South, West and North/Part 3/Chapter 5


HAMPTON remained beneath the pepper tree, adjusting his loads and coolly awaiting the moment to complete his work.

His view of the lower valley was cut off, but the absence of any shots and the sharp repetition of voices told that the guards were centering all attention on himself. From the buildings across the creek came shriller voices and bobbing lights; from inside the house of Dias arose questioning calls and shouted demands. The flames in the room mounted higher and gained foothold on the ceiling.

Now from the servants' quarters came lanterns and running men, Chinese by their voices, pouring toward the house of the master. In the other direction, the orchard resounded with trampling feet and low cries as the Yaqui guards came hastening up from the barracks. Hampton, lost to sight in the blackness beneath the wide tree, saw the groups of men approach in the clear starlight, questing what was wrong, aiming at the ruddy light of the window.

They found what was amiss when Hampton's revolvers began to speak. He fired deliberately, coolly, emptying his weapons with deadly effect, while the Chinese shrieked in wild consternation and the Yaqui guards cursed as the bullets struck them down. Rifles began to make response. Hampton left his position and slipped across to the shadow of the fruit-trees that ranged the creek, and started for the lower valley.

Behind him was pandemonium. Flames were spouting in air, men were shooting blindly, and above the din of voices rose the stentor-blast of Dias. Hampton, not pausing to reload his heavy revolvers, made his way along the creek, turned the cañon elbow, and after one last glance at the ruddy glare behind, hastened on his way. From all quarters of this lower valley the guards were hurriedly converging upon the scene of alarm, their shouts ringing near and far.

Hampton plunged into the creek, which was only waist-high here, and crossed to the far side, where there was a trail. He had barely come into this, when he discerned a tall figure coming toward him, and a voice leaped at him fiercely:

“Where are you going? What is the matter up yonder?”

Hampton recognized Ramon, and laughed softly.

“Do you not know your friends at night, Ramon?” he demanded.

“Who are you?” demanded the tall Yaqui, coming up to him.

“I am the gringo, and pay my debt thus,” rejoined Hampton, and struck out with the heavy Colt.

The front sight lashed Ramon across the eyes and face, cutting deep and sending the blood spurting, drawing a cry of startled anguish from the Yaqui, Instantly Hampton struck again, this time across the forehead, and again the weapon went deep. Dazed and staggered by those blows, blinded by the blood, Ramon snarled like a wolf and whipped out his knife—but a third time the heavy iron smote him, and under the blow the facial bones crunched and gave. He took a step backward, then whimpered and fell groping in the dust, and writhed there, a crushed and blinded thing.

“Remember the gringo now, you dog,” said Hampton, and went on his way again.

He was not sure where to find the trail that ascended to the desert, but presently, from the dark cañon wall, heard a shot and a wild yell; then a burst of shouts went up, and he caught Eli's voice. Instantly he lifted a ringing shout, which Eli answered, and in five minutes Hampton had located the trail and found himself greeted by Pap Hoskins.

“That you, Hampton? Eli's on above with the gal. We got the trail—I'm stayin' here to hold it a spell. We got rifles and a heap o' shootin' supplies. What's burnin' yonder?”

“The house of Dias,” said Hampton, and Hoskins uttered a howl of joy.

Pushing on up the trail, Hampton stumbled over a dead Yaqui and presently caught up with Eli and Nelly, who greeted him with a cry of delight. The mounting trail gave them plainer view of the growing conflagration up the cañon, and Hampton briefly related what he had done.

“We might have a chance to fight through to the schooner, had it not been for the other schooner arriving tonight,” he concluded, but Eli dissented.

“No—listen! Shots from up above. The Injuns up there will spread out and hold us. I know a first-rate place to make our stand if you say so—unless you want to run for it.”

“No use running,” said Hampton. “Go ahead and secure the position. We'll wait up above.”

He held Nelly against him in the darkness, and her hand crept into his. Eli was gone up the trail.

“We can't escape, Dick,” she said quietly.

“We'll not try the impossible, dear,” he responded. “All we can do is to go down fighting.”

“Then I'll do my share, and be thankful when the evil dream is all over! Nothing ahead can be any worse than what is behind.”

A laugh broke out ahead of them, and the bearded Frenchy came into sight, exultantly waving a rifle.

“Hola, mes amis!” he cried jovially. “They have us in check up above, but El Bobo and the two Mexicans have gone on to take up a position. I came to meet you. What is the bonfire down below, eh?”

