusive. They
could not swim. They were _not_ Indians.

In the fire department are exhibited two queer old engines. One was
purchased in New York in 1849 and brought around the Horn. The other is
a hand engine a little more modern in make. These engines are carefully
guarded and never taken out except on rare occasions.

Down toward the wharf there stands a quaint old building, the
material for which was brought around Cape Horn in 1850. This was San
Francisco’s first hotel.

In the wild days of the early history of this little adobe city,
nestled among the dunes and sand hills, Mount Diablo looked down on
weird scenes on the plaza in front of this old hotel. Here the famous
vigilance committee meted out justice to rogue and outlaw alike.

In the early history of California the eighth day of July, 1846, stands
out conspicuously. On that day the Brooklyn dropped her anchor off the
island of Yerba Buena, the “good herb,” and flung the Stars and Stripes
to the breeze. At noon Captain Montgomery unfurled the American flag on
the plaza.

In that good ship came a party of pseudo Mormons, under the leadership
of “Bishop” Brannan, the valiant leader of the Vigilance Society. This
colony of Latter Day saints brought stout hearts, keen wits, strong
arms, pluck, plenty of money and a printing press. Later they quarreled
with their bishop and went to law with him and thus gave up their
scheme of Mormon colonization and made sport of Brigham Young himself
in their tents on the beach.

But they gave to San Francisco her first newspaper pledged to eschew
all sectarian dogmas; her first prayer meeting and her first trial by
jury. A wonderfully progressive people, those Mormons of the sand dunes.

Washington Bartlett, the first alcalde of Yerba Buena, changed the name
to San Francisco.

The name of John C. Fremont stands for California as does that of Dr.
Marcus Whitman for Oregon.

We called on the astrologer. When our horoscopes were cast and our
future told us, we bade adieu to China Town.

The Golden Gate park is a perfect bower of beauty, a fine piece of
landscape gardening.

[Illustration: MUSEUM IN GOLDEN GATE PARK, SAN FRANCISCO.]

In the center of the park stands the Hall of Art, a handsome building
of Egyptian architecture. From the display in the relic department
one easily reads the history of early days in California.

In the department of statuary the loveliest figure was one in the
beautiful carrara marble of Merope who was cast out of heaven because
she fell in love with a mortal.

A plaster cast of the head of David after the colossal statue by
Michael Angelo set in place in Florence in 1504, attracted much
attention.

Michael Angelo had his troubles like other mortals. When his David was
placed in position the mayor of Florence objected to the nose of the
statue, saying it was too large. Angelo, perceiving that his critic’s
position gave him a poor light on the figure, took a handful of marble
dust, a hammer and a chisel and climbing to the head of the statue gave
the nose a few taps, at the same time letting fall the dust. The mayor
without changing position declared the nose perfect.

The Second Oregon had come home: Early in the morning the commanders
were instructed to get their men ready to march to the barracks. Ten
minutes later the regiment was on the wharf, the men wearing the blue
shirts, brown trousers and leggins which they wore when charging
through the jungles and over the rice fields in the Philippines. The
mascot detachment was not so easily landed.

“Here, Walker, take this monkey,” shouted a corporal.

“Grab that goat quick, he is going overboard.”

“Lend me a hand here, you privates; let’s get this menagerie ashore,”
commanded the officer of the day.

Order reigned about two seconds when “Monkey overboard” turned order
into chaos. Twenty men rushed to the edge of the wharf and strenuous
efforts were made to save the life of the little brown fellow who had
toppled off the gang plank. Ropes were carried from every corner of the
wharf, but the efforts of the men were unavailing and the monkey lost
his life. The other monkeys, the parrots, the dogs and the goat were
safely landed. The goat chews tobacco and eats it too.

The Oregon band struck up “Home Sweet Home” in quick time and the march
to the Presidio began.

For an hour or more a man near me had been talking in a pessimistic way
about the war. He said this Philippine scuffle didn’t amount to much
anyway. What did we want with their old islands, anyhow? We ought to
return them. It was a violation of the constitution to keep them.

Ten minutes later he was saying, “I can’t stand it,” as platoon after
platoon went by with decimated ranks. One platoon had left nearly every
man in the Philippines.

There were others who “couldn’t stand it.” “Home Sweet Home” sounded
like a mockery. Up the street trudged these boys in blue, travel
stained and weary, bearing the flag with holes in it, holes made by the
death-winged bullets of the Filipinos. How gaunt and sick they looked.
War had not been play with them. Not many cheers were heard. There were
more “God bless you boys” than “Hurrahs.”

Other bands may play better, other bands may play louder, but none ever
played more effectively than the Oregon.

Three big flags flung their folds to the ocean breeze as the regiment
marched up the street. One of them was a dazzle of blue and gold and
one bright and new, but one was the real Old Glory, torn by shot and
shell, raveled and frayed by the Philippine winds. It was the battle
stained, tattered emblem of our country’s honor that received the
heartiest cheers and warmest welcome. This was the flag that brought
the mist before the eyes and brought to the mind Decatur’s noble toast.
“Our country. In her intercourse with foreign countries may she always
be right; but right or wrong, our country.”

On stretchers borne by the ambulance corps came the sick and wounded.
A great contrast, these war-worn soldiers, to the spick and span Sixth
Cavalry which escorted them.

Right royally did the Queen of the Golden Gate welcome home Oregon’s
noble sons.

Passing the Examiner building nearly a million firecrackers which
decorated the building, hanging in great loops and festoons, were
set off. In the midst of this noise some one threw out a big bouquet
of American Beauty roses. A soldier caught them and sniffed their
fragrance. “They’re American Beauties, boys,” he said and passed them
on. Up and down the line went those roses, each man burying his face in
them for a moment, then passing them on to his brother. When they had
passed the rear line they were handed to the next platoon, and so they
went on down that battle-scarred line.

The little Filipino boy, Manuel Robels, who accompanied the boys home,
caught nearly every eye as he trudged along, a sawed-off Mauser rifle
over one shoulder and an American flag over the other. Flowers were
showered on him too.

Out at Van Ness street General Shafter sat on horseback with his staff,
to review the troops.

Just beyond the place of review a company of wee tots with military
hats and lath guns stood at the edge of the side-walk and presented
arms. All that gallant regiment, from the colonel to the little
Filipino boy, returned the salute of those patriotic tots.

Thus the noble Second regiment of the Oregon Volunteers marched out to
the Presidio and to Fame’s eternal camping ground.

The Presidio, now the United States barracks, was established by the
Spaniards in 1776. Little dreamed they that out of this camp would come
one hundred years later a conquering host.

The camp is delightfully located on the bay north of the city. The
grounds include a thousand acres. The officers’ quarters are neat, cosy
cottages. The long porches and verandas of the barracks are covered
with vines and roses. Rows upon rows of flowers such as only grow in
this moist climate decorate the walks on either side.



CHAPTER XIV CALIFORNIA FARMS AND VINEYARDS


What temperament is to a man, that climate is to a country. The climate
of California is one of the most delightful in the world.

California possesses the wealth of two zones. The ocean current gives
it a temperate climate and the mountain ranges intercepting and
reflecting the sun’s rays give California a climate distinctly her own.

Fine fruit farms surround San Francisco for fifty miles. Irrigation,
combined with a genial climate, produces the delicious fruit for which
California is justly famed. In the vineyards the vines are pruned low,
from two to four feet high. The Leland Stanford vineyard is one of the
finest on the coast, the low pruned vines with their dark green leaves
and rich purple fruit making a fine contrast to the red brown soil.

California produces more wine to the acre than any other country in the
world. The best American wines come from Sonoma county, the Asti of
America, where a thousand foothills are planted in choice wine grapes,
and where nature supplies all the moisture necessary to perfectly ripen
the fruit.

The vines are planted eight feet apart, intersected by wide avenues,
down which the wagons pass in gathering up the boxes into which the
pickers have tossed the ripe grapes--only well ripened grapes make good
wine. Many of these roadways are lined on either side with olives,
palms and other semi-tropical plants.

The pickers are mostly Swiss and Italian, men of practical experience
in their own countries. They work in groups and keep up a running fire
of jest and fun; ever and anon a happy heart breaks out in native song.

Pitchers of rude crockery are scattered about filled with wine for the
workers.

From San Diego to Dutch Harbor wine flows freely, but yet there is no
drunkenness to speak of.

[Illustration: EARLY MORNING, YOSEMITE VALLEY.]

The interest in a vineyard centers in the winery and the wine cellars.
The grapes are first picked from the stems, then thrown into the great
crushers, the juice flowing away through flumes to the fermenting vats.
Asti boasts the largest wine-tank in the world. It is dug out of the
soft stone which abounds in this country and lined with a thick layer
of cement.

No less interesting is the cool, fragrant wine cellar. Here immense
casks made of red wood stand upright, holding some of them, thirty
gallons of wine.

When California was wild, the entire state was one sweet bee garden.
Wherever a bee might fly, within the confines of this virgin
wilderness, from forest to plain, from mountain to valley, from leafy
glen to piny slope, chalices laden with golden nectar greeted him.

Those halcyon days of our humble brown friend are past. The plow and
the sheep have played havoc with those once beautiful gardens. Now the
lonely bee who would his trade pursue must fly far afield.

