Democratic watchman. (Bellefonte, Pa.) 1855-1940, March 02, 1928, Image 2

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Bellefonte, Pa., March 2, 1928
T've a wonderful boy, and I say to him,
Be fair, and be square in the race you
must run.
Be brave if you lose and be meek if you
win, ..
Be better and nobler than I've ever been.
Be honest and fearless in all that you do
And honor the name that I have given
to you.
I have a boy and I want him to know,
We reap in life just about as we sow,
And we get what we earn, be it little or
Regardless of luck and regardless of fate.
I will teach him tnd show him, the best
that I can,
That it pays to be honest and upright,
a man.
I will make him a pal and a partner of
show him the things in this world
that are fine.
I will show him the things that are wick-
ed and bad,
For I figure this knowledge should come
from his dad.
I will walk with him, talk with him, play
with him, too,
And to all of my promises, strive to be
We will grow up together, I'll too be a
And share in his trouble and share in his
We'll work out our problems together and
We will lay out our plans when we both
will be men.
And, oh, what a wonderful joy it will be,
No pleasure in life could be greater fo
—Hugh Marion Pierce
————— eee rs
A steady hand on the wheels, Jim
Marshall piloted his car easily up the
perilous grade that winds arcund the
perpendicular side of Jackass Moun-
Into the dizzy heights the road
crept like, in places, a mere trail no
wider than the wheels, where the
sheer walls of the canyon dropped
away for thousands of feet.
Jim stopped the machine on the di-
vide, a dot at the apex of the world.
He locked the brakes and gazed off
across that gorgeous panorama of
wild jagged beauty, of depths and
heights and green forests, broken here
and there with silver lakes and the
silken skein of a winding river.
Over this very read, \vhen ii was a
trail so narrow that jackasses could
not pass, the hordes had tramped in
their mad rush to Dream Gulch. Ov-
er it his father, Two Bairel Marshall,
had come when he carried his riches
to the outside world.
Through Two Barrel’s eyes Jim
had seen it, and he recognized the
landmarks, the little intimate details
of the great picture. There was
friendly old Bear Mountain over there
against the horizon. and down there
below was the gulch between the two
“Dream Gulch!” he exclaimed.
Old Two Barrel Jasper Marshall
had made his stake in the rush of ’83
and then he had lost it, practically
all of it, in fighting a bitter up-hill
battle through forty-odd years. He
had died two weeks hefore—with his
boots on—still finghting, as he had
wanted to die.
He had left his son, Jini, a gray-
eyed, square-jawed young fellow like
he had once been, but little. out of
the wreckage—a few thousand dollars
at most.
But Jim had the pioneering blood
of his father in him, and he was ready
for the battle. Free, twenty-six, ful
of life, he was answering the call
which had been tugging at him ever
since he could reinember.
Old Two Barrel had been wont to
draw back the curtain which shut out
his past life and lead young Jim into
the wonderland of he Wild West;
the excitement of the gold rush, the
hardships, the battle for existence,
the romance of blood and love and
Two Barrel and his partner,
Chailie Wilson, had staked discovery
claim in Dream Gulch in the spring
of ’83; and they had seen cities
spring up there in the wilderness over
night. They had seen the as::ndancy,
then the decline and decay, of Dream
“Ig’s dead an’ gone now, Senny,”
old Two Barrel had said often. “But
the real strike was never made there.
The ledge from which that placer
washed was never found, an’ some
day there’!l be another strike in
Dream Gulch.” .
That was the lure which had in-
duced Jim Marshall to come across
the continent.
He stood beside the car with the
world at his feet. His face, bronzed
from the outdoors which he loved,
was set with that sterness which had
been his father’s when he fought his
battles. Then it relaxed into tender
lines and his eyes softened. It seemed
to him for a moment that that big,
gruff, kindly man who had been his
father, was standing there beside hia
i he looked off into the spaces be-
“Dream Gulch!” he said again,
half aloud. “The lost gold ledge. Dad,
it’s a fine legacy you have left me.”
