PRICE 10 CENTS   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   ONLY ONE LOUSY THIN DIME


Desert Rat Scrap Book logo

Four of Six



Happiness makes up in height for what it lacks in length.   Page    


    I am "Sin" the Cat — as you know — and am happy I could lift this paper to a higher plane as well as inject a feminine, feline flavor to this packet. I think you will say it is the best ever printed, here at this Old Adobe. To me it is—the Desert Cat Scrap Book. I was my idea to have Maggie Garke do the Art work — she just loves Cats.

hr short center

    "Sin" my Cat has blessed the world with five little sinners" she sure has shown her love of people (her kind of people). She shopped around, traveled quite a bit. Each has a coat of a different color—all in good taste too Even the black one with te white stripe from nose to tail. NO YOU ARE WRONG—in the Desert our skunks are spotted not striped.

hr short center

From The President of National Cat Week

    Dear Harry: Congratulations on the feline blessed event.

Big Sins from little Sins do grow,
And little Sins from Big Sins spring.
So life as all Desert Rats do know
Moves in one mad-happy ring.
                Long Live Sin

—Dr. Guy Bogart

hr short center

That Roadrunner-reporter gave me this—

"Everybody scares each other.
I don't remember if he said a Harvard Professor or an Indian Chief said it—but it's a peach of a sentence—for people.

hr short center

In baiting a mouse-trap with cheese, always leave room for the mouse.
—Hector Munro.

hr short center

Fly International Fly Local No. 777

takes this opportunity to plead with you to think of the poor fly. We are in much the same spot as you will be if we have an Atom Bomb War.
    We ask you not to use sticky flypaper—just think how would you like to have your feet in cement till you starved to death.
—Signed, John Hancock Bluebottle Fly

hr short center

A cow was grazing in a field when two calves romped up to her.
"Mamma," asked one, nodding toward the other calf, "Can Georgie stay for lunch?"

hr short center

"Scoop" just handed me this item — that roadrunner also travels the old Indian trails.


    By the time you are reading this edition—I wish to say — it's not of my doing. Harry Oliver, Ex-commander of Old Fort Oliver and disposed editor of this paper.
    "I was too big for the gag room"—I heard them say—then a flurry of wings. My old Crow was fluttering his wings in my face. I could not see. My dog jumped, pushing his weight against me, as the cat leaped on my shoulder—bent forward I stumbled down the first two steps of my atom-bomb-shelter and wine-cellar. As I was recovering my balance—I heard the iron gate close, saw my Crow turn the key and fly away with it.
    I could hear them laughing and talking in the editorial room, then back flew the Crow with this card—

As we put out this paper, as it should be
—Signed, Paw's & Claws's, Inc.

I went down the other six steps and opened a bottle.
    Hours later the Cat pushed her sand box under the gate—I thanked her!

All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.

SECRET - not to get to Senator McCarthy

    As I know this edition is not going to be just as I would have liked it, I have sent this note on to you by Dry Camp Blackie. I was able to slip this out through the tiny airvent of theis underground dungeon along with an order to the printer to tell "Sin" the Cat and "Whiskers" the Dog (they are the ring-leaders) that they just use up all the "over set" stuff (that's copy all set in type that I could not get into the last packet). So you see I will have some stuff in this packet.
    I wish to discredit those Rebels. They think because they had so much space in past packets that they alone have made this paper what it is.
    Now I am about to tell you how I have been able to give you so much news of this Desert, news others can't or don't get. It's because of my large and efficient staff of reporters. You see them everywhere (and they see you and report to me every time you throw a beer-can out of your car).
    I hate to tell you this, it will cut down the efficiency of my staff, and its going to shame you and give you a feeing of guilt. What's more you will say to yourself " SHOULD HAVE KNOWN." You see I have all the busy, snappy, speedy, alert Roadrunners in the Desert working as reporters on my paper.
    REMEMBER that knowing look that Roadrunner gave you the last time you goofed in the desert. (A Winchellian glint in his eye.)

    All is not vicious in this war of paws and claws vs. fingers and toes. Tonight "Raffles" the pack-rat brought me my pipe, tobacco and matches, all good Desert Rats keep matches where pack rats can't get the . Gee I sure am befuddled.

    ATTENTION — wouldn't it be great if we Animals won a prize with this edition—while that old SO and SO is locked up in the wine cellar.


    I am "Whiskers" the famous "thinking dog." I have made this the beset edition we have ever printed (this time I had my way except for the ads on page 4. I wanted to kick out all the ads and only advertise Dog Food) and call it The Desert Dog Scrap Book—would have made it but for that Damn Cat. I am sure proud I had Maggie Gerke make the picture. She is just crazy about dogs.

hr short center

If you've ever bent over a drinking fountain with you tie dangling, you know how a cocker spaniel feels about his ears.
—M. C. Nelson

hr short center

A friend tells us that contrary to popular belief, a dog's best friend is probably another dog.
    (Maybe Mrs. Hubbard's dog.)

hr short center


Oh, the saddest of sights in a world of sin.
Is a little lost pup with his tail tucked in!

