4 HAUNTED GHOST TOWNS Packet
This page dedicated is to the World's Greatest Optimist - the Desert Prospector
Harry Oliver's DESERT RAT SCRAP BOOK
The Day They All Come Back
Easy to read ONE ACT Play by Robert Finch
ROBERT FINCH is a talented dramatist who combines a high regard for his craft with a deep, sure knowledge of his locale and its people. As you read this play you will know them to be as genuinely AMerican as Ham and Eggs and as Western as a Silver Dollar.
It is my hope that printing this Great Ghost Town play might encourage some of our Western Communities to stage shows backgrounding their own early life.
Robert Finch has written a dozen one act Westerns. CAUTION the plays are protected by copyright law, including professional, amateur, radio, etc. but the fee is small, if you wish to add one to your "Old Timers Day Celebration."
Write Robert Finch, care, Play Department, Greenberg: Publisher, 201 East 57th Street, New York 22, N.Y.
THE DAY THEY ALL COME BACK
A ONE ACT PLAY BY ROBERT FINCH
HARRY, a barroom pianist
KERRIGAN, an old gambler
POP, an old miner
LILY, once an entertainer
CLAYT, a miner
*Copyright, 1946, by Robert Finch.
THE TIME: A midwinter evening, some years ago. It is just about suppertime.
THE PLACE: A deserted mining town in the mountains, called Crystal. The saloon there.
The saloon, once gaudy and magnificent with its giltwork and mirrors, is now old and tattered and incredibly dusty, with cobwebs in every corner. A feeble, broken door at R leads to the rotten, crazy old porch.
Upstairs of the door is the ancient, battered bar with its brass rail and broken mirror, a few dirty bottles and glasses still remaining on the shelves behind it.
Two little old tables with chairs about them. A small and broken upright piano at L. There are evidences here and there that the saloon has been converted into a dwelling place. At L, near the piano, stands a rusty, pot-bellied heating stove and a wood-box; utensils hang nearby. A roll of bedding stands in a corner, and near the window is a small cot.
The window, old-fashioned and many-paned, is in the rear wall; it overlooks the street, but the panes are so grimy as to almost stop the light from entering. On or two panes are broken, repaired with newspaper; in the gap left by one missing pane a gunny-sack has been stuffed.
To the saloon furniture has been added a rock-chair and an ancient, tattered Morris chair, complete with a moth-eaten antimacassar and a mouldy old footstool.
The saloon seems so old as to be about to collaplse. The big oil painting above the bar (the picture of a buxom, golden-haired girl in pink tights, standing by the bright blue pool in the forest) is faded and grimily indistinct. Dust is everywhere — grey and ghostly. The floor is creaky and broken, the chairs in a wretched condition.
AT RISE: It is evening, deep in winter, and outside the snow falls thickly. In the gloom, fumbling awkwardly over the old stove, is HARRY, a dirty apron around his waist, cooking supper. HARRY is a man past middle age, with just a trace of his youthful dash remaining, symbolized by the bright checkered best and the derby hat he wears, just as he did eighteen years ago when he played piano for the dancing here. KERRIGAN sits at the table, R, playing solitaire and smoking. He is a man of sixty, tall and gaunt and pale. His dark suit, white shirt and black tie are neat though threadbare, and aging though KERRIGAN is, one can picture the dashing young gambler he used to be, and the limp and greasy old playing cards flit through his fingers as readily as ever.
HARRY. (He peers through the gloom at the skillet, and then crosses to the hanging lamp) Gettin' dark already. (He strikes a match, reaches up to light the lamp.)
KERRIGAN. (Looking at his watch) It's hardly four o'clock. Dark comes early these nights. (He glances toward the window.) It's still snowing.
HARRY. (He crosses to the window, peers out into the street. Suddenly, from a distance, there is a rumbling and a snow-smothered crash) What was that?
KERRIGAN. The weight of the snow must have broken something down.
HARRY. Is the old fellow outside?
KERRIGAN. Yes. Somewhere. Probably hunting. Took his rifle. Clayt's up in the hills.
HARRY. (He returns to his cooking) Seems like he's always traipising around somewhere or other.
KERRIGAN. He gets out in this weather and prospects for the gold. That's more than we do, Harry.
(HARRY fetches a clean, well-worn white table-cloth from behind the bar. He handles it carefully. This is plainly an occasion.)
HARRY. Didn't even get dirty, the whole year it's been laid away. (He fingers a threadbare spot.) Won't last many more anniversaries, though. (KERRIGAN picks up his cards, so the two tables can be pushed together and the cloth spread.) That's the eighteenth time I've spread that cloth.