There it was below him exactly as
he had known it would look.
Slowly the car crept down, down,
twisting and winding along the face
of the mountain.
A great snowshoe rabbit, a mottied
gray in its late Fall coat, sat hunched
up in the road ahead of him and Jim
honked his horn shrilly, laughing at
the sudden antics of the wild creature
as it leaped for the safety of the
brush above the grade.
The vibrating echo of the blast
came back to him from a dozen angles
of the canyon wall, growing in vol-
Suddenly it seemed sacrilegious to
Jim to break that great silence of the
of this modern implement of civiliza-
tion, and after that the car slipped
forward noiselessly. :
For miles the road unwound itself
with no other traveler over its whole
! course until Jim came at last to the
bottom and at the head of the ravine
which slashed back into the Coeur
d’Alene range like a yawning chasm.
And there Jim began to feel the full
glamor of the north Idaho gold camps
of ’83 weaving the spell of their ro-
mance about him.
Before him, where the gulch emp-
tied into the valley between the
ranges, spread the old tumble-down
log cabin city of Delta. To Jim it
seemed he had walked its single long
wide street when it teemed with the
jostling crowds of seven thousand
miners, prospectors, adventurers,
gamblers, women; when it was a
blaring, boisterous city of life—and
sudden death.
It sprawled before him exactly as
it had been built nearly half a cen-
tury before when Two Barrel Mar-
shall walked its streets with his cor-
duroy pockets bulging with his
pouches of gold dust. But it was
not the dead city Jim had expected.
The low buildings with fallen roofs
and sagging walls, the silent dance
halls and saloons and gambling dens
were there. But there was also evi-
patched-up store building and post-
office combined, which had added to
itself the modern touch of a gas
The jarring note of that glaring
red gas pump in Delta’s silent street
startled Jim.
“I’ll be darned!” he said, half aloud.
“What in thunder would anyone want
to put a gas station clear up in here
He let the car idle to a stop in
front of the store while he looked up
and down the deserted thoroughfare,
placing various buildings—buildings
he knew from the stories of his fath-
His eyes wandered on down past the
last rotting structure and on up the
gulch. That gentle tugging at his
heart which was the siren lure he had
followed was pulling strong again.
Up there was where Two Barrel
Marshall had washed the yellow gold
from the gravel. Up there romance
had lived; up there the lost gold
ledge was hidden.
“That’s it!” he said aloud, as if
he had made a new discovery of an
old and friendly beacon.
Suddenly Jim stepped on the accel-
erator and the car leaped forward,
spitting a cloud of gas fumes into the
astonished face of the rugged store-
keeper who had stepped up at that
His eyes on the narrow road, Jim
watched the curves ahead as the car
courses of the gulch, dotted with the
torn with the sluice dams and up-
turned gravel and caved-in shaft
holes of the placer diggings.
His nerves were at tension—ting-
ling. He was looking for something
ahead which he had never seen but
which he knew he could find. The
miles slipped’ by and then suddenly
he threw on the brakes bringing the
car to a sharp stop.
There beside the roadway stood
Jim knew it at once—the long for-
gotten city which, in its day, had
outrivaled Delta in the madness of its
blood and in its lust for gold. What
tales of Thiad Two Barrel Marshall
had told his son in his childhood as
they sat before the open fireplace, the
lights turned off.
Thiad slept the long sleep, as still
and silent as those human beings be-
neath the sunken-in rectangles of sod
on the hillside of the town. It was
an eerie, ghostly place of haunting
memories; but to Jim Marshall it had
life, breathed, pulsated with life as
it had when Two Barrel Marshall had
reigned as chief of the vigilantes dur-
ing its brief existence.
It had lived, and to Jim it still lived.
