« PreviousContinue »
with him, is “Bright" Gillespie, who the most renowned drivers ever has been driving between Raymond known in the Sierra. and Wawona for the past twelve Although Billy Coffman is ons years. He resembles Tom Gordon of the crack drivers of the Sierras, in person, and is as compact as an having driven out of Wawona underweight athlete. "Bright" is
either to the Big Trees or the Valconsidered one of the most gallant ley for twenty-five years, his fame fellows on the road, and is as re- rests more substantially on the fact liable as he is gallant. One night that he is partial to the genus old after he had been driving sixty days maid; or, as Wordsworth termed a on a stretch, from six in the morn- number of his female friends : ing until five in the evening, Henry “Maidens withering on the stalk." Washburn said to him: "See here. This secret became known away Gillespie, you had better take a day back in
back in the early eighties, and or two off for a rest.” “But what spinsters from the north, the south, will I do?” replied the driver. "What the east and the west, often make will you do? Why nothing !" a second trip to the Trees in order “Great Scott! That would kill me." to sit on the box with the philosoBut "Bright" was pressed to "lay pher Coffman. One day, during off and rest,” and he did so with a che summer of 1900, a spinster from vengeance, for I saw him break- Providence, R. I., over whose head ing in a new team of leaders during many flights of seventeen-year lothe forenoon and sprinkling all the custs had passed, said to him: afternoon; and that night one of “I suppose some of your comthe coaches with eleven passengers rades accuse you of foolishness being an hour or more late, Gilles- sometimes?" pie went out with an empty coach "Oh, that depends," replied Billy. and fresh horses to be used if nec- "I mean when you take the part essary. Two miles out he met the of certain unmarried
young delayed vehicle, which had been ladies?” kept back by the breaking of the “Yes; but I never mind that. brake-block. And that's the way Carlyle, you know, declared that "Bright" Gillespie took a day's foolishness finds a large place in the rest.
census returns." Bryant, one of the Raymond and “But you are partial to old maids, Wawona Knights of the lash, is are you not? That is, you have a a decided favorite, as the word is high regard for young ladies who often passed along : "Be sure and have waited discreetly until after get a seat with Bryant.”' Well, their girlhood before accepting ofBryant is jolly, and don't mind hav- fers of marriage?" ing a good-looking girl beside him. “Many persons," continued the The same may be said of Wren, veteran Knight of the Lash, “rudely who is sturdy and safe under all and thoughtlessly use the term old circumstances.
maid with an implied slur, as C. J. Fobes and Henry Hedges though there was something derogaare the whips of the Limited, or tory in it; but such people forget “Cannon Ball," as it is sometimes that Hannah More, Maria Edgecalled, and drive the fastest mail worth, Jane Porter, Florence Nightcoaches in California, accomplish- ingale, Susan B. Anthony, Phoebe ing 68 miles in about ten hours Cary and many others who never daily, as there are often parties married, including Jennie Flood
, that want to go through from the and Helen Gould and a Queen of Yosemite Valley to San Francisco England, have adorned positions of in a single day, or vice versa. These the first importance in social and two men are considered equal to public life, and written their names
high in the history of science, lit- way and some another. Only one erature and philanthropy.”
person remained and he at once took And he gave her any quantity of out a cigar, struck a match on the just such entertainment for eight end of the front seat, lighted his Hastraight miles.
vana and threw the burning remainIn the good old days spoken of,
der into the body of the wagon. The the stage drivers sometimes in
hair upon the head of that funny dulged in playing jokes on travelers
postmaster actually stood on end, whom they had sized up as able to
and he just strugglingly gasped out; stand a little joshing, and many a
"I say, pard, who in the world
is that idiot smoking?" good scare that has never been reported, has been given a tenderfoot.
"Why, that's General Grant.”
What! General Ulysses S. Thus, when General Grant went
Grant! Well, I'll be teetotally into the Yosemite Valley, accom
damned !” panied by Mrs. Grant, Miss Jennie
And into his store he rushed and Flood, Ulysses Grant, Jr., John Rus
was not seen afterward. Had he sell Young, Miss Flora Sharon
known that the driver had posted (now Lady Hesketh), Miss Dora
the General, who had ridden next to Miller (now Mrs. Lieutenant Rich
him on the way up, he might have ardson Clover), and the writer; it
never forgiven him. had been customary for a long time
Once Tom Gordon had, as travelfor one of the Yosemite Valley
er between Wawona and Raymond, stage drivers and the grocery store
a German Baron who made himself post-master at Fresno Flat, upon the arrival of the stage at that exceedingly offensive in many ways. point, to indulge in dialogues such
“Do you know what we do in Geras would startle and sometimes ter
many when we want a driver to rorize passengers, their particular hurry up his team? I'll tell you. We victims generally being English get behind him and give him a globe-trotters and Yankee spinsters. plied Gordon, at last, "every time
good a . So when the stage arrived at Fresno Flat, the long, lank post-master
that was done up here in the mount
ains there would be a dead baron made his appearance at the grocery store door and shouted:
and no inquest would be held.”
