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POETS AND THINGS (Continued from Page 41) Meade Bland, of San Jose. Because he is a poet and a friend of poets, because he has given so much of inspiration to younger writers, his "Sierran Pan" deserves a wider distribution than its local printing may give it. There is in it the spirit of undying youth, a strength and beauty well worthy of Edwin Markham's introduction. The Poetry Editor would like to quote more at length, but -since it portrays the poet himselfgives only this:
Would'st thou be kind? delay not till the morrow;
For he who waits for kindness waits in
One of the most beautiful booklets which have come to the Poetry Editor is that unassuming little volume by Henrietta Crosby Penny, "Some California Memories." It is a group of eight sonnets, all written and published-in Overland and the Lyric West-in the last five years. And the volume is published "in commemoration of her ninetieth birthday." But here are no sonnets to "Death," no hint of gloom or decay. Leave that to the younger poets! Here is the breath of mountain loveliness, of youth upspringing to meet the dawn. And-O Critic!-let it be said that here is the sonnet in its purity of form, in all the dignity of its destined beauty. Younger poets who venture upon "sonnet variations" might well learn at the knee of this "young writer" of ninety
JOAQUIN MURIETA (Continued from Page 40) what impatiently. I was anxious to get it over with and be gone from the house forever. It resisted my every effort. I paused to consider. Could Joaquin have been lying and was the door locked, after all? I could see no key in the lock and made up my mind for another attempt. I stepped back and made a short running charge, a mode of attack which should have proved effective on anything as old and flimsy as this. It still opposed me and I drew back wiping the perspiration from my face.
I looked from the window and saw the sun shining on the opposite side of the road, but this house of evil, like some noxious plant, seemed always lurking in obscurity. All at once I felt again those malignant eyes upon me. Dark shapes, pregnant of still darker deeds, hovered around me. Uncanny forces were silently pitting themselves against my puny strength, none the less potent because unseen.
With an effort I shook off the depression which threatened to engulf me. I would not give in now, I could not. I am not a rich man and the jewels were worth a fortune. All it required was a little more effort on my part and they would be mine.
I gathered myself for another onslaught on the door, and as I did so I realized how futile any effort on my part would be. A mighty force was barring my way, and I, in all the pride of my boasted strength and manhood, was but a feeble thing against it.
As the realization of this came to me
Madrone to burn upon my fire! No, I became suddenly afraid. Afraid of
I would not stain my soul with such a crime; In spring, in summer and in autumn time,
the unknown; of the unseen shapes around me, which pressed so close I could almost feel them.
I took a hesitating step toward the door, and as I did so from all over the
I've seen these mountain trees in beauty house burst a wild, mad peal of de
moniacal laughter, whose savage force seemed to rock the place to its very foundations. I did not wait for more, but fled incontinently down the stairs away from the accursed spot, and am not ashamed to say that when I sprang on the back of my burro I was trembling violently with a thousand conflicting emotions in which terror, stark and sheer, predominated.
Brown paused while I revolved over and over in my mind the strange story. "Have you any explanation?" I ventured at last.
He shook his head. "Some things are beyond human explanation," he replied, "the more I think of them the more I realize that:
"There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamed of in our philosophy." B. G. Rousseau.
(Continued from Page 37) unseen by all excepting a few, and, as the nurse believes, it is this child, this "invisible judgment" that kills the great surgeon "at the very moment when he most wanted to live."
It is not only the most impressive, but the most complete of the seven tales, and its illustrations by Elenore Plaisted Abbott adds to its meaning. But all the rest of the seven will be read and talked about with deep seriousness. The last one, "Jordan's End," and the one entitled "A Point of Morals," are two that could easily have been developed into long mystery novels of the most approved type. The famous alienist of one of these tales sums it up by saying: "There is such a thing, my dear young lady, as a conscientious murderer." Sad beyond words, and still intensely human, is the story of the Blantons of the old "Whispering Leaves" plantation-the story of a forlorn little child and his old nurse, Mammy Rhody who comes back from the Beyond to care for her foster child and carries him out of the flames of the burning mansion.
The one tale out of the seven which this reviewer finds least to his mind is "Dare's Gift"-the account of an old home forever haunted by unspeakable
THE REAL HERO (Continued from Page 29) covered that the actor had eloped with his daughter. He was vowing vengeance as he made hasty preparation to rush in pursuit of the run-aways.
"I'm going to do the irate father act," said Tom to me, as he poured gas into his battered flivver. "If that actor man has eloped with my Betty, I'll break his silly head."
"I'll go with you," I offered, eager to deliver a few good rights myself. "I've got a grudge against that reel hero."
"Jump in," said the Boss. "If we're too late, I'll disinherit my girl. That would show Duval up in his true colors. It wasn't Betty he wanted, it was Circle Bar ranch."
