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Wild Life

tN TUE

F A K WEST;

PERSONAL ADVENTURES




COMPRISING

Hunting and Trapping Adventures with Kit Carson and

others; Captivity and Life among the Comanehes;

Services under Doniphan in the "War with

Mexico, and in the Mexican "War

against the French; Desperate

Combats with Apaches,

Grizzly Bears,

etc., etc.



By Captain JAMES HOBBS,

OF CALIFORNIA.



IXjLXTSTE-^TEID -with 3Sr-Cr3ytES.O"U-S EITG-E-^VIJSTG-S.

Fublislied. t>y Subscription Only.



HARTFORD, CONN.:

WILEY, WATERMAN & EATON.

F. A. HUTCHINSON & CO., ST. LOUIS, MO. ; CHICAGO, ILL. ; CINCIN-
NATI, O.— A. L. BANCROFT & CO., SAN FRANCISCO, CAL,

1874.



Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1872, by

WILEY, WATERMAN & EATON,
In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.



pnEss or
WILEY, WATP:RMAN & EATON,

UAUTFORD, CONN.



Hfo5W



INTRODUCTION.



IN presenting this work to the public, it is not the
intention of the publishers to add another to the
already numerous histories of the parts of countr}'
which are the scene of the adventures herein recited,
but to give what the title page promises, an account of
the personal adventures of the author during a long
and wild life in the far West. He belongs to that class
of pioneers and trappers, now become neafly extinct, of
which the famed Kit Carson, who was for many years
the companion of the author, has been considered
the most perfect type.

In addition to his experiences as a hunter and trapper,
we have an account of his life as a prisoner among the
powerful and warlike Comanches, his adventures as a
trader in Mexico, his services as interpreter and guide,
under Doniphan, in our war v^dth Mexico, and with
the Liberals in the Franco-Mexican war as Captain of
artillery, as well as his experience in mining in the days
of the "forty-niners" in California, and elsewhere.

Probably no man living has passed through so varied
and exciting a life as this one. At times he has stn^med
on the high road to fortune, wlien by a turn of the
wheel he would find himself penniless. But in what-



4 INTKODUCTIOJSr.

ever condition he was, lie was always ready to respond
to any call for aid from the famishing emigrant train
who were lost on the great plains, or the settlers who
were in peril from the remorseless cruelty of the
savages.

In writing out the incidents of this strangely event-
ful life, no attempt has been made to put them in glow-
ing colors, but we have the account in few words.
There are many incidents and descriptions that occupy
but part of a page, which could easily have been spread
over several pages ; but the fact is there. Had as
many words been used to say as little as there are in
many books, it would have required several volumes
the size of this to have contained the account of the
author' s experiences.

One tiling the author wishes distinctly understood ;
he has in no case ' ' drawn u]Don his imagination for his
facts." There are a few incidents given upon what he
considers reliable information, and they are so desig-
nated ; but nearly all is from his own experience. As
he never contemplated the publication of his adven-
tures, he kept no diary or record of events, but relies
entirely upon his memory, which prevents his giving
exact dates in all cases. But this does not affect his
own acts, and as has been stated, this is not intended
for a history.

THE PUBLISHERS.



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.



PAGE.

