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A Kansas Horror

A Kansas Horror image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
OCR Text

Some time during the year 1875 a yoiing man nr-med Arthur O. Wells arived at Merriweather's ranch, on Beavor creek, Kansas, and applied for work as herder or "co w-boy." Not wanting any assistance, Col. Merriweather referrod tho young man to some Texans who were herding about ten railes west. Ho retnrned a fow days afterward and applied for board, and offered to attend the cattle herd gratÏB, if he could be permitted. Being a qniet, honest-looking youth, he was permittod to renwin in the dug-ont, or cave, and subsequently engaged in herding. It was noticed by the three men in charge of the herd that Wells aoted Btrangely at times. He wonld remain out at night, and be absent sometimes for two or thrco days. He had a terrible abhorrence for writing or reading, and appeared to be always in dread of something. On his return f rom ono of his long trips from tlie ranch, he retnrned with an old man whom he introduced as his fatlier. Tiiey went away, and, after a few weeks' absence, returned to tho neighborhood, and scemed to be engaged in purchasing cattle and in herding. The old man was not more commiinicative than the sou, bixt seemed to devote his whole time and attention to the care and comfort of the boy. They did not want for moaey, aud the old man made frequent trips to Wallace for letters. They soon ceased to excite remark or curiosity among the herders, and were left to ttiemselves. About tbree weeks ago the Wrils herd, including about 150 head of cattle, was found scattered, and without a herder. This was remarked pon by others, and, as day after day the herd became separated, and was wandering off south, cattle-men in the vicinity began to wouder. Last Sunday a party of three oftttle-men rode down to the Wells camp, in a ravine on Beaver ereek, and were surprised to find three dead ponies and several dead dogs lying iu front of the cave, or "dug-out," in the bank. No sign of life was visiblo outsidc. The door was found unfastened, and, on entering, a sight was presented which almost p.iralyzed them with horror. The headless body of old man Wells was found near the entrance to the cave in a very advanced state of decompoBition. The young man was reclining in a berth or biii;k in the farthest end of the dirnlylighted den, evidently asleep. When aroused, he sprnng from tlio bed with something in his arms which was wrapped in a blanket. He attempted to shoot the iutruders, but was proinptly seized, and, in the strnggle the head of the father rolled out of the blanket. He cried and begged for his looking pet, and, when his desire was gratified, sat on the floor and hugged the ghastly, putrid head to his bosom. He was a raving maniac. It required force to bind end control Mm, but tliis was promptly furnished. An examination of the papers and correspondence showed that the old man was L. A. Wells, de.-.ler in leather and liides, New York city. His son bad been accused of some crime - the correspondence and the papers found seemed to indícate murder of his wife. His father had followed him out to Kansas, and was endeavoring to reclaim his boy, but lost his life in the attempt. Mr. Knowlton says the circumstances surrounding the affair are briefly these : The maniac son had killed his father and everything living abont tho ranch at least about a week bef ore the discovery of the trageily. He had lived alone with the corpse, evidently without food, as when discovered there was no sign of cooking having been done since the murder. Tho Xez-Perccs. The Nez-Perce comes into history as the white ninn's friend. In September, 1805, the Governmental exploring expedition of Capt. Wm. Clarke, of tho First infantry, and Capt. Mervwether Lewis, Private Seeretary of President Jefferson, erosaed the Rocky 'monutains, found the various .bands of Perces occupyiug the plains -weRt of the Bitter Root mountains, and the valleys of the Salmón, Snake, aud Ciearwater rivers, wliere they liad been from their earliest tradition, and wliere thcy all contiuued tili this year of graee 1877. The history of tho expodition tella us that when the explorers, " descouding the last of the Rocky mountains," reaohcd a beaiitifnl open plain, they eame upon an Indian village, ' ' all of whose iiiliabitante gathered round to view, witli a mixture of fear and plensure, tliose wonderfnl strangers." Immediately they bron ght " a sumptuous treat; we returned the kindness of peoplo by a few small presents." Two miles liistant was another v-llage, and here also the party was " greeted with great kindness. The two villages," continúes the account, " coniiist of about thirty doublé hots. and the inhabitants cali themselves Cliopumiish, ür Pierocd Nose." Aniung these hospitable peoplo the Goverarnert's party sptnt upward of tweuty days, leaving tUem then to push 011 to the P?ifie. So muoh had they been irnpressed with the honesty ol' their ncwi'ound friends, that thoy luft their horses with them, to be callea for the following spring The spring of 1806 came around, and with it, in April, the explorers retiirnei. Toward the ooean they had hard experience with the Indians; but now, among the Wollawüllaws, neighbors of the Nez Perces, they t'üund a welcomo "peculiaily acceptable after the cold, inhospitable treaimènt lately received." Passing on to the Chopimnish viilage, one of the first Indians they met gave Clarke a " very elegant mare, for which all he requested was a vial of eye-water;" another Indian brought two canisters of powder, buried by the party ia antumn, which his dog had uucovered - " he had kopt them safely, and had honesty enough to return them;" and then followed the recovery of tho bnried saddles and the horses left inChopminisli charge. Wlien they asked a fat norse for a lean ooe, desiring to cat the formc-r - for the Chopunnish lived almost wholly . on roots - " the hospitality of the chief was offended at the idea of an exchauge; we niight have as many horses as we wanted. Accordingly, fchey soon gave vts two fat young horses without asking anything in return - an aet of liberal hospitality mueh greater thau any we have witnessed since crossing the Eooky mountains." Other presenls of horses are recorded, both lor lood and riding. "Pinding that these people aro so kind nnd liberal, we ordered our men to treat them with great rtspect." - Oalaxy for Dcccmhir. One Thiiif? Deaf-Mutes Cau Do TeIl. Mr. J. C. Davis, of 302 West Thirteouth. atreet, advertised yesterday for 100 deaf-mutés to be made into telcgrapli operator. Nine yetirs ago, he saya, lic taught h deaf-muto named Hoffroan tclegrapby. Hofïmau learnod the art in kfs tban thrce montlis, and beoame one of the most expert operators in the country, beiug ut the time of his death tho chief operator in tho Mobile telegraph office. Mr. Davis lias since tauglat twenty deaf-and-dumb persons, and says that they are almost invariably mnch quicker to learu tlian persons wlio speak and hear, and make f ar operators. "Ihad a cali from oue today," he said, " who told me tbathe had been a bookbinder. He was at first very tkeptical, but I convkeed him of ilüoase with wbich he oould It-arn by giving bim one leeson. Ju tluee-quartüti af au liour he kuew more than half ui t-Hfi ]Joree Rlphabet, tiud, by p ring occasionally to the alphabet written out for a guide, he conld talk with me on the instrument with ease. Of twenty that I taught in Philadelphia, sixteen are now in London, where a number of them are in the telegraph department of tlio General Postoffice. Two of tie.m have positions in Philadelphia. - New York World.


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