You have viewed 1 newspapers today. Please Register in order to view more newspapers.
We are retrieving your image from the archive...
We are converting your image into tiles...
Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune (Newspaper) - August 5, 1933, Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin Nard Jones I WAS waterfront reporter on the Daily Dispatch when they towed in the Chinese fishing vessel She had no name and she shouldn't have had we reporters called her The Junk The port authorities wouldn't let us go aboard until she bad been well fumigated that we really wanted to I There were five dead aboard her when she was found on the west side of the Pacific Not much more than bones wrapped in was the way it was put by old Captain Axelson who had picked her up They had died in a most horrible by slow starvation while the boat drifted on and on yet never crossed a steamer lane at the right time Cap Axelson told me he believed there bad been more than five aboard When I asked him what he meant he raised his eyebrows spat over the side of the dock and said that's what 1 The poor devils had gone through hell all right First there had been a storm which tore their canvas into useless ribbons Then their auxiliary engine one of those pitiful Chinese copies of American manufacture had refused to function The scattered rusted tools on the engine room floor told of hours of fruitless toil One of the bodies had been found there The man had tried until the last until he was too weak to lift a hammer OF course the bodies were gone when we went aboard But the feeling of them was still there When I went below to engine room I wanted to come up again as quickly as possible The arrangements of a Chinese fishing vessel are vile You drop through a hatch just big enough to admit a narrow-shouldered a small reporter Then you scoot for what a mile down an iron ladder And there were no ports the only light drifted through the open hatchway It was while I was below looking at the engine room that body tapped me on the shoulder practically sending me off with heart failure I whirled around to see Heal Jeffries Good I said What are you doing aboard this Just looking her over Neal told me She's got a sweet hull I know you're a boating it must take some enthusiasm to go for this tub Jeffries laughed I remember wishing that he wouldn't laugh down there It didn't seem right I'm thinking of buying her from the port commission I said we've dubbed her The this It's a fine hull She'd need some changing around But in a month or two I'd have as fair an offshore yacht as you'd want to see You mean you'd actually sail in Why There wasn't any answer really The big hardy sportsman wouldn't have understood me if I'd tried to tell him He would have laughed again Even then he half divined what my silence meant If you think I'm afraid of a lot of dead Chinks It wasn't that Not exactly It was something I couldn't get over to Jeffries It was simply a feeling that a fellow should leave this hulk alone now The feeling was so strong that 1 was fearful for Neal should he really decide to buy it Yet he did buy it He bought it the same afternoon an- nouncing that he intended to con- her into an offshore yacht And he was going to christen her The I considered thai this was his bravado rather and too it seemed to me that if Jeffries wonted to buy the craft and make a yacht of hei he should have done it quietly Those dead had been just Chinese but they had been human beings Silly Chinese Or a ship with a curse on Ah Ling that the came swiftly enough Some local men traced the vessel's home port and got into communication with relatives of the dead ermen They received orders that the craft should be burned to the evil spirits therein Now many people thought this an amusing idea and Neal Jeffries was one of them But to me it was one of the most sensible plans it has been my good fortune to hear The fact was that the port commission should never have sold the boat to Jeffries and there was very nearly some unpleasantness with the Chinese consul Fortunately the consul was an enlightened Oriental who had no great faith in vil spirits and he was able to assure the little fishing village across the Pacific that an influential Chinatown merchant warned him evil spirits would do him and all connected with the boat some real harm no further tragedy would come to it through the existence of the boat A number of local were not so sure They offered to buy the craft from ries but he stubbornly refused He had he told them bought and paid for it and there was a signed contract with a boatyard for her conversion into a yacht I happen to know that they offered him enough to take up the contract and build a whole new yacht into the bargain But had his head he was basking in the publicity Copy Illustrated By JOE KING the thing calmed down although Jeffries had telephoned me to say that Ah an influential Chinatown merchant had warned him that the evil spirits would do him and all connected with the boat some real harm What did you tell I told him where to go And I also said that I might have him thrown into the brig for threatening me But that wasn't a I said It was valuable advice Jeffries roared You're as superstitious as those The next I heard of The Junk was through a small item on the back page of the morning newspaper It Michael O'Leary 48 workman at the Dodd Shipbuilding Company 7543 lake was instantly killed late yesterday after- noon when a boat slipped its scaffolding nnd crushed him beneath the stern Thu is the third time the craft under con- has slipped the scaffolding although Raymond Dodd owner of the company claims daily inspections are made He blames ing ground under the foundation O'Leary was in rebuilding a yacht for Neal Jeffries well-known yachtsman and member of the Cordray Yacht Club I thought and felt sure that Jeffries would begin to change his mind about the advisability of sailing The Junk But before the month was out he had invited me to the As waterfront reporter for the Daily Dis- patch it was my job to accept I tried to trade an assignment with Kimball in the sports de- but he was covering a baseball series and wouldn't listen Launchings are exciting enough but was afraid this one would be too exciting It took a good deal of will power to get myself to the Dodd Shipbuilding Company where I found right 1933 by In U S I he bracelet on her had wedged between the uooden teeth of the dragon Neal Jeffries lunged toward her but too late She carried screaming down the at the prow of T he Jeffries and a host of friends gathered around a punch bowl But for once the punch bowl did not interest me I looked up at the white on the ways White paint had not changed her unmistakable lines And the low teak cabin and bright fittings could not erase from my ory the sight of her as she lay dejected and brown alongside the pert dock Hi there Jeffries caught sight of me and called Aren't you going to drink to the I heard his words but for the moment I could not respond 1 had just noticed the figure on the prow of the was a diminutive head of a Chinese dragon Jeffries saw me looking at it and an amused grin lighted up his features bad for a figurehead he asked That's my little tribute