9. Around the Horn

March 26, 2011

Anyone have a friend in Tierra del Fuego?  The Falklands?  How about Cobh Ireland?

The map below shows the path of chapter 8 in red, chapter 9 in pink with popups, and the path of chapter 10 in blue.

View the First Ten Segments Without Popups This is a preview showing the path Hayes records in the diary up to age 22 without synopses.  Look at it in Google Earth if you can.

View the first twenty segments without popups on Google Earth If you click this button it will offer a google earth download.  You will need to have Google Earth Installed.  This is by far the best way to view all his trips to age 25.

View the first nine segments with popups on Google Earth This will mean a download again.  But it’s worth it.  Because…  when you have it up in google earth you can close the windows, then open them in order to see his progression.

Requested photo places (see About Photo Requests):

– Tierra Del Fuego
– Cobh (Queenstown) Ireland
– Falkland Islands

Previous photo requests

Here and There Synopsis:

9.1 Latitude 57.13

December 25, 1898

On Christmas day the Austrasia sails off the pitch of the Horn but not close enough to sight land. The ship wallows nearly bare-masted in these heavy seas and fierce winds. Mountainous waves break constantly over the ship deluging the crew with brine. Still there is much work to be done aloft with an elbow hooked around a spar too cold to grip with a numbed hand. A long climb to the royals hugging footropes warms the blood. Neither royals nor “to’gan’sals” are set but constant attention must keep them from tearing away in the gale. Snow falls on the deck laced with lifelines far below.

The skipper orders duff to celebrate the day, “only there are no plums in it, only currants.” George “a negro from Barbados” caught a couple of albatrosses for Christmas dinner. It was fishy “but none have died as yet.”

9.2 Wet in All the Word Means

January 5, 1899

The seas off Tierra Del Fuego remain heavy for two weeks with waves breaking through the forecastle drenching clothes, blankets, everything. No one can remove even an oilskin awaiting the next call for “all hands on deck.” Moss grows on the always-wet decks making treacherous footing for sailors clutching lifelines shouting to be heard past ferocious winds.

The ship makes 287 miles one day, then 310 the next, “steamboat time for a good liner.” But the captain is always on deck scanning the scant sails and taut rigging to see that nothing is blown afoul. Salt horse and potatoes fortify the men for the cold heavy work.

9.3 Latitude of the Falklands

January 14, 1899

As they sail in warmer weather on calm seas for a day at least, excited chatter from the other men calls Hayes on deck to witness a “marvelous scene.” A glimmering sheen of plankton coats a sea filled with thousands of whales blowing past the Austrasia driving from the Northwest to Southeast as fast as flukes can push. Old Jack, a seasoned whaler, says they are finbacks and blue whales. For many hours, far into the night, the giant sea mammals swim by heedless of the ship often so close the captain swears one will breach their thin hull. To Hayes, their spouting sounds “like a steam exhaust,” and all have halitosis.

The unpopular ship’s second mate, Bews, is glad of the warmer weather. On the Pacific side of the Cape, to wake Baker, a sleepy headed sailor, Bews had taken to breaking buntline stops on the royals and sending Baker aloft for repairs. In retaliation Baker threw Bews’ oilskins overboard and Bews has “had the experience of running the Horn latitudes under bare poles.” Bearing the ordeal without complaint redeems Bews at least a little in Hayes’ estimation.

9.4 Pampero off Argentina

January 28 1899

Off the coast of Argentina a freak storm tears off eleven sails before anyone can react. For a full day, no one thinks of a watch below as the ship nearly founders. But, “the Austrasia is a strong and a good ship, so we rode it out.”

A few days short of his twenty-first birthday, Hayes wonders if he isn’t “going bad.” He has overheard two of the Negro seamen, who think of him as still a boy, remark on his foul cursing and wonder what will become of him when he is a man. Hayes’ wistful hope to become a better man is immediately followed in the diary by a paragraph reporting that he was chosen from all the men on his watch for special day work cleaning the ship for return to port.

If second mate Bews was already unpopular, his tattling to the skipper about the stolen wheat can only make it worse.  The captain’s reply?  “It is customary for the men to broach cargo in these homeward bounders.”  Now even the Boatswain has it in for Bews.

The complaint of starvation seems not much of an exaggeration. Hayes and Fagan have been stealing rations from the officers. When this is not enough, Fagan even eats the captain’s canary.