1. Chromo, Author as a Comanche, - . . Frontispiece.

2. Warlike Exercises op Com.vnches, 27

3. Comanche "Warrior, (Tail-piece,) 31

4. Co.MANCiiES Moving, 38

5. Indian Welcome, (Tail-piece,) 50

6. Bringing Meat into. Camp, 55

7. Fandango, 63

8. Indian on Guard, (Tail-piece,) 66

9. Comic Bull Fioiit, 79

10. Indian Scout, Enemies, (Tail-piece,) 100

11. Combat WITH Indian Chief, 1.51

12. A Horn too much, I57

13. Monterey and Buena Yista, 161

14. ^Iatamoras, (Tail-piece,) ....... I68

15. General Taylor, I73

16. The Greaser's Mistake, - - • . . . . . igS

17. Castle of San Juan d* Ulloa, (Tail-piece,) - - - 1S8

18. Great Square, Mexico, - - 197

19. The Last Arrow, (Tail-piece,) 215

^0. Fatal Encounter with Grizzly Bear, - . . . 229

21. Rancheros, 269

22. Execution OF Maximilian, - - - - - - -311

23. Corpus Ciiristi, (Tail-piece,) 312

24. Playing A Lone Hand, 319

25. Cavalry Vidette, (Tailpiece,) 356

26. Mexican Robbers, (Tail-piece,) 374

27. An Unwelcome Visitor, 389

28. Mr. Jones in a Deer Trap, 395

29. Apache Courtesies, (Tail-piece,) - - . - - 411

30. Hunting the Be.\r, (Tail-piece,) 438

31. CoMANCiiES Catching Wild Houses, .... 451

32. Lasso Fkiht with Elk, 473

33. Novel Barricade, - - -481



CONTENTS.



CHAPTER I.

Birth-Place. Death of my Mother. Occupations of my Boy-
hood. Start out with a Trapping and Trading Company.
Description of Bent and Savery. Spiebuck and the Shawnees,
An Attack by Pawnees. Meet a Party of Sacs and Americans.
Pursue a Buffalo Cow. Captured by Comanches. " Old
Wolf " and his Suspicions of our Brandy. Four Texans, Pris-
oners of the Tribe. Savage Watchfulness. A Council to
Decide our Fate. Fate of Mexicans previously Captured.
Comanches, their Dress and Habits. Join a War Party against
the Pawnees. Sad Reflections on passing the Place of my
Capture. Surprise a Party of Pawnees. " Sj^otted Fawn "
given me as a Wife. Marriage Ceremony. Surprise of the
Indians at sight of Negroes. - - - . - - - 17

CHAPTER II.

A Raid on Mexicans. Capture of Nathan Martin. Ceremonies
at the Burial of Warriors. Comanche Worshij}. The War Party's
Report to the Chief. Indian Surgery. Winter Occupations.
Delight of Indians at being Taught the use of a Seine. War
Party against the Apaches. Winter Sports. Training Young
Warriors. Winter Occupations of Squaws. Example of the
Strong Constitution of the Squaws. Use made of Looking-
Glass by Indians. " Moving " Incidents. Annual Feast. Meet-
ing with Kit Carson, and a Description of Him. " Old
Wolf" Declines to Visit Bent's Fort. Plans laid for the Coming
Year. Encounter with Pawnees. Battle with Sioux. Dancing
over Scalps. Fight with Crow Indians. Raid into Mexico.
Escape of Martin. Entertain the Arapahoes and Cheyennes.
" Old Wolfs " Friends Advise Him to Visit Bent's Fort. June
Feast with the Cheyennes. Visit Bent's Fort. Batiste and Myself
Ransomed. Meeting with Old Friends. Peg-Leg Smith and



O CONTENTS.

His Characteristics. "Old Wolf " Surprised by a Cannon. Trad-
ing. A.rrangcments for Future Meetings. Parting with Spot-
ted Fawn. The Brown Sisters. 32

CHAPTER III.

Habits of Hunters and Trappers at Bent's Fort. Start on a
Hunting Trip under Lead of Kit Carson. Mclntire's First and
Last Bear Hunt. Bringing Meat into Camp. Capture an Old
Crow Squaw. A Crow Chief in our Camp. Arrangements
made for Trading with the Crows. Return to the Fort and
start on another Trip. Meet a Number of Traders at Santa Fe.
Lead a Party to the Relief of Speyers's Train at the Bone Yard.
Character of Mr. Speyers. Peg-Leg Smith in his Characteristic
Humor. Attend a Fandango. Jealousy of the Natives. The
Governor Appealed to. Result of His Joining our Party.
Gabe Allen. Trouble Between the Governor and Troops from
Chihuahua. Start with Mr. Speyers for Chihuahua. - - 51

CHAPTER IV.

