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About Omaha daily bee. (Omaha [Neb.]) 187?-1922 | View Entire Issue (Oct. 14, 1898)
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THE OJklAliA DAlJjl' JJBJfi ! JFBIDAY , OCTOBER 14 , 1808.
CANNIBALS AT CLOSE RANGE
Studies of an Austrian Scientist on the
Island of Sumatra !
LIFE AND CUSTOMS OF THE NATIVES
1 liow plirr Wnitc Wnr anil Why They
Devour Tlione Who Full In
Ilnllle Some Ilcninrk-
ulilc Adventure * .
Tbo first scientific study of cannibals nnd
cannibalism la shortly to be published as a
rcBUlt of the experiences of an Austrian
scientist and explorer , Joachim I'relhcrr von
Brenner , who recently returned from Suma
tra , where ho has been for several years en
gaged In the study of the native blacks ,
Von IJronner , who IB apparently a most In
trepid young man , went Into the subject with
Qcrman thoroughness , and will probably
tnako a large and comprehensive volume , I
covering In every phase and detail the llfo
and customs of the natives of that Island.
Included In the equipment with which he
started out was a camera , with which ho
has taken several hundred very striking and
Interesting photographs to Illustrate every
point of his story.
Although Von IJrcnner's work was under
taken for the sake of Its scientific value In
the fields of geography , history and anthro
pology , his experiences will include much
that la of popular Interest and entertain
ment. As may be readily believed , It was
an undertaking of some hardihood to study
a trlbo of cannibals at close range , and when
the young Austrian announced his purpose
ho met with considerable opposition from his
friends and associates , who freely prophe
sied that ho would never return to announce
the result of his undertaking. Even after his
arrival In Dell , the Dutch residents , who
had bad some experience with the half-civil-
izcd natives , did their best to persuade him
to glvo up his project , and It was with great
difficulty that ho secured an outfit with
which to penetrate Into the Interior of the
country , where , alone , of' ' all lands known
to white men , cannibalism Is still regularly
practiced. Von Drainer's account of his ex
periences after leaving civilization , though
told In plain and modest language , shows
that the fears of his friends and advisers
were not altogether ungrounded. He says :
"I set out on my trip to the land of the
Datuka , after having secured by induce
ments , which to them appeared extraordi
nary , a caravan of thirty-six carriers. There
was but one European in the party besides
myself. Wo were conducted by a native
guide from one of the hill tribes , who was
recommended as a thoroughly trustworthy
man , and who Indeed proved invaluable as
time went on. Our course lay over the high
mountains which Ho a few mites back from
the coast at Dell , and beyond which is the
land of.tho DaUks , In which , as far as I have
been able to find , no European had hitherto
act foot. For the purpose of Ingratiating
myself with the blacks I carried a large sup
ply of all kinds of glass beads , mirrors ,
knives nnd various colored cloths , especially
a sort of rod cloth with gold border , which
the blacks esteem very highly.
"The partially civilized tribes that I
came across in the earlier stages of my
Journey afford many opportunities for In
teresting study , and our progress was there
fore slow , for I reasoned that the moro
thoroughly I understood the customs and
ways of these people the better I would
bo able to understand those In the wilder
ness beyond , which -was our ultimata
"One peculiar custom which was naturally
'among- the first to Impress Itself upon me
nnd which apparently prevails among all
the natives of the Island Is the method
of preserving the dead. The body Is
burned , but the head Is placed In a small
basket on top Of a bamboo polo as thick as
a man's arm , and thatched over the top
with the leaves of the sugar palm. Here
It is left to bleach and dry , and the sight
of these gfoaatly sign posts which wo fre
quently came across was anything but re
assuring , In some places the head Is not
detached , but the entire body Is hung up
In a ort of wicker-work wrapping , sus
pended between two posts several feet atxiva
the ground , and It Is possible to view
through the interstices In the basketwork -
work the ghastly remains which the bree/es
cwlng to and fro as they would a ham
mock , with a most uncanny effect.
"In climbing the mountain the constant
rains which wash out deep gulloys af
forded greater obstacles to" our progress
than even the trackless undergrowth
though which it was necessary to cut our
"Among the natives whom I first encoun
tered I was an object of mild but Intensely
curious Interest. It seemed to give them
great delight to gather In great crowds and
watch mo whenever I went In bathing. The
sight of a man bathing was not now to
them , but it was apparently the flrst time
they had ever seen such a thing as a cake
of soap , and the lather produced by II
was a marvel to all beholders. But It
was Impossible tp get any of them to try
Its effects. The natives laughed at my
custom of eating with a knife and fork , and
explained over nnd over again that It was
much easier to use the fingers. Another
object of great curiosity to them was the
camera , which they seemed to view with a
sort of superstitious awe.
A Ilnlllo HotWi'Oit Native * .