Traveling east and south from San Francisco, the fruit ranches are soon
left behind and we enter the wheat district. Here we find no irrigation
ditches. Every farm has a wind-mill, which pumps water for the stock
and also for the orchard and garden. The yield of wheat is low,
averaging only about twenty-five bushels to the acre.

This wheat is not used in the United States, being of a lower grade
than Minnesota and Dakota wheat. It is shipped to the eastern markets,
China, Japan and the Philippines.

We traveled one hundred and fifty miles through this district during
the harvest. The combined harvester and thresher, drawn by forty mules,
cuts a wide swath, threshes the grain at once, sacks it and dumps it on
the ground ready for shipment. The wheat ripens during the dry season
and so thoroughly that it can be threshed immediately after cutting. As
the farmer has no fear of rain at this time of the year, he lets the
sacks lie in the field until he is ready to sell.

The islands of the San Joaquin river are wonderfully fertile and many
of them are under cultivation. The uncultivated islands produce every
year a dense growth of bulrushes. Efforts have been made to utilize
these in various ways.

[Illustration: WAWONA VALLEY.]



CHAPTER XV YOSEMITE


Leaving the San Joaquin valley and its vast wheat fields we take the
stage at Berenda and head direct for the snow-capped Sierras. Gold
mines now claim attention and we stop at Grub Gulch. “The diggins”
here are not very rich and we journey on over the low foot hills to
King’s Gulch, where a rich quartz lode is being profitably worked by
electricity.

The drowse of a July noontide is in the air. Rattlesnakes wriggle
through the short, dry grass. The Indians say that for every man a
rattlesnake kills he gains a rattle. Most minds become panic stricken
at the sight of a rattlesnake. Not so poor Lo, he slays his enemy and
counts his rattles.

Three hundred miles southeast of San Francisco in the Sierra Nevada
mountains lies the beautiful valley of Ahwahne, where Diana herself
might deign to follow the chase, for noble game roam these Arcadian
wilds, where giant sugar pines and silver firs lend beauty to the
landscape.

Higher up and nearer the heart of the mountains lies another lovely
vale called the Indian’s Wawona, where dwelt Naiads, Fauns and all
their kindred tribe,

  “Upon a time, before the fairy broods
   Drove Nymph and Satyr from the prosperous woods,
   Before King Oberon’s bright diadem,
   Scepter and mantle clasp’d with dewy gem.
   Frighted away the Dryads and the Fauns
   From rushes green and brakes and cowslipped lawns.”

   --KEATS.

Here Jove himself treads not and forbears to hurl a thunderbolt.

A bird’s flight beyond this playground of the fairies, deep in the
shady wood of the great sugar pines of Mariposa county are the giant
Sequoias, “the big trees.” The Indians called them Waw Nonas, Big Trees.

Five thousand years ago they struck their tiny roots deep into the soil
of the mountains. Before Columbus was born they tossed their giant
branches against the mountain storms. They have seen the passing of the
Indian and the coming of the white man.

[Illustration: OLDEST LOG CABIN IN THE SEQUOIA GROVE, MARIPOSA COUNTY
CALIFORNIA. OLD COLUMBIA IN THE FOREGROUND.]

In the æons of past centuries there were about thirty species of this
genus scattered over the earth. In Asia fossilized specimens of
cones, foliage and wood have been found. To-day there are but two
living specimens of these trees on earth, the _Sequoia gigantea_ and
the _Sequoia sempervirens_, or redwood. The former are to be found only
in the Sierras, while the latter grows only on the Coast range, and all
in California. The largest tree in the Sequoia grove in Mariposa county
measures one hundred and eighty feet in circumference and three hundred
and sixteen feet in height.

This, the largest tree in the world, has been named Columbia.

The YoSemite, the most wonderful of all valleys, lies hidden deep in
the heart of the Sierras. It detracts something from the romance of
the musical Spanish when one learns that YoSemite is only Spanish for
grizzly bear. The first white men to enter the valley were looking for
bear, not scenery.

This wonderful valley, this marvelous gorge, “touched by a light that
hath no name, a glory never sung,” is a puzzle to geologists. It is a
granite-walled chasm in the very heart of the mountains. The solid rock
walls have split in half, one-half dropping out of sight, leaving only
this beautiful valley to tell the tale.

Down the dark, frowning walls, which rise sheer from three to five
thousand feet, plunge numerous waterfalls which leap two thousand feet
at a bound. Through the valley flows the Merced river. Its water, clear
as crystal, is full of that most delicious of all fish, mountain trout.
A more pellucid stream does not flow on this continent. Up in the
mountain the Merced river is a wild, roaring torrent, but through the
valley it flows placidly over its white pebble bed, bathing the brown
roots of the trees that fringe its banks. The trout float lazily along,
leaping up to catch the insects that fly over the water, or sleeping
in quiet pools and shady nooks along the bank. Here the cook drops his
line out of the kitchen window and hooks trout for our breakfast.

The air is fragrant with the odor of many blossoms. The murmur of
YoSemite falls lulls one to sleep as it goes leaping down five thousand
feet over the granite wall to the pool below, clashing with spray the
flowers that bloom on its banks.

YoSemite is truly a valley with little suggestion of the cañon about
it. The Half Dome towering high above almost conceals the trench of the
river, and the gorge of Tenaya creek. Several thousand broad acres
spread out in a level tract on its long narrow bottom.

[Illustration: HALF DOME AND MERCED RIVER.]

El Capitan is the monarch of the world of rocks. A solid mass of
granite, towering skyward three-fifths of a mile, barren except for one
lone tree, an alligator pine, one hundred and twenty-seven feet high,
growing on a narrow ledge, in a niche a thousand feet above its base.
Its rugged face, one and one-half miles across, kissed to a soft creamy
whiteness by the suns of summer and the snows of winter. That is El
Capitan, the wonder of the world. The Indians call it Tutockahnulah, in
honor of their greatest chief.

Scarred and hoary, the Three Brothers stand like severe hierophants,
looking down into this mysterious vale.

That marvel of lakes, Mirror lake, called by the Indians Sleeping
Water, adds beauty to this wonderful valley, so placid, so clear the
water that the rocky wall and every tree and shrub on its banks lie on
the bosom of the water as if reflected in a mirror.

“Aloft on sky and mountain wall are God’s great pictures hung.”

The legend of the lovely falls called Bridal Veil runs in this wise:

Centuries ago there lived in this valley one Tutockahnulah and his
tribe. One day while out hunting, he met the spirit of the valley,
Tisayac. From that moment he knew no peace. He neglected his people and
spent his time in dreaming of lovely Tisayac. She was fair, her skin
was white and the sun had kissed her hair to a golden brown. Her eyes
reflected heaven’s own blue. Her silvery speech like a bird’s song led
him to her, but when he opened his eyes she vanished into the clouds.

The beautiful YoSemite valley being neglected by Tutockahnulah, became
a desert and a waste. When Tisayac returned she wept at the sight of
her beloved valley. On the dome of a mighty rock she knelt and prayed
the Good Manitou to restore the valley. In answer to her prayer the
Great Spirit spread the floor of the valley with green and smiting the
mountains broke a channel for the melting ice and snow. The waters went
leaping down and formed a lake. The birds again sang and the flowers
bloomed. The people returned and gave the name Tisayac to the great
rock where she had knelt.

[Illustration: MERCED RIVER, YOSEMITE VALLEY.]

When the chief came home and learned that Tisayac had returned to the
valley his love grew stronger day by day. One morning he climbed to
the crest of a rock that towers three thousand feet above the valley
and carved his likeness on it that his memory might live forever among
his people. There is to this day a face on this rock, but whether
carved there by the hand of man or by nature in some of her wild moods,
remains a mystery.

Resting at the foot of the Bridal Veil Falls, one evening Tutockahnulah
saw a rainbow arching around the form of Tisayac. She beckoned him to
follow her. With a wild cry he sprang into the water and disappeared
with Tisayac. Two rainbows now instead of one tremble over the falling
water.

At the upper end of the valley stands a giant monolith two hundred feet
in height, called by the Indians, Hummoo, the Lost Arrow.

Many thousands of snows ago before the foot of white man had trod these
romantic wilds there dwelt in this valley the Ahwahnes, the fairest of
whose daughters was Teeheeneh. Her hair, black as the raven’s wing,
unlike that of her sisters, fell in ripples below her slender waist.
Her sun-kissed cheeks and teeth like pearls added beauty to a form
graceful as that of a young gazelle.

Kossookah, the bravest and handsomest warrior of his tribe, came a
wooing the beautiful princess, wooed and won her.

All that delightful summer time these two, favored of the gods, rambled
over the mountains.

The wild torrents sang of the love of Kossookah, the brave, for
Teeneeneh, the beautiful. The river murmured it; the lonely mountains
echoed the refrain; the very leaves of the trees whispered it; the
plumy children of the air gossiped about it, while each sun of the
starry sky repeated the story.

Time sped on golden wings, the mountains took on autumn tints, winter
was approaching. Every member of the tribe lent a hand to assist in
building a wigwam for the fair princess and her knight.

[Illustration: YOSEMITE FALLS.]

