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avenues are planted to ornamental and shade trees, and kept in good
order. There are some beautiful residences now on their tract.

They also have several orchards in full bearing which are good value,
and will bear investigation. Anyone desiring- further informa-
tion should write for pamphlet to Hansen & Co., Onta-
rio, or 122 Pall Mall, London, England.

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A dim, pale shape moves over the mesa,
Roves with the night wind up and down ;
The light-foot ghost, the wild dog of the shadow,
Howls on the levels beyond the town ;
Cry, cry, Coyote !

No fellow has he, with leg or wing,
No mate has that spectre, in fur or feather ;
In the sagebrush is whelped a fuzzy thing,
And mischief itself helps lick him together—
Up, cub Coyote !

The winds come blowing over and over,
The great white moon is looking down ;
In^the throat of the dog is devils' laughter ;
Is he baying the moon or baying the town ?
Howl, howl, Coyote !

The shadow-dog on the windy mesa,
He sits and he laughs in his devil's way ;
Look to the roost and lock up the lambkin —
A deal may happen 'twixt now and the day :
Ha, ha ! Coyote !

Newberry Library, Chicago, 111.

by Land of Sunshine Pub. Co.

V - ' . y



By WayIof the Devil's Backbone.


STRIDE four stout mules we left Dell's camp early-
one crisp morning in July to visit the -works of a
companj- then operating hydraulic mines along
the eastern buttress of Mt. San Antonio.

After a two-mile ride up San Antonio canon, we
turned into the stony trail that zigzags up Slippery
Elm ridge ; thence up the steep bed of a small
lateral canon ; through a forest of redwood, cedar,
pine and live-oak, and sometimes over water-
washed boulders, where we were obliged to confide
in the mule's knowledge of the route. Well up
the trail we met with a stream of water, thickly impregnated with
yellow-brown mud, just beginning its meandering course down the
canon, which showed that the miners had begun operations for the day.
A long climb up the side of the canon, across a steep slide of loose
rock, brought us at last to the mining camp, perched among the stunted
pines, nearly on the crest of the mountain spur, at an altitude of a little
more than 8,000 feet.

The water was brought from a reservoir, at a " head" of 400 feet, and
forced through a three-inch nozzle, so jointed that one man was able to
direct the stream. Its power was prodigious, and it tore out the aurif-
erous gravel at an impressive rate.

The trip from there to the summit of Mt. San Antonio, over the Devil's
Backbone, was an afterthought. We were told at the mines that the
first mile of the trail was rideable, but that we must walk the last two
miles, on account of the steep ridges.

We remounted, and rode along up the ridge which heads San Antonio
canon. We were among the pines, sturdj- specimens of their kind ;
born to face the rigors of high altitude and higher winds, as well as
long, inclement winters. Their life is one bitter struggle for existence,
as their appearance most eloquently shows. Every fiber of their
stunted trunks and knotted limbs is tense with the strain of combatting
the adverse conditions of their environment. They put forth a few
sparse sprangles of needles, but are forced to fight inch by inch, for
every accession of breathing surface. Many a fallen trunk shows where
the struggle has at last ended ; and many a live limb, growing from an
apparently dead body, shows where victory has been snatched from
threatened defeat. We passed several of the blood-red spikes of the
snow-plant, which stands like a dripping dagger-point, and is one of the
strangest and most characteristic of Sierra plants.

At last we reached a point where riding would be neither safe nor
pleasurable, so we tied our mules beneath the pines. Had this been, in
truth, the spinal column of His Satanic Majesty, we might well have
quoted the ribald motto of Denys, in " The Cloister and the Hearth " :
" Le Diable est Mort ! " for the dessicated skin was drawn tightly over



his ribs, and the bleached vertebral processes protruded in numerous
places. Metaphor aside, the sand and small rocks had been blown into
ill-defined ridges by the fierce winds that sweep across the upper peaks,
and the huge vertical vein or dyke of hard quartz — which is doubtless
responsible for the extreme sharpness of the crest — stood out promi-
nently on the steeper portions.

