"The Hidden City"

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"The Hidden City" - m. m. B 1 -0-i JK. m. m ___ CHAPTER 1. THE...
m. m. B 1 -0-i JK. m. m ___ CHAPTER 1. THE MESSAGE. Tlie sun had jnst sunk behind tbe bills, leaving Evans Gulch in ft Soft shadow and its prominent citizens ift B brisk discnssion on the merits of an old map which Sheriff Woodrnff had pro- dnced to confirm one of his statements. An old map it looked to be.; greasy amd marked by the fingers of hasty prospectors; almost as ancient in appearance as an Egyptian papyrus that had lain pressed closely to the bosom of a mummy for ages. Yet the sheriff had sworn by it for years, and he dared to produce it and lay it side by side with one of tbe government's newest, that was almost as unintelligible from Us pleros of red, bine and green lines, dots and specks, squares and circles, figures and names. The sheriff proudly stated that his map was made in thirty-seven, a fact that, for him, was proof of its virtues, for he believed that a map, like whisky, gathered a virtue with years. It showed vast vacant spaces marked "nnerplored territory," and in spite of the fact that the chimneys in Leadville smoked In the distance, three miles uway, where.bis reliable map showed an arid region, he still affirmed bis faith in it. He had his supporters, three or fonr, who swore by the sheriff, and they stoutly backed him in his assertion that "there's just as many ndexplored tracts in this 'ere country as ever—or nearly as many anyhow."- Cale Whitley had the majority with him as with fluent gestures and few words ho spread the now ma|>, gaudy, butterflylike, on the faro table and said scornfully, "Put your thumb on a spot where there's no names of hills, towns, .rivers or camps!" The sheriff, whoso thnmb was none of the smallest, would have found it a difficult task even had be essayed it, but he would not deign to bestow a glance npon the "circus chart" as he called the painted thing. All Evans Gulch knew what this dia- onsslon was about It was an old snb- jectr»nd-the-new-map-had-been-pro-- cured as a clincher to Gale's oft repeated assertions that "the whole country was explored, and no use talkin." A few of the least interested stood on the out' Ha. le»v- or•" at Co. The car wot ttojfied against the ground, with suchforce'as to throw Gilbert out. skirts of the little gathering, half in the wide doorwav/' watching, with -idle smiles that now and again broke into laughs as either disputant scored a point, the big, quivering, fat figure of the sheriff—hia red brown face, covered with freckles, pursed up into oleaginous wrinkles aa he listened—and Cale's wiry, nervous form and excited eyes as he ran his thin, calloused hands through his long, leather colored hair. The argument waa emphasized, punctuated and rounded out at frequent intervals by the most astonishing and unnecessary profanity. Remarks of a highly personal nature interlarded the discourse, and names and adjectives were applied with an unconscious natural freedom that would have amazed any one unused to Evans Gulch. But remarks aa to one's morality, sanity, parentage or nativity, when applied as aids to the open discussion of a subject, were unnoticed in that locality, and were considered only as so many flowers of metaphor, brightening the. dull path of logical argument. So Cale Whitley, in applying to the sheriff the title of a "driveling old windbag," in nowise reflected upon his official capacity, and likewise, when the sheriff pointedly pronounced Whitley "an escaped lunatic from some eastern asylum," he did not in the least influence the opinion of his hearers, who knew Cale to be a good prospector and mineralogist and a man of varied accom- in front of "Keenan's joint." The aeronaut, leaning from his basket car, directed them to draw him down, and alighted among them with a grateful word of thanks. He waa a man of about forty-five, brown bearded, pale and serious, but there was a firm look in bis blue eyes that showed pluck and skill, and his mouth, clean cut, a trifle thin, but graceful, gave evidence of determination and perseverance. The first words of the aerial visitor after thanking "the boys" were earthly and fleshly. "Can I get anything to eat here, gentlemen?" instinctively addressing Cale Whitley. / "Tbe best in the land I" readily replied Cale. ."Anything in reason from soda crackers to canvasback ham. We're ont of whisky, but there's lota of beer in camp yet Come in, stranger, while we tie your hoss." This proceeding, however, the stranger directed and assisted in explaining that he feared lest unpracticed hands might cause the loss of precious gas. He then entered the building, a one story structure, with a very wide doorway, where the faro table, in full view of the street, occupied the central space, with many stools and narrow chairs scattered about. The lean boy who had first espied the balloon had been