Once afterward the German said, “Did you forget them tools again,
“You don't see a real baron every "No," was the response of the
day up here in the mountains,"
"Real Barons !" exclaimed the driver.
driver; “Why there are real barons "I'll bet you forgot that can of currying horses all the way from giant powder?”
Grub Gulch to Chinquapin." “No; that's under the front seat- President Roosevelt was driven I'll get it presently."
from Raymond to the Big Trees And such a break as was made by Gillespie, and from the Yosemite from the vicinity of that vehicle beg- to Raymond by Tom Gordon, above gars description-some going one named.
BY ALMA GLASGOW WHITE
NLY during two months in Pots may not be scientific, but it is
ermine coverlet from one of springs, but so impregnated with her choicest nurslings, lying in the minerals that in overflowing they Wasatch Range.
have deposited layer upon layer The owners of a bungalow in this around their edges, forming domeArcadian vale, people who care for shaped or truncated conical cups. nature in her wilder moods, wrote The ground echoed under our to me: “Come up to our shrine and horses' feet as if hollow and rest.” I abandoned the wheel of sounded uncanny and spooky to us. labor and the furnace of the lower The largest Pot has been tapped levels; turned my face westward and a bath-house attached, and a and upward.
hotel attached to the bath-house. This valley is not easily reached, We had a swim in the tank and a for no engine has ever penetrated dinner and nap at the little hotel, it. Only the lovers of wild things and were ready to start for home behave taken the trouble to intrude, tween two and three o'clock. and steep themselves in its beauty. There was another trail to ArFor them it is the dawn of rest; for cadia other than the one we had them the clear, sharp light sparkles; come over on, so we thought we for them the wild flowers riot every- would rather try a new route, as where in acres of radiant color. there was one, than go home the With them, the lakes, willful cha- same way we had come. But the meleon things, coquette, tantalize, afternoon was well on its way beand duplicate a world of beauty in fore we found out that we must go their pellucid wells. Unfathomed up Marble Mountain, turn to the Lake Mary is a veritable sorceress, right, hit the trail, and follow it a a gem of the richest hunter's green, few miles, and there was a sheepand clear as crystal.
herder's cabin to stop in if anybody
wanted to. "Deeper than the depths of water We began to climb and wind stilled at even”
about the hills; sometimes
looked down dizzy steeps, then wrote Rossetti of the Blessed Damo- looked up towering walls. Tom was If he had
of those who never give up an unMary's Lake he would have realized dertaking We had started home what a transcendent description he this way-we must go on. We had accomplished.
found Marble Mountain, but not One early dawn Tom, Dorothy, the trail-only a rift between two his wife, and I, mounted three coal- mountain tops and a cascade dashblack horses, and riding up and over ing down. Tom declared we must the rim of the valley, we wandered follow this to its source. It was like out of our Paradise to see a place riding a horse up-stairs. called the Hot Pots. We took a We did not go far when boulders, well-known trail, and rode down, boulders so big no horse could ever down, down, and reached the place get over them, choked the ravine. about noon. Our theory of the Hot They were a barrier to further pro
gress in that direction; there was horse at the first intimation of as-
say cannot be On account of the danger from
The hill was so steep that proAn opening away up and ahead of gress was slow-only three or four us was the one resource left. It was feet at a time made in zig-zags algood and steep, so steep, indeed, we most horizontal. The horses proved rested our horses every few feet more aggravating to pull up hill by turning them across the path. than down. Short as our mountain In this way we caught the last skirts were we tripped on them so flushes of color in the west and saw often and the horses stepped SO the silver thread of moon swing into much farther at a time than we did space.
that it gave us the feeling that they Clouds were gathering fast, and were gaining on us. Then they had the sky was clouded over by the to have all the rein that they might time we rode around a shoulder of select their own foothold, and the rock and onto a natural stage, quite foothold was never where it was exlevel and somewhat semi-circular in pected to be, so it proved an exshape, and here ended the trail. It haustive and bewildering scramble ended at the doorless opening of an
I was panting for breath, old, dilapidated, deserted miners' and waiting while Dorothy and her cabin. Three-fourths of the way steed were engrossed in some extraaround, this platform was bordered ordinary maneuver, and as she finby a straight, deep gorge, several ally crept under him, and leaned hundred feet deep, and across the against the everlasting hill, she chasm rose a mighty, perpendicular gasped : cliff. I felt as if I were in the bot- . “If there is any way to know tom of a well. Some Cyclop had which is going to be the upper side taken a stupendous bite out of its of a horse, I should like to know it.” side, and we had ridden into the I laughed, but like experience with hole.
their sleight-of-leg performances, But one side of this well was not made me sympathetic. A shout forvertical, although its tilt
ward told us to stay where we were steeper than anything else we had until called, for it looked worse tried, and no horse had ever scaled ahead, and man and horse disapit, as far as we could see. What peared behind a great wedge of rock. should we do? Others had gone
We were glad for a respite to over before now. It looked possible breathe, as we clung by hoof, tooth and-we tried it.
and nail. Presently a muffled voice It was a bare hillside, with very called to come on, and to come carefew bushes or big rocks, but a great fully, the last being superfluous admany loose stones. I slid from my vice. I moved cautiously along the