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About The Red Cloud chief. (Red Cloud, Webster Co., Neb.) 1873-1923 | View Entire Issue (March 30, 1922)
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RED CLOUD, NEBRASKA, CHIEF
mm k M
CopyrWrt, by Peter D. Kyn
CHAPTER XIV Continued.
"All right, Mnc. I guess tlio com
modore's foot slipped this time, but
I nln't Bqimwkln' yet."
"No. Not yet," cried Mr. Glbiiey
bitterly, "but soon."
"I nln't, nuthcr," Cnptnln Scraggs
nssumed nn nlr of Injured virtue. "I'm
n-wlllln' to go through with you, 01b,
nt a loss, for nothln' elso except to
convince you o' the folly o' mnkln' this
II one-mnn Hyndlcntc. I nln't n-kickln',
but I'm free to confess that I'd Uko to
be consulted oncet In u while."
"That's logic," rumbled tho single
"You dirty wclchcrs," roared tho
commodore. "I nln't nskln' you two
to tnko chances with mc. Me nn'
Nolls'll tnko this deal over Independ
ent o' tho syndlcnte.'"
"JiVcll, let's dress this hero diver,"
retorted tho cautious Scrnggs, "nn'
send him Into the hold for a look
around before we make up our minds."
Captain Scrnggs was not a man to
They moored tho launch to the
wreck and commenced operations. Mr.
Olbncy worked the nlr pump while
tho diver, ax In hand, dropped Into tho
murky depths of tho flooded hold. Ho
wns down half an hour beforo ho sig
naled to bo pulled up. All hnnds
sprung to tho lino to haul him bade
to daylight, and the tnstnnt he popped
clear of the water Mr. Glbney unbur
dened himself of nn agonized curse.
In his hnnds the diver held a large
decayed codfish I
Captain Scraggs turned n Bneerlng
glance upon the unhappy commodore
whllo McQufTcy snt down on the dump
rati of the derelict and laughed until
tho tears coursed down his honest
"A dirty little codflshln' schooner,"
rnved Captain Scruggs, "an' you
n-slnkln' the time nn' money o' the
syndicate In rotten codfish on the
soy-Bo of n clairvoyant you nln't oven
been Introduced to. Gib, If that's busi
ness, all I got to sny Is : 'Excuse mc.' "
Mr. Glbney seized tho defunct fish
from tho dlver'B hnnd, tore it In half,
slapped Captain Scraggs with one aw
ful fragment and hurled tho other at
"I'm outer tho syndicate," he rnved,
beside himself with anger. "Here I
go to work an' make a fortuno for a
pair of short sports an' pikers an' you
get to squealln' at the first flve-hun-dred-dollnr
loss. I know you of old,
rhlncas Scraggs, an' the leopard can't
change his spots." lie raised his right
hand to heaven. "I'm through for
keeps. We'll sell tho pearls today,
divvy up, an' dissolve. I'm through."
"Glad of it," growled McGuffey.
"I don't want no more o' that codfish,
nn' as soon ns we gtt flghtln' room I'll
prove to you that no near-Bailor can
Insult me an' git away with It. Mc
nn' Scraggsy's got some rights. You
can walk on Scraggsy, Gib, but it
takes a man to walk on the McGuffey
Nothing but tho lack of sea-room
prevented n battle roynl. Mr. Glbney
Ax In Hand, Dropped Into the Murky
Depths of the Flooded Hold.
stood glaring at bis late partners. Ills
great hatn-llko fists were opening and
"You're right, Mac," he said pros
eatly, endeavoring to control his an
ger and chagrin. "We'll settle this
later. Take that helmet off the diver
an let's hear what he's got to report"
With the helmet removed the diver
"As near as I can make out, boss,
there ain't a thing o' value In this
hulk but a couple o' hundred tons o'
codfish. Sho was cut in two Just ford
o the bulkhead an' her anchors car
ried away on the section that was cut
off. She ain't worth the coat ' towin'
her in on the flats."
"So that codfish has some value,"
sneered Cnptnln Scraggs.
"Great grief, Scraggsy I Don't tell
m riffle l
QREEN PEA PIRATES
By PETER B. KYNE
cAuthor of "WEBSTER MAN'S MAN," "THE VALLEY
mo It's sp'llcd," cried McGuffey, simu
"No, not quite, Mnc, not quite. Just
slightly. I s'poso Glb'll tack a sign
to tho stub o' tho main mast: 'Slight
ly spoiled codfish for sale. Apply to
A. 1 Glbney, on the premises. Spe
cial rates on Friday.;'
Mr. Glbney quivered, but made no
reply. lie carefully examined thnt
portion of the derelict above water and
discovered that by nn additional ex
penditure of about fifty dollars he
might recover nn equal amount In
brass fittings. Tho Kad Ink's house
was gono and her decks completely
gutted. Nothing remained but the am
putated hull and tho foul cargo below
her bnttcrcd decks.