The nuptials were to be celebrated with many ceremonies and a great
feast. Teeheeneh assisted by her companions would grind the acorns into
flour for the wedding cakes and gather nuts, herbs and autumn leaves
with which to garnish and decorate the tables; while Kossookah with
the chosen hunters of his tribe would scale the cliffs or climb the
walls of the cañon to the mountain fastness in search of game.

The primitive home is completed. Kossookah and his braves depart. At
set of sun he will repair to the head of the YoSemite falls and report
the success of the hunt to Teeheeneh who would climb the rocks to the
foot of the falls to receive it.

The messenger was to be an arrow to which Kossookah would attach
feathers of the grouse. From his strong bow he would speed it far out
that Teeheeneh might see it, watch for its falling, recover it and read
the message.

The day was propitious. Seldom did an arrow miss its mark. Evening came
and the hunters had more game than they could carry down in one trip.

Long ago in another clime Plautus said, “whom the gods love die young.”

Kossookah, proud of his success, repaired to the edge of the cliff
beyond the falls, prepared the arrow, set it against the string of
buffalo hide, stepped forward, when the cliff began to tremble and went
down, carrying the brave Kossookah with it.

Long and lovingly did Teeheeneh wait for the signal. Night wrapped the
mountains in gloom, but still Teeheeneh waited and wondered. Could
Kossookah be dead? Had the chase led him so far away that he could not
return in time to keep his word to Teeheeneh? He might even now be
coming down the Indian cañon.

This new thought lent hope, and hope wings to the flying feet of
Teeheeneh. From rock to rock, from ledge to ledge she sped with
tireless feet, escaping many perils she reached the foot of the cliff.

Finding no trace of Kossookah she paced the sands all the long weary
night, hoping against hope that every hour would bring some tidings of
her beloved.

The pain at her heart increased with the hours, as she sang in the low
soft voice of her race a passionate love song. The gray dawn found her
still pacing the sands.

Now, like a deer she springs over the rocks and up the steep ascent to
the spot from whence the signal arrow was to wing its way to her feet.

[Illustration: EL CAPITAN.]

Ah, there were tracks in the sand, his tracks, but her call was
answered only by the echo of her own sad voice. A new fracture
marked a recent cleavage in the rocks. Could it be, Oh, Great Spirit
could it be that her beloved had gone down with the rocks and perished.
Her heart was almost stilled with agonizing fear. She faltered a moment
only. Gathering courage she leaned over the edge of the cliff. There,
stilled in death, lay the form of Kossookah, in a hollow at the base of
the monolith.

The shock had cleared her mind. Hastily and with steady hands now she
builds a signal fire on the rocky cliff. The fire by its intensity
interpreted in the light of Indian signal fires, calls for aid in
distress. Slowly the hours drag by. At last help arrives. Young
saplings of tamarack are lashed together, end to end, with thongs of
deer skin. When all is ready Teeheeneh springs forward and begs that no
hands save hers shall touch her beloved dead. Slowly strong hands lower
her to the side of the prostrate form of Kossookah.

Kissing the pale lips of the dead warrior Teeheeneh unbinds the deer
thongs from about her own body. Silently and deftly she winds them
about the prostrate form of Kossookah. At a signal from Teeheeneh the
lifeless body is drawn up. Again the improvised rope is lowered.
Teeheeneh nervously clutches the pole, puts her foot in the rawhide
loop and waves her hand as a signal to be drawn up.

Long and silently she gazes into the once love lit eyes of her dead
hero. Her slight body sways and trembles like a reed swept by the
wintry wind. Still silent, she sinks quivering on the bosom of her
beloved. Gently they raise her, but her heart had broken and her soul
taken its flight.

The fateful arrow was never found. The Indians say that it was spirited
away by Teeheeneh and Kossookah and kept by them as a memento of their
plighted troth and the close of their life on earth.

On gossamer floats, their souls were carried, by unseen hands over the
mountains to the Elysian Plains beyond, where there are no pitfalls and
no broken hearts.

Hummoo, the Lost Arrow, still stands, a monument to the brave Kossookah.

  See, “In The Heart of the Sierras,” by J. M. Hutchings. Mr. Hutchings
  lived twenty-five years in the YoSemite Valley and knows this, the
  most beautiful, wild, and romantic spot on the American Continent, in
  all its varying moods of summer calm and wintry storm, and writes of
  it with a loving and sympathetic touch.

[Illustration: BRIDAL VEIL FALLS AND THE THREE BROTHERS (SOLID ROCK).]

Of all the beautiful places in the world for a schoolhouse, surely “The
Valley” is the most beautiful. One rarely hears YoSemite on the coast.
It is always with a lingering caress in the voice, “The Valley.” A
dainty little white schoolhouse stands in a grove on the border of a
glade. Here school is in session six months of every summer. The valley
is only seven miles long and one and a half miles in width at its
widest point.

There are usually only five or six children of school age in the
valley, but in the spring and summer people come into the valley to
spend the summer. Many camp while others live at the hotel and in
cottages. In many instances their children have left their home school
before its close, and in order to make their grades for the ensuing
year, attend “The Valley School.”

Here the student of botany may find dainty asters, tiny wild peas,
larkspur, monkey flowers, great ferns, the leaves two or three feet
long; wild poppies, delicate sunflowers, purple gilias and broad faced
primroses. Fiery castillèjas lend color to gray rocks and shady nooks.

Stately pines, silver firs and graceful tamaracks stand massy, tall
and dark, make a landscape Mercury himself might pause to behold, no
matter how urgent his errand.

The Manzanita trees are now loaded with fruit. Manzanita is Spanish for
little apple. The fruit of the tree is a perfect apple about the size
of a gooseberry. Leather wood, a strange shrub naked as to leaves but
abloom with bright yellow blossoms grows up in the mountains.

For the student of zoology there are the bears which have their dens in
the rocks a short distance from the school. Wild deer and lion roam the
mountains, while trout disport themselves in the Merced river near by.

The student of astronomy may see the sun rise five times every morning,
and the White Fire Maiden, by mortals called the moon, lights up
YoSemite falls and the north wall of the valley long before she appears
in the blue sea above.

The student in trigonometry will easily find a summer’s work, the
geologist a life-time study, while the anthropologist will be
interested in the few Indians who inhabit the valley.

The valley is not without its early history when white man and Indian
fought for supremacy.

[Illustration: MIRROR LAKE, SLEEPING WATER.]

One of the brightest pupils in the primary class is a little Indian
girl. This daughter of the red man reads well and is very proud of her
accomplishment. She learned the multiplication table before the other
members of her class, but does not apply it so readily.

“Tempus Fugit,” we bid farewell to YoSemite, lovely vale, and take the
trail over the mountains. The hour was morning’s prime.

Up we go three thousand feet, mules, guides and tourists, over a
narrow trail that runs along the rocky ledge of the gorge. The purple
atmosphere hangs like a veil over the wild cañon down which sweeps
the Merced river, dashing and sparkling over rocks, tumbling over
precipices or placidly flowing over its smooth rock bed.

Far above a red flame swept and we caught the odor of Calypso’s fire of
cedar wood. The rising smoke mingled with the blue haze above, while
the fire swept on, leaving only the blackened, charred remains of the
once green forest to tell the tale.

Naiads danced in the sunny water and once methought I heard the soft,
low strains of a flute played by a faun in the cool shadows of the
trees which overhang the river’s brink.

Not a faun did we see, however, but we met a fool, forsooth, a motley,
merry fool. This fool had a silken scarf draped about his foolish head
to ward off the warm glances of Old Sol as he peered down the gorge to
see what the fool was about. He tripped lightly along, did this merry
fool, slipping past the sturdy little mules and their riders on the
trail so narrow that one foot of the rider hung over the gorge below,
so narrow in many places that one misstep of the faithful little beast
meant death to himself and his rider. Past the forty tourists went this
untiring fool, frightening the animals and alarming their riders with
his strange headdress.

Where were the guides? Right there saying things about the fool,
quieting the animals and calming the fears of their riders.

When this remarkably agile fool had reached the head of the caravan,
down he would drop in the shade of a tree, his feet dangling in the
dust of the trail, his Turkish headdress fluttering in the breeze,
again causing the weary climbers to pause. Not every animal paused to
look at the fool, the older ones were wiser.

[Illustration: YOSEMITE FALLS, SHOWING FLOOR OF THE VALLEY.]

The blue sky, the odor of the pines and the falling, gurgling,
murmuring water lent an enchantment to the air, which made us forget
the fool, but for a moment only. Here he came again. Untiringly he
followed us to the summit of the mountains, eight thousand feet above
the sea, where the soft ambient soothes like a benediction, and the
soul uplifts in prayer.

As these high altitudes make many people ill we were advised to carry
with us a bit of the joyful. Arrived at the summit a dainty flask
slipped from the folds of a lady’s gown and fell to the earth with a
thud. One of the guides picked it up and gravely presented it to the
owner with the remark, “Madam, you have lost something valuable.”

As we stood looking down through the blue mist into the YoSemite below
us--a landscape that would have delighted the heart and eye of a
Homer--a quaint old lady who had braved the trail that she might view
the valley from glacial point, exclaimed:

“It’s lovely, ain’t it? Heaven don’t need to be no purtier and I don’t
reckon it is, do you? Purty name, too, but I never kin remember whether
it’s Yo-se-mite or Yu-summit.”

