Charles Frederick Holder.

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air, coiling and uncoiling the slimy
folds of its body, and sending forth
shrill hisses that made my blood run
cold. All the world had grown dark
to me, the caverns of Ulo seemed to
me like the caverns of Purgatory ; all
the brightness had gone from my life,
and I prayed that merciful death
might come to me there by the- side- of
my dead loved one.

"When my grief had somewhat
spent itself, I arose and struck the
snake on the head with my hand. I
hoped that I might anger it so that it
would bite me, but it cowered and
slunk in fear. In some older time a
masked man had conquered that ter-
rible reptile, and it still feared the
power of the mask. I trampled it and
struck it with rocks, but the more I
beat it the more it cowered in fear.
Then I took my revolver and tried to
kill it, but the bullets fell harmless
against its thick hide.

' ' I took the body of Lo-Zeenah and
embalmed it, and placed it in the
chamber of the dead kings. There it
lies to this day, the most beautiful
thing that is hidden from the sight
of the world. Then I strove to make
my escape, and I greatly missed the
guidance of the line. I wandered for
hours in the caverns and passages,
and at last, worn out with weariness
and despair, I found my way back to
the palace, that place where I had
known so much joy, and where I
had known grief that was blacker than
the gloom of the grave. The snake
was still in the palace, lying prone
on the stone floor, and its tongue
hanging out as though from thirst.
Its thirst for salt water would have
sent it back to its own cave, but the
stone door through which it should
have gone was closed. My grief was
so great that I paid but little heed to
the snake, and I was worn out at last,
and lay down and slept for hours.
When I awoke I saw the snake still
lying where it had been.

1 ' I feared that I would never find



my way out of the caverns, and that I
was doomed to die there alone under
the earth. Some of the people of Ulo
knew the windings of the passages,
but I dared not go to them. As I
was pondering on my hard fate, I saw
the snake raise its head and move it
from side to side as though seeking
something. A thought struck me,
and I believed that the snake might
be made to lead me to the sea. I had
a jar full of salt water that I had used
for bathing, and I took it and held
it before the snake's head. The snake
seemed almost dead, but the smell of
the salt water animated it; it reared
its head high, and emitted a sound
that was almost like a groan. Again
I held the salt water to its head, and
then as I .moved away it followed me
until I set the water down. By
carrying the water I led the snake to
the mouth of the passage that led to
the sea, and then I threw the water as
far down the passageway as I could.

" Old memories that had laih dor-
mant for years seemed to be revived
in the snake. It reared its head until
it struck the top of the cavern, and
gave vent to almost human groans ;
then it dropped its head to the earth,
raised its tail as a snake does when it
runs, and with a shrill cry started off
down the passage. I believed that
some old king, long years before, had
captured that snake from the sea and
brought it through that passageway,
and I believed that it would find its
way back. I grasped its horny tail
in my hands as it crawled, and I fol-
lowed it through the dark passages
that were dripping with water that
had soaked through from the moun-
tain tops.

"Slowly the snake crawled along.
It paid no heed to me, although I
clung to its tail, and constantly
gave vent to moans and cries that
were almost human. Sometimes it
stopped as though puzzled, and then
it went on again, winding its way
through the mazy tunnels. Once it
stopped and remained still for a long
time, and I almost despaired, for I

thought I should be lost and should
die — I and that ghastly thing, hidden
deep in the bowels of the mountains.
Then the snake went on again, slowly
at first, then faster, then haltingly
again, until we turned a sharp corner
of the passage, and a faint smell of the
sea came to my nostrils. The snake
smelled it too; it reared its head, a
loud cry came from it, and then with
the speed of a race horse it sped down
the passageway. It had smelled the
sea, the .scent of its native element
had come to it, and its age and weak-
ness seemed to fade away as a mist
fades before the sun. It sped onward
so rapidly that I was almost thrown
from my feet, but I clung to it, and
as we ran the smell of the sea water
became plainer and plainer. Soon the
passage became light, the wind from
outside blew in my face, and then
with the speed of the wind the snake
drew me forth from the caverns and
I stood once more by the side of the
little bay where my boat was moored.
There again was the beautiful sky
that I had seen but once in months;
there was the blue water of the bay
sparkling in the sunlight, and beyond
the stone walls of the cliffs I could
hear the surf beating upon the rocks.
It would have been a glad time to me
if it had not been for the sad mem-
ories of the beautiful one I had loved
and won and lost in the hideous cav-
erns of Ulo.

