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Title: Magic, Murder and Mystery

Date of first publication: 1966

Author: Bruce Alistair McKelvie (1889-1960)

Date first posted: April 10, 2014

Date last updated: April 10, 2014

Faded Page eBook #20140421

This eBook was produced by: Al Haines

Magic, Murder




Author of
Pageant of B.C.
Fort Langley—Outpost of Empire
Tales of Conflict
Maquinna the Magnificent
and other B.C. historical works

Family Address: Rural Box 142, Cobble Hill B.C., Canada



To my friends of the newspaper profession with whom it has been a delight to work; and to my gallant acquaintances of the police whose collaboration made possible so many of the stories retold here—this book is cordially dedicated.

The Author


For half a century I have not only been recording the passing scene but have been delving into the history of the Pacific Coast. I have been flattered by the many kind things that my friends have said of my writings, and some of them have suggested that I republish a few of the stories that have made appeal to them. This book is in answer to that request.

It would not be possible, of course, to do so without the generous permission of The Vancouver Province, for which I wrote for more than thirty years, and The Victoria Colonist with which I was associated for seven years.

It is right that I should acknowledge the courtesy and kindness of the Provincial Librarian and Archivist and the competent and efficient members of his staffs. I wish to particularly thank Cecil Clark, whose stories of crimes are so capably portrayed in The Colonist, for the loan of photographs.

Wherever it has been possible to check facts by official records this has been done.

I am again delighted to express my deep appreciation of the inspired skill of Dr. H. G. Grieve, and his brilliant associate, Dr. D. P. North, Victoria ophthalmologists, who twice in the past year have withdrawn grey curtains from my eyes. They made it possible for me to prepare this collection of stories for publication.

Cobble Hill, B.C.
B. A. McKelvie


Acknowledgement is made to the Provincial Archives of B.C., Victoria, for a copy of the "Treaty of Fort Simpson," reproduced among eight pages of pictures in the centre of this book.


Chapter   1. Brother XII's Magic
Chapter   2. Canadian Counter-Spy
                        a. Germany Planned Conquest
                        b. Price of Peace
                        c. The German Mail Pouch
                        d. The Fat Cook
                        e. There Was No Strike
Chapter   3. The Komagata Maru War
Chapter   4. Who Killed Quantrill?
Chapter   5. Gold and Trouble
Chapter   6. Five Aces and Death
Chapter   7. Murder of Young Probert
Chapter   8. The School-Boy Killer
Chapter   9. Who Was the Mystery Figure?
Chapter 10. Death Walked Softly
Chapter 11. Slaying of Dr. Fifer
Chapter 12. Frock-Coated Banditry
Chapter 13. The Penticton Murder Mystery
Chapter 14. Who Slew Aeneas Dewar?
Chapter 15. The Flying Dutchman
Chapter 16. Death Comes to the Bridegroom
Chapter 17. Battle of Hazelton
Chapter 18. The Killer Instinct
Chapter 19. Under the Iron Washtub
Chapter 20. "Hang With the Gang"
Chapter 21. Trading Dangerously
Chapter 22. The Incriminating Knife
Chapter 23. Shipwreck and Slaughter
Chapter 24. Battle in Jail
Chapter 25. The Smallpox War
Chapter 26. Gates of Hell
Chapter 27. Sam Johnston—Canadian Hero
Chapter 28. The Stone Giant
Chapter 29. First Magistrate's Manual
Chapter 30. The Lost Treaty
Chapter 31. The Big Black in Cariboo


Brother XII's Magic

How the protective power of an alleged West Coast charm overcame the malevolent threat of black Egyptian magic was only an incident in the strangest case ever heard by the Canadian courts of justice.

The tale would be unbelievable if it was not supported by official transcripts of evidence taken in police court and at a civil trial. These documents reveal how 8,000 persons throughout the world were held in subjection by a self-styled divinity who claimed to have fathomed the age-old mysteries of Egypt. Not only sorcery but stories of fiendish cruelty, buried gold, islands of the Gulf of Georgia fortified, and attempted murder by mental processes were but some of the things that witnesses described as being directed by Brother XII at the Aquarian Foundation headquarters near Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, B.C.

Since the dawn of time man has been prone to follow leaders who lay claim to mystical knowledge denied to ordinary mortals. Primitive peoples have been dominated by fear of the supernatural, and clever medicine men and voodoo doctors have capitalized upon the credulity of their fellows to enrich themselves. The number of such soul-swindlers is enormous, but for downright genius in the world of spiritual exploitation few can compare with Edward Arthur Wilson, alias Julian Churton Skottowe, alias Amiel de Valdes, alias Brother XII.

It was in 1928 that I first heard of Wilson and the Aquarian Foundation located on a beautiful site in Cedar district, some few miles from Nanaimo. There, amid the towering firs and hemlocks, the mighty cedars and spreading maples, the guru of a mystical cult had established the Aquarian Foundation on 200 acres of choice land that in early times had been a favorite meeting place for the peoples of Cowichan stock.

At this peaceful and romantic spot he had gathered a few selected followers, from a membership scattered throughout many countries. They were privileged to buy lots, build houses and join in directing the preparation of the world for the coming of a new sixth sub-race, which was being ushered in under the guidance of the star Aquarius. In the centre of the estate, in a little glade, shrouded by the heavy foliage of large cedar trees, Brother XII had constructed the House of Mystery, a small one-roomed structure. Into the sacred precincts of this place, he alone could enter. There he was said to go samadhi and project his ego to the higher planes where he would commune with the Master of the Wisdom, and his fellow members in the Great White Lodge.

During his reputed absences from his bodily habitation the devout brothers and sisters in residence at Cedar-by-the-Sea, were charged with the great responsibility of congregating along a wire that crossed the pathway about 100 yards from the House of Mystery; there they were instructed to concentrate and meditate, thus helping their leader as he passed from plane to plane.

At this point may I interpose to say that I have the utmost respect for the sincerity, the piety and the altruism of the followers of Wilson. Their fault was that they believed him and his doctrines. They suffered terribly, but endured physical and mental agonies in the belief that such came to them to test their fitness to participate in the work that was to save humanity.

The son of a missionary to India, his mother is said to have been a native princess. At the time that he became prominent as a religious leader he was about fifty years of age, a slim, swarthy man with hypnotic eyes and a graying beard.

The commencement of the story of Wilson on the West Coast of Canada goes back to the turn of the century. At that time he was in the employ of the Dominion Express Company and was moved from Calgary to Victoria. He was devoted to the sea; it fascinated him, and on holidays and long week-ends he sailed about the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Gulf of Georgia.

After some time had elapsed since his coming to British Columbia's capital city he asked the express company for an increase in the modest salary being paid to him. This was refused. Wilson resigned. He obtained employment on a steamer running between Seattle and San Francisco and making calls at Victoria. From this coastal employment, he changed into deep-sea ships and in the ensuing years he roamed the sea lanes of the world, and eventually became a master mariner. In the long voyages about the globe he spent much time studying the religious and philosophic mysteries of the ages. He made contacts with groups in many lands who were fascinated by similar research.

In 1924, he was at Nanaimo. He was unemployed, and was unable to settle his room and board bill. To his landlady he explained that he could not pay what he owed her, but that if she would trust him, he would recompense her well, for he would be back in two years with plenty of money, as he was going to start a new religion.

A year later, he was in Genoa, Italy, ill and still low in funds. It was time for him to capitalize upon his years of study. He sent out a veritable flood of letters and announcements to correspondents in England, United States, New Zealand, and elsewhere. Like Joan of Arc, the "Maid of Orleans," he had dreams, and these visions he related in his communications, later incorporating some of them in book form.

Here is his description of the miraculous calling of him into spiritual service:

"About 9:30 p.m., October 19, 1924, I was not well and had gone to bed early. At this time, I wanted to get some milk to drink, so I lighted the candle which stood on a small table at the side of my bed. Immediately after lighting it, I saw the Tau suspended in mid-air just beyond the end of my bed and at a height of eight or nine feet. I thought: 'That is strange, it must be some curious impression upon the retina of the eye which I get by lighting the candle. I will close my eyes and it will then stand out more clearly.' I shut my eyes at once, and there was nothing there. I opened them and saw the Tau in the same place, but much more distinctly; it was like soft golden fire, and it glowed with a beautiful radiance. This time, in addition to the Tau, there was a five-pointed star very slightly below it and a little to the right. Again I closed my eyes and there was nothing on the retina. Again I opened them and the vision was still there, but now it seemed to radiate fire. I watched it for some time, then it gradually dimmed and faded slowly from my sight.

"The next day I made a note of the matter and recorded my own understanding of it, which was as follows: 'The Tau confirmed the knowledge of the special path along which I travelled to initiation, i.e.; the Egyptian tradition, and the star was the Star of Adeptship towards which I have to strive.' Now, today, the Master tells me that that is true but there was also another meaning, hidden from me then, but which he now gives to us. The Tau represents the age-old mysteries of Egypt, and the Star of Egypt is about to rise; the mysteries are to be restored, and the preparation for that restoration has been given into our hands. In the great Cycle of Precession, the Pisces Age has ended, the sign of water and blood has set, and AQUARIUS rises—the mighty triangle of Air is once more ascendent, and we are to restore the 'Path of Wisdom and the First Path—Knowledge.'"

Such, according to this self-proclaimed religious teacher, was the manner in which he first learned of his selection to undertake the restoration of the mysteries of Egypt. It is noteworthy that from the very outset of his great deception, he stressed the mysticism and magic associated with the ancient dwellers in the Valley of the Nile.

He was, at least, keeping faith with his Nanaimo landlady by starting a new religion.

This initial vision was followed by another miracle, which again stressed the Egyptian base for his Aquarian doctrine. Here is what he said. He heard a voice which cried, 'out of its immense and awful distance':

"Thou, who has worn the double crown of Upper and Lower Egypt, of the High Knowledge and the Low, humble thyself, prepare thy heart, for the Mighty Ones have need of thee. Thou shalt rebuild, thou shall restore. Therefore prepare thy mind for that which shall illuminate thee.

"A cold wind blew down that enormous aisle of pillars; somewhere in the endless distance lights seemed to move, then from above my head the light flooded me so that the distance and the vistas were dissolved. Then the light faded and I lay still, filled with a sense of wonder and great reverence ... The Master bids me say that the voice was the Voice of Dhyanis, of the great Tutelary Deities of Egypt, whom, in the past, we worshipped as 'the Gods.' As I write, further knowledge comes to me. I have to tell you that the moment when you meet in this knowledge and for the purpose of discussing it, will be the moment for which forty centuries have waited."

"I am not a person filled with power, but a power using a personality," he declared in a circular letter written shortly after from the Italian Riviera ... "The hour has struck for this earth to be plowed and harrowed. I have been called to drive the plow, to break the crust and to harrow the surface. You must choose whether you will be the plowshare or the clod which is broken, for the grounds must be prepared that the seed may be sown."

Wilson now announced that he had been spiritually translated to the highest realm, where he met the Masters of Wisdom, who had initiated him as Brother Twelve of the Great White Lodge, thus completing the membership of that body which was, until then, composed of eleven of the greatest religious teachers of all time.

Claiming divine collaboration, he now penned a small volume, which he named "The Three Truths," and which became regarded as the Aquarian Bible—a Holy Book. He circulated this widely after its publication in England. It was a modest little production such as any well-trained writer who had at his disposal a library of mystic beliefs, might have put together.

Having received assistance from friends he was able to go to England where he located in rooms at Southampton. Here, in the old seaport, he claimed that he went samadhi and his spirit soared to the highest heavenly level to confer with the Masters, while his mortal body remained in his lodgings. On this ethereal adventure, so he announced, he had been welcomed anew by the Masters, who gave him a map, and instructed him to go out into the world and locate the place depicted on the chart. They told him it would not be found in either Mexico or California, but in a country known as "southern British Columbia." Making announcement of this revelation, he wrote that he had never been in British Columbia in the flesh:—and his landlady was still waiting at Nanaimo for her money!

Among the serious-minded people who were impressed by the claims and assertions of Brother Twelve was a fine elderly couple residing in London. They went to Southampton to meet him. Alfred H. Barley, a retired chemist, and his wife, Annie, who for twenty-eight years had been a teacher for the London County Council, came into possession of some of the writings of Brother XII. They were captivated by the altruistic aspirations and doctrines of brotherly love, and left their London home to visit Brother XII in his Southampton lodgings. Here they met a woman introduced as his wife. The guru told of woe for the world, and advised the Barleys to sell their securities and home that they had accumulated as a provision of their old age. This they did, selling considerably below the then market.

They volunteered to follow Wilson whither he might lead them, after he showed them the map, depicting the selected spot that the Masters of the Great White Lodge had drawn for him. It was here, at this divinely-favored place that a City of Refuge was to be set up, he assured them.

Another young man, the son of well-to-do parents, was also induced to accompany Brother XII to the West Coast of Canada in search of the acreage chosen by the Masters as the Land of Promise.

The little party crossed the Atlantic and the continent, stopping once or twice to confer with prospective members, but like a homing pigeon Wilson led his little band of disciples directly to Nanaimo. (Whether or not he paid his debt to the landlady was not disclosed.) They took a small dwelling near Northfield, and from there, he led them some five or six miles south of Nanaimo on the old highway to Cedar and then another two or three miles out to the island-studded waters near Boat Harbor. The map was reverently unrolled and spread on the ground. There, in actuality, were the islands, the bays, the points, channels and waterways shown on the chart of the gods. Wilson was justified!

It was an excited little party that hurried back to Nanaimo to start sending out telegrams and cables announcing the finding of the divinely-appointed tract for the location of the Aquarian Foundation and the City of Refuge. The response was stupendous; money started to pour in from every quarter. One lawyer in Carthage, Missouri—or his agent, The O. H. Hess Foundation—could not wait for the slow-moving processes of the recognized banks, or even for the mails to carry his donation. He wired $10,000.

Soon the movement had reached enormous proportions. It was stated that, by the summer of 1928, there were 8,000 members making regular contributions to aid Brother XII in his grand work.

Having located the appointed site, the Brother purchased the 200 acres indicated on the plan and in accordance with the instructions that he said he had received from the Masters, he laid out the land. Along the seafront he had building lots surveyed for sale to those who were to be permitted to come and live at headquarters; in the centre of the tract was located the sacrosanct House of Mystery, and the wire that barred the pathway to it was so placed that the favored few who were in residence at Cedar-by-the-Sea could not even look at the holy structure. It might be embarrassing if they saw smoke issuing from the chimney at a time that The Brother was supposed to be in the heavens!

But just where the trail left the clearing where the houses were built, there was a great moss-draped maple, which became known as the Tree of Wisdom. Here the guru would sit, on occasion, while followers grouped about him and listened in awe to the profound utterances that fell from his lips.

These were the golden days of the Aquarian Foundation—during 1927 and part of 1928. The erstwhile penniless mariner was an uncrowned king. Money continued to flow in with every mail, and the hotels at Nanaimo could not accommodate all who drove up in expensive cars from United States to sit at the feet of the teacher and imbibe wisdom.

Brother Twelve, in selecting those who were to be privileged to reside at headquarters, was careful to invite only one man, or man and wife, from a locality. In this way, those who responded and came to Cedar-by-the-Sea were strangers to each other before their coming, and were consequently more dependent upon him.

What manner of men and women were these followers of Brother XII, who were so persuaded by his teachings that they were prepared to forsake all and follow him? They were individuals who were above the average in learning and in advantages. For instance, there was Will Levington Comfort, the writer; Bob England, for eight years a member of the United States Secret Service; Dr. Coulson Turnbull, Ph.D., Los Angeles; Clara Phillips, a writer for such publications as the Washington Post and the New Orleans Picayune; Maurice and Alice Van Platon, a wealthy couple from United States who erected a fine home at Cedar, while E. A. Lucas, Vancouver lawyer, was also an early adherent.

Not only the wealthy, but poor working men were meat for the Brother. Those who could not contribute their thousands could, at least, work, and a few were chosen to come to Cedar-by-the-Sea to toil at building, farming, and fishing. He had an old naval cutter, and into this he was lifted by the disciples, to the accompaniment of a naval salute of uplifted oars. Then he would be rowed about the waters of the Gulf of Georgia for hours on end. He still loved the sea.

Now Mrs. Mary Connally entered the picture. She was the wife of a millionaire living at Ashville, North Carolina. She was travelling in the west when she first heard of Brother XII and the Aquarian Foundation. She read some of his books—for by now there was a regular spate of literature—books, pamphlets, tracts and a monthly magazine, the Chalice—being broadcast. The writings made an appeal to her. She sent a modest contribution of $2,000 but intimated that there was more, if needed.

Brother XII was not one to refuse to follow up such a monetary prospect. He was also aware that the United States laws covering postal fraud were far more severe than any that might be on the statute books of Canada, so he wrote to Mrs. Connally to meet him at the St. George Hotel in Toronto. The appointment was made and he left for the east by way of Seattle, to keep it.

On the train out of Seattle he encountered the wife of a physician at Clifton Springs, New York. He convinced this woman that she was the reincarnation of the goddess Isis, while he was the god Osiris, in person, and it had been decreed for 26,000 years that she should play an important part in preparation for the coming sixth sub-race. She believed him. She waited in Chicago while Brother XII went on to Toronto, where Mrs. Connally, and her cheque book, were waiting. Mrs. Connally was entranced by the vision of helping suffering humanity, and immediately raised her original contribution to $25,000.

Mrs. Connally later told of their talk in the Toronto hotel: "We had a talk for about three hours, and he told me just what he was going to do," said the elderly woman. "He told me about the settlement, and we discussed the City of Refuge. One of the principal reasons I was interested in this work was the fact that children were to be in it. The main purpose, as outlined—the specific purpose—was to gather together a few people who were willing to adopt what they call the simple life and the higher life, and train themselves so that they could teach their children and other children ... and there would be a children's school, and we would teach them so that in the years to come they would have a chance, and not be brought up in this jazz atmosphere..."

And it was on this appeal to the mother love of this fine grandmother of sixty that Brother XII boarded the train at Toronto that night for Chicago and Isis with a cheque for $23,000 in his pocket. He met the reincarnated Egyptian goddess and together they embarked for Cedar-by-the-Sea.

A week later Osiris and Isis appeared at the cult headquarters. There were murmurings. Mrs. Wilson did not like it, and said so. She left the sacred locality. The Van Platons and E. A. Lucas did not like it, nor the former secret service man, Bob England, but for a time they bowed before the immutable laws of the gods. But when Brother XII took his Isis into the holy precincts of the House of Mystery there was a flare-up. Brother XII resented criticism. He decided that the associations of the Egyptian god and goddess reincarnated were matters of personal concern to them alone. So he announced the starting of a new settlement to be called "Mandieh" where only the elect of the elect could assemble. To this end, he took $13,000 of the Connally contribution and purchased 400 acres on Valdes Island, and there he went into retreat with Isis.

Now revolution flamed. England and Lucas and Van Platon doubted the divinity of the instructions concerning Isis. England, who was the secretary of the foundation, had Brother XII arrested, charged with misuse of the Aquarian funds in purchasing the Valdes property for the development of the Mandieh settlement.

Brother XII countered by having England charged with misappropriation of $2,800 and arrested, and, incidentally, in justification of his conduct, Wilson proclaimed a doctrine of free love, which he had printed in the Chalice, the cult magazine. This long attack on conventional marriage is now a part of the records of the Supreme Court of British Columbia.

Mrs. Mary Connally hastened across the continent to give evidence for the guru in the police court, only to find that she was to become keeper of the unfortunate Isis, whose reason gave way. Barley and his wife remained loyal to the Master.

It was a hot September day when they came up for preliminary hearing in the old city council chamber at Nanaimo, before Magistrate C. H. Beevor-Potts. The room was crowded with revolutionists and those who were faithful to Brother XII.

When the charge against England was called in the afternoon, an elderly lawyer, T. P. Morton, appearing for him, had a sudden dizzy spell. This collapse—though only momentary—had a most pronounced influence upon future happenings. Every Aquarian—unless it was Brother XII himself—was convinced that the interruption was a result of the use of black Egyptian magic by the Master!

The magistrate, however, held no such idea; he bound both accused over to stand trial at the forthcoming assizes. But, before the court was called, Bob England vanished. No one heard of him after that time. When he failed to appear to prosecute Brother XII, the case against the leader was not called. There was not a person who dared to append his or her name to new information. They remembered how the lawyer had collapsed—and feared the awful consequences of black magic.

It was earlier in this same year, 1928, that an electrician from Spokane was returning to United States by way of the bus from Vancouver to Bellingham. Seated beside him was an automotive mechanic of the B.C. Electric Company, which operated the bus service. He was going down to the border to repair one of the company's vehicles, which broke down on its way to Vancouver. They, as usual with good artisans, fell to discussing their crafts. The electrician told his fellow-passenger how he had just been at a "strange place near Nanaimo, installing the finest microphone system west of the Rockies." This, he went on to explain, was a work that he had to do in secret. It consisted of a number of microphones hidden behind foliage, stones and tree trunks along the line of a wire crossing a path, and leading into a "mysterious little house." My friend, the automotive man told me, and, as a newspaper man, it interested me.

The wire was the one that Brother XII had stretched as the nearest approach to the House of Mystery that none but he could use. He would announce a visit to the Master of the Wisdom, and that he would be away, possibly four days. The brothers and sisters would be admonished to help him by concentrating upon certain truths. They would gather along the wire, and for some hours not a word would be spoken. Then, perhaps a remark about the weather would be made; an answer, and then conversation would become general. Next afternoon, or even on the third day, the Master would come storming down the path. "You, brother Jones, interfered with me on the Fifth Plane; you said to Brother Smith..." and he would retail what had been said; "And you, Brother Deluce said to Brother England..." and so on. The guilty flock would look at him with mouths open and eyes staring; He was omnipotent! He knew all; saw all! It was with such methods that he had control of the minds and being of every person permitted to dwell at the Foundation.

When the failure of Bob England to appear to prosecute him in the assize court freed him from the charge, Brother XII kicked out the malcontents and set about gathering around him new and more obedient disciples.

Roger Painter and his wife, Leola, were brought from Florida, where the long-haired, bearded Roger was called the "wholesale poultry king" of his state. He had a poultry and produce business with an annual turnover of $1,000,000. His contributions before coming to B.C. had been many and large; "Brother XII would write for money; I would send a cheque for five or ten thousand, or more. I kept no account of how much I gave, he told me, but I do know that when I gave my business to my brothers and came here to dedicate my life to the work, I brought $90,000 in cash. Today I don't have a nickel—he got it all."

Bruce Crawford and his wife, Georgie, another splendid couple, ran a cleaning and dyeing establishment in Lakeland, Florida. They brought $8,000 with them to help the cause. They had made other contributions—and so the story went. The new-comers mostly brought substantial sums in cash.

Came also from Florida Mabel Skottowe, a red-headed woman of about forty, as strange and peculiarly vicious as Wilson himself. She became his first lieutenant, and he declared: "She is my eyes, my ears, my mouth; whatever she says, you must do." To others she became the impersonation of the devil.

The guru kept control of every mind. He confided to each of his disciples that the Masters approved of that particular individual, but he was the only one of the lot who was in such a happy position, and his very soul depended on his not confiding in any other person, except, of course, Brother XII himself. Thus, each became suspicious of his neighbor and more dependent upon the wily Wilson.

Wilson now changed his name by deed poll from Edward Arthur Wilson to Amiel de Valdes, and Mabel Skottowe, by similar legal process, Zura de Valdes. She was immediately dubbed "Madam Zee" by her associates.

Having restored order, the de Valdes pair decided that the Aquarian harvest was ready for the scythe in England, so they went away to Europe. Before leaving they transferred the title of the original settlement at Cedar-by-the-Sea into the name of Alfred Barley, while Painter, the mystical butter and egg man from Florida, was appointed as the erstwhile spiritual guide.

Following their departure, for the first time, there was peace and contentment on the island. The people got together and compared notes—and found that each had been told the same story about consorting with others. But they wanted to show that they were workers while the Master was absent; they toiled hard, and cheerfully that they might have a worthwhile showing for his return.

But after Brother Twelve did return there was more trouble, and eventually the banishment of twelve individuals, including Mrs. Connally, the Painters and Alfred Barley and his wife. This led to a lawsuit in the Supreme Court of British Columbia in April of 1933, before Chief Justice Aulay M. Morrison. What follows is mainly from the sworn evidence given at the trials of Mrs. Mary Connally and Alfred Barley vs. Amiel and Zura de Valdes. The other statements I personally know to be true.

Now, let us go back to England, where we left the precious pair. There his smooth tongue managed to get some wealthy individual to buy him a fishing smack and transform it into a handsome yacht.

But Brother XII wanted to straighten some matters at headquarters before he returned, so he wrote to Roger Painter to remove five of his enemies by the use of black magic. Here is the story as told in the witness box to the chief justice. Under examination by Mrs. Connally's lawyer, V. B. Harrison, Painter said:

"The whole island, as I can look back through it all now—the whole scheme was to drive you into intense fear and confusion so that you were glad to go and leave your money and goods behind, regardless of what it might cost you. That was the operation; so that you could get away, and get away from it and leave it forever. He had our money; he had our goods; he had everything we had. We understood that we had to surrender everything. We believed in it. We did it ... He, mentally, endeavoured to control the mentality, the soul of everybody that came near him. If you raised one little finger—one thing in opposition, implacable hatred was given to you from that time on, and if need be, he would put into operation what I call 'etheric' work, working on the mind and etheric body of a man. He even murdered him.

Have you any example that you can give of his trying to murder people by that process?

A. - "I certainly have.

Q. - "Can you mention the persons?

A. - "I can mention plenty of names. I got a letter from him while he was in England requesting me to go to work immediately on Mr. Pooley, the Attorney General of British Columbia.

Q. - "In what way?

A. - "To sever his etheric body from his physical that he might die."

Q. - "Any other person?"

A. - "E. A. Lucas, attorney in Vancouver; and Mr. Hinchliffe. Now I don't know Mr. Hinchliffe's particular position in the government at Victoria, but I know in his letter he said that he had opposed him in his request on the marriage relationship, and was very bitter, and it was needful that he should be removed ... and then there was Maurice Van Platon and Alice Van Platon that he instructed me to proceed (against) in an endeavor to sever them from their physical bodies.

The court - "Would it be reasonable to construe it as physical force against these people?"

A. - "Not physical force; he didn't use that word."

The court - "If I were to pick up that letter and read it, would it be a fantastic construction for me to say ... that I was to go and kill that person. Have you got any of those?"

The witness replied that he did not have the letter; that he returned it to Brother XII.

Mr. Harrison - "You cannot recall the substance, can you, or any of the phrases?"

A. - "No, not particularly. The letter as a general thing is clear in my mind, but I couldn't repeat the exact language; but he made this remark in the latter part of this letter. He said, 'Now, Admiral, old scout, go to work and have me a scalp by the time I arrive home!'"

Q. - "He said 'Old Admiral'; is that the word he used?"

A. - "'Now Old Admiral'" it's a slang phrase in the States—it's a slang phrase. Now then, in arcanum work,—it's a work in which people sit in a circle or triangle, or in whatever shape they may elect to sit—I found that all his work in that was towards what we term in occult parlance, 'black magic,' of a most devilish kind.

"I side-tracked that work. He couldn't touch the one that he tried to injure before I side-tracked it. He even kept this arcanum up at twelve o'clock at night; and I have heard people say that they did not believe in these things! But, generally, if one will have a little intelligence and dig deeply, they will find that much wickedness has been committed by such things."

The court - "Were you present at any of this?"

A. - "Yes, ... you have an arcanum when there are three in the operation. There is the defendant sitting in one position, and Zura de Valdes sitting in another position, and myself in a third position. Now we make certain statements, and certain statements are made to invoke certain powers, invisible, of course, your Lordship, and the commission; whatever you want to establish or work to be done in the etheric or mental realm, it was done by the one who laid down the area—and that was invariably Wilson. Oh, it would take months to relate all the things!"

The Court - "What did he say?"

A. - "Well, for instance, he would stand a man up there in imagination, someone that he hated—that he had this implacable hatred for...

The Court - "What did he say?"

A. - "He would stand him up there in the centre, in imagination, and then he would begin his tirade, cursing and damning that spirit, and then going down this way with his hand (vertical stroke, from head downward), and this way (horizontally from left to right), cutting what they call the etheric, which is the finer body, and then the physical body, this from which the physical gets its life. Then we cut that ... and the physical organism would gradually become depleted and would die."

Such was the lethal process of mental murder, as solemnly explained to a hushed courtroom by Roger Painter, a firm believer in magic, and formerly a $1,000,000-a-year poultry dealer from Florida.

In due time Brother XII and his alter ego started on their way home aboard the yacht Lady Royal—and she was a sweet little vessel to delight the heart of any sea-lover. She had a crew of English sailors, with Captain Wilson, himself, naturally, in command. At Panama, however, the white crew was discharged and a new crew of Panamanian Indians was employed. In this manner, the Lady Royal came up the American coast, and under cover of darkness slipped into the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Passing up immigration and customs, she ran into a cove on one of the San Juan group of islands in U.S. waters. Then Wilson and Zee in a gas boat came up to the Aquarian establishment on the DeCourcy Islands, and a tugboat was sent down to tow her into port.

Brother XII's single-unit navy had grown in the years since he used to have his docile followers give an admiral's salute with their oars when he appeared, lift him into the sternsheets and row him about. It now consisted of several launches, a tugboat, a powerful diesel-engined ocean-going yacht called the Kheunaten, in honor of another Egyptian king and deity, and of course, the new Lady Royal.

When the yacht arrived, the Indian crew unloaded some mysterious packages. These were hidden under the personal direction of Wilson, and the sailors then were shipped back to Panama. After their departure, Brother XII sailed the empty boat into Nanaimo, apologizing for not having reported to immigration and customs, saying it was through ignorance—and him, a master mariner!

Just what was in those packages is not known, but whatever it was the prophet did not want the authorities to know its character. He now purchased cases of rifles from Eaton's store in Edmonton, and ordered all other construction work on the main island of the DeCourcy group to halt while gun pits were constructed, and these he instructed should be manned by the men, while the women walked from one to the other, and kept watch on the bay to give notice of the approach of any government launch. The men had instructions to repel any attempted landing from a government boat. And while his dupes were doing so, he would skip across the island to where the Kheunaten was riding, ready to carry him to safety. But the government was supremely indifferent to him and so there was no shooting. Shooting, at best, was a messy job, and not nearly as hard to prove as mental murder.

The DeCourcy Islands had also been acquired through the generosity of Mary Connally. There were five islands in the group, but only the DeCourcy and Link Islands were utilized. Alfred Barley was again mulcted of a small inheritance to help along this work. It was here that the City of Refuge was to be built, and not on the mainland of Vancouver Island, where the headquarters was located. He told Mrs. Connally that Greystones, a wonderful stone school with walls five feet in thickness, would be built on the island, and beside it would be a wonderfully fine home, and she could live in this palace. But all this was before he and Zee went to England.

Now that he had come back, and found that Painter had not gathered any scalps for him; Mary Connally and the Barleys had no more money, and some of the others were showing a trifle of independence, he banished twelve of them; ordered them off the islands. But he forgot that he had placed the deeds to the Aquarian Foundation's original settlement in the name of Barley. They all went there, to Cedar-by-the-Sea.

Painter, the Barleys and Mrs. Connally journeyed to Nanaimo and interviewed Victor B. Harrison, a prominent lawyer and oft-time mayor of the city.

It was now 1932; I was reporting the Imperial Conference at Ottawa when I received a letter from my old friend, Vic Harrison. He said, "I know you have been trying for years to obtain the truth about Brother XII and the Aquarian Foundation, so I thought that I would let you know that I have been retained by two members of the cult to enter suit against Wilson in an effort to recover some of the money they have contributed. I do not expect to have the statements of claim ready for registering for several weeks, by which time you, no doubt, will be home."

I was at the time, managing editor of The Victoria Colonist. I returned and waited. Weeks passed and there was no indication of the action being officially launched. I got into my car and drove to Nanaimo, and asked Mr. Harrison about it.

"I don't know if I can get them to go ahead," he gloomily answered.

"Why?" I asked.

"Do you remember that case in the police court in 1928, and how England's lawyer fainted?"


"That's it: they say that he was knocked over by the black magic of Egypt, and they're afraid that if they start action, they will all be killed by similar dark powers. Then there was the disappearance immediately after of Bob England—and that has never been explained."

"Do you mind if I go and have a talk with these people—where are they living?"

"No," answered the lawyer, "if they will listen to you that will be all right. They're living at Cedar-by-the-Sea. Brother XII transferred the title to that part of the Foundation to Barley, and forgot to have it transferred back to him before he kicked old Alfred off DeCourcy Islands. So they have all gone over to Cedar. I'll tell them that you're coming and that they may talk to you. When will you be there?"

"This is Monday," I mused, "better tell them I'll be there on Friday—it's a mystical day."

So that is how I came to be at Cedar four days later. I took my nephew, Neil, with me. When we arrived at the Foundation the disobedient twelve, who would no longer obey the guru, were waiting for us. They took us into the large house that had been used as the headquarters centre.

We were conducted into a big room. Two chairs were placed against a blank wall for us, and twelve more were arranged in a semi-circle around them. We were seated, and then they started to tell us of the manner in which Brother XII and Madam Zee had been treating them; but repeatedly they stressed, "There is nothing wrong with the religion: it is sound and true; it's Wilson, and the only thing we can believe is that he is not himself; that the powers of darkness have taken control of him."

They were sincere; their tensed attitude and straining eyes showed that they were all in a highly nervous state. I looked around the half-circle of pale faces, and decided to take a chance.

"I understand that you are afraid of Brother XII's magic?"

"Yes," answered Painter, the magician, and before he could say more, another member broke in; "Do you know he tried to kill Mary Connally with magic last Tuesday, but we knew of it through occult means, and she left her house and spent the night with Mrs. Barley. Bruce Crawford slept in her house, and all night he had to wrestle with the black influence!"

"Yes," admitted Crawford, "in the morning I was mentally and physically exhausted; I have hardly recovered yet."

Again I looked at the mentally-harassed group, and then: "This is Egyptian magic, isn't it?" I demanded.

"Yes," answered Painter, "the most virulent kind."

"Pooh!" I snorted and snapping my fingers; "You've forgotten the first principle of magic!"

"What's that?" demanded Painter, as he and several others sprang to their feet—and so did Neil, who took a firm grip on the back of the chair so he would have some defence if needed.

"I mean just what I say," I declared. "Don't you know that where there is magic native to the soil, no foreign magic has any potency—and here you are living on one of the sacred grounds of the Cowichans; here they made their magic; here they made their medicine; here the young men went through their warrior tests—ye gods, the very ground is impregnated with magic! As long as you are here, nothing in the world can harm you."

Never have I seen, never will I again see such a simultaneous look of relief on twelve faces.

They thanked me time and time again, and showed me over the place and even permitted me to inspect the House of Mystery, with its little cook stove and food cupboard, and the cot on which Brother XII went samedhi. Here, too, Wilson listened to the chit-chat from the microphones at the wire and mentally tied them with it.

Next morning they rushed into Nanaimo and told Harrison to go on with the case. He entered suit on behalf of Mrs. Mary Connally and for Alfred Barley.

It was April, 1933, when the case came to trial before Chief Justice Morrison in the old stone court house at Nanaimo.

I went over to the court room a little early, and as I entered the building, Mr. Harrison came running up to me; "Good Lord," he ejaculated, "I can't get them into the witness box!"

"What's the matter, Brother XII has not turned up, has he?"

"No, but it's this damned Egyptian magic again. They say that Wilson has a satellite here who has thrown a spell around the witness box, and if any one of them steps into it, he'll die."

I thought a minute, and realized what a mistake I had made. I had localized the immunity to Cedar-by-the-Sea.

"Can you hold the judge for ten minutes?" I asked the lawyer.

"I think so," he replied, and started for the judge's chambers, while I dashed over to the Malaspina Hotel. I remembered that in my dressing case I had a double labret, or lip ornament, worn by the women of the Queen Charlotte Islands when the whites first came to the Pacific Coast.

Grabbing the bit of stone, I puffed back to the court house. I met Roger Painter in the corridor. "Come on in here, I want to show you something," I told him, and he followed me into an empty witness room. I shut the door.

"See this, Roger?" I asked, and cupped my hands around the labret.

"Yes; what is it?" he inquired.

"It's the greatest charm on the coast," I assured him. "That used to belong to the most famous of Haida medicine women. As long as you are in association with that, no power under heaven can hurt you."

His face lighted. "Lend it to me," he begged.

"Lend it—lend it? Why, man, I'd almost as soon lose my life as to lose that!"

"Oh, lend it to me," he pleaded.

"How long?"

"Just for this case."

"Well, swear I'll get it back," I ordered.

He took a most solemn pledge that I would get the bit of stone back at the end of the trial, so I passed it over to him, and he hurried away to inform the others.

Every witness entered the box holding the labret; looked Brother XII's man straight in the eye and told their story.

Just before Brother XII and Zee went away, Mr. Barley stated to the court, the Brother came to his house one night carrying a heavy burden wrapped up in a towel. "Take charge of this," he said, "I am afraid of fire."

The dutiful disciple did so, without attempting to ascertain the contents of the parcel.

"Later," Barley continued, "he wrote me from England, saying that the package contained gold. He instructed me to put it into a quart jam jar, and to fill the space up with paraffin wax. I was then to have a box made to contain the pot of gold, and was to bury it in a big cistern. I did so."

Mr. Barley went on to explain that Brother XII had insisted that all money that came to him should be in gold or Dominion of Canada one and two dollar bills.

Brother XII had other jars and boxes of gold. Bruce Crawford told of transporting the Brother and his golden hoard from place to place. "He would bury it on one part of the island, and then a few days later he would dig it up again and take it to other place. I was running the tug at the time. I could not say how much he had, for he would not tell me, but from the feel of it, I would say that in one lot I transported $4,000. He had it put into quart jam jars, and then I had to make a cedar box to hold each jar. I made about forty boxes."

