July 30, 1907
Avalon, Catalina Island
Who owns the sea, the islands and their calm coves? Is it god, or man who lays claim upon places of value in the world?
On Santa Catalina Island, a consortium run by the Banning family has seized control of most of the landable sections of the Avalon cove, and demands a 12 1/2% cut of all ship’s profits for the privilege of using the wharves. Most of the island’s boatmen agreed to pony up for the Santa Catalina Island Company surcharge, but a few rebelious sorts sniffed they’d find their own landings, thankyouverymuch.
Pity the unfortunate passengers who go out fishing with these rebels, quite unaware that permission to land on dry wood does not come with the price of passage! At Avalon today, an independent boatman named "Chappie" returned with a party of four and sought to land at the wharf, as a lady was aboard. He got into a physical altercation with an officer of the SCIC, and clouted the man with his gaff hook, then was swatted with a billyclub and knocked unconscious for ten minutes.
The lady was allowed to disembark onto the wharf, where is was discovered she had suffered a nasty wound straight through the web of her hand, from someone’s swinging blade unseen. The punchy "Chappie" meanwhile put his male passengers ashore along the beach, a most ignoble end to a day’s sport fishing.