Scrap Book

Injun Stuff

Wit, Humor, Banter & Philosophy

[image: teepee with antenna, crouching Indians peering under]


In this packet
The Cold Nose Caper
Theodore Roosevelt
and the five Squaws
Looking ahead with an ARCHAEOLOGIST
Back to the Reservation


Smallest newspaper in the world and the only 5 page one.
Scrap Book
  Packet 3 of Pouch 4
This paper is not entered as 2nd class mail. It's a first class newspaper.
Published at Fort Oliver
1000 Palms, California
Four Times a Year

But sometimes they don't have them.
Darned if I am going to the trouble of mailing it for nothing.
10 Years ...................  $5.00
100 Years ...................$50.00
     Something to think about!

Asbestos editions will be forwarded
in case you don't make it.

Published by
Fort Commander, Publisher, Distributor, Lamp Lighter, Editor, Artist, Gardener, Janitor, Owner

A paper that grows on you as you as you turn each page . . . excepting page 5

Pictures are by the author, many of them are woodcuts. I Did All but the Spelling.

May the Great Mystery make sunrise in your heart —Sioux.


Due to the great many letters received in regards to my book "Desert Rough Cuts, A Haywire History of the Borrego Desert," published in 1937 by the publisher Ward Ritchie, I started the ball rolling to have it republished. The ball is rolling, has picked up 10 or 12 additional stories so it won't be long before I'll be pestering you for a couple of dollars, and telling you how good it is.

Harry Oliver

The hardy pioneers who first put foot on the shores of this country — were seekers of land. It took guts to cross the oceans on the sailing ships of those days. Their hope was for the chance to make a new home the hard way; hewed from the forests. Adventurous huskies theses: Irish, Germans, French, English, Scotch, Swedes and Dutch.

Later generations of these same pioneers kept coming West. They're now Ohioans, Kentuckyians, Virginians, and Texans — from all states they came. In the gold rush days it was said, "No coward started for California and no weakling ever got there!" They knew the ways of the West, the ways of the Indians — they got along with the Indians.

Fifty years ago, with cities built, and travel safer, cheaper, and easier, steamers from the Mediterranean brought the Armenians, the Jews, the Sicilians, the Russians and the Poles. Many will tell you that this mixture is what makes us the greatest nation on earth — I say, it was the sprinkle of American Indian blood that got into those pioneer families as they crossed the plains in that state by state crossing, passing through those Indian territories on moonlight nights in Indian Summer!

One reason I am so sure of this is that I am one-fourth Indian. Yes, I am now one-quarter Cherokee Indian, I used to be one-eighth Cherokee, one-eighth Scotch, one-eighth Irish, one-eighth Dutch, and one-half English — Here is how I made the change — I gave all my English blood to the blood bank. I told that blonde nurse to cut if off as soon as any Irish or Indian blood showed up, and she did, I am sure. Losing the English blood has helped my sense of humor, by gosh I know, and what's more I didn't multiply that Indian blood enough to lose any of my beard. "A job well done, I'd say.!"

The influence of the American Indian is firmly but unconsciously stamped on most everything we do. You all speak hundreds of Indian words daily. Did you ever realize at least twenty of the states comprised in the United States bear Indian names, while for rivers, lakes and towns, the list of Indian names is in almost equal proportion. By the time you have thoroughly digested this packet you will realize that the Indian's fine, simple philosophy and his humor, which is called American humor, is a great part of you too!

We all remember the simple, soft humor, true American humor of the late Will Rogers, and his humor was truly American. Not a fast shouting, bunch of noisy clatter, but the subtle, dry wit of the Early Americans.

Theodore Roosevelt
and the five Squaws

In his old age, after he quit the warpath, Quanah Parker, the famous chief of the Comanches, adopted many of the white man's ways. But in one respect he clung to the customs of his fathers. He continued to be a polygamist. He was a friend and admirer of Theodore Roosevelt and on one occasion when Roosevelt was touring Oklahoma he drove out to Parker's camp to see him. With pride Parker pointed out that he lived in a house like a white man, that his children went to a white man's school, and he himnself dressed like a white man. Whereupon Roosevelt was moved to preach him a sermon on the subject of morality. "See here chief, why don't you set your people a better example? A White man has only one wife, he's allowed only one at a time. Here you are living with five squaws. Why don't you give up four of them and remain faithful to the fifth? Parker stood still a moment, considering the proposition. Then he answered: "You are my great white father, and I will do as you wish — on one condition." "What's the condition?" asked Roosevelt. "You pick out the one I am to live with and then you go kill the other four."