We started rather timorously along the trail. On the north side we
looked thousands of feet down into the abrupt-walled Lytle Creek
canon ; and beyond the opposite canon wall beheld a broad expanse of
the weird, uncanny, treacherous desert. On the south, we looked less
abruptly into the San Antonio cation, and could trace its entire course
to where its stream debouches into the valley, twelve miles away and
8,000 feet below. We soon came to a steeply-tilted section of the back-


(Looking northeast,)

Fhoto. by Thoruton, Pomona*

bone, where we needed our hands to steady us in climbing over the
jagged rock. Down in the shadow of a pillar, unawed by the desolate
grandeur, I found a pure and dainty pearl-white mariposa lily — grow-
ing on a three-inch stem — of a species different from any that grow in
the valley. It had royal purple stamens and pistil, quite emblematic of
its imperial beauty. Kvidently, spring had just made her advent in
this region, for we afterwards found leafless anemones pushing their
snowy, star-shaped blossoms up through the rocks, as do the crocus and
daffodil from out the thawing earth. We also found some yellow
violets growing almost in the shadow of a snowdrift.

We rolled large boulders into the cation, and watched them leap from
crag to crag, frightening the birds from their eyries ; and finally dis-


appearing three or four thousand feet below, with only clouds of dust
by which to trace their course.

Before us loomed a rugged, brown-gray cliff, frowning desertward,
and well toward a thousand feet in height. We were fearful our trail
would lead across the face of it ; but, instead, it brought us around to
the south, over a smooth, wind-swept slope of broken rock that from
the valley looks like an immense ash-heap. Dispersed over this were
splatters of dwarfed manzanita and chincapin scrub, that at a distance
bore a resemblance to huge lichens.

The main peak soon rounded into view, and then came much the
longest, steepest and most tedious " pull " we had yet encountered. We
felt keenly the effect of the tenuous atmosphere, and stopped every
hundred feet or so to recover breath. The revivifying ozone quickly
restored us, however.

We passed a number of large snowdrifts, and indulged in snow-ball-
ing and other winter sports — in July. Imbedded in the snow were the
frozen bodies of myriads of bees, butterflies, moths, flies and other

The pine's struggle for life is here even more desperate than at the
lower elevations. Instead of standing with a bold, military front, he
limps crippled in the face of the enemy. The body, limbs and exposed
roots writhe and twist and are strangely contorted with the agony of
living. He is, however, permitted a considerable increase in relative
lung capachry : indeed, the broad, flat top — not more than five or six
feet above the ground — is almost one mass of tufted needles. There is
something piteous in the brave and persistent but hopeless effort of
this hardy tree, to extend its habitat to the highest attainable altitude.

After repeated discouragements we reached the summit (10,120 feet
elevation), crowned by a monument that has been built by increments
from the angular blocks of granite scattered about. We were willing
to avail us of the partial shelter it afforded from the cold, searching,
southwest wind. All that region is strewn to an indeterminate depth
with fragments of shattered rock of a brown-gray tint. It is only at a
second glance we noticed the scattered tufts of wild barley, and the low,
.moss-like forms of vegetation that blend with the prevailing hues.

I cannot here use the space to describe, or even to name in detail, all
that we beheld from that breezy pinnacle. It included, practically,' the
whole of Southern California ; from Mt. Whitney (dimly discernable,
on the north) to the mountains and table-lands of Mexico to the south ;
and from the borders of Arizona and Nevada, on the east, to the Pacific
and its coastwise islands on the west.

Our view of the Mojave desert — hot, blinding, cruel, unrelenting —
extended to near the confines of Death Valley ; a dull, sad brown, inter-
spersed with blotches of gray-white alkali. A number of grave-like
mounds rose abruptly from the level plain. The glass disclosed a long
succession of undulations, counterfeiting, on a vast scale, the ripple
marks made by a fresh breeze on the sand-dunes bordering the ocean.
In the distance hung a thin, filmy, brown line of cloud, or possibly



smoke, extending westward and clear around to San Jacinto mountain,
making a circuit of two-thirds of the horizon line.

The last lingering flecks of the morning fog were drifting seaward,
and Santa Catalina and San Clemente — emerging from the cumulating
fleece — seem poised high among the clotrds.

In all directions our eyes met a bewildering chaos of yawning canons,
serrated ridges, sky-scraping domes and spires ; an interminable per-
spective, from the barren peaks, near at hand, to the illusive summer-
lands of enchantment, that melted almost imperceptibly into the azure
sky at the horizon.

Union Eng. Co.


