11. Cripple Creek and Victor

April 10, 2011

The map below shows the path of the previous chapter 10 across the Atlantic in blue, the current Chapter 11 in orange with popups in Colorado, and the next chapter 12 out to the west coast in Yellow.

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Requested photo places

I think I’ll quit making specific photo requests.  The photo people can decide for themselves whether or not to send and from where

Here and There Synopsis:

11.1 Boom Times at Cripple Creek

April 15, 1899

Only a rich gold strike could draw so many prospectors to the cold rarified air of the Rocky Mountains. Ten thousand men working for low wages scrape as much as $12,000,000 dollars gold in one year for the owners of the Cripple Creek mine; thousands more work at Altman, Victor and Independence. Hayes’ lingering influenza from the Bergenland prevents him from immediately starting heavy work in the mines, but the rooming houses and eateries offer lighter work for those who will do it.

Cripple Creek typifies mining towns all over the western Untied States: “gambling houses, red light district and dance halls.” Hayes can see that something more is growing: the big strike at Cripple Creek bought a respectable business section on Bennett Street and a large hotel “equal to those in big cities,” but most of the town caters to the rough entertainments of the miners: booze, gambling, and women all designed to separate the miners from their wages as rapidly as possible.

11.2 Flirting with the Salvation Army

May 2, 1899

A man named Charley the German knocks at Hayes’ door in the middle of the night looking for a warm body to help out at his rooming house in Victor, so Hayes takes the job. He says that he and Herman, the American cook, “haul well together,” and the money isn’t bad. This will do for now.

In his spare time, the Monarch casino and the Dewey dance hall draw his attention. He knows they are wrong – and even boring, but the rough town offers little else by way of diversion. Compared to the excitement of Cripple Creek in 1899, war in the Philippines rates only a one sentence comment: Dewey is a hero to all.

Hayes has not been to church for five years. Sitting in the Monarch trembling all over to restrain himself from a sure-fire scheme for “doubling up on the red or black,” he hears the story of a foreman from the McKinney mine who lost his all at roulette, walked home and shot himself. Hayes runs from the casino right into the midst of the Salvation Army preaching in the street. Their talk draws him powerfully; he wonders if this “friend of sinners” talk applies to him as well – but no, “I won’t chance them.” Instead of a visit to their modest church, he went on to the Dewey to watch the girls fleece the drunken miners.

11.3 Independence Mine

May 10, 1899

During his time off, Hayes walks the area seeing the big mines. Stratton developed the Independence Mine and is now the richest man in the area.

Winfield Scott Stanton
Independence Mine

Ore at the Independence assays at a dollar a pound; so rich, that the miners earn more from “high-grading” the ore than from their wages. They sneak it out in lunchboxes and specially designed jackets with hidden pockets. John Fuller, a pal to Hayes, claims he pulled a wagon up alongside a freight car and drove off with a load of high-grade ore. Hayes will seek this work when stronger – but he’ll work for the wage, not for the stealing.

11.4 Portland Mine

May 10,1899

Walking down to see the Portland Mine, Hayes can see that tighter security prevents the men from stealing ore at this mine. Stratton, owner of the Independence Mine, winks at miners high-grading ore – though any who tried to steal a crust of bread would find a jail cell – in Stratton’s mind, any worker who picks up the ore has some unspoken right to it. However, Stratton’s lax policies will soon change; Hayes says Stratton is scheduled to sell the Independence Mine in August to an English company for $11,000,000. The thrifty Brits know how to punish a pilferer.

11.5 Strong Mine

May 10,1899

Security is high at the Strong Mine too. Hayes enjoys these long walks away from the squalid towns. For him, a ten or twenty mile hike through the mountains describes a pleasant day off.

11.6  Cripple Creek

May 16, 1899

Back at work in the eatery in Victor, Herman the cook has quit Charley the German to open his own place in Cripple Creek. Hayes signs on with Herman. “Better pay too, paid every night.” Herman sends Hayes regularly to Victor on some errand where he “improves the time” stopping round to listen to the Salvation Army preachers.

