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for the loss of their unfortunate com- flaps of portable dried meat which panion. *.
he declared was bear's. It was but In their further advance, hunger a small ration amongst so many; but, and thirst were their daily companions; being divided, was quickly laid upon they were compelled to kill several the fire to broil. The meat was stringy, of their animals for food, but were and of whitish colour, altogether unfortunate enough to replace them by a like any flesh the trappers had before stroke of good luck in meeting a party eaten. Killbuck was the first to disof Indians returning from an excursion cover this. He had been quietly against one of the Californian settle- masticating the last mouthful of his ments with a tolerably large band of portion, the stringiness of which rehorses. Our hunters met this band quired more than usual dental exer-, one fine morning, and dashed into the tion, when the novelty of the flavour midst at once; half a dozen Indians struck him as something singular. bit the dust, and twenty horses were Suddenly his jaws ceased their work, turned over from red to white mas he thought a moment, took the morsel ters in as many seconds, which re- from his mouth, looked at it intently, mounted those whose animals had and dashed it into the fire. been eaten, and enabled the others to “Man - meat, by G-1" he cried exchange their worn-out steeds for out; and, at the words every jaw fresh ones. This fortunate event was stopped work: the trappers looked at considered a coup, and the event was the meat and each other. celebrated by the slaughter of a fat "I'm dog-gone if it ain't!" cried young horse, which furnished an ex- old Walker, looking at his piece, " and cellent supper that night a memor- white meat at that, wagh!” (and reable event in these starveling regions. port said it was not the first time he
They were now devouring their had tasted such viands ;) and the conhorses and mules at the rate of one viction seizing each mind, every every alternate day; for, so poor were mouthful was quickly spat into the the animals, that one scarcely fur- fire, and the ire of the deceived whites nished an ample meal for the thirteen was instantly turned upon the luckless hungry hunters. They were once providers of the feast. They saw the more reduced to the animals they storm that was brewing, and without rode on; and after a fast of twenty- more ado turned tail from the camp, four hours' duration, were debating on and scuttled up the bluffs, where, turnthe propriety of drawing lots as to ing round, they fired a volley of arrows whose Rosinante should fill the kettle, at the tricked mountaineers, and inwhen some Indians suddenly appeared stantly disappeared. making signs of peace upon the bluff, However, the desert and its nomade and indicating a disposition to enter pilferers were at length passed; the the camp for the purpose of trading sandy plains became grass-covered Being invited to approach, they offered prairies; the monstrous cottonwood to trade a few dressed elk-skins; but on the creeks was replaced by oak being asked for meat, they said that and ash; the surface of the coun.. their village was a long way off, and try grew more undulating, and less they had nothing with them but a broken up into caiions and ravines; small portion of some game they had elk and deer leaped in the bottoms, lately killed. When requested to and bands of antelope dotted the produce this, they hesitated, but the plains, with occasional troops of wild trappers looking hungry and angry horses, too wary to allow the apat the same moment, an old Indian proach of man. On the banks of a drew from under his blanket several picturesque stream called the San
* In Frémont's expedition to California, on a somewhat similar occasion, two mountaineers, one the celebrated Kit Carson, the other a St Louis Frenchman named Godey, and both old trappers, performed a feat surpassing the one described above, inasmuch as they were but two, who charged into an Indian village to rescue some stolen horses, and avenge the slaughter of two New Mexicans who had been butchered by the Indians; both which objects they effected, returning to camp with the lost animals and a couple of propitiatory scalps.