"By using the passport provided by man )
gifts of cloth and beads to the tribal chiefs
my progress was comparatively easy , untl
wo entered the territory of one trlbo which
was at war with Us neighbors. These
. would not permit our caravan to pass untl
the Impending battle was fought. This gave
me an excellent opportunity to observe the
native manner of carrying on war , and I
watched the battle In company with the
women and children of the trlbo from the
top of a neighboring hill. It was a strange
Bight , several thousand naked Malays ad
vancing In Irregular lines , In semi-circles
to meet upon an open plain. Each party
had guns bought from native traders , who
had Introduced them from the Dutch settle
ments , but they were used almost as effect
ively as the Spaniards use theirs. The
savages advanced with terrific shouts , trying
to frighten their opponents. Each man hac
loaded his gun with a tremendous charge
of powder , which ho fired when he wa
ready. As the gun went off he fell howling
to the ground from the 'kick' of the hei\v >
load. This noisy firing , harmful to th
owners of the guns alone , con.lnuej for abou
half an hour , when a shower came up am
nil of the combatants rushed back to thcl
huts for shelter. Tbo battle was over. Al
though the trlbo with which I happened t
bo admitted itself beaten by the greatc
nolae of the enemy ( there was not a sou
killed or wounded ) , they returned as If the
r had been victorious and gave up the nigh
to singing and feasting. The battle was t
be renewed next day , so a nar dance too
place , but the women , not the warriors , dl
the dancing. When the whole tribe ha
gathered a mlddle-a d woman rose an
began to stamp the ground In time to th
rude music of the drum and calabash , lit
movements became quicker and quicker , sh
loosened her hair , her eyes flashed , sh
teemed to be a raging witch. The chle
joined the dance for a few minutes , and a.
he resumed hU seat three other wom
dashed forward and Joined the wild dance
shrieking and jumping as if possessed. Sue
ilenly the music ceased , the dancers pause *
deathlike stillness prevailed. The lesdln
dancer was given a mixture of palm win
and mphor to refresh her , , she dance
still more wildly until the fell ex
haustcd to the ground , where she lay re
peating visions of victory on the morrow ,
A I'rlnonor Among Mnneittem.
"At the village of l/ontong I was made
a prisoner , along with my carriers. The
chief had been very friendly when wo flrst
appeared , and wo had no means of knowing
why he had made us captives , but the pros
pect un very discouraging. From where I
was seated in the native hut which served
as a prison , and which was guarded by two
stalwart blacks armed with jagged war
clubs , 1 could overhear an earnest discussion
going on among the warriors who had gath
ered a short distance away. The guide who
was beside me told me that they were dti-
cusslne the fate of their prisoners and as
the babble of conversation went on he In
terpreted such remarks as 'We must over
come them while they sleep , slay and eat
them. ' It Is needless to say such a prospect
was sufficient to banish every thought of
sleep. The guide Informed mo that there
were two parties to the dlscuwlon ; one
wished to kill and cat us and the other to
let us pass. Wo had no means of knowing
which would prevail and wo sat oil night
with our seven guns loaded and ready for
Instant use nnd our pistols by our sides.
There was a tumult In the early morning
nnd wo gripped the guns , ready to sell our
lives as dearly as possible. There were
cries of 'The Enemy ! the enemy ! ' and soon
It appeared that a neighboring tribe had
attacked the village , carrying off two of Us
women , A little later tha chief called to
see mo and said : 'What If we keep you to
work In our fields for a year or two ? ' I
answered : 'You would not do such a thing , '
nnd to prove that I did not fear him I gave
he chief a handsome pistol , which delighted
is savage heart nnd apparently restored
1m to the greatest friendliness. Seeing
lat I had made an Impression I added : 'If
ou dare to touch a hair of our heads our
rothers will come nnd kill all of you. '
'ho ' chief Immediately declared that ha hade
o Intention of Injuring me , that In fact ho
ook me under his protection.
"Still I did not trust him nnd toward oven-
ng , when ho summoned another council of
Is followers , I noticed that ) he was finger
ng the pistol which I had given him In a
anner anything but reassuring. I nt once
pproached him and said , through the in
" 1'rlnce of Lontong , wo see through your
ark designs and black plans. We fear you
ot. Wo are ready to die , but you will die
1th us. What ! Is your answer ? "
"Tho chief replied : 'I am sick ; let mo go
I said : 'No , you must sit hero until you
ccldo to let us go. ' This ho decided to dearly
arly In the morning and although stripped
f a great part of my belongings , I was glad
nough to get nway alive and kept the guns
eady until I had put a good distance be-
wecn myself nnd the village.
'Tho next tribe that wo fell In with was
ho one I had como so far to study. They
ecelvcd me good-naturedly because their
hlef had Just overcome the head of a rival
rlbo and they had enjoyed a great fenad.