(KERRIGAN settles down to has [sic] cards again while HARRY bustles about, getting dishes for the table, setting five places.)
KERRIGAN. I keep forgetting the town's been deserted so long. Why, it seems only yesterday. . . . (But he trails off in a sigh, not finishing.)
HARRY. Lily baked a cake for the party. And we found some candles — eighteen of'em.
(POP enters, a grizzled old man, heavily dressed against the cold. He has a stubble of grey beard, his hands are gnarled and frost-bitten, but in spite of this he looks strong. About him is a mystic air of being lost in memories, thoughts of the past. He carries a rifle which he leans against the bar.)
KERRIGAN. Hello, Pop.
KERRIGAN. Shoot anything?
POP. Nope. Snow's too thick to see. Anything good for supper, Harry?
HARRY. Venison steaks. Say — we heard something fall, somewhere down the street.
POP. (Disgustedly) Snow busted the roof in, down to the stage depot.
KERRIGAN. (Comfortingly) Well, when we find that gold, we'll build a brand new stage depot for Crystal.
POP. Already this is the last building left that's fit to sleep in. Hardly another whole building left.
KERRIGAN. You'd better wash up, Pop. We're just about ready for the celebration.
POP. Fine. But I washed up down't the creek. (He glances around the room,)
HARRY. (Interpreting the glance) If you're lookin' for Clayt — he's out prospectin'.
POP. (He, too, sounds rather plaintive when speaking of CLAYT) That boy's got too much energy. He's always pokin' around in some old prospect hole or other.
HARRY. I don't like to talk about Clayt, since he's your pardner — you practically brung him up since the day he came to Crystal.
POP. Yeah — I can see him now, gettin' off the stage coach — all dressed up, in them pilgrim clothes. Why, everything that boy knows he learnt from me.
HARRY. Clayt's too young and hot-blooded. He can't wait fer things to happen, like us older folks can. Sure, we gotta find that lost vein of gold — but no reason to traipse around lookin' for it every day, even in the dead of winter.
POP. Work, work, work, all the time. That's Clayt for you. Always been that way.
KERRIGAN. (Quietly) He'll get over it. Some day he'll be just like the rest of us.
HARRY. (He takes the meat up in a platter, and serves it with much style) Meat's all done. We can eat.
KERRIGAN. (He turns the lamp up a little higher) We're all ready, I guess, except for Clayt and Lily. I'd better call Lily.
(KERRIGAN starts for the stairs at L, but before he reaches them LILY appears, carrying a great cake with eighteen lighted candles, lighting her tired face and making her young again. The men gasp in surprise as LILY descends the stairs. LILY was once a real beauty — her bare shoulders are still handsome, her hair still black and in her face is still something of her former beauty. Her dress is of a period long gone; dark red velvet, it is faded, stained and sewed in places. But with the gold necklace she wears, set with a large blue stone, it makes a pleasing effect. The men, startles, rise gallantly. Touched, KERRIGAN bows, in his courtly way.)
KERRIGAN. Miss Lily, you're a fragrant breath out of the past. (Pleased, she smiles at him.)
POP. (Enthusiastically) Music for the lady!
(HARRY hurries to the piano and with his stiff old fingers he pounds out Auld Lang Syne as LILY dramatically makes a sweeping cross to the table and places the cake there just as HARRY finishes the song.)
HARRY. I've got a surprise, too! (He hurries behind the bar.) A bottle of brandy! (He gets out the musty old bottle, returns to the table, and fills the glasses.)
LILY. Where's Clayt?
POP. (Impatiently) Oh, poking around somewhere, as usual.
LILY. It doesn't seem like he'd want to miss the anniversary dinner.
POP. We just can't wait for him. No telling when he'll be in.
HARRY. (Also a little plaintively) He's too impatient! Hasn't learnt to take things easy.
POP. (More tolerantly than before) O'course, he's just a boy still.
LILY. Well, gentlemen, let us begin.
HARRY. Won't you make a little speech —(With a smile.)— Mayor Kerrington?
POP. I made one last year when I was Mayor.
