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a candle-box was placed, and within it, that finger a little apart from its fellows swathed in flaring red flannel, lay the last as he went out, and examined it curiously. arrival at Roaring Camp. Beside the The examination provoked the same candle-box was placed a hat. Its use was original remark in regard to the child. In soon indicated.
fact, he seemed to enjoying repeating it. "Gentlemen," said Stumpy, with a
“He rastled with my finger," he remarked singular mixture of authority and ex to Tipton, holding up the member. “The
d d little cuss!" ofhcio complacency, “gentlemen will please pass in at the front door, round
It was four o'clock before the camp the table, and out at the back door. sought repose. A light burnt in the cabin Them as wishes to contribute anything where the watchers sat, for Stumpy did toward the orphan will find a hat handy." not go to bed that night. Nor did The first man entered with his hat on; he Kentuck. He drank quite freely and reuncovered, however, as he looked about lated with great gusto his experience, inhim, and so, unconsciously, set an ex variably ending with his characteristic ample to the next. In such communities, condemnation of the
newcomer. It good and bad actions are catching. As seemed to relieve him of any unjust implithe procession filed in, comments were
cation of sentiment, and Kentuck had the audible-criticisms, addressed, perhaps,
weakness of the nobler sex. When everyrather to Stumpy, in the character of body else had gone to bed he walked showman: "Is that him?" "Mighty down to the river and whistled, reflectsmall specimen." "Hasn't mor'n got the ingly. Then he walked up the gulch, past color.” "Ain't bigger nor a derringer." the cabin, still whistling with remon
strative unconcern. The contributions were as character
At a large redwood istic: A silver tobacco box; a doubloon;
tree he paused, and retraced his steps, a navy revolver; silver mounted pistol;
and again passed the cabin. Half way a gold specimen; a very beautifully em
down to the river's bank he again paused,
and then returned and knocked at the broidered lady's handkerchief (from Oakhurst, the gambler); a diamond breast
door. It was opened by Stumpy. pin; a diamond ring (suggested by the
"How goes it?" said Kentuck, looking pin, with the remark from the giver that
past Stumpy toward the candle-box. he "saw that pin and went two diamonds
“All serene,” replied Stumpy. better"); a slung shot; a Bible (contribu
“Anything up? ?"
"Nothing tor not detected); a golden spur; a silver teaspoon (the initials, I regret to say,
There was a pausean embarrassing were not the giver's); a pair of surgeon's
-Stumpy holding the door. Then shears; a lancet; a Bank of England note
Kentuck had recourse to his finger, which for £5; and about $200 in loose gold and
he held up to Stumpy. silver coin. During these proceedings
"Rastled with it—the dd little Stumpy maintained a silence as impassive
cuss,” he said, and retired. as the dead on his left-a gravity as in The next day Cherokee Sal had such scrutable as that of the newly-born on his rude sepulcher as Roaring Camp afforded. right. Only one incident occurred to After her body had been committed to the break the monotony of the curious pro hill-side, there was a formal meeting of cession. As Kentuck bent over the candle the camp to discuss what should be done box half curious, the child turned, and, in with her infant. A resolution to adopt it a spasm of pain, caught at his groping was unanimous and enthusiastic. But an finger, and held it fast for a moment. animated discussion, in regard to the Kentuck looked foolish and embarrassed. manner and feasibility of providing for its Something like a blush tried to assert wants, at once sprung up. It was remarkitself in his weather-beaten cheek. "The able that the argument partook of none dd little cuss;
he said, as he extri of those fierce personalities, with which cated his finger, with, perhaps, more ten discussions were usually conducted at derness and care than he might have been Roaring Camp. Tipton proposed that deemed capable of showing. He held they should send the child to Red Dogma
STORIES FROM THE FILES
distance of forty miles—where female when questioned he averred stoutly that attention could be procured. But the un he and "Jinny"—the mammal before lucky suggestion met with fierce and alluded to could manage to rear the unanimous opposition. It was evident
It was evident child. There was something original, inthat no plan which entailed parting from dependent and heroic about the plan, that their new acquisition would for a moment pleased the camp. Stumpy was retained. be entertained. “Besides,” said Tom Certain articles were sent for to SacraRyder, "them fellows at Red Dog would mento. swap it and ring in somebody else on us." "Mind," said the treasurer, A disbelief in the honesty of other camps pressed a bag of gold-dust into the exprevailed at Roaring Camp as in other pressman's hand, “the best that can be places.
got-lace, you know, and filigree work The introduction of a female nurse in and frills-d-m the cost!”. the camp also met with objection. It was Strange to say, the child thrived. Perargued that no decent woman could be haps the invigorating climate of the prevailed upon to accept Roaring Camp mountain camp was compensation for ma
as her home, and the speaker argued that terial deficiencies. Nature took the "they didn't want any more of the other foundling to her broader breast. In that kind."
rare atmosphere of the Sierra foot-hills This unkind allusion to the defunct that air pungent with balsamic odor; that mother, harsh as it may seem, was the ethereal cordial at once bracing and first spasm of propriety, the first symptom exhilarating, he may have found food and of the camp's regeneration. Stumpy ad- nourishment, or a subtle chemistry that vanced nothing. Perhaps he felt a certain transmuted ass's milk to lime and phosdelicacy in interfering with the selection phorous. Stumpy inclined to the belief of a possible successor in office. But that it was the latter and good nursing.
