« PrejšnjaNaprej »
few cattle were missing yet, so we had to Having my work all completed outside, again start out in the snow on the search I set to work getting supper, and drying the next day.
my clothes, which were soaking wet, owing When we sat down to supper and got to an accident which I had met with that warm in the evening, my brother and I morning had quite a discussion as to who should While riding down a steep incline purstay at home the next day and who should suing a wild steer, I failed to observe ungo on the search for Otto. Both of us til too late that I had ridden directly on wanted to go, but that was out of the shale rock, which, being flat and question—that we could both go; we de- smooth, in addition to being wet, made it cided the case in an impartial way: name- a regular trap for a horse to fall on, which ly, by tossing a coin. “Heads you win,
my horse at once proceeded to do. As my tails you do not.” I had to stay.
horse slid down the rock and tried to reMounted upon a good, strong horse, my gain its feet, it would fall, first on one brother started out on his long journey, side, and then on the other. Being unthrough a foot and a half of snow. The able to extricate myself from the saddle, ride world naturally be a long and dis- I received the full benefit of the fall. Covagreeable one to Durango, under such cir- ered from head to foot with snow, I becumstances.
came drenching wet when the snow melt
ed. However, I sustained no serious inII.
juries, beyond a few scratches and bruises. I staid up until a very late hour that Just as I was about to sit down to eat night, expecting our absent friend to ap- supper, I heard footsteps approaching on pear at any moment. I played solitaire, the trodden path. I immediately ran out read and amused myself with music to to see who it could be. “Was it an halluwhile away the time. No one appeared, so cination under which I was laboring ?” I finally went to bed.
"Was it a ghost ?” “A shadow ?” “Or All night it snowed steadily, and when what was it?" I awoke next morning the snow had
Hat gone, clothes torn, hair disheveled reached a depth of two and a half feet. and bloody, face as white as the snowy surIt had ceased snowing, yet a haze prevailed roundings, trembling like an aspen leafwhich screened the sun. No one had yet thus appeared this object before me. appeared. No news of any kind was avail- It was Otto. I rushed to his assistance able. The nearest telephone or telegraph and almost dragged him bodily into the station was fifteen miles from camp. I house. He appeared to be perfectly helpwas nearly beside myself with anxiety less, so I at once discarded his wet clothes, about our friend.
and replaced them with dry ones and sat My work done around camp, I again him in a chair near the fire in order that started in pursuit of the remainder of the his nearly frozen limbs (as I surmised missing cattle, hoping to have them all they must be), might thaw out. gathered by the time my brother again I spoke to him. He did not answer. returned.
His face wore a blank expression. He While riding over the mountains that was unconscious of any one's presence, or morning, I noticed a horse some miles of his surroundings. He appeared to be away on a high mountain, apparently in a dazed, half-unconscious condition. alone. Knowing, however, that all of our His eyes were sunken deep into their sockhorses had been gathered, and that this ets, and his face was horribly drawn. He animal was just outside the pasture fence, was altogether a heartrending object to I paid no further attention to it.
behold I had excellent success that morning, Shortly after he was brought into the and hy ten o'clock had all the cattle gath- house, he gave a terrible groan and sank ered and corraled. I at once proceeded to the floor, limp and apparently lifeless. to divide the cattle into their places; that I applied what stimulants were available is, separate cows with small calves; year- and laid him upon a couch. He laid in this lings and steers all into different lots, in unconscious state for hours, without showoriler to make feeding easier.
ing any signs of reviving.
clews to rest upon the matter of the acci
dent. Thinking Otto must have escaped When my brother started for Durango injury, my brother started home, hoping it was pitch dark, and he had to travel to find him safe at camp upon his return. through an unbroken road for five miles In this he was not mistaken, for Otto had before he came to the main road, which indeed returned home, but oh, in what a had also been traveled, but little since the deplorable condition. storm.
IV. Heedless of everything, he wielded his way through the storm and snow, and ar- When Otto regained consciousness, rived at Durango early in the morning. He shortly after my brother's return, he looked immediately made inquiries at the livery about in a bewildered, perplexed way, and stable as to whether Otto had left, or if he asked where he was. On being told that had, at what time. He was informed by he was at home, he seemed greatly asthe stable boss that Otto had left Friday tounded. After he had somewhat regained morning, and should have arrived at home his composure and collected his wits tothat day early in the afternoon.
gether he proceded with his story, which Although Otto was not a drinking man, was as follows: my brother inquired as to whether he “I started from Durango early Friday showed any signs of intoxication upon morning, thinking I could get back on leaving the stables, but was informed that Pine River in the early part of the afterhe was in perfectly normal condition when noon in order that I might assist you boys he left the stables. There being no stop- that day in gathering the stock, as the ping places along the road, made the pos- weather indicated an impending snowsibility of his having become intoxicated storm. The load I had was quite heavy, vanish.
but the horses were rested and ambitious. After feeding the horses and refreshing At twelve o'clock I reached the divide himself, my brother started on his home- which is ten miles from home. Ten miles ward trip. He made many inquiries along down-grade with a good team I considerthe road as to whether Otto had been ered a two hours' drive. At that rate I
At the last house before reaching should have reached home at two o'clock. home (about ten miles from home) he As I was driving down the grade I was told that Otto was seen passing at noticed some cattle along the side of a hill. about one
o'clock Friday afternoon. Thinking some of our cattle might have Thinking that Otto must have had a run- got out of our pasture and strayed here, away somewhere between there and home, I decided to notice them carefully. In domy brother made careful observations ing this I neglected my team, which was along the road, thinking that some signs not keeping to the road. Suddenly I felt of the wagon might be found. Finally he the wagon tip over. This was the last came to a deep arroyo, and to his perfect thing I remembered. From that time on, astonishment there lay Otto's wagon at I have only a hazy recollection of what the bottom of it. He dismounted and transpired. made careful investigations as to the con- “How long I lay unconscious in this ardition of affairs; the wagon
royo, into which I had fallen I do not turned and badly damaged; here and krow. I have a hazy recollection of crawlthere laid, or rather hung, pieces of the ing out of the arroyo, and wading through broken harness on the brush.
