1 Leaving

It was early spring of the year 1860. A farmer boy, just turned his twenty-first year had arrived at the stage of gold fever that he had to go.

Every thought pointed to the land of gold. The dear old home farm with it's fairly remunerative fields had no charm for him.
One bright Spring day he bade adieu to weeping mother and sisters brothers he had none, and his gray-haired father had gone to the back fields that he might avoid the painful parting that took his own dear son from him for so long a time and perhaps_____ forever!!

Our story is not of the lonely home but of the boy starting out to win or lose his life, which would it be? I am not a romance, but, facts so. Do not expect to find my hero anything but a generous hearted, fun loving boy, doing, daring, sorry to leave home and sorrowing loved ones yet full of bright anticipation of the time he should return home with his full share of California, hidden wealth at his command; place his loved ones in comfort far surpassing all the old farm could ever hope to do.

Arrived at the Phelps Station he met a friend and chum, who was to accompany him. They had agreed to journey together to the land of golden dreams.They entered the car and selected their seats, deposited their hand baggage and comfortably settled themselves to talk of their hopes and expectations full of conjecture as to what lay before them in the future they were going forth to meet. They had scarcely noticed their fellow passengers, when their attention was attracted by a couple of young men about their own age sitting directly across the aisle from them. They were evidently city boys out for a pleasure excursion, anxious to display their superior airs and graces for the benefit of their fellow travelers.

Our boys had not noticed them until one of them attracted their attention as well as that of the rest of the people in the car by holding his head far out over the aisle and brushed it most vigorously, making some remark in regard to the hay seeds and at the same time giving the boys across the aisle a quizzical look, as if to say "You are the Hay Seeds I mean". After which proceeding straightened up and settled back in his seat in a very self satisfied manner as if he might be expecting applause for having done a smart thing.

His Maneuvers had, none of them, been lost on our quick eyed boy. Taking the full point of the joke, application and all he decided to pay him in his own coin. So while under the pretense of arranging his baggage more to his satisfaction, he had secured an insect which, if not in good faith a louse, bore a wonderful resemblance to that old fashioned pest. His sharp eyes had spied it crawling on the coat collar of a rough individual seated just in front of them. He had, with a dexterous move of thumb and finger, secured it in what looked like a purely accidental manner. As Mr. Fop raised his head after the vigorous brushing he had given it, our friend eyed him sharply letting his gaze rest on one particular spot on his head until the steady gaze had attracted the other passengers and Mr Fop began to wiggle a bit uneasily under the gaze as though he did not just understand the meaning of it and might have a little fear of bodily chastisement.

And well he might when he took in view the sturdy proportions of our sturdy country boy compared with his puny limbs. However Jim was not one of the belligerent kind unless he saw necessity for standing on the defensive, and then he knew well how to use the force dame nature had blessed him with in brawny hand and arm.

After making his Mr. Fop quite uncomfortable under his gaze, he rose to his feet and quickly reaching for the top of the victim's head were the hair lay smooth and shining having been well greased with hair oil or formation of some sort. Apparently picking something from the spot he had been gazing on, he dropped it on top of the shiny silk beaver hat the fop held in his hand. Twas but a small spec but it showed well by contrast as it scampered around right lively, glad to be released from the confinement of thumb and finger which had held it with gentle pressure in order not to injure it's powers of locomotion. "My friend," said Jim with a kindly patronizing tone while he looks expressed the greatest surprise "here is one you left. I have always heard this kind of hay seed is very hard to get rid of when once located."

Mischievous Jim seated himself quietly and demurely as though he had done his neighbor an act of kindness. A hearty laugh burst from all the neighboring passengers who had watched the proceedings with great interest as a break in the monotony of railroad travel. They all seemed to enjoy most thoroughly the discomfiture of Mr. Fop who sat as if he had been stricken dumb and gazed at the race beast's with an almost idiotic stare.

He seemed to have lost all powers of speach or motion until his friend, seeing his state of bewilderment came to his aid, and reaching over brushed it away from him. He then roused himself and with an oath hurled at Jim, which loudly proclaimed his standing as a gentleman, and with a look intended to anhialate him, he then relapsed into silence. He would occasionally raise his hand to his head in the act of brushing when recalling himself he would scowl and mutter threats of vengeance under his breath. At the next station he left the train unable to stand the comments of the other passengers. He was evidently bound for a hotel where unmolested he could investigate matters in regard to his head , or as one malicious passenger suggested "He's going to look for hay seed."

Our boy travelers pursued their way and New York was reached in safety. Night was there before them and they gladly betook themselves to their Hotel and slept.

The next morning saw them astir bright and early and eager. Not so much to see the sights of the great city, as to purchase their tickets and ascertain how soon they could be on their way again. In those days every steamer was crowded with humanity. First cabin, second cabin, and steerage. The first ship to sail had a full quota of passengers in first and second cabins, but there is always suppose to be room in steerage class. They were assured of good plain fare and being young and hardy they concluded to risk it, because of their ready cash, they rightly imagined, they would use for in the future. While elbowing their way through the crowd they saw two familiar figures, by a few extra long strides they overtook them. It proved, as they had thought, to be an old school friend and her father. They had for the past year been living away from Phelps and right glad they were to meet their old friends and still better pleased when they found Kate was bound for the same voyage as they were. She had already secured her ticket for second cabin passage on the same boat that was to carry our boys. She had taken a sudden start for California, her health being far from good, and her physician had advised a sea voyage. Her father accompanied her as far as New York. Very glad was she to find her old friends and have their company for the voyage. She had a cousin who was married and living in Sacramento. She wished to take her by surprise so, she told the boys she had taken under an assumed name of Kate Tiermont while her real name was Kate Talman. It was an innocent freak and yet it was to be in the here after a source of trouble to our friend Jim. As soon as a boat arrives at San Francisco the list of passengers is published, and her cousin would so know of her arrival before she could reach her house.

The next day the vessel was to sail, so our jolly young friends passed the intervening time by seeing what they could of the city sights and completing their preparations for the voyage. The morrow arrived and they were all in readiness some time before the hour set for the ship to weigh anchor. The young men found employment in looking the vessel over. They gave steerage a pretty close inspection and concluded if the weather and the fare was what had been promised they would weather the storm let it be what it might as far as accommodations were concerned. Miss Kate found her stateroom and settled her belongings, then coming on deck she joined the others and together they watched the preparations of the busy seamen as they made ready for departure. At last they were all in readiness. Kate's father bade her a loving goodbye, gives each of the boys a hearty shake of the hand and leaves them. A moment more and the planks are drawn and the ship swings clear of the wharf and they moving slowly out of New York Harbor. The big vessel is under way with it's load of humanity some eight hundred human beings all bound for the land of gold.

2 First Time at Sea.

March 5, 1860 I shall not follow them save as I find extracts from Jim's journal that may be of interest or as I relate what I have heard him tell of his adventures to his boys. For Jim is now a gray-haired man and the boys can have no greater treat than to get him started on a California story. They listen in open mouthed wonder and fully intent to go to California when they become men.

March 5, 1860 Our first day at sea! Out of New York Harbor and plowing our way through the deep blue waters. I got tired of watching the waves and thought I would make a tour of inspection. Abe is very seasick, I feel as if I would like to be but could not. I fear steerage is not just the thing for weak stomachs.

I thought I would just take a walk up second cabin way and see how things looked. I persuaded Abe to accompany me as I thought it would do him good to get out of his bunk and stir around a little. As we started out, one of the boat's guards, wishing to show his authority, accosted us with the question "Are you second cabin, sir?" I assumed an air of equal importance and replied "yankee fashion", by asking "Are you attending to your own business, sir? It might be well for you to or I will have you reported." With that I walked on as important as if I owned the ship, crew and all. I pursued my way unmolested while Abe, poor soul slunk back to the steerage. I went and called on Kate who was sick in her room. She was not able to go to the table and proposed I take her ticket and go to second cabin table. I had no inclination for a great food but potatoes boiled not only in their skins but dirt as well are a worse looking mess than I have often served up for the pigs. It doesn't tend to settle ones stomach on ship board. I had half a mind to accept Kate's proposition and walk up to the table. They could only order me back. They had assured us of good clean food . And I though it would be well enough for them to make their assurance good. If only I had the cheek to carry me through. I rather thought I had, and if I didn't I had better cultivate it. I felt that one should have a good supply if one wishes to go smoothly along and not have one's neighbors tread on one's toes too roughly.

3 Eating Well

March 6, 1860 "I find Kate too sick to leave her room. She declares she would not if she could. She is to have her meals brought to her and I shall go to the table on her ticket. I walked up to the table with the rest with no fault found. I guess my footing is established. I ordered a good dinner for Kate, which was sent up to her. Called on her and found her nibbling at the food with not much appetite. We both wished Abe had what was I left. I felt at table that I would have been so glad to have taken half my meal to Abe. Kate looked over the tray well loaded with clean victuals "Here Jim put this in your pocket and this and this. Present it to Abe with my compliments. There is no harm in my seeing that this company fulfills their agreement. And gives you boys good wholesome food. You order up good full meals for me every time, they don't begin to know what a prodigious appetite I have." So I have had a good square meal myself, Kate the same and a fair lunch for Abe.

