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there are many dangerous rocks and shoals. below; the other half stuck on the rock Its changes are very abrupt. The writer, with a woman holding on to it. It was when he had entered this river, took down an hour before she could be rescued, durhis sail, shipped his oars, drew a long breath ing which time the cold water was conof relief, and supposed that all danger was tinually sweeping over her. When respast and nothing remained but to drift cued, she was more dead than alive. swiftly and quietly down to his destination. On this same journey, just below the He wasrudely awakened from this delusion. Little Salmon River, I saw, some distance There was a sharp bend some distance ahead, an immense pile of driftwood that ahead, where the river turned and flowed had lodged against an island. On top of for several miles in an almost opposite this drift a man was sitting with his arms direction. On approaching this bend an folded over his breast, despondently gazominous roar some distance beyond gave ing down into the surging waters. Lookwarning of another peril. On turning the ing down I saw the corner of a scow bend, an immense rock, the jagged end sticking out from beneath the drift. He of which protruded about a foot above had lost all, including two horses and the the water, stood nearly in the middle of goods which at great expense and with the stream a few hundred yards below. much toil he had brought over Chilcoot A few short, hard strokes with the oars Pass, down the lakes and rivers, past carried the boat to one side and out of Miles Cañon, White Horse Rapids, and danger; but for a half mile or more the through the treacherous Thirty Mile River, right bank of the river was literally only to be drawn under a drift in the Yukon strewn with wrecked boats and their con- and lose everything. tents. It is said that twenty-eight boats No one can consider himself safe until were wrecked on this rock in three days, he has reached the end of his journey and and many thousands of dollars worth of has his boat tied fast to the shore. In one goods lost or ruined. One boat, containing instance a man had reached Dawson City, two men and two women, struck the rock and in endeavoring to land opposite the and broke in two, one half going on down city was drawn under a scow and barely the river with one woman and two men escaped with his life. All these risks one clinging to its sides, who were picked up might afford to take if there were any
good reason to expect success. But not five per cent of the value of the miner's one out of a hundred will succeed. There outfit. To arrive at the valuation, a are a few claims in the Klondike district, blank must be filled out with the aid of a the riches of which have never been over- broker who charges five or ten dollars for stated; but there is not a claim within about fifteen minutes' work. The Canadian sixty miles in any direction from Dawson government reserves absolutely to itself City, supposed to be worth anything, which half of the gold-bearing ground discovered, is not already staked and recorded. About and leases to miners the other half, limall the streams within the gold belt, trib- iting each miner to 250 feet, except the utary to the Yukon, have been pretty well first discoverer, who may take 500 feet. It prospected. It should be borne in mind then charges an annual rental of fifteen that for twenty years men have been dollars and a royalty of ten per cent of scouring through that country in search all gold taken out above the first $2,500. of gold, and, until the Klondike discover- If the mine yields $200 per day or more, ies were made, nothing of special value the royalty is twenty per cent. had been found. Last year all the streams It was openly charged by many miners swarmed with prospectors, and more pro- and newspapers published in Dawson City specting was done than in all past years that any person not on the inside » with put together, but no finds of importance the government officials stood a very poor have been reported.
chance indeed of having his claim recorded, Prospecting is exceedingly slow and la- if it were supposed in the recorder's office borious. No one can have any conception that said claim was of any special value. of its hardships unless he has himself tried The refusal was generally based on the it. The roughest, rockiest country imag- ground that the claim had already been inable; spongy moss soaked with water recorded. The miner had no means of under your feet; millions of mosquitos knowing whether this was true or not, and swarming about your head and making consequently had no redress. life wretched; a heavy pack on your back, Another extortion was effected by the and a heavy load on your heart,—these authorities selling the riverfrontat Dawson are some of the tribulations of prospecting on the Yukon. The ground which is supposed to contain the muchsought gold has to be thawed out by slow degrees down, through twenty to forty feet of frozen earth, to bed rock. While the heat above ground may be torrid, you have but to strip off the moss
anywhere to find ground which has been City to Alexander McDonald.
The price frozen hard for perhaps ten thousand is said to have been one dollar a foot. Mcyears.
