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hunters making up for their many the march, driving before them with banyans ; but as it was the pure juice the assistance of half-a-dozen Indians, of the grape, it had little or no effect impressed for the first few days of the upon their hard heads. They had journey until the cavallada get acnot much to fear from attacks on the customed to travel without confusion part of the Californians; but, to pro- -a band of four hundred head of vide against all emergencies, the padre mules and horses, themselves mounted and the Gachupin were “hobbled," on the strongest and fleetest they and confined in an inner room, to which could select from at least a thousand. there was no ingress nor egress save Fray Augustin and the Hidalgo, through the door which opened into from the house-top, watched them dethe apartment where the mountaineers part: the former glad to get rid of such lay sleeping, two of the number keep- unscrupulous guests at any cost, the ing watch. A fandango with the latter rather loath to part with his boon Indian girls had been proposed by companions, with whom he had some of them, but Walker placed a quaffed many a quartillo of Calidecided veto on this. He said “they fornian wine. Great was the grief, had need of sleep now, for there was no and violent the sobbing, when all the knowing what to-morrow might bring girls in the Mission surrounded forth; that they had a long journey Juanita to bid her adieu; as she, before them, and winter was coming seated en cavalier on an easy pacing on; they would have to streak' it mule, bequeathed her late companions night and day, and sleep when their to the keeping of every saint in the journey was over, which would not calendar, and particularly to the great be until Pike's Peak was left behind St Ferdinand himself, under whose them. It was now October, and the especial tutelage all those in the Misway they'd have to hump it back to sion were supposed to live. Pedrillo, the mountains would take the gristle poor forsaken Pedrillo, a sullen sulky off a painter's tail."
half-breed, was overcome, not with Young Ned Wooton was not to the grief, but with anger at the slight fore when the roll was called. He put upon him, and vowed revenge. was courting the Sonora wench He of the "sangre regular," having Juanita, and to some purpose, for we not a particle of enmity in his heart, may at once observe, that the maiden waved his arm—that arm with which accompanied the mountaineer to his he had mowed down the enemies distant home, and at the present of Carlos Quinto-and requested the moment is sharing his lodge on Hard- mountaineers, if ever fate should carry scrabble creek of the upper Arkansa, them to Spain, not to fail to visit his having been duly and legally married by quinta in the vega of Genil, which, Fray Augustin before their departure. with all in it, he placed at their
But now the snow on the ridge of worships' disposal - con muchissima the Sierra Madre, and the nightly franqueza. frosts; the angular flights of geese Fat Fray Augustin likewise waved and ducks constantly passing over his arm, but groaned in spirit as he head; the sober tints of the foliage, beheld the noble band of mules and and the dead leaves that strew the horses, throwing back clouds of dust ground ; the withering grass on the on the plain where they had been bred. plain, and the cold gusts, sometimes One noble roan stallion seemed averse laden with snow and sleet, that sweep to leave his accustomed pasture, and from the distant snow-clad moun- again and again broke away from the tains; - all these signs warn us to band. Luckily old Walker had taken linger no longer in the tempting valley the precaution to secure the “bell mare" of San Fernando, but at once to pack of the herd, and mounted on her rode our mules to cross the dreary and a-head, the animals all following their desert plains and inhospitable sierras; well-known leader. As the roan galand to seek with our booty one of the loped back, the padre was in ecstasy. sheltered bayous of the Rocky Moun. It was a favourite steed, and one he tains.
would have gladly ransomed at any On the third day after their arrival, price. behold our mountaineers again upon “Ya viene, ya viene!” he cried out, YOL. LXIV.-NO. CCCXCVI.
l now, now it's coming! hurra for mountains through which the Amerithe roan !” but, under the rifle of a cans had come being far to the southmountaineer, one of the Californians ward, and at this late season probably dashed at it, a lasso whirling round his obstructed by the snow. head, and turning and twisting like a Urged by threats and bribes, one of doubling hare, as the horse tried to the Indians agreed to guide the cavalavoid him, at last threw the open coil cade to the trail, which he declared over the animal's head, and led him was not more than five days' distant. back in triumph to the band.
