Death Valley in '49 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 501 pages of information about Death Valley in '49.
a hole in the center through which to put the head and wear it as a garment in case of storm, or at night.  I went to a native store and bought a supply of carne seca (dried beef) and some crackers, put some salt in my pocket and was now provisioned for another trip.  I found my mule in the hills back of town, not far from where I left her, and the rest and good feed had made her look better and feel better, as well as myself.

The drovers had found two other men who wanted to go with them and help drive the horses for their board.  I put my blanket on under the saddle, packed my little sack of meat and crackers on behind, and when I was in the saddle with my gun before me I considered I was pretty well fixed and able to make my way against almost anything.  I said to myself that the only way now to keep me from getting to the gold mines was to kill me.  I felt that there was not a mountain so high I could not climb, and no desert so wide and dry that I could not cross it.  I had walked and starved and choked and lived through it, and now I felt so strong and brave I could do it again—­any way to reach the gold mines and get some of the “dust.”

I had not much idea how the gold from the mines looked.  Everybody called it gold dust, and that conveyed an idea to me that it was fine as flour, but how to catch it I did not know.  I knew other people found a way to get it, and I knew I could learn if any body could.  It was a great longing that came to me to see some of the yellow dust in its native state, before it had been through the mint.

At the last meal I took at the house there were only a few at the table.  Among them was a well dressed Californian who evidently did not greatly fancy American cooking, but got along very well till Mrs. Brier brought around the dessert, a sort of duff.  This the Californian tasted a few times and then laid down his spoon saying it was no bueno, and some other words I did not then understand, but afterward learned that they meant “too much grease.”  The fellow left the table not well pleased with what we generally consider the best end of a Yankee dinner, the last plate.

While here I had slept in a small store room, where I made my pallet out of old rags and blankets.  While I was looking round for material to make my bed I came across a bag partly full of sugar, brought from Chili.  It was in very coarse crystals, some as large as corn.  There were some other treasures end luxuries there that perhaps I was expected guard.  I however had a sweet tooth and a handful or so of the sweet crystals found their way into my pocket.

I bade Mr. Brier and the rest good bye and rode away to join my company.

CHAPTER XII.

Leaving the little party whose wanderings we have followed so closely, safely arrived in Los Angeles, their further history in California will be taken up later on, and this narrative will go back to points when the original party was broken up and trace the little bands in their varied experience.  It will be remembered that the author and his friends, after a perilous voyage down Green River, halted at the camp of the Indian chief, Walker, and there separated, the Author and four companions striking for Salt Lake, while McMahon and Field remained behind, fully determined to go on down the river.

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Death Valley in '49 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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