Gold was discovered at Sutter's mill in California in 1848. It has taken just 100 years plus a lot of blood, sweat and tears to get it all dug up and properly put under ground again at Fort Knox in Kentucky. Thanks to Geo. H. Davis


Awakened by Whiskers' thrusting a cold nose in my ear, I listened. There was someone opening the window of the Desert Rat editorial room up fron. I got out of bed, and with my old 45 about 3 feet ahead of me and "Whiskers" 3 feet behind me, I went quietly through the press room, snapped on the light, and found a skinny little fellow going through the drawers of my desk. As I bellowed, "Hands Up!" Whiskers went for his legs. The unsuccessful burglar surrendered promptly, and stood patiently while I went through his pockets. I found $16.00; just think, and I did think, and it made me as mad as if I had jumping cactus in by [sic] beard — that buzzard would steal from a starving editor of a 5 page Desert Rat newspaper when he had $16.00 in his pockets!

Whiskers and I let him keep one dollar and pushed him out the window. We think it'd be a good idea to leave that front window open!

Packet 3 Pouch 4     Harry Oliver's DESERT RAT SCRAP BOOK     PAGE 3

"HEAP"   . . .   tremendous education

GALLUP— Chee Dodge, 86 year old Navajo chief, used plenty of eloquence, boh Navajo and English, while appearing before various comittees in Washington during May in his plea for more education for his people in Arizona, Utah and New Mexico. After telling House Indian affairs committee about meager livelihood eked out on reservation and necessity of education if Navajo are to take their place in economy of a white world, during which his lawyer son Tom interpreted, the questioning period started. At this, Chee Dodge really warmed up, leaping to his feet, shaking his magnificent head of white hair, wriggling a dramatic finger, then letting loose a torrent of Navajo. Once, without waiting for translation, he came up with a reply in perfect English. He explained to the astonished committee he spoke Navajo only because many of the 22 delegates with him knew no English. "Actually I had a tremendous education for my day," he assured them. "I went to school for two months." Desert Magazine

Indian Haircut

When Coolidge was Governor of Massachusetts [sic] he was once host to a visiting Englishman of some prominence. The latter ostentatiously took a British coin from his pocket, saying, "My great, great grandfather was made a Lord by the King whose picture you see on his shilling." — Coolige laconically produced a nickel. "My great, great grandfather was made an angel by the Indian whose picture you see on this coin."

Two lice off the same person won't fight!

Makes me tired, sometimes, when I think I got to go all all through Social Security, and then return and go through reincarnation, YET!


Getting mail is lots of fun! In response to the last packet, received a little note from Jo Stafford, who liked being in the "Singing Sands" legend * * * The Emperor of Death Valley, applauded my efforts to keep the desert roads free from tin cans * * * Sgt. Wm. H. Rawnsley, writing from North of Hoengsong, Korea, commented on the bufalo chips referred to in the last two packets * * * Francis Brown, Ed. of the New York Times Book Review, okayed the use of the cartoon on the next page, providing the cartoonist, Hank Ketcham would okay it — he did, in a happy letter which also told of his comic strip, "Dennis the Menace." * * * Want to thank Fred Trueblood, Sr., publisher of Newhall, California, for his donation to the museum. He sent a set of "swords" for hand composition.

Want to comment some more about that Emperor of Death Valley: that is T.R. Goodwin, Supt. of The Death Valley National Monument. Though his majesty rules an area larger than some of our states with considerable more power than any Governor, it is whispered that his highness has to swat his own Vinegarones and take his own pet tortoise out for a run.


South Dakota's Badlands — 5200 sq. miles of eroding clay, dust and silt, received their name from the Indians, who called the area, "mako sica," according to the National Geographic Society. Early French trappers translated this into "mauvaises terres," meaning "badlands." This name was translated into English and retained by the first American settlers in the region.

"Nope, no Sick"

When an Indian reappeared in a Nevada drug store for the fourth time and asked for a half-dozen bottles of a certain cough medicine, the druggist grew curious. "Somebody in the family sick?" he asked. "Nope, no sick," grunted the Indian. "Then what in the world are you doing with all this cough syrup?" persisted the druggist. "Ugh!" responded the Indian, "Me likeum on pancakes."

Looking Ahead With An   ARCHEOLOGIST   By E. and G. BAKKER

Jimmy Brewer lately of Navajo National Monument forsees in the dim future Icelandic archeological expeditions to the ruined cities of America. He predicts that they will be bewildered by the finding of small white porcelain objects, four in the desert, and six and eight in the corroded foundations of ancient cities. They will always be found in a row and will be assigned some unknown ceremonial value. In other words, brother, the porcelain of our sparkplugs will outlast our civilization.

[cartoon: Office of THRILLING OUTDOOR YARNS, Inc. - At desk, Editor (holding manuscript) to Indian] "The trouble is all the cowboys in your story are a bunch of ignorant, bloodthirsty savages."

I want to thank The New York Times Book Review and Hank Ketchum cartoonist for the okay to reprint this.

HIGRADED   From Desert Magazine

Indian Cradleboard

Fallon, Nevada

Dear Mr. Henderson:

Glancing over the April copy of Desert I saw the query, "Can anyone tell us the name of the cradleboard used by Indians to carry papooses?"