The disciples were in no position to estimate the total receipts of the Brother. Each one of them knew of thousands of dollars that had been given to him, but none knew of the aggregate in contributions from the outside members.

In her testimony in her suit against Brother XII and Zee, Mrs. Connally told the court of the brutal treatment meted out to her. She was in her house at Cedar, she explained, when, without warning, the wrecking crew appeared.

"It was about six in the evening. They told me they had orders to move me at once to Valdes. I only had time to gather a few of my things. Then I was transported to Valdes and was dumped down on the beach. I had to carry my things on my back up a long hill from the beach to a house about a quarter of a mile away. The house had been vacant for months. There was one small heating stove and a tin camp stove in the kitchen. No explanation was made for the move. I had never done any manual labor before, but I was compelled to work hard packing great loads up from the beach. A guard was put over me, Mrs. Leola Painter, and she was instructed to make me work and to do nothing for me. I had hardly become settled in the big house before I was moved again. This time to a hut with a gaping hole in the roof, and with cracks in the walls. Here I had a straw mattress to sleep on.

"Then I was moved again, and I was told that I must disc and harrow and cultivate a three-acre field. I was brought up in ease and luxury and was not accustomed to farm work, and was getting along—I am a grandmother, Your Lordship, and am sixty-two. I had to work in that field from daylight till dark. I lost twenty-eight pounds."

Mrs. Painter corroborated the story. "I had to do it," she explained. "Zee told me I was not even to give her a glass of water, and I had to make her work. It was terrible to see her lifting those heavy loads. My heart cried out for her, and I would gladly have helped her if I could."

"Why couldn't you?" asked the court.

"Because I was afraid. Zee told me if I did so, I would lose my own soul."

Witness after witness took the stand to affirm the condition of slavery—slavery as the price of saving their immortal souls. Driven from daylight until long after dark these men and women worked frantically in abject fear, while Brother XII and the sinister Zee cursed them.

"I never knew that any woman could blaspheme as Zee did," said pretty little Mrs. Bruce Crawford.

Bruce Crawford was a businessman in a small way in Lakeland, Florida. He and his wife longed to work for humanity. They heard of the teachings of the great mystic in British Columbia. They became interested and were instructed to sell out all they had and bring the proceeds to Brother XII. They did so.

Filled with idealism and the hope that they could serve humanity, this fine-looking couple came to learn from the Master. Mrs. Crawford was immediately set to work as a goatherd. Her husband was placed on the tugboat.

"I had to tend fifteen goats," the woman explained. "One day I fell and hurt my knee. It was very painful. I could not take time to attend to it, and it was soon swollen to twice its size, but Zee would not let me rest. She cursed me, and called me lazy and drove me out to attend the goats. I was hobbling along one day and fell and injured my knee for a second time. I was an hour late in getting back to the farm. Zee swore at me and cursed me, and banished me to Valdes Island. There was a boat going there that afternoon. She would not let them carry my baggage on the boat. I was compelled to put it on my back and travel over the bush trail for several miles. I fell every three or four steps. Then I had to row from the Point to Valdes. My working day was from 2 a.m. until 10 p.m.

"Another time I was compelled to paint an outbuilding that was built over a cliff. It was twenty feet to the stones of the beach below. I had to hang over the cliff with one hand while I painted the back of the shed."

"Why did you stand for it?" asked His Lordship.

"Because, sir, I did not want to be parted from my husband again. I had been parted from him for six weeks before—and I did not want my soul destroyed."

William Lowell, a six-foot Nevada farmer, told of being forced to dynamite a tree so that it would fall between Link Island and DeCourcy Island to block navigation. When the charge only removed the earth from the roots of the tree and it still stood, he was cursed vilely by the delegate of the gods. Lowell was one of the fort guards.

Bruce Crawford told the court of a most distressing case. It was that of a young man of thirty, whom he called Carl, and his wife Alice, a pretty little woman of twenty-five. They had been invited to leave their United States home and visit the settlement. When Brother XII saw the young woman, recently a bride, he wanted her to stay at DeCourcy. He advised her that the divinities wanted her to start back with her husband, but in Seattle she was to quarrel with him and return to DeCourcy Island. She did so. The husband sought for her in Seattle, and finally traced her to the Canadian side. He obtained a boat at Chemainus and rowed the ten miles to the colony. The guards in the fortification saw him coming. He was captured and held prisoner all night, and next morning was taken on the tug to Yellow Point where he was dropped. Carl went to the Provincial Police, and returned with an officer. Brother XII swore that the woman was not there, and the frightened disciples were forced to corroborate his statements. Then, alarmed at the intrusion of the authorities, Brother XII had the unfortunate woman transported in the dead of night on the tug to a lonely beach many miles away. There she was marooned. No one knew what happened to her. She was in a strange country and without funds.

She may have gone insane. "It is a wonder that any of us retained our reason," commented Painter. "Three of our number did go insane," he said, and he gave the Chief Justice the names.

Being driven as slaves, lashed by the fear of losing their souls, robbed of their money, and forbidden to communicate with the outer world, these poor wretches were given only enough food to keep life in their bodies, while the prophet and Zee lived luxuriously.

At the conclusion of the trials Mrs. Connally was awarded judgment for $26,000 plus $10,000 special damages and was given ownership of the DeCourcy Islands and the Valdes Island acreage; Alfred Barley was awarded $14,000 and was not disturbed in his possession of the original settlement.

Wilson, with all his aliases and his riches and his red-headed companion, disappeared without trace. It was not until some weeks before the outbreak of war in 1939 that a legal advertisement in the stilted phraseology of the law courts, appeared in The Vancouver Daily Province. It was from London and announced the winding-up of the estate of the erstwhile Brother XII, and alleged that he died at Neuchatel, Switzerland, November 7, 1934.

But was he really dead? Many doubted it, holding that a man who was so false in life could not be depended upon in death. Then came the war, and the difficulties multiplied every day as London was bombed, and the courts and legal offices were blasted and destroyed—and nothing more was ever heard of Wilson, either as such or under any of his other names, or of the settlement of his estate.

There is a big pulp mill operating in the vicinity today, and the House of Mystery, the last time I saw it, was doing a very useful service as a home for an industrious worker, who was employed in the big mill.


Canadian Counterspy

When the German Kaiser plunged the world into the awful conflict that raged from 1914 to 1918, Canada's West Coast was intended as a place of major operation. German agents had migrated to British Columbia in droves for four years prior to the outbreak of hostilities. They had become entrenched in the fast-developing province, and especially about Vancouver that ever since 1907 had been in the grip of a real estate and building boom until its collapse in 1912. Kaiser Wilhelm, himself, was said to have been a heavy investor in Vancouver lots.

To understand why the Pacific Coast should appear so attractive to war-planners it is only necessary to look at the map of the world, as then internationally constituted. It will be noted that Vancouver and Victoria were at the geographical centre of the British Empire. About 75 per cent of the population of the area west of the Rockies was located within a few miles of those two cities. Vancouver was the main developed port, and through it went all trade and communication with Australia, and New Zealand; with Hong Kong and the Straits Settlement, via the Pacific. Japan, Great Britain's ally of that day, and China that kept the express cars of the Canadian Pacific Railway busy with rich cargoes of silk and tea and other expensive commodities, traded through Vancouver and Victoria; and also the Pacific cable stretched from Vancouver Island to other parts of the Empire across the western ocean. Yes, the strategic value of the southwest corner of British Columbia was enormous. So it was that enemy agents set up skeletal organizations to take military and civil control of the country.

That the German plans were not successful and that many plotters came to grief is largely due to Sir Percy Sherwood of the Dominion Intelligence Service and the men under him, who hastily organized as counter-spy operatives, accomplished marvels. By reason of the secrecy required at the time the vast importance of their work and the success that they achieved has gone without public recognition. They served Canada admirably and provided protection that was vital to the maintenance of the Dominion's full participation in the conflict. It is not suggested that all persons of German birth or lineage were trying to betray Canada. That would not be true, and it would be an injustice to many fine men who gave generously of their time, talents and resources to aid the war effort in all its ramifications. These people, for the most part, were naturalized citizens, who were true to their oath of allegiance, despite cruel jibes and insults from unthinking and uninformed people.

Perhaps the most outstanding person in the service of Canada in the west was known in the intelligence service only as "208." Today he is properly recognized as Major Stephen E. Raymer, J. P., an acting magistrate for Richmond, the beautiful municipality adjoining Vancouver at the mouth of the Fraser River.

Stephen Raymer was born in the city of Zagreb in Croatia, now a part of Yugoslavia, but then an unwilling province of Austria. He was of good family, and being particularly active and intelligent, made rapid progress at school. The Austrian government was trying to integrate the youth of the captured country. This was done by removing promising boys from their Croatian home life and influence and educating them in naval and military academies surrounded by Austrian boys. Young Raymer was selected to be one of these, and against his will was sent to school to train for the navy. He hated the Hapsburg dynasty, and the treatment of his fellow-students did more to embitter him. They usually referred to him as "Croatian pig."

He was graduated from the academy and was assigned to a war vessel as a midshipman. The experience did not improve his regard for the rulers of the Austrian empire. He spent his spare time in studying languages. When opportunity offered he joined the Sokol organization. This was a group formed, ostensibly for gymnastic training, but secretly to prepare for the overthrow of the Hapsburgs and the freedom of the Czech and Slovak peoples held in bondage. His sympathy with this movement was suspected, but he was a boy of promise. He might be moulded. He was taken from the navy and was sent to South America to be trained in the consular service, apart from all Croatian associates. When he landed at Rio there was no one there to meet him. He found his way to the consulate, just at the very instant that the consul chose to call from his private office to a clerk in the reception room, "Hasn't that Croatian pig arrived yet?" Raymer dropped his bag, rushed into the inner sanctum and landed a punch on the nose of the consul. That ended his career under the Austrian government!

Going to France he obtained a post as interpreter on a French liner running to New York. He now spoke the following languages; Serbo-Croatian, English, French, German, Polish, Russian, Ukrainian, Hungarian, Roumanian, Bulgarian, as well as a number of patois of these, and in several more he could carry on a conversation, but did not claim mastery.

In 1911 he came to Vancouver. He got a job as a newspaper writer on the German press, a language paper designed to keep the German people together as a unit. It was as such that I met him in 1912 when I was with The Vancouver Sun. There was some difficulty about that time in getting dependable interpreters in some languages at police headquarters. Steve was asked to break a language impasse on several occasions and gave such satisfaction that he was asked to accept a post as regular interpreter. He did so, for the tongues at his command. Malcolm R. J. Reid was chief inspector of immigration at Vancouver. A former school teacher, he was a well-informed, impulsive sort of a man with a high sense of duty. He saw Raymer at work in Magistrate Shaw's court, and a few days later enlisted his aid to do some interpreting. That started Raymer's association with the Canadian Intelligence Service, for Malcolm Reid was the "chief" of the organization in British Columbia. So it was that Steve Raymer was working for the protection of his adopted country before war broke out.

He remained with the German Press until it was closed down immediately after the outbreak of war. By that time he was serving in a dozen ways. In addition to his police and immigration work he was installed as an interpreter in the censor's office. I was turned down when I offered for service in August of 1914. I was told that I could not get overseas, as my category was too low. That first contingent was made up of men who were just about medically perfect. I wanted to serve, so I offered myself for intelligence service. Malcolm Reid accepted me and swore me in. He stipulated that I should stay with The Province, which I had joined the previous year, explaining that a man known as a reporter could poke around without exciting suspicion. He also told me to work with "208," who, to my surprise, proved to be my friend, Steve Raymer. So it came about that I learned a great deal about "208" and his work.

There follows five little tales about incidents of his activities. These I ran in The Province a few years ago, using his numerical alias. Now I am offering them again in permanent form, but with his consent, I am disclosing the identity of this particular undercover agent to whom Canada owes so much. There is only one addition. I have added two or three paragraphs explaining an exciting sequel to the story of "Von Bernstorff's Mail Bag." Otherwise the stories are as they appeared.

Following the armistice of November 11, 1918, Steve Raymer went to Europe where he was attached to the Serbian section of the Press organization there. He was also employed as a trusted messenger carrying despatches to and from Serbia, and played a part in the formation of Yugoslavia from the shattered Balkans. On one occasion the Italians tried to stop him going through that country. He was carrying important documents. He was at a little station and suspected that he would be stopped if he tried to go through. A train came along, with a British mail van, bearing the British Coat of Arms on its sides. It was hot, and the English sergeant in charge was sitting at an open doorway. The car was just getting under way when Steve ran and jumped head-first into the truck, calling out to the Tommy to hide him. This he did, and Steve went through Italy hidden under the mail bags from the Mediterranean.

Returning to Canada he took special courses at McGill University in economics, insurance and commercial law. Then he returned to Vancouver and opened a general insurance business with his stepsons. He left this a few years later to accept a post with the advertising department of The Sun.

When the second great war broke out in 1939, Steve offered his services again. He joined the Legion of Frontiersmen in which gallant corps he achieved the rank of major. He helped in many ways. He had been foretelling another war by Germany for years, and was called a "warmonger." In 1930 he was commissioned by the B.C. government to prospect for lumber markets in Europe. On his return he made a written prediction; that Hitler would succeed Hindenberg as Chancellor of Germany, and that within ten years Hitler would start a second world conflict. This time, he said, Mussolini would side with the Germans, and they would strike at Russia's "breadbasket," the Ukraine. He visited Hindenberg, and later talked with Hitler and was a guest at Pilsudski's presidential palace at Warsaw.

Now, Steve Raymer, who is above all a real Canadian, and his gracious and charming wife who has inspired him, are carrying on trying to find new ways to serve their adopted land which they have already helped to defend on two occasions.


In the spring of 1914 an announcement from Berlin was carried by the official German press agencies, to the effect that a squadron from the German Pacific fleet would pay a courtesy visit to San Francisco on the occasion of the Fourth of July celebration of that year.

The press in Canada was not much concerned with the news item. It was occupied with the Krafchenko trial at Winnipeg, the Millard slaying in Vancouver, as well as the activities of the suffragettes in England and the possibility of civil war in Ireland.

But there were men in Vancouver who were interested in the doings of the German fleet. They had been looking forward to the German announcement. Behind that few lines of press release was a tremendous story of deliberate plotting; of international treachery and all the horrors of war.

For Germany planned to have her ships of war in Vancouver harbor when hostilities commenced.

The port of Vancouver was of even greater strategic value in 1914 than it is today. A map of the world shows its importance in those times, and especially before 1917 when the U.S. entered the war.

It was the bottleneck through which supplies went to China, Japan and Vladivostock; it was the channel through which cable communications were carried on with Australia and New Zealand, and in many other ways it was vital to the cause of the Allies. Germany realized this fully, and, as early as 1909, planned to take Canada's Pacific coastal points at the very outset of a war with the British Empire.

An elaborate underground organization was set up in British Columbia. It was complete with a governor-general; lieutenant-governors of several districts that were to be established; a military commander, a director of intelligence and a civil administrator who was to codify the laws of the province with those of Germany.

So confident were the Germans in the future of the province that large sums of German money came into the country for investment.

Such then was the background of a meeting called in February, 1914. To this gathering, which was held behind closed doors, Germans, loyal to the Fatherland, living in and about Vancouver, were summoned. Several hundred attended.

When the meeting opened, a spokesman stated that he had received word from Berlin that announcement would shortly be made of the proposed visit of the squadron of German war vessels to San Francisco. After spending a few days there the squadron was to proceed up the U.S. coast visiting Portland, Tacoma and Seattle.

When the word was given, Vancouver Germans were to make a concerted drive on Mayor T. S. Baxter and Federal member H. H. Stevens, to have an official invitation extended to the German fleet to spend a week in Vancouver harbor—dating from August 1.

So much was told to the Germans in the meeting held that February night. The possibility of war was not hinted. It was to be a patriotic movement and a gesture of goodwill. This was what the majority of the stolid Teutons believed.

But there was one man who held a different opinion. He was stationed at the door, and later became one of Canada's most efficient secret service men, known to his colleagues as No. 208. He was Stephen E. Raymer.

Forewarned, instead of the German fleet being invited to visit Vancouver for the outbreak of hostilities, late in July two Japanese ships of war—and Japan was Britain's ally then—paid a courtesy call to Vancouver, and were, with other vessels, off the shores of Vancouver Island when war broke out. The British cruiser Newcastle was also in the offing, as was the French cruiser Montcalm.

The German plans to take this coast were not abandoned, however. The Gneisenau, Scharnhorst, Leipzig and Dresden were off the American shores early in August.

They came up the coast, and on August 13th, the cruiser Leipzig was actually within the entrance to the Strait of Juan de Fuca. When, later, she was destroyed in the Battle of the Falkland Islands, the British obtained her log and chart of her course on this coast. This showed she was off Cape Flattery on that date.

She intended to enter the strait under cover of a fog that often hangs along the U.S. side of the waterway. The purpose was to get in beyond the arc of fire from the Esquimalt guns. But the fog started to lift, and the captain of the Leipzig did not wish to encounter not only Esquimalt's big guns but the two submarines that Premier Richard McBride had purchased.

It has been a custom of late years to laugh at the two submarines. But they were new vessels, constructed in Seattle for a South American government. They were up to date, and with experienced crews would and could have been effective weapons.

In connection with the presence of the Leipzig off the coast there is an interesting story told in Seattle. It is that a powerful tugboat was ordered to take a barge load of coal out beyond Cape Flattery. The captain was a former Canadian—a blue-nose skipper—who had become naturalized in United States.

He was given sealed orders that were not to be opened until he had passed out of the strait. Now it just happened that the captain strolled into the galley while holding the envelope containing his orders.

Just by accident the steam from the cook's kettle played upon the envelope and it opened. It was only natural that the captain should take a quick glance at the orders—just to see that the steam had not ruined the typing—before he closed the envelope again.

A peculiar thing happened; a sudden fog descended, and while the tugboat escaped it, the coal-laden barge piled high upon a submerged rock.

The Leipzig was short of coal when a few days later she put into San Francisco for a supply.


Had Germany succeeded in winning the First Great War and been able to dictate a triumphant peace, Canada would have been torn from the British Empire to become a colony of the Reich.

So certain was the Kaiser that he was destined to rule over the Dominion that his war lords planned the manner in which they would administer the affairs of the country.

Long before the U.S. became a possible enemy, Germany had decided the Monroe doctrine, believing that before the might of her goosestepping legions the republic would not dare to challenge invasion of the continent.

German governors for Canadian provinces were named, while lieutenant-governors were selected for the military districts that were to be established after conquest. British Columbia was divided into several such areas. This fact was discovered with the arrest of one of these dignitaries under dramatic circumstances.

It was in 1915. I was doing what I could to assist Steve Raymer in solving a mysterious chain of circumstances surrounding the construction of a new type of machine gun. The young inventor had been threatened, and efforts were made to destroy the parts of the gun as they were constructed. Steve told me one day to carry on according to a plan we had devised. "I'll be away for three or four days," he said. "The old man is sending me up into the interior."

On his return he told me that he had gone to Kamloops, where another agent of the Dominion Police was waiting for him on the arrival of the train. He explained that suspicions were aroused about a German who was working in a sawmill in the Chase area. He was known as "von Mueller," and was evidently a trained military officer. He lived at a distance of several miles from the mill. He was an arrogant individual and did not consort with his fellow-workers at the mill. His residence was in a large log cabin, and he did not permit anyone to visit him; nor did any person wish to do so, for when he was at home a large Great Dane was allowed to run loose in the yard. When he was absent at work the beast was tied to the door handle.

Having breakfasted, the intelligence men drove to Chase, and having ascertained that von Mueller was at work, they continued on to his house. As the automobile came to a stop, a particularly large dog started to bark viciously at them and tug on the chain that fastened him to the door. The men reconnoitred the building. There was only the one door, and there did not appear to be any possibility of forcing entry through the two or three small windows.

"It looks as if we've got to kill you, old fellow," Steve said to the dog—"but it can't be helped."

"That's right," agreed his companion, "but by doing so, some humans may be saved."

Raymer drew his pistol and fired. The dog fell dead. It took a few moments to tug the big carcass aside and open the door with a master key. They entered a well-furnished sitting room. It was dominated by a life-sized bust of Kaiser Wilhelm II. Von Mueller certainly was not hiding his light under a bushel: he was loyal to his master. Raymer knocked the image to the floor where it broke into countless pieces.

The two investigators started a systematic searching of the dwelling. It was surprisingly productive. From one place they drew two uniforms; one the dress and the other the field garb of a colonel of a Prussian regiment. This was interesting, indeed, but not unexpected, for it was evident that the man was a German officer. There were other uniforms; plenty of them. They found clothing for a sergeant, a corporal and 16 privates; rifles, side-arms, ammunition, dynamite and fuse, and what they assumed to be a part of a machine gun. The place was a veritable arsenal!

It was now well on in the afternoon. "Come on," Steve suggested. "We'd better get back to the mill before quitting time." They did not wait to pack all the equipment and explosives. "Come on," and they raced the Ford car back to Chase.

Asking for von Mueller, they were directed to a tall, well-built man of military appearance.

"Come," said Raymer, "come with us, von Mueller, we want to talk to you."

The German stiffened to attention; clicked his heels and bowed from the waist. He accompanied them to the mill office. There was no necessity of questioning him, for no sooner had they got inside than the big fellow again came to attention. "I know what you want," he challenged. "It's all right. You can shoot me—go ahead, I'm ready to die for the Vaterland."

"Don't get excited," advised Raymer's colleague.

"I'm not excited," responded von Mueller. "You can kill me if you want to, but the Kaiser will avenge my death. He will be here in two months, for Germany is taking over Canada. The Dominion is to be the price of peace."

His captors looked at him, and for a full minute nothing was said. Then with a sneer, the German went on: "I don't mind admitting that I hold the commission as Lieutenant-Governor of the Kamloops district!"

Next morning von Mueller was admitted to the internment camp at Vernon. There he remained until after the war was over.


Luck is an important factor in intelligence work, but it would be of little value without the human attributes of quick wit, readiness to accept responsibility and act upon evidence presented by chance. Steve Raymer possessed such qualities, as he demonstrated in the matter of von Bernstorff's letter bag from the Orient.

One morning in the spring of 1916 Steve went down on to the C.P.R. dock where an Empress liner had just berthed from across the Pacific. He was attracted by three postal men in argument over a mail sack. One was insisting that it should be put aboard the Seattle-bound ferry that was about to sail. "We'll get into trouble if we don't," he predicted. "You know as well as I do that where it is obvious that a mail sack has been misdirected it must be put on the quickest conveyance to its proper destination."

"That may be," maintained another, "but this is different. We are at war, and I think it should be held for investigation."

"What do you think, Steve?" queried the third clerk.

Raymer took a look at the bag. His eyes opened wide. "It's mine," he exclaimed with decision. "I'll take care of it, and be responsible. I'll take it to the censor's office." It was a diplomatic mail pouch directed to Count von Bernstorff, German ambassador at Washington, D.C. Some bright allied agent or sympathizer at Shanghai had placed it on the boat for Vancouver instead of one for United States.

Raymer, an accomplished linguist, took the sack to the censor's office. It contained 364 letters. He started to go through them scrutinizing them carefully. Included in the contents of the bag were not only communications to the ambassador and members of his staff at Washington, but to individuals in various parts of the republic. The majority of the messages were written in code. These he bundled up to be forwarded to the decoding office at Ottawa.

All day long he was busy opening and reading letters. It was after midnight when he reached the last one. This was not in code, but in German. It was a letter from the Austrian consul-general at Shanghai to the Austrian consul at Chicago. It was translated as follows:—

"I am sending you, per Shidzuoka Maru, a man by the name of Makulski, who is travelling under the name of Kovalski. He will do the work you have in mind. I think that he is to be trusted, but have him shadowed. I have advanced him 600 taels and a first-class passage on the Shidzuoka Maru."

Here was something of importance, indeed. But what to do was the question. The chief of the Vancouver bureau of the Dominion Intelligence Service was away and would not return until the arrival of the morning train from the East. The 6,500-ton Japanese steamer Shidzuoka Maru was due at William Head quarantine station in a few hours.

If Makulski got into the United States he was free to carry out the work—whatever it might be—that was intended for him. It must be an important task, or it would not require the sending of a man all the way from Shanghai.

Raymer thought it over for a few minutes. Then he decided upon a bold course. He telegraphed to the naval intelligence service at Esquimalt to stop, if necessary, the Japanese vessel and remove Kovalski from it. At the same time, he wired to Sir Percy Sherwood, head of the Dominion Intelligence Service at Ottawa, explaining what he had done, and asking for approval.

Some hours later, just as the bureau chief arrived back in Vancouver, came the wire of confirmation from Ottawa. The chief was surprised and indignant at the assumption by his subordinate.

"Come on, sir, we have no time to argue," answered Raymer, "we are going to Victoria."

They raced down to the dock, only to find that the Victoria boat was backing out into the harbor. They ran to the Admiralty slip at Pier "A", where there was a fast motorboat maintained for emergencies. The man in charge started the engines, and the speedboat set out in pursuit of the Princess. The officers caught up with the steamer off Point Grey and were taken on board.

On arrival at Victoria they found that the suspected spy had been removed from the liner and was being held in the city jail, but both naval and municipal officers were loud in their protestations that they were in no way responsible for his detention.

"No," snapped Rayner. "I am responsible, but take me to the man."

The party proceeded to the city lock-up. Here Kovalski was walking up and down the cell block corridor raging that he was a Russian, and that some one would pay dearly for the indignity put upon him.

"See," whispered a city sergeant, "what did I tell you? You've made a terrible mistake. He's a Russian."

"Unlock that door and put me in a cell. Then go away," ordered the agent.

This was done. He was placed in an unlocked cell as if he was an offender, and the sergeant and the naval officer joined the bureau chief where they could see what occurred in the corridor without themselves being observed.

Kovalski continued his angry march. He made several turns to the end of the corridor and back. Then softly Raymer stepped out behind him, and in German shouted: "Sergeant Makulski, attention!" Kovalski's heels clicked together. He stiffened, and turned smartly. "Sir?"

"Oh," answered Raymer, "I only wished to say that if my name was Kovalski, I would not answer to the name of Makulski."

Now the city sergeant was quick to claim the prisoner. "He's mine," he declared.

"No," denied the naval man, "I arrested him and he belongs to me."

Their argument was of no avail. Kovalski accompanied the Federal Intelligence men back to Vancouver on the afternoon boat. There, for seven hours, he was questioned and denied everything.

He was carrying what appeared to be a genuine passport, and a pass from the British consul-general at Shanghai giving him entry to the British concession there. This was signed by the consul.

There was something in these two documents that made Steve Raymer believe that they were spurious. He studied them with care. Then he recalled that the British consul-general always marked documents with an almost indiscernible mark.

If the document was genuine, the mark was in a certain position in relation to his signature, but if he was dubious of the person to whom he was giving it, the mark was placed elsewhere. This pass carried neither mark.

Then the picture on the passport was stamped on each corner. Raymer reasoned that no experienced civil servant would go to the trouble of stamping any document four times when once was sufficient.

Having convinced himself that both the passport and pass were forgeries, the Intelligence officer demanded: "Kovalski, did the same man forge this pass who forged the passport?"

"They are not forged," was the sullen reply.

"Oh, yes, they are, and they were given to you by the Austrian consul-general."

"I've told you repeatedly that I don't know him."

"Yes, you do," accused his questioner, "and he gave you 600 taels."

Unexpectedly came the reply from the tired man as he flew into a rage. "He's a liar! He only gave me 400."

So it was that the cheap graft of the Austrian consul at Shanghai led to the undoing of his agent at Vancouver. For when he realized that he had committed himself Makulski-Kovalski was easy to handle.

One thing he refused to divulge. It was the special task for which he had been called from the Orient. He did admit, however, that he was an Austrian-Pole, and a graduate engineer of the famous university at Cracow. He had specialized in explosives.

He agreed that the pass and the passport were forged, and unfolded an amazing tale. It was to the effect that the German Club on the Bund at Shanghai was apparently closed and deserted. But inside it was a hive of industry. A tunnel connected a small Chinese house with the club.

Before the war, Germany had sent some of her cleverest spies, her most cunning forgers, expert printers and die-makers to Shanghai. Passports giving admittance to any country in the world could be so cleverly contrived as almost to defy expert examination.

These would be given to a spy, for instance, securing him admittance into Brazil; and one from that country aiding him in gaining his way into the United States, and so to Canada or any other part of the Empire where it was intended that he should operate. Like a giant octopus the Shanghai spy centre extended its tentacles over a good part of the world.

As a result of Kovalski's confession, the place was raided shortly after and was put out of business.

Hidden in Kovalski's trunk were found some 300 photographs of Japanese fortifications and industrial plants, and a Russian war map of her western front, showing communication lines, ammunition dumps and other valuable military data.

Kovalski was interned at Vernon for the duration of the war.

Now here is an almost incredible sequel to this unmasking of Hun ingenuity.

Many years later Raymer was in Warsaw. He noticed a little store bearing the name "Makulski." He entered, and recognized in the person of the proprietor the Kovalski of 20 years before.

When he recalled that they had met before at Vancouver, Makulski instead of becoming furious as expected, wept with delight at meeting him.

"You saved me from my folly," he exclaimed. "I was young and foolish. If you had not prevented my getting to Chicago, I would never have been able to come back to a free Poland!"

And the work that he was to carry out? It was the blowing up of the Welland Canal!


In every war, in every country, and in every age prisoners have sought to escape by burrowing like moles beneath walls and wire that enclosed them.

The first internment camp on Canada's West Coast when hostilities commenced in 1914 between Germany and the British Empire, was at Nanaimo. A number of important prisoners were held there. German sympathizers in Seattle planned to free them. A vessel, ostensibly laden with cannery machinery and workers for Alaska, was to clear from the Sound port. On the way, some of the "machinery" would appear on deck as field guns. Under threat of bombarding Nanaimo, the German prisoners were to be freed. The plot was discovered and preparations were made to take care of the "Q-Boat" if it required. The Nanaimo prison was abandoned and the occupants were transferred to Vernon, the orchard community in the Okanagan Valley. There a large internment camp was constructed adjacent to the parade grounds of a military training centre.

It was in the summer of 1916 that a message was received at the Vancouver bureau of the Dominion Police that two prisoners had escaped from the camp through a tunnel dug from the kitchen of the prisoner's quarters to the outside. Several other men had been apprehended as they were trying to get away. Assistance was requested in uncovering the extent of the proposed break-away. It was suspected that the escapees were assisted from the outside, if not in the actual digging, then in making their way down the Okanagan Lake or by less known trails to the border.

Raymer was called in and was given all the information that had reached Vancouver. He was instructed to go to Vernon and find what he could. He waited only long enough to have some business cards, as a Seattle newspaperman, printed.

On reaching the Okanagan community, he got in touch with the military authorities. From them he learned that the cook, a very fat man, appeared to be an important figure in the plot. The tunnel started in his kitchen and he disguised any noises made by the diggers by rattling and clattering of pans and by bass-voiced singing. The distance to be dug was not far and the ground offered few difficulties. In about two weeks time the bore was finished. Two younger, and much thinner men than the cook were the first to enter it. Then the knight of the kitchen followed, but in digging the get-away passage his fellows had not allowed for his girth, nor in the happy prospect of freedom had he considered his size in relation to the hole. The result was that the cook did not get far before he stuck fast.

He puffed and grunted, he wiggled and squirmed but only succeeded in jamming himself tighter into the tunnel. Those who had been selected—for they had settled the order of their escape by lots—were desperate. They tried to pull him back; they desperately tried to give him instructions in high-pitched whispers—and only succeeded in alarming a sentry. A guard rushed in and caught the bottled-up men in the kitchen—and got help to excavate the cook. The first two, a husky young fellow, but not fat, and a thin, tall Prussian who managed to get through made good their escape. The cook and the men he had blocked were taken to the city jail.

Having been briefed on the escape, Raymer got in touch with City Police Chief Clarke, and arranged for an act for the benefit of the Germans in jail. He strolled along the street in full sight of the window to their cell. The Chief approached and placed his hand on Steve's shoulder. He at once threw it off. There was a scuffle. The chief got the better of it, and handcuffed Raymer and dragged him into jail and threw him in with the Germans.

Naturally the prisoners were curious, and delighted that he spoke perfect German. He, at first, loudly protested that he did not want to talk to anyone there, but to some person who would let him out; that he was an American, and a newspaperman, and his paper would see to it that there was a row over the insult.

Playing his cards well, Raymer at last gained the confidence of the prisoners. He knew Germans of prominent standing in Seattle, and was able to satisfy the conspirators to that effect. The result was that they not only provided him with code messages to take to the Seattle German leaders, but disclosed their further plans for escape from Vernon.

Having obtained all the information that he desired, Raymer stood close to the window and lighted a cigarette. This was the signal that he wished to be let out. A few moments later, Chief Clarke, who played his role admirably, came to the door, unlocked it and called; "Here, you," indicating the Intelligence agent, "come out. It appears that you are what you claim, but you are a fool to travel around without papers to prove it; and you get out of town right away, we don't want you around here."

As a result of his visit, a number of Germans were transferred the very next week from Vernon to a big Manitoba internment camp.


Wars are not fought entirely by armed forces: civil alarm, industrial disruption and financial and economic disorganization are effective weapons. This was demonstrated during the first war with Germany, to a marked extent.

An incident of that period demonstrates how Germany sought to cause suffering and disruption in British Columbia, which, due to the clever work of Stephen E. Raymer of the Canadian Intelligence Service, was thwarted.

Working through the agency of a discredited organization, German agents planned to bring about a strike throughout one of the Province's most important coal mining districts just as the winter of 1917-18 was opening. Had it been successful, war production would have been impeded and distress would have been caused throughout the whole area.

Word of impending trouble reached the Pacific headquarters of the Intelligence Service in Vancouver, and Steve Raymer was despatched to the district to make enquiries.

The situation that he found on reaching the city to which he had been sent was a peculiar one. There was a pervading atmosphere of unrest but just what was causing it was difficult to determine.

There was to be a meeting of chosen delegates from all the mining camps in the district to be held that night—the evening of September 30, 1917—and strangers were already pouring into the little town to attend it.

Raymer reported to the Provincial Police, and requested that he be shadowed in case of need of assistance. The Provincial Police gave valuable assistance to the Federal authority whenever required, and willingly co-operated.

The Dominion agent was frankly puzzled. He knew that whatever was being planned would be revealed at the meeting, and only then. His problem was how to get into the meeting. As he cogitated he walked out towards the end of town. Before him were two men, evidently of foreign extraction. Increasing his stride slightly he got within earshot, and heard a conversation in Russian, a language that he understood perfectly. One of the Russians was evidently a resident of the place and the other a visitor who had come to attend the miners' meeting. The former was telling his friend, as a great joke, how he had deceived the authorities the previous day by declaring that a German was a Russian.

The Intelligence agent gave a prearranged signal to the policeman in plain clothes who was shadowing him, and he quietly joined the federal man.

As they approached the edge of town, they came upon an empty store, with a deeply-recessed doorway. Just as the two Russians were opposite this doorway, the officers sprang upon them and the four went crashing to the ground. Quickly drawing handcuffs, the policemen shackled the two foreigners. A passing automobile was signalled, and in it the police agents and their prisoners were removed to the lock-up. They were searched. Credentials to the meeting were found in the possession of the stranger, who had come from a remote camp and who, on questioning, said that he was making his first visit to the town.

This was a piece of luck, indeed. Raymer was determined to impersonate his captive. Dressing himself in rough clothes, and smoking a dirty old pipe, he boldly went to the meeting. At the door there was a guard.

"Who are you?" he demanded.

"Can't you see?" blustered Raymer, shoving his credentials before the face of the door-keeper, as he swaggered into the hall.

The meeting was well attended. The union agents from across the line took charge and in the most inflammatory manner commenced their work of arousing the unsuspecting miners to make impossible demands from their employers and the Fuel Controller at Ottawa.

Steve Raymer listened quietly. He sat with one hand in his pocket, in which he had a number of white cards. He had a channel bored beneath the nail of his index finger, and into this was fitted a lead. He took extensive notes of the whole proceedings. The outcome of the gathering was that three delegates, including two from the United States were to leave at midnight for Ottawa where the demands were to be presented to the Fuel Controller. Refusal to accept them by that official was to be the signal for a paralyzing strike.

The Intelligence agent hurried from the meeting to put his report into code to be forwarded to Sir Percy Sherwood, head of the Dominion Secret Service at Ottawa. It had commenced to snow.

It was after midnight when his report was complete and he went to the telegraph station to send it. There he found everyone intoxicated, for it was September 30, 1917—and prohibition came into effect the following day.

Wet, soft snow, the first of the season, was falling by this time, and a sharp wind was driving the snow, piling it up on roadways and window ledges.

Finding that it was impossible to get the operator on duty to send the message, Raymer hastened out into the night in search of the station agent. He found that this official lived three miles out of town. There was no possibility of getting a horse and buggy or taxi at that hour of night, so he started to walk. It was a most difficult journey through the driving sleet; chilled to the bone and half blinded by the wind and snow, he stumbled and fell time after time, and occasionally had difficulty in finding his way. At last, however, he reached the home of the station agent and roused him.

The railway official readily consented to return and send the message.

Four days later the delegates from the meeting entered the parliament buildings at Ottawa. They had already made an appointment with Fuel Controller Armstrong. As they entered the doorway, they were politely asked by a uniformed policeman if they were the men who had an appointment with the Fuel Controller. They replied in the affirmative.

"This way, gentlemen, please," urged the policeman, as he guided them through a maze of corridors to an office. They entered directly through an antechamber into a private office, but as they followed their guide, they did not notice that four mounted policemen had closed in behind them from the outer office. The door was closed and the policemen stood at attention between it and the delegation.

The tall man who sat behind the desk was not the rotund person of the Fuel Controller, but Hon. Gideon Robertson, Minister of Labor.

Rising to his feet, he pointed an accusing finger at the trio. He gave them no chance to speak.