"These natives In the Interior of Sumatra
re , I believe , as degraded cannibals as ever
Ivcd. A man will steal upon an enemy
vhen ho Is asleep and with a sharp sclmlter-
Iko sword strike off his head at a single
low. Then ho will strip the head of flesh
nd bury It on some trail , BO that even the
rlends of the dead man will step upon him
nd lose his good will In the other world.
\fterward the skull Is dug up and kept as a
ropby , tbo rank of each prince being fixed
.ccordlng to the number of skulls ho can
Snvf a Man ISntcn.
"During my stay I saw one man eaten ,
lo had been made captive In a ra < d agal ist
a hostile trlbo and when I saw htm he i as
ound to a tree. The vajah , or chief , first
pproached the victim and cut oit the flesh
rom the Inner side of the forearm nnd the
hock , two portions esteemed a great dell
acy. Tbo chief drank some of the bl.iod
ind then roasted the fleah slightly by the
Ire and ate It. Thereafter the rest ot the
warriors fell upon the victim and stripped
ho flesh from his bones , roasted and nte It
amid fearful cries of pain from the captive ,
who saw his own flesh roasted nnd eaten.
The savage feasters danced , shouted and
rubbed Bhelr stomachs to show their enjoy
ment , while the victim's cries grew weaker
as his strength ebbed away , until he finally
died from loss ot blood.
"Generally , cannibalism Is an act of rcn-
eance upon captured enemies , but among
ho Fopaks the taste for human flesh has
become so much developed that they often
at harmless slaves and old women. A Popak
prince In Ponganlbatan told me that he had
ust given a feast at which eleven Chinese
lad been eaten , and ho added that they .were
, -ory good. This prince , by name SI Gollak ,
was very rich , having his teeth glided and
wearing a handsome jeweled collar , In the
center of which a tooth was set , the tooth of
on enemy whom he had slain and eaten. Uut
10 himself fell a victim to his foes , as evi
denced by the skull and balf-burncd hand
which I found some weeks later In possession
of a Batak chief. Then a conversation took
place somewhat after this fashion :
" 'Where did you get that skull nnd band
that you carry ? '
I 'They belonged to an enemy who fell Into
our hands. '
"Did you cat him ? '
" 'Yes. My brother-in-law and his people
ate him. His name was SI Kemat Si Gollak.
Ho had fled from his country In which ho
was rajah with his brother , his wife and his
mother. He called himself a wizard and
sought to become ruler of I'antjo , where my
brother-in-law was chief. My brother-in-
law declared war against him and captured
II 'Was there a battle ? '
" 'No. We took him prisoner. Wo lay la
ambush in the rice fields and when we saw
htm pass through alone wo leaped upon him
and brought him to the chief. '
" 'And his brother ? '
" 'Ills brother fell In war. '
"In a battle ? '
"No. we shot him at night while he was
asleep. The ball hit him in the right arm ,
and he stood up holding a knife In his left
hand ; but we were victorious , for we were
many ; we knocked him down and sent his
head to the chief. Don't you call that war ? "
" 'What happened to his body ? '
" 'That no ate It. The head ? Our chief
put that In front ot SI Kemat that he might
know what to expect. '
" 'Couldn't he ransom himself ? '
" 'Ransom ? Impossible ; bo had to die. '
" ' ' '
'Didn't he cry ?
" 'O , yes , but that did no good ; ho was
bound fast. '
" 'And then ? '
" 'Wo ate him up , of course. The next
day when the sun ceased to rise and had not
begun to set ( noon ) we brought SI Kemat
tut , threw him on the ground with bis
face down and my brother-in-law cut his
head off. He received the heart and as
much of the flesh as he wanted and who
ever else wanted any took and roasted It
over the flrc. What was left we cooked
with pepper and salt and ate It at home.
The largo bones were tied together and on
the following day we burled his bead In
the path , so that oven his friends should
tread on It and make him their enemy. '
" 'What happened to his wife ? '
" 'I sold her at market for my brother-in-
law. Ills mother , the Guru ( wizard ) said ,
was as bad as her son. eo wo cut her throat
a month later'
" 'Did you eat her , too ? '
" 'Yts , of course. '
" 'Why arc there so few teeth In the
skull ? '
" 'The people broke them out to decorate
their collars , so that when they strike these
teeth It It the tame as If they hit 81 Kemal
on the mouth. '
" 'But why do you eat men instead ol
birds or fowl ? '
" 'Why should wo not ? What else could
wo do with those enemies whom wo slay ? '
" 'You might bury them. '
" 'Hut that would not bo proper. To slay
an enemy Is not everything. When ho Is
eaten the victory Is complete. ' "
From other conversations which he had
with other natives on this same subject
Explorer von Brenner came to the conclu
sion that except among the very lowest and
moat degraded of the savages with whom
ho came In contact cannibalism was caused
not so much by the liking for human flesh
as by the desire to complete the humilia
tion and destruction of enemies. Many
other curious customs and strange legends
are reported by Von Brenner as a result
of his Journeys through the country In
habited by moro than 200,000 primitive
savnges , but there Is nothing In all his
notes quite so extraordinary as his Inter
view with a cannibal on cannibalism doubt
less the flrst ever published.