As they advanced, the country became “Maldito sea aquel Indio — curse wilder and more sterile,--the valleys, that Indian !" quoth the padre, and through which several small streams turned away.
coursed, being alone capable of supAnd now our sturdy band-less porting so large a number of animals. two who had gone under-were fairly No time was lost in hunting for game; on their way. They passed the body the poorest of the mules and horses of their comrade who had been killed were killed for provisions, and the in the fight before the Mission; the diet was improved by a little venison. wolves, or Indian dogs, had picked it when a deer casually presented itself to the bones; but a mound near by, near the camping ground. Of Insurrounded by a rude cross, showed dians they had seen not one; but where the Californians (seven of whom they now approached the country of were killed) had been interred—the the Diggers, who infest the district pile of stones at the foot of the cross through which the Spanish trail testifying that many an ave maria had passes, laying contributions on the already been said by the poor Indians, caravans of traders, and who have to save the souls of their slaughtered been, not inaptly, termed the “ Arabs companions from the pangs of purga- of the American desert." The tory.
Californian guide now earnestly enFor the first few days progress treated permission to return, saying, was slow and tedious. The con- that he should lose his life if he atfusion attendant upon driving so large tempted to pass the Digger country a number of animals over a country alone on his return. He pointed to a without trail or track of any descrip- snow-covered peak, at the foot of which tion, was sufficient to prevent speedy the trail passed ; and leave being actravelling ; and the mountaineers, corded, he turned his horse's head todesirous of improving the pace, re- wards the Mission of San Fernando. solved to pursue a course more eas. Although the cavallada travelled, terly, and to endeavour to strike the by this time, with much less confugreat SPANISH TRAIL, which is the sion than at first, still, from the route followed by the New Mexicans want of a track to follow, great in their journeys to and from the towns trouble and exertion were required of Puebla de los Angeles and Santa to keep the proper direction. The Fé. This road, however, crosses a bell- mare led the van, carrying long stretch of desert country, desti- Walker, who was better acquainted tute alike of grass and water, save at with the country than the others; a few points, the regular halting- another hunter, of considerable displaces of the caravans; and as but tinction in the band, on a large mule, little pasture is to be found at these rode by his side. Then followed places at any time, there was great the cavallada, jumping and frisking reason to doubt, if the Santa Fé traders with each other, stopping whenhad passed this season, that there ever a blade of grass showed, and would not be sufficient grass to support constantly endeavouring to break the numerous cavallada, after the herb- away to green patches which someage had been laid under contribution by times presented themselves in the the traders' animals. However, a great plains. Behind the troop, urging saving of time would be effected by them on by dint of loud cries and obtaking this trail, although it wound a jurgations, rode six mountaineers, considerable distance out of the way keeping as much as possible in a line. to avoid the impassable chain of the Two others were on each flank to reSierra Nevada — the gap in those press all attempts to wander, and keep the herd in a compact body, deer had jumped out of the bottom In this order the caravan had been as they entered it; and La Bonté crossing a broken country, up and and Killbuck had sallied from the down ridges, all day, the animals giv- camp with their rifles, to hunt and ing infinite trouble to their drivers, endeavour to procure some venison when a loud shout from the advanced for supper. Along the river banks, guard put them all upon the qui-vive, herds of deer were feeding in every Old Walker was seen to brandish the direction, within shot of the belt of rifle over his head and point before timber; and the two hunters had no him, and presently the cry of “The difficulty in approaching and knocking trail! the trail!” gladdened all hearts over two fine bucks within a few paces with the anticipation of a respite of the thicket. They were engaged from the harassing labour of mule- in butchering the animals, when La driving. Descending a broken ridge, Bonté, looking up from his work, saw they at once struck into a distinct half-a-dozen Indians dodging among and tolerably well-worn track, into the trees, within a few yards of himwhich the cavallada turned as easily self and Killbuck. At the same inand instinctively as if they had all stant two arrows thudded into the their lives been accustomed to travel carcass of the deer over which he on beaten roads. Along this they knelt, passing but a few inches from travelled merrily-their delight being, his head. Hollowing to his companhowever, alloyed by frequent indica- ion, La Bonté immediately seized tions that hunger and thirst had the deer, and, lifting it with main done their work on the mules and strength, held it as a shield before him, horses of the caravans which had but not before an arrow had struck preceded them on the trail. They him in the shoulder. Rising from the happened to strike it in the centre of ground he retreated, behind cover, a long stretch of desert, extending yelling loudly to alarm the camp, sixty miles without either water or which was not five hundred yards' pasture; and many animals had per distant on the other side of the ished here, leaving their bones to stream. Killbuck, when apprised of bleach upon the plain. The soil was the danger, ran bodily into the plain, sandy, but rocks and stones covered and, keeping out of shot of the timthe surface, disabling the feet of many ber, joined La Bonté, who now, out of the young horses and mules; of arrow-shot, threw down his shield several of which, at this early stage of venison and fired his rifle at the of the journey, were already aban- assailants. The Indians appeared doned. Traces of the wretched Dig- at first afraid to leave the cover; gers became very frequent; these but three or four more joining them, abject creatures resorting to the one a chief, they advanced into the sandy plains for the purpose of plain, with drawn bows, scattering feeding upon the lizards which there wide apart, and running swiftly toabound. As yet they did not show; wards the whites, in a zigzag course, only at night they prowled around the in order not to present a steady mark camp, waiting a favourable oppor- to their unerring rifles. The latter tunity to run the animals. In the were too cautious to discharge their present instance, however, many of pieces, but kept a steady front, with the horses having been left on the rifle at shoulder. The Indians eviroad, the Diggers found so plentiful a dently disliked to approach nearer; supply of meat as to render unneces, but the chief, an old grizzled man, sary any attack upon the formidable incited them by word and gesture, mountaineers.