"I know why you are here," he thundered accusingly. "At a meeting four nights ago, you said;"—and he read the remarks of each, to him in turn.

"Now," he concluded, "unless you send a wire that there will be no strike, these officers," and he nodded in the direction of the statue-like scarlet-coated men, "will take care of you for the duration of the war."

There was no strike.


The Komagata Maru War

There are not many persons today who recall the real story of the grim drama that was played about the Vancouver waterfront, in the courts and in the mortuaries during the summer of 1914. Occasionally when reference is made to some of the thrilling facets of that story it is referred to as "The Komagata Maru War," highlighting the name of the Japanese steamer that figured so prominently in the events of that time. But the tragedy of that ill-advised attempt of some 376 East Indians to force their way into Canada, despite immigration restrictions, spread tragedy over half the world. Many suggestions made at the time that the whole thing was organized by German agents have never been cleared away.

British Columbians for many years had been plagued by cheap labor from Asia. There had been riots in 1886 and more serious disturbances in 1907. In 1910 the Dominion Government passed two orders-in-council under authority of the Immigration Act, which it was hoped would check the flow of immigrants from across the Pacific. One of these stipulated that each applicant for entry to the country should be possessed of $200, while the other stipulated that such entrant must "enter Canada by continuous journey and on through tickets from the country of birth or citizenship."

The years 1910 to 1912 were prosperous ones in British Columbia. The province was in the grip of a wild speculative boom; building and town expansion were enormous; new railway lines were being constructed like a giant spider web over the country. There was prosperity for all. No one bothered about Orientals or Asians entering. Not until towards the end of 1912, when the affluent days came to a sudden stop. Works stopped, leaving great skeletons of buildings stark against the grey skies of autumn; with the cessation of building, sawmills and logging camps reduced their activities, while thousands of men employed on railway building were turned loose. They flocked to the cities, and especially Vancouver. Bread lines and soup kitchens were the order of the day during the wet, miserable days of the winter.

Such was the state of affairs to which Narain Singh and thirty-five associates came from Asia and demanded entry. The immigration authorities refused them as having failed to comply with the two resolutions passed by order-in-council in 1910. An immediate appeal by way of habeas corpus proceedings was made to Mr. Justice Denis Murphy, who dismissed the application. Another application was made to Chief Justice Gordon Hunter. He sustained the plea, holding that the orders-in-council were ultra vires of the authority of the Immigration Act. The result was that Narain Singh and his companions were admitted, and the two orders-in-council were withdrawn.

An immediate result was that the people of Vancouver, struggling for sustenance in one of the worst periods of recession that the city had experienced, foresaw thousands of low-priced laborers flooding in from Asia. This threatened the meagre employment that was being offered. But it was not only in British Columbia that a vision of filling the country with workers as a result of Narain's victory arose. There were thousands of East Indians, men of various castes and creeds—many of them former British army soldiers—about Hong Kong. There was also Gurdit Singh.

Gurdit Singh, a fine-appearing, white-bearded individual of some education, had been a contractor in Straits Settlement and Malaya. He saw the possibility of taking a shipload of East Indians to the land that others from India had found to be good, and had made fortunes.

He planned to establish a steamship line, carrying immigrant passengers from the Orient and returning with cargoes of lumber from British Columbia for Japan, China and India. It was a happy dream.

But Gurdit Singh had another thought. If the roseate vision did not materialize, then he might be able to accomplish another object dear to his heart, embarrassment for the Government of India. He disclosed this objective in an interview upon his arrival: He said:—

"The main object of our coming is to let the British Government know how they can maintain their rule in India as the Indian Government is in danger nowadays. We can absolutely state how the British Government will last in India forever." The inference of his declaration was that if entry to Canada was opposed for Indian immigrants, trouble would result in the Indian Empire.

The first intimation of the proposal to bring a cargo of East Indians to Vancouver came from United States sources in the Orient. It suggested that German influence might be playing a part. After this developments came rapidly. It was found that Gurdit Singh was discouraged of success, until he contacted a German shipping agent named Bunce, who arranged a charter for him. The vessel was the Komagata Maru, of 2,926 gross tons register, and 329.9 feet in length. She was the former "Sicilian," of the Hamburg-American Lines, but was now owned by the small Japanese shipping firm, Shieni Kishen Go Shi Kaisa. Bunce arranged a favorable charter, and Gurdit Singh paid the first month's instalment in advance. He also induced a Japanese coal mine to provide him with a cargo of coal for sale in Vancouver.

There had been much disaffection amongst East Indians along the Pacific Coast, all the way down to Stockton, California. Many revolutionary activities in India were believed to be plotted in Pacific Coast cities. When Lord Hardinge's party was made the object of a bomb attack at New Delhi, it was suspected that the bomb had been produced in Seattle. It was not suggested that all East Indians were implicated in the activities of the revolutionaries, but there were sufficient known troublemakers in British Columbia and adjoining states of the Union to give the Government of India concern.

William Charles Hopkinson, tall—he stood 6 feet 2 inches—and swarthy, was born in India. He spoke a number of dialects perfectly, and for twelve years had been an inspector of c.i.d. for the Indian police. He had also been chief of police at Lahore. He was sent to Vancouver to keep an eye on malcontents. He obtained a position as Inspector of Immigration, under Chief Inspector Malcolm R. J. Reid. Harry Gwyther, who had spent years in India and spoke the Sikh and Hindu languages perfectly, was interpreter.

Hopkinson was not in the country long before his presence was known to every East Indian. Several attempts were made to kill him. In San Francisco on one occasion he was shot at from a lane and dropped, as if killed. The report of his assassination was spread in Vancouver a few hours later, but much to the astonishment of some members of the East Indian community he appeared a day or so later. The shot had missed him.

There were several members of the Colony who worked with the immigration officers, reporting to Hopkinson. They were Bela Singh, one of the handsomest of Sikhs, a former non-commissioned officer—Baboo Singh, another fine-looking big lad, but not of the same character as Bela Singh. Then there was Herman Singh; he was a quiet, unassuming sort of a man, but intensely loyal to the King. There was a Hindu, Gunga Ram, a small, quick little fellow who was devoted to Bela Singh. There may have been others, but if so their activities were cloaked. It was dangerous to be known as dependable by the Canadian authorities.

The writer of this story was, at that time, the police reporter for The Vancouver Daily Province. It was my job to report the happenings in connection with the many fights and squabbles that reached the courts from the East Indian colony in Kitsilano. It so happened that I lived in the next block to the Sikh Temple on Second Avenue.

It was on May 21 that I learned that something was taking place. Chief Inspector Reid, Inspector Hopkinson and Harry Gwyther were leaving for Nanaimo. It looked interesting so I boarded the Princess Patricia just before she left Vancouver, and after she was on her way proclaimed my presence. They were a good lot, and forgave my impudence. They told me that they had received word that the Komagata Maru bearing 376 passengers was due to arrive the next morning at William Head quarantine station near Victoria. But they had learned that a little group of East Indians were heading for Port Alberni with $50,000 in cash to put aboard the Komagata so that a number of these on her passenger list would have sufficient money to enter Canada as merchants or students. Reid and his men were hoping to get to Port Alberni—where they had ordered a sea-going launch by wire—and beat the others down to the sea and to the Komagata.

We had a hasty snack at Nanaimo and while waiting for the automobile—an old Henry Ford—that was to take us on the wild chase across Vancouver Island, Malcolm Reid was called to the telephone. He burst from the booth, "Quick; we've got to get to Victoria," he shouted. "She's due to berth there in three or four hours!"

We piled into the car and started off on one of the wildest rides I ever had, before or after. In those days a ride, especially by night, from Nanaimo over 75 miles of rough and narrow road to Victoria was considered to be difficult and dangerous. Besides our driver was not too sure of the way. He had never made it by night, and he was a bit nervous of the Malahat Mountain section, which was not much better than a tortuous track. Suffice it to say that we got lost near Koksilah in the smoke of a burning bush fire; then we nearly went over the road at its steepest point (above Bamberton's present site), and again at Tunnel Hill—but we did not. We were exhausted when we arrived at the Dominion Hotel between four and five o'clock in the morning, and lay down for a few winks. They were few, for we had to be out again by five, and without breakfast hurried down to the immigration wharf, where a launch was waiting for us. We reached the side of the Komagata Maru just as an open launch with seven East Indians tried to board the ship. An immigration guard boat chased them away. The Victoria immigration officials had everything under control, and we hurried back to Victoria to catch the afternoon steamer for Vancouver—and a little sleep.

It was on May 23 that the Komagata Maru reached Vancouver, and was ordered by the harbor master to anchor in the harbor, off the Admiralty Pier several cables distant. Here she swung for two months.

In answer to the demands of the immigrants to be permitted to come ashore, Chief Inspector Reid said he could not give permission until all had been examined. This was met by Gurdit Singh with a bitter attack and refusal to await until the examinations were made. Eventually, it may be stated here, of the total of 376 passengers, 22 who could show that they had been former residents of British Columbia and had been away on holiday, were permitted to enter. The others could not do so, nor could they show that they had come by continuous passage. They had been recruited at Hong Kong where 165 had been taken on board; 111 had been picked up at Shanghai; 86 in Kobe and 14 in Yokohama.

Now started a battle in the courts that continued for nearly two months. It might have been better for them had the East Indians accepted the advice of their solicitor, who adopted a suggestion made at a conference with the Government solicitors to expedite an application to the Court of Appeal on the legality of their entry.

Their compatriots on shore were, however, willing to have resort to Canadian justice; Bela Singh was accused of perjury; other Sikhs were accused of various offences. The courts, particularly the police court, were crowded with warring East Indians. Some of them were threatening, and it was reported in June that attempts would be made to kill both Inspector Hopkinson, and his superior, Chief Inspector Reid. Others were also warned that they were on the death list. These were regarded as the boastings of excited men. The Ghadar newspaper, an East Indian publication issued in California, was particularly bitter and active in keeping the excitement at a high pitch.

Finally, Gurdit Singh assigned the charter on the Komagata Maru to Rahim, a cunning Mohammedan, and Bhag Singh, president of the Sikh Temple. They formed a committee to raise money to help pay the charter and assist their families. They raised $22,000. Reference of the legal points to the Court of Appeal was finally agreed upon, and on July 9, the court decreed that the orders-in-council that had replaced those of 1910, and more especially the one excluding labor from entry to a market already overcrowded, were within the competence of the Act.

The Komagata Maru was ordered to leave port. Captain Yamamoto, represented his situation to the authorities. He could not leave without provisions. It was on July 18 that he came ashore again to report that his passengers had taken possession of the ship. He demanded that the police restore his ship to him. The spot where she had been riding at anchor for the past two months was within the corporate limits of Vancouver. Therefore it became the duty of the city police, under Chief M. B. McLennan, to respond to the complaint, which was tantamount to piracy.

Trouble was expected. It was not known what firearms might be on board, but a few days before three Vancouver East Indians were arrested at the American border trying to smuggle guns into B.C. The Dominion Government, through Inspector Reid, agreed to provision the ship for the voyage back to Japan. The ocean-going tug Sea Lion was hired to take the police and the provisions out to the Komagata Maru.

There were 120 police, forty immigration guards, H. H. Stevens, M.P., and four newspaper reporters (including the writer) gathered at the dock when word was given to board her. She was a fair-sized tugboat—but she was just that. There was no room for such a collection of big men. The foodstuffs had been previously stowed, and they did not allow much room for policemen. We were pretty well as crowded—particularly on the main deck—as sardines in a can. Moreover, being a towboat the Sea Lion did not sit very high out of the water. The decks of the Komagata, as we drew near, loomed from 15 to 20 feet higher.

There was not a word uttered until we drew alongside and threw grappling irons. Once we were fastened to the larger ship, all hell broke loose. The railings of the well deck were lined with great turbaned figures. There was a yell, and then from three hundred throats came shouts of anger and defiance. Coal, bricks from the boiler settings and other heavy objects rained down upon us. One tall Sikh stood up on the lower rail and bending over, swung a long slicer bar from the stokehold to which he had fastened a flat iron. It acted as a flail, and every time he swung it, he knocked over a row of policemen. Another giant turbaned figure clutched the top rail and waved a great claymore like a sword. He was right in the radiance of the searchlight. A line of hose had been attached to the pump and this was brought to play on him. It was a veritable picture of hate as he hung on to the iron rail and continued to shout defiance.

Chief McLennan had warned his men against shooting. "That's what they want," he said. He himself was injured, but he did not leave the deck beside the pilot house. Hopkinson was leaning out of the pilot-house window; I was next to him, but outside. There was a flash and a bullet sang past us. "My god, Hoppy, they're shooting at you. It's your damned gold-braided hat," I shouted excitedly, and seized his cap and jammed my straw on his head, and like a fool put his cap on my own head. A moment later a bullet "pinged" past the end of my nose. I got rid of that head-gear, and quickly.

Several other bullets came from the ship. One just cut across in front of Joe Ricci, a detective. There was nothing that the police could do. Then on the offside of the Sea Lion there appeared the obscure black shape of a launch, and two shots came from it. It was never proven, but it was suspected that it contained German agents who were anxious to have some of the passengers on the Komagata Maru killed entering a British port.

The policemen stood it bravely. One of the immigration guards lost his head. He drew his revolver and kneeled down to take deliberate aim at a big Sikh. Before he could pull the trigger a man dashed past me and jumped upon him. It was Harry Stevens, the member. "You fool," he shouted. "Don't you dare to use your gun until the chief gives orders."

The decks were cluttered with injured policemen. Orders were given to cut the lines, but although several men tried to do it, they could not reach the side of the boat to chop the ropes. Then Constable Duncan McKinnon, who had been pounded several times by missiles, could stand it no longer. He was standing beside a crate of vegetables on the fore deck. He picked up a cabbage and heaved it at the crowded rail. The East Indians thought it was a bomb. They rushed back, and big "Cap" Anderson, from the police boat, jumped forward with a hatchet and cut the line. Slowly the boats separated, and then with the engines going astern we drew back, turned and made for the dock, through a litter of wood and other flotsam that had been used as missiles, and a number of police helmets. When the fight started a C.P.R. policeman had called every ambulance in town. The injured men—some twenty-two of them—were taken to hospitals. Others were doctored by police surgeons at headquarters. It was a total and humiliating defeat.

The East Indians, those on the steamer and also ashore, were triumphant, but their jubilation did not last long. The next day the militia was called out and took up positions along the waterfront. Monday morning the gray shape of H.M.C.S. Rainbow pushed through the Narrows and dropped anchor close to the Komagata Maru. The cruiser's guns threatened ominously.

The unwanted immigrants reluctantly concluded that they could not compel the Government of Canada to accede to their demand. They agreed to go back to Japan if provisions were supplied. This the Government, through Chief Inspector Malcolm Reid, agreed to do, and was most generous in the quantity and variety provided. On July 23—just two months after reaching Vancouver—the Komagata Maru disappeared seaward.

Two weeks later Germany plunged the world into war, and the excitement aroused by the Battle of the Komagata Maru paled before the furor and clangor of armed conflict. But while the East Indians and their troubles were no longer first page news on the papers of America, the fight in Vancouver became even more bitter and murderous.

It was on August 31 that Pirt Warnes, 2291 First Avenue, was walking over a little-used trail near the B.C. Electric Company's car barns on the old Kitsilano Indian reserve. He noticed something hidden behind a log close to the path. He stooped over to examine it and found it to be a badly decomposed body of an East Indian. His turban was wrapped about his ankles. Warnes hurried to the car barn and telephoned the police. Constable D. D. McArthur responded from C Division, a short distance away. He bent over to examine the grisly corpse. He touched the head. It came off in his hand. Beside the body was an old leather satchel, and a half-pint brandy flash—empty, and an open razor.

The police did not have much difficulty in identifying the remains as those of Herman Singh—Herman Singh, who was loyal to his King and helped the Immigration officials; Bela Singh's great friend.

At the inquest, held by Coroner T. W. Jeffs at Green & Merkley's mortuary, Baboo Singh, another of the little group who assisted Hopkinson, testified. Herman was his house companion and friend. He said that Herman had left home on August 17 to start work at Desroches, near Mission. He did not appear there. He declared that Herman had not committed suicide. He did not own a razor, and the handbag was not his. He said that because of the enmity borne the dead man he was sure he had been murdered.

Coroner Jeffs: - "Have you any reason for his enemies singling him out?"

Baboo Singh: - "The reason? People were against us on this 'Hindu question'—on this matter of the Komagata Maru. We were suspected of giving information to the authorities."

Coroner: - "Why would they single him out?"

Baboo Singh: - "Because he was one of us."

Inspector William Charles Hopkinson, of the Immigration service, was as definite in his opinion that Herman Singh had been slain.

"Herman Singh, in company with five or six others—and I hope I may be excused from mentioning names for various reasons—have been of great assistance to the immigration department. They gave information in respect of the Komagata Maru incident and the activities of the East Indian revolutionaries in this city," he declared, and then went on: "I don't want to go into details of this affair. I think it would be sufficient for me to say that by reason of the assistance rendered to our department we have incurred enmity—and lost a few friends.

"Of my own knowledge," the inspector added, "I have never heard any threats against these few, but I do know that civil and criminal proceedings have been entered against them, and they are in difficulty. Several are in jail. But we have received complaints, and Chief Inspector Reid has been threatened with violence. But beyond these complaints I have nothing tangible which would lead me to institute proceedings—but it is quite evident that there is enmity between these people."

In answer to a question, the inspector said that he had been in charge of criminal investigation in India for a dozen years, and said that suicide by the use of a knife in the Punjab, of which district Herman Singh was a native, was unknown. Self-destruction was by poison, opium or hanging.

The jury returned an open verdict.

Four days after the inquest on Herman Singh, Arjan Singh was slain. Whether or not the quiet, elderly man had given information to the immigration service was not established, but Arjan Singh was friendly with Bela Singh, and had given him employment.

Inspector Hopkinson occasionally used to disguise himself as a Sikh and occupy a shack in South Vancouver. On such a visit to his South Vancouver retreat he heard mention of a plot to assassinate some individual. He did not get the identity. The purpose, though, was that if the victim of the killing was cremated, with the traditional ceremonies at the East Indian cemetery at the same time as those for Herman Singh, Bela Singh would be sure to attend, as both were his friends. He would then accompany the others to the temple for further religious exercises. This would place him in the hands of his enemies.

It was an involved Asian way but Hopkinson was sure that another murder was intended. He warned Bela Singh, but he would not refrain from doing honor to his friends. All he said was that he would be careful.

It was on the afternoon of September 3 that Police Inspector Dave Scott, in charge of C Division received a telephone call that a man had been shot at 1774 Third Avenue West. The inspector himself answered the call with a policeman. At the gate he was met by Bela Singh, whose home was in the same block on Second Avenue. He said a man had been shot within the house. He did not know who it was.

The body of Arjan Singh was found in the dining room. In the house was Hookim Singh, Ram Singh, Bishen Singh, Hari Singh and Bhal Singh. Scott was told that Ram Singh was examining the gun, which was not known to be loaded, and it went off, killing the unfortunate Arjan Singh.

There was no conflict in the evidence, and all witnesses declared that there had been no trouble. But the post mortem made by Dr. Geo. F. Curtis showed that he had been shot from above and behind. Still, the verdict that he had been accidentally killed was quite consistent with the facts as revealed.

Hopkinson did not testify.

The cremation of Herman Singh and Arjan Singh was held with fitting ceremonies on Saturday afternoon, September 5, at the cemetery. Then those in attendance adjourned to the religious rites to be celebrated at the Sikh Temple, 1866 Second Avenue West.

It was a few moments after seven p.m. when I left my home at 1978 Second; walked to Maple Street and was just going north on that sidewalk, only a short distance from the temple. The night was still. Suddenly there was a single revolver shot from the temple; a pause of perhaps a second, and then a regular volley. I had made an appointment to meet a great friend of mine, Israel I. Rubinowitz, a Jewish lawyer and Rhodes scholar. I hesitated whether I would stop and go and investigate the shooting, or meet my friend first. I heard the street car coming and ran and caught it. Dropping off the tram at the old Hotel Vancouver I met Israel. "Just a minute until I telephone the police station," I shouted and ran to the telephone booth.

"How did you hear?" demanded the desk sergeant. "Bela Singh has shot a whole bunch of people in the temple. I'm trying to get a justice of the peace to go to the General Hospital and take despositions."

"I've got one here," I said. "Israel Rubinowitz."

"Grab a taxi and get him there in a hurry," advised the sergeant.

They were just bringing the dead and dying East Indians into the hospital when we arrived. The doctors could not stop in their work of mercy for us. We took down the depositions as the medical men worked. I acted as a clerk, and before we concluded our interrogation we were shut in the operating room where probing and packing and sewing were being conducted.

Big blonde Sergeant William Latimer was in charge at the Division headquarters that evening. The front door suddenly crashed in and a man shouted that there was shooting at the Sikh Temple. Latimer called Inspector Scott and rounded up all the men available. A call was sent to headquarters downtown for homicide detectives as well.

"I found three Sikhs lying on the floor of the temple, upon my arrival," said Latimer in his report to the coroner. "They were suffering from bullet wounds. Bhag Singh was on the west side of the temple, near the altar. He had a bullet in his abdomen. (Bhag Singh was the president of the temple society.) Uttam Singh, 1872 West Second, was at the rear door with a bullet wound in his left side towards the back, and Budda Singh, Capilano P.O., was shot in the left knee. He was braced against the west wall only about four feet from Bhag Singh."

P.C. Lemon and P.C. McArthur said that from information they received they went to 1752 Second Avenue and arrested Bela Singh. They brought him to the temple.

"I gave the customary caution," Lemon explained, "and asked him if he had anything to say. 'Not until after I have seen Mr. Reid or Mr. Hopkinson,' he answered. I asked Uttam Singh if he knew the accused: 'Yes, sure; he's the man who shot me!'"

"'All right, you wait and see,' responded Bela. 'You tried to kill me all along, since last year.'"

McArthur told of finding another wounded East Indian in the basement.

Inspector Scott said: "I traced blood spots from the temple steps to 1678 West Second where we found three more East Indians more or less seriously wounded being loaded into an ambulance."

Dalip Singh was a visitor from Victoria. He was wounded in the right thigh. His story was: "I sat clown and started to sing. Then Pertab Singh, a brother of the deceased Herman Singh, came in and sat down ... Then Bela Singh came in. He passed down to the back, in the corner. But in a little while he began to shoot. He was facing the rest of the audience. I saw Bela Singh take out a pistol. He shot Bhag Singh first. There were about 30 or 35 persons in the building. Bela Singh did not speak. Bhag Singh was the president of the temple."

Jawala Singh, brother of the deceased Arjan Singh added that he, too, had seen Bela Singh shoot Bhag Sing. "Then he shot more. I got shot in the back."

Balwant Singh, the priest presiding at the time had been in Canada since 1906. He was a handsome big man, with a fine flowing black beard. He spoke good English and was a man of some erudition. He made a statement to Coroner Jeffs. After describing the services that were under way, he said that someone was singing a hymn. "I asked the party to finish the hymn because the time was too short. Mewa Singh then started a hymn. After that Bishen Singh commenced the last hymn. I just heard that start when there was a shot from the corner. Bela Singh had two revolvers in his hands and was firing at the people who were sitting at the west side of the altar. The priest managed to get out from the room and hide in a small cubicle.

"You know," questioned F. J. Macdougal, counsel for the Immigration service, "that meetings have been held in the temple where the life of Bela Singh has been threatened?"

Balwant Singh: "Not in my presence."

Pressed by the lawyer, the priest finally admitted that he had heard that Bela Singh's life had been threatened the previous Sunday by a group of men with knives outside of the temple.

Sohan Lai was not a Sikh. He was a real estate broker in South Vancouver, a small, alert little man who took an active part in most East Indian affairs. He could not mask his dislike for Bela Singh, and tried to picture him as miserly.

"He came in at the main door," he described, "and made obeisance to the Holy Bible and tossed a coin—I don't know if it was a nickel"—Sohan Lai did not see much more for he ran when the shooting started and did not go back.

Mr. Macdougal - "You know that Arjan Singh was a witness for Bela Singh in the perjury case?" (A charge that was dismissed).

"Yes, I know that. Many men know that."

"You objected to Bela Singh working for Arjan Singh, the deceased?"

"I had nothing to do with that."

Mr. Macdougal - "Had you anything to do with the Komagata Maru case at all?"

Sohan Lai - "I did not; only kept the accounts for the money."

"Who was the charter party?"

Sohan Lai - "Oh, they were Rahim and Bhag Singh."

Despite the efforts of the doctors, Baden Singh and Bhag Singh died.

I have given the sworn testimony of several of those who were present, as well as several of the wounded. This was all to the effect that Bela Singh entered the temple while the service was being held, and without provocation started to shoot. But that was not exactly the way that Bela Singh told the story.

He said that he entered the temple after taking his boots off and leaving them outside, as was customary. Before he could sit down, he averred, one of the crowd picked up the Holy Sword from the altar and made a slice at him. At the same instant another man shot at him. He pulled out two guns and poured a volley into those in front of him. He had been one of the best pistol shots that the army had produced. He could not figure how, out of ten shots he only made nine hits!

This is where my evidence was of importance. Was there a single shot that preceded the volley?

Bela Singh, of course, was committed for trial on a charge of murder. Hopkinson did not appear as a witness at the preliminary hearing in the police court, but he offered to appear if necessary at the trial at the assizes. He would disclose his disguise and little cabin in South Vancouver. He would give evidence of the plot made to kill Bela Singh, and would tell of how he was to be tricked into attending the temple.

The assizes were set for mid-October. Meanwhile the Dominion Government intelligence service was being organized under direction of Inspector Reid. Hopkinson was endeavoring to trace the mystery of German influence in respect of the Komagata Maru's coming.

I used to make a point of seeing him each morning at the court house. We both had to report, with all other assize witnesses, each day, pending the trials on the list. Every morning about ten o'clock we would meet outside of the witness room in the Assize Court corridor.

It was October 21. I was very anxious to have a few words with "Hoppy" that day. He was not at the accustomed place of meeting. I thought that perhaps he had gone in by another door to the basement, and might be at the Provincial Police offices. I ran down there, but there was no one who had seen him. So I started upstairs again. I had climbed up the first flight to the main floor, when I met Charles Macdonald, an eminent lawyer, and good friend of mine.

"Do you want a ride down to the city police court?" he asked.

I was due there, and was in fact a few moments late. "Oh," I thought, "I'll get Hopkinson at noon." I accepted and he drove me to the other end of town.

Macdonald parked the car in the lane and we entered through the police garage. At the foot of the elevator to the jail was the office used by the inspectors. Mrs. Louise Harris, the chief of the women detectives, was waiting there.

"Oh, Pinkie," she called, "I'm glad to see you. I've been waiting here for you."

"What is it, mother?"

"There was a black woman in here last night," she said. "She told me she had overheard a plot to kill the white witnesses in the Bela Singh case. She is married to an East Indian."

I laughed. "She's full of hop" I wisecracked.

As I said that the telephone bell rang. She picked it up. Her face went white and she dropped the phone. "They've killed Hopkinson!"

As I was leaving the assize court, for some reason—one of those little things that mean so much—I fell in with several law students. They were going downstairs. I crossed over to the east side of a great double stairs, and we went down in a body. I noticed five East Indians going up the west stairs, and among them was Mewa Singh. They, too, were obliged to report as witnesses. They did not notice me.

Hopkinson, in the meantime, had entered the basement through the Howe Street entrance and had gone up to the Assize court by the elevator. He walked along to the spot where we usually met and looked into the witness room. As he did, Mewa Sing stepped out into the corridor with two revolvers in his hands and started to shoot.

Let James Bernard McCanns, head janitor of the court house, tell of what happened, as he related the story to Coroner Jeffs at the inquest:—

"I was in the front vestibule of the court house about 10:15 o'clock when I heard a shot. Several more followed. Two city detectives, Sam Crewe and George Sunstrum, were on their way upstairs. So was Detective Norman McDonald. I shouted, 'collar them.' We all rushed up the stairs and the detectives stopped to gather in four or five East Indians who were hurrying on their way. I continued to the top of the flight and looked along the corridor. I saw Mewa Singh with two revolvers and a man on the floor in front of him. I didn't know who he was then, but found it to be Inspector Hopkinson. I rushed at the Sikh and grabbed him by the left arm and turned him around, and the revolver in his right hand brushed against my waistcoat. I was just getting the gun away when another man arrived."

Richard Polley, 714 Homer Street, a little white-haired fishery inspector, was also there. He was in the corridor and saw the killing. Polley demanded that Mewa Singh give up the guns, but Mewa said he would not surrender them to anyone but the police, but he did a moment later when McCanns grabbed him.

Hopkinson tried to grapple with his killer, but had no chance. He was shot three times, the third one through the heart.

His funeral was the largest that had been held in Vancouver to that time.

There was a cessation of killings in Vancouver after Hopkinson was assassinated. The East Indian communities up and down the coast hailed Mewa Singh as a hero, and when he was hanged at New Westminster jail on January 11, 1915, a card was circulated with a drawing of him, and labeled "Bhai Mewa Singh—Martyr."

But blood continued to be spilt over the Komagata Maru long after poor Hopkinson and Herman Singh and Arjan Singh were gone and Bela Singh was freed on the charge of murdering Baden Singh and Bhag Singh. Years passed before the red stain of the Komagata Maru enmities were permitted to fade away.

Gurdit Singh may have lost all he had in trying to force his immigrants into Canada. But he certainly succeeded in embarrassing the Governments of India and Canada. The Indian Government made an investigation by Royal Commission of the sailing of the vessel, and her return, but did not definitely establish the part that Germany played in the affair. It was stated though that there were strong suspicions that she had done so. The Komagata Maru reached Japan. There, according to evidence brought out in another trial, and reported by cable from Calcutta, February 24, 1915;

"An accused person, who turned approver, said that after leaving Canada they went to Japan, when the prisoners induced them to return to India to raise a rebellion. The emigrants were told that the Indian troops were ready to aid them.

"Automatic pistols were imported in the false bottoms of buckets, and they met at various places in India for the purpose of receiving weapons, but the latter were not forthcoming, although they were told that a sergeant in an Indian regiment would give them the keys of the armory."

The proceedings, of which the foregoing is an excerpt, were held at Ferozepore in which some Sikh dacoits were charged with the murder of two police officers. They were endeavoring to loot the Government treasury at Moga. According to the despatch the accused were from the passengers on the Komagata Maru.

"It was suspected that others associated with the trip may have played a part in the uprising of an East Indian body of troops at Singapore in February, 1915. There were a large number of casualties in the fighting."

When the Komagata Maru reached India she was told to land her passengers at Budge Budge, about fourteen miles from Calcutta. The boat docked there despite the clamor of the Sikh passengers who wished to go right to Calcutta. There were seventeen Mohammedan passengers who complained to the authorities that they were being bullied by Gurdit Singh and the Sikhs. They asked to be rescued from the torment of the 250 Sikhs on the ship. While this was being discussed, the main body of the passengers started for Calcutta. Many of them were armed with swords and clubs, while others carried the firearms smuggled aboard the ship in Japan. They were stopped and ordered to entrain for the Punjab, but while the train was assembling they opened fire. Superintendent Lomax of the railway and several police constables fell in the first volley. The police opened fire, and were re-enforced by soldiers. A general battle followed. A number of Sikhs were killed, and the others scattered and fled. A reward was offered for the arrest of Gurdit Singh. There were other difficulties, including disturbances at Lahore, where there were more deaths, attributable to the unhappy events surrounding the effort to force a way into Canada.

The last bit of information that came my way was about ten years ago—and thirty years after that summer of bloodshed and bitterness. I asked a Sikh; "What ever happened to Bela Singh?"

"Bela Singh," he almost screamed at me; "Bela Singh," he repeated, and then started to laugh, rubbing his hands together in high glee; "Bela Singh—he's dead. He was cut to pieces—into a hundred pieces—two years ago. His wife is dead, too, and so are his children. Yes, Bela Singh is dead."

A lot has happened in the past four decades: India has her independence, and East Indians in Canada accept the duties and responsibilities of citizenship. The Government of the Dominion now sends Canadians to India—men and women of special skills to act as instructors under plans for the progressive development of that mighty semi-continent. East Indian immigrants, once feared as competitors, are now in labor unions. The old enmities are being forgotten.

I have presented the facts, as disclosed by the public records—-but there is still much of mystery about the Komagata Maru War.


Who Killed Quantrill?

When and where did William Clarke Quantrill die? The notorious Southern guerrilla chief who captured Independence, Missouri, in 1862 and later sacked and burned Lawrence, Kansas, amid carnage that was appalling even in that sanguinary civil war, is generally believed to have succumbed to wounds received in a skirmish in 1865, with cavalrymen under Capt. Ed Terrill from Michigan. But there is reason to believe that he may have escaped death at that time, only to end his days as a victim of a vengeance slaying more than forty years later at Coal Harbor, Quatsino Inlet, Vancouver Island, on British Columbia's coast.

It was late in 1907, or early in 1908, that John Sharp, a wiry, gray-bearded, temperamental and crochety old man, who was a watchman at an abandoned coal mine was beaten to death with a poker in his lonely cabin. The crime followed closely upon the publication of a news story to the effect that Sharp had been recognized as Quantrill, and had admitted that identity. The murder was not reported to the police until long after Sharp was buried. No inquest was held.

Assistant Commissioner Cecil Clark of the B.C. Provincial Police had gathered considerable data about the crime at the time that the force was absorbed by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. He suggested that I continue the quest for positive identification of the "mystery of Quatsino."

Briefly, the background of Quantrill is not etched too deeply in the historical records of the United States. It is known that he was born in the north, although the precise location seems to be in some doubt. It is said that he was descended from piratical ancestry. The family moving to the then west, he became a school teacher in Illinois. Later he went south to Kansas, where he came into conflict with the law. He fled west with the stampeders to Pike's Peak in the gold excitement in the Colorado area. He did not do much mining, but as "Charley Hart" preyed upon the unsuspecting at the gambling table and by robbery.

Such seems to be a summary of the different books written about Quantrill. When the Civil War broke out, it appears that he hurried to join the Confederate forces. Whether this was as a result of conviction, or by reason of opportunities for plunder, writers differ. Suffice it to say that he was a tall—nearly six feet, wiry, blue-eyed individual, of great personal courage and determined action. He soon organized a band of guerrillas; men of desperate purpose. They quickly became the terror of the two states in which they operated. The memories left by Quantrill's riders and their leader are, naturally, colored by the partisanship of those who retained them. Nevertheless, all agree that they were brave, bold men.

When it became apparent to the most devoted supporter of the cause of the South that the North had decisively won the struggle, Quantrill, with a small following started to the north in an effort to evade capture. It would not be safe for him to be taken in either Missouri or Kansas. Other detachments of the guerrillas headed for Texas and Mexico; some were hunted down and slaughtered, such as "Bloody" Bill Anderson and his companions.

Quantrill and his troop reached Spencer County, Kentucky. They were not far from Louisville and were travelling along the turnpike when they were caught by a severe rainstorm. They splashed on in the downpour until they came to the farm of a man named Wakefield. They turned in and rode up to the large barn with the double purpose of waiting until the storm had passed and resting and feeding their animals. The horses were unsaddled and fed. The men lazed around in the stable, laughing and playing at war with corn cobs. They had no suspicion that there were Union soldiers in the vicinity. Nor had Captain Terrill any idea that one of the most hated Rebel leaders and some of his troops were hidden in that area.

Terrill led his troop along the road; the Union riders had also been caught by the rain. In passing the Wakefield farm, Terrill was attracted by the number of fresh horse tracks turning in at the gate. He gave an order and the men following him prepared for trouble as they wheeled in at the gate. They were halfway across the field to the barn when they were first seen. The guerrillas ran to saddle their horses. The Union men opened fire. It was the sort of surprise that Quantrill had practised so often, when men died or fell wounded without a chance.

When the last of the few survivors of the attack managed to ride off, the soaking wet field and the floor of the half-dark interior of the big barn were dotted with dead and dying men and horses.

It has been asserted that William Quantrill was one of the badly-wounded and dying men; that at first he gave his name as "Captain William Clarke, of the Fourth Missouri Regiment," but later, when taken to a hospital at Louisville he admitted that he was Quantrill. In any event, a man, believed to be the notorious raider died a few days later and was buried as Quantrill. But was the paralyzed man who died on the hospital cot really Quantrill? Who was Captain Wm. Clarke? Did this officer, or some other wounded comrade pretend to be Quantrill, and permit that individual to effect his escape from his captors? Those are questions that have arisen from time to time without consideration of the mystery of John Sharp.

Wm. Elsey Connelley in his careful, analytical book about Quantrill, published in 1910, stated: "Of his death, burial and exhumation no man has been able to speak with confidence."

The former assistant commissioner of the B.C. Police, a renowned law enforcement organization, in suggesting that I try to piece the story together, gave as his opinion that there was a possibility that the two men were one. This was at the time in 1951 when the merger of the two forces was being effected. Mr. Clark now resides in Victoria, B.C., where he has built for himself a reputation as a writer.

Here is what I have learned since that time:—

The late Sid S. Saunders, Alberni, a former provincial policeman, game warden, timber cruiser and prospector, and soldier in the First World War, who knew the rugged West Coast of Vancouver Island as well as any man, said:—

"I heard the story of John Sharp being Quantrill. It always interested me and I know that many persons who were more intimate with him than I could possibly be, believed it. They did not say much. According to what I could learn, Sharp, when half-tanked would boast of being the Southern leader, but when he was sober would resent any reference to the subject. He was an old man, as I recall him; about 5 feet 11 inches in height, straight, wiry and active. He was possessed of snapping blue eyes and a powerful voice.

"You will understand that it was no business of the B.C. Police if he was Quantrill. As far as our records went Quantrill had committed no offence against the laws of British Columbia or of Canada. It was no crime for him to fight against the Union in the Civil War. It was curiosity on my part only. When he was reported as being the same as John Sharp, his past became the concern of the department insofar as it might point to the reason for the Coal Harbor slaying.

