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The Revenge of Ching Chow
ERE yellow slits were the eyes of Ching Chow, smoldering with glowing revenge in the half light. Curled were the lips of Ching Chow as he watched the busy laborers place brick upon brick in the great cistern they were building. A mighty reservoir it was growing to be there on the high hill, to hold its share of reserve water that the city by the Golden Gate might be saved from a repetition of another fire disaster.
To Ching Chow, standing on the edge of the abyss, each brick was a step toward the fulfillment of his revenge -his revenge on the little mission worker who had helped to thwart his plans by aiding in the rescue of the Chinese slave girl whom he had coveted.
But we must go back to an earlier day in the life of Ching Chow.
It had been seven moons since Ching Chow had conceived his bold plot against rich Yat Sin, perhaps the richest merchant in Chinatown. Seven moons ago he had first beheld the slave girl in the passageway. It was but as yesterday, that night when he had first beheld her; hair raven-black as a moonless midnight, great bands of gold gleaming faintly in the knotted folds; eyes like the glint of a raven's wing; lipsno lips even in faraway China were quite so red, red as the ripe seed of the pomegranate kissed by the frost!
Like a purple wind-swept dawn she had rustled past him and pattered away on her gorgeous silk dots of slippers. A faint sweet odor like the first breath of opium smoke tingled in his nostrils as he had pressed back against the wall, a deeper shadow of the shadows. Like a purple wind-swept dawn she was, he thought, moving over the rice fields and then gone.
Since that first night seven moons ago, Ching Chow had been near the slave girl of Yat Sin many times. True he had faced sudden and awful death to but look upon her, but were not those lips, were not those eyes worth a thousand deaths? And who more crafty than Ching Chow in evading discovery?
Once Ching Chow had called her by name, "Purple Dawn," his name for her-the name he had given her. Like a startled bird she had turned toward his voice but he had vanished in the shad
Seven moons had Ching Chow plotted and waited that he might possess
A Tale of Old Chinatown
By L WARREN WIGMORE Purple Dawn for his own. Patiently he had waited for the response to his petitions to his ancestral gods. The sweetmeats and the smoking punk before their altars in the joss temple there had not gone unanswered. Truly the gods were good to Ching Chow. Now he had watched the fat Yat Sin leave the city on a journey to Sacramento. This was the chance Ching Chow had wanted and waited for. He would steal Purple Dawn while Yat Sin was away.
As the red sun had sunk to rest in the western sea, wrapping the spires and walls of the city in soft crimson and purples and golds, Ching Chow had offered his last sweetmeats to the stolid joss. In the western skies all shimmering with the rays of the sinking sun, Ching Chow saw the red of those cherry lips, the gold of the gleaming combs in the raven hair.
Through dark pasages deep in the unknown heart of Chinatown, Ching Chow had made his solitary way. Feeble rays of the dying day had crept across the damp walls and lost themselves in the blackness. Along this twisting path he had passed gray forms seared with the poppy curse. Indistinct shapes, they could always be found here, lying on rude benches, poppy pipes held in long-claw-like yellow fingers. Through these long winding passages like a swift shadow, Ching Chow had made his way to the hall adjoining the private chambers of the home of Yat Sin and the slave girl.
Motionless, Ching Chow had waited there. Within he had heard the sound of light footsteps. His almond eyes had glittered with cunning. The plans of seven moons were about to be carried to their fulfillment. Clutched in his yellow fingers he had held the vial whose portion lulled to sleep.
The deep-toned bell of St. Mary's had called out, but still Ching Chow had waited, gloating over his cunning plan and anticipated victory. A low voice had spoken to Purple Dawn-the aged servant preparing for the night. Alert, the vial in his long fingers, Ching Chow had moved forward. Long vellow fingers had touched the door, had opened it a crack. A golden ribbon of light had flashed across the hallway. Slowly the ribbon had widened as the door noiselessly opened.