Church is a breath of fresh air after the debauch of Herman’s place that is located right in “the center of the sporting district on Myers Avenue, and is patronized by the men and women who live the sporting life.” While serving the women, Hayes cannot help but overhear their conversations; all loathe their lives and themselves. They “fling their money as freely as their bodies,” seeking solace for remorse not entirely killed by the life. Hayes hears one woman musing to another that the two might find escape by way of the Salvation Army Rescue Mission. Her “washed-out blonde,” companion cynically replies that they’ll never let a woman forget where she came from. She’ll be scrubbing floors and eating scraps. Better to stay with the business where at least there is money.

One of the men in camp brags that his uncle is the famous gunfighter Jesse James. If the bragging is true, Jesse would not be proud of this nephew, who is known in Cripple Creek as, “Slaughter-house Mike,” a prize-fighter who makes his living selling peanuts when he returns to consciousness after being knocked out every time he fights.

11.7 Redemption at Victor

May 20, 1899

No longer able to stomach the depravity at Herman’s, Hayes walks out of the place leaving money, clothes, everything he owns behind. He prays to God and flees back to Charley the German in Victor, who asks, “Shorge, mein poy, does you want your old chob back?” So Hayes is working for Charley and has the light of Jesus in his heart. “Life seems bright again.”

May 25, 1899

Hallelujah! Herman too has walked away from his bawdy “chop house” bringing three girls Hayes knew from Cripple Creek along to try the mission. Herman is back at work alongside Hayes and Charley the German beams to have his two best workers back. Hayes notes that Herman’s effort to rise, are somewhat suspect as he is living with one of the girls “without benefit of the clergy,” but he sees also that Herman is genuinely sheepish about his “venture in Cripple Creek.”

June 12, 1899

A number of Hayes’ mates from around the area: John Fuller, Howard Speke, John Daniels, and Fred Sidler, all came over to the mission as well. Daniels joined the army to fight in the Philippines. Sidler still drinks heavily, but they are good lads. Hayes believes that no one likes the dissipate life of the camps but all follow the herd and are afraid of ridicule should they try for better.

July 4, 1899

None in this rough town has ever seen measles before, so when Hayes’ comes down with a case, a smallpox panic ensues until the doctor can have a close look at him. While in the hospital recovering, a young nurse scolds Hayes for infecting her with measles making her miss the town dance celebrating Independence Day.

11.8 Violence in Victor, in the Ring and the Union

July 4, 1899

Nothing in the bible enjoins against watching a prizefight on the day celebrating a nation’s independence. Kid McCoy is the most graceful boxer Hayes has ever seen, but two clumsy welter weights nearly kill each other – seven knockdowns in the final round – and, bible or no, Hayes has seen enough of prize fighting.

Charles “kid McCoy
1899

July 15, 1899

With few dollars in his pocket, Hayes longs for the sea again. His once-redeemed friends John Fuller and Howard Speke are back to stealing ore, and one of the girls left the mission for a gambler.

Because all the mineworkers are unionized, Hayes ponied up the dues without realizing a bribe was expected as well. He won’t pay a bribe, so is always passed over for mine work. On top of the graft, a couple of local organizers Bill Haywood and Harry Orchard lead the workers in violent strikes. “They make no bones about having blown up the station at Independence, where twenty–three people were killed , most of them non-miners and even some women and children.” Hayes remarks, “I don’t think much of unionism, if that is what it means.”

July 27, 1899

Cripple Creek, this roaring boomtown, draws some distinguished names including James Jefferies, world boxing champion, and William Jennings Bryan, Democratic candidate for president. After the carnage at the McCoy fight, Hayes passes on Jefferies. He listens to Bryan impressed by the magnetism but not the logic.

James Jackson Jefferies

William Jennings Bryan

11. 9 “It’s All Over.”