He remembered as though he had
been there himself the murder of Jeff
Hunter; the raid of the gold robbers
on the sluice boxes; the hanging of
the two who had been left after the
battle and who had been given sum-
mary justice by that rough mining
camp court. Those pictures which his
father had drawn for him, and they
had fired his imagination.
There before him was the old dance
hall and saloon, the Thiad Palace.
Jim slipped from the seat of the car
and walked over to it.
“Third rafter from the east end,”
he muttered aloud.
He counted the wobbling, warped
rafters under the broad, sunken porch
and there it was!
Jim’s blood was racing hot in his
veins and he breathed heavily.
Four feet apart on the third rafter
were dangling two knots of heavy
hemp rope, frayed, ready to fall
The two robbers had been hanged
there from that third rafter, and their
bodies left dangling in the breeze for
twenty-four hours, while the thou-
sands of Dream Gulch looked and took
Jim turned slowly to his car again,
unaware of the two faces—coarse,
brutal faces with shifty eyes—which
peered out at him between the yawn-
ing log walls of the Thiad Palace.
A moment before when Jim’s car
had come to its sudden stop, these two
had been sitting facing each other
across a worm-eaten pine table, their
heads close together, their voices
lowered to undertones as they studied
a sheet of oiled paper on which they
had drawn a crude map with a pencil.
Jim climbed into his car again with
the resolve that another day, perhaps
the next, he would return to Thiad
and putter about its buildings, nosing
into places where Two Barrel Mar-
shall had once been a power. Today,
though, he was anxious to see the
whole of Dream Gulch.
The grade up the gulch grew steep-
er; then all at once it flattened out in-
to a little level swale.
Here, close beside the road, stood
an old-fashioned structure, composed
of four stripped cedar poles, freshly
hewn and standing upright to bear
bie waignt of a sloping cedar-shake
dence of three resident families and a |
droned on and on along the winding |
decaying cabins of another day and |
Jim had observed numerous simi-
lar structures in the gulch as he went
along, but they were rotting, tum-
: bling to the ground. Under the roof
of this one, however, was a wooden
windlass, standing over a wide exca-
vation. Beside the opening was piled !
a gravel dump, sloping down to the
2 creek bed which ran the length
"of the gulch, :
| A new rope wound about the wind-
‘lass suggested a well and Jim stopped
‘the car to investigate.
{ But standing beneath the roof of
| the open structure and peering down
"into the cavity below, he made out
the stooped form of a man at the
. bottom of the hole bending over a
i shovelful to the load, then straighten
| like bucket.
Jim watched him heap the final
shovelful to the load, then straighten
| his bent back with gnarled hands to
his hips as he turned a venerable face
upward to the light.
“Hello, down there!” Jim called a
The old man started; then slowly
. began to climb the fifteen feet to the
! surface, using cleats which had been
‘ nailed across a corner of the cribbing.
Not a word did the veteran say un-
i til he stood straight and tall before
Jim, his sharp eyes peering at the
i younger man out of a face covered
| with a flowing white beard.
“They’s some ’spicious characters
sneakin’ ‘round the gulch,” he broke
| the silence finally. “Got t’ be kinda
i keerful.”
Jim smiled broadly.
“I thought this was a well.” he
The pupils of the old man’s blue
eyes grew wide with a slowly dawn-
ing amazement.
“Same looks an’ same voice,” he
said irrelevantly.
He came a step nearer until his
face was close to Jim’s. He was
broader, taller, more massive than
Jim, with the power of the outdoors,
“Yuh ain’t him, air yuh?” he de-
manded, a slow, eager hopefulness in
his voice.
Jim stared; then suddenly he thrust
out a hand and seized the work-hard-
ened fist of the other.
“Reckoned mebbe I might be a-git-
tin’ twisted in my head, sorta seein’
things,” the old man went on unstead-
ily. “I ain’t though. It’s yuh, aint
it, Two Barrel, like yuh was back in
’83 2,
“Charlie Wilson!” Jim answered
with firm conviction. “I am Two Bar-
el’s boy, Jim.”