KERRINGTON. (He rises. There is a flutter of applause from the others) It is strange and touching that I, once the town's most undesirable character . . . (OTHERS chuckle) . . . a gambler and a gunfighter — that I should now address you as Mayor of Crystal. (He hesitates. There is a flutter of applause.) I remember — yes, I recall it as though it were yesterday — the glory that was here — the thousands and thousands of dollars in nuggets and gold dust washed from the earth and rocks and squandered in violent pleasure. The miners crowded at the bar there — the swinging of the dancing girls a-sashaying in their gold and red and yellow dresses — and the dancing and the drinking and the gambling — and sometimes the quarrel, the shot, the bloody death. And the battles we fought with the mountains, the rivers, the storms, to make our fortunes. Now they have long been gone from us — those men and women — many are asleep, up on the hill above the town. But they — and we — were all young then and full of life. They were great days, friends, Let us drink to them.
(Enthusiastically they raise their glasses. KERRIGAN sits.)
HARRY. (Plaintively) They're all gone. We're the only ones left.
LILY. (As they begin to eat) I don't mind so much. Any more.
KERRIGAN. (Understandingly) Neither do I, Lily.
LILY. Sometimes I can be sort of happy — I look at the street sometimes in the sunlight — and I see someone walking towards me in the dusty road — I pass a doorway on a summer evening, and in the shadow of the door it seems that someone I know is standing there — with a smile for me. (She is strangely quiet.) If there was a lot of people here I couldn't remember things here so clear.
POP. (He fumbles over his food, lost in his thoughts) I remember when they left — God knows where they went.
HARRY. (Suddenly puzzled) That's funny — I've forgotten too.
KERRIGAN. To some new strike or other.
LILY. Back home, some of them. (To POP, comfortingly.) They'll come back.
POP. They all went except us. (Complainingly.) I never could understand it.
HARRY. We lost the vein of gold. Disappeared.
POP. But it wasn't gone. We'll find it again someday. They oughtta known.
HARRY. (He chuckles to himself) I was playing the piano here one night, like always. All of a sudden the boss threw me the key to this place and said, "Harry, I'm going back home, for the mines are all played out. This joint is all yours; the whole shebang, lock, stock and barrel."
POP. (For the first time revealing his doubts) Sometimes I — I wonder if they're all coming back.
HARRY. (Surprised and indignant) Of course they are! What else are we waiting for? When we find the gold they'll all come back a-flocking!
KERRIGAN. (Raising his glass) To the day they all come back. (They laugh, drink, and POP shakes off the sudden fit of discouragement.)
POP. Yes sir. I'll drink to that. (To LILY, admiringly.) Miss Lily, that's a mighty pretty dress you're wearing.
HARRY. Lily's a fine-looking woman. Always was.
LILY. (Greatly pleased) I was pretty once — but it's a long time ago.
KERRIGAN. (Gallantly) There never was a girl in town could compare with Lily.
HARRY. (Something about the dress LILY wears strikes a chord in his memory) Lily — ain't that the dress you wore the night that . . . that . . . (He fumbles and hesitates ackwardly.)
LILY. Yes — it's the one I wore the night they shot Lonnie Stinson. (She sighs.) I never could bring myself to wear it again until now. (She smiles ruefully.) Now I have to. It's about all I have left.
HARRY. (Unhappily) I'm sorry I said it, Lily. I never meant to remind you.
LILY. It's all right. Everything reminds me. Every day of my life. (Quietly, remembering.) I was wearing this dress when he kissed me goodbye. He held me ever so tight and he said, "Lily, if I ever see you again I'll be a rich man. And together we'll make our lives right again. And if I don't come back, think of me once in a while." (Softly.) "You're my girl," he said. "You belong to me." (KERRIGAN pats her hand.)
POP. (His interest in the vivid memory overcoming his consideration for LILY) That was the day he robbed the Carson City stage!
HARRY. And when dark came he walked in here, never knowing he'd been recognized. (They grow excited in recreating the vivid scene.)
KERRIGAN. The Sheriff was waiting for him when he stood in the open door.
POP. (Staring at the door) I can almost see him there.
LILY. The Sheriff never gave him a chance. He had a derringer hid in his sleeve. Lonnie never even saw it.
HARRY. And there was poor Lonnie dying on the floor, his head in a pool of blood. (LILY weeps. KERRIGAN touches her confortingly.)
KERRIGAN. There, Lily. He's warm and safe, and he knows that you're nearby. He can't be so lonesome up there on Boot Hill, under the snow.
POP. (Lost in his dreams apropos of nothing) If we only hadn't lost the vein. One week it was there, and we were all getting rich. The next week it was gone. Disappeared. Covered up or something. Where did it go? How could we lose it?
KERRIGAN. Perhaps, after all, it was gone. Mined out, like they said.