Unsuccessful Attempt of Navajo Indians to Stampede our Ani-
mals. Dead Man's Plain. Apaches run off a Large Number of
our Mules. The Pursuit and its Hardships. A mule for Pro-
vision. Animals Recovered. Return to Camp. Treat our
Friends to " Mule Venison." Given up for Lost. Handsomely
Rewarded for our Success. Crossing Dead Man's Plain. Two
Murdered Mail Carriers. Arrival at the Rio Grande. A Black
Stump Causes a False Alarm. Shoot a Raider. " No Black
Stump about That." Spiebuck's Idea of Peace with Apaches.
Dangerous Ford at Paso del Norte. Spiebuck's Single-handed
Fight with Apaches. Chihuahua Custom House Officials. At-
tend the Fair at San Juan. Meet with a party of Comanches. 67

CHAPTER V.

James Zirker. An Expedition Planned Against the Apaches un-
der Contract with the Governor of Chihuahua. The " Bull
Pen." Pursuit of Apaches. Advance on an Indian Village.
Plan of Attack. Premature Alarm by a Negro. A General
Engagement. A Stinging Rebuke to Kirker. The Negro Pun-
ished for Disobedience. Scalping the Mexican Guide. Discov-
ery of Ancient Ruins and Rich Mines. Celebrate our Success.



CONTENTS. 9

Spiebuck's Idea of Hunting. A Prisoner's Escape from mo and
Spichuck's Indignation. Arrival and Reception at Chiliualiua.
Turnin<jf over the Scalps. Rescued Women and Children
Turned over to the Authorities. A Dinner and Ball in our
Honor. Settlement with a Merchant. Spiebuck in War Paint.
Division of Property. Meet with Old Friends. - - - 81

CHAPTER VI.

Decide to Visit the Comanches. Visit Bent's Fort. Mexican
Thieves on the Way, Dispose of my Spare Mules. Part with
my Friends and start alone for the Comanches. Troubled by
Wolves. iSIanncr of Driving them Off. Disappointed. Recep-
tion by my Old Friends. Distribute my Presents. At Home.
Comanche Hatred of Texans. " Old Wolfs " Friend on a
Steamboat. Decide to Return to ]\Iexico. The Cliiefs Argu-
ment to Detain IMe. Parting with my Family. News from my
Father's Family. Part with my Escort and Proceed to Santa
Fe. Experiences as a Freighter and Trader in Mexico.
War Declared Between the United States and Mexico. My
Property Seized for the Mexican Army. Interview with Santa
Anna. Settle with my Teamsters, Procure a jMexican Costume
and start for Zacatecas. Go on to Durango. Find Friends in
Trouble. Take a Letter to Col. Doniphan. A One-Sided
Horse Trade. Information for Col. Doniphan. The Old Flag. 101

CHAPTER VII.

In Danger from my Friends. Interview with the Colonel. Meet
my Brother and Col. Owens. Volunteer for Duty. Death of
Col. Owens. Mexican Officers held as Hostages for Friends in
Durango. March for Chihuahua. Col. Doniphan's Laws.
Friends in Durango Released. Execution of the Colonel's Laws.
Meet my Friend of the Horse Trade. 125

CHAPTER VIII.

Sent by Col. Doniphan as a Scout. Carry Dispatches to Gov.
Bent. Quickest Time on Record. Bent's Assassination and
Price's Retaliation. Sent with Dispatches to Fremont. Return
to Chihuahua. The Regiment Ordered to Saltillo. Appointed
Interpreter for the Quartermaster. Mexican Thieves and their
Fate. The Regiment Provided For. Deatli and Burial of Cap-



10 CONTENTS.

tain Reid. A Mexican Well. Indian Cruelty. Fight with In-
dians. Lose my Favorite Horse. Liberate Several Captives.
An Indian Troi^hy. The Regiment Entertained by Mr. Evarro.
Johnny Murphy's Big Drink. Reception of Gen. Wool. Bat-
tle Ground of Buena "Vista. ..-. - . 137

CHAPTER IX.