July 27, 1899

Jimmy Doyle’s Portland mine produces $90,000 a month. Much goes for booze to his cronies. Winfield Stratton’s money from the Independence goes to “spiritualists and other strange ideals.” Still, though, Stratton is a kind man and tries to do well.

August 11, 1899

Hayes’ friend Fred Sidler sticks with the mission but still wrestles with the bottle. Many of the unreformed in the “sporting life” use stronger drugs to calm their broken nerves. A steady hand at the table exacts a high toll the next morning and the descent is swift. “It doesn’t take long for them to reach bottom. Those who have the nerve end it with a bullet or with poison, but many cling to what remains of life to the very end. These are pitiable in the extreme, especially the women.”

September 1, 1899

“It’s all over.” Victor has burned to the ground. A “dance hall siren in the Dewey” knocked over the heater for her hair curler and “eleven and a half blocks went up in smoke.” At the Gold Coin mine, in the center of the fire, the last man out tied the whistle open and let it blow until the boiler exploded in the flames. The damage estimate is $2,000,000. Hayes saved all his possession overlooking only his razor strap. Fred Sidler rescued all the chairs and the organ from the mission then drowned his sorrows with a rowdy bunch mourning amidst the ashes.

Victor Fire 1899

The fire provides a good excuse for Hayes to leave. He plans to go first back to the harvest fields of Washington… then maybe to Australia… or to Paris for the World’s Fair… Maybe.

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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.”


4. San Francisco to Williams

February 19, 2011

View This Segment on Google Maps The numbered titles below also link to this same map.

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

View the First segment on Google maps You can view the numbered segments from first to most recent in the archive at right.

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):

– Mojave CA
– Randsburg CA
– Garlock CA
– Telescope Peak above Death Valley CA
– Kramer CA
– Harvey House at Needles CA
– Kingman AZ
– Williams AZ

Previous photo requests

Here and There diary Synopsis:

4.1 Orchard work at Stockton

September 18,1897

Walking nine miles eastward out of Stockton, Hayes and Marshall stumble onto a gang picking grapes, ask for work, and “are now a few dollars ahead.”  They eat well and sleep comfortably in a barn but scratch themselves raw with some kind of skin rash.  When not at the vineyard, the two stroll the Central Valley “selecting” fruit of every kind until no two men could eat their enormous windfall.

September 29, 1897

The two friends pop back over to see San Francisco again before parting ways.  Hayes could not wish for a finer traveling mate than Marshall, but “to get anywhere, to do the things one wishes to do, he must play the lone hand.”

Traveling alone now on his way to the mines in the Mojave, Hayes stops through Stockton where he finds some medical advice:  a hobo he meets in the rail yard informs him he has “crumbs” (Hayes’ quotes) or “in plain American, lice.”  Apparently mercurial ointment was available to indigent travelers in those days, Hayes anointed the seams of his clothing, his hair, and “a plentiful quantity elsewhere.”

4.2  Freight Trains to Mojave

October 3, 1897

While riding the rails towards Mojave, Hayes suffered a much more serious injury.  Initially all went smoothly; “an old miner” introduced Hayes to a conductor who, for a dollar, would let both men ride in the caboose.  Beyond Bakersfield they rode in the open air on the decks of boxcars listening to coyotes howl in the lonesome desert over Tehachapi pass.  The boxcar must have been near the smokestack, close enough that a cinder out of the stack caught Hayes in the eye nearly blinding him.

Hayes describes Mojave as little more than a junction between the Southern Pacific and Santa Fe railways.  A couple of saloons, a store, restaurants, and a hotel for the affluent make a sorry little town where the tracks cross.  He does enjoy watching the gamblers practice their artistry of “beating the other fellow to it.”

4.3  Racing Coyotes to Garlock

October 5, 1897

Continuing on by stage, Hayes must part with his new friend the miner who, “had to invest his every remaining cent into alcoholic research in Mojave.”  Not to worry, when the money is gone, such an experienced miner will find ready work out here.