Photo, by Thornton, Pomona

A Wagner or a Beethoven might paint the unutterable glory and
mystery of this landscape, in harmonious tone-colors. A Schumann or
a Chopin might give expression to the overpowering majesty of the
scene. But for the ordinary mortal there remains only the eloquence
of dumbness in face of stich sublimity.


V: The Autograph Cuff, El Morro.


HE most valuable cliffs in the world are the mouse-
colored sandstone battlements of that magnificent
rock in western New Mexico which has been
known for nearly three centuries as El Morro (the
castle). The less poetic] frontiersman nowadays
calls it "Inscription Rock."

In historic interest it is paralleled by no other
rock; and for beauty it has none too many peers.
It is two hundred and fifteen feet high and a few thousand feet long;
sheer, dominant, lying like a lion, head up, among the bold mesas
which flank the ancient King's Highway from the Seven Cities of
Cibola to the Rio Grande. Again the aptness of the Spanish christen-
ings is vindicated; from a distance the rock looks indeed like a castle —
such as man never dreamed of building since the Tower of Babel
sprawled in ruin.

But neither its beauty nor its size is what makes the Morro the most
precious of cliffs. It owes its unique worth to the fact that nowhere else
have so many men of historic weight carved their names and dates in
stone. In a word, it is the most imposing autograph album in existence.
Fray Marcos of Nizza, the discoverer of New Mexico (1539) did not
get thus far by forty miles; and Coronado, the first explorer (1540),
though he discovered the Grand Canon of the Colorado, the Indian
Territory, Colorado and Kansas, marched
a few miles south of this cliff. But soon
after Coronado, every pioneer who came
to New Mexico came by the Morro, and
camped there. There is rea-
son to believe that Chamus-
cado himself passed here in
1580 in his wonderful march;
for one of his men seems to
have left record thereof.

The sandstone cliff is tall
and smooth ; and being
obliged to camp here, for
the only water in a
day's journey, the con-
quistador es — who were
hemmed by an un-
known wilderness and
never expected to get
back to Mexico alive —
fell into the way of
M»u S »rd-coiiier E ng . Co. Photo, by c. f. l. leaving their names. _ If

fig. 1. some minor autographs. anyone else should ever


pierce that lone, far land, here at least would be found the record that
they had come thus far.

So the southeastern and northern walls of the Morro contain scores
of autographs and longer inscriptions that date, some of them, from a
generation before an English-speaking person dwelt anywhere in the
New World. Many of these names are of deep historic interest, the
names of men who cut a large figure in the foundation of America; and
all are valuable. Among them, too, is evidence of the curious fact that
a great proportion of the Spanish explorers were college-bred men; and
a characteristic study of the beautiful chirographics of the 16th and
17th centuries.

Probably the oldest autograph on the Morro is that of Pedro Romero.
If we correctly read the date, 1580, he was one of Chamuscado's little
band of heroes.

The most important autograph is that of Juan de Ofiate (p. 100), the
unspoiled millionaire whose father discovered the first great silver

tA*DOU r vS>I'AD'0

Mausard-Collier Eng. Co. Photo, by C. F. L.


mines in North America, and the greatest ever found yet on this conti-
nent — the bonanzas of Zacatecas. Juan was the founder of New
Mexico. In 1595 he organized an expedition which cost him one mil-
lion dollars before it marched a step, and which was delayed by polit-
ical entanglements. But in 1598 he founded the first town in New
Mexico and the second in the United States, and named it San Gabriel
de los Espanoles. In 1605 he founded the city of Santa Fe — which,
thanks to a recent guessing governor, often claims to have been built
in 1536 by a man who never saw New Mexico. In 1604 Oiiate, who had
the dauntless Spanish legs, trudged with a handful of men from north-
ern New Mexico to the Gulf of California; and on his way back in 1605
carved on the Morro the inscription here reproduced in photographic
facsimile. The legend reads, in English:

"Here passed the commander Don Juan de Onate, to the discovery of
the South Sea, on the 16th of April, 1605."

The date looks like 1606; and only one familiar with Spanish docu-
ments of the time would notice that the last figure is an old-time 5.

Next in importance to the autograph of the founder of New Mexico
is that of its Reconqueror, the gallant General Diego de Vargas, the
hero whose years of fighting after the red Pueblo Rebellion in 1680 con-





>cf^/lf$ApA\ jBojfolortinQWn^

rd-Collier Eng. Co.