At the end of the golden draped
chamber, on silken pillows sat the slave girl-now to be his slave girl, Purple Dawn. She gazed at herself in a dainty hand mirror, and did not see his cat-like leap to the side of the servant woman with the vial held to her nostrils. Only as the old servant woman slid senseless to the floor had she glanced up.
Ching Chow had paused drinking in the sheer beauty of the delicately poised head, the soft curves of the lithe body. Mere slits of cunning triumph were the almond shaped eyes of Ching Chow. Still he hesitated to break the ripe stillness of that moment.
Slowly Ching Chow had moved toward the slave girl, cat-like, his footsteps padding the rich rugs. Faintly like the first blossoms of spring there came to the dilating nostrils of Ching Chow the sweet perfume of her raven hair, pierced by the golden bands.
Swift, certain, the yellow fingers reached out, the vial again ready!
A deafening crash shattered the pregnant stillness. Over a broken door leaped the unexpected visitors in blue uniforms. All this Ching Chow saw in a golden flash before darkness swallowed the flickering lights. But Ching Chow knew. Behind the bluecoats, he had seen little Miss Patterson, the mission worker. Too late he knew that she, too, had chosen this night to urge the police to raid the fat Yat Sin's home for slave girls.
A startled shriek like the cry of a frightened gull thrilled Chong Chow to action. His long yellow fingers reached for the slim wrist. But the Americans were too quick. The little wrist slipped away from the grasping fingers, leaving nothing in them but the dainty ivory mirror.
Ching Chow saw the dark bird-like head silhouetted for an instant against the narrow window. In her hair he caught the gleam of gold and then she was gone. Stupidly, helpless, he watched them go, defeated.
Back through the dark, deep passages Ching Chow had somehow found his way. The gray forms still lay dead in their poppy dreams. The wandering rays of the dying moon crept through the broken walls. They were caught in the ivory backed mirror still in Ching Chow's hand, and reflected tauntingly back into his face. Stupidly he looked into the crystal glass. A plaything, her (Continued on page 81)
The Wailing Lady
HREE miles from Los Gatos, on what is locally known as Bear Creek road, is a peaceful farming community. The highway winds past handsome homes, well kept farms and heavily laden orchards and vineyards. On the crest of Bear Creek road, commanding a splendid view of the prosperous little community below, stood in the midst of a densely wooded section, a small, unpainted cabin consisting of two rooms and a lean-to kitchen.
The occupants, Ward Reynolds and Alex McIvor, had come to the valley some three years previously, and had homesteaded 300 acres of land, which they were clearing preparatory for cultivation.
They were quiet, hard working men attending strictly to their own affairs. Once each month they went to the general store at Los Gatos to buy a bill of goods, and once a week a boy brought up the local paper and the mail. Reynolds, the older man, always seemed to the plentifully supplied with money, and because he did not transact business with the local bank, it was rumored that he had a considerable sum cached away in the cabin.
It was this fact which had excited the cupidity of Lem Manners, proprietor of the Blue Moon saloon in Los Gatos, better known as Big Lem on account of his huge girth and size, leader of a gang of crooks, but owing to his cunning, and the fact that he never took an active part in any of the jobs he planned with such subtle skill, he so far had managed to escape detection.
On this particular afternoon Big Lem sat at the head of a table in the back room of the Blue Moon. His small, slit-like eyes, indeterminate in color, under which were great patches of flabby skin, watched his tools craftily. He was a mountain of flesh, but handled his great body with the litheness of some great cat. The chair in which he sprawled seemed to creak and groan beneath his weight.
"I've planned this job mighty careful," he was saying in a singularly small voice for so large a man, "and if you fellows carry out instructions there should be no hitch." He paused to refill the three empty glasses before continuing.
"Jerry," turning to the man at his left, a squat, burly fellow, with long, hairy arms like an ape, and a pair of badly crossed eyes, "you and Jack know what you've got to do, but I don't want no mistake, so I'll just go over it again."