By contrast, his new traveling companions on the stage from Mojave fail to impress: “ A fancy lady of the evening, a gambler, a drunken miner or two.”  However, a pair of coyotes running along in front of the coach for miles charm him by cutting cross-country to the new road whenever the coach turns and leaping ahead at a crack of the driver’s whip.

The mines of Randsburg, ten miles further on, locate their stamp mills for crushing ore at Garlock because “water is near the surface here in quantity.”  At Garlock Hayes finds work developing a mine site for “a Mr. Worth, who has claims in the desert out toward Death Valley.”

4.4  Lonely Mountains as Far as the Eye Can See

October 8, 1897

The Panamints, the Slate Ranges, the Funeral Ranges, and even Telescope Peak rising above Death Valley “perhaps a hundred miles away,” stand lonely in the clear desert air.

Hayes has Worth and his partners, Dr. and Mrs. Garrison who run the mine, “sized up as crooks.”  The old lady speaks constantly of her son, “a preternaturally bright person.”  At least Hayes can learn from a buddy, Jack Nosser, “a grizzled old miner from the Black Hills of South Dakota” full of tales of his friends Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane.  Hayes works a “whim” lifting material out of forty or fifty foot mine test shafts.

The food is not good:  bacon and beans.  And water costs two dollars a barrel.

October 20, 1897

One story Mrs. Garrison tells has her and Dr. Garrison confining their ten-year-old son Joe in a dark room for two years to slow his extravagant mental growth.  When Joe shows up looking like a tramp, Hayes has an opportunity to assess the cure:  “All I can say is, it was effective.”

As for Dr. Garrison, a teamster tells Hayes that Garrison practiced doctoring in Anaheim using a couple of “fast girls who set up most of the gay youth in the city.”  Garrison and the girls split the money Garrison made posing as “an expert at curing social diseases.”  Unbeknownst to the teamster, Dr. Garrison happened to be riding in the back of the wagon for this recitation.  Both ended with red faces.

October 29, 1897

Jack, the miner from South Dakota, has decided to quit.  When making his announcement at breakfast, Jack kicked Hayes under the table and both gave notice together.  The “old lady” is so full of lies about her famous relations, Hayes can’t resist delivering one last whopper of his own.  “I have to lie in sheer self defense.”  He knows Mrs. Garrison doesn’t believe his tale of seeing five men hung with a single pull, but, “the last liar always has a tremendous advantage.”  He and Jack will be off with the teamster when he comes round again on his regular route.

4.5  Prospectors at Randsburg

October 31, 1897

Jack and Hayes catch a ride most of the way to Randsburg.  A few years previously, “a $600 nugget was found near Red Rock”; now mines dot the landscape looking for its source.  Most are barren, a few are “stringers,” with narrow unpredictable veins, but “the big thing is the Yellow Aster” from which much ore will be taken after all the stringers peter out.

Another kind of prospector works this area as well – a real estate agent, who Hayes describes as “lower than the pimps who prey on girls in the houses of prostitution,” offers lots for sale in Johannesburg, a town just east of Randsburg on a better location.

By now Hayes considers himself knowledgeable about the “tricks of poker, seven up, and lots of games.”  In the gambling houses, easy money can be won from an inexperienced player, especially if he’s drunk.  But then Hayes runs into a real professional, loses all his easy money, but wins a bit of free advice:  “ If you work don’t gamble, and if you gamble don’t work.  We are not here for our health.”  (Hayes’ quotes.)

4.6  Snookering a Brakeman at Barstow

November 3, 1897

Nothing going on at Randsburg grabs Hayes’ attention enough to hold him there.  The rail line is not near, but walking suits him to begin with.

Along the course of his twenty-eight mile walk through the desert toward a station on the Santa Fe line at Kramer, Hayes passes another “real estate proposition” called St. Elmo.  He sees no houses, no water, no possibility for a town, only white sticks marking lots and streets.  His own need for water in this dangerously desolate region pushes him hurriedly toward Kramer.