running in advance and calling upon One evening the Americans had the others to follow him. encamped, earlier than usual, on a “Ho, boy !" exclaimed Killbuck to creek well-timbered with willow and his companion, “that old coon must quaking-ash, and affording tolerable go under, or we'll get rubbed out by pasture; and although it was still these darned critturs." rather early, they determined to stop La Bonté understood him. Squathere, and give the animals an op- ting on the ground, he planted his portunity to fill themselves. Several wiping-stick firmly at the extent
of his left arm, and resting the at the juncture of the Fontaine-quilong barrel of his rifle on his left bout with the Arkansa, where they hand, which was supported by the determined to construct a winter stick, he took a steady aim and fired. camp. They now considered themThe Indian, throwing out his arms, selves at home, and at once set staggered and let fall his bow,-tried about building a log-shanty caphard to recover himself, and then fell able of containing them all, and a forward on his face. The others, see- large corral for securing the animals ing the death of their chief, turned at night, or in case of Indian alarms. and made again for the cover. “You This they effected by felling several darned critturs," roared Killbuck, large cottonwoods, and throwing them " take that!" and fired his rifle at the in the form of a horse-sboe: the last one, tumbling him over as dead entrance, however, being narrower as a stone. The camp had also than in that figure, and secured by upbeen alarmed. Five of them waded right logs; between which poles were across the creek and took the Indians fixed to be withdrawn at pleasure. in rear; their rifles cracked within the The house, or “fort"-as any thing in timber, several more Indians fell, and the shape of a house is called in these the rest quickly beat a retreat. The parts, where, indeed, every man must venison, however, was not forgotten; make his house a castle — was loopthe two deer were packed into camp, holed on all sides, and boasted & and did the duty of mule-meat that turf chimney of rather primitive connight.
struction ; but which answered the This lesson had a seasonable effect purpose of drawing the smoke from upon the Diggers, who made no at- the interior. Game was plentiful tempt on the cavallada that night or all around ; -- bands of buffalo were the next; for the camp remained two constantly passing the Arkansa; and days to recruit the animals.