By B. G. ROUSSEAU
Big Lem Manners had come west some five years previously. He arrived by various roundabout ways, stopping wherever fancy dictated. At a small town in Missouri he came upon a band of gypsies. Among them was a young girl of 15, known as Zelda, who pleased his capricious mood of the moment, and he induced her to leave her tribe and accompany him on his travels. Reaching California he settled in Los Gatos where he eventually bought out the Blue Moon.
Manners wound up his instructions with the information that there was between $50,000 and $75,000 involved. "Reynolds don't bank in town, so it's a cinch he's got it hid in the cabin. Go and get it and I'll split 50-50."
The men listened silently. Jerry, otherwise Jeremiah Johnson, was rapidly drinking himself into a state of oblivion. He yawned openly, exposing a set of tobacco stained teeth, and raised his abnormally long arms over his head in a mighty stretch; his little crossed eyes blinking drowsily.
The third member of the trio, Jack Simpson, was something of an enigma. He had the look of a man above his present station, a hanger on at the Blue Moon, the passive tool of Big Lem Manners. Strength and weakness contended for mastery in his face, but so far he swam indifferently with the tide, too indolent or careless to care where it brought him. Given the right environment and it was not too late for him to make an honorable member of society. All he needed to set his feet on the right path was an incentive, and this he had found in Zelda, like himself a bit of flotsam drifting on life's current. For her sake he intended to reform. He listened quietly to Big Lem despite the whiskey with which he had been plied.
Again Manners filled the glasses, watching his tools cunningly. Johnson,
sodden, whiskey-bloated; ready for any enterprise that would bring easy money his way with a modicum of safety, and Simpson, cold of face, hard of eye, defiant of consequences, and felt that he could trust them.
He heaved his heavy bulk from the chair and walked slowly to the stairs leading to the upper story. A sudden gust of wind arose and wailed mournfully through the thick grove of trees back of the house. Big Lem paused, a shudder passed through his huge frame. He was assailed by a sudden fear, a premonition of evil, new in his experience. He hesitated, and as he stood irresolute, caught Simpson's hard, cold eyes fastened upon him, weighing him appraisingly. In their depths he read a hint of amused mockery. For the barest fraction of a second the glances of the two men met and crossed. Big Lem dropped his eyes and mounted the stairs thoughtfully.
Johnson's head had been sinking, lower and lower, at last it fell to his outspread arms and he slept noisily. Quietly Simpson arose and left the room. He passed, silent as a shadow, around the back of the house until he reached the kitchen door which he opened quickly and entered.
The room was scrupulously clean. A clock on the wall ticked off the passage of time with a sort of staccato rhythm. The spring air was chill, but a pleasant warmth came from the glowing fire in the kitchen range, and there was an appetizing odor of freshly baked bread in the air. Seated at a table, drawn up under one of the windows, was a girl. Her back was turned so that only her small, sharp profile, of a rich olive tint, was in sight. Her thick, blue-black hair hung in two heavy braids down her back. She was bent over the table intent on a pack of dog-eared playing cards spread out before her.
As Simpson watched her a new and different expression came over his face, softening its hardness, while his eyes grew tender.
"Zelda," he called softly, "Zelda."
She sprang to her feet with a cry of fear, and turned upon him a face from which every particle of color had drained.
"My, but you scared me, Jack, I thought sure it was Lem." Her voice was low pitched and contained just a hint of throatiness. The eyes she turned on Simpson were large and dark and in their depths was a world of bitter disillusionment.
Simpson could not speak. Suppressed emotions raged within him, chief of which was an overwhelming desire to possess this girl, this wild creature of the out of doors. He wanted her as he had never wanted anything before in all his thirty reckless years.
"Lem must be unusually kind to make you jump like that."
"Hush, he'll hear you," she cautioned, but so low he had to bend his head to catch the words, "seems to me, he sees and hears every word." As if to verify her statement a sound from above made her start in sudden fright. In the ensuing silence the clock ticked loudly, while a log in the stove broke into sudden flame with a great shower of sparks.