—Arthur Guiterman

hr short center

    Dry Camp Blackie (a natural when it comes to training animals) says: Way to teach a dog tricks is to pick up a dog so young he is not smarter than you are—but most important is to be damn sure you are smart.
    "Maybe you better give it up?"

hr short center

Money will buy a dog, but it won't buy the wag of his tail.

hr short center

You'll find that any dog's a prize, provided he's your dog.
—Philander Johnson

hr short center

Although their eyesight on moving objects is astonishingly good, dogs see stationary objects very indistinctly.


    I am "Colonel Have-a-shot" and I have these pictures just as I ordered them. I have fixed the type to read Desert Crow Scrap Book. Maggie Gerke says she will try to get to like Crows.
    I called my Crow "Old Colonel Have-a-shot," but since he turned Rebel, he is "Old Tweezer-Face." He is a good printer, but not loyal.

Roadrunner Disaster

Mole-hill and Mare's-nest, Fiction             Page 3

Smallest newspaper in the world and the only 5 page one.

Desert Rat Scrap Book small logo

Packet 4 of Pouch 6

hr short center

This paper is not entered as 2nd class mail. It's a first class newspaper.


Published at Fort Oliver
A museum of old printiana
Cable Address—
                    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
This offer expires when I do

hr short center

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

Published by
H A R R Y   O L I V E R
1888 — 1999
Fort Commander
Lamp Lighter

Pack Rat


I do not know what education could have done for me — because I never tried it.

hr short center

How glorious it is—and also how painful—to be an exception.
—Alfred De Musset

Desert Roadrunner

The worm was punished, Sir, for early rising.

hr short center

Abe Martin, says—Some fellers get credit for bein' conservative when they're only stupid.

hr short center

The secret of success in life is known only to those who have not succeeded.
—Frank Moore Colby



Pack Rat

hr short center

"Never lose you ignorance — you cannot replace it."
—Dorothy E. Reid

hr short center

The best liar is he who makes the smallest amount of lying go the longest way.
—Samuel Butler

hr short center

Poor Editor—A Lady Writer, says, my beard is not grizzled, says, it's ore like a Sable silvered.

hr short center

In public we say the race is to the strongest; in private we know that a lopsided man runs the fastest along the little side-hills of success.
—Frank Moore Colby

hr short center

A hen is only an egg's way of making another egg.

hr short center


    Harry Harding of Soledad, says, he's read about my old prospector putting in 30 years prospecting, 25 years of it was looking for his burros.
    He says, "Well, I never had any trouble about the Burros, every time I put in a month prospecting it took me 12 more months to find a job and get enough grub for another month's prospecting, so with me I have put in about 30 years with the intent to prospect and used up about 25 of it trying to find a grub stake instead of trying to find the Burros"



    My Animals act just like people, if you will take time to visit a newspaper office and look sharp at the faces and characteristics of the staff you will see a Cat, dog, Crow, Tortoise, Burro and you will see two or three Owl's. For sure we know all reporters look and act like Roadrunners, and of course the office Pack-Rat can dig up a picture of most any one from "One-Eyed Connolly, "Seldom Seen Socrates" or even "Wild Bill Shakespeare."
    All old time printers have had to help fold papers on rare emergencies, "USING THE BONE"—a bone is a flat piece of bone used to flatten the fold of papers. Few printers have worked with a bone with four legs like the one helping the kittens in this picture.

Sombrero "Saint Frijole" rids Mexico of Arthritis
Says Raymond Carlson, Editor ARIZONA HIGHWAYS

    Cooking in the Sun: We sing a tribute for the lowly bean this month. We have never seen among our many Mexican friends, whose diet accents beans, that malady know as arthritis. The bean has strength, flavor, and is wonderfully palatable. Cook it right, ma'am, and you are cooking like all git-out. Here's how you all can cook wonderful, gorgeous beans: For four: one pound pintos, no soaking overnight. Merely wash beans and then put them in boiling water (they get black if you put them in cold water). When beans have come to boil again, add ½ lb. chopped bacon and one onion. After one hour of boiling add one can solid packed tomatoes, and also pinch cayenne pepper plus salt and pepper. If water boils down do not add cold water but boiling water . After three hours your beans are done. Serve with salad and the blessings of your guests are yours.
—From June Arizona Highways

    When I am in Mexico, every day is a Holiday and every meal a frijole meal—so will not suggest an added Holiday—but the Old Saint has done more for humankind than Saint Patrick,—that's for sure.
Enrigo Olivares, Alcalde of Old Fort Oliver

    P.S. It is my belief Carlson's Saint is as noble and great as that REST-GIVING OLD SAINT—SAINT MAÑANA.

hr short center


Printers kittens may be spotted with white—but soon turn black.

hr short center

"Whiskers" my dog is full of pity for the Unicorn, says, he is not even a son-of-a-bitch—but needs much food—even if never born.

hr short center


    Eccentric ex-newspaper publisher moved West, bought himself a big ranch, wanted a playful antelope, so ordered one from Los Angeles Pet Shop, and after a year of waiting he received a small graceful specimen with soft, lustrous eyes. A week later he went back to the pet shop.
    "My gazelle won't eat,' he complained.
    "What do you feed him?" asked the proprietor.
    "Well, I tried giving him vegetables at first but he wouldn't eat them. Next I gave him fish but he wouldn't eat that either. Then I tried meats and the same thing happened. I've tried to feed him all sorts of things but he simply refuses to eat."
    "Good heavens!" exclaimed the proprietor. "Didn't you give him any straw?"
    "Yes," said the publisher. "I tried that too. But all he does is sit down and make baskets."


