“I remain your friend,
Our letters were despatched by Manuel and Sapoya to Lieutenant Hubbell’s camp, where Captain Bayard directed the boys to await the detachment of New Mexican cavalry which had accompanied us from the Rio Grande and which was shortly to return there.
We resumed our march the following day at a very early hour, and as we passed the cavalry camp two half-dressed boys came bounding out to the road-side to once more repeat their affectionate good-byes and renew their promises to meet in the future.
The march continued for a week longer, through a region over which the Pullman car now rushes with the modern tourist, but through which we moved at the gait of infantry. The boy corporals and Brenda Arnold climbed eminences, looked through clefts in precipices into the sublime depths of the great canon, stood on the edge of craters of extinct volcanoes, penetrated the mysterious caverns of the cliff-dwellers, fished for trout in a mountain lake, caught axolotl in a tank at the foot of San Francisco Mountain, shot turkeys, grouse, and antelope, and enjoyed the march as only healthy youngsters can. Brenda became a pupil of the boys in loading and firing their revolvers, carbines, and fowling-pieces, and made many a bull’s-eye when firing at a mark, but invariably failed to hit anything living. Henry said she was too tender-hearted to aim well at animals. That she was no coward an incident to be told in a future chapter will prove.
When our train and its escort reached Fort Whipple, or, rather, the site of that work—for we built it after our arrival—the Arnolds caught up their cattle from our herd, and after a two weeks’ stay in Prescott removed to a section of land which they took up in Skull Valley, ten miles to the west by the mountain-trail, and twenty-five miles by the only practicable wagon-road. This place was selected for a residence because its distance from Prescott and its situation at the junction of the bridle-path and wagon-road made it an excellent location for a way-side inn.
At a dress-parade held the evening before the family’s departure for their new home, Brenda sat on her pony, Gypsy, near Captain Bayard, and heard an order read advancing her young friends from the grade of corporal to that of sergeant, “for soldierly attention to duty on the march, gallant conduct in the affair at Laguna, and meritorious behavior in effecting the rescue of captive boys from the Navajos at Carizo Creek; subject to the approval of Colonel Burton.”
BOTH PONIES ARE STOLEN
“Here, Frank, come and help push this gate, I can’t start it alone.”
“Don’t be in such a hurry, Henry. Wait just a moment. I think I hear a horse coming down the Prescott road. I want to see if it is the express from La Paz.”