9.5 Past the Equator

February 4, 1899

Neptune’s rowdy court need not convene when the ship sails across the equator on the Atlantic side as all on board are now initiates. With the North Atlantic approaching the crew prepares the heavy-weather sails and the Austrasia gets a new face: masts are painted and the deck is “holystoned,” rubbed with a rough piece of sandstone until new wood appears for oiling. The ship has to look presentable for its owners upon arrival in England.

9.6 White Squall in the North Atlantic

February 14, 1899

The second mate Charley Bews sinks even lower in the eyes of the skipper after failing to see a white squall blowing up in the night to snatch seven of the ship’s best sails. The men saved the bolt ropes and leach lines but the sails are burst into ribbons. In these cold waters all are hungry, weak and shivering in their threadbare clothing.

9.7 Near the European Coasts

February 17, 1899

As the Austrasia approaches the European coasts, ships began to appear. For fifty-two days sailing down the Pacific side of the horn the ship sighted no other sail.

Fagan is sick from overeating.  As Hayes is the only trusted boy on board, the captain orders him to clean out the officer’s quarters.  Under the pretext of breaking up some old boxes, Hayes knocks open the crates holding the officer’s tins of fancy meats.  Half the haul goes to his accomplice Fagan who is now sick in bed from overindulging.

9.8 Queenstown, Ireland

February 27, 1899

Hayes calls Queenstown (which returned to its historical Irish name Cobh in 1922) a charming little harbor known to seamen all over the world. Returning from her trip entirely around the globe, the Austrasia is larger and more battered than any of the other boats in port.

On the way into port, the men are treated to a good feed as the skipper invites “bumboat” Mary and “an alluring red cheeked Irish girl” on board. Mary sells clothing and knickknacks to the returning sailors; the young “colleen” with “her delicious Irish Brogue” chats up the merchandise to these men who haven’t seen a woman in months; and the skipper takes a “good rake-off” from the profits. Ignoring Hayes’ restraining counsel, Fagan plunges for the girl along with Baker and a Montana cowboy in the port watch who spend their last dimes on trinkets.

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8. To Sea

March 19, 2011

The map below shows the path of the previous chapter in orange, chapter 8 in red with popups, and the path of chapter 9 in pink.

View the First Ten Segments Without Popups This is a preview showing the path Hayes records in the diary up to age 22 without synopses.  Look at it in Google Earth if you can.

View the first twenty segments without popups on Google Earth If you click this button it will offer a google earth download.  You will need to have Google Earth Installed.  This is by far the best way to view all his trips to age 25.

View the first eight segments with popups on Google Earth This will mean a download again.  But it’s worth it.  Because…  when you have it up in google earth you can close the windows, then open them in order to see his progression.

Requested photo places (see About Photo Requests):

–  Portland OR
–  Astoria OR

Previous photo requests

Here and There Synopsis:

8.1 Portland

Oct. 9, 1898

When not chasing about Portland looking for a ship, Hayes records his familiar critique of the bars – where men are welcome to carouse bawdy until the money runs out – and of the friendly prostitutes whose lives and beauty are so short. He tells one particularly disturbing story of a young woman sitting on the sidewalk with a bad gash on her abdomen – cut by her own mother when their pimp transferred his affections to the more comely daughter.

Oct. 13, 1898

Hayes is hailed on the street by “a fine looking chap” who offers him a ship with the assurance that when the seas get rough around the Horn that’s when the crew all goes below for a smoke. He signs on knowing this is the only way he’ll ever get to Africa and takes up temporary residence at the “Home for Sailors and Farmers” until the ship sails.

Four Masted Barque circa 1892

8.2 Outfitted at Astoria

Oct 17, 1899

The ship’s crew is about half seamen and half green hands. The former are paid $25 per month the latter $20. All are assessed two months pay before the voyage begins for:

Two cheap cotton suits of underwear
Two suits of dungarees,
A cheap suit of duck for oil skins,
A 35 cent blanket,
A 10 cent straw tick,
Some tobacco (which Hayes doesn’t use), and
A couple pairs of socks.

Tom, an Australian; Riley, a Welshman; and Arthur McCoy, a New Zealander, are among the able seamen from whom Hayes can learn. The green hands are picked mainly for the brawn they’ll need handling the sails in the rough seas off Cape Horn. One is Dublin whose real name is Paddy O’connor – the biggest man in the ship and a bully of whom Hayes is immediately wary.

