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foldently appearearound inside and
boy med'cine Leagan, you sabe papier cattle in othene parts of this the un paper, you no 1o Hollista, you giva was in grains and all the valleountry
"Well, that's too bad, Jim. Is there luxuriously rolling his much-chewed anythin' I can do fer yuh ?”
cigar to the opposite side of his "Oh, Mist' Leagan, you go Hollista' mouth, removed it, spat caim and eloyou gettee l’il China med'cine?” quent forbearance of my total lack of
"Well no, I'm not goin' but the boy comprehension, and with ready candor is and he'll get yuh what yuh need.” admitted that p'raps it might do some
"You no go, Mist' Leagan?". good if he told me Jim's story and so
"That's all right Jim, you tell me began. what yuh want and I'll see to it yuh "Yuh see, Jim's alwa's lived here get it."
and alwa's been called 'Poison Jim,' "Aw li', me fixum li'l paper, you and how come he got that name was gettee med'cine, China med'cine." like this:
So he shuffled around inside and “ 'Bout forty years back they was presently appeared with a much sheep in some parts of this country, folded bit of brown wrapping paper. cattle in others and all the valley land
"Oh, Misť Leagan, you sabe China was in grain, solid stuff miles of it, boy med'cine man Hollista, you giv- pretty say to look out over thousands
of acres of it on a mornin' when the He showed plainly his reluctance sun was jes turnin' the heads, and to relinquish the paper until given the mountain breeze was makin' it additional assurance that the errand wave like the little ripples yuh see on would be faithfully executed, and I Monterey Bay when it's good fishin' appreciated the gentleness and under- yuh know, say it jes made yuh feel standing when the Old Timer patient- good. ly replied: "I sabe the feller, Jim, and “It was a happy place to live in 'course I won't lose it. Good bye Jim.” them days, they was Spanish ranch
We started away, but before we had eros here and there, and they'd have reached the stile Jim shouted: “Oh, barbecues and dances, fandangoes Mist' Leagan come, you come."
they called 'em, and I can remember We both went back and this time on their fiesta days the ranch owners Jim came out of the shack. “Oh, Mist ridin' in to town on big black horses, Leagan me forglet China boy no home their vaqueros on their ponies cuttin' today. Gimmee paper, Fliday he didoes and shown' off before the home, you come Fliday Misť Lea- women folks who'd be in the surreys gan?”
and carryalls, and then the weddins' “All right, Jim, all right.”
they'd have, days of feastin' and good “Poor duffer," said the Old Timer, times from one ranchero to another. as we went out to the machine, "he Then in harvest time they all got in was afraid I'd lose that note or the and helped each other 'stead of cutboy'd forget the medicine, and that's tin' throats like they do nowadays, and the only excuse he could think of to they'd make a fiesta out of the harget it back. Oh, well, I'll come again vest. Friday.”
"Then the Indians would come I thought and said as much, em- stragglin' back to town from the phatically, that a quarrelous old ranches where they worked; they had heathen seemed to expect people to go a reg'lar village down where Fourth to considerable trouble to dance at- Street is now, and they'd store the tendance on one who would not be grain and stuff that served as wages, generally considered exactly in a posi- in the old Mission buildin' here and tion to command attention, and why some of 'em worked 'round the Misdid he propose returning Friday when sion and so on. he knew it was only anxiety over the “Oh, it used to be more like livin' note's safety that prompted Jim to call them days. us back.