4 Land Ho! Jonah's Whale

March 7, 1860 I saw today for the first what might be called one of the monsters of the deep. I had been watching with interest the play of the porpoise and the flight of the white winged sea birds. They all form an interesting study and help to pass away the time. But today I gazed with awe and admiration on the form of a sleeping monster of the seas. We did not get a very close view yet think we all felt satisfied that it should be no nearer. The watchman cried "Land Ho!" The Captain got his glasses and pronounced it a whale, sleeping on the water. Orders were at once issued to tack ship. All was excitement among the passengers and everybody rushed to the side causing it to lurch, it almost seemed as if we should go over. The Captain soon ordered the crowd back, the ship righted and gave the little "Sleeping Beauty" a wide berth. It really seemed so emence, that one could not realize that it had the power of motion but we were willing to take the Captain's word for it and not try to arouse him for we all fell that our vessel, large as it was, would be but a play thing in his hands if once enraged. The wonders of the deep are truly wonderful, huge monsters sleeping in the sun on the bossom of the water. How harmless and like an inanimate mass it lay. But, had it not been for our look out and we had disturbed his lordships slumber how powerless we would have been to combat with him, so we gave him a wide wide berth and left him to complete his slumbers and to return to his home beneath the waves.

The thought came to me, how many years since he was a baby whale, and how many more years will he exist. What wondrous changes has the world known since his existance began? Who knows but he is the identical whale that swallowed Jonah. He looked as though had the capacity to swallow a regiment of men and not over load his stomach.

5 The Evils of Drink

March 8, 1860 I was today in a secluded spot with my back against the railing, reading my Bible. A wild looking fellow came along and stopped and gazed at me for several seconds. Finally as I paid no attention to him he ejaculated "Pius cuss! Eh!" wheeled and walked off. I saw nothing of him again for several hours. When for exercise I was making a circuit of the boat and came across the same fellow who had taken a survey of me. It was my turn now to look him over. He was gathering up all the life preservers he could find and attaching them to his person in every conceivable way and manner, around his neck, arms, legs and feet , he seemed to be in the greatest possible haste. Finally I said to him "My friend, what do you propose to do?" He wheeled on me in a rage saying "You just tend your own business, sir, you little cuss, you go back and read your Bible, I'm going ashore, back where we started from. Once in the water I can escape all these devils." And he glared around him as if the air was full of them. "Alright," said I, "but let me get you some better life preservers. Just wait a moment" I wanted to keep him from jumping overboard until I could notify the Captain who was soon on hand. I kept out of sight as I thought best not to have him get the impression that I had informed against him. The Captain addressed him kindly and tried to reason with him, but no reason could reach his liquor befogged brain. He was bound to go back. The Captain finally called the guard and take the life preservers from him. He fought like a tiger cursing and swearing that men and the devil were all agin' him. In spite of his raving he was speedily divested of the life preservers and given a straight jacket in place of them. His life history was soon told. The last chapter of this book was finished. After a few hours of the most fearful suffering with imaginary snakes and devils he died. The conflict was over. Whisky and the devil were triumphant. What a horrible gloom it cast over the passengers. How our hearts did ache for his sweet young wife, whose face had attracted my attention, before I knew the cause of her sorrow.

The Captain told us something of their history. The young mans story was that of many another one, wealth, idleness, bad company, whiskey, death. His wife had married him, knowing he was addicted to that bad habit but trusting that her influence would restrain him from ever becoming a drunkard. But she found, alas, that love's power loses all it's brilliancy is lost when pitted against the demon, drink. Love did for a short time prove a restraining influence but tiring of the restraint he made up his mind to go to California . He would leave his wife at home; then he would feel free to indulge in riot with no sorrowful face to upbraid him. She would not be left and he found to his surprise that she was a passenger on the same boat. Quietly, gently and unobtrusively did she try to restrain him, but to no avail. Her task was ended and it really seemed her heart was broken. I shall never forget her sad face. The Captain told me she would only go with us to Aspenwall where she would take a return steamer home.

Then came the most solemn event of a burial at sea. The poor fellow was put at rest in the watery grave, the water he was sure would drive the demons from him. The body was prepared for burial, enveloped in canvas with weights enough at the feet, to sink it many fathoms below fish life, it is calculated. I had always supposed the bodies that were buried at sea went to the bottom and I had always supposed that fish went to the bottom of the great waters but the Captain tells me not. I find I have to learn on this voyage some things agreeable and some disagreeable. The body was rested on a plank at the ships side enveloped in the American flag. The flag was also flying at half mast. The vessel itself was stopped, all it's mighty machinery was still. We no longer felt the jar and beat of it's mighty pulse, the solemnity of the mid ocean silence was upon us. when the Captain read the burial in slow measured tones the plank was tipped and out from under the American flag glided the body with swift and silent motion struck the water and descended in it's watery grave in an erect position. There to stand in midwater until the sea shall give up it's dead. I shall never forget the scene. I did not wonder that the desolate young widow was carried fainting to her room.
The vessel was once more underway but we all felt a sadness that we could not banish. I hoped that we would not have to stop for such sad obsequies. But little we know. Only that we feel God watches over all. we might well fear.

6 Hens and Chickens

(A page here is lost)

March 9?, 1860 I visited the chicken coop today much to my sorrow, sat down by it and dropped to sleep. I woke to find myself covered in hen lice. I happened to have a small bottle of spirits of camphor in my trunk which soon drove them away. Abe says they have a larger kind in steerage but these are enough for me. How small an insect can prove a torment a man. My bunk is in steerage of course but I still take my meals on second cabin. We have beautiful nights and often take our blankets out on deck to sleep. At four in the morning the boat hands are around to scrub the decks. At that time I take up my blankets and walk up to second cabin and take a nap on the sofa. I have lots of fun beating them at their own game. Had they given us what they agreed to I wouldn't have tried to do it.

7 The Mystery of the Eggy Boots

March 10, 1860 Poor Abe! he is so seasick and nearly starved. He would be quite were it not for what I take him from Kate's tray. But I cannot get it with too much regularity for fear of discovery, and that supply once cut off I feared the poor fellow would die. Last night I was walking for exercise and to pass away the time. I wonder if the old verse I once learned proves true in this case "Satan finds some mischief still for idle hands to do." Yet I really feel as though it was that renowned gentleman that prompted me to do, what I did. I was walking along by the cooks domicile. The door stood wide open and cook lay stretched his full length on the floor. Perhaps I should say width also for he was about as wide as long and sound asleep. I can see him now, mouth wide open and the snores were very melodious. But just a short distance from the open door stood a table loaded with newly baked bread and the smell of it was very good to inhale. I thought if Abe were only here, the smell of the bread would do him more good than a whole shipload of the wormy, moldy stuff he has to eat. I stood a moment looking in. I have, I trust, sufficient reverence for the command "Thou shalt not steal," but I never once thought it would be stealing, or stopped to considered the right or the wrong of the act. I simply felt we had paid for and was entitled to it and would have it if we could get it. I thought I would take a loaf of bread to Abe, so I very deliberately yet softly stepped through the door to reach for it. When lo! my big foot went smack into a pan of eggs. I saw cook begin to wiggle and the musical snore stopped short. I did not stop to see or hear more but made tracks for my own quarters, bread in hand. I would not give it up unless obliged to. I got the start on cook while he was picking himself up and after he once got started I could take twice as long steps as his short legs could compass so I had quite an advantage of him. What troubled me was it was dark and I could not tell when I reached our bunk. When I thought I was near I said "Abe" under my breath and he replied. I knew I was right then. I gave Abe the loaf of bread , told him to tuck it under the blankets if need be sit on it or take it for a pillow but not let it be found. I knew my boots would betray me and fortunately I possessed another pair. So off they came .

We had a double bunk and the eggy ones were tucked in between us, the clean ones was set in a conspicuous place as I slipped into bed. I had heard "cookie" coming tearing along not far behind me until the darkness caused him to lose his track. Then I suppose he bethought him of a better trick so back he went after a light and a companion. That was just what I expected and had ample time to prepare for it. I was by that time all settled and presume I emitted one or two gentle snores, while he examined my boots. No sign of egg anywhere so they wended their way back, baffled. I heard his companion growling because he was led on such a fool's chase. I heard him say "You probably had a nightmare, kicked around and broke the eggs yourself." "Well," said the cook "where is the loaf of bread?" "You swallowed that and that's why you had the nightmare" replied the man. "Well,I don't believe it," said the cook as he went pat, pat, pat, down the passageway. Disappointment was in even his footfalls. His companion accused him of all sorts of foolishness. I knew how they both felt but could not sympathize with them for I fairly shook the bunk with suppressed laughter. Abe joined me when I told him of my adventure. He treasured that loaf of bread and had it in reserve when I could not get him lunch from Kate's tray. He often said he believed it saved his life.

The next day it was quite enjoyable to see cook waddle around among the men peering at every man's boots but not an egg mark was to be seen even in daylight. I heard him say with a long wheezy breath as he went back to his quarters. "Ho! Hum! I wish I knew." Abe and I had another good laugh over him troubles. I don't think he cared so much for the loaf of bread as he did for the mystery and a desire to make somebody suffer for what they had done. However he failed. All his efforts were in vain and he never found out where his loaf of bread went.

8 Meat Overboard!

March 11, 1860 Today we had quite a little excitement in regard to a platter of meat. One day a week we have meat in steerage, another dried apples, mashed up with dirt and worms and all. I used to go to steerage table with Abe but not to eat. I feared it would be noticed if I did not go. A part of the time he was to sick to go, then I would pick out a few potatoes, pare off the dirt and take them on as clean a plate as I could find. Abe could eat them better than if he saw them in the dirt. One day in the week we had turtle soup. I have ascertained that it was slops left from the cabin tables with turtle inwards of the turtles added to make it more nourishing, warmed over and served for steerage fare! I know this is true but I don't say much because I don't wish to attract too much attention. We had good fare on second cabin.