    Like the story about the old colored woman who decided to deposit her savings in a bank. When the banker counted the money he found most of it to be in gold. "Auntie," he said, "You've been hoarding." "No, suh, boss," Auntie protested, "You is wrong. At least $20 of that is washing money."

hr short center


The animals' art editor pecks out a desert woodcut for this edition.

hr short center

"GHOST TOWN NELL" rings bell

    Nell Murbarger the "Roving Reporter" a gal who knows the Desert Lost Mines, Ghost Towns and Old Timers had a most notable distinction bestowed upon her recently.
    The California Press Women's Association makes yearly awards for the best literary efforts by California women writers during the year.
    To Nell was awarded first for historical articles, first for interpretive or informative articles, and first for magazine feature articles.
    She was some time ago commissioned to write a book on the old ghost mining camps of the Southwest.
—Tonopah Times-Bonanza

hr short center


    Old John Searle of Borego Desert told me how he saw two snakes swallow each other's tails—inch by inch. When there was only two heads, he says—they both gulped greedily and passed from sight and existence—yes, disappeared completely.
    Reminds me of a person I knew who was a martyr. Well he martyred and suffered till he martyred himself right off the map.

hr short center


    Your Editor wishes to extend thanks to those who have done do much to build this paper to its fabulous international success.
     FIRST—I thank Walt Disney for the years he has spent teaching the people all over the world to know that Animals talk.
     SECOND—Raymond Carlson, Editor of Arizona Highways for showing the whole world the great beauty of our Desert.
    THIRD—Life Magazine on April 56, 1954, for cataloging the Desert's Animals—and they did it without a laugh. Even told of the Chuckawalla's curious defense—without a laugh—"something I have never been able to do."
    FOURTH—Walt Disney has with the help of hundreds of cameramen (who spent thousands of hours) given the world the completed stories of the many facts and oddities we Desert Rat's know and have seen parts of—it would take you 200 years to see it all yourself, (again no laughs).
    I sure wish to thank them all for creating a world-wide interest in MY DESERT so's I can tell my little yarns about us humans living here. Your admirable Editor.

Ike's Visit Brings to Light Desert Miracle

    For years I have kept it — it was my pet secret. It's out of the bag now. The President of the United States and Herb S. Hamlin, Editor of "The Pony Express did it."
    This is it, this story was in the February edition of Herb's Magazine — after reading it I knew he knew.


    Maybe Ike wants to get a few days rest with his family under a palm tree, or fall asleep at night to the music of a coyote. General Oliver, not so far away, at Fort Oliver, Thousand Palms, can supply more palm trees. We know his hospitality is just as good as up at Palm Springs, and his coyotes, he claims, give better music by far.

Truth will out—The Story

    You see about seven years ago Madame Bellows moved into a desert cabin up near the Accordion Mountains. She was lonesome so one day I took her a baby coyote I had dug out, telling her it would only be a pet about six months, and after that she better get rid of it.
    She didn't get rid of it in six months. For two years she sang to that coyote night and day, and that coyote got to singing with her. It was grand opera they sang. I would watch them as they sang, the Madam's chest heaving as she sent that coyote song mixed with grand opera ricocheting through the Accordion Mountains — "real nervous it was" — you could not tell one voice from the other.
    We laid Madame to rest under a tearful desert willow at the oasis a year ago—but the coyote sings each night from the shadows of the Palms. Herb is sure right, Palm Springs can't give IKE a RHYTHMIC DIAPLHRAGMATIC YODELING COYOTE.

Centipedes Do Kick

    John Centipede went out with the boys one night and came home in the wee small hours of the morning. He decided to sneak upstairs so as not to wake up his wife "Routine" (who is said to be as beautiful as any two rows of Follies Dancing Girls). But the poor guy spent all night taking off his many shoes.
    He is determined to win back his wife's love and is working hard carrying a heavy sandwich-board advertising Blue Jay Corn Plasters, and is buying her bright, gay, red slippers by the dozens.

Catnip Ashby Breathless Ingenuity

Cat     Old Captain Catnip Ashby — desert genius — has done it again. Cap has found a desert weed that he puts in his pipe tobacco that rids his shack of flys.
    He told me about it over at the Fort looking for his cat. His cat has been spending most of its time over here the last week or so.
    Cap is working on a mouthwash that will kill the odor of chlorophyll and bring your own breath back.

hr short center


    If you ever talked to Scotty two minutes or if you knew him for years and years, or knew only of him by reading of him off and on the last 50 years, the Scotty you knew is in the book just off the press.

Death Valley Scotty - Told Me
By Eleanor Jordan Houston

    This Editor says, Eleanor and her ranger husband sure knew Scotty, and have given the world a true and amusing story of the real Scotty.
    Printed by The Franklin Press, on sale at The Desert Magazine Book Shop at $1.00, Palm Desert, California.

hr short center


Tailings Tom of 29 Palms says "Sin" the cat is stuck-up — won't come out and fight 'cause she's a publisher now.