Dr. Bull's Cough Syrup cures coughs pnd
colds. Mother ? , keep this wonderful remedy
handy for the chlldrep.2r cents.
G.VVK HIS MFU I-'Oil XBWS.
Dc-ntli mill rilnry Cniui nt the- Slime
Tliup to n IloHtnii Corri'Mioiulent.
The struggles of newspaper correspond
ents In Cuba furnish some of the most he
roic chapters of the war with Spain , relates
the Chicago Inter Ocean. Frank Collins , who
died at Tampa two weeks ngo , gave up his
" " Ho full of the American
llfo for a "scoop. was
can grit that never letn n man fall down on
story. Collins worked for n Boston ncws-
iaper before the war. "Old Col , " aa he was
.ffcctlonately called , was n hack reporter.
lo worked hard , but ho was never known to
urn up news. He could write beautiful
stuff , " but he didn't know news from hatn
"I'm going to the front , boys , " Collins
nnounccd In the local room the day after
ar was declared. "I don't Intend that fifty
ears from now my folks'll have to say ,
Grandpa wrote police news on a Boston
owspaper during the war. ' "
"Old Col's" decision was greeted with
oara of laughter.
He was young for all of his nickname
macked of the decrepit , nnd ho wns sensl-
Ivo. What was horse laugh play for the real
ut him like whiplashes. Ho set his teeth
Mid determined to corao out of Cuba a sue-
ess or a dead man. Ho died nt Tampa as
o was coming back from the war , covered
When Collins sailed his paper had no Idea
t could depend upon him for big nws. That
iyas to bo secured by a New York connec-
lon. "Old Col" was to write. If his stuff
urned out flrst rate , well and good. If
ot , ho was to be "soaked. " He got on the
round Juat In tlmo for the Rough
Riders' fight and the big engagements
hat followed. When other correspondents
were afraid to leave the lines and travel
cross country with dispatches , Collins
nidged every bit of the way on foot. Ho
edged Spanish sharpshooters , swam
treams. starved and fainted from oxhaus-
lon to reach the cable station. There ho
ound that his paper had had a quarrel
ivlth their New York ally and that ho hod
10 cabling facilities. Ho had no Idea how
icw his stuff was. To telegraph $160 \\-th
r more of stuff might mean that his paper
would refuse to stand It nnd ho would bo
discredited , besides having to bear the
ivhole expense. Ho had been turned down
so many times ho doubted his own judg
ment. Buo ho was such a good fellow , had
truggled so and berne such hardships , that
he correspondent of another big news
goncy took his matter nnd put It on the
ivlro for him. Back went Collins Into the
hick of things , feeling that now ho must
30 of considerable use to his paper. Ho did
not know It , but lila stuff -was a great
' 'scoop. " The other Boston reporters had
oen nfrald to leave the trenches and Col-
Ins' account was the only one that appeared
, hat day In a Boston paper. Collins worked
Ike mad , never sparing himself and fairly
augnlng at danger. He had no tent , noth-
ng to eat , no place to sleep , no helpmate ,
and not even the knowledge that his mattei
was being printed. Ho somehow failed to
get connection at ony time with his paper.
Ho wrote stories , pathetic , humorous , grand
columns and columns of them , nnd for
warded them plucklly my mall. The more
mportant matter went by cable.
One night ho came back , rain-soaked , half
starved into a tent In which a CInclnnat
and a New York newspaper man were tryIng -
Ing to find shelter.
"For God's sake boys , " ho said , "can"
you take mo in ? "
They were sleeping on n
square of canvas , folding part of It over tea
a cover. Collins was welcomed and Joitie
and cheered as much as possible.Vhe
gi'eat ' , strong men got sick In Cuba , thou
sands of miles away from home , they wer
apt to do weak things they would leave fo
women and children In this country. Col
Una cried like a baby. During the night h
told the Cincinnati reporter about hi
sweetheart. Ho had n half dozen picture
of her hidden away In the breast of hi
old duck jacket.