dispatched to procure the guest some, lunch, and he made such haste that he returned with it by the time the stranger had seated himself. Surrounded by the crowd of rough, long baired and bearded men he presented a striking contrast to them in his neat at-° tire. Had he walked into Evans Gulch in a Norfolk jacket, knee breeches) and a cork helmet it is highly probable that he would have met with a far different reception and been treated with the scorn and contempt of the entire populace in their own wild western way. But his attire was befitting his advent, the first of the kind that the Guloh had been treated to, and the Gulcbera saw nothing inappropriate in his costume. ""Balloons"were" unique;" so ^were bal- 1 denials' clothes, waa the natural verdict, unspoken, almost unthonght. Yet all eyed him curiously, while kindly, and waited impatiently the completion of his modest repast. His eyes were busy, too, roaming frankly from face to face in a way that somehow told them he waa "sizing them up," as Calo expressed it afterward, glancing at the faro table, the specimens of quartz, porphyry, lead ores and carbonates npon tbe narrow shelf on the wall and the big broken roulette wheel in the corner, tilted up on ita side to afford more room to eager gamblers around tho faro table. When he had finished Cale tossed the paper in which: the lunch had been brought into the street and said: "Now, stranger, let's hear your story. This is ,the first time we've had a balloon up .hers, and we're naturally interested." • The stranger, with a good natured smile, looked around at the eager, toil hardened and sin hardened faces—many of them—and began: "My name is Pierce—H, R. Pierce, of Ban Francisco. I left Denver-the day before yesterday in the balloon, and was sarried south till near Colorado Springs, where the current changed and carried me northwest, 1 was compelled to remain in the car, the nature of the country not permitting an easy binding, I au> making an attempt to crosa the continent in a balloon. That is my story! gentlemen, all there, is of .'it, and I thank you for your kindness." • Finding 1 so tame an explanation of the phenomenon, moat of the crowd soon dispersed. Cale Whitley and-the sheriff somehow felt themselves to be in a measure Pierce's hosts, and felt the impropriety of indulging in Evans Gulch's only amusement while their guest refrained there- from. When Pierce inquired for th» hotel they both "smiled loudly," and stated .that the place had not risen to that dignity yet—fourteen saloons, nine faro banks, a poatofflce, a provision store (also a saloon) and.a "lockup" constituted, apart from sundry quartz crushers, the entire-borough; but they wished to ''extend to him the hospitality of their own 'shanty'-^he beat in the place too." Thither they conducted him at once, seeing therein a way out of their, dilemma, for they both felt the agony of witnessing the game .while being prevented from playing. . A long, rambling conversation ensued, during which the characters of the two men'.unfolded themselves to Pierce's eyes, and he recognized their thoroughly practical American worth. The sheriff was transparent; simply a big, good plishments. _-,._._ Standing nearest to tbe door, with his | natured Jerseyman by birth, who had face, turned upward toward the western sky, stood a lean, tall boy watching the golden light wear off the hilltops and turn leaden in the fading of the day. His face, •which was neither dreamy nor' brightj wearing rather• tk listless, tired look, suddenly filled with startled and fsartal awe as speechless he raised his band and pointed toward the sky. The man nearest to him, who had been an interested listener, catching • the astonishment and terror in the boy's eyes, turned quickly, and a shrill shout escaped his lips. At the same moment a hoarse sound of many voices arose, and all hurried to the doorway to behold sweeping np the Mope an object 'new to Evans Gulch. It was a large silk balloon. The dying nun's nws, already lost behind the bills, fell oa its sides, causing it to resemble a huge ripe pear hanging in the bine vault, ', The basket had a solitary occupant, who was making signs to tho people at the eastern end of the gulch to catch his anchor rope. They stood in amazed delight, howeyer, and the monster came sweeping along, the rope's end trailing np the street until Cale, seeing the object of. the aerial voyager's shouts and gigns, cried; "Get hold of his rope, boys, and stop Wl"; • ,.'