For a long moment Charlie Wilson
and Two Barrel Marshall’s son stood
there looking straight into each oth-
er’s faces, their hands gripped. The
old man spoke first.
“Sonny, whar’s Two Barrel?” he
asked, his face softened with a flood
of memories, his voice wistful. “I
been a-waitin’ here fer nigh on t’
: forty years fer him t’ come back.”
“Gone,” Jim answered simply.
Charlie Wilson dropped the hand of
the other and shook his head slowly.
“Reckon it ware my fault,” he said.
“I done lost that ’er address he give
me an’ I didn’t know whar he were.
“I rode into ’Frisco after him an’
me done cleaned up,.an’ I lived like
a king thar. Then when it ware gone,
I done some prospectin’ in Nevady;
then come back her t’ clean up agin.
Two Barrel waren’t here, nobuddy
waren’t here. Dream Gulch had done
played out.
“Sonny, I stayed here, think’ meb-
be Two Barrel ud come back.
a-lookin fer the lost ledge but I ain’t
found it yet. I reckoned it 'ud come,
{ though; then I aimed t’ go an’ find
Two Barrel, fer him and me ware
partners in Dream Gulch.”
it—in the east,” Jim said.
Charlie Wilson looked up again, his
eves bright.
“In Montaney ?” he asked. “Reck-
cned mebbe I'd head over thar some
time if I could git a grub stake.”
“Michigan,” Jim answered.
“Ain’t never heard much o’ gold
diggin’ thar,” Charlie Wilson mused;
then he grew silent.
Slowly he turned to his windlass,
and putting his strength to it, hoisted
the bucket of gravel.
With the load at the surface, he
carried it to the edge of the dump
and turned it over, watching it spread
out and roll down the slope. Then
he lowered the bucket into the shaft
while Jim stood by watching.
It seemed to Jim that the old man
had forgotten his presence, but he had
not. The bucket down, he made a
hitch in the rope so that the wind-
lass could not unwind; then he faced
the younger man.
“I been a-puzzlin’,” he said. There
was much of the softness of tone that
comes to one who has lived in the
solitudes in his voice. “I been a-puz-
zlin’ like if Two Barrel ware gone
an’ yuh was his boy, yuh’d be having
his part of Dream Gulch.”
“I came out here to help find the
lost ledge,” Jim answered eagerly,
playing up to the other.
“Wall,” Charlie went on, “I done
prospected these here hills ‘till they
ain’t no place left much t’ prospect:
but we’ll make it. We can wash plac-
er from the diggin’s t’ grub stake us.”
“Is there still placer gold here?”
Jim asked, his blood firing as the fev-
er crept through him.
“It’s down deep—along bedrock—
twenty feet under some places,” Char-
lie explained. “It’s thar, though, lots
o’ it.”
“Why did the miners leave the
gulch then?” he wanted to know.
“The water got into the gravel and
they ain’t never been enough to work
the sluices since,” Charlie explained.
“The rich gold was took out; but they
is a mighty fine pay streak up the
gulch yit.”
“Couldn’t we put in a dam up at
the head of the gulch somewhere and
hold the spring water to wash the
gravel with?” Jim demanded, his en-
thusiasm growing.
Charlie shook his head sadly.
“That ’ud take a right smart sum
o’ money,” he said. “An’ it "ud be only
a chanct they was enough in thep ay
streak t’ make it back.”
“I’ve got some—a few thousand,”
Jim offered. “We'll go partners on
“Best do like I been a’doin’,” Char-
lie hesitated. “Summer times I been
a-lookin’ fer the ledge. Come fall
I been |
“Two Barrel made a strike and lost |
| hills with the harsh, discordant note
an’ winter, I pile out enough gravel
from the diggin’s t’ wash while the
spring thaw is on an’ they’s a flood
o’ water in the gulch. That-a-awy I
clean out enough t’ grub stake fer
the next summer. Only they’s times
when I git off’n the paystreak, an’
they ain’t much t’ clean up.” oy
Jim reached out his hand again,
suddenly, and took the other’ in a
firm grip. ;
“Charlie Wilson,” he said, “ you |
and I signed up as partners. We'll
make Dream Gulch pay. i
“And now, he added, “I’ve come a
long way today and I’ve seen a lot
and I've got a whale of an appetite.