" When we came to the salt water
the snake was like a thing demented.
It twisted its huge body in hideous
coils, it wound itself and then un-
wound, it reared itself upward until
it seemed to stand on its tail, and
then with a shrill cry it leaped off the
bank and threw itself into the water.
It shrieked as it .struck the water, it
dived and rose again, it laved its body,
and then with a long, shrill, almost
human cry it raised its head, as a
snake does when it swims, and it sped
away through the rocky pass to the
broad ocean, and I saw it no more.

"I remember that hideous snake
almost as though it were human. It




both loved and feared the old Ulo
king, and it feared and loved me be-
cause I seemed like him. It was a
prisoner, and a prisoner had been for
how long no man can tell. It had
been stolen from the ocean, had been
imprisoned in the rock caves of Ulo,
and it seemed to me that it had held
a hatred for all things but the priest,

: ••


hated them because it was a prisoner.
It had killed Lo-Zeenah, but it would
not kill me who courted death from it,
and it had saved my life by leading
me down the mazy passages to the
sea. If it had not been for that snake
I might now have Lo-Zeenah for my
wife, and if it had not been for it, too,
my bones might now be rotting in the
caves of Ulo. It was one of God's
creatures, and it must have been

created for some good use. Quien
sabe f

"That is about all of my tale,
Senor. I found my boat as I had left
it; I unmoored it, steered it through
the rocky pass, and set sail in the
open ocean. Within a day I was
sighted by a small sailing vessel that
ran between the Isthmus and San
Francisco. The ship took me on
board ; its men jeered at the tale I
told them and called me crazy, and
the ship landed me in San Francisco.
I returned to Mexico, and after a
time I went again to strive to find
the rockbound bay that leads to the
Valley of Ulo. I could not find it,
and I do not believe that any man
after me will ever find the lost tribe
of Ulo. It is well, too, for people
like us not to find them, for they
are a heathen people who hold a
hatred for everything outside of
their own lost valley. But they are
not a bad people, else how could
One so pure and good as my lost
I,o-Zeenah have been reared among
them ? I suppose they found out
[ long ago that the masked king was
gone, and I think they may have
a new king, for heathen minds can
always find something to wor-

The town of San Marcial slept on
in the moonlight. The Mescaleros
lay motionless under the cottonwood
trees, and the kronking of a tree frog
was the only sound. The Mexican sat
in silence for a while, his face buried in
his hands; then he raised his head and
said :

" Is not the night beautiful, Senor?
There is much trouble and bitterness
and sorrow and suffering upon the
earth, but God is over all, and the
world is very fair if our eyes are not
too blinded to see its beauties."

OR weeks Mt. Shasta had looked down on our quiet
life at Castle Crags, seeming to beckon us with its
white, snowy fingers. To say the truth, the Tav-
ern's attractions had begun to lose their keen edge of novelty.
For days we had trudged in the early morning air to the Springs, a half a mile
away, for our ante-prandial quantum of soda water. We had climbed the
rough sides of Castle Crags, from which the Tavern takes its name, a bold,
serrated ridge, standing directly in front of the Tavern and rising some 4,000
feet above it. Then, as we clambered on hands and feet to a safe resting place
among the jagged crests of the ridge, and flashed back with a mirror to our
friends at the Tavern, there stood Shasta again, towering above us, twenty
miles away. We had toiled one long half-day up a blind trail to the summit
of Castle View, a scantily wooded ridge rising directly back of the Tavern,
about equally high with the Crags, and so named because of the superb, com-
prehensive view which it affords of the Crags; and again Shasta hung in mid-
air, dominating all the landscape to the northward.

We had talked law with the learned Judges from California and Oregon. We
had ridden the burros with the babies. We had plunged in the cool pool. We
had explored the pine-covered trails on every side. We had swung half asleep
in the hammock at "The Cottage," while through the open windows we
listened to the sweet-voiced reader within, beguiling the warm afternoons for
her coterie of
friends, but with the
vision of Shasta
always before us,
we felt a sort
of incompleteness in
everything. We
sighed for other
worlds to conquer.