"I would say that he was about the age of Quantrill—in other words, he was born about the same year. He was of similar height, and general appearance fitting the description of Quantrill.

"At the time that he was killed—that is Sharp—there was no regular police service at the north end of Vancouver Island. There was no coroner or resident Government agent closer than Clayoquot or Barkley Sound. As a result there was no inquiry held or post-mortem examination made of the remains, and old Sharp was buried with a minimum of fuss. It was a matter of months, at least, before the police heard that there had been a killing, and no one applied for exhumation of the remains. It was known, though, that his body bore marks of several gun-shot wounds, and a bayonet or knife cut."

Eustace Smith, a noted forest engineer residing in West Vancouver, recalled meeting John Sharp in 1902:—

"My brother Cecil and I were acting as guides to James Dunsmuir, the coal baron and railway millionaire of Vancouver Island, and party. They wanted to fish and hunt in a little-known locality in the north-central part of the Island. Mr. Dunsmuir went around Cape Scott and down to Quatsino in his yacht, but my brother and I packed across to Coal Harbor at the head of Quatsino Inlet, from where we were to make arrangements to go ahead and prepare camps for the progression of the party to the lakes and hunting grounds that were to provide the anticipated sport.

"John Sharp was living in a cabin at Coal Harbor. He was acting as a sort of watchman at the old coal property there. I was very interested in meeting him as I had heard it whispered that he was Quantrill. He had steady, blue eyes that did not suggest a decline of his mental or physical reflexes. I recall his powerful voice. I did not hear him admit being Quantrill, but from various remarks made while we were there it would appear that he was a Civil War veteran and had fought for the South. He spoke of Jesse James, the bandit, with familiarity. Jesse James and his older brother, Frank, were members of Quantrill's band."

Probably the nearest approach to a friend that Sharp could claim in the Quatsino district was a boy, George Ilstad. He grew up in the district and told me how he became quite chummy with the strange old man at Coal Harbor. He used to drop in to Sharp's cabin whenever he was near it, and the old fellow seemed to like to have him do so.

"He used to tell me all kinds of stories of adventure, and of fighting in the Civil War," Mr. Ilstad recounted. "When he was sober he did not say anything that would lead me to think that he had any other identity than that of John Sharp; but when he had been drinking he would sometimes boast to me that his real name was 'Quantrill.'

"One time he told me how he had been surprised by a Union force, and had been badly wounded in the fight that followed. In fact the Union men had found him on the field. He had been shot in the shoulder and had another wound on the chest. It was not expected that he could live, and he was left at the farmhouse where the fight took place. He did manage to get away, though, and lay hidden for several months until he could make his way out of the country. He got down to the Gulf of Mexico and got a ship to take him to South America, where he remained for years.

"About 1880 (I fancy it was) he returned to the United States and had worked as a cow puncher and logger. It would be in the mid-nineties that he crossed to British Columbia from Oregon, and went up the coast, working in lumber camps and trapping. Then he was offered the job that brought him to isolated Coal Harbor."

When he was sobered after his "confessions," Sharp was cranky and would not discuss the admissions he had previously made, but would talk of his experiences in the woods. He seemed to like to have the boy come to see him, but he did not seek the companionship of any men residing in the district.

It was in August, 1907, that Sharp was recognized in person as Quantrill by a man who had been a member of the Michigan troop that had decimated Quantrill's riders. An account of the meeting was published in The Victoria Daily Colonist, on August 9, of that year. Here it is:—


"Bill Quantrill, leader of Quantrill's guerrillas in the American Civil War, 1861-66, who, according to history died of wounds in a Kentucky hospital after his raiders were cut up, is alive on the North West Coast of Vancouver Island, under the name of John Sharp. That is the statement made by people who should be in a position to know. Among them is J. E. Duffy, a prominent timberman who recently became interested in timber limits at Quatsino. He met the so-called 'John Sharp' and recognized him at once as Quantrill. Duffy was a member of a Michigan troop of cavalry which cut up Quantrill's force, and had no difficulty in recognizing his man.

"Sharp, or more properly Quantrill, admitted to Duffy that he was correct in his recognition. Quantrill, who is over 70 years old, is now gray, but he is still active and wiry.

"Sharp, the name by which he chooses to be known, said he had been left on the field at Louisville with life apparently extinct, but had recovered sufficiently to take a horse and had ridden seventy miles and disappeared. He made his way to South America, remaining a number of years in Chili, whence he went to Texas, where he engaged in the cattle business, making considerable money, which he, however, soon went through. He then went to Oregon, where he punched cows and drove cattle over the mountains. From Oregon he came to British Columbia nearly two decades ago and engaged in logging at different camps on the North West Coast of Vancouver Island until ten years ago when he became a trapper on the northern coast. Six or seven years ago he went to Quatsino, where he was made caretaker of the mines of the West Vancouver Coal Company at Coal Harbor.

"At Quatsino he was 'old John Sharp,' a gray-headed graybearded wiry old man who had obviously been a large, strong man in his younger days. He lived in a cabin with the forest about it at Coal Harbor, and always had a drink for the wearied traveller about to start over the trail to Hardy Bay or dragging in over the eleven-mile trail.

"This summer J. E. Duffy came to Quatsino Sound, and where he landed from the steamer Tees he met Sharp on the beach at Coal Harbor. Duffy looked the old man over, and then he said; "Is that you Quantrill, you —— old rascal?"

"Come into the house," said Sharp, "and for some hours the two men talked, Sharp stating that he was in reality Quantrill; and he talked at length of the raids in Kansas and elsewhere, and eagerly listened to Duffy's tales from the point of view of the cavalry man of the Union army. He was most keenly interested in the story of the cutting up of his band and when the narrator told of how forty had been killed, tears rolled down the old man's cheeks.

"R. E. Montgomery, who is engaged in business at Quatsino, and who knew Sharp, or Quantrill, at Fort Worth, Texas, and H. O. Bergh, postmaster at Quatsino, and two others to whom Sharp stated his identity as Quantrill; 'I might as well admit it,' he told both, 'it seems I can not hide the fact.'

"The story the old man at Quatsino told to the informant of The Colonist, was that when his band had been cut up he had been bayonetted in the chest, and had a bullet wound through his shoulder. History says Bill Quantrill, the guerrilla, died of such wounds. Those who talked with John Sharp, who says he is Quantrill, say that he has scars of two such wounds.

"'After he told me he was Quantrill, another Quatsino resident said, 'I had a number of talks with him, and he told me of many incidents of the raiding in the Southern states, although I do not remember all the details. He told me of how on one occasion he and 67 horsemen had ambushed a whole troop of Northern cavalry from hiding places by a roadside and decimated and scattered it. The cavalry was seen from a distance coming down a long lane, and Quantrill and his men hid on either side of the road, covered by a stone wall. The cavalrymen, riding leisurely without thought that the foe was near, were in close formation, almost solid, and were shot down from all sides, being completely taken by surprise.

"In telling the story, Sharp or Quantrill, said he rode out in the uniform of a Northern cavalryman and made right toward the colonel of the troop. He fired but missed him. He had often wondered how he came to miss the Northerner, for he was usually a good shot.

"Another story was of the raid on Lawrence, Kansas, where a large number of people were killed. Sharp, or Quantrill, was always strong in pointing out, when he told the story, that although they killed many, not a woman or a child was injured, and he was indignant regarding some histories' accounts in respect of this raid."

Following the publication of the story in The Colonist, Seattle newspapers reprinted it. This brought to light several residents of the American city who had met "the mystery man of Quatsino."

After the appearance of the news—or conjectures—based on the newspaper articles, it would be some weeks later, two men, obviously from the South, arrived at Victoria and registered at the Dominion Hotel. They were anxious to go to Quatsino Sound. During the two days they stayed in the capital city, they kept to themselves. They boarded the steamer Tees on her sailing for the West Coast, and on shipboard made cautious inquiries about "an old man named Sharp." Arriving at the Sound, they immediately sought transportation from the docking place of the steamer, to Coal Harbor.

When the Tees sailed on her southern voyage the next day, the two strangers were again passengers. Arriving at Victoria, they took the next steamer to Seattle, and were not seen again. Provincial Police, later—much later after they were informed of the death of John Sharp—tried to check up on these two men, but nothing could be found. It was a cold trail.

It was just about the hour that the Tees was leaving Quatsino that young Ilstad approached Sharp's cabin at Coal Harbor. The door was ajar.

"I went inside," Mr. Ilstad recalled. "I heard a groan and looked towards the old man's bunk. After my eyes became accustomed to the dimness of the room, I saw Sharp was stretched on it. He was an awful sight. His face was covered with blood, and his white hair and whiskers were matted with it. I went to him, calling out; 'What's happened?' My voice must have aroused him for he recognized me. 'Go and get me some whisky,' he whispered.

"'Who hit you?' I asked, for a heavy iron poker that he used for his fire was on the floor beside the bed. It was covered with blood. He did not answer, but repeated his demand for whisky. I was unable to get liquor for him, but I knew that he was in need of help immediately, so I went off as fast as I could to get some assistance for him. I told several men, and they went to his house.

"Sharp was still conscious when they arrived, but was mad when they appeared without any liquor. They tried to get him to tell them what had happened. He refused to do so. They asked if he knew who had attacked him, and the reason, but he remained silent. He died several hours later, without leaving any information that would help in the solution of the mystery of his murder."

Consensus of opinion about Quatsino at the time, and rated as a strong possibility by the authorities later, was that the publicity recently given to Sharp being Quantrill, had caught the attention of some persons from Kansas or Missouri who had reason to hate Quantrill, and they had made the long trip to the North West Coast to revenge some incident of the Civil War, more than forty years before.


Gold and Trouble

Chief Factor John Work, the bluff, heavy-set Irishman who, as a member of the Board of Management of the Hudson's Bay Company, west of the Rockies, had direction of the company's business on the North Pacific Coast, was enjoying himself in his own doleful way. He was writing to his friends in the fur trade, as he had been doing for years, predicting his early demise, and at the same time telling of his extensive plans for the future. John Work had earned his advance in the service the hard way: he had gone through more dangers and suffered more privations than most men, even in the savage wilds of North America. Now, in 1850, he was located at Fort Simpson watching the Russians and overseeing the trading operations with the fierce Haidas, the truculent Tsimpseans, the wild Chilcats and other belligerent tribes of the serried littoral of an inhospitable land.

He had just completed telling Donald Ross, an old crony and constant correspondent that: "I am fast going down hill..." when he was called from his headquarters to see a curiosity that a Haida squaw was exhibiting. The Chief Factor looked at it with amazement; surely his eyes must be deceiving him! He turned it over and over in his hand; no, there was no doubt of it. It was gold, glittering specks and particles of precious metal in pure white quartz!

Work questioned the woman as to where she had secured the pretty stone. She told him. It was on the outer side of her island homeland. At that time Queen Charlotte group was believed to consist of one large island and several smaller ones. The geography of the Charlottes was but indifferently known, but this did not matter to the old trader. He made preparations to leave Fort Simpson next morning to prospect the locality from which, he understood, the squaw had found the specimen—and thus became British Columbia's first gold stampede and the originator of the first gold rush in the West, if not in the Dominion. The Pacific Province has seen many gold excitements, drawing adventurers from all quarters of the world, but never was there a more dramatic or thrilling rush than that one of one hundred and ten years ago to the Queen Charlotte Islands; and never had there been a more disappointing one. No one, at that time, nor since, has profited by the undoubtedly rich outcropping of the yellow metal. It would almost appear as if some Indian necromancer had cast an evil spell over the region.

It was on August 18, 1850, that Governor Richard Blanshard of the Crown Colony of Vancouver's Island reported to the Colonial Secretary that he had "seen a very rich specimen of gold ore said to have been brought by the Indians of Queen Charlotte's Island."

In the meantime, old John Work, watching hopefully for new pains and aches to substantiate his conviction of decline, was driving through the spume in the Indian-manned canoe for the gold field. He headed for Skidegate Inlet, and made a great discovery. It was that the inlet was in reality a strait that separated two large islands—-now named Graham and Moresby. He managed to reach the West Coast and locate the spot where the gold had been found. Then off on his return voyage. He had great work to do. He would ask his confrere on the Board of Management, Chief Factor James Douglas, for a vessel and miners.

Governor Blanshard, who was not in the confidence of the company's officials at Fort Victoria, managed to hear—and who could keep a gold strike secret?—that more gold was found; so on March 29, he told the British Government that fresh specimens of gold had come from the north and that "the Hudson's Bay Company's servants intend to send an expedition in the course of the summer to make proper investigations."

Douglas started organizing a party to be commanded by Captain W. H. McNeill, a trusted officer, which was to embark on the brigantine Una, Captain Wm. Mitchell. John McGregor, a coal miner, formerly at Fort Rupert, and John Crittle, both of whom had experience in blasting were engaged as powdermen, while some ten others were also induced to join the venture, all being engaged on a share basis. Everything was conducted with as much secrecy as possible, but there was a leak. A sailor named Duncan McEwan, who had been on a Hudson's Bay Company vessel, had seen the gold samples from Queen Charlotte's. He left his job and excited the American settlements on Puget Sound by his stories of the fabulous wealth of the islands. Eager to share in the treasure, men deserted their shops and clearings about Olympia, and chartering a seagoing sloop named the Georgiana, crowded her to capacity and with McEwen acting as mate, away they started.

It was October 4 before the Una got away from Fort Victoria. Stormy weather detained her and it was not until October 20 that she dropped anchor in the little harbor where the gold had been found, and to which McNeill gave the name of "Mitchell Harbor" in compliment to the Una's captain.

At first the Indians were friendly, but when the little party of miners landed and commenced work they became menacing, but let Captain McNeill tell the story, as he related it to Douglas:—

"We followed the vein, and found it deeply impregnated with gold ... In my opinion gold will be found in many places hereafter on the West Coast of the Island, as quartz rock is to be found in every direction...

"I am sorry to inform you that we were obliged to leave off blasting, and quit the place for Fort Simpson on account of the annoyance we experienced from the natives. They arrived in large numbers, say 30 canoes, and were much pleased to see us on our first arrival. When they saw us blasting and turning out the gold in such large quantities they became excited and commenced depredations on us, stealing the tools and taking, at least, one-half of the gold that was thrown out by the blast. They would be concealed until the report would be heard, and then make a rush for the gold. A regular scramble between them and our men would take place. They would take our men by the legs and hold them away from the gold. Some blows were struck on those occasions: the Indians drew their knives on our men often.

"The men who were at work at the vein became completely tired and disgusted at their (the Indians') proceedings and came to me on three different occasions, and told me that they would not remain any longer to work the gold; that their time was lost to them, as the natives took one-half of the gold thrown out by the blast, and that blood would be shed if they continued to work at the diggings; that our force was not strong or large enough to work and fight also. They were aware they could not work on shore after hostility had commenced; therefore I made up my mind to leave the place."

While McNeill and his men were scrambling for the gold-shot quartz—which Douglas, who succeeded Blanshard as governor, informed the home government was approximately one-quarter pure gold—the little sloop Georgiana was beating up the coast with 27 souls on board, all eager to reach the land of shining treasure. Other vessels were preparing to follow from ports as far south as California. Douglas was worried. He feared an American plot to take possession of the Queen Charlotte's.

"These vessels are chartered by large bodies of American adventurers," he told the British Government, "who are proceeding thither for the purpose of digging gold, and if they succeed in that object, it is said to be their intention to colonize the island and establish an independent government, until by force or fraud they become annexed to United States." When this despatch reached the proper authorities, H.M.S. Thetis, Captain Kuper, was sent scurrying to the scene to protest the sovereignty of Great Britain over the archipelago.

At Fort Simpson, Captain McNeill offered to divide the gold according to the agreement with the men, but they preferred to wait until they reached Fort Victoria. There were between 58 and 60 pounds of gold to be divided as a result of blasting—all that the men could wrest from the Indians—and an unstated amount obtained from the natives in trade.

It was Christmas eve, and the Una was beating up to enter the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Disappointed miners and crew were eagerly looking forward to the warm welcome that would await them at Fort Victoria. It was a terrible night. The wind was almost of hurricane force and the current was setting to the south side of the strait. The Una tried to make the shelter of Neah Bay. She had almost reached safety when, with a splintering crash she struck on a reef. With the daylight came Indians who proceeded to pillage the vessel and rob the men of their clothing and belongings. Fights followed and it looked as if the unfortunate gold seekers, who had so recently been forced to struggle with the Haidas, would be murdered by the Neah Bay savages. Just then another vessel, storm driven, entered the bay. It was the Schooner Demaris Cove, Captain Lafayette Balch, laden with American soldiers and volunteers from Puget Sound on her way to the Queen Charlotte Islands, to rescue the crew and passengers of the Georgiana!—held for ransom by the Haidas.

The Una's people were hastily transferred to the schooner—and just in time, for an Indian had set the brigantine afire. She burned to the water's edge and everything, including the undivided gold, was lost. So, the first company of gold miners returned to Fort Victoria half-naked, chilled and hungry, without any treasure, and less one of their numbers, Edward Stow, who had died at Mitchell's Harbor.

Having landed the survivors of the Una at Fort Victoria, Captain Balch headed his vessel once more out of the strait for the north.

The Georgiana with her crowd of enthusiastic gold seekers had encountered stormy weather at the very outset of her voyage and lay for three days at Neah Bay. Here she encountered the same schooner, the Demaris Cove, that arrived so providentially for the Una's people later in the year. Captain Balch learned of the destination of the sloop and decided that he would follow her to the gold fields.

Charles E. Weed, a young settler from the vicinity of Olympia, has left an account of what befell the Georgiana. It is a harrowing tale. The sloop ran into a storm and was unable to pass to the westward of Cape St. James, but was blown up the eastern side of Moresby Island. She was driven ashore at the entrance to Cumshewa Inlet.

"We came to the shore in the surf as best we could at the peril of our lives," said Weed. "It was almost a miracle that every man got ashore alive. We were perfectly destitute; had nothing left but what we had on our backs. The Indians finally stripped the wreck and took everything out in a wet condition. What they did not get out, they picked up along the beach. After stripping the vessel they burned her up for her iron bolts. We tumbled ashore in the surf. Some of us had very little clothing on. Those who succeeded in getting ashore first would watch the others, and pick them out of the under-tow. Some were pretty well waterlogged; but we rolled them and trampled them and got the water out of them and they all came to.

"It was within about five miles of an Indian village. The Indians appeared to me more like vultures, when they appeared, than anything else. They were stark naked, and appeared to be intent upon plunder. They did not pay much attention to us, but wanted to get on the vessel. As soon as they had done that, and the excitement was over a little, they paid their respects to us. They commenced pulling our clothes off and cutting them off with knives. We remonstrated, of course, and kept ourselves together, and managed to keep them from stripping us naked. They got into a dispute among themselves about the plunder, and we took advantage of that dispute, and sided with what we supposed—and what proved to be—the stronger party, and finally made a bargain with this party that they should keep us until we could hear from the white settlement, promising them they would be well paid for it."

Weed told of the captivity of himself and companions. "We had a good deal of trouble," he said, "in getting enough to eat, while we were on the island. In fact, we never had enough to satisfy hunger. We had to plead and talk with the Indians a good deal to get enough; and then they would give it to us and steal it away again, sometimes. The women treated us a good deal like Indians do slaves, as property. They treated us with contempt, a good deal as they would a dog; willing to throw us a bone. Sometimes they would spit in our faces as we passed by. I had a squaw do that once to me. We had agreed among ourselves to put up with everything that was bearable at all rather than to have difficulty. We knew that they could cut us to pieces in ten minutes. There were some things we resolved not to do. We made up our minds not to work for them anything further than to get enough for our own comfort; and not to be separated. We would resist first and sacrifice our lives later. We lived all that time without a sign of any bed covering—bundled together and piled up like pigs. We were a terribly lousey and miserable set of wretches. Our shelter was the Indian houses built out of planks they made with a little tool made out of a piece of iron. Some of the houses are 30 by 70 feet. We lived in the same house with the Indians. They were very cold, open barn-like things, merely a shelter from the rain and the sun. There was plenty of wood there; but where our village was, on a spit, we had to climb up a mountain to get it. All the wood convenient had been used. It used to take us all day to get one back load apiece, but it kept us from freezing to death."

Captain Balch, having recruited a number of prospectors, followed the Georgiana several weeks after her sailing. He arrived at Mitchell Harbor to find that the sloop had not put in an appearance there. He became worried and made inquiries. At last, from an Indian he learned of the wreck and of the captivity of Captain Wm. Rowland, his crew and the miners. Abandoning all further search for gold, Balch hastened home. Here he informed the authorities of what had happened to the sloop.

Without delay Customs Collector Sampson P. Moses chartered the Demaris Cove to return to the Queen Charlotte Islands. A party of U.S. soldiers under Lieutenant John Dement, of Fort Steilacoom, was placed on board, while a number of volunteers joined the expedition. A stop was made at Fort Victoria where a cargo of goods likely to be required for ransom was obtained, payment being made in U.S. government promissory notes.

Arriving at Cumshewa Inlet, it was with difficulty that Dement managed to open negotiations with the Indians. Finally a bargain was reached by which five blankets (4 point blankets), one shirt, one bolt of muslin and two pounds of tobacco were paid for each man. As the ransom goods were ferried ashore, captives in number equivalent to the agreed price were taken on board the schooner.

There were other shipwrecks and further captivities for other gold seekers, chiefly the crew of the Susan Sturgis. These Americans were ransomed by John Work, as representing the Hudson's Bay Company. So it happened that—curse or no curse—no person made profit from the discovery of gold made by the Chief Factor. There was only shipwreck, plunder and suffering.

[Illustration: A rare photo of the infamous Brother XII (Edward Arthur Wilson), wearing hat, at centre of group of followers at retreat on B.C.'s Gulf Islands.

Some of the victims of Brother XII at the trial in Nanaimo, 1933. Front row, left to right--Bruce Crawford, Mrs. Crawford (?), Mary Connally, Roger Painter, Mrs. Alfred Barley, Alfred Barley.]

[Illustration: This view portrays the idyllic setting in the DeCourcy Islands among the Gulf Islands of B.C.'s Gulf of Georgia where the Aquarian Foundation was established by Brother XII (Edward Arthur Wilson) in 1928. The author terms the climax of the life of this cult as the strangest case heard by a Canadian court of justice.]

[Illustration: Mrs. Georgina Crawford demonstrates how she had to hang over a cliff to clean an outhouse at the Aquarian Foundation near Nanaimo at the instance of Madam Zee and Brother XII.

This is Brother XII's House of Mystery as it appeared in more recent times. Followers were forbidden to enter the building. A network of microphones controlled from here related to the leader the conversation of adherents and contributed to his "supernatural powers."]

[Illustration: "The Komagata Maru War" is the strangest tale dealing with racial problems that B.C.'s history has to offer. Mr. McKelvie lived through the thick of these stirring days in his work as police reporter. His narrative of the action which involved 376 would-be immigrants to Canada and their expulsion forms one of the most exciting true stories in his book.]

[Illustration: This is a reproduction of "The Lost Treaty," one of the documents by means of which peace was brought by the white man to warring Indian tribes of this province. The author reveals that the treaty was lost for almost 75 years. His narrative discloses how it came to light almost accidentally. It bears the "X" signature of 30 illiterate chiefs. The treaty is now the property of the B.C. Government, the original in the Provincial Archives, Victoria.]

[Illustration: The "Flying Dutchman" in Walla Walla state penitentiary, Wash.

Frank Davis (5949) convicted slayer of a Vancouver policeman]


Five Aces and Death

On a hill, overlooking a broad flat near the eastern end of Burns Lake, there is a lonely grave.

The inscription has been weathered from the white wooden cross that has fallen to the ground within the enclosure. Legend says that it once recorded that Denver Ed Kelly lay there and that "he held five aces."

There is no physical evidence today to testify that Denver Ed held such a remarkable hand. But the facts are that the lonely grave is there because of a poker game played, a fight and a murder. The grave recalls not only the memory of the slain man, but it commemorates a community that has long ceased to exist—the "City" of Freeport.

Even old-time residents of Burns Lake, that thriving and populous community that takes its name from one of the beautiful bodies of water in Central British Columbia, were uncertain of the location of Freeport. Mark Connelly, pioneer of the locality and one-time legislative member for Omineca, had a more definite idea than had others whom I asked. So Mr. Connelly and I went in search of the site of the vanished City of Freeport.

Freeport was a place of importance during the construction of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway. It is reported to have had 3,000 residents at one time. Its location was ideal. There was every justification for optimist's predictions that there would be a town there. Today the grass grows green on the site of Freeport. The streets and roads that hob-nailed boots by the hundreds had trod in those days of long ago have become obliterated. Not a single stick remains of the busy place—only the lonely grave in the poplar grove atop the hill.

With the aid of Frank John, an Indian, who was a youth when Freeport was in bloom, and supplied the hotel with trout and whitefish he caught in the lake, we traced out indentations that marked the foundations where a number of the business houses had stood.

"Here," the amiable Indian observed, "was the place where there was a murder. You see that grave on the hill, over there? That's where that fellow who was killed is buried. And all this ground—all where Freeport was—belongs to that fellow's sister. She bought it."

Yellowing records in official files give the story of the killing of the man who is reputed to "have held five aces."

"Denver Ed" Kelly, a husky, former pugilist, was one of those adventurers who followed the construction gangs that were opening up the Last West. He had been in Alaska before he came to Freeport—that much is known of him. There he knew and had dealings with Jerry Mulvihill, but whether they came from the Alaskan camps together or separately is unknown.

It was on the night of July 28, 1913. There was a poker game going in the back room of the cigar store run by Charlie Springsteen and Eli Milich. The players were a mixed lot: there were "Pete, the Frenchman," "Jack, the cook," a jeweller named Joseph Kisling, and "Denver Ed" Kelly in the game. "Big Dan" and Harry Worobec were watching, while occasionally Springsteen and Eli Milich looked on.

Jerry Mulvihill had been going in and out of the store. He was raffling off a watch, and having sold a number of tickets, decided to invest his money in the game.

"About 10 o'clock, he (Mulvihill) quit selling tickets and went into a poker game with Pete the Frenchman, Kelly and two other men I don't know," Worobec later told the coroner. "After playing for a time Pete started to count the cards and found one was missing. Kelly asked Pete how much he lost on that hand. Pete said one dollar. Kelly gave Pete the dollar and asked Jerry how many checks he had, saying, 'You had better cash in.' Jerry called Kelly dirty names, saying, 'You can't cheat, you want someone else to do it.' Kelly got mad and started to fight with Jerry."

Jerry took quite a beating. It was not the first time he and his fellow-Irishman had had trouble, according to stories told by the others. Whether there was an arrangement between the two to "rook the boys" did not come out at the time, but it would appear that something of the kind was suspected.

At all events, Pete the Frenchman found that someone had a card too many—probably "the fifth ace" in a joker-included deck. Just why Denver Ed should have recouped Pete for his loss, if the game had been fair, has never been explained. This, followed by Jerry Mulvihill's suggestion that there existed an arrangement for cheating, would give some credence to the legend that the white cross on the grave later bore the inscription "He held five aces."

It was quite a fight that followed, but Jerry was no match for Denver Ed. The larger man got him down on the floor and pummeled him. "I've got a good mind to kill you," hissed Kelly as he hammered the helpless Jerry, "but I guess you've got enough now. If you want any more, I'll give it to you."

"Don't hit him any more," ordered another Irishman named Murphy, and Kelly desisted.

Jerry got up and left the store.

A few minutes later Harry Trollope was in bed, when Jerry came upstairs in a place across the way and entered his room. "He asked me whether I had seen the fight. I told him no. He then said, Trollope swore: "Braggin' and boasting Kelly has hit his last man!"

Mulvihill next appeared at the tent of Ray Olsen, the blacksmith; roused him and asked for the loan of his rifle—a weapon of unusual calibre—saying that he had seen a bear and wanted to kill it. The blacksmith gave him the rifle and ammunition and then went back to bed.

"I was asleep in the barber shop, when Jerry came in and woke me up," said Joseph Sarvent. "He asked me for a drink. I gave him one, but didn't have one myself. 'Oh,' he said, 'take a drink—it will likely be the last drink you and I will ever have together. Ed Kelly and I had a fight tonight and he will either get me tonight or I will get him.'"

When the Irishman left the barber shop, the barber followed, and saw him draw out a rifle from beneath a house where it had been hidden. "He asked me if I knew anything about the magazine of these rifles. I replied I did not understand guns at all."

In leaving Sarvent, Jerry warned him, "Joe, keep off my trail tonight because I have some cartridges in this gun and intend to use every one of them. Anyone who follows me up—so keep off my trail." Sarvent did so.

It was some hours later, about 1:45 a.m. on July 29. Kelly was leaning against the counter in the cigar store, talking with "Big Dan" Mirkovitch, Eli Milich, John Allison and Harry Worobec. There was a small hole in the front window of the place.

There was a report outside; the bullet came through the broken window pane, and Kelly slumped to the floor with a lead slug in his brain.

No one actually saw Mulvihill fire the shot, but he was convicted. H. W. R. Moore, Victoria, was the Crown prosecutor at the trial, and introduced ballistics, then but little used in criminal proceedings, to establish the unusual calibred bullet had come from the blacksmith's gun that he had loaned to Jerry. The bullet, removed from Kelly's head, had made an almost complete circle within the skull, being found within a fraction of an inch of the point of its entry.

Mulvihill was sentenced to be hanged on December 29—but some influence was brought to bear, and Ottawa commuted the sentence to life imprisonment—for a cold-blooded killing.

And all that remains to recall the once gay, hard-living City of Freeport, is the lonely grave on the hill-top overlooking the site of the community, which is now part of the burial plot of "Denver Ed" Kelly—who "held five aces."


Murder of Young Probert

It was a quiet, peaceful evening in late May, 1911: two young men were sitting on the verandah of their residence adjoining Whiting's store at Whonnock. One of the pair was kindly, popular Dearman George Probert, clerk in the store; the other, Thomas Charles Crowe, a friendly farmhand, had but recently arrived. Richard S. Whiting, the store owner, was a relative. Probert and Crowe occupied rooms upstairs in the building adjoining the store. It was necessary to go outside the store to reach their quarters upstairs.

The work of the day was over and the two friends sat on the porch. Probert played his accordion as the long twilight was gradually consumed by the warm night. Crowe listened contentedly. There was another auditor of that impromptu concert. He was a stranger, but the lads did not pay much attention to him as he sat on the railway grade, smoking his pipe and watching them intently.

Who was the stranger on the track? That question has never been answered, and would not have been asked but for the horrible happening of a few hours later. Was the man who watched the friends bid adieu to a pleasant day with music, to come in the night and foully murder one of those happy boys?—his profit? A stolen meal and a cigar.

Probert and Crowe were both good sleepers, as became healthy young fellows. They did not hear the breaking of glass in the darkness of that May 26 morning, as the window of the little post office in the store below was jimmied. The dog that slept on the premises for some reason gave no alarm—but then he was used to strangers.

The cool, calculating thief—whoever he was—slipped into the store. His movements were daring and deliberate. He lighted an oil lamp, reducing the radiance of its glow by not placing a glass globe over the flame, but it sufficed to give the illumination he required. He selected a stout pick-handle from the hardware section, and then made a leisurely survey of the stock. He dallied for some time amid the clothing, taking off and trying on various garments; but they were, for the most part, overalls and jumpers, and these were evidently not to his taste. In the process of examining the clothing stock, he discarded his own coat, a substantial garment of some blue material, and a felt hat. Then, his attention being taken by other fancies, he neglected to put them on again.

Next he prepared himself an abundant meal from the groceries, and, emptying a meal sack on the floor, he filled it with a choice selection of foodstuffs, ready to be removed when he departed. It was money that he wanted, and he found the cash drawer of the store, and that of the post office locked. In searching about he found a shotgun that a friend had loaned to Probert a few days before, and he had no trouble in locating a handful of No. 3 shells to fit the weapon.

Armed, he went outside and boldly climbed the stairs to where the two friends were sleeping. Crowe heard him on the landing, and called out for his friend, but the heavily-sleeping Probert did not hear—but the robber did. He seized hold of the door handle, and such was his strength, that, although he tugged the wrong way, he tore the door off its hinges, and splintered the frame.

"He came into my room and told me to get up and throw up my hands," Crowe related several days later to the coroner's jury. "He pointed the gun at me and demanded the keys of the drawer. I told him I did not have them, as I was not connected with the store.

"He was so threatening and I knew I could do nothing with him myself. I told him he had better come into another room where there was somebody connected with the store. He pointed the gun at me and told me to go ahead.

"I called to Probert: he was in bed. He said, 'What's up?' I replied, 'Here's a man who wants the keys'.

"Probert sat up in bed and exclaimed, 'What?' Then he fell back again. The man told him to get up. He had the gun about two feet from Probert's head. Probert jumped up and as he rose threw the bedclothes off himself and grabbed the barrel of the gun."

There followed a terrific fight, as the young fellows, clad only in their sleeping gowns fought in the faint grey of the dawn that seeped through the curtained window, for the possession of the shotgun.

"I closed with the man," Crowe explained. "Probert was on the bed holding the gun and kicking. His intention apparently was to kick the gun out of the man's hands, but I told him he was only kicking me. We were struggling and got away from the bed. The man swung me towards the door. I thought Probert had the gun. Before I could get my feet and turn around, the gun went off twice. I saw Probert holding the barrel and in a bending position over the gun. I thought he was injured so I ran through the back door."

Crowe ran for help to the West's house. Turning, he saw the wounded Probert following. He would stagger a few steps and then double with pain. He was assisted into the West household nearby where Mrs. West and Mrs. Olaus Lee ministered to him until Dr. Funk arrived later.

Mr. Whiting was notified, and with Olaus Lee and young Crowe ran to the store. The calculating criminal had cut the telephone wires, but these Mr. Lee quickly repaired, and while Whiting was telephoning to the Provincial Police at New Westminster, and Crowe was dressing, Lee started alone to track the killer.

The gun-man remained long enough to steal the money out of the trouser pockets of his victim before descending the stairs. He had jumped over the back fence and had made for the railway track. Lee tracked him, but he had quite a head start. Seeing some track workers, Lee quickly told them what had happened and borrowed their speeder. On this he travelled west for several miles, following the footprints on the right-of-way. Then he lost them. There was no person around when he reached Port Haney, about 6 a.m., "but when I was standing there," Lee said, "a man passed on the river in a boat. He was bareheaded. His clothes appeared to be dark."

Probert was taken to Vancouver General Hospital where he died on June 3 from the terrible wounds inflicted by the double blast from the shotgun. In answer to questions by his employer, Whiting, the dying lad gasped: "He pointed the gun at me and I caught hold of it. I got it away from him and he reached out his hands and pulled the trigger."

Despite the efforts of the police, no clue as to the identity of the man who listened to the pleasant music of Probert's accordion, or to the bareheaded man who was seen going down the river that morning in an open boat has been found.

The shooting of Dearman George Probert is still an unsolved case.


The Schoolboy Killer

Behind the bamboo curtain of Red China there is probably still living a clever, coldly-calculating and merciless Chinaman in his mid-sixties, who in 1914, shocked the American continent by the diabolical slaying of the wife of his employer and benefactor in Vancouver's west end. He was sentenced to life imprisonment for a crime that stands as an argument against abolition of the death penalty, for, about seven years after his committal to penitentiary Ottawa liberated him and sent him back to China.

Kong Yee Jong had been taken into the friendly household of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Millard in 1909 when he came from China. He was supposed to be aged twelve then—but fifteen would have been closer to the mark. He was small, bright and extremely anxious to learn. The Millards had no children of their own, and they took a great interest in the little oriental and lavished their bounty on him. He was sent to Lord Roberts School in Vancouver, and made such remarkable progress as to commend him to his teachers and to make Mr. Millard so proud of him that he boasted that Jong was the smartest boy he had ever met, of any race.

For two years 'Jong,' as he was known at home, although at school he was called 'Jack Kong' was a model of deportment. But after the setting up of the Chinese Republic and the overthrow of the Manchu Dynasty in December, 1911, a gradual change came over the boy. He started to stay out late—especially on Saturday nights—and would offer no explanation to his employers. They feared that his tardiness might adversely affect his scholastic standing. They did not know that the keen mind of their protege had been caught in the maelstrom of political currents and counter-revolutionary activities that kept Vancouver's big Chinatown in an upheaval.

It was later learned—when too late—-that he was associating with other young Chinese who were imbibing the doctrines of Communism and were applauding the barbaric activities of White Wolf, the bandit leader, and his desperate throng.

As time went on, the bright and eager mentality of Kong won for him the unquestioned leadership of the Red group. Still there was no suspicion of what was occupying his nights; his school work did not seem to suffer, but he was becoming "sassy" to Mrs. Millard. She complained to her husband, and said that sometimes she feared the boy. But Mr. Millard laughed at her fears and told her it was because she did not understand the lad. He felt that he did—for Kong displayed no such impertinence to him.

In the early spring of 1914 a drive was being made up and down the Pacific Coast of America for funds to supply White Wolf with some 4,000 Lee Enfield rifles for his forces. Kong urged upon his companions a liberal response to this appeal. He felt that he, himself, had to make a contribution commensurate with his office, but beyond the small amount that the Millards paid him, he had no way of doing so.

It was the evening of March 21, 1914, and Mr. and Mrs. Millard, both lovers of good music, went to the opera. It was a stylish affair, and the musical club to which Mrs. Millard belonged was doing all that it could to make it a success. So she wore her most expensive jewels for the occasion.

When the Millards returned home after the opera, it was to a darkened house. Kong was not at home. When the lights were switched on it was to find that the bureau drawers in several of the rooms had been ransacked, and particularly the one in which Mrs. Millard kept her jewellery. Several pieces, worth about $200 were missing.

As they were waiting the arrival of the police, who had been called, Kong returned, and went to his room. He re-appeared, evidencing great excitement, and shouting that his room had been pillaged, and a purse, containing 50 cents had been taken. Mr. Millard comforted him and said he would make the loss good.

