California eBook

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

Colonel Mason next proceeded to visit Captain Weber’s store, whither Bradley accompanied him.  On his return, Bradley informed us that the Colonel and his escort intended to set off on their way back lo Sutter’s Fort that very afternoon, and they reckoned upon encamping some few miles below the saw-mills that night.  Bradley then took me aside and asked me whether this would not be a good opportunity to send our stock of gold dust down to Captain Sutter, who would, for a reasonable commission, consign it to a merchant at Monterey on our account.  The weight of it was becoming cumbersome, and we were besides in constant apprehension of some unfortunate accident happening to it.  Now was the time, Bradley urged, to place all we had as yet realised in security.  He knew Colonel Mason—­in fact, had served under him, and undertook, if the remainder of the party were agreeable, to carry the gold, under the protection of Colonel Mason’s escort, to Sutter’s Fort.

There was something reasonable in this proposal, and Colonel Mason, on being appealed to, said he would gladly give Mr. Bradley such protection as his escort would afford him, and would be, moreover, happy of his company.  Our party was, therefore, summoned together, and the whole, or nearly so, of the gold dust being produced, it was weighed in our presence, and found to amount to twenty-seven pounds eight ounces troy—­valued at over four thousand six hundred dollars.  Bradley gave a regular receipt for this to the company, and engaged to obtain a similar one from Captain Sutter.  The gold dust was then packed in a small portmanteau well secured by numerous cords, and firmly bound on the pack-saddle of an extra horse, which Bradley was to ride alongside of, the bridle of the animal being secured to his arm, and its trail-rope made fast to the saddle of the horse which Bradley himself rode.  He was well armed with pistols and a rifle, and started with Colonel Mason’s party a couple of hours before sundown—­so that they might ford the river ere it was dusk.  After accomplishing this, they intended to ride part of the way by the light of the moon.

CHAPTER XIV.

  Smoking and sleeping
  Fever, and how caused
  Bradley returns
  A doctor wanted
  A doctor’s fee at the mines
  Medicine scarce
  A hot air bath and a cold water bath
  Indians engaged to work
  Indian thimble-rigging
  An Indian gamester, and the stake he plays for
  More sickness
  Mormons move off
  A drunken dance by Indians
  An Indian song about the yellow earth and the fleet rifle
  An immodest dance by Indian women.

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Project Gutenberg
California from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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