there were always deer and antelope We will not follow the party through within sight of the fort. The pasture, all the difficulties and perils of the too, was good and abundant, — being desert route, nor detail the various the rich grama or buffalo grass, which, devilries of the Diggers, who constant- although rather dry at this season, ly sought opportunities to stampede still retains it fattening qualities; and the animals, or, approaching them in the animals soon began to improve the night as they grazed, fired their wonderfully in condition and strength. arrows indiscriminately at the herd, Of the four hundred head of mules trusting that dead or disabled ones and horses with which they had started would be left behind, and afford from California, but one-half reached them a good supply of meat. In the Arkansa. Many had been killed the month of December, the moun- for food, (indeed they bad furnished taineers crossed the great dividing the only provisions during the jourridge of the Rocky Mountains, mak- ney,) many had been stolen by the ing their way through the snowy bar- Indians, or shot by them at night; rier with the utmost difficulty, and and many had strayed off and not losing many mules and horses in the been recovered. We have omitted to attempt. On passing the ridge, they mention that the Sonora girl, Juanita, at once struck the head-springs of the and her spouse, Ned Wooton, reArkansa river, and turned into the mained behind at Roubideau's fort Bayou Salade. Here they found a and rendezvous on the Uintah, which village of Arapahós, and were in no our band had passed on the other side little fear of leaving their cavallada of the mountains, whence they prowith these dexterous horse-thieves. ceeded with a party to Taos in New Fortunately the chief in command was Mexico, and resided there for some friendly to the whites, and restrained years, blessed with a fine family, &e. his young men; and a present of &c. &c., as the novels end. three horses insured his good offices. As soon as the animals were fat Still, the near neighbourhood of these and strong, they were taken down the Indians being hardly desirable, after Arkansa to Bent's Indian trading fort, a few days' halt, the Americans were about sixty miles below the mouth again on their way, and halted finally of Fontaine-qui-bout. Here a ready sale was found for them, mules being not wishing to lose more time in the at that time in great demand on the search, they proceeded through the frontier of the United States, and timber on the banks to find a good every season the Bents carried across camping-place for the night, which the plains to Independence a con- had been their object in riding in siderable number collected in the In- advance of the cavallada. On the dian country, and in the upper settle- left bank, a short distance before ments of New Mexico. As the them, was a heavy growth of timber, mountaineers descended the Arkansa, and the river ran in one place close a little incident occurred, and some of to a high bluff, between which and the party very unexpectedly encoun the water was an almost impervious tered an old friend. Killbuck and thicket of plum and cherry trees. La Bonté, who were generally com- The grove of timber ended before it pañeros, were riding some distance reached this point, and but few a head of the cavallada, passing at scattered trees grew in the little the time the mouth of the Huerfano glade which intervened, and which or Orphan Creek, when, at a long dis- was covered with tolerable grass. tance before them, they saw the figure. This being fixed upon as an excellent of a horseman, followed by two loose camp, the two mountaineers rode into animals, descending the bluff into the the glade, and dismounted close to timbered bottom of the river. Judge the plum and cherry thicket, which ing the stranger to be Indian, they formed almost a wall before them, spurred their horses and galloped in and an excellent shelter from the pursuit, but the figure ahead sud. wind. Jumping off their horses, they denly disappeared. However, they were in the act of removing the quickly followed the track, which was saddles from their backs, when a plain enough in the sandy bottom, shrill neigh burst from the thicket not that of a horse and two mules. Kill- two yards behind them; a rustling buck scrutinised the "sign," and in the bushes followed, and presently puzzled over it a considerable time; a man dressed in buck-skin, and and at last exclaimed—" Wagh! this rifle in hand, burst out of the tansign 's as plain as mon beaver to me; gled brush, exclaiming in an angry look at that hos-track, boy; did ye voiceever see that afore ?"
“Do'ee hy'ar now? I was nigh " Well, I have !" answered La upon gut-shootin some of e'e-I was Bonté, peering down at it: “ that ar now; thought e'e was darned Ra. shuffle-toe seems handy to me now, pahos, I did, and câched right off.” I tell you."
“Ho, Bill! what, old hos ! not gone “The man as used to ride that hos under yet?” cried both the hunters. is long gone under, but the hos, darn “Give us your paw." the old crittur, is old Bill Williams's, “Do'ee now, if hy'ar ar'nt them I'll swar by hook."
boys as was rubbed out on Lodge "Well, it aint nothin else,” con Pole (creek) a time ago. Do'ee tinued La Bonté, satisfying himself hy're ? if this aint "some' now, I by a long look ; "it's the old boy's wouldn't say so." hos as shure as shootin: and them Leaving old Bill Williams and our Rapahos has rubbed him out at last, two friends to exchange their rough and raised his animals. Ho, boy! but hearty greetings, we will glance let's lift their hair.”
at that old worthy's history since "Agreed," answered Killbuck; and the time when we left him câching in away they started in pursuit, deter- the fire and smoke on the Indian mined to avenge the death of their battle-ground in the Rocky Mounold comrade.
tains. He had escaped fire and They followed the track through smoke, or he would not have been the bottom and into the stream, which here on Arkansa with his old grizzled it crossed, and, passing a few yards Nez-percé steed. On that occasion, up the bank, entered the water again, the veteran mountaineer had lost his when they could see nothing more of two pack-animals and all his beaver. it. Puzzled at this, they sought on He was not the man, however, to each side the river, but in vain; and, want a horse or mule as long as an