. ',' . ''.'" '•'• '"'• ','• *'" ' A moment more a laughing, colling mass of men hilariously tumbled over each other in their efforts to seise tho rope, like A lot of frolicking boys, pad the giant mass swayed i growNj lived in various parts of the .west since boyhood, having made several email.for- tunes, spent them and expected to.make mother—a type frequently to be found all over the continent. Cale Whitley was not so easily read. He r was more beneath the surface and was harder to get at, but Pierce had seen too many men of learning and refinement adrift in these western wilds to probe too deeply into any mystery he might imagine in Gale's past. He was content to find in them both; materials that he might nse. It was nearly ten o'clock when he said; "I am here for a purpose in which you might, if you are inclined, aid me materially. It's rather a long story, but I will make it aa short'aa possible." He lighted bis pipe, as the other two had done, and emoted a few miuutea in silence, while they drew^theirjjhaire closer. Then he "began; " » •'Two years ago I bad a fralloon made In fact to •andertalre etrch an M w« meditated. It wat to cron the continent to the Atlantic, and for ft while all went swimmingly. ''W» hud crossed the Rockies fraeeew- fnlly snd were in the Wasstch range, or ratlftr betwn«n the Wasateh and the Elk mountains, when the current, which had been almost uniformly westward for days, saddenly changed and carried ns down toward Arizona. We were not alarmed, although onr supply of water. was somewhat scanty; yet the gas held ont well, and we- knew that we would strike water at intervals. We had on board when ve started a dozen carrier pigeons, seven of which had already been released and returned home. "We released one-in tb« Elk mountains just before the current changed. We drove south all day, pasting over the wildest and most magnificent canyon scenery at a high altitude, in a cloudless sky, until nearly sunset, when there came up a terrific storm. "In spite of onr attempt to rise above it we were hurled along with dreadful velocity and found ourselves nearing the earth rapidly 1 and in danger of being dashed against the enormous cliffs of the canyons, whose cavernous depths yawned below ns. The lightning flashed around as, and 1 feared every moment that the balloon would be set on fire. It became darker every moment, and nightfall found ns very near the earth, making mighty bounds np and down and driving along at the rate of a mile a minute. The anchor was thrown out, but failed to hold, the only results being to make the bounds and jerks more fierce. "It was totally dark, and about eight o'clock at night the car was dashed against the ground with such force aa to tear apart several of the ropes, throwing Erio Gilbert out, withal! our instruments, the pigeon crate and ballast, in an instant. The loss of so much weight caused the balloon to rise at once and dash away again, going higher every moment. I waa almost crazy and lost control of myself, I looked down, and I fancied 1 saw lights and dwellings down in' the canyon, people and cattle running about when the lightning illumined the. scene, but as I knew that it was an uninhabitable wilderness I laid it to excited iniaginatlon, and I knew that poor Gilbert's bones would be whitening under the burning tun in a few days. It was impossible to help him. I could only hold on and let the balloon drive. It became frightfully cold, and 1 found that I had also dislocated my arm. '.'After a time I became unconscious and fell to the bottom of the car, which was covered with ice. When I recovered consciousness 1 found myself in the hands of a Mexican cattleman, on whose ranch the balloon had descended, near Albuquerque, New Mexico. I was with him for several weeks, very ill and delirious most of the time. But I recovered and returned to San Francisco, where, to my surprise, I found' that all but one of the carrier pigeons had returned before me. I heard nothing of Erio and naturally mourned him as dead, for no man could exist .in -the region three days, , It is a waterless, burning, alkali desert."Now for the strangest part of my story: ° • . "One evening two weeks ago I observed • a carrier pigeon, evidently a stranger, endeavoring to enter my coop, with a message fastened to his tail in the usual manner. I went, up and let him in and recognized him at once as the bird that had failed to return. My heart sprang np in my throat, and my hands trembled so that I could scarcely detach the message. It waa written on some kind of a small skin and read thus, for here it is." Pierce took from- his pocketbook a white parchment and unfolded it upon the table., The others watched him with an. intense gaze. Then holding It up to the light he read: "H. R. Pierce, San Francisco, California: "If you are alive, help me. I am In a city of anolent people In a canyon, latitude thirty- three degrees thirty minutes, longitude thirty- two degrees thirty mlnnUa west from Washington, aa near u I can moke.lt. There le no way of escape. The people know of no other world or race and believe mo supernatural, but It can't last much longer. There's millions of dollars hero In solid gold. 