19 November 2010

Ch 25, Pt 2: "Buckner to Goodlataw"

Legacy of the Chief, Chapter 25: "Buckner to Goodlataw-1924"

click on picture for
larger image: some of these images appear in the book for
this chapter.


           Green Butte / Mother Lode / McCarthy Creek Road tunnel and bridge:

By the time the two Indians arrived back in McCarthy it was
after 10 a.m.   John Barrett dropped them off at the
Golden.  They walked down to the Row.  She was there. 
Rose practically threw herself all over Johnny. Cap could see
that this might take awhile.
“Maybe I should leave you two alone?  I can always go up to
the Mecca, I suppose.”
“No, we both need to walk up to the railroad station and
telegraph Kennecott.  Rose, can you take my dog,
Kay-yew-nee for a while?”
“What do you think I am, Johnny, your wife?   This not
really my place, you know.  Madam Kate might not like it,
then I’d have to let him go.”
“Do your best. We have work at Kennecott.  If it comes to
that, the dog will take care of himself.  He’s been on his
own even when he’s been with me these last eight years.  
He’ll do fine, but I still am hoping you will keep him here. 
It’ll give me an even greater reason to visit you.”
Rose looked at him, placing her hands on her hips.  “You
mean to say I am more valuable to you as a dog watcher than as a
woman?   Johnny, I don’t know . . .”
“I’m sorry, Rose, I didn’t mean it to come out that way. 
But can you keep him here?” He was determined to get her to
“If you two party with us girls tonight.”
“Now you’re talking.”
“Rose, we have to go up to the station and telegraph a fellow
named Frank at Kennecott to let him know we’re coming. We’ll
come back after that.  Can you get us a couple bottles? We
got paid.”
“See you back there Johnny.  You too, Cap.  I’ll get
Bubbles for you !”
“We can’t do this more than one night, Johnny.”
“We won’t.  I’ll let Frank know to expect us tomorrow.”
Cap found Rose’s cabin to be cleaned up compared with the last
visit.  The place still had a cluttered look, but nothing
much different than many of the Chittyna village homes. 
Cap did not concern himself with the next day and neither did
Johnny.  The liquor was rough, but it did the trick. So did
the women.
Cap’s eyes opened.  The sun was shining brightly through
the partly-torn window shade.  He focused on a
stale-smelling room.  He was on a small bed wearing
nothing.  Bubbles had already left.  He couldn’t
remember very much.  He pulled himself up from the bed. 
There was an empty bottle lying on the floor along with his
rumpled clothes.
It smelled of booze and stale
cigarettes.  He pulled on his heavy pants and wandered out
of the tiny room.  There was another next to it.  He
pulled the dirty curtain aside.  Johnny was still in there
with Rose.  Neither was moving. 
“Johnny ! The sun’s out bright !  We better get ready to
head for the station.  They’ll be expecting us.”
No movement.  He climbed over the discarded clothes toward
the bed and shook Johnny’s shoulder.
Sla’cheen !  We have to move !
His eyes opened.  Johnny did not appear too pleased to have
Cap there yelling in his ear. 
“Go away !  Go to the station and send another telegram.
I’m not leaving today.”
“Great, Johnny.  Same as last time.”
“Don’t worry, Cap.  Bubbles will bring back another bottle. 
She had other business.  Had to leave after you passed out
last night. Had to make money. Kate got her.”
“Oh, I have a headache, now !  That’s not what I needed to
hear, Johnny.”
“We’ve got plenty of money.  Might as well enjoy it, Cap. 
Relax.  We’ll get there later.  Not now. It’s been too
Cap turned and left the cramped room.  He walked out into
the sitting area.  There was a card table out there. 
A bottle on the table still had liquor in it.  He took a
seat and then had a swig from the bottle. 

  He can walk up there
himself and send his own telegram. If I have to be here, then
here is exactly where I’m going to be.  I need to get over
this hang-over anyway.

Cap began playing solitaire.  The table was a mess. 
Cap was angry.  He swept everything beyond the cards and
the bottle off the table.  Cups, a candle stick and several
plates with unfinished meals went flying. 


There.  That’s better.
Now I can concentrate on my private little card game. 
Someone else can clean up the mess.  That’s what the women
are for.

He took another swig.  The door opened, letting in more
bright light and cool, fresh air.  It was Bubbles. 
She had two large bottles with her.