Then the salt horse and poorly salted at that! One platter of that meat had been on the table for over a week now. I had watched the proceedings with interest, and heard the men make threats in regard to it. The smell of it was just terrible. It sickened many a poor fellow so he could not swallow a mouthful of other food. It could be smelled from one end of the table to the other. A stalwart young fellow named Dan stood by the table sick from the swell of the meat. "If that meat is on this table again I will throw it overboard." he said addressing the steward. The Steward replied, "By God you won't." "Yes I will," said Dan. The next meal the meat was in place and the smell had not abated. Dan came along gave one sniff of the air and before anyone knew what was happening, meat, platter and all went overboard. Food for the sharks but I pity the sharks that took it down. Oh! how mad the steward was. He called the boats guard and ordered them to put Dan in irons. Dan drew a revolver and about a hundred men stood by him and shouted "No!" with revolvers drawn. The steward said no more. The guard waited for a repetition of the order before risking their lives. The order did not come so they marched. The fact of the matter was the steward did not care to have it reach the ears of the Captain for they would be likely to get the feeding contract again if it was known to the captain. I concluded that was the reason at first for I learned that was the way we were fed. The one that would take it for the least money got the job. I don't think the Captain would have sanctioned such food as was served on that table. We had no more of that kind of meat, thanks to Dan.

9 Sharks

March 12, 1860 The Captain today gave us an exhibition of sharks agility . "Quite surprising", he told us, "that sharks were not so plentiful in the Atlantic as in the Pacific ocean." But one old fellow had been following us for two or three days. We had watched his maneuvers with many comments. The Captain happened around while we were talking, after listening to us he proposed to show us the full size of the "animal" as he called it. He procured a five pound chunk of meat and tied a string to it or a small piece of rope and threw it overboard for Mr. Shark. The rope had been purposely too short to reach the water in order to make him throw himself out; the water to reach it. No need to hold it suspended long for he met it more than half way.

The Captain judged him to be more than forty feet in length. I feel sure half the length was mouth. It really did seem that it opened within only a few miles of his tale, And as that beef went in they closed together with a snap like a huge steel trap. I think none of us cared to jump overboard with that fellow in our wake. We felt quite willing to part company with him, as he sank our of sight, to digest the beef I suppose.

10 The Nearly Tragic Love Affair

March 13, 1860 Today we will cross the Isthmus (of Panama) and try the waters of the Pacific. Almost the first sight that met our gaze was a disabled line steamer, lying up for repairs. The one who started the week before we did. They, we learned, had encountered a gale that stove in their wheel house and came near sending them all to the bottom. I feel to rejoice that their lives were spared. I am told it was by the almost superhuman exertions of the captain, crew and passengers that the vessel was brought to port. Mr. and Mrs. S. and daughter Mattie must have been on that boat. That would have been a sad ending to Mattie's love story had the boat gone down with all on board as was feared. At one time they had but little hope of ever reaching port. The gold fever had taken Matties lover and brother in search of gold two years ago. The lover was poor so the marriage was postponed until he should go and gain his share of California's wealth. The two boys had sent home such glowing talks of the country which they wished to make their home, that the father and mother were quite easily persuaded to go and take Mattie with them. I am so thankful their lives were spared. It would have been a sad, sad blow to the boys had the loved ones never reached them.

Aspinwall seems a sort of Shakletown as far as I can see. The hotel seems to be the only place any way respectable. The rest of the town seems to have gone to seed long years ago. I should, however, have liked an opportunity to have looked around a little more but all was hurry and confusion.

11 Crossing the Isthus and other stories

March 14, 1860 Today we made our trip across the Isthmus. Now we view the waters of the great Pacific. Our trip was the usual rough and tumble affair. I tried to look after Kate to the best of my ability that she should be made comfortable, at least. We had one rough looking fellow who tried to make some disturbance. He was full of whiskey so that accounted for it , if it didn't make it any more pleasant. when the Conductor came around he refused to show his ticket. The conductor of course insisted. Then the rough drew his revolver and thought to intimidate him, but the conductor was there ahead of him and with his revolver in hand compelled him to show his ticket. There was great excitement for a time among the passengers and no little dodging. I was within two or three seats of them and drew as much out of the range of their guns as possible as the sun was going down I had my first view of "Old Pacific". Panama seems to be a more thriving town than Aspenwall.
Between sun and dark we went aboard ship. The Pacific steamers are much larger than the Atlantic The company runs two on the Atlantic to meet the Pacific one. One from New York and one from New Orleans. Both boat loads were received on the Pacific boat.

Some queer specimens among some southern brethren. I presume they think the same of us. One old Gent I hear is called "Arkansas Tom" by his admirers. There is always a laugh going around over his yarns. He seems to have one ready for the occasion. Today I heard him relating how he once fished for turkeys.

He at the time, was with a company of fellows taking a raft down the Mississippi River. When they ran short of provisions they would go ashore to buy directly from the farmers or their wives who lived near the shore. As they got better food and for less money than when they bought in towns. He had turkey in his mind all day he would go ashore and hunt up one and other provisions at the same time. He went ashore in the neighborhood of a good looking farm house. He went up to the back door where he found the lady of the house feeding a fine flock of turkeys. They were big brown fellows their breast and backs glossy and plump as could be. "I felt I was in luck, just what I had been wishing for, a fine fat turkey. I asked the lady for that which I wished to purchase! She agreed to supply me at a reasonable price. Then I made known my wish to obtain a turkey and asked her the price. But Lo! she would not sell one. They were all promised. I argued in vain, but the more I argued the more obstinate she grew. The more I thought, the more he wanted a turkey.

She finally went into the house to get the supplies when a happy thought struck me. I had a fish hook in my pocket, why not fish for a turkey? It was attached to a firm line. I tied one end to my boot then took the end with the hook on it, baited the hook with a kernel of corn from the basin she had left on the step and threw it among the flock. By this time the woman returned with the supplies. I paid her telling her never mind the change as I was in a hurry. I started off at a right smart pace, a big fat turkey started after me with a hop, skip and gobble gobble gobble. I started into a run and called to the woman to call off her turkey for if he came any nearer I would hit him a rap 'I allers was afraid of turkey'. 'Drive him back' called the lady, 'Drive him back'. 'Don't dast to mam, hi'll light on me' I called 'Shew, I say you big old gobbler' and then I started on a run. But the faster I ran, faster went the turkey. And he even followed me right into the boat. We had roast turkey for dinner. I think the extra change paid her, I ment it should, but she would not give me her price so I be exact I always deal square with wimmin if they will be always reasonable."

12 The First Mate.

March 15, 1860 This is a busy morning. All is commotion on board getting ready to sail. Some of the sailors have had a jolly time and some don't feel so jolly now as they did a short time ago. They had evidently had their fill of Panama Whiskey. It as yet early morning and they all seemed to bear the first mate a grudge. He seems a very lordly and overbearing sort of fellow. Full of pomposity, strutting around the deck and giving orders to the men as if they were dogs. The men I had noticed seemed to dislike him and the Captain afterward told me they had no reason to do so as he never spoke pleasantly to them. And even passengers could scarcely get a civil answer from him. He was, I think a Spaniard. We were still anchored in Panama Bay and the sailors had somehow gotten hold of enough whiskey to make them crazy drunk.

The first mate came up on deck blustering and swearing at the drunken crew and ordering the boats guard to put them in irons. The men, of course, were mad as so many March hares. And full of fight only they did not dare show it. The guard had ironed three or four when they somehow came to a silent understanding and all of one accord began to crowd around the mate as he stood very pompously awaiting the execution of his orders. The whole pack of sailors came upon him, crowding him right up against the rail and in less time than I can tell it they had somehow raised his feet from the deck and over he went head over heels. How they did shout and cheer as he went down. And as he struck the water it seemed as if they went wild. "That's right, My Hearties, give him to the sharks," "Good shark food," and "Death to the sharks," were some of their exclamations. And indeed there was great danger that he would make food for the sharks as the bay was full of them. The Captain was soon on deck and sternly ordered the men to stop their talking and swearing. They were so excited they paid no heed to his orders. He did not wait to repeat it but enforced it on one nearest him with a blow from a marlin pike. He gave him a severe one which laid him full length on the deck and the rest began to realize that the Captain had given orders for the mate's rescue which was done quite expeditiously. He had quickly withdrew from deck, looking daggers at the men and swearing vengeance on them.

The poor fellow who had felt the weight of the Captains displeasure most severely, had picked himself up and was quite sobered. His first act was to apologize to the Captain, as did all the others. The Captain was friendly to them as so as they seemed inclined to obey his orders and did not punish they for their misbehavior. He said, but not in their presence, that if the mate had ever treated them decently it would not have happened. I think the Captain enjoyed his being ducked and at heart was glad they gave it to him. But of course, he did not tell them so. Order was once more restored and we were again out on old ocean starting.

13 Acapulco Bay

March 16, 1860 Today has been one of excessive heat. At noon the Captain was taking his reckoning and informed us we were within six miles of the equator. Consequently the sun was almost directly over us! And Hot! Oh How Hot! It really seemed we could almost touch the sun, it came so directly on us.

March 17, 1860 Made Acapulco Bay today. I think it must be the most beautiful bay in the world. I knew we must be nearing part and stood on deck watching, but I could see nothing that looked at all like a harbor or bay. We just seemed to be approaching a solid mountain of rock. I was standing near the Captain and said to him "Sir, when and where do we strike Acapulco?" "When we get behind that mountain of rock you will see Acapulco." "Yes sir! but do we scale that mountain to get behind it? There is surely no opening through. "Watch and you will see a hole in the mountain soon." This Captain answered all our questions pleasantly. He is a whole souled man. He is always ready to answer our questions with a pleasant word. Sure enough we did come to a channel but we could not see it until within a few yards of it. The channel was, I should say at least a quarter of a mile in length, and so narrow it really seemed we could almost touch the rocky wall on either side of us. Perpendicular rocks way up, up, up, and the beautiful bay beyond with it's beautiful placid waters and that so clear you could see the bottom.

