by Marlin Spike
A little history leading to an incredably bad day. So much sacrifice, Can he find no peace
| Shanghaied (Fearsy and Sitsu)
I was a lucky one. I survived a period of California's history that has never seen the like, until maybe today! My three claims were remote and early found, far removed from the hungry, greedy, jackels that feed off the works of the successful!
I knew I had an excellant chance that I would be finding what all, in the mother lode country, had sacrificed so much for. It was the size of the nuggets I was harvesting and their increasing population that had me holding my breath!. This wasn't just color or a few nuggets that kept one going but a solid indication of a possible vein of gold that when followed didn't die out but became richer, leading you into a mother lode.
I was here, alone! I had almost given up a hundred times! I missed my wife and children so badly there was an aching pain where my heart used to be!
Nothing made this day different than another. A shaft of light reflected brightly, drawing my attention to it. There it was. In the twinkling of my eye, I had found what so many had died or gone away broken, searching for. They, hearing of men getting rich, them, surviving, just!
How was I to keep the ravenous dogs at bay? Last year my shovel broke and I needed basics; sugar, coffee and beans. I walked six miles to an outpost, hiding my trail to purchase another shovel and supplies. I paid two onces of gold for that shovel. Sixty dollars! Back in Ohio a shovel was a dollar!
The claim jumpers tried to follow me back to where the gold originated . I was too Ohio for them. They were citified people, thieves. I was a farmer//hunter that fed a large family by what we grew and what we shot or raised on our farm and it's surrounds.
I learned from Sitsu ( that's how you pronounce it ) how to walk with no sound and no trail. I was friendly to a people that were here before us. In kind they taught me their ways. How to be with and move with what was around you, as one.
Sitsu is my friend and has been from youth. He is one of the reasons that I survived being " Shanghied " in San Francisco. He is a major reason I didn't lose my claims in the " Gold Country ". While Sitsu was showing me the ways of his tribe he was studying the ways of our tribe. A way of thinking from both parts is the way I see it. While I'm studying him, He is studying me. I knew it, He knew it! So I guess friendship is a mutual exchange of something!
Here is what I got from my friendship with Sitsu. First, I survived being shanghaied. When I returned, I was richer, emotionally, financially and intellectually, than, when I began! Why do I attribute this to my friend Sitsu? When I walked with my friend in the wilderness, he allowed me to take the time to listen to forest sounds and let the sights and sounds lead me to the actions that would determine survival of not just myself and family but all that are part of that forest. A much larger view, a different way of seeing.
No one ever found the gold that I had claimed in California. I came back years later knowing what I would find. It was all still there. I knew because of my friendship with an American Indian (Sitsu) that in a crisis situation I could accept my spiritul destiny but not without asking the Great Spirit, " Is what I'm seeing, what it appears to be"?
When I woke after being shanghaied on that nightmare from hell called, " The Reefer " bound for China, I could have called all the gods that be to have nothing to do with me-ever again! Fearsy ( Joesph Israel Jacobson ) only kicked me once and became a best friend as was Sitsu, ( he never kicked me ) who, taught me how to wait for the meaning of things before stricking out. But stricking out is neccessary when your claim has been jumped. Or when your family is under attack. Or when ever you decide that justice is not being served. Or !!!!!
Friendship is priceless.......Intermission........
There is more to this story but for now I must not miss the riverboat from Sacramento to San Francisco! A letter home announcing my return and a berth on a ship to New York. Oh, to be in a city again, to see and be with people. A hot bath and cold beer! What more could a man ask for?