Placid dowagers,
rocking themselves
industriously on the
broad piazzas, lifted
their eyebrows at
the idea of ladies
reaching the top of
Shasta. One doubt-
ing Scotchman had
even questioned
their ability to






climb the Crags, but had they not
accomplished it? Anxious mammas
feared for their offspring on such a trip,
but when a particularly enthusiastic
young girl appeared, fresh from her
camp life at Butte Creek, her earlier,
breezy sojourn in Colorado, with an
occasional spin up Pike's Peak as an
appetizer, and began to recount her
exploits, the die was cast; enthusiasm
was at fever heat, and the next day we
Started. Our party was six: four gentle-
men and two ladies, but we had no side-
saddles. Our ages varied from nineteen
to forty-eight ; our weights from one
hundred and twenty-five to a hundred
and ninety-seven. We had two guides,
and in addition to our eight saddle-ani-
mals, we had three pack-animals, laden
with camp equipage, blankets and food
for man and beast, so that all told we
were eight people and eleven animals,
probably the largest party that has
ever attempted Shasta.

There are but three well known
ways of climbing Shasta. An old trail
from the northward, by way of the

crater, is now abandoned ; another,
the shortest way and that usually
taken by climbers, is almost a direct
line from Sissoif s to the summit. By
this route, the party leaves Sisson's at
noon, rides ten or twelve miles to the
edge of the timber line to "Timber
Camp," spends the night, starts at
some early hour next morning, rides
another mile up to "Horse Camp,"
where the horses are tied to rocks, and
the ascent on foot is begun. The dis-
tance to be walked over rocks, snow
and glaciers, is said to be about five
miles, and with ordinary luck, a party
can reach the sum m it, return to "Horse
Camp, ' ' and l ' Timber Camp, ' ' and on
to Sisson's by nightfall — the round
trip consuming about thirty-six hours.
It is by this route that at a proper
season of the year, the exhilarating
sack-slide is made on the snow. The
truth-loving guides decline to state
the precise velocity with which the de-
scent of half a mile is made, but we
were assured at the Tavern that it is
quite rapid enough.




The third way — that taken by our
party — occupies three days for the
round trip. You leave Sisson's at
eight or nine o'clock in the morning,
and climb the southern base of the
mountains until you are nearly, if not
quite one-fourth the way around it.
Then you camp 10,000 feet above the
sea and at the edge of timber about
twenty miles from Sisson's, ride about
five miles next day up the steep south-
east slope, tie your animal to " Lunch
Rock," climb on foot a mythical dis-
tance to the summit (said to be a half
mile, but by any known lowland meas-

urement probably a mile and a half),
return to ' 4 Lunch Rock ' ' and your
camp by evening, camp another night,
and the third day return to Sisson's

This third route is but little known.
We could find but one man in the
country, Edward Stewart of Sisson's,
who had traversed it. For several
years he was connected with the United
States Goedetic Survey, and has been
four or five times up the mountains
this way. Previous to our expedition
four ladies only had ever tried to reach
the summit by this route, and of these



but two succeeded. Mr. Stewart was
their guide, and in spite of much ex-
ertion, coaxing and mild bullying he
could not prevail upon the other
two to persevere to the summit. Mr.
Stewart had not been up the mountains
since 1891, but he appeared to know
the way so well and have such confi-
dence in his ability to take us to the
top, that we had little hesitation in
trusting ourselves to his guidance.

Our other guide was Wickham, an-
other most trustworthy, energetic and
capable man. He had been some
twenty-five times up the short way,
but had never tried the three-days'
route, and was glad of the present op-

lines shall ever attempt the ascent of
Shasta, Wickham or Stewart will be
found in every way satisfactory as
guides. They have quiet, unruffled
tempers, their only weakness consist-
ing in their inability to estimate a
mountain mile correctly when it
stands on end.