I threw my lariat into the car and settled into the seat as Lawson shot across the lot into the lane leading to the National Highway. We hit the high places as we raced madly over the rough trail, bouncing and bumping, but putting the miles behind us.
"You were a fool, Bob, to let Duval get away with Betty," yelled Tom above the noise of the engine.
"I couldn't help it," I shouted back, immensely pleased that Lawson favored my courting. "I've asked Betty to marry me a dozen times."
"You're not telling me she refused you?"
"Just that; said she liked me well enough, but she didn't want to wed a
"Memories of the Russian Court," by Anna Viroubova has been ably handled by its publisher, and is now attracting the world-wide attention of reviewers. It tells with intense feeling and great literary skill the "inside facts" of life as it has been lived in Russia and Siberia during those terrible years. It gives readers a new and very attractive picture of the Empress. It touches our deeper feelings when it tells all that anyone now knows of the fate of the Emperor, Empress and their children. This brief word is only a foretaste of one of the most readable books of the whole year. (The MacMillan Co., $3.50 net).
cow-puncher. She has a notion she wants to live in the city."
"The foolish girl, she doesn't know a real man when she sees him."
When we reached the broad highway Tom stepped on the gas and the motor picked up to something like sixty miles an hour. We fairly flew, passing everything on the road with a noisy warning to give the way.
We slowed down at the first small town, to receive the information that a red car had stopped at the garage to take on gas. "Yes, a young man and a pretty girl were in the auto," they told us.
Tom swore and took the road again. "They're headed for Los Angeles," he growled. "Duval's car is some speeder, but this Lizzie is no slouch."
"If only they would stage a breakdown, or blow a tire," said I.
"No such luck."
"Surely they will stop to eat," said I hopefully. "That would give us an hour's gain on them."
The miles flew past like a bird in flight.
"Better telephone ahead and put an officer of the law onto them," I suggested as we bore down upon another cross-road hamlet.
"A good idea," said Tom. "There's my friend, Sheriff Jones, at Victorville. He'll be glad to do me a fair turn."
(Continued on Page 47)
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COMMUTER'S COMEDY (Continued from Page 18) hands she tore it open. It told the story of the husband having been found along the right of way near a small town in Ohio, a year before, where he had either leaped or fell from the train. It told how he had been taken to a local hospital, cared for, and nursed to health again and how the search had been constantly pursued to locate friends or relatives and at last his wandering mind had again grown strong enough to remember her name and the name of the City of San Francisco.
Four more years of struggle and saving and now the money had been sent again, that the family might be reunited.
It was a touching tale. I tried to cheer the girl a bit and sent her home and told her to tell the mother to wire at once to the little village from where he had started and to the Union Pacific officials at Omaha and to have the mother see me in the morning.
They came early. The mother told me of the telegrams she had sent and how impatiently they waited for a reply. Finally I called the telegraph office and asked to have the message sent to my office when it came. In thirty minutes it was there. It read: "The body of Henry S. found on right-of-way near Valley, Nebraska, Nov. 26. Remains at Undertaking Parlor, Omaha, Neb. Signed Claim Agent U. P. Railway."
The Travelers' Aid was called and the grief stricken woman was taken
When they returned a few hours later to talk to me the desire to have the husband and father with them once more had increased. Twelve years of time had cheated them of the right to have him in life. Were they to be denied the right to have his body even cold with death? They had no funds.
I promised to do all possible, and through the good offices of the General Baggage agent of the railroad company the body was sent to San Francisco without transportation cost.
On Christmas day a sad eyed child came to my office and laid a small handful of freshly picked roses on my desk, and thanked me again for herself and mother.
And so it goes-day after day-personal interests are injected into the life of the railroad-interests that are impossible to elude-the interests of humanity which are in reality the great pulse beats of railroad life and which the railroads have a reputation of meeting with marked courtesy and human consideration.
With us, here, it is a part of the day's work-helping others always the opportunity to help-then we forget-no,
not always, for sometimes after the day is done and we sit in silent retrospective mood our thoughts revert to scenes like this and we are glad-glad that our work to a very great extent is dealing with human problems and human interests and great are the opportunities our employment offers to try to be a friend. to all who need a friend. When the values of life are questioned I want to make reply one of its chief values is to take the measure of our own souls and demonstrate the result by our own actions.
SAN FRANCISCO, CAL.
HAT ISLAND--HOME OF BIRDS (Continued from Page 4) upon the ground near their nests they came down so heavily and so clumsily that often much of the contents of their stomachs was spi.led over every creature within reach.
The gulls are the great a'armists of the rookery. Day or night, it is never quiet on the island. The raucous screams, mewing cries and the strident "Ha, ha, ha!" or "Help, help, help!" or "Here,
here, here!" of the birds kept me continuously interested.