Joaquim, the party halted a few days plenty of arms; and there were enough to recruit themselves and animals, to “eat up" the 6 Americanos, sin feasting the while on the fattest of frijoles," without beans, as he facevenison and other game. They then tiously observed. For his part, howstruck to the south-east for two days, ever, he was very friendly to the until they reached a branch of the Americanos; he had once met a man "Las Animas," a clear stream running of that nation who was a good sort of through a pretty valley, well timbered fellow, and had made him a present of and abounding in game. Here, as tobacco, of which he was particularly they wound along the river-banks, a fond. Finding this hint did not take, horseman suddenly appeared: upon he said that the horses and mules bethe bluff above them, galloping at a longing to the mission were innumerfarious rate along the edge. His dress able- like that,” he added, sweeping approached in some degree to civilised his hand to all points of the compass attire. A broad-brimmed sombrero over the plain, to intimate that they surmounted his swarthy face; a colour- would cover that extent; and he could ed blanket, through a slit in which his point out a large herd grazing nearer head was thrast, floated in the air from at hand than the mission, and guarded his shoulders ; leathern leggings en- but by three vaqueros. Regaled with cased his lower limbs; and huge spurs venison, and with a smoke of his jingled on his heels. He rode in a coveted tobacco, he rode off, and made high-peaked Mexican saddle, his feet his way to the mission without delay; thrust in ponderous stirrups, and in conveying the startling intelligence his hand swung a coil of ready lasso, that a thousand Americans were upon his only offensive arm. One of the them. trappers knew a little Spanish, and The next morning the thirteen instantly hailed him.
donghty mountaineers quietly resumed “Compadre," he shouted, “por onde their journey, moving leisurely along va?" The Californian reined in sud- towards the object of their expedition. denly, throwing the horse ho rode on It will not be out of place here to its very haunches, and darting down digress a little, in order to describe the the bluff, galloped unhesitatingly into singular features of the establishments the midst of the hunters.
formed in those remote regions by “ Americanos!” he exclaimed glan the Catholic church, as nuclei round cing at them; and continued, smiling, which to concentrate the wandering " Y caballos quieren, por eso vienen tan tribes that inhabit the country, with lejitos. Jesus, que mala gente!” “ It's a view to give them the benefit of horses you want, and for this you civilised example, and to wean them come all this way. Ah, what rogues from their restless nomadic habits. you are !"
The establishment of missions in He was an Indian, employed at the Upper California is coeval with the Mission of San Fernando, distant three first settlement of Southern Mexico. days' journey from their present posi. No sooner had Spanish rule taken a tion, and was now searching for a firm foothold in the Aztec empire, than band of horses and mules which the avowed primary object of the had strayed. San Fernando, it ap- military expedition began to be carried peared, had once before been visited into effect. “To save the souls" of by a party of mountain free-traders, the savage and barbarous subjects of and the Indian therefore divined the their most Catholic majesties was ever object of the present one. He was, he inculcated upon the governors of the told them, “ un Indio, pero mansito :" conquered country as the grand object an Indian, but a tame one ;* " de mas, to be sought after, as soon as tranquilChristiano;" a Christian moreover, lity was partially restored by the sub(exhibiting a small cross which hung mission of the Mexicans; and the round his neck.) There were many cross, the sacred emblem of the Capeople about the mission, he said, tholic faith, was to be upraised in the who knew how to fight, and had remotest corners of the country, and
* The Mexicans call the Indians living near the Missions and engaged in agriculture, mansos, or mansitos, tame.
the natives instructed and compelled does not appear) to explain to the to worship it, in lieu of the grotesque holy father that the original of that images of their own idolatrous religion. effigy, which hung pendant from his • To carry into effect these orthodox neck, had been long amongst them ininstructions, troops of pious priests, structing them in the elements of the of friars and monks of every order, and Christian religion, and had only lately even of saintly nuns, followed in the disappeared; informing them that cerwake of the victorious armies of Cor- tain reverend men would shortly appear tez; and girding up their loins with zeals in the land, who would finish the ous fervour and enthusiasm, and with good work she had devoutly coman enterprise and hardihood worthy of menced, and clench the business by buccaneers, they pashed their adventu- baptising the one million miserable rous way far into the bowels of the sinners who now knelt before El Padre land, preaching devoutly and with Venabides. commendable perseverance to savages “Valgame Dios !" reverently exwho did not understand a syllable of claimed that worthy man, "qui milagro what they so eloquently discoursed; es este ;" (what a miracle is this I and returning, after the lapse of many hear;) and casting up his eyes, and months passed in this first attempt, speaking slowly, as if he weighed with glowing accounts of the “ muy every word, and taxing his memory buen indole," the very ductile disposi- of the historical calendar of saints, tion of the savages, and of the thou- continued,sands they had converted to "la santa “ Se murió-aquella_santissimafé catolica."