A personally conducted party arrived just ahead of us. Mr. Personally,
as we dubbed the conductor, was a gentleman, so he informed us, of
many qualities. His voice was loud and commanding, he was exceedingly
voluble, and from the manner in which he hurried his party about I
should say that he was a man of much energy.

He came flying into the ladies’ private boudoir regardless of the
confusion of shirt waists, ties, collars and riding habits that were
flying through the air, commanding the ladies of his party to hasten to
the dining-room for luncheon.

That repast served, Mr. Personally Conductor ordered up the stages
which were in waiting to take us down the mountains on the other side.
After ordering everyone else to stand back he ordered his party to
“climb in,” which they meekly did.

We sat under a clump of silver firs thoroughly enjoying the scene
and calm in the consciousness that as the transportation company had
carried us to the top of the mountains it was in duty bound to carry us
down, either by stage coach, mule back or by rope and tackle, over the
rocky ledge and drop us three thousand feet to the valley below.

[Illustration: SUNRISE IN YOSEMITE VALLEY.]

Two coaches were filled with “personally conducted” when the third
drove up to the veranda. Mr. Personally not being in sight the
driver requested us to take seats in the coach, as it was growing late
and time we were off.

A brilliant man of our party, a New York lawyer, had just taken a seat
by the driver, when that remarkable conductor appeared and sprang into
the seat between them, pushing at Mr. Lawyer and calling lustily for
Dr. Bluker, who was a member of his party. The doctor responded and
grabbed our lawyer friend by the leg, attempting to pull him down.

Mr. Lawyer turned to Mr. Personally, saying, “I don’t know who you are
sir, but--”

“I am a gentleman, sir,” hastily replied the conductor.

“Ah,” exclaimed the lawyer at this astonishing bit of news, “I am
always glad to meet a gentleman,” and at his wife’s solicitation bowed
gracefully, relinquishing the seat to Dr. Bluker, a college president
who for the moment might have been taken for Sitting Bull, chief of the
Sioux.

Ah, good people,

  “A chiel’s amang you taking notes,
   And, faith, he’ll prent it.”



CHAPTER XVI SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA


The descent lay through groves of pine and cedar, beds of beautiful
flowers, grassy glades, mountain brooks, tiny lakes, springs of ice
cold water, and acres and acres of azaleas.

In the center of a green glade lay a big brown bowlder surrounded by
flowers. Just under the side of this bowlder was a spring of ice cold
water.

Just as the sun was sliding down the western horizon beyond the
snow-capped peaks we arrived again in Wawona valley, where the evening
was spent in telling stories and relating adventures.

“When in London recently,” said our lawyer friend, “Chauncey Depew told
this story:

“At a hotel where he was dining the waitress said to a young man, ‘We
have blackberry pie, peach pie, plum pie, strawberry pie and custard
pie.’

“‘Bring me some plum pie and some peach pie, yes, and I’ll take some
blackberry pie.’ As the waitress turned to fill the order the young man
called her back, ‘You may bring me some strawberry pie, too.’

“‘What’s the matter with the custard pie?’ inquired she.

“The next morning Mr. Depew met a young Englishman on the street, who
complimented him on his speech, saying that he really liked it very,
very much, you know, but he would like to ask him one question, ‘What
was the matter with the custard pie?’”

When the laugh had subsided a young lady in a pink shirt waist leaned
forward in her chair, and looking earnestly at the lawyer, softly
inquired, “Well, what was?”

In the laugh which followed, the Englishman’s stupidity was lost sight
of in astonishment at that of the American girl.

“Excuse me,” said a well dressed lady to me one morning at the hotel in
Wawona, “I am a little hazy on my geography, but what I want to know is
this--if I go to Denver will I be in Colorado?”

After a week’s fishing, dreaming and resting in this beautiful valley,
we returned to the coast.

All up and down the Pacific coast as well as the islands of the sea
are wonderful floating gardens. These gardens are composed of kelp,
which attached to the bottom and to the rocks, grows from fifty to
one hundred feet long, throwing out broad leaves and balloon-like air
bulbs which support them. A perfect forest of broad green leaves rise
upward, presenting a sharp contrast to the blue water in which they
grow. Gracefully turning with every movement of the water they are
among the most strikingly beautiful objects of salt sea. When near the
shore these huge plants assume an upright position and become floating
gardens in very truth, through which vessels plow with much difficulty.

The entrance to the bay at Santa Barbara is a perfect maze of floating
sea-weed. The leaves are covered with patches of color, representing
parasitic animals, or plants, greens, reds, purples and yellows, a
perfect maze of color.

Delicate sea anemones looking exactly like their namesakes on land. The
slightest noise causes them to close up, withdrawing their tentacles,
and presently blooming out again.

Here are tiny plant-like animals growing in shrub-like forms.
Wonderful jellyfish, too, fill the ocean at night with a phosphorescent
light.

In place of birds and insects in a sea garden we find shell animals,
crabs and fishes clinging to the leaves. Along comes a big octopus
throwing out his eight sucker-lined arms in search of food. Disturbed,
he throws out an inky fluid, and while you are searching the black hole
for him, he slips away. Yonder comes a nautilus holding his shell high
over his head, crawling lazily along. Black-hued echini, bristling with
pins and needles which, waving to and fro, ward off their enemies. Fish
of all sorts and sizes inhabit the sea garden. The beautiful gold and
silver fishes gliding in and out remind one of the birds flitting from
tree to tree. In comes a big fish, the king of the bass, and the “small
fry” scatter right and left. At night these strange gardens are aglow
with phosphorescent lights.

Los Angeles has been having a succession of earthquakes.

The houses in San Francisco as well as other coast towns are built to
withstand earthquake shocks. On this account very few brick are used.
An earthquake hotel is advertised. In this city, too, one may eat
Pasteurized ice-cream without fear of the deadly ptomain.

An orange, as every one knows, is a difficult fruit to eat gracefully,
but I’ve learned how to do it in this land of the citron. A gentleman
assured me that the only proper place to eat an orange was in the
bathtub.

Up and down the length of this coast I’ve not been able to get a decent
lemonade. Very few places serve that drink at all. Drinks there are
plenty, but no lemonade. Now I know what those warnings mean which hang
up in every stateroom on the steamers: “Passengers strictly prohibited
from getting into bed with their boots on.”

California is rich in stories of her early days. Just east of San
Francisco lies a narrow valley bordering on the bay of San Pablo. The
first white man to enter this valley was one Miguel and his wife, who
named it El Hambre (Hunger) valley.

Miguel built an adobe hut and planted a garden. Later he started to
San Francisco, for supplies. Madam Miguel remained at home to tend the
garden. Miguel would return in three weeks and all would be well.

Time passed slowly to the lonely woman. When the three weeks had
passed Emilia packed a burro and started out on the trail which her
husband had taken. At night she tethered the burro and rolled in her
blanket slept by the roadside. Dawn saw her on the trail. The third day
her burro neighed and was answered by a donkey which proved to be that
of Miguel. Hurrying on she found her husband lying on the roadside,
dead. She remained there until the sun set, then covered him with a
blanket and returned home.

Later some traders wandering through the valley found her skeleton in
the garden. The adobe still stands in the now new town of Martinez.

Dick Brown, miner of Misery Hill, was a sort of recluse, who never made
any friends among the miners of the Eldorado of the west.

One day while out prospecting, a landslide carried him down the valley
and buried him beneath it. His body was recovered and buried, but his
ghost walked nightly at the foot of the old shaft.

A lazy, seemingly good-for-nothing sort of a fellow, Wilson by name,
began work in Brown’s mine. It was a good mine and paid Wilson well
until some one else began working it. Every morning there was evidence
that some one had been at work during the night.

One night Wilson loaded his rifle and waited for his nightly intruder.
Hearing a noise he started to follow it up.

What was that on yonder tree, which glowed with a phosphorescent light?
Wilson crept nearer. There, tacked on a big tree, was a notice, “D. B.
his mine. Hands off.”

A moment later the notice was gone. As he passed on he heard the water
flowing through the sluice and the sound of a pick in the gravel. There
stood Dick Brown. Wilson raised his rifle and fired. A yell, and the
ghost of Dick Brown came flying after him as he ran down the hill.

The next morning a pick and shovel were found by the roadside bearing
the initials “D. B.” cut on the handle of each. Wilson deserted the
claim, but the sluice on Misery Hill ran on for many years.



CHAPTER XVII HERE AND THERE ON THE COAST.


Leaving San Francisco, a sail of twenty-five miles brings us to the
grimly fortified island of Alcatraz, the watch dog of the Golden Gate.

Forty miles inland lies the beautiful Napa Valley. Farm houses and
villages dot the landscape. Orchards, vineyards and fields of waving
grain heighten the natural beauty of this Rasselas Valley, rich in
groves of oak trees from which depend festoons of mistletoe, meadows
and running brooks.

At the head of this valley stands Mount St. Helena, once a center of
volcanic action. Wasnossensky, the Russian naturalist ascended to its
summit in 1841, and named it in honor of his empress, leaving on the
summit a copper plate bearing the name of himself and his companion.

The Russians, with a view to commercial and political aggrandisement,
did a great deal of exploring in California in the early days of her
history.