Donald charged every boat that occupied While every physical condition in that any part of the river front from four country is disheartening, some of the con- to ten dollars per month for each foot. ditions imposed on the prospector by the One man who reached Dawson with a Canadian government seem still less en- large scow put up a tent on his scow for durable. The very first man one meets a residence. He occupied twelve feet of after crossing the Canadian frontier is a the river front, and paid forty-eight dolrevenue officer, who exacts a tax of twenty- lars per month for this precious privilege.
The government land agent has sold to If a man is up in the mines his miner's the sawmill companies all the live timber license gives him the right to cut wood on the Yukon for more than a hundred and logs for his own private use in minmiles up the river. Any one needing logs ing, but for no other purpose. There is to whip-saw into lumber or to build a a vast region of country, known as the cabin was obliged to see the sawmill-man. British Northwest Territory, which holds I went personally to the crown land agent more timber than will be used in a thouand asked him what arrangements could sand years, more fish and game than will be made to cut and bring down dry wood be caught or killed while the timber for commercial purposes. He said that lasts. Any one going into that country
has no right to cut wood for any purpose, or to kill any game or catch any fish, without a license, for which a fee of ten dollars must be paid. With such a license it is unlawful to sell a stick of wood for any purpose, or a pound of fish or game. The law is strictly enforced. To do anything, one must have a special permit, and for every such permit he must
pay roundly. An no such arrangement could be made anecdote which went the rounds among through that office; that all the dry wood the miners will serve to show the situafor a hundred miles up the river, includ- tion as seen by them. It was said that ing the drifts, were sold to two firms, and a miner, being sick in the hospital, any negotiation of the kind I desired would was informed that he must die. Being have to be made with one or the other of asked whether he wished to see any those firms.
one, he said: “Send for Major Walsh.” One cannot live through a winter in On being asked what he wanted with that country without a cabin and firewood Major Walsh he replied: "I haven't any to keep it warm, yet the prospector must permit, and if I should undertake to die get his logs and wood through the saw- without a permit I should get myself armill companies or the firewood firms, rested.” or freeze to death. I went to one of It is doubtful whether there is a place these firms, and the best arrangement I on the continent where living is more excould make was that they would allow pensive than at Dawson City. A letter me seven dollars a cord for cutting and recently received from there says: rafting wood down to Dawson City. The
"We leased a lot 25 by 70 feet for $150 a price they are said to have paid the government was fifty cents a cord. Last
month, and put up a building 25 feet by 44, two
stories, with eight rooms upstairs. winter the price for wood in Dawson City
$50 a month for each room, or $400 a month for ranged from $50 to $75 a cord, while it
all. Then we get $200 a month for one half of cost them not to exceed $10 delivered at
the downstairs rooms, making $600 a month Dawson City. One can have a pretty , rent, besides a room 12 by 44 feet for our goods. » clear idea of the bonanza these monopolies are creating for the benefit of the few Walking down the street one day I at the expense of the many.
noticed a scale of prices on a bulletin
Fresh newspapers from the United States sold at a dollar each, and at that price were all taken so quickly that one stood but little show of getting one. If a newspaper reading was announced, the reader would have an audience which in size and attentiveness would be complimentary to any orator. News was eagerly sought during the war with Spain. The most exaggerated versions of events sometimes reached the miners. When the trouble between Dewey and the German admiral took place, the news of it reached Dawson in this form: “A German warship had been for some time spying upon the movements of the American vessels and disregarding the American blockade of the port of Manila. Dewey, tiring of the annoyance, fired a shot across the bow of a German vessel and demanded to know whether Germany
was at peace or
war with the United States. The German warship fired upon the American ship, whereupon the American answered with a broadside which sent the German to the bottom. The Russian officer in port steamed over to the German admiral and placed himself at the command of the German, while the English warships lined up with the Americans. At this critical moment the German asked for twenty-four hours in which to confer with the home government, but the outlook was that a general war would follow with Spain, Germany, France, and Russia on one side, and the United States, England, and probably Japan on the other. If a recruiting officer had been present at that time he would have had no trouble in enlisting five thousand men.
For whatever reasons one may go to the Klondike the best way out is by way of St: Michael's. We left Dawson City on the 11th of August, on the steamer “Cudahy.” In five days and nineteen hours we had run down to the mouth of the Yukon and on the Behring Sea to St. Michael's, a distance of 1,700 miles. We spent four days there, waiting for the “Roanoke » to sail. On that good craft we had a delightful run of 3,000 miles down Behring Sea and the Pacific Ocean, reaching Seattle in eight days.