'It will pay a relief party. The population Is about twenty- Qvo hundred. I have learned the language and written a book that will make people's eyes open. If this falls Into the hands of any white man, for God's sake forward to H. R. Pierce, San Francisco, or. If he la mlaslnff.send help to mo at once, EHIO L. QILBIBT. "Well, that's all there is of it. I am coing to find him, and you are the kind nf men I should like to have join me in* the endeavor, for I believe he is alive. 1 believe every word of this message. 1 Should like to have you organize a wagon train and search for him while I make the attempt in the balloon. It's risky, I know,'but I've'a feeling' that U will succeed. I believe that it was the same city that I saw as I was whirled away that night when we, struck the cliff. As I figure it, my friends, the location of this unknown city must be in the San Francisco river region, one of the most Inaccessible places in the United States. It lies north of Fort Borie, where, I think, we might make our start, and is bounded by the Black river on the north, the Gila range on the west and on the east by the Bio Salarosa and the White mountains. "Clifton is the nearest settlement, I believe, to this arid wilderness, and I find that the chances for a successful balloon search would be best it. begun in that locality. The, air current wems more steadily southwestern .than otherwise, and I wish to start from there. It is a tough country in which to travel, from all accounts, but I think we can overcome all dlfllculties, and the venture will pay ua if successful. I want to make a business proposition to you without calling for any feeling or sympathy on your part at all. I will give yon each ten thousand dollars if we succeed in rescuing Gilbert, and five thousand if we fail after making all proper efforts. How does it strike you?" Cale had already felt his blood stir with the spirit of adventure and had made up his mind' long, before Pierce ceased speaking, and as he concluded said emphatically: ly aofe*dfty*-~*Bi3 k* rigmfei bin by wking Pierce how toon h<* wished to start. "At otjc«," be aniwwwS. "Evsry rno- m«nt i« precious. While ws Hl« hers Gilbert may b« in flanger. I feel it'in Horn* way, and I am anxious to get to work." . Cale's raind had been busy for some time on tho problem, and bringing out tbe new map was intently studying its lines, in which the others joined him. Before them in imagination spread the desert of the Ban Francisco—only a little space npon the map, but full of the unknown and mysterious, iurrounded by line* and dots, with oft heard, well known t>am«s printed beeidA them. It seemed impossible that there could be a city full of inhabitant* in that little «pac« and the world know nothing about it. But Pierco declared that few people had ever penetrated even the border land of thto wilderness, and that it was extremely probable. Not for an Instant did these two men, shrewd and wily M they undoubtedly were, sharpened by the grinding of yeara of struggles,'question his sanity or singleness of purpose. They somehow felt at once the honesty of bis aim and object, and debated only tbe beet measures to insure their success, and before they slept they had formed their plans. A week later found them together at Tombstone, Arizona Territory, gathering up awagon train—men, hones and provisions—for the expedition. Another week and the big balloon swayed and struggled at its moorings aa though yearning, like an imprisoned bird, to soar aloft on its errand, surrounded by a crowd of men making bets on tbe success of the undertaking : and giving large odds against the return of the airship. At the same moment almost the people of Fort Borie were watching a little train of pack mules and horsemen climbing the mountain, with the sheriff in the lead, going north and waving their hats aa they vanished beyond the distant hilltops. Cale sat In the car, cool and calm, answering with pointed western sarcasm the bantering of the crowd and rather aniions to be off, while Pierce nervously busied with the last arrangements. At three o'clock he carefully scrutinized the car and ita contents, took a last look aloft, sprang into the oscillating basket, and in another moment the balloon Waa shooting np in a sweeping slant toward the clouds and toward the White mountains. The shouts grew fainter and fainter as the earth receded, and the men below grew into moving specks and disappeared entirely aa a gray veil of cloud intervened, and they floated alone in the ether. Tho search had begun. [TO BB cournnraD.] «j3$M Beal Estate Transfers^ A. A. Estate and issue, In re to hospital Estate of notice report filed ordered for same Estate notice approved. approved. Estate report filing of final issue. In re whether Daniel person, and conservator. extend days. Estate publication and to issue. Estate Oscar filed. issue filed and -In re to have of Jnryj far person to properly." report Estate Edmund approved. Estate .offered Letters to Smith appraisers. Estate bill filed Estate Certificate of and filed ordered to and The by