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The Catalina Islander
Avalon, California
October 8, 1924     The Catalina Islander
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October 8, 1924

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PAGE TEN THE CATALINA HUNTING OF THE SWORDFISH (Continued from Page 6, Column 4) man, whether of Montauk or Glouces- ter, and the ichthyologists concur. When a swordfish acts up that way he's as like as not to make for the little bobbing cask that serves as a float after the striker has driven the barb deep into him; or he may go for the schooner or sloop, whichever it is, or for the dory if that has put off. Keg or liner, the swordfis~ doesn't con- sider, once his anger is let loose by pain. A steelship can break his horn, but not his heart, and only a steel ship is safe from puncture. It's not merely that old fisherman can show you boats that have been plugged twenty times. There are sailors' tales as well of the swords driven a foot deep through an inch of sheathing and plank and tim- ber back of that. There was the English ship Queens- bury: Her case brought the swordfish legally among marine insurance risks. The hole in that vessel was thirty in- ches deep and she had to unload. And there was the ship Deadnought, Colom- bo for London, which had to put back to port, filling, with a hole an inch around clean through her. Or a sug;ir bark, sound when she left Honolulu and awash with molasses, from the wa- ter taken in, when hurried to dry dock at San Francisco. The swordfish of the Pacific are as hard drivers as those of the Atlantic, though they're most often a different species--not like the sort here, which are never taken on rod and line, and yet not like the saw- fish nor yet like the swordfish's cousin, the sailfish, with a round sword, which anglers catch in Florida. Yet for the most part the swordfish is a lazy fellow, basking if the sun is hot and sinking if a cold wind blows, like the mackerel. Swordfish mean mackerel, the fishermen say; like the fin-back whale, they follow the schools of lesser creatures. Sometimes shark eats swordfish; occasionally shark has been found in the swordfish's stom- ach. The two have a mutual respect. Many a time the masthead men have seen them swimming along lines that would converge, and then they sight each other and dart off in different di- rections without even a bow. Man, however, keeps straight on. He hunts the swordfish with a harpoon, a weapon scarcely different, save for ma- terials, from that used on seal and fish by the Eskimo. It's a' sharp game, whether it's played off Long Island or 600 miles further north, for the man that strikes cannot see the quarry till he's on top of it, and the man that sees cannot steer but must shout and LR ASK US DO YOU want hot water when you need it and in suffici- ent quanity at minim- um trouble and ex- pense? If so. let us install a satisfactory boiler to suit your spe- cific demands. If its a repal!" we are ready to render satisfaction. "A Perfect Service" I arl W. Croon Pbambing, Tinning 1!12 METROPOLE Opposite City Hall Phone 7-W signal to the helmsman as the vessel aims for the telltale ptwple blemish just beneath the surface. Or the mark may be two fins, dorsal and caudal, sticking up from the water. A shark rides that way, too, but a shark's fins are straight and there's a crescent turn to the swordfishe's. A shark moves his tail; the swordfish tail is rigid. It's a cahn sea and hot midday. There is gold on the water and even keen eyes tire; a man can't stay forever in noose, to go over the tail. The boat coming up, finds the fish hitched to the thwart of the dory. They hoist it aboard tail first. If the f~sh has plugged the dory and stuck--they have been known to hoist fish and dory to- gether and part them on deck. The fish, lying there dead, gives his last cxhibition: his scaleless skin changes through a dozen hues to greenish black. Once his eyes glared like 1)hosphorus balls; there are no big- having advised him that his are very loud in the British Isles France, Holland and Italy. Tht,' the first time that an amateu? has effectively worked New Zeala~ RA the crosstrees. Aloft there the look- ger eyes on a lixing creature, by I1t~l~j~'~! out--maybe three or four of him-- land or sea. They are as big hopes for a sight of them finning---cut- as hen's eggs, as big as tea cups. But ring water with fins clear. If they're these are no longer a glow in the sea breaching it means they are going like "tiger, tiger, burning bright;" they