"She's a rich girl , " ho said , "and her pee
pie are away up , you know. 'But ' If I mak
n success of this , boys , I shan't ! bo nsharaei
to ask her folks for her1. "
Collins took passage for Tampa on th
Arkansas with a lot of other correspondent
when the fighting was over. When th
tlmo came for the health officer to com
aboard Collins wns too weak to stand up
"Braco up , 'Col. ' they entreated him. "Wo1 :
all bo quarantined hero If the doctor find
you sick , "
Collins was dressed with the help of th
others , brightened up and made to appear a
dappper as possible. The health office
came on and the boys all flocked aroun
Collins in a bunch nnd held him steady s
that he wouldn't weave around In a wea
way. He passed muster. As soon as th
officer left the boat he lay down again nn
declared that ho was not equal to anothe
trial. "Yes , you are ; you'll do It for us
old boy , " they persuaded him.
At Tampa they were told to walk pas
the doctor In single flle. Everybody know
thatl this would be Impossible for Collins.
When his turn came the newspaper people
nil began a joshing performance , laughing
nnd crowding ono another and trooped past
the officer like a bunch of colts. Collins
was In the midst and slipped through again.
Then ho learned what his paper had been doIng -
Ing with his stuff for the first time. They
were printing It with his name nt the top
of the page In letters an inch long. Collins
wns a success. "Hurrah , boys , " ho shouted ,
feebly , while- tears of Joy ran down his
wasted cheeks. Collins wns taken to n
hospital at Tampa. Ho died there a few
days afterward. In the pockets of his old
brown blouse , and stitched rightly in the
front , they found pictures of the Boston girl.
Chronlo Diarrhoea Contracted in ( lie
While In the army Mr. David Taylor , now
proprietor of the Commercial Hotel. Wind
Hldge , Greene Co. , Pa. , contracted chronic
diarrhoea. In speaking of it he says : "I
have never found anything that would give
mo such quick relief as Chamberlain's Colic
Cholera and Diarrhoea Remedy. "
Mntnufu llrtiirnii ( o Samoa.
AUCKLAND. New Zealand. Oct. 13. Ad
vices Just received hero from Samoa say the
German war ship Buzzard has brought Chief
Mataafa and other exiles to Apia. Mataafa ,
It Is added , promised to be loyal to the gov
ernment and to observe the Berlin conven
Mlmourl Soldier Dcail.
PHILADELPHIA , Oct. 13. John R. Watts ,
Company G , Fourth New York volunteers ,
whose , home was at St. Joseph. Mo. , d ed at
the Jefferson hospital today ,
A F ,
mportant Measure of Reform Perverted by
Scrubby Politicians ,
AILURE OF THE RANGER SYSTEM
ThouMtniln of Dollnrn Appropriated
to Protect KorcMtn from Fire *
to Howard Polit
The recent destructive forest fires In Col
orado nnd Wisconsin , by which vast areas of
r.luablo timber wns destroyed , re-awaketicd
ntcrest In the efforts of the government Co
> revent such disasters , especially In the
nountaln ranges of the west. The Wash-
ngton correspondent of the Boston Trnn-
icrlpt , who made an extended tour of the
vest during the summer nnd Investigated
.ho workings of the forest ranger system ,
naugurated by the government a year ngo ,
declares that 'tho ' system Is a farce ; that ) In
stead of the money appropriated being hon
estly used In protecting timber laud from
Ires It Is employed ns n reward for political
workers. The correspondent writes as fol-
Thcso rangers , or patrolmen , receive $30
a month , their supervisors $100 a month
and their duty Is to travel over an assigned
section of forest country , watching for fires
and taking necessary measures for stamping
out such ns are discovered. According to
[ he present plan the government Is expend-
ng about $173,000 annually in tills service.
How congress will feel about renewing the
appropriation , after the terrible forest de
struction of the flrst year under Its opera
tion , remains to be seen. If carefully In
vestigated , however , some very valuable evi
dence will bo forthcoming as to certain In
cidental features of our public practices.
-Merit of the Sj-Nteiu.
No doubt exists as to the essential merit
of the forest-ranger system. In other coun
ties It works well , and In the east forest
fires seldom amount to anything , bccnuso
the public so soon becomes aware of their
existence , and , even In the heavily forested
regions , promptly put out the blaze. It
was expected that the ranger system would
do for the sparsely settled west exactly
what the watchful care of the neighbors
accomplishes In the taut. Hy assigning
men to clearly circumscribed districts It
was reasonably believed that a great 1m- i
provement on past conditions might result.
Why are these anticipations not realized ?
Why has the ranger system In the United ,
States fallen down , ns the terrible record ' |
of forest destruction Is showing conclusively ! j I
that It has. for this year at least ? It '
la cot n pleasant task for a correspondent
at the national capital to assign the same
reason for the deficiency of ono after an
other of the services which Uncle Sam at
tempts to perform. Facts , however , cannot
and should not bo disguised. Our consular ,
Indian , Internal rcvenud nnd a hundred
other government services are stumbling
constantly for the same reason that the
ranger service has now fallen. On n recent
trip through the west I made many In
quiries ns to this now" experiment , every
where to receive the same answer , nnd In
many Instances to obtain illustrations of
the same sot of facts.t The ranger system ,
for which the United 'states pays $175,000
a year , has not in reality been tried. Not
over one-fifth of thoemployes ore moro
than apologies for forest , rangers. The sim
ple fact of the matter , [ s thqt a system has
been Inaugurated bjryjilch salaries as
signable to forest raspers have been dis
tributed as chromoB w , political workers ,
with llttlo or no pretense , of anything else.