muger-en el ano 175-es decir—ya Ferdinand and Isabel, of glorious hacen-mil-quatro-cientos - anos." memory, at once beat up for volun- [That most holy woman died in the teers. Crowds of Franciscan monks, year 175, that is to say, one thousand greasy Capuchinos, and nuns of ortho- four hundred years ago.) dox odour, joined the band ; and “Oh, what a strange thing is this !" saints even of the feminine gender, the padre continues devoutly. “After long since canonised and up aloft so many ages spent in heaven in comamongst the goodly muster of saints pany of the angels, of most holy men, and martyrs, put foot once more on and of virgins the most pure; and, terra firma, and, rosary in hand, perhaps, also in the company of my crossed the seas to participate in the worthy and esteemed friend and patron good work. As proof of this latter Don Vincente Carvajal y Calvo, who fact, one Venabides, a Franciscan, died a few years ago in San Lucar of whose veracity is beyond impeach. Xeres, (bequeathing me certain arroment, declared that, while preaching bas of dry wine, of a class I greatly in the regions now known as New esteem, - for which act he deMexico, one million Indians from the served to be canonised, and, I have "rumbo" known as Cibolo, a mighty no doubt, is,) the said Don Vinnation, approached his temporary pul- cente Carvajal y Calvo being, morepit on the Rio Grande, and requested over, a man of the purest and holiin a body the favour of being baptised. est thoughts, (Dios mio! what a Struck with the singularity of this re- puchero that man always had on his quest from Indians with whom he had table!) this holy woman comes hereas yet held no communication, and to these wild and remote regions ; with conscientious scruple as to when this holy woman, (who died fifteen ther he would be justified in perform- hundred years ago,) abandoning the ing such ceremony without their hav- company of angels, of holy men, and ing received previous instruction, he sanctified women and virgins, and also hesitated a few moments before mak- of Don Vincente Carvajal y Calvo, ing an answer. At this juncture, the (that worthy man!)—comes here, I say, Indians espied a medallion which hung where there are neither pucheros, nor around his neck, bearing the effigy of garbanzos, nor dry wine, nor sweet a certain saint of extraordinary virtue. wine, neither of Xeres, nor of Val de At sight of this they fell on their knees Peñas, nor of Peralta; where" (sobbed before it, and it was some time before the padre, and bellowed the last word) they found words (in what language "there is nothing either to eat or to
drink. Valgame Purissima Maria ! armed expeditions under adventurous And what is the name of this holy desperadoes to take and retain poswoman ? the world will ask," con- session of the said country, with orders tinues Venabides. “Santa Clara of to compel the submission of the native Carmona is her name, one well known tribes, and enforce their obedience to in my native country, who leaves the authority of the whites that the heaven and all its joys, wends her simple and confiding Indians began to way to the distant wilds of New Spain, see the folly they had committed in and spends years in inducting the sa- permitting the residence amongst vage people to the holy faith. Truly them of these superior beings, whom a pious work, and pleasing to God !"* they had first looked upon as more
Thus spoke Venabides the Francis- than mortal, but who, when strong can, and no doubt he believed what enough to do so, were not long in he said; and many others in Old throwing off the mask, and proving to Spain were fools enough to believe it the simple savages that they were too, for the shaven heads flocked over much more human than divine." in greater numbers, and the cry was Thus, in the province of New Mexico, ever “ still they come."
Fray Augustin Ruiz, with his coAlong the whole extent of the table. preachers Marcos and Venabides, lands, not an Indian tribe but was were kindly received by the native speedily visited by the preaching inhabitants, and we have seen how friars and monks; and, in less than a one million (?) Indians came from the century after the conquest of Mexico “ rumbo" of the Cibolo, ready and by the Spaniards, these hardy and willing to receive the baptismal sacraenthusiastic frayles had pushed their ment. This Cibolo, or Sivulo, as it is way into the inhospitable regions of written in some old MSS., is, by the New Mexico, nearly two thousand way, mysteriously alluded to by the miles distant from the valley of Ana- monkish historians who have written huac. How they succeeded in sur. on this region, as being a kingdom mounting the natural obstacles present- inhabited by a very superior class of ed by the wild and barren deserts Indians to any met with between they traversed; how they escaped the Anahuac and the Vale of Taos-in infinite peril they encountered at every the enjoyment of a high state of civil. step, at the hands of the savage inhabi- isation, inhabiting a well-built city, tants of the country, with whose lan- the bouses of which were three stories guage they were totally unacquainted, high, and having attained consideris sufficient puzzle to those who, in able perfection in the domestic arts. the present day, have attempted a This, notwithstanding the authority of journey in the same regions.