HARRY. (Passionately) No! It's there, under the rocks somewhere. We'll find it!
POP. You bet your life we will! And we'll all be rich and happy! (HARRY gives a cheer.)
KERRIGAN. (Gallantly) Miss Lily, will you favor me with a dance, if Harry will oblige us at the piano?
(Touched, she takes his arm and he leads her to the floor, as HARRY tinkles out a waltz on the piano.)
POP. That's we need! Dancing! Just like old times!
KERRIGAN. (As he and LILY waltz, gracefully, POP watches them admiringly, and HARRY, at the piano, smiles at them over his shoulder) I've seen the time I couldn't crowd my way through the men that wanted to dance with you.
LILY. (Pleased) You never tried. You were too busy winning other men's money to worry about their women.
POP. Wisht there was a crowd there at the bar, yelling and hollering, and it'd be just like it used to be. (He drinks, attempts faultily to sing.) Play louder, Harry!
HARRY. My fingers are too stiff, Pop. Gettin' old I guess. (KERRIGAN and LILY finish the waltz.)
LILY. That's enough, I guess. I must be getting old too. That was nice, Harry. (HARRY bows. They start back to the table.)
KERRIGAN. I wish you knew that song, "Oh Promise Me."
HARRY. Never wanted to learn it. I like the old ones best.
POP. When we find the gold we'll have a whole orchestra in here, and Harry can lead it! We'll have everything we want! We'll make this the finest town in the West. (The door opens and CLAYT appears. Presenting a startling contrast to POP's and HARRY'S references to him, he is not young, nor a boy, but middle-aged, dark, heavy-set, roughly dressed. He has the look of a driving, hand-working man.) Clayt!
HARRY. There's the boy now!
LILY. Sit in, Clayt! You nearly missed the celebration.
KERRIGAN. The candles have all burned down.
CLAYT. (Strangely silentm as though something has happened that is so momentous as to strike him dumb) Yes. (Silently, he takes off his mackanaw, hangs it up, as the others look at him wonderingly.)
POP. (As CLAYT crosses toward the table) Clayt, you oughtn't to be late to the anniversary supper. It ain't mannerly.
HARRY. Did you forget what day it is?
LILY. Why don't you eat, Clayt?
POP. (Suddenly irritated) There's something wrong with the boy. I can tell. He's got somethin' on his mind. (CLAYT says nothing, licks his dry lips nervously. POP gets angry.) Clayt! Are you deef? What's the matter with you? (He suddenly knows the truth.) You're hiding something from us! Speak up! (He knows what it is, and the others catch his excitement. Loudly.) Did you find the gold, Clayt? Did you find the lost lode? (POP is frantic with excitement. The others watch breathlessly.) Did you find her?
CLAYT. (Hardly able to get his breath in his excitement) I — I found'er!
HARRY. He and POP leap to their feet) What? [sic]
POP. Where is it, boy?
KERRIGAN. How'd you find it?
(They don't wait for answers. HARRY and POP clap each other on the back, cavort and prance about.)
HARRY. We're rich again!
LILY. Rich! . . .
POP. We've found'er! Hurray!
KERRIGAN. (He is pleased but not boisterous as the others) They'll be coming back, now.
POP. All our old friends. We'll have a boom town here again!
HARRY. (Gloating, to himself) Rich! Rich!
LILY. (To herself) I don't know . . . (The others fail to notice.)
CLAYT. I was gonna break the news sort of slow — so's you could take it in better.
KERRIGAN. Where'd you find it?
CLAYT. Well, I just meant to grub around a little in one of them prospect holes up the Gulch. Climbing down the hill I started a rock slide. Uncovered the vein, plain as day!
POP. Clayt, you're a wonder! I'm proud of you!
HARRY. After all these years, it took Clayt to find it! (HARRY goes to the piano, again strikes up the last bars of Auld Lang Syne — they all sing happily. Then, quiet they reflect on what has happened. Out of the silence.)
POP. Such a long time we've lived here alone, and now everything's going to be just like it was before. All our old friends'll be back — standin' three deep at the bar there — and the whiskey'll be flowin', and the hurdy-gurdy gals'll be here! And the stage coach'll run again and the street'll be full o'wagons and men on horseback once again! Everything like it used to be! (LILY has placed her head on her arms and is silently weeping. KERRIGAN notices.)
KERRIGAN. Lily! Lily, what's the matter?
POP. (Amazed) Why, she's cryin'!
HARRY. We found the gold, Lily! Aren't you happy?
POP. Did we say something to hurt your feelings?