Police investigation showed that it was a clever burglary; there were no discernible clues to the identity of the thief.

The Millards were a splendid couple. Charles Millard was ticket agent for the Canadian Pacific Railway in Vancouver. He was a quiet, obliging individual who was popular with all who were privileged to know him. His marriage to the petite, vivacious and charming Clara Burnett Omstead, nine years before, had been applauded by all their friends and acquaintances. The Omstead family was a large one, and the sisters and brother were very close to one another and their mother, who still resided at North Vancouver.

It was part of Charles Millard's responsibilities to go to Victoria to meet incoming liners from the Orient and Australia, to arrange transportation east for travellers proceeding in that direction.

On the evening of March 31, Mr. Millard had to leave to meet the SS Makura from the Antipodes, when she touched at Victoria, and proceed with her to Vancouver. He bade his wife goodbye and caught the midnight boat out of Vancouver.

The Makura reached Vancouver about 10 p.m. on April 1. As was his habit when returning from even as short an absence, Mr. Millard telephoned home from the wharf. There was no answer. It seemed a little strange as his wife made it a point always to be home to welcome him. He did not worry about it, reasoning that she might have thought that the boat would not be in until the morning.

"I went home," Mr. Millard later explained to coroner Thos. W. Jeffs, "and went to the breakfast room; sitting down and taking off my boots, and putting on my shoes. I noticed that the carpet had been scoured-up—washed or cleaned—and that right beside my feet there was a bit, probably three feet long and eighteen inches wide, and more or less oval, which was darker—much darker—than the other parts of the carpet in color, and it was evidently very damp. It caused me no suspicion and I avoided stepping on it for fear my shoes would leave some dirt.

"I had a little supper; the table was set for two, and as I waited I expected someone to call and give me word of my wife. At 10:45 I decided to make sure if she was with her mother. I called North Vancouver, but she was not there. Then I called one of her sisters in Kitsilano, but was again disappointed."

There were several other sisters, any one of whom she might be visiting for the night, not expecting him for another day, so the husband decided to go to bed. When he went upstairs it was to find that the bedrooms were in disorder and the beds unmade. This was so much at variance with his wife's meticulous housekeeping that it worried him. He slept poorly.

It was about 4 a.m. that Millard thought that he heard the key turn in the lock of the door leading to the attic. He listened intently but there was no other sound, and he concluded that he might have imagined it. He finally dropped off into a troubled slumber.

On rising, he noticed that some of Mrs. Millard's clothing, garments she would ordinarily wear if going out, were missing. It was eight o'clock when he descended to the breakfast room. Kong greeted him, and jocularly asked him if anyone had succeeded in "April fooling" him the previous day.

He asked the boy what had caused the stain on the carpet, and was told that Mrs. Millard had spilled a pot of cocoa there. Similarly when he asked what had dulled and dented the big knife used to cut the loaf of bread served him, the Chinese boy laughed and blamed the absent wife for this, too. She had used the knife on the previous day, he said, to open a can.

"I asked him why he had not been at school?" Mr. Millard explained. "He answered that my wife had kept him home the previous day to clean house. A moment later he asked me to give him a letter of excuse to the teacher, and he brought paper and pencil. I wrote the note and gave it to him."

Mr. Millard went to his office, and about ten o'clock had a telephone conversation with his brother-in-law, a Mr. Daggett, who asked him "How is Clara?" "I thought that he was joshing me; that she was with his wife, but he told me that she was not." Becoming increasingly nervous, he now called another brother-in-law, a Mr. Addison, but without learning anything as to his wife's whereabouts.

He left the office and hurried home. He found Kong standing beside the furnace in the basement. There was a hot fire, but as it was connected with the water-heating system, he concluded that the boy was heating water for washing.

He was annoyed at the lad having stayed away from school. "I reprimanded him and said that having got the note of excuse from me he should have attended."

Leaving Kong in the basement, Millard mounted the basement steps and wandered through the ground-floor rooms. "I began looking here and there," he said. "Then I went upstairs, and Kong attached himself to my heels. This seemed to be a little strange, but I said nothing about it. But as I searched through the house I asked him questions. He answered vaguely at times, and then directly and clearly. He seemed to be a little flustered."

Finding nothing to alarm him in his searching of the house, Millard again called his mother-in-law at North Vancouver. She told him that she had been speaking to her other daughters and they were complaining that Mrs. Millard had not kept an appointment with them the previous day to attend a meeting of the musical club.

One of the sisters came at lunch time and they discussed the strange disappearance of "Clara." A little later Bud Omstead, her brother called. To him was related the facts as Mr. Millard knew them, and his fears. He told of the strange sound in the night.

Together they went upstairs to the attic door. It was locked, but they managed to open it without difficulty, and ascended. "Mr. Omstead went first, I followed," the husband explained. "We had to crawl around some projections. Suddenly, Mr. Omstead exclaimed; 'What's this?' and he passed something back to me. 'It looks like the plume of the hat we're looking for,' he said. I recognized it as being such. A few steps further, and then we discovered a purple band belonging to the same hat, and then more of the missing clothing, hidden away under the ledge of the eaves. It was stuffed in there."

Police were called, and Detectives Bob Tisdale and Jim Ellice responded at once. They took a serious view of the matter, and particularly of the stain on the carpet which Kong claimed to be that of cocoa. They turned the carpet over showing both dark and light stains. They concluded that the mark had been made by blood and that an attempt had been made to clean it. Tisdale at once called Detective Inspector John Jackson, who hurried to the house, bringing Deputy Chief Wm. McRae and City Analyst J. F. C. B. Vance with him.

While they were waiting the arrival of their superiors, Tisdale and Ellice questioned Kong. Millard, still unsuspicious and not believing that the Chinese lad would, or could do wrong, praised his character to the detectives. "I told them," he said, "that Kong was a fine boy; one of the best I ever knew; a splendid scholar, practically at the top of his school; the cleverest boy, white or of any race, and they seemed quite satisfied that Kong was all right."

But Tisdale and Ellice were not satisfied, especially after they went up into the attic and found more of the missing garments. They took the lad to police headquarters when the deputy and inspector arrived, and with them they took the carpet to Mr. Vance's laboratory for analysis of the stains, which he was confident were caused by blood.

Now an inch-by-inch examination of the house was commenced. Dr. Geo. H. Curtis, the post-mortem examiner for the coroner, being called in. He, with McRae and Jackson, with the aid of a powerful glass inspected the floors of the breakfast room and kitchen and then down the steps to the cellar, and the concrete floor of the basement. They found innumerable tiny blood spots, and several splotches on the steps, and on the furnace, and particularly about the fire door.

Bloodhounds had been brought from the New Westminster penitentiary, and one of them refused to leave the basement. More detectives were brought in. They started to dig up the yard.

Inspector Jackson, meantime, had made a most important discovery. Hidden on a beam behind the furnace, in an opening between two joists, only large enough for him to insert his hand, he found the jewellery that had been stolen twelve days before.

Further careful searching finally led to the ash chute from the fireplace in the drawing room. In it was found human bones and a portion of a human skull. There was no doubt as to what had happened to the missing Clara Burnett Millard. The big stain on the breakfast room carpet—which was established as having been made by human blood—indicated where the slaying had taken place.

Confronted with these discoveries, Kong, coldly and without emotion, confessed, first to the robbery of the house, and then to the killing of the generous woman who had been so kind to him. His story—as told to the police, for it was reported that he had another version that he related to his father in the cells—but the account that he gave to the police and repeated on the witness stand at his trial was this:

He said that he had inadvertently made the wrong kind of porridge for Mrs. Millard's breakfast, and had also burned it. When she came down to breakfast she upbraided him for the error, and ordered him to make some more. He refused, saying he would be late for school if he obeyed her. Now, he said, she picked up a big knife, used for cutting bread, and threatened to cut off his ear. He said that he was so frightened that he picked up a chair with which to defend himself, and when she lunged at him, he brought it down on her head—and she dropped dead.

Such was the improbable tale he told of the actual killing—but there were no inconsistencies in his continued narrative of how he had dragged the body out into the kitchen. There he was confronted with two doors; one on to a verandah, with another house only a few feet away, and the other one leading down into the basement. He naturally chose the latter. He had to dispose of the body as quickly as possible. He stopped half-way down, and looked wildly about. The floor was of concrete; there was no chance of burying the corpse, but there, in front of him were the means of disposal; a furnace, chopping block, pitchwood and axe. He dismembered the body and having made a fierce fire he fed the flames with the pieces. Some of the bones only charred and these he later removed and hid in the ash chute where they were found.

Kong was put on trial at the spring assizes in 1914, before Mr. Justice Gregory and jury. To the surprise of everyone, the jury returned a verdict of manslaughter. The judge, as evidence of his surprise, and horror, sentenced Kong Yee Jong to imprisonment for "natural life."

But Ottawa did not adhere to the court's opinion, for Kong was returned to China, while still a man in his twenties—and so it is possible that a man of his abilities and proven lack of human attributes, may be prosperous and powerful today behind the Bamboo Curtain.


Who Was the Mystery Figure?

Who was it plunged a knife into the back of Thomas "Red" Hogan, as he sat on a stool at the lunch counter of a Vancouver restaurant on the night of August 28, 1914?

Was it a mystery figure who was called "Nickey the Dago," an Italian or Greek; or was it "Mickey the Dago," whose name was Terence Cato McKillarney, and who was listed on the police records as using that alias among others?

Again: did the man who, later that same night, shot and killed Detective Richard "Dick" Levis, in an East End shack, also stab Hogan?

The Assize Court jury, May 12, 1915, had no hesitation in pinning the murder charge on the escaped convict from Walla Walla, McKillarney, who was subsequently executed for it.

But the identity of which of the two "Dagoes" was responsible for the start of the red trail of blood that warm August night, has never been determined.

Several witnesses, including Hogan himself, pointed at McKillarney as the knife wielder, but Mr. Justice Denis Murphy was uncertain about it, and in charging the jury said:—

"It is for you to say whether this man (Mickey the Dago) knowing Martin only two weeks, would take the chances of stabbing a man whom Martin was quarreling with, or whether Nick the Dago, who had known Martin for several years, would be more likely to do it."

His lordship felt, he said, that the existence of "Nick the Dago" had been established.

Barney Martin, dope fiend, crimp and well-known underworld character of many years, lived with his wife and brother in a tumbledown shack off the lane close to 732 Alexander Street.

Apparently Martin and Hogan had some trouble. Just what it was, was not made public, but from what evidence was adduced it did not justify an attempt to commit murder.

Hogan was drunk. He was sitting on a stool at the food counter of the Hastings Street restaurant, when Barney Martin shuffled in, hesitated a moment behind him, and then passed on into the kitchen to reappear with a parcel of dog meat.

Then a dark, stocky individual who had come into the place with Martin stepped forward, plunged a knife into the back of the drunken Hogan and taking the meat from Martin, hurried out the door.

The police were called and Hogan was removed to hospital, where he recovered.

Detectives Dick Levis and Malcolm McLeod made enquiries. They soon learned that Barney Martin was mixed up in the matter in some way, and had no difficulty in picking him up.

He whimpered that he would point out the man if he was not locked up. The two officers accompanied him to his house. The detective department car was driven by diminutive Bill Hunt, a courageous, quiet and thoroughly reliable man.

Detective Levis was a particularly fine chap, well-liked by all who knew him, except the underworld, which recognized him as fair, but an outstanding enemy of crime. McLeod was also a capable detective.

When they got to the locality they left the car at Dunlevy Avenue, and walked up the lane, Martin leading the way. Asking McLeod to watch outside, Levis opened the door and stepped inside. Martin's wife was standing with her back to the wall at one side of the closed door to another room.

"Is Mickey in?" asked Barney and the woman motioned to the room behind her. Then she reached over and pulled the door open. As she did there was a roar and a flash as a shotgun shell was fired.

The charge took Levis in the abdomen. He staggered back, crying that he had been shot; groped for the door to the outside and stumbled out into the darkness.

The package of dog meat was on the table.

As wounded Dick Levis fell into the arms of McLeod, the chunky figure of a thick-set man burst from the front door and ran out into the street. He was carrying a shortened shotgun, and was working at the breech, as if something had happened to it.

Bill Hunt was on the watch on the sidewalk. He did not carry a revolver, but he bravely gave chase. The armed man turned his head, and from the light of an arc lamp, Hunt saw his features clearly. He was able to identify him positively as McKillarney.

McLeod rushed Levis to hospital, but there was no chance. The wound was mortal, and he did not live long, but true to his training, he gasped out the essentials of his own murder to aid his fellow-officers in tracking the killer.

Acting Inspector George Sutherland was in charge at police headquarters. All officers were out, except the deskmen. It was after midnight. Three reporters showed up—the late Ralph Young, Garnet Weston, now a noted author residing at Sooke, and the writer. We were sworn in as specials and armed, and aided Sutherland in raiding the shack.

Mickey had gone, but Charlie Martin, Barney's brother and Barney's wife were found in the place with certain material evidence.

Sutherland telephoned to the chief, M. B. MacLennan, and Deputy Chief Wm. McRae, while Detective Inspectors John Jackson and Dan McLeod, with every available man they could round up, were soon on the scene.

Bloodhounds were secured and put on the trail. They followed the scent of an old cap found in the house and which was said to have been worn by Mickey. It led the posse along the waterfront and under the sugar refinery wharf, just as day was breaking. Beyond that the dogs were at fault.

It was December before McKillarney—who also went by the aliases of "Torres Cato," "Kid Corbett" and "O'Reilly"—was arrested at St. Louis, Mo. He was brought back to Vancouver for trial.

Brought before the Assize Court in May of 1915, he was ably defended by J. E. Bird, who elicited from Barney Martin that there was a man known as "Nickey the Dago" who frequented his place. Other witnesses also claimed that there was such a dark-featured man.

In the box in his own defence, McKillarney protested that it was Nick and not he who had stabbed Hogan, and gone off with the meat.

Barney Martin was vague in his identification of the man who did the stabbing, and McKillarney was positive it was the other fellow. He admitted to being an escaped convict from Walla Walla, a fact that he said was known to Hogan. In fact, he asserted, it was Hogan, after he had been wounded and before the arrival of the police, who advised him to "get out" or he might be in trouble.

It was a good story, to a point, but A. H. McNeill, K.C., Crown counsel, located Hogan and he was called in rebuttal. He said he was very drunk at the time, but he was positive that he had never told Mickey such a thing—because he did not know that he had ever been in jail. He did not know him at all.

There was another damaging bit of evidence, given by Archibald P. Lillie, a steelworker, who met McKillarney in the early hours of the morning, after the death of Levis, and Mickey had told him, "I croaked a bull."

So, gradually a net was woven around the young killer from Illinois, and the testimony of Bill Hunt; the admission made to Lillie, and the surprise appearance of Hogan in the box, convinced the jurors.

But the most direct connection of Mickey with the stabbing was the fact that the dog meat was found in Martin's shack when Levis was shot.

Apart from that and the denial of Hogan that he knew Mickey, there was little to establish his double guilt that night, but none that he killed Levis.

Who was "Mickey the Dago?"


Death Walked Softly

If the murderer of William Urquhart had hastened away from the scene of his deliberate crime, he would probably have been caught. Instead, he leisurely strolled through a crowd of men, spoke to two of them, walked slowly across the street and disappeared. Who he was, or where he went that lovely evening of September 11, 1911, no one has discovered.

William Urquhart was the proprietor of a wholesale liquor store at 54 West Cordova Street, Vancouver. A big, fat, friendly man of about 65, he was well respected as a good citizen. He was not known to have a single enemy.

It was a lovely evening, when, about 7:30 o'clock, he was shot to death in his store. Cordova Street in 1911 was a more important business street than it is today. It was particularly attractive to loggers, miners and other workers, and its merchants catered to their needs. Men gathered on the curbs to talk, with occasional excursions through swinging doors of numerous saloons to pledge anew friendships with old acquaintances or initiate new ones. It was a man's street. Next door to the Urquhart Liquor Store was a shooting gallery, operated by Charles Lewis Straube. He did a good business, usually, for the outdoors men who holidayed on Cordova Street were proud of their marksmanship.

But tonight there was little activity in the shooting gallery. But the half dozen or more men who rocked on their heels on the curb outside of the liquor shop, were not surprised when there was heard three quick shots. Straube, though, was astonished, for there were no customers in his place; no one was shooting there.

Hugh Grant, a well-known miner and prospector who resided on Third Avenue, Kitsilano, was standing just outside of the shooting gallery door. "That's some shooting, Grant," exclaimed Straube.

"I think it's an automobile," replied the other.

"Let's see," suggested Straube, and he moved to the door. They looked up and down the street.

"I saw some people gathered at the edge of the sidewalk in front of Urquhart's store," Mr. Straube told Coroner Thomas W. Jeffs. "I saw a man coming out of the doorway of Mr. Urquhart's store. He passed in front of us, slowly arranging his hat and coat. He turned towards me, and spoke. He said: 'He'd show me how to shoot!'

"He did not seem to be in a hurry. He passed us, then crossed in a leisurely manner over Cordova Street, angling towards the northeast corner of Abbott Street, which was occupied by a bank. He did not attract much attention.

"I looked down past the Urquhart store," Straube explained and I saw smoke coming out of the doorway. It looked like steam. I looked in through the glass of the closed door and saw that someone was lying on the floor. I went in and saw it was Mr. Urquhart. He was on one side, and sort of resting on his elbow. I picked him up and laid his head on my arm. I said: "My God, Mr. Urquhart, have you been shot—have you been killed?" He opened his eyes a couple of times. I could see the muscles of his mouth move, but he couldn't speak.

"I saw I couldn't do anything for him, so I eased him down and asked for somebody to phone for a doctor." A number of the curb loiterers had pushed into the store by this time and had grouped themselves about. But no person answered Straube's request. He rushed to his own shooting gallery and called the police and reported the shooting, asking for a doctor as well as police to be sent immediately.

Grant told the coroner he stood close by with Straube when the gunman approached. He spoke to the gallery owner, and Grant did not catch the remark, but he told the inquest jury, "When he got directly opposite me, he turned towards me. He put both hands up to his hat and set it firmly on his head, and said, 'I'll teach that son of a gun' and with that he turned around and slowly walked up the street for 30 or 40 feet, when he crossed the street towards the bank at the corner of Abbott Street. He walked slowly along, showing no excitement to lead us to believe that he had committed a murder, or anything of that kind.

"We watched him until he crossed the street. With that Mr. Straube walked down to the front of Mr. Urquhart's store and looked in, and then he went inside."

Constable Robert Tisdale was approaching Abbott Street from the west when he noticed a crowd collecting in front of the liquor store. He started on a fast walk towards the spot, when a man shouted excitedly, pointing at a man across the street. "Arrest that man; he's just shot someone three times!" Tisdale seized the person indicated and ran his hands over his clothing. He had no gun. The man who had pointed him out as the killer approached. "Sorry, but that's not the man. There he is; that's him!" and he pointed to another man. Again the policeman darted after the person indicated and seized him, but once more the excited informer apologized and admitted he was mistaken. After a hurried but unsuccessful search in a lane between Water and Cordova Streets down which, someone shouted, a man had gone, Constable Tisdale ran to the scene of the murder. He had nothing to add to the story by Straube. Constable Wheatley arrived and went for a doctor. It was too late, however. William Urquhart was dead.

He had been shot three times with a .44 calibre revolver, and with the muzzle close to his body. Twice he had been struck in the neck, and one shot hit him in the chest and went down through several vital organs.

Every possible effort was made by the Vancouver police to find the killer, but despite the fact that a score or more men idly watched him as he sauntered by them and then made himself inconspicuous by slowly crossing the street in the middle of the block, no person could give identifying information to the police. And today the murder of William Urquhart is just as much a mystery as when the unhurried killer shot him down within a few feet of the idlers along the curb on Cordova Street.


Slaying of Dr. Fifer

"Doctor" Max William Fifer was practising medicine at Yale. He had arrived there with the gold stampeders of 1858. Whether or not he had a diploma—and it was suggested that he did not have such a parchment—did not seem to matter to the miners. They liked him. He claimed to have practised the healing art for 14 years previous to his coming to British Columbia, and many prospectors knew him in San Francisco and recommended him to their fellows, on the Fraser River.

Governor James Douglas liked Fifer and appointed him to minister to the ailments of the indigent. That he was popular with his fellow-residents in the mining camp was evidenced when, in June, 1860, they elected him as chairman of the first Town Council at Yale.

It was on the afternoon of July 5, 1861. Jacob Davis had just been in to see the doctor at his office in Yale. And Ah Chung, Fifer's Chinese houseboy, was busy at his tasks, when Robert Wall entered. Wall was a former patient who had grown prejudiced against Doctor Fifer because he had not cured him of a persistent ailment.

"Where's Dr. Fifer?" questioned Wall.

"In the next room," said the Chinese, while Davis motioned with his hand. At that very moment Dr. Fifer appeared. He stepped back and Wall followed him, and drawing a revolver from his pocket, he fired. Turning, he ran from the place.

"I turned around towards the second room; when I reached the inner room he was leaning against the wall," Davis told the court later. "I gave the alarm, shouting 'Murder, murder!' Dr. Fifer is shot!' with all my might. The fugitive ran very fast to his canoe, which was waiting for him; he stumbled in very quick and started off immediately. I cried 'Murder!' I never stopped till the canoe was out of sight."

From further testimony of Davis and that of Ben Bailey, who also gave chase, upon hearing Davis' cries, Wall jumped down the steep bank to the waiting canoe. Here an old friend of Wall, named Mike Hagar, an Irishman, with two Indians, Sna-en-kumthen and Skut-kumsen, were waiting with poised paddles. As Wall stumbled into the craft, the paddles dipped and the frail canoe went down the river.

Sheriff Commeline was also in hot pursuit, but as he reached the river bank, the canoe was well under way. Quickly gathering some assistance, the sheriff obtained another canoe, and started in chase of the murderer and his crew.

Reasoning that the Indians would not run the rapids at Emory Bar, but would make the usual portage, the sheriff determined to risk the dangerous white water. Like a flash the canoe went over the riffles, but when she emerged from the rapids, she filled, forcing the party to land and empty the craft.

They took up the chase with even greater vigor, and at last they saw the object of their pursuit. Slowly the whites gained on the Indian paddlers. Fort Hope appeared in sight. Wall ran his canoe ashore and he and Hagar ran as fast as they could through the town to the sawmill beyond the bend of the river. There they jumped into another canoe and continued their flight. It was a little time before the sheriff's party discovered where they had gone. They also obtained a second canoe and again took up the chase. They soon picked up a sight of the fleeing men again, who, without the assistance of the Indians, could not keep abreast of their pursuers. Now Wall turned to the shore and he and Hagar took to the woods.

It was several days later that James Houston, of Fort Langley, a rugged individual who has been credited with the discovery of the gold that started the stampede, dashed down the river to New Westminster to inform Police Inspector Chartres Brew that he had seen Wall land from a canoe and start overland for Semiamu, in U.S. territory.

Brew at once sent Chief Constable McKeown, with several policemen and Houston by canoes, with Indian crews, to head off the fugitive. The road—or rather, rough trail—from Fort Langley to Semiamu was almost impassable, and it was thought that Wall would be very tired and therefore make slow progress. The canoes had to go down to the mouth of the river and around Point Roberts to the vicinity of the present day Peace Arch at the border.

It was late at night when the tired policemen arrived at their destination, but they immediately posted themselves to intercept any person arriving at the trail's end. With the coming of daylight they examined the path. It showed no footprints that would indicate that it had been recently used. For some hours they waited, and then McKeown decided to proceed overland to Fort Langley in the hope of meeting Wall. He sent the canoes back by water. The party had not proceeded 300 yards when they saw a man coming toward them. His head was down and it was evident that he was tired. They quickly took cover, and when he came nearer they jumped upon him. He drew his revolver on McKeown, but Houston managed to knock it out of his hand. He was quickly overpowered and escorted to Fort Langley.

In the meantime Mike Hagar had been placed under arrest. It was the morning after he and Wall had fled down the river that he stepped out of hiding on the outskirts of Fort Hope and accosted John Evans, a friend.

"He said he thought that he had best go to work on the roads," Evans reported. "I said he had best give himself up now." After some talk, Hagar decided to surrender, and Evans took him to the government offices at Hope, where he was locked up.

At the assizes at Yale, a few weeks later, Hagar said he had met Wall in Hope the day previous to the murder and had been hired by him for $3.00 per day to accompany him to Fort Yale. The Irishman said he did not know the intention of his friend was to murder Dr. Fifer, but his action in assisting in the escape of the murderer when Davis informed him that Wall was wanted for the killing of Dr. Fifer, was sufficient to convict him of being an accessory, for which he was sentenced to seven years imprisonment. The two Indians were also convicted of being accessories, because Ben Bailey had shouted to them in Chinook that Wall was wanted. They were soon liberated, however, for they said they thought the two white men wanted to catch a steamer at Hope—and later when the chase was taken up, Wall threatened to kill them if they did not continue paddling.

As for Wall, he was sentenced to death on the gallows. He was hanged at Yale on August 23, 1861, after expressing his regret for his action. Another doctor, he said, had told him that Dr. Fifer had poisoned him.


Frock-Coated Banditry

The manner in which Bill Miner and his criminal associates held up a train east of Kamloops, and were later captured in the Nicola country, is well known, but another daring "stick up" of a C.P.R. passenger train near Ducks, several years later, is not so familiar to the public.

There was one man, however, who never forgot that evening of June 21, 1909. He was Matt F. Crawford, the engineer who was at the throttle when the Haney gang stopped the train.

Mr. Crawford moved to Victoria after more than half a century's residence at Kamloops. Here, the 91-year-old engineer related the happenings of that "Egyptian black" night, shortly before his death.

"I picked up train 97 at Revelstoke. She was the through passenger to the coast, and was running four hours late, but my orders did not call for me to make up time. There were few station stops, as No. 5 was running ahead of us," he said.

"We took on water at Sicamous and again at Notch Hill. This must have been where the gunman boarded us.

"We slowed down going through Shuswap and were just picking up speed again, when I heard a gruff voice. At first 1 thought that it was Harry Carpenter, my fireman, but when I turned and looked, I found him looking at me, as if I had spoken.

"Then we both looked back at the tender, when a voice said: "Here, you!" There was a man, masked, and holding two revolvers pointed at us. He was half-hidden by the coal boards. He motioned to Harry with one gun to approach him, and to me he shouted: 'You keep going!'

"Harry spoke to him and then told me that the bandit, who was wearing a frock coat, much too big for him, said we were to keep on until we saw a fire beside the track; then we were to go ahead and stop about four poles from it.

"He moved close, and I told him that it was not necessary to keep us covered, that we could not do him any harm. He lowered his guns, but kept his fingers on the triggers. He was swearing terrifically, and kept saying: 'I'm going to have this train!' His face was hidden by the mask, but I noted his clothing, and particularly his trousers and boots, which were not common.

"When we were about five miles west of Shuswap I saw a red light beside the track, near present-day Pritchard. I started to slow down. With a fresh outburst of profanity he shouted for me to keep going. I had asked him if the light was his signal. 'No!' he yelled and cursed and pointed the gun at me again. I told him that I could not ignore a red light, and would have to stop.

"'Well, if it's your duty, do it, but keep your damned mouth shut,' and he again menaced me with one of the revolvers.

"I stopped and several car repairmen got on. Conductor Sam Elliott and Brakeman Ashton started to come forward alongside the cars to see why we had stopped, and under threat of his revolvers I had to start ahead slowly. They climbed back on the train, and I got going ahead.

"When some little distance east of Ducks, we rounded a curve and I saw a bonfire beside the track. He became more excited, and kept swearing and waving his guns. 'Stop!' he ordered and I did so. I knew that there was a freight train following us, and I was afraid that she might plough into us, if we stayed there very long.

"I told him and asked if we could put out a red light. 'No, damn you,' was his answer.

"Then he backed down to the ground. How he did it, holding a gun in each hand, I do not know, but he managed it, and then, covering us, made both Harry and me get down, too. He told Harry to bring his coal pick.

"'Here, you take this,' he said, and another masked man who appeared out of the night, put three sticks of dynamite into my hands. In the flickering light from the fire, I could see that the fuses were very short. Before leaving the cab he told us to duck behind shelter or have our heads blown off; that his men were going to shoot out the headlight.

"I told him that it was not necessary, that I could shut off the light. 'Well, do it; and quick,' he replied with a stream of profanity. I did so.

"We moved along to the first express car back from the engine. Then some shots were fired on both sides; just to give warning that it was a hold-up, I guess. I looked down to see if I could get rid of the dynamite, and saw a man crouching down and pointing a rifle or shotgun at me.

"The man in the frock coat ordered Harry to batter in the car door. There was no sound from inside. At last a small hole was made with the pick. Enough to see that the car was empty.

"Now the cursing was terrible. We moved along to the second car. Here there was no response to the demand to open it, and the door was smashed. He wanted me to go in, but it could be seen with the light from a dark lantern they carried that there was nothing there.

"We proceeded to the third car; it was a combination mail coach and express car. The leader shouted to open the door; threatening to blow the car up. He told me to get the dynamite ready. 'We'll blow you up,' he shouted. There was an answer.

"'Go ahead and do your blowing,' was the cool reply of the mail clerk, who was busy hiding the registered mail. Then he opened the door. The frightened car repairmen tumbled out. But whatever it was that they were looking for was not in that car either, and they did not attempt to touch the registered mail.

"'What you are looking for went on ahead by No. 5,' Harry calmly told the leader. It was reported later, although, of course, I did not know it, that we were supposed to be carrying a shipment of gold bars from Trail to a Vancouver bank, but when 97 was so late, it was sent ahead on the local train.

"'Boys, I'm sorry, there's nothing there,' the gang leader told his companions. He walked back to the engine with us, still keeping his trigger fingers at the alert. He told me I could go on.

"We had hardly started to move, for it takes a little time to get a heavy train under way when he climbed aboard again and ordered us to stop.

"'The boys are not satisfied!' So we stopped again. They examined the three cars again, and then told us to go ahead. No effort was made to touch the mail, or to rob the passengers.

"I was scared that I was going to lose $120 I had in my pocket, and made an attempt to get it out and drop it on the floor, but he jammed a revolver against me and told me to stop digging into my pocket.

"Several times he pressed a gun barrel against me. When I was told to take the dynamite, the cold nose of a revolver was kept against the back of my neck.

"We stopped at Ducks and Sam Elliott sent off wires telling what had happened. Police and citizen posses were quickly organized. Indian trackers and Mounted Police, and trained dogs, were quickly assembled. Every road was guarded, but no clue, except the dynamite that I had put down on the right-of-way, was found."

One week later, Mr. Crawford relates, Constable Burr, on his way to Kamloops from Ashcroft, was told at Penny's, now Wallachin, that three men had been seen going down the Thompson River in a boat. Burr at once wired to government agent H. B. Christie at Ashcroft to have the boat intercepted. Isaac Decker, a former railway employee, who often acted as a special constable, was called upon to watch the river. He had hardly reached the water's edge a short distance above the bridge, when a row boat with two men in it was seen coming around the bend. It was later learned that another man had been landed a few moments before.

Decker, armed with an army rifle, motioned the men to land. When the boat touched the bank, one of them sprang out. He had a coat over his arm, and hidden beneath the garment he had a revolver. He fired, wounding the policeman.

Decker shot simultaneously, from the hip. The bandit fell, dead. The second man in the boat picked up a shotgun, sprang ashore and shot poor Decker, as he lay on the ground. He then coolly bent over his companion, removed all marks of identification, climbed up the bank to the railway track and disappeared.

On the bridge a few feet away, J. S. Matthews, now Vancouver archivist, then with the Imperial Oil Company, witnessed the gun battle.

"I was called in to identify the dead man," said Mr. Crawford. "I was able to do so, by his boots and pants and other clothing. He was the frock-coated bandit, the leader of the gang."

He was further identified by police as being a man named Haney, one of two brothers who had long criminal records in Southern California. It was believed that one of the two train robbers who escaped was the other brother. Neither was arrested.


The Penticton Murder Mystery

The quiet, peaceful little village of Penticton was the scene more than a half century ago, of one of the most atrocious murders that has ever baffled the British Columbia authorities.

William Zimmerman was a quiet, inoffensive German jeweller and watchmaker. He was aged about 60 and had been in British Columbia for some years, during which he operated a shop at Rossland for a time, but decided to move to the beautiful Okanagan. At first he rented premises next to the drugstore, but later built a small building, sufficiently large, to provide him with a small jewellery store and living quarters at the rear.

He kept to himself; not that he was anti-social, for he was pleasant to meet and everyone in the place liked him.

Henry Murk used to drop in to the shop occasionally and talk to him in German. It was to Murk that he mentioned casually, volunteering no particulars, that he had recently inherited property in Germany.

It was 3:30 p.m. on January 17, 1907—and cold—when Hugh Leir, the bookkeeper at the Penticton Lumber Syndicate, called in to pick up a clock that had been left for repair for the Chinese cook at the mill.

The door was on the latch. He waited for some time, and there being no appearance of Zimmerman, he glanced into the back room, where a small, smelly oil lamp, turned low, threw a half-glim over the contents of the room.

It was several seconds before Leir saw the crumpled body of Zimmerman stretched on the floor in the dim radiance of the lamp.

He rushed from the place, calling to Mr. Steward to go for the police constable while he ran for Dr. R. B. White, the coroner.

John Tooth, the policeman, at the inquest gave a detailed account of the place, when, in answer to the information that there had been a murder, he attended.

The old man's head had been pounded almost to a pulp with the back of an axe, or other similar instrument. The axe was lying on a box full of old papers.

There were several abdominal wounds that showed that the killer was not content with beating his victim to death, but had repeatedly stabbed him, and left the knife sticking into the body.

Dr. Charles A. Smith, who performed the post-mortem examination, declared that it would require powerful force to drive the knife in to the haft.

A dime and a quarter lay on the floor beneath the body, but in his pocket the jeweller had a purse with a few dollars in it.

On the floor behind the counter in the store were found a locket and a wedding ring.

"The sliding doors of the showcase, where, I should judge, the most valuable part of his stock to be, were open," the policeman said. "Everything was covered with newspapers as usual. I lifted the paper and found two empty watch trays and another case empty of all but a few lockets and small jewellery. I also found a number of empty ring cases, some entirely empty, others with a few rings in them," the policeman said.

But Tooth also reported having found something else that appeared to complicate the robbery theory. Zimmerman had a strongbox for his most precious possessions.

"I found a large lock on top of the box which was unlocked. The lid lifted readily. I found nothing disturbed in this box, so far as I could tell."

The back door was found to be locked—but with the key on the outside of the door.

Zimmerman's overcoat was on the bed; his hat, pipe, spectacles and false teeth were on the table.

A number of letters, written in German, were found. One of these indicated that he had recently authorized a man in Rothermark-Baden to act for him in connection with the legacy that amounted to 4500 marks and a farm.

Other witnesses told of seeing him on January 16, but no person had seen him alive after he purchased his frugal meal and went back to his store.

The murder, it was surmised, must have taken place shortly after 5:20 when he purchased a loaf of bread from Louis T. Loberge.

There were no signs of a struggle in the little room where he lived. The attack must have been sudden and unexpected. He did not have a chance to defend himself. Repeated blows were delivered with the axe, and several thrusts made with the knife.

The bare facts of the case leave room for much speculation. One thing seems certain; robbery was not the motive. If it had been, the German's purse would not have been passed up, and the contents of the strongbox would have been disturbed.

What, then, was the reason for murdering the quiet German watchmaker with such savagery? It is a mystery today as it was that cold winter day in 1907.

Some years later, W. A. McKenzie, erstwhile Minister of Mines, and then a contractor, was repairing a sidewalk in Penticton, when one of his men found the missing box of jewellery where it had been hidden after the murder, substantiating that the killing was not done for profit.


Who Slew Aeneas Dewar?

Aeneas Dewar was a settler and a packer. He had a preemption near Lavington, but to eke out a living, he packed supplies to the miners at Cherry Creek. He was recognized as an honest man, and that is why Government Agent T. McK. Lambly of Enderby appointed him, in July of 1882, to collect the poll taxes from the Chinese miners at Cherry Creek. Dewar agreed to make the collection, and left for the diggings.

When Dewar did not return when he was expected there was no anxiety; nor was there any alarm for his safety until his horse was found wandering near Cherry Creek.

The saddle was turned towards the ground, and at first it was thought that he had been thrown and injured, but on examination it was found that the saddle was tightly cinched in that position, showing that it had been purposely placed beneath the animal's body to create the impression of an accident.

Enquiries revealed that Dewar had reached Cherry Creek and had made the collection of most of the taxes, for the Chinese who were first questioned produced receipts made out by him. Some person said that he was going towards the home of "Smart Aleck," a cunning and unscrupulous Chinaman, who lived in the last cabin of the Chinese section of the camp.

The missing man's friends organized a search party and started to make a systematic examination of the entire section of Cherry Creek occupied by the Chinese. Coming to "Smart Aleck's" cabin, they found it to be deserted.

It was evident, however, that the owner had left suddenly, for the remains of a half-eaten dinner were on the table; "Smart Aleck's" blankets were still there, and his camp kit was not removed. Strangest of all was the fact that he had departed without cleaning the sluice boxes on his claim, for this was something that no Chinaman was known to neglect.

The white searchers were confident that if anything had happened to Aeneas Dewar, it had taken place at or near Aleck's place. They scanned everything within the crowded interior of the small cabin, then commenced a detailed scrutiny of the immediate vicinity.

It was the sharp eyes of John Merritt that noticed that the earth on one side of the house had been disturbed, as if someone had carefully dug beneath the base-board.

Merritt and several companions started to excavate where the earth had been disturbed. They came upon the remains of the tax collector. He had been killed by a single blow of some sharp instrument on the back of his head. It had cleft from the crown of the skull to the back of his neck. It was thought that an axe had been used while Dewar sat at the table, possibly drinking a cup of tea.