"Is Lem upstairs?" she whispered, and as Simpson inclined his head, a sigh of relief passed her lips.
"You're afraid of him," accused Simpson, "and I-I'm powerless to help, though I'd give my life if I only could! Do you think I've been blind all this time to what he's doing to you? He beats you the damn cowardly cur!"
"Sh-h," she warned, her finger on her lips, "he hasn't been half so bad lately," she hastened to assure him.
For answer Simpson took her thin little arm, and rolling back the short sleeve, displayed a great black and blue welt on the tender skin just above the elbow.
It was a well known fact that Big Lem abused Zelda. No tie save that of fear bound her to him, fear which with the passing of years had turned to hate, yet she dared not leave him.
"I wish you'd listen to me, Zelda," began Simpson, retaining her little toilworn hand in his, “I want to marry you and take you away from all this. We're young enough to begin life over again."
She heard him through with swift beating heart. How different was this wooing from that of Big Lem Manners, who had threatened that unless she went with him he would expose her to her tribe as a thing unclean, defiled. There was only one punishment among the gypsies for such a crime-death.
"I've been corresponding with friend of mine in Eastern Oregon," continued Simpson. "He has a cattle range. out there, and has promised to give me a chance to make good. In a new country, among new people we'll forget all this. I'm sick of this life. After tonight I'm through."
She broke from him with a frightened cry. "No, no," she implored, "don't tell me Lem has something on for tonight! You mustn't do it, Jack," she went on wildly. "Whatever it is you got to get out of it, you got to!"
"Why, Zelda, what's come over you?" he asked in puzzled wonder.
She pointed with shaking finger to the cards on the table. "Look at them," she whispered hoarsely, "look at them! trouble and sorrow and death, and here -here's blood! Oh, there's blood all over them!" She drew back, covering her face with her hands.
Something of the girl's terror communicated itself to him. "What was the matter with him?" he asked himself angrily. "Was the girl weaving some sort of witch's spell around him with her gypsy sorcery?" The next moment he was calling himself a fool. Zelda's belief in, and devotion to her cards, had always been a source of quiet amusement to him.
"Oh, come, Zelda, you surely don't expect me to believe anything like that?"
"If you understood better you'd have to believe," she told him earnestly, have to believe," she told him earnestly, "the cards tell the truth; they never lie, they can't."
He suppressed a desire to smile, "All right, have it your own way; suppose you tell me just what they say?
She shook her head, gathering the bits of pasteboards together, and slipping them in her pocket. "Not here, Jack, it ain't safe."
"Very well," he agreed, "then meet me in the woods. I want to talk to you."
In the back room where he had left Johnson that worthy slept and snored; while certain sounds from above indicated that Big Lem was still engaged on his own affairs. Simpson slipped from the house and into the shelter of the woods.
The wind was steadily rising and
gave promise of a gusty night. It seemed
to carry an unknown threat as it sobbed through the tree tops. He could not shake off the spell of Zelda's words, and the melancholy soughing of the wind seemed to beat them into his brain with a ceaseless refrain. He paced up and down nervously on the soft, springy turf; pausing every now and then to listen.
Dusk was rapidly approaching, and a deeper shadow had fallen over the woods, an eerie shadow, full of mystery' and gloom. Afar the western horizon was red with the dying glory of the sun. To his excited fancy the vivid crimson streaks seemed like blood. He turned from them with a shudder.
Suddenly he caught a glimpse of Zelda coming quickly toward him. She had wrapped a scarlet shawl over her head and shoulders, which seemed to emphasize her dark, vivid beauty.
"I got to hurry," she told him a little breathlessly, "it's late. If Lem comes down and finds supper ain't ready he'll be mad."
He would have spoken, have drawn her to him, but she stopped him with a gesture, "no, I tell you, I got to hurry.
Let me have my say," she pleaded, and Simpson, sensing something of her desperation, though not understanding it, remained silent.