I found one forest ranger with a carpenter's
apron on and nails In his pocket. Ho was
helping to build a house , working as a
Journeyman at his trade , and yet drawing
the regular salary of a forest ranger. I
took pains to Investigate his work , and
learned that his district extended down a
main road for twelve mllos. Another man ,
who had occasion to go over the same road
dally nnd know every traveler on It , assured
mo that this carpenter-ranger had not In.
weeks been moro than thrco miles from the
place where ho was employed. This , more
over , was not In
a commanding position , seas
as to bo of any use In detecting fires
throughout the district. At about three
miles from the scene of the house-building
this ranger had a llttlo fire , to which he
drove dally and threw on a bucket of water.
A limited area had been so trenched about
that there was little danger of serious con
sequences and his report ns submitted to
the department doubtless shows a record of
considerable Industry. This was In the
Cascade region of Washington.
IJnrrelH anil "Ilur'lN. "
In Colorado I met a forest ranger , some
what over 60 years of age , that In Itself Is
a sufficient disqualification for a mountain-
climbing occupation , who had proved him
self strangely Incompetent. According to a
well Informed and naturally Indignant resi
dent of the locality , this man In his travels
had discovered several Incipient forest Urea.
Instead of digging a trench and camping
with the. ono flrst discovered , ns ho ought to
have done , and so preventing Its disastrous
spread , ho went back tb town , declaring
that he could do nothing , and claiming to
have , discovered a solution of the fire prob
lem. His plan was this : The government
should raise his salary so that he could hire
a lumber wagon nnd a pair of horses and
with three or four barrels of water make
his Journey over the district. It
goes without saying that such
nn arrangement would bo useless In the
mountain country. The rancor with his
barrels of water could go only where there
was an open road and hence could not get
within miles of most actual conflagrations
or of the Incipient flres. It would have been
Just ns wise to propose to carry ns many
barrels of whisky. Instances of this kind
might be gathered In great numbers. Part.1
workers who cannot get any other govern
ment office In the west are appointed rangers
and these who will accept the modest com
pensation provided are usually broken-down
men , wholly unacquainted with the work
and unfit for Its performance. Their super
visor Is usually an active politician "who la
going among the people" and helping to
carry the caucuses. This prevents the
proper prosecution of offenders against the
forest laws. If local campers , miners and
trappers knew that they would actually be
punished for leaving sparks behind them a
good percentage of the fire loss might be
avoided. Will It be fair , then , for congress
to condemn the ranger system , when the
appropriation next comes up , ns having
proved useless , when In reality no decent
rang ex system has ever been tried ?
The lU'Kiilni-M IIM IlaiiKem.
In the opinion of many persons a vast Im
provement might be made by having this
ork done by the regular army. There Is no
doubt that It could thus be done efficiently.
In the Yellowstone park , which Is fairly
well forested , exceedingly dry , liable to high
winds , and having more than Its share ol
camping parties , the United States army
keeps the destruction by fires down to a
respectable minimum. But there Is one
great objection , at least , to assigning this
work to the regular army. I find the people
of the west very much opposed to a system
of military police and this Is what that
plan would amount to. They prefer to nave
the forest ranging done by people In sym
pathy with local conditions. While this la
the natural sentiment of the west , not a few
of Its public-spirited citizens told me that
they would much prefer tbo regular army to
the present aggregation of Incompetents
But this preference IB by no meant general
Many voters habitually like Incompetents
In public places better , especially If they
stand a chance some time to become one of
the Incompetents themselves.
The destructive effects of forest flrcs arc
never halt told by statistical tables. Tim
tnluo of tha forest Itself Is but a small part
of the loss. A great flrc destroys the soil by
burning the humus , or that covering made
by the decaying vegetable matter as dls-
t ugulshed from the mineral soil , Into ashes ,
This coating Is far Inferior In fertilizing
capacity to the humus destroyed and nature
must undertake n now and slow process of
getting the soil back Into a condition for
forest growth. The flrst stage Is a crop ot
weeds and underbrush , which In tlmo de
velop a humus covering. Without some
depth of this kind forest trees will not
'crow , or at least will not survive a dry
spell of weather. The c-ffects of the de
struction of the- forests upon the storage of
the rain , the height of our lakrs and the
regular flow of our rivers , am too well
known to need moro than n passing refer
ence. The subject Is one which concerns
not only the west , where the Immediate
loss Is the greatest , but the whole country.