I would have liked so much to have visited the city itself, but could not. It was amazing to watch the natives dive for money. The passengers would throw over a piece of money no matter how small and how they would dive for it. And always bring it up. Their black naked bodies glistening in the sun like some huge black fish. It's a strange thing but there are no sharks in these waters. (At the time this was written there were no sharks in Acapulco Bay, but a few years later when I went out the bay was just alive with them, and the natives didn't play in the water.)

We here took on a load of beef cattle some sixty or eighty head of them. It might probably been called jerked beef. They have a way of loading them which is very unceremonious and amusing to the spectators if not to the animals. The natives drive them out into the water with shouts and sticks. They would get them just as near the vessel as possible. A one man would throw a lasso over the horns another would stand at the windlass and would wind them up. Almost before they could bellow they where flying up through the air a squirming mass of hair, horns and legs. And were soon loaded much to their amazement landed on deck. And tied before they recovered from their astonishment which in some cases caused no little commotion. I know one big mild fellow somehow slipped his rope fortunately for those standing around he made a dash for the side of the steamer and over he went legs and tail flying, his big wide spreading horns well up in the air. As he started down to the water When he struck out most hastily for land he was loudly cheered as he went right through the line of natives. No use to stop him with sticks or spears. He did not propose being jerked again and he was not. however the most of them were quite subdued when they landed and soon accustomed themselves to their new quarters.

14 Ships that pass in the night

March 18, 1860 Tonight as the sun was sinking below the horizon it seemed sinking into the ocean. Between us and it there was a full rigged Sailer, canvas all spread, it seemed that it was made by cloth of gold or liquid flame. The Captain called our attention to it. It was a beautiful sight I ever saw. The Captain said he had sailed for over thirty years and it was a sight he had never seen before and probably never would again.

March 19, 1860 Today we met a homeward bound vessel. Of course we were eager to exchange mail. The Captain gave orders to lower the boat , the second mate and two oarsmen seated themselves in the boat before it was lowered. Two men had hold of the ropes. One lost his grip and down went one end of the boat considerably faster than the other. Out went men, mail matter and all into the water head over heels. Boat upside down, men overboard. "Stop ship" shouted the first mate. In an instant time, the man at the wheel rang the bell to reverse. I had no idea we were going at such a rate of speed. When out vessel was stopped we were half a mile from the scene of our disaster. Men and boat were mere specks in the water. But we soon picked them up, wet, mad, and somewhat scared. But no sharks had part in an appearance although one was seen shortly after the men were taken from the water. He came too late for the fall. He had evidently been belated for which the men had reason to be thankful for he had a very hungry look on his continence. We made another effort to exchange mail which was more successful than the first and we were soon again well underway. The packages were recovered as well as the men. We were nearing our destination.

15 San Fransisco and the Land of Gold

March 20, 1860 This morning we are to land in the "Land of Gold". All is excitement. I, to my surprise, find myself minus my pocketbook, checks and all. Not all either thanks to Kate's foresight. I presume the thieves swore over the small amount of money they found in my pocketbook. Before we left New York we had a consultation in regard to our money, Kate, Abe and myself. It ended by Kate taking it all and sewing it in a drilling belt which they voted I should wear. I tried to have them take charge of it. But no! I must wear it. They were two to one so I had to accept the situation. I strapped it around me, over shoulder and so down across my chest. I told them if I went down they should have to send a diver after me to get their money. The loss of my checks was quite an inconvenience to me and the ships company. I had to give a description of my trunks and their contents before they were opened and so gained possession of them.

Our first site of San Francisco was not very encouraging. It looks a desolate place, more like a lot of sand hills than anything else. We passed through the Golden Gate to the Land of Gold! The Golden Gate is a narrow channel which leads the Pacific into the Bay. It was first discovered by Ortega, a Spaniard. I suppose the first ship to enter the Bay was the San Carlos, commanded by Lieutenant Ortega. He spent forty days here and then returned to Monterey and informed Serra that not a harbor but a multitude of harbors in which the Navies of Spain could play hide and seek.

Serra was a Franciscan Monk who was placed at the head of an expedition to establish missions in upper California. It is related of him in history that he was a man to whom religion was everything. He had renounced all joys of love and home, he never made a joke or indulged in a jovial action. He cared nothing for, science or philosophy. He believed it his duty to inflict upon himself personal chastisement . He often lashed himself with ropes of wire and burned himself with torches. He was kindly, humble and quiet. He had no quarrels and made no enemies. Such was the beginning of the permanent settlement of the white man on the site of San Francisco. I suppose the Mission was located somewhere back in the futile valleys. The sand hill would not afford much pasturage for the mission's flocks that we were told once roamed o'er the country.

16 Little Bits of Home

March 21, 1860 One day in San Francisco found a few old acquaintances and called on them. Kate went this morning to surprise her cousin. There seem to be all kinds and colors here. All nations are represented in the quest of gold. I shall strike out for Sacramento tomorrow. It costs too much to live here, to live in idleness long. Think I go up the valley from Sacramento and find friend George and see how he is prospering. I hear he is on a hog ranch.

March 22, 1860 Today I made Sacramento, called on Mrs. S., one of our old home friends. Had a good visit talking over home and home people. As she is keeping boarders, Abe and I will stop with her awhile. It seems quite home like. So we will see what this town is like. But I have not much idea of staying in town, but think I shall seek employment on a ranch at present.

March 27, 1860 Bade adieu to Mrs. S. and started on our travels. She would accept no pay for our board while there. I will not sponge my board from her she works too hard. She agreed hereafter to accept if we should visit her. I would not like to go elsewhere for it seems more home like. Went to call on Kate while in Sacramento. She found her quite rested from her trip and in good spirits as usual. She is also thinking of looking up some employment. She wants her trip to pay in cash as well as pleasure.

March 29, 1860 Today reached friend George's ranch and took him by surprise. We will stay with him for a few weeks, helping enough to pay our board. He will help us look around for a job.

17 Sunday Swimming Lesson

April 1, 1860 No church within miles of us. Some go right on with their work as on weekdays. We have sat idly around reading a little in our Bibles. Sunday reading is a scarce as the churches here. Then fell to thinking of home. March 5th I left New York now it is April first. So far from home. If I would think of it I might get homesick. But that must not be.

So we, George, Abe and I started off on a tramp, to view the country and pass the time. We came to the banks of Tall Lake. There lay a boat idly tossing to and fro in the water. We thought it no more a sin to use our arms for a row than to use our legs to walk.

We were out for perhaps an hour, the lake was as peaceful and beautiful as a dream. we were making our way to land slowly and lazily plying our oars when suddenly a wind struck us and we were capsized. It seemed to have come for our special benefit. Before we could realize what it was we were all three wriggling in the water. Not a one of us could swim. We could not all cling to the boat so I let go as I knew I could float on my back and the others couldn't even do that.

The wind was blowing hard and the waves carried us in. In about an hour we struck land none of us sorry. The water was warm and we were none the worse for our bath. The same wind that had caused our disaster had carried us safe to land.

18 Not Exactly Mother's Home Cooking

June 8, 1860 Hired out on a hay ranch. Good fair wages. Concluded we better get to earning something before going farther. An old Batch runs the ranch. He is a dirty queer old customer he is. I don't just relish my board. Gets a hogshead of flour at a time. He keeps it in one corner of the room, at all times uncovered . The mice have free access to it. I noticed our bread was well sprinkled with dark specks. I felt I must call his attention to it so I said "Mr., I don't wish to find fault with your cooking, but I think the bread would relish better if the mice were kept out of the flour." He looked at me with indignation and said, "Young man," said he "you are a little too particular to have your victuals digest well. Just try and be thankful it ain't rats." I trust I am, for mice are bad enough if you have plenty of them. I wonder what Mother would say to this bread?

June 30, 1860 Changed my place of work. Was afraid the mice would get my digestive apparatus out of order. Am now baling hay on another party. We have good clean fare.

19 California Wild Fire

July 12, 1860 Today I went for a stroll , taking my gun for company, was wandering around in the lute grass, which grows ten or twelve feet high and ripens up in the fall. Cattle browse it, hogs have regular roads around in it. Hogs love the roots which look like small onions, and of a sweetish taste. Rabbits, ducks, and all kinds of wild birds inhabit it. It is sometimes set fire by hunters accidentally and sometimes fired purposely to give new growth a chance as it makes better feed.

I came near being trapped by a fire, which would have left me roasted if I had not had two matches in my pocket. I was not in the habit of carrying them with me but that morning I had been using some at the house and dropped some in my pocket. It was providential for me at any rate.

I was walking along when I noticed ducks were whizzing along through the air over my head. Rabbits too were darting by me. I began to smell smoke. I reached a small hillock and looking back saw a fire coming like a racehorse not a half a mile away. I knew I couldn't get away, before it overtook me. For a moment I was dazed. My first though was "Oh, for some matches." It was so unusual for me to have them around that I did not remember that I had dropped two or three in my pocket. It was a great relief to my mind when I realized the fact I knew I was saved.

It did not take long to strike a fire ahead of me. I soon had fire ahead and behind me. The wind was bringing up the rear fire and taking the head fire away from me. So I followed the headlight and soon had the satisfaction of seeing a strip of land cleared between me and the rear fire which came on like a demon. I had lots of company, such as it was, cattle, hogs and rabbits but I had not heart to fire on the poor things. They were nearly smothered with the heat and smoke as well as I.

I followed the headlight as close as possible but it seemed me that the head fire did not travel as fast as the rear . About two miles of travel took me out and I was thankful to escape. I was nearly smothered with heat and smoke. I smelled like a smoked herring.

20 Breaking in the Mustang Team

July 30, 1860 Have been drawing baled hay of late. The man I am working for is a reporter for the Sacramento Union. His wife and two children live here on the ranch, he spends most of his time in the city, and knows very little about farming.