Turning over Commissary Stores, «&c., to Gen. Taylor. Interview
with the General. The Regiment Reviewed by Gen. Taylor.
The Regiment starts for Home. Mexican Guerrillas. Texan
Rangers. Released Guerrillas Shot by the Infuriated Regi-
ment. The Battle Ground of Resaca de la Palma. Animals
sent to Missouri with an Escort. Reception of the Regiment
at New Orleans. A Masquerade Ball. - - - - - 160

CHAPTER X.

Parting Speech of Col. Doniphan. Complimented Personally by
the Colonel. Liberal Present from the Quartermaster. Depar-
ture of the Regiment for Home. Visit to my Uncle. Arrival
and Reception of Gen. Taylor at New Orleans. Sent in Charge
of a Vessel to Gen. Worth at Vera Cruz. Trouble with the
Captain. Breaking Mules. - - . - - - - 169

CHAPTER XI.

Peace Declared. Appointed Head Wagon Master of a Train for
Mexico. Interview with Gen. Twiggs. Start for Mexico. Bat-
tle Field of Cerro Gordo. Arrival at the City of Mexico. In-
terview with Gen. Worth. Evacuation of Mexico. Encamp
near Vera Cruz. A Texan Ranger Sentenced to Death for an
Act of Self-Defense. Gen. Twiggs and the Rangers. Visit to
the Castle of San Juan de Ulloa. 177

CHAPTER XII.

Description of Vera Cruz. Take a Train from Vera Cruz to Mex-
ico. The Castle of Perote. Volcanoes of Orizaba and Popo-
catepetl. The Publanos. The Museum at Mexico. The
" Trioya Horse." Cliurch of the Virgin Mary. The Arches of
Water. St. Patrick's Guard. Montezuma's Stone Almanac.
Earthquakes. Engagement with an English Mining Company.
Adroitness of Mexican Thieves. Experience in Blasting. An



CONTENTS. 11

Explosion. Success in Mining. An Unsuccessful Mining Ven-
ture. Extensive Mines of the English Company. - - - 189

CHAPTER XIII.

An Attack of Gold Fever. Start for California. Aguas Cali-
entes. The Mayos and Yaguis. Villa Del Fuerte. Strange
food of the Mayos. Relieve Several Cholera Patients. Grati-
tude of the Tribe. Ceres Indians. Embark in a Cattle Specu-
lation. Find Water in Tracking Thieves. Fort Yuma and an
Outrageous Ferry Company. Retribution by Outraged In-
dians. - 205

CHAPTER XIV.

Indians' First Sight of a Steamboat. Crossing a Desert Sixty
Miles AVide. Loss of an Emigrant Train. A Mexican Mur-
dered by Dave Brown. Arrive at El Monte and Divide our
Stock. Fate of Dave Brown. Hire a Man to take my Stock
to San Jose. Meet with Gabe Allen and Peg-Leg Smith.
Dispose of my Cattle at San Francisco. Organize a Mining
Party and go to Camp Sonora. An Attempt at Blackmailing.
A ^Mining Government Organized. Return to San Francisco,
and my Party Leave for Mexico. Quicksilver Mine and Soda
Spring. Visit to Relatives. A Hunting Expedition. Aid a
Friend in Catching a Thief. Narrow Escape from a Grizzly.
Sad Fate of One of our Party. 216

CHAPTER XV.

Engage as Interpreter in the Land Commissioner's Office at San
Francisco. Mission Dolores and a Fraudulent Attempt to Ob-
tain the Title to the Land. A Vigilance Committee. Suicide
of Yankee Sullivan. A "Well Organ-ized City. Judge Jenkins
and my Mining Experience with Him. Practicing ^Medicine.
Trial as a Quack. Meet with Placa de Vega and Romero. The
Condition of Mexico at this Time. An Uprising. Gen. Lan-
berg. Appointed Captain. Collect Assessments. A Priest
Brought to Terms. Gen. Garcia ^Morales comes to our Assist-
ance. Prei);u-ing for Active Service. Placed in Command of
the Artillery. 229



12 CONTENTS.

CHAPTER XV.