to the China boys Maybe it will stop their worrying I nodded dumbly and in the next moment he was introducing me to a tall slender young woman quite as sure of herself as was her com- Leah is going to christen Jeffries told me The girl flashed a dazzling smile I un- you're suspicious of the new I'm afraid Neal has been I lied Let's hope so I shouldn't like to sponsor a boat that was to be unlucky The workmen were greasing the now and Neal and the young woman left me to ascend to the little platform built up under the bow of the vessel Hanging from the was a bottle The girl took hold of this holding it up and laughing at the crowd below Someone called and the workmen began pounding the blocks out from under the keel The boat trembled ever so slightly and Neal prompted thv young woman to break the tle against the nose of the craft I saw her arm upraised probably higher than necessary for she was then quite suddenly she uttered a startled cry THE bracelet on her wrist had wedged be- tween the wooden teeth ot the dragon and she was Amid shouts of enthusiasm from those who did not realize the girl's plight the vessel began to move down the ways Neal lunged toward her but too late Her wrist imprisoned she was crashed through the scantling rail of the platform and carried screaming down the ways at the prow of The As the boat struck the water the bracelet snapped and she plunged into the churning waters below the ways I knew that she had fainted that instant before she fell and no one can realize my relief when I saw a workman dive toward her He brought her in alive but her wrist was cruelly broken and lacerated I knew that the ripped bracelet would leave its scar as surely as a dragon's teeth might have left one I was convinced now and that night I called at Jeffries She'll be all he said in my question about the girl always have a bit of a tear ot course the shock rather bad Damned rotten shame you know Spoiled the launching ceremony too I said drily And now I hope that your plan for The Junk is simply to burn sink it He stared at me half angrily I'll do nothing of the Good You'd think we were living 2000 years ago behind the Great Wall of China Just because a man happened to be killed while re- building her and Leah hadn't tense enough not to wear one of those silly dangling Then you we've been Perfect examples What do you I ignored the sarcasm in the question he flung at roe You're a stubborn fool that's what I think And if you try to sail that boat you'll be sorry you live you don't care about yourself but it would be criminal to take guests or crew aboard her Jeffries made an impatient gesture of greement He went on Well I'm going to sail her Reiter A lot of superstitious rot won't keep me from it either You'll be interested to know that my stateroom is built right where they found two of the I intend to sleep there too What do you think of He glared at me triumphantly what I think of all this half-baked monkey business As I went out into the hall he called to me You put it in your paper Reiter that 1 leave for a trip down the coast next with a crew of four It'll be a pleasure trip and a sort of shakedown cruise I don't know just how long I'll be gone or just where I'll go Might wander quite way before I get back All right I said slapping on my hat It'll be in the paper T WROTE a little squib about his departure for the yachting page and that was the last time Jeffries name Appeared in the Daily D spatch for more than a month I had almost forgotten both him and the boat and whenever I did think of them I he was still in southern California en- joying himself If anything had happened I told myself we'd have heard of it I began to think that I had been sort of foolish after all He had been so confident and after all it was a bit silly to let one's self pay too much heed to what at bottom he had been perfectly justified in designating a lot of superstitious non- sense His boat was certainly sound enough seaworthy enough for anyone He was an experienced yachtsman too it hardly seemed intelligent to go on expecting disaster to befall him It was more than a month later that I learned through the Club News Ex- change that The Junk had never reached ern California There was no alarm in the report for Jeffries had intimated that he might off toward Honolulu yachts aren't great ocean liners and if their positions happen not to be reported regularly nobody pays much attention to the omissions T HAD my own ideas but I kept them to myself They were with me night and day I wished I could be rid of somehow I couldn't Late one Saturday afternoon well along toward fall I got a telephone message from Ah Ling the Chinatown merchant I he said a news item for your waterfront page I think I knew was coming I ber that I said Shoot in sort of a whisper and had to repeat it so Ah Ling could hear It's fron a Shanghai newspaper I received Ah Ling went on I'll translate it literally for you Involuntarily my hand tightened its grip on the receiver of the telephone and my body stiffened with an odd nervous tension T Ah Ling's literal translation into American newspaper style here is what the Shanghai newspaper told Inhabitants of near kwan today reported the finding of an American sailing yacht adrift and disabled in Bay Sails were stripped and the engine was useless One dead identified as Neal Jeffries of Seattle U S A was found below decks in a berth Death was due to starvation Other members of the crew had evidently deserted ship Fishermen of claim to nize the disabled as rebuilt from one of their own fleet which met disaster and was picked up weeks later off the western coast of the United States It was reported that have burned the vessel on the ill I
Once upon a time newspapers were our main source of information. Now those old newspapers are a reliable source for hundreds of years of history and secrets of the past. Now you can search for people, places, and events without the hassle of sorting through mountains of papers!
Newspaper Archive is the world's largest online newspaper database featuring over 130 million newspaper pages. Plus our database expands by one newspaper page per second for a total of around 2.5 million pages per month! The value of your membership grows along with it.
Those looking to find out more about their forefathers can empower their genealogy search with Newspaper Archive. Within our massive database, users can search ancestors' names for news stories and obituaries. We must understand our past to understand our future!
24 hours a day Monday-Saturday
Your full introductory membership payment will be credited toward the cost of full membership any time you choose to upgrade!
"It is amazing how easy and exciting it is to access all of this information! I found hundreds of articles about my relatives from Germany! Well worth the subscription!" - Michael S.
"I love this site. It's interesting to read articles about different family members. I've found articles as well as an obituary about an uncle who passed away before I was born, and another about a great aunt. It's great for helping with genealogy." - Patricia T.
"A great research tool. Allows me to view events and gives me incredible insight into the stories of the past." - Charles S.