May 12, 2010

Quick quotes.

(Click image to enlarge)
The Soapy Smith autopsy
(pointing to the entry wound that ended his life)

Attraction of the Compass: A Romance of the North, Based Upon Facts of a Personal Experience, by E. DODGE, Dovk and Courtney Press, Long Beach, Cal. 1912.

“28 Attraction of the compass”

The Chinook winds came early, and the trail on the lake broke up so quickly that we were forced to blaze a new trail through the woods, and pack the outfits on our backs part of the way, but eventually we reached Caribou Crossing, a place well-known to "sour-doughs," or old-timers.

Remember that this was in the days before railroads existed in that country, even before Rackett [Brackett] took possession of the trail out of Skagway and made it into a toll-road, even before Porcupine Hill was used for a trail — about the time that Soapy Smith was shot in Skagway.

You don't know Soapy Smith? Why, he and Concertine and Chancy [Clancy] were the originators of the Order of the National Bird in Skagway; but the Order of the Arctic Brotherhood, law-abiding citizens, put them to flight by shooting the leader. Soapy Smith. They buried him outside of the graveyard, where his remains lie until this day, despite the thousands and thousands of brother National Birds, who promised to be loyal to the dead. There is a little square post at his head, and it is always pointed out to visitors with shame; for a greater outlaw was never known in Alaska than the leader of the Soapy Smith gang; but none of them were ever permitted to set foot on Canadian soil with the knowledge of the mounted police, for these outlaws had as bad a reputation as the Jesse James gang.


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