away Where ? No one knows, nor are grab' and dull, and the fishermen why. The man on the mast may sight cut off the head, horn and all, and thirty in a day or none in several days. what's not needed for market is tossed Wednesday Evenimz October 8., Th'ere's a crv. The cook comes trot- to the sharks. The swordfish, loppedat -oot C" ting from the" galley, for cookie must the ends, slit in the midroff, is brought Everybody climb aboard this sc~ #d work fast now, at the wheel if it's a in to the little harbor with the white ,of hilarity. Forget your troubles-t small boat, or passing the lookouVsdunes and the pink marshmallow in see Buster Keaton in his very late~ signals to the helmsman. If it's a large the land-locked ponds, and he's no "THE NAVIGATOR" schooner he is the one in charge of the lines and buoys, and it's his job "to clear both when the fish is ironed. "Hard starboard !" The fishing boat veers. Perhaps the captain was aloft and at the first word has slid down the stay. Now he leans from the bow. Before him is the bowsprit. To the tip of it, cutting scallops in the air above the waves, runs the 1)ull)it--a plank l)rop- ped fast by iron stays beneath. At the water end a hand rail makes a little platform of it and there the striker waits. His eyes are on the water, watching for what the lookout sees above. He is poised. The lookout shouts, the cook shouts; the man at the wheel spins her on the instant word. A swerve, another shout, and the striker strikes. The hands grip tight on the pole and tile muscle of brown forearms swell; the body bends, the line loops out like a lasso, and the striker's arm jerks with the javelin motion, straight toward the head of the fish, where the heart lies; straight down, or, if the fish is ahead, pitch-pole--a trajectory. In the water beneath his feet a lithe, sloping body lies for a moment stun- ned. The striker has jerked back the pole (sometimes the fish gets away more thought of than the small fry that look like silver ripples and walk right into cheesecloth nets on the beach. Less, for they come unbidden. Talk to a sportsman and he will tell you how long he played a fish. If it's a market fisherman, he says he had to work him. The swordfish is a game fish, too. He is sought off Southern California; the sportsmen there troll for him with flyingfish as bait, and there are records of eleven-hour fights. ..... They are broadbills out there but they are not plentiful. But if one of them breaks water forty-eight times before he's brought to gaff it is considered a sport worth waiting for, and if the game lasts all day till du'sk the fisherman will quote the belief that the broadbill wakens late and is more dangerous after dark. In the east those with a turn for swordfish contests go out for the most part with the New England sworders, the boats which work the coast or make three or four trips to the banks in the course of a sunnner. One of the New Yorkers who makes such expeditions is C. R. Patterson, the painter of shills, who has seen plugged vessels in the Pacific and has sailed with the fishermen of Glouches- ter and Boston, remaining at sea two A howling fun pest.. Als..a "THE TRAIL OF THE NORI~ A Nell Shipman story fihned a~l snow and ice ,STRAND~ Thursday Evening, October .9,,# "THE FOOLS AWAKENII p.. With a great cast--Enid Bennett, ~ rison Ford, Mary Alden, John .Sa~.V, tt lis, Alec Francis. She had a0S0~% freedom, and all that money couldb]~ and yet--? Also Tuxedo Conaew "THE BONE HEAD STRAND~ Friday Evening, October 10ye~f[ The outstanding picture of the ~ "TESS of the D'UBERVILLI .I With Blanche Sweet, Conrad N~g~i Stuart Holmes, Joseph J. DWlW[i The greatest love story ever to~u. I~e you don't see it, you've missed t~ greatest treat the screen has afford@ up to date. Also Century Comedy "SCARED STIFF" ,$TRAND~ Saturday Evening, October li gitl How can six men love the same without there being "EXCITEMENT" with the pole) and the brass-botmd and three weeks at a time. Folks~ we defy you to see this pic~ barb has come free from the shaft's New York has been learning to eat without laughing your heads off. 0[ iron head. swordfish, and apparently is taking to delightful romance, with plenty "A good iron," says the captain, it better than to the wartime whale, thrills and roaring comedy. Also _, Then the fish is off, and a sea dory It's a case of supply and demand, how- "ROVING THOMAS IN cANADj) too, with the bigger boat's engine stop- ever, and the wholesale dealers say theSees t"he winter sports and ped. The fish is off with the barb