CHAPTER XXXIII
REFRESHMENTS AND ETHICS

I N regard to Island 74, which is situated not far from the former Napoleon, a freak of the river here has sorely perplexed the laws of men and made them a vanity and a jest. When the state of Arkansas was chartered, she controlled "to the center of the fiver"--a most unstable line. The state of Mississippi claimed "to the channel"--another shifty and unstable line. No. 74 belonged to Arkansas. By and by a cut-off threw this big island out of Arkansas, and yet not within Mississippi. "Middle of the river" on one side of it, "channel" on the other. That is as I understand the problem. Whether I have got the details right or wrong, this fact remains: that here is this big and exceedingly valuable island of four thousand acres, thrust out in the cold, and belonging to neither the one state nor the other; paying taxes to neither, owing allegiance to neither. One man owns the whole island, and of right is "the man without a country."

Island 92 belongs to Arkansas. The river moved it over and joined it to Mississippi. A chap established a whisky-shop there, without a Mississippi license, and enriched himself upon Mississippi cus-

-287-

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