Hampton told him, then got rid of his revolvers and ammunition. Frenchy was delighted, and cheerfully assumed the load. Presently all three gained the open plat form at the head of the trail, and Frenchy pointed out the situation. A hundred yards, or less, along the brink of the cañon, was a crown of loose boulders rising from the cactus thickets; this was the position which Eli had gone to seize, and a glance showed Hampton its value, as it commanded the head of the trail from below, that approaching from the sea, and the surrounding desert. Slight as was this eminence of a few feet, it was a natural fort ready for defense.

From the cactus, rifles spat fire, and again, in a sudden burst of sound. Frenchy slid softly away into the darkness, and Hampton pulled the girl into shelter of a boulder.

“Wait here and see what happens,” he said. “The fire's dying down—Dias has brought water from the creek. Hello! Some one coming up the trail——

Puffing breaths and hasty footsteps drew his attention, and the newcomer proved to be Pap Hoskins, who had come up to see what was going on. At the same moment Eli came cautiously back from the edge of the platform, two bullets burning after him.

“All right!” he exclaimed guardedly. “Make a break for it with Nelly, Dick—we'll bring the loads. Frenchy! Where are you?”

Frenchy cursed from the darkness, and bullets began to whine all around from the Yaquis who were flung out in the cactus. Hampton, seizing Nelly's hand, rushed her across the open platform to the rocks beyond; stumbling among the boulders, torn by the thorns on every side, they approached the crown of jutting fragments, where the two Mexicans awaited them. A cry broke from the girl as she stumbled over the body of a Yaqui—then they were in shelter of the high rocks, and one of the Mexicans pressed a rifle on Hampton.

What came next was sharp and vicious—Eli, Frenchy and Hoskins staggering under heavy loads toward the crown of rocks, while Yaqui yells arose piercingly and rifles stabbed crimson in the darkness. There were only three or four of the enemy scattered around, and on them Hampton and the two Mexicans fired; before the rifles could be reloaded, Eli and his companions came in, unhurt, and dropped their loads of ammunition and food.

Now, divining the purpose of the white men, the two Mexicans protested vividly that they desired to take their chance in the desert. Despite the curses of the others, accordingly, Hampton told them to take food and ammunition and go—water there was none. They made up loads and slunk away, having no stomach for what lay ahead in this place.

“Four of us,” observed Pap Hoskins, “and we got extry guns, and revolvers all around—I don't guess we-all are beat yet!”

“Five of us,” added Nelly Barnes. “I'll attend to the reloading, and maybe I can use a pistol if I have to! Dick, spread out that big serape of yours and bring those guns here, and show me how to load those Colt revolvers——

Taking up a strategic position between two of the central boulders, Nelly Barnes was soon hard at work, the four men spreading out to answer the desultory fire from the few Yaquis around. Since no alarm was heard, it seemed that the two Mexicans had managed to sneak through undiscovered; none the less, their fate was certain.

The conflagration had died out in the cañon below, being succeeded by a confused tumult, through which pierced occasional yells to answer those emitted by the Yaquis above. Leaving these last to his companions, Hampton settled himself with extra rifles and revolvers to watch that platform at the head of the trail, and it was not long before his patience was rewarded. Under the stars he sighted a dim mass moving upward, heard the scrape of feet and mutter of low voices. Laughing to himself, he waited momentarily, then poured a hail of bullets into the dark mass of men. When he ceased firing, only dead or wounded men remained on the trail; below, far below, the seaman's voice of Dias rang like a clarion.

After this there fell silence; while from the cactus thickets, around the crown of rocks came occasional voices that told of new arrivals from the harbor. Now and again a rifle was fired, though the four white men made no response, and the Yaquis, sure of their prey, were not anxious to hasten the event; indeed, they could do little until Dias and his men from the arroyo could gain the upper level by a roundabout way. So the five fugitives waited for the end, making a full meal on the provisions they had brought, and Frenchy found a canteen on a dead Yaqui which provided a few swallows of water all around.

“So this is the end of it all!” said Nelly Barnes, as she sat hand in hand with Dick Hampton, watching the eastern sky slowly lighten with the dawn. “This is the end—and what a sordid thing it has been all along, with the greed of that man Dias behind everything! It is hard to realize how everybody was deceived; oh, do you remember that day in Beverly, Dick, when the company marched down to the wharf, and the speeches and songs——

“And where is the company now?” broke in Hampton, with a grim laugh. “It's dead, or fever-stricken, or heading back home—and its money is in the pocket of Dias. Did he get all of yours, Nelly?”