Have you by chance got a cabin and
some grub that wants to be eaten?” |
“Sartin sure,” Charli~ grinned. “It’s
the same old cabin Two Barrel an’ me
built, an’ yuh can pile yer beddin’ on
Two Barrel’s bunk, Sonny.” |
There was ring in his voice and his
old eyes were kindly with the lights of
new fires as he visioned the future
and the new strike which was sure to |
come. |
Indian summer was passing and the '
nip of late fall was creeping over the
Coeur d’Alene when Jim came to
Dream Gulch so that there was no
time to be lost.
Charlie Wilson gave up his work
in the placer hole, and together the
two inspected the myriad of prospect
shafts, with which Charlie had pock-
marked the mouhtains about the
gulch in his search for the ledge.
They selected as the site for their
dam a narrow point in the gulch near
its head where some ancient slide had
almost closed the passage. i
This would make a reservoir of the
gulch itself to collect and hold the!
spring flood water for use in washing
their gravel throughout the year. A
concrete dam was essential to hold
a sufficient body of water; so Jim
went to Wallace and secured the serv-
ices of an engineer and a small crew
of men. Then he laid in the materials
and supplies enough to last through
the winter.
He and Charlie Wilson turned to
and worked as members of the crew,
rushing the dam with all possible
speed before freezing weather should
set in. For the first time in over for-
ty years Dream Gulch echoed to the
activities of industry and commercial
The word went about among old-
timers scattered through the hills and
the towns of North 1daho that a crazy
young fool was blowing his money in
Dream Gulch, and many there were
that fall and early winter who went in
to take a look at him and see what
he was doing.
Most of these had tried their hands
at washing gold in Dream Gulch, and
they shook their heads. i
“It won’t pay you,” Jim was told
more than once. “There’s only the
fine stuff left along bedrock, and you
can’t hold enough water to go down
after that.”
The glamor of it was in his blood
though, and Jim paid no attention. He
was not even regretful when he drew
a check for the last dollar of his in-
heritance. The dam was finished, and
was ready for the spring floods, and
Jim promised a cleanup for the next
And then about the time the dam
was finished the first trouble loomed.
The two rough, shifty-eyed miners
who had watched the movements of
Jim Marshall the day he first passed
through Thiad and we had estab-
lished themselves in the old deserted
town for the winter while they were
working at a prospect in the hills
back of the place had, on several oc-
' casions, come up the gulch to watch
, the progress of the dam building.
Instinctively Jim mistrusted them
and watched them carefully.
On one occasion, thougl:, when Jim
was making a final trip to Wallace
for the last of the winter’s supplies
just as the first snow was gathering,
the older of the pair, tnown as Hec
LeBioc, nailed him and asked him if
he would be able to bring his wife
and step-daughter out from town.
The idea of women wintering in the
ghostly city startled Jim, and he
showed it in his face.
“They’s others that’ll bring the old |
lady and gal out,” Hec growled.
Don’t know’s I want yuh mixin’ up
with my wimmin folks anyhow.”
“It wasn’t that,” Jim assured him. '
“It was only the idea of women stay- |
ing jn Dream Gulch through a win- |
“That’s my business,” Hee snapped. |
“They’l take care of themselves.” !
So in Wallace Jim called for Mrs. ;
LeBloc and her daughter. The moth- |
er was a rather ordinary type of hill- |
woman who had toiled ail her life
and received the hard knocks of a
rather hit and miss existence with
the stolid indifference of her race.
Her face still showed the traces of a
faded beauty, and she was friendly
toward Jim.