W. DUDLEY MABRY.
THE GREAT THUNDER-BIRD MYSTERY
ROSPECTORS who have searched for gold in the far Northwest have re
ceived from the lips of the Indians strange allusions to a mysterious Thunderbird. But, unless they take a peculiar fancy to a white man, the Indians are reticent regarding their myth, and much remains untold. Still, enough has been ascertained to furnish a pretty accurate idea regarding the Thunder-bird, and the Klale Tah-mah-na-wis, Black Magic, or Thunder-bird performance.*
The tribes of Washington and elsewhere along the north Pacific coast believe that thunder is produced by an immense bird. Its body is covered by a cloud. The flapping of its wings makes
the noise; the bolts of fire sent out of its mouth to kill the whale, its food, are the lightning
The Makahs and some others invest the bird with a twofold character, human and birdlike. According to these people the being is a gigantic Indian, called in the various dialects Kakaitch, T'hlu-kluts, and Tu-tutsh, the latter being the Nootkan term. He lives in the highest mountains, and his diet is whales. When he wishes to eat he dons a great garment composed of a bird's head, a pair of large wings, and a feather body. Around his waist he fastens the lightning fish,” or killer whale, which slightly resembles a seahorse. This animal has a head as sharp as a knife, and when the Thunder-bird sees a whale he darts the lightning fish » into its back. Then he seizes his prey
* The legends here given were derived from a prospector and hunter who has spent much of his life among the Indians of the Northwest Coast.
and carries it to his home. Occasionally with his lightning fish” he strikes a tree, and sometimes a man, but this is done merely in a spirit of playfulness.
Among the Chehalis and Chinook Indians the Thunder-bird legend is as fol
that he will send the Thunder-bird to make thunder and lightning. A thunderstorm is rare in this district, but when it occurs the Indians attribute it to the disobedience of some girl.
Anything that is supposed to have been touched or possessed by the Thunder-bird has supernatural value in the eyes of the coast Indians. It is claimed that a Makah, who had been very ill, was reduced to a skeleton, and was considered past recovery. One day he managed to crawl to a brook near by. While there he heard a rustling which so frightened him that he hid his face in his blanket. ing out he saw a raven not far away, apparently endeavoring to eject an object from its throat. According to this Indian the bird got rid of a bone about three inches long. The Makah secured this, believing it to be a bone of the Thunderbird. He was assured by the medicinemen that it was a medicine sent him by his Tah-mah-na-wis, or 'guardian spirit, to cure him. It is a fact that the patient rapidly grew better, and soon was entirely well, - probably the result of his imagination.
A Quinaiult Indian professes to have obtained a feather from the Thunder-bird.
HAIDA IDEA OF THE THUNDER-BIRD (Sketched the Ta toed Totem on a Haida Chief.)
lows, in the words of an old Chinook chief:
«Years ago an old man named Too-lux, who was the south wind, was travelling north, and met an old woman named Quootshooi, who was an ogress or giantess. He asked her for food, and she gave him a net, telling him she had nothing to eat and that he must try for fish. He succeeded in trapping a little whale or grampus.
He was about to cut it when the old woman cried out to him to use a sharp shell instead of a knife, and to split the fish down the back. Not heeding what she said he cut the fish across the side, and was taking off a slice of blubber, when the fish immediately changed to a great bird, which in flying completely obscured the sky and with its wings shook the earth.
« This Thunder-bird flew to the north, and alighted on the top of saddleback mountain near the Columbia River. Here it laid many eggs, a whole pest full. The old woman followed and began to break the eggs and eat them. From these sprang the first of mankind, or at least the Chehalis and Chinook tribes. Returning, the Thunder-bird, termed by the narrators Hahness, found the eggs broken; and now regularly the bird and Toolux, the south wind, go forth in search of the old woman.”
In the Sound region the Indians affirm that a young girl, just reaching womanhood, during a certain month must not go out of doors if the southwest wind is blowing. If she does, the wind is so offended
He says he saw the bird alight, and, creeping softly up, he tied to one of its feathers a buckskin string, and fastened the other end to a stump. When the Thunder-bird flew away, it left the feather, which was forty fathoms long! No other Indian has ever seen the feather, for the