“Yes,” she said. “He kept promising to take me on to San Francisco from here. Well, no use looking backward now, Dick! How long have we before—before the end?”

“Not long,” and Hampton glanced at the rapidly lightening sky. “They'll rush us once or twice, then pour bullets into us and get it over.”

“Then kiss me goodby now, Dick,” she said quietly. “I'm saving one of these revolvers for myself—and they shan't capture me. We'll go together, Dick.”

“Right, Nelly,” he answered, and their lips met.

“Come alive, Dick!” sounded Eli's voice. “Looks like they're on us!”

A last kiss, and Hampton sprang to his place. The crown of rocks was surrounded by rough and cactus-covered ground, but had the advantage of dominating position; from it, Hampton could see far over the desert on all three sides. Behind was the gulf of the arroyo. Eli pointed to a dark crowd of men, beyond rifle-shot, off to the right.

“Now they're splitting up,” he said. “Working out around us, eh? And look yonder, toward the sea—ain't that another gang?”

Hampton looked down the trail toward the harbor and thought that he made out shadowy moving objects. He shrugged.

“The crew of the schooner coming up. Well, get to your place, Eli—and goodby.”

“Goodby, Dick.”

A rifle-ball whistled between them as they separated. Pap Hoskins answered it, uttered a jubilant whoop, and the game was on.

A stern enough game it was, as Hampton discovered, and one at which he was a poor player. From the surrounding brush, boulders and cactus thickets, bullets were poured in at the crown of rocks; so thick and fast they came that to answer them was impossible, every least exposure drawing a hail of lead. Under cover of this fire, the Yaquis moved forward, gathered for a rush, and finally burst from cover with a yell.

The yell changed to a wild scream, however, as the four white men emptied rifles and revolvers into them, maintaining a stream of bullets. Astounded and dismayed, man after man plunging down, the Yaquis broke and scattered, and then spread out under cover to recommence their dropping fire. Frenchy brayed exultantly, Pap Hoskins whooped, and Nelly Barnes flitted from one to another, reloading the emptied weapons.

“They won't try that again!” yelled Eli, and his rifle banged. “Head down, Dick!”

Try it again they did not, but began to pour a searching, deadly fire into the crown of rocks. Hampton dared not show himself to shoot—the movement of a hand brought a dozen bullets. Hoskins, however, was more at home in this sort of work, and his rifle was deadly; while Eli and Frenchy manifested a reckless abandon which dropped more than one Yaqui.

Meantime, the spears of dawn had ripped asunder the gray veil of the eastern sky, and the sun was up, a red ball of fire mounting the brazen heavens. Hampton looked toward the harbor trail, but could see nothing more of the schooner's crew—they had taken warning and were advancing under cover, no doubt. Suddenly Hampton, who was on the right of the rocky crown, was startled by a yell from Eli.

“Look out, Dick—feller creepin' up on you! By that ocotillo bush——

Hampton twisted about, peered forth at the clump of long, slender cactus spires, and presently caught a movement to one side of it. He fired. A Yaqui leaped into the air like a stricken deer, and fell motionless. Bullets stormed in—one of them raked across Hampton's head, sending the blood dripping into his eyes.

“Come on yere an' take Frenchy's place, Hampton!” yelled Pap Hoskins. “Move smart!”

Hampton scrambled across the crown of rocks, bullets spattering all around, to where Frenchy lay sprawled out with two bullets through his brain; the enemy were close in on this side, so close that Hampton could hear the rattle of displaced stones as the men scrambled. He caught up a revolver, leaped to his feet, and emptied the weapon. Two Yaquis lay quiet, and Hampton ducked to shelter unhurt as bullets flailed the air above him.

“Good work!” shouted Eli, from the left. “Hurray! I got one——

The shout was cut short. Hampton, glancing around, saw Eli's figure leap up, whirl, and crumple out of sight. A shrill cry came from Nelly Barnes.

“Eli's shot, Dick!”

Hampton made no response. Pap Hoskins uttered a fierce yell; his red whiskers were blackened with powder and sweat, and his eyes glared wildly.