One of the horses I had been driving was wanted for other use. So he said pointing to a mustang in the drove "That fellow ought to be broken to drive. Do you think you could manage him?" I thought I could, so the boys were called to help me corral it. I soon had a lasso around his neck and choked it down until it gave up. And I could lead him to the barn where I had my load all ready to start.

We drew a sack over his head and put the harness on as gently as possible in order not to frighten it. Then we slipped the sack off and headstall on as quickly as possible put the sack on again and led him to the wagon were the other horse was already in place.

I was on the seat whip in hand by the time the trace was hooked. One of the boys pulled the sack off, I touched them with the whip and away we went with my mustang team. The dust flew. I knew we would not belong in getting there, if everything held together. Away we go on a dead run. Six miles to town. Would they let up before we got there? Not a bit of it! I dared not stop them for fear they would not start again, so away we go at breakneck speed all the way to town. When we arrived they were pretty well warmed up and ready to stop when I said whoa! When I was ready to go home I had a well broken mustang team.

21 Home Delivery

August 1, 1860 Done working in hay. Am now delivering milk in San Francisco. All kinds of customers. For some milk is too rich, some not rich enough. One lass complained of a yellow scum on the milk. I remedied that by fixing one can with just half and half. Even that did not satisfy them so I put in four quarts of water and one quart of milk. They thought that was good. Nothing like trying to please people.

August 4, 1860 No thunder and lightning in California. No rain except in the fall, but for all that everything grows luxuriously. I have been quite interested of late in caring for a family of ducks. We have thirty-six ducks and every morning I went out and brought in thirty-six eggs. This morning there was only one duck left.

As I was making my trip with the milk I heard the quack quack of a pen of ducks on the ferry. I thought I would look them over as I had a private mark on my ducks. I recognized them. They were being shipped by a Spaniard. He was going to contest my claim but my mark proved my right. I told him to scrape off the mud on the right foot and if he did not find an eyelet there I would not claim the ducks. So I took my ducks back with me. Mr. Spaniard loudly protesting his innocence saying he could prove he had bought them of a Chinaman. So I took his word for it and did not arrest him.

22 1860's Style Employee Relations

August 8, 1860 It is my business to see that the cows are all milked in time to meet the ferry. I have my string of twenty-five which I milk twice a day. We have to get up at one o'clock in order to meet the ferry at four. Twas my business to rout the men as I could always wake at a given hour. They all depended on me to call them yet some would grunt and roll over and take another nap. I have got tired of calling so many times. So this morning I said Boys, I'm willing to call you once or even twice before I go out. But it is just as much your business as mine to get up. Yet I am here to take the milk at four o'clock, And I will here after call you once and if you don't get up then you'll have to take the consequences, which will consist of a pail of cold water. Now remember I will call you but once.

The most of them agreed that they would be deserving of it if they did not get up. I saw one chap who looked very surly. He was the one who would invariably sleep the longest. He seemed to think that if his string was not done in time, the rest would help him out. We had all gotten tired of doing his work. He had been with us but AA few weeks. He acted as though that sort of thing would last. But I thought in time to put a stop to it.

I called them the next morning making enough noise to wake a regiment of men calling to him in particular and receiving a sulky growl in response as he rolled over to take another nap. I concluded that he would be up by the time I got around with the water if he intended to obey at all. When I returned he was still asleep on his back, his mouth wide open. I gave him the contents of the pail, full in the face. I imagine he took some of it in as there was open space there enough for it to enter. I did not wait to watch the effect, but went on to work.

He was soon right behind me, I knew he was mad but I apprehended no danger. Halfway to the barn I heard him halt. I half turned my head to see what he was about and received a well directed blow to my head. This staggered me a great deal, I kept my balance and went on to work while he slunk out of sight in the darkness, I had no time to attend to him as I was late with my work.

When the men came up for my cans they told me my head was bleeding. I explained that my friend had given me a whack. I was full of wrath at the way he had sneaked up and hit me. He did not come to milk his cows so we had to do it. I went to the house and had a dressing put on my head. I then set out to find the one who threw the stick of wood at me.

Found him in a corn field. He was waiting for me to go to the ferry so he could go into the house to gather up his belongings, but I did not go to the ferry that morning. I marched him back to the house ahead of me, at first he refused and showed an inclination to fight. I gave him a taste of my cowhides and told him to get moving or I would give him the pummeling of his life. He went to the house and I dismissed him with the toe of my boot. I think it might have left a lasting impression if not an agreeable one. He didn't have anything to say until he was a safe distance away where he stooped to swear at me.

23 Earthquake!

August 25, 1860 The most severe earthquake ever experienced in California occurred while I was in Oakland. I was standing in front of the barn, looked up and saw the barn shaking and quaking. I felt as if I was seasick. I was rooted to the spot, I couldn't move away from where I stood.

The ground seemed to be rising up to meet me. I have experienced the shock of earthquakes three times before since I have been on the Pacific Coast, but nothing like this. As I stood between the cabin and barn I could hear the timbers crack in both buildings. I expected either of them to go down.

It gives one a queer feeling to feel what you suppose is solid ground, shaking under your boots. The owner of the ranch had just driven up to the barn. The horse took freight and ran into the adjoining field. Blair was so dazed he didn't even try to pick up the reins but let the horse go raring until it was all over. There were cracks in the ground two feet across and fifty feet deep. Buildings in town were fearfully shaken and some settled a good many feet into the ground. Much of the ground is what they call "Made Ground". San Francisco was built on sand hills. These were leveled and dumped into the Bay. Many large blocks were built on this "Made Ground" and they seemed to be shaken the worst. It was a wonder there were not more people killed.

Tall chimneys fell, there were bricks flying in all directions. Horses were running, some with drivers and others with nine. Wagons were upset, people were standing paralyzed with fear or making frantic attempts to escape from they knew not what. There were people who threw themselves from the windows of tall buildings. I suppose there have been worse quakes as there are tales of whole cities being distroyed. However, I do not care for anymore experiences along that line.

24 The Great Balloon Event

September 10, 1860 Have been to Oakland today. It has been an exiting day because of a balloon ascension. I concluded to stay in town to witness the grand affair. The whole country was in a state of excitement. Miners came flocking in from all parts where the news reached. Men, women and children all with eager watchfulness.

The big balloon was tied down and the balloonist was there making last minute preparations. He was a large, heavy man. How the crowd cheered as ha got into the car and cut the ropes. It failed to soar, he fussed and fumed but it would not go. He was too heavy. He finally detached the car and put a basket in it's place. Still it refused to carry him. He was very excited.

The crowd was waiting, among them a ragged, little urchin who seemed as excited as the man. Finally he called out, "Say, Mister! It won't carry you, but let me try it. Just a little way you know!"

The man looked him over. He was a little orange peddler, with his basket over his arm. As the man said "Come on lad" he threw the basket on the ground and with a bound was in his place. The man showed him how to pull the ropes to open the valves when he wished to come down. He told him to pull it when the people on the ground look small to him.

The crowd cheered as the man cut the ropes and the balloon swung around with a creak and began to rise. "Now lad, don't lose your head, and forget what to do," cautioned the man. "No, sir," came the reply. "Let her go" and away she did go. Up! up! up! until the balloon and boy were mere specks in the sky. The balloonist became alarmed. The crowd began to be excited again. Why didn't the boy do as he had been told and come down?

The anxious spectators began to blame the man for allowing the boy to go. Time was rolling on and night would soon be here. The crowd seemed chained to the spot but the balloonist disappeared. The whole city was in an uproar and began mourning the fate of that poor boy. No one seemed to know who he was. Had he no father or mother? No one knew. No one had any claim on him or interest outside common interest of humanity.

The balloon itself had long since disappeared. the evening papers had a great heading, "Boy lost in the clouds!" Many were the guesses of his probable fate. People could scarcely sleep that night for excitement. The crowd allowed their excitement to drown their better judgment, with the aid of whiskey to keep them going. No doubt it would have fared ill with the balloonist had he remained on sight. There were frequent calls for him in not a friendly manner. There were calls of "Lets have him!" "Send him up!" and "Tar and feather him!" The night passed. Those who slept, awakened to remember with sorrow the poor boy who was, no doubt somewhere dead, perhaps in midocean or on some mountain top. The poor child!

The whole city was astounded the next morning when the boat came in, to see the boy come walking and inquiring for his orange basket. How people cheered. It was taken up and echoed all over the city. "Hurry! for the balloon boy." Crowds gathered to get a look at him. The managers of the balloon flight finally got him away so they could listen to his story.

They announced the boy would relate his story that night in the theater. they could come with as much money as they wished to contribute to the boy. The people were anxious and expectant and before the hour appointed the theater was packed.

The hour arrived and the lad was loudly greeted. The balloonist had resurrected himself, and brought the lad on stage to introduce him. He stood for a moment abashed but at a word gave his age as twelve. He had no family, and said he had always wanted to go up in a balloon but never expected to have the chance. "I was so happy, I was little" he said "and the man big."

When I started I felt I was going to heaven, I was very happy. When he called and told me to pull the rope I thought I wouldn't pull it very soon. I wanted to go up, I didn't care how far. I could stand or sit so I didn't get tired. Later I did get cold. The air was very cold. I was afraid I would get over the Sierra Nevada's and knew if I came down there I would be lost. I had been there and knew about them, so thought I better try to go down.