A few years ago Gladys Rowley, who writes the column "Reno Revue" in the Nevada State Journal, asked the same question and was flooded with answers. Bill Powers of Reno, whose knowledge of Nevada Indians and their language is extensive, informed the columnist that both the Pahutes and the Shoshones called the snug little home in which the papoose travels on its mother's back its "hoob." Another informant said the word was "hoob," but pronounced like "hoop," as though it had three o's in it.

Still another quoted Chalfant's "Story of Inyo," chapter on home life of the Pahutes: "The infant Pahute was cradled in a wickerwork contrivance called a 'huva' or 'heuba,' with a tree fork as a foundation."

One informant explained how to tell the sex of "hoobed" babies. Certain tribes decorate the cover or hood with a diamond shaped figure for girls, a half diamond for boys.

One reader wrote, "Our local Indians call it a 'burkus.' That is the name used by many western and midwestern tribes." MRS. BEN HICKS  


The Indians who sold Manhattan Island to Peter Minuit in 1626 for some firewater and $24 worth of trinkets were smart boys. They did not own it. They were Canarsies, Montauks and Rockaways from Long Island — just in town for a visit. So Peter had to buy it again from a tribe "uptown." The real salesmen, however, were the Raritans, who sold Staten Island to the Dutch six successive times.


In 1777 if a North Carolina state employee brought in a Cherokee scalp he was given 10 pounds for it. If he brought in the whole Indian in good condition he was given five pounds extra. Private citizens, on the other hand, were paid 40 pounds for the Indian's hair and 50 pounds per live Cherokee. In those days a pound was worth about $2.50.

Injuns Is Injuns

Fourteen miles north of Durango, Colorado, eight thousand five hundred feet up in the Rockies, a movie company was making the picture, "Across the Wide Missouri. They had even brought down a hundred Sioux Indians from a reservation in South Dakota, hired scholarly chief Nie-Hah Pouw Chtu-Tum-Nam (called Nippo) to translate the screenplay into the blackfoot and Nez Perce dialects, and got the Indians out of their Levis and provided them with wigs and braids in the style of their ancestors. (The Sioux, Bill Williams reports, take pictures of one another in make-up and wardrobe, delightedly exclaiming, "Look, I'm an Indian.") Harper's Magazine


Much confusion and arguement have arisen from the two spellings of the word "Mojave." A ruling of the Geographical Board in Washington, D.C. however a few years ago simplified the problem someshat. If you are in California, the name of the river, the city and the desert should be spelled with a "j": Mojave. If, on the other hand, you happen to be in Arizona, then you must spell the name of the county and the Indian tribe with an "h": Mohave. Dr. A.L. Kroeber of the University of California, noted anthropologist, claims that only the "h" spelling should exist, since the word is an Indian one, not Spanish, and was only transliterated by the early Spanish, who gave all "h" sounds a spelling of "j". The very same problem arose with the greatest Indian tribe of Northern Arizona: should it be Navaho or Navajo?

The word Mojave (or Mohave) itself is of Indian origin and is that tribe's name for "three mountains," referring to three distinctive landmarks near the present city of Needles, whose name also refers to this geological oddity.

He's a collector of Indian Relics.
Guess that's a pretty good business.
Yes, he has Minnehaha's original tee-hee.
Let's go on the warpath.
We can't — it's bein' paved.

An Indian missionary was awakened one night by a racket in the house. He picked up a pistol and quietly sneaked into the next room where he found a burglar ransacking the place. He said, "My friend, I would not hurt thee for the world but thou art standing right where I am going to shoot!" George A. Stingle


An old doctor at Needles tells this one: "An old time Indian came to his office and asked: "you fix sick man?" Doctor said "Yes," whereupon the Indian led him 11 miles to his adobe hogan, entered, laid down, said "Gut hurt like hell, you fixum."


An eastern go-getter spied a lazy Indian chief lolling indolently at the door of his hogan. "Chief," remonstrated the go-getter, "why don't you get yourself a job?" "Why?" grunted the chief. "Well, you could earn a lot of money. Maybe 30 or 40 dollars a week." "Why?" insisted the chief. "Oh, if you worked hard and saved your money, you'd soon have a bank account. Wouldn't you like that?" "Why?" again asked the chief. "For gosh sakes!" shouted the exasperated go-getter. "With a big bank account you could retire, and then you wouldn't have to work anymore —" "Not working now," pointed out the Indian.

Mrs. Sniff of the Famous Date Gardens Tells This One

A party of tourists wished to see some Indian ruins in a desolate section of Arizona. In order to get to them they had to leave their car a walk some distance. When well on their way, one lady suddenly cried, "Gracious, I forgot to lock the car!" "Don't worry, it's all right," the Indian guide comforted her. "There isn't a white man within fifty miles of this place."


A teacher in an Oklahoma school one day remarked, "I wonder if any of you children have some Indian blood," I have, teacher," replied Tommy. "That's quite interesting," observed teacher. "What tribe?" "Well, I don't think it was exactly a tribe," said Tommy, "Grandma says he was just a wandering Indian riding a wonderful white horse!"