“It's all over!” he shouted, and then sent a laugh roaring up. He leaped to his feet, swinging a revolver in each hand, and disdaining all cover, began to fire at the brush around. As he did so, his voice leaped out in a shrill rendition of the golden song:

Oh! California,
That's the land for me!
I'm gwine to Sacramento
With my wash bowl on my knee——

His knees gave way suddenly, he flung out his arms, and with a last effort he fired a shot even as he fell; then he lay across the boulder in the hot sunlight, while bullets still thudded into his poor body. Pap Hoskins had found his golden land.

Hampton fired to right and left. The others were all gone now—he was conscious that Nelly Barnes was just behind him, reloading his revolvers. Then, from some where out ahead he heard the voice of Dias lifting sharply. He could not get the words, which were in the Yaqui patois, but the firing ceased. The bullets no longer came buzzing and whining, to spatter in bursts of lead on the hot rocks. He wiped the blood from his eyes and looked around.

“Hurt, Nelly?”

“No, Dick.” She looked up at him, smiled bravely. “Eli isn't dead—I couldn't do anything for him though——

“No matter. It'll be over in a minute now,” said Hampton. “The main thing is not to let 'em get us alive. Goodby, dear girl——

Something flickered through the high air like a falling snake; another followed, and another. Hampton leaped to his feet, lunging in every direction, crying frantic oaths, firing in blind desperation at men he could not see. The nooses had settled about him, the thin, harsh ropes of maguey fiber drew taut; beside him Nelly Barnes writhed and twisted in another noose.

Dark shapes appeared—Yaquis, laughing, who flung themselves in upon the two. Hampton emptied his revolver as he was jerked back and forth, knew that one and another of the Indians had fallen, heard another shot beside him as Nelly Barnes fired pointblank at an assailant. The ropes dragged him down, brown men leaped on him, held him helpless; he was bound hand and foot and jerked out from among the boulders, out from the mass of rocks crowning the eminence, to where Dias stood in the sunlight, on the wide platform above the trail. Here in this empty space Hampton was propped upright to stand as best he could on bound feet; here Nelly Barnes, bound likewise, was dragged to stand beside him; and here Eli, ragged shirt covered with blood but alive and conscious, was dragged and flung down in the sand.

“The others are dead, mi señor amo,” said one of the guards.

Dias nodded, and rolled a cigarito, and smiled slightly as he met Hampton's eyes. He did not speak, however, for a little space. The Yaquis assembled, until Hampton realized that two-score and more of them were crowded around.

Dias lighted his cigarito. He was about to speak, when a man came running up the trail, panting, chattering out a shrill message as he came. It was a Chinaman from the cañon below.

There was no need to ask what message the yellow man brought, however. From the arroyo ascended a sudden outburst of sound—the howling of men, a shot or two, the long shriek of women in mortal fear, stabbing Yaqui yells; an indescribably, frightful tumult of voices, over which rose and rose that bestial howling. Excited cries burst from the Yaqui around. Every man there knew instantly that the slaves had broken out. Dias turned to the brown men.

“Go and look after your families,” he ordered. “Five of you remain here. Slay those fools who have forgotten themselves. Go! Guard the señora.”

Ere he had finished speaking, the impatient Yaquis were melting away down the trail. More shots came from below. The panting Chinaman babbled out something about the slaves, and Dias hurled an oath at him. He sought the shade of a big cardon cactus at the edge of the clearing.

“So you're not dead, El Bobo?” Dias looked down at Eli, and smiled. Then his eyes lifted to Hampton's unfaltering gaze. “Well, the two of you fooled me neatly. And you struck me a good blow last night. Which of you left Ramon a blind wreck?”

“I,” said Hampton, cheerfully enough. “I'm sorry it was not you instead, you dog!”

“You'll be sorrier before long,” and Dias chuckled. Then a word from one of the Yaquis, a low word of astounded wonder, caused him to turn. Toward the group, from the edge of the platform, staggering toward them with outstretched hands and horrible face, was the Chinaman. Halfway to the group, his mouth open and gaping yet uttering no sound, he halted, beat at the air with his yellow hands, and then plunged forward. He lay on his face in the dust, dead, and from his back protruded something that glittered in the morning sunlight.

Dias was the first man to move. An astounded oath broke from him. He stepped forward, went to the dead Chinaman, and stooped. He came erect holding that glittering object in his hand. His gaze whipped to Hampton in blank amazement, then darted at the desert around.

The object that he held was the silver-hafted knife.