"Now I was goin' to tell yuh how The Old Timer paused in the act of 'Poison Jim' got that name wasn't I?
id as much old tamte lar vibw, and thered as one and Frid thought quareople to eo Street is not with that
trouble to dannet be grain and as Mission buildin
"Well, it seems he had more luck the whole town turned out, Indians, than anyone else 'round here mixin' dogs and all to witness what was poisoned grain to kill off ground prob’ly the queerest procession ever squirrels. Them Chinese have more up seen in San Juan. their sleeves 'bout everythin' than we "It was 'Poison Jim' leadin' ninety know anyway, so Jim earned a pretty or a hundred Chinamen he'd corralled good livin' poisin' squirrels. That is over near Monterey somewheres, they how he got the name of 'Poison Jim.' was crab fishin' or somethin'-I've
"Then one spring came the mustard forgot now what it was, and he'd and it seemed to spring up over night brought 'em over here to clean up the all over the valley, and it began to mustard. Well Jim marches 'em out to look bad for the grain.
the nearest ranchero, dumps all their “These old Spaniards didn't use to stuff in an old corral and there they be savin', they lived along in as much camped and rested that day. comfort as they could and generally “The next mornin' they went at it, without any thought for the morrow, and what d'ye think they was doin'? 'manana,' as they called it, except as "Cuttin' off the heads of the musa time to do what they didn't want to tard and carryin' them to a sort of cendo today.
tral place they'd cleared off in the "So this mustard had 'em worryin,' field, and when they finished one field some called it a sort of a visitation they'd take all the mustard to the and others argued 'bout a story they'd corral they was campin' in and spread heard that the fathers goin' on foot it out to dry, then on to the next field from one Mission to another had scat- and so on. tered the mustard seed along the "Well, they worked along like trails so they could find their way troopers, and when they got through easier next year, and some of it had there wasn't any mustard left in this blowed over this way and got a start. whole valley, 'course the crop was
"Well, when it looked like this gone for that year, but the mustard mustard was goin' to mean ruin to so couldn't get a start next year 'cause many it was old 'Poison Jim' that the seed was gone, so the ranchers stepped to the front, first off he was all satisfied. seemed mildly surprised when the "Now I s'pose you'll wonder what folks didn't do somethin' to rid the Jim wanted with all that seed. Well, mustard off'n the land and then one sir, them Chinamen turned in with day he learned that they didn't know hand flails and flailed the seed out of how. Bright and early the next the pods, and sacked it up and stored mornin' Jim climbs onto a pinto horse it away and then one mornin' we woke he'd got from an Indian here in town, up to find that we had only one Chinaand started makin' the rounds of the man in town again, our 'Poison Jim.' rancheros.
"Yuh know some people say all the "By sometime the next day Jim had Chinese race, now what d'ye call it, seen all the ranchers and got their les see, syck or sickic, what do you consent to his cleanin' up their fields call it now, huh? Oh, yes, phsycic, in his own way. He asked them all if that's the word, well they say they he could have all the mustard seed. know things ahead of time anywayWell, the ranchers didn't know now I never did take much stock in whether he was crazy or they was, that sort of thing, but jes the same I when they heard that kind of talk, but had a feelin' all along that Jim knew they all says 'Go ahead, and pleese what he was doin' and he sure must Jeem go queek.'
have, for that fall, one day in October, “The next day Jim had disappeared I brought a man in in my stage, a and the ranchers did some tall specu- Frenchman he was, who was in the latin' on his whereabouts and prob’le condiment business in South Africaplans, until a little over a week later made peppers and mustard and things
Jim Tho couldntor that course the
into condiment. He had come all the confessed and had to put up another way from Africa to California to look as a penance. for mustard, because the crop had "Father Ubeck, he's the one defailed down there, mustard crop failed scribed in 'Ramona' as the priest who mind yuh, and landin' in San Fran- married Ramona. Well sir, he had a cisco some one told him they'd heard use for that cross I bet yuh never about some mustard bein' threshed heard of; yuh know he'd see Indians down here and here he was. Can yuh setten' 'round the Mission or somebeat that, huh?