4                     Shaggy Dog Edition

This page is dedicated to the World's Greatest Optimist--the Desert Prospector

Harry Oliver's

Good Old American Humor

    Abraham Lincoln was born February 12, 1809. He died April 15, 1865. He was our 16th President, and many think him our greatest. Certainly no other President has been so widely quoted. Our favorite happens to be one of his least known.
    "The cats fight," said Abe. "but there are always plenty of kittens."
    Perhaps he meant no more than just that. We think, however, that he meant a great deal more. And, somehow, it makes us feel good.

The Philosopher

    A tanner, who bought hides and sold leather, needed a sign to proclaim the nature of his business. A calf's tail, he thought, would make a striking emblem, hanging outside his door. To hold it there, he drilled a small hole in the door.
    One morning the tanner looked up to see a dignified stranger staring at the tail in deepest thought. The stranger didn't budge for half an hour. The tanner couldn't stand the suspense. He went out.
    "Good morning," he said. "Do you want to buy leather?"
    In frowning contemplation, the stranger said, "No."
    "Do you want to sell hides?"
    Again the stranger said, "No," and he said it a little irritably, as a man who wants to be left alone with important thoughts.
    "Are you a merchant?" the tanner asked. "A lawyer? A doctor? Then who are you?"
    "I am a philosopher, sir," said the stranger, "and though I have been standing here half an hour, I still can't make it out. How did that calf get through that hole."

hr short center

Tortoise This Side of the Sun
by Phat

    Harry Oliver is in the hospital. He told me last week he planned a ten-day vacation. The first in years. Asked where, he said: The General Hospital. Says he doesn't know what the trouble is except that possibly some cactus stickers are in him, crosswise, it might be some gold nuggets he swallowed or a pack rat got inside, somehow. But before he went under observation, he read about Louise, the tortoise which wandered away from the Desert Museum. So he took his pet tortoise, "Hop Along Pushadee," to Lynn Emrick, Museum assistant, and asked if he could park it there ten days to keep Louis, the remaining Museum tortoise, company. Harry said that some time or other, almost every desert resident has a pet tortoise. "Always they wander off," he said. "But they come back, maybe three inches longer, maybe three inches shorter. But their owners always recognize them. By their characteristics."
—The Desert Sun, Palm Springs

hr short center


    Only two countries in the United Nations do not have some kind of free gold market — the United States and Russia—according to Calico Fred.

hr short center

    Whizzville, Kansas, May 12. The first cyclone of the season struck this town yesterday. The only building left standing is Murphy's saloon. The new Baptist church is demolished.

hr short center

Seldom Seen Slim

    Why, plague fetch it, a man must have a certain amount of intelligent ignorance to get anywhere, says, Seldom Seen Slim.

hr short center

Scientific tests show that the hearing of dogs covers sixteen times the area of the hearing of man.

hr short center

He is not only idle who does nothing, but he is idle who might be better employed.
                       Seldom Seen"Socrates"
"Gee we aint seen him since 399 B.C.

Only One World Famous

Valerie Jean Date Shop

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

1-lb Date and Desert Confections..$1.85
1-lb. NEW "Date Crunchie" Fudge 1.85
3-lbs. 4 Varieties Rare Dates.......... 3.15

Including Delivery — write for Folder

Thermal, Calif.


    This has been a big week for your Editor as I have come by four fonts of old type that was stolen by a thief in a Wells Fargo Express Co. robbery in Yuma back in 1878. The thief, thinking a small package so heavy must be gold, opened it to find it only type.
    He was mad, so dropped it off the center of a bridge but luckily for me an old Indian—the great grandfather of "Feather Weight" the pretty little Indian Car-Hop—well, Grandpop saw the splash, watched it float down the river, got a long stick and raked it in.
    One day last week I told "Feather Weight" she was a new type to me and she said, I was an "Odd-Type" and I said I was looking for Odd Type and, showed her the old type in this paper.
    She bought herself a Majorette costume with many feathers and leads the Yuma Indian band. "Petty Type" I'll say so.

hr short center

Liminatin' Lem
Liminating Lem Says . . .

    The highway between here and Wickenburg is beautiful this time of year. All the "Kleenex" bushes are in full bloom, right alongside the road.

hr short center

You'll find that any dog's a prize, provided he's your dog.
—Philander Johnson

First Waitress—"I like this desert resort. All the men are so full of passion."
    Second Waitress—"Passion, the dickens!—this is a health resort for asthma victims.

Those DAM Beer Cans

    Colorado has no beer-can trouble—throw a beer-can in the State of Colorado and it rolls down the Mountain into a stream and the Beavers use them to build their dam' DAMS.

hr short center

Why not more True Western Shows?