I pulled the string and it broke. I didn't know what was best to do then. I found I had a knife in my pocket but did I dare climb up those ropes? I had to in order to get a hole in the balloon. I knew I had to let the gas escape in order to get down. I concluded I better be at it before I got too cold. So up I went. I knew I could climb a rope but didn't care to think how far I'd fall if I missed my hold, so didn't allow myself to think about it. I went up and cut a small hole, so I wouldn't go down too fast. I felt myself going down, down; so fast it nearly took my breath. I shut my eyes and held my breath and held on tightly wondering where I would be and hoping I would get there before dark.

It was dark before I landed and I couldn't tell where I was. I only knew I was standing on land once more. It was very dark, I couldn't see a thing, only a light that seemed a long way off. I figured it to be a light from a window.

After a long walk in the darkness I came to a house. I was both tired and hungry. I knocked and asked for admission. The man of the house let me in. I told him my story. They gave me supper and a bed. I think they doubted my story. I asked them to let me rest until morning and I was sure we could find the balloon. I found I was in Sacramento Valley about ten miles from the city.

After a nights rest the man took me to the city. I pointed out to him the direction I thought I had come from. He decided we might find the balloon on the way. I was anxious to get to Sacramento in time to catch the afternoon boat as I knew you folks here would be anxious and might think I had run away with the balloon. We found the collapsed balloon on our way. I do not care to take another ride in it. The man told a few people my story and they did not appear to believe it until he told them he had seen the balloon. They found I had no money to pay my fare so they paid it for me. Here I am no worse for my trip, which I do not care to repeat!

He gave his name as John DeWitt and he thought he was born in Ohio. He said he had lived there until he was three or four years old. Then his parents started for California, with a company of about eight persons, Overland Route. I remember my grandparents cried when we bade them goodbye. We had to go with the crowd. I remember a good many incidents on the journey.

One time they got on the wrong road. The men had a fierce dispute. The leaders insisted on a certain road which proved to be a longer way taking many more days than they had expected it to. We were a long time in reaching the mountains. The weather was getting very cold then. There was a big dispute whether they should go on or camp where they were and try and winter there. The majority ruled that they should go on, and try to cross the mountains.

It was getting colder every day. They reached the summit and then came a fierce snow storm. It snowed for days and they were there for months. Most of the company died of exposure. I suppose I should have died but my father and mother gave me part of their food. After they died, I fared but poorly. I was nearly dead when help came.

Some of the men became uneasy and talked of the strongest trying to get help. The prospect was not good that any of us would be alive when spring came. Provisions were getting low. The men started out making such preparations as they could for their perilous journey. All of them perished but one, he lived to reach a place down the mountain and told his story.

I always tried to believe it was my father, who got there only to die. He sent help but too late for many. My mother was dead, when the rescue party arrived there were only three of us alive. One man and two children. The man we were afraid of and we kept out of his way as much as we could. He took things that I knew were my mother's and put them in his pocket. He wouldn't let us have very much to eat and the last two days we hadn't had a mouthful.

The other boy died before we got down the mountain. The men of the rescue party carried us on their shoulders as we were not very heavy, yet it was hard for them. We thought we might all die before we got down. I was left with some people who were kind to me. They have since died and I have made my living by selling oranges.

There was a commotion in the crowd. A man was trying to get through. He finally reached the stage and approached the boy saying "My lad, do you remember the look of your father?" The boy looked at him and said, "Yes sir! He looked just like you only he didn't have gray hair!"

"I am your father," the man said drawing the boy to him in a fond embrace. "I was thought to be dead when the relief party left but it was only exhaustion. It was months before I recovered enough to make inquires about my wife and son. I was told they both had died but thank God one has been spared to me."

They bowed to the audience and left, hand in hand. The balloon man then had a word to say. He requested all to give to the boy. They all a made a dive into their pockets and got what loose change was there. Hats were held at the door and a goodly sum was collected. I was told over a thousand dollars. The boy and his father could return to their Eastern home and I heard later that they did as the father's health was not good. So ended the story of the Balloon Boy.

I have many times since wondered what ever happened to him.

25 A Wilderness Encounter

Carson City? Yes I was there for many days. Did I like it there? Oh, yes but it was getting away from there that bothered me the most. How did I get away? I was a strong young fellow in those days and I walked away. Yes, I went away from there to California. Over the Sierra Nevada's, how else could I go? I took the Sonara trail, as it was called in those days. Slung my knapsack and blankets on my back, had two revolvers, and a bowie knife in my belt and I was fully equipped for my tramp.

I started out one morning on foot, alone. Was there no other trail? Yes, one called the Hermit's Pass. I had a pass on that route and could have gone all the way by stage but I had been over that Route many times and therefore wished to try a new one and do a little prospecting as I went along. I will tell you of my trip over the Hermit's Pass some other time.

I was told this was a fair trail the way I wished to go. A hunter arriving the day before reported a road building gang working within a day's hike from Carson City, so I started out taking lunch, of course. Meals never bothered me much in those days. I thought I would be in camp by nightfall with a good appetite. I found the old quotation verified "The best laid plans of mice and men often go aglee."

How long before I reached camp? About two and a half days both up and down hill. Sometimes thickly wooded and the trail hemmed in by Chaparral bushes then again bleak and rocky peaks, barren and desolate. The wild Grandeau of it all was fascinating, I tramped all day and rolled up in my blankets at night.

Yes, I had quite a fast, as long as I cared about carting my luggage on an empty stomach. Not a mouthful of food but some good spring water and spice bark. There were partridge and quail but too quick for me. Coyotes would come in on the trail, give their whining, yelping bark. I sometimes fired at them to send them off and get rid of their noise. They are a sneaking, prowling, cowardly animal. They would hang around for days and never dare to attack a man.

My first day off I was surprised by larger game. I had walked a good half day and the Chaparral and Mesquite bushes were thick on each side of the trail with their sharp thorns making almost an impenetrable wall on each side. Just as I came over a slope I came upon a bear. He seemed to be as surprised as I was. We halted and looked at each other, I presume for at least a minute. We were both considering. I know I was and supposed the bear was doing the same. He seemed to have a very meditating look on his face. My thoughts were, no side escape through the bushes and chances are against me in a face to face encounter, yet which I saw no chance to avoid. When to my surprise he wheeled quickly around on his haunches and trotted off on the track. I waited giving him a fine start, I didn't wish for him to think I had any desire to hurry him had no wish to be outdone by a bear in politeness. I felt the need of a short rest. I started on after a while and came to a place where the bear had made a break through the bushes, down a hill and switches off to the side trail. I felt the best of friends must part and twas well to part good friends.

Trudged along till nightfall and no sign of the camp. I wasn't so hungry that I couldn't sleep, so I rolled up in my blankets on my mossy couch amidst mountain silence which soon was broken by the roaring of a Montana lion, the barking of wolves and the whining of coyotes. A mountain serenade! I didn't care to dance to their music. I roused myself and soon had a pine tree blazing and crackling. If I could have no supper I did not propose to furnish one for the mountain lion. I kept the fire burning all night. In the morning a awoke thanking the Lord who had watched over me through the night. It didn't take o long to complete my toilet and eat my breakfast of spice bark.

Another day of lonely walking and by section stakes five miles apart I had by nightfall traveled forty-five miles and still no camp. I searched around for a good place to build a fire and roll up in my blankets and was wondering how much farther before I reached the camp. I built a fire and went to sleep feeling as if y stomach had rooms to let. Spice bark was not very filling, yet I knew I should be thankful for that much. I knew I must be on the right trail and that sooner or later I must reach the unless the road had been abandoned.

26 Entertainment California Style

Morning came again and morning light found me again on the trail. I had just cut a fresh stick of spice bark and was about to start chewing on it when I smelled something in the air. The breeze was coming fro the west. It was a good hard wind and certainly brought me good tidings, as a war horse smells a battle, I scented baked beans and bacon. No perfume was ever so delicious. I was just five miles away when I first smelled the. The smell of those beans fed me as I went along over the last slope, there in the valley was a sight that made my heart rejoice. A row of ten or twelve iron kettles set in a big stove arch, a good fire under the cooking bacon and beans. The aroma had been raising up the Sierras for miles.

There were about one hundred and forty men just gathering for their noon day meal. They stared at me as I threw my luggage on the ground, grabbed a tin plate holding six quarts. I went to the kettle and filled the pan. A loaf of bread and a big cucumber pickle finished the menu. No one spoke a word until I was nearly finished and the boss said, "My friend, I would let up on that pan of beans if I were you. Beans may be beans where you come from but if you keep on I'm afraid we will have to quit grading and plant you." I told him I intended to leave the pan. I laid down and went to sleep.

The next day when I woke they told me they had covered me with my blankets and I had slept undisturbed. It may have been that spice bark had prepared my stomach but I had no serious ill effects. The boss asked me to stay in camp for a few days to rest up. I was quit lame.

I stayed three days and was most kindly entertained in true California style. What's California style? Welcome, food, shelter and the best entertainment the camp could afford. How did I pass the time? Sleeping, resting, watching the men at their work and at their play after their work was done.

They were a rough set. After their work was done they did not care much for games that called for exercise of limb and muscle. Most of them gambled. Those that did not play bet on those that did. Some lost as much as five or twenty five dollars. I always noticed that for every one winning there was one losing. I did not join in as I did not care to take anyone's money or lose my own. Those who didn't play for money, played for beans at poker freeze out. Poker was an exciting game with them and fun to watch them play.

There I saw a louse fight for the first time. The boys laughed and said they had heard of people who had no more spunk than a louse but never heard of a louse with spunk enough to fight. Their father said " Had you been in California in the days of which I speak, you would know more of the habits of that interesting little insect." They were in those days our bosom companions. We. could not buy even new clothes from the store but they already had possession of them. They showed their likes and dislikes very plainly. Some people suited their taste better than others. I once bunked with a comrade who declared that they nearly ate him alive while I scarcely had one on me! He said he would like to send his to me to pasture as my flesh seemed to be poison to them. The surest death to them that I knew was an ant hill. In the morning I threw my blankets over an ant hill and by night my blankets were swept clean, not a louse to be seen. It was amusing to see the ants go for them. The brave little workers would tackle them and drag them into holes without ceremony.