the snow among the mountains, utterly visions were all gone; evidently some per- lost and bewildered. At times I was conson passed shortly after the accident oc- scious of nothing that occurred, vet I curred and took what he could find. wandered aimlessly through the woods, on
On account of the depth of the recent ward and onward. Instinct must have snow, it was impossible to track the horses, told me that if I stopped in the snow to who had evidently crossed the mountains rest I would perish. Everything seemed in order to get home the shortest way. A unfamiliar. I could think of nothing. more thorough search of the immediate I had forgotten my name, where I was vicinity failed to bring more definite from, or where I was going.
"Instinctively I must have wandered scarcely believe that I am safe at home toward home, for the next thing I recollect with you boys." is that I was in a deserted house (which After we had listened to Otto's story, is about five miles from camp) before a which seemed more like a nightmare to us blazing fire. I have not the faintest idea than a reality, we concluded that he must how I came there, or how the fire was be seriously hurt, and one of us immedistarted. I was stricken with terrible ately went to our nearest neighbor for aspangs of hunger, and was nearly dying of sistance and also to summon a physician. thirst. I remember taking my hat, which After the doctor came and had the I had fortunately not lost, filling it with patient taken care of, I started in pursuit snow and holding it over the fire to melt. of the team. Naturally, the fire burned my hat, and let It occurred to my mind that the horse out the snow, which soon extinguished the I had seen the day previous might have flame. At this I was terribly frightened been one of the team. I rode to the spot and rushed out of the house like a mad- where I had seen it, and sure enough it man. I ploughed through the snow as was one of the sorrels. Her harness had fast as I could. I imagined that I was become entangled in the brush, and in her being pursued by some horrible monster. efforts to free herself, she had bound herAfter I had run for some time, I saw in self more firmly. The animal was nearly the distance before me an object which ap- starved. All that she had had to eat was peared to me to be a cave. I hastened to- snow. This, in a very meagre way, served ward it in my mad flight, thinking that as water. I released and brought her home there I would be safe. As I neared this with difficulty. The other horse was never haven of refuge, as I thought it to be, I found alive. The skeleton was found, towas approached by some person. I made gether with remnants of the harness a year an endeavor to retreat. I was seized and
or so later. dragged into the place. Being so fatigued Otto had sustained quite a serious fracI could offer little or no resistance. Here ture of the skull, and had to be taken to I was put before a fire, as I imagined, to the hospital for treatment. After remainbe roasted alive. At the thought of so ing at the hospital for a few weeks, he horrible a death, I fainted. From that fully recovered from his injuries, but he time on, everything is a blank to me. I never could forget his terrible experience have no idea how I came here. I can now on the frontier.
There's an egg in the nightingale's nest;
In the nightingale's egg there's a song;
Love, the dreams that to lovers belong.
To the nightingale's nest came a boy,
Slew the song, stole my next year's delight,
ITH EACH successive year, the problem of the proper protection of our forests be
comes of greater importThis is not because fires, on the average, are more numerous or that their destruction is worse, but, rather, because the prodigal and criminal waste to which the forests have been subjected ever since the country was settled is beginning to bear its legitimate fruit. According to the best experts, the end of our forest resources, with its accompanying evils of flood and erosion, is already in sight. Even now these things are seriously affecting portions of our country.
As long as the forests were believed to be inexhaustible, neither fires
the wasteful methods of the lumbermen attracted any attention. From time immemorial the lumbermen have gone into the forest and cut what they wanted, taking no thought as to the future demands. Fire has frequently followed the cutting of timber and given the finishing touches to the destruction of the forests. Carelessness as to the starting of fires has existed everywhere throughout our country, and vast areas have been swept clean. We are now awakening to the fact that the forests are essentially public property, although unfortunately the larger part of them have passed from Government control into private hands. The general prosperity of all the citizens of the United States is affected by the treatment of the forest areas, and as far as the public at large is concerned, laws should be passed regulating the cutting of the forests in private holdings. You and I are affected, and we should have the right to say that the forests should not be despoiled in the interests of any man or set of men. We should and can control the fires which do so much damage each
year, and we should see to it that the lumbermen make only a legitimate use of the forest. Such a use must have regard to the rights of the whole people, both now and in the future.
As the matter of fire protection stands at present there is neither unity of action among the individual owners of forest lands, nor any definite co-operation on the part of most of them with the U. S. Forest Service.
As a result of the particularly disastrous fires in portions of the West the past summer, all sorts of ridiculous ideas on ferest protection have found their way into print. Many of these have been accompanied by direct attacks upon the methods of the U. S. Forest Service. The crities fail to take into account the magnitude of the problems involved as well as the fact that even the best system is bound to fail at times if deficient in men and facilities on account of lack of funds.
Among the recent recrudescences of old and exploded notions is that of regularly burning over the surface to protect the forests, as the Indians are said to have done previous to the coming of the whites. This idea is presented in an article by Mr. George L. Hoxie, which appeared in Sunset Magazine for August of 1910. The author advocates the use of fire as a "practical” means of forest protection as distinguished from the "theoretical" method which he asserts is practiced by the U. S. Forest Service.
Mr. Hoxie's argument is interesting, and to those not thoroughly familiar with the facts in the case, may seem quite plausible and a simple way of disposing of a very perplexing question, but as we shall see later, it will not stand analysis. The conclusion reached by him that the use of fire is the only means of preserving the