    I write this in hopes of planting the idea of having a clean cut idea behind all our Western Shows. We in the West have some good ideas in such shows as—
Mark Twian—Frog Jump—The jumping frog of Calaveras, at Angels Camp, Angels Camp C. of C.
Peg Leg Smith—Peg Leg's Lost Mine Trek and Liars Contest. Old Timers of Borego Desert, (all they ask is ten stones for Smith's Monument.)
John Studebaker—Wheelbarrow Races (Studebaker Day) at Hangtown (Placerville) with Herb S. Hamlin, Editor of The Pony Express Magazine behind it.
Old Man Desert Turtle—Annual Turtle Race, Joshua Tree, Newspaper and C. of C.
Death Valley 49ers— New clean cut idea, The Burro Flapmack Race, Death Valley 49ers Inc., L. A.
    Hermits Convention —
Rand Mining District, Old Time Mining Celebration. (Our Governor is an old timer from this area as well as many other well known oldsters.)
    Santa Barbara, Calexico, Hemet and Wickenburg (Ariz.) have clean cut shows with proven ideas. The Indian Pow-Wows of Arizona and New Mexico are the West's Greatest Shows.
    There's a lot of towns in our state that could dig into their History and come up with an idea that could tie in with their parades and rodeos and give them color, idea, pattern and picturesque titles with better exploitation possibilities. (SOMETHING INDISPUTABLEY THEIR VERY OWN.)


We can only pay our debt to the past by putting the future in debt to ourselves.
—John Buchan

hr short center

People will not look forward to posterity who never look backward to their ancestors.
—Edmund Burke

Knott's Ghost Town


Prospector and Showman


By Dane Coolidge

Copyright, by E. P. Dutton & Co, Inc.

