LAKE COUNTY HISTORY CHAPTER 52: KELSEY AND STONE DIE

“Hide as many weapons, knives, bows, and arrows, throwing spears and axes as can be found inside the house. It will make our task easier,” Shuk told them.

Immediately the wide-eyed younger Pomo left to begin their task. The five conspirators made ready for the dawn.

      The Assassination

The next morning, as he always did, Stone brought a cast iron pot of coals out of the house to light a fire under the pot of wheat for the Natives to eat. The five ring leaders were waiting.

One of the five, Oka-Nas, also known as Coyote Jim, took Shuk’s bow and shot Charles Stone in the stomach with an arrow at close range. The arrow did not penetrate deeply and Stone was able to pull out the arrow as he ran. His only weapon of defense was an iron pot. As he fought his way back to the house, Stone managed to break one of his attacker’s arms with a blow. Andrew Kelsey, hearing the ruckus, appeared at the door.

“Stop this,” he cried out in Spanish to his attackers.

To no avail. As he ran toward the creek Xasis shot him in the back with an arrow. That slowed him down but he kept running. Pulling the arrow from his back he leaped into the stream. On the other side, more natives waited. One of the men was Juh-Luh, a man Kelsey believed he could trust.

“Save me, Juh-Luh,” he said.

“I cannot,” he replied. “If I try to save you I shall be killed.”

The other attackers crossed the stream and reached the other bank. Holding Kelsey, who was weak from loss of blood, a second Indian, known as ‘Big Jim’, held Kelsey with Juh-luh. Big Jim bore Kelsey no love. His son had been killed by Kelsey and he was not about to release his prisoner. At that moment, Big Jim’s wife, Da-Pi-Tauo, arrived.

“This the man that killed our son. Here is your chance for revenge,” Big Jim told his wife.

 With a spear, she stabbed Kelsey through the heart. They left his body on the river bank for the coyotes to eat.

Meanwhile, back at the house, the two leaders of the revolt furtively climbed the stairs looking for Charles Stone. They followed his blood trail to the loft. Stone’s foot was visible on the upstairs landing and, thinking he was alive and feigning death, one of the men scratched an arrow tip across Stone’s sole while the other man waited with drawn bow to commit the coup de gras.  He was dead.

Stone was the same person that had survived starvation and cannibalism with the Donner Party in the Sierra Mountains during a fierce winter three years before. He would not survive this ordeal. Once his death was confirmed, they threw his body out the second-floor window. The fight finished, Xasis, their leader appeared at the window.

“Come, take all the food you wish,” he called to his people below in the yard.

 They would starve no more. The Native Americans buried the men; Kelsey near the Rancheria where he fell and Stone near the house. The revolt over, they went home to Scotts Valley and to Upper Lake or where they pleased, believing now they were free men once more.

Nothing happened. No one came to revenge the murders. The Pomo were free men once more. They placed lookouts at the Lower Lake trail, the west side of Big Valley, and the Eight-Mile trail from Ukiah, but no Whites were seen.

Meanwhile, the white settlers screamed for blood.

Next Episode: Vigilantes Ride.

Lake County History. $32. (includes. Tax & Shipping)

Pal Publishing, PO Box 6, Upper Lake, Ca 95485

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Website: genepaleno.com

Gene Paleno

Gene runs his life at a full sprint. In his ninety-three years he's dug ditches, painted signs, played semi-pro football, worked as a taxicab driver, an insurance agent, and a school teacher. He's been a technical artist, a marketing director, and a business owner. He served in World War II, raised four children, and was married to the love of his life for fifty years. He's an accomplished oil painter and skilled in ceramics. He's written fifteen books, including the definitive Lake County History, and doesn't show any signs of slowing down.

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