By stage we travel through the Napa Valley to the geyser fields.
On either hand are groves of redwood trees, cousins of the Giant
Sequoias. In the springtime the odor of the buckeye fills the delicious
morning air, just now the handsome eschscholtzias, commonly called the
California poppy, brighten the meadows. Here and there lichen stained
rocks lend a deeper tone to the landscape.

Through this valley of strange wild beauty we arrive at the Devil’s
Cañon. The nomenclature of this weird place is something audacious and
one wishes that he might change it. Here the hero of the cañon has his
kitchen, his soup bowl, his punch bowl, and his ink pot. In this spring
you might dip your pen and write tales of magic that would rival those
of India.

Here, one dreary night, a lonely discouraged miner who had lost
his way, sat in meditation, when presently a strangely clad figure
approached him. The dark face wore a sinister expression, black eyes
sparkled under villainous brows.

“Ha, ha, ha,” laughed the stranger when he discovered the miner.

“What would’st thou? Riches? Sign here and they are thine, or thou
may’st toss me into yon caldron.”

Flinging aside the long black cloak that enveloped his figure he stood
forth, his scarlet robes gleaming a fiery red in the black night.

“Sign here,” and dipping his fire tipped pen into the ink pot he thrust
it into the hand of the astonished miner, presenting a scroll of
parchment for the signature.

“Ha, ha, ha,” came in tones diabolical, as the fortune hunter seized
the pen in his eager grasp. Knowing better how to wield the pick than
the pen he seized the scroll and--made the sign of the cross.

His Satanic Majesty gave an unearthly yell, seized the pen and scroll,
and disappeared leaving his ink-pot behind.

The prevailing rocks are metamorphic, sandstone, silicious slates and
serpentine. The stratification dips sharply to the bed of Pluton Creek.

There are no spouting geysers here, only bubbling springs, but springs
of beauty and interest. Here lies one, its waters a creamy white, and
yonder another whose waters are deeply tinged with sulphur, while
those of its neighbor are as black as the contents of that bottle
the undaunted Luther flung at the head of his Satanic Majesty on that
memorable day.

The waters of these springs boil over and mingle as they flow away.
Steam jets hiss and sputter continually. Of the many strange springs,
pools and caverns, the Witch’s Caldron is perhaps the most remarkable.
A very pit of Acheron, this huge cavern in the solid rock, seventy feet
in diameter, is filled to an unknown depth with a thick inky fluid,
that boils and surges incessantly. The waters of these springs, rich
in sulphur, iron, lime and magnesia are said to rival in medicinal
qualities those of all the famous German Spas.

The geysers are due to both chemical and volcanic action; to water
percolating down through the fissures of the rocks until it comes in
contact with the heated mass of hot lava; and to water percolating
through the mineral deposits.

Suffice it to say that you have not seen California until you have seen
the Napa Valley, and taken the trail to Mount St. Helena and the geyser
fields.

The very air of this delightful country is rife with bear stories.
Stories in which the bear quite as often as the hunter comes off
victor.

A cowboy, newly arrived in California, went out on a bear hunt. He went
alone. He wanted to kill a grizzly.

He soon found his bear and lassoed him, but Bruin, contrary to his
usual custom of showing fight, took a header down a cañon, horse and
rider in full pursuit.

Upon nearing the foot of the ravine the bear fell down. The horse fell
down and the man tumbled down on top of the grizzly which so frightened
him that when the three untangled themselves he set off up the cañon,
and the man let him go. Glad, glad to the heart that he was gone.

Assyria had her winged bull, Lucerne has her lion, and California has
her grizzly.

The grizzly stands for California, and only awaits some future
Thorwaldsen to perpetuate him on the walls of his own rock-ribbed cañon.

The Indians of California were possessed of many strange superstitions
when the Franciscan Fathers established missions among them.

The Fathers called it “devil worship,” but to the simple childlike mind
of these primitive people it was a sort of hero worship, and the wild
child worshiped on despite the Fathers.

The worship of a god known as Kooksuy was one to which the Indians held
with great tenacity. The monks had forbidden the worship of this deity,
so Kooksuy had to be worshiped in secret.

A lonely, unfrequented place in the mountains was chosen, and a stone
altar was raised to Kooksuy. This consisted of a pile of flat stones
five or six feet in height.

It was the duty of every worshipper to toss something onto the altar as
an act of homage. This act was called “poorish.”

A Kooksuy altar was a curious affair. The foundation of stone was
frequently hidden under a mass of beads, feathers and shells. Even
garments and food found their way to the throne of this strange deity.
Thus the altar continued to rise for no Indian would dare touch a
“poorish” offering.

The priests destroyed the altars and punished the worshipers, but that
did not destroy their faith in their god.

At the missions every Indian retired when the evening bell rang. When
the good alcalde made his rounds they had counted their beads and shut
their eyes. Ten minutes later half a dozen dusky forms might be seen
creeping stealthily along in the shadows of the buildings. Arriving at
the chosen spot a big fire was built around which the faithful Indians
danced calling on their god in a series of weird whistles.

Kooksuy never failed to appear in the midst of the fire in the form
of a huge white dragon, but with the destruction of his altars, the
neglect of his worshipers and fear of the white man Kooksuy appeared
less frequently and finally his visits ceased entirely.

According to the Indians the Great Manitou threw up the Sierra Nevada
range with his own hands. Then he broke away the hills at the foot of
the lake and the waters drained into the sea through the Golden Gate.

The clouds rested on the water and the setting sun lit up the Golden
Gate with the glory of the sea as we steamed across the bay and bade
adieu to the land of Pomona and her citron groves.



CHAPTER XVIII WALLA WALLA VALLEY


Walla Walla is so named from its abundant supply of water. Many little
streams run over the surface and many more under ground. This valley is
noted for the richness of its soil, which is decomposed lava, and its
wonderful climate. This delightful climate is shorn of its harshness by
the magical breath of the Chinook wind.

The principal crop here is wheat. A Walla Walla ranchman never thinks
of planting anything else. The soil is so easy of cultivation that all
he needs to do is to plow the ground, sow the wheat and go fishing
until it is ready to harvest. Wheat brings him wealth and prosperity.

Every year one-half of a ranch is allowed to lie fallow, but an
Illinois farmer would rotate crops instead. The fallow fields, however,
are kept perfectly clean and free from weeds.

During the rainy season the soil, which is rich in potash and
phosphoric acid, stores up moisture sufficient to mature the wheat.
Only three pecks of wheat are sown to the acre, as the grain stools
very much.

The average farm contains six hundred acres, but there are many ranches
of from a thousand to fifteen hundred acres.

For cutting the grain the old-fashioned header is used, also the
ordinary reaper and binder, but the combined harvester and thresher is
the king of reapers. It is drawn by from twenty-five to thirty mules,
cuts the grain, threshes it, sacks it, and dumps it on the ground ready
for shipment.

Wheat averages from twenty to thirty bushels to the acre. Some years
the average is much higher. In 1898 wheat went sixty bushels to the
acre.

The price of land runs from thirty dollars to sixty dollars per acre.
Comfortable homes and green orchards dot the landscape. The orchards,
however, must be irrigated. The Blue mountains supply plenty of water
for this purpose.

At the experiment stations established throughout the semi-arid
regions of the west, investigation of the excessive alkali in the soil
is being carried on.

In many regions of California and Utah large tracts of irrigated land
are practically non-productive because of the presence of an excess
of alkali. Investigation has proven that this is due to excessive
irrigation. When water is applied to the soil it brings to the surface
when it rises, the salts.

In seeking a remedy for this evil the experiment stations have
demonstrated that in most instances crops do not require nearly so much
water as is usually applied to them. Working along practical lines in
the solution of this, to the West, great problem, the stations hope
eventually to show just what quantity of water a given crop in a given
locality requires.

The establishment of this truth will save much land now under ditch and
extend the area of irrigation by demonstrating that more land can be
supplied with water from the available supply.

In Montana, Idaho, Washington and the semi-arid districts of other
states experiments are being carried on in the line of forage plants.
In these states success has been quite satisfactory with the cow pea,
which is usually planted with oats. Red clover flourishes as well here
as in the East.

Success in farming depends upon a thorough knowledge of soil, climate
and rainfall. The farmers are coming to depend upon the experiment
stations for much of this knowledge.

Agriculture was early practiced in this valley, the Walla Walla region
proper being part of the old Oregon country. The Hudson Bay Company
established posts at the junction of the Walla Walla and Columbia
rivers, at Fort Vancouver on the Columbia river and at Fort Colville in
the Colville valley, north of the present city of Spokane. With these
people agriculture and the fur trade went hand in hand. In 1828 seven
hundred bushels of wheat were raised at Fort Vancouver and in 1829
seventy acres were under cultivation at Fort Colville.



CHAPTER XIX HISTORICAL REFERENCES


Just as a Bede Bible and a “quart of seed wheat” saved the British
Isles to Christianity; so “the Book” and another “quart of seed wheat”
carried in by the Reverend Spalding, saved Oregon to the United States,
notwithstanding the Russian Bear, the British Lion and the bull of
Alexander the VI. in which he delivered over all North America to Spain.

“Good old times those were when kings thrust their hands into the New
World, as children do theirs into a grab bag at a fair, and drew out a
river four thousand miles long, or an ocean, or a tract of wild land
ten or fifteen times the size of England.”