Also available in Bantam reprint edition

Fourth Installment

    Old Lookout was his scout, with eyes so keen he could catch every movement for miles. Moseby and Edna May could follow a scent like a dog, and Moseby hated the smell of an Indian. Edna May could walk all day at six miles an hour, Moseby could gallop untiringly; and all were sharp shod and could climb up cracks and crevices where a man could not follow on foot. They were rigged with Government saddles and aparejos, with heavy canvas kyacks to hold his stuff; and each mule was picked for his part. The pack animals were short-bodied to better support their heavy loads; the walking mule was long, with low shoulders to give her reach; while the galloping mule had high withers and was built for speed, being able to run like a race-horse.
    From his training as a horseman, Scotty was able to judge their points; and when he and his mules started out, the only way to stop him was to ambush him. The first time he was shot was in 1906, in Wingate Pass, the long wash that leads out to Barstow. Just at dusk, as he rode through, three men opened fire on him, killing his horse and boring him through the leg. They were placed on three sides of him, shooting down, but he got behind a rock and shot back; and late in the night Bob Black, his Indian, returned with the stampeded mules. Scotty mounted old Moseby and rode into Barstow, where a surgeon doctored his wounds.
    The second time he was shot through the arm, his horse running eighty-five miles back to camp, still bearing the bloody saddle. The third time, at the Playground, he was shot through the lungs; but this time he had a surgical kit, with him. He made camp where he fell, taking up the ends of broken veins and arteries, draining his would with a silver tube; and after it was over he could hardly believe there was that much blood in his body.
    Once more his Indian, Bob Black, brought the mules and packed him off to Sheep Canyon, which proved an ideal pace to convalesce. From behind the lone mesquite tree by the spring, Black killed mountain sheep as they came to water; and for eight weeks Scotty lived on sheep meat and stewed fruit until at last his wounded lung healed.
    But three times was plenty, and right in there somewhere Death Valley Scotty became dangerous. He developed a mean streak that is difficult to understand without knowing what lies behind it and, finding that Shoshone Indians were being hired to trail him, he set out to break them of that. He got two seventeen-pound bear-traps with long teeth on the jaws and, the first time he was followed, he went back just at dusk and set them in his tracks.
    About midnight he heard an Indian yell but left him in the trap all night Just at dawn he slipped down on the other side of the ridge and looked over at his victim.
    "What's the matter?" he asked at last.
    "Trap ketch me," returned the shoshone. "You takum off, quick"
    He was caught by the heel and would have died if Scotty had left him, as it requires two clamps or keys to screw down the heavy springs. At the same time Scott knew that this Indian was treacherous and he told him to throw away his guns first. After protesting that he had none the Shoshone finally took a pistol out of his shirt and threw it out of reach. His rifle he had left behind him while he was feeling out the ground; so, with gun held right on him, Scotty came down and looked him over.
    "What do you want?" he demanded "Who hired you to follow me?" But the Indian would not tell.
    "You takum off" he said. "Me poor Injun—got wife and children."
    "That's nothing to me," returned Scotty. "You've been following me around to kill me. So you come through and tell me who hired you or I'll leave you right here for the coyotes."
    Then, as the Indian would not yield, he lit a fire under him until he changed his mind and talked. After that he turned him loose, with a brief message to the two white men who had hired him, and this completely broke the local Shoshones of trailing Death Valley Scotty. But the men who were following him sent to Arizona for Antonio Apache and five or six more Apache scouts, and a second contest began.
    Scotty led off across the Playground, that great field of drifting sand which occupies the upper end of the Valley; and after making a complete circle during the night he hid out where he could watch them. For this purpose he carried a binocular which magnified twelve diameters and, for more distant work, a French telescope with a tripod which magnified thirty-three diameters. Scotty traveled by night, the Apache trailers in the heat of day; and when they approached his hiding-place they met a still warmer reception.
    This broke them of trailing and they divided into three bands, establishing lookouts on the high peaks which overlooked the whole valley and communicating with each other by smoke-signals. With their glasses they could follow his movements below and theoretically keep him under surveillance; but Scotty, finding the Valley too hot for him, left them to sweat while he had a good time in town. When the scouts were withdrawn he returned to his old haunts; and the more he was trailed the more vindictive he got until at last the Apaches went home.
    Then some bright mind conceived the idea of following his course with bloodhounds, and when the news leaked out Scotty bought some cyanide of potassium and rode past Daggett, where they were kept. He headed for a waterhole, a day's journey away, and the next morning, through his glasses, he saw the pack approaching, running along ahead of their keeper. Scotty posted a big sign THIS WATER IS POISON and threw some cyanide into the hole. But the hounds, as Scotty observed, could not read; and when their master arrived they were all dead. The man himself nearly perished from thirst before he got back to Daggett.
    This was pretty rough work, but after being shot three times, the finer ethical points are obscured. He was engaged in a battle for life itself, for their purpose was apparently to kill him; although how that would help them to find his mine was something he could never figure out. With such a wealth of enemies, some probably sought his mine; while others, enraged, sought only his death, for revenge.
    On the main facts of this long struggle, and who his enemies were, Death Valley Scotty was singularly reticent; but the details, pieced together, reveal all its stark savagery. Shortly afte his first retreat to Sheep Canyon he was joined by Bob Black, a renegade Shoshone, who had killed his wife and seven other Indians. Riding into their rancheria at Ash Meadows he had pointed a rifle at his woman. The gun, so he had claimed, was set with a hair trigger and it went off, killing the woman. Then in a drunken frenzy he decided to kill all the witnesses and shot down seven more.
    This called for blood vengeance and, with half the tribe on his trail, he slipped away to Sheep Spring. But when he arrived there he found Scotty in possession, and they finally came to an agreement. Black was treacherous, and Scott watched him, but he needed him in his business, and the Shoshone served him well. But after a year or so he was killed by a deputy sheriff and Scotty hired Bill Keyes, a half-breed.
    Keyes finally turned against him and led white men on his trail, revealing for the first time his hidden camp at Sheep Spring and all his other hold-outs. This compelled Scotty to move to a new camp at Warm Springs; and from there he served noticed on Keys and two others not to come north of Lost Wagons or he would kill them. They took him at his word and even to this day never venture above the dead-line.
    At Warm Springs there was a mixed band of Shoshones and Piutes and Scotty, who was always generous with the Indians, soon made friends with them and used them for spies. It became very unhealthy for prowling outsiders to venture within his realm, and shortly afterwards Scotty and Johnson bought the near-by Staininger Ranch, where their Moorish castle was built.
    In the early days many outlaws on the dodge stopped in at Warm Springs and were made welcome, and so famous did it become as a rendezvous for train robbers that he was by way of being an outlaw himself. Scotty claims the unique distinction of being visited on the same day by the Chief of the Wells Fargo detective force and the head of the United States Secret Service. They found two empty Wells Fargo treasure-boxes, but spoke him fair and went on their way.
    Among the train robbers who hid out with him at this time were Butch Cassidy and Curry, who had recently robbed the Northern Pacific Railroad of about $40,000 in new bank notes, still unsigned by the president and chashier. These bills were not only useless but their serial numbers had been broadcast to all the banks, so that the first man who offered one would be thrown in jail and cut off from the sun for some time. They played them high, therefore, when to while away the time, they sat in on games of chance; and after winning a big pot they would airily ignite a cigarette with a gold note.
    In regard to these unasked but not unwelcome guests, Scotty said he found no material difference between a train robber and a millionaire. They are all out for the dough, he would say, and take the best means they know to annex it, whether by robbing trains or wrecking a bank from the inside. As he claimed an extensive acquaintance in all walks of society, including several millionaires who wrecked their banks, Mr. Scott was in a position to know; but at the same time it might be stated that he had trouble with different millionaires, whereas the hold-ups always treated him fine.
    If there was anything that would tempt Scotty from the path of strict rectitude it was a chance to trim some millionaire, and for years he made a business of selling them untried mines, although he claimed it never paid. He also had a long memory for store-keepers and saloon-men who imposed on his good nature while drunk, and went far out of his way to take in a Barstow merchant who had overcharged him for a pair of overalls. At the same time he was more than generous with the poor and unfortunate, and especially with those lost on the desert. So it may be the Recording Angel will strike a balance.
    Among those whom he helped in their hour of need was an old-time teamster named Brown. He was about the last man to drive a twenty-mule team and when Scotty met him had been fired by a railroad which had suddenly shut down its construction work. With twenty-mules to feed and his last dollar gone, Brown was stranded in Goldfield and in great fear thet the sheriff would seize his precious mules for his debts. Scott gave him a stake and advised him to drive down to his camp, which was across the line in California, and outside the sheriff's jurisdiction.
    Brown was grateful, and when he arrived with his wagons he gave Scotty a little tip which quite appealed to his piratical soul. At the construction camp only a caretaker had been left to watch over the abandoned supplies; and he, not having been paid his wages, was selling the stores to collect. Scotty leaped on Moseby and galloped over to the camp to enquire about hay and grain, and after buying all there was at a very low figure he looked over the commissary store.
    "How much do you want for a wagonload of that stuff?" he asked.
    "Twenty-five dollars," answered the caretaker. "That will just make up what they owe me."
    "All right," agreed Scotty, "I'll be over for it tomorrow."
    When he came he was driving the biggest wagon in Nevada, drawn by all twenty of Brown's mules.
    "We'ell!" said the caretaker, "that's a pretty big wagon. But go ahead and fill up."
    Scotty loaded the lead-wagon to the top of the side-boards, until the mules could barely haul it away; and back at Warm Springs the Shoshones lived on corned beef while Scotty fed all comers on canned delicacies. The baled hay rose mountain high and all the rats in the country moved in to devour the grain. But when, in the spring, Brown pulled out for Barstow there was enough left to supply him for the trip. He tried to thank his host and promised to repay him but Scotty only said:
    "Oh, that's all right. Go on, and don't you come back. I'm tired of seeing you around. But if you run across anything good, let me know."