Between the national carelessness ot Ameri
cans In regard to forest fires nnd the bounty
upon forest destruction provided In the
Dlngley bill , nt the Instance of a ring of
Michigan lumber kings , by which the Me-
Klnlcy duty on white pine was exactly
doubled In the face of our diminishing sup
ply , a pessimist might bo justified In saying
that the American people do not dcsene to
have any forests.
Public sentiment Is moving In the right
direction , however , on the forest question.
There was a tlmo In the west when fires
were condoned and It was openly questioned
whether they were not actually n good
thing. The day of such debates has passed.
The far west now realizes thnt It needs Its
timber nnd a much healthier feeling Is
Flrc AViirNU Tlinii SmviulllN.
Much moro timber fnlls every year by fire
than by the saw. Statistics amply bear out
this humiliating confession. And yet It Is
a comparatively easy matter to put out a for
est fire If taken In time. Ot course , If al
lowed to roach the Htncklcy stage the only
thing that can be snld Is whnt n candidate In
a civil service examination In New York
state wrote on his paper. Ho was asked
\\hat should be done In the case of a forest
11 ro that had passed beyond control. His re
ply was to "pray for rain and trust In God. "
But n flro In the woods , fortunately , Is a
long tlmo In reaching the stage where noth
ing clso can be done. In the dense forests
of the northwest there arc several approved
methods for fighting flames. The first Is to
drench the ground with water. It It can bo
done , and then to watch the fire contln-
uouMy. Another plan Is to dig trenches
around the burned area by quite a sweep ,
cunning through the humus to the mineral
soli , and then lot the flro burn as far as
the trenches , seeing to It that the Hue Is not
crossed. The third method , a much more
drastic one. Is known as back-firing. Great
alna must bo taken In the selection of n
roper range of forest , and a tlmo when the
wind Is In the right direction. A trench nt
ho rear of the new fire will prevent Its
iprcad In that direction , nnd then a now
uoiiBter can bo sent to battle with the oM
ne. In open forests , like the yellow plno of
California and Colorado , where the humus Is
cry thin , a creeping- fire may bo stopped
> y simply raking off the forest litter , which
s the easiest thing In the world , into a llt-
, lo windrow. Care must bo taken to see
.hat no burning trees fall cross this wind
row and so carry the flro beyond the limit.
But It the flro Is well started and a strong
wind sets In such measures are useless.
O'CO.VVEI.h AM ) CUUUAJf.
Example * of Their Heady Humor and
John Phllpot Curran was noted for his
powers of repartee nnd sarcasm , relates the
London Telegraph. Many of his good
things In that line have como down to us
through the century. There could not bo a
better testimony to their worth ; but as
most of them are too well known to need
repeating here , I will simply glvo a few
that I have picked up In out-ot-the-way
At a dinner table In London the conversa
tion turned on public speaking. Curran
stated that he could never address an au
dience for a quarter of nn hour without
moistening his lips. "I have the advantage
of you there , Curran , " said Sir Thomas
Turton , a pompous and pretentious member
of parliament. "I spoke the other night In
the house of commons for five hours on the
Nabob of Oudo and never felt In the least
thirsty. " "That is very remarkable , In
deed , " replied Curran , "for every ono agrees
that It was the driest speech of the ses
Ono day Curran was walking past the
parliament house In College Green , before
the Bank of Ireland got possession ot It ,
with a nobleman who had promoted the
legislative union by his votes. "I wonder
what they Intend to do with that useless
building ? " said the nobleman. "For my
part , I hate the sight of It. " "I do not
wonder at that , my lord , " returned Curran
who was an anti-Unionist. "I never yel
heard of a murderer who was not nfrak
of a ghost. "
Curran , as will bo seen from these an
ecdotes , could say mordant nnd cutting
things ; but , perhaps , no man wns ever In
sulted with such dialectical neatness and
Ingcnlousnces as Curran was by the famous
maker of "bulls , " Sir Boyle Roche , In tSo
Irish house of commons. "The honorable
gentleman says he Is the guardian of his
own honor , " said Roche In reply to a speed
of Curran ; "but on the other occasions :
hnve heard him boast that ho wns an enemy