Some of the men are scoundrels. Hayes knows enough to remain silent when Liverpool, an experienced Welsh seaman, steals one of the two pairs of underwear just issued Hayes. The long voyage will offer some opportunity for a reply in kind.

Modern Tall Masted Schooner.
Photo by David Such
>

8.3  300 Miles Due West of the Mouth of the Columbia
October 24, 1898

Far out at sea. Hayes reports that he is seasick – “of course.”

The food is poor: “Lob scouse,” a glue-like mess made of potatoes and scraps of meat; “burgoo,” which is a pasty mess of unseasoned corn meal; weak coffee; and either soggy bread or pan tiles that threaten to break the teeth.

Hayes’ mates on the second watch are Fagan, a Frisco Irish boy, and Baker, a New York kid. All learn to jump without looking to another when a seamen calls for a hand to leap aloft.

8.4 Sailing South; Weather Getting Warmer

October 30, 1898

The men are now changing the heavy weather sails for lighter fair weather canvas. Handling the heavy sails is hard, dangerous work, but at least Hayes does not suffer dizziness as do some of the other boys and he likes being aloft.

At noon each day the men receive a pannikin of “pound-and-pint in regular lime juice,” to keep scurvy away and “to keep the passions in check.” Hayes reports that the poor food was enough for the latter.

8.5 Toward the End of the Trades

November 7, 1898

On leaving Portland, the bully Dublin had seen Hayes tuck some money into his waist belt. When he confronts Dublin about an attempted theft, Dublin threatens a little nudge one night when both are high up in the rigging. Now Hayes always takes the side closest to the mast on any spar and swears he’ll drag the big Irishman off with him should it come to a fight.

As the trade winds falter, the men are constantly aloft chasing “catspaws of wind.” On these sailing ships any man like Hayes who has never crossed the equator anticipates a rough initiation from the experienced sailors when Neptune comes on board. All are looking forward to a jolly time.

8.6 Neptune’s Visit at the Equator

November 20, 1898

When the initiates are locked in the boatswain’s locker to await Neptune, Dublin elects to fight for it. The seven or eight experienced sailors who finally subdue the big man deliver him an extra coating of tar from head to toe for their trouble.

At Hayes’ turn, Tom, a “genial negro,” makes a big flourish but pastes Hayes with only a little tar. His shaving is with a two-foot wooden razor and some pills made of chicken excrement and soap follow. Hayes mouths the pills before spitting them over the rail but Fagan isn’t quite so clever and swallows the lot.

After Dublin is subdued a second time, things settle down and Fagan begins wiping off his tarring on some oakum swabs. To Hayes, that silken scarf Liverpool (the underwear thief back in Portland) purchased in Shanghai seems better for wiping tar. Clean hands return the newly decorated scarf to its place in the forecastle.

8.7 Getting South Rapidly

November 27, 1898

When Liverpool finds his scarf, a volcano breaks loose. He has the gift of tongues acquired wandering the world in deepwater ships with “all the cuss words of every tongue jumbled together.” Liverpool and Dublin have a longstanding feud, so of course Dublin is blamed.

Their row of accusations and denials escalates until the skipper finally calls all hands on deck to watch Dublin and Liverpool fight it out. At dogwatch, with the jeering men circling the brawl, the giant Irishman thrashes his more compact Welsh opponent in a “rare scrap.”

Later, Hayes tallies Liverpool’s beating as just retribution for the underwear stolen in Portland.

British ships are notorious for both the poor quality and quantity of food. The men catch fish and seabirds and steal wheat from the cargo which, mixed with seawater, makes a kind of bread “hard as iron.”

8.8 Headed away for the Horn

December 3, 1898

With his experience of more than a month at sea, Hayes describes their ship, the Austrasia, as a “splendid sailer” with a “clean bottom.”

Stiff gales blow around the horn requiring bad weather sails. To ease the hard work hauling heavy canvas aloft, the men gather on the foredeck on Sundays to sing. Baker has been in the music halls in New York and knows all the latest show tunes. Hayes shares songs learned in the timber and mining camps now so far to the north.

Liverpool and Dublin are now best of friends, Liverpool sad only because “his judy” will not receive her silken scarf.

Technical information on the Austrasia linked by Tim Bell

8.9 The Roaring Forties

December 14, 1898

Throughout his life and all his travels Hayes remains conflicted about religion and morality. On the one hand, he is convinced, “All men are evil, the worst liars those who profess highest.” Still though, he remains haunted by his observation that all the men have at least some quiet faith in God. For now, the best he can muster is, “As for me, I don’t know what to think.”