49er Gold Rush

Two Stories by


    Chinese Boy to Mine Owner: "Hello Mistel you catchee muchee Gold?"
    Mine Owner: "Yeah, I have pretty rich gravel in places—doing all right for myself. What do you do Charlie?"
    Chinee Boy: Suppose you sell mine—how muchee?
    Mine Owner: Don't care about selling but if you want to buy, my price is $25,000 cash.
    Chinee Boy: $25,000 dolla — maybe so too muchee, maybe so you sellem Chinese Boy 15,000 dolla.
    Mine Owner: Beat it—you pigtailed galoot. Didn't you hear me say the price was $25,000.
    Chinee Boy: Allee Litee—Goodbye.
    Two weeks pass and another visit.
    Chinee Boy: Hello Mistel — Catchee muchee gold.
    Mine Owner: Yeah — Washed about 50 oz. Not bad for one man show.
    Chinee Boy: Velly intelesting—suppose you gotta muchee gold alledy — maybe so you sellee mine 20,000 dolla? You see — suppose I buyee mine — catchee many Chinee boy washess glavel—suppose I come Sunday flom San Francisco—askee number one boy — how muchee gold—maybe so he say—no catchee gold—maybe so he catchee muchee gold—stealem—sellem—I du-no you see I takee chance — maybe you sellem 20,000 dolla?
    Mine Owner: Beat it you heathen Chinee before I wrap this shovel handle around your neck.
    Chinee Boy: Allee Litee—me go—goodbye.
    Two Weeks Pass—another visit.
    Chinee Boy: Hello Mistel — you no mad at Chinee Boy—maybe so so you selee Chinee Boy mine now — how muchee.
    Owner: You pigtailed heathen just how dumb are you, my price is $25,000 — yesterday, today and everyday — so either put up or shut up and right now.
    Chinee Boy: Allee Litee—suppose you gib sclibby (writing) I buyee mine 25,000  dolla—takee chance.
    Two weeks later the State stepped in with the Anti-debris law—the Chinee Boy was out of luck the ex-owner was in San Francisco lapping up whiskey. It's your guess who was the greatest loser.

hr short center


    The "Skull and Crossbones Mine" had a hard time getting miners to stay on the job because of its location (Death Valley) and so far from civilization. They advertised for "Tough Miners no others need apply."
    Finally, after months, an old prospector advised the foreman of the S&C that a lone miner was waiting in Mojave for transportation.
    Old Jim Coffin, roustabout at the mine and owner of an old crowbait of a horse and buckboard, was sent to pick up the miner.
    Jim was very old — drawled and drooled, but had a lot of ideas of his own on how to test the valor of prospective miners. He spent the evening lapping up rotgut whiskey and early the next morning hitched up "Bones" (an appropriate name for the skinny nag) and started for the mine with the Tough Miner.
    Passing through "Redrock Canyon" the old man drawled—Wal I shore hope them danged bandits who held up the stage here last week won't ketch us too. Dang rascals killed the driver and all the passengers—shore are dang tough varmints in them thar hills.
    No comment from the miner.
    Out towards what is not Randsburg he suddenly yelled "Whoa thar Bones—guess I'd better kill that there rattler. Dang country full of them—git yerself bit and yore deddern a mackrel in a few minutes—dang mine is a regular nest of them.
    Still no comment from his Tough miner.
    "Wal gidddap thar Bones. Got to git us by Searles Lake Injun camp fore dark. Dang redskins killed and scalped two prospectors one night last month."
    The Miner sat up a bit and said "Say Old timer how far is this danged mine any how?"
    "Wal it's about 120 miles down but since it's all uphill goin back, recon it's night onto 175 back. Guess we'll make it tomorrer night if'n we have enuff water left. My dang water bottle is about finished yu cain't live mor'n a few hours without water.
    "Say, Old Timer, what you say your name was and what name did you call the mine and whereabouts is the danged place anyhow?"
    "Name is Coffin, the mine is the Skull and Crossbones, it's in the Funeral Mountains, Death Valley and you will probably work on the graveyard shift."
    With a bound the miner, hat in hand started on a fast lope over the desert and when he had finally passed from view the old man said—"Giddap thar Bones yonder gos the tough miner—more meat for the buzzards.