wheres, as all young folks will, yuh “Well, the long and short of it is, I know, huh. Well he'd summon 'em betook him to ‘Poison Jim' and believe fore him and talk to 'em nice about me, young man, Jim drove the all- the sacredness of love and the marfiredest bargain I ever heard of. He ried state and all that, and then send got thirty-three thousand dollars from 'em on a jaunt to this cross to sort of, that poor misguided Frenchie, who meditate, yuh know. started movin' the mustard right “Yuh see, they's a spring half way away. I met a man once who saw it up, see that level space up there? on the docks at Panama. They must Well, very few of 'em got clean to have packed it 'cross country down the top, they knew what to expect there.
when they got back anyway, so they'd "Jim bought the little ranch yuh jes go back and Father Ubeck'd marry saw jes now and started raisin' flax, 'em, get the idear? all that money didn't seem to bother “So now things looked pretty blue him any; he jes come and went 'bout and the ones that suffered the most his business like he alwa's done, but were the poor whites and the Inthat deal was the talk of the whole dians right here in town who had no country for a good long while. work and no money and soon nothing
"Things went along 'bout as usual to eat. for several years and then gradually “Down in the Indian village condithings seemed to go 'topsy-turvy', tions was awful, they was beginnin' first there were the two dry years and to get sick and die off—God! I've then the few things that did get above seen little babies at the squaws breasts the ground burned up with the hot stiffen out and the squaws fall over winds, and grain was a total loss. with weakness—tryin' to dig the lit
"Then the sheep and cattle that tle graves. were out in the hills on the thousands “Yuh know the Indians never was of acres of pasture were dyin' off in treated very elegant as yuh might say, bunches-no grazin' for 'em yuh their lives didn't amount to much know, so the owners banded together around here, 'specially with the early and sent droves of cattle and sheep settlers, but we did what we could into the mountains in charge of some and that didn't go far, so then the of the most trustworthy of the In- state took a hand and built a sort of dians.
poorhouse and hospital for 'em. “There were some of the old fel- “Now about fifteen years back there lows who argued that all this hard luck had been an epidemic of smallpox came on account of the burning of the with the Indians, and one of 'em, a cross on the hill yuh see over yonder, big buck, was bein' hauled out to be yuh see they's another one there now, buried. However, he didn't happen over there on that high hill to'ard ole to be dead, some sort of trance, I Gabilan.
s'pose and he came to and c!awin? "Well, the fathers had put it up his way out of the rags they wrap 'em there as a sort of inspiring object for in got his finger in his eye and lost the Indians, and one stormy night a the sight of it, so they called him herder had burned it to keep warm, 'One Eyed Jim.' and then being scared, came in and “And it so happened that this 'One
big back. Howeverne sort on the clawin
mat, afterwards thrin drunk. W bent for
sites, what have happened. plowin' his
Eyed Jim' and an ole squaw they never did have much use for that felcalled 'Cross Eyed Mary' for a very ler—who had been in town all night good reason, were the first to be taken playin' and drinkin'. Well I see him starvin' and sick to the new poor farm comin' on a wabbly run 'hell bent for and they died within a week there. election' and roarin' drunk. We found
"Well, sir, there wasn't another In- out afterwards that a greaser, a hired dian would go there, they thought d'ye man he was, on this rancher's place, see, that it was a new scheme to get had jes rode in to report that an old rid of the poor beggars and they'd Indian had run off with a pet sheep hide out, to keep from bein' sent there that belonged to the Spaniard's little and yuh can see that only added to girl—so the rancher hearin' of the their misery.
cause of the row in the Indian village, "Then came that day in October, a and his sheep, put two and two togethday I think I'll always remember, er and here he was comin' fightin' and I'd like to ferget it if I could mad and follered by his man Friday.