But the daughter, Vera Jarvis, was
When Jim saw her, he was glad
that she was not the daughter of Hee
LeBloe, while his resentment was
aroused that she should even be com-
pelled to come in contact with men
like LeBloc and his partner.
She was a slim, little creature with
wide, round blue eyes that were like
something Jim had seen in the hills
—the far-away azure of the peaks
along the Coeur d’Alene range after
the sun had set. There was about her
a timid, shy wildness; she was like a
fawn that is startled—yet is unafraid.
Jim stared frankly as he held out
his hand to her.
“I'm mighty glad to meet you, Miss
Jarvis,” he said, when Mrs. LeBloc
had spoken the girl’s name.
“She’s like me,” Mrs. LeBloe had
added with ill-concealed pride. “Pur-
ty. Winkie Dunning’s crazy over her.
Shouldn’t be s’prized they’d be a wed-
din’, come spring.”
The girl flushed painfully, but said
nothing. Jim winced. Winkie was
the younger partner of Hee LeBloc
and the more cunning of the two from
what Jim had observed.
Vera sat silent beside Jim in the
front seat of the car as he made the
return trip to Dream Gulch. Mrs. Le-
Bloc was in the back seat with sup-
plies piled high about her.
It had turned. bitter cold and al-
ready, higher up in the mountains,
there was a blanket of snow on the
i when he should do nhysical battle
work of digging out the gravel,
ground. This made traveling peril- |
ous, and several times as they went
up over the divide, the car made dan-
gerous slips which almost precipitated
it over the grade. Once Mrs.
Bloc screamed and tried to plunge
from the car, but the girl sat still,
her face white but her small hands
held steadily in her lap.
“Does it scare you?” Jim asked
“Not—much,” she answered with-
out looking at him.
At another time when Jim saved
them from death only by a miralce,
he smiled down at her reassuringly,
and she looked up at him, her blue !
eyes wide with excitment.
“I wish I could drive a car—like
that,” she said. Her voice was low,
“T’ll teach you!” Jim promised.
When at last they came to Thiad,
and the men piled out to meet them,
Jim felt his resentment growing at
their familiarity with the girl.
Winkie Dunning came up close to
“Got a kiss fer me, kid?” he de-
manded crudely, and Jim wanted to
strike him. But the next instant his
heart bounded with joy. The girl was |
looking at Winkie steadily out of |
calm, level eyes.
“Don’t you ever touch me!”
“Oh, ho! Little spitfire” he laughed |
coarsely. “We'll see, cutie!”
There was a sudden glint of fire In
her eyes which reassured Jim. As he
drove on up the gulch to Charlie Wil-
son, his mind was picturing the time
she |
with Winkie Dunning.
Winter came that night and for
five months Dream Gulch, with its
queer little assortment of settlers, the
two men and two women hibernating
in the best of the old buildings at
Thiad and the two men three miles
up the gulch at Charlie Wilson’s cab-
in, was locked up like an old mine
shaft, shut away from the outside
The snow fell steadily for a week,
filling the gulch until the dump piles
and the mine shafts and the old build-
ings were hidden beneath a level
blanket, the trees bent under their
The snow was an omen of good
luck, though, to Jim Marshall and his
old partner, for it meant there would |
be plenty of water with the first gen-
eral thaw and their reservoir would
be filled.
As the weeks passed, Jim absorbed
that slow, unquenchable spirit which
fired his partner, the gold fever of
the prospector whose life is the fu-
ture when he shall make his strike.
His body ached and his blistered
hands had smarted those first few
weeks. But he had come to be as hard
as nails, able to stand the strain of
steady labor longer than Charlie Wil-
son, whose strength and endurance
he had envied and marveled at in the
They were great partners, those
two, and were accomplishing wonders
with their work. In the diggin’s
along the gulch they were following
bedrock and piling up so much gravel
that they knew when the water came
they would have enough to make a
big cleanup. Then they would be re-
warded for their labor, when Dream
Gulch paid.