Immediately after hopping a passing freight train at Kramer, a watchful brakeman assesses Hayes a 25¢ bribe to let him ride.  Protesting penury, Hayes talks the fee down to 10¢ so he’ll have 15¢ to eat at Barstow.

Instead of spending his 15¢ upon arrival, Hayes trades a couple of hours cleaning up for a meal at the Santa Fe Harvey House.  While he’s at the mop, the train crew enters for dinner.  After pretentiously and unsuccessfully asking everyone at the table to change his twenty dollar gold piece, the brakeman inquires sarcastically if Hayes might help him out.  With some satisfaction, Hayes reports, “I accommodated him.”  The brakeman can say nothing in the presence of his conductor for fear he’ll be censured for “carrying hobos.”

4.7  A Long Ride to Needles

November 5, 1897

Just as Hayes hops a freighter in Barstow, he sees his brakeman sent out on the same train.  With a pretty good suspicion Hayes must be on board, the brakeman looks everywhere except into the feed rack of the cattle car where Hayes lies just out of reach the horns of the wild steers below.

Seventeen hours and 172 miles later, “sidetracked for every train on the way,” having eaten nothing and drunk only at a darkened way station, Hayes and the train pull into Needles.

And who enters the Harvey House at Needles the next evening just as Hayes sits down to supper?  His brakeman, “who beefed in a semi-serious way” about the fifteen cents and the twenty dollar gold piece.  “But I paid for his meal, and all was lovely again.”

4.8  Cold in Williams

November 7, 1897

Hayes jumps another train to Kingman and then pays fare to Williams, “a town kept by a large sawmill,” where he’d like to find work.  But for now, he takes a job at “an eating house” run by a bullying woman who is never satisfied except with her drunken son and sanctified daughter.  The girl’s job as a typist, her engagement to “some clerk,” and, “worse,” her attendance at mass, place her “in a set as far above us common stiffs as lies between her and the angels.”

Bill Williams explored this region of Arizona where a great mountain rises more than 12,000 feet high, “so they say.”  At this altitude and at this time of year, snow lies on the ground and Hayes complains, “my light underwear is insufficient to keep me warm.”

But the town should heat up pretty soon when payday arrives.  Checks are cashed at the saloon, “and every man must show his appreciation by spending most of his pay there.”

November 20, 1897

Temperatures are below zero most of the time now, but Hayes has outdoor work at the mill driving a horse, “hauling slabs from the conveyor to the lath mill and box factory,” and has acclimated to the cold.  He sleeps in a “ram pasture bunk house,” crowded in with “Cotty and Irish and Sam and Jerry and so many more.”  Some of the men are well educated, smart enough anyway to play a friendly game of cards at night in the bunkhouse away from the sharp Arizona gamblers who trained in the boomtowns of Tombstone, Jerome, Globe, and Bisbee.

December 2, 1897

Hayes moves to a small cabin with “a couple of pals,” and a foot of snow outside.  One of the pals recounts his companionship with William Henry McCarty who died in New Mexico sixteen years previously.  According to the friend, McCarty, better known as “Billy the Kid”, was, “a quiet unassuming young man who minded his business and was the last man on earth one would consider a super killer.”

When the company hires a man for ten hours a day, seven days a week, this means ten hours a day, seven days a week actually hauling slabs.  A driver cares for his horse on his own time.  Tending a horse late into the night suits Hayes; nothing else to do other than saloons, gambling houses, and “a bagnio or two for the lustful lumberjacks.”  He wonders where these girls come from to do this work in these remote forsaken places.

December 13, 1897

In the increasingly cold weather, a railroad tunnel on the Santa Fe line east of Williams has collapsed.  The rail line pays a dollar an hour to any man willing to risk dangerous work clearing the tunnel; four have died so far.