But I was to tell you of the louse fight. Just imagine a hundred men watching a louse fight. Some betting as much as twenty five and fifty dollars a head. Two fellows would get into a bantering dispute about their livestock as they called them. They bet as to who had the smartest louse, with the most grit. They got a new tin plate and each produced a louse to put on the plate. Usually a gray back, the other a lined back. How the little beasts would fight. Each man must watch his own louse. They never let up but would fight until one was killed. That decided the winner of the battle. It was more amusing to watch grown men get so excited over such insignificant foes than to watch the battle itself. It was amusing but not very elevating, but remember the men were far from any civilization. Books, paper and the like were very scarce so they made the most of what they had plenty of.

27 The Surprise Encounter

The next day I started on my journey. Bade adieu to my rough entertainers. The sun shining, the air was bracing and I felt good as I started once again on my lonesome tramp. I took a lunch along with me this time for fear I would not run across baked beans at my next station. My road was much the same, up hill and down, I reached the foot hills about noon. I had seen no human beings.

I came upon a delightful, spring, clear and sparkling and seated myself to enjoy my dinner. There was a good deal of brushy undergrowth. I sat with my back to a tree, ate my lunch in quiet and I supposed alone.

I got up, took a drink of water from the spring and was preparing to start along when out pops an Indian out of the bushes, no two feet from me. How he could be there and me not know it I never could understand. He walked up to me and said "Me want!" pointing to my blankets. Up popped another saying, "Me want!" pointing to my hat. Then came another and another until there were six. They were pirate Indians. Each wanted some article of my belongings to which they pointed. I backed to the tree and pointed my revolver, which they hadn't seen, and said "Me want!" About emphatically as I could I said "Vamoose or I shoot!" They did vamoose as suddenly as they had appeared. The bushes swallowed them up as silently as you would expect from an Indian. They were a band of pirates out on a thieving expedition. Had I had no firearms I would have faired poorly. I confess I was more at ease when I got clear of the underbrush, and the chance of more Indians popping up to call on me. I didn't like the feeling of my scalplock rising up to meet their fingers. My hat settled back to it's accustomed place and I traveled on unmolested. I slept that night in my usual way, visited not by Indians or animals.

By noon the next day I met a Rancher from below, who had his herds pasturing in the foothills as the feed was poor down on the plain. It was their custom to take them up on the hills for weeks during the dry season. I chatted with him for awhile, ate dinner and once more trudged along.

One more night by my campfire and the afternoon of the next day I came to a tidy farmhouse. I though I would try for a square meal so I tapped on the door, it was answered by a fine looking woman. I made known my wish, she looked me over pretty closely and seemed satisfied with what she saw and said she would have my meal in a short time. I was well served with good food, well cooked.

She quizzed me about the route I had come, I told her I had come upon the Sonora Trail. She asked if I had met any ranchmen. I told her I had, she then described the very man I took dinner with the night before. So it was, I brought her news of her husband and she served me my dinner, for which I paid her then proceeded on my way. I often wonder at the woman daring to stay alone and getting a meal for such a rough looking stranger as I was. She probably had a gun and knew how to use it if the occasion required it. I had at least reached the border of civilization and my tramp was about ended.

28 Mining at Kanaka Creek Part 1

That was not my only experience in the Sierras. My first mining experience began in the Sierras. I had worked at ranching until I had saved five hundred dollars. I then made up my mind to invest in a claim and go mining.

I bought in at Allegheny town and worked one year, good hard work and at the end of the year found myself three hundred dollars in debt for provisions. I decided I would pull up stakes and start for Kanakak Creek. Many are the Memories clustered around old Kanakak Creek. In summer a tiny, purring stream, in winter a rushing, roaring giant. Often rising twenty feet in an hour. Then is the time for the gold miner to get out of the way, no gold digging in the creek beds then. I then started for the head of the creek, crevice hunting. I poked that old crevice spoon in many a rocky nook and cranny along that creek. Sometimes I found a few flakes of gold and sometimes nothing, but always peeping and squinting into hidden places. I was getting to feel discouraged thinking of that debt behind me. A miner always pays his grub debt. If he went broke he tried a new field and when he made a new find he always went back and paid up.

As I said I was getting quite discouraged. I sat down on a big boulder to rest. I began idly picking away at a small crevice. I saw a faint gleam of gold. Kept picking away, a little more show of gold running back as far as the eye could see. It was so firmly embedded in the rock, that neither spoon nor hammer could make an impression. I gazed at it with heartfelt delight. I would go back, get blasting material and see what that would do, never doubting but what my fortune was made.

With a light heart I trudged back some forty miles, procuring my supply, located my claim and then made my way back. I found all as I had left it. My Golden vein still glittering in the sun undisturbed.

( a page here is missing)

I at last became excited and went to work in earnest. My excitement lasted just eight hours and in that time I had taken out just eight hundred dollars. I did not stop to eat or drink, or sleep until I saw the bottom of that pocket. One of Dame Nature's gold lines. When I had finished I concluded I had all I wanted to carry. I would go back and pay my debts and then make a fresh start.

USGS Map Kanaka Creek

29 Mining at Kanakak Creek Part 2

Would I try old Kanakak again? Yes, I went from above where I found the pocket with not much gold. I was plodding along about noon, the third day, climbing along about one hundred feet above the level of the creek. A few bushes above me had fastened their roots in a crevice of rock Nearby was a small stream trickling down from a spring to join the creek below.

I sat down to eat my lunch and looked over my gold dust. I had a few dollars worth, rather discouraging considering the distance I had traveled, but the gold digger must be indefatigable. They cannot tell what the next hour may bring forth as I well knew from my own experience. So I started along again, sometimes crawling out on a narrow ledge many feet to be headed off by a huge boulder and have to back up to get on my old track and no gold in sight.

I finally came to what looked like a crevice. A small rock overhanging a large one. I hit the small one a rap with my hammer, down it came and to my astonishment it revealed a small opening, almost a cave and where the rock broke off was what looked to be a solid vein. I was very much excited by this new find. However it was too late to do anything about it then, I made preparations for blasting in the morning and then sought a lace where I could eat my supper, rolled up in my blankets and dreamed of caves lined with gold. Alas! how full of disappointments is the life of a miner. The vein had a fair outside but it had no depth. Just a thin skin of gold backed by cold, gray stone, not another trace of gold. My fortune! Well, no use whining about it. It wasn't in that hole in the rock.

30 The Wet Ravine Camp

My next story will be of my experience in Wet Ravine Camp. It was between Allegheny and Forrest City. In my wanderings I had arrived there and had struck a job, that I thought was pretty good pay. It was a job of mining. I will give you a description of the place and you will be able to understand better what befell me there.

We first went down an inclined plane four hundred and fifty feet. A good railroad took us down, a forty horse power engine let us up and down with ropes. There were two tracks, one for the water car and one for the men. At the foot of this plane was a sink hole which was excavated to catch the waste water which will always collect more or less in underground mining. The water car was made with a valve. When it struck water it filled; as the car began to accent the pressure of the water would close the valve and make it water tight. A large rope was attached to the car and then to a windlass which was worked by an engine. a carman attended it. Sometimes he would let it go down too fast. Then it would jump the tracks s it reached the bottom and we fellows would have to get down in the water and get it on the track once more. There was a wire running from the engine down on which we did out talking by ringing bells. One bell sent up a load of dirt, two bells a man on a car, three bells back up etc. If any one wished to go up in a hurry one ring would take him up right lively. The car would be loaded with dirt, a man would get on in front, hitch on a line, stand on that and steady himself by the car and up he would go faster than Jack ever went up the historical beanstalk. Visitors were always sent down in a platform car.

This plane was about eight foot wide and five or six feet in height. From this we ran a horizontal plane eight hundred feet slightly inclined just enough to bring down what water accumulated. from this plane we went up eight feet by ladder. Here we were running another eight foot plane. I was at work on that alone. I had gone in about one hundred feet and was about ready to lay out track and have the other men begin on the breastworks each side of the main tunnel. Ten men on a side would come in and take out the dirt on each side which was all brought to the main tunnel and loaded on the car, run back to the ladder dumped on another car and from there carried up to the outer world. The pay dirt which was taken from what came out of the bed of a stream was carefully saved for washing. the rest of the dirt had no sign of gold in it and was dumped down the ravine.

The dirt I took out when starting in alone on the main tunnel I had to draw back by hand in a box to the ladder until we could lay the track. There is a great mystery about those underground regions in California. The dry beds of rivers are plainly traced underground. The pebbles are as smoothly washed as those we find on our lake shores today. In fact there are said to be underground rivers today in full blast. The Humbolt for instance in quite a river yet it disappears going down into it's underground recesses as though it's waters were not. One time we came across a pine log embedded in the earth over one thousand feet below the surface of the earth. Part of it was petrified and part seemed like quite sound wood.

We of course worked by candlelight. I remember setting my candle down beside me. I seemed to find a hard steak of rock ahead of me and gave my pick an extra hard fling, when a small stream of water spurted out in my face. I remember thinking I had tapped a small stream of water and had better get out of there before long. I had gathered up my candle and pick to retreat in good order. But I was spared all further trouble the whole space of the end of the tunnel seemed to fly out. The force of the deluge knocked me senseless I suppose, for the next thing I know I was most exquisite torture and suffering that ever any person has ever experienced. Half a dozen of my comrades were working over me. Could I have stopped them by any means I would have done it. But what could I do? I couldn't even tell of the torture I was enduring. So I was rolled, rubbed. spatted and rolled again until the water supply inside me was exhausted. Could I have kicked, struck or bitten them I would have done so. Anything to have compelled them to let me alone. But I was as helpless as a drowned rat in their hands. When I could speak and ordered them to leave me alone they paid no attention to my orders save to pour a little more brandy down my throat which was about as disagreeable as pumping the water out. the drowning I remember nothing about but the reinstating I shall never forget.