We TJnite with Romero at Jlocarito. Our Ambuscade Re-
vealed by the Barking of a Dog. Engagement with Church
Forces. ^lorales Wounded. A Hospital Establislied. Vakia-
ble Recruits. Plan to Capture a Vessel ia the Harbor of Mazat-
lan. ;Mistake of IVIorales. Seizure of a United States Vessel
by the Church Forces. Demand for her Release. English In- }

terference. Our Prizes Taken from us by an English Man of-
War. A Colored Picket. Strategy of Morales. Junction with
Coranow, Capture of Mazatlan. Presented with a Marine
Saber. Prisoners Escape with One of our Vessels. Recapture
of our Vessel and Bombardment of San Bias. Expedition
Against Lozado. Our Leader, Coranow, Killed. Sold out by
Cordero, His Successor. Return to Mazatlan. Capture and
Execution of Cordero. 244

CHAPTER XVII.

Capture of a Merchantman and Valuable Cargo. Lose our Prize
by the Treachery of De Vega. De Vega a Defaulter. Second
Expedition Against Lozado, History of Lozado, Ordered to
join Gen. Zaragosa at Sayula. Join Zaragosa and Proceed to
Guadalaxara. Mining the Enemy's Barracks. Escape of Mir-
amon. Col. Cheeseman Poisoned. Ordered to Cinaloa. En-
gagements with Lozado's Warriors. Rasing Recruits. Engage-
ment with the Enemy Under Coghen. Ordered to Mexico.
Battles by the Way. Capture of Mexico. - - - - 263

CHAPTER XVIII.

War Declared by France Against Mexico. Engagement near
Puebla, I am Wounded, Taken to Mexico. Death of Gen.
Zaragosa, and Gen. Arteaga as Commander, Return to Mazat-
lan. Treachery of Lanberg. Sent to Altata to Intercept
French Recruits, Capture and Exchange of Prisoners, Cap-
ture of a Steamer with Supplies. Land at Guaymas, Start for
Hermosillo. Primitive Navigation. Join Col. Corea. Taken
Prisoner. Escape by the Aid of the Guard. Rebuke to Col.
Corea. Sent by Gov. Pesquiera to Confer with Col. Lewis,
Ordered to Sonora, Capture of Magdalena, Skirmish with
Tannery. Lanberg Joins Maximilian. Encouraging Incidents.
Drawn Battle with Gen, Lanberg. A Rich Prisoner. Benefits



CONTENTS. 13

of Strategy. Battle near Ures. Death of Lanberg. State of
Affairs. - 270

CHAPTER XIX.

Maximilian''3 Black Flag Decree. Juarez in the United States.
French Troops AVithdrawn from Mexico. Ordered to March on
Guaynius. Capture of the Indian, Tannery. Shooting of
Traitors. Friendship of United States Naval Officers. The
War Ended in Sonora. Trouble with Martinez. Ordered to
Mazatlan, and from Thence to Zacatecas. Battle -with Lozado.
Explanations. Condition of Affairs in the Spring of 18G7.
Battle of Queretaro. Surrender of Maximilian. Interview of
Maximilian with Juarez and the Doctors. The Execution of
Maximilian, Miramon and Mejia. Entry into Mexico. - 299

CHAPTER XX.

Expedition Against Marquez at Oaxaca. His Flight without a
Battle. ]Mutiny. Ordered to the Mountains of Allico to At-
tack Lozado. I Resign my Captaincy. Paid for my Services
by Gov. Pesquiera. Visit Fort Tubac. " Peaceable " Indians.
Seven to One. Exchanging Shots. Incredulity Convinced. A
Surgical Operation. Examples of Apache Cruelty. A Valua-
able Bullet. Unsuccessful Gold Hunting. Lieutenant Wil-
liams and his Apache Ward. An Emigrant Train Attacked by
Indians. Emma Brown and her Escape from Apaches. Kind-
ness of United States Officers. 313

CHAPTER XXI.