Now it is Hayes’ turn to advise a gambler:  Ed Abbot, “a professional gambler and a member of Soapy Smith’s gang,” flat broke, bummed a dollar from Hayes and ran it to $6.50 at the roulette wheel.  Double down or buy some shoes?  Hayes advised the shoes and by swiping a pair of gloves while at the mercantile, Abbot has clothing enough for a job, “and he will actually work for a while, believe it or not.”

4.9 Colder in Williams

December 26, 1897

Working seven days a week at the mill includes Christmas day in temperatures far below zero with icicles “a foot long” hanging from the horse’s mouth.  But at least they put on a good feed:  “roast pork and trimmings and lots of other junk.”

Work didn’t take for Ed Abbot.  Hearing Abbot suffered a bad cut in the mill, Hayes hurries to check on him only to find the gambler grinning from ear to ear with a hand “full of bills of large size.”  Abbot crows he’s cleaned out “Dugan’s dump,” sent Dugan to the bar for more money, and won that too.  Now Abbot begs Hayes to come along for more, “you always bring me luck.  We’ll clean up on the whole town.”  At the end of a long night, Abbot holds hundreds of dollars.  No house anywhere in Williams will take another bet against his lucky streak.  With all that money in his pocket, Abbot hops a freight headed toward the Klondike in Alaska.  “Said Soapy was there somewhere and he would join him.”

January 20, 1898

So much time in one place makes Hayes restless.  He won’t gamble but he likes to hang around and watch the games especially immediately after payday.  The “main joint at Kelley’s” imports girls from Los Angeles to “maul the piano and drum up trade for the place.”  He says, one of the girls, Milly O’brien, “was nice to me, me being the only kid in the place.”  The continuation of that same paragraph calmly reports that a gambler dissatisfied that Milly would sell him no more than a single  $20 hour, “swatted her over the head with a gun, laying the scalp down over her eyes with blood running like water.”  Somebody must have intervened; the gambler is in jail at Flagstaff awaiting trial and transfer to the severe prison at Yuma.

February 10,1898

Though he describes the wedding cynically, Hayes seems pleased that Milly O’brien came immediately on happier days.  She wore, “Orange blossoms and crepe de chine and all the flimsy stuff women wear,” marrying Sandy Grogan of Flagstaff in “the society event of the year.”  The gambler got off easy too.  When asked, Milly told the judge her $20 an hour rate, to which he replied, “Don’t you think that is pretty steep?”  (Hayes’ quotes.).  Instead of the prison at Yuma, the judge gave the gambler a reprimand and a fine.  “Such is high society in Arizona.”

At some point Hayes had his diaries typed.  An entry on this date appears out of order.  In February he describes, “the strangest New Year I have ever heard of this time.”  First the train and mill whistles blowing started the coyotes harmonizing, then, “at the Cocnino Bar some hound slipped in and put a bit of limburger on top of the stove.”  Drunks were vomiting, the bar had to be closed, and there was talk of lynching.

February 20, 1898

The bitterly cold weather prevents hopping a train, but Hayes wants to quit this place and go visit his mother and sisters in Texas.  The railway charges $40 from San Francisco to El Paso with no reduction for boarding at Williams.  The mill pays $1.75 a day, with half subtracted for board.  Hayes won’t pay a railroad 53 days hard work when he can jump a freight for free and it’s too cold to ride, so he’ll just have to wait it out in Williams

Occasionally Hayes records an extremely dark entry into the diary.  Stuck in this high, cold Arizona mill town, he writes a long paragraph about the women he sees made prematurely old by their terrible lives of prostitution and of old “miners, prospectors, cowboys, and other adventurers,” reduced to menial labor to scrape together a few coins for liquor.  He concludes, “I wonder if I will be like this when I am old?  Better a thousand times I die first.”

March 2, 1898

Still stuck in Williams.  The mill pays monthly and March is five weeks this year, but “I will have that much more cash and the weather will be better.”