Many years ago, an Indian and two other men were riding across the Inyo lava beds. They'd been in the saddle since early morning, and their talk got around to the big dinner they expected to eat when they got to town. When the Indian was asked if he was hungry, however, his answer was "No."

They soon reached their destination and ordered steaks with all the trimmings.

The Indian wolfed down everything in sight. One of his companions remarked to the redskin that only an hour ago he'd said he wasn't hungry.

"No use be hungry back there," the Indian replied, "no food." Retold from a story by Senator Charles Brown of Shoshone

I reprint this story of Chas. Browne from the Death Valley packet because it's a good Indian story — You folks that have all your back packets have it, but others picking up their first copies on the news-stand don't, and too, I am trying to put out the perfect packet, so's one of those award giving outfits might see fit to give this paper a fitting award.


Despite the belief that Indians will not probe into the "happy hunting ground" of their ancestors, Papago, Indians are digging into a cavern north of Arizona that was an early hunting shrine. In a short time a valley village will be uncovered. It is thought to date from about 1200 A.D.

You want to speak Papago? There is a bulletin out now written by Dr. William Kurath, professor of German at the University of Arizona. It deals with sounds, word formations, sentence structure, vocabulary, texts and songs of the Papago tongue.

HOUSEWIVES ATTENTION: So you think your housework is tough? Among the Blackfeet tribe of Indians it was customary to take more than one wife because it required three women to do the work connected with just one little Indian teepee!


A visitor to a Western trading post asked one of the clerks about the weather prospects for the following day. The clerk, unwilling to hazard a guess, merely shrugged his shoulders in disinterest but an Indian, an odd-job worker about the place, freely volunteered, "Going to rain — much!" And so it did.

During the downpour the visitor re-entered the post and sought out the prophet of rain, who he was convinced understood the voices of Nature. This time, the Indian predicted, "Clear and cool." Again the forecast was correct.

When the question was repeated on the third day, the visitor received quite a shock. "Dunno," chuckled the redskin. "Didn't hear the radio today!" Country Gentlemen

Ladies and Dogs

A rooming house keeper from Red Mountain went into a pet shop to price some dogs. "You can have that small bitch over there for $25," said the clerk, pointing, "or that large bitch in the corner for $35." The lady frowned as the man spoke. "Why, madam," asked the clerk, "aren't you familiar with the term 'bitch'?" "Why, certainly," replied the lady haughtily, "but never before have I heard it applied to dogs."

This Page is Dedicated to the World's Greatest Optimist -- The Desert Prospector


Caruthers Knows His DEATH VALLEY And Peg Leg, Too

From William Caruthers new book, "LOAFING ALONG DEATH VALLEY TRAILS."

Many have written of the big sink, but "Loafing Along Death Valley Trails" has an intimate personal touch that can come only from one who knows his subject.

I just have to gather all I can on that old rascal, Pegleg Smith. Because You see, I'm his press agent. Signed, Your Ed.

Pegleg Smith made Resting Springs, on the edge of Death Valley, his headquarters for the greatest haul in the history of California horse stealing and reached Cajon Pass before the theft was discovered. These horses were driven into Utah and there sold to emigrants, traders and ranchers. Smith may be said to be the inventor of the Lost Mine, as a means of getting quick money. The credulous are still looking for mines that existed only in Pegleg's fine imagination.

Thomas L. Smith was born at Crab Orchard, Kentucky, October 10, 1801. With little schooling, he ran away from home to become a trapper and hunter, and following the western streams eventually settled in Wyoming. He married several squaws, choosing these from different tribes, thus insuring friendly alliance with all.

He had been a member of Le Grand's first trapping expedition to Santa Fe and was an associate of such outstanding men as St. Vrain, Sublette, Platte, Jim Bridger, Kit Carson, the merchant Antoine Rubideaux (properly Robedoux) of St. Louis. He spoke several Indian languages and earned the gratitude of the Indians in his area by leading them to victory in a battle with the Utes. Able and likeable, he also had iron nerves and courage. His morals, he justified on the ground that his were the morals of the day.

J.G. Bruff, historian, whose "Gold Rush — Journal and Drawings" is good material for research, met Smith on Bear River August 6, 1849, and wrote in his diary: "Pegleg Smith came into camp. He trades whiskey." Actually he traded anything he could lay his hands on.

While trapping for beaver with St. Vrain on the Platte, Smith was shot by an Indian, the bullet shattering the bones in his leg just above the ankle. He was talking with St. Vrain at the moment and after a look at the injury, begged those about to amputate his leg. Having no experience his companions refused. He then asked the camp cook to bring him a butcher knife and amputated it himself with minor assistance by the noted Milton Sublette.

Smith was then carried on a stretcher to his winter quarters on the Green River. While the wound was healing he discovered some bones protruding. Sublette pulled them out with a pair of bullet molds. Indian remedies procured [sic] by his squaws healed the stump and in the following Spring of 1828 he made a rough wooden leg. Thereafter he was called Pegleg by the whites and We-he-to-ca by all Indians.