In majestic silence tho commodore
motioned nil hands into the launch.
In silence they returned to tho city.
Arrived here, Mr. Glbney pnld off the
Inuuch mnn and the diver and ac
companied by his associates repaired
to ti prominent Jeweler's shop with
the pearls they had accumulated In
the South seas. Tho cntlro lot was
sold for thirty thousand dollars. An
hour later they had adjusted their
accounts, divided tho fortuno of the
syndicate cqunlly, and then dissolved.
At parting, Mr. Glbney spoke for tho
first tlnio when It had not been ab
"Put a beggar on horseback nn'
he'll ride to the devil," ho said. "When
you two swabs was poor you was con
tent to let mo lead you into a fortune,
but now that you're well-heeled, you
think you're business men. All right I
I nln't got n word to say except this:
Before I get through with you two
beachcombers I'll have all your money
and you'll be n-boggln' mo for a Job.
I apologize for sonkln' you two with
thnt diseased codfish, an' for old sake's
snko wo won't fight. We're still
friends, but business ossoclntcs no
longer, for I'm too big n -Agger In this
syndicate to stand for any criticism
on my handlln' o' the Joint finances.
Hereafter, Scraggsy, old klddo, you
nn' Mnc can go It alone with your
sternwheel steamer. Mo an' The
Squarehead legs It together an' takes
our chances. You don't hear that poor
untootcrcd Swede mnktn' no holler nt
tho way I've handled the syndicate "
"Hut, Gib, my dear boy," chnttcrcd
Captain Scraggs, "will you Just listen
to re " r
"Enough I Too much Is plenty.
Let's shnko hands an' part friends.
Wo Just can't get along In business
together, thnt's all."
"Well, I'm sorry, Gib," mumbled Mc
Guffey, very much crestfallen, "but
then you hove that dog-gono fish at
me nn' "
"That wns fortune hlttln' you a
belt In the face, Mac, nn' you was too
self-conceited to recognlzo It. Remem
ber thut, both of you two. Fortune
nit you in me raco touay an' you
didn't know It."
"I'd rutlior die poor, Gib," walled
Tho commodore shook hnnds cor
dially and departed, followed by the
faithful Neils Hnlvorscn. The mo
ment the door closed behind them
Scrnggs turned to the engineer.
"Mnc," ho said earnestly, "Gib's up
to somethln'. He's got thnt Imagina
tion o' his workln'. I can tell It every
time; lie gots u foggy look In his eyes.
We made a mistake klddln' him today.
Gib's a sensitive boy some ways nn'
I reckon wo hurt his fcclln's without
"He thrun n dead codfish at me,"
protested McGuffey. "I love old Gib
like a brother, but Hint's carryln'
things with a mighty high hand."
"Well, I'll apologize to him," de
clnrcd Captain Scraggs and started
for the door to follow Mr. Glbney.
McGuffey barred his way.
"You npologlzo without my consent
nn' you gotta buy me out o' the Vic
tor. I won't he no engineer with a
skipper that lacks backbone."
"Oh, ver well, Mnc." Captain
Scruggs realized too well the valuo of
McGuffey In the engine room. Ho
knew ho could never be hnppy with
anybody else. "We'll complete the
deal with tho Victor, ship a crew, get
down to business, an' leave Gib to his
codfish. An' let'B pay our bill nn' get
outer here. It's too high-toned for
me nn expensive."
For two weeks Captain Scraggs and
McGuffey saw no moro of Mr. Glbney
and NelJs nalvorsen. In the mean
time, they had commenced running tho
Victor regularly up river, soliciting
business In oppoaltlon to the regular
steamboat lines. While the Victor was
running with light freights nnd con
sequently at n loss, the prospect for
ultimate business wns very bright and
Scraggs and McGuffey were not at ail
worried about the future.
Judgo at their surprise, therefore,
when one morning who should appear
at tho door of Scraggs' cabin but Mr.
"Momln', Gib began Scraggs cheer
ily. "I s'poso you been rolled for your
money ns per usual, an' you're around
lookin' for a Job as mato?"