At nine o'clock, on the morning of
September 6th, 1892, followed by a
mythical shower of rice and old shoes,
we left Sisson's Hotel, under a bright,
cloudless, blue sky such as California
alone grants to her mountaineers. We
had come up from Castle Crags the day
before to look after various details,
select saddles and hobnail shoes, and


portunity. The two made a strong
combination — sturdy, vigorous, cheer-
ful, used to climbing in high altitudes,
and withal as good woodsmen as ever
packed an aparejo or threw a leg over
a cayuse. If anybody who reads these

otherwise prepare for our brief blanket-
life. Passing through the town of
Sisson, with our long cavalcade, the
three pack-animals tied together by
their tails, our ladies with difficulty
distinguishable from the men because



of their mode of riding, we were a target for the local small boy's wit, which
we endured with an equanimity tempered by the feeling that these urchins'
voices were probably the last human sounds, outside of our own party, which
we were to hear for three long days.

Immediately on leaving the rough, mountain town, we plunged into a pine
forest through which we rode substantially all day. Crossing and recrossing
lagging roads for several miles, we at last entered a narrow trail, a common
trail for the two routes up Shasta. At every step climbing up, up, through

air laden with the odor of pines, when
simple breathing is a delight, five miles
out we stop a brief while at Deer Springs,
composed of cold water bubbling up at
the foot of a tall pine. Cinching our
.saddles, examining the peculiar caudal
connection of our pack-animals to see


that this metn

tion is in working order, we

mount and are again on the

move. Four or five miles

beyond Deer Springs the trail

is very steep. There is not

a dangerous spot, but this distance is largely made up of steep, rocky trails,

where the animals, in the continually rarefying air, are unable to make more

than a few feet before stopping to blow.

The Devil's Garden is passed — a spot made up as might be imagined of
rough, unshapen masses of rocks, twisted lava, gnarled trees and burnt under-
growth, all of which is supposed to be congenial stamping ground for his
Satanic Majesty. About five miles from Deer Springs, we come to a broad,
comparatively level mesa, strewn with pumice, where we leave the trail. The
trail from here continues about due east toward "Timber Camp " and " Horse
Camp " above mentioned, while we leave all trails behind us and turn south-
east. We are now about 8,000 feet above the sea, Sisson's being 3.555, and
Castle Crags 1,943 f eet - We have an elevation of 14,442 feet to attain before
we reach the summit ; can we do it ?

For some three miles we ride along the undulating mesa, now in and now
out of timber. The horses crop the mountain grass, apparently a species of
bunch-grass, which grows profusely in the open spaces in the forest. The



caudal linking of the pack-
animals render this a diffi-
cult operation for them,
but they nevertheless at-
tempt it, with many a
spasmodic jerk and sudden
straightening of tail. We
are already high above the
Crags, which we had
mounted with so much ex-
ultation a few days before.
The whole rugged body of
Shasta, with its torn mantle
of snow, lies to our left, in
plain view. We seem to be,
in fact actually are, spar-
ring to get an opening,
swinging around its gigan-
tic base to reach the only ridge up
which horses can approach near to its
crest. It is a delight to ride light-
hearted and joyous through these pine-
scented stretches of mesa. Every qual-
ity of song bursts from one end to the
other of our long cavalcade, ranging
from shrill treble to rumbling bass. It
is a potpourri of harmony. No wonder
the astonished deer flies incontinently
as we approach with this wild medley
of song. And our dear doctor, travel-
ing at every step farther and farther
from his little fractional family at the
tavern — how touching, how sad comes
every now and then his wild lament,
sung in any convenient key, for his


CREEK (.1. u II K.

gute kleine frau und Ottoleiu. Would
he ever see them again ?

About thirteen miles from Sisson,
with the Grey Butte to our right, we
stop for lunch at Panther Creek. It
is now two o'clock. The animals
charge frantically at the little dashing
creek, seeing a beautiful growth of
green grass, knee-high. It proves t<>
be wild onions, which they spam, but
which take a sweet revenge by per-
fuming the whole party with their pun-
gent odor. After resting an hour in
this bed of onions, shaded with tall
trees, we take up our line of march.
A spirit of humanity or convenience
possesses our guides — they attempt to




dispense with the link-tail connection
between the pack-animals. Numer-
ous side excursions on the part of "Old
Roany , ' ' who has never been packed
before, and numerous pursuits by the
entire body of horsemen, show the
impossibility of keeping the packs in
line this way, and their tails are again
tied affectionately together.