A wooden socket was fitted into the stirrup of his saddle and with this he could ride as skillfully as before. In the lean, last years of his life he could be seen hopping along under an old beaver hat in San Francisco to and from Biggs and Kibbe's corner to Martin Horton's. Something in his appearance stamped him as a remarkable man.

Major Horace Bell, noted western ranger, lawyer, author and editor of early Los Angeles, relates that he saw Pegleg near a Mother Lode town, lying drunk on the roadside, straddled by his half-breed son who was pounding him in an effort to arouse him from his stupor.

Smith had little success as a prospector, but saw in man's lust for gold, ways to get it easier than the pick and shovel method.

In the pueblo days of Los Angeles, Smith was a frequent visitor at the Bella Union, a leading hotel. Always surrounded by a spellbound group, he lived largely. When his money ran out he always had a piece of high-grade gold quartz to lure investment in his phantom mine.

And so we have the Lost Pegleg, located anywhere from Shoshone to Tucson. Nevertheless, no adequate story of the movement of civilization westward can ignore South Pass and Pegleg Smith.

Later, when Pegleg Smith was chided about the high price he demanded of an emigrant for a horse, he remarked, "Well the horses cost me plenty. I lost half of them getting out of the country and three of my best squaws . . ."

A Book for Desert Lovers
Loafing Along Death Valley Trails

You will like the colorful characters, tall tales, ghost towns, and boom towns of a hectic era in man's hunt for desert gold, when honkies were social centers and the great and the humble nudged elbows, lived, laughed and lied one day for a time as they made, missed or lost fortunes overnight.

Says Old Timer: "By far the best book ever written about Death Valley. It's like watching a pageant from a ringside seat because it was written by one who knew his desert and the people he writes about."

Ask at your book store for—

Loafing Along Death Valley Trails


The ghost of Chief Pushawalla watches Paul Wilhelm of Thousand Palms Oasis. The Chief traded this oasis to Paul's dad (the Lucky Dutchman) about 50 years ago for a buckboard and two mules. The crazed mules died later, with the Chief, because he couldn't get them out of the wash. This was during the cloudburst of 1899.

Yes, the Chief watches Paul as he digs into the old Indian graves and watches him as he plants palm seeds and tiny palms between the giant palms of 200 years. He laughs at the little plants for Paul is trying to gild the lily. Can't do much to what is already the prettiest darn Oasis on this Desert.

Origin of Sign Language Among Indians

As there were many Indian tribes on the plains, so there were many languages and dialects. The frequent contact of tribe with tribe made some sort of common language necessary and the sign language drew up as an adaptation to the peculiar conditions in the open country. The Indian on the rock in the distance asks, "Who are you?" by raising the right hand, palm in front, and slowly moving it right and left. Answer is made with, say, the tribal sign for Pawnee. The sign for peace is made by the Indian laying down his weapons and raising his hands high above his head. In such ways the tribe from the headwater of the Missouri could communicate with a people from the Rio Grande for the sign language was a universal language of the plains. Its development was an intellectual achievement of great importance.

[image] Buffalo Bull

A strange Drunk tried to borrow a blank Check and have Slim Riffle, owner of Owl Cafe CASH it for him. Slim leaned over the bar and whispered in the Drunk's ear, "You are an alright guy and your check is probably good for thousands of dollars, but I don't TRUST them BIG BANKS! They will Gyp both of us!

White Man Took Over

"Daddy, my teacher wants me to prove that the white man is superior to the Indian," said Johnny. "Can you help me?"

"Don't think so, son," replied Daddy. "When the white man took over the country the Indians were running it. There were no taxes. There was no debt. The women did all the work. How could they improve on a system like that?"


The class had just had a lesson on the American Indian, and now the teacher was asking, "What are the leaders of the tribes called?" One bright little girl immediately volunteered, "Chiefs." "Correct," said teacher. "And what are the women called?" After a brief pause, a boy ventured, "Mis-chiefs."

Calico Jones says, "To be a genuine Desert Rat — make all the promises you are asked to — but never say when."

Wild tobacco that the early desert Indians smoked smelled like burning tarred hemp rope.

When white men came to California, Indians were using clam shells and dentalium shells for money.

I need more ads just about as much as Custer needed another Indian. Your Ed.

Only One World Famous


    11 Miles South of Indio on Highway 99
            or Please Mail Your Order

    1-lb. Finest Dates and  Confections, $1.30
    3-lbs. Finest Dates and Confections,  3.50
Including Delivery — write for Folder

Thermal, Calif.