On the side of practical morality, the men would starve if they weren’t stealing wheat from the cargo. The skipper will not allow them a scrap more than the regulated ration. Stealing wheat weighs heavily Hayes’ conscience and the skipper apportions justly according to British law of the sea – but the men are starving. In the push, Hayes always trusts his own inner voice. Ultimately he knows who to trust, but he can never quite let go his wish for a better world.


7. Spokane to Portland

March 12, 2011

On the Map below, Chapter 7. Spokane to Portland is orange with pop-ups; the yellow line is the previous chapter 6. Hico to Spokane; the red line west from Portland is the beginning of chapter 8. To Sea, Hayes’ first trip working as a sailor around The Horn.

View All Segments Published to Date on Google Maps As the diary progresses, the entire journey becomes increasingly amazing.

View the First Ten Segments Without Popups This is a preview showing the path Hayes records in the diary up to age 22 without synopses.  Look at it in Google Earth if you can.

View the first twenty segments without popups on Google Earth If you click this button it will offer a google earth download.  You will need to have Google Earth Installed.  This is by far the best way to view all his trips to age 25.

View the first seven segments with popups on Google Earth This will mean a download again.  But it’s worth it.  Because…  when you have it up in google earth you can close the windows, then open them in order to see his progression.

Requested photo places (see About Photo Requests):

–  Milan WA
–  Walla Walla WA
–  The Dalles WA
–  Colfax WA
–  Penewawa Canyon
–  Steptoe Butte
–  John Day River
–  Deschutes River

Previous photo requests

Here and There diary Synopsis:

7.1 Logging in Milan

May 2, 1898

After a 25 mile walk up to a logging site in Milan, Hayes finds work cutting and hauling logs to the Little Spokane River for floating to the mill. He’s got some companions “Oregon Slim, Shorty, and Frenchy,” who “have some idea of the game,” and “the food is excellent,” but the pay not so good: $3.50 per week.

Oregon Slim likes to fight and constantly bullies Shorty, “despite the latter’s dislike for a scrap.” Everyone can see that trouble coming.

May 23, 1898

Enough of this logging, “the harvest fields will soon be working,” and Hayes will go south. The larger bully finally pushed once to far and, “Shorty licked Oregon Slim.” If your nickname is Shorty, a “hammer tied to a buckskin strap” goes a fair way to compensation. Shorty would have killed Slim had the others not held him off. Perhaps this explains how mild mannered men turn into “superkillers” as with Billy the kid.

7.2 Walked Back to Spokane

May 26, 1898

The world is already shrinking. Back in Spokane Hayes runs into Frank Davidson, an old friend from Bandon. As the two “did the Coeur D’Alene” gambling house – why! there’s a gambler Hayes knew from Randsburg. “This man is a shady homo-sexual, something I never heard of until some of the more worldly wise explained to me.” Hayes’ further remarks are disparaging in a kind of naively shocked manner.

A carpenter friend introduces Hayes to a new way to beat the railroads. The lines regularly send men out to work on the tracks. With a bundle they got “from a pawn shop for 35¢” the two pose as workers and plan jump the train at Walla Walla before it reaches the work site in the Dalles.

7.3  Breaking Into the Jail

June 1, 1898

When they jumped off the train at Walla Walla, the carpenter said he knew the way to a house they could stay in. Fumbling around in the dark, the two came to a giant gate, huge walls, and a stout lock. “Say, this is the Pen!” (Hayes’ quote) he whispered running off into the dark. He says the absent guards would have had a good laugh at “a couple of saps trying to break into the can.”

7.4  Hauling and Threshing in the Blue Mountains

June 16, 1898

Still not listening to Ed Abbot who said, “these gamblers are not in it for their health,” (Hayes’ quote) Hayes loses all his cash in a casino before leaving Spokane and has to sleep in straw piles for a couple of nights on his way to harvest work near the Blue Mountains.

Advertisements in the newspapers have drawn more than 3,000 men from the cities to this place. Only at the height of the season will there be work for so many. But Hayes catches a small job hauling wood. This is a beautiful, fertile land where, “living streams fall out of the ranges and water the charming estates and fields of wheat.”