Miss Holliday's Rescue from Indians. Her ^Marriage with the
Commander of the Troops. Obliged to Leave for California.
Mexican Depravity. A Surgical Operation. Sleet Nathan
;Martin and my Cousin. My Uncle's JIassacre by Mormons.
Join a Party to Pursue Mormon Horse Thieves. Prospecting
with Brown and Bennett. Danger of Shooting Cubs. An Im-
portant Discovery. Accident to 'Mi: Bennett. An Unpleasant
Night. Mr. Bennett's Effects. Dishonesty of Brown. An Af-
fray with Brown. - - . - .... 323



14 CONTENTS.

CHAPTER XXII.

Go to the Owen's River Mines. How the Cerro Gordo Mines
were Discovered. Engaged in Smelting Ores. Death Valley.
Gun Sight Lode. Return to Cerro Gordo. Supplied with Pro-
visions by Mmers. Honn's Idea of "Whiskey and Flour. A
Visit from a Pah Utah. Deserted by our Guide. Meet an Old
Squaw who shows us "Water. Joined by two Americans who
Escaped an Indian Massacre. Unsuccessful Search for the
Copeland Brothers. Mr. "Wilson's Revenge. "White Mountain
Mines. Owen's Lake. A Family Killed by Pah Utahs. A
Husband's Desperation. Treaty with Pah Utahs. - - - 340

CHAPTER XXIII.

Disappearance of Hog Rogers. A Faithful Dog. Finding of
Roger's Body. A "Wolf in Sheep's Clothing. Attempt at
Bribery. Recovery of Stolen Property. Restraining a Mob.
Delaney's Trial and Confession. The Execution. An Appro-
priate Nickname. .. - 357

CHAPTER XXIV.

California in its Early Days. Joaquin Murietta and Three-
Fingered Jack. Breaking a Bank. Murietta Refuses to Sur-
render Himself. A Company Organized for his Capture.
Death of Murietta. His Wife Identifies his Head. The Last
of the Gang. Large Amount of Property Recovered. An Or-
der to Restrain Outlaw s. - 365

CHAPTER XXV.

I Engage as Guide to an Exploring Expedition in the Vicinity of
Death Valley. Remains of a Murdered Mining Company. Ac-
count of their Massacre. Digger Indians. A Rabbit Hunt.
Return to California. Pinon Trees and Nuts. Capture of an
Indian Child. Prospecting near the Colorado River. Hot
Springs. Summary of Mining Experiences. Mining in Lower
California. Pursuing Indians who had Massacred a Mining
Company. The Attack. Jones and Patterson. A Good
Month's "Work. Leave the Camp to Avoid the Deperadoes our
Success had Brought. Driven into Trees by a Grizzly. Game
too Abundant. Leave for Safety. 375



CONTENTS. 16

CHAPTER XXVI.

An Interesting Mexican Family. Jones's Conversation with a
Young Lady Interrupted. Our Friend Patterson Commits
Matrimony. Leave our Friends and go to La Paz. Pearl
Divers. Visit Guaymas. Amalgamation Process. Pimos In-
dians. Meeting with Apaches on our Way to the Opoto Vil-
lage. Dance over Apache Scalps. An Indian's Opinion of
Americans. The Publanos and some of their Habits. Saint's
Week at Magdalena. Plancha La Platus Mines. A Mexican
Girl Rescued from Apaches and Restored to her Friends. A
Timid Major. Taking Receipts. My Opinion of Apaches. - 391

CHAPTER XXVII.

Visit Penalto ;Mines. A Vigilance Committee and its Acts. Bea-
ver Trapping on the Gila and Colorado Rivers. Guide to a
Party from Fort Yuma to Sonora. An Interview with Gov.
Pesquiera. Sunday Amusements. Cure a ]\Iember of the
Party of a Rattlesnake's Bite. Establishing a Port on the
Coast of Sonora. Engagement with Robbers. An Outlaw
Killed. An Escaped Thief Captured. 413

CHAPTER XXVIII.