"I want to tell you what the cards said," she began wistfully, as though trying to impress some of her unfaltering belief on him, "they said, and awful soon, too, death is coming to this house, and them what live in it. That's sure, Jack, sure as anything," she continued impressively, "that's why I wanted you not to " she broke off with a little futile gesture, "but of course, you won't pay no attention to what I say; you wouldn't darst. We're all afraid of Lem."
"Zelda, I'm going to take you away from all this, even if I have to buy you from Lem with my share of tonight's swag," he began passionately, "I'm going to make you my wife. We'll be poor, but you'll never want for anything as long as I have my health and strength."
"We'll be happy, Jack," she whispered tenderly, "and that's all that matters."
All at once she threw her arms about his neck and kissed him. "I love you, Jack," she cried in a sudden transport of emotion, "Lem has my body, but you have my heart." The next moment she was gone, flitting wraith-like in and out among the trees. He was alone with his thoughts and the wind, which seemed to shriek at him:
"You can't escape your fate; can't escape, can't escape!"
TIME passed quickly and unevent
fully for the occupants of the cabin on Bear Creek road. After a hard day's work in the open they were ready for an early supper, after which a game of cards occupied them until their nine o'clock bedtime. This particular day had closed on a stormy night; the wind gradually lashing itself into the fury of a gale.
Reynolds sat before the glowing stove quietly smoking. He was a tall, spare man with a smoothly shaved face, surmounted by thick iron-grey hair. His deep set eyes, keen and penetrating and the high arch of his nose gave him a His somewhat hawk-like appearance. companion walked up and down nervously, hands clasped behind his back. and head bent moodily on his chest.
Outside the wind had reached its height, plunging through the black void of night with a fierce bellow of rage. Through its fury, rang high above all other sounds, a wild, weird shriek, as of a lost soul writhing in an agony of despair. Reynolds did not seem to mind. the elements raging outside, but continued to smoke in placid silence. At (Continued on page 72)
ORE than one-half of the people of the United States live in towns and cities. These, as well as many people who live in the country, see little of forests. The average person does not realize the extent to which forests and forest products enter into the daily lives of all, nor does the average person understand that the forest problem is one of the most vital before our people today.
A century ago there were no large cities in this country. The population was chiefly rural and buildings were, for the most part, made of wood. In spite of the large use of other materials in the construction of buildings, there is today an enormous amount of timber used for this purpose. One hundred years ago wood was practically the only fuel in the United States. In our cities coal, gas and electricity have displaced wood for this purpose. Taking the country as a whole, however, this is one of the chief uses to which wood is put. Furniture also makes large demands upon the timber resource of our land.
As we read the daily paper, a magazine, or a book, or as we see paper used in any way we may recall that about
The Lumber Industry
By JAMES F. CHAMBERLAIN
ninety per cent of the paper used in the United States is made from wood pulp. Six million cords of spruce, hemlock, balsam and poplar are used yearly for this purpose and about 1,000,000 acres of forest are cut over to supply the demand.
The messages transmitted by telegraph and telephone come and go over wires strung, in most cases, from poles of wood. Millions of these are in use in this country. Some 200,000 miles of railroad bind together the different parts of our land. The bands of steel rest upon many millions of cross ties, the average life of which, without treatment, is only about seven and one-half years. Think of the lumber that enters into the construction of the more than 2,000,000 freight cars, to say nothing of passenger cars.
The forests are of tremendous value in other ways. The underbrush, litter and leaf mold retard the flow of water from the slopes. This checks erosion
and therefore conserves soil. A regulated run off decreases the liability of floods and insures a more uniform flow of water for domestic use, irrigation, navigation, and power.
The value of the forests as game sanctuaries and as human playgrounds cannot be measured in dollars. Each summer the number of persons who spend some time in the forest increases. Here work and worry and the strife for material gain are temporarily forgotten. Here men and women experience a renewal of physical strength. The power, the beauty, the silence, the evidence of changing yet never ending life lead to spiritual uplift and to true worship in "God's first temples."
