Arcata High School - Advance Yearbook (Arcata, CA)

 - Class of 1922

Page 28 of 70

 

Arcata High School - Advance Yearbook (Arcata, CA) online yearbook collection, 1922 Edition, Page 28 of 70
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Arcata High School - Advance Yearbook (Arcata, CA) online yearbook collection, 1922 Edition, Page 27
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Page 28 text:

figure of his brother walking down the moonlit path, his money clasped close to him. He called to him softly, but Bartolo did not heed. Slipping out of his hammock, wonderingly, he followed. Out of the grove floated the man, his dead eyes staring ahead, his gaping wound ever bleeding, his face white and lifeless. Behind him, mechanically walked Bartolo, frantically clutching his gold, and, closely following Bartolo, trod his brothter, Piestro, across corrals, through the pastures, and into the dark menacing forest. The air was damp. Each step along the path crushed some delicate flower whose aroma filled the night air. Here a snake, going on its sly hunting, glided across the path, and there, two large eyes gleamed menacingly from the darkness. On walked the three--on and on-- deeper and deeper into the dark scented gloom. Then ahead the moonlight streamed on the "Campo", a well known swamp and fever spot of the tropics. The man paused on the edge of its dark grass-crested mud flats, then float- ed on across it. Without hesitation, Bar- tulo followed. Piestro stopped abruptly on the edge and in sudden terror voice sink- dark near him, sank his tried to call to Bartolo, but his choked. Bartolo walked onward, ing deeper and deeper into the death, until at length he stopped the center, looked frantically about and, with a long terrified scream, slowly into the dark murky depths, arms upraised beseechingly towards that blood-covered figure hovering silently above. That was long ago, and to-day the Mexicans speak of it in awed tones, and Guadalupe, the old guide, is the only one who will lead you to the spot. After pro- mising many pesos, I persuaded the old native to take me there. The swamp is gone now, and in its place is a small clearing covered with the luxuriant growths of the tropics. In the center of this clearing, stands a stump strangely like a human figure bathed in the warm atmosphere of the south and covered with age-old moss. As I stood looking at the weird spot, Guadalupe leaned forward, and, crossing himself, whispered ina cracked, awe-stricken voice, f'That stump, Senor, see, it is the body of Bar- tolo, encased in its tomb of mud, and see, in his upheld arms, the sack of pesos." I looked more keenly and saw, clutched in the arm-like branches of this weird stump, an object, which, in the pale moonlight, glittered strangely like gold. The air was still. This was indeed a place of death, for even the Niyaca, the most poisonous of snakes, slipped silent- ly away from its deadly edge. As I looked, I could almost see the stump transform- ed into Bartolo, his hands raised beseech- ingly to heaven, his face distorted with fear. Silently I turned from this place, and, feeling strangely as though this queer tale were true, went back to the trail, Guadalupe cringing behind me. Catharine Plant '22, Uhr Sv. GD. SP. The U.S. Shipping Board freighter "Alaskan", plying between San Diego and Vancouver, British Columbia, was steaming out into the Pacific with a cargo of fruit on board for a merchant in Seattle. Captain Henderson, or "Old Man Henderson" as the crew called him, was standing just aft the foremast with the usual angry scowl on his scarred and homely face. He was feared by the entire crew and his law was "might makes right." John Prescott, the chief wireless operator, was just going to relieve the second operator when he had bumped into the captain as he was coming up the companionway. The captain had been unusually cross, and as Prescott hurried to his set, he again wondered over the conversation he had over-heard that morn ing. "We could run her onto Muscle Shoals," the mate had said. "Sh, not so loud, "the captain had exclaimed. " I just saw that wireless guy go down below, I'm afraid he'll spoil our fun if he gets suspicious." 23