Government Agent Lambly came hurrying to the scene. He held an inquest, and issued a warrant for the arrest of "Smart Aleck." No one in the Chinese community would give any information, however, that would assist in bringing the fugitive to custody. Every man professed complete ignorance of Aleck or his whereabouts.

Men were sent off in different directions to tell of the murder and give descriptions of the Chinese suspect. It was felt that he might try and cross to the Arrow Lakes and from there make his way into the United States.

Trackers were sent off into that country, and even as far as Spokane, when rumors came that he might have got to that place.

One young man, who later became prominent in the life of the province, Price Ellison, was on the hunt for "Smart Aleck" for 75 days, mostly by horseback; and Merritt, who had found the body, gave nearly three weeks additional search for the killer, while Richard Rowatt was similarly occupied for nearly two weeks. Others spent lesser amounts of time following the clues that rumors reported. But nothing of an authentic character was uncovered.

Gradually the hunt slackened; even the offer by the Provincial Government of a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of "Smart Aleck" did not bring any result.

When, several years ago, the Provincial Police force was absorbed by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the murder of Aeneas Dewar away back in 1882, remained an uncompleted case.

Such was the story of the unfortunate tax collector, as it was written into the records of the province.

Now here is what is probably the sequel; the solution of the mystery of the disappearance of "Smart Aleck." The details of it were told to me by Frank H. Barnes, the last man who had personal recollections of the events of the time.

At the age of 94 years his clear and meticulous memory recorded:—

"It was in 1886; Albert Marsh, Charles Pooler and I were on our way to Priests' Valley (Vernon) for supplies. We had been trapping during the preceding winter in the Monashee and Whatshan districts.

"When we got to the Cherry Creek flat we decided to stop for a bit, light a fire and make ourselves a cup of tea. Close to where we proposed to boil a kettle, lay a big fallen tree, with quite a lot of old limbs heaped against it. We pulled out some of these dry branches for the fire, and were astonished to see a number of bones.

"Closer examination showed that they were the frame of a human. We carefully removed the tangle of deadwood and gathered the bones together. Yes, they were the remains of a man—but the skull and the jawbones were missing.

"We hoped that some help might be obtained in identification if we could find the jaw and teeth. Again we lifted each branch and stick and raked over the earth. Apparently all the other bones of the body were there.

"Nor could we find a single indication of the character of the man, or of what race he might have been. There was not a sign of a gun, or of a knife; not a single coin; nor was there a vestige of shoe leather. The bones of the feet were there, but nothing to indicate what kind of footwear he wore in life.

"There was one clue only. It was several round, brass buttons, and the fragile remains of some decayed cloth.

"We talked it over, and finally came to the conclusion that the remains were those of a Chinaman. If they were of a white man, we argued, there would be something to establish that fact; if not a bit of metal that had been carried in his pocket, there would, at least, be the heel of a shoe.

"Again, if the skeleton was that of an Indian, there would, in all probability, have been the rusted blade of a sheath knife. But the only thing were those brass buttons, such as a Chinaman might have worn on a cotton smock.

"We thought that, as we only knew that there was one missing Chinaman, it must have been all that was left of 'Smart Aleck.' We informed the government agent at Priests' Valley of our find, but whether or not the authorities paid any attention to it, I can not say."

In the decades that have passed since Mr. Barnes and his companions made the gruesome find at Cherry Creek Flat, the conviction was not altered with him. He felt that the Chinese miners, who in those days had a most difficult time in making a living in the face of the antipathy to their race, realized that if "Smart Aleck" was caught and brought to trial prejudice would be hardened against them.

They may have seized him; removed all signs of identification and then have led him out onto the flat, and beheaded him, according to ancient Chinese custom. Such a conclusion would account for the apparent suddenness of Aleck's departure.

Again, the possibility of the taxpayers recovering their money under such circumstances only strengthens the supposition. The unfortunate Dewar had completed his collections—all but Aleck's, at the time of his death. Not a cent of this money was found, either on his body or in "Smart Aleck's" cabin. The Chinamen all had proper receipts, and there was no question that they had been issued by Lambly's authorized agent.

So what happened on Cherry Creek Flats that hot July day in 1882 is just as much of a mystery today as it was in those early days of long ago.


The Flying Dutchman

No stranger story appears in the bizarre annals of crime in British Columbia than that of the "Flying Dutchman," the pirate who for years exacted toll from yachts, fishing boats and small communities on the coasts of Puget Sound and the Gulf of Georgia, only to meet his just desserts on the scaffold at Nanaimo, August 28, 1913. "The Flying Dutchman" had lived spectacularly; he died spectacularly, for his passing was carried out with such precision that a new world's record was established in the executions of that type.

As a young man, scarcely more than a youth, under the name of Henry Ferguson, he is believed to have been a member of "Dutch" Cassidy's band of outlaws, operating from the vicinity of the Hole-in-the-Wall, Wyoming. This gang often used Baggs, Wyoming, as a rendezvous, from where they would raid into adjacent states, rob a bank or other place where treasure was accumulated, and return with it to their stamping ground. They never injured any person about Baggs, and paid for any damage done at the time of celebrating a particularly rich haul, such as that made at Winnemucca, Nevada, where they obtained $35,000.

So notorious did the "Dutch" Cassidy gang become that finally the U.S. Government had to take action and troops were sent against them. There was a battle in which a number of the desperados were killed, a few taken prisoner, but the larger number escaped. Amongst the latter were Henry Ferguson—as he was then known—and William Julian, a diminutive individual who wanted to go straight but was influenced by Ferguson, or as he now became known, Henry Wagner. These two worthies came out to Puget Sound, where Julian had a relative, to whom he went.

Wagner, who was now becoming known as "Jack, the Flying Dutchman," was arrested and went to Walla Walla for 14 years for shooting at Sheriff Brewer of Snohomish County. The same fall stolen goods were located on Julian's place and he, too, went to the penitentiary.

It was about 1909 that the "Flying Dutchman" was again active. Julian was then living on Comano Island, and when he found that Wagner was in the neighborhood he sold out his place and moved to British Columbia.

"The Flying Dutchman" was not long in following him. He obtained a very fast motor launch, which he purchased at Vananda, Texada Island. It was twin-engined and twin-screwed and could outdistance anything on the coast. But this was not sufficient; when he and his gang would raid a small community, generally aiming at the Post Office and general store safe, his launch would slip quietly into the bay in which the local flotilla of boats lay at anchor. Each engined craft would be visited, the spark plugs would be unscrewed and emery dust would be put into the cylinders. If pursuit took place, the pirates would not be overtaken for the local craft would not run far.

So, for some years "The Flying Dutchman" carried on his nefarious practice without detection. Julian, who had married, was working at a cannery, trying to rehabilitate himself, but every now and again his evil genius in the person of the bandy-legged slightly-stooped Henry Wagner, "The Flying Dutchman," would come and urge him to join in "just one more" raid. Julian later told the police that he had resisted such inducements, but Wagner, on the eve of his execution sought to blame Julian for a long list of robberies, including the breaking into of A. R. Johnson's store at Nanaimo, but the wealth of detail with which "The Flying Dutchman" recounted the crimes—and the fact that Julian had given evidence against him—suggested to the police that they were obtaining a partial catalogue of Wagner's own depredations. Whether or not Julian was as clear of these crimes as he presented himself to be made no difference to the United States officials, for following a Post Office robbery on Whidbey Island, Washington, Sheriff Marcus Wangness, in a circular said that Julian would probably be found travelling with Wagner. Two of "The Flying Dutchman's" gang were caught and imprisoned.

It was in the spring of 1913. There was a strike on in the coal mining centres of Vancouver Island, and special Provincial Police were patrolling the communities. The big store of Fraser & Bishop at Union Bay had been robbed. It was feared that another attempt might be made, so Chief Constable David Stephenson, at Cumberland, ordered two special constables, Harry Westaway and Donald G. Ross, to keep watch on the place.

Wagner, according to Julian's evidence later, came to his old companion in crime, who was residing at Lasqueti Island, at the time, and urged him to assist in robbing Fraser & Bishop's store. It would be the last time that he would bother him, said "The Flying Dutchman"—and besides he could use the groceries and merchandise that would result from the robbery. Julian consented.

They went to the main door; Wagner produced a key and opened the lock. On entering the darkened store he locked the door.

In the adjoining building, Constables Westaway and Ross were alert. They had seen a flash from Wagner's electric torch and had heard a slight noise. They stepped to the communicating door. "When I thought the noise was near," Ross later stated in evidence, "I flashed my light, saying: 'Hands up or I will shoot!'" There was no response.

The policemen went further into the store. "I flashed my light down the first passage towards the rear end of the store. I saw Henry Wagner, kneeling on his right knee. He had a gun in his hand. I switched off the light and ran towards him. When I thought I was just up to him, I saw a flash and heard a shot. Immediately afterwards Harry Westaway said: 'I'm shot; have you got him, Gordon?'"

There followed a terrific struggle, as the chunky Ross plunged at Wagner and grappled with him. Julian fled, and found that he was locked in. He smashed the glass out of the door and escaped, only to find that the launch had drifted and was aground. He made off in the skiff.

"About this time I felt Harry Westaway at my legs. He said: 'I'm shot through the lungs.'" "I can't help you," Ross said.

"The prisoner then caught me by the throat with his left hand ... I got hold of his throat with both hands and choked him." Finally the policeman loosened his grip and Wagner begged for mercy, saying he would be good, if he was not beaten any more. The fight continued. Ross hit Wagner over the head with his club, and they struggled again, this time for possession of the baton. Wagner struck the constable with his own club, and Ross managed to get hold of it and brought it crashing down on the Dutchman's head. "He fell to his knees, then fell on his back. I struck him again to make sure." Then Ross handcuffed Wagner to his own wrist. He had called to Westaway, asking if he could go for help. The wounded man tried to crawl to the front of the store to bring aid. He could not; "Goodbye, Gordon, good-bye," the brave fellow gasped out as he died.

Ross dragged Wagner to the front of the store; broke a window and called out. Constable James F. McKenzie, guarding the coal wharf, heard the cry for help, and came running, to find Westaway dead and Ross bruised and blood-covered, handcuffed to the notorious Henry Wagner, "The Flying Dutchman," for whom the police of two countries had been searching for.

There was not much more. Julian was picked up, and talked. H. W. R. Moore, of Victoria, was crown counsel and Mr. Justice A. M. Morrison presided at the assizes. Wagner was found guilty. He was sentenced to be executed on August 28, 1913.

It was the first occasion upon which the late Arthur Ellis officiated as executioner in British Columbia and because of that fact, he determined to signalize the occasion. Circumstances were similar to those under which his uncle had made a world's record some thirty years before. So Henry Ferguson, alias Henry Wagner, alias "The Flying Dutchman"—who had lived a life of crime since boyhood—was hanged in 47 seconds from his appearance in the jailyard.


Death Comes to the Bridegroom

Who killed John Hicks? That question is just as much a mystery today as when the popular young Englishman was shot down on Oswego Street, Victoria, on his way to his own post-nuptial reception, on the evening of October 28, 1885. The whole strange tragedy was made more remarkable by the action of the coroner, who at the conclusion of a long drawn out and ineffective inquest, let his civic pride master his judicial impartiality. According to The Daily Colonist, Victoria, December 8, 1885:—

"In his address to the jury, Coroner Johnson went over the various points of the case, and said he would leave it to the jury to find their verdict. It was one of the strangest cases he had ever come across. There were several verdicts that could be found. One could state that Hicks was shot by some person or persons unknown. But this would infer that life and property were not sufficiently protected in this city if a man could be robbed and murdered with impunity in the early evening without discovery. Or they could find that the story of Mr. and Mrs. Lascelles was correct and that he committed suicide. Or lastly, they could return an open verdict.

"The jury returned a verdict that 'deceased came to his death by a pistol shot fired by his own hand, but not with an intention to take his own life.'"

Here are the facts of this inexplicable case, as set out in the sworn testimony given at the inquest, and contained on the fading pages of the original documents preserved in the official archives in the British Columbia Legislative Buildings at Victoria.

John Hicks was a fine type of young Englishman. He had been associated for a time with his brother in the stockbroking business in London. He had later gone to the South African diamond fields, from where he had come to British Columbia. He worked for a time as a bookkeeper at Earle's Cannery at Alert Bay, and later came to Victoria. There he fell in love with beautiful Elizabeth Blenkinsop, niece of rugged old Hamilton Moffatt, one of the great officers of the Hudson's Bay Company's fortified tenure of the Pacific Coast who was now living in retirement in the provincial capital. The wedding was held only a fortnight before the death of the bridegroom. It was a gala affair, adorned by the lavish hospitality that was so associated with the generous regime of the fur traders. The radiant young couple hurried away from the ceremony to take boat for Portland, Oregon, then the metropolis of the northwest, on the first part of their honeymoon.

They had returned, to stop for a day or two with the Moffatts before continuing on to England. Hicks had been to England earlier in the year to see his brother, who was ailing; now he was returning to make his glorious Elizabeth acquainted with his people. For him, it was a proud purpose; for her, an anticipated adventure.

On the morning of October 28, Hicks dropped in at Morton's book store to see his great friend, Charles Braund, a clerk there. Braund had sent them a wedding present, and Hicks wished to thank him. They chatted briefly; Braund changed a $20 gold piece for him, and they spoke of the continuance of the wedding tour, Hicks saying that he had intended to buy the tickets to New York that day, but thought that he would wait until they had decided what amount of baggage they would have. The chums made an appointment to meet that evening at the skating rink for a few last words.

The appointment was kept, but when he arrived, Hicks told his friend that he could not stay; that he had promised his wife that he would return quickly, as there were a number of people coming in for the evening to see them.

Braund noted that Hicks had pulled out his watch. "It was a small silver watch with a black dial," he said. In answer to questions, Braund said he and Hicks used to room together. He never had a revolver. "He was an honorable, truthful man, punctual and methodical. He went to church nearly every Sunday," Braund declared.

Now, here is what Hicks himself had to say of what happened that night. He remained conscious for a whole day after the shooting; and made a statement, in anticipation of death.

"I was shot last evening somewhere between nine and ten in the street running from the harbor past this house (Mr. Moffatt's). I only remember the features of one of the men who did it.

"I was coming from the town to Moffatt's house (Oswego Street), when I saw two men coming across my path on the cross street. I was a little in advance of them. They were walking together. The first thing I remember was my hat was blown off my head by, I suppose, a bullet, because I heard the report of firearms. The men were then behind me. I cannot say, however (how far)—say, ten yards. I turned around, and one of them seized me by the throat and necktie. He drew the necktie tight, nearly choking me. One of them commenced to rifle my pockets. I said: 'For God's sake, spare my life!' but he still went on turning my pockets inside out while the other held me. I struggled and then I heard another shot fired close to me, but I did not feel anything. I was powerless in their hands. I cried out 'murder!' at the top of my voice. They said something to each other but I could not catch what it was. While I was struggling I saw something glisten. I knew what it was. It was a pistol. It was in the shortest man's hand. He fired—and I think I rolled over on my side. He was standing over me and the pistol could not have been many inches from me—-it was right over my stomach.

"After that shot I distinctly saw him make for the fence—and the other man, as well as I could tell, ran down the street towards the harbor. The tall man was about my build with a black moustache. I do not remember ever seeing him before. I suppose he was middle-aged. As well as I could judge, he had darkish clothes. I could not see the face of the short man. I could not say whether they unbuttoned my clothes, but they unbuttoned my vest—I always carry my papers in the inside of my coat.

"They took from my pants pocket, behind, my chamois leather purse. Roughly speaking, there was from $1,800 to $2,000 in the purse. It was in $20 gold pieces and notes—I think about $200 in gold, and the rest in Bank of British Columbia notes. The greatest part of it was in my possession from April last. I brought it from the Old Country. I got both the gold and notes in England. I have received one small draft and some Post Office orders since I came to the country. I cashed a post office order that very morning.

"I had a silver stem-winding watch with me—with a half-hunter case. I don't think I was wearing a scarf pin, because I had a tie with a knot. I had on a gold pair of sleeve links and a gold collar stud—plain gold. I never let anyone know how much money I had.

"I came up past the drill hall and turned round Tiedeman's corner on my way from town. There was not a word before the men fired. As soon as the man had fired into my stomach, they both ran away. That was the shot that wounded me.

"I went to the skating rink about a quarter to nine last evening to meet a friend who had sent me a wedding present and he walked with me as far as Fort and Government Streets. This was Charles Braund, who is in Mr. Morton's bookstore. We went into a saloon at the corner of Fort and Government Streets and had a Scotch whisky. Then we went to the Oriental and parted just outside the restaurant. We also went into the Grotto saloon after coming from the rink earlier in the evening. The majority of the notes were $50 notes."

Such was the factual story told by John Hicks—knowing that he was on his death bed. It was sworn to before Edwin Johnson, police magistrate.

Here are some pertinent excerpts from the testimony of other witnesses:—

Hamilton Moffatt—"I returned home about 8:30 and found Mr. Hicks just leaving for town. He left in a hackney carriage. He had been at supper and seemed to be in good spirits. He had arranged to leave for England with his wife the next day. About 20 minutes to 10, Mrs. Hicks went out to see if her husband was coming. She immediately returned in a state of great excitement and said she was sure something rough was taking place outside. I went out on my verandah followed by two or three ladies who were visiting at my house. When I got out I heard some person shouting very loudly—and two shots fired in quick succession—apparently pistol shots. The voice appeared to come from a few yards down Oswego Street."

Moffatt got his revolver and ran down the street towards the shooting. He found the wounded Hicks, outside the home of James L. Lascelles. Several other neighbors arrived; police and a doctor were sent for. Hicks gasped out that he had been robbed and shot. His empty purse was picked up. His silver watch was missing—and was not found. Moffatt picked up the revolver some 100 feet from where the scuffle took place on the road. There was one live and four empty chambers in it. Hick's' hat and papers were 62 feet in an opposite direction. His [Transcriber's note: the rest of this sentence was missing from the source book.]

Dr. G. L. Milne: "I last saw him at 7 a.m.; he was in a dying condition. The night before last, about 12 o'clock I asked him some questions about the affair. He said he had never been in the habit of carrying a revolver and laughed at the idea of his doing himself any harm. At that time, I had told him that his case was hopeless. I saw no indication of mental aberration."

John Richards: "I was with him from 9 till about 3 of his last night alive—and was there when Dr. Milne visited him. Both before and after Dr. Milne questioned him, I asked him if he shot himself. He said; 'Me—no, Mr. Richards.' After Dr. Milne left I asked him if he ever had a revolver. He said, 'Never since I left the Cape.' I asked him if he had confessed to Bishop Cridge that he had shot himself. He said, 'No'—and he never did. When I left I shook hands with him, saying I would rest assured that he never committed the deed. He said 'I never did. I never owned a revolver since I left the Cape.'"

Mrs. Mary Lascelles, wife of James L. Lascelles, made the only suggestion that Hicks had deliberately shot himself. This is what she said:—

"We were all in bed. I had a lamp low and the street was lighted a little by the electric light. A little before ten o'clock I saw a flash come on the wall through the window and thought it was lightning. Right after that I heard the report of a pistol and soon after that a man yelling as if he were crazy. I then woke my husband. I sat up on the bed, looked through the window and saw a man with an overcoat on standing on the grass just off the road on the opposite side of my window. He was still yelling and seemed to be standing still. I then jumped up and remarked to my husband that the man was all alone and I would go out to him, but my husband said 'No, he will shoot you.' Just then I saw the flash and heard the report of another shot. The flash came from close in front of him, and he fell with his head towards the fence where the pistol was found and his feet towards our house. He appeared to be laying on his back. I could see nobody standing over him and nobody near him. My husband then got up. I watched the man, and saw him turn over on his side and get up on his knees and afterwards on his feet, and he walked quickly but stooping as if he was hurt. He walked along the grass at the side of the road towards Mr. Moffatt's house. After walking a short distance a third shot was fired which seemed to be in front of his body, like the other, and close after that a fourth shot and then he fell again."

Listen to Edward Truman, who discovered the chamois purse—empty: "I don't think there was any electric light. It was quite dark. I had a lantern."

Thomas Irving saw a moustached man, obviously trying to hide his identity:

"On the evening Hicks was shot, I heard the shots and cries. I was coming from Mr. Jackman's house. I heard someone hollering and then I heard a pistol shot. Miss Jackman was with me and Mr. Kilgour came running down the sidewalk when the first shot was fired. He came up to us and we walked along the sidewalk. The party kept hollering all the time. When the last shot was fired we were opposite the house where Captain Meyer used to live—near Mr. Prevost's house. I heard four shots altogether—a very short time between each—the last shot was the longest. Then he hollered, 'Murder.' I had not heard 'murder' before, only hollering. After this we walked along Kingston Street to Mr. Gamble's house. There we met a man with a moustache. He was walking slowly on the sidewalk and turned a little to let us go by. When he got close to us he dropped his head down into his overcoat to hide his face. When I heard the first shot I was in the hollow by the bridge below Mr. Raymur's house."

James Judson Young, a prominent man of his day, said he had examined the fence where Hicks said the shorter of the two killers had climbed the fence. "I found a splinter off the fence where the man was said by Hicks to have climbed over. The splinter could not have been taken off by a cow inside of the field, but might if the cow had been outside. It was a dark night."

That is, in the main, the evidence upon which John Hicks was said to have caused his own death. There are one or two points that are in conflict:—

1. Mrs. Lascelles was the only person to suggest that Hicks shot himself. By her own evidence, she was looking out of the window of a LIGHTER room. She said that she could see by the street light.

2. Truman stated that he did not think there was a street light burning. He carried a lantern because of the darkness.

3. J. J. Young, who found the splinter off the fence said it was a dark night.

4. Thomas Irving saw a moustached man near the scene, who tried to hide his countenance.

5. If Hicks shot himself, how would he spread his purse, hat and pistol to such distances?

The mystery of the death of John Hicks still remains.

The only positive outcome of the death of the young bridegroom during his honeymoon, was that the coroner freed the city from the suspicion of being a place where murder stalked the streets?


Battle of Hazelton

Little is known today—years after that hectic morning when bullets whined and men crumpled on the streets of New Hazelton—of the identity of the gang of Russians who attempted to rob the Union Bank of Canada in broad daylight in the Bulkley River town. That they were Russians was generally assumed, and members of a large organized gang of holdup men operating in Washington and British Columbia. But as to their personal stories, officialdom is still ignorant. The three who went to jail refused to talk. They would not even give the names of two of the three men killed in that desperate fight about the log building that housed the treasure and along the roadways and bush trails.

Whether there were ten men, or seven in the party, has never been clearly established either. Actually there were seven men who raided the bank—and only one, their leader, escaped, wounded, but with some $1,100 taken from the teller's cage. It was thought that three gang members had remained at the robbers' camp in the woods to guard the retreat of their companions. The wounded leader alone stumbled back to the hide-out, having eluded the avenging citizens led by big Rev. Donald Redmond McLean, "The Fighting Parson."

It was the second robbery of the bank. Lightning had struck twice in the same place. The first, and more successful raid, took place on the evening of November 10, 1913. The staff had gone across the street to have supper. The robbers forced a rear window and four of them entered the bank premises.

As cashier John McQueen and Reay W. Fenton, a clerk, returned from their meal they were pounced upon, and McQueen was shot in the face as he turned towards the door. More than $16,000 was stolen, and all trace of the bandits disappeared with them.

This robbery caused a sensation. The Grand Trunk Pacific Railway was nearing construction. Hundreds of rough foreigners were about the place. It was thought—but merely a suspicion—that the robbers had been working on the grade and had made a study of the situation and picked the time when the bank was empty to make their visit. There was but a meagre police force—and it was stationed at Old Hazelton, four miles away. Citizens promised themselves and each other that they would act if similar occurrence took place.

New Hazelton was an active and busy place. Its citizens were energetic and resourceful. Nearly every man could use a rifle, and none better than Rev. D. R. McLean, the six-foot-tall parson, who in his youth had been a cowpuncher, and whose skill as a veterinary was a boon to the settlers of the district.

Shortly after 10 o'clock on the morning of April 7, 1914, Rev. Mr. McLean was on his way to the village pump on Pugsley Street when he heard shots. They came from the direction of the bank.

He turned and saw E. B. Tatchell, bank manager, and Harry Lewis, a cafe proprietor, wildly running and shouting.

The preacher did not need to hear what they were saying. He realized that only another bank robbery could cause these two staid citizens to become so excited, and he visualized the wounded McQueen. Down went his water pail, and the long-legged parson sprinted for home—but not to hide. He grabbed his rifle and returned towards the bank.

There was an ore pile on Pugsley Street, near the bank, and the minister dropped behind this. "In this position I called to a man outside the bank door—masked and holding a rifle pointing in my direction—to come out and hold his hands up," Rev. McLean told officials later. "Instead he fired at me. I was behind the ore pile and his shot struck the rock. He continued to shoot and I exchanged shots with him."

The parson ran out of ammunition, but the bank manager who had borrowed a revolver, went to Lynch Bros. store for more ammunition for the warrior minister. B. A. Smith, a hotel proprietor, was by now sharing the cover of the rock pile with the preacher, and they were blazing away at the bank door. Other citizens were bombarding the place as well. One rifleman was pouring lead through the front window, raking the interior of the bank. This forced the bandits out into the open.

"Shortly after this," Mr. McLean's narrative related, "seven men emerged from the bank, and, shooting in our direction as they ran, headed for the woods. Three of the seven fell between the bank door and the 13th Avenue. Two were killed, and the third, with his leg blasted by bullets, dropped to the sidewalk and started to crawl towards a tented cabin nearby. Later in the day, I saw him lying on the sidewalk in front of the cabin while the doctor dressed a gaping wound in his hip."

There was something mysterious about that cabin. It was reported to have been occupied by Russians. One witness of the affair told how after the man had crept to the door, and rested with his hands on the ground, the door opened and he wriggled inside. He was found there under a bed later by police.

Prior to the avenging citizens taking to their rifles, the Russians swept into the bank. Robert T. Bishop, the teller, was in his cage, and was about to take a deposit from Albert Gaslin, postmaster and manager of Lynch Bros.' store. Four men entered first, followed later by two more, while the seventh, the man with the rifle, stood on guard. One of the bandits took the $35 in bills from the deposit of Gaslin, leaving the $305 in cheques.

Meanwhile young Reay Fenton—experienced in being robbed—plunged back into his bedroom for his revolver. He grabbed it and turned to re-enter the banking room. Framed in the doorway was a masked robber. Fenton pointed the revolver at him. The bandit dodged back and shut the door. It was lucky for Fenton that he did, for the gun had missed fire, but the robber did not realize it. The clerk dropped to the floor and with his back to his bedstead braced his feet against the door.

While this was going on, the other gangsters were trying to get Bishop to open the main part of the safe. They had scooped out some $1,100 that was in the cage and in the compartment of the strong box, where the bulk of the money was kept. But Bishop did not have the combination. In order to try and persuade him the robbers started shooting about his feet. It was these shots that were heard by the preacher, and by others and gave the alarm.

Tatchell, the bank manager, had stopped for a moment to chat with Harry Lewis on the street corner. They heard a clattering and shouting inside the bank and went to investigate. They found their way barred by an armed man at the door. They ducked around the corner of the building, and away, yelling that the bank was being robbed.

The response to their calls for help was quick and decisive. Businessmen and substantial citizens had been waiting for just such an event. Rifles appeared as if my magic, and following the opening of the battle between the gunman and the parson, a fusilade swept the street.

Citizens raced in pursuit of the desperadoes as they fled towards the woods after the three had dropped. One by one three others went down wounded, and only the leader of the gang, dripping blood, made good his escape.

The fighting was over by the time that police arrived from Old Hazelton, but they, reinforced by men from other detachments and specials, searched the whole district. About 4 miles up the track and half a mile from it in the woods they came upon the camp. There they found the blood-stained clothes of the wounded man, who had changed his garments—but they never apprehended him.

The wounded man who crawled into the tented cabin lingered until May 4, at the hospital, when he died. The other three, less seriously hurt, came before Judge Fred Young, of the County Court, and were each sentenced to 20 years in prison and deportation to Russia at the end of their terms.

It was learned that originally the gang, whom one man said numbered 10, intended to rob the bank at Smithers, but they had been drinking in their bush camp at Hazelton and having looked the situation over, decided to "knock the bank over" at that place. One thug said that he had been recruited in Vancouver, the first intention being to commit robberies at Prince Rupert. Beyond these vagrant scraps of information the gunmen would say nothing. The police never learned the names of the two men who were instantly killed. The man who died at the hospital gave the name of Wana Dratnoff—but that was all he told about himself.


The Killer Instinct

Why was Philip Walker killed—shot down like a dog on his own doorstep? It is sixty years since an Indian, Casimir, murdered the man who had befriended him, but neither he, prior to his death on the scaffold, nor anyone else in the passing years explained the purpose of the assassination on that bright day of April, 1899, at Kamloops.

Philip Walker was a fine type of citizen. He was a native of Gray County, Ontario, and had come to British Columbia in 1886 when the railway started to haul passengers. He worked for a time for J. T. Edwards on his ranch, not only winning the regard of his employer but the hand of the boss's daughter.

The young couple tried ranching for a time, but about 1896 moved to Kamloops, where Philip obtained employment at Cameron & Milton's livery stables.

A generous and happy sort, he had favored the Indian Casimir when there was the odd day's employment to be handed out. He was on the best of terms with the native.

Casimir's reputation was not very good. He had frequently been in jail for minor offences and had served a two-year term in the penitentiary for an attempt on the life of Constable Smith, of the Provincial Police. Despite these facts, Walker was kind and well disposed to the Indian.

It was nearly supper time on the afternoon of Saturday, April 15, 1899. Walker had come home from his work. He went out to the yard to cut some firewood while Mrs. Walker busied herself in the kitchen.

Across the river from the Power homestead, young Dave Power, clerk in the establishment of E. G. Prior & Co., was driving some horses down to the river to drink.

"I heard some Indians shouting," he explained later, "and went to the fence to see what the trouble was. 1 saw an Indian just stepping out of his canoe on this side, about one hundred yards from me. He was shouting back to some other fellows on the other side of the river.

"I saw him pick up his rifle out of the canoe and come up in the direction of the street. He came running up the bank by Gaglietto's property, alongside my father's.

"I saw him go on to River Street and I started up to see where he was going. I just got to father's house and heard two shots fired. I ran to Mr. Walker's place. When I got there, I saw Mr. Walker in a sort of sitting position in his yard."

Dave power ran to the station where he found Dr. A. P. Proctor, Lee Anderson and James Netherton, and told them what had happened.

A stretcher was secured, Dr. Proctor ordering the wounded man to the hospital, and sending word to Dr. Lambert to assist him in his efforts to save the man's life.

"I asked Mr. Walker what was the trouble?" young Power told the coroner's jury later. "He said Casimir shot him. I asked him what it was about. He didn't know the Indian had any hard feelings against him. He didn't know what he could have shot him for!"

Apparently, when the Indian, wearing a bright green handkerchief wound about his head, appeared on the other side of the fence, and Walker saw him, he gave the native a cheery greeting and asked him where he was going.

"Going to shoot wild geese," was the reply as the assassin raised his repeating rifle and fired. Walker staggered a few feet, when a second shot brought him down, fatally wounded.

On the operating table at the hospital, as Doctors Proctor and Lambert prepared to operate, Walker made a deposition:

"I, Philip Walker, make oath and say that I am very ill and I believe I am going to die. I was shot at my own door by Casimir, Indian, the man who worked at my place. No words, no row; he came up and shot me twice."

Before killing Walker, Casimir had threatened a group of children playing in the next yard, pointing his gun at them. Mary Galdius, aged 8, told of how the evil-looking Indian, his dark features made more grotesque by the bright green handkerchief about his head, had menaced them with his rifle. Then he had turned and had deliberately shot down Walker as he was splitting firewood for his household.

Casimir fled after the killing.

Provincial Police Constable Martin Beattie alarmed the whole country by telegraph and special messengers. The Provincial Government, advised of the assassination, posted a reward of $200.

Police specials swarmed over the Indian Reserve, but the Indians all denied any knowledge of Casimir's whereabouts. Two Indians who had been with him prior to the shooting were taken into custody.

Several days later an Indian said that the fugitive had appeared on the reserve and had seized a horse at gun-point and had fled to the hills again. It was believed he was heading for Shuswap Lake.

On Wednesday, April 19, word was received that he was back at the reserve. Officers from the provincial jail at Kamloops, with specials hastened across the river.

He was located in a house, but would not surrender until 1 p.m., at which time there were many specials ready to rush the place.

He said later that he had been forced to come back for want of food. The horse, he said, had been given to him by Indians and he had not seized it.

As he was taken out of the house into a buggy, he nonchalantly lighted a cigarette and was driven off to prison.

The wheels of justice moved quickly.

He was given preliminary hearing, and appeared in the Assize Court and was sentenced to death within a week. He was hanged at Kamloops on June 2, within seven weeks of his crime.

He expressed regret on the scaffold, but he gave no reason for the killing, nor could any person suggest any but drunken bravado.

That it was deliberate would appear from his having to cross the river despite the efforts of the others to induce him to go back.

It was reported that all that day he had been hanging about the stables where Walker was employed, or parading by his home. Today, six decades later, the mystery is unsolved—why did Casimir kill Philip Walker?

Later, it was stated by Indian informants, that Casimir had been drinking and boasting of his bravery and prowess, and one of his listeners laughed at him and asked if he was courageous, as he had never killed a white man. In his befuddled mind he felt he must accept the challenge.


Under the Iron Washtub

It was a still, dark night, September 6, 1915, when Misses Lucetta McInnes and Florence Whitehouse heard a knock at the door of their homestead cabin some five miles from Fort St. James. Almost before they could call out for the visitors to enter, the door burst open and two women in night attire—one carrying a lantern—stumbled into the room, crying in terror that there had been a murder.

The visitors were Mrs. Elizabeth Coward and her daughter by a previous marriage, a teen-age girl named Rose. In answer to questions from the startled residents of the house, they wept out their fright that Jim Coward had been killed by Indians.

Jim Coward and his wife had arrived from San Francisco earlier in the year and had taken over an abandoned pre-emption. They had been joined later by the girl and upon her arrival Coward had arranged to sleep in the body of an old sleigh over which some canvas had been thrown on a frame. It was a little distance from the house.

It was from the direction of this sleeping-place of her husband that she had heard the angry shouting and the shot. "It was between 8 and 9 o'clock, and I was on my way out to kiss him goodnight when I heard them, and I went back into the house," she sobbed, "I just know that they have done something to him."

All through the night they kept watch, but when morning dawned mother and daughter said that they must go home and begged the others to go with them. In the grey light of daybreak they crossed over the bush trail to the Coward place.

For some time they lurked at the edge of the clearing, then nervously ventured towards the cabin, where for several moments they hesitated, until Mrs. Coward called for her daughter to accompany her to inspect the covered sleigh box.

"They looked in and screamed at what they saw," Miss McInnes reported. "They dressed and went back to our cabin with us."

Word was carried to neighbors, and a message was sent to Vanderhoof to Police Constable Rupert W. Rayner, and he, in turn informed Chief Constable Wm. R. Dunwoody, in charge of the Provincial Police Detachment at Prince George, who had command over the entire district. He hastened to the scene; Coroner John E. Hoosen, and Dave Hoy, J.P., as well as Dr. W. D. Stone of Vanderhoof also joined the forces of the law in investigating the tragedy.

The post-mortem examination conducted by Dr. Stone revealed that a revolver had been held to the nostril of an apparently sleeping man and a bullet had been shot through his brain.

The soft-nosed bullet was recovered. It was badly misshapen, and at first was believed to be one of .32 calibre, but Chief Dunwoody did not think so. He located a pair of gold scales at the old fort and on the lead being weighed it proved to be the weight of a .38 calibre bullet.

Mrs. Coward readily produced a gun of .32 calibre, but it had not been recently discharged.

At the inquest the story of the tragedy was repeated, but with greater detail. Mrs. Coward told of how her daughter was already in bed and she had just dropped on her knees beside her cot when the shot rang out.

Mrs. Coward and Rose were taken to Vanderhoof to await developments. Chief Dunwoody and his assistants continued their inspection of the place. He was sure that there was another revolver about the premises, and especially so when a cartridge belt was located filled with .38 calibre bullets.

The chief and Dave Hoy started a foot-by-foot examination of the vicinity of the killing. The big police inspector was once more going over the sleigh, when Hoy gave a shout.

Looking towards him, Dunwoody saw him bending over a washtub that he was holding with one side resting on the ground.

"Look," half whispered the Vanderhoof man, as he pointed to a revolver on the ground. It was undoubtedly a .38 double-action Ivor Johnson weapon. Together they stood for several minutes looking at the gun, until they were certain that they knew its precise location.

Then Dunwoody picked it up and hurried off to the Fort, where in the stock of the Hudson's Bay Company he found a duplicate. One shot was fired from it—for a single chamber had been discharged in the gun under the washtub. Then back at the pre-emption the Hudson's Bay duplicate revolver was placed exactly where the other had rested and the iron washtub was put back on the marks that its rim had made on the ground.

Rayner, the indefatigable police constable who had found the cartridge belt had also made another discovery. It was a little note book that Coward carried in his clothing. It was filled with unintelligible memos in lead pencil. Through these the patient policeman worked his way. Then he came upon this: "Threatened to shoot me if I molested the dog in any way, this was about 7 a.m. Sept. 2, 1915." But there was nothing to suggest the identity of the person who made the threat.

It was the next day that Mrs. Coward said that she would like to visit the cabin to obtain some clothing. A friendly woman offered to accompany her. Dunwoody readily agreed and said he would arrange to secure Dave Hoy's buggy for the trip.

Before the party was ready to leave, however, the chief had given instructions to Constable Rayner who galloped off as hard as he could on horseback to the place.

Arriving at the murder scene Rayner hid his horse and then secreted himself in a little barn on the premises. From it, he could keep watch on the iron washtub.