forest, where several deer are again
started, and about three miles from
Panther Creek strike Squaw Creek,
another beautiful, little ice-cold stream,
bursting from the hillside but a short
distance above us. We all drink
copiously of this clear water. It is
the last water we will find before
reaching our camp, still four miles


Again up and down steep, rocky
trails, passing the Grey Butte, we
turn to the left in our circumnaviga-
tion, and enter a wild, rocky region,
directly under a huge snow-field on
the mountain, with scarcely a tree in
sight. Huge bowlders and immense
fragments of cliff have been thrown
down from our right, and lie along
our path. The part)' is here, as usual,
in single file. Herr Doctor and
I bring up the rear, and catch sight of
the long cavalcade winding ahead, the
packs and the guides, while the red
blouses of the ladies add an Indian
coloring to the gray scene.

Through ' ' The Gate," a broad path-
way between immense cliffs of barren
rock, we plunge once more into the

away. We have been nearly eight
hours in the saddle.

Until now, there has been literally
no danger in our path, no more than
would be expected on a fair mountain
trail. But I cannot say as much of
the last mile or two before reaching
our camp on Mud Creek. Here the
trail is peculiarly steep and dangerous.
I say trail, but there was no trail
until our worthy guide, Stewart, had
led the way with his fine mountain
horse, and our party had followed in
his wake. We stop on the brink of a
deep canon and look down. Over
there among those last pines between
the snow is our camp, our camp that
is to be, if we can reach the spot.
Can it be that we are to descend into



that deep, precipitous chasm and
mount that seemingly insurmountable
opposite before we can call a halt ?
We can almost send a rifle shot across,
yet it will take us an hour to make
the distance on horseback. There is
but one place for miles where the
crossing of Mud Creek can be made.
Above us towards the mountains is a
steep precipice, both sides being
nearly perpendicular and with no
place for a horse to get footing.
Below, it is almost equally bad.
Here, just where a little stream of
clear water joins the discolored Mud
Creek, is the only passable place.

After a careful looking at cinches,
and a few laments for the " gute kleine
fran" we boldly plunge down. It is
nearly sundown, a forbidding time to
make such a descent. Down a steep
bank, in long, diagonal lines, where
the animals can hardly stand ; over
smooth, treacherous rocks partly cov-
ered with vines and undergrowth,
when the slightest 'misstep means a
broken leg or worse ; down into the
rough boulders of the stream ; across
its swirling, muddy current ; across
its clear little confluent stream ; then,
the worst climb of the day, up
the steep bank, w r here riding is out of
the question, and everybody is on
foot. A balky pack-animal pulls
backward, at nearly the top of the
steep grade, severs the caudal connec-
tion with the horse ahead and comes
rolling down hill, to the eminent
danger of the three of us immediately
behind him. Up, up, in the gather-
ing darkness ; over logs, along narrow
1 'hog-tracks, ' ' until we finally hear, at
7:30 in the evening, the welcome cry of
1 ' Camp ! ' ' and find ourselves in a little
grassy plat by the side of the little
clear- water stream, under the shadows
of the scattering pines, at the upper
edge of timber line. We are said by
our guide, Stewart, to be some 10,000
feet above the sea. We have been in
the saddle nine and a half hours, not
including our stop for lunch. We are
supposed to have come about twenty
miles. Everyone is in good form.
Vol. IV— 29

The camp is an ideal spot. A little
grassy plat furnishes grateful green
food for our tired horses. The pines
shelter us on the east, and a Steep
bank across the noisy little brook on
the west. To the northward the
whole bold outline of Shasta ri
before us — large snow fields, glac;
the steep incline up which we an
climb to-morrow, all in plain view,
but not the very summit. I 1,
camped in many places — in the back-
woods of Maine, on shaggy ].
Umbago, on the beautiful V;
Potomac, for months in the wilds of
Utah and Arizona and Montana, and
often in more accessible places, but I
think I have never before rolled my
blanket in a spot more picturesque
and imposing, or with a party more
cheerful and harmonious. The full
moon rises over the pines. The horses
are whinnying for their grain as they
stand tied to the tree just below,
camp-saddles and packs by their
side. The crackling camp-fire, piled
five feet high with pine logs, lights up
the rough mountaineer's dinner which
we are presently devouring with a
mountaineer's appetite. Shasta, with
its white snow fields, takes on a new

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