Mr. Glbney Ignored this veiled In
sult. "Not yet, Scraggsy. I got about
five hundred tons o' freight to send up
to Duunlgan's binding an' I want a
lump sum flggcr for doln' the Job. Wo
parted friends an' for the snko o' old
times I thought I'd glvo you a chance
to flggcr on tho business."
"Thnnky, Gib. I'll bo glad to.
Where's your freight an' what does
It consist of?"
"Agricultural stuff. It's crated, an'
I deliver it here on the stenmcr's dock
within reach o' her tackles. No henvy
pieces. Two men can handlo every
"Turnln farmer, Gib?"
"Thlnklh' nbout It n little," the com
modore admitted. "What's your rate
on this freight? It ain't perishable,
so get down to brass tacks."
"A dollar n ton," declared tho greedy
Scrnggs, naming n figure fully forty
cents higher thun he would have been
willing to accept. "Five hundred dol
lars for the lot."
"Suits me." The commodore non
chalantly hnnded Scrnggs five hundred
dollars. "Gimme n receipt," he said.
So Captain Scraggs gave him n re
ceipted freight bill nnd Mr. Glbney de
parted. An hour later a bargo was
bunted nlnngsldo tho Victor and Nells
"Holy 8allorl He Shouted. "Who
Uncorked That Atter o Violets?"
Halvorsen appeared In Scrnggs' cabin
to inform him that the five hundred
tons' of freight was ready to be taken
"All right, Nells. I'U put a- gang
to work right off." He came out on
deck, paused, tilted his nose, and
sniffed. He was still sniffing when
McGuffey bounced up out of the engine
"Holy Sailor 1" he shouted. "Who
uncorked that nttcr o' violets?"
"You dog-gone squarehead," shrieked
Captain Scrnggs. "You been monkey
In' nrqund that codfish again."
"Wiint smells?" demanded tho mnte,
poking his nose out of his room.
"Thnt tainted wealth I picked up at
sen," shouted a voice from the dock,
nnd turning, Scraggs and McGuffey
observed Mr. Glbney standing on a
stringer smiling nt them.
"Gib, my denr boy," quavered Cap
tain Scrnggs, "you can't mean to suy
you've unloaded them gosh-awful cod
fish" "No, not yet but soon, Scrnggsy,
Captain Scrnggs was on tho verge
of tears. "But, Gib I My denr boyt
This frelght'll foul the Victor up for
u month o' Frldnys nn' I Just took
out n pnssenger license I"
"I'm sorry, Scrnggsy, but business
Ib business. You've took my money
an' you got to perform."
"You lied to mc. You said It was
agricultural stuff an' I thought it was
plows an' harrers an' sich "
"It's fertilizer an' if that ain't ngrl
cultural stuff I hope- my teeth may
drop oq an' roll In tho ocean. An' it
ain't perishable. It perished long ngo.
I uln't deceived you. An If you don't
like the scent o' dend codfish on your
declB, you can swab 'cm down with
Florida wnter for a month."
Captain Scraggs' mate came around
the corner of the house nnd addressed
himself to Captain Scrnggs.
"You can give me my time, sir. I'm
a steamboat mate, not a gruvo digger
or a coroner's assistant, or nn under
taker, an' I can't stand to handle this
Mr. McGuffey tossed his silken ea
glncer's cap over to Scraggs.
"Hop on that, Scraggsy. Your own
hat is ground to powder. Ain't It
strange, Gib, what llttlo imaglnntlon
Scrnggsy's got? He'll stand there
a-screnmln' an' n-cussln' an' a-prancln'
Scraggsy I Ain't you got no pride,
mnkln' such n spectacle o' yourself?
We don't hnvo to linndlo this freight
o' alb's nt all. We'll Just hook onto
that bargo an' tow It up, river."
"You won't do nothln' o' tho sort,
Mac, because that's my barge an I
ain't a-goln' to let It out o' my Bight.
I've delivered my freight alongside
your Btenmer nnd prepaid tho freight
an' It's up to you to hnndle it"
"Thnt's tho prograimuo I"
OF THE GIANTS," ETC.
"Adclbcrt," crooned Mr. McGuffey,
"nln't you got no heart? You know
I got n half Interest In the Victor"
"O-oo-oh I" Captain Scraggs groaned,
nnd his groan was that of a seasick
passenger. When ho could look up
again his face was ghastly with mis
ery. "Gib," bo pleaded sadly, "you got
us where tho hair Is short. Don't In
voke the law an' make us handle that
codfish, Glbl It nln't right. Gimme
leave to tow thnt bnrgo anything to
keep your freight off the Victor, an'
we'll pull it up river for you"
"Be a good feller, Gib. You usen'ter
be hard an' spiteful like that," urged
"I'll tow the barge free," walled
Mr. Glbney sat calmly down on the
stringer nnd lit a cigar. Nature hnd
blessed him with a strong constitu
tion nmldshlps nnd tho contiguity of
his tnlntcd fortune bothered him but
little. He squinted over the tip of the
clgnr nt Cnptnln Scraggs.