July 1, 1898

He writes, “On a threshing outfit now.” Threshing machines of the period were hideously dangerous stationary steam-driven contraptions run by a gang of men to separate grain from the wheat and chaff. Hayes works in relative safety driving a “derrick for a fork that drags the stacked grain to the hopper of the machine.

Threshing Crew 1900

The work is long but the food is good and everyone remains healthy in the fresh mountain air. Perhaps a signature line for the entire diary: “When this job is done, I’m going to Portland and try for a ship. Always I have longed for the sea, and want to see what lies down the horizon line.” (italics added)

7.5  His First Grateful Man

July 20, 1898

“This is the first time I ever saw a man who was grateful.” Once back in Walla Walla, even though Hayes was nearly broke himself, he bought a man a meal. Now this same man turns up at Colfax with a good job and is “in town spending his stake.” Pulled along in the spree, Hayes says, “the town was mine if I wanted it.

He hopped a train to get up here but finds riding the rails increasingly dangerous. Then too, he considers the morality, “ I suppose it is not right either, but everything in this world is wrong anyway.” Colfax has plenty of work around; he’ll rest for a day, then find something.

August 2, 1898

Hayes joins a group of men doing ranch work south of Colfax for low pay. Several of them plan to confront the boss, “Of course, as always, they have me for spokesman, but I will do it .”

August 5, 1898

On a trip to town from the farm, Hayes gets a ride and a threshing job offer at a 50¢ pay raise. He’ll take it, even though the food is poor and the work hours are barely believable. “This outfit works endless hours; begin at three in the morning and quit at nine at night.”

7.6  Itinerant work near Steptoe Butte
August 19, 1898

Threshing gangs move regularly from farm to farm processing the harvest. Some of the men in Hayes’ gang work as “tin horn” gamblers who are “able to clean up on the rural denizens of the Palouse.” Given their work schedule, one wonders how anyone can find time to gamble, but “jovial, good natured” Job Howard and his partner Slim can always scratch up a game. Job “realizes he’s wrong, but is satisfied with that.” The two gamble when they can and work when they have to.

Hayes considers these gamblers “no worse than these two bunco artists, Baker and Derr, who run the threshing machine,” with their endless promises of better food, shorter hours, and a better season next year. “Even the genial Job is growling.” Apparently the women, horses and booze cleaned out Job’s gambling stake; he now “handles the hoedown on the cylinder and has to breathe the dust for fifteen hours at least during every day.”

August 30, 1898

Hayes describes the eighteen-hour workdays as, “tough,” but he’s saving a little money and even thought about buying his own team for $60. Another entrepreneur outbid him at $65 and got a team that immediately balked under a new hand. Hayes counts himself lucky for once.

September 23, 1898

A thresher’s work schedule: rise at three AM; work until a half hour break for breakfast; return to work until an hour lunch break at mid-afternoon; return to work until dinner sometime after dark; then “we work by flares until nine or even ten.”

Hayes has been threshing on this schedule for more than six weeks – some of the men even longer. All are exhausted, so with the consent of the men who feed the threshing machine, “Job Howard tossed a hoedown into the cylinder,” destroying the machine and ending the work season for the entire crew.

7.7 Bad Influences

September 26, 1898

A thresher named Red Blythe owns his own team and wagon. Red, Hayes and “a Portland boy” named Bill, hitch up Red’s wagon for a leisurely autumn ride south – stealing whatever they need along the way.

A lovely peach orchard in Penewawa Canyon provides buckets of fruit for “college boys on vacation in the harvest fields … going home the cheap way to enter school again.” Hayes is “half-ashamed” that he “lied himself blind” to the “kindly old farmer,” whose name, J. F. Cram, haunts him to this day. Nevertheless, the three were not above taking chickens and a couple of sacks of grain for the horses from “that good old man.”

September 30, 1898

Walla Walla, Freewater, Milton, and Weston “with wheatfields on every hand,” roll sleepily by. Hayes and Bill walk the hills to rest the horses who are constantly tempted to run feral with the “cayuses, small pinto ponies, that run on the ranges and are as tough as horses ever get to be.” Coyotes pace the wagon, sheep graze quietly, “there’s no rush and we enjoy it all.”

7.8 Small Time Thieves

October 2, 1898

At the John Day River, the three travelers try to purchase alfalfa for the horses from a rancher. “He would sell us a few tons, but not enough to feed the team.” So they wait until after dark, steal a wagonload of alfalfa, and throw in “a couple bags of wheat for luck.” This “real stealing” bothers Hayes’ conscience, but he has a ready rationale: “everybody steals, so why not me?” And a lament: “Why did I ever come into such a world where one has to be a rogue to live?”