Oh! California,
We'll see you bye and bye,
And if we forget Beverly
Why bless you, don't you cry!”

THAT was the strangest sound that had ever echoed up from the Valley of Mercy—that sound of men's voices roaring out the lilting air of “Susannah” above the crack of rifle-shots and the stabbing yells of Yaquis. The sound itself, and what it portended, held Dias motionless for an instant—then from the edge of the clearing leaped a long, naked brown figure that came for him like a snake darting for a rabbit.

It was El Hambre.

“Injun does it!” shrilled up the voice of Job Warlock, as Indian and Dias went down in the dust. The Yaquis swung around, but too late—there was a ragged crack of rifles, a burst of revolver-fire, and the five brown men remained sprawled out in the sunlight. Hampton, to whom all this seemed a dream inchoate, visioned half a dozen men, white men, springing forward across the platform, while Job Warlock darted upon him with a yell of delight. Small wonder that Nelly Barnes uttered one wild cry and pitched forward senseless across the recumbent figure of Eli.

“You, Job—you!” stammered Hampton, as Warlock grinned in his face and then stooped to slit his lashings. Another white man came leaping toward him. “Adam Johnson! It can't be—this is some hallucination——

—— a bit, Dick Hampton!” cried Adam Johnson. “Give us your fist, lad—ah! There's a fiend unleashed in that brown Injun! Look at him, now——

Everything else forgotten, all stared; even Hampton, oblivious of his freedom or of the fainting girl at his feet, looked at the scene which was transpiring before his eyes.

Dias lay upon his back there in the hot sand, and upon him the lean Indian half-sat, half-knelt. Dias had driven that long silver knife through and through El Hambre, from breast to back, and clutched the haft with both hands, powerless to draw it forth again—for the brown fingers of the Indian were in his throat. From El Hambre's lips burst his harsh, mirthless laugh; then he slowly bowed forward, slowly sank down, until his dying body covered the figure of his victim, his scarlet serape more vivid than blood in the sunlight. The legs of Dias twitched slightly, then were quiet.

“No use lookin' at the Injun,” said Job Warlock. “Durned if Dias didn't split his heart first crack! Well, that's the end—give's your fist, Dick Hampton! Who's this in the dirt?”

The tension broken, the others were around him now, Adam Johnson and other men of the Beverly company; shaking his hand, pounding his back, crying out glad words. Some drew Nelly Barnes to one side, others cut Eli's bonds and shouted his name aloud as they recognized him; the hot, sun-smitten rock platform resounded to laughing, exulting words and eager cries, and the dead men who lay like blots in the white sunlight were forgotten.

“But what does it mean?” Hampton stared around helplessly at Nelly Barnes, who was being revived, at Eli, who was sitting up and grinning, at the men whom he knew so well who stood before him. “It's incredible that you're here, Job Warlock, and these others——

“Not a bit,” said Adam Johnson, and laughed happily. “Warlock and the Injun got ashore and told us what had happened. So we took a vote on it, and twenty of the company decided to come along to San Francisco; then we joined about fifteen New York men to our crowd.”

“But—how the —— did you get here?” demanded Hampton.

The men around grinned delightedly. None of them paid any heed to the sounds that were coming up from the arroyo—the intermittent crack of rifles, the occasional lusty shout from Yankee throat, the still continuous howling of the slaves who were free.

“Get here?” Adam Johnson chuckled. “Warlock knew that Dias' schooner, or rather his wife's schooner, was due from the south, so we all went out in the boats of some Injun fishermen and met her. That's all there was to it. We piled aboard, chucked Dias' men into the boats, and set sail for the north. Piracy? Tut, tut! Who's to lay a charge against us, eh? We got in late last night, took the other schooner lying in port, and El Hambre explored. He came back this morning with word of the shooting here, so a few of us came this way to capture the trail-head, while the others marched around and up into the arroyo. And that's all of it. From the sound of things down below—ah! Miss Nelly, a glad good morning to you!”

Johnson swept off his hat. Nelly Barnes, staring around, came to Hampton's side and stood in blank wonder. Job Warlock scraped and grinned delightedly, and shook his gold ear-hoops. A sudden cry broke from the girl.

“Oh, it's true, it's true! Really you after all——

“Aye, Nelly,” and Hampton swept his arm around her, drawing her close to him. “Aye, it's the mercy of God at work—ah, Eli! Here's my brother, Adam Johnson! You remember him? Not hurt badly, Eli?”