"You're Just the same old Scrnggsy
you wns In the green-pea trade. All
you need Is n ring In yer nose,
Scraggsy, to make you a human hog.
Here you goes to work nn' soaks me
a dollar n ton when you'd bo tickled
to death to do the Job for half ' thnt,
nn' then you got . the gnll to stand
there nppeniln' to my friendship! So
you'll tow the barge up free, eh? Well,
Just to make tho transaction legal, I'll
give you a dollar for the Job an' let
you hnvo the burge. Skip to It,
Scrnggsy, nn' draw up a new bill,
gunrantccln' to tow the barge for one
dollar. Then gimme back $409.00 an'
I'll hand you back this receipted
Captnln Scraggs dnrtcd Into his cab
In, dashed off the necessary document,,
nnd returning to the deck, presented
It, together with the requisite refund,
to Mr. Glbney, who, in the meantime,
had como aboard.
"Whatever are you a-goln' to do
with this awful codfish, Gib?" he de
manded. Mr. Glbney cocked his hnt over one
ear and blew a cloud of smoke In the.
skipper's face: .. "
"Well, boys, ril'tell you. Salted
codfish that's been under water a long
time gets most o the Bait took out of
it, an' even at sen, if It's left long
enough, it'll get so darned ripe that
It's what you might call offensive. But
it makes good fertilizer. There ain't
nothln' In the world to equal codfish,
medium ripe, for fertilizer. I've rigged
up a deal with a orchard comp'ny
that's Iayln' out a couple o' thousand
acres o' young trees up in the delta
lands o' the Secramcnto. I've sold 'em
the lot, after first buyln' It from the
owners o' the schooner for a hundred
dollars. Every time these orchard fel
lers dig a hole to plunt a young fruit
tree they aim to heave a codfish In the
bottom o' the hole first, for fertilizer.
There was upward o' two hundred
thousand codfish In that schooner an'
I've sold 'era for five cents each, de
livered at Dunnlgan's Inndln'. I fig
ger on clennln' up about seven thou
sand net on the deal. I thought me nn
Nells was stuck at first, but I got my
Imagination workln "
Captnln Scrnggs sunk limply Into
McGuffey's arras and the two stared
at tho doughty commodore.
"Hit in the face with u fortuno an'
didn't know It," gasped npor McGuffey.
"Gib, I'm sure glad you got out whole
on that deai."
"Thanks to a lack o' Imagination In
you nn Scrnggsy I'm about two hun
dred an' titty dollars ahead o my
estimate now, on account o tho free
tow o' that barge. Me an' Nells cer
tainly makes u nice little split on
account o' this here codfish deal."
"Gib," chattered Scrnggs, "what's
tho matter with reorganlzln' the syn
dlcnte?" "Be n good feller, Adclbcrt,"
Mr. Glbncy( wns never bo vulnerable
ns when ono he really loved called
him by his Chrlstlau name. Ho drew
an arm across the shoulders of Mc
Guffey nnd Scrnggs, while Nells Hnl
vorscn stood by, his yellow fungs
flashing with pleasure under his wal
"Scraggsy I Mac! Your fins I We'll
reorganize tho syndicate, an' the mln
uto mo nn' Nells finds ourselves with
n bill o' sale for n one-quarter Inter
est In the Victor, bnsed on the actual
cost price, we'll tow this hero barge "
"An'' split the profits on tho cod
fish?" Scrnggs queried eagerly.
"Certulnly not. Me nn' Nells splits
thut flfty-lltty. quarter o them
profits Is too high a price to pay for
your friendship, Scraggsy, oiu ueceit
ful. Ilcmember, I made that profit
after you an' Mac had pulled out o'
"That's logic," McGuffey declared.
"It's highway robbery," Scruggs
snarled. "I won't sell no quarter In
terest to you or Tho Squarehead, Gib.
Not on them terms."
"Then you'll load them codfish
aboard, or pay demurrage on that
'Dftrgo for every day they hung around ;
an' if tho board of health condemns
'cm an' chucks 'era overboard I'll sue
you uu' Mac for my lost profits, git
In Judgment ngln you, an' tnko over
the Victor to satisfy tho Judgment."