I have never heard any good reason for the establishment of a community existence by these three species of birds. The California gull is the arch enemy of the other two species. My own conviction is that the gull is the invader of the rookeries of these other birds, that no matter where the pelicans go the gulls hunt them and prey upon them and their chicks. The gull's best bet is a big pelican egg with its viable chick about to kick out of its shell-home-or the softly tinted greenish-blue egg of the heron in the same state. These marauders seize upon all eggs left unbrooded or unprotected, bite them in twain by a crushing snap of their strong yellow mandibles, gulp all contents—and perhaps in ten minutes this newly acquired forage is being regurgitated into the widely distended mouths of hungry gull chicks.
Lone adult herons make a daily flight to the mainland swamps and return, a distance of from 50 to 100 miles, depending upon the location of the waters in which they fish, feeding their chicks. but once in 24 hours. There appears to be no set time for meals with the heron chicks as there is with the peli
Mother and father pelicans often make 200-mile flights for food and serve their fish dinners to hungry chicks all in 24 hours. They tour as far north as Bear Lake, about 90 miles by air, and to Utah Lake, south about 75 miles as the birds fly. There are nearer fishing grounds than these lakes-yet none nearer the rookery than 50 miles for the round trip but these alkali and fresh waters do not furnish sufficient food at all times. So many hungry babies at home consume vast quantities of fish each day and the fish naturally must be caught before they may be served.
These canny Waltons rarely left the island in one big flock for the different fishing waters. Often only a mated pair at a time, then a half dozen more, and so on until virtually all the adult pelicans with chicks to feed had sailed away for an 8 to 12-hour stay on the mainland.
There never appeared to be any controversy concerning the direction they should go. I am sure these birds had favorite haunts which they visited frequently, almost daily, unless the supply of game became exhausted, when they went to other and farther places with other adult birds. Occasionally I observed hundreds take the air together in beautiful squadron formation. But experience had taught me that when they came within landing distance of the
mainland shores of alkali sloughs and the River Jordan, they broke up into small groups, each group going to its choice locality.
Mated pairs with no home duties to draw them nightly to the rookery, frequently staid away from the island over night, played and fished contentedly in the warm waters until they had eaten their fill, then sailed off high in the air apparently inspecting their surroundings carefully for nearby fishing grounds. Sometimes parents with half-grown chicks on the island will do this, knowing their babies no longer require brooding at night. Perhaps they may seek the quietude of far off places in order to get away from the smells and the noise and the uproar of the rookery—no one
Unmated males and females, those who have been bereft of their mates by natural causes or by being killed by thoughtless gunners, do not feed as ravenously or as often as do old birds who are daily employed in furnishing provender for the unfillable stomachs of one or more hungry chicks at home. They do not stay away from the island very long at a time because a pelican's innate demand for companionship taboos indulgence in such whims very often. Apparently he loves the contact of his kind, thereby exemplifying to a high degree his love of community association.
Many parents that have fed their youngsters during the early forenoon give themselves but an hour or two of rest and feather preparation before they start again for the mainland waters upon another foraging expedition. Frequently I watched them as they stood in big flocks on a tiny sandspit not far from my quarters, to all appearances non-communicative, with their necks extended and beaks with an upward tilt, seemingly scanning the dim, distant horizon, or peering off into the upper air currents for signs to guide them in their embarkation.
If any leader said "Let's go!"-I failed to hear it. But apparently at the same instant, as though guided by some unexpressed command, a dozen would take wing together and sail away toward the far mountain-peaked horizon on the east, at once assuming the column-like advance they employ so much in their flying.
Once in a while these birds swept the brine so closely, especially when they headed into a fresh wind, that their primaries tapped the crests of the waves with a rhythmic "tap, tap, tap, tap" which I could hear plainly from my station. At other times they rose in one long, circular climb into the air, making
a spiral of immense width, and soared in forward-moving circles into the far distance where shore-line and sky-line melted into one filmy wave which was miraged to such undue proportions that I fe t I could extend my arm and touch where they met !
The out-going squadrons of empty airships met other lines of heavily laden winged-argosies skimming along the surface of the sea. I observed them closely with my field glass. Those that swept the water's top so closely and those who, with the lesser burden, gained the loftier currents of air, filled the field of my glasses entirely. As the two lines passed each other, looking for all the world like squadrons of tiny white airships in evolution, I thought I heard the giant commander of the out-going air-fleet call to the officer on the bridge of the flag-ship of the incoming file, "How's the fishing today, Captain Webfoot?"
The grizzled flag-officer acknowledged the greeting of his friend by a nod of the head as he megaphoned back with his ballooned yellow pouch, "Plenty big carp down in Utah Lake!"
Sailing along in perfect alignment they came rapidly but heavily to their moorings directly in front of my tenteach safely berthed in his own hangar.
Training my glass upon the fast disappearing out-going fleet of white airships I saw them veer off to the southeast, evidently taking the senior officer's suggestion as to the best fishing grounds for the voyage.