Photo, by C. F. lu


tained some of the most remarkable military feats in all American his-
tory. I He wrote thus with his dagger in the lofty page of the Morro
during his first dash into New Mexico :

"Here was the General Don Diego de Vargas, who conquered for our
Holy Faith and for the Royal Crown of Spain all New Mexico, at his
own cost, year of 1692."

Not far from his autograph is the inscription of Capt. Juan de
Arechuleta and his little band, sent by the governor in 1636 to quell the
troubles in Zuni.

Here, too, is the firnta of the private soldier Felipe de Arellano, who
was one of the garrison of three men whom the Zutiis massacred in the
year 1700 ; and that of Capt. Juan de Urribarri, leader of the six men
who tramped 300 miles in 1701 to avenge that massacre.

The two handsomest inscriptions on the Morro are those of Don
Francisco Manuel de Silva Nieto, governor of the province of New
Mexico in 1629. In that year he made the 300-mile march to found the
mission at Zuni. A facsimile of one of these is given. It reads, trans-
lated :

" The most illustrious Governor and Captain-General of the provinces of the New
Mexico, for our Lord the King, passed by here returning from the pueblos of Zuni on
the 29th of July of the year 1629. He put them in peace, at their request, they
asking his favor as vassals of his maj esty, and they gave their submission anew. All
of which he did with the wisdom, zeal and prudence as such a most Christian, scrupu-
lous and gallant soldier. . . "

The first missionary to Zufli was Fray Francisco Letrado, who did
noble work among the tattooed Indians of the plains and then settled
among the savages of Zuni. In February, 1629, they butchered him.
- One of the most difficult inscriptions to be read on the Morro is that


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of the soldier Lujan, who was one of Col. Tomas de Albizu's handful
of men, of whom the inscription says, in characteristic Spanish:

" They passed on the 23d of March, 1632, to the avenging of the death of Father

This "vengeance" consisted in coaxing the Zunis down from the
cliffs where they had hidden, and reading them a severe lecture. There
was no bloodshed.

Another governor of New Mexico, Don Feliz Martinez, passed here
in 1716 on an expedition in which he aimed to convert the Moquis, who
had murdered their missionary; but he failed. The first bishop who
ever visited the United States was Doctor Don Martin Elizaecochea, of
Durango, who passed the Morro Sept. 28, 1737, and left record of the
event on the rock.

Juan Paez Hurtado, the famous general and once governor, wrote on
the autograph cliff in one of his westward expeditions from Santa F£.
His inscription (Fig. 2) reads :

"The 14th day of July of 1736 passed by here the'General Juan Paez Hurtado, offi-
cial visitor. And in his company the corporal Joseph Truxillo."


Photo, by C. F. L.

Ramon Paez Hurtado, whose puzzling signature is shown (Fig. 5),
was a son of Gen. Hurtado. His autograph says :

"On the 5th of the month of June, of this year of 1709, passed by here, bound for
Zuni, Ramon Paez Hurtado."

Space forbids that I should catalogue here all the historically pre-
cious autographs which are still legible on the Morro. There are many
other Spanish signatures of the old days; and the inscription of Lieut,
(afterwards General) Simpson, in 1849 — the first "American" to write in
this noble stone page, and one of the most important explorers we ever
had in the West.

But enough is said to indicate the preciousness of the Morro — such a
leaf of history as no other land has. In any civilized country such a
treasure would be protected. Let us hope that even the Congress of
the United States may find time between its meddlings with foreign
affairs to preserve this matchless cliff from the weather and the vandal.


Homes on Mountain and Desert.


HE Coahuia Indians are, by ancestry, dwellers among
the mesquite and sage brush of the sandy valleys.

Their linguistic kinsmen are the Utes, Pah-Utes
and Chemehuevi ; Shoshones all of them ; roamers
over that portion of our West once geographically
described as the Great American Desert. The desert
is their natural home and hunting ground. It has
given them their black skin, which, brilliant as
enameled bronze on children, seems in the adults
fairly to burn to a charcoal color beneath the awful
rays of a desert sun ; their fierce crop of hair grow-
ing low on the forehead almost down to the eyes ;
their endurance equal to that of a camel ; and their serious, half morose
disposition is born of existence among grewsome volcanic hills and
long, barren stretches of waterless sand.