Poor Inducements for Trapping. Mining Frauds. Fight Be-
tween Indians and Lumliermen. Death to Mule Thieves. Trip
from Fort Yuma to Tucson. Shooting of Apache Mule
Thieves. Under Arrest. Avenging a Murder by Apaches.
"Unpleasant Traveling. An Interview with Col. Thompson.
Cow Hills Diggings. Supplying Game to Miners. IMoet Pat-
terson and his Wife. Supplying Game for the San Francisco
Market. A Brutal Dog Fight. IIow a Huge Grizzly was
Caught Alive. . - - - 426

CHAPTER XXIX.

A Trip to the San Bernadino Mountains. Bums kept out all
Night by a Bear. A Grand Turkey Shoot. A [Misanthrope.
Trip to Fort Mohave. Error of a Vigilance Committee. Start
for the White Pine Mines. Deserted by our Guide. Rescue of



16 CONTENTS.

a Mexican Girl. Mono Lake and the Grave of Kit Carson's
Daughter. A Disgusted Dutchman. Marriage of Burns and
the Mexican Girl. - -. 439

CHAPTER XXX.

Catching Wild Horses. Breaking a Horse, A Boastful Chilian
Comes to Grief, Lead a Party to the Rescue of Texan Emi-
grants. Prospecting for a New York ComjDany. Failure of the
Company to come to Terms. Jones Declines to Join me in
^lining, but Joins a Texan "Widow in Housekeejjing. A Visit
to the Comanches. Comanches and their Horses. Lassoing
Horses. Creasing Horses. Return to California and Aid a
Party of Mexican Shepherds on the Route. - . - - 452

CHAPTER XXXI,

A Second Trip as Guide to a Surveying Party in the Vicinity of
Death Valley. Meeting with the Lidians who Formerly held
Bums's Wife Captive. Visit San Francisco. An Ex-Robber,
Return to Tulare County. A Trip as Guide over the Sierra
Nevadas. A Friend in Trouble, Capture of a Thief and Res-
toration of Property, Execution of the Thief. Decide to Set-
tle Down. Stopping a Runaway Team. Catching an Elk.
Sheep Speculations. - - - - - 464

CHAPTER XXXII.

Omitted Adventures, Stage Driving Between Zacatecas and
Agua Calientes, A Bragging Party Quietly Robbed. Rob-
bery of a Mule Train. Stage Load of Englishmen Attacked.
Confession of a Wounded Robber. A Thieving Community.
My Life in Danger from my Escort. Their Plans Frustrated.
A Novel Barricade. Comic Bull Fights at the Fair at
San Juan De Los Lagos. Fight with a Grizzly and My Life
Saved by my Dog. A Strange Pet. Lose my Dog in a Fight
with a California Lion. A Material Ghost. Conclusion. - 474



WILD LIFE m THE FAR WEST.



CHAPTER I.



I WAS born on the 10th of May, 1819, in the Shaw-
nee Nation, on the Big Blue creek, a tributary of
the Missouri river and about twenty-three miles from
Independence. The place then known as Indian terri-
tory is now better known as Jackson county, Missouri.

Being one of a pair of twins, the chief care of me de-
volved on a ftiithful old negro nurse who was one of
my father's slaves. My twin sister, who was brought
up on her mother's breast, after weaning, looked so
much whiter than I that my tanned and sunburnt
complexion has been the occasion of many a joke from
friends who laid it to my nursing from a negro.

My mother died in 1825, wlien I was about seven
years of age. My father married his second wife when
I was about thirteen years old, and she, bemg quite a
young woman and high-spirited, commenced to rule the
house alter she had introduced the first one of a second
crop of children. This made matters very uncomfort-
able for me, but I contrived to amuse myself for three
years longer at home or till the age of sixteen, when I
struck out for myself, pretty much on my own liook,
resolved to hunt for furs with some company, or hunt
Indians, or do any thing else that would pay.

While working on my father's plantation I had be-
come familiar ^\'ith the rifle and shot gun, and indeed

9.



18 BENT AND SAVEEY.

had to provide nearly all tlie meat for the family ; but
game was plenty and that was an easy task, much
easier than pleasing the mistress who took no pains to



Online LibraryJames HobbsWild life in the far west : personal adventures of a border mountain man → online text (page 1 of 34)