of sinecures , "
Curran was defeated In a conversatlona
contest with Lady Morgan , the Irish novel
ist , one evening In that lady's drawing-
room , when , exaggerating the prevailing
fashion In short sleeves , she wore morel :
straps over her shoulders. Curran was
walking away from the little party who
witnessed the conflict of the two wits , when
Lady Morgan called out , "Ah , come back
Mr. Curran , and acknowledge that you are
fairly beaten. " "At any rate , " said he
turning round , "I have this consolation ,
Lady Morgan , that you can't laugh at me
In your sleeve. "
Daniel O'Connell's sarcastic and graphic
description of a lady of stiff , cold and formal
manners is very happy. "She has all the
characteristics of a poker except Its occa
sional warmth. "
This recalls the atory of the two Irish
servants who , discussing the stiff nnd un
bending mnnncrs of the young lady of the
family , agreed that "When she was a baby
her mother must have fed her upon boiled
pokers , underdone ! "
Another happy and humorous example ol
sarcasm ns npart from repartee Is af
forded by the following anecdote. I quote
It on the authority of a friend , who , I nm
nfrald , was the vllllan of the Incident. A
most Imperturbable man was followed from
Westmoreland street , Dublin , over the
O'Connell bridge to the general postofflcc
by two little street arabs who Importuned
him for the end of his cigar. "Throw us
the butt , sir ! Ah , sir , throw us the butt , "
cried the youths ; but as the man did not
betray the slightest consciousness of tUolr
existence they gave him up at last In de
spair and disgust. "Arrah , lot him alone , "
said one , with the most scorching scorn ,
"shure , It's a butt he's picked up himself. "
I once heard a bumptious little man , who ,
acting as steward at athletic sports In Dub
lin , was very assertive In keeping back the
crowd , thus addressed by an angry spectator
tater ; "If the consate was taken out ol
yez , yo'd be no bigger than a green goose
berry , and ye're 03 eour as wan already ! "
Another Spanish Victory I I I
He's captured Battle Ax.
You may be disappointed in war , in politics , erin
in business , but you will never be disappointed
< j ) It is the one chewing tobacco in the world that
0 is always the same good chew and the largest
© piece at the lowest price. Try it to-day.
when you buy again.
BOILER AND SHEET IRON WORKS
n WIlNoii .t Druku. |
Manufacture boilers , nmoko Blacks nnd .
fcreechltiBS , pressure , rendering , sheep dip ,
lard and woter tanks , boiler tubes con
stantly on hand , necoml hand boilers
houpht nnd sold Hnorlnl ami iiromiit to
repairs In city or country19th and Pierce.
Sewed Shoe Co
M'frs 1 Jobbers of Foot Wear
WESTERN AOINTS TOn
The Joseph Banigau Rubber Oo.
Rubbers and Mackintoshes.
Cor. Klpvriitli A. Knniiitn S < s. , Omulin.
P. Kirkendail & Co
Boots , Shoes and Rubbers
Baltiroomi UOMlOi-HM Harntr ( JtrMt.
Sluu . ( , . . . . . uu.euL No Horse Motion.
Get a Simpson Buggy with the Atkinson
Spring best and casieut rider In the world.
1-1(10-11 Uoilcc Street.
Qroireri nnd manufacturer ! of all fen mi at
Chicory Omaha-Fremont-O'Nell ,
R ! ichardson Drug Co.
902-906 Jackson St >
t. O. RICHARDSON , Prest.
a v. WELLER. v. r t.
Sl'fr * ftandardmrnncnullcai / I'rauhra *
Kont. H/ieelal t'or > nutan VrtpareA to
Order AeMciofitnlayi9 \ ,
Laboratarr , I11I Howard it , Omaha.
E. Bruce & Co.
Druggists and Stationery
"Queea Bee" Bprclaltlei.
Clora , Yflnat und Orandle * .
Otraat 1Mb and lUmer trt u.
WEAK MEN CURED
Importers and Jobber * ol
Dry Goods , Furmsfung Good *
The Sharpies Company
potters. Engines , Feed Cookers , Wood Pul.
leys. Shafting , Belting. Butter I'uck-
bse of all Ulna * .
KW-BOS Jones St. -
Electric Wit-iner Bolls and Gus Lifrhtins
O. W. JOHNSTON. Mgr. 1519 Howard 31.
John T. Burke ,
and PO WER PLANTS
121- South IntliSt.
u Supply Co . . .
itoS-iiro Harnev St.
Bteam Pump * , Engines and Hollers. Pipit
WlnJ Mills , Steam and Plumblnr
Material , U'HIn * . Host. Etc.
Oedor & Wilhelmy Co
Wholesale Hardware ,
I ee-CIark Andreesen
.Bicycle * and tiportlnf Goods. 131QaV39 Hi
.i tt .i.v cot. r. Aito
tfobbert of 1. father , ttailtltn'y Hardware , Kttt
Wo kollclt your orrtcra 1315 Howard St.
rane C.wctiiII ! Co.
1014'IOIIS Douglas Street.
Uanufacturtri ami jobber ! of Steam , Oil OB
Water Supplies of All Kinds ,
ruulioai curul tij Tcrlililit
' . Hyiiulll * Cum , cover fill *
I yull treatment with | fu-tt
I ton , tiO.W ) Single lioiui , R.W.
limit and ra