While we were at breakfast, Malcolm asked our host several questions about his crops, and soon found that he was no practical agriculturist. He had, however, at Bradley’s suggestion, discarded the native wooden plough for the more effective American implement. He told us that he calculated his crop of wheat this year would yield a hundred fanegas for every one sown; and, on our expressing our surprise at such a bountiful return, said that sixty or over was the usual average. If so, the soil must be somewhat wonderful. After expressing our thanks, for the hospitality shown us, to the wife of our host, who was a very pretty little dark-eyed woman, with a most winning way about her, we started off to resume our journey. For my own part, I felt very loth to proceed, for I was terribly fatigued by my performance of yesterday, and suffered not a little from that disagreeable malady called “saddle-sickness.” Our Californian accompanied us some short distance on our road, which lay for many miles through a wide valley, watered by a considerable stream, and overgrown with oaks and sycamores. Low hills rose on either hand, covered with dark ridges of lofty pine trees, up which herds of elk and deer were every now and then seen scampering. We at length entered upon a narrow road through a range of green sheltering hills, and, passing the Mission of San Juan, crossed a wide plain and ascended the mountain ridge which lay between us and Monterey, where we arrived late in the day.
Next morning Mr. Bradley accompanied me to the Governor’s house, where we saw Colonel Mason, the new governor of the State. He received us with great politeness, but said that the war, if war it deserved to be called, was now at an end, that but a small number of troops were stationed in the country, and that there was no vacancy for a surgeon. “Indeed,” he said, “considering that we have given up head-breaking, and the climate is proverbially healthy, California is hardly the place for doctors to settle in. Besides,” said he, “the native Californians all use the Temescal (a sort of air-bath) as a remedy for every disorder.” Colonel Mason then asked Mr. Bradley if he had heard the reports of gold having been found on the Sacramento, as Mr. Fulsom had casually mentioned in a letter to him that such rumours were prevalent at San Francisco. Bradley replied that he had heard something about it, but believed that there was no truth in the matter, although a few fools had indeed rushed off to the reputed gold mines forthwith. With this our interview terminated.
Monterey seems to be a rising town. The American style of houses is superseding the old mud structures, and numbers of new huildings are being run up every month. The hotel we stopped at has only been recently opened by an American. Monterey is moreover a port of some importance, if one may judge from the number of vessels lying at anchor.