the the bears a Sherman. any meet, find On and Begg's will For and left Ban Francisco in the month of June, with the wind taking us rapidly eastward. With.me was a young man named Erio Gilbert. He ww About thirty years old and one of the brightest men I ever knew.' A- linguist, a scientist, a mechanic, an artist; in fact he was possessed of more practical knowledge and cultivated .accomplishments thiia any other mau I have met; one of the most daring yet genial, good tempered fellows in the world. He was nearly six •feet in height and weighed about a hundred »nd sixty pounds, And he was *n (rthlete too. He could shoot Daniel Klnney to W L Stanger,' lot in Fulton, 8200. Eliza J Jones to J S and D L Martin, land In Hopkins, 87200. . William Burke to John Burke,'land In Tamplco, 81400. Heleoe L S Coasena to J S and D L Martin, lot In Sterling, 81500. George H Cassens to Same, lot in Sterling, 81000. John G Manahan to Jas M Fitzgerald, lot In Sterling, 8150. Elizabeth Arncft to Albert Malon, lot in Sterling 8750. -, -F W Dana"Trustee"to Lyman Blake, lots in Fulton, 8400. George W Crocker to Florence L Ewers, lot In Fenton, 8340. Bridget Raycraft to Thomas Bulger, lots in 1'ulton. 8000. Robert Ladlee to Micbael Costello, land lu Monison, 8400. Jane E Beckwith to Martin Jenks, land in Albany, 81000. E H Nevltt to Martin Jeuks, land in Albany, 876. . James 31 Dayo to.Alice Bushnell, lot in Sterling, 84000. Jacob E Bittlnger to Carrie Burroughs, lots In Fulton, 8325. Marion J Cross to A A Colbert, land in Erie, 8800. Lev! Olds to Herman Worthington, lots in Fulton, 8300. Emma R Vroom et al to Christopher Brubaker, lot in Morrison, $7400. Christopher Brubaker to Charles Bent, lot in Morrison, 8300. Levi Olds to'Davld W Ward, lots in FUlton, 83000.' David W. Ward to Robert 8 Cowan, lots in Fulton, 82000. Alanson Stowell to Thomas Pierson, land in Fenton. 8150. Anna E Ford to Christopher Baker, land in Hahnaman, 1400. Domlmick Ford to Christopher Baker, land in Hahnaman, 85600. Lewis E Brookfield to Frances A Burgess, land in Sterling, 83000. Marriage Licenses. France A. Rumonoske and Martha M. Nauman, Sterling, Otto O. Miller, Fulton, and Kate A. Whltmore, Clyde. J. William Brown and Minnie Hepburn, Sterling. While at Sterling Saturday we attended the dime museum holding forth there. We were surprised to discover in the person who took the tickets a former Tamplco resident, and no less a personage than Mrs. Rboda Cooley nee Goodell, and in Goldle, the Circassian Beauty <«nd Snake Charmer, her little son Jiazel. Hhoda travels-under tbe namelof MUleZeleka, the world renowned rnlpd reader and fortune teller, also Marolsse, the living half lady. Mons, DiaboJoa, the king of flames and Prof. Bliss, the Australian wizard are one and the same, and Is a slick performer. Truth Is stronger than fiction and this proves the assertion, that a citizen of our .quiet little village should bloom forth with such an array of cognomens, and be gifted with such talents, and her little son to be transformed as it were into a beautiful Circassian girl, is almost more than one could believe unless actually seeing for oneself. Yet it is so, tor lo, and behold we saw and know whereof we speak.—Tamplco Tornado. The MacKsye SpecUtoclom. A famous New York orchestra leader, Mr. Anton Seldl, was recently given a view of the model of " The MacKaye Spectatorlum" at Chicago. A few days later in commenting upon that model : to £ Isfew York newspaper man, he said: "At ' The MacKaye Speotatori- um' will be realized more than: Wagner SHALL We popular had Is an small business; selling to business. 73 "I am with you, heart and soul. It's just the kind of work I need, and I believe this old gas bag here is as anxious as I am to undertake the search." The sheriff, slow minded, as most men of hia size and kind art, was, however, as willing aa Whitley, but he was older and more lethargic, more prone to see the difficulties, if not the dangers, than Cale, £nd, too, he relished the. ease and comfort of the semicivilieatio& of ICvans Gulch, preferring it to bard riding and hard sleeping on the sunburned plains. For him, However, the money consideration was the motive power; thepriw waa to be ever dreamed of. Clouds, suaseta and other phenomena of nature, which at Bayrevfth were a failure, will here be a scenic wonder." In closing the interview he said he confidently expected that this undertaking would lead to tbe establishment of a grand American Bayreuth Festival, which would surpass in every way anything the, world has ever seen. To are store. 500 100 300 A The Army la not the one that worries us but the doctor's bill. Keep a, supply of Beggs' Family Medicines on baud and reduce your doctor's bills 95 per -cent. Sold by A. B. Hendricks. 5D

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  1. Sterling Standard,
  2. 30 Mar 1893, Thu,
  3. Page 7

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