The king of Spain sold Louisiana to France for money to buy his
daughter a wedding present and for one brief while France had hopes of
planting her lilies in the Walla Walla Valley. France, however, had met
her Waterloo in America, on the Plains of Abraham.

Then came England denying the validity of the old Franco-Spanish title
under which we claimed the Oregon country, but the same policy that
lost to Great Britain her thirteen colonies, lost to her this princely
domain.

American and English settlements contrasted strangely. The one emigrant
came with his traps and snares, the other with his plow and quart of
seed wheat. The one came for the fortune which he might carry out of
the country, the other to make a home for himself and his children. So,
the English trapper with his snares and the Indian with his pogamoggan
retreated before the advance of American civilization.

In 1836 Mrs. Whitman, wife of Dr. Whitman, wrote from Fort Vancouver
that the Hudson Bay Co. had that year four thousand bushels of wheat,
four thousand bushels of peas and fifteen hundred bushels of oats and
barley, besides many root vegetables, also poultry, cattle, hogs and
sheep.

The metropolis of the valley is Walla Walla. It is a well-built town
having a population of several thousand. Many of the stores and
business blocks are of brick. Its streets are wide. In the suburbs is a
military post, also a college established by the Congregational church
in honor of Dr. Marcus Whitman, the well known missionary who was
massacred at his mission near Walla Walla in 1847. So died the brave,
patriotic Whitman.

In 1813 England, basing her claims on Drake’s discoveries, captured
Astoria and for years kept her hands on the Oregon country, to be
thwarted at last by one brave American.

The story of Marcus Whitman’s life should be enshrined in the heart of
every school-boy in America.

From the busy thriving city of Spokane, the center of the agriculture
empire of the Pacific Coast, to Missoula along the headwaters of the
Columbia is a most interesting journey. High above, the grim Cascades
rear their shaggy heads. Magnificent pines lift their crested heads
skyward. The Columbia, “rock-ribbed and mighty,” sweeps on, now
placidly, now whirling and eddying, tossing its waters up in foamy
spray, now breaking into white cascades, beautiful as Schauffhausen
on the noble Rhine. The rugged rocks along the shore are hidden by
festoons of grape and wild honeysuckle vines, while the bright salmon
berry adds a touch of color.

Here is a bit of western fiction, a study in evolution that would
interest a Haeckel. These berries falling into the water float away
into brown pools and shady nooks and there change into the red fish
known as salmon.

The gentleman who told me this wonderful tale of magic assured me that
it was true, and that the Fish Commission had made a report of it. Like
the tale of the banshee, however, he had never seen it but he knew
people who had.

Scientific errors should be corrected, so I will give you the facts
about the salmon trout. It was that mischievous god Loke, who to escape
the vengeance of Thor hid himself in a cave, but when he heard the
thundering voice of that noble god,

  “He changed himself into a salmon trout
   And leaped in a fright in the Glommen.”

Slippery as a salmon is a common adage in Norseland.

The most beautiful spot in this region is Lake Pend d’Oreille. The
scenery of this lovely lake rivals that of Lake George. Its blue waters
bathe the brown feet of rugged mountains.

It is early morning on Lake Pend d’Oreille; the mountain breeze,
the gentle swish of the water as it laps the shore, the white,
graceful-moving sail-boat all entice you for a day’s fishing. Tired of
this sport you sail over and rest under the wonderful Blue Slide. The
mountain bordering on the lake at this point has crumbled away, sending
down its bowlders into the lake. From the boat you look up a smooth
incline plane two thousand feet, above which rises the precipice itself
another thousand feet. The slide is covered with a pale blue clay,
while the precipice itself is a mixture of granite and clay tinged with
iron. Large pines grow on the very edge of the precipice.

The junction of Clear Water and the Snake rivers in Idaho is a place
of historic interest. We are now in the country traversed by Lewis and
Clarke.

The history of the great Northwest is wonderfully fascinating. The
history of no part of this great territory is more tragic than that of
Montana. Her savage tribes, her cosmopolitan population called into
existence by her fur trade and mining industry, all combined to produce
in Montana a peculiar phase of civilization, but she has beaten dirks
and bowie knives into plowshares and now follows the gentle arts of
peace. A magnificent mountain range, lovely valley, beautiful river
and a delicate, graceful flower--Bitter Root. Bitter Root is the state
flower of Montana and lends its name to the river, mountains and valley
of its native heath, growing most luxuriantly in Bitter Root valley.

This valley is one of the most beautiful as well as the most productive
in the state. Lying at the eastern foot of the Bitter Root Mountains
it is shielded from the cold, west winds. The climate is fine while
the soil in most places is rich and deep. Timothy and clover grow
luxuriantly. Baled hay brings from seven to ten dollars per ton at the
railroad station. Dairy farming and poultry raising are profitable
industries. Butter sells at forty cents per pound in the winter and
twenty cents in the summer. Eggs bring the same price. Butte, Helena
and other mining centers supply the market for Bitter Root Valley.

Bitter Root orchards are immune from disease. The leas ophis has
appeared but as yet has done no injury. Bitter Root Mountains were the
stronghold of the Nez Perce Indians.

[Illustration: ENTERING HELL GATE CAÑON.]

Hell Gate cañon is one of the most picturesque in the Rocky Mountains.
It is wild and beautiful. Its fir-clad slopes rise thousands of feet
high. A lion steals stealthily along, noiselessly as Fear herself, owl
answers owl from the tall trees, and soft shadows lend enchantment to
the light of the pale moon that hurries you along like Porphyro’s poor
guide on the eve of St. Agnes, with agues in your brain.

Deer Lodge lies in a beautiful valley, sun-browned now, with just a
hint of autumn’s grays and purples.

John Bozeman was a noted frontiersman in the early days of Montana.
His name is perpetuated by Bozeman’s pass, Bozeman’s creek and
Bozeman city, all in Gallatan valley. This valley, once the bloody
battle-ground of the Blackfeet, the Bannacks, the Crows and the Nez
Perce Indians is now one of the widest known and best cultivated in the
state.

Helena, the capital of Montana, is a thriving, prosperous city. Through
the Gate of the Mountains we enter a little valley called Paradise.
Like a beautiful dream this lovely valley lies in the cold bosom of the
rugged mountains; which, looming high above, shield it from the wintry
blast.

[Illustration: LIBERTY CAP AND OLD FORT YELLOWSTONE.]

Mighty cañons, rock-ribbed, gloomy and dark, have been gouged out of
the very hearts of the cold, gray mountains that pierce the blue of
heaven. But this sun-lit vale, too fair for the abode of man, lies just
as nature left it, blue canopied, the cool green grass and murmuring
Yellow Stone.

The Devil in a merry mood one day, coasted down the mountain at
Cinnebar, scorching blood red a wide, smooth slide that would delight
the daring heart of a tobogganist.



CHAPTER XX YELLOWSTONE PARK


The artist may paint you a bit of sky, a little water, a few trees, and
mayhap a bluebird or a merry brown thrush, but can he paint the gently
moving restless air or the storm that sweeps down the mountainside, the
murmur, the ripple, the roar of the river, the whir of the bluebird’s
wing as it rises to flight, or the thrush’s song?

It is beyond the power of brush or pen to paint the wilderness, the
beauty, the weirdness, the awful grandeur of this land of Malebolge,
sulphurous pits and boiling lakes, a fit dwelling place for Minos,
infernal judge; the elusive beauty of a playing geyser, the iridescent
sparkle of the water as it leaps the rocky precipice and pours down
the mountain’s great throat, or the diabolical scene of the famous Mud
Geyser where,--

  “Bellowing there groaned
   A noise, as of a sea in tempest torn
   By warring wings. The stormy blast of hell
   With restless fury drives the spirits on,
   Whirled round and dashed amain with sore annoy.
   When arriving before the ruinous sweep,
   There shrieks are heard, there lamentations, moans.”

With horrible groanings the thick sulphurous mass is driven against the
sides of the deep crater.

  “Wherefore delay in such a mournful place?
   We came within the fosses deep, that moat
   This region comfortless, the walls appeared
   As they were framed in iron, we had made
   Wide circuit ere we reached the place where loud
   The mariner (guide) vehement cried
   ‘Go forth, the entrance is here.’”

   --DANTE.

[Illustration: HOTEL MAMMOTH, HOT SPRINGS, YELLOWSTONE PARK.]

We had circled the Mammoth Hot Springs, down a way by a ladder we
entered the Devil’s kitchen. This is a defunct geyser. The way was
dark and the air hot as the heat penetrated the walls from the Hot
Springs. The water of these springs is rich in minerals, copper, iron
and sulphur. As the water boils over and evaporates it leaves deposits
on the rims fretting them with a delicate frost work of varied and
beautiful hues. Cream and salmon deepening into rich shades of red,
brown, green and yellow.

The Cleopatra Spring is one of the most beautiful. Located on a mound
forty feet high and covering an area of three-quarters of an acre,
the deep blue water, the sparkling white basin with its pale yellow
frost-fretted rim rivals the touch of the artist’s brush.

Just below the springs the broad level tract in front of the United
States barracks covers a treacherous burnt-out area. We were standing
on a veranda of the hotel observing the maneuvers when one of the
cavalry horses broke through the thin crust. His rider recovered him
and they were off before the treacherous ground gave way. A rope was
brought and the soldiers lowered one of their comrades, who dropped
thirty-five feet before he struck a landing place. Investigation showed
the entire platte to be dangerously honeycombed.