Your Editor Heads for the "Crazy Weather" Country

A couple months ago I journeyed to a spot I had long had in mind, as an ideal getaway from this ever closing in civilization. The original idea was born while working with Will Rogers, years ago on the motion picture "Lightning." The spot I have selected gives me a strip, 500 ft. in California, 500 ft. in Nevada, and one mile long, ending at the Colorado River, which is the Arizona line. I will call the place Endoline, because it is the end of the longest line separating any two states in the Union. It will probably be the end of the line for me, as I have in the 43 years I have lived in California, built and moved 3 times, each an Adobe building, still standing and retaining the "almost" true historical backgrounds that I gave to them. One is the old home-place in Palms, California (the last slice of La Ballona Rancho), another is the rambling old HO Ranch the first house to be built in Borrego Desert. The third is the historic old Fort Oliver which you readers are familiar with. The new building at Endoline, will straddle the line with a 24 ft. log section in Nevada, and a 24 ft. adobe on the California side. It will be a museum open to the public for free. Here I will set up my 100 yr. old press so that half of each page will be printed in Nevada and half in California.

I do not plan to have much more than the print shop and the museum, but will handle The Desert Rat Scrap Book, The Desert Magazine, Arizona Highways, Nevada Magazine, Calico Print, and a few choice books on the lore of the Desert. Above all I hope to stock up with one book that is the story of right where I will be. That book is Charles L. McNichols, "Crazy Weather," and I advise anyone that wishes to know more of where their paper is coming from to get it from their library or book dealer and read it. It's the "Tom Sawyer" of the West. Incidentally it is my Indian frioends of the Fort Mohave Indian Reservation and James M. Stewart, Supt. of The Colorado River Agency, Parker, Arizona, who have made this possible.

P.S.— It's going to take me 6 or 8 months to make this move so there'll be no change in address until you are notified.

INDIAN SIGNS You Should Know
by Ben Bean

Indian Sign No. 1 — When you see a squaw carying her papoose on her back and it's the wrong side up — — it's a sign she's "in a hurry."

Indian Sign No. 2 — When you see an Indian Chief trying to start a fire with two dry sticks — — it's a sign his grandson is a boy scout.

Indian Sign No. 3 — When you see an Indian with a sign on him reading "Wet Paint" — — it's a sign he's a cigar store Indian.

Indian Sign No. 4 — When you see a baldheaded Indian — — it's a sign he's not an Indian,

Indian Sign No. 5 — When you see an Indian walking pidgeon toed — — it's a sign he will never have fallen arches.


"The mentality of an Indian moves in ways peculiarly its own, and, I think, alters little no matter how the world about him conducts itself," wrote the late George Palmer Putnam in his "Death Valley and Its Country."

"Once I saw an Easterner afflicted with a social conscience encounter the aboriginal state of mind head-on.

"It was at Keeler, besides Owens lake. As we waited in the shade of a little store for a man who was to take us to his talc mine, we watched an Indian arrive on horseback, followed by a squaw on foot. The Indian bought his groceries, put them in a gunnysack, and loaded the pack on the back of the woman. Then he got on his horse for the ride home.

"My friend with the conscience didn't like that. Before I realized what he was up to, he stepped out to the Indian the way you'd approach a man who was kicking a child on Park Avenue.

"'Look here," he expostulated, 'what's the big idea? You riding a horse and your wife walking and carrying everything.'

"The Indian regarded my friend stolidly.

"'Squaw got no horse,' he said." From the Rocketeer

QUICK   "Let's See the Indians — Quick!"

GALLUP— A party of eastern tourists came into chamber of commerce hogan in August, and inquired of Secretary Frank H. Holmes: "Where can we find a guide to show us the reservation?" Just then Dick Mattox walked in. "Here's just the man you're looking for," Holmes said. "Mattox knows the reservation like no one else. His fee is $10 a day." "Oh, we didn't expect to put in a full day of it," said spokesman for the tourists. "We thought we'd have a look around before dinner time." It was then about 3:30 p.m. Just in case you didn't know — the Navajo reservation covers 16,000,000 acres — just an afternoon's spin. Desert Magazine

NAVAJO   Poorest Spot — Sickest Spot

SILVER CITY— Mrs. Tom Threepersons, Cherokee Indian and local newspaperwoman, says Navajo reservation is the poorest spot, the blackest spot of illiteracy, the sickest spot, and most neglected spot in United States. "If the Navajo Indian reservation were a national forest and the Indians were so many trees," she said, "the government would spend $30,000,000 a year protecting and maintaining it." As it is, she said infant mortality rate is highest in nation and tuberculosis is 8½ times U.S. average. Desert Magazine


By accurate checking I find that 93½% of all old time Americans associate their early memories with a river. Might have been the Missouri, the Tennessee, the Mississippi, the Ohio or any of 500 others. In the South West Desert, rivers are scarce, and exciting. The Colorado river has been a boundary line for thousands of years to the Indians, then hundreds of years to the Spanish, the Mexicans, and today the states. Today we have harnessed it and given the outdoor man three wonderful lakes. Not yet have the roads paralleled it as they will in the future because man will always thrill to the Tom Sawyer dreams that are river born.