"You're n seu lawyer, Gib," Scrnggs
"You do whnt Gib snys," McGuffey
ordered threateningly. "Ilcmember, I
got a half Interest in any Judgment lie
gits ngln us an' what's more, I ob
ject to them codfish cluttcrln' up my
"You bullied mc on the old Mnggle,"
Scrnggs screeched, "but I won't be
bullied no' more. If you want to tow
thut bnrgo, Mnc, you buy mo out, lock,
stock nnd bnrrol. An' tho price for
my half Interest Is five thousand dol
lnrs." "You've sold something, Scrnggsy,"
Mr. McGuffey flushed back nt him,
obeying n wink from Mr. Glbney. "An'
here's a hundred dollnrs to bind the
bnrgnln. Balunce on delivery of proper
While Scrnggs was counting the
money Mr. Glbney wns writing a re
ceipt in his note book. Scrnggs, still
furious, signed the receipt.
"Now, then, Scrnggsy," said Mr. Glb
ney affably, "hustle up to the custom
house, get n formnl blll-o'-snle blank,
fill her In, an' hustle back agin for
your check. An' see to It you don't
change your mind, because It won't do
you nny good. If you don't come
through now I can sue you nn force
"Oh! So you're buyln my Interest,
"Well, I'm lendin Mnc the money,
an' I got a hunch he'll sell (he Interest
to me nn' Nells without flggerln' on a
profit. You're a Jarrln' note In the
syndicate, Scraggsy, nn' I've come to
thut time o' life whore I want peace.
An' there won't be no peace on the
Victor unless I skipper her."
Cnptnln Scrnggs departed to draw
up the formal bill of sale nnd Mr. Glb
ney, drawing The Squarehead and Mc
Guffey to him, 'favored each with n
searching glnnce nnd suid:
"Gentlemen, did It ever occur to you
that there's money In the chicken
It hnd I Both McGuffey nnd Nells
admitted It. There are few men In 4
this world who have not, at some
perlo-g of helr lives, held tlo same
view, albeit the majority of those who
have endeavored to demonstrate that
fact have subsequently chaRged tbelr
"I thought as much," the commo
dore grinned. "If I wns to let you two
out o' my sight for a dny you'd both
be flat busted the day after. So we
won't buy no farm nn' go In for chick
ens. We'll sell the Victor nn' buy n
little trndln schooner. Then we'll go
back to the South seas an 'earn a
"But why'll we sell the Victor?" Mc
Guffey demnnded. "Gib, she's n love
of a boat."
"Becnuse I've Just had n talk 'with
the owners o' the two opposition lines
nn' they, knowln' me to be chummy
with you nn' Scraggsy, give me the tip
to tell you two thut you could have
your choice o' two propositions a
rate wnr or n sale o' the Victor for
ten thousand dollnrs. That gets you
out clean an' snves your orlglnnl capi
tal, nn' It gits Scrnggsy out the same
way, while nettln' me an' Nells five
"A rate war would ruin us," Mc
Guffey ngreed. "In addition to sourln'
Scrnggsy's disposition until he
wouldn't be fit to live with. Gib, you're
"I know it," Mr. Qibney replied.
Within two hours Captnln Scrnggs
half Interest hnd passed Into tho hands
of McGuffey, nnd half nn hour Inter
the Victor had passed Into the hands
of the opposition lines, to be operated
for the Joint profit of the latter. Later
In tho day nil four members of the
syndicate met In the Bowhead saloon,
where Mr. Glbney explained the deal
to Captain Scraggs. Tho latter was
"You'll run without me, Gib,"
Scraggs declared emphatically. "I'vo
had n-plenty o' tho dnrk bluo for mine.
I got n little stake now, so I'm going
to look around an' Invest In a"
"A chicken ranch," McGuffey Inter
rupted. "Rlght-O, Bnrt. now'd you guess
"Imnglnntlon," quoth McGuffey, tap
ping his forehead, "Imagination,
Three weeks Inter Mr. Glbney had
purchnsed, for nccount of his now ab
breviated Byndlcnte, the kind of pow
er schooner he desired, and tho In
spectors gave him a ticket as master.
With The Squarehead as mate and
Mr. McGuffey as engineer and general
utility mnn, tho llttlo Bchooncr cleared
for Pogo Pngo on a day when Captain
Scraggs was too buBy buying incuba
tors to come down to the dock and see
And for aught tho chronicler of this
tale knows to tho contrary, the syndl
cnto may bo sailing In that self-same
schooner to this very dny.
Must Live and Learn,
Young peoplo never will bo clrcunv
spoct. ' Human affairs must always b4
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A Short Time Ago I
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