GB road tunnel

Bradford Washburn 1938 aerial of
McCarthy along McCarthy Creek

“Cap, you want to party?  Your buddy paid for this booze.
We might as well enjoy it.”
“Might as well.  Join me in a game of crib?  I think I
knocked a crib board onto the floor?”
She looked down.  Her face showed some distress.  Then
she looked at Cap.
“You’re a very good-looking man.  Muscular and handsome. 
Let’s have some fun. I’ll clean up this mess later.”
Cap looked up at the well-formed, if somewhat plump young lady. 
No doubt about it, she was worth the money.
“You mean in the back room?”
“Where else?”
Johnny finally stumbled into Cap’s small room.  He found
Cap passed out on the mattress.
“Bubbles ! What happened to Cap?”
“I’m up front playing solitaire.  What did you say?”
“Cap.  He’s passed out.  What happened?”
“What do you suppose?  We had fun. He passed out. 
Just when I was getting there, too. Typical man.  He’s a
real sweetie, though.  Not rough like I thought he’d be.”
“But did he make it to the railroad station to send a telegram?”
“I don’t think so.  I got here with the bottles and he was
right here where I’m sitting playing cards.  He was so
cute, too.”
“I better get up to that telegraph station. What about the
bottles?  I know you must have brought them, or Cap would
be awake now.”
“I brought two. He didn’t need much.  Three shots and he
was gone.  The rest is over there by the wash stand.”
Sure enough.  Only one of the bottles had been tapped. 
It still was almost full.  Johnny looked at the open one
and then thought about Rose.
“Rose, you up?”

Abandoned houses at McCarthy, 1960  
--Jerry Cleworth photo

“I’m getting ready for tonight, Johnny.  Kate wants money. 
You’ll have to pay me to stay here.  I need money for Cap,
“Sure, Rose, if that’s what you want.  Got a bottle of
whiskey up here.  Want some before I head up to the
“No wine?  Bubbles, why don’t you get us some wine? 
Let the men have the whiskey. We’re on duty here, you know.”
“I know, sis.  I’ll be right back.”
She stood up from the table, leaning so Johnny would notice her
full breasts. 
“You boys are staying another night or two, aren’t you?”
“We’ll be here, Rose.  We still have money.  I just
need to get to the station. Need to let the company know . . .”
“The company can wait.”
Bubbles poured Johnny a large glass.
“Here’s to you and that sweetheart in the back room, dearie. 
We always love to have you stop by.  Rose, I’m off !”
“Johnny, don’t go off, yet.  I’ve got some records to put
on the Victrola.”
The two of them sat on the coach.  Rose handed Johnny his
whiskey glass, then got back up and primped her hair in the
mirror.  She intended to keep the two men there as long as
the money held out.
It was two days later when the two Indians finally showed up at
the Shushanna Junction depot. 
“What’ll we do, Johnny?  You never sent a telegram. Neither
did I.”
“All we can do is show up, Cap.  After all, his letter gave
us five days.”
“But you sent a telegram saying we’d be there three days ago.”
“I did.  I sure hope Frank and the others have a sense of
humor.  I’m sure we’re not the first men to do this. 
McCarthy is a very enticing place.”
“Rose only kept us there for the money, you know.”
“No she didn’t.  She loves me.”
“She does not.  She took all your money, didn’t she?”
“Not all of it.”
“Not all of it?  We don’t have enough for a night’s stay. 
Good thing the train ride is free to all us Indians, or we’d be
walking all the way to Chittyna.”
“Rose has to live too, Cap.  It’s just business. Madame
Kate. You know how she is.  Tough old broad.”
“No, I don’t know how she is.  I never met her.  But I
have Rose figured out.”
“You enjoyed it, didn’t you?”
“Well, yes I did.”
“Then quit complaining, Cap. If we still have the jobs, great. 
If not, we can always get back on the railroad.”
“Now you’re sounding more like a drunken Chittyna Indian and
less like the white men you seem to like so much.”
“Cap, I’m not feeling well enough to argue with you.  Too
big a hangover.  Let’s just get to the train. You’re the
one who said you heard the whistle. It’s got to be out there
“I can hear that whistle for miles, Johnny.  It’s probably
still a long wait.”
The two entered the station at the rail junction and found the
telegraph operator busy at his desk.
“Are you the two from Green Butte going to Kennecott?”
“How did you know? ”   Johnny asked, completely taken
by surprise.
“You evidently have a friend in high places,” the telegraph
operator said somewhat sarcastically.
“One of the engineers--a Frank Buckner--sent a telegraph message
authorizing passage for two Indians coming from Green Butte. 
There you are.” 

Kennecott after abandonment in
  --W.A. Richelsen

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