That's why I want to get to Endoline in time to be a pioneer all over again. This is right up my "arroyo," so to speak.     —Your Ed.



Reviving the paper published in Calico in 1882, with all the spirit of the silver boom — and we hope some of the silver.

Send one silver dime for sample copy to—


Drawer 951 — Pasadena, California
$1.50 year       15¢ copy

The DESERT: Is the greatest show on earth.


A Great Collection of Relics
A Faithful Reproduction of a Composite Old West Ghost Town

Open Daily, 12 noon to 9 P.M.   Come and have FUN and a GOOD DINNER


22 Miles Southeast of Los Angeles

Here's another Borrego Valley story

When an old Desert Rat tells you a yarn at a camp fire on a midsummer's desert night with the flicker of the fire to give the story scintillating emphasis as the snapping of burning twigs punctuates each sentence, you are apt to believe it — I DO. Here is Old Shovel Handle Smith's story, A Prospector of Earthquake Faults.

Shovel Handle Smith is just another Desert Rat to most folks around Borrego Desert, one of the old time gold hunters that's looked for Pegleg's lost mine, worked in mines at Banner and around Julian for no one knows how log, [sic] 25 years, maybe 35 or 40 years. He got that name years ago. He's about 6 feet 4 and as slim today as he was when they started calling him Shovel Handle.

I knew only this, as I sat looking into the fire, and Smith in his low soft voice started his story.

"Back about 20 years ago I was poking around on the Borrego side of Santa Rosa Mountain, looking for a little bit of gold — and, yes, Pegleg's Gold. Every old time prospector has looked for the Pegleg mine some time in his life.

"Well, about this time I am telling you about, I was on the south side of Santa Rosa, when one of our earthquakes gave the old San Jacinto fault a jolt — boy it was a real jolt. Rocks were rolling all around me and I thinks to myself that this was the sharpest jolt I had ever known in the years I have mined around these parts. I was looking up the mountain, didn't want a rolling rock to catch me from behind. Soon the dust settled, the grinding noise stopped, and looking down I see a split in old Santa Rosa. It was open about 3 feet wide on the top but I could see she was not so wide 50 feet down."

Smith tossed a root of a creosote bush on the fire and went on with his story. I am not going to interrupt again. I don't have to tell you we kept the fire burning, as most writers do. From here on its Smith's words just as though they had come off a tape recorder.

"I started down the mountain, looking into that crack as I walked along its edge, noting it did not vary in width, only in its shape. Almost straight down she went.

"When a man has spent half his life digging into the earth and all of a sudden the earth opens up, he's bound to be curious to see what's in there.

"So I says to myself, let's go in and see. It wsasn't hard going down as I could let my body down slowly spreading my knees and arms as I lowered myself. I see the crack is getting narrower and I see gold, — wire gold, and gold in sheets. Then my feet hit the bottom, and I find I am in a crevice only 12 inches wide, the crack had stopped, the floor was the bottom of the fault.

"It was so narrow that I had to lie down and look up to see out — 100 feet, maybe 200 feet. I had let myself down into the center of that mountain.

"Looking around I says to myself, THERE'S MORE GOLD HERE THAN YOU WILL EVER SEE AGAIN, but thinking out loud I scared myself with the echo — eerie it was — then thinking in whispers, I whisper, 'can't get a burro through this fault.' Again I whisper, 'can't use a wheelbarrow, it's too narrow.' Then I gets the idea — and a big idea it was. I says to myself without whispering, I can make a big wheel and I can, — yes — I can roll the gold out — more'n I could pack on a burro.

"So I starts to work. The gold is soft like sheets of lead. With rocks I am able to pound it in the shape of a wheel, and I am getting along fine when that earthquake starts rumbling. She's making like she might unquake. I am scared and thinking as how I didn't want to be pressed like a flower in a book. I just says to myself 'GO' — yes, out loud I said it — and thinking down would be the way out, I started. Then that quake did a flip — and it seemed that down was more down than it was before. I was on my way.

"I took a quick look back. WOW! My wheel was coming after me — a half million dollar wheel of gold was chasing me and would crush me to death. Here I was, running sideways, out of the heart of Santa Rosa Mountain with a seven or eight hundred pound wheel of gold coming at me. I was going as fast as I could. I was sure going. The wheel would stop, then come faster after each jolt or rumble. It was a race to get off the Main Street of the San Jacinto Fault — out'a the Jaws of Hell. Out while an earthquake was smiling.

"Then I fell, and all hell broke loose — rocks bounced over my head — jolt after jolt shook the earth. Then all was quiet, I was sprawled in a creosote bush — a bush. Gosh, I was out — OUT!

* * *

"For months I looked for traces of that wheel in the three canyons it might have rolled down, but not a trace. I am sure that earthquake snapped its jaws shut just in time to keep that gold. For the last 20 years, after every quake I come over, hoping it might spit it out.

"You know — I often think, but I guess I am like most people, but if I had not tried for such a big wheel I could have got that GOLD out."