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Q W Vllilllfw ' if Q c ijiw Wllllllli fwfsex l l lfill sf ill ,fi 'flaw 7 . ' 'l'51l ly .i,i l, li Q g ,nf Xlxilll C' ,N E ll l'i?U,l 'l.-it Y ill M Q Y , ui , , ll it L 'l'i'll,llllil if il ll that T ll lllwlll 7 u so It was one of the perfect nights known only in the tropics. The "South- ern Cross" hanging low in the sky, the pale moonlight peeping inquisitively into the huts hidden in the banana grove, and the air heavy with the scent of flowers betokened the arrival of summer. A soft breeze stirred the trees, and carried the pungent breath of the purple Passion Flow er to the nostrils of Bartolo Gomez, lying in his hammock. Night life hummed softly on, broken only by the angry snarl of a tiger foiled in his hunt, or by the scream of some animal caught in the strong enveloping coils of the boa-constrictor. There was nothing to fear in this cool beautiful night, Bartolo tried to tell himself, but still he was stricken with a horrible fore- boding. One cry from him would waken the whole finca, and there, in his gent- ly swaying hammock, lay his brother peacefully sleeping. Indeed, of what was there to be afraid? His fear grew, however, with every little sound. His body was taut,, and he strained his eyes into the shadows about him. The pale moonlight resting on his face showed its ghastliness, the swarthy skin appearing almost white. His hands, holding the serapa covering him, shook, and perspiration stood out on his fore- head. It was the third night he had been unable to sleep: the third time this hor- rible fear had possessed him--a dread of something undefinable--some phantom of his mind. He put out his hand as tho to push the fear from him, and touched a small hard package. Ah! That was his goldeeHhis pesos. He was the richest hom- bre in the finca, why need he worry? Still the fear remained. It seemed to draw him to the pesosg it seemed to speak and curse him and his gold. His fingers closed convulsively on the sack. Again he lived over the actions that had brought him his pesos,-the ,dark wet night-a horse coming down the trail-f a leap and a gleam of something white and cruelva cry-the clattering hoofs of a frightened horse-silence-and then, his payment, his reward which now lay close to his heart. Bartolo closed his eyes and smiled. He lost his fear and fell asleep. It seemed but a second when he felt himself hurled from his hammock and found himself standing upright, staring into the unseeing eyes of that night rider. His hair was matted with blood, and his glassy eyes looked through Bartolo. Bartolo's mouth opened to scream his terror, but no sound came. He put out his hand, but where the man's pointing finger had been was only ashaft of pale moonlight. The man turned and walked through the grove, and, drawn bya power stronger than he, Bartolo followed. Piestro woke with a start to see the 22



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But the mate had scoffed, while Prescott pressed his ear against a crack in the wall. "Pooh, never mind that fellow, he's perfectly harmless. Those wireless guys don't know anything, ex- cept sparks and dots and dashes. I'll take the wheel at ten or when it gets good and dark, and you have the boat ready. When you signal I'll lash the wheel and head her for the shoals. After that we'll strike out for land. It's only twenty miles east, and then we'll hit for South America or Alaska. Easy as fall- ing off a log, I call it." The captain had aquiesced, "Sure that'll be fine, I'm expecting foggy wea- ther in a few days and then we'll turn the trick. You see that the wireless is out of commission in case that Prescott fel- low should get wise to us." Prescott laughed to him self as he thot of it. "Going to sink the ship and then beat it with the money. Well, I'll see if I can't have a little fun out of this too. I wonder whose money they have on board. It must belong to the company. That old crook of a captain will get sal- vage off the Alaskan too. I'd like to send him up for this." He sat down in his chair and put the receivers on his head. The air was empty and after he had given his position to K.F.S., the Federal Telegraph Co's sta- tion in San Francisco, Prescott threw over his antenna switch for transmitting and called N.P.G., the station at Mare Island, and asked for the U.S.W.B. N. P.G. gave him the report and Prescott took it to the second mate, who had the watch at that hour. "I guess we are due for some foggy days," the mate replied to his query about the weather. "Yes and I bet something is going to happen," answered Prescott. Two days later, after slow progress, the "Alaskan" was off cape Mendocino and the barometer was falling. About eight o'clock that night Prescott gave his position to Radio N. P. W., Table Bluff, as 256 miles north of San Francisco. A dense fog was coming in from the west and soon the ship was enveloped in a grey mist. One could not see ten feet ahead. The mate called the captain and said, "Everything is ready to turn the trick tonight. " "All right," the captain said, "I'll get the money .and lower a boat and send the crew below, on some pretext, and you go and cut the wires so as to stop any messages Prescott might send out. In the meantime Prescott was at his set calling Table Bluff for radio compass hearings. As he signed off he noticed the antenna ammeter drop to 1 ampere, and finally his set went out of commis- sion. Generally the ammeter read 18 amperes with a 2 k.w. and Prescott won- dered what had happened. "Ah ha," he exclaimed, "I bet it's the mate trying to cut my lead in. I'd better go out and see. He stepped out side the door and looked at the antenna. The lead in was dangling in the air and he knew that the mate had done his trick. He stepped a- round the corner of the radio room where the lead in enters the wall through a large bushing insulator, and at the foot of the bridge steps he saw a man lying prone on his face clutching a pair of wire cutters. Prescott turned the body over and the outline to the third mate's face could be seen distinctly. What a sight! The electrical shock had turned the face purple and his hands were badly burned. Prescott tried to take the cutters from his grasp but the cold hand held them so tight that he could not move a finger. Leaning down, Prescott put his hand over the mate's heart. He did not feel a pulse or any sign of life. Suddenly steps were heard behind him, and Prescott saw the captain carrying a satchel. Quietly he slid out of sight. Hurreidly fixing the lead in, Prescott ran to the wireless room, and, throwing 24

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