“Me and that ass,” he would say, "has “Boston," a noted wag, and the occasion been father and mother to him! Don't seemed to promise the greatest facetiousyou," he would add, apostrophizing the This ingenious satirist had spent helpless bundle before him, "never go two days preparing a burlesque of the back on us."
church service, with pointed local By the time he was a month old, the allusions. The choir was properly trained, necessity of giving him a name became and Sandy Tipton was to stand godfather. apparent. He had generally been known But after the procession had marched to as “The Kid," "Stumpy's boy," "the the grove with music and banners, and Coyote"-(an illusion to his vocal the child had been deposited before a powers), and even by Kentuck's endear mock altar, Stumpy stepped before the ing diminutive of "the "dd little cuss." expectant crowd. But these were felt to be vague and unsat “It ain't my style to spoil fun, boys," isfactory, and were at last dismissed under said the little man, stoutly, eyeing the another influence. Gamblers and adven faces around him, “but it strikes me that turers are usually superstitious, and Oak this thing ain't exactly on the square. hurst one day declared that the baby had It's playing it pretty low on this yer baby brought "the luck" to Roaring Camp. It to ring in fun on him that he ain't going was certain that of late they had been to understand. And ef there's going to successful. "Luck" was the name agreed be any godfathers round, I'd like to see upon, with the prefix of Tommy for who's got any better rights than me." greater convenience. No allusion was A silence followed Sandy's speech. To made to the mother, and the father was the credit of all humorists be it said that unknown.
the first man to acknowledge its justice "It's better," said the philosophical was the satirist, thus estopped of his fun. Oakhurst, "to take a fresh deal all “But," said Stumpy quickly, following around. Call him luck, and start him up his advantage, "we're here for a fair.”
christening, and we'll have it. l.proclaim A day was accordingly set apart for the you Thomas Luck, according to the laws christening. What was meant by this of the United States and the State of ceremony the reader may imagine, who California-So help me God." has already gathered some idea of the It was the first time that the name of reckless irreverence of Roaring Camp. the Deity had been uttered aught but The master of ceremonies
(Continued on Page 87)
By Katherine M. Peirce.
The wilderness of meadow-field and flowers;
It fills the silence with a soft caress :
The solitude. No leafy bowers
Such Aluting tones of tranquil joys possess.
Ah, lowly minstrel of the Golden West!
In quiet meadows let me often stray,
Content to yield the guerdon of Life's quest
Thy cheerful voice in tuneful praise and prayer
IT WAS while Sheriff Tom Keegan would laugh at the disgruntled Keegan. was escorting Pedro Vierra to jail As he sped over the mesa, Pedro
that the latter-mentioned gentle- hummed-softly, of course, for one must man executed the master-stroke of his life. not hazard chances. Instead of a fugitive, With all the cunning and agility of a he might well have been a gay cavalier panther, he caught the big sheriff un singing in love-hushed tones to the lady awares and knocked him flat. This action of his heart. was indeed galling to Keegan, and when Pedro frowned. To his mind came the Pedro seized the sheriff's six-shooter and vision of a maid with luminous eyes of held it in the neighborhood of Keegan's midnight darkness. She would wonder, brains, the the while advising him to
his little Conchita; but he could not with "vamoose"-well, it was worse than safety get the word to her that he must galling.
travel afar. For Sheriff Tom Keegan Keegan, of course, "vamoosed,” curs would be on the lookout for a ruse—and ing himself for not having put bracelets as a rule, the sheriff was clever. on the bad man. But had not Pedro "But beside me he is as clever as the Vierra given his word of honor that he house-cat beside the lynx,” boasted Pedro would come peacefully?
Vierra as he came to the Rio Pequeno. "That what I get for trusting the word He waded across, the waters barely of a greaser!" reflected Sheriff Tom coming to his knees, for it was August stormily, and hot-footed it to town a mile and the river was running low. away to arm himself and procure his Pedro gained the opposite shore and horse, in order that he might properly briskly climbed the hill beyond; at length earch the countryside for one bad man, he paused about half way up the hillside, Pedro Vierra.
his sharp eyes searching about for a Meanwhile, Pedro, with a grin of self favorable hiding place—a place where he approbation planted upon his olive would be well screened, and at the same skinned countenance, Aled southward. Up time see quite clearly the Rio Pequeno in the brush-clad hills beyond the Rio and the far-reaching mesa beyond. Pequeno, he knew he could find refuge With a little exclamation of satisfacuntil darkness fell. Then, under cover tion, Pedro crawled beneath a low-hangof the night, he would steal forth. For ing madrone; the next moment he was Pedro knew where a swift Indian pony calmly engaged in puffing contentedly at was to be found, and once astride a horse a cigarette. -ah! Then, indeed, Pedro Vierra “Dios!” he ejaculated at length. “After