Old Whiffletree, ex-stagecoach driver, says, "My philosophy . . . never go see a Doctor, but when the Doctor has to come to you — then LISTEN!"


Indian Definition of a Night Club: Heap, Whoopee, Teepee. Keith. 

A white girl hauled into court on a drunk charge, caused some confusion as to the origin of the American Indian. She accused one of raping her with the statement, "That's the trouble with you American Indians," she said to Haskie Yazzie, "you come over to this country and try to take it over." Yazzie, a Nevada Indian, was held on suspicion of rape, while the girl was booked on a drunk charge.

We can't remember whether it was Ted Cook or Milt Gross who wrote to the Bureau of Indian Affairs: "Dear Sirs, I've always wanted to have an affair with an Indian. How can I go about it?"

PAPOOSE: Consolation prize for taking a chance on an Indian Blanket. R.L. Swadley

ONE YEAR $2.00         SINGLE COPY 25 ¢
Grubstaker: The late Scotty Allen


Stories of Pioneers and Old Trails

Herb S. Hamlin, Editor
Address All Mail to
795 Sutter Street
San Francisco 9, Calif.
Published Monthly at Placerville,
California, Formerly Hangtown

Heard on the radio — Eminent doctor says only sure way to prevent tooth decay is to chew tobacco. I asked old Sky-Eye about it, the old boy spat — saying "my teeth are all gone, wore 'em out chewing tobacco!"

An Indian Chief, on his return from Washington, told his family that Abe Lincoln was a Navaho, having viewed a bronze bust of Lincoln, he says he knows he was a Navaho because, "him same color as Navaho!"


Now we have reports of a discovery of a "Turkish" bath room at a Navajo site near Cisco, Utah. The room, 40 feet in diameter, contained 14 fire pits. Scattered around were bits of pottery "game pieces" with which the Navajos were known to have gambled. It is theorized that the Indians built fires in the pits, poured water on heated stones, and sat around playing games in the room full of steam.


Museum of Early West printing grows. The Editor wants to thank Fred Trueblood, Sr., veteran publisher of The Newhall Signal, for his donation to the museum. He sent a shagreen case containing a complete set of "swords" for hand composition. He dimly recalled legends of an old tramp printer who spent some time grubbing for gold thereabouts.

You Can Float In

Its surface is the fastest motor boat course in the world

PLAY — In the Sun - - In the Water and Under the Wind

Salton Sea — A beautiful inland body of salt water — area 306 square miles, 250 feet below sea level. Its salt content is twice that of the ocean — too salty for dill pickles.


Swimming and Boating
Desert and Seashore Homesites

9½ Miles East of Meca, [sic] California



The Navajo Indian domesticated the WIld Turkey.

The Indian population in the desert is steadily growing — from 8,000 to 45,000 in 60 years.

The Seri Indians of Tiburon Island, in the Gulf of California, can run down horses, coyotes, deers, and even jackrabbits, on foot, it is claimed.

The oldest inhabited home in America is a mud house in Santa Fe, New Mexico — It was old before the Spanish came in the 16th century.

Over 3,000 different herbs and plants for therapeutic use were grown in Montezuma's Mexican botanical gardens years before the discovery of America.

Indians prefer black hats, because they acquired the habit of wearing black hats when the Union Army gave them their extra hats after the war between the States.

The Mohave Indian says, "The white man's forehead is wrinkled because he is always asking, 'Will tomorrow be bad?' He never has time to smile because it is very good right now."

The stone for the Indian sacred Redstone pipe is only found in Pipe-Stone County, Minnesota — and nowhere else. Archeologists find that the Indians had traded this precious stone with Indians everywhere in the United States.

Keep the brightest trail. — Indian advice.

There are 324,000 Indians in the United States proper — something over 372,000 including Alaska.

The American Indian has never had a substitute for liquor; most all primitive races in other parts of the world have.

The Indian on the "Buffalo Nickel" was modeled by Chief Two-Gun White Calf of the Glacier Park Indian Reservation.

Pocohontas had a son, Thomas Rolfe. He was educated in England, but later came to Virginia, where he gained considerable wealth.

The usual size of a wampum belt was eleven strands of 180 beads each — about 2,000 wampum beads to a belt. Some belts were composed of 6,000 to 7,000 beads.

At a men's club in Oklahoma and Indian Chief, upon being admitted, said, "You all know me as 'Chief Trainwhistle,' but since I am now one of you, I hope you will feel free to address me as 'Toots'."

The ancient art of tanning, a close-guarded secret of the Kateri tribe of Idaho, will be taught young members of the tribe. Tribal leaders decided on the step after it was found that only a few Indians survived who knew the secret of the difficult art.

All text was lovingly hand-entered (no OCR scans) by RIC CARTER who stakes a claim to the copyright for the layout and markup, but not to the contents, which remain the property of the heirs and estate of Harry Oliver, wherever they may be. Hopefully all the original typos were preserved and not too many new ones were introduced, but y'know how it goes...
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