Don Francisco Vasquez Coronado, However, it is impossible not to who visited Cibolo, and of Solis and admire the hardihood of these holy Venegas, who have guaranteed the aspioneers of civilisation, who, totally sertion, must be received cum grano unfitted by their former mode of life salis; but, at all events, the civilisation for undergoing such hardships as they of the mysterious Cibolo may be commust have anticipated, threw them pared to that of the Aztec empire, selves into the wilderness with fear- under Montezuma, at the time of the less and stubborn zeal.
Spanish Conquest, both being egreFor the most part, however, they giously exaggerated by the historians found the Indians exceedingly hospic of the day. Cibolo was situated on a table and well disposed; and it was river called Tegue. At this day, not until some time after-when, re- neither name is known to the inhabiceiving from the missionary monks tants of New Mexico. If pate-shaven glowing, and not always very truthful Venabides had held his tongue, New accounts of the riches of the country Mexico might now be in the peaceful in which they had located themselves, possession of the Catholic Missions, the governors of Mexico despatched and the property of the Church of
* From a manuscript obtained in Santa Fé of New Mexico, describing the labours of the missionaries Fray Augustin Ruiz, Venabides, and Macos, in the year 1585.
Mexico pretty considerably enhanced restraint. Strong and commodious by the valuable placeres, or gold missions were built and fortified, washings, which abound in that pro- well stored with arms and ammunivince. Full, however, of the won- tion, and containing sufficient defenderful miracle of Santa Clara of Car- ders to defy attack. Luxuriant gardens mona, wbich had been brought to light and thriving vineyards soon surroundthrough the agency of the medallion ed these isolated stations : the plains at the end of his rosario, Fray Vena- waved with golden corn ; whilst domesbides must needs return to Spain, and tic cattle, thriving on the rich pasture, humbug poor old Fernando, and even and roaming far and near, multiplied the more sensible Isabel, with won- and increased a hundred-fold. derful accounts of the riches of the Nothing can be more beautiful than .country he had been instrumental in the appearance of one of these missions, exploring, and of the excellent disposi- to the traveller who has lately passed tion of the natives to receive the word the arid and barren wilderness of the of God. Don Juan Oñate was, there North-west. The adobe walls of the fore, quickly despatched to take pos- convent-looking building, surmounted session ; and in his train followed by cross and belfry, are generally twelve Castilian families of sangre hidden in a mass of luxuriant vegeazul, to colonise the newly-acquired tation. Fig-trees, bananas, cherry, territory. The names of these still and apple, leaf-spreading platanos, remain, disgraced by the degenerate and groves of olives, form umbrageous wretches who now bear them, but in vistas, under which the sleek monks whom scarce a drop of blood remains delight to wander; gardens, cultiwhich ever filtered from the veins of vated by their own hands, testify to the paladins of Old Castile.
the horticultural skill of the worthy Then commenced the troublous padres ; whilst vineyards yield their times. The missions were upheld by grateful produce to gladden the hearts dint of steel alone ; and, on every oc- of the holy exiles in these westem casion, the Indians rose, and often mas- solitudes. Vast herds of cattle roam sacred their white persecutors. The half-wild on the plains, and bands of colonists were more than once driven mules and horses, whose fame has bodily from New Mexico, and were even reached the distant table-lands only reinstated by the aid of large of the Rocky Mountains, and excited bodies of armed men.
the covetousness of the hunters-and In California, however, they ma- thousands of which, from the day naged these things better. The wily they are foaled to that of their death, monks took care to keep all interlopers never feel a saddle on their backs from the country, established them- cover the country. Indians (Mansiselves in snug quarters, instructed the tos) idle round the skirts of these vast Indians in agriculture, and soon gained herds, (whose very numbers keep such an ascendency over them, that them together,) living, at their own no difficulty was experienced in keep- choice, upon the flesh of mule, or ox, ing them under proper and wholesome or horse.