Through the Golden Gate we enter Kingman’s Pass. The stupendous walls
of golden yellow rock rise sheer hundreds of feet high on either side.

Just as we turned a point in the road such “Ohs” and “Ahs” as the
Rustic Falls of the Gardener River burst on our sight. The river falls
sixty feet into a series of shallow basins of moss covered rock. To
the sides of the basin cling wavering ferns and delicate spray-kissed
flowers.

The most wonderful mountain in the world stands on the shore of Beaver
Lake. A glass mountain of pure jet black glass, rising skyward in
basalt like columns from one hundred to two hundred and fifty feet. The
black glass streaked here and there with red and yellow glistens in the
sunshine as peak and pinnacle catch, imprison and reflect the sun’s
rays.

Large blocks have become detached from time to time forming a glass
slide into the lake. Obsidian is a species of lava. Pliny says this
glass was first found in Ethiopia, but the only glass mountain in the
world stands on the shore of Beaver Lake. The Indians used this glass
for arrow heads and in making sharp-edged tools.

The swampy, lily-padded margin of Beaver Lake is haunted by wild
geese. This lake is the beaver’s own. These industrious little animals
constructed it by damming up Green Creek for a distance of two miles.
Some thirty dams sweep in graceful curves from side to side each having
a fall from two to six feet.

[Illustration: OLD FAITHFUL GEYSER, YELLOWSTONE PARK, JUST BEFORE AN
ERUPTION.]

The geyser basins are places of unusual interest and beauty. No scene
in the park is lovelier than these areas of bubbling pools, boiling
lakes and steaming geysers, at sunrise, when the columns of white
steam, tinged to a roseate hue by the rising sun, ascending against the
background of dark green pines. Presently,--

  “There came o’er the perturbed waves
   Loud-crashing, terrible, a sound that made
   Either shore tremble, as if a wind
   Impetuous, from conflicting vapors sprung,
   That ’gainst some forest driving with all his might,
   Plucks off the branches, beats them down, and hurls
   Afar; then, onward passing proudly sweeps
   His whirlwind rage, while beasts and shepherds fly.”

   --DANTE.

Thus warned we moved away just as Old Faithful shot his boiling waters
skyward.

  “Ask thou no more
   Now ’gin rueful wailings to be heard.
   The gloomy region shook so terribly
   That yet with clammy dews chill my brow.
   The sad earth gave a blast.”

   --DANTE.

And steam and water shot up a column two hundred feet high. The Giant
Geyser was playing.

  “We the circle crossed
   To the next steep, arriving at a well
   That boiling pours itself down a foss
   Sluiced from its source.”

   --DANTE.

This well is the formidable Excelsior Geyser which pours its waters
into the Fire Hole River.

[Illustration: YELLOWSTONE LAKE.]

The Paint Pots are springs which boil incessantly their pasty clay,
which boiling over hardens, building up a rim around the pot. In one
group of seventeen pots are as many different colors.

The center pot is a pearl gray, while grouped about it are smaller pots
of various shades of pink, gray, chocolate, yellow, red, lavender,
emerald and sapphire blues and white, mortar thousands of years old
that would make the heart of a plasterer glad. Here is a plaster which
when hardened, whether by sun or fire, never cracks.

Of a somewhat different character are the chocolate jugs on the banks
of the Fire Hole River. These springs are rich in iron. The sediment
hardens as the water pours out, building up gradually a brown jug-like
cone.

The Blue Mud Pot is quite as interesting as the Paint Pots. Its
circular basin is twenty feet in diameter. The mud is about the
consistency of thick plaster. This mud pot presents a beautiful picture
as the puffs of mud burst with a thud-like noise giving off perfect
little rings which recede to the sides of the crater. This spring is
strongly impregnated with alum. In this vicinity is a spring of pure
alum water and several of sulphate of copper.

These springs are clear and deep, having beautiful basins, the rims of
which are lined with incrustations of brilliant colors.

In a gloomy wood we came to the Devil’s frying pan, a shallow, hot,
boiling spring which sputters, sizzles and hisses equal to any
old-time, three legged skillet, sending out sulphurous odors that would
delight the nostrils of Lucifer himself.

Hell’s half acre is quite as interesting as its name. Here in times
gone by Excelsior Geyser shook the earth.

One lovely morning we mounted to our seats in the stage coach, the
driver cracked his whip over the heads of the leaders, six creamy white
horses pricked up their ears, sprang forward at a gallop and we were
off to the Continental Divide.

We had just crossed a glade where deer were grazing when a hail storm,
a mountain hail storm, overtook us. In five minutes the ground was
white, the hail laying two inches deep, and such hail, an Illinois hail
storm is tame in comparison.

The horses plunged forward, the hail was left behind, and we paused on
the Great Divide. Down from this watershed the waters flow east and
west.

The lovely Lake Shoshone comes into view and presently we are standing
on its shore looking down through its blue waters. The elevation of
this lake is greater than that of its royal neighbor, the Yellowstone.

[Illustration: CAMPING ON THE SHORE OF LAKE YELLOWSTONE.]

This most lovely of all American lakes, the Yellow Stone, is perched
high in the very heart of the mountains, its blue waters lapping the
base of cold, snow-capped peaks, rivals in beauty the far famed Lake
Maggiore.

On these beautiful shores fair Nausicaa with her golden ball might have
deigned to tread the mazes of the ball-dance.

The elevation of this lake is marvelous for its size. Drop Mount
Washington, the highest peak in the White Mountains, into the center of
it and the summit would be swept by a current half a mile deep.

This lake affords royal sport. Here are the most beautiful fish in the
world, the rainbow trout.

Through a pine-clad gorge flanked by high bluffs the impetuous
Yellowstone River makes its way until it leaps the great falls and
plunges down three hundred and fifty feet to the cañon below.

On the sides of the spray-washed walls grow mosses and algæ of every
hue of green, ochre, orange, brown, scarlet, saffron and red. On rugged
peaks are brown eagles’ nests.

The Grand Cañon of the Yellowstone, would you describe this marvelous
gorge, language is inadequate, words are poor.

Would you paint it, on your palette place all colors yet produced by
the ingenuity of man. Mix them with rainbow drops. The pale faced moon
will lend a shade, the stars another and the sun still another as he
drops blood-red down through the mists of the sea. Stir and mix with
matchless skill until you have of colors half a hundred and shades as
many more. Now boldly dash the stupendous walls, castles, pinnacles,
turrets, columns, and minarets where already they are gleaming a bright
vermilion as they from Vulcan’s fiery furnace issued long ago.

When you have these colors fixed let Phaethon drive down the gorge in
his chariot of fire leaving behind the gleam and the glow of it.

[Illustration: PAINT POTS ON SHORE OF YELLOWSTONE LAKE.]

Here, the Sioux chiefs, crouching by their camp fires muttered their
griefs and their woes. Here Rain in the Face cried out in revenge,
revenge on the White chief with the Yellow Hair.

Yonder lay Sitting Bull with his three thousand warriors hidden in
cleft and cave. Into the fateful snare dashed the White chief with his
pitiful three hundred men. Like a mountain torrent Sitting Bull and his
braves swept down upon that gallant band, and but one was left to tell
the story of the Little Big Horn, but one to tell of the gallant stand
of Custer and his brave men.

Only two survived of all that noble band, one, Curly, the half-breed
scout, and the other, “Comanche,” the horse of Captain Keogh. Comanche
was found several miles from the battle field with seven wounds. He
recovered and the secretary of war detailed a soldier as his attendant.

Here, too, the Crow took revenge when driven back by the white man.
Here they peopled the boiling, hissing springs and the steaming geysers
with evil spirits, while beyond the mountains lay the Happy Hunting
Ground.

A small remnant of this band gathered at the head of the Grand Cañon
and there resolved with Spartan courage to die rather than be removed
to a distant land there to die of homesickness and longing for the blue
sky and the breath of the sweet air of their beloved mountains.

They built a raft and set it afloat at the foot of the Upper Falls
feeling the peace and security that the mountains give, but they were
rudely awakened one morning by the sharp crack of the white man’s
rifle, the soldiers were upon them. Hastily boarding their raft they
pushed it out into mid-stream. The strong current gathered the craft
tossing it and pitching it onward on its foamy crest. The soldiers gaze
in wonder, forgetting to fire. On, on, faster whirls that frail craft
while above the wild roar of the water floats the death song.

Beyond, yawns a chasm three hundred and fifty feet deep, the death
chant is lost amidst the roar of the mighty torrent. The hardened
soldier shudders as that lone adventurous craft, freighted with the
remnant of a powerful people, is gathered in the arms of that mighty
torrent, hurled over the brink and dashed to pieces on the cruel rocks
below, where the Maid of the Mist washed white each red man’s soul.

[Illustration: GRAND CAÑON OF THE YELLOWSTONE.]

On June twenty-seventh last, word was telegraphed over the country
that a new geyser had burst forth from an old crater about fifty feet
from the famous Fountain Geyser. The eruption played from two hundred
to two hundred and fifty feet high.