in big demand is still in Boston. New it and a line fastened to the barb, amt Yorkers have been helped to learn "FELIX PUTS IT OVER" _ a red keg for bobber kicking tllI spray, what the fish is like by dining down , STRAND~ Sue Evening, 12, The other end of that line is in the on Long lsland; the fishermen of those dory. Thus is the fish harnessed and parts sell a good deal there direct, toTennd'y October Stars in one picture !!! !! maple to tow the dory till he is tired hotels and soforth. "BROKEN BARRIERS",irk- of spurts and clashes and somersaults New England, however, ranks the With Adolph Menjou, James ~ad and great circlings 500 feet down be- swordfish close to the sacred cod. It wood, George Fawcett, May Buscr~ii, neath the little boat. appears in the annals of the region as When he starts, toss the coiled wart) early as 1675. New York has been others. The story of a typical Am~.,. overboard; a tangled rope is no joke hanclicapped in learning, for Boston can girl. The mad pace of jazz ct'~;d with a creature like that pulling it at takes up to 400 fish a (lay and is a ed youth pitted against the sloW tr.~~ so many knots an hour, and if it.hap- steady ntarket, and when there has of convention. Also Bobby Dunn n, pens to catch round a man's leg when not been plenty New York has had to "THIS WAY OUT" S the fish takes a run-out the chances take what was left. It's a problem ofAnd INTERNATIONAL NEW .STRAND~ are only a knife would save hint--and lose the fish. Give him a hundred fa- thoms of line, but keep the dory-end of the line good and fast. The fish tows. The warp skins over the gunwale; it will fray thin in a jiffy if there's a hitch or if it isn't run over a roller stuck on a rod in a tholepin hole. But the man in the dory rides behind his sea horse with the patience developing a steady demand, the deal- ers say. Yet the signs on the fish shop windows seem to grow more numerous year by year. BREAKS ANOTHER RECORD For the past year Major Lawrence Mott has been trying to accomplish Monday Evening, October 13.~ Lois Wilson and J. Warren Kerrl~fitt the two stars of the Covered Wag~ "A MAN'S MAN" A story of a man who could lo, v.e~Bt well ~s he could fight--and who tou%~ well enough to keep a whole army the run. Also Pathe Comedy , "HIT THE HIGH SPOTS' of his trade, letting out line, taking in two-way communication with the An- .STRAND~ to close up, perhaps catching up half tipodes.His signals have been con- a dozen times with that floater of a Tuesday Evening, October 14 cask before the fish is tired enough, tinuously reported as very clear in "SINNERS IN SILK" .... It s in this stage of the game that the both Australia and New Zeland. AndFeaturing Adolph Menjou, Conrad .~.~. quarry may turn and plug the dory, he has heard signals from these sta- gel, Eleanor Boardman. Rejuveuatly~ and the dory's rider, too, if he doesn't tions on a few occasions--but verypep, parties and the gay life ot ~'" hop quick enough. Standing on a -cabaret. The year's sensation!I thwart is safest. Look out when the warp slackens. If the fish doesn't thrust, the man does. He comes near. The fish floats. A blow of a fluke cot~Id ntake the man worry. He snub~ the harpoon rope around a tholepin and then he lunges with a lanceia file, sharpened thin, at the end of a pole. Half a dozen blows at the gills and the sea turns red. Back on the fishing boat, probably miles behind by now, the lookout sees the man in the dory up-end an oar, and the engine starts. The rest of it is short and simple. The man in the dory has changed lance for gaff and then a strap---a slip faint, as the governments of those places only allow the use of very low power in transmission. It was in the nature of a great pleasure that at 3:08 a. m., of the 4th instant he got into effective communication with 1AC at New Zeland, the station of Mr. Spack- man, at Auckland, about 7000 miles from Catalina Island. Communication was only fair as static was severe at this end. Major Mott expects to work Australia regularly as soon as cooler weather begins, and he also hopes to establish touch with English and French stations, operators abroad Also Universal Comedy "PAGING MONEY" and INTERNATIONAL NEW5 gTRAND~ Wednesday Evening, October Jr~ io Patsy" Ruth Miller and Matt MOO~ _,s the greatest picture of their care~" "FOOLS IN THE DARK"tic, The happiest, snappiest, most d drama most thrilling picture of the year. Also Educational Comedy "TOOTSIE WOOTSIE, ADMISSION PR-~S---2Sc and $1~ Children under 1Z, in First SectiOn, " Metinee--2$c. Children 10e.