The men tell me I had mashed out to the ladder and had a death grip on it. They had to take a handspike and pry my hands off. They saw the water coming down and though they had better look me up. By the time they had found me and had gotten me up to the outside the breath was pretty well out of me. I wish they had let it go. It will never go easier. The next week I was on the retired list. When I did get back the water was the water was all out of the water basin, I had tapped and as it had not yet been disturbed I could explore it at my leisure.

I found the basin quite a curiosity. The water had been carried up to the outer world by car and for once saw daylight. I would like to know just how many ages that had been sealed there in the bosom of mother earth. How I wished I could have known what mighty convulsions of nature had buried that river, lapping up it's waters and sealing up that water proof basin. It was some fifty feet across and twelve feet high. The sides were of a substance like melted lava. In the bottom of the basin we found lots of gold, some encrusted in the cement and a good deal in what had been the pebbly bottom of the creek. But I wouldn't care to tap another, even should it be gold lined.

31 Henness Pass Adventure

One more peep as we take a trip over the Sierra Nevada's by the Henness Pass Route. Six horse team wheelers, swing and leaders. I could get no seat inside or out only with the driver. I was well suited with that for I always did like to be where I could keep an eye on the horses you know.

We changed horses every twelve or fifteen miles. One might think that quite unnecessary who was not aquatinted with the grade of the road. It was quite wonderful, the loads they would take over those mountains, from twenty to twenty five persons with their luggage. Also plenty of freight. All that could be stowed away in that heavy vehicle. In fact it was packed as closely as a box of sardines.

We were on the down grade toward Virginia City. Our horses were fresh and full of vim. The last time we had exchanged I had noticed that the leader was full of fire. But I thought that would be taken out of them soon and they would cool down. All went right for awhile. They were going at a good pace down a long hill. The most dangerous part of the road where on the drivers side, the mountains were an almost perpendicular rise of perhaps one hundred feet. Road bed was just wide enough for passing room. And then you could look down, down, down for several hundred feet into an abyss of rocks and stunted trees.

All of a sudden a bird whizzed up out of the bushes. The right leader became frightened, gave a snort and a spring. Whirling, he brought himself directly in front of the other leader, compelling him to turn. In less time than it takes to tell it, they were both headed toward us. The driver and I were both taken by surprise but did not take long to consider, for it would not take long for those horses to roll our load of humanity and themselves down into the ravine. We might a few of us outsiders have saved our necks by jumping, even that would have been a doubtful business with six horses rearing and plunging.

We did not stop to consider the pro's and con's. It flashed before me like lightning that I must, I just must get to their heads. They must be stopped. The driver reversed the brakes and that was all he could do. aside from keeping the other four in check. They were all beginning to rear and plunge. The only thought I had was to get it their heads. I stood not at all about this order of my going, but went; I could not, after it was all over, have told how. But I realized I was there and in less time than it takes me to tell it, I was holding their bits. I thanked the Lord that I never saw a horse yet that I was afraid of and that I had an iron muscle in my arm. had I hesitated one moment from fear or had my grip foiled me after I got hold of them I shudder to think what would have happened. As it was when they were checked, the front wheel of the stage was within one inch, by actual measurement, from the edge of the precipice.

I think the Lord must have given me strength to hold them back, just that one inch strip of rock, between us all and such a horrible death. I was so mixed up with the horses that I should have stood no better chance than the folks inside. As it was I had some bruises and shaken nerves. I found I was so weak and trembling that I could not stand. I took a seat by the road side weak and shaking until all was righted. Then they helped me inside as they all concluded I had done all the outside work necessary for that day. Someone asked how I ever got down from the drivers seat so quickly. I could not tell how I went but the driver said I jumped onto the wheelers and from them to the ground. For a long time after I would go through it all in my dreams. But would always see them all going down the precipice.

So that is how I came to have a pass over the Hennis Pass Route. When the company found that I would take no money for the service, they presented me with a free pass, which I accepted in the same kindly spirit in which it was given. And after, when occasion required, I made use of it. But I confess I never went over that one point but that the cold chills would creep over me as I looked and thought what might have happened.

The poet tells us, "Of all sad words by tongue or pen. The saddest are these It might have been." for once I failed to agree with the poet.

Henness Pass Road

Henness Pass Google Maps

32 Encounter With a CrazyMan

"And Father, where were you when you had the squabble with the crazy man?" Oh yes, well I was traveling around Stockton viewing the town and concluded to take a look at the new Asylum for the insane and it's surroundings.

The kind and gentlemanly usher showed me around the building. I saw some sad sights. We came to a room with only one window and that heavily barred. I looked in and saw a big burly fellow pacing back and forth the length of his room. The Dr. came along just then and entered into conversation with me. He gave me a short history of the man they caught. He had suddenly become so violent that they had shut him in this room thinking he would quiet down. But he had now been there over a week. They passed his food through the window grate. They felt anxious to control him but no one dared venture inside the door. And said the Dr. I will give any man one hundred dollars that will have the strength and pluck to go in there and subdue him enough so that I can clap a straight jacket on him. "Well Doctor", I said "where is your money? Here is your man."

I looked the crazy man over and concluded the only way would be to get my hands on his windpipe. One hundred dollars would be quickly earned and Mr. Crazy Man would be where he could be managed. The Dr. looked at me as though he doubted my ability, "I warn you", he said, "that he is as fierce and strong as a lion." "I am not afraid," said I, "Well," said the Dr., "If he is able to get the best of you, we will help you all we can."

They opened the door and I walked in while he stood with his back to me. of course he had not heard our talk. He wheeled around and saw me standing there. He stood an instant as if surprised and surveyed me. I met his gaze without flinching. With a oath and a growl like a wild animal he came for me. As he came I sprang for his throat so suddenly that he did not realize what I meant. I had him before he knew it. I got a good grip. Of course he made it quite lively for a few moments and I received a pair of black eyes to remember him by. I knew my grip was all that would save me. With his wind cut off he soon began to weaken. And you may be sure I did not release my hold until I had him on the floor. Then the Dr. and his attendant came in and secured him in a straight jacket. I learned afterwards that he had killed one man before they had gotten him in this room. I got my hundred dollars and my board with the Dr. while he fixed my black eyes with a beef steak which was also free gratis.

33 Wright's Indian Vegetable Pills

You remember boys, my telling you about Arkansas Tom, that comical fellow I met at Aspenwall on my way out? I met him again after two or three years. "Well, How are you Tom?" said I. "How are I? Right pert sir. Allers right pert." How's that Tom?" Said I. "Most people are liable to aches and pains."

"Right you are, sir," said he, "but I will explain all that. After I had been here on the Pacific Coast a matter of six months was not feeling very pert like, so I lay off work and go to town. Wanted to buy a few necessaries, you know. As I went along on every broad barn and fence I came to I saw posted in big letters "Wright's Indian Vegetable Pills, Good for all the ills of humanity".

I felt as I told you, as if some of those ills had got ahold of me. And, thinks I, who knows but they might do me good. So I invested two dollars in "Wright's Indian Vegetable Pills".

They were sugar coated. I put them in my pocket and went home. I was living then on the banks of the Tahoone River. Lucky for me I was. I got home and was feeling pretty well used up when I thought of my box of pills. I got it out and looked it over. Sugar coated. So they were. Tasted of one. It tasted good and slipped down easy like. So I kept dropping them into my mouth one at a time till they were all gone. I thought there was quite a lot of them and they'd ought t'do me good. I seemed to kinda hanker for more. Most wished I'd bought another dose. So I began to chew the box. It tasted kinda sweet like and I had nothing else to do. And first I knew I had chewed the box down, too. Then I felt a little uneasy like so I meandered down on the bank of the river. Lucky for me I did six! I dropped asleep for a short time, but when I woke! Great Guns, sir! Tahonne River in a freshet was no where. And, Mister, When that box of "Wright's Indian Vegetable Pills" got through with me I had nothing but the frameworks left. No inside furniture to speak of, sir, had to build up all new. And, bless you sir, I've never been sick an hour since."

I can see him now as he looked white telling his story. He was an odd fellow. He could scarcely read the words of our language but could converse fluently in many languages. And his comical way of telling a story would make one laugh even if the story did not mount to much in itself.

34 Epilog: A Note from Ruth Lamione Richmond

Well there it is, Grandpa Richmond's adventures in California as written by his wife, Sarah Chadwick Richmond. How much is true, how much is overdrawn I will have to leave for you to guess. However as to the bravery of my Grandfather I have heard several good reasons to believe that Grandmother was not too generous.

The boys who are spoken of in the story are George and Edward Richmond and they also had an older sister Frances.

George and Edward married sisters Ina and Eva Adams. Frances married Charles Phillips. George and Ina had two children James and Ruth. Edward and Eva had four children Alvin, who died at birth, Edna, Esther and LEonard. Frances and Charles Phillips had two children Curtis and Alice.

It has been a long task to write this but now at last it is finished. And after all it was worth while.

Ruth Richmond

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This story is of the adventures of James Richmond.

Recorded by Sarah Chadwick Richmond his wife As told to their "boys" George and Edward, and thier sister Frankie One trip was by boat and and one was overland.

James' story was copied by their grand daughter Ruth Lamoine Richmond, 1928 + 1929 A.D. and digitalized by their great great grand daughter Nila Jean Repard, 1999 A.D.

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James Richmond's
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