“Nothing but a scrape over the ribs.” Eli laughed, and then was engulfed by the eager men. Hampton was about to speak when Job Warlock turned to him suddenly.

“Dick! Where's that —— Doña Hermana?”

Hampton shook his head. Then he felt the girl tremble against his side—her face lifted, and a sudden frightened cry burst from her.

“Look—look there! Quickly!”

The knot of men disintegrated, whirled. Turning, Hampton saw a number of figures leaping up the trail from below, queer frightened figures, whose wild panting cries reechoed from the rocky walls. Two or three of the white men fired, and at this the figures screamed and turned again. They were Chinamen.

Now there swelled up a frightful and horrible sound which held the white men staring and spellbound. It was the mad screaming of men, the bestial howling of men mad with liquor, with hatred, with blood-lust. It mounted up along the trail, rising in a shrill crescendo of such unutterable fury that those on the platform stood waiting for that unseen horror to appear, the very hearts frozen within them by the awful outburst of shrieks. A shot burst through that tumult, and another, but the voices only swelled up louder.

“Back, everybody!” cried Hampton suddenly. “It's the slaves—they're loose. No telling what may happen—back to cover, men!”

He tried to get Nelly Barnes back toward the rocks, but a low cry broke from her, and her arm swept up. Hampton followed that pointing gesture, and then swung the girl aside that she might see no more. A low oath burst from him, was echoed from those around.

Into sight on the narrow trail came two of the Chinamen, and at their heels was a great wave of half-naked men—the Mexican slaves from below, now become wild and ravening beasts. They dragged down the two yellow men, poured over them, then suddenly the wave split asunder at another burst of shots. There in the midst of them all stood Doña Hermana, distinct in the white sunlight; she was bare-headed, her hair flying wildly, the clothes half-stripped from her body, a revolver in her hand. It spoke again—then the wave rolled upon her. From the peons swept up that hoarse and frightful yell; their bestial, foaming faces closed in upon the woman, their claws tore at her and tore again. She stood an instant under that wave, her white shoulders leaping into scarlet streaks—then she disappeared, and the crested billow of men rolled above her, the stabbing shriek of her voice piercing once or twice through the horrible screaming exultancy of those human wolves.

Mad oaths burst from the white men. Rifles swept up, revolvers began to crack. Bullets thudded into that writhing mass of humanity and shredded it apart. The blind screams of rage and fury became frantic yells of fear—the peons fell away, thinned out, turned and vanished down the trail again, leaving a red heap behind them. Job Warlock ran forward to look at that heap, but presently he came back again in ghastly pallor. He mutely shook his head, wiped the sweat from his face and collapsed on a boulder, staring at the ground.

“Well, well,” said Adam Johnson nervously, “I don't know what——

“Don't worry about it,” spoke up Eli. “That was Doña Hermana—the wife of Dias. I guess those peons sort of evened things up. Now what, Adam? You fellers goin' down below?”

“I'll have to,” said Adam Johnson with a grimace. “All's clear at the harbor, Hampton; you might go that way with Miss Nelly. Here, two o' you boys come with me, the rest of you go along to the harbor. Make sure o' those schooners. See you later, Hampton.”

He strode away down the trail, two of the Beverly men at his heels. Job Warlock came to his feet and looked at Hampton.

“The world's a good place, so hurray!” he exclaimed, though soberly enough. “Well, what are we waitin' for? Looks like all our friends are goin' on to San Francisco, Dick. What course are you and me goin' to set?”

Hampton smiled. He met Eli's beaming face, then turned and nodded to the eager gaze of the girl at his side.

“Which way, Nelly? Together?”

"Always together, Dick!” She smiled as her fingers gripped his. “Always together——

“Set the course for 'Frisco, Job!” said Hampton.

Job Warlock touched his forelock.

“Aye, aye, sir! North it is, once out o' this gulf—it's a far ways to them Bluenose ships, but Injun does it—aye, sir, north it is. Come along, all hands!”

Hampton, tucking Nelly's arm in his, turned with the others to the harbor trail. Then, as though in presage of the future, from the arroyo below rang up the slow-lilting, sharply accented air of “Susannah,” roared out by a score and more of exultant New England voices:

Oh, Sacramento,
That's the place for me!
Our troubles all are over
And in 'Frisco soon we'll be!”