October 5, 1898

An axe from a country schoolhouse disappeared as Bill passed by. Now the small-time thieves have wood enough to reach the Dalles. Their last heist was a bucket of peaches from a “surly brute” who charged them 50¢ to cross the bridge at the Deschutes River.

“The Dalles” are falls in the Deschutes River where it meets the Columbia. Boats can navigate this far up the Columbia River, so the three bandits abandon their wagon and catch a steamer headed for Portland. “This is the most beautiful trip I have ever made” – The snows of Mount Hood; evergreen forests; industrious towns; scenic rock formations; and the grand river itself.

7.9  Parting Ways at Portland

October 5, 1898

Red said goodbye upon arrival at Portland but Bill and Hayes stick together for another few days in the city. Immediately upon arrival Bill must hunt up a priest to confess his “depredations.” Both Bill’s urgency to confess and his annoyance at having to do so strike Hayes as funny. Which then launches him into another of his dark tirades: “all men steal … to rob one’s neighbor before he robs you… if there be an honest man or woman in this world … every man for himself … devil take him who is last.” All this just three days after the most beautiful trip he’s ever made. The combination of a city and religion must have been too much to sustain his elevated spirit.

Nevertheless, cynical or no, Hayes is in Portland to find a ship and the search must begin. How else can an adventurer hope to travel the world?


6. Hico to Spokane

March 4, 2011

It looks like embedding the map on the blog page works fine there but the map doesn’t appear in the email notifications.  Try clicking to the blog or directly to the maps – you’ll like them.  He hasn’t gotten out of North America yet but he’s only twenty.

View All Segments Published to Date on Google Maps As the diary progresses, the entire journey becomes increasingly amazing.

View the First Ten Segments Without Popups This is a preview showing the path Hayes records in the diary up to age 22 without synopses.  Look at it in Google Earth if you can.

Requested photo places (see About Photo Requests):

– Kansas City, KS
– Salt Lake City, UT
– Seattle, WA
– Cascade Range WA
– Revelstoke BC
– Arrow Lake
– Sandon, BC
– Payne Mountain
– Noble Five Mountains
– Argonaut Mountain
– Kaslo BC
– Kootaney lake
– Spokane, WA

Previous photo requests

Here and There diary Synopsis:

6.1 War with Spain

April 23, 1898

The Spanish Sunk the Maine! Or somebody did. War fever grips all of Kansas City. Every packinghouse, mill, and train in town ties its whistle or siren full open for an hour in sheer relief from the tension built over the past few weeks. “Everyone is like a child, talking to the stranger next to him and planning on going to the war, wherever that may be.” In an earlier entry Hayes had remarked that this war will help heal the lingering scars from the Civil war. For now, it has united Kansas City at least.

Wreckage of the USS Maine
Havana Cuba 1898

All this comes to Hayes from outside as he lies in bed with the pneumonia shifted to his other lung. Having seen a doctor cure one side, he can save the fee and manage for himself this time: “A bella donna plaster, some aspirin and quinine seems to be working.”

6.2 Yellow Journalism

April 29, 1898

With the railways competing to undercut competitor’s fares, Hayes buys a ticket all the way to Seattle for $20. At one stopover in Kansas, farmers “swarmed over the train to get a paper telling of the war.” Hayes gathered up newspapers cast off by passengers inside the train to sell for 10¢ out the windows. He doesn’t mention which paper he sold, but quite likely its publisher was William Randolph Hearst, at whose San Simeon castle Hayes will manage the zoo in the 1930’s. The same frenzy rages across Colorado and Utah, “All want to annihilate the Spaniards who for so long have treated the Cubans as my father treated me.”

Whipping up the Spanish American War.
William Randolph Hearst’s
New York Journal 1898

The prairie bursts with “red, white, and blue” flowers “as far as the eye can see,” while would–be prospectors fill the train with congenial conversation about the fortunes they will uncover in the Yukon.

At Salt Lake City, “these Mormons … have worked hard and now farms and gardens bloom where once was sage and sand.” The long run of track stretching between Salt Lake and Seattle gives Hayes plenty of time to ponder “what then?” “Something always turns up, and will again.”