LILY. I — We've been all right the way things were — just us five, for all these years — why do things have to be changed? It'll never be like it used to be — it'll all be new and different! (Miserably, she rises, crosses to the stairway.) Oh, Clayt! I wish you'd never found it!
CLAYT. (Puzzled and indignant) What's the matter with her? Why, we been lookin' for all these years!
KERRIGAN. (Quietly) She's afraid it won't be the same when they all come back to Crystal to get rich.
POP. It'll be wonderful!
HARRY. Excitement — money — lots of fun!
POP. It'll be just like it was before!
KERRIGAN. Well — of course some of those ha come will be strangers. Quite a lot of them, Eighteen years is a long time.
CLAYT. (Amazed and angry) Why — why, you don't even sound glad I found it!
HARRY. (He hadn't thought of it before) Some of'em that were here before'll be too old to be interested.
POP. (It suddenly occurs to him) Some of 'em'll be dead.
KERRIGAN. A good many, probably.
CLAYT. (Furiously) What the hell's the matter with all of you? I never saw such a bunch of croakers!
POP. Don't get excited, Clayt. It's just that we're struck all of a heap.
HARRY. (Trying to revive the enthusiasm) Clayt's right. We got to stop croakin' and get busy — stake out that land for ourselves! It'll make us all rich!
CLAYT. Yeah, we got a lot to do.
HARRY. Better take a lantern along, Clayt. So's we can see to stake'er out.
(CLAYT gets a lantern from the corner.)
CLAYT. (Bitterly) I never thought it'd be like this when we found'er. I thought everybody'd be happy about it. It's what we wanted — ever since I was hardly more'n a boy.
HARRY. We'd oughtta be glad.
(But POP and KERRIGAN sit in silence.)
CLAYT. (Lantern lighted, ready to go. He looks at KERRIGAN and POP) Well? [sic]
(Silence. Suddenly KERRIGAN starts, remembers something.)
KERRIGAN. I wonder what's keeping Miss Lily. (His voice betrays a sudden feeling of alarm.) I better go see. (He rises, starts for the stairs L. Just as he reaches them the loud report of a gunshot is heard, from off L. All stand motionless, frozen with horror. POP groans, as he realizes wehat has happened. KERRIGAN dashes up the stairs and off at L. POP involuntarily moves slightly toward the stairs, then he and HARRY stand waiting. Silence for a moment, then KERRIGAN appears at the top of the steps. By his attitude of depression it is plain what has happened.) Lily's dead. (HARRY expels his breath in a long sigh,)
POP. (Heartbroken) Poor Lily. (He sinks into a chair. HARRY slowly crosses to the bar, stands there staring.)
CLAYT. (Helplessly) Why — why?
KERRIGAN. Because she thought she was going to lose the only happiness she had — living in the past, with just her old friends — and Lonnie.
CLAYT. It — it's awful. (But depressed as he is, he is determined to see his plans through. He slowly puts his hat on, moves to the door, stops, turns.) Well . . . (No one looks at him.) Coming with me, Harry?
HARRY. I — not yet, I guess. (CLAYT opens the dor [sic] and starts out.)
POP. Come back here!
CLAYT. Pop! Have you went crazy? I'm your partner! What are you pointing that gun at me for?
POP. Because I'm going to kill you.
CLAYT. (Trying to bring POP to his senses) Pop! For God's sake! You and I been together for years! We're partners, Pop!
(POP plainly means business. HARRY watches, frightened. KERRIGAN looks on almost calmly.) I'm going to kill you — unless you forget about that claim — don't ever tell anybody you found it, not as long as you live!
CLAYT. (Appealing to KERRIGAN) Are you going to let him kill me? Why don' you stop him, Kerrigan?
KERRIGAN. I think he's right.
CLAYT. (He takes a deep breath and would argue further with POP, but POP [sic] raises the rifle and draws the hammer back. CLAYT speaks in a dry whisper.) I — I'll forget. I promise. (POP hesitates.) So help me God I promise. I — I'll never mention it again!
(POP slowly lowers the rifle. CLAYT, the strain ended, sits at the table, head in hands. POP puts the rifle in a corner, moves silently to the window, gazes out into the night. KERRIGAN picks up his cards, sits and deals out his game of solitaire. HARRY crosses to sit moodily at the piano.)
KERRIGAN. Still snowing, Harry.
HARRY. Yes, (In a grief-stricken voice) Poor Lily.
KERRIGAN. When the snow stops we'll take her up there with Lonnie. (To take HARRY'S mind off it.) Play something.