When our ancestors first settled in what is now the United States they found dense forests extending from the Coast into the unknown interior. These, as well as the Indians who made their homes in them, hindered the settlement of the land. Before homes could be established and crops grown the timber had to be removed. The early settlers should not be blamed because they cut and burned the timber in a wholesale fashion.
Lumber was one of the first exports of the settlers. For a long time New England furnished most of the supply. Later the forests tributary to the Great Lakes took first place. In time this area reached its maximum output and then the forests of the South took the lead. Today the supremacy is passing to the three States on the Pacific Coast within whose borders one-half of the standing timber in the United States is located. This is our last timber frontier. Of our original forest resource only two-fifths remain. Those who are aware of the situation are striving to avert a threatened calamity.
Our forests are melting away through use and waste. A check on actual use should be applied only when other material can be used to greater advantage and where use is a menace to water supply or agriculture. Fire is the chief source of waste. To check loss from
this cause the co-operation of every citizen is needed. Forest fires destroy about as much timber as is used. There are, on the average, about 33,500 forest fires in the United States yearly. These burn over some 17,000 square miles of area, causing an average annual loss of about $16,000,000. There is great waste in connection with use. Only about one-third of the material in a tree is converted into lumber. There is much loss at the mill and in the factory so that less than ten per cent of a tree is converted into finished products.
All of this means that our per capita consumption of wood is very great. In 1840 it was eighty-five board feet. Ten years later we had increased to two hundred thirty board feet. In 1907 we were using five hundred and in 1920 three hundred sixteen board feet per capita. Our timber is being consumed. about four times as fast as it grows. The result inevitably is forest destruction unless there is earnest and united effort to prevent it.
It was long since recognized that the problem of preserving our forests is too large for individuals, corporations or States. The establishment of Arbor Day in 1872 was an early attempt to arouse the nation. In 1876 Congress appointed a special agent to make a study of forest conditions. In 1881 the Division of
Forestry was created. This was changed twenty years later to the Bureau of Forestry and in 1905 the name was again changed to Forest Service. As the problems of forestry are vitally related to those of agriculture, the Forest Service is a division of the Department of Agriculture.
Following the example of European countries, national forests were created. The first of these was the "Yellowstone Park Timberland Reserve," set aside by President Harrison in 1891. On February 22, 1897, thirteen national forests were created by President Cleveland. This was indeed a fitting celebration of the anniversary of the birth of George Washington.
There are now one hundred forty nine national forests containing 156,000,000 acres, an area about equal to that of the State of Texas. The total forest area in our country amounts to about 723,000 square miles. More than thirty states have organized work in forestry and twenty have State forests.
The timber area of California is vast in extent and the value of our forests cannot be over-estimated. Of all the states in the Union only Oregon exceeds California in amount of standing timber. Real forests are practically confined to our two mountain systems. On the west slope of the Sierras is a wonderful belt
of timber about five hundred miles long and twenty-five miles wide.
On the foothills are oak and digger pine and at higher altitudes the sugar and yellow pine, incense cedar, Douglas fir and other trees. The timber line is found at approximately 9,000 feet above sea level. On the west slope of the Sierras, both north and south of Kings River, are the most marvelous of all plant forms-the Sequoia Gigantea. The trees vary from one hundred twenty-five to two hundred fifty feet in height, although some are much taller. The Grizzly Giant, in Calaveras Grove, is three hundred twenty-five feet high and thirty-eight feet in diameter. Even more impressive than the size is the age of these trees, some of which were standing when Christ was born.
Along the Coast mountains, chiefly north of San Francisco, is an extensive belt of redwood timber. The belt is four hundred fifty miles long and from one to twenty miles in width. The trees, although immense in size, do not attain the diameter of the giant redwoods. There are few of these trees to the acre but the cut of lumber is very great.
We are cutting over our forest area at the rate of 40,000 acres yearly. Nearly 2,000,000 acres have now been cut. The per cent of the original forest area which has been logged varies from twenty-eight