California eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 127 pages of information about California.

Several new-comers from the Mormon diggings passed us to-day, bound further up the Fork.  In the morning Mr. Marshall paid us a visit, to know how we were getting on.  He had heard from Captain Sutter, who stated that he thought of starting for the upper or lower washings himself, as soon as he had gathered in his wheat harvest, which he hoped to accomplish during the present week.  A number of wild ducks haunt the, river, and especially abound in the grassy and weedy pools which skirt its edges.  This morning we shot some of these, and found them an agreeable addition to our dinner bill of fare.

The afternoon has been passed among the greater part of the miners here as a celebration of the anniversary of American Independence.  Something like an out-door feast was got up, and toasts were drunk and songs sang; “Yankee Doodle,” and the “Star-spangled Banner,” being the chief favourites.  Bradley made a smart speech:  and, contrary to his usual practice, complimented us Englishmen with a round of pleasant allusions to the mother country.

CHAPTER XIII.

  The party again shift their quarters
  The river forded
  Horry in the water
  Mr. Sinclair’s party of Indians
  Deserted Indian Villages
  Weber’s Creek
  A halt made
  Cradles hollowed out
  A commotion in the camp
  Colonel Mason arrives on a tour of inspection
  His opinions as to what Congress should do
  Military deserters, and what ought to be done with them
  Return of Colonel Manson’s party to Sutter’s Fort
  Bradley accompanies it with a stock of gold
  How the gold was packed, and what precautions were taken for its
    security.

Weber’s Creek.—­July 9th.—­A few more days’ experience at the saw-mills convinced us that much time and labour was lost in consequence of the distance between the digging we worked at and the water, and we therefore determined to seek a more desirable location.  Ever since we had been at the saw-mills we had heard it constantly said, that at Weber’s Creek the gold was to be found in far greater abundance; and to Weber’s Creek we determined to go.  The stream thus called is a small tributary to the northern fork of the Americans’.

We struck our tents yesterday morning, loaded our horses, and took our departure.  The river, at the fording-place, was broad and rapid, but shallow; the principal difficulties in the ford arose from the number of smooth round stones, covered with green rince slime, which formed the bed of the river, and over which our horses stumbled, with a violence which threatened to disturb the fastening of their burdens.  No disaster, however, actually occurred, except to poor Horry, whose horse stumbled over a large boulder, and pitched its luckless rider over its head into the water, to the undissembled delight of the entire party, who hailed the poor sailor’s discomfiture with loud bursts of laughter.  Horry made the best of his way to the farther bank, without paying any more attention to his horse, which, however, emerged from the water, and was on dry land as soon as Horry himself.

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California from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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