Are We Getting Soft

    Ignoring the fact that three of their ilk had been hanged on the same spot for theft in the less-formal days in old Hangtown, three gunmen held up the Hangman Tree Bar in Placerville last month and made off with $1747. A marker on the front of the establishment establishes the site of the original Hangman Tree.
—Mother Lode Magazine

hr short center


    William F. Cody (Buffalo Bill), after matching his wits with the Indians for more than a decade without mishap, finally deserted the open spaces and went into show business with his own Wild West show.
    One morning, in Boston, he entered the hotel barbershop to have his long hair trimmed. He had been to a party the night before and was suffering from a hangover.
    As the barber placed the sheet about him, Cody fell into a sound sleep. The barber, assuming that the former scout wanted a close trim, applied the scissors with vigor. Some minutes later, Cody awoke. Still somewhat dazed, he looked down at the floor and saw his hair piled up at the side of the chair. With an anguished howl, he clapped his hand to his head and cried:
    "My God! Scalped at last."

hr short center


    Old Wiffletree, ex-stage-coach driver, was out today throwing pails of water on the roof of his shack. I asked him why.
    "Wal" said he, "I've lived here seven years and I never have found out whether the roof leaks or not.

hr short center

What's drinking? — A mere pause from thinking!—Byron.

Golden Legends of a Fabulous Land

By Harold O Weight

72 Pages—Many Illustrations
Two-Page Map of the
Death Valley Country

By Norton Allen

Order from
Twentynine Palms, California

Deef Dan

    Deef Dan of Daggett lit his pipe in the wind, burnt one side of his moustache off and has been down in the mouth ever since. It makes Dan look like he is laughing at the wind, "but he ain't."

hr short center

    A Woe-begone Desert Rat presented himself to a newly located psychoanalyst in the fast growing desert town of Indio. It was mid-summer, 129 in the shade. The bright new shingle had caught the Deset Rat's eye—(why not)—maybe?
    After careful examination the psycho decided the Desert Rat needed amusement. Should learn to laugh at the wind and the heat. Then, he said, "quick-like," here take this along and read it. This will make you laugh. Or better still, go out the highway 10 miles to Thousand Palms and meet the old screwball.
    Psychoanalyst's bill was $2.00. I did not try to stock him up with more of my books—this first trip—but I will get that $2.00 back next time. Yes, I am getting better.

hr short center


    The inexperienced young Inyokern teacher scratched his head when a school kid asked him for a definition of the word "alabaster."
    Finally he admitted, "Im not downright sure, but it might be an illegitimate Mohammedan."

hr short center

    News Item: Mr. and Mrs Dennis Rippen had to sleep apart the first night of their honeymoon because the hotel room they had reserved was rented to someone else.
    A court yesterday awarded them $51.75 for "loss of pleasure" in a judgement against the hotel.
—Arizona Republic

ONE YEAR $2.00         SINGLE COPY 25¢
Grubstaker:   The late Scotty Allen
The Pony Express
Stories of Pioneers and Old Trails

Pony Express

Herb S. Hamlin, Editor
Address All Mail to

795 Sutter Street
San Francisco 9, Calif.

Published Monthly at Placerville,
California, Formerly Hangtown

Get Goin' You Jack-Rabbit Homesteaders   Page    

Desert Scene
Get out and look

The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of sixty minutes and hour, whatever he does, whoever he is.

Desert Scene
Frame your shack with Desert plants

So I say get that shack built P.D.Q. Forget those big city ideas—NOTHING IS BIG IN THE DESERT BUT THE DESERT.

Desert Scene
Pick a high spot for adobe

    And it's bigger if your shack is small. So I say your shack should have room enough for bunks and a stove. And in order to get in you should have a door—then add a window on the east side to tell time by.

Desert Scene
If you are lucky you may have a picture

    That's all you need—but for a luscious treat put up a shelf loaded with back copies of "Arizona Highways," "Desert Magazine" and my Desert Rat Scrap Books, (not Sportsmen's Magazines).

Desert Scene
Rocks can make a Quaint Home

We don't do any shooting—we want the Animals to like us.

Desert Scene
Adobe is interesting from start till it's in ruin

    A 'dobe house is fireproof, if built right, and one story high; earthquake proof, dust proof, sound proof, heat and cold proof, rat and termite proof. Oh and yes, bullet proof and almost proof against bad design. Due to the thickness of its walls and damned if they don't take on more character as they age.
—My favorite paragraph—AGAIN

Desert Scene
Pitch your tent in the spot you pick

As you look it over from your tent, just remember—the wrong way always seems the more reasonable.—H.O.

I made these drawings to use as tail pieces. Never hoped to get them all in one packet.

It's a great life if you weaken in time to get some fun out of it.—

Dick Oakes

All text was hand-entered (no OCR scans) by Dick Oakes who did the layout, markup and graphics reproduction (all of Harry's misspellings retained). The contents remain the property of Bill Lincoln and his heirs.