Tired, stage tired, we were snug in comforts and blankets and
sound asleep one night in August at the Fountain hotel, when about
twelve o’clock gongs sounded, bells rang and porters went running
about pounding on the doors and crying, what seemed to our sleepy
imagination, “Fire,” but presently we heard distinctly the words, the
new geyser is playing. “The new geyser is playing,” went echoing down
the corridors.

In ten minutes every tourist was out, in all sorts of costumes from
blanket to full dress, either shivering on the long veranda or hurrying
down to the basin to see the new geyser play, and right royally he did
it, too.

Upward into the black night shot a stupendous column of water three
hundred feet high. The porters were the first to arrive and playing
their red calcium lights on the wonderful body of falling water gave us
a display of fire and water that must be seen to be appreciated. The
now flaming vermilion column rose steadily upward, seemingly through
the red glare three hundred feet, the delicate, rose colored steam
rising much higher, swayed in the breeze, now falling, now lifting, now
floating away into the black night a rosy cloud.

The hotel cat hurried to the scene of action but lost his bearings and
stood fascinated by the magic scene, the hot spray falling about him
until some one picked him up and carried him out of danger.

In the reception hall of this hotel an old fashioned fireplace filled
with glowing pine logs sent out showers of welcoming sparks. A big
green back log sang again the anthem of the wild storm-swept mountain
forest, while outside the rain came down in torrents.

The most wonderful features of the Rocky Mountains lie within the
confines of Yellowstone Park. The world’s oldest rocks, granite,
gneisse and basalt are found here. Later dynamic action held sway and
the region became the center of mountain building on a grand scale.
Rocky beds tossed up and down. Next came the reign of Vulcan. Fire
held sway. Volcanic materials overflowed the region. Next came the ice
age, when glaciers plowed down the mountain sides. Just now the
hydrothermal agents are most active.

[Illustration: GIBBON RIVER FALLS.]

After miles of mountain climbing and five hundred more of staging in
the heart of the Rockies, through groves of pine firs, spruce and
cedar, along streams and lakes bordered by aspen, willow and wild
flowers, through glades and glens, ravines and gorges, one begins to
get some idea of the vastness, ruggedness and grandeur of the mountains
and the delicacy of the climate. One begins to understand how in
average summer temperature of sixty degrees pinks, geraniums, orchids,
mosses, roses and lilies, alternately bathed in sunshine and snow,
bloom on, reaching a perfection beyond that of our prairie flowers.

The mountain thistles are beautiful beyond compare. The delicate purple
blossoms are borne on slender stems, the dainty green leaves touched
with white, drooping gracefully, give the plant more the appearance of
an orchid than of the common weed it is.

Over in Hayden valley roam fifty head of buffalo, all that is left of
that royal band, the fine for killing one of which is five hundred
dollars. Deer and elk roam ravine and mountain side, sleek, fat
fellows that make you glad that they are under Uncle Sam’s protection.
We passed a group of deer in a wooded ravine, their smooth coats
shining like satin in the sunshine as they gazed at us out of pathetic
brown eyes that had something of the human in them.

“I couldn’t kill one of them innocent creatures if the law permitted
me,” said the driver, who was an old mountaineer and loved the things
of the mountains.

Now and then one sees a mountain lion. The less noble game abound also,
the fox, martin, beaver, woodchuck and gopher. Ground squirrels run
about the hotels and camps in search of food. Under our window one
evening three of these little animals were having a tug of war over a
bread crust. The crust at last divided, one lost his hold and the other
two ran away with the spoil.

The gray squirrels are very numerous, showing little fear of the
passer-by as they run along playing tag or race up and down the trunks
of great trees.

The Rocky Mountain quail differs from our own in being larger and
having a crest on its head.

Both Black and Cinnamon bear haunt the vicinities of the hotels and
camps in search of food. A big black fellow was pointed out to us one
morning who had stolen a ham from one of the camps the night before.
The ham had disappeared and there stood Bruin waiting for a chance
to steal another. One of the men walked up to him and gave him a
slice of bacon, which he took from his hands. When he had eaten it he
looked inquiringly about for more. This time the meat was hung up in
a tree. Bruin sniffed the odor, located the bacon, climbed the tree,
knocked the meat down and came down and ate it. Then he sat down on his
haunches, folding his paws and looking up at his new-found friend as if
asking for more.

[Illustration: MICKY AND ANNIE ROONEY.]

At the Fountain hotel are two cubs, Micky and Anna Rooney. They are
very fond of sugar. When offered any food they stand up and reach out
their paws for it or they will take it out of your hand.

Micky is a happy rollicking fellow, but Anna is more sedate, quick of
temper and free in the use of her paws when angry. When offended she
climbs to the top of her pole and sitting down on the board nailed
there refuses to come down for anything less than a lump of sugar.

As these bears are still mere babies they are fed milk from a bottle.
They stand up, clasp the bottle in their paws and proceed to drink the
milk through a hole in the cork.

One evening something was wrong with Micky’s bottle. While the
attendant was fixing it Micky dropped on his haunches, folded his paws
across his chest, holding his head first on one side then on the other,
looking very wise the while. The attendant being somewhat slow, Micky
dropped to the ground but never once took his eyes off that bottle.
While Micky was waiting for his supper Anna had finished hers and was
thrusting her paws into the pockets of the attendant in search of candy
and sugar.

At another hotel was a Bruin and her two babies. When these youngsters
refused to enter the bath tub provided for them the mother would coax
them to the edge of the tub, push them in, hold them down and give them
a good scrub.

The National Park should be extended one hundred miles farther south to
the Black-Hole country. The park game descends to the Black-Hole during
the winter where the hunters lay in wait for it. In this way park
buffalo were nearly exterminated.

Of the natural wonders of the world our country possesses namely:
Niagara, Yellowstone Park, Yosemite, Grand Cañon of the Colorado, and
the Glacial Coast of Alaska. The Mammoth Cave might take sixth rank,
but leaving it out we will not go to Europe, but to the Himalayas for
one and to the Andes for the other.

The petrified forests are equally as interesting as the geysers.
Southwest of Pleasant Valley is a small grove of petrified trees. Near
Hell-roaring Creek is a massive promontory, composed of conglomerates,
and numerous beds of sandstones and shales. Throughout these strata are
numerous silicified remains of trees. Many of the trees are standing
upright just as they grew.

On the northern side of Amethyst Mountain is another section of strata
nearly two thousand feet high. The ground here is strewn with trunks
and limbs of trees which have been petrified into a clear white agate.
In one place rows of tree trunks stand out on the ledge like the
columns of an old ruin. Farther down the mountain side are prostrate
trunks fifty feet long. The strata in which these trunks are found is
composed of coarse conglomerates, greenish sandstone and indurated clay.

These strata contain many vegetable and animal remains. Branches,
roots, snakes, fishes, toads and fruits. Among these petrified objects
one finds the most beautiful crystallizations of all shades of red
from the delicate rose to a deep crimson. As to the trees the woody
structure is in many cases well preserved.

Just beyond the eastern boundary of the park lies the Hoodoo region of
the Shoshone Mountains. Here, in the very heart of the old Rockies the
banshee, ghosts and goblins of all the region round about hold high
jinks.

The scenery is wild and rough. The Goblin Mountain itself is over ten
thousand feet high and a mile long. The storms of ages have carved the
conglomerate breccia and volcanic rocks into the most strange, weird
and fantastic shapes.

The vivid imagination of the Indian sees in these gigantic forms,
beasts, birds and reptiles. Here a couchant tiger and there the huge
figure of a Thunder Bird. Yonder a hungry bear sits on his haunches
waiting for a passing Indian. In the moonlight strange spectral shapes
seem to pass in and out these weird labyrinths. The rocks are all
shades and colors. Mysterious sounds in the air above add interest to
the most weird scene in the Rockies, a fit setting for the witch scene
in Macbeth.

In yonder dark cavern the huge cauldron might boil and bubble as the
fire lights up the faces of the sinister three who stir the grewsome
mess, while around yon black bowlder stealthily steals guilty Macbeth.

Which of the grand scenes do I treasure the most? I do not know. I
cannot tell. Each in turn holds, fascinates, and enthralls the mind.
Each becomes in the language of Keats:

  “An endless fountain of immortal drink,
   Pouring unto us from the heaven’s brink.”

THE END

       *       *       *       *       *

BY THE SAME AUTHOR.

The Travels of a Water Drop

is a volume of sketches, studies from nature. The travels and
adventures of this particular Water Drop are so interestingly written
that it ought to occupy a prominent place in children’s classics. Each
sketch in the book is a gem in its way. For scientific accuracy and
literary beauty this little volume is recommended to nature lovers.
Cloth, small 12mo. Fifty Cents.

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber’s Notes:

The single footnote has been moved to the end of its chapter.

Illustrations have been moved to paragraph breaks near where they are
mentioned.

Punctuation has been made consistent.

Variations in spelling and hyphenation were retained as they appear in
the original publication, except that obvious typographical errors have
been corrected.

Both Skaguay and Skagway appear in the original text, and the spelling
Skaguay has been standardized to Skagway.

Both Wrangle and Wrangel appear in the original text, and the spelling
Wrangle has been standardized to Wrangel.

Both “Blackfoot village” and “Blackfeet village” appear in the original
text, and the spelling “Blackfeet village” has been standardized to
“Blackfoot village.”





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