Hoy's carriage stopped at some little distance from the Coward clearing and the two women walked over to the cabin. They were inside for some minutes; then emerged laden with articles. As they stepped clear of the door, Mrs. Coward, as if recollecting something, said she would have to go back for a moment, and asked the other woman to take her load to the buggy.

Mrs. Coward watched until her friend had gone over the rise, and then she turned, stepped to the side of the tub.

She looked at it for a moment, and then stooped down, and carefully lifted it a few inches and looked at the gun laying there. Then she replaced the tub, turned and followed the other woman to where the horses and buggy waited.

On her return to Vanderhoof, Chief Dunwoody placed Mrs. Coward under arrest for murder, while Rose was held as an accessory.

It was one thing to have a suspicion, and another to prove guilt in court. Time was short, for it was only a few weeks until the assizes for the district would be held at Clinton. Dunwoody had to act and that quickly. He left without delay for San Francisco, having learned that it was from that place that the Cowards had come.

At the Golden Gate the chief found out a great deal; that Coward had been a boarder at her home. She had left her husband for him. Coward had been a marshal in a small town in Iowa before he came west.

He learned that Coward had been employed as a guard at the San Francisco Exhibition. Apparently she wanted him to leave the city and go away, and when he would not do as she proposed, she sought to have him discharged from his position.

A woman of passionate temper, she had flown into a rage when talking to an exhibition official and shouted that she would "take him up into Canada and murder him there."

In her anger she put a similar threat on paper, and Dunwoody obtained the note. Then he had to search for evidences of her handwriting and obtain expert opinion upon them. He heard that her former spouse was living in Watsonville, Cal., and went there to listen to the recital of the difficulties that the unfortunate man had had with her. He averred that she had threatened him.

The trained police inspector knew that all the evidence he had obtained must be supported by testimony of "incentive" before a conviction could be expected. By chance he thought that he had a clue, and so he boarded a train and journeyed to Forrest City, Iowa. There he discovered an agent who had placed a policy on the life of Coward.

He returned by way of Winnipeg, where he had to interview the railway immigration agent who had helped them to settle at Fort St. James. Having done this he hastened home as fast as he could, reaching Clinton an hour before the Assize Court opened.

Mrs. Coward entered the witness box and repeated her tale of the killing. She also told a pathetic story of her life, bringing tears to the eyes of some of those in the courtroom.

But all the time that she was talking, the big Irish inspector was quietly writing, and when the Crown counsel rose to cross-examine her, he had before him a pile of notes based upon Dunwood's detective work in the south. As the quiet voice of the lawyer probed the truth of her tale, she paled, hesitated and then swooned.

It took the jury only a few minutes to bring in a verdict of "guilty." Then Mr. Justice Denis Murphy pronounced a sentence rarely heard in Western Canada—death, for a woman.

But she did not mount the scaffold, for her sentence was commuted to one of life imprisonment. The charge against Rose was dismissed.

Inspector Dunwoody rose to second in command of the Provincial Police before his retirement. One of the satisfying memories that he held was how Justice Murphy complimented him, not only upon the remarkable piece of detective work that he accomplished, but the fairness in which he presented his case.

When asked: "What aroused your suspicions that Mrs. Coward had murdered her husband?" he answered, "I first became suspicious when she tried to improve her story of where she was when she heard the shot. At first she had just backed into the house after hearing angry voices. That was a plausible tale—but when she added that she had just got down on her knees beside the bed, it made me think she was not telling the truth. It was too good."


"Hang with the Gang"

When detectives arrested Herman F. Clarke, alias Bastian, a slim, fair-haired, steely-eyed underworld character, as he was about to board an interurban train out of Vancouver, on May 29, 1913, the man murmered prophetically a German proverb: "Go with the gang; hang with the gang."

Some months later, when the prophecy was fulfilled, another young man, pasty-faced Frank Davis, dope addict and gangster, shared Clarke's fate on the same gallows.

They were executed for the cold-blooded killing of Constable James Archibald, a fine type of man, and a handsome one as he stood—an inch over six feet and straight as a ramrod—on parade. Before joining the Vancouver police he had served in the police of his native Scotland. He soon won for himself the respect of his superiors and the regard of his fellow-constables. He was always dependable.

William Hamilton was an easy-going individual who owned a house-boat shack drawn up on the beach off Powell Street, near the sugar refinery. There was nothing vicious about Hamilton, but he was not particular as to the character of his associates. In a saloon one night Hamilton met swarthy Joe "Blackie" Seymour, burglar, crook, and general ne'er-do-well. They became friendly, and Hamilton invited him to share his cabin.

Hamilton, who had been working at the Hastings shingle mill left to take a trip up the coast, leaving the shack in charge of Seymour. This was just what "Blackie" wanted. Here was a place where he could collect a "gang" of evil-doers and prey upon the public. He invited two of his drinking companions to take up lodgings with him in Hamilton's home. There were Clarke, an American of German descent, and of good family—it was reported that his father was a judge in the United States; and Frank Davis, a weak character, son of a respectable citizen of Toronto, who had become a drug addict. They moved in with their guns, burglars tools and dynamite to be used for the manufacture of "soup," plus a special safe-cracking tool that Clarke had invented.

Everything was ready, and they determined to start upon their campaign of crime on the night of May 27. It was planned to commence by holding up citizens on Shaughnessy Heights, after which several places that had been "cased" could be broken into and robbed. Some of the tools were taken to the lane behind the Barnard Castle Hotel on Powell Street where they were hidden in preparation for the robbery of a liquor store. Then the trio returned to the shack. Clarke produced the weapons and handed one .38 calibre revolver to each of the others, while he armed himself with two of similar make. Belts were donned to prevent the guns showing beneath their coats. They were about to leave when Davis called a halt while he made himself a black mask—and by doing so, sealed his own fate, and that of Clarke. He tore a piece of black cloth from an old skirt, and cut out two oval bits as eye-holes. These he put in the fire-box of the unlighted stove.

It had been arranged that they would board the same street-car at different points and go to the end of the Fourth Avenue line in Kitsilano, and walk from there to Shaughnessy Heights where they were to rob pedestrians. Clarke and Davis got on the car and sat some seats apart but "Blackie" Seymour did not appear. At Alma Road, Clarke and Davis waited for the arrival of several more cars, but "Blackie" did not arrive. They concluded that he had "run out" on them. He might even have "tipped off" the police. So, cursing Seymour, they returned to the shack.

Hamilton had returned from his vacation. He expressed no surprise at finding additional lodgers in his house, and they complained to him that "Blackie" had run out on them. They concluded that he had got drunk and missed connections. But they could go on with the balance of the night's planned activity of crime. They went to the office of the Hastings shingle mill and broke into it. They rifled a trunk that had been left there, and took a satchel which they filled with loot, including a supply of postage stamps. They returned to the shack and left the proceeds of their foray there.

The next place that was to be robbed was the Findlay Grocery at 2132 Powell Street. Here a window was smashed, but the noise was such that it aroused the proprietor living above the store. Findlay's wife telephoned to the police while he kept watch from the window. He moved the blind aside, and the thugs saw this and ran.

Sergeant Charles J. Yorke, on duty at police headquarters, on receiving the information about the attempted break-in, told call operator Phillip Raines to despatch Constable Archibald to investigate. It was not on Archibald's beat, but close to it—and he was a dependable and courageous officer.

When more than an hour passed without Archibald having reported in to the police station, Raines became alarmed and informed Sergeant Yorke, and when more time went by in silence, he notified the detective department to investigate. Men were sent to search for the constable. They found he had not called at the grocery store. More detectives and constables were sent to look for him. All through the hours of darkness they searched in vain. Then, shortly after 8 a.m., Sergeant Alex M. Campbell, in beating through a vacant and bush-covered space in the 1900 block Powell Street, stumbled across the body of James Archibald, with two bullet holes in the vicinity of his heart.

Detective Inspector William McRae put every man on the force to work to find the slayers of the policeman. Detective Dick Levis—who was to meet a similar fate at the hands of a thug—was an outstanding officer, and had as his partner another officer of ability, burly Bob Tisdale. They remembered having seen "Blackie" Seymour, whom they regarded as a dangerous crook, drinking with two others several days before. Working on a hunch, they started to search for Seymour, and it was not long until they had traced him to Hamilton's shack. There they found him in bed and arrested him on a charge of vagrancy.

They searched the shack and found two oval bits of black cloth in the stove and a larger piece of the same material.

Sure now that they were on the right track, they locked up Seymour and started to comb the city for the two who had been seen in his company. It was not long before Clarke and Davis were in jail on open charges, and Hamilton was locked up as a material witness.

"Blackie" was not prepared to sacrifice himself on the altar of friendship for his fellow-gangsters. He didn't mind doing a "stretch" for burglary, but Canadian courts had a way of looking upon murder as a serious crime, punishable by death. So "Blackie" talked. The story that the paunchy thief told, he said he had received from Davis in jail after they had been locked up. It was:—

On his way to investigate the attempt to break into the Findlay Grocery, Constable Archibald saw the flare when Clarke lit a match to have a smoke in the wooded lot, where they were hiding their burglary tools for the night. The policeman drew his revolver and entered the bushes. He came upon the two, and shone the light of his electric lamp upon them.

"Who are you, and what are you doing here?" he questioned.

"We just got into town," Clarke answered, "and we thought we'd sleep here in the bushes until morning."

"What is that?" Archibald demanded, motioning towards the 'jimmy' that Clarke held in his hand.

"Oh, that—why, that's one of the tools of our trade!" Clarke sneered as he stepped back, drew his revolver and fired point-blank into the big chest of the policeman.

The two fled in terror. After running some distance Davis remembered that they had forgotten their tools. They went back for them, and took the constable's revolver and flashlight. These they threw into a pond at the corner of Clark Drive and Hastings Street, and went on for some blocks before hiding the tools.

It was a foolish and useless thing to take the revolver and light—but they were badly frightened, and in their fright they forgot to take the one thing that could—and did—convict them. It was the black mask.

The black pieces of cloth all matched, the bits found in the stove fitting into the eyeholes of the mask, and the larger piece was plainly torn from the black skirt.

Such is the story of how Constable James Archibald was slain and how his murderers were caught. The coroner's inquest echoed the public indignation of the day, and recommended that all brush that covered vacant lots and might provide cover for criminals be removed; that shacks that harbored gangsters and crooks be torn down, and that "sufficient police be provided to have two on all dangerous beats at night."

Elmer Jones, an able lawyer, well versed in criminal law, defended Clarke, while the court appointed a young lawyer who was later to be attorney-general, R. L. (Pat) Maitland, to conduct the defence of Davis. They did all that they could do, but the case presented to Mr. Justice Morrison at the Assize Court by A. Dunbar Taylor, K.C., was too strong. They were sentenced to death and duly executed.

"Go with the gang; hang with the gang," was a prophecy fulfilled.


Trading Dangerously

Something of the danger and nerve-wracking tension that accompanied the West Coast's first days of commerce may be glimpsed from the old trading book of the Hudson's Bay Company steamer Labouchere for 1859, now preserved in the B.C. Archives. The methods of barter, the need for constant vigilance and the exercise of the precise protocol of native ceremony were just as important at that time as half a century before.

The trip of the Labouchere on that particular summer was, however, of more than ordinary importance, for it was upon the return journey from Alaska that Captain Charles Dodd secured that for which he had been searching for several years, and which threatened to result in his own death on more than one occasion—the scalp of Colonel Isaac N. Ebey, a United States official who had been decapitated by Northern Indians on Whidbey Island.

The Labouchere left Victoria on August 3 and traded up the coast with some success, arriving at Fort Simpson on August 22. There the furs gathered on the northward trip were landed and new trading goods were taken on board.

Leaving Fort Simpson on August 29 she proceeded to the Stikine where, "the Indians were troublesome the whole day, with respect to an increase in the tariff. They began reluctantly to trade at 3 p.m. After disposing of a few furs they seemed more content and left the vessel in a good humor. Gallons of oil traded, this day, 130."

Trade was better the next day, and was described as "fair." It included "118 beaver; 45 bear; 1 silver fox; 1 red fox; 2 cross-fox; 45 lynx; 67 marten; 100 mink; 8 land otter; 9 marmots; 6 wolverines 320 squirrels and 180 gallons of oil."

From Stikine the vessel traded along the coast to Kake, where she arrived on the afternoon of Sunday and fired several cannon to apprise the Indians of the presence of the boat for trade. The next afternoon a few canoes arrived. They brought the intelligence that four "Boston ships" (United States vessels) had been recently trading in those waters. Captain Dodd in his journal adds, "This possibly may be true but we imagine not unknown to the Russian authorities." This remark is eloquent of the underlying distrust with which the Russians were regarded. The Hudson's Bay Company had trading rights, under lease, in Southern Alaska, owned by Russia, but the trading officers of the Hudson's Bay Company did not place much reliance in the good faith of their landlords. On one occasion, earlier, J. W. Mackay had discovered them trying to incite the Indians to attack the British traders.

The Labouchere stayed at Kake for several days, and then went on to Cape Fanshaw. Furs were traded, and in preparation of carrying letters to the Russians at Sitka, Captain Dodd noted: "We take with us from here the Chief Chokake and 3 men with their canoe to assist us in mustering the Indians and more especially to go to Sitka as the Awke tribe possibly may refuse to send a canoe for us."

Now Captain Dodd ran into difficulties, for he found that an Indian war was being waged between two tribes, interfering with trade. It was at Sam-dan village that he found that the natives, "have only seal skins to trade, being at variance with the Taco tribe, they would not venture to pass their village (which they must do) before they could ascend the river and get to the inland people with whom they trade." Seal skins were not highly regarded. Captain Dodd had to be content to accept 300 seal skins and a few bear skins at Sam-dan.

At the site of old Fort Durham, on Taco Inlet, he heard again of the activities of the Boston traders. But he obtained a "fair trade" including 271 beaver.

It was September 16 when the Labouchere dropped anchor at Awke, where, "we were visited by several canoes, the first of which informed us their people were very displeased at our bringing Chokake and his party with us from Cape Fanshaw. (We took this necessary precaution thinking the Awke people might, as they did last trip, refuse to go to Sitka, thereby detaining the steamer). They also spoke about payment for two of their tribe that were drowned conveying, or rather, returning after conveying our despatches to Sitka last year, and threatened to break the canoe (Chokake's canoe) to pieces. The old chief, 'Sheggar,' now arrived in a canoe manned by 25 young braves; admitted him on board. He wanted also to get the whole of his young men on deck, a request Captain Dodd politely declined, as there were no ladies present to lend charm to the interview. He further gave them to understand that if they attempted to injure the canoe, he would fire into them. They might also please themselves whether they supplied us with fuel or even trade their skins, as we are totally independent of them in every respect." The bold attitude of the captain had the desired effect; trade was started next day, and included amongst many furs 500 seal skins.

Chokake was sent off on Sept. 18 during a trip to Chilcat, to which place the Labouchere proceeded, only to find another inter-tribal war being waged. Repeated efforts to start trade were attempted. Bulletins were received by Captain Dodd as to the progress of the fighting; all manner of rumors were retailed to him as well. Finding it was impossible to do anything, but it being the place of rendezvous with Chokake, the Labouchere traded elsewhere before coming back to meet the messenger to Sitka. On October 1, the vessel was back, and that afternoon "We were agreeably surprised at the arrival of 5 canoes containing Hoona Jack and the wives of the principal men, with a small quantity of furs in each canoe, sufficient only to trade and supply their immediate wants. They promise us that they will keep all their furs until we return next year, but no doubt some of them will fall into the hands of the Russians."

The female blockade runners, under Hoona Jack's heroic guidance, dashed away again. And the voyage was continued. Chokake had returned and was sent off to Kake on another errand.

It was at Kake on October 8 that Captain Dodd finally secured the scalp of Colonel Ebey, for which he had to pay six blankets, one cotton handkerchief, a fathom of cotton, 3 pipes and 6 heads of tobacco. It was recorded that in attempting to secure this ghastly trophy on a previous visit Captain Dodd's life and the safety of the vessel had been endangered. He took the scalp south and delivered it to the American authorities, for which he received the thanks of the Territorial Legislature of Washington.

At a place called Haneyob, the Labouchere was greeted with music and dancing, the Indians laying a platform over several canoes on which to perform. At this place, too, they took on board a young American halfbreed, to work on the vessel. They gave him the name of "William Boston," he being possessed only of an Indian name. The vessel arrived back at Fort Simpson on October 18. Her hold was well filled with land furs, seal pelts and large gallonage of seal and fish oils. It had been an average trip.


The Incriminating Knife

John Chinaman was a bad Indian. He was a Musqueam residing near the mouth of the North Arm of the Fraser River. He was feared, even by his own people, as a turbulent and dangerous man. The white population that had but recently come with the gold rush to the Fraser sandbars in the vicinity of Yale, had dubbed him, "John Chinaman" because of his Oriental appearance.

The Indian's most prized possession was a curious, double-ended knife, fashioned from a large file, with a beaded handle between the blades. This deadly weapon was his constant companion and was rarely out of his hand. With it, he menaced natives and whites alike.

It was the summer of 1859; the stampede to the auriferous beaches of the great river where it broke through the Cascades was still on. Fort Victoria was the outfitting point in British territory, but the American traders had diverted much of the trade to several settlements on Puget Sound. From Vancouver Island and Whatcom, Port Townsend and other points of the line, adventurers came by sloop; canoe, raft, rowboat and anything that would float. Many of them died on the way. They fell victims to their inexperience in handling small craft—and many also perished from bullet, arrow and knife.

From records left by Hon. Edgar Dewdney—then a young engineer but later Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia—now in the B.C. Archives, and also from details set down by Julius Voight, a Prussian officer with a penchant for detective work, the tale of how one party of gold-seekers was wiped out, may be pieced together. John Chinaman's part in the massacre was undoubted, and led to his execution.

It was getting dark when a sailboat, carrying some five whites, including a woman, landed on McRobarts Island—now known as Sea Island. John Chinaman and several cut-throat companions watched them start a fire and prepare their evening meal.

It was evident from the manner in which the men and women prepared their camp, and the utter lack of preparedness against hostile surprise, that they were wholly inexperienced in the life of a savage land. John Chinaman and his associates watched with contempt the pitching of the camp and the distance that it was placed from water, and its proximity to thick bushes. The strangers were just starting to eat when John Chinaman sauntered towards the party of whites. They all arose and turned towards him, not seeing that others emerged from the shrubbery behind them as they did so.

It was only a minute or so after that before a bullet was fired and one of the men dropped. Then John Chinaman's death-dealing knife struck, and another man crumpled, and then pitched forward. The woman tried to run, only to die beneath another knife blade, while the remaining men were also butchered.

John Chinaman and his companions looted the boat, removing the contents, and then they punched holes in the hull and sank it in the river. In the division of the spoils there was dissatisfaction, for John Chinaman claimed the major portion.

Julius Voight, one-time German army officer and later a sea captain, was a powerful fearless fellow. He spent much of his time with the Indians about the mouth of the Fraser River. The complaints about the manner in which John Chinaman had retained the more valuable share of the proceeds of the murder and piracy soon reached the attentive ears of Julius Voight. He set about making inquiries and was soon able to piece together the story of the crime. Having done so, he got in touch with Inspector Chartres Brew of the British Columbia Colonial Police. He recommended that an escort of soldiers and of Royal Marines accompany the police to apprehend the Indians. Consequently several boat loads of police specials with a military escort rowed down the Fraser from New Westminster to surprise the murderers at Musqueam.

They were definitely in search for John Chinaman, for Voight, in examining the vicinity of the massacre, had found the double-ended knife, which he immediately recognized; John Chinaman had lost it during the argument over division of the spoils. The Indian was uneasy as a result of his loss. He seemed to have a premonition of disaster as a result of the absence of the weapon. So it was that he was on the look-out, and saw the two boats approaching down the stream. He did not wait, but fled into the forest, crossing over Point Grey to English Bay, from where he managed to make his way to his friends, the Sechelt Indians, to the north of Howe Sound.

The police were disappointed, although they arrested a young brave—a handsome young chap—and his squaw, on suspicion.

Voight went back to New Westminster with the police and their escort and had a long talk with Superintendent Brew, who realized that it was more important than ever that John Chinaman be captured, for his escape only added to his importance in the eyes of other Indian desperados. He must be traced and be brought back, Brew declared, but how? Voight volunteered to hunt the man down. It was a daring thing to offer, for the Indians were ferocious. Brew said he could offer no escort, to which Voight replied that he required none. So it was arranged.

The big German put off from the mouth of the Fraser in a canoe with a crew of two. He suspected that John Chinaman would head for the land of the Sechelts, where he had friends. Landing there he informed a chief that Queen Victoria had sent him to get John Chinaman, and he demanded that the chief assist him. This amused the Indian potentate. Voight, using the knowledge that he had acquired of Indian character, pointed out that the Queen had really paid him a compliment in selecting him to perform such an important task. Moreover, the Queen had told him that he could pay the chief handsomely for any assistance that he provided.

This was an argument that appealed to the cupidity of the Sechelt tyee. Picking up his flintlock musket he motioned for Voight to follow him. Leading him along the beach for a little way, they plunged into the forest, and after following a scarcely-perceptible path for a short distance they emerged into a fairly open meadow in which several large trees grew. Without saying a word, the Chief aimed into the branches of one of the trees, pulled the trigger: there was a report, and John Chinaman tumbled to the ground—dead. "Like a sitting duck," declared Voight later.

"And, now, do I get my blankets?" demanded the Chief. Voight had forgotten to specify that he wanted John Chinaman alive.

With the chief criminal dead, the authorities did not press the charge against the young Indian and squaw.

The manner in which John Chinaman fell upon his victims in search of white men's valuables, was not exceptional. No count has been ever made, nor can any approximate estimate be made of the white adventurers who were killed during the early days of the gold rush to the Fraser River. In the same summer, Police Commissioner A. F. Pemberton of the Crown Colony of Vancouver's Island*, left a record of another attempt to commit mass murder. Under date of April 29, 1859, Mr. Pemberton forwarded a statement made by Nicola John, a Greek, and Antonio Navarqur, an Austrian, of their experience.

*The Island Colony was spelled "Vancouver's Island" until 1866 when it united with British Columbia. Originally it had been named by Vancouver and Quadra jointly for themselves, but common usage resulted in dropping the possessive "Quadra's" and leaving "Vancouver's."

The pair had left Fort Langley, on the Fraser River, the preceding Saturday to proceed to Fort Victoria, and had entered into the labyrinth of channels amongst the Gulf Islands on Sunday.

"When coming to the first land towards Victoria, after passing the gulf," the statement asserted, "one canoe with two men came up and tried to take a pistol. Afterwards, five more canoes came up. When the Indians tried to take the pistol they (the boatmen) resisted and one of them took up an axe. Afterwards the Indians landed. The boatmen went further down towards a point of land: when they arrived at this point, the Indians ashore fired at the boat, and one of the boatmen received two slugs in his thigh. The boat and sails were also perforated by balls from the guns. The boat at this time was not more than six yards from shore.

"The Indians stood on a high rock, close above, and fired down into the boat. The boatmen then put the boat into the current and ran back into the gulf and stayed there all night. Then they took two days to come to Victoria, where they arrived on Tuesday, the 20th instant.

"If the boatmen had been standing up they would have been shot by the Indians, but they laid down in the bottom of the boat on one side, the other side of the boat thus forming a shield from the bullets of the Indians. After the Indians had fired at the boatmen, one of the boatmen returned their fire from a six-shooting revolver."

These two men escaped with only one of them wounded, because they were prepared to defend themselves. The victims of John Chinaman were not.


Shipwreck and Slaughter

It was the winter of 1873 that the steamship George S. Wright, Captain Thos. J. Ainsley, disappeared on a voyage down the coast from Alaska. Now, more than eighty-five years later, the manner of her loss is still as much a mystery as it was at the time.

Search was maintained for several years; wild stories were circulated as to the fate of the 12 passengers and 21 officers and crew. These included a report that a number of survivors of the foundering of the vessel in Milbank Sound, between the southern tip of the Queen Charlotte's and the northern end of Vancouver Island had landed near Cape Caution and had been murdered by Indians. This rumor led to extraordinary action on the part of the authorities. H.M.S. Rocket, carrying police, went to Kimsquit, many miles distant from Cape Caution, where a demand was made for the alleged witnesses of the massacres. These not being forthcoming, the village was bombarded.

The steamer, an American vessel, left Kluvok, Alaska, on January 25, southbound. Her next point of call was to be Nanaimo, where she was to take on coal. She failed to appear. Weeks passed, but no word was received of the fate of the vessel, or where she went down.

Then, from what can be learned from old newspaper reports, rumors began to spread. It was in April of 1877 that The British Colonist reported that "Major Walker's cash box was found at Bella Bella, and a piece of the mast of the George S. Wright, at Kimsquit." Walker was a U.S. army paymaster who was a passenger. Commenting editorially the paper, April 7, 1877, assembled the facts as reported to that date. "Three canoes filled with Kimsquit Indians reached Victoria and reported they had discovered portions of the wreck of a steamer on the beach at Cape Caution, a promontory on the northeast coast of the Island, nearly opposite the northern end of Vancouver Island. They brought with them packages of furs and skins that had formed part of the cargo and the nameboard of the steamer."

The body of a boy and that of a man, both wearing life-preservers, were also reported as having been found in the vicinity.

It was in the spring of 1877 that Alfred Dudower, the master of the sloop Ringleader, arrived at Victoria to report that he had been told by Charley Hempsett, Bella Bella chief, that another Indian "told him he was one of the survivors of the George S. Wright, and that the others had been murdered by the Indians."

Other reports reaching Victoria about that time, as set out in a letter from Charles Tod, superintendent of police, to the attorney-general, were to the effect that the mass murders were committed by "four canoe loads of Kimsquit Indians and one or more canoe loads of Bella Coola Indians."

Amid such startling stories the Government decided to take action. The naval authorities at Esquimalt were asked to provide a gunboat, and H.M.S. Rocket, Captain C. R. Harris, was placed at the disposal of Lieut.-Gov. Richards, to take investigating officers up the coast.

The gunboat left Esquimalt on March 14, with Police Sergeant Chas. P. Bloomfield and Alfred Dudower aboard.

The gunboat went to Fort Rupert where George Hunt was taken aboard as interpreter and three Indians, believed to have knowledge of the affair, were also embarked. The ship went to Cape Caution where a search of the vicinity revealed nothing.

The Rocket then steamed to Kimsquit where it was found that the head chief was absent, but that the other chiefs still remaining "promised to come off the next morning, it being too late then."

The following day, March 29, when no Indians came off to the steamer, Sergeant Bloomfield, Dudower and the interpreter went ashore. The Indians denied that there were any chiefs present, but it was later discovered that there were four chiefs in the village. In the afternoon, seven chiefs came aboard. They were told they must surrender the Indians who were present at the tragedy involving the passengers and crew of the George S. Wright. The Indians denied that there were any witnesses then in the village and later are said to have admitted that three men and a woman who had knowledge of the affair were there. An effort was made to arrest them. One youth threatened to shoot Dudower, and his father coming to the assistance of his son, also threatened. He evaded capture and fled to the woods with his gun, calling on the camp to offer resistance.

"Sergeant Bloomfield and party returned on board with the two prisoners," the official record of the affair sets out. "The six other chiefs (the seventh one had accompanied the shore party) had been detained on board and were informed of what had taken place on shore, and then all were told the old man and the woman, already spoken of, were to be delivered up on board the ship at 9 o'clock the next morning; failing which the village would be burnt. Two chiefs were detained on board for the night as hostages."

Precisely at 9 a.m. the next day, the Indians not appearing, the gunboat was moved into position off the village and the gig and galley bearing special police and marines, all under command of William Bailey, landed. "On arriving," the record states, "the village was found nearly deserted, two chiefs with a few others only remaining, one of whom was arrested and the other ran off; the Indians wanted were not found. Those present were again informed that the village would be fired into and burnt if the offenders were not given up; the boat then returned to the ship; fired blank from great guns; then two 20-lb. shells, one on each side of the village."

Further parleying now took place with the Indians who promised to surrender the wanted individuals. Messengers were sent to bring them in, but when they did not appear ... "Mr. Bailey and Sergeant Bloomfield examined the village to see that there were no inhabitants—men, women, or children—left and the boats having returned, blank charges were then fired and afterwards shell, round the skirts of the village, then into the village itself, and after a few rounds the gig was sent in as before to fire the house of the old man who had threatened life; this was accomplished and the boat returned and the ship proceeded to Bella Coola."

According to a report made to Dr. Israel W. Powell, superintendent of Indians affairs, by the natives, six houses had been burned with all their contents of food, personal goods and nets and other gear, and canoes had been destroyed. It was also told him Dr. Powell said, that a number of Indians died from exposure after the affair.

The Indians who had been detained were locked up in jail in Victoria, but after months of imprisonment were liberated because there was no charge against them that could be proceeded with by the authorities.

Four years later, in 1881, Dr. Powell, who was trying to obtain some recompense for the Kimsquit Indians, for the loss of their homes, told the Ottawa Government: "There is, after all, no reason to believe that the crew of the ill-fated steamer 'Wright' had been foully dealt with, and, in view of this their (the Kimsquit Indians') case is certainly a hard one and deserving, in my opinion, of practical and humane consideration."

And so it is that even to this day the fate of the steamer George S. Wright is still one of the greatest marine mysteries of the Pacific Coast.


Battle in Jail

"Captain John" was a Haida chief. His Indian name is not recorded, but the whites of his day knew him as a bold leader who commanded great authority among his own people. He did not look much like an Indian, and may have had the blood of some early trader in his veins—for he was a big, powerful fellow and boasted a full beard, of which he was very proud. He spoke good English, too, for he had traveled to California and elsewhere as a member of the crew of a "Boston" vessel.

It was in the summer of 1860 that Captain John led a veritable armada of long Haida war canoes to Victoria from the distant Queen Charlotte Islands. Estimates of the number of tribesmen accompanying the chief vary from several hundred to 3,000. In any event they were in sufficient numbers to make them both bold and insulting. Some idea of the situation that these visitors to Victoria created may be obtained from the written record of police commissioner and Magistrate A. F. Pemberton, who said:—

"When I sent a message to Captain John ... to the effect that I was coming with 100 soldiers (Royal Marines) by order of Governor Douglas to attack him if he did not give up certain offenders who had fired upon the schooner Royal Charlie, he threatened to shoot my messenger; and was very insolent to myself. When I rode before the troops to demand the culprits, I perceived that he had his men posted behind a brush fence through which the muzzles of their guns protruded.

"Thus, the marines, who were drawn up in a single line, were exposed to the guns of the Indians. I informed Major Maguin of this: and he altered his position, placing his men behind stumps, trees and rocks, so that Captain John's men were like a flock of sheep in a pen. I then returned to Captain John and told him I should order the troops to open fire upon him if he resisted the constables when I should send them into his camp at the end of 10 minutes time: I also desired him to send out the Indian women and children. This had the desired effect, and the offenders were given up."

The trouble did not end with the arrest of the Indians who had fired upon the Royal Charlie. It so happened that a chief of the Tongas tribe, in Alaskan waters, was on board the schooner and was struck by one of the musket balls, and subsequently succumbed. This, with further information obtained by the authorities, pointed the finger of responsibility directly at Captain John and his brother.

It was on July 2, 1860, that Horace Smith, police court clerk, was given charge of a party to effect the arrest of Captain John and his brother on a charge of having murdered the Tongas tyee. The little force, in addition to Smith, consisted of Sergeant John G. Taylor and Constables Whelan and Dillon. They succeeded in serving the warrants and brought the two Haida leaders to the police station, located on the site of the present Victoria Court House.

As Taylor and his men escorted the two prisoners to jail that pleasant July afternoon in 1860, there was no suspicion that the native warriors intended to resist incarceration. They were quiet and peaceable when handed over to Jailer John Crowley.

Crowley started to search Captain John. "He would not allow me to search him," the jailer explained in his report to the coroner's court. He called upon Smith and Whelan to hold the Indian while he conducted the routine search. Captain John spoke to his brother in the Haida tongue.

"They both drew their knives and made a rush upon us," Crowley said. "Captain John made a pass at me. Mr. Smith caught hold of him. Whilst they were struggling together the other Indian made a rush upon me with his knife. I warded off the blow with my hand. At the same time Captain John made a thrust at me with his knife. Officer Whelan laid hold of the other Indian and knocked him down; when down he got his knee upon his (the Indian's) chest."

"While in that position a shot was fired from the outside of the passage in the jail, which struck Whelan. He said 'I am shot.' During this time I saw the Indian trying to stab him with his knife. After he had been shot Whelan got up and managed to get away."

When the wounded officer was able to get free from the narrow passage in which the two ferocious Haidas were thrusting and whirling and stabbing at the policemen, Crowley was left between them and the inner part of the prison. The natives turned on him and made a rush at him, with their knives uplifted.

"Just at that moment," Crowley reported, "a shot was fired from without and Captain John fell. The other Indian stabbed at me several times. I put my back against one of the cells and gave him a kick in the abdomen which felled him ... I then succeeded in passing him to the other part of the passage. He got up and followed me with his knife. In passing out I drew my revolver. When I got outside of the door I turned around and fired upon him ... To the best of my belief my shot took effect. Other shots were fired. He was killed by them."

Taylor, in his deposition, told of the swirling dance of death in the narrow passage-way, and how he had seen some person—he could not say with certainty who it was—fell one of the natives with a chair in the earlier phases of the struggle. It was Taylor who fired the shot that wounded Constable Whelan. He had intended to hit Captain John, because he realized that the lives of the constables were in jeopardy.

Horace Smith, who was later to become police superintendent and take part in many desperate struggles with infuriated Indians, told in his report to the coroner, that he had accompanied the others to the Indian camp on orders. He had gone into a native hut and arrested the Haida brothers. Whelan and Constable Dillon were with him. "I told them I arrested them for the murder of Tongas Chief. Captain John told me it was a Cowichan slave who had killed him. He asked me how many dollars the Tongas klootchman gave Governor Douglas to send me to arrest him. I told him 'none!' He said I was a liar."

Continuing, Smith related that when Captain John drew his knife he had seized the Indian by the throat, but the chief had managed to twist his head and sink his teeth into Smith's wrist. After the shooting commenced, he added: "I now saw through the smoke; the jailer was down and an Indian upon him. The Indian's left side was exposed to me, whilst his right hand was uplifted with the knife. I fired at his armpit ... The Indian (Captain John) at once fell to the ground. Captain John's brother at this time was in pursuit of the jailer with his knife uplifted. I now heard two other shots fired and the other Indian fell dead."

Such is the story of how Captain John ... one of the most feared and unusual Indians of his day—and his brother defied the authority of the great White Queen, and died in a hopeless attempt to carve their way out of the white man's jail through a wall of policemen.


The Smallpox War

It was in the early "nineties" that the "small-pox war" was waged between Vancouver and Victoria. It commenced with Vancouver instituting a rigid quarantine against the Island city, and ended with the arrest of Vancouver's mayor, city solicitor and health officer and their conviction in Victoria for contempt of court.

One of the central figures in the stirring events of July, 1892, was the late F. W. Laing, Victoria, journalist, historian and for many years, until his retirement, secretary to the Minister of Agriculture. A tall, dignified and very industrious delver into historic lore, Mr. Laing, as a young man was a thin, energetic reporter on The Victoria Daily News, known to one and all as "Freddy."

It was the old liner Empress of China, that was credited with bringing the small-pox to British Columbia. A passenger from the Orient became ill with the dread disease on the passage. After the usual health measures were taken at the old Albert Head Quarantine Station the liner was allowed to proceed on to Vancouver.

It was on July 8, 1892, that The Colonist reported the appearance of the disease that was to become epidemic in the Capital City.

"The illness of a young man named Hilton, who resides with his parents on the Cadboro Bay Road, having developed into a case of smallpox," the paper reported, "the Provincial Police have ordered the removal of the patient to the Albert Head Quarantine Station, where he is now receiving skilled attention. The house has been quarantined and no spread of the disease or serious results in the case itself are looked for."

Such was the start of the outbreak in Victoria. It appeared two days later in Vancouver, where, according to a report in the Press of the Terminal City, "a girl known by the name of Ella, 121 Dupont Street, was discovered this afternoon very ill with small-pox. She says she contracted the disease in Victoria."

Dupont Street (better known to modern residents of the city as that portion of Pender Street occupied by Chinatown) was a thoroughfare on which persons claiming respectability were not accustomed to travel. The incident of Ella contracting small-pox became a matter of contention between the cities, for later Victoria claimed that it was the unfortunate girl who brought the pestilence to Victoria.

It does not matter now where it started. The fact was that the disease was soon epidemic in Victoria, and that was sufficient for Vancouver.

On July 9, the Vancouver Board of Health met "to consider the startling Victoria small-pox rumors" and four days later the Colonist featured a despatch from the Terminal City on its front page:

"Vancouver Exhibits a Spirit of Malevolence that
Surprises Even Victorians"

"Telegraphic advices were received from Vancouver yesterday, stating that from 11 o'clock in the morning, a strict quarantine had been decreed against Victoria, and further, that Vancouver's Board of Health was co-operating with those of Seattle, New Westminster and Nanaimo, in the endeavor to shut off traffic between those ports and this city."

The "war" had started in earnest.

The following day, the newly-installed premier, Hon. Theodore Davie, wired to the Vancouver authorities telling them that what they were doing was unnecessary and illegal. He pointed out that measures had been taken to combat the outbreak in Victoria, but it was no use. Vancouver did not even reply to him.

The local authorities, however, took other measures. They determined to prevent any passengers landing from the Victoria steamer to contaminate the good people of Vancouver. When the Yosemite of the Canadian Pacific Navigation Company, drew in to dock, fire hoses were produced and aimed at the gangplank, to prevent passengers from disembarking.

The C.P.N. Company applied to Mr. Justice Crease, in Victoria, for a mandatory injunction compelling Vancouver authorities to allow Victorians to land in that city. An interim injunction was granted.