HARRY. I — I couldn't.
KERRIGAN. Sure you can. (HARRY slowly picks out a few chords, plays softly, moodily. KERRIGAN notices POP at the window.) What you looking at, Pop?
POP. (He sighs. He has lost his belligerence, and now he seems more than ever to be living in the past, his eyes dreamy, his manner vague) I — I was just thinking — about things. (Staring.) You can see the old wagon tracks ther in the road. The snow's fillin' 'em up now. (Some strange mood is taking possession of him.) Why, in those days the road was black, crawling with men and horses and wagons — hundreds of'em!
KERRIGAN. (Quietly) Those were great times.
POP. (A subtle change in his tone) They sure were. (He turns from the window to look about the room. He is growing very excited.) And they'll come again, too. (KERRIGAN looks startled.) All our old friends'll be back. Standin' three dep [sic] at the bar — singing and laughing and shouting. The whiskey'll be flowin', and there'll be music and the dancin' of the hurdy-gurdy girls in their bright dresses and bare shoulders and fancy shoes! (Triumphantly.) They'll all come flocking back here when we find the gold again!
HARRY. (Startled into banging out a discordant note on the piano. Amazed) But Pop! . . .
KERRIGAN. (Quickly interrupting) HARRY with a gesture that is needless, for POP didn't even hear him.) Never mind, Harry. Go ahead and play something.
POP. (As KERRIGAN watches him, understanding, and HARRY helplessly fumbles at the piano, POP continiues, lost in his dreams, as the CURTAIN begins to fall) And the stage coach'll run again and all day long the street'll be full o'wagons and men and horses once again. Everything just like it used to be! Everything. . . .
(But the CURTAIN is down.)
FROM OLD CALICO GHOST TOWN
In its heyday Calico was wild and the duties of Sheriff and Undertaker were numerous.
One morning the Undertaker found a dead donkey in front of his porch. He called on the Sheriff and asked him, what he should do with the body.
"Bury him, you're the undertaker aren't you or are you an Ass too?"
"Yes, yes, I know, but it's the usual thing to notify his mearest of kin, are you sure you do not feel you should send flowers?"
—As told by Calico Post
A couple of ghosts in Oklahoma wandered into a roadside drive-in and demanded a whiskey-and-soda. "This is a dry state," snapped the proprietor, "and we don't serve spirits."
CALICO GHOST TOWN
13 Miles East of Barstow
Calico in the 1880's was the largest silver mining Camp in the southwest. Almost obliterated by time, it is now being restored by Knott's Berry Farm. An ideal outing for the rockhound, and camping groups.
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Grubstaker: The late Scotty Allen
The Pony Express
Stories of Pioneers and Old Trails
Herb S. Hamlin, Editor
Address All Mail to
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THE GHOSTS OF OLD VIRGINIA CITY
Virginia City Ghosts are different, says, Paul Smith of the Museum of Memories. Telling of the ghost of an old Doctor that steps out on the stage at Piper's Opera House at 13 pulse beats after midnight every Friday the 13th and asks "IS THERE A PATIENT IN THE HOUSE?" —H.O.
THE INDIAN GHOST of THOUSAND PALMS
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.
—Reprinted from Packet 1 of Pouch 2
A Ghost in Virginia City told your editor that there is no truth to the belief that breaking a mirror is bad luck — fact is, he said, you are sure you are going to live at least another seven years, to have that bad luck.
Then there is the Ghost of the absent minded professor who rolled under the dresser and waited for his collar button to find him.
I am not so much irked by those who hate cats as by those who apologize for them.
—Cats Magazine Guy Bogart
The Flying Ghost of Picacho
Jim Dugan went up in Colorado RIver's only steamboat explosion and came down on both sides of the river. *Steamboat the 'General Jessup" year— 1859.
Some old timers at Picacho say, the Ghost gets together some times in Arizona, some times in California, and has been seen meeting himself face to face in the middle of the river.
*Paddlewheel Days (page 101) in California.
WORST ARE THE GHOSTESS SAYS DUSTY
I ain't speekin' to any Ghost or Ghostess.
I saw a pretty Ghostess sitting on a sand dune, in a Mirage, once — but she said she didn't believe in human beings — I was glad when the wind turned the Mirage into a Dust Devil — snippy she was.
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KNOTT'S BERRY FARM
BUENA PARK, CALIF.
22 MILES SOUTHEAST
OF LOS ANGELES
Gasoline and Oil
Open the Year 'Round