Photo, by D. P. Barrows.

The Coahuias number today about eight hundred individuals. Their
rancherias fringe the desert's edge from the San Gorgonio pass south-
ward along the base of the San Jacinto mountains. Fifty miles south
of the San Gorgonio a great arm of the desert runs in between the
Coyote and Torres mountains, the Coyote valley. Here, too, the Coa-
huias came long since. They found this desert valley filled with prickly
mesquite and fruitful mescal, striking their roots down through the
hot sand to the hidden streams flowing underground. Here, too, were
" wells " dug by the thirsty paws of coyotes. They climbed up the sides
of Torres mountain on the north and found the rocky little valley of
Santa Rosa, filled with pines. They made trails up the Coyote mountains
to the south and entered the lonely but beautiful mesa of San Ignacio,
with green meadows bordering a little brook and oaks and pines crowd-
ing the canon at its lower end. Fifteen miles west of the Coyote, a wild
trail through narrow passes led the Coahuias into the mountain valley
which bears their name, ' its hills pilled with huge granite boulders of
disintegration, but its meadows watered by numberless springs and green
the year round. And so it has happened that the Coahuias are Indians
both of the desert and mountain. It is a vast domain, this home of



Commercial Kng. Co. A RAMADA, OR BUSH HOUSE. Photo, by D. P. Barrows.

theirs, mountain and desert together over 4000 square miles within the
circumference where they have made their homes.

In all this great expanse of waste there are few spots of beauty ; only
a few valleys of pines, a few green cienegas, the wondrous canons of
palms bordering on the desert. Everywhere else earth and vegetation
alike are repulsive. Over most of it broods the hot, throbbing silence
of the desert.

I shall never lose the sensations with which I first rode one quiet
evening in Coahuia valley and saw each low tule-thatched adobe or brush
jacal backgrounded by the dark hills and surrounded with Indian plun-
der. The cedar-bark homes of Santa Rosa or the beautiful palm-branch
houses of Agua Caliente will ever be bright pictures. They never out-
rage the scenery. They never drive out the gods of the mountain and
wood by incongruous appearance and wanton character.

The primite house of the Coahuia was probably a very rude and simple
affair ; circular, like the Apache hogan, and made by propping boughs
about an upright pole, or by piling together bundles of tule or stiff
grass. Such can sometimes still be seen, made on short notice or in
some distant village where old things linger on. But the typical Coa-
huia house today is the jacal. And a truly beautiful and snug little
home it makes. The principle of the ridge pole has been applied.

Commercial Eng. Co.


Photo by D. P. Barrows.



Commercial Eng. Co.


Photo, by D. P. Barrow*.

Two tall crotched branches are planted in the ground, and four shorter
ones to form the corners. Long poles are laid across and bound tight
in the crotches with withes of green yucca spines. Greasewood branches
are then wattled in to form the sides, and the roof is carefully thatched
with tules. The earth floor is hard and dry, and always cleanly swept.
A small pit in the center surrounded by four or five small stones is the
fireplace, and the smoke escapes through a hole in the thatch overhead.
The rafters are black and shiny with the soot of many fires. Air comes
in freely through the sides and thatching, and yet both shut out the
rain. When the jacal gets old and filth collects in the corners, down it
comes and a new one takes its place. Furniture is scarce. In one
corner always stands the flat metate or milling stone, or the shapely
basket-mortar ; a few coras or baskets contain most of the household
possessions ; huge willow baskets set outside on poles or boulders con-
tain the winter's supply of grain or seeds. There is a large olla of
water in its place ; a baby's board lies at one side, or a beautifully woven
hammock swings from the ceiling, and perhaps the saddle and reata of
the man are in another corner. A bull-hide and an old blanket make a
bed for each member of the family, and the men and women usually
occupy separate jacales. A cool brush porch or ramada is usually built
in front of the jacal, or a patio makes a little yard in summer and wards
off the breeze from the open-air fire.

In summer this is the gathering place of all the family. Here the
women grind at their mills and weave their baskets. Here the men
lounge, children play and gaunt dogs sleep in the shade.

Here in these cool porches I have passed many pleasant hours with
my Indian friends, chatting over the affairs of the day, or listening to

Online LibraryArchaeological Institute of America. Southwest SocOut west (Volume 5) → online text (page 13 of 34)