The steamer's captain then tried to land his passengers at Port Moody, and, while one or two of them, bound for the East, managed to get ashore, and one, at least, managed to swim to land, this idea of docking at the head of the inlet was soon abandoned.

On July 17, Mr. Justice Crease made his interim injunction permanent, declaring the right of any person who had complied with the health regulations in Victoria and who was vaccinated to go ashore in Vancouver. But Vancouver paid no attention. Moreover, every time a Victoria steamer landed, the cargo and ship were fumigated to the very limit.

Any passengers who relied upon Mr. Justice Crease's court decision and went ashore through the fumes of burning sulphur were immediately arrested and put in the hastily-erected buildings of the quarantine station beside the City Hospital at the corner of Cambie and Pender Streets.

On July 21, the C.P.N. asked Mr. Justice Crease to commit the Vancouver officials for contempt of court.

Vancouver also went to the courts for a decision. A Major George Bowack was one of those in Vancouver's internment camp, and he applied for his liberty by means of a habeas corpus application to Mr. Justice McCreight at New Westminster, but His Lordship upheld the city.

This, however, had nothing to do with whether or not the Vancouver officials were in contempt of Mr. Justice Crease's court in Victoria, so, on July 26, the sheriff at Vancouver suddenly swooped down upon City Hall, and placed Mayor Cope, City Solicitor St. George Hammersley and Health Officer Joe Huntley under arrest.

There was great excitement in Vancouver when it became noised about that the civic heads of the community were imprisoned, but they were not held in the common jail. In fact, their headquarters were quite comfortable for they were lodged in the Hotel Vancouver until they could be transplanted to Victoria the next day. The imprisoned trio heroically quieted the people, but when they left the next morning for the unknown penalties that awaited them in the Capital, the dock was thronged to bid them good luck and early deliverance.

At Victoria, on July 28, Mr. Justice Crease solemnly found the trio to be in contempt, but decided that they had acted in conformity with what they considered to be their duty, so he assessed them the court costs, gave them a warning and let them go free.

Such was an end of the affair, for the courts had won, and the quarantine ended.

Now as to Mr. Laing's adventurous part. He was on an assignment for his paper at Nanaimo when the trouble started, and was called back to go to Vancouver and get himself locked up, so he could report on complaints regarding the manner in which Vancouver was extending hospitality to its enforced guests.

His first story appeared in The Daily News on July 20, and recounted how, upon the arrival of the Yosemite at Vancouver, "Chief McLaren handed Captain Rudlin an official-looking document. The captain surmised what the document was, and refused to accept it until it had been properly fumigated. This was done on the deck in the presence of the crowd, who enjoyed the joke immensely."

It was to be the last joke that "Freddy" was to have for some days, for as The News in printing his first despatch headed the story—"They Gobbled Our Fred—and he's in quarantine."

Mr. Laing led several determined individuals down the gangplank and into the arms of the waiting policemen. The daring band who defied Vancouver's authority under the leadership of Freddy Laing on this occasion consisted of Hugh Rennie, J. H. Harrison, M. Cooper, J. Stockwell, Tomecheu, a Chinese missionary, and two other Chinamen.

His next story, appearing in the Victoria paper on July 21, alleged "They are Half Starved." This caused a great sensation.

The reporter told of how when the first contingent of inmates had arrived on July 15, "They were ushered into a building newly erected, and which was destitute of even the slightest semblance of furniture. The up-ends of several nail kegs were the only chairs to be found. After language of a most expressive nature and several pressing requests a plain board table and two hard-bottom chairs were generously provided."

But, according to the reporter, the lack of furniture was as nothing compared to the quality of the foods served to the inmates.

It was three days before medical health officers arrived, he averred, and "these gentlemen met with singularly warm reception, couched in language of extreme tenderness, for neglect in not supplying towels, soap and other necessaries of the toilet."

Freddy's first main breakfast he described as follows: "a large bucket of porridge, a bucket of coffee, several loaves of bread and other things in keeping were deposited upon the floor at the entrance. Some of the inmates were not averse to partaking of this bounty, but could not do so, as in their early youth they had been taught to eat from plates with the assistance of spoons, forks and knives. These essentials for the comfortable eating of a meal were conspicuous by their absence."

The place was already crowded when two women were brought there and one of the rooms had to be given over to them.

Victoria's indignation was tremendous, and it was not lessened when The Vancouver World, from the pen of the inimitable Sam Robb, ran a story lampooning Freddy and the sufferings of the incarcerated Victorians. It was alleged that Freddy was a "vag" and had come to Vancouver for the purpose of getting free meals and lodgings, which his landlady at Victoria would no longer supply.

The Victoria News became indignant and employed a lawyer to demand an apology on threat of a libel suit. In due time the apology was forthcoming, but it was equally as bad, if not worse, than the original offence.

But Fred's articles had their effect. The food and accommodations were improved. He became, however, the object for fresh attack. Letters, articles and even poetry filled the papers of Vancouver in criticism of him. A verse or two from one poetical effort is illustrative of the lot:

"It's terrible the way your Freddy's abused
    Sure the like of it never was seen;
I wish I were up to my neck in the Gorge,
    And out of this quarantine."
"I cannot write articles breezy and bright;
    The 'afflatus' is wanting, you see;
How can a man, even so gifted as I
    Write sublimely on skillygolee?"
"The genius, alas! is degraded and downed,
    And its merit not properly seen,
For God's sake send Battery C right away
    To take Freddy from out quarantine."

The Victoria News reporter countered by having an affidavit signed by a number of his fellow-prisoners to the effect that his stories about conditions in the quarantine were true.

There was Dr. R. N. Stocker, of the Bengal Army, among the prisoners. He was on two years furlough and was on his way to England when put into durance at Vancouver. The doctor did not take it kindly and hinted that the War Office might take some action for such treatment to one of its officers.

When the Vancouver officials were hailed to Victoria and the court ruled that the inmates could not be continued in the quarantine station, Stocker made his way out. A guard tried to stop him, but the doctor was a husky lad and he blacked the eye of the guard. Police were called and fell upon him, and he was further detained when the others were liberated until he paid a fine for assaulting the city's representative.

There was one staunch defender of Vancouver in the camp of the Victoria prisoners. He was G. H. Tom, a Vancouver school teacher, who was a late-comer to the place. Before the prisoners were liberated, a mock trial was held and the aggressive little schoolmaster was made to defend himself. According to The World report:—

"Harris, the down-east Yankee, was appointed judge; Mr. H. Hoseiden, the good-natured German brewer, sheriff; and Mr. Russell the sprinter, clerk of the court.

"G. H. Tom, the school teacher, who was charged with the serious crime of daring to attempt to defend the authorities in their efforts to protect the lives of the citizens of Vancouver by quarantining such important individuals as Major or Colonel Bowack, who had tried every legal means to obtain his release, without success—and Dr. R. N. Stocker—and last, but not least, 'our own Freddie.'

"A warrant for the culprits' arrest having been issued, he refused to submit, but on the sheriff's remarking 'is you don't come bid us, ve take you ven you vas in bet' he concluded to surrender. He was ably defended by Chaplain Lacy, and vigorously prosecuted by Hungry F. W. Laing. At the conclusion the jury unanimously found him guilty. He was sentenced to have his forehead striped with red paint or buy a box of cigars. He accepted the latter option."


Gates of Hell

In the torrid language of the rough men along the mountain section of the Canadian Pacific Railways, in construction days, Inspector Sam Steele, and his aide, Sergeant Fury, "would storm the portals of hell and bring back the gates," if it was their duty so to do.

Matt F. Crawford, veteran railwayman and former Mayor of Kamloops, could not testify to anything quite as metaphysical, but he did witness the courageous pair do something akin to it.

"It was the winter of 1884-85," Mr. Crawford recalled, "and the town of Beavermouth was just about as tough a place as could be found. Crooks, gunmen, card-sharpers, wild women and whisky pedlars composed a large part of its population. They had gathered to feast on the earnings of the workers on the right-of-way. Fights, drunken rowdyism and the brazen music of dance halls made the days noisy and the nights hideous.

"The Mounted Police had been given the job of enforcing the Dominion Peace Preservation Act for 150 miles within British Columbia, and 20 miles on each side of the surveyed line.

"Inspector Sam Steele had been in command at Calgary, but in the summer of 1884 he took charge at Golden, from where he tried to stop the moonshine stills in the Windermere Lake district.

"I was firing a locomotive used on construction under Superintendent Jimmie Ross.

"One day Bill, the engineer, and I were at lunch when the telegraph operator at the Beavermouth station—which was at some little distance from the camp—brought a message. We were to get to Three Valleys siding, pick up Jimmie Ross and his private car and head for Golden to take on Inspector Steele and hurry back.

"There had been rumors of trouble that morning at the 'town,' but we had not paid much attention to them. This time the trouble was between the rock-workers and the tin-horn gamblers and their parasitical ilk.

"In no time we were on our way. We hooked on to the private car, and then Bill gradually opened the throttle wider and wider to see what the engine could do when pushed to its limit.

"At Golden we turned on the 'Y,' picked up Steele and Fury and were headed back for Beavermouth in a matter of minutes. I think Bill coaxed even more speed out of the locomotive on the way back than even he thought to be possible."

It appeared, Mr. Crawford went on to explain, that a fight had taken place between a gambler who enjoyed the name of "Gentleman John" by reason of his studied courtesy and curious characteristic of not cheating, and a recent arrival. The stranger had annoyed a woman.

The rock-workers, who were more or less controlled by a husky, bewhiskered Irishman known as "Big Mike," took up the quarrel on behalf of the defeated.

They raided the Imperial Saloon where the trouble had started and almost wrecked the place before being driven out of it by the tin-horns and their friends, who barricaded themselves in the building. The angry rock-men armed themselves and were preparing to rush the structure and set it afire.

"Such was the situation when Inspector Steele and Fury dropped off our train at the water-tank and headed for the trouble," said Mr. Crawford.

"The single street of Beavermouth was crowded in the vicinity of the Imperial. The mob was so intent on the business in hand that they did not observe the approach of the mounted officers. They were startled, however, when, in a voice that cut, the inspector ordered:

"'Big Mike, come here!'

"The Irishman recognized the voice, and then in front of a hundred or so men that owed him some sort of allegiance, the trim, fearless, red-tunicked officer gave him a tongue-lashing. And the silent sergeant looked steadily ahead.

"The 'boss' of the rock-gang tried to brazen it out. The tin-horns, he declared, had done injury to 'one of the boys,' and the others proposed to even matters; and since when, he sarcastically demanded, had the police started to protect the gamblers?

Steele gazed so steadily at the big bully that he wilted. Then the inspector reminded him that it was the Queen's law and authority that he was challenging. Almost gently, he continued that he was sure that Big Mike would not like to go back to United States, from whence he had come—and—almost as an afterthought, added, 'particularly to Denver.' Mike paled.

"'Now,' snapped Steele, 'where's this boy of yours that Gentleman John thrashed: bring him to me.'

"At last, after futile excuses and efforts to avoid the appearance of taking orders from the law, Big Mike temporized that he was not 'really one of the gang, but was a newcomer whose cause had been taken up by the boys.'

"Steele's only comment was to reiterate his order: 'Bring him here.'

"A pasty-faced, furtive-eyed individual who bore evident marks of the pugilistic skill of Gentleman John, was pushed forward.

"Inspector Steele looked at him through narrowed eyelids; then asked in an aside to Sergeant Fury: 'Do you recognize him?'

"'Yes, sir.'

"'All right, Sergeant.'

"Quick as a flash, Fury stepped forward and snapped handcuffs on the wrists of the newcomer. There was a bellow from Big Mike and his followers.

"So, this is the man, Mike, for whom you were prepared to wreck Beavermouth, and caused a riot call to go out; do you know who he is?" the inspector demanded. "I'll tell you; he is Johnson, the Montana killer!"

"Johnson!" shouted the big Irishman.

"Johnson!" echoed a dozen of his astonished followers.

"Why," cried Mike, "the boys were saying they'd tear him limb from limb, if he came this way. Let me at him!"

"No, you don't. He's my prisoner," and the inspector motioned to Sergeant Fury to remove the man.

Then Steele turned towards the closed saloon: "Now, let's attend to these fellows in here."

He walked to the door, kicked it and demanded admittance in the name of the Queen. Slowly it opened and Steele vanished inside.

Ten minutes later the door again opened and the inspector emerged with Gentleman John and the female cause of all the trouble, under arrest.

The crowd parted without a word to permit the officer and his prisoners to pass.

When he was through, Steele warned Big Mike and his wild mob that any repetition of the row would result in "every man-jack of you going to jail."

Then he resumed the escorting of his prisoners to the train, which took them to Golden at a slower speed. The next day the two were fined and Johnson was handed over to the American authorities.

"That was the way that I remember Inspector Steele and his right-hand man, Sergeant Fury," commented Mr. Crawford. "They again distinguished themselves at Beavermouth when they held the bridge against 1,200 rioting strikers who were protesting the arrest of a law-breaker. I was not present on that occasion."

Inspector Steele, as everyone knows, played a fine part in suppressing the Nor'west Rebellion; led Canadian forces in South Africa, and in World War I. He became Major-General Sir Sam Steele—but I recall him as Inspector Sam of the North West Mounted Police and do you know, I think that if he had been ordered to bring back the gates of Hades he would, at least, have made a try at it.


Sam Johnston—Canadian Hero

Rock Creek has been spanned with a modern high-level bridge. This fact does not mean a great deal to many residents of British Columbia, even to those who recall the place only as a tiny, straggling community at the junction of the creek with the Kettle River and the commencement of a tortuous, narrow, sandy road up Anarchist Mountain on the way to lower Okanagan. But Rock Creek was once the cynosure of all eyes in the west, and the great hope of Governor James Douglas for recovery from depression that had followed the first gold rush to the lower Fraser River.

It was in the gravels of Rock Creek that Adam Beam found the yellow metal that started a stampede to the locality. Good pay was extracted, and it was the start of mining in the southern interior. As a matter of fact it was a cogent reason for Douglas's start on the construction of the wagon-road from Hope to Princeton, that had so lately been completed. But with the opening up of Cariboo and the amazing wealth of the streams of that district, miners left Rock Creek, although it continued to claim the love and attention of a few for many years.

There were many notable persons connected with the story of Rock Creek, but perhaps none more picturesque nor—at one time—better known than Sam Johnston, "Canada's Paul Revere," who pottered about the old diggings until age and illness compelled his removal to Vancouver, where he passed on—forgotten but courageous.

Sam Johnston was a tough character in his day, and he is remembered in the annals of the Niagara Peninsula as a smuggler, veteran of the American Civil War, loyal servant of the Queen, as a Customs officer, a rough-and-tumble fighter who once bit an opponent's nose off and almost lost his own in the brawl—but above all Sam Johnston is remembered as the hero of the Fenian Raid of 1866.

In 1925, newspapers of Ontario and historical societies of Windsor and Welland and other localities, were concerning themselves about what had happened to Sam Johnston, who had distinguished himself at Ridgeway. I found Sam, living in a hole in the ground at Rock Creek. His habitation was scooped out of the terrain above the high-water mark on the edge of the Kettle. It was built of odds and ends of lumber, old packing cases, and roofed with discarded and rusted pieces of corrugated iron. His savings had long since disappeared in efforts to find the "lost channel" of Rock Creek, but his courage was unimpaired and his optimism burned as brightly as ever. His sole companion was a dog. With humor and cynicism he had dubbed his underground habitation, "Balmoral Castle," and there he moralized, the mongrel listening intently.

From Sam's own lips I obtained the story of how, learning that the Fenians were assembling near the blast furnace wharf at Buffalo, he had kept watch. When he knew they were really coming he had borrowed a horse and galloped through the countryside giving the alarm, but not until he had come into actual touch with the invaders and had three bullet holes cut through his clothes. He knew that it was vital to ascertain the strength of the enemy, so he had doubled back and hid beneath a bridge that he knew they must cross. There he tabulated the ranks as the Irishmen went over the span, estimating that there were 1,100 of them. Having warned the public, he went in search of the soldiers.

He stopped the troop train and gave his information to the colonel in charge. "Then," chuckled Sam, "we both made mistakes. His mistake was in not taking my advice as to how he could ambush the Fenians, and mine was in tendering it without telling him that I was a veteran of the American Civil War." Sam led the way to where the Fenians were headed, but another mistake was made, he declared, by the militia in having the bugle sounded. This removed the possibility of surprise, and the Fenians were able to take up positions before the soldiers reached the Ridgeway and Bertie crossroads.

Hidden in a brick house, a log barn and behind a stone fence, the Fenians had all the advantage against militia men who came on in parade formation, and who eventually were formed into hollow squares. The Canadians at last had to fall back on Ridgeway, and the Fenians went on to Fort Erie, which they took after a sharp fight. The garrison only numbered some 47 officers and men.

Sam said that it was a New York newspaper reporter who finally won the day. He got through to the Fenians and confided to them that 5,000 Canadian troops with heavy artillery were on their way. General O'Neil, the Irish leader, thereupon captured a tug and barge and transported his men back to United States where he was arrested.

But the Fenians threatened to "get Sam Johnston" for his part in checking their invasion of Canada. So Sam eventually moved west. I first knew him, when, as a small boy, I used to talk to him as he fired the boiler at the Copper Queen mine at Texada Island in 1898. From there, he drifted into the interior, finally locating at Rock Creek and starting his vain search for the "lost channel." Just before he died at the Home for the Incurables at Marpole, the courageous old man wrote to me that he knew of a spot where he and I could "sure" uncover a lead that would make us both rich.


The Stone Giant

It was a pleasant afternoon in August, 1885. The streets of Victoria were busy as Captain A. E. McCallum strolled through town. His attention was arrested by a small crowd gathering in front of the Beehive Saloon. Two men were in argument.

As he approached he gathered that they were disputing the genuineness of some curio that was on display within the saloon. Looking towards the door of the hostelry he saw a sign announcing that a "Fossilized Giant" was on exhibition, "Admission 25 cents."

Captain McCallum was interested, for he had formerly been a member of the Anthropological Society of London, and he appreciated the monetary and scientific worth of a petrified prehistoric man. He entered, after paying his quarter, to be greeted by a smiling individual who introduced himself as "Gilbert." The captain was led into another room where the giant was reposing.

He was amazed. He could hardly believe his eyes, for there lay what appeared to be a perfect specimen of fossilized man. It was ten feet in length, with a chest measure of four and a half feet, and a width of two feet across the shoulders. The head, the Captain estimated, had a circumference of three feet, and measured fourteen inches from the chin to the dome of the head. Carefully he examined the surface. It had the appearance of having been buried for many centuries, perhaps aeons. He was convinced that it was indeed what Gilbert represented it to be—the fossilized remains of a giant.

Captain McCallum saw great possibilities in the possession of the giant; he could exhibit it throughout the United Kingdom, and then having recouped his fortune, he could present it to the British Museum—and, ah well; many a man had been knighted for less.

He suggested to Gilbert that he might consider purchasing it; and Gilbert was willing. But first the captain wished to know that it was properly the property of the man, and that everything was honorable and above board. Gilbert assured him that it was, and related how it came into his possession.

He told how he and another man had been digging a well on a small ranch near Metchosin. They were down eight feet when they came across what at first appeared to be a great boulder, but on closer examination, it proved to be a fossilized man. Captain McCallum was convinced of the sincerity of Gilbert and the truth of his statements, and negotiations for the sale of the giant proceeded. When Captain McCallum left the Beehive he was the owner of a petrified monster, and Gilbert was richer by $1,500.

There was another man in Victoria who was interested in the giant, but for another reason. He was Collector of Customs W. O. Hamley, who had read in the newspapers of the discovery of the giant, and also recollected that not long before two Americans had brought a boxed load of stone into the country under a category of the Customs Act that did not require payment of duties. He shrewdly concluded that there might be some relationship between the two. He ordered the giant to be seized. This was done. Captain McCallum was indignant. He went to see the collector, who commiserated with him for having been duped; the captain became more furious. He was still convinced that it was human remains. Collector Hamley, however, had expert opinion to back him. Dr. George M. Dawson, the world-famous geologist, was in Victoria, and Mr. Hamley had him examine the specimen. The doctor was of the opinion that it was a very artistic forgery. The appearance of age, he said, had been cleverly simulated by the use of acids. But still Captain McCallum was positive that the 1,200-pound replica of a man had formerly lived and cavorted about the hills of Sooke. He wrote to The Colonist calling upon Mr. Hamley to "establish his charges against me in a court of law, or to admit by reticence that his charges are entirely unfounded in fact."

"But," the Collector replied quietly, "There is no charge against Captain McCallum. There is no suggestion that he imported the stone carving."

Mr. Hamley, while no doubt enjoying the situation fully, really sympathized with the indignant anthropologist. At last he managed to bring the matter to court and laid a charge—not against the unfortunate McCallum, but against the stone giant. This was carefully pointed out by The Colonist, on January 7, 1886, after the case had been called in police court before Magistrate A. McLean:—

"The charge is against the stone man in proporia persona—not against Captain McCallum and is brought under the 206th section of the Customs Act, for condemnation and sale of goods of which false entry is made..."

Mr. Dawson appeared as a witness and declared that "the image was not that of a human, and that the appearance of age had been expertly simulated."

Police Constable Shepherd testified that soon after the captain had made the purchase he had told him it was a fraud and offered to try and get his money back, but had been told to mind his own business.

It was probably the evidence of Mrs. Scott, of Happy Valley, that finally convinced the captain that he had been duped, for she told of the exhumation of the giant, which she said came from a shallow hole that was deepened to eight feet after the image was carted away.

The case dragged on until January 28, when Magistrate McLean rendered his decision. "The real questions," he said, "were: 'Was the fossil, as Captain McCallum called it, and believed it to be, the identical rough stone imported by Peter Douglas?' and 'If so, was it at the time of its seizure in the same condition as when imported?'"

On considering these questions he had come to the conclusion that they had not been proven by the prosecution, and therefore the charge against the stone man must be dismissed, and he should be returned to the captain.


First Magistrate's Manual

Governor Richard Blanshard spent three months of disillusionment in the Colony of Vancouver's Island before he made an appointment under the Crown. In that time he found that there was much complaint, particularly at Fort Rupert, against the Hudson's Bay Company by its laborers and miners. Petitions and accusations, rumors of desertions and of strikes reached the Governor. He was already at odds with the local management of the Hudson's Bay Company, and gave ready ear to every grievance in circulation about Victoria. The situation at Fort Rupert, he was convinced, required the exercise of the authority of the Crown such as only a magistrate could wield. He therefore made out a commission to Dr. J. S. Helmcken, surgeon for the Hudson's Bay Company at that place.

It was on June 22 that he wrote a formal letter to the doctor notifying him that he had been appointed justice of the peace and magistrate. "You will be pleased, as magistrate," Governor Blanshard said, "to enquire into some events which took place at, or near, Fort Rupert on or about the 7th day of May ult., that being the date of certain letters I have received from John Muir, John Smith, Robert Muir, Archibald Muir, Andrew Muir, John McGregor and John Muir, junior, claiming to be British subjects, residing at Fort Rupert, and declaring somewhat vaguely that they are in fear of their lives."

Continuing, he instructed, "Should it appear to you that this fear arises from any disturbances, threats or existing ill-will between themselves, or other parties, you will be pleased to bind over all such parties so offending to keep the peace toward one another, for such a time, and under such penalties and forfeitures as may seem to you to be fitting, causing security to be given for the same."

Blanshard, who was a lawyer by profession, in private notes to Helmcken, gave him some hints on how to deal with any cases that might come before him. One or two excerpts from this 'Magistrates' Manual' are of interest:—

"It is generally the safest plan to bind both parties over to keep the peace; it cools the blood and discourages litigation. It should be explained that insulting language or conduct which provokes a breach of the peace after this is de jure a real breach (of the peace) and is punishable with partial or total estreatement of the securities."

"Being bound over to keep the peace does not prevent a man from acting as constable, or obeying any command of the magistrate, it is great medicine."

Charges of desertion and mutiny voiced against absconding servants of the Hudson's Bay Company were "nonsense," the Governor said, such charges could only be sustained under Articles of War, or in certain phases of shipping laws. But he gave the magistrate a rather involved but crafty way of meeting such contingencies. It was:—

"The proper way to contrive to bring the offence of absconding under the criminal law, for instance, if a man is found running away in a canoe, break the canoe to pieces as contraband; some owner is pretty sure to appear for compensation and declare that it was taken without his knowledge, thus a case of theft is made out for which a man may be whipped legally, or if he has any property not his own with him, seize it; if claimed it must be stolen."

"If a man gets thrashed for impertinence, a very slight fine may be inflicted for the assault on account of provocation, and if he is saucy upon that, it is contempt of court. All common assault fines go to the Crown, not to the plaintiff."

It would appear that the craft of the Governor did not contemplate any recompense for the unfortunate owner of the canoe or the stolen property that was to be destroyed in order to irritate him to lay a charge of theft.


The Lost Treaty

In these days of international squabbling and conference failures, the manner in which two British Columbia native tribes signed a solemn treaty in 1869 and maintained it unbroken, should provide a lesson of some kind for some one. It might even hint at some method of achieving a greater degree of accord amongst distinguished negotiators.

It happened that in 1868 the Tsimpsean—then spelled "Chimpsean"—and the Nass—then written "Naas"—Indians were at war. The fighting had been going on for a year when Rev. Robert Tomlinson, in charge of a mission at Kincolith on the Nass, reported that three natives had been murdered near that place, and he regarded it as a threat against the mission.

The Government decided to take action to stop this war between Indian tribes. In the past there had been little interference in purely native warfare, but there had been frequent instances of the strong arm of the white man's authority being exercised against tribes guilty of attacks upon the whites. The noise of this new disturbance reached to London and the Imperial Government suggested that the Colonial authorities take action to effect peace.

Governor Frederick Seymour, although ailing, consented to go to the scene to lend the power of his presence as the "great white chief" to negotiations to end the struggle. This was something new, and every endeavour must be made to make it a success. The purpose was to mediate, not to punish.

So H.M.S. Sparrowhawk, Capt. H. W. Mist, was requisitioned to carry the Governor and his peace mission to the North Coast. Hon. Joseph W. Trutch, chief commissioner of Lands and Works for the Colonial Government, represented that authority. The Governor's secretary, A. E. Lowndes, also went along. They proceeded to Metlakatlah where William Duncan, the missioner, agreed to go with the party to act as interpreter.

Mr. Duncan was able to provide much of the background of the dispute. He told how a joyful celebration of the marriage of a daughter of a Nass chief was turned into tragedy. A schooner, the "Nanaimo Packet," had arrived at the Nass just as the party was to be given, and sold the Indians a quantity of rum. A drunken orgy followed, and accidentally a Tsimpsean chief had discharged a pistol and killed a Nass tribesman.

Fighting followed, and two Tsimpsean chiefs had been slain. This, by the blood code of the Coast, required that two Nass chiefs must be murdered in retaliation. And so, for a year the struggle had been going on, with no hope of a satisfactory balance of death being attained. Then the raid took place near Kincolith and an appeal was made to the Government by Mr. Tomlinson. But just how many retaliatory killings there had been, no one could tell.

The Sparrowhawk steamed to the mouth of the Nass, and there, to the surprise of everyone, they found the schooner that had brought the rum a year ago. The Nanaimo Packet was seized.

Mr. Trutch was commissioned to invite the chiefs of several villages to meet the Tsimpseans and discuss peace. It was a delicate bit of diplomacy on his part, but he succeeded. Once they were on board, the warship, with the schooner in tow, started for Fort Simpson. Here the chiefs of that nation were invited to join a peace conference. They were anxious to have peace, for the Nass was where they, and the other tribes of that part of the country, went for spring oolichan fishing. But they did not want to compromise themselves. Nor, for that matter, did the Nass chiefs, who also desired peace, but could not afford to lose face. They were as ticklish on points of precedence and etiquette as if they had been "civilized" races. It had required great persuasion to get the Nass chiefs to go to Fort Simpson; they argued that the Tsimpseans should come to them.

Mr. Trutch wrote in his journal:—"June 2nd - The Chiefs of the Chimpsean tribes having arrived on board at 10 o'clock, were set opposite to the Nass Chiefs on the quarter-deck, in presence of the Governor. A parley ensued that lasted for a couple of hours. All the events of their hostilities during the past year were discussed, and the amount of compensation to be paid for each tribe for injuries done to the other, having been finally settled among them, peace was concluded, and symbolized by the former enemies blowing swan's down over each other's heads.

"A document setting forth that peace had that day been concluded between the Chimpsean and the Naas Indians in the presence of the Governor, was drawn up, and to this the Chiefs' names were all signed by their marks being set thereto as certified by the Governor's signature and seal. Each chief was also furnished with a paper setting forth that he had signed this treaty. These papers were signed by Mr. Lowndes and certified by Mr. Duncan as interpreter. The Governor, then, through Mr. Duncan, addressed the Chiefs telling them that he had allowed them on this occasion, for the last time, to make compensation to each other, according to the custom hitherto in force among them for friends and relatives killed and injuries inflicted; but now they must understand that this barbarous system was abolished; and that they must henceforth live according to English law; and if they offended against the law by taking each other's lives, every means in the Governor's power should be employed to apprehend and punish them."

The ceremony concluded with a feast on the deck of the ship, at which more than 100 Indians participated. Then pipes and tobacco were distributed, and complete friendship and harmony was restored.

Governor Seymour's experience in peace-making was successful, and it should not be forgotten, for on the voyage back to Victoria, the Governor, who had left a sick-room to undertake an exhausting voyage to bring peace to warring Indians, passed away near Bella Coola. "The Treaty of Fort Simpson" was the last official act of the gentlemanly, though not always successful, Governor of British Columbia.

This unique treaty between the warring tribes of pioneer days in British Columbia reposes today in the B.C. Archives, but it was lost for more than three-quarters of a century, and the finding of it by the writer of these chronicles proved to be a highlight in his years of historical research.

With the confusion caused by the unexpected death of Governor Seymour on the return of the Sparrowhawk to Victoria, and the subsequent appointment of Governor Anthony Musgrave charged with the task of bringing British Columbia into Confederation, the treaty, in some unexplained manner became lost. When, a few years later, an effort was made to locate the pact, it could not be found. Throughout the succeeding years, students of British Columbia's colorful history made searches for it amid the piled-up departmental files of the Government but without success.

I had made a number of such researches but never found the slightest indication of what had happened to the important document. I spent days and weeks in going through dust-covered bundles of papers in the garret store room of the B.C. Archives without finding a single trace of the treaty. As a last bare possibility, I asked Captain Cromack, the obliging secretary to His Honor E. W. Hamber, Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia, in 1947, to have a thorough search made of the documentary files at Government House. It was futile, the captain reminding me that most of the earlier public papers held in the custody of the Executive had been destroyed when Government House was burned to the ground in 1899. We came to the conclusion that this was the probable fate of the Nass-Tsimpsean pact.

It was not long after this further disappointment that I dropped into the Pacific Club for luncheon, and was joined at the table by an old acquaintance whom I had not seen for a considerable time. He had been living in the country since his retirement several years before.

"I've been changing my diggings," he informed me, "moving to rooms in a lovely home closer to the water. In doing so, I came across a lot of old papers that should be of interest to you."

"Yes," I answered without a great deal of expectancy, "what did you find?"

"Well, there is a poll book of an election in Victoria for 1863: you know, of course, that it was open voting; the voter approached a table where the poll clerk and scrutineers were seated, and announced his name and claimed a vote; when this was granted he declared so all could hear, for whom he was voting. Well, it's such a record, a book with the names of the voters and their preferences."

This was, indeed, an interesting relic of the past, and I asked him to bring it in with him on his next visit to town, adding that if it did not cost too much I would be willing to buy it.

"Oh," he continued, "I have several others that I located in the same bundle. One of them I thought might be of interest to you—it has something to do with Indians."

"What is it?"

"I don't know," he added, "Except it has a lot of names of Tsimpsean Chiefs, and about an equal number of Nass Chiefs; and the funny thing about it is that Governor Seymour's signature is appended, as if he was witnessing their signing."

I nearly choked, but I said nothing for a minute or so. I recalled that once I had held a royal flush, but I was too eager, and all the other players tossed in their cards and all I got was the antes. So, when I recovered, I ignored his reference to the mysterious document.

"Now, you won't forget to bring in the poll book," I reminded him, as I rose to leave, and then, just as a sort of afterthought, I added, "Oh, you might as well bring in that Indian paper, I'd like to see it anyway."

About ten days later, my old friend came to town again, and was waiting for me at the club. He was carrying a book, wrapped up in brown paper. "I brought that poll book in for you to examine," he volunteered, and started to unwrap the package. It was indeed a rare bit of British Columbia, and he was generous in respect of the price. I bought it.

"Oh," I exclaimed, as if suddenly recollecting it, "Did you bring along that Indian paper?"

"Yes, I did. I almost forgot it," he grinned, and drew an envelope from his pocket and handed it to me. "Here's something that probably is concerned with it, but I've not had time to read it," he added; "It's a journal by Hon. Joseph W. Trutch."

My hands were trembling as I opened the envelope and drew out a piece of heavy paper and spread it on the table.

It was, indeed, the lost treaty!

We soon concluded a deal for its purchase, and with it, the original journal of Hon. Mr. Trutch of the expedition, and his own copy of a report on the expedition. "I've not read them; that old blue-colored paper and faded ink hurts my eyes," my friend said, and I sympathized with him.

Having secured ownership of the documents that he had brought into town, I asked him, "Where did you get these things?"

"They were given to me about fifty years ago," he said. "There was an old chap—a former Colonial official—living next to me. He was going away, and one day he handed me a bundle of papers and documents; 'You may find these interesting reading some day,' he said. I thanked him and took them home and tucked them away in a clothes closet, and promptly forgot them. I did not remember them until I was moving out into the country; then when I came across them I was prompted to throw them out, but remembered that I had never looked at them. At my new home I was too busy to do anything with them until in moving the other day, I thought I'd at least see what they were, and opened the old parcel. I came across these things I brought in to you, but there are a lot more that I have not sorted out, yet!"

I hurried over to the Archives; told Archivist Willard E. Ireland what I had paid for them and they are today cherished items in the Government's records. All but one: for while I received the return of the actual outlay I had made, I retained, as a memento, the copy of Trutch's reports, which is in effect only a precis of the much fuller and more detailed journal, which accompanied the treaty.

I do not know what other valuable historic papers may have remained in my friend's possession, for he died suddenly a short time later.


The Big Black in Cariboo

The hills of Cariboo, beyond Barkerville, were aflame. Williams Creek, the gold capital of the mining regions, had had its baptism of fire in 1868—the previous year, so that smoke that drifted overhead on July 20, 1869, was not originating in the immediate vicinity. But during the early afternoon it deepened.

Then about 4:30 p.m., darkness descended. It became as black as the deepest night. The air became heavy and breathing was difficult. Men groped their way along the roads and over the trails; chickens went to roost; cows and other cattle went almost wild with fright, stampeding here and there, lowing and bleating piteously.

One man making his way from Camerontown to Barkerville nearly lost an eye, having it gouged by a twig; another miner coming from Richfield to Barkerville stepped off the trail and tumbled into the canyon, dislocating his shoulder. Some men lay down beside the trails where they were overtaken by this sudden and awesome darkness.

In the houses lamps were lighted. Miners who had been working on the night shift, awakening to find black night thought they had overslept, while men laboring in the mines came to the surface to declare that they had overworked. One man, on his way to Mosquito Creek with a wagon, loosed his horse and turned it adrift and tried to find his way to the nearest habitation. After cautiously walking for half an hour, he bumped into something and found it to be his wagon.

After several hours of absence of daylight, thunder clouds assembled above the dense, ashes-laden smoke, pressing it down, like a lid, over the valleys below. It started to thunder. "Yet even the lightning and thunder seemed to struggle in the grasp of difficulty and to be oppressed by some power unknown before," The British Colonist, of Victoria, said in reporting the phenomenon.

"The lightning could only pierce a few feet of the 'thick darkness,' and that only with a pale and sickly flicker, whilst the thunder seemed to be in a giant power, suffocating its attempts to be heard. Its impression on the mind was that of the midnight funeral of creation, the lightning becoming funeral lamps in the procession to the sepulchure, and the thunder the "muffled" drum of the 'Dead March.'

"At about 6:30 rain fell, or rather, a shower of yellow, muddy water, having the appearance (when light came back) of strong lye from leeched ashes, and so copious was the fall, that man and trees and housetops were plastered with it. With the rain came a current of air, and with the subsiding of the rain came the strange but welcome dawn of evening, and 'at evening time there was light!' And beautiful was the breaking day at seven in the evening. The whole heavens tinted with amber and subsiding gradually at 7:30 into our lovely, soft and long northern twilight."

The Colonist advanced its quota of theories as to the cause of the Cariboo "black," while The Cariboo Sentinel, the following week, produced a whole column of suggestions as to what might have caused the strange "night."

The fact that the surrounding country was on fire was a fact, but even a dense, smoke-laden atmosphere, it was said, could not be expected to cause such total darkness for so long.

Some idea of the extent of the bushfires may be obtained from the fact that 13 Chinamen were at work in the bed of a creek running into Quesnel River, when the fire ran down the bank. It was only a few yards to the dam from which they were getting the water for their flumes, but before they could reach it, ten had been burned to death by the reaching flames. Two of the remaining three were badly burned, and the third man escaped only by submerging himself in the water.

For years the "Big Black of Cariboo" was the subject of discussion and speculation by those who had been in the area between Beaver Pass and Williams Creek. At first it was supposed that it was an eclipse of the sun, until news was received that the sun was shining outside of that section of the district.

It was advanced by some that there was more than one thunderstorm, imposed one upon the other, above the smoke. But whatever it really was that caused the phenomenon, was debated long and loudly, but was never settled. Even the Chinaman had a theory and quoted an old tradition about the burning of Shanghai. They claimed that men dressed in red, descended from the skies and caused the whole trouble. Two Orientals solemnly declared that they saw two such "red-angels" in Cariboo upon that black afternoon.

[The end of Magic, Murder and Mystery by B. A. McKelvie]