When the first hard freeze came,
and the snow formed a crust that
would hold Jim’s weight, he put on
the crude bear’s paw snowshoes which
Charlie fashioned from strips of a
buck’s hide and twisted willows, and
Sramped the three miles down to Thi-
aa. i
He found the people there fairly
comfortable in a mud-chinked cabin
but the reception he got was not of
the warmest. The girl, Vera, greeted
him with shy friendliness in the pres-
ence of the others, while Winkie Dun- |
ning, who evidently had made small |
progress in his love-making, showed '
open hostility, sneering at him as an |
Eastern dude come there to mix in
other people’s affairs.
Jim held his tongue, but his visit
was short, and he went back to his
Aonther time, unable to stay away
from Thiad, he started out but came
on Vera in the gulch, half-way be-
tween the two places. She was stand-
ing on a knoll of snow which marked
the presence of an old cabin beneath
her and was gazing across the guich
up into the mountains. She was
wearing bear’s paw snowshoes like his
own. From under a red, woolly tam
peeped the fringe of her rich chest-
nut brown hair.
Jim watched her for a time, his
pulse quickened. The cold winter sun
glinting over the snow caught and
tangled in a stray lock of her hair
and brought out the rich red gold in
it. In her sweater and slim fitting
khakis she was an elfin of the winter
—a sprite of the big woods and the
“Y00-hoo-00!” he called softly.
She turned quickly, swift alarm on
her round face, as a timid creature of
the hills would turn, ready for instant
flight. Then she saw Jim and smiled,
waiting for him to come up to her
like things of the wild do when their
mates come to woo.
“Vera!” he said, his voice vibrant
with an awakening emotion as he
looked deep into the blue depths of
her eyes. They were soft and sub-
missive now as he had seen the eyes
of deer when they came up close to
his cabin in the early morning. He
reached his hands out and for a mo-
ment she put hers in them trustingly.
“Vera!” he whispered again.
“I was coming to find you—Jim,”
she said, dropping her hands to her
sides. And Jim saw then that her
face was clouded with worry. “They
are going to jump your claims and
take the work you have done. I
heard them planning. They recorded
the claims just before snow came.”
“But Charlie Wilson has those
claims!” Jim exclaimed. “They can’t
do that.”
“He has just been working the
prospects without recording the
claims, never thinking anyone else
would come in here,” Vera answered.
“I heard Hec and Winkie talking it
over, and they looked it up. They
think you are making a rick strike.
Oh, what can you do! I-—I tried to
tell you when you were there at our
place, but Winkie watched me all the
time. He says he will kill you. And
if they knew I was here with you,
they would kill me now.”
Jim’s lean jaw squared, and his
hard fists knotted.
“The dirty skunks!” he said “I'll go
down there and drive them from that
place like I would rattlesnakes!”
He meant it, too. If Charlie Wil-
son had seen him then he would have
known that Two Barrel Marshall was:
alive again in this son. But Vera Jar-
vis laid a small, firm hand on his arm
and looked up into his face.
“Please!” she said. “They would on-
ly kill you. I know them. Mother
will help us if I tell her. They are
afraid of her.”
“I was not thinking of the claims,”
Jim answered. “I was thinking of
you.” ‘
“Jim—don’t!” :
Slowly the tenseness went out of
his face and his muscles relaxed. “I
wanted you to know and he prepared.
But I must go now, before they fol-
low me and find me out.”
Jim did not try to go with her. He
stood there watching her as she went
over the snow, walking easily, swing-
ing her bear’s paws deftly across the
crust. And just as she vanished
| among the trees, she turned and she
waved to him.
When Jim told Charlie Wilson of
the impending danger, the old veter-
an sat silent for several minutes, gaz-
ing into the embers of the fire. Then
he stood up to his great height, his
broad old shoulders squared, his face
“They hanged gold robbers in this
place,” he said ominously. “Two Bar-
rel Marshall ware judge o’ the court
which hanged ’em down at Thiad.
They’ll be no gold robbers here while
Charlie Wilson an’ Two Barrel's boy
is able t’fight.
“The third rafter from the east,”
Jim said slowly. “I saw it, Charlie.
The knots of the rope are still there,”
He was silent, then, for a moment,
like Charlie. Then he said, as though
he were speaking to himself:
“Gold fever. Mad hate and blood—
and love! Dream Gulch had ’em and
they’re still here!”
Charlie Wilson had taken his old
muzzle loading rifle down from its
pegs above the door and was care-
fully cleaning, oiling, and adjusting
it, making ready for an emergency.
. The partners worked steadily in the
iggings after that, taking out more
and more of the bedrock gravel, and
stored it ready to wash. Everything
depended upon these operations as
they had invested everything thy had
in them.
They were constantly watching:
for the first hostile move on the part
of their enemies down the gulch, but
as the weeks advanced through the
winter and into the first mild weather
of spring the two men at Thiad gave
‘no sign.
“Reckon they’s apt to be some bad
slides when the thaw starts,” Charlie
told Jim, looking up into the hills
where the snow was drifted in great
But Jim was more concerned about
the dam in which their nioney was in-
“If a chinook strikes the gulch and
takes that snow out the way you say
those chinooks act in a few days the
dam is liable to break,” he worried.
But the thaw was gentle and slow,
when it did come, and almost before
they realized that winter was gone,
; Spring had come. The great reservoir
behind the concrete bulwark of the
aam began to fill, and finally the wat-
er had raised until it spilled over the:
Jim and Charlie then turned to the
sluices and began to work on the
great cleanup.
And that was the time Hee Le-
. Bloc and Winkie chose te make their
| raid.
One afternoon as Jim and Charlie
worked in the sluices, the two men;
appeared suddenly above them with
rifles in their hands.
“We got these claims staked an’ the
records on ’em,” Hee LeBloe an-
nounced withQut preliminaries, “You
birds move out o’ here, an’ be fast
about it!”
Jim dropped his shovel and leaped
from the gravel pit straight at the
throat of the speaker.
“Ill get you, you thieving claim-
He gritted his teeth! his face was
terrible to see. Charlie Wilson was
only a second behind him, driving his
heavy old frame toward the younger
of the two invaders, who stood with
rifle ready.
Both of tbe claim-jumpers fired,
point blank at the men. Jim was so
close upon Hec and his movements
had been so sudden that Hee’s shot
went wild. Before he could draw the
rifle back and use it as a club to beat
off his assailant, Jim struck him a
stunning blow in the face and had his
fingers in his coarse neck. The rifle
flew from Hec’s grips and the two:
went down fighting.
Winkie had more time though, and
his shot grazed Charlie’s skull, Char-
lie fell stunned, and Winkie leveled
his rifle for another shot at the old
The picture flashed across Jim’s
vision as he struggled with Hec, and
he rolled toward Winkie, bringing his
own assailant with him. As Winkie
fired Jim’s heavily booted foot went
out and caught him on the shin with
such a blow that he cursed with the
pain of it. The rifle ball went harm-
lessly over Charlie Wilson, and the
next Jim knew, Winkie was on top of
him, beating him in a mad, wild fury
of anger.
It was an uneven battle with the
two on him, but Jim fought with the
last ounce of his strength to hold his
fingers in the jugular vein in Hee Le-
Bloe’s neck.
While Winkie struck at him with
corded fists, kicked him with heavy
niiner’s boots and trampled over him,
Jim kept that hold. The blood was
streaming from the wounds in his
face and body, and he was blinded,
beaten almost insensible—yet his fin-
gers held their grip.
Then slowly he felt Hee’s struggles
lessen, and as he slipped into uncon-
sciousness and the grip of his fingers
slackened, he knew that Hec LeBloc,
too, was unconscious.
(Continued on Page 6, Col. 1)