6.3 Gold Fever

May 3, 1898

War is only the secondary frenzy in Seattle; here GOLD is number one. “Several ships have recently entered the Seattle with tons of gold from the new Klondike mines,” stirring “the cupidity … to a crescendo of fury.” Mountains of mining gear and equipment block the streets and any boat that can float brings an inflated price from some soft-handed man senseless with the gold fever. With few Alaskan mines yet proven, Hayes wryly observes fortunes being made right here in Seattle by those selling boats and gear to greenhorn miners. With enthusiasm outpacing sense, “A lot of them will die before they reach the diggings, and more will perish after that.”

An inventory of the gambling houses in town includes, “Clancy’s, the Considine Brothers big Standard institution, and Billy The Mug’s.” He saw a croupier pull a lever in Clancy’s, got tossed out of the Standard for entering under age, and escaped a beating at Billy the Mug’s when he “demurred at being plucked.” Always the “girls, wan and fading,” to entice one inside.

6.4 Ranch Work with Wet Feet

May 9,1898

Ranch work in the rain for $20 a month. “An old chap named Mason … wants someone to do the hard work.” In May, in the foothills of the Cascades, one’s feet are always wet when chasing cows, plowing, planting – generally working as “a domestic animal.”

May 24, 1898

Three weeks in the rain and Hayes is ready to move on. Everyone in Seattle wants to go either North to the Yukon or enlist for the Spanish War. Hayes thinks maybe he’ll head up into Canada looking for a mining job in a dryer climate.

6.5 Canadian Pacific Railway

May 30, 1898

Rail fare just keeps getting cheaper: $10 from Seattle to St. Paul. But Hayes gets off at Revelstoke after seeing some gorgeous scenery. A quick look at the cedar stumps in Revelstoke, a change of trains, then down Arrow Lake on a steamer, one more rail jump and into Sandon.

“The mountains rise a full mile or more on every side,” with frequent avalanches that snap the trees like matches sometimes killing men in their path. “Many saloons and dance halls” cater to miners digging silver and lead – the only reason for the existence of a town in this remote place.

Some of these silver miners have left for the Klondike, “but most realize as I do that it is just another camp.” Gold prospecting has longer odds than roulette. Hayes estimates 500 will lose everything in the Klondike for every one with a real stake. At roulette, “the odds are only 38 to one against you.” And the one with a real stake will be “taken in hand by some gold digger in a dance hall.”

April 7, 1898

Unable to land a job, Hayes scouts the surrounding mountains, the Payne, the Nobel Five, and the Argonaut, often hiking a mile elevation gain then sliding down on the snow fields.

Variety theatres are the only alternative to bars in Sandon. Not much difference between the two really, “men lose their heads when an especially pretty face is looking into theirs.” Even the thrifty Scot Jock McCann waves handfuls of bills heading past the Maison Francaise – “so he will be broke by now.”

The minister and his wife here are “young and full of life.” They invite Hayes to stop in. He says, “I promised to, but backed out on it.” The bad experiences with church at “home” (Hayes’ quote) determine him never to enter a church again.

April 12, 1898

No job and funds are running low. His cousin Lewis, from California, sent some cash to keep him going for a few more days. As the prospects are not good here, Hayes plans to jump a train to Spokane where something is bound to turn up.

6.6 Canadian Grizzlies

April 14, 1898

Other than the beauty of its location beside the many waterfalls into Kootenay lake, Hayes can see no reason for the town of Kaslo – maybe as a trading post for the many mining towns around.

A prospector Hayes met near Kaslo startled two grizzly bears in the woods. “One ran from him, the other to him.” Slipping his pack, the man fought the one grizzly to a standstill with an axe. The bear died; the man survived. It took him “two or three hours to crawl a mile to a house,” and now he can be seen around town, “a mass of scars and bruises and walks on crutches.”

6.7 No Job in Spokane

April 19,1898

The grizzly attack in Sandon spooked Hayes from trying out a few mining camps near Nelson, so he rode Kootaney lake back down toward the US. Not much mining in Spokane proper but “gold to the west in Okanogan, and in the Coeur D’Alenes silver-lead.” Lead and zinc at other small towns all around support Spokane as a center for trade

And his customary report on the brothels: “at the Coeur D’Alene Dutch Jake has made his already large fortune bigger.” This place has it all, a gambling house, bars, variety show, and “hundreds of harlots plying their trade near this establishment.” His need to describe this scene in every new town evidences a fascination with the life, “But I’ve got to have a job; this easy money is not for me.”