"One of the inspectors out to the “The inspector had gone into the poor farm had come into town and back lane by this time lookin for the gone down among the Indians to try sick, and if he'd been out where we and round up a few of the poor old was, what came out of that mess feeble ones and one or two that had might not have happened. fever bad, and the Indians were scared “The Spaniard came plowin' his of him, they were yellin' and dartin' way through the crowd that was in and out of their shacks, the squaws there by this time, roarin' in Spanish screamin' and dogs yelpin' so a lot of for the son of a dog that dared to steal us went down to see the ructions from him to come out, jes as the old
"A little before this there had been Indian who stole the sheep succeeded a general row in one of the bigger in gettin' rid of the ones who was shacks over a sheep one of the old fel- botherin' him, and shovin' the last one lers had swiped somewheres, and even through the door with a shove that then when I got there I could hear well nigh threw him — stood there in grunts and blows and see a buck come the doorway with the foreleg of a tearin' out with what was prob’ly a sheep in his hand. bigger piece of mutton than the owner “ 'It is he Senor! he is the one that thought was his share, and say it sure you seek' yells that little Mex to his was pitiful to see them poor devils employer, 'it is he.' go for the feller that had the meat “We was all watchin' the Spaniard, and try and tear a piece off while he we knew what was comin' all right, was holdin' it up over his head and I but yuh couldn't a'done anythin' never saw dogs go for anything like 'specially for an Indian in those days, them poor beggars did, runnin' and yuh know, well he didn't make any ado tryin' to shove it all in their mouths about it, - jes reached in under his to once.
coat they carried 'em under their arm "'Poison Jim' had come to town that pits, generally, and drew a long-barmornin' to see me about gettin' him relled army gun.” some new harness on my next trip out "Indian girl in the crowd screamed, and he follered me down to the rum- every one else was holdin' in, somepus and was standin' a little to one how in the face of things like that side, takin' it all in and his face was people get so still it gives yuh the as calm and steady like as a wood creeps and I recognized her as the old, statue. I remember thinkin' he didn't Indian's daughter, — she was holdin' have much of a heart, because that her baby in her arms—and straight as scene was kinda-well, yuh know, an arrow she went to that poor ald ugly.
feller standin' there, not quite under"I started over towards Jim when I standin' the things that was goin' on see a rancher, a Spaniard he was—I -jes as that gun roared!”
tryin poor beggene for anythin. and I
people hered I recognizeshe wasraight as
“That heavy slug hit the girl first, and leadin' a string of twelve freight turnin' her before she fell, and passed wagons each one with four hosses and through to her father and tore a hole a driver and in them wagons, Sir, was in his neck big as a dollar—they both fifteen thousands dollars worth of projes crumpled up and sank where they visions he'd bought in San Jose, 'bout stood, the baby rollin' to one side!” cleaned the town out, I reckon, well
"Then we saw what 'Poison Jim' old Jim went straight to that Indian was made of, the first sign of life in village and stopped.” that crowd came from him. He very "Our old 'Poison Jim' was about the quietly walked up, lookin' straight biggest thing in town that day, he'd ahead, and pickin' up the baby, went drive up to a shack and say to the into the shack and closed the door.” driver, ‘you leavem sack bacon, sack
"A few days later when that harness floua, sack corn, and so on to the next came for Jim, I took it down to that shack, and all through, not only the ranch of his but no one was home and Indian camp but the whole countrynobody knew where he was, so I side, wherever help was needed.” brought it up to the stable thinkin' "It was 'Poison Jim' and his money he'd show up in a few days."
that kept those who couldn't help "Well, sir, he sure did show up! themselves, goin' till the rains came Four days later I seen somethin' on and the cattle and sheep come back the road behind me comin' up from and the whole country came back to Sargent, but didn't see what it was itself, and since that time, it has 'till after I reached town and un- alwa's been our old 'Poison Jim' the hitched and I see it comin' up the road down and outs go to for help — and here."
they get it!" "And then I saw 'Poison Jim'-a “D'ye see, young man why I'm comin' along in a two-wheeled rig, goin' back there Friday?"
IN THE SUNSET'S GLOW
Let me watch the blushing river,
In the Sunset's crimson hue,
As I drift and dream with you.
With my oars both resting idly
Let me feel the twilight's grace,
Throws a halo on your face!
With